the Secret Lives of Strangers

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: May 14, 2016

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Submitted: May 14, 2016



It was seven o' clock on the dot and Harper Hanna was seated anxiously at the black marble and mahogany bar of Duo, the nightclub inside of the luxurious Winchester Hotel. He repeated his alibi like a mantra - I am here for a conference, I will be home by midnight. He thought briefly of his wife, Margaret, and the marriage that they shared. It had been rocky for years... but he couldn't help asking himself if what he had planned was truly the best escape. Throwing back the last of his whiskey, he closed his eyes and gave himself a mental pep-talk. After a moment, the bartender slapped another whiskey on the rocks down in front of Harper. The shock caused him to jump, and he spilled the distilled remains of his third whiskey down the front of his black  dress shirt.

"Shit..." he whispered sharply, grabbing a nearby napkin and patting furiously. He checked his watch as he did: 7:15PM. She was late.

Harper had never done this before, and he was experiencing a rush of a million emotions. He felt like a lava lamp was coming alive in his stomach - hot, bubbling anticipation moved through him, and the burn of three whiskeys straight was still not enough to settle his anxiety. Glancing around the bar, he scouted for the woman in the red dress that he was waiting to meet.

Across the bar, a black-haired woman watched him eagerly while second-guessing her decision to be here. She adjusted her burgundy-red dress, which was so tight that it slowly and gently rose up her thighs with every passing moment or subtle movement. Hidden by the dim lighting and distanced by the bustling dancefloor, she waited and composed herself. Repeating her own mantra of sorts, she told herself again This will be good for me, just remember who you are. The woman checked her cellphone - there were two texts from her husband on the screen - and noted the time. 7:20PM, late as per usual. It was in her character to be fashionably late. Popping a mint in to her mouth from her lacy black clutch, she started to make her way to the bar - sights set on the man in the black dress attire who she knew was the man she was set to meet.

"Could I have a vodka tonic, handsome? And put it on his tab."

Harper turned his head, his jaw dropping when he saw the fair-skinned, dark-haired beauty scooching herself on to leather barstool beside him. Noticing his interest in the woman, the bartender smirked and obliged.

"Wow, you must be-" Harper began.

"Lucy." She interrupted. "Not what you expected?" Lucy asked flirtaciously, crossing her legs and leaning against the bar.

"No... I just... I honestly don't know what I expected." He studied this woman up and down - she was middle-aged, slender and poised. She had clear, porcelain skin and wore heavy make-up around her eyes. Her raven hair was long and silken; shiny even in the dull light at the bar. Her nails were long and painted with black french tips - a youthful trend. Everything about her seemed unattached to anything - other than the presence of a wedding ring on her left hand. This was the only thing he could familiarize with... and it had him remember why he was here. He was uncomfortable, reciting his mantra once more.

The two laughed lightly, nervously avoiding eye contact. The bartender handed Lucy her drink in a tall glass and she immediately began to sip it, a sour look on her face. As she neared the end of her drink, Harper motioned for another two. He watched as she finished her vodka tonic in seconds, then turned towards him and locked her gaze with his - it was her green eyes that finally settled his soul. There she was - that hint of his wife that he was looking for.

Once he had found that piece of his wife in Lucy, he was ready to indulge.

And, so he did.


There they were - the Hanna's. They were the kind of family you found enclosed in empty frames sitting, smiling blissfully through a black-and-white stock photograph. Their marriage was picture perfect. Margaret and Harper Hanna were the kind of spouses that everyone aspired to both be and have - they never argued in public, they always seemed in sync, and their two children had grown up beautiful, strong, and successful. They hosted barbecues, fundraisers, benefits, and balls that were the talk of the neighbourhood until something juicier happened - like a death, or an affair. All that they were, and all that they had, shined so brightly with perfection that it seemed to cast a darkening shadow on all others - and you couldn't hate them for it! It was near impossible to, hard as many tried. Margaret and Harper Hanna were two of the most innocent, generous, people-pleasing, and considerate human beings on this Earth... Or, at least, on Maple Lane. Though, the competition was near non-existent.

