I looked at her on the other side of the table and realized that she had not changed a bit in the year since I had last seen her. I saw her looking me over and wondered what she was thinking. I had honestly never expected to see her again.
I had checked into the motel three hours before and then had gone to the attached restaurant to get a bite to eat. I was sitting in a booth going over my schedule for the coming week when someone slid onto the seat across from me and said:
"Hello stranger; long time no see."
I looked up and saw Connie. She had been the afternoon desk clerk at the motel for as long as I had been coming to Palm Springs.
"Hello yourself. How have you been?"
"Same old same old. Still working the desk, but now I have the day shift with Saturday and Sunday off. How's that for being in tall cotton? You alone or is the crew here."
I knew what she wanted to hear. She and Sam had a thing going every time he came to the Springs.
"Alone for two days and then Vern, Rick and Billy Bob will be here."
I saw her face start to fall and then said, "And Sam will be here too."
She smiled at me and said "Bastard."
I smiled back at her and said, "Yup, that's me."
"How long this time?"
"Supposed to be three weeks but you know how that goes. The last time was only supposed to be two weeks and we were here two and a half months."
"Been here long?"
"About three hours."
"Seen anyone else?"
"No. Checked in, called the office to let them know I was here and then came here."
She was silent for a second or two and then said, "She's working across the street. She tends bar in the afternoon at the Oasis. She's there now. She works three-thirty to midnight."
I shrugged and Connie said, "She finally got rid of Nick.
I looked at her as what she said hit home.
"No replacement either."
"Excuse me" I said and I went to the pay phone, opened the phone book and found what I was looking for and then made the call. A credit card number took care of it and a dozen red roses were on the way. I went back to the booth and asked Connie not to go over to the Oasis and say anything.
Her back was to me when I entered the Oasis at ten to twelve. I took a seat at the end of the bar and waited while she finished taking care of a customer. She turned and took a bill to the register and then took the guy his change. Then she turned and checked out the rest of the bar to see if anyone was ready for another drink and she saw me. Her face lit up in a smile and she headed for me. As she passed by the register she stopped and took a rose out of the vase sitting there and then came up to me.
"There was no card, but my heart told me who sent them."
She looked at her watch and said, "I get off at twelve."
"I'll be sitting right here waiting."
I'd met Kirby almost two years before when the company I worked for sent me to Palm Springs for an extended stay. My company handles specialty cars for a major automobile manufacturer and one of the things we did was haul their products to sunny locations so advertising agencies could take the photos and shoot the film that was used in advertising campaigns. Time was money to those people so their locations were almost always in places where you could count on sunshine three hundred and sixty days a year so we did a lot of work in southern California.
There were five of us in the crew on that trip and during our second week Vern hooked up with a cocktail waitress who worked at one of the night spots in Rancho Mirage. He would drive over there every night and wait for her to get off work and he kept after the rest of us to go with him so he wouldn't have to drink alone.
One night the entire crew decided to go. The place had a floor show that wasn't too bad and Vern's squeeze was a nice looking lady, but from the moment I walked through the door I only had eyes for Kirby. There was just something about her that grabbed me. We were seated in her section and when she came to take our drink order she smiled and I melted. The first thing I saw when I was able to tear my gaze away from her face was the wedding ring on her left hand. I had one too, but mine didn't mean anything. Kirby took our drink order and as she walked away Billy Bob nudged me with his elbow and told me to close my mouth.
"Was I that obvious?"
"Only to everyone in the building."
For the rest of the night I tried to keep up with the conversation as my eyes followed Kirby everywhere she went. The next night I was there with Vern again and again my eyes stayed on Kirby. It made no sense since I knew she was married and to me that meant that she was untouchable, but God did I love looking at her. Vern noticed and asked me if I was planning on taking a shot at her and I told him no.
"In all our years working road trips and locations together have you ever seen me cheat on my wife?"
"No, but there s always a first time for everything and it is obvious that Kirby has your undivided attention."
