Thanks to Barney R for the editing. As always, I had to mess with it some more. Therefore all mistakes and omissions are all on me.
She left, he discovered a lot.
Authors Note: This story is a return to my angry persona; I find it an easier formula to write. I am not necessarily abandoning my happier, softer stories; it is that my muse must have a case of the ass right now.
My name is Chuck Torrence; I am an electronics engineer. I had some good ideas for some electronic gadgets while I was in the military. When I got out I patented them. I have since sold most of them after a couple of years of licensing them. If money is the scorecard of life, I hit a grand slam.
I was 34 when all of this occurred. I am 5’ 11” tall, dirty blond hair, blue to gray eyes (mood ring eyes, the color changes from blue to gray when my mood changes from relaxed to angry) and I weigh about 165 lbs. I am no Adonis, but I have never had trouble finding a girlfriend, and when I married I got a dream, in the looks department, for my wife.
Some other important things in my life and personality are; my word means something. When I say I am going to do something, I do it. I have a slow fuse, but when I get angry, lookout. I am not violent by nature, but if you hurt me I will destroy you, either physically or emotionally. I am loyal to my family and my friends. And last but germane to this story, I am a one-woman man. I have never dated two women at the same time, even if I was not in an ‘exclusive’ relationship.
If I am in an exclusive relationship I expect my partner to be exclusive. I have a history of broken relationships and a broken engagement to prove it. I have ended relationships because of no ‘spark’, but I made it clear that that was the reason. However, when I find that my ‘lady’ did not understand exclusive, she found out that that is not a good thing.
Because of this relationship issue, I had joined the army after I found my fiancé’s engagement ring on the nightstand when she was going out for a night with the ‘girls’. I never heard from my ex-fiancé after I made the phone call and thanked her for the return of the ring. She realized that she screwed up.
I served my time in the service, and when I was discharged, I went to work as a consultant engineer for a security company.
I met Sally GilMartin at a Friday night company\customer get together when I was 27. I was immediately attracted to her. She is tall; 5’ 10” without high heels has legs that start at the ground, reach heaven, and go back down the other side to the ground. She has flaming red hair, milk skin, and freckles all over her checks. She also has a smile that lights up her face and makes a dark room bright. At the time we met, she was 25 and introduced me to her ‘boyfriend’ at the party.
As we had a live dance band at the party, and Sally was not dancing, I asked her boyfriend if he would allow me to ask to dance. He looked at me like I was some kind of a weirdo and said that it was OK with him.
Sally said sure, and when we were dancing I found out some things about her life and career. She was the only child, (A lie, as I found out later) and she was being groomed by her father to take over the family company when her father was comfortable that she could. The music ended, and as I walked her back to the table I thanked her for the dance.
When I got back to the company table, I noticed something in my sport coat pocket. It was a note, with Sally’s phone number and a request to call her about getting together.
As she had taken the time to identify her boyfriend, I was not pleased. I got up and walked over to the table and put the note between Sally and her escort and said to Sally, “No thanks, cheating is not my style.” Then I turned and walked out of the room and got in my car and went back to my apartment.
I got back to my place and changed into a set of scrubs that I called my grubbies. I had a beer, turned my phone off, and went to bed.
Saturday, after I plugged the phone back in, it started ringing immediately. When I answered it was my boss, Jack DeSoto, and he was pissed. “What happened last night? You danced with Sally, then came back to the table and I lost track of you.”
I explained that Sally had introduced her escort as her boyfriend, and then slipped me a note with her phone number on it and a request to get together with her. I went on to tell him about my personal relationship philosophy.
He came back with; “GilMartin Industries is one of the company’s largest customers, and Mr. GilMartin is pissed off at what you did. We need their business, and Sally will someday run that company. If you do not make an apology to her you will never be promoted in our company, and if we lose them you will be fired.”
Did I mention that I don’t respond well to threats? I came back with a sarcastic; “Fine, I am putting you on notice that I have my resignation on your desk Monday morning. I will toe the company line, and I will do everything in my power to perform in my current position, but I will not apologize for my personal belief system. If you fire me fine, but I will consider the non-compete clause in my contract null and void.”
I continued; “If it will help the company, I will go and explain to Mr. GilMartin what happened and what I believe in. I will not apologize to the lady.”
Jack said, “I do not want to lose you, dammit, you are the best engineer we have ever had. I will call Mr. GilMartin and tell him what you just told me. If he decides he wants to talk to you, I ask that you agree to talk.”
“I will” I replied, “but your threat is not something I will stand for. My resignation will still be on your desk Monday morning.”