There they were - the Hanna's - this facade of perfection and happiness; a mirage of good and true love... and yet, they were anything but what the rest of the world believed that they were. True enough, Kimberly and Daniel Hanna had been the product of parenting as close to perfect as parenting could come. Kim was studying criminal law, and Dan practicing Pediatric medicine. Both were already living the bright futures dreamt for and by them before the age of twenty-eight - an achievement that couldn't be mirrored by the other kids that they grew up with on Maple Lane. Adam Lucas, the neighbours' son, was in his third year... of a prison sentence for armed burglary and assault. Catelin Nettle had recently divorced her second husband after her fourth affair - and, again, not come in to any of the money she had hoped that she would. Geoffrey Vance, though a calculus teacher at the local highschool, was undergoing investigation for solicitation of sexual intentions with a minor (one of his students). At least, Mage and Harp had this - their children, who were always so put together despite their parents' marriage always falling apart.

Margaret was boiling two eggs on the flat-top stove when she heard Harper fumbling his key against the golden lock at the front door. He cursed in sync with a mettalic clang!, and his wife turned off the heat to the bubbling pot of boiling water to go let her husband in. Dusting her hands against her thighs, and checking her reflection in the front hall mirror for any flaw before opening the door, she thought to herself, I can really clean up after a long night. Clicking the deadbolt left to unlock it, then opening the bright yellow front door, she realized that this was not an ability that she shared with her dear husband.

"Fuck, oh - hi, Mage..." He studdered, snatching his keys from the ground and rushing inside. His head hung low, and his tie was uncentered. His hair was jarring out in every direction with greasy, ungroomed tufts and he wreaked of whiskey and cigarrettes. As he passed her, she could smell the faint odour of raunchy perfume and hotel soap. Obediently, she shut the door and followed him to the main floor watercloset to fix him up only, the way that a doting wife could. Silently, they entered the washroom together. Harper kept his eyes affixed on his own reflection, past his wife in the mirror behind her. After a few moments of primping, tie-tightening, and hair brushing, he met Margaret's green-eyed gaze. In that moment, it was as if his life had flashed before his eyes - the way it does when you die. Truly, something inside of him had died the night before at the Winchester. A miserable, lonely man had died last night in the arms of Lucy - and birthed from his ashes was a man with a secret; one that reflected itself and replayed, like a filmstrip movie against a canvas sheet, in the glossy, broken eyes of his wife.

"Have a good time last night?" Margaret asked, inquisitively.

"I did."

"At your... conference?" She asked, unmoved.


Their eye contact persisted for another moment, and within Margaret's eyes, Harper saw a change. He fluttered with relief as he watched the transition from inquisition to passivity. She patted his chest, rubbing a little, and notioned towards the silver and sapphire watch on his wrist with a sigh - indication that he was late for work. With a quick peck on the rosy, freckled cheek of his wife, Harper left through the front door as quickly as he had entered. Margaret leant back against the marble vanity behind her, sighing deeply as she remembered last night. Checking her appearance once more, she made her way to the kitchen to pack her hard-boiled eggs in to her lunch and make her own way to work.


Lucy was vibrating. Her entire body, pulsating and warm. As the man between her thighs whispered sweet nothings gently upon her pink button, it lifted her in to a state of high that she had never experienced before. She grasped the sheets around her tightly as she finally climaxed - the sensation stronger than any she had felt before. Lucy could tell that he loved it - seeing her experiencing so much pleasure. She was right.

"Oh, Hh-... Clive..." She moaned, coming down from her orgasm. He unwrapped his arms from around her legs and inched his way up her body. They shared a passionate kiss before he looked deeply in to her jade eyes and thanked her. With that, he rolled over off the bed and fumbled for his distressed jeans, which were laying messily on the floor.

"Thank you?!" Suddenly, she felt a surge of shame travel through her body, as if that phrase had plucked a string within her that was sending a chord through her entire being. A D flat. She sat up, gripping the white cotton sheets around her; this time feeling loneliness rather than pleasure.

