The loud crash brought the buzz in the bar to a halt. Everyone at my table looked up and heard some male voice plaintively saying. "Honey, it's not what you think. Please. It's all a mistake."
Obviously the cries were ignored because a moment later the same man gave a loud grunt and a body crashed to the floor. "You fucking prick! You can meet my father's shotgun if you ever try to call me again," some female voice screeched. "This is the last time I talk to your cheating ass."
There was another flurry of movement and then the door to the bar opened and a small body left the building. Back at the table where the disturbance started, another woman helped a man to his feet only to then slap him hard enough to knock him back onto a chair once he was standing. "Jerk!" she shouted before making her own way to the door.
I turned back to the beer I was nursing, but David looked over the collection of co-workers who had decided to make this Friday night a gathering at the bar. "Why do they do that?" he asked.
I stayed silent, but Joyce perked up and looked back at David. "Why do they do what?"
David snorted. "Why is it whenever a man or woman is caught cheating they always start by saying, 'It's not what you think.' How do they know what their partner is thinking?"
I sighed and tried to turn away. The comments had brought back memories of the last time I had seen my wife Robin, and I had to wonder what might have occurred in the fifteen months since I walked out on her, with her shouting that very same phrase.
"Mark? Hey, Earth to Mark!" Kristi said as she pinched me to get my attention. I turned back to find that everyone at the table had turned back to look at me.
"What?" I asked, as I fiddled with my beer.
"You spaced out there Mark," Jason said. "What were you thinking about?"
I looked at the faces of my collected co-workers and sighed. I knew them well, and they were not going to be satisfied with just half an answer, so I took a deep breath and started. "I just was thinking of a time in my past when I heard a woman say that phrase to me," I admitted.
The table grew quiet around me. I had transferred into the east regional marketing division about fifteen months ago, and Joyce and David certainly remembered the disdainful and anti-social mood I arrived in. You could almost see Joyce make the connections and she whispered. "So you..."
"Married a stupid cunt," I said with a growl. "And yes, I did hear her try to use that line on me."
Kristi looked up, sadness in her eyes. I was trying to figure out why when she said. "But you did talk to her, didn't you?"
I snorted. "Maybe if I'd had some warning. Perhaps if her starting to stay out late had made me suspicious. Or a night out with the girls, which got me to thinking and putting an investigator on it. But no, I got to find out the worst way. Coming home to our apartment early from work because of a migraine and finding a trail of discarded clothing leading into the bedroom. Yeah, I really wanted to find out how it could not be what I thought when I found Robin wearing only a garter belt and stockings as some guy put his tongue to her clit."
I could see Jason wince. "That must have been painful. But certainly you've talked to her since then."
I laughed bitterly. "When? I walked out with her still crying out about it not being what I thought. The next day I snuck in to pick up some clothing and personal items and drove out here. Thorvald had been after me for months to accept the transfer, and I accepted as long as I could transfer immediately."
David just slapped me on the back. "Well, how about you get your revenge tonight?" he blurted out. "Everyone knows you are such a hermit. Live a little."
I shrugged. "Look, I love looking at ladies and I do know a couple of ladies I can meet when I want a quiet evening at a show and don't want to go alone, but right now dating isn't for me. I had always thought marriage was for life," I muttered.
"So?" Jason said with a nasty smile. "Are you claiming that it stopped working?"
I tried to shake my head, but Kristi immediately smiled and grabbed my hands to drag me onto the dance floor. I tried to get away, but a slow dance started and she melted into my arms. I fought the urge to put my hands on her ass, but they wrapped around her, and I could feel my cock rising to attention as she pressed her breasts into my chest.
The song ended and I released Kristi, thinking that I could sneak out, but she put her arms around my neck and pulled me in for a kiss. "Drive me home?" she asked with her baby-blue eyes looking directly into mine.
I tried to look away, but no man I know could have refused Kristi at that moment and after a long fight with my libido I nodded without speaking. She jumped up with a cheer and ran back to the table to grab her purse. I thought about trying to duck into the crowd, but Kristi dashed back and put her arms around mine. I just looked back for a moment and saw David shrug.
"Why me," I grumbled as we fought our way to the exit. "Besides, what about your car?"
Kristi laughed. "I always get Joyce to carpool with me on nights we are going to be at the bar. She drives me to work, and I drive us back to her place and walk home. But she likes to go to the parking lot a few times every night and I end up staying out late."
