Hugo woke the next morning to the news—by text message—that he was needed in the office, on a Saturday of all days. A groan of frustration escaped him before he controlled himself, not wanting to wake a shattered Madeleine.
He was still tired after what had turned into a superb evening, but as he hauled himself out of bed and threw himself into the shower, leaving his beautiful bride asleep, he felt seriously content with life.
Hugo found his cock thickening up in the shower as he washed himself, the memories of devouring Madeleine the night before strong in his mind.
He had to resist delay, however. His call to the office was urgent—no doubt some client or other getting themselves in a fix. It was always the damage limitation work, brand protection, that dragged PR people at the firm into work at irregular hours.
Madeleine was really out for the count, even as he finished up dressing. Unwilling to wake her prematurely, no doubt to a headache, he simply fetched a glass of ice water, placed a little bottle of Tylenol next to it on her bedside table, before jotting down a note on a post-it about being suddenly called into the office.
Then he headed out the door. At least these urgent calls into the office meant he was allowed to claim back a taxi receipt.
As he sat there in the back of a cab, trying not to choke from the driver’s heady air freshener as the vehicle negotiated its way through the traffic up Fifth, Hugo’s mind drifted back to Madeleine.
She had certainly been fired up by flashing that piano player. Jesus, the guy had seen her pussy in all its glory.
Hugo felt a curious loss of control. It did frighten him, even though it excited him at the same time. The idea of an independent, strong, sexually powerful wife was extraordinarily attractive – but the fact she might, in her independence, choose to reject him, or prioritize someone else above him, was terrifying.
Well, he had to trust her. That was the bottom line—and in marriage, if there was no trust, the relationship was flawed anyway.
Sitting there, helpless as the traffic snarled up close to Central Park, he tried to dwell more on the exciting thoughts, of Madeleine teasing the guys at work with those short skirts and hints of lace underwear. He tried to focus on the alpha-male buzz he got from the idea that when all was said and done, she came home to him. There might be plenty of upstarts sniffing her tail, but he was the leader of her pack.
Madeleine was so beautiful, so bright and vivacious, her husband simply wanted to worship her—and he found that he liked the idea of others worshipping her, too.
The thought that got him going most of all, however—that got him so hard as the taxi pulled up outside the firm’s building that he worried about people noticing as he stepped out of the vehicle onto the curb—was the thought that some day, Madeleine would feel confident enough or tipsy enough to try a little more than flirting, even actual physical connection with another man.
The look on her face from such an illicit thrill would be priceless.
The whole day, he actually found himself battling against his nerves, wondering what Madeleine was thinking as she woke up, remembered the events of the previous night, and returned to work—where perhaps, she would run into the guy she’d kissed.
During the morning, he sent three text messages to her, checking she was feeling okay, that everything was good after the previous night. Yet it got to noon, and she still hadn’t responded.
His paranoia turned her lack of response into the possibility she wasn’t happy about what happened the previous night, she was ashamed at displaying herself so provocatively in front of that piano player.
Maybe she’d blame the drink, but maybe she’d blame her husband and this weird new attitude of his regarding her flirtation with others.
Then around noon, a simple little text came back from her
> Sorry, didn’t realize phone was out of batteries. Not entirely thinking straight today.
The smiley-face emoticon she added to the end of her text warmed his heart considerably.
Hugo sent a text back:
> Me neither. Can’t stop thinking about last night.
It was a fairly neutral text, could have gone either way. If she had negative feelings about the previous night, he could turn it into telling her he was concerned about things, too. If she had positive feelings, she would read it as his sharing her lusty thoughts about what had happened.
It was still a nervy few minutes until her next text came in, shaking him up a little as his phone beeped on receiving her next message.
> Can we have Date Nights like that every week?
This time, she added an emoticon with a tongue sticking out of its mouth. Hugo felt a tingling inside his loins, his insides filled with the warmth of knowing Madeleine was happy about the previous night’s events.
> Often as you like.
He replied with his own smiley-face at the end of the text.
> You had a good time?
> Loved every minute.
> I can’t quite believe it all happened. Guess I had too much to drink.
> You’re so sexy when you’re tipsy
> You had hardly anything—you had no excuse. Can’t believe you just sat there and let me.
> You loved every minute of it
> I loved winning our bet
Hugo felt his sleeping tiger really stir as he read that text from her.
She signed off with another tongue-sticking-out emoticon, and then Hugo had to get back to work—no doubt Madeleine did, too.
A day of meetings about how to manage a certain crisis in which a mouse had been found inside a jar of baby food for one of the company’s large manufacturer clients finally slowed around mid-afternoon.
