To Have and Have Not

To Have and Have Not To Have and Have Not

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

Summary

This is about people’s perceptions and how they shape their responses. In my experience people make emotional choices, not smart ones. That is particularly true when we see things that upset us. That’s what I am playing with here. This also lets me tell the story of the last of the Wilson girls – who have been featured in two other stories… Thank you for reading me - DT

Summary

This is about people’s perceptions and how they shape their responses. In my experience people make emotional choices, not smart ones. That is particularly true when we see things that upset us. That’s what I am playing with here. This also lets me tell the story of the last of the Wilson girls – who have been featured in two other stories… Thank you for reading me - DT

Content

Submitted: April 16, 2016

A A A | A A A

Content

Submitted: April 16, 2016

A A A

A A A


To Have and Have Not

I do a lot of public speaking. It’s the price you pay to sell books. No, I’m not Papa Hemingway. I write professional books. And you don’t do that for enjoyment purposes. Writing for practitioners is more like the Bataan Death March without the fun.

But, in order to get my name out I have to hustle. So, I have a symbiotic relationship with the big Houses. Practitioners have to keep up. So they buy books. But, that market is huge. So, my publishers truck me into a conference in East Buttfuck Nebraska and I do my thing. Its free publicity for both of us It’s like leveraging your prostitution career by being a stripper. You show the audience enough to get them interested. But if they want to unwrap the goods they have to buy the whole package. 

I was painfully shy when I was a kid. The idea of talking to a room full of total strangers filled me with horror. But I grew up to be an academic. And you get over it, after years of standing up in front of students. That’s a special situation though. They HAVE to listen. I hold the whip.

The group tonight was another matter entirely. Each and every one was a gimlet-eyed C-Level. You have to be on your game with those guys. Otherwise, they will communicate their displeasure in creative and ego-shattering ways.

I know my stuff. You don’t publish six books top selling books without knowing your stuff. But when you are up there on stage you are entertaining, not informing. I learned that the first time I was on stage. I did two hours of serious discussion. The reviews were less than kind. The best they said was that I was boring. That hurt. So like the Burlesque queen in Gypsy, “I got myself a gimmick.”

Rational discourse doesn’t hold a candle to a guy in a mirrored suit telling you that they are going to hell. So the next time I unloaded a steaming pile of demagogic shit that would have made Chicken Little seem like a starry eyed optimist. The audience loved it!!!

And from that day on, I did a fire and brimstone shtick for the assembled multitude. It was full of allusions to digital Pearl Harbors and post-apocalyptic societies. I honestly felt like it was way over-the-top simplistic. Even if most of what I was telling them would probably happen. And of course the group ate it up. Apparently you CAN fool all of the people some of the time.

There are two kinds of players in the public speaking game. One is an attention junkie. They are on stage when they do their talk. And they are even more “ON STAGE” afterwards. They hang around the event and grip and grin with all their adoring fans. They can’t get enough public adulation.

The other kind are like me. I am not the guy up there on stage. I never have been. It’s an act. The guy up there radiates jaunty confidence and communal fellow-feeling.  He’s Davey Tyler, good-old-boy. The fellow you want to have a beer with. He connects with people from the front row to 50 rows back. Everybody knows he’s their pal.

The private Davey Tyler is not a fan of the human race. So, as soon as the applause dies down THAT guy reasserts his rights. And heads for the nearest alcohol dispensary. As usual, Bernie was waiting for me with a fresh beer. Bernie is my Development Editor. He’s the guy who ACTUALLY PAID ATTENTION during English class.

Most subject-matter-experts, particularly in the technical fields, can’t spell “grammar” let alone apply it. I’m a nerd, not a literarian. So, the big Houses pair me with a DE. That’s the normal situation in the book trade. The responsibility of the DE is to turn whatever incoherent shit I give them into a product that is not too publically embarrassing.

You interact in virtual space with your DE. The DE for my first two books was a woman. I never met her. For all I knew she was a 300-pound behemoth, or hotter than Scarlett Johansson. In fact, she might have actually been a guy literary catfishing me. All I knew was that she could catch mistakes that no human ought to be able to spot. And she turned my boring stuff into really influential contributions to the field.

Bernie took over for my third book. He had the same amazing skill and also a sense of humor. Producing a 500-page professional tome is roughly equivalent to a woman birthing a rhinoceros. It is exceptional agony over a prolonged period.  And you need a sense of humor unless you want to go totally nuts. Bernie eased the birth pains with the driest Jewish wit ever. 

And since that time, his services have been rolled into every contract that I sign. I finally met him at a book party. He knew who I was because I was one of the speakers. But I didn’t know HIM. All I saw was a brown bear in a wrinkled suit and sweat stains descending on me. The guy was massive. And Bernie is as enthusiastic as he is large.

He approached me with a huge grin on his face. I did the man-hug backslapping thing with him, while looking around at the rest of the people trying to get somebody to tell me who the fuck he was. Now he shows up at most of my gigs. Especially ones in nice cities like San Francisco. 

We were at the Fairmont this time. The bar area off the lobby is one of those big open expanses where it feels like you are terribly de rigueur if you are not sipping martinis. Bernie drinks beer directly from the bottle so he stood out. He also stood out because he is close to 350 pounds, and wears bright aloha shirts that don’t quite cover up his hairy chest.

But he mostly stands out because he absolutely radiates not giving a shit what other people think, which is pretty-much my OWN attitude. He was sitting with two guys. Those dudes were wearing suits that cost more than my car.

A woman was also sitting with them. She was absolutely stunning in a Xena Warrior Princess way.

Her facial features were absolutely perfect but the effect was aesthetic rather than sensual. She was Athena, not Aphrodite. She was tall for a woman, with a body that could only be described as aggressive, muscular and lithe. But it had substance to it, like she could kick your ass without breaking a sweat. She was almost mannish in her general attitude too. She came off powerful and controlled, not girly in the least. And she radiated a man’s sexuality, forceful and omnivorous.

You got the impression she would happily kill you in bed and then feed your carcass to her cubs. Her main attributes though were two of the biggest jugs ever mounted on the species. Even though she was a substantial woman those things were disproportionately large. They must have weighed fifteen pounds each. They made me want to grab a tit in each hand, stick my head in between and go “Brrrrrrrrrrr.”

Of course serious suffocation would ensue, but what a way to die!!!  I couldn’t take my eyes off her. You didn’t need to tell me what Bernie was up to. Bernie looks out for me like a brother. He had gathered a set of movers and shakers. And he expected me to dazzle them with my footwork. We run that little bait and switch game at all of my shows. And it frequently leads to consulting engagements and other kinds of stipends that fatten both of our coffers.

It had been a long day, featuring a cross country flight. And I was thinking to myself, “Shit Bernie! I don’t need this!” But a buck is still a buck and Bernie is my best pal. So once more unto the breach. I donned good old affable Davey Tyler and ambled over to the table with my legendary lopsided grin.

I said, “Howdy pardner” to Bernie

I stuck out my hand to the first guy. I said, “Davey”. He said, “Brad.”

Same with the next guy, “Davey”, “Doug.”

I turned to the woman and offered my hand, “Davey.” She took my hand like a guy would. It was definitely NOT genteel. And THEN she proceeded to crush it. She was ONE seriously strong woman. She said “Marigold, but everybody calls me Mary. My parents foisted their bizarre sense of humor off on their children.”

They all looked me over. I am nowhere near as impressive up close, as I am walking around on the stage. The lighting and elevation change the perspective. Their disappointment in my lack of awesomeness showed. I looked THEM over.  

Mary was stunning in a tucked in preppie princess kind of way. Plain black skirt, patent leather heels and very expensive looking silk blouse with some kind of industrial strength thing-a-ma-jig underneath, hoisting her girls to epic proportions.  Her auburn hair, was very thick and cut into a hip quasi-Cleopatra hairdo. The bangs made her huge yellow cat eyes look absolutely feral.

She had a $20,000 Rolex Yachtmaster on her wrist and enough gold to stock a pagan temple. But everything was displayed in a tastefully discreet manner.

The term “slick lounge lizard” came to mind when I looked at Doug. I wasn’t sure whether he walked or skittered. He was clearly NOT the brains of the operation. But he was probably the money. His companion Brad was radiating human attack dog. You know THAT type. Got popular in college playing middle linebacker and that’s his approach to everything in life now; including his wife, kids, colleagues, and whatever friends he can scare up.

In fact, he was so much the alpha-male I expected him to lift one leg when he peed. Mary had obviously just come to socialize. She was a senior Partner with Deloitte in Chicago and since I have done some consulting with them I directed most of my initial conversation toward her. She kept cutting me looks like, “Can you believe these two?”

The two guys were totally oblivious to HER presence. Mary being a “broad” and all. Bernie said, “Doug and Brad were impressed by what you had to say and they wanted to talk some more about it.”

I KNEW what those two wanted. THEY wanted to shove their snouts into the Federal trough up to their eyeballs. I had been talking about a national security issue. It has the Feds freaked-out. And when a bureaucrat gets antsy he throws your tax money at the problem. My ideas were mostly theoretical. But Doug and Brad wanted to hear all about them.  

They ALSO clearly thought that we were ripe for the plucking, because I was an academic and Bernie was a book guy. I have had to deal with that loathsome species of varmint my whole career. And I learned long ago that life is way too short to spend your time getting blatantly ripped off.

I was having fun messing with them, keeping the conversation at a level where they couldn’t QUITE get anything useful. That was until I discovered that they were ALSO the kind of insufferable pussy-hounds that I avoid like the Black Death.

The problem with that sort of simple minded critter is that they just assume that every guy is as horny as they are. So they have this wink-wink attitude among just us boys in the treehouse. Neither of them understood that women were actually living breathing creatures with her own hopes, dreams, aspirations and personal sense of values. And the concept that a woman might actually have thoughts other than, “Fuck me baby “just never crosses their mind.

All women were prey to them, just a piece of meat with a few conveniently warm orifices. I know a surprising number of guys who have that attitude. Including one in particular. But more about him later. It was beyond me how a dude could grow up with mothers and sisters and still think that every woman they meet is only there to get fucked. But they are what they are.

These two were classic examples of the breed. And they were self-centered to a degree that would have been close to delusional. IF it weren’t for the fact that the women they considered fair game were obviously THAT stupid. There are always loads of unattached females at big conferences. And those two seemed to view every one of them with the same attitude that the Indians took to the Happy Hunting Ground.

The operative word here is “unattached”. Those women might be happily married in real-life but there is nothing like a conference to make everybody forget that kind of thing. Conferences create a sense of unreality. You fly in and all of the encumbrances of your day-to-day life are left at the gate. The mental separation and the unreal world of airline travel make it easy to buy into the idea that you have stepped out of your life and into Never-Never Land.

And like one of the Lost Boys, you regress to an age when you don’t have commitments, obligations, or responsibilities. That’s why I don’t hang around the places where I do my gigs. The evening parties and mixers are all part of professional networking and the booze flows. And the sight of all those people racing down the road to perdition is just too heart rending.

But I DID have to admit that tonight’s two assholes had a real eye for the easy ones. And they were now excitedly calling out targets like B17 gunners over Schweinfurt. You know the routine, “Hottie at twelve o’clock high! Big boobs at four o’clock low! Check out that ass at six o’clock level!” That sort of thing.

While THAT was going on Marigold was sitting with a look of total disbelief on her face. I was probably broadcasting horrified. I glanced anxiously at Bernie and he read it. He knows my history. He rose and said, “Thank you for the drinks gentlemen, we’ll be in touch.” I smiled at the boys, not too kindly, and exited in his wake. Bernie leaves a very big wake.

I never stay at the conference venues. It’s too painful. Tonight I was staying at the Hotel Del Sol, which is a beautiful little boutique place over in the Marina. As we walked down the broad marble steps toward the cab rank Bernie said, “Sorry about that Davey. They seemed legitimate when they approached me.” I knew what he was actually saying.

I said, “No problem buddy. No way that you could tell in advance what they were like. Brad even looks a lot like HIM.”

The “him” I was referring to was Marlon Ruffing, Lothario extraordinaire. He was a corporate superstar, elegantly tall, stunningly handsome, and as relentless as a honey badger.  And he was NEVER more remorselessly driven than when he was in pursuit of my wife Sarah.

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Sarah and I met cute. We were both new to the Madison area. I had just taken an Associate Professor position at a university there. It had a nice salary and research stipend, which was what lured me to the frozen tundra of Wisconsin. Prior to that I had worked at a small, technical college in Florida. But the allure of the Big Ten was too seductive.

I was dating a woman who was a secretary in one of the little campus research shops. In my slightly more immature days we used to call a girl like Linda a “double bagger.” Meaning she had an A+ body and a C- face. So the bag was for her head and the other bag was for yours in case hers fell off during sex.

I know it is incredibly shallow to talk about a woman that way. But what can I say? I was young and arrogant and life hadn’t taught me any real lessons yet. Linda was a nice woman, not particularly bright or refined. But she had an incredible supple body, huge pillow tits and she loved to fuck, over-and-over-and-over.