I stumbled in the parking lot. "Wait? Joyce? Happily married Joyce?"
"Fucks at least two different guys every time we have a bar night," Kristi said serenely. "But don't worry; I haven't taken any lessons from her."
I paused just by my car and looked at Kristi. She joined the company less than a year ago after graduating with a degree in finance and accounting and already has won a promotion to senior accountant. If you only talked to her on the phone, you would say it was not a surprise, but Kristi looks like a blond beach bunny from California. I know David is still wondering where her brains come from. Kristi admits that she was a cheerleader throughout high school and college and has received several modeling offers. She always has an expression of distaste, when she describes the latest offer during one of the nights out.
At work, Kristi is the model of efficiency and dependability. She refuses to wear pantsuits, but always has a professional skirt and jacket, and keeps her long hair tied back. The beauty still shines through, and every man in the office and more than a few of the women had tried to get her out for private dates only to be turned down. Kristi shocked everyone of the bar goers one night by admitting that she was a virgin, and had no interest in casual sex, preferring to wait for the right person.
Now, I had not asked her out in the past. We did have some pleasant conversations when I had a question about the marketing department budget and Kristi was assigned to guide me through the audit, but otherwise, I was still too bitter about discovering Robin to think about the possibility. Kristi is ten years younger than me, and well out of my league. With her beauty and charm she belongs on the arm of a CEO, not a broken down bum of a marketing director. I have to admit that when the bitterness had cleared Kristi often played a prominent role in my fantasies, but I had always felt that asking her to be more than a friend was wrong.
Well, my shock might have caused me to pause, but I remembered why I was in the lot and opened the door for Kristi, holding it and averting my eyes as she slipped into the seat. She gave a surprisingly girlish giggle as she pulled her legs into my sedan and then pulled the door closed so I could walk around to my side, where I discovered she had reached across and opened the driver's door for me.
As I climbed in, I could see the smile on her face. "Despite it all, you are a gentleman," she said as she removed her jacket and undid the first two buttons on her blouse, granting me a tantalizing glimpse of her bra.
I tried once again to avert my eyes and concentrated on starting the car and pulling out of the lot. "It's ingrained now. Besides, a lady like you should be treated like the treasure you are," I murmured.
Kristi smiled again. "I'm sorry Mark, that I told you about Joyce. You won't let her know that I gave her away, please!"
I snorted. "Other than the fact that Joyce keeps bragging about how great Roy her husband is in bed while at the table, I really have no opinion. She's not my wife, and I don't know Roy personally. I just hope she realizes what she could lose."
Kristi looked somber. "So you're divorced then," she asked me.
"And have to pay lawyers and meet with the slut again?" I barked. "Nope. Figured that I'd just ride off into the sunset and disappear. I'm afraid that marriage is an institution that I don't think I'll join in again."
Kristi looked sad for a moment, but then started talking about the upcoming company summer party. She had graduated in December, and this was going to be her first party. She was looking forward to the activities and wanted me to join her for the couple's races, which were normally populated by husband and wife teams. She was rather insistent and by the time I pulled my car up to her apartment complex I found that I had agreed to attempt the three-legged race with her.
Kristi waited in her seat as I walked around to open the door for her. As she stood up she put her arms around me and gave me another kiss. "Do you want to come up?" she asked me.
"Kristi!" I barked. "I thought you wanted someone special. I'm not who you want."
I expected that to get through to her, but Kristi merely laughed. "You have no idea what I want," she told me. She let one of her arms fall to her side for a moment and then wiggled her ass. A moment later I heard the soft 'shush' as Kristi's skirt slid down her legs.
"Kristi!" I whispered urgently. "What are you doing?"
There was a giggle and then Kristi forced my head down so I could see the lacey white panties she was wearing. "I'm seducing the man I want as my husband," she told me matter-of-factly.
"Husband?" I asked. "But I just told you that I'm still married. I never tried to divorce Robin. Besides aren't you being just a bit hasty? We barely know each other."
Kristi just smirked as she tried to pull one of my hands down to her crotch. "Mark, I've talked to most of the ladies in the office and they all say wonderful things about you. We might not have the advantage of being long time friends, but I've seen that your values and mine are the same. As for you being married, that can be fixed," she said with a smile as I pulled my hand free of hers and retreated around the door.
Kristi laughed and bent down to pull her skirt back up. I was trying to come up with a response to this sudden assault when she looked up at me with twinkling eyes. "You want this more than I do," she said knowingly. "And I'll get you to admit it and beg me for it."
