“If you're any good on computers,” Stew said, “you can take the bookkeeping over from Kathy. It'll get you out of clean up duty at the end of the night.”
“Yes,” I said. “I'm a whiz on computers.” The irony in my tone wasn't lost on Stew, the manager at Stix Nightclub. He gave me a long knowing look, but decided not to pursue it, which suited me fine. I didn't need to air my problems. I was working in this meat market to get away from them.
This whole thing started with computers three months before, when I got the brilliant idea of checking what Joe was up to when his office door was closed. I'd guessed that he was checking out porn sites; and it didn't bother me, but I was itching to see how he took care of himself in my absence. I brought home a copy of Cyber-Detective from Computer City, plugged the word “sex” into the search field, and let her rip.
I didn't expect to find e-mails. Not like the ones I found anyway. My stomach felt sick. He was writing to Cowley – his ex-girlfriend – every day – flirting and telling her what he would do to her when he saw her next – forceful, demanding sex he had never burdened me with.
I ordered the program to go deeper, looking for any reference to her name, including 'Cow', which if it wasn't his nickname for her, it was certainly mine. It checked through deleted files as well as existing files. It checked the internet cache too. It came back after a few hours with month's worth of e-mails. I felt weak and worthless at what I saw. I was on the outside. They were conspiring. They were laughing at me. “She's home early today. What fun for me. He he.” Fuck him. He always acted like he was glad to see me.
I printed every single one of them and threw them at him as he walked in the door. “Fuck you!”
His shock turned to outrage as he turned the blame on me. “You didn't give me what I needed,” he shouted, the righteousness turning his face bright red. “I tried to tell you …”
I was speechless. Tell me what? He never even attempted this stuff on me. Damn him, I said to myself over and over, staring him down and waiting for an apology or something. But his anger and conviction overcame my indignation. I saw hurt behind his rage, and I sunk as I recalled the times I'd chuckled whenever he came on to me all forceful and demanding. At the time, I honestly thought he was joking. I never thought he had it in him. We'd had good sex, but it was always married person sex. I would have loved the kind of sex he'd written to Cowley about. Of course I never told him! I wanted it without words. Isn't that the point?
I couldn't quite convince myself though. I looked at his eyes and I felt responsible. I knew I'd killed it. All it would have taken from me was a wink or a twinkle in my eyes. I never did it. With nothing left to say, I turned and left the room.
“What does your husband say about you working here?” Stew asked.
I shrugged. “Does it matter?”
Stew had a way of almost glaring. But it wasn't aggressive. It was more like he was trying to read my poker hand by looking into my eyes. “I don't want to spend two weeks getting you up to speed and then hear that hubby is missing you and wants you home,” he said.
“He's not missing me,” I said. For the past three months, Joe and I had minimal contact. I couldn't even look at him. A combination of guilt and anger had sent me into what the doctor called a situational depression. She said I should stop blaming myself. She gave me a book called “When your Man is a Liar.”
Put into someone else's perspective, I started to see what a fool I'd been. I read stories about wives who blamed themselves for not giving the man what he needs. I rolled my eyes and shook my fist at them. Idiots. They'd swallowed the blame tactics thrust at them by the men who'd cheated on them. And in the process, they'd been stripped of their dignity. Just like me.
The author predicted my reaction. She said it was a necessary step towards “deciding whether to heal the marriage or walk away wholehearted”. When I read those words, I must admit, my heart flipped. The idea that I was at a crossroads never occurred to me. I wasn't ready to face the end. The author concurred. “Until you've forgiven him, you're in the wrong state of mind to make any decision.”
I skimmed the next few chapters till I got to the chapter titled, “Forgiving”. She said that I'd know when I'd reached the point of forgiveness because I'd feel a surge in energy. I wasn't at that point yet. I still felt dead inside, and napping was my only relief. I was sleeping 12 hours a day and still feeling exhausted.
“Get out of the house,” she suggested. “Find the thing you're most afraid of. Consider it a challenge that you will overcome. Then beat it.”
“I have a new job,” I told Joe. “A waitress at Stix Nightclub.”
“Stix?” Joe said with his jaw hanging. “That's a . . .”
“I start next week, four weekday shifts from 7:00 P.M. till 2:00 A.M. I'll be going straight from the office to Stix.” He wouldn't be seeing much of me.
