Ex-Rats Ch. 04byalpha55©
(Tough to say no)
On hearing Kerri's gentle admission that she was well aware of my unconscionable . . . love? . . . lust? . . . for Marty's wife, I began to feel like a damned idiot. Guiltily recalling my earlier thoughts, I took her startling revelation to confirm my long-held belief that women were telepathic or something. But, I had to ask. "What brings all this on?"
"While you were snoring and snorting last night, I went down to use the bathroom and Shauna was at the kitchen table and I could tell she'd been crying some more. She's convinced that Marty'll be gone in a year or two. She mentioned that she'd asked you if she could move in with us when he dies." Kerri looked down at her shoes, then back up at me, her own dark eyes a bit misty. "I asked her what you'd said, and she told me . . ."
"That I agreed, right? 'Cause, of course, I did." I leaned to my wife and touched her hand. "Darlin', you know I love you." She inclined her head toward me just a little. "And, I've got to admit that I do love Shauna. But Shauna is Marty's wife and will continue to be, well, till death do them part. I mean, that's a couple that has their picture in the dictionary next to the word 'love'."
Kerri started to speak, but I went heedlessly on my way. "Even if Shauna lost her head enough to stop loving Marty, I guaran-goddamn-tee you it wouldn't be because of the likes of me. Besides, we owe them that. If it was Marty that wanted to move in with us, hell if it was me or you that wanted to move in here, I'd expect all of us to do what we could for any of the others, no matter what the situation." I was floundering badly, and I knew it.
Kerri looked at me with those usually soothing, often smoldering, occasionally downright stormy dark eyes. "Jimmy," she murmured softly. "I know that you and Shauna were intimate that one time." She smiled then at what I imagine was my deer-in-the-headlights expression. "I also know that it was one time only and, believe me, I never have and never will say anything to anyone about it . . . including Marty. And, trust me, I didn't find out from Shauna, at least not in so many words. As far as I know she's been as discreet as you have. Nor have I ever thought of being unfaithful to you, Jimmy, out of spite or revenge or for any other reason than because I love only you; want to be with only you."
She held up her hand before I could interrupt. "My point in all this is simply that when Marty's gone, Shauna will indeed have lost her love, and she'll absolutely expect the likes of you to fill in."
I pondered all this a moment, then had to ask "And what about you, darlin'?"
"If it was any other woman in the entire world, there's no way this would even be allowed to come up." She laid her hand lightly on my arm. "But, of course it's different with Shauna. I love her nearly as much as I love you."
At that moment, I felt myself unworthy of either woman.
I mulled the potential deprivation of Kerri's unabashed sexual appetite, her still-magnificent body, her uninhibited passion. There was only one other woman, I admitted to myself, that could match my wife in pure physical beauty, in singular eroticism. And that woman was most emphatically unavailable, now with other, greater burdens weighing on her mind than my once all-too-requited love.
I couldn't help, however, but to think back to the night many years before, during a snow-laden February school vacation week. Shauna and Marty were living in Vermont then. She'd been skiing at Sunapee that day while Marty had dutifully stayed home to mind their daughters. Diane was just three at the time, and Meagan had turned a year old only weeks before.
Marty called me to say that Shauna was having car trouble, was broken down over by Lebanon in New Hampshire near the Vermont border, some thirty miles from our house west of Concord. We were expecting a blizzard that night and Marty said it was already snowing heavily in the western part of Vermont, said he couldn't find anybody to watch the girls, that there was no way he'd drive with the kids through a blizzard. He also said that he refused to allow his wife to be stuck in some Podunk hotel for two or three days, asked if I'd drive over to pick her up, let her stay with us till the storm passed.
As it happened, our two boys were in New York, visiting Kerri's folks over by Oneonta. So I told Marty that I'd be happy to help Shauna out, and got some details as to where she and I could meet.
I'd have asked Kerri to accompany me on the ride, except that she was working the second shift at Concord Hospital. Way things were shaping up that night, weather-wise; I pretty much expected that Kerri would have to work a double shift as a fill-in for one of the third-shift nurses, many of whom would likely be snowed in. To be honest, I experienced a low-level excitement at the prospect of being alone with Shauna for the night. I suppose the fact that all of us had been naked together within a half-hour of meeting might have had something to do with it.
In any case, it was snowing pretty heavily by the time I met Shauna at the garage where she'd had the car towed. After making arrangements for repairs, we started back toward my house, with Interstate 89 by now becoming a bit treacherous.
Shauna thanked me again for coming out, said she hadn't been looking forward to spending the next day or two snowed in at some hole-in-the-wall motel. Nevertheless, as conditions continued to deteriorate, we began listing places along the way where we could take shelter if the road became impassable, which occasionally happened.
