My thanks go to LadyCibelle, and my friend SH for sorting the foul-ups and editing this tale for me. But I must add that this story has been slightly amended since they proofread it, and it was first posted.
My flight had been delayed for over an hour by what the airline described as a slight technical problem. I have an aversion to flying anyway, so that hadn't done much for my confidence. To be honest, the news that the aeroplane I was about to spend more hours than I really wished to - flying mostly over water - had bleeding-well broken down before we'd even got on board the bloody thing, had made the journey a nightmare for me.
Anyway at least it was a somewhat pleasant surprise to me that we had - after an inordinately bumpy flight - landed safely. It was with a big sigh of relief that I got out of the terminal building into the heat of a Florida afternoon and eventually climbed into the large air conditioned limousine that was waiting for me. Although the thought that I was going to have to make the return journey in just a day or two's time was kicking around in the back of my head somewhere; but for the moment, I had more important things on my mind.
I was extremely nervous again, as I climbed out of the car outside the hotel. I was in a strange City, in a country I'd only ever seen on the films and TV; somewhat regretfully, mostly in crime type TV soap operas. Not the sort of programmes that give you confidence in your safety when visiting those places; especially, if like me, you don't travel very much.
Anyway, on climbing out of the car, it was with some relief that I found myself immediately recognised and accosted by Paul and Della the people who'd arranged the evening.
"Hi Mike, we weren't sure if you were going to make it on time. We'll take your bag and book you into the room. Now you'd better get going, she's waiting inside the lobby for you." Della had said. Paul, after giving me a quick nod in greeting, had headed for the rear of the car to retrieve my suitcase from the driver.
"Thanks folks, sorry to keep you in suspense, but my bloody flight got delayed." I said and then - trying to look as confident as I could - I headed through the rotating door into the cool interior of the air-conditioned building.
I must admit that I wasn't expecting the place to be so grand. The hotel's lobby was gigantic and there seemed to be several hundred people wandering around everywhere; in actual fact, there were probably no more than thirty or forty.
"How the hell do they expect me to find a woman who I've never seen in my life before in this place, god alone knows?" I was asking myself; when suddenly an extremely attractive woman, just about clad in a little red — obviously designer - cocktail dress and holding a matching clutch bag in her left hand appeared before me.
"Mike?" she enquired, with an enchanting smile.
"Er, yes; Holly?" I spluttered in reply, somewhat taken aback by her unexpected beauty. Under the circumstances that we were meeting, Holly was not what I had expected at all.
Holly smiled again, then, took me even more by surprise by wrapping her arms around me and kissing me on the cheek.
Having got over the initial shock, I summoned up my courage and reciprocated in kind.
When in Rome and all that, as father used to say!
Sorry, it must be an English thing; we don't usually go around taking women into our arms whom we've never met before, well not often anyway. Although Holly and I had been in correspondence by email for several months by then and we had spoken to each other more than a few times on the telephone whilst setting up this little encounter. I really had not known what to expect.
"Did you have a good flight?" She asked.
"No, well, no flight's very good for me anymore Holly." I replied, then I explained. "I was involved in a very hard landing a few years back; not far short of a crash landing actually. Made a real mess of the aeroplane, but I should imagine the local scrap merchants were happy. Anyway, it kind-of buggered up my confidence in heavier than air transport. Mind you, if I'd known that I was going to be met by such a beautiful lady when I got over here. Plus, have the good fortune to spend a whole evening with her, then maybe the flight wouldn't have been so bad."
"Thank you. You know, they say that Englishmen aren't romantic; you kind-a slipped that one in very subtly. I feel very flattered to have such a handsome gentleman pay me such a compliment."
"It's not flattery Holly. Actually I find that you're so beautiful that I have to wonder how come we find ourselves in this situation in the first place."
I'm not sure whether it was embarrassment or nervousness that made me waffle on as I did. Thinking back, I would never usually talk to a woman, or flirt with her, as I did with Holly for the next couple of hours. Mind you, looking back on what I actually did say, I have to admit that most of the time I was talking a load of absolute twaddle.
"My mother always used to say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder Mike. Perhaps some people's eyes don't see what other peoples do." Holly replied.
