One Slip - A Hard Fall
Chapter 3: The Struggle Begins
Donna recognized the odor before she pulled the dirty underwear out of the hamper. It was the second pair that had contained the distinct scent of her husband's semen. She hadn't been certain of the other one, but on this pair, she could see a tiny amount of the evidence. It hurt! Married to Steve for fifteen years Donna knew the amount was too small to be result of a wet dream. He must have used a tissue.
Donna felt tears try to form, as her vision became bleary. Now she knew for sure that Steve was masturbating rather than making love to her. It hurt! It hurt more than Donna would have thought possible a month ago.
Ever since that day at the hospital, over three weeks ago, her mother had been drowning her with articles and studies about the effects of a cheating spouse on a marriage. The sheer volume was worthy of a professional researcher. However, most were so depressing that Donna had to forcer herself to read them. She refused to believe that the things she'd read could possibly happen to Steven and her.
One of the earliest articles had talked about how the husband frequently lost all interest in the cheating wife sexually. Skeptical, she had made every effort these last three weeks to look her best. She got up in time to put on her makeup and fix her hair before Steve woke up.
Following the advice in one article, she carefully avoided wearing anything too provocative or sexy. She wanted Steve to see her as a loyal wife and mother, not as a sex-starved slut. Yet, she was very aware that Steve wasn't looking at her very much period. When he did, he couldn't, or didn't try, to keep the pain or anger out of his expressions.
Conditions were getting worse. It was like a full bathtub with a slow leak. You couldn't see it or hear it, but over time you couldn't miss that the love was leaking out. Donna was at her wits end trying to figure out some way to staunch the flow. Steve certainly had appreciated the care she gave him the first week or so when he'd been confined to bed. However, the more he was able to get up and around, the less around her he wanted to be!
At the doctor's visit three days ago, on Monday, the doctor had cleared Steve to return to work on a limited basis and "to resume normal activities at home." Donna had blushed but asked if that meant they could resume making love. The doctor said that as long as they didn't hang from the chandeliers it would be fine.
Donna hadn't worn her sexiest sleepwear Monday, but she had made a point of checking on Steve wearing her normal nightgowns without a robe. Steve had shown no interest at all and Donna had hoped that it just meant he wasn't feeling horny yet.
Wadding up the underwear and brushing back tears before they could fall, Donna straightened her shoulders and decided that she couldn't put of "the talk" any longer. She would call her mother about picking up the kids after school on Friday to keep them for the weekend. Since Steve wasn't going in to work on Fridays yet, that would give them three full days to work things out.
Donna felt an icy chill; she could be headed to a divorce lawyer on Monday! She took a deep breath--putting it off wouldn't help--they either had to start putting something back into their relationship or it would drain dry. She was certain that Steve hadn't made up his mind to leave her--yet. Still, it didn't take her fifteen years experience to know that Steve was hurting and his resolve to leave the marriage was growing.
As she looked down at the underwear in her hands, an idea began percolating. When she came in to 'tuck him in' tonight, she could make the offer to 'relieve his tension.' That was the term they'd used during and after her pregnancies. She was one of those women who was uncomfortable with sex after about the seventh month. She made up for it by giving Steve oral sex. It only got worse after each delivery. All her children were born vaginally. It was always a month or two until she was physically ready again, even longer for her libido to recover. Being dead tired only made it worse. There were times in those early months when she had been so tired she'd worried she might fall asleep in the middle of a BJ. Still, no matter how tired she was, she had never turned Steven down. She had even made it a point to remember to initiate sex.
Using that term should remind him of that, and it was something that he'd mentioned that he'd always appreciated. Just thinking about the possibilities for tonight got Donna's juices flowing. She decided that as soon as she got the kids in bed tonight she would make him make love--or just plain fuck her. It didn't matter as long as they were intimate. It would be easier to talk through their problems this weekend if she had made certain he was very mellow first.
