"Arthur Reardon, You have been found guilty of aggravated mayhem by a jury of your peers. You are hereby sentenced to ten years imprisonment, that, to be served in an institution to be determined by the appropriate agency of the State Bureau of Prisons," said the judge.
The gavel sounded and I was a convict. I was stood up, cuffed to a waist chain, and my ankles shackled. I glanced back at Rhena, my wife, who stood but a few feet behind me in the first row. Her face was ashen. She mouthed some words at me.
"I'm sorry, Arthur. I am so very sorry." As well she might have been.
Her lover, Brad Kursk, her boss at the Kursk Insurance Agency (KIA), had spent a good three months in the hospital: the result of me catching her with him in our bed and the fight that had ensued. It might not have been so bad for me, had I not kept pounding on him after he was essentially done. Well, I was angry—really really angry.
My lawyer had tried to sell the jury on the fact that I'd lost it, was temporarily insane; but, in the end the photographs of the cheating bastard in traction did me in. Too bad I didn't have photos of him banging her in my marital bed; that would have been more than a mitigating circumstance in my opinion.
Rhena and I had met and dated in high school, were separated when we graduated and went our separate ways to college: she to State University majoring in Business, me to Hardin Industrial Institute to be an electrician. We returned to Clark City, Mizzou, some thirteen months apart, and as fate would have it, reignited our relationship at a concert held at our old high school and fisponsored by the school's parent teacher organization. We were married eighteen months later. She was twenty-five, me twenty-six.
We set up housekeeping in a small three bedroom place in town that her grandma had left her, and we were off and running in the race of life.
She had signed on at KIA almost immediately after having graduated from college. I, on the other hand, had had to work freelance for a little while until a buddy of mine got me hooked up with a union shop in town, Halstead Construction. But all's well that ends well, and once employed I made really good bucks working mostly on highrise projects that required pretty sophisticated wiring and related security stuff.
We were happy, the both of us. No doubt about that. But happy people seem to draw a lot of flies and wannabes who aren't themselves satisfied with their situations.
Money evidently had not been enough for Brad Kursk, and he had plenty of that. He was known to have tasted the sexual favors of any number of married or committed women and been responsible for at least three divorces—and—rumor had it, one suicide as a result of his proclivities.
Good 'ole Brad, as I later discovered, had the hots for Rhena and had expended some significant energy in trying to seduce her. But, as indicated, I had had not a clue until the three of us had run into each other at a public auction were Rhena and I were looking to find ourselves a newer model car at bargain basement prices. Fortuitously, as I thought at the time, Brad was at the auction not to buy, but to sell. You guessed it, two newer model cars.
Discovering our reason for being where we were, he put but one of his cars up for auction. His other vehicle, a 2008 Ford one ton, he virtually gave to us. We paid a total of three thousand dollars including costs. I was ecstatic. Brad was even more ecstatic. He was more than certain that, what amounted to his largesse, was naught but a free pass into my wife's pants. It turned out that he was right to be confident. So why was a ladies man of Brad's obvious talents so interested in my wife? Well, the obvious of course.
Rhena wasn't good looking, oh no, she was shockingly good looking. Five-nine, slim, flaming red hair, the bright freckled complexion of a teenager, 34Bs, a bubble butt, and a personality that commanded not only the attention but the obedience of any male she deigned to cast her glance upon. Oh no, she was born to be the target of men like Brad Kursk.
And what about me? Well, I sure as hell ain't chopped liver. Five-ten, one-seventy; most of my hair still with me; athlete in high school, football (defensive back); and college, boxing, where I was state middleweight champion in my junior year. My dad had been a pug, did a lot of club stuff, and I almost went the same route; but he, my dad, wasn't having any of that; so, my second love, electronics, became my passion. Well, I was good at it.
Rhena did visit me once while I was in county. She cried a little and then told me that she wouldn't be coming up to see me anymore. Her reason? She couldn't stand to see me like that. I didn't protest. I figured the marriage was toast anyway. She didn't love me. She couldn't have doing what she been doing with that guy.
