tagNovels and NovellasBromfield's Temptations Ch. 13

Bromfield's Temptations Ch. 13


Synopsis: Jim seems to be getting in deeper and deeper. At the last meeting at Satin Studios, Carol tells him that Carmine knows he saw the tape where Carmine was sucking Jeff, and isn't pleased about it.

After taking his two ladies downtown, Jim stops at a topless bar where he meets a stripper with an unusual background. He takes her home and discovers she was a virgin.

The Last Party

I was shocked and suddenly very concerned. I couldn't remember anything she had said that would have given me a hint that she was a virgin. However, I did remember how difficult it had been to penetrate her. As I lay there, tenderly stroking the hair back from her flushed and moist face and holding her in my arms, I re- membered other clues that, had I not been so excited, I might have understood.

"Did I hurt you terribly?" I asked, contritely.

She smiled. "It's OK," she said. "I'm sore, but it's nothing a good bath and a night's sleep won't cure."

"But if you'd told me, I could have tried to take it easy. Was it bad?"

"It hurt all right," she said. "That's the trouble with us old cherries. We hang on to it until it's old and leathery. Then when someone tries to break it for us, it really hurts. If I had started fucking at 13 like the other girls, breaking it then would have been easy."

"Well, you didn't have to go through this," I said, still feeling guilty. "That's why doctors have scalpels."

"I know," she sighed, "but to me, that would have been a cop-out. In a way, breaking your cherry is like natural childbirth. It's a milestone in a girl's life; an event I will always remember and be grateful to you for." She tightened her grip around my neck and brought my lips to hers for a lasting kiss. "Thank you, Jim," she said.

I offered her the use of our bathtub, but she shook her head. "I'd be more comfortable in my apartment," she said. "Your wife may be coming home soon, anyway. What would she say if she found me in the tub?"

"Only that I had been terribly lucky." Wilma raised her eyebrows. "I don't understand."

"We have an 'open' marriage," I said. "Either of us is free to date, and even screw other people. Sometimes we party with another couple. Sometimes we go to a sex club and screw everybody, assuming, of course, they are willing. In other words, we regard sex as wonderful recreation. Not many church people openly agree with our philosophy, but privately, many do."

Wilma's eyes widened. "Wow," she said. "You mean your wife is out on a date right now?"

I nodded. Naturally, I didn't tell her the girls were out tricking. Moreover, I thought it highly unlikely that she would welcome the news that she had become number three (or four, depending on Sandy's current attitude) in my growing harem. Consequently, I merely said, "I definitely want to see you again."

"I hope so," she said, kissing the end of my nose. "Now that we have this thing open, we've got to keep it from growing shut again."

I love it when they talk like that!

"The soreness ought to disappear in a day or two," she added. "Maybe we could try it again at my place?"

"I was hoping I wouldn't have to pay $50 for a bottle of Thunderbird every time I wanted to see you," I said.

She giggled. "Don't be silly," she said. "We can do better than that."

I took her home soon after. We exchanged kisses and telephone numbers, and she climbed the steps to her apartment. She walked as if she were still hurting. As I watched her, I was slightly comforted remembering her explanation for not telling me her status before we went to bed. "It's simple. You wouldn't have done it."

She was right.

I was worn out. The emotional roller coaster I had been riding for the past several weeks, plus the incredible quantity and variety of sexual gymnastics I had been enjoying, were beginning to take their toll. I drove into the apartment garage, stumbled into the elevator, and blindly inserted my key in the lock. Everything in the apartment was just as we had left it. I had thought, since it was now shortly after 2 am, that my working girls might be home, but they weren't.

I stripped my clothes off and tumbled into bed. Thank God it was Friday.

When I woke, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and I smelled bacon frying. Wonderful. I rolled out of bed and strolled nakedly into the kitchen. Bette was pouring coffee for Sandy.

Sandy saw me first. She rolled her eyes and whistled. "I love it when naked men, all dangly and floppy, come to stir my coffee," she said. Then she looked thoughtfully at my member. "Can I ask a dumb question?"

"Ask away."

"Why is your thingamajig so much smaller than Jeff's when it's soft?"

"It just looks that way," I said, "because my foreskin hasn't been trimmed away." Bette handed me a cup of coffee, while Sandy pondered my reply.

