"You're sure that I can bring this back for a full refund if she says no?"
"As long as you do nothing to it like resizing it to fit her finger we will take it back."
I handed the man my Visa card and five minutes later I walked out of the store with a half carat diamond engagement ring and hoping that Vickie would say yes when I took a knee in front of her. I picked her up at seven, took her to dinner at Mario's and then we went to The Boom Boom Room for drinks and dancing.
She went home with me (she always slept with me when she was home) and as soon as we were in my condo I asked her to sit down on the couch and told her I had a surprise for her. I went into the kitchen and poured some white wine into a wine glass, went back to the living room and handed it to her. After she had taken a sip I knelt in front of her and said:
"Victoria Marie Barham, would you do me the honor of becoming my wife" and I held out the open ring box to her.
"Oh my God" she said as she reached for the box, "I don't know what to say."
"There are only two answers to that question and the preferred one is "yes."
"Oh my God; I can't believe it. Of course I'll marry you."
She set her wine glass down on the end table and pulled me up onto the couch with her and then smothered me with kisses. Then she pulled me along behind her to the bedroom where she showed me what I hoped I could look forward to for the rest of my life.
I met Vickie by sticking my nose into something that was none of my business. I had stopped in at The Boom Boom Room to have a drink or two after a long day at work. As I came through the door and my eyes adapted to the low light level I saw a damned fine looking woman sitting at a table alone. Lenny Wilson, a loud obnoxious asshole, walked over to the table and hit on the woman. She obviously told him to leave, but Lenny persisted and I could see from the woman's face that she was starting to get pissed.
I walked over to the table, pulled out a chair and said, "Hi sweetie; glad you could meet me here." I looked up at Lenny and said, "You need something Lenny?"
He looked at me and was about to say something, but then thought better of it, shook his head "no" and turned and headed back to the bar stool he had left. The woman looked at me and said:
"And you are?"
"And you are here because?"
"I know Lenny and how he gets when he has a few. You looked like you were getting to go nuclear on him so I thought I could diffuse the situation and keep you here."
"Keep me here?"
"The man behind the bar, Matt, doesn't tolerate disturbances. His policy is that it doesn't matter who or why, both parties are told to leave."
"Did you stop to think it all the way through?"
"Think what all the way through?"
"Your rescue of me. What happens when you get up and leave? Won't that just be a signal to that idiot at the bar that this is all phony and he will get up and come back?"
"I'll just sit here and appreciate the scenery until whoever you are waiting for gets here."
Matt had seen me come in and Terri showed up with a Pabst Blue Ribbon and as she set it down in front of me she said, "On Matt" and then she left to wait on another table. As Terri walked away the woman said:
"What makes you think that I'm waiting on someone?"
"You don't look like the kind of woman who goes to a bar to sit alone. You know that a woman who looks as fine as you is going to get hit on in a place like this so I guessed that you are meeting someone and that they are either late or you are early."
"What if I am here hoping to get hit on?"
"I'd discount that in a heartbeat. You don't have to go anywhere to get hit on. You either have a significant other or one hell of a long line of guys trying to get you to go out with them."
"I notice that you are not gender specific when talking. Significant other? Them?"
"These days you can never tell. A significant other could be either male or female."
"And if my significant other is a female?"
"I'd be greatly disappointed, but I'd also think that your significant other was one hell of a lucky person. I would probably hate her, but that is neither here nor there. The immediate problem is what to do if you aren't here waiting for someone."
"Well lucky for you I am waiting for someone and she is late. I guess if I have to put up with you until she gets here you should know my name."
She offered me her hand and said, "My name is Victoria Marie, but I answer to Vickie."
I ordered her another drink and myself another PBR and we sat there drinking and chatting. I learned that she was a flight attendant and she learned that I was a heavy equipment mechanic. She learned that I owned a two bedroom condo and I learned that she shared a house with three other flight attendants. We were both college drop-outs and we were both Gemini. We were just starting to talk books and movies when she said:
"Here comes who I am waiting for."
I turned, fully prepared to hate the man coming and was surprised to see two very lovely ladies approaching the table. One of them said:
"Sorry we're late, but we had a flat tire."
