Live From the Game
Caution: This Drama Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Heterosexual, Fiction, Cheating, Revenge,
Desc: Drama Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Watching a baseball game can be hazardous to your marriage, particularly when your wife is shown on the jumbotron with some other guy.
I was in Madison, Wisconsin, when my friend Simon pinged me. He used text, which is unusual, since he's a chatty Cathy and likes to drone on and on about whatever it was that was currently consuming his attention.
Simon was one of those guys who fell in love with a new hobby or job, learned everything about it, bought all the gear and gadgets, read all the books, went to all the conventions and stuff, completely immersed himself in it, completely drops it a year down the line and then six months later, he'd find something else and start the cycle over again.
His garage was full of expensive equipment for making electronic music, radio controlled airplanes, fishing gear and podcasting, all of which hadn't been touched since he and his wife Polly moved in a few years back.
When he was in the throes of his current interest, he'd talk of nothing else, and would spend hours telling you all measure of esoterica about whatever his current spare time love affair was. Polly had learned to just say, "Yes dear, no dear. Really dear?" a lot and try and stay away from the receipts when he came home with items for his latest love.
Polly was long suffering, but she loved her husband with all her soul, and we all loved her because of it. I'd known the two of them since they were married, and Simon before that, when we met at college. We'd both moved to Chicago, and settled in Crystal Lake, a small suburb north and west of Chicago proper. It was a nice little city. A bit rustic, on the main commuter line and close enough to the city to be there in an hour and half and far enough away that it was its own independent town. We were happy there. Or I thought we were, anyway.
Anyway, so Simon called me and said ... oh wait. Me. Right. I get into the story so fast I forgot to talk about myself.
I'm Ryan. Ryan Tomlinson. I live in Crystal Lake (did I mention that?) with my wife Deanna. Or I did, anyway. We'll see where that goes.
I work for a company that makes cabinetry. The company – Dresdin Furniture – has two lines. One was the standard high-end office furniture and the other was made-to-measure custom installations. So we did the high-end exec office furniture, all wood and leather and gloss, and we also did the fitted offices and homes. The top 10% pay us to install libraries and offices at home and do a unique job every time. We've built entertainment rooms, we've built game rooms, libraries, the whole deal. We even fitted out a bar in Milwaukee with a fact wall of books that opened out into the main bar if you knew which book was attached to the panel actuator. What was particularly clever about that job was that from the back, different books could be set, so each day the barman would pick a different book in the book case to act as the trigger, so the entire wall would open and the patrons get into the bar.
So yeah, I do that stuff. Well, I don't do it. I sell it – the service that is. Well, to be honest, I don't even do that, most of the time. I run the three guys who do the selling for us. I used to sell it, but we've done well, even in this economy, and now I have a staff and I don't have to travel as much. I still do, on occasion – there are some clients that demand my attention and it's generally worth it, but my traveling-every-week days are over now, thankfully. At age 39, I was happy about that. It was good to be home every day at a reasonable hour to see the kiddo's when they trooped in from school.
Deanna and I have three kids. Paula, the eldest, at 12. Then Saffron (Honestly, I lost the bet involving the TV Show Absolutely Fabulous and I've been paying ever since, as has she) comes next at 10 and lastly, my boy, Jamie, follows up at 8. Those kids are the light of my life. Jamie is adopted – Deanna had complications with the birth of Saffron and can no longer carry to term and had her tubes tied to prevent it, so we went the adoption route with Jamie and we are just as happy with him as we are with the biological kids. I've learned that biology has nothing to do with how much you love your kids.
Deanna and I met in a bar in Chicago – not necessarily the best place to meet your future wife, but it worked out for us. It was a nightclub called The Crobar. We go back once in a while for old times sake, but that lifestyle has passed us by now, I think.
When I met Deanna, she was in full-on goth regalia and I was dressed as a gladiator. It was Halloween, and I shall never forget her Elvira costume she was wearing that night. She still fits in it, too. I got her to put it on a year ago.
So Deanna is slim, well packaged, always nicely turned out, but never over the top. She's always restrained in her fashion sense. Nothing too daring, no plunging neck lines or high hems for her. She's not a fuddy duddy either, she's just ... subtle. The only time she goes all out is for costume parties, and normally it's a costume that hides who she is. So she can be as slutty as Halle Berry as Cat woman, as long as she's wearing a mask. She LOVES costume parties – it's such an expression of her that she keeps well hidden for the rest of the time, though.
