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Katie had barely finished getting herself dressed after her afternoon shower when she heard her Blackberry ringing downstairs. She made it to her office and pulled the phone out of her purse after about the 4th ring. The caller ID informed her it was Mark calling. Katie looked quickly outside to see if her husband Ken was back from the hardware store before answering. She didn’t see his car in the drive, so she clicked the button to answer.
“And why would you be calling me on a Saturday? Are you actually doing some work for once?”
The voice on the other end of the phone laughed “Hey Katie. Hell no. I try not to work much during the week. Why would I be doing anything constructive on the weekend?”
“Yeah, I guess I should have thought that through, huh? So what’s up, then?”
“Guess what? Your favorite co-worker is coming along with you on the Vegas trip.”
“Who? You?” She asked.
“Who else would it be?”
“Anybody but you, that’s for sure,” she joked.
“Oh, you little liar! Anyway, Bob just emailed me and let me know. I guess he figures he needs two eyes and ears down there.”
“You said ‘down there’. It’s not ‘down’; Las Vegas is west from here. Check a map sometime. Oh, and it’s FOUR eyes and ears, we each have two.”
“Nowwwwww I remember why I hate you. You’re my work-wife.”
“Now it’s you who’s lying! You love me, you know it. Anyway, that’s awesome Mark! We get to hit Vegas, Baby!”
“Yeah! Just think, they could have sent Tom or Fred with you. How much fun would that have been?”
“Um…like, none at all.”
Mark laughed. “Ok, I just wanted to let you know. What are you up to today?”
“I’ve just been outside working in the flower beds. It got too hot, though, so I came inside and cleaned up. I had just gotten out of the shower when you called.”
“Really? So are you naked right now, or maybe wrapped in a little towel?”
“Neither, you pervert, I’m fully dressed!” Katie had long ago developed the skills necessary to handle Mark’s suggestive comments. She found it amusing. Most of the men she worked with knew better than to mess with her. Mark didn’t care if he irritated her or not. He knew she’d forgive him in a few hours anyway.
“Damn, I should have called sooner! Anyway, just wanted to give you the heads up. See you on Monday!”
Yes, Mark frustrated her sometimes, but he also made her laugh like no one else. Katie heard Ken’s car pull up in the driveway and she put her phone back into her purse. She paused for minute, hearing Ken coming in from the garage. She retrieved the phone again and hit the speed-dial for her friend Nikki. Nikki had worked her way up to
on her speed-dial list. Mark was
“Hey Nik how are you? Hey…do you have time to meet for dinner tonight? Great!”
Katie met Nikki at the Westland Cafe. It was where they always met for food, drink (when necessary) and heart-to-heart talks. The booths were tall and felt very private. They had already exchanged pleasantries and ordered their food before getting down to the day’s real topics.
“So,” Nikki began, “are things with you and Ken still weird?”
Katie sighed, absently stirring the lemon wedge in her water with her bendy-straw. “Yeah, still weird. Something happened the other day too.”
“Well, he saw me coming out of the shower one morning and…I just felt…uncomfortable. I covered myself with a towel until he left. I mean, what’s that about? How have things gotten so weird that I can’t be naked in front of my husband anymore? Even today I kind of waited around to shower until I knew he’d left.”
“Jesus Christ, Kate! When was the last time you two had sex?”
Katie paused for a moment. Nikki was the only girlfriend she felt comfortable enough with to talk about sex. Even so, she still felt odd talking about sex so it always took her a minute to loosen up. “I guess about…six months, maybe?”
“Six months! Are you kidding me?”
“Maybe seven?! Katie-bug, that is wayyyy out of control. I knew you two were having problems, but that long without sex isn’t a marriage anymore, it’s a prison sentence!”
Katie sighed. “I know it’s weird, I do, but it’s not THAT bad. I don’t need it as much as you do, so a month for me is like…two days without sex for you.”
“Damn right. If Eric goes a week without performing his duties, he knows I’ll find someone who’ll do it for him!”
“Nikki, you don’t mean that. Anyway, I don’t know. It’s like…he puts me on a pedestal or something, like I’m some untouchable princess. Even before we stopped altogether I had to initiate sex with him. I know he wants to, but he won’t approach me. Then after the sex stopped, we kind of just stopped talking. We have a kind of routine we go through. We have dinner and talk about work, but we don’t really do much of anything together or have fun at all.”
