The story has no sex. It's another unfaithful wife and consequence story told by the husband. If this is not your thing, move on. BlBones
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I wiped tears from my eyes as we turned to leave the graveside service. The service was sparsely attended; my wife, Marlene, my daughter, a long-time friend, and two officials. My son refused to attend.
Marlene took my arm, pulled close, and quietly said, "I know it's hard when it's some one you love," and gave me a kiss on the cheek.
I corrected her, "Honey, the correct word is 'loved,' past tense. Right now I'm just feeling so sorry about what happened and how she suffered so much this last year. You are the one I love. Thanks for your help and support, and especially for your extra love over the past months."
The last chapter to an earlier part of my life had just been written and closed. The first chapter of that life had been written seventeen years ago when I married her, Cindy. The closing chapters began eleven years ago when we traveled to the Nation's Capitol for a reunion of the First Marine Air Wing.
I had resigned my commission ten years earlier and one of my close buddies, Jerry, did a lot of leg work to organize a gathering of our Marine buddies. Most of us had gone through flight training and then served together for the first four or five of our service careers.
I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you a little more about Cindy an me. My name is Ronald, Ron, Allran. Cindy and I had met at the Marine Corps Birthday party while I was stationed in Washington. We dated and married six months later. We adopted a modified version of an open marriage. I did this thinking that it would be some relief to her if she could have a little sex during periods when I was on board carrier for six or more months at a time. We agreed that we would be truthful with each other and let the other know what was happening. We would let the other know of any extramarital activities in advance, when possible, and we would not engage in any activity with any persons we associated with in any way. Naturally we would engage only when observing proper safety procedures which meant most of the time condoms would be used.
It turns out that the reason for the open marriage was short lived. Two years after we were married I received an eye injury in an automobile accident. The injury could not be corrected to Naval flying standards and I began to fly a desk. Before the accident, I had been deployed only once, for eight months and Cindy had exercised her freedom twice and I only once.
I could only stand the non-flying administrative position for about two years. I was never deployed again. So, after a little more than two years at a desk, I resigned out of frustration not being able to fly anything but a desk. We were just approaching our fifth anniversary when I resigned. Our daughter was born just after my accident, and my son, two years later.
I landed a good job with an airport planning and construction firm based in St. Louis. In addition to my administrative responsibilities, I was able to qualify to fly the company jet. I flew about twice a month and was gone no more than one or two nights on those occasions. It wasn't like a fighter, but it was flying, and I was happy. Following my return from the last deployment in the Marines, neither of us invoked our our open marriage agreement. We didn't need to since we were together with a few brief overnight separations.
When Jerry, the organizer, informed me of the reunion, I was tickled. I told Cindy about it and she was almost as excited as I was. When I asked my boss for a couple of days off, he was happy to let me have them and made plans to go to Washington on that Friday on business. I could fly Cindy and himself out in the company jet and he would take the weekend to see friends before we flew back on Monday. My expense would essentially be room, board, and transportation while in Washington.
Cindy and I arrived at the hotel about noon on Friday. The reunion wasn't until Saturday, beginning with lunch and then concluding after a banquet and dancing on Saturday night. Small groups,, such as ours, usually arranged meetings and or activities on Sunday. I was able to find Jerry and a couple of the other guys and their wives, and we had supper with them. Cindy knew Jerry and his wife and she knew Carl but had never met his wife. The six of us had a wonderful evening with Jerry being able to get us tickets to the concert at the Kennedy Center.
Saturday, Cindy and I slept in, had a late breakfast and then joined others for the opening luncheon. Afterwards, the men gathered in various sized groups and the reminisces of the past began. There were numerous vendors exhibiting all kinds of military connected materials and I along with five of my closest friends made the rounds while exchanging or recalling stories. Cindy, along with four or five other wives excused themselves and headed for the Smithsonian. They returned about five and we all went to our rooms to rest, change clothes, and be back for the banquet at seven.