"Arthur, I love you, no matter what you think," she said. "Please try to understand. Kursk is not replacing you in my heart. He was just a mistake. Just a guy I made a mistake with. I take full responsibility for what happened. But, again, I just can't come here and see you like this. I just can't."
"Whatever, Rhena, Don't be frettin' yourself. I did the crime so I'll do the time. I don't blame you for that. I do blame you though for not being faithful to our marriage, your vows. I'll be a long time gettin' over that," I said. She cried at my words.
"I'm sorry, Arthur, really I am," she said. I nodded.
"Yeah, well, whatever," I said.
We talked a little longer; then, she was gone. It would be a long time before I would see her again, and that, having not heard from her even once during that long time.
The trip up to the penitentiary was a long one. I had a chance to meditate on how I'd ended up behind bars; and, I made plans as to how I would deal with my current situation. What I might do when I got out, I had not a clue. Realistically, I figured that that, getting out, would be in about six or seven years with good behavior. That'd make me thirty-six or thirty-seven years old. I'd still be young enough to make a life for myself. I sighed. A half dozen years—if I were lucky!
My first couple of days at state were mainly orientation, vaccination, uniform distribution, and an interview with a psychologist. Then, it was off to my place of residence for the next several years.
My cellmate, Demetrius Untalan, was a black man. And, no, he wasn't any three-hundred pound gorilla; he was about my size—five-nine or ten and one-seventy. And, as it turned out, he was in for the same thing I was: messing up the guy doing his wife, damn near killed him was the way Dem told it. Oh, and he didn't have a lot of remorse. But, maybe oddly, he didn't really blame the guy; he blamed her. He beat the shit out of the guy, but that was just a case of him taking out on him what he just couldn't bring himself to do to her. I figured he and I would have a lot to talk about as time went on.
The first day or two after orientation and processing went okay. Well, as okay as it would ever get. The nights were bad. All I thought about was Rhena. I needed the cheating bitch; I needed her bad. And, in the deepest darkest part of the night, I cried. I didn't make any noise. No one had to tell me to shut up. I just suffered mentally and alone.
On day four, I had the second of the two showers I would get each week. I also had the snot beat outta me by big Ben Whitcomb and two of his associates, all of them twice my size. I got a few shots in, but not nearly enough to slow down the group of them. After which, I sucked his cock. I was told to expect to have to do it whenever the mood struck him. Tell the guards? Demetrius informed me that doing so would find me impaled on some guy's shiv. Ratting out the baddies and the bullies was unacceptable at state.
Over the next several months I was raped twice, forced to suck Ben Whitcomb's cock a dozen times at least, and generally degraded and humiliated beyond anything I'd ever read or heard of. My thoughts of my wife and her lover turned acidic: I hated them. I blamed them for everything. Yeah, yeah, I know, I shoulda just dumped her cheating ass and built myself a new life when I discovered them, but I didn't.
But, then, a few months and a couple more rapes later, it stopped; the sexual assaults on me by Whitcomb stopped, and not because of anything I did or said.
Sean Riley, a huge six-six, and easily three-fifty Irishman and ex pug himself, saved me. Sean was, as it turned out, ultra-religious. He led a small, but physically large, cadre of fellow godly types—maybe a dozen men. Their mission was to put an end the worst of the inmate-on-inmate-brutality in our block. I joined their group and finally my fists and speed became useful: I backed up our crew any number of times and was able to give a good enough account of myself. As a result, I more or less became Sean's right hand man. I swore that someday I'd pay him back for his help.
Time passed, and again, true to her word, I never saw or heard from my wife. She hadn't divorced me. I knew that, or I would have gotten the bad news—I guess it would have been bad news—that I had been. I was into year five when something happened that gave purpose to my existence.
At meals I invariably sat near Sean and the others—self-preservation being what it was. Same for Demetrius, who I'd been able to bring into crew membership. Over time I got Sean's story. He was in for attempted murder. Some druggie had hooked his wife and his preteen kid—there'd also been a six year old. His wife ended up fucking the man for product though Sean didn't know that at the time.
