tagLoving WivesGoes Like an Otter

Goes Like an Otter

byMattblackUK©

I would like thank Ahazura and Randi for organising this event and inviting me to participate in the second Legends' Day. Me? A legend? I blush! I would also like to thank Laurel for all her hard work.

Thank you Randi for your fine editing skills and also thank you for the anonymous help of a bashful contributor.


*

He had it all. He had all the information he required for a confrontation that he knew must come, and must come quickly.

He had some additional information that he would somehow try his best to shoehorn into the confrontation, if it could be described as a confrontation. Hell, who was he trying to convince? Of course there was going to be a confrontation! Even at this late date, he was still unsure what nature the confrontation would take, exactly, how it would all pan out.

The information that had been shared with him made him believe that the whole denouement would take place this evening.

For a split second, he felt like just walking away from it, taking off and... what? That really wouldn't solve anything. Besides, that would let people down, irritate and upset people who had been irritated and upset more than enough, without him screwing everything up even further.

The only realistic option would be for him to follow through with his plan and hope that everyone else was following through with their plans, playing their parts. Actually, he didn't seriously doubt that they would not do so.

He parked his car in the allotted space in the underground car park, which was next to his wife's BMW, before he took the lift to the fourth floor.

Mike Cooper walked out of the lift, turned right, walked a few more paces, slower than of late, and he arrived at the flat. He begged its pardon, the apartment; the monthly rent was far too grand for it to be described as a mere flat, which he shared with his wife of ten years, Nicola.

As he shut the front door behind him, he sensed an atmosphere of tension. Perhaps, he mused to himself, today would be the day. All that he had seen and heard indicated that it would be. He fervently hoped that it would be, as he was not sure how long he could keep up the pretence that things were normal, that he was as clueless as Nicki seemed to believe him to be.

He hung his jacket on the clothes pegs in the hall, and as he reached for the handle on the lounge door said, sotto voce "Let's Do This!" He smiled, but there was no humour in it.

"Hopefully, it'll be time for Nicki to face up to reality, bite the bullet, stand up and be counted and whatever other clichés I can muster up for this shitty situation," he mused to himself. Despite the seriousness of the situation, he allowed himself a brief grin.

When he opened the door, she was sitting on the sofa. Her face was a mélange of mixed emotions covering a wide range from fear to dread, from sympathy to apathy. "Or perhaps it was an attack of the wind?"

He stopped himself from laughing. If tonight was, as he suspected, the night it was all going to go down, then he really didn't want to cock things up by laughing at his own jokes, no matter how hilarious he might find them. His ability to hide behind jokes during awkward or tense situations had always irritated Nicki. "Tough shit!" he thought.

"Hello, honey," she spoke to him in a tone of voice that sounded... what? Expectant? Nervous?

"Please, sit down. We need to have a little... chat."

"Bloody, buggering hell!" he thought. "Looks like we are going for cliché bingo, tonight! Well, eyes down, look in, as they say in all the best bingo halls."

He realised, inconsequentially, that there would be no "looking in" tonight, as her not inconsiderable cleavage was hidden from show and she was very soberly dressed, almost as if she were attending the funeral of someone she didn't really know well enough, or care enough about, to wear formal mourning wear for.

It occurred to him. that was exactly what was happening, because this was the funeral of their wedding, something she had proven she really didn't know all that well, and which she certainly no longer cared enough about.

He sat down, facing her, with the coffee table between them. He placed his leather messenger bag underneath the table.

She had probably expected him to sit by her side; he based this on the hurt expression on her face. "Oh, well, that's a pity!" he thought. "We don't always get what we want in life."

"Okay, Nicki," he said. "What is there to have a little chat about?"

She swallowed nervously before she continued. "It's like this, Mike. I no longer love you."

Despite having a pretty good idea of what was about to go down, hearing it put into words by his putative loving wife shocked him to the centre of his very being. He let out a startled gasp of pain.

She had a look of horror on her face. "No! No! I'm sorry! That came out all wrong! I still love you, but not like that! Not in the way that a wife should love her husband."

