tagLoving WivesHouse of Cards Ch. 08

House of Cards Ch. 08


On the day after Marianne ran out of my apartment, I called and left her a brief message at home, reminding her that I would be away for the next four days, through the weekend, at a conference in Atlanta. I was friendly, but I didn't offer any sympathy for the night before.

Actually, I was looking forward to getting away for a couple of days. While at some moments I felt more optimistic that my marriage had a future, my love for Marianne was mixed with a ton of anger. There probably wasn't any ten-minute period in my day when I didn't hear in my mind the sounds of her with Eddie in the motel, and my rage just boiled up in me each time. She had fucked him behind my back for eight months! She had lied to my face about it, when she had the chance to tell me the truth! The fact that I loved her and that I cared about our children mattered a lot—but did they outweigh what she had done to me?

At work I told Steve all about what was going on with Marianne and me, and asked him to share the news with Andrea. He smiled when I told him that my stories about Carrie were making Marianne so crazy, and I reminded him again to be sure not to let Marianne know that Carrie was my fictional invention.

I expected the conference to be pretty routine, but it turned out to be anything but. Most of my time was spent in paper sessions, where engineers give presentations on the latest in load-bearing measurement technology or advances in thermal window design. After each presentation there is time for questions from the audience, and occasionally the questions get quite contentious.

At the Friday afternoon session, a young and clearly inexperienced engineer gave a somewhat shaky paper, clearly his first talk in public. An older man in the audience started in with a series of aggressive, almost nasty questions. He challenged not only some of the speaker's conclusions but, by implication, his fitness to be an engineer.

This really pissed me off—it was a more experienced man picking on someone more vulnerable than he was. Fortunately, the paper concerned issues I knew a lot about, so I rose to ask my own question. I carefully formulated it so that it would be a friendly one, and would give the speaker a chance to regain his composure and sound more sure of himself. It also shut his attacker down, and he never got to ask any more questions. I was glad to see the young speaker make it to the end of the question session feeling better about himself.

The dinner that evening was a buffet, and after I went through the line I didn't see anyone I knew to sit with. I joined a group at a partially filled table, a group that included a striking young blonde woman I had noticed at the afternoon session. Her nametag said that her name was Kristin, and that she was from Norway.

Dinner conversation was mostly relaxed shop-talk, as it tends to be at conferences. Kristin seemed bright but shy—she mostly listened, only occasionally contributing her own thoughts. But as the group was breaking up, she surprised me by putting her hand on my arm and asking if I would stay a minute.

When we were alone, she said, "I noticed what you did in the session this afternoon. That was a very generous and kind act, to give the speaker a friendly question and let him recover his composure." She spoke excellent English, but with a little bit of an accent that I found charming.

"Thank you, Kristin," I replied. "I thought the guy asking all the hard questions was being a jerk, and I hate to see a younger engineer put on the spot so unfairly. It made me a little angry."

"I have seen a lot of that in our field," she said. "But it's much rarer when someone steps in, especially as discreetly and gently as you did. I'm not even sure he knew he was being rescued!"

We chatted for another couple of minutes, and I asked her if she felt like getting out of the hotel and taking a walk around Atlanta for a bit, and maybe getting a beer. She looked pointedly at my left hand, which still had my wedding ring, and I just laughed.

"Yes, married!" I said cheerfully. "Look, I didn't mean to make a pass at you—I just thought a walk would be pleasant, and I'd be delighted if you would join me." In fact I was very attracted to Kristin, but I hadn't planned to do anything about it. She was slim and lovely, with high Nordic cheekbones and a fabulous complexion. She wore her blonde hair short around her head, and her figure was very youthful, almost boyish, with slim hips and small breasts.

She smiled back at me, and said, "in that case I'd love to! But I'm not very impressed with American beers. Maybe we can find a place that serves some good Scandinavian ones."

It was a terrific evening. We walked around in the warm evening for a couple of hours, then settled at a place that specialized in beers from around the world, and we each tried a couple of unfamiliar ones. I learned that she had just finished her graduate degree in engineering at the University of Washington, and was looking for a job somewhere on the West Coast. Before that she had lived her entire life in Norway—she owed her English largely to a very good school system there.

