I took a deep breath and tried to ignore the fluttering of my own heart. They were staring at me. All of their beady little eyes watching, waiting for me to confess all my dirty sins in one exhale so I could take the first step toward healing and recovery.
I felt ridiculous up there. Healing and recovery… what a crock of shit! Why was it so wrong to love love something that felt so right? Society was seriously messed up if they thought they could stop people from having sex with a twelve-step program and a heavy layer of guilt. God, I wanted nothing more in the world than to find the strength to walk out the door and never look back, but I couldn’t do that.
My husband Kenny was counting on me to see this through, and after everything I’d done to him in the last five years, I couldn’t let him down again.
I swallowed my pride and allowed the air that filled my lungs to deflate in one long sigh that fluttered the loose pieces of hair that dangled over my brow.
“Hi,” I began, my voice cracking under the pressure of that one word. “My name is Lila and…”
And what? I was a slut? A whore? And I had a problem with sex? The absurdity of those words alone was almost enough to make me laugh.
“And I… I am… I guess I am a sex addict.”
A chorus of greetings circulated the room, a combination of male and female voices, young and old, fat and thin, stunning and hideous. My inner-cynic wondered how in the hell someone as fat and dirty as the greasy guy taking up half of the second row could possibly be a sex addict, the power of his hungry gaze as he stared me down told me far more than I’d ever want to know about him.
“Welcome Lila.” The group leader’s name was Grace, and judging from the smug, yet peaceful look she wore, I couldn’t imagine anyone like her had ever fallen, but Kenny had promised me that everyone in the group would be like me. “Do you feel comfortable telling us why you’re here?”
I didn’t feel comfortable with any of it, and as I surveyed the door again, my conscience battled the burning urge inside me to bolt into the night and never look back. “Uh…” I looked down at my hands, a mixture of shame and discomfort burning in my cheeks. “I guess I’m here to try and save my marriage.”
Grace nodded, and as I glanced into the sea of faces before me, I caught a few other knowing nods as well. It didn’t give me much confidence, but I swallowed my pride and dove in.
“I’ve been cheating on him since before we were even married,” I admitted. “And not just like once or twice, but all the time,” I said. “On our wedding day, I had sex with all the groomsmen before we even said our vows, and at the reception I fucked my father-in-law in the… Can I say that? That I fucked someone?”
It was Grace’s turn to blush a little, and I found myself wondering once again just how tainted someone like her could be. “Say whatever you need to say to make yourself comfortable, Lila.”
A thin, embarrassed smile drew at the corners of my mouth, but quickly faded once I remembered they were all staring at me like a pack of starving wolves. “So anyway,” I went on, “I had sex with my father-in-law at the wedding reception. I guess that’s not exactly a good start to a marriage.”
“We are not about judgment here, Lila,” Grace told me. “We have all been there, and some of us are still there now, struggling to overcome our inner-demons.”
“I didn’t even know I had demons,” I admitted. “I mean, sure, I’ve always loved sex.
Even before I knew what it was, I used to masturbate almost nonstop because I couldn’t get enough of that wonderful feeling whenever I came. The out-of-control sense of freedom and release, the carrying of that dirty little secret… It’s always turned me on.
Then I started having sex and once I started, I just wanted more and more and more, every day, all the time.
“And Kenny and I, that’s my husband, Kenny,” I explained. “Kenny and I have been together since we were in high school. We broke up off and on because I just wanted more, but he always forgave me and drew me back in because he said he couldn’t live without me. He said once we were married and had kids, I would settle down, but it just didn’t happen that way.
“I mean… no matter how hard I try, I can’t stop. I wake up in the morning and tell myself that today is the day I’m going to do the right thing, but then I’ll see someone in the grocery store that I just have to fuck and… and then it all just spirals out of control from there and I’m right back to where I started.”
They were nodding again, almost half the people in the room silently agreeing with everything I said as if they’d been there. My gaze lingered on an older man in an impeccable grey suit, his piercing blue eyes meeting mine and almost answering the beast inside me with his own primordial howl of lust. In that moment all I could thing about was tearing that neat suit from his body like a rabid animal and feeding my need with his hot, naked flesh.
I cleared my throat and looked away, back down at my hands for a moment before going on. “I love my husband. He is my best friend. He’s been there for me in times that would have torn any other man apart, but if I don’t get this under control, he’s going to leave me. He’s going to take our kids and leave me, and I’ll be left all alone.”
It might have seemed small to someone else, but in the end that was my biggest fear: being alone. Not just being alone, but being without Kenny because I really did love him.
Grace was talking again. I couldn’t really hear what she was saying because my head was spinning with that recurring realization that if I didn’t do something to try and fix that part of me that was broken, I would lose everything I had. My husband, my children, my life… It was all I thought about as I made my way back to my seat and tried to force myself to listen to the other addicts confess their crimes.
I couldn’t focus, as much as I tried. All I could think about was that flash of fantasy that burned inside me when I’d locked eyes with the gentleman in the grey suit. My imagination ran wild with thoughts of his hard mouth on mine, his soft moist tongue squeezing between my lips as his roaming hands frantically hiked my skirt up around my hips and yanked my panties aside to get at the warm, waiting prize between my thighs. I could almost feel his cock inside me, pushing through the aching folds of my cunt as he rushed upward to fill me until I cried and begged for sweet release from the hell and torment of holding back.
