Author's Note: Wasn't expecting a non-erotic BTB cheating wife revenge story to be my first offering on this site, but hey, this one got done before the others! LOL! Anyway, if these types of stories bother you or if you're looking for explicit sex you'll want to skip this one.
My deepest appreciation to ChasingEden, who made this story a heck of a lot better than it was before she first started editing it! BTW if you find any grammar issues it's cause I got my grubby lil hands on it again before it was submitted! (grins)
Mandy stared at the well-dressed man standing in front of her, his words still echoing in her mind. Amanda Black, you've been served, he'd said with a little sadness. The people in the office had grown deathly quiet, and for a moment Mandy thought time might have stood still. In her hand was the death warrant for her five-year marriage.
With a small sob, she slumped into a chair clutching the paper. Slowly, the office began to come to life. The stares, the whispers and all the disapproving looks started to build. Suddenly, Mandy heard her friend's soft voice beside her.
"Mandy, come on," Kit said gently as she took her friend by the arm and stood her to her feet, "let's get you into a conference room and out of this spotlight." The raven-haired thirty-something woman guided her friend away from the gawking stares of their fellow office workers.
Those who had witnessed the show noted how Mandy had gone from a loud, flirty, fun-loving blonde, to a beaten woman in just minutes. A few saw humor in the irony; others pity but most already suspected the reason behind the divorce papers.
"How? I ... I ... don't understand," Mandy stammered, "Things had just started changing for the better."
She clutched herself, as if her hug would give her more strength. Kit slid her arm around her trying to comfort her friend.
"I don't know, girl," Kit said gently. "Did Eric say anything? Any clue this was coming?"
"Just the opposite," she managed to say between gasps, "It was like we were newlyweds again. I figured he was making up for all the wasted time he'd spent oversees."
Kit flinched only slightly but Mandy noticed it.
Mandy replayed the last four months of her marriage in her mind. Since Eric came home from Afghanistan, their sex life had been incredible. It was even better than after he had returned from Iraq two and a half years ago. He had been so passionate and physical. Oh God, she thought to herself, most times I can barely walk afterwards. She smiled sadly as she wiped a remaining tear from her eye.
"It's been so hot and exciting! I mean after I got back from that business trip last week," Mandy's smile warmed a little, "oh my God Kit, Eric just worn me out! We did it so much that I ended up begging him to stop!"
Mandy's smile disappeared when she looked at her friend's questioning face. "NO! Nothing happened when I was on that trip, I told you it was over," she retorted.
Kit nodded but wasn't smiling. In a calm voice she asked, "When was the last time he just held you, or simply spent time kissing and touching you. Sweetheart, when was the last time he gently made love to you?"
She sat there in a daze, looking questioningly at Kit. "What?"
With a determined sigh, Kit looked at her friend for a moment before going on. "Mandy," she asked bluntly, "was he making love to you or just fucking you?"
Mandy's buried her face in her hands and sobbed deeply. But why? Why would he do that? She wondered then suddenly froze. No, he couldn't know, could he? Slowly raising her head she had a look of horror on her face.
"Oh God, Kit" she whispered, "He knows. Oh God please no! Please no!"
Tears began to fill Kit's eyes as she held her friend as she wept. She knew Eric pretty well and if he really did know, then this would get ugly.
Eric nodded as he listened on his cell. "Thank you, sir," he finally said upon hearing his wife had been served and that the packages containing the pictures and legal documents had been delivered. Hanging up, he turned his attention to his laptop.
With a simple click he started the process that would change his unfaithful wife's life forever. One she'll remember for the rest of her life, he thought to himself as he picked up his cellphone and dialed.
"Hello, this is HR," said a sweet young voice, "How may I help you?"
"Mr. Davis, please," Eric said coolly. "This is Eric Black."
"Oh! Mr. Black!" the girl said quickly. "Let me transfer you!"
A few seconds later Eric was speaking to a man who most had never seen smile. The conversation was brief. Neither man raised his voice, but the hostility was not missed by either man.
As Eric ended the call, he let out a deep sigh. Looking at his phone, he saw on the call log that his wife had already called him five times. Not yet, he thought trying to steady himself, not yet.
There was a brisk knock on the conference room door. As Kit opened it, she immediately recognized the three individuals standing in front of her. The first was a well-dressed elderly man named Simon Samuels, the Vice President and head of this branch.
