I held my martini to the light and admired the chilled glass, especially the olives run-through with picks, nesting at the bottom. It was perfect. I noted the perfect curve of the drink's surface extending above the rim, held by surface tension. A martini is a perfect drink... I was to be honored this evening after a perfectly good business year by my company... my perfect wife Valerie sat at my side. Indeed she did look perfect. Her black hair shone, her liquid brown eyes flashed; she wore a perfect dress, gathered at the neck, but sheer enough that a hint of her small, perfect breasts, sans bra, were almost visible. In anticipation of the first sip, the "bite," as the perfect gin stimulated my tongue, I raised the glass higher...
"I'm going to sleep with Jerry," Valerie whispered in my ear.
My hand shook ever so slightly and a driblet of the precious liquid ran down my cuff. I felt the cold chill of the iced gin. I struggled to hold my hand steady.
"You're what Val?"
"I plan to sleep with your business partner Jerry."
"Honey, this is not a good time for jokes." I smiled at a favorite employee who walked forward to take my picture.
"As a matter of fact, this is a perfect time, he's here, you're here."
A pinprick of pain appeared in my head. I whispered, "Val, we're sitting at a banquet table. This is the night the company honors Jerry and me for rescuing the company and five straight years of profits. There are approximately 300 guest and employees watching us at the head table. No more jokes. We can have a serious discussion tomorrow maybe. You can tell me what's upsetting you.
"You're not taking me seriously, are you? As a matter of fact, since Jerry is sitting next to me, I plan to move my hand to his lap in exactly 30 seconds. I shall then proceed to move it up till I touch him-there.
"Stop the joking Val. You won't do that in front of all these people."
"Yes I can and I will. Pay attention, the MC is introducing you. I may be looking at you, smiling like an adoring wife, but my hand is now on his leg. I'm touching your partner Jerry. He has nice leg muscles, as I've always suspected. I think he likes this."
"Honey, stop joking; come to your senses. I have to concentrate on my speech."
"I'm perfectly in control of my senses. My hand is moving up his leg. I'm very close to touching him. Don't protest or say anything or I'll get up and walk out. That would embarrass you."
"Yes, but what..."
"I'm touching him now. It's nice and large. It's growing in my hand. Too bad it's impossible to open his zip, or I would put my hand inside his pants and caress him."
"Val stop. Everyone can see. This is terribly bad timing and—look honey, there's Gail and Bill waiving at us. Smile at them." We both looked to the couple in the back of the room and acknowledged their waves. I couldn't believe it. My wife was sitting next to me in public view, waiving at old friends with her left hand while her right was engaged in the lap of her dinner partner, my best friend.
"That's your cue love. The introduction is over. Time for your speech."
I rose and walked to the podium. Martini abandoned, I felt anxious as I glanced back to where it sat at my place at the head table. Although I had made all the arrangements, someone had moved the name placards. When Valerie and I and Jerry and his wife Sue had moved from the cocktail lounge to the dais. I found I was on the outside seated next to Val. She was next to Jerry and Sue was at the far end. I had planned for the two women to be together, but the cards were somehow changed. The pain grew in my head.
As I pulled my speech from my pocket, I noticed Val was now smiling at the audience, but her hand continued to move under the tablecloth in the vicinity of Jerry's belt. Jerry, my trusted partner of fifteen years had a broad smile on his face as he too continued to acknowledge those in the audience. A smooth bastard, I mused. Next to him his wife Sue, her beautiful blond hair perfectly coifed as usual, seemed oblivious and preoccupied with dessert.
"Ladies and gentleman," I began. "I'm deeply honored that you have all chosen to spend the evening with my trusted partner Jerry and I."
Trusted hell, I thought. The bastard is letting my wife make a fool of herself and doesn't even have the decency to make an excuse, like going to the bathroom to get her hand off him. As a matter of fact, the bastard is grinning as if he is enjoying the situation.
"Although you've gathered this evening, ostensibly in our honor, I wish to remind all of you that this is a company of people, all of which are a team. None of us, including Jerry and I, can operate without each of you..."
The speech wasn't going well. "And of course, ah last year we uh well..." I stumbled on.
My eyes wandered to Val, who leaned over to whisper in Jerry's ear. I could see that the slight turn of her body gave her much better access for what ever she was doing.
Jerry's eyes met mine. Then it struck me. He knew that I knew what was happening. I watched as the bastard picked up his martini and toasted me, as I came to the part of my speech where I praised his hard work and the confidence I'd had in him over the years. I saw him shift in his seat as Val's ministrations must have located a particularly pleasurable spot.
My gaze drifted to Sue. Her expression was one of complete boredom. I noted the rise of her lush breast rising above her décolletage. As she played with her spoon, she seemed to sigh and relax even further. God woman, don't you know what's happening? Sue's eyes met mine. She smiled and her tongue appeared for a brief second at the corner of her mouth. She licked luscious, red lips.
"And in conclusion fellow workers," I read from my notes "I wish to thank one other special person who has always been so dependably at my side..."
I looked at Val. Her beautiful eyes met mine.