Julie Ch. 19


It was enough, that innocuous, vague statement, that Julie almost told him about Ashlee's offer to let her have the place to herself on Wednesday. But there were still too many obstacles: Gary, the pictures, letting Ashlee get directly involved with her sex life... Better to wait. Sure, when she saw him she would likely cave in. But right now he was too far away to envelop her with his aura. She said good night and hung up.

Later, as Julie was lying in bed, her cell phone rang. In the dark, quiet room, the noise startled her. At first Julie irrationally thought it might be Greg. But she still had never given him her cell number, had she?

She sat up and turned on the light as the phone rang again. She found it on the nightstand and squinted at it. It was Gary. The thought of him calling her both angered and scared her. She certainly had no desire to talk to him right now.

She hit the button to mute the rings and waited. It would chirp if Gary left a voice mail.

But instead, the phone began ringing again. Instead of leaving a message, he had called back. She muted it again. Should she just turn the phone off?

Or should she answer it?

Something in her suddenly refused to be cowed by Gary. She was much tougher than that. She snapped the phone open.

"Yeah?" she asked, trying to sound annoyed that anyone would be calling so late.

"Why did you do it?" Gary's voice asked straight away. "How could you do it? Didn't anything we had mean anything to you?" There was no attempt on his part to hide the pain he was feeling. His voice rough, cracking at times, a live wire of raw emotion.

"Gary, oh my God," Julie replied, the guilt once again awakened in her. "It's not like that!" she tried to protest. "I didn't consciously choose to do... anything to deliberately hurt you. It just friggin' happened."

"No," Gary contradicted her. "It didn't 'just happen' when you left here last night." His words stung her with their truth. No, last night hadn't just happened, that's for sure. Last night was totally premeditated. It wasn't in doubt even before she went to see Gary. Even before Julie had a clue as to what Gary was going to say to her.

"Gary," Julie protested. But she had no follow up. What could she possibly say? He had pictures of Julie sucking another man's cock... taken within an hour of Gary telling her he wanted to try to save their marriage.

"Why?" he spat into the phone vehemently. "Why, goddamn it? Jesus! I said I would actually forgive you for what you did and you went right back and did it again! What kind of shitty fucking thing is that to do to me? To us?"

Julie fought back tears. He was right, of course. She was pure shit for doing this to their marriage. And to him. But she didn't want to cry in the face of his attack. She would take the blame. She would apologize, useless though that might be. But she wouldn't cry. Julie didn't know why that was suddenly so important, but she wasn't going to let Gary push her that way.

"I didn't 'do it' to you!" Julie shot back. "I never intended for anything like this to happen. I didn't plan it. I didn't go out looking for it. It just fucking happened!" She took a deep breath and tried to steady herself. She could feel her hands shaking, could hear the unsteadiness of her breathing. She had to remind herself that he had a pretty dangerous card in his hand, if he wanted to play it.

"You went right back to him. Right after you left here!"

"So?" Julie didn't know what to say. Yes, she had done just that. But what could she do? Deny it? Say it was likewise unplanned? No, there was nothing to do but own up to it. What else could she do?

Nothing in Julie's experiences could have given her any insight as to how to handle this. She just had to gut her way through and take the shots she deserved. And somehow, through it all, find a way to keep Gary from using that devastating weapon: the pictures.

"Do you love him?" It was an icy dagger of a question. It struck her heart, spreading its chill through her bloodstream.

A week ago, Julie could have scoffed at that question. Love him? Greg? Ha! He was just a phenomenal fuck, a man who knew how to unlock the repressed sexuality in her. But love? No, that certainly had nothing to do with it.

But now? Well, Julie certainly wouldn't actually let herself even think it at a conscious level. But wasn't there a warm, gushy feeling that she felt when she was with Greg now? Wasn't she at least flirting with the concept?

The longer her silence persisted, the more guilty she appeared. The more guilty she felt.

"Fucking bitch!" Gary bellowed at last. "I can't fucking believe you did that! How? How could you do that? Sit and talk like we're going to go to couple's counseling... and then... What the fuck?"

Julie took a deep breath and tried to steady her nerves. There was nothing she could say that could possibly matter to Gary at this point. He was totally right. No one should have to worry for one second that their spouse would do what Julie had done.

