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Can Their Marriage Survive?

Jun 13, 2013

By caringhands

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It was after 11:30 when John got to Tom and Beth's. John had hoped that someone would still be up. He was relieved to see that the light in the living room was on. The front door was unlocked so John walked inside. Tom was watching TV.

"Hey John, what are you doing here so late?" Tom asked.

"Sorry to come over so late like this, but I need a place to stay tonight." John said.

"Sure John, no problem. Of course you can stay here, but why aren't you staying at home?" Tom asked.

"That house isn't my home anymore. Not after tonight. Not after..." John said.

John's head sank and he had to fight back the tears.

"Not after what?" Tom asked.

"Kelly...she...she wasn't...she wasn't alone when I got home." John said.

"What? What do you mean she wasn't alone?" Tom asked.

"When I pulled in there was a blue car in the driveway. I didn't recognize it. I thought it was kind of late for one of Kelly's friends to still be over, but the light in the living room was on. I went inside and found the living room empty. I thought about trying to find Kelly to tell her I was back and kiss her goodnight, but I was hot and tired after my trip so I decided to just go take a shower and go straight to bed. I walked upstairs and that's when I heard..." John said.

John stopped to fight off more tears.

"What did you hear John?" Tom asked.

"Noises...coming from the bedroom. Noises that Kelly makes when we're in the bedroom. I was confused. Why would she be making those noises if she had someone over? I walked down the hall and stood in the open doorway of our bedroom. Kelly was there...on the bed...but she wasn't alone. A man...two men...were in the room with her." John said.

"Oh my God. John; are you saying that Kelly was fucking two guys in your own bed?" Tom asked in disbelief.

"I don't know if she'd done things with both of them or not. When I walked in only one of them was on the bed with her. The other one was beside the bed holding a video camera." John said.

"Oh man...a video camera? So what happened?" Tom asked.

"None of them noticed me at first; they were all too caught up in what they were doing to look towards the door. The man on the bed was positioned so that he was blocking Kelly's view of the door, but then he shifted. She saw me standing there. Our eyes met." John said.

"What did she do when she saw you?" Tom asked.

"She screamed out for the man on top of her to stop and she immediately started crying. The two men looked my way and they both began to panic and started scrambling to get dressed. Kelly pulled herself up against the head board. She sat with her knees pulled up to her chest. She pulled the sheet up to cover herself. Even with her eyes filled with tears our eyes didn't part. After ten, maybe twenty seconds of staring into her eyes I dropped my suitcase, turned around, walked down the stairs, out the front door, got in my car, and drove over here." John said.

"Oh man John; that's terrible. What are you going to do?" Tom asked.

"I don't know. I haven't got the slightest idea. I know that I won't get any sleep tonight, and maybe not for a long time to come. The only thing that I'm sure of is that I need to be away from that house. I hope that you don't mind me coming here. It's the first place I thought of." John said.

"Sure man; I understand. You're welcome to sleep out here on the couch, or I think Beth has the guest room set up if you would prefer a bed." Tom said.

"I'll probably just stay here on the couch." John said.

"Do you want me to stay up and talk with you for a while?" Tom asked.

"No, that's not necessary. I don't really feel like talking right now." John said.

"Okay John. Whatever you need. If you aren't in a talking mood then I think I'm going to go to bed." Tom said.

Tom went off to bed. John sat there in the dark all night. He hardly even blinked during the night. John had been exhausted when he'd arrived at his house after a long trip, but he couldn't have slept that night if you'd pumped him full of elephant tranquilizers.

The scene that John had witnessed in his own home, in his own bedroom, on his own bed, with his wife and another man, while a second man recorded it on video no less, just kept replaying in John's head over and over again.

It was a very long night; the longest of John's life. He just sat there on Tom and Beth's couch. Eventually the darkness started to brighten as the early rays of dawn crept through the windows and across the floor.

John heard the shower running down the hall. Then a few minutes later Tom's wife Beth came walking into the room. She had a towel wrapped around her body and another around her hair.

She was quite startled when she saw him. She gasped and jumped backwards violently. The jump caused the towel around her body to come loose and fall to the floor giving me a full frontal view of her naked body. She immediately squatted down to pick up the towel and wrapped it around herself again.

"Jesus John, you scared the hell out of me. What are you doing here so early and how did you get in?" Beth asked.

"I'm sorry to have startled you like that. Tom let me in last night after you'd gone to bed." John said.

"The couch isn't messed up, you haven't even taken your shoes off; did you just sit there all night?" Beth asked.

"Yes." John said.

"Why the hell would you do that?" Beth asked.

"I wouldn't have been able to sleep after what I saw last night, so I didn't bother with trying." John said.

"You must have seen something pretty bad for you to sit there like that all night. What did you see?" Beth asked.

"Kelly. She was in our bed with another man while a second man filmed them together." John said.

"Oh my God." Beth said.

She rushed over beside him, sat down and held him. She pulled John's head down onto her bare shoulder.

"John, I'm so sorry. What did she say when you confronted her?" Beth asked.

"I didn't...I couldn't say a word. There was no need for words. Our eyes met and everything that needed to be said last night was spoken without words. I could see it in her eyes that she was sorry, I could see that she was terrified, and I could see that somehow she still loved me, despite what I had found her doing." John said.

"And what did your eyes say to her John?" Beth asked.

"Heart break, confusion, anguish...pain." John said.

"Anger?" Beth asked.

"No, it all happened much too quickly for anger to set in. That came on my drive over here." John said.

"So what happened when Kelly and the two men noticed that you were there?" Beth asked.

"The two men got really scared and started hurriedly scrambling for their clothes. Kelly covered the body that she had been showing two strange men just moments before so that I would not see her shame. She cried." John said.

"What did you do?" Beth asked.

"I did all I could do at that moment. I dropped the suitcase I had in my hand, turned around, and left." John said.

"You just left? You didn't even chase the two guys out of there? If you left before they did, they might have stayed." Beth said.

"No, they left. I'm certain of it. They were terrified when they saw me standing there, and they knew that weren't going to get anything else from Kelly judging by her reaction to seeing me standing in the doorway." John said.

"So what are you going to do now John?" Beth asked.

"I don't know. I sat here thinking about it all night and I have no idea. I know that I can't go into that house, or see her. Not now...maybe not ever again. But I must know what happened. Who were those men? Did she know them? Was it her first time with them? Why was she letting them video tape what was happening? I must know those things, but I cannot ask her." John said.

"Then by God I'll ask her for you. You're a damn good man John, and up until now Kelly has been my best friend, but after what she did I'm not sure our friendship is going to last." Beth said.

"I'd appreciate your help." John said.

"I just hope she has answers for your questions. You should really try to get some sleep, you look terrible." Beth said.

"I still can't sleep." John said.

"Then you should at least eat something. Come on, I'll make you some breakfast before I go over to talk to Kelly." Beth said.

Beth took John by the hand and pulled him to his feet. After sitting all night John's legs were very stiff and it was difficult. Beth quickly whipped up some scrambled eggs, toast, and coffee.

"John, please eat something. I know you probably don't have much of an appetite right now, but you really should eat something." Beth said.

John just looked at the plate.

"Don't make me feed you like an infant John." Beth said sternly.

He slowly began eating. Beth watched John clean his plate. When she was satisfied that he'd finished his food she cleared the table then spun around. Again the towel slipped off giving John his second full frontal view of her naked body.

Beth is an absolutely beautiful woman. John had often thought about what she looked like naked. Now he'd seen it twice and it had no affect on him. She might as well have been fully clothed.