Our guest speaker was a retired Colonel who had served under Chesty Puller. He kept us glued to our seats as he recounted Chesty's career. A lot of it was serious, but it was thoroughly sprinkled with hilariously and amusing anecdotes, especially as he told them.
The formal proceeding concluded about nine and the band took over. I was more interested in talking with my old buddies and Cindy was antsy to dance. She finally told me she was going to find one or more dance partners and I could talk away. That was fine with me and to be truthful I almost forgot about her.
About an hour later I got the shock of my life when Cindy appeared from off the dance floor. She leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Sweetie, I'm going to be gone for a little while."
It took a moment for what she had said to sink in. Then I incredulously inquired, "Where are you going, what are you doing?"
She took me by the arm and pulled me away from the group. "I've found someone interesting. I won't be gone too long."
Now the FULL impact of what she was saying crashed down. She was wanting to exercise our open marriage. I had assumed with my leaving the service that that part of our life and experience was over. I just stood there looking at her with my mouth open.
She reached over, gave me a love pat on the cheek and in a light hearted voice reiterated that she wouldn't be gone too long. Before I could react or say anything, she disappeared into the throng on the dance floor. I tried to catch her, but she had disappeared.
My mind was racing as I considered what was happening. We hadn't talked about our arrangement in years. I had just written it off as past history. But now Cindy was apparently cashing in on it. I had to admit to myself that since we had never officially scrapped the understanding, she was perfectly within her rights. But when we made our pact, I had never for a moment thought that it would be brought into play while we were together or only separated for a short period of time.
My thoughts were interrupted when one of the guys called asked me if I was coming back. I rejoined them and tried to rejoin the festivities, but my mind was not there. After a while, two of my closer buddies, who had determined that something was wrong, started to probe. It didn't take long before I had confided what was happening, I thought. This threw a damper on the conversations and brought a pale of silence for a few minutes.
One of the guys, trying to lighten things up and get back to better talk popped off with, "Well at least it isn't with good old Larry Martin." Several chuckled and agreed. I didn't find it very funny. Larry had been a member of our squadron in flight school and for about two years after. I hated his guts. He was a very good looking, fair haired pilot, and he knew it. We used to say that if it didn't have a cock between its legs, he'd fuck it and it didn't have to be human.
During our first year out of flight school he was diagnosed and treated for a venereal disease. Barely a year latter he was diagnosed and treated again. This time he was offered the opportunity to resign his commission or face charges of 'conduct unbecoming an officer' and be discharged. He resigned his commission.
My stomach went sour a few minutes later when Jerry pulled me aside and told me that Larry was in fact attending the reunion and my stomach went into complete, cramping knots when he went on to say that he had seen Cindy dancing with him earlier. He quickly apologized saying that he had thought I had seen them.
"Christ, Jerry. Do you think I would have just sat there if I knew that son-of-a-bitch was here and dancing with Cindy? Do you know what room he is in?"
"Cool down Ron. Let's not fly off the bat. No, I don't know what room he is in and the front desk will connect you to his room, but they won't give you his room number. Let's ask around a see if anyone knows."
It took about ten minutes, but I spotted Marv who was one of the few friends Larry had. He knew, and he gave me his room number. By now it had been about thirty minutes since Cindy left. I high signed Jerry that I was going. He naturally assumed I had Larry's room number. By the time I got to the lobby there were six of my buddies converging on me. They were coming to see that I didn't get myself into trouble.
While waiting there for the elevator I was being told to stay cool, to think this out, don't do anything rash, etc.
The elevator door opened and I was ready to rush in when I stopped, dumbfounded. There was Cindy, ready to step out into the lobby. Her lipstick was fresh and her hair neatly brushed. I grabbed her as she came out and my escorts dispersed. Standing a couple of steps from the elevator, "Where in the hell have you been?"
She was somewhat startled but she was able to reply showing only a little irritation, "Honey, I told you. I met someone interesting. I have been with him. I don't know why you are bring so agitated. I have not done anything that we haven't agreed to."