Deanna is pretty. She has long brunette hair, hazel eyes, and a wide pouting mouth that is equally pursed when she's not thrilled about something, and widely smiling when she is. She has a very gentle twinkle in her eye, she's quick to laugh, and makes a lot of remarks that are deadly funny but go way over most people's heads. She's very on the ball and most of her jokes are references to in jokes and I love that, because only we will get it.
She's 5'6", 38 years old, 136 pounds (NOT 137. Trust me on this. I'll say that again. NOT 137 or above. Gentlemen, learn.) and she walks daily to keep her figure in the winter and swims daily in the summer, at the local YMCA.
Anyway, we met, it was good, I got her number, the usual deal. I won't go into details too much because, honestly, ours is pretty much the same story as everyone else's. We dated, we had fights, we made up, we were a couple, we moved in together, it worked, I proposed, we were married, blah blah blah. Wedding was good, honeymoon better, etc etc etc. You've heard it all before.
The thing is, even with the kids coming along relatively soon, we were happy. At least I thought we were – I know I was. I'm pretty sure Deanna was too. I still don't know what happened to us. I guess that makes me unobservant or not paying attention or uncaring or something, but I just didn't see it. I didn't see the signs. There were no changes in behaviors, no sudden dropping off of the sex, apart from the fact that we were getting older and finding the time when we were both free and had the energy was harder. But that's every marriage with kids in it. Show me a family and I'll show you two people where the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, five days out of seven.
Our sex life was robust, when we actually got the time and energy for it. When we did have sex, fuck, make love or whatever you call it, we did with energy and passion. We tried new positions, we did different things. I never got to fuck her ass, but that was ok because it was only idle curiosity that I had anyway. It's not like I was desperate or anything – I was just wondering if it felt any different. The only time I did try she knocked my hand away and moved so I couldn't get at her and said, "No. Not there." I wasn't that upset – it's never really been important. I know other guys go on about getting access, but I've never really measured myself against how slutty my wife is. That doesn't seem like a valid comparison – her sluttiness, or lack of it, is not a reflection on me but on her. And I am – was – quite happy in that area.
As for the rest of it, well, I got blowjobs if we were actually going for it – so within an actual session, I'd get them, but I'd not get them as isolated incidents. Never while driving or anything like that. And she would swallow, but only on special occasions. Birthdays, anniversaries and the like. Again, not something I made a big deal about – I got more than most of my contempories, at least as far as they were willing to be honest when we had a beer and talked about it, so I was ok.
We experimented with dressing up, a little bit of role playing, but neither one of us could be entirely serious about it. We'd try. We'd start out serious, the maid and the business man, and then crack up laughing after ten minutes because it was so silly. So nothing to write home about, but it kept us happy. And the frequency wasn't great, but when we did get it on, we went all out. Quality over quantity I'd have to say. It was good when it happened, but it didn't happen as often as I would have liked, but then I'm a man and unless we have a blowjob on tap, none of us would be one hundred percent happy. At least according to Deanna, anyway.
But wasn't everyone with children in the same boat? Having children is just tiring. Combine that with a working week, and all the minutiae bullshit of living in these times, and there just wasn't the time we'd like. We had to worry about making sure the insurance was paid, and get the pre-roasted chicken for dinner and helping Paula with her homework and making sure the laundry was done and that Jamie was done potty training and all the other crap that goes with life with children.
I just figured that was life, shrugged and made the best of it. And it was good. I loved our life together. It wasn't perfect, but it was certainly making me happy.
There was only one thing I saw that ever gave me pause for thought and ... no, I'll wait. It's part of the story.
Oh me? What do I look like? I'm always puzzled that anyone would care in stories like this. On the other hand, pride makes me want everyone to know that I'm not Quasimodo. Far from it. Brad Pitt and me, we could be brothers. I'd be the older one, obviously. Yes, the body of a Greek god and the visage to match, that's me.
Fine. Ok. So not a Greek god. Ok then. Honesty is the best policy, so I'm told; that hasn't really worked out too good for me recently but OK THEN! Yeah, I'm a little pudgy. I'm 6', I'm 210. I don't have man boobs – NO I DON'T, OK? But, if I am honest, I could lose some weight. Lots of Girodano's pizza does that to man. Yeah, that's my kryptonite. LOVE it. And you can't eat that kind of pizza without a beer, amIright fellas? Of course I am.
I've recently come to the conclusion that I need to do something about the extra weight I was carrying, because when your kids hang off your love handles, then yeah, you realize Something Needs To Be Done. So I joined one of those cycling clubs. With Simon in fact, who was just on the upswing of whatever his new hobby was going to be. And it turned out that he imagined he was going to win next years Tour De France. Good luck with that. I'd just like the drugs, myself. I mean, I don't understand it – Lance Armstrong won all those races when drugged. When I've smoked a joint, I can't move for falling about laughing. I think the guys deserved to win just because he could handle his ganja. Yeah, ok, weak joke. Welcome to my life.