Getting all three children into bed at a reasonable hour was a nightmare. Their oldest, Steve Jr., had thrown a fit saying that now that he was almost a teenager he needed to stay up and watch the late news. It was just one more sign that all three children sensed the tension in the house. Donna prayed it would get better soon and not worse.
Donna was sorely tempted to have a glass of wine to fortify her courage, but she didn't want Steve to know she'd needed liquid courage to approach him. As she entered their bedroom, she'd made sure she was looking her best and she was wearing one of her nicest nightgowns, more elegant than sexy. Feeling inhibited about being sexy made her acutely aware of her exile from their bedroom. Steve was propped up using her pillow as a backrest and had his laptop on his legs.
From the start of their marriage, Donna had insisted that Steve not bring work into the bedroom. She had insisted that the bedroom was their space, and if he needed to work late, he could use his home office. They didn't have a TV in there either. Her only concession was to allow reading. The argument had flared again a couple of years ago when he got his laptop. He'd downloaded some books and claimed he just wanted to use the laptop to read. The first time she'd caught him playing a computer game, the laptop had been banished.
Seeing him working touched a nerve. She clenched her jaw and squelched her irritation. However, reminding herself why she couldn't comment caused such emptiness in her heart that she froze mid stride for several painful seconds.
Steve's expression, almost daring her to say something about the laptop, made her glad she hadn't worn anything sexier. This wasn't going to be easy. Steve was right at the edge of his side of their king sized bed, leaving her no place to sit. She briefly considered crawling up on her side, but decided that it would be too aggressive. Instead, she walked over next to him and squatted down. When she did, she realized the position worked to her advantage because it brought her breasts to within inches of his arm.
Steve, still looking defiant, added a suspicious glint. Donna briefly thought about saying the laptop was okay, but decided that it would be better to do so tacitly. "Honey, is there anything that I can get or do for you?" She'd tried to hit the anything as hard as she could without making it making it too obvious.
Steve's eyes narrowed, he sniffed and Donna knew he smelled his favorite perfume. He looked deep into her eyes and said, "No, I'm sorry but I'm just not interested."
Donna had prepared herself for that, but it was still difficult not to wince. She took a deep breath, she'd hoped it would take longer for him reject her, but Steve had become much more abrupt since he'd come home. "Steve, Mother is going to pick up the kids at school Friday, and we can have our talk then, but I know you might, uh that you're uh, feeling some tension..." she let her words hang then plunged ahead. "I'm doing your laundry, so I know you're having 'nocturnal emissions.'"
Steve's face flushed and for a second Donna thought she'd embarrassed him. Then she heard the anger in his voice when he said, "No, I'm not having wet dreams, I jacked off. If I had wanted you, I would have called you, but like I said Donna, I'm just not interested."
Donna swallowed hard, "I understand, but I wanted you to know that if you want to 'relieve your tension, ' you can use me. You don't have to make love or even talk to me, but I am concerned. Please Steve, I'm still so scared that something might happen to your heart -- please let me help you. Any way you want it, you can close your eyes and I won't say a word."
Donna knew she was playing dirty to trade on his fears. The twinge in Steve's eye told her that masturbating must have scared him a little too. She let her very real concern show. "Honey you had to take a nitro didn't you? Please, let me help you on this."
She saw his face relax a bit, but the pain was unmistakable when he said softly, "I don't think I can, every time I think about you, all I see are those pictures of Gil in your mouth, and in you. Last time I almost didn't make it to the bathroom before I threw up."
He paused and Donna fought tears welling up. Every time she thought she understood just how much she had hurt him, something like this would happen and she'd realize the pain was even deeper.
She took a deep breath. "Pretend I'm someone else in the dark. Just call me, or come into the guest room and wake me. Any thing that would make it easier for you I'll do. I'll just bend over and you can shove it up my ass if that would make it easier." She'd tried to say it lightly, but she also wanted him to know that she was willing to be used anally. He'd asked for that many times. The last time she'd been rather heated in her rejection. She heard his breathing quicken. He'd understood the offer and it appealed to him.