"Listen, baby - you know what this is. Right?" Clive turned towards her as he shimmied in to his denim. His shaggy blonde hair fell in front of his eyes, but Lucy could still make out his wink beneath the strands of greasy, shiny mane. She laid back on the bed and relaxed after catching his gesture, displaying her body in its entirety in an attempt to invite him back to bed. Clive finished buttoning his jeans and climbed back on top of his companion. He was unable to resist her.

"You are so damn sexy. And you really caught me off guard tonight, at the gas station. I almost wasn't ready for you... but I'm glad you took control. My God, would I love to fuck you all night long..." Lucy and Clive shared a passionate kiss, one that ignited a spark that neither of them had felt in such a long time.

"Then fuck me." Lucy demanded, between warm kisses. "All. Night. Long."

She pushed him off of herself and on to his back, then climbing on top and straddling his waist. Pinning down his arms, she smirked playfully and leant in to bite his lip.

"What about your... husband?" Clive reminded. He watched excitedly as Lucy lowered her left hand, gently caressing his chest, abdomen, and finally coyfully running her fingers along the edge of his pants. He inhaled sharply as she began to slide them beneath the hem, then unbuttoned his jeans.

"He isn't expecting me." Lucy defended, her voice somber and seductive. She bit her lip as she pulled him out from the unzipped crotch of his pants - he was already erect, again. She ran her hand gently along the shaft, barely touching him, but enough to send a shiver of inticement up his entire body, stemming from the mid.

"No.. he... isn't." Clive growled, grabbing his lover tightly around the waist and lifting her on to him.

And then, they made good on his wishes.



"Good morning!"

Harper didn't respond to his wife, who was already showered, primped, and perfect at 8AM on a Sunday - on top of having warm french toast already served at the island, and coffee brewing in the machine. Instead, he sat himself at the island on one of the white, wicker stools and for the first time in a very long time admired the woman he was married to. Her ash blonde hair was seemlessly straightened, and had a thin braid wrapping around either side to keep it from her face. Her bronzed cheeks were peachier and plumper than ever, and an unmissable smile manifested on her pouty, pink lips. She was so put together. So beautiful, and so... perfect. That was it. She truly was perfect. He watched her pour his coffee, exactly as he preferred it, with three-quarters brew and one-quarter hot water; add two sugars without stirring. She set the java in front of him, slipping a coaster beneath it. Margaret leant on the counter and grabbed a slice of french toast to place on her plate. She had alwasy eaten it plain, and by hand.

"You're quiet this morning."

"Yeah - it's these... conferences." He smirked, remembering his weekend. Mage smiled and lifted her brow, hiding behind a sip of her coffee. "They're taking a lot out of me."

"I bet they are. You've been out all night, all weekend." Mage picked up her french toast and began eating. Harper trickled some maple syrup on top of his and dove in. He rolled his eyes in delight after taking his first bite - he had forgotten how wonderful of a cook his wife was.

"How was it?"

"De-wrish-ish!" Harper exclaimed, his mouth full of french toast.

"No." Margaret rebutted. "The conference."

He nearly choked on his bite, not expecting such a question. Thinking back to the past two nights, he was filled with a cocktail of guilt, confusion, happiness, arousal, and relief. There was so much he wanted to say to Margaret - so much he wanted to discuss - but he knew that he couldn't. Not yet. It wasn't time. So, he gave her a short, sweet reply.


She narrowed her eyes, unsure of what to take from his response. Good?!, she thought to herself. Maybe I've been thinking about this too much.


Clive was never a desperate man. In fact, he was blessed - with good looks, good company, and good fortune. He was your typical "bad boy" all grown up. Ladies loved him, and loved to be loved by him - his charm was undeniable, and his encounters unforgettable. Clive had never been a desperate man, and so he had never been a nervous man - ever. He kept telling himself this, over and over, as he sat at the bar of Duo Nightclub at 7PM sharp, waiting for the front desk of the Winchester to ring him. Despite his reminding himself of who he was, his palms insisted on becoming clammy, his heart refused to stop skipping beats, and his brown was dotted with sweat like grass trickled with morning dew. He chugged back a whiskey on the rocks, and almost immediately his cellphone rang.

