She Was Right, It's Cheaper to Keep Her

by qhml1

Copyright© 2019 by qhml1

Romantic Story: He's a successful businessman with children and a cheating wife. This is how he resolved his issues

Caution: This Romantic Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa   Fiction   Cheating   Black Male   White Male   .

I was listening to an old blues song with the same title, and this popped into my mind. I was also thinking of most of the stories I’d read lately about revenge, and how necessary some people thought it was. I had also been thinking about a creative way for a father to stay close to his children in the event of a divorce. So here it is. No over the top sex, no vicious acts, just a man trying to think himself out of a bad situation.

...

Damn, turns out the Blues Brothers were right. It is cheaper to keep her. I owned my own business and she didn’t work, so alimony was a given. I had two girls that I loved more than my own life, so there was child support, and the pain of never getting to see them. Plus if she really wanted to get nasty, she could take half my business in lieu of alimony. I’d end up having to survive on about thirty per cent of what I made.

I left the lawyer’s office depressed as hell. As usual, Charlene was about three steps ahead of me when I caught her.

“I’ve been doing it for eight months and it hasn’t hurt us. He’s a damn fine lover, not better, not bigger, just different. I don’t think I could choose between you if I had to. But think hard before you do anything. See a lawyer. Your life would be a living hell if we split, I’d make sure of it.”

I looked at her as she sat calmly on the couch, describing my new life. WHO WAS THIS WOMAN? She damn sure wasn’t my wife, the woman I’d been with for fourteen years, the woman I depended on and trusted more than I had more than anyone in my whole life?

“At least I won’t have to sneak around now. You’ll still get the lion’s share of my time and affection, but I won’t neglect Jim either. He has needs just like you do. I’ll work out a schedule...”

That was all I heard before I got up and walked out. She followed me screeching until we were outside, but shut up immediately when she saw Mrs. Roseman, the sweet old lady who lived two doors down. I smiled and nodded as Charlene turned back into the house, hissing “Get your ass in here! Now!” She was watching as I drove away.

I stayed gone two days. The smirk on her face when I returned almost made me turn around. The girls were all over me, and I loved on them until bedtime. They were growing up fast, thirteen and eleven. After I saw the lawyer I decided to bite the bullet, for now.

She brought me a beer after they were asleep. I put it on the table. Damned if I’d ever drink anything she gave me ever again.

“I’m glad you came to your senses. I knew you would. We’ll go on just like before, and no one will know. The only thing that will change is one night each weekend I’ll be on a date, and I’ll be home really late. But I WILL be home, so we don’t worry the girls.” She sat back, the familiar smug look on her face. I knocked that off her face pretty quick with the speech I’d rehearsed.

“Who said I came to my senses? Here’s what’s going to happen. I’ll hang around for the next four years and eight months, until Marissa turns eighteen, then I’m gone. Darcy will be just past sixteen, so she’ll be able to cope, I hope. She might choose to live with me. Either way, I’ll be gone.”

I paused for breath, and started again before she could react.

“Effective now, sloppy seconds are a thing of my past. If you dropped the asshole tomorrow I still wouldn’t share your bed. That’s gone, forever. I make it a habit of not sleeping with sluts, and a woman who fucks other men while married is just that. I’m moving into the spare bedroom and there will be no more discussion on the matter. However, I do not plan to remain celibate. I have my own needs, and while I won’t go looking, at least for awhile, I won’t turn it down if it’s offered to me, unless she’s married. I’ll never do to some poor soul what you’re doing to me.

Also, you better get a job, or have your lover pay for your needs. The girls get anything they want, but anything past living expenses will never again hit our joint checking account.”

I knew that last hit hard. Charlene never saw a sale she didn’t like. Her closets, yes in the plural, have clothes in them she’s never worn.

She had progressively gone paler, but by now she was livid.

“You asshole! Why won’t you get with the program, I still love you and want to share your bed. This is absolutely ridiculous. Things will remain just as they are. This is not an option. Now go get ready for bed. I intend to fuck you until you can’t get it up anymore. Tell me you would ever turn this down!”

