“That’s too funny,” Sandra said. She lifted her wine glass. “Her ‘expensive face.’ That’s too much!” She sipped cabernet.
“That face must be worth a fortune, serious money,” I nodded, chewing steak. “The ring tone was the killer for me. I mean, there I was.” I put down my fork and knife and grabbed two fistfuls of air. “I was fucking and fucking this woman, she’s looking up at me and saying, ‘I sink you don’t like me so mush,’ and then, suddenly, the air is filled by ‘The Ride of the Valkyries!’” Sandra sputtered and reached for her napkin. “It was like Apocalypse Now! Only I’m napalming her with overwhelming force and she's simply shrugging it off.” I grinned and reached for my wine.
“It’s so funny that that’s the ring tone she picked for her husband. Pretty foreboding!” Sandra took a bite of salad. “So tell me, do you often hook up with married women?”
“I love this wine,” I hummed. “Nice choice.” Sandra smiled. “Um, well, married women and men, because, remember, that’s also an option. I don’t really seek it out or anything, but it happens now and then. I mean, married men are always looking for bisexual fellows, it seems, so that’s a niche. Married women, sure, that happens pretty frequently. I guess because it’s clear that I’m not looking for a wife myself, so I’m a relatively easy side dish.” I cut into steak, thinking. “Well, I also get with married couples, but I take you to mean cheating spouses.”
“I was referring to that, yes.”
I swallowed. “Great, great steak. Perfect. Well, I suppose I have a lot of sympathy for people who are in sexually unsatisfying marriages, having been there myself. I think we have to be real that wedding rings don’t control our desires, else monogamy is simply a trap.” I reached for my bourbon. “Monogamy is gorgeous when it works, but when it doesn’t . . . “ I took a sip and shuddered.
“But don’t you think,” Sandra leaned over the table, intent, “That instead of cheating, people could just, you know, be honest about that?”
“Yeah, of course, but please. That’s hard. You could sit down your spouse and say, ‘Honey, let’s try something different.’ But it’s natural that this takes more bravery than most people can muster. Especially if they feel they already know the answer. It’s easy to assume that it’s better to cheat than cause strife within the marriage. I suppose.” I skewered my roasted potatoes. “I suppose I have a lot of respect for the coward’s way out. At least it’s a way out.”
“Do you ever feel bad about being ‘the other woman?’” Sandra asked, laughing softly.
“Me? Nah. That’s really an issue between a husband and wife. I’m not the one cheating, I’m just the vehicle for cheating. But like I said, I have sympathy in many cases. I mean, being a faithful husband apparently got me nothing but fifteen years without a blowjob.”
Sandra laughed. “I can’t imagine you going fifteen days without a blowjob, much less fifteen years.”
“Perish the thought,” I said, reaching for the wine bottle. “Fifteen minutes, maybe; beyond that, I get the shakes. But you’re still seeing that married man, right? How’s that going?” I poured wine into Sandra’s glass, refilled my own, and settled back to hear about her affairs.
Sandra comes and goes in my life as she chooses; so far as I’m concerned, she has a lifetime pass. She first showed up in my life having read my blog, recently divorced and looking for some fun. She told me that being a “corporate chick” had made her boring, but if so, I couldn’t see it. She had an easy charm and a lilting drawl that could make an annual report sound flirtatious. We both grew up in the South, in the same years. A former lifetime of iced tea and “yes ma’am” gave us the lingua franca that makes instant let-me-hug-your-neck friends of ex pat Southerners in New York.
During our first conversation over bourbon, I could imagine Sandra as a popular blond cheerleader in high school, her boyfriend a good-looking linebacker. We would meet as equals in the classroom, two of the smart kids, her taking care to be bright without seeming competitive, as Southern girls once did, me developing a crush, wishing she would let her brain shine, wishing she would notice me in some way other than the inevitable recognition that I was too nice to date. In high school, I would’ve been told I was so sweet, and I love you, but not in that way, so let’s just be friends, okay?
Now, as grown ups, we sat on my couch, drinking and talking, both anticipating the first kiss that would certainly lead to my bedroom. Breathing the contented air of Sandra’s adulthood, I didn’t regret a single missed kiss, furtively stolen behind the bleachers. We had found each other at the right time.
She declined to sleep over after we had sex, saying she needed to be ready for work the next morning, and she preferred to leave from her apartment. I could imagine her place as well ordered and reflecting a lifetime of acquiring only what she needed. This proved to be true when I visited her. She apologized for living in a dump—it was a nice Upper East Side apartment with a small patio in back—but it was only temporary, she told me, while her own place was being renovated.
As we fucked on her large bed, she asked if I would mind if she did something a little nasty. I acceded. Sandra climbed off me to dig in a nightstand drawer, retrieving a dildo. “Thanks for not minding this,” she smiled shyly. “It really gets me off.” She lowered herself onto my cock and, after a few moments of kissing and grinding into me, she groaned into my mouth as the dildo entered her ass.
