The Panic RoombyTx Tall Tales©
She cheats, he thinks
A BTB tale gone wrong. Much of it written with tongue firmly embedded in cheek. Don't take this one too seriously, please.
Could have been LW, or even Humor and Satire. I hope the category doesn't give too much away.
The alarm on my phone chirped, and I quickly turned it off. EF Secure might build the best Panic Rooms in the Washington-Baltimore corridor but it seemed their employees couldn't ever remember to turn off the alarms before doing any work.
It was my wife's idea, of course. One more example of keeping up with the Joneses. Ever since my company had been bought out, she insisted we live the life we'd earned. Me, I was finishing the two years I had committed to staying with them, as part of the buyout, before trying something new. I was tired of designing autonomous mobile units for the military. It had been fun when starting, but now it was all red-tape and bureaucracy. Adding ridiculous features because a room of idiots thought it would be nice to have was anything but fun. Oh well, not my problem soon enough.
Something nagged at my subconscious, and I checked the alarm again. The company converting the underground wine-room in our home to a panic room, or what their literature called a 'safe' room, wasn't supposed to be working. We were waiting for the new bio-metric control panel, and that wouldn't be delivered until late next week.
Other than that, it was all but complete. The Kevlar wall panels had been put up, the emergency generator and filtered air supply were installed. Even the furniture had been moved in. The only thing missing was the bio-metric control panel, which prevented anybody from using the interior controls without pressing their hand against the identification pane. After hearing some horror stories about the single finger ID, I had paid the eight grand for the upgrade.
I don't think Denise understood the whole idea behind having a secret safe room. She had already given her two best friends tours of ours, and I had tried to remind her that the whole reason the entrance was hidden behind the pantry was so nobody could find it. That meant nobody, not best friends, not family, NOBODY!
She had promised not to tell anybody else, and to swear her friends to secrecy. I guess that promise hadn't lasted long.
Just like the promise to watch her spending, spend less time at the club, drive within the speed limit, and start working on the family we'd agreed to. Hell, we'd been married almost five years, and I was about to turn 30. At 27, you'd figure her biological clock would be ticking. If so, it wasn't ticking loud enough.
I was a little pissed, to be honest, that she would break her promise so cavalierly. I left the office building, hopped in the car, and drove the four miles to confront her.
Not only had she lied about keeping it secret, but it wasn't safe to be in there. At least not until we had the new control panel installed. She couldn't operate any of the safeguards without the new panel, and the only override was the one on my tablet. Heaven forbid she locked the steel entrance door; she'd be stuck until either I or the EF contractors unlocked it.
Pulling into the drive, I calmed down. Marcie's SUV was parked in the circular entrance. She was one of the two that already knew about the room. The Harrises were among our 'new' friends, that came with the upgrade in zip-code and country club membership. They were not my favorites, by any means, but Denise had bonded with Marcie. I preferred the types who had worked for their money, not earned it the old-fashioned way, inheriting it. I guess you could call me a reverse snob. Marcie wasn't so bad, but her husband was a pompous windbag. I put up with him for Denise's sake.
I pulled out my tablet, and brought up the control room interface. I logged in, and scanned the first tab of monitor windows down the right side of the display. Everything was working, and the 8 views of the outside of the house showed no movement alerts, or anything questionable.
I let myself in the house and headed for the back, to give my scatter-brained wife a piece of my mind. I love the woman, I do, but she could certainly use a little extra brain-power. She was so sweet and naive, I couldn't stay mad at her, and was doing my best to remind myself to act a little pissed, and not roll over immediately.
My anger with her usually had about a 10 minute shelf-life. And that was only if she didn't crank up the tears, put on her patented pout, or seduce me with her substantial charms. Let's face it, I was putty in her hands. She's beautiful, sweet, and so damn affectionate, I can't stay irritated with her. Never mind how incredible her apologies were. She was the best thing that ever happened to me, and I damn well knew it. I should say that most of the time she was wonderful. There'd been a few hiccups lately. If I kept those in mind, I figure I could hang onto my anger a could 30 seconds or more, and maybe get through to her.
Tab two of the monitors showed eight views of the interior of the home. A quick scan of the display didn't locate them. They were not outside on the grounds, nor on the main level. I hit tab three, checking the upstairs and was starting to get curious. There was no presence there either. The last tab brought up the auxiliary rooms, the garage, the attic, the pool house, and...
