She sat across the table from me. She hadn't been saying anything. Not surprising. She looked up, finally, and started. "Jimmy, it was never the case that I didn't love you. You have to believe that," she said. "I'm not sorry I did it, but I am very sorry that I have hurt you. Really."
Not sorry she did it! My stomach began to roil, but I was able to maintain my self-control for the moment. "Not sorry you did it? Not sorry you did it, Claire! And why, after telling me that, would you imagine that I have to believe anything you say? You've been fucking him—how long? For how many years? Sounds to me like you love 'him', not me" I said, feeling very logical, especially in view of the fact that she was not sorry she did it.
"It's not like you think, Jimmy. Really it isn't," she said.
"Claire, it is clear to me, that it's exactly like I think it is. I have the audio, and I wish I hadn't gotten it; but your behavior...
"You're pretty nasty the way you talk about me, the both of you. 'Wimpy Jimmy just doesn't do it for me," you said. 'You're the only one who gets my butt', you said of him. That one really rankled, Claire." Her hand came to her mouth as she realized I knew more than she thought. "Doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room for misunderstanding does it," I said.
"James Lytle, I was a shit, okay! I'm sorry. But, I do love you. Really, I mean it. But..."
I looked at her. She was wringing her hands. "But what?" I said, in what can only be described as a sardonic tone of voice.
"But—I have loved two men," she said. "You Jimmy—and—Reed." I always have, even back when we were all in college, and both of you were on the football team and big heroes and everything." I sat up straight and stared hard at her.
"You were banging him even then?" I said. She looked down.
"Fuckin-A," I said. "You are a piece of work for damned sure. Tell me, if you don't mind. I mean since we seem to be in the mood for true confessions here. Why two men, and why my best bud? Why my best fucking friend!"
"Jimmy, that is one question that I do not have the answer to. I feel all warm and cuddly when either of you is near me. I feel safe and loved and yes, excited. I love it when I see you trying to hide your hardon, Jimmy. You know when I dress sexy and stuff.
"And when Reed drops his pants and starts undressing me, I get the same feeling. I don't know why," she said.
"Okay, I'll bite. If all of that is so, then why do you bad mouth me to him?" I said.
"He knows about you; you don't know about him—didn't until now that is."
"And that explains what?" I said. "Certainly not why you did it, I mean said those things," I said.
"If it had been reversed, I..."
"Yeah you'd have said the same things about him, right? Baloney! You hold me in contempt. That's what it is, and not him. And, I still don't know why. Haven't I treated you right all of these years? Wasn't I there for you whenever you were down. And, for that I get 'put' down! Thanks one fucking helluva lot. Great fucking wife you are for damn sure. With a wife like you I'd be a helluva lot better off single, Claire.
"I think you despise me. You don't love me. You love my money maybe; I'd buy that," I said. "He doesn't make nearly as much as I do, not since the real estate market crashed. I got that from your conversations with him, the ones on the recorder. That's it isn't it. You need me, but you want him. Fuckin'-A! Well, I'm gonna make it easy for yuh, or maybe it'll be hard for you—no pun intended. So fuckin' goodbye, Claire; in hindsight I can't say it's been all that wonderful." I rose and started for the door. She jumped up and grabbed my arm trying to pull me back to the table.
"Jimmy, you've gotten it all wrong! Really you have. Money! I don't care about your money; I want you!" she all but screamed. I yanked my arm from her grasp causing her to stumble back into her seat.
"Why is it, do you think, Claire, that I have a hard time believing you," I said. "I need to get out of here; it's hard for me to even look at you." I turned once more and headed out, this time with a more determined stride. I thought I heard her start to sob just as the door slammed behind me.
I met Claire Wilson seventeen years earlier. She was a college band member—piccolo. I was a linebacker. We met at a season's end sports awards banquet; I was runner-up defensive player of the year; Reed Billings, a defensive end, won it. We'd only managed 8-4 that year, but at least it wasn't a losing season.
Claire was there with other members of the school's band and had bumped into me as I was getting a beer; she'd made me spill it all over her. That led to a lot of stuttering on my part, a lot of giggling on her part, and a lot subsequent dating on both of our parts. We graduated a few months later: me in Criminal Justice and her in Art History. It was a year later that we tied the knot.
