Ari Ch. 03byohio©
He shrugged. "We were talking about sex. I don't know, really, it just seemed silly all of a sudden to keep it a secret."
I said, "the point had been made, I guess?" He nodded.
I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen now. I grabbed the coffee cups and went inside to get us each a refill, giving me a chance to think, take a couple of deep breaths. When I returned he was staring across the back yard looking at nothing. I wondered what was in his mind. On the spur of the moment I decided to change the subject and see what happened.
"So, we had talked about a bike ride. Want to head over to the reservoir?"
His head swung back towards me, a surprised look on his face. "Are we done with this conversation?"
"I don't know--I guess it's up to you. You and I are seeing each other but not fucking. You and Rachel are seeing each other and fucking. It was a secret from me but now it's not.
"You're still calling the shots, Bobby. If what you want is to fuck her and not me, or both of us, or neither of us, it's up to you."
I smiled. "Now if you're asking MY preference, you already know it: stop fucking her and start fucking me. About five minutes from now would be good."
He laughed out loud. "Not today, Ari. But a bike ride would be kind of fun."
And that's how our day together ended--no more heavy talk, no more confessions, just a nice long bike ride together in the sunshine. I went home confused and uncertain, but still hopeful.
"Jon, are you always right or are you just a lucky guesser?"
He smiled. "I assume this means he's testing you, right? In some of the ways we discussed?"
I said, "that's an understatement. So you remember two weeks ago, he told me he was fucking this woman in his building, and he'd been doing it behind my back for a couple of months?
"So here's the latest. We were hanging out at his house on Sunday and he made sure I saw the computer. Rachel had sent him some naked pictures they'd taken together.
"More than naked, actually. Some of her naked on a bed, and some of them fucking. I guess they must have used a timer. She's actually quite hot--doesn't look a day over 22, and she's got really big tits."
"Let me guess," Jon said. "While he was showing you the pictures Bobby watched you carefully to see if you got upset."
"Right again. And I sort of have a dilemma. It's crystal clear that he's rubbing my nose in it, like he and Laura did to me years ago, and he must want me to fall apart. But I'm just not that bothered by it, and I don't want to pretend to be, just to give him what he wants. I'm determined to be honest with him, always."
He thought about it. "There's another angle, Ari. I agree that he's trying to get to you. But I think he's probably also trying to reassure himself. If he sees you shattered by his fucking around with Rachel, that will make it easier for him to believe you wouldn't fuck around on him any more, if you got back together.
"But if it seems like no big deal to you...."
I nodded, thinking hard. "I get it. And, actually, I think I know how to handle it. Thanks Jon, that's really helpful."
"Hey, it's me. Got time for a quick lunch today?"
He said, "hi, Ari. Yeah, give me about 45 minutes to get this proposal in the mail. Want to meet at that Panera across from the park?"
We had a quick hug, ordered our lunch, and sat down together. For most of the meal we chatted about work, and then at the end I said, "is it all right if I talk to you about something else?"
He smiled and said, "sure--I figured there was something on your mind."
"I've been thinking about you and Rachel," I said, "and what's going on there. It's pretty obvious that part of it is you testing me: giving me a dose of my own medicine by fucking someone else behind my back, even though as we agreed it's not the same, because we're not married any more."
He nodded, watching me.
"Bobby, I'm guessing that at least part of you was hoping I'd go crazy, crying and weeping and acting destroyed. I figure that's what the naked pictures were about too, am I right?"
"Yeah, I guess so." He looked a little sheepish now.
"Here's what worries me: you might think that, because I didn't get all upset, that I still think casual sex is no big deal--meaning that I might go out and do it again behind YOUR back, either now or if we got together again in the future."
I took his hand for a minute. "So here's what I want to say, okay? First, I guess I do think that casual sex is no big deal, AS LONG AS no one is getting betrayed or hurt. What I did to you was a huge deal, it was despicable. Not because the sex was emotionally important to me, but because you believed in my fidelity and I was lying to you the whole time.
"What you're doing with Rachel is different. Yeah, you did it behind my back because you wanted to teach me a lesson--but you'd already told me you might date other women. Right now the only commitment between us is mine: I told you I wouldn't have sex with anyone else. And I won't--until you get married again, or tell me to fuck off and get out of your life for good.
