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Retreat Treat


She knew she was blushing, but could others tell? And could they tell why? Surely they couldn't miss it. It was really quite obvious.

She took a glass of champagne off a passing tray and put the rim to her mouth, more to hide the concern that would be obvious in the tightness of lips than because she needed the champagne. This was no time for her to be getting tipsy. As a former Miss South Carolina and anchor to WCBD-NBC news in Charleston, Caroline Sullivan knew how to throttle her emotions down and step out in pride and full control.

But how was it they couldn't see what she saw?

She'd have to leave soon. She couldn't stay here. The sculptor, Drago DeRege, had already waved to her from across the Atrium Art Gallery floor. He was standing next to his contribution to the exhibit, entitled "Retreat Treat," which was part of the Spoleto music and art festival and which was formed from an artists' retreat week held in the mountains south of Asheville, North Carolina, the previous summer. She had looked coolly at him when he'd waved, though, and then at his sculpture, and had turned from him, instinctively holding her hand out for that glass of champagne.

She knew the Brazilian abstract artist, Luiz Cabrera, was here because she could hear the brassy trumpet of his laugh from across the gallery space. So self-assured, knowing he cut a striking figure, but also so much taken with himself, with his magnetism and prowess. She couldn't drift into his orbit again. She'd already decided she'd have to make up an excuse to leave early.

She'd had no idea what this exhibit was about before entering the gallery. She and Charles were patrons of Spoleto and thus were appearing at many openings and musical events, although Charles would be leaving from here for a meeting down in Savannah after this art opening, leaving attendance at the Dorrance Dance troupe performance at the Memminger Auditorium to her tonight, and not reappearing until Sunday afternoon. Charles had immediately wafted off upon entering the gallery. As a prominent member of an old Charleston family and owner of the company supplying nearly every beverage one would imagine to the city and surrounding counties, Charles' presence was in much demand.

Caroline didn't begrudge Charles his spot in the Charleston limelight. He had been a good catch for her just as she had been a first-rate trophy wife for him. She was his third, although she went to great lengths to establish that she was in no way connected to his breakup with his second wife. Still robust in his late forties—he was seventeen years Caroline's senior—he kept himself in great shape, looked a good ten years younger than he was, and could smooze and glad hand with the best of them.

He also was good, if self-centered, in bed.

She could see him across the floor, surrounded by a bevy of eager hangers on. Did he even know they were at an art opening, Caroline wondered. She hoped not. She found she had to hold her champagne glass with two hands, she was trembling so badly. Could others see it? She certainly hoped not.

"Are you OK, Caroline?" the smooth baritone voice whispered at her side. "Your smile isn't on as straight as usual, sweetheart."

"Ken, just the man I was looking for."

"I certainly hope so, doll. And that you were looking for a man." He laid his hand, discretely of course, on the rise of her buttocks through the peach silk of her gown. A proprietary gesture known to all, but one that he was keeping between the two of them.

Good ole Ken, she thought. The young, hunky GP, Kenneth Blaine. Everyone called him Ken, though, and had done so since the joke had gone around calling him and his then-wife Ken and Barbie because they were both just too perfect. He was a Ken, in fact, but her name had really been Suzie. It didn't matter. They'd been divorced for over a year. Caroline hadn't been the cause for that divorce either. The demands of his hospital residency and some of the nurses he worked with had taken care of that.

"I can't stay here. It's too stifling. And I don't think I want to go to the dance troupe performance tonight, either," Caroline said. "What I want to do is to go out to Summerplace."

"Then I think that's exactly what you should do," he answered. "Charles?"

"He's going to Savannah for two nights straight from here."

"You need a ride?"

"I'll go back to Tradd Street for my car. I'll take a taxi there. Charles expects me to leave in a taxi."

"Very good." Ken drifted off, giving a smile to Bunny Moultrie en route to an area nearer the door to Meeting Street. Caroline would wait for him to leave the gallery, giving him several minutes.