I don't know quite why I am telling you all this; it's not really that relevant to the story, but oh well. Wordy me will have his day!
So right, yeah. I was in Madison Wisconsin on a job. No, wait, I didn't tell you what Deanna does for a living yet, have I? Yeah, that is relevant.
So to start with, Deanna was a stay at home mom. When we first got together she was studying interior design at college, but while she got that degree, she never actually used it. We were married, kids on the way, she wanted to experience it fully and I was doing ok as a salesman for Dresdin, so she just stayed home. She did that till Jamie hit first grade, and at that point, her days were her own again.
So she hooked up with one of our joint friends, Crystal Rigg, (who is married to Charley Rigg – you might know him from drive time radio in Chicago? He's a big old talk radio personality. I knew him at college too and we keep in touch here and there.), who is in real estate. Crystal needed someone she could call on to help stage houses. She and Crystal would walk through a house that she was listing and decide where to move the furniture that existed in the house, what to remove, what to replace from her little store of wonders that she had in a small storage compartment we rented and so on. Basically to empty out a house as much as possible, but still allow potential buyers to see it as a furnished house.
She'd done a terrific job making our house a home, spending as little as possible and picking up tons of great furniture, pictures, things to put on walls (I have no clue what any of that is called, nor do I want to know), nick knacks and crap, sorry, awesome stuff and generally cycling it round our house. Every other week something would vanish and other things get moved around and something new would appear. Our house was always in flux, and with that, we ended up with lots of 'stuff' that had once been in our house but was now surplus to requirements. Deanna would never want to get rid of it, so we got a storage unit and slowly filled it.
Sometimes there were some bad moves – coming home to find the picture above our bed of a photo I had taken when we were on honeymoon in Jamaica had been replaced by some picture of a French clown holding a bottle of champagne comes to mind. Didn't go down well.
Sometimes Deanna needed someone to point out that No, this looked stupid, but by and large she had a good eye for this kind of thing, so it was hardly surprising that she'd want to capitalize on both her skill set and all the things we'd collected over the years. I say we but in all honesty, I never even saw them come and go. I'd just come home, something would be 'different' and I'd have to run the gamut of "Did you get a new hair cut dear? Something is different" and face the narrowing of the eyes brows and pursing of the lips.
So she and Crystal were sort of partners, and they did well, doing a lot of work in both the suburbs and the city. Often they'd be gone all day together, or on a weekend if Crystal had an open house. Never too long, and we would be on the phone a lot and sometimes I'd even drive by wherever they were working and surprise them with Starbucks or something. Both were and are easy on the eyes and Crystal has a sort of easy charm where she can talk to anyone in an intimate way, but never overstep her bounds. She could talk to you about your sex life, but in way that never made you inquire about hers, or imagine the conversation was going to place where flirting would happen, if that makes sense. It was like she was just a friend who knew you well. It's weird now I come to think about it and explain it – I've no idea why I – and every one else for that matter – would think that way, but it's just the way she had about her. Now I think about it and in view of the things that came to light, I think she probably did flirt a lot – only just with other people. I think I must have gotten a very one sided view of her.
Oh and she was blond too. Very trim. I kept joking that all they'd need was a red head and then I could call them and give them orders and they could spend the days crime fighting. I was working on a name to give their little group – Pussy power or something slightly less obvious – but never really got it right. I got a lot of frowns in my direction though.
Right, so now you have the background. Me, Ryan, wife Deanna, friends Simon, I do sales, she works everywhere staging houses and apartments, we have kids, essentials covered I think.
So right, there I was in Madison. What was I doing there? Really? That's what you want to know? Jeez, of all the questions. I was there talking to a client at the University of Wisconsin about his house. He wanted an old fashioned library, complete with two levels and a wheel around ladder, and as he was both a tenured (and well published) professor there, as well as an incredible snob, he'd contacted our company, and used my name and insisted I had to come up. He'd apparently met another satisfied customer – a video game company owner that was based there in Madison, the company was called Dead Head in a bag or something equally ridiculous – and we'd done a bang up job putting an office into his 'murder room', as he called the basement of his house. He'd told this professor over dinner or drinks or murdering some poor hooker or something, and the professor then called us and the boss had taken the call and off I went to Wisconsin.
