Chopped Tomatoes

Chopped Tomatoes

(Chef Emeril would have a heart attack.)


Two garlic cloves, chopped.

One medium onion, chopped.

One pound boneless chicken, cubed.

Two cups mushrooms, sliced.

Four cups tomato sauce.

One cup tomato paste.

One tbsp. oregano.

One tbsp. basil.

Kelly Woodman chopped onions. She let the tears come. Why not? At 5:45 on a Thursday morning, twenty-six ungraded worksheets waited in her tote bag. Mikey and Bobby slept upstairs; $41.86 languished in her checking account, and Mike left for work angry again.

Angry for the third time this week.

Why not have a good cry? Onions or no onions.

One quarter cup extra virgin olive oil.

One bay leaf.

Why? Why was there always one bay leaf?  What the hell could one bay leaf do in a Crock-Pot stuffed full of garlic, oregano, onions, and tomato sauce?

It was a conspiracy; it had to be. Somewhere, someone influential owned a massive bay leaf plantation, probably one of those huge places in northern Mississippi. The bottom fell out of the cotton market; so it’s time to grow bay leaves, folks. Every recipe worth a pinch of sea salt called for one.

But none of them, not even a twenty-five-pound, Schwarzeneggerian Thanksgiving turkey called for two. Why was that? Could Mississippi bay leaf farmers be in bed with recipe writers? Was Chef Emeril secretly boinking some leathery tan field hand named Hans? Maybe even on an aromatic bed of soft condiments?

Kelly considered this, decided the distraction wasn’t working, and went back to weeping over her cutting board. At twenty nine, she worked fast, had seen her share of unchopped onions, unsliced mushrooms, and had nearly five years’ experience filling her Crock-Pot – a wedding gift from Aunt Susan – and getting off to school before the first bell at 8:25.

She did quickie mental math: 4 years, 10 months, 3 weeks, and 5 days.

Long enough to have fired off two babies – her boys whom she would love more than anything until the day she died. Long enough to have worn the veneer off the handles on Aunt Susan’s Crock-Pot – the workhorse of Kelly and Mike’s kitchen. And long enough to have picked up a few battle scars – most of them about money.

No. She checked herself. All of them, all of her scars were about money.

She and Mike had married for true love, and it had lasted: a blissful wave of daily contentment, exciting plans for the future, long bike rides together in the city, relaxing vacations, even a sporty (albeit used) convertible that Mike still drove to work.

And then they’d had unprotected sex.

Why not? Everyone their age did. It was in the contract: fall in love, get married, remain neck deep in doe-eyed happiness for two-to-three years, then fertilize the egg.

And all bets were off.

The money ran out faster than Kelly could say, “$950 for a crib? Is he gonna retire there?”

The love, like the cracked and chipped veneer on those worn Crock-Pot handles, wore out a little as well. It grew thin, tattered about the edges, as Kelly tried on different metaphors – again in an effort to distract herself from their third pre-dawn fight this week.

$41.86 in checking. Exactly $218.00 in savings, and not a paycheck in sight until Monday.

She loved Mike. She loved the boys. She even loved waking up at 5:00 to shower, dress, grade papers, and dump whatever chopped vegetables and meat she thought would bring them all around the table that evening, happy and safe. She loved all of it.

But those handles had worn. Her enthusiasm for teaching had worn. Her minivan had worn. Her sex life had worn. All of it, somehow, had lost its vibrant polish and in only 4 years, 10 months, 3 weeks, and 5 days. She hadn’t even tried the hurdle at thirty yet. What would life be like at forty, when the boys were teenagers, and Mike a discontent forty-three?

She struggled to banish those images from her mind; so Kelly chopped onions and cried.

By 5:50, she’d added mushrooms, chicken, and onions to the tomato sauce and set the Crock-Pot on LOW. She had about a half hour before she needed to get the boys up and ready – Mikey for preschool, Bobby for daycare. So she decided that with a bit of extra time, she’d ignore the worksheets in her bag. Rather, she’d hand back the kids’ math projects on Friday. Not getting feedback for another day wasn’t going to keep any of her fourth graders from getting a master’s degree at Yale, and if it did, then Yale truly needed to revisit their entrance standards.

Instead, Kelly decided to brew herself another cup of coffee and dice some fresh tomatoes. The recipe didn’t call for them, but what the hell.  With her third marital spat already behind her this week and no intention of adding any fucking bay leaf to her dinner, some extra coffee and a few chopped tomatoes might be just the thing to help her press the RESET button on her day.

Before 6:00 a.m.

The fact that she needed a RESET button before 6:00 a.m. troubled Kelly, but like the bay leaf conspiracy and Chef Emeril’s secret Mississippi lover, she didn’t worry over the question very long.

