I'd heard the two of them talking about me. My heart was broken. Why she'd said those things about me I couldn't guess. She didn't need to be saying stuff like that. I'd never done her wrong—never. That was two days ago. I'd been in a blue funk ever since; she hadn't noticed; of course now I knew the reason she hadn't noticed: she'd had her own agenda. She was sitting across from me soft pedaling what it, her agenda.
"I'm sorry Uly, but it's the way it has to be. Time to get on with things," she said, and then she was gone. My Penelope was gone. Gone and I didn't really know why just that there was another man.
Nine years of marriage in the shitter. No kids at least; that was something. I had the condo; she'd said she didn't want it. She'd not wanted anything except for her share of the condo's equity. Well, and except for the condo, we didn't have much. Our cars, our personal stuff, some furniture, and that was about it. She asked me to send her half the equity when I could afford it. I'd said that I would.
Pen and I had met in college, dated off and on for three years, gotten engaged at a frat kegger, and married a month after our common graduation. Now, thirty-five years old and starting over. Well, it was what it was.
The divorce would be final in seven months. I swallowed hard and prepared to get on with things as she'd said. I took stock. At five-six and one-forty I was too damn small, but I was otherwise okay looking, I guess. My job at Wilcom Enterprises was a good one: I was sales rep for the southern district. Wilcom marketed, installed, and serviced electronic and computer products for several makers of such. Problem was that Pen worked for Wilcom too, different division, she was admin assistant to the company CEO, Brad Siefert.
Working for the same company meant that we'd still be seeing each other from time to time, and that was going to be hard for me. Worse, I'd no doubt be seeing her with him, Herbert Morgan. Herbert was the reason, evidently, that she'd left me. Herbert was HRO chief for Wilcom.
I'd sorta been wrong about seeing her at work. For a full two months after her laying it on me, I did not see her. Nor had I heard from or about her during that time.
The divorce still had a few months to go before being final. I spent my evenings mostly at home crying in my manhattans. Manhattans were good friends to have, very sympathetic actually. I appreciated that. But then I did, see her that is, and him.
It was a company honoraria. It was kind of a mandate to attend, so I did. Everyone was eating. I knew the band would be gearing up soon; they were already setting up on the dais raised for the purpose.
I was seated at a table of my coworkers on the sales force. My soon to be ex was across the room with good 'ole Herbert. They weren't necking or anything, but they were seated close to each other and quietly conversing and laughing at whatever during the affair. Mister Siefert went up to the mike and tested it.
"Okay, folks, this is where I get to say thanks to all of you for a job well done this quarter. And, I have some special thank yous for a few special ladies and gentlemen tonight as well," he said.
One by one, the top three performers from each of the company's four divisions went up to receive plaques and an envelope—presumably a bonus cheque for a job well done. And then it was the turn of the sales division.
And for the sales division number three is Ulysses Ward. I was surprised. I had not expected to get anything. I went up and got the usual short accolade and was handed a plaque and my winnings. The applause was polite. I glanced over at my wife; she was still that. She was smiling and applauding too. Her date did too after she nudged him.
The other winners followed, some photos were taken and we resumed our seats.
Awards made, the drinking and dancing began. This was where the rubber would meet the road. I watched her dance with him several times. I had no interest in asking anyone to dance, and I didn't. But I did drink, rather heavily. Mark Wilson, my bud from the materials division kept after me to make a move on some of the other females in attendance. He was joined by Hank Larabee and Quentin Cedar, installation guys.
"You oughta ask one of the gals to dance, Uly, said Quentin.
"Yes, you're divorcing, but you're not on your death bed," said Mark. "You're a good looking guy; you need to get started on the rest of your life," he said. Quentin was nodding his agreement.
"You know, you're right," I said. He smiled.
"Damn straight," said Mark. "I usually am." He laughed. I looked around to see which single gals might be willing to have mercy on me. I targeted two.
I got up and asked Ann Williams to dance. She turned me down, said she had a sore ankle. I nodded and went back to my table. A bit later I asked Meryl Childers to dance; she said maybe later. I guessed that my bud's assessment of my worthiness was not as accurate as he thought. At any rate, my ego sufficiently dented, I just decided to get really sloshed.