Oh yes, the boss. Paul. Paul Dresdin. So what should I say about Paul? Paul is ... lovely. He's the son of the guy who started the company. Wallace died about eight years ago and left it to Paul. Paul is terrific. Heart in the right place, loves his company and employees and job. Nice fella, well meaning and a total idiot. And I mean idiot. He's so incompetent and yet he runs the company. Well, he thinks he does. I actually run it. I interface with him, he tells me what he wants to do, and I go and do what actually needs to be done. Paul is so ineffectual that he can't even remember what he asked me to do last week, and would never even check to see if I did it.
But we, as an employee group, love Paul. It's not a disrespect thing, or us running around having a good snigger behind our hands. It's literally us doing our best to keep the company going so we all have a place to come to work in the morning and to keep Paul going because god knows, if he weren't harmless in the corner office having expensive coffee and being gently ignored by his secretary, he might be out in the real world causing some well meaning disaster.
We keep that company going because we love working there and we love working for Paul, even if we don't ever do what he says. I'll give you an example. Three weeks ago, Paul decided we should be entering in the Ikea Market. His brainchild was to create a showroom, like Ikea, to compete with them, because, well, no one was on that scale, where they? Chink in the market.
Rather than sit there and explain the economics of Ikea to Paul, and how long it took them to get where they are, and how they are subsidized by other governments in other countries so they can offer the deals they do in the US – something Paul would never grasp – I just said, "Sure, Paul, great idea! I can't believe no one has spotted this missing market yet!"
Then I left the listings for a couple of warehouses on his desk, and never heard another thing about it. A week later he wanted to make portable desks for the military, so 'they could carry them in their packs and always have a surface at hand.' Sure thing, Paul. Let me get right on that.
It sounds callous that I ignored him in quite the way I did, but you have to understand. Paul is like the retarded son that everyone knows is retarded, but has to be treated as a regular guy. He was well meaning, he was very concerned for his staff – we all got vitamins every morning – and just generally a terrifically nice person. And in honor of that, and in memory of his father, who was as sharp as a tack, apart from true blindness about how dumb his son really was, we keep it together for him. It's not done because he's an idiot and we disrespect him for it. It's done because he's an idiot and we love him for it.
Oh and one last thing about Paul. Holy crap he looked good. He may have got the brains of a donkey, but by god he won the Elder Statesman look. He looked great. We trotted him out as our glorious leader every opportunity we got – any interview, he was there. Obviously we had to baby sit him a lot or he'd say ridiculous stuff I'd have to dig us out of later, but by god, he got us extra business from the blue rinse brigade.
Right. I'm pretty certain that's all you need to know. Probably way more than you need to know, to be honest. I'll probably never even mention Paul again. I just like to talk about him because he fascinates me. I don't know how he puts the right shoes on in the morning, but he's there at work, regular as clockwork, working to blow up the world, one desk at a time.
So I was in Madison, staying in one of the nice hotels just off the main downtown square. It was May and they were having one of their Concerts in the square, where they have a live orchestra with a guest conductor perform in the grounds of the Capitol building. It was a warm day and the square was thronging with people, all sitting on the grass and listening to the music.
Then Simon's text arrived. It was simple and innocuous. 'Watching the game?'
Now that's a strange thing to ask. I'm not really one for many organized sports. I follow the Blackhawks a bit – I at least know some of the player's names – but other sports, not at all. I was known for being rabidly anti-organized sport in fact. Famous for it. I had a whole spiel I did about how professional sports people are, in fact, the ultimate in narcissists. And he'd know that, since he's sat through it more than once. So I texted back 'When have you ever known me to follow games? What game are you talking about?'
I got nothing for a bit, then another text arrived. 'The cubs - sox cross town classic. It's today.'
He was referring to the one game where the Cubby Bears played the White Sox, since both are based in Chicago. The cubs are North Side, based at Wrigley Field, right on the edge of boys town, and the White Sox play at Comiskey Park, which is a pretty new stadium on the south side. Once a year they played each other in an exhibition match. There was supposed to be some 'rivalry' between the teams, but honestly, I don't think fans of either team cared that much about the other. There was more than enough disappointment to go around for both sets of fans, frankly.
I replied, 'No, not watching. Couldn't careless. And you couldn't either.' I knew all the double negatives would have him confused for a while and smiled to myself.
Almost instantly a text came back that said, "Dude, get to a bar and watch it. I don't want to say much more than that.'
Intriguing! Something was going on! I love a mystery – just ask any of the couples who've come to dinner on Saturday night and then stayed to play one of my many murder mystery games. I've even written a few myself. Our guests are spell bound, not at all 'bored rigid and plotting how to leave without offending', as Deanna puts it.