She jumped up and dropped her sundress, standing in just thigh highs and five inch heels. I looked her up and down. She was really a beautiful woman, considering her age and that she’d borne two children.

“You know, if this lover thing doesn’t work out for you, you’d be a hit over at Patterson and Main. Might want to consider it when you run short of play money.”

That was the street corner in our small town where men went to get ‘dates’ for the night.

She snatched her dress off the floor, sputtering with rage. “All right” If that’s the way it’s gonna be. Just remember, three months down the road when you come whining around for a pity fuck, I’ll make you lick his cum out of my snatch first, because it will always be full of it.”

She flounced off to the bedroom, making sure she locked the door. I gave her a few minutes and kicked it open. She was on the bed, phone in hand. She dropped the phone in her fright, and I knew who she was talking to and snatched it up. “Hello, dipshit. I got your number now, pretty soon I’ll have your address. Maybe I’ll look you up sometime, and we can discuss what we have in common. Don’t worry about me hurting you, I think having her is punishment enough. Surely you wouldn’t want to have any type of permanent relationship with her, knowing she’d cheat on her lover the first time the opportunity came along.”

He’d hung up, so I put the phone in my pocket. She had recovered from her fight and was about to go off when the girls arrived. They looked at the splintered door casing and asked what happened.

“Oh, you know this door has been sticking lately. I think it’s drawing moisture somehow. I’ll fix it tomorrow. You guys go on back to bed.”

Charlene hadn’t said a word. When they left she started in but I stopped her.

“I’ll be keeping your phone, until tomorrow. And yeah, I’ll be checking your account on the computer. You have a good night.”

She was hissing at me as I left. “Good luck with that! I’ve got my accounts locked up tighter than Fort Knox. You won’t get a thing, asshole.”

I grinned, knowing she had forgotten the keystroke recorder we’d placed on the computer as soon as the kids were old enough to use it.

I locked myself in the den, activated it, and pretty soon the printer was working away. I had to add paper, but I got all her emails, all her searches, and everything she’d purchased in the last year.

She was about as stupid as they come. He talked her into lingerie shots with things I’d never seen on her. Then came the nudes, including a ten minute video where she screwed herself with an enormous dildo. He included a few shots of himself, some nudes, but I hit the jackpot when I saw the video of him jerking off and talking junk about what they were going to do the next time they got together. THAT was definitely hitting the internet at some point in time. At least, she wasn’t lying about size. He looked about the same as me. It saddened me a little, she could have at least traded up.

Better yet, he worked for the county, as permits supervisor. They had met when Charlene went to pick up the permit for my workshop, which was a code word for mancave. Whenever the estrogen in the house got too strong, I retreated to it, shooting pool or watching sports on the fifty inch television. I even had cable hooked up. During football season it really was a mancave, because most of the neighbors came over to watch with me, a fact that the wives loved, for the most part.

She had to go back twice when I added things, which led to flirting, coffees, lunches, and sex. It didn’t look like she fought him too hard, in a few cases she took the lead. I locked all the printouts away, sent the pictures and videos to my personal office computer, and went to bed, sleeping surprisingly well.

I was up, cheerful(at least I appeared so for the girls) and made breakfast while they chattered about school, boys. music, boys, which boy band was cutest overall, and which boy band had the best songs. It all blurred together and I pretty much ignored it. After all, they were too young to seriously do anything, thank God. Marissa, the thirteen year old, was starting to develop, and boys were noticing. We were letting her go out with groups, supervised by one parent or another. Of course, they would pair off, and we let them, as long as they didn’t do anything foolish. We did it with the hope that when they finally did reach the age when they could go on dates, they’d have a little experience to fall back on and not do anything stupid.

Darcy, or Echo as we called her because whatever Marissa said she repeated, was a little too young at eleven to go on these outings, but we made sure there was plenty of supervised opportunities for them to socialize. All this was over and above sports practice, dance lessons, band and drama classes. One car or the other was always on the move.

