Call to the Wild
Peter grew up in a densely populated section of western Pennsylvania during a time when both Bull Fighting and The Adventures of Tarzan could be seen on black and white TV every Saturday morning. He watched intensely as a scantily clothed white man swung from vine to vine in a jungle occupied by natives, dangerous animals, and white hunters who were always trying to capture the wild for profit. Tarzan's muscles rippled as he befriended all living creatures, communicating with them by producing a bellowing call that was classic Tarzan... Then there was Jane, an attractive white woman from a wealthy family, who as a result of surviving a plane crash, ended up in the jungle to become Tarzan's love interest... Peter was intrigued by it all, wondering how could he swing from vines all day and end up with Jane too? Not knowing the answer did little to prevent young Peter from attempting to develop his own call to the wild...
Peter's father was a high school football coach and Peter grew up listening to the constant smack of Riddell helmets colliding with one another in the heat of gridiron battle and the piercing chorus of angry whistles that was never far behind. When his chance arrived he made the most of it, becoming a high school football star. With the nose of the ball tucked securely under his arm, Peter frequently zigzagged his way across the field, his forward progress halted only by the waiting end zone. Certainly his opportunities were better than the other candidates whose gene pools hadn't received any contributions from the coach, but Peter was a superb athlete who would become a local stand out while playing for his Dad.
Peter's athletic and academic accomplishments combined to earn him a football scholarship to Yale University. There he would be up against some of the best and the biggest. Standing just 5'6", it was his lack of size that would keep him from advancing beyond the practice squad. After surviving two humbling seasons providing pre-game chum for starting Ivy League defenses, he would give up football to concentrate on wrestling, a sport where talent is categorized by weight, resulting in a more level playing field. He dominated in his weight category, lettering in the varsity sport as a junior and becoming the team's captain, maintaining his full scholarship.
The fit, trim young man earned his degree from Yale and major success appeared inevitable. He married an intelligent woman who became a highly skilled eye surgeon, fathering two children with her. He borrowed money and opened a health club where he would continue to maintain the chiseled physique he had grown accustomed to sporting during his days as an athlete. He spent a great deal of time developing his pecs and quads and was greatly admired at his club. At home he was not as popular. His wife was seeking her own success in the field of Ophthalmology and it was her income that enabled Peter to keep his muscles toned in the now financially declining health club. It was quickly becoming apparent to his wife that her husband had little interest in her pursuits and little available time for their two young boys. It was then that she began to reexamine her marital vows...
Though now bespectacled and with a fast receding hairline, Peter's physique still dominated his overall appearance, which remained youthful. Carefully selected baseball caps provided incessant cover, directing first impressions away from his vulnerability, allowing the focus to shift towards his more enviable qualities. Peter's chiseled physique along with his confident swagger easily impressed many of the young women who joined the club. Being the owner he enjoyed special privileges... His wife would soon find out about these special privileges and the divorce proceedings would begin.
The health club would close, but not before Peter would make a once casual relationship more serious, one that had begun prior to the club's demise. The attractive younger woman came from substantial wealth; her parents had money and were extremely generous with it. After several failed relationships left her perplexed, she was never more available than when she first walked through the doors of Peter's health club.
Casually dressed in naturally faded blue jeans, adorning dangling silver ear rings and wearing beaded leather sandals; this thin, full-breasted, athletic young woman appeared slightly taller than Peter. Her posture was confident, but not in a threatening way, and Peter found this very appealing. Jean was walking past the front desk, her own confident gait in full view when Peter first approached her.
"Yes. Hi, you are?"
"I'm Peter, owner of the club. Nice to meet you."
He had used the same greeting with so many new members that experience had him speaking naturally and in a very soothing tone.
"Are you here to use our cardio equipment or the Nautilus?" "I like to balance my workouts with a little bit of both and I spend a great deal of time stretching too."
Jean liked talking about herself and rambled on, revealing a bit more to her interested listener, her intense, almond-shaped hazel eyes the point of focus.
"I'm still a competitive Fencer and I'm looking forward to completing my third Boston Marathon this spring."
Peter was immediately taken in by Jean's energy and competitive spirit, his ice-blue eyes glancing down to her fresh pedicure and then up to the medium length, straight brown hair she was pulling back into a ponytail as they spoke. While tying up her hair Peter could see Jean was a well-conditioned athlete by the way her long, thin, muscular arms pumped even while performing a mundane task. At Vassar College Jean had honed her competitiveness, paticipating in both fencing and cross-country skiing while receiving her Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies.
The always-talkative Peter was momentarily silenced, and after holding eye contact for a bit longer than was comfortable, he gathered himself.
"I look forward to working out with you. Maybe we can take a run together sometime?"
Jean's response came quick and was playfully challenging.
"Sure. I do my long run on Sunday mornings..."
The attention that would be showed to her by the club's owner had Jean looking forward to each workout session.
