Kim and Mark, Part 1

(by stinger27@gnn.com, 15 August 1996)


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From: stinger27@gnn.com

***

Chapter 1

Kim sat alone on the end of the sofa, sobbing softly so as not to wake Mark.
It was 3:30 am and he would be up in another half an hour and although she
wanted nothing more than to talk with him, she knew how the day ahead of him
would be. 

Captain Mark Wilson was an Army officer, who ten years after graduating from
West Point was the commanding officer of an infantry company that was
scheduled to depart that afternoon for a three month temporary duty
assignment (or TDY as the Army called it).  Kim had learned over the past
five years since their marriage to cope with the frequent separations but it
seemed they never got any easier.  She consoled herself with the thought
that while he would be gone for 90 days, he wasn't being sent to Bosnia like
so many of the other men who lived in their suburban neighborhood near the
Post. 

Kim had met Mark some seven years earlier when her older brother Keith, who
at that time, was himself an Army officer.  Keith had driven home on two
weeks leave that summer and had talked Mark into coming with him.  Keith had
assured Mark that they would not only have a great time, but that there was
an unbelievable number of beautiful single women that couldn't resist a guy
in uniform.  Mark had no special plans of his own, so the two young
lieutenants showed up in the driveway that July afternoon just as Kim had
settled into a lawnchair on the deck out back. 

She heard the car drive up, and ran to the front of the house to greet her
brother and very best friend in the world.  As she turned the corner, she
saw Keith getting out of the car and shrieked loudly at him to come and give
her a hug.  In her excitement, she hadn't noticed the tall, muscular,
well-tanned friend who was just a moment behind Keith in getting out of the
car.  As brother and sister hugged, laughed, and exchanged pleasantries,
Mark found himself standing off to one side, watching and feeling a little
bit awkward.  

Kim smiled in spite of her tears thinking back on that first meeting.  Once
she had noticed her brother's friend, she had felt powerless to stop herself
from staring.  Keith noticed the 'look' in his sister's eyes and moved
quickly to introduce them.  Kim was wearing a white, one piece bathing suit
and her long brown hair cascaded softly down to just above her shoulders.
Kim was athletic looking with long, slender legs, a shapely waist that
gracefully met the soft curves of her breasts-full, round, and very firm.
Mark, never at a loss for words, was barely able to mutter more than a
simple 'hello' as Keith introduced them. 

She had reluctantly excused herself, claiming a need to get back to her tan,
knowing that the guys would need some time to get settled in. The next day,
Kim noticed Mark alone in her father's study and knocked on the door as if
to announce her presence.  A conversation was struck and it was then that
Kim knew that she loved this man she had only just met.  They talked freely
about so many things.  Kim had dated many different guys in college and
found that she valued a man's ability to communicate as much or more than
any other single characteristic.  She had also decided that looks took a
second place to the real values she sought.  Love, caring, and
companionship.   Perhaps she was a little old fashioned for someone at a
liberal arts college, but she couldn't help feeling the way she felt. 

Mark had all of those qualities and just happened to be gorgeous.  Much to
Keith's feigned chagrin, Kim and Mark spent nearly every day and evening
with each other--talking, dinners, dancing, and more talking.  How could
anyone talk so much, Keith had wondered over and over. 

After Mark left, Kim found herself deeply involved in what she liked to call
a 'long-distance' love affair.  Mark called every day when he wasn't 'in the
field' (a term for being out on maneuvers with his platoon).  They traded
letters, which grew more passionate with the passing of time and Mark made
the long drive to Kim's place every time there was a three day weekend or
any time he could arrange leave. 

At Thanksgiving, Mark had invited Kim to spend the Christmas holidays with
him at his parent's home.  She eagerly accepted and found that she loved
Mark's parents as much as she loved him.  Yes, she told herself, I do love
him.  And it was on Christmas eve that Mark had proposed to her while they
sat alone in the family room, sharing a glass of wine.  Kim had cried, then
laughed, then cried some more.  She had not hesitated when he asked and had
immediately answered, 'Yes'. 

The wedding was set for mid-June and it had been a truly gala affair.  Her
father had spared no expense to ensure that his only daughter had been given
away in style.  Mark had arranged for two weeks leave and had made
reservations in the honeymoon suite of a cruise ship and a week in the
Caribbean.  It had been nothing short of a fairy tale wedding and honeymoon. 