I just shook my head and stared as Kristi refastened the skirt and stood there. "I never..."
"Cheat? Lie? Love a woman that loves you? You are a wonderful man, Mark. Caring, considerate, good at your job and loyal. You are a prize worth winning, and I'm going to have you."
I groaned and shook my head. "Not after what happened. Never again was my vow."
Kristi just laughed as she pushed the passenger door closed. "And it will never happen again. You think I saved myself for fun? I know what I look like, and I could have had men around the block all through high school and college. But then my husband probably would have been as loyal as Benedict Arnold. I need a man who will be in my arms every night and who never wants another. Of all the men I've met, you are the first like that who also got my heart racing. I will have you and only you."
I could take no more, but dashed around my car and jumped in, locking the door and thanking my luck that the passenger door was locked. I expected Kristi to bang on the windows, but she merely headed into her apartment as her laughter rang in my ears.
I drove home and after taking in a stiff shot of whiskey tried to fall asleep. My slumbers were spoiled by nightmares of me and Kristi, where instead of retreating I grabbed her and bent her over the hood of my car and took her, only backing off as other faceless men stepped up to join in the fun. Worse was a scene of us dancing at the club where she dragged me into the small hall adjoining the bathrooms and proceeded to pull a train as a phantom of Robin pinned me to the wall and whispered, "It's not what you think."
I have heard of waking up feeling exhausted, but this was the first time I could remember experiencing it. It was my first migraine since I had taken the job here, and I lay in bed until almost two before the headache receded enough that I was able to stand and consider enjoying the remainder of the weekend. Being mid August, there was no football to watch, so I resorted to spending the afternoon on a leisurely hike in one of the local parks.
Sunday, my headache was pretty much gone, so I headed out to do some long neglected shopping errands. I was still thinking hard on Kristi's surprising play for a relationship with me she sprung on Friday. The possibility puzzled me and I was trying to decide what I should do about it, when I realized that the car behind me had followed me from my last three stops.
My curiosity was aroused, but I decided that I needed more information. My final stop was going to be the grocery store to stock up on meals for the week, and I carefully watched to see where the car parked once I was in the lot of the local supermarket. The driver obviously knew that there was a chance I could catch him, as he parked some distance away, but where he would have a clear view of my car, and any route I might take to approach him. I looked at him from a distance, and only saw a rather aged old man, sitting in a beaten down sedan with peeling paint. If it had not been for the previous stops I would never had noticed him at all.
But it was clear by where he was parked that any attempt to approach him would result in him driving away, so I entered the store to complete my shopping and then returned home. The sedan turned off a block short of the apartment complex where I was renting a place and I guessed that he both knew where I lived or was just playing around and had a real call to run off to.
On Monday, both David and Jason approached me privately to apologize for making me speak on Friday. I shrugged and continued my work, concentrating on reviewing the marketing and sales performance numbers for the last quarter. The company had rolled out some new products in March, and we finally were seeing the marketing campaigns get some traction on attracting new customers, so I needed to see what campaigns appeared to be working.
Joyce stopped by just before lunch, and seemed more than a bit worried. She pushed the door to my office closed and then sat in my chair. Her nervousness continued for several moments as she sat quietly fidgeting. I was about to ask her what it was about when sobbed for a moment. "I know that Kristi told you about my playing in the parking lot. Can I ask what you did think?" she said, refusing to meet my eyes.
I sighed. "Joyce, you can't use my memories of a broken marriage from over a year ago to prepare for the moment Roy discovers that you are some parking lot groupie. I have no clue what he would think. I barely considered what I thought when I walked in on the scene which caused me to leave Robin."
She seemed puzzled. "What do you mean? Surely you must have thought of something."
I looked at her. "It's hard to think when you discover your wife fucking another man. And don't ever call me Shirley."
Confusion colored Joyce's face. "But I have to know. I love Roy. He really is the best I've ever been with. But I can't stop."
I just sat there silent and Joyce lowered her head. A number of nasty comments popped into my head, but I refused to use them, and waited for Joyce too look at me. When she finally did I shrugged. "Joyce, in the end, it's going to be about how Roy feels. Not how I might feel, or how you talk about it. It's about Roy's feelings when he discovers that you have not taken the "forsaking all others" part of your wedding vows seriously. That is all I can tell you."
