The party was okay as parties went. Well, it was except for the fact that I was all but an outcast at it. I'd known I would be. I knew no one, Chloe knew everyone; hell, she worked with them all at Sunset Properties and Real Estate. And, as usual, she floated around interacting with them all after abandoning me. Was I upset? In principle yes. What I mean is that I didn't like the people, and since I was certain that they didn't care all that much for me either, it was nice to not have to interact with them. But, that said, it rankled that my wife of twelve years would care so little about me as to abandon me and to blow me off when, after some little time, I'd had the temerity to mentioned it.
"You're exaggerating John. Stop being crazy. Get yourself a drink and chill." And just like that, like I said, she blew me off.
I could see the clock on the wall in the kitchen from where I was sitting. It read 10:30. It looked to be a long night of nothing for me. Patience not being my middle name, and with nothing else going for me, I decided to get some air. I took my drink—straight gin—and went out back to the patio.
I heard some voices, soft, coming from behind a tree to my left some twenty or so feet away. They were evidently taking a smoking break.
"Chloe looks good enough to eat," one of the two men said.
"Yeah, but she bought mister boring with her; we won't be getting any tonight," said his compadre.
"Never say never. All we have to do is get him talking, interested, about something, sports maybe. I heard him trying to talk to Nadine's husband, Mark, about the Cowboys, but Mark lost interest pretty fast. I think good 'ole John might be distractable if we went about it right," said smoker number one.
I headed back in. I was mulling over what I'd just heard. There was nothing said that would have specifically indicated that Chloe had ever given in to these assholes. But, fact was that their words left me thinking that such was not beyond the realm of possibility. That said, at the very least their confidence that they could corrupt her was disconcerting. My wife had, it's true been less than attentive to me tonight, and that was a pisser, but, cheat on me, and with losers like the guys I'd just heard bonding with each other; I hardly thought so. That said, I decided to let them take their shot. Not because I wanted to test Chloe; I didn't. No, I wanted to be able to put the rascals down—at some future date—having collected evidence of their failure. At any rate I was prepared for their little ploy, and I hung around in the living room waiting for one or another of them to come to me. The ball was in their court.
Now for a little background, background that is necessary to understanding what ensued at the aforementioned party and the days that followed immediately thereafter.
Chloe and I met in a bar, The Blue Fox. I was cruising; she was cruising, and damn if the twain didn't meet. We had a few drinks, we danced a few dances, had coffee at a nearby Bob's Big Boy, made out in the car in front of her apartment building, and were married six months later. How's that for being succinct?
Chloe was tall at five-ten, and the body was a work of art. The voice was a lilting contralto, the hair the blond of legend; oh, and her smell that of a female in constant heat. And her heat engendered heat in me that threatened my health. Chloe was thirty-eight years old the night of the party just alluded to. And me... ?
I'm five-seven, medium build, been told that I'm handsome; and, if it matters, I'm possessed of a formally documented genius for numbers. That, I suppose, is my primary excuse for becoming an accountant. I'd done some interning early in my career, but now I was the successful entrepreneur: owner and operator of Morton Records and Accounting Ltd.
Chloe graduated from our local junior college—A.A. degree—with an emphasis in General Business. She'd signed on with Sunset at a job fair sponsored by the college. Her initial position had been as an office assistant. But, after having passed the state real estate licensure exam, she'd begun rising in the ranks of sales agents. She was now their number one producer.
Me? I graduated with an MBA in Business Administration from the University of Chicago with an emphasis in—well yeah—Accounting.
Professionally, we were, the two of us, doing quite well, thank you very much. Our home life? Not so much.
When first we'd met at the Blue Fox, we'd both been into our careers for nigh on two years. The only reason for mentioning this last was the common fact that we were, likewise, both busy trying to make a name for our respective selves in our professions which kind of put the boff on us doing a lot together. Still we did have our moments, and we did get along.
Family? We'd had no children though of late we had talked about maybe going that route; well, the clock was ticking. Parents and siblings? Mine lived in Southern California, hers in Chicago. We saw them on the big Holidays: Thanksgiving at the one and Christmas at the other, and occasionally other times. We'd settled in Springfield, a couple of hundred miles from her parents; and did see them a sight more than we did mine due to the geography of the situation.