Summerplace was the unimaginatively named Sullivan summer home on the Ashley River flowing in from the southwest to give boundary to the southern side of the Charleston peninsula. Built in the mid 1750s as a rice and tea plantation, Summerplace was in the upriver area that Sullivans for generations escaped too, along with most of the rest of the wealthy in Charleston, to escape the worst of the sultry heat and the mosquitoes and stench in the city. The family had had the Tradd Street house almost as long. It had been built in 1770. All of it, the comfort and prestige, had been the biggest reason Caroline had married Charles, although he had been a premium catch beyond the family position and she didn't have to act happy to see him in bed.

She inserted herself in the group talking with her husband, at Charles' side, slipping an arm through his, and giving both him and the men he was talking to a Miss South Carolina smile, which was much appreciated all around. She was the traditional statuesque and curvy sunny blonde beauty who won beauty pageants in the South, and it didn't hurt that her stint in TV had shown her to be as smart as a whip too. That said, she was always the proper lady in public, for which society forgave her whatever whispers there were about her privately.

And in Charleston, if there weren't whispers about you, you were either four generations dead or as dull and ugly as a rock.

Doing what she could to ensure that Charles wasn't looking at the artwork, she used the first opportunity to inform him in her low, sultry voice that, "I'm going to go ahead and go. There's a snag in the Spoleto schedule that Crystal has asked me to help unsnag before the performance at the Memminger this evening."

"You do what you have to do, honey," Charles said in that hearty always-a-salesman voice of his. "Don't think Charleston can run on its own without the guiding hand of this little lady," he said to the men gathered around him. He obviously took great pride in his trophy wife. All of the men beamed, each wishing that he'd landed her first—in truth still wishing they could get her into bed—each knowing, from Charles' reputation, though, that he had the expertise in bed to hold her.

And you do what you have to do, Caroline thought a bit bitterly, while keeping her Miss South Carolina smile on her face, becoming more in control now, recovering from the initial shock that assaulted her when she arrive at the art gallery, completely unprepared for what she found. Charles' little trip to Savannah this weekend helped her in her decision where to go from the gallery. She knew the business that Charles just had to get away to in Savannah during Spoleto, where the Sullivans had major hosting responsibility, was a quadroon named Nicolette.

As she turned from Charles and his group, her tracks covered, Caroline caught a glimpse of a mammoth black man a few groups away, waving a hand, and heard a bass voice singing out, "Caroline, there you are." Pretending she didn't hear the portraitist, one of the exhibiting artists, she glided in graceful Miss South Carolina form in her peach-colored silk clingy gown toward the gallery's Church Street entrance. She could hear the distinctive laugh of Luiz floating overhead near the Meeting Street entrance. She wouldn't have left by that entrance anyway, even though it was closer to the Memminger Auditorium where she supposedly was headed, because Kenneth had used that exit.

Changing from the taxi to her own car at the townhouse, she drove out of the city and up the Ashley River Road, past Middleton Plantation to the entrance of Summerplace. Rather than driving her Audi convertible all the way to the manor house, though, she turned off onto a narrow trail leading to an old overseer's cottage, now one of their guest houses—one that Charles had let her claim for her own retreat.

Kenneth's BMW sedan was parked under some trees behind the house, but she pulled her car into a garage and closed the garage door behind her before entering the house.

There was a trail of tux clothing leading up the stairway from the entrance hall. She kicked off her heels at the bottom of the staircase, letting them rest on top of Kenneth's black patent-leather boats he called shoes and disrobed as she mounted the stairs.

Leave it to Kenneth to wear thong briefs, she mused as she climbed the last step to the second floor and paused to leave her peach-colored lace panties on top of his briefs.

He was lying on his back of the bed, his legs bent and open. He was truly a Ken in every way, but a Ken plus. He was muscular but trim. A reddish blond to her platinum blonde. And whereas the Ken doll was sexless, he was decidedly sexed. His cock was long and thickish and was erect. He took his hand away from it as Caroline appeared at the door.

Robbing cradles, she thought, but not all that much. He was only six years her junior. But whereas Charles was good, Kenneth was better, because he had the stamina of a much younger man than Charles.