Given that I didn't actually have anything else to do right then – I still had one more day measuring at Professor Crap Talkers house the next day before I could leave – I thought, 'why not?'
On went the TV in my room and down the tubes went my marriage, although I didn't catch it immediately.
The game was 7-3 to the Sox at the bottom of the sixth, and between pitches they had the roving camera's going. One of the things that cameramen do at games like this is rove the crowd, when they aren't actually on a play. Quite often they come across a kissing couple or something, and up it goes on the big screens at the stadium, embarrassing the couple. Sometimes they even get a wedding proposal. Sometimes, after they've caught a couple kissing, they'll come back to them later to see if they can embarrass them some more. I'm sure we've all seen it.
They'd obviously done this earlier, since they came back to a couple who were obviously in love – they were sitting next to each other in the lower bleachers. Obviously good seats, so probably season tickets. They were sitting there, talking animatedly with each other, touching each other and looking at each other in that easy way that couples who are into each other do. The cameraman settled on them, and it went up on the big board in the stadium, and they didn't notice immediately. Then someone nudged them sitting next to them, gesturing to the board – you could see it happen. They looked up at the board and on the board flashed the message "Kiss Cam! Make it happen!" The couple looked at each other, shrugged and went in for a lip lock. And it was a smacker too – open mouthed, tongues, the lot. The kind of kiss that is usually closely followed by a game of Hide the Salami, if you get my drift. There was no doubt that these two would be doing that very soon – probably off in the toilets, with the heat they were giving off.
But I wasn't hot for them. Mainly because the woman in the couple was my wife, Deanna. Oh I was sure. It was her, alright. She was wearing a jacket I'd bought her in a boutique in New York three years earlier. The boutique was owned by the 80's movie star Phoebe Cates, and she was often to be found in there, serving. I have a sort of thing for Phoebe Cates and had persuaded Deanna to go there while we were in town, and once she realized my ulterior motive, she found the most expensive jacket she could find and presented it to me for purchase with the kind of expression on her face that brooked no argument. It was worth it, just because then I could say that Phoebe Cates asked for my address and phone number.
I just sat there, watching, open mouthed, with my world crashing around me, my heart breaking. It's funny, but in situations like that, my mind reacts in strange ways. It jumps to six steps on from where I am now, and makes me worry about things that not only haven't happened, but will only happen in a very convoluted set of conditions, and which isn't important anyway.
My first thought was, "Who is going to take Saffron to her Karate lessons on Wednesday afternoon if we are divorced?" It's stupid I know, but I think it's some kind of self-protection mechanism I have.
The next thing I did was call Simon. He answered on the third ring.
"Hey," he said, obviously unwilling to say anything else.
"I'm watching," I said.
There was a few seconds of silence as Simon considered what to say.
"I'm sorry dude. I thought you needed to know."
"Yeah ... I guess ... oh I dunno. They sure look like they are into each other, don't they?"
"Yeah," was his simple response.
Then a few more seconds of us listening to each other breath. I could hear the game on his TV in the background echoing mine on the TV in front of me. It's weird, his was a fraction of a second behind mine, so it really did sound like an echo. I remember wondering how, if he was closer to the actual game, how his TV was behind mine. Surely it should be the other way around. Like I said, defense mechanism. Decent into trivia.
"They were on earlier. That's why I texted you. The kiss cam caught them making out. He even had one hand under her jacket. That's why the cameraman went back to them," Simon said, after a while.
"Jesus." I said. Then, "You think this is the first time?"
"It doesn't look like it, does it? Looks like early days but there's an intimacy there..."
"Yeah, I thought so too."
The kiss cam had moved on and play had resumed.
"Surely she knows I'm going to see this? I mean ... surely?"
"I think she's a bit preoccupied. Also, quite a lot of what they show on the jumbotron is only shown in the stadium. Given you and your circle of friends, I'm sure she feels safe in that regard."
He had a point there. Like me, most of my friends are decidedly of the cerebral bent, rather than sweaty jock wannabe's. Ok, maybe I'm over stating it a bit. I think most of my friends just don't care. No one talks about sports much, now I come to think of it. I don't know why. Bit strange now I contemplate it.
"I mean, I think they are caught up in the moment, and she's probably now shitting herself hoping you don't see it and that no one she knows does."
That rang more true.
"Probably. Lucky you were watching really."
"I'm over at Tommy's house."
That explained that. Tommy was Simon's brother in law. He was baseball mad. He and I didn't get on, since he'd made some crack about Deanna's tits at a barbeque we were at and I had to be restrained from decking him. It was considered all round better if we just weren't around them, so we just weren't.
