It was several months after my wedding that my growing but still largely unconscious suspicions finally emerged into a realization: I had a rival for my husband's affections.
It was surprising, given how grateful he had seemed—after all, Eric had won a bride almost half his age—but I knew that he was possessed of a powerful sex drive and a taste for novelty and adventure. His first two marriages had ended, I imagined, because the two former Mrs. Cartiers had been exhausted and simply run out of ideas.
I was determined to be the last in the Cartier dynasty of wives; and, to seal the bargain, I proved myself to be an energetic, enthusiastic, and inventive mate for my husband. At 25, I could keep him going all night long and demonstrated this to our mutual satisfaction, several times each week.
For his part, Eric was a considerate lover and an attentive husband. We never fought, and he showered me with gifts, clothes, and sincere compliments. It was a genuine surprise, therefore, to begin to receive those little warning signals of infidelity—a waft of strange perfume from his suit jacket, an excuse for being late that doesn't sound completely convincing.
His devotion to me hadn't change in the slightest, but I began to feel the grip of that unconscious paranoia that a woman feels, when she senses another woman has laid hands on her man.
One morning, while Eric slept in, I decided to surprise him with a real English breakfast. Slipping out quietly in the early morning to go to market, I saw that his car was blocking mine, so I took his Infiniti Qx4, instead of my Saab. When I opened the door, I noticed a hint of perfume that definitely wasn't mine and several rose petals on the passenger's seat. Eric had given me flowers, the previous evening, but mine were red. These petals were yellow. Who else, I wondered, was my husband treating to roses?
I said nothing, of course, and Eric and I enjoyed a lovely breakfast, later that morning, and a leisurely afternoon of unbridled passion, beginning on the dining room table and ending, hours later, on the cool tile outside our sauna. But I kept a watchful eye, scrutinizing my husband's comings and goings with a vigilance worthy of how much I thought I could lose.
From the consistency of the signals and clues over the next several weeks, I concluded that I had only one rival with whom to contend. She never changed perfume, and her tastes and mine were so similar that Eric often bought two of the same gift, as I discovered in an examination of his platinum card bills.
I credited her with intelligence and style and, over time, deemed her a worthy adversary. And although possessive by nature, I actually developed an emotional camaraderie with this unknown woman. After all, I thought, Eric has never given me any reason to doubt his love and loyalty to me. He chose me as his wife, and his ardor certainly had not dimmed. If anything, maybe I should be grateful to this woman, who helps to quench my man's overwhelming need for sex. If he keeps her as busy as he keeps me, maybe I should even reimburse her for her time.
But I couldn't leave it alone. The audacity! The unmitigated gall of another woman's presuming to take my man, even on short-term loan! The alpha female was raising her hackles within me, and I knew I had to act.
So I started sending my rival covert messages—signals she would read unmistakably, while leaving Eric clueless. Not so much "Hands off, girl!" as "You may think you have him, but he's really mine!"
To begin, I started a campaign of ambushing Eric, whenever I suspected he was leaving for one of his assignations. I'd surprise him with one of his favorites—a quick, no-nonsense blow job—all the while, massaging my heavily perfumed hands over his cock and balls. A week later, I received my adversary's reply. When Eric was stepping into the shower after a late night supposedly at his office, I spied a ring of bright red lipstick—definitely not my shade—at the base of his penis. Grrrr!
We battled, back and forth, in this manner for several weeks, becoming ever more creative and ever more irritated with one another. I taped a tack beneath the leather on the passenger seat in Eric's Infiniti, when I was sure he planned to take her to dinner. The next morning, I was rewarded to find a tiny spot of blood where she had planted her presumptuous but unsuspecting bottom. Later that week, I found a pair of her stockings in Eric's glovebox.
When flowers were delivered to me one morning, I quickly telephoned the florist, pretending to be Eric's secretary, and changed my rival's order to a cactus. Retrieving the morning paper from our steps, the next day, I found a pair of Eric's silk boxers neatly folded inside, bound with one of her garters. This was getting personal, and she was carrying the fight to my doorstep!
She sent me a polaroid in the mail of Eric receiving oral sex, the woman's slender, shapely back to the camera. No note, but she did place a return box number on the envelope. I had to hand it to her: she played fair. We exchanged several more polaroids, before she finally sent me a photograph of her bending over, her backside toward the camera and her pinkish pucker of an asshole staring impudently at me. The message was undeniable. I returned the favor with a rear view of my own; and then, for several days afterward, the battle seemed to stall. I supposed neither of us knew what should come next.
