Equal Shares Ch. 33bysteveh11©
At The Firm, a couple of days later, Anne sat at her desk, leaning back, eyes unfocussed, forehead scrunched up, deep in thought. It was a pose that everyone in her area knew, but in this case they'd have been surprised at what she was thinking of.
Anne was still unsure about Denise and Stan. 'Just how would I react if Stan and Denise wanted some private time together? No, erase that. If Stan and Denise had sex together? Made love together? How would I feel?'
What Anne was imagining was Stan and Denise, bodies entwined, moving together, thrusting, panting. Anyone watching might have thought she was working hard on a problem, because there was a sheen of moisture on her face which was slightly flushed, and her respiration was shallow and fairly rapid. She'd been turned on by the thought, she realized. She was a bit surprised to find such a voyeuristic tendency in herself, it was something she hadn't experienced before. Anne put that to the back of her mind.
'Stan. Denise. Together. Can I not only agree to it, but actually invite it... instigate it?' she wondered, sitting up.
'It's a bit... extreme, isn't it?' she continued to