I shifted my computer bag on my shoulder as I hustled down the corridor. I hated being late, especially when it was my own presentation. I was cutting it close, very close, and at these things audience reviews were everything. The last thing I wanted to hear from my manager was that my reviews sucked because they were preoccupied by my tardiness.
Thing is, the convention hotels in Vegas were just enormous. Someone told me that they put on a pedometer to see how far it was from their room to the convention floor - in the same hotel - and clocked in at just over one mile.
I was certainly feeling those distances now, that's for sure. Never let them see you sweat, the advertisement used to say. Yeah, right. Try not sweating as you high-tail it down a mile of convention room corridors.
Entering the room I strode with all the confidence I could muster to the front, preparing myself mentally for this presentation. I got to the lectern and was completely in the zone of "presentation mode," pulling out my laptop and connecting it to the projector.
That's the reason why I was completely unprepared for what happened next. She was sitting there, in the third row of a packed room audience. The woman I hadn't seen in over fifteen years, the woman who...
I struggled to clear my head, shaking it in reality to clear the vertigo that threatened me. I couldn't focus on this now. Now was not the time. Now was not good. Now I had a job to do. Time became fragmented, staccato.
Unfortunately for me, my emotions and my mind wouldn't play along. I didn't have the mental - no, emotional discipline to put this new intrusion aside. But do so I must.
I started my presentation, just as distracted as I was in the days following what she did so many years before. I had practiced my presentation enough, had done it enough times that it was pretty routine by now.
"In cases of complex biogenetic computations, we can use high performance computing..." i intoned. Normally I can take the driest material and make it interesting to the audience at hand. Now I wasn't sure if I was even speaking English.
The bitch was sitting right in front of the lectern. My mind raced. I lashed out in my head, my inner voice letting loose the tirade that I had promised I would share with her if I ever saw her again.
Damn, after fifteen years, I didn't expect this kind of reaction, some detached other voice chided.
Yeah? Well fuck you, came the original voice. And then, directed to her, No, fuck you!
"... and applications such as sequencing fall into a category we call embarrassingly parallel processes, which..."
She was sitting there, emotionless. Almost as if she didn't recognize me, but of course I know that wasn't true. Inside my head raged the war between fifteen years of pent-up anger, an experienced maturity of growth during that time to cool the temperature, and the professional voice of presentation delivery. I was at a loss as to who was winning and who was losing.
"Now no process likes to be embarrassed..." A joke, delivered poorly. A few scatters of laughter throughout the audience.
What was that on her face? A smile? No, it was a smirk! Bitch. Cunt. Whore.
Time's up. The presentation came to a close. Enthusiastic applause; guess I must have done better than I thought I did. No questions asked during the session, but about a half dozen people surrounding the podium. Business cards thrust at me.
She got up and gathered her belongings, and left the room. My heart sank, and then surged with anger - but at myself this time. Why did I still care? What did I really expect? Did I think she was going to be one of those coming up afterwards asking me for more information? Did I think she was going to hang around afterwards, loitering long enough to give me an apology? Pipe dreams.
Nevertheless, I felt dejected, like it was an opportunity missed. I managed to gather my things and leave the room, half-expecting her to be outside the room waiting to catch me alone. Again, I was disappointed.
The rest of the day was a haze, a blur. All the concerns and problems I had been focusing on, presentations, budgets, materials for the conference - all of it was completely obliterated by the swarm of buzzing memories in my head. The bizarre fragmentation of time seemed to smooth out as my heart rate began to calm.
I should have known. Go to a supercomputing conference and you'll meet computer scientists. It's a small world. Too small, in some cases.
I went back to the room and threw my shit on the table, and lay down on the bed. Unbidden, unwanted, the memories came back. It may have been years ago, but each memory was crisp and clear.
I could still see her in my living room on that Sunday evening, although living room is a bit of an overstatement for a grad student's living space. There were books laying around the entire room, as I was preparing for my doctoral comprehensive exams. Five days of examinations without any break, on any subject from any time in my graduate school career. And it started the very next day.
