The Cheater's Gallery, Ep. 01: Wendi

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: General Erotica  |  House: Booksiesilk Classic Group

Featured Review on this writing by Spyguy

A strange woman helps cheated husband get justice against cheating wife.

Cheater's Gallery, Ep. 01: Wendi

by Saddletramp1956

Copyright© 2023 by Saddletramp1956, All rights reserved



February 28, 2020:


It had been a long, trying day. I just buried my second wife, Linda, who had lost her battle with stomach cancer, said goodbye to everyone at the cemetery and came home. I was looking through all of the old stuff I would have to go through when I saw it – the letter that changed my life forever. The calligraphy looked just as fresh as it did that fateful day. I grabbed a beer and headed out to the balcony and thought back over the years.



June 1987:


My name is Joe Neely, and at the time of this story, I was a supervisor for a team of field service engineers – read, technicians. You know, the guys who fix your office equipment when it breaks down. I started working for the company right after I got out of the service in early 1984. I had just finished a four-year stint as a radio operator in the Marine Corps, so I took my two-year electronics degree, my honorable discharge, and headed out for greener pastures.


I got the job right away and found I was really good at it. Not only did I understand the electronics, but I also had the ability to work with the customers and I enjoyed what I did. I didn't make a whole lot of money, but I made enough to pay the bills and get by. I also took night classes and eventually got a four-year degree in Electronics.


The company I worked for had customers all over southern California, and quite a few in more upscale areas like Century City. One of their clients was a law firm that boasted a number of high-profile clients – celebrities, politicians and others who seemed to have more dollars than sense, if you know what I mean.


Wendi Patterson was a junior attorney with a law firm in Century City, and at the time, she also doubled as their purchasing agent. It was her job to be the company's liaison with the vendors, so that meant we saw each other quite often. Our relationship was always professional – she being the client and myself acting as the agent for one of their vendors, but I admit – I often fantasized about having her long legs wrapped around my body.


After I became a supervisor, she expressed concern about a machine they had that kept breaking down. I knew the piece of equipment well, having serviced it myself a number of times. When it worked, it worked great, but as time went on, it seemed to always be down for one thing or another. I thought she was going to cry when she told me her management was not happy with the way she had dealt with the problem.


I knew what she meant – this was a company whose management didn't understand that mechanical devices sometimes break and eventually needed to be replaced. To them, it was her fault the machine was down more often than it was up. I let her vent, listening to her concerns and suggested she upgrade to something new. I even offered to sit with her and the sales rep if that would help. Her face lit up when I suggested that.


You'd do that for me, Joe?” she asked. I nodded my head.


Sure, Wendi,” I said. “I'd be happy to do that for you.” She squealed and planted a kiss on my cheek.


Thank you so much, Joe,” she said, smiling. “I can't tell you how much that means to me.” I smiled back and told her I would speak with a rep that afternoon. Remember, at the time this happened, it was 1987, and not everyone had a cell phone.


After speaking with the rep that day, I called Wendi from the office and made an appointment for us to meet the next day. We got together and discussed several options. She listened to the rep closely, but looked to me for guidance. I liked the machine the rep initially suggested, but after looking at the history and the usage of their current equipment, suggested spending a little bit more to get something that would weather the use a little bit better. She liked that idea as did the rep, since that would mean a little more in commission for him.


The paperwork signed and the purchase order approved, we were on our way. I even supervised the installation and showed her and some of her co-workers how to use some of the new features. When I was finished, Wendi pulled me into her office.


I can't thank you enough for all your help, Joe,” she said. “I came this close to losing my job,” she added, holding two fingers close together. “You saved my hide. There's got to be something I can do to thank you.” Sure, I thought, give me one night between those wonderful legs. But, the professional side of me spoke out instead.


Just doing my job, Wendi,” I said. “You don't have to thank me.”


Yes, I do,” she said, writing something on a piece of paper. She handed it to me when she was finished. “I'll meet you at that address at 6:00 tonight, and it's on me.” I recognized the address – it was a fairly expensive steakhouse that sat next to a night club. I had often thought about going there, but knew it was way too expensive for me.


Wendi, this is...” I began, but she waved me off.


This is the very least I can do,” she said. “Dress casual and bring your appetite. I hope you like to dance, by the way.”


I do,” I said. She smiled.


Good,” she said. “I'll see you there, then.” We had a great time that night and spent at least an hour getting to know each other. Wendi came from a fairly well-off family of lawyers, so she decided to follow in her father's footsteps. At the time, she wasn't seeing anyone exclusively, but, she said, she hoped to change that soon.


I told her about my upbringing in Roswell, New Mexico, and my tour in the Marines.