Hugo had done his bit, writing three completely different drafts of a press release to take into account the changing view of the client’s lawyers through the day. But at last, things were winding down.
By four, they were all merely waiting around waiting for the client to finally approve everything.
Hugo naturally found his mind wandering back to thoughts of Madeleine. He found himself picking up his phone to check for any messages. There was a text from Madeleine sent mid-morning while he’d obviously been too busy to see it.
> Oops, guess I forgot to wear panties today.
He was instantly stiffening up after reading that, and regretted not knowing she’d sent it earlier, though he probably wouldn’t have been in a position to do anything about it.
He sent a text back saying:
> Naughty girl. Just picked up your text. Your co-workers realized yet?
He had to wait 15 minutes, but then her reply came back:
> Think it’s actually been too busy today for any of that! It did feel so sexy, though. And after I texted you, I kept thinking about how you might feel knowing ;-)
He assumed ‘any of that’ merely meant flirting with her colleagues during work. It was so hot to think of her working a whole Saturday shift with a bare pussy that might be seen if anything happened with her skirt.
> Only just found out—instant stiffness ;-)
> Okay—I have two hours left of my shift—if you keep telling me things like that I’ll be dripping all over the books.
He smiled, but was chomping at the bit at the thought of her getting wet and juicy thinking about him.
She asked him what he wanted to do that evening, and he knew he wasn’t going to have the energy to go out, not after a weekend day of crisis management—and probably not after such an exhilarating but ultimately exhausting date night.
Right now, he wanted nothing more than an evening in with his pretty blonde wife.
He texted her back:
> As soon as you’re done at the bookstore, I want you to go home and start warming yourself up for me.
It was probably a little presumptive, a little more assertive or even overbearing than she might be used to with him—but she hadn’t indicated that she had other plans that evening.
> Warm myself up? Whatever might you mean by that?
Her text reply made him smile. He felt the door opening for a little dominant energy.
> You know what I mean. The minute your shift is over, I want you to go home, grab a bite to eat and then take off your clothes and wait for me in bed.
> And this is mandatory?
Hugo smiled again, at her injection of mild protest. He could tell she was interested, or she would have sent something back about being tired, perhaps that he shouldn’t push her so soon after what happened at the bar the previous night. But she didn’t.
> The grabbing a bite part is optional, but just thought you might want to keep your energy levels up.
> And what am I supposed to do while I’m lying in bed, naked, waiting for you?
> As I indicated before—warm yourself up for me.
> You might have to help me with something to think about while I do. I’m not sure I can do without my husband’s firm guidance.
> I’ve got some firm guidance in my pants right now that you can think about.
> Okay—I really do have customers I’m supposed to be serving.
> Two hours. Then you serve me.
He chuckled. This was kind of fun—they hadn’t really played with him being in any way dominant. It didn’t come entirely naturally to him, particularly around Madeleine, but maybe it would be fun. He just had to hope that things at work finished up in good time for him to get home and enjoy his warmed-up wife.
The client would probably want some changes made to the latest draft, and then some more reassurance that their entire business wouldn’t be destroyed by the actions of a disgruntled now-former employee.
But ten minutes later, Ray popped his head over Hugo’s cubicle with a relieved smile plastered all over his face.
“All done,” he said.
“Done? They don’t want changes?”
“Nope—completely happy, ready to roll. Davis will handle any press calls from here—we’re done! Hey—you fancy a drink? Could probably catch the tail-end of Notre Dame.”
Hugo felt a little funny sitting in Ray’s presence with an erection. It was subsiding, but it still had enough power to affect his decision-making. He shook his head: “Got to get home, I’m afraid. Plans tonight.”
Ray nodded the nod of marital solidarity. “My wife thinks I’m still at work and it could take all night,” he said. “Sure you don’t want to come along? We could hit a strip joint later.”
Hugo wasn’t in the least bit tempted to choose a visit to a strip joint in the company of his discreditable colleague over an evening home with the prospect of trying something new with his seriously sexy better half.
“Lowego will probably want to go,” he suggested to Ray, but the other man shook his head.
“Lowego is still in the process of reclaiming his wife. Jesus. Lightweights!”
Almost two hours until Madeleine’s shift was over, and walking out of the office building down to the nearest subway stop, Hugo half wondered if he should have at least shared a drink or two with Ray.