Children had not been in the cards; she didn't want them. I was kinda disappointed, but agreed to follow her lead; it was her body after all.
Now, seventeen years later, we were both in our late thirties. She worked as an art museum curator and I was a private dick. I had been on the force for some years until I caught an errant slug in the knee that almost cost me my leg; it did cost me my job on the force. I was a bit gimpy now, but in otherwise good shape. Oh, and as for shape, my soon to be ex-piccolo playing wife was also in primo shape: dark hair, green eyes, five-seven, one-fifteen with a butt to guarantee her immortality: she was definitely the cat's meow! Oh, and did I mention a cheating whore! Okay, so I'm bitter.
I knew now why she didn't want any children, at least not children with me. Looking at it now, that was a good thing. It would have been a major complicating factor in our divorce. What the hey, there were upsides to everything.
As I sat there looking out the window, I was wondering what was going to happen to me now. Jimmy was crazy jealous. How he'd managed to find out about me and Reed was a mystery, but he had; hey, he's a detective. Him setting us up and taping us, while we fucked, had been the final straw. Reed didn't know yet. I had to tell him. He was bigger than Jimmy, a lot bigger. If Jimmy went after him, Reed might hurt Jimmy bad. Jesus, what a mess! I picked up the phone.
"Yeah it's me ... no, no, shut up and listen; Jimmy knows ... Yeah, fucked up about covers it ... No, no, are you nuts! If he sees you, I don't know what he might do ... I know you're bigger, but he is awfully upset ... I tried, but he wasn't buyin' any ... No, no, he's kinda old fashioned that way ... okay tomorrow."
Well, I warned him. If Jimmy showed up at his house at least he wouldn't be able to say I let him down.
I had to figure a way to get Jimmy to forgive and forget. I didn't know if it were even possible, but I had to try. I make a quarter what Jimmy makes if that. My job is little more than a hobby. Jimmy pays all of the bills. Reed used to do okay, but since the economy went into the shitter the real estate agency he works for is not doing too well; hell, he makes even less than I do some months.
I've really screwed up this time. Plus Jimmy is a PI. Hiding shit from him would be impossible. I don't want to anyway. He needs to know that I love him, but that I also love Reed. Why the fuck have I bad mouthed him so much to Reed! My stupidity is always getting me into trouble. Shit-shit shit!
She'd called me a wimp. Where in the hell had that come from? It wasn't that I'm some giant egotist, but I have thought myself a man of honor. Well, whatever I was, I knew what she thought of me.
As for my so called best friend, Reed; well, that backstabbing asshole has no honor regardless of what she thinks or doesn't think. I'd be taking care of him at some point but how still remained a question. Still, I figure it was Claire who started it all. She had the goods to drive any man out of his mind.
It was Claire that said she wanted two men. I figured she probably lent him the opportunity and he took it. I wondered if he had given any thought to our friendship in the doing of it all; I doubted it. Reed was undoubtedly thinking with his little head at the time. Probably thought he could keep it quiet and secret from me. How'd the old saying go, "What the clueless cuckold doesn't know can't hurt him"?
She mentioned something about, "If things had been reversed..." Yeah, if they had would I have double crossed my friend, even for a piece of ass as good as Claire's? I'd like to think I have more character than that. I had had opportunities to cheat over the years, and that with some pretty primo strange. That fucking asshole Reed should not have done this to me. He should not have! Now, his actions, and hers, were going to destroy us. Seventeen fucking years. Seventeen fucking years! Damn it!
Shit, he knows. Bad-bad-bad. He'll wanna fight me now, redeem his honor, redeem his manhood. Hell, I would too. He'll go down of course. He's five-eleven one-ninety to my six-five two-seventy-five. He knows he has no chance to win going toe to toe with me. But, he has to do it; I know him. He has to try me. Then what? He's in the hospital, maybe I'm in jail. Claire—who knows who she'll visit first or more often? She does have feelings for him too; I know that; she's told me often enough, "ad nauseum" actually. I was okay with it, with her loving him, or at least her saying she does.
