George Sanders sighed and snapped the last suitcase shut. Fifteen years of marriage now condensed into three suitcases and six boxes. Life really was pathetic when you had to measure your accomplishments by that standard.
He glanced at his watch. Four-thirty PM. All the festivities had taken about an hour and a half. His hands still shook from coming off the adrenaline high.
Beth was downstairs doing god knew what. He had told her to just leave him alone, and the look on his face must have been one hell of a motivator, because she flinched and ran down the stairs, crying.
He was a stew of warring emotions. Complete rage and feelings of betrayal, coupled with crushing sadness that it had come to this. Also thrown in there were feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. But now that the wild, action-packed afternoon was over, mostly only sadness remained.
He had felt extreme satisfaction after chasing McCarthy out the door, naked and bloody, but it only made him feel better temporarily. All that remained now was to pick up the pieces and he didn't know if he yet had the strength to do that.
George turned and gave the room one final perusal to make sure he'd forgotten nothing he wanted to take. His eyes fell on a photo of he and Beth taken at Snoqualmi Falls and all at once the strength went out of his legs and he sat down hard on the bed.
Ten years of marriage wiped out in one devatating afternoon, and the sight of that photograph, the two of them happy and laughing together, made it all come crashing in on him at once. He remembered the scene of that photograph like it was only yesterday. Beth standing there, laughing like a girl while the spray of the falls flumed around her like a rainbow. She looked like an angel with her hair flying behind her in the wind and her big happy smile.
Ever since he'd found out what she was doing, he would look at this photograph and be struck anew by her betrayal. Frequency never diminished its impact.
Scrubbing his hands wearily across his face, he rose and picked up his suitcases and trudged wearily down to his truck, completely ignoring the woman who was soon to be his ex-wife. She called after him, begging him to let her explain, telling him that it wasn't what he thought, and pleading for him to forgive her. He ignored it all and just loadedh is truck. And then he drove away, leaving behind the woman screaming in the driveway.
He pulled up in front of his new apartment fifteen minutes later, offloaded his suitcases and boxes and stood there for a moment in his new living room. This wasn't a home. This was a bland, impersonal box. His home was what he left behind. But he couldn't go back there again. Not after what she'd done there.
Deciding to put off unpacking for a little while longer, he got back in his truck and headed across town to Sammy's Roadhouse again. Might as well plant me here, he thought with a touch of weary humor. He sat on the ripped barstool with a pint of beer in front of him, head resting on his bunched fist and thought back to how it all began.
The plan was perfect. The execution would be even better.
Ah, now there's a word you can get right out of your mind, execution, George Sanders thought to himself as he sat in the dark dimness of Sammy's Roadhouse with a pint of Guinness in front of him. Execution is not a word you want to be thinking about right now, good buddy.
Yet the dark thoughts wouldn't go away, so he dumped more beer on them. He was only vaguely aware of the Monday night football game going on above him on the big screen tv hanging from the ceiling. He heard the ka-chunk of cueballs slamming against each other from the pool tables at the back, the hiss of the deep fryer in the kitchen, the clink of glassware. But he didn't take any notice of what was going on around him. He was thinking about the execution of his plan.
George Sanders was born and lived briefly in one of the hardscrabble farming communities in eastern Oregon. His father, greg, had inherited a small parcel of land from his grandfather, and had, in a fit of youthful optimism, decided to take his wife Rhoda out there and be a farmer.
Unfortunately, the only thing Greg Sanders could grow were debts, rocks and erections. He ended up leaving Rhoda for a waitress at a bar-probably very similar to the one his son was sitting at now, in fact-and Rhoda took George, then seven years old, to Portland. Rhoda divorced Greg but left George with his father's name. She got a job working for one of the banks in downtown Portland as a receptionist and administrative assistant. She also started taking classes at PSU with the idea of becoming a nurse, her lifelong dream.
Unfortunately, it wasn't to be. When George was ten and in school, Rhoda was heading over to OHSU and got broadsided by a truck on the bridge. Her car flipped over the railing and it took them a day to find her body, because she wasn't wearing a seatbelt. Game over, time to pack up, and it was off to the wonderful world of foster care.
He bounced around the Portland/Salem corridor in and out of various homes for the next seven years. He got into more fights than he could count, engaged in a few acts of minor theft, and finally it all came to a head when he was seventeen.
Ever since the death of his mother, whom he had loved deeply, George had felt alone and empty. In an attempt to fill that emptiness within himself, he joined various gangs and took to the lifestyle like a duck to water. It didn't fill the emptiness-didn't even come close-but while he was with them, he could pretend like he was part of something larger, something beyond himself. The criminal acts, the drugs, the stealing of merchandise-none of that stuff was all that important. It was merely the outward show of solidarity you took away with you. Yeah man, we're together in all this, and we always will be. It wasn't the acts themselves that were important, it was the spirit behind them. Doing things as a gang, and getting away with it, drawing the bonds of loyalty and solidarity even tighter.
