Ari Ch. 03

byohio©

"So of course I was disappointed, but I tried hard not to pout or complain. I got up and put my clothes on; and when we were driving home he said, 'it's still hard for me, Ari.

" 'It was a long time ago, what you did to me, and I'm not filled with rage anymore, but ... but it's still there. I don't know, like a bullet still lodged inside my body somewhere, I don't know if that sounds ridiculous. It just gutted me, finding out what you were doing with Charlie and all those guys.

" 'And now it's a long time later, and I've slept with some other women, and been married to Laura, and I'm back on my feet again. At least I know it wasn't about me. And when I'm with you and we're being light, just having fun, it feels great. You're about my favorite person.

" 'But every time it starts to get serious, my chest tightens up. The old anger is there--and the fear. That it might happen again, that I could have my balls cut off a second time.'

"He said, 'I don't know if I want to risk it.' "

I must have looked really sad, and Jon said, "I'm sorry--it had to be hard, listening to that. What did you say?"

"Oh, just that I was so sorry, that I knew how horribly I had hurt him, and that I hoped he would hang in there, give me a chance to show him I was a different person now. He nodded, and I know he was listening, but he didn't say anything else--just dropped me off, squeezed my hand, and kissed me goodnight."

I started to cry. "Dammit, Jon, this is just so HARD."

He said, "now hang on, Ari. Think of where you were when we first began working together. I would have bet every penny I had that you'd never get anywhere near Bobby again. And you've just finished telling me about a great evening with him where the two of you made love! When you came into the office today the smile on your face was a mile wide.

"Try to have a little perspective. Yes, it's hard, and it's going to go on being hard--but you're at least three-quarters of the way to where you want to be.

"And one more thing: as hard as it is for you, it's a lot harder for Bobby. At least you have this coming, while he did absolutely nothing to deserve the pain you put him through. There may be a day when you don't owe him anything anymore, but that day is still a long way away."

I sat, absorbing his words. "Yes. You're right, of course." I managed a smile, and said, "I've always been a tough broad, I can handle this."

He smiled back. "There's going to be more trouble ahead. He's going to step back from you, or disappear, or get moody, or test you. Maybe all of those things. This reconciliation, if there is one, is not going to go smoothly. Are you ready for that?"

"Yeah, I am. Bring it on, Bobby!" I shouted, and Jon and I both laughed.

************************

Jon was right, of course. After our great night together Bobby got spooked. Over the next six weeks I called him four times to see when we could get together, and each time he made an excuse, sometimes a very flimsy one.

So I sighed to myself and tried to be patient. I considered stalking his office and "running into him" when he came out on his way to lunch, but decided not to--that didn't seem like open and honest behavior.

The fifth time he tried to beg off, I pushed a little. "Bobby, listen--the last time we were together we had a great time, right? And nothing bad happened. How about we just go to the movies? A nice public place, lots of people around, you can call for help if you need to ..."

He laughed, thank God, and said okay. We agreed on some action flick he was interested in--I would have been willing to sit and watch four hours of a guy reading the Yellow pages.

And I was a very good girl at the movies, very well-behaved. I held his hand, and squeezed it at the scary parts, but I didn't get all forward and blow into his ear or run my fingers up his thighs or anything like that.

When it was over I invited him for coffee back to my apartment, reminding him that he'd never seen it; and I decided to stop being such a good girl. After I gave him the quick tour and we'd had our coffee, sitting together on the couch and chatting about the movie, I put down my cup and gave him a look.

Then I slid to the floor, crawled over between his legs, pushed them apart, and began pulling down his zipper, watching his face the entire time. I caught him by surprise but he didn't try to stop me.

I got his pants and boxers pulled down his legs and then I gave him the mother of all blowjobs--slow, very sensual, very submissive. I looked into his eyes the entire time, as I licked up and down his cock, then stroked it while I licked and sucked his balls, taking them into my mouth one at a time, then going back to his cock again.

Bobby had always liked it when I blew him--to be fair, I'd never met a man who didn't! And I made this one as sexy as I knew how. I built him up slowly, took him deep down my throat and backed off, over and over, until he was grunting and pulling at my head with his hands; and finally I slurped up and down on him energetically until he cried out and filled my mouth with his come.

