Chapter 15: Looking for a Silver Lining
It took Christie a week to get over witnessing her ex-husbands death. She admitted to having nightmares and I wished that I could do something that would end them. But, as with most traumas, time was the healer. By the end of the week the nightmares had subsided and she was almost back to being her usual upbeat self.
For my part, I wasn't as affected by what I saw. Somehow it didn't seem real, even though I knew him and, more importantly, I knew how his death affected Christie. I worried more about that than about a guy I genuinely disliked and mistrusted. I had already convicted him of Diane's murder. I had put two and two together and got at least six, maybe seven. I had no doubt in my mind that the DNA report would convict him. It was unrealistic, I know, but that was how my mind was working. Needless to say, I mentioned none of this to Christie.
I was lying in my bed, wide awake, thinking about where my life would go now that I had done everything possible to discover who killed my wife. Whether it was Paul Wilson, or someone unknown, there was no other path to follow. If it wasn't him, there would have to be some other kind of breakthrough to solve the case. I wouldn't be involved. I would have to put it behind me.
The phone call came almost ten days after the death of Christie's ex. It was Detective Carl Etchevarry.
"We have the DNA information, Mr. Hansen. I'm afraid it doesn't match with the DNA found at the murder scene. Paul Wilson wasn't her killer."
I felt deflated. I had been so sure he was the one. If fit. He knew her. He had a violent streak that he even bragged about. Add to that, his abuse of alcohol could have fueled the beating he gave her. But that wasn't the way it happened.
"Thanks for letting me know, Detective. Like I said before, I appreciate all you've done to try and solve the case. I guess we'll just have to hope for a lucky break sometime in the future. Good luck," I said sadly, hanging up.
"In a way, I'm glad," Christie said, consoling me. "I'd hate to think I was married to a murderer. He was an asshole and a drunk, but at least he wasn't a killer."
"It's okay, Christie. I understand. I was looking for a solution that I'd already decided on. I'd made up my mind and it turned out I was wrong. I can live with it. It's over now. I've done all I can, so ... it's over."
"Time to get on with the rest of your life?" she asked, a smile on her lovely face.
"Past due, girl, past due."
Christie had a solution for my melancholy. We were going out to dinner and dancing that night, her treat. I objected at first, but she wore me down and in fact, picked out the clothes she expected me to wear. I was off for the next two days having just come off a five day trip, so the fact that it was Monday night didn't slow us down.
As she got ready to go, I was warming up to the idea of getting out socially. I couldn't remember the last time we did this. And then I did remember. Never! I had never taken Christie out to dinner or anything else on her own. This was a first.
She chose the Kentucky Ranch House, up along the Ohio River. It was a noisy sawdust-floored dance hall that specialized in barbeque. It was exactly the right thing for us that night. Everyone there was out for a good time and for a change, everyone would include the two of us. The music was live, country, and foot-stomping lively.
"What made you think of this place," I asked as we settled into a booth.
"Do you think it's a bad choice?" she asked with a worried look.
"Heck, no. It looks like fun," I grinned, trying to reassure her I meant it.
I saw her relax and smile. "Good, I was hoping you'd feel that way. Let's order. I'm hungry."
She got up and talked to our waitress for a minute or so. I was pretty sure what that was about, but I let it go. I was used to it now and it didn't bother me.
"I ordered for us," she said, slipping into the booth beside me.
"Okay ... you know me well enough I won't worry."
"Yeah ... almost like we were married, right?" she teased.
"Almost," I agreed.
The food was nothing fancy, but it was good. A pulled pork sandwich for Christie and a half-rack of back ribs for me. I gave her a big smile and a thank you with a kiss on the cheek when it arrived. I watched her eyes light up as I did that and relaxed back into the booth as we tackled our supper.
She had moved even closer to me and we were almost touching as we enjoyed our meal. The music continued and even though it was a weeknight, the place was busy and it kept us in a good mood while we ate. I probably had a little more than usual, but I figured if Christie liked to dance, we could work it off over the next couple of hours.
I had a draft beer from a local brewery and it was cold and tasty. Christie had the same and agreed. We relaxed for a few minutes after the waitress took our plates away. I sort of summoned up my courage and turned to her.
"Would you like to dance?" I asked.
"Love to," she smiled.
I helped her out of the booth and we moved to the big dance floor in the middle of the room. The band was playing a medium slow tune and we joined together with the two dozen other people out there and found our pace. I wasn't a terrible dancer, so we didn't have any trouble moving along with the crowd. Christie took a couple of minutes to mold herself into me and it felt comfortable and pleasant.