"Son of a bitch!" I groaned, picking myself up off the floor, where I'd fallen after tripping over the end table. "Son. Of. A. BITCH!"
The second burst of profanity was inspired by the site of Dale Harris's naked ass bouncing up and down between Denise's legs, in, of all places, the panic room.
I dragged myself off the floor, and checked again. No doubt about it. My loving wife was fucking our supposed friend. Or getting fucked by our supposed friend, I should say.
Half a dozen thoughts ran through my brain. I could burst in and confront them, beat the hell out of him, drag her naked through the street. Go out, buy a gun, return and cap their asses. Getting a divorce was guaranteed. I wasn't going to remain married to a cheating slut!
Then the doubts started to creep in.
Why? Why would she do it? Didn't she love me? Did she ever love me? Wasn't I a good husband, good provider? Our sex life had always seemed good, no, make that great. I had no complaints, did she? I was certain she loved me, was I just a sucker? A meal ticket?
Things started to fall in place. She'd been irritable lately, and taken to avoiding me. We hadn't had sex in over two weeks, which was an eternity for us. She'd been gone even more than usual, with many late nights. Shit, was I that oblivious? Stupid? Love-blind?
That son-of-a-bitch Dale. He was supposed to be a friend. I never really liked him, he was just a spoiled rich kid. Actually, the husband of a rich kid, and a leech. He came from a good family, old money, but he didn't have any of it, or not much. He'd eaten through his trust fund with a lot of foolish investments. He fancied himself a venture capitalist. Most of our inside crowd called him the failure capitalist. Instead of the Midas touch, he had a lead touch. Anything he touched turned to crap. Fortunately for him, Marcie came from Heinz money, and could afford to indulge his idiocy.
Not me. This was one time too many, that he'd fucked up. Fucked up big time. The mother-fucker would pay. Make that, the wife-fucker would pay, and pay dearly.
Divorce. God, that would be painful. Maryland was no-fault of course. I'd built the company from scratch with my partner Rohit, but we'd cashed out, and my wife would get half of everything. All those years, my blood, sweat and tears, endless hours invested before I'd even met her, and now she'd reap the benefits. I knew how divorce worked, and I was fucked.
I continued walking to the back of the house, on auto-pilot. What the hell was I going to do? I knew I wanted to start with kicking that smarmy asshole's butt all over the house. That would probably get me in a lot of trouble, but hell, it would be worth it.
My work had introduced me to some very tough customers. Working military contracts did that. Heck, I might just outsource his punishment. But where was the satisfaction in that? I really wanted to hear his squeal when I applied my size 11 boots to his wrinkly nut sack.
I made it as far as the pantry. I saw the false wall was open, and could hear the sound of their coupling. It made me sick, nauseous. I needed to do something, but what?
Dale's disgusting chatter broke me out of my trance. I couldn't make out the words, but it pissed me off just to hear him! I had to think about this. I needed to figure out the best way to take care of things. I needed time.
I raised my tablet, and pressed the big red button in the top left corner. I watched the hydraulics kick in, as the heavy steel door slowly shut. It sealed with a whisper, after about five long seconds that felt more like five minutes. The red button turned yellow. I pressed it again, and heard the steel rods slide into their recesses as the room was sealed with a thud. The button turned green.
I had all the time I needed.
* * *
I went upstairs and packed a suitcase. I glanced at the monitor, and was surprised to see the pair of them still going at it. I realized I didn't want them calling anybody, and brought up the control panel, turning on the active EMF defenses. No electrical signals in or out of the control room. Only my tablet, hard wired to an external receiver, could breach those defenses.
Ten minutes later I sat in my car, and cleaned up after myself. It wasn't difficult to eradicate any evidence of my presence in the home. I found the moment I entered the house, and went back a couple of minutes, looping the entrance and interior household recordings to cover my tracks. From that point on, nobody came or went. At least not according to the video.
I scrubbed the command logs to the controller, deleting all entries after their entrance. A simple cut and paste of a single line, showed them closing the door after them.
After resetting the time-stamps for all my changes, I felt I'd done about as much as I could. For any but the most tech-savvy forensic computer geek, I'd never been there. I was invisible.