"That's okay" Vickie said, "I found someone to keep me company. Frank, this is Gina" and she pointed to the blond. "And this is Trisha" and she indicated the trim brunette. "And this girls is Frank and I saw him first so save the flirty smiles."
That caught me completely by surprise. I looked at her and she smiled at me and said:
"You won't mind them sharing our table will you?"
"Of course not."
Trisha looked from Vickie to me and then back at Vickie and then she shrugged and sat down.
"I really don't want to intrude" I said, "You obviously didn't plan to meet here and have a stranger at your table."
I started to get up and Vickie put out a hand to stop me. "Nonsense Frank. You aren't a stranger. I've just spent half hour learning all about you. Besides, if you sit here you will keep the wolves away. If you leave all the guys will think we are sitting here looking for male companionship. How about it girls? Should he stick around?"
She got a chorus of yeses and I sat back down. The three were apparently meeting just to have a few drinks to unwind after work so the talk was general. Where a bunch of guys might have talked sports the three women discussed TV shows, fashion, music and diets. I was asked my opinion on skirt length, high heel styles and my thoughts on Lady Gaga. They were disappointed that I didn't watch and therefore had no opinion on Dancing with the Stars or Private Practice.
An hour later Tricia said she had to be going and Gina guessed she had better get home to her husband and kids. Then I was alone with Vickie again. I smiled at her and said:
"You saw me first and they shouldn't flirt with me?"
"What's the matter Frank? You have something against women who are forceful and make the first move?"
"Not at all. I'm just surprised."
"I would have bet my next paycheck that a woman like you was already taken."
"Three weeks ago I was. Do you believe in fate?"
"I don't know if I do or not."
"Before you came in I was sitting here thinking that it was time for me to put Timmy behind me and then you appeared. To me that was a sign. I have no idea if we are compatible, but something brought you to my table. I'm calling it fate."
"I make it a point never to argue with a beautiful woman."
"I'm ready to get out of here. How does a bite to eat sound?"
We had a light dinner at Denny's and talked some more and finally it was time to call it a night. I asked her if I could see her again and she gave me her cell phone number and I gave her mine.
"Because of my flight schedules I'm hard to reach. I'm leaving tomorrow for a three day trip so how about I call you when I get back?"
"Please don't lose my number" I said as we got up to leave.
I walked her to her car and just before she opened her door she turned and kissed me on the cheek and then said:
"I'm looking forward to getting to know you better Frank. Call you in a few."
Vickie called me four days later and we met at Silvio's, had dinner and then caught a movie. That date led to a second and the second to a third. We kissed on the fourth and necked like teenagers on the fifth, sixth and seventh and got so carried away with our making out that we ended up making love on the back seat of my extended cab pickup.
It was a weird relationship from the start at least from the standpoint of getting together. She had a flight schedule that took her out of town for three or four days at a time. When I picked her up at her place she was always waiting on the front porch and when I brought her home she never asked me in.
"When the four of us decided to share a house" she said, "We came up with some rules to follow. One of the biggest and most rigorously followed is that no males are allowed in the house. I know it sounds strange, but we all have different flight schedules and there is no telling who will be at home or when. Anna's idea of relaxing at home is running around naked and Sophie runs around in bra and panties and neither one wants to be told to go and put some clothes on just because a guy is coming over. And then there is Marge. She broke up with a long time boyfriend and right now she hates all men."
"I like to run around naked too."
Weird I thought, but whatever, right?
I gave Vickie a key to my condo and she started spending all of her off duty hours with me at my place. After three months I asked her why she didn't just move in with me.
"I can't. When we took the house we had to sign a lease for a year and we all promised each other to stay together because it took all four of us to be able to afford it."
"But you are paying your share and still spending all of your down time with me anyway. So move in with me and keep paying your share."
She looked at me for several seconds and then she said, "Okay, truth time. We have a good thing going baby, but I've had good things going before and have had them blow up on me. We are too new for me to be totally comfortable. There are a lot of guys who can't handle what I do. I love flying and I have no intention of stopping. Most guys consider that as meaning they only have a part time girlfriend and it isn't enough for them. Others start thinking about the stories they hear about flight crews having orgies and affairs on their layovers and overnights and they start getting suspicious and making accusations. I'm not tarring you with the same brush baby, but like I said, we are still too new to each other. My part of the house is my safe place; my fallback."