We didn’t have as much of a romance as it was a series of lustful adventures in odd places, like woods and parks and back seats and even once on a mattress in one of those big storage lockers. That was an all-day event. Fortunately, the walls of those things are solid cinder block. Otherwise the people at the storage place would have probably called the cops. Since Linda made it sound like I was killing her.

I could never understand why she wouldn’t come to my place or take me to hers. That is, until I discovered to my dismay that she was married. I never would have figured it out. She didn’t act married. Nor did she wear any rings when she was around me. She just dropped that fact on me in the post-coital afterglow. Maybe she thought that she had me hooked.

I dropped HER on the spot. I had no intention of violating the tenth commandment, unless that’s the one about coveting my neighbor’s sheep in which case it is the seventh. Fortunately, that little incident took place the week AFTER I met Sarah.

Several days previously, Linda told me that she had a hot friend who worked in her lab as a Research Associate. She said that the woman had just come to town for a post-doctoral fellowship and she didn’t know anybody. So she wanted me to fix her up with one of my colleagues. I got it. She wanted to play the alpha female for one of her nerd friends.

A blind date was easy enough to arrange since I hung out with the other unmarried faculty. I had a guy who was not particularly attractive. But using Linda as the measuring stick I didn’t figure her friend would be any prize either. So I made the arrangements.

The second I saw Sarah Jones I knew that I had found my soul mate. I actually came to that conclusion the instant I laid eyes on her. No talking. Just immediate kismet. Go figure? I have no idea why I was so sure. I am usually a level headed sort of fellow. And I don’t normally jump into relationships without testing the water. But I had to have this woman.

Apparently you go through life carrying a checklist of the characteristics you want to have in a mate. I wasn’t aware that I had one. That is, until Sarah and Linda started walking toward me. THEN it was like I was surrounded by a heavenly choir. And some celestial hand reached down and ticked every box on my list.

Her face was spectacular, a perfect oval, all high cheekbones, huge blue eyes and thick black hair. I couldn’t take my eyes off those sculptured lips. Some guys like ethereal and waif-like. Others like elegant and super model thin. It is sort of embarrassing to admit, but I like huge tits, big wide hips and asses. I come from many generations of German farmers and that penchant must have been stamped in my DNA about the time of Charlemagne.

I mean I really like big jugs and Sarah put new meaning to the term “brick shithouse.” This woman was several of my sweatiest fantasies rolled into one spectacular package. She was not fat as much as she was curved and totally sexual. She had a truck frame. The kind that you could abandon yourself on. In fact, you could pound on that body for hours and not break it. Thirty generations of Huns grabbed their hearts and swooned like Pepe Le Pew. 

Then she reached me. I had never taken my eyes off her. She looked at me like she was more than a little creeped out. After we were married she explained that she thought that I was a total asshole. I was supposed to be in love with her friend. Not leering at her.  I had to plead insanity. There was no logic to explain my reaction except subliminal chemistry.

Linda made the introductions. Sarah extended her hand and said something like, “Pleased to meet you.” That was spoken in such a smoky contra-alto voice that I checked off a previously unknown criterion on my newfound list. I had never encountered a woman who could communicate more sexuality in a simple tone of voice.  Of course her date and my date were a slight inconvenience.

She immediately took the arm of the guy who I had fixed her up with and Linda took mine. I was overcome by waves of jealousy. I spent the entire evening trying to pry Sarah off Sid and the more blatant I was the tighter she clung to him and the happier Sid looked.

Linda didn’t seem to get the message but she was not the brightest bulb in the room anyhow. Sarah certainly did. She kept sending volley after volley of “back off pervert” messages. When we finally parted company I left with Linda and Sarah left with Sid. She claims she didn’t fuck him afterward. I don’t know for sure. But Sid acted disturbingly laid back the following Monday. 

In the meantime, Linda insisted on visiting both front and back seats and once across the hood of the car. It was too bad that she was married. I was going to miss grabbing all that gusto. But that cleared the only roadblock to my romancing her friend. Two weeks later I was waiting outside of their lab. My heart was being gnawed by a pack of ravenous Gerbils. I saw Linda come out and get in her car.

Sarah had not made an appearance. I knew she was a researcher, not a secretary, so I hoped she was still in the building doing something. I can find my way around a research facility. I spent a disquieting amount of time in school. I crept down the hall and sure enough, she was in one of the labs staring intently at a monitor. Her long thick raven curls contrasted starkly with the white lab coat that she was wearing.

I stepped into the room and cleared my throat to announce my presence. She looked startled and then angrily at me and said, “What do YOU want!?” I said, “And hello to you too. I just wanted to drop by and talk to you for a minute. Do you have time?”

She said, with brush-off in every syllable, “I’m busy, leave me alone.” Okay, this wasn’t going like I expected. I said, “Excuuuuse Me? You can’t spare a moment of your precious time to talk to me?”

She said, with venom in her voice, “I don’t have any time to talk to asshole losers who dump my friends for no good reason!” I said, “I’m sorry that you and Linda feel that way about me. But I won’t consciously violate somebody else’s marriage vows. Fidelity is a really important virtue with me.”

I turned to leave. I am far too used to striking out with beautiful women. But the walk back to the dugout is still humiliating. She said hurriedly, “Wait a minute. What do you mean by violating marriage vows?!”

I turned back toward her and said, “Linda finally got around to telling me that she is married. And I just don’t do adultery. It isn’t right. So of COURSE I dumped her.”

She said, “SERIOUSLY?!! Linda’s married???!”

I said, “Come on! You must have known that! Don’t you girls talk to each other?”

She looked flabbergasted and mumbled quizzically, “I absolutely didn’t know that.”

As I turned and walked out the door I said over my shoulder, “Well she should have told you before she torched me. Probably didn’t want to look bad.” I added under my breath, “Or just too slutty to see being married as a problem.”

Sarah was sitting there looking dumbfounded. The next day I came out of class to find Sarah standing in the hall waiting for me. She looked amazing. She had been working. So she had on her lab coat, which was open to reveal a pair of skin tight jeans and a simple t-shirt. It read, “I See Dumb People.” Aha! A sense of humor.

I upgraded her body from “world class” to “intergalactic.” She looked a little chastened and wary. I was more than wary. I was pissed. I said coldly, “How can I help you?” She said, “If you will walk over to the Union Terrace with me I’ll buy you a beer.”

One of the best things about Madison is its location on Lake Mendota.  And on good days the Student Union is one of the best places in the world to sit and talk. It’s bright and sunny with the smell of bratwurst cooking and it serves beer. After all Wisconsin was more-or-less settled by Germans and we love our brats and beer.

She asked me what class I was teaching. It was just conversation to bridge the walk between my classroom building and the Union. I told her about the ins-and-outs of “ethical hacking,” which to most people sounds about as appropriate a subject matter as “trusted embezzling.”  But my students have to know how hackers work if they are ever going to figure out how to defend against them.

Sarah seemed to get that without me explaining it. Most people don’t. In fact, she appeared to be a very smart woman indeed. I am several inches taller than she is and I was trying NOT to stare down at her massive jugs as they swayed back and forth. I didn’t want to give her the no-doubt accurate impression that I was a lecher.  We got our beer and we sat. She really had a gorgeous face. Sitting in the sun with the wind off the lake ruffling her hair I could not imagine a more attractive woman.

Some of my students were sitting around the terrace as well. They kept cutting me approving glances. She said, “Look, we got off on the wrong foot and I just wanted to straighten a few things out. I was NOT aware that Linda was married. And so dumping her like SHE said you made you look like a typically heartless male.”

Then she added with some embarrassment, “It wasn’t until after I talked to her that I realized that you were just doing the right thing. I don’t believe in adultery either. To be honest, I thought that you had dumped her for me and that made you ten times worse in my mind. I would never try to steal a man from one of my friends.

She looked at me very intently and said, “I know you are attracted to me. I could tell that the minute I laid eyes on you.” I said, “What gave me away? Was it the snorting or just the pawing of the ground?”

She laughed and said, “Linda told me that you were head-over-heels in love with her. So I didn’t think it was appropriate for you to be so supposedly committed to my friend. And then hit on me as hard as you did. It made you look like a super-hound.”

I said, “That is because the instant I saw you I knew that you were the only woman in the world for me. I can’t explain it and I probably shouldn’t try. I never loved Linda. I was fond of her. She is a decent person. But she must have been smoking some heavy duty crack to think that I was in love with her.

I added with a shrug, “Maybe she mistook lust for love. I don’t know? And then again, there was her totally problematic husband. YOU on the other hand are everything I ever wanted or desired in one package. YOU I could fall in love with. In fact, I think I’ve already gotten there and I am just waiting for you to catch up.”

Wow! That was semi-humiliating. I usually don’t just lay it out like that. She looked at me with smoky eyes and said, “Well maybe we should explore your little obsession. What time do you want to pick me up?”

The rest is history. In exactly four months I went from confirmed bachelor to married to the woman of my dreams. She was everything I could ever want in a wife. She is a very intelligent person with a really excellent sense of self and a loving and giving soul. She was well-read, interested in everything and hilariously funny. She was an ideal companion and best-friend.

Oh then, of course, there was also the fact that she is a complete animal in bed. I have always believed that passion in a woman is a direct function of their intelligence. Or in simple terms, the smarter they are the hotter they are.

Sarah is very smart. She is also, hands-down, the hottest fuck I had ever know. And I had known more than a few women in my day. Every man wants a lady in the parlor and a slut in the bedroom and that pretty much summed up my wife Sarah.

Most nights in the Tyler household were like something out of a Tarzan movie. She had a boundless appetite for sex, she was aggressive about getting fucked, open to anything, very vocal about what she wanted, and how long she wanted it for. And she had endless stamina.

Plus, that sturdy frame of hers meant I didn’t have to hold anything back. The vision will be forever stamped on my frontal lobe of her huge jugs with their big brown nipples bouncing on her chest, as she loudly urged me on to the finish line.

Then every morning she would put on her business suit and go off to work looking like the picture of the cool modern executive woman engineer, very sensible and controlled. Nonetheless the best times of our marriage were just sitting on our patio, drinking a beer and talking in the purple and gold of a deepening Wisconsin summer evening; cicadas, crickets, bullfrogs, the whole nine yards. That was my definition of heaven. She made me very happy and I think that I made her just as content. It was an ideal life.

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We had been married nine years when the serpent slithered into the garden.

Sarah’s company did software for various types of medical devices. And one of them had run into a problem that involved litigation. She was not the lead on the device but she had the most technical expertise. So they roped her into the investigation team.

The team was headed up by Mr. Marlon Ruffing, Vice President for Product Development. He sat in on all of the meetings and provided the policy perspective. Sarah spent a lot of time telling me how insightful and funny and overall wonderful the guy was.

I had never met him but I knew the type. My only advice, and I expressed it out loud, was, “Mr. Wonderful is trying to get in your pants.” She was downright scornful. She said, “He knows that I am happily married. I tell him about you all the time and he is very supportive of our marriage. In fact, he constantly tells me how much he envies you.”

Since that line was only slightly less subtle than having him outright tell her to, “Hit the ground and spread ‘em” I reinforced my point. I said, “I want you to tell this guy to back off. And I do not want you hanging around him in any one-on-one situations.”

She looked disgusted. But she said, “Well if it makes you feel better I will tell Marlon that he needs to respect boundaries. But I wish you trusted me more. You are the man I love, not him.” Not the answer I wanted. But she is willful. All smart women are.

Nevertheless, there were no further suspicious signs from Sarah, not that I was even looking. She was my wife and life’s companion and I trusted her. She also stopped telling me about Mr. Wonderful. I know. I’m dense.

In early July of that year Sarah decided that she wanted to attend a seminar on product safety engineering. It was just a one-day technical conference in Chicago. Chicago is only three hours away from Madison and the event didn’t even start until noon. So she planned to drive down on Friday morning and spend the rest of the day and overnight doing professional networking. Then she would drive back whenever she got rolling the following day.

The night before we had a long and arduous session. Summer in Madison almost makes up for the lousy winters and this year was nearly perfect, warm and sunny with less of the humidity that I was used to in Florida. So I went for a run as soon as she left. Running has always been my exercise of choice. And I like to do four to six miles a day. It gets all of the endorphins rolling. And of course that kind of distance keeps me whippet slim.

But the separation was already beginning to wear on me. Sarah goes where I go and vice-versa. It is something that both of us prefer. There is no more interesting companion than my wife. She is a voracious reader. And she has fascinating thoughts about everything from classic literature to current events.

I was trying not to think about her. But I missed her. The seminar was only down in Chicago. So I decided, “What the fuck! I got nothing to do the rest of the day. Why don’t I just drive down and surprise her. Maybe we can spend the weekend shopping in the City, or whatever else might spring to mind.”

