A Compromise Ch. 08byCharly©
Chapter 08: The Compromise Solution
Well, step one of the plan seemed like a flop.
It has been four weeks since the pool party, and I finally realized that what bothered David was 'control.' He is a secret control freak. He was disturbed that he was not controlling my sexual teasing. Now how can I use that to turn this relationship back to being one between two equals? David had so far come through this unscathed. I had not mentioned his affair, nor had I told him about any of the alternatives I had explored.
I had almost been reduced to considering divorce. I could see no way of turning things around. Still, I really hated the idea of breaking up the family. The fact is that we have a very functional family with the exception of the sexual side. Our sex is not romantic enough for me and obviously not exciting enough for David.
I was sitting in the sunroom thinking about my problem and idly leafing through the book "Undaunted Courage." It is the story of the Lewis and Clark expedition from the Mississippi to the West coast in 1801-1804. It seems a strange place to find the basis for my compromise plan, but there it was.
I glanced at the page, and then a few words seemed to stand out to me. When Lewis and Clark came upon Indian tribes they were surprised to find the wives offered to them. Right! Shocking isn't it? We thought we invented pass-around sex in the 1960's. Right? Well, not so. The white men possessed guns and manufactured items that astonished the Indians. The Indians offered their wives as a sign of hospitality. They also believed that somehow the white man's powers would be conveyed to them by having sex with the same woman.
I looked for more discussion of this practice. In another location in their journals they reported that the Indian males were sometimes offended if the white men turned down their offer. Probably they didn't get that many rejections, I'm thinking, so Lewis may have been referring to only one occasion!
However, the really interesting part of the story was that the women were also disappointed when this happened! Now, there is a story!
"That's it." I said aloud, my voice echoing off the tile surfaces of the sunroom. "That's it!" I repeated.
The book lay open on my lap and I stared out over the green lawn. Here was a compromise I thought had a chance of success. I had been trying to change David. It is never a good idea to have a plan predicated on convincing some other human being to change. Even your own ability to change is suspect, after all!
It took two days to think the plan through. But once I had it worked out in my mind, I could hardly wait to discuss it with David. I was ready to confront him with the problem and then to offer this compromise solution. I planned the evening as a romantic dinner with his favorite dinner, rack of lamb. I bundled the kids off to Mom for the night, and slipped into my simple black dress, pearls and heels. I had drinks ready when David arrived home.
"Wow, what's the occasion?" David eyed the candlelight table and my chic dress suspiciously.
"No occasion. I just thought it would we should have some time for a talk." I said, not meaning to sound ominous. I guess I failed.
"Talk? Uh .. something wrong?" he asked immediately, brow furrowed.
"Well, not something we can't get around." I handed him the glass. "Here's to us." I said. I couldn't really smile under the circumstances, but didn't frown either.
"Oh boy, that doesn't sound .." he decided not to go on. "Thanks. To us, then!"
"Come on, Charlotte, .. what is this? I recognize the symptoms. What is the problem?"
"Well, I do have a little problem." I began. Sit down. Let me just finish dinner and bring it in. OK?"
"No, I think I'll stand, thanks."
We carried the plates into the dining room, our shadows looming large on the formal wallpaper and ceiling.
"My problem is, .. you, David, my dear David, .. you."
David looked crestfallen. He must have suspected that I had caught him. He looked guilty, hurt, concerned, all in one sad expression. I almost felt sorry for him. He must feel similar to how I felt watching him boinking Joyce in the back yard.
"I was awake, David."
"What?" he said, bravely.
"Nine weeks ago tomorrow night, I watched my own dear husband fucking my neighbor Joyce under my bedroom window. That's the problem." I was trying to keep the emotion out of my voice. The passage of the past nine weeks helped a little, but the gnawing emptiness had returned to my stomach.
".. what .. what are you saying? Must have been … someone ..else" he stammered.
I said nothing more.
".. Look, Charly, I .. I don't know what you .. are talking about." He tried hard to maintain a look of innocence, but it was starting to slip.
I just stared at him. A tear slipped down my cheek and I rubbed it away.
" .. someone else? Must have.. you don't really think I .." he stumbled on. His brow broke out in sweat now.