Somewhere during the second beer for each of us, the conversation turned more serious. I found myself telling her about my marriage, and Marianne's cheating. Just the short version—I spared her what I'd heard on the tape, just told Kristin that I had taped them making love in a motel. She grimaced, and said only, "that must have been awful. I am so sorry."

It may be that my honesty inspired her, but after a few minutes she told me about her one and only serious love affair, with Ben, a fellow graduate student at Washington, that had ended very badly. He had courted her gallantly and patiently for months, with flowers and candy, etc., until she had been willing to go to bed with him. (She had had only had one lover before him, a brief romance during college.) But once they started having sex, he turned out to be controlling and violent. He liked it rough, and it excited him whenever she refused or hesitated.

After two months of increasingly frightening sexual encounters, and a beating that nearly sent her to the emergency room, she tried to break up with him. Ben told her he'd kill her if she ever left him. Terrified, she dropped out of school and flew home to Norway, abandoning her work in mid-semester. She didn't return to the university until 10 months later, after making sure that he had graduated and taken a job in the Midwest.

The whole experience had clearly been horrifying for Kristin. As she told me the story her voice became quieter and more hesitant, and she looked down at the table, not meeting my eyes. At the end she said, looking back up into my face, "I haven't ... been with anyone since then—that was two years ago."

The story appalled me, and I was full of sympathy for Kristin, who was still obviously suffering from the effects of what he had done to her. I gently took her hand, and said, "that's a terrible story, Kristin. It was very brave of you to have gone back to school and finished your degree. That must have been very difficult."

She smiled, and said, "it was awful at first! Even though I had made very sure that he was in Nebraska somewhere, for the first two months I looked for him everywhere. I was sure he would jump out from behind some tree and stab me! I was afraid of the dark, afraid to go anywhere alone. I had two roommates, and they were amazingly kind and patient with me. After a few months, it was much better."

"But you ... didn't start dating again," I said gently.

"No ... For a long time I didn't want even to be near a man. Then, after that feeling eased a bit, I guess I just didn't meet anyone I was interested in. And I'll admit that it just felt safer to concentrate on my work, and not take the risk of getting involved again."

I was able to cheer Kristin up a little by turning to lighter topics—we talked about the conference, and laughed together about some of the less successful presentations (the worst ones are almost always comically boring). By the time we strolled back to the hotel, around 11pm, she seemed to be feeling much better.

When we were still about a block from the front door she took my arm and pulled me gently to a stop, saying, "would you mind if we sat on a bench out here for a moment, before we go back in?"

I naturally agreed, and we sat quietly for a minute, me wondering what was on her mind.

She looked gravely into my face for a moment. She was just beautiful! "Tom, you are a very attractive man. What you did this afternoon, rescuing that poor fellow after his paper, showed me your kindness. And our conversation tonight made me even more sure that you are a very special person. Not just handsome, and funny and intelligent, but gentle, and sensitive to other people's feelings."

I started to thank her, but she raised her hand to stop me, and went on. "It's been a very long time since I've been with a man I was attracted to, AND a man I felt safe with. I know that you're married, but I also know that you're hurting too. I would like to spend the night with you."

My jaw dropped—I was utterly shocked. But before she got the wrong idea, that I wasn't interested, I quickly said, "Kristin, I'm honored! And flattered. You are about the most lovely woman I have ever met, and I would absolutely love to be with you tonight."

She smiled at me, and said, "good!" Then she hugged my arm, and we both laughed.

We agreed that we'd meet in a half hour in my room, since I had splurged for a room with a king-size bed. I made a discreet visit to a pharmacy for some condoms—an item I never dreamed I'd have any need for—and waited for her upstairs in my room.

When I answered her knock, she came in shyly, holding a plastic bag that must have contained her nightclothes, and asked if she could change in the bathroom. After a few minutes she came out in a robe, looking even more shy. I had turned off all but a single light, undressed to my boxers, and was waiting for her in the bed, with a couple of beers on the night-table. (There hadn't been time to do anything about champagne!)