It had been six weeks since I’d been with a man, and that last man had been my husband. He’d been reluctant to give in then, swearing that he was only feeding the beast inside me that needed to be denied until it starved and finally died. I didn’t think that was actually going to work. The beast was too strong, and while I’d been feeding it with dildo-induced orgasms and wild fantasy as often as I could find a moment alone, it wasn’t enough. Besides, how would our marriage survive without intimacy?
I didn’t know the answers, but I did know one thing. I needed cock. Big cock, small cock, fat cock, thin cock… it didn’t matter. If I didn’t get fucked and fast, I was going to explode and not in a way I would feel good about.
I was fidgeting in my seat, the metal chair squeaking under the bare skin on the backs of my thighs and the feet scraping across the floor enough to garner attention from the two women seated at the end of my aisle. They were both attractive enough, and as I imagined the grope of their hungry hands all over my body, their probing fingers and anxious mouths, chills of need pricked beneath my skin. I needed to get off.
I glanced toward the door at the back of the room and then the clock. There was no strict time limit on meetings, at least that’s what they’d told us on the phone. Maybe I could skip out early, hook up with someone at the bar I’d seen two blocks up the street and get home before Kenny even knew the difference. I looked at the door again, and then I heard the rising chatter of the group reciting their mantra together as they yielded control of their desires to a higher power and asked for that power to grant them the strength to carry on another day.
And then they were breaking, mingling together near the refreshment table while I sat glued to my chair and tried to figure out what my next move should be. Would I have time to hit that bar on the way home, get off in the bathroom stall and soothe the writhing, screaming, hungry beast inside me? The itch in my blood was unbearable, and I was just about to break for the door when a deep, masculine voice reached out from my left.
“Cream and two sugars,” he said. “I’m never wrong, but there’s a first time for everything.”
I glanced up and over my shoulder. The man in the grey suit stood beside my chair. He was holding two steaming Styrofoam cups in his hands, one of them extended toward me.
I reached out reluctantly, taking the cup of coffee from him. “Cream and two sugars,” I nodded and lifted it to my lips. Bittersweet warmth touched my tastebuds, and while it wasn’t exactly the tastiest cup of coffee I’d ever had, his unique gift to guess my preference intrigued me. “That’s quite a talent you’ve got.”
“I’m a people person,” he said. “A salesman, actually. I make it my business to know what people need before they even know they need it. Unfortunately, I can’t control the awfulness of this coffee, but hopefully the gesture was well received.” He paused for a second and then held his hand out to me.
“Frank,” he said.
The warmth of his skin only seemed to intensify the buzz of electric hunger humming through my body, and though there had to be some strange psychological connection, the fact that he reminded me of my father-in-law made that connection feel stronger.
His smile was casually seductive, a grinning tiger hiding between the shadowy fronds in a dangerous jungle. I wondered, as I lifted my head to meet his gaze, just how accurate his gift really was. Could he sense how badly I needed to be fucked, or was I just in such bad shape that I was willing to read every sign as a possible come on.
“Grace nudged me in your direction, mentioned you might be looking for a sponsor.”
“A sponsor,” I nodded. “Right. I’m still so new to all of this. What exactly does a sponsor do?”
“Provide support in times of need, an ear when no one else seems to understand what you’re going through, a shoulder…”
I took another tentative sip of the coffee in my cup, and my face must have shown just how bitter it tasted because Frank’s smile widened and he stepped back to look over his shoulder at the clock on the wall. “Would you like to come sit down and have a cup of coffee with me? There’s a little café about a block from here.”
“I don’t know.” Internally, I wanted more than just coffee from Frank, but the nag of my conscience was still there under the surface. “It’s getting late. I should probably head home.”
Frank nodded slowly, the pink tip of his tongue slowly moistening his lower lip. “I understand. It isn’t easy opening up on such a personal level. Coming here in the first place was probably one of the hardest things you’ve ever done. I’ll tell you what,” he began, reaching into the inner pocket of his suit jacket. “I’m going to give you my card, and after you’ve had a couple days to think about everything, give me a call and we can go have that coffee.”
“Thank you.” I took the card and just held it in my hand, fingertips rubbing the smooth cardstock, the raised surface of his name. I glanced down at the letters, FRANK HARDING. “I will think it over.”
“Good,” he nodded. “I hope to hear from you.”
I didn’t want him to walk away, but he did. I mean really, what was one recovering sex addict supposed to say to another? Especially one who’d obviously been in recovery long enough to be considered responsible sponsor material. I highly doubted asking him to fuck me would go over very well. I bent down to pick up my purse from the floor and stood up. I surveyed the room one last time, not sure I could ever let myself come back even if it did mean saving my marriage. A part of me loved the thrill far too much to ever give it up.
I made my way unnoticed through the milling crowd and stepped out into the night air. The breeze cooled my flushed skin, rustling through my hair like a lover’s hand. Walking toward the parking lot, the addict inside me wanted to rush back into the building and give in to Frank’s request to have coffee. Maybe he wasn’t a very good sponsor… maybe I could convince him to give me what I needed.
“It’s a crock of shit.” The sound of that voice startled me, and I almost dropped my purse in my haste to grab at my chest. “The whole group meeting thing. It’s a waste of time.”
The shadow who spoke leaned against my car, and though I couldn’t make him out or tell if I recognized him from inside, when he stood to his full height, I noted that he was incredibly tall and lanky.
“The meetings… they’re a waste. I’ve been coming here for years and they’ve never done me a damn bit of good.”