"Okay John, I'm gonna go get dressed and then I'm gonna go over to your house and try to talk to Kelly. Tom will be up in an hour or so, he likes to sleep in Saturday mornings. Do you need anything before I go?" Beth asked.

"Can you take me back to last night before this happened and give me a flat tire or something on the way home so those men would have been gone before I got there and I wouldn't have seen what I did?" John asked.

Beth came over and gave John a hug. With him sitting and her standing John's head was pressed firmly against her chest.

"I wish I could John. I would do that for you in a heartbeat if I could. Perhaps it's better that you know though. You deserve better than to have that going on behind your back." Beth said.

Beth released the hug and backed away from John. The towel she was wearing fell to the floor again giving him his closest look at her yet.

"This God damn towel. Fuck it, you've already seen it. Please don't tell Tom about this. It will be our little secret okay?" Beth asked.

"Not a word." John said.

Beth picked up the towel and carried it over her arm as she left the kitchen. She headed down the hallway for the bedroom so she could get dressed. She came back fully dressed a few minutes later.

"John, I don't know how long this will take. We can't even be sure that Kelly's still there. She might have left like you did. I'll go over there and see what I can find out." Beth said.

Beth got in her car and drove off. Fifteen minutes later she was on John and Kelly's front porch. Not only was the front door unlocked, it wasn't even closed all the way, the latch had caught on the door frame and not clicked home.

Beth cautiously walked into the house.

"Kelly? Kelly, are you here?" Beth asked.

She heard no response so Beth started looking around. Kelly didn't seem to be on the first floor so Beth climbed the stairs and made her way towards the master bedroom. There by the door was the suitcase that John had dropped the night before.

Beth entered the bedroom and found the bed disheveled. There were clothes on the floor. Some were obviously Kelly's, but some appeared to have been left behind by the two men that John had found in the room with her. They'd obviously left in a big hurry to have left some of their clothes, and even a shoe behind.

Kelly was not in the bedroom, but Beth heard the shower on in the bathroom. She walked into the bathroom and found Kelly sitting on the floor in the shower. Kelly wasn't sitting under the stream of water; she was against the side wall where the spray of the shower grazed her legs.

"Kelly." Beth said.

Kelly didn't seem to hear or notice Beth. She was just sitting there holding her knees to her chest and crying. Beth reached into the shower and shut off the water.

"Kelly." Beth said.

Kelly finally looked up at Beth.

"John...he left...he saw me...I shouldn't have been...I was...John saw...he left." Kelly sobbed.

"I know what John saw Kelly, and I know that he left. He spent last night at my house." Beth said.

"Why did I...how could I ever...I was such a fool...John deserves better...I wish I was dead." Kelly said.

"No you don't." Beth said.

Kelly composed herself a little better.

"Yes I do Beth. Yes I do. After what I did to John I deserve to die. I could see it in his eyes...the pain...the hurt...I hurt him...I hurt him really bad." Kelly said.

"Yes you did. When I got up this morning and found him sitting on the couch in my living room he wasn't the same John that I've known for 7 years. I could see the hurt in his eyes from across the room." Beth said.

"Oh God...if I weren't such a coward I'd kill myself." Kelly said.

"Kelly, if you killed yourself right now, it would just hurt John even more. Do you want that? Haven't you already hurt him enough?" Beth asked.

"I never wanted to hurt him Beth. That's the last thing I ever wanted to do. But I have hurt him. I've hurt him really bad. How can I go on living after what I've done to him?" Kelly asked.

"Kelly, I've got a question for you. Would you have wanted to die today if John hadn't seen what he did last night?" Beth asked.

"No, but if he hadn't seen what he saw last night he wouldn't be hurting right now." Kelly said.

"So does that mean that you think it would have been okay for you to do what you did if John didn't find out about it?" Beth asked.

"No, of course not. There's no excusing what I've done. I'd have felt horrible today no matter what and I'd have come clean and told John what happened. That would have hurt him badly too, but for John to have actually seen it happening...I don't deserve to live." Kelly said.

"Well, that might be true Kelly. You might not deserve to live after what you've done to John, but you know what; you're going to live. You're going to get out of that shower, clean yourself up, and you are going to live." Beth said.

"But how can I after what I've done?" Kelly asked.

"You said yourself that you wouldn't have wanted to die if John hadn't seen what he saw last night, which means that you really don't want to die. You said you'd have felt really guilty right now even if he hadn't seen it, and rightfully so; but you wouldn't have wanted to die if he hadn't seen it. I'm sure it won't be easy considering how you're feeling right now, but you're going to stay alive. If for no other reason than because you owe it to John." Beth said.

"John will never speak to me again after what he saw." Kelly said.

"Maybe not Kelly, but he wants to know about what he saw last night. Whether what you did can be forgiven or not is up to John, but you owe it to him to tell him what happened." Beth said.

"Yes...you're right. He deserves to know. I'll get dressed and we can go over to your house so I can talk to him." Kelly said.

She stood up from where she'd been sitting in the shower.

"John doesn't want to see you right now; he's in too much pain after what he saw last night. I've come to get the answers that he wants." Beth said.

"Very well. Give me a few minutes to get dressed and compose myself." Kelly said.

"I think you should finish your shower first." Beth said.

"Why?" Kelly asked.

"Because it would be very inappropriate for you to give me the information John wants while you still have another man's cum on you." Beth said.

She pointed at the cum that had dried in Kelly's pubic hair and had not rinsed away in the shower.

"Oh god." Kelly said.

She started crying as she turned on the shower and scrubbed hard trying to get herself clean.

Beth went downstairs to wait in the living room. Ten minutes later Kelly came downstairs fully dressed. She looked terrible. The events of what happened the night before, of her husband John seeing her like that had taken the life out of her.

Kelly sat down on the couch close to where Beth was sitting in one of the chairs. It was clear that Kelly was really uncomfortable. She wanted to break down and cry, but she owed it to John to come clean about what happened, even if she had to tell him through her best friend Beth.

"Kelly, I know this won't be easy for you, but if there's any chance of salvaging a friendship with John and perhaps even your marriage then you need to answer for what happened last night." Beth said.

"I understand. You're right. I'll tell you anything you want to know." Kelly said.

"First off, who were the two men John found you with?" Beth asked.

"Adam Wright and Jeff Daniels." Kelly said.

"John said he'd never seen them before. Do you know them?" Beth asked.

"Not really." Kelly said.

"What does that mean?" Beth asked.

"I met them online. Well I met Adam, then he introduced me to Jeff." Kelly said.

"How did you meet them online? What kind of site was it?" Beth asked.

"It was an online personals site." Kelly said.

"Do you mean a dating site or one of those ones where people look for sex partners?" Beth asked.

"Sex partners." Kelly said hanging her head.

"What were you doing on one of those sites?" Beth asked.

"I was bored. I'd heard people talk about them so I found one. You had to post your own profile to look at the other profiles. Within a few hours I had some emails asking me if I wanted to get together for sex." Kelly said.

"And you said yes?" Beth asked.

"No...at least not right away. I politely declined the requests. Then Adam started emailing me. He seemed different. Instead of emailing me about sex he would talk to me about everything but sex. He introduced me to Jeff and the three of us started chatting online." Kelly said.

"For how long?" Beth asked.

"I started chatting with them 5 months ago." Kelly said.

"And when did you first have sex with them?" Beth asked.

"Last night." Kelly said.

"Are you telling me the truth?" Beth asked.

"Yes. We'd become very close and started talking about sex more and more. Yesterday they showed up here. I wasn't expecting them, I didn't invite them, but I also didn't tell them no. I should have made them leave, but I didn't." Kelly said.

"So the sex that John saw was consensual?" Beth asked.