Kristin came straight over to the bed, but I could tell she was very nervous. As I smiled at her she took off the robe, revealing a pink nightie that was pretty but not very revealing. She said, "I'm really not very experienced, except for those awful things that happened with Ben. I hope I won't disappoint you."

I said, "Kristin, I am already enjoying this evening with you so much. You are absolutely gorgeous, and a wonderful person. Even if all we do is snuggle together and fall quietly asleep, it will have been a great night for me."

Then I added, "but I am very excited—so I hope we'll do a little more than that!" She laughed, and climbed right in next to me, nestling close beside me. We just lay quietly for a minute or two, and then she turned her face towards mine and I kissed her.

That night with Kristin was one of the most memorable nights of my life. Even though we had just met, we had already shared some rather intimate stories—we felt close to one another, and safe with each other. I can't say that I didn't think of Marianne that night, because I did, many times. But the thoughts didn't bother me. Being with Kristin was tender and joyful. It was intensely exciting, but it never got fierce—I was determined that I would do nothing to frighten her, even by accident. And my patience was more than rewarded; as the night progressed she grew more relaxed, and she was eager and responsive.

We kissed for a long time, just enjoying the closeness. I did not go further until Kristin's hands began to explore, stroking my chest and my back. Then I began to slide my own hands up and down her arms, around the back of her neck, and finally onto her nightie, over her small breasts. She murmured into my mouth as I touched them. I was very gentle, and after a few moments I felt her nipples harden against my touch. "May I take the nightie off you?" I asked her quietly, and she nodded.

I reached down and carefully slid the nightie up over her head, then turned and quickly shed my boxers. I was about to pull the covers back up over both of us, but she stopped me. "No, I want to see you."

I smiled, and lay back next to her on my back. She leaned over me, examining my chest with her eyes and her hands, and I just let her take the lead. She stroked all over me: up and down my arms, feeling their muscles, then across my belly and down to my thighs. At first she avoided my cock, just stroking and touching my flesh and looking me over as though she'd never seen a man's body before.

I enjoyed it immensely, especially because I could look at her at the same time. Her breasts were small and firm, like those of a teenager, with beautiful pink nipples about the size of a quarter. After a minute I started to run my hands over them, and she smiled and arched her back, pressing them into my hands.

We continued to stroke one another gently, almost lazily. It wasn't hotly sexual yet, more like a sensual massage—there were so many parts of our bodies to enjoy beyond the sexual ones. I found to my delight that her underarms were not shaven, and stroked and licked her beautiful blonde armpits, which made her giggle. Her pubic hair matched, being blonde and sparse, allowing the pink lips of her pussy to show through.

We touched one another, looked at one another, and kissed luxuriously from time to time. I was very erect, and she was certainly aroused, but neither of us felt in a hurry. Partly I think we were both being careful—both of us had painful memories we had to skirt around, though they were very different—but also we were just enjoying the pleasure of going slowly. We each felt safe, and we were each trying to make sure that the other felt safe as well. It was wonderful!

It must have been at least thirty minutes after she joined me in bed when I finally slid my hand between her thighs, and felt her warm pussy for the first time. I made repeated gentle stroking motions up her legs, starting from midthigh and sliding up to her lips, which I rubbed briefly before starting over on her thighs. She laid her head on my shoulder and whispered into my ear, "I was hoping you'd do that!"

When she was very wet, and her hips rolled towards me each time I stroked her, I turned myself around so that I could reach between her legs with my mouth. My hips and cock were within reach of her hands, but nowhere near her face. I didn't want to make her feel I expected to take me in her mouth, and she didn't. As I licked her, poked gently inside her with my tongue, and used a finger on her clitoris, she caressed my balls with one hand and stroked my penis with the other. I adored her taste and smell. It was lighter, not so tangy as Marianne's. It seemed somehow appropriate to a younger woman.

As before, we let this pleasure build slowly, taking our time. When she got close to an orgasm I eased back a little, letting her arousal level off, then built her up again. The third time she murmured, "don't stop this time, Tom! make me ... let me cum!" So I kept my stroking and licking steady and rhythmic, enjoying the twists and jerks of her hips as she forced my mouth harder onto her. I rode her steadily into and through her orgasm. She didn't scream, but gasped loudly, then said, "oh! oh! oh!" several times, and finally sighed deeply and relaxed into the bed.