I was into my fourth manhattan when she came up to me. "Dance with me Uly," she said. She was so beautiful; I wanted to cry—again.
"No, Pen, wouldn't want to upset good 'ole Herbert. You don't owe me anything. Just go on back to your new man," I said. I don't think I sounded especially bitter, but I could have been wrong.
"Come on, Uly, we were married a long time. We can still be friends. Really," she said.
"No," I said. And I turned my back on her.
"Okay, if that's how it's going to be," she said. Then she did go back to him. I saw the two of them talking animatedly. Of course I didn't actually know what it was about, but it figured to be me.
Having seen her politely applauding me, and her essentially offering me a chance to salvage a bit of pride by asking me to dance with her, did something to my psyche. I made a decision. I'd sell the condo and get out of Dodge. I just couldn't bring myself to work in the same place as she did, my beautiful Penelope.
At work I was just going through the motions for the next three months. It was very difficult for me to concentrate. But then, finally, the condo sold. I sent her her half of the equity, $11,000. I took my half, and put it in a savings account at a new bank: I'd closed out my old accounts. The divorce was final two weeks after I sent her the cheque.
I showed up for the final decree. She was across the room from me—with him. She tendered me a smile; I didn't return it. She took on a questioning look I didn't quite understand. But it was what it was. I made the required declaration and she made hers. When I heard her, I started to cry; there was nothing for it; it was the saddest moment of my life. And then I quit my job. And when I did, I was summoned to the CEO's office for a sit down.
"Have a seat Uly," he said.
"Thank you, sir," I said. I took the proffered seat.
"So you've decided to quit. Sure it's the best thing for you? You've put in a lot of time and energy with the company," he said. I decided to be candid.
"Sir, I can't—"
"Your wife?" he said.
"Well, yes. I can't work where she does. Seeing her, well it's too much," I said. He nodded.
"Uly, Pen is a very good assistant. I treasure her skills. She actually came to me and offered to quit. She said she knew it might be hard for you working here with her; I mean with her divorcing you and all. I talked her out of it. I told her that you were a tough guy and could handle it. But, I guess I was wrong, huh," he said.
"Sir, with all due respect, and believe it, I do very much respect you; but me seeing her ... I just can't do it. She's my life, and I mean she is still my life. There will never be anyone else for me. I have to leave town, start over, or try to," I said.
"Okay, Uly. I kinda felt that's what you'd say. Here, take this, maybe it will help you," he said. "Oh, and if you ever change your mind; well, we can always use a good rep, and you're one of the best. He handed me an envelope.
"Thank you, sir," I said. We said our goodbyes, and then I was gone.
I decided not to work sales anymore. Sales required a kind of focus that was only possible for someone whose personal life was stable. Emotional cripples like me could never really be any good at high end sales. I needed something mindless that took up all of my time and at the same time could pay me a living wage.
All Hallows Hamburgers—it had been founded on Halloween some years before—hired me as an assistant manager on the spot. My recommendation from mister Siefert had been in the envelope along with a personal severance check; it helped me there.
I was in my mid-thirties and pushing burgers for a living. I should say the job wasn't exactly chopped liver. True, I used to make upwards of 80K annual with bonuses, and that was now down to 40K, but when I made manager that would jump to a solid 60K and the benefit package wasn't too shabby; it was a statewide chain, was All Hallows. At any rate, I was getting by, just not like I used to.
What had actually sold me on the job were the outrageously long hours I'd be required to put in. Sixty and seventy hours a week were not uncommon, not uncommon at all. It's what I'd wanted. Something to take my mind off my wife, my ex-wife. And it did.
At any rate, between my job and my pal Old Overholt, my favorite rye whiskey, I was doing marginally okay. Of course, I had no social life, not with my schedule; but again, I hadn't wanted one. Had I wanted one I probably wouldn't have done all that well anyway. My whole situation kinda sucked.