One of our cars is the updated Thunderbird that Ford produced for a few years. It’s really Sarah’s baby but it is fun to drive It was only noon and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I was in a mood for the open road with the top down and the warm sun on my face,

The seminar was in session when I got there. Reading the schedule, I could see that it wouldn’t end for another hour. So I went into the bar for a beer and sandwich to wait for her. While I was eating I struck up a conversation with the guy sitting down the bar from me. The badge he was wearing told me that he was in the same event as Sarah.

I asked him why he was in the bar instead of the event and he said that he already knew the material front to back. But his boss didn’t know that. So he was using the event as an opportunity to play hooky. I was thinking to myself, “Another fine specimen of American productivity.”

I told him that I was down there to surprise my wife who was also in the seminar. He asked me her name and I said Sarah Tyler.  He gave me a strange look and said, “Wow! She has the same name as Marlon Ruffing’s girlfriend?”

That statement hung in the air for several seconds before I finally realized what he had just said. I looked at him as blandly as I could and said, “Where would you get an idea like that?” He said, “Well I know Ruffing. He’s the VP at Acme in Madison. We do business with him. He is in the event too. And a woman named Sarah Tyler has been hanging on him like she was his playmate.”

I said, “Excuse me.” I dropped two twenties on the bar and marched out to the front desk. The clerk detected fire in my eyes. Stupid move on my part. I shifted into good old affable Davey Tyler. I said, “Hey buddy, I was wondering if a couple of old friends of mine are staying here. Would you be able to look them up for me?”

He told me that he would certainly NOT be able to look them up for me. Since, guest privacy was of paramount importance to the hotel. I asked him the same question again.  Only this time three twenties were under the hand that was resting lightly on the counter. He looked around. I pushed the money in his direction. He slid the money off into his pocket carefully blocking the view of the camera watching the front desk.

He gave me an eager to please smile and said, “Certainly Sir, we are always glad to assist our guests.” He did a little typing, wrote on a post-it and handed it to me with a metaphoric tip of his cap. It had two room numbers on two different floors. Thank God for tender mercies!

I was leaning on a lobby pillar when the seminar broke up. Some guys might want to sneak around and catch the offending spouse in the act. But I am not one of those guys. I wasn’t going to let Sarah take one step over the line until I had a little “Come to Jesus” with her. After that she could do whatever she pleased but I would have said my piece. And it would be on the record.

I was also hoping that she had NOT done anything too unforgivable yet. She came out of the event holding onto the arm of a tall, slim and impossibly handsome guy. They were completely into each other as they approached me, laughing and talking animatedly.

I had already pinged their phones and force paired them. Apparently they didn’t cover Bluesnarfing in that seminar. Both devices were wide open so it took me less than 10 seconds to do the Bluebugging. And before they had covered half the distance I owned them.

I stepped in front of the loving couple. They sensed rather than saw my presence. And they began to move around me, like I was an obstruction. She was still looking lovingly up at him and holding his arm to her exquisite chest. He was smiling down at her and saying something witty. I took another step, to stay in their way.

He looked up at me irritated. I said in my friendliest tone of voice, “Hello Marlon. So, who is your new girlfriend?” My voice snapped her out of her reverie. Her head came up and she gawked at me, just appalled. Her face changed to a mask of horror. That was a completely and totally gratifying reaction.

Fuckface continued to look confused and annoyed. She dropped his arm like it was on fire, put both hands to her mouth and said far too loudly, “OH MY GOD, Davey, it’s not what you think.” I actually started laughing, I turned around and walked toward the valet station shaking my head in disbelief. I turned back toward her and said. “You really need to get better scriptwriters my dear.”

Then I exited stage right. As I was leaving I heard Shithead say. “Who the fuck was THAT Sarah?” All the way home I was wondering how long THAT had been going on. There had been no signs of trouble, no working late, no nights out with the girls, or unexplained trips.

In fact, she had been super loving for the last couple of weeks, which might have been the only possible red flag. She was doubtless feeling guilty. I hear you asking why I did not immediately challenge Dickbreath to pistols at dawn. That was because I wanted to run a little fidelity test on my wife first. SHE was all I cared about.

If she arrived home shortly after I did, THEN we were going to have a conversation. If she got home tomorrow looking well-fucked, I had nothing to say to her. Plus, I had already gotten my electronic hooks set in both of them.  She came out onto the patio exactly a half hour after I got home. She was utterly shamefaced. I was sitting there with a beer in my hand and watching the sun go down.

She had been crying, which was a good sign. She was wearing a loose fitting grey sweatshirt and sweatpants. It looked like the gear that Rocky wore in the first movie. I was hoping that was where the analogy stopped. She must have run upstairs to change into something more comfortable before coming out to confront me.

She was so naturally beautiful it took my breath away. I offered her the second beer. I had gotten both out of the refrigerator when I arrived. It was kind of measuring stick for our marriage. I wasn’t going to take a sip until she got there. And if it was warm and flat, then we had reached the end of the road.

She sat down and stared off into the back yard. It was getting too dark to see her face. I could sense that she was steeling herself. I was inwardly cringing from what I knew she was going to say. But I tried to look as bland as I could. I was afraid that any agitation on my part would spook her.  I said calmly, “Is there something that you need to tell me Sarah?” My tone of voice conveyed my love and concern.

I could see her make her decision. She said in a voice so small that I could barely hear her, “I didn’t do anything with him YET. But I was going to cheat on you Davey. Tonight was going to be the first night. And it is just tearing me up inside to know that.”

That information shot a thunderbolt of angst through me. But I was oddly composed. I think that I had come to some conclusions on the drive back and I wanted to see how it played out. I sat there looking at her, my expression was deadpan. This was top-stakes poker now. She looked mortified and said, “I got caught up in it. You’ve seen him. You can imagine the effect that he has on women. Every female at Acme, single or married, was drooling over him.

She added shamefaced, “He could have had any girl in the Company but he picked me.” That was no surprise. All you had to do was look at Sarah Tyler to know that Mr. Ruffing had excellent taste.

She said, “He romanced me relentlessly at work. Little gifts and constant compliments.  He was my boss’s boss. So nobody questioned him. And his behavior eventually created an unreal sense of time and place. I wasn’t just a thirty something married engineer. I was back in high school and the hottest guy in the building had picked me to be his girlfriend.”

She said, not looking up at me, “It was thrilling at some fundamental level of my female ego.  And every day I walked around on a cloud, basking in the envy of the other ladies.  I am aware, that the women who were not total fools probably thought that I was a cheating whore. But as far as I was concerned I was the most beautiful girl in the world.”

Then she turned sincere, “In the beginning it was just flirtation and lunches. Then about two weeks ago we were coming back from lunch and he made a move on me in the parking lot. It was just some simple kissing and a little groping but I didn’t say no. The experience was way too exhilarating.”

She said with intensity, “After a couple of minutes I got my sanity back and broke away. I told him that I was married and that I loved YOU not him. I told him that we had crossed the line and it wasn’t right. But from that day on, every time we went to lunch he kept pushing the boundaries. And I never really redrew the line. I am embarrassed to admit that I was afraid he would move on to another girl if I shut him off completely.”

She looked up at me as she said, “I have a feeling that you sensed something from the way I have been behaving the past couple of weeks. I am normally not THAT insatiable.” I said to myself, “Aha! So it WAS the guilt talking!”

She added, “Then this week he managed to get his hand inside my bra and tweak one of my nipples. That almost did it. You know how sensitive my nipples are. I would have fucked him right there in the front seat except it was the middle of the day and we were in the company parking lot. So sanity prevailed one more time. But we were both pretty disheveled.”

The she hesitated. She said almost inaudibly, “He looked at me and I looked at him and God help me but I knew that I was going to fuck him. I love you. You are my whole life. But I just understood that I was going to have this man sometime and somewhere. It was a compulsion.”

She continued to whisper, “Since it would have killed me to hurt you I wanted to do everything I could to ensure that you would never find out. And I planned on making it up to you in every way I could. That was a rationalization. I realize it now. I had the seminar scheduled anyhow and so we arranged for him to come down and we would spend the night together.”

She added with a little more spirit in her voice, “Then, if it worked out we would see each other on a very limited and carefully controlled basis. It wasn’t going to be one of those three times a week in a motel. It would just be once in a while when the time was perfect. And it would only be for the sex. He is just THAT gorgeous.”

If I had been a dog, I would have started a long warning growl at that point.

 She said, “I know how foolish that sounds now, even to me. And all I can say is that I am ashamed that I ever considered it. And I swear that I was going to ensure that you would benefit from what I was doing by giving you my extra loving attention. I would deny you nothing and I would seek to make you happier than you had ever been. That all sounds incredibly weak, self-centered and delusional now. But that was what I was thinking two seconds before I looked up and saw you.”

Then she looked at me pleadingly and said, “Then the reality of what I was doing came tumbling down on me. What can I say? I was acting like a giddy teenager. That isn’t me. I like to think of myself as a mature and sensible woman. I have no idea what would make me act like that. Marlon is a very persuasive man but the fact that I was willing to buy into the things that he said scares me.”

She said, “For the entire three-hour drive back it was like waking up from a nightmare. I went from dazed and confused to being totally ashamed and embarrassed by my behavior. The transition back to myself was like kicking a drug habit. It was physically painful. In 3 hours I went from a silly school girl crush, to seeing what I had done in the cold light of common sense. And I was utterly devastated emotionally. The guilt was awful. And I am utterly humiliated.”

She said apologetically, “I am a realistic person and I should have been able to understand what I was doing. I am so ashamed of myself now. And I pledge to you that I will never be dragged into that kind of behavior again. I have told you everything as scrupulously honestly as I can. And all I can do is beg you to forgive me.”

It was a relief to some extent to discover that she had not crossed the line into something that would be totally unforgivable. Yet, the impact of her intention was catastrophic.

Cheating is one of those acts that ends life as you know it. One minute the days are certain and reliable. And the next second you are switched onto another track entirely. All of your comfortable assumptions and beliefs about the inevitability of things just disappear in a puff of smoke. And you are left as helpless as a newborn.

Sure, there are cowboys who like to move from town to town. But for most of us, a stable marriage is the foundation of your life. Your marriage ensures order in a chaotic world. It gives you a sense of permanence. And it gives you the courage and strength to face things.

That is because you know that, come-what-may you’re not alone. You are intimately connected to one special someone. And you can always count on their unqualified support to get you through the tough times.

The physical manifestation of that special connection is the exclusive sexual intimacy that you share. Adultery literally “adulterates” the link. And the consequence of severing the connection is that the two partners find themselves confronting life’s adversity totally and utterly alone. It doesn’t matter that the act itself didn’t really occur. The intimacy revolves around exclusiveness. And so, the simple INTENTION to step outside of the marriage ALSO impacts your connection.

I didn’t blow up. My daddy was a man’s-man. And from the day I was born he drilled into me his belief that any form of emotion was for women. Real men internalized their anger and hurt and never let anybody see them sweat. That probably explains why he died of a massive heart attack at 58. Nevertheless, by the time he left me I was irrevocably who I was. I was a picture of calm with a layer of pure ruthlessness underneath.

Sarah looked relieved. I could see it in her face. She had gotten the whole sordid thing out on the table and I had not reacted too badly. Since nothing had really happened she felt like we could move past it now. But she had no idea what she had done.

I said with infinite sadness, “The fact that you didn’t fuck him is immaterial. The important issue is that you were planning to do it. And now that you CLAIM to have broken the spell I only have your word that you will never fall for it again. Harm has been done to our marriage and frankly I don’t know how to fix THAT. How do I trust you short of following you around?”

She looked at me with a depth of passion I have never seen in her before and said, “It will be my job to convince you of my fidelity. You will see it in everything I do. I will win your trust back.”

I didn’t believe a word of that. In my mind, she would go back to buying what Dickhead had to sell as soon as she got over the shock of being discovered. But I always play the long game. Time would have to tell. And I had only seen a few of her cards. I was waiting for them to all get laid down before I placed my bet.

Waiting to see what would happen also had other advantages. That is because Sarah Tyler has a lot to offer a man. And before I made my final decision I was going to take full advantage of that. So I fucked her like the whore that I thought she was. It was different and exciting to not give a shit about her pleasure. Even so, she still managed to have three or four orgasms.

Things went wonderfully for the next couple of weeks. She was extra loving in everything she did. We ran together every day and spent the following weekend in the cabin enjoying a very active and imaginative series of romps, among the majesty of nature and the surrounding forest and lakes. 

I know that Shithead and Sarah still had contact at work. That was inevitable and impossible to prevent. But she was trying every trick that she could think of to let me know that she was being a good girl. She realized that lunch was a hot button and so at every practical opportunity during the week she would drive over to meet me at noon.

I was almost convinced that the storm had passed when the little item that I had dropped on their phones cemented their undoing. It had been lying there dormant waiting to be activated by treachery and it finally caught something of interest.