The following weekend, I visited my mother and returned, exhausted, on Sunday night. Falling into bed, I thought I caught a whiff of another woman's sex, but it was fleeting, and I convinced myself I was being paranoid. Later, in the middle of the night, I awakened with the unmistakable scent of my rival in my nostrils. I smelled the sheets—they were clean—looked under the bed, looked under my pillow, and finally found a pair of her sheerest, silk bikini panties, smoothed out between my pillow and pillowcase. I had lain on them for hours, the warmth from my face restoring their pungency, until even my hair smelled like her pussy.
I doubted that Eric would have taken her to our bed, but she had clearly been inside our home. She had probably excused herself to use the bathroom, sneaked upstairs, and deposited her message, when Eric was otherwise occupied. This was the final straw! I was determined to meet and confront her—again, not so much to push her out of the picture as to re-establish who was first in Eric's life, who was the alpha female.
The following day was a Sunday, and Eric gave me a present of the sheerest silk panties—lavender, my favorite. Since he was jet-lagged from a business trip, I knew he wouldn't be seeing "her" for at least another day, so I took a chance and investigated his car. Under the front seat, I found what I was seeking—a gift box of sheer silk panties, sea foam green. I congratulated myself as I went inside to don them, along with my running togs and shoes. After a sweaty two-mile run, I returned home and decided to do a little gardening, before carefully returning the panties to their tissue paper and box and restoring them to my husband's car.
The next evening, after a passionate afternoon, Eric told me he had some business in town and not to wait up for him. While he showered, I pleasured myself mercilessly with a small French vibrator, covering my hands with my own juices. Just as he was leaving, I ambushed him at the front door with a goodnight kiss and blowjob, sucking him dry and leaving him with the unmistakable scent of a satisfied woman on his cock and balls.
I did not wait long for a reply. A perfumed envelope arrived for me by Wednesday's post with the now familiar return address. Inside was a single sheet of paper and a smaller sealed envelope.
On the sheet of stationery, a brief note was penned in a woman's hand: "Congratulations, Janey. Of course, he insisted I wear them, and I was treated to the scent of you on me for the entire evening. Your second message was received, as well, and I suppose I should be glad you didn't make him bugger you before sending him to me. The insult remains an unpleasant taste in my mouth, nevertheless, and I would like satisfaction. If you're interested, the terms of the duel are enclosed in the accompanying envelope. If you're a coward, then return it with the seal intact, and I'll not mention it again. If you accept, then let me know what terms are agreeable. Regards, Devon."
My god, I recoiled in horror, what was this woman proposing? Had I become embroiled in a triangle with a sociopath? What if she wanted to fight a duel with pistols or swords?
I supposed that I could always tell Eric I needed a vacation and quietly leave the country. But, in the end, the alpha female overcame my anxiety, and I decided at least to look at my rival's proposal. My hands were shaking, as I broke the waxed seal of the envelope and unfolded the one-page, word-processed document:
Rules of the Catspat
The catspat is a physical duel between consenting feminine sexual rivals. The goal is to dominate and humiliate, not to inflict severe pain or injury. At any time, either woman may call an immediate halt to the duel by saying "submit," if she wishes to capitulate, or "stop," if she wishes to disengage with a penalty or with the loss of a round.
(1) No intentional injuring, scarring, or causing gratuitous pain. (2) No biting. (3) No scratching. (4) No kicking with the feet or knees, and no punching. (5) No gouging of the eyes. (6) No scissors holds. (7) No locking of the arms or wrists around one's adversary.
These rules help to insure against injury. Any violation of them results in an automatic submission or loss of a round.
(1) Stripping and tearing the clothes of one's adversary. (2) Hair-pulling of the head for control—not for injury. (3) Face slapping while standing.
(1) Face-sitting. (2) Breast-grabbing. (3) Nipple-"torture" with the lips and tongue only. (4) Face-licking. (5) Forced kissing. (6) Genital-fondling and forced orgasm.