As noted above, we generally got along pretty good, that is we had—emphasis on the past tense. In recent months, things had been a little on the what—chilly—side. Sex had been sporadic and while not exactly rare, it's been too rare for me. We'd talked it over, she and I, and things'd improved, but I was beginning to get the feeling that she was more or less just going through the motions, and it bothered me—a lot. A bored partner was a major turn off; well, it was for me.
I was milling around the room holding my martini and smiling a lot. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a man talking to another man while furtively glancing in my direction. I smiled; the game was afoot. Would she or would she not? That was the question. She sure as hell was going to get the opportunity, about that there was not a scintilla of a doubt.
The man approached me. "Howdy. Charles," he said, introducing himself.
"John," I said.
"You seem a little lost," he said.
"Lost? No, not really, my wife works for the company; and, the party, she informed me, is kind of a command performance," I said.
"I see," he said. "Which is your wife?"
"Chloe Morton. She's around somewhere schmoozing the powers, I guess," I said.
"Chloe, yes, one of our best," he said. "So the Giants gonna win it all?"
"Football?" I said.
"Yeah, the Superbowl."
"I'm kinda partial to the Patriots. But, the Giants might do it if they find a runner in a heck of a hurry," I said.
We talked for some little time, refreshed our drinks and talked some more. Every once in a while another guy would join us for a moment or two, and then drift off leaving us once again alone. It was clear that Charlie, good 'ole Charlie, was running point for the gang of seducers. Still, my plan, my test, per my wife's fidelity, required that neither he nor I make an issue of the fact. And, for the hour and four minutes that we were engaged with each other, Chloe had not once made an appearance.
Over the course of the conversation with Charlie, and with the alluded to parade of company minions, I'd drawn a couple of conclusions. One Charlie was a moron. Capable of tying his shoes I was sure, but not much beyond that. Two, the parade of minions were not even up to his standards! Of course they were but four of the probably forty souls at the party, so any generalization as to the intellectuality of the Sunset Enterprises workforce would have been premature. Nevertheless, had I been in charge of their HR division, I would have been more than a little worried.
All of the above being true, the world still turns on its axis; and at length Chloe did return. Her face was flushed, her makeup not quite smeared, her hair was now tied in a ponytail, and the buttons on her blouse were misaligned: Jesus! she must think I'm blind as a bat, I thought. She'd been fucked, probably, by at least four different men.
Charlie was standing by me when she came up. His face initially signaled some little alarm—even Charlie could see that Chloe was a mess. This was my moment. One that I had mentally prepared for. I had planned for either of two outcomes; this was outcome B.
"Hi honey," she said. "Ready to go home?" I was smiling to beat the band.
"No-no, not yet. Charlie here has kept me busy for the past hour or so; and we're just now getting to know each other well enough to consider ourselves close acquaintances," I said.
"Huh?" she said. Now, Charlie began to look even more uncomfortable than he had been. Even so, he was clearly not quite getting it.
"Yes, of course. Hi, Charlie. So, you and my hubby have been getting to know each other?" said Chloe.
"Why yes, actually..." he started.
"Well, not exactly, dear," I said. "I've been getting to know him, but he hasn't a clue about me." My wife knitted her brow and spread her hands in a whaddya mean gesture. She knew me, and she knew what my tone presaged.
"Well, dear, actually he's been keeping me occupied while you were getting screwed by three of the four musketeers, you know: dickhead, butthead, asshole and jackass," I said. I was making a leap to judgment here that the three minions, who had earlier joined Charlie and me for conversation, were the ones who were banging my woman and hanging horns on me; and, Charlie of course had to have been the fourth; I wasn't sure how he'd managed it, but I was sure he had.
"What are you saying!" said Charlie, now clearly understanding why he was feeling uncomfortable.
"I'm saying, Charlie, that you have been keeping me busy while your buds screwed my wife.
"Isn't that so, dear?" I said. My demeanor was very obviously keeping my wife off balance.