If Sarah, or Fuckface called each other I was the man-in-the-middle. In essence, what I had installed in both of their phones was like an old fashioned party line. If they talked to each other I could listen in. I even had the thing set to record any calls between them that I might have missed.

Of course I missed the calls that led to their ultimate downfall. That’s how things roll with me. Sarah had begun to convince me that her bout of temporary insanity was just that; temporary. And I had started thinking of her as my loving wife again. So after a while I stopped paying as much attention to the bug.

Then one hot sunny Thursday in August I noticed that I had three recordings. The first was the usual feeling-out that any predator does when he is getting back to his prey after being chased off. I heard him say, “Sarah, this is Marlon, Hi. I just wanted to see how you are doing.”

She said, “Marlon, why are you calling me? I thought I told you to never contact me for personal matters. I nearly lost my marriage thanks to our indiscretion and I don’t want to ever go there again.”

Fuckface said heartily, “Oh come on now! We didn’t do anything for you to lose your marriage over. If your husband is so insecure that he thinks that just talking to another man is an indiscretion, then he needs psychiatric help. I am your friend and I am concerned about you.”

She chuckled ruefully, “Well you should be. My marriage to Davey is my most important priority and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize it. And he is a lot smarter than you give him credit for. He saw right through our little adventure.”

Asshat said, “We didn’t do anything for you to be ashamed of. It was just two good friends together for an afternoon. Maybe we can do that again sometime. You know I have never met a woman who I was so attracted to.”

Sarah said, “That’s very flattering Marlon but you really need to find another woman to bother. I am not interested in messing up my life because you are attracted to me. Now don’t call me again.”

She hung up on him at that point. Good girl!!!

I was thinking, “This guy is a master of seduction.” He had planted all of the classic seeds of doubt. And my guess was that he would be around in a couple of days to see how they had developed. He had made the case that their relationship was platonic and friendly, not hot and tawdry. He had laid out the idea that I was a jealous weenie. And he had stroked her ego big-time.

Having done the groundwork, the next call got down to the nuts and bolts. He said in a voice dripping with sincerity, “Sarah, I have been thinking about our relationship and we really need to talk. I miss what we had together and I want to try to work something out where I can share some of your time. You are a lovely, wonderful lady and being around you makes me happy.  Couldn’t you spare me at least ONE lunch so we can just talk?”

She said, “How many times do I have to tell you. Davey does not want me spending ANY time with you. He couldn’t be any clearer about that. If we as much as meet for a conversation in the middle of the Capitol square I would be violating the promise that I made to him. So please don’t ask me to do this.”

Dickhead said, “I am sorry to hear that you are such a submissive person. I thought you were an enlightened woman who did not live under the thumb of a man.”

She said with some heat, “That’s not it at all and you know it. We had an emotional affair and almost a physical one and Davey knows what might happen if we started seeing each other again. Even if our intentions were strictly platonic.”

Shithead said with considerable pompous indignation, “Now that is REALLY insulting. Do you mean to tell me that he doesn’t think that you can control yourself when you are around me? I KNOW that you are stronger than that my dear. I believe in you.”

Then the smarmy piece of shit added, “How is a little conversation over lunch going to hurt anybody? And I would really like to see you where we can talk about things besides work. Your thoughts and feelings mean a lot to me and we really had some good times together.”

That did it. Her voice softened a bit. She said, “We DID have good times didn’t we?” The yearning came through loud and clear.

He said, “We sure did. And I don’t want it to stop. Just say you’ll have lunch with me and we can talk about ways we could spend more time together and not threaten your husband. I don’t know why he is so insecure anyhow. But I will respect his wishes. I just want to see you again.”

Either the fucker didn’t understand the inconsistency of respecting my wishes while romancing my wife, or he was intentionally ignoring it. My money was on the latter explanation. She said, with wistfulness in her voice, “Let me see what I can do. But it has to JUST be lunch. Absolutely nothing more!!!”

That lunch was simply not going to happen. I was going to confront her with the evidence and I didn’t care whether she knew I had Bluebugged her or not. Violations of trust go both ways and her sin was a lot more mortal than mine. Nevertheless, I still had one additional short message to hear.

It was a ten second phone call from him to her. He said, “Let’s meet at Vilas Park. I’ll be there at noon. The weather is wonderful. We can sit outside and talk. I’ll bring a picnic and we can reminisce. I really miss you.”

The timestamp said today. My watch said that it was 12:30 in the afternoon. A picnic huh!? Prone on a blanket in some secluded spot in that big park. That didn’t sound very platonic to me. I thought, “Well what the fuck! May as well have it out in person.” I was not going to just sit home and wring my hands waiting until she came back to tell me about it.

Her Thunderbird was in the parking lot. So she was still there. It was parked next to a white Jag XJ. Of course Fuckface would be driving a mechanized penis like that. I had no idea where they were. I imagined that they would go somewhere private. So I walked toward the trees at the back of the lot.

There were people off to my left in the main part of the Park and I didn’t think Fuckface would take her there. But there was space to spread out a blanket in the woods in front of me. And it would be quiet and secluded. It was a perfect place for a tryst. I walked slowly in that direction looking around for them. Vilas is a big place and I would probably have never found them except she moaned. Sarah gets very loud when she is aroused.

I homed in on that sound like I was a Sidewinder Missile and it was a MIG 25 exhaust. They were back some way under the trees, lying on a spread out blanket. It was still a bit public but if you got caught up in things it was sufficient. He had her blouse open and her bra pushed up while he worked on a nipple with his lips.

She had him by the back of his head plastering his face against her delectable right breast while she moaned and thrashed her legs. She was cupping and manipulating the other tit with her left hand, which is something that she does when her motor is really revving. At the same time, she was panting and moaning over and over, “Noooooo Please!!! Oh God Noooooo!!!

I walked right up to them taking pictures all the way. I wonder how people ever recorded visual images before cellphone cameras were invented. Our marriage really didn’t matter at that point. And like I said, I hold it in. So I stopped next to them and said very conversationally, “How was lunch?”

It took a second for my voice to register with them. Then they both nearly jumped out of their skin. He scrambled ungracefully to his feet zipping his pants up. It looked like he had just been clearing the decks for stage two of the operation. Even though he was taller he looked terrified. It was probably the homicide that he saw in my eyes.

She opened HER eyes dreamily and then did the same shock and horror thing she had done the month before. She shrieked, yanked her bra back down over her exposed tits, and began to cry. She jumped to her feet and tried to come to me. I backed away from her and held her by the shoulders to prevent that.

I looked her squarely in the eye and said in what I hoped was a casual tone of voice, “Sorry about the interruption. You can go back to what you were doing now, since you are no longer married to ME.” And I turned and walked back toward the car.

Different people have different strategies about ways to hurt people. I didn’t care about Asshat. I had already set in motion the long–term consequences for him. Costs that I hoped would make him wish he had never been born. The pictures I had taken were just a bonus.

I know Sarah though. And I knew that turning my back and walking away from her like I had just done was the worst possible thing that I could do to her. She doesn’t handle guilt well anyway. And telling her that her marriage was over would crush her.

I also knew that she was going to run to try to catch me to “explain.” But she had to button up her blouse first. So I had almost made it to the car before she reached me. I thought it was Shithead. Her arrival was that violent.

She was trying to throw her arms around me to make me stop. She was sobbing hysterically against my back. I stood stock still and said in my most reasonable tones, “We can talk about this at home. Now let go of me.” I could feel her willing her arms to part.

I got into the car, still calm, cool and collected, and thought, “Thanks Dad!” She was standing there looking totally defeated.

I was very busy in the 10 minutes that it took her to join me at home. The thing that we kept doing with phased arrivals after my discovering her clandestine affairs was getting to be a travesty.  She had put herself back together and she looked like my wife again.

I was sitting on the patio just staring into the trees at the back of our yard. She sat down timorously in her chair. She said, “I am so, so, sorry. I was just going to meet him for lunch. I went so I could reinforce the fact that he needed to stay away. And I got caught up again.”

I knew that was total bullshit because I had seen the outcome of THAT conversation. I said, “That’s odd because I could have sworn it was because you wanted to figure out some way to spend more time together.” And I pushed the play button.

She listened to the whole thing getting paler and paler. She knew that there was no point in any further argument. If I had confronted them at a Panera, our ability to “talk it out” would be severely limited. Because I had discovered them with her nipple in his mouth there was no question about what had to happen next. I said, “I get it, you can’t stay away from him. He’s a hellishly attractive guy and he has a great line of bullshit.

I said with more anger than I wanted, “Problem is that you tried and you failed. I had a hard time justifying staying with you after your FIRST exploit. Now I absolutely can’t trust you. And I never will. That is no way to run a marriage. So here is what I am going to do. I am going to move out. And we are going to get the quickest, simplest divorce possible. I just want to warn you that your boyfriend’s divorce will probably take a little longer. His wife sounded like she was going to roast him over a slow spit.”

Sarah was thunderstruck. She said, “Marlon is married??!!!!” I thought what is it with this woman!!!? Is she THAT naive? I said, “Of COURSE he’s married, three cute little kids too. Don’t you ever use Facebook?” She just sat there looking like a wax figure.

I said, “Anyhow, while I was driving to the Park I mailed the clip you just heard to his wife. That was before I discovered how bad it REALLY was. I don’t know what she is going to do when she sees these pictures.”

And I flipped through the series I had shot while I was walking up to the happy couple. I thought the photography was excellent and you can’t beat 1080p for getting the definition right. It was unquestionably old Marlon busily sucking on Sarah’s right tit while he groped his way down her stomach toward her pussy.

I said, “I also mailed this to the CEO at Acme under the subject line, ‘This is what your employees do on their lunch hour.’ I don’t think it will affect you since you are the underling; in more ways than one. But I don’t think this is going to advance Mr. Ruffing’s career.”

I added with relish, “Your CEO and I are going to discuss it tomorrow over our OWN lunch. It will be stimulating in a different kind of way though. Don’t worry. My one condition will be that you are not affected professionally. Not so sure about your boyfriend though.”

She was looking at me like a bird hypnotized by a snake muttering over-and-over in a ghostly voice, “He’s not my boyfriend.”

I said, “You can stay here at the house. I am going to live at the cabin until I get a place. I loved you absolutely and unconditionally. And I don’t think that I deserved this. Don’t try to fight the divorce and don’t ever talk to me again. You owe me that.”

With that I stood and walked to the door. I had already stashed my roller bag and my suit carrier there. I turned to her one last time. She was sobbing wildly, making low animal noises, slumped in her chair with her head on her arms. I almost felt sorry for her. She was vulnerable in one area and she had run into a predator capable of exploiting that weakness.

It was too bad that real-men are not allowed to cry or I would have joined her in her grief. I reached back and closed the door on the happiest period of my life.

----------------------------------------------------------------

That door was shut tight over two years ago. But the sense of loss was never far from me. And it was the reason why I hated any form of extramarital hijinks, and the stupid people who perpetrate them.

I had arranged to have Ruffing fired with derogatory references as a condition of not going forward with a suit against Acme. They were very cooperative. They knew that I had them over a barrel. And the way their CEO reacted to my pictures convinced me that he would have done it anyhow.

I also secured their iron-clad assurance that none of the stink would come back on Sarah. I still loved the silly bitch and I wanted her to have a normal life. Losing her job would kill her. And her NOT losing her job would kill Ruffing.

For the first year the unadulterated loneliness and the deep feelings of longing for my ex-wife nearly destroyed me. You never think about the empty eternity that follows a divorce. That was especially true at Christmas. But I always had my old man’s voice reminding me to suck-it-up.

I threw myself into my teaching and writing and managed to produce two new books. Which is remarkable in that short a space. They were very well received in the small group that I call my peers. Nobody gets rich in the professional book trade. There just isn’t a wide enough audience. But I was in it for ego and reputation, not money. And you have to publish, or perish. My subsequent promotion to Full Professor proved that.

Asshat reconciled. His wife thought that the evidence was damning. But that it didn’t justify the death of their marriage. And of course, they DID have three cute little kids to consider. He never actually fucked Sarah and he is extremely good looking. So, his line of bullshit got him out of hot water one more time.

On the other hand, I imagine the wife kept him on a very short leash. The woman sounded like she took no prisoners. And since he was totally unemployable now, she was the one with the money. My guess was that Dickface would not stray far from home and if he ever did she would have him gelded.

Some of the more visceral types would have probably gone after the asshole in a dark alley. But you have to be part of my world to appreciate why what I had done to him was a whole LOT more satisfying. He didn’t work in a blue collar trade, where the reason why you left your last job doesn’t make much of a difference. He was in a position of trust in upper management. And there is nothing like being fired over a sexual harassment complaint to hold down your long-term career prospects.

His total lack of prospects robbed him of any hope for the rest of his life, which to a classic high achiever was as close as you could come to literally cutting off his balls. And he knew who had done it to him and why. THAT was the gift that just kept on giving. I had no idea what happened to Sarah. She is beautiful, intelligent and clever and I am sure that there were plenty of men waiting to take my place.