What the hell; I had her most of the time she was home anyway so I didn't push it.
Occasionally we went out with her friends Tricia and Gina and I noticed that whenever we did I would get looks from Tricia that I couldn't decipher. Not mean looks or dirty looks, but looks that almost asked:
"Why are you here? What are you doing with Vickie?"
We had drinks with the two of them the night after I proposed and I was able to read the look I got that night. Clear as day it said:
"What the hell is going on here?"
I asked Vickie about it on the way to my place and she said, "Pay her no mind. She thinks I am making a big mistake."
"How does she figure that? She doesn't even know me."
"It isn't that. She thinks I made a big mistake in breaking up with Timmy. She thinks I should be spending my time getting back with him instead of replacing him."
"What was so special about him that she thinks you should be with him?"
"He's her cousin and she just can't understand why I can't give him the benefit of the doubt?"
"Benefit of the doubt?"
"He broke a date with me because he said he had to work late so I called a couple of my girlfriends and asked if they wanted to go out. We hit a place we had never been to before and there was Timmy on the dance floor with another girl. I walked out onto the dance floor, tapped the girl on the shoulder and told her I was cutting in. Then I told Timmy I wanted a job just like his where I could work late and get paid to drink and dance. Then I told him not to bother calling me ever again. He did though. Maybe a half dozen times. It was all a mistake. He could explain. It wasn't what I thought it was and other bullshit like that. Tricia thinks I should give him a second chance. I don't."
"I'm with you. I think you should totally forget Timmy and concentrate on me."
When we got to my condo she said, "I'm flying out tomorrow so you need to give me enough to hold me for a while. Are you up to it?"
We did it all. She blew me, I ate her. We made love missionary style and then went sixty-nine and followed that with anal in the doggie position. I washed my cock and we cuddled while she fondled me until I was able to do one more time. We fell asleep in each others arms and I slept like a baby.
When Vickie was off flying I didn't stay home, stare at the walls and count the minutes till her return. Well, maybe I did count the minutes, but I didn't stay home.
I had a Triumph T-110 and me and a couple of buddies would get together and go somewhere. When we did I usually had a girl on the back of my bike. Not because Vickie wasn't enough for me, but because Charlie had a custom built bike that couldn't carry a passenger so I usually ended up hauling Odette for him.
Odette was constantly bitching at him because she couldn't ride with him, but to be fair to Charlie he built the bike before he met Odette. He had gone years without being able to get a date so making room for a sweetie on his bike never had occurred to him. None of us could ever figure out why Charlie couldn't get a girl before he met Odette. He was good looking, had a pretty good job and he didn't have any body odor or bad breath that I could discern, but the fact remained that Charlie had gone at least two years without a date until the day he showed up with Odette.
From going two years without feminine companionship to going with a woman who looked like a porn star stunned us. Odette was five four, one-fifteen and 34x23x35 with raven black hair that fell all the way to her ass. No secret that several of the guys that rode with us cursed Charlie's good luck and wished that they had seen Odette first. In fact it was obvious that any of them who didn't have girls would have loved Odette riding behind them, but Charlie didn't trust any of them and so he talked me into being Odette's ride.
I only rode when Vickie wasn't around because she hated motorcycles. The one time she did go on a run with me we followed along behind the group in my pickup. I think it was because I had Vickie that Charlie trusted me with Odette. The problem there was that even as hung as I was on Vickie hauling Odette around was a trifle unsettling.
I rode without leathers in the summer and Odette sitting behind me with her hands around my waist and her tits pressed into my back gave me the kinds of thoughts you weren't supposed to have about your buddies' girl. What made it worse was that Odette liked to jerk Charlie's chain. She flirted with me outrageously. I guess it was her way to get back at Charlie when he ignored her. She was constantly on him to rework his bike so she could ride with him and he was always saying:
"Sure; I'll do it at soon as I can" or "Be patient sweetie; it is on my list."
