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Conrad and Pamela Winston--chapter three

Nobody ever said conventional was the only way...
It all made perfect sense. I was not the catch that my lying wife said I was. I was set up. Gloria fucked me, and that for an extra thousand dollars and then got the hell outta Dodge. Tanya had stayed with me, and we had become an item of sorts. But marry her? And could I trust her? She knew I was well heeled if not actually rich. Was that the attraction? Maybe not, she was forty, and maybe looking for someone to hold on to, someone like me. Shit! What a mess.

It was Friday. I'd cancelled my date with Tanya to nail the bitch, my wife. I was going to pin her and get the truth. And, what if the truth was that she'd played me as Tanya'd said; and yes, I did believe Tanya. Well, I had options now: I had Tanya.

I heard the garage door opener engage. She was home from shopping. I knew she likely had a date with Pollard tonight. I determined to be a wet blanket on her plans.

My truck, borrowed from a friend at work, was out front at the curb. It already had my stuff in it: a trunk and two suitcases.

"Honey? You're home early?" said Pamela.

"Yes, something came up," I said.

"Really?"

"Yes, I found out that you and Pollard have been playing me. Tanya outted you," I said. "Got anything to say?"

"Oh my God!" she said.

"I doubt if God is on the side of liars," I said. "You and Pollard are liars."

"Honey, it's not what you think," she said. "He and I, well, we just tried to give you a headstart. We knew you were too straight laced to go for it yourself. But, well that first night . . ."

"Yeah the night my great dancing got me two new girlfriends, well, potential ones," I said, “as you had me believing.”

"Yes, and it worked out with you and Tanya. I mean . . ."

"Yes, actually, she decided that fucking me wasn't as bad as you think it is," I said.

"Honey, that's not true! You're fine in bed. You know that. Haven't we been good in bed together? I mean really," she said.

"Yeah, well you almost had believing that that was so. But, now I know it's just been a series of mercy fucks for good 'ole inept Conrad," I said.

"Honey, you have to calm down and give me a chance to explain," she said.

"You mean to convince me of your sincerity, right?" I said.

"Well, yes," she said.

"No, no, I don't trust you anymore. I'll be moving out. You won't stop your cheating, your cuckolding me. I won't any longer put up with it. So, we're quits," I said.

"Honey, wait a second. That night, the night of the dancing, that first night. Tanya and Gloria weren't the only ones that you danced with. Clearly you had something that other women wanted that made you a winner," she said.

"Yeah, but none of the others were interested in more than getting a little exercise with someone who could lead, on the dance floor that is.

"No, Pamela, you and I are done. I never wanted to do any of this swinging stuff. And, now I like the idea even less. You have a nice life," I said, rising and grabbing my coat. "I wish things had worked out."

******

"Fuck," he said. "And, I thought we'd struck gold with Tanya. But, you say she doublecrossed us."

"That's what he said," said Pamela.

"What are you thinking? How are we going to handle this, mess," he said.

"I don't know. I honestly don't," she said.

"And he knows that you really don't have too high an opinion of his bedroom skills," he said.

"Yes, and I'm not going to be getting around that one anytime soon. He keeps referring to his mercy fucks," she said.

"Well, that's what they are," he said.

"Maybe, but they're real nonetheless. I do my level best for him every time we do it," she said.

"Does he ever get you off?" he said. "I mean ever?"

"He's come close a couple of times, but no, not yet. And now it looks like it'll never happen. I think he's going to divorce me. I just don't know," she said.

"Pam, I know I've said it before. And you've always pooh-poohed it because of the income thing. But . . ."

"Ron, I appreciate that you want me. And I want you too. But, well, I'd have to get a second job. I'm not cut out to be a part of the workforce. Not even," she said.

"Well, anyway, I'm here for you. And, I still say we could make it together," he said. She smiled at his earnestness.

******

I headed for the Calaboose. I needed a drink, and, a woman who gave a damn about me. I called Tanya to meet me there.

I was sitting in a booth when she arrived maybe five minutes after me.

"You sounded, I don't know, something," she said, plopping down in the seat across from me.

"Really? How about free or unsettled or angry or all of the above ."

"Wow! You and the missus, right?" she said.

"Yeah, right," I said. "We're done. I've got a proposition for you."

"And that would be?" she said.

"You and I live together. I pay the bills. We have fun, a lot of fun. I need somebody, and you're the one I need," I said.