She had attempted to “explain” things to me for over a year. But that ship had sailed. I had no desire to beat her up any further. She knew what she had done. And we had BOTH paid the price. That was immutable fact. So the only thing I was going to get out of any discussion with her was more grief.

I tried to lead a normal social life. I am not bad looking and I am a bit of a star in a hot field. So I had my pick of the area women. Over the ensuing two years I dated quite a few interesting and very lovely ladies. But there was absolutely no chemistry.

And frankly Sarah had more-or-less cut off my balls. I still loved her to death and she was the only woman I ever wanted in that way. I quickly discovered that without the sex there were no long-term prospects with any of those women. Modern girls expect to be taken care of at the end of the evening.

It bothered me that I had no lustful urges. But the only way you can change biology is through your head. And I was not going to discuss my problems with a shrink. THAT was weakness. And my dad wouldn’t allow it.

But then again, the woman walking out of the Fairmont with me was more compelling than any female I had ever known – even Janet. Marigold had bailed when we had, leaving the boys to their monkey business. And incidentally also sticking them with the check. She looked totally pleased with herself.

Looking at her I felt my interest rise, along with something else. My little voice was amused as it said, “Welcome back.”

She was an incomparable creature. She just glittered when she walked. She was beauty, intelligence and strength of character wrapped in a matchless package. And she conveyed incredible sexuality in the swaying of those big muscular buns and the swish of those impossibly long legs. When we got to the curb she turned to me and said with utter confidence, “Let’s talk at the Mark? I’m staying there.”  

The Mark was across the street and the Top of the Mark has been an institution in San Francisco since FDR. I looked at Bernie. He said, “I’m tired and I’m going back. But you two go ahead. You can fill me in on the details at breakfast.”

Then he hailed a cab. I got the distinct impression he was setting me up. As I said, Bernie looks out for me like a brother. I looked at her and said, “One quick drink at the Top and I’m going to join him.”

We rode up in the elevator, keeping a modest distance. The perfume that she was wearing was another one of her shamelessly expensive weapons. And it was driving me nuts. I am sure the pheromones she was exuding would have had the same wicked effect on any OTHER male standing within ten feet of her.

The lady was pulling me in like she had her own gravity and I was fighting it because she scared the shit out of me. She was an incredibly beautiful and sexually alluring woman, with a force-of-nature personality that gave me no doubt why she was such a high flying executive. And she seemed to have deliberately selected me for some additional attention. I do not believe in coincidences.

We got a table by the window and I looked out over the City below. San Francisco is amazing in any weather. But on a night when the fog rolls in, the view from 19 floors above Nob hill is beyond special. She fixed me with those huge intelligent cat eyes and said, “What happened to you? I have never seen so much hurt on anyone’s face than when those two morons started their juvenile little pussy hunt.”

I said, “That is absolutely nothing I will EVER talk about. Are you married? I don’t see any rings. Or are you just single when you’re out of town?”

Being an asshole is a tactic that I have adopted with sympathetic women. It keeps them at bay. I detest any form of warmth, or compassion. It hurts too much. She laughed out loud. It was a hearty laugh, like a man’s. She said, “Excellent comeback. I can see that somebody really fucked you over.”

Then she gave me a look that pinned me like a bug on a mounting board and said, “And to answer your question I am 37 years old. I have never been married. There are too many men and there is WAY too little time. And I like variety.” She favored me with a look that was so hot my acrylic socks nearly melted.

She added, “I have never known a man I could respect enough to play wife to. And most of the men I meet don’t want to be MY wife. Even though some occasionally DO like being tied up and dominated.” Another flirty smile.

She went on with, “So I have affairs, sometimes long, sometimes one-night. I am a Senior Partner at a Big Four firm. I make more money in one month than you probably earn in a year. So I don’t need a man for anything but sweaty recreation. And I am never lonely. This ensures that I have companionship whenever I desire it,” And she gestured dramatically down the length of that remarkable face and body.

She continued with steel in her voice, “If I am interested in a guy, I fuck him. That fulfils my needs and I have never had a customer complain. So why would I tie myself to the whims of one man when there are so many to meet and experience?”

She said with some heat, “I don’t toss the word “hypocrite” around lightly and I can tell by the look on your face what you are thinking. So let me clarify something for you.”

She leaned back in her chair and said with insolence in her voice, “If a man acts like I do, his buddies call him a stud. He gets congratulations. If a woman acts like that way, men call her a slut. And she gets burned at the stake. Which is the typical condescending attitude of a male dominated culture.”

She added with a voice full of steel, “So let me assure you. I am selective in who I choose to fuck, and I practice safe sex when I do. I harm nobody. My partners all know the rules up-front. And I never stray into somebody else’s marriage. I like romance with my sex. Even if that is for just one night.And I am faithful to the person I am fucking until I move on. I lead my life independent of the constraints of anybody else. And I am a very happy person.”

She added with a laugh in her voice, “Is that open enough for you Pilgrim?” Her incredible eyes bored into me, “NOW, who hurt you like that?”

She was stunning in the dim light of the cocktail lounge. Her superb features were serene and her extraordinary body very relaxed, like a big cat at rest. The physical and psychic power absolutely radiated off of her. The fog was covering everything below us in an unreal shroud of grey. It was like reality was shifting and I was being transported into a mystical universe. I had never imagined that a stranger could be so enthralling.

My only thought was, “This woman’s beauty is almost divine.”

Suddenly I felt COMPELLED to tell her everything. It was an inexplicable desire to unburden myself. It was like the woman was exercising some kind of supernatural power over me. I told her about Sarah and my wonderful life together. That is, until Sarah’s unholy attraction to Shithead. I told her about his almost fucking her at the conference in Chicago. She nodded like she had suspected something like that. It clarified why I had such a marked aversion to socializing with those assholes at the Fairmont.

I told her about Sarah’s heartbreakingly unsuccessful attempt to stay on the straight and narrow. Finally, I told her in great exacting detail about how my wife had fallen off it and how I had reacted to that. She sat back and looked disapproving. It was a surprising reaction. She said, “Let me get this straight? You found some stud sucking your wife’s tit. And because of that you threw away nine years of happy marriage and a woman who apparently loved you to death?

“Seriously??!!! Nobody is THAT stupid.” Now it was my turn to be puzzled. I said with some indignation, “What ELSE could I do? I could never trust her again. She knew what she had to do and she failed. Once a cheater, always a cheater.”

She was looking at me like she couldn’t believe what a moron I was. That look would have been insulting if it had come from a normal person. Coming from this almost unreal being it set my hair on fire. There was not enough oxygen in the room. She paused like she was going to ask a profound question.

Then she said, “Do you act like you did when you were a pimply faced teenager?” THAT was right out of left field! I spluttered, “Of course not!” She said, “Why not?” I said, “Because I grew up. You learn from your mistakes. You can only hit your thumb so many times before you decide to pound the nail right.”

She said, “So you changed your behavior over time based on feedback you got from life?” I didn’t like where this was going one bit. She was making me sound like an idiot.

I said with some heat, “Curing a married woman of the tendency to cheat is not the same as me learning self-control.” She looked at me like I was too dumb to be allowed out in public.

She said, “Really!!? You REALLY believe that?!! In both cases it is PRECISELY a matter of self-control. Tell me how either case is different.” I thought for a second. She had a point. I said, “Well, I guess they are both about controlling your base urges. It is just that my learning to be less impulsive was an inevitable side-effect of me maturing. Whereas Sarah WAS already mature, but she still made the wrong choice.” Then I thought about it some more.

I said, “Of course she didn’t really know what it was going to cost her. You won’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. And Sarah is a smart girl. She might have thought twice about EVER meeting the dude if she knew that the penalty was the death of or marriage.”

The goddess across the table looked like she thought that I might have an intelligent bone in my body. She said, “It is ALWAYS a matter of choice, once you understand the price. You weigh the costs and choose the option that offers the best return for you. Nothing is EVER completely black, or white. There are always tradeoffs. But no SANE person makes a cognizant decision to do something that they know for sure will be self-destructive.”

She added, “That applies to her deciding not to stray exactly as much as your decision to act like a grownup. Although I am beginning to WONDER about you. Your wife put herself in that situation because she did not fully appreciate what would happen to her.”

She smiled and said, “She was obviously into the guy. That kind of subliminal attraction happens between men and woman all the time. I am sure you are attracted in a sexual way to women you meet so you have to understand that. You just never acted on it. That was a conscious choice on your part.”

I TOTALLY understood that. I’m human and a male. That happens to me three or four times at an average cocktail party. But of course we all follow civilized rules of engagement. So nothing ever happens. 

But then again, none of the women I have ever been attracted to had actively tried to seduce me. They hadn’t chased me with the degree of remorselessness that Shithead had devoted to pursuing Sarah. I wondered how I would have reacted if a particularly tempting woman had actually tried to do that.

It was clear that Fuckface had relentlessly romanced Sarah. And if the temptation is THAT persistent it is hard to keep saying “no”, especially if it comes in a package as good-looking as Mr. Marlon Shithead. I suppose that, given enough time and subtle persuasion it is possible to get confused about how the rules apply. Particularly if you are able to convince yourself that whatever you are doing won’t hurt anybody.

The goddess had seen the dawning comprehension in my face and said with some approval in her voice, “Did you ever tell her directly, I am going to divorce you if I catch you with this guy again?”

She said, “It is one thing to tell somebody, ‘Don’t pick up that snake’ and another thing to tell them, if you pick up that rattlesnake it will kill you.” Now it was my turn to look at her like she was an idiot. I said, “Of COURSE not. It never crossed my mind to tell her THAT. I shouldn’t have HAD to. I never thought to tell Sarah what would happen if she strayed. Because, I just naturally assumed that she knew what the REAL cost was.”

I said with anger, “She should have understood what would happen if I caught her with him again. I shouldn’t have had to spell it out for her.” The goddess gave me an ipso-facto look, like I had just pled guilty. And she said, “So she DIDN’T know that she was crossing some absolute line when she arranged to meet this guy.” I felt a lump rise in my throat.

She said, “Do you seriously think that she would have met him under any circumstances if she knew that it would end her marriage?” I bowed my head in defeat. I knew that Sarah wouldn’t have. She’s not stupid. And she obviously valued what we had. She had said as much to Dickbreath over the phone. She wouldn’t take the risk. I just KNEW that. I felt utterly defeated.

She said gently, “Being a woman I know that your wife ACTUALLY thought. She thought that she had the situation under control. That was because she didn’t intend to cheat. There was no malicious intent, no mens-rea in the legal sense. She’s not a total slut right?”

I said with some anger, “Of COURSE NOT. She is very controlled. She has an excellent self-image. She has never come CLOSE to inappropriate behavior with ANY other man except this dude.” Marigold looked like I had just confirmed something.

She said, “Then I assume that you are aware that any woman with even a modicum of self-respect does not go out of her way to get fucked outdoors, in the middle of the day, in a public setting where any stranger could wander idly by.”

The goddess added with a smile, “If she had met the dude at the Sheraton, then she was probably planning to cheat. But her meeting him in the middle of all of the mommies and kids and bugs and wildlife in a public park indicates that she had nothing on her mind besides conversation.”

Then a thought struck her. She said, “She is willful right? Thinks she is smarter than anybody else? She just assumed that the consequences of the first discovery would get her past her fatal attraction to the guy. And that meeting with him again was no big deal. It was not something you would divorce her over as long as it stayed platonic. And she was also probably testing herself, in order to be sure that she had closed the loop so-to-speak.”

She went on with, “But, by placing herself in that situation she underestimated the guy’s intentions and how far into him she actually was. He clearly connived to put her there because he realized that she was still vulnerable. And all he needed to do was to give her a little push to send her over the edge. He chose that specific setting because he knew that she would never meet him if he suggested a motel room.”

The goddess steepled her fingers like she was making a point in a lecture and said, “So it was a cleverly planned seduction on HIS part. Letting herself get lured into that trap was pure blind arrogance on HER part. All beautiful women think that they can control ANY man. That was her chief mistake.”

She said, “Let me ask. Do you think that she ever fucked anybody else while you were married?” I said huffily, “Certainly not!”

I was sure of that answer. There was just no way. We were together too much. And I knew Sarah too well. I was absolutely confident that I would have been able to tell if she had gone down THAT road. In fact, I was getting weird vibes from her the week before she was going to fuck Shithead in Chicago. And she hadn’t even done it yet.

The goddess said, “So getting physical with this guy was her only misstep. And it was because he pursued her nonstop. Plus, he was some kind of walking phallic symbol. Is that right?” I said, “That about sums him up. He looks like somebody who stepped off the cover of GQ. And he knows his stuff when it comes to seducing women.”

She took a sip of her drink, set it down and thought for a minute. It looked like she was trying to frame a question. She said, “Notwithstanding her intention to do it in Chicago, do you think that she ever actually fucked him before you separated? Did she admit to blowing him, or jacking him off?”