He cleared his throat. "I'll think about it." He paused again. "With the lights out, if you don't say anything, maybe." His voice trailed off.
Donna emotion roiled. Part of her was triumphant at her progress, part of her was appalled at what she'd just offered. Still, the biggest part was heartsick that her husband was so hurt by her that he had had to think about taking her anal virginity.
Donna made her last gambit. "Do you want to hurt me? If you do, I won't use any KY when you take my last virginity." She wanted to make it plain that she hadn't let Gil do what she'd denied him, but she also hoped for an immediate denial on any desire to punish her with sexual pain.
After the longest pause Steve said slowly, "No, no, I don't think hurting you would help me, and in a way that would make it too personal. No, I don't think that would work Dandy. Let's just forget about this whole thing."
Donna flushed at the use of the pet name, grabbed his hand and pulled it to her breast, "Look, I'm going to go into the guest room and get ready. Give me five minutes and you'll find me naked, bent over the foot of the bed. You can use me any way and every way you want and I won't make a sound."
She thought she felt him respond, although the laptop was on the covers, hiding any possible 'tenting.' Without another word, she stood and left the room. If nothing else, she was sure he wouldn't leave her kneeling like that for long. Even if he decided not to use her, he'd come tell her, and the sight of her in that position...
Donna made a quick stop in the guest bathroom. Using warm water, she soaped a washrag. Hitching up her long nightgown, she lowered her panties and washed her bottom, paying particular attention to her anus. She shivered in distaste at what she was about to do. She decided it would be easier on her to apply the KY in the dark and she took it with her into the guest bedroom.
She turned off the light and removed both her nightgown and her panties. Then, she knelt at the end of the bed. Bending over the end of the bed, her bottom facing the door, she inserted the tip of the applicator and squeezed the jelly into her anus. Putting a bit on her finger, she applied some to her anal opening. Then, determined to finish the distasteful task she pushed her finger inside to make it ready. When she finished, she wiped her hands on the small towel she'd brought with her.
She noted the time on the small bedside clock and waited for Steve. As she knelt there, she became hyper-aware of just how open and available she was. She bit her lip as her breathing picked up. From out of nowhere the memory of the first time she felt this way overwhelmed her. Clutching that wonderful memory she thought, 'I hope this time doesn't hurt any more than that one did.'
It was their first time together, when she'd given Steve her virginity.
Donna was in her senior year in college. She was a member of the varsity field hockey team, and hockey hadn't left much time for dating. She'd met Steven almost by accident; he had finished his degree in Architecture and was supervising the construction of a building on campus. The building overlooked their practice field and she literally tripped over him one day after practice. She was a mess, even her hair was drenched in sweat. As he caught her she'd been surprised at how strong his hands were as he kept her from falling.
Flustered by his good looks, she said in a self-deprecating tone, "Ah the reflexes of a trained athlete, give me a few more years and I can walk and chew gum at the same time."
He hadn't laughed; he'd just stared into her soul with those eyes of his and said, "I've never see a more beautiful sight in my life. I'm not going to let you go until you agree to have coffee with me."
It had taken years to convince her that he actually had been overcome by her beauty. She'd never had a man react like that to her, and her normally formidable defenses crumbled. It took her over three months to get into his bed. He repeatedly refused to give her the fig leaf of seduction. He told her that he wouldn't take her to bed until she was prepared. He said she would have to go on the pill and then, give him a week's notice so he could be ready with a romantic evening. She'd been ready their first date, but it had taken her almost two months to work up the courage to get the pill and another four weeks after that to work up the courage to tell him she was protected.
It had been a magical night. Steve had taken her to the best restaurant in the area, then to intimate dance club. When they finally got to his apartment, he built a roaring fire in his fireplace and they sipped wine and ate snacks while soft music played on his stereo. She had been completely relaxed and not a bit nervous when he led her to his bedroom. There the scent of gardenias overwhelmed her. She had told him that gardenias were her favorite flower but they had been out of season. Somehow, he'd managed to buy a room full.
