People looking at my wife Jean and myself nowadays see us as a successful couple, both in our relationship and our business life. We've been married for ten years and have managed to grow ever closer in that time; to me Jean is more beautiful at forty than she was at thirty when I married her, despite the years her 36-24-36 figure is almost as firm as in her youth, her auburn hair has no hint of grey, her eyes still sparkle with mirth and sexual desire. Jean tells me that I've grown more distinguished over the years, but I have my doubts about that, at forty-five I'm starting to 'spread' a little here and there. Together we have built up a successful stationary supply business, we started it up five years after we married and have at last reached a stage where we have no financial worries and are able to let the business run itself while we enjoy life. So people look at us and see us as a happy, successful couple with nary a care in the world. If only they knew how things had been only three short years ago.
It had been two years since we had started up our business, things had gone well to start with, while I handled the sales and distribution side of the business Jean had done the bookkeeping. We had worked long hours, but it had seemed worth it as we watched our business grow and prosper. And then came the recession, suddenly we found our clients ordering less and taking longer to pay for their orders, some went out of business completely leaving us as just one of many creditors scrambling for a share of whatever we could get. In the space of a few months we were almost bankrupt, everything we had was mortgaged to keep the business running and the bank was starting to breath down our necks as they saw the recession continuing. Late one evening we were sat in the office going over the books trying to find ways to cut back or get payments that were owed to us.
"It's no good Mark," Jean sighed, "if we don't get a break soon we'll lose everything."
"All we can do is pray we get the Wellswood contract." I sighed back.
"Do you think we are in the running?" she asked.
"I don't know," I answered slowly, "I really don't know."
"Didn't Wellswood say anything when you met him yesterday?" she asked.
"Only that our quote was under review." I answered "Maybe he'll say more at the party tonight."
"Mark," Jean frowned, "I'm puzzled, why did Wellswood invite us tonight? Why us and none of the others that have quoted for his contract?"
"I don't know Jean," I shrugged, "and I'm as puzzled as you about that, but we have to go to the party if only to keep Wellswood sweet."
"I know." Jean sighed deeply, "Only I don't like the man, there's something... slimy about him."
"I don't like him any more than you do," I sighed back, "but we need his contract, without it we'll go under."
"I know, I know." Jean frowned, "And if we get the Wellswood contract it will give us an in with the Carillon group. I just..."
"Just what?" I asked as Jean fell silent.
She shook her head then gave me a smile, but though her lips were smiling her eyes looked troubled.
"It's just me being silly," Jean finally responded, "I just have a feeling about tonight."
"Feeling?" I asked feeling confused.
"Forget it Mark," she laughed, "even I don't know what I mean by it. Come on, we'd better go get ready if we are going to be at his place by eight."
On that note we left the office and home, but Jean's comments had started a nagging doubt in my mind about the night ahead. When Wellswood had made the invitation to a party at his home I'd jumped at the opportunity it presented without hesitation, it was only now, after Jean had voiced her doubts, that I began to wonder about the invitation. As I dressed I tried to puzzle out what Jean had meant by having a 'feeling' about the night ahead.
"Come on slow coach," Jean suddenly broke into my chain of thoughts, "being late won't make a good impression."
"I guess not." I grinned turning to face my wife.
My grin grew wider when I saw her; I could see that Jean had decided to go all out to charm our host, she had picked out her sexiest evening dress, one she normally only wore for me. It was black with a halter tie top that showed off a good deal of her bust, so much so that she couldn't wear a bra with it; the dress was knee length, but had double slits from the hem to her hips, one slit on each side. Looking at her and knowing that she was wearing nothing more than stockings and a pair of thong panties under the dress gave me an instant erection.
"Well if you don't impress Wellswood in that outfit nothing will." I laughed, "I really wish we could stay home now."
"Later you randy sod." Jean laughed, "Right now we have a contract to win."