We'd said some pretty nasty smack about him, though, when we were fucking: wimp, dinky dick, clueless dumbass. It was all bullshit of course, just to heighten the sexual tension, I guess. Hell, really, I think we said that stuff more to cover our own shortcomings, our betrayal of him than anything else; none of it was true in any event; it was just words, meaningless words.
How much does he know? Well, anyway he is a wimp. He never put his foot down with Claire; she has him so pussywhipped it isn't even funny. Hell, I'm surprised that after she found out she'd, we'd, been spied on and outed by his investigators that she didn't get mad and take him over her knee and spank him. It would have been in character for him to take his punishment and apologize. And yet...
Well, she didn't, and now maybe we'd pushed him past his limits. She could do anything she wanted to him except cheat on him. And now he knew she had with me, and now there was going to be hell to pay. At least I didn't have a wife to worry about.
I stared at his front door; I was holding a tire iron. I didn't intend to use it, but if he had something, I'd be ready. I mean when I went up there and confronted him—had she already warned him? Would he be armed? I had to be ready. She probably had warned him, I knew. But, hell it didn't matter. Armed or not, it was going to happen; it had to. Could I take him? I figure if I got the first shot in and kept the pressure on; well, maybe I could in spite of his size.
I rapped on the door. He answered it. He looked at the tire iron I held in my hand. "I see you brought a friend," he said, nodding at the makeshift weapon. "Kinda cowardly even for you dontcha think." I snickered and threw the tire iron to the side.
I stepped back and asked him to come out onto the lawn. I was faster than he was, at least with my hands. My gimpy leg I had long since learned to compensate for, so I wasn't worried about that. But, I did need room to maneuver if I was going to have any chance.
"Well, hello asshole," I said as he squared off in front of me.
"Jimmy, we don't need to do this. Hey look, I'm sorry man. It was—well—she loves us both. I know she told you that. And for the record, no matter what you think, I love both of you: her and you, Jim." He said. My hand flashed and he staggered back red painting his face.
I was on him letting rights and lefts loose without stopping. He finally decided he'd had enough and countered. I stepped back quickly and his wild punch carried him to the ground. First round to me.
He got up slowly, and the look in his eyes was not friendly. I started to say something, but never got it out. A left hook staggered me and sent me reeling against the side of the house. He was bleeding from the nose and mouth, but he was not really hurt, not close. His next blow relieved me of every scintilla of air I had in me. Soon, I was the bloody mess. He rained terrible blows to my ribs and face. But, it was the vicious kick to my groin that finally put me down and out of action.
"You didn't have to do this, man. We could have gotten by it," he said.
"No, no we couldn't have," I squeaked. "And this is not the end of it either, old bud," I said, as sarcastically as I could. Just then we both looked down the street. Two black and whites were coming with sirens blaring.
Several neighbors, no doubt they who had summoned the police, stood around as the cops asked questions of everybody present.
"Yes, officer, the smaller man started it—no the big guy didn't act aggressively at first—yes we saw it all—the little guy had that when he came up," said one guy, pointing to the discarded tire iron. "Yes we'll testify..."
Yeah, I'd lost the fight, but I'd had to try. I'd had to. Oh, and I was fucked legally too; a jail cell awaited me when I got out of the hospital. It seems that it's okay to cuckold a man for years but not for him to object too strenuously.
I spent the next week in the hospital. My so called wife tried to visit me a couple of times, but I put the boff on that: I guess even a cuckold had some rights.
The day I was to be released two rather large fellows in uniform arrived to cuff me and escort me to my new—hopefully temporary—digs. I hadn't even tried to contact my lawyer yet; I intended to rectify that little faux pas at the earliest opportunity; you'd have thought that an ex-cop and PI—me—would have known better; well, I'd had other things on my mind.
It was late on a Friday when the hospital released me. It looked like I would have to spend at least the weekend behind bars so Michael Wentworth III, my friend and legal advisor, advised me. Helluva thing. I got lucky, I suppose, and had a cell all to myself, must have been a slow week.
"Look, Jimmy, you have to see Claire. Maybe she can get your ex-bud to drop the charges. Hell, the way I see it, she owes you that much," said Michael.
