Sometimes, when everything is quiet, and I don’t have much going on, I’ll crack open a cold beer and sit and stare up at the stars in the night sky. It’s at moments like that when memories come back to tease me. I had not thought about this encounter in years. I think I had tried to compartmentalize it and flag it as “do not remember.” I failed.
As I recollected on the event, I felt a little pang of guilt at some of my involvement in it. It was one of those things that you know you shouldn’t have done and you regret it after the fact. In the grand scheme of things, it was probably not all that big of a deal. I did it. I enjoyed it. But, looking back, I do cringe a little bit.
I was a partner at a boutique web development agency in Austin, Texas. Our firm had been growing by leaps and bounds over our first four years of operation. I was living large and loving it. It seemed that everything we touched turned to gold and I was on the brink of significant wealth. I was married to a beautiful wife, with two incredible kids, a dog, two BMWs, a large house overlooking Lake Travis and a salary in the high six figures.
I was living in a bubble.
It was the annual Christmas and end-of-the-year profit sharing party. Each year, we closed out the books, divided up the profit and rewarded the partners and employees with sizable bonuses. These parties were always epic events, and the rumors were that we had pulled out all the stops that year.
We had rented out a beautiful, lakeside country club and turned it into Las Vegas. We had a well-appointed casino with craps, roulette, blackjack, and Texas hold ‘em tables set up in the ballroom and had hired professional dealers. Everyone was given Monopoly money to play with so that they could live it up without any risk.
It was touted as an event to dress up in suits & tuxedos, fancy gowns, and cocktail dresses. There we numerous bars with no limits and a wide selection of fine spirits. To allow people to drink as much as they wanted, we provided a babysitting service and free rooms at the adjacent hotel. One of Austin’s best fine-dining restaurants catered the food in an extensive buffet.
My wife and I had left our kids to sleep-over at a neighbors house and had booked a suite at the resort-style hotel for the night. She was dressed to kill in a slinky red cocktail dress that was low cut to show off her 38D breasts and slit up the side to reveal her slender, well-toned thighs. She was drinking champagne and was handling it pretty well. I made sure to bring her glasses of water periodically and to make sure that she ate throughout the night.
That is when we saw each other. Being a partner, I had responsibilities to socialize and mingle. Sometimes she accompanied me and other times I needed to be on my own. She was smart enough to know the difference and shrewd enough to handle herself so that I had the freedom to do as I needed. There was a certain amount of hobnobbing required with the other partners, as well as schmoozing of investors. I also had to entertain my direct reports and their spouses as well as their subordinates. It was essential to spend the time to make everyone feel that they were a vital and critical part of our rapidly growing team.
My wife Antonia, or Toni as the people closest to her called her, was the perfect executive’s wife. She was beautiful, intelligent, knew how to carry herself and was independent. Toni could be eye candy attached to my arm at one moment or attending to a bored investor in another. She also did a fantastic job of relating to and spending time with the wives of many of our employees.
This meant that we spent periods of the party away from each other. I kept loose tabs on where Toni was throughout the night and would periodically wander by to check on her, give her a hug or a kiss, maybe a dance here and there and to let her know that she was loved. She likewise never seemed to complain or come across as needy. She gave me the space I needed and reveled in her role as a partner’s wife. We trusted each other fully, and neither of us had ever crossed the line from flirtation into infidelity.
Fairly early in the evening, Toni and I were standing near the entrance, welcoming our employees and their guests as they arrived. I was dressed in a fancy, black, French tuxedo with a purple paisley vest and matching purple bow tie and handkerchief in the chest pocket.
“You need to be very nice to this one,” I whispered to Toni, as a distinguished looking, older gentleman and his much younger wife entered. “That’s Jacob Sanders, of Sanders Pharmaceuticals. He’s a new investor we’re trying to convince to give us about twenty million in new funds.”
Toni nodded slowly, smiling brightly and whispered back, “Just how nice?”
Before I could answer Jacob stepped forward and shook my hand, vigorously, “Well, hello Mark, good to see you. And who is this beautiful flower on your arm?”
