Paul And PaulabyDanielQSteele1©
By Daniel Quentin Steele © 2011
Author's note: Let me start with a warning to readers. This is not a complete story. It's a fragment. If you want a complete story, don't start this one. I decided to post this because I felt some readers might be curious about how the story of the Donnallys – Paul and Paula – detailed in the next to last published chapter of WWWM began. If any readers are curious, I think this opening to their story will give a more complete and well rounded picture of this couple, before their marriage went completely to hell. This takes place about a month or so before they come into contact with Bill Maitland and the Jacksonville court system.
PAUL – Tuesday afternoon. September 2005
It used to be that bad news came at night. People dying, serious accidents, husbands leaving wives or vice versa.
Paul Donnally remembered the old saying that nobody ever received good news at night later when he thought about that afternoon as he pulled into the circular driveway of their Mandarin home. It was a rambling three bedroom Spanish style single story home that had once been big enough for Paula and their son and daughter.
It had been just big enough for all of them before Ben and Patricia had grown up and graduated high school and gone off to college, Ben to the University of Florida where he was due to graduate with a Masters in Business Administration the next July and Patricia to FSU in Tallhassee where she was working toward a Masters in Education with emphasis on handicapped children.
Now it was too large and Paula and he had talked a few times about looking for a condominium, maybe at Jacksonville or St. Augustine Beach, that would be easier to maintain and more comfortable for empty-nesters.
It was especially large now that Paula was gone for a week to a real estate seminar in Miami. She had flown out on Sunday and even now on Tuesday it seemed entirely too long for Paul's taste. He could almost hear his 40-year-old wife when he sat on the couch watching television or reading a book, could smell the perfume that she sometimes wore to bed for hot sex. It had been a long time. They were on the downside of 40, he was about to celbrate his 42th birthday and the sex drive yielded to age, but he still remembered.
He was getting ready to slide out of the car when the T-Mobile cellphone he carried in his shirt pocket beeped the message that he had a message waiting. He wondered if it was Paula. It was early for her to call. She had told him this would be one of the busy seminars, every day chock full of meeting with other real estate types, lectures about how to survive in the world of falling house prices, and in the evenings she'd probably be wining and dining or being wined and dined by other agents while they tried to pick each other's brains for good contacts and sales prospects.
Paul had sighed when she told him the news. He'd been through it before. Since entering real estate on a whim in her early 30s, it had become a second religion. She ate and drank real estate and ARM mortages and all the esoterica of residential home sales. But she made a good living at it, which neatly supplemented his respectable salary as the Public Relations Manager for Duval University, a very expensive and prestigious private four year college tucked away in the port and insurance city of Jacksonville, Florida.
So he didn't expect to hear much from her, but if she had a break or a few minutes, sometimes she called him, as she said, just to remind herself what he sounded like.
He punched in the top button to access the call and waited a few seconds while scratchy static screeched out at him. There were background noises that might have been a radio or stereo playing some sort of Latin ballad or Salsa type and then through the bouncy music he began to make out words, or at least sounds.
"Ooooooooooohhhh God....that,....so good....more....deeper....uh...please....you like that Baby.....oh yes yes yes.....where....you want ...in my pussy baby...in my pussy..."
Interspersed between the words were the wet sounds of flesh colliding with flesh and Paul knew it had to be the sound of a cock entering a very wet pussy.
What the hell? Since when did they broadcast porno over telephone lines?
"ooohhhhh...yes....no...don't tease me....fuck me baby...fuuuuuuucccckkk me...." and there was a shrill feminine scream of pleasure.
As he sat there, his mouth open in amazement, he realized what had happened. It had happened before.
Sometimes a number would be entered inadvertently, by something as simple as somebody rolling over a cell phone and accidentally hitting the transmit button. He smiled, wondering what passionate couple was unaware that their frenzied fucking was going out of the electronic medium to provide a cheap thrill to a stranger sitting in his car and listening to it all.
He knew he should have shut it off, but there was an irrisistable voyeuristic impulse to listen a little longer.