Sean'd done everything to get his wife and kid off the stuff including getting them—his wife and older kid— arrested. But, they'd gotten out; she'd gotten a headhunter for a lawyer, filed for divorce, and destroyed their family. He'd stewed for months after the divorce; then, he'd heard that his wife—his ex-wife at that point—was doing the guy. He'd gone looking for them, had caught them together; and, like Demetrius and myself, had done the guy great bodily harm. Now, Sean was doing a hard twenty.
We were eating. As he munched down on a roll, Whitcomb came strolling by. I got a dirty look, but he didn't try to go eye-to eye with Sean; nobody in the joint was wanting to do that on purpose let alone in our block.
We were about to leave the mess hall when Sean caught up with me on the way to the yard. "Got a minute," he said.
"For you? Is that a serious question?" I said.
We took a walk around the makeshift track that some of the inmates used to stay in shape.
"Arthur, I've been in this damn place for almost sixteen years, and I'm gonna be forty-five in a couple of months, and I'll be fifty by the time I fly outta here. Anyway, I'm told that you're up for an early parole," he said.
I looked him askance. "And, you know this how?" I said. I hadn't heard word one, but if Sean said it, it was likely true.
"I've got sources," he said. "Both outside and inside. Arthur, I'm gonna ask you for a little favor. Would that be all right?" I nodded.
"Of course," I said.
"It's been so long for me, but I dream about my woman every night; and my girls morning, noon, and night! So like I said, I need a favor."
"Name it," I said.
"Well, as you know, my wife divorced me. My kids, well, they were young when I went inside: six and twelve actually. They're grown now, probably have families of their own; I hope they do. They've never visited me or written or anything; so, I have no way of knowing anything about them. I wonder if you'd maybe, well, maybe be able to find out a little about them. You know let me know how they're doing. I really need to know," he said.
"Sean, absolutely. I owe you. I'll get you what you need. I promise," I said. "I mean if I do get out before you." He smiled.
"You will," he said. And I did. Not only did I get out, I got out free and clear: no parole requirements. I'd done my time, and if I kept my nose clean I'd not be going back—ever!
The bus deposited me in front of the bank in my old home town. Nobody was there to greet me. Well, and why would they be. I'd told nobody I was coming back. And, truth be told I wasn't sure until my last day inside that I would be, coming back to my old haunts that is. But, with Sean coming from a town only fifty miles up state; well, it was a no brainer.
The Blue Collar was a bar I'd stopped at a few times in the distant past: it was across the street, well, catty-corner, to the bank. I stopped there now. I had close to three hundred and fifty dollars in my pocket, a small tube bag with my worldly possessions in it, and absolutely nothing else. I was not quite thirty-six and starting over, helluva note. I'd be needing a job.
The barkeep, a young guy, approached. I ordered, and a yellow pepsi appeared thirty seconds later. God it tasted good. My first drink in goin' on six years. I surveyed the place. Hadn't changed much. Some newer tables, a more up to date music machine, and of course the new bartender—well— new to me.
I signaled Danny, that's what his name badge said, and ordered my second brew.
"You new around here?" he said, setting the beer down in front of me, and I guess thinking to be sociable.
"Not exactly. New again, as you might say," I said. He nodded, looked me in the eyes, and smiled. He seemed to have gotten something. "Just get out?" I looked at him and snickered.
"Yeah. Is it that obvious?" I said.
"Spent a little time inside myself," he said. I gave him a questioning look.
"I'm a little older than I look," he said. "Did a year and a half, and got paroled. I'm cool now." He saw the unvoiced question in my look. "Breaking and entering and simple robbery. Three years." I nodded.
"Say, you know if anyone around here is hiring?" I said.
"Full time or part time?" he said.
"Well, I need a job. Full time would be better, but..." I started.
"We're hiring here. Pay ain't the greatest, but the work is steady, and the tips can be pretty good sometimes. You know anything about booze?" he said. I smiled, but didn't answer his question right away.
"No offense, but you look kinda young to be offering jobs to people," I said.
"I'm thirty-one and I own the place," he said. "Well, my wife Pamela actually. She's a great lady and stuck by me when I was inside. Being a con, I couldn't get a liquor license of course, at least not while I was on parole; but, she had no such problem."
