Karen and I had been dating for two years and living together for one of them. We're both reasonably attractive in a twenty-something sort of way--no one's wet dream, but we only had eyes for each other, and our sex life was fairly active, if not wildly varied. We were amusedly tired of the mutterings about grandkids from our parents and, so, decided it was time to tie the knot.

My best man, Pete, and my second-best-buddy, Herb, along with a host of friends from school, work and the neighborhood were going to throw me a bachelor party. I knew my buddies and knew I could look forward to requiring copious quantities of aspirin the next day, but that we'd have a good time.

Karen had only moved into town shortly before meeting me and many of her friends would have to fly in for the wedding, but her college roommate, Angie, was going to be her maid-of-honor and was flying in for the week before the wedding. I liked Angie; she was a pistol and knew how to party hard, but she was good friend and I looked forward to seeing her again. Angie got in touch with Herb's wife, Sophie, and they put together plans for a girls' night. Sophie wasn't my favorite person in the world nor even, I think, Karen's, but she was Herb's wife and we spent a lot of time with them. I was politely invited to butt out of knowing what was planned--I ran into Katie, who was Karen's stylist and also one of her good friends one day and she just grinned and said, "Wouldn't you like to know?"

* * *

Since most of my friends were in town, my bachelor party was held the weekend before the wedding. It was pretty stereotypical. I was grabbed after work and hauled off. I was forced to consume way more alcohol than I could handle gracefully. The porn flicks rolled the entire time. The stripper showed up and gave everyone a thrill. I got the incredibly raunchy lap dance that ended with my pants feeling a little uncomfortable. It didn't go any further than that because...leaving aside that the extreme amounts of alcohol might have prevented it anyway...I'm not like that. And neither were my buddies. They knew there was a line you didn't cross and still feel OK with yourself--they just made sure that I was thoroughly embarrassed.

The pre-arranged cab showed up around 1:00 and Pete, my best man, rode along to make sure I was able to stagger into the house. Karen came down in her bathrobe and Pete handed me off. "He's drunk. He stinks because he threw up at some point. I have no doubt he's going to throw up again. Tomorrow, he's going to hurt like a son-of-a-bitch. And now, he's all yours; may you have joy of cleaning him up. Our work here is done: all desire for partying purged, virtue relatively intact, prime husband material dutifully delivered to the doting girlfriend!" With that, Pete staggered back to the cab and was gone.

Karen looked at me a bit dubiously, wrinkling her nose. "It may be part of being a bride to live with the groom having a bachelor party," she said, "but it's not part of the job to clean up after it. You sleep in the guest room and, if you have to puke, you do it in the guest bathroom. Any mess you make will be waiting for you tomorrow." My recollection is she said this in that affectionate, but slightly annoyed, tone that I assume wives always use for drunk husbands but, then again, everything from getting in the cab onward was a bit fuzzy, so maybe not.

All I know is that I awoke the next morning in the guest room with someone beating on my head with a hammer and a mouth that tasted like absolute shit. Sitting in front of my face on the nightstand were some aspirin and a large glass of water with a Post-It on it saying "Drink Me!" I did and fell asleep again. Several hours later, I awoke for the second and found that they had been replenished. I followed the instructions as before and then staggered into the bathroom, trying to become human again.

Karen met me downstairs with a small smile. "How are you feeling?"

"Like shit," I replied.

"Good!" she said. "Eggs?" I grunted a mild assent, about all the effort I felt like expending, and she turned to the refrigerator. "By the way, how was last night?" she asked casually.

"Umm, excessively drunken?" I ventured.

"Do you remember it?"

"Unfortunately, yes. Just thinking about it makes me a bit nauseous."

She turned and looked at me for a moment and then said, "Never mind. We'll talk later."

I spent the rest of the day somewhat comatose, watching some games on TV. I tried to get Karen to cuddle up a few times, but she just gave me a kiss and said, "Makeup sex is later, buster."

"Makeup sex?!? What did I do wrong?"

"I don't know. That's what we'll find out when you tell me what you did at the party. Then you'll make it up to me."

Oh crap! At least she was smiling.

* * *

That night, as we got under the covers, she said, "Ok, spill it."

"Karen, it was a bachelor party. A typical bachelor party. Just a bunch of guys having fun. Raunchy but no harm. Can't we just leave it at that?"