As time had passed, Kim grew to love Mark even more deeply.  He was all the
things she had ever dreamed of and more.  She, in turn, wanted to be
everything he wanted and needed her to be.  She had majored in human
behavior and had done her senior thesis on male/female relationships.  Kim
was very aware of the basic differences in men and women and how they think,
what they need, and the kind of things they value.  Kim had never been one
to think of men as something to be tolerated, and had developed an
appreciation for the differences that made them unique. 

It seemed only natural for her to try and find out what things Mark liked to
eat, the kind of clothes he preferred her wear, and most of all, what he
found romantically interesting.  What she loved most about him was his
desire to do the same for her.  They seemed to have so much in common and it
was never a burden to do the little things for each other that made a good
relationship even better. 

Mark was so open, so honest.  Kim had learned that Mark loved her long hair
and she spent a great deal of time each morning setting it and then
carefully combing it out so that it was full and silky.  While she had
always dressed simply, jeans and T-shirts with maybe a flannel, Mark
preferred a dressier, softer look consisting of short skirts, sweaters, and
soft blouses.  She found that she preferred him in jeans and casual
button-down shirts but also the liked a dressier look consisting of Dockers
and sports shirts.    It was funny, but her old college friends would have
thought she was being possessed some kind of 'control freak'.  Nothing could
be further from the truth.  She knew that the best way to make any
relationship work was to give freely.  There was no issue of control, no
demands from either one of them on the other.  Just preferences and it
seemed just as easy to do, wear, or cook one thing as another.  So if
something could make the other happy, it seemed much more a pleasure than a
burden.  The money he made wasn't going to make them rich, but it allowed to
buy their own home and build a large wardrobe of beautiful clothes. 

Kim had always been one to get up early and start her day.  She made it a
point to get up, shower, put on her makeup, simple things she had always
done, and things that Mark never failed to tell her how much he appreciated
her.  Kim rarely allowed herself to spend even the early morning in her robe
and curlers.  She made it a point to get up early and get dressed, do her
hair, and make breakfast.  Kim had never considered herself a traditionalist
in the homemaker sense, but she had never imagined meeting someone quite
like Mark. 

Mark, in turn, was every bit as attuned to Kim's needs and desires.  He,
too, took great pride in the way he dressed and looked.  He ran nearly every
day and tried to get to the gym at least three days a week.  He regularly
bought flowers for her, sometimes having them delivered to the office where
Kim worked part time as a research assistant for a local psychologist.  He
never missed an important date--be it birthday, anniversary, or some special
event the two of them had shared. 

Kim thought of all these things as she contemplated the events of last
night's dinner with Keith, now out of the Army, and his wife, Janice.  The
two couples got together as often as time would permit especially since
Mark's latest assignment had moved them to within an hour of one another. 

Kim had never had so much as a jealous thought in all the years she had
known Mark, until after Keith's marriage to Janice.  Kim couldn't put her
finger on it exactly, but there was something about Janice that was
unsettling.  Perhaps it was the way Mark looked at her at times.  Kim was
totally confident of herself and her looks (she knew that while Janice was
an attractive woman, she was not in the same "league' with her.  This had
been confirmed by not only her own honest appraisal but by Mark, Keith, and
Janice herself at various times).  In fact, Janice had confided a certain
amount of jealousy toward Kim!  Nothing serious, but who wouldn't be,
considering Kim's model-like looks! 

So what had happened last night?  The four of them had gone to dinner in
what was without doubt the finest restaurant in the city.  A sort of going
away dinner for Mark.  The maitre'de had seated them shortly after there
arrival and they four of them ordered a bottle of their best champagne.  As
they looked over the menu, Janice reached into her purse removed her lighter
and pack of cigarettes.  Kim didn't care to sit in the smoking section, but
no one wanted Janice, the only smoker in the foursome, to be uncomfortable
for several hours not being able to smoke. 

She and Mark sat across from her brother and his wife, and Kim couldn't help
but notice Mark staring so obviously at Janice.  Kim felt uncomfortable and
a little hurt, but tried not to think too much on the matter, as she wanted
everything to be perfect for Mark's last evening with her for three months. 

At one point, Janice reached for a cigarette, and Mark quickly took the
lighter and offered her a light.  She brought the long, white filtered
cigarette to her lips and smiled, thanking Mark for the light.  Mark had
flushed slightly, something he almost never did except when he became very
aroused over something that turned him on immensely.  Kim was confident that
she knew every secret there was to know about Mark and found herself all the
more confused.  She noticed the beautiful, long sleeved yellow sweater that
Janice was wearing along with the short, matching pleated skirt and heels.
Kim was even more upset at this thought, as she had made it a special point
to wear Mark's favorite outfit of hers for him that evening.  It was a very
short, black spandex dress with black 3-inch strapped pumps.  She had only
worn it once before, and Mark was unable to take his eyes off her the entire
evening.  That night, they had made love more passionately (even wildly she
thought) than ever before. 