Behind him stood the imposing presence of John Davis, Director of Human Resources. Kit couldn't miss the fact that Mr. Davis' face was bright red and she swore that she could see heat coming off his face.
Behind the two of them stood Anna Prescott, Office Manager and Kit and Mandy's supervisor.
"Ms. Garnett, we need to speak with Ms. Black," Mr. Samuels said, his face grim, "Thank you for your assistance but please return to your desk."
The three walked into the room and Kit left behind them, gently closing the door.
"Ms. Black, we have a problem," Mr. Samuels began.
Mandy walked quickly out into the parking lot, trying not to stumble. She held tightly to the manila envelope that Mr. Davis had given her. Inside were pictures--horrible pictures of her and Sean Thompson, a Business Consultant from the third floor.
Mr. Davis had briefly recapped his discussion with Eric. Eric was threatening to make public the fact that the company had not enforced their code of conduct policy. He'd told Mr. Davis that he'd discuss it with his future ex-wife at home before he decided on whether to pursue any possible legal actions. Mr. Davis informed her that they would be meeting with Sean next but that she "should get her ass home and talk with her husband before this all gets out of hand". He had also informed her that they would all sit down with her and discuss her future with the company tomorrow, after she had met with her husband.
Mandy had a difficult time finding her car because she was still crying so hard. The bright sunlight glared off of the cars making them a little more difficult to identify. However, her car should not have been that hard to find. The big black Hyundai Santa Fe was not easily hidden. Mandy crawled into it, remembering the fights that had led up to Eric finally agreeing to lease the car for her. He'd conceded just before he'd left for Afghanistan.
She wiped her eyes, put on her sunglasses and took off for home. A man in an old Chevy sedan parked close by picked up his cell.
"Thanks Bob," Eric said calmly, "No. no that's all. Please tell Ron that you guys did a great job and deserved the bonus. Thanks again. Goodbye."
Looking down at his laptop, Eric sighed again. Just one more call, he thought to himself, just one more and there would be no turning back. But why would he even want to go back? All that was left was an unfaithful wife that tore his heart out and a shattered marriage that he would never be able to put back together again. Eric shook his head and took out a prepaid cellphone. This last call needed to be untraceable.
He dialed quickly, his face showing nothing. He sat back and listened.
Third ring, a soft click and then ... silence.
Eric sat emotionless as he stared at his laptop watching the video feed. Finally, after several minutes, a tear ran down his cheek.
Mandy pulled the big SUV out onto the Interstate and groaned. She had hoped she would be able to avoid the rush hour traffic. She hadn't. She pounded on the steering wheel. At this rate she knew that her usual 30-minute commute would take over an hour.
She thought about her marriage, about how unlikely she would be able to salvage any of it. Eric had found out about her affair. Before Iraq, he might have been able to forgive her but now? The pictures had been taken while he was away in Afghanistan. She sobbed realizing what he must think. Even though the chances were remote, she had to try to save it, simply because she still loved him.
A funny way of showing it though, huh? She chided herself. Cheating on him not once, but both times he had gone overseas to serve his country. She shook her head quickly as if trying to push back the guilt and shame but the tears began flowing again.
Trust was not something that came easily to Eric. His childhood had been a hard one. His father had run out on him and his mother when he was little and his mother was an alcoholic. In the five years they'd been married, Mandy had only seen his mother twice. Once at their wedding and once when their son was born. It had taken him years to trust her. And now...
When Mandy had met Eric in college, she'd known he was a soldier. She thought she had accepted that. He'd already served two active years and was well on the way to receiving his engineering degree. They had dated a year before Eric asked her to marry him. She could still hear her father's reaction.
"No Mandy, this has nothing to do with Eric," her father had said, "I think he'll make a great husband. It's more about you! I don't know that you'll make a good military wife. Now don't get mad, honey, but it's damn hard to be a good husband or wife when your spouse leaves for a year."
Mike Lomax, Mandy's father, had served in the Navy for four years when Mandy was little. She still remembered the fights her parents had gotten into during that time. She'd always known that he and her mom had had a rough time of it and that he didn't want that for his little girl.
You were right Daddy, Mandy sniffed as she shook her head, you were so right. I made a terrible soldier's wife!
