“What? Sorry, what did you say?”
“Excuse me! I was only asking you if you minded me sitting here.”
“Oh, no; of course not!”
“Thank you! I’ll try not to disturb you.” She gave him a little half-smile then went back to her book. Tom Shepherd recognized the cover design of the romantic novella’s publisher and smiled to himself. They never spoke the whole time that they were sitting there, but as she stood to leave, Jean Metcalfe looked his way, nodded, then walked away.
That was Monday; he couldn’t get back there the next day at the same time, but on Wednesday he thought that he recognised her from a distance.
“Hello! Is it all right if I join you again?” The same half-smile, but her eyes stayed longer on his face: “Please do!”
“No book today, I see?”
“No, not today; I’m just enjoying the good weather.”
“I hope I’m not making you feel uncomfortable, and I can see you’re wearing a wedding ring, so if you’re happy to talk to me—” Her smile was a little wider and seemed genuine.
“No, I’m all right with talking, and I’ve not been here long so we can chat for a while, if you want to.” Tom refrained from offering her his hand to shake, but he smiled and said:
“My name is Tom Shepherd, by the way. I have a flask of coffee and some sandwiches, if you’d care to share.” She thought for a few moments.
“Er, may I ask what’s in the sandwiches, Mr Shepherd?”
“Oh, yes, of course! It’s nothing too exciting: ham and tomato, and I prefer Tom to Mr Shepherd.”
“Then yes please, Tom. And my name is Jean.” Tom smiled and placed his small rucksack between them on the seat. He first took out two sandwiches, individually wrapped in clear plastic bags, then a large stainless steel flask, and finally a white porcelain mug with Je Aime Mon Papa! printed on it.
“Which cup do you prefer, Jean—they’re both clean?”
“I’ll take the one on the flask, Tom: I assume that the mug has some special significance for you.” He nodded.
“Help yourself to a sandwich, Jean,” he said, as he removed the cup and the stopper from the flask and filled the metal cup with hot coffee. “There’s no sugar in it, but I have sweeteners in my bag.”
“Yes, please! Two, please!” Tom delved into his bag once more and took out the plastic dispenser and a teaspoon wrapped loosely in a sheet of kitchen paper towel, both of which he handed to Jean. She pressed the top of the plastic cylinder twice, which allowed two small white tablets to drop into the coffee. While Jean was stirring her coffee, Tom was filling his own mug with the aromatic beverage. Jean held up the sweeteners and Tom nodded: “Three, please!” Jean stirred both drinks while Tom replaced the flask’s seal. They then each picked up one of the sandwich bags.
“Mmmm! I do prefer fresh, crusty white bread!” Jean declared. Tom continued to smile.
“Yes, I agree! I lived in France for a good few years and you get used to getting up early and walking to the boulangerie every morning: it’s not unusual to have to queue and it becomes quite a social event. I bought this loaf about six hours ago now, but it’s still good.”
“Wow, you lived in France! That sounds very exciting, Tom. I’ve never been myself. May I ask—the mug, from your daughter?”
“Yes—Felice: she’s married to Gilles, a university teacher, and they live in Lyon with my grandson.”
“And your wife, Tom?” She saw the cloud momentarily mask his face.
“Paulette passed away two years ago; that’s when I returned to England.”
“I—I’m sorry, Tom; I shouldn’t have been so nosy!” He smiled.
“It’s okay—really. These things happen! We were very happy together and I miss her, of course, but I can’t undo what’s done. I’m reluctant to ask now—your husband?” She smiled, but there was no joy there, he thought.
“Oh, still alive—unfortunately!” He hesitated while deciding how to proceed.
“So, not a happy marriage, I take it? Look, I don’t want to pry, but I’m supposed to be a good listener—” She stared ahead without looking anywhere in particular.
“Is there any more coffee, Tom?”