"Really. But, if you needed money bad enough to rob some place... ?" I started.
"Well, we did at the time, but she makes pretty good bread now, and while I was inside, she was able to save enough to get this place and the license."
"Wow! Talk about a lucky stiff. You gotta be the poster boy," I said.
"Yeah, I guess you could make a case for that," he said.
"So what does your wife do?" I said.
"She's an escort," he said. I was sure my surprise—no shock—was showing. He laughed.
"What can I say? It works for us," he said.
"But, if the law catches up with her..." I said.
"No, no, what she does is legal. She's quite the looker, and men flock to her just to be around her. Oh, she gives it up now and again, goes with the territory. Mainly to keep her high end clients on the hook; but, never for money per se, I mean not directly: no cash ever changes hands" he said.
"And you're okay with her—you know," I started.
"Sure, she always comes home to me, and has never given me reason to believe that she's been emotionally involved with any of them, her customers," he said. I was nodding.
"Okay," I said. "But, to answer your question from before, I know how to mix most normal drinks. I'd need a book to put together, say, a Singapore Sling and the like." He smiled again.
"No problem, then," he said, "you're hired. You start tonight." And I did. And I only broke one glass—a beer glass; nothing was said.
My day off was Monday—yeah only one day off. But since I worked the 5PM to 2AM shift the other six days; I did have my days free. This last fact would be working for me. Plus, I didn't complain; I was gettin' eight bucks an hour and all my tips were mine. Hey, it's a living. I'm pulling down four and a half most weeks with tips.
Danny, Danny Williams, as it turned out, gave me a place to shack up temporarily. His house had a small room for the odd guest above the garage. He let me have it gratis for the week, that until I could find me a place and generally get settled in.
My first day above the garage, was interesting. I met Pamela Williams. She was indeed a looker. Five-five, and not a pound over one-o-five; and, a dazzling figure. Hell, I'd have paid to have her escort me for damn sure.
"So, you're our new houseguest," said Pamela.
"Yes, ma'am," I said. "Danny was good enough to help me out. Things are a little tight right at the moment. You know financially." She nodded.
"Well, that's okay. I think you'll like working at the collar. The neighborhood folks are friendly, and business is pretty good," she said.
"Well, thank you ma'am, I appreciate you guys helping out, like I said," I said.
"Oh pooh, Danny needs the help, and you strike me as the kind of guy who will do a good job. And, I'm a pretty good judge of character," said Pamela.
We talked for a few more minutes, and then she showed me around, and finally left me to my own devices. I decided that I liked the Williams' family.
I found a place walking distance from the bar on my second Monday off: $350 which included the basic utilities; it wasn't much of a place for damn sure, but it suited me. Danny fronted me the money for the first and last month's rent, so I was able to hold on to my meager funds for food and such. Also on that first day, I did some checking to see if I could locate Sean's kids—and— his wife. When I went to see the guy, Sean, which I fully intended to do, I would not be going empty handed. Little did I know just how true that thought was going to prove to be.
Armed with Sean's old address, I began my search. Luck was with me. She still lived in the same house she and Sean had shared sixteen years gone.
I hesitated before going up to the door and knocking. But, at length I went. A tallish, middle aged woman, still attractive and slim answered the door.
"Yes, can I help you?" she said.
"Marissa Riley?" I said.
"Yes?" she said.
My name's Arthur, Arthur Reardon," I said. "I'm, well, I'm a friend of Sean's."
Her face darkened. "He and I are done. If you know him, you must know that. So, if you'll excuse me..."
"Mrs. Riley, if I may, I'm not here to cause you any embarrassment or difficulty. But, well, Sean saved me in the joint, and I promised I'd at least try to get him word about you and his children if I could. Could I—would it be all right if..." She sighed, stepped back, and opened the door wider so I could enter.
Ten minutes later, coffee on the kitchen table in front us, the two of us, I got the story. Sean had told it straight. She had been screwed and screwed over by a druggie. And, the final bit of news: his elder daughter, Claire Riley, then twelve years old, had OD'd and died not a month after Sean had gone inside.
