tagGroup SexThe Valentine’s Affair

The Valentine’s Affair


Stores were packed the Saturday after Christmas, with every imaginable gimmick in play to make a quick buck off those of us who didn't quite get what we wanted, or didn't get it in the right size, or who just wanted to window shop for deals. I was out and about grabbing dog food and some other necessities, and I gritted my teeth as I walked into yet another store packed to the gills with a pulsing mass of shoppers.

Toward the back, I found what I was looking for: a doll for my niece which my wife had singled out as a quick bargain—the girl's birthday came the month after Christmas, so we always went for the post-holiday deals to save money on her gifts.

"Find everything OK?" I glanced up as a pretty Korean girl approached me. I saw that she wore the tan slacks and red vest of a store employee.

"Oh yeah." I quickly stood, holding the doll aloft. "Got what I needed. Now, if I can just make it out of here alive." I grimaced, and then laughed. She giggled.

"Totally get it," she said. "If I can help you find anything else, just let me know. My name's Jen."

I smiled. "Thank you Jen." I glanced toward the front of the store, dismayed. No fewer than thirty people stood waiting for the lone cashier to scan their items. I turned to the girl with a shrug. "But unless you have some ultra express checkout line, I may be out of options for today. I need to get home soon." I checked my watch anxiously, and then looked at the doll before extending it back toward the shelf.

"Sure, I can help you," she said. I blinked up at her. She shot me a wink and a bright smile. "Come with me."

She didn't wait for a response, just turned and walked down the aisle, away from the checkout lines toward the back of the store. I followed her, still holding the doll.

The girl reached a thick white door along the back wall of the store marked "Employees Only" and pushed it open with one hand, holding it open for me to pass. "This way," she said.

I walked through the door into a narrow hall, and then I let her squeeze past to lead the way.

"Sorry," she called back over her shoulder as we walked down a narrow hall. "We're short-staffed today because of the break. It's just me and Karissa working, and the other register is down." Her hair swung in a long, intricate braid down her back to rest between her shoulder blades. I admired her smooth, confident gait—a woman in charge.

She took off the lanyard around her neck, which bore a small brass key, and slotted it into another door. "However," she said, stepping through the door and flipping a switch to bathe the room beyond in fluorescent light, "I think I can ring you up back here." She looked over her shoulder at me conspiratorially, and added, "Just don't tell anyone." Then she giggled, and I couldn't help but chuckle too.

She had a contagious laugh that made me forget for a moment why we were even back here. My imagination ran wild for a few seconds, imagining us in another life together, sneaking away to make out at the back of the store. I ran my thumb over my wedding ring, remembering this wasn't that life, and we were not here for that.

Jen crossed the room to a small card table, where an iPad sat charging. "We've got the whole point-of-sale system installed on here, but we're not cleared by corporate to use it on the floor yet." She rolled her eyes and unlocked the device. "Would definitely make days like today a whole lot easier if they'd just get with the program already."

I watched her as she unplugged the charger and bent to place it in a drawer under a coatrack along the wall. Her slacks smoothed across a trim butt, and I caught myself staring just in time to divert my gaze before she spun back to face me.

"Now, which item is it?" she asked. I held the doll out to her.

"Thanks for doing this," I said. "You definitely didn't have to go out of your way for me."

"Oh, it's fine," she said. "I get to be helpful, it's what I'm here for, isn't it?" She crossed back to the small table holding the doll. This time, I stared openly at her as she walked, appreciating her long legs and trim waist. Without realizing I had done it, I slipped my wedding ring from my finger and let it drop into my pocket. Call it dick-brain, but I was suddenly lost in a fantasy world with this girl I had just met.

"Can you give me your phone number?" she asked.

"Huh?" I said, caught off guard.

"For the system," she said. She gestured to the iPad.

"Oh," I said. "Sure." I gave her the number and watched her type the digits with a slender finger. I was staring again.

A voice buzzed suddenly through the intercom above us, and we both jumped slightly.

"Attention shoppers," her coworker's voice came through the speaker, all business, with a touch of dismay, "I'm sorry to announce all of our registers are down, and we're unable to ring up your items at this time."

Jen and I looked at each other.

"Due to the nature of this problem," the announcement continued, "we'll need to close the store temporarily until repairs have been made. I really do apologize for the inconvenience." Then the message ended with a click and a noisy beep.