Sitting on the subway train as it rattled and shook its way home, he found himself thinking about Ray’s offhand remark about Lowego patching it up with his wife. “Reclaiming”, he’d said. Was Hugo insane to find that notion deeply arousing? His wife had fooled around with another man—fucked another man, repeatedly—and now Lowego was going to reclaim her. She was used, dirty, messed up, but so desirable she could have another man as easy as pie—as she’d shown by her affair. And Lowego was going to have to make her his own.
God, such a fantasy probably objectified the wife, turning her into something to be fought over, to be reclaimed after falling into the hands of another. But Hugo preferred to think of the fantasy setting up the wife as a fiery independent, who could choose to go off and violate her wedding vows if she so wanted, but might now be tamed by a careful and attentive husband.
He thought about how Lowego was lucky to have been able to reclaim his wife—plenty of marriages would fail if the wife strayed. Lowego had kept the communication going, and things had turned out okay so far.
Stepping off the train for the final walk back to the apartment building, Hugo thought to himself that if Madeleine suddenly came out and revealed she’d had an affair, he would understand and even find it faintly exciting. Did that make him weird?
At home with more than an hour to kill before Madeleine returned home, he quickly came to the decision not to tell her he’d actually made it home early. No—he wanted to surprise her. He wanted to see her warming herself up for him in bed, and perhaps wind her up so badly that she was crying out for him to be at home already, she couldn’t wait for him to commute all the way back from work. Then he’d show up, surprise her, and take her over the edge.
He made a space for himself in the closet, and made it comfortable with a few strategic cushions, then he checked to ensure he’d be able to see everything—and that from outside the closet, she wouldn’t be able to see him.
He made himself a ham and cheese sandwich and watched a little TV while eating it, knowing that he needed to keep his energy levels up, too.
When Madeleine finally texted him at a minute past six to tell him she was on the way home, he made sure there was no evidence in the entire apartment suggesting he was home, then made himself comfortable in that closet, easing the door closed sufficiently to hide himself while keeping the sight lines open.
Then he texted back:
> Hopefully I won’t be too long at the office. So you got away with wearing no panties to work today?
> A customer asked me to get a Jeffrey Deaver novel down from a topshelf, think he might have caught an eyeful.
Hugo laughed at that.
> Did you make the sale though?
> He said I gave him the wrong one, sent me back up the step-ladder. But then he bought five books.
He loved the thought of his wife up on a pedestal, fetching books from a top shelf. He replied:
> And that’s where Amazon can’t compete. Sexy shop assistants.
Then her text came back:
> Hurry home—this sexy shop assistant is so wet it’s dripping down her leg.
With that, he felt the need to get things started. He tried to channel the spirit of a dominant male. What would he tell her if she was his to control?
> I will. But now I want you to make a quick sandwich for yourself, and then go into the bedroom and remove your clothes.
> Yes, sir.
He’d timed his last-minute preparations well, because it wasn’t long at all before he heard the front door opened, and Madeleine was home. His heart started pounding inside his chest.
He could hear her voice, and it put him suddenly on edge. At first, he thought she must have rumbled him, she was calling for him. But she wasn’t calling for him—she was talking to someone.
“Oh my God! Seriously?”
Then he had a heart-stopping moment where he suddenly suspected that she might have brought one of her friends from work home with her. Why not? She could have a little play time before her husband got home—as far as she was concerned, he was still at the office. He felt a hot flash in his chest—God, the power of it took him aback.
How embarrassing would it be if they found him skulking there in the closet, even if it was merely a friend with her and not a lover.
But a moment later, he felt certain she was talking too loudly to be anything other than talking on the phone.
“God, that’s so amazing! I can’t believe it.”
“Everything is going to be so cool now you’re in New York!”
Lucy. It had to be—she was talking to Lucy on the phone again. Was she still going to follow through with what he’d asked her via text?
He heard a clatter from the kitchen—Madeleine making a sandwich while she continued to chat to Lucy on the phone. Well, he had told her to make herself a sandwich. He heard her finish up making the sandwich, opening the fridge to replace the ham and cheese and grab a soda, and then a few moments later he heard the TV switched on.
His heart sank—maybe she’d quietly given up the idea of a little flirtatious game with her husband.
He could hear she was still talking to Lucy, but with the TV on and blaring away with one of her shows—Gossip Girl or Vampire Academy Diaries or something like that from the sounds of it—he couldn’t make out their conversation.
What now? Did he bail out of the closet and admit failure?
A few minutes later, his phone buzzed. That actually reminded him he needed to put it on completely silent, or else even the vibrate setting might give him away. A text message from Madeleine:
> Hey. Just got home, had my sandwich.