"Mike, I hate those two. I really, really, don't want to beg her for a favor, can't you do something? The humiliation I've already had heaped on me is enough, dontcha think?" I said.
"Yeah maybe, but a year in the can would be a helluva lot worse," he said. "Jimmy, listen, you gotta put your tail between your legs and beg her to intercede with the guy. If you don't, you'll be saddled with a record, a felony record; you'll lose your licenses," said my friend, my lawyer. "If you hadn't brought that damned tire iron with you..."
I gritted my teeth, took a deep breath and nodded. "Set it up, the meeting with her," I said. "Here. I will see her here, in the can. Can you work that?"
"Yes, I can do that. I mean if she agrees. I'll try for today. Sit tight; I'll be back shortly."
"Jim, I know it's the shits, but we don't have much choice. Even if I get it knocked down to a misdemeanor; the effects would only be slightly better. Anyway, I'll be right back."
He was gone for an hour. But, it was okay. I needed the time to think. I felt sick to my stomach. I really couldn't stand the thought of begging those two.
"She'll be here shortly," he said, returning to inform me.
We talked for some time before a guard came to the cell door indicating that I had a visitor.
"Just get her to intercede; we need this," said Michael. I just nodded. The guard cuffed me, and we walked out following him.
She was already in the interview room and seated at the little metal table. The guard secured my cuffed hands to the table in front of me. Evidently I was considered a threat. She looked at me sympathetically. The guard left us alone.
"Jesus!" she said. "Fuck-fuck-fuck! I am so sorry, Jimmy. You didn't deserve this. It's all my fault. And all of those mean things I said about you when I was with him, I will never forgive myself."
I didn't say, that I would never forgive her either. I just nodded. She reached over and held my cuffed hands in hers. "For God's sake, say something, Jimmy, please."
"I'm here talking to you, Claire, because my lawyer tells me I will be going away if I can't get you and the asshole to drop the charges. So, I guess, I'm begging you. Please get him to drop his complaint," I said. She gave me a pained expression.
"Jimmy—I tried already. He's got his back up. He won't drop the charges. He's really pissed. I think that the main reason is that I told him that I would testify for you if he didn't drop them, the charges, I mean. I'm sorry, Jimmy, I can't seem to stop fucking up."
"Are you saying you've dumped him?" I said. She looked down. "No? He's gonna fuck me over even worse than he already has, and you are still riding his cock for him?" I looked at her in disbelief! "This is surreal."
"Jimmy, I keep telling you—the both of you—that I love two men. I mean I love you both unconditionally. You attacked him, Jimmy, with a tire iron! You could've killed him," she said. I laughed at that. "I will testify for you, Jim. I will tell the court that it's all my fault. But I can't bring myself to renounce him as one of my main men when it was you that attacked him."
"I had a tire iron when I went up to the house, but I threw it down when I saw he didn't have anything—you know, like a gun," I said.
"Jimmy, I will do my best for you, but Reed—he is still going to prefer charges. I will try again to get him to drop them. But..."
"Never mind, Claire. I really can't get my head around the fact that you are still fucking the guy even after all of this. Don't help me. I never want to see you again. Him? That's another matter. Him, I do want to see again. And, no matter how long it takes, Claire, I will," I said. "So go back to your scumbag lover and cuckold me some more. Just be sure and tell him what I said.
"Guard," I screamed. The big uniform came in immediately. "Get me away from this whore," I said. She looked at me stunned.
"One more thing, Claire." She leaned forward as if to plead with me.
"Yes," she said. I spit in her face. She stumbled back. The guard frowned and led me out.
My bad luck could not have been worse. I got a real hanging judge. "Five years," he said. I was recuffed with a waist chain attached to ankle shackles and led out. The two cuckolders were there to witness my ruin. She looked sad; he looked—triumphant.
Prison is nothing if not an educational institution. What did I learn? I was a fairly big guy, but there were many bigger than I in the can. One was a washed up, but one time, world class boxer, a contender. Maximo Sanchez was a welterweight or had been; he was also my cell mate. I was in good shape, had been since my days at State. I learned everything he had to teach me, and some of the lessons were pretty hard core. He got mad at me one time in our first year together: I spent a week in the prison infirmary. He was all apologetic after the fact, but I'd learned a lesson: control my temper and my mouth.
