At the time I was 31 and a hair-on-fire hot shot high tech manager, leading a department full of other bright people, happily married, or at least I thought so, and living a full and rich life.
I never thought of parties as great fun and didn't especially like going to them anymore. This one was a little different. It was only for team members to celebrate finishing an important project. This team was small: there were a dozen of us, so Jack, one of the engineers in my group, decided he'd like to have it at his house. Jack had been divorced for three years; he was an easygoing and charming guy and making the most of being a bachelor. "Not married, but I'm going through the motions (wink wink)" was how he described his life style. His weekend parties were regular affairs: my wife Lois and I had attended some but stopped going about a half year ago. Besides, since I supervised these people maintaining a little distance socially was a good idea. Who wants to fire a friend?
The party was comfortable: we drank, talked, and were pleased with our accomplishments. Even though it was a Friday people began drifting off to their homes early. There wasn't enough drinking going on – most limited themselves to a couple of beers – for me to be concerned about their safety. Finally only Jack, Suzie and Marsha, both of whom were programmers, and I were left. Jack was in a quietly intense conversation with Suzie, and I was having a great time talking with Marsha, learning more about her as a person than I knew about most of the staff. She was married, no kids, a degree in German of all things, and trained in programming. She told me her husband was a bit of a nerd but a really good programmer. That, she explained, was why she understood computers far better than most people with as little experience as she had. There was more to this soft spoken and lovely woman than I realized.
And she learned about me. "Sounds like your life is centered around your work, and your wife's is centered around hers," she said.
I thought for a moment then nodded agreement. "Yeah, Lois and I are career driven."
"You should let your hair down more often; life is too short not to enjoy it."
I agreed. "It looks like you do that," I suggested.
"Pretty much," she said. "The bad news is, my husband is a lot like you. He's really career centered. Even if this party was for team members and their partners, I'd be here alone. What about you, would you be here alone, too?"
The fact was I would have been. Lois had been adamant in not coming to parties any more. "We've come to a few parties here, and Jack had been to our house a couple of times, but we stopped doing that a while ago."
"Too bad," Marsha said. "I guess I started coming about the time you stopped. There's a time for work and a time for play. My husband did come a few times, but he stopped too."
"Maybe I should come more often," I said, thinking I'd have met this charming woman in a relaxed social setting months sooner.
About then Jack, who was sitting across the living room, stood up, and held out his hand to Suzie.
"Tom, Suzie and I are going up to my room. We want some privacy, and if we're up there, you'll have privacy too. Just pull the door closed when you leave, OK? It'll lock by itself."
I was this naive: my mouth fell open as they went up the stairs.
Marsha smiled at my expression. "I guess Jack and Suzie don't think all work and no play is a good idea."
"Uh, I guess not," I said. My whole set of beliefs about Jack had just changed. I mean, Suzie worked for him! This could be big trouble.
"I guess you didn't see the chemistry going on between the two of them."
I confessed I did not.
"That's funny," Marsha said with a little smile on her face. "A little while ago, when I went to the bathroom Suzie was there and she asked if something was going on between you and me. She thought she saw some sparks looking at our body language. I sure knew something was going on between her and Jack: he can be the most charming and sexy man. . ."
"Oh? What did you say when she asked you about us? I mean, I like sitting here and talking with you, but I don't know about sparks or anything. I mean, we're each married and all that."
"Well," Marsha said, "I told Suzie you were being a perfect gentleman. . ."
"Thanks for saying that," I interrupted.
". . . but I had hopes that would change," she continued.
"Wh. . . wh. . .what?"
"Oh, come on, Tom. We're sitting here in a room that's really romantically lit, and I think you're a special guy, just as smart as anyone I've known, and I wondered what it would be like to kiss a man like you. I hoped you wouldn't be a perfect gentleman. Am I being too bold? I guess I shouldn't have said that, but it's the truth."
I was dumbstruck – this was all new to me.
Marsha saw my confusion and mistook it for rejection. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that," she said.
"No, no," I started to say, but somehow when she heard my protest she moved toward me, and I toward her, and lips met.