I said, “God no! I KNOW that she didn’t do that. The furthest he ever got was to play with her tits. When I broke that up he was around second base and heading for third.”

She said, “And you divorced her for THAT?!!! What in the world were you thinking? Are you THAT naïve? If you were still married to her and I unexpectedly reached over and started massaging your dick, do you think that would justify her divorcing YOU? Is that something you would accept as fair?”

I said with some heat, “Of course not!!!” Then I just sat there staring at the enveloping fog. It had been so clear for over two years. Now this superbly self-confident woman was sitting across the table relentlessly chipping away at my certainty.

I said in a voice loaded with irritation, “Are you condoning infidelity? Because that’s what it sounds like? She would have fucked him in Chicago if I hadn’t stumbled into the situation by sheer blind luck. And she looked like she was going to fuck him in the park the second time. That’s a fact.”

I said with my anger coming to the surface, “It doesn’t matter that she didn’t actually consummate anything with the guy. She would have fucked him no doubt if I hadn’t kept interrupting things. I even concede that she might not have planned to do it the second time. But she yielded to his line of bullshit and in doing that put herself in a place where he could get a shot at her. That disrespected me and our marriage.”  

I added sadly, “I knew after the first incident that she would never leave him alone. The second occasion just cemented that fact. The guy was a lot better looking than I am. And I had my pride to consider.” She looked like I had finally revealed the true underlying cause and it disappointed her.

She said, “So you are telling me that you just handed her over to that asshole because you felt THREATENED? You didn’t fight for her, just surrendered without firing a shot because your ego wouldn’t let you challenge another man for her affections. I am not condoning infidelity. But I AM suggesting that the intention to cheat is different than actually committing the crime. It’s the difference between standing in the window and actually jumping.”

She looked at me intently and said, “Until the person jumps there is STILL the opportunity to change their mind. Instead, you just took off rather than stoop to challenging some other man for your wife. I can’t believe that you didn’t do your absolute best to talk her off the ledge.”

She said as if she was lecturing me, “If you really truly wanted her you would have fought to keep her. She hadn’t done anything unforgivable yet. You should have had it out with both of them on the spot and gotten some resolution. If you had done that - at least you would have walked away knowing that you’d given it your best shot.”

I didn’t like the way this conversation was going. It made me sound like a pathetic weenie, instead of the noble man of principle that I had always viewed myself as. She said, “Let’s get to the crux of the matter here. Did you ask her about what happened afterward? Did she tell you how she ended up flat on her back?”

I said, “I never spoke another word to her after I left. She tried to talk to ME but I wouldn’t let her.” She shook her head and said, “Do you think that she loves him like she loved you? Are they together?”

I said. “No, I don’t believe so. He’s still married. And they don’t work together because Acme fired him. But of course I could be wrong. I never see her and nobody will talk about her in my presence. She has tried to call me on every major holiday but I don’t take her calls.”

She sat back and regarded me with a look of fond amusement. It was like I was a backward child, silly and naïve but I couldn’t be blamed for being that way. I got what she was thinking. I am not a total idiot. This divine creature had made me see that I had simply given up on my marriage.  Sarah is a woman that any man would want. And while she had approached but not crossed any unpardonable lines. She had always said that I was the man she wanted. So why had I just up-and left?

There were no last ditch attempts to save the marriage. I had not fought any pitched battles to keep her. I simply didn’t try. The moment Sarah wavered I bailed. My little voice shook its head ruefully and said, “You are a complete and utter pussy my friend.”

Marigold looked contemplative for a moment and then seemed to reach an important decision. She pawed around in her little Coach purse. Then she pulled out a hundred and absent-mindedly dropped it on the table like I would a dollar bill.  She rose briskly and took me by the hand pulling me to my feet. She said, “Come on. You need an attitude adjustment.”

I was totally bewildered. She had gone from grand Inquisitor to mental health professional in a split second. But I followed her out of the place. We rode down to the suite level and she walked us to her room. It was one of the Terrace Suites, nothing too ostentatious, just totally luxurious. I was gaping at it like the country bumpkin I was.

She hadn’t said a word to me since we left the Top. She just walked into her suite and proceeded directly into the bedroom. The understanding was that I would follow. It was just assumed. So I trooped along behind her like a little wooly lamb. Did I mention that she was a force of nature?

I was not getting the slightest tawdry vibe from this. What I was sensing was that I was about to undergo some kind of transcendent experience, where she was the teacher and I was the student. And the lesson actually had nothing to do with the sex, which was clearly imminent.

It had the aura of renewal about it. There was no mistaking it. This earth-bound angel was about to bestow a miracle of enlightenment on me. It was like she was preparing to move me to a higher plane of awareness. And it would restore my nerve and my lost perspective. I wondered if she turned water into wine as a sidelight.

I still wasn’t sure what I thought about the situation. But Old Lucifer had no misgivings. He was raring to go. That was a total surprise. He had just sat there quietly since the day I closed the door on Sarah. Marigold turned briskly toward me, almost business-like, and stepped out of her skirt. Then she folded it carefully and laid it on the chair next to the bed. She removed her blouse the same way and put it and all of the gold on top of the skirt.

I saw her body revealed for the first time. Her hips were extremely full and muscular with a narrow nipped in waist and then a well-developed back, with a little indentation in her spine all the way from her shoulders to the two deep dimples in her huge delectable buns.

She unsnapped her bra and turned toward me. Her gorgeous breasts literally made me gasp. Nude, I could see that they were even bigger than I thought. And there was no sag whatsoever. They looked like two watermelons cut in half.

She looked at me questioningly but I was rooted to the spot. I had never seen such bounty. Then she slid off her thong revealing a smooth totally bald pussy. It was perfect. She was standing next to the bed now, unselfconsciously naked, posed like a Greek statue and waiting for me. The look in her eye was speculative, like she was saying, “What have you got?”

I just stood there staring at that gorgeous body. She had a smooth woman’s six-pack and above that a full ribcage. Sitting on that ribcage were two of the most beautifully configured breasts one could imagine. They were huge but they were perfectly formed full and broad and round, they were arranged close together, giving her cleavage even though she was not creating it with a bra.

The nipples on those breasts were puffy rather than flat and they were currently very erect, almost like acorns. Her neck was long and muscular. Her shoulders were broad for a woman, but they were incongruously vulnerable compared to the rest of her powerful female body.

Her legs were full and graceful with the muscle definition on her thighs evident, even under that soft womanly skin. Her hips were full with perfectly formed and very muscular flanks. The flat of her lower belly between her two prominent hip bones looked rock hard.

But her face trumped everything. Her beauty was heart stopping, centered on her huge deep, intelligent cat eyes. Those yellow predator eyes were looking at me hungrily. She stood serenely, totally unselfconscious. She had inquiry written on her face.

She was posed with one of those incredible thighs overlapping the other like a model. She was still wearing her thigh high nylons and her four inch heels and the effect of that was like something out of the most sensual Parisian fantasy. It was like Toulouse- Lautrec himself had drawn it. 

My level of need was building to volcanic proportions and the pressure was getting unbearable. Then something inside me snapped and I had to have her without any preliminaries. I knew that she was in total control. And I was willing to surrender the power to her, which was a completely unique state of affairs for me.

She actually got a self-satisfied smirk on her face as I struggled clumsily out of my clothes and strode across the floor to take her in my arms. The feel of that hot body against my skin almost made me cum right there on the spot.

She turned her face up to me, she was a relatively tall woman. But I still had almost four inches on her. We kissed with open mouthed ardor. She was totally open to me, inviting me into all of her secret places. Both of us were breathing, panting rapidly as our tongues dueled.

I walked her backward and laid her down on the bed, crawling up between her spread legs. She slid herself further back on the bed so that she was fully on it. She reached up over her head and seized the bars of the headboard arching her big beautiful breasts for our mutual enjoyment.

I fastened my lips on an engorged nipple, which was already extended as far as I had ever seen one of those captivating appendages get. She cried out and bucked lightly against me, her red hot slit sliding up and down on my cock. The lubrication indicated that she wanted this as much as I did.

She was panting and moaning; her remarkable eyes were staring at me stoned with lust. She was forcefully humping her mound against me now, making little cries each time we came together.  I wanted the foreplay to go on forever. But the heat and excitement was too much. She rolled a rubber on me. She must have palmed it as she was undressing.  It was a seamless gesture. She was clearly a master of the art.

I inserted myself in her. She gave a loud satisfied groan. And opened her legs wider to draw me deeper into her hot, tight, very wet passage. The journey up into her was a study in silky smoothness with little nips and flutters. Then she threw her legs widely into the air above both of us and began to seriously fuck me. She was gasping now, like she couldn’t get her breath and yelling, just absolutely yelling, “Ahhhh Yesssss FUCK ME!!”

I was slamming into her so hard that the bed was banging against the wall behind us. She grabbed the backs of her knees and completely spread-eagled herself. Then she reached down and seized my ass in her red lacquered claws and pulled me further into her.

At that juncture, she started a series of rapid fire up-and-down movements while she urgently clawed my back, her fingers were like the talons of a bird of prey. She started yelling, “MMMMMM!!! MMMMM!!! CUMMMING!! CUMMMING!!!” And then she sank her teeth into my shoulder. Even in the throes of ecstasy I thought, “This woman is more cat than human!!”

She continued to cum, bucking like a wild thing. Her powerful woman’s body was bouncing both of us all over the bed as she humped back at me. She had her legs wrapped around me and she was shouting over-and-over, “That’s it!! Right there!!! Give it to me baby!!! Give it ALL to me!!! Don’t stop!!! Don’t ever stop!!! Fill me up!!!”

That did it. I shouted “OH FUCK, OH YEAHH! And I came in ways that must have changed the local weather. I saw stars and rockets and nearly blacked out. Blackouts will happen when your blood pressure is probably registering somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 over 495.

We both came back slowly. That was the most intense sex I had ever experienced and she must have come three or four separate times in the process. So I imagine she was feeling a little worked out. I slid off of her to lie gasping on the bed.

She eventually raised herself on one elbow, her huge right tit squashed against my chest and said, “You are an amazing man Davey. I know a lot about men and I can’t imagine why you would ever feel threatened by any other male of the species. I bet your ex-wife is really missing what you just gave me.”

Then she got a determined look on her face and said, “Now let me get you back in action, because this is going to be a long night for both of us. I really liked what you did to me and I need you to do it again, several more times, before I will release you from your duties.” Then a warm mouth closed over Old Lucifer.

I awoke with the sun streaming through the floor to ceiling windows of the suite. She was nowhere to be seen. I looked at the bedside clock. It was 7:30 AM. I had gotten perhaps four hours of sleep. She appeared in the bedroom in one of those huge white bathrobes. She was carrying one for me. I reached for HER instead.

By the way she reacted I could tell that she was done with me.  It was nothing like the all-enfolding response her body had given me over-and-over the prior night. She handed me the robe and said, “I ordered room service. I hope you like full English breakfasts. The woman was truly an angel. I could have eaten a Mastodon after the exercise last night.

I was gratified to see that she looked as well-fucked as I felt. She had been almost supernatural last night. She was completely and totally giving, while being insanely greedy. It was just straight sex in a number of conventional positions. But her hungers and her physical strength made what we were doing seem almost divine.

I assumed that I had caught her interest because she thought that she had seen a wrong that she knew she could redress. I realize that at its core it was just sex for her. But it was ALSO a gracious act of spiritual renewal.

Last night she had helped me to rediscover my manhood, to recover my courage and faith in myself. I was also aware that she was healing me through her own superb sense of self. This was a woman who simply operated on a different level. And she brought everybody she touched up to her superior plane of existence.

After one night with Marigold Wilson I felt stronger and more self-assured than I had ever been in my life. More important, I was also aware that I had to go back to Madison and do the right thing. Marigold expected me to close the loop with Sarah. And I was not going to disappoint this unearthly creature.

She was so fundamentally lovely sitting there in the snow white robe with her perfect face and her tousled auburn hair. The sight of all that beauty made my heart hurt. She was assessing me with that intimidating feline gaze. She said in a voice that would brook no argument, “You need to hunt her up now and close the loop. It is probably over between you two. But you can’t leave things hanging the way you left them. You have to get complete closure with her or you are going to die an old and bitter man.”

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As I was riding in the cab out to SFO I was beginning to wonder whether the person I had made love to was actually real. Or if she was some heavenly spirit who had taken a break from her angelic duties to touch the lives of two humble people. The experience was THAT far out of the ordinary.

I was drained. Sarah is fantastic in bed. But Marigold Wilson was in a different world entirely. It was like comparing a National Champ to an Olympic one.  Bernie was curious about my evening but he didn’t ask. He was flying on to New York when we parted company in Minneapolis. I got on the puddle-jumper to Dane County Airport.

I hate west-to-east travel because two hours of the day just evaporate. So I was getting into my place at sunset even though it was only early evening where I left. I have a nice little condo off the Madison campus. It has an excellent view of Lake Mendota.