They were talking about their afternoon activities when I dropped the first bomb. “Sorry girls, I’ve taken on some new responsibilities at work, so Mom is going to be your main chauffeur for awhile. Since she doesn’t work, I’m sure she can be there for you, right honey?”

If looks could kill I would have been a smouldering pile of ash. Instead she told the girls they might have to ride with their friends once in a while.

“Why? What could be so important that you’d leave your kids to bum rides? If you need to do anything, you have all morning, right girls?”

They agreed instantly. “Yeah, Carol’s mother is kind of creepy, and Jenny’s dad stares at us. Please Mom?”

Charlene was stuck, and fumed until they left. It seemed I was right, her little trysts were all in the afternoon. Her lover must have to actually work. She started as soon as they got on the bus.

“If you think...”

“There you go. That’s the difference between you and me. I think, and usually it’s with the big head. All your mental functions lately seem to be centered in your twat. Better start using your head instead, while you still have a chance with your children. One more thing before I leave, I had the house wired for sound and video. Bring the asshole here, and it will be on the internet in an hour, damn the consequences. Have a shitty day, now.”

She was still trying to speak when I went out the door. At lunch I pulled up the videos, watching as she fumed and ranted and tried to find the cameras. Good luck with that, even I didn’t know where they were. The guy who put it in for me suggested that, saying if I knew I may give them away. I got to listen to an interesting phone call, though. Actually several of them. The first was to her lover.

“He’s being a total dick, baby. He’s screwed up our afternoons, and says he’s going to cut off the money. I checked this morning, and he’s cancelled all my cards, and our bank balance is two hundred and eighty dollars, and a two hundred dollar power bill is due today via automatic draft. We may have to go to plan B.”

He seemed uncomfortable with plan B, whatever that was. “UM, before we go that route, let’s give him a few days to cool off. If we leave them now, I’ll be on the hook as bad as hubby, so we don’t gain anything. Keep trying to fuck him baby, it always calms me down. Maybe give up that ass, I know I’ve got it well broken in by now.”

Apparently it wasn’t the response she was looking for. “So much for love, huh? You answer to the problem is let him fuck me in my ass? How the hell am I supposed to do that, say,’Hey, honey, I was thinking. How about you give me a good ass fucking? Bob has trained me pretty well, so don’t worry about hurting me?’ You moron, the minute I bring it up he would know you’d already been there, and things would really go downhill. I’m getting the feeling that your professed undying love to me is bullshit.”

He protested loudly. “I do love you, but let’s be practical. We dump our spouses, everybody will know why. We’ll be broke, you don’t have a job and mine is nothing to brag about. This way, until we pull the trigger, we’re living in nice houses, you’re getting everything you want including me. We need to go slow here. I know he screwed your afternoons up, but we could get together at lunch. It won’t be ideal, but it’ll hold us over.”

“Where would we meet? He’s cut me off, so I can’t pay for a motel room, and I’m not screwing you at your office.”

“Let’s do it at your house. We’ll fuck in your bed, and leave the sheets complete with wet spots on for him to see.”

“Not a good idea. I can’t find anything, but he says he has the house wired, and if we meet here it’ll be on some amateur porn site in less than an hour, and I believe him. No, we’ll just have to stop, and give him a chance to calm down. Fuck your wife for a change, at least you won’t be doing without.”

Things got a little heated after that, and when they ended the call she sat there with a confused look on her face. Maybe the ideal life she envisioned was being smothered by reality. I knew her though, and knew once she made her mind up hell would freeze over before she changed it, she was that stubborn. I got a smile on my face when I checked on her later, she was at the computer, just figuring out I had locked her out.

“MOTHERFUCKER!” She screamed after about fifteen minutes. “ASSHOLE!” She went down the list of swearwords. I was a little impressed, I had no idea she knew so many. I decided to prod her a little and gave her a call. Before she could speak I started talking.

