Feuer Frei Ch. 03byColinthedog©
"Y'know Joe. I know it's none of my business, and I really shouldn't say anything, but let's face it, I think I now know you two more intimately than probably your closest friends. But it seems to me you were closer to overlooking Debs, er, mistake on Friday, at least you were talking then. Now the pair of you seem to be waiting for each other to make it right, make it all go away. That's not going to happen. You need to work out whether you want to put your lives back together and walk away from this or not. I am not going to say it will be easy, you have a long hard struggle, each of you, but remember you are the victims here, and one thing is for sure, if you don't even try then those bastards have won."
Sandra's words pounded their way into my head.
She was wrong, her sentiment may be true, I wanted it to be true, but they had already won. I know because what we once had, was no more.
Still I moved to Deborah and opened my arms. She ran to me and buried her sobbing face into my chest. I held her tightly and I wept too.
I wept for my, our loss. I would never trust her again, I knew it and I think she did as well.
Sandra soon made herself scarce with no further exchange, letting herself out quietly. I watched her leave, my tears had gone and I was just feeling empty, her arms wrapped round me, making me feel both restrained and constrained. My eyes darted around the room, subconsciously looking for an excuse to let go of my wife. Thankfully an excuse rang the doorbell. The door fitters had finished and wanted me to check, and sign for the work done. I did the necessary and bunged them £30 each, not much; but it was all I had on me.
Once we had the house to ourselves we tried to talk. The trouble was, neither of us had the words, there was too much emotion, the wounds were too fresh, too deep.
Deborah just wanted to hold me, touch me in any way she could, I think so she could feel safe again. I didn't have that option, her touch didn't make me feel safe, I can't say it physically burned, but that is near to what it felt like. Every time she tried, I pushed her away.
We spent the rest of the day in the same manner. I tried to mong out in front of the telly, everyone of my normal shows seemed to be including a cheating slag of a wife in this weeks plot, even the Simpsons seemed too close to home.
Eventually I said sod it, and went to bed. Deborah joined me and tried to relax me, possibly seduce me, again I found her touch objectionable and pushed her away.
I don't think either of us slept well, for the third night in a row. She was still in bed when I left for work, perhaps both of us found the temporary respite easier, I know I did.
Jack was brilliant, his jovial nature and inane mocking at least gave me a break from the shit I had at home. After I dropped him off after work, I resolved to try harder, Sandra was definitely right about one thing, if we both didn't try, then it would never work.
I wanted to try, I really did. I let her greet me with a quick hug and a kiss. I told her about my day, asked her about hers. That all seemed to go well, but once we had done that, it was discomfort city all over again.
In bed I didn't push her away, but couldn't bring myself to touch her. When she took me into her mouth I did respond. I even started to enjoy the experience, then she moved to the sixty nine position.
I looked at her, her lips, gracing the opening into her body, those lips, the taste, texture, the lust and the love. I started to move my head to her as she brought herself down. "...your sluts up for it, I should know, I've been fucking her for weeks." Shaun's words echoed through my head, taunting me, removing my desire and angering me.
"What's wrong darlin'?" She asked as my now flaccid member slipped from her mouth.
I pushed her off me. "Sorry hun, but what that cunt said about fucking you jumped into my head, ruined the moment."
She looked ashamed, her eyes dropped down to the bed. I' I never, I didn't, you have to believe me, he lied darlin'." her voice fearful, broken. "Really you have to believe me."
I rolled over and faced away from her, I could feel her pain at my rejection. I heard her quiet sobs for a long time.
Angry semi random thoughts rebounded around my mind, the lies, whether she cheated, were there any more lovers, she was a whore, my pain, being forcefully tied, and many others, each one stinging my psyche with poisoned visions, each one reminding me of what had once been, and what had almost happened.
Eventually I fell asleep, trying to keep my thoughts from, Deborah, Shaun and the whole goddamn mess.
Thursday she gave me a blowjob, no frills, no attempt to get anything in return from me, the odd stray thought broke my concentration, my erection faltered but did not fail, eventually her devotions were rewarded.
"You needed that." she said as she pulled away from me.
I awoke the next morning and for the first time in what seemed like forever she was wrapped around me and for the first time in what seemed like forever, I didn't feel uncomfortable about it. She snuggled into me and again for the first time in a long time I smiled about it.
