Anarchy of the Heart Pt. 01byMaxSebastian©
It all started with a blazing row, which so rarely happened between Leo and Caitlyn as to be remarkable in itself.
It was a ridiculous place for an argument of any kind - the sun was shining in a cloudless sky, a warm breeze kept the humidity away, and the villa in which they were staying had its own private swimming pool overlooking majestic views over the French city of Nice, and behind it the broad, calm expanse of the Mediterranean Sea. The whole place was made for relaxing – not for stern words, furrowed brows and hands on hips.
Leo knew it would have been a wonderfully restful and invigorating vacation had he not agreed to take part in a transatlantic conference call with his company. Had he not dropped the bombshell and infuriated his fiancée.
"And they have to have this meeting right when we should be having a nice romantic dinner, just the two of us?"
"They said it would only be this one time."
"Do they not understand what a time difference is?"
"They want the West Coast to be in on the call."
Neither he nor Caitlyn had had a proper vacation for years - the way their work diaries so rarely aligned as both of them chased careers, they'd long figured they probably wouldn't even get a proper honeymoon until some years after their wedding.
Yet a brief window of opportunity opened up that summer, allowing them to get away for a peaceful, romantic sojourn in the sun-drenched French Riviera - to spend all day, every day relaxing out by the pool, soaking up the rays, sipping the local rosé, perhaps making the occasional visit to a sleepy town along the Cote D'Azur.
"You should have made it clear you were out of contact."
"I know, honey, I thought I had."
Leo could understand why his fiancée took offense to his company for interrupting their vacation.
Caitlyn in particular had needed a breather from it all - for three years, she'd averaged all of six or seven vacation days a year at her grind of a job. Then ever since Leo had finally popped the question, she'd also taken it upon herself to do all the planning for the wedding itself.
So now destiny had offered them a rare chance for a vacation - Caitlyn had secured a new job that gave her the chance to set her start date back a few weeks to sneak a little time off, while Leo had been offered a sudden boatload of vacation days along with a promotion, to keep him from taking a job offer with a rival firm.
Yet while Caitlyn had insisted on leaving her iPhone back in New York before they had jetted across the Atlantic, Leo's company had insisted he continue to be contactable.
"I'm not having them ruin our vacation with a whole bunch of meetings."
"It won't be a whole bunch, sweetie."
Those first couple of days staying at that wonderful little villa on the hillside, Caitlyn had given him dark looks every time he'd even checked his messages on that phone. He'd taken to sneaking glances at it when visiting the restroom to keep out of sight.
Then on the second day, after they'd come back from a visit to St Tropez, the pretty fishing village turned celebrity hangout, he'd been unable to hide the fact that he'd received a message from the company, and had to act on it.
She'd been seething when he told her about the message. When he'd said they were demanding his involvement in an important meeting that evening, the pretty brunette had snapped.
"Tell them you can't make it. Tell them we have plans."
"It won't be long, I'm sure - "
"Tell them you can do it in the morning when its too early to do anything."
"They'll be asleep during our morning."
Leo understood her anger, and of course had he been able to, he would have done exactly what she wanted. This time, however, there was no compromise to be had. His job paid a good share of the bills, and Caitlyn's hadn't started yet. She was free to be fully independent these few weeks - he wasn't.
Seeing him not backing down, Caitlyn had said: "Then I'll have to have dinner on my own, won't I?"
He hadn't expected her anger to boil over into actually storming out, however. He thought she'd sulk and pout at him while sunbathing out by the pool, but there she went, whirling on her heels to march off without even changing out of the little white top and pastel blue skirt she'd spent the day in. She grabbed the keys to their rental car, and was gone.
She left him feeling fairly lousy, resigned to an evening alone, even after the conference call was over. Without an alternative transport option, he was marooned there at the villa.
It wasn't the worst place a guy could be marooned. The place was owned by Caitlyn's Uncle Silas, an airline pilot who could have lived anywhere in the world. He'd been offering them a stay here for years, and Leo had often asked him why he'd decided to live in Nice of all places, and never quite understood the man's answer.