“I don't know if that's a good idea,” Joe said. “Have you seen how they dress?”
I knew. This was my challenge. I knew I had a good body, but I was never comfortable showing it off. Stix had a dress code – short shorts, tight tops. Our tips depended on bending from the waist as low as we could go, and holding the pose. I didn't need the money – my day job paid well – but the tips would be welcome entries in my self-esteem account.
“Dating the clientele is forbidden, but you need to be friendly, if you know what I mean” Stew said. “Shy will not cut it.”
“Stew, honey,” I said. “You won't have any worries on that score.” I'd never called a stranger honey before. It was the new me and it felt good.
Stix was a pool bar. Although it wasn't a restaurant, meat was definitely on the menu. It was never stated, but Stew sent a clear message – we were there to bring in the guys and get their wheels rolling. Since we weren't allowed to date the clientele – cough cough – they looked elsewhere. The local women knew the game and picked up the spare parts.
In the beginning it was amusing to watch the men. Young men seriously don't have a clue with women. I was surprised more of them didn't get eaten alive by the piranha-women who cruised Stix. For some reason, it made me detest myself as a woman. I watched it for about a month, and there was one guy in particular who made me cringe. He was so nice, and they always led him on, taking every drink he offered, before dumping him at closing time. It was driving me nuts.
After a few nights of this, I thought, “Fuck it, Sandy. You wanted change. Here it is.” I walked up to him and asked his name.
“Christopher,” he said.
“First of all,” I said, “it's not Christopher. It's Chris. Christopher has no impact. Sorry.”
He gulped at the directness of my tone. I had a lot of work to do.
“Second. You're not trying to marry these women. You're trying to get laid. Don't be so damn nice.”
“What the hell do you know about who I want to marry?” he said with the first sign of fire.
Standing this close, I could see his eyes. They were a stunning dark blue, like a summer sky as it threatens to turn stormy. His chin squared up when he contradicted me, making him look strong. Man, I thought, this guy could be a winner. “Trust me,” I said. “It won't affect your chances. You can be nice to her for the rest of their life – just not tonight.”
He nodded a little too puppy-like for my taste.
“What about in bed?” he asked. “When we make love-“
“Stop!” I said. I had to force myself to not roll my eyes. I could just see him sitting there on the couch, both of them a coffee in hand, her wondering when he was going to make his move; him wondering when she'd finish her coffee so he could kiss her ever so gently without scalding himself. “Listen,” I said. “You're not going to make love to her, you're going to fuck her, and it won't be in bed. It won't even be in the bedroom. And don't even think about a goodnight kiss at the door. In fact, if she even starts to say good night, before she's had a chance to finish the words, grab her arm, spin her around, force your body against hers until you've pinned her hard against the wall, and say right into her ear, 'There will be no goodnights, darlin', and there'll be no sleepin' tonight.'”
He nodded, but I knew I'd wasted five minutes of both of our lives. The next few nights, he was back in Stix buying drinks till closing time and leaving alone. I'd had enough. I walked up to him and said, “Chris, here's what I want you to do the next time you see me. Stare straight into my eyes and say 'Sandy, you're coming home with me tonight.' And no matter what I say, you do not take no for an answer.”
Half an hour later, he finished his beer, marched up to me and said, “Sandy, you're coming home with me tonight.” It was okay. Not as forceful as I wanted, but okay.
“No, I'm not, you geek,” I replied in a bitchy tone.
And he walked away. I felt like running after him and dragging his ass back. I was about to say something sarcastic when he turned around and looked me straight in the eye. I never saw him look this way before. His eyes were ablaze, his lips strong, and his chin pointed right at me. He looked like the wrong side of humiliation. “You are coming home with me tonight,” he said in a rough tone.
I almost swallowed my gum. This was more like it. “Actually,” I said. “I'm married. But thanks for the offer.”
“Be ready,” he said, his look daring me to defy him.
His anger was interesting, but I stayed detached. “We're not allowed to date clientele,” I said.
“I'm not planning to date you,” he said. “I'm going to fuck you till you can't walk.”
I hadn't seen that coming. I didn't even know what to say, but he didn't give me a chance. He was gone. I was impressed. A successful project. He was on his way.