The next evening, I would like to say things were a bit better, but again once we had caught up and eaten I felt awkward. I was relieved when the doorbell rang. Deborah answered it.
Jack, and Paul his brother were ushered in. They wanted to take me down the pub, a lads night out they said. I looked at Deborah and she nodded.
They didn't take me my local or their normal haunt, instead they took me to an isolated pub known as the whore's drawers or to give the name on the sign outside the White Horse.
It wasn't a good pub, which explained why it was virtually empty on a Friday night.
We settled into a corner table near to a roaring open fire, to be honest about the only good thing the pub had going for it.
Paul looked at me once we were all sat.
"Right spill." he said.
"You fucking know what, why did yer get to have a dead bloke in your house, what the fucks goin' on, did you kill him an' why?"
"I'd rather not talk about it." I answered. "I thought we were out for a good time."
"No mate, we know somethin's fucked up, and we wanna help." said Paul.
"I can't tell you, it's too personal." I replied, staring into my pint.
"Look mate, I might not be the brightest, but I have worked with you now for nigh on two year' an' we all know if it weren't for you giving me a chance back then I would be locked up now for sure. I know somethin's up an' I know it's fucked up." Jack said earnestly.
He was right, I had given him a job and then gone before the court to plead for him, all at Paul's request. It had worked, Jack had stopped hanging around with the wasters that had got him into trouble, at least long enough for him to see them for what they were, and for nearly all of them to get banged up. He had turned his life around, no more drugs apart from a bit of smoke, no more mstealing cars and trading of varying dubious circumstance. He was also right about it being fucked up.
"It's got somethin' to do with that Brian bloke, an' 'is missus' ain't it? asked Paul.
I stared at him in shock, how did he know that?
"I were in the three feathers the other dinner time I were meetin' up with me mate Jerry, an in walks your missus with some woman, that Brian's old lady. I didn't know 'er but Jerry did; he's a fireman too. Any ways they didn't see me an' Jerry, when they came an' sat behind us, y'know how one side is laid out with sort of cubicles. Well I overheard what they were talking about, some sick sex stuff. An' I thought no, not Joe he wouldn't be up for that. Not now, not ever. An' then last night when I heard about that bloke bein' brown bread at your house I knew it had somethin' to do with that..." Paul was saying.
Jack butted in and continued. "An so he comes round an' asks me what the fuck is goin' on with you. So I told him about how nervous you seemed to be about your dinner party you were, an' that you hadn't said much about it. An' then I realised you had not talked about Debs for weeks, normally you don't shut up about her it's Debs this an' Debs that, so we got an idea of what's been happening. Fuck me Joe, for christ's sake tell me you ain't been slurping some cunts spunk out of your missus."
"No mate, as Paul said not now, not ever." I then told them everything, Lucy's campaign to involve Debs and I in their sordid sexual games, to turn me into a chastised wimp like Brian. How I had fucked up their plans and Lucy and her cohorts had invaded my home to get what they wanted by force.
"Man that is real fucked up" said Paul as I finished, Jack appeared for the first time in his life, speechless for a second.
Eventually he found his voice. "A fuckin' good kickin' is not good enough, especially for that Shaun bloke."
I nodded in agreement. The two brothers looked at one another and Paul rose from he seat. "Same again?" he asked gathering our empty glasses, again I nodded.
"What' you gonna do about Debs, divorce? asked Jack.
"Good question." I replied. "I've thought about it, I thought we had something really special till all this shit happened. I don't know whether we can ever get that back." I looked at him, over to Paul at the bar and around the room not wanting to talk anymore, but Jack pushed some more.
"But you're gonna try." he said "You gonna be able to rebuild the trust, if you can't then it's time to call it a day, don't you think."
Fuck me, wise beyond his years is Jack. As I started my reply Paul returned with the drinks.
"You're right." I replied, faltering at Pauls arrival. " But as far as I know she didn't really do anything wrong, apart from letting that slag fill her head full of shit, the fact the she held off from doing anything, wouldn't.. until... she got me on board... Even as fucked up as that idea was..."
I reached for my now full glass and took a deep draught.