She stood there for a moment, admiring him, as he, in turn, was admiring her from the bed—his erection, if anything growing. Two American thoroughbreds. Self-consciously, in a defense mechanism brought on by where she had just been and what had driven her away from there, Caroline leaned on the doorframe, her left hand covering the tattoo of a stylized gecko on her lower belly just above and inside her hip.

She didn't stand there long, though, before she walked over to the bed, hand still covering the tattoo, came up on the bed on her knees, and moved between Kenneth's spread and bent legs. His arms embraced her and his mouth went immediately to the dark aureoles and puffy nipples of her pendulous breasts. A hand brushed hers from her tattoo, and, arching her torso back toward the surface of the bed, his mouth worked its way down from her breasts to where he was kissing the tattoo.

She held her breath. Could he tell? Did he recognize it?

If he could and did, though, he didn't let it show or let it interrupt his lovemaking. Coming up on his knees between her legs, he scooted back until his mouth was able to continue across and down her belly and, lifting her pelvis up to him, buried his face in her muff and started eating her out. She moaned and writhed under his attentions, grabbing the hair on his head in her fists and holding him to her.

This was another thing the younger man did for her that Charles didn't. Charles was all about Charles. There was little of this working of her body, giving her an orgasm or two, before penetration.

After she had cried out and shuddered under the assault of his lips and teeth, Kenneth went back up on his knees and pulled her buttocks up onto his thighs. He played with her clit and between the puffed up folds of her labia with the head of his cock before rolling on the condom. She was writhing and moaning again as he repeatedly rubbed the underside of the upward curved cock through her folds and up and down on her clit, his hands grasping her waist in a firm grip that prevented her from escaping his attentions. She was grabbing one of his biceps with one hand, but the other was still defensively palming the gecko tattoo.

She was near to another explosion when he crowned his cock and slowly let the shaft sink between the folds of her cunt, sliding deep inside her. She shuddered and fired off again and again as he slid up into her. Only then did he start to pump her, to bring both of them to the level of dancing on the clouds.

Thirty minutes later, he was setting her down on his cock, facing away from him, as he lay on his back. When she was settled on him, her long, slender legs stretching back behind his slim hips and her torso cantilevered out toward the foot of the bed between his outstretched legs, he let his hands slide up her sides to cup her breasts. Both of them worked in the fuck, both of them working to pull her channel back as far as it would go on his throbbing cock and then releasing. Pulling in and releasing, pulling in and releasing, his cock reaching deep up inside her.

Positions that Charles had never even heard of—unless, of course, Nicolette was very flexible and inventive—and a second fucking so soon after the first. Caroline not regretting in the least that she'd taken a younger man as a lover. Her own Ken doll, but a divinely sexed one.

That night she went to sleep, alone, in her bedroom in the Tradd Street house, the staff out at Summerplace never having been aware she'd even been there earlier, with the somewhat comforting thought on her mind that people didn't really go to art exhibit openings to look at the art anyway.

* * * *

"Don't sweat it, sweetie. We've all been there, and it's about as stable as you're going to get married to Charles Sullivan. He's hardly going to divorce you to marry a woman with even a drop of black blood in her. He'd lose his position in Charleston in an instant, and there isn't anything that man values more than his prominence in this town."

Bunny Moultrie looked so smug that Caroline wanted to slug her—and might have done so right here on the terrace of the eighth hole café at the Country Club of Charleston months before the Spoleto festival if she hadn't been in shock. She hadn't seen this coming at all.

But why should she be in shock, she wondered. All those trips to Savannah on business. What did a beverage supplier have business to do in Savannah? Atlanta maybe, yes. A lot of the beverages came from there. But what was there in Savannah for him?

A quadroon named Nicolette, if Prissy Clayburn could be believed. Maybe, Caroline thought, she'd been put off by how horny he was when he came back from Savannah—greeting her at the bottom of the stairs of the Tradd Street mansion. Rushing up the stairs, bursting in on her, and having her on the small of her back on the foot of the bed and her legs hooked on his hips, and his him thrusting inside her and thrusting inside her, not long, but thick, quickly filling out the bulb of the condom he rolled on just in time because, he had claimed, he had already fathered enough brats. Apparently his Nicolette whetted rather than deadened his appetites, and apparently it was more STDs that Charles was worried about than having more brats in is inheritance line.