Jacob was approaching seventy, from what I could tell. The hair that he had remaining was white, his face tanned and wrinkled. His wife was easily twenty-five years younger than he was. She had long, flowing red hair, was also dressed in a red gown, that hugged her ample curves. She was a larger woman and seemed demure, almost shy next to the boisterous potential investor.
“This is my wife, Antonia,” I replied, gesturing to my wife. She smiled and extended her hand slowly, tilting her head to the side to greet Jacob with a sly grin on her face. Antonia was a beautifully exotic mix of Italian and Korean, with long dark hair, dark eyes and a smoking, alluring look that had been known to melt steel. She was raised and educated in Europe and spoke perfect English, with a hint of an unknown accent that only made her seem mysterious.
“It’s my pleasure to meet you, Mr. Sanders,” she greeted him, using her most sultry of voices, “Mark has told me so much about you.” It was a lie, as I had never once mentioned him to her, but she knew how to feed into his overinflated ego. He ate it up.
He took her hand and kissed it, “Enchanted, my dear, simply enchanted. Please, call me Jake.”
He didn’t introduce his wife, and she did not attempt to introduce herself. I felt sorry for her, so I smiled and extended my hand. “You must be Mrs. Sanders,” I said, not knowing her first name, “I am Mark Miller, and this is my wife, Antonia. Welcome to our Christmas party.”
She took my hand and shook it briefly. She didn’t smile. “I’m Linda,” was all she said.
“Please help yourselves to something to drink. We have an amazing buffet prepared as well. There’s a nightclub set up in one of the ballrooms and a full casino in the other.”
I couldn’t tell if she was even listening to me. I turned back to Jacob, and he was busily chatting very quietly with my wife. “Oh, and Jacob, we have a Torcedores from Cuba who is hand rolling cigars for us.”
“Excellent,” he replied. “I was asking your lovely wife if she might join me for drinks in the casino. You don’t mind if I drag her away for a while do you?” I noticed that he did not say “we” or include his wife in the statement.
I looked at Toni. She was smiling brightly and looking completely elegant. “Of course not,” I answered him, “I’m sure she would love the company.” I kissed her on the cheek, and she immediately began speaking to the Sanders and telling them more about the amenities the party offered as she led them to the casino room.
She was the perfect executive’s wife, indeed. I was fortunate.
I greeted several more attendees, all employees. A few minutes later, I saw Danny Martinez entering. He had on a simple dark suit and looked extremely uncomfortable in it. Danny was a recent addition to the team. He was a developer on one of my new project teams, helping us to develop a new marketing application. I had never seen him in anything other than jeans and a t-shirt. He had interned with us as he completed his graduate degree. He was hungry for advancement. I liked that in employees.
He was helping the woman take off her fake-fur coat. When the couple stepped forward, I was speechless and stood to stare in complete and utter dismay. Next to Danny was one of the most stunningly beautiful women I had ever seen in my life. She had long blonde hair, blue eyes and pale skin, like soft porcelain. She was taller than Danny at around five-foot-nine-inches tall, with a slender frame and perfect, perky breasts that had to have been in the neighborhood of 36 C’s. She had the looks of a Hollywood actress, the body of a dancer and the smile of an angel.
“Ahem,” Danny said, pretending to clear his throat. I realized, with a slight blush, that I had been staring at his wife without speaking, my eyes moving slowly up and down her body.
“Oh, Danny,” I said, trying to recover, “uh, welcome. Who is this?”
“Oh, this is my wife, Debbie. Debbie, this is Mr. Miller, he’s the guy who hired me.” Danny never spoke much at work, and he was showing the same reluctance now. It seemed to be a bit of social awkwardness or perhaps a lack of self-confidence. I had asked Danny earlier in the day if he was bringing his wife. He had not seemed very enthusiastic about it. I have to admit; I had assumed his wife was not very attractive.
I was dead wrong.
I regained my composure and introduced myself. I took extra time to explain where things were and decided to escort them to the dining room to get drinks and show them the buffet. Many people were claiming seats at the large round tables as a sort of “home base” for the evening. I got a beer for Danny, a glass of Pinot Grigio for Debbie, and an Old Fashioned for myself.
