Lisa settled deeper into her seat while looking out the window. They were off the college campus now and moving onto the highway. Lisa and her husband Mike Lars had just dropped their youngest c***d, Samantha, at her new school. In just two weeks' time, they had gone from having a full house to being empty nesters. It was a bittersweet feeling but also exciting at the same time.
Mike and Lisa met their sophomore year of college and Lisa had fallen desperately in love with him. They had been inseparable for the next two years and married the summer before their senior year. Mike was in a five-year program to receive his MBA, so Lisa found a position teaching at a small private school while Mike finished his final year. Once he graduated, they moved to Mike's hometown where Mike joined his father's small company as a production manager.
Mike's first paycheck came not a moment too soon. Their son Joshua was born six weeks after Mike started his new job. The young couple was ecstatic with their son and formed the picture of the happy young family. Two years later they were joined by Samantha. Everything was perfect.
Lisa stayed at home until Samantha started school. Then she returned to the classroom talking a position as a Fourth grade teacher in the same district that her c***dren attended. Lisa loved working with c***dren and it helped fill her days while the k**s were away in their own schools.
Her father-in-law owned a small fabrication shop when Mike graduated. The elder Lars was an incredible engineer whose shop produced high quality specialty parts for a number of industries including for space applications. Their niche was low volume, high quality at a good cost point per unit. Low volume meant the per unit cost was higher but Lars Manufacturing routinely beat out their competition on the quality even at a higher price point.
Mike and his father formed a great team. Where John Lars was a great engineer, he was not a skilled businessman. Mike knew enough engineering to speak intelligently but he didn't inherit his father's gift and passion. However, Mike was a great business mind. Mike handled sales, negotiations, and supply chain leaving his father free to design and invent. Mike was able to reduce their prices while John kept up the quality. Together they built Lars Manufacturing into the powerhouse in their niche.
Six years ago, tragedy struck when John Lars had a massive stoke and died at his desk. He was only 55 but was also overweight and smoked. He would loudly proclaim that eating and smoking helped him concentrate on his designs. It might have been true but it also probably cost him his life. Mike took over full control of the business and hired three young engineers to fill John's role. Two of these engineers were competent workers. The third, Tony Gillis, showed the same creative spark John had. After two years, Tony was named Director of Engineering and formed almost the same partnership Mike had with his dad. The biggest difference was John and Mike were family so shared ownership responsibilities. Now with John gone, Mike assumed total ownership. This caused longer hours and more travel than ever before.
Lisa looked over at her husband. At just 40, Mike still looked good. He'd learned from his father's example. His dark hair was just touched with gray and he kept himself in shape. Never a runner, Mike preferred water sports such as white water rafting and SCUBA diving to keep active. Lisa was never that into getting wet but was happy to lie out on the dive boat while Mike and their two k**s did their dives. Not that Lisa let herself go. Long hours at the gym doing Pilates, Zumba, and yoga kept her in great shape. Lisa's 5'5 trim figure, B-cup breasts and taunt ass turned heads wherever she went. A Fourth grade teacher, Lisa was popular with the fathers on Back to School Nights.
Having the k**s off to college at once was a surprise. Josh graduated third in his high school class and was accepted into the same engineering school his grandfather attended. The school focused on the practical and forced students to take three six-month co-ops during their five-year program. Josh would finish the five years with his MS in Nuclear Engineering if he stayed on task. Yes, where his grandfather focused on practical mechanical engineering, Josh wanted something a bit flashier. But Josh wasn't the surprise.
That was Samantha.
Sam graduated a full two years early and pushed her older brother out of the second place of their graduating class. Josh simply laughed and was proud of his baby sister. Sam had worked incredibly hard the last three years to graduate early and he said she deserved it. Josh did tease her a bit about missing the Valedictorian slot due to a B+ in an art class. Now Sam was starting a pre-med and molecular biology program at an Ivy League school. Lisa was happy for her daughter but saddened that she would miss seeing her daughter have the traditional high school experience. Lisa was a bit biased but was certain her daughter at 18 would be a sure winner for prom queen. They had grown apart a bit the last few years and a part of Lisa wished to have those two years to reestablish her relationship with Sam.
Lisa turned without a word to look back out the window. Things would be so different now. The next few weeks would be rough for everyone but it had to be done.
"Any regrets?" Mike asked.
Lisa sighed. "A few. But I'll live with them. It's time for a new chapter in our lives." Mike laughed.