"This someone interesting didn't happen to be a Larry Martin in room 1021 did it?"
Her color drained. I didn't need an answer. "That son-of-a-bitch! I'm going to kill that bastard."
Cindy was visibly shaken and people were looking at us. I took her by the hand and led her into an elevator that had just opened. She was trying to protest but I told her with no uncertainty to keep her damned mouth shut. On our floor I practically dragged her to our room, went in, slammed the door shut, and almost threw her onto the bed.
By the time I was ready to talk to her she was crying and becoming hysterical. "Ron, what has gotten in to you? What have I done? What's wrong?"
I was shaking, but I stopped as I realized that I was taking my frustration and anger out on her. The frustration was of not having our signals right, but the anger I was feeling because of Larry was something else. I sat down and buried my head in my hands. "Sweetheart, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to be taking all of this out on you. Can we be quiet for a few minutes and let me get my head screwed back on right? I need to get things in order."
She made a large sniffle and said that yes we could rest a minute. "I'm so sorry for whatever I have done to upset you so much."
We sat quietly for several minutes. Cindy went to the bathroom to wash her face and to get some facial tissues. When she came back she sat in my lap and asked if we could talk now. I nodded.
"Ron, can you tell me what this is all about? I thought we had an understanding shortly after we were married. You have never reacted this way in the past. Please tell me what I have done."
"Honey, I'm sorry for my behavior. The first problem is of my own doing or failure to do. I had come to assume that our agreement was to get us through times when I was deployed for months. Since leaving the Corp I had just assumed that we didn't need the agreement anymore. I'm sorry, that was a mistake on my part for not having talked about it and settled on it a long time ago."
"Oh darling, I'm sorry too. We should have talked about it. But honestly, tonight was the first time that I had the urge to be with someone else for just a while. I understand our misunderstanding and we can certainly cancel that agreement right now."
"OK, let's settle that issue later. For now I want to know if you knew that I had served with him early in my military career, before I met you?"
Her color disappeared and I knew I had hit a nerve.
"Oh honey. I'm sorry. He is such a nice person and extremely nice to be with. He's had a pretty rough life and I admire him for being able to do what he has done. I think..."
"Damn it Cindy, answer my question. Did you know that we knew each other?"
A long pause and trembling, "Yes, I knew. But I was afraid..."
"I don't give a shit about what you were afraid of. Our agreement was that we would not engage in activities with anyone either of us knew. Now I think you understand why I insisted that we make it a part of our agreement."
"Honestly, right at the moment I don't see that condition was really necessary. Larry is a wonderful man and I enjoyed his company."
That was too much. I stood up, practically dumping her on the floor. "You don't get it do you. That bastard, had I thought about it then, is exactly the reason I insisted on no friends or acquaintances. You sit there and let me tell you about that 'poor' son-of-a-bitch."
I then told her about how he was dismissed from the Corps. I added the detail that on his second round with the venereal disease, it was found that the General's daughter, who he had been dating, was infected too. I told her in all honesty that it was not clear who gave the disease to whom.
Then I popped out with something I regretted. Trying to be a little light, I said, "I guess you should be grateful to him. He fucked every girl I ever went with and I was very serious about one of them. His activity ended that romance and because of that I was still available when you came along." That wouldn't have been too bad, but then I popped off, "And now his tally for fucking the women I have dated is 100%."
Cindy sat there motionless for a minute. Her wheels were turning. Then she smiled and said softly, "Why Rob, I'm surprised and ashamed of you. This has all blown up because you are jealous of him."
I blew my lid. "Damn it woman, you have to admire a person to be jealous of him. There is nothing to admire in him. I don't know what kind of a line of bull shit he fed you to garner your sympathy, but I can guarantee that most, if not all of what he said was just that—pure bull shit.--bull shit designed to get you into his sack."
She cowered a little and then straightening up she suggested that we let this sleep for now and talk about it when we got home. With that she suggested that we go back down stairs and join the group, that everything would be breaking up pretty soon. She stood up, reached for her purse and went into the bathroom. She emerged in a few minutes all repaired and ready to go.