Maximo taught me other stuff too. One was indeed to keep my fucking mouth shut, and only to speak when speaking would be of clear advantage to me or any project that I had in mind. Maximo was fifty-five, but by no means over the hill.
I should note here, that in spite of our less than amicable parting that last meeting in the jail, Claire did try to see me several times in prison that first year; I wondered about that. At any rate, I refused to see her and finally got her on my no-see list.
Michael had told me straight, as I knew he had. I had lost all of my licenses. But, at the end of three years of misery, I was finally given my outright release; at least I didn't have to fuck with the inconvenience of a parole officer looking over my shoulder. As luck would have it, Maximo was also released at virtually the same time—three days after me actually. I picked him up from the joint in a cab; I had a case of beer waiting for us. I still didn't have a car or job. We were a pair for sure. He was a now fifty-seven year old ex-pug, me a forty-two year old ex-PI. Both on the skids, both on a mission.
My mission was to get even with the asshole: I'd take my time, but sooner or later ... His was to open a gym and make a living at the only thing he knew. I had some money—still—saved from my old career; he had the knowledge to impart to students of the sweet science.
One thing about my three years under Maximo's tutelage: my hands got fast and were devastatingly effective. I was also slimmed down a little to a hard body 185. Oh yeah, and I was damned near as tough as I thought I was.
I guess it was to be expected. I had returned to my old haunts after all. Like I say, it was inevitable that I'd run into them. I hadn't sought either of them out at that point, but I eventually would have: I was still, as far as I knew, technically married to the one and had a score to settle with the other, but I hadn't been in a hurry. This little eventuality, this little run in, changed things.
She was as beautiful as ever. He was even bigger than ever—had to weigh in at 300 plus for sure. Her cooking was fattening him up, I supposed.
Maximo was trying to say something. "Hey bro, you okay?" he said. "You look funny." I nodded in the direction of the door where Claire and Reed were talking to the waitress.
"Whoa, cowboy, is that them?" said Maximo.
"Yes," I said.
"Jesus, he is a big cat for sure. He's two of you!" said Maximo.
"Yeah, he's put on a few pounds since I last saw him," I said.
It was at that moment that Claire happened to look around the room and spotted us. Her hand went to her mouth. She turned and said something to Reed. His head snapped around, and for the first time in more than three years, our eyes met and locked. Neither of us smiled.
Jennifer grabbed his arm demanding his attention; he returned his gaze to her. I saw him shake his head in the negative, but she kept after him, insisting on something. He threw a disgusted look in our direction and exited the building. Too bad, I was almost hoping he would start something.
Claire turned toward me and just stared. I was sure she was about to follow her lover outside.
"Well, that's interesting," I said turning to Maximo. "I guess they're afraid of us." I laughed at my own inane attempt at humor.
"Amigo, she coming over," he said. My turn to snap my head around.
"Fuck, I have nothing to say to the whore," I said. "But, I'm not leaving with my tail between my legs, no way!"
"Hello, Jimmy," she said, arriving at our table and standing very straight with her hands hanging loosely at her sides.
"What do you want, Claire. I figured that last day in court, when they pronounced me guilty and shackled me, should have been enough for you. Bet you and fuckwad had a monster laugh seeing me humiliated and destroyed like that. Get the fuck away from me," I said. "If you haven't figured it out yet, I hate you—and the asshole."
"Nobody laughed at you that day, Jimmy, especially not me, and I think you know that. Reed was glad you were sent away, but he didn't think it was funny. You can trust me on that one," she said.
"I don't trust you at all," I said. "So get the fuck outta my face."
"Jimmy, please, can I speak with you for a moment—in private?" she glanced at Maximo.
"No. This is someone I do trust. If you've got something to say, you can do it in front of him or not at all," I said. "Oh, and don't sit down; you're not welcome here."
"Nice to meet you, amiga," said Maximo, speaking for the first time. "I've heard so much about you."
Claire winced at that. She could imagine what I'd said about her.
