tagLoving WivesPreemptive Strike

Preemptive Strike


[This story is inspired by "Decisions, Decisions," a story by Badwolf123. Although my story goes in a different direction I want to acknowledge that I drew a number of ideas for the opening of my story from his.]


All the way home, Nick couldn't stop grinning. He hadn't expected to hear about the promotion for another couple of weeks; but just that morning Rozand had come striding into his office and told him the good news.

"The boys upstairs really liked the way you handled that Japanese situation, Nick—and none of us sees any point in waiting around. So let me be the first one to shake the hand of our new Vice-President for Far East Sales!"

Nick had gulped, thanked Rozand, and sat with him for nearly an hour as they discussed the perks and the responsibilities of the new position. After that, Nick was simply too euphoric to stay in his office a moment longer. He called Suzanne in and gave her the news.

"Suzanne, I hope you won't mind changing jobs." He watched with amusement as her face fell.

"Nick, are you...replacing me?" She looked genuinely wounded.

"Not at all, Suzanne, you know I couldn't get a damn thing done without you! It's just that you'll have to accustom yourself to working for the Vice-President for Far East Sales—think you can handle that?"

Suzanne looked blank, then squealed with joy and gave Nick a big hug. She was a competent, rather stout middle-aged woman, a good 15 years older than Nick. But she'd worked for him practically since his first days at Thomaston Chemical and they were genuinely fond of one another. She and her husband had advised Nick and Emily on the best school districts when they were planning to buy a house; Nick had helped Suzanne's oldest son find an internship at Thomaston after his freshman year of college.

Suzanne babbled away happily, asking Nick a million questions about the new job. When he finally could get a word in edgewise he said, "I'm going to ask you to hold the fort for today, okay? I've just gotta get home and give Emily the news."

They hugged again, and Nick headed for the parking lot. Champagne, he thought. Champagne and an afternoon in bed! It was July, so Emily's summer vacation from teaching was in full swing. And both Charlie and Ben were at day camp until nearly 5:30, so there'd be plenty of time.

Nick banged the steering wheel rhythmically, singing along with the Beach Boys in a loud, not terribly pleasant baritone. No need to stop for champagne—he knew there was a bottle in the fridge unopened since their 11th anniversary about two months earlier.

He could hardly wait to burst in with his news, grab Emily and carry her upstairs to the bedroom.

But just as Nick swung the car onto Thornton Drive, he could see Emily's VW headed down the street in the opposite direction—too far away for him to catch up to her without speeding dangerously down the quiet residential street.

Shit! He grabbed his phone and called her cell, but it seemed to be turned off.

Sighing to himself, Nick parked in the garage and headed inside. Maybe she'd just gone to do the grocery shopping or run some errands; perhaps they'd still have a couple of hours later in the afternoon.

He ran upstairs and got out of his business clothes, coming back downstairs in shorts and a T-shirt. Making himself a quick sandwich and grabbing a beer, he wandered out towards the backyard patio. But as he passed the study he noticed that Emily had left the computer on. Out of pure random curiosity he went over to see what she'd been doing.

Her email was open, but it wasn't her school account. Instead it was a Hotmail account he knew nothing about, and her user name was Jane309, using her middle name and her birthday. Why did she have a second email account?

He glanced at the Sent folder, seeing only two names: her sister April out in California and an unfamiliar one: jpritz@yahoo.com. There were about eight messages to that address, including her most recently sent one. Nick clicked it open:


"ohmygod your message made my nipples stand up! I can't risk Sunday—no telling what Nick might be doing. Let's meet there Monday at 11. I can't wait!

"xxoo E"

Nick sat back in shock, staring at the screen. What the fuck?


His lunch forgotten, Nick grimly settled down to dig through Emily's email and do some digging on the Web. It took an hour before he had the full picture.

Jason Pritzker was an educational consultant who had spent two weeks at Emily's school in early May, leading professional development workshops with the teachers. The picture on his web page showed a good-looking guy who appeared to be in his late thirties, a couple of years older than Nick and Emily. He was married with several kids and lived over in Jefferson Meadows, past the airport to the east of Columbus, about 25 miles from Nick and Emily's house in Grove City.