Attire is negotiated in advance. When on her back, the woman in the subordinate position cannot use her legs or feet to dislodge her adversary. The winner is declared when the loser submits OR by one woman's having won the most rounds of a pre-determined time period OR by audience acclamation or voting OR by an agreed upon system of awarding points.
I was both relieved and amused, and I found myself quietly amused, as I re-folded the letters. She wasn't a sociopath, but she was definitely creative. I shook my head as I briefly imagined the two of us rolling around on the floor. "This is preposterous," I said aloud. "How can she believe I'd agree to something like this?" On the other hand, I mused, the idea of humiliating her is an attractive one. More to the point, was this a challenge I could afford to ignore? I mean, what was next in our little exchange? I did not relish being in the predicament of having to look over my shoulder all the time.
As I tucked Devon's notes away, I decided to do the simplest thing: ignore her for the moment. I would sleep on it, I said to myself, and not do anything until I felt more convicted.
After my initial anxiety, it turned out to be easy to suppress my worry for a few days; and, when I received an invitation from a friend for a good old-fashioned sleepover, I accepted without a second thought. That weekend, I told Eric that my college roommate Karen had asked me to visit and that I'd be spending Saturday night at her home in Connecticut.
After an exhilarating day of shopping at Karen's favorite galleries and boutiques and an elegant dinner for two at one of her favorite restaurants, we settled into drinks at her club. It was then that I told her about Devon and my weeks of painstaking investigation and sleuthing, culminating with challenge to a duel.
"You're making this up, aren't you?" was Karen's first response.
"No, honestly, I'm not," I replied. "Here, I'll show you the letters."
Karen read silently and, when she looked up again, her eyes were sparkling. "My god, Janey, what're you going to do?"
I shrugged my shoulders. "I haven't made my mind up."
Nodding, Karen sipped her drink thoughtfully. Then, leaning forward, she said, "You know, you have to do this, Janey."
"What?" I was astonished.
"You have to do it," she repeated, and, leaning even closer, she said, "Remember when Alan was having his affair, last year?"
I nodded, completely drawn in. I had always wanted to know more about that but had been too delicate to ask.
"Janey, I would've given anything to have gotten a challenge like this from the woman he was seeing."
"You bet! Think about it," she said, taking a somewhat larger sip of her drink and leaning back. "It's a chance to fight with virtually a guarantee of not risking injury. Do you know how many times I nursed that fantasy before Alan saw the light and dropped that bitch?"
"I suppose," I offered, somewhat uncertainly.
"Well, it was a wonderful fantasy—pulling her hair, stripping her naked, and sitting on her face."
"Karen!" I squealed, a little too loudly, judging by the looks from the tables around ours.
"I mean it, Janey," she whispered. "I'd write a check for $10,000, right now, to any charity you like, just for the chance to sit on that woman's face."
"And what if she sat on your face?" I asked with a little grin.
"Then at least I would have tried," Karen hissed. "Anyway, she had her way with my husband for several weeks. That's pretty much like sitting on my face, if you ask me. Besides," Karen leaned forward, smiling mischievously, "I think I can take her."
"You know who she is?" I asked, surprised.
"Oh, it's Carol from his company's law firm. She's a blonde attorney with pointy tits. I gave her husband a blowjob at the corporate banquet, just to get back at her. Left a ring of my lipstick on his cock, too. I make an effort to wear the same shade, whenever I think I'm going to run into her."
"Hmmm. I've seen that trick before. Has she noticed?"
"I'm not completely sure," Karen said, "but I think she at least suspects. I followed her into the club's restroom, once, and let her catch me applying a fresh coat in the mirror. She said, 'That's an interesting shade. I think I've seen it before.' I just smiled. But, you know what? I should've handed her a note like this."
I nodded but was lost in thought.
"Janey, what are you thinking?"
"I'm thinking I won't spend the night, after all, Karen. In fact, if you don't mind, I want to get back to Eric, right away."
"Oh, sure, I understand. I hope I didn't upset you. I'll get the check."
As we kissed goodbye, Karen whispered in my ear, "Janey, if there's any way you could invite me to this, I'd come in a moment's notice."
"You mean you'd want to watch?"
"Are you kidding?" Karen held onto my shoulders. "Of course, I'd want to watch! How sexy would that be!"
"Tell you what," I said, as we parted, "bring Carol, and we'll make it a tag team match."