The big Bronco got us back to my place in one piece, however, and with four inches of snow already on the ground, I was pretty sure that Kerri wouldn't be home for some time.
Sure enough, when Shauna and I got into the house, there was a message from my wife on the answering machine. She'd be working the next shift, asked if I might be able to come get her in the morning since it was obvious that our aged, rear-wheel-drive Plymouth wouldn't be going anywhere for awhile. I called her number at the hospital while Shauna peeled off her layers of ski togs.
As I spoke to Kerri, I couldn't help but notice that Shauna, in a tight, and I mean TIGHT! leotard and form-fitting stretch top, was now tending the woodstove and brewing water for a couple of hot toddies. To put it delicately, every curve she possessed . . . and she possessed some bodacious curves . . . was highlighted, underlined, and italicized. I felt myself becoming aroused at the sight.
After telling Kerri that I'd just rescued Shauna from her ski adventure, which she took suspiciously well, I told her I'd do my best to pick her up at the end of her double. I hung up the phone then and simply admired Shauna's figure as she stood at the kitchen counter pouring the hot lemon and whiskey concoction into a pair of coffee mugs. She turned abruptly and caught me red-handed staring at her magnificent rear.
She smiled and, to my amazed delight, struck a pose, legs apart, hands on her hips, breasts outthrust, perfect lips formed into a perfectly adorable pout. "Like what you see, Mr. Axelsson?" she asked.
Knowing exactly what she had packed into those ski togs got my cock stirring some more, but I grudgingly set my desires aside. This was, after all, my best friend's wife, and a good friend in her own right.
I laughed and replied, "Just making sure you're putting plenty of whiskey in those toddies."
Shauna laughed too. "Oh, and I was so sure you were checking out my buns."
"Ah. You're baking buns, too?"
"I'll be baking them next to the woodstove in a second; I'm still trying to thaw out from skiing. Have a toddy and let's toast our buns together."
I tossed a couple of throw pillows onto the floor in front of the woodstove while Shauna placed the toddies next to the pillows. She gave me a small caress as she backed her butt cautiously nearer the stove, thanked me once more for rescuing her.
"Hey Shauna, no problem. But you might want to give Marty a call, let him know you're safe and sound."
At that moment, Shauna, hair a glowing russet halo around her flawless face, green eyes flashing desire, was bent over at the waist with those fine buns pointing toward the woodstove, doing some serious baking. In her tights, with her nipples tenting the front of the pullover even through the sports bra she doubtless wore, this pretty Irish girl presented a sight of nearly unbearable sensuality. "Am I really safe and sound, Jimmy," she replied then, "or am I about to be ravaged by a man I've loved since we first met."
I was shocked speechless. Trite, but true.
"Oh, Jimmy, don't look at me like that. You know I've always been attracted to you. Just like I know you've been dying to get in my pants."
I eased to the pillows, looked into those Celtic eyes and saw no mocking, no joking, no pretence. "Hey, Shauna, nothing like telling it like it is."
She smiled sweetly and straightened up.
"So," I said as calmly as possible, "now that we've cleared up any misconceptions, what about calling Marty?"
"I'll call him in a few minutes. But, face it, Marty's in Burlington taking care of the girls. We're here. And I'm willing to take the shot. My concern at the moment is about Kerri. I know that she'll suspect -- hell, she'll know damn well when . . . if . . . we do the deed, because I know Kerri. Thing is, what will that do to your relationship?"
I looked at her with narrowed eyes. "You're throwing a lot of obstacles in the way, here; two of which are Kerri and Marty. If there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that I love Kerri. Hell yeah I'd like to ravage you, as you put it. But, you know it wouldn't be right. We'd be betraying two people who sure as hell don't deserve it."
"So you'd be overcome with guilt if we . . . showed our love?"
"I have no idea," I replied. "Honestly, I've never even considered being unfaithful to Kerri."
"Nor have I ever considered stepping out on Marty."
"Then why is this subject even coming up?"
"Because we've always wanted to test the waters with each other, we just haven't had the opportunity. And, of course, we both love our spouses."
"Is there a problem between you and Marty?" I asked, just a little worried.
"Marty and I are fine, Jimmy. It's just that I see no reason not to take advantage of a night together. Just us." Shauna abruptly leaned in to kiss me. I felt her tongue probing and resisted the urge to take her right there. She eased to the floor next to me, close enough that our hips and shoulders touched in charged excitement.
"You know, Jimmy," she went on, "eventually we're going to get old. Eventually, we're going to die . . ."