"What are you talking about!" she said. I smiled and stared at her. She started to switch her weight back and forth between her legs. You can't talk to me like that! I have done nothing wrong."
"Hmm..." I started.
"What makes you think you can talk to me, accuse me, like this and get away with it!" Charlie said, his voice rising a noticeable decibel or two.
"Well, Charlie, because my IQ is six points higher than Einstein's, and yours—well—isn't," I said.
"Now, wait a minute you arrogant bastard!" he said.
"Yes, I'll wait. I don't want to go home yet. It's still early. I want to stay a while yet. And, Charlie, I've gotta tell yuh, man; you stink! What is that awful cologne you've got on. Where did you get it? The dollar bin at Wall Mart?" I turned away from him to pay attention to my wife. I think his mouth was hanging open.
"You okay with hanging around a little while, dear?" I said.
"No, I'm not okay with that. How dare you accuse me of cheating on you! I repeat, I've done nothing wrong," said Chloe.
"Chloie, Chloie, Chloie. Why did you change your hairdo, dear, and your makeup is very different than when we arrived, and your blouse is mis-buttoned; and, I really hate to bring it up, dear, but you smell like Old Spice. And, I'm betting the farm that your undies, if you're still wearing any, are not in the same condition as they were when we left home earlier tonight!"
"Well..." she started and stopped.
"Well what, dear?" I said.
"Yeah, Johnny baby, you try anything, and you might have a problem," said Charlie, now almost frothing at the mouth.
"Try anything? Why would I want to do that? I'm not into fisticuffs," I said. He sneered.
"That's what I thought. You're a wimp, aren't you, Johnny baby," he said.
"Quite possibly," I said. "And, you're a moron."
"John—please, can we go home. We need to talk. I mean right now," she said. I was howling inside.
"No, anything you've got to say to me can be said here in front of my new bud, Charlie." I said.
"I ain't your bud," Charlie said.
"Now, now, Charlie. I'm not mad. Only dogs get mad. A little disappointed in myself. I mean I thought I had it pegged that Chloe would send the lot of you home with cases of blue balls, but I clearly misjudged her in that.
"How long have you been hanging horns on me, dear?" I said. "I'd really like to know." She looked away.
"Jesus, that long?" I said. "I had no clue. Well, as they say, love is blind."
"What are you going to do?" she said, looking me straight in the eye. I looked around. We were actually standing inside the formal dining room, of her boss' house. No other folks were immediately nearby, but we had gotten looks from the occasional pass-througher.
"Depends on you. You wanna stay married to me?" I said. Her look brightened slightly.
"Yes!" she said.
"Well, okay. I can live with what you did—been doing tonight—but there is a price. Actually, a small one in your case," I said.
"Okay?" she said.
"We make the rounds here, now, tonight, and inform all of the wives of the fuckwads you did it with exactly what you did," I said. Her eyes got as big as dinner plates.
"John! No! I'll lose my job! John, anything else, please!" she said.
"Look, John, she's right. No harm no foul, bud. Please. I'm asking you too. Those guys; they were only after a good time. There was a bet..."
"Oh ho! I'm your bud now?" I started. He quailed.
"A bet! Hal and Murray and Bill and you bet you could do me, Charlie!" said Chloe, now my wife was pissed.
"Well, the boys, well they thought it was kick—you know to try and do you while your hub ... John ... was..." said Charlie
"You bastards!" said Chloe.
"Yeah, they did, Chloe," I said. "I heard two of them talking when I went out to get some air. You weren't around, and I was bored.
"The two guys I heard talking didn't know, at the time, that you were already boning her though, did they Charlie?" I said, as I pinned him with my look. I was guessing, but it made logical sense.
"Listen, John, please, we could all lose our jobs. Please, don't do this. I'm begging you," he said.
"Hmm, that would be tragic. Tell you what. You guys are all married right. Kids? The whole nine yards, right?" I said.
'Well, yeah," he said.
"Well, okay. This is the deal. You fellows screwed my woman, my wife, the love of my life. And yes, Chloe, there has never been anyone but you in my life, my heart. My god how I love you!" She started to cry.