I sat at the table, and began to sip my coffee while the ladies resumed their conversation. Lost in last night's glowing memories, I paid no attention at first, but slowly I began to hear what they were saying.

Sandy was talking, "...that's when he said he'd rather have a cock, any day." `He'? `cock'? What the hell? They now had my full attention.

Bette said, "Well, you know Jim here sometimes swings from the other side of the plate . . ."

Sandy said, "That's not the same thing at all! Jim doesn't come home and tell you that he wants to live with another man, or that he would rather suck a cock than fuck a woman!"

Bette raised her eyebrows, and said, "You're right. What are you going to do?"

"I don't know," Sandy said. "I've got to find a place for little Jeffie and me."

The lawyer in me came on full alert. "You'll do nothing of the sort," I said sharply. "You stay put. Make Jeff do the moving, if that's what he wants. You stand your ground."

Her expression changed to one of despair. "I wish I could," she said. "But you know how expensive these apartments are. I could never afford it."

"You don't have to," I said firmly. "That's Jeff's problem. You come down to the office Monday morning," I added, "and I'll get the ball rolling." I looked fondly at her. We shared some wonderful memories. "Don't worry. I may not be the fanciest, richest, or even the best lawyer in town, but I can get things started for you and see that you have good representation if you need it."

Sandy was obviously relieved. She stood to leave. "Don't let that go to waste, Bette," she said, pointing at the growing tumescence between my thighs. I had been looking at Sandy's slender legs too long. She left, and Bette came to sit on my lap. She took my manhood in her hand, and kissed me warmly on the mouth. "I love you, Jim," she whispered.

"And I, you," I said. "How'd things go last night?"

Bette shrugged. "I'm a little sore," she said. "I turned 11 tricks," she paused and looked around, while her voice dropped to a near whisper, "which was four more than Louise did. She was mad about it, too."

"She was mad about what?" Louise demanded. Neither of us had heard her enter the room.

Bette looked embarrassed. "I was just talking about something," she said.

"Talking about me," Louise corrected her.

I was beginning to wish I was somewhere else.

"Well, if you must know, yes," Bette said defiantly.

I watched Louise as she struggled with what for her must have seemed like apostasy. The kid was talking back! Louise looked tired. The sparkle seemed to have gone from her eyes, and in the morning light, I saw new lines around her mouth and eyes. I felt a surge of pity for her. At 37, she was simply too old to try to make a living on her back. She couldn't go on like this. I was concerned lest she turn to a whore's last solace -- the needle.

Many would have said that our lifestyle was wild and licentious, and by contemporary standards, I would have agreed. But we had never fooled with drugs. This had more to do with common sense than morals; frankly, I was afraid of them. I had had a tough enough time giving up tobacco. I honestly couldn't imagine what it must be like trying to get a cocaine habit off my back.

But many girls `in the life' do turn to drugs. And now that I had seen that life from the inside, I understood why. "Let's not get excited," I said. "We're all tired. Let's try to keep our shit together."

Louise looked slightly mollified, but Bette, having learned she could talk back to Louise, looked like she had more to say. I headed it off by saying sharply, "Cool it, both of you!" She silently closed her mouth.

"I've got something to say to both of you," I said. "Please sit down."

Louise looked at me as if for the first time. Bette meekly folded her hands in her lap and waited to hear what I had to say.

Quickly, I filled the girls in on the meeting, and especially my conversation with Carol afterwards, except I did not tell them what the tape showed. That knowledge would have been too dangerous for them. Their eyes grow round as the implications of Carol's threat sank in.

Louise spoke first. "What should we do?"

I had the faint glimmerings of an idea, but nothing concrete. My instincts warned me not to confide too deeply in either woman. Louise was brighter and more mature than Bette, but I suspected she had an agenda that included only Louise.

I didn't trust Bette, either, but for quite different reasons. It wasn't her loyalty I questioned, but her judgment. I was afraid if she knew what I had in mind, she might innocently confide in Sandy or Louise or even her next trick.

"I don't know," I said slowly. "There's bound to be a soft spot somewhere. We've got to find it." Without realizing it, I had stepped back across the Rubicon. Satin Studios, and all it stood for, had become the enemy. Choosing my words carefully, I added, "We have to play this carefully. Let's consider what they don't know."