Sure, it was close to Nice Airport, but this view of the city and the hills and the wide blue expanse of the Mediterranean was explanation enough.
Sipping a glass of the surprisingly drinkable local wine, out on the poolside patio in front of the villa, Leo watched the sun go down over the hills to the west, and found himself soon able to relax.
There had been nothing he could have done otherwise, after all, and it was probably good to give Caitlyn a little space to let off steam.
But after a while, as the glorious amber twilight began to leach out of the sky, and his fiancée still did not return, Leo did begin to worry.
Damn it, why hadn't he insisted she brought her phone?
There had never been the slightest idea before this evening that the two of them might part ways at some point during the vacation.
Now he had visions that she'd been attacked in some darkened alleyway somewhere, she'd gotten drunk and walked out into the sea. Or perhaps worse, she'd decided to risk driving back home after an evening's alcohol consumption.
Those roads veering around the steep hillsides up from the city were not forgiving of any slips off-track.
By the time it was approaching midnight, Leo was resorting to quiet prayer, and the only thing keeping him from alerting the authorities was the movie-inspired feeling that no one would take him seriously until the missing person had been gone at least 24 hours.
Then, just as he'd been about to start tearing out his hair, Caitlyn had simply turned up, as sober as pie.
"I was driving. What did you expect?"
"Hey - I'm not complaining, I'm glad you weren't drinking with those roads."
"Are you trying to say something about my driving skills?"
She was so casual about her return, completely oblivious to the possibility that her fiancé might have been worrying about where she was all night. But she was all smiles, and the relief of having her back with her spirits restored was enough for Leo's instant forgiveness.
"No, I'm saying something about your drinking skills."
"You and me, Mister. Right now. I could take you any time."
There was a friskiness in her manner, which definitely appealed to Leo. Maybe a little time away from him now and again was a good thing, even on vacation.
He grinned, "Hey, you should try some of this rosé, though. It's actually not bad at all."
They went outside, even now that it was heading into the small hours, and despite the sustained racket of the cicadas, the warm breeze was relaxing and the stars overhead perfect for a little drinking and light conversation.
Neither of them seemed quite ready for sleep yet, their body-clocks not yet fully adjusted to European time, so a couple of glasses and a chilled bottle of plonk out by the edge of the pool seemed just the ticket.
"Yeah - not bad," she said. "It's supposed to be the thing to drink around here, apparently."
"Well that's lucky - it's practically the only thing your Uncle Silas has in stock."
"It doesn't travel, though, I hear."
"You hear? From who?"
"Oh, you know. People. So how did the meeting go?"
Their row was now water under the bridge. It was often the way on the few occasions when they did have disagreements - wait a while, and the tension dissipated.
As far as Caitlyn was concerned, Leo's meeting was done and dusted, no longer a source of grief, as though it never had been.
"Oh you know, just a load of hot air. Frank can't take 'no' for an answer, as usual."
"Probably that small penis of his."
"And you've met Frank, what, twice?"
"When I go to your work things, they're always saying that about him. Don't tell me you've never heard it."
"Why do you think I'm never jealous when you're flirting with him?"
"You're never jealous, period. A girl could get quite upset."
Leo chuckled, "So are you going to let me in on what exactly you've been up to all evening?"
And at that question, something happened that Leo did not expect at all, and yet affected him more than he could ever have imagined it would.
His fiancée blushed.
How did something as petty as the pinkish hue of his fiancée's face affect him so much? Leo could not explain, then or afterwards.
Of course he'd always found her devastatingly attractive - from the first time they'd met at a party in the latter days of college, but over the years that attraction had mellowed into more of a sustained love, with less of the original fire of their early days, with other aspects of their relationship making up for it.
Yet suddenly, here under the outdoor lights, Caitlyn's pale cheeks turned the same color as the wine they were drinking, and Leo just wanted to tear her clothes off and devour her.
He certainly wasn't going to let her off without an explanation, and finally she saw that.
She said: "I guess you could say I met some new friends."
She looked so bashful, so awkward, and yet her flush was so devastatingly becoming on her. Leo felt his heart begin to beat a little more heavily, so he could feel it pounding inside his chest.
"Friends? Were they American too?"
