Pictures Never Lie: A Love Story Pt. 01-1

I am going to drop this over a series of weeks. This is the first part of the story but there is a lot more to come. No sex in this but a whole lot of backstabbing and a little nerdy talk. Thanks for reading and enjoy.


I attend a professional conference in June of every year. It moves around the U.S. and Canada.

It is five days of sitting at a destination hotel and catching up on the new stuff in the field. Since my field is computer security you can imagine how much change happens in the 365 days between conferences. So I have to attend those events.

This year’s conference was in San Diego, which is a venue I happen to loath.

The City itself is okay, if you like your scenery cluttered up with health nuts of every type. But it is a four hour flight from the East Coast. And I have spent so much of my life packed into a metal tube with 250 strangers that I have a severe allergy to air travel. Flying used to have some class but that was before the airlines discovered how profitable it was to turn their aircraft into cattle cars.

The first day was mainly registration and the inevitable “Welcome” cocktail party. I disposed of that by 8PM and called Janet from the room.

She was her usual sexy, slightly sarcastic self. She is a lot better looking woman than I deserve and I have loved her since the day I met her. But that jaded take on life is what I really adore.

She told me that it was beautiful and sunny back on Long Island and she had spent the day in the garden. I told her that it is always beautiful and sunny out here and I had spent the day in the clutches of the travel industry.

I told her I was going to go down to the hotel bar to have a drink and try to hit the hay before 10:00. We closed with the lovey-dovey exchange of endearments that all traveling couples sign off with.

I walked into the bar which was basically just a patio overlooking Mission Bay. Janet usually accompanies me on long trips but she had to close out her school year and so I was a bachelor for the next four and a half days.

I can’t sleep without her next to me in bed so I have to fortify myself before I turn in. I ordered a brandy in the hope that it would knock me out.

While I was sitting there, a couple of my San Francisco colleagues joined me. Bill is a network geek and frankly boring. Jane is a nerd too but she is also well known in the trade.

One of the standard jokes about her is that her boobs will take twenty IQ points off of any man standing next to her, because of the distraction.

That is not even close to fair. She is first and foremost a smart and effective woman who just happens to be wrapped in a double-D package.

Unfortunately, the adage also holds true. I was mesmerized by the jiggle.

She and Bill were clearly hammered. People get that way on “welcome” day. The newfound freedom from daily routine tends to express itself in too may “first” drinks. And network nerds are not big drinkers anyway.

Bill sat down six inches above the wicker chair and almost crushed it when he fell backwards. Jane gingerly lowered herself into her seat; looking for all-of-the world like she was docking the space shuttle.

I said with a certain amount of cheerful sarcasm, I see you have been here a lot longer than I have.”

Bill said something along the lines of, “They have wonderful Margaritas”.

I said just to make conversation, “How many have you had?”

He looked at Jane and they both shrugged.

There was part of me who wanted to get away from them since I absolutely did not want to wrangle two drunks for the evening.

But I have an unfortunate tendency to be a rescuer. I know it is a personality flaw and it frequently gets me in trouble.

I said, “This place is big and confusing. Let me help you two to your rooms.”

Bill demurred but Jane said, “Would you please? I’m not sure I could find it.”

I knew what she was talking about. Big resort hotels are like a village. And unless you were born there it is hard to decipher the various “Casa” this’s and “Villa” that’s.

She gave me her key card and I steered her off of the patio and we walked through the resort vegetation for what seemed like a quarter mile to her room.

All of the time she was chastely holding my right arm with both of her hands to keep her balance on her four inch FMPs. Her ankles were occasionally turning as she walked but nothing catastrophic happened.

When we got to her place she spun toward me in a familiar fashion and said, “Thank you for walking me home, would you like to come in for a drink”.

I am not exactly worldly-wise but I knew what THAT meant. Every conference that I have ever attended turns into a fuck-fest for a lot of the married and unmarried participants.

That usually goes on in various combinations and permutations throughout the conference. I was sure that Jane, who is a stunner anyway, was just kicking off the ball for the rest of her week.

