It started with an argument at dinner. I’m “special” when it comes to my relationships with people. But the wife has a few friends. And occasionally she likes to have somebody over for a meal and smalltalk. I would rather be waterboarded.
Still, if I act too disinterested during one of Kari’s social evenings, she gets even more “distant” when bedtime rolls around. Accordingly, I was on my best behavior with her college roomie and the woman’s husband.
Her former roommate was her best friend. Their relationship dated back to their first semester in Darnall Hall. I always thought that Isobel was born with a poker up her ass. That was because she treated me like one of her children.
Kari has told me that she was a lot of fun in college. I couldn’t verify that since I didn’t get to know either of them until five years later. But whatever mutated her from “fun” into the razor carrying bitch that I met at age 27 was nothing I wanted to mess with. In fact, Isobel was such a man hater I wondered how she had managed to produce two kids, unless it was with a turkey baster.
Isobel’s husband was a very good looking guy, tall and slim. He was one of the legion of slick Foreign Service types who infest Foggy Bottom. He was no more than a GS-13. But because he was at State, he had adopted an air of phony gravitas that was only slightly less pretentious than a Russian Grand Duke. Along with the same steaming pile of judgment.
I always wondered how a player like Scott had ended up with an uptight bitch like Isobel. I suspected that there may have been some Catholic guilt involved, since they both attended mass slightly more frequently than the Pope.
Scott didn’t think much of me. That was understandable since I really don’t have a job. Or to put it more accurately, I don’t have a “career.” Instead I sell things to the highest bidder. I am not going to explain how I got into reverse engineering code for a living. But trust me it had nothing to do with honesty, or altruism.
About the time I hit puberty, I found out that school was mostly boring. And I was smart enough that I could con my way out of doing homework. So, at age 13 I had a lot of spare time on my hands. I devoted that time to learning all about the stuff that I WAS interested in.
I began my lifelong trip to perdition by disassembling and decompiling trendy game programs, looking for all the hidden keys in the binary. That made me very popular with my “gamer” friends. But by the time I got into high school keying was really no challenge.
Consequently, I went looking for more interesting opportunities. And I found them in the hexadecimal of commercial code. You have no idea how much money the big tech companies will pay you if you discover a zero-day vulnerability in one of their products. That is especially true if they think that you might share that knowledge with the Washington Post.
“Ransom” and “blackmail” are such ugly terms. I would rather view myself as Robin Hood keeping the tech giants honest. In either case, I was making well into six figures by the time I hit 21. And the gravy train had no end in sight. Because, unlike fine wine the software industry DOES NOT improve with age.
I was living with my parents at the time; and my social life mainly happened in their basement. There are always gamer girls, mostly Goth chicks with the requisite tattoos and piercings, who are willing to hand it out for a Call of Duty key. They and my buddies and I would party in my Bat Cave most nights.
We didn’t drink. Hence, we were never THAT noisy. But the whiffs of cannabis-sativa that emanated up into the grownups living quarters eventually got me kicked out. Which led me to a condo in Manassas. It cost in the high $200Ks. I had never paid rent for my former lair. So, I had that much cash sitting in my checking account.
To say the least the decor was eclectic. Fashion is nothing to me. Seriously!!! I had spent most of my life living in a cellar in Centreville. So, I furnished my place from the Salvation Army and stuff that I found by the side of the road.
The living room was mostly futons and bean bag chairs. And the dining room table had a bullet hole in it. But I liked the ambiance. All-in-all it was an idyllic life. Nevertheless, as I matured I was beginning to get that age-old feeling. It was the primeval yearning to find somebody who I could love and who would love me unconditionally in return.
Of course, I got a dog!
Buster was a brown dog, huge, muscular, smelly and devoted. His original owners tied him to a cinder block and abandoned him over in Anacostia. I rescued him from the DC Pound. He looks like the hound from hell. And he has scars all over his hide. I think he was originally bred as a fighter. But he is so sweet and gentle that he simply wouldn’t fight.
