When Andrew Harper found himself truly in love for the first time ever, it turned out to be far more unconventional than he had hoped for.
After a lifetime of instability, he had been planning on a very simple, boring life that would provide to be a reprieve from the chaos that was his childhood.
He was going to go to school, get a masters in history, get a job teaching - hopefully in a college setting, but he was open to high school or middle school, depending on the location. He was going to marry someone that genuinely loved him and that he loved in return, a very Hallmark meeting and romance. They would have a nice house in the suburb - two kids, two dogs, probably a cat in there somewhere. He wanted the predictable routine, all the boring stuff, the holiday shopping, the PTA, the drives to camping spots, the retirement with lazy days in rocking chairs and the long talks on porches with his adult kids about life.
But life had never been so simple for him.
For starters, the love of his life didn’t turn out to be his classmate or coworker as he thought it would be, but instead his college professor. Sally Dawson was stunning and kind, but she was also just about fifteen years his senior, and most concerning, she was married. She was completely upfront about herself to him and had been since she first dragged him through the doorway of her house by the belt of his pants.
The age thing he could overlook. He didn’t like to dwell on why, but Andrew had in fact some general issues that made the age difference, well, work out for him, and the more he thought about it, the more he liked the idea of an older, more mature woman as a partner. He was just a few months short of twenty and thought he could benefit from someone that knew what she was doing, especially since he had absolutely no experience romance wise outside of awkward flirting in high school and the disappointment of going to senior prom alone when his date got back together with her ex. Plus he really liked the idea of someone taking care of him and, you know, mothering him. It was a nice thought, to have someone that wanted to take care of you and protect you.
The marriage thing, however, was a far more difficult pill to swallow. Andrew avoided confrontation like the plague, and to think that there was a Mr. Dawson out there somewhere, ready to beat the shit out of him for screwing his hot wife was not ideal. But as Sally’s hand was down his pants at the time of her disclosing her marital status, he hadn’t acted as quickly as he probably should have.
Shortly after they finished that first time and were laying in her bed, she had him lay on his stomach so she could massage his back and explain that her marriage was wide open. Her husband, she said as she worked her magic fingers up and down his back, was overseas for work. What he did for work, she didn’t say, but she said that he had been there for several years now and was not likely to return in the next seven years, nor would he want to leave. His marriage was to his work and always had been. Due to this, they saw other people but stayed married because divorce would affect the legal benefits that both she and her husband enjoyed.
The way she worded it, it all made sense to Andrew. Sally was good at that, wording it in a certain way for him to understand. It’s why she made such a great professor. Even with subjects that he had monumental struggles with, she was able to break them down into more understandable pieces - it was one of the things that made him fall in love with her.
The other was that she was as intensely interested in him as he was with her.
Whenever they had been alone in the lab, she had flirted shamelessly with him, her fingers fluttering to hoover behind his neck just close enough that he could feel her warmth against his skin, her attention always centered on him.
When they had sex, it felt like it was on a whole different level. He’d never been with anyone else than her, but he somehow knew that what they shared was not normal. It was special. They just connected on a whole different level. No one had ever paid him attention like she had, no one had ever loved him like she had. No one talked to him like she did. She was so sweet and understanding, willing to teach him whatever it was he wanted to learn.
And so he was willing to accept that she was in an open marriage, because she was with him, she wanted to be with him, and that was all that mattered to him. He had never been this happy, and the last thing he wanted to do was nitpick and ruin the best thing that had ever happened to him.
During the beginning of the spring semester, he signed up for another one of her classes so he could still see her in class most days of the week, even though he didn’t need another chemistry. He would work early in the morning and then see her in class in the afternoon. Afterward, they would spend time together, usually having sex, before Andrew would go back to his apartment and sleep for a handful of house, four if he was lucky, two when he wasn’t. Rise and repeat.
When he was informed his apartment complex was being torn down to make room for a mall, Sally eagerly suggested that he move into her house, something which he was hesitant to accept. It was, after all, the house she bought with her husband.
Whenever he stayed over at her place, he saw evidence of Mr. Dawson everywhere, hidden away, but still somehow very present. While it was truly Sally’s house - her touches everywhere - just when he thought he couldn’t find a hint of her husband, there it was, right in front of him yet cleverly hidden. Coming over for sex and staying the night was one thing, but moving in? For real? It had made him take pause. It felt like he was an intruder and that he needed to keep an ear out for the sound of Mr. Dawson’s car pulling up.
He hadn’t thought he’d ever be able to relax there.
But Sally and her magic hands ultimately won that battle, and though he promised himself it would only be temporary, he quickly found himself comfortable. Too comfortable, almost. He even occasionally found himself borrowing Mr. Dawson’s clothing, though they were as big on him as his own clothing was on Sally.
They settled into a routine real fast.