The champagne arrived, and Janice put out her cigarette, trying not to
offend anyone at the table with her smoke.  After a glass of champagne, the
conversation turned lively and Kim soon forgot her earlier pangs of
jealousy.  Dinner was ordered, and the four of them sat chatting easily.
Nearly an hour had passed since their arrival, and Janice reached for her
pack of cigarettes and extracted another one, this time looking directly at
Mark asking him if he would mind lighting it for her again.  Once more, Mark
flushed slightly and fumbled for the lighter, flicking it and holding it
just under the end of the cigarette until the end glowed red.  Janice
inhaled deeply, her cheeks caving in, then blew a stream of blew smoke into
the air as she tossed head back. 

Dinner came about 10 minutes later.  Everyone ate heartily as they were all
famished.  The bottle of champagne had been emptied, and Keith suggested
moving to the lounge where the band was just getting ready to play the first
song of the first set. 

Mark found a cozy table for four and helped Kim with her chair.  Standing
next to Janice, he also pulled her chair back and smiled broadly as she took
her seat.  Kim noticed that Mark chose the seat next to her and across from
Janice rather the one between them.  She told herself that enough was enough
with the jealousy thing and made a conscious decision to relax and enjoy the
rest of the evening. 

A favorite 'oldie' resounded from the band and Mark asked Kim to dance.  As
she put her arms around her husband, she felt the familiar sense of security
she always felt when he held her.  She closed her eyes and listened as they
danced, holding each other close.  As she turned, her back toward the
tables, she pulled back just enough to catch Mark's eye to let him know what
a wonderful time she was having.  As she looked up, she noticed his eyes
quickly move to meet hers.  She knew that he had been looking, no staring,
at Janice again.  As they turned slowly, she could see Janice, who was
talking quietly with Keith.  Janice seemed unaware that Mark had been
staring.  Drawing on her cigarette, Janice smiled at something Keith had
said, laughing as she exhaled a dense cloud of smoke. 

Kim was able to conceal her hurt, but there was no mistaking the feelings
she was feeling.  She knew she had to talk this out with Mark, but there was
no time for bad feelings.  This was his last night home for three long
months, but Kim knew that three could turn into an eternity if this went
unresolved. She bravely put on her most cheerful face the rest of the
evening which ended early, knowing that Mark had to be up by 4am and at work
by 5:30. 

As they drove home, Mark made small talk about the evening which allowed Kim
to confine her answers to simple yes or no's.  Mark sensed something was
wrong but didn't press the issue.  He was sure that Kim was beginning to
feel the emotions typically associated with his leaving.  It was natural and
all too familiar to him, as well.  He pulled into the driveway and went
around the car to open Kim's door and let her out.  She slid her long legs
out of the car and stood up, averting her eyes from Mark's, not wanting him
to see the hurt contained in them. 

They made their way upstairs to the bedroom where Kim sat silently on the
edge of the bed.  Mark sat down next to her and gently touched her long
blonde hair.  It was most unusual for Kim not to respond affectionately, but
she just sat there, a tear rolling down the side of her cheek.  Mark moved
closer and asked, "Honey, what's the matter?  Is it my leaving?"  Kim shook
her head softly and replied, "No".  "What then, sweetheart?  Why the tears?"
Kim began sobbing then found control of her emotions and said, "Mark, this
is so silly.  I'm embarrassed to mention it even though we've never hid
anything from each other.  I, I, well, tonight, I couldn't help but notice
how you seemed to pay so much attention to Janice.  Lighting her cigarettes,
helping with her chair, and what hurt most of all was your constant staring
at her.  I'm sure even she noticed although it didn't seem to bother her
any.  Tell me, am I seeing something that isn't there or is there some sort
of attraction I don't understand?" 

Kim held her breath as Mark waited to respond.  A million thoughts ran
through her mind as she imagined all the terrible things the man she loved
could say.  Her heart literally sank as he looked at her directly and said,
"Yes, there's an attraction there.  It's been there since the first time
Keith introduced us.  I haven't been able to find the words to explain it so
I've just made it a point not to discuss it with you.  I knew you'd never
understand." Kim stopped him and through her tears managed to say, "I've
always understood.  I've always been there for you.  But how can I deal with
your attraction for another woman?  My sister in law and your best friend's
wife!  Why, Mark, why?" 

