Mr E and the Guilty ConsciencebyTx Tall Tales©
I'm sure many would think me a wimp. Perhaps I am. I enjoyed it, the access to her body, wrenching the orgasms from her shuddering flesh, pampering her, cuddling with her. I was shocked when I was included on calls with her husband, and he thanked me for taking care of her, and being a gentleman about it. Mingling with the station royalty, the people the other hundreds of us were there for, was exciting.
She cried when I told her it was going to be my last duty. Every year we were required to leave for a short period. I confessed to her that I wouldn't be returning from the next.
I got a call from her husband. Strange. He thanked me profusely for helping them both. Swore if they could ever be of aid to me, to give them a call. He told me that his wife had a going-away gift for me, from both of them.
Forty-eight hours of bliss. All the fantasies I'd had of her, she fulfilled and more. She didn't cry once until the last time we showered together, I washed her hair, blow dried and styled it. She was a logical person, rarely emotional. Not that night. The tears running down her patrician face were heart rending.
I'll never forget Dr. Katy Ross.
I'd pampered her for the last time, and she took me by the hand and led me to the largest conference hall. I was in shock after walking in. Must have been a hundred people there to say goodbye. Nearly the entire Winter staff. The biggest party I'd ever seen during my stay. I learned that only six people had been around longer than me. I guess I'd made more friends in my time there than I had realized. Good people, all. I was going to miss them.
After five year-long tours, I was well-paid, experienced, educated, and had a substantial bank account that was growing through some reasonable investments guided by one of the local scientists.
I was a changed man, both physically and mentally. I still considered myself a loner, although I appreciated my friendships. I'd had my fill of solitude, and wanted to re-enter society. My time with Dr. Ross had changed me. I'd filled out, and picked up a few mementos from my trip, including several scars on my hands and arms from playing with knives, an ugly burn scar on my calf from not paying attention in the kitchen once, and a nasty three inch one on my temple, almost hidden by my hairline, thanks to a spill off a ladder. I thought it gave me character. I needed something, I was pretty middle-of-the-road other than that.
Katy and her friends came through for me, and I lined up a contracting job at Hurlburt Field in Ft. Walton Beach. I had my MBA and a Bachelors in Computer Science, with several Cisco certifications under my belt. A fist full of written recommendations from some of the best known names within their fields. A list of references that would make a pro-athlete blush.
One of Master Keno's friends had setup my company, and all the side-work I did for the scientists was charged to my sideline. It gave me a work history and padded my accounts, more than I would ever have expected. Katy and Master Keno never even told me about it. I signed the papers they told me to, and let them take care of me.
It seemed the right thing, with all the network wiring background I had, to get into IT. I was pleasantly surprised it paid as well as it did. I guess I could thank my Station friends for that.
Twenty-six years old, I had 8 years of networking experience (or so I claimed, since wiring was a part of networking, technically), an advanced degree, an $85/hr job that I didn't mind putting in all the over-time asked for, and zero social life. I missed my friends.
Then Sue stepped into my life.
"So, Mystery, you coming to the 4th of July cookout at the yacht club?"
Mystery? Was she talking to me?
The pretty little brunette had cornered me, and seemed to get a good bit of enjoyment out of teasing me. I was lousy at speaking to girls, especially one as pretty as her. Once I knew them it wasn't so bad, but strangers? Scared the shit out of me.
"No," I mumbled, looking for an escape route.
She grabbed my arm, laughing. "No you don't. You don't escape that easy. You have to come."
I looked at her in surprise. "Have to?"
She nodded. "I already told the girls you were my date. You don't want to make a liar out of me do you?"
I had a nervous habit of playing with my stuff when stressed, and I found myself with a Liberty quarter in my fingers, palming it, rolling it across my fingers, and doing similar stuff automatically. It calmed me. "Date?" I asked.
"C'mon. I know you must date. You can't keep your secrets forever. We're going, and that's that." She put a piece of paper in my hand. "Pick me up at noon. Don't be late. By the way, we're bringing my famous German potato salad, so no motorcycle. Pick me up in that gorgeous 'Vette of yours."
Yes, I had a Corvette. A '69 big block convertible stingray, triple black. My first car. One of the pilots was moving overseas and I got it for a song, only $24K, less than I'd pay for most new cars. I also had a '72 Moto Guzzi 850GT which I fell in love with at first sight. A cool $4k and it was mine. Nice thing about being near several large military bases. Great used vehicles always seemed to be for sale.