"She's married too Vern."
"Again hoss, a first time for everything."
The truth of the matter was that if Kirby wasn't married I would have been after her in a heartbeat and the fact that I had never cheated on my wife would have been history. My fidelity toward Carol was just something that I did because I was an old fashioned kind of guy. I took a vow when I married Carol and unlike some I held to those vows. I didn't have to because as far as I was concerned Carol had released me from those vows, but like I said, I was an old fashioned kind of guy and I had old fashion values.
I had been on a two week location with the Grey Advertising Agency at the Kentucky Derby where they were shooting an ad campaign for a new model. Things went smoothly and we finished two days early so I loaded the two cars into the trailer and headed for home.
I tried to call Carol and let her know I was on the way home, but got no answer. I didn't think anything of it because she had a whole host of things she did to keep her busy while I was away on location. In addition to working full time at a real estate agency she bowled two nights a week, belonged to a book discussion group at the library, sold Amway products and worked as a volunteer at a local church. No problem. If I couldn't reach her I would surprise her.
I dropped the truck at the shop, got into my pick up and headed for the house. I had to drive through town to get home and as I passed by Kelly's Bar I caught sight of Carol's Mustang. No mistaking her pony, it was the only Sea Mist Green Mustang in the county. I hung a u-turn to go back and just as I straightened out the truck I saw Carol come out of Kelly's arm in arm with some guy I had never seen before. I pulled to the curb and watched as they walked — still arm in arm — to the parking lot. They walked to Carol's car and the guy took her in his arms and kissed her and she put her arms around him and kissed him back. She got in her car, started it up and then sat there waiting until the guy got in his car and pulled out of the lot. Carol pulled out behind him and they headed east. Our house was to the west.
I pulled out and followed them. I wasn't worried about being noticed since there were thousands of black Ford F-250 pick up trucks around. About five minutes down the road they pulled into an apartment complex, got out of their cars and went into apartment 3B. I saw the lights come on and I sat there to see what would happen next. Forty-five minutes later the lights went off and when no one came out of the apartment during the next hour I knew all I needed to know.
I drove home and I could tell as soon as I walked into the house that there hadn't been anyone there in days. I took a look around and then I went to bed. Carol was sure going to be surprised when she got home.
Carol wasn't home when I got up in the morning. I ran around and did some errands before I went into work and as I drove through town I saw Carol's Mustang parked at the real estate agency where she worked. I went into work, turned in my expense reports and told my boss I needed to take the rest of the day off to take care of some personal business.
I called Carol at work and acted like nothing was wrong.
"I called you last night, but I guess you were out."
"Last night I was working with the group from church. Are you still going to be home tomorrow?"
"Probably not. It looks more like noon the day after."
"Damn it honey, you need to get home. I'm hurting."
"It is just as bad for me lover."
"Just hurry up and get home."
"I will. Love you."
"Love you too baby."
At five I was parked where I could see her car and when she came out of work she was walking with the same guy I'd seen her with the night before only this time they weren't walking arm in arm. Must not want to get the rest of the folks in the office talking.
I followed them and they went straight to the apartment. I sat there about and hour and no one came out. I left and went to get a bite to eat and when I came back both cars were still there. I watched for another two hours and no one came out. I went home and set the clock for five am. I didn't expect Carol to come home that night and I planned on being outside 3B when she and the guy came out. I tagged along behind them as they drove to the real estate office and then I headed on into work. I had a sit down with my boss and told him what was going on and that I needed one more day off.
I drove home and removed all traces of my having been there and then I drove over to the real estate office. I was behind them when they pulled up in front of 3B and after they went into the apartment I went over to the mail box cluster and found that 3B was occupied by Jason Monroe. I sat and watched and at eleven-thirty Carol came out, got in her car and drove to our house. I headed for a motel and checked in for the night.
