Love Is A Silk Blindfold Ch. 03byangiquesophie©
I comforted Betty.
At least I think I did. I assured her that I had no plans whatsoever to leave her. That I loved her more than ever. But that I just felt I wasn't good enough for her anymore.
That twist had come to me out of the blue. It had been close to my true feelings. So close in fact that I at first didn't even see how it might goad her on. It was a very subtle way to tell her about my fears.
I held my breath watching her response.
She protested. Then she started kissing my chest and belly before taking my soft cock into her mouth. It took her long to get me hard again. But she never let go, even when I at last came in her mouth.
After that it took me a long time to find sleep. Why had she sucked me, even to the end, and swallowed, too? She hadn't done that for quite some time. A long time.
Damn...I really must be going crazy. Here I lay awake wondering about one of the most perfect blow jobs I'd ever had.
What did it prove? Did it prove anything?
How should I see Betty's behavior last night? Was it guilt? Or was it determination? Was it to cover up her infidelity? She never answered. She only told me she loved me.
Loved me, she said. Why did that sound less like a statement and more like an incantation? It must be me.
A mess it was. A pretty mess.
I was way past the moment where I could ask straight away if she was cheating on me. She'd had opportunities enough to tell me and she hadn't. On the other hand, if she did not cheat, would she stay after I accused her? How could she live with the idea that I distrust her?
I had to have proof.
"Go see what I didn't see..."
I knew now that the sneaking distrust would as certainly destroy our marriage as the quick proof of her betrayal. It might be a much slower process, but probably even more painful just because of that.
Last night our love had been missing. I may have been the only one feeling that. But I had tasted the horror of it. The loneliness. The bitter coldness it oozed. And I knew I could not go on like that.
But how to get proof?
Proof of what?
Finding them in bed together would be proof of her cheating, of course. But would not finding her in bed with him be proof of her innocence? Did I have to watch her 24/7 to be sure? And would that tell me anything about the past?
I did not want proof of her guilt. I wanted proof of her innocence. Call it denial, I call it love. You might even call it stupidity or blindness.
I'd still call it love.
I considered hiring a detective. It made me shudder with apprehension. It also made me feel ridiculous. Images of shabby, whiskey-gobbling raincoat-wearers came to mind. Ah shit...was this really me thinking? A Private Eye? Wake up, man. This is Betty we are talking about. My Libby, remember? Besides, do they really exist outside these cheap pocketbooks from the fifties? Mickey Spillane? Raymond Chandler?
Give me a break.
But I had to know. I needed to know what she did, working late. To know if there was business on her business trips. And what kind of business. I had to know how long her lunch breaks were and how much of it was lunch.
So I started digging into her schedules. I found out there wasn't one. There was no system in her late nights. The travels really seemed business-linked, at least in her reasoning and the stories she brought home. She talked about her destinations and the clients and projects involved. As often as not her boss was involved. Sometimes she went alone, sometimes with other colleagues. She only rarely went with him.
The lunches, well, I'd have to follow her in a random fashion. Paul had seen them at the Hilton. I might start there, but why would they go there more often than elsewhere? Maybe because they liked the place?
Playing detective is easy in stories. But reality has a lot of ways to mess things up. Amateur-PIs can't rely on professional experience, high tech gadgets or even time. They can only rely on chance, accidents, coincidence. Luck.
Paul seeing them had been such an accident. It could happen again, of course. So could lightning strike twice in the same place. Or someone could win the jackpot twice.
But, you know, it happens. I know it does. It happened to me. And I still don't know if I should call it lightning or the jackpot.
A bit of both, I guess.
It was a morning in May.
Someone called me. He had free tickets for a concert in Central Park, the next week. Before accepting them I had to know if Betty would be free that evening, so I phoned her at work. I got her secretary. She wasn't in, she said. I asked if I could reach her somewhere. I knew I could always call her cell phone, but I suddenly wanted to know where she was.
The girl said she was not to be disturbed.
I laughed and told her I was her husband. To my annoyance she was adamant. She had her instructions, she said. I really got pissed when I heard myself explain that it was important I'd get her. Here I was begging an office girl to get my wife on the phone, dammit.
"Okay," I said. "I'll see her at the office during lunchtime. Tell her to wait for me."
That was when she told me Betty wasn't at the office, but with a client and would spend lunchtime with him too. No, she could not tell me where. I paused, thinking.
"Please give me Robert Mancini," I asked.
"Mr. Mancini isn't in either," she answered.
She did not say that there was a link between their absences. But funny enough, there suddenly was one in my brain. My poor paranoia-ridden brain.
An hour later it was still there.
I had by then tried Betty's cell phone twice, but she never answered. It seemed shut down, understandably when she was in a conference.
I felt silly.
My thoughts seemed stuck in a swirling slush that took them round and round in a muddy maelstrom. And yes, circles have a tendency to take you exactly where you don't want to go: where you already were.