I figured I had the better part of 5 years salary saved up, which I'd nearly doubled with reasonable investments and my side jobs. I was earning good money. I deserved a couple of toys. I rarely drove either, they were both collectibles, so most of the miles went on my 11 year old F-150 pickup. Three great vehicles, for less than the price of one new tricked out extended cab truck. Dad didn't raise no fool.
Well, not much of one.
* * * Now * * *
I was stuck with grilling duty, while the others eventually returned to the backyard. Our house was the preferred gathering place, specifically for the yard. We were right on the bay, with a nice 100 feet or so of landscaped Bermuda between the house and the water. We had a dock, where my little Triton with twin Yamaha 300s was tied up. A few large Sweetgum trees provided shade in the summer.
The nearest tree trunk was 40 feet from the deck where I did the grilling. I know that for certain. To the inch. When I was grilling for myself, I practiced my longest throws from there, into a large flat slab of tree trunk I'd hung from the tree. A perfect 5 turn throw, the longest I practiced regularly.
"Chicken's done," I told Sue, where she was chatting with the other girls, sipping Margarita's on the porch. She seemed to have gotten over my little trick. I thought she'd enjoy it more. I never got these things right. The men had taken a walk down to the dock, and had stopped to talk under the tree on the way back.
Dale and Mark were playing with the cheap throwing knives I'd left in the target. Kind of funny to watch. Half-a-dozen throws from about 10 feet, and not one stuck. It was the perfect distance for a simple one turn throw, or even a no-spin.
"I'll go down and get them," Sue said, getting up and walking to the steps.
"Don't bother, I'll get their attention," I told her.
She gave me a frown. "No need to yell, I'll only be a second."
"I won't. Go ahead and finish your drink." I pulled out my favorite thrower, and after determining they were a good 5' out of my line of fire, I leaned back and gave it a good hard throw. Lucky shot, it landed just a hair off center. I practiced enough that I always hit the target, getting it to stick was maybe a 90% chance. A bull's-eye was at best one in 10.
It hit with a solid thunk, and their heads spun as if on a swivel, both of them stepping back. I heard their wives laugh. I lifted up a half chicken on one of my knives. "Dinner's on," I called out.
Marie came over with the tray, and I started piling the chicken on it. "Where'd you learn to throw like that?" she asked.
"Overseas. Something to pass the time," I explained.
She grinned. "Are we ever going to find out what you did over there?"
"You know the drill," I teased. Even after almost a year, she still asked at least once every time we saw each other.
"I know, I know. You'd love to tell me, but you'd have to kill me."
"Break my heart to kill a girl as pretty as you," I told her with a wink.
* * * Then * * *
No way out of it. I detailed the 'Vette, and put protective tarps in the minuscule trunk. The original seats were still in storage, and I had the reupholstered cloth seats installed, so I wasn't too worried if we had wet bathing suits. I wore surfing shorts and a garish Hawaiian shirt, a going away gift from 'A'amakualenalena, my uke instructor.
At 11:55 I was parked outside the address of the apartment Sue had given me. She walked out with a large foil tray in her hands just about the time I was going to head up to the door. I opened the trunk and helped her put the potato salad down, turned around and found myself in her arms. She gave me a quick kiss.
"There, that's out of the way. You won't be too nervous giving me a good-night kiss when you drop me off. First date, you know, so a kiss is all you're getting, but I can promise you it'll be a good one." She gave me a wink, and climbed into the passenger seat.
I was stunned. I had no idea how to handle someone like Sue. I closed the trunk, and got in the car.
"How old are you?" she asked, as I started up the big 427.
"Really? How do you have such cool toys?"
"Careful with my money."
"You have a lot don't you?"
I wasn't real comfortable with the direction of the conversation. "Enough."
She leaned back, shaking her hair out. "I bet."
The Gods had blessed us with a beautiful day, and I had to admit, I enjoyed the feeling of driving the 'Shark' through the streets, top down, with a gorgeous girl sitting beside me. We turned a lot of heads.
"Damn, I look good in this car," Sue laughed. "I should be pissed at you for making me wait this long for a ride."
"Sorry," I said, with no idea what kind of response that required.
