I was lying on my back looking up at a jungle of wires in the avionics package of a newly designed heat seeking missile in Hanger One but my mind wasn't on the missile it was mulling over the options in my marriage. Hanger One at the GE Test Center is the maintenance hanger for the Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle fighter plane and I was suppose to be trying to see if I could figure out a quick fix for a new concept in heat seeking missiles, an instant lock-on of the enemy heat source before the missile released from the plane's rack when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned and saw Bob Thornton, the hangers' avionics and maintenance supervisor. He tapped his hard hat over his left ear meaning he needed to talk to me. I scooted out from under the missile rack and we walked into a small welding shop. I took off my Mickey Mouse ear protectors and asked, "What's up Bob?"
"I don't know Stacy; the boss wants to see you in his office ... ASAP!"
"Okay, any idea why?" I asked.
"Nope, he just said make it on the double."
The boss he was referring to was Jack McCain, the General Electric coordinator for government contracts and specifically the AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile that the Navy used on its FA-18 Hornets. I left the hangar and walked across to the administration building and over to the elevator banks when my husband, Jimmy Keys, snuck up behind me.
"Hey there sexy ... what in the hell are you doing over here with the paper pushers? You're not trying to suck up to good old Jack are you?"
I turned around and looked at Jimmy, smiled sarcastically and gave him the finger. "I don't know what the hell Jack wants Jimmy, I just got a message that he wanted to see me. What about you?" I was trying to be nice to my husband but it was getting harder by the minute.
"Same thing, just told to report to Jack's office ASAP."
"You don't have any idea what this is all about?" I asked.
"Nope but I guess we'll know in a couple of minutes." We got into the elevator and when the doors closed he leaned over and kissed my cheek and then with his free hand grabbed my butt. "Hey, you know I could pull the emergency stop button and we could have a little sex before going into Jack's office ... what do you think about that Stacy?"
I slapped his hand away and looked at him angrily. "I think you're a perverted ass hole! Now stop fucking with me before I call your bluff and see what you would really do."
"Jesus Stacy ... what's up with you? Is it that time of the month?" He asked.
I glared at him. "Fuck you Jimmy Keys!" The doors opened and we walked down the hallway and I knocked on Jack's door.
Jimmy held the door for me and I walk inside. I was surprised to see Byron Richards standing over on the far side of the room scanning a set of blueprints taped to a chalkboard. Byron was the third member of our team and was Jimmy's best friend. The three of us had met in our junior year of high school in Mrs. French's advanced science class. I guess it was just natural that we were drawn together, after all the three of us were classic nerds. None of us were into sports and we would rather work on a science project as much as go to the movies. I actually dated Byron for three months before a typical teenage spat broke up our relationship but all three of us had remained close friends, finishing high school and junior college together and then took a year long internship training program on missile technology sponsored by General Electric. When we graduated from our training program we were all hired by GE to work out of their Charlotte, North Carolina facility. Jimmy and I were married three years after taking the job with GE and Byron had been our best man. We were a team, a threesome, The Three Musketeers ... at least that was the case until last Thursday night! Byron turned and saw me and smiled. He hates his first name so everyone calls him Rich or Richards that is everyone except me, I've always called him Byron. "Hey Byron," I called out, "what's up?"
He frowned and gave me a dirty look. "Well we got problems! And I mean big problems with the AIM-9!"
"What? What kind of problems?" Jimmy asked.
Before I could jump in Jack interrupted the conversation. "Look everyone this need to be a team effort here. Yesterday, two Navy FA-18's got into a dogfight with three MIG's over northern Iraq and their Sidewinders failed to track. Nothing, Nada! They just came off the rails and flew off into the sunset. Christ people we have to find out what the fuck happened and damned fast! Jimmy I want you to take the next flight to Norfolk, they're holding a Navy C-4 hop for you to take to the USS George Washington, she's cruising somewhere in the gulf. Richards ... you and Stacy catch the next flight for San Diego and get your butts out to Miramar and check out their 18's electronics. Questions people?"
"Miramar?" I asked. "Why Miramar, that's Marine Corps aviation."