I found myself wondering, and that almost every night, why my ex married me in the first place. Pen was a looker and social star. I, on the other hand, was a social cipher. I was a hard worker and a good provider. But there were other guys with my skills and who had as well social skills. But, she had chosen me. I guessed I would never know the answer to that question, but I sure would have liked to.
My fortieth was coming up. I had no family. I had no wife of course. A couple of casual friends I drank with on occasion were about it as far as anyone caring one way or another whether I lived or died. Which was okay with me because I didn't care.
I was hanging out at the Round Tree, sitting at the bar, when they came in. Talk about coincidences.
"Uly!" she said. I hadn't seen her until she addressed me. I turned around and there she was, the most beautiful woman in the world Penelope 'Morgan' with her husband standing right behind her. He was smiling and she was trying to.
I turned back to my drink trying and pretended she wasn't there.
"Uly? Please?" she said. I downed the drink, threw a ten on the bar and stalked out. I had not uttered a word to her. She said my name one more time as I distanced myself from them, but I kept on going. I was doing my best to not break down before I got out the door.
What I had not counted on was her determination to talk to me. She couldn't catch me, I was sure of that, but he could and did, no doubt under orders to do so from her. I was keying the lock on my car door when he pulled me back and away from it.
"What the..." I started.
"She wants to have a word with you, Ulysses. It won't kill you," said Herbert.
"Get out of my way. I need to get out of here. Okay!" I tried to get by him again, but he was too big and he held me back. I saw her coming out. I did it. I took a swing at him, and then I was feeling real good and it was dark and the beep-beep in the back ground was kinda soothing. I fell asleep and it was good.
I woke up at some ungodly hour. I think the clock read 3:00AM, but my vision was not real good, so I wasn't sure. I had to pee. I knew I was in the hospital. I also knew my rival, my victorious rival, had mopped up the parking lot with me and had put me there.
I'd been laid up in the hospital before. I knew the place. I knew where the bathroom was. I swung out of bed and hesitated before trying my legs out. I was dizzy, but otherwise not in much actual pain. Drugs I figured. Then, I saw her. She was curled up in a chair across the room. I made to sneak by her. I really had to pee. I made it inside the john and sat rather than stood to do my business. Now I had to do something.
I didn't want to talk to her. I didn't want her to tell me again how sorry she was for hurting me. I just wanted to be left alone. I decided to get my clothes: I knew where they'd be' there was a closet across from my bed. I figured they'd be in there. I'd dress quietly and get the hell outta there. But she short shanked me.
I opened the door to the head and she was standing right there waiting.
"Uly, please talk to me for a minute. Please!" she whispered. I ignored her and just went back to bed; ideas of dressing and getting out of there without her seeing me trashed.
I had long before determined that I was not ever going to speak with her again, not for any reason. Talking wasn't going to solve a damn thing and it was ten to one that I'd break down and humiliate myself more than I already had. No, there was no percentage in talking to her. She could go talk to the husband that she loved so much more than me.
"Uly, sooner or later you have to talk to me. But, I guess it's going to be later. I would have thought that five years would have softened your feelings about what I did to us. But, I guess not. I'll leave you alone for now. I guess I understand how you feel," she said. And, then she was gone.
She'd been right about one thing. Five years had not softened my feelings about how she'd done me, not at all. They, my feelings, were as raw now as they had been the day she cut the heart out of me. I had to think that that would never change.
I was released two days later. It turned out that mister Morgan had spent the night in jail before being bailed out, presumably by her. I had two missing teeth, a broken rib and a mild concussion. Oh, and he had a broken nose; I guess I'd connected with my one and only shot, but in truth I couldn't remember anything about it.
Not only had the asshole messed me up, but I'd had to pay for my teeth and my hospital expenses on my own. I toyed with the idea of suing the asshole. I decided not to file a complaint against him because I didn't want to be dealing with Penelope even indirectly; hence, I'd lied to the police told them that I'd started it. And, actually, I had thrown the first punch, so I guess it wasn't actually a lie. The price tag for not sticking it to him or at least trying to? Why four thousand dollars. And, it really rankled my having to pay it.
