There might be a grand plan. But, nobody’s shared it with me. As far as I know, life’s nothing but chance encounters woven into meaning by the choices we make. Nonetheless, karma’s a heartless bitch, and, sometimes she’ll make you wonder why your life sucks.
I was in Chicago because conventions are big business. Every convention needs speakers. I’ve been inside at DHS. So, I get requests to talk. That’s why I was in the lineup at one of those godawful events, where nothing makes sense. But everyone feels “informed.” My topic was, “National Security, Why I Sleep like a Baby.” The punch line is, “Don’t babies wake up crying and wetting themselves every two hours?” You get the message – right?
It was at the Thompson, which is convenient to ORD. So, I flew in late in the afternoon. The aim was to do my thing and fly out early the next day; while pocketing a hefty “honorarium” for my services. I hate air travel. So, I head for the nearest saloon when I arrive. I’d noticed Gibson’s across the street.
The place was packed but there was one seat at the bar. It was located next to a species of varmint that I particularly loath. I ordered a cold Gamma-Ray Pale Ale. I’m into craft beer. It’s a weakness. The bartender set 20 ounces in front of me. He also looked totally disgusted with my two neighbors. They must have been there for a while.
If you spend time in upscale bars you’ll recognize the breed. They are youthful, trim, good looking. Their style is impeccable and their come-on, failsafe. They were in with the in-crowd in high school. They pledged the best fraternities. And their degrees are from the most elite schools. They just hadn’t lost enough to have common sense.
These two sounded like technical sales support for a vendor who just happened to be from where I live in Maryland. Most of the companies pay a premium to the guys who are willing to travel. And that usually includes a generous expense allowance. It’s a gypsy life. But if you’re young and have no attachments it can be fun for a while.
Like every OTHER member of the genus, these fellows were eternally on the prowl. Their need for sex had nothing to do with warm-and-fuzzy. They were there strictly to run up the score. Their random copulating was like crack cocaine. Each conquest gave them a fantastic high. But they crashed and burned if they didn’t keep it coming. So, they were always on the hunt. Women were nothing but prey for them.
When I sat down they were in the process of recounting their hottest conquests. Both of them were drunk. So, short of putting in ear plugs I couldn’t avoid overhearing the conversation. It was an enlightening peek into the tree-house.
They seemed to be rank ordering the candidates based on looks and general degree of hotness. The most revealing part was that neither of them knew any names. They just used tags, like “the redhead in San Francisco with the big jugs”, or “the Latina from Orlando with the butt.” It was like listening to a couple of guys talk about zoo animals.
The dude directly on my left was telling the guy on the far side about his most recent discovery. He said, “The one that gets my vote was the chick I met in Atlanta. I didn’t fuck her but my buddy did and he said that she was the hottest piece of ass he had ever had. He ought to know since he’s fucked them all.
The d-bag added, “She was maybe five-two but she had tits that were easily Ds. They’d look huge on a woman six inches taller. But they were monsters on her.”
The other guy chimed in with, “Yeah, I like them really big. Could you see her nipples?”
Brilliant conversation. And remember, half the bar could hear those two drunken morons. This was getting so bad that I was thinking of standing by the window, anything but listening to them blow smoke up each other’s pantleg.
The douchebag on my left continued with, “I knew the guy from school so I sat down with them. They were having a romantic little dinner. She was really quiet. You know how subservient women get when you’re fucking them.” They both chuckled lecherously. I nearly retched.
The guy added, “We really looked up to my buddy in school. Wasn’t much in the classroom but DAMN was he EVER successful with the ladies. You know the type; totally dominant. I never actually saw it. But, I heard that his dick was huge.”
The idiot continued with, “Some guys would be pissed if you joined them. But not this guy. Whit could care less. He knew he had her under control. And he wanted me to appreciate what a stud he was.”