He had so many of the big breeds in him that it was hard to tell what type of mutt he was. The one thing I was certain about was that whoever the actual father was, it must have been one hell of a busy night for his mother.
But nobody could ask for a better friend and companion. We talk a lot. He sounds exactly like Barry White. You would have to be a dog lover, to understand how I knew that. But if you own a dog you know what I’m saying.
Buster and I led a happy nerd existence. Until one fine day Eve appeared in the Garden. I saw a woman walking a rat on a leash one day, while I was waiting for Buster at the Costello dog park. Buster inspected the bushes and I inspected her.
She was tiny, perhaps five two, with dark brown hair that was cut into a neat preppy bob. She had a cute little figure. She was maybe a hundred and ten pounds, not spectacularly round, just kind of lithe and well put together.
What I noticed were her legs. She was wearing a short dress and high heels, like she had just dashed home to take her dog out after work. The wind was blowing and so I was getting the Marilyn Monroe effect. And it showed off a great deal of beautiful, well-muscled leg and rounded buns.
As the wind gusted I even got a flash of what was at the top of those long gorgeous limbs. It was a perfect jewel of a lower body. I am a leg and butt man so that piqued my interest. She was coming toward me. She knew I was checking her out. I smiled at her. Her rat growled at Buster.
I can never figure out Chihuahuas. Buster was perhaps 140 pounds, all thick armored fur and long dripping fangs. And her mutt was maybe 5 pounds of deluded canine. But Buster took a step back. He will avoid confrontation at all costs which is one of his most endearing qualities.
The woman smiled at me and said, “Don’t worry, she won’t hurt him.” Very cute!
I said, “Well your princess is certainly full of herself.” She had a pink collar with rhinestones so I could tell it was a girl. Kari then proceeded to stop and tell me exactly how full of herself Chiquita was. That led to coffee, which led to a date, and then to marriage.
I know I should explain that. But I can’t. From the time I met Kari, I felt like I was on one of those moving sidewalks at Dulles. Where the inevitable destination was holy matrimony. Possibly the time was right. Maybe she was just THAT attractive. And perhaps I didn’t have a choice.
Kari is determined and willful to say the least. And in that respect, we are BOTH like our dogs. All I know is that we bonded from the time we met. I had never actually HAD a girlfriend. I had my share of women, often for the night, sometimes for a week and in one case for an entire summer. But the arrangement had never had any sense of permanence. I’m just not THAT into other human beings.
Kari was different. I am far from emotionally sensitive, but I felt comfortable and connected with her. I was a lot more secure and happy when we were together. She had a way of making me think cheerful thoughts, not my usual nerd world-weariness. Then again, maybe the attraction was the fact that she is the world’s hottest fuck.
Her body isn’t exceptional on top. She is slim and lissome. Her boobs are nice and well formed. The word “perky” comes to mind with big beautiful nipples. Just touching them drives her nuts. But her hips and legs are heavily muscled and gorgeous. In fact, if you like beautiful long full legs Kari is your woman. And did I mention that round little ass?
I asked her if she was a dancer and she told me it was genetics. Whatever it was it was one in a million. She was particularly fond of the missionary position, which sounds kind of boring. But it was the way she used her legs during those sessions that made our bouts memorable.
She would constantly manipulate me between her hard thighs like a rider with a horse. Sometimes she would spread them incredibly wide to get maximum penetration. Sometimes she would wrap them around me and pull me around to get a sensation.
And Kari was NOT quiet when we fucked. In between moans, cries, groans and gasps you would get a very loud play by play about how marvelous she was feeling and how much longer and harder I had to pound her. She always kept me interested that way
Kari is a very smart woman. I love smart women. She had a big girl’s job with a K Street firm and she was mostly a joy to be married to. There would be the usual moments when she was pissed at me but I chalked that up to her Mediterranean heritage. She is Italian and Greek, which is a very bad combination if you are seeking even temperament.