"I will NEVER cheat on you or betray you ever again. I did that, in spades, and I know first-hand how deeply I hurt you and destroyed my own happy life. Just because I'm not tearing my hair out about you and Rachel doesn't mean I think cheating is no big deal.
"Of course I want you to stop seeing her --I want you to be with me. But you don't owe me anything, Bobby--you can do what you want, and right now what you seem to want is fucking Rachel. I get that, which is why I'm not making a big scene out of it."
He shook his head. "Is it just me or is the water getting kind of deep in here?"
We both laughed, and he said, "you're probably right, Ari, at least about some of it. I was determined to give you a taste of your own medicine, and I probably hoped I'd see you break down in tears in front of me.
"But the main thing is ..." He stopped, and shook his head. "The main thing is that I'm still being careful. I want you, and I-- I just have to be careful, to protect myself."
"I get that," I said. "Believe me, Bobby, I do--and I thank you for even being willing to talk with me about it. It's more than I deserve." And now I was CRYING, tears running down my face, as I tried to smile, and he smiled at me and held my hand as I just sat there blubbering, happy and hopeful and scared all at the same time.
Felicia said, "so of course I told to him to take a hike, I wasn't going to be treated like that by anybody, and he said ..."
I zoned out for a minute, although that wasn't quite fair to my best friend. She had been so patient with me over the years, listening to my endless stories about the latest in my relationship with Bobby--she certainly deserved my attention while she complained about Kirk. I tried to focus.
"... and I said No, Goddammit, it's too late, we're over! So then he started to cry--"
"Really, Leesh? Wow, I wouldn't have seen that coming." I was back paying attention again. This was the on-again, off-again boyfriend whom Felicia really loved, but the guy was an overgrown adolescent when it came to commitment.
She grinned. "Yeah, he started to cry! And he took my hands and said he was sorry, he knew he'd been an asshole but he really loved me and didn't want to lose me. And so on Saturday we're going to start looking for an apartment together!"
"Wow! Oh Leesh, that's fantastic!" I had my private doubts about whether she and Kirk would make it, but I kept them to myself.
On the other hand, I thought, what would be less likely than me and Bobby back together? Yet it looked as though it might actually happen.
Only two weeks after our lunch at Panera, he invited me for a weekend up at a lake resort in Michigan. Did I say yes? What do you think?
I had no idea what to expect, though I was hoping for romance and sex. A lot of both, actually. We had a quiet dinner in the beautiful main lodge, and then we walked hand-in-hand around the lake as the sun set, not talking about anything much. I was totally in heaven.
And then Bobby led me back to our cabin, right into the bedroom, and started to undress me. I began to speak and he said, "shh," smiling, and put a finger over my lips. And he kissed me and stroked me and took all my clothes off, and lay me down on the bed; and then stood right in front of me and took his own clothes off and lay down with me.
I was already wet and my nipples were hard as rocks. Without a word he started kissing me, hard; and then he sucked on my tits while I moaned and held his head; and then he slid down and ate my pussy until I had to pull a pillow over my head so no one would hear me screaming.
I came three times, and then I lay there like I'd just run a marathon. Bobby rolled me over face down with a couple of pillows under me, slid my thighs apart and jammed his cock into my soaking cunt. And he fucked the living hell out of me.
I swear it was like the man hadn't had pussy in a year. He was a machine. Sometimes he held my hips and pulled me back to him, sometimes he leaned forward and rubbed his chest on my back while he thrust into me, sometimes he cupped my breasts and twisted my nipples. It was all magical, all really intense. He fucked me and fucked me and then he came like crazy, groaning and thrusting wildly, and he collapsed on top of me.
I was so exhausted I don't remember his kissing me good night, or even rolling off of me. But when I heard the birds twittering as the sun rose the next morning, I was lying under the covers on my side and my man was spooned up behind me, his arm around me and lying across my stomach, breathing quietly as he slept.
And I prayed, if you can believe it. Silently I said, "Thank you, God--this is all that I have ever wanted, and if I can keep on having this I will thank you every day of my life."
