Family, God, Country, Corps ... All men should live by a code. You just heard mine and the order I live it.
Family is a gift from God so they go above ALL. Any man worth shit would lay his life and happiness down for them.
God is second. Live by his commandments, period. Some people, mostly religious nut bags, would have me burned for not putting God first, but he is a big boy and can take care of himself.
Country is third. All good men and women should leave their country better than they found it for their children. Everyone can do it just by living a decent life.
Corps is last. That's the U.S. Marine Corps; like there is any other corps. Yeah you guessed it, I was a Marine. The corps helped to make me the man that I am.
I'm married to an incredible woman now for over 26 years. We have two grown daughters and a grandson we don't see enough of. My wife and I are empty nesters living our lives best we can. We still love each other with a passion even after so many years. I thank God everyday for my wonderful wife. By the way, my wife's name is Sandy and I'm Dennis. We're not rich nor hauntingly gorgeous, but Sandy is more beautiful than any woman I know. She is my life. I trust her explicitly and I know she trusts me the same.
So you see why a certain ex-angel has a problem with us.
Now Satan isn't all evil. Besides being wanting to rule heaven and hell, he just doesn't like happiness. Chaos is more his thing for a Saturday night, but for the other nights of the week he just wants to create havoc with the lives of people by tempting them into making poor decisions. He'll use an individual's weaknesses against them, but only through their free will. Satan cannot make a person do anything. A person chooses.
Now that you know the main plot of this story, let's get to it.
To pay the bills I have a small marketing business specializing in upscale apartment complexes. It's more of a finder business really. I have an unusual knack of getting select clients for some of the harder to rent higher priced luxury apartments in town. I've been at it long enough to have made a name for myself. And with the economy picking back up I've been in demand by company executives who are coming back into the area. They're finally reopening the manufacturing plants after they were shut down back in 2008.
On one sunny day not long ago I was between appointments taking a break at a coffee shop downtown when I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up. "Hello, mind if I sit down and join you?" asked a man that appeared to be around 60 years old. He offered his hand to me as the usual greeting between men, but I refused to shake his hand. A look of surprised satisfaction came across his face instead of disappointment.
Turning up my palm pointing toward the chair across from me, "Go ahead and sit. So what does Satan want with me?" I replied. To say he was now shocked was an understatement.
"How do you know I'm the Devil?" he asked.
"I was born KNOWING there is heaven and hell. I KNOW good from bad. Most people believe or have faith, I KNOW! That's the difference between me and others. Besides, I smell shit!" I could tell he really disliked that last part.
"OK, you got me, I am Satan."
"Again, what do you want with me?"
"Well, first I came in here for a cappuccino, then I saw you here and I wanted to wager your soul and tempt you with riches or desires, if you get my drift, but I realize that you already have me at a disadvantage. You cannot be tempted by such earthly items and you are not scared by me at all. So I now find myself intrigued instead. If I asked other people what is the most powerful force in the world is I would get answers like nuclear bombs, wind, rushing water, shit like that. If I ask you I'll get a different answer, won't I?"
"You would. But before I answer your question, you and I both know I'm far from perfect. No man is. I have sinned and done things that shame me to this day. You know how hard I fought when I was in battle. That being said, the most powerful force in the world is ... love ... pure and simple love," I said sincerely.
Satan laughed so hard he had tears running down his face. After he calmed down, "First off, yeah I know how you handled yourself when you were at war. It was glorious! Very few were more ruthless than you. You sent many souls my way than most of your fellow Marines. Thanks by the way. Terrorists are the worst kind of scum.
Now to your proclamation that love is the most powerful force on earth, I figured that would be your answer. You really are pathetic. God would say the same damn thing." He paused long enough to order himself another coffee handing the waitress a $20 telling her to keep the change made the waitress thank him affectionately. Her name was Mary according to her name tag. "She'll be mine soon, very soon actually, she just doesn't know it yet," he said non-nonchalantly.