"Very well," she said. "Jimmy, I'm sorry for causing you so much pain. It was never meant to be that way. I just—well—you know. I needed and wanted you both. I have now realized that I was stupid. Where that arrangement was okay with Reed; it wasn't with you. I was sure you two were close enough friends for us, him and me, to convince you; I mean after you found out. Big mistake that one."
"Claire, since I'm sitting here and listening to you, question, why? Why did he do what he did to me? He had to know I was going to fight him, that I had to. I never could get my head around the fact that he wanted to destroy me like he did," I said.
She sighed. "Two reasons. One he said that when he saw you with the tire iron; well, he thought that you actually intended to kill him. Even when you threw it off to the side—and yes he finally told me the truth about that one—he said that he thought you threw it away on the spur of the moment, that you had 'originally' intended to kill him but just changed your mind at the last moment."
"And the second reason?" I said. She paused, clearly not wanting to continue.
"Two, he thought that with you incarcerated that I would divorce you and marry him," she said. I know my face darkened at that moment.
"Is that the plan, Claire? I know you haven't started divorce proceedings yet, but now?" I said.
"I—yes, Jimmy. Now that I see you're out I am going to divorce you. When you spit in my face that day; well, I knew I'd lost you. I knew that there was no hope for us, for me" she said.
"Why not while I was inside?" I said.
"Because you were trapped and unable to speak for yourself while you were in jail. I wouldn't do that to you. At least now you can defend yourself or your name or whatever you think needs to be defended. I won't be asking for anything; I can promise you that," she said. I nodded. "You can get on with your life, and I hope you have a good one."
"You gonna marry him?" I said. The answer seemed obvious, but maybe not.
"No. I'll not marry again, Jimmy. He knows that. It riles him, but one husband in one lifetime is enough," she said. "But, that said, lest you have any doubts or wonder, don't, I have been sleeping with him, and will continue to do so. He does it for me, as you once did too; but, husband material he is not."
"For the record, after you divorce me, would you sleep with me?" I said. Her eyes popped open wide. I'd surprised her. Well, she was, and I was sure still was, a great piece of ass.
"Huh?" she said in a very small voice.
"I wasn't speaking Greek, Claire," I said.
"I—I—don't know. I mean—you'd want to?" she said. "I mean you said you hated me..."
I smiled, "Yeah, I said it—but You always were good in bed, Claire. And, as you can imagine, I'm pretty horny after not getting any for these past few years," I said. I watched her swallow.
"I—I—have to go. Good luck to you, Jimmy. I really mean that," she said.
I watched her almost run out of the building. Maximo and I touched glasses.
"Might really piss off old Reed if I took her, if I did it with her," I said.
"I think that that would be likely," said Maximo. I smiled.
A germ of a plan was coming together. I wondered if she were still living in the old place, or at his. I wondered if Reed was living with her either way. Easy enough to find out, but that had to wait; I wasn't gonna rush things; I had time.
She'd said it straight, I was served with divorce papers at the apartment five days after our little talk. I'd had to wonder how she knew where to send the process server. She'd evidently found out where I was staying with Maximo—neither of us had much money left after funding the gym set up that was even now underway; we figured to open in a couple of weeks. Our domicile was definitely on the wrong side of the tracks, but near the gym, in order to conserve our now meager funds. I'd had a little bit of money left, but it wouldn't be lasting long. Maximo for his part had nothing, but I owed him for training me—and continuing to do so. I might be a forty something, but I was a one very-fast-with-the-hands forty something.
I signed the divorce papers and within six months it was over. I was single, she was single, and good 'ole Reed was about to get a surprise if I could work it.
The gym—really a converted basement with an external entryway had a ring and the usual bags and stuff. Maximo expected a number of hopefuls to be working out regularly with us. I don't know where he got his information, but he was confident that he had it right.
Again, the whole shebang had taken almost every dollar I had saved in my years of work as a PI to set up and get operating. The good news was that we didn't owe anything. The place was paid for except for the usual utilities and taxes and such. Fortunately the utilities, so far, were low; we'd be okay if we were careful, and we were.
Maximo was in charge of the day to day operations. I had other things I had to attend to.