“Yes, of course!” He repeated the same procedure as before, after which she took a sip before talking:
“It’s a loveless marriage now, Tom. Oh, it started off okay, but Donald isn’t a very sociable man. He doesn’t really have any friends, just acquaintances; even our two children don’t like him very much and in the past they’ve been reluctant to come to the house when he’s there. He was never what you would call a loving father, although he kept them clothed and fed and with a roof over their head. Any affection they received they got from me. As soon as they were able, they left home—I wasn’t so fortunate. However, I have been able to return to work: I was a civil servant with what is now the Department of Work and Pensions until the children were born and I was lucky enough to return to that when they were old enough. If I’m very lucky, I’ll have a job until I retire—but I’m definitely not looking forward to that!”
“Does your husband work, too?”
“Yes, he’s also a civil servant; but he’s had unbroken service, so he’s now much more senior than I am. He’s probably very good at what he does, and he also probably gets a certain respect because of that; but that doesn’t mean he popular. We exist, Tom: we go to work, we eat, we sleep, and that’s about the extent of it! I’m sorry, I must sound like a really miserable so-and-so! Anyway, I’m afraid that I have to go now. Thank you for lunch—and thank you for listening.” He smiled.
“Jean, will you be here tomorrow?”
“I’ll try, but I won’t promise!”
They met every day that week. Tom noticed that her overall demeanour seemed much more up-beat than it had been. He, too, found that he woke up in the morning with something to look forward to, and he tried to get to their daily meeting place so that he was there before her. On Friday they had photographs.
“—This is Michael, my grandson. He’s four months old now and I last saw him when he was born. I’m due another visit soon.” They looked at other pictures.
“Your wife and your daughter are both lovely, Tom! Your daughter is so like her mother.”
“Yes, I know—and oddly that was one of the reasons that I moved back to England: it’s not just the way they look alike, it’s the sound of her voice and the way she moves and acts; it was quite painful, and no matter how much I love Felice, she’s just a reminder of what I lost. But let’s not dwell on that; do you have photographs of your children, Jean?” She reached into her bag.
“Louise and Tim. Louise is 27 and Tim is 25. They both have long-term partners, but I’m afraid Donald and I might have turned them off marriage! When Louise graduated she got a job in Manchester. Tim went off to see the world and he settled in Perth, Western Australia, where he met his girlfriend. I think he chose the place furthest from his father! As far as I know, he’s going to become naturalised. He writes to me, but I don’t think that he has any plans to come home. Louise has been out there but I haven’t. I think it might be worse if he has children, but I can’t really blame him if he’s happy.”
“This isn’t bunkum, Jean, but you really don’t look old enough to have children that age.” She laughed; the first time that Tom had seen her really laugh.
“Oh, I think it is, Tom Shepherd; but I’ll accept it in the spirit that it was given. I’m 48 years old, Tom, how about you?”
“Closer to 50 than 49, but I’m not ready for my dotage just yet—and I might be out of line for saying this, Jean, but I think that you’re a very attractive woman and if you weren’t married I’d be very interested in pursuing a relationship with you.” She looked him in the eyes and grinned.
“Well, Tom Shepherd, suppose I said that, married or not, I’d be very interested in that happening, too!” He needed time to compose his reply, but:
“You do know what you’re saying, Jean; you have thought this thing out? You know that there could be consequences.”
“Yes, Tom, I’ve thought about this, and not just today but almost continually since that first day. And as far as I’m concerned I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. What would be the worst thing that could happen, do you think?”
“Well, your husband could divorce you, I suppose.”
“No, Tom—the worse thing that could happen is that I stay in a marriage where I’m unhappy and unfulfilled for maybe another thirty-odd years! I’d willingly exchange that for a chance of happiness in a heartbeat!” Tom looked at her and smiled again.
“In all the years that I knew my wife I never even considered cheating on her—but, okay, let’s do it! This is where we have to get sneaky, though: I have no ties, but you have to start lying to your husband so that we can at least get to know each other better. What do you suggest; you know your life better than I do?”