"Tell you what, I won't wager your soul or cause you any physical pain for denying me. But, let's say we put that statement of yours to the test. Let's find out IF love is most powerful of all. Knowing is different from believing. Knowing God exists or knowing I exist doesn't mean a thing. So I'm asking you to prove your belief that love is the most powerful force on earth. You will not be putting your soul at risk." He seen my hesitation and started his sales tactic again, "What do you say? Come on, you don't have anything to lose. So, do we have a deal?"
I really didn't like dealing with the original asshole sitting in front of me, but proving that simple love is the most powerful force on earth had me wondering, could I do it? Since my soul wasn't at risk what did I have to lose? And getting one over on no nuts here wouldn't be a bad thing. "How do you suggest we find out?"
"Well that's the rub isn't it? How do we prove or disprove your belief that love is most powerful. That is up to you. But if your willing to do your part, I'll do my mine and setup the situation." The way he said his last little part made me uneasy but figured God hates a coward.
"OK, I'll do my part. I'll do what is humanly possible to prove that love is most powerful."
All of a sudden Satan got an evil grin on his face. "Deal! I'll set up the situation before the end of the day. This is going to be fun."
I started to get really worried. "What are you going to do?"
"You'll find out," Satan had a sinister laugh going that really creeped me out. "We'll be seeing each other soon, but for now..."
Next thing I knew Satan was gone. The little red tailed fucker just disappeared. All of a sudden I realized I just fucked up huge. I'm committed now whether I liked it or not.
I left the coffee shop and headed off to my next appointment. I wanted to get it over with so I could go home and talk to my wife. There was no way she was going to believe what I was going to tell her.
After my meeting concluded I headed home. As soon as I entered the front door I knew something was wrong. "Honey, you home?" No answer. She should be home. Was he here? This place feels funny, but not the same as when I was talking to ... him. Louder, "Honey!" "Sandy! Are you here?"
Faintly, "Yeah, I'm in the kitchen."
As I was walking into the kitchen, "Sandy, you'll never believe what happened to me today..." I stopped in my tracks. Sandy had tears running down her cheeks.
"Whats wrong honey?"
"Oh, you won't believe what happened to me today either. I had a visitor here at the house, DEAR."
Now I'm beginning to be a little scared, "Honey, something happened, something I agreed to that may have been a bad idea with someone bad."
"Yeah, and I know who! Your fucking girlfriend came here today you bastard! She came here to tell me how you two spent the afternoon fucking each others brains out you bastard! How could you?!"
"Whoa! Hold up! What the hell are you talking about! What girlfriend? I don't have a fucking girlfriend! Sandy, listen to me very carefully, I have never cheated nor have I ever wanted to cheat on you. I DON'T HAVE A GIRLFRIEND! Calm down and tell me what happened here," now pleading with her.
"A girl came her today and said she was your girlfriend. She was younger and prettier than me with blond hair bigger boobs wearing a waitress uniform and said you two have been together only a few times, but those times were life altering. So today you fucked her brains out told her you were leaving me and starting a new life with her and that I better not cause any trouble or I'd be sorry! Damn you! What did I do? Why don't you love me anymore?" She was yelling, crying and pacing around the kitchen, desperately worried about what I would say next.
"I swear to God that I do not have a girlfriend! I haven't looked at another woman since our first date. YOU ARE MY LIFE, MY WORLD! Please believe me!" Tears were now running down my cheeks. "Today I had two appointments and took time out in a coffee shop. Here's the receipt, you can see the time stamp when I was there. I went to my second appointment after and came straight home to tell you about my stop at the coffee shop. Sandy you have to believe me, please!"
I could start seeing here eyes relax a little. She was looking in my eyes the whole time and she started to see the truth in them. The receipt with the time stamp helped. From Sandy's description of the girl, I knew it was Mary from the coffee shop that came to my home. Now I know what asshole meant by "she'll be mine very soon."
"I think I know what is going on, but it will take a little explaining and an open mind on your part. Please come with me and sit down."