As a result, the most important foundation to George's personality were trust and loyalty. To those who have never joined a gang or been part of the Marine Corps or other elite units, trust and loyalty are usually only given lip service and not really thought about, relegated to a dictionary entry. To those who have been part of a tight gang or a fighting force, however, it is the most important thing in the world. If you can't trust your partner, they don't deserve to be part of your life. Ask any biker gang member, Marine vet or long time police officer and they will tell you it is the truth.
George therefore valued trust and loyalty over all else. Once he trusted you, he gave it his all. But on the flip side, if you broke that trust, you were never, ever forgiven, because he could never be certain you wouldn't do it again.
His first act of betrayal-not counting that of his father, of course-came when he was seventeen.
He didn't have many friends, but the ones he did have, he held onto. There was one guy, called Rick Murphy, with whom he was rather tight. They met when he was at a home in Klakamas, his longest term residence yet. He turned up there at fifteen and stayed there all the way through to seventeen.
He and Rick had met his first day in high school. Well, rather, George's nose had met Rick's fist, and the fight was on. Rick wasn't happy that George was wearing the colors of Rick's opposing gang, and George didn't give a flying fuck what Rick thought.
But then things got nasty. Somebody in the crowd brought out a bike chain and swung it at Rick's head. Now, George might've been a punk in a criminal, but he didn't approve of sneaking up from behind and ambushing someone. So he snatched the bike chain, yanked real hard bringing the wielder of the chain up close, and said: "This is the asshole who was about to whack you with a bike chain, buddy. What do you want to do?"
What Rick wanted to do was teach the guy a lesson. But before he could get more than a few good licks in, the teachers came and broke it up. "I'll remember you, asshole," Rick said to the hapless bike chain wielder, before walking off.
"George Sanders," George said, walking next to Rick.
"Rick Murphy," Rick replied, and from then on they were buddies.
Until they were seventeen.
He, Rick and the guys had decided it would be a good idea to burn down the police station. Not a smart move, in retrospect, but hell, what the fuck, it'd be a blast, right? Ha ha.
Well, the cops that caught them didn't see the humor in the situation, so they were all packed up and sent off to jail.
All except Rick Murphy, that is. That son of a bitch decided to roll everything off on George, telling the ADA that it was all his, George's, idea, and that he, Rick was only along for the ride and really didn't want to get involved. Rick got off with a suspended sentence and George and the other two guys got sent up to jail until they were twenty-one, at which time their records were sealed due to their minor status.
This was George's first betrayal and it taught him that anyone can betray you for any reason, and to always keep his guard up.
Jail taught him things. It wasn't at all like in the movies, but it wasn't that great either. George quickly got status and he got respect when word got out that he was in there for burning down a police station. He did his time, got out with a few scars, and started bumming all over the pacific northwest looking for odd jobs.
George always laughed when he saw stories in the paper about work being hard to find and when he saw stories on the news about the unemployment rate being so high. Jobs were all over the place. The real problem was that nobody wanted to get their hands dirty doing them. George might've been a criminal but he wasn't averse to hard work, not at all. Hell, he liked having spending money as much as the next guy.
So, it was over to eastern Washington to pick apples, up to Seattle to work in the fish market, down to Pendleton to work on the ranches. Lots of dirty back breaking work, but it was honest work, and he always had some cash. And he laughed at all the out of work white collar idiots who bitched and moaned on the tv about there being no work, while he nursed blisters on his hands from digging fence post holes.
That carried him for the next ten years, right up until about 1995. And it was the goddamnedest piece of good luck that ended it for him.
He was walking along a country road in central Washington and had come across a damn fine looking sports car stranded on the side of the road. Smoke raftered up from the tailpipe in thick clouds and steam gushed from under the hood. And standing next to it was the sexiest woman he had ever seen in his life.
"Looks like you got a problem there, Ma'am," George said, standing far enough away so that he wasn't perceived as a threat.
The woman jumped and turned, hands going up a little defensively before she saw that he was at a safe distance.
"Yeah, something went bang under the hood and I stalled out. I'm on my way to Wenatchee and I think I got turned around."
George laughed. "You sure did. It's off that way, and you're heading the complete opposite direction."
The woman smiled ruefully. "I was never any great shakes at navigation."
"Want me to look under the hood there for you?"
She studied him for a moment. "Do I have to be worried about you?"
"Not today," George said, trying to look harmless. Not easy when you're a big bruiser with red hands and three days growth of beard, but he did try, and it seemed to work because she eventually let him look under the hood.
To cut a long story short, he fixed her broken pistons and she fixed his wandering life.