At ten the next morning I went home and saw that Carol had set the scene for me. Dirty dishes in the sink, her clothes all over the place and the bathroom looking like fifteen people had used it for the last week. It must have taken her hours getting the place to look like she spent all of her time there.
I waited until noon and then called her and told her I was home. She told me to take a handful of vitamins and she would try and get off work early. She came rushing in the door at three and she was already pulling off her clothes when she saw me sitting on the couch.
"What? You aren't naked and waiting?"
"I didn't expect you for another hour."
"I told you I would try and get off early. Now come on baby and get with the program. We have a lot of catching up to do."
I was not at all happy with Carol, but she was a great piece of ass and now that I knew what I knew that is all she would ever be to me from that point on. I'd had two days to think on it and had decided to just turn my back on it. I needed someone to watch the house when I was gone and it was nice to have home cooked meals. I sucked at doing laundry. The last time I did it I didn't separate it right and everything white came out pink so what the hell I thought, I'd keep Carol as a live in maid while I was gone and a convenient cum depository when I was at home. It would be easier and cheaper than divorcing her cheating ass.
"Come on Rob" she cried, "Get with it."
I got up, undressed and she grabbed me by the hand and pulled me toward the bedroom.
I was home for two months and as far as I know — and I watched her like a hawk — she never played around on me. I saw no signs that she was unhappy with me and in fact she was very attentive to me and our sex life was great.
Then I was tagged for a shoot in Phoenix with the J. Walter Thompson agency and I told Carol I would be leaving on Tuesday. Actually I was leaving on Wednesday and Tuesday evening I was parked just up the street from the real estate office at quitting time and when she got off work at five she and Jason went straight to apartment 3B. I guess they had some catching up to do.
That set the pattern for the next year and a half. Carol was the perfect wife when I was home, but as soon as I was out the door she was with Monroe. I would tell her I was leaving a day earlier than I did and then watch as she went to 3B and I would tell her I would be home two days later than I actually got there and then watch as she spent her nights at 3B.
I don't guess that she ever worried about not being home when I called because I didn't call all that much. It was something that we had set up long before I found out about her and Monroe. I couldn't call her when I was working the location during the day and it was usually seven-thirty or eight before we lost daylight and packed up the shoot. Because of the three hour time difference between us I didn't want to call and wake her up so we set it up that I would call her every Friday night at ten o'clock her time. She was always there for the call, but whether or not she was alone or not I never knew.
I was surprised that she never did anything at our place — at least she never did when I was watching — but I don't know about other nights. What I did know was that our marriage was dead. I would continue to use her, but it would never be any more than that.
It was my habit when on trips to live off my per diem and bank my entire paycheck, but finding out about Carol's secret life changed that. I started banking my per diem in an account Carol didn't know about and started pulling my travel expenses out of my paycheck. A divorce would happen somewhere along down the line and since divorces were now mostly no-fault with assets being split fifty-fifty I intended to decrease the amount of cash Carol would get while increasing what I would end up with. Carol noticed the change in bank deposits and mentioned it and I explained it away by telling her that the cost of motel rooms and meals kept going up, but my per diem didn't so I had to make up the difference.
The other change was that I started volunteering for more trips. By the time I first laid eyes on Kirby my marriage was long gone even though Carol didn't know it. Probably the oddest part was that even though Carol had broken her vows to me and that should have freed me up to play I didn't. Those old fashioned values again. I had given my word when I said "I do" and I was stuck with it until the bands of matrimony were legally severed. That was my mind set.
Until I set eyes on Kirby.
But Kirby was married so all I could do was look and not touch. And look I did. Three or four nights a week I went to the club and sat with Vern while he waited for Linda to get off work and I pretended to watch the floor show while all the time watching Kirby move between tables and wait on customers.
I did talk to her occasionally. When things were slow she and Linda would come over to the table and we would talk, but it was mostly general conversation. I don't know how long it would have gone on like that if left up to me, but it wasn't left up to me.
