“So what you’re saying is that—”

“What I’m saying is that I want you to look at me when you speak!” Christie scowled at her husband. It was an argument they’d had at least a dozen times in the six months they’d been married.

“That’s what webcams are for.” Joel was stiff and tense, as he always was when talking in person.

“No. That is not the same.” Christie flung her arms out wide. “We spent two years in a long-distance relationship, Joel! Is it too much to ask that you talk to me every once in a while, not the words I write on your computer screen?”

“Christie… can’t we… calm down and talk about this like… civilized people?” Joel’s words always came after a delay in which he hesitated, going over them mentally, trying to make sure they were worded correctly before letting his wife see them.

“You mean talk about it over instant messenger!”

“No, no, I just mean—”

“You do! Don’t deny it, Joel Eric Stevenson. You don’t… you don’t love my body!” Christie used her Patented Wife’s Secret Weapon: the pouty trembling lip that threatened tears.

“No!” Joel was aghast. “Baby, no. I love your body. I could look at it all day…”

“On a computer screen! I want you to touch me, Joel! I want you, not some USB dildo! The Boyfriend Buddy was fine when we were just dating, but a wife deserves more! Don’t we have a marriage?”

Joel hastily crossed the room, awkwardly putting his hands on his wife’s shoulders and squeezing them. “Of course we have a marriage, sweetie,” he told her big brown doe-like eyes.

Christie sniffled artfully. “Really?”

“Really,” Joel promised her.

“Then how about you prove it to me, you big strong man, you?” Christie smirked, her eyes glittering with mischief, and slid her hand suggestively around Joel’s waist. Her husband’s eyes lit up.

“Great! I’ll go log on!”

Christie smacked her hand to her forehead. This was obviously going to take some work.