But I was not, and never have been interested in any aspect of fucking around on my wife.

Besides totally complicating your life, any form of casual sex is always the first nail in any marriage’s coffin.

That truism applies whether it is no-strings-never-see-you-again sex, or if you fall in love for a week and nobody finds out.

Once you open the door to infidelity it is impossible to completely close it again.

So I said, trying to be tactful, “It was my pleasure escorting you back fair lady but I’m exhausted.”

She looked disappointed. But when I ran into her the next day she was particularly friendly, almost dewy eyed sentimental.

She said, “Thank you for just bringing me back. I was very drunk.” I got the message and it actually made me feel good to know that I was one of the few fellows who had not taken advantage of the free pass to her goodies.

For four more days the conference ground on in a boring haze.

Janet was different when I called her the evening before I left for home. In fact she was SO different that I actually checked to see if I had dialed the right number.

Instead of being her usual smoking hot and good humored self she was distant, almost cold, talking to me in monosyllables. I thought, “What the fuck?”

But then again I have days like that, when the troubles of the world carry over into my relationship with her.

She is mainly of Italian descent, so her personality is like a tropical rain forest.

Something will set her off and there will be violent thunder and driving rain. Then the sun will come out and it will be like the storm never happened, no repercussions, or grudges.

She was obviously in the middle of one of those occasional monsoons. I knew that she wouldn’t be reasonable until she had calmed down and so it was pointless to ask her what the problem was.

Instead, I said as cheerfully as possible, “You are going to owe me some serious makeup sex for the way you are treating me tonight, I’ll see you at JFK tomorrow evening at 6:45, I miss you.”

She bulldozed right past my attempt at humor and said with some heat in her voice, “You are going to have to take a cab home. I’ll be at Sarah’s”. Sarah is her older sister.

I was totally baffled and very disappointed. So I said mournfully, “What! I haven’t seen you in six days and you are going to be visiting your sister?”

She said with no emotion whatsoever, “I am going to be there for the rest of next week. I will see you next weekend” and then terminated the connection without a by-your-leave.

I was crushed and frankly confused. We had never been apart for two weeks in our entire 17 years together. It was obvious that something serious was going on involving Sarah and it was something that had put Janet in a total funk. Maybe Sarah was dying?

I couldn’t imagine that Janet’s attitude would involve me in any way. Since all I had done in the past week was sit through droning lectures and have the occasional drink with my colleagues; in a big group I might add.

I knew that Jim Murphy, who was an employee of mine, could vouch for me. He had come in on the same flight and had been with me all of the time at the conference, except for the last day, when he had suddenly and unexpectedly flown home.

However, I was certain that his early departure wouldn’t affect his ability to vouch for me, since Janet had already gotten strange the day before he left.

Murph was ten years younger than me and something of a protégé. He was good looking and smart, and as a result he was a bit too full of himself. But he was still young and basically a good kid, full of Irish charisma.

He was at our house a lot and Janet, who is closer to his age than she is to mine, knew him well and liked him. She would believe him, that was for certain sure.

My guess was that Janet had gone rouge because Sarah was having one of her interminable marital problems. And Janet was pissed about it.

Sarah’s husband fucks around on her and every time she catches him there is this extended period of family turmoil, followed by a tearful reconciliation.

In fact, marital strife almost seems like a hobby for those two. And Janet always gets pulled into the argument because she is the “responsible” sister.

The problem is that Janet absolutely hates being put in the middle. And since she can’t take it out on her “victim” of a sister, I am customarily the scapegoat.

This had happened several times in the past. But I was always physically present when it did, so I was able to talk some sense into Janet before she left to deal with whatever Sarah’s latest trauma was.

Janet is passionate in everything she does. I mostly benefit from that inner fire through a superlative sex life.

As a result, I decided a long time ago that the best response to the occasional times I was the target of her ire, was to roll with the punches.

So, as I flew back home I reconciled myself to enduring being alone for another bloody week.

