Author's Note: This story deals with an unwilling cuckold, although with a twist, and how he deals with it. It's also a part of the Brownwood Collection, so cross-over characters may make an appearance.
My thanks to WickedInside, findingmyvoice, and Mostera1. WickedInside for her editing and findingmyvoice and Mostera1 for their input. They all have made this story better.
Warning: There's no explicit sex in this one, if that's what you're lookin' for I'd skip this story.
Spring 2005 - Brownwood
A solitary, distinguished-looking man sat on the bench and gazed out over the large garden. His jet black hair was speckled with hints of silver and his weathered but handsome face showed signs of a life spent outdoors. To a stranger he appeared like a man taking in a beautiful spring afternoon, but those who knew Nathan Cordova would've noticed something was wrong.
Gone was the warm gentle smile that usually adorned his face. Dark brown eyes that once announced his intelligence and wit were now lifeless and cold. They were the eyes of a man condemned to a shattered life. It was a man with no hope who stared out over the rose bushes and spring flowers.
He felt the gentle April sun on his face but still shivered. It would take more than nature's warmth to give him any comfort. The sun's rays were only felt skin deep. They failed to touch the deep coldness claiming his soul.
Nathan shuddered and instinctively clutched the present in his hand. It was a bonsai tree, her favorite. It signified a milestone in their marriage, an accomplishment, and an ending. A wave of emotion swept over him as he stared at it.
I'm a cuckold, he thought to himself. I would've never imagined that possible.
He watched the couple as they strolled by him, arm in arm. She was still quite beautiful, even in her early fifties. The absolute look of love she had as she gazed up at her escort melted the years away from her face. Her long black hair was streaked with silver and her figure could still draw the eyes of most men. But it was her beautiful face which pierced through all his defenses. Her deep brown eyes and her huge smile had once inspired him to take on the world. Now it was that same face which tore at his heart.
He stared at the man who had taken his place. He was easily twenty years younger than his wife, Eva. He was tall and skinny and had an odd look about him.
"Oh Bobby," Eva gushed. "I can't wait for our date Saturday night. Have you planned anything special for us?"
"Uh huh," Bobby replied with a confused look on his face. Quickly the look turned into a smirk. "Yeah, something special."
He grinned evilly as he slid his hand down her back until it rested squarely on her rear end. With a little pinch, he made his intentions known.
"Bobby Jones, you watch your hands!" she giggled as she playfully slapped his arm. She turned and gave him a deep passionate kiss.
"That should hold you until our date," she said smiling broadly. Gently she placed her head on his chest and sighed as they embraced each other.
Watching his wife act like a lovesick teen was surreal for Nathan. It's difficult to explain what a man feels when he sees his wife in the arms of another. Some may get sexually excited at the thought of sharing their wife, while others feel the rage that betrayal brings. Still others may sense a deep sadness due to the death of their marriage.
Nathan could only empathize with the latter as he watched his wife of thirty-two years bask in the presence of her boyfriend. He felt the storm of so many emotions churning inside of him screaming to erupt. He could never have shared her. It wasn't in him since neither his heart nor his beliefs would've ever allowed that. Of course he wasn't exactly sharing her now. It had all the aspects of a bad dream, a nightmare he couldn't wake up from. He'd lost her and it appeared she wasn't coming back.
It was the slow death of his marriage which brought so deep a coldness to his soul. It had been over eight years since he'd learned of his impending pain. However it had only been the last year and a half that it had become a reality. His head and his heart were in a constant battle. He understood why they were in this hell, but it didn't lessen the torment he felt watching it.
He fought the dark despair by concentrating on happier times.
He smiled as he remembered the first time he'd met Eva Navarro. She'd been with her family as they spent their summer in the south of Spain. At twenty, he was supervising the construction crew working on her family's villa. She'd mesmerized him the first time she spoke. Even after the work was done he'd found reasons to spend time around the eighteen-year-old beauty.