Sarah got the house. I got the boat. I considered it a fair deal. If it weren’t for my little boat, I would have probably gone nuts last summer. I practically lived on the water. The peace and tranquility of the big lake kept me from going off the deep end maybe literally. I was thinking about how I was going to reconnect with Sarah. I obviously couldn’t just call her up and say, “What’s happenin’ babe?”

Our parting had been unpleasant. And for two solid years I had kept a Chinese wall between us. So, I was pretty certain that if I just appeared unannounced at her doorstep there wouldn’t be much conversation with HER. On the other hand, I might be having some with the police.

The best approach had to be face-to-face. That way I could read her facial expressions and I would be able to better navigate around the no-doubt serious stumbling blocks she would throw up. I was absolutely NOT expecting to reconcile with her. Too much water had flowed over the dam for that. But I WAS hoping that I could lay all of the latent resentment and anger to rest. Honestly, I just felt like I had to say my piece, so that I could move on to the future.

For all I knew Sarah was married. I was certain that she had a man, or maybe MANY men in her life. She is the most attractive woman I have ever known. I didn’t count Marigold since I wasn’t sure that she was actually human.

It seemed to me that the most stress-free way to talk to Sarah would be in a public place, like a restaurant, or a bar. I felt like she would be more at ease if there were a lot of people around. And I was counting on the public setting to prevent her from causing a scene.

The last time I had seen her she was sobbing her heart out. But in the succeeding two years she might have turned vindictive. I really didn’t blame her. God knows I had given her enough reason. I had been a ruthless, hard-hearted son-of-a-bitch to her.

Thus, I was certain that trying to approach her after all this time would seem suspicious. But I had to lay that part of my life finally to rest. I didn’t need to physically stalk her to get all of the information I needed. The internet provided that. People who are comfortable in the deepweb can find out anything about another person. And I am a master of that art. So I knew a bunch of things by the time I went to bed that night.

And bedtime came early because I had spent the previous night being killed by Marigold Wilson. Sarah was still at the same address and nobody else was living there. So she was still single and living alone. That didn’t mean that she was not entertaining nightly visitors. But she did not have a significant other actually living in-house.

I don’t know why but I found that insight deeply satisfying. Maybe she was having as much difficulty as I was getting past our divorce. I also knew that she was still at Acme but she had since been promoted to a senior project position. So I had not poisoned the well too badly for her. That also pleased me.

Shithead was living in Boston now. Apparently that is where his wife’s people were from. So, he was living under his wife’s thumb. How delightful!  

In my explorations I found out that Sarah was on the Board of a group that promoted science and engineering jobs for women. That made perfect sense. She is an engineer and she has always been a giver. More importantly, that group was holding a dinner dance, fund raiser at the end of the week. My-My! How fortuitous!

Five minutes and a credit card got me a seat at the table. And better yet it was black tie. I love black tie. I know I’m not Bond – James Bond. But I like to dress like him any chance I get. And the event was at the Maple Bluff Country Club which was only about 15 minutes from my place.

Maple Bluff is a relatively posh place for the golfing set. I have no interest in that pastime and so I had no reason to visit it. But I had to admit that the Club was a pretty impressive site as I pulled into the valet station in my Evoque.

I had purchased a Range Rover Evoque after the divorce. No Jags for me. I don’t buy a car to serve as a single man’s security blanket. I wanted the Evoque’s luxurious muscle and I like to go against the grain anyhow. The valet approved of my car. Most of them do.

Sarah’s group had rented the building in its entirety. I saw a number of people I knew as I wandered around with a scotch-rocks in my hand. They all greeted me with diffidence. I did not need to be an expert in human relations to understand the reason why. Sarah must be there with another impossibly handsome stud and they were all anticipating a problem.

They didn’t need to worry. I wasn’t close to over her. But I also understood that our divorce was my choice and I kept telling myself that I needed to be a man and accept that she had moved on. I finally saw them out on the patio. They seemed to have their own little circle around them. I walked up to the fringe of the group.

Sarah was in a form fitting evening dress in deep blue. Her hourglass figure was on display in a very stylish manner. And her black hair and milky white skin contrasted with the blue of the dress and the almost matching blue of her eyes.

Her date was my height but he looked like a male model and he was perhaps five years younger than both of us. He had that constant three-day growth that all of the young studs sport, thick blond hair and he was perfectly fit in a slim, “can wear anything”, kind of way.

He was looking at her adoringly. Her eyes were sparkling with her usual good humor and wit. She was the very pinnacle of a late thirties professional woman, elegant, beautiful and totally self-possessed. That was until she locked eyes with me.

I had carefully donned good old affable Davey Tyler; the man everybody wants to have a beer with. I was desperately projecting amicability, forthrightness, and unqualified good spirit. It didn’t work.

The glass slipped through her fingers and hit the patio stones. Everybody looked at her startled. She put her hand over her mouth, which is one of her characteristic gestures when she is stressed. And I saw utter anguish in her eyes. I knew I had my work cut out for me.

I said as calmly as I could, just radiating sociability, “Hello Sarah, I wanted to come over and offer you my best.” She was still recovering as a couple of the women in her group were bent over picking up the glass.

I said, continuing to sound as calm and non-threatening as I could, “This is a wonderful event and I wanted to lend my support to it. I hope you don’t mind.” That was not as conceited a statement as it might sound. Given my reputation, my presence at ANY technology event WAS a big deal. 

Then I turned to the man who Sarah was with and stuck out my hand, “Davey.” He took it warily and said, “Steven – Sarah has told me a lot about you.” I said smiling, “Don’t you believe a word of it. I am only a MEDIUM sized asshole.”

He chuckled. We were on friendly terms. In the meantime, Sarah had gotten her composure back. She said, “Davey, what are you doing here? I thought you were out in San Francisco.”

I wondered how she knew that. I said, “I got back two nights ago. You know how much I am into women in engineering as a cause. This event has been on my calendar since it was scheduled. I am surprised to see YOU here though.” That was an ass-covering lie but things were going so well I wanted to keep the momentum going.

She said, “I have volunteered a lot since…” And she couldn’t say it… She covered with, “Since I got my promotion.” I said affableness just dripping off me, “Well that is certainly decent of you. I wish I had the time.”

I turned to Steven and said, “What do you do? He said, “I’m a third year surgical resident at the University of Wisconsin Hospital.” Well-well-well! A male model AND a surgeon too. I moved his age back another five years. Sarah must like them young and frisky.

Of course a beauty like hers could attract any man from age 18 to 88. I said breezily, “I just wanted to say hello. I hope I see you two around. Now I need a refill.” And I turned and sauntered back toward the bar. As I did that I dialed the psychic deflector shields back down from DEFCON One to Three.

The momentary flash of anguish and loss in her eyes was disquieting. I continued to loiter around the event because I was there to ask Sarah if she would condescend to meet and talk with me. I was worried that her response to ANY request like that would be personally humiliating. So I wanted to do the asking where the fewest number of people could witness it.

The problem was that she and her date danced the night away. Her arms were always around his neck squashing those gorgeous pillow-tits into his chest. His hands were on the rise just above her jutting buns. Sometimes they would slip a little lower to cup her to him.

They kissed deeply and romantically after the slow dances. Of course it was killing me. But I had to hang in there. I would never get a better chance to build the bridge to the next part of my life. And if I had to endure THAT agonizing spectacle in the meantime - then so-be-it.

I was waiting for Steven to take a bathroom break. He might be an ideal specimen but even perfect people have to pee once in a while don’t they? I was not planning on dancing but women kept asking me. The last thing I wanted to do was go out on the dance floor right next to the loving couple. But I also wanted to be polite.

I was sitting at the table cooling off after a long pas-de-deux with a charming little elf of a blond woman when I sensed a female presence. She was standing there looking as soft and gorgeous as I had ever remembered her. She said, “You danced with everybody else tonight. How about a dance with me? Just for old time’s sake.” At last!!

I grinned at her and said, “I would love it!” And I held out my arms ballroom style. We must have looked like a throwback to the Arthur Murray era. But I wanted this to be as non-sexual a moment as possible. She was getting plenty of the other kind of dancing from her date. She came into my arms and I could feel the electricity. She felt it too. She gave a little gasp and stared to quiver.

We started out with a modest amount of distance between us. But she stepped into me and I could feel those big tits moving around on my chest. She rested her head on my shoulder and I could smell the perfume of her gorgeous hair. It was a heavenly sensation. As we danced she continued to gasp. It sounded like a sob.

From somewhere buried in my chest I heard a tiny voice say, “What happened to us Davey?” I said, “I was a fool Sarah. I know it now and I was hoping you could give me an hour of your time to confess my sins.”

She reared her head back. There were tears in her eyes. She said, “Tonight was no accident was it?” I said, “No it wasn’t but I couldn’t think of any other way to approach you in a nonthreatening manner. I just wanted to have a moment to talk with you.”  

God! I sounded EXACTLY like Dickhead. So I quickly added, “There is nothing implied. I want to get a few things off my chest so I can move on.” She said, “I have wanted to do that since we split up. We never really got closure. How about tomorrow for dinner, 6:00? You can pick me up.

Then she added with irony in her voice, “I think you know how to find the place.” We both smiled. Even in a moment that intense she could find the humor. I said, “I’ll see you then. In the meantime, I am leaving after this dance.”

It was clear to both of us WHY I was leaving. I couldn’t stand to see her romantically involved with another man. My imagination was running riot all night, thinking about what they were doing and how many times. I kept telling myself, “That’s none of your business. You have no claim on her. You gave THAT away.”

I knocked on her door promptly at six. She greeted me in a figure hugging little black dress that nearly blew me off the porch. She had gotten even more incredible looking in the past two years. Her boobs were bigger, if that was even possible, and her waist and hips were slimmer. She had made up her exquisite face so that all of her best features were highlighted.

I was thinking she actually has a beauty to rival the matchless allure of the sublime Marigold. She said, “You really didn’t have to knock. It was your house for a lot more years than we have been apart.” I said calmly, “It’s just yours now.”

I had meant that to be a self-effacing statement, not a shot at her, but her eyes teared up. I tried to backpedal. I said, “So are you ready to have that dinner and talk?” She brightened and said with a little extra spirit, “Yes sir I AM!”

The last thing I wanted to do was to make it look like I was romancing her. That was not the point at all. And even though there are a million great places in Madison I wanted somewhere familiar to close the circle. Sort of a good luck charm so to speak.

I think she got the idea about where I was headed as I turned off of Langdon Street. She said with wonder in her voice, “You’re taking me to the Memorial Union Terrace?” I said with a laugh, “It’s where it all started. It just seems like the only place to go to get closure. Plus, I like the beer and brats.”

She laughed merrily and hugged my arm. She said, “You’re right. It’s perfect!” Then she realized what she had done and she slid hastily over to the other side of the Rover. She said, “I’m sorry Davey. That was totally inappropriate.”

I said, “No it isn’t. My main aim, besides getting a few things that I have to say off my chest, is to try to rebuild my friendship with you. You were always my best friend and I miss that.” She looked out the side window. I knew it was to hide the fact that she was crying.

I had to get the light mood back. So I said breezily, “So how are things at work. I hear you got a promotion. She said, still sadly, “Yes, I am the lead engineer there. I am responsible for all product development and testing. It makes for a much longer day but it is something I can throw myself into. I see you have two new books so you must be just as busy.”

I said, “I HAVE been trying to keep active. It takes my mind off of things.” DAMN! Was I born stupid or did I go to school to learn to be that dumb! She went back to staring glumly out the window.

We walked out on the terrace. Sarah in a black dress and me in a sport coat, tie and khakis. We must have stood out among the normal student population like a couple of poodles at a cat show. OUR table was empty. We sat down over a pitcher of beer. With its fresh breeze and the setting sun it really was a lovely place to sit on a beautiful evening in Wisconsin. She looked striking.

Regret was gnawing at my stomach but I had to put that behind me. I was trying to keep my speech as straightforward and simple as possible. I looked at her. She was looking back at me with something mysterious in her eyes. I thought to myself, take a deep breath my boy and just begin.  

I said, “I recently had a bit of an epiphany and I need to get a few things off my chest. I hope you take this in the spirit that it is offered. I don’t want to stir up painful memories but I DO need to explain. And once I do that I can move on with the rest of my life.” She looked attentive, but there was also anguish there.

I said, “First, I want to say that I should not have just walked out of you like I did. We should have talked about it before I just dropped the hammer on our marriage. It was stupid and cruel of me to do that.” She went back to teary eyed.

I said, “I have grown as a man and I realize that a lot of what happened was caused by my own personal insecurities. I am not absolving you of any blame. But you were relatively honest with me, with a few glaring exceptions, and I owed you a final chance to explain yourself. I know that what I witnessed was really not grounds for a divorce. It was a case of me cringing before I got hit.”