Back at work two weeks later, I buried myself in the doing of it. The good news? Why as every good student of the puritan work ethic knows, hard work will virtually always spell success. It had taken a while to get there, but I was no longer an assistant manager, or even a manager. No, I was now district supervisor for the chain. I was now earning a hundred grand annual with bonuses—yes, more than I ever did with Wilcom.
I had thirty four stores under my direct overseership. And, I was an overseer, and one with a figurative whip, a theory "X" manager for sure. I brooked no subpar efforts on the part of my crews. Penelope's betrayal had made me into a different person. I no longer cared very much for what anybody wanted or thought except my bosses: the chain's high command. And then I got a visit.
"Thanks for making time for me Uly," said mister Hughs.
"Absolutely," I said. "Anything I can do." I should note here that mister Rodney Hughs was company VP in charge of personnel.
"You've done well, Uly. You've been noticed at corporate. Anyway, to get right to it. The company is going nationwide. I know that you're not married and not otherwise involved. And, as a result, I am tempted to offer you an opportunity," he said.
"An opportunity?" I said.
"Yes, you'd be VP in charge of the Southwest region. A hundred and six stores are planned in New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada. You'd be based in Phoenix. Your job would be to get the stores staffed and up and running.
"Sound like something you could get your head around?" he said.
"Damn straight," I said. We talked for quite a while. As he got up to leave, he paused.
"You haven't asked about your pay or benefits?" he said.
"Don't care," I said. "So long as I'm busy, really busy."
"You're a strange one you know that?" he said. "But for the record, you'll be making an estimated 250K annual with bonuses factored in. Oh, and you'll have a company car as you do now but with a driver added in. And oh yeah, I almost forgot; and a Lear Jet-45 to get you around faster."
"Jesus, that is something," I said, suitably impressed.
"Yes, yes it is," he said, smiling the smile of a man who'd finally made an impact.
I spent the rest of the day sitting at the Round Tree feeling a little down. I should've been sharing my success with her. But I wouldn't be, and not with anybody else either.
"Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down
'Twas sad as sad could be."
Coleridge's lines seemed a metaphor for my life. The divorce had surely taken the wind out of my emotional sails; and the sadness had so far not left me; indeed, it, the sadness, had only gotten more intense with every passing day. At least the Ancient Mariner had come out of it okay in the end; well, it was a qualified 'okay' right enough, but at least he had goals; me not so much.
I'd been given two years to get the stores up and running. I'd done it in nine months. I didn't make the $250K I'd expected; I'd made $500k. I'd made the money, but it had not made me happy, not close.
"I was called back for a major confab at corporate as soon as store number 106 opened for business. My jet had me back in a bit under five hours.
The reason for the big sit down? There were two. One: to get congratulated. Two: we were about to integrate a new computer system that would tie all six hundred stores coast to coast together. The system's supplier? Why Wilcom Industries. One had to love it.
"It'll be your job to get it done, Uly," said Rod Hughs. "You okay with that?"
"No problem, Rod, I used to work with Wilcom. Though that was a long time ago. They are the best at what they do; that much I can vouch for," I said. He nodded.
"You know, I didn't know you worked for Wilcom until your old bud Brad Siefert clued me," he said. "There's nothing about your previous employment with them in your file."
"At the time I wanted it that way, and Jim Huerter, the guy who hired me, went along. My ex is Brad's secretary. I didn't ever want to see or hear from her again. The pain, at the time was just too fresh."
"But now?" he said. "She's still Siefert's assistant. She will likely be with him."
"It was years ago, eight to be exact. I can handle it now. I can do the job," I said.
I'd told my boss that I could handle seeing her. It had been three years since I'd last seen her, and I'd run from her then. So now? Could I handle it? I determined to keep things on a professional level. If I had to talk to her directly about anything at all, I'd deal with it and at worst cry in my manhattans later.
All Hallows had a nice meeting room which had an adjunct kitchen that made it convenient to hold sit downs when we had large groups to deal with. I was early and sipping my post prandial caffeinated beverage while going over Wilcom's projected startup date.