Hugo’s heart bounced back up to full speed again—she wouldn’t text him to tell him she’d had her sandwich unless she was following what he’d asked her. He heard the TV switched off—it had been a quick sandwich, that was for sure. He wasn’t complaining.
He sent a text back saying:
> Okay, I’m on my way.
If he was just leaving the office, she would know she had half an hour or so before he’d arrive home. He heard her come through toward the bedroom, still apparently on the phone to Lucy. Her conversation was a little clearer now that the TV was off, and more so as she now came out into the bedroom.
“No—he was like that guy from CSI, you know? No, the original series, the Vegas one.”
Gossiping to Lucy about some guy she fancied, no doubt. It gave Hugo a warm tingle between his thighs—Madeleine really opened up to her best friend in a way she didn’t even with her husband. It felt wrong to be there, listening—but then he hadn’t intended to eavesdrop. She wasn’t supposed to be chatting with her best friend right now—the deal was she was warming herself up for her husband.
God, she looked good in a light summer dress with a white, blue and green floral print that came down mid-thigh, and wasn’t as short as she’d worn to work, but fitted tightly to her body to show off her curves. Had she really worn no panties to work that day?
“God, it was totally crazy. I mean, I guess I had a few drinks, but—”
He could hear Lucy’s voice, though couldn’t quite make out her words as Madeleine went to the windows and re-angled the blinds, giving herself privacy. Hugo felt himself stiffen further, not only from the sight of this goddess in front of him, but in the hope that she was adjusting the blinds to prepare for sex.
“Everything—I mean everything.”
He heard Lucy’s blasphemy in response to that, but by then he was beyond surprise that Madeleine was telling someone else about their restaurant encounter with the piano player. He had to accept that she told Lucy everything.
“I don’t know, I guess since I started teasing Connor a little through the window every now and then, and with what happened with Hugo…”
She’d been teasing Connor through the window? She hadn’t talked about that. Hugo supposed he hadn’t exactly asked her, either. She probably didn’t even remember to tell him, she was getting to be such a sex goddess.
She turned back, to head through to the bathroom now. Saying, “This fantasy of Hugo’s, what he’s been telling me since our anniversary… I can’t stop thinking about it now.”
He felt the opportunity for showing himself to Madeleine, of giving her a legitimate surprise, was now over. In the bathroom, he heard the water running in the sink and wondered if he might be able to sneak past the door while she was in there.
“I’m going to put you on speaker, can’t hold the phone while I…”
Hugo heard the familiar sound of Lucy’s voice, though somewhat tinny from the phone’s micro-speakers, echoing slightly because of the acoustics of the bathroom.
“You know Jilly Bennett wrote a piece about this last year in the Globe. It’s the new in thing.”
“The new in thing?”
“Husbands that let wives stray. The male fantasy always used to be two women, right? But we’re just not wired that way. Watching our men screw another woman right in front of us.”
“Of course not.”
Hugo edged the closet door open, poked out his head. But the bathroom door was so wide, it was going to be a huge gamble that she was even facing away from the door when he scampered past. And there was the mirror above the sink—she could spot him in that.
“We’re just not biologically wired that way,” Lucy said. “Only, it turns out a lot of men are biologically wired to see their woman with another man.”
“A lot of men?”
“Oh, it’s quite common. But God, you’re so lucky.”
Hugo quietly pulled back, easing the closet door back into its mostly-closed position as quietly as possible. He’d have to come up with a different exit plan.
“A lot of men want their women to sleep with other men?”
“Jilly talked to a load of shrinks about it. It’s like the married male psyche has this in-built acceptance that women peak sexually at 40—but instead of having his wife threaten their relationship with affairs, he wants to know about and approve his wife’s sleeping around.”
“Seriously? How did I not hear about this when I was considering whether to get married?”
“Because you were considering whether to get married when you were, like, seven years old.”
Now Madeleine emerged from the bathroom, looking radiant.
“Oh, yeah. I did kinda know about Hugo by our second date,” she said. “So I still don’t understand it: these guys are happy for their wives to have affairs? They don’t get jealous and angry?”
Madeleine dropped her phone onto the bed, but then turned to perch on the chair by her dresser, as though to do her make-up. Make-up? Was she going out?
On speakerphone still, Lucy said: “Not angry. Jealous, maybe, but then this whole primal thing kicks in, and it makes them firstly see that their wife is more desirable because other men want them, and secondly want to fight for her and reclaim her as their own—so it makes them more sexually attracted to their wives.”
“It’s biological. Nothing they can change.”
