Cheating At Cards Ch. 01bynewjayne©
After five years of marriage, my husband had matured into a quiet, home-loving man and that suited me perfectly. Although our jobs meant that we had a bit of 'socialising' to do, his idea of heaven was to spend an evening curled up on our large couch, enjoying a couple of beers and watching the sports channel while I sat in the armchair marking my pupils' work for an hour or two. Occasionally, I'd come across a real 'howler' to share with him and, despite claiming that he was poorly educated, he always understood what I found funny about it and laughed with me.
Once my work was completed, I'd go to the kitchen to make him a light snack of some kind; nothing complicated, just a sandwich or some cheese and crackers, grab myself a mug of tea, and snuggle up beside him. I'm not a great sports enthusiast, but I know he loved it all – football, cricket, golf, tennis or whatever and he'd normally ask me if I wanted to watch something else. I very rarely did, and I'd become pretty good at judging how involved he was in whatever he was watching before suggesting any change.
His only 'vice,' if you can call it that, was his Friday night game of Whist. I've never been much good at cards, to be perfectly honest, so it was rare for me to be asked to play. Normally, it was Geoffrey (that's my husband), Bob and Marjorie – (a couple in their early forties who lived no more than a couple of hundred yards away), and Calvin – the owner of a local plumbing company who did a lot of business with the building supplies company my husband runs for a medium-sized national chain.
Each week the game would be held in a different house since the hosts supplied the food and drinks (two out of every four at Bob & Marje's), which meant that I had three weeks out of every four to relax and watch whatever I wanted on the TV. Usually it would be an old Western movie. Don't ask me why, I just love all the Randolph Scott, John Wayne and Audie Murphy vehicles – possibly it's because they're uncomplicated, often sweetly romantic between all the gunfire, and usually have a morally justifiable ending.
When it was held at our house, I concentrated on making and serving the food, keeping them all supplied with beer, wine or whatever, and generally keeping out of the way. I was, however, always a bit wary of finding myself alone with Calvin because a couple of times – usually when the drinks had been flowing a bit freely – he'd made a pass at me. It wasn't anything serious, but he liked to appear in the kitchen to 'help' me with the refreshments when they took a break from the game. He had a way of making comments about my appearance that just about managed to fall short of lewdness – but only just! Now, I can cope with that – most females learn how to deal with things like that from an early age, especially if they're reasonably attractive. And that's how I'd describe myself – not great, but not bad.
At the time I'm writing about, I was just becoming aware of the horrors of an approaching 30; we'd been married for five years and I worked at keeping in decent shape. I'm only five foot three and I have a slim build: that is to say I have to wear a well-padded bra to look like an adequate B-cup, but that goes okay with a thin waist and slender hips all kept under control by regular visits to the gym. My legs are okay, but nothing special. What I do have is a pretty face – the kind that people often describe as 'sweet' and (my only real vanity) long, full-bodied blonde hair.
I'm not much of a flirt (Hey, everyone flirts a little bit, don't they – it's human nature), but I enjoy receiving compliments about my appearance, even though they often make me blush; the comments from Calvin, however, were sometimes a bit more than just 'flirtatious' and they often made me uncomfortable.
I used to dread his appearance in the kitchen when I was cutting sandwiches or taking some home-made pasties, sausage-rolls or quiche out of the oven, because he had a knack for making his entrance just as I was bending over and producing some comment about my backside. "Oh, yes! I can't wait to get my mouth on that... and the food looks okay, too!" was what passed for humour in his mind; or, "I think I'd need to borrow your oven gloves to handle something as hot as that!"
At first I just ignored him, or tried to laugh it off, but the remarks became increasingly personal and much more sexual until I had to tell him, as politely as I could, that I didn't appreciate them. Did it make a difference? No, it didn't. In fact, if anything, it made them worse. "If you ever need a bun in the oven... I'm available if Geoff's not up to it!" was one of the milder ones. I think it helped me to understand why he'd been married and divorced twice already.