“I know what you mean about the pedestal thing. I’ve dated guys like that. I mean, I like Ken and all, but to be honest Trabzon Escort I couldn’t live like that. Unless he let you see someone on the side….?”
Katie gave her the “no way I’m talking about that” look.
“I’m just saying,” Nikki went on, “Ken has a great job and you live in that mansion…”
“It’s NOT a mansion.”
“…that HUGE house. He takes care of you. Seriously, if he would be willing to let you get some on the side, you’d have the perfect life.”
“Oh Nikki.” Katie loved her friend dearly, but Nikki definitely had very different ideas about life. “I don’t want to ‘get some on the side.’ I want my husband to want me, and make me feel wanted. Maybe I have unrealistic expectations. When I was younger I pictured my husband coming home late, from like, saving lives or fighting fires or something like that, crawling into bed with me and…” Katie lowered her voice, not because she really thought someone might hear, but because she rarely talked about sex in a tone above a whisper. “…and…needing me, right then and there. Needing me, and I know it sounds stupid, but needing me to perform my ‘wifely duties’ for him. I wanted to wake up in the middle of the night with my man pulling my clothes off because he couldn’t wait another minute to have me.”
“Wow, that is HOT. I’m going to tell Eric to do that to me. He’s going to be the dirty firefighter and I’m going….”
“Nikki!” Katie often had to stop her friend from steering the conversation towards her intricate and highly detailed sexual fantasies.
“Oh, right. Sorry!” Nikki said with a smile.
“Anyway, I don’t know how I ended up where I am. My husband spends all day on the computer and then most of the night as well. I love him. At least I think I do. I love the guy he used to be. He’s sweet and cute and he does take care of me but, I don’t know, we can’t seem to talk anymore.”
“Well, did he ever get over the whole Mark-thing?”
“Oh God…don’t remind me.” Katie said, taking her head in her hands and massaging her temples. “That’s really when everything started.”
Katie and Ken had been at a party at the house of one of her company’s head honchos. Now THAT had been a mansion. An open bar mixed with a celebratory atmosphere had led to a lot of inebriated people, Katie included. At one point, Katie had gotten lost while returning from the bathroom and had found herself in a guest bedroom somewhere. She’d turned to leave and Mark had been in the doorway, just as drunk, if not more than she. Mark had always been a bit on the flirty side and alcohol always exacerbated his testosterone problems. Before she knew what was happening, he’d had his arms around her and was kissing her. She was too shocked at first even to know what to do. Of course, that was when Ken, wondering where she had gotten off to, had walked into the room.
What had followed was weeks of explaining and apologizing. Ken was never one to get angry or express his feelings directly. Instead, he’d chosen silence, angry silence. Katie had done everything she could think of, but honestly it angered her that Ken didn’t trust her enough to believe she was innocent of any wrongdoing. Katie had eventually come up with a story that Mark had been transferred to another department and she didn’t even see him anymore. That, at least, had gotten them back to a point where they could talk again. But that episode, coupled with their other problems, seemed to be the first big step down the road to where Katie found herself now.
“No, I don’t think he ever really believed I hadn’t sneaked off to be alone with Mark.”
“So you didn’t, right?”
“Nikki! How can you even ask me that?”
“What? I always wondered if you two had something going.”
“No! Wha…why do you say that?”
“First, you didn’t exactly stop being buddy-buddy with him, even though it seems like he hurt your marriage. Second, the two of you always seemed to have more of that ‘couple-like’ vibe than you and Ken.”
“And third,” Nikki interrupted, “you overlook a lot of Mark’s faults. A lot of women don’t think as much of him as he thinks about himself. I mean, he’s cute in a kind of pretty-boy gym-dweller way and he occasionally says something that isn’t totally obnoxious, but he’s only about half as cute as you think he is.”
“FOURTH,” Nikki said, “I know you don’t tell Ken you meet Mark and his buddies, and sometimes ONLY Mark, for drinks once or twice a week over at the Tavern. Sooooooo, Little Miss Innocent, don’t act like there isn’t reason for me to be suspicious.”