She always seemed to be riding some emotional wave. I liked the ones that were happy and exhilarated. I was not a big fan of angry, which I occasionally got. We had a very active sex life but during the angry periods things tapered off. Her angry periods mostly revolved around our total lack of social life. That was one-hundred-percent my fault. I live in my head. I know that can be frustrating at times.
In general, we led an interesting and fulfilling existence, just the two of us. We would talk and read and exercise the dogs and generally enjoy a laid-back life together. But sometimes Kari would be in a mood where she felt like she was missing-out on things. And even though I hate to entertain I knew I had to be a little more companionable with other people just to keep Kari on an even keel. That was the reason why I was sitting there on that evening with her bitch friend and the woman’s condescending asshole of a husband.
I forgot to mention that Isobel is the stunning one. Maybe that was why Kari hero-worshipped her. Isobel was a little taller, perhaps three inches. But she was the one with the hourglass figure, big tits, tiny waist and wide hips. She also had a much prettier face, almost classic glamour-model pretty.
She would have probably been a movie star if she had Kari’s mercurial personality. But the term “drippy” comes to mind with Isobel. She was either tragically depressed, or she was stewing about something. I seemed to irritate her. But I have that effect on most people. I think it is because I don’t really give a shit.
The real festivities started after we ate. We were sitting on opposing couches with a coffee table in the middle facing each other. The fireplace was off to the side at right angles. It was a godawful picture of yuppie togetherness. Kari hired a decorator when we got married. It cost me another $100K. But I can afford it. Like I said, hunting vulnerabilities in the software industry is like picking low hanging fruit. So, our condo was now decked out like a place from House Beautiful.
Buster was sleeping in front of the big gas fire with his head next to my leg. Chiquita was curled up on top of his broad back like she always does. Their sleeping relationship is a touching example of doggie love. Unless Buster rolls over in his sleep. In which case, he gets his ear nipped.
Kari and our guests were holding snifters of Cointreau. I was drinking a Miller Lite out of a bottle. Kari was sitting with her fabulous legs tucked under her and her arm resting along the back of the couch behind me. Isobel and her husband were sitting upright, feet on the floor, at opposite ends of their couch. It was like something out of a Jane Austen novel.
We live in the DC area and so it is natural to talk politics. I’m a nerd, so politics doesn’t interest me. But Kari works for a lobbying firm and of course her friends were slightly more political than Karl Marx himself.
They were arguing about what had to be done to stop the government’s unwarranted intrusion into people’s lives. Like a lot of the Foggy Bottom types, her husband was a bleeding-heart. And Isobel was more Libertarian than Thoreau; with as much naive political idealism as Woodrow Wilson sprinkled on top.
That was especially true when it came to the concept of personal privacy. The very idea that the government was monitoring the cell traffic of private citizens enraged her. I refrained from telling her about NSA’s Massive Data Repository and its zettabytes of storage. I was afraid THAT would stroke-her-out.
If I had been smart I would have just shut up. But the whole discussion was like listening to third graders talking about string theory. God! They didn’t have a clue.
I finally said with some irritation in my voice, “You don’t HAVE any personal privacy. Forget the Government. Anybody with the slightest bit of technical know-how can invade every aspect of your private life if they want to.”
They all looked at me with the same curled lip that they would give somebody who had just loudly farted in church.
Scott, Isobel’s husband, said with jolly contempt, “Now really Tommy, how could you say something like that? I understand that you don’t work for a living. But that is just plain naïve.”
His condescension pisses me off. I am not a total weenie. I said with a bit of edge in my voice, “Seriously???!! Naïve!!! Give me a second will you.” And I picked up my smartphone, which was sitting on the coffee table in front of me.