Were you ever in combat?” she asked.


Other than a quick trip to Beirut, no,” I said. I went there as part of the force that relieved the unit that got bombed back in October 1983. After dinner, we went next door and danced the rest of the night away. I found myself liking this girl – a lot. It helped that I found her very attractive and quite sexy.


So, I took it easy and let things run their course. When the night was over, Wendi gave me a scorching hot tongue kiss. There was a lot of promise in that kiss, but a part of me wanted it to last longer than just one night.


We started dating and ended up in a motel room a couple weeks later, too drunk and horny to make it back to either of our places. We screwed each other's brains out for a couple hours before passing out, naked, on the bed. The next morning, I awoke to find her sucking me off. God, that was so sexy.


About a month later, she took me to her parents' house for Sunday dinner. They lived in a fairly upscale part of town and I felt a bit nervous about meeting them. Wendi assured me they were just like me and I had no reason to be nervous.


They were polite and treated me okay, but I got the impression her father, Don, didn't think too much of me. After all, I was way below Wendi on the social ladder. He made it clear that he always wanted her to marry another lawyer, but he said he would welcome anyone she chose to be with. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but I guess it was better than nothing.


I expressed my concern to Wendi, but she just shrugged it off.


Does it bother you that you make more than me?” I asked. Truth is, she made way more than I did, but she never flaunted it – at least not like most of the people in her social circles.


I wouldn't care if you made minimum wage sweeping floors,” she said. “I'd much rather have a good, decent, honest, hard-working man like you than some rich asshole who thinks he can buy his way through life.” My respect and admiration for her grew tenfold after hearing that.


We continued dating and fell in love. In October 1987, I asked her to marry me and she accepted. Her mother seemed happy for us, I thought, but I didn't quite know what to make of her father's reaction. He ushered me into his home office and handed me a document.


What's this?” I asked.


It's a prenuptial agreement,” he said. “Nothing personal, I just want to protect my daughter's assets. I'm sure you can understand,” he added condescendingly. I looked it over but there was so much legalese it was difficult to understand it all. “Don't worry, just sign it and I'll get it notarized and filed,” he told me. I knew better than to do that so I countered.


My dad once told me never to sign a legal document without having an attorney read through it,” I said. “No offense, but I'd like to have another set of eyes look at this before I sign it.” He shrugged his shoulders.


No problem,” he said. “I'm sure you'll find everything in order.” I found out a couple days later that it wasn't. The attorney I saw, Mark Hempstead, informed me the document was completely one-sided and could be interpreted to mean pretty much whatever a sharp lawyer wanted to make of it. He made several changes to the document and advised me to sign it only in the presence of a notary.


By the way,” he said as an aside, “Is this Wendi Patterson a lawyer? Her father named Don?”


Yes,” I said. “How did you know that?”


Well, my son dated a Wendi Patterson in law school,” he said. “They were quite an item for a while. Didn't work out, obviously. They were going to be married but he left and went back east. I'm not sure what happened. He never told me.”


What's your son's name?” I asked.


Carl,” he told me. I made note of that name and asked Wendi about it the next time I saw her.


Yeah, I knew a Carl Hempstead in college,” she said. “We dated for a while, but it just didn't work out. He ended up going back east so we ended it. Why?” I told her I had met his father and he remembered her name.


Must've made quite an impression for him to remember me after all these years,” she said. I dropped the subject but kept it in my mental filing cabinet just in case.


Don wasn't too happy with the changes to the prenuptial, but he agreed, as did Wendi. Wendi told me men were always after her for her money. I could understand that, but I couldn't help but wonder what Don's agenda was.


A month later, in November, Wendi and I were married in a nice ceremony held in her parents' back yard. Neither of us wanted a large wedding, just family and a few close friends. My parents flew out from Roswell and some of my co-workers joined us. The reception was more like a pool party than anything else, and we all had a good time.


Wendi and I went south to Acapulco for our honeymoon and had lots of fun. The next thirteen months or so were great, or at least I thought so. About a year after we married, Wendi became a junior partner in her firm and started spending more time away from home. In addition to late nights and the occasional weekend spent “working with clients out of town,” she started going out with “the girls” on Friday night to blow off steam and gossip. I didn't care too much for it, but I persevered and did everything I could to support her.


One of the things I didn't like were the annual trips to New York. The conferences she attended usually lasted a week, but last year, she had to stay a few days longer to meet with important clients. At least, that's what she told me. I knew some of her firm's clients were rich, powerful and very famous people who generally got what they demanded, so I sucked it up. I trusted Wendi completely and never thought she'd ever cheat on me, but I still missed her.