"Yes. I knew it was wrong, but having two men kissing and caressing me after only being with John for the past 9 years was very exciting. It shouldn't have been, but it was." Kelly said.

"What about the video camera? Did you agree to let them tape what was happening?" Beth asked.

"Yes. They said that since it would probably be their only chance to have sex with me they wanted to be able to remember it forever." Kelly said.

"Did any of you know that John was due home yesterday?" Beth asked.

"Yes, I knew, and I told them, but we lost track of time." Kelly said.

"How long had you been at it when you saw John in the doorway?" Beth asked.

"I went upstairs with Adam and Jeff at 6:00, and it was after 11:00 when I saw John." Kelly said.

"You'd been having sex with two strange men in the bed you share with your husband for 5 hours?" Beth asked.

"Yes. Now do you see why I want to die? I didn't just make one mistake; I made it over and over again for 5 hours. I never should have let it happen at all, but I did, then I let it happen again and again." Kelly said.

"What happened after John left?" Beth asked.

"Adam and Jeff got dressed as quickly as they could and left in a hurry. I just sat there cowering on the bed for over an hour wondering if John was going to come back. I could see the wet spots on the bed, the clothes scattered about, and I could smell the scent of sex in the air. I felt dirty, filthy, I had to get the filth off of me so I got in the shower, but the filth wouldn't come off. I collapsed in the shower and sat there until you found me." Kelly said.

"Do you think Adam and Jeff will come back looking for more sex?" Beth asked.

"No, I told them that it would only be a one time thing." Kelly said.

"With that video they could try to blackmail you into more." Beth said.

"It wouldn't work. John already knows what they did. The rest of the world could know and it wouldn't hurt half as much as it hurts right now after seeing the pain in his eyes last night." Kelly said.

"Okay. You should stay here, clean up the mess in your bedroom, and throw away the sheets and the mattress. Even if John refuses to come back here that mattress remaining in this house after what happened is a slap in the face to everything that you once had." Beth said.

"You're right. Beth, when you see him tell him how much I love him, how sorry I am for everything, and tell him that if he gives me the chance I'll do whatever I can to make things right." Kelly said.

"I'll tell him Kelly, but I'm not sure this can be made right." Beth said.

Beth got in her car and drove back to her and Tom's house. John was sitting silently staring off into space when she came in.

"John, I'm back." Beth said.

"Was she there?" John asked.

"Yes John she was. I found her sitting on the floor of the shower crying." Beth said.

"Did she talk to you?" John asked.

"Yes she did John. She answered the questions that I asked." Beth said.

"Who were they?" John asked.

"Two men she met through an online adult personals website." Beth said.

"Was it the first time she'd been with them or was this a long term affair?" John asked.

"She said it was the first time and I believe her." Beth said.

"Did you get their names?" John asked.

"Adam Wright and Jeff Daniels." Beth said.

John stood up quickly, which surprised Beth and caused her to stumble backwards. He walked over to where they had their phone book, flipped through the pages and scribbled down two addresses. John then walked into Tom's den and grabbed his baseball bat. He then headed for the door. Beth saw the bat in John's hand and stepped in front of him.

"John, what do you think you're doing?" Beth asked.

"I'm going to go get that tape. I doubt they'll want to give it up so I might have to convince them." John said.

"John, don't run off half cocked like this." Beth pleaded.

"I'm fully cocked Beth, but last night they were double cocked, and they were taping as they fucked my wife. I'm going to get that tape. So please Beth get out of my way. The anger that I should have felt last night is boiling up right now and I don't want to hurt you, but I'm not going to let anything or anyone stop me from getting that tape. I say again, Beth, please get out of my way." John said.

Beth looked scared as she stepped out of John's way. He walked out to his car, fired the engine up and drove to the home of Adam Wright first as it was the closest. John knocked on the door, he opened it, saw John, and tried to slam the door shut, but John got the bat between the door and the frame and was able to force his way inside. Adam was stumbling backwards.

"Where is it?" John asked.

"Where's what?" Adam asked in a terrified tone as John stood over him.

"The tape you made of my wife." John said.

"I don't have it. Jeff has it." Adam said.

"Stand up and put your hands behind your back." John said.

Adam was terrified as he stood up. John took some zip ties that he had in his car for wiring and secured Adam's hands behind his back.

"Okay move. Just so you know, if we get over to his place and he doesn't have the tape you won't like what happens." John said.

Adam was crying like a baby as John drove over to Jeff's house. John pulled Adam out of his car and dragged him up to Jeff's front door. Jeff opened the door and John pushed Adam into Jeff knocking both of them to the floor.

"You have one chance. Either give me the tape or I kill both of you right now." John said.

"How do we know you won't kill us either way?" Jeff asked.

"You don't, but you stand a much better chance of survival if I leave here with what I want. Now where is it?" John asked.

"It's still in the camera." Jeff said.

"Let's go." John said.

Jeff started to stand up.

"On your knees or I'll break a few of your ribs." John said.

John didn't want to take the chance that Jeff would outrun him to some hidden weapon. Jeff and Adam got to their knees and shuffled their way into Jeff's office. Jeff picked up the camera and pulled out the tape.

"Here. Please don't hurt us. She did it willingly." Jeff said.

"I know she did; that's the only reason you're both still alive right now. Play this; prove it's the real thing." John said.

Jeff put the small tape into the adapter to a standard sized VHS, put it in the VCR in his office and hit play. It was the tape of them with Kelly.

"Okay, that's enough. Give it to me." John said.

Jeff handed me the tape.

"Are there any others?" John asked.

"No." Jeff said.

John pulled the bat back ready to swing.

"In the bag, there's two more." Jeff said cowering to the floor.

"Get them and give them to me." John said.

Jeff gave John the other two tapes.

"You two cock suckers should consider yourselves very lucky; I've decided not to kill you. If I hear about copies of this floating around town or on the internet or something you'd better be the hell out of the country though because if that happens I will kill you." John said.

John left Jeff's house and went back to Tom and Beth's.

"Well there's no blood on the bat; that has to be a good thing right?" Tom asked.

"I didn't hurt either of them. I scared the shit out of them and they gave me what I wanted." John said.

John held up the 3 tapes.

"Now that you have them, what are you going to do John?" Beth asked.

"I haven't decided yet. I wanted to be the one in control of the tapes though. If they had them they could have used the tapes to try to blackmail Kelly, or they could have tried to humiliate me. This way I have the power over what happens with these. If things go that way I can use them to prove infidelity. Or if things don't end up going that way then at least I know they won't be getting out and they won't be used to blackmail anyone." John said.

"John, I'm shocked that I'm doing this, but I find myself having to stick up for Kelly a little bit. Obviously what she did was wrong. She's hurt you a great deal. She knows that. She still loves you with all her heart and even though she's the one at fault she's hurting just as much as you are right now." Beth said.

"How could she possibly be hurting as much as me? I didn't do this to her, she did it to me." John said.

"Yes, she isn't hurting for herself John, she's hurting for you. She's been destroyed by what she did to you. She told me that she wanted to die John. Not because of what she'd done, but because of what she had done to you because of what she'd done." Beth said.

"Right now part of me wants her to die too. It's only fair, an eye for an eye. Well when I saw her last night I died. I died, my heart stopped beating, the breath left my body, life ceased for me." John said.

"John, I know that it's hard right now, but eventually something will have to be sorted out. Tom and I will let you stay with us for as long as you need, but you have a home of your own." Beth said.

"No, I no longer have a home. I have my name on the deed to a house, but that place ceased to be my home when I saw them there. I can never go back there. Not to live; not even to get my things. I will never again set foot in that house." John said.