"I mean, its gotta be worth trying, just for that reason, surely." I drained my glass and went to the toilet. As I sat back down Jack started at me again.
"So this Mark bloke, an' Lucy are banged up, an' Brian and Shaun are wanderin' about. D'you know their full names an' addresses? got any photo's?"
"No, only Brian and Lucy. No, wait, Shaun's last name is Derby, I think his wife's names Karen." I replied remembering Sandra's questioning. "Oh and the other bloke, it was Mark King."
Jack had a phone in his hand and was texting some one.
"No addresses?" he asked.
"Only Brian's." I said, the look he gave me urged me to tell him, I did, but added. "He is supposed to be selling up, moving."
Jack nodded, still busy with his phone. Paul returned with another pint for me, and the two brothers exchanged a look, I saw an almost imperceptible nod from Jack, answered with a big one and a smile from Paul. Puzzled, I looked from one to the other.
Paul sat down.
"You 'aven't kicked her out then? Not going to?" he asked.
"Fuck me is this going to going on all night, I've just been through this with Jack. No" I said shaking my head sadly. "I don't think she did anything, not physically, I know he overstepped the mark once, enough to get a smack in the gob if I had seen it, but not enough to get divorced over."
"You sure." He asked.
I was suddenly fearful, did he know something I didn't? Had I believed another lie? "Why, what did you overhear?" I demanded, a little too loudly.
"No, nothing like that, if anything what I heard confirms it. Debs said she wasn't going to push you anymore and she didn't want anyone else. But what clinched it was I heard that other bird, Lucy tell Debs that if she was only to try it, she would never regret it, and Debs told her she didn't ever want to hear her talk about it again and she stormed out." He took a sip from his glass."I just wanted to be sure what you want, for you to be sure, really sure."
I understood what he meant, it would be easier, perhaps on us both to say fuck it, blame her and call it a day. Sandra's words echoed in my mind. "...if you don't even try, then those bastards have won already." She was right, yes I had fought a long hard battle, and I had won that one. No I wasn't going to allow them to win any, if they won only one battle the would win the war. I gripped my glass tightly as I stared at it, anger growing as I did so.
I struggled to calm myself down as Paul put his head to mine. "I know someone that can make your problems go away." He whispered. "A grand for each, and that'll be the end of it."
I looked at him, shocked as the realisation of what he had just suggested sank in. Was I prepared to go that far? If I did could I live with myself afterwards? "If you ain't got it I can front it, pay me back later." he offered.
I slowly shook my head, deciding to deal with it myself. If I failed then that could always be a solution to fall back on.
He shrugged. "Let me know if you change your mind." He looked up as Jack returned.
"'Ave you seen that comedian, Jim Jeffries, I got a DVD at home, I'll lend it, if you want, he's funny as fuck." Said Paul.
My anger dissipated as I caught on to his distraction.
"That'll be a subtle change of subject then." I observed grinning at him. Knowing the serious stuff had ended.
Things then turned into the night I had expected, or at least hoped for. Jokes, gossip, mutual mocking and merriment. For a man that doesn't normally drink that much, I put away more than a few.
At closing time I insisted on walking home, claiming I had some thinking to do. After some discussion they said goodnight and left me to my own devices. After peeing up a fence I set about the four mile trek home. Lost deep in thought, it seemed to take no time before I was at my front door, much less inebriated than when I left the pub. Steeling myself, I reached for the handle and opening the door I walked in, despite the alcohol, apprehension flowed over me as I stepped over the threshold.
Debs was sitting in the lounge, the telly was on and she looked up at me, I could see she had been crying.
"I was worried you wouldn't come back, did you have a good time?"
"Yes," I replied, "perhaps you should get out with some friends."
Must have been the wrong thing to say, she burst into tears.
I reacted without thinking, as a loving husband should, and moved to comfort her.
"I daren't, I went shopping yesterday and...and." she dissolved into uncontrollable sobs.
I pulled her to me and we wrapped our arms around each other.
"I saw him." she croaked out.
"No secrets remember." I said softly.
"I didn't know how to tell you, but don't worry I told him to fuck off, and he knew I meant it."
"No secrets, hun."
"It wasn't planned, wasn't arranged, I' I just ran in to him."
"It was planned, but not by you, trust me we haven't seen the last of him yet."