Joyce stood up with a frown, clearly deep in thought. She proceeded to walk to my door and opened it to let herself out. I could see Kristi waiting outside, and groaned at the two ladies passed each other and Kristi closed the door behind her. I was about to get up when Kristi sprinted over and dropped into my lap, trapping me in the chair while putting her arms around me for a kiss.
"Kristi," I growled. "What do you think you are doing?"
She giggled. "I'm giving my fiancée a kiss and then we will go over the monthly budget figures."
I looked her directly in the eyes, and was surprised when she neither looked away, nor appeared ashamed. Instead she looked directly at me and I sighed. "I already told you. I'm still married. And I won't get involved with you. You deserve better."
Kristi just laughed. "You'd get a divorce if I told you to," she said. "Your voice is saying "no", but I can feel another part saying something different."
I grumbled. "Kristi you are coming at this will all the finesse of a football linebacker. Where are the little hints, the teasing and such? If you didn't have me trapped in the chair I'd be out the door already."
Kristi laughed louder. "You say you don't want it, but I notice you aren't saying 'no'. Could it be that you do want to marry me?"
I sighed and gently pushed her off my lap. She already knew what I wanted to hide and that was just how attracted to her I was. I was feeling flattered and shocked that this jewel beyond measure was interested, and she was making it clear beyond any doubt that she wanted me. Still, the memory of Robin and her final words to me haunted me enough that I forced my mind back to the budget, and remained professional for the rest of her time in my office.
Kristi left with another giggle, pulling her skirt up to show the tops of her stockings before she left the room. The look she threw over her shoulder made it clear she wanted me to jump up and rush after her, but I held on to my desk with whitening knuckles until she lowered the skirt and opened the door.
I was spending my afternoon on more progress reports and reviews. The company had a major quarterly business meeting in a week and I had a number of reports due to Lawrence Fellows, the VP of marketing by Thursday. Many just required updating the graphs and charts, but I preferred to review the data before we started the updates, so we could anticipate any problems.
The work was mostly tedious. I did have to do some extra work to add notes for the new products and their progress in gaining market share. Many of the new products were doing as expected, but one, aimed at teenage boys, was not doing well, and some market research had revealed that the product was being presented incorrectly. A new plan had been developed but adding in the graphic details was tricky and I wanted to be sure that Lawrence was happy with the presentation when he received it
I had cleared my calendar in order to get this completed, but my secretary Sally interrupted me at four-thirty. "I'm sorry here, but a Detective Smith from the police department is here. He says he needs to see you."
I tried to think of what crime I might have committed recently, but could not come up with any. Finally I realized that the only way I would get an answer was to speak to the officer. "Send him in."
A moment later a large man in standard business wear walked in as I stood from my chair. He could see my initial reaction, so he pulled a billfold out of his wallet and showed me the badge and service card contained within. "Sorry, as a detective I usually work in plain-clothes," he said as I looked over the card. "But this should be a simple stop. You are Mark Hawkins. And two years ago you lived in Maple Grove, California correct?"
I started as I handed the badge back to the officer. "Why would you need to know that?" I asked.
The detective laughed. "I guess you aren't aware that there is a missing person report back in Maple Grove for you. Says that fifteen months ago you walked out of your apartment one Thursday and never returned."
I gave a bitter laugh. "I returned the next day to collect my clothing and personal items. Then I never returned."
The detective looked at me. "So you are the Mark Hawkins reported as missing?"
"I can't be missing," I said with an edge to my voice. "I'm obviously right here, in my office."
The officer looked at the desk, with its prominently displayed nameplate. He looked around the place and could see the few pictures and plants I had brought in over my time to make it feel less like a prison. Of course, the largest prison was in my mind and contained all the memories of the seven years I had lived with Robin before discovering her in bed with another man, but I was not going to mention that to the detective.
He seemed to notice the pictures and even took a moment to look at several more closely. The three main ones were an interesting review of my life. One was a simple photo taken at my high school graduation. The second was from when I graduated from college and contained all of the members of the intramural softball team I played on my last year. The last was from the previous summer and showed me holding up a largemouth bass that I had caught on a trip to the lakes with Jason. None of the pictures contained any women.
"I think I see," He said as he turned back to me. "Well I still must report that you have been found, and it will get back to Maple Grove. It's possible someone will come looking for you, but I can see no signs of duress or coercion:"
I gave another bitter laugh. "No, I came out here to find myself, and I guess I did. I'm right here."