The morning brunch had been pretty good. I'd eaten too much, but, I promised myself that I'd make up for my dietary sins after the Wilcom folks were gone; that figured to be in a couple of days if we could come to an agreement on installation dates.
She startled me. "Hello, Uly," she said. I kept it together.
"Hello, Penelope," I said.
"Got a minute?" she said. I couldn't immediately come up with a reason not to let her talk, so I just shrugged.
"Been a long time," she said. I didn't say not long enough, but I wanted to.
"Yeah, I guess," I said.
"I want to apologize, Uly, for the way I did you back then. I mean when I left you. It was cruel and abrupt and totally wrong of me. I'd like to ask you to forgive me if that's all right," she said. I shrugged again.
"Yeah, sure. Forget it," I said. My tone, my voice, was flat, not conciliatory at all. She picked up on it.
"Uly, really, if I may; you need to get over me. I wasn't worth it then, and I'm not worth it now. Hell, you are well rid of me. If I had to to do over again, I would," she said.
"What over again, Penelope? You'd be nicer in destroying me? Is that what you'd do over?" I said.
"No, I wouldn't divorce you, Uly. That's what I meant, not just try to let you down easier, not at all," she said.
"Why, you and good 'ole back stabbing Herbert having problems?" I said.
"Herbert? He and I divorced two years ago. I guess you had no way of knowing," she said.
"No, I've just been working and trying to forget how you and him ruined me," I said. "So no, I never heard you and him had broken up." She was looking down and kinda nodding her understanding of my words.
"So you got a significant other by now, I'm sure," she said.
She was fishing; and I knew it, but I didn't care, so I told her. "No, still single-o. Hasn't been anybody since you. No dates, no partying, nothing. I don't need the heartache," I said.
"No one?" she said.
"No, but been too busy working anyway," I said.
"Yes, mister Siefert told me how well you were doing. I guess you're pretty far up the economic food chain," she said. I shrugged again.
"I guess," I said.
"You said no dates. You mean none in eight years?" she said. I just kept silent. No time to embarrass myself.
"She repeated herself, sort of. "Uly? You mean no... ," she didn't finish.
"No interest in women or dating or any of it," I said. "Like I said, I've been too busy to fool with that stuff." She slumped back in her seat.
"Oh my God!
"Uly, could I ask you for a favor?" she said.
"You can ask," I said.
"Since Herbert and I broke up, well, there've been men, quite a few actually; I do have needs, but, none worth remembering. I was wondering, you know, I mean, well, if you'd..." she faded out.
"If I'd what?" I said.
"You know, like to go out with me sometime. Like maybe even while I'm here," she said. She'd stopped me. I'd made myself a promise to be strictly professional while she was around. No fraternizing.
"But—you dumped me, Pen. I mean why would you want to go out with me? A thousand guys out there—fulfilling your needs. What good could I possibly be to you? When you said that I didn't measure up..."
"Ulysses Ward! I never, never said anything like that to you," she said.
"No, you're right; I misspoke. You said it to Herbert a couple of days before you gave me the door," I said.
"As I recall, you said I was about useless in bed, that my dick was good for peeing and damn little else, that you had a hard time faking interest when we did do it. And, I wasn't much of a provider. That last one really hurt, I gotta tell yuh.
Kinda hard to imagine after all of that that you'd be interested in dating me," I said. Her face had gone pale.
"Uly? You were there?" she said.
"Yes. Across the hall. I'd had a toothache and had gone to the dentist. I came home early."
"Oh my God! No wonder you've refused to talk to me. Oh, my Uly, I am so sorry. I am so damn sorry," she said.
"Forget it. It was too long ago. But, to answer your question. No, I don't' think a date with you would be a good idea. I think that we need to keep things on a purely professional level. She looked stricken.
"Okay, Uly. I understand," she said.
"I doubt it," I said, "I sincerely doubt it."
"Well, damn you then, Uly. And, for the record, I do understand; well, I do now, and you saying different doesn't make what you say so," she said.
"Yeah, whatever, but you really don't have any idea how bad it's been for me, Penelope 'Morgan.' Not a clue. But, just so there'll be no big assed doubt in your mind.