"You make it sound like we're dying. Hell, with instant messaging and Skype it will be almost like the k**s have never left."
"That's true," Lisa agreed.
During the next four hours of their drive, Lisa and Mike engaged casual conversations of a long married couple: neighborhood gossip, things around the house and other mundane things. Today was a Thursday and Mike had taken Friday off to do some things around the house so Lisa was loading up the honey-do list. Finally, they arrived home and Mike pulled the minivan into its slot in the garage.
Normally the three-car garage housed the two-year-old minivan, Mike's Camry and the 2013 Corvette Mike bought himself. The Vette was a bone of contention for Lisa. Mike had simply shown up with it one night two years ago without a word to her. Mike said it was a gift for the company signing their largest contract to date on a large contractor on a NASA contract. Technically it was owned by the company so Lisa had limited room to complain. The k**s had loved it immediately.
Once the van was parked, Lisa pulled her slightly sore body out of the van. Eight hours in the car today, lugging all of Sam's stuff into her dorm, and the rough sex the night before had Lisa dying for a hot shower and bed.
"I need to run out for milk," Mike said even as he climbed out of the van also. Lisa groaned.
"Why didn't you stop on our way in?" Their house was ten minutes out of town and they had passed two stores after they left the highway.
"You looked like you needed to get home and I don't mind." Lisa felt a small bubble of gratitude at Mike's consideration. He was such a good man at times.
"I'm taking the Vette. It's a gorgeous night and a hell of a lot more fun to drive than that minivan." Lisa waved that off. Before Lisa was even in the house, Mike was in the car and pulling out of the garage. With a roar of the V8, he was gone.
Lisa walked up to her room and undressed for her shower. She felt like she was missing something. Mike was such a great guy. In many ways, he was the perfect husband and father. But soon he would be gone and Lisa would be on her way to her new life.
Three years ago, Mike's constant travel was getting to her. The company was doing great, the k**s were great but Lisa felt alone. Intellectually, Lisa knew it wasn't Mike's fault after losing his dad, but emotionally, Lisa was feeling abandoned.
One night when Mike was away and the k**s were off with their friends, Lisa went to a restaurant with some fellow teachers. They had fun and a few bottles of wine to support that fun. On a whim they carried on to the club next door. She'd been dancing with Bob Weirner, a fellow teacher, when someone cut in. It was Tony Gillis, the engineer from Mike's company.
Tony was a wonderful dancer and Lisa had a great time. When the other teachers left, Lisa stayed to dance some more. When the night came to end, Tony called her a cab to get her home. She gave him a warm hug and a peck on the cheek before climbing into the cab.
A week later Mike was again off on a trip and Tony sent her a text inviting her out to another night of dancing. Lisa was thrilled and had another great night. She met several of Tony's friends and they welcomed her to their group. Lisa felt more alive than since she and Mike were first married. Lisa knew it was harmless fun and innocent but never mentioned it to Mike. It felt a bit naughty and she saw it as her own little revenge for leaving her alone so often.
The dancing became a regular event when Mike was on travel. Josh was involved in hockey so was usually out for practices until 11pm because they didn't get ice time until 9. He would go home after school, eat dinner, and be gone before Lisa was due home from school. So he never noticed Lisa's absences. Samantha was trickier. She wasn't into sports so Lisa signed her up for a series of 'enrichment' classes at the local community college. The classes were on different nights so Lisa's nights out had no pattern. Plus she never went on weeks when Mike was home.
Tony was a blessing and became her best friend and confidant. He would sit at dinner before their dancing and listen to her talk about how Mike left her alone. She did admit with a shy smile how now with the dancing she looked forward to his absences. Tony was her rock.
Hesitantly at first, Tony started to confess how he felt misused by Mike also. Tony opened up how Mike ignored good engineering to squeeze more profit out of the business, how Mike sold ideas Tony developed to their customers for huge money and never shared the proceeds with Tony. Lisa was furious on behalf of her new best friend and wanted to confront Mike right away. Tony calmed her down saying that legally Mike had him bound by a contract he'd signed when he first joined the company. The company owned the intellectual property rights to anything the employees developed so nothing forced Mike to 'share the wealth'.
Angry at her husband's abandonment of her and abuse of her friend, Lisa leaned over and hugged Tony. The hug turned into a passionate kiss. They quickly left the restaurant and went straight to Tony's townhouse. They never made it to dancing that night.
