"Gary, we've talked this over a thousand times, and you know it," she said.
"No, Claire, you've brought it up a thousand times; time and again you've brought it up; but I have never bought into it. You know I wouldn't be able to deal with an open marriage kind of thing; it's not in me, Claire. Can't we just love each other, and make love to each other like normal people do?" I said.
She came to me. "We are normal people, Gary. And, we do make love to each other, wonderful love. But this would be good for you too. Don't you see that? You could have some strange on the side. I could have some strange on the side. It could be intoxicating," she said.
"Claire, I would never cheat on you. Never!" I said. "I don't need strange on the side; you are more than enough for me!"
"It wouldn't be cheating, dear. It would be with my full permission. It would have no affect on us or our marriage or any of it. It would just be fun for the occasional evening out," she said. I thought it significant that she avoided my protestation that she was enough for me. It occurred to me that I must not be enough for her, and the thought hurt.
"Anyway, Claire, no woman would want an old goat like me," I said. "Except maybe you." I looked down and wondered if she cared at all about me sexually anymore. I was mortally afraid of the answer to that question. She saw through me and tried to calm my fears.
"Don't sell yourself short, honey. You are quite a man. A lot of women would be tickled to death to have an evening with you," she said, giggling now. I wasn't laughing; I wanted to cry.
I suppose I should introduce us. I'm Gary Sanders. As you have no doubt gathered, Claire is my wife of twenty-three years. Me? Five-seven, one-sixty, slightly balding, and pushing fifty. Claire: five --five, one-ten, tawny hair and a lot of it, age forty-four but looking thirty-four. I work for a small machine shop and pull down 40K annual; that, plus the benefit package has been enough for us. Claire, for her part, doesn't work, but she's a top notch homemaker; at least she is in my opinion. Oh, and no kids.
Getting a man to fuck Claire would not be a problem. Again, me? Well, it might be a problem, even if I wanted to, and I sure as heck didn't want to. I was frightened; I could see us being hurt bad by this stuff she was talking to me about.
She came and put her arms around me and kissed me. Man, how I loved this woman; I just didn't understand her anymore though. I sure as hell didn't want to share her. "Tell you what, Gary, to make it easy for you in the beginning; I will take it upon myself to get you a woman whenever I get me a man. How would that be? Then these silly insecurities of yours won't even have to be entered into," she said.
Talk about humiliating! My wife was actually suggesting she would get a girl for me, probably one of her friends, I supposed, because she totally knew I'd probably have a tough time even trying to find someone to date me; I was just too ordinary to play these kinds of games. I wasn't going for it.
"Honey, I just can't. I don't even know how to date anymore. And, don't stand there and tell me it's just like riding a bicycle," I said. "I only want you."
"Husband mine. It's time to make a decision here, and I'm making it. You have nothing to fear. I will take care of everything," she said. And, that was that. I continued to plead and beg and even cry for a little while longer; but in the end the decision had been made. For her part, she giggled and comforted me and made a strenuous, completely unsuccessful, effort to allay my fears. Then we went to bed. The sex that night was good and I hoped enough for her, but deep down I knew it wasn't; she was still committed to her fantasies.
Nothing was said let alone discussed over the next several days. It was Saturday when she hit me with it.
"Honey, tonight's the night. I want you to dress cowboy style. We're going out," she said. I swallowed and nodded somberly. "Come on, big guy, it'll be fun. And besides, maybe nothing will happen. But if it does, we'll both have a ton of fun and a lot to talk about for quite a while," she said. I was literally shaking in my cowboy boots and I didn't even have them on yet.
She spent half the day getting ready to go out. She spent a significant part of the other half getting me ready. She showered with me, dressed my hair, dressed me, and inspected me. I think she was getting ready to have me douche when she remembered that I was a guy! I was going out, but I wasn't looking forward to it; it was humiliating. Claire, on the other hand, was buoyant.
We arrived at the Hole in the Wall Bar and Grill and dance hall at about eight o'clock. Things were just getting started. We'd already eaten at our favorite restaurant in town, and we, or at least I, was nervous as hell; I did not want to be here.
I had gone to get us our second round of drinks, and I was on my way back, when I saw a cowboy—well, he was dressed like a cowboy—ask my wife to dance. She smiled in my direction, but I just gave her what I knew was a weak and tentative nod. Our table was toward the back of the place, and I lost sight of her for some little time as she did not return for several dance tunes. Finally, she did.
"Hi Gary, sorry I disappeared for so long. Several different guys asked me to dance, and well...Anyway, I'd like to introduce you to Ann."
Greetings done, Ann did her best to engage me in conversation. I finally realized that this was a woman that my wife had talked into being with me for the evening. Claire stayed with us laughing and carrying on, mostly with Ann, until she felt that it was safe enough to leave me to my own devices. I was sure they had had more than a few girls' nights out together.
"Well, Gary, and I hope you don't mind. Claire said you wouldn't mind taking me home when we're done tonight. That's okay, right?" said Ann.
