"They want us to come."
Dave looked up from his laptop and blinked. He'd been too immersed in writing yet another report to do more than say hi when Jennifer had come home. She'd met their friend Jen for dinner while he'd spent the evening in and tried furiously to catch up with work. Or more precisely, not fall further behind.
"To the swingers' club. We did say we'd help them find another couple to play with."
Dave let out a small sigh. He hit Control-S and closed the lid of his computer. It looked like it was finally time to talk about the relationship between the couples.
It wasn't that he and Jennifer hadn't talked at all. She'd wanted reassurances that he wasn't upset or having second thoughts about him telling her to jack Will off over Labor Day. He'd given them. Repeatedly. They'd also had a brief conversation about what had happened before—the women's flashing games, the incidents over the Fourth of July. Jennifer wanted to make sure he didn't have any regrets, and Dave didn't, though he didn't know what he wanted to do in the future.
"Do you want to go?" he asked.
"I want to support Jen." She tilted her head. "And Will. And I think they need to do this. But I don't."
"You don't need to do this?"
She shook her head. "Rob and I went once. I didn't like it."
Her voice strained just enough to make Dave curl his lip.
"We watched a while," she said. "Then we left."
"How about if we talk about it on the couch?"
She nodded and they adjourned to the sofa, where Jennifer cuddled into his side and let him wrap his arms around her.
"So what happened?" he asked.
"Nothing, that night. We watched a little, talked to some people, and I told Rob I didn't feel comfortable. None of those strangers were doing anything for me. So we went home. He wanted to go back, but when I said I didn't want to, he suggested that maybe we try something with Jen and her boyfriend instead."
"And that didn't go well."
"No. It wasn't too bad at first. Of course, we talked about it ahead of time, Jen and I. Both our guys wanted it, and we were both, well, I'm not sure 'willing' so much as 'not opposed.' Jen had already pretty much figured out she was an exhibitionist by then, though she wasn't as refined in her 'games' as she is now. She thought it'd be hot to put on a show for the guys and then get them involved."
"A show? Like the Fourth of July?" Dave's gut churned a bit at the mixed memory.
"Nothing so elaborate. We just stripped and posed. Things got ugly before we did much with each other."
"But you would have?"
"Sure. We'd fooled around before."
Dave tensed. This was new news.
Jennifer sensed the change. "We never did much. Mostly just masturbating together."
"She went down on you in Breckenridge."
"Yes, we did that once before, but only the one time. That's how I learned I wasn't bi."
"But you don't mind touching another woman."
"No. Not if she's a friend. But touching's not the same."
They fell silent for a moment. Dave squeezed Jennifer slightly, which she returned. He lightly caressed her back.
"So... ," he asked, his pulse beating with hesitancy, "what all have you and Jen done together?"
"It was before you came along."
"I know. But she's a part of your life now. Our life."
"Does it matter?"
"No. Not really. I'm not going to be jealous or anything. It's just..."
"It's just what?"
"You have been the most incredible girlfriend," he said, "but there are times when it feels like you've got a mask on, around me. That you're hiding your true face. And this is one of those times."
Jennifer let out a long slow breath. "Do you really want to know?"
"Even though you might get jealous?"
Dave paused. Would he? Yeah, after Claire's cheating, he knew that jealousy lived a little too close to the surface of his heart. It didn't want to be betrayed again. But he hadn't been jealous of Jennifer with Will...
"I think," he said in measured tones, "that knowing is better than not."
"That's not always true."
"Agreed. But in this case, I know a little, and that means my imagination is filling in the rest. Which can be both good and bad. I suspect the reality is a lot tamer."
Jennifer snorted. "I'm sure it is."
"So tell me."
"Well ... you know Jen and I met in college and became roommates our senior year. We were good friends and spent many nights staying up late, drinking wine and talking. Mostly about guys and our dating life, of course."
Dave couldn't help grinning. "Which you still talk about."