My cheating wife and her lover were on ice. It was time to figure out what I was going to do about that. I visited our satellite office, to check on the manufacturing of our latest units. It gave me an excuse to be absent from the main office. I'd been gone less than an hour. After performing the requisite visits, I returned to headquarters, settled in, let Lacey know I didn't want visitors, and put the gray cells to work.
My first instinct was the most drastic. It was why I'd packed the suitcase. For weeks, one of the contracts had been begging me to visit the JPL. Not the local one, the one in California. I could head there, and just stay away for four or five days. When I came back, it would all be settled. There was no food or water in the safe room yet, we hadn't put in any provisions yet.
The only risk would be if the bio-metric panel arrived early, and the guys at EF Secure decided to install it. It wasn't supposed to arrive for over a week.
That would certainly take care of that asshole Dale, and eliminate any divorce issues. Hell, I'd even get a million bucks insurance out of it.
Shit. The police might not have the resources to investigate any wrong-doing thoroughly, but those insurance investigators might. Why'd I insure the cheating bitch? It's not like her loss would have cost me any income. Just the opposite, it would save me a ton of money. Faulty thinking on my part. I guess at one time I considered her worth a million bucks. Now it was more like a buck-fifty, if that.
I was already online, looking up air-fare to the west coast. That answer seemed so easy, so elegant, I could just leave. They had locked themselves in by accident. The EF Secure guys could attest to the fact that nobody could have opened that door from the inside but me, not until the new panel was in place. I'd call home, concerned, acting worried for the love of my life. I'd call the police, but they'd insist it was none of their business for 48 hours. Even then, they wouldn't be able to search the premises thoroughly. Until I got home, nobody could open that door. It was Wednesday. The police wouldn't get involved until Saturday. Monday would be the earliest they'd likely be able to get anybody in there.
As the employees started to leave for the day, I still hadn't made a decision. The big question that kept nagging at me was why? Why did she do it? I couldn't get my head around that one.
I needed to know. I could get on the intercom and ask her, ask them. Nobody would ever have to know. I could cover my footsteps again, but it would be harder. How would I explain going home after work, possibly spending the night, without wondering where she was.
It wouldn't be too hard to forge an email from her, explaining an emergency trip. Maybe she'd gone to meet her lover. Yeah, that might work. She'd lied to me, to meet him somewhere. Of course love-blind idiot that I was, I didn't expect anything.
Alright, I was getting kind of nutty. And that bitch was locked away, probably still fucking that asshat.
So I did something I almost never do. I went and got drunk.
* * *
Over my second beer, my plans started to fall apart. What about his car? Her car? Anyone checking on them would find the cars. And what about Marcie? She'd have to notice Dale missing after a while. Just driving by the house, I'm sure she'd recognize their vehicle. That's if she didn't use On-Star, Lojack, or some other way of finding it.
Shit. I was on my third beer, talking to myself, when I made a new decision. I couldn't do this on my own. I needed to talk to Marcie. I had to get her involved. I knew it was risky, but as bad as I wanted to kill the two cheating fuck-buckets, I couldn't do that to her as well, not unless she agreed. If she did, well now, that's a different story.
It took the better part of a fourth beer to gather up enough courage to pay her a visit.
* * *
The lights were on when I pulled up to their house. They only live about a mile from us, maybe less. We shared the same gated community. Shit. The gate! They would have logged my entrance. Damn. Damn, fuck, shit, piss!
Wait! If Marcie went along, she could confirm that I'd paid her a visit, and not gone home. At least that's what my beer-addled brain thought. Crap, there were so many details I needed to keep track of. I should have laid off that fourth beer, probably the first three as well.
I braced myself, and grabbed my tablet. I was too far away to get real-time updates, the unit only worked within about 50 yards of the house transmitter. But I did have the latest archived images in cache. Crap! What was I thinking! I should have ditched those, if I was going to cover my tracks. But then, I wouldn't have had anything to show Marcie. I still could get rid of them, if I needed to. Maybe I wasn't a complete idiot.
I checked my watch. It was barely seven o'clock. My three and a half beer attempt to drain my sorrows hadn't even lasted an hour. It was close to five hours since I'd caught and trapped the pair of loathsome, scum-sucking, faithless cheaters.
