This is a sequel to Marci and Mickey, a story I recently submitted. It was submitted under another title (Love and Sacrifice) on Literotica because Literotica said I had used the title before—I hadn't—but that minor snafu isn't all that big a deal. Anyway...
I have had several folks mention that the relationship between Howard and Marci did not get enough play. I agree. I wrote the original in one sitting and with one goal in mind—emotive response to self-sacrifice. But it is clear to me now that these kinds of things happen in real life and that more than two people deserved development. So, for what it's worth, here it is. I hope you like it. Oh, and yes, why were Elsie and Mickey sitting down with them again? Here is I my response to all of that as well.
"Why?" I said. "I'm over her. I have no need to be around her. She's got her man. I've got my woman. What on earth could be the reasoning behind wanting to socialize with them?"
"I still feel weird about this whole thing, Mick. You gave so much. You need to feel good about that at some point. I get nervous or concerned or something when I see you go pensive on me, and you do that a lot, Mick.
"I don't know if socializing with them, especially her, will help in that respect; but I think it might," she said.
"You know, Elsie, I damn near killed that guy. I would have too if I hadn't been pulled off by half of their friends. I'm not sure I can be around him and not feel the urge to harm him again," I said.
"You were provoked, Mick. Even though he may be ignorant of your sacrifice and maybe even your love for that woman, he knows he was in the wrong for fucking her while you were still inside.
"As you know I have spoken with your Marci a number of times even had lunch with her once or twice. She's pretty fragile right now," said Elsie.
"Fragile? She's fragile? Hell, Elsie, I'm fragile. You say I go pensive on you sometimes. I guess that's so. I keep remembering things, things that were done to me inside. It's not a nice place, prison," I said.
"You've not told me much about your time in there, Mickey. I mean, I know some of things that happen in there; I am a lawyer after all. At some point, maybe we do need to sit and have you talk to me. I'm your anchor my husband, and your mine. We need to be one in all ways. I hope you agree with me on that little point; it's important, Mick," she said.
"Yeah, I guess you're right. I just have to figure how to tell you stuff. It ain't easy," I said.
"They're not here yet," I said. We had arrived maybe five minutes early, but half an hour later we were still waiting. Somebody's going to have to teach Marci how to tell time, I thought.
"They'll be here. Are you in a hurry?" said Elsie.
"No, it's just that I thought you two, you and Marci, were anxious for this meeting," I said.
"Hmm, anxious is not exactly the word. Needful, maybe," said my wife.
I turned and looked toward the entrance to the restaurant. "There they are," I said. "They just came in."
"Hello, Mickey," said Marci. She had a look I couldn't decipher.
"Hi, Marci, Howard," I said, standing; my voice was flat. Elsie nodded her greeting. We took our seats. It was quiet, not embarrassingly so, but tentative. Like two countries mutually suspicious and guarded, but anxious to get on with negotiations. Elsie spoke first.
"Hope you're both well," said Elsie. Shall we order?" There was a murmur of agreement among us. The food would delay the inevitable and give all of us a chance to settle in and down.
The waitress came as a result of my signal. I felt weird as hell. Here was my ex-wife sitting across from me. Sitting across from me with the man she had cuckolded me with, while I was in prison serving a term for manslaughter, a crime that "she" had committed and that I had taken the fall for in order to spare her the long years in prison that she would not have survived. Talk about strange shit!
The food came and we ate. The weather, the Republican party, and the high price of pantyhose in Bangladesh were all topics of conversation while we chowed down.
The waitress brought the after dinner coffees I'd requested. The time for dancing around the real purpose of the meeting was over.
Marci was fiddling with the spoon in her coffee cup. She always had used half a pound of sugar in her coffee. I remember regularly telling her that she didn't drink coffee; she drank candy. That always brought forth a protest from her to mind my own taste buds. I didn't mention it now.
"Well, I guess it's up to me now," said Marci. "Just so you'll all know, Howard does not know what I will be saying tonight. I never told him everything, but after tonight, he'll know it all." Well, that answered one question for me; the man who cuckolded me didn't have a clue what he'd done or who he'd married. Well, he would now, I supposed.
"Mickey, I am begging you; let me tell this my way. I've rehearsed it long and hard. I need to do this. I need to do it, and you deserve to hear it Mickey, and so does Elsie if it comes to that."
I started to say that she didn't need to say anything, but she held up her hand to short shank me. "Mick, this one is on me. You've already done all you could do for me; this one is on me."
Elsie put her hand on my arm and nodded for me to let the scene play out.
Howard looked first at his wife and then at me. He was clearly out of the loop.
"Some ten years ago, maybe a little more, I killed a man, a blackmailer. The man was a cop, Marshall Whitcomb," she said.
"What the fuck!" screamed Howard. A dozen faces looked our way.
"Howard, I love you; this is as much for you as it is for me. So just shut up and listen; this is going to be hard enough," said Marci. He glared at her, but for whatever reason, he did as she said and shut up. His eyes moved from Marci back to me then to Elsie, and finally backed to Marci. He slumped in his seat and seemed to grow distant, but his eyes remained on his wife.