Extra coffee. Extra tomatoes. 

The chopping, the repetitive motion, the sheer existential evidence in cubing a pound of boneless chicken was proving oddly cathartic for her this morning. Actually, if Mike wasn’t careful, he’d come home to find chopped cucumbers, carrots, dictionaries, and old running shoes stewing with his mushrooms and chicken.

Now Kelly laughed, just a quick chuckle to herself, as she picked through the basket of tomatoes on the countertop, wanting to sacrifice two or three that looked ripest.

Through the kitchen wall, she heard the garage door rumble open. Worried it might be a malfunction or a criminal, she cracked open the door and peeked out. Mike’s old car, the convertible, turned into their driveway.

“Shit,” she let the door close, returned to her tomatoes. “Forgot something. Shit.” Determined not to fight any more, Kelly inhaled deeply, appreciating the thick smells of garlic, oregano, and onions in her kitchen. “Maybe that’ll distract him. Smells good. Smells like . . . happily ever after.” She wiped her hands on her apron and started on the tomatoes. “Gonna need more garlic, more basil, more oregano with these in there.  This is more than the –”

Mike Woodman emerged through the garage door into their kitchen. With her back turned, Kelly asked, “You forget something, sweetie?”


She felt him move silently behind her, his aftershave and deodorant weak seconds to the warm, physical smell of him, just him, the intoxicating essence she’d fallen in love with as a college kid ten years earlier. Still trim, lean and athletic, he towered over her, breathed warmly on her neck.

And Kelly knew.

With his face close, Mike tentatively ran a finger down her shoulder, capturing and tugging her bra strap to one side. He kissed her softly, whispered, “I’m sorry.”

“Me too.” She didn’t turn to face him, just continued chopping the tomatoes she’d rolled onto the cutting board.

“I didn’t mean it. You know that. Right?” He slid his hands over her ribs, beneath her apron, to cup her breasts. He squeezed, gently at first, then hard, harder than usual in their twice-a-week bedroom sessions.

“I know.” Kelly reached for a second tomato, sliced it neatly in two. She pressed her head back, feeling the side of his face against hers.

Mike drew his hands across her stomach, pulled them back long enough to untie her apron strings. “The boys sleeping?”

Still smelling him, still feeling for him with her shoulders and neck, Kelly said, “Yeah, another . . . another half hour.”

“Good.” Mike gently massaged his wife’s hips, gathering up handfuls of wool skirt and tugging the hem ever higher.

Kelly sighed. Yes, they had time. They could. What better way to start an otherwise shitty Thursday? To press that RESET button together. With only a moment’s consideration, she gave in to the idea. “Yeah, baby. Make love to me.”

“No,” Mike continued tugging her skirt over her thighs, slipped a hand between her legs, just beneath the low swell of her ass. His fingers explored her, massaging powerfully through her panties. “No,” he said again.

Kelly felt herself grow moist with anticipation, her pussy softening, wanting him, knowing he’d be inside her very soon. She moved as if to sneak to the living room, maybe have him join her on the couch. But Mike held her fast, one hand on her hip, one between her legs, pressing her thighs apart, caressing her pussy, caressing the soft skin along her labia, her sensitive asshole, her pubis.

“Why no?” Willingly, she parted her legs, let him feel her warmth, her damp excitement.

“No,” Mike slid one finger beneath her underwear, stroked and massaged her perineum, pressed gently along the delicate folds of her cunt.

Flooding now, Kelly felt her clitoris swell with hot blood. He had to touch her there. He hadn’t yet. Why not? What the hell was he waiting for? What kind of seduction game was this? They’d been married for 4 years, 10 months, 3 weeks, and 5 days for Christ’s sake.

Then she understood.  Reaching back with both hands, Kelly felt for his erection, found it stiff and ready in his dress pants. “Baby?”


“I don’t want you to make love to me.”

“No?” Pressing deeper, Mike pulled her panties out of his way, then struggling to reach all of her pussy at once, summarily ripped them, tearing the cheap cotton away from her ass and exposing her sopping cunt in one determined motion.

Kelly gasped, jumped a little at the sensation, then spread her thighs even wider, welcoming him, his touch, his fingers, his cock. “Baby, I don’t want you to make love to me. I want you to fuck me.”

“Yeah?” He bit down on her shoulder, hard enough to hurt, hard enough that she made a mental note to check her blouse before 26 fourth graders stampeded into her classroom. But for now, the sensation of his teeth, his lips sucking on her bare skin, his fingers caressing her, pressing ever deeper into her pussy, she understood. This was going to be a very different morning for both of them.

Kelly Woodman loved the idea.

