copyright © 2002 by the author
They say that all who love are blind
And I'm not one to disagree...
For more and more, each day I find
Love has made a fool of me
(Foolish, foolish me... )
--Each Time I Fall in Love, S. Grundy
As usual, the applause was intoxicating, and this year it was especially strong because Cal Morton's quartet had sung their hearts out. As he and the three other men who made up "Lazy River" left the stage, the crowd of barbershoppers, family, and fans were still on their feet, stomping and cheering the fantastic performance of "Ain't Misbehavin" the four singers had just delivered.
Cal's wife Eileen was waiting at the foot of the stairs, where she always stood when they came offstage. The pretty, petite blonde threw her arms around her husband and kissed him firmly before hugging Jeff, Kevin, and Jaleel, the other members of the quartet.
"You guys were FANTASTIC!" she enthused as they went on down the stairs to the photo shoot in the basement of the theater. "I've never heard you guys sing so well! God, it was exciting!" She hung on Cal's arm, her eyes bright. They all noticed the way her tongue wet her lips, and the way she rubbed against her husband.
"Jesus, Eileen," laughed redheaded Jeff, the group's tenor. "You sound damn near orgasmic! You turning into a barber-slut?" The four men laughed as the pretty young woman blushed. The she ran her hand playfully down Jeff's arm and pinched.
"Noooo, you big meanie, it's just that you were all really ON tonight, every chord rang, and everybody could feel how much you were into it. Ok, it was nearly a sexual excitement!"
"There's something you don't hear a lot of," Cal laughed, "Sex and barbershop in the same breath!"
Which was true. Barbershop singing had that "old-fashioned" reputation. It was family-oriented entertainment, thus nothing in the way of sexual content or even innuendo was allowed to sully the purity of the art form. Of course anyone with eyes in their head could see that the explosion of young men and quartets into the hobby, and the ever-present barbershop groupies, would lead to an undercurrent of sexuality that none of the old school would want to acknowledge. No one talked about it, but it was there.
Eileen kissed her husband again and whispered in his ear just before the photographer lined the guys up for their official photo. She ran her fingers through his thinning auburn hair as well, and licked her lips naughtily. Cal's eyes were wide with delight when the flash went off, and for years after Eileen would treasure that shot for both his bulging eyes and his clearly bulging crotch.
"Whatever she told you seems to have had an effect," Jaleel chuckled as they made their way up to the auditorium afterwards. The tall black bass glanced at his friend's wife and said conspiratorially, "You know she is looking real good tonight. You've got her all warmed up, you smooth bastard, you!"
Eileen giggled and pulled Jaleel into an embrace and kissed him firmly. "You flatterer," she said, squeezing his cheek before breaking away. He looked stunned, then smiled broadly.
"Who says there is no sex in barbershop?" asked heavyset Kevin. "Cal is getting some tonight, you bet!"
Eileen turned to the bearded baritone and stuck out her tongue. "I'm not a barberslut for everyone you know, just for the winner, my sweet sexy hubby, the best lead in the entire Lincolnland District! But I guess you deserve a reward too." She brushed up against him and whispered in his ear, and Kevin gasped. Then she licked it lightly, giggling as she went back to Cal's side. "So does that make me a barberslut, or what?"
They all laughed. The notion of demure Eileen Morton as a "barberslut" was amusing. Those were the female groupies that hung around the rising stars of the barbershop scene and, though many wanted to deny it, offered their favors to the men who could lock and ring chords like nobody's business. Some of the stories told about them were wild in the extreme. Eileen was definitely not one of them, in spite of her teasing words, not even for her husband.
She was a good-looking woman, with her petite frame and well-rounded figure. But Eileen Morton always dressed conservatively, always acted in the most proper and reserved fashion, and always seemed, to those who did not know her, to be the quintessential ice-princess. She was not what anyone would consider a "barberslut".
Tonight was different though. Cal could feel it in the way she held his arm and pressed against him as they waited for the quartet that had followed them to finish their set. He could see it in the way her eyes glowed as she looked up at him and in the moistness of her lips and the way she was breathing. Something had set her off, and if excellent singing was what tripped her trigger then by god he was going to do his damnedest to always sing his best.