"Marriage I take it is off the table," she said.

"Can't do it. Things are too crazy in my head right now. Could it ever happen? Maybe, maybe not, I just don't know. But, what I am most certainly not going to be doing is crying in my beer. Done enough of that. Gotta get my act together.

"Anyway, you interested?" I said.

"Okay, yes," she said. I smiled for the first time since she’d walked in.

"I guess, I've kinda made your day, huh?" she said. "I mean judging from your smile."

"Yeah, I guess you have," I said.

And we were launched she and I. I moved in with Tanya, paid up her rent for the rest of the year that first week. It was win-win.

I didn't hear from Pamela for several days after the blow up. But, I did see her, twice. Once in the supermarket and once at the pharmacy. She knew my habits and she knew about my allergy. We didn't speak either time: I ran out of the places as soon as I spotted her. The second time, at the pharmacy, I saw her smile; like she knew something that I didn't and thought it was funny. Well, I didn't think it was funny, not at all. What was also true was the fact that she was fucking beautiful, and I couldn't get her out of my mind.

Then I ran into Pollard. "He had me in a situation where I couldn't easily run off: a flat tire on the highway three miles from the nearest gas station. He pulled over in front of me.

I faced him. I had a tire iron in my hand trying to get the lug nuts off so I could change the tire myself. He looked askance at the tire iron. "Get out of here Pollard. You're the last person in the world I want or need to be around."

"I could give you a ride to the station up the road. I know the guy; he can do that for you," he said.

I was tired and hungry and wanting to get home. I thought about it. For some damn reason he didn't piss me off as much as she did.

"I don't trust you enough to get in the car with you, but if you want, you can send your friend back," I said. "Oh, and don't expect a lot of gratitude for your efforts."

"No, no, I understand. She and I did some stuff. Hearts were in the right place, but our heads were up our collective asses," he said. "For the record, she misses the hell outta yuh. I wish she cared as much for me as she does for you."

"Yeah, right," I said.

"Seriously. It's been a real downer being around her since you cut country. Crying every night, complaining about everything, even my sexual prowess which as you know is pretty much nonpareil."

"That would be interesting to see and hear," I said, and I almost laughed.

"You should go back. I'd even step aside if I had to, at least for a while, while you two got back on track," he said.

"Thanks but no thanks," I said. "I'm not gonna be messin' with anymore of that swingin' shit. Once burned twice warned as they say."

You're nuts to be thinkin' that way. Swinging if done right is a kick, and harmless.

"We did it wrong, like I said, but you have a lot to offer a woman, any woman. Your problem is you just don't believe it or in yourself. Yeah you're short, and your dick is short, but you have a lot of other shit going for you.

"Hell, all I got is my dick. Pardon me if I use it to get what I want. You could do the same with your attributes. You just gotta try, give yourself a chance, a little time."

"Yeah well thanks, but no thanks. I gave it a try and it backfired on me," I said.

"I hear your making it with one of the women we hired. That right?" he said.

"We're sharing a place, yeah, if it's any business of yours," I said.

"Yeah, well it's not, I know, but good luck. And, I still think you need to call Pam and set up a meet. But in lieu of that, like I say, good luck.

I will send my friend back here to save you," he said. And he did. I wondered how he knew about Tanya and me, but really, it didn't matter one way or the other.

I was late getting back to the house. But the welcome I got was worth the wait.

In the afterglow of some truly sensational sex, she pinned me. "You gonna take his advice?" said Tanya.

"To call the bitch? Hell no," I said. "What would be the percentage in that? I am well rid of her. Besides, I've got you."

"Hmm, yeah, but for how long? I mean since you're not interested in getting hitched as you say," she said.

"Look, Tanya, my emotions are still pretty raw. I can't even begin to think about something like that, like marriage, yet. It's only been a few weeks," I said.

I began to think that I had to break it off with Tanya, and I wasn't sure why; and, then I was sure.

******

I'd been on the job since 6:00AM. I usually got home around three or four, but today, starving like an Ethiopian chicken, I was looking to scarf some of the leftover meatloaf in the frig. I headed home. It was just after noon. They were in the kitchen. I came in the back way; they didn't hear me.

Tanya had a visitor: my old, supplied by Pam and Pollard, female friend of one night, Gloria Billings age twenty-two. They were laughing.

"He's that bad?" said Gloria. "I mean when I did him that one time, he was boring, but he wasn't that bad."