All those years on the road had made George fairly well acquainted with the female body and all its wondrous permutations, but nobody turned over his motor like Beth Cunningham did. They dated for a year before they got married and in that time they did their best to try every position in the Kama Sutra and some others they just made up. She was insatiable.
Beth's father owned a construction company and, in an ironic twist of fate, it turned out that George had done work for one of Old Man Cunningham's crews before, and they told the old man that he was reliable and always got the job done. So George hired on there, first as a plain old carpenter, and then later as a foreman, and later still he was helping expand the business in the front office. He and Beth married a year after that initial meeting on that dusty road and they never looked back.
Roger Cunningham somehow found out about George's record, and before he was allowed to marry his daughter, George was called into the old man's office one day.
"Hi there, George," Cunningham boomed, holding out his hand and gesturing magnanimously to a chair in front of his desk. "Got something you need to see, my friend."
George sat down and eyed his boss and soon to be father-in-law warily. "What's that, Roger?"
Cunningham leaned back and interlaced his fingers behind his head. "Seems you have a record, George. It's sealed but I have contacts. Care to tell me about it?"
For the first time, George noticed a buff-colored folder with "Portland District Attorney's Office" emblazoned on it. He figured this day was coming eventually, though, so he wasn't overly worried.
"Well, Roger, it was like this," he said, and told Cunningham about his early life. He told about his rootless and shiftless existence and about the gangs and drugs, culminating in burning down the police station.
Roger listened to this dissertation without comment or any change of expression, and he stayed silent for a time, rocking idly in his chair, after George finished. Then he swung back down, planted his elbows on the desk and peered at George over the top of his glasses.
"Well, boy, that's one hell of a story and I'm glad you're honest with me about it. It pretty much matches with what I've been told. I know a lot of guys like that, and I know what happens to kids who end up in the foster care system. You did your time, and have been on the straight 'n narrow ever since. I'm going to pull some strings and have this thing entirely erased for you, but on one condition."
"What's that, Sir?" George felt calling him sir instead of Roger was more appropriate here.
Cunningham leaned forward and fixed him with the sternest gaze George had yet seen from him. "You treat my daughter well, and you do your damnedest to make sure she's happy for the rest of her life."
George broke into a smile. "You got no worries on that score, Sir. I'll do my best by her and by you."
And he had. And things were never better. He and Beth bought a house in Roseberg and they started living the all American dream. Beth had no real interest in her father's business, so she began working for a prodigious law firm. Things coasted along for the next ten years, George was fat, dumb and happy and he had no idea things were anything but peachy keen. Money was rolling in from the business (Beth's father had died suddenly of a stroke and left the entire business to George in 2000) and they were trying for kids, but not having much luck. Beth rose astronomically through the firm and by the time of her betrayal was a full partner.
And then an overheard conversation changed it all.
Now, sitting at Sammy's Roadhouse and nursing his beer, George thought back to the day, just two days ago, when he first realized his Beth was a cheating slut.
It was an ordinary day, as so many days when momentous events occur are. George got up, made love to his wife, had his shower, drank his coffee, kissed his wife goodbye and headed for the office tower his construction business was based out of. It had sure come a long way from the old run down trailer it had started out in.
Things went along until about ten in the morning when George got up to get a cup of coffee from the break room. He was just about to step through the door when the sound of his wife's name stopped him cold in the hallway.
"Does George know about Beth?" came the voice of Jim Frederics, a roofer George worked with.
A laugh. "Not hardly. You think he'd put up with it if he did?" answered Ralph Billings, one of their subcontractors.
"Good point. So, who's she doing now?"
"I think she's got Frank McCarthy over tomorrow. Boss says he's going out of town to Portland."
Another laugh from Ralph, and the clink of a coffee cup. "Boy, I sure wouldn't like to be Beth or Frank tomorrow if George ever found out."
Turning, George left on a gale of their shared laughter and went back to his office, coffee forgotten.
His wife was cheating on him.
Had apparently been doing it for a long time, and with a number of men, judging by the "who's she doing now" question.
At that moment, George was numb. He sat there behind his desk with his head in his hands staring at the desktop. Then, slowly, all the questions started running through his head.
How could she do this to me? What's wrong with me? Am I that bad a lover that she needs to find it elsewhere? Does our marriage mean nothing to her? How could she toss ten years of marriage down the crapper without a thought?
Then the anger came. She wanted to play around? Well fine then. But she would have to pay the consequences. She had betrayed everything he believed in and had taken the trust he had in her and threw it away as casually as a booger. The fucking could be forgiven. The betrayal which the fucking represented, however, could not. There was no room for disloyal people in his life. He couldn't be always watching over his shoulder, wondering who would screw him over next.
It was then that the germ of The Plan began to form in his mind. A slow smile came across his face. Yes, things would be different in the Sanders house soon. Very soon indeed.