Even then I stayed down on him, watching his face, as I swallowed every drop and kept him in my mouth as he softened, licking him clean. When I finally sat back I smiled at him, still feeling submissive. What I hoped to convey was, "I'm yours, Bobby--all I want is to please you."

He looked drained--I knew he'd loved it. In a tired voice he said, "that was amazing, Ari--unbelievable."

And then without warning his face tightened and in this really hard voice he said, "I guess I can understand why you were such a successful whore."

I was shocked. I said, "no, Bobby, I--"

"With the years of experience you had slurping on Charlie's dick, and all those other corporate clients' cocks, it's no wonder you're brilliant at it! I guess I should feel grateful, getting the benefit of all that expertise, right?"

"Wait, Bobby, no, I did that for--"

He had his pants back up and was halfway to the door. "Thanks for the blowjob, Ari--I guess I got it pretty cheaply, too, didn't I? For the cost of one movie ticket and some popcorn!"

He left, yanking the door shut behind him. And I sat there, still on my knees, and cried.

************************

"Did I break a rule--one of his rules? Did I do something wrong?" I was calmer, but still upset.

Jon said, "I'm not sure, Ari. I don't think so. But it seems as though your inspired, uh, blowjob, brought back all the unhappy memories of what you were doing during your marriage.

"This is going to be an ongoing issue--sex was the way you betrayed him, he understands it wasn't any sort of emotional betrayal, no love affair or anything. Judging from the past few months, Bobby is doing quite well at just being with you--hanging out together, having fun as friends or on casual 'dates.'

"But the irony is that, as you gave him an extra-special sex act, trying to be loving, it brought up for him your 'professional' past. That's not going to be an easy one to solve."

"I sent him a card," I said. "I wrote something like, 'I was trying to do something special, give you something nice that would feel good, to let you know how I feel about you--I'm so sorry that it brought up unhappy feelings.' "

Jon nodded. "Good. It can't hurt, and it might even make him feel a tiny bit guilty."

************************

Maybe the card did have an effect, because Bobby emailed me about ten days later. No apology, just "I've got tickets for the Iron Painters concert a week from Saturday--want to go with me?"

The Iron Painters had been one of the bands we both were crazy about, back when we were dating. I was absolutely thrilled, and wrote back right away to say I'd love to.

The concert was loud and crazy, everybody was dancing in the aisles and singing along, including us. We didn't even try to have a conversation, just grinned at each other and danced and shouted. By the end we were tired and sweaty and happy.

As we walked back to his car Bobby said, "how about a beer or two? I could really use something to replace all those fluids." I said, "nothing better for fluid-replacement than beer. How about my apartment, we're only a couple of miles from there?"

But he looked wary and said, "Ari, I, uh, think I'd rather just go to a bar." So we did that, found one of the nice ones downtown that wasn't too loud and sat in a booth together. The first pair of beers went down in about 90 seconds, as did much of the second, before we began talking.

"I'm so sorry about what happened at my place the last time," I said. I wasn't sorry--at least not sorry for what I'd done--but I was very sorry for Bobby's reaction, and I figured an apology from me couldn't hurt.

"I was pretty rough on you," he said, looking thoughtful. "I didn't plan it, the blowjob was incredible. It just--well, it made me think of all the guys you'd done that for, during the years when I was a happy cuckolded fool."

"If it helps at all, I never gave anyone else a blowjob like that. That was supposed to be a 'this is how much I love you and you alone' blowjob."

"I even sort of realized that," he said. "But ...

"But the fact is, what you did to me still hurts, Ari. And I guess anything that brings it back into my mind still pisses me off."

I said, "are you sorry we went out tonight?"

He shook his head. "Not a bit. I had a great time—and to be honest I can't imagine anyone else I would have had this much fun with."

I beamed at him.

"So us being friends, that's no problem," he continued. "But it's a big jump from there to being a couple again, a BIG jump. I'm just not sure I trust you enough to stop looking, Ari—not sure at all that you're the person I should really end up with."

"We can still see each other, I hope." I was terrified but tried not to let it show.

"Sure, if you want. We can date, and hang out. But you don't get any promises from me, at least not now. And probably not for a long long time, if ever."

