Peaceful Easy Feelin’byThe Wanderer©
My thanks go to Techscan and LadyCibelle for their kind assistance with the editing of this story and correcting the usual clangers that keep my critics so happily amused. But I'm sure you'll find something you don't like in the story somewhere.
Foreword: I know that some people will say that the hero in this story is manipulated by at least one of the other characters in the tale. As a man, I have had many women try to manipulate me on many occasions; my good wife is adept at the art. She has to be; I can be a cantankerous old bugger sometimes.
I will point out to folks who don't like to see others manipulated, that sometimes there is a distinct advantage for the manipulated (I wonder if that's the right word). Let's face it; if you're blatantly conned into doing something and it all goes tits up on everyone, you can just smile and say, "Hey, look, it wasn't my idea; if it's gone tits-up, it's got fuck-all to do with me!" I've had heroes in similar circumstances in the past, where readers have failed to realise that playing dumb can sometimes be the hero's best option at the time.
Peaceful Easy Feelin'
'Just what the fuck am I doing here and how much longer can it last?' I asked myself.
There I was, on the patio of a massive and very flash villa on the coast of an unbelievably beautiful (and bloody hot) Caribbean island. Not just any old Caribbean island either; this place was a private island. Only people who owned one of the villas -- or could afford to hire one for a week or so -- their staff and guests were allowed to step foot on the hallowed soil. The sort of place that the likes of me shouldn't even be allowed to dream about, let alone live in for a couple of months.
I was lying back on a sun-bed taking in some afternoon rays, sipping rum - that had been poured over crushed ice - from a long glass. Every so often Sam - a big coloured man, dressed in an immaculate white shirt and slacks, and complete with a neck tie (in that heat?) - would come to adjust the large parasol that protected my face from the sun's glare. Sam would also send the little dark skinned island girl Simone out to refill my glass whenever it was empty, without me asking; Sam knew my preferences -- and consuming rate - by then. He'd also remind me about how long I'd been in the sun and send that same little beauty out to apply sun block to my body when required. That was assuming that Sonya didn't beat her to it.
Somewhere below, I could hear the children playing in the swimming pool, I'd been down there earlier with them. As I lay there, occasionally I could pick out Sonya's voice amongst those of the children and their minders. Tutors, Sonya called them, taught the children everything from windsurfing to diving, but to my mind they were more like glorified nannies.
I lifted my head and looked around the sun patio; Christ, just the damn sun deck was larger than any house - including the garden - that I'd every lived in before.
As I looked around I caught sight of Sam standing at his usual station; from where he could watch me and be ready to cater for any request that I had. And at the same time, he could keep an eye on the swimming pool below; Sam was always ready for any request or emergency that could possibly happen down by the pool. I'd noticed that the guy was very protective of the children.
My movement had caught Sam's attention and our eyes met for a second, so I waved my hand to let him know that I didn't require anything.
He gave me a brief smile and nod before saying, "The Lady Sonya is coming up, sir."
"Her name's just Sonya, Sam," I admonished him.
"Yes, Sir. I'm sorry I forgot."
"And please try to remember, Sam, that when we're in private, I'm Frank. I'm not one for all this sir lark."
"Yes, Sir.... Frank, I'm sorry I keep forgetting," he replied.
I had been trying ever since I'd arrived here to get Sam -- and all of the rest of the staff - to drop the formality with me when there were no visitors in the house. But it appears old habits die hard. Sam had also pointed out that they might forget when we did have visitors in the house.
"Who gives a shit, Sam. I don't want my kids growing up thinking they are something that they aren't. You guys are looking after us like bloody royalty, but you're just earning a living like most everyone else in the world has to. And all of you are damned good at what you do. That makes you anyone's equal," I'd told them.
"Yes, Sir," Sam had replied. At one time, he tried "Mr Moore" on me, but I wasn't happy with that either.
Sonya appeared at the top of the stairs that led down to the pool. She smiled at Sam as she headed in my direction. Sam, ever the soul of discretion started down the stairs toward the pool. He would move to a position about halfway down, where he could see the pool but not what was happening on the patio, although he could hear Sonya or myself if we called him.