"Mike," she said, "I'm breaking up with you and going to be with Adam."
The news hit me like a ton of bricks, and to say that I wasn't expecting it, not at that moment, was an understatement.
"What?" I asked, incredulous. I wasn't sure if I was more surprised at what she said, or the incredibly poor timing.
"I know this is a bad time -" she continued.
"You're doing this now?!" I sputtered. "I have my comps starting tomorrow!"
"Well, do you expect me to hold my tongue and live a lie?"
"YES!" I exclaimed. I had this bizarre sense of priorities running through my head at that instant. It seemed to me if she was going to leave me, the least she could do was wait until after the most important series of exams in my academic career had completed so as not to fuck me up!
"Well," she said, clearly not expecting that answer.
"Eileen," I said, caught between wanting to shout at her and yet still persuade her not to do this. "How could you do this to me?" I had gotten a lot of shit for going out with her in the first place, but she was very intelligent and I've always had a weakness for she-geeks. I started to resent all the times I had to put up with those wise-cracks.
"Look, Mike," she said, starting to get defensive. "We haven't been spending much time together anyway - "
"Because I've been studying for my comprehensive exams!" I was close to losing it. I was angry, and rapidly approaching hysteria at the unfairness of it all. She was a graduate student too, although in a different field. She should have known what the stakes were. She was supposed to understand.
"And I've been spending a lot of time with Adam as a result," she continued.
I remained silent. This was one of those moments where the only thing I could think of was to either call her every name in the book or strike her. Worse, I felt that if I were to start calling her names it might lead to striking her, and I'd never hit a woman in my life. I wasn't about to start now.
"I think he can give me the attention that you don't want to give me," she said.
I took a deep breath and forced myself to remain calm. I had been studying non-stop for five months, remaining diligent and dedicated to the task at hand. She had said that she understood. We had been planning a vacation immediately afterwards. My birthday was in a couple of days and we were going to postpone the celebration until after the exams...
Christ, she was leaving me two days before my birthday, too!
"We talked about this," I said, my voice even. I doubt it was possible to sound reasonable but I hoped I was doing a passable job. "We're going to take a vacation starting immediately after the last exam on Friday, remember? We're going to spend the time together, the whole week, just you and me."
She shook her head. "It's too late for that, Mike," she said sadly.
"Don't do this," I said. "Please... please don't do this." This wasn't just about the timing. It was about the fairness of it all. It was about a lack of respect, both of how she felt about me and how I felt about myself. "I can make it up to you, I swear I can."
She shook her head even more emphatically. "It's too late," she repeated.
And she left.
Needless to say I didn't do so well on my comps. Out of five exams, I had to rewrite three of them. There were moments when reading what I wrote you can actually see where my mind wandered away from the subject matter and got lost in my personal problems.
My 25th birthday came and went without notice, by me or anyone else.
A few months later I returned home to hear a voice message on my machine from her. She was confused, lost, and had changed her mind. She wanted me again.
Like every self-respecting man I did what I should have done and told her to take a long walk off a short pier, right? Yeah, I didn't think you'd buy it either.
We went for a walk in a local park. It was the first time I'd spent any time with her since that fateful Sunday night. It was awkward, to say the least. The park had a river embankment, secluded, and we sat down to talk. Well, she sat down, and I leaned up against a tree.
"We had some good times, didn't we?" she asked.
"I miss those times," she said, not looking at me. She then turned to look at me, or rather, looked straight between my legs. "I miss those times, too."
To this day I'm angry at how quickly my own body betrayed me. I grew rock hard, and there was no way of hiding it.
She was close, and reached up and placed the flat of her palm on my erection through my shorts. "I really, really miss them."
She looked up at my face, then, seeing that I didn't push her hand away. "Can... can I suck you again, for old time's sake?"
Before I could answer my cock jumped in her hand, giving her the answer she needed. She reached in through one leg hole and retrieved my cock, standing strong and deep purple aimed directly at her face.
