Wondering if it was all this bad, she tried another video. The scenario that played out seemed awfully similar to the first one. At first, she thought it was a coincidence. But when the third video showed the same kind of scene, she started to suspect it was more than that. She continued going through the list, fast-forwarding through four more videos before she admitted to herself that, no, it wasn’t a coincidence. The sex acts were varied, but the videos all played through the same basic scenario. The setting was an office. A woman sat in it, dressed in a professional suit and high heels. Sometimes she was blonde, sometimes brown-haired; sometimes she had a short hair, sometimes long, in a tight bun at the beginning of the video, loose on her shoulders later on. It always was clear from her demeanor that she was some sort of supervisor, while the man who always joined her in her office, wearing his tie and meek attitude with the same artlessness, seemed to be her employee.
Having seen more than enough, she cleared both the history and cache before turning the computer off. She had just stood from her seat when Brad came in. He closed the door behind him, and gave the computer a quick glance before turning a pleading look to Joan.
“Let me explain.”
She raised her hand, palm out toward him to stop him. He took it and squeezed her fingers.
“You don’t have to,” she said. “Just… just tell me this. Did you fantasize about your boss?”
He looked completely stunned at the question. “Did I fantasize about Marvin?”
She couldn’t help chuckling, and the tension broke with the sound. Brad pulled on her hand, drawing her closer. Wrapping her arms around him was such a habitual thing that she was doing it before she even knew it.
“No, before him,” she said, keeping her eyes locked with his. “What was her name… Cynthia?”
Brad blinked. “Cindy?” He started laughing, but stopped right away, and simply shook his head. “She was old enough to be my mother!”
Biting on the inside of her cheek, Joan tried to find her words. She felt a little embarrassed at having to admit she had watched the videos, but if she wanted to understand, she had to.
“I… looked at the clips you watched,” she said diffidently after a few seconds. “And they’re all…”
She didn’t know how to finish. When Brad winced, however, she figured he understood what she meant. He pressed a kiss to her temple and sighed softly.
“Remember that internship when I was in college?”
Joan nodded; her throat suddenly felt tight, and she was afraid of what he might confess.
“My boss…” He cleared his throat. “Well, she was hot. But it was just a college boy’s fantasies. Nothing ever happened, I promise.”
“A college boy’s fantasies?” she repeated. “You’re not a college boy anymore.”
He sighed, and the slight puff of air caressed her cheek as delicately as fingertips. “I know,” he murmured. “I’m sorry. I’d never cheat on you. You believe that, don’t you?”
He pulled back and looked at her, his eyes searching her face, begging her to believe him. Immediately, she nodded. She didn’t need to think about it, not for a second. She did believe him, trust him with her heart. She always had, and in all these years he had never let her down. Maybe it was why this small indiscretion had been so hurtful.
The rest of the evening was subdued. That night, Joan went to bed wrapped around Brad—like she did every night. Nothing more than a gentle goodnight kiss happened before she closed her eyes. For a long time, she couldn’t find sleep, her mind going over the events of the day.
She loved Brad more than she could express in words, and their lovemaking had never lacked in any way. He had been her first boyfriend, the first boy she had kissed, the first man she had made love with—the only man. Sometimes, though, across the years, she had wondered what it would have been like to be with another man. Sometimes—more often—she wondered if Brad regretted not having ever been with another woman.
Could she try to give him that, or at least a taste of it? She could not imagine sharing him, of course not. They did not have that kind of marriage, and they never would. But there were other options, maybe. She was a simple woman where sex was concerned; plain vanilla, as she had heard it called, was fine for her. Could she extend her horizons? Could she do it for Brad?
… continued in Third Vision of Destiny