Her attitude also seemed to change just a bit in that time. She became a little more aloof, more like her father. She never directly put me down or belittled me, but there were a few barbs about her new social standing. She traded her Toyota in for a shiny new BMW and of course, her wardrobe got an infusion of new clothing, some of which looked more appropriate for a night on the town.


Things also changed a bit in the bedroom. We didn't have sex as often as we did before, but still managed to get together about twice a week on average. The rest of the time, she begged off, saying she was too tired, or had a headache.


By the time her 1990 conference began I was almost glad to see her go, as the atmosphere in the house had become thick with tension. It's not that we were arguing – we weren't. It was all the things that weren't said between us. I guess I should've known that something was going on by the way she acted. She kissed me on the cheek Friday morning before she left for work and promised to call.


Monday, May 14, 1990:


I got home that night, tired from the day's work, grabbed the mail out of our mailbox and headed inside for yet another lonely night consisting of leftovers, beer and television. Wendi had been back east for her annual conference, having left the previous Friday night. She promised to call me every night and so far, she had kept that promise, although I could tell her calls were something of an inconvenience to her.


After I grabbed a bite to eat, I looked through the mail. Bills got put into a pile for Wendi and I to go through – we always did that together. Junk mail addressed to “occupant” or “resident” got tossed in the garbage, as usual. One letter, though, was address to me by name. The letter appeared to be on parchment of some kind and the writing was in a style of calligraphy I had never seen before. I almost threw it out, but something told me I should open it. So I did.


The letter was from someplace called “Rhamnousia Gallery” and it was an invitation. To be more specific, it said I was invited to a “private” and “exclusive” showing of a new piece of artwork they had just acquired. I had never expressed any interest in art before, so I thought it a bit odd that I would be invited to such a showing. The letter said I needed to be there at 11:00 am sharp the very next day, Tuesday.


I made note of the address and looked it up in my Thomas Guide. Anyone who lived in southern California back in those days knows what a Thomas Guide is – basically, it was a very well-indexed map book of the area. Anyone who ever did any traveling there back then had one. I found the address and noted it was only a few blocks from my morning appointment.


That night, Wendi called and we talked for a few minutes. She told me about her conference and all the exciting people she met and I told her about the invitation.


You should go,” she said. “It would do you some good to get exposed to the arts.”


If you insist,” I said.


I insist,” she said. We said our goodbyes and exchanged loving endearments before ending the call. I missed her so much, and I wondered if she really missed me as much as she claimed.


The next day, I wrapped up my service call about 20 minutes before 11:00, so I called in and clocked out for lunch. I made my way to the address for Rhamnousia Gallery and was a bit surprised to find it was a fairly large, Gothic house that looked like it could have been in a movie. I verified the address, parked and made my way to the front door, which opened just as I was about to press the doorbell.


Good day, Mr. Neely,” said the short, trim blonde who opened the door. “You're right on time. I appreciate your punctuality. Please come in.” I followed her inside and looked around. The place seemed deserted, and was filled with what looked like antique chairs and tables with matching lamps. The walls were covered with portraits of unknown men and women in various poses – some sitting, others standing. None of the subjects in the pictures looked happy at all. I wondered what kind of gallery this was.


My name is Dr. Adrestia Rhamnousia,” the blonde said, extending a delicate hand. I took it, wondering where she came from and what kind of name was Adrestia. Being in southern California, I had been exposed to all kinds of different nationalities and ethnicities, so I thought nothing more of it.


You're probably wondering what kind of gallery this is,” she said, almost as if she had read my mind. “Let's just say, there's nothing quite like it anywhere in the world,” she added, with a slight smile. “Please, let's look at your portrait, shall we?” My portrait?


She opened a set of double doors and ushered me into a room that contained only two chairs and a small table, set in front of a covered portrait on an easel. She ushered me to a chair and stood next to the portrait as I sat down. Once in the chair, she smiled and removed the cover.


To say I was shocked after she uncovered the painting would be something of an understatement. The portrait almost looked photographic, but I could clearly see the brush strokes. It was a portrait of Wendi, sitting at a table in what could have been a restaurant or a bar. She was wearing a black dress that showed quite a bit of her cleavage. I could see the swell of her breasts and somehow knew she wasn't wearing a bra.


She appeared to be looking up at someone and I could tell from her expression the person she was looking at was special to her – it was the same expression she had given me many times since we became a couple. Her eyes seemed to sparkle and her face was broken out in that special smile of hers.