I held up my hand and began ticking off my fingers. "First, they don't know that Louise is back. Second, they know you're tricking, Bette, and I told them that Sandy was interested in `the life', but I didn't say anything about you girls using the apartment.

"I think we ought to play their game a little longer. There's a party next weekend. Bette and I will go, and we'll look for that soft spot."

Louise smiled. She turned to Bette. "Jim's like any other hound dog. He'll look for anything soft he can find, especially if it's got hair around it." Bette nodded.

It wasn't very funny, but at least the ladies were smiling instead of snarling.

I spent the rest of the weekend moping around the house, trying to catch up on my reading, watching the Sunday baseball games, and generally trying to work up my nerve for what I knew I had to do Monday morning. However, when I arrived in my office the next morning, Sandy was waiting for me. "Are you always this late?" she asked, smiling to show she wasn't serious.

I laughed and unlocked the door. I ushered Sandy into the office, opened the blinds and sat in one of the club chairs in front of my desk. Sandy sat in the other, nervously crossing and recrossing her legs.

"You guys couldn't work out your problem?" I asked as I picked up a yellow pad and a pencil.

Sandy looked at me; her eyes were enormous, fear showing plainly on her face. "He never came home," she said. "We don't have a joint checking account, and I don't even have enough money to buy milk for Jeffie; I don't know what to do."

"That's easy to fix," I said, as I reached into my wallet and withdrew three $100 bills that I offered to her. "Now you do," I said briskly.

Sandy shook her head. "I came here for advice," she said, "not a handout!"

"Look, Sandy, this isn't charity. I'm just cancelling the oldest bargaining strategy in the world. There is nothing that will make a person feel more helpless and vulnerable and, therefore, more willing to settle than suddenly being deprived of the ready cash most of us rely on for everyday things. I'm not only loaning you $300, I'm depriving Jeff of an opportunity to drive a harder bargain than you and Jeffie ought to accept.

"But I'm curious. Why don't you have a joint checking account? Most people do."

"We did, too, until recently," Sandy said. "Jeff said he closed it because it wasn't paying interest and because, as an accountant, he thought we might live more carefully if we paid cash for things. That's why we don't have any credit cards, either."

Little alarm bells sounded in my head. I didn't point out that this behavior suggested that Jeff might have been planning his exit for some time. Instead, I said, "Frankly, I can't see Jeff abandoning you and Jeffie. Right now, he's confused and sort of screwed up. He may even move out. But he knows he has obligations. I doubt whether we'll have to squeeze him to live up to them."

I explained that we lived in a community property state, which meant that everything they had acquired during their marriage -- virtually everything they owned -- belonged equally to both of them. Thus, a dissolution of the marital community meant that such assets would be divided equally.

It was unfortunate that Sandy had been so trusting. I quickly drew up a rough statement of net worth based on the little information Sandy was able to provide. Jeff had held their finances close to his vest.

"You guys have done pretty well. From what you tell me, you have a net worth of around $160,000. Half of that won't set you up for life, but if you take care of it, and if he holds up his end regarding child support and alimony, you should be all right.

"However, because of Jeff's income, your alimony award won't be very large. You'll probably have to go to work. But you're not going to be in the street."

I looked in the form book for the necessary forms to get a court order freezing their bank account. Then I sat next to Sandy and took her hand. "Darling," I said, "I know how difficult this is for you. What I'm about to say won't make it any easier, but hear me out." Sandy looked at me. The fear I had seen earlier, returned. She nodded.

Carefully choosing my words, I said, "Please understand that I'm not abandoning you, when I tell you that I can't represent you beyond what we're doing today."

Sandy started to speak, but I held up my hand. "There are two problems with my representing you that I don't think we can overcome. Remember, I told you on Saturday that I would see to it that you had good representation?"

Sandy leaned forward and again started to speak, but I help up a restraining hand. "Hear me out," I repeated. "The first problem is my relationship with both of you. As I'm sure you realize, I'm more than a little in love with you; have been, in fact, since our first night together. I have also been intimate with Jeff. On ethical grounds, those relationships alone would preclude my representing you in any formal proceeding. And properly so," I hastened to add, seeing her begin to renew her objections.