I marvelled once again -- as I always did whenever I saw her -- at the beauty of the woman walking towards me. 'This can't last much longer.' Was the thought that crossed my mind.
Sonya was - I'd estimated - about thirty-five years old, and I swear, by looking at that shapely body of hers - clad as it was in one of the smallest bikinis that I'd ever seen in my life; Sonya had several that size -- that no one could discern the slightest evidence that she had borne three children some years before.
"How's my lover boy? Recovered from playing with the children yet?" Sonya asked, as she swung one shapely leg over my body and lowered her backside carefully onto exactly the right spot on my groin area. Then she slowly began to rock her hips backwards and forwards, as she had done so many times in the previous few weeks. She knew full well that this would very soon have the effect she desired on me.
"Tired, but not from playing with the children this morning, Sonya. You really wore me out after the party last night!" I replied.
"Ah, diddums!" she giggled back at me. "But, it was a good session last night, wasn't it? Made me feel like a teenager again!"
"You ain't kidding, girl. Last night you worked me over pretty good, and then this morning you started on me as well. Jesus, I wish I'd been around when you were a teenager? Christ, I don't know how Seymour ever had any energy left to shag Jean."
"Neither do I! He certainly never had your stamina, in my bed anyway!" Sonya grinned down at me. "Perhaps he saved all his energy for Jean. She must have been really something in bed."
"I wouldn't say that exactly." I replied, remembering back to how Jean had been when she was in bed with me, especially in the last few years, since the children had been born. "Oh, she liked to 'do it' all right, but I wouldn't say she was ever that mad about sex. One orgasm was always enough for Jean. When she was in bed with me anyway." I added as an afterthought. "Actually Jean was more like some of those blokes you hear about; only with Jean it wasn't wham, bam, thank you, mam! It was wham, bam, thank you, man! Or rather, thank you, Frank. One climax was always enough for Jean; I'd get her off once and then she'd say that's enough for one night, Frank, I'm tired now. Then she'd roll over and go off to sleep."
"Sounds like some of the guys that I knew back at university." Sonya grinned again. "Anyway forgetting about Jean and sex for the minute. I sensed that there was something bothering you at breakfast this morning, Frank. I didn't want to ask in front of the children, but is something wrong?"
For a few seconds I debated whether to broach the subject with Sonya in my mind and came to the decision that we'd have to talk about it sooner or later. Probably the sooner the better!
"Well, to be honest with you, Sonya, no, not really at the moment. But I just can't help wondering when the bubble is going to burst."
Sonya stopped her rocking motion, which had already had the effect she intended even though I'd tried very hard not to get aroused.
"Bubble! What bubble?" she asked with a concerned look on her face.
"This bubble! All of this. Sonya, you are a very desirable woman. You're what, thirty-five?" Sonya nodded to affirm my estimate of her age. "You've got more money stashed away than they've got in the Bank of England and three massive houses. This one, that villa in the South of France and the estate in Surrey, that must be at least a hundred acres...."
"Two hundred and fifty!" Sonya corrected me still smiling.
I ignored her interruption. "Last night, you had some pretty handsome and damned rich looking fellas running around after you like blue-arsed-flies. You know they were all vying for your attention at the same time - well, they were trying to."
"And they didn't get it, did they? You know as well as I do that all they want is to get into my knickers, as you so elegantly like to put it," Sonya interrupted again, but still grinning. She seemed to enjoy my rather "basic English" vocabulary (Sonya's term) and often took the rise out of it in a friendly way.
"I can't say that I can blame them for that either." I smiled back at her. "You're one beautiful and very sexy looking woman, you know. Especially in that damned bikini or that low cut dress you had on last night!"
"So that's your problem; you're jealous. Well, don't be, Frank. They'll never get anything off of me while you're in my life."
"Well, you see, that really is the problem, Sonya. You're a very desirable thirty-five-year-old heiress, and I'm a forty-three-year-old sodding truck driver, for Christ's sake, from the North London suburbs at that. What have I done to deserve being here with you?"
"Well, you married a slut who let my husband fuck her brains out willy-nilly, that's what." Sonya giggled back at me. "And you screw better than any man I've ever shared a bed with before!"