"Since you destroyed me I've been unable to have any kind of relationship with any woman on a close or emotional level. I've had no sex, since you dumped me, not even a romantic kiss at Christmas time under the mistletoe. I have a couple of drinking buddies, but no one has ever been invited to my place for a barbecue or for anything else, nor have I been invited to anyone else's place.
"Are you getting the picture here, Penelope 'Morgan'?" I said, and that not at all kindly. "I died the day you ended us. It's just a technicality that I'm still breathing."
"Jesus! Uly, you're serious. I guess I didn't understand, but, maybe I do now.
"Uly, since you won't take me out. How about a compromise," she said.
A compromise?" I said. "What are you talking about?"
"Yes, you let me take you out," she said. I gave her a look that had to have shaken her, but then I had a thought. Why shouldn't I go out with her? Maybe I could get a piece of ass out of it. My first in years. I mean she was apparently a whore for a bus load of other guys. Why not me?
She must've been reading my mind. "If you pay for the drinks at dinner," she said, "I'll let you fuck me. Deal?" I nodded, but I didn't smile.
"Okay, deal," I said. She smiled. "We're at the Grissom Motor Lodge. How about seven. Okay?"
"Yeah, sure," I said. "Seven it is."
The day's meetings had gone well, and Mr. Hughs was feeling good enough to send the team home early. We'd do the post mortem later.
I was right on time. She looked happy that I was, and, she looked like a million bucks.
"You look good," I said.
"You too," she said.
"So, where are we going," I said. We were taking her rented Ford sedan. "Well, she was taking me out not the other way 'round.
"McDonald's," she said. "You know, Scottish cuisine." I snickered.
"Good, I like their chicken McNuggets. Can I get the ten count?" I said, deadpanning.
"Sure bet. No limits tonight," she said.
We pulled into the Saddle Back Lodge fifteen minutes later. She smiled. I frowned.
"I knew you were kidding about Mac's, but this place is going to set you back," I said. "And, the truth is I would have been okay with Mac's."
"Right, and the sun will rise in the west tomorrow," she said. "No, I chose this place because they have your favorite booze." I looked her askance.
"Rye?" I said.
"Yes," she said. Now, I did smile. Rye was hard to get except in the big town. It's the only whiskey I drank neat. Sometimes it seemed like nobody'd ever heard of it outside of the big city; and even then it was only me and Humphrey Bogart who ever ordered it. Anyway, I'd be getting' it tonight.
We were just in time to have to wait thirty minutes for a table, but there were seats at the bar; we commandeered two of them and ordered; well, she ordered.
"Rye neat and a white wine," she said. The guy nodded and went off to do her bidding.
Drinks in front of us, she made to engage us in light conversation. I kept playing back in my mind her words of the day before, that she had been divorced for the past two years from the asshole, and, that she would like to have back her decision to divorce me. Why was the big question. I asked.
We were still at the bar. "Pen, I'm not sure why we're even here tonight. You've apologized. I've said fine, to just forget it. But, you seem to want to talk more. You say I can have you tonight; and, the hairy assed truth is I sure do need it. But, I am more than sure that you don't need me for sex. You've made that plain enough before. So why?" I said.
Just then the waitress came and dragged us off to our table in the back; we took our drinks with us. We were plied with menus, given our waters, and the mandatory drink list. We studied the gastronomic literature, made our choices and waited to be noticed by the waitress once again. I could see Pen almost sigh with relief at the delay. I expect she felt the need for the time to get her thoughts arranged for effect, or, maybe maximum damage control.
The food came twin plates of prime rib. We ate. She lifted her glass. "A toast," she said, "to us." I looked her askance, but I raised my glass and we clinked.
"So?" I said.
"So?" she said.
"Why? Why did you dump me those many years ago?" I said. "I knew you had your new man, but why did you want him instead of me?"
She placed her hands on either side of her plate, looked down, looked up, and spoke. "I know, Uly, that you probably think you want to hear the reasons that I had then. But, if you will allow, they are and were even then actually all but utterly meaningless; and, if it matters an iota also untrue even then.