I told my husband about it and about the way it made me feel, but he just told me not to be such a prude. Calvin, he said, was harmless and it was only a bit of banter. Apparently, I needed to 'loosen up' and stop 'making a mountain out of a molehill.' That was all very well, but the next time they were at our house, Calvin actually crept up behind me in the kitchen and grabbed a quick feel of my own 'molehills!'
Of course, I wriggled free and, in a quietly rasping voice (I didn't want to create a scene in front of everyone) told him never to touch me again. Later, when I told Geoffrey about it, he just laughed! I couldn't believe it! His friend had grabbed hold of my tits and my husband just bloody-well laughed!
"It's just the way Calvin is," he said, "He's a single man and he has a bit of a 'thing' about you. He keeps telling the other blokes at work that I've got a really fit-looking wife – it's a standing joke. He goes on about how they never had teachers like you when he was at school. Y'know... jokes about how he'd love to be in detention with you... about doing it wrong and being made to do it again... you know the kind of thing. He's probably frustrated; he split up with his girlfriend recently so I think he's probably porn-hunting on the Internet most nights at the moment."
"So I'm supposed to just let him grope me and not do anything about it?" I demanded, feeling my normally well-controlled temper beginning to bubble dangerously just below the surface.
"I didn't say that," Geoffrey responded, "Look... I'll have a word with him and make sure it doesn't happen again... okay?"
"You'd better!" I insisted, "Because if it does, I won't be here on your card nights. I'll go round to Mum's house until I'm sure they've all gone home."
It was a niggling irritation that continued to fester for a while, but Geoffrey must have had a word because Calvin did stop his visits to the kitchen. In fact, there were a couple of times during the following months when he wasn't able to make it to the card nights at all as he seemed to be in a new relationship.
For that, I was grateful. It wasn't that I didn't like him, he was normally okay when he hadn't been drinking. iI fact, he's a very good-looking and extremely fit man – the kind you wouldn't expect to see without a pretty girl hanging onto his arm for very long – but the simple fact is that I get quite enough sexual innuendo in the staff room at school and I don't appreciate it in my own home in my 'down time.'
The only unfortunate thing about his absence was that I had to partner my husband in the whist games and, as I've said, I'm not very good – certainly not in the same class as the very competitive Bob and Marje.
The beginning of 'the argument' came in the middle of October. It was a grey and miserable Friday that was followed by a cold and rainy night. I'd been held up at school to talk to a parent concerned that her daughter was being loaded down with too much homework, and then by another who suspected her son was being bullied. By the time I got home and warmed up the meal I'd prepared the night before, I was in a considerable rush to get everything done.
When the evening game was at Calvin's house Marjorie usually brought the food and Calvin made up for it by providing plenty of liquid refreshment. I suppose I'd half-assumed that, since he now had a girlfriend, there wouldn't be any need to do that, but I'd been told over the breakfast table that the relationship had ended. Then during the afternoon I'd had a text message from my husband saying that Marje had a nasty cold (no surprise as half my pupils were absent with whatever nasty bug was doing the rounds) which, of course, meant that I'd be doing all the food and taking part in the game. Not only that but, as Calvin lived a couple of miles away, I'd be doing the driving as well.
So I'll admit that I wasn't in the best of moods. It wasn't helped by the fact that I had to stop on my way home to get some bits and pieces from the supermarket – and that there were huge queues at the checkout – nor was it improved when I discovered that, although I'd put the washing in the machine before leaving that morning, I'd somehow forgotten to set it going. I'd been expecting to sling a pair of jeans and a sweater in the dryer, but that clearly wasn't going to happen. In the end, not wanting to wear anything the least bit revealing in Calvin's company, the best I could find was an old denim skirt that buttoned down the front, but came to slightly below knee-level, worn with a loose and chunky sweater that was about as feminine as Gabby Hayes.
Once Bob had climbed into the back seat of my car, and my husband had squeezed into the front with his customary complaint about it being too small for him, we set off. Not having Marje to chatter to, the journey seemed very quiet so, just making conversation, I asked: "What happened to Calvin's girlfriend, then?"
"She went back to her husband," Bob stated quite innocently, but I was taken by surprise.
"You didn't say she was married!" I said to my husband.