I tried to make small talk, but it was more than awkward. Debbie didn’t speak much and Danny even less. I asked if they had kids. They didn’t. I queried how long they had been married. Three months. I asked if she would ever consider an affair with an older man. I didn’t, but I certainly thought about it. Fortunately, several of the other members of Danny’s team walked over, and I reluctantly excused myself. I smiled at Debbie, taking in her look one more time. She had on a sexy little one-piece dress of blue silkiness. I could see the hint of her thong when she turned. Her nipples were erect and caused the diaphanous material to poke out just enough to get your attention.
She had mine.
I drifted back out to the lobby, then made my way to the casino room. I immediately found Toni from across the room. She had a way to stand out in a crowd. It was as if the light in the room somehow concentrated and coalesced around her. She was holding on to Jacob’s arm as he played craps. His wife Linda was on the other side of him, sipping a cocktail. Toni glanced up, and she smiled to let me know she was alright.
I wandered around the room, smiling and greeting people, shaking hands, giving fake cheek-kisses and patting people on the back with a lot of “Merry Christmas” and “Congratulations on a great year” comments thrown in. I made my way to the nearest bar and ordered another Old Fashioned, then smiled when a felt a hand slide around my side and a pair of large breasts press into my back.
“Your new investor is a handful,” whispered Tony, her mouth next to my ear. I turned, putting my arm around her and kissing her on the cheek, close to her ear.
“Nothing you can’t handle?” I asked. She put a hand lightly on my chest and pushed me back playfully, then took my cocktail and sipped it.
“No, men like him are too predictable,” she looked up at me seductively, “You’ll owe me big time.”
I grinned, “Well, I’m looking forward to paying my debt tonight when we get to the suite.”
She chuckled, then held the glass up for me to sip, tasting her lipstick as I did. “You know how much I love that, but for this, I need something more sparkly. I saw a precious little bracelet at Tiffany’s yesterday.”
“Oh really?” I said, pretending to be surprised, “Well, you make sure we get his twenty million, and I’ll get you anything you want from Tiffany’s.”
Her eyes lit up with a bright little sparkle. “Oh, is that a challenge?”
I sipped my cocktail, then ordered another and a flute of champagne for Toni. “I know you can handle yourself,” I said, kissing her again. “And how much you love a good challenge.”
She kissed my neck again, then whispered, “And, yes, I am going to make you pay, hard, tonight.” She giggled, pulled away and left me standing there with a raging boner and much to anticipate.
I waited for the erection to die down enough for me to walk around without a tent in my pants, then resumed my mingling. I met one of our silent partners, an angel investor, and his wife at the entrance and showed them around. We ended up standing at one of the Blackjack tables. After a few minutes, they excused themselves and left me there holding on an eighteen. The dealer went over, and I won a small stack of chips.
“Nice win,” came a soft, feminine voice from my right. I turned and felt a stab in my heart. Debbie Martinez was smiling up at me. Her husband was next to her, getting chips for them.
“Oh, hey,” I said, “You play blackjack?”
“I was a dealer for a while at the Choctaw Casino,” she admitted. “I only did it for a couple of months.”
“Oh, well I may need your tips on how to win,” I said with a slight laugh, trying to be charming.
“The best way to win is not to play,” she said as she leaned closer to me. My brain was trying to decide if there was any double entendre or hidden meaning in her comment. I opted to assume there wasn’t, but my cock was stirring at the possibility that she had been flirting.
We played for about fifteen minutes. With Debbie’s advice, I had won a sizable pot of chips. I felt someone nudge me on my left side. Jacob spoke softly, “Damn, Mark, you’re holding out on me. Who’s the blonde?” I glanced his way, looking for my wife. She wasn’t there. He was by himself.
I smiled, then stepped back a bit. “Oh, hey Danny, Debbie, this is Mr. Jacob Sanders, one of our guests tonight. Jacob this is Danny Martinez and his lovely new bride, of three months, Debbie.”
