One More Notch on the Bedpost - by HansTrimble

  One More Notch on the Bedpost-byHansTrimble

  We were pounding hard, very near to a mutual climax. Sherry was on top, riding away in cowgirl position, her bountiful, buxom breasts bouncing beautifully as she shrieked and whooped like a rodeo bronco rider. Finally we got there, exactly together, and it was magnificent. She leaned back, her spine arching and her nipples pointing nearly straight up. Her whoops and moans became understandable speech, as she half shouted, half sighed, "Oh, that was so wonderful, Tom!"

  Introductions are in order. My wife of four years is Sherry. We have a three year old son named Bobby, the absolute center of our world, who was staying that weekend with my parents.

  My name is Ralph.

  It may seem unlikely, given how common the name is, but I don't know anybody named Tom. I didn't think Sherry did, either. Guess I was wrong about that.

  Sherry collapsed on top of me and breathed hard for a minute, before she started covering my body with kisses. I just lay there, wondering what I was supposed to do next. Finally I couldn't stand the suspense any longer. I took Sherry's shoulders in my hands and raised her up off me. I think she expected me to worship her nipples, but instead I asked the one question that had eclipsed all other conscious thought.

  "Sherry, who the fuck is Tom?"

  She stiffened as if a broomstick had been stuffed up her ass. She had some expression on her face that I'd never seen there before, and I thought I'd seen them all. Horror? Shock? Disbelief? You name it, I was looking it right in the eyes. She screamed, "How do you know about Tom?" Then she looked frightened, as she realized what she'd just blurted out.

  "You told me some guy named Tom has been fucking you." I was bluffing there, but it didn't seem that I could be far from the truth. "I want to know the rest of the story. Start talking."

  "I don't know anybody named Tom," she said in a tentative voice that told me she was fishing around to see what I'd bite on. You must have misunderstood me."

  I shoved her off of me and got out of bed. I went to the computer where the our activities, as seen and heard by the video camera and microphone, were being recorded on a disk. I fiddled with the keyboard for a few seconds, stopping the recording session and directing the contents of the disk to play back on the 42 inch flat screen TV. I moved over to my right a little so she couldn't see the tiny flashdrive that I pulled out of the USB port and slipped into the desk drawer. I started the show and turned up the sound.

  Then I went back to the bed and held Sherry in a loving embrace while the screen showed us fucking our way to a mutual climax. I noticed something that had gone right over my head in the heat of the moment -- all the time Sherry was sucking my cock, swallowing my load, and smearing the overflow around on her tits, her eyes were closed. Later, when I plowed into her snatch in the missionary position, they were open, but after we rolled over and she went cowgirl, they were closed again. I pointed this out to her, and she stiffened but said nothing. I loved the part where she was riding me, waving her right arm like a bronc rider while she went from moans to screams, until we went over the top together, just before she dropped down onto me. I said, "Now listen."

  There it was, the incriminating compliment to Tom. The visible effect that Tom's name had on me was about what you'd get by hitting me in the head with a two by four. Then came my question, and her frantic reply. I had the remote control in my hand, and I quickly backed up and replayed that part. Then I turned the volume way up for my final words, "I want to know the rest of the story. Start talking."

  I turned off the disk drive and the TV, and walked over to the computer again. I made a show of setting the remote down on the desk,and then moving it over at the end of the desk toward the TV. That was just misdirection, hiding the fact that my other hand was starting up the audio/video recording again. "Okay. Your turn. I'm listening."

  I pulled a little side chair over close to the bed, so I could lean back in it and put my feet up on the bed. Sherry was sitting there all alone, bathed in the glow from the reflector light we use for shooting video. Looking at me, she was looking almost straight into the reflector, so I knew she couldn't read my expression. She was sweating hard. She had her left hand down on the bed, leaning on it a little, but her right hand was idle, and I could see it shake. I didn't say a word and I had purposely put myself into a position where I could remain absolutely still. I didn't want her to read my body language and tell me what she thought I wanted to hear; I wanted the truth.

  "R-ralph, honey, y-you know that I've always been a f-f-faithful wife, don't you?" She waited to see how I'd react, and I didn't. So she started up again. "You know how much I love you, and what a wonderful marriage we have. I'd never do anything to spoil that, baby." Again I didn't show that I was buying it or not, so she tried to reinforce it by adding, "Never."

