The Lover

“I tell you guys, that was the strangest case I ever had.”  Mac Adams shook his head slowly and stared into his glass as if it held some secret wonder.

Fred thought he was just mugging for effect.  “Come on, Mac, don’t tease us. Strange how?”  They had all been buying pitchers and emptying them long enough to get into full swing with their best tales, stories only private detectives can tell, that they only tell each other — and that only after enough lubrication.

Mac grimaced and looked up, looked Fred right in the eye.  “We’ve all been asked to follow wives of jealous husbands, right?”

Nods all around.

“Well, I had this guy ask me to follow his wife, the usual, you know, to see who she was screwing, only he wasn’t jealous.  He was just concerned, said he wanted to know if he wasn’t, like, satisfying her enough.”  Knowing smirks.  “No, it wasn’t like that.   Honestly.  I met the two of them together first, before he ever asked me to follow her or anything, and. . . I’m telling you, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pair more obviously in love.  She was hanging on him like a cashmere jacket tailored to a perfect fit.  Everything they said or did just screamed, ‘Get me home to bed, now!‘ — and he told me later, when I got the assignment, that their sex life was. . . ‘superlative’, I think was the word he used.”

“So what’s his problem?” asked Fred.

“What I asked.”  Mac shook his head again, slowly.  “He said he had just been feeling like she wanted more.  He got tired after a while, you know how it is with, like, newlyweds, but they’d been married for five years and she was still hungry for it when he ran out of enthusiasm temporarily.”  Arched eyebrows said they all remembered occasions like that, most fondly.  “So he says, ‘Can you see where she goes?’  Apparently she disappeared for a few hours every other day and came back looking all glowy, know what I mean?”  This got a laugh, but Mac just smiled wryly.  “You laugh, but it wasn’t what you think.”

Sammy ordered another pitcher and urged Mac to continue.  “Okay, so you followed her, right?”

“I did that, indeed.  She would drive out to a little cabin on a lake just out of town, turns out it was their weekend getaway, hers and her husband’s, and a cosy little place, no question.”

The others were now staring raptly. It made Mac feel a little uncomfortable.  “Problem is, she’d pull up and go in, then an hour later she’d come out, glowy as hell, and take off.  But nobody else every showed up.”

“Came early, left late,” offered Fred.

Mac cocked his head to one side.  “Duh.  Obviously I sussed her schedule and headed out there several hours in advance.  Then I waited until the middle of the night for someone to come out.  Nada.  So finally one day I got there ahead of her and stuck a microphone on what looked like the bedroom window.  I settled back and waited.  She came and went.”

“As it were,” Sammy said.

“Ha ha.  I retrieved the mike and the recording, took it home and listened to it.”

“And?” said several people at once.

“And I heard what sounded like very nice lovemaking.  It was. . . gentle, thorough, very effective apparently.  But near the end I heard a third person.  A woman.  She was almost indistinguishable from the first female voice at first, but then it became pretty clear there were two women and one man.”

“Woo, who is this guy?”

“You’ll be surprised.  I took the recording to my client, left it with him and went home.  The next day he calls me over to his house and sounds real cheerful, says he’s ready to pay up.  I head over there and guess who answers the door when I knock?”

All wide-eyed and eager to know.

“The wife.  She has a big grin too.  And then the husband comes up behind her looking like the happiest man on earth.  I must have looked pretty shell shocked, because they sat me down, offered me a drink and a cheque — with a bonus — and explained.

“Seems wifey had recognized hubby’s slightly mismatched libido and took measures to alleviate the performance pressure on him.  She recorded them having sex, then took the recording out to their cabin and got off by herself just listening to it.  ‘I never wanted anyone else,’ she said, looking into his eyes, ‘but I wanted more of you, so I had you over again in my mind, every time I wanted.’  So both women were her!  And he was the guy.”

“Weird,” said Fred.

“Maybe.  I thought it was sort of sweet.”

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