That was accompanied by lewd chuckling about the guy’s stud-hood. In the universe that those two cretins inhabited that accolade probably ranked up there with winning the Nobel Prize. The guy next to me continued with, “We talked for a while and I noticed she was wearing a ring. I asked them if they were married. That got a big laugh from Whit. He said, Janet’s married all right, just not to me.”
I was instantly on alert. The thing that caught my attention was the description of the woman and her name. My wife is tiny with big tits and her name is Janet. Worse, she had recently been in Atlanta with a guy named Whitley Reynolds. He was one of the lawyers she does consulting work for.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Maybe it was sheer coincidence. Janet’s a pretty common name, isn’t it? I was now hanging on the moron’s every word. At that point, the other dude interrupted to ask the narrator who this Whit fellow sold for. That wasn’t as strange a question as you might think. the ONLY thing those two dipwads lived for was sex and selling.
The guy next to me said, “She wasn’t in sales. He’s a lawyer and she’s some kind of accountant!!!” THAT tore my heart out. Janet is a consulting CPA. And she and Reynolds had been in Atlanta last month. They had been there sorting out the dealings of one of Reynold’s clients. Meanwhile the twit next to me was regaling his friend with a detailed description.
His buddy Whit had been trying to fuck her for a couple of months. He said that when she finally gave it up she was an absolute beast. The guy on the far side, who was obviously drunker said, “So did he give you a taste?”
The first guy said, “Not a chance. He said that she was totally in love with him. And she was so hot that he wouldn’t even think of sharing her. I told him to call me if he ever got tired of her. Man!! She was smoking hot!!!” That was the point where I tossed a twenty on the bar and exited the building.
Okay, admittedly it was an unbelievable coincidence. Those two idiots were just passing the time in their omnivorously horny fashion. But things are always within six degrees of separation.
They were from the same area. They were in the same business. This was a must-attend event in our mutual field, and we all had the same preconference time on our hands. The bar was just across the street. Most people don’t meet all those criteria. So, it didn’t seem odd that I would end up in the same place at the same time with those guys.
It would be an extreme understatement to say that the next twenty-four hours were stressful. Public speaking is all about stage presence. My stock in trade is affable redneck, with deep IC roots; and it has served me well. But it is hard to convince a room full of people that you are a gregarious good-old-boy, when all you can think about is whether your cherished wife is a duplicitous whore.
I have worked audiences so long that the 50 minutes on stage was the usual amalgamation of laughs and nebulous information. But I was purely on automatic pilot. I was FAR too upset. I had not bothered to call Janet the night before. I knew that would upset her. When we are apart we always talk once a day. But I had not even come close to getting a grip on my fevered imaginings. And I didn’t want to take the chance of tipping my hand.
It was long odds that Janet was the bitch in question. But even the remote possibility had me freaked out. It was really just random talk. Most of the connection was in my head. And I was aware even as I listened to them that the narrator was exaggerating; in the way that all those juvenile types do. Nonetheless, until I found out whether Janet was the woman they were talking about the situation was going to get my “A” game. I knew that I needed a plan.
First, I had to play things like our relationship was nothing but puffy clouds, rainbows and unicorn shit. If Janet thought I suspected her, it would drive her underground. And she is smart enough to bury evidence of any alleged extra-marital shenanigans. So I had to be cool.
I also understood that I was suffering from the “hot wife” syndrome. Every man wants the hottest woman in the room; the one every other guy lusts after. A woman as striking as Janet could have any man with a sultry glance. Which can induce an inordinate amount of insecurity in a regular fellow like me.
My insecurity stemmed from the fact that I KNEW that Janet bound wasn’t bonded to me by my overwhelming animal magnetism. She was with me because she CHOSE to be with me. But, the problem with freedom of choice is that the world is full of temptation and people can always change their mind.
