Julie Ch. 18

byKKHowling©

There was something to it, Julie couldn't deny as she walked through the halls of her office building. Here, she was a person with influence and some power. She had a reputation for being good at her job, responsible and competent. No one she said good morning to would have guessed in a million years how her day began. That she could get so wet by being ordered to her knees and forced to gag on a man's cock. That she could still taste the residue of his cum in her mouth.

It was Monday and Greg's roommates were back in town, so Julie knew there would be only limited opportunities to see him. It couldn't have been a more difficult start to the week for her. She wanted to delve deeper into the possibilities between them. She needed that exploration to allay her fears about Gary and his efforts to save their marriage. Knowing that she would be lucky to have any time at all with Greg only made her more desperate to see him.

She kept checking her personal email constantly, hoping that Greg would write to tell her that his roommates would be working late. Or even that he would just like to get together for dinner and drinks. Talking to him, looking into his eyes, kissing him goodnight... those were the things she really needed. As great as the sex was and as ready as she would be to capitalize on any chances to be with him, what she desired most was to give him opportunities to show his feelings toward her. She had to have some sign from him that she wasn't throwing everything away for a mirage.

That wasn't the email she got though.

It was three o'clock and she had heard nothing from Greg all day. That wasn't unusual. It was only because Julie wanted so desperately to talk to him, see him, that she was getting anxious. When she opened her email and saw that she had a message, she quickly clicked on it, expecting it to be from Greg.

It wasn't. It was from Gary. Julie didn't really want to talk about counselors and the like. She didn't want to think about Gary or her marriage at all. At least not before she had some time to spend with Greg.

She almost closed the window without read it, then decided at the last minute to click on it. She read it. It was only one line.

"I guess we can stop pretending now."

Julie read it again, not understanding. Then she realized there was an attachment. It was a non-descriptive jpeg name, something from a digital camera probably. She clicked to open it.

A second later, an image filled the screen that almost caused her heart to stop. It was a picture of her. Sucking Greg's cock. She was wearing jeans and was topless. Julie realized almost immediately that the picture must have been taken last night.

After she left Gary.

"I guess we can stop pretending now."

She was consumed by an overwhelming, crushing sense of dread. Oh, God! There was no pretending now, that was for sure! Gary surely knew there was no sense in bothering with counseling or anything else. He had seen her for what she was now.

But much, much more disconcertingly, there was a very compromising picture of her. In the hands of her soon-to-be ex-husband! The room around her swam in and out of focus. She felt dizzy, like she might faint.

Gary had a picture of her sucking cock.

Her client's cock!

It was so bad on so many levels. Her marriage was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, done. History. Finished. She was going to get the short end of the stick in the divorce. With the threat that that picture represented, what could Julie do?

And her career could be in jeopardy. Gary, after all, knew many of her co-workers. What if he were to send that to them? The thought gave her a horrifying chill. For a moment, she had difficulty compelling her lungs to function, to draw in a fresh breath of air.

Julie reached out for the mouse to delete the email, but her hand was shaking so badly that she reflexively snapped it back, as if afraid someone might see. Thank God she had a private office! If she was sitting somewhere that people could see her falling apart...

After several long minutes of forcing herself to breathe normally, some of the color started to come back into Julie's face. Other thoughts started to creep in to her head. None was anywhere near as powerful as the dread and fear that was threatening to squeeze the air from her. But they were disturbing in their own right. What they said to Julie about who she was. And what she had done to a person who loved her.

She couldn't help wondering if Gary himself had taken that picture. Had that been the reason he wanted to see her? So he could follow her? See where she was going? Find out where Greg lived?

It seemed unlikely that Gary would have done that himself. Maybe he had found someone, or hired someone, to do the actual dirty work?

Julie could only hope. It was bad enough that Gary possessed pictures of her infidelity. How would he have felt if he actually watched her? It might very well make him angry, hurt him enough to actually use the picture against her.

Oh, God! Even if Julie hadn't held out any hope of salvaging their marriage, she certainly wouldn't have wanted to do Gary any further harm. She would have spared him such awful details. He didn't deserve to have to watch Julie, his wife, behaving like a total slut.

