Sandy, Lee and Me: The Endbymannytheman©
It had become dark outside, and Lee and I were dressed now. She was on the couch and I was making us martinis in the kitchen. Neither of us was hungry.
I brought her drink over and lifted my glass to hers. We didn't have anything to celebrate; I was feeling devastated, and Lee seemed shell-shocked. But still, in the feeble smile she gave me as we clinked our glasses, that inextinguishable fire burned in her blue eyes. That fire, even more than her impossibly gorgeous body or her irresistibly seductive antics, was what had drawn me to her and into the purgatory we now found ourselves in.
She bent her head to take a sip and then looked up at me.
"Dan," she began.
"Just wait, OK?" I tried to pull all my thoughts together. What could I say that would in any way make this better? I could tell her it was all my fault, but we'd both been more than willing conspirators. I could tell her everything was going to be all right, but I didn't believe that myself. The more I thought, the clearer it became to me that I didn't have any solutions. But I had to say something.
"Listen." Lee looked at me expectantly.
"Sandy just ran out of here, right?" Lee nodded. "OK," I continued. "So she doesn't have any of her stuff with her, and no place to go, really. That means she's got to come home. And when she does, we can all sit down and try to talk this whole mess out."
Jesus. Was that the best I could come up with? Lee's eyes narrowed, and I could see she thought this was as lame as I did, but I went on. "I don't see what else we can do. I mean, she's my, what, my lover, and your best friend..."
"Oh, god," Lee moaned. "That's exactly why I can't face her. Really, Dan. I can't."
I went over and knelt on the floor in front of her, willing her to look at me. "However this turns out, you've got to know one thing. I don't regret a second of what we did."
Lee was shaking her head, and I laid my hands alongside her neck, my thumbs caressing her damp cheeks and my fingers tangling in her hair. "Yeah. OK," she said. "I know. Me, too. But you know what I mean. It's like you plugged me into some electric current that I didn't even know existed. That's nothing I could ever talk to Sandy about."
I heard her say that and knew there was no better way to describe what had happened between us. Then, oh jesus, her soft arms were resting on my shoulders and her fingers were playing between my shoulder blades, and her eyes came up to mine and glowed bright blue. I pulled her closer, and the phone rang.
We leapt apart. Lee looked over at the kitchen counter and then back at me. The phone jangled again.
"Go on. Answer it. You know it's her."
My legs shook as I got up and stumbled to the counter. I looked back at Lee, and she had her head buried in her hands. I took a deep breath and picked up the receiver.
A blast of music hit my ear, and I said, "Hello."
"Is that you, you bastard?" She slurred the s in bastard, and I knew she'd been drinking.
"Sandy, where are you?"
"Like you care, you fucker."
"Come on. Tell me where you are and I'll come get you." Then it occurred to me that she had the car. "No. Take a taxi. Just come home."
"Oh, sure. That'd be wonderful. The three of us. You'd love that, wouldn't you?" Her voice rose to a scream. "Where is she, damn it? You're fucking her right now, aren't you? You're fucking her and you're both laughing at me."
"Come on, Sandy. Take it easy. Lee's upstairs," I lied.
"Take it easy? Take it easy?" She was wailing now. "You'd know all about that. You take it any way you can get it, goddamn you! You take it on the god damn stairs. With my best friend. Tell me, Dan. Where else did you do it?" The wails turned to sobs. "Oh, god, please don't tell me you fucked her in our bed."
I hadn't, but I wasn't going to get into that. "Sandy. Please come home."
The music stopped and there was a moment of silence on the phone. Then Sandy's voice came back. No sobs. No recriminations. Crystal clear and suddenly sober.
"Yeah. OK. I'll come home. But I don't want to see that bitch, and I don't want you in my bed. I'll call a cab. It'll probably be a half hour before it gets here, and then another twenty minutes before I'm home. That gives you two fifty minutes to figure out how you're going to explain yourselves to me in the morning. The clock's ticking, Dan."
"Sandy. Wait," I said, but the line was dead.
I hung up and turned to Lee. "Well, that went about as well as could be expected."
"I don't think I want to hear about it. I'm going to bed."
I nodded and watched her climb the stairs, then turned out the lights and lay on my back on the couch. I crossed my hands behind my head and wondered how I'd ever gotten into this situation. I pictured Sandy, her dark, slim beauty. I remembered the good times we'd had together, and her smile and the way she looked at me. I shook my head, unable to fathom how I'd let that get away from me, and latched onto a thin hope that I could get it back.