So, no matter how secure your bond might be. You’re constantly aware that your happiness is dependent on your wife’s willingness to honor her commitments. After fifteen years of marriage I sincerely believed that Janet’s character was unimpeachable. She had personal integrity and a robust set of values. Her personal sense of self-worth would prevent her from violating any of her closely held beliefs; wouldn’t it?
I had never seen anything in Janet’s behavior that would contradict that assumption. She had not altered her conduct toward me one iota. She had been as loving and attentive as she ever was, and there was no hint of guilt, or suspicious behavior. So, either she was a master of compartmentalization. Or she was innocent.
Unfortunately, though, the seed of doubt had been planted and it was running away with me. Thus, I felt compelled to get to the bottom of things, if nothing more than to prove what a paranoid weenie I was.
It was nuts. I had overheard a random conversation 700 miles from home. Only an insecure moron would jump to the conclusion that their wife was fucking around. Nevertheless, that’s exactly where my paranoia was taking me. The thing driving this was the “all-in” stakes. We had no kids. So, my relationship with Janet was my whole life. If she was another guy’s plaything; then I had to find out about it, deal with it, and move on. It would be emotionally devastating. But, there was no middle ground.
Marriage has a lot of different components. The most important part is the social bond. The other person is the one human being you can trust, the one who you know will never sell you out. Of course, that is all contingent on mutual honesty. And lying is the shortcut to perdition.
Then there is the knowledge that the intimacy that a man and a woman share is exclusive among themselves. It would be the loss of that exclusivity that would be the rock on which our marriage would founder. I was just not willing to share Janet’s special self with any other man.
It wasn’t a matter of male ego. I felt like Janet and I had a spiritual link that couldn’t possibly include a third party. If it did than our relationship was not what I understood it to be. And that was going to be the showstopper. The way I felt we had to be a binary couple, or we had nothing. So she owed me the truth about what she was doing.
If there was discontent, there was no justification for NOT sharing THAT with me. I thought I had done everything I could to make her happy. If I had failed her in some way I was ready and willing to do whatever it took to rectify things. But she had to bring her problem to me, not take it outside the marriage.
Moreover, if she had inexplicably fallen in love, like those two cretins said she had; then she owed me the respect of telling me that she was no longer mine, not sneaking behind my back. Of course, her giving herself to another person was probably an up-front deal-breaker and I am sure that Janet knew that.
The next step was obvious. I had to fill in the picture. I got back in the late morning and took a taxi from DCA to Georgetown. I knew Janet was at work. So, I would have the time to lay the groundwork. I’m a methodical guy and very focused when I am on-task. So, my first step was to gather all of Mr Whit Reynolds’ low-hanging fruit.
I approached the challenge like any other zero-knowledge exploit. I am a hacker by trade. Although, in polite company I call myself a pen-tester. It is a particular set of skills that I have honed since puberty. And I am very well paid for my abilities.
But this one was personal. In fact, it was more of a crusade. First, I did a deepweb search. It took a total of twenty minutes and $39.50 to know more about Mr. Whitley Reynolds than he probably knew about himself. Most of what I got was the uninteresting detritus that clogs everybody’s life, like all the places he ever lived and the names of all of his relatives. The neatly printed report said that he was married with two kids, a boy 4 and a girl 1. He was living in Chevy Chase with a woman named Mary who was clearly his age, both were 33.
He DID have a law degree. And he had passed the bar in Maryland on his second try. He had been in private practice for six years and prior to that he had worked three years for the Baltimore DA. There were no derogatories on his record but that didn’t mean much since he WAS a lawyer. And lawyers know how to bury complaints.
I dug a little deeper on the dark-web. He seemed to specialize in financial management services. It was for a select clientele. His clients of record spent a lot of their time being indicted. Now THAT was an eye-opener!!! But it was understandable, given the fact that Reynolds WAS a criminal defense attorney. It explained the need for Janet’s services, at least the skills that she got an MBA for. The other services didn’t require a specialized degree, just her beautiful body.