I recognized the necklace she wore – it was one I had given her for Valentine's Day that year. But I noticed something else that disturbed me – her wedding and engagement rings seemed to be missing. There was a ring on her right hand – it was a dolphin ring I had seen her wear many times. I don't know where she got it, and never pressed the issue. I looked at Adrestia, confused.


What's going on here?” I asked. “How did you get this?”


We received this over the weekend,” she said. “And I thought you should see it for yourself.” A flag suddenly went up in my mind – how could she have known this was my wife and gotten the invitation to me in the mail so fast? I set that aside for the moment.


But this is a picture of my wife,” I said. “When did she pose for this? Where's her wedding ring and who is she smiling at?”


You are correct,” Adrestia said. “It is a portrait of your wife. It was done late Friday night. The other questions will be answered in due course. That is, if you really want the answers.”


Friday night?” I asked. “But she just got into New York Friday night. I spoke to her on the phone when she got to her room.”


And what time was that?” Adrestia asked.


I guess it was about 3:00 pm,” I said. That would have made it about 6:00 pm Eastern time. Wendi told me she had just gotten to her room after dinner and was going straight to bed. I remembered she sounded exhausted.


Look at the watch on her arm,” Adrestia said. I looked closely and could see the watch she always wore. It was somewhat difficult to make out the time, so Adrestia handed me a magnifying glass. As I looked, I could see the watch showed 9:15. How was this possible, I wondered.


But this could have happened at any time,” I said.


This was done to exact detail at the time it happened,” Adrestia told me. That meant Wendi had gone out after we had spoken. I was in shock at the implications. Had she lied to me? Was she seeing another man? What the hell is going on here?


I'm sure you have many questions right now,” Adrestia said. “Perhaps you should return later tonight, say about 9:30 or so.”


Why?” I asked. “Is there more?” She smiled and sat in the chair next to me.


Perhaps,” she said. “But you'll never know unless you return.” She handed me a key. “Please, feel free to come any time you wish. But I strongly suggest you come back tonight at 9:30.” Confused, I took the key from her and put it in my pocket. Thanking her, I stood up to leave. She escorted me to the door and smiled as I left. “Remember,” she said. “9:30 tonight.”


I drove off in a state of confusion. Why did Adrestia want me back at 9:30 tonight? Is Wendi cheating on me? If so, with whom? And, I wondered, should I mention this to her when she calls? Or should I let this play out to see what is going on?


I managed to make it through the rest of my day – don't ask me how – and got home a little after 5:00. The phone rang as soon as I walked in the door. It was Wendi. I thought about confronting her, but decided otherwise, at least until I had more information.


Hey, sweetie,” she said. “I miss you so much. How was your private showing?”


It was, uh, eye-opening,” I said. “I may go back to see what else they have to offer.”


Good,” she said. “You could use a little culture, you know.”


So how is your trip so far?” I asked, trying to change the subject.


Not too bad,” she said. “Mostly dry lawyer-talk, you know.”


Meet anyone interesting?” I asked.


Oh, one or two people, but nothing like you,” she said.


Got any plans for the evening?” I asked.


Oh, a few of us are going to grab a bite to eat and a couple drinks,” she said. “We might do some dancing, but that's pretty much it. How about you?”


Not much, just going to eat, maybe watch a little TV, but that's all,” I said.


Okay,” she said. “Just so long as you're not out partying.”


Yeah, that's me, one big party animal,” I said, laughing. She laughed with me.


Talk to you tomorrow,” she said. “Love you.”


I love you, too,” I said. We ended the call and I sat there, looking at the phone wondering if she truly meant what she said. I ate, and watched a little television, but my mind was on that painting. There were just too many questions but no answers. I knew it would take me a good 45 minutes or so to get to the gallery, so I kept a close eye on the time and left about 8:35.


I got to the gallery at 9:25 and let myself in. The inside was darker than before and it appeared as though I was the only one there. It felt a bit creepy to me and I looked around, almost expecting to see eyeballs follow me as I moved. I went to the room holding the portrait and opened the door. Adrestia had apparently covered the painting after I left, so I uncovered it and got the shock of my life.


The picture had changed – completely. Wendi was now standing, her back to me, and she was next to another man, who had his arm around her. His right hand rested on her ass, and her left arm was around him. As in the previous picture, her rings were missing. They appeared to be walking away and Wendi was looking back. The look on her face told me everything – it was her, “I'm horny and I want to fuck” expression. I had seen it many times.


I grabbed the magnifying glass that was sitting on the small table and looked at the watch on her arm. The watch read 12:00. If this was in real time, that would have been about 35 minutes ago or so. How was this even possible, I asked myself. I covered the portrait and sat down, putting my head in my hands.


