Monday, 29 July 2013

Caroline stays out

I am used to Caroline being late because of work engagements and use the time to catch up on emails, plan trips to away fixtures, and watch any available sport on TV. Women's football is very skilful.

But when I know something is going on, and I'm not involved, I find it really hard to get to sleep. Every noise after 11pm alerts my senses. By 3am, my imagination has gone into overdrive. So even though Caroline had warned me "not to worry" and that if it got late she would get a room up in town, I had one of those sleepless nights that leave you feeling exhausted the next day and wondering if the single life isn't more straightforward.

What was going on was that Caroline was meeting a business associate for dinner, a woman called Amber who was trying to sell Monsaint a souped-up version of their supply chain management software. Caroline had agreed, at my instigation, to experience the delights of a woman and felt intuitively that Amber, almost a stranger, would be the place to start. She wouldn't let me be involved in her first experiment of this kind, but promised to report back every detail.

It's surprising how easily a harmless erotic fantasy turns into a nightmare of jealousy. In the middle of the night I was utterly convinced that Caroline had been a lesbian all along and had just been waiting to jump ship from her hetero existence. No, hang on a minute, her new friend had an 'open marriage' and was introducing her to her dynamic millionaire husband. No, no, it can't be. The story about meeting a business associate was made up and my wife has a secret life as a high class call girl.

What a relief it was Friday evening when we convened in the kitchen at the usual time, bottle of red opened, and she was able to put my mind at rest. Sort of. I asked if she had enjoyed her meal.

"Oh, it was okay," she said, affecting boredom. "It was a nice restaurant. I agreed to buy the software."
"Yes, but how was the food, did you get on well with... what was her name?"

"I hardly remember what I ate. I spent the whole time staring at Amber's gorgeous eyes. I was right, you know, there was a spark between us. She kept saying funny things, and when I laughed she put her hand on my knee under the table. The time flew by and I realised I would have to book a late room. Amber saw me fiddling with the Late Rooms app on my phone and she said I didn't need to, she had a great hotel room with two double beds in it, and I was welcome to share with her.

"I still thought at that time she was just a very friendly, touchy-feely, woman, but then she kissed me full on the lips in the taxi to the hotel so I knew I was on course with your little fantasy."

I was beginning to wonder if it was my little fantasy at all. I poured us both another glass of wine.
"It was a great little hotel, one of those boutique places with white walls and clean lines. Amber said she'd ordered a bottle of champagne to be brought up to her room, because she wanted to celebrate making a sale. And when she opened the door to her room, there was hotel maid with long blond hair and high heels, holding a silver tray, ice bucket, the works.

"I thought, 'Jeez, they really take service to a whole new level in this hotel.' But that was only the start."

It was getting late and I was tired from the lack of sleep the night before. I suggested we take a shower and she could tell me the rest in bed.

"The rest? Well, I could tell you some of it. If you want the big picture you'll have to get your Kindle out and I'll download the background for you."

This is what Caroline put on my Kindle:

At least I'll have something to read next time Caroline has a late meeting.

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Who are these people?

The world is divided into voyeurs and exhibitionists... It takes one of each to make a good marriage.

Robert and Caroline Fanshaw are an ambitious young couple trying to make their way in a complex world.

What happens when their private affairs collide with world events and the big issues of our times? Drama, comedy and x-rated scenes.