Janet had spent the past nine years working as a hired gun for lawyers. She could ferret out the most intricate fraud scheme, or perpetrate one herself. We both made a bundle of money selling our expertise. But there have been a number of times when I wondered why we wore the white hat. Since it would be nigh-unto impossible to catch either of us. I knew my motivation. I can’t handle guilt. So, I’d suck at being a criminal. I just assumed Janet was honest for the same reason. But thanks to my recent epiphany I was beginning to wonder about that. Maybe she was a better play-actor than I thought she was.
So, I harnessed up my fully weaponized canine. Janet loves dogs. That is how I acquired Buster. Buster is big and burly and he slobbers a lot. He is also scary looking. In fact, he’s so intimidating that I initially thought we had adopted a mountain lion.
It was a nice spring day in DC, the humidity was only 99%. I knew a lot about Whitley Reynolds. But I had to access the dude’s system to thoroughly pry into Mr. Whitley Reynold’s life. I could crack him. But it would take proximity to do the dirty work and most folks don’t take kindly to strangers parked in their driveway wardriving the family router.
Fortunately, I do this professionally. So I’ve concocted an approach that lets me get up-close-and-personal, without my victim being the wiser. I was able to do that because Buster is only slightly smaller than a Shetland pony. He can easily walk wearing a harness with 40 pounds of cracking gear strapped to it.
I had installed a small but powerful laptop in Buster’s pack. It ran the hacking goodies. The harness was the antenna. Of course, the casual observer would just think I was some aging hipster who harnessed his big dog to carry water and a backpack when they were out walking.
Buster and I could stroll down any street, just a boy and his dog, and I would monitor the home networks until I pinged the right router. Then I would push a little button in the handle of Buster’s leash and my gear would lock the target SSID into an evil twin. Once I had deployed that malicious item I would own its network and all of its devices.
The gear my war-doggy was carrying acquired the Reynold’s router. It took the cracking software 15 seconds to break in and I got the green light that said my evil twin was over-riding the home router’s signal. I now owned the Reynolds family secrets. We walked back to the car, a job well done.
It was 3:00 and Janet would be home soon. So I got out my special laptop. It’s the one with all the stuff that I buy for bitcoins. Nobody in their right mind would buy something off a darkweb site with their Visa. I confirmed that the Reynold’s system was connected to the twin, wide-open and awaiting my tender mercies.
I didn’t need to download anything since it was all there to read. But I DID dump their trash into a file on my computer. Civilians don’t realize that their secret stuff doesn’t really go away when they hit the “delete” key. I would go over that later.
I also started a mirror recording of any system activity that went on from that point on. Just in case somebody was smart enough to really wipe things. If there was anything going on between Reynolds and Janet I had the evidence. I just hadn’t found it yet. But I would.
I was also planning to Bluebug Janet’s phone. Then, as soon as she fell asleep I would RAT her computer. By tomorrow this time I was going to know everything that she knew and a whole lot more. Because every aspect of her lover’s personal life was going to be mine.
Was this a morally bankrupt thing to do? Absolutely. But there were two mitigating circumstances. First, I could do it. And second, nobody would know. Does that sound like the cheater’s mantra, “you bettcha!!!” But I wasn’t the person purportedly fucking around. And as far as I was concerned I owed it to myself to get to the bottom of any allegations.
Janet appeared at her usual time. For fifteen years, she has come straight home to me like clockwork. Unlike other working women she has never gone out for drinks with the gang. I have always considered that to be a sign of how innately valuable our relationship is to her. So, I almost felt guilty port-scanning her smart phone from the den and dropping the man-in-the-middle application on it; before I kissed her hello.
She is still so absolutely gorgeous that she takes my breath away. She walked up to where I was sitting at my desk and threw her arms around me. The kiss said that she had really missed me. And it promised how much she was going to show me later.