Could this even be real, I asked myself. Was Wendi cheating on me? And if so, why? None of this made any sense to me. I thought back and couldn't recall any indication that she had been unfaithful. In fact, she had made it clear to me that she hated cheaters. Surely, I thought, this had to be some kind of a cruel joke.


After sitting there for about 30 minutes, I decided to take one more look. I had to know who this guy was. I got up and uncovered the painting again and nearly fell back into the chair. The painting had changed yet again.


This time, Wendi was naked and riding the man reverse cowgirl, the way she had done with me so many times. Her eyes were closed and I could see the rapture on her face as she rode the man's cock. I looked and saw him buried in her pussy. The man was laying flat on his back and I could make out his face, but I didn't recognize him. Tears fell down my cheeks as I looked at the painting. How could she, I asked myself. Adrestia's voice cut through my thoughts.


It's always shocking to learn the one you love is cheating on you,” she said quietly. Until that moment, I didn't know that she was even in the building. She walked to the painting and covered it back up before sitting next to me.


How is this possible?” I asked. “Is it real? Please tell me it's not real.”


I'm sorry, Joe,” she said. “But it's very real.” I shook my head.


No,” I said. “It can't be. She'd never do something like that to me.”


Actually, she would,” Adrestia said. “And she is. I'm sorry to say, but it's not the first time.” I looked at her, shocked.


What do you mean?” I asked.


This is actually the fifth time the two of them have gotten together since you were married,” she said.


You know about this?” I asked. She nodded her head.


Yes, I do,” she said.


How?” I asked. She looked down for a moment before answering.


I don't think you're ready to hear my explanation just yet,” she said. “Perhaps after you've had a night to sleep on it, you will.” She uncovered the painting one more time and the portrait had changed yet again. This time, Wendi was flat on her back and the man was between her spread legs, preparing to stuff his large erect cock inside her. I looked close and could see her rings sitting in an otherwise empty ashtray on the nightstand. I broke down, sobbing. Adrestia covered the portrait and came to my side.


I'm so very sorry you had to see that, Joe,” she said, placing her hand on my head. She kissed me on the forehead and I suddenly stopped crying, the initial shock gone. “Tonight, you will sleep and dream of happier times. Come back tomorrow after you get off work and all will be revealed to you.”


I nodded my head and got up, feeling somewhat shaky. She led me to the door and wished me good night. I drove home, feeling a whirlwind of emotion. Part of me was sad, but another part of me wanted to kick some ass – both hers and the asshole she was with.


Strangely enough, I slept quite well that night, my dreams filled with images of Wendi and I in happier times. I got through the next day of work and went straight to the gallery afterward. Adrestia met me at the door and ushered me to her office.


The office I walked into was nothing like the rest of the gallery. There were shelves filled with what looked like ancient books and scrolls. A computer monitor sat on her desk and another large monitor was attached to the wall. She made a cup of tea, handed it to me and sat behind her desk as I took a sip.


I trust you slept well last night,” she said as she opened a large folder.


I did, thank you,” I said.


Are you ready for the answers you seek?” she asked.


I am,” I said. She nodded her head and referred to her folder.


The man you saw your wife with was Carl Hempstead, an old flame from college,” she said. “I believe you've heard that name before.”


I have,” I said.


He is with the same firm as your wife, only he works in their New York office,” Adrestia said. “They've spent the conference together last year, and they've met up here, in Los Angeles, four times in all, the last time about six months ago. He's the man her father originally wanted her to marry.” That made sense to me, given what Don had said back in '87. “They are planning to set you up for divorce,” Adrestia said. “It's their intent to frame you, to make it look as though you cheated on her so she can use the pre-nuptial agreement against you.”


What?” I asked. “I've never cheated on Wendi. I've never even been tempted to.”


I know,” she said. “That's why I reached out to you.”


How do you know all of this?” I asked. She motioned to all the books and scrolls around her.


I know everything about every marriage,” she said. “It's my job to know. I can help you if you want, but you have to ask for my help first. It's a rule I've followed for years. Do you want my help?”


Yes, of course,” I said. “But I still don't understand how you can possibly know all of this. And why now? Why not when it first happened?”


The reason I didn't reach out to you earlier is simple,” she said. “They didn't start talking about framing you until just recently. Her father is also part of the scheme.” I looked at her, shocked.


And you know this for a fact?” I asked.


Absolutely,” she said. “Watch.” As I looked, she fired up the large monitor on the wall. As it came up, I saw what looked like two videos next to each other. One video showed Wendi in her hotel room on the phone. The other video showed Don, who was also on a phone in his home office.


Is everything set up?” Wendi asked.


