Annabel sat at her dressing table in her new underwear and stockings and artfully applied cosmetics to her face. She was aiming for a natural look, which took some time to achieve. A sinfully expensive, cream silk frock lay waiting, draped across a chair, elegant, beautiful and sexy in an understated way. She thought about which scent to wear and decided on something light and barely there. Certainly not her husband’s last rather pungent gift, which remained unused and privately labelled ‘Bats Guano’.
In a few hours time she intended to meet and have sex (not this evening, though!) with a man who was not her husband. Thinking about it filled her with a mixture of pleasurable anticipation, anxiety and not a little guilt. She put the guilt firmly to the back of her mind. It was her husband’s fault, of course. She hardly saw him these days and was thoroughly sick of spending so much time on her own, unloved and lonely, while he attended endless business meetings.
Annabel had never been unfaithful. She discounted the kisses and furtive caresses at a drinks party with her husband’s Best Man and best friend, but it was, in fact, that particular incident (so thrilling and naughty!), combined with her husband’s absence, which had led her to a relationship in cyber space.
He was wonderful, her cyber-friend, and she was sure he wouldn’t be found wanting in the flesh, as it were. They hadn’t actually exchanged photos, agreeing that it would add to the excitement of their first meeting. This worried her just a little, but she couldn’t bring herself to believe he was lying when he described his appearance. Anyway, if he turned out to be short, fat and balding, she could walk away with no harm done. Oh, and he was also married, so she could rely on his absolute discretion. Perfect!
She was half an hour late as she entered the wine bar and saw, in an agony of terror, her husband sitting alone at a table and nursing a glass of red wine.
“Hello, Darling, what are you doing here?” they shrieked in unison, displaying rictus smiles.
“The meeting was cancelled, Darling, so I popped in for a quick drink before heading home”, he lied.
I’ve just been shopping, but couldn’t find anything I liked. Such a bore! The heat is quite exhausting so I thought I’d treat myself to a lovely cold G&T. We haven’t been here before, have we, Darling?”
“No, I don’t think so, Darling, but it’s nothing special is it? Shall we go to our favourite pub for a couple of drinks and find somewhere nice for an early dinner?”
“What a good idea, Darling”, she enthused. “We haven’t been out together for ages! Let’s go to the Italian restaurant, the one that always has truffles and the special wine you love.
They linked arms and set off down the road.
Annabel hoped that he hadn’t noticed the absence of her wedding ring, buried deep in her handbag. She would fix that problem in the pub loo. Harry fiddled surreptitiously in his jacket pocket and managed to slide his wedding ring onto the appropriate finger. In the circumstances, it was a blessing that they had ditched the classic but corny method of identification, in separate moments of caution or cowardice.
Meanwhile, back at the wine bar, at an intimate table for two in the back room, a handsome couple sat close together, exchanging lustful looks. Beside their linked hands sat two fading pink carnations.
God, she’s gorgeous, thought Henry, happily sipping his wine. I’ve always adored petite brunettes. Henry was well known for his attraction to petite brunettes, but his affections were short-lived and no longer applied to his current wife.
Just my type: tall, fair and handsome, thought Anna, in a delicious haze of excitement and G&T. It didn’t occur to her that he looked eerily like her husband.