If I had known how the summer was going to unfold, would I have done things differently? Regret is a wasted emotion. Wondering if you should regret something is even less profitable. We do what we think is best with what we know at the time. It often turns out wrong, even if it is for the right reasons. I cling to that, believing it is far better than turning out right for the wrong reasons.
In April we had moved a block and a half to a bigger, nicer home with an in-ground pool. I worked as a foreman in a big construction company and Veronica, my wife, was a corporate lawyer. You guessed it. She made more money than I did. She was also a lot kinder to the eye. At five and a half feet and 125 pounds, she was in great shape. Add beautiful and smart to that and you have a package that is very hard to beat. In fact, I have never seen that done. The only question I had, and probably everyone else had, was why did she marry a guy like me? She did though, over 20 years ago. To her credit she never complained much. I knew that she would have been better off if she had married another professional. She deserved a man that would make her proud.
We had two wonderful kids. Dan, our son was 15 while Rebecca was 17, and was the only female on the planet as beautiful as Veronica. Dan was a great kid, good at baseball and soccer. Me? I looked like a regular Joe. I guess that's why my parents named me Joe.
Veronica had been a little cool to me for a few weeks. I wasn't sure why, but I decided it was just a phase marriages go through. Now and then she suggested I might stray. I have no idea where that came from. I had been completely faithful our entire marriage. Still, she seemed to wonder about me.
I remember the first event that indicated it was going to be a season of surprise and learning. Rebecca and her best friend, Jen, were swimming and sunning by the pool. I was sitting in a lounge chair, reading the paper. It was a little after five and Veronica had planned on working late for an important client. Dan was going to go home with a buddy after baseball practice. I had opened a cold beer and was feeling pretty content.
I heard the front door bell ring and Rebecca ran to answer it. I heard her talk with someone for a few minutes, and then she came back out by the pool with a boy. Now my daughter was as cute as a button, but she had seldom brought any serious beaus around to meet Veronica or me. I recognized this situation as a possible turning point for her. I stood as they approached me.
"Daddy, this is Mark Gilbert. Mark, this is my father, Joe," introduced Rebecca.
I looked the lad over as I shook his hand. He was a shade taller and about thirty pounds lighter than I was. He met my gaze and I liked that. He wasn't ashamed or guilty acting.
"Hello, sir," he smiled as we shook hands. Wasn't that the same thing I said to Veronica's father those many years ago?
"Hi, Mark. Good to meet you," I responded. "Is Todd Gilbert from Community Bank your dad?"
I was determined to not embarrass Becky if I could help it, but I always felt better when I knew something about my kids' friends.
"Yes, sir," he responded. "That's my dad."
"Daddy, can I go to the mall with Mark for an hour or so?" asked Becky.
"Jen is here, Becky. You can't just take off like that," I admonished.
"It's okay, Mr. H. I can walk home," volunteered Jen. "I have some assignments to catch up on."
It was not like Becky to be rude to a friend and I sensed there was something going on. I turned my attention back to Becky, ready to turn her request down, when I saw Jen standing beyond Becky and Mark. She was nodding her head quite vigorously as she flashed me a big smile.
I glanced at Becky and her eyes were pleading. Mark was nervously cracking his knuckles and his brow had beads of perspiration.
"If you get changed into something more modest and are back by 6:30 and not a minute later," I relented. Both girls had been sunning in rather meager bikinis. I was not letting my daughter get into a car with some hormonal 18 year-old boy dressed that way!
Becky gave me a quick hug and a kiss on the cheek and headed for her room to change. Mark chatted with Jen and me for a total of three minutes before Becky reappeared. I had never known her to get ready that fast.
"Mark could drop you off at home, Jen. Do you want a ride?" asked my daughter.
"Not now, Becky. I thought I'd do a few laps and then walk home, if that is okay with Mr. H?" Jen responded.
"Jen, our place is yours. You know that by now," I offered graciously. "Stay as long as you like."
With that, Becky and Mark were gone. I turned to Jen with several questions on the tip of my tongue.
"Becky thinks Mark is going to ask her to the formal!" laughed Jen. "She sure didn't need me hanging around, getting in the way."
That was all she had to say. I still remember how awkward and important all those high school social events were at the time. I nodded my understanding and settled back into my chair to finish my paper. Jen jumped into the pool and swam some laps.
I was just reading where that old bastard, Greenspan, was going to raise interest rates when something dropped onto my paper and then fell to the ground. I looked down and saw a bikini top! I looked up and almost had my first coronary.
Standing in front of me, dripping water and topless, was my daughter's best friend! I struggled to remain calm and think coherently. I knew she was a pretty girl but I couldn't believe how ripe and firm her rather large breasts appeared. She had been in our house a thousand times since she was seven or eight and I always thought of her as a young girl. She had turned 18 a couple weeks ago and her body was 100% woman.