As I left Stix that night, I saw him standing against the street light, but still alone. “That was great, Chris! Really impressive-“
And then the game ended. My feet stumbled backwards, my back hit a concrete wall, and his lips covered my mouth before I could say another word. They sealed with mine and drew me in. I was gone. It wasn't that I couldn't resist. There was nothing to resist. We were together, joined. My mouth and tongue, hungry after months without attention, had a mind of its own. He pulled back for a second and said, “You're coming home with me tonight.”
“I'm married,” I said, out of breath.
“I don't care.” He kissed me again.
I broke away for an instant. “Neither do I,” I said, “but after tonight-“
“There is no after tonight,” he said.
We went to his place, and he wasn't nice at all. He didn't offer me coffee, and he didn't offer me a drink. He didn't undress me slowly, and he didn't wait till we got to the bedroom. The instant we were inside, he had me facing the wall as he tore at my shorts. He gasped when he saw my tiny pink panties, and I thought for a second he was going to come on the spot. Instead, he fucked me right there, pinned to the wall by his large chest. And he didn't stop for an hour. I came at least half a dozen times. He just kept going.
When he lurched to the kitchen to get some water, I felt awkward about what was coming next. I anticipated the smile – the gawkish smile that was going to kill the whole experience. This was the roughest and most demanding lover I'd ever had. The fantasy was something I wanted to keep. I found my clothes and started to dress so I could slip away before he got back. Then found a fistful of my hair in his hand as he dragged me to the couch. He sat back and forced me to my knees, my head between his legs.
“Clean me up,” he said.
Although I couldn't move my head, I looked up to him. Jesus, he was serious. The look in his eyes wasn't dangerous. He wasn't threatening. He was just insistent, demanding. He wanted me that bad.
When I was finished, he called me a taxi, but spoke not another word.
The next time I saw him, he didn't mention that night at all. He barely acknowledged me. He had other fish to fry. I felt radiant. I didn't want an affair. It just felt so good to get someone's love life on track.
A few weeks later, I felt the bug coming back. Not the sex bug – the teaching bug. This time it was Jonathon. “You're not Jonathon,” I said. “You're Jack.”
Jack was a little quicker than Chris, in all ways, but he made up for it in stamina. He could get hard again within minutes – and I mean hard! A could've sat on it while he was standing up. I wanted to try, but whenever I suggested anything to him, he grabbed my hair, slapped my ass hard, and said, “You don't tell me how you want it. I tell you how I want it.” He treated my like a slutty barmaid, and I loved every condescension.
“See, Joe!” I wanted to scream. “It wasn't me. It was you.” Part of me wanted to drag his ass down there to show him how I really liked being fucked.
The next one, Derek, had it in him all along. He just needed it to be drawn out. I never knew what he would do next, and man, was he strong. I was like a rag doll being used however he wanted me, for however long he wanted me. His language was crude and exciting. I didn't want it to stop.
This was my new life. They weren't affairs, and really they weren't even one night stands. It wasn't the sex that did it for me. I was a teacher – bringing out their potential.
The next guy, Steve, asked me, “Are you sure all women like this?”
“Most of them,” I said. “The ones that don't, fuck 'em. You don't need them. If you go with them you'll end up with three kids, a Grand Cherokee, and separate computers in separate offices in your house in the suburbs, dreaming of what your life could've been like. Go get the women who like to be fucked and fuck them in the way that pleases you. Never ask for permission and never take no for an answer.”
Steve liked resistance though. I told him he was fucking me like a little boy, which was the opposite of the truth. Don't ask me why, but it seemed like the right thing to say at the time. It made him explode with rage. “Is this hard enough,” he said as he pounded into me with a force that made me gasp. I told him no over and over until I couldn't even speak anymore, and over the next five minutes I suffered from wave after wave of orgasm. Then I collapsed in a heap against him as the energy drained from my body.
Did I feel guilty about these nights? Only when I let myself, which wasn't often. Don't believe anyone who tells you two wrongs don't make a right. For whatever reason, the equation works. This felt right – like something I needed to do to fix things with Joe. Plus I had the “what's-good-for-the-goose” loophole working for me.
That being said, I knew when the end had come. Joe had stopped his thing with Cowley. I was checking his computer and his cell phone records. And I met him for lots of spontaneous lunches that were designed to deter any notions he had of sneaking around, but which also brought his tenderness back into my life. I'd emptied myself of whatever anger was inside me and my energy had returned, just like the author had promised. I'd forgiven him, and I missed his gentle touch at night.