"So you see Mr. Reardon, going to see Sean or even writing him is a non-happening. I couldn't bring myself to face him after our Claire died, and I still can't," she said.
"Mrs. Riley, I can't speak for Sean; but he is a God fearing man who knows how to forgive. Yes, it will hurt him real bad to hear about your daughter, but he is going to hear about it sooner or later anyway. In my opinion it would be better coming from you than from anyone else. I have to believe you know that," I said. She nodded.
"Mr. Reardon, I'm a weak woman that's why it was so easy for those dealers to trap me, and, for me to allow my daughter to get involved. Do you know that Calvin Johnson, the dealer who Sean caught me in bed with, also fucked our daughter. It was part of the price for getting the free ice. Sean is in prison, yes; but I'm in prison too, Mr. Reardon; and my sentence, my punishment, is for life. I actually need Sean, but I can never have him because I killed our baby. Oh, I didn't actually give her the dose that killed her, but it was my fault right enough, all my fault."
"Mrs. Riley, I'm not here to judge anybody. But, bad things sometimes happen to good people. It's life. You need to go see Sean, tell him the story, and let him have a chance to forgive you, and yes, to mourn his baby.
"Can I ask, your other daughter... ?"
"Veronica," said Mrs. Riley.
"Veronica. She should go too. Sean will be out in a few years, maybe even sooner. When he is out he will find you and ask you the hard questions anyway. Go see him, Marissa. He needs you and he needs to know the truth from you," I said.
We talked a little longer, and she cried the whole time. I did find out some more about Veronica Riley age twenty-three; I knew Sean would appreciate the fact that she was a college student attending the university on a full ride scholarship.
I don't know why Sean's wife talked to me; I mean a stranger knocking on her door and mentioning her husband's name. It could only be because the stars were aligned in perfect order for her to tell her tale and confess her sins. I gave her my phone number, well, the number of the Blue Collar, and asked her to call if she felt the need. I would be looking after her for Sean's sake to the extent that she'd allow me to and their daughter too.
It was a full week later that I got a visit at the Blue Collar.
"Marissa, glad to see you. What can I do for you?" I said.
"Yes, Mr. Reardon thank you for setting me straight. I went to see Sean. You were right. It was the right thing to do. It was tense at first, but well, again, you were right; he is a forgiving man. We mostly just cried together for the whole time. He told me to tell you he owes you," she said.
"Marissa, he doesn't owe me a damn thing. He saved my ass inside, and I will never forget it," I said. "But I am glad things are working out for you.
"Can I ask? Did Veronica go with you?" I said.
"No, no, I had to do this first visit alone. I mean, well you understand," she said. "But, I think she's decided to go up there next month. Anyway, I guess, we'll just have to wait and see," she said. I nodded.
"I'm going to get up there myself before too long," I said. I checked, and even though I'm an ex-con, they'll let me in to see him. They've humanized some of the rules up there in recent years, I guess."
"Well, good, I know he'll be glad to see you.
"I'd be going myself; I mean next month, but—well—it's a long drive and I don't make a lot of money. But, I am going to try and see him every other month from now on," she said.
"I know he'll appreciate it," I said. We talked for a bit longer and then she was gone.
And then there was Rhena, my still wife that I had not seen in over six years. Did I want to see her? Yes and no. But, I sure did want to fuck her.
I'd thought about her almost every day since I first went inside. Hell, there was no almost about it. She had a sweet pussy, and I frankly needed it real bad. The thought made me smile. I'd been out less than a month. But, I was employed. I was healthy. I was free of any probation restrictions. I wondered what she'd do or say if she saw me. I made the decision.
I tried the old number; it rang.
"Hello," said the familiar voice.
"Hello, Rhena," I said.
"Arthur? Arthur! It's you! What? How?" she all but stammered.
"Yes, it is me. I've been out about a month. Any chance of you being willing to see me?" I said.
"Arthur—I—I—sure, yes, of course. Where?" she said.
"The Blue Collar on fifth?" I said.
"The Blue Collar? Okay. I remember the place. You and went there a few times. Sure, yes," she said.