Lisa refused to call it an affair. She was in love with her true soul mate. The sex was wild and fun. Tony was the man she was meant to be with. The thirty-six year old mother of two and schoolteacher wanted to divorce her husband and move on to a new life with her true love, her husband's twenty-nine year old employee. They still went dancing once a week but any other time Lisa got that the k**s and Mike were out of the house, she was often in Tony's bed.
Two things stopped her from going forward with her divorce though.
The first were her k**s. She'd seen enough of her students go through divorces that she didn't want them to grow up in two homes. Mike was a great father when he was home and she had enough residual feeling for him to want him to still be with his k**s but she wouldn't give them up either.
The second was a suggestion from Tony. Mike had just promoted Tony to Director of Engineering with a much larger paycheck and a great annual performance bonus. Tony wanted to wait a while so he could establish himself in the position and with the customers. Tony said that Lisa could get the company as part of the divorce and they would run it together the way it was supposed to be run. Tony claimed the engineering and production staff would support Tony over Mike who was seen as an absentee boss.
Together the lovers developed their plan for their own future and support. They would wait for Samantha to graduate before starting to activate their plan. In the meantime, Tony would develop his support among the employees so they were ready when the time came.
Lisa stepped dripping naked from her shower. Her muscles felt relaxed for the first time all day. She and Tony had celebrated Sam's leaving for school the night before and her lover wore her out. He slammed her so hard in all her holes that sitting in the minivan all day was hard. Sam's early graduation allowed them to move up their plan a full two years and Tony's was really excited. The hot water and lotions had done wonders and now she was ready to crawl into bed. Hopefully Mike didn't want to 'celebrate' with her tonight.
Wrapping a large, fuzzy towel around her body, Lisa walked into the large walk-in closet she shared with Mike. She grabbed her robe and turned to walk out but then suddenly froze. She turned to look back in the closet.
All of Mike's things were gone.
Lisa ran over to Mike's dresser and saw the top had been cleaned off. Yanking the drawers open - they were empty too. All of Mike's personal things were missing from the bathroom too.
Lisa ran down the stairs and saw nothing amiss in the kitchen. It was in the family room she noticed that some of the family photos were missing from the wall and Mike's movie collection was gone too. Her panic was complete when she reached Mike's home office and it was completely cleaned out.
She sank to the floor as the enormity of the situation hit her. Mike had left her. He waited until Sam was off to school and he'd left her! The sudden fear shot through her that Mike knew about Tony and their plans.
Lisa ran back up the stairs to grab her cell phone. She had to call Tony!
Running into her room, Lisa spotted an envelope sitting on a DVD in the middle of her bed. With trembling hands, Lisa picked up the envelope and saw her name written in Mike's hand on front. She opened it and read:
I've loved you since we first met. You were the only one I wanted to spend my life with. It has been my greatest failing that this will never be true.
I couldn't avoid my travel, not and keep the business. You never said you had a problem. Instead, you ran to the arms of that conniving weasel Tony. I was shocked when I found out you were fucking that snake in the grass.
If there was ever some Eddy Haskell wanna-be, it is Tony. Tony kissed my ass in the office and then stabbed me in the back when I was gone. I found out too late after I promoted the rat what he was really like. He turned my staff against me just like he turned my wife into his personal slut. A misquote here and an insinuation there and he had the engineering staff ready quit en masse.
I was an idiot and knew nothing about your affair until it had already been going for a year. When I read my investigator's report I knew it was too late to save our marriage. There was no road back from this betrayal. The only thing I agreed with you was waiting for Sam to graduate.
Don't worry about telling the k**s. They already know. In fact, Sam it the one that told me. Our 14 year-old daughter had to tell her father that her mother was a cheating slut! Remember the sudden dive trip where I took Sam to the Keys? She had come home and heard a rather graphic conversation you were having with your fuck buddy. She collapsed to the floor and you completely missed her when you left to meet that asshole. Sam called me to come home to her. It took me the whole four-day weekend to get her to hold it together. Of course, I later found out you spent almost that whole time in Tony's bed whining about me abandoning you! I've had her in counselling ever since we returned from that trip.
You know Sam's drive to graduate early? When I decided to stay with you until she graduated, Sam decided to work to graduate early. I almost ended it right there and go for the divorce but Sam demanded that she could do it. I was so proud and heartbroken by her decision.