It was a Saturday night and the entire crew was there. Billy Bob had hooked up with a girl who had come down to the Springs for the weekend; Sam had somehow latched onto Connie who was the girl who worked the front desk at the motel and Rick was with one of the waitresses from the restaurant at the motel. I flagged Kirby down and ordered a round for the table and when she brought it I dropped two twenties on her tray and told her to keep the change. She bent down and kissed me and then said:
"Are we still on for tonight?"
I was caught totally by surprise, but I'm fairly quick on my feet so I said, "Absolutely."
As Kirby walked away Vern said, "You old dog you. How did you manage that without any of us knowing? Hell bud, we are with you almost all the time and I never had a clue."
"I guess I never told you that my nick-name in school was "Slick" did I?"
"No you didn't old hoss, but I can see that you are. Yes indeed you are."
About half an hour later I got up to use the bathroom and when I came out Kirby was waiting in the hall for me.
"The restaurant at the motel a little after midnight okay?"
Before I could say a word she turned and hurried back to work. I looked at my watch and saw that it would be two hours before I could find out what was going on. I went back to the table but I can't for the life of me remember anything that was said by the others sitting there. I watched Kirby work and wondered what the hell was going on.
It was a quarter after twelve when Kirby walked in and saw me sitting in a booth. "Surprised?" she asked as she slid onto the sear across from me.
"Stunned is more like it. What is going on? Why did you make everyone at the table think that there is something going on between us?"
"Wouldn't you like for there to be something going on between us? From the way you watch me I certainly get that impression."
"Look lovely lady, I'm just a simple mechanic and truck driver and I have to have things explained to me. What is going on here?"
"I need a boyfriend and if you are willing you are my choice."
"You are married sweetie so why are you looking for a boyfriend?"
"It isn't all that complicated. My husband Nick travels a lot for his job. He is gone two and three weeks at a time and I spend a lot of time being alone and horny. But I love Nick so I sit home and suffer through it and wait for him to come home. A couple of months ago I found out that Nick gets horny also, but he doesn't suffer through it and wait until he gets home to me."
"He is cheating on you?"
"Big time. His trips take him to San Francisco, Salt Lake, Denver and Kansas City on a regular basis and he has a steady girlfriend in each one of those places. In places he goes to where he doesn't have a steady he is always hitting bars and lounges looking for pick ups."
"And you know this how?"
"You make enough as a cocktail waitress to hire private detectives?"
"Not hardly, but my dad is loaded and he paid for it. What happened is that Nick came home from one of his trips and got a little careless. I took some of his clothes to the dry cleaners and I went through the pockets to make sure that there was nothing in them. I found a package of condoms. Nick and I have never used condoms so right away I knew what it meant.
"My dad is a divorce lawyer and I went to him for advice. Not divorce advice because I loved Nick, but I wanted to know from my father's standpoint and experience what the chances were that Nick and I could work things out. Like how many cases he had been involved in that didn't go all the way to divorce and why they didn't. That kind of stuff. He told me that condoms had many other uses other than being used in sexual intercourse and it was possible that Nick used them for another reason.
"I was a bit skeptical, but dad told me that he used them to keep his cigarettes and matches dry when he went fishing and sometimes when he played golf and it looked like it might rain. I asked him if he really expected me to believe that and he told me that he played golf in a tee shirt and shorts and the only place he could put his cigarettes was on the tray across the front of the golf cart where they would get wet when it rained or if the sprinklers came on when they weren't supposed to. He used a condom to keep them dry. He suggested that I do nothing, but to keep a close eye on Nick to see if I could come up with anything else."
"Your dad was right about them being used for other purposes. When I was in the Army I used them to blouse my trousers, keep water out of the barrel of my rifle and to keep some things dry when we were on marches in bad weather."
"None of that matters now. What dad didn't tell me was that he was going to use his contacts to find out if Nick was cheating on me and he found out that Nick was."
"So what does that have to do with me?"
"I decided that I'm not going to sit home and be horny while waiting for Nick to come home. I need some one to help me with the horny part and I picked you."