"Still, Charlie, you and your friends—and I mean all of you—need to pay. You, Charlie, are going to manage things. You are going to set it up so I can have a shot at your wives—all of them." His eyes glazed over.
The two of them seemed almost catatonic. "Wha... ?" said Charlie.
"I'm not speaking Greek, Charlie. I'm gonna fuck your wife and Hal's and Murray's and Bill's. Got a problem with any of that, Charlie?" His mouth was hanging open. He seemed frozen in place.
"Here's my card, Charles. Call me, by tomorrow.
"Now, I think we can leave. Coming, dear?" I said.
I watched her disrobe. She was angry or scared or something. Scared was the most likely.
"You really going to fuck other women? Cheat on me?" she said. I started to laugh.
"Is that a serious question from the woman who only an hour ago was busy making me her cuckold. Humiliating me with the people she works with? Is that it?" I said.
"Exactly. Fair's fair, right Chloe?" I said.
"John—honey—I screwed up, okay? I did it, and I'm sorry. But, well, two wrongs don't make a right. Please don't do this. Those women might not even do what you want anyway, and having those men ask them to will only tip them off as to what their husbands did. Yes, I admit it, and me too," she said.
"Tell me, Chloe, what would you have me do? Just forget about it and go on as though nothing happened?" I said.
"Go on, convince me. Tell me what to do," I said. "Because I am not into being the laughingstock of your company."
"John, if you will let this go. Just forget about it like you said; well, I would be very grateful. And I will do more than my level best to make it up to you. We can start right now. Let's go upstairs, so I can make the first installment on my promise. Whaddya say?" she said.
"You're actually offering me sloppy seconds. You're going to actually have me couple with you while you're full of cum from four different men? That's your idea of making it up to me?" I said. She paled.
"Well—no—I mean, I wasn't thinking, of course I'd shower and clean up first," she said. I smiled.
"Let's go," I said. "I'm pretty sure none of them had your ass. I'll dump my load in there. Okay?" I said. She looked at me, horror painting her face.
"John, I never, I mean you and I have talked..." she started.
"You turning me down, Chloe? Your 'never' ended tonight as far as I'm concerned," I said. Her face was sheet white, she was shaking her head, she'd backed up a couple of steps: she was actually afraid of what I was suggesting. "Never mind. I'm kinda turned off anyway with all of this talk and with what all happened tonight. I'm tired. I'm gonna just go to bed."
"Wait, wait. Okay, John. My ass, take my butt. I owe you that much at least," she said. I wasn't smiling now as I answered her.
"No, Chloe. I don't want to anymore. For these last many months you haven't been interested in having sex with me at all. Oh, when I really pushed, I've been able to get you to spread for me. But your heart hasn't been in it. The fact is you've been bored with me. And, as a result you've been boring. I need more from my woman than just tolerance. I need excitement, love, enthusiasm. What I've been getting from you, frankly, has not been enough. So no, your butt's safe from me, Chloe. You have nothing to fear," I said.
"John, I'm sorry. Please, give me a chance. I know I can make this right with you. I will do my best to change—no—I will change. It will be like it was when we were first married. Just give me a chance. Please, John," she said. She'd just said the magic words.
To anyone else it might have seemed too little and too nothing. But, when we were first married the things we did were scorching hot! I did want that back. I wanted it back more than anything. More even than getting revenge on the five sinners."
"Okay," I said. "But, I'm not messing around here, Chloe. If I suspect that you're faking it, if I find out that you are spreading for anyone else, I will lower the boom on you and them suddenly and without remorse. No second chances."
"John, thank you-thank you-thank you.
"John, can I ask for one favor?" she said.
"What favor?"" I said.
"Can I call Charlie and tell him that he doesn't have to—set things up? Please." I nodded, but with narrowed eyes. Did she have Charlie's personal phone number. And if she did, why did she have it?"
"No, don't suck it. Tickle it. Tease it. Play with it," I said. She scooted down the bed a little ways and began doing what I'd asked of her.