"Exactly, he's boring as hell. Plus he's just not real inspiring in other respects. You know, short body, short dick, short attention span. If I could get him to think marriage, it wouldn't be so bad; I need a little security. This arrangement can't last forever. But, I guess so long as he's paying the bills I'll put up with it, but I sure would like something a little more permanent," said Tanya. Gloria laughed.

"Nothing like putting it where it is, girlfriend," said Gloria.

"Yeah, well he does make the moola. I aim to get as much of it as I can. I know he's got the money. I'm angling to get him to pay off my bills outright; then, I could relax a little. At my age security is everything. You, you've got time; you're still a kid for chryssakes.

"Yeah, a kid maybe, but no fool. I'm looking for a little security too. Anyway, maybe we'll both get lucky one of these days. Here's hoping," I heard her say; probably raising her iced tea in an informal toast. They laughed.

So I was nothing to her. Well if so, I was gone. Sooner or later I'd be hooking up with an actual woman who actually loved me, and who actually might be well off on her own. Well, one could hope.

I decided to get it over with. I headed into the dinette. "Hello, girls, glad I caught you with your pants down. I'll be moving out right away, Tanya; then, you can begin the hunt for someone a deal less boring," I said. I was smiling, broad and sincerely.

"Conrad! How long . . ."

"Long enough. I heard it all. I'm boring, useless in bed, but economically a keeper. Well, I was, now no more," I said.

"But . . ."

"Look, Conrad, it was just girl talk. We girls always diss our guys, all of them. You guys do it to us, so don't get all huffy over a couple of tired broads talking a little meaningless smack about you, okay?" she said.

"Actually, Gloria, I appreciated what you said about me. It helps a little. But frankly, ladies, I need some things from my woman too. I'm not just some fucking money machine here to finance your dreams, Tanya. If I can't get a little respect, and a deal of sincere loving; then, I'm the hell outta here. Goodbye," I said. And I was, outta there that is.

******

I was sitting in my usual spot in the Calaboose bemoaning my miserable luck with the fairer sex.

Jerry, my favorite barkeep, noticed. "Whatcha thinkin' cowboy?" he said.

"Nothin', just ruminating on the vicissitudes of fortune as regards my less than spectacular luck as relates to the opposite sex," I said.

"Huh? Was that English?" he said.

"Yeah, I guess," I said. He laughed.

"Yeah, ratchet it back a bit; you'll be upsetting the riff raff among us," he said.

"Consider it done," I said.

Why the hell couldn't I be gay for God's sake; I'd have a better chance at having a good relationship. The hetero thing wasn't working too good for me.

I had decisions to make. Pamela, Tanya, Gloria, all of them, pretty much saw me as next to useless as a bed partner.

"Know any female woman who might be inclined to fall madly in love me, and I mean 'for' me?" I said. I was looking straight at Jerry when I said it.

"There's plenty of them around. But frankly, dude, none of them are going to be much in the market for someone with your emotional baggage. Get over those other ones and just start over. Everybody goes through shit you are at some point. I'm still madly in love with my high school sweetheart, but she married way up in class from me. Oh, and I still shed a tear or two now and again over her," he said.

"Really?" I said.

"Yeah," he said. "If I had to do it over, I'd move to the Philippines and find me a hot momma and live the life of Riley," said Jerry.

"The Philippines?" I said.

"Yeah, my mom's from there. My dad was stationed at Subic Bay in the early eighties. She was a bar girl, real pretty, still is. Dad fell madly in lust with her, supported her while he was there; and, later married her. I came along in eighty-three.

We've all gone back a couple of times to meet mom's family and to have some fun. I'm here to tell you Filipina women are second to none when it comes to beauty and taking care of their men. I ain't shitin' yuh either," he said.

"Yeah, well maybe that's what I should do, just get outta Dodge; I mean way outta Dodge. The Philippines, you say?" I said.

"Yeah. Hell, if you decide to go, let me know. I can see to it you get put up for free and get you oriented to the country, maybe even help you get a job," he said.

"Oriented?" I said.

"Yeah, some stuff you gotta be aware of if you've never been over there," he said. "But, once you get the hang of it; it's fantastic. Seriously," he said.

"Yeah, well, I'll keep it in mind. Can't be much worse than the situation I've fucking been in here," I said.

"Freakin'-A." he said.

******

Later, I had in fact talked to Jerry; I had in fact met his mom, who was indeed a fifty-two year old hottie; and I am in fact currently seated in 2C, United Air, on my way to Manila.