There was more silence as we both watched the White Sox get a third strike and the batter trudge back to the dug out.
"What are you going to do?"
"Do? Nothing. Yet. Need more data."
There was more silence as the game cut to commercial. Interestingly, the commercials were different on his game than on mine. Different state, different channel.
"So. Um. Not entirely sure what else to say. You gonna be ok?"
"No, but there's fuck all you can do from there, Simon. I'm gonna go get drunk, vomit it up, sleep badly and then work out a plan. In that order."
"Sounds like the best course. Don't do anything stupid, ok? I don't want to have to come get you out of jail and you don't need to be hurting yourself or anyone else. Just be careful dude."
"Yeah. Well, I'm 300 miles away. She'll be home by the time I get home. Like I said, I need more data."
"OK, well, you be safe. Come find me when you get home."
"Will do Simon. And thanks."
All in all, it was a pretty anticlimactic conversation given the subject we were discussing. It sounds ... disjointed. Like I was just over it all, when I recount it now. Asking for data instead of reacting. But I think I was partially just on shock and partially that's my personality. I try and learn about everything before I react visibly. At college I'd gotten a reputation for it – I still reacted internally, but I'd learned to suppress that and not be visual in my reactions until I'd gotten all the information. I'd learned early on that when someone hands you shocking news, the first question is always 'What else do we not know in this situation?' – because there is always more to know and understand.
When the phone call was done, I tossed my iPhone down on the bed, then had a thought and brought up the Find My iPhone app. Deanna and I shared the same apple ID, so if she bought an app, I got it and vice versa. We shared the ID across all our iPads and iPhones, so if the kids bought something, it was there on all the other devices too. One of the side effects was that all our devices could be located from the others, since they were all on the same id. I hunted out the app, started it up, and looked up her phone. Yep, there she was, at Wrigley Field. I took a screen shot of the app, just in case.
Then I sat down and thought about what I was going to do next. The shock was starting to hit me. I was cold and hot at the same time. I didn't know where to look or what I was looking at. I sat down heavily, and bounced off the edge of the bed and landed on the floor.
As the reaction started to hit, I remember that I couldn't understand what was happening to me. I wasn't the first man to have his wife cheat on him. Others got through this. What was happening?
I woke up an hour later, completely confused as to where I was. I came to and remembered everything and just about made it to the bathroom before lunch came up.
Questions kept hitting me, from all sides. Does she love him? It sure looked like it from what I could see. Who was he? What did he have that I did not? How long had this been going on? Who else knows? Does Crystal? She HAS to know, she's covering for her. Where are they meeting? Is he married? Does he have a big cock? Is it bigger than mine? Is he a better lover than I am? Is she going to leave me? Am I going to leave her? What about the kids? Where will they end up? How did this start?
But mostly, 'What do I do next?' It's all very well to make blasé statements about 'needing more data', and quite another thing to look this full in the face.
I was shaking and I made it back to bed and fell into a fitful sleep, punctuated by dreams of Deanna fucking herself with a dildo attached to a man, and her screaming with laughter. Turns out I didn't need alcohol to have a bad night, I could do it all by myself.
I woke up in the morning sweating and shaking. I started to wonder if there really was some kind of flu in me, but I wasn't cold any more and a hot shower took care of the shakes. I knew I needed food so I hunted out one of the local German bars that did a good breakfast. I don't remember what I ate, but I do remember I didn't taste it at all.
Somehow I managed to get to the client and get the job done, although it's a good thing I can take those kinds of measurements on auto pilot now, because I don't even remember doing it, yet all the numbers are written down in my note book, exactly as they should be. I'm good at my job, apparently even under duress.
Then I was sitting in my car, on i-90, driving back down to Crystal Lake and wondering what I should do. Should I just leave? Go stay in some shitty hotel? Do I confront Deanna? Where would the kids be? Would she have already gone perhaps? She had to know there was a fair to middling chance I had seen the footage – perhaps she'd cut her losses and just gone. What if she hadn't? Would she try and bluff it out? More questions I didn't have any answers to.
During the two-hour drive, I did make a few decisions. The first was to not be hasty. I was damn sure it was Deanna but there were still too many questions I needed answered. What I had said to Simon was right – I did need more data. I needed to know how long it had been going on, how serious it was, where I stood.
Of course that line of questioning assumed that I would stand for some degree of this – that if it had only been going on two or three times, I could get over that, - I wouldn't like it and for sure Deanna would be paying forever - otherwise what was the point of needing to know in the first place? If I there wasn't a position where we could work it out, then I really didn't need to know any more. Once I had the evidence though, the decision was already made. Or was it?