There was a long drawn out sigh and then silence for moment, then the sound of movement on a bed and a little later a wet sucking sound that could never be mistaken for anything else.
"Oh, my god, Paula, nobody does it better...nobody...you know..i think you could suck the chrome of a trailer hitch with those lips...flattery will get you another hot cum, baby...just get it big and hard for me and let go...I want to drink all of you.."
For a few seconds Paul thought he might have had a sudden attack of vertigo as the world seemed to circle around his head.....What were the odds? A woman with the same name as his wife was sucking another man's cock...how the hell could that happen....
He thought of the look on his Paula's face when he told on her return about listening to another Paula give as strange man a great blow job. There would have been a time when they would get so hot talking about it that they would drag each other up to the bedroom if the kids were out. Their sex was still good and she gave the best blowjobs in the western world, but sometimes it almost felt like – she was doing it to pay him back for being away from him on long trips. A small sensation of pain ran through his insides as he realized it had been a long, long time since she had been carried away with the kind of wild, spontaneous passion he heard over the phone.
"do this for Paul?"
Paul's attention suddenly returned to the voices. Had he heard the name Paul?
"yes, but not like I do it for you...he's (slurp) happy with my 'B' game. ....he's (SLURP) not like you baby..."
"...suck it all in,baby, down to my balls, that;'s the way...jesus, I can see it bulging out of your throat,,,.how do you do that?"
"...practic,e baby, practice (laughter)"
...and you love practicing on that 10 incher don't you"
"...oh yes....was it hard to get used to sucking a big one? at first... Paul's is kind of...dinky compared to yours. I doubt he's more than 6 – 6 and a half inches and he doen'tt know what to do wth it anyway..next to you he's very vanilla - just stick it in, pump till I cum and then he gives me his load..."
".....he must be a fucking idiot...and he has never guessed about us?"
"...he's one of those guys with more brains than common sense"
"..so why the fuck do you stay with him.? Your kids are out of the house..you make more than he does...."
"– not that he knows, baby – "
"– and you don't love him, obviously..."
There was more wet sucking while Paul felt the sensation of intolerable pressure like a thousand pound weight settling on his chest. He wondered when he would wake up.
"not like I love you baby..that's right, get it big and hard for your cum slut...I want... cupful at least..."
"...well then why stay?"
"We've had this conversation, Greg....Paul and I have been together 20 years. We have two kids. He's...comfortable...you can't fuck all the time...we're better off like this. i get all the hot sex I want from you and when I get home poor dull Paul is there to drink coffee with and discuss the news and he takes me to parties...he's a husband, not fucking machine like you...oh yeah, baby...I feel it starting...nooo.. give it back..i need it."
" ...not till you say you love me more than poor little dull Paul"
"..no, damn it let me suck it
"...no not till you tell me you love me more than that loser of a husband of yours
"...you bastard..you bastard, give it back to me...okay...I love you, damn it...I love you more than I love paul now , I love you more than I ever loved that pitiful bastard..i love you more than I'll ever love him....oh yes.....oh ...ess.s... mmmm...mmmm...how can you squirt so much....come on..."
It seemed to keep going on forever,,,.but eventually after more sucking and fucking sounds the message ended and the computerized operator's voice came on asking him if he wanted to save it or kill it. Without thinking, he hit the number 9 to save it. Then he let the phone in his hand drop to his side and he just sat there looking at the home where he and Paula had lived and loved for 15 years and raised their kids.
He must have sat there for five minutes and he could never remember what went through his mind. Finally he hit the replay button and listened to the whole damn thing again. His mind went round and round like a dog worrying a bone. What the hell could it mean?
In some way, beyond the conscious level he knew what it meant, but if he had admitted it for a second he was afraid he would start screaming and never be able to stop.
The first thought that entered his head was that somebody – with a very cruel sense of humor – had set up the call to drive him crazy. Any minute now the phone would ring again and his next-to-best friend and frat brother Sam calling from Houston would say, "Got you Paul, you dumb sack of shit. I really had you going, didn't I?"