So I told Judy I didn't feel too great and left. I felt her eyes bore into my back, but she said nothing.
The Hilton was as Hiltons go.
A huge shining marble lobby, a wood paneled reception, slick and friendly people. Yes, Mr. Mancini had booked a business suite, but of course they would not tell me which one. I said I had a message, could I phone? I could.
Mancini's voice was businesslike, so was mine. It took us two minutes to settle that I was an oaf who seemed to be calling the wrong Mancini. It gave me a lot of seconds of silence when I acted as if I was searching for my information. In reality I used them to probe the silences for back ground sounds.
I had no luck. Or was I lucky? What did I prefer to hear?
It was right before lunchtime. I went into the restaurant, looking for a secluded spot. There was a trellis, overgrown with almost convincing artificial greenery. I took a New York Times to hide behind and waited.
A minute has sixty seconds.
But there are all kinds of seconds. The ones my clock used that afternoon were the laziest crawlers in the universe. They dragged their sticky feet. I could almost hear them grunt.
What felt like an hour later, the room had filled up with guests until only two tables were still free. Two small and cozy tables for two people each. One of them had a reservation ticket.
I felt pretty stupid.
Why would they come in here? If they really used the room for fucking, they might as well have ordered room service. And if they were with a client, they might well have taken them out for lunch. From here I could not see into the lobby.
Then again, Paul had seen them have lunch in here. At least, that was what he said. So I waited a while longer. To no avail. I waved the waiter closer and paid for my strategic coffees. Before leaving the hotel, I went to the men's room and had a pee.
On my return I had to pass through the restaurant to reach the elevators down to the lobby and exit. That's when I saw them. They had not yet reached their table. They lingered at the entrance to learn where their table would be. Betty stood very close to the man whom he knew was Robert Mancini, her boss.
He was about forty-five, looking tanned and healthy. He also was tall and dark in the famous Mediterranean way. I had met him often at functions. I liked him, always had.
I saw Betty rise to tiptoes and whisper something in his ear. Her hand cupped his chin. They both laughed. It was nothing, really. To me it was everything.
My heart sank, causing a nauseous dizziness.
I had walked innocently into the restaurant, standing in full sight. The next moment Betty saw me. A huge smile washed over her face. She pointed me out to Robert. Then she ran over and hugged me. We kissed.
"Cheri! What a nice surprise! What brings you here?" she cried, after we separated.
My voice seemed stuck. I mumbled something unintelligible. She went on about coincidence and asked me to have lunch with them. Wouldn't that just be wonderful? Robert right then joined us. I shook hands.
I found my voice.
We did some small talk before I apologized and said I really had to return to the office. Betty's disappointment seemed genuine. I wished them bon appetit and left. When I was almost outside the restaurant I quickly glanced back. They had sat down at the reserved table. Betty waved to me with a smile.
I went into the lobby and stopped. I could not resist it.
After a few minutes I sneaked back to the restaurant, carefully keeping out of sight. Betty and her boss were studying the card. They talked and laughed. It all looked innocent enough.
But Robert's hand was on Betty's.
The maitre d' started looking funny in my direction. So I muttered something and walked out. That was when the obvious struck me.
Where was the client?
"Oh, they'd left already."
It was after dinner, one of the increasingly scarce dinners we'd had at home together, recently. Betty was all bubbly when I arrived from work. She wore the beautiful silk blouse we had bought a few weeks before. The black linen skirt hugged her trim ass. I complimented her on how she looked. She obviously had changed after coming home. She smelt fresh, her hair was still damp.
She had kissed me in her open, carefree way. It poured a mercurial liquid into my knees. I might have undressed her there and then, but she playfully pushed me away and went in to make us cocktails.
We talked about our days. She once more said what a pity it was that I could not have stayed for lunch. I agreed. Then I kissed her again.
"How is lunch at the Hilton, by the way? I only had coffee."
"Oh well...it beats a quickie at the office."
Her chuckle came from way down her throat.
Damn...could you joke like that and be guilty?
The dinner was special. Betty is not a great cook, but she has a few remarkable culinary tricks. Lamb chops is one of them. Between those juicy marvels, a great red wine and the sweet caress of candlelight we had a gloriously intimate dinner.
Neither of us wanted to put an end to it. We kissed and fed each other little morsels. We drank wine from each other's mouths. Oh yes, food can be very sensual.
When we at last sipped our espressos, Betty's blouse had not a button closed anymore. And somehow her bra had disappeared in the process. Her soft little hand was on my exposed cock. And soon my lips were around her aching nipples.
I had never taken her on the dinner table. So when I pushed the coffee cups and the candles aside, she looked at me with a puzzled smile. I pulled her up from her chair. I kissed her deeply. Then I let her sink down on the tabletop. I started licking her throat, her chest, her belly. Then I pulled off her skirt.