“Well, I finish work by five o’clock most days, but Donald usually doesn’t get home until six-thirty. He also goes out two evenings a week to various things: he’s a Freemason and a member of the local Conservative Association, and although he’s not a particularly social person, he’s also a member of the golf club and plays one day most weekends. So, perhaps we can get together either one evening or at the weekend.”
“Do you have a phone, Jean; one that you feel is secure and that your husband won’t look at?”
“Yes, I keep it for when I’m out and if Louise calls me. Why do you ask?”
“Well, if I give you my number you can store it under a false name, so that we can arrange our future lover’s trysts!” Jean giggled.
“Ooh, yes! I’m going to have a secret lover—I like that! But what name shall we use?”
“Would you mind very much if we used my wife’s name, Jean?”
“No, of course not: Paulette is a lovely name, Tom! And we can still meet for lunch, as long as the weather holds up.” She took her phone out of her bag and opened a new contact, then handed it to him to enter his details. When they were added, she sent him a brief text, so that he could add her number into his contacts. “Right, now as soon as he tells me that he’ll be out, I’ll let you know and we can arrange our ‘tryst’. I have to say, Tom, I’m already very excited about this!”
The first opportunity presented itself the next Saturday: “I’m golfing today, Jean. We’re teeing off at ten o’clock so I don’t expect to be home much before five this afternoon,” Donald said over breakfast.
“Very well. Shall I get dinner for six, then?”
“Hmm—make it six-thirty.” Jean nodded. As she watched him load his golf things into the car her heart was beating faster. It continued that way as she picked up her phone and keyed in the following message:
D. playing golf until five. I’m free until about four.
She waited expectantly and then jumped when she heard her phone’s ‘new message’ tone:
I can’t wait! Here’s my address—
Jean’s heart rate still reflected her nervous agitation as she drove the short distance to where Tom lived, which was separated from her house by the railway line from Potters Bar to Hadley Wood. Despite it being less than two miles from her own home, she knew the area only in passing, but she knew that it was quite nice. He had told her that his was an older, smaller property. When she got there she found a place to park her car and walked somewhat tentatively up to the front door and rang the bell.
“Hello, Paulette!” he welcomed her with a grin, “Please come in!” The small porch led into a reception room where he took both of her hands in his and they exchanged brief kisses to the cheek; the most contact that they had shared so far.
“This is very cosy, Tom!”
“Yes, I don’t need a lot of space. Let me show you around.” He released her right hand but held onto the left; it had been many, many years since Donald had held her hand and it felt good. A set of open double-doors gave them access to a slightly larger room beyond, in which were the stairs to the next floor. Leading off of this room was a long, narrow kitchen which was an extension to the original layout. In this there was a door which led to the garden.
Back in the rear reception room, still holding hands, Tom led Jean upstairs. They stood on the landing at the top of the stairs:
“That’s the bathroom in front of you, and that room on the right is the spare bedroom.” They turned to the left and an open doorway. “And this is my room.” Entering, Jean looked around at the simple furnishings and the plain, unfussy décor. The sight of the double-bed sent a ripple of involuntary shivers up her spine, which Tom picked up on and smiled. “Come on, I’ll make us some tea or coffee.” Jean hesitated.
“All right—but you know, it’s been an awfully long time since anyone’s really kissed me, Tom!” He grinned.
“Well, it’s been a while for me, too—I hope I haven’t forgotten how to do it!” Standing face-to-face, Jean encircled Tom’s upper body with her arms and he did the same to her waist. They closed in until their lips were just touching. Their bodies pressed harder against each other and their arms held the other tighter as the kiss went on. When they parted they were both a little flushed and they laughed. “You didn’t forget how, then! Can we do that again, please?” Jean said. They did, and it was better than the first time.
“I, er, think I need that drink now!” Tom exclaimed. Jean chuckled: “Mmm, but I wouldn’t mind a replay, later!”
In the small but well cared for rear garden area, Tom had a table with two built-in bench seats on either side, so he and Jean took their drinks out and sat facing each other. She reached across and took his hand in hers as they drank. They talked about many things that they hadn’t had time to talk about during their limited time, lunchtime meetings. Since as far as she was concerned there was very little that was memorable about her own marriage, Jean listened and asked questions about Tom’s, which he answered unreservedly.