"I made a mistake. I let him, Marshall, have me once. It was that wedding reception, Mickey, for Candace. You remember, my friend. You couldn't go. Some emergency and your skills were needed.
"Marshall looked very handsome. Love was in the air. We girls were talking about sex and cocks and wondering about Candace' husband. Anyway, Marshall came on to me. Some of the girls dared me. I put him and them off. I protested that I was married, and they let me alone, even Marshall—for the moment. But, the seed had been planted.
"Later that evening we'd all had a little too much champagne, he came on to me again. And, well, he took me into the back guestroom; it was being used for the coats of the guests and such. He bent me over the back of a low chair and took me. I was drunk, I think so was he. But he wasn't too drunk to pull out his small camera and shoot pics of me bent over with cum running down my leg. It was a quickie, I guess you could say. He laughed and told me it was our secret.
"It was then that I began to realize what I'd done. But, he'd said it was our secret. I convinced myself that it had just been a stupid indiscretion. No big deal. I was drunk, he was too. It would never happen again. But, it did.
"He called me a week later and told me to check my email. He'd sent me a picture of me, naked in that room with all of the coats. I was stupefied. I remembered then him taking the pictures; I hadn't really thought about them until that day when he sent them to me.
"To make a somewhat longer story short, he told me that if I'd meet him for sex on that next Tuesday noontime, that he wouldn't send them, the pictures, to you Mickey and everybody else I loved. I was stricken, frightened, and helpless.
"Well, he took me again and again during the following year. He was merciless and cruel and evil. Sex with him was an ordeal not anything any woman would want." She said.
What she'd said answered a lot of questions I had had, but had never had the opportunity to ask since I was inside. I had to say something. "Marci, it's water under the bridge. I think you needed to do this for Howard, your husband, but it's over now; let it go," I said.
Howard's eyes were glazed over. He was crying. But, to his credit, he said nothing. His head had to be in turmoil. He looked over at me, and nodded his new understanding of why I had damn near killed him those many years ago. It was his apology. I just raised a hand and waved him off.
"Howard," said Elsie, "you need to think long and hard about this, of course, but I can tell you, your wife loves you. I hope it's enough for you."
"Please, everyone, my confession just now was for Howard, my husband. But, it's not the only reason I'm here. There is something else. Something no one knows. It's taken me years to come to grips with what I am about to say, and I need you all to not interrupt. I am a very weak woman, I have proved that little truth over and over, and I need to get through this," she said.
Elsie nodded, "Go on, dear. I can imagine how hard this is for you; just go on."
"Mickey, after all you did for me. Oh my God after all you did for me! It was so much. I fucked you over, betrayed you, left you crying and filled with despair and anger and horrible hurt. And Mickey, I had to do it—for you."
"What the hell, Marci!" I said. I think I'd mentioned being confused before, but not like this.
"Mickey, please. I need to do this. You shut up too," she said. Elsie actually giggled, but just a little.
"What you did, Mick—it was too much. Too much for me to live with. I knew that someday you'd get out. I knew that you would come home to me, to your wife, your loving wife, the wife that let you take the fall for what she had done.
"I knew too, that every single day of our life together after that, that I would have to live with what had happened to you in that awful place, the place you'd saved me from. There was not the slightest doubt in my mind that eventually the pressure would become unbearable for us. You'd stick it out, I knew, but you deserved better.
"I knew I just couldn't dump on you while you were locked up like that with no hope and no one to comfort you. So, I couldn't tell you of my decision, Mickey: my decision to leave you, to let you find happiness. Selfishly perhaps, I considered it my gift to you. But, I knew you wouldn't see it that way. But, it was the right way to see it," she said.
I stared at her with a new something—respect. Her words were so logical, even self-sacrificing.
"That is why I stopped coming so often. I knew you'd see through me. I knew you'd eventually understand what I was going to do, and I couldn't face your misery over that level of what I knew you'd see as betrayal of your love for me. But, Mickey, I never betrayed your love. It was just that I didn't deserve it anymore. You deserved so much more than I could ever be to you," she said.
"My God, Mickey, I still love you. And, Howard, just so you know; I love you every bit as much as I love or ever have loved Mickey. You are a wonderful husband.
"I realize, Howard, that my coming clean here tonight may be the end of us. I couldn't blame you. But, I hope you'll take me home and still love me, and help this poor woman survive this night. And, Howard, I don't deserve you either," she said.
"Marci, I forgive you. I'm not sure I agree with what you did. I think that we could have gotten through it, pressures or no pressures, but maybe not. You just might have been right. Hell, I don't know.
"I know I'm happy now. And for the life of me, I hope you and Howard make it. I want you to make it.
"Howard, she killed a man. But, she was provoked into doing it. The evil bastard that destroyed us needed to pay. I don't doubt that he'd done the same to other women, wives, in the past," I said. I paused; Elsie filled in.