It wasn’t that I didn’t have things to keep me occupied. We were in the middle of a major overhaul of the security at one of the larger defense installations on the island. The problem with DoD contracts is that you are frequently accountable to people who know a lot about securing an Army base but don’t really understand the special circumstances of securing something as intangible as information.

They have to be led by the hand through all of the intricacies of that kind of operation, usually while telling you that they “know best”.

So I spent five consecutive 10 hour days explaining to an Air Force two star that “defense in depth” was not just a simple matter of assigning the help a user ID and a password. It was an excruciating week but I liked the money.

When Friday evening rolled around I expected Janet to appear, but she was nowhere to be seen. Her cell was off. I had called her several times during the week just to check in and chat but I either got voicemail or the same monosyllables and curt treatment, so I backed off. I knew she would get over it.

I was lonely and I have to say that her brutal treatment hurt a lot. So I called up Murph to see if he wanted to grab a beer and discuss ways of talking my wife down from her current snit. But he was not answering either.

It looked like it was going to be another night of watching baseball by myself.

Janet finally appeared in the middle of the morning on Saturday. She looked grim. I tried to hug her hello but she brushed right past me and on into our bedroom where she dropped her travel bag and came out with a memory stick in her hand, very distant and unfriendly.

I had never been in this situation with her before. Even the first time I had met her she had been a lot friendlier.

She stomped by me, still not saying a word. She went into the den, did ten minutes of printing and came out with a manila folder.

She poured a cup of coffee for me and one for herself and sat down at the kitchen table looking direly at me .

To say I was feeling anxious doesn’t begin to describe it.

Then she used those four little words that no husband wants to hear, “We need to talk”.

Weak kneed, I sat down opposite her at the table. I don’t know if my fear and anxiety was as obvious to her as it was to me, but my heart was beating so hard I felt like it was about to attack me.

I must have looked as concerned as I felt, because she smiled with grim satisfaction. It was, like I had just confirmed something for her.

She took a deep breath, reached into the folder and pushed nine 8 by 10 pictures across to me. She had obviously just printed them off on our printer.

The first print was of me and Bill and Jane sitting around the table at the resort. We were clearly drinking and chatting. The next three were a sequence of me helping Jane to her feet, walking through the resort shrubbery and in the last we were standing at her door with her facing me in a friendly fashion. These were all taken with a medium grade cell-phone camera. I thought Okaaaaaay?

In the next five I was vigorously banging a woman in various positions, missionary, doggy, reverse cowgirl, cunnilingus and for the grand finale she was blowing me. You could build a bridge out of the tension in the air between Janet and me.

I studied the last five very carefully. Time ticked by. I could feel the hate radiating from the other side of the table.

I finally sat back and said, “Where did you get these.” She said emphatically, “A friend gave them to me. He couldn’t stand the sight of you fucking around on me with that woman”.

“I needed all of this time at Sarah’s to decide what I was going to do about you.”

That broke my heart because I had a feeling that I knew what she had decided to do.

She said, “Do you have anything to say for yourself you total bastard!”

I said, well, the first four pictures were taken on the first night of the conference. They are of me helping Jane Longworth back to her room. She was drunk and I didn’t even get a peck on the cheek for my gallantry. But she DID thank me the next day for not taking advantage of her.

Janet said with venom, “I don’t care about those first four and your stupid story Prince Charming. What I care about is what you did with her in that room.”

I took a cleansing breath. I knew that it was critical to be totally unemotional for the rest of this. I said, trying to keep my voice as calm and even as possible, “In answer to your question, I went back to my room after that and went to sleep. The next five pictures that you have here are frame grabs off of some porn site with my head not very capably photoshopped onto the stud’s body.”

She slammed her hand down on the table, “You mean to tell me that these pictures are not clear evidence of YOU fucking some slut at the conference. My lawyer thinks that they are. And that they are all I will need to take you to the cleaners”

I continued, keeping my voice as mild as possible. I said, “I’m in this business. I can recognize bad photoshopping when I see it. These pictures are a total fabrication.”