The detective gave me a look before joining in the laughter. He offered me his hand and left quietly, closing the door behind him.
I looked over and found that the detective's visit had taken the clock up to nearly five p.m. With the workday winding to a close, I quickly reviewed my notes before firing off half a dozen e-mails to various analysts and marketing managers asking for their final inputs on the quarterly report. Then, I got up and headed out to my car, passing the now empty desk of Sally on my way.
The parking lot was already rather deserted as most of the employees liked to arrive early and leave before four to avoid the evening traffic. I had actually arrived before most of them, but as a director I felt that putting in a few extra hours was important and was almost always one of the last to leave. The lot was still brightly lit and one of the things I could see someone with long blond hair sitting on the hood of my car.
I groaned silently because sure enough it was Kristi and she came strutting up to me, stopping just in front of me. "You ready to surrender yet?" she asked with a grin.
"Never!" I cried as I tried to duck around her and get to my car. Kristi laughed and gave chase, finally pinning me against the car door as I reached to open it.
"You'll give in eventually," she said in my ear as her breasts rubbed against my back.
I managed to lean back enough to open the door and then turned to look at Kristi, which proved to be a mistake. Her jacket and blouse were completely unbuttoned and she was no longer wearing a bra so I was looking at two fine, firm and mouthwatering breasts. I raised my left hand and was about to touch them when I came to my senses. "Kristi! How can you be like that in a parking lot? Someone might see you!"
She giggled. "The right someone is seeing me," she said, although her hands did move to start buttoning up her blouse.
I shook my head. "I have a hard time believing that you are a virgin. You're way too practiced at seduction."
The giggle turned into full laughter. "What? You think that just because I'm a virgin I haven't watched my roommates and friends make men dance to their tunes? I was a cheerleader. I went to many slumber parties where the girls would brag about the men they seduced and how easy it was to trip them up and get them into bed. I might not have much practice, but I sure remember my theory."
I found myself laughing but then I stopped to look seriously at Kristi. "That doesn't change some things. I'm still married."
Kristi's response was to once again put her arms around me, although I noticed that she threw something onto my car seat before she pulled me in for a kiss. "I'm sure you are seriously thinking of changing that state. For me," she whispered as we broke off the kiss. Before I could respond, she was skipping across the courtyard, only stopping to briefly wave before she got in her car and drove off.
I had remained standing, partly because watching Kristi walk away was a true joy, but partly out of shock. Since I had walked in on Robin I had been able to maintain a distance from women. I have taken more than my share of cold showers, but not one woman had gotten more than a glance from me, but now I had to admit that Kristi was right. I was thinking of going back to Maple Grove and filing for divorce, something I had never considered before.
The package that Kristi had thrown on the car seat proved to contain a bra and panties, and something told me that it was the pair she had worn to work that day. I blushed a little as I held the lacey lingerie and wondered if her skin under them was as flawless as the skin on her arms and face. The idea surprised me and again I realized that I was far closer to surrendering than I imagined.
The night ended up passing quietly. I was working on some painting as relaxation and using that activity to avoid thinking about Kristi when the phone rang. I answered, but the party at the other end dropped the line, leaving me wondering what the story was. They did not call again, and by the time I fell into bed, I had nearly forgotten that the caller ID identified an area code that included Maple Grove.
The next day at work proved to be far more hectic than I predicted. Lawrence the VP had received my preliminary presentation and the poor showing of the one product immediately generated a phone call from him. We spent more than two hours reviewing the data and projections and I detailed the new path forward suggested by several of the marketing managers. He was a bit unhappy about the failure of the original plan, as his son had played a significant role in its development, but accepted blame for the poor rollout and asked me to initiate the changes in marketing immediately.
Of course, that meant additional meetings and phone calls, as the marketing campaign needed to be kicked off and budgets needed approval. I wound up so busy that when Kristi stopped by to ask me if I wanted to go to lunch I was barely able to pull the telephone away from my mouth and shake my head. Her response was to smile and drop an envelope on my desk.
That envelope, which I managed to open at the end of the day, contained a picture of Kristi in a bikini from the one modeling job she had ever performed, back when her university decided to have a cheerleader calendar, and a note which read, "See the rest. My place. Friday at Eleven-Thirty."
