Foreword: READ THIS FIRST
First, I would like to thank my lovely and talented wife for helping me with some of the finer plot points, as well as the proofreading of this tale. I love you, Boo. :)
This is something a bit different than what I've written before in this category. It's also quite a bit longer than the tales I usually write in LW.
This is also a work of FICTION (as in NOT REAL for the "super-realists" out there) from my slightly twisted imagination. No, it isn't a willing cuckold tale, or a wife sharing-swapping-swinging-whatthefuckever tale, either. I'm never going to write one of those, so don't worry.
Yes, this could go in several different categories. I could have gone with I/R, Romance, Novels and Novellas, or even Erotic Couplings. Instead, I'm putting it in LW, as the storyline features a cheating wife and a nasty Divorce.
FAIR WARNING: If you are one of the "militant" willing cuckolds, bull, hot wife, swinger, swapper, wife sharer, or someone who sympathizes with or condones one or more of those lifestyles, DO NOT READ THIS TALE. It will probably piss you the hell off. No apologies for that.
Oh, and the hardcore BTB crowd might not like it either, as Wifey doesn't die or get mutilated in any way (SPOILER ALERT).
Also, this tale contains a couple of interracial relationships featuring black women and white men. If that offends you, just move along.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED: Any and all comments complaining about any of the above issues are now officially NMP as usual.
Everyone else, please enjoy the ride. :)
Where do I begin? Hmm. Good question. The beginning? My childhood growing up without my parents? How I went to live with my aunt and uncle and cousin after my folks died? My time in the Army? My time after the Army working for Red River Private Security? Getting married, and my wife telling me she wanted a Divorce a little over a year later?
I guess I could start at any of those points in time. Tell ya what. I'll give you a quick little overview of my life before I became an Equalizer.
What's an Equalizer, you ask? I'll get to that a bit later.
* * * * *
I was born in New York City, where my Mom and Dad lived at the time. I had a fairly normal first six years of life, but then it became something that I wouldn't call normal, and wouldn't wish on any child.
You see, when I was six years old, my folks died in a plane crash, so I was sent to live with my Uncle John, Aunt Naomi, and Cousin Cara out in California. Uncle John had been stationed at Ft. Irwin at the time, so that was where I went. Granted, my life wasn't normal anymore, and I did miss my parents, but Uncle John and Aunt Naomi did their best to make me feel loved. This, even as they struggled with their own grief over my parents' deaths.
John Shepard is my father's brother. He and Aunt Naomi had been married about the same time as Mom and Dad were. I vaguely remember my parents telling me that if anything happened to them, I would be living with John and Naomi, my Godparents.
At six, I barely remembered my folks. I wondered why my new Mom and Dad were my aunt and uncle, but after a while, I just accepted it. They had been really broken up over my folks dying, but always treated me like their own son. Cousin Cara became more of a sister to me than a cousin, and Naomi became Mom while John became Dad. I never questioned why John was white and Naomi was black. In fact, I think that bit of trivia contributed somewhat to my taste in women as I grew older.
My name is Declan Shepard, by the way. I've gone by Deck my whole life, though. I'm 33 years old, 6'1", weigh 205 lbs., and I keep in shape. I keep my prematurely graying black hair cut short as I did in the Army, but I've been called handsome by most ladies I've dated. My cobalt blue eyes round out my features along with a nose that has been broken in the past. Not too badly, but enough to give my face some character.
I was in my share of fights while growing up. Some were because of being the new kid in school, since Uncle John was in the Army and we moved around a lot. Some were because I was in a "salt and pepper" family, especially in the South when Uncle John was stationed at Ft. Benning, Georgia, and we lived in Columbus.
When we moved to Santa Barbara, California after John retired, and Cara and I started High School there, we were definitely brother and sister, as far as our attitudes toward each other.
We loved and hated each other in equal measure. We were the quintessential siblings, rivalries and all. That still didn't stop me from dating some of Cara's cheerleader friends, though.
Anyhow, after High School, I joined the Army, and was sent back to Ft. Benning, where I'd spent a couple years of my life growing up. Only this time, it was for Basic and AIT. I did a four year hitch, and was sent to Afghanistan in early '02 as part of an Alpha Team under the command of Captain Drake. I saw some shit over there that I never thought could possibly exist. Weird shit. REALLY weird. You wouldn't believe me if I told you. Trust me on that.