"Okay," I said. "Seven tonight good?"
"Yes, that would be fine," she said.
Hanging up the phone, Rhena was at odds with herself. He who had been the love of her life was not only out, after so many years, he'd actually called her. She'd expected that she'd see him again, someday, but not on good terms. The truth was she expected that he would spit on her; but no, he'd sounded—something—horny!
Sweet Jesus! did he want a piece of ass! And if so, then what of William! Oh my. Oh my indeed. This could turn into something very weird. Arthur, her Arthur, had to know, suspect that she could not have gone six years without getting any. Heck, he very well knew that she couldn't six days without getting any. Oh my-oh my-oh my," she thought.
Well there it was, I thought, I guessed we'd be seeing how things turned out. Was she still with Kursk? If so how would I handle it? If she were with him, how would she handle seeing me again was the better question? It was going to be an interesting meet up. But, no matter what, the first thing on the agenda was going to be getting my ball sack emptied and that not by the five sisters.
I was early. Well okay, so I was anxious. I admit it. My anger had died over the years and had been replaced with desperation, desperation to get back to living a normal life—no—a good life.
I saw her come in. She saw me. For as short moment time stood still. Jesus she was pretty, and it was clear she'd made an effort to be pretty. I hoped like hell her looking so good presaged a good fucking result for me. Man did I ever hope it did!
"Hello, Arthur," she said. Her tone was tentative.
"Hi, Rhena. You look very pretty tonight," I said. She seemed to relax at my tone, or, maybe my words.
"How are you my husband?" she said.
I shrugged. "Okay, I guess. Missed you. Hope you're doing good," I said.
Her turn to shrug. "I'm okay. Not starving to death. I missed you too, big guy," she said. I smiled.
"You still my wife, Rhena? Still want to be?" I said. Okay, I was getting right to it.
She slumped back into her seat. Just then the waitress came forward to take our orders. It was a welcome interruption. We ordered: a JD on the rocks for me and a white wine for her.
"I think so," she said. My brow knitted; I could feel it.
"I'm not—" I started.
"What I mean, Arthur, is that there has been a lot of water under our respective bridges, and, ideally we can get by it all and pick up the pieces of our marriage and get on. I want to do that. I really do. But...
"Since you called this morning, I've been thinking of what might come out of this sit down tonight. I'm sure you have too. I mean, you did make the call. And, I guess we need to hash things out and see where we're at," she said.
"Sounds about right to me," I said. The drinks came and, again, the waitress was timely. I'd have to be tipping her accordingly.
"Rhena, when I went inside, I have to say I actually hated you, And I wanted to kill Kursk. But, over the years, I've mellowed out. I met some guy, well, he straightened me out kinda. I don't hate anybody anymore, not even Kursk. But..."
"But, you're still not cool with me having a lover, I mean apart from you," she said.
"That's about the size of it, I guess," I said. "So, any chance?" She eyed me.
"I've had a lover or two over these past years," she said. "And, well, I have one now. He was not and is not intended to be long term—it's been about a year now though—and it would be hard to just abruptly tell him to get lost. I was sure you were going to be in prison for a few more years. But, well, you aren't, and I'm glad you aren't, and now you and I have to make some decisions."
"You damn near killed my last lover, Kursk..."
"Wait a minute, wait a minute," I said, some things she was saying were finally registering. "Am I to understand that Kursk is history? And, if so, may I ask is this new lover paying your bills?"
"Yes, and no. Yes, Kursk is history. He has a new chickee he likes better, so he gave me the door. I do still work there; well, I am good at what I do quite apart from fucking and sucking cock. And, to answer your second question, I pay my own bills. And again, Kursk and I have been broken up for the past three years.
"Still, Like Kursk, who was never going to be a long term thing either, William will be gone one of these days too. He's twelve years younger than me, and sooner or later he's gonna be wanting some girl with a little less millage on her. I had intended to just go with the flow until that happened, until he dumped me, but now you're out; and well, we have to talk; we have to make decisions. If we can agree on how to handle things; then, I guess we'll be good," she said. "Anyway, that's what I meant."