"Well shit," Jen muttered, before she remembered I was in the room. She turned to me with a start, covering her mouth demurely. "I'm so sorry," she said, blushing. "Gotta watch my language."

"It's fucking OK," I said with a smirk. She giggled, a laugh so cute that I couldn't help but shoot her a wink in return. Her blush deepened.

I felt like the ice had broken, and I also noticed that she suddenly grew much shyer than she'd been before. With a glance up at me and a bat of her long lashes, she turned back to the iPad, busying herself ringing up the item.

We heard the door to the hallway open.

"Shit," Jen said again, turning and looking at me in alarm. "I can't let Karissa know I brought you back here." She was already pushing me back into a janitor's closet and closing the door. "Stay here a sec and stay quiet. I'll get rid of her."

From the darkness of the closet, I stood and listened.

The door to the hallway opened an instant later, and the other girl entered the break room.

"I've had it with this store," Karissa said, fuming. "Everything breaks at the worst possible time."

"I know," Jen said, commiserating. "Makes me wish I knew how to repair those stupid registers myself."

"Do you want to take off?" the other girl said. "I'll close the store, I don't mind."

"No!" Jen jumped in, a little too eagerly. She quickly added, "Let me close this time. You go take care of stuff, get some rest. I could use some time here to wind down a little."

Even though I couldn't see them, I could tell the other girl hadn't fully bought the line.

"It'll be nice," Jen added hopefully.

"OK," Karissa trailed off, "if you're sure..." She seemed to accept her coworker's offer, I thought. Then, suddenly, I heard her crossing the room toward my hiding place. I froze. I racked my brain for some explanation I could offer about why I was there, but in the end I knew that if she opened that door, the jig was up.

Her steps trailed closer, but then they stopped at the wall, just two paces away. I exhaled quietly as I heard her grab a bag from the coat hook next to the closet door and, turning, cross the room back to the hallway. She called back to Jen as she left, "Thanks babe, I owe you one." I heard her blow a kiss, and then the door closed, and Karissa's footsteps receded down the hall.

Seconds later, Jen pulled open the door. "Sorry about that!" She raised her eyebrows and shot me an apologetic smile. "Gotta watch it around Karissa, she's been known to bite."

I laughed. "It's OK Jen," I said.

She looked at me quizzically, cocking her head.

"What?" I asked. Something I'd said?

"Oh nothing," she said, looking down, then back up. "It's just nice to hear my name, I guess." She smiled at me, and it suddenly felt like this wasn't the smile she gave her average customer. It felt special, somehow, like we'd tripped over into some new territory.

"Hey," Jen said. "Since we're alone now..." She stopped. Biting her lip, she spun on her heel and walked slowly away from me toward the table, where she spun back around to face me and hoisted herself backward up onto the tabletop, dangling her legs free.

"Yes?" I asked, watching her and suddenly feeling my blood pulse hot in my veins. My heart thudded at something like twice its normal speed. The girl looked plain hot. Shoulders scrunched, palms on the table, looking down with the smile of a rowdy teen as her feet swung back and forth. She looked up at me suddenly and met my gaze. Her eyes narrowed.

"What do you think of me?" she asked, leaning back slightly and studying my face from across the room. I blinked.

"Um," I said.

At that moment, my phone rang loudly from the front pocket of my jeans. Flustered, I clutched for it and dug it out. "Amber," the screen read, and my wife's photo stared back at me.

"Uh, I—I have to take ... this," I managed.

The girl slid noiselessly from the table and took a step toward me.

"Let it go," she whispered.

I stared back at her dumbly. "OK," I said.

I reached with my thumb to reject the call, and slid the phone back into my pocket. She stepped closer, raising a hand to my chest. Her fingers rested delicately on my sternum, and then they traced downward slowly. Her dark eyes followed, absorbing me. She was inches away, openly admiring my body. I could hardly breathe.

"Mmm," she said, noticing the obvious bulge in my pants. It betrayed any doubt that the feeling she had was mutual. As she watched, the rise grew bigger and stretched the denim out toward her, snug and taut. I had given up trying to be discreet, and I was now openly ogling her, watching her breasts rise and fall under the polo shirt. My eyes traced the subtle outline of her bra beneath the fabric.