They had bought a very nice starter home and Eric had settled into a nice engineering position. Life looked so very promising, and then Uncle Sam called. When he got the news of his deployment, she had berated him mercilessly about him abandoning her. To make things more difficult, when Eric left for Iraq, she was already four months pregnant.
Mandy wiped her eyes as she crept through traffic. She remembered the loneliness she'd felt as she went on with her life without Eric there. Sure, her mom and dad had done their best to help, but the sleepless nights alone had eaten at her. She had needed Eric to hold her during that time, to hear his voice whispering it would be alright, but he wasn't there.
She knew that she was being selfish, that being gone while she was pregnant had torn him apart also. But that hadn't made the nights less cold and lonely. Her mother had moved in the last month before the baby was born and that had helped ... some.
Mandy and her mom, Lisa, had a very close relationship in most areas. Their personalities were so very close that it seemed more like they were best friends rather than mother and daughter. But there were some things that her mom just wouldn't talk about. The details about her marriage during the time her dad was in the Navy were one of them. When Mandy would try to push the subject, her mother would always become very upset.
Eric got to come home on R&R right the day after Randy was born. For a brief moment it was like we were a real family, Mandy thought, but it didn't last. He left just ten days later, and she was alone again.
Her mother had seen some of the signs and had begged her not to give in to them. She continuously harped on the damage just one mistake could do to so many people's lives. Of course, she wouldn't go into any detail but Mandy suspected that her father may have had an affair. That would've explained some of the coldness between the two of them for all these years. They were always pleasant and polite to each other, even friendly, but never passionate. It was more like they were friends living in the same house.
Mandy remembered how she had fought the depression and loneliness for months after the birth. Going back to work helped at first. Then she was assigned to a project with Sean Thompson.
Where Eric had rugged, boy-next-door good looks, Sean could have been a male model. His smooth baritone voice and beautiful smile had made Mandy's heart skip a beat whenever he'd entered the room. He carried himself with such confidence and had such an impressive air about him.
She knew he was married to an attractive wealthy socialite from New York. They and their children had just moved to the area a couple of years earlier. She had even met his wife once at a company party. She was beautiful--in a cosmetically enhanced way--and her personality was, perfectly suited for one of those 'housewife' reality TV shows. But it just made Sean that much more exciting. Just a month after they had begun working together, she wilted under the temptation.
Wilted? She grimaced. That's bullshit. I was one flirting with him. When he returned her attention, she had pushed the flirting beyond the innocent line. A short two-day business trip with the project team had provided the opportunity to turn it into a full blown affair. They met several more times, but she ended it shortly before Eric came home.
When Eric returned, he had changed, the care-free country boy part of him that would surface every once in a while seemed to have died. She knew his tour had been difficult and that he'd lost some close friends while he was over there.
She even remembered the call from him a day after the worst had happened. The Humvee in front of him had hit an IED, killing three of his friends and maiming another one. Eric had taken it hard.
Mandy remembered just letting him cry on the phone because there was so little she could say that could comfort him. She even got choked up telling him how much she loved and missed him, mostly because she truly meant it but partially because of her shame from being with Sean just five days earlier.
She had spent the first several months after his return just holding Eric, trying to nurture him back into the man he had been before he'd left. Over the rest of that year he seemed to be returning to his old self. There was no doubt in her mind that she loved him and her affair with Sean was just a season of weakness. She also knew Sean didn't love her either due to the rumors floating around the office that he had begun sleeping with one of the women out of the marketing department.
That hadn't bothered Mandy in the least. She had her family again and she began doing her best to put the memories of her mistakes behind her. Then, just when things seemed to be going so well again, his deployment orders to Afghanistan came through. She was crushed.
Not surprisingly, two months after he left, she found herself back in Sean's arms. She knew there was no excuse for it, but in the end her guilt was trumped by her loneliness and fear. She had pursued Sean again and it had taken all of her charms to get him away from that succubus in marketing.
She felt her face flush with the shame of what she had done. Of course you're ashamed but it didn't stop you did it? Mandy scolded herself. She tried to fight back the tears but failed, feeling her self-loathing pouring out with each one.
Sean had spent several weekends staying over at their house. He had even managed to get her on another project with him. For a moment, Mandy had even considered leaving Eric. But then reality had set in.