“Paulette was an exchange student back in, what, 1985, I suppose. She was 21 and I was 23. I was a post-graduate research student and we met on campus, in the book shop, actually. We reached for the same book and being polite I told her to take it and we got talking; her English was very good even then. Well, one thing led to another and we dated exclusively during the rest of her time in England. She only had another year of her degree still to go, so like a puppy I followed her to France that summer. Her father and mother lived in Grenoble and I was completely smitten by then so I moved there.
“We were married in 1987 and eventually moved to Nivolas-Vermelle, which is a small commune about forty-five kilometres from Lyon, where we lived until 2010, when Paulette passed away. Despite living in France for nearly 25 years I am still a British national so I returned to this area, which is where I grew up. How about you, Jean?”
“Oh, nothing like as romantic as that, I’m afraid! I was born in Barnet and went to Queen Elizabeth Girls School until I was 18, in 1982. I thought about going to university, but instead applied to the civil service, at the then Department of Employment.
“I’d had a few boyfriends in the few years before that, but having gone to an all-girls school it was all a bit new and unfamiliar to me. I met Donald while we were training together and he was good-looking, very mature and self-assured, I thought, and when he asked me out I thought I’d hit the jackpot! My parents loved him, of course, and we were soon engaged and then married. Louise was born two years later. I did love him, then, but the longer we were married, the more he seemed to concentrate on his career, to the exclusion of his family life. He always left the raising of our children to me, but he also left nobody in any doubt that he was the lord and master of his own home! Louise and Tim, and myself to a certain extent, learned to live double lives: one when he was at home, another when he wasn’t.
“The three of us became clock watchers: we knew when Donald was due home and made sure that everything was how he wanted it by the time he came in the front door. Meal times were silent affairs, unless he asked anyone a question. And do you know of any other family who didn’t look forward to family holidays together?”
“And what about Donald’s and your relationship, Jean?” Tom asked her, once again holding both her hands by this time.
“Do you mean sex, Tom? Well, it was largely as you might expect. Donald has never been a demanding lover—I think ‘quiet efficiency’ would be an apt description for everything he does—he just has to be in control in bed, as he is in his job and elsewhere. Granted, he knows enough about sex to at least get me aroused enough for comfortable penetration; but it isn’t what you would call ‘making love’. He is very mechanical and we both have orgasms—or should I say ‘had’; sexual activity stopped some time ago—but at that point it’s over; no post-coital cuddling, just a quick peck on the cheek and then sleep. That’s why the idea of having a real lover got me so excited, Tom; and the way that we kissed earlier has only increased that excitement!”
“Did you come here today expecting that, Jean? It’s not that I don’t want to, but, well, I didn’t know what you expected, so I haven’t—you see, Paulette always took care of that—” Jean laughed.
“—Well, so did I! Donald decided that after Tim was born that he’d get a vasectomy, so that I wouldn’t have to worry any more. If you don’t want to do anything today, I can leave the condoms I bought here with you until you do. But I still hope that there will be lots of kissing and cuddling today—and as far as I’m concerned, the sooner we do make love the better!”
After all her years with Donald, Jean felt truly liberated as she led Tom up the stairs to his bedroom, then, after taking off their shoes they lay on his bed and began to kiss. It wasn’t too long after that that her fingers unbuttoned his shirt and her hand made its way over his chest. “Er, you can join in when you’re ready!” she said, laughingly.
Tom pulled her up into the sitting position and worked her top over her head as she smiled at him and looked into his eyes. He then reached around and unhooked her bra and lifted it off of her shoulders and arms. Jean’s large thumb tip size nipples were already thrusting forward and he kissed each one in turn. Jean sighed deeply: “Mmmm—more of that, please!”