"Actually he did," said Elsie. "Marci, after you came clean to me that time—yes Howard we all knew—you were the only one in the dark." Howard's eyes had gotten big when Elsie made her pronouncement. She cut him off with a wave of her hand from making a comment too soon and unnecessarily.
"I had occasion to check up on good 'ole Officer Whitcomb," said Elsie, "He was a gnat's eyelash short of going to jail for rape on at least two occasions. He only avoided jail time because some of his brother cops covered his ass. He was not a good man. He drove Marci to do what she did."
I butted in. "And, Howard, while you were in the dark about all of this; you had some of it coming, my man. You kept me in the dark about fucking my wife while I was inside and helpless to do anything about it even if I had known. So, before you condemn your woman, if you intend to, consider your own situation before you throw stones," I said.
Marci looked over at me. The vague smile I got was one of pure love and—gratitude. "You're welcome," I said, looking right at her.
"Well, this has been a very enlightening experience for me," said Howard. His voice had a tremor in it, as well it might. "Everyone has had so many things to say. So, I would like to say something. Goodnight." He rose to go, looked over at Marci, and she rose too. He seemed to be waiting for her. He turned to go and she followed him.
"Well, that was fun," I said, about as mirthlessly as I ever said anything. I turned to my wife for directions as to what I should do or think or act like.
"I'm worried, Mickey. I want to keep in contact with them. Marci isn't doing too well in her head, I don't think. However Howard acts in the coming hours and days will tell the tale. Believe me, I've seen the signs; some bad stuff could be about to happen if he blows it," she said.
Howard was stunned. The evening for him had been the worst night of his entire life. He was married to a killer, sort of. Oh, she'd killed the man right enough. But the man was an evil scumbag. The question was, did that make any difference? Yes, it did, he thought. He had no clue as to how the law would look at it though. He did know that, as a lawyer, Elsie would know. Why she hadn't turned her in was the mystery. Maybe she hadn't because it was her husband's wish for her not to.
"Why now?" asked Howard, looking at her as he drove.
"It was time. It's been eating me up," said Marci. "You gonna leave me, Howard?"
"No. No. Oh, I don't know," he said. "It's all so sordid. Marci, do you still love him?"
"Mickey? Yes. But I love you too. And, I am yours and you will always be made fully aware of that. I mean if you decide to keep me," she said.
He drove. They arrived at their home, the home that used to be Mickey's and hers.
"I'm not tired," he said. "You go on up. I will be up a little later."
"Okay," she said. She hesitated at the foot of the stairs. She looked back at him. "Howard, you are coming up, right? I mean..."
"Yes, I'll be up in a little while," he said.
The sun woke her. Howard was not in bed, and had not been there. The tears began to flow. She was sure that he was thinking of abandoning her. The hurt to him had to have been more than she anticipated. Or, maybe not. She could have predicted his reaction. She was a murderer. Good reason, good cause, or not, she'd killed a man. How was Howard, gentle Howard, supposed to deal with something like that? The only logical answer had to be, badly.
He was in the kitchen when she came down. "You didn't come to bed?" she said.
"I intended to. I just fell asleep watching the late show. After last night, I just wanted something mindless to occupy me, and well, I fell asleep. It wasn't intentional. Not last night at any rate," he said.
"Not last night?" she said, hearing something in his words that frightened her.
"Yes, last night I had intended to come up, but I fell asleep; but, Marci, I think that tonight I am going to sleep in the guest room, I need to do some thinking," he said.
"Wha... ?" she said. She was crying.
"It's just I feel a kinda stunned by all of this. I just need a little time to—adjust—my thinking. It's all so, I don't know, bizarre. I mean you have to admit that," he said. She nodded the stark unforgiving sadness of the moment terrible.
She stumbled her way toward the den. He headed upstairs toward the guest room.
"I don't know Elsie, I guess her words make sense. At least on one level. I never could figure out why she just kind of dumped me for another man. Now at least I have a kind of an answer," said Mickey.
"Yes, I feel the same way. It is 'an' answer if not necessarily the one anyone else would have thought of.
"As a lawyer I have this image of her sitting at home, while you were taking her punishment, crying her eyes out and wondering how things would go when you got out," said Elsie. "I guess all that she could come up with was not good."
"Yeah, I guess. But it would have been nice if she had just had the courage to tell me earlier on rather than lead me to believe I had a life with her waiting for me down the road, I mean when I got out," said Mickey.
Elsie snorted. "Yeah, and then had to live with your despair while you sat in your cell with no way out and in no way able to do anything about it. No, I have to agree with her on that one. On one level it was a terrible lie that she was living. On another it was a kindness of hers not to take away your hope."
"Helluva thing," said Mickey.
"Yeah, I guess," said Elsie. "Mick?"
"Huh?" he said.
"It was real bad wasn't it? I mean your time inside," she said.
"Real bad. Especially at the beginning," he said.
"Wanna tell me about it? There's never going to be a good time. You know that," she said.
"I don't know. What good would it do?" he said.