I felt myself blushing more than a little and started to work out excuses for not being in town on Friday as I walked to my car. I was struggling hard with how to let Kristi down gently that I was halfway home before I realized that I had a car following me closely. A glance in the mirror revealed a small GM built sedan, but the evening light made it impossible to tell who was driving. I might have tried to lose the driver, but after the long day at work, I was looking forward to dinner, so I continued home and studiously ignored the car, which shadowed my every move.
The car turned off just before I reached the apartment, and I shrugged as I climbed the steps to my home and let myself inside. I was confused by all the recent activity, but remembered the steak I had thawing in the refrigerator, and set up my indoor electric grill to cook the steak. I know, it's not as good as an open fire charcoal grill, but somehow I suspect my manager would not accept me using one of those inside the apartment.
The grill was just about the right temperature for me to throw the steak on, and the marinade had soaked the steak perfectly when I heard a knock on the door. I shouted for the knocker to wait and jumped to the door. When I opened it, I was speechless because standing there was Robin, my wife and the slut who had driven me more than two thousand miles away.
She seemed very unsure, but as the silence extended she blushed and then looked at me. "It's not what you think," she whispered.
That brought me back to life. "You don't know what I think," I growled and stepped away, returning to the kitchen to get the steak on the grill. I left the door open and a moment later Robin stepped inside and closed it behind her.
"No, Mark," she pleaded. "It really was not what you think. I never meant to hurt you."
This time I gave a bitter laugh. "And you spreading your legs for some jackass in our marital bed is supposed to heal me how? I need to hear the feminine logic behind this, just so I remember it for next time before I kick a girl out."
"Mark!" Robin whined. "I want to get back with you. I've spent months searching for you."
"Really?" I said dubiously. "And yet you never thought to call Thorvald and ask if I had obtained a transfer? He would have told you. I remember him warning me that if you did call, he would tell you the truth. Obviously, that wasn't something you did."
Robin whined more. "I did call, but all HR would say was that you didn't work at that site anymore. And I have been looking, but money was tight, so I couldn't afford a major search."
Again I barked out some laughter. "This is the internet age. A name and one hundred bucks and you can find just about everything about a person. Current and former addresses, spouse and children's names. Even employers. Why not just use the internet?"
"I didn't know how!" Robin wailed. "I didn't know what to do. You stormed out that day I was with Steve and vanished. Steve kept pressuring me for more time. I had to quit my job because Steve wouldn't stop. And then I couldn't find you."
"So Steve was a co-worker," I growled. "Why did you quit? When I saw you, it looked like you were about to enjoy the experience."
Robin blushed. "He told me that if I didn't he'd fire me," she wailed. "And he never did fuck me. You walked in and he panicked and left just minutes after you vanished. The next day I was at work to tell HR all about the situation, but by the time I got home all your stuff was gone."
This time I snorted in disbelief. "And you received no settlement from your boss? I've heard most companies pay well to avoid a sexual harassment lawsuit. If you did that, there should have been plenty of money."
Robin just shook her head. "They decided to fight it. It was twelve months before the court ruled in my favor and then two more before I finally got paid. As soon as I had the money I used it to find you."
"Guess it's time I got lost again," I muttered, causing Robin to collapse in sobs as I flipped my steak over to sear the other side. I watched her on my couch, but refused to take a step in her direction as my dinner continued to cook. She seemed to be repeating a whispered phrase over and over, and finally looked up at me.
"It's not what you think," she said again tears pouring down her face.
"You keep repeating that," I said. "But you miss the important part. I don't care what it was. I remember three words in our wedding vows; "Forsaking all others" I believe they were. When that Steve got you in bed with your panties off you definitely weren't keeping that vow. Now how can I believe that you meant any of your vows? How can I trust you? If you say you are working late, will it mean real work, or that you are going to be bent over your boss's desk?"
Robin was just shaking her head at me. "No ... I love you Mark. It meant nothing to me. I just forgot and let Steve pressure me."
Again I scoffed. "You only got upset when you opened your eyes and saw me looking at you. And you don't think I saw the drying cum on your face. You had already given Steve a blowjob, something you always denied me."
Robin was crying into her hands again, and I realized that my steak was cooked just the way I like, so I pulled it from the grill and set in on a plate to cool while I scavenged up the fixings for a small salad. I looked over at Robin crying on the couch and sighed.