She is a beautiful little woman but it is her inner-self that makes her special. “Kittenish” might be the best way to sum her up. Even at age thirty-eight she’s a stunningly attractive bundle of perfectly proportioned features, high spirits, lighthearted fun and seeming wide-eyed innocence.
Janet’s boundless energy and playfulness have always made her a perfect counterpoint to my socially retarded self. As a couple, she is sunlight and I am; well, I don’t exactly know what I am? The word “nerdy” comes to mind. We fit together perfectly when we are in a group. I never try to steal her limelight. And she never wants to be out of it. Janet’s bantering skills also fill in the holes when we socialize. Consequently, most people think that she is a big flirt and that I am too clueless to notice.
I don’t mind flirtatious if I feel like our spiritual link is solid. And I have never had the slightest reason to doubt that; until now. Janet had bought sushi carryout from Kotobuki and she spread out a couple of plates and sat down opposite me while she divvied up the spoils. She said, “How was your trip?”
I said, “Enlightening.”
She looked puzzled and said, “How so?”
I said, “I learned something there that has me working on a new project. It’s my top priority and so I will be spending all of my time on it until I get it resolved.”
She looked at me brightly, without a hint of guilt and worry, and said, “That’s nice. I know that you always need somebody to throw a ball for you to chase. How come you didn’t call last night?”
I looked at her. God she was hot!!! I said, “I was wresting with some things, nothing I can tell you about. I don’t want to talk about it until I got my mind around the problem.”
She said, still without a smidgen of concern, “Well, it was okay anyhow. I worked until almost midnight on something I have been doodling with as part of my project with Whit Reynolds.”
That shot a thunderbolt of angst through me. She was prattling on and she didn’t see it. She said, “I am beginning to get concerned about the situation. This is my last trip with him.”
She added, “He wants to go to Miami early tomorrow for a meeting and I am going along. But there are some things that just don’t add up; and I KNOW how to add things up because I’m a CPA.” That was accompanied by a loving smile.
My heart sank. I said, trying to keep the hopefulness out of my voice, “Than maybe you shouldn’t go.”
In the meantime, she was intently dipping a California roll in the soy sauce. Did I catch a hint of hesitancy? She said, talking mainly to the roll, “I have a contract with him and I need this last trip to honor all of the conditions. So I have to go. But I am severing all connection with him after that.”
Was that a coded message that she was going to dump him as a lover?
She looked at me in her inimitably coquettish way and added, “And I am going to spend all of the money that I make from this engagement taking us on a trip. I want to connect with you like we have never connected before. And I want that connection to be very deep; if you catch my drift. How about a cruise?”
I was continuing the charade. I said cheerily, “We’ll see when you get back.” I was pretty sure that ship had already sailed. She definitely had some “‘splainin” to do.
She digested my statement and decided that I was just being my usual dismissive self. We lead a complicated life and a long cruise is something that would take planning. She said, urgency creeping into her voice, “There’s one other thing. My body has been aching for you all day. So if you don’t mind, I need you to do something for me before we go to sleep.”
Was this a little pity sex for the poor clueless husband? In my mind, it didn’t matter whether it was or not. It was probably going to be my last chance to make love to my life’s companion. Because, tomorrow was definitely going to be another day.
She is only five-two. But there are times when it looks like half of that is slim shapely leg. She rose gracefully and walked around to my side of the table. I stood. She took my hand and wordlessly led me toward our master bedroom.
She is a little woman but very muscular and round and the sight of those buns twitching under her expensive alpaca jersey dress and those full round calves flexing as she walked in her four inch heels was pushing any concerns about her fidelity to the back of my mind.
When we got to the bedroom she turned abruptly and threw her arms around my neck and plastered herself against me. That was quite a gymnastic feat given the fact that I am well over a foot taller than she is.
She opened her mouth in a way that invited me into her inner self. It is something that is more intimate than a kiss. It is like she is totally consumed by me. She also has one other trait. It is one that I have never heard of before in a woman. When she kisses me like she was doing she almost immediately cums.