She started to say something, then stopped. Lost her smile. Tried again, stopped again. Finally, "Mike, I don't really care about the drinking, or the pornos you probably watched, or even if you guys started boasting about other women you've had sex with." She hesitated for a second and looked a little uncertain. "I guess I just want to know what Pete meant by 'virtue relatively intact'...the word relatively..." The look she gave me was a little nervous but it was direct.

"Oh hell, Karen, it was nothing. There was a stripper there. I got a lap dance."

"Go on."

"There's nothing to go on about. I got a lap dance. Yes, there was a stripper on my lap but I didn't maul her, my clothes stayed on and my fly stayed zipped."

I could tell she wasn't thrilled about it but she didn't look furious either, so I added, "Seriously, hon, nothing happened. I promise."

She looked at me for a bit and then said, "OK." She lay back down on her side of the bed. I wasn't quite sure where I stood, so we were just quiet for a while. Then I heard her say softly, "Were her boobs better than mine?"

Now I leaned up on an elbow and looked at her. "Hon, she's a stripper. They were unusually large, they were full of silicone, they barely moved. I'll take yours any day and twice on Sundays."

"Right answer."

* * *

Karen's out-of-town bridesmaids flew in on Thursday, the night of their bachelorette party. At first, Karen thought it was going to be just going out for a few drinks. But, she told me, Angie quickly set her straight on that.

"Hell no, girl, you're already taking off Friday for last minute stuff but I've talked to your boss about you leaving early on Thursday. We're going into the City, there's going to be lots of alcohol, there are going to be hot men in tiny briefs, and we're going to PARTY! No. No. Close your mouth; I'm not listening. I don't think you understand the concept here. You don't get a vote. Bachelor and bachelorette parties are done TO you, not WITH you!"

Thursday arrived. I was puttering in the laundry room with a leaky faucet when I heard a car pull up. I looked out the window, saw a cab and Angie walking up to the front door.

The stereo was playing kind of loudly and I guess they didn't hear me when, a few minutes later, I walked through to the kitchen for a beer. Just as I passed by the archway into the living room, Angie said, "Let me see. Hell, Karen, you show that granny underwear to someone and they'll just laugh!" Angie had her back to me, but I was in Karen's view and she saw the hitch in my step at hearing this.

"Angie!!" she said, her face instantly a little pink.

"Girl, every bachelorette party that's any good has got a pretty serious game of 'Truth or Dare' in it and, believe me, we're either going to know everything we want to know or else. Now, I'm telling you to get your ass upstairs and get some pretty undies on, and hurry up!"

I heard Karen go upstairs for a few minutes. When she came back down, she said to Angie, "All right. Mike's back in the kitchen. Just let me go say goodbye." Angie gave a laugh. "Bye, Mike!" she yelled back to me. "Don't wait up for her!"

Karen walked in. "Are you OK with this?" she asked softly so that Angie wouldn't hear.

"Yeah," I said nonchalantly.

"Seriously? 'Cause I can not go."

I snorted. "No, the time for backing out has kind of passed. Look, if they talk you into flashing some guys, or dirty dancing somewhere, I don't necessarily want to hear about it, but it's your lookout. I'm not particularly wild about being the inevitable topic of some of the 'Truths' and I have a sneaking suspicion that one of these 'Dares' is going to end up with them seeing how embarrassed you are kissing or being groped by some stripper somewhere. But...well, what I don't know won't hurt me too much, I guess, and you're allowed to be a little wild at these kinds of things. Just no sex, no last fling. Got it?"

She rolled her eyes. "Duh!" Then she grinned at me, "Kissing is sex."

I looked at her in exasperation. "You know what I mean! Your clothes stay on in both the letter and spirit of the law no matter what. Up to that point, have fun! Now get out of here before I get too many disturbing mental pictures and change my mind." I kissed her briefly, swatted her on the ass and walked back to the laundry room.

* * *

I heard the door open and close and peered at the clock. 3:30 in the morning. Low voices, then the sound of someone going out. I expected her to come into the bedroom shortly but she didn't appear. A little while later, I heard the shower in the guest room start. I got up, went in and tapped on the bathroom door. "Hon?" There was a long pause.

"Mike, just go back to bed. I'll see you in the morning." Her voice didn't sound so good.

"Are you coming into bed?" I asked.