With that, I said my goodbyes and called a couple of friends, Frank Gormen and Bob Meadows, that I had made in the service. They had started an alarm and security systems installation company and had asked me to come to work for them. They would not be able to pay me the same salary but could offer a chance to become a part-owner.
I gave them a rundown on what had happened and told them that if the offer was still on the table, I was willing to listen. They wanted to get together and suggested that we meet Monday evening at the country club that Bob’s dad owned. I was also a member.
I came back with, “How about we go to the club’s Sunday brunch.”
I explained that I was not sure I would have a job after Monday, and if I did, I would not discuss employment with them then, because I was on call for emergency repairs, so I had to work evenings all next week. They agreed.
When I got to the club the guys were there, and so were the GilMartins and the guy from the party. At first, I thought that I was going there was going to be trouble, but after we got seated Sally came over and asked if I could go over to their table for a minute.
I reluctantly agreed, and when I arrived, Mr. GilMartin surprised me by saying, “Mr. Torrance, I want to apologize to you. I did not know the full story.”
“If I had known what Sally had done, I would not have talked to your boss yesterday. I want to introduce you to my oldest child David GilMartin Jr.”
The guy from the get together stood up to shake my hand. He had a smirk on his face, so I did not extend mine right away.
Sally then spoke up. “Please Chuck, David was my ‘beard’ last night so I did not get hit on by every ‘Romeo’ that was there. I am sorry for what you thought, but when I finally understood what you thought, you were already gone.” She continued; “I want to have a chance to know you better, especially someone who has the character that you showed that night.”
I stood there for a second, then I said, “I still do not like that you thought I would ‘poach’ someone’s girlfriend or that you lie to me twice, but I will think about what you said. What you did and what my reaction was has caused me major problems at my work. You need to know that while I now know you were sincere, I still am angry that you did not tell me what was going on, instead of sneaking a note into my pocket.”
I continued; “I am going to return to my friends, and if you decide you still want to know more about me. Contact me at work, or better yet, here is my phone number. I may not be working for a while after Monday. I sorry to be abrupt, but I have some friends without an agenda to talk to. I would appreciate it if you would think about the entire weekend before you decide.”
I went back to eat with Frank and Bob. I told them of all of the happenings from the past two days. They thought my boss was over the top with the threats. They also said that the state courts have voided almost all non–competes except for ‘poaching by a direct competitor.
They offered me a chance to buy into their company. I told them that I did not have the money to do that, but I had some gadgets that I was shopping around and if they pan out, I may loan them some capital at a favorable rate.
Then they offered me a job as their service supervisor. The pay would only be about 75% of what I was making now. I said I would give them a decision by the end of the coming week.
Monday was almost as bad as I thought it would be. I had my resignation in my hand when I was called into the boss’s office. I handed him the letter and turned to walk out.
Jack said quietly; “If you continue out that door before we talk, you can just keep going.”
I stopped and turned around and said, “I intend to. You should understand that after the phone call on Saturday morning. I have already been offered a new position and if you want to play hardball, I ain’t playing. The new job offer is from a company that is not direct competition. Because of that I think you would have a hard time enforcing the non-compete clause. Because I have solved your problem with GilMartin Industries, and I like this company, say what you want and I will decide if I will withdraw my resignation. Be aware, any more threats of job action, and I am out the door. As you said, ‘I will keep on going.’”
Jack sat back in his seat. He started to say something, stopped with his mouth open, closed it and started laughing. When he finally stopped laughing he said, “You are one bull-headed asshole, but I don’t like threats either, so I would have said and done almost the same.”
“As for the GilMartin account, I talked to David Sr. yesterday, and he said he wished that all of his contacts had your integrity. He also said that when you went back to your table, David Jr. lit into his sister for using him in her deception. Your job, if you want to stay is safe, but as I was not aware of all of the details, if you leave, I would not even think of enforcing the non-compete. I also want to apologize for making the threats. Like you, I have a temper, and I get my back up and say things I shouldn’t.”
I sat down and listened as Jack told me; “I want you to think about continuing here. You are being promoted to Senior Engineering Trouble Shooter. It will mean a lot less overnight travel, but also mean that you will be overseeing a bunch of ‘bull-headed assholes’. Does that sound like anyone you know?”
I was flabbergasted. I left the office in a daze. When I got to my desk, there was nothing on it except a big note that said, ‘Follow the yellow brick road’ I turned around and saw all of the engineers holding copy paper with yellow bricks on them and arrows pointing. I left and followed to the corner of our department where a mock castle was set up with a desk, and all of the stuff from my area was here. On the desk was a big sign saying HMFIC* Chuck Torrence.
I was totally in awe, and I turned to all of the people. I thank them all for what they had done. Someone in the back shouted, “Look in the top left drawer.”