“Here, let me help,” I offered, reaching to hold the dildo in place. “You just cum for me. Can you do that?” She nodded, her hair shaking in my face. Soon, she had done as I asked.
“Well, that was intense,” she gasped.
“Honey, we need to do a few things together,” I smiled. “You game?”
She laughed. “Well, I’m a big girl. What do you have in mind?”
I put a finger to her lip. “Let’s talk about that after I fuck your ass.”
As I left her place that evening, an itinerary was already take shape in my mind.
When I invited her over for sex with a few of my men, she brought a bottle of wine. I thought that was rather classy. The boys were charmed and she enjoyed the admiring attention.
I knew a secret of Sandra’s body. Her first orgasm comes more readily than those that follow. After our times together, I knew where to find them all. As I fucked her before passing her to other men, I whispered, “I’m getting you off.”
“Don’t,” she whispered back. But it was too late. It was already happening. As she caught her breath, she looked at me crossly. “That’s just too easy for you.”
“I know, I’m a bastard.” I smiled, pulled back and looked around. “All yours, boys.”
She had never been with a woman, so I set up a threesome with a friend who was, as it happened, also a Southerner. The two had even been in the same sorority, albeit at different colleges and in different decades. Sandra brought Chardonnay. “That’s one lovely lady,” my friend admired as Sandra tasted her body.
After her place was renovated, she invited me over for a steak dinner. “I have an illegal grill on my terrace,” she confessed. “I could get in trouble, but I know it’s safe. I flirt with the firefighters down the street and I had one of them check it out.”
“The power of positive flirting,” I admired.
I had been late arriving, which she pointed out politely. “Thanks to you, I’ve already opened the wine,” she admonished. “So you’ll have to drink your cocktail alone.”
I kissed her cheek. “I am ashamed to impinge upon your hospitality. Forgive me?”
She frowned. “We’ll see. You may have to forgive me if I do anything untoward, having overserved myself.”
“’Overserved!’” I laughed. “That’s now my favorite Southernism.”
“Don’t try charm on me.” She wagged a finger. “Consider buying a watch.”
She served me a bourbon, poured herself another glass of wine, and we repaired to her terrace. We talked as she grilled, and gradually, I was forgiven.
She was in good spirits as we finished dinner, talking about the two men she most frequently dated—the married man, and one other who lived some distance away.
“I may break it off with the married man,” she mused. “I really prefer my long-distance lover, and after all, this guy is married, so . . .” Her voice trailed as she reached for her wine. “One thing I’ve wanted to ask you: do you think you’ll ever remarry?”
I sipped. “Dunno. How about you?”
“No, now, you answer me. I asked the question. Be serious.”
I shook the ice in my glass. “I never say ‘never,’ but you know, I was married for a long time. Marrying now would be complicated, as it would involve my children, and really, I’m not looking for a new stepmother for my kids. I do know that if I remarried, it would be different. I’d get married as an adult, because I wanted to, not because I am young and that is what one does. I can imagine something when I’m older, something companionate, sensual and warm. And sometimes I imagine starting another family, when my kids are older. It could be a joy to raise kids in a loving marriage. But no, I don’t really think about that much.”
I looked up to see Sandra looking at me intently. “You know what I think?”
“Tell me.” I lifted my bourbon. “What do you think?”
A slight smile crossed her lips. “I think you’re going to marry Madeline.”
“Yeah, we hear that now and then.” I sipped.
“The way you both write . . .” Sandra swirled her glass, looking through wine at a candle. “It’s just so romantic.”
“Thanks.” I let the thought linger in the red glow of her face.
Sandra watched the flame for a moment before looking up from her reverie. “I’m sorry, that was a little rude of me,” she apologized. “It’s just that, with you and the things we talk about, I have a hard time remembering that some things are personal.”
I smiled. “That’s fine. And I appreciate that you understand the distinction.”
She sat back. “Are you ready for dessert? I’ve got a really nice pie.”
“Let’s save that for now. I’ve got another dessert in mind.” I stood. “Here, let’s clear the dishes and reconvene at the couch.”
With candles burning, the lamp low and fresh drinks ignored on the coffee table, I took Sandra in my arms. Her body pressed against me as I kissed her hair, drawing deep scents as my heart accelerated. Her heart picked up my pace and she turned to kiss me. My neck craned as my mouth responded. She lifted onto her knees, hungrily moving into my mouth. I gave back with equal ardor. “Oh, Sandra,” I breathed. “You really do make out so beautifully.”
“Kissing is my favorite thing,” she spoke into my mouth, taking me back. We may have missed our high school kisses, but now we brought to one another a lifetime of kissing others to make this new kiss, singularly ours and in our moment.
I stayed over that night.