“Hi, honey,” I said, my words literally dripping with sarcasm, “are you having a good day? You can stop messing with the computer, to quote your words, I’ve got it locked up tighter than Fort Knox. Oh, another tidbit for you. Your phone will be shut off by the end of the day. But don’t worry, I ordered you a new one, it should arrive tomorrow. I hope you like it.”

“YOU BAS...” was all she got out before I hung up. I got to hear the rest of it on the surveillance equipment, cutting edge stuff my geek buddy installed while she was off screwing loverboy, just after I’d discovered them.

She actually smiled when I gave her a new, top of the line phone that evening, and I got to hear her rant in real time the next day when she tried to use it. It had a safety feature on it designed for children that worked really well for me. She could only call the kid’s schools, my office, my personal cell, our doctors, her mother, my parents, and 911. Any attempt to call any other number would shut the phone down for thirty seconds, before resetting.

She found that as soon as she tried to call her lover. After the phone reset I called her.

“Hi! I guess by now you’ve figured out the phone won’t work except for preset numbers. Kinda hard, with no phone and computer, to contact your honey. I’d say I was sorry, but unlike you, I don’t make a habit of lying. Now that your days and afternoons are free, I’ve got a suggestion. GET A FUCKING JOB! You’re gonna need it, if you want to shop. I’ll buy the kids anything they need, but you’re on your own. Maybe you’ll finally wear some of those clothes that still have the tags on them.”

Once again, I hung up before she got started good. It was really frosty when I got home. She controlled herself, barely, around the girls. Once she was sure they were asleep, though, we went into the basement, where she screamed and threatened all sorts of vile things until she ran out of steam. I just grinned through it all.

Deciding to change tactics, she got all weepy.

“Please honey, stop being mean to me. I don’t deserve it. Please understand, I didn’t do this deliberately. It just happened. He’s just a fling. I’m sure sooner or later we’ll tire of each other, and I’ll be back to loving just you. It didn’t hurt you until you found out, and it won’t hurt you now. It’s just a few hours a week, the rest of the time I’m yours totally. Come to bed with me tonight, let me prove how much I still love you.”

I think I shocked her when I laughed. “You know, I looked cheating excuses up on the computer. You know one site offers a book called The Cheater’s Guide? It offers all kinds of advice on how to conduct affairs, and one whole section is dedicated to damage control if the spouse finds out. You just used a lot of the excuses. It just happened. It won’t affect us. It’s just a fling, it’ll be over soon. And the offer of hot sex, the ‘fuck him until he forgets it’ option. And the best one yet, threaten to destroy his world unless he goes along.”

I watched as conflicting emotions ran across her face. Before she could speak, I started again.

“Let’s stop for a minute here, Say I go along with your program. What’s in it for me? I get to still pay all the bills, do all the things a married person does, the only difference is that I have to share you. I have to tell you as a businessman, it doesn’t sound like much of a deal for me does it? You get the option of screwing somebody else, and I just plod along and wait for you? Not happening. Since you’ve declared an open marriage, I’ll be looking. There’s this really cute sales rep that comes by once a month, and she’s a pretty big flirt. Good looking too. And the body on her is unbelievable. She’s a gym rat, and runs marathons. She showed me a picture of her in her last race, wearing nothing but glorified panties and a sports bra. Her body is rock solid, she even had a female version of a six pack. I think when she comes in next week I’ll take her to lunch, see if she’s interested. I know she sees my ring, but I’ll just explain we have an open marriage, and you’ve had a lover for almost a year. Who knows? She seems to be a pretty liberal type of gal.”

I knew the shot about the rock hard body hurt her. After two kids and a few years, she was a little rounder and a lot softer than she was when we married. Of course, all she had to do was get off her ass and go to the gym instead of the mall. Yeah, that was gonna happen.

She seemed shocked. “Why? Why would you need anyone else when I’m available? You need to understand, honey. I still love you, and the thought of you with anyone else upsets me.”