The bed had dark blue, high weave, silk sheets, and there were candles to provide a soft mellow glow. She'd felt self-conscious about taking off her clothes. Even though he'd touched every part of her body, he'd never seen all of it. The look of appreciation as she'd shed her underwear banished her inhibitions, and ignited a special joy that caused her to wet in readiness.
After helping her between the sheets, he'd worshiped her body. Kissing and suckling every inch of her, until his mouth was between her legs. As soon his wonderfully flexible tongue parted her nether lips she belonged to him. For the first time in her life, she'd been vocal during an orgasm.
Donna smiled at the memory, her scream caused lights to go on in all the surrounding apartment complexes. Yet, when she had spread her legs for the act, she'd felt more vulnerable, open and naked than she'd thought possible.
In her memory, that moment, when she was spread and available, seemed to have lasted hours. She had been so scared she'd trembled--not at the expected pain, she was a jock, she knew she could handle pain. The reason her whole bottom had contracted in fear was that she didn't know what giving her body to Steve would do to her, and to the 'them' that become so important to her. After an eternity of kissing his way up her body, he was fully over her. He'd kissed her deeply, then reached down and adjusted one leg at a time until that her knees were raised.
Feeling indescribable tension she felt her vaginal lip open, waiting for his first contact. It was such a strange feeling to give him that control over her body. To be forced to wait for him, to be the recipient not the instigator of action. She had also been embarrassed that she didn't know what she was supposed to do with her legs.
She'd felt such a jumble of emotions in the those few seconds. Always excelling at any physical activity, she'd felt intimidated by her ignorance, anxious to experience what was going to happen, but concerned that she not make some sort of gaff. Overlaying all was an burning desire to move to the next stage.
He'd felt her tense and he had smiled gently but hadn't entered her. Instead he'd let his organ slip up and down her more than lubricated sex. It had let her acclimate to the feel of it and to his motion. More importantly, it had put the most unendurable pressure on her clit. It had the quality of taking all her jumbled emotions and thoughts and focusing on that little nexus. Just when she thought she was going to have a second orgasm he guided her hand to it so that she could position him at her entrance.
Once there she had there, she'd been a bit disappointed as he'd eased himself into her. There wasn't any pain at all, just a wonderful unique fullness. Although she'd concentrated, prepared to minimize her response to the pain for Steve's benefit, she couldn't feel her hymen tearing. It puzzled her, for despite her athleticism, she'd been certain she still had one.
That thought occupied less than a second as she shifted to accommodate him, before she was overwhelmed by the feeling of physical and emotional oneness as she experienced his full length and girth. She remembered the pride that flickered when she knew she accepted all of him. She loved the feel as her vagina stretched to envelope him. Even after the birth of her children, she never felt she could ever accept anything larger, not by so much another millimeter. Using both hands and both legs she had clasp his body to her and wondered if somehow his skin was dissolved into hers.
Steve had remained motionless for the longest time, kissing her and letting her press herself up to him. When he began to move again, Donna hadn't thought she could stand the pleasure. After less than a minute, he'd stopped. For a second she worried that she'd done something wrong or that he was 'finished.' Then he had pulled up from her and his eyes looked deep into her soul. As his movements began again, Donna lost all sense of her body. As intimate as his entry into her, it paled to his possession of her soul through his warm, tender eyes.
Her body responded to his. She was aware of it meeting his thrusts, of her breath becoming ragged as she panted open mouthed. Yet, as intensely as she had wanted to know what making love would feel like, her most intense experience that first time had been giving herself to his eyes.
Then, without warning, but at exactly the right second, he broke eye contact and plunged his mouth to hers, his tongue melding with hers. She hadn't a clue that she'd been approaching an orgasm until it erupted just as his mouth touched hers. She screamed and almost bit his tongue. Her fingers clawed his back and she groaned as her abdominal muscles clenched and spasmed. For the first time she felt her vagina ripple and grasp an organ inside her. Her hands flew from his back to his bottom as she tried to pull more of him into her.