"Sometimes. There's not as much drama nowadays. At least usually."
"True. But even this thing with Will and Jen isn't unnecessary drama. I remember too much of that in college."
"So do I. I'm so glad we're past that." She gave Dave a squeeze.
"So you were telling me about you and Jen."
"Ah. Well, she's always been a very sexual person. Me too, of course, but she was more uninhibited. One night I came home early from a date and found her and her boyfriend going at it in the living room. She didn't get embarrassed at all, but simply apologized and said they hadn't expected me. Then she took him into her bedroom and they went at it again."
"What did you do?"
"Went into my room and put my headphones on. Then turned the volume up. Several times."
Dave chuckled, as a host of memories flooded through. "She can be loud."
Jennifer smiled. "She can. I teased her about it the next day, but she just said that was the way she was. She knew I didn't have a problem with it."
"Did you ever walk in on her again?"
"No. I heard her a couple more times, but then she broke up with that boyfriend. A week or two after that, I was up late studying and I heard her again, but I realized she was alone. She was using a new vibrator she'd bought."
"I teased her about that, but again she wasn't embarrassed. She said I should try it and offered to loan it to me."
"Did you take her up on it?"
"Not immediately, but eventually. I was single and I'd never owned a sex toy before. So a few nights later, when we were having wine and talking, I asked her what it felt like. I had my first vibrator-induced orgasm later that night."
"No. In my room alone. But she knew, of course. And she heard me. A few days later we went shopping and I got my own."
Visions of the two women in a sex store danced through Dave's imagination. "That must have been interesting."
"It was pretty boring, actually. No different than buying an alarm clock, or lingerie. We went to a pretty high end store that actually carried lingerie."
"What did get interesting was a few weeks later when we had another wine and conversation night. We got to talking about guys, and then sex, and what we liked, and what we fantasized about. We both drank a lot and were feeling really comfortable, because Jen decided she wanted an orgasm right then. She hopped up to get her vibrator and for some reason I told her to bring it back—that we weren't done talking."
"Of course. She teased me about getting mine too and, well, to make a long story short, we ended up playing with our toys there together in the living room, watching each other and telling each other stories to keep us turned on."
Dave's blood pulsed. His cock stiffened in his pants and he tried to keep his voice calm.
"And what happened then?" he asked.
"That night, not much else. When we were both satiated, we went to bed. Separately. We did it again a few more times and then one night she asked if she could go down on me. She was curious. I said yes, and had a great orgasm. I returned the favor, but didn't enjoy it."
"No. Like I said, that's when I realized I wasn't bi. I just liked the energy of getting off together. Kind of like when we were all together in Santa Fe. It's a lot hotter when you're doing it with someone else. Besides, we didn't do much more. A week later I met Rob, and Jen and I stopped our 'wine and play' nights."
"So when the swingers' club didn't work for Rob and me, we talked about getting with Jen. I mentioned it to her and she liked the idea and we set it up."
"And it went south."
"So what made it go bad?"
"Me kissing Mark. Rob was getting a blowjob from Jen and Mark and I were just sitting there watching. So we started kissing and he felt my breasts. Rob flipped out. But not before he'd come in Jen's mouth."
"Of course." Dave squeezed her tight in reassurance. "He was definitely a bastard with a double standard."
"It was worse than that. He called me a slut and a cunt. He did apologize a few days later, but our marriage never recovered."
Dave let out a sigh of sympathy. He felt badly for Jennifer in having had such a jerk of a husband, but then if she hadn't, they wouldn't have gotten together.
"So ... as much as I like the games, particularly with Jen, I don't want to go through that again."
"Well, I'm not Rob."
"I know. But you have your own demons."
Dave stiffened. He knew he had scars and fears, but he'd worked quite a bit to overcome them during the past year.
Jennifer gave him a reassuring squeeze. "And if you don't want to go to the club with Jen and Will, we won't go."