Madeleine was applying eye-liner. What was she doing that for? She never ordinarily put make-up on just for a little romance with her husband—not unless it was date night, and date night had been yesterday since she’d been worried her Saturday shift might tire her out today since there was a new Stephen King book coming in.
“And this is a lot of men?”
“A surprisingly significant proportion. Jesus—I thought Jilly was writing a fairy story. But you’ve God-Damned married one.”
“God, I want one. Where can I find one?”
“You’ll have to put an ad in the personals: Wanted, husband who will let me cheat on him.”
“It’s not cheating if he knows about it. And if he approves—it’s like he’s in control, so.”
“And the husband doesn’t want to sleep with other women?”
“Not according to Jilly’s article. These are the kind of guys who idolize their wives. Just like Hugo does with you—I’ve seen that look in his eyes when he’s watching you.”
“When he’s watching me?”
“You know he went to some of your events without telling you?”
“He did what?”
“God, I really shouldn’t be telling you this.”
“You’re keeping secrets from me?”
“I’m his Maid of Honor too, honey buns.”
“I’m not sure that’s how it works.”
Now Madeleine was applying lipstick—bright, scarlet lipstick.
Lucy said: “Anyway, it’s sweet. You’ll love it. He wanted to see your big event—he’s seriously proud of you, by the way. But he worried you might feel the need to host him because he’s your husband—he didn’t want to take any of your attention away from your big day.”
“So he was watching you flirting with those coworkers of yours—and those authors of yours.”
“God—really? You could have told me…”
“I would have—but he had this dreamy expression on his face. Honestly, I thought he’d shared a spliff with one of those student admirers of yours. I even talked to him—he just said he was happy you were so happy. I never put two and two together…”
“He saw me. And he really did like it?”
“This is the real victory of feminism,” Lucy said. “Husbands that let us sleep around—and don’t want to themselves. Only, according to Jilly’s article, this was common enough way before feminism. So are you gonna do it?”
“Am I gonna do it?”
“Sleep with some other guy. God, I would. If my husband—if I had a husband—said he had a fantasy about another man fucking me, I would be out that door in a shot to look for another man.”
“You find it hard enough to find one man, Luce.”
“Details. I know what I’m looking for in a husband now, though.”
“You can’t have Hugo, he’s taken.”
“I couldn’t have Hugo even if you let me—I’ve seen how he looks at you.”
“Really. So who’s it going to be?”
“Who’s it going to be?”
“Who’s your first target? Fabian? Ryan? That Connor guy’s always in the bookstore trying to pick you up.”
Madeleine stood up, peered into the mirror on the dresser as though seeing her make-up from a few inches away would reveal some imperfection that needed fixing. Hugo was finding it a little hard to breathe, these two women talking about his fantasy—talking about Madeleine fulfilling his fantasy. If he’d had a seat, he would have certainly been on the edge of it.
“I don’t know,” Madeleine said. “I mean, this is all very weird. I mean, I think I have to figure it out in my head.”
Lucy said: “You do want to sleep with other men? I mean, who wouldn’t?”
“I… I guess it would be nice, if it was the right guy.”
Hugo felt his heart skip, a jolt of jealousy shooting through.
“Who are you kidding it would be nice?”
“Okay, it could be hot,” Madeleine said, pouring boiling oil into her husband’s stomach. “But I need to know about Hugo. I don’t want to ever hurt him, and I don’t want anything to ever come between us.”
“Oh, it won’t. That’s the beauty.”
Next up, a little hair brushing. She was brushing her hair for him?
“I need to know he’s not doing this because he thinks it’s the only way to make me happy. I need to know he wants this for him, not just for me.”
“God I’m so jealous.”
“Okay, I have to go, Luce,” she said.
“You can’t be going out again?” Lucy complained.
“Actually, no,” Madeleine said, fondling her breasts a little before she reached back to unfasten the catch on her bra, and leave herself naked. “We’re having a night in.”
“Oh, okay. He’s there with you now?”
“Uh… no. He’s on his way. Only, he’s told me to warm myself up for him.”
“Told you to warm yourself up for him?”
“I don’t know—seemed pretty forceful. I kinda liked it.”
“Jesus I wish I had a husband telling me to get in his bed.”
Hugo couldn’t help but smile as he saw Madeleine laugh at her friend. His cheerfulness at the way she’d casually dropped in the part about warming herself up for him fueled his inner warmth.
“I never thought I’d hear you say that,” she said.
“You have to tell me what happens.”
“Oh, hey—that personal trainer of yours at the gym. The one with the huge cock. You know he’s interested—he’d be a nice first fling.”