She'd broken their kiss as her lungs burned from lack of air. She'd groaned, every muscle in her body contracted and she arched her neck. She felt that part of Steve inside her twitch. A distant part of her mind wondered that she couldn't actually feel his release deep inside her. The rest of her mind exalted that she'd pleased him that she hadn't felt awkward or clumsy. She saw the pleasure of her in his face and her heart rejoiced that she'd been able to gain his release on her first try.
She had felt his muscles tense again and then relax into her. She treasured her 'lover, ' rolling that term in her mind as she had tried to absorb all of him into her body.
An unwanted thought intruded in her cherished reverie. 'That was seventeen years ago, and I can feel it like it was an hour ago. I'm so turned on I can smell it. Yet, I don't remember what Gil felt like inside me at all!'
She was ecstatic that the slim ball had left no impression on her. Her memories of that horrible interlude were mostly of the pictures Gil had forced her to look at. 'I must have been more drunk that I thought.'
To force any remnant of Gil from her mind she began to relive some of the best and most memorable times making love with Steve, or just raunchy fucking. She'd never attempted to rate their lovemaking and she couldn't now as she reminisced. It was only after she'd relived each of the first attempts to get her pregnant with their three children that she realized just how turned on she was.
Immediately, she realized that if she couldn't rate the best time, she could never remember when she had yearned this much for her husband. She looked at the clock and was appalled to see that over a half hour had passed. At first, she felt a flash of irritation, she wanted her man and he wasn't--she jumped to her feet mid-thought as a horrible fear squeezed her heart. His heart! Oh God what if...
She dashed to their bedroom already envisioning Steve collapsed or even dead. Certain that the excitement, the prospect of taking her anal virginity, had brought on another massive heart attack, she was terrified!
As she flew through the door, she saw him still calmly sitting up in bed with his laptop. He looked up, saw her naked and growled, "Get some clothes on before you come in here, you damn slut!"
Donna stopped so fast her feet slipped on the hardwood floor. She had to grab the doorframe to keep her balance. As the harsh words penetrated, one hand flew to her mouth to cover her gasp, the other extended as if to block out what he'd said. Then blushing furiously she mumbled, "I was afraid you'd had another heart-attack," and fled almost as fast as she'd rushed in.
When she got back to her room, she collapsed on the floor in big gasping sobs. That he'd just left her kneeling, waiting for him, combined with his tone had driven home, as nothing else could, that he didn't want her. In her heart of hearts, she'd never believed that if she offered anal sex; her life-mate, her lover, the father of her children, the man who had shared her bed for over sixteen years, and who had wanted it for all that time, would turn it down. It had been her final ace. The trump card she had subconsciously been certain would bring Steve back to her bed.
That he didn't want her, even that way hurt, hurt more than anything to this point had. It hurt more than she had thought anything could hurt. It hurt a thousand times more than childbirth, because at the end of was a new death, not a new life.
But, her tears weren't for her pain. Her tears were because she now fully understood, at a level she'd never achieved, just how hurt Steve was. As bad as her own pain was, she would have died if she thought she could help relieve even a portion of his pain. How could she have missed how much he'd been suffering the last three weeks?
Donna wasn't a very religious person. She only went to church around Christmas, generally for one of the special music services. In that, she followed the traditions of her parents. She never remembered praying in her whole life.
Getting control of her sobbing, she rose up on her hands and knees and crawled to the end of the bed. She assumed almost the same position that she'd been in before, but now her hands clasped together as she looked up at the ceiling.
With tears running down her cheeks she prayed. She didn't pray for herself, she prayed that God would somehow comfort Steve. She prayed for some idea of how she could help him hurt less.
In her mind, she heard her 'little voice' ask, "Would you really do anything to make him feel better, or is this just more of the same?"