Before I could have told her "no," her mouth was wrapped around my cockhead, sucking frantically. I hadn't forgotten how good she was, and there was a thrill knowing that the woman who had betrayed me was now betraying the man she had left me for.
I started to smile to myself, a smile that she couldn't see from where she was. If she had seen it, she would have likely stopped what she was doing. I was smiling knowing that she was going to be seeing him later, going to be kissing him with that mouth, and that fucker would get a kiss full of my cock. Asshole.
She worked the shaft masterfully, as always. She caressed my balls and pulled me deeper into her mouth. She was good, very good, and there was something more than satisfying watching my ex-girlfriend enjoying my cock once more with abandon.
Then she stopped. "I have to get back," she said, and started moving back to the car.
Bitch! I tucked myself away and attempted to walk up the slope of the embankment - not easy to do with a rock-hard erection.
She had driven, and my car was at her place, so we returned to her house. We walked in the door, and she asked, "Do you want something to drink before you go?"
"I don't think we're done yet," I said.
"Mike, I'm not going to fuck you," she said.
Hell, you haven't finished what you started! I thought. Nevertheless, that didn't seem like the best way to get what I was after, so I tried a different tack.
"You can at least let me return the favor," I suggested, coming up to her and running my fingers over her breasts.
Eileen had very sensitive nipples, and I knew that as soon as I could touch them she wouldn't be able to say no. She liked them sucked, and sucked hard. Her breasts pushed into my palms, and my thumbs rubbed over her aching nipples. I kept one hand on a breast and moved the other down to her crotch, cupping it.
It was hot and damp. "Yes," I said. "I think I should return the favor."
Right there on the kitchen floor, I lay her down. I started unbuttoning her jeans and sliding them down her hips. She offered minimal resistance at first, but then lifted her hips so that they would slide off completely.
I reached up with one hand to keep a constant attack on her nipple while I dove straight for her pussy. She had the capacity to change her mind at any time and as long as I kept at least one nipple going, she wasn't stopping me.
I licked her at the same time as squeezing her breast and nipple, my free hand sliding two fingers into her sopping pussy. Immediately her hips started bucking against my face, trying to rub her clit against my lips and tongue.
"Oh I missed this," she kept repeating, over and over. "Mike, lick me, Mike."
That's it, baby. Say my name. Not Adam's. My name!
I felt her body shudder a little, a tiny mini orgasm that was her usual precursor for a big one. With sudden force and determination, she rolled over and on top of me, her hands fumbling for my shorts. They didn't get a quarter way down my thighs when I found my cock buried completely inside her.
Eileen's favorite way to fuck was to slide back and forth on my cock, not up and down. She would rock her hips back and forth, scraping the head against her g-spot. She found she could do this and lean over my mouth and offer her breasts to me at the same time.
"Suck my tits!" she demanded, and I complied. I grabbed her breasts with both hands and latched my mouth around her nipple and sucked hard. My aim wasn't only to show her what she had been missing, but I wanted to give her a hickey on her nipple that she would have to hide from Adam or explain. Asshole.
Even after several months, we found our old rhythm. Her hips rocked back and forth, her pussy clenching my cock with the grip of a vise. I moved to the other nipple to give it equal treatment.
The sensation of my mouth on the virgin nipple sent her into overdrive. She started sliding across my cock like a mad woman. "Touch my clit!" she growled. "Touch my clit!"
I slid one hand between us and found her protruding button with my thumb. Instantly I felt her entire body shake and convulse, its pattern very familiar to me. Her cunt grabbed my cock as tight as a fist and forced the come from my balls much faster and stronger than normal.
As I lay on my hotel bed, fifteen years later, with a long stream of hot come lying on my stomach in tune with the memory, I felt the conflicting emotions of weak victory over spraying the insides of Adam's girlfriend with my come, knowing that she would kiss him with that cheating, cocksucking mouth, and the disgust with myself for allowing myself to be used at the same time. After all, she had asked for - and gotten - the best of both worlds. She was able to use me for her frustration and yet keep her carefully manipulated life intact whereas I was still picking up the pieces, both personally and professionally.