Yeah, I quit my job. Cleaned out my accounts and created a new one. I was sitting on roughly five-point-five million Philippine pesos, $141K American; and, I had a job interview with some guy named Romy Gilchrist, an American ex-pat builder who had once been one of Clea Moncrief's lovers. Clea is of course Jerry's hottie momma.

Things were looking up. And, I wasn't looking back. Crazy? Maybe, but I needed to do it.

I figured I'd be able to catch on with Gilchrist Construction in some capacity, but of course until that first paycheck came streaming in, it was not a done deal. But, then it was.

Jerry'd not been lying. Mister Gilchrist, a huge hunk of a man: six-three and two-eighty at least, met me at the plane. He put me up in the El Presidente, gave me a tour of the city the next day, oriented me to my new duties during the rest of the week, and got drunk with me on Friday night. The pay? Fifty gees. It was enough for me. And I got on with living, and what a life it would turn out to be!

******

It was a month later, and another Friday night at the Global, my eighty-proof hangout. "So your marriage imploded," said Romy Gilchrist.

"Yeah, I guess that's the way to describe it. She had a lover that she expected me to be okay with, on the side, as she put it. I actually tried, idiot that I was, but in the end I got my head outta my ass and just cut country, literally. Well, here I am," I said.

"Yeah, and I'm glad to have you on board. Anyway . . .

"So, have any of the local females got you in their sights?" he said.

"Huh?" I said. He laughed. "I've only been here a month."

"I guess not then. But they will. A word of advice. Be real careful. You're prime cut American beef. And the girls, let alone the women, will be raining down on you like confetti right soon," he said.

"No, I don't think so," I said. "My wife left little doubt in my mind that I was less than useful as a man. I will not be in the hunt for female companionship in anything like the near future." My new friend laughed again.

"You could be built like Quasimodo and sport a two-inch dick; you're still gonna be under sexual fire right soon, trust me," he said.

"Yeah, right," I said. And, now I laughed.

"You've got an American passport, and you make good money, for here. Again, you really are prime cut," he said.

"Well, if I were to hook up with some girl or woman, it would have to be for something other than those kinds of things. I'm not into gold diggers. Actually, when one gets right down to it, my income is the main reason my wife didn't dump me outright; I'm sure of it," I said. He snickered.

"There are worse things than having a wife who chose one's money making ability over one's sexual prowess or amazing good looks. Both of those latter two things fade with time. Intelligence and work ethic do not. You might want to think about that," he said. "I speak from broad experience."

"Hmm, maybe," I said.

"My current wife married me for my money. I know it; well, that and my American passport. She's got her green card now. She only got that so we could travel some: she doesn't care about being an American per se though eventually she may have to. Can't be a green card holder forever. She treats me right, and only cheats on me occasionally; I turn a blind eye to it, the guy's her childhood boyfriend; I had him checked out. He's poor, but okay otherwise.

"And that doesn't bother you?' I said.

"Not unduly so. She doesn't know I know and takes great pains not to rub my nose in it; she knows that that would be the kiss of death for us," he said.

"Again, why doesn't it bother you? I mean, she's cheating." I said.

"Technically, but no it doesn't bother me. I'm twenty years older than she is; she simply needs the occasional younger dick. And, Like I say; she treats me right and doesn't deny me when I need it. That's enough for me," he said. I had to smile.

"Well, I can't say I feel the same about that kind of stuff. But, anyway, my wife and I are the same age, so your situation is not the same thing," I said. He shrugged.

******

She was sitting at the dinette table stirring her coffee. "He's been gone a year," she said.

"Look, Pamela, he's gone and he's gone for good that's obvious. You need to get with the program, divorce him, marry me, and live happily ever after," said Ronald Pollard. She snickered.

"Unless he's proven to be dead, I am not marrying anybody else. No matter what anybody thinks, including him. I love him and I want to grow old with him. But, if I was inclined to marry someone else, Ron, it'd be you," she said, smiling. He didn't return the smile.

"Pam, I liked the guy too. I think he's an idiot for shining you on. Frankly I can't believe he did that, no way is he going to find your equal," he said. "But, he did do it, shine you on; and now it's time to think about the future.

"Anyway, I'm here for you, and I always will be," he said.

"Thanks," she said. "And, I do thank you for being there for me. I don't know what I’d do without you." Now he did smile.