Then, unbidden, pictures of Lee started to flood my brain. Her body in a bathing suit. Out of a bathing suit. The challenge in her eyes. Her blue eyes. And I knew that as much as I wanted Sandy back, I was powerless to resist Lee. I knew what I'd told her before was true. I didn't regret anything. I'd do it again in a heart-beat.
Contemplating your weakness is never comfortable, but that's all I had. I'd taken the love of an ideal woman, and a perfect relationship, and I'd trashed them. I'd been on the road to heaven with Sandy; I really believed that. What we had together had been as perfect as i could imagine two people having. I clenched my hands at my forehead, willing myself to make something of this situation, to come to grips with what had happened and sort out what to do next. I couldn't. I sank into a funk, stuck with all my short-comings. And I knew I'd never be able to get myself out of this.
Lights flickered through the windows and I heard the taxi pull up outside. The car door slammed and the cab drove away. I realized I was holding my breath, waiting to hear Sandy's footsteps. All I heard was the swish of the front door opening, and then the click of the latch as it shut. I knew then that she was barefoot and trying to make as little noise as possible. I felt the air move as she came into the living-room, and I closed my eyes.
Was I hoping she'd stop and touch me, acknowledge me in any way? Of course I was. My muscles were as tight as a drum-head. Then the loose board on the fifth stair creaked, and I knew I was alone. My body uncoiled and sleep came over me.
The sun shining through the window and the smell of coffee made it seem like any other day on the Vineyard when I woke up. Then I realized I was on the couch and I remembered why. I was in deep shit. I wanted to go back to sleep, to forget it all and maybe wake up someplace else, but I knew that wasn't going to happen. So I got up to face the music.
Walking to the kitchen was like walking into last week. Sandy was at the table in her short white robe, sipping her coffee. She looked delectably rumpled, as sweet and tan and beautiful and sexy as I'd ever seen her. She seemed unaware of my presence, and as I watched her, I wanted more than anything to step into a time-machine and undo everything.
Then her dark eyes flicked up and caught mine. I thought I'd seen everything in them before: love, laughter, pleasure, passion, sheer joy; but her look of cool appraisal was new to me. I was suddenly intensely aware that I was unshaved and hadn't showered, and as often as Sandy had seen me like this before, my discomfort increased.
I wanted to pretend I hadn't seen her, to slip upstairs and do something, anything, to prepare myself for what was coming, but she lowered her cup to the table and said, "Come sit down, Dan."
The last few steps to the kitchen table were an endless death-march. I got through it somehow and pulled out the chair opposite her and sank into it. I waited for the onslaught, and when Sandy stood up, my shoulders hunched.
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I raised my eyes and saw Sandy walk to the counter to re-fill her mug and pour one for me. She came back, set my coffee in front of me, and took her place at the table.
"So. Not exactly what we envisioned for our vacation," she said in a conversational tone.
My brain was in over-drive, trying to get a handle on her mood. Last night on the phone she'd been furious, then hysterical, and finally icily angry. Though I'd done my best not to think about this morning, I'd expected some serious fireworks. Now the last thirty seconds had given me a glimmer of hope that I might get out of this with my manhood and our relationship intact. I knew I had to let her take the lead.
"No. Not exactly." I studied my coffee cup.
"Dan. Look at me." I knew I had too. "Our first week here was perfect. This house, this island. The sun. The beaches. It was idyllic. And then with Lee, too. I've never felt so relaxed as the evenings we spent together. Remember?"
I did. The feelings, not just the sexual tension, but the camaraderie, the loose, easy sense of togetherness, washed over me. That Sandy could bring this all up now, after what had happened, gave me new hope. I put my hand out across the table and covered hers. She smiled at me.
"Why don't you go get Lee up. We'll need to talk."
I pulled her hand to me and kissed her fingers. She didn't back away. I looked at her, trying again to fathom her mood. There was nothing there I could get hold of. I got up and went up the stairs.
Lee was curled into the fetal position on her bed. Her blonde hair spread across the pillow behind her head, and the sheet was down around her hips. I'd never seen her asleep, and in the morning sunlight she looked absolutely innocent. I sat on the edge of the bed and caressed her shoulders until she began to move. She rubbed her eyes with her knuckles like a baby and turned onto her back.
