Suddenly Charles was alert again. “All right you bastard… You and you’re lesbian slut of a wife have had your fun here… Now get the hell out… before I kill you.”

“Hey,” Don said, in his deep rich baritone, trying to sound both calm and authoritative a ridiculous contrast to his quickly wilting penis. “Don’t get the wrong idea Radwin! She’s done all this of her own free will.”

Charles looked at Lisa. The pleasure of her orgasm had receded and on her face now was a look of total confusion and anxiety. “Did you do all this of your own free will or did they drug you again… The truth Lisa… I want the truth…”

“I… I don’t know… I can’t remember…” Her mind was still vague and fogged from the Vin Mariani.

“You’d better remember baby… you’d just better…”

Rachel looked imploring at her husband. “Come on love… let’s get out of here… We just gave this guy what was probably the best time of his life and he’s angry… People…! Well it takes all kinds…”

“You’re not going anywhere…” Charles said and something he his tone stopped them cold… “Until I find out exactly what went on here this afternoon.”

Lisa looked so helpless and confused now that Charles tried a new tack with her. He went over and gently began to run his fingers through her long blonde hair in a comforting way. “Now just think about it honey… what happened…”

“Well, Rachel came over to visit… and I offered her coffee… and she asked me to try this liqueur…”

“What kind of liqueur… where’s the fucking bottle…”

“In the kitchen…”

“Okay…” he said rushing to his feet and running into the house. The bottle of the Mariani was on the table… he read the label… Cocaine! 1893… what the…? Holy shit. This is insane. I can’t blame my wife when they keep drugging her… but this stuff is illegal and I’m gonna make those two pay for this so that they’ll never forget what happens when you mess with Charles Radwin.

He came back out into the backyard, brandishing the bottle in one hand and carrying the phone with its long cord, in the other. “Okay… you bastards… you took advantage of my wife… and you know what I’m going to do… You broke the law… you’re no better than the pusher who turns innocent kids on… And I’m gonna see you pay your dues for this one…”

“What do you think you’re doing?” asked Don his voice still resounding with composure and confidence.

“That self-assured act won’t work with me… I’m calling the police and this is the evidence.”

A wide smile spread across Don Carpenter’s face. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

“That sounds like a bad line out of one of your B movies,” Charles said sarcastically. “But you’re full of shit…”

“Well, perhaps you should hear me out first… That is… a man we both know owes me a favor… a biggy… he was indiscreet and I helped him out. And I’m the only one who knows the details…”

“Shit,” Charles exclaimed… “You could have been a grade B writer as well as a bad actor…”

Suddenly Lisa’s soft voice penetrated the air. “I think you’d better listen to him darling.”

“That’s right Charles,” Rachel said. “Farley Greendawn is the mutual acquaintance Don is referring to… and I do believe you owe all this…” She swept her hand to include the house and the magnificent Bel-Air scenery… “To Farley… It could all disappear tomorrow if you continue to be so silly…”

“Why… why that’s blackmail.”

Rachel laughed. “Now who’s writing the melodrama… It’s business darling, merely business.”

Charles was crushed. It wasn’t that he was not a man of principle… but to give up everything he had worked for so long and so hard not the house and the neighborhood that was just the icing on the cake… but the work itself… it was a passion… a passion grand enough at times to interfere even with his marriage. Shit! The Carpenters had him by the balls, and man, it was painful.

“Charles dear, have a drink to calm you down!” said Rachel and handed him the bottle of Mariani. Before he realized what he had done, he had taken a couple of deep swigs of the cocaine-laced beverage.

A few moments later Rachel was rubbing her smoothly tanned, fully round breams against his still-bare back. “Now honey,” she said… “why don’t we all just be good neighbors… Doesn’t this feel good,” she cooed… “Doesn’t it…?”

And before the Radwins realized what was happening, they were once again involved in orgiastic pleasure with their corrupt neighbors.

The next morning, when Charles and Lisa were again alone, they realized they had been forever transformed. They had found pleasure and freedom greater than anything they had ever known, but they were all too aware of the price… a double price… which was the loss forever of the innocence of their love, and the knowledge that the demands of the world had compromised their ideals. It wasn’t bad and it wasn’t good… it was just growing older.

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