******

Time waits for no one, and it sure as hell wasn't waiting for me. It was my five years anniversary of my having left my wife. I had a date with Romy at 6:00PM to celebrate, but that was still a few hours off.

"Yes, my name is Lisa," said the very pretty maybe twenty-something as she put my JD on the rocks down in front of me. She was the new early show bartender, so she said.

"Conrad," I said, introducing myself.

We talked for some little time since I was the only customer in the place at the moment: it was just past 3:00PM. It was Saturday, and I was off.

I'd been in The Typhoon Bar and Grill several times, it was Aussie owned but Filipino run and staffed. It had the virtue of being open twenty-four hours: a major plus in my book.

This was the first time I'd actually had a serious conversation with any of the barkeeps or waitresses that I'd so far met. Lisa was different. I was interested in her. I was maybe fifteen years her senior, but as for that I really didn't know.

As it got time for me to head out, I had told the boss I'd meet him at a different place at 6:00PM; I finished up my drink and said goodbye to Lisa and that reluctantly; well, she was a dolly.

From our conversation I'd learned Lisa was poor, not married, supporting three sibling brothers and her parents; and she could be had for but twenty dollars American per hour if I decided I was interested. Well, it was the way things were in Quezon City these days.

I actually considered her offer. I hadn't been laid in forever, and I was horny as hell. Make it with a prostitute? Well, why the hell not. Besides, Lisa, was one heckuva turn on. I'd be thinkin' on it.

And, I did think on it, and I did take her out, and I did fuck her for pay, and she was wonderful, or, maybe it was just because it had been so long since the last time I'd dipped my wick.

As she was getting put together to leave, I noticed she seemed kinda somber, down.

"You okay, girl?" I said. And then she began to cry. I got the truth this time, and it did turn out to be the truth as I later learned from her mom.

She was indeed a new bartender, and she was indeed a whore, but, a new one of those too. I'd been her first trick! I was flabbergasted.

Romy's warning came back to haunt me. But, no, this girl was for real. Not just some Filipina gold digger setting her sights on a semi-depressed American ex-pat.

After that first go 'round, I began dating, not hiring, her for real. I met her family on the second date and saw to it that they, her family, were taken care of financially for the near term. Her thanks were way over the top and kinda made me feel like a hero.

Problem was, as Romy had indicated might happen, she seemed to have a hundred relatives all desperately poor. I couldn't pay all of their ways. And, then I had a problem; she asked me to marry her. The good news was that I was pretty sure that I was still married, but as for that, I really wasn't sure. I knew that Pamela had no idea where I was, so maybe she had dumped me for abandonment.

It was good news because I didn't want to get married. But I did want to keep seeing Lisa, and I did want to help her. I found myself looking to Romy for advice.

We'd been on the job all day, and we were cranking it up for Miller Time.

"So you let her get her hooks into you," he said, laughing.

"You could say that," I said. "But, I am well aware of what's going on, and she isn't trying to pull any wool over my eyes or anything like that. But, that said, on the downside I haven't got the scratch to pay the way for her entire family corps."

"How bad do you want to help them?" he said.

"Bad enough. But, I'm not willing to ride into the poor house at full gallop to do it," I said.

"Do you know, any of them educated. Any of them have any business sense?" he said.

"Yeah, her brother Reynaldo and his wife seem pretty sharp. I've met them several times at family dos of hers," I said. Romy nodded.

"Buy a business, or, put one together for them, and let them have it and earn their own way. Kind of teachin' them how to fish instead of giving them a fish that you caught yourself," he said. I gave him a look, as understanding of what he was saying sank in.

"You know, that just might be the way to go with them. But what kind of business?" I said.

"I have a friend who is leaving the PI next month. He has a water company, kinda one of those Sparklets thingys, that he has to sell and so far no takers. You could probably get it cheap enough and put all of her relatives to work," he said.

"What about the employees that are already working there?" I said.

"Aren't any anymore. He shut the operation down three months ago. Just change the name of the company, pay the necessary bribes for the business to start up, and let your girlfriend have it. Just tell her that you are done with the outright handouts, and that now the family has to make a go of it on their own. I know other guys who've done it, and it's worked for them," he said. He gave me the guy's number. I called it the next day.

******

Over the next few days, I met the guy selling the business, and bought him out for twenty-five grand U.S. The same night that we'd signed everything, I called Lisa and asked her to bring her brother Reynaldo with her. She'd tried to question me, but I put her off saying that he would be in good stuff to come with her. She'd finally agreed, kinda reluctantly, to do as I asked.