She, Randy and her parents had gone to Fort Bragg, North Carolina to meet Eric when he came back for R&R. The trip there was tense, to say the least. Mandy was sure her parents suspected the affair but they hadn't confronted her about it yet.
Then she saw Eric and every care fell away and when he held her and kissed her she remembered why she had married him in the first place. They spent every hour possible together, rekindling their marriage and strengthening their family.
Mandy smiled weakly when she thought of that time. Eric had been so passionate, so tender, so incredibly loving, she had sworn to herself at that moment that she would remain faithful to him for the rest of her life. Then Eric had told her something that had made her weep openly.
He told her he was going to resign his commission after that tour and within four months after he returned from Afghanistan he would be a civilian. That he would never leave her like this again, that they would be a real family.
After she had returned from Fort Bragg, she broke off all relations with Sean, much to his frustration and anger. She poured everything she had into preparing for Eric's return.
Mandy had even started seeing a doctor about her fears and loneliness. She was diagnosed as clinically depressed and had begun counseling and medication. As the months went by, she felt herself getting stronger and stronger both mentally and emotionally. She swore each day that she was going to make up for all of this by being the best wife Eric could've ever hoped for.
Finally when he returned several months later, she had made good on her vows. She had denied him nothing, not her body, her attention, nor any part of her love. That had been four months ago, but now?
Kit had been right though, things had been different when Eric had returned home this time. He was more guarded and didn't share his heart as freely. She had just thought it was because of the things that had happened when he was overseas. Now she began to realize he had already known about her affair, and that thought terrified her.
Solemnly, Eric stared out the window watching the gentle rain fall on those unfortunate enough to be caught in it. He could tell that the little cloudburst wouldn't last very long. Soon the sun would be shining again. Not soon enough, Eric thought to himself, no, not nearly soon enough.
He watched the little dot on the laptop screen. It had been stationary for a while but was now finally moving. His wife's SUV was still caught in traffic but was now making progress.
With a deep sigh he looked at his watch. It was time to make the call. Depending on what was said this could be the last time he spoke with the woman he had deeply loved for the last six years of his life.
Mandy almost jerked the steering wheel when her cell phone rang. A quick look told her it was him. She said a short prayer, took a deep breath and answered it.
"Eric?" she said softly trying not to cry.
"Yeah, it's me," he replied.
"Baby please," she said as she tried to stifle sob, "Please let me try to explain, to tell you how sorry I am! Baby? Eric?"
There was only silence.
"Sweetheart?" she said hopefully, "Are you still there?"
"Yeah, for the moment," replied curtly, his tone harsh and cold.
"Honey, where are you? Are you at home with Randy?" she asked beginning to gather herself.
"I don't have a home, Mandy," he said, his voice betraying his pain for only a second. "You took care of that."
"Where are you?" she asked gently fighting back the tears.
"It doesn't matter, I'm just here waiting."
"For me?" her voice broke as she hopefully pleaded.
"Like you waited for me, honey?"
Mandy couldn't contain a sob as it caught in her throat. She had never heard so much pain and anger in his voice before, and certainly never directed at her.
"Eric, oh baby," she pleaded, "I'm so sorry! I love you, honey! Please baby, please let me talk to you."
"There's not much to talk about Mandy, is there?" He settled himself; his voice was calm and again showed very little emotion.
"Eric please, there's so much to say. I've screwed up so badly, I know I have! But I need to talk to you; there is so much I need to say to you. I love you, baby, only you!"
There was only silence on the other end of the line. Then he spoke, "Alright Mandy, say what you need to, but I doubt it's going to change anything. You've been sleeping with some other guy while I've been away. Not once, but many times. So just what the hell do you think you could say that will make any difference?"
"Please Eric, please for our sake?" She begged through her tears, "Don't give up on us before I see you, please baby?"
"Don't give up?" he hissed, "Like you did on us?"
"No!" she screamed over the phone, "I haven't given upon us baby. I know what I did doesn't look like it but I never gave up on us. You're the one I want honey, I know that. I was alone and scared. I know it's no excuse but I was. And now I've made a horrible mess of things, but I still love you and I believe in us, baby. I really do."
"Are you serious?" he said with a surprise. Eric paused for a moment wondering if she could actually believe what she was spewing.