We didn't tell Josh until after his graduation. He's been seeing Sam's counselor ever since. He was shocked that his mother would ever do such a thing. I had to show him the edited version my evidence to get him to believe Sam and me. I got him to realize you still loved him and his sister and stayed for them. I think that may be the only thing that saves your relationship with him. Good luck with Sam though!
As to you and loveboy's plan to steal my company - you never realized the company was owned by a family trust. With Dad's passing, the shareholders are his descendants. That would be our two k**s and me. It would never be considered part of our common property in a divorce. Only the salary I drew, my pension, and the house fall into that category. That's why I had the Trust buy my Vette!
I can't sell off the Trust but I can - with the Board of Trustees - divest the Trust of the company! The Trustees consist of Josh, Sam and I. When the employees of Lars Manufacturing arrive in the office on Monday they will be in for a hell of a shock. I'd tell you but why spoil the surprise!
I found the letter you planned to have delivered to me when you had me served. As the song said, "I guess you felt you had to set things right." Well, I've got some news for you and you'll soon find out it's true. And you'll have to eat your lunch all by yourself.
But I am already gone.
If only you had talked to me.
For the last time:
PS: The DVD contains some of your greatest hits! Be sure to watch the videos in the folder called Tony Uncovered!
Lisa collapsed onto her bed with the thoughts of her c***dren knowing just what their mother had been doing and planning to do to their father.
"Oh, god," she cried out. "I've lost them all!"
When the employees of Lars Manufacturing arrived in the office they were greeted with an email announcing the sale of the company to a much larger company looking to take over their niche. Mike never appeared at the office. Instead, it was the new owners and Mike's corporate lawyer that appeared. The long-term production and support teams found their pensions were guaranteed with at least five more years of employment or a buy-out equal to any remaining time. The engineers that fell in with Tony got no such guarantee. They turned on Tony as his promises of a lucrative future turned to ash.
Tony tried to call Lisa to find out what happened but found his calls going straight to voice mail. He knew Mike was home all weekend so he'd never expected a chance to talk with Lisa. Now she was avoiding his calls. Tony finally decided to drive over in a fit of desperation to try to salvage his plans.
He pulled into Lisa's driveway and looked for any sign of Mike. A glance in the garage told him the Corvette was gone. That meant Mike was out too. Ringing the doorbell brought no answer so he just walked in.
"Lisa?" he called out. There was no answer. He called out several times as he searched the house.
He finally found Lisa sitting on her bed watching a video on the flatsceen TV mounted on the wall.
"Lisa?" he asked.
Seemingly ignoring him, Lisa reached out a hand with the remote and pressed play. The TV sprang to life and Tony was shocked to hear his own voice coming from the screen.
"Well, the bitch is hot," the on-screen Tony was saying. Tony recognized it was his own entertainment room and several of his friends. "I don't think I could have done it if she wasn't. A little TLC and she was on my cock in an instant. I'm going to take that asshole's company away by screwing his old lady into giving it to me! Hell, I'll wait a few years and bang his daughter too! She's hot as shit but I can't do jailbait!" That was met by rough laughter and vulgar suggestions shouted by his friends.
Tony recognized when the video was recorded. It was eight months ago. The same day it was announced that the 16 year-old referred to would be allowed to graduate that year. Tony was so excited to have his plans move forward by two whole years.
Lisa paused the video.
"Get out," she said in a dead voice. "You've cost me everything and Mike has destroyed us both."
"Get out. If Mike hadn't taken his .40 Sig Sauer with him I'd have shot you as you came in the door and then one for me. Just go. Good luck ever finding a job in this field again. Mike will see to that." Then Lisa turned and faced the wall. Minutes or hours later, when she turned back he was gone. She never saw him again.
Lisa was served the on Tuesday. She wasn't surprised to see that Mike had been completely fair in his divorce offer; a 50/50 split with her keeping their $1.2m house and Mike taking most of their long-term investments. A lump sum balanced between the current value of his pension and her's though her school district. An educational trust covered the k**s schooling and expenses. For this fairness, there was no alimony and no other contact. In return, the videos would never see the light of day.
Mike would have full custody of Sam but she would be at college most of the year so it was almost a moot point. A personal note from Sam though said she refused to be forced to spend the next two years of school breaks with "my mom and her fuck buddy." Reading such words in her sweet daughter's handwriting was even worse than those damned videos.
What had she done?