It is the oddest sensation. First you get her totally hot mouth and then she begins breathing incredibly rapidly through her nose and you get a little whimper and a groan. It is like the simple intimacy of a kiss kicks her into orgasm. I know it is the sudden close connection that does it for her, not the physical sensation. But it is a sign of how totally involved she is with our lovemaking.
It is like there is no other reality for her except our intimate joining. She broke the kiss and stood back gasping with desire. Her eyes were so stoned with lust that they looked like blue marbles.
The dress came off over her head. Then she literally flung herself backward on the bed. As she did that she raised her legs in that classic woman’s pose legs up, bent ninety degrees at the waist, with her knees held together, and she peeled off the black cheekinis she was wearing.
In the meantime, I was wasting no time clearing my decks for action. Normally we do a lot of foreplay but that was not the vibe this evening. She wanted it without delay. From where I was standing I could smell her arousal. And as she dropped her panties off one extended foot she was underscoring her need. She was muttering over and over, “fuck me – you have to fuck me – you have to give it to me NOW!!!”
Looking at that little Venus with her dark auburn hair and her legs waving around in the air knees still together I was inspired to take two steps forward, seize her knees against my chest and throw both of her feet over one shoulder.
Then I hoisted her up so that only her upper back was resting on the bed and impaled her. She was so hot and wet I almost came as I slid into her virgin-tight pussy. She let out a loud groan of satisfaction and her insides began to boil, clenching and milking with insane energy. I let go of her knees and without shifting her position she spread her legs outrageously wide and wrapped them around my waist boa constrictor style.
I was thinking, “Women! The flexible sex!”
She was situated on the bed with her arms over her head and those huge tits flailing in multiple directions as I humped into her. They are so big and heavy that they were out of control even though she had not bothered to take her sexy black bra off.
The abandoned moans and cries told me that this was going to be a very short one. So I started just pounding her. The wet slap-slap-slap went on for only a few minutes. She shrieked and pulled the covers of the bed up so that she was biting on them like a she was biting on a bullet. It was clear that she was doing that just to hold the screaming down.
At that point, she started to writhe like a snake making unintelligible grunting noises as her insides began to fizz like a shaken up can of soda. Our mutual sweat lubricated her body as she thrashed underneath me.
It was evident that her orgasm was so powerful that it was almost painful to her. Her mouth was wide open in a scream that probably only dogs could hear. And she was having a serious problem breathing.
That was because every muscle in her rib-cage and belly seemed to be locked in a frenzy of cumming. She had hauled out her own breasts and was mauling them, pulling on the nipples. She just yelled over and over, “Cumming-cumming-cumming- OH MY GOD!!!”
Finally, she collapsed. It was clear that her powerful little body had reached its limits. While all of that was going on I was beginning to feel an orgasm approaching from a galaxy long ago and far away. It was so long in coming that there were stars when it hit. And I felt like I was never going to stop pumping into her.
It was the most intoxicating sensation I have ever experienced. That set Janet off on another round of screaming and bucking. I collapsed on top of her and she continued to moan. I didn’t want to crush her. So I eased back down her passage and she groaned loudly from the loss.
When I finally got my wits back she was lying next to me just staring at the ceiling like she was a million miles away. After the way she had cum I understood that. I had the sudden awful thought, “Is this the last time? Is this the end of my happiness?”
I decided that I was being a weenie. What would be, would be. But tonight, I had her and that was all that mattered. She turned and looked at me with enigmatic yearning in her eyes and said, “I will love you forever. Promise me that you will be mine forever - no matter what.”
I smiled at her poignant sincerity and said, “Promise.” But I added in my head, “There are a few common-sense stipulations on that my dear. Like you not fucking somebody else.”
She arranged herself under the covers and said dreamily, “I am going to sleep now. I am leaving early to catch the flight. So I won’t be around when you wake up. When you do, just remember this is the last time for me. I will never leave you again.”
