Disclaimer: May be edited or deleted prior to publication.
“Where would you like me to begin?” she asked.
“How about with his name,” I snapped. I surprised myself with the vehemence in my voice, but I had bigger issues to worry about. Would she break our vow of honesty and lie to me? Would she try to hide the truth? I felt my eyes burn into hers as I watched her face for any sign of deception.
“Do you love him?”
“No,” she said and I felt myself relax just a titch.
“Are you having an affair with him?”
“What do you mean by that?”
“You’re being deliberately obtuse, Katherine, and I haven’t the patience for it.”
Her eyes widened at my tone, but she continued to return my gaze without flinching. Knowing her as well as I did, I was sure that her nerves were so bad she felt ready to vomit. I hardened my resolve not to feel for her.
“No, Tim, I’m not being deliberately obtuse, Tim,” she said pronouncing every word. “I just want to give you the answers you need, and I’m not sure what you’re asking me. If you mean am I emotionally involved with him, then the answer is no. If you’re asking if I’ll have sex with him again, then the answer is probably; that is if you can deal with it.”
“If I can deal with it?” Sarcasm dripped off of my tongue. “Deal with it?”
She said nothing. I took a deep breath. This was not going the way I’d imagined.
“Okay; sorry,” I said. “Kat, I thought our sex was the best you’d ever had. I thought you were happy and satisfied with me. Has it all been a lie?”
“No, Tim, no.” Her voice was gentle and full of love. I watched her eyes fill with tears and could imagine the pain she felt knowing she was hurting me.
“No,” she said again, “it’s not that at all. I don’t even know for sure myself, but I’ll try to explain it. I love you and only you. I’m completely satisfied with our love-making. I didn’t go looking for this, Tim; it just happened. I’m trying to figure it out myself. I think that what it is is that occasionally, very occasionally, I get this itch for a certain kind of sex that you can’t completely satisfy because you love me.”
“Give me a break here, Tim. If you want to hear how I feel, then give me a chance to explain, okay?”
I stared at her for a beat, then said, “Okay, continue. What itch?”
“Okay, here goes.” She took a deep breath. “You know how a couple of years ago we started to experiment with dominance with me in the submissive role. I told you how much I liked it and that I wanted to try more, and we’ve had some great sessions. And after each one, I’ve wanted more.”
“More what?” I asked.
“That’s what gets hard to explain,” she said. “More force. To be controlled without being humiliated. Just more. Part of it is an attitude thing, I think, and I’ve discovered that you probably can’t be the one to fill this need because you love me. Connor doesn’t love me, and he’s all about dominance and control. When we were done, I felt like that itch had been scratched, and I think I want to see how far this will go. But I’ll stop now if you say so.”
“Is he married?”
“Yes, very. And he loves his wife, but she can’t give him what he needs in this way either. And we’ve agreed that is all we are willing to share about our lives. This really is about the sex, Tim.”
“How often do you want to see him?”
“I don’t know. Not often.”
“If we decide to go ahead with this, will you tell me when you’re meeting him?”
“If you really want to know, I will.”
I took a moment to think. I’d always fantasized about seeing her with another man, and in one way the thought of hearing about it excited me. On another level, however, I felt too emotionally fragile at the moment to hear the details. Maybe another time.
Katherine sipped her coffee and waited. I could feel the tension and worry radiating from her.
“Okay, here’s the deal,” I said. “I need to meet him.”
“Meet him. You can’t be serious.” Now this sounded more like the Katherine I knew and loved.
“I’m dead serious. I want to see what I think for myself.”
“I don’t think seeing us together will –”
“I didn’t say I wanted the three of us to get together. I said I want to meet him. Alone. Just the two of us.”
“This is not negotiable, Cat. If there’s any hope of us getting past this, I need to do this. Don’t worry. You can let him know that I’’m not interested in any kind of sordid confrontation. I just need to take his measure and satisfy myself that he’s not in love with you. So may I please have his phone number?”
“But I told you, Tim –”
“This is not negotiable, Katherine. Are you going to give me the number or do we take this discussion to another level?”
“Okay. I’ll get it for you.”
As she left to get the number, I wasn’t sure that I was doing the right thing, but time would tell. Time would most certainly tell.