  "All right, we've had the musical introduction, violins and clarinets. Now's the time for the verse, some words that mean something. But save the bullshit. As I asked before, who the fuck is Tom?"

  No words this time, just sobs as she buried her face in her hands. I supposed she was crying, but I wondered if maybe she was hiding her face and faking it. I decided to try to jostle her confidence a little more, and I got up and went out of the room. When I returned I was smoking a cigar, and I drew a wastebasket over to the chair for the ashes, as I sat down and propped up my feet again.

  "Ralph, you know we have a rule that you're never to smoke in the house!" Just what I expected her to say.

  "We also have a solemn vow that you're never to peddle your ass around, and look what that's got us. Stop stalling and tell me what's been going on, to save me the expense of hiring private detectives. I won't wait all day. Speak up or I'm leaving." I took a draw on the cigar and blew a cloud of smoke at Sherry. She hated cigar smoke. I hoped she was about to blow up and blurt things out without thinking about them.

  "You son of a bitch! You're just doing that to annoy me! All right, I'll tell you. Tom is a guy I met at the park when I had Bobby over there to play. He came there every day at the same time as I did, and we talked. He's a nice guy. He's interested in all the same things that I am, and he even likes the same authors that I do, and we've read a lot of the same books. So that's who Tom is!"

  "So some guy figured he'd get into your pants by saying things you'd like to hear. How many times did you bring him home here and fuck him?"

  "I don't know. Every weekday for a month, except for rainy days, I guess."

  "How was he?"

  "Not all that good, really. It was just that it was my thing, something that I did all on my own, without any help or advice from you. It was all mine! It was my affair! Nobody knew anything about it. It was something I did because I wanted to, because I had to prove that I was a person, with needs and feelings of my own."

  "All right, you remember to tell that to the judge in family court. Try to use those same words. I'll write them out for you in case you forget. But this Tom was obviously playing you, and I want to know what he was after. He had all the moves down, all the right words, and he did a good bit of homework to get into your pants. With a campaign like that, he could get any babe he wanted to. Why was he targeting you, and what'd he get out of it?"

  "He wanted me, my body, you moron. I was so desirable that he couldn't help himself. First he noticed me because I was beautiful, and next he was drawn to me by my intelligence. But after that he was driven nearly insane by my sex appeal."

  "And you knew all this, how?"

  "He told me. A lot of times, in different ways. He's obsessed with me."

  I couldn't hold it in any more. I laughed, and every time I tried to stop I'd think of her words and laugh again. I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. Her face showed that she couldn't understand what was so funny, and I pointed my finger at her and laughed some more. At first my reaction was a total surprise; she hadn't told a joke. Then slowly it dawned on her that I was laughing at her, and her face showed bewilderment.

  I pulled myself together, and wiped away the tears that were streaming down my face from laughing so hard. "Oh, that was good. I haven't had that good a laugh since I first saw a film clip of Abbott and Costello doing 'Who's on first.' So this clown just reeled you in, hook, line, and sinker. And you took the bait and swallowed it whole. You poor, gullible fool! But that still doesn't tell us what his game is." By this time Sherry had shriveled into a crouch, showing that she'd rather be anywhere else, doing anything else, right at that moment.

  "Has he ever called you on the phone, either the house phone or your cell?"

  In a very small voice she answered, "No."

  "Do you know his last name?"

  "No."

  "Do you know where he lives?" "No."

  "Do you know what kind of a car he drives?" "No."

  "Has he ever been out of your sight in this house?"

  "Yes, in the bathroom, and he's let himself out while I was still lying on the bed."

  I went over to the bedside and whispered in her ear, "All right. I think we might be bugged. Don't say any more. Get dressed and go to my parents' house and have tea with my mother. Come back here with Bobby at six o'clock. Don't let on to anybody that there's anything out of the ordinary going on. Got that?"

  She nodded, relieved to have the pressure off her, although I'm sure she still didn't understand what had happened.