"My father used to say that familiarity breeds contempt; perhaps that's where we're coming from. A change of country, a change of ... bed partners. And there's another saying I remember as well, a change is as good as a rest!"
"Oh you're depressing me now, Mike!"
"Sorry, but I've found the last few months very depressing actually; except for my correspondence with you, that is."
Holly smiled, "I would have thought that that would have really depressed you."
"Oh make no mistake about it, it did in the first place, Holly. But then I got to enjoy our little emails and chats, it got so that I really looked forward to them. I'll be honest, for weeks now I've been impatient to get over here and meet you in person. And I'll add, that if I'd seen a picture of you, I'd have flown over to Canada weeks ago."
"That might have spoilt our surprise, what if you'd been recognised?"
"Holly," I looked her up and down, "If I'd known how beautiful you were ... well bugger the bloody surprise. I can't understand why you chose me anyway?"
"I thought it would be ironic I suppose. Anyway, who better than Mike Crosby, 34, married to Emma," - Holly pulled a long face. - "for ten years, they have no children; rumour is that's Emma's choice. Mike's the maintenance manager at the hospital near where they live; a job he hates, by the way. Mike has a handicap of three when he plays golf with his friends every Saturday morning, and he's a killer spin bowler, whatever that means, for his local amateur cricket club, who he practices with on Tuesday evenings and plays for on most Sundays during the summer."
"God, thorough aren't you?" I exclaimed.
"No not me Mike, the people I employ. I have several photographs of you in your whites," A questioning expression crossed Holly's face for a second, probably she was wondering if she had the name correct. "as well; you look very smart in them. It could be those pictures are the reason I chose you to be my secret lover this evening." She smiled at me, adding a little wink.
"I think you're flattering me now, Holly!" I replied smiling. But I can also remember thinking. "I hope that she hasn't mistaken my Cricket Box for something it isn't?"
Luckily we were interrupted at this point, when Paul and Della - the couple who'd met me outside the hotel - came over to join us.
"The boy's taken your bag up to the suite Mike; now are you two ready for the big show?" Paul asked.
"As I'll ever be; how about you Holly?" I asked, throwing the ball into her court.
"Yeah, I think I'm ready." She replied. Looking somewhat reticent I thought, considering that we were going through this whole charade at her insistence.
"Look, Holly; you don't have to do this you know. Once we get in there, you realise that there's no turning back. I could even go in there on my own if you like?"
"Don't be silly Mike, that would defeat the object of the exercise wouldn't it? Do you really think I've come all this way from Montreal to miss out on all the fun? Come on, let's do it!"
"Er ... Mike, you got something for Paul?" Della asked.
"Oh damn sorry, yeah here Paul." I said pulling the thick envelope from my pocket and handing it to Paul. Who added it to several other similar envelopes he'd produced from somewhere, then he sorted them into an order that seemed to please him, before he tucked them all into the inside pocket of his jacket. As he did so, I noted that he was carrying what I took to be a firearm, in a shoulder holster.
I can remember thinking to myself. "A gun, Jesus these guys play for keeps over here!"
"Okay let's go?" Holly said, taking hold of my arm; but then she looked at Paul and asked. "Intimate enough?"
I suppose I should have felt uncomfortable, but for some reason I didn't. Come on guys, married or not, you all know what it feels like when a good looking woman gets a little closer than she should really do. We've all got instincts that can — if you let them — take over in circumstances like that. My base natural instincts were definitely taking the lead; although I was still very nervous, I could think of little reason for trying to control them.
"No, a little more familiar I think, don't you Della?" Paul replied.
"Yeah, come on guys. You're two people in love, having a secret tryst away from your spouses, make it look the part!" Della replied, sounding somewhat like a film director.
Without a by your leave Holly pulled my left arm around her waist and placed her right around mine. Then she snuggled in real close to me. Usually I'd have thought embarrassingly close.
"Yeah now, that's the ticket. Let's go for it and don't forget all the gooey-eyed stuff." Della giggled.
"That won't be too difficult!" I replied. Looking down at Holly beside me.
"Hey watch it Holly! Sounds like our Mike here, might be on the prowl." Della commented.
Holly didn't, or rather couldn't reply, as I'd looked down at her she'd taken me by surprise again, and planted a kiss on my lips.