I buy malicious code the way most guys buy golf accessories. The things that you can get off a blackhat site are “recreational” items for a person like me. All the sites I visit are on the Onion Router so they are invisible except in the darkweb. And I buy stuff with bitcoins. Nobody in their right mind would use a credit card in places like that.
My little pets can come in handy if you want to do magic tricks at a boring party, or absolutely pry into somebody else’s life. Of course, none of the three sitting there had ever heard of Bluetooth security. So, I could drop everything that I wanted on their phones in about 15 seconds. In fact, it took less time for me to totally own them, than it did for Kari to bring out another bowl of guacamole dip.
I glanced at Kari and I said, “Call Scott.” She looked puzzled and dialed his number. His phone rang, my phone lit up.
He picked it up and said, “Hello Kari.” I added, “And hello to both of you.” They BOTH looked thunderstruck. Not the reaction I expected but gratifying none the less.
I said, “That is a man-in-the-middle app. I just dropped it on your phone. All I needed was to be within 30 feet of you to do that. Now I can listen in any time you call each other.” The two of them looked stunned and more than a little bit nervous.
Isobel spluttered, “But-but-but!!!! That’s SO criminal!! Where did you get something like that?” I said, “I got mine off the Krak-u website for 19 bucks worth of bitcoins. But you can buy less powerful phone cloning tools off the regular internet”
Kari and Scott exchanged meaningful glances. It was like they had never expected me to be THAT weird.
Then Kari glared at me like I had jhanded her a diamondback rattlesnake. She said with real agitation, “Take that thing off my phone!!”
I said, “Your wish is my command, oh most loving of wives.” And I made an overly dramatic point of wiping the thing. Kari read WAAAY too much into my comment. I could see it in her face. I didn’t get it. She IS loving.
Then I gestured theatrically and said, “For my next trick I want Scott and Kari to go out onto the deck and just talk for a minute. Close the door after you go so you are sure I can’t hear you.” They looked puzzled. I said, “Humor me.” Both very hesitantly went out on the deck.
I activated the other item, which I had only dropped on Kari’s phone. Bluesnarfing is illegal. But she was my wife. Of course, it really didn’t matter who I Bluebugged since the authorities would never catch me anyhow.
I instantly had picture and sound on MY phone. She was holding HER phone in her hand looking at it like it might bite. Her face was a study in concern. Scott was standing directly behind her looking over her shoulder.
Kari said with considerable agitation in her voice, “Do you think he knows?”
Scott said, “I certainly hope not. I had no idea he would do something like that. It’s downright evil.” The look on his face was full of anxiety.
I opened the patio door and said in my cheeriest voice, “You can come in now.”
They both trooped in looking uneasy. Isobel had also heard everything. She was looking puzzled and maybe a little pissed off. Of course, that was nothing new. Pissed off is her normal expression.
I held up my phone and played back their entire conversation, complete with video. Both Kari and Scott’s faces went pale. I understood. He was embarrassed getting caught dissing me. And Kari probably felt guilty for letting him do it.
I said, “There is no need to get upset. I am just trying to show you what your world is really like. Consider it part of the evening’s entertainment.” That was said in a conciliatory tone. Since it was obvious that I had let a skunk loose in the ladies’ bridge club.
Isobel looked like a hunting dog that had just spotted a bird. And she was definitely royally pissed at Scott. Meanwhile Kari and Scott were having a frantic whispered argument by the patio door. Isobel wasn’t missing THAT either.
I tried a weak chuckle. I was thoroughly mixed up. I didn’t want to cause problems. I was just making a point about personal privacy. I grinned lamely, “So no harm no foul, right?”
That didn’t seem to help. Isobel hit her husband. I mean she really whaled on him. And then she went stomping out the front door without another word. I heard the car start and the squeal of tires. Kari glowered at me and said, “How could you DO something like that. I know you’re insensitive but that was a horrible thing to do.”