Again a pause. "No, I'll sleep in here. Please, just go. I'm not feeling so hot, I may vomit and I want to be alone."

Well, I guess I couldn't complain given that I spent the night in this room when it was my turn.

The next morning I returned the favor and left her aspirin and water. I looked in the bathroom and her clothes were soaking in the sink but she hadn't puked all over the place. A couple of hours later, I thought I heard her voice talking and went upstairs and tapped on the door. "I'll be down in a few minutes, Mike, let me just clean up a bit."

About a half an hour later, the sounds of the shower still coming from upstairs, Angie came breezing in through the back door. She didn't look so good, it had to be a wicked hangover, but she gave me a half-smile, a buss on the cheek and said, "Where's the bride-to-be? Never mind. I'll go find her."

"What's up, Angie? You look like a couple more hours in bed would feel really good."

"Oh, you really know how to make a girl feel good, don't you, buster? We've got things to do. There's a wedding tomorrow, if you haven't heard. See you!" and, with that, she was gone. They didn't come down for a while, a couple hours, in fact. Finally, I grabbed two cups of coffee and went back upstairs. As I poked my head in the door, their conversation suddenly cut off. "Coffee anyone?"

Angie stood up and took the cups, "Thanks. We need this desperately."

I looked at their faces, which seemed rather serious for two girls nattering about tomorrow's wedding. "What are you gals talking about? Come on down and join the fun."

"It's just girl stuff," said Angie firmly, "and you are not a girl. Shoo. Go play some golf or do whatever it is that guys do when they don't want women around." She pushed me out of the room and closed the door. I shrugged and went back downstairs and, a little while later, I heard them come downstairs.

"We're off for some shopping. We'll be back late in the afternoon. Don't forget the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner tonight. Try to be sober and presentable." With that, they were out the door. I didn't see her the rest of the day. The rehearsal was the usual chaos and the dinner afterwards was spent talking to all the family members, those I hadn't seen in a while on my side and all those I hadn't met on hers. We got home late, with maybe one glass of wine too much in us. I wrapped my arms around her and kissed the back of her neck, but she wriggled away and said she was totally spent from last night's party and the day's activities and needed to get some sleep desperately.

* * *

The wedding went without a hitch. She looked beautiful. I didn't disgrace myself. No one shouted, "I object." The reception was a lot of fun. It wasn't quite as wild as I expected; all the girls seemed a trifle subdued. I smirked at the superiority of the male's plan that had the blow out with enough time to recover afterwards. I did notice that something seemed to be going on between Karen and Patrice, one of her friends from town who had been at bachelorette party. And maybe something odd about her conversations with Sophie, though it was hard to tell since Karen wasn't usually huggy with her. At one point, I was sitting alone with Angie and Katie and asked about it, but they just said, "Those two were a little brutal in their teasing of her on Thursday. She's miffed. She'll get over it."

Once we finally got out of there, the wedding night was great. I was a bit tired and a bit drunk and was expecting some slow, sensuous sex before we drifted off. Karen surprised me. I slid under the covers and barely touched her shoulder when she rolled over and shoved me down on my back. Her mouth sealed over mine, her tongue stabbing, her hands sliding down and wrapping around my cock. Seconds later, she pulled back and then I felt her lips and tongue slide down the shaft. For the next few minutes or so I had the wildest blowjob I've ever experienced. Her lips and tongue engulfed my cock and balls. Her fingers were tickled my ass. She buried me all the way in her mouth, gagging occasionally, something she had never done before. I felt the orgasm rising but, before it came, she pulled her mouth off my cock, threw her leg over me, and rode me to a shattering orgasm, breasts bouncing from the exertion.

After I recovered, I reached up and started stroking her thigh. "Give me a second to recover, you maniac, and we'll get you in on this action, too."

"Nope. Over the next few days, you're going to make love to me a lot; I'll make sure of that. But every guy just wants to be fucked once in a while and that's a wedding present from me to you. I hope it was a good one. Now roll over and go to sleep like a typical male should." With that, she turned her back to me, pulled the covers up and pretended to be asleep. Hot damn!

* * *

We flew to St. Maarten's for our honeymoon. We did make love a lot. Karen was kind of quiet, pensive at times. I figured she was adjusting to our new status. No matter what anyone says, there's a mental jolt between "this is my girlfriend" and "this is my wife" and she was probably feeling it, too. I tried to talk her into going over to the nude beaches on the other side of the island but just got The Look and we moved on to other topics.