Yes, it is,” Don told her. “I've got a hooker lined up to meet Joe at that bar he likes to visit every so often. You know the one.” There was a bar I sometimes liked to visit on Fridays after work for a quick beer with some of my techs. It was just a way to blow off some steam after a long week. I usually bought them a beer as a way of thanking them for their work. It was nothing serious and we never stayed very long.


Yes, I do,” Wendi said. “But you know Joe never stays there very long. He typically only has a beer with his techs and then leaves.”


I got that covered,” Don said. “A little additive to his beer and he'll be out for the count. Once he's out, she'll take his pants off and pose for a few pictures and voila, the deed is done. Your prenup kicks in and you'll be a free woman.”


Oh, Daddy,” she cooed. “You're so wicked.” He laughed.


You have no idea,” he said. “I've already got the divorce papers written up and they'll be filed and served the same day you just happen to get pictures of his so-called infidelity. He'll have no defense and no way to prove they're fake.”


What would I do without you, Daddy?” she asked.


Well, you should've listened to me and married Hempstead like I told you,” he said. “Instead, you fell for that goddamned jarhead.”


Joe's a good man, Dad,” she said.


Maybe so,” Don said. “But he's beneath you and you know it. He's a goddamned repairman for Christ's sake. He'll never be good enough to run in the same circles as you and he'll certainly never be able to support you the way you deserve.”


So, when is this going to happen?” she asked.


This Friday,” Don said. “Tonight, you tell your husband you have to stay till Monday. Tell him you have to meet with clients. He'll believe you. Friday, when he goes to the bar to meet his techs, the girl I hired will come on to him. When he's not looking, she'll slip him the drugs and it's a done deal. Then you and Carl spend the weekend at our place in the Hamptons. By the time you get back Monday, we'll have him dead to rights. You confront him with the pictures and we'll have papers served on him that day.”


I hate doing this to him,” she said.


It's got to be done and you know it,” Don said. “The sooner it's done, the better.”


I guess you're right,” she said. “Just don't hurt him.”


Don't worry,” Don said. “You just stick to the script and I'll take care of the rest.”


Okay, Daddy,” she said. “Talk to you soon. Bye.” They both hung up and as I watched, Wendi turned to Carl.


It's going to be done this Friday,” she said.


Good,” Carl said. “Then it'll just be us. I can't wait,” he added, kissing her on the cheek.


I'd better call Joe and let him know I won't be back till Monday,” she said. “He's expecting my call.”


Make it fast,” Don said. “We have reservations, you know.” She nodded and placed another call. I could hear the phone ringing in the background. Then I heard our message machine pick up.


Hi, baby, it's me,” she said. “Sorry I missed you. Some of us are getting ready to go grab something to eat. I just wanted to let you know I'll be meeting with clients this weekend, so I won't be back till Monday. Love you. Bye-bye.” As I watched, she hung up the phone and smiled. The video ended and I sat there, stunned. I looked at Adrestia.


How did you do that?” I asked. “How did you get those cameras set up and just at the right time?”


Trade secret,” she told me.


So what do we do now?” I asked.


Would you like to confront your wife? Tonight?” she asked.


Of course I would,” I said. “But I don't have a plane ticket to New York.”


That won't be a problem,” she said.


So how do I do this?” I asked.


Go home, listen to her message to prove to yourself this is real,” she said. “Then be back here at 9:30. I'll take care of the rest.”


I agreed, and went home. I had to hear that message, if, in fact, there was a message to hear. Sure enough, when I got home, the machine said there was one message, so I let it play, and heard the very same message I had seen her leave earlier. Damn!


I was back at the gallery at 9:30, having showered and changed. Adrestia met me at the door and we walked into the room with her portrait. I looked, and saw Wendi on all fours on the bed, with Carl plugging her from behind. I looked at Adrestia.


Are you ready?” she asked. I nodded my head.


Yes,” I said. She took my hand and looked at me before speaking.


Remember, they won't be able to see or hear you at first,” she said. “I'll let you know when they can.” I nodded my head in understanding. “Get ready,” she added. Soon, the room we had been in was gone and was replaced with a dark hotel room.


After my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I could see Wendi and Carl in the bed. Wendy was now on her back and Carl was pumping into her. I could tell from the way he was jerking that he was ejaculating inside her. Soon, he withdrew and stood at the foot of the bed. Wendi laid there, her legs splayed wide. I could see his cum dripping from her.


Fuck, that was great,” he said.


Yes, it was, wasn't it?” she asked in response.


Better than your husband?” he asked with a smirk.


Of course,” she said with a little laugh. “You always were better than him. You don't even need to ask.”