"Why would I have a problem with going?"
"Because we'll have to go in costume, too. And letting Will admire me is one thing. As are the flashing games where we pick what guys get to see and how much. But this ... there would be a lot of complete strangers looking at your girlfriend."
Dave made a dismissive shrug. "So?"
"And a lot of them will want to do more than look. That's the point of the club after all."
"Ah. But we're not going to."
"No. But I wasn't going to do anything with Will at Labor Day, and then you changed the rules."
Dave grimaced. Yes, he'd changed the rules, but it had been the right thing to do.
"You know I love sex," Jennifer said, "but I don't love it more than I love you. Or Jen. Or Will."
"I know. But it's good to hear, too."
"So I want to support them. But I don't want to do anything that will hurt you. Or us."
"Neither do I."
Dave sighed. Jennifer didn't push him further, so they just cuddled in silence while he collected his thoughts.
"We should go," he said finally. "We can watch, them or others. No touching, though, unless we talk about it first."
"So if you want to change the rules, we break away to talk first?"
"Yeah, that'll work."
"Good. I'll tell Jen we're going. And then we'll work on costumes. That'll be fun."
Dave shook his head and smiled. "Somehow I suspect choosing costumes will be as much fun for you and Jen as actually going to the party."
Jennifer smiled. "You know us so well."
Dave couldn't help laughing. Jennifer playfully slapped him on the arm and the seriousness of the long conversation dissipated. They got up off the couch and Dave returned to his report. That night, when Jennifer came to bed, she teased him with costume ideas until he was hard enough to make love.
The next day, Jennifer called Jen and the two women started to conspire. When Jennifer's laughter provoked Dave to ask what they were planning, she just smirked and shook her head before carrying the phone into the next room.
Two can play at that game, Dave mused. He texted Will and suggested a 'guys' costume shopping trip' for the next weekend.
Will was in good spirits when he picked Dave up that Saturday. They were barely on the road to the adult boutique when Will just shook his head and chuckled.
"I can't believe we're doing this," he said.
"I'm kind of surprised myself."
"Yeah, after Breckenridge I thought I'd never agree to give playing with other people another shot."
"I didn't either. What changed your mind?"
Will grinned. "You did."
"When you were okay with Jennifer touching me. I mean, given your scars from Claire's cheating, that must've been hard."
Dave shrugged. It hadn't been as hard as he'd thought it should've been, but he didn't know how to explain it.
"So," Will said, "I did a lot of thinking and decided I could handle it."
"But is that really a decision? You thought you could handle it in Breckenridge too."
Will sighed. "I didn't know what to expect, then. Now I do. But you know, in hindsight, it wasn't that bad."
"What? You were pretty freaked out."
"Yeah, I know. But I think it was because I expected to be freaked out. Jen pointed out that I didn't mind her going down on Jennifer, and she's right. There's not much different in that and what she did with you."
Will shrugged. "I'm willing to give it another shot. Jennifer was right. Better to do something than continue talking it to death."
Dave snorted. It certainly felt like they'd done more than enough talking lately.
Will pulled into the Adult Superstore. "We're here. Let's go find some costumes."
Unfortunately, the selection turned out to be pretty poor. After sorting the meager single rack, they selected two Chippendale's dancer outfits. Will joked that they should have gotten them in July, but Dave just shrugged it off. They agreed that the women's costumes were likely to be spectacular.
And they weren't disappointed. The night of the Halloween party, they all assembled at Jen's place. Dave and Will fidgeted in the living room while the ladies prepared upstairs. When they came down, Dave couldn't help but let out a long slow whistle.
Jennifer floated into the room in a green diaphanous gown and stockings, with a laurel wreath in her hair. As she did a model's spin, Dave noted that it was less a gown than a sideless tunic that exposed more than it really covered.
"A Greek Goddess," he murmured.