Oh, they were so soft, so gentle, so wonderful.
And they opened, it wasn't just her lips against mine, there was a tongue there too, then two tongues and the intensity went way up, the kiss went from soft and sexy to straight passion, and somehow she turned so she was in my arms, almost sitting my lap. I hadn't kissed a woman like this except for my wife in years. But wait: I haven't kissed my wife like this for a long time, either.
This was wonderful. Why weren't kisses at home as good?
It was easy to kiss at her ear and hear her gasp, then kiss at her neck and feel her lift up against my lips. She was reacting to my kisses – that was new, it wasn't pro-forma, it was real! It was a human response to my clumsy kisses, a positive human response! I hadn't experienced that in it seemed like forever. One part of my mind was wondering just what Marsha meant about Jack being such a sexy charming man, then my intellect turned off and more basic instincts, on.
Our lips parted. "Your husband. . ." I started to say.
"He doesn't mind if I go out alone like this, it gives him time to do what he likes."
"He doesn't mind?"
My question wasn't answered right then, lips got in the way.
A while later she explained: "we agreed we could each do what we wanted, our marriage is just, well, convenient. But, he always asks me what I was doing when I'm out, I think he's a little bit of a voyeur."
"You tell him?"
"Yes, sure, I tell him: I don't sneak around behind his back, and besides, it excites him," she said. "But stop talking, kiss me again. I've kissed other men, but none were as exciting as you are."
So our lips met again, but one part of my brain was still considering what I just heard.
She tells him? It turns him on? I couldn't imagine telling my wife I was kissing another woman tonight, I couldn't do that in a million . . .
. . .but the kiss was too distracting for me to think about that now. I promised myself I'd think about it later, but for now . . . ah, the kiss, the kiss, I was lost in the kiss.
I was supporting her with one arm behind her back, my other one was on her waist.
Marsha was making small sounds, small delicious sounds, and probably so was I, and moments passed, those time warped moments, distorted moments.
"Oh, I love this," she said and as lost as I was in her kiss I felt her hand close on my wrist and move my hand. She moved it across her hip, then guided it across her groin, over her skirt up to her knee, and down along her lower leg until my palm was on skin. I had wanted to do that or something like it but didn't know how, and didn't want to face rejection, or have her feel compelled to let me do what I wanted because I supervised her direct boss. But it wasn't me, it was her, she was leading me! She moved somehow, and my fingers were on the inside of her leg, being moved upward to her knee, her skirt bunching around our wrists. She bridged a little, freeing up the full skirt just enough, and then helped me move my fingers over an incredibly soft and warm thigh, and closer, until I could feel moist heat as I cupped her there. I didn't understand what I was feeling, but loved every sensation, every part of me felt alive in a new way: lips were more than lips, fingers more than fingers, all were connected, all were filling me with new sensations.
Our lips parted, and Marsha moved a little more and her eyes opened, and looked into mine, and she moved closer.
"I love the way you're touching me, it's so sexy, so erotic."
I was having a problem with a weird idea. "You wouldn't tell your husband about this, would you?"
"I tell him everything," she said, and then her lips sealed against mine.
I was never in a place like this before, and didn't know what to do. It would be best to stop. She pulled me closer and was hand against her, pressing it into that warmth.
"Tom, I'm wearing a teddy," she said, both of her arms were around me now: my hand on her center didn't need guidance any more.
I took advantage of her closeness, wanting her lips against mine, not understanding what or why she was telling me about what she was wearing.
She pulled away from the kiss a little, and I saw that her pupils were as large as any I had seen, they were fully dilated. The intellectual side of me noted the room wasn't that dark, so that was most likely a pleasure response.
She whispered "It has snaps down there."
Our lips met again, and I could feel the snaps under my fingers.
Another moment passed and I heard her whisper, "Tom, it's OK, you can unsnap them if you want. I hope you want to, I want to feel you touch me. . ." It was instinctive: there were two little clicks as the garment opened, and then she said ". . . oh, like that!"
She arched against my hand and my fingers were in the softest and sexiest place they had even been, the most welcoming and warmest and lubricated place, and she was moving against me, her body against my fingers, and her lips against my lips.