Hesitantly, she reached for my crotch, and then her hand stopped in midair, hovering, almost as if she were waiting for my permission. I just watched her, not sure what I could possibly do or say. She seemed to make up her mind finally, and I closed my eyes for a second as her fingers brushed me gently, like feathers on a soft breeze.

I almost couldn't feel her at all. I glanced down and watched as she rested her small hand against me. I fit perfectly in her grip. The bright orange of her nail polish danced under our shadows like fireflies in a fairytale twilight.

"Wow," she breathed.

I twitched against her palm.

"Hello?" A thin, digitized voice sprang from my pocket.

I flinched, looking down and taking a step back from Jen reflexively. I fished the device again from my jeans. Distracted by the beautiful Asian girl, I realized I had apparently answered my wife's call instead of rejecting it. I held the phone up to my ear.

"Uh hi, sweetie? Sorry. What's up?" I managed.

"Are you coming home?" Amber's voice was distracted, and I heard some pots clang in the background. "I'm almost done with the vegetables, but I was going to have you get some wine on your way back."

"Um, sure," I said. "I should be home in about half an hour." I hung up and looked at Jen. She looked hurt.

"Your, um ... your wife?" she asked. She was twirling the corner of her shirt in her fingers.

I glanced down, suddenly ashamed. "Yeah," I said. "I should—"

"You should probably go, huh?" she said, finishing the sentence. She sounded more than a little disappointed. I noticed her breath was still coming short and shallow. She'd probably be relieving herself properly once I left her alone, I thought. The poor girl was like a shook-up soda can with no one to pop her tab. I desperately wished that I could have done it for her.

With an awkward goodbye, Jen walked me to the front of the store, turning her key in the wall and pressing the exit button to let me out into the fading evening light.

Over dinner that night, Amber and I shared a bottle of wine and gossiped about work and friends. The night was still young when we slipped into bed, and I clutched at her clothes and undressed her roughly, pulling her onto me. We needed almost no foreplay to be ready for each other, and when I slipped into her, she was smooth and warm. I thrust once or twice, and she came almost right away. More than once, I felt her body shudder on top of me as I moved in and out. It was really her night, I thought.

Then, finally, it was my turn, and I flung my hips up to ram against hers as I fired a day's worth of pent-up cum deep into her. She shuddered again.

"Oh!" I moaned, eyes closing. The night and the alcohol and the release of the orgasm overtook me for a moment. "Oh, Jen..."

Both our bodies suddenly locked up.

"Who?" Amber asked, panting. I opened my eyes. She looked back at me, brow furrowed.

"Oh god," I said, unable to think of an exit strategy. "Amber..."

She climbed off me and busied herself with her clothes. She didn't look back.

I slept alone that night, and for the entire week to follow. She had demanded to know who Jen was, of course, and I found myself in the very unenviable position of being unable to tell my wife the truth, which of course made things hopelessly worse.

I couldn't tell at first why I was protecting Jen, a girl I had barely met. I told myself I was being stupid, that I should just out with it, but for some reason, I just couldn't betray what had happened in that break room the week before. It felt too special.

Plus, if I was being completely honest with myself, a part of me was still back there with the cute Korean girl, holding her and kissing her slender mouth. It was like I was keeping a flame lit in my mind, tending it helplessly, still believing that one day soon, Jen and I might get to have that ending we were robbed of.

But a few more weeks passed, and that didn't happen, of course. For some reason, I could never bring myself to return to the store, although I went out of my way several times just to drive past it. I thought about Jen constantly.

Amber eventually got over her initial anger, but even though she'd started to let me back into her graces again, sex with her was completely out of the question. I grew listless. I started staying late at work on an almost daily basis. Anyway, I knew that the girl back home was probably just as happy for me to keep my distance.

She really was right, I knew. I had fucked up royally. Even if it hadn't been as bad as she'd probably imagined, it hadn't been great either. Good ol' dick-brain had really screwed me over.

January turned into February, and I came home from work a little early on a cool Thursday afternoon to find a note stuck to my closet door: "Gone to Mom's. Be back next week sometime." I felt my heart sink. It was exceptionally bad timing.

Peeking from inside my work bag was a box of very expensive chocolates from a local chocolatier, and I had made reservations for the two of us at a swanky downtown hotel for the following three nights. It was my mea culpa. I had finally decided to right things between us after weeks of chilly avoidance. And I was just hours too late.