I said, meekly, “I’m really sorry but I don’t understand the problem? All I did was use your phones to make a point about security in the information age. Here, let me take the bugs off them.” And I made a big show of wiping both devices.
Scott said with contempt in his voice, “You are an adolescent fool. I can’t believe that a wonderful woman like Kari could LIVE with an idiot like you, let alone marry you.”
Then he turned to Kari and said, “I need a ride home. Can you take me?” And he marched out before I could say anything.
I said to Kari, “I’ll come too. I really am sorry if I caused any problem. I just want to apologize”
She looked at me like I had shit myself and said, “You’ve caused enough trouble. YOU just stay here.”
With that, she threw on a coat and rushed out the door behind Scott. I heard the garage door open and the sound of her car backing out. I cleaned up the dishes and the rest of the party things. But she still wasn’t back. So I went up to our bedroom and fell asleep.
Kari was withdrawn the next morning. She answered everything I said in monosyllables. I knew she was mad and frankly I couldn’t understand why. I had made her friends look a little silly the night before. But that didn’t seem like something I should be punished for in the morning.
Kari also looked troubled. Her normally neat and well-kept appearance was disheveled. It was almost like she had been awake all night. I said, just to make conversation, “What time did you get in last night? I would have waited up but I just got too sleepy.”
She looked at me like I was cross-examining her. She said, “I was gone a couple of hours. Why do you care? Are you stalking me now?”
I said, “Of course not, it’s just that it only takes twenty minutes to their house. I was expecting you to be back in an hour and when you didn’t return I was worried about you.”
I added sincerely, “I knew that Scott would take good care of you. But I was concerned.”
She turned white and sat down heavily in a chair.
I was about to ask her what THAT was all about when the dogs interrupted to tell me that they needed their morning constitutional, IMMEDIATELY! So I stood up and grabbed Buster’s leash. He came bustling up in his slightly awkward swaying manner, pant-pant-slobber-slobber, “Are we going for our walk now Boss?”
I said to Kari, “Are you going to walk Chiquita or do you want me to take her too.”
She looked at me warily like I was trying to trick her into something and said, “You take her. I need to take a shower and get cleaned up.” There was something significant in that statement. But I didn’t get what she was telling me. It was like she expected a confrontation.
I grabbed Chiquita’s leash too. She was dancing at my feet, “Hurry Senor I have to go so bad.” I walked down to the dog park with my two-dog hitch.
Buster is the most accommodating dog on the planet except when he is on his way to the dog park. Then he is a little pig-headed. I have a massive choke chain around his thick neck. It isn’t a macho thing. It’s something that I use for the times when he gets it in his head that he just wants to GO. He was gasping as we walked. That was because the chain closed off his windpipe. He’s a wonderful dog, loyal and loving. But he is not the most intelligent animal in the species. Of course, the fact that he was choking to death didn’t make him stop pulling any less. I figured I could loosen the choke chain when he passed out.
In the meantime, Chiquita was tripping along next to him with her little legs a blur of motion looking for all the world like the alpha-dog. We did our business and came back. To my surprise Kari was not there.
I tried to call her but she wasn’t answering her phone. I had a feeling that she was deliberately ducking me. I had taken all the nasty stuff off her phone but it was obvious that she still didn’t trust me. I pinged her and she was at Tysons Corner.
Shortly thereafter, the doorbell rang. I was in the middle of decompiling a new version of a popular tax preparation program. There would be a considerable amount of ill-gotten booty in that mess.
Like she normally does, Chiquita went nuts, Then Buster had to bustle over to add his two cents. His bark is so deep it rattles the windows. He never barked before he met Chiquita but she has taught him a number of bad habits.
I was kicking both out of the way as I answered the door. Thus, I didn’t immediately see who was waiting for me on the other side. When I did I nearly slammed it back shut. Standing there in all her condescending glory was Isobel herself. I would have probably been happier with a visit from a Jehovah’s Witness.