"No problem, handsome. I'll let you make it up to me." She turned in the seat. "I'm a one man girl, mister. So when all those other sluts start trying to dig their claws in, you remember, you came with me, and you're going home with me. Got it?"
She blushed. "You know exactly what I mean. I know how you guys operate. Not with me, understand? No playing around on the side. I won't put up with it."
"No playing around?" Every time she opened her mouth, it left me in a deeper quandary.
"None. Of course you're going to flirt and shit. I can hardly stop that, now that you're out in public. But that's all. You so much as grope one girl, and that'll be the last time you see any of this," she said, opening her bathing cover, and showing me her exquisite bikini clad body.
She giggled. "Eyes on the road, Mystery. Let's get there in one piece. We have an understanding, right?"
"Right." I guess. I think.
She was a lamprey. We got to the outdoor party, about 30 people from the building were there with friends and spouses. From the moment I dropped off her potato salad, she was clinging to my arm, and parading me around like some visiting celebrity. I only knew maybe half-a-dozen of them by name, but was quickly introduced to everyone. Someone stuck a beer in my hand, and when it was empty, it was replaced. I had no idea what the hell was going on.
I met the 'girls' and Sue took over. "We had options, of course, but hey, how fun would it really be without y'all?" she was explaining.
"Options?" I asked, still thoroughly confused.
She pulled my head down, and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. "Don't be that way," she pouted. "Next time we'll hang with your crowd. You know I already told them we'd be coming."
"Yes. I promise. I'll make it up to you." She was mugging for her friends and they giggled.
"Spill, Mystery. What did you really do overseas? And no more of that BS about being on a chunk of ice in the Antarctic," the giggly red-head asked.
Sue jumped in. "Spec Ops, Erin. You know better."
Shit. I worked in the Special Operations building. They must think I'm part of that crowd. Truth is, I had no idea what those guys did, although working on their computer systems, I guess I had the clearances to find out if I wanted. I really had never thought about it. I guess it was a lot like the scientists. I did my job, they did theirs.
Working with the JSOU, we always had Green Berets, SEALs and other Special Operations Force guys coming in for training. I dealt with a lot of the teleconferencing and training infrastructure. That must be part of the confusion.
"How'd you get that scar?" the tall blonde asked, stepping forward and running her finger across my forehead. I felt Sue's grip on my arm tightening.
"Fell down," I explained. I didn't want to go into the details of wearing the wrong boots for climbing an icy ladder.
The girls giggled. "Sure. Fell down. I wonder how many guys died for you to walk away from that 'fall'." Marie, a diminutive brunette asked.
The blonde had moved even closer. I could smell her coconut tanning lotion. She ran her hand over my arm, fingering one of the uglier scars I'd earned spinning knives for fun. Warning to anyone smart enough to listen: Don't use sharp kitchen butcher blades while trying anything new. Forty six stitches.
"I bet there's a hell of story behind this," she said sultrily, looking up into my eyes from about a foot away.
"Don't play with sharp knives," I said. Earning more giggles from the peanut gallery.
"Heather..." Sue said, her voice tense.
The blonde wasn't backing off, and I swear Sue was cutting off the circulation to my left arm. "I bet you're good with a knife," Heather said.
Truth was, I wasn't bad. I pulled out my balisong, and started in with some basic twirls, then a zen rollover into a cherry-picker finishing with a trebuchet. "I'm Ok. Master Keno always gave me grief for putting style over substance."
The girls had all stepped back a few steps, including the blonde. They were staring at me like I'd grown a third eye. "What?"
"Do you always carry knives? Even on the beach?" Erin asked.
"Pretty much," I said.
Sue stepped in. "Geez, Erin! You expect a guy like Mystery to ever be unarmed?"
Erin shook her head. "I...I guess not."
Sue gave my arm a tug. "Gotta mingle," she told her friends. She dragged me down by the water, then turned and practically leaped on me, pulling my head down and planting a big kiss on me. "Jesus, that was hot! If I was wearing panties, they'd be soaked."
I liked the kiss. I'm not going to deny it. I leaned down and gave her another one, since she didn't seem to mind.
She pulled away after a few seconds. "Enough, Mystery, or I'm going to seriously embarrass myself here."
"Why do you call me Mystery?" I asked.
She looked surprised. "Isn't that your Operations name? I asked Margie who you were, and that's what she said."