"Yeah, it's me. Good morning."
She went from sleep to panic in seconds. "Sandy didn't come back?"
"Shh. Relax. She's here."
Her eyes widened as her alarm heightened. "What are you doing? You've got to get out of here," she whispered. She pushed at me with her hands. I grabbed them and pressed them back gently until they were beside her head on the pillow. I kissed her on her forehead.
"It's OK," I told her, sitting back up.
Her face was all confusion, unsure of what she was hearing. Holding her wrists, I bent forward and kissed the corner of her right eye. "It's..." I kissed the corner of her left eye. "...I think, somehow..." I kissed the corner of her right eye again..."I think it's going to be OK,"
She was about to say something, but before she could, I kissed her lips. Just a soft, sweet good-morning kiss, Her lips turned to velvet under mine. I knew this was not the time to continue, and I pulled back from her. But the stretch of her neck and the rise of her breasts in the morning light were irresistible. Sandy was downstairs and I was holding Lee pinned to the mattress. All the danger, all the thrills, rushed through me. And Lee's eyes, when I could tear my own away from the sight of her on her back, on the bed, somehow resisting me and urging me on at the same time, were burning. I pushed harder on her wrists, and she arched up to me.
Her voice brought me back to some semblance of normalcy.
She was looking up at me. "I don't think it's going to be OK."
Whatever Sandy had said downstairs, however composed she'd been, I knew in that moment that Lee was right. I eased off, but then the sight of her, on her back, submissive, her arms up like that and her breasts rising, was more than I could take. I kissed her left nipple. She fought my hands, but at the same time rose farther off the bed. I kissed her neck where the throbbing artery met the curve of her shoulder. I could have stayed there forever. Then her hands were free from mine and forcing me away from her.
I came back into the present.
"Sandy." That's all she said. All she needed to say.
My passion and my erection withered together. What had I been thinking?
"Oh, yeah. Right. She's waiting. Get yourself together. I'll see you downstairs." I rose off the bed and walked toward the door.
"Dan?" she said again. "What's going to happen?"
I turned back. Lee was on the edge of the bed, looking at me.
"I don't know. I really don't know."
I went out the door and back down the stairs. Sandy was where I'd left her, sitting at the table, and her eyes raised to mine.
"She'll be right down," I told her.
Sandy nodded and took a sip of her coffee.
I didn't know what I should do, and I just stood there, fidgeting, wondering if I should sit again at the table. Sandy offered me no help. I was trying to figure what to say when I heard Lee behind me on the stairs. She came down slowly, but before I could turn to look at her, Sandy stood and pulled out the chair next to her.
I completed my turn. Lee was on the bottom step. She had on her short silk robe, and she hadn't done anything to get herself ready for whatever was coming. Her hair was a blonde, glorious mess, her breasts thrust out through the lose silk, and her long lightly tanned legs stretched forever above her bare feet.
I gawked as she sauntered over to the table and sat down. I looked at Sandy. Her sweet brown eyes gave nothing away. "Coffee, Lee?"
"No. I don't think so." The hot blue fire I'd seen so often in her eyes flashed and then turned passive as she looked at Sandy.
"All right, then." Sandy sat down. "Let's get to it." She looked at me and I had to look away. What the hell was going on? I had been sure this was all going to work out.
Sandy leaned forward and rested her arms on the table. "So, Lee. You've been fucking my man." There it was. There was nothing sweet in her eyes now, and I backed away from the table.
I couldn't believe what I'd just heard. I could tell Sandy was shocked at Lee's answer. She rocked back and all her muscles slackened. Before she could recover, Lee was going on. "Are you kidding? Fuck him? I hardly have to touch him to make him come."
Sandy's eyes were wide open as she shifted her glance to me. Blood rushed to my cheeks and I backed further away from the table. She didn't have to ask anything; it was all over my face. But she did.
What could I say? What could I do? Sandy turned back to Lee and we both watched as Lee eased back in her chair and her robe opened. Her breasts swelled against the silk and she lifted a foot and laid it on the table. The long line of her thigh and the beginnings of the curve of her ass were exposed to us. Sandy gasped at what she saw. Lee just looked at her. The bright blue fire in her eyes lit up again, daring Sandy to respond.
This was my moment to step in, to say something in this short tiny moment that might turn aside the animosity that was building between them. I felt my mouth open and then close before anything could come out. My eyes flitted back and forth between them.