It was a little noisy for talk, but then I didn't really need to say anything. I think we were both enjoying ourselves and I felt Christie as she moved with me. She was relaxed and swaying with the music. I just held her to me and led her along.
We danced and then sat for a set, then danced some more. I would have liked to talk to her, but it just wasn't the place for that. The things I wanted to say were private and shouting them to her would definitely not be appropriate. I'd wait until we were alone and somewhere quiet.
It was warm in the dance area and I was perspiring. Neither of us wanted to quit, but I could see Christie was feeling the effects of the heat as well. About eleven-thirty, I suggested we go and she smiled and walked with me out the door. The cool air hit us immediately and we hurried to my vehicle before we caught a chill.
The windows steamed up almost immediately and Christie began to laugh. Well, giggle first, then it turned into laughter. I was sort of joining along with her but wondering what was so funny.
"Did you ever go to a drive-in movie," she asked me. "If you wanted to watch the movie, you had to have the motor on to run the defroster fan. If you didn't care about the movie, you had your privacy. This reminds me of that."
"You know what ... I've never been to a drive-in movie. I always wanted to but they had all closed down by the time I had a drivers license."
"Well, here's you chance," she said, turning to me and leaning over the console. She took my arm and pulled me toward her and I was immediately met with a very sound kiss. It was so completely unexpected I didn't know how to respond. It must have shown on my expression.
She was smiling as she gazed at me. "I've wanted to do that for a long time, Doug. I just never worked up the courage."
At some point, instinct took over and I leaned back toward her and kissed her just as firmly as she had kissed me.
"I think I've wanted to do that too," I admitted.
"Is that all you wanted to do?"
"No," I replied honestly.
"Let's go home, Doug. We'll never get comfortable in these bucket seats."
"You wipe your side and I'll wipe mine and we'll get out of here," I said.
It was a twenty minute drive from the restaurant to our home and she held my hand all the way. We didn't talk, but we were communicating. Some kind of a breakthrough had happened for both of us and I knew our relationship was never going to be the same again. Could I handle it? I wanted to. I had strong feelings for Christie and the time had come to find out just what we meant to each other.
We descended through the kitchen door into her suite after I'd checked on the children. Debbie was old enough to be our babysitter and she was sound asleep in her bed. Christie turned on the family room light and waited for me after I had closed the kitchen door. We embraced and kissed. I don't think either of us had any illusions that this was just a kiss. The message was clear, we both wanted more. She led me to her bedroom and turned on a bedside lamp. I went back to switch off the other light and returned. Christie had started to disrobe.
"Let me, please," I said.
She turned her back to me and I helped her out of her blouse and then her bra. I resisted the urge to fondle her breasts and instead, undid the button and zipper on her skirt. I neatly put her clothes on a nearby chair. She wasn't wearing hose and when she stepped out of her shoes, she was naked except for a lovely pale blue pair of bikini panties.
She was just as beautiful as I had imagined she would be. Yes, I had imagined what she might look like in this situation. It was one of those dreams that came and went during the night. Now, it was real. Flesh and blood, standing before me with an enigmatic smile that spoke to me. I pulled her to me and kissed her deeply once more.
"My turn," she whispered as she began to unbutton my shirt.
I let her look after my disrobing, including my socks and surprisingly, my briefs.
"I heard so much about this," she said quietly, examining my penis. "Diane wasn't bragging. It really is beautiful."
Before I could respond, she took me in her mouth and began to give me my best ever oral sex. She had a technique that enhanced all the sensory pleasure to a height I wasn't accustomed to. I hated to compare it to Diane's efforts, but this was more erotic and stimulating. Almost too stimulating.
"I'm getting close," I warned.
She looked up and then continued to use her tongue and lips to finish me.
"Oh ... oh ... uhhhn ... uhhhn ... God ... oh!" I cried as I spurted into her mouth.
When I was done and my knees were wobbly from the moment, she looked up at me once more and smiled. I pulled her up and kissed her. I wanted to do that. If she was going to take what I had given, it was only fair to show her how I felt about it. The taste was odd, but not terrible. It didn't matter. I wanted to send her a message.
I gave her a smile. "My turn."
She walked to her bed, pulled down the quilt and covers and lay back crosswise. I knelt before her and spread her thighs, kissing my way toward her sex. Christie was more vocal than Diane. She was telling me how much she liked what I was doing. I wasn't in any hurry and lingered with long, slow strokes on her labia before moving toward her chubby little clit. Whatever I did met with her approval. I added two fingers in search of her G spot, again bringing her noisy approval.