I always hated not being able to take my wife to orgasm: "it's a reflex, like a sneeze," she told me more than once. "It's not a big deal." Marsha orgasmed against my fingers, and my wife was wrong, it's a very big deal.
"So good," Marsha said after a second one, or a third. "Better than I imagined it would be." She pulled away a little. "But I'm being selfish. Now it's your turn."
She moved so that her head was in my lap, and her hands worked on my belt, then the clasp of my waistband, and her hand moved against my belly.
I had never felt a touch like that, not ever. Only my wife had touched me there, but this sensation was so different, so special, so good. Would she do more than touch my stomach? I wanted her to.
She moved again, whispered something about me lifting up, and I did, and somehow my slacks and briefs were at my ankles. I never thought there was anything the least bit sexy about having one's pants down like that, but her touch, oh that touch, and then her hand was on my erection, and her head was in my lap again, and I looked down and saw those lips touch the underside of my cock while she looked up at me. My wife hadn't done that in years!
She smiled the most lovely smile, and moved her head away a little, so that my cock traced down her cheek, towards her lips.
"I want you in my mouth this time," she said. "Some other time I'll want you in me, you can be in me, that's a promise, but now, right now, I want this. . ."
And her mouth opened and took me in.
I remembered masturbating in the shower before I came to the party, just a quick automatic ejaculation – I did that a lot, it was more efficient than having sex with my wife. Now I was hoping that would increase my endurance. Earlier when we kissed I found her lips were exciting past what I had ever experienced. Then when I masturbated her, her orgasms set an even higher level of exotica for me. Nothing could have been sexier, I thought, but she proved me wrong. Her touch, the softness of her fingers caressing my cock drove the bar still higher. But her mouth on my cock – it was more intense than I can describe.
After too short a time I was out of control, and she knew it. She pulled away a little bit and said "Don't be afraid, let go. Let it go. I want to be so exciting for you that you can't control yourself. Give it to me, let it go, let me satisfy you for the way you satisfied me." Then she took me in again, I could feel that deep throbbing, and heard her mutter "Yes, like that," and I was in her mouth and she was stroking me, masturbating me, and I was ejaculating!
Later she smiled, wiping a little from her lips. "You were so gentle, my husband is so rough I don't like doing that to him. Thank you, I loved it."
A few minutes later we were lying beside each other in the warmest and most comforting embrace I had ever experienced. I heard her whisper "This is special. Tom, I hope there is a next time. I want to feel you in me next time."
It was without thinking when I said "I want more than just one next time."
Somehow we parted, and I drove home that night confused. What had happened?
"It was just a party, things got out of hand," I told myself. But I didn't believe it. There was a chemistry that was past anything I had ever experienced before. I wanted more, it was the single most addictive thing I had ever experienced.
It was a confusing weekend. What was happening to me?
At least my home life kept to its usual weekend schedule: I went to the lab, my wife took to her at-home office to edit some paper she was submitting. It shouldn't be like this: we were room mates, not life mates.
This was a marriage?
I went to work early the next Monday, still confused.
Marsha was there already, that was early for her. "Tom? Can I have a couple of minutes?"
It wasn't unusual for me to have conversations with team members. We got coffee, then went into the lab.
"About Friday night," she started. There are times when I learned it was best to be quiet, and decided this was one of those times.
"Tom, don't think badly of me because of what happened Friday night."
"Think badly of you? I thought about you all weekend, but not badly."
"I'm glad, but what happened there, we should probably leave there. It will only cause us problems otherwise. Let's do it like they say in Las Vegas: 'What happened there stays there.'"
It wasn't what I wanted, but agreed that was the way it should be.
"Good. I want to go to work now, I don't want people to see us together."
I didn't even think of that!
It wasn't my most productive day at work, at least not professionally. I did spend time thinking bout how my life was going, and decided I wanted to change that right now. I sent an email note to my wife. "Lois, we need to talk. Reserve tonight for that."