In a haze, a glass of whisky materialized next to me on the nightstand and I started up a Netflix show, laying sprawled in my work clothes on the bed. I had chosen Amber's side of the mattress without thinking about it, and as my senses began to dull, I let a few tears trace their way down my cheek. We'd had our trials, Amber and I. I knew things weren't perfect, but I had always thought they could be repaired. Now things were falling apart, and I was scared.

But the whisky worked its magic, and several pours later, I was at least relaxed, even if I wasn't a picture of happiness just yet. I would solve the issue with the hotel tomorrow, I thought—or maybe I'd just go stay there by myself. Either way, I didn't need to think about it, or my wife, any more tonight.

My phone vibrated on the nightstand. I ignored it. It vibrated again. And again. It was ringing, I realized.


I picked it up, suddenly wishing I wasn't so buzzed.

"Hi babe," I tried to sound casual and dejected at the same time.

"Hello?" The voice at the other end was not my wife's. A long pause.

"This is Jen."

Another long pause.

"Jen?" I finally managed.

"From the store..." she started, then her voice grew quieter, as if she'd pulled the phone away from her cheek. "God, you probably don't remember me. I knew this was a bad idea..."

"Jen," I said. "Of course, I remember." Then I added, "How could I possibly forget?"

She laughed, a small, faltering laugh. "I hope it's OK that I called," she said.

"You know what?" I said, "I'm really glad you did. It's nice to hear your voice again." I blinked back watery eyes, hazy from the drinks. I raised myself into a sitting position on the bed.

"How did you get my number?" I asked.

"Um yeah, sorry. You gave it to me that day," she said. "When you bought the doll." Then she added, "I kind of ... copied it into my phone after you left."

She giggled. I smiled.

"Ah," I said. "Sneaky, sneaky girl."

"I can be ... naughty when I want to," she said. Her voice had turned quieter.

Suddenly, I was feeling warm. I mentally pressed Control-Alt-Delete on the last two glasses of whisky. It didn't work.

"So what are you doing?" she asked. Now she was sounding suddenly confident, as if we were fast friends.

"Just sitting at home," I said. Why had she called me?

"Sounds fun, can I come over?"

She's joking, I reminded myself. She knows you're married.

After a beat, she continued, "I thought we might, you know ... catch up." She leaned on the last two words like the world's thickest innuendo. I thought if she kept talking like this I might come just from the sound of her voice alone.

I really did love hearing her talk. Still, I was also aware that I was in no condition to keep up this conversation without steering it wildly afield.

"Not tonight, I'm afraid," I said. It was not necessary to refuse, as she couldn't have been serious. But I was tired, and my refusal was also symbolic, in a way—I still held out hope that Amber would change her mind, or that she'd at least call tonight. I still wanted to have that conversation with her, and it would be a stupid risk to bring another girl into our home, least of all, Jen.

From the other end, she giggled again. I realized right then that if I could, I'd put the sound of that laugh on repeat for the rest of the weekend. Then a thought occurred to me. Before I knew it, dick-brain had suddenly ascended the ladder from my groin to my head, slunk into the captain's seat and charted a course for disaster.

"Hey Jen," I started, taking a sip of whisky.

No, don't do it asshole, a voice in my head warned. But the words slid out anyway, lubricated and loaded:

"What are you doing this weekend?" I asked.


"I see you've booked a deluxe couple's package with us sir," the twentysomething girl behind the reception desk peered through a pair of stylish thick-rimmed spectacles. In another life, I would have spent several more seconds admiring the smooth waves of blond hair spilling down her shoulders, the cut of her uniform as it followed the curve of her body from waist to hip, the way she held her shoulders, swept back and in charge. But I was much too nervous to be distracted by her tonight.

"And you have someone joining you this weekend?" The girl blinked up at me.

"Ah yes," I said quickly. "My..." I trailed off, blushing. I cleared my throat. "My fiancée." Why did I say that? "Or at least, I'm hoping she wants the job. I plan to propose this weekend." My mouth was on its own now, just spinning fantasies as I watched helplessly from inside. Dick-brain.

The receptionist was nonplussed. She offered me a thin but sincere smile. "Well, congratulations then, I hope," she said, typing a few bits of information into the computer and turning as she retrieved a pair of key cards.

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