"Okay. I'll go over there and get you some clothes and stuff for the next few days and we'll go from there." Beth said.

Tom's cell phone rings. He leaves the room for a few minutes, then comes back.

"There's been some trouble at work; I've got to go down there. It sounds like I'll be late. Will you be okay by yourselves?" Tom asked.

"We'll be fine. We both functioned pretty well as people before we met you; I think we can handle it for a few hours." Beth said.

Tom kissed Beth and he left.

"Does he always ask you that before he leaves?" John asked.

"Usually; when we were first married I hated being alone when he was gone and he knew it so he'd ask me that to make me feel better. It always made me smile so he still does it. I'll go back over and get some of your stuff. Is there anything in particular that I should get?" Beth asked.

"My pocket watch. It should be on top of my dresser." John said.

"Okay. You try to relax and I'll be back. Try to lie down and rest, you look really burned out." Beth said.

"I'm fine...well, not fine...but not tired." John I said.

Beth drove over to the house. She knocked on the door and Kelly answered it. She still looked terrible.

"Did he send you back for more answers?" Kelly asked.

"No, actually I came to get some of his clothes. He's still got on the same clothes he had on yesterday and he doesn't think he could come here right now so I came for him." Beth said.

"Yes...clothes...I'll help you get him some clothes." Kelly said.

Kelly and Beth packed a bag for John.

"There was something else that I was supposed to get...what was it? Oh, I remember. There it is." Beth said.

She picked up the pocket watch.

"He asked you to get his pocket watch?" Kelly asked hopefully.

"Yes, is that significant?" Beth asked.

"Open it." Kelly said.

Beth was confused so she opened the watch. On the inside of the cover was a picture of their wedding day.

"If he wants that then maybe I haven't completely destroyed the love he had for me." Kelly said.

"I can see it in his eyes that he still loves you, but he's also lost right now." Beth said.

"I am as well. I'm lost in a different way, but I'm not any less lost." Kelly said.

"Oh, John tracked down the two guys and got the tapes. He didn't even hurt them." Beth said.

"Oh no." Kelly said.

"What's wrong with that? Aren't you glad that they don't have the tapes?" Beth asked.

"Yes of course, but John didn't hurt them. There was a time when he'd have knocked a guy out for smiling at me. If he didn't hurt them after what they had done it could mean that I don't mean anything to him anymore." Kelly said.

"It could also mean that you mean a lot to him and he doesn't want to go to jail and be taken away from you." Beth said.

"Oh I hope it's something like that." Kelly said.

"Well, I'd better get going." Beth said.

"Wait. Beth, would you give John something for me?" Kelly asked.

"What?" Beth asked.

"This." Kelly said.

Kelly hugged Beth tight for over a minute.

"Will you give him that for me?" Kelly asked.

"Sure." Beth said.

"Thank you." Kelly said.

Beth got in her car and drove home. She carried the suitcase into house. John was sitting on the couch again. Beth walked over, sat down across John's lap and gave him a firm hug for a minute or so. Then she stood up.

"What's that about?" John asked.

"Kelly asked me to give you that." Beth said.

"Oh." John said.

"John, don't just say 'Oh'. Your wife asked me to give you a hug. That's not something to just say 'Oh' to." Beth said.

"What do you want me to say Beth? She asked you to give me a hug? Well then everything is forgiven. If that's what you're expecting you're going to be disappointed." John said.

"I wasn't expecting you to say that, but I thought it would get more than just an 'Oh'." Beth said.

"The reason it didn't get more than an 'Oh' is because if it had been a hug that you wanted to give me I would know how to feel about it; but I don't know how I feel about her right now so I don't know how to feel about a hug that she asked you to give me." John said.

"John, I can't even imagine what you're going through, and I don't want to." Beth said.

She sat back down on John's lap and held him again. It wasn't as firm; it was tenderer, compassionate.

"This one I know how to feel about. This one I know is genuine." John said.

"Yes, it is." Beth said.

"I guess I have a lot of thinking to do huh?" John asked.

"I guess so." Beth said.

"What would you do?" John asked.

"What?" Beth asked.

"If you were in my position, what would you do?" John asked.

"I don't know. Finding the person that you love willingly doing something like that in your own bed, that's quite a lot to deal with. You obviously still love her." Beth said.

"I could never stop loving her. Even now I'd throw myself in of a truck to push her to safety. But she willingly had sex with 2 other men in our bed. That's a knife to the chest. I'm angry that I'm not angrier with her. I find myself feeling guilty, like this is my own fault." John said.

"Your fault? John, of all the people that deserve blame you aren't even on the list." Beth said.

"Aren't I? Kelly told you that she was bored. That's why she first went onto that website. You don't go on a site like that if you're bored with your job or with what's on TV; you go onto one of those sites because you're bored with the partner you have. She was bored with me so she went looking for something new and exciting. Well she found it and I ruined her fun." John said.

"John, I'm sure that isn't the case. I'm sure she was just curious about those sites. I can't believe that she went on there actively seeking someone to be with." Beth said.

"It isn't that hard to believe Beth. Would you go onto a site that's set up for people to find other people to have sex with and talk to people online for 5 months without being interested in having sex with someone else?" John asked.

"I admit that it doesn't look good John, but Kelly didn't seem very bored with you to me. For as long as I can remember she's been regaling me with stories of how wonderful you are in bed. She has been telling me how passionate, tender, and giving you are as a lover. She's told me that thinking about kissing you is enough to get her excited and give her butterflies. She's been making me jealous for so long John. In fact Thursday we had lunch together and she told me how much she was looking forward to making love to you all day today once you'd gotten home from your trip last night." Beth said.

"I was looking forward to it too, until I stepped into that doorway." John said.

"Even with what you saw in that room, do you really believe that she was bored with you? From the way she's described it to me the two of you have always had a wonderful sex life." Beth said.

"Well...that's true...our sex life has always been very fulfilling for both of us." John said.

"Then how could you possibly think that she was bored with you?" Beth asked.

"It's the only reason I can think of for why she was on that site. It's the only reason that makes sense." John said.

"Life doesn't always make sense John. Maybe she was bored with some other website she'd been spending time on and went exploring." Beth said.

"And maybe she went on there looking for someone to cheat on me with." John said.

"Calm down John. Let's work on another list of questions that you want answered and tomorrow I'll go over again and get more answers. It doesn't do anyone any good to speculate. Okay? Can we just calmly work on a list of questions?" Beth asked.

"Fine." John said.

Beth got up off John's lap and grabbed a pad of paper and a pen. She motioned for him to follow her to the kitchen. They sat down at the table.

"Okay, question number one, what was she bored with that made her get on the site in the first place? What else?" Beth asked.

"Did I do something to drive her into someone else's arms?" John asked.

"I already know the answer to that one. No. But I'll ask her. What else do you want to know?" Beth asked.

"Was this the only time she's cheated on me? Has there been anyone besides those two?" John asked.

"You don't ask easy questions do you?" Beth asked.

"This isn't an easy situation." John said.

"No, I suppose not. What's next?" Beth asked.

"Why did she do it in our bed? There are two other large beds in the house, why did she do it in our bed?" John asked.

"Yikes...that's another hard one. By the way I told her to throw out the sheets and get rid of the mattress." Beth said.

"Good." John said.

"Okay, so what else?" Beth asked.

"When she was with them was she thinking about me at all or was she only thinking of herself?" John asked.

"Damn John, Kelly's gonna be in tears when I ask her these questions." Beth said.

"If she didn't want to answer them she shouldn't have put herself in position for them to be asked." John said.

"I can't disagree with that. What else?" Beth asked.

