Short Story: The Encounter-Part III
This story has been divided into three parts due to its length. Please be sure to read Parts I & II before reading Part III. If you have started Part III you have reached the conclusion.
The Encounter-Part lll
The early morning rendezvous stretched into mid-afternoon with very little sleep in between. The toast he had made the night before had come true, thanks to his crafty maneuvering. She proved to not only be an experienced and agile partner, but much more open to his unconventional desires than he could ever have hoped for. His fantasies of their bodies entwined unfolded in one hedonistic act after the other. Her obedience to do whatever he suggested, coupled with her youthful exuberance, allowed her to follow his lead without hesitation. Finally, however, he realized that the pleasure they had succumbed to would soon end as the reality of his flight home drew near.
Ordering room service, he carried her into the bathroom for one last licentious shower. His moans of ecstasy echoed through the air as her lips, tongue and hands explored all.
Later, they fed each other fruit and pastries, and gazing into her eyes he told her, “You are the most enchanting lover I have ever met.”
He brought her hand to his lips and tenderly kissed it, murmuring, “I will never forget you.”
As always, the finality of his words took a moment for his partner to comprehend and when it did it usually brought, as it did this day, a look of surprise at its abruptness. No whimsical clinging to ideas of carrying the fling any further than beyond the confines of the hotel room. No entertaining thoughts of obtaining phone numbers or email addresses…they had not even exchanged last names.
She knew nothing more about him this afternoon than she had last night, other than the fact that he had an insatiable sexual appetite. This realization left her feeling used despite knowing she had willingly joined him.
He was perceptive to the precariousness of the moment and knew the wrap up would have to be orchestrated quickly and efficiently if he was reading her correctly. In a few moments the shock that their rendezvous was coming to a screeching halt would wear off and it would occur to her then that this was nothing more than a glorified one-night stand. He hoped to be far away from her before any emotional storm could erupt.
He needed to keep her off balance just a little longer as they made their way out the door to their respective destinations. The best way he knew how to do that was by his gift of gab. Flattery and courtesy…his best show of gentlemanly etiquette. She was too unsophisticated to realize he was herding her in the direction he wanted her to go and his pretense of concern for her was enough to confuse her.
As he hurriedly dressed he also packed, glancing first at his watch, then at her sitting befuddled on the side of the bed, her eyes following his every movement. He sat next to her and extended his hands to the sides of her face, as if speaking to a child.
“I know, I know,” kissing her forehead, her nose, her lips, and pressing her head to his chest as he stroked the back of her hair. “I wish this didn’t have to end myself. This has been the best twelve hours of my whole trip. Hurry and get dressed now, and I’ll have time to drop you off where ever you would like.”
He stood up and began moving his suitcase toward the door, stopping to glance over his shoulder, and with a little pause, said firmly, “Unless you would prefer for me to get you a cab?”
That always got them.
The idea of being sent home alone in a taxi was too much for her and she suddenly realized that he could just leave her here to let herself ‘out the door’. Why, giving her taxi fare and exiting without further adieu was bordering on being paid for her services like a common whore!
He knew it was a decisive moment and, as predicted, it prompted her to dress, grab her purse, and follow him to the door where he took her hand in his. Gently caressing the side of her face, he brushed her curls back and gave her an endearing kiss.
“Thank you, for a wonderful evening” he said looking deeply into her eyes and whispering with fierce sincerity, “You are a beautiful woman, and I mean that both inside and out. Don’t ever forget that. Any man would be lucky to share his love with you.”
She blinked her green eyes several times to keep the tears away. How could you be mad at a man who was so charming? Bewildered, no words would come to her as he gently put his arm around her and stepped into the light of the day.
It wasn’t until he was actually on the plane that he remembered to return the ring to his finger. He winked at the flight attendant as she delivered his cocktail and settled back into the roomy leather seat to review his weekend.
As always, he had chosen the perfect partner--young enough to be slightly intimidated by him--yet old enough to know how to give and receive a myriad of carnal delights.
“And what delights they were,”he chuckled aloud, pleased with himself. He felt slightly culpable for how sad she looked after he had dropped her off at her destination but he refused to think of how he may have hurt her. She would get over him soon enough with her looks and youth. She had her whole life ahead of her to find true love. She was hardly going to miss him, he thought convincingly to himself.
In another four hours he would be with his wife, his weekend at his friend’s wedding a mere memory to savor when he needed a pick-me-up. He did not experience remorse for the extramarital activity he had engaged in because, as far as he was concerned, it came with the territory. His wife was so busy with the kids and her volunteer work that she was always too tired for their relationship. What they did engage in was old and routine--boring, if you will. As long as he brought in his six figures for the family, she did not complain. Besides, who could blame him for seeking a break in the mundane? This little extravaganza was just the refreshment he needed and she would never know.
He thought of his wife’s aloofness all these years. With each business trip or college get-together the lies had gotten easier and she never seemed to notice…or care. Besides, he had only been gone thirty-six hours, how much trouble could he have managed to get in? Let sleeping dogs lie…even if the old hound was Jack.
Amused, he chuckled again and took a sip from his cocktail, contentedly replaying the events once more.
As the airport limousine approached his address, he could not help but notice how dark everything appeared. None of the house lights were on although it was just turning nine. He supposed they could be in bed early, but that was not their routine. His hands trembled as he unlocked the door. He had a peculiar feeling he was not going to like what he saw.
The house was beyond quiet--it was shut down. Not even the dog came out to greet him. He called out to the family but no one answered. Perplexed, he made his way to the kitchen where the stove light cast eerie shadows along the Italian tiled floor. As he entered the room his eyes fell on a manila envelope lying on the counter with his name on it. His hands shook as he removed the contents.
Dear Jack, the note read, enough is enough and one time was too many.
His past flashed before him as a series of glossy prints tumbled out of the envelope. Speechless, he gazed at photo after photo. Sickened, he doubled over in agony as the reality of his actions hit with full force, his gaze fixed on the final photo of him kissing his latest conquest at the door of his hotel room.
Notes about the short fiction piece: The Encounter
I created The Encounter from a basic writing exercise. In the attempt to build the character of Jack, the depth of the story unfolded as the psychological makeup of this man’s behavior was revealed. This short story was completed in 2009.
No part of this original short story may be used, copied, or reproduced in any way without the expressed written permission of the author, Denise Handlon
Did you suspect the ending?
- The Encounter-Part I
The Encounter The man knew he was going to pick her up as sure as he knew his name was Jack. He spotted her earlier in the buffet line and later observed her dancing with a little girl of four or so. She...
- The Encounter-Part 11
As smoothly as he maneuvered himself between her and the man she stood beside, he slid the gold band off his finger, dropping it deep into the pocket of his gray dress slacks, and pressing his body subtly...