I said, "that's fair, Bobby. I can—" I stopped suddenly. I had been thinking that Jon was so right about Bobby, his sense of fairness; and then a chill grabbed my heart as I realized that I had never told Bobby about my therapy—which was really all about him.

"Ari, what's wrong? You look like you just heard that World War III started."

"Bobby, I—give me a minute, okay? I'm going to go wash my face."

I thought frantically as I took refuge in the Ladies' Room. I HAD to tell Bobby about Jon—I was firmly committed to total disclosure--but it scared me.

Coming back to the booth I said, "I need to talk to you about something, okay? Nothing bad at all, but it may sound kind of weird to you. But I swore to you I wouldn't keep any secrets, about anything, so ... can I go ahead?"

He looked mystified and said, "sure, Ari—you haven't killed anyone, have you?"

I was too nervous to give him more than a perfunctory smile. "After you caught me with Charlie, when it all went to hell—I started seeing a therapist, a guy named Jon Erickson."

I saw his face relax. "Is that all? That certainly doesn't—"

"No wait, let me finish. You might think that I went into therapy to talk about myself, to figure out how I could have done such a horrible thing, but I didn't. Bobby, I went to Dr. Erickson to talk about you."

"What?"

"I knew that I wanted you back. As badly, as totally as I had hurt you and killed our marriage, I wanted to find some way to put it all back together again. So I spent months with Dr. Erickson talking all about you: your background, your family, your career, and everything about our relationship. I wanted him to understand you as well as he possibly could, so that he could advise me on what to do to get you back."

His face tightening, he said, "so, you—you told this doctor all about me, every aspect of my life, past and present—all my private stories, my fears ... all so you could manipulate me into getting back with you after you had totally cut my balls off?"

His voice rising, he continued, "is that about right, Ari, or am I missing something?"

Desperately I said, "not manipulate, no. Not at all. I wanted to understand you better, so that there might be some way I could reach you—apologize for the horrible thing I had done, and communicate to you how much I still cared for you."

He looked calmer—a little. He thought for a bit, then said, "did it not occur to you that maybe YOU were the person who needed therapy?"

Despite my tension I laughed out loud. "I'd have to say that Dr. Erickson pointed that out more than once. In fact, after he'd heard what I did he said, 'and you want me to help you get him back? I should probably call him and offer my services in helping him get over you!' "

Bobby laughed, then said, "well I wouldn't have taken him up on it, but ...."

I took his hand. "Bobby, I was lost, desperate. My wonderful marriage—which on my side was built on a hideous lie, I admit that—had just fallen apart, and I was beside myself. I knew that I loved you, and that despite everything I could make you happy. You know me—practical, problem-solving Ari! So I figured that if I understood you better I'd know what to do."

We sat a while longer. He sipped his beer, turning it over in his mind. I just watched him, nervously twisting my hands together in my lap.

"I have to say, Ari, it does sound just like you. There's a problem—to say the least!—between you and your husband, so instead of looking in the mirror and considering what YOU'VE done, you set out to analyze ME."

I hung my head. "Guilty as charged. But of course, after awhile my work with Jon was much more about me. We talked about what I did, believe me—and how I could have possibly done it, and why it was so horrible, and whether it made any sense for me to even think about getting you back after what I did."

"Jon?" he asked, watching me carefully. I took a deep breath.

"It was 'Dr. Erickson' for awhile—but I saw him five days a week for months, and it started to be silly not to use first names.

"In fact, after you married Laura and I had to stop hoping I could get back together with you, he asked me out and we went out on a few dates."

Seeing his face I hurried on. "It never went anywhere, not beyond a couple of kisses goodnight. He was my therapist, and I could never think of him as anything else. And since I've been back in Columbus I've been seeing him again, as a therapist."

"So you and this guy still get together regularly to scheme about me?" Thank God Bobby now seemed more amused than furious.

"Something like that—but mostly I get his help in not fucking things up worse," I said.

"Bobby, it's no surprise that I want you back. You've heard me say it a dozen times. Jon is my 'Bobby coach'—I guess that sounds crazy and stalkerish, but it's the truth. And I promised you weeks ago that the complete truth is what you would get from me from now on—no exceptions."