A couple of hours later we had a quick shower together, smiling a lot, still not saying anything--I was following Bobby's lead--and we went and had a big breakfast, and 40 minutes after that we were back in bed. This time I went after him, got him down on his back and massaged him, his chest and arms and then his legs, and then I sucked his dick until he nearly blew the top of my head off. I made sure to go fast and intense, not like the slow, extra-loving one that had pissed him off once before--and he seemed to like it!
For the rest of the weekend we acted like newlyweds. We took a lazy canoe ride, we sat up in bed with a bag of potato chips and watched a lame chick flick, we napped, and we had sex. God did we have sex! Bobby fucked me sideways on the bed, he did me up against the wall, dropping me down over and over again on his dick, we did it once over the kitchen table (my idea: I leaned over it wearing only my short nightie and wiggled my ass at him) ... you get the idea.
By Sunday night we were both exhausted, and I was pretty sore, but boy was I happy! On the drive back to Columbus I dozed a little, but we also talked. He told me he'd stopped seeing Rachel.
"After that time I ... I showed you the pictures, I realized how silly it was--empty really. You were right, Ari--much more of it was about rubbing your face in it than actually enjoying being with Rachel.
"You know," he said with a kind of thoughtful look, "when you're not getting laid you think about it a lot, you want it and need it, it seems very important to you. At least for a man, anyway.
"And when I first hooked up with Rachel it felt great. Really hot sex--you saw her body, she's very attractive. But also the feeling of 'I've still got it, I'm a success as a man, just look at who I'm banging!'
"But then that starts to wear off, or get much less important, if there isn't anything else with it. And with Rachel and me, there just wasn't."
I listened and nodded and told him I understood. Which I did, pretty much. The blow I delivered to Bobby's ego was about the most devastating thing any man could face--it didn't surprise me a bit that he kept making choices to prove to himself that he was attractive. Whether it was marrying Laura or taking up with Rachel, or any of the other women he'd screwed since our marriage broke up.
I was desperate to ask, "so where are we now, exactly?" but I didn't. We got back home and he dropped me off, carrying my bag to my door and kissing me tenderly and saying, "I'll call you," and that was more than enough for me.
"And since then?" Jon asked.
"So far so good. In fact better than that. We're seeing each other 2-3 times a week, sleeping together at his house or mine--and we're making love. And it's great, Jon, loving and exciting and ..."
"Okay," he said. "But something's troubling you, Ari, what is it? Seems like everything is absolutely terrific."
I nodded. "You're right--and it's work this time. Ralph promised there'd be no travel when he hired me, but since the reorganization they want me to take over some of Adam's responsibilities; he's the guy that got canned, he was pretty much of a fuck-up.
"So what it would mean is overnight trips, usually just one or two nights but as many as 15-20 times a year. And I'm afraid Bobby will go crazy--because it was when I was on my trips for business with Charlie that I was fucking other guys."
Jon said, "so--what are you thinking of doing about this?"
"I only see two choices--talk to Bobby about it or quit my job. And I like the job, but needless to say it doesn't come ahead of him."
We discussed it for a while, and then Jon made the excellent point that I could begin by talking to Bobby. If my traveling was a problem, I could always quit then. And, lucky me, I still had most of my nest egg from my days with Charlie, so I could take my time finding another job.
Bobby said, "so go--why should it be a problem?"
I looked hard at him. We were in my kitchen; he was sitting at the table with a beer while I finished making a salad.
"Because, baby, you know and I know that when I traveled for Charlie I was sometimes being a whore for the company. I don't want to do anything--ANYTHING--that would endanger how well we're getting along these days."
With a crooked smile he said, "now Ari--surely you don't think that I don't trust you?"
I threw a dish towel at him, and stuck out my tongue. "Of course you don't trust me--I just don't want to do anything to make it worse."
More seriously I said, "I figure all I can do is show you, every minute and every day and every month, that you CAN trust me again. And maybe after a while you'll start to believe it.
"But in the meantime--how do you feel about these overnight trips? I don't have to take them. I don't even have to stay in this job, you know that."