“Yeah,” she encouraged. “Fuck me. Fuck me, Mike, but first lick my cunt. Suck on it. Bury your face in it. I want you to suck my clit right here.”

Complying, Mike slid out of his suit jacket. He let it fall to the linoleum, his cell phone, wallet and keys thunking and jangling behind them. Loosening his tie, he knelt beneath her, bent her over the counter, just slightly, and reached up to stroke her clit with two fingers.

Kelly exhaled sharply. “Yeah, fuck. Yeah, that’s it, baby.”

Mike pushed her higher, pressing beneath one thigh until Kelly followed his direction, and half climbed, half propped one knee on the kitchen island, beside Aunt Susan’s Crock-Pot of Italian chicken, a scatter of spices and vegetables, and a burgeoning mound of chopped tomatoes. Pulling herself forward, she wanted him to have easy access to her cunt, to fuck it, suck it, massage it, whatever he desired. She was going to come right here in her kitchen, a first for the twenty-nine-year-old teacher.

Press RESET? Sure. Tear off one pair of Walmart panties and clear the way.

With Kelly sprawled across the counter, Mike rose beneath her, and began licking and sucking her pussy like a man possessed. This wasn’t make-up sex.  This wasn’t apology sex. This was something more. This was happily-ever-after-had-better-mean-more-than-polite-twice-a-week fucking in bed upstairs.  Kelly threw her leg farther, opening her cleft even wider. With her ankle dangerously near the gas jets, she worried that she might turn on the stove and burn the house down, while Mike rammed his face against her pussy.

He’d eaten her cunt before, licking at her juices and flicking over her clitoris a few times, just enough to get her to orgasm in bed. It was good sex, but nothing outrageous, nothing that might wake the boys, muss up the blankets, or leave anyone with open bite marks.

Now, however, Mike drew his tongue along her labia, sucking up cunt juice like a man dying of thirst.  She felt him pause briefly to swallow and wanted to be embarrassed at how flooded she’d become, at her flavor, at the smell and texture of her pussy, but Kelly couldn’t get her thoughts to line up correctly. 

She decided not to regret any of it and needed to come.

Mike showed no signs of slowing down or letting up. With two fingers pulling her open, he sucked Kelly’s clitoris into his mouth, then pinched it between his lip and tongue.

She cried out. “Jesus! Fuck, fuck, that’s brilliant. Baby, do that again. A little harder, just a little.”

Mike did, sucking her lips into his mouth and rubbing her clitoris with the rough pad of his thumb. He’d touched her there before, gently. But not this morning. His thumb pressed hard against her sensitive nub, forcing it flat against her pubic bone, massaging it too hard, with almost too much desperation. Kelly loved him for it. Here was a man she didn’t know. Her own husband might have been a stranger sneaking into her house at 5:45 in the morning to fuck her like a whore, giving and demanding as much pleasure as she could imagine.

But he was her husband. This was a side of him she’d never seen, a side she welcomed, an unexpected surprise 4 years, 10 months, 3 weeks, and 5 days into their life together.

That pushed her over the edge.

When Kelly came the first time, she involuntarily shoved the cutting board off the counter, spilling tomatoes and knocking two canisters of oregano and garlic powder onto the floor. Her orgasm rolled from her lean thighs up through her abdomen, pressed hard against the countertop, through her tits to diamond-tip nipples and up her neck to tunnel her vision and electrocute every hair follicle on her head. Her vision blurred as a second wave chased the first up and down the physical roller coaster, and with her legs twitching, she pressed her pussy onto Mike’s face, trying simultaneously to smother him and swallow him inside herself.

“My god. My god,” she panted as the waves subsided. Cramped and stiff, she slid off the counter, backwards, into his arms. “Baby, that was . . . that was –”

“Sssh,” Mike whispered again. “We’re not done, my love.” 

Behind her, she felt him unfasten his pants, sliding them just far enough down his thighs to free his erection.  She reached back for it, wanted to feel him, to taste him, to have him come into her mouth, another act they’d not practiced since Bobby was born and exhaustion overtook them most nights.

“Lemme . . . lemme have you,” she begged. “Lemme help you.”

He held her where she’d slid, back to him, skirt hiked above her hips, underwear torn out at the crotch. Mike pressed his back to the refrigerator, supported himself with his feet against the kitchen island, and guided Kelly onto him, her moist cunt readily accommodating his cock.

“Ah!” Kelly hesitated, slid up and over his tip, allowing it to brush against her clitoris, then with a fluid swallowing motion, descended over Mike’s dick, drawing every inch into her pussy.

With her ass slapping against his thighs, Mike had nowhere to go. Braced in place against the fridge, he let his wife fuck him however she liked. “God!” he cried. “God, yes. Fuck me.”