I did, and there was a toy whip. I started laughing and turned and cracked the whip in the air and screamed “All right slaves, back to the salt mines.”
When the laughter stopped, I went to each desk and said thanks again. I also told them that Friday I was buying a couple of rounds at the ‘Nut House’ a local lounge that we normally stopped at after work when there was no work the next day. I said that everyone could leave their car at work, and I would rent van’s to take us there, and for cabs to take everyone home.
About 3 weeks later, one of my newer hired engineers came and asked if I would go with him to assist on a nagging problem we had with one of the GilMartin plants. I asked for some background, and when he filled me in, I grabbed a software package (in case we had to do a reinstall), and all of the specification sheets.
We left for the drive across town. When we arrived, the security department manager thanked us both for coming. He explained that they had an intermittent security breach signal in their supply room. He added that every time someone checked the room was locked, and nothing seemed to be out of place.
One nice thing about our systems was that we have a recording of all of the security breaches and can see time, duration, where and how the alarms occurred.
I looked over the history of the problems; I noticed that there seemed to be a pattern. All of the breaches were occurring at shift change and through a door that is clearly marked as an emergency exit only. The funny thing was that the problem was occurring in the first and second shift but not on the midnight shift. There was not an every time shift change or specific day problem. It was indeed intermittent, but always at shift change.
I asked to go to look at the door. It was a few minutes until shift change. I looked at the door, the connections and the wiring. Other than noticing a small fraying of some of the wiring, I did not see anything obvious. Shift change came and there was a parking lot on the outside of the door. As the cars left, I noticed that the frayed wires were moving around. All of a sudden, I had a brainstorm. I went up to the door and grabbed the push bar and pulled. The door and frame moved enough to trigger the alarm.
There were surprised looks on the engineer, and the security guys. The plant people saw that the mortar around the door was crumbling. They shook my hand and said that a work order would be produced ASAP.
I told my engineer to replace the damaged wire and when the door was fixed there should not be any more problems. As we were returning to the van to get some wire, I explained to the new man that sometimes, the alarms going off can point out problems that really had only a partial security problem. I told him about some of the problems that I had had in the past. We fixed the wiring, and the plant facilities people were already fixing the door problem.
The next morning, my company phone rang and the receptionist told me I had a call. When I picked up the line the call was on it was Sally GilMartin. She thanked me for solving the problem. I deflected the praise to the quick repairs when the problem was identified. She also said that they figured out that because only maintenance worked the third shift, no one parked in that far lot.
As we were ending the call, Sally asked me if I would accompany her to a charity event coming up in two weeks. I agreed.
That started our relationship. We dated for about six months when Sally asked if we could be exclusive.
I told her I already was, but we needed to sit down so she would understand what my attitudes about relationships. When we were finished with the conversation, Sally said that she felt almost the same, but she did wonder if exclusive meant no ‘business dates’.
I asked what she meant by a ‘business date’. Before she could answer, I said that meetings and dinners with clients were not dates, but one on one entertaining of clients, or co-workers at movies, plays, drinks, or similar activities would not make me happy.
Sally looked confused, and said, “Are you saying I can’t take a male client to a movie as a thank you for their business?”
“Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. Especially if it just one-on-one or you are to accompany a man from the business along with other couples. If the client or customer offers the same thing, that would break the exclusivity also. It is not a good business practice; it is very easy to misinterpret the meeting.
Sally thought for a few moments, nodded and said, “I see where you are coming from. Now that I think about it. It would be very easy to look at it as wrong.”
That clearing of the air, we dated for another six months when at Halloween I asked Sally to marry me. She laughed at my choice of days and said of course. She said that we could set a date for early the next spring. Because of our apparent differences in worth, David Sr. insisted on a prenup. It was very specific. What we have before is ours if we divorce. What we accumulate we would divide equally except in the case of adultery or abuse. Then the injured party gets all of the accumulated worth.
We had a great wedding, a lot of dancing, and when we left, the party was going strong. We honeymooned in Galveston Texas and on the Gulf of Mexico.
I started to earn substantial money from my patents, but I put that money in an investment account and did not do anything with it except take enough out to pay all of the taxes. I was even given an offer for the sale of one of the older inventions for over a million dollars. I sold it.
We found a home in an upscale neighborhood, and when I saw how much Sally loved the house, I wrote a check for the full amount and told her we were putting down roots.
Life was great until I found the note.
I arrived home from a business trip on Friday at about 7:30 PM. The house was very quiet, no TV, no sounds from the kitchen, no greeting from Sally, no noise at all. Strange, she was a TV addict, even when she wasn’t watching it, it was on.
When I went into the master bedroom to change into my ‘grubbies’ that I wore after work, I saw the note on the pillows of the bed.