“Nikki…I….ah…” Katie didn’t even know where to begin. She took a moment to gather her thoughts. Nikki, meanwhile, donned her best “I’m cute and always right” face while sipping her water. “Look, Mark and I get along. We always have, but that’s it. I know that he probably has some ideas about what might happen between us, but that’s all on his side of the fence. He really is my best friend at work. He’s done a LOT of things for me that I’m grateful for. Yes, Trabzon Escort Bayan I was pissed off at him for what happened at the company party, and I told him so and told him that we are JUST friends. He knows nothing like that is ever going to happen again.”
Just then their food arrived. There was a short break in the conversation while they got situated and started in on their lunch. Katie started up again.
“So, what was I saying? Did I cover all of your talking points?”
“No you did not. Did you tell Ken you meet Mark after work?”
Katie sighed. “No, but it’s not because anything is going on. It’s that I just don’t want to try to explain Mark to Ken. Particularly after the whole kissing-thing. I want to go out after work sometimes and I think that’s OK. It doesn’t matter that Mark is there. I would go no matter who is there.”
“Uh-huh,” Nikki muttered while chewing.
“AND Mark is very funny. We have the same sense of humor so we just happen to be on the same wavelength.”
“You two should just do it and get it over with.”
“Nikki! What I need to do is find out what to do about Ken. I’ll be gone next weekend so we’ll have some time apart to think.”
“Really? Where are you going?”
“Oh, I didn’t tell you? Vegas, Baby! The company is sending us to cover our stupid bi-annual meeting and convention.”
“Who’s going with you?”
“Ummm….Mark?” she said, as if asking for approval.
“You two are going to sooo do it.”
“Nikki, stop it! We are not!”
“Are you going to tell Ken you’re going on a trip with Mark?”
“Well….no…but it’s like I said…”
“You two are totally going to do it. Just don’t get pregnant.”
“Or catch anything from him. Eww!”
Work was so busy the next week, Katie almost forgot to pack for her trip to Vegas. As it was, she barely had time to throw a handful of clothes into her suitcase and get to the airport before her plane left.
She felt a twinge of guilt that she hadn’t told Ken until the day before that she was going on the trip, but things had been awkward lately. This simply seemed like another drop in the bucket. He had asked if anyone was going with her and she said no. A deliberate lie to be sure, but she didn’t have the time or the patience to deal with the conversation they would have had if she told Ken that Mark was going as well.
She didn’t care what Nikki thought about Mark, Katie couldn’t have been happier he would be at the convention. Despite Nikki’s suspicions, Katie had no intention of letting anything happen with Mark. She respected her vows and her marriage. If push came to shove and she and Ken couldn’t work out their situation, then she’d consider separating from him. Until that time she was definitely off the market. She respected herself too much to be “that kind of woman.”
Besides, being escorted about town by an attractive, engaging man did have its benefits. Certainly it was infinitely better than being stuck with some of the sloths from the office they could have chosen. Not to mention Mark would be her buffer against the drunken propositions and groping she would have been subjected to by some of the bolder and older men who haunted these meetings. Uch, she’d been down that road before. No thank you! Since the incident at the party, Mark knew there was a line between them he couldn’t cross. He blamed it on the alcohol and swore it wouldn’t happen again.
They flew in separately, so Katie didn’t see Mark until the morning of the first meeting on Saturday. He had decided to take a couple extra days off and had come early to spend some time gambling. She’d spent Friday night with room service, a bottle of wine and HBO.
As it turned out, they didn’t have a lot to do: just cover a morning and an afternoon session on Saturday with a long break in between. She was thankful they didn’t need to attend anything Saturday evening or any of the Sunday sessions. The sessions they had to cover were sleep-inducing enough. An entire weekend of back to back meetings would have put her into a coma! Thank goodness Mark was with her. Mark always turned an otherwise boring assignment into an interesting adventure. He was always cracking her up with little humorous comments and wry observations. She couldn’t imagine being here with anyone else; it wouldn’t have been half as fun. And now they would have all of Sunday to explore and play!
Mark always enjoyed these little outings. He always received more than his fair share of attention from the female convention attendees. Katie thought Nikki must be crazy, or just married too long. Mark was definitely the kind of guy women wanted to be with. Many approached him that day with subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle suggestions and hints of their availability. Katie imagined that, had she not been around, he would have already pocketed at least one hotel key card. At least while she was around, he skillfully declined their advances, yet somehow still managed to send them along their way still smiling. Mark Escort Trabzon had that effect on people. After he turned away one particularly attractive blonde, Katie asked him about it.