She was hesitant, but I held her hand and slowly led her into the front room and sat her on the couch. Still holding her hand I told her everything that me and the original asshole talked about. Sandy looked at me like took LSD, mushrooms and liked a toads back. I have never told her about my knowledge of heaven or hell and it's rulers. After 26 years of marriage I kept some things from her, mostly out of fear. But it was coming out now. I could tell she still had her doubts. Who's gonna believe their spouse about something like that? I explained how I agreed to prove that love is the most powerful force on earth but had no way to go about it.
Since my soul wasn't at stake I figured no harm no foul, right? Guess I was wrong. Asshole was going after my wife and my marriage. BIG FUCKING MISTAKE! If he thought he had an issue with me before, well he now has on all out drag out fight on his cloven hoofs.
Sandy found her voice again, "OK, I have an easier time believing your not screwing some slut, but a contest with the devil? Come on Dennis, that's just too much."
"I know how it sounds, but out of our years together have you known me to lie? Who would think of a lie like that to cover up for having an affair?" Like it needed to be asked.
"But she was so sincere, how did she knew where you lived? " Sandy was still doubting me.
"Getting our address is the easy part. Getting her to do it was as easy as tricking a weak minded girl into sell her soul for money. I didn't expect him to come after us like this, but I won't allow us to be victimized like this again."
I had the beginning of a plan to take this situation and turn it to my advantage, but it would take our whole history together and understanding to make it work. As I explained things to Sandy I knew this plan could tear us apart because I had to leave her in the dark about some of it. I was already praying for God's and my wife's forgiveness for doing what I was about to do.
I was going to need the help from an old friend. During the summer months Mike made extra money traveling around festivals with his food truck making organic sandwich wraps out of his Wrap Wagon. Sandy and I would help out when his normal job went beyond the usual 9 to 5. It was usually 2 - 3 days at most every couple of weekends. We worked well together as a team and had lots of fun. It was long hot hours and we sometimes snipped at each other, but at the end of the day we were always holding each other and smiling. Sandy's and my showers together afterwards were especially fun. I love it when my girl smells like a french fry but getting to clean my wife's nook and cranny is fanfuckintastic.
It would take a couple of weeks to put my plan in effect. In the mean time it was kind of cool around our house. Sandy hasn't put the whole "girlfriend home visit" out of her mind yet. We were at an uneasy peace. I caught her looking at me many times trying to determine if I was a liar and a cheat. She would listen to my phone conversations asking who I was talking to, what the call was about and the phone number of the person I talked to.
Her having doubts was necessary even though it hurt me terribly. My heart was breaking knowing I was going to hurt her.
Sandy and I was working an afternoon shift on the Wrap Wagon so Mike could take a little bit of time with his family. We were about four hours in when Mike and his family showed up and helped us handle the crowd. It was a good day and people were lined up to place their orders while Sandy Mike and myself wrapped our little hearts out. Sandy took a break and relaxed talking with Mike's wife. Her name is Jo Anne and she is a wonderful person just like her husband.
Jo Anne and Sandy were talking about whatever women talk about but I'm sure it involved me because I noticed them looking at me occasionally. God I really hope she doesn't say anything about asshole. I was worried my plan would crash and burn if she did.
To get Mike's help I had to make up a story about me getting into some trouble that involved a very bad man and I was worried about him if he found out I was married he might hurt Sandy. All I know was that I had to go to the authorities for help. OK, it wasn't a complete lie, some parts were missing.
I rigged an auto dial feature from an app on our home computer creating an excuse for an unexpected meeting forced me to leave. I led Mike to believe that the call was the go ahead to meet a couple of agents at secret location and ask for help.
He was more than willing to cover for me and keep Sandy at the festival so I could go talk to them. I lied to him. I hate myself already, but I had little choice. I wasn't going for help ... I was just going. Leaving everyone was the best way to keep them safe. If I wasn't around asshole would leave them be.