"Sorry Mike!" she said, sensing my embarrassment, "I should have asked, but I've got to make sure that my lipstick is convincingly smudged."
"Holly, anytime you want your lipstick smudged, don't bother asking. Maybe I should apply for a full time job as your lipstick smudger." I said and then I kissed her.
Yeah well, it isn't every day that you get the chance to kiss a woman as beautiful as Holly. Married on not, I'm only human!
"Sorry to break this up folks, but are we doing this or not? Because if you like, we can cut straight to the bedroom scene." Della said laughing.
"Maybe later!" Holly whispered to me with a giggle and then she urged me along in the direction of the hotel's lounge with a slight pull on my waist.
For all her show of bravado, I could sense that Holly was almost as nervous as I was, so I took the comment as nervous twaddle.
Entering the lounge was a bit of an anticlimax really. The place was reasonably crowded; but I'll add that I noticed more than a few guys taking a lot more than a slight interest in the stunning woman in the little red cocktail dress plastered against my side. Not that I could blame them, I was having one hell of a job stopping myself from staring down at the unbelievable cleavage that Holly was displaying in that dress.
I do believe that I must have been strutting along like the cat that ate the canary. It had been a long time since I'd felt that proud about the woman I was escorting.
Paul and Della had taken the lead and we followed them over to a table by the wall that - as if by magic - became vacant as we approached. The two couples who had been sitting there, moving to join parties on tables either side. I noted a certain amount of clandestine head nodding going on, as Della and Paul appeared to acknowledge everyone on them.
Paul had insisted that he and Della sat with their backs to the wall itself, so that they could watch for anyone approaching us with what might be interpreted as malice aforethought. From the size of him, I figured that Paul could handle just about anyone. But from all the head nodding, I realised that he had still taken the precaution of having plenty of back up around.
A waiter came over and we ordered drinks, I found sitting with my back towards the greater part of that room frustrating, because I could only legitimately look towards the stage where a small band was playing. Really I wanted to scrutinise everyone in the place, but that might have given the game away.
Our drinks arrived and then the four of us made small talk, mostly about my delayed flight, during at least two of the band's sets.
"It's no good, I think we'll have to up the ante!" Paul eventually said.
"Haven't they seen us?" Holly asked.
"Too into themselves, I don't think they've said a word to the rest of their own party since we came in. Go on you two, go do your Fred and Ginger routine." Della suggested. "Oh and watch where you look!"
I held out my hand and Holly took hold of it as we both stood. "I'd better warn you that I ain't no Gene Kelly, Holly." I warned her.
"I'm sure you'll do fine, lover." Holly replied with a grin.
"Lover?" I asked.
"Well that's what you're supposed to be this evening, aren't you?"
"Oh yeah, damned nuisance we have to play these silly games isn't it?"
"Who's playing?" Holly said with a wink as she put both her arms around the back of my neck and hauled me in close.
"If only!" I thought to myself. "Jesus, if the guys in the office could see me now!"
It was getting on for the end of the band's third set since we'd arrived, and they were playing a slower number.
"Oh my, did I do that?" Holly asked as she ground herself into me.
"Sorry about that, but desirable women tend to do that to me." I replied, blushing slightly.
I can't say that we actually danced in the literal sense, we just kind-a swayed about on the same spot turning in slow circles. Mind you, I've got to say that it was one of the most enjoyable dances I'd had in years.
Suddenly another couple bumped us slightly. "You've been spotted!" The guy whispered as they did so.
When I looked at him, I saw that it was one of the couples who had vacated the table for us when we came in. A look the other way, showed that the other couple from the table were dancing on that side of us.
"Be careful, you might look the wrong way. Concentrate on dancing with your partner; we'll handle anything that goes down." The first guy warned me.
I returned to looking at Holly who was smiling back at me enchantingly. "Holly, you're one damned good actress!" I thought to myself.
"You know, I hope the balloon doesn't go up too soon, I'm enjoying this." I said to her.
"I can feel you are, lover." She said with a cheeky grin and then she ground her crotch into mine even harder."
"I have to wonder whether you've got a sadistic streak in you, Holly?" I commented smiling.
"I like to tease my men, Mike. This evening was the best tease I could come up with."