"So, if you press me, I will tell you; but, I really really would rather let sleeping dogs lie," she said, "and get on with trying to rebuild our—friendship—with each other. Whaddya say?"
"Pen, no. I need to know. And, I need the unadorned truth. Please, do not treat me like some little kid that needs coddling. The hurt has diminished over the years, and I think I can handle whatever it was now," I said. She sighed.
. I thought, well, I thought Herbert was a better lover than you. I hasten to add that as time went on I began to realize that the grass on the other side of the fence was not as green as I thought," she said.
"Why did you think he would be a better lover? The only way that could have come up was if you'd sampled him," I said.
"I had. A few times actually. His dick is king sized. He got me off almost every time he did me. You—well—you almost never did. Hence my erroneous belief," she said.
"Why erroneous. You just got done telling me he got you off regularly and me not at all. Sounds like he was a lot better than me. I mean isn't that just what you just got done saying," I said.
"Yes and no," she said. "If all a woman wanted was to cum, he was the man. If a woman wanted to feel completed, is the way I'd characterize it, he was almost totally valueless. In the cold afterglow of the act, he left me feeling empty, certainly not loved."
"Hmm," I said, meaning I didn't know what.
"You on the other hand always left me feeling completed, and loved, and safe, and trusted. I was untrustworthy of course, and I treated you like shit, and I do penance every single day of my life for that," she said.
"I would give my left tit to have you back again. And before you think it, if you haven't already, it's not at all because of your current wealth. I need you to hold me in your arms and kiss me and love me and make me feel safe again. All of those of course after you give me the really spirited spanking that I so richly deserve."
"Hmm," I said.
"One thing, Uly. Please start speaking in whole sentences. Please," she said, smiling.
"Uh—yes—okay. Whole sentences.
"The food is good tonight," I said.
"I don't know, Pen. I want you back. But, as you pointed out kinda indirectly, there's the little matter of trust. I couldn't bear getting screwed over or dumped again—or—cheated on. I need to be treated with respect and loved and all of that by a one man woman. You said you've been screwing the neighborhood until now.
"Let me ask you, did you cheat on Herbert?" I said. She looked down. She sighed again.
"Yes. Like I say, he wasn't you; so, after a while; I started looking for another you. Never found him, but I did look. So, yes, I did cheat on Herbert," she said. I nodded.
"Thank you for your honesty. May I ask you another question?" I said.
"Okay," she said.
"If we started, say, going together again, would you cheat on me?" She gave me a frustrated look.
"I don't think so," she said.
"But, you're not sure," I said. "Some handsome stud approaches you in the market and you let him do you, certain that I would never find out. Have I got it right?"
"I don't think so, but maybe," she said.
"Can't fault your honesty. I'm actually grateful to you for that," I said.
"Let me ask you one more question, okay?" I said. She nodded.
"If you did cheat on me, would you tell me?" I said.
"I think so. Yes," she said. "I would—yes. I will never hurt you again, or if I did I would do my level best to make it right by you." I nodded. "No lies, and that's for sure?"
"No lies," she affirmed.
The conversation went silent. Me trying to figure out what I should do, and her—probably—holding her breath to see what I would do.
I downed my drink. "Let's get out of here," I said.
I took her to my place; it took us four hours to get there—at 350 miles per hour. I'd been living in a rented Condo in Phoenix for the past year. I decided to impress her. We'd overnight it in Phoenix; I'd fuck her, and I'd show her one or two of our stores too.
"Jesus, Uly, you really are something else anymore aren't you," she said.
"It's a company plane. The pilot's my employee, as is the plane's mechanic," I said. I'd momentarily left her speechless. She took on a suspicious look.
"You gonna fuck me and dump me, Uly? I mean I know I deserve it, but..." she said.
"Dump you? How can I dump you when I don't possess you anymore. As for fucking you, well, I did buy the drinks," I said. She smirked.
She took a different tack. "Uly? "Do you want to possess me?" she said. Just then the pilot announced over the loudspeaker that we were coming in for a landing and that we should buckle up.