"No, David, we both know it's true. I've spent the last nine weeks with the sight of Joyce, legs around your waist, slipping up and down your cock. … I was so devastated, I can't tell you. I can't tell you how it, .. even now, hurts."
David's eyes teared. He realized that there was no way to make it different.
".. it'll never happen again. .. Don't know .. how .. uh .. what came over me. I am sorry, .. Charly .. It's the only .. time, Charly."
"What do you want, David? A divorce? Want to end it?"
"NO!" he couldn't seem to say anything further. "NO! Charly, never. God, the kids … NO! Can't you.. give me another .. uh chance.. I promise. It was an accident, Charly. Doesn't mean any .. thing! Surely you know that! .. you don't' want that, do you? Please, Charly, please, don't say that."
"No, I didn't think you did, not really. You were a fool, David. How do you think things can ever go back together. It's the ultimate betrayal. Don't you know that?"
"Yeah, .. but Charly .. we have so much .. together .. I love YOU. Give me a chance to prove it"
"I've thought about it, David. I've spent sleepless nights trying to think of a way we can ever be equal partners again. I've even tried some of the fantasies you have suggested, .. you know, trying to find out what I was missing?"
"What do you mean, you tried what?" he looked startled.
"Well, you wanted me to consider joining a swap club, for example. So .. I went to one."
"You're .. kidding!" Now he looked like I had hit him with a bucked of ice water. He sat staring, wide-eyed. "I was .. kidding .. kidding about that! Never meant to do it. Not really!"
"Well, I tried it. And, to be fair, I admit I found it very erotic. In some ways it might be appealing. But in the end, you know I couldn't actually live like that. It is too blatant, too .. I don't know. Anyway, not for me. Not for us."
"So I have come up with a compromise plan to see if you want to change things."
"I will definitely change, Charly, I will!"
"Well, I'd like to think so, David, but we both know that is .. well, not likely, is it? Anyway, it is not a good enough bet for me."
"Wait a minute! Let's go back to that swap club. Did you …. Did you .."
"Have sex? Well, I don't think you have the right to ask, do you?" I said.
"Well, you can't .." he stopped there, feeling beaten before he got the words out.
"Here's what I think, David. I think we have a pretty good thing going with this family. We don't have an equal partner thing going, sexually, I mean. Both are important."
"Of course we have .." again he decided to stop and wait to see where I was going.
"I mean, you really want to live a little on the wild side of sex. And I have been more conservative. I'm sorry that you weren't satisfied, but we just have to face it. I, on the other hand have missed the more romantic, soft caressing side of sex, all the foreplay and romance, right?"
".. aw, Charly, we have good …"
"No, David, no, let's be honest now. This is a time for honesty. OK? Listen, I do have an idea. Just think about it. I can't live if we don't get back to being equal, you know that. As long as you have had this affair, and perhaps others, perhaps more to come in the future. I would always be feeling I was just being used. Don't you see?"
"No, Charly, no …" I held my hand up and went on.
"Well, I have to allow for that possibility, David. Be fair. So, I have thought of a whole range of possibilities. The other day I read that Lewis and Clark .."
"Wait. What? Lewis and Clark?"
"Yes, dear. They were offered the wives of Indian chiefs for bed partners while they were visiting. The chiefs thought they would get some of the visitors' powers by sharing the same woman. When the explorers declined, the wives actually felt insulted and disappointed. They LIKED IT!"
"Lewis and Clark? You were reading .. and you .. What?" He couldn't believe his ears.
"Yes, that's right. That's my compromise. You have a lot of visitors from overseas. I like some of them, very much. They seem to like me, too. I find them sexually attractive. So, I want you to give me to them, .. when they visit."
David looked at me as if he thought he was dreaming. He got up and took my glass and returned with a second drink. He stared off into the corner of the ceiling.
"What?" he said, slumping unhappily in his chair. Are you nuts?"
"I don't think so. You had Joyce. You thought that was pretty much OK. But, I don't want to sneak around in the back yard." I realized that I was punching a little low, but he doesn't deserve the Arch Bishop of Queensbury rules, or whatever that is.
"Charlotte, I can't believe you are really suggesting what you are suggesting. How can you even suggest such a thing?" David's eyes were wide with astonishment.