I know that this is going to be a surprise, but I am leaving you. I have found someone else. I will be finding an attorney in the next week. I will be filing for a no-fault divorce.
I know I am hurting you with this, but I have fallen out of love with you. I still have feelings for you and I am sorry for causing this hurt.
I have not cheated on you, but this man has taken all of my heart. I know that you will find someone in the future.
Please do not try to contact me. I will only talk to you through my lawyer.
I hope you find a true soul mate.
I was stunned, hurt, and angry. I had not seen anything like this coming. I had not noticed any changes in our family life. The only changes that had occurred were when Sally got angry every time I brought up starting a family. When I brought that up there was a month or longer deep freeze, and at times it was so bad that I called David Sr. and David Jr. and they both claimed they had not talked to Sally. They were surprised when I told them that she left me for someone else.
I called Jack and asked for a couple of days off. I explained what was going on in my life and that I needed to find a lawyer. Jack had been through a divorce and said that his lawyer Ralph Masters saved him a ton of time worry and money. He gave me his lawyer’s number and told me to take all the time I need.
I spent Saturday morning trying to understand what I did to cause Sally to act way. I also thought if there might be something that could point to the possibility that she was cheating. I couldn’t think of anything offhand.
There were no late nights, no nights out with the girls, no out of the ordinary business trips. There were not any old boyfriends that she had said were back in her life. In fact, she complained about a guy from work who was flirting with her to the point where she had to fire him for harassment.
Saturday afternoon, I had a thought. Sally for all of her smarts was a computer ‘babe in the woods’. She did not use a laptop and had an email account that I had set up for her. I tried to explain computer security, and internet security, but she just did not get it.
I went to the home office and fired up the computer. I checked the internet history and saw that there was a new email account. When I tried to check it out, I saw that it was password protected. As Sally was not computer smart, I knew she had to have the password stored around the office somewhere. The first places I looked were under the blotter, the bottom of the keyboard, and the sides and bottom of the computer chassis.
Then I did a file search for files that had been accessed in the past several weeks. Bingo, there was a file called password in a hidden folder that was not protected. Sally did not understand attribute settings, so when she set the folder up, she set it up as a hidden folder but did not realize that I could find it by changing the file view settings.
In the password file, I found the password for that account; and for an online bank account that I did not know about. When I checked the online bank account, I saw that Sally had been saving some money that I did not know about from a company that was in competition with GilMartin Ind. There was nearly $5,000,000 dollars in it. I wondered what business Sally had with a competitor. I decided to mess with her mind. After I printed the entire account records out, I changed the password and closed that account down and opened the email account. There was a smoking gun. All of the emails were to a Jerry Marshall and he was from a town about thirty miles away. I remember Sally saying she had to go to a meeting in that town about 8 months before I found the note.
Reading the emails it seems that when she went to the meeting she met an old college flame. The old flame would not take no for an answer.
This Jerry rescued Sally and put the asshole in his place. He was working at the competitor’s company. He was in product design. I saw now where the money came from. This guy was paying Sally to spy on her company for new products and potential products. She had sent several hundred files from her office computer and from our home computer.
Then there were the messages describing the afternoons that she took off to go join him in hotels and motels for sex. She gushed about what a fantastic lover he was. Then she also ran down me to be a stick in the mud who wanted to ruin her figure by having a family. She also sent him nude selfies from her phone that she downloaded and then deleted after she sent them. In one, she had taken a picture of cum running out of her pussy and attached a note saying ‘Look at what you did to me. I love it.’ In another she took a picture of her but showing her asshole big enough to put a 5-cell flashlight in it. That one was captioned ‘Your big dick destroyed my ass; it did fit like you said it would.’ There were pictures from him showing his face, and his erection, and some of his nude body. He also thanked her for helping him in his job. So much for not cheating on our marriage.
Now if I went looking for him, I knew what he looked like. I also had some identifying tattoos and scars to go by.
I printed out all of the emails and separated the ones that were about her stealing secrets from GilMartin and copied them to give to David Sr. I then put all of the emails in an envelope and the copies for David Sr. in another one.
I was now beyond angry, I was pissed. So I went back into her bank account and transferred all but 1 penny for each day we have been married into a new account with my investment bank. I left less than $20.00 in the account.
If the account came up in the divorce, I would give it back, but after seeing what she thought of me I was going to counter sue for adultery.
It was still early in the afternoon, but after all of the shocks, I was exhausted. I made my self a sandwich and went to bed.
I slept for almost 14 hours, and when I woke up, I saw that it was about 7:00 AM. I made myself a big breakfast. Around 9:00 I called David GilMartin Sr. and asked if he could meet me at the club for lunch. I told him it was very important and it concerned his company.