“In a moment! How does this skirt fasten?” Jean stood up and reached for the hook and zipper, and unfastening the garment with a wiggle let it fall to her feet. She then reached for Tom’s belt and after unbuckling it, unfastened his trousers. She had always thought that there was something very little-boy-ish about her husband’s choice of underwear: plain white Y-fronts, the kind which he had worn all the time that she had known him, together with a matching white singlet. Tom was wearing loose boxer shorts made from what looked like silk; she ran her fingers over the soft fabric.
“Paulette chose them. I didn’t consciously wear them because you might be coming round!” Jean almost smirked.
“Oh, don’t apologise, Lover! I like them—I may even try them on later; but for now they have to go,” she said, pushing her hands inside the waistband and stroking his soft skin with her fingertips as she worked them down. She giggled as his already semi-erect penis appeared, surrounded by a mass of brown curly hairs: “Oh, this looks very interesting, too!” Standing up again, she said: “I do believe it’s your turn now!”
There was nothing very special about Jean’s knickers: they were black and made from a cotton material, the leg opening appeared to be cut quite high and the waist band was an inch or so below her navel. He looked at her body closely for the first time: quite slender with rounded hips and a belly that was only slightly protruding; her breasts were full and womanly. Tom tried to remember Paulette’s, and as far as could tell they were about the same, a fairly average C cup, he seemed to recall.
Jean’s hair colour was a light-brown hue, a few shades lighter than his own, and so he expected her pubic hair to be the same; however, as he exposed her lower torso he was surprised to find none; even his otherwise sexually uninhibited late wife had kept a little to cover her sex.
“Do you like it, Tom—I shaved it off last night? I’ve never done it before, although I kept it trimmed. I always hoped that Donald would want to try oral sex, but he never did. I must say that it feels quite naughty, but also quite delightful! I suppose that you and your—oh my good god!”
At that moment Tom had pulled her onto his face and had touched her prominent clitoral hood with his tongue. Recovering from the initial surprise, Jean then laughed joyously as Tom pushed her onto the bed and lifted her long legs over his shoulders. She wasn’t laughing for long, however, as for the first time a man’s probing wet tongue explored her womanhood. Once more her heart-rate increased markedly and her breathing became deeper as she just lay back and enjoyed the new sensation. That changed somewhat when she felt two fingers being pushed slowly into her as Tom continued to stimulate her clitoris with his lips and tongue; and then she gasped and bucked her hips as he found her G-spot and slowly rubbed it.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck! Oh my good god, Tom!” And then he felt her silken vagina contract around his fingers. “Quick, Tom, my bag!”
As quickly as she could she ripped the covering off of the condom box and handed one to Tom. By now he was fully hard, so after taking the rolled sheath from its wrapper he placed it over his enlarged glans and unrolled it. Jean meanwhile had scooted up the bed and was eagerly waiting for him. He lay beside her, however, and smiled: “Why don’t you take control!” It hadn’t even occurred to Jean that she could, but it only took a few moments for her to sit up and then straddle his legs: “I’ve never—”
“—If you’re ready, just line up my cock and feed it into your body; just take your time.”
It was definitely a strange feeling: Tom was maybe a little thicker than Donald, and Jean had rarely been asked to touch her husband’s penis, let alone handle it, but she grasped the shaft and began to work it inside her, moving her pelvis slightly as she did so. After the first few inches of penetration she released her grip and put her hands on Tom’s chest as she sank deeper onto him. “Oh, yes!” she exclaimed as she bottomed out. “Is that good?” he asked. “Too bloody right it is! Thank you so much, Tom!” He smiled: “Well, don’t stop now, it’s just getting good!” Jean laughed then began to roll her hips.
Even though Tom hadn’t slept with anyone for several years, he’d always had good control over his ejaculations and although Jean was going at her own pace, he told her when she needed to pause for a few moments when he got too close to coming. After a while, though, he perhaps read Jean’s bodily movements better than she did, and when he sensed that she was almost there herself he let his body react and they both came within moments of each other. More from concentration than physical exertion, Jean’s sweat-soaked body fell forwards onto Tom’s and he held her close as she slowly came down from her natural high, and as she shivered he managed to pull the bedcovers over them both.