The more things change the more they remain the same. I'd learned that Claire was still working at the museum. It was a no brainer to sit outside one day and wait for her to get off work and follow her. I could have just asked her where she lived when I'd seen her that night in the bar, but I was afraid she would blow me off: worried about what I might be starting with Reed.
So here I was watching the back entrance as she exited at 5:30. I saw her exit and head for a new Chevy. Red, she did like bright colors; the car was red.
It was some twenty minutes later that she pulled up in front of a new tract house. Both my old place and Reed's had new owners; I'd checked that out after seeing her that night in the bar. I'd waited these months to track them down mainly because I wanted the divorce to be finalized in case I ended up back in the joint—a distinct possibility given my miserable luck.
The pillbox was my new favorite hangout; it was close to the gym. Great place to meet girls, I'd noticed, and, to get serious psychological help from the resident bartender, Cal Billingsley. The latter actually claimed to have a master's degree in Psychology.
Anyway, like I said, it was a place to meet the ladies. And, I'd met a good one: Maribel Vincent. She was very tall, very skinny, raven haired, very funny, probably intelligent (the jury was still out on that one), and fairly good looking. All right, she wasn't exactly a beauty, and she was flat chested; but she was interesting; and above all, she seemed to like—well—me! I counted that a plus.
"You come here a lot?" I said. She eye'd me appraisingly.
"Some. Less so lately. Been busy," she said.
"Busy? Well, yeah, if it comes to that, me too," I said. "My name's Jim."
"Maribel," she said. "Nice to meet you."
"Likewise, I'm sure," I said, with way too much flourish. She laughed. "Yeah, anyway, I've been real busy figurin' out whether my ex-wife and I are gonna ever be able to stand each other again."
"Really, me too," she said, "I mean not my wife, but my husband. He's a cheater. A 'big' time cheater. But—if she's ex, why would you care if you can stand her or not," said Maribel.
"Hah! Your husband might have been a cheater, but not as big a cheater as my ex," I said, with some emphasis. "My fucking whore of a soulmate is a 'goddamn whore'! And, why would I care; well, it's complicated."
"Well, at least we have a damn good reason to get plastered together," she said.
"I can relate," I said. "I sure as damn stinkin' hell can relate." We tilted glasses and sipped a silent toast to our mutual misery.
We sat together, not saying much, just sipping and thinkin'. What I was thinkin' was that this was a girl who might maybe be able to make me forget my problems, at least for a little while.
My plan for Reed was to try to lure him into a situation where I could fight him and have an airtight "get out of jail free card" after the fact; and, a get "into" jail free card for him. But, I had every intention of nailing my ex first, and to rub his traitorous nose in it.
I felt out of place in the museum. I'd been to it a number of times over the years—well, in former times. But, now, well, I felt out of place. I saw her handing out brochures to a couple of Japanese tourists. She looked happy. She turned.
"Hello, Claire," I said. "I wondered if you were still working here. I was in the neighborhood and thought I'd check it out."
"Jimmy, I'm surprised. How are you?" she said. Her look changed. "Jimmy? Why are you here?" Her tone was—suspicious.
"Like I said, I wondered if you still worked here. And—if so—I wondered if you would have lunch with me," I said. "You know for old time's sake."
She frowned. "Why?"
"Since I saw you that night in the bar, well, I've been thinking about you. It's been so long for me. Anyway, I just wanted to see you," I said.
"But, Jimmy, you spit on me. Do you remember that!" she said with a little bit of ire seeping through.
"Yeah, I know. But, that was years ago and the conditions weren't exactly the best, if you'll recall; I was in chains," I said. "I was punished for what I did, Claire. I served my time behind bars and took my medicine. Hey, it's only lunch. Whaddya say?" I could see she was thinking.
"Okay, Jimmy, I guess lunch wouldn't be too much to ask," she said. "For old time's sake." I nodded.
The food at Cairo's Beanery was good—the prices were also within my rage. The conversation was a little strained.
"Okay, Jimmy, why am I here?" said Claire. I smirked, I couldn't help it.
"Because you're pretty still. Because over the years I've done some thinking. Because I'm about as horny and desperate as a man can get," I said. She looked at me like I was some kind of alien.