Then she dozed off.
I was thinking, with no little irony, that the choice might not be hers. I went downstairs and ratted her laptop. Went back upstairs. Brushed my teeth and lay down in the bed.
I know that I am a sneaky son-of-a-bitch. But these were desperate stakes. As I drifted off to sleep I was thinking, “How could she be that unquestionably devoted to me and yet give herself to another man?” I am not a genius when it comes to the human heart. But there was no conceivable set of circumstances where the woman I knew could do something like that.
I don’t care what the romantics say. Comfortable habit is the cornerstone of marriage. It’s a pragmatic, fact. You spend a lifetime together. That is a lot of time to kill; much of which entails nothing more than the humble repetitive things. Getting in each other’s way does not inspire marital bliss. Hence, the importance of a smooth-running routine.
She always showers first and I shave. Then I shower while she gets dressed. And then I dress while she makes the coffee. That has been the way it has been in the Witger house every working day since the dawn of time. Except today.
Today she rose early and was out the door before I awoke. The empty spot next to me was heartbreakingly redolent. I grabbed an energy bar and went out for my morning run. I have been a runner forever. I like to do three to five miles almost every day depending on my attitude. The payoff is that I am still greyhound lean after 38 years, although I am a very tall greyhound. I am also probably hooked on my own endorphins.
I showered when I returned. Refreshed I sat down to see what I could see. There was a lot of junk on Reynold’s home system. The tradecraft challenge is never having enough information. The problem is that you have disorganized steaming piles of it.
So, ferreting out the good stuff is like finding the proverbial needle in a field full of haystacks. That’s why you need have talent like mine. First I did a simple search on Reynold’s deleted e-mails. The purpose was to pull off any from Janet.
What I got was the mother-load. There were perhaps 50 messages spanning the last three months starting with a contact message to inquire about her services and ending with something she had sent him yesterday.
I put the accumulated emails into a file and went looking for anything else. They had the usual family clutter on their hard drive which was totally uninteresting, except for the pictures. It looked like he and his wife had an ideal marriage, both of them were attractive people with beautiful kids. They even had the requisite golden retriever. He looked happy too.
The vacation photos showed the average upper middle class family doing the usual enjoyable yuppie things. I wondered what would ever motivate a man who had a life like that, to go after another man’s wife. It was probably just the thrill of the hunt. You spend your bachelorhood racking up points and some men just can’t grow up. Even after they have made a commitment to marriage.
When I am prowling around other people’s machines my first target is the encrypted stuff. People don’t encrypt things unless they want to keep them confidential. So for a hacker, encryption is like blood on the water to a shark.
I did a file system search and sure enough, there was one encrypted folder. It took a physical memory dump to recover the key but I had his virtual safe cracked in five hours. I had a pang as I realized that Janet was probably with the cocksucker as I was doing the decryption.
I set the formerly encrypted folder aside, next to his messages to Janet. Then I did a simple query across his file system on every keyword that I could think of. Nothing else came up. I looked at the e-mail first. It started with the usual business inquiry three months ago. At first it was getting-to-know-you messages. Then the tone shifted. He had obviously met her for lunch and liked what he saw. She was perfectly professional in the way she was setting up the engagement. But he was already starting to edge toward seduction.
I couldn’t believe that she didn’t see that. But then again, Janet is blithely unconcerned when it comes to her ability to control men. I suppose if you looked like her, you would be too. The terms of the engagement were typical for her. She would do the financial work and he would interface with the client.
The messages crossed the line into flirtatious somewhere around message thirty-three. Then they quickly progressed downhill into out-and-out suggestive on his part. His were long and personal. There was no actual sexual content but words like “fond” and “close friend” began to creep into the conversation. It might not have gotten physical yet. But in my humble opinion they were getting too close to each other emotionally, at least HE thought so.