Jennifer lit up in a smile. "A fairy, actually, but I like your idea."
"Ahem." Jen preened in the doorway, her smile mischievous.
Dave couldn't help but laugh when he looked closer. He'd expected another fairy, but Jen's rigid grey plates and horns couldn't belong to anything other than a gargoyle. A very sexy gargoyle, as, like Jennifer, the costume was notable for what it didn't cover. Plating covered Jen's shoulders, with straps across her chest, like an old Roman gladiator's. She did have a thin bra on, but Dave was certain it was too flimsy to remain. And below the waist ... the costume was nothing more than a g-string and stockings.
Will smiled open-mouthed, his voyeur's gaze firmly affixed.
"You like?" Jen asked.
"I love it," Will said. "I don't know what inspired you, but this ... this is incredible!"
"That's because it's different," Jen said, her eyes twinkling. "I guarantee I'll be the only sexy gargoyle there tonight."
"True, so true." Will stepped forward and pulled Jen into his arms. "You'll be the sexiest woman there!"
He kissed her hotly and they remained clenched until Dave cleared his throat.
"Shouldn't we be going?" he said.
Jen and Will nodded. They all collected their coats and headed out the door.
The conversation on the way to the club crackled with nervous energy. Dave could sense the excitement and sublimated worry behind his friends' words, even though no one spoke of their impending evening. Will seemed as equally excited as Jen, which Dave took as a good sign. Jennifer, meanwhile, remained silent and reassuringly held his hand.
The electricity of anticipation continued after they'd parked at the club and walked up to the door. In the small entryway, a woman dressed as a very sexy witch took their entrance fee and had them sign release forms. Then a couple, dressed as a doctor and a nurse, if doctors and nurses were missing half their clothes, offered to give them the official tour.
Dave's head swam as they walked through the club. Signing the release forms had moved this adventure from the hypothetical to very real. It was more than fantasy now, and part of him struggled with the implications.
I'm a member of a swingers' club, he thought. True, it was only because they'd had to formally join in order to attend the party and he and Jennifer certainly had no plans to come back.
But still ... it hadn't been that long ago that the concept had been little more than an idle fantasy while reading porn.
But here he was. And being here forced him to strip away any residual self-righteousness he might have had about not being one of those people. Because now he was...
It didn't help his preconceptions that the place was so ... ordinary. The dance floor and bar looked like just about any other dance floor and bar he'd seen. The décor was tastefully done and the few nude paintings adorning the wall would have looked fine in a classy nightclub. The hot tub room looked like any other hot tub. It wasn't until they went down the hall to the private party rooms that it really seemed like a sex club.
"Close the door if you want privacy," their guide said as she ushered them into a small room. It contained a vinyl-covered couch, a few chairs, and a few small end tables, with paper towels sitting on one. The chairs were oriented not for conversation, but for watching anyone on the couch.
"Leave it open if you don't mind people coming in. But if you enter a room with an open door, ask before you do anything other than watch."
Dave nodded, and he was sure the others did too, but he was too lost in his own thoughts to be sure. How many people had had sex on that couch? A hundred? Five hundred? Were there people who only came here once? How many were that? And what would it be like to have sex with a woman he'd just met?
He had trouble wrapping his mind around that last thought. It wasn't that he hadn't fooled around with a woman on a first date, but it had been a date, not a first meeting. He'd never gone out with someone he hadn't known for a while first. The pattern had been: date, become exclusive, have sex, consider marriage. Wasn't that normal? It certainly wasn't here.
Their guide led them back to the main bar and dance floor area. As they did, Jennifer smiled at him and took his hand. She squeezed it and cocked her head, inviting him to speak his mind. He just smiled and shook his head. He wasn't quite ready to share the ideas bouncing in his brain.
Of course, they just bounced without coming to any conclusions. Did it matter that they were formally club members? They were here to support Will and Jen, after all, and if formal membership was what it took, what was wrong with that?