"Put your coat on and let's go. We need to have a distraction. I'm sorry for being responsible for part of what happened."
"I'm not going back down there. This shindig is over so far as I am concerned."
"Well honey, I'd like to go back and say goodbye to some of our old friends."
"Let me explain it this way. You are not going back without me. If I go and I run into Larry, one of us will spend the night in the hospital or the morgue. So, I'm not telling you that you can't go, I'm just explaining what might happen if we do go. It's your choice."
"Oh Ron, come off your high horse. The world hasn't ended. We can enjoy the last couple of hours with our friends."
I looked her in the face and told her that I was not kidding. She could tell from my look and my voice that indeed I was not kidding.
She looked at me for a moment and then smiled. "Well OK." She tried to inject some humor by flippantly saying, "Well, it seems a little funny right now, but we could get undressed and play around a little."
That's when I really shook her. "Honey, I love you and I'm sorry for all that has happened, but we are not going to make love again until after you have been checked by a doctor."
She was incredulous and she simply stood looking at me while it all sunk in. "Surely you are kidding. I made him wear a condom. Everything is OK and I don't need a check-up." The last came out with a little venom on it."
"Oh, is that so? Did you take him in your mouth and suck him?"
"Damn you." I had to duck as here purse sailed by.
"I take that as a yes." She started to cry and dashed into the bathroom, locking the door. That was dirty and underhanded, but the anger and hurt were still pretty much in control and truthfully, I wanted to hurt someone. I was sorry that Cindy was having to take all the heat.
I called my boss and told him that there had been a change in our plans and that we would be ready to go home tomorrow morning if he wished. He said that was great and that we should meet at the airplane at nine.
I then called Jerry on his cell phone and told him we would be leaving in the morning. He was sorry and he inquired if everything was alright between Cindy and me. I told him what had happened and he then wanted to know if Cindy and I couldn't come down for one last drink and couldn't we also have breakfast with them in the morning. I gave in and Cindy and I went back to the reunion.
When we rejoined Jerry and his wife, I noted that most of the wives were there, but several of the guys were gone. When I asked where they were, Jerry simply said, "It appears that they all registered full bladders at the same time. They'll be right back." Sure enough, they all appeared in a few minutes. However, I noticed that they were all wearing broad smiles and one of them flipped Jerry a thumbs up.
We had our drinks, said our goodbye's and went back to our room. We hadn't been in our room but a few minutes before our phone rang. It was Jerry informing me that Larry had apparently fallen down a flight of stairs and had been taken to the hospital. Initial reports indicated he would be there a day or two. I couldn't help but smile and thank him for the good news.
I hung up the phone, and then it hit me. I recalled hearing sirens at or near the hotel shortly after the guys had returned from their head call. Now I understood the smiles and the high sign. I wanted to burst out laughing.
Cindy wanted to know what that was all about and what was making me so happy. I told her and she immediately gasped and said that we should stop by and see him before leaving in the morning.
I had had enough. "Cindy, you have known me for close to fifteen years. You knew me for almost five years of my life as a Marine and you know that Marines take care of each other."
She cut in, "But Larry is a Marine."
Loudly, "Not by our definition. But if you want to assume he is a Marine, let me explain something in language you will understand. 'If you want a happy life, you don't fuck with Marines—especially if you are a Marine."
With tears she turned to the bathroom saying, "Ron. I'm so terribly ashamed and disappointed in you."
"That bastard can take care of himself, he sure doesn't need your help and he gets no sympathy from me. If I have to go see him, I'll break something that hasn't already been broken. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy."
* * * * *
When we returned home, we were a little distant from one another for several days. Most of the distance was created by my insisting that she be checked before we made love again. She was checked and given a clean bill of health on Tuesday. The fact that I had insisted and that the results were negative brought an "I told you so" from Cindy. That was her way of saying that I wasn't forgiven yet.