"Robin," I said. "If you had come to me the first day Steve pressured you and told me the problem, perhaps I could believe you now. But I remember you talking about how nice Steve was, how sweet he was, how much you admired all his sports achievements. I think the only reason you now are complaining is that you got caught. That's why I won't listen to your pleas of 'It's not what you think.' I never thought, 'oh I caught my wife cheating, ' or 'oh look at Robin naked on the bed.' No, my thoughts were simpler; it was that you could never be honest with me. I remember warning you that I thought you had a bit of a crush on Steve, but you promised me that it was just friendship. No, with him it was more, with me it became just friendship."
Robin was shaking her head and again whispered. "No, it wasn't like that. It was a mistake. He meant nothing to me."
"Well, now he can be experience for you. Something to warn any daughters you might have about how to kill a marriage in one simple step. I was going to just live my life here, quietly. But your return today reminded me of why I left. Robin, tomorrow I'm going to file for divorce. It's over."
Robin just collapsed on the couch and started crying. I watched her for a while, but the sobs eventually stopped only for Robin to emit the faint snore that signaled she had just fallen asleep. I sighed and covered her with a blanket before sitting at the dinner table and eating the now cold steak.
After dinner I used my cell phone and made several calls from the bedroom for a lawyer. It took a while, but I did find one willing to meet with me in the morning, and set a time to arrive shortly before nine. After that I read a book in bed before going to sleep, locking the bedroom door before I did so.
I am not sure locking the door mattered. When I woke up and went to get breakfast Robin was still sleeping on my couch. I had left a message to my boss that I was going to be late to work due to personal business, and called Lawrence to let him know what had come up. He was not entirely happy that I was not spending the morning dealing with the problems, but once he understood what I was going through, accepted my absence.
I had finished breakfast when Robin finally sat up from the couch and rubbed her eyes. "I'm sorry," she said. "Did I fall asleep?"
I nodded and brought over a tray with juice, toast and an omelet that was only a little cold. "Yes, and slept for over twelve hours," I answered.
Robin sighed. "I can't seem to sleep anymore. I need your arms around me Mark. I swear Steve didn't fuck me."
I glared at her. "Only because I happened to come home sick and catch you."
Robin frowned. "Please, give me another chance. It was a mistake."
I shook my head. "Maybe, just maybe, we can try dating again in the future. But we've had fifteen months apart and I still find myself wanting to strangle you for what you did to our marriage that day. We need to divorce, after that, we can see if we can rebuild the trust we once had."
Robin looked very sad, but finally nodded. "Janice said you would probably want that, and that if I wanted a real chance, I had to give it to you."
It was my turn to be confused. "Who is Janice, and what did she mean?"
Robin looked at me again, tears filling her eyes. "After I quit my job, I went to see Janice; she works as a grief and marriage counselor. I told her all about what I had done, and your reaction, as well as the fact that you had disappeared. She was supportive, but agreed with your view that I had failed the marriage by not being honest with you about Steve. When I told her that I wanted to find you and get the marriage back, she was positive that we'd have to divorce first, and then see if we could rebuild it. Trust was going to be the biggest problem."
I found myself nodding. "To bad you didn't realize all this before Steve talked you into a bit of afternoon delight."
Robin just covered her face again. "Mark, please, I'm hurting enough. Let's just get the divorce started so I can return to Maple Grove and pack up."
"Pack up?" I asked.
Robin looked at me. "I can't date you if you are working here, and I live in Maple Grove, that's over two thousand miles away. So I'll find a new place here and move."
Robin seemed cheerful and sad at the same time. I could tell that my adamant position on divorce saddened her, but somehow my failure to yell and scream actually buoyed her spirits and after breakfast, we agreed to take our separate cars and drive to the lawyer's office.
Matt Burnbaum was professional and efficient. Once we explained the details he moved to have us fill out a number of forms. One I had to fill out indicated that I wanted no part of Robin's final judgment for the harassment case. She also waved any back alimony based on the six hundred dollars a month I had continued to transfer into our joint account during the fifteen months we were apart. Robin blushed when the lawyer asked why she had not used that to track me and admitted she had not thought about that. Part of me wanted to believe that she had continued to see Steve, but she produced a copy of the final judgment for Matt, along with a detailed accounting of her finances since I had moved out, which clearly showed that she had both left and sued her former employer.
My heart actually stopped when Matt pulled out a tape recorder and spoke to us. "Now, just to help expedite this, I'm going to record both of you affirming to the divorce with my secretary here. She will be notarizing a number of documents, and that should allow the court to make a summary judgment for divorce. This means that rather than the normal long wait, the divorce will be final in thirty days, but you are both accepting the financial split you agreed to today."