  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

  I got dressed and as soon as Sherry was out of the house I called Tony. We've been partners pretty much since we graduated from the academy and finished up our street training. We rode the squad car together, and made detective within a few months of each other. I made Sergeant before he did, and after I made Lieutenant I rarely went out to look at a case without Tony at my side. We had a simple catch phrase that we used to indicate that we were in trouble and needed help. It was just our thing, and we'd only had to use it a couple of times. But now it came in handy because I didn't know if anybody was listening. I issued a casual invitation with, "Hey, come on over in about half an hour and we'll go to the range and see who's got the best eye."

  "Sure. What do you want to shoot, duty pistols, backups, small stuff, or what?"

  "Anything you want. Five bucks says I can beat you, no matter what the weapon is. Last time you got lucky. Let's see if you can still sweep me."

  "You're on. See you in thirty."

  The whole conversation was a buildup to the punch line. "The best eye" was a code for needing help. "Sweep me" was the entire message. All the rest was window dressing.

  Tony came loaded for bear. He began by walking around the house with a broad bandwidth signal detector, to see if anything was being broadcast from the house. I had tuned every television set in the house to the same football game, and turned up the sound. If a voice operated pickup in any room was broadcasting conversations in real time, he would have picked up the signal. I was hoping that it was not a real time operation, because if it was, then the fact that I was onto Tom, or whoever he was, would already be old news to the listener on the other end. If the setup was a batch job, the day's recordings would be held in a memory device. It might be dumped in a compressed form when it was triggered by a nearby receiver, maybe in a passing car. The other way a batch job could operate is the old fashioned way, with somebody coming in and exchanging memories, swapping out either a whole recorder or just its memory chip.

  The next step was to go through each room with the instrument we'd nicknamed the "dick meter" to find listening devices. Meanwhile I was looking everywhere for a recording device. The trouble is that they're very small these days. The ones available on the civilian market are about the size of a pack of cigarettes, and easy to conceal or camouflage. Eventually I found two of them, one in the linen closet of the guest bedroom, and one under the kitchen sink, roughly at opposite ends of the house. They were high capacity devices that could accumulate data for weeks before being swapped. I felt confident that none of the morning's conversation, if you could call it that, had been heard beyond our four walls.

  We collected all the devices we could find and tossed them into a bag, which Tony stashed behind the driver's seat in his truck. Each one had been tagged with the location where it was found. They could be examined by techs on Monday, to see just what had been picked up. Meanwhile we had to plan how to grab Tom and find out what his game was.

  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

  That night Sherry came in with Bobby, and we had a simple sore-bought supper of Whoppers and fries from Burger King's drive-through window. When Bobby was in bed, I began to lay our plan for the next day. I took Sherry down to the garage, where I turned the radios on loud in both cars and we sat down in the back seat of the SUV.

  "What time do you go to the park?"

  "About ten."

  "And what time do you come back here with Tom?"

  "Usually about eleven-thirty. It varies, say from eleven to almost noon, depending on the weather and how tired Bobby gets."

  "What room do you fuck in?"

  "Do you have to be so blunt about it?"

  "No point in beating around the bush about beating around the bush, is there?"

  "We go either to the movie room or our master bedroom."

  "Jesus, you've been fucking him in our bed? And you complain about me being blunt?"

  "Well, you asked, and you got your answer. What are you going to do to me?"

  "Right now I've got to get a handle on what this guy is up to, who he's working for, who's financing the whole thing, and what their next move will be. I doubt that you're the only one who's been seduced by these guys, and if I could find out who the others are, probably we could figure out some sort of a pattern or plan to it all. Did he ever say anything to you that would give you a clue about what he was trying to accomplish?"

  "He seemed to know that you're a cop. I corrected him and said 'Lieutenant' one time and he laughed and said, 'Yeah, for now.' What's that supposed to mean?"

  "That means that there's something funny going on that involves me and my job and the department. You go back upstairs and listen to make sure Bobby's all right. Keep the house locked up tight. And I mean, real tight! Don't answer the phone or your cell, either. If I need to tell you anything I'll leave a message. I've got to go out for a while, maybe several hours. Be back around midnight, I think.

  "Now look, let me leave you with this. I'm still really mad about you spreading your favors around. I think you can understand that, can't you?"

  "Yes. That's all I've been thinking about all afternoon. I never should have done it. I deserve to be tossed out on the street. I know that now."

  "You were manipulated by a pro. He probably could have done it to anybody. Do you understand that?"