Sandy was leaning back in her chair, slack jawed. glancing sometimes up at me but mostly looking at Lee's brazen display. I was looking at Sandy, trying to gauge her take on what was going on, but my eyes kept shifting to Lee in her chair.
The fire in Lee's eyes had dimmed again and a languid, supremely self-assured look had taken its place. She looked down over her stretched leg and then up into Sandy's eyes.
"Get real, Sandy." She lifted her other leg and crossed a perfect foot over her perfect ankle. "He's a guy." Her robe fell away from her legs and I had to stare at the shaved mound just hidden between her thighs. I pulled my eyes away and looked over at Sandy.
Two minutes ago, Sandy had had all the cards in her hand. She'd had me, the cheating boyfriend, and Lee, the evil seductress, right where she wanted us. That must have been how she saw it; that's absolutely the way I saw it. Now she was staring up at me, willing me to say something to restore the balance of power here.
I wanted to say something. I mean, it was Sandy, and she was right. We had a history. She needed me. I knew I could fix this all right now. I didn't need any excuse. All I had to do was say it. Look into her eyes and tell her.
Lee shifted in her chair and the spell was broken. Sandy and I both looked at her and she continued as if the moment had never occurred.
"Oh, please, Sandy. You shave me on the couch and turn around and then you're all like, oh where did that big hard-on come from, Dan? You don't think he was watching me the whole time?"
Sandy was stunned, her eyes darting back and forth between me and Lee.
"You don't know what happened after that, do you, Sandy? When the fix-it man pulled up?"
Oh, jesus, I thought. Let it go, Lee. Please just let it go.
"You don't have to believe me. Dan can tell you, can't you, Dan? No? Well, I guess it's up to me. Dan, with his big fat raging hard-on, just touched me and he was coming all over me. Buckets. I was in the shower for a half hour washing it off me."
Sandy was looking at me now, her eyes wide, beseeching. I can't imagine what my face looked like; I could feel the blood pulsing through my cheeks, but whether from embarrassment or Lee's story, I couldn't say.
Finally I found my voice.
"Look. Lee. Sandy. Can't we just..."
Lee's eyes flashed furious at me. "No, we can't. Tell her now. Tell her you want to be with me."
Sandy gasped and turned to me. "Really, Dan? Is that what you want?"
I mouthed a few more silent responses, and then Lee was continuing.
"That night at the restaurant? When we were dancing? What were you thinking, Sandy? Letting him dance with me like that. You know he was dying out there on the dance floor. Dying to fuck me. And you just watched."
All of a sudden this had become just between them, and I just stood there watching. "Tell me," Lee said. "You saw it. Tell me which moment turned you on most. Because it had to. Why else would you let him do it? Was it when he finally pushed against me and I couldn't let him go? Yeah, I loved that, too."
Lee stretched in her chair. She'd become the focus of this whole scene, and neither Sandy or I could tear our eyes away from her.
"But for me, it was one small moment. When I let my arms fall around his neck. He just lost it then. I could have made him come right there. Couldn't I, Dan?"
I was right back in this, in a place I didn't want to be.
Then Sandy stood up. She's not tall, but at that moment she seemed to tower over the table. She leaned forward and rested on her fists and glared at Lee.
"You think it's that easy, do you? You think you can come in here with your blonde hair and your big boobs and your long legs and just fuck my boyfriend away from me. That's it, isn't it? Miss look-at-me Lee in my tiny white bathing suit just dying to be shaved. Flash your pussy at Dan and Sandy's gone. Well, think again, honey."
Lee's eyes burned bright as she looked up at Sandy. "Give me a break. It was that easy. Who do you think he jerked off to every morning?"
Sandy flicked a glance at me before she turned back to Lee. "He'd probably jerk off at an onion if it peeled itself."
Lee stared at Sandy open-mouthed. Sandy stood there, her hip cocked under her short silk robe and her sweet brown legs exposed.
I watched them both; Sandy rampant, leaning over the table, and Lee, in all her glorious un-covered slack, loose beauty, glaring up at Sandy.
This was it. The show-down. I stood petrified in the frozen silence, wondering what would come next.
Then Sandy smiled, and Lee broke out laughing. They both looked at me. Sandy, still smiling, turned to Lee and put her hand on Lee's ankle.