Margie. No wonder. She calls everyone Mister. She has a problem with my last name, Eulalia. Too many vowels, she says. I wonder what she'd think of my buddy 'A'ama? She calls me Mr. E. for short. Mister E. "Call me Trey, ok?"
She smiled. "Like in 3? 003?"
Damn she was weird. "Yes, as in three."
"Wow. That's so cool! What do you want to do, now that we've done the introductions?"
"I wouldn't mind eating," I told her.
"I bet. Keep the strength up. C'mon, I'm sure we can get you fed."
Not many people were eating yet, but she set me down at the table, and returned with a plate for me. "You gotta tell me what you think of my potato salad," she said proudly. At least a third of the plate was covered with her specialty.
She returned with a plate for herself a couple of minutes later, and the table started filling up. Her girls quickly found their way over, and Marie dropped a plain brown bottle in front of me. "My husband brews our own beer. He wanted you to have one." I looked up and she pointed to one of the guys over by the cooler. I lifted the beer to him in a silent toast. Three of the guys all lifted their bottle to me, in almost perfect sync.
"You mind talking to him a little later?" Marie asked nervously. "He's only in B building."
"Sure. If you want."
She gave me a huge grin, leaned over and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. "God, you're the greatest," she said softly.
Because I'd drink her beer, and talk to her husband? I was starting to think this crowd was too weird for me.
Sue's potato salad was damned good. I told her so.
"You're not just saying that?" she asked.
"No. I don't do that. If it sucked, I'd tell you. It's good."
The grin on her face was in danger of tearing the corners of her mouth. "I should have known better. You don't have to put on much of a façade, do you?"
I laughed. "I'm a simple guy, Sue. God's truth."
She reached over with her fork and snagged a slice of kielbasa off my plate. "I see you like living dangerously," I teased.
I was kind of proud of myself. I was feeling a lot more comfortable around her, and even her friends. Even if they were weird.
Her hand stopped. "I'm sorry. I'll get you more," she said.
Damn. My humor always seemed to go over like a lead balloon. "I was just kidding. You can help yourself to my sausage anytime."
I heard the giggles from the opposite side of the table, and saw Sue blush. I wasn't sure that was possible. I only then realized what I had said.
"Oh God, he blushes," Erin whispered, and I'm sure I turned even redder.
After eating, Sue left me with the guys, including Marie's husband.
"Mark," he said, extending his hand.
"Trey," I answered, shaking his. "Thanks for the beer."
"Let me know if you'd like another one. I brought a few."
I looked down in the cooler at his feet. There were maybe four left, with several empty bottles next to them. "One is plenty. Wouldn't be right to hog 'em all."
He reached down and grabbed one. "No seriously. Please, someone's gotta drink 'em, right?"
I accepted it, although I would have preferred a Guinness. "Thanks."
Mark grinned, and introduced me around. The guys seemed a good bit more normal, talking about regular stuff, and not asking me any weird questions. At least not many.
Dale, the taller dirty blonde guy, was looking over at the women. "Sue, huh? Lucky bastard. How do our girls compare to your, uh, last station?"
"Prettier, younger, and not nearly so serious," I freely admitted. Most of those scientist women had senses of humor no better than mine. The girls at that party giggled more than I'd heard in a year on ice.
All the guys laughed. "Yeah, I imagine so," Mark said. "Pretty laid back here compared to, uh, over there, I imagine."
"Lot more blondes and red-heads," I added. Guy talk.
"No shit. Gotta love the good ol' US of A." Neil, the third guy said, raising his bottle. I noticed he was drinking a Bud.
"I'll drink to that," I said, lifting my bottle.
The guys looked at each other, and they all lifted their beers, and touched mine. "Respect," Mark said quietly.
They seemed like nice guys. I took a drink from my bottle, and remembered Dad's favorite toast.
"May you have the hindsight to know where you've been
the foresight to know where you're going
and the insight to know when you're going too far."
Mark looked at me nervously. "No offense, Mystery."
Offense? I laughed. "Course not. To new friends, then," I said backtracking. "Please, call me Trey." God, I always seemed to say the wrong thing.
He nodded quickly. "New friends. Thanks, Trey."
* * * Now * * *
We ate around our outdoor table, and my failed joke with the throwing knife seemed to be forgotten. We were all laughing at Dale's stories. Damn, I wish I could be half as entertaining. Then again, I hadn't done a tenth of the stuff he had. As was my way, I kept pretty closed mouthed, and just listened.