I need a cigarette after that,” he said, grabbing a robe. “Wanna join me?” Wendi got out of the bed and put on a short silky robe.


Why not?” she asked. When did Wendi start smoking, I asked myself. As I watched, they opened a sliding glass door and stepped out onto a small balcony to light up.


Go ahead,” Adrestia whispered to me after they leaned on the balcony to smoke their cigarettes. “They can see you now.” I nodded my head and stepped forward. Wendi turned around and her eyes opened wide as she saw me step up to the sliding glass door.


Joe,” she exclaimed. “What are you doing here?” Carl turned around and leaned against the railing, a smirk on his face.


Why, Wendi?” I asked. “Wasn't I good enough for you? Didn't I love you enough? Why did you feel it necessary to plot against me with your father and lover-boy here?”


I... I don't know what you're talking about, Joe,” she said.


Bullshit!” I yelled, causing her to lean back against the railing. “I heard you plotting with Daddy Dearest to set me up with a hooker so you could file for divorce.”


Joe, it's not what you think,” she started. I cut her off with a wave of my hand.


I don't want to hear it,” I said. “I've seen and heard enough. I just want to know -- why? Was all that shit you fed me about not caring how much I make just a lie? How many other lies have you told me?”


No, it wasn't,” she said tearfully.


So, tell me, why did you do it?” I asked. She looked down, sheepish. Carl stood up, a smirk still on his face. He was a bit taller than me, but I weighed more than he did, and I had the benefit of training. Plus, I was more than just a little bit pissed off.


Look, jarhead,” he said. “You'll never be up to her standards and you know it. You're just a fucking repairman. You'll never be able to give Wendi what she needs. Now, just go back where you came from and let a real man take care of her.”


You fucking piece of shit,” I said. “I oughtta rip your goddamn head off.” Carl got pissed, which is exactly what I wanted. He came at me with a wild swing, but never connected. I throat-punched him and began pummeling him with my fists. Wendi started screaming at me to stop, but I was too mad.


I kicked him in the groin, hard. Then, as he doubled over, I gave him an upper-cut to the jaw and pushed him away from me. Somehow, he tripped over his own feet and before I knew it, he had gone over the low railing on the balcony. Somewhere along the way, he reached out and grabbed Wendi, who went over with him. I couldn't get to her in time and the last thing I saw was her face, locked in the knowledge that she was about to die. Her eyes were wide and her mouth was open as she fell 20 stories to the concrete below.


Adrestia pulled me back from the edge and the next thing I knew, we were back in her office. I was shaken and shaking. Two people had just died, one of them the woman I loved with all my heart. I hated what she did, but I certainly didn't want any harm to come to her. Adrestia sensed this and held my face in her hands as she chanted something in a language I didn't understand.


You should go home now,” she said, handing me a tea bag. “Drink this when you get home. It will help you relax. The police will probably be at your house in a couple of hours or so, and you need to get yourself together.”


I... I killed them,” I said. She shook her head.


No,” she said. “They killed themselves. It was their own greed and avarice that did them in. Do not blame yourself. Do you understand?” Suddenly, I felt much calmer and nodded my head.


Yeah,” I said. “What about her father?” She smiled.


Let me take care of him,” she said. “Trust me.” She walked with me to the front, but stopped in the viewing room on the way. Adrestia looked at me before uncovering the portrait.


This will be her final entry,” she said, uncovering the picture. When I looked, I saw Wendi's face as she went over the railing. Her eyes were wide and her mouth open in a silent scream. It was clear from her expression that she knew the end was coming. I wondered if she had any regrets. As if sensing my thoughts, Adrestia spoke.


Your wife regretted everything at the end,” Adrestia said. “Unfortunately, those regrets came too late to save her. This will now be her final entry in my gallery.” She took the painting off the easel and put it on the wall between two other portraits. I looked and saw the same fear and regret on the other pictures.


Are all of these...” I began.


They were all cheaters,” Adrestia said. She turned to address me. “You should go now. Remember, Joe, I will always be with you, here,” she said, touching my chest. “Live, love and be happy.”


And Don?” I asked.


As I said, justice will be done,” she said. “I promise.” I drove home, shocked by the evening's events. When I got home, I made a cup of tea using the bag Adrestia gave me and found that it helped calm my nerves. About two hours later, I heard the doorbell ring. Answering it, I found two uniformed police officers and a man in a rumpled suit holding a badge.


Mr. Joe Neely?” the suit asked. I nodded my head. “May we come in, please?” I invited them inside.


Mr. Neely, I'm Detective Smith with the Los Angeles Police Department,” he said. “I'm sorry to inform you, sir, but your wife is dead.”