She was driving me crazy. It was something we hadn't done for years and now we were again. Her touch was so light, so soft. It took a little while, but I shot a rope three feet into the air. I lay back gasping for breath from the tension.
She switched positions and got up on her knees. She pushed her butt back at me. I started licking her pussy, yes even with their cum still in it, my nose grazing her anus. She was woman and she was sexy and she was mine. She was mine for at least this night; I was sure of it. She wasn't faking it. She was trying a little too hard, but how do you fix something like that on the fly; I sure as hell had no clue; so, I let her keep trying.
"I knelt up and rubbed my cock against her slit. I started to push in, but she stopped me.
"John, I want you to take my ass. I won't kid you, I'm a little afraid of it; but I do owe you, and I swear by god that there will be no faking it anymore. Enthusiasm? You want enthusiasm? Well, do me good. Do me like the bull you used to be. Don't mess around okay. But, for god's sake be careful with me this first time. Please," she said.
This changed things. I looked around, no KY. I got my face down there and made serious love to her anus.
"Just relax, wife. This one is going to be the best I can do," I said. I was still soft, but I was recovering. I could feel it. There was just something sexy and obscene about sucking on my wife's butt hole. I began to enjoy it—a lot.
It took some minutes, but I got it up again. And, at least the outer rim of her anus was well lubricated. I knelt up again and began to push inside of her. I got the head in and paused.
"Go ahead, honey," she said. "Take me." I did. Soon I was seesawing in and out of her. I got myself into a rhythm and I could even feel her pushing back at me to get me deeper. She was enjoying it!
"You okay, wife?" I said.
"Yes, yes, stop talking and get serious now, okay," she said. A few minutes more and I unloaded inside of her. I felt her buckle and squirm. I was pretty sure she made it.
We lay half comatose for some little while. I felt her eventually slide down my body and start playing with my dick. Even covered in her dirt as it was; she took it in her mouth and got me seriously hard. She worked me up to the point where I was going to roll her over and fuck her juice laden pussy, but I never got the chance. I blew my third load of the night, and painted her ribcage instead as she jerked her mouth off my exploding dick. I felt like a bum not being able to get her pussy off.
I'd wanted to take her pussy, take my sloppy seconds; hell, I'd eaten her with the cum still coating her insides. But, there was no way, I wasn't going to get it up again for quite a while, maybe not until morning, I thought.
She rolled off to the side and onto her back. We lay side by side huffing and puffing.
"You didn't get off, did you?" I said.
"Almost when you were doing my butt," she said. I nodded. Then, I did something that would lead to a whole new set of rules and druthers down the road. I spun around on top over her and went down on her again. She tried to buck me off, but I was not going to be denied or stop until I was sure she'd made it.
"What the fuck are you doing, John! You don't have to keep doing that. You can do me in the morning. At least let me shower! I stink!" She was all but screaming. I ignored her.
Soon, she went silent, breathing heavily, but generally silent. I felt her stiffen and moo and make small gurgling sounds. She'd made it. She shivered and squirmed under me for some little time before stiffening and farting. Oh yeah, she'd made it.
Finally done, we lay cuddled in each other's arms. "Why?" she said.
"Because I love you, and because you went down on me even though there had to be stuff on my dick that you won't be finding on the menus of any restaurant worth its salt," I said. She laughed.
"No, I wouldn't suppose so," she said. And then we slept.
I was stirring my coffee, coffee that had nothing in it to stir. Well, it was a habit.
"Why do you do that, honey," she said.
"Don't know. Nervous habit, I guess," I said. She paused; she sighed; she folded her hands in front of her, and looked over at me.
"So, where are we, John? Where do we go from here?"
"We put one foot in front of another and start over. I love you, Chloe, and don't want to lose you. I don't know how long you've been cheating on me, but before we leave this table this morning I'm going to know. I am also going to know the reason why. And, you're going to convince me that you won't do it again.
"Your friend, Charlie called me a wimp. I guess I am when it comes to you. But I am not totally brain dead. The fact is I'm pretty smart. Right now, I have it within my power to destroy Charlie and Murray, and Bill and the other guy. But..."