When we got home, we settled into married life that wasn't much different than our life previously. Karen didn't seem to go out with her friends quite as much and, when they came over, there seemed to be some awkward silences once in a while. I don't think Karen had entirely forgiven Sophie, yet, though we did get together with them every couple of weeks or so.

* * *

That all changed one day. We went over to visit Herb and Sophie, who were having a small crowd over for burgers. After dinner, it was getting a bit late, most of the people had gone home, when someone came up and told me that a branch had fallen on my car. Herb and I walked out front and saw that a limb about four inches in diameter had broken off the neighbor's tree and hit the hood of my car, denting it badly.

"Damn him," Herb said, "I've been after him to trim those dead branches for months but he's too cheap. His insurance better pay. Let's get a picture before he decides to take the branch away and claim he knows nothing." Herb stepped inside and he grabbed the camera out of the closet and we went back out. Unfortunately, the camera wouldn't work. "Batteries must be dead and damned if I know where we have others. Hold on." He came back out with Sophie's phone which had been lying on the hall table. "Use this and email yourself the picture."

I took a couple of snaps, getting as close as I could. "Better check 'em to make sure the little flash was bright enough," Herb suggested.

I pressed the button for the list of pictures and pressed the arrow key to scroll backwards through them. They weren't bad, about what you'd expect from a cell phone. "They're not too bad," I said as I kept flipping through them. But then I ran past my first picture and I felt my face freeze and a chill run right down my body. "What the fuck!?!"

I was staring at a picture of my wife's face. She wasn't at her best, hair a bit wild, eyes with that look one gets when they've had too much to drink. That wasn't what caught my attention, though. What grabbed my brain and wouldn't let go was the hard cock that was inches away from her open mouth, her hand wrapped around it, semen just starting to spill out of it.

"Mike, what's the matter?"

I ignored him and pressed the arrow key again. Same scene, only now the cock was an inch or two inside her mouth. Click. Now it was a few inches away.

"Hey, Earth to Mike! What's going on?" Herb reached for the phone. I pulled it out of his reach.

Click. Pan back to show a chiseled, naked, male torso with my wife's head in front of it, her hands on his hips. Click. Pan back a bit more, lower part of the guy's face, wife clearly on her knees, supported by women's hands on either side, one of them clearly Patrice. Click.

Herb stepped forward and grabbed the phone from my hand. "Mike, the car's not that bad. What's the...Holy Fuck!" he yelled. He stared a moment; I saw his fingers click the button a few times; then he looked up at me sadly, "Bud, I am so sorry. I don't know what else to say but...oh fucking hell, I'm just so fucking sorry."

"Herb, I have to go. Give Karen a ride. Sorry I can't stay, but I have to go. Umm, see you." I wasn't exactly coherent; I just knew I had to get out of there.

"No! You're not going anywhere by yourself. Here's the deal: you and I are going to go somewhere and think this through. You want to talk, we talk. You want to yell, you yell. You want to be quiet, we don't say a word. You want to get drunk, we get drunk. But not alone. Ok?"

"No, no, you got guests. I'm fine," I babbled.

"Fuck them!" he said. "Right now some of my guests are looking like the bad guys and you're one of my oldest friends. Deal?" He looked hard at me. All of a sudden I wasn't really sure I wanted to be alone. I nodded tentatively. "Ok, one sec while I get my house keys. Give me your keys; I don't want you doing a bunk in the next 30 seconds."

He hurried inside. I could see in through the front window and I heard him say to the girls, "Mike and I are going out. We won't be back for a while, see you guys later."

"What?" said Sophie and Karen, almost in chorus.

"Mike needs to get away for a while. I'm taking him. I'll talk to you later."

"What is going on, Herb? Is he sick?" I heard Karen's voice moving my way. She started to step into the front hall and I saw Herb's hand catch her wrist and pull her back a bit.

"Not a good idea, Karen. You don't want to walk out there right now." His voice had gone very flat and hard as he said this. She looked at him, startled.

"Herb, what the hell?" chimed in Sophie.

There was a short pause. Then Herb said, still in that flat voice, "We needed to take a picture of the car. The batteries in the camera were dead so we used your cell phone that was sitting on the hall table. When we did, Mike saw some of the pictures you had on it."

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