She paused before continuing: "I love you as a good man and as a good friend, but not as a husband. Not anymore. Not any longer."

He spoke softly, perhaps a little fearfully: "Is there... anyone else? Another man in your life?"

She nodded: "Yes, there is. Please! You must believe me, I didn't mean for it to happen, I met him at the office about six months ago. He's the new owner of the company I work for.

"I was asked to show him round the office and the building and we both instantly fell in love over a coffee in that lovely little Italian coffee shop that is underneath our offices."

"The place we sometimes used to meet in for romantic interludes in your working day, when you had a few minutes to spare?" he said, sadly.

She had been smiling as she thought back to the first meeting with her lover. Mike's words made her tense up and she must have realised her mistake, as she flushed with embarrassment.

"That was insensitive of me, Mike," she said. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you."

Mike shrugged an acknowledgement. "Please, go on. Tell me what you need to tell me."

She swallowed nervously. "It was as near enough to love at first sight as 'damn it' is to swearing. We, neither of us, really intended for it to develop into anything. At first, it was just innocent, going out to lunch, that kind of stuff."

She paused before continuing. "But then it started to grow and develop; we started holding hands and before we really could comprehend what was happening, before we could get a handle on it, so to speak, we realised that our first initial feelings were right, that we were not actually falling in love so much as we were actually really already in love. There was an electricity running between us.

"And then we made love for the first time and I realised that it was perfect."

Mike nodded. "That must have been about five months ago? Which one of you was it who decided to cut me off from sexual relations with you? Was it him or you?"

She made a placating gesture with her hands. "Well, in truth it was a joint decision, he didn't like the idea of my having sex with anyone else, even though, or perhaps especially, because that other person was my husband, and me because the idea of making love with you felt like it would be cheating on him. I'm sorry, Mike, but that was how I felt. I must admit that not allowing you to have sex with me didn't sit well with me, as it made me feel even more guilty, thinking of you not getting any loving, but with my lover getting all of my attention."

A thought struck him. "At about the same time, you shaved yourself, even though you know I prefer women to be naturally hairy. Did you do that for... your lover? You must have done, because you know I prefer a woman to be naturally hairy down there."

She had the grace to look shamefaced as she nodded.

Mike looked at her. Dare he? He thought. He shook his head. His voice was filled with pain, resignation and sorrow. "I suppose I owe you some apologies, Nicki."

A look of bewilderment flickered across her face, like summer lightning. "You? Apologise to me? For... why?"

He shrugged. "Nicki, you are one of the most open, honest, forthright people I have ever known during my entire life, probably the most, in fact, so I can't conceive of you just cheating on me for no good reason. I have to conclude that you must have had a valid reason for what you have done, what you are doing. I am apologising for whatever it was that I did, or what I didn't do, that meant I wasn't enough of a man for you, that I drove you away from me and forced you to seek the comfort of the arms of another man. That is why I am sorry. Sorry that I failed you, that I failed our marriage and that I failed myself."

He looked at her, then he allowed his shoulders to slump as he lowered his eyes, as if he could not stand to look at the woman who he had betrayed, albeit unknowingly and unwittingly.

Nicki was abashed at what he had said. She had expected Mike to be angry, to rave and to call her a slut. What she hadn't expected in her wildest dreams was that Mike, her normally sensible husband, would take all the responsibility for her cheating on himself, that he would shoulder all the blame for her affair!

She just wanted to move on with her lover, divorce Mike as fairly and as cleanly as possible and then marry her new man when the time was right.

She had thought of Mike getting over the breakup fairly quickly and finding someone else.

She looked at Mike and said, "I had thought that you would get over it, you'd find another woman and I sort of hoped that we might all become friends at some point down the road, but with this turn of events, how you are taking things now, I doubt it's possible. I think things are more than a little out of control."

She had tears in her eyes when she spoke to him. "Mike! Lift up your head! Look at me! Look at me, please! None of this is your fault! I didn't know you held me in such high regard about the type of person that I am, but I cannot help thinking that perhaps I am not as perfect as you might have imagined. I have been having a relationship with another man, but that was all down to me, it has nothing to do with you, or your abilities as a man or a lover, at all! Please believe me!"