Debbie slowly turned her head, a smile on her lips, to face Jacob. As her eyes took his face, I saw the glint of recognition in her eyes, the smile dropped, and a look of fear crept in for a brief second. Jacob’s head snapped back as if a horsefly had landed on his forehead.
“Debbie you say?” he said staring at her.
“Yes, my name is Debbie,” she said, sounding very nervous. I was smart enough to see the signs, but I don’t think you needed to be sharp to figure this mystery out. They knew each other.
“Is that right?” Jacob said. He put a hand on my shoulder and kind of nudged me, then added to me, “Let a man in here.” He pushed me back, out of the way and slid into my place at the table.
I didn’t protest or say anything, but moved over to the place he had just vacated, watching their interaction. I also observed Danny for any sign of his reaction. He was leaning against the table, placing bets, either intentionally or inadvertently ignoring his wife and Jacob. Jacob had never even acknowledged Danny’s existence but turned sideways, one arm leaning on the table, facing Debbie. His other hand was on her lower back.
I decided to go and find Toni, so I quietly exited the table and wandered the party. I saw her a few minutes later coming out of the ladies room with Linda Sanders. They were both smiling and laughing. Linda looked radiant, which was such a complete transformation from her earlier appearance. Toni stopped to talk and kissed Linda on the cheek. “Why don’t you go grab us a table and get some food. I’ll come to join you in a minute.”
Linda grinned and walked away.
“Wow,” I said to Toni, taking her hand, “what the hell happened to her? She looks way different.”
“It’s amazing what two women can get up to in the ladies room,” Toni replied, with a naughty gleam in her eye and a smirk on her lips.
I felt my cock stirring to life again. “Did you,” I started, stammering badly, “did you and her? Y-you know, did you, uh?”
“Did I go down on her in the ladies room?” Toni whispered in my ear. I nodded.
“No, silly man,” she roared, patting me on the nose. “We just talked. She bared her soul to me, and we became friends. I cheered her up.”
“Just talking?” I asked, feeling a little disappointed.
“Of course!” Toni laughed, “You know I’d never do anything more than that.” She winked at me and my cock twitched.
“Seems you wouldn’t mind if I did, though,” she said as her hand squeezed my erection. “You’re so fucking sexy, baby. I can’t wait until we get out of here. I’m so turned on. You may have to find a closet or a back room and drag me in there.”
“Damn, Toni,” I muttered, “Looks like the Sanders got you all hot and bothered.”
She raised her lips to mine and kissed me, and I could swear I got a faint hint of pussy as her tongue slid in my mouth. “Challenges get me hot and bothered,” she whispered as she pulled away slowly. “I better go find Linda. You know what they say, Happy Wife, Happy Life.”
I grinned as I watched her saunter down the hallway. Yes, she was perfect.
I spent the next hour or so mingling and socializing with people. I had a couple more cocktails and was feeling very warm and relaxed, but not drunk. I decided I should eat something to keep it that way. I headed to the dining room. I didn’t see any sign of Toni or Linda. I made a plate of various items and ate it as I spoke to our VP of Marketing and his frumpy, hausfrau of a wife. I finished the food, and another cocktail then walked through the lounge area and into the casino.
“Woo! I won!” shouted a drunk Linda from the craps table. Toni was next to her, laughing and cheering her on. I looked for Jacob, but he was nowhere to be seen. I saw Danny still at the blackjack table, but his lovely wife was missing. I walked over and patted him on the back.
“Hey, Danny,” I said as I sat down. “How’s it going?”
He looked my way, and I could see he was pretty hammered. “I’m ok,” he replied. I noticed he had a lot of chips.
“You win all that? That’s pretty good,” I said with a warm smile.
“Naah, that dude and Debbie gave me their chips when they left,” he said, head resting on his hand as he tossed more chips in front of his cards.
“Left?” I said, feeling very curious.
“Yeah,” he replied, “went to get food or something.”
“When was that?” I asked, glancing about the room.
“I don’t know, maybe twenty minutes ago,” he answered. He didn’t seem overly concerned or all that interested, to be honest.