I gave it right back to her. “I’ve been available for sixteen years, but that wasn’t enough for you, now was it? You think I jumped for joy when I found out you’d been fucking around on me? There’s a word for guys who let their women fuck other people while staying faithful, just like there’s a name for women who screw around on their husbands. The Slut-Cuck Express has officially been derailed, woman. Might want to think on that. I’m going to bed. For right now, at least one of us has to work.”

She was still sputtering as I walked out.

...

Not a complete moron, I knew I needed a plan, and fast, before she really did start trying to fuck up my life.

I had an old friend, the son of our neighbors, who was a little socially awkward as a child. We were the only guys on the street, so we gravitated together, and actually became friends. He was slightly autistic, the high functioning type, and a bit of a savant with computers and abstract problem solving. If anyone could find a solution to my problems, it would be him.

He’d been designing computer games since he was fourteen, and sold his first at sixteen. Now in his middle thirties, he still lived with his Mom and Dad, in a ten thousand square foot mansion, was worth somewhere north of sixty million, and with the success of his newest game, he was literally rolling in the money.

Oddly, he was married, to another high functioning autistic, that I had introduced him to a few years back at one of the few parties I hosted. She was the daughter of one of my biggest customers, and normally almost a recluse, she insisted her father bring her, after she spent most of the day at a spa, telling him something important was going to happen. While God was a little stingy when it came to her brain, he made it up to her with her body and face. She was drop dead beautiful.

After one look at my friend Harry, she took his hand, and said “June 17?”

He just nodded and continued talking to another guest for a minute, before tapping on a glass to get everyone’s attention. “Ladies and gentleman. it is my distinct pleasure to invite you all to our upcoming wedding. The date is June seventeenth, and will be held at... ?”

He looked over at June, and she smiled, taking his hand. “At Emmanuel Lutheran Church, on Second Street, in Broadville.”

Harry just nodded until someone asked him to introduce his bride and tell them how they met. He flushed a bit as she answered again. “I’m June Allison, and we met right here, in this house, at a party.”

That was the whole story, she just didn’t tell them it was right now, at this party. She told him what kind of ring she wanted, and the next day he handed her a credit card. She took it from there.

They had been together eight years now. Their daughter was seven, and my girls doted on her like she was the little sister they wished they had. It wasn’t unusual for me to get home and see a Lexus SUV in the driveway, the driver waiting patiently in the kitchen, drinking coffee, talking to Charlie. She would brighten up when I came in, grin, and start making sexual innuendoes.

Shanna was a black woman, very attractive, ex-military who had served two tours of combat, and held black belts in three different disciplines. She was on the local law enforcement sponsored pistol team, regularly winning trophies. She actually worked for me at one time.

I considered her brilliant, and very good at her job, but could tell she was bored to tears most of the time. June came by one day to talk to me about some social affair they were having. She’d come unannounced, as was her habit, and I was in a meeting, so Shanna kept her company. By the time I’d gotten out of the meeting, I’d lost an employee.

It was a good match for every one. Shanna moved into the mansion, in what amounted to a small apartment, with a private entrance. For all their wealth, Harry and June didn’t get out much, and Shanna was about to quit, again due to boredom, when some crack head thought it would be a good idea to kidnap some rich guy’s kid for money.

He was successful for about three minutes before Shanna blew his head off as he tried to carry a drugged Star off the property. It got a little sticky, but he was armed, and the surveillance tapes showed him waving the shotgun around while trying to carry the child. They let her go with a warning, and she became the bodyguard/nanny for Star from that day forward.

Charlie would frown while we flirted, all in good fun, of course. And Shanna always gave me a big hug when they left, pressing her huge chest to me while she picked me up off my feet, something that always made the girls giggle.

The girls actually went on vacation with them a couple of times, to exotic places. We were invited along, but Charlene would always have a reason for us to stay home. When the girls came home from some exclusive resort they had been at, I was most impressed with the photos, especially the ones of Aunt Shanna in a thong bikini.