"Was she ever thinking about one or both of them when she was with me?" John asked.

"Remind me to take a box of tissues with me; I think she'll need them. What else?" Beth asked.

"We were thinking about trying to start a family soon. Was she still on her pill?" John asked.

"Oh God, that would be horrible." Beth said.

"Yes, it would." John said.

"What else?" Beth asked.

"I think that's all I can stand for now." John said.

"Okay. That's 7 very hard questions, all of which you deserve answers to. I'll go over there in the morning and talk to her. Are you hungry? I could fix us some dinner." Beth said.

"I'm starving, but I don't have much of an appetite." John said.

"Yeah, I don't blame you. I'll whip something up real quick and we'll see how much of it I can get you to eat." Beth said.

She made some dinner and she convinced John to eat a good bit more than he had the appetite for. They moved back to the living room and talked for a while. At after 9:00 Tom got back.

"Man that sucked. How are things here?" Tom asked.

"Well, I went over and got John some clothes, we came up with a list of more questions for me to ask Kelly tomorrow, we had sex, and then we ate dinner." Beth said.

"Uh-huh, that's great...wait, what was that?" Tom asked.

"I just thought I'd see if you were really paying attention." Beth said.

"So you didn't have dinner?" Tom asked with a grin.

"No, but I did get John to 'eat' something." Beth said suggestively.

"Oh yeah, was it your very special treat?" Tom asked.

Tom kissed Beth.

"It was wonderful; by the time he was done 'eating' he needed much more than a napkin." Beth said.

"And what about you? Did you enjoy watching him eat your special treat?" Tom asked.

"I was very satisfied when he'd finished." Beth said.

"Okay guys, this is getting weird, your room is that way, go...please." John said.

"Do you want to watch?" Beth asked suggestively.

"Uh...no thanks...I've already watched someone have sex this week...I'm good." John said.

"The guest room is all set up John, I hope you'll use it and try to get some sleep." Beth said.

"We'll see." John said.

Tom and Beth went down the hall. John heard their bedroom door shut. At 7:00 Sunday morning the door opened and Beth came out in a towel again.

"You didn't sleep again John?" She asked looking concerned.

"No, I can't stand to close my eyes just yet." John said.

"So you wouldn't close your eyes even if I did this?" Beth asked.

She walked over in front of where John was sitting and opened her towel exposing herself to him completely for the second morning in a row. John just stared at her.

"Beth, I'm sure Tom wouldn't be very happy if he came out here and saw you standing in front of me like that." John said.

"Oh don't worry about Tom; he'll be out cold for a couple more hours. We were up pretty late; I could scream bloody murder and he wouldn't wake up. If you aren't going to sleep you should at least shower and put on clean clothes. Go get cleaned up and I'll make some breakfast." Beth said.

John grabbed some of his clean clothes out of the suitcase she'd brought from the house and headed to the guest bathroom. The warm water of the shower felt good; really good. When he stepped out of the shower Beth was there. John stood there completely naked and he startled her so her towel dropped so she was completely naked as well.

"What are you doing?" John asked.

"I remembered that I hadn't put any towels in here, we never use this shower. I brought you some towels. I think I'd better go get dressed." Beth said.

Again she picked up her towel and carried it instead of wrapping it around herself. She was right there hadn't been any towels so John used the ones she'd brought to dry off; then he got dressed. Beth was dressed and in the kitchen when John got there.

"Feel better after a nice hot shower?" Beth asked.

"No. Cleaner; but not better." John said.

"Well, I guess cleaner is a good start. What time did you get up Friday morning?" Beth asked.

"Let's see, I think it was 7:00." John said.

"Okay 7:00 Friday morning and it's almost 8:00 Sunday morning now, which means that you've been awake for over 48 hours straight. Could I convince you to take a sleeping pill or something? You look terrible; you need to get some sleep." Beth said.

"A sleeping pill wouldn't help Beth. Even when I blink I can see the image of what happened in my head. It's for a brief instant each time I blink so I can handle it, but if I close my eyes for any length of time I won't be able to stand it. A sleeping pill, horse tranquilizers, a frying pan to the head, it doesn't matter, my mind won't allow me to close my eyes because it's too painful." John said.

"It will have to happen some time John; you can't stay awake forever." Beth said.

"I know, and I know that the longer I go without sleep the worse my decision making will get. I just can't do it. If I can stay awake for a week and a half I'm going to do it. If I fall asleep in 10 minutes so be it, but it will be when my body finally gives out and not before." John said.

"You poor thing. I'll go ask Kelly those questions right away so maybe the answers will ease your mind enough that you can get some sleep." Beth said.

Beth went over to the house and Kelly let her in.

"How's he doing? Is he eating? How's he sleeping?" Kelly asked.

"I've gotten him to eat, but he hasn't slept since he got up Friday morning." Beth said.

"Oh god. I didn't sleep very well, but I did pass out on the couch last night." Kelly said.

"He came up with 7 more questions for me to ask you." Beth said.

"Okay. Whatever he wants to know. Whatever can help us get through this; I'll answer any question he wants to ask." Kelly said.

"These won't be easy." Beth said.

"I have no doubt of that, but I'll answer all of them." Kelly said.

"Okay, question number one; what exactly was it that you were bored with that led you to go on that website?" Beth asked.

"What was I bored with? Life I suppose." Kelly said.

"Your life with John?" Beth asked.

"Heavens no. My life with John has never been boring." Kelly said.

"Then in what way were you bored with life?" Beth asked.

"Yes I suppose that might be a little confusing. It wasn't my life with John that was boring, it was everything else. Everyone has things that they do in their life that don't include their significant other. The things that I had in my life outside of John were boring, repetitive, and dull. How many times can you go to a women's club meeting before realizing that the meetings are always the same? If you go to one per year you don't miss anything, it's always the same. Obviously I made a bad choice in how to drive the boredom from my life outside of John. I was most definitely not bored with John." Kelly said.

"I think that probably covers question number two as well. He wants to know if he did something to drive you into another man, or in this case other men's arms." Beth said.

"Of course not. As I said my life with John was wonderful. It was my life outside of him that was lacking. I never should have let myself wind up in anyone else's arms; but John didn't do anything to drive me there." Kelly said.

"Here, I've got a feeling that you might need these for the next few questions." Beth said.

She hands a box of tissues to Kelly.

"That hard huh?" Kelly asked.

"They would be for me if I was the one being asked." Beth said.

"Okay." Kelly said.

"He wants to know if this was the first time you've cheated on him in your relationship. Since the two of you started dating have you been with anyone besides the two men that he saw you with?" Beth asked.

Kelly started pulling tissues as her eyes filled with tears.

"Yes. There was one other time." Kelly said.

"He will want details." Beth said.

"We were still in college. John and I had only been dating for a few weeks; we'd only had sex a few times at that point. I went on a girls' only weekend with two friends of mine. You've met them, Shannon and Amy. One of the nights we all had quite a bit to drink and we...we decided to have sex with each other to see what it was like. None of us had ever been with a woman before. It was a one time thing, we haven't talked about it since, but John and I were together at that point so what I did was cheating on him." Kelly said.

She sobbed openly.

"And that's it?" Beth asked.

"That's it. That's the only other time that I cheated on him. I've felt guilty about that one for years. I'll be glad that he knows at last. I hated keeping it secret from him." Kelly sobbed.

"Okay, the 4th question he came up with was why you did what you did in your bed." Beth said.