That was the biggest question for me. I didn't know how I felt. I wasn't in a "Kill her right now" mode, although I was angry beyond belief. I knew I still loved her – I'd not seen any decrease in her affection towards me or the kids, so either she was the best actress in the world, or she really did love us. But how can you reconcile that with a full on affair, that obviously had affection and caring in it?
I decided that I didn't really know how I felt until I knew more about it. I knew what I felt right now, but it was a topsy turvy mishmash of emotions and I may not know much, but I know that making big, life changing decisions in that emotional state was a Bad Move ™. Given that, I had to find out more, and I wasn't going to be able to do that if Deanna knew that I knew, or I confronted her about it. Better to be sneaky than confrontational.
With that in mind, I made my immediate decision and plans. The first thing would be to go and see Paul in the morning. Because Paul had a brother, and he could be very helpful.
I got home in just under two hours and parked my boring Chrysler 300c in its usual parking spot, in the side garage of our house. One thing about Crystal Lake is that it's considerably cheaper to buy property than downtown Chicago, or even Schaumburg or Naperville, so for our money, we actually have a three car garage. We only use two, but one of them is a separate room from the larger two car, and round the corner of the house from the main garage.
I sat in the car, listening to the bodywork ping as it cooled down, and gathered myself together. I've read stories on Literotica about situations like this, where guys have come home knowing their wife has been unfaithful and they then act all lovey, while trying to keep their distance while they gather info for their lawyers, or devise diabolical schemes to get revenge. I just knew that I wasn't that good of an actor. I needed some way to just avoid Deanna – and by extension the kids, because if I spent time with them, I'd be all over them, because of my fear that she'd get them in the divorce – see there I went again, swinging from "How much of this can I accept?" to "Who gets the kids in the divorce?"
I just had no idea where my head was at, and as such, I needed to be away from family for a bit to get to it screwed on straight again.
In I went, stumbling and straight to the toilet, even though Deanna was in the kitchen making something. She yelled hello as I went past and I made it to the bathroom making retching sounds. Deanna came and stood outside asking if I was ok. I just made more noises and mumbled, "Sick. Feel like shit. Keep the kids away, don't want to infect them. Dying. Blergh."
To which, my darling wife of so many years, said, "Yeah, right. You thought you were dying when you had indigestion last month. I had to give you an enema and all you needed was a diet coke to make you burp it up. You are fine. I'm making dinner. Come out when you are ready."
Such caring. The thing is though, before now I would have acted the wounded hero and swanned in on my death bed and she'd have stood there, arms folded with a mock stern expression on her face while the kids performed gastric surgery on me. Well, some kind of surgery – I don't think even the kids knew what it was, but it always involved a saw and pliers. It usually ended in me getting 'medicine' which were usually tic-tacs and that was kinda good.
Now though, knowing what I did, I wondered if she really didn't give a shit rather than the hamming up I assumed it was. Once you know something like infidelity that has been hidden from you, every act of the spouse becomes suspect. In every action you look for hidden meaning. It's just rotten and it eats you from the core, not only because you are doing it, but because you know you'll never actually know the answers. Even if she tells you, you don't trust her any more, so how do you know anything said is real? It makes you paranoid, question everything and never have peace.
I went to bed directly that night, after her. I hid in my den till I knew she'd gone to sleep – she gets the kids up in the morning and so she goes to bed earlier than I do.
The kids. They'd been in to see me – I couldn't stop them – and I just couldn't stop hugging them and kissing them and listening to their stories of the day. I love those kids. I extracted a promise that we could all go to the movies the next day, when I was feeling better. I'd pick a movie that Deanna wouldn't want to see and she'd be pleased of the time to herself at home. She often complained that she never got the house to herself, since when I was at work, she was too.
I slept in the guest room. I have a hazy memory of Deanna putting her head round the door before taking the kids to school and saying good morning, but I really don't remember much. I had slept, but the kind of sleep that when you wake up, you don't feel like you slept at all.
I dragged myself out of bed, took a shower, dressed, grabbed some toast and made it work. I know I looked like shit. I know because everyone told me. From the receptionist, to my group PA, Adriana. Ah, Adriana.