It was the front desk, and they informed him that his guest had arrived and collected her keycard. The perky young man on the other end of the phone added in that she was a beautiful woman, and reminded that the Winchester prided itself on their discretion. Clive thanked him and hung up his phone.

"Who is she tonight?" The bartender asked, collecting Clive's empty glass.

"A russian call-girl." He tried to respond flatly, but he and the bartender soon erupted in to a light laughter. He patted his customer on the shoulder to send him off and wished him a good night with his woman. Clive handed him a twenty, which the bartender held up and asked if he was sure he wouldn't like to keep for his date.

In the elevator, Clive was still unsettled. He repeated to himself again, You're a bad boy, a player, a con. You've slept with hundreds of hookers. That word put a knot in his stomach. With a ding! the elevator doors opened to the sixteenth floor, and he made his way down the elegant teal and white, marble-floored hallway to the room that he had rented for tonight. He paused for a moment at the door - it was ajar, only slightly, and a pair of black lace panties hung from the handle in front of the Do Not Disturb sign. He gripped them in his hand. They were soft, silky... and wet. He ripped them from the handle and slowly opened the door. Nobody was inside.

Closing the door behind him, he called out to the seemingly empty suite. No response was heard. Clive took in the room. From the doorway, he could only see the sitting room, as the suite was shaped in a "T" - to the right would be the bathroom and jacuzzi tub, to the left would be the bedroom area. The entryway hosted a kitchenette. The entire wall across from him was made up of floor-to-ceiling windows, other than the large patio door in the center. It was open, and the white curtains before it were gently swaying in the evening breeze. This brought his attention to the sitting room, where he saw another piece of lingerie - a matching bra to the panties that he was holding. It was laying across the back of a teal, leather chair that was in the center of the room, next to a short glass table. He kicked off his shoes and strutted towards it. Picking it up, he caught a waft of sweet, floral perfume. He took the scent in, and began to realize the game that his companion was playing.

He scanned the bedroom area from where he was standing, but nothing seemed to be out of place. Then, he heard a splash from the bathroom right of him. There, on a hanger hinged on to the top of the ceiling-height, frosted-glass sliding door, was a white bathrobe that said "For Him". Clive chuckled. 

"Darlin', I'm not the kind of man who takes a bubblebath." He insisted, sticking to his character. He heard the woman inside of the jacuzzi tub swish water around herself, then, through the frosted-glass door, he saw an irresistably feminine frame stand and wordlessly call him in.

"Damn... that's a body you don't say no to."

Clive was out of his clothing in seconds. Before grabbing the robe, he thought to himself deeply. He decided to enter in the nude, baring all to his companion. When he shot open the door, she was laying in a drawn bath, no bubbles, only a few floating candles and full flowers drifted atop the water. One, so perfectly, floated between her legs.

"Come to me," she softly demanded; her Russian accent noticeable, but soft.

Clive obliged. He climbed in to the bath with the bright-red-haired woman with crystal blue eyes, strong brows, and a butterfly tattoo on either side of her chest. One seemed to be peeling, but it was the last thing about her chest that Clive was paying attention to. He slouched down into the opposite side of the jacuzzi tub, the hot water soothing every of his aching muscles. The steam opened his pores, and he felt like he could breathe so purely.

"Tell me what you like." The woman asked.

"I like what I see." Clive joked, giving the woman a once over. Slowly, she began to open her legs. She gave him a sideways smile, and raised her brows.

"Do you like better?"

The energy between them was electric. Clive reached for the Russian escorts hand, pulling in beneath the waters surface and towards his erection.

"You tell me."

The seductress licked her full, round lips. They were coloured deep red. Eyes locked with his, she began to lower her head beneath the water to greet her hand. And beneath, she stayed for two full minutes - pleasuring him in a way he hadn't experienced before. When she came up for air, he immediately grabbed her and pulled her in for a long, wet, and sloppy kiss. Furiously, they began to fight for the dominant role before he spun her around, leant her against the edge of the tub, and entered her from the rear. She squealed with shock and pleasure.