From what Nick could tell, Pritzker had set his sights on Emily during the workshops and pursued her since. Their exchanged messages had begun cautiously, but then become increasingly open and passionate. Pritzker wrote two weeks earlier that "kissing you was the most erotic experience of my entire life—I carry around on my lips the indelible memory of you."

They'd met alone at least three times—and it was clear that while Pritzker hadn't fucked her yet, he was getting close. His most recent message to Emily had read

"My beautiful E:

"I have never seen, or touched, such gorgeous breasts in my life. You are a goddess!

"We need more time—I ache, I burn to BE with you, completely, at last. Can you get away Sunday, to the usual place?

"Your J"

The only person that Emily had apparently confided in about her affair, not surprisingly, was her big sister April. Also not surprisingly, April was horrified and kept trying to talk her out of it. A week earlier she'd written

"Are you out of your mind? Remember what happened to my friend Monica? How her husband found out and threw her out of the house? Did you know she's living in a tiny apartment and only gets to see her kids twice a week? Is fucking some handsome stranger a few times going to be worth it if Nick finds out?"

There were three or four other messages like that from April, all along the same lines. In one she wrote

"Nick LOVES you, Em—and he makes a good living and is a fantastic father to Charlie and Ben. You told me yourself that you couldn't imagine being married to a better man, and that you love him now even more than you did when you guys got married. So WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?"

It seemed that Emily didn't have very good answers to that question—though Nick was hardly an unbiased judge. In one of her first messages to April about Pritzker she wrote that

"I'm hardly going to DO anything with the guy—It's just flirting, and it's harmless. And I've gotta admit, fun!

"God, April, married life can be so repetitive! Teach my students, cook the meals, wash the dishes, do the laundry, pick up the boys, do the shopping, kiss Nick, watch some TV, fall asleep, and then get up and do it all over again.

"When I'm with Jason there's that spark, you know? He looks into my eyes, holds my hands, tells me how beautiful I am—and I feel like a girl again! I'm certainly not going to break up my marriage over this; it's just a little bit of excitement."

And more recently she wrote

"Just chill a little, okay? It's just a fling, it probably won't even last a month! And I'm certainly not going to let Nick find out—I'm being super careful.

"But I can't even tell you what a turn-on it was when he—well, when we petted a little. I was just dripping! Sex with him is going to be amazing!

"And then it'll be done and Nick will have me back, happier than ever. And probably hornier, too—he's gonna love it."


Nick knew he had to get out of there. He didn't want to even SEE Emily; he needed to deal with the shock and the pain. And the anger.

He left the computer exactly as he had found it. He wolfed down his sandwich and put everything away, leaving the kitchen the way it had looked before. He ran upstairs, changed back into his business clothes, and left the house.

An idea was already brewing, but Nick knew he needed some time to think it through. He drove straight to the gym and swam laps for an hour. By the time he was showering and getting dressed, he'd pretty much worked out what he was going to do.

Nick was a direct, straightforward, goal-oriented person. As a 14-year old he'd decided he wanted more money, and he worked to put together the largest paper route he could handle. In college he'd earned a business degree in only three years because he was eager to get out into the world and make a career.

And when he met Emily at a friend's birthday party, two years after graduation, he knew after their first date that he wanted to marry her. He wooed her ardently, energetically, and romantically. He found out that she loved the ballet and got tickets. When he met her mother he asked her about Emily's favorite flowers, and bought them for her.

He did, in short, what he always did: he went after what he wanted without dithering. After eight months they were practically living together; and when Nick proposed, at Clemente's after a long romantic dinner, she cried and said, "Yes Nick, yes!" threw her arms around him, and marveled at the ring he slid onto her finger, as the people all around them smiled.

Was their marriage perfect? Certainly not—but Nick would have said it was great. Emily was generous and loving. She had a great sense of humor, she was terrific with their boys, and Nick knew that she loved him. Their sex life had gotten a bit routine, above all because two careers and taking care of an eight year-old and a six year-old added up to a lot of work, but it was still pretty satisfying.