I'm not sure what expression came over my face but it made Holly laugh out loud. I only wished, that I actually was the man that she was really teasing, but I knew that the good lord could never look that favourably on me.
"Oh don't look so dejected, Mike; after all there's no real hurry for you to get back to the UK is there? We could always take a few days to enjoy the Florida sunshine. Now as we've been spotted, let's make this look really good."
The next thing I know, Holly's head is on my shoulder and she's chewing away at the side of my neck and my ear lobe.
"Hey take it easy girl, or I'm gonna have an accident!" I warned her.
Holly giggled in reply, and what's more she didn't stop her ministrations. She redoubled them if anything!
Much to my relief the band's set came to an end before I'd lost control, and the guy who'd spoken to us on the dance floor suggested that we returned to our table. I assumed so that the rest of Paul's back up was close at hand.
Holly trooped off towards the table holding my hand and dragging me close behind. As we got close Paul signalled for us to sit with his hand, but his eyes were locked on something happening over the other side of the room.
"Right he's on his way. When he gets here you can stand and argue with him but don't raise a hand to him, Mike, we'll handle any rough stuff, that's what we're paid for." Paul said leaning forward in his seat.
"Is she coming?" I asked.
"No, you know I don't think she's realised that it's you yet; that's assuming she saw you at all, she had her back to the dance floor. But she's watching him intently now, so she's sure to spot you the moment you stand up and turn around."
"What the hell's going on here, Holly? What are you doing here and what the fuck did you think you were playing at out there with this prick? Who is he anyway?" An angry voice demanded from somewhere not far from my left shoulder.
I stood and turned to face the guy, very conscious that Paul had stood at the same time.
But out of the corner of my eye something else caught my eye as I turned. Later I realised I noticed that all the guys on the next table had suddenly developed gold shield shaped badges on the jackets' breast pockets. It wasn't until later that I discovered that these were the local police officers badges of office; but at the time I didn't understand their significance.
"Holly was dancing with this prick, just as no doubt you've been dancing with my wife!" Yeah well, on the spur of the moment that was the best I could come up with; I hadn't worked out what I was intending to say when the confrontation started.
Holly on the other hand, who had also stood, obviously had her little speech well rehearsed. "And he'll probably be fucking me later, whilst you fuck his wife in room 642. We've got 643 by the way, right opposite; but we'll try not to make as much noise as you two did last night." Holly said with a smile on her face and wrapping her arm around mine.
I really could have done without Holly doing that at that particular moment because I thought that her husband - who was rather larger than I'd been lead to believe - could well have lashed out at me and Holly hanging on to me, kind-a limited my room to manoeuvre.
But, I really shouldn't have been worried about him. Avril's arrival on the scene — I assume after having spotted me once I stood up — was far more ... err, exciting. Honestly, Avril came from nowhere, and hit me head-on obviously at the run. Actually knocking Holly's husband completely off his feet as she barged him out of the way. Handy in a way, because that took some of the impetus out of Avril's charge.
Holly's old man finished lying across some poor woman's lap before he fell to the floor. Mind, I didn't see that, I was on the floor myself looking up at my very angry wife.
I think the fall to the floor that both Avril and I took, shook her up a little, as it did me. Anyway she finished up laying on top of me, staring into my face. "What the hell were you doing with that slut?" She demanded.
"Dancing, what did it look like?" I replied, still no jazzy repartee.
"It looked like you were trying to fuck the tart!" She retorted.
"Oh come on, Avril, I only just got here, I haven't had the chance yet; you've been shagging her husband for the last two days at least." I was pleased with myself there; I got my first good dig in.
"I ... But ... Don't be so silly, Mike! Where did you get that stupid notion from?" Avril said rolling off of me and sitting up. "How did you get here anyway, you don't fly?"
Actually movement on my account of any description was extremely difficult, everywhere I looked, all I could see were people's legs and feet.
"I do when it's to catch my wife with her lover." I replied. I was getting good at those comebacks.
"That's rubbish Mike, you know I'm over here on a business trip!"
"Avril, your business trip was to Houston, this is bleeding Florida! Neither you nor your company has any business here in Miami. You had your meeting in Houston and then you flew here with golden bollocks, wherever he's got to." There were so many of Paul's people milling around that I'd lost sight of Holly's husband for the moment. "And you've spent the last two nights doing the horizontal tango with the bugger in room 643."