"I know it's the Marines Stacy, I'm thinking that maybe the problem is a carrier landing problem and that's why I want Jimmy out on the George Washington. Maybe those landings are too hard on the new avionics. Miramar is because the Marines do less carrier landings."
Byron spoke up. "Look Jack, why not let me take the Washington gig and let the married folks go to Miramar?"
Jack stared angrily at Byron. "Look Richards did you get promoted recently and someone forgot to tell me? Oh no ... I didn't think so ... you and Stacy will go to Miramar because it's my God damned decision."
Byron looked properly chastised. "Jesus! Alright boss, sorry."
Jimmy took a late afternoon flight up to Norfolk while Byron and I made the nine p.m. flight out of Charlotte to Chicago where we changed planes for the last leg into San Diego. We arrived at six in the morning and picked up our rental car and were off to the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar. Miramar used to be a Naval Air Station and was famous for the Top Gun training but when the Navy moved that to Nevada the Marine Corps took over the base for the First Marine Air Wing headquarters. We arrived and were given spare rooms in the Bachelors Officers Quarters (BOQ), settled in our rooms and then went down to the flight line and found the maintenance hanger.
That night Byron asked me to dinner but I was bushed from the overnight flight and took a rain check and told him maybe we could go the following night. I got into my room, stripped out of my sweaty clothes and sat down in an old easy chair and popped the top on a beer. I was bushed but I was still deep in thought about my marriage. I had planned to have a heart-to-heart chat with Jimmy that night but the urgency of the AIM problem got in the way. In the three years we had been married everything had gone pretty well ... for the most part. Oh we argued like most couples and there were times when I thought that if I had a gun I would shoot him but mostly these were minor bumps in the road. The thing that had gotten my attention was that in the last few months I had noticed a dramatic drop off in our sexual relationship. We had gone from making love three or four times a week to a couple of times a month. At first I attributed it to both of us working long hours and so damned hard but last Thursday something else reared its ugly head ... another woman.
Normally on Thursdays Jimmy, Byron and I all met down at the Sweet Sixteen Bar and Grill for dinner and drinks but on this particular night Jimmy told me that he was working overtime and that he would see me at home. His last words as he walked back into his workstation were... 'tell Rich to behave himself.' I didn't think anything more about it until Byron and I were eating that night.
"So where's your old man tonight Stacy?" Byron asked.
"Working some overtime." I replied.
"Oh really? Gee I saw him ... well, never mind."
"What in the hell does that mean Byron?"
"Oh nothing, I'm sorry I brought it up."
"You didn't exactly bring it up Byron, that's why I'm asking what in the hell you meant." I was getting just a bit perturbed.
"Oh it's probably nothing but I saw his car leaving the main gate of the plant when I drove out to meet you ... that's all."
"Leaving? For where? What time did you see him?"
"It was around four and I don't know where he was headed. Look Stacy, I don't want to be drawn into a family spat."
"Fine Byron but you've already let the cat out of the bag ... so tell me what you saw."
"Oh sweet Jesus! Look Stacy, I saw Jimmy driving out of the facility with Jessica Hall in tow. I'm sorry."
"I see." I really didn't see and wondered why Jimmy had lied to me. Jessica Hall was Jack's secretary and couldn't have been much older than nineteen but she had a body to die for and a mind devoid of brains and I only hoped that Jimmy wasn't screwing the bimbo. When I got home that night Jimmy was in the shower, which I thought was interesting because it was so late. I idly wondered if he was scrubbing off the scent of another woman. I walked into the bathroom, "I honey ... I'm home." I called out. From behind the shower curtain Jimmy answered,
"Oh hi baby, I'll be finished in a couple of minutes."
His work clothes were in a pile on the bathroom floor and I reached down and picked up his underwear and looked at them. Inside the crotch were the telltale yellow stains of cum ... fresh cum that hadn't even dried yet. I lifted them to my nose and sniffed and there was a feint odor of perfume and I was pretty sure that he had been with someone else, that someone most likely being Jessica Hall. FUCK ME, my brain screamed!
.... There is more of this story ...