"In my defense on that question my judgment was obviously way off already since I willingly went upstairs with them in the first place. I should have asked them to leave as soon as they got there. We do have two other rooms with large beds in them that wouldn't have made what I did any better, but it would have at least kept our marital bed out of what I was doing. It's just the two of us though so we hardly ever go into the other rooms so my first thought when I think of going to bed is to go to the bedroom that I share with John. What I did was a horrible mistake, but I compounded it by doing it in our bed." Kelly said.

"Okay so the answer to that one would be already impaired judgment and a force of habit response to go to the master bedroom when you think of going to bed. Does that sum up what you were trying to say?" Beth asked.

"Yes, perfectly." Kelly said.

"Okay, here comes another tear jerker. When you were with them were you thinking about John at all or were you only thinking about what those two men were doing to you?" Beth asked.

Kelly pulled more tissues as she started crying again.

"I was thinking of John the whole time. I enjoyed what Adam and Jeff were doing to me, but I was thinking about John and I knew it was wrong. I'm John's wife; I should never have been doing anything close to that with anyone else. I knew that, but I also enjoyed the attention and pleasure that Adam and Jeff were showing me." Kelly said.

"So that's a yes then; you were thinking of John. Apparently not hard enough to stop what was happening at any point during the 5 hours, but you were thinking of him." Beth said.

"You think I'm horrible don't you?" Kelly asked.

"What I think of you isn't at issue right now; what John thinks of you, or will think of you in the future is what's important right now." Beth said.

"I can see it in your eyes Beth. Not only have I hurt John, I've hurt you as well." Kelly said.

"Yes you have. For the life of me I can't imagine why anyone would do what you did to someone as incredible as John. Let's just get on with the questions. There are only two left." Beth said.

"Okay." Kelly said.

"Were you ever thinking of either of the two men while you and John were making love?" Beth asked.

"No, never; nothing I did in my life away from John ever came into my life with John. Well, at least it didn't until Friday." Kelly said.

"Okay, I'll buy that. Last one; and this one could either be the easiest or the hardest question of the group. Are you ready?" Beth asked.

"I think so." Kelly said.

"John said that you were thinking of starting a family soon. He wants to know if you were still on the pill when it happened." Beth said.

"Yes thank God. What I've done is bad enough, but if I'd ended up pregnant with another man's baby...it would absolutely kill me." Kelly said.

"He'll be very relieved to hear that." Beth said.

"Beth, you've seen him, you've talked to him, I must know, am I going to lose him?" Kelly asked.

"It's too early to tell Kelly. He's had a pretty blank expression on his the whole time he's been at our house. I don't think he has any idea what he's going to do right now. It seems like he's covering all of his bases by getting the tapes and by having me ask you these questions. If he decides it's over he'll have the tapes to prove infidelity if you decided to deny it in court. If he decides to try to make it work the tapes will be in safe hands so they don't get out. By having me ask these questions he'll have a better understanding of how this all happened. Then he can make his decision. If he agrees that it was something that had nothing to do with your life with him that just got way out of control there might be hope. If he decides that you went looking for them because you were bored with him it could be over. Like I said it's too early to tell right now. The only thing we can do is keep giving him the information that he asks for holding nothing back and hope that he makes the right decision, whatever that decision is." Beth said.

"Give him a kiss for me when you see him." Kelly said.

"What kind of kiss?" Beth asked.

"Whatever kind you're comfortable with. I don't care; a peck on the cheek, a peck on the mouth, lick his tonsils, whatever, just give him a kiss for me." Kelly said.

"Okay." Beth said.

Beth drove home. John was waiting anxiously. When she walked in she came over, sat on his lap and gave him a big hug.

"Another hug from Kelly?" John asked.

"No, that one's from me. This is from Kelly." Beth said.

She gave John a closed mouth kiss on the lips. She didn't get off his lap as she pulled out the paper she'd written the questions and answers on.

"Okay, so what did she say?" John asked.

"Well she said that she wasn't bored with you, she was bored with her life outside of you. You know; the individual stuff like you going golfing and stuff like that. She wanted to make that part of her life more interesting and exciting so she went on that website, which was obviously a mistake." Beth said.

"No kidding. What else did she say?" John asked.

"She said that you didn't do anything to drive her into someone else's arms. She said that her life with you was perfect, but she let the excitement she found in her life away from you get out of hand." Beth said.

"What else?" John asked.

"This wasn't the first time that she cheated on you." Beth said.

"WHAT?" John asked outraged.

"It might not be as bad as you think. It's kind of hot really." Beth said.

"Hot? Kelly cheating on me some other time is hot?" John asked.

"It's a totally different situation than this one. It happened when you had just been dating for a few weeks. She went away with her friends Shannon and Amy for the weekend. The three of them got a little drunk and had sex with each other." Beth said.

"So she cheated on me with her two friends and not another man?" John asked.

"Yeah; can't you just picture three gorgeous girls like that in some hotel room somewhere a little bit tipsy, kissing, touching, fingering, and licking each other. Tell me that's not hot." Beth said.

"Right now that won't sink in because of all the other things in my head. I suppose that I can't be too mad at her about that though because we hadn't been dating long. I remember that weekend, I wanted to take her to a concert, but she went away with Shannon and Amy. I suppose I'm also quite relieved that it was with women instead of men. Cheating should be cheating, but it doesn't seem as bad if it was with women." John said.

"It's probably a territorial thing. If another man comes sniffing around your woman he has to die, but if it's a woman it isn't as bad." Beth said.

"Maybe. So what else did she say?" John asked.

"Okay, her response to why she did it in your bed was that she had impaired judgment and it was a force of habit to go to your room." Beth said.

"Impaired judgment and a force of habit?" John asked.

"Yeah. Considering that she agreed to have sex with them in the first place when she knew she shouldn't her judgment was obviously impaired. As for the force of habit, the only bedroom you guys ever use is yours so when they headed upstairs so they could do it on a bed it was an immediate force of habit to go into your bedroom." Beth said.

"What else did she say?" John asked.

"She said that she was thinking of you the whole time that she was with them. She knew that what she was doing was wrong, but she made it seem like her mind and her body were almost detached from one another. Her body was experiencing pleasure even though her mind was screaming that it shouldn't be." Beth said.

"What did she say when you asked her if she thought about them when she was with me?" John asked.

"She said no. She said that until Friday when the two of them showed up that part of her life had never encroached upon her life with you." Beth said.

"What about the last question?" John asked.

"She's still on the pill; and the thought of having another man's child really upset her." Beth said.

"I'm glad to hear that. Thank you for doing all of this Beth; you're a very good friend to both of us." John said.

"Yes I am. If I didn't love you both to death I'd never play the go between like this." Beth said.

"Well I appreciate it." John said.

For the first time John initiated a hug with Beth. When he put his arms around her she put hers around him. It was nice.

"So what are you going to do about work?" Beth asked.

"I had 5 weeks of vacation saved up. I doubt I'll be going on any vacations in the near future so I called Eric and told him I'm taking at least a week off." John said.

"Great, it will be you and me all week." Beth said.

John sat up all night again. Monday morning at 6:00 Tom got up, and was out the door by 6:45. At 7:00 Beth came down the hall with a towel on her hair and she was wearing a pair of very tight very skimpy shorts and a tight mid-riff top.

"Still no sleep huh?" Beth asked.

"Nope. What are you...?" John asked.

"What am I making for breakfast? Bacon and eggs I think. Let's see, you've been awake for 72 hours straight now right? I really wish I could get you to go to sleep." Beth said.

"I told you, that isn't going to happen until my body can't stay awake any longer." John said.

"John, I'm worried about you." Beth said.

"I know you are and I appreciate your concern, but this is the way it has to be." John said.

"Well at least you won't be driving or doing anything where you could kill yourself or someone else." Beth said.