"Why won't he leave us alone?"
"Because he is a sick cunt, plain and simple."
"Can't the police do anything?" she asked pulling back and looking up at me.
"Probably not." I said returning her gaze. "Sandra was right, I thought they had already won, but they didn't win, they gained ground and I, we won the first battle. We have to make sure they do not win any, and we can only do that if we do it together."
"I would kill the bastards if I could, all of them."
We agreed on that at least. I broke the no secrets agreement, I didn't tell her about the relevant conversation with Paul and Jack, even though talking to them had seemed to help things get perspective in my mind .
We fucked later, I won't say made love, but it I felt it was a start to a possible reconciliation.
The following day a letter arrived summoning me to an inquest, the decision of which would go a long way to deciding whether I was to be prosecuted or not for the death of Winston White.
Over the next couple of weeks, things slowly did improve between us, then again the upcoming inquest served well as a distraction, we were both worried about the possible outcome. Debs, quite rightly blamed herself, yet she wasn't even thought of as culpable.
Sandra popped round a couple of times to give support, assuring us that the police really had little to suggest it was anything other than a fortunate accident, her words not mine.
The week before the inquest Debs went back to work, she found the first few days awkward and uncomfortable, but with support from her bosses, Peter and Dave began to settle back into it, normalcy seemed to be finally in sight, our lives had started to get back on track.
On Friday afternoon I saw Jack look at his phone. He looked worried and came over to me.
"Go meet Debs out of work."
I looked at him, and was about to ask why, but he shouted at me urgently. "Go, now, and hurry."
I took another look at him then dashed down the ladder, jumped in my van and headed to D&P insurance, where Debs worked. I evaded the main roads and skirted round on the back streets, less traffic and less traffic lights, even so I sped through, ignoring my phone when it started ringing incessantly, a few minutes into my journey.
The car park was almost empty, only four cars in it. One was ours, plus a Bentley and an Aston which I knew belonged to Peter and David, the owners of the company and one other, and I knew who owned that.
I recognised that car as soon as I pulled into the car park.
The last time I had seen that car it was parked in my driveway. It belonged to a certain Mr Derby. An angry shout showed me where he was. Debs had not yet come out, it looked like he was waiting for her.
"You fucking runt, have you come to see my slut before I take her for a good fucking?" he said as I climbed out of my cab.
I knew I had to restrain myself, we were on camera. I paused briefly, to think of of an answer.
"Already seen her." I replied. " You shouldn't call her a slut though, then again considering what she has been saying about you, I suppose it's only fair."
He looked confused for a second, I provoked him more as I began to walk around the van toward him.
"Love the new sheets by the way, fits the décor well, sorry about the stains, but you know what an animal Karen is when she gets going. I would have stayed a little longer, but you know, I always feel awkward around your kids, no matter how much they say they like me."
Confusion dissipated, to be replaced by anger, a redness creeping up his neck to his ears, making the fresh scarring glow white in contrast.
"Tell me, does she always come that much with a bit of anal or is that just me?I only ask because she still seems embarrassed after all these months."
As I spoke I saw Debs leave the building, she was accompanied by Peter and Dave, her bosses. They paused briefly at the door as Peter locked it. Shaun hadn't yet seen them and it looked like he was about ready to blow. I continued twisting the knife.
"From what she has been telling me, uh apparently you are not as er gifted as you and Lucy made out. Don't worry, she only told me that because I mentioned how tight she wa..."
His fist landed squarely on my jaw. Although I was ready for it, tried to roll with it, he still threw a good punch and he made a good connection. As I hit the floor he moved to kick me shouting. "How did a runt like you get the best of Winston and Mark?As I hit the floor two men grabbed him. As I regained my feet Shaun was slammed into the side of my van. Debs had her phone out and was speaking urgently.
I was still rubbing my jaw when a police car turned up.
They took preliminary statements from all of us, three backed me up, no-one had heard me softly provoking Shaun. They had just seen us talking, him getting agitated and attacking me for no reason, of course I added that he had told me more people would be coming after me because of what had happened to the people he and Lucy had sent round to deal with "me and my slut." Naturally as he heard me saying this he started shouting again, threatening to get even with me for fitting him up. All in all, the smack on the jaw was worth its weight in gold.