Then I found it. It was Forty-four messages into the pile of fifty. There was no “what” or “why” It simply said, “You forced me. What we did has never happened before and it will never happen again. I love my husband and I value my marriage. You pushed me over the line. That’s the only reason why I did all those things. Now, I am so ashamed. I will follow through on my business commitments. But never touch me again!!!”
The timestamp coincided with the Atlanta trip. What followed was exactly what you would expect from a guy like Reynolds. He both cajoled and bullied. He reminded Janet of their “close friendship.” He even went as far as telling her that he loved her and that he would leave his wife and kids for her. The part that broke my heart was the message where he told her what a great fuck she was and that he had never experienced sex like that before. The self-satisfied smirk lay blatantly between the lines.
He also pointed out that they had a contract. She was not buying any of the extensive protestations of love but she fell for the contract part. He had threatened a major suit if she violated the terms of their agreement. And of course the reason for breaking the contract would have to come out in court. Meaning I would find out.
Two messages from the end she finally agreed to one more consulting visit. But she told him that she was going to stay at a different hotel and that she would only see him at the client’s office. The message that she sent yesterday said, “Will meet you at Flagler at 10:00. We have to wrap this up today.” I sat back and had a little sniffle before I went through the encrypted stuff. She was my whole life and she had betrayed me with that smarmy creep. But it had only been once. She claimed to have been forced and she clearly regretted doing it. Maybe I could get past it; maybe I could act like it never happened?
I DID understand the circumstances. It sounded like Reynolds had somehow managed to get Janet’s motor running. From long experience, I knew that she is totally irrational once that happens. So I was certain that Mr. Reynolds had himself quite a night.
Janet is levelheaded and controlled in public. But in the bedroom, she is a volcano of pure passion. If you manage to tap into that, she is relentless until satisfied. How Reynolds set her off remained to be seen. She knows she is hot blooded. So, she would never let any man close enough to get her going; short of an ambush.
From what she said, that appeared to be what happened here. I like to think I am an adult. And I understand that life has its darker moments; the times when we do self-destructive things. The whole point is to avoid long-term repercussions from any regrettable acts.
The sex was understandable if it had actually happened the way the e-mail portrayed it. The situation sounded like it was a one-shot happening and very close to a rape. Her response was exactly what I would expect. And it would have been easily forgivable if that was the case.
All logic told me that there was no reason for her to lie in her message, since it would never occur to either of them that I would read it. So, I was pretty sure that I could get past something that she was initially forced into. Even if she had been a willing participant for most of the actual process.
The problem was that short of putting a tracking collar on her I might never be able to trust her again. I reminded myself that she had been wonderful all of the time that this was going on. And if she could keep something like that from me one time, then she could do it again.
So we had to talk about it. And she had to provide me with some kind of justification as to why she did not share this with me. I could think of a number of valid reasons, first and foremost that it would be embarrassing to her and hurtful to me. But I had to hear it from her.
Meantime, I opened the other folder. This was personal correspondence between Reynolds and the client. It was straightaway obvious that the client was a consortium of high level drug traffickers with Latin American roots who were interested in laundry services in the US.
There was nothing in the correspondence that told me where the connection had been made. But it was obvious that Reynolds was setting up the front companies that the money would wash through; and he needed Janet’s expertise to build the financial structure.
In Janet’s defense, it was also plain that Janet did not know the source of the money, only that there was a lot of it and it was foreign. That also explained why Reynolds had used a big hammer to keep her working on the deal.
It would be reasonable to assume that Reynolds’s “clients” would not be understanding if he suddenly had human resources issues. In fact, bringing in another financial consultant mid-deal would no-doubt be very hazardous to Mr. Reynold’s health. My brain was in mortal lock due to all the conflicting emotional currents. She had cheated on me and it killed me. But she had only done it once, clearly regretted it and had done everything she could to get out of the situation, point in her favor.