"642 lover, 643 is our room." Holly's voice corrected me from somewhere.
"Yeah sorry, room 642, would you like to see the tapes, Avril?" I asked.
I was pushing my luck here; I had no idea whether Holly had any tapes from this particular trip, but I knew that she had many of them from their previous trysts. I figured that Avril wouldn't actually want to see them.
Avril just sat there on the floor staring back at me. I must admit that it was the first time I'd ever seen the woman speechless.
No that's a lie, I remember the first time I bedded her, before we were married. By the time I'd finished with her, she was lying there speechless; I've always assumed that I'd shagged all the chat out of her. Well, it couldn't have been a disappointment to her, she came back for more the following evening and she married me eventually. More's the pity!
Suddenly hands were helping us to our feet and the next thing I was really aware of — besides Holly having wrapped her arm around my waist again — was Paul saying, "Morgan Ardent you are served." And he handed Holly's rather dishevelled looking husband, an envelope. I wondered what I'd missed for Morgan to have become that dishevelled looking.
Then Paul promptly did the same to Avril. Although our British divorce petitions don't really have to be presented as formally as the Yanks do it, I could have sent it by registered post I believe. Holly and I just thought it would add to the occasion a little, to have it done formally and at the same time as papers were served on her husband.
Then the two guys with Holly and Morgan — who along with the rest of their party had followed the two lovers over - were served with papers. Holly had taken care of all that, Avril and Morgan worked for an American Company so we were both suing them in the US courts for turning a blind eye to the couple's goings on.
Mind, as their bosses who the papers were served on had their girlfriends with them as well; I think the bloody company must have turned a blind eye to everything. Finally Paul served Morgan Ardent with an alienation of affection suite, Holly's legal people had filed in the American courts on my behalf. It has been years since anyone successfully pulled one of those off in the UK.
Just as suddenly as the whole thing had started, it was over. I really have no idea where - or when - Avril disappeared. Holly said she had been lead away crying by one of her boss's bits of stuff, but I never saw the going of her. I did watch Holly's husband being led away by the two guys though. Mind, not before he gave me a look that I believe was suppose to turn me to stone.
"So what happens now?" I asked Holly.
"We dance!" She replied with a grin and dragged me off towards the dance floor again.
The rest of the evening turned into a bit of a party. When we returned to the table Paul and Della sort-of introduced us to all their police friends, but didn't really go into details; they all knew who we were anyway.
Della explained to me when I was dancing with her, that as they had hoped, all those police badges had prevented Holly's old man from taking a swing at anyone. Mind you, from the state he was in when I last saw him, I had to wonder if he took a swing at anyone else whilst I was on the floor with Avril.
Some of the women in the party were police officers as well and I had a fascinating conversation with one of them when I danced with her later. She told me that she'd been shot sorting out a domestic dispute a few years before.
"I blew his bleeding balls off!" she replied when I asked her what had happened. "We're taught that once you are forced to fire your weapon, you empty the chamber. No point in risking them getting a second shot off.
"Where did he shoot you?" I asked.
"Would you believe in the tit, I've had to have my nipple rebuilt."
"Christ, lucky it never killed you." I commented. Thinking that if the bullet hit her breast it had to have been very near her heart.
"Damn thing hit my badge first and got deflected across my breast. I'm not sure if the damned badge saved my life or made things worse."
"Christ what did your husband say about it?"
"Not much, he got shot in the ass himself a few years back, still got the bullet in him; they retired him on the strength of it."
"I bet he weren't happy about that."
"No, Paul's happy enough, he's qualified as an attorney now, but he has more fun doing all this PI stuff."
"Paul's your husband, then who's Della?" I had assumed that Della was Paul's wife; I have no idea why.
"My sister. She's an ex-cop as well, threw it in when she had her first child."
I never did get up the courage to ask, under what circumstances Paul got shot in the jacksie.
I discovered that American cops like a bevvy or two. A bit disconcerting when they all seemed to have their guns with them. Not that they waved them around or anything.
I have no idea what time the party broke up, I'm afraid I'd had a bevvy or two too many myself.