"The Canon of Ethics is designed to protect not the lawyer, but the client. Your interests could be hopelessly compromised if, in an adversarial proceeding, opposing counsel could impeach me on moral or ethical grounds. In other words, I could very well be more of a liability to you than anything else.

"The second problem is even more compelling. I'm simply not qualified to represent you. The only thing I know about the law of domestic relations is what I learned years ago in law school, and that wasn't much beyond the general stuff we've been talking about this morning. I hope you aren't too disappointed."

Sandy slowly nodded. "I understand," she said quietly. "I don't like it, but it makes sense. What do I do now?"

"I'll file this petition for you," I said. "When Jeff discovers that his bank account has been frozen, the shock may bring him to his senses. If not, then I'll find the right person to represent you. In this situation, Jeff will almost certainly be required to pay for that representation, so we need not worry about your attorney's fees.

"In the meantime, however, let me know when you need another cash advance. I repeat; this is not charity. Jeff will reimburse me in good time, whether he wants to or not, and regardless of the outcome of this case. If this drags on, we'll set up a drawing account so you won't have to come to me every time you need money.

"It shouldn't come to that, however, because if it goes that far, your lawyer will ask the court for custody of Jeffie and for interim support for you and the child."

Sandy began nodding as I spoke. "This doesn't sound so bad," she said, "I was really scared at first."

I shook my head. "Separation and divorce are never a walk in the park," I said, "especially when children are involved. But I know your lawyer will do everything possible to keep the pain to a minimum.

"There is one more thing. Louise told me about your working relationship. I only hope Jeff doesn't know about it. But you've got to cut it out anyway, because if the court found out about it, you might lose custody of Jeffie."

I'm sure that thought had not occurred to her because her eyes were suddenly wary and frightened again. "What about our parties?" she whispered.

I shook my head. "It isn't Jeff you have to worry about," I said. "Jeff's not going to rock the boat. The thing you have to worry about is some judge finding you to be an unfit parent. If that happened, Jeffie could wind up in foster care as a ward of the court."

Sandy and I stood. She was shaking when she flowed into my arms and held her soft mouth up. "Thank you for caring, Jim," she murmured as our mouths ground together in a kiss that was reassuring rather than passionate.

Her trembling stopped and I released her. Sandy gave me a tremulous smile, opened the door, and was gone.

I had gone to law school with a man named Bucky Branson. Because our names both began with B, we had been seated next to each other in several classes during those three stressful years. But we never became close friends. Even then, I had considered him a pompous ass. God knows what he may have thought of me, but I'm sure it wasn't flattering. Bucky was now an federal assistant district attorney.

I looked his number up in the phone directory, and dialed it before I could talk myself out of it.

"Good morning. US Attorney's office."

"Is Mr. Branson available?" I asked, nervousness closing my throat so it sounded as if I had a bad cold.

"And who may I say is calling?"

That was Bucky, all right. Screening his calls. "Just say it's an old classmate," I said. I wouldn't give him the satisfaction.

"Just a moment, please."

Then I heard a man's plumy voice. "How may I help you?" It was Bucky, all right.

"Hi, Bucky," I said with a false heartiness. "This is the guy who discovered that Professor Carter's bow tie had cut off the circulation between his brain and his tongue," I said, reminding my former classmate of the annual law school `tea party' where law students lampooned their professors.

There was a pause while he searched his mental file. "Jim! Jim Bromfield! It's great to hear from you. I heard you were in practice over in Kelso. It must be nice to be out of the city."

There was no point prolonging it. "I'd like to come in and buy you lunch some day this week," I said, half dreading his acceptance.

"Well, great, Jim. Is it urgent? We could talk about it here in the office."

"I'd rather keep it out of the office for the moment."

"I understand. Hmm, I'm open Thursday. How's that?"

"Great," I said with all the enthusiasm of a man going to the gallows. We quickly arranged a time and place. Then I sat back and thought about what I had done. The palms of my hands were moist. Unconsciously, I wiped them on my pants.

I hoped I could interest Bucky in a possible investigation of Carmine and Richard. Assuming that whatever they were doing was criminal, I was sure it involved interstate commerce, which automatically would bring it under federal jurisdiction.

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