He didn't think it mattered that he'd never had sex with a woman he'd just met. He was with Jennifer now, and he really didn't want to have sex with other women. He admitted to himself that the thought of another blowjob from Jen got him hard, but that was different.
Or was it?
Before he could answer that question, they arrived back at the bar. Their guide introduced them to some people she thought they might like and slipped away. Dave didn't catch the new couple's names, but it didn't matter, because they soon excused themselves to meet others. He found himself standing alone with his friends, feeling a tad disoriented.
The girls were chattering with nervous energy, Dave realized, which meant he wasn't the only one feeling like a fish out of water. He looked around and it didn't help. The costumes alone were mind-blowing—an incredibly sexy bride with bare breasts, another woman dressed like a devil who definitely inspired sinful thoughts, even two guys that made him laugh, as they were wearing orange construction jackets, thongs, and nothing else. Undressed seemed more normal than dressed, and he realized belatedly that even Jen had shed her bra and was topless like most of the women. But even in their nudity, most of the people seemed relaxed and like they were having a genuinely good time.
"Wild, huh?" Jen said.
"Definitely," Will said. "It's like exhibitionism central."
Dave chuckled, though the girls just rolled their eyes.
"Seriously," Will said, "it's like everyone here is showing off. It's a dozen Jen clones." He paused. "Except not as beautiful."
"Nice save," Jen said as she beamed at her boyfriend.
Jennifer squeezed Dave's hand. "You okay?" she whispered.
He nodded his head. "Just taking it all in."
The bartender came by and they ordered drinks. Dave almost coughed when he realized how strong his rum and coke was. Meanwhile, Jen and Will were discreetly talking about the various couples in the room—who looked fun and who might be approachable. Jennifer just continued to hold Dave's hand tight and nestle into his side. He took another sip and almost coughed again.
He bent his head to talk quietly to Jennifer. "I wonder how many people here are going to be drunk before the evening's out."
She smiled. "Or how many will have to get drunk to do anything."
Dave nodded. It wasn't too hard to imagine inhibitions here. He certainly had them.
And he wasn't the only one, he realized. When he looked closer, he noticed that some couples were hanging back by themselves, much like the four of them were.
Just because you're willing to have sex with a stranger doesn't mean you're ready to approach them, he mused.
He wondered what it would take for Jen and Will to approach someone, being newbies. He wasn't sure he could.
But it didn't matter, because he realized another couple was coming their way. They were dressed as devils—her bare-breasted, and him with a rather large codpiece jutting out.
"I love your costume," the woman purred to Jen. "A gargoyle?"
"Why, yes," Jen said.
"Very original," the woman said. "I particularly like the way the straps call attention to your breasts. They frame them like a work of art."
Dave almost blushed, but exhibitionistic Jen just grinned.
"That's why I picked it," she said.
"Good choice." The woman gestured to her companion. "This is my husband Ken," she said, "and I'm Barbara. Are you new here?"
"First time for my husband and I," Jen said. She introduced the rest of their little group. "Jennifer's been here once before, but she didn't enjoy it."
"Oh?" Barbara asked with a raised eyebrow.
"It was a problem with my partner at the time," Jennifer said.
"But you came back?" Barbara asked.
"We're just here to watch," Dave said, "and support our friends."
Barbara nodded. "It's good to have supportive friends."
"We've made some of our best friends though the Lifestyle," Ken said.
"Mmmm hmmm," Barbara added. "In fact, we're hoping to see some friends later tonight, when the partying really gets started."
"Uh ... how late is that?" Dave asked.
"Around midnight," Barbara said, "but there's usually people who get started in the back rooms before then. It's whatever works for you."
"Oh, good," Jen said. "I'm not sure I can sit around and wait until midnight."
Barbara laughed. "Ah, the nervous excitement of newcomers! I remember it well." She focused in on Jen. "So ... have you thought about exactly what you want for your first time?"