"Didn't I? I must have forgotten," he answered quite blandly, but Bob was more forthcoming.
"Yeah... he met her when he was fitting a new bathroom suite. Apparently it was lust-at-first-sight," he grinned. "When her husband found out about it, I believe she tried to tell him it was just something she had to get out of her system... but as soon as he started talking about divorce she went scurrying back to him and dropped Calvin like a hot brick."
"Really... and I thought he was quite... errm... harmless," I said, as ingenuously as I could manage to sound.
"Don't you believe it, Love," Bob declared, "He's a devil when it comes to married women! He says he prefers them because they don't go telling everyone what they're up to. I think it was his cheating that led to both of his divorces."
"Really... has he ever tried it on with Marje?" I asked, noticing that Geoffrey was looking more than a bit uncomfortable.
"I can guarantee that I'd know all about it if he did," he replied, then went on, "He's alright, really... he just can't resist trying it on with married women if they're halfway good-looking, I suppose.."
By that time we'd arrived at our destination and Calvin was waiting at the door as the men carried most of the food into the house. As I followed up with the final plate, Calvin held the door and asked me what was on it. When I told him it was chicken wings, he winked, leered, and said he was 'more of a legs and breasts man.'
Obviously he was over his recent affair.
I was, of course, replacing Marje in the game, which meant I was partnering Bob and sitting opposite him at the small, square table in Calvin's living room. My husband was sat on my right and Calvin, his partner was on my left. Bob was to deal first but, before he did, he announced:
"Okay... since Patsy's made all the food and driven us over here, I think it's only fair that she gets to have a couple of drinks and you can drive us home... what d'you say, Geoff?"
"I'm really not that bothered," I said quickly. God knows, I'm a poor enough card player normally, but I have a pretty low tolerance for alcohol and a few drinks would, I thought, make me a total liability; plus, I also knew that Geoffrey enjoyed a few beers during the game; but Bob wasn't so easily put off.
"Okay, then..." He said, "You and your husband cut the cards and the loser has to stay dry!"
I was about to say that I really didn't want to, but my husband laughed and agreed – probably, I thought, seeing a way to be certain of wiping the floor with Bob and me - and, a moment later, the shuffled pack was placed in front of us.
"Ladies first!" someone declared and so, rather reluctantly, I split the pack and turned over a four of diamonds. I felt a sense of relief, feeling sure it would be easily defeated but, as luck would have it, Geoffrey turned up the two of clubs! A moment or two later, Calvin was placing a wicked-looking glass of Bacardi & Coke in front of me – complete with ice and a slice of lemon.
My first hand turned out to be very a good one and so, it appeared was my partner's. We won that and then won a second one. I soon discovered that Bob was a very good player and, just by being sensible, I was able to help him win the first round of games by 4 hands to 1.
I'd never been on the winning side before and I felt quite elated by it – especially when I saw that my husband was going into a bit of a sulk! I finished off my drink – which was immediately replaced – and started again. The second game was closer – only 3 to 2 – but I was made up with it. By that time I was on my third Bacardi – three is always my limit - and I know I must have been feeling the effects of it because it tasted a lot stronger than the previous two. I realised I'd have to take it slower, so I still had a few drops left in the glass when the game ended in another narrow victory for Bob and myself.
It was clearly time for a break and, without thinking anything of it; I went out to Calvin's tiny kitchen to begin taking the cling film off the food. Normally, I can handle three drinks – just about – but I was aware that I was definitely feeling a little bit muddled, not actually drunk, but slightly tipsy. So, when the resulting clumsiness caused me to drop one of the wings on the floor, I actually giggled as I squatted down to pick it up – fully intending to put it back on the plate and say nothing (Yes, I know the so-called 'five second rule' about things not being contaminated is a myth – but it isn't when you're 'muddled').
"Here... let me get that," I heard Calvin's voice from right beside me and, before I realised what was happening, I saw it being snatched up by his large hand. I looked up, just in time to see him smile and bite into it and then, as I tried to straighten up, I tumbled backwards!