Karen's laughter was still ringing in my ears, as I began the two-hour drive home. On the way, I was assailed by images of two faceless women, struggling to dominate each other, alternating with images of a faceless woman making love to my husband.
I shook my head—not to keep awake but at my own stupidity. Eric was either with Devon, in which case I probably would not see him, tonight, or else he was already asleep, in which case I would not want to waken him, just to calm my paranoia.
Pulling into our circular drive, I retrieved my bag from the hatch and let myself inside quietly through the side door. Only the usual overnight lights were left on, downstairs. In the warm, dim glow from the hallway, I paused and considered making myself a snack, before going up to bed; but when I opened the refrigerator, I noticed a note on the kitchen table, propped up by a gift bag from Victoria's Secret. Oh, I thought with a little tingle of excitement, maybe my husband anticipated my returning, tonight, after all.
Opening the folded note, I read, "Dear Janey, Eric doesn't know we've been in touch. We're upstairs in his study, if you'd like to join us. Regards, Devon. P.S. The attire is for you. I'm wearing the same, and fair is fair, so put them on."
Devon, I growled to myself. How did she know I'd be back? I supposed that she must have gotten tired of waiting for an answer.
Exhaling finally, I sat down heavily at the kitchen table. So many thoughts were racing through my head, but the one that kept returning was Karen's saying, "At least I would have tried."
"Too bad you didn't come back with me, Karen," I whispered in the semi-darkness, as I opened the gift bag and dumped the contents onto the kitchen table. Sheer black bikini panties, bra, and thigh high stockings, with a black silk teddy and half-slip. "At least I'll be hot," I whispered again, as I removed my own clothing and bundled it into the adjacent laundry room. Then I spent a few minutes refreshing myself in the guest bath, next to the kitchen, and running a soapy facecloth between my legs. I could only hope that Devon had been considerate, too.
In the hallway, I quickly donned my lingerie suit-of-armor and paused by the floor-to-ceiling art deco mirror. Not bad, I thought, saluting myself; and then I tiptoed to the staircase to listen. They were clearly taking no precautions, and I heard them laughing upstairs in Eric's den. Ascending stealthily, I paused out of sight, next to the door, and eavesdropped on their conversation.
Eric was saying, "Oh, I doubt very much that she suspects anything. She's loyal and trusting, maybe a bit naive about these matters. Nothing at all like my first two wives."
"I wouldn't say she's naive," a woman's voice responded. "In fact, judging from what I've seen about the house, I'd say she's quite intelligent. And besides, a woman picks up on these things."
She does with a face full of her rival's panties, I thought to myself.
"Well, if she does suspect anything, she hasn't let on," Eric said, "so maybe she's learned the fine art of discretion. Mmmm, that feels wonderful, darling . . . anyway, I doubt very much that she'd play games. There's no reason she should see this as a threat to our marriage, after all. Ouch! Careful! Yesss, that's it. Don't you think we should get undressed?"
"Oh, we will, but I want to taste you first. To let you know that, tonight, this belongs to me and me alone. Mmmm. You're sure she won't be coming home?"
"She's visiting a friend in Connecticut," Eric whispered hoarsely. "A hundred miles away, and she won't be home until tomorrow afternoon."
"You never know, Eric. If I were Janey, I might just surprise you by coming home early. Especially if I'd begun to suspect you have a mistress."
"Really, darling, she's just not the suspicious type. Not at all like Ellen and Amy."
"Perhaps," Devon said. I could hear her making little smacking noises with her lips; and judging from Eric's moans, there was no doubt what she was doing.
"Oh, God," Eric groaned.
"Mmmm, not so fast, lover. I want you on the edge a while longer," she said.
"Whatever you say, darling. Just don't stop kissing me there. I'm on fire."
"Does Janey kiss your balls like this, sweetheart? If you were blindfolded, could you tell whose tongue and lips were tickling and gobbling you?"
Eric mumbled something, but it was lost in a gutteral moan of pleasure.
"Maybe we'll have to have a contest," Devon said between kissing sounds. "Of course, we'd have to decide who goes first, and that would be the real fun, wouldn't it darling? Ah, and judging from your response, I can see you think so, too."
"The thought is definitely arousing, Devon, but I can't see Janey settling things with you the way Ellen and Amy did. They were more naturally competitive. Janey's, well, she's more kind and generous—more innocent, if that's not too cliché."