At the very least, Julie could have shown enough discretion to wait more than a few days after Gary had caught her. To race back into her lover's arms so quickly was probably every bit as devastating to him as catching her in the first place.

And if he had been there last night, seen it with his own eyes... He would have known that what he had seen in his bedroom was no fluke. Not a one-time thing. The woman he knew, had married, had probably never given him more than a half dozen blow jobs in a given year. And he had watched her swallow another man's cum twice in less than a week. He would naturally assume that it was a regular thing now.

Maybe she deserved the label that would brand her if that picture were to get out.

She quickly quelled that thought. No, she couldn't accept that. She couldn't have people seeing her like that. Doing that.

Julie quickly deleted the email. Her hands were better, but still shaking. What could she do? Who could she call? Greg? Ashlee? No, there was no one she could talk to about this. She sat at her desk for another half hour, unable to do anything. Fortunately, no one came into her office. It would have been apparent that something was seriously wrong.

When she checked her email again, she saw there was another new message. Surely, this one had to be from Greg. But it was another from Gary.

With another attachment.

Not wanting to see it, but unable to delete it without looking first, Julie clicked on it. The message again was a single line.

"I think this one would make a good Christmas card."

Julie opened the attachment. It was another one from last night. She had a hand on her own breast, the other wrapped around Greg's member. Judging by the expression on her face, the picture seemed to have captured the exact moment of Greg's orgasm. There was a slight furrow to Julie's brow, but everything else about her body bespoke the intensity of her pleasure.

Frantically, Julie deleted the email. It left her cold with dread. Whatever her concerns over her character flaws were, the hurt she had caused Gary... that was all swept aside in a fresh wave of panic.

"I think this one would make a good Christmas card."

The threat was plain enough. But would Gary really send out copies of something so compromising? She was a smart enough woman to understand that she had significant legal recourse if he did. At the same time, there would be no way to repair her reputation. He could forfeit any advantage he had in the divorce and open himself up to a ruinous civil suit on top of that. There might even be some criminal charges possible.

But whatever recourse Julie might have would be after the fact. People who knew her would see her in a way she couldn't bear to be seen. It was one thing to be a certain way in private. It was even okay, even stimulating, to pretend she was blurring the line between the office and the bedroom.

It was quite another thing to be confronted with it as reality.

What if the people she knew and worked with saw that? How would she be able to face them ever again? What would happen to her credibility? Her career? Would she always hear people snickering as she passed by?

And what if someone found out that the man in the picture was Greg... her client? Would her boss, her company be put in a position where they had to respond?

What the hell was she going to do? Confront Gary? Find out what he was up to?

It was possible that he had no intention of doing anything. That he was just lashing out. Trying to scare her because he was hurting.

That seemed a likely scenario. But Julie couldn't really count on Gary being the same man she had known, could she? After all, she wasn't the woman he had known.

Julie packed up her things and left. She couldn't stay in the office. She was too rattled and if anyone saw her, they would know something was wrong. Rather than run the risk of being asked questions that she couldn't answer, Julie opted to go back to Ashlee's and finish her work there.

On the way to Ashee's, her cell phone rang. She looked at it. It was Gary. She lifted it and stared at his name on the display. Oh God! Should she answer? She knew she had to talk to him, but she couldn't bring herself to open the phone. As it stopped ringing, Julie pulled into a store lot and parked. Her heart was racing and she could feel beads of perspiration rolling down her sides from her armpits. Her whole body had a strange, cold, clammy sensation washing over it.

She was still trying to catch her breath and pull herself together when the phone rang again.

Gary.

She fumbled with the phone for a moment, almost dropping it. She should answer it, she knew. Like Gary's email said, there was no point in pretending anymore.

But her hands refused to obey. Once again the phone fell silent, unanswered. Julie felt like a coward and a failure for not answering, facing him directly. She was stronger than that, wasn't she? She wasn't going to fall apart. She couldn't let herself.