"Honey, I'm not attracted to her per se.  It's well, ...it's so embarrassing
I don't feel I can discuss it.  Not even with you, Kim."  Kim fixed her gaze
directly at him and said, "Mark, I can't let you leave without this being
resolved.  If you don't love me, tell me.  If you're in love with Janice or
someone else, tell me.  But please don't tell me I won't understand and just
expect me to understand!  I deserve to know what you're thinking and most of
all what you're feeling.  Honey, please, I love you more than anything in
this world.  I have to know." 

Mark drew a deep breath and stood up, running his hand through his short,
dark hair.  He paced toward the dresser on the opposite side of the room,
then turned and looked at Kim whose mascara was mingled freely with the
tears that flowed down her face.  He lowered his head and told Kim just
exactly what was going on, recounting the events of last night.   

Kim had never seen Mark quite like this before.  He lowered his head and
began explaining what the attraction he had for Janice was all about.  He
was so vulnerable and childlike as he spoke; as though Kim might reach out
and destroy him at any moment with a harsh tirade of criticism.  In fact,
Kim felt nothing but an immense sense of relief wash over her and the most
heartfelt sense of understanding and sympathy for this man who had just
revealed what was perhaps the deepest 'secret' of his soul.  Mark was not
attracted in any way to Janice herself;  at least not physically or
emotionally.  Kim was overjoyed!  So much so that the significance of what
Mark had shared with was lost in comparison with what he had not said. 

Kim rushed to him to throw her arms around him.  Now it was her turn to
reassure him that everything was all right.  She had absolutely no feelings
that he was 'weird' or 'perverted'.  She told him how much she loved him and
how grateful she was for his trust in sharing something so personal.  "I
know you're upset by all of this, sweetheart and I certainly don't blame
you" he said.  "Upset?  No, honey, I'm as far from upset as I can possibly
be.  I can't imagine how difficult this was for you but I love you even more
for loving me and trusting me enough to tell me.  No, I'm not upset; if
anything, I love you even more."  She kissed him, not bothering to wipe away
the makeup that stained her pretty face.  He returned her kiss passionately,
lifting up her dress and pulling it up over her head.  She began unbuttoning
his shirt as he unhooked the front of her bra, exposing her full, round
breasts.  Mark cupped them gently in his hands, then kissed them fully,
lifting her off her feet and carrying her to their bed across the room.
Their passion grew as their lovemaking became more intense.  He entered her
with an urgency that neither one of them had ever felt before.  Kim began to
shudder from the first of several intense orgasms just as Mark climaxed,
filling her with his warmness.  Spent, Mark lay beside her, holding her,
telling her over and over how much he loved her and would miss her.  Kim was
unable to feel the sadness of his leaving--there would be ample time for
that tomorrow.  For now, she was utterly content and resolved that Mark
would never again have any need to look at Janice again the way he had that
night. 

It was 3:45.  In 15 minutes, the alarm would wake Mark.  She just had time
to get some coffee going and start breakfast.  She wanted everything to be
just right during their last hour together. 

As she finished with the coffee, she heard the alarm and the sound of Mark's
feet walking across the bedroom to the shower.  She could hear the water
running and thought of him, standing there alone, trying to come to life as
the hot water beat down on his muscled body.  Mark would shave in the
shower, as he always did to get that impossibly close shave which accented
his fairly chiseled features. 

At 4:30, he came downstairs dressed in a brown T-shirt and boxer shorts-his
normal pre-work 'uniform.'  Kim met him at the entrance to the kitchen.  She
smiled warmly, kissed him and told him to come in for breakfast. 

Kim poured two cups of coffee and they sat quietly next to one another,
touching hands, sipping their coffee.  Kim excused herself to bring in
breakfast.  Eggs, toast, and crispy bacon;  Mark's favorite breakfast which
he only rarely allowed himself.  He was quite a health nut, which made last
night's revelation all the more paradoxical, but nonetheless intriguing.
They ate quietly, barely speaking.  There was really little else to be said
that hadn't been said already.  They finished, and Mark took a second cup of
coffee upstairs where he changed into his uniform.  BDUs.  Battle Dress
Uniform Kim had learned long ago.  Mark often wore this uniform to work when
he was going to the field.  Today was different though because of the length
of time he was leaving for. 

