There’s a tradition in some cultures where if someone compliments something of yours three times, you’re obligated to give said item to that person.
Hayley certainly wasn’t mine to give away. Fifteen years of marriage allowed for a lot between husband and wife, but we’d never become each other’s possessions.
Still, I was excited by the attention Stewart was giving my spouse. His eyes had been tracking her all night at the party. Now and then, almost like he was only half-aware, he would murmur some laudatory comment about her.
Stewart was at the age I had been when Hayley and I got married. He and I both worked at the same firm, and this fancy gala we were all attending was to benefit a worthwhile charity our company supported. Hayley, as usual, was mingling with effortless grace, turning the heads of many of the men there — and a few of the women.
Hayley was beautiful. Her years gave her an alluring worldliness that discerning eyes couldn’t fail to notice. I loved her with every fiber of my being. But we had certain unusual needs and had adjusted our marriage accordingly over the years. Now we had it down to a system.
“She makes me think of something out of mythology,” Stewart said, a glaze on his eyes as he watched Hayley across the crowded hall. “Like she’s some goddess come to earth.”
I hid a smile by taking a sip of champagne.
At the same instant Stewart appeared to finally catch himself in the act. His mouth tightened, and he looked at me with a startled expression. “Oh. Ah. Sorry.”
“What’s to be sorry about?” I asked. I stepped closer, adding in a hushed tone, “She is incredible. Look at how she fills out that gown. Those beautiful breasts, that toned yet supple figure. Her skin is like silk, you know. So smooth under your hand. And the scent of her is an aphrodisiac all its own. When you put your face down between her naked spread legs… ”
Sweat popped out visibly on his forehead. He was falling under the spell I was weaving. Suddenly, though, he caught himself again. “Mr. C!” He sounded scandalized, but with a raw edge of excitement in his voice. He was a fine, fit, healthy male. I knew the kind of men Hayley liked, and she’d like Stewart.
“I think you can call me Ray,” I said.
“But — ”
“But you want my wife. So, let’s see how she feels about it.”
Hayley, as she’d circumnavigated the room, had kept an eye on me. I gave her a nod, and she came gliding over. Her lovely face glowed with a seductive aura.
“This is Stewart,” I told her as a deep-seated anticipation stirred within me.