  "Yes. I'm so sorry. It's hard to admit that I was taken advantage of, but I can see it now and I'm ashamed."

  "Look at me. Right here in my eyes. I'm sorry you got mixed up in this. I'm hurting from it right now, and it'll take some time for me to get over feeling hurt and angry. But that will all go away in time if we can make things turn out right.

  "Before I leave, I need the phone number for your aunt in Springfield. She doesn't work, does she?"

  "No. She stays home and does her hobbies, works in her flower garden, goes to meetings of her women's club. She says that she really enjoys her retirement. Uncle Jerome still works. He's not planning to retire until next year."

  "Okay. We may need you and Bobby to go visit her for a week or so. It'll depend on how we can deal with this threat in the next day or two. That'll be plan B.

  Try to stay away from the downstairs windows. If anybody comes prowling around, or tries to break in, call 911 right away. I mean immediately! This place will be crawling with cops so fast it'll make your head spin. Now wish me luck."

  * * * * * * * * * *

  I met Tony at the park a block away from my house, but I'd driven eight miles to get there. He was sitting on a park bench near a parking area, with his truck in plain sight. I parked a few spaces over and walked to his truck. He joined me and we sat in the truck and talked.

  "What's behind all this, Ralph?"

  "It sure sounds as if somebody wants to get me into some sort of trouble, but there's nothing there to get any real meaning from. You got any ideas?"

  "Not so far. My gut feel is that this isn't a one-man show."

  "Yeah, but I don't know why a group of people would be out to get me. One or two, maybe, to get revenge because I locked somebody up or broke up a promising operation, but not a big gang of people. But that's just guesswork. If it's not directed just at me, it could be part of an attempt to get a whole bunch of supervisory people in the department demoted or fired, but it's anybody's guess why. The next possibility is that there's something real big that's about to go down, some sinister plot that will affect the whole city, but I think that just happens in comic books."

  "What do you want to do?"

  "On Monday morning, I'd like to get you planted in the park with a woman, and I'll get Sherry out there with Bobby as bait. If Tom comes around to hit on her, we can grab him and see what we can find out from him. I don't want to take him into the station, because it's too easy for the word to spread, and he can lawyer up so conveniently. I'd like to stash him where we can gradually drain him of all the info we can get. Some place where if he yells for a lawyer, nobody will hear him.

  "That sounds like a good idea."

  "And we need to get somebody working on those bugs and recorders, but I don't trust the department right now."

  "Okay, that's easy enough. I'll go over to see Harry in the morning. That's where they were probably bought, anyway, and maybe I can find out about who the buyer was."

  "Good idea. Even if Harry didn't sell them, he can probably find out all about the sale. Those spyware guys will tell you they never heard of each other, but they all play poker together every Wednesday night. Now look, Tony, about ten-thirty Monday morning I want to pick up this Tom. We'll need enough people in the park to make sure nobody hurts Sherry or Bobby. I was wondering if you might want to have Sonia with you, looking sweet and airheaded. I was thinking of maybe having two of the young uniforms show up in plainclothes and play frisbee over at the top of the slope, by the edge of the grassy area, but that's just a suggestion. If we use any of them, remind them that hitting on Sonia could get them hurt real bad.

  "Look, Tony, you ought to consider Sherry part of your team and give her the instructions yourself. I'm still pretty pissed about the whole thing and I might screw the whole deal up. Anyway, have her tell Tom to go on over to our house and wait in the bedroom for her. Maybe she can say that they've been together so often that she's worried someone will get suspicious. That way, we can plant some people in my house and take Tom without anybody else seeing a thing. That's important -- inside the house, so we there are no outside witnesses to the arrest.

  "I'll pick up a car tomorrow and have it in the garage, ready for your team to transport Tom. What I want to do is give him a dose of Rohypnol or something to knock him out, and take him down to Patagonia. Doctor Johnson's down there. Remember him? He's got a nursing home down there, near the Mexican border. Scenic but very remote. My plan is to get Tom into the nursing home, in a locked room. Very plain surroundings, no TV or radio that he can get at, no phone, and nobody coming into his room but Mexicans speaking Spanish. Not a word of English where he can hear it. If we have to keep him there for a long time, I'd lilke him to swallow the notion that he's in Mexico, where he can't get a lawyer.

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