She did a searching self-examination and decided that she was sincere. Her little voice asked again, "Would you divorce him, and walk out with nothing but the clothes on your back and a pair of shoes? Give sole custody of the children, move completely out of their lives? Would you give them up completely, let a new wife replace you as their mother?"
"Oh God!" she murmured, "Please not that!" But the question swirled around and around in her head. "Do you love him enough to absolutely put him and his needs first with no thought of what you need or want?"
She never knew how long she knelt there. She never told anyone that she'd prayed. She certainly never told anyone that after interminable agony, she'd whispered "Yes, Oh God help me, Yes, if that's what it take even that."
Whether it came from God or self-understanding, Donna felt a certain peace as she put on her nightgown and crawled into her lonesome bed. She was almost asleep when Steve turned on the light. She sat up, and waited expectantly.
"Donna, I need to apologize for what I called you, I know you weren't trying anything when you came in like that. I was upset with myself for not coming in here earlier and telling you that I wasn't going to -- do anything. I couldn't do it. It would be like cheating on my marriage if I really did pretend you were someone else. I'm not going to do that. Cheat. When the time comes, I want to be able to tell the kids that I never broke my vows. I knew I wasn't coming here when I heard you cleaning up in the bathroom. I should have come and said something, but then I was afraid that if I saw you bent over like that -- I'm sorry, I thought I might get sick at my stomach again."
He turned to leave and Donna said, "Steve, I need to apologize too. I didn't understand. I WAS trying to lure you earlier, and that was wrong. I want you more than I ever have. I'm not sorry that I want you, I never will be. I just have to keep reminding myself that it's my fault that you don't feel the same way. In all the years I've known you, you've never called me a name. I've earned that one.
It's important to me for you to know that when I came running back, I was scared to death for your heart. I wasn't trying to entice you then. If I ever forget and try to manipulate you again, you have my permission to remind me and I promise I'll stop. I love you Steve, I won't ever try to trick you again.
Steve gave her a hard look, then with a quick nod, turned, and closed the door behind him.
Donna took a deep breath, and once again, she whispered, "Yes God, if that's what it take even that."
Donna had achieved a certain peace with her decision last night. Still she got up early to put her makeup on and have her hair fixed before emerging from the guest suite. She fixed breakfast for everyone. Then, after getting the children off for school and making certain they had what they needed for their weekend with her parents, she'd cleaned the kitchen and started on the rest of the house while she waited for Steve to emerge and start "the Talk."
He'd gone into his home office right after breakfast and even before all this started Donna only disturbed him there if it was a minor emergency. As lunchtime approached, Donna knocked gently on the door and said, "Would you like me to plan on lunch before we get started?"
"No, I'm not hungry and I figure that's only going to get worse, you might as well come on in, I'm about done anyway."
Entering the room Donna understood what it felt like to be called into the principal's office. Steve's desk faced a window overlooking their pool, with a nice view of their backyard. He had swiveled his chair around so that he had his back to the desk and faced the door.
Steve's office was a wonderful dichotomy of antique furniture and the latest computer and communication equipment. It had everything that a professional might want or need in an office--except an extra chair. Normally Donna hated to talk to Steve in his office; it had always made her feel like a supplicant. She was vaguely amused that now, as a supplicant, the lack of a chair didn't bother her.
Steve's piercing eyes touched her core and she stood straight as he examined her. Finally, his eyes narrowed and he uttered the one word that had hung over them like the sword of Damocles for the last three weeks. "Why?"
Donna squared her shoulders, looked back at him, "You don't know how hard this is for me. It's not that I don't want to explain, it's that I don't want what I say to even hint that I'm trying to make any sort excuse. I've had to spend a lot of time in self-examination. I needed to find out why I did what I did. It is the only way I can make certain that it never happens again.