They at breakfast then John moved to the living room and to his surprise so did Beth. She sat down beside him on the couch.

"Uh...Beth." John said.

"What is it John?" Beth asked.

"Do you usually wear so little around your house on Monday morning?" John asked.

"As a matter of fact, yes I do. I like wearing stuff like this and there's usually nobody around to see me like this. If it bothers you, all you have to do is close your eyes." Beth said.

"Oh, I get it; you're trying to get me to go to sleep. The truth is Beth, I'm completely exhausted, and I don't have much energy left in me. I probably will fall asleep some time today." John said.

"I'm glad. I know you want to hold out as long as you can, but I can see the exhaustion on your face. It's killing me to see you like this, and I know that it would kill Kelly to see you like this. If you say you don't have much left then I'm gonna just sit right here with you until you fall asleep." Beth said.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because if you're right, when you do fall asleep the image of Friday night will be in your head and there should be someone here with you when it happens. Someone to hold your head in their lap and see you through it." Beth said.

"Hold my head in your lap?" John asked.

"Why not?" Beth asked.

"Well, we're at your house, the house you share with your husband Tom, who would probably be upset to find us like that. Plus I am still a married man." John said.

"Tom won't be home for a long time; it's okay." Beth said.

John didn't have the energy left to put up much of a fight. He could feel his head and his eye lids getting heavy. John's head dropped to the side, towards Beth. Not long before John finally fell asleep he felt Beth pull him over so that his head was lying in her lap.

John felt her stroking his hair and his side as he finally drifted off to sleep after 76 continuous hours of being awake.

It was after 5:00 when John finally woke up. It had been around 9:00 when he fell asleep so he'd been out for 8 hours. John was unsure where he was at first. He noticed a pair of bare knees in front of his eyes so he sat up.

"Well, good morning." Beth said.

"Morning?" John asked.

"Okay, evening. You've been asleep for 8 hours. Do you feel better now that you've slept?" Beth asked.

"Some. My head's clearer at least. Did you sit there for 8 hours while I slept with my head on your lap?" John asked.

"Yes, and I'm really glad you woke up. I have to pee and I'm starving." Beth said.

She got up and hurried down the hall to the bathroom. She came back a few minutes later.

"Tom's gonna be home pretty soon, I'll get started on dinner. You should probably change and clean up a little." Beth said.

John went down the hall into the guest room. He took a nice hot shower, shaved, put on fresh clothes and went back out to the living room.

"John, you look a whole lot better, did you finally get some sleep?" Tom asked.

"Yes he did. He slept pretty much all day. He does look better, but he still looks really exhausted." Beth said.

"I am, but I think I'll stand a chance of sleeping tonight...maybe." John said.

"I hope so; if you keep going like you were you'd either end up dead or at least in the loony bin." Tom said.

"I'm glad I slept because I thought of something that might help this whole situation." John said.

"That's great. What did you come up with?" Beth asked.

"We should move." John said.

"What?" Tom asked.

"I can't go back into that house...that room ever again. Even if I can forgive Kelly for what happened, I can't go back into that house. If there's any chance, it has to be in a different house. Beth, would you talk to Kelly about it tomorrow for me?" John asked.

"Yes of course John. That's a major transaction, but I'm sure she'll agree." Beth said.

John was still sitting up on the couch when Beth got ready to go to bed.

"Are you going to try the bed tonight?" Beth asked.

"Probably not. I think I can sleep here as well as I'd sleep there, if I can sleep at all." John said.

"Okay, goodnight." Beth said.

John had a turbulent night. He did get to sleep a few times but it was for short stints, which was still better than the 3 previous nights.

Tuesday morning Tom left for work and then Beth came out to the kitchen in a robe and started making breakfast for the two of them.

"So did you get any sleep?" Beth asked.

"Some." John said.

"Well, that's an improvement I guess. So when I go talk to Kelly about the house thing how do you want me to handle it?" Beth asked.

"What do you mean?" John asked.

"Well, selling a house takes a lot of paperwork, which both of you would have to sign, plus shopping for a new house is something you should both have input on." Beth said.

"We can work out the paperwork problems. As for finding a new house, I'll trust Kelly's judgment. If it's in the same price range or maybe a little higher then what and where I'll leave to her." John said.

"Okay. I'm glad that you're thinking of things like this. It shows that you're trying to give things a chance of working out." Beth said.

Beth drove over to the house. Kelly, like Beth, was a stay at home wife so she was still home when Beth rang the doorbell at just after 8:00.

"Good morning Beth. Come on in, can I get you a cup of coffee?" Kelly asked.

"Yes please." Beth said.

They went into the kitchen, Kelly poured two cups of coffee and they sat down across the table from one another.

"Has John slept yet?" Kelly asked.

"Yes, he slept for 8 hours yesterday, then sporadically through the night." Beth said.

"I'm glad to hear that. Did he send you over with another list of questions?" Kelly asked.

"No, actually he sent me over to ask you to do something." Beth said.

"Anything, I'll do whatever he wants." Kelly said.

"He wants you to sell this house." Beth said.

"What? Why?" Kelly asked.

"Because after what happened here he can never again think of it as home. If he does decide to come home to you, it can't be here, it has to be in another house." Beth said.

"So where am I supposed to live when I sell this place?" Kelly asked.

"John also wants you to find a house in the same kind of price range and move into it. Basically he wants you to move to a place where the image of what happened won't be in his head every time he enters the bedroom." Beth said.

"Okay. I'll call Sally, she's a realtor. I'll get the house listed as soon as possible and start looking for something similar. It will take time to find another house and sell this one; what does he want to do until then?" Kelly asked.

"I don't think he has any idea. The weeks or months that it will take to sell this house and move into another one might be how long it takes him to decide what he wants to do." Beth said.

"Months?" Kelly asked sadly.

"It could be. You want to try to make things work, but he has to figure out what he wants. He still loves you, there's no doubt of that, but he has to decide whether he can forgive what happened or if he can be with you without forgiving you, or if he'll want a divorce." Beth said.

Beth went back to her house.

"She's gonna call Sally and start the process for putting the house on the market and try to find another place." Beth said.

"Good. That will take time, but I think it's time that I need. I guess I'll get an apartment or a hotel or something." John said.

"Like hell you will John. You shouldn't be alone when you're going through something like this. Ideally you'd be with Kelly, but since she's the reason you're going through this Tom and I will have to do." Beth said.

"I've already been enough trouble." John said.

"You're no trouble at all. You had me worried when you wouldn't sleep, but we insist that you stay with us until you make your decision, one way or the other." Beth said.

"You're too good to me. Thank you." John said.

John hugged Beth. For the rest of the week Beth would come out and make breakfast for John after Tom had left for work. Monday finally came and John went back to work.

For the next five weeks Beth kept John up to date on Kelly's efforts to sell the house and find another one. On the Friday of the 5th week John got back to Tom and Beth's and Beth gave him a hug as soon as he walked through the door.

"Well hello. What's got you so excited?" John asked.

"It was a really good day. Kelly signed papers for a new house and accepted an offer on the other one." Beth said.

"That's good news. I guess the next thing is to get all the paperwork in order then move." John said.

"That's right. The house she bought isn't occupied right now so as soon as the paperwork is finalized, she'll need you to sign it by the way, she can move in and be out of that other house." Beth said.

Two weeks later Beth handed John a key when he got back to the house Friday after work.

"What's this?" John asked.

"They key to your new house. I'm gonna take Kelly shopping tomorrow so she'll be out of the house so you can go take a look." Beth said.

"Oh...okay...I suppose that's a good idea." John said.

