It started with an innocent request: "Feel up to going to a party with me and having a drink or two?"
It wasn't the first time that Janis had asked me that, but I'd usually said no in the past. Janis wasn't looking to hustle me, she just wanted company at another affair that she really didn't want to go to anyway. Janis, my boss, was a political animal and as such she always felt the need to put in an appearance at parties and events that our customers and suppliers put on.
Janis was a stone fox and Janis alone at one of those affairs was a green light for every guy there to take a shot at her. She was very capable of handling herself, but as I said, she was a politically minded person and she always worried about upsetting someone who might have been important to our company. You know what I mean; she puts down some obnoxious asshole and it turns out that he is the favorite son of a good customer. The son tells daddy, "That bitch was mean to me" and you can see where it might go from there.
The solution to that problem, as far as Janis was concerned, was to not go to those kinds of events alone. I'd gone to a dozen or so with her and she had stayed long enough to see and be seen and then we would leave and she would go her way and I would go mine.
Then I met Patty, fell in love with her, convinced her that life without me would be barren and bleak and we got married. That put an end to my attending parties with Janis.
That night I said yes not realizing that by doing so I was going to radically change my life.
The day started out like a hundred others had. Patty and I woke up, made leisurely love, took showers, dressed and went downstairs for breakfast. After breakfast we both got ready to leave for work. Patty walked with me to the front door, I put my suitcase down and she gave me a hug and a passionate kiss and told me to keep my thoughts on her while I was gone.
I have a very good job and I make very good money, but one of the unfortunate aspects of my job is that I occasionally have to travel and I was leaving on a two-day business trip. Patty kissed me again and then said:
"Don't forget that I might not be home tonight when you call."
I must have gotten a confused look on my face because she said:
"You did forget, didn't you? I told you I was having dinner with my mother and sister tonight, remember?"
"Oh yeah, I guess I did forget."
"I'll probably be home by ten-thirty or eleven, but I can't promise. You know my mother when she gets to talking."
One more kiss and I left.
My flight wasn't until two that afternoon so I spent the morning working at the office and at eleven-thirty I headed for the airport. I was sitting in the boarding area when the announcement was made that there would be a slight delay because of a mechanical problem. To shorten the story some, four delay announcements later it was announced that the flight was cancelled. I called Chicago and told them that I wouldn't be there until the next day and I left the airport.
I had to go right by the office on my way home so I stopped in to check on some paperwork. Janis was still there and she asked me if I would go to a cocktail party with her. Knowing that Patty would be having dinner with her mother and sister and not feeling up to going home to an empty house I said I would. Knowing Janis, I knew she wouldn't stay at the party very long and I would be home by ten. I might beat Patty home or I might not, but either way it would be a surprise to her.
The party was a cocktail party put on by one of our customers in conjunction with a trade show that was being held at the downtown Hilton. It was being held in one of the hotel's convention rooms and there must have been a hundred people there. I was off to one side of the room standing with Janis as she talked to someone she knew. I was staring at the other side of the room when Janis dug an elbow in my side.
"Earth to Rob, come in please."
That got my attention and I turned to look at her and saw that the person she had been talking to had moved away.
"What are you staring at?" she asked.
"My day and my life turning to shit."
"You have never met Patty, have you?"
"No. Every time she's been to the office I have been gone somewhere."
"Well tonight you are going to get to meet her. Look over at the bar. See the redhead hanging on the arm of the guy in the gray sharkskin suit?"
"That is Patty, but the guy in the suit is not the mother and sister she was supposed to be having dinner with."
"Oh shit Rob, promise me you won't kill him."
I looked at Janis confused and she said, "You don't know who he is?"
I shook my head no.
"That's Randy Trumbull, the son of Jason Trumbull, as in Trumbull Industries? One of our biggest customers?"
"And that is supposed to mean he gets a free pass for being with my wife?"
"Oh come on Rob, I'm sure there is some reasonable explanation for it."
The words were no sooner out of her mouth than Randy bent his head and Patty turned hers up and they kissed. A long, lingering kiss and as he kissed her his hand dropped to her ass and stayed there.
"What are you going to do?"
"Depends on how bad you don't want me to kill the both of them here in public."
"What do you mean?"
"If you want me to keep this civilized here is what I want you to do."
"Randy," Janis said as we walked up to them, "How nice to see you."
"Hello Janis, you are looking as lovely as ever."
"Well thank you sir. Who is your lovely partner?"
"This is my girlfriend Patty."
"Oh you devil you. A married woman for a girlfriend. How deliciously wicked of you."
"Oh, you mean the rings. Actually Patty is going through a divorce and she says she won't take them off until the divorce is final."
He turned to Patty and said, "Isn't that right honey?"
It was only then that he saw her standing there like a stone statue and with a face that was pale and ashen. "Is something wrong sweetie?" he asked.
"I think she is just a little surprised and she isn't the only one" Janis said. She turned to me and said, "You didn't tell me anything about a divorce Rob."
"I'm just as surprised as you are Janis. I sure didn't know about it when I left the house this morning to catch my flight. It is just amazing the things you can learn when your flight gets cancelled."
Randy turned to us with a confused look on his face and Janis said:
"Oh heavens, where are my manners. Randy, this is Rob Thomas, Rob meet Randy Trumbull."
I stuck out my hand to shake and Randy took it as Janis said, "Rob is Patty's husband, or was I guess I should say seeing as how he is getting divorced."
"Nice meeting you Randy. Be careful she doesn't stick it to you like she stuck it to me. Come on Janis, we still have some people to see and then I need to get a hotel room for the night."
"Bye Randy, we'll talk later," Janis said and we turned and walked away from them.
As soon as we were away from them Janis said, "I'm ready to leave now if you are."
"Actually I'm in no hurry to leave. I'd like to stick around and ruin their evening."
"You promised me Rob."
"All I'm going to do is be here. My being here should make them uncomfortable as hell. I want to stay until they leave. You go do your thing Janis, I'll just hang around, nurse a drink and keep watching them to see how nervous I can make them."
I was at the bar getting a fresh drink when Randy came up and stood next to me. He gave me a nervous look and then said:
"This is a little awkward for me. I don't know how to handle a situation like this."
"Well, if it helps any it is new to me too."
"All I can say is that I didn't know she was married. I mean I knew she was still married, but I believed her when she told me she was going through a divorce and that it wasn't final yet. You weren't kidding me, were you? You really aren't getting a divorce?"
"The first I heard of it was from you. When I left the house this morning I got a passionate kiss and a "Hurry home lover." If my flight hadn't been cancelled I wouldn't have been here tonight and I would have never known. Where is she?"
"She went to the ladies room."
"How long has the affair been going on?"
"Almost three months now, but I wouldn't call it an affair."
"All we have done is dated and we've had some pretty intense make out sessions, but she has refused to let me make love to her. It's like the deal with the rings. Just as she said she wouldn't take the rings off until the divorce was final she wouldn't have sex until then either."
"But you tried right?"
"Oh boy did I ever."
"What has she been telling you about when the divorce would be final?"
"She didn't know when it was going to happen. She said you were fighting it and constantly throwing up road blocks."
"I guess you had better get back to her. She's bound to be out of the john and looking for you by now."
"You aren't taking her home with you?"
"What are you going to do?"
"Get a room for the night, leave on my trip in the morning and see a lawyer when I get back home from it. Stick around, I'm not throwing up roadblocks any more and I think in this state a divorce can become final in a little as sixty days. Take care" I said and then I walked away to find Janis.
"I saw you talking to Randy," she said as I walked up to her. "It didn't look like angry words were spoken."
.... There is more of this story ...