“I can’t believe you aren’t going to call her! She was practically throwing herself at you! What, are you seeing someone special now?” She teased. Mark was known for being a bit of a player and never really getting serious with anyone in particular for very long. He was considered one of the “most eligible” men in the company by the female employees. Somehow he got away with dating half of the women he worked with while managing not to piss any of them off or get a bad reputation. No, he was able to maintain friendships with them all as far as she knew.
“No, I’m not seeing anyone special,” he smiled. “But you’re my date for the weekend. I’m not going to abandon you in Sin City.”
“Oh, so you’re my date now huh? I’m not sure my husband would feel about that!” she said jokingly.
“Well, I have no plans on telling him! Remember, what happens in Vegas…”
“You are so bad. Now quit it before you get me into trouble!” But despite her protests, they joked throughout the day about being each other’s “date” for the weekend. Truthfully, Katie rather enjoyed the harmless flirtation. What was the harm in a little “pretend” while they were in Vegas? Besides, she also enjoyed the envious looks she was getting from the single women who drifted into Mark’s orbit. “Let them think we are together. Ha, eat your hearts out!” she thought.
They made plans to go to dinner Saturday night, Mark’s treat. He told her to wear something nice as they were eating somewhere fancy and after dinner would be going to a somewhat exclusive club for drinks.
At first she protested, explaining that they didn’t have to do anything that fancy and that it would cost too much, but Mark insisted. “Nothing is too good for my ‘date,'” he said with a smile, and she laughed and agreed. Who was she to deny him the opportunity to buy her a nice meal?
They parted ways that afternoon so each could get ready for the evening.
Katie spent longer getting ready than she usually would have under the circumstances. She took a long, hot shower that felt wonderful after spending a day cooped up in stuffy meetings. As she did her hair and makeup she began feeling more and more like she really was getting ready for a date with Mark. For a few moments she felt a little uncomfortable about it, but Katie knew she wanted to look as pretty as possible since she’d be out that night with a good looking man whose date would be scrutinized by every passing woman.
Fortunately she had thought ahead to pack her “little black dress” just in case. To be honest, the dress was a little sexier than she would have liked for dinner and drinks with a man who wasn’t her husband, but she really didn’t have much choice. It was tight and short and accentuated her cleavage. Katie experienced another moment of discomfort as she slid on a tiny pair of black lace panties and matching bra. She had packed them automatically because they went perfectly with her dress, but she couldn’t help but think she normally put on her sexy little lacy things when she thought they would be seen later in the evening. But it wasn’t like she was doing anything wrong, and they did make her feel sexy, so what the hell? It wasn’t like she was wearing them “for” Mark. Anyway, they were too cute to be kept shut away in a drawer.
“What would it be like if Mark did see them?” The stray thought crept into her mind as she was sliding into her dress. She had a vision of her dress hitting the floor. She was standing in front of Mark wearing only her bra and panties…his hands were reaching for her….
Katie quickly slammed the door on that little daydream, but a pleasant, warm feeling had crept into her body. This wasn’t the first time Mark had come unbidden into her mind, but after almost a year of working with him, she had developed the skills of pushing him out just as quickly. Years ago she had “slipped” and pleasured herself thinking about a co-worker. She hadn’t been able to look him in the eyes for weeks afterward. Since then she had shunted her co-workers into a “no fantasy” zone inside her mind. On the rare occasions she allowed herself the indulgence of self-pleasure, she envisioned someone she didn’t know. Perhaps someone she had seen in the grocery or on an actor on TV.
Finally staring at the finished product in the mirror, she had to admit she looked damned good tonight. Who knows, she might even make her “date” wish it was the real thing. “Stop it,” she told herself. “It wouldn’t be right to tease him. We’ll have a nice dinner and some drinks and then it’s back up to my room!” She hadn’t felt this confident in some time.
He picked her up just after 8 and she thought his eyes might pop out of his skull. “Wow, that dress doesn’t leave much to the imagination does it?” he said, making a valiant effort at pretending he wasn’t memorizing the outlines of her body but failing miserably. “Eyes up here, Mister!” she said jokingly and punched him playfully in the chest. “Sorry about that,” he said with a smile. “You do look gorgeous tonight, though.” “Well, thank you. You don’t look so bad yourself. That shirt and tie look good on you. Now how about taking your ‘date’ to dinner? She’s hungry!”
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