"John, my affairs haven't hurt us, and they're not going to hurt us now," she said.
"Wait a minute, wait a minute. Are you saying, implying that you intend to keep on doing what you've been doing?" I said. I had not so far raised my voice.
"Well—no—not exactly," she said.
"Not exactly? What the hell does that mean!" Now, I had raised my voice.
"I know—I mean I realized that I humiliated you at the party. One, by not paying attention to you most of the night; and two, by humiliating you in doing it with those men while you were there. But..."
"But what?" I said.
"Well, when we left, when we were in the car on the way home, I was trying to think of ways to make it up to you, beg your forgiveness while swearing to myself the whole time that things like that were never going to happen again. But then—well—you virtually forced me to have sex with you. Sex by the way, that was the best we'd had in years. And yes, I mean including you doing me in the butt," she said. "You ate my pussy with their junk still in me, you frenched me knowing I'd probably sucked their cocks. You were an animal."
"So, I was horny? So what?" I said.
"Well, it showed me that what I'd done and had been doing was no threat to us, and, I think you realized it too. Sooo..."
"Get to it, Chloe. I'm tired of the word games. Okay!" I said.
"So, I want to continue. But instead of me being selfish about it, I want to include you. I mean us be a team. What do you think?" she said. I think my mouth was hanging open a foot.
"You telling me I'm not enough for you? Is that it?" I said.
"John, please don't get mad, okay? But, John, you're okay in bed. And sometimes, like last night, you do real good. But—well—overall you're at best average. I'm not saying that to hurt you. My god I'm not, I swear. In every other way you do it for me. You do it better than anybody, but when it comes to sex..." she stopped in mid-sentence.
"What ways, other ways do I do it for you?" I all but snarled. It may have been my imagination but she seemed to shudder.
"John please, You're the best in the really important things. Sex, the best sex, is only a matter of a few hours a week at most. The stuff you do, that your good at; well, it's all of the time.
"John, you make a home for us, you make me feel safe and loved, and valuable. It's you at night I look to for comfort and reassurance that everything is okay. I'd let myself forget all of that for a while, but I never will again," she said. "Never! John, I am so ashamed of the way I treated you at the party. I'd rather die than humiliate you like that again. Honestly."
I felt my breathing becoming labored. I was snorting, angry, full of disgust. "I'll be leaving now. I will see a lawyer this afternoon. You probably want to see one too," I said. Her eyes went wide.
"A lawyer? Why?" she said. "You're not thinking of doing something rash are you, John? Please tell me you're not."
"No, I'm giving you what you evidently can't live without. Now that I know I'm all but worthless in bed; a pretty good hit to the old ego, I gotta tell yuh; I coulda gone my whole life without hearing any of that shit; I'll be divorcing you and getting on with my life. You be well, yuh hear. I do love you, Chloe, oh my god do I, even though it's clear that you don't really love me," I said.
I stood, looked around, and smirked my bitterness at her. "Thanks a helluva lot for nothing," I said. I grabbed my coat and keys and headed for the door.
She finally found her voice. "John, wait! I do love you. I love you the most John, more than anybody..." I think she realized what was saying and she stopped and covered her mouth with her hand. I'd stopped when I heard her say that last and stared at her. Her look was pleading; it was almost funny. "John, we need to talk some more. John!" But, I was gone.
"He just walked? And you haven't seen him for the past three days? Or heard from him?" said Charlie.
"No, and I'm scared. I can't lose him, Charlie. I just can't. He's everything to me in the most important ways. And, I told him that. He just wasn't hearing me. I don't know what to do, Charlie. What should I do," she wailed.
"Not much you can do unless he comes back and gives you that chance. I can't believe you told him he was no good in bed. You had to know that that was going to hit him pretty hard in the old ego," he said.
"Yes, yes, I know that now. But, I didn't mean it that way. He's not that bad. Just not extraordinary. He's okay, actually. I like it when he tries to please me," she smiled. "I get a kick out of how desperately he tries to please me; it's so cute. In those moments I do my level best to make him think I'm cumming. But, now..."
