I want to thank DaveT for his efforts in editing this story. He has gone far beyond what I'd anticipated and I hope the reader appreciates the work he has done. I certainly do.
Sorry, there's no sex in this story.
I was going through the morning mail my secretary had just put on my desk when I was alerted to an incoming call on my cell phone. Not too many people knew my cell phone number and a quick glance confirmed that it was from my best friend, Nick Camden.
"Hello Nick, what can I do for you?" I asked as I continued to sort through the mail.
"Jack, can we get together for lunch today?"
A quick check of my calendar and I found I had time in my schedule.
"Sure can. How about Sordino's at 12:30?"
"That's fine. See you then."
As I used the intercom to inform my secretary about my 12:30 luncheon, I wondered briefly why Nick wanted to meet for lunch. Of course, we did get together periodically for lunch, as his office wasn't far away. My attention quickly returned to the mail and then to preparation for a meeting with my staff in half an hour. The rest of the morning went quickly and at 12:20 I was on my way to my luncheon appointment with Nick. Sordino's was a local watering hole and restaurant within walking distance, so I didn't bother taking my car. It was just 12:30 as I walked through the door of the restaurant and spotted Nick sitting by himself in a back booth. He waved to attract my attention as I came in, and rose to greet me as I got close.
"Nick, this is great. I always enjoy these imprompu lunches, " I told him as we shook hands and sat down.
Nick and I went way back to our high school days and we'd remained friends for over twenty years. He and his wife Nadine were best friends with my wife Lynn and me. Nick is also my favorite tennis partner.
"Well, I can agree with that." he responded. "You're the one with the big managers job though. I'm just a lowly salesman with time on my hands."
"Lowly salesman my ass. You make more than I do and put in more time on the job than I do. So don't give me that crap," I laughingly told him.
"Okay, okay, enough BS. Let's eat."
After we'd ordered we started a conversation and updated one another on what was going on in our lives as well as bemoaning our latest attempts at golf. I could tell that something was bothering him though. Finally, as we were running out of conversation, Nick suddenly became very serious and he told me something that left me speechless for a few heart beats.
"Jack, I just got back this morning from Atlanta. I got up early and left on the first flight to get here and it was necessary to be out of my hotel by 6AM. When I was leaving my hotel room to catch the shuttle to the airport I saw a woman, who I swear looked just like Lynn. She was leaving a room down the hall carrying her shoes and went across the hall to another room and used a key- card to enter it. She looked a little disheveled as though she had just gotten up. I was going to say something but I was so stunned and she didn't stay in the hall but a few seconds and so I didn't get a chance to say anything. Does Lynn have a twin sister I've never heard about or a cousin who looks like her?"
When I was able to speak I asked, "What hotel was it?"
It was the downtown Hyatt-Regency. Are you all right?"
I must have gone pale or something because I floundered for another bit before responding.
"Lynn is in Atlanta on business staying at the downtown Hyatt-Regency."
"Oh shit! God, I'm sorry Jack. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything."
"Do you remember what room she left and what room she went into?"
"Let me think. It was on the sixth floor and she must have come out of 611 and gone into 614 or thereabouts."
"Shit! Lynn is supposed to be in 612."
"Damn! That's rotten Jack."
"Do you think she saw you and recognized you?"
"She looked down the hall in my direction as I closed my door. Those hotel door latches make a lot of noise, you know, when they close. She didn't acknowledge me at all after a quick glance before she went into the room. Its just that the way she looked coming out of that room made me think she'd spent the night there, and was sneaking back into her own room before anyone else was up. It was just a very remote chance that I was in the same hotel and just happened to come out of my room just as she was crossing the hall."
"Well, she gets home this evening. I wonder if she's going to say anything?"
By this time I was finished with my lunch as far as I was concerned. I just needed to get somewhere where I could be alone and think through what Nick had laid on me. It certainly didn't look good to be spotted coming out of another hotel room early in the morning like that.