"You guys go on in, okay?" he told his partners. "I want to talk to Eileen for a minute." They nodded, grinning, figuring that they would not be seeing Cal anymore until they made the rounds of the hospitality rooms after the first contest session was over. A burst of applause signaled that the quartet onstage was done, the doors opened, and they went in as Cal drew his wife aside.
"What's got into you, honey? I've never seen you so flirtatious!" Cal looked into his wife's eyes and her smile was vibrant and stimulating.
"Cal, I really don't know for sure, I'm just, well..." Her voice trailed off, and then she rose up on her tiptoes and kissed him, pulling his head down to hungrily press her lips to his. To his utter shock, her other hand slid down the front of his vest and over his pants to squeeze his cock. She broke the kiss to whisper, "You sang so well, and god, I think you have a chance to win this year, and I just got so excited and frisky and then downstairs I wanted to make you hard so I told you I was going to fuck your brains out tonight and you'd better get me back to the hotel room before midnight so I could be your very first barberslut!"
"First and only, baby," Cal moaned softly against her ear. "But this isn't the place for it. Let's go over to the hotel now." He was surprised when she pulled away.
"Oh no, we can't! We have to see the rest of your competition, and I want to hear when they announce you in the top ten! God, that will REALLY get me going, lover!" Cal was a bit disappointed, but his usually reserved wife's excitement and her whispered promises of action he normally did not get to enjoy made him grip her hand tightly and head for the auditorium.
They slid into empty seats next to the rest of "Lazy River", all three of whom looked at the couple with knowing grins. Eileen flushed and gave them a dirty look, a little embarrassed that she had loosened up quite so much in front of her husband's friends. She pointedly sat on the outside of the row, opposite the guys, and ignored them for the rest of the evening.
"Well, now she's gone all cool and haughty again," Kevin whispered to Cal. Her husband grinned.
"She's not cool, believe me," he replied in a hushed voice, and Kevin could see his hand resting on her leg. "I bet she just is a little ashamed that she was acting like such a bimbo in front of you guys. Anyway, you were right." Cal smiled the smile of the winner at the finish line, and turned to watch the next quartet.
The next two groups were no competition for "Lazy River". They were serviceable enough, and the men clearly enjoyed what they were doing but they did not have that lock, that ring, that energy that makes a classic barbershop performance. Cal dismissed them as any challenge to his quartet's domination of the contest.
Then the emcee announced the night's final competitor. "Representing the Southcreek Chapter, Winner's Circle!"
Cal knew all four members of the quartet, and knew that they were very, very good. Here was the single group most likely to defeat "Lazy River" and take both the district trophy and the nomination to compete in the international competition that summer.
Cal winced and sighed as they sang. They were even better than good, and they were "on" tonight. Then he became aware that Eileen was gripping his hand very tightly.
Turning to look at his wife, he saw that same bright-eyed look, the same moist lips, and the same tenseness in her body that she had displayed after his own performance. He watched her surreptitiously for the remainder of "Winner's Circle's" first song, and was surprised to see her shifting in her seat, as if she was rubbing her thighs together. She sighed softly when they finished, her tongue sneaking out to lick her lips in a most appreciative gesture. She wasn't the first to leap to her feet and applaud, but she was pretty damn close, and Cal frowned at her.
Eileen blushed at her husband's disapproval, and quickly leaned over to him and kissed him gently. "Sorry sweetie," she whispered, "They were pretty good, and I find I am really coming to appreciate good performances." She was quiet a moment, looking up at him, then she added, almost as an afterthought, "You guys were better, really."
She was more circumspect during the second song, but Cal still caught her staring open-mouthed at Tony, the lead. The quality of his voice was high, bright, and clear, and a marked contrast to Cal's own deeper, darker tone. Tony also had a stage presence that was a bit more arresting than his own, Cal admitted, and if the truth were told, was a better looking guy too.
.... There is more of this story ...