I must've frowned then, because she went on hurriedly. "I know, I know. Morbid, huh? Well, shit happens. And the four of us are so together that, well, the first widow or widower will be devastated. My point is, why not take a test drive? Just us two; just this once. In case Kerri or Marty goes first?"
"I'll say it again," I said, sort of again, "you're talking about betraying both Marty and Kerri."
"I suppose I am," Shauna replied with a small sigh. "Believe me, Jimmy, I love both of them. But I also love you."
I was flattered, indeed honored, but had to ask "Does Marty know anything about this?"
"Of course not. Do you think I planned this whole thing? I called Marty when the car broke down because I hoped that he'd figure out a way I could get home tonight. I kind of assumed that he'd be able to find someone to watch the kids, and drive out from Burlington to pick me up. Or, if not, that he'd have an idea of where I could catch a bus. But, I guess the busses aren't running tonight, and the way the weather is there's no way he'd have been able to get me, so . . . here we are."
I wasn't sure how to handle any of this. "What about loyalty, honor, to have and to hold, the vows of fidelity, all that?"
Shauna poured those wild Irish eyes over me, over my soul. "Are you telling me that you don't want to make love to me, that I'm not worthy?" She asked quietly.
"Come on, Shauna. We both know how friggin' worthy you are. But, for one thing you weren't there when Marty and I were confabbing in Commander Lundgren's office after we'd been busted. Marty claimed that he'd have shot me if I'd so much as touched you during our, um, little adventure."
"He really said that?" Shauna asked with a small grin.
"Oh yeah," I replied. "And knowing how infatuated he was with you, I have no doubt that he'd have done it. Point is, I'm not sure if I could have said that about Kerri at the time. But now? I've always thought of myself as the luckiest ex-river rat on the face of the earth when Kerri told me lo these many years back that she was falling in love with me. I'm not sure I want to mess with that. I went through a test kind of like this the day we met. I passed with the proverbial flying colors and ended up with one of the most beautiful, selfless . . . and loyal women that ever lived; though you sure as hell match her on the beautiful part."
"But not on the others?" Shauna asked with a sassy pout.
"Shauna, you want me to, well, to betray Kerri, you want to betray Marty. What do you want me to say?" We looked at each other long and hard.
I couldn't help, then, remembering when Shauna had first stepped aboard the Stoned Pony. I had a feeling then that we'd all pair up as fate would will it, but I also knew that I'd give my left nut to have a shot at both women. This finely put-together redhead with those foxy green eyes had captured my lust, was well on her way to capturing my heart. I had all but drooled at the thought of having each of those fine women.
Suddenly, the picture of the next best thing came to my convoluted mind, but I have at least some sense of honor . . . so I thought.
I noticed then, that Shauna's gorgeous azure eyes had begun to tear up. "Goddamnit, Jimmy, I want to make love with you. I don't want to hurt Kerri or Marty, either, but I know I want you just this one time. And I had hoped you'd want me." She quickly jumped to her feet and began messing with the woodstove. "Jesus," she yelled at the stove pipe. "I'm sounding like a fucking whore. You're right, Jimmy, we'd be hurting two good people. It just isn't fair."
I leaned back on my pillows and was silent. I watched her close the stove door and ease down beside me, again electrically close. God but she was a beautiful woman.
Then she was in my arms once more, her lips pressed to mine, her tongue probing and flitting. I could feel her soft curves through her tights, found myself becoming enormously aroused, my mouth accepting her flirting tongue. And I began to accept the fact that I was without my wife for the night.
"Shauna, you realize, of course, that you're making it very hard for me not to take advantage of our situation," I said when we came up for air.
"I know that Jimmy. But our getting together was bound to happen. We all knew that."
"Well I sure as hell didn't know that, Shauna, and I'm inclined to think that neither of our respective mates would know something like that, either."
"Don't bullshit me, Jimmy," Shauna replied with that sexy grin. "Even Marty's told me that he's very aware of how much we want to bed each other."
Ashamed that I was that transparent, I could only reply "Of course I want to bed you. But that still doesn't mean its right."
"For us," Shauna looked up at me with those bewitching eyes, "it would be right. For Marty it's, well, if not right, at least acceptable. Marty loves Kerri in his own way . . . who wouldn't? She's a beautiful woman . . . in all ways. Way more beautiful than I am."
I was about to mildly dispute the "more" part, but she went on.
"The thing is that you and I love each other differently than Marty and Kerri do. I'm sure that if Kerri gave even the slightest hint that she'd go to bed with Marty, he wouldn't hesitate. But she won't, and he wouldn't dream of forcing the issue."
I just couldn't think of what to say, so I simply gazed my fill at that enchanting, perfectly formed face, those witchy green eyes, those full pink lips.
We moved to kiss again.
Stay with us as my shame is revealed.