"Don't know Pen. I honestly don't know. The things you said about me..."
"I'm never going to live those down am I?" she said.
"You! How about me?" I said. She nodded.
"Yes. I guess that must be a hard thing for you. We need to talk some more about it, but tonight I need your—well—hard thing," she said.
I knew she was lying. She didn't actually need my hard thing. She was going to use it right enough, but need it or really want it? No, not real likely. I suppose the upside was that I was very likely going to get her "A" game. Money will get a guy almost anything. The more I thought about it the less I wanted to do her. She had an agenda; one I was not gonna be real happy about; I was sure of it.
I had gone pensive on her as we landed. She noticed. "Are we okay, Uly? I mean for today. You're looking kinda out of it."
"Actually, not sure," I said. Her turn to go pensive on me. I'd called my driver before we landed; he was waiting for us.
The drive over to the condo was a quiet one. I think she knew that a lot of nothing talk would be counterproductive.
Did I know what I was doing? Not really. I guessed I'd get my rocks off finally, but beyond that, no, I didn't know what I was going to do, or even thinking if it came to that.
She headed to the bathroom as soon as we'd doffed our coats. I made for the minibar and poured us a couple of drinks. I needed one even if she didn't.
She emerged from the ladies room naked except for her shoes and panties.
"Jesus!" I said. "You're fucking beautiful."
"Glad you think so stud. Tonight it's all for you. Anything you want.
"I need you, Uly. Believe it. Take me, and do a good job of it; and then, take me again. Okay?" I nodded, very slowly. I wasn't exactly mesmerized, but I sure as well was something. I'd figure out what later.
She came to me and my hand reached for her breast. I very gently massaged it. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt her or upset her.
I let both of my arms slide up and down her sides. She seemed to be enjoying my attention. I let my hand cup her pussy through the material of her panties. She sucked a breath from the sensation.
I went to my knees and pulled her panties down and just stared at her beauty. I leaned in and kissed her slit. It was wonderful. She now went to her knees. We stared into each other's eyes.
She let herself slip to the floor. She spread her legs wide for me. I shucked my clothes very very fast. I even popped two buttons on my shirt in my hurry to get to her. She giggled.
"Do not be gentle, big guy. Just do me. Make the first one hard and fast. We'll take our time on the next go 'round." I followed her command. I drilled her like I'd never drilled any woman including her.
She squealed and began frothing at the mouth as I pounded into her. I managed to last maybe three minutes before I stiffened and unloaded a quart of spunk inside of her.
"That was pretty good for a first go," she said. "Let me see if I can encourage you for an encore. She did encourage me and a blow job that skilled only comes with a whole lot of practice; a fact, that in fact, made me realize that I was getting a mercy fuck all right, but one of superior quality.
She rolled over on her belly and spread for me once more. I would be taking her from behind. I poked at her and she helped me a little to gain a lodgement. Once inside of her I did the push-pull thing until I hit bottom and began screwing her slowly and deliberately. She mooed and began breathing irregularly. I felt her stiffen and try to push her butt up to meet my thrusts I could feel her squirting; she'd made it. I felt good about that.
She lay gasping, the both of us. We napped.
She awoke before me and got us something to eat from the frig. We'd go out a little later, but the tuna sandwiches were welcome.
We talked a little about nothing, but at one point she did bring up the companies negotiations. I became a little uncomfortable with that. We were on opposite sides of the table. But she let it go with a comment about how important the contract was to Wilcom. My only comment was to the effect that we were glad that they could do the job for us.
We had two days before we had to be back for the final sit down with my old company.
She and I used them to get to know each other again and to drain my seminal fluids totally dry which I damn well did. Penelope was at pains to make sure that I was happy.
She also made sure that I understood about her breakup with good 'ole Herbert—who `still worked where she did. She admitted that it was because he'd caught her cheating on him. One of the very few times by the way or so she said. Her candidness was welcome, but the fact was, she was still a cheater; and I had to think always would be.
Okay, with our history I was concerned that she would get the itch again if indeed we did go for the second time around. I think she sensed my concerns too, but it didn't come up during our two days together.