Most had thought it was only a summer romance, but Eva's parents knew almost before the young couple did. They'd been able to see into their daughter's heart and knew she was completely taken with him. After meeting with him several times they were convinced he was as smitten as Eva was but they feared the couple was too still too young. When Eva and her family went back to the States, Nathan attempted to follow. He began the long process of attaining a visa.
The physical distance between them caused Eva's heart to burn even more passionately for him. Soon she'd convinced her father to intercede on his behalf which included offering him a job. With the Navarro family influence, his visa process became much shorter. Soon he'd found himself in America, working on a construction crew.
Two years later, they were married. It started a thirty-two year married love affair that until recently had been the envy of both family and friends. Nathan closed his eyes and wrapped himself in the warm memories of his bride.
His smile slowly turned sad as he began to relive the last several years. Eight years ago, Eva had been diagnosed as being in the early stages of Alzheimer's, his beautiful bride had only been forty-four at the time. For the next several years they'd struggled with the fear and doubt that comes with such a death sentence.
After countless tears and prayers with their family and the church, he and Eva sat down to make some difficult decisions. They'd sought counsel from many sources: their priest, Father Bernard, their three adult children, close friends and relatives, specialists and lawyers. Four years ago they made several changes in their lives, changes they hadn't planned to make for at least another decade. Nathan turned the family construction company over to their sons, Marcus and Antonio. He knew they would continue to make it thrive and they had. He'd left himself on the payroll so the business would help him and Eva maintain their insurance.
Effectively retired, they used the opportunity to spend as much time together as possible. They weren't rich but they were very well off. Nathan decided, with Eva finally relenting, to spend some of their nest egg on traveling together. She hadn't needed to worry. The couple travelled for only about a year, and then Eva began having bad days. It was one thing to become disorientated and confused while they were within the safe confines of their ranch, but when it began happening in truly foreign surroundings, the results were disastrous. Nathan cringed as he remembered trying to calm his terrified wife while they were in Rome.
They had stayed exclusively in Brownwood since then. Their ranch wasn't like the monstrosities of several Navarro ranches in the area but it wasn't tiny, either. They'd built their dream home on 200 acres a few miles northwest of Brownwood. It became their sanctuary.
He grimaced as he remembered the fateful day when they realized Eva couldn't remain on the ranch. It had started like any other morning, they had eaten breakfast together. As he put the dishes away, she went to get the mail. She loved walking down the long lane to their mailbox each morning.
It had been October and there was a chill in the wind, an omen of an early winter. He'd smiled as he'd watched her start to go out wearing only her nightgown.
"Querida?" he'd asked, grinning. "Are you forgetting something?"
She'd flashed him her megawatt smile that melted his resolve. She quickly put on her cowboy boots and headed for the door.
"Eva, it's cold out there," he'd warned.
She quickly ran back to their bedroom and returned moments later wearing a pair of sweatpants under her nightgown along with her boots. When she'd donned a heavy fall coat over her nightgown, the ensemble was complete, redneck chic. He smiled sadly to himself realizing his wife's excellent fashion sense had been one of the early casualties of her disease.
The lane was only a hundred yards down to the mailbox and the county road. The ranch house was easily visible from anywhere along the lane. He'd watched her from the kitchen window like he had a hundred times before. She had a surreal beauty about her as her long hair and nightgown whipped in the wind.
Unfortunately that morning, he'd accidentally spilled the orange juice. He'd only taken his eyes off of her for a few minutes as he cleaned up the mess, but when he looked up again she was gone!
Frantically he'd raced outside but it was as if she had vanished. He'd gone back inside to see if he had just missed her but the kitchen was eerily silent. He walked down the lane calling out her name but to no avail. He racked his brain trying to remember everything he'd seen before she'd disappeared, hoping it would give some clue to her whereabouts.
He'd remembered a big black pick-up truck had driven by but he hadn't seen it stop. Fighting his rising fears that she'd been abducted, he returned to their home and called his sons and daughter. Within minutes he'd begun driving along the county road in his truck looking for her.
The family had searched for her for hours before he'd called the county sheriff office. Sheriff Olsen had been a good friend of their family and was aware of Eva's condition. When Nathan had called, the sheriff had brought with him several deputies to join in the search. By late afternoon, Sheriff Olsen had contacted the Brownwood police and in less than an hour half a dozen Brownwood police officers had joined the manhunt.