In the morning, they would shower together and usually have sex before that, during, or right after. Then they would go have breakfast together before she would drop him off at his work. After work, he would walk to the college and take his classes or hang out at the library. At about seven Sally would pick him up a few blocks from the college and they’d drive home together, have dinner, usually have sex again, and then go to bed. It was a nice routine. Andrew liked it - it felt like something he could get used to.
Routines made him feel safe and secure.
One night during dinner, Andrew asked about Mr. Dawson, whose shirt he had been wearing at the time because his own was in the wash. Sally informed him that his name was Corey. She said that she and her husband were high school sweethearts from an obscenely small town and were the only two people there that ever wanted to leave. Sally wanted to be a model and Corey wanted to prevent himself from being a lawn fixture in a trailer park like all the other men in his family, so they bonded over their dreams of escaping the fate that their hole in the desert promised them if they stayed.
They decided to get married to each other to keep their families from bugging them and then left the town together...and stayed together ever since. Since they were apart so often for Corey’s work, and Sally had a very high sex drive, they agreed to open their marriage so he wouldn’t have to hear her complain so much about being away. She had told Andrew this was for the best, especially since she and her husband were both edging into the middle part of their thirties - and since Corey couldn’t keep up with her when they were teenagers, she was sure he wouldn’t be able to keep up with her now when she is more active than ever. She even told Andrew that it was hard for her husband to keep his erection with her, which blew Andrew’s mind, considering how beautiful Sally was and how great she was in bed.
When Andrew asked why her husband hadn’t been able to keep it up, Sally just shrugged and said that he lived a stressful life. Corey had worked two fulltime jobs since he was fourteen. She just assumed he was tired. She said that was why they didn’t have kids yet, something she complained her parents were always bugging her about it.
And then they were talking about kids, which Andrew perked up at because he loved kids and in the back of his mind, he had already sort of been having this recurring fantasy that they were welcoming their first kid. Not that he told her that. But. You know. He had plans – a solid ten year plan for them that he was very attached to, and that included having children within the next four years.
Sally told him that she was thinking about kids and figured she was almost in the right place professionally to start making plans, but wasn’t so sure the house was ready for little people running around. Plus, she didn’t know if she could cut back her hours at work right now to take care of kids and needed to know her partner was someone that could help and support her.
So Andrew had been lowkey fixing up stuff around the house and trying to be a more active member in their partnership. He was more submissive by nature, which is why he had always felt comfortable letting Sally take control and call the shots with them, but if they were going to be partners and parents, than he needed to prove that he was more than just the boyfriend that did whatever was told. He had to show initiative and the ability to exist and function without her there to tell him what to do so she’d feel secure having kids with him. He didn’t want it to come off as too obvious that he was upping his game all the sudden after their talk, but he thinks he was able to phase it in pretty effortlessly.
One of those things he did was make dinner a few times a week.
“So what sounds good?” Andrew asked as he came out of the bathroom, fresh from the shower and toweling off his hair. He glanced over to where Sally was laying naked on top of the covers, thumbing through her phone as she twirled a strand of bronze blonde hair around her finger.
“I don’t know,” she said in a distracted tone, her gaze glued to her phone screen, “Do you want to order out?”
“Nah - I’ll make us something,” Andrew said before he went to the closet to open it up. When he couldn’t immediately find his favorite pair of boxers - a black pair with the bat signal all over it - he just grabbed a pair of Mr. Dawson’s sweatpants, pulling them on and tightening the drawstring so they didn’t fall off his hips.
All of Mr. Dawson’s things were at least two sizes larger than his own and ten years older, but worn down to be incredibly comfortable to wear. He really did feel guilty having them on though so he tried not to wear them if he could avoid it and always put them back exactly where he found them, shoved into a plastic bid in the back of the closet behind Sally’s longer skirts.
He finished drying off his hair and tossed his towel to the dirty clothes basket. It missed. He frowned and turned back to the closet to grab the first shirt he could find and pulled it on as he went over and got his towel from the floor, sticking it in the hamper in passing as he asked “Do you want some pasta?”
“Do we have stuff for like -” Sally held up both her hands, her eyes jumping to the ceiling and narrowing. “A huge, crunchy salad with some garlic chicken?” She asked, her gaze dropping to look over her naked breasts at him.
“Yup.” He said with a nod and a smile. “I’ll make you one!”
Her lips pulled into a little smile. “So sweet.” She cooed as he left the bedroom. As he slowly made his way down the hall, he heard her talking to someone on the phone in a hushed tone. Whenever she wasn’t with Andrew, she seemed to be on the phone. When he asked, she had told him that she was talking to her mother or, on rare occasions, her husband, who she needed to give updates to since they still shared the house and back accounts.
But Andrew wasn’t nervous at all about these hushed phone calls. He didn’t feel threatened by Mr. Dawson in the least.