I can't tell you what I must have looked like, or what he was able to see – only he knows that – but I do know that several buttons on the front of the skirt popped open, that the back of my head 'clunked' against the fridge door to add to my confusion, and that I felt dazed and more than a bit confused. I became vaguely aware that I was sprawled, legs apart, on the tiled floor but I didn't seem to be able to make my arms work to push myself back up.
It was predictable, I suppose, that Calvin would begin to help me – and the way he did it was also fairly predictable.
Instead of stepping behind me – which would have been fairly simple – he stood between my legs, reached down to put his arms around me, and simply lifted me up as if I weighed nothing at all. Okay, if he'd put both arms around my waist to do it, that would have been bad enough; but Calvin wasn't going to miss an opportunity like that! Once his left arm was around my waist and had begun the process of raising me up, his right hand immediately went beneath my bum and lifted me completely off my feet!
So, picture it if you can – a good-looking and very fit man is standing in his kitchen; a rather dazed woman has her hands on his shoulders (note – I said 'on,' not 'around!'), while he has one hand around her waist and the other on her ass and her feet are dangling in mid-air. He probably has an erection (I don't know, I didn't notice but, given his character, it would be a surprise if he didn't) and, as she tries to pull back away from him, he plants his mouth on hers and starts to kiss her.
Got that? Okay – now imagine that you're the woman's husband and, having heard the commotion, you come into the kitchen and that is what you see. How do you think you would react?
Let me have a couple of guesses:
First option – you'd think the guy (who your wife had complained about) was trying to take advantage of her and you'd be angry with him. You'd order him to put her down, maybe demand an explanation, and then get her to hell out of there with, at the very least, a strong warning to the man about his behaviour.
That would be reasonable.
Second option – you'd immediately think that something was, or has been, going on behind your back. You'd get very upset; maybe start an argument or even a fight before either walking out on your own or, as with the first option, getting your wife out of there right away.
That would be understandable, even if it not quite as reasonable as option one.
I don't think most men would consider a third option – the one of watching for a moment or two, grinning like a cat who's just spotted an unguarded pot of cream, and then saying; "It's okay... no rush for the food... whenever you're ready!" as you grab a couple of cans of beer and quietly close the door behind you when you leave and go back into the other room!
But that is exactly what my husband did!
By that time, I'd gathered enough of my wits to realise what was happening; to jerk my face away from Calvin's whisky-laden breath and begin trying to struggle free. He was, though, a very strong man and, as I've said, I only have a slight build and he was holding me so tightly that it was difficult enough to breathe, let alone yell, or even say anything.
"C'mon, Patsy!" he whispered, "I know you like it. Geoff's told us what you're like in bed... and I've got far more to offer than he has."
The leering look on his face almost made me want to throw up (I suppose that would have been one way to make him let go of me!), but he was so wrapped up in trying to kiss me again that he failed to remember that my legs were still dangling freely in mid-air.
In that position, I couldn't manage to put much force behind it, and it was my shin rather than my knee that made contact, but it was enough. As soon as it made contact with his crotch he yelped and let me go. For a second or two he doubled up then, straightening again, he growled; "Oh... right... so you like it to be a bit rough, do you?" and then, because I'd turned away from him, "You want it from behi..." but he stopped in mid-sentence as I spun around holding a very large kitchen knife which, I can honestly say, I was perfectly prepared to use at that moment.
"Try anything like that again," I rasped, still striving to catch my breath, "and it's the hospital first and the cop shop after!"
Briefly, there was a look of immense anger on his face but it rapidly faded and was replaced by a slightly crooked smile that was far more frightening and it made me grip the knife handle even tighter, but he didn't make any move towards me.
"You stupid bitch!" he declared quietly, "You haven't a clue, have you?"
Now that confused me – but then he went on:
"It's your loss, Patsy. In case you hadn't realised, there's only one real man in this group." And when I went to say something, giving him a look of contempt, he added, "Why don't you ask Marje? She'll tell you. And she should know... because she's tried all three of us... many times!"
It was something like pity that I saw on his face, but only for a moment; because he turned, opened the door, and went back to the others, calling out; "And hurry up with that food!"