Except that Sam would never be this fucking cruel. And as he sat there and reality crashed in on him he realized that unless it was an astronomical coincidence, the only way a cellphone could accidentally call a number was if it was programmed in automatically, the way his number was programmed into Paula's phone so touching one key would automatically send the call his way.
It had been Paula, he knew. It was her voice. After 20 years he couldn't have mistaken that voice.
Had she done it deliberately? Even now as his world shattered into tiny little pieces and he realized like a character in some horror movie he had been married to a human appearing but very alien monster, he couldn't understand WHY she would have done it. It sound very much like she was being honest with her lover when she talked about how comfortable, if dull, her life with him was.
Why would she deliberately expose her betrayal of him, of everything they had had together? Why would she destroy the life they had built together. She had to know that he wouldn't be able to live with this knowledge. And that their good, safe, dull life would evaporate like dew under the morning sun. She could have a life with her lover, but their life would vanish as if it had never existed.
UNLESS...she knew he would never have the guts to leave her. Knew that he would swallow the hurt and pain and pretend he had never heard the voice message. Knew that she could fuck around and enjoy a comfortable life being waited on hand and foot and twist the knife in his back and enjoy his pain.
But what kind of fucking monster could do that to a man who had loved her for 20 years, had worked and sacrificed with the dream of spending their last years together?
He realized he was sobbing and rubbed at his eyes with fists that were clutched so tight he couldn't release his fingers. The answer was that he didn't know what kind of monster, just as he didn't know any more who the woman was that wore his wife's face but wasn't his wife or the mother of his children.
Somehow he was inside the house without any knowledge of how he had gotten inside. He staggered to the cabinet in the den across from the wide screen TV and took the bottle of Bourbon out and took the cap off, then chugged the fiery liquid until he started to vomit it back up on the hardwood floor. Then he fell to his knees and cried the way he hadn't since the night his father had died 20 years before.
The rest of the night was a blur in which he moved from the den to the master bedroom without removing his clothes or cleaning the vomit from himself or his clothes. He must have turned the television on because the second hour of the Today Show was dispensing cooking advice the next morning when he came to and sat up on his elbows on the bed.
There was something in his right hand. When he turned his bleary eyes to make out what it was he saw the gleaming heavy weight of the loaded Glock pistol. He rolled to his side and picked up the Glock, holding it up in the air to inspect it. The safety was still on.
There was something so grimly funny about that that he couldn't stop laughing. Christ, when you're too drunk to be able to release the safety on a pistol and blow your fucking brains out, you know you're fucked up.
He lay back, laughing until he lost his breath and choked. Wouldn't that have been so great, he thought, imagining Paula walking back into their house with a well fucked and happy expression on her face until she walked into the bedroom to find it decorated with his brains.
Then he thought about what would have happened if it had been Ben or Patricia who had walked in to find his body. He laid the gun down gingerly on the side table and put his face in his hands.
God damn you, Paula, he said softly. God damn you to hell. I could have done it if I hadn't been so drunk. And maybe ruined Ben or Patricia's life. And for what. A cheating mother fucking lying whore slut of a cheat. A woman who wouldn't deserve his piss if she was on fire.
He realized even as he said, even though he had heard her voice tearing his soul to shreds, he still couldn't believe it.
But, as he took his face out of his hands, he knew how he could make himself believe it. And when he did, then what? He took a deep breath. He didn't know what he'd do. He didn't know what he felt. He didn't know what he would feel when he could deny it no longer. But he'd cross that bridge when he came to it.
The phone rang just then and the way he knew he was very, very sick was that he didn't leap to answer it. Paula had always joked that if someone held a pistol to his head and would shot him, he would still leap up to answer a phone. It was instinctive after many years as a newspaper reporter and PR guy. You always answered the phone.
But it kept ringing and after awhile he picked the portable off its base and checked the caller ID. It was his office at the university.
"Where are you, Paul?" his secretary Sherry said. There was a note of unconcealed concern in her voice. The joke around the university was that the Greenwich Observatory set their time by Paul. He was never late and had never missed a day of work and most years cut his vacation short to get back to work.