"Uh—sure. That will be fine," I said. I was wondering how my wife intended getting home. But, it soon dawned on me that if she did get home tonight it would be in some other guy's car. I was not feeling very good. Add to that that I already felt like a cheater, nothing Claire had said to the contrary withstanding.
To her credit, I thought, Ann was doing her best to make me feel at ease. "Why don't we get some air?" she said.
"Good idea," I said. We headed outside. Boy, did I need to get out of there. The few glimpses I had had of Claire after she had left our table did not exactly make me feel good.
"Where's your car?" she said. I pointed. "Let's head over there, okay?"
"Sure, I suppose," I said. I didn't know what the attraction of my car was, but at least we'd be out and away from all of the foot traffic milling around us. I really, really wanted to be somewhere else. Ann might have been one of Claire's friends, and she might be into whatever—well—whatever the two of them had cooked up; but I wasn't. I was trying to come up with a way to let her down gently. That soon became a non-issue.
At the car, she suddenly leaned in on me and kissed me. Not a peck on the cheek mind you, but a full blown, down and dirty, you better believe it sensual kiss. For the life of me my johnson was rising to the occasion. She noticed and smiled.
"looks like you like me," she said, laughing. I smiled back.
"Hard not to," I said, trying to sound casual. I was uncomfortable as hell, but awfully horny at the same time.
"Let's get inside and get comfortable, okay?" She said. I keyed the door to the back seat and let her slide in ahead of me. What the hell was I doing! Hell, I was playing along with Claire's ideas just as she probably knew I would. I wanted to kick myself in the ass.
Soon we were making out pretty good. I still wasn't all that comfortable with the situation, but my little head was making the decisions for me at the moment, and there was no stopping him now. Anyway, Claire'd said it was all right, and she was the boss.
"Why don't we get a little more comfortable," she said. She began unbuttoning her blouse—slowly. I watched spellbound as her braless tits spilled out in full view of my lustful gaze.
"Jesus," I said. "They're beautiful." They were too.
"Well, thank you," she said. She pulled back for a moment and smiled. "Just one pop, okay. And, you need to wear this." She handed me a condom.
"One pop?" I said, not immediately understanding.
"Yes, that's all that's covered for the price," she said. In that moment all interest in having sex with her or anyone else died. I was sick with humiliation and profound sadness. This was no girlfriend of my wife's, as I had supposed. My wife had hired a prostitute to do me and keep me quiet, and as she no doubt saw it, satisfied. My twenty year marriage was suddenly in ruins. But as bad as it was, worse was in the offing.
"Uh—Ann..." I said.
"Hmm?" she said, smiling.
"My wife hired you? I mean paid you to have sex with me?" I said.
She looked at me strangely. "Uh-oh, you didn't know about this did you?" she said.
"No. I think you need to go back inside," I said. I can't do this. "I—I—I have to go."
"No refunds, you understand that, right?" she said.
"Yes, I understand. Please just go," I choked.
"Okay, Gary. I'm sorry. I thought you knew. Your wife said you were cool with it. But you weren't were you? Well, good luck," she said. I was already crying. She noticed and hurried out and away buttoning her blouse as she went.
I drove around for a couple of hours cursing and praying and sobbing like a baby. Finally, I decided to go home and wait for my wife. Pulling into the driveway, I noted the strange car parked out front. I wouldn't have to wait for her; she was already home and not alone.
I didn't try to be quiet, but they didn't hear me. They were in the guest room at the top of the stairs. The door was wide open.
"You're Hubbie is cool with this," I heard a man say.
"Oh yes, he's getting his jollies as we speak," said Claire. "It cost me a hundred bucks."
"What! He can't get a woman without paying for it?" said the man. "How'd he end up getting a class act like you?"
"It would be harder for him to find a woman. He's not what he once was, so I had to take matters into my own hands," she said. "She was a good looking whore though. He should be happy enough when she's done with him." She was laughing now.
"Fucking-A, a wife pimping for her hubby. What a fucking world," said the man, who joined in with her laughing.
They were quiet for a bit. I suppose they were making out, or maybe he was fucking her. I couldn't tell for sure. I was miserable, and misery loves company; so I stayed just outside of the door leaning against the wall being company to myself.
"He got a cock like this," said the man.
My wife giggled. "Not even," she said. "He's got maybe half of what you got." To say I felt low, betrayed, lost would have about half covered the misery I was experiencing at that moment. I should have left and just died. But, I didn't leave and I didn't die. I just stayed there listening outside the room. I hadn't kept track of the time, but it had to have been a good hour before they finally got ready to call it a night. I heard my wife bounce out of bed.
"I think you should go now," she said. "My husband should be home soon, and he's still kinda skittish about this open marriage thing, so I need to be able to coddle him some when he gets here. He doesn't need to meet the man who made a cuckold out of him."
"Sloppy seconds for him tonight?" said the man.
"Absolutely, if he gets anything," she said, laughing. I heard him dressing. Silence again for a moment or two. I assumed he was kissing her goodnight. I took that moment to head downstairs. I went into the kitchen. I turned the light on and got me a beer from the frig. I heard them come down. I was past caring at that point; I was mortally angry.