Yeah, I haven't mentioned her, have I? She's ... nice, I guess. Well, I think she must be. To someone at least. She's very private. I don't know a thing about her beyond the fact she is hellaciously efficient, gets the job done, shuts down any conversation that is not work related and is totally un-interested in work beyond the time we pay her for. She's personable alright, very polite, nice to the new people. Just completely unavailable in a personal way. No idea why, and to be honest, I think it's a good thing. She's a pretty woman and I could see some of my guys hitting on her, but she radiates Fuck Off in that area, and I think that's a good thing for an office environment. She wasn't anyone's friend, she didn't do the small things that build a relationship, yet the company would just end if she quit.
So if Adriana told me I looked like shit, then I must look like shit. I sat at my desk for about ten minutes, staring at nothing, then asked Adriana to fit me into Paul's busy schedule. She told me he was free at eleven, which gave me time to type in my notes from the job the day before. Again though, I don't even remember doing it. I was in a daze. The only thing I could think about was Deanna. Was she with him now? What was she doing? How do I get more information?
Time to get my shit together and concentrate on the problem in hand. And this meeting was the first step forward.
"Hey Paul," I said, on entering his room.
Paul's office was like our R&D Lab. He was constantly having us try out new ideas in there. Right now it was laid out like a psychiatrist's office, all muted wood hues and comfort furniture. Last week it looked like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. More power to him for being willing to experiment, I guess. It would drive me up the wall.
"How's my main man?" said Paul, rising from his chair and thrusting out his hand. "You look like shit, by the way."
"Well thanks Boss. You look like crap too! Always nice to be appreciated. Look, I need a couple of favors. I need a bit of time off..." I broke off, disconcerted by his look of approval and joy at that bit of news.
"Good idea son. You've been working it hard recently. How did the job go in, where was it? Milwaukee?" That was Paul, no attention span at all.
"Fine. Look, I just need to go do some personal things. It won't take long, but I won't be here or available."
"Not a problem son. You know I can handle everything while you are gone. Trust in the man, son." I had an involuntary shiver at that one. By the time I'd get back, I wouldn't be surprised if North Korea was a blackened hole in the ground and Iran vanished entirely from the face of the earth, such was Paul's delusion of his ability. Hell, he'd probably take out most of Africa at the same time.
"You take the time you need. It's good for you to get out of the office and spend time with that awesome family of yours. Spending time with Danni would be good for both of you."
"Deanna. OK, so second thing."
"I need to talk to Solomon."
Silence greeted that request, then Paul said, "Why?"
"I have some ... things he can help with."
"You know what he is. Are you going to enable him Ryan? I don't want that."
"Paul, with respect, he may be antisocial, but he's damn good at what he does and I need the help right now."
"Is it anything to do with work? I can't afford to have this company associated with his ... activities."
"No, this is personal."
There was more silence while Paul considered.
"Alright. This once. Since you've been my right hand man, I guess I can allow it."
Solomon Dresdin was the original black sheep of the family. Quite literally. He was half cast and it was his appearance that had led to Paul's mother being disowned by his father. Solomon himself had grown up with his mother and it had been quite a ride. Solomon suffered from social problems, borderline autism, poor impulse control and unfortunately, on top of all that, he was a genius.
Once he saw a computer for the first time, that was it. He'd been inside it, hacking things within a month. He'd taken down his first bank, in Hong Kong, inside of six months, he'd been arrested by the NSA, who had tried to turn his talents to their advantage and found that a socially maladjusted genius was not the kind of person you really wanted to give access to. There was a disaster with him stalking some Hollywood starlet and eventually he was put away for four years, and then released after a campaign by Justice Now because, as they put it, he was set up by the NSA. Now he was banned from doing anything more than facebook, and after his father died, Paul took him under his wing.
In this one area, Paul was quite astute. He knew that Solomon's skills would be wanted and required by all and sundry – particularly those who were less than totally legal. He moved Solomon around regularly, doing what he called his 'domestic witness protection act'. He hired a baby sitter for Solomon, who was with him constantly. It was one of the smartest things he'd ever done for his baby brother, in fact. Another reason we loved him.
"OK, so where is he?" I asked, expecting to be sent on some wild goose chase to find him – visions of having to go to exotic airports and get a bag out of a locker somewhere, while dodging enemy agents filled my mind.
"At home," replied Paul, with a smile.
"He's WHAT?" I said. Paul shrugged.
"He wanted to come home for a while. I thought 'why not'? We gave the baby sitter some time off, since he was home."
I didn't even know where to start with that, but time was passing, so I let it go.
"Thanks Paul. I'm taking off now. Call me if you need me, but..."
Paul reached out his hand again and took mine. "It's ok Ryan. Whatever the issue is, we can all work it out."
I just shook his hand, looked at him and almost disintegrated right there. But I held my shit together and left.