Nick had had absolutely no idea that Emily was feeling restless or frustrated, let alone that she might be slipping into an affair. And it pissed him off beyond measure that she was doing it so cold-bloodedly. This was no drunken one-time mistake, something he might have been able to understand. No, some shithead was wooing her, leading her on, and she was reveling in it, thinking that some little "fling" was perfectly acceptable because her life was getting a bit stale.

Nick found himself clenching his teeth, thinking about all this. She wanted a change? He'd give her a fucking change—though it wouldn't be the one she wanted!


When he stepped in the door around 6:30, same as usual, Nick had his plans pretty well-worked out. He'd spent two hours in the library with his laptop, exchanging messages with Brian Wenders, his friend who worked in IT. Brian had sent him the file he needed, along with detailed instructions on how to use it.

Nick was so fucking furious at Emily that he figured there was no way she'd fail to notice that something was up. Fortunately for his plan, it didn't matter. In fact, that was part of the plan: for Emily to get the uneasy feeling that something was bothering Nick, something he wasn't ready to talk about.

So when he found her in the kitchen and gave her a kiss, he let his eyes avoid hers, he pulled away from her hug a little faster than usual, he went off to say hello to the boys a little more abruptly. At dinner he let himself seem a bit distant, troubled.

Emily noticed all this, and he could see it confused her. When the boys were in bed and they were watching TV in the bedroom she asked him what was wrong.

"Is it something at work, honey? You seem so distracted tonight." She was concerned, but not frightened, he could see that. She didn't suspect yet that it had to do with her.

He sighed heavily. "I've ... just got some stuff on my mind, that's all. Some decisions to make."

"About work? Is it that promotion thing, still up in the air?"

He looked at her seriously, holding the silence a moment too long. "No, it's... nothing like that, nothing with work."

Emily slid over to take his hands. "Then what, baby? Don't let it twist you up—tell me what's going on." She was all love and support, quite sincere, and it infuriated him.

He pulled his hands away and said, "I'm not ready to talk about it, Em. Maybe... maybe in a few days. I've got to do some thinking first."

Emily stared at him. This was so uncharacteristic of her husband that it troubled her; but he could see that she still wasn't frightened. It hadn't occurred to her that he knew about her and that asshole Pritzker.

"Okay Nick," she said finally. "Just don't shut me out, okay? I love you—let me help."

He grunted noncommittally and turned back to the TV, feeling her gaze on him.

At about 10:30 Emily went down the hall to check on the boys, and when she returned she went into the bathroom to get ready for bed. When she emerged Nick knew what she had in mind. She was wearing a light blue nightie, Nick's favorite, and she'd brushed out her hair and left it down around her shoulders. She looked fantastic.

"Baby," she said, in a girlish voice that he usually found almost unbearably sexy, "maybe I can help you ... forget your problems for a few minutes." She crept onto the bed and started sliding her hands up and down his body, stroking his legs and chest through his clothes.

Nick had thought about this—and he'd decided that making love to her, but badly, would shake her up even more than just refusing sex. So he played along, kissed Emily back and let her strip his clothes off, joined her in their typical foreplay, but made sure to show less than his usual enthusiasm.

When she was more than ready for the actual fucking and pulled him up between her legs, Nick hesitated. He let Emily guide his cock into her, but once there he began to hump her listlessly, without energy. He made himself think about her with that bastard Pritzker, imagining them together: him with his hands on Emily's beautiful breasts, her sucking his dick, him lying between her legs with his hairy ass going up and down.

That did it! As Nick anticipated, his erection softened perceptibly. Concentrating on the mental images of her betrayal, he continued to thrust into her, but with diminishing success. He let himself slow down, like a wind-up toy running out of energy; then he withdrew his half-hard cock and rolled to one side.

Emily looked at him in shock and dismay. "Baby! What's wrong? Are you ..." She didn't know how to finish the sentence.

Making himself look past her, towards the far wall, Nick mumbled, "Sorry, Em, I just ... I guess I have a lot on my mind. I, uh ... sorry."

He got up and went into the bathroom to brush his teeth, grinning fiercely to himself. When he returned, he avoided her eyes as he turned off the light and got into bed on his side, rolling to put his back to her. Emily spooned up close behind him, stroking his back and murmuring to him.