And she also needed some clarification of what he intended to do with the compromising photos he had of her. Were they going to be in his back pocket at the divorce proceedings to ensure he got everything he wanted? Or was he going to use them more aggressively?

Gary and blackmail simply didn't go together in Julie's mind. But that was the Gary she had known before... before she gave him a reason to be spiteful and vindictive. Who really knew what that Gary was capable of?

Julie knew Gary was unlikely to lie, if she could bring herself to ask him directly. Lying wasn't something he was good at, or even tried to be good at. She would have to gather herself up and...

The phone rang again, startling her enough that she wound up dropping it. She scrabbled for it and this time she managed to open it.

"Hello?"

"Check your email," Gary said flatly.

"I... I, uh..." Be stronger than this! Julie scolded herself. "I did," she said, trying not to let the depth of her apprehension show in her voice. She was at least partly successful.

There was a long silence.

"What now?" Julie asked at last.

"Now?" Gary echoed. "Now we're done."

"Yeah," Julie answered, a tear forming in her eye. "I guess so. I'm... oh, God, Gary! I'm so sorry!" The tears came suddenly and earnestly. They had little if anything to do with fear for herself and what Gary might do to her with the pictures. It was just the loss of everything they had together. With that brief exchange, it was all swept away.

Gone forever.

It deserved more than the few pitiful sobs that choked her as she sat in her car. But that was all she had.

"I can't believe you, you would..." Gary began at last, then faltered. "Why?" Julie could almost hear the lump in his throat as he asked her the question she knew she could never answer. To Gary, at least. At least not the real answer.

"Gary! Oh, Jesus! I didn't plan it or anything!" she cried. "It just happened!" It sounded so cliché. It sounded pathetic. How could she explain what had wiped away five years of marriage with, 'it just happened'?

"Yeah, whatever," Gary replied, sounding hollow, empty. "We're done." Another long silence ensued, interrupted only by Julie's occasional sob. "I'm going to file for a separation on Wednesday," Gary resumed. The words, completely expected, still knocked the wind out of Julie, left her feeling like she could hardly breathe.

Wednesday? Of course she realized that it was probably inevitable at this point, but Wednesday? That was the day after tomorrow! Actually having a day, a deadline... it was like being on death row versus having an actual execution date. Now Julie had her date. Wednesday.

She broke into fresh tears as she slumped over the steering wheel, her body shaking with the force of her sobs. She had had the perfect life. The life that her friends were all secretly envious of. The text book fairy tale happily ever after life. Now was it all going to come to an end on Wednesday?

As she thought about what her family would say, what her friends, neighbors, co-workers would say, she dissolved into a blubbering mess. How would people react? What would they say to her? Knowing that Julie was the one who had destroyed it all? Destroyed what so many others would have been so happy to have?

"I'm planning on taking everything," Gary said, interrupting her moment of supreme self-pity. "No alimony, obviously. And I'll hang on to those pictures, just in case you want to argue about it."

The mention of the pictures, pictures of her sucking Greg's cock, snapped her out of her tears. Self-preservation came quickly to the fore, giving her the focus to respond to his threat.

"If you do anything with those pictures, I'll sue the shit out of you!" she hissed, fighting through her sobs.

"You aren't really in a position to make threats," Gary replied, his tone taunting. It was a strange thing to hear that in his voice. "As long as I get everything, you don't have to worry about it."

Julie heard what he was saying. Two things ran simultaneously through her head. A sense of relief that Gary didn't seem to have any plans to show the pictures to anyone. And an irrational desire to fight him, not give in. She knew the second thought was foolish. She was the one in the wrong. She was the one who had the most to lose. She should just give him anything he wanted and let it go.

But it galled her, no matter how much it was her fault. And it galled her that he had such a devastating thing to threaten her with. As long as he had those pictures, Julie would never really be able to sleep comfortably, would she?

It was strange, Julie thought. Gary had been totally humiliated by her and now had compromising pictures of her. And when he said he wanted something, Julie got her back up and wanted to fight, despite the obvious futility. Greg, on the other hand, had nothing with which to coerce her. All he had was a big cock and a cocky attitude. And Julie didn't consider fighting with him for a moment.

