Gareth and Christopher have been married 5 years and together for 20. Of course, they'd had their ups and downs. Most couples do, but for the most part, they'd had very happy relationship so far.
On this one particular night, however, Gareth has found bright red lipstick on the collar of Chris’ jacket. Only catching sight of it out of the corner of his eyes as Chris came home and proceeded to hang the jacket on the coat rack.
Infuriated, he grabbed the colander of peas he had been straining, and threw it at him, missing his head by centimetres but showering him in cooked peas. Standing in there reasonably fitted flat-pack kitchen, anger boiling like the pot of potatoes, spewing water over the stove. Gareth slammed the oven shut and pushed the recipe books that were neatly lined up on the breakfast counter to the floor.
When he strode over the cooking books scattered across the floor, it was almost elegant the way he managed to not step on any. Gareth stormed out of the kitchen, yelling curses and insulting names, down the hall, only to break down crying in the lounge.
It was time now for Christopher to explain what happened. Stepping over the books into the kitchen, he decided to turn the stove off first. Then just as clumsily walking back through the books to follow his husband.
In their tiny lounge with large furnishings and far too many books, particularly for living in a place that experienced frequent earthquakes. not the best room to be in during one. Although the couch that Gareth was sitting on was on the opposite side of the room to the books and door. Three medium strides later, Chris stood next to the couch thinking about how to explain. “It’s not what you think,” Chris tried to reassure him, knowing how stupid he sounded.
Gareth felt the fury form again and yelled through sniffles, “So your neck just landed on someone’s mouth?”
An awkward moment passed by with answer.
“It was Lora,” Chris sighed. He blurted that out a little too quickly. “From Advertising.” Chris looked down at his feet before continuing hesitantly, “We were alone and having lunch together. She started to… flirt and she asked about me and… uh…”
“Keep going!”, Gareth snapped, giving him direct eye contact.
"I told her about us. She said, ‘It’s a shame you’re gay.’ "
Gareth let out a sound of disgust.
Chris cleared his throat, "I told her we aren’t gay, that we’re bi... technically speaking, we are. You know, we like... well, she did that stupid giggle of hers and said ‘Oh! So there is a chance?’ "
“A chance?!”, Gareth repeated in outrage, throwing his hands up above his head frustratedly. “So you said yes, didn’t you? You threw 20 years away for something you've known for three seconds at work. Well, I wish I knew that 21 years ago, 'cause then I wouldn’t have flirted with you in that pokey little club.” He covered his face with his hands, digging his elbows into his thighs.
Chris sat down, gently placing his hands on Gareth’s shoulders, trying to comfort him. “You know-” Gareth shrugged them off and slid further along the couch, leaving Chris’ hands motionless in the air for a few seconds. Lowering his arms, he stayed put and continued, “-how many times have we had someone else join us in-”
“NEVER have I f*cked anyone without you present. I’m not a cheater!”
“Neither am I!”, Chris insisted. “She initiated something that I didn’t finish because you weren’t there.” Chris sighed with frustration but rubbed Gareth’s leg affectionately. “I love and respect you too f*cking much to do something like cheat or lie about someone else.”
Gareth remained quiet for a few moments. Although it was no more than half a minute, it felt like far too long for Chris. Until finally, Gareth took a deep breath and replied with both a mumble and a whine, "I-I believe you. I’m sorry, I just… It’s… We’re old."
Chris was taken aback, mockingly. “What the hell? Speak for yourself!”
Gareth's mumble disappeared a little. “We’re old. We’ve been together for 20 years. Time… has been a b*tch. It’s harder to maintain a good body, I have grey hair, and-and a forehead wrinkle.”
Chris shrugged. “So what? I like growing old with you.” Aware of Gareth’s uncertainty about ageing, he slid over and began to stroke his greys. With his other hand, he gently pulled Gareth’s chin round to face him. The hand on his head moved down to Gareth’s forehead to rub his thumb along his wrinkle. “And this is attractive to me. If you’re old, I’m old. And a lot of people happen to find that sexy.”
Gareth raised an eyebrow. “Like Lora?”
Chris nodded. “People like what they like.”
Gareth felt a bit more secure in himself and his relationship, Chris' words had been calming, so he turned on the charm. “And do you… like Lora?” It was Gareth’s turn to stroke Chris’ thigh. Something a bit different to just affection.
“I do.” Chris exhaled slowly and quietly.
Gareth leaned in as his hand traveled to Chris’ upper thigh. “And do you... want her?”, he whispered.
“I want you both,” Chris spoke clearly then swallowed loudly.
Gareth grinned. “Good.”
Chris’ cheeks flushed up, pleased at his husband’s response. Looking down at the hand moving towards the quickly stiffening member. Slowly he lifted his gaze up to meet those wise-old eyes he loved so much and licked his lips. “Is that a good thing?”, he asked, raising his brows. “Would you be interested in her joining us then?”
Gareth smiled. “Not now.” With his other hand, he placed it on his Chris’ chest, pushing him back on the couch, his head resting on the armrest. “Right now I want only you.”