“You’re amazing, Tom,” she crooned as she lay on his chest, “we probably don’t have time to do this again today, but I can’t give you up now! You do still want me, don’t you?” He kissed her tenderly: “More than ever, My Lover!” She snuggled tighter against him: “Me, too, My Darling.”
After showering they dressed and then sat in Tom’s sitting room until it was time for Jean to leave. “Monday in the park?” she asked as she left. He smiled his handsome smile: “Same time, same bench!” They thought it best for him not to walk her to her car, but she couldn’t resist a quick look over her shoulder as she walked away. Back home she checked the landline telephone for messages, but as expected there weren’t any. Donald arrived home just a few minutes after five o’clock.
“Good game, Don?”
“Not bad: our team won. How was your day, Jean?”
“Oh, just the usual! I’ve done liver and bacon for dinner.” He smiled as he went to wash up before eating.
In bed that night Jean lay awake for some time after her husband was asleep, replaying as much as she could remember about the day in her head, but eventually she fell asleep.
On Monday morning when she got up she was disappointed to see that it had been raining during the night and she wondered whether she would get to meet Tom that day. However, there was no more rain and she found herself walking briskly to the little park, a few minutes from her workplace. Tom was already there and they smiled when they saw each other.
“I thought we might get some rain today,” he said as she sat near him on the bench.
“I know! Still, we’ve had a good summer and we can’t expect it to last. God, I’ve missed you; I wish I could just wrap my arms around you and kiss you! Can we meet up again tomorrow when Donald is out; I’ve already been dropping hints about going to the cinema while he’s at his meeting.”
“You know I’ll see you whenever I can, but don’t suddenly start changing your usual schedule; you say your husband is indifferent to you, but don’t assume he’s clueless; he’s obviously an intelligent man.” Jean smiled.
“You’re right, of course! It’s just that I’m like a kid with a new toy!” He grinned.
“Well, have your lunch now and you can play with it again tomorrow!”
Tom opened his text message which read simply: See you outside the cinema at seven. It was six-forty-five, then, so he got out the coffee-making things ready for Jean’s arrival. He had already checked the screening times at the local multi-screen theatre so that Jean would know when to leave his cottage to get home in time. There was a film that she had expressed an interest in that started at 7:30 and ran for 120 minutes; that meant that she should be home by just before ten o’clock. Tom had even looked up the film online and printed out the cast list and a summary, just in case Donald asked questions.
The doorbell rang and Tom let her in. Jean was wearing a light-blue, two-piece leisure suit and Nike training shoes. Once inside Tom was almost wrestled to the ground as Jean launched herself at him; they laughed as he staggered backwards before regaining his balance, then their lips locked in a passionate kiss. As they walked hand-in-hand to the kitchen, Jean unzipped her top, revealing a white T-shirt, beneath which he could see the outline of a black bra. Tom’s years living in France meant that he also dressed casually and he could have been taken for man in his late-thirties as opposed to late-forties. As they waited for the water in the kettle to boil, Jean held him close and ran her hands inside his shirt and over his smooth back. Tom’s hands were likewise cupping her buttocks. “So what can we do in less than three hours, Lover?” she asked him—she soon found out!
And so the next few months passed. The weather was now changeable and so the two of them met in one of several cafés and eating places instead of the park. On more than one occasion Jean entered their chosen meeting place, only to be disappointed when she recognised colleagues who beckoned her over to their table. She would smile bravely and sit down, but her eyes would turn briefly to Tom who would recognise and silently acknowledge her predicament. On one such occasion their tables were almost in touching range of each other and Jean smiled to herself as Tom took out his phone and keyed in a number—which in fact was his home telephone—then speaking loud enough to be heard, he said:
“Hello, Paulette! Yes, I miss you too, Darling! I can’t speak now, but I’ll call you tonight. If you’re out I’ll text you. Yes, love you, too, Sweetheart!” He then stood up and left. The others at Jean’s table were also listening and someone commented:
“Isn’t that sweet! I wish my old man still talked to me like that!” Someone else replied: “That’s assuming he was talking to his wife!” This made everyone laugh, including Jean.