"Is something wrong, Jen?" I managed to ask. "Are you feeling ill or anything?"
It was obvious that Jen was extremely agitated. Her lip trembled and her knees seemed to shake.
"Mr. H, do you think I am pretty?" Jen asked in a halting voice.
"Good God, Jen! You are an incredibly beautiful woman!" I blurted. My sincerity could not have been doubted.
She gave me a half smile and asked, "Do you really, truly thing so? Am I as beautiful as Veronica?"
That was a trap women of all ages have set for men since the beginning of time. It was one of those 'yes or no questions' that a man should never answer with a 'yes' or 'no'. I had been married for 20 years and easily recognized the dangers of a one-word answer. I also knew that voting in Baghdad was safer than being with a near naked 18 year-old girl. I had to be very careful.
"Jen, I never knew Veronica when she was your age, but I think she must have looked very much like you do right now," I waffled. "You are both exquisite women and a pleasure to gaze upon."
"Do you think my breasts are as nice as Veronica's?" Jen persisted.
I stood and placed my hands on her arms. I knew I had to bring this situation to a rapid conclusion. I formed my response carefully. Jen was having one of those moments that women seem to have on occasion and the wrong response or action could scar her delicate id.
"I have to say that your breasts are as nice as any I have ever seen, Jen. Your figure is to die for. One of the reasons you are showing them to me now is that you like, and I hope, respect me," I suggested. "If I weren't totally devoted to my wife and my family, you would think less of me. You are incredible and as a man I admit I am very attracted to you. As a husband, and father of a girl your age, I cannot take advantage of you. Neither one of us would like me if I did. It is honestly taking every ounce of my strength to ask you to put your top back on."
"Are my nipples too big for my breasts? Do you see how far they stick out? Do I have too much brown around them?" she quizzed.
I followed her gaze down to her pert nipples. They were nothing if not perfect.
"Jen, please! Your nipples could not be any more perfect. I am sincere about that. Now would you please put your top on before I lose control and do something we both regret?" I pleaded.
"Are you saying that I do excite,... arouse you?" she whispered.
"Jen, you can take that to the bank!" I replied. "Now please put your top on."
"Mr. H, if I have excited you, then you should be hard right now. I need to know if I do excite a real man. If you let me touch you and it is hard, I will be glad to put my bra back on," she bargained.
Jen wanted proof of her womanly powers. I sensed somehow that it was important to her to feel desired by a man. Why such a pretty girl would need any proof was beyond me. One thing I knew for certain; the proof she sought was in my pants.
"Jen, this will remain between us and please be very brief. Go ahead and feel the proof of your allure," I rasped.
I was sweating and as aroused as I had been in years. Jen looked down and placed her hand on my shorts. Then she gently squeezed my hard cock. She held her hand still for about 20 seconds and then pulled it back.
"Wow, Mr. H! You do like how I look, don't you? I didn't know they got so! How does Veronica fit it inside her?"
"Jen, put your top and come back over and sit in the other chair," I insisted. "Then you can ask me anything and I will try to be as honest as I can." I had to get her dressed before I made a very serious mistake.
So there I sat with a beautiful, if somewhat insecure young woman. I tried to explain love, sex, marriage, temptation and loyalty. I frequently admitted I was far from an expert on any of those subjects, but I had acquired some knowledge of them in my 44 years on the planet earth.
It occurred to me I knew little of her family life and what problems and fears could have led her to exposing herself to me. I did not feel it was the time to ask. She asked intimate questions and I tried my best to answer. An hour later Jen got to her feet and told me she had to get home.
"Mr. H, you are a really good husband and a great dad!" Jen confided and then she started crying.
I stood and held her close and waited. She finally regained her composure and looked up at me.
"Will I still be welcome here, or would you rather I stayed away, Mr. H?" asked Jen with tear stained eyes.
"I love you like a daughter, Jen, and there is no better love a man can offer. Believe me on that. You will always be welcome in our home, any time," I promised.
Jen lifted up on her toes and kissed me on the lips. "Thanks for being you, Mr. H," she smiled. "I love you, too." With that she was gone.
I sat down and considered what had just happened and wondered if I had handled it okay. I had done everything for the best of reasons, but I knew what was used to pave the road to hell. I picked up my empty beer bottle and walked into the house, and right into Veronica!
I was flustered and worried what had she seen and heard. Had she seen Jen kiss me? Stand topless before me? How could I ever explain it?
"Hey, Veronica! I never heard you get home," I sheepishly admitted.
"I just now got in. Where is Rebecca?" she asked.
Mentally, I wiped the sweat from my brow. Veronica hadn't seen Jen!