She'd actually looked forward to his returns from Savannah, as it presented him as his most vigorous. Caroline didn't disparage his cocking. She was highly sexed herself, although, other than Charles, she been a veritable nun since they'd married. He was a well-built, handsome man, if a bit on the chunky side, and he had a thickness and thrust that excited her. His fucking was all about his own pleasure and was straightforward missionary position, but he never failed to give her an orgasm before he was finished. He just had no idea that this is what the shudder she gave him meant.

She wasn't particularly excited by the prospect of having children herself. That had been a clincher for her—when he'd said he didn't want to have more children—that and the fact that he was thickest man she'd ever had inside her at that point. And that he was a real hunk for his age. And that he was rich. And that he came from one of the founding families of the Carolinas.

The four of them were taking a break from the club's annual mixed doubles tennis tournament at the club the week after Spoleto of the previous year—the Bunny and Prissy cats and the wolf, Crystal Stallings, who Caroline figured had put the others up to informing Caroline of her husband's infidelity "for her own good." Crystal was divorced and footloose now. She no doubt would love to land rich, positioned, and hunky Charles Sullivan on the rebound no matter how often he unzipped his pants in another woman's bedroom.

Caroline turned her face to Prissy and gave her the Miss South Carolina smile. "I want to thank you for telling me that, Prissy, but now we need not refer to it ever again."

"You won't divorce him, will you?" Crystal now spoke up, her tone almost hopeful.

"No, my land no," Caroline said, making her smile more conspiratorial. "In fact, it gives me a bit of relief."

"Relief?" Bunny had asked.

Caroline just smiled sweetly.

"Because it takes the guilt away, silly," Prissy supplied.

They were wrong, of course, but Caroline didn't care if they thought it was so. She had come to Charles a near regenerated virgin. She hadn't had sex with a man since she'd done what she had to do to become Miss South Carolina—and then to get the news anchor job at the TV station. And, oh yes, before all of that, that college football quarterback—and his friends. She'd then set her cap for a rich man, preferable a good-looking one. Charles had been a bingo in those departments. They'd been married six years at that point, and there had been no other man—at that point—during the marriage. She had been ready to be the perfect society matron. but one who still looked great in a bikini, of course.

She'd been very careful about that, and the reason why she'd been careful about it was the same reason she wouldn't even consider a divorce after receiving the truly shocking news—to her—that Charles had a piece set up in Savannah. She was three years shy of a full alimony from the prenup she had signed when she and Charles were married. As long as he continued supporting her—and fucking her—and giving her top-drawer status in Charleston, she wouldn't be rattling any divorce papers for at least three more years.

She would, however, let loose. Her hints of an infidelity of her own to these women she had to call friends had no foundation . . . yet. But she would see what she could do about that.

Her doubles partner in the tennis tournament was the young, rich doctor, Kenneth Blaine, who everyone called Ken because he was just so, so perfect and who was a bit glazy eyed having just come out of his residency program and out of a divorce.

He was the most desirable man in Caroline's sights that day, and he didn't stand a chance against a former Miss South Carolina. They won the mixed doubles, with Caroline coming to life as a ruthless opponent like she'd never done before.

To celebrate their victory, Caroline fucked Kenneth in the backseat of his BMW sedan in the garage of an unfinished house bordering the 4th tee of the Country Club golf course. There wasn't much room in the back of the Bimmer, but they made the most of it. She straddled his lap and descended on his cock, slapping his face with her breasts as she bounced up and down on his staff—until he came out of the daze of his good fortune enough to push her over on her back along the line of backseat, insinuate his knees between her thighs, and gave it to her hard and deep until she was panting and exploding left and right for him.

Caroline had almost forgotten how good sex could be with a man intent on giving as well as taking.

Their trysts continued, moving between his Charleston mews townhouse and the guest house at Summerplace, into the next year but were timed, whether Kenneth figured it out or not, to the visits Charles made to Savannah.

In Caroline's mind, she wasn't being unfaithful too Charles, but, rather, along with him.

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