"Look, I need to get back to my office now but I'm going to ask you not to say anything to anyone right now; not even Nadine. If Lynn and I have a problem I'd like to be able to work it out with Lynn before the world knows about it."
"Okay Jack. I'm terribly sorry about this. If there's anything I can do, let me know ... and I do promise to keep it to myself. I hope what I saw doesn't turn out to be what it looked like but I had to let you know. I'd want to know if Nadine was involved in something."
"Thanks Nick. I'll be in touch to let you know what's going on."
We said our goodbyes and I headed back to my office. I didn't get much accomplished the rest of the afternoon as my mind continued to dwell on the possibilities of what Nick had told me.
I guess I should interrupt my story to tell you a little bit about Lynn and myself. Lynn and I met in college. She was going for her BS in Computer Management and I was going for my BS in Civil Engineering. One of our courses overlapped and we ended up sitting next to one another. I think we were both taken with one another and it wasn't long before we were an item. We ended living together in our senior year and we married shortly after graduation. We've been married ten years now. Our sex life has been active and satisfying as far as I knew. Anyway, she'd never complained about it in all the years we were married.
Lynn is now 32 and a very attractive woman. She keeps herself in shape with exercise and diet. I know she gets hit on a lot but I'd always had a complete trust in her faithfulness up till now. She works as a senior buyer for a small plant in town that manufactures components for computers, and travels several times a year to visit and negotiate with suppliers ... It was hard to imagine that she would jeopardize our marriage by playing around.
I work for a national contractor of homes and business and I'm now the assistant manager of the heating and air conditioning department but I'd gained some insight on most of the disciplines that make up a large building contractor. At 33, I think I'm not that good looking but I'm in good shape. Lynn's obsession with keeping herself fit rubbed off on me or I was afraid to not be in shape with her looking so good. So I do a full round of gym work and tennis to maintain my body.
We own a condominium, but have been thinking about a getting a house because at 32 Lynn is getting concerned about her biological clock. If she wants kids I'll go along with it because I've always thought that children were part and parcel of a loving relationship. Without the responsibility of kids it's mostly companionship.
I've never availed myself of opportunities, because I thought about how hurt Lynn would be if she found out or I brought an STD home. I didn't think it was worth the risk and besides, Lynn kept me more than happy at home. I'll have to admit to being tempted at times when my little head tried to take over.
I was sitting in my office after my lunch with Nick and I had an idea to try to find out what I could about Lynn's latest trip. We'd had dinner with Lynn's boss, Bill Johnson and his wife Clare, a couple of times so I thought I'd give him a call.
"Bill? This is Jack Lancaster. Got a minute?"
"Sure Jack. What's up?"
Bill, I'm terribly embarrassed to ask this, but can you ask your travel department what time Lynn's plane gets in this evening? I'd written it down and forgot where I put it. I don't want to embarrass myself with her by calling so I thought I'd give you a call."
"Sure Jack, just a minute."
I heard him talking to his secretary and then he got back on the line. "While she's checking with travel how are things with you? We've got to get out to dinner sometime soon."
"I'm fine. We're keeping busy at work and you may not like to hear this," I told him laughing "but Lynn and I have been discussing starting a family."
"Well that's great, Jack, and its about time. Clare and I have two and we couldn't be happier."
"Sounds great. Say, can you tell me who went with Lynn on her trip? I get uncomfortable when she travels by herself."
"She took Ralph Marietta with her again this time. Ralph is a new hire right out of college, and she's been teaching him the ropes of the tough procurement business."
"Ha, ha." I responded, but I wasn't thinking it was funny at all. "How long have they been traveling together?"
"I think this is the third time."
"Well Jack, here's the information you wanted." He rattled off the airline, flight number and ETA.
"I really don't think you have anything to worry about when Lynn travels by herself though. She's pretty independent and can take care of herself."
.... There is more of this story ...