One of the off duty officers stumbled across her a couple hours after dark in an old machine shed a few miles away from the ranch. She'd been found huddled inside, covered by some empty feed sacks. They'd taken her to Sacred Heart because she was suffering from exposure.
Nathan remembered the tearful reunion. When he saw her in the Emergency Room, his heart had broken. Her hair was wild and covered parts of her face and her eyes were still wide with fear. She'd recognized him and had begun crying as she ran to him.
"Querido, I'm sorry," she'd sobbed as she clung to him. "I don't know what happened. I got lost and then I ran."
"Hush querida," he'd replied gently as he stroked her hair. "I have you now. You're safe."
"I couldn't find you! I remember running and running. I ran until I couldn't any more. It was getting dark and I found an old shed. I went in and tried to stay warm but it was so cold!"
"Shhh," he cooed softly as he held his fifty-year-old wife as she sobbed like a child. "It's over now. You're going home."
It had taken the rest of the night to calm her down. As he held her he realized things were about to change.
Over the next few weeks they'd discussed what they should do. It was evident she couldn't safely stay on the ranch but it didn't make the decision easier. So many nights he'd held her as she cried herself to sleep. It was only after she was asleep he'd allow his own tears to fall.
How do you fight something like that? How do you protect your loved ones from an enemy with no face?
He knew it was a losing battle, they both did. They were fighting an insidious enemy which took no prisoners.
She'd had another bad episode the week before she was to check-in to Brookhaven. She'd become hysterical at the thought of leaving their home. He'd held her and they'd both wept as she begged him not to send her away.
He'd almost given in that night but Eva woke up the next morning screaming at him. She hadn't recognized him and was upset she'd woken in bed with a stranger.
His heart broke. It was time.
That was eighteen months ago; since then Eva's condition had deteriorated rapidly. The first several months were difficult. Nathan had visited two, sometimes three times a day. Their children visited almost daily. The most painful were those days Eva didn't understand why he had to leave when visiting hours were over. He fought back his tears, remembering her crying and pleading with him not to leave her there.
At least she's not being tormented anymore, he silently sighed. A small blessing due to the fact she doesn't remember us anymore. God, I know I should be grateful but ... it hurts.
Her laughter brought him out of his morose thoughts. It wasn't her laugh that'd surprised him, she was always so full of life, it was the lack of joy that laugh now brought him. Once it would've brightened even his darkest moods. Now ... he was only numb.
Ten months ago, Bobby came back into their lives and brought with him a pain Nathan had never considered. He'd spent each day trying to remind Eva of her past, to remember him. Each day had been a battle. On those days she remembered him, he'd have his precious wife for the remainder of the day. However on those days she didn't remember him, she'd find her way back into Bobby's arms. It was a slow painful battle, one he'd finally lost. She hadn't remembered him in the last four months.
Bobby's real name was Martin Dorfman and he'd recently transferred to the Brookhaven Mental Care Facility. Nathan had learned he'd been in an auto accident three years ago and received severe head trauma which had left him mentally disabled.
What was frustrating was that Martin wasn't even the second incarnation of Bobby Jones, just the latest. The original Bobby Jones had been Eva's high school sweetheart over thirty-five years ago. Now it appeared that any tall, skinny, white male could be Bobby in his wife's mind.
Just like that son-of-a-bitch Harold Frost!
Nathan sighed heavily.
Stop it! He chastised himself. He was as sick Eva is.
He struggled to put the sixtyish bean-pole of a man with dementia out of his mind.
Usually Eva's romances with her 'Bobby' were that of a star-struck high school girl, full of kisses, giggling, and heavy petting. Occasionally it'd gone farther than that, like it had with Harold.
Nathan desperately shut his eyes trying to force his mind from going down that path. He was startled out of his revelry by the gentle sound of a woman clearing her throat.
"Is this seat taken?"