After they played in the tub, Clive and his escort retreated to the bedroom. Just when he'd thought that they had finished, the bold redhead pulled a black box from beneath the bed. She began to assemble a series of toys, before pulling out an entire leather bodysuit. Clive sat up in bed, running his hands through his light hair and adjusting it back in to place. He watched the escort slip in to the bodysuit effortlessly, admiring how snug it wrapped around her curves. Suddenly, she began to slip in to an unfamiliar piece of clothing... Wait, he thought, is that a harness?

"Now, I fuck you."

Margaret and Harper Hanna were sitting closer this meeting than they ever had sat - and Shelly Alan, their marriage counsellor, noted that immediately. As she sat herself across from them, greeting good morning, she realized that their hands were intertwined on top of Margaret's lap, as well. This was much of an improvement from the couple that had walked through the doors of Alan & Key Family Counselling five weeks ago - barely able to sit five feet apart without sneering and arguing under their breaths. This morning was the first they had met since the latest, and boldest, suggestion from their therapist... and Shelly already had a positive feeling about this one.

"It's going great, Shelly. Honestly, I'm surprised. I never thought that this would work... but..." Margaret blushed, turning towards her husband. "But, we really are connecting again.

"Sexually!" Harper blurted out, excitedly. Mage playfully slapped his chest and began to laugh in embarrassment. "What!?" Harper chuckled.

"It's okay! This is an open and judgment-free space!" Shelly consulted. "Tell me, how have you been managing the affairs?"

"Well, Shelly, we've been taking turns."


"For example, this Friday, Harper met a lonely, repressed housewife who was looking for a one-night-stand. Lucy."

"Interesting, Margaret. Do you think that Lucy was a reflection of yourself entering this experimental chapter of your marriage?"

"I do. I mean, that's why I created her. I drew inspiration from myself, but tried to physically create someone very different to draw in Harp. I had so much fun creating Lucy, and designing her look... Oh God, does that sound weird?" Margaret lowered her head, feeling awkward.

"Not at all! That's what this role-playing experiment is about. Exploring new parts of yourself, and new parts of each other in a fun, creative way to help bring back your spark."

Harper interjected.

"And I mean - sex was a big part of this... and we definitely have that spark back. But, even our talks while in character helped to smooth out some of our marital issues. On Saturday, I role-played as a badass drifter, Clive. He met with Lucy. We made love all night long... we haven't done that since we were newlyweds. After each... session... we just talked. Some of it was in character, hypothetical, but much of it was just, you know, real."

Margaret clenched her hand tighter around Harper's in agreement.

"Last night, Clive met a Russian escort. That... was just for fun."

"Yeah... maybe we won't do that one again." Harper and Margaret laughed, as she tickled his lower back.

"Those contacts killed my eyes, anyway. Thank God I have perfect vision!"

"Do you think you two will continue to role-play?" Shelly asked, noticing how happy her clients were.

The Hanna's looked at one another; a peaceful bond between them once again, and a current, like electricity, pulsing through their veins and bouncing off of each other. Before this experiment suggested by Shelly, they were in a rut. They were unhappy, frustrated, deprived, and discconnected. Although they had built so much together in this life, they'd forgotten why they had done it. Their marriage had become a chore, and because of that it became a burden. Neither appreciated the other. Neither craved the other, not the way that they used to. Caring for one another became so common and so regular, that loving one another disappeared. After spending a weekend entangled in the arms of "strangers", they had come to realize the reasons why they had chosen each other after all - it wasn't just comfort, it was choice. As exciting and passionate as their weekend had been, with Lucy, and Clive, and the Russian escort... they knew that these were just products of their own selves, and of the dedication and persistence that they still shared towards keeping this marriage alive. Both sighed deeply, before Harper finally responded.

"You know, I would really like to just go home and make love to my wife."

And so he did.

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