"Spanish couple," she said, sipping from her glass. "They're on vacation here, like us. Only they're staying at one of those hotels on the seafront."
"Okay, but you have to promise you won't freak out..."
How best to get a guy to freak out: tell him not to. But this far along in their relationship, Leo wasn't the same guy who had preferred not to find out about Caitlyn's past boyfriends when they were dating, because he hadn't liked the idea of her being with another man. These days, he was confident enough in their relationship that when she pointed out a hunky man, or flirted with a work colleague, he didn't mind in the slightest.
And right now, Leo was rather distracted by the new power base in their relationship: her sexy blush.
So he just listened, feet lazily dipping into the cool pool water, as she talked of meeting a guy called Marco, and his girlfriend Sofia, in a bar down by the promenade.
"They couldn't understand why I was on vacation and drinking fruit juice. I guess Europeans drink wine like it's just soda. But they were so much fun. It was like I didn't even need alcohol."
"Sorry I missed it."
"They wanted to know all about us, all about you and me, so I guess it helped me work through being annoyed at you."
"Good," he said, leaning over to kiss her.
Even with just a brief brush of her lips, he could taste the wine on her soft flesh, and felt her respond to his touch. Her blush was making him as hard as stone inside his trunks, but he wanted to hear all the details of her evening away.
She said: "I was still angry enough at you to figure I didn't have to call, and then later I just plain forgot."
Leo merely nodded. He said, "So they were from Spain, huh?"
"Took a while before they'd even talk about themselves," Caitlyn said. "Yeah, they lived in Spain, come over here most years since Sofia's originally from around here. I think she works in some kind of bank or something. Something multinational."
"She seems really bright, sharp. I guess that was part of my surprise when I found out..."
She paused to pour them both another glass of wine, and her trailing off without getting to the whole point of the story made Leo wild. He was still yet to find out what exactly it was that was supposed to be making him freak out.
"Well?" he said at last, wondering why she couldn't talk and pour at the same time.
She looked at him, and then he realized she hadn't paused just to top up his drink - she was actively finding it difficult to put her story into words.
"Well," she said, flushing profusely now. "There's this thing about them. Kind of came out of nowhere when we were talking. When the two of them go on vacation, they don't just, you know, hang out at the beach and drink in bars."
"What do they do?"
"They... well, they go on vacation to meet people."
Caitlyn's blush was now deeper in color than their wine, getting stronger in direct proportion to her subject matter. Leo remained quiet, calm, though he could feel his heart thumping inside his chest.
"What are you saying - they hire hookers?"
"No. They just meet other folks on vacation," she said. "They were quite open about it, once they saw I wasn't going to run off screaming."
Leo wondered when she'd turned into the kind of girl who wouldn't run off screaming at such a revelation. Even after all this time together, there were things about her that came as a surprise.
"They had a date all lined up for tonight, actually," she said, "but whoever it was obviously chickened out."
"What, they pick up guys or girls?"
"Both. Guys, girls, couples, whatever."
Leo raised his eyebrows, and while his every expectation about her suggested she was about to recount how she'd made her excuses and left the bar, he got that strong sense she wouldn't. Why should he be in danger of freaking out if she had?
"I was so curious, Leo," she said, defending herself without yet having entered a plea. "I mean, I've never met anyone like that before."
She put Leo on edge, even though he had no idea what she was referring to, making him feel short of breath, his pulse now four times normal speed. This wasn't flirting with small-dick Frank over a post-work drink. This was hobnobbing with a couple of self-confessed adulterers.
"So what happened?" he swallowed, doing his best to keep calm, wanting to hear her out, a quiet part of him hoping she was actually going to reveal something dirty, that might explain her blush, and point him in the direction of how he might inspire such a response from her himself.
"I guess we spent an hour or two at that bar, and they'd been waiting for their 'date' all the time," she said. "They didn't mind chatting about it. Usually when they go on vacation, they meet friends they've been with before. This particular evening, they were meeting someone new, and they didn't show."
"They don't feel they can do this in Spain?" Leo asked. "This meeting people."