"Well, we both get what we want. We both deserve what we can get out of life. I will get my romancing a time or two a month. The rest of the time we spend just as we do now. We both get what we want and need. What do you think? David, I don't blame you for wanting what you want, I really do understand. You should understand that I really crave the old fashioned loving and foreplay and, yes, good sex too. I think I can have that with men who are here from time to time, but far enough away to not cause trouble between us. I want you to be a part of it, so that we are not sneaking around."
"I don't fucking believe what I am hearing!"
"Think about it, David.
"How the hell could that possibly work. For Christ sake!"
"Is it any less sensible than what some goddam lawyer is going to suggest? Or some nutcase marriage counselor?"
"Charlotte, you're serious, .. aren't you?" he looked long and hard at me. He was struggling for another way out. Perhaps he thought it was a trick.
"I'm willing to try it out. It is possible, just possible, that it could work." I assured him that I had thoroughly thought it through.
"How? …" He threw up his hands, looking slightly defeated.
"Look, you told me that Jacques is visiting next week. We will have him over for dinner, right? He will be charming. He will make eyes at me and tell me that I am beautiful. Just like always. Right?"
"Yes, sure, you know he likes you."
"Right. Maybe he even desires me? Lusts for me, even. Stranger things have happened?"
"Come on, yes, of course, he is turned on by you. So am I! But he would never.. nahhh, he would never .."
"Well, maybe not, but, .. if we, WE, that is, explain the situation. He might. Right?"
"Good grief, you're serious. This is crazy Charly."
I noticed he had gone back to calling me Charly. Charlotte was only for terrifyingly serious discussions.
"We will explain it early in the evening. The three of us will have dinner, nice conversation, excellent wine. We will flirt with each other, like always. It will be lovely."
"No 'buts', David. It will work nicely. Our bedroom is right across from that little 'maid's room'. The children are upstairs; clear at the other end of the house. So, we have our nice sensual dinner and then say our good nights. Then we walk down the hall together. The only difference is that Jacques comes to bed with me and you, dear David, sleep in the Maid's room."
David was thunderstruck at how detailed my plan was.
"How long have you been planning this? Kee-rist!" he said.
"Well, about three days. Admit it, it's a good plan."
David just hung his head and shook it back and forth. "Charly, you are a piece of work, you know that?" He was afraid to grin or laugh, but I knew he wanted to grin very much.
"And then, when other foreigners come to town we will do the same thing. If I like them, and the 'dinner date' goes well, I will just give a signal and it becomes 'my night out'. OK?"
"Charly, .. we should really try to work this out some other way …"
"I have worked it out, David." I said.
"Yeah, but …" he said.
"Do you agree?"
"Charly, are these the two choices, then?" He knew that it would be hard to talk me out of something I had thought through.
"I don't really see any other choices that I think I can live with, David."
He looked long and hard at me. For minutes, we stared into each other's eyes.
At last, with a long sigh, David said: "Charly, I wouldn't break up what we have for anything. You know that. If you think this is what you want, I will try to be happy and make you happy, too. I will try it. That's all I can say. I will try it. Good grief! How the hell do I explain this to these visitors?"
"We'll work that out. Next week with Jacques, we'll try it out. Do you want to tell him first? Or shall I?"
"I .. I will, .. I guess." He muttered. He was frowning.
I had a few days to figure some way of explaining this to our friend Jacques. On Wednesday, he arrived from Paris and I picked him up at the airport. He is a good looking devil. Those dark, flashing brown eyes, a beard, nattily dressed, in trim shape.
"Daaveed, my old friend; 'ou are you? Well, I hope!"
"Yes, great, good to see you Jacques. How's business?"
We settled into a comfortable corner booth in the Hilton bar and started renewing our friendship. We discussed the purposes of his visit and I assured him of all the appointments I had made for him.
Having agreed that we were all set for the visit, Jacques pulled out two cigars and offered one to me.
"Cuban! Contraband! He said triumphantly. You don't do business with the bastards, do you?"
"No." But I took the cigar anyway and we swathed ourselves in a cloud of dense blue smoke.
"Daaveed. You look … 'ou shall I say it? .. a little troubled? What's wrong."
Old friends see through you this way.
"Well, funny you should ask." I smiled weakly, looking down into by drink. After a deep breath, I explained Charly's plan in detail. Jacques listened, his eyes wide at times, and at other times staring off into space.