He looked up at her and gave her the kind of smile that they used to call a "brave smile," and said, "Thanks for saying that, even if it isn't exactly true, I thank you for trying to cheer me up with that little white lie."

"I'm not lying! Look, I don't want you to suffer or to pine for me, as that would serve no useful purpose for anyone, but especially you. My life is now dedicated to another; you must move on and find yourself a new woman, a woman who can love you as a woman should love a man. I am very sorry I can't be that woman for you, not any longer, but it is what it is. You'll find someone else. I know you will."

He shrugged. "I don't see that as happening, Nicki. I don't even see it as being possible. Twelve years ago, you came into my life and you made and filled a Nicki size space in my heart. You have now stepped out of, and away from, that space in my heart, but that space is still there, Nicki. It's a Nicki sized void that no other woman could ever fill. I doubt that I'll even bother dating again. I certainly feel that marrying someone else would be an impossible dream. After all, if what you say is true and I never did do anything to drive you away, how on earth could I ever trust anyone ever again? Besides which, how could they replace you?"

Nicki dabbed at her eyes with a small white handkerchief. "Oh, I am really sorry for the hurt that I have put on you. Please, please do not let this situation make you into an embittered person, Mike. You are worth so much more than that. I feel so guilty about what I am putting you through, but it's happening and I can't change it."

"But I am not worth much more to you than that, am I, Nicki?"

She flinched. "That's not the point. I am sorry that things have worked out like they have. I want a divorce, unreasonable behaviour would be a good option, I feel, as it will be relatively quick.

"In order to make things easier for you, I have already loaded what I want to take with me in the short term into my car and I intend to leave for the flat I'll be sharing with my lover this evening. We can sort my other stuff out, later."

He wiped his hand over his face before he said, "We had so many dreams, a lovely cottage, a big garden and some children. Well, they were my dreams; perhaps they weren't really your dreams, after all."

She had smiled when started speaking of their dreams, but she gave a small sob when he went on to say, "But those dreams are dead now, Nicki. But, when the dream dies, what of the dreamer? Do they continue, Nicki? Or does a part of them die, too, following their dreams into oblivion?"

"Please!" she gasped out. "Don't talk like that. You are sounding as if you are thinking of doing something silly!"

"Silly?" His voice started to sound a little bitter. "Like the silly thing I did when I married you? That silly? Or were you worried that I might commit suicide and leave an indelible stain on your new relationship? Why would you care about what might happen to me in the future? That's not a concept I can get my head around, now."

Nicki was hurt by his remark and it showed in her voice. "Please, Mike! There's no need to be like that about this! Despite what you might think or feel, I still care about what happens to you. I just don't like to think of you being injured or dying."

He nodded. "Sorry, Nicki. It's just that this is all so raw, and so hurtful to me."

She grimaced. "Yes, I imagine it would be."

"Anyway," he continued. I really probably shouldn't ask this of you, and you don't have to answer if you don't want to, but is he better in bed than me? Is he a better lover? Are... is there anything really different between him and me?"

For a split second, she looked puzzled, but then it was as if a lightbulb had come on for her. "Well, sex with him is better than it is with you, but that's no knock on you, no knock against you, Mike. His cock is a little bigger, but not by much. He is not a much better lover than you. It's different, but that's not why making love with him is so much better than with you. It's because he is my soulmate, the man I am destined to be with forever."

He looked pained and then changed the topic of conversation, trying to getting back on track. "Is your lover married, Nicki?"

She nodded, "Yes, he is married, but they are on the point of separating, as it's been an essentially sexless marriage for..."

Mike interjected with, "Tell me about it!"

Nicki continued as if she hadn't heard his caustic barb. "It's been an essentially sexless marriage for the best part of a decade."

Mike snorted derisively, muttering: "Sexless marriage? Welcome to my world!"

Nicki ignored his further remark and again continued as if he had said nothing. "In fact, they only made love twice in the past eight years."