"Some... ," Jen said.
Someone turned up the music playing in the room. Jen stepped in a little closer to continue her conversation with Barbara, but Dave could no longer make out their words. Instead, he settled back to watch some of the couples that had moved out to the middle of the room to dance.
One couple seemed to be doing a traditional jitterbug or two-step. She was topless and her large breasts bounced with the music. Her partner didn't seem to notice as he jammed out to the music. Next to them, a couple in mismatched costumes—she was a cat, he was a magician—held each other tight and ground their pelvises together while they kissed. She straddled his thigh, with only a thin g-string between her and his silk pants. One of her hands thrust down between them out of sight, but Dave was sure he knew where it was.
Dirty dancing has an entirely different meaning when they're half naked, he mused.
He glanced around and quickly spotted another couple making out at a table near the floor. Her magician's assistant costume had come off her shoulder, leaving her breast exposed under his hands. Or paws, really, since he was still in a dog costume which included furry gloves. Dave's eyes flipped from them to the couple on the dance floor and he couldn't help shaking his head and grinning.
You're in a swingers' club, he thought. Of course they're not with their partners!
Jennifer nudged him out of his thoughts. He bent down so she wouldn't have to shout.
"Barbara has suggested going to a private room," she said. "Do you want to go and watch?"
Dave's gut twinged, but then he nodded. "If Will and Jen want us there, we should go."
Jennifer smiled and squeezed his hand.
The two of them fell a few steps behind the others as they made their way down the hall. Barbara and Jen chatted and laughed up front as if they were old friends. The amiable atmosphere lasted until they'd entered a private room and closed the door. Then, a pregnant silence seemed to fall. Dave and Jennifer settled into some chairs opposite the couch while the others stood in the middle of the room. Will watched Jen. Jen's eyes were on Barbara, who gave a reassuring smile in return. Ken stood off to the side, slowly stripping off his costume.
"So... ," Jen asked after taking a deep breath, "what now?"
Barbara replied by stepping forward and kissing her. Jen wrapped her arms around the brunette and returned the kiss. A moment later, Ken stepped forward and started caressing Jen's back and shoulders while Barbara's hands found their way to her breasts. When they broke the kiss, Barbara pulled back and turned to Will.
"We wouldn't want you to be left out," she said.
Barbara reached out and put her hands around his neck and pulled him down until their lips met. Will stiffened, but then seemed to relax when he saw Ken and Jen caressing and feathering each other with kisses.
Dave turned to Jennifer. Amusement danced in her eyes. He let out a deep breath and felt himself relaxing. She took his hand and gave him a reassuring squeeze.
He didn't need it, he realized. Somehow he already knew things would be all right. He settled back to watch the show.
Barbara knelt before Will. She looked up at his face and licked her lips as she unbuttoned his pants. Once she'd eased them to the floor, she wrapped her fingers around his hard cock and lightly kissed the tip. Will smiled and closed his eyes.
Meanwhile, Ken and Jen had moved to the couch. Both nude, they continued to kiss while she stroked his cock and he fondled her breasts. After a few minutes, he slid to the floor and pushed her thighs apart. Then he kissed his way up one thigh until he reached her pussy.
Jennifer squeezed Dave's hand. He glanced quickly at her, and they shared a fleeting smile. Then Dave returned his gaze to their friends.
Jen and Will seemed to be sharing a similar smile of connection as their partners pleasured them. Dave let out a sigh of relief. If Will was going to be jealous, now would be the time.
Instead, Will gently pulled Barbara to her feet, gave her a kiss and led her over to the couch where he sat her down next to Jen. He gave his girlfriend a quick kiss before kneeling before his new partner and lifting her legs over his shoulder. The two women clasped hands as the men proceeded to lick and caress and suck.
"I loved that when we were in Santa Fe," Jennifer murmured to Dave. "Holding her hand while you pleasured me."