"Make him think you're cumming! Are you kidding me! JESUS-HQ-REE-EYEST! You have no hope of getting that man back. He knows now what you really think, and he also knows that he can never please you. Sexual prowess is everything to any man. You could wear your sexiest clothes, spray on your most man-destroying perfume, and he wouldn't even be able to get it up for you now because of the horrible humiliation you laid on him. Worse, he might not be able to perform for any woman; that's how bad what you did was.
"Criminy, Chloe, you are so damn dumb. What were you thinking!" said Charlie.
"I told him he was far more important in everything else; everything that really mattered. He just wasn't hearing me," she said.
"There is nothing more important than sex, Chloe, nothing! Not to a man. Okay, maybe air, food, and water; but nothing else. I'm telling you. If you have a brain in your head, and that's a very doubtful proposition from where I stand. You have to plan, and plan good in case he does return. Jesus, if he unloads on the rest of us because of the hurt you dumped on him, there'll be a whole bunch of other divorces, not just yours and his. And, I mean hell to pay! Hell to pay, goddamn it!"
I'd been sitting on the same barstool for the best part of five hours straight, well, not counting a number of peepee breaks. The Gridiron served ale on tap; I'd gotten to like the ale better than beer. The burgers were pretty good too. And the Grid had the added benefit of a bartender who knew his job: Ray Goodman wasn't pretty, but he did know his sports and he could be counted on to entertain the occasional hapless or otherwise unhappy patron that had the unmitigated temerity to darken his door. I was one such patron for damn sure.
"So, she insulted your manhood. Is that the only reason you're dumping her," said the lady on the barstool to my right.
"Melanie, she cheated on me. Probably for a long time, maybe years. Never got a straight answer to that one," I said.
"Oh," she said.
I hadn't seen her in more than twenty years, but I recognized her right away, and she me.
I'd known Melanie Landsdale since we were kids; we'd gone to high school together. I'd been her date for her senior prom. She'd been a year behind me and had been more than good to me by asking me to escort her. Petite at five-two and less than a hundred weight. She was pretty and delicate and kind hearted. Hell I shoulda asked her to marry me instead of the whore I had.
But, here she was trying to convince me to go back to Chloe and try and work it out. Women! Did they all stick together in these kinds of things? Sure seemed so.
"Well, even so. Unless your marriage was on life support for other reasons, there might still be hope for the two of you," she said.
"Yeah right, like that's a possibility," I said.
"Let me ask you big boy, Have you cooled off a little since you had the blowup?" she said.
"A little, I've gotten my breath back," I said. She smiled.
"Hmm, You might want to try one more time, John. You gotta key to the house. You probably left most of your clothes and what all there. Right?" she said.
"All of it," I said. "I'd had to shop to have anything to wear these past few days."
"There's your face saving excuse. You're not going back to makeup—which you really are—you just need your clothes. If she blows you off, unlikely from what you told me, you still have the initiative. If she begs for forgiveness, likely from what you're telling me; well, you've got the initiative. So have your conditions for reuniting ready," she said.
"I don't know. She thinks I'm worthless in bed. How am I supposed to get around that?" I said. Now she laughed outright and seemed unable to stop. She started holding her side she was laughing so hard.
"Yeah funny," I said, without a trace of humor.
"Calm down cowboy. We women can build, crush, and rebuild a man's ego almost at will. Give her a chance. But, John, do not be her willing cuckold under any circumstances. If fucking around on you is her idea of a happy marriage, get the hell out of Dodge muy pronto," said Melanie. "You don't need it, the stress, nobody does." I was nodding, unconsciously nodding, and I could not have said why, not at that moment.
"I don't know, Mel, she clearly doesn't want me. I mean what would be the point?" I said.
"That isn't what you told me just a bit ago, John. She said that she did want you. She did also say that you weren't exactly an allstar in bed, but not every guy is regardless of what any of you guys think. That she said that to you is curious. If I had to guess, she might have been trying to get across two thoughts. One, she wanted to be absolutely honest with you no matter what; which, is a good thing in itself. Two, she wanted you to realize that, while sex was a neato thing, it pales in comparison to all of the things you—John—are good at.