"Because you are a nice guy. I can tell from the way you watch me that you want me, but you haven't tried anything. No sexist remarks, no crude come ons, no trying to grab a feel or pat me on the ass like most of the assholes that come into the lounge. I wanted some one, but most of the guys I come across are assholes and I don't want to waste time on an asshole. I asked Linda to pump Vern about you and Vern told her that you were Mr. Straight Arrow and married so you looked and didn't touch.
"Linda also found out that your company will fly your wife out to visit after you have been away from home for over thirty days, but you have never brought her out. You also never talk about her and f anyone asks about her you change the subject. I put all that information together and came up with the idea that all is not well between you and your wife. As for what happened at the lounge tonight Linda suggested that I hit you with it in front of every one so you wouldn't be likely to turn me down without giving me a chance to talk to you so I gambled and here we are."
"I don't think I would be a good boyfriend for you. I only get out here three or four times a year and when I am here it is only for a few weeks at a time."
"That will work for me. Unfortunately I love Nick even though he is a cheating asshole. I don't plan on leaving him, just play a little while he is playing. If I hooked up with some one local and saw him all the time things could get awkward. Some one who is only around part of the time would be perfect."
"What would you do on those horny nights when I wasn't around?"
"Remember how good it was when you were here and how good it will be when you come back."
"It is a very tempting offer."
"I had hoped that it would be. If you are at all interested I believe that you have a room here in this very establishment."
"I do indeed. Any chance you might like to go with me to my room and look at my etchings?"
"Ooh, I've always wanted to see etchings."
I signaled for the bill, paid it and then Kirby and I headed for my room. Once inside my room Kirby said:
"I don't see any etchings."
"I lied. I just told you that to get you into my room."
"Well honey, you got me up here to show me something so you had better get to it."
"Show you something? Okay."
I walked over to the dresser and started picking up things. "This is my hairbrush and over here we have the charger for my electric razor." I opened the top drawer of the dresser and took out a pair of briefs and showed them to her as I said, "And here is some of my clean underwear."
"Enough! Enough already. I've seen enough. Get your pants off. Now!"
As she said that her skirt hit the floor and I figured that it was time to get with the program. Kirby was naked and on the bed by the time I had all of my clothes off. She gave me the eye and said:
"Get over here lover and show me that I know how to pick 'em."
I warned her that the first time might be kind of disappointing as it had been a bit since I'd last been laid and she said:
"No problem as long as there is a second time."
There was and a third time after which I asked her what time she had to leave and go home.
"Trying to get rid of me already?"
"Hell no. As far as I'm concerned you can stay right here until the location is over and even then you can stay with me. Just get in the truck and go home with me."
"You sound like you mean that."
"Bet your sweet ass I do."
"What would you tell your wife when you got me there?"
"Get out and don't let the door hit your ass on the way out."
"Ouch! That sounds a bit harsh."
"I suppose it does, but our marriage has been over for a couple of years now. I just haven't taken the time to put it to rest."
"Well sweetie, it won't end because of little old me going home with you because that is never going to happen. I will have my fun with you, but I'm staying here because this is where Nick is when he is not on the road selling. But to answer your question; I need to be home by one-thirty so I can shower and get ready to go into work at four."
"That means you can have breakfast with me."
"You might not have enough energy left to get out of bed to go to breakfast" she said as she reached for my cock and when her mouth closed on me I felt like I'd died and gone to Heaven.
The two week location stretched out to five and for the next eight days Kirby spent her nights in my bed and on the ninth night Kirby told me that her husband had gotten home that afternoon so it would be a while before she would be able to see me again.
The next two nights I went with Vern to the lounge and sat with him while he waited for Linda to get off, but seeing Kirby and knowing that she wouldn't be going back to my room with me was just too hard on me so I stopped going to the lounge. Three days went by and one afternoon Vern told me that Kirby had asked about me and was wondering if I was okay.
"Tell her I'm fine."