But Charlie never did get around to it and after every time he brushed her off she would do something like take her hands from around my waist when were riding and 'accidently' rub my leg close to my cock or she would 'accidently' fall into me getting off the bike and her leg would rub against my cock. She would wink at me and say to Charlie:
"I bet Frank wouldn't blow me off if I asked him to do something for me."
Charlie would just shake his head, put an arm around her and lead her away. Once when we rode out to The Millhouse Tavern Odette danced with me while Charlie shot pool with Herm, Jay and Stan. Odette's back was to the pool table and she asked me:
"Is he watching?"
I glanced at the table and saw Charlie concentrating on lining up his shot so I said "no" and she leaned into me and kissed me. Her tongue pushed into my mouth and I went brain dead and didn't fight her off. After a steamy fifteen second kiss she pulled her mouth away from mine and I asked:
"Why did you do that?"
"Because I'm pissed."
"Pissed over what and why take it out on me?"
"You didn't seem to mind all that much; at least that is what I surmise given the lack of a fight. Whatever. What I'm pissed over is Charlie. He just infuriates me."
"Because. I know what I've got sweetie. I've had it since I was eleven. I've had grown men after me since then. I have always been able to get whatever I want from men and I'm talking some serious shit. I had one guy give me a car and another take me to Cabo for a month and I can't even get Charlie to set up his bike so I can ride with him. Instead he pushes me off on you and you don't make it any easier."
"Me? What did I do?"
"Nothing. That's the point. I know I'm hot and I've teased the hell out of you and you ignore me."
"That's because you are Charlie's girl and The Code says that you don't mess with a friend's lady. Besides, I've got Vickie and I don't cheat."
"Why not? That whore certainly does."
"Oh? And just why is she a whore?"
"I just know she is."
"I think maybe it is time for me to get you back to Charlie."
"Don't be a spoil sport."
"You belong to Charlie Odette and I've got Vickie and I'm in no mood to listen to you bad mouth her on a "just because."
"I've got more than a "just because", but never mind; it isn't any of my business anyway."
She pulled away from me and went over to join the other girls who were riding with the group. I couldn't figure out what she had against Vickie. As far as I knew the two of them had never met. I put it out of my mind and joined the guys around the pool table.
It was three days after I'd proposed to Vickie. She had left that morning on a four day trip and I was on my bike heading for Charlie's house to meet the rest of the guys and then we were going to run over to Cascade to the Elk's Club for a dance they were having. I saw a car coming up behind me in my rear view and I checked traffic ahead and saw that he was clear to pass me, but he didn't. He came up close behind me until there was no more than a bike length separating us. I gave it a little throttle and pulled away from him, but the Dodge sped up and closed the gap.
Every guy that rides has had an asshole like that do the same thing to them and we have all talked about what to do in a case like that. Some guys carry small chunks of iron in their pockets and some use gas caps. My solution was ball bearings. I'd get a heavy duty NSF bearing, cut the outer race and dump the roller bearings in a cup. When I got a cup full I'd put them in my pocket. I'd make two attempts to pull away and if the asshole still hung on behind me I'd take a handful of the bearings out of my pocket and toss them over my shoulder. It had the effect of a shotgun shot pattern when they hit the windshield of the car behind. I'd only done it once before and it had been as effective as hell.
I made the second attempt at pulling away and the jerk closed right up behind me again and I let him have the roller bearings. I saw him suddenly veer off the road to the right, jump a curb, run down a mailbox and then smack into a tree. Did I feel sorry? Fuck no! I twisted the throttle and put distance between us.
When I got to Charlie's I told the guys about it and what I'd done and I saw a weird look come over Odette's face when I told them about the red Dodge. I didn't think anything of it and the group fired up their machines and we cranked on over to Cascade. It might have been my imagination, but Odette seemed to be hanging on tighter than usual.
Two days later when I got home from work there were three guys leaning on a pickup in front of my place. One was bandaged and I was betting he was the driver of the red Dodge and that he had brought a couple of friends.
