Chapter 4

Jason awoke to an empty bed and for a moment he feared that Loyce had panicked and left in regret, remorse and guilt for cheating on her husband. But then he noticed that the bathroom door was closed which made the room dark and in the quietness he heard sobs coming from within.

He left the bed, picked up the discarded towel from the floor, wrapped it around his midsection and cautiously approached the bathroom door. Hesitating for a moment, he opened the door and saw a naked Loyce sitting in the empty bathtub with her knees up against her chest and her arms wrapped around her legs as she rocked back and forth in her distress.

"Loyce?" Jason asked with concern.

She didn't acknowledge him as she continued to rock and sob, tears streaming down her face.

He approached the tub, stepped over the side and took a seat in the tub opposite her, staring into her eyes.

"He won't even wear a mask in public for me," Loyce said with despair. "What in the fuck is so hard about wearing a god damn mask?"

"Nothing," Jason replied.

"Doesn't he understand that he disrespects all of us by being so selfish and stubborn?"

"He especially disrespects his wife who works in a Skilled Nursing Facility trying to save lives," Jason said.

"He could be unknowingly exposing himself to a disease that could infect others," Loyce growled angrily. "Including me."

"He's caught up in his mindless politics and is blind to the hard realities the virus brings," Jason said, taking her hand in his.

"We work with the most vulnerable and he could give a shit," Loyce protested.

"People who aren't involved in it themselves don't understand the truth," Jason explained.

"Well, they should come spend a day with us at the nursing home," Loyce said bitterly. "Suit up like a NASA astronaut in all the PPE equipment. Then they can see the fast moving train for themselves. All the interventions we do trying to help a dying patient survive, all the isolation, the people who die with no family by their side, the grieving families who don't get to say goodbye, the consoling we have to do for families, other residents, and even ourselves and our coworkers."

"It's exhausting," Jason said with sympathetic understanding.

"Jerks standing around holding signs in protest don't have to watch the funeral home workers prepare bodies and take them away or deal with all the grief, stress, anxiety, and exhaustion," Loyce continued with resentment. "All the crying as we try to care for the most vulnerable as we face our own fear and uncertainty going to work every day."

"I know," Jason sighed.

"Every day when I get home I strip naked in the garage, bleach everything I wore and touched before I go into the house and take a shower," Loyce revealed. "To protect him, the jerk who won't wear a mask."

"And yet I see you smile with your eyes behind your mask all the time," Jason assured her.

"Well, now you see me unmasked," Loyce said with defeat. "I'm tired of working so hard and feeling such pain. I'm tired of pretending I'm not vulnerable."

"I'm grateful I get to work with you during these hard times," Jason replied.

Loyce managed to smile. "I guess I was due for a meltdown," she said bravely.

"You're safe here," he told her.

She seemed to relax, letting her feet down as she wiped away her tears. Her foot maneuvered between Jason's legs, underneath his towel and she gave his dick a toe touch. "Sex has become the great distraction," she grinned. "You make me feel like I'm eighteen again."

Jason stood and pulled her to her feet. She reached out and playfully tugged his towel off. He picked her up in his arms and carried her to the bed where they fell together onto the mattress, lying on their sides facing each other with looks of amazement and contentment.

Loyce wrapped her leg across his hip and directed his dick toward her opening. "Help me forget," she pleaded.

And so he fucked her with slow methodical pumps as he held her in his arms and she started to cry again.

"You see me in all my vulnerabilities," she sobbed.

"I see you unmasked," Jason agreed as he kissed her. "I see you as you really are."

When they were done with the lovemaking, they took another nap and when they awoke they fucked again just because it was better to do that then to have to feel the pain and emptiness that was their health care lives.

"I can't remember the last time I spent the day naked with a man," Loyce let Jason know when they were finished and lay cuddled together under the covers.

Jason ordered a pizza delivery from Griff's Pizza and they teased each other about whether or not they had the guts to greet the delivery guy naked. Needing a total escape, Loyce accepted the dare and she took twenty-five bucks from her purse and held it in her hand.

"You won't really do it," Jason said from where he sat on the bed under the covers.

"Oh yeah?" Loyce laughed, finding her mask and putting it on. "Just watch me!"

"But you're a professional health care worker."

"He won't know that," Loyce giggled as she stood by the window, peeking through the drapes waiting for the delivery guy to arrive. "It's still raining," she said.

"You look incredibly sexy wearing nothing but a mask," Jason observed.

He could see her smile through the mask.

They heard a car pull up outside and Loyce lifted her eyebrows at Jason. "Here it goes!" She said.

There was a knock on the door.

"Who is it?" Loyce sing-sanged in a lyrical voice.

"Pizza delivery."

Jason was about to say something but Loyce opened the door wide and handed the guy the twenty-five bucks as he handed her the pizza box while giving her a lingering up and down look. He was wearing a Red Griff's Pizza shirt and a mask with pepperonis on it.

"Keep the change," Loyce purred, turning sideways to let him see her other side.

"Is this your first naked delivery?" Jason asked from the bed.

"Surprisingly, no," the guy – maybe twenty – answered. "But not many come to the door nude," he admitted.

"I guess today's your lucky day," Loyce smiled.

"Thanks for making my night," the guy replied before Loyce slowly closed the door and turned to Jason.

"We really are crazy," Jason realized.

She laughed and brought the pizza to the bed. "I need to let go," she explained.

Loyce filled two paper cups with some of the wine and they ate naked in bed while watching mindless pap on the television. It was the best way to forget about everything that either of them could have imagined.

When they were done with the pizza, they had sex again –– this time in the missionary position with Loyce's legs wrapped around Jason's waist as he looked down into her eyes and Loyce looked back into his with appreciation and satisfaction while quietly moaning from the pleasure.

"I can't believe I've spent the day fucking like a teenager," Loyce said afterwards as they lay together in the bed. "I feel reinvigorated."

"What are you going to do?" Jason asked.

"I should kick him out, shouldn't I?" Loyce realized.

"Or leave him," Jason concurred.

"You can't imagine what I've gone through staying with him," she sighed with defeat.

"Relationships are complicated but you need two to make it work," Jason said.

"I've tried," she said earnestly. "But how can you achieve domestic satisfaction when he simply doesn't give a shit?"

"You can't," Jason replied.

"I can't take the pressure I'm under keeping up such high standards in both my marriage and my work," Loyce announced.

"I don't think you should be with someone who doesn't respect what you do," Jason told her.

"I wish I met you first," Loyce sighed.

He gave her a kiss and then he left the bed, looking for his jeans on the floor.

"What are you doing?" Loyce asked from the bed.

Jason pulled out a lone key from his pocket and he handed it to her. "When you're ready," he said, rejoining her in the bed.

She stared at the key as it lay in the palm of her hand and then she looked at him. "You've unmasked me," she said happily.