"John, that you took her words as a total put down seems way out of whack to me. Still, all of the above said. She is a cheater. That leaves you with three decisions, choices, to figure out," she said.
"Yeah, and what might those be?" he said.
"One, you have to decide if you are willing to try and get by her serial cheating over so long a period. Your rationale for that might be that the quality of life you enjoyed—in your ignorance of what was going on—makes such a choice palatable. Two, you need to decide whether or not you can believe her if she does make the decision to give up her little bedroom adventures; and this one might be hard to rationalize. Trust is a fragile thing in a marriage once lost it's real hard to get back. And finally, You have to decide whether or not it's worth all the hassle of going back regardless; this one is a matter of how you feel.
"You know, you should have been a lawyer, Melanie. I mean... ?"
"I am a lawyer, big boy: Murphy, Jones, and Putnam," she said. I'm a senior associate. She handed me her card. That I was speechless was a matter of scientific fact. "We have offices downtown."
"Huh?" was my more than brilliant reaction."
"Call me. Let me know if you need any help," she said. I think I was nodding.
I looked around and everything seemed normal. No sign of Hal, Murray, Bill, or Charlie.
I was standing in the living room when I heard the garage door opener engage. She was home.
I decided to play the role. She came into the living room. She looked kinda a down and out. Then, she saw me.
"John!" you came home. Thank god! I was so worried," she said. I remained silent. I had a plan.
"John? Are you okay? Are we okay? I know I blew it the other day. God, how I wished I could have those stupid words back," she said. I still remained silent.
"John come on, please, say something," she said.
"Whaddya want me to say, Chloe? What is it you want this worthless in bed cuckold to say?" I said.
"My god, how I must have hurt you! I will never forgive myself. I didn't mean it, John. Not like it came out. Really, I didn't. You're fine in bed. And a cuckold? That's just a meaningless word. You're my husband, and the only man in the world I give a damn about," she said. "I am so sorry."
"The other day you essentially told me that you were going to keep on doing it, cuckolding me. Your tone indicated that you were not only going to keep on doing it to me, but that you were going to be keeping on whether I liked it or not. Has anything changed since then?" I said. She looked down.
"Yes. I will not do it any more, John. I promise. And, I will make it my business to be a better lover than I have ever been, and all for your benefit and yours alone," she said. I nodded.
"The reason I'm here, Chloe, is that someone advised to try and save our marriage in spite of what you've done to me. They also advised me to never accept being a willing cuckold. Not much I can do about what went on before. But no more. No more, Chloe," I said. She began nodding furiously.
"Oh my god! You're going to forgive me! Thank you-thank you-thank you, my husband." I wasn't able to withstand her onslaught: she bowled me over onto the couch and began kissing me as though her life depended on it.
I'd have to guess that it was half an hour later, that we lay beside each other on the bed, naked and smelly and covered in each other's juices.
"God that was good," she said. I rolled onto my side to look at her. Her gaze was firmly focused on the ceiling above us. I could tell by her look and her tone that what she'd said was for the benefit of my ego. She wasn't actually lying, I didn't think, but she wasn't being exactly straight with me either. I didn't push it at that moment, but there would be a time; yes, there would.
"Chloe, I love you. I love you more than my life. But that love took a pretty good hit when I found out about your—proclivities. I hope we can get ourselves to place where we're gonna be okay, where I can trust you and trust what you say. For us to make it, trust is going to be a prerequisite," I said.
"I know. That will be my number one priority," she said. The words were right, but like I said, I'm pretty smart. There was something in her look that left me less than certain of her sincerity. I nodded, closed my eyes and hoped for the best. Melanie, I thought, I sure hope you were right in getting me to come back.
"Chloe, you look happy today," said Charles. It was a slow day at the office, and most of the agents were at their desks busy with paperwork or down at the hall of records doing whatever.
"I am. John came back last night," she said.
"Well—good. And thank heavens. So, are you and I still on for the weekend, or... ?" he said.
"Yes, of course, the party. The one that was supposed to help you forget your troubles, and your—we thought—soon to be ex-husband," said Charlie. She smiled.