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"Hi darling I'm home," Jake shouted as he closed the door behind him. Dumping his bags in the hall, he checked his watch. It was just after 10 p.m. and he was glad to be home at last. The flight back from his IT conference in Paris had been on time, but the combination of travelling, work and socialising was exhausting.
Of course he might have felt better if he hadn’t stayed out drinking far too much Pernod until 3a.m., chatting up the wildly attractive Octavia from Communications. Funny, he thought, how aloof she’d seemed at those strategy meetings they’d both attended a few weeks ago. But last night, she’d shown a completely different side of her character, and he hadn’t been able to stop himself from falling for her hook, line and sinker. So much so, that he’d been more than a little disappointed when she had refused his invitation to come back to his hotel room or chez nous as he had called it. He’d definitely have to orchestrate another meeting soon! Still now wasn’t the time to be thinking along those lines.
" Hi Jake, I'm in the kitchen, ” Helen, his wife, answered. Jake wondered what sort of a reception he was going to get. When he’d called Helen from the airport earlier, she’d given him the third degree for not answering his phone last night. Well he could hardly say he’d turned his mobile off because he didn’t want his wife ringing whilst he was trying to get inside the pants of the sexiest woman in Paris.
In fact the irony was that Helen had been totally on the wrong track, accusing him of shenanigans with Sarah his PA. For once his conscience was clear, so he’d been sharp with her for questioning him. Anyway Sarah had not been there last night, which was fine by Jake as she no longer interested him. God if he thought about it he’d been damn lucky not to be caught with her. Kissing her in his office, how stupid was that? Anyone could have walked in. Not to mention the chances of being seen getting into his car together when they’d gone for a lunchtime quickie at her flat. Just as well that she’d just started going out with a rich vet she met recently on a speed dating evening.
Jake took off his overcoat and walked through to the cosy kitchen at the back of the house. He loved this room with it's red aga, large kitchen table, warm lighting, and the family photos with their boys, Ben and Tim, that Helen had stuck in clip frames around the walls.
She was standing at the sink rinsing her coffee cup with her back to him. He was suddenly struck by her great figure. Absence really did make the heart grow fonder then. Tonight she was wearing low rise jeans and a white t-shirt. As she turned around to face him, he could see that she had put some makeup on and combed her hair
Still in pretty good nick, he thought.
"Hey, I missed you, gorgeous," he said, looking into her green eyes and realising at the same time how much he loved her. Leaning over to give her a kiss, he slipped his hands round her waist, but Helen quickly disentangled herself.
“ Did you Jake? Did you really miss me? Because its normal for husbands to ring home when they miss their wives. You never rang and you didn’t answer when I rang you. What am I supposed to think?”
“ Look Helen. I’ll be honest with you. You’re right. I had my phone turned off and a few of us stayed out drinking until some ungodly hour this morning, including my boss. But it was all completely innocent of whatever you are insinuating. Anyway you can’t go to bed before the boss can you? To tell you the truth I feel completely knackered now and I could do without being given a hard time.”
“ So what about Sarah, that new PA of yours. Was she with you?”
“ As it happens, Helen, she got taken ill after lunch. Some moules or something disagreed with her and she went back to the hotel, so she wasn‘t even with us. Okay! Satisfied! Now stop being so bloody neurotic and tell me what’s been happening at home.?”
Helen’s mind was racing. She must have been wrong about him last night after all. Looking at him now she realised she had jumped to the wrong conclusion about him and the PA. God she’d been a fool last night. How could she have let it happen. Sex with her son’s guitar teacher of all people! It wasn’t even as if Andy was that attractive. What a total idiot! There was only one way forward, and that would be to put it behind her and get on with her life as if it hadn‘t happened. Except for the fact that she would most certainly have to cancel Ben’s guitar lessons until she could find a new teacher!
“Oh you know, Jake” she replied in a throw away tone, “Just the usual stuff; tea, television, Ben’s music lesson."
She paused and laughingly said, “And of course having mad passionate sex with the music teacher on the sofa.”
Jake laughed too, safe in the knowledge that it was a joke. “ Well I wouldn‘t blame him for wanting to. You‘re looking pretty tasty if I may say so. And since its getting late I think its time I took you upstairs and showed you just how much I missed you.”

Jennifer Turner


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