As her orgasm approached she had let go of my cock, which was fine with me—I didn't want to waste my first orgasm in her hands! I came back up to the top of the bed and held her in my arms, and she just sighed happily, smiling broadly but with her eyes still closed. She said, "later on I'll teach you how to say 'fabelaktig'—it's the Norwegian word for 'fabulous'!"

Then after another minute she roused herself a little, saying, "Tom, please make love to me now." I could see a bit of anxiety return to her face, so I said, "only if you want to, Kristin."

"I want to—I want you inside me. But ..."

She hesitated, and, guessing what was in her mind, I said, "what position would feel the most comfortable to you?"

She smiled at me gratefully. "Thank you for understanding, Tom! Ben used to ... well ... let's not talk about that. But could I be on top of you?"

"Of course," I smiled back at her. I reached for a condom on the nightstand, and she sweetly rolled it onto me. She crouched over me, facing me with her pussy above my cock, and stroked it over her lips several times, making me groan with pleasure.

Then she very slowly and carefully began to lower herself onto me. I did everything I could not to thrust up into her, giving her all the time she needed. I could see that she was fighting some bad memories, so I was utterly patient as she lowered herself, stopped, adjusted her hips, then went on. It was probably two full minutes before I was entirely inside her, and she relaxed completely, sitting down on me with a sigh and a big smile.

At about the same time we spoke: I started to say, "that feels incredible!", just as she said, "oh that's marvelous, Tom." Then we both laughed!

When she began to move on me it was a natural continuation of our love-making so far. She went slowly, easily, sometimes moving up and down on me, sometimes resting on me and moving her hips so my pubic bone pressed against her clitoris. It was all wonderful! I was in no hurry, and I avoided thrusting up at her. Instead I took pleasure in holding and stroking her breasts, lightly pinching her beautiful nipples. She kept her hands on my shoulders and her arms straight, using them for leverage.

We moved together for a long time, then I saw her face start to change. She got a look of serious concentration, and moved up and down on me more purposefully. She bit her lip and arched her back, groaning. I could tell she was getting close, and I tentatively began thrusting just a little, meeting her as she came down on me. About a minute after that I could tell I was about to lose control, and I whispered "Kristin?"

She just said, "yes, Tom, right now!" We continued to thrust into one another, staying in rhythm. Just as I was sure I'd lose control and start jerking my hips, she came, falling forward on me and groaning. I felt her pussy spasm and I totally lost it, bucking up into her several times and cumming so hard I thought I'd shoot my sperm right through the condom and up into her. God it felt good!

When it was over we just lay there, holding each other lightly, feeling one another's breathing gradually subside. Thoughts of Marianne had flitted in and out of my mind during our lovemaking—how her breasts felt different from Kristin's, or what her face looked like when she rode me as Kristin was doing—but they hadn't bothered me. Now, as Kristin and I lay in each other's arms, I remembered Marianne and Eddie, but the pain seemed distant and vague, like a bad toothache after the Novocaine had begun to take effect. It would be wrong to say I had forgotten about her cheating, or that it didn't matter. More accurate to say that I'd found a respite from the pain of it—a wonderful respite with a beautiful and loving young woman.

I shifted slightly to see Kristin's face, slightly worried about how her own memories of Ben might be in her mind. She kept her eyes closed, but had a happy, sleepy smile on her face. She looked like a little girl, ready for sleep after a long tiring and fun day at the amusement park. Without another word, I kissed her on the forehead, and reached to turn off the bedside lamp. We drifted off to sleep in one another's arms.

I awoke in a way I recommend to all of you to experience just once before you die. It must have been about 8am, because the sun was streaming in through the gauzy curtains and the room was full of light. I was on my side, and as I opened my eyes I saw Kristin on her knees by the side of the bed, naked and totally lovely, smiling at me as she took the head of my cock gently into her mouth. I was only partially erect, but that changed quickly!

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