"You tell her."
"I can't. I don't have her phone number."
"Then come down to the lounge and tell her in person."
"Can't do that either. Just tell her I'm fine Vern and then let it rest."
A week went by and then one night during the fourth week of the location there was a knock on my door and I opened it expecting to see Vern, Billy Bob or one of the other guys on the crew, but there stood Kirby.
"May I come in?"
I stepped aside and she walked in. I closed the door and turned to see her taking off her clothes.
"Nick is gone for at least two weeks. Get your clothes off lover; we need to make up for lost time."
I had a week and a half with Kirby and then it was time to load up the trucks and head home to Michigan. Kirby and I had breakfast together on the morning I had to leave and as we held hands across the table she asked:
"You will miss me won't you?"
"Silly girl, of course I'm going to miss you. I just wish there was some way I could either stay here or take you with me."
"That is so sweet of you to say that, but you know I can't go with you. My heart is here. I will think about you and hope that you will be back soon."
She walked me to my truck, gave me a scorcher of a kiss and then walked over to her car. She sat there and watched me until I pulled out of the parking lot and headed east.
Keeping to the schedule I had already set I got home two days before Carol expected me and checked out the house. It had that same empty feeling that I had felt the first time. It was obviously not lived in. That evening I followed Carol and the shithead from the real estate office to dinner and then to a lounge where they danced for a while. They were at Monroe's apartment by one. The next day they skipped dinner and went straight from work to 3B. I guess they wanted to 'stock up' for a while since I was coming home.
When I rolled in the house had a 'lived in look' that must have taken Carol hours to achieve. My home coming was passionate as Carol tried to fuck me to death. I was home for almost three months and I kept a close eye on Carol and as far as I could tell she did not run around on me even once. Apparently she and Monroe had figured out that the best way to keep from being caught was not to do anything when I was in town.
I was tapped for another trip and as was my new habit I told Carol I was leaving a day earlier than I actually left and I was watching as she and Monroe raced from the real estate office to apartment 3B. I was punishing myself a little by doing that, but I needed to know if she was still with Monroe or had switched to some other asshole.
My trip didn't take me to Palm Springs. It was an inside location at a studio in Century City in Los Angeles that was scheduled for three days and then I had to take the car to San Diego for five days and then head up to San Francisco for six more. At the end of the first day's shoot I drove like crazy from LA to Rancho Mirage and it just happened that Kirby was looking in the direction of the door when I walked in. She was so surprised that she dropped her tray. I took a seat and Linda came up to me and asked me if Vern was with me and I had to tell her no. Seconds later Kirby came up to take my drink order.
"Are we on for tonight?" I asked and she said that she would try to get off early. I was waiting for her when she came outside at eleven.
"Can we do more than hug, kiss and talk?"
"Nick left two days ago. I have two weeks before he will be back."
I rented a room and we tore up the bed until I had to leave at five to get back up to LA. I gave her my schedule and told her I would only be able to see her two more times before I had to head to San Diego, She told me that she had some time off coming and she asked me if she could go to San Diego with me. I of course said yes.
I drove back to LA, worked the shoot and that evening I raced back to pick Kirby up and take her back up to LA with me. The shoot ran a day over schedule and then we headed for San Diego. Halfway there she started with the "Are we there yet? How much longer?" Every five minutes it was "Are we there yet" and I kept saying no. I knew she was playing some kind of game with me, but I never figured out what it was until she told me to pull over.
"We aren't there yet and I can't wait. Pull over and let's get up in the sleeper."
I smiled and pulled off on an exit ramp, turned on the flashers, set the parking brake and turned to see Kirby already up in the sleeper and taking her clothes off.
I had to stop two more times before we got to San Diego. We had a fabulous six days in Diego and I tried to talk her into going to San Francisco with me, but she said that she could only get off the one week that she had just spent with me. I spent one last night with her in a motel in Escondido and then I headed for San Fran and then home.
To be continued.