It's the allure of a succubus…
Myra is beautiful, sensual, and his best friend's wife. She radiates some sinister quality, yet she never does or says a thing that doesn't suggest she loves her husband, even as he's mysteriously wasting away. He has no reason to think she is anything but his loving wife who exudes some powerful force that goes beyond passion.
~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~
Charlie's feelings complicated matters. Over dinner, he realized Myra attracted him. When she spoke to him, the most casual comments sounded like intimate promises. Her asking if he'd like more wine got him hot, aroused. His reaction made him ashamed. He felt like he was cheating on George, or intending to. It was all foolishness, but Charlie couldn't help what he felt.
After dinner Myra went to the kitchen to clean up, leaving Charlie and George in the living room sipping whiskey. As Charlie considered how to approach the subject George leaned close to speak in a low voice. "Make me a promise."
"That you'll take care of Myra. She isn't clever about business things, about money."
"You do that. That’s your job."
He shook his head. "No, not for much longer." He looked up and Charlie saw how hollowed his eyes were. "I'm dying, Charlie. I don't know why, and the doctors say I'm just run down. But they are wrong. They've recommended a few things, but the only one that sounds sensible is also crazy. Other than feeding me more supplements, they've suggested putting me in the hospital and sticking feeding tubes in my arms so they can monitor my intake and see what's going on."
"Why not give that a try?"
He shook his head. "Myra. As you pointed out, she is my responsibility. She has needs I can't accommodate from a hospital bed."
"I don't understand."
"She is such an alive person, Charlie. She can't sit at home every night. Bad enough that under normal circumstances I'd grow old like other men and disappoint her that way. Now I am killing her, too."
"Disappoint her by growing old?"
He smiled. "She's an amazing woman, Charlie. She has great strengths, but even amazing people have needs that must be satisfied."
Charlie was confused. "Needs? You mean other than business matters."
He nodded. "So I can't go to the hospital. She depends on me for so much."
It looked more like George depended on Myra to Charlie, but his old friend wasn't joking. He believed it. "So you're happy to just waste away? Give up?"
He laughed. "The doctors don't know that their treatment will make any difference."
"Would you try it if it weren't for Myra?"
"Sure. I'd give it a shot."
"Instead of me taking care of her when you're dead, what about if I took care of her while you went into the hospital and got better?"
George smiled. "I don't think it's that simple, but you've made a good point." Myra came in and fixed herself a drink then, and sat next to George.
"You look all done in, George. All this excitement of having company, I guess. Was this dinner a mistake?"
"Who can say? But I explained things to Charlie in a general sense and he thinks I should try the hospital cure," he said.
She brightened. "Excellent."
George nodded. "I told him that I need to feel sure you'll be taken care of." He gave her a knowing wink. "So I'll take your hint and go to bed. Charlie, you stay here with Myra, If you want me to take this cure, then let Myra give you some idea of what you are in for. Then, tomorrow, if you still want to help, if you're willing to do what's necessary, I'll call the doctor and arrange for this treatment."