On another occasion, this time an evening, she actually did go to the cinema, where she sat next to a handsome man who held her hand throughout the screening. On the Thursday after their last meeting, when Jean saw Tom she was so excited that she could hardly contain herself:
“Don has to go to London for a three-day seminar next week. He’ll be gone from Wednesday morning until Friday evening.”
“Okay, but don’t get over-confident, Jean; Central London is only thirty minutes away on the train, but hopefully we can spend at least one whole night together.” Even though they were in a public place, Jean reached over and squeezed his hand: “I know, but it’s still exciting, isn’t it!”
Donald played golf on Sunday that week. Jean had by this time been out jogging for thirty minutes or so each morning and sometimes evenings as well, for several weeks. She never wore very revealing clothing; usually a track suit over briefs and a sports bra. She didn’t always take the same route, either, but one of the routes that she did take regularly took her past a certain cottage. She didn’t even stop, but if the occupier saw her, which he often did, they’d exchange friendly waves as she passed by.
On the Wednesday that Donald Metcalfe left for London, Jean went for her morning run, as usual. When she reached the cottage she stopped outside and paused to take a drink of water from the bottle that she carried in a little backpack she wore. Seemingly coincidentally, at that very moment Tom was coming out of the cottage, to put out some refuse for the collection later that day.
“Good morning!” he greeted her, cheerily. She smiled: “And good morning to you!” Then, almost in a whisper, “I’ll see you later, Darling.” He nodded then turned and went inside. Jean replaced her water bottle and carried on with her jog. Donald was having his breakfast when she returned home.
“Have you got everything you need, Don?”
“Yes, I’m ready to go. Do you want me to ring you tonight?”
“I’ll leave it up to you, but if I don’t pick up just leave a message. I’m going up to shower, now. Do you want me to run you to the station afterwards?”
“No, it’s not raining and it will only take ten minutes on foot.”
“All right! If you’re gone when I come down, have a good time.” She kissed his cheek then went upstairs to shower. Stripping off her clothes, she left them on the bedroom floor, ready to put into the washing machine when she went downstairs again. After standing under the refreshing deluge she dressed for work. Setting the washing machine on the appropriate cycle, she started its operation then prepared her own breakfast.
She and Tom had previously agreed not to meet that lunchtime, so Jean took a sandwich, which she ate at work. She undertook her daily tasks in her usual professional manner, but by the time that going home arrived, her stomach had begun to flutter nervously. There was one surprise during the afternoon, though, when her husband uncharacteristically rang her at her desk, telling her that everything was going well, and that because a group of his fellow attendees were dining out that evening, he wouldn’t be ringing her later. As she was working it wasn’t a long conversation, but Jean was grateful that she wouldn’t have to worry about being out if he had called. Just before Jean left for the day she sent a quick text: Just about to leave work. Home and change clothes, then evening run. With that she left her desk to collect her coat.
Although Jean and her husband lived in Potters Bar, they worked in the nearby town of Borehamwood, just over five miles away. However, although geographically close, there was no direct train line between the two towns, so logistically it made sense for them to drive to work each day. Even with peak time traffic, Jean was still home in under twenty minutes. She debated whether or not to shower, but as she was going to jog she decided to wait until she got to Tom’s. So, putting a few extra items into her backpack, she took the morning’s washing out of the machine and spun it, then put it into the tumble-dryer. After the requisite drying time, her track suit was dry so she took it upstairs to the bedroom where she changed out of her work clothes and got ready to run. The last thing that she did was separate the mail into his, hers, and theirs; recognising nothing of great importance in either hers or those jointly addressed to both of them, Jean put her letters into her backpack. She wasn’t really a fan of running in the evening at that time of year when it got dark early, but the streets were well-lit and she was sticking to the main roads so she felt secure. Some nine or ten minutes after leaving home Jean was ringing Tom’s doorbell.