I pretty much held my breath for the rest of the evening, waiting for an explosion, but it didn't come. After awhile we found ourselves talking about the concert again—and though Bobby wouldn't come inside when he reached my apartment, he did share a few really hot kisses with me. God, being in his arms did it for me!

So I felt okay. If things hadn't improved that evening, at least they didn't get dramatically worse, which is what I had been afraid of.

************************

Time went on. Bobby and "dated." We saw a lot of each other, in fact--getting together at least once a week and sometimes more, for lunch, or dinner and a movie, a picnic on a nice day. We went to a couple more concerts, and to a show once.

And except for being seriously horny, I was pretty happy. I had Jon to keep telling me "be patient--you've gotten much closer to him than I ever thought was possible, to tell you the truth." And our time together was very sweet, because we were far more than just friends. We were friends with a long history and a lot of mutual understanding.

But he wouldn't screw me! And he wouldn't eat me and he wouldn't let me blow him. About all I could get from Bobby was some really great necking, at the end of an evening together. And then he'd go home and I'd get out the vibrator. I figured his hand must be getting quite a workout, though we never talked about it.

Whenever I did bring up the subject--"hey Bobby, haven't you ever heard about 'friends with benefits'? When am I going to get some of those 'benefits'?" He would smile and say, "sorry, babe, just not ready for that yet.

"We tried that, remember? And it led to a pretty nasty fight. You're very sexy, Ari, and it's not like I don't remember how good we were together--in bed I mean. But I'm still being careful, thinking of my own mental well-being. Because frankly, I don't trust you to do it."

That was it; and he wouldn't budge, even when we were making out and I slid my hand under his shirt, or down his pants. He'd shake his head, smile, and stop me--though not before I got a good feel of that big hard cock I really was hoping to spend a little more time with.

One Sunday afternoon we were sitting on his back deck, having just polished off an omelette he made us for brunch, and I said, "Bobby--aren't you incredibly horny? I mean, going months without sex--that's not like you."

Coolly he said, "what makes you think I'm going without sex?"

I froze. There was a silence, and I swear I heard thunder off in the distance, though it was a beautiful cloudless day.

Very slowly I said, "well, back when we talked about dating you said that you might want to go out with other people--but if you did, you would tell me about it."

"Oh yeah, that." He laughed. "I guess I lied. I've been banging a woman named Rachel, she works in the office two flights up in our building, for Crosby & Fisher. It's pretty casual, but the sex is great. I wouldn't say she's as good as you, Ari, but she's close enough so I don't really notice the difference. And there's no hassle, you know? No heavy emotions, no pressure, certainly no trust issues."

He stopped talking but kept watching me--carefully, but coldly too. My stomach was pretty knotted-up; I idly wondered whether the omelette was going to stay where it belonged.

"So, I--" I stopped and shook my head for a minute. "I'm curious, Bobby. Since you told me up front you might date other women, what made you keep her a secret?"

He leaned forward and looked right into my eyes. "You're the one who's always telling me about how I believe in fairness, right?

"Well, you cheated on me for 3 years, 8 months, and 11 days before I found out. All that time I thought we were a happy married couple. Now of course, we're not married so it's not the same, and I've only been with Rachel for a couple of months, but at least in a small way here's a little 'fairness' back at ya."

He watched me while I thought about it. I was stunned and hurt, but not as devastated as I might have been. Casual sex was not as big a deal to me as to many people--as my own past indicated--and it actually didn't bother me all that much that Bobby was getting his rocks off, if it really was as casual as he said.

What mattered much more to me was his attitude. Was he trying to hurt me, or just make a point? Should I burst into tears so that he could feel vindicated? No--I wasn't going to do that. I was committed to being truthful, and I didn't feel like crying. Or at least not much.

I said, "wow. I didn't see that coming. For a minute there I was afraid that nice omelette was going to make another appearance.

"I guess I'm--I guess it's sort of a good thing. I mean, at least one of us is getting laid, it seemed a shame to think that we were both doing without.

"Why'd you tell me, though? I mean, if doing it behind my back and getting even with me was the point, what made you tell me today?"

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