I could have just driven away, but that would have just postponed things and truth be told I was curious as to why the shithead had been riding my ass. But I wasn't stupid. Three of them, even thought one was hurt, was still heavy odds. I kept a sawed off ball bat under the seat of my truck so I pulled it out and slid it under my belt and under my windbreaker.
I got out of the truck and walked toward my front door and the three of them moved to block my path. I stopped and the bandaged one said:
"You owe me a car motherfucker."
"Fuck you asswipe. You tailgate a bike rider and you deserve what you get"
"Oh yeah? Well I guess we will just see about that."
They moved toward me and I did what they didn't expect. When they moved toward me they expected me to back up, but instead I ran at them. I knew the bandaged guy was going to move the slowest so I went right at him and nailed him in the crotch with my knee while pulling out my bat and swinging it at the guy on my right. My surprise was total and the bat connected with his head before he could set up to defend himself and he went down like a pole-axed steer. I swung to face the third guy and saw him setting himself up. He moved into some kind of martial arts pose and said:
"What's with the bat dickhead? Afraid of a fair fight?"
"You come here three on one and you're talking fair fight?"
I moved toward him and he snapped a kick at me with his right leg. I took a step to the right and took the kick on my left side and dropped my left arm and pinned the guy's leg to my side. I took a step backwards pulling him with me and he had to hop off balance on one foot. I brought the bat down on his shoulder as hard as I could and he screamed and started to fall. I kicked him in the crotch, let the leg go and then spun to face the other two.
The one I'd smacked in the head was lying on the ground moaning and the bandaged guy was trying to get up. I raised the bat and moved toward him and he threw up an arm and said:
"No. Enough; enough already."
"Not near enough man. What the fuck is going on here. You tried to run me down the other night and now you are here tonight and I want to know what the fuck is going on."
"You're fucking my wife and you're pissed at me? I should have just taken a gun and shot your ass."
"Whoa up there. I am not fucking your wife. I don't even know who you are let alone who your wife is. I do know I'm not messing around with any married ladies. The only woman I have been with the last six months is my fiancée."
"You deny you are fucking Vickie?"
"My fiancée's name is Vickie, but I'm not fucking your wife Vickie."
"The hell you aren't. It cost me nine hundred dollars, but I've had a private detective following her. She's been with you. I've got the pictures and it damned sure is you that she is with."
I just stood there looking at him. He seemed so sure.
"Okay. Take your buddies home, get your pictures and come on back. It seems that we need to talk."
There was no doubt. It was me and it was Vickie in the pictures.
"This is your wife?"
"It doesn't make sense. How does she explain being gone from you for three or four days at a time?"
"I'm not there. I drive for Murray Transport and my regular run is from here to Atlanta then to Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee and then back here. I'm usually gone four days. How does she explain not seeing you for three or four days at a time?"
"She's a flight attendant and her trips are all three and four day trips."
"Bull! She's a secretary at Wayman Industries over on Oxnard."
"It still doesn't make sense. Why would she say yes and take my ring when I proposed if she is already married?"
"I don't have a clue."
Tony swapped runs with another driver and he was sitting with me at the kitchen table when Vickie used her key and let herself in.
"Hi baby; I'm here."
"I'm in the kitchen."
Tony was sitting with his back to the doorway and he was wearing a hat and had the collar of his windbreaker turned up. There was no way Vickie could recognize him from the back. She came in through the doorway and then stopped when she saw I wasn't alone.
"We are playing gin. A hundred points is a game and he is whipping my butt. The winner gets to ask you a question."
"Ask me a question?"
Just then Tony gruffly said "Gin" and laid down his cards. "Damn!" I said, "You caught me with twenty-six. That's game so I guess you get to ask the question."
Tony turned in his seat and Vickie's face went pale when she saw who my visitor was.
"The question Victoria Marie is which one of us do you want?"
For several seconds she stood there looking like a deer caught in the on rushing headlights of a car and then she took a deep breath, set her purse down on the table and sat down on a chair.
"I want you both. I want you when you are home and I want Frank when you are gone."
"How could you do this Vickie? I thought you loved me."
"I do love you Tony."
"Then why did you do it?"