"Ari--when we were married weren't you fucking Charlie even when you were in town? Even when you'd woken up in our bed that very morning, and were going to be back in it the same evening?"
"Yes, baby. I'm ashamed of it, and sorry--but yes."
"Then what the hell's the difference? Here in Columbus or off in Chicago or St. Louis overnight--if you want to fuck someone else you're gonna do it. I either have to believe you're NOT going to do it, or stop seeing you."
Very carefully I said, "and which one of those is it going to be?"
"I'm here, aren't I?" And he came over and hugged me from behind, gently, cupping my breasts in his hands. In less than a minute we were kissing and rubbing against each other, and two minutes later we were in my bedroom, and two minutes after that I was on my back with my legs up in the air and his cock was plunging in and out of me and I was moaning, saying, "yes, yes Bobby, oh God yes, oh do that Bobby ..."
So over the next several months we entered the next phase in our long and winding road. Slowly it seemed as though we were moving towards living together. We slept together at Bobby's house most nights, with an occasional night at my apartment if it was more convenient. He still wanted a night or two every week to himself, but what I was getting was so wonderful I didn't complain.
And we were acting like a couple--eating together, going out from time to time, seeing friends like Felicia and Kirk (who seemed to have gotten his act together a little bit), planning the occasional vacation or weekend getaway. I had about 90% of what I'd dreamed of, and I was REALLY happy.
And I started traveling--sometimes once a month, sometimes a little more. Always one- or two-night trips, and I always told Bobby everything: where I was going, the name of the hotel, how long I'd be gone, when my outgoing and returning flights were. I called him from each hotel with my room number, and I made damn sure to be IN my room as soon as whatever business dinner I had to go to was over.
In fact, a couple of times we had some pretty hot phone sex between Columbus and Detroit, or Columbus and Milwaukee!
Men came onto me while I traveled alone, but that was nothing new. I'd been handling passes from guys since I was 16, and in the business world since I was 22 or so, and fending them off was a routine business. Even back when I'd worked for Charlie and fucked the occasional important client, there were ten guys I had to fight off for every one I hopped into bed with.
In St. Louis, on my fourth or fifth trip, I encountered a guy named Mark, who was unusual only for his persistence. Well, that and the fact that he was one of the most handsome men I'd ever seen in my life.
I was having dinner in the hotel restaurant and planning a quiet night in my room prepping for the following day's meetings. Mark came in to eat alone, like me. They showed him to a table across the room where he sat, ordered a drink and then his dinner. Then he looked around the dining room, and once he spotted me he spent a lot of time enjoying the view. Nothing subtle about it, either.
After about five minutes he got up and came right over to my table with a nice smile on his face. As I said, a really really good-looking man.
"I'm sorry to disturb you, but eating alone is one of my least-favorite things in the world. Would you do me the great honor of letting me join you?"
I looked at him, impressed not only by his looks but by his approach. He wasn't even pretending not to be chatting me up. I held up my left hand, on which I was wearing the gold band I always wore on business trips. "No thanks," I said.
"Hey now, I'm hurt!" he said with a big smile, not looking hurt at all. "My intentions are honorable, I assure you! I'm just hoping for some conversation, something to brighten a dull meal."
Smiling back I said, "if I'm not mistaken, there are several other people in this dining room eating alone--I'm sure you'll find a new friend."
"Yes, but most of them are men, and none of the women is even one-tenth as attractive as you are."
"I won't argue with you there," I smiled, "but I'm not having dinner with you, so please leave me alone, Mr. ..."
"Mark," he said, putting out his hand for me to shake, "Mark Pierson."
"Okay, Mark Pierson--thanks for the invitation. Now go away." I said it nicely, but firmly, and he sighed theatrically. "You've broken my heart, Miss ..." obviously fishing for my name in return, but I didn't give it.
I figured that would be the end of it--but Mark turned up in the coffee shop the next morning at 7:45 while I was reading the newspaper and eating my bran muffin. I had to give the guy credit for persistence--and, truly, he was one of the most gorgeous men I had ever laid eyes on, he could have been a model--but I was no more interested at breakfast than I had been at dinner. I chased him away again, but I will admit that I had a fantasy or two about him later that afternoon on the plane back to Columbus.