The point is, except for Charlie, our families were closely woven together, and I trusted all of them completely.

...

Harry was surprised, but June wasn’t.

“I saw it coming, she seemed distracted the last few times I’ve been around her, and at our last party I caught her in the garden, sitting really close to another guest. She pulled back when I saw them, and I got the feeling I had just missed seeing her kiss him. She almost ran back inside when she saw me, and stuck to you like glue the rest of the evening. I wanted to say something, but what? She may or may not have been kissing some guy? It wasn’t enough.”

I remembered that night. We tended to separate at these things, enjoying the chance to talk to different people. I’d noticed she was missing, but figured she was in another part of the house, when she suddenly appeared and stayed by my side the rest of the evening.

They had been thinking on my problem, and we had a long talk.

“What exactly do you want, Jack?”

“I want to keep my girls in my life, first and foremost. This is the most important thing to me. Plus, I want her to regret her actions. We’re done. She doesn’t realize it yet, but when she does I fully expect things to get ugly. I don’t want to end up broke and alone when the dust settles.”

Nodding, he asked me how big my house was. They had been there enough to know, but he didn’t ask unless he had an idea.

We had gotten a really good deal on the house. In an older neighborhood with large lots and plenty of mature trees. we got it for about sixty per cent of what it would normally cost, because the owner was elderly and didn’t take care of it. She got enough from the sale to live out her days in a nice retirement community, and I got a forty four hundred square foot two story house with a full basement. We got it when the girls were really young, so it was the only home they had ever known. We spent every spare dime we had for five years restoring it, and now it was worth over twice what we had in it. Charlie loved the place, and I knew she would do her best to keep it after we divorced.

It cleared up a little when he asked about the basement. In all our work on the house, we had left the basement alone, with a vague idea of fixing it up for the girls to entertain their friends in at some later date. By my estimate, the basement was almost eleven hundred square feet.

“Remodel it, Jack. Make a nice apartment out of it, even put in a separate driveway and have it rewired for a separate electrical panel. That way it will be completely autonomous from the rest of the house. Then move in. If you do divorce, you have your own home and full access to your children. How can she object? Your lives would be completely separate, you would never have to see her if you didn’t want to. I can’t see a judge with any sense objecting to the plan, especially when it comes to the children.”

Man! Why didn’t I think of that? Because I’m an average guy, that’s why, not some autistic savants with collective IQ’s in the stratosphere. Shanna offered another option.

“I could kick her ass. I could kick his ass. I could fuck their lives up in ways you couldn’t even fathom that would in no way ever be connected to you.”

Wow, talk about fire in the eye. I got a feeling if I turned her loose it would be very, very ugly. “Let’s consider that a Plan C, Shanna. I wouldn’t mind her feeling a little pain, but she is the mother of my children. We do this first, all right?”

She didn’t like it but she agreed, before going off to check on the children.

“She has a little crush on you, Jack. Be careful, now that you’re about to be single, she’s thinking all sorts of things.”

I looked at June in surprise. I had always liked Shanna, but had no idea she felt that way.

...

It was fairly easy, all told. The house was in my name alone, necessary since I was the only one earning anything when we bought it. I consulted several contractors and architects before I found the plan I liked best.

On the advice of my lawyer, I eased off on Charlie a little, giving her an allowance. Not unlimited access, but enough to go out to lunch with her friends, and do a little shopping. I also took her Mercedes in for some work, installing a GPS and an antitheft system. With it I could remotely shut down the engine from my phone or computer.

I noticed her lunches ran a little long and investigated. She would have lunch with her friends, then slip off to the house of a friend for an hour or two of bedroom time with her lover.

I monitored the GPS the next time she went to lunch, and just as soon as she started towards her love nest I shut the car down. She called me in a panic.

“Jack, the car cut off and won’t start. I’m stuck!”

“Where are you?”

She had to tell me where she was, all the way across town from our home. “What in the world are you doing there?”