Using her legs and back, Kelly rose and fell on Mike like an assailant. Slowly at first, feeling the length of him slide along the inside of her pussy, then faster, driving herself down over him, sensing his cock rub her tantalizingly swollen clitoris. She pressed harder, rose faster, nearly fell onto him, again and again as Mike reached around to stroke her with one hand, while massaging her ass, her lower back, and the raw flesh between her pussy and her asshole.  He’d never touched her there before, had never known what pleasure waited in that narrow strip of often-ignored skin. But with both of his hands working on her, his impossibly stiff cock caressing the folds of her cunt, and her thighs burning from the effort of fucking him, Kelly felt another orgasm rouse itself inside her abdomen.

“I’m gonna come again,” she said. “I’m really close. Mike, I’m –”

“Not yet,” and with surprising strength in his hands and legs, he hefted both of them from where they’d been fucking against the fridge. Without pulling out of her pussy, he lifted Kelly onto the kitchen island, up and nearly all the way over, far enough for him to step onto the lowest shelf, press his wife flat on her stomach, and fuck her, his cock rubbing against the front wall of her pussy. Nearly toppling Aunt Susan’s Crock-Pot in their efforts, the desperate couple spilled a half bottle of extra virgin olive oil and dusted the granite countertop with dry basil.

Feeling Mike’s cock slide forcefully in and out of her cunt, Kelly reached beneath herself with one hand, rubbed her clitoris.  There was no way Mike could reach it, not without landing both of them in the emergency room. As soon as her fingertips touched her clit, she knew it was sore, badly used and – hopefully – a lingering, painful reminder of the morning’s RESET button. She wanted to feel it aching for two weeks. At the grocery store, in faculty meetings, while listening to bitchy parents at PTA events, Kelly wanted her clitoris to ache, calling up to her again and again that she needed to hurry home and fuck this man.

“God, my clit.”

Mike didn’t answer. Grunting, he fucked as hard as he could, drumming into her with all the determination he could without losing consciousness. Seemingly aware of the sensations he was kindling in his wife, her cunt against the countertop, his cock pressing and massaging her G spot, her fingers touching and pinching her clitoris, Kelly was about to come. Mike just had to be certain he got her across the finish line before he let go.

Trailing two fingers through the puddle of olive oil, he returned to massaging her asshole, tickling the puckered flesh beneath her pussy and feeling his cock slide along her cunt with greasy fingertips. Mike knew his own time was short. He stopped thrusting, stopped fucking like a madman, like a raging intruder, a coked-up stranger who breaks in just to fuck his wife. Mike Woodman stopped everything, buried his cock deeply into Kelly’s pussy, and leaned forward, his lips to her ears.

Panting, she moaned, “No, don’t stop. Don’t . . .”

“You okay?”

“Oh, yeah, baby. Yeah,” she turned her face, tried to kiss him. Mike leaned farther over the island, managed to reach her lips.

He rested his cheek on hers, said, “I love you. You’re the love of my life . You know that?”

“I know,” Kelly whispered. “And you’re mine. You’re . . .” she shifted her hips, pressing back for more of his cock. “You’re mine.”

“Marry me.”


“Marry me.”

She waggled her left hand in the kitchen lights, showed off her diamond. “I did.”

“Marry me again.”

“I will.” Kelly lifted herself on one elbow, “I’m gonna grow old and never love anyone but you.”

“But . . .”

“But right now, my love, you better get busy fucking me, because your sons are gonna be awake in about five minutes.”

“Right!” Mike rolled Kelly onto her back, slathering her skirt, her blouse, her ass, thighs, torn underwear, even the soles of her feet in basil and spilled olive oil. His suit pants soaked up enough to sauté a bushel of onions, but neither cared.

The young lovers, having pressed the RESET button together, fucked like horny strangers, like college kids or passionate lovers in a pornographic film. Kelly came in shuddering waves, crying out, and slapping at Mike’s chest as she thundered through another round of bombastic spasms, deftly kicking Aunt Susan’s Crock-Pot to the floor where it cracked into ceramic shards and disgorged her morning’s work in an aromatic puddle.

When Mike came, Kelly slid beneath him, effortlessly slipping in olive oil until her shoulders fit snugly between his thighs. Taking him slowly into her mouth, she sucked every drop of come from his dying erection. He held tight to two handfuls of her hair, enough to keep him from toppling to the floor, perhaps crash landing in the widening pool of uncooked chicken and chopped garlic cloves. Collapsing onto her, Mike lazily stroked one of her tits, caressed the nipple taut, and said, “Good morning.”

“Good morning.”

“What’s for dinner? Smells good.”


© 2016 Steven Stone & Melissa Bach, “The Headmaster & Other Erotic Stories”