The TB&G was busy, but I had a table for four, and it was far enough back from the bandstand that I was pretty sure that we would be able to hear ourselves talk. I saw them come in.

"Hi, Reynaldo," I said. "Glad you could make it."

"Thank you, sir Conrad," he said.

"Sir Conrad?" she said, looking at me. She was real interested in why I wanted her relative to come on a date I had with her. Oh, and she was always calling me sir even though I had asked her not to a hundred times; it's a Filipino thing I'd later discovered.

"Yes, Lily, I'll get right to it. I've bought a business. I'm giving it to you. I suggest that you hire Reynaldo here to run it for you. You can be in charge of hiring the help: members of your family I should expect," I said.

"What!" she said.

"Yes, it's a water purification, sales, and delivery service. It did almost a quarter million American in business last year. The guy who I bought it from is a statesider who's decided to go home.

"Was that the King Water Company?" said Reynaldo. He looked interested.

"Yes, yes it is, was, whatever," I said.

"I know the company. I delivered for it before it went out of business a couple of months ago. That's the job I lost, Lily," he said.

This was getting interesting.

"Really?" she said.

"Yes," he said.

"Good, so maybe getting some of your customers back will be easier than I thought?" I said.

"Yes," he said.

We talked for a long time. I explained the reason I wanted to do this and why I wouldn't be just handing out cash any longer. I was thrilled to discover that both Lily and her brother were in favor of the deal. And the deal? We closed it the next day at a lawyer's office.

The sex that night was very very good. I took her missionary twice and doggy once. God she was a good piece. We lay breasts heaving for some little time.

"You're wonderful," she said. I smiled my thanks for her thanks, but in the back of my mind all I could think of was the five years that I had not seen my wife. I made a tentative decision to rectify that little reality.

I hit the send key. The email would be there when she woke up in the morning.

******

She was clicking her cell phone searching her email. "Sweet Jesus, Ronald! It's him!" she screamed.

"Who?" he said. But, he knew who the "who" was.

She was reading furiously ignoring the man across from her at the breakfast table.

She handed him the phone. His eyes got big. "He's in fucking Manila for chryssakes!" he said.

"Call the airlines," she said. "Find out how much a ticket to Manila costs." He shook his head.

"We need to talk about this first," he said.

"Talk schmalk!" she said. "We're going. We're bringing him back, and there is no two ways about it."

"And, what if he simply won't come back? We can't make him, Pamela, much as we might want him to," he said. "All he says here, really, is that he misses you, and wishes that things had been different. But, they're not different," he said. She sagged back in her seat.

"Yes, well, we simply have to convince him that he's loved, wanted, and better off with us than over there with a bunch of foreigners," she said.

"They might be foreigners, Pam, but there are undoubtedly many there that are his friends now. He may not feel at all out of place there. I mean it's been five years!"

She nodded. "Yes, I know. But we're going. Please call and find out how much it would cost us. Please. I mean now," she said. He shrugged.

"Okay," he said. She watched him dial. He talked for several minutes to a person at the travel agency that he knew fairly well. He hung up.

"It'll cost $1,641 round trip, each," he said. She started at the high price.

"You have money on tap now since the sales, right?" she said. She knew he had liquidated some of his properties, and they hadn't touched any of the money gotten from those sales so far. He'd been thinking about investing in government paper as a hedge against the miserable economy.

"Yeah, I guess," he said. She rose and headed upstairs. "But, that money is supposed to go for our retirement." She ignored him.

"Come on we gotta pack. But first call 'em back and make arrangements for the first flight out," she said. He did as she said.

******

The airport was newer than he remembered from his one trip to the Philippines some twenty years before. That had been a graduation present from his grandma: a round trip ticket to anywhere he wanted to go in the world. He'd chosen the Philippines then: it'd been the recommendation of his dad, and he'd been glad he'd chosen the PI. But, this trip was a totally different thing.

He was a man sleeping with another man's wife, and hoping to get the cuckolded hubby to be okay with it. He knew it was going to be a futile attempt, a complete waste of time and money, but his woman was sure she could convince the guy to acquiesce. They just had to do it right, approach it right, and she was certain that she knew how to make it happen. All they had to do, according to her, was to get him to listen calmly and quietly to her arguments. "Yeah right!" he said out loud.