Safe inside the confines of his club, surrounded by mirrors reflecting his near perfect physical appearance from every angle, Peter never felt more empowered. It had been a place where loyal club members seeking the same kind of isolation, congregated, hoping to find the same satisfying reflections.
Even as she made her way from one chromed apparatus to another, Jean couldn't take her curious eyes off him, using the carefully placed mirrors and bright lighting to help her follow his movements. From across the room Jean secretly watched as his tightened back muscles swelled beneath bare, sweat-soaked skin while he completed his final lat pull. His colossal effort provided enough stimulus to motivate her through her last set of leg presses; and locked in a tightly focused hypnotic stare, she finished by powerfully exhaling in one short, hard burst that stole everyone's attention.
The rhythmic clang of forged steel meeting its end after gliding effortlessly along perfectly aligned vertical dowels would play background to the heightened sexual tension between them. These indelible images and predictable rhythms prodded at a wanton Jean as she willingly transcended through the sweetest seduction she had ever known...
When the club finally closed and Peter's spacious colonial had been reduced to a single paragraph, adjective-heavy real estate listing, he knew there would be some decisions of consequence that had to be made. His two boys stayed with their mother where they would grow up in privileged fashion. Private schools, travel, nannies and bright futures would not elude these young men. Peter married Jean shortly after the legal waiting period had expired. He researched and discovered an upper-crust town within an hour's ride that rewarded qualified teachers with the highest wages. Peter's resume' was very impressive and he was hired to be a Junior High School teacher there. With a degree from Yale and bulging biceps in a female dominated profession, he was a very popular guy in the teacher's lounge.
With the availability of his new wife's finances and a job that included summers off, along with the help of some college buddies experienced in construction, Peter was able to build his own post and beam style home that later provided him with endless opportunities to tell stories of how it was erected.
The house was nestled in a heavily wooded area with a back yard that dropped off quickly to where, when the water table was high, a stream ran well enough to accept his kayak. This sleek, one-man vessel was ideal for pumping his well-defined biceps. Later he would carefully devise a system of ropes that would enable him to swing through his wooded back yard for hours on end. All who visited would get the nickel tour and a brief, but impressive demonstration.
Peter maintained a high level of fitness and on many occasions, boasted about the respect his Jr. High School students paid him as a result. With two children from his second wife, a new home, two new cars, summers off with exotic vacations, and summer homes available for his new family's use- Life was good!
His wife chose the gift so he could put it on his desk at school. It would be something of hers that would make a presence at the head of his class. Peter was immediately joyful and appreciative of Jean's unexpected and kind gesture, promising to find the perfect spot for the desktop gift...
It wasn't uncommon for Peter to leave his house before five a.m. in order to swim laps at a pool near the school. On some afternoons after the final bell sounded, he would go back to that facility to pump iron, a break from working out alone in his home gym. His two children were enrolled in after-school day care.
He arrived home late that afternoon in good spirits and with a clear conscience, unaware that he had commuted with the smell of her perfume still in tow... His wife immediately picked-up the foreign scent, remaining silent but distressed. Later that week Jean surprised her husband with a visit to his school. There she would find her spouse in another classroom conversing with an attractive young teacher she had met at a party once before. Surprised as they were to see Jean, they both struggled, but were able to pull off making awkward, but cordial greetings.
"Jean! Hi! What a surprise." Peter immediately released the attention he had on Vanessa, embracing his wife in a reassuring way he hoped would be enough. "I had no idea you were coming. You remember Vanessa?"
Jean remembered Vanessa. She had arrived at a school holiday party Peter and Jean attended, without her husband, amidst rumors of marital problems, in full make-up, provocatively dressed, her dark roots carefully hidden beneath bleach blonde shoulder-length hair, much to the chagrin of the other woman in attendance. She had had a little too much to drink and flirted with Peter to a point of irritating Jean.
"Oh, hi Vanessa. How are you?" Jean asked matter-of-factly, looking slightly away as she spoke.
"I'm fine. Nice to see you Jean."
Jean wasn't at all happy to see Vanessa. Peter quickly attempted to split up the two women, persuading Jean to come with him into his classroom, but before he could, the strong presence of the now familiar scent had already validated her worst suspicions. As her eyes wondered she saw the desktop gift she had given her husband atop the attractive young teacher's desk...
"How could you?" was all Jean was able to say before she turned and stormed away.
Ensuing weeks were difficult for Peter and his wife. Jean's posture was no longer of the confident, non-threatening type Peter had found so appealing when they first met. She spoke often with arms akimbo, an indication of her discontent and lack of trust. Only after many hours of marriage counseling did it become apparent that Peter had successfully dodged a bullet.
Peter continued his morning swims and afternoon workouts, maintaining his well-coveted physique. There was still the kayak and the ropes...
Being limited to the privacy of his wooded back yard did little to prevent Peter from continuing to perfect his call to the wild...
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.