The man appeared in the doorway of the kitchen. "Oh shit!" he said. He stopped cold in his tracks looking right at me. My now drying tears must have made me seem the ultimate wimp. I appraised him: tall, good looking, maybe twenty-five, and black.
"What?" said Claire, from inside dinette area around the corner. He didn't answer her. She came in. The look on her face was equal parts terror, pity, and shock. "Gary! I—I—we didn't hear you come in," she said.
I just stared at the two of them standing side by side.
"Gary, how long have you been here?" she said. I could see she was hoping I had just arrived.
" 'bout an hour and half," I said.
"Fuck-fuck-fuck," she said. She was clearly angry; I assumed mostly with herself. "Gary, I don't know what to say."
"Uh—I'll be leaving now," said her lover. I followed him with my gaze until the front door closed behind him.
"How much did you hear?" she said.
"All of it," I said. "It's okay. I'll be leaving in the morning. I'll sleep on the couch tonight. "Oh, and don't worry, I'll pay you back for the prostitute. We didn't do anything by the way. When she told me that I was limited to one pop and had to use a condom because that was all that was covered by the price; I kinda lost interest. Well, you can imagine."
"Oh my God! She did that, said that!"
"But you got your giant sized cock, so I guess the night wasn't a total loss, at least for you," I said, the bitterness plain in my tone. "You have no idea how humiliated I am, Claire, but what do you care; you got what you wanted. Oh, and don't worry, I won't be bothering you for sex again—not ever. Certainly not for any of your lover's sloppy seconds.
"I thought I knew you, Claire. I guess that as myths go that has to be a biggee," I said.
"Gary, no. You can't leave. I love you. You love me. We belong together. This was just a game. I blew it, but I will make it up to you. I promise," she said.
"With sloppy seconds, Claire? I don't think so." I said. "Good thing we don't have kids, I guess. They won't have to be learning what a loser their father is. That's something."
"Gary, no. I'll shower right now. There won't be any sloppy seconds for you, not ever; I promise. I mean it. We can get by this. We do not have to go that route just because of my stupidity. I mean it," she said.
"Why are we even discussing this, Claire? It is more than clear that you don't love me," I said.
"I do love you, Gary. I—I—thought I needed something more. Maybe some excitement or something. I was wrong. I'll make it up to you right now. Well, I mean after I shower," she said. I snickered.
"What was his name?" I said.
"His name? The guy who just got done fucking you," I said. She started to cry.
She hesitated. I was pretty sure that I was probably going to be getting a version of the truth at best. "Hugh Williams, was the name he gave me," she said. "I don't even know if it's his real name." I nodded.
"Good 'ole Hugh," I said.
I rose and headed for our bedroom. I had to get some stuff. I didn't want to be doing it in the morning. I would shack up here tonight, it was late, and I was just too tired. The morning would be soon enough. Hell, maybe I'd die in my sleep; I would if there were a God.
While I packed up stuff, Claire kept trying to get me to talk. But, I was done talking for the next little while. We'd likely talk again, but not tonight.
I awoke to the sound of the alarm on my cell phone. It was 5:00AM. I needed to pee. I headed for the bathroom near the foot of the stairs.
I headed upstairs, I had remembered a couple of things I would need that were in the master bath. The door to the master bedroom was wide open Claire was lying on the floor beside the bed sound asleep. I looked down at the creature that was soon to be but a memory, a sad one, for me. I wondered who her next lover would be. The only thing I did know was that it wouldn't be me.
I didn't leave right away as I had told myself I would; for half an hour, I just stood Around talking to myself.. Maybe something in me just wouldn't let me admit that my wife didn't love me. Our parents would be crushed. Mine loved her and hers loved me. For sure that would be a hard nut. But, I was gone by 6:00AM I heard her stirring; it was my signal to go. Helluva thing.
"No, Hugh, we have to cut the cord here. My husband's left me, and I'm not sure I will even ever see him again. I can't risk playing house anymore. I really can't," said Claire.
"Can't you catch him at work?" said Hugh.
"He quit yesterday. He took money from the savings and has just disappeared. His boss has no idea for where. He could be anywhere," she said.
"You said he was cool with it, Claire, what changed?" said Hugh.
"I fucked up. The woman I set him up with to pacify him was a hooker, like I said. When he found out..."
"Oh shit! He found out; I mean he didn't know! God, I feel for the guy. How fucking humiliating," he said.
She looked down. "Yes, I guess it was. I can't believe I was that stupid. Anyway, you and I have to cool it for a while."
"Does he know who I am?" he said.
"He knows your name. He thinks you're just some guy I picked up in the bar," she said.
"Yeah, well that's true isn't it. That you picked me up in that bar a year ago is only a detail, right?" he said, laughing. "Why are husbands always so fucking clueless?" he said.
"I tried to get him involved for the longest time," she said. "Finally last week, I made the decision and kinda forced him to go along with it; now it's blown up in my face. What a mess."