Carol (35) looks like she has it all loving husband, beautiful children, great job. But for the first time in her 12-year relationship it's not quite enough...
When Rob surprised me with a week's holiday on Hamilton Island I couldn't believe my luck, especially since he'd organised his parents to look after everything at home. We have two children, so snatch romantic moments when we can, but this was a week just for us.
All the clichés applied champagne breakfasts, long lazy mornings in bed, romantic dinners for two followed by strolling hand in hand on the beach it was like going back to when we first met.
Rob and I have always had an incredible physical attraction for each other so when that initial passion also developed into a warm and lasting relationship marriage was an easy next step. We have the occasional spat, usually over very little, but I can honestly say that in all the time we've been together I've never looked twice at another man.
We were enjoying yet another lazy day, meandering around the island on a golf buggy when Rob suddenly braked and waved at a couple coming up the hill towards us.
He introduced me to Ben, who he'd met at a work conference just a couple of weeks ago and he in turn introduced us to his wife Kelly. We ended up having lunch together and discovered that they were about to move to the same suburb as us and that their children would be going to school together.
They were having a week away to celebrate Ben's new job in marketing, which is my line of work. Rob suggested we meet up that evening which they agreed enthusiastically, before we parted company for the afternoon.
We spent a few hours in bed, enjoying the leisurely love making without any small children to interrupt and by the time we were getting ready for our evening out I was lazy and relaxed.
When we got to the restaurant Kelly and Ben started telling us about their afternoon scuba diving before asking how we'd spent our time and Rob grinned naughtily at me as he said "relaxing".
As Rob picked up his menu, still smiling to himself, Ben caught my eye meaningfully and I could feel myself starting to blush. Neither Kelly nor Rob seemed to pick up on our silent exchange but as Ben and I locked glances a few times over the evening I could feel myself getting flustered.
Kelly went to find the toilet and Rob followed moments later to ask the waiter to change an order and I could feel the silence settle around us. "Carol," Ben started softly and I looked up. "I'm so pleased we're going to be neighbours."
"Me too," I blurted out, my mouth going dry as I glanced around for Rob and saw him and Kelly walking over together. I could see Kelly giggling. "He is such a laugh!" she said and I nodded as Rob turned to Ben and said "You'll need to get together with Carol when we get home she knows everyone who's anyone in marketing." Ben smiled at me and said pleasantly, " I'd love to."
We all headed back to our villas and after a few moments of small talk arranged to catch up the next day. "This has been great," said Kelly, hugging us both. "I'm so pleased about our move now." Rob hugged her back and then shook hands with Ben. "See you tomorrow thanks for a great night," Rob said.
As Ben turned towards me I felt as nervous as a 14-year-old on her first date as I felt his warm hand caressing my bare back and his lips on my cheek.
My mind was in turmoil as I lay beside a peacefully sleeping Rob and thought of Ben. It had been the most innocent of touches, but I trembled every time I thought about him and I was almost sure he felt the same.
My perfect world was being overturned by shock and a deep sense of guilt because while we were safe enough here with Rob and Kelly it wouldn't be the same at home. And if Ben made a move on me then I honestly didn't know if I could resist him....
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