“Why somebody would try to convince you I was fucking around is a mystery. But you would think they would do a better job of editing.”

I said, “Look! The woman I am walking with in the first four pictures is a brunette with her hair down to her shoulders. The woman in the next four is a long haired blond. Do you think that my bedmate took the time to grow her hair out and dye it before we began to wallow in the mud, or do you think she just put on a wig for the benefit of the photographer?”

“And then if you will notice in the last picture; my paramour must have stepped back into the bathroom to turn herself into a short haired redhead for the blowjob. I like variety but this is ludicrous.”

“Now, look at my face. My expression never changes. I am holding my head in precisely the same way and I am looking in the exact same direction in all of those pictures. You’d think that I might have at least moved my eyes a little bit during the mind-blowing sex.

“Finally, in two of these I am either suffering from some dread disease of the cranium or my head has temporarily grown to ET proportions on my body.”

I finished with, “Somebody just took a picture of me off of Facebook, or Instagram or somewhere, and photoshopped my face onto a porn star body.”

“Any high school kid can do it. They have sites all over the internet with stuff like Nancy Pelosi doing John Boehner, or Barak Obama banging Sarah Palin, nobody believes the ridiculous things that are on those sites, but at least the editing is better than it is here.”

“But don’t believe me. Let’s take these pictures to the lab and put them under the scope. You will see beyond a doubt that this is somebody trying to set me up”

She was turning paler and paler as I explained it to her.

I didn’t entirely understand her reaction. But I got the impression that her level of distress meant that she was not convinced yet. So I said with some force, “Get in the car, we are going to the lab.”

She arose from the chair like she was in a bad dream and walked behind me out to the car.

We drove the 8 miles to my lab in total silence. She did not look well at all. In other situations I would have put my arm around her and said “there-there” but I was really angry at her for how she had treated me.

And I was particularly pissed that she had fallen hook-line-and-sinker for such a ludicrous, and I might add badly executed, stunt.

When we got to the parking lot of the lab she hesitated, like it was time for her to walk the last mile.

Janet is very competitive and perhaps a little over-sure of herself when she gets an idea into her head. So I knew that she didn’t want to be proven so totally incorrect.

I suppose that nobody wants to find out that they treated their spouse like she’d treated me, only to be given undeniable proof of how stupid they’d just been.

But her reaction was kind of extreme even for her.

I chalked it up to her being very embarrassed about how she had behaved. We have always had an extremely close and loving relationship. So she must have felt like it was a serious betrayal of our love to just fly off the handle without even talking to me.

I felt sorry for her. I knew that she was ashamed and that she didn’t know how to begin to apologize.

Nevertheless, my need to take her to the lab wasn’t just me rubbing he nose in it. I wanted to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that I had been faithful to her. Then we could move on from there.

I mounted picture five on the scope. That was the view of me doing the blond with the big tits in the missionary position. I was smirking directly at the camera.

I moved the picture around on the table until it was centered on the viewing monitor. I said, in an attempt to lighten the moment, “WOW! You WISH I had a cock that size!!”

There were clearly two different pictures, my cutout face and the stud’s body. The edge where my face had been digitally cropped and joined to the guy with the giant sex organ was an obvious shadow. But the pictures themselves were also composed of two different pixel formats, so the cropping and the overlay was starkly obvious. That was true with the other four pictures as well.

I turned to her and said, “Satisfied?”

She looked horror stricken. Then she put her hands over her mouth and began to cry. I know she is emotional but I was totally bewildered.

She sank to the floor with her hands over her face repeating over and over, “He told me that he took them himself. He said they were his!!”

I had expected her to apologize but I didn’t expect her to totally break down. I said, “WHO told you WHAT? What the fuck’s going on here?”

She sat there crying miserably. I went over and picked her up and hugged her. I said, “I love you, and I don’t care that somebody caused you to question my devotion. You were set-up as much as I was. It’s over now and I forgive you so let’s move on”.

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