A hint of a smile formed as he recognized the voice. Opening his eyes he stared up at an attractive woman in her late forties. He knew her age because she'd told him, not that he would ever have guessed it. She looked at least a dozen years younger than her actual age with her long blonde hair and willow-like frame.
"Mrs. Morgan," he said weakly smiling.
"Allie," she retorted.
"Allison," he said with a broad smile.
"Nathan, we've gone through this before," she said with a huge grin. "It's Allie."
Her eyes danced with a playful look that did nothing to hide her affection for him. He couldn't help but return her smile. She had such a joy about her it was contagious.
"Allie," he said softly.
He knew in his heart Allie Morgan was a Godsend. She'd become his Angel of Mercy, a light in the darkness that had surrounded his life. She'd been there at his darkest hour and had seen him at his weakest.
Nathan painfully replayed that terrible day.
He was ashamed that his visits had diminished drastically after the time he'd actually found Eva with Harold. Before then he'd always come to Brookhaven, checked in at the nurses' station and then gone back to her room. He'd knock on her door, open it, and ask her to visit with him. That day when he opened her door his fragile world shattered.
His beautiful wife laid there, eyes closed with a look of absolute rapture in her face as she softly moaned. Her smooth breasts were being roughly squeezed by the tall, thin man positioned between her muscular legs. His pale white skin was in stark contrast to her tanned, caramel colored body. Nathan watched in horror as an old man took his wife as she grunted out her pleasure.
"Oh Bobby, oh yes Bobby. Be gentle baby, you're my first and only. I love you and only you," Eva panted. She opened her eyes and saw him. With a shriek she pushed Bobby off of her and tried to cover herself. A stunned and confused Harold Frost fell off the bed.
"Who are you?! Why are you in my room?!" she'd screamed at Nathan.
Nathan staggered back out into the hall, still transfixed on the scene within the room. When he finally was able to pry his eyes away, he noticed his hands were shaking and he was having trouble breathing.
Mercifully he'd made it out into the garden before his emotional dam broke. It was one thing to know she was in love with Bobby, but to see her giving herself to him had destroyed him. He'd always been the rock of stability in his family, the one they could always count on. Now ... he felt his life pour out of him from the gaping wound where his heart had been.
A good man, a loving husband and father, sat alone on a cold, concrete bench and wept.
He didn't know how long he'd sat there but soon he felt the warm softness of a woman's arms as they enveloped him. He looked up to see Allie's tear-streaked face as she pulled him closer. She held him as he sobbed. Had it not been for Allie Morgan he may've had a complete breakdown.
The ramifications of that day were far reaching. Harold Frost was transferred to a facility down in the City. Brookhaven, like most of those types of facilities at that time, didn't have a policy dealing with patient sex. That soon changed. In addition to their new policy, all patients were now required to wear small ankle bracelets carrying a tracking device. The facility also now had yellow lines on the floor and other optical deterrents to keep patients from wandering off.
During that time Allie had stood beside him. He knew then she was more than just a friend.
But how much more? His questioned himself. And did my hope for something more allow me to do what I doing?
His eyes began to tear as his guilt and shame threatened to sweep over him.
What kind of husband am I? He berated himself. I vowed before God and family I would stand beside her until death did us part, whether in sickness or in health. How can I break those vows?
"Nathan?" her gentle voice pulled him out of his private hell.
He looked at her with a deep sorrow in his eyes.
"It's our thirty-second anniversary," he managed to whisper.
She nodded. He could tell she was fighting back tears of her own, tears for him and his pain.
"I know that's why I'm here."
It had been several weeks since he'd seen her last. It had been at her father's funeral. He hadn't gotten the chance to talk with her much then. She'd been surrounded by her son and daughter and their families.
As he thought back to her father, he realized Brookhaven had become a much more peaceful place since his death. Her father had constantly sat at his bedroom window and wept. He'd frequently call out to his wife who had run away from him years earlier. It was disturbing and sad, regardless of the man's past.
"I didn't get to speak with you much at the funeral," he gently explained.
She smiled weakly.
"It's all right, Nathan. I had my family around me. It was a bittersweet day. I was sad to lose my father but it was a blessing in many ways.