When I reported to Ft. Jackson for Outprocessing, I was recruited while at the Bus Stop waiting for a ride to the airport. It seemed that the Red River Private Security Firm had done some checking on me, and found my skillset to be just what they needed. They were offering 5 times what I'd been making as a Sergeant (E-5) per month, so I jumped at the chance. Hell, after that six months in Afghanistan with a side trip to Israel, I figured that whatever Red River assigned me, it would be a cakewalk by comparison.
During my time with Red River, I met and married Cindy Ramirez, a gorgeous woman with nice tits and a hellacious ass. She was from Puerto Rico, originally, and her mother was black. I was smitten. She seemed to be smitten too, and after a few months of dating and a lot of hot sex, we got married.
Yep, as you can probably guess, that didn't last too long. When we had time together when I wasn't on assignment, the sex was HOT, but we didn't click on other levels.
Just over a year after our wedding, she filed for Divorce from me but asked for nothing in the settlement. She told me that she was falling in love with another guy, but wanted to do the honorable thing and get a Divorce before she went to be with him.
I was actually somewhat relieved at that. Hell, who am I kidding? I didn't love her. The sex was fuckin' awesome, but that was pretty much all we had. Marriages built on only sex don't last, folks.
So after discussing it, we had one last night of hot sex, said our goodbyes to each other, and sure enough, the Divorce went through relatively painlessly.
Sure I was going to miss the sex, but I was still young and there are plenty of fish in the sea. So I moved on, just taking a FWB every once in a while, no strings attached. Hell, let's not beat around the bush, here. I was a merc, so I was gone a lot; sometimes for months at a stretch. No sense in being married if I couldn't be around to take care of her and keep her happy. Besides, since I hadn't really been in love with Cindy, if I did find a lady that I was seriously attracted to as more than a fuck buddy, I wanted to make damn sure that she was The One for me.
I'd been with Red River for just over 4 years when my team was ordered to destroy a dam along a river in Sierra Leone, so it could be blamed on the rebels. The main problem with that Op was that there was a village downriver that would have probably been wiped out if we'd gone through with it. I refused the order, was reminded of the confidentiality agreement I'd signed, and was fired. So was the rest of my team, as none of them went through with the order, either.
It was for the best. The last year or so of my tenure there, Red River seemed to be getting into some sketchy shit, and I was a half-step out the door already when that op came down the pipe and I refused.
Contrary to popular belief, merc... err Private Security outfits don't summarily execute those who disobey orders anymore. Not since they got "civilized." Now it's just confidentiality paperwork and lawyers. If I spouted off to the Press or the Hague, I would be sued into the poorhouse. It didn't matter if the order was of questionable legality, and it would have just been my word against theirs.
So I returned to Santa Barbara for a while. I looked for work, but couldn't find any. I was approached by several people with dubious reputations looking for muscle, but I politely turned them down. I'd had more than enough of being a thug.
My family had stopped talking to me when I told them that I was working for Red River after I left the Army. Since I got fired and told them why, we've started mending our estranged relationship. I moved down to L.A. and took a part time Bouncer job at a night club, but it was barely paying the bills. I still had a decent chunk of the money I made from Red River, but that was still dwindling slowly but steadily.
I had to get a real job, and fast.
* * * * *
I was sitting in The Shamrock, one Thursday afternoon when I overheard a conversation that would change my life. I'd just sat down at the bar and ordered a beer when the two guys' conversation at the table behind me drifted over to where I was sitting.
"... but you have to help me. I need proof that my wife is putting our children in danger when she brings her boyfriend over to the house. She says that if I Divorce her, that she'll take me to the cleaners, take my children away from me, and I'll never see them again!" He somehow pleaded with the other guy without whining. That was what really caught my attention. His voice, while angry, while begging for help, had no trace of a whine anywhere in there.
I had to give myself a wry smile in the mirror. At least Cindy and I never had kids, and she didn't have a lover... that I knew of, anyway... while we were married. She'd been very specific that she hadn't slept with him yet. I kind of counted that as a blessing, and I had decided not to ask questions of her. I was pretty laid back about the whole thing, probably because I figured out that I didn't really love her. More like I lusted her. But now as I grew older, I did want to find a lady I could settle down with... once I had a full time job!