“I was going to drop by Beverly’s. We went shopping the other day and I left a bag in her car.”

“Isn’t Beverly at work?”

“Yes, but she left the bag in the garage.”

I enjoyed the moment. “Try the car again, Charlie. I bet it starts right up.”

She did, it did, and she got about five blocks before it stopped again. When she called back, I told her the best thing she could do was try to get back home. She didn’t understand right away, but started for home, amazed that it never cut off. When it happened twice more she got the idea. I recorded her screaming tirade later, including telling Marissa to get the hell out of the room when she tried to calm her down. The look of hurt in our child’s eyes calmed her down, but the damage had been done. Things were pretty cool between them afterwards.

When she asked about the basement I told her it was finally time to fix it up for the girls, they would soon be at the age where they would need space. She interpreted it as me accepting her lifestyle.

Charlie used some of her allowance to buy a burner phone, which I found and had bugged.

...

It seemed there was trouble in paradise. Apparently, they had made plans to leave their spouses and settle down in domestic bliss, in my house, with me footing most of the bills. My behavior had put something of a crimp in their plans.

“Maybe we should call the whole thing off, at least for awhile. He’s not reacting like we hoped, and I’m afraid he’ll do something drastic.”

He scoffed. “He’s a pussy. You got him by his sort hairs because of the kids. You know he won’t do anything to hurt them,”

She sighed. “Maybe not them, but we’re fair game. I’ve seen him at his work, and he can be quite ruthless when he needs to be. He’s made my life very difficult, but he hasn’t done anything drastic yet. You’re a whole different matter. You have a very public job, working for the county. A county official, having an affair with the wife of a prominent local businessman, makes a great news bite. When the paper gets hold of it you’d be out on your ass before the ink dried, and then where would we be? How would you explain it to your wife? Or have you told her yet you’re leaving her for another woman?”

There was a pretty long silence, and her tone had a definite edge to it when she spoke. “I thought not. I’m starting to think you’ve got a bigger pussy than I do. Man up, tell her. Before my husband does. And just because he hasn’t gone after you yet doesn’t mean he won’t. He’ll just analyze every fact he can get his hands on and hit you where he knows it will hurt the most. You better be ready, because it’s coming. Now, I don’t want to see you for at least a month. We both need to think, and I have to repair as much of my relationship as I can with my husband. IF we split up, I want him in as forgiving a mood as possible, and I’m not going to push him for a lot. He’ll be as fair as he can be, especially over the girls. I’m serious, a month, and I’ll call you when I’m ready to talk.”

Well, well. They just handed me a present, a whole month to finalize my plans. I decided to use the time wisely.

The first thing I did was set up a meeting with the Chairman of the County Commission. He and my father went way back, not as friends but as business associates. He just assumed it had something to do with my business and agreed to meet me for dinner. We met at an upscale steakhouse out of town, and I made sure he had a good meal and a few drinks in him before I got down to business.

“I’m thinking about moving my business, Fred. Hanover County has been sniffing around, they have a lot of empty buildings that would fit my needs, and they’re offering some very nice tax incentives.”

Fred immediately frowned. The thought of eighty-nine jobs leaving his county was not a pleasant one, especially since we’d been in the papers a few months back, announcing my expansion, resulting in me needing another thirty or so workers. Wouldn’t look good, especially in an election year.

“Why? Why would you do that? The county has always had a good relationship with you. I don’t know what to say, Jack. With the economy the way it is now I doubt seriously we could grant you any concessions.”

“I’m not after any concessions, Fred. The fact is, to expand, the property I want has to be rezoned, and I think that might be difficult, especially when it comes time for the permits to be issued.”

“Again, why? You know the rezoning notices have gone up, and nobody has raised any objections, so it should be just a rubber stamp procedure when we vote on it. As far as permits, what makes you think you’ll have trouble?”

“Because your Permits and Zoning Manager is fucking my wife, and he knows I know.”