Shaking off the memories, or trying too anyway, George finished off his beer, threw a ten on the bar and got up and headed for the door. He had an appointment to keep at his house. It was Just after noon, and he was supposed to be in Portland until tomorrow, meeting with potential investors at the Embassy Suites. He had called Paul Richardson that morning and, knowing the situation, Paul had been more than willing to go in his place. Paul was his executive assistant, as well as his partner in the business, and would be more than happy to prove his worth on this moneyfinding trip.
Meanwhile, George did all the usual things a cuckolded husband did-emptied the savings account, cashed in the CD's and empties the safety deposit box. Unfortunately, Beth would get half the business assets, but it wasn't really that much of a blow to him. Being a cautious guy, George had funneled off most of his salary to a separate account under Paul's name, and it was now worth enough to set him up somewhere else with a nice cushion until he got some other job. Also, just from the brief digging he'd done, it appeared Beth had been picking up guys from the business regularly over the past couple of years. The why of her adultery wasn't important to him. She made a fool out of him, and she would have to pay. There was no reason whatsoever for cheating. If she was unhappy with him, she could've asked for a divorce. He would've been hurt, but less so than he was now. If somebody was blackmailing her, she should've come to him first and they would've dealt with it.
Unfortunately, it wasn't either of those reasons. Based on the brief time he'd spent looking into the matter, he thought it was only the thrill of the chase for her. He didn't really spend much time digging into it. That wasn't important. The Plan was.
All the financial juggling occupied the day of the overheard conversation. He had gone home to Beth and done a superb acting job pretending that all was well in their world.
The next day he asked Paul to do some checking around, and that was when he'd found out that Beth had been screwing a great number of guys from the business. Nobody from management, because George associated with those people regularly and Beth probably assumed he would find out. It was mostly contractors or rotating guys with no fixed position in the company. Grunt laborers, in other words.
Then there was Frank McCarthy. The stereotypical ninety-eight pound weakling from accounting. He had been more regular than any of Beth's other lovers, and George didn't understand the attraction at all. But then, understanding wasn't really necessary; only the facts mattered.
After sending Paul on his way up to Portland, he had gone to Sammy's and sat and drank. And contemplated his plan.
Beth Sanders sighed contentedly as Frank McCarthy's lips grazed over her heavy breasts, his tongue flipping over the large nipples while his work roughened hand trailed over her rounded belly to the shaven mound of her pussy, which was already deliciously wet in anticipation of his entrance.
"Nobody does me like you do," she murmured into his thick hair, arching her body for him as his fingers found her engorged pussy lips. Frank said nothing, his breathing coming fast and shallow as he trailed his mouth over her body, his hard cock pulsing against her thigh.
"Nevermind all that, I want you in me now," Beth said, pulling him back up and spreading her legs to accommodate him. "I want your big hard cock in me now."
Frank grinned and without a word slammed into her in one hard thrust and started moving in and out, kneading her breasts restlessly. Beth moaned and clamped her feet, still wearing come fuck me pumps, at the small of his back and pulled him in even tighter.
Finally, after only a few minutes, she climaxed. "Do my ass now," she panted in his ear.
"You want my cock up your married ass?" Frank asked in a husky voice, his cock throbbing and glistening as he pulled it out of her with a squish sound.
"Yes. I've never given George my ass and I want you to have it," said Beth, flipping over and pointing her ass at Frank.
Frank grinned and reached for the bottle of Astroglyde. "Your wish is my command, my little married slut."
He worked on Beth's puckered starfish for a while with his fingers, before Beth told him to get on with it and shove his cock in her dirty ass. Frank, we can be sure, was happy to oblige.
But before he could get more than a quarter inch into her, there was an ominous ka-crunch! Sound and the voice of George Sanders said: "Well well well, isn't this cozy," from the doorway.
Beth shrieked and fell off the bed, Franks cock coming out of her ass with a wet plop. Frank spun around and lost his balance, falling off the other side of the bed. He looked ludicrous, like a turtle on his back, with his rapidly deflating cock flopping on his belly.
"Seems my loving wife has been very naughty, very naughty indeed," said George in a calm, almost gentle voice, advancing into the room with a 10-gauge shotgun cradled in his hands, pointed straight at Frank, who was frantically trying to scramble off the floor and cover up his nakedness at the same time.
"George, it isn't what you think-"
"Be quiet, Beth," George said in his new calm and gentle voice, not looking at her, but gaze trained steadily on Frank, who was standing, back against the wall and hands over his crotch, cringing away from the barrel of the shotgun, which looked roughly the diameter of a drainpipe.
"I said be quiet," George said in his calm and gentle voice. "You'll get your turn soon enough, my darling wife. It's time for me and old Franky here to have a serious discussion now."
"W-what are you going to d-do?"