At lunch one day, Joe took my hand and gazed into my eyes like he did in the old days. “Listen, Sandy. Give up that job, and let's spend our evenings together. Let's fix our marriage.”
I was close to tears. The next night, I gave two-weeks notice at Stix.
Stew took me off table duties and told me to work behind the bar full-time till my notice period was finished. It allowed me to switch from shocking shorts to modest skirts, easing my way back into my old life. For my last night, the guys I'd taught, an even dozen of them, bought me drinks and chipped in for taxi fare once it became clear I couldn't drive home.
Then Stew, the distant manager who had always seemed shy and lost in his thoughts, stunned me. With just the two of us left behind, I caught him staring at my ass. “Like what you see?” I said, teasing him and expecting him to turn away.
Instead, he looked into my eyes for few seconds with his poker-game expression and said in a slow, sombre tone, “You wearing any panties?”
In my drunken state, I laughed. He didn't, and his piercing eyes cut through me, causing my heart to pound. Damn! What the hell was happening? My eyes followed his tight torso down to his pants and I saw a bulge. I'd never looked at Stew like this before. Waves took over my body and mind, and I felt so damn naughty. This was not how I saw myself in the mirror – I was the suburban wife with the Grand Cherokee – but I couldn't stop what was going on inside me. Then it hit me with a sudden chill. I'm bad. And I liked the idea. I smiled and nodded. “Yes, I am. Why?”
“Go to the back room and stack all the bottles on the highest shelf,” he said. “Leave your panties on the floor.”
I knew my mouth had the shape of a perfect “O”, and I felt a swelling take over inside me. I was more turned on than with all my students combined. This came from nowhere. How long had he been thinking like this? I didn't say a word. I just went to the back room, dropping my virgin-white panties in the doorway for him to see. I reached to the top shelf, my toes fully extended and placed bottles one by one. I refused to let myself listen for his footsteps. I wanted sudden, not gradual.
When his hand slid around my front and up along the buttons of my shirt, I jumped, even though his touch was gentle. He undid them one by one – completely against the rules I'd taught, but it brought a sigh to my lips. He pressed gently against me with his hips. I could feel his erection growing as he undid each button. I loved feeling it grow. I felt something hard on my wrist, which was still reaching up to the top shelf. It clicked open and closed around my wrist. Jesus! Handcuffs. Then the other wrist, binding my hands to the bracket of the top shelf.
“You're mine,” he said.
“No,” I said.
His cock ripped inside me with one violent thrust. I gasped, then moaned with wicked pleasure.
“You're mine,” he said.
“I'm married,” I groaned, my hips swaying like a boat in gentle waters.
“Good,” he said with a vicious shove inside me. “This is the part of you I want. He can have the rest.”
“No,” I said, but without much conviction. When he stopped moving, I started to argue with myself. My marriage, I said to myself, as I moved up and down. What marriage, I heard back as I felt Stew slowly move out. I love Joe. You love this, the voice said, and I strained against the handcuffs to lower myself to his cock. But not Stew, I argued. He's not my type. You have no choice, the voice countered. He's still your boss. The night is not over. You have to do what he says, and I moaned as Stew lowered himself until he was almost out of me. The cool air started to enter me and made me feel empty.
“You're completely mine,” he said as he pulled out.
I strained to reach lower, causing the handcuffs to cut against my skin. I couldn't get any lower. I couldn't reach him. I have no choice, I told myself. I'm chained to the wall. I'm alone. I'm cold. I'm empty. No choice. Not my decision.
“Mine,” he whispered into my ear.
I stood up straight, looked over my shoulder, and said absolutely nothing. I didn't need to.
The passion and fury and the pure physical animal lust that entered me took me out of the world where guilt or wrong or bad manners existed, to another world – one where I didn't have to justify feeling good by being bad. One where I could fuck Stew as long as we could bear it just because I needed him. And if we ever went a few days or even a few weeks without fucking, it would be okay because we'd know the next time was coming like a 40-ton train, and we'd know it was going to jolt us from our sensible lives again and again. This was more than desire. I needed this. He needed this. We had the right. We had no choice.