"What?" she said.

"Nothing," he said. "But we need to hire a cab or a driver." She nodded. "No outsider with any brains drives a car in Manila.”

******

She broke the hug. I was flustered. "Uh—you two—how . . ." I said.

"You sent it from your company computer, Conrad. The letter had an address and phone number at the bottom," she said. Of course. That's how they’d found me. But also of course, I had not expected them to come seven thousand miles to try!

Or, had I. Maybe subconsciously I'd hoped. But, and it was a big but, he'd come along too. I certainly had not been hoping for that consciously or subconsciously.

"And you, Mr. Pollard? You here to spread your pollen in the PI?" I said.

"No, Conrad. I'm here because she begged me to come. She, we're, on a mission," he said.

"A mission?" I said.

"Yes, Conrad, we are," said Pamela. "Two missions actually."

"And those might be?" I said.

"To get you to sit down and talk with me, us. And, that accomplished, to help you pack for the flight back to the states, back home," she said. I leaned back against the office's door jamb.

"And you, the both of you, are of the opinion that anything you could say would make me willing to go back with you; I mean with the both of you," I said.

"No, well, that is not until we talk. But, that said, after we've talked? Yes," she said. I nodded.

"You going to let us make our case?" said Pamela. I just stared at the two of them.

"Conrad, we'll buy the meal. Anywhere you choose. We've come a long way. Just got in last night. We haven't even eaten yet, our last food was a couple of thousand miles ago. Just had some coffee this morning, a half hour ago. Please, whaddya say?" said Ronald Pollard.

"I haven't eaten either. I guess, if you're payin', breakfast would be good. I have to admit to being curious as to how my own personal cuckolder team would think that they could convince me to return to a situation that I have come all this way to get away from," I said. The two of them nodded.

"We understand," said Pamela. I stared at her once again, boy did she look pretty. She had to have gotten up real early to look this good at 8:30 in the morning.

******

The Typhoon had a smattering of customers mostly out on the patio sipping their morning brews.

The food in front of us, nobody was talking. I shrugged and began eating. My two visitors followed suit.

I waited. It was their show.

"I guess I should begin," said Pamela. I shrugged again. She took it as a signal to start her spiel.

"First of all, Conrad, I want to thank you for being willing to sit down with us. It saves us the trouble of having to tie you up and gag you," she said, and laughed.

"Yes, well, I guess I should feel lucky then shouldn't I," I said. She snickered.

"A couple of things. Ron and I both came because I felt the need to double team you. Yes, I know, we tried that before and it didn't work out quite like I hoped it might.

"Secondly, it is my considered judgment that you don't realize just how much you are loved and needed and wanted and that sexually as well as in other respects and all of that by me. Hence, it shall be my job to convince you of such. Are you with me so far?" she said.

"If that's your main plan, you're going to fail because I simply will not believe that you care an iota about me sexually. In other respects, as you say, maybe; but sexually? Hardly," I said.

"Hmm, maybe," she said. "Well, and no, sex is not the main thing, but it is important, and it is true. No, the main thing is something you said, did, yourself. You emailed me after five years. You likely knew, not suspected, but knew that I was still doing it with Ron, or somebody. I could never go without sex for five years. And, I am more than persuaded that you haven't."

"Okay," I said.

"Good. Is she pretty?" said Pamela.

"Yes, but she and I are casual not in love. And, there have been a few others, one night stands. So now, are we done with true confessions?" I said.

"With the true confessions? Yes," she said.

"Conrad, what your wife and I do is not purely recreational. Not anymore. She loves me. She loves you more, but she loves me too. We need to get that understood here from the gitgo," said Pollard. I looked down.

"I can live with it, because I'm the original pragmatist. I love her pussy among other things. And, I especially love being able to satisfy her. It's tough for a man to get a woman off every time, but Pamela? Every time we do it."

I knew that what he said was a true thing. They'd been together one way or another for too long for it to not have happened. Hell, for five years I had been totally out of the picture.

"So why do either of you need me?" I said. "If you love each other, I'm just a guy who's in the way, a fifth wheel is the analogue I think."

"Why do you think we came all this way to get you to come back, Conrad? To be my husband again," said Pamela, responding to her own rhetorical question.

"Truthfully? To get me to pay your bills," I said.

The other man pulled out an envelope that he'd had inside his jacket and pushed it toward me. I looked him askance.

