Carry That WeightbyHarddaysknight©
Ashley smiled weakly as Amber leaned down and gave her a warm hug.
"Thanks, Tom, for following that man and calling those firemen," added Amy. "I was real scared. I was hoping my dad, or you would find me. You two are the bravest men in the world!"
I accepted the praise and gratitude of Amber and Amy. I was uncomfortable with it, but realized their need to express their appreciation. As they prepared to leave, I asked Jeff to stay behind. As soon as the door closed, I started speaking.
"Jeff, I almost did something terrible the other night and I apologize," I began, to the obvious surprise of Jeff. "You saved my life years ago. I wouldn't even be here if it weren't for you. I owe you my life. I've been thinking a lot lately. If you want to fuck Ashley, it's okay with me. You've earned the right to have anything of mine. I only ask that you be more discreet in the future. Amber and Amy would be devastated if they learned that Ashley is your lover. It wouldn't help my standing in the family either. So, Jeff, would you be willing to be more careful when you fuck Ashley in the future? Please don't get her pregnant. I had that vasectomy ten years ago and that would really let the cat out of the bag."
"Tom! I'll never touch Ashley again!" promised Jeff. "That was a huge mistake. It just happened by accident, and I wish it hadn't. We all had too much to drink and just went stupid. I love Amber! I'll never risk losing her again. I swear! It's the straight and narrow for me. I owe you, Buddy! You saved my whole family for god's sake."
Ashley had gasped and turned bright red when she became the topic of our conversation. She had released my hand and raised her tissue to her eyes.
"Jeff, keep to that story and we'll be fine. I know you tried to ply me with beer that night. Agnes just pointed out that if you hadn't fucked my wife, I wouldn't have been there in that parking lot to help Amber when all that shit went down. Funny how fate works, isn't it? You planned on fucking Ashley, and it not only worked out as you hoped, but it resulted in saving the lives of your family. All I'm asking is that you be more discreet in the future when you fuck her, okay? In public, act like there is nothing between the two of you, and I'll pretend I don't know that you're fucking her. That's essential for my standing in the family and community. That's all I ask, Jeff. Please leave now."
Jeff acted like he wanted to argue, but he glumly headed for the door. I had done a head job on him and I wondered if it would make him as ashamed and feel as small as I hoped. I saved his wife. He fucked mine. Who was the better man?
"Tom, you're harder now than you were before this mess. Jeff will never touch me again, even if I wanted him to, and I don't. Now he'll always worry that you believe he and I are having an ongoing affair. It was only that once, Tom, and it was an awful mistake. It won't happen again. Jeff must feel terrible after what you told him. He'll always worry that Amber will find out about us. So will I, for that matter. He's going to suffer, Tom.
"You told him he could fuck me, as you so delicately put it, without asking me if I would allow it. I would have to agree to anything like that before it can actually happen. It will never happen again!"
"That may be, Ashley. I still want you to be more careful with all of your lovers, if you would. I will pretend to believe you when you tell me that you're going shopping, or working late, as long as you don't rub my nose in your affairs. Show me a small amount of respect and I won't interfere with you fucking other men."
"Tom, I won't be fucking anyone, except you! I slipped up once, but never again! I'll prove it to you, no matter how long it takes; if you'll let me, that is" added Ashley sadly.
"That's what I want to hear, Ashley," I answered. "You maintain your never ending love for me, as well as your total faithfulness, and I'll never appear suspicious or wonder where you are, or what you're doing. If I'm ever able to achieve an erection with you again, I'll use a condom just for safety. I noticed that you don't use protection with your lovers, so I'll take it upon myself to do so. I asked the doctor to test me for STD's as long as I'm in here. I'd suggest that you get tested now and then, too, for your own health. Besides, it would look bad if one of us came down with something, wouldn't it?"
Ashley just looked at me for at least a minute, studying my face to determine if I was serious. Finally she nodded her head.
"I see how it's going to be, Tom. I feel like shit and you're going to be sure to keep me feeling like shit. Worse than simply not trusting me, you're going pretend you trust me when you really don't. If I visit Mom, or anyone else, I'll know you're suspicious. If I go to the mall, I'll know you think I might be cheating. You talk about my lovers, even after I told you I strayed only the one time, with Jeff. You don't believe me, but why would you? I did this to myself.
"But you know what, Tom?" asked Ashley. "After all the shit I've gone through, and far worse, all the shit I put you through, it's fair enough. I'll actually feel better about myself if I do suffer for what I did. I'll feel much better if and when, you come to love and trust me again, but I welcome the pain needed to reach that point. It'll make forgiveness all the sweeter. I won't stray. I will not weaken again. I can only offer you all my love, total faithfulness, and devotion. I hope it's enough. If it isn't, I have no one to blame... but me."
I saw the determination on Ashley's face. How long could she hold out? How long could I? I had loved her without reservation. Had she killed it, or could she save that love? I sincerely hoped she could, but the burden was on her now, and sadly, I had my doubts. At least I wouldn't be spending life in prison, or swallowing the barrel of a 12 gauge, as I extracted my pound of flesh.
I had learned long ago that hurting or disappointing those I love was more painful in the long run than an old fashion ass whipping. Jeff and Ashley would both find that out, or so I hoped.