There are reasons, but there are NO excuses for what I did, I know the difference. I finally decided the best way to answer is to lay them out one at a time and at the same time tell you what I'm going to do to make sure that particular reason will never exist again. All I ask is that you let me finish. If you want to take my head off after I say how I'm going to fix it, don't hesitate, just remember that I'm not trying to justify what I did."
She paused and studied Steve. He was a perfect image of a conflicted man. She could see his pain, but she also saw what she had yearned to see, he was hopeful. He wanted her somehow to make it better. He hadn't given up on her yet. Paradoxically it made her more, not less nervous. There was so much riding on this weekend.
Looking straight into Steve's eyes, trying to convey that she was being as honest as she could be, she said, "I want to start with what I think are the least important reasons and work up."
Steve nodded and Donna continued, "I was horny, it was our regular play night and I was pissed that you couldn't take me to the party." She could see Steve's face cloud up but before he could explode she continued, "Steve, that's just a fact and it's a fact that I didn't cheat every time I was horny, mad at you, and you weren't available. I just mention..."
Anger soaking each word Steve growled, "And how the hell am I supposed to know that? You got caught this time, but how am I supposed to believe that you haven't cheated on me a million times?"
Donna had known this was coming and had though about it for a long time. "You know because you have my word, and I've never lied to you. I didn't lie to you about Gil either. I've destroyed your trust in my behavior, but by my actions you also know that I didn't..."
Steve shouted, "You didn't say anything about what you'd done until he tried to blackmail you, that's not telling the truth!"
Still, staring him straight in the eye but utterly calm Donna said, "Steve, you know by what I did that I had no intention of ever cheating with Gil again. If I had, he wouldn't have tried to blackmail me. As to why I didn't come right back and tell you, that would have been cruel. Gil was your best friend. I had made a horrible mistake. If you think back, you'll remember how many times you asked me what was wrong after the party and before I told you. You saw me crying and you tried several times to get me to tell you what was wrong. You've never seen me like that before in our marriage when I wouldn't talk to you about it. If you'd asked I would have told the truth, but even though I didn't understand just how much my cheating would hurt you, of course I knew it would. I saw it as my duty to suffer in silence and not burden you with my guilt. All the advice columnists, even Dr. Laura says that if it's a one time thing with no chance of repeating that you just have to live with your guilt."
Donna waited in silence as she watched Steve absorb her last statement. As seconds dragged into minutes, she was certain that he was thinking back to the way she'd acted not just those few days, but over their whole marriage. Finally, she could see some of the anger drain from Steve. When he spoke his voice was calm. "I didn't really believe that you'd cheated on me before, but does that make a difference? You've killed my trust and there's this huge hole in my life."
Donna took a deep breath; she was almost overwhelmed with the need to take Steve in her arms and try to comfort him. Instead, she said, "If wishes were horses then beggars would drive BMWs. I haven't said this, I think you know how sorry I am, and I will do absolutely anything to try to make your life easier. I can't just say I'm sorry, I have to be willing to sacrifice anything to fill that hole for you..."
Steve face turned red and he snapped, "A little anal sex won't do a damn thing!"
Still standing straight Donna said calmly, "I know that, and my offer isn't just sexual. It was a sexual act that caused the hurt, but I do understand that our problems are much bigger than sex. I've apologized about the other night, I wasn't fair, but I will not apologize about wanting you. I have Eve's curse in the worst way and that's one of the pains I'm having to deal with."
Steve blinked several times, clearly so confused that his anger was momentarily forgotten. Donna smiled, "I started reading the Bible, don't ask why, it's just something I wanted to do and this morning I read that Eve's punishment for the whole apple thing was that childbirth was going to hurt like hell, which should have been enough, but even knowing how much it hurt her she was still going to 'desire her husband.'"