"She went to the mall with Mark Gilbert. She should be home in the next few minutes, and probably in need of a dress for the formal," I added.
Veronica quickly looked at me to glean whatever information I had, but Becky came flying into the room before she could speak. She was babbling about being asked to the social event of the year and how excited she was. I gave Becky a hug and extricated myself from all the important preparations they immediately began planning. I needed time to think about Jen and how to handle that situation if it came up again. Having a daughter puts things in perspective for a man. I would kill any middle age man that took advantage of Becky. Therefore, I should expect the same. The other consideration was that my wife was my friend, partner, lover and confidant. I could never cheat on her.
Things were normal for the next few days. We were having our first pool party on Sunday and I was busy making sure everything was perfect. Women know that other women will be going through the house and around the property looking for dust or a blade of grass not cut to the right length. Men know that other men will be sticking close to the beer and the pool with the chance to catch a little cleavage or some crotch shots. Men render the need for any cleaning efforts away from the beer unnecessary. Not women. For that reason, Veronica, the kids, and I put some time and effort into making everything perfect.
Sunday came and Dan went to visit his friends and play some ball. He hadn't yet hit the age where it was cool or fun to hang around adults. Rebecca had Mark and a few girl friends stop in. Of course that meant that Jen was there and it looked to me like she had found the smallest top made. Veronica commented on how little Jen left to imagination.
Veronica had a two-piece suit that was not tiny, but it was low cut and really showed off her assets. She had invited several of her associates from work and that always made me a little nervous. These were her equals and coworkers. I worried I would say or do something really dumb and upset Veronica. These people were all lawyers and CPAs and I was a construction worker.
We had invited most of the neighborhood and it seemed that most of them attended. I was in charge of the grill and by 3:00 I must have cooked up 30 pounds of steak and even more burgers. Veronica and Rebecca were keeping the side dishes and snacks refilled and everyone was having a good time. Drinks were in a few coolers and everyone helped themselves.
I had been watching a certain William Patterson devote more time to Veronica than I felt was proper, but I knew better than to ever interfere with her. She was quite capable of handling almost any situation. He was a good-looking guy that appeared to be in good shape. Most of these over achievers made sure they spent time in the gym. He had shown up without his wife and offered some lame excuse when Veronica asked about her. Like most men, I could spot a pussy hound a mile away, and Mr. William Patterson was that.
I finally had cooked every bit of meat we had available and shut the grill down. Several people were splashing around in the pool. I peeled my shirt off and jumped in to wash some of the smoke and grease that had attached to me by the grill. Refreshed I climbed out and grabbed a towel to dry off.
Barbara Brady started a conversation with me as I dried my hair. She was an attractive divorcee that lived down the block. Her breasts were large and she was not against displaying them. I remembered hearing a few women debating their authenticity over the years. Real or implanted, there were quite an eye-full! It wasn't long before I was showing her around the house, at her request.
We had a small room upstairs that we use as an office/computer room. Barbara had expressed an interest in looking at our computer, which I thought was a bit odd. She sure didn't look like a nerd! When we went into the room I noticed the computer was on and the floor was wet. Before I could give any thought to that, somehow Barbara slid up against me with her arms around my neck. Her lips were close to mine as she whispered to me.
"Joe, I know you like what you see. Anytime you would like to see more, just ask!" she smiled. Then she kissed my lips. It happened so fast I never responded. I didn't kiss her back, nor did I push her away.
"Joe, when you finish showing Barbara the house and everything, would you please come back here for a minute. I need you for something," Veronica coldly announced from the doorway.
I turned red and wanted to crawl under the desk! What would Veronica think? I could tell she was pissed, and I am not the most sensitive guy on the planet.
"No need, Joe," smiled Barbara. "I think I have seen about everything. I can find my way to the pool. She gave Veronica a really big, fake smile as she left.
Veronica watched her descend the stairs and then closed the door. She turned to me and she was livid!
"What the fuck are you doing, Joe?" she yelled. "You want that used up slut? Fine! Just pack your bags and sign the deed over. Then you can fuck the shit out of her. Maybe you can trade her tits in for bigger ones!"
I knew Veronica had to be enraged to speak that way. Normally, she never used crude language of any sort. She felt that it would be a bad habit to develop since she was a lawyer and spoke with judges and clients all the time.
"Veronica, I know it looked bad, but I didn't do anything. I was showing her around the house because she asked. She suddenly wrapped her arms around me and told me I could see more of her anytime and kissed me. I didn't kiss her back or put any moves on her. I am innocent, I swear," I groveled.
Besides my kids, including Jen, Veronica was the only thing I truly cared about in the world. I needed her to believe me.
"That sounds like a ration of bullshit to me!" she snarled. "We have company so we can't settle this now. Get down there and entertain, but don't show her another goddamn thing!"