I knew full well that she was enjoying our little conversation. Damn, the woman never seemed to take anything seriously.
"Yeah, so you say, but when you suggested this little jaunt, it was to wind-up our ex-spouses. I never in my wildest dreams imagined we'd ever... you know... The idea was that we'd make a big show of jetting out here to one of the houses that you took from Seymour in the settlement. I never intended to take advantage of you like I have."
"Whoa there, stud." Sonya's facial expression changed and she looked just a little annoyed with me. "For a start, you have never taken advantage of anyone; I chose to seduce you and I have no complaints on that score. Secondly, I didn't take this place from Seymour in the divorce either; it was mine all the time. My family had this house built years ago. The house in the south of France was my father's retirement home until he passed away and the estate in Surrey, what's left of it, well that has been in the family for well over two hundred years."
"Oh, sorry, I didn't realise. But it just goes to show that you and I are from completely different worlds... Well, look, Sonya, what I'm trying to say is that I could get used to this life... And, well, so could my girls, but the longer we stay out here the harder it's going to be to get back to normal."
"What do you mean by 'back to normal'?" Sonya demanded.
"Sonya, I love it here with you; Christ, I've grown to care for you a damned sight more than is prudent, under the circumstances..."
"And what circumstances would they be?" Sonya demanded; she was looking - uncharacteristically - very serious by then. It was possibly only the second or third time that I hadn't seen a smile on that beautiful face of hers.
"Sonya, let me get this out please! I've grown to care for you much, much more than you realise. And so have my girls; but someday soon you're going to figure that you've rubbed Seymour's face in the dirt enough, by slumming it with the likes of me and you're going to want to get back to your friends."
"Jesus Christ, Frank, what are you, a bloody snob? What kind of shallow slut do you take me for?"
"Sonya, I don't think you're shallow and I'll bleeding-well deck the first bugger who tries to call you a slut. As a matter of fact, if you remember correctly, I already have."
Sonya giggled, "Yeah, that was funny. I doubt that Seymour's ever been flattened like that before, not in public anyway. One punch from you and he went out like a light."
"Glass jaw they call it. Seymour might be a big man, but he can't take a punch."
"Well, he deserved it; he was very insulting at the airport."
"Sonya, he was telling the truth as he saw it. You led him to believe that you were bringing me out here to fuck my brains out in revenge for him carrying on with Jean when, in fact, we had already agreed that the whole charade was just for the press and the children's benefit. And to embarrass Seymour. We never did intend to sleep together really."
"Who didn't intend to sleep with whom? I know what I had planned, even if it did mean that I had to use a little bit of subterfuge where someone was concerned. Look, Frank, when I approached you in that transport café that day, I soon realised that I'd found, or rather that Jean was about to lose, a real man."
"I'll admit that when I went there that day, I had only intended to give you the evidence of Jean and Seymour's infidelity. But whilst we were talking, I recognised something in you that none of the other men that I've known in my life had, except maybe for my father. Perhaps I saw some of his character in you as well. He was a good man who thought of everyone else before he thought about himself."
"You got pretty irate at first when you saw those photographs, but then you got your emotions under control and, yes, you mentioned that you'd have to divorce Jean. But your number one consideration was on what effect it was all going to have to Annette and Sheryl. And what possible damage had been done already."
"It was?" I replied.
Of course, I could remember the occasion that Sonya was talking about, when an immaculately dressed, very beautiful and quite definitely out of place woman walked into Wally's Café, accompanied by a flunky in a flash whistle. She'd gotten the attention of every damn driver in the place from the second she stepped through the door.
The guy in the suit had gestured in my general direction and then went to the counter.
Then I'd been totally gob smacked as the woman strolled over to my table and took a seat opposite me.
"Frank Moore?" she'd enquired. Or rather asked me to affirm; it was pretty obvious that she knew who I was.
"Yes!" I replied meekly, looking from her to my mates, some of whom were also sat at the long table. To be honest, I was wondering what kind of a practical joke the guys had set me up for this time.
"I wonder if you would mind giving us some privacy, gentlemen?" she'd said, turning to the rest of the guys. "Mr Moore and I have something rather unpleasant and personal to discuss."