I opened it. It was a bank statement. Checking account; savings account; CDs, five of them: collectively $783,000 and change. "I sold some houses," he said. I lost some money on some of the deals, but overall I'm still solvent, and I have some rental properties still on the books that I'm holding onto," he said. "I don't need your money, Conrad. Nor does she. If after we leave here, you decide not to come home; she will divorce you, or you her, and I will marry her myself. Frankly, five years of listening to her cry over your picture is long enough."

I nodded. This did put a new wrinkle in the mix. "You were crying over my picture?" I said, looking at my wife. She nodded and was clearly on the verge of tears as we spoke.

"Okay, all of this being true, and I guess that I have to grant that it looks like it is, the question still remains why do you need me?"

"Damn it, Conrad, Ron already told you. Because, dear heart, I love you more than anything or anybody. Yes, I need, well want, Ron’s big cock to pleasure me. And, he's right, I do love him too. Can't deny it. Can't give him up. What I can do, is make it more than worth your while to allow me to do my thing with Ronald, while at the same time doing my level best to make you happier than you have ever been," she said.

"So, then the question becomes can I live with being a willing cuckold. Can I expect that what would likely be truly sensational sex make such a life palatable to me?

"Basically, yes," said Ronald.

"Have you moved in with her?" I said.

"No. I stay over a lot, but I have my own place and she has your house: yours and hers," he said. I nodded, I had to think.

We'd talked for two hours straight. In the end we'd adjourned to come back the next day and figure it out.

******

I was sitting outside on the patio of the Typhoon waiting for them. They were early, but I was earlier.

"Hi," I said. My tone seemed to calm them.

"Hi, stud," said my wife; she was still that. I frowned.

"I'm no stud. You've made that plain enough, the both of you, so no more nonsense, okay?" I said.

"Okay, Conrad, no offense, I was just trying to be, I don't know, nice I guess," she said.

"How we doin'," said Ronald, speaking for the first time, defusing things.

"Maybe okay," I said. Just then Jose brought us the coffee I'd ordered in advance for the arrival of my guests.

"Thanks," said Ronald to the retreating waiter.

"Maybe okay?" said Ronald. Pamela was listening intensely to the exchange.

"This is the deal," I said. "I'm coming home. I'm coming back to you, Pam. And, Jesus this is hard, and I will be your willing cuckold. But, and it's a big but, I get first dibs on your pussy anytime I want it. No more limiting me to just during the week. I'm gonna be wanting it on weekend days too. Oh, you and Ron here will have plenty of opportunities to get it on with each other. But, I get first refusal whenever and wherever."

"Okay," said Pam, tentatively. "But? There's a but in there somewhere that you haven't mentioned yet, right?"

"But, I'm keeping my girlfriend here in the PI, and I will be commuting back and forth here every couple of months. When I'm here, I will be running a business I'm going to start up with an Aussie friend of mine. My girlfriend will be our front to get around the limitations on foreigners owning PI businesses outright. My pal and I will be alternating resident managers. He and I will each be taking forty percent of the action and my girlfriend, who will be the nominal owner, will be drawing down the remaining twenty percent," I said.

"What business?" said Ronald.

"Fast food. Filipinos love the stuff," I said.

"Would you consider a third managing partner?" he said. I looked askance at him.

"Maybe," I said. "I'd have to ask my bud." He nodded.

"I should say the buyin's half a mil," I said. He didn't bat an eyelash.

"No problem," said Ronald.

******

And we did form the partnership. We initially put up six outlets around Manila and Quezon City on the island of Luzon; there were going to be more.

It turned out that each of us would plan to spend four months a year in the PI, and overlap each other for a minimum of two weeks to make the transition each time. It would turn out that we would be more than successful.

After the first year we'd each netted close to a million American in profits; and Lisa and her family had never dreamed of living better. And, as it turned out; she and her brother Reynaldo were excellent at doing the political thing: a necessity in the PI. She was still my girl but she was also dating an army colonel on the side. This on the side shit was getting to be something else, at least in my humble opinion.

And Pamela? When I was gone she would be with him exclusively and vice versa. And when we were both home; I got the bigger slice of the action, as I saw it, a sop to my ego.

Yes, our set up was anything but conventional, but so what. We didn't need anybody's permission. And, even I was getting to see the advantage to me in the arrangement. Our sex lives had never been so fantastic.

Ronald and I got along just fine thank you very much; and, Romy was more than helpful in that regard.

Things were working out.

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