"Sophia's French. They spend most of their time in Spain, but go on vacation here mostly. They only ever meet other people on vacation."
"So what happened? You went back to the hotel with them?"
It was a sudden, brutal accusation, but he was going crazy here. Imagining all kinds of things this despicable European couple might have done with his fiancée.
"No," she said, and he felt relief - but also, strangely, a touch of disappointment. What was that about?
Underneath that top veneer of fear and paranoia at what might have happened, there was the dark little presence of lust inside him - a twisted flicker of excitement at the thought of a blushing Caitlyn being seduced by a glamorous European couple.
"They got another bottle of wine to go, and we left the bar, went down the beach instead," she said. "We were sitting right down by the water," she continued, stirring her toes in the pool as if to illustrate. "The waves were actually coming up and over our feet - just small waves, kind of slow, lapping against our legs. It was a little cool, but so relaxing."
He watched her take a big gulp of her own wine now, seeking a little fortitude. She looked so very sexy, her blush somehow enhanced by her awkward, self-conscious explanation.
"We were just talking, you know? About this and that - good restaurants to go to, the best beaches in Spain. I didn't even think you might be worried about me."
Another sip of wine.
"And then they asked me if I was a prude."
"A what? A prude?"
"Yeah. I mean, at first I thought they'd got the wrong word - you know how it is, English isn't their first language. I thought maybe they were just asking me whether I disapproved of them."
"You said 'no'?"
Caitlyn paused, and once again Leo found himself having to resist the urge to just jump her there and then, the tension was so delicious in her.
"Didn't seem polite otherwise," she said. "I always think all things to all people - whatever works. I'm not going to judge. And I wasn't going to tell them what they should or should not be doing on vacation."
"So what did they do?"
She glanced around, as though worried her parents were going to stumble in and find them doing something dirty. Leo just wanted to grab her and slip his tongue in her mouth, but he was so curious to hear her story.
Curious - no longer so horrified for some reason.
His fiancée turned to him, and said in a loud whisper: "Sofia pulled his thingy out!"
Leo was feeling strangely light-headed, and it wasn't just all the wine from that evening. He heard himself say dryly: "His 'thingy'? And you told them you weren't a prude?"
"His penis," Caitlyn stuck her tongue out at him. "His cock, his erection, his big throbbing organ. Happy?"
Leo smiled, feeling his own big throbbing organ stirring. He said: "You should talk dirty more often."
She ignored him. "Actually, it wasn't all that big. Big enough, I guess. God, I felt so weird being there."
"They couldn't wait to get back to the hotel?"
"And I didn't want to just walk off - "
"Because you'd said you weren't a prude."
"Well... they were nice. I'd had a great time all evening. And then suddenly Sofia was giving him a blowjob right in front of me."
Leo looked at Caitlyn, at her hard nipples straining against her thin top, and he could tell she was seriously aroused. Was that what this virulent flush was all about, splashed right across her face and upper chest?
Perhaps the reason he was responding to it so much was something to do with his own primeval reaction to some kind of female pheromone she put out.
Wanting to prolong her story, wanting to explore this new level of arousal in her, he prompted her to continue.
She said: "I've never seen anything like it. I guess it was just two people getting it on, but... God. I couldn't turn away."
"Did anyone else see?"
"It was kinda dark, there wasn't really anyone else who could."
Leo's pulse was racing. For the first time, he now considered what it meant for their relationship that he couldn't remember her blushing quite like this, as a sign of arousal, perhaps even since the first few months they were together.
Was it really true she hadn't been seriously turned on in all that time?
"And what, you watched to the end?" he asked her.
She took a deep breath, and said: "Yeah, I did. It was so strange... I was talking to Marco while she was doing it, while she was sucking him. He wanted to know if I liked what I saw."
"And what did you say?"
"I think I just nodded. It was so insane, I couldn't not. I was kind of shocked, but I couldn't look away, couldn't stop them. Couldn't walk away."
He wasn't at all fussed that she had been an unwitting voyeur, that she had been there while another couple had got into some weird exhibitionist kink. But the quiet sense that she might have then, somehow, gotten involved - that made him feel a little flicker of anxiety inside his stomach.