"Don't get you panties all in a wad, Claire, I know you don't want me," I said. I was playing the guilt card and hoping I wasn't blowing my chances. Okay, it was a gamble.
She frowned. "Jimmy, it isn't at all that I don't want you. Frankly, the idea of going to bed with you is appealing. But—well, I don't want to stir up a can of worms. You know very well how Reed will react if I let you have me. He isn't as willing to share as he used to be, and he wasn't happy that I wouldn't marry him after I divorced you," she said.
"It's strange, I know. I mean I was so willing to share and he was so willing to share, now we're freakin' monogamous. I can't explain it. I don't know if it can be explained, but anyway, I don't want him to find out. Please believe me; I wish things had turned out differently."
"Hey, the only way he'll know is if you tell him," I lied. "I hate the asshole, but I won't be doing you for revenge or any of that. Hell, Claire, if it comes to that, we were husband and wife; we were supposed to fuck. And you were doing him all the while, and you weren't supposed to be doing him," I was smiling my most engaging smile.
"I don't—oh what the hell. I guess I owe it to you to let you get your rocks off," she said. She smiled at me now. "Are you really as horny as you say?"
"Oh, yeah!" I said. I wasn't lying about that.
The ride to my place was quiet. I knew she was nervous, and hell, I was too. It'd been a long time. Apart from some flirting and a little touchy-feely at the Pillbox, I hadn't had any sex since getting out months before. Yeah, I know: why not. The reason was two-fold. One I was afraid of going back inside for messing with prosties. The other was the fact that I was just too damn rusty to get a girl—one that I wanted—anyway. I wasn't interested in just some mindless screwing either. I wanted someone to hold onto, and the ones I finally got up the nerve to ask out were not interested or married or busy—go figure. So, yeah, I was horny.
I'd arranged with Maximo for him not to be the apartment. He smirked when I told him that I needed the place empty for the night, but I think he was glad I was finally gonna get laid. She seemed to settle down once we were inside.
"Take it easy on me, okay stud? You and I—well—we have a history, and if we're going to do this, you've gotta take it easy, go slow. You know," she said. I nodded and tried to look composed; I have no idea how successful I was.
I went to her, and pulled her, gently, to me. So far so good. She let me kiss her. God how good she tasted. I held that first kiss for a full minute.
"Wow, you are a bit on the horny side, aren't you," she said.
My voice was husky when I said, "Yeah, you could say that. You're my first, well, since..."
"Are you serious, Jimmy? You mean going on four years?" she was actually concerned.
"Yes." She just stared at me. She came to me and touched my arm; it was electric. I pulled her to me and almost hurt her, I held her so tight. "Thank you for this," I said, finally.
She pushed me back and told me to sit. I did as she commanded. She slowly undressed in front of me. God it was erotic! Her mound was bald. Her slit was going to be impossible to not worship.
I slipped from the bed to my knees and kissed her there. She smelled like a woman smells, and it intoxicated me. I turned her gently around. She looked back at me quizzically. I kiss her ass cheeks. I spread them and made oral love to her anus. She leaned forward with her hands on her knees and spread her legs a little to allow me better access. I literally tried to suck her anus and any of its contents into my mouth. I could hear her muffled giggles. She could laugh at me all she wanted. I needed this; I needed it bad.
I stood and led her to the bed. I would take missionary the first time. I wanted to see her eyes when I entered her. She grimaced as I pushed, but settled down as I began a rhythmic push and pull. I wanted this to last. I'd been jerking off so much in recent times that I figured I could, and, I did.
Her face took on a strange aspect—stressed maybe—I knew she was cumming. Her orgasm seemed to last for a full minute before she relaxed and I blew into her. I leaned in to kiss her.
"I love you," she said. "I just wish..."
"I know, but, well, I just don't know, Claire; I just don't know," I said.
My resolve to exact revenge on the both of them was being seriously challenged. I still loved her. I loved her so much. For those out there who have never been in a love like mine—well—you just have no idea. That love alone might almost have been enough to change my mind, resolve. It would have been if the image of Reed laughing at me all of those years weren't so strong. He had to go down. I would try to spare her, but he had to go down.