Donna saw Steve's incredulity and quickly added, "No, I haven't turned into some sort of fundamentalist, but I need to change who I was. That was the next reason and I'll tell you about how I'm going to fix them together. You see, one of the reasons I failed you was that I didn't think it was possible for me to cheat. I had never had the slightest desire for anyone other than you. I loved that you were my 'only' and frankly I took some pride in the fact that I 'got it right' with my first and only man. They say pride goes before the fall and that was certainly true in my case. Anyway, my solution to those 'reasons' are the same. I am going to try to be a more spiritual person, but I'm also going to make damn sure that I'm never alone with another man when I'm feeling horny."
Donna paused and made sure that Steve maintained eye contact before she continued, "That's a promise, and I'll keep it no matter what you do, you can not release me from that promise. That will be until the day I die." She paused until Steve nodded that he understood that she meant that even if he divorced her.
Donna smiled, she'd made an impression with her last statement, and she saw a bit more anger leaching out of Steve. "Next is that I was drunk. I knew I needed to sober up to drive, that's why I went outside, and you know that means I was pretty far gone. Please believe me; I know that is no excuse. No one drugged me or urged drinks on me. I'm totally responsible for every one of them I took. I also know that when I get smashed, I get very horny. I had no business drinking like that when you weren't there. I will never have even a wine at dinner if you aren't with me."
Steve was silent but when she didn't continue he finally said, "Isn't that a little extreme, I mean if you're out with your girlfriends..."
For the first time, Donna let some of her self-disgust show. "Never again! Not for the rest of my life!" Seeing his expression, she smiled. "Well, you'll just have to come around so I can have some of my favorite wine every now and then." Then she turned serious. "Look, I've destroyed your trust in me, but I've destroyed my trust in myself too."
Steve looked thoughtful then nodded for her to continue, "Then the biggie, and I don't want this to sound like an excuse either, but I trusted Gil. I felt safer getting a little looped around him than I would any of my girlfriends." She saw surprise on his face, nodded to confirm what she was saying, and then continued, "I haven't said any of the stuff about needed to feel younger. I think that's all crap. I enjoyed flirting with Gil, but you know I'm not a flirt, I can't think of anyone else I do flirt with... did flirt with. Gil was your best friend and I thought he was mine. This is going to sound so lame, but even when he kissed me, I wasn't worried. My first thought, I think my last thought was something like a few harmless kisses would make me so hot when I got home, I'd rape you. I knew I was vulnerable, but I knew Gil wasn't drunk and I expected him to protect me like I know you would have protected his wife, Nancy."
Donna felt a wave of pain wash over her and tears began to try to form. She broke eye contact and looked at the floor, "Steve, I did try to push him away maybe three times and I was lost. I never decided to do it, it's like my mind shut down. I know I get that way with you. I love getting that way with you, so turned on that I lose control. You've seen the pictures, I can't pretend I didn't enjoy what happened, but those were all at the start, in anticipation. When it got going, it wasn't good. He wasn't good at all.
"When sanity returned and I was scampering to get my clothes back, aside from the shame, all I could think about was how disappointed I was that I was going to miss making love to you when I got home.
"I knew I couldn't be with you after I'd been with him, and I felt like I'd traded a diamond for fool's gold. I still feel dirty, I gave away something very clean at that party and like my virginity, I can't get it back. I'm not the same person sexually and I understand why you aren't attracted to me. I hope... I will change that, but while I'll do my best to make it up to you, I will not resent how you feel about me. EVER!"
Donna fought hard to keep that first tear from falling; this wasn't the time for self-pity or Steve's sympathy. She looked up at him and said fiercely, "I don't want you to ever wonder if he was as good as you. Please Steve if you don't believe anything else, believe that. How good or bad he was didn't have anything to do with my decision never to be in that situation again, but it's very important to me that you believe that dissatisfaction with my sex life was NEVER one of the reasons that this happened!"
Donna was breathing hard, and she wasn't sure if it was anger or fear. She'd said her piece and now she was studying Steve's face trying to figure out how he was responding. He seemed to be in deep thought and it was only with the greatest of exertion of willpower that Donna held her tongue. She'd always heard the expression "heart was in her throat" but this time she felt she feel every beat of her heart as she waited for him to speak.