After Gary hung up, Julie sat another twenty minutes, crying and shaking, unable to drive. Part of it was the loss of the fairy tale. Part of it was having to face the people who believed that Julie was living the fairy tale. And part of it was her weak position. Gary could take everything and Julie wouldn't be able to contest it. Or she would risk a greater humiliation... all her friends and family seeing a picture of her with her lover's cock in her mouth?

When she finally got to Ashlee's, her friend was already home.

"Jesus, Jule," Ashlee greeted her, concerned. "What the hell happened?"

"Gary," Julie said, feeling the tears starting to come on again. "He called and said he was getting a divorce and that he would take everything. He's going to file on Wednesday." Half way through 'Wednesday' Julie began to sob again.

"What?" Ashlee gaped. "What about counseling and all that? I thought, you know, he wanted to stay together?" Ashlee seemed genuinely surprised.

"No," Julie shook her head, pushing away tears. "He knows I went back to Greg's last night. He followed me or something. I'm not sure. But he knew." She grabbed a tissue and blew her nose.

Ashlee guided her to the couch, and the two of them sat. Ashlee put a reassuring hand on Julie's shoulder.

"You went back and he knew?" Ashlee asked. Julie nodded and Ashlee gave a low whistle. "Damn, that's not good." She seemed to be searching for something encouraging to say and she wasn't coming up with anything.

"Even so," she said at last. "I don't think that really, like, changes anything. You still have rights in the divorce. Yeah, it'll be ugly, but..." she trailed off.

"No," Julie replied, shaking her head, without elaborating. She couldn't tell Ashlee about the pictures. She wasn't even going to tell Greg about that.

The two women sat and looked at each other for a moment, neither able to think of anything to say.

"Let's have a glass of wine or something," Ashlee suggested at last, patting Julie's shoulder and standing up. Julie nodded. She actually could go for something stronger. If it wasn't a work night, she would have been all for getting drunk.

Thirty minutes and a glass and a half of merlot later, Julie was feeling the edge come off her nerves. Ashlee made unobtrusive conversation as they sipped their wine, asking Julie if she needed help getting clothes and things from the house and the like, keeping the focus on small, practical matters.

But as they finished their second glasses of wine, Ashlee started poking into more personal issues. But not about Gary. About Greg.

Julie had come to understand Ashlee's dismissive attitude toward Gary. He was not a very manly man. He wasn't dominating, arrogant, cocky. He was a nice guy. And he seemed destined to finish last.

Ashlee had never been one to gravitate toward nice guys. So it should hardly come as a surprise to Julie that she was far more interested in Greg.

"So Gary says he wants to patch things up," Ashlee prodded, "and you left there and went straight back to your beau's?" Julie shrugged. What could she say? That was pretty much it in a nutshell. "Girl, if that's where you are, that's fine. In that case, you're better off without Gary anyway."

It was obviously not a new thought to Julie. But having someone else say it made it seem more valid.

"Maybe," Julie said with another shrug. "Still... We're talking about our marriage, the house. All that. Everything that's gone from mine and his to 'ours.' It's just... complicated." Ashlee nodded sympathetically as she got up to get them more wine.

Julie already had a pretty good buzz going and almost declined the refill. But it had been a downright awful day she rationalized, holding her glass out to Ashlee. As she took a sip and felt the warmth grow in her belly, Julie started to feel like she wanted to explain things to Ashlee.

Ashlee probably already understood. It seemed that Julie's experience with Greg mirrored Ashlee's many relationships. In Ashlee, Julie might have someone who would understand why Julie was making the choice she was. Maybe it was just the wine, but Julie found herself wanting to explain. Talk about it. And Ashlee seemed more than willing to listen.

"I think I know," Julie began slowly, not looking at her friend, "that I'm making a pretty dumb choice." She waved a hand to silence Ashlee's protests. "I mean, come on. This guy is a player and I'm kidding myself if I think there's a future with him. And Gary, our life together, it was all so secure. Dependable. I mean, if it wasn't for my own foolishness, we'd be together the rest of our lives."

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