I looked at her as sincerely as I could and said, “Simply running away like I did was not a very manly thing to do. Your love was precious to me. I should have fought harder for it, tried to change your mind, done anything other than just cut and run. So I want to ask you to forgive me. Our marriage was a lot more precious to me than I might have indicated by my actions.”

Her eyes were shining with tears. I said, “So can you ever see your way clear to granting me a pardon Governor? I thought I was being noble and principled but what I was really doing was giving away the only important thing my life, YOU.”

I added with my legendary lopsided grin, “I see you have found some way to get over what this foolish guy did to you. Steven certainly seems like a catch.” She said harshly, “Steven is wonderful. He has all of the energy of a kid and I just love what he does to me.” That spiked my jealousy off the end of the chart. It showed in my face.

Her face crumbled. She said, “I’m sorry Davey, I know that was a cruel shot. I just can’t get over how much you hurt me. You will always be the only man I have ever loved and I get furious when I think about how we could have possibly fucked it up so badly that we are no longer together. I know I did some really stupid things. I am not going to try to justify them.”

I said, “You never did anything worthy of the death penalty. It was the intention not the act that I was reacting to. With all that we meant to each other I should have tried harder to keep you after that day in the park. And I should have let you explain. That was simple arrogance on my part. I was sure I knew better.”

She said, “What you saw was exactly what you think. Marlon is a master of seduction. He had a picnic and a blanket with him when I arrived. So obviously you have to go somewhere to spread it out. Since I was really only there to emphasize one last time that he had to stay away from me I wanted a quiet place to do the talking.”

I still wasn’t sure that I believed that. But it was ancient history. The ensuing two years had made it seem like the whole sordid thing had taken place in Imperial Rome. And anyhow, whatever she actually intended there was no harm done since I had broken it up before Dickhead even got a finger into her.

She said, “It was stupid to let him lead me there. I knew I still wanted him. But I thought I was strong enough to just say “no”.  I didn’t expect him to jump me like he did. The minute we sat down he started kissing me passionately. It caught me totally off guard and all of my resolve just flew out the window. It hadn’t been five minutes before you walked up but I probably would have fucked him. So I am more to blame than you are. I deserved what you did to me.”

She looked far guiltier than I would have expected after everything that had transpired since then. She said, “I would have been unfaithful. I just didn’t fully appreciate the consequences when I put myself there. Once I knew the cost it was too late. I guess I just counted on you loving me enough to get past it. I know now that was an excruciatingly selfish and tremendously adolescent point of view.”

I said with considerable emotion in my voice, “If I had known what you just told me it would not have been too late. But I had already embarked on my crusade to hurt you.  You had hurt me and I wanted you to feel worse. Looking at you right now it breaks my heart that we are not together. We had everything and then just threw it away. I absolutely wish you the best in your life and I’m truly sorry. I will love you forever”

I had said my piece. And it was to the best of my ability. I suddenly DID feel a whole lot better. And I was ready to move on. I thought to myself, “Thank you Marigold.” I started to stand up but she grabbed my hand with both of hers. The emotions playing across her face were terrible to behold. She said with ache in her voice, “Now you have to listen to me.”

I politely sat back down. She said, “I was devastated when you left I just sat in the house and cried for six straight months. My work sucked. I felt like everybody there thought I was a slut. And they knew why you divorced me.”

She said with emphasis, “But even though you were gone I wanted you to be proud of me. I know you wouldn’t respect the sniveling victim that I had become. So I pulled myself together and started to get back into the world. I concentrated on work and I started dating again.”

Then she said with conviction, like she was confessing to something, “Over the last 20 months I have slept with four men and none of them did anything for me, it was worse than nothing. It reminded me of what I had lost. And I would cry afterward even though we had been divorced forever.”

She looked at me with infinite sadness and said, “I know it sounds insane. We were living separate lives but I felt like I was being unfaithful to you. I realize that was an absolutely pathetic state to be in.” She smiled ruefully and added, “Needless to say those guys didn’t hang around for very long after I explained the reason for my hysterics.” Like I said, she has a delicious sense of irony.

She said with passion, “Steven is a nice young man but he is not the love of my life. YOU are. I had a complete breakdown last night. It must have been the result of being in your arms earlier. I told him what the problem was. He knows how much I am still hung up on YOU. And he is history now too.”

Another sad, ironic smile. I felt only elation, no jealousy. I smiled sheepishly and said, “You have no idea how much I have learned in two years.” There was no way I could explain how blindingly sudden that revelation actually was. Saint Paul and I probably could have compared notes.

She gave me a forlorn grin and said quietly, “Me too.” She added with deep emotion, “So the question is, when we love and need each other so much, why are we apart? You did some really stupid and hurtful things and so did I. Two years have passed and we are different people now, at least I know I am. I have spent hours in introspection and I have a much better understanding of why I do things. I have learned how take control of my own life.”

I said, “So what are we talking about here? I only wanted to beg your forgiveness. I was not trying to get back in your life.” She said with hopefulness in her voice, “Do you want to be?”

I said, “That’s a ridiculous question. Since the instant I laid eyes on you almost 12 years ago I have never wanted any other woman. The chance to have what we used to have would seal up the bleeding crack in my heart and I could be whole again. But how could we possibly do that.”

She said, “You have always thought about things way too much. Two long years have passed. It feels like an eternity. In essence, we are total strangers sitting here. I have had to learn from my mistakes and carry on with my life. And you have too.”

Then she said with deep emotion, “We are different people than when we were married. And we probably have a lot to relearn about each other. So as far as I am concerned I just met you. But I think that I might want to get to know you better.” She leaned toward me and took my hand in both of hers. She gave me the hottest look she has ever given me and said, “We should just treat this like a normal date and take it from there sailor.”

She was an absolute terror that night, wilder than I ever remembered her. The minute we got in the house she stepped out of her dress and dragged me into the master bedroom by the front of my shirt. Watching those big magnificent buns twitch along in a thong, as she walked in front of me had Old Lucifer feeling very young and randy indeed. Of course, my little voice was scratching its head and wondering, “When did she start wearing thongs?”

Then she turned and just ripped my shirt open, buttons flying everywhere and fell to her knees and dropped my pants like a pro. She proceeded to gobble Old Lucifer like it was a very hot day and he was the last ice cream cone on earth. She had obviously expanded her skill set a great deal in the previous two years. She had never done anything even close to that in our entire marriage.

Of course pure jealousy reared its ugly head. But this time the little voice in my head reminded me to “shut up and enjoy it.” I was the one who had cut her loose. And I had no claim on whatever happened in the interim. She was in essence a different woman than the one who I had married and then divorced. And I had to start seeing her that way.

I was about to cum when she pulled off me and frantically dragged me toward the bed. Since she was holding onto Old Lucifer with a grip of steel I had to go along or I would have parted company with my favorite appendage. The frenzied aggression was a new thing too. But I suppose you learn to be that way when you are single and horny.

She turned toward me and without further ado threw both of her arms around my neck, put her right hand behind my head and dragged me down to the hottest kiss she had ever given me. Her wide sensual lips opened underneath mine and I could feel her tongue probing my mouth. The sensation of that contact made her moan loudly. I threw my arms around her and hugged her to my chest. Her huge boobs pillowed out between us. She was breathing rapidly now, caught up in the feeling. Her moans were getting louder.

She freed herself momentarily from my grasp, and agitatedly unsnapped her bra letting it slide off of her shoulders. She held it momentarily to her breasts with crossed arms. Then she dropped her arms. What fell out were those two gorgeous breasts that I knew and positively loved.

Her boobs are magnificent, full, meaty, high and proud, with two big dark nipples sticking out like something in a pornographic cartoon. I had seen them thousands of times before. But it is like listening to the first notes of Beethoven’s Ninth. You might have heard it, but it still profoundly moves you.  

I had an overwhelming desire to suck on them. I knew that Fuckface had done the same thing. And for the first time ever it gave me no heartburn. I sat on the bed and pulled her to stand between my legs. Her breasts had actually gotten much bigger since I had last enjoyed them. I hefted their weight in each palm. They were so big that the majority part of them still hung out past the edge of my hand.

She let out a loud groan and threw her head back overwhelmed by sheer sensation. I was sitting on the bed while I drove her wild working on her nipples. She was crushing me to her left tit. And she was making rhythmic ugh-ugh-ugh noises as I nursed that swelling red-hot nub.

She was on fire. Never in our extensive sexual history did I remember her being so turned on. She was just dripping. The smell of aroused woman was giving every hormone in my body a massive erection. She pushed me back, hastily scrambled up on the bed straddled me, and pushed her dripping thong aside. Then she roughly inserted me into her white hot passage.

As I slid into her she simply flopped on my chest. She was like a puppet whose strings had been cut. She seemed to have been rendered totally, inarticulate, making odd moaning, gasping and grunting noises and hugging me to her delectable chest. It was like she was cemented to the front of me.  She must have come twice while I was moving up into her and we hadn’t actually started fucking yet.

It nearly killed her when I hit bottom and started to move. It put her into an absolutely brave new world of wild cries, frantic bucking and hyperventilating. She went from lying on my chest to leaning as far back as she could with her hands gripping my thighs as she ground her clit into me. That set off more hyperventilating.

She started yelling, “OH GOD DAVEY!!! IT’S BEEN SO LONG!!! YOU FEEL SO GOOD!!! FUCK ME, JUST FUCK ME!!!” I was watching those huge tits shaking in a dozen different directions as she ground on me. She was making savage groans and cries. The expression on her face was intense passion. She was so wet that I could feel her hot juices dripping down my leg and onto the sheets underneath.

Then she came one final time. It was with a force that was mindboggling. Her tight passage began to spasm uncontrollably and she shrieked with the sensation. Her hips were a blur of activity and her abandoned cries were like the constant breaking of the surf. She was just yelling, “YESSSSSS, OH GOD YESSSSSS!!!! IT’S BEEN SO LONG!!!!”

At which point she halted dramatically. She was totally still. It was an almost weirdly spiritual moment. It was like she had reached some kind of sexual Nirvana. Her passage was still milking me and she was panting heavily but she sat straight up straddling me with her strong legs gripping my hips.

The look on her face was almost unearthly serene. Still astride, she put her hands on my shoulders, opened her eyes and focused directly on me. She was having a hyper-rational moment. I could see her incredible strength, vitality and essential wisdom in her striking blue eyes; as well as something else.

She was communicating without words what she had learned through loss. It was the simple fact that she knew that she had room in her heart for only ONE special man. And that man was me. It was the vision of the steadfast loyalty and the absolute commitment that she would give me as a result of that knowledge.

The insight that she had gained through intense grief would make her the most devoted and finest life companion that a man could ever want. And that newfound understanding would drive her choices for the rest of her life.

Chemistry is a funny thing. The attraction never goes away. And life had taught both of us the cost of not accepting that essential reality. Some people just know things. Others have to learn them the hard way.  Not recognizing how much we needed each other had led both of us to commit nearly unpardonable sins. But we both understood the rules now. And it wouldn’t happen again. She said with profound emotion, “I love you Davey. I’m yours. I will always be yours.”

I knew in that special instant that she was my woman and I would be her man forever. But I still added with utter sincerity, “And I will never let you go.” It was astonishing really. I had set out five hours ago to do nothing more than close the loop with her, so that I could move on with my life. Yet with no planning or forethought whatsoever it had all dropped into place. As the old Neal McCoy song put it, “There was no doubt about it. We were meant to be together.”

And in whatever part of paradise that she calls home, Marigold Wilson finally got her wings.

EPILOG

The wedding took place on the terrace at the Union. Where else could it be? My bride was gorgeous in a simple flowered silk dress. My best man was a guy named Bernie. He had on his most elegant aloha shirt. So did I and fuck the tradition.

We exchanged the same vows we had made ten years earlier. But this time there was no question in either of our minds that these would be forever. All we had to do was look into each other’s eyes to know that.

But I had also learned that it is part of my duty as her husband to guard my wife against all predators. And I was going to devote myself to ensuring she would always be mine. As I had told my guardian angel, “You can only hit your thumb so many times before you learn.” And we had both learned the difference between “having” and “not having.”

The return to our house and our life together was joyous. We hosted the wedding party in our back yard, the one we both loved so much. As the last guests left I got us a couple of beers and we watched the sun go down. It had been a hot day. The cicadas started their age old rhythm.

I looked at her sitting in her chair, the one that she had always sat in during the most priceless moments of my life. She was my best friend and life’s companion. She looked at me and extended her bottle. We clinked the necks together. She said, “Promise me that we will always talk about anything. Promise me that please. If we are honest with each other we will never lose this.”

I said, “I swear on our absolute happiness that the instant I have a concern, ANY concern, you will hear about it. And I won’t stop talking about it until we resolve it. I will never lose you again.” Then we both turned and watched the last sliver of dark red sun disappear behind the tree line. We were together and the peace and tranquility descended on both of us.

Author’s note: This story featured Marigold but it didn’t give her the happy ending she deserves. That is provided in “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, which is the last book in this series.


© Copyright 2017 DT Iverson. All rights reserved.

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