Marcie answered the door, and looked surprised. "Sean! I was just about to give you a call. I've been trying to get hold of Marcie all afternoon. We were supposed to meet for our book club. She's not answering."
Hell! Of course, why didn't I think of that? Denise was a social beast. Her friends would go nuts if she wasn't posting on Facebook, Instagram, tweeting, texting or calling. Her disappearance would be instantly known! They could probably track the last text, post or call she'd made, and know the moment she was locked away. The way she is, she was probably texting mid-fuck. I know, because she'd done that to me a couple of times in the past. I'm not kidding, she got a midnight text from one of her drunk friends, and thought it was some kind of emergency. I was still pounding her from behind while she consoled her buddy in a series of texts. I drew the line when she said she was going to call her.
Of course she was extremely apologetic once I explained how rude that was. She made it up to me, in spades.
Spades! Damn, tomorrow was her card playing group. Who the fuck knew that hiding your wife's disappearance would be so damn complicated? What a clusterfuck.
I looked up at Marcie, who was looking back worried. Blame it on the beer, but I'd totally blanked.
"Can we talk?" I asked.
She sat me down, and got me a coffee, before I started.
"Our spouses are having an affair," I explained.
She went ballistic, never questioning my statement for a moment. "That lousy, two-timing, shrimp-dicked, ass-wipe, scum-sucking, no good, fuckwad, dipstick-"
I watched in awe as she took a breath, getting up off the couch and stomping around,
"-mother-fucking, pissant, lying, low-life, inbred, fat-assed, rotten, sack of cheating SHIT!" she shrieked.
I saw Marcie in a new light. This was a real woman. Real emotions, not the barbie doll I'd always thought of her as. Dale was still a shallow dick. That, and all those other things she said. I wasn't going to argue, she knew him far better than me.
"Are you positive?" she asked, up in my face, growling at me. She grabbed the front of my shirt, yanking me forward, 'til our faces were only inches apart.
Damn, the woman gave me the heebie-jeebies. Maybe she was too real. "I'm absolutely certain. Want to watch the video?"
"Video? You've got video? How long have you known, you sneaky, no-good, brainless, dickless, useless, heartless-"
"Just this afternoon! I swear!" I sank back into the couch to avoid her wrath.
"How? Where? I can't believe that bastard would cheat on me with that trumped up, no-brain, fake-tit, hair-dying, man-stealing-"
I brought up the video before she got too far into her description of my cheating wife, and turned it to face her, with Dale's bare ass, pounding away a mile a minute.
"God Damn it! I'd recognize that scrawny-assed, chicken-legged, pencil-dicked, premature ejaculating-"
"They're locked in there now," I interjected carefully. I didn't want to be on the receiving end of another of her paint-peeling rants.
She shut up. Her eyes opened wide, and I saw an evil smile invade her face. Damn. I almost felt sorry for Dale. This was one woman I wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of.
"You've got them locked up? Really?" her voice was suddenly soft, encouraging.
I nodded. "They were doing it in our new safe room."
She sat down, eerily quiet. I gave her a few seconds, while she pondered my latest revelation. "Damn, you're good, Sean. I could kiss you right now."
With that mouth? The thought gave me the shivers.
"Details. I need details. Now!" she snapped.
Yes ma'am! I explained, skipping nothing. How I'd received the alarm and went to check on it. Where and how I found them. The situation with the control panel. Locking them in. Hiding my presence. Packing for the trip and going back to the office. I held nothing back. I wasn't sure if it was because I thought she needed to know, I wanted her to help me figure out what to do, or just cause she scared the snot out of me.
"You really thought about just disappearing for a week? Leaving them locked in there? No food, no water?" The gleam in her eye, and the smile on her face had the hair on my arms standing on end.
Yeah, it was because she scared the snot out of me.
"That was my first instinct. After what I saw, I hated them both. I couldn't believe she'd do that to me. It doesn't make sense. I had no idea there was anything wrong, none what-so-ever. I hated the idea of a divorce, and losing half of everything to her. And I sure as hell wanted Dale to pay. The overstuffed, airs-putting, dog-kissing, dirt-eating, snake-fucking, bug-eyed, wife-stealing-"