The next day John went to the house Kelly had bought. John felt strange walking into the house for the first time, but he also felt very much at home. Sure the rooms were different, the layout was different, and it had a bigger backyard, with a pool, but all of the little homie touches were there.

Their furniture was there. The pictures that Kelly had all over the other living room were all over this one. The table by the front door was the same one that had been by the old front door. John climbed the stairs and walked into the master bedroom. His mind didn't fill with the image of what had happened in the other bedroom. Their old bed wasn't there. It was a brand new king sized bed. The bedroom smelled like home. Kelly's perfume lingered in the air.

After about 20 minutes John found himself in the kitchen. He was thirsty so he opened the fridge. There were several bottles of beer in the door. Kelly doesn't drink. John could only assume that she'd bought it recently because moving it from the other house wasn't something that she would do.

He grabbed one, twisted it open and drank it. Right by the fridge, where it's always been, was a pad of paper and a pen that Kelly writes her grocery list on when she realizes they're out of something. John grabbed a piece of paper, wrote a little note, and left.

A few hours later Kelly and Beth got back to the house.

"His car isn't here so either he's come and gone or he decided not to come at all." Beth said.

Kelly opened the door and they went inside. They took the groceries right to the kitchen.

"He was here...look." Kelly said.

She picked up the empty beer bottle and the note that John had left.

"Kelly, it looks like you picked a pretty good house. Let me buy you lunch tomorrow at our usual spot, around 12:30. Thanks for the beer. John." Kelly read.

"That's got to be a good sign right?" Beth asked.

"It might be a good sign, or it might be a really bad one. I'm pretty sure that it means he's reached his decision though." Kelly said.

"Well, I guess you'll find out tomorrow." Beth said.

"Oh God, I'm so nervous." Kelly said.

Beth headed back to her house.

"So how was shopping?" John asked.

"Okay. We didn't find much we liked at the mall, but we found some delicious treats at the grocery store. Our day got a lot better when we found your note." Beth said.

"So is she going to meet me for lunch?" John asked.

"Are you kidding? She'll probably be there at 5:00 in the morning to wait for you." Beth said.

John had been sleeping pretty well over the past few weeks, but he didn't sleep a wink that night. John got up late, showered, got dressed, and walked out to the kitchen. Beth was cleaning up the dishes.

"Hi, sorry, you missed breakfast." Beth said.

"That's okay; I don't think I could have eaten anyway." John said.

"John, you probably won't tell me, but I'm planning to have pork chops for dinner tonight, should I prepare enough for 3 or just 2?" Beth asked.

"You're right, I won't tell you. You'll find out sometime this afternoon. Either I'll come back or I won't, that's how you'll know." John said.

Beth gave John a hug before he left.

"Good luck John. Whatever you've decided; Tom and I will be here to support you." Beth said.

"Thanks." John said.

At 12:28 John walked into the Blue Dove Café, is and Kelly's favorite place to go when they would eat out. He saw her sitting nervously at their usual table towards the back. John walked back to the table. She stood up. She was trembling. John was trembling a little too. It was the first time they had seen each other since that night; two months ago.

"Hello Kelly." John said.

"Hello John. I've missed you so much." Kelly said.

They embraced, but John wouldn't let her kiss him.

"Why won't you let me kiss you?" Kelly asked.

"I'm here to discuss our situation, not to play kissy face." John said.

Kelly looked down. John assumed that she thought it meant that he'd decided to divorce her.

"Okay. It's just that this is by far the longest I've gone without kissing you since we've been together." Kelly said.

"I know that Kelly. Let's sit down." John suggested.

They both sat down. Kelly kept her eyes turned towards her lap.

"Kelly, please look at me." John said.

Kelly turned her eyes up slowly, but she kept her chin down.

"Kelly, what you did hurt me more than you can possibly imagine." John said.

"I know John. It was a horrible, stupid, selfish mistake that I will never forgive myself for." Kelly said.

"As I stood in that doorway I was crushed. To see you willingly giving yourself to two other men in our bed destroyed me. My heart broke into a million pieces. I didn't sleep for more than 72 hours because when I closed my eyes the image of you on the bed was all I could see. It would have hurt me less if you'd stabbed me 137 times twisting a jagged rusty blade in each wound." John said.

"John...I'm so...I never...I don't..." Kelly sobbed.

"I know Kelly; I know. From almost the moment I met you I've been completely in love with you. I'd have gladly taken a bullet for you. I'd have jumped in front of a speeding truck to push you to safety. I'd have walked through the fires of hell and spit in the Devil's eye for you. I'd have gladly accepted any of those pains for you. So if the pain you caused me when I saw you on that bed is the price I must pay for your love then so be it. The pain of spending the rest of my life without you would be far worse than the pain I feel now." John said.

John was fighting hard to hold back the tears, but it was a losing battle. For the first time since it had happened he wept openly.

Kelly moved around beside John and held him.

"Oh John; I love you. I'm so sorry about all of this. You've given me the chance to be the wife you deserve and I promise not to mess this one up." Kelly said.

She had one of her arms across John's upper chest holding him. He lowered his head and kissed it.

"I saw you got a new bed." John said wiping the tears away.

"Yes. Beth suggested I get rid of the other one and she was right. I haven't been able to bring myself to sleep in it though yet." Kelly said.

"Then where have you been sleeping?" John asked.

"I've been sleeping in the guest room, even back in the other house." Kelly said.

"Why?" John asked.

"Because without you there it didn't feel like home; I felt more like a guest." Kelly said.

"That changes today. The new house, and the new bedroom will be home...for both of us." John said.

"Suddenly I'm not very hungry. Let's get our food to go and go home." Kelly said.

"Good idea. Waitress!" John called.

They got their food to go and then John followed Kelly to their new house...their new home.

They fell down twice on the stairs and another time in the hall way as they were trying to strip one another's clothes off, and kiss as they scurried up to the bedroom.

It was wild, it was passionate, it was satisfying, and it was just what they had both needed.

As they lay in bed in each other's arms afterwards she kissed him.

"So what do you think of our new bed?" Kelly asked.

"I like it. That old one had a lot of 'miles' on it anyway. I think we need to paint this room though." John said.

"You don't like the pink?" Kelly asked.

"It will give me nightmares." John said sarcastically.

"Well I can't have that. I've already given you enough bad dreams. I only want to give you sweet dreams from now on." Kelly said.

They drifted off to sleep in each other's arms. John didn't ask Kelly, but he knew that it was the most restful sleep he'd had since the whole thing started. They'd fallen asleep in the late afternoon. Monday morning at 9:00 John woke up; Kelly was holding John and just looking at him.

"Good morning." Kelly said.

"Good morning." John said.

"You're late for work." Kelly said.

"Oops. I'll call and let them know that I'm not coming in. Then we can go over to Tom and Beth's to get my stuff." John said.

"Okay, I'll get through the shower." Kelly said.

"I think I'll join you." John said.

They made love in the shower. As they were getting dressed John called work and told them what they already knew; he wasn't coming in. They got in John's car, drove over to Tom and Beth's. The door was unlocked so they just walked inside.

"Oh hey guys. I'm glad to see you together. Are you here for John's stuff?" Beth asked.

She got up and walked over to them.

"Yeah, there's no sense in my stuff being here when I'm going to be there." John said.

"Well I'm glad to hear that you're getting back together." Beth said.

"We owe you everything for the way you helped us. If not for you being the go between we might never have made it this far. We'll never be able to repay you for everything you did." Kelly said.

"Well, I'm glad I could help." Beth said.

They loaded up John's car with his stuff and then they both hugged Beth, thanked her again for everything she'd done, and drove home to get started on spending the rest of their lives together.

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