Customer orders picked up so Sandy and Jo Anne came back from their break. Mike, Sandy and I were wrapping while Jo Anne and the kids served the customers. My cell phone rang as planned and I stepped back to answer it speaking for only a couple of minutes. Now time has come to do what I had to to keep my wife safe. I hated myself but family comes first. Above all a man does what is necessary to protect his family.
I obviously had that look on my face cause both Mike and Sandy were looking at me, but for different reasons. Mike asked, "Was that the call?"
"What call?" came from Sandy.
"Oh um ... that was Jensen's Properties. You know that appointment I had a couple weeks ago. They um ... kinda liked my proposal and they want to talk to me again but they want to do it in about 2 hours so I have to get cleaned up and get to their office. I'm sorry Mike but I gotta bail."
"That's OK, Dennis. We'll keep Sandy here with us since we're so busy and I'll have Jo Anne take her home when things slow down."
"I appreciate it. Thanks Mike."
Hoping the look on my face would not betray me, "OK honey? I'll go to my meeting and Jo Anne will take you home. I'll see you home later, OK?"
I kissed my wife goodbye avoiding her eyes because if she peered inside them she would know of my deception. We have been married for so long she knows when I'm telling a lie because my eyes always give me away.
As I turned and walked away I felt lower than whale shit. What have I done? My life was perfect up until I accepted that challenge from Satan. Temptation and free will. Like I said, people choose to make bad decisions. All I had to do was say NO, but I didn't and now I'm leaving everything I love behind just to keep them safe. Family comes first above all.
My plan was set and I had to see it through. If it worked, everything will be as it was before. I just hope the cost would be worth it. I made arrangements with one of my clients to stay in an apartment across town that wasn't ready for renting. It would only cost me the price of utilities. At least the shit storm I put myself in was not going to cost me too much money, just possibly my happiness.
I was going to be far enough away not to be found but close enough to keep Sandy safe while I monitor the plan. I had wired our house with microphones and cameras and connected everything to a laptop in the apartment and my android phone.
I got home and took the bags I had already packed and threw them in my truck. I went back inside and left a letter for my wife.
My Dearest Wife ... Sandy,
By now you will have discovered I have essentially ran away and I beg for your forgiveness. I needed to keep you safe and could think of no other way. I explained the agreement that I made with Satan to try and prove love is the most powerful force on earth. I know it sounds like I have lost my mind but I swear it is the truth. You have known me for a long time and can tell when I'm lying. Search your heart and you will know the truth.
You have the same ability to feel the good and bad as I do. You have held those feelings at bay most of your life. You remember the story you told me when you were about 12 years old and there was a light colored womanly figure standing at the end of your bed. You described your feelings of warmth and peace but you were still scared because you have never seen such things, so the figure disappeared. That figure was your guardian angel and it sensed your fear so it hid itself from you. Over the years you have never forgot that night and your fear so your angel keeps herself hidden from you, but she has never left your side. Remember your angel is a gift from God to protect you and when the time is right you will meet her face to face and your senses will come to you. DO NOT BE AFRAID.
You are my gift from God and I must protect you by leaving. I am so sorry, I know no other way.
When that woman visited our house and accused me of having an affair I knew I was in trouble. Satan must've been worried to attack me through you. You and the kids are my only weakness and the asshole knows it. In leaving I'm hoping Satan will leave you alone. If everything works according to plan we will only be separated a short time. Do not try to find me. Keep close to our home and our friends. If anyone asks just tell them I'm on a business trip.
You are my life and if anything happened to you it would destroy me. I cannot live without you. Please try to understand why I ran away and forgive me. This is all my fault and for that I cannot forgive myself.
You and I will be together again and until that time, I will always be watching.
I am truly sorry.
I love you,
"THAT BASTARD! We fight our battles together!" Tears running down her cheeks with pain and anger for what her husband has done. "I will miss you my love. But not for too damn long or you'll really piss me off!"