Inside, Jean took off her backpack and produced a white T-shirt. She then unzipped and removed her track suit top, and finally her bra; she then embraced and kissed Tom. “That’s just a taster, Darling!” she said, before pulling the shirt over her head.
Together they prepared their evening meal then settled on the sofa. “Can I ask you a favour, Love?” Jean asked him, “Well, I’m dying to get you into bed, of course, and although Donald said that he wouldn’t ring me, I’ll feel better if I pop home and check for any messages; then I’m all yours for the night!” It was about ten-fifteen when they left Tom’s in his car. He parked about twenty yards from Jean’s house and stayed in the car, with the lights off, while she went home to check. He waited patiently and after not too many minutes he saw her coming out of the house and locking the front door behind her. She smiled as she got back into the car:
“No messages, and if Donald asks I can say that I was in bed and asleep by nine-thirty—well, that’s almost true, isn’t it; although I don’t think that I’ll be going to sleep just yet, do you.”
“Well, no—not if I have anything to do with it!” Jean chuckled.
“Oh, you most certainly do! Quick, let’s get back before you change your mind, then!”
During the weeks since Jean and Tom had first slept together she had started taking oral contraceptives so that they could abandon the use of condoms. Neither of them were likely to have contracted any STD’s, nor were they interested in anal intercourse, so they both revelled in having bareback sex and Jean loved the feeling of Tom’s thick semen inside her after her husband’s sperm-less ejaculations. As well as this, anything that Jean wanted to try that Donald would have baulked at, they did. She loved to look into Tom’s eyes as they made love, but she also liked the deeper penetration he could achieve by mounting her from behind, although she missed the overall bodily closeness. However, if she had to be picky, she would have to say that she also really enjoyed the sense of control from being on top; which Donald had never permitted her to experience before; and then there were the post-orgasmic cuddles, which again was something that her husband hadn’t done since the very early years of their marriage. As they lay entwined in the afterglow of their exertions, it was Tom who first articulated what Jean had also been thinking:
“If I asked you to, would you ever consider leaving Donald, Jean?”
“I’ve thought about that a lot lately, Darling, but it might be awkward living so close, and then there’s my job, of course.”
“Suppose I said that I’d like to go back to France to live. You don’t see that much of your daughter and your son is thousands of miles away. We could probably even take a trip to see him in future and I’m sure that my family will love you as much as I do.”
“Well, it’s sounding better by the minute—but I want to do this so that Donald doesn’t get too hurt; although I’m sure that he will a little anyway. Let’s get some sleep now and we can talk again tomorrow—I do love you, Tom!”
Jean hadn’t brought her work clothes with her, so she had set Tom’s alarm for the time that she would usually get up at home. The first thing that she was aware of as the alarm sounded, was the two arms that held her close and the warm body that was pressed against hers. She reluctantly disentangled herself from her lover’s embrace and sat for a few moments on the side of the bed as her head cleared; an arm snaked around her waist and slowly caressed her soft belly. She chuckled: “As wonderful as that feels, Darling, I have to go home and get ready for work!” The hand on her belly moved down onto her thigh.
“As far as I’m concerned you are home; that other place is just where you live, at the moment.” She softly laughed as she put her own hand on top of the one that was inching its way between her legs: “—And that will have to wait, too, you naughty boy!”
As she was going home to shower and dress for work, she put on her track suit bottoms and her T-shirt; her shoes and the track suit top were still downstairs. It had been decided that she would jog home, rather than risk being seen getting out of a car in the daylight. Tom had followed Jean downstairs: “Do you want me to meet you at lunchtime?” She kissed him lightly on the lips.
“No, Darling—I’m going to use the time to think about my marriage; I’ll see you this evening. You might like to be thinking about the process of moving back to France.”
“Yes, I can do that. I’ll talk to a few property people here and see what the market is like at the moment, then I can go online and see if there is anything over there that looks interesting. I was thinking about the area where I lived before; does that suit you, Jean?” She smiled.