"It's okay baby, we'll try again tomorrow." Nick grimaced to himself. Wife, you have no idea what's coming your way!


All weekend Nick played the distracted, worried husband, and Emily became more and more concerned. He tried not to overdo it—but he sighed, looked away from her a lot, and once or twice shrank away from her attempts to embrace him. He didn't breathe a word about her dalliance with Pritzker, and he couldn't tell whether it had occurred to her that he might have discovered it. But he could see that she was seriously worried.

When it was time for Charlie's tee-ball game, Nick begged off. "You take the boys, Em—I'm going to uh, do a little work here. I've got some stuff to think about."

She looked stricken. The two of them hadn't missed any of Charlie's Saturday games, and usually Nick could hardly wait to get there. But she just smiled and said, "okay, baby," and came over to rub his shoulders for a minute.

As soon as they were out of the house Nick retrieved his laptop and went into the study. He downloaded the keylogger program that Brian had sent him onto a flash drive, inserted it into Emily's computer and installed it. Within ten minutes he had it working perfectly: at Nick's command it would reproduce all activity from Emily's computer onto Nick's laptop.

A little searching revealed that her Hotmail account was password-protected; no surprise there. The password was "CharlieBen." Nick saw that Emily had sent no new messages since the day before. "Good," he said to himself, and he went off to pack a suitcase, which he then hid behind the sofa in the living room.

On Saturday night Nick refused sex entirely, mumbling vague excuses to Emily about being "tired;" and all day Sunday he largely ignored her, spending the entire day playing with the boys, doing all their favorite things.

By Sunday night Emily seemed really frightened, but Nick fended off all her attempts to talk about it. He went to bed early and again turned his back to her, stiffening noticeably when she spooned up against him.


Monday was the day Nick intended to drop the hammer. That morning at breakfast with the kids he adopted the role of a troubled guy trying to act normal—forcing smiles, giving his wife a big kiss while looking over her shoulder, seeming a little distracted.

When he left at 8:30 he drove most of the way to work, then stopped and parked in the lot of a KFC. Pulling out his laptop, he logged into Emily's Hotmail account. Had he shaken her up enough to change her plans?

Sure enough there were two new messages. The first one had been sent by Emily on Sunday afternoon while he was playing with the boys in the back yard. It said

"Hey April:

"Something's up with Nick—he's distracted and troubled and won't talk to me about it. I don't think it's work; it's like he's guilty about something, almost afraid of me. Can I call you tomorrow to talk?

"Love E"

And the second one to that dickhead Pritzker was even shorter, and quite satisfying. Emily had written it that morning at 8:38, five minutes after Nick had left the house.

"Dear Jason:

I'm sorry, I can't meet you today, or ever again. I let my attraction to you get out of control, but I need to stop.

Please don't contact me any more.

I'm sorry—


Nick sat back and reflected. He'd gotten part of what he wanted, that was clear: Emily was worried enough about her marriage to see what a bad idea her whoring around with Jason Pritzker was. Whatever she imagined was bothering her husband, seeing him upset and distant had pulled her priorities back into a better balance.

But was that enough? Fuck no!

The answer was "fuck no!" for two very good reasons, one rational and the other less so. Nick realized that his unexplained behavior had put a major scare into Emily, and apparently brought her flirtation with that asshole to a stop. But did it mean she'd never stray again? He didn't see why. What would prevent this from happening again, a year or five years from now, when she was reassured that everything was okay in her marriage? Couldn't she succumb to her "lack of excitement" just as easily then? To say the least, Nick didn't have any faith that it would never happen.

The second reason was simple enough: Nick was furious! He was hurt and he was angry. He'd given Emily everything: his heart, his devotion, his hard work, two fantastic boys they both adored. Did she think that HIS life was constant excitement? And yet HE wasn't fucking around secretly with some bimbo, the way she'd been doing with that dickhead!

No, that email to Jason was good news, but not nearly enough to stop from going ahead with what he'd planned.


At 10:15 Nick pulled his car back into the driveway. He'd already let the office know he'd be out for the morning. His plan had been to surprise Emily as she was dressing to go off to meet Pritzker, but she'd canceled that meeting. Instead he found her on the phone, probably to her sister.

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