"I see. Would I be right to assume that you would like to continue making it with this William fellow?" I said.
She eyed me for a long moment. She was clearly evaluating the usefulness of what she was about to say. "Yes, in the best of all possible worlds, yes," she said. I nodded.
"And me? Us?" I said.
"Again, in the best of all possible worlds you'd be my husband again. You'd tolerate my little thing on the side. And ninety-nine percent of the time it would be us and only us," she said. She sank back in her chair and waited for my reaction. I nodded slowly. She interrupted my thinking.
"Arthur, if I may. You've been out a month. Have you..."
I knew what she was asking. It kinda bothered me that she would be thinking about that particular thing, about asking, but I decided to be straight up with her. "No, not yet," I said.
"And you're..." she said.
"Horny? Yes," I said. She looked into my eyes, wrinkled her brow, stood, and came around the table to me.
She reached out her hand for mine. "Come on. We're going to get rid of your hornies first and then we'll talk some more if you want," I said. I didn't exactly jump up to follow her, but almost.
Our old place, hers now, looked the same on the outside. On the inside it had had a complete makeover. I told her so. "Looks nice," I said. "You've done a lot, made a lot of changes." She ignored me.
She sat me down at a new, to me, dinette table. It was a nice one. She noticed me admiring it.
"A gift," she said. I didn't ask any follow up questions, but I did nod my understanding. One or another of her lovers had given it to her.
I watched her disappear down the hallway. She'd be getting ready, I knew, powdering her nose, whatever.
She reappeared five minutes later. The yellow teddy, the matching panties that I could see through, the sheerness of the teddy's fabric tantalized me. Oh, and she smelled terrific.
"Sweet Jesus!" I said. "Rhena you're beautiful. Even in the darkest of nights, while I was inside, dreaming of you if you want to know; the vision I see in front of me right now never made an appearance."
She actually curtsied. "Thank you, Sir Galahad," she said. "Now if you will take me over to yon couch and begin kissing me and feeling me up, I would be most appreciative—it's a female thing."
I played along with the knight in shining armor thing she had going and let her place her left hand on my right forearm as I escorted her to her couch.
We sat beside each other lightly touching and kissing. After some little time I began massaging her breast. She shivered; it was delicious.
My hand slithered up the smoothness of her thigh and stopped just short of touching the hem of her panties. Her hand squeezed the hardness of my cock through the fabric of my jeans and I could almost feel precum oozing from the tip of my so far unexposed sex engine.
I hefted the sheer teddy over her head and off, tossing it to the floor behind the couch. Her breasts were now open to me, and I suckled on them as a small baby might a new mother's.
She slid to the floor and undid first my belt, then my pants, finally pulling them down and off of me. My underpants were next as she sought impatiently to get at my cock and balls.
She took hold of my dick and stroked me several times before leaning forward and taking half its five-inches in her mouth and massaging it with her tongue. I blew my load in less than three minutes.
"There, now you'll be able to last a little while, while you screw me," she said.
She remounted the couch and pushed her butt back at me. I peeled her panties down and off and began licking her crack and the secret harbored there. My cock, dead but minutes before, rose again to steel hardness once more.
I stood and pressed home my assault on her daintiness. She grunted a few times as I seesawed in an out of her trying to get her into the act as much as possible. Finally her feminine juices lubed her vagina and I took her fiercely. She moaned and squealed and then tensed and shuddered as she made it. I was inordinately proud of myself for having gotten her off; it hadn't always happened in the old days, but it did this time.
She sagged down onto the couch and pulled herself up into a fetal position. She mooed her satisfaction. It was a good moment. I slipped to the floor my face but inches from hers. Her eyes were closed; I kissed them.
As good as it had been, my fucking her; could I bring myself to share that exquisite body with another man, a boy? I wasn't sure.
Breakfast had only been coffee and toast and some light conversation. Neither of us wanted to awaken the elephant in the room. Would I allow her to keep her little thing on the side? Could I? And, if not, would she, could she, remain faithful to me? By lunch I had gotten up the courage to make a decision; I just wasn't sure what the decision would be; I was playing that one by ear.