Five o'clock.  Mark came downstairs with his bags.  One was a pack that had
his helmet and other containing his field gear, and a large green duffel bag
with everything else he would need for the three month deployment.  He sat
the bags down and took Kim's hand.  "Well, this is it.  I'm gonna miss you
so much, honey," he said.  He took her in his arms and kissed her deeply,
then held her as tightly as he could for as long as he dared.  As he let her
go, Kim said, "Sweetheart, I'll miss you too.  More than I can say.  I love
you so much.  Please be careful."  He assured he that he would and promised
to write or call as often as circumstances would allow.  He kissed her again
and turned to leave, when Kim stopped him and said, "Honey, I haven't been
able to stop thinking about what you said last night.  Before you go, I just
wanted to tell you that when you come home, things will be different."
"Different?" Mark asked.  "Different how?"  Kim smiled and said, "I have
something in mind that I think you'll like very much.  Just trust me on this
one!  And when you're all alone and thinking about me, there'll be something
else for you to think about that should go along way to keep things
interesting!"  Mark flushed, deeper than he had last night.  His breathing
quickened and he said, "Oh, God, Kim.  You can't be serious.  I mean, I know
I told you how I feel, but I never even considered that you'd..."  Kim
smiled and stopped him by putting her finger on his mouth and whispering
shhhh.  She said, "We don't have time to discuss it, you'll be late.  And I
know you well enough to know that we don't have to discuss anything.  This
is something I want to do for you, Mark.  And who knows, maybe I'll find I
enjoy it as much as you!  Now go, Captain Wilson, you have soldiers waiting,
and I have a mission of my own!"  Kim kissed him one last time as he picked
up his backs and headed for the car of a friend who had just pulled in to
take him to the Post.  As he placed his bags in the trunk, he turned and
waved good-bye to Kim blew her a kiss.  She did likewise and watched him as
the car pulled away. 

Kim closed the door behind her and walked back to the dining room to clear
the dishes.  As she placed them in the dishwasher, she thought again of the
things Mark had told her, and of the decision she had made early that
morning.  Closing the door, she headed upstairs to shower, and recounted
last night's conversation to herself. 

"Honey," Mark had begun, "I don't exactly know how to start this so I guess
I'll just begin by being as honest and straightforward as I know how.  I was
paying a lot of attention to Janice tonight and yes, I was staring at her.
But it wasn't her I was staring at.  It was what she was doing that
literally mesmerized me.  I have this thing, I mean, I find myself attracted
to certain women who, well, this is really hard to say.  Since I was a
teenager, I've had more than just a thing for an attractive woman who
smokes."  Mark paused and looked up at Kim to gauge her reaction.  She had
stopped crying and looked intently at him, indicating by her body language
to go on.  Encouraged, Mark continued.  "I guess the proper term for such a
thing is a 'fetish' like I've read about where some people have a thing for
shoes or being tickled or whatnot."  At that, Kim laughed.  Mark was
immediately self-conscious and again lowered his head.  He said, "I knew you
couldn't possibly understand and I don't expect you to."  Kim interrupted
him and told him that her laugh was directed at the mention of 'tickling'
and was not meant in any way to be critical of his feelings.  In fact, she
assured him, she didn't think there was anything 'abnormal' about what he
had just shared.  She said she couldn't understand why he hadn't said
something long before instead of trying to keep something so important to
him to himself.  Mark replied, -I knew you'd understand from a psychological
standpoint because of your educational background.  But I didn't feel I
could personalize it for fear you might be upset with me.  Don't get me
wrong, I'm not asking you to smoke, I'm just trying to explain how I feel
and why and most of all, to assure you that I don't have romantic feelings
for any other woman--especially Janice." 

"But would you enjoy watching me smoke?" Kim asked poignantly.   Mark
blushed openly, again, and worse than she had ever seen him before.  "Yes,
of course, but I'm objective enough to realize that I couldn't enjoy it
unless it were something you wanted to do.  I couldn't deal with the guilt
if I talked you into doing something you weren't comfortable with."  Kim sat
quietly for a few seconds and said, "I'll think about it.  I can't make any
promises except that I'll consider trying it.  Does that sound fair?"  Mark
stammered and answered, "It seems unfairly fair.  I can't think of anything
more exciting to me but I can't imagine anything that seems more unfair to
you.  I'm sorry I brought the whole thing up.  I should have just kept it to
myself and things would have been fine.  Now I'm embarrassed by this whole
thing."  "Honey, I'm not one of your soldiers, I'm your wife and I don't
like the thought of you keeping anything from me.  Our whole relationship is
built on trust and open communication.  Both of us have to be able to
confide in the other-about anything.  Actually, I'm just so relieved that
there isn't another woman!  Anything else is 'small stuff'.  Now, come here
and let's quit talking for awhile.  And don't give it another thought.
After all, have I ever disappointed you before?"  Mark shook his head 'no'
and reached out to take her in his arms as she moved toward him.  


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