As they'd already finished their meals, the guys politely acquiesced to Sonya's request and left the table promptly. But not without giving me some very quizzical looks and a few of them winked at me. I just shrugged. I figured at least one of the guys was bluffing and knew exactly what the woman wanted. How wrong I was!
"Mr Moore, we've never met, but my name is Sonya Springfield. I believe that you've met my husband on a few occasions."
Indeed I had met the wanker. He was one of the big-knobs at the place where my wife Jean worked. I can't say that I'd ever been impressed by the bugger either; fancied his chances too much for my liking.
"Yes, I've met him a few times at the company do's," I replied, with a slightly uneasy feeling in my stomach.
"Well, I'm afraid I've come here to give you some rather unpleasant information. I thought it only civil to inform you about what's been going on, before the balloon goes up. I'm afraid I've got to tell you that your wife and my husband have been having an affair."
"I don't believe you!" I blustered.
'Jean, cheat on our marriage, no way! She doted on our children and she loved our little house; Christ, she loved me; well, she was always telling me she did.' But for some reason and almost immediately after that thought had crossed my mind, I began thinking. 'Now Seymour Springfield! Yeah well, he was the type who'd lay any little tart that he could get his hands on. But my Jean, no way would she cheat on me, not with the likes of him; she just wouldn't!'
Well, that was the way my mind was working at the time. But somehow - I still don't know why -- in my heart, I knew that this woman wasn't spinning me a line.
"I'm sorry, Mr Moore, but what I tell you is true," she said, placing a large manilla envelope which she'd been carrying on the table before me. "See for yourself. There're some photographs of them together in there. I'll warn you though, some of them are pretty disgusting and rather pornographic."
With more than a little trepidation and even more willpower, I picked up the envelope and peeked at the pictures inside. It wasn't even necessary for me to pull the pictures right out. The first one I saw was of Jean all right; a very naked Jean, who was on her hands and knees, getting it from behind by someone. I couldn't see who the guy was who was shagging her, but it definitely wasn't me; the guy was much too fat.
I looked back from the envelope to Sonya Springfield. I have no idea what kind of an expression I had on my face, but it must have been one of extreme shock and anger.
"I'm sorry, Mr Moore, but I thought it only fair to let you know what was going on before tomorrow morning when the balloon will go up. Seymour is a very famous man. I'm expecting that pictures of them together will be all over the media tomorrow... after the announcement is made that I'm filing for divorce on the grounds of his adultery with your wife. You might want to make sure that your children do not see the news broadcasts on television tomorrow."
I said something in reply but I can't remember what it was that I did say. Probably I thanked her for her thoughtfulness or something.
"Mr Moore, the sleaze that I came in with is my solicitor, Ronny Macintosh. I can't say that I like him very much, but he's a damned good lawyer. If you should need his services, he'll be only too pleased to take on a divorce case for you as well. I've already spoken to him; he won't charge you too much because I have him under retainer and he can run the two cases together."
Well, I think that was the gist of what Sonya said; neither my mind nor my memory was working properly by that time. Anger does that kind of thing to some people.
But I wasn't just anyone. I am a professional driver. My working days were spent on Britain's crowded roads and motorways with anything up to 44 tons up behind me. With the way most of the idiots drive their cars nowadays, cutting us up, not giving the big trucks enough clearance when they pull out in front of us, or pulling back too early into our braking zone after they overtake. I've had to learn to control my emotions. It's a matter of self-preservation; lose it and you could pile the truck up. And then those 44 tons will try to join you in the cab and push you straight into an early grave.
So pretty soon I managed to get my emotions back under control.
"Um, thanks, yeah, divorce, yeah, well, er... Looking at these pictures that's about all I can do, divorce her, isn't it?" I mumbled, I might have gotten my emotions under control, but I was still in a state of shock.
"No, sir, please don't be in too much of a hurry to make up your mind about divorcing your wife; it can prove expensive, you know," a man's voice said. Ronny Macintosh had come over to our table, probably at a prearranged signal from Sonya. "Divorce isn't your only option, sir. You should talk to your wife first before you make any decisions, and maybe see a marriage counsellor."