Fuck, I needed a drink.
I cleaned myself up and went to go find the nearest bar. Hell, this was Vegas, of course there was a bar within spitting distance.
It was still early, only about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, so the dinner traffic hadn't quite yet started and I had the bar to myself.
"Zubrowka and apple juice," I told the bartender.
"I thought margaritas were your drink," came a voice behind me, sending chills up my spine.
"Still are," I said, not looking around. "But I've expanded my repertoire."
Eileen sat down beside me, cool, collected.
Now I really needed that drink!
"How have you been?" she asked.
Anything other than a standard greeting/response would have been meaningless, so I responded in kind. "Doing well," I said. A pause, then, "And you?"
"Good," she said. "Adam and I are now teaching computer science at a university in California," she said. I had heard they had gotten married, with two kids now.
"So I heard," I said. "Congratulations. That's often difficult to do."
"Tell me about it," she said. "It's hard work, so these conferences are almost like a vacation for us."
"So he's here too?" I asked. "Where is he?"
"Oh, he's got two more sessions today," she said. "I'm killing time."
What a treat.
We sat there, making idle chitchat while I downed my very expensive drink in two swallows and ordered another. Eileen did the same for hers.
Four drinks later each, and we were playing the "catch-up" game. No, I wasn't married any more, no kids. Lived abroad, left academia to start my own company, then went to go work for a bigger company, yadda yadda yadda...
She sat there, and she talked about how she was thrilled with exactly the kind of life that she had told me (fifteen years ago, true) that she didn't want for herself, about how routine and predictable her life had become, etc. With each drink she lost her guarded reserve and revealed that everything with Adam wasn't going as she had hoped it would.
I sat and listened, mostly. The memories that I had replayed earlier were still fresh in my mind, and I kept placing us back in my living room on that fateful Sunday night. Bitch!
"You know what?" she said suddenly. "This stuff is expensive."
"My university won't cover all this. I have some more in my room. Let's go where it's cheaper."
I raised an eyebrow.
She waved a finger. "No, no..." she said. She wasn't slurring her words, even though it was evident that she was well on her way to happyland. "I just can't afford to buy more drinks here."
Since I wasn't about to offer to buy her anything, I settled up my bill and followed her back to her room.
There's something about going into a hotel room that has been freshly made up by the housekeeping staff, particularly if you've been in the room for a few days. You still have your stuff all over the place, but the bed is made even though it doesn't look like it should have been. It seems oddly incongruous. I had a strong feeling that I really didn't belong, but I didn't make myself leave either.
"Have a seat," she said, pointing to the bed. The only chair in the room was occupied by a suitcase and clothing draped over the back.
I sat down, and she reached for the champagne in the weight-sensitive tray on the credenza. I opened my mouth to tell her that as soon as she touched it, she bought it (and at a far higher rate than the stuff we were drinking at the bar), but decided that it would be better poetic justice to keep my mouth shut.
Soon I had a drink in my hand, and she had one in hers. She finished it in one go. I don't like champagne, so I refilled her glass from mine.
"Thank you," she said. "Always the gentleman."
I looked at her as if she had seven heads. Was this woman on alcohol, or crack?
She downed that glass as well, and took a big sigh. She looked at me with a sudden, no-nonsense look on her face.
"Mike," she said. "Do you ever think about..." and trailed off.
Truth was that even though I had a good idea of what she was going to say, I had no intention of making it easy on her. I waited patiently, saying nothing.
Seeing that I was of no help, she continued. "About us?"
"Specifically?" I asked. I really wanted to know what she was going to say. Was she finally going to apologize after all these years? That seemed so drastically out of character for the woman I once knew.
One of her hands brushed her hair out of her face, and then dropped down to her breast, a movement which did not escape my notice.
"Eileen," I said. "It's been fifteen years..."
She sat upright, but her hand didn't leave her breast. "So?" she asked, still keeping a twinge of light flirtation in her voice.
"You married Adam..."
Her eyes were bright. She may have had a lot of alcohol but she was definitely aware of what she was doing.