He looked like a punctured balloon. The scandal when it came would be very messy, all the departments in the county would receive at least some fallout. Our local newspaper had an investigative reporter who was so good national papers were after him. He’d be like a bloodhound who smelled fresh blood.

He just looked down at the remains of his steak, before sighing. The meal was sitting a little heavy on him now. “You sure?”

“Video and audio, including a scene where he’s masturbating for the webcam while talking junk to my wife, and you can plainly see he’s in his office. Lewd behavior, on county time and county property.”

“What do you want?”

“Well, his ass on a silver platter would be nice. Aside from that, nothing, at least not right now. I do have some remodeling plans for my home I need approved, if possible, without him knowing it.”

“I’ll look into it. I’m sure there’s a training seminar somewhere the county thinks he needs to attend. Three days be long enough?”

“That would be nice, Fred. I’ll wait until after the elections, but then I’m going to burn him down, you realize that, right? That should give you enough time to find an excuse to get rid of him before I start.”

We parted, knowing our relationship was forever changed. From now on, he would dread it when I asked for a meeting. Another relationship ruined thanks to Charlie.

...

There was indeed a seminar, and I got the contractor to push the paperwork through, in his name. They started the next day. Charlie showed little interest, other things on her mind, I suspect.

To her credit, she did try to renew our relationship. She gave me a long speech about how she had been bored, how the kids had outgrown her, and she felt less appealing as a woman. No excuse for her behavior, she assured me, she just happened to run into a predator at a low point in her life, and that it would never happen again.

“Really? What’s going to happen a few years down the road, when the girls grow up, go to college and make a life for themselves, and you’re here looking at four walls, bored out of your mind? You know, instead of fucking up our marriage, you could have volunteered for some charity, joined a book club, or gotten a real job. That would have given you a purpose, something to channel your energy into, but you chose a fuck buddy instead. How’s that working for you? I won’t touch you, our relationship is on life support, and it’s just a matter of time until it dies. We won’t go out with a bang, more like a whimper. I urge you strongly to consider life post marriage, well, to me anyway, because it will happen.”

She ran crying from the room. For the next few weeks she became a model wife and mother. We went out as a family, even took a long weekend, taking the kids to Disney. I hated it, but the girls and even Charlie seemed to enjoy it. The only time it got ugly was when we went to bed. I’d gotten a room with two queen size beds, making it plain we wouldn’t be sharing.

She tried everything, parading around naked as often as possible, promising me any kind of sex I wanted, nothing was off the table.

It was hard, no pun intended, but I refused, even pushing her out of the bed one night when I woke with her spooned to me. That flipped the switch, and the bitch came back.

...

She was hinting strongly about divorce, when I hit her with legal separation papers. Knowing the confrontation would be ugly, I got the girls out of school a little early and took them to the park. They weren’t babies anymore, and knew something was wrong. They had also guessed it was over another person, they just didn’t know which parent was guilty.

I explained gently that their mother and I were not getting along that great, and I would be moving out. They burst into tears, hugging me and begging me to stay. I cuddled them until they calmed.

“I won’t be going far, my babies. I could never live without you. But I am moving out of the house, and into the new apartment I built in the basement. Technically I’ll still be in the house, but completely autonomous. It’s why I put twin beds in the second bedroom. It’s not as nice as your rooms now, but it will always be there for you. Here’s your keys, I just ask you don’t let your mother get her hands on them.”

They smothered me with kisses, happy I would still be available 24/7, but were still sad over the split. It cheered them a little when I promised them they could go on a shopping spree Saturday, and decorate the room any way they liked.

Since I didn’t know what was coming, I sent the girls into the basement when we got home, telling them to check out their room and see what it needed.

When Charlie met me at the door screaming at the top of her lungs, I knew I made the right decision. She got so loud the neighbors called the cops. On the advice of my lawyer, I never entered the house, even though it was wired for sight and sound. I showed the police officer my copy of the separation papers when she asked what sparked the argument.

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