Her panties were damp. There was a dark spot where it covered her slit. I sank my nose into it, making her gasp. And giggle. I rubbed her cunt through the flimsy material. She spread her legs wider and started to hump back against my face.
She smelled wild. She sounded wild too.
I ate her to a moaning orgasm within minutes. Then I filled her with my raging erection, shoving it in with no resistance at all. Fucking her on the table added an excitement I had not often felt before. There was naughtiness. There also was a sense of urgency. It all added up to a giddy, teenage-like feeling.
We almost came at the same time.
Betty's arms struck out with her second wild orgasm. She toppled one of the candles and it took a few seconds before we saw what happened, in our dazed, post-orgasmic state. The lovely white damask tablecloth had caught fire. I grabbed the first piece of cloth available and dozed the flames.
It happened to be her priceless blouse.
We looked at it, still panting with the aftermath of our great fuck. Then she started laughing. I waved the poor blackened thing limply in front of me. Then I joined her.
She pulled me down to the table and to her sweaty body.
"I love you, Jules. I love you so very much."
The feeling was still with me when we returned from the bathroom, both wearing our robes. We snuggled together on the couch, sipping from the marvelous cognac she had given me on my last birthday.
That's when I asked about the client.
"They did?" I asked.
She was slow in answering.
"There was a client, wasn't there?" I asked, wondering if my question would sound forced.
"Ehm...oui. Mais oui, naturellement," she now said, rather distractedly dipping her finger in the cognac. She offered it for me to suck. "They left right before we went down for lunch. We had finished sooner than we'd expected. They agreed to everything."
"Mmm, great!" I said, my voice half muffled by her finger. "Ideal client. You should have more of those."
I knew she had strayed closer to the edge. Maybe even over it. Why had the reservation card already been on the intimate table-for-two an hour before they knew they would eat without the client? There wasn't a bigger table free anymore, when they arrived. On the other hand, they may have phoned down to give up the bigger table.
Would anyone do that?
I hated the clarity of my thoughts. Not a week ago I would never have asked one of these questions. And I certainly would not have come to any of my conclusions.
Then again, I would not have been there to see, would I?
I felt the caress of her sigh against my cheek.
"I love you, Jules. We should do this so much more often."
I agreed. We kissed.
My brain refused to believe Betty had lied.
I knew I had seen things that her words did not explain. Things she even contradicted. It seemed logical to presume she had been less than truthful with me.
But believing her to be a liar was just too much for me.
It would mean she betrayed me. Another foundation I relied on would crumble and turn to sand. It also would mean that I had been a trusting fool. A stupid cuckold to be ridiculed by her, by her lover and who knows how many more.
And it meant that I had cruelly maltreated my best friend.
How could I believe that? Wasn't it so much easier to believe it was all a misunderstanding? Didn't Judy assure me it must be? Wasn't there a perfectly innocent explanation for most of the things that had happened?
Most of them, yes. Almost all of them. Almost.
Tonight I would confront her. I would ask her The Question and see how she'd react. See if she would have the nerve to lie to me directly. It might be stupid. I might hurt her and destroy our marriage if I were wrong.
But I had no choice.
Around 4.45 p.m. she called that she'd have to work late. I should not stay up, it would be very late and there was even the possibility she'd have to spend the night at the hotel where they would be meeting their client.
And, oh yes, she loved me and was so very sorry. Complètement désolée. Mmmmm...kisses, love...sorry!
I asked her where she'd stay, but she had already cut the connection.
I sagged in my chair. I stared at the phone.
I knew this was a first. Of course she'd had overnight stays when she was out of town. But I had the strong impression this would be in New York. This morning she hadn't known about it. Or at least hadn't told me. She always knew quite a bit in advance when she'd be traveling and staying the night.
A scream fought its way out of my chest.
I punched the number of her cell phone and got her voice-mail. I tried her office number and got her secretary. She was the same well-trained watchdog I had talked to before.
"No, Mr. Branford, I really can't tell you."
"Yes Sir, it was quite sudden, alas."
"I understand that, Mr. Branford."
"No, I can't tell. But if there is something wrong,
you can always reach her on her cell phone, can't you?"
"I assume she has your number, Sir."
"I am sorry you take it like that..."
"We are all just doing our jobs, Sir."
"I am sorry..."
I threw the poor phone into my wastebasket. What the fuck was going on? Was I an idiot? Had I always been one? Did I deserve to be one?
I stood and walked to the window. There was a soft drizzle falling down to gleaming streets. I saw nothing. It was the perfect screen for sweet lips whispering into ears, hands holding hands, close hugs, intimate smiles.
"Is something wrong, Jules?"
The voice was calm, but it had a concerned ring to it. I turned and saw Judy in the door opening. I tried to smile. I was going to say not to worry. Then the idea hit me.
"Judy, you'll have to lie for me."