"The tuna sandwiches were good. I'd forgotten how much better home cooking was compared to restaurant food; I mean even the simple stuff is better," I said. She smiled.
"Well, thanks for that," she said. "So, I guess this is it then. I can tell from your look that you've got something to say."
"Yes, yes, I do," I said. "You said it was my choice about you and your friends." I was being about as euphemistical as I could. I figured a lot of nasty language and attitude wasn't going to do it. The situation was so weird.
"Okay?" she said.
"You wanna play a little on the side. I'd prefer you not do it, but I am of the opinion that you will even if I put the boff on it. Oh, maybe not at first, and maybe not often, but you've tasted the forbidden fruit, and I'm figurin' it would be more than a bitch for you to give it up entirely," I said.
"Arthur, I will honor whatever decision you make. I'd like to keep my William, but my world does not revolve around him or anyone else. It revolves around you.
"Last night was kind of a test for me. I did it to help you out on the one hand, but also to help me make up my mind. I needed to know if you would do me up right or if there was just too much water under the bridge to get past. The result was a major positive. Frankly, while I wasn't exactly surprised; I was, well, surprised.
"We could make it, and I could do it—remain faithful," she said. I looked dubious.
"Okay, then," I said. "I would appreciate it if you would dump the lovers and us make a fresh start." She didn't deflate. I figured she'd kinda made up her mind that what I'd opt for would be what I in fact did opt for.
"Okay then," she said, "that's settled. I will be speaking to the man today. You can listen in if you want. But, I do have to let him know that now that you're back, he and I are done." I nodded.
"Okay then," I said. "But one last thing. If you do play after today, I will react to it. I don't know how I will react; I don't feature going back to prison for any reason, but I will react." Her turn to nod.
"I understand how you feel and where you are coming from. And, since you've put it out there. While I am certain today, that you and I can be good, there is always the human element. Maybe I will fail you down the line. I doubt it, but it could realistically happen. That said, if you do to some so far unidentified William or Kursk what you did to the first Kursk; believe it, I will do my level best to see that you are punished and go back to prison for a very long time.
"You almost killed the man, Arthur. Adultery, bad as it is, and I am here to accept the truth that it is and that I have been very bad; it is not a death penalty offense. Divorce me, get some honey on the side yourself, do anything else, but no violence. Clear?" she said. I nodded.
"Very clear," I said. She smiled.
"Well then, welcome home my darling," she said.
The guards actually remembered me; well, I had been their neighbor for six years. It gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling.
He was already waiting for me in outdoor visitors' area. He stood up and came to me as I approached the cement table that he had been holding down.
"Good to see you, Sean," I said, coming up to him. His handshake was a little too enthusiastic, but I endured it.
"Arthur Reardon, I am forever in your debt. Until a few weeks ago ... well, since then I've actually had purpose in my life. And, it's all your doing," he said.
"Yeah, well, I recall you helping me out in days gone by," I said. "Anyway, it is good to see you. I think your daughter will be up to see you soon too."
"Saw her today," he said. "She was here a little earlier. Man that was..." he started to cry. I just waited. This was one of those do not disturb moments.
"I saw her today, she was so beautiful, so tall and so beautiful. Arthur, she doesn't hate me," he said. I nodded.
"Well, what's to hate?" I said. "Sean the day will come when you get out of this hellhole, and they'll be waiting for you. You'll be able to work and have a family and get on with your life just like me."
"You and your wife?" he said.
"Yes, we're back together. Things are a little weird. But, good, good overall. I'm hopeful. I don't have to tell you—being away so long—it's gonna be a while before I really feel like I have my feet on the ground.
"You know the irony of it all: the guy I caught her with kicked her to the curb for some young chickee. Weird huh? And weirder, she still works for the guy. Evidently she is too valuable an employee to just up and fire. So, she has been able to support herself." He nodded, thought of something, and changed the subject.
"You're working." he said. I knew he knew I was. But, I wasn't sure how much Marissa had told him.
"Yeah, I got lucky. Got one the day I hit town. I'm a barkeep. Like the work, like the boss; he's a con by the way," I said.