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The Best of 2013
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It's Been Going Around
He eased himself onto the stool next to her boss and ordered a gin and tonic.
"Karen won't be able to make it tonight."
The look on his bar mate's face, a mixture of confusion, shock, and just a hint of fear, amused him.
"I'm sorry ... did you say something?"
"Karen ... my wife. She won't be able to keep your date. She's down with the flu."
"I—I think there's been a misunderstanding."
"No there hasn't. You were going to nail my wife tonight, but the flu nailed her first. It's been going around."
"Look ... sir; I don't want any trouble ..."
"Neither do I. Too tired. See, she usually comes home a couple of hours after me. She works hard, you know? So I generally have supper ready. But she came in the door tonight a few minutes after I arrived. Looked like hell, all gray and pasty. She started up the stairs and just heaved. Christ, I cleaned her up, put her to bed. Then I had to clean the stairwell. Ugh!"
Her boss sat rock still, a captive audience, his eyes furtively eying the exit.
"She was burning up. I noticed while I was trying to get a nightshirt on her. The heat—especially off her tits and her belly. Well, you ought to know, she's endowed with a pretty substantial bosom, and—no exaggeration—it was like they'd just come out of an oven. She was talking ragtime too—practically delirious. I thought I'd have to rush her to the hospital."
"Um ... sorry to hear ..."
"Instead, I decided I'd give her an alcohol rubdown. That's what my mother used to do to us kids when we ran high fevers and couldn't keep an aspirin down. So I left her naked, got a couple of wash cloths, dipped them in rubbing alcohol and just swathed her from shoulders to toes. I tell you, the vapors stung my eyes something fierce, but I had to get her temp down. You have to do it nice and slow, too. Hell, I didn't mind—I like to rub her down. I'm always giving her massages and backrubs. Puts her right to sleep most times."
"Look ... this is awkward. I should go."
"No need. Nothing for you to be concerned about. She's my responsibility. You know, that whole sickness and health thing."
Her boss sipped his drink and swallowed noisily.
"Anyway, I could feel her start to cool down and relax. I just rubbed her shoulders a while then and she started to doze off. She was pretty much out of it. That's when she mumbled something about you; I didn't catch everything, but I caught the gist.
"Hey, I'd had my suspicions, so it wasn't exactly a revelation. Like the night I wanted to eat her pussy after she got home—God, I love to lick her pussy; I could do it for hours. Except that one night, she didn't want me anywhere near it. Then I got a whiff—it wasn't just her I was smelling."
He laughed and tapped his nose. "Always been sensitive—wine, perfume and pussies.
"Anyway, she'd just fallen off to sleep when the phone rang."
Her boss fidgeted and looked about the room as if hopeful someone could intervene and extract him from his situation.
"I let the answering machine take the message. It was your secretary—by the way, I wouldn't want that girl to get into trouble, she obviously had no idea what the—shall we say 'context' of the message was. She just said you would meet her at this hotel lounge. I thought that was pretty cheesy of you—having that girl unwittingly set up your little rendezvous"
"I—I don't know what to say."
"Nothing to say. Anyway, Karen had fallen sound asleep and I bundled her up—extra quilt and all that. But then I thought of you sitting here with no idea where she could be. I asked the high school girl next door to come over and keep an eye on her just until I could meet up with you and let you know—you'll have to wait a few days until she's kicked this bug before you can bang my wife again." He smiled at his stricken bar mate.
"Well ... I don't know what ... I mean, this is all very civil of you. Perhaps I should apologize ..."
"Why?" He tossed some bills onto the bar and signaled the bartender. "I'll get these."
He stood. "I better get back. Had to leave a pot by the bed in case she woke up with the heaves and couldn't make it to the bathroom. These bugs are nasty. And I don't want that kid to have to be cleaning up after her. One ought to clean up one's own mess."
"Yes ... well, I'm sorry, if that means anything."
"It doesn't. You know, you must be pretty good in the sack; because, for the life of me, I can't see what she sees in you. Tell me, you ever cook a meal for someone you cared about?"
He shrugged. "Never had the occasion."
"Ever clean up puke?"
"No," he said, without looking at him.
"Hmm. Well, like I said, it'll be a few days before she's back on her feet—then I'm going to toss her ass out the door. After that, she's all yours."
He turned to leave, hesitated, then leaned close in to him.
"On the other hand, if I find out you gave your secretary any grief about spilling your dirty beans—I'll fuck you up so bad your own mother won't be able to identify you."
The bar froze in silence.
Then he was gone.
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