It took the better part of a bottle of wine that evening to get things on track. She knew we didn't have much of a marriage lately, and was afraid I'd want to leave it. "No, I didn't want a divorce, at least not now," I told her, resolving her biggest fear. "No, I'm not having an affair," took care of another concern, "but it could happen to me unless something changes. For that matter, it could happen to you."
I saw something, an expression, on her face when I said that. "Wait a minute. Has it happened to you? Are you having an affair?"
There was something wrong with the way she responded, something about the timing, or tone: "An affair? No, of course not."
"Well, there's something going on, Lois. What is it?"
"There's absolutely nothing going on!"
"Let me change the question. Was there something that had gone on?"
We may not have had much of a marriage, but we didn't lie to each other. "No, not really," she said, hedging. "I never had an affair. Have you?"
"Never," I said. That was technically true, wasn't it? "But you said 'not really.' What does 'not really' mean?"
She took a deep sigh. "I should tell you, it's been bothering me for months."
Oh oh, this looked like it was going to be trouble. I learned a long time ago to not react to what someone was saying. That way everything comes out, and when the 'data dump' is complete that's the time to figure out your reaction. It's too late for anyone to pull back then. It's like they say in court, "Once the bell has been rung you can't unring it."
"We haven't had a serious conversation for a long time, so go ahead. You know you can talk to me, Lois."
"Remember when we were going pretty regularly to those parties at Jack's house?"
"Sure, we went to a few, but that was a lot of months ago."
"Do you remember how Jack would often disappear for a while?"
"No, can't say that I do."
"Well, I was watching pretty closely. What would happen is he'd take one of the women upstairs for maybe 45 minutes, then they'd come down separately. He always looked cool and in control, but the ladies would have that "I've just had sex" look on them. I could smell sex on them, too."
That got my attention. How could I have missed it? "Uh, I never saw that. Like, who would he take up? There weren't that many single women around."
"I remember a couple. One might have been, uh, Sharon, something like that."
"We don't have a Sharon – there's Suzie: shoulder length brown hair, nice figure."
"That's the name. You introduced me to her, and to the other one I remember, the last time we went, was some married woman, her husband wasn't there. Really pretty girl, slender, sort of red hair but not really, half way between reddish and blond, I guess. Uh, Marie, Mary, something like – oh yeah, Marsha."
A knife just went into my stomach. "Marsha? Are you sure?"
"Tom, you look like you were just kicked in the belly. Yes, it was Marsha, I'm sure of – wait a minute: are you having an affair with her? Is that way you seem so upset?"
So much for my poker face. But I had this image of Jack standing up, taking Marsha's hand . . . my Marsha's hand, for God's sake, and taking her up those stairs.
"No, no. She works in my group, even if I was going to have an affair it wouldn't be with someone from work, that would be stupid."
Jack WAS being stupid! It was high risk behavior, having sex with women he supervised.
But we were getting away from the subject. "What has any of that to do with you having something you wanted to tell me, something that had been bothering you for a while?"
"Well, at that last party Jack was flirting with me a lot, there was even some kisses, Tom, kisses in the kitchen and in the hallway. He is a very sexy guy, and he asked me if I would go up to his room with him. I told him I wouldn't, and even if I wanted to you were there, you'd notice. He said you never paid attention to things like that, but if his timing was bad that night maybe he would call me some other time, and asked if that would be OK with me. Before I could answer that other woman – Marsha – came by, and they went off together, I thought about what it would be like to be with him like that, I mean sexually. I was raised Catholic and we were taught the thought was as bad as the deed. If that's true, I had an affair because I thought about it. I shouldn't tell you this, but he called a couple of times to invite me over there. He said he needed to borrow a cup of sugar, could I bring it over, or some corny line like that. I knew what he wanted a cup of, all right. He even joked about it, saying he promised although he might use the cup, he wouldn't wear it out. And to be honest, I thought about it a lot. I never went, but I thought about it, about going up those stairs with him, and it excited me, a lot. I was afraid to go to any more parties there, because if he asked me again, I might have gone with him. Do you hate me for telling you?"
Now I had two images in my mind, of Marsha going up with Jack, and Lois going up. Oh God, they were sexy thoughts.