But the pictures... Julie had to say something, anything... But no words came.

"Jesus! Look at this!" Gary yelled into the phone. Look? Look at what? Before Julie could ask, Gary answered. "My loving fucking wife with another guy's dick in her mouth!" Was he looking at one of those pictures right now? It was both creepy and scary. He was angry and, judging by his speech, perhaps a little drunk.

What if, in anger and emboldened by alcohol, he suddenly decided to email it to everyone in their whole address book? That was chilling.

At the same time, what the hell was he doing talking to her with that picture in front of him? It was disturbing. The thought that Gary was looking at one of those pictures right now... while he was on the phone with her... Julie's body shuddered involuntarily.

Another tortured silence followed. What was he thinking? What was he doing? Was he looking at the pictures again? A strange, unsettled feeling crept over Julie. Then Gary's voice, low and accusing, shook her again.

"You told me you didn't like it."

Another long pause.

"I'm looking at pictures that say otherwise."

Oh, God! What could Julie possibly say to that? The truth? That would probably be worse than any lie she could make up. Unfortunately, her mind was coming up with absolutely no explanation, true or otherwise.

"It's not that simple... I mean..." but she had nothing.

"You never did anything like that for me!" he erupted again. Then, much more subdued, "So maybe you don't have feelings for me like you do for him."

"Gary," Julie tried again. She wanted to explain, but what was there to say? Greg made her feel so much different than he did. It wasn't Gary's fault. He just didn't have that edge that Greg did. The one that could elicit those responses, those actions. Awaken that submissive side that she had never really known existed.

"Of course," Gary continued, ignoring her feeble effort to say something. "Maybe now that I have these pictures, I should expect to get a blow job every day."

Oh, God! He was threatening her. And it was pathetic! Gary had something that he could legitimately blackmail her with. And even so, he couldn't be as bold as Greg. Greg could come right out and tell Julie to suck his cock. Gary could barely manage a backhand threat.

"What do you think of that?" he persisted when Julie didn't answer. The threat was so hollow, almost non-existent. Julie felt more sad for him than angry or scared.

"Gary, please." She took a deep breath. "You don't understand. Hell, I don't understand. You're right. It was never like that with us. I don't know why. I can't explain. It has nothing to do with whether I love you or not. Please believe that."

"I think you should come over here right now," Gary persisted. "And give me a blow job." It wasn't a command. It wasn't forceful. It only served to amplify the differences between Gary and Greg. Gary just didn't have that streak in him.

"Gary," Julie replied, trying to sound like a mother reasoning with a child, "let's be serious. I never wanted to hurt you or anything like that. It's just..." Again, her words failed her. Was he going to be able to compel her to do something against her will? Gary?

"No, I mean it!" Gary said, his voice sounding a little shrill in Julie's ear. No, it didn't seem likely she was going to be bullied into anything by him, no matter what leverage he had. He just wasn't going to push it. Somehow Julie just knew.

"I'm so sorry, Gary. I really am." She took a deep breath. "Please get rid of those pictures. Please."

"Come over now and we'll talk about it."

"Please, Gary."

"Just come over." Gary sounded more pleading than in control, commanding. At once, Julie was relieved and heartbroken. He was too sweet, too nice to do to her what she had done to him.

He deserved so much better. But he seemed destined to finish last.

"Oh, Gary! I'm so sorry," Julie said as a single tear rolled down her cheek. "You don't deserve this. You're a wonderful man. And I'm so sorry."

Gary didn't reply. A few moments later, the line went dead. Julie closed the phone and set it down. She felt like shit about what she had done to him. But even more importantly, she was relieved that he seemed incapable of using the pictures of her with malicious intent.

Julie didn't think that Gary was about to just delete the pictures. No, that level of relief she didn't feel. That was unrealistic under the circumstances. But she went to bed with no immediate fear that he was about to do something with them. Something that would destroy her.

Of course, there was still an uneasy feeling in her stomach and she didn't fall asleep for quite a while. She found herself wishing that Greg were beside her, his strong, uncompromising arms around her. How she would love to have him in bed with her.

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