"Well, what do you think Jacques? Believe me, I will understand if you tell me I am crazy and don't want anything to do with it."
"Mon dieu! My friend. Mon Dieu! You know that I love Charly, your wonderful wife. I have nevair made any secret. But, Mon Dieu!"
"Yes. A little shocking." I said.
"Well, no, I mean, well really, every one does things. It is so like Charly to be completely honest, though. Yes? Mon Dieu! But, oh my dear! She is wonderful." Jacques' laugh was one of all-encompassing delight.
He looked at me.
I looked at him.
"And you want this .. uh 'arrangement', .. my friend?" he said. "You are OK with it?"
I paused a moment, gulping quietly. "Yes," I said, at last.
"Then, I cannot, in all conscience refuse, can I? And with pleasure! Will you 'promeese' my friend, that you will tell me if ever it is not what you want? I would never .. you know."
"Yes, sure, Jacques. Thanks for understanding."
I went shopping for new underwear, of course. Victoria's Secret had such a selection that it took a while. I lingered with pleasure and anticipation over the racks of panties and bras. Only the best stockings would do for this date with a new lover. I went to Marshall Field and found deliciously silky feeling, seamed nylons by Givenchy. The were black and wonderfully sheer. They would be like wearing a cloud. It was great fun.
I decided to make rack of lamb for our date night, since the one last Friday night had gone cold while we had our talk. David had lost his appetite, understandably, and so had I.
Jacques and David arrived, David looking a little bit strained. But Jacques was his bouncy, charming self. He held both my hands and leaned close to kiss me and then looked into my eyes before squeezing my hands affectionately.
"I am so delighted to see you again, my dear, Charlotte!"
His eyes always captivated me, and he could sweep me off his feet with his lively conversation and his constant attention. When David went for drinks, he turned to me and spoke to me quietly.
"Mon dieu, you look so lovely tonight. I think I understand what you are going through, Charlotte." The Europeans are usually very direct about things. And this was direct enough. Just the right thing, I thought. At least for me it was.
It didn't seem that Jacques was uncomfortable at all, so he was probably being a good actor. My heart was in my throat to tell the truth. After all, I was about to make love to another man with my husband in the very next room. That is a little mind-boggling under normal situations.
But, I was determined to see it through. And, of course, I ike Jacques very much. That would make it much more natural, I told myself.
Dinner was pretty good. Jacques helped out, as usual, by doing the sauce in his own special way. Like most Frenchmen, he proclaims himself a great cook, and by the way, he does seem to know his way around the kitchen.
Jacques had brought French wine from his home region, always a special treat because you can't buy it here.
"Oh Jacgues, you remembered! Thank you for brining the wine." I murmured as I tasted the wine and looked across at him over the rim of the polished crystal g lass.
"But of course, my dear. But of course! It's lovely, no?"
While there was a little bit of tension in the air at first, it slowly diminished as the wine disappeared. It became similar to other happy three-way conversations we had enjoyed in the past. I slipped a toe across to fondle Jacques' ankle as we laughed about a reminiscence of a dinner in Paris and at almost the same moment I felt David's foot touch my other leg. I sat happily in touch with two of my favorite people in the world. How could I ask for a nicer evening?
We became pleasantly drunk with the wine and the conversation. It was lovely in the candlelight. David brought a small glass of brandy for each of us and I felt a tiny bit of tension creep into my loins, knowing that we would soon meet that decision point of which room we would each go into for the night. My panties were wet from the erotic aspect of the evening; Playing footsie under the table with two attractive men.
"Well," I said, a little too brightly. Shall we?"
The men stood up and David took my chair. I walked toward the hallway as David turned out the lights behind us.
We stopped in the hallway lighted only by the warm glow of a lamp I had left on in my room.
"You OK, Charly?" David looked somberly into my eyes.
I glanced at Jacques whose eyes were on me too.
"Yes, yes, I think so. 'Night!'"
I kissed David good night and then slipped into my bedroom, my hand trailing behind to reassure Jacques to follow. I saw him touch David's shoulder in a brotherly way as he passed.
The door closed behind us and we were alone. Alone in my bedroom, with someone who isn't my husband, I thought. You would have to experience it to know how the electricity affects you. Add the fact that my husband was right next door and you can understand that my knees were a little weak.