That was it! This was the ideal opportunity for Mike to not merely shoehorn the information that he had into the conversation, it was a wide-open goal mouth, and he was going to hammer the ball without mercy into the top left corner of the net. So pleased was he that he promised to light a candle at St. Ethelwald's church, and to make a donation in the offertory box.

He suddenly dropped his "Woe is me!" persona and spoke to Nicki in a chatty, conversational tone of voice. "You know, that's very interesting. Very interesting, indeed! Do you believe in coincidences, Nicki?"

Somewhat flummoxed by his instant and miraculous change in personality, she answered with caution: "I... I am not sure what you mean, Mike? How's that relevant?"

"How is it relevant, darling Nicki? I'll explain. If, as you say, your bit on the side and his wife only made love twice in the past eight years, I was just wondering on the fortuitous coincidence that they fell pregnant on both occasions?" Care to comment on that one, eh, Nicki?"

She was even more bewildered. "I don't understand what you mean, Mike? D... he hasn't got any children."

Mike smiled to himself at her slip, which could only help confirm what he already knew.

"Really?" He asked. "Just wait a moment." He reached under the coffee table, pulled out his leather messenger bag and removed a large plastic document holder, which was overprinted with: Gains, Leeper, Legal, Investigations Division. He placed the bag on the table.

She felt something chilly walk through her. She didn't know what was happening, but she knew it couldn't be good.

Mike pulled a sheet of A4 paper from the folder, and began to read: "Douglas Williams, married to Sally Williams, of 41 Larkspur Drive, Midsummer Parva. Father of two children with Sally, a boy aged eight, called Simon, and another boy called Vincent, aged six. So, how do you explain that, Nicki?"

"They must have made a mistake! An error! That can't be right; because he told me they had no children! Anyway, how did you find that information? Isn't it illegal?"

"Of course it's not illegal," he barked. Now he was starting to get angry and he didn't want to do that, at least not yet. "It's not illegal because Gains, Leeper are one of the top firms of solicitors in the region and they run their own investigative bureaux, so they know the law."

Nicki felt shamed. "How long have you known?" she asked, softly.

"About three months. In fact, you'll remember the time quite well. At least, you should. I'd been dropping hints that I wanted our love life to be rekindled, but you kept putting me off, saying that you just needed a little more time for your libido to recover.

"You'll remember that suddenly, I stopped asking you for sex. In fact, you thanked me, if you'll recall. You thanked me for stopping, as you put it 'pestering you for sex'. You promised to make it up to me in other ways, saying that the no sex thing was just a temporary dry spot and eventually we'd be back to normal, sexually. But you lied to me, you never kept your promise to make it up to me, and now I know that your nonsense about the dry spot was a load of old tripe. You never intended on having sex with me ever again, did you?"

Now Nicki was crying in earnest. "When did you get the detectives on to me?"

"I didn't. You see, one day at my office, a woman came to see me. She'd made an appointment. Her name was Sally Williams. She gave me that paperwork, which is a copy of some of the relevant pieces from the report she had commissioned from the private detectives.

"Needless to say, I was destroyed. She played me recordings, one of which was you and he mockingly deciding that I would be cut off from sex. That was why I stopped pestering you, as you put it.

"I then followed Sally's lead and got a full spectrum of STD tests done, including HIV. We were both clear, no thanks to you and your arse of a lover and your bareback shenanigans!

"We both began wondering how to get our own back on you two, so we agreed to have a revenge fuck. We enjoyed it so much that we did it again and again, so that one simple act of revenge became a "Friends with Benefits" relationship, which has now begun to change and develop.

"Will it grow and blossom into a true, loving relationship? Don't know, don't care in the short run, because all I know is that we, Sally and myself, are there for each other. It's not just about the sex, though that's pretty damn good, I have to admit; we also give each other support and love, things we should have being receiving from our spouses, but which they chose to steal away from us and give to another. If it develops into a long-term thing, well, fair play to us.

"You might be interested to know that this is his third foray into the world of cheating, and she decided that this would be his last, as his promises to never do it again proved worthless.

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