Sandy knew she had no choice put to play along. She knew her husband well enough to know that he is one stubborn bastard when is mind is set. Also and this is a very big ALSO ... Don't fuck with his family! Uncontrolled anger usually follows when anyone hurt his kids and/or his wife.
Sandy let her mind drift back in time to an incident that brought out that protective rage in her husband.
Dennis went with Sandy to her company's Christmas party years ago. Sandy rarely danced with anyone other than her husband, but this one dinner she danced with one of the male employees who had always treated her nicely. He was kind of a shy person and somewhat backwards socially so she thought it would be a harmless dance. But he had too much liquid courage and put his hands south to no man's land he got way more than he bargained for. After Sandy slapped the one side of his face for grabbing her ass, Dennis hit the other side of his face with a wine bottle! Can you say wired jaw with a turn the cheek chaser?
Of course the police wanted to arrest Dennis after Mr. Grabby called them, but when witnesses commented about sexual assault with Sandy as the victim and Mr. Grabby being the perpetrator, he changed his mind on pressing charges.
Sandy gave her knight in shining armor extra loving that night, especially since she wasn't fired from her job. The wives of the old cronies who run the bank actually admired Dennis for what he did by standing up for his woman and denied their husband's from retaliating against either of them. In reality they said they would cut them off, in more ways than one, if they did anything at all.
So begun a time of loneliness and frustration for Sandy. She kept herself busy so not to go mad without knowing if her husband was safe. Of course his letter assured her he would be, but not knowing was a terrible feeling.
She kept to her normal routine. Work, home, visit the kids and the Wrap Wagon with Mike and Jo Anne on the weekends. The not unexpected happened a couple weeks after I left when Sandy was helping at another festival in the Wrap Wagon. Mike was anxious to know how my meeting went with the authorities. Sandy ended up telling him that I didn't speak to the authorities, but instead I went into hiding on my own. Essentially I ran away. Her explanation was complete except for the whole Satan betting thing. Mike and Jo Anne were unhappy about being mislead by me, but they understood that I kept them in the dark for their safety. They're good friends and would gladly fight for me as I would for them. They asked Sandy to stay with them but she refused. She remembered something in the letter I left for her...
I'll be watching ... that's what his letter said. "That bastard!" She really likes calling me that. We're gonna have a talk when this is over. "That bastard is watching? He's close! He has our house wired! That bastard!" Really, again with the bastard thing? "It figures. I knew he wouldn't leave me. He may not be in the house but I knew he would never really leave me," she said with her eyes misting up. She's one smart woman when she wants to be and it took her no time at all to figure out the front room had a camera and one in the bedroom so I could watch her sleep.
It didn't take her long to find the bedroom camera. She looked into it seductively, "OK, if your going to watch, then watch!" The strip tease was long and very erotic. I was watching from my laptop in the apartment, "I was wondering how long it would take her to figure out that part of my letter." Sandy isn't one for a strip tease but desperate times...
She was teasing me and punishing me at the same time. I deserved it and I knew it. But watching her did several things for me. The first one of course and the most obvious was the throbbing in my shorts I had watching my wife in all her beauty perform for me. The second was the love I could feel coming from her as I looked into her eyes through the camera. The third was the depression I felt knowing I may never be able to make all this up to her.
Like I said before, I'm far from perfect and I have done things that shame me still, but putting my family in danger is by far the worst. But, I had the feeling things were coming to an end very soon. Satan can be impatient at times like this and to him, I'm unfinished business.
Any ways back to my wife. Did I mention she is an absolute beauty? Maybe not to some men out there, but to me there is no woman alive that is her equal. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Your damn right it is and I'm watching it right now.
She continued to use her feminine wiles slowly swinging her hips and rolling her head seductively while unbuttoning her top one button at a time opening it to show me her wonderful breasts that was covered by a lacy bra that held the twin girls perfectly. She dropped her top and reached behind to unclasp her bra...
"I can't wait to see what happens next!" I said to myself.