When he didn't answer Sherry sounded even more worried.
"Paul, are you okay? You know today the trustees are meeting to discuss the next year's budget. You're supposed to be there as one of the University staff for your input."
Finally he heard himself say, sounding like a 70-year-old, "I...I'm sick, Sherry. Really sick. Make some excuse for me. Richard can cover for me. He knows as much about the PR budget and operations as I do. He'd love a chance to show he could do my job anyway."
Even as he said it he wondered why he'd say such a shitty thing about a guy who had always been loyal to him. Maybe because there wasn't much milk of human kindness left in him. When Sherry spoke again he knew she was shocked by the gratuitous cruelty.
"Oh...okay, Paul. Richard is here and I'll tell him to take over. You...you need to take care of yourself. You sound terrrible. Do you want me to come round. I can get Betty to cover for me. I know that Paula is down at that meet in Miami. I hate to think of you all alone and so sick."
"No," and the instant he heard his voice he regretted that also. But he didn't seem to have much control over what he said and did right now. "I mean, Sherry, thanks, but I don't want you to catch what I've got. It's a really nasty bug. It's a good thing Paula is down south. I know she's having more fun down there than she would have here."
His damned body betrayed him again and he sobbed until he caught his breath and tried to cover with a fake cough. There was a long silence on the other end of the phone. Then finally, "when did you start getting sick? You seemed okay when you left work yesterday?"
'I got sick last night," he said, wanting to add it only took four minutes to become sick to death.
"Well....take care of yourself, Paul."
Ten minutes after he hung up the phone rang again. Jesus Christ, his house was turning into Grand Central Station.
Thank God for caller ID he thought a second later, dropping the phone as though it were a poisonous snake. The name on the caller ID said simply, "Paula." He let it ring. He had no idea what he would have done if he had simply picked up the phone and heard her lying, traitorous, fucking, beloved voice. But he had a feeling he would have been able to work the safety on the Glock.
After the phone rang a dozen times the voice mail came on and he heard her saying, "I just got off the phone with Sherry, Babe. She said you were home sick. You never stay home sick. I'm a little worried. Call me back. I – I don't know what to say. I'd come back, but I'm really tied up with appointments this time. I've getting a lot of work done, getting a lot of contacts. Not much fun, but it's going by fast. Please call me so I'll know if I should come back."
He shook his head in disbelief. If it hadn't been for that four minute message right now his heart would be swelling with love for his adoring wife who was willing to give up her business to come home and care for her ailing husband, was willing to give up all those boring business meetings to come back and stay by the side of her beloved husband.
He didn't think there was anything left in him, but he was hurling the last of the bitter liquid inside him before he actually made it to the toilet. He lay with his head against the cool porcelain and laughed and cried at the same time; laughed at his stupidity and cried for it at the same time.
He probably sat there for an hour before he could get up the strength to sit up and then strip and lurch into the shower. He hunched up against the wall feeling the boiling water scour his skin until all the hot water was used up and cold water eased the pain of the boiling water.
He found a pair of slacks and a shirt in his closet, made himself eat a couple of slices of honey ham to get some protein in him and picked up the phone to call his closest friend.
"Hey, Paul, how're things going at the University? You got time to call and shoot the breeze with a slacker? Things must really be slow around there?'
"I'm...not at the university, Gil."
"Oh, Christ, the end of the world is here already?"
Like all his friends, Gil assumed that if Paul wasn't at work the Apocalypse was an accomplished fact.
"I...something's happened, Gil. I need your help. I don't have anywhere else to turn."
Gil was silent for a moment, obviously realizing something was badly wrong.
"You want me to come over there or you want to come here?"
"Let me come over there."
"No," Gil said forcefully, so unlike his standard laid back personality. "You sound like shit, you sound like you're drunk, and you sound like somebody just stomped your heart into a blot on the floor. It's Paula, isn't it? You don't get behind the wheel. I'll be there in 15 minutes."