It didn't take us long to get to the address Wellswood had given to me, it turned out to be a large house, almost a mansion, and we could tell that the party was in full swing as we drove up the to the front of the house. As I got out of the car I glanced at my watch concerned that we were late and was relieved to find we were five minutes early, giving the car keys to a uniformed flunky I took Jean's arm in mine and headed for the entrance.
"Mark, Jean, come in, come in." Wellswood greeted us at the door, "Jean I must say that you look delightful tonight, truly delightful."
"Thank you Mr Wellswood." Jean responded.
"Come now," Wellswood smiled, "let's not be so formal, it's Jim."
"Then thank you Jim." My wife said giving him one of her sweet smiles.
Wellswood was in his late fifties, greying at the temples and thinning on top, he had obviously led the good life, the extra pounds he carried at his waist told that. Beaming at us he led the way to the bar, I felt Jean's arm tense a little on mine when Wellswood linked his arm through her other arm, but she smiled sweetly at him. Leaving us at the bar he went off to attend to some of his other guests with a promise to be back 'soon'. Accepting drinks from the barman Jean and I looked around the room, there were about twenty people there and I was both surprised and puzzled that the majority were male, but then I began to recognise some of them.
"God," I breathed to my wife, "most of these people are top end business men, think of the contacts we can make tonight!"
"Never mind the contacts," Jean almost whispered back, "just concentrate on getting that contract from Wellswood. If we get that most of these will follow his lead."
Jean looked around the room then leant close to me.
"I wonder where all the wives are?" she said softly.
"I guess they left them at home." I commented, "Does it make any difference?"
"No, I guess not." Jean smiled at me.
Just then I spotted our host heading across the room towards us, he waved us to follow him to another room and I suddenly felt hopeful that he was going to give us good news about the contract. Jean must have thought the same thing because she nudged me and grinned. We joined Wellswood in a large study that adjoined the main room, he was perched on the edge of an ornate card table as we entered the room. Smiling he waved at us to take seats then sipped at the glass he held.
"Well," he said at last, "what do you think of my humble home?"
"We haven't seen much of it," Jean replied with a smile, "but what I have seen I like the look of."
"Ah, a lady of taste." Wellswood laughed then became serious, "I suppose you are wondering why I invited you here tonight."
"It had crossed my mind, I assumed it had something to do with the contract." I admitted.
I was puzzled by the direction the conversation had taken, but I kept the frown from my face and waited for him to tell us the reason we were there.
"And you assumed rightly." He said, "I'm going to be blunt with you, I know just how close you are to going under and just how much getting my contract would mean to you. What I'm wondering is how hungry you are to get that contract."
'What the hell is this?' was the thought that ran through my mind.
"Hungry?" I responded aloud.
"As in just what would you do to get the contract," Wellswood spoke softly, "how far you would be willing to go for it."
Totally confused I looked at my wife, she was frowning as though she had guessed at where the conversation was going. Jean looked at me, her eyes were troubled, and for a moment I could have sworn she looked scared, then the penny dropped. Aghast I looked at Wellswood unable to believe that the man was hinting that we would get the contract if we did something for him. Call me naÔve, but I still had no conception of what that 'something' might be, however, my wife had guessed it almost immediately.
"What do you want?" I heard her ask in a low voice.
"I think you know that my dear." Wellswood responded.
My mind was running in circles trying to figure out what we had that could possibly interest Wellswood, it was as I looked towards Jean for some hint from her as to what the man wanted that I realised what it was. Jean looked at me with haunted eyes as my own eyes went wide in shock.
"Now look here..." I started to protest to Wellswood.
"Mark," Jean cut me off, "let me handle this."
I looked at her in surprise, I knew that if it had occurred to me that Wellswood wanted to have sex with her then it had to have occurred to her. She shook her head at me knowing I had been about to tell Wellswood where to stuff his contract, giving me an almost sad smile she looked back at Wellswood.
"At a guess I'd say you want me." She said calmly.
.... There is more of this story ...