I clocked them in the mirror to see who they were. The guy who was speaking was a runt of a dude. Probably 5'6" standing on his tiptoes. He was balding and wore glasses. For some reason, "ACCOUNTANT" was the first thought I came up with to describe him.
"Mr. Turner, I don't know what to tell you. If she doesn't bring her lover into the house when your children are there, and have sexual intercourse with him in front of them, there's no real legal basis for denying her custody in a Divorce. This is California, so Wives and Mothers almost always get preferential treatment as far as division of assets and custody of the children."
I guessed that he was either a P.I. or a lawyer. Probably a P.I., since he sure didn't look much like a Legal Eagle. The cheap suit and the bulge of a gun under his suit jacket gave me that impression.
"I'll pay you $50,000 to get me anything that I can use to have her declared an unfit mother!" Turner said. That piqued my interest. 50K isn't a bad chunk of change.
"Mr. Turner, you've already said that she never brings her lover to the house when your children are there. She sends them to a sitter. That right there tells me that she doesn't put them in the middle of your... lifestyle.
"It's not MY lifestyle, Mr. Stone. My wife is forcing this on me, and I basically have no choice!" he snarled, his voice rising and starting to draw attention.
I sighed. I've always had a soft spot for the underdogs. I never like seeing someone get shit on when they don't deserve it. Blame it on how I was raised. Besides, if I could wrangle that 50K, it would at least be a start. The funds I'd squirreled away from my Red River days were starting to run a bit thin. I started formulating a plan of action immediately.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Turner. There's nothing that I can do. You already know your wife has a lover, and even with proof of it, she's still going to make your life hell in the Divorce. All I can really say is good luck to you. I hate it when cheaters get away with it, but with all the bleeding heart judges in this state, there's no way to prove her an unfit mother, unless she does something illegal or immoral in front of the children," Stone said as he got up to leave. Turner just sat there with his head down as Stone put his hand on the smaller man's shoulder and gave it a squeeze. Then the Private Eye walked out.
That was my cue. I got up and took my beer to the table. "Mr. Turner?" I asked softly. He looked up at me.
"Yes? Who are you?" he asked, his defenses coming up because I'd caught him crying.
"My name is Declan Shepard, and I couldn't help overhearing your conversation with the private detective. I know you don't know me, and have no reason to trust me, but I believe that I can help you with your problem," I responded with a nod. "May I sit down?"
His face lit up with hope. "Please do, Mr. Shepard," he gestured to the chair most recently vacated by the P.I.
"Thank you," I smiled with a nod and sat down. "Now, I couldn't help but overhear that your wife has a lover. She has basically backed you into a corner on it so you can't Divorce her without losing pretty much everything. Am I right so far?"
"Yes, pretty much," he said with a defeated snort. "I don't see how you can help, though. Are you a Private Investigator?"
"Not as such," I admitted. "But, I believe I can help you, just not quite in the way you were thinking."
"What do you mean, Mr. Shepard?" he asked with a puzzled expression.
"I can level the playing field for you. I can make it so that your wife won't be able to do much, when you decide to file for Divorce. I need some more information about her and her lover, though. I need to know what you know about him, especially," I said.
Turner thought for a few moments. "His name is Gordon Smith, and he's even bigger than you are. He's threatened me that if I put up any kind of resistance, he'll beat me or worse," he said, shaking with anger and fear. More anger was apparent, though. My respect for the man jumped another notch.
I nodded. "Ok, I'm not worried about how big he is," I responded. "What does he look like?"
"Big, blonde, and looks a bit like Thor from the movies. He even has the stubble on his face."
I got a picture in my head of an evil Chris Hemsworth type of character. "Ok, and do you know where he lives?"
"Two miles over from our house. I followed him once after he left our place. I can't fight him, though. As much as I'd like to beat him to death, I wouldn't stand a chance against him. I tried once," he said as he pulled out a pen and scribbled down the offending asshole's address on a napkin.
"Ok, back to your wife for a moment. How long have you two been married?"