Dead?” I asked, trying to act surprised. “How? When?”


A couple hours or so ago,” he said. “It appears she fell from her hotel room in New York. The NYPD is still investigating. They're not sure if she was pushed or if she committed suicide. Do you know a Carl Hempstead?”


No, I don't,” I said. “Why?”


He died with her,” Detective Smith said. “It appears they may have been having an affair.” I put on the best act I could. It didn't take much as I was still in shock by her death. “Her body will be returned after the Medical Examiner is finished with the autopsy, Mr. Neely. If you know anything, we would appreciate any assistance you can provide.”


Thank you, Detective,” I said. “All I know is that my wife was in New York for her annual conference and she called earlier to tell me she would be meeting with clients this weekend and would be home Monday.”


I see,” Smith said. “Again, I'm sorry for your loss,” he added. “Good night, sir,” he said before leaving.


Wendi's death got a brief mention on the news, but there was no mention of an affair with Hempstead. Perhaps, I thought, that was due to the firm's influence. Her body was returned to LA and her parents took care of her funeral arrangements. I had very little contact with them during that period, although her friends and co-workers stopped by to offer their condolences.


Because of the damage done to her face and body, the casket was kept closed during the service and a large portrait of her sat next to the coffin. Her mother asked if I would like to offer any last words, but I refused and simply shook my head. Don approached me, but backed away when he saw the look on my face.


After the funeral service, we all headed to the gravesite where her body was to be interred. After her coffin was lowered into the ground, a man in a suit approached Don.


Are you Don Patterson?” the man asked. Don said he was, not hiding his irritation at being disturbed. The man handed him a large manila envelope.


You've been served,” the man said, walking away. Don opened the envelope and looked inside. His face turned white as he saw the divorce papers and a collection of color photographs of him with a much younger woman. Both of them were naked and it seemed like Don was having a grand old time. He looked at his wife, who glared back at him.


Don't bother coming home, asshole,” she whispered.


But, but,” he began. Standing next to him, I couldn't help but see the photos and the paperwork. I snickered and leaned into him.


That looks like what you had planned for me,” I said quietly. He looked at me, shocked. “Guess Karma's a real bitch, isn't she?” I laughed as I walked away.


I decided to go see Adrestia to tell her what happened, but when I got there, the old Gothic house was gone, replaced with a nicely-appointed ranch-style home. I verified the address and knocked on the door. An elderly woman answered.


Um, I'm looking for Rhamnousia Gallery,” I said. “And I'm fairly certain this was the address I was given.” She shook her head.


I'm sorry, son,” she said. “There's nothing by that name here. We've been here for 35 years.” I apologized and left, confused.


As it turned out, Don's troubles were only beginning, and something told me Adrestia was behind it. According to a news report I saw a few days after the funeral, Don's house was raided after police received an anonymous tip. Authorities seized a large cache of photos from his office – photos of underage girls in various compromising positions.


As a result, he was brought up on charges of producing child porn, and in addition to being cleaned out by his wife in a divorce, was sentenced to 35 years in prison. His law license was revoked and he was disbarred for life.


Thanks, Adrestia,” I said to no one in particular. In my mind, I heard her voice quietly say, “You're welcome.”


I also found myself the recipient of a major windfall. Wendi's insurance came through, and I received a one million dollar payout, minus final expenses. I had also inherited a very large sum of money after everything was settled on her estate.


About the same time, I received a call from a friend of mine who lived in Spokane, Washington. He said the company he worked for was looking for a service manager and he thought I would be a good fit. I was looking for an excuse to leave, since I felt there was nothing left for me in southern California, so I headed up north and got hired on the spot.


They gave me a couple weeks to get my affairs in order in California, so I took them up on the offer and put the place up for sale, taking only the few items I wanted to keep. I let Wendi's mother take what she wanted, but the rest was sold off or given to Goodwill.


A few months later, I met Linda at a bar in downtown Spokane. We dated for several months, fell in love and got married. We bought a two-story log house by Twin Lakes and raised two wonderful children who are now out raising their own families. Things were going well for us until August 2019, when she was diagnosed with stomach cancer.


I sat there on the balcony remembering my dear Linda as I looked at that old invitation. Where were you, Adrestia, I wondered.


I'm always with you, Joe,” I heard her say in my mind. “Always. And so is Linda.” I smiled and nodded my head. Somehow, I knew things would be alright.

Submitted: May 15, 2023

© Copyright 2023 Saddletramp1956. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



Solid piece of literature my friend! I too believe that cheaters eventually get what they deserve!

Mon, May 15th, 2023 8:55pm


Thank you!

Mon, May 15th, 2023 1:57pm

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