"Sixteen years. Fifteen of those happily, at least on my part. I thought she was happy too, but then a year ago..." he let his voice trail off as he shook his head in disgust. He then finished writing and handed the napkin to me with the address on it.
I took it when he held it out to me, and I nodded as I looked at the asshole's address. "Does he have a family? Wife? Children?"
"Not that I could tell. He lives in a nice house in Beverly Hills, though," he said.
"Ok, so possibly no wife or kids that could be turned against him. Can you tell me exactly how and when this whole mess started?" I inquired.
He took a deep breath. "About a year ago was when everything changed. Candace, my wife, came home one day and said that we needed to talk. I thought that she was going to Divorce me right then and there, but she said that she was going to turn me into a cuckold, and there was nothing I could do about it. Of course, I threatened to Divorce her, and that was when she told me that she would take my kids and leave me a broken wreck if I tried that.
"So I got the bright idea to get my baseball bat and beat the asshole senseless the next time he came over. She'd told me that he would come over and fuck her, and she expected me to watch how a 'real man' takes care of business," he said, rolling his eyes.
"I take it the baseball bat tactic didn't work too well?" I raised one eyebrow.
"I would have laid him out cold, but my loving wife warned him, and he spun around and took the bat from me. He then hit me in the stomach with it, and that was the last time I tried to fight him. He said if I tried something like that again, he would beat me to a bloody pulp. Then he said that if I tried it again after that, he would kill me and that he and my wife would get my Life Insurance."
So the asshole was a bully, and one willing to break the law seemingly without a second thought. I could DEFINITELY work with that. Knowledge is power, folks. Sun Tzu had it right. Know your enemy. I was going to figure out everything possible about ol' Gordy boy before I moved on him.
I nodded, and then decided to ask about payment. "I heard you offer that P.I. 50K. I'll do it for that, and my way won't involve framing anyone. Would that be acceptable to you?"
He nodded, his face lighting up with hope. "Mr. Shepard, I can pay you half now, and half when it's over. Can you tell me how you're going to do it?"
"It's better that you not know," I said sincerely. "Mr. Turner, trust me on this. The less you know, the safer we both will be."
He looked like he was going to ask again, but thought better of it. Smart man. He swallowed hard from his beer, and just nodded.
I nodded back. "Good. Now, do you have a picture of your wife so I can get a read on her?"
"Sure," he said, pulling out his wallet and handing me a pic. Holy shit! She was gorgeous! Part of me wondered how this guy could score a hottie like her. The pic he gave me was of him, her, and their two kids, a boy and a girl. His son looked to be about 10 or 11, and the daughter looked about 13 or 14. Even after having the kids, his wife was still in great shape. Tall, dirty blonde hair, and an air of superiority that showed that she had chosen Mr. Turner because she thought she could dominate him. She was stuck on herself in a big way, and I felt sorry for the kids that had her as a mother.
Turner, I could tell, had a will of iron under his bean counter looks. Unfortunately, while his spirit was that of a lion, he was stuck in the body of a field mouse. He was fighting back in the only way he could.
After studying the picture, I handed it back to him. "Ok, thank you. Mr. Turner, do you have an aversion to anything happening to the man who has been hanging the horns on you?" I pretty much knew the answer already, but I needed confirmation.
"None, whatsoever," he said without hesitation. Very smart man.
"Good. I'm not going to lie to you. This will take a few hours to prep. Do you have your cellphone on you?" I asked, pulling out my own BlackBerry.
"Right here," he said, pulling his out. I got his number and gave him mine in return.
"Good to go," I said. "I'll text you a few hours before I go after him. Do you have any idea of when he's coming to your house next?"
"Tomorrow night," he said with a look of pure venom. "I wish I could just kill the bastard!"
"Tempting, but not an option," I said. "He won't be so enthusiastic to have sex with your wife when I'm done talking to him, though. I plan to make things a bit difficult for him.
"Also, can your wife or her lawyer trace the money you're going to use to pay me?" I asked.
"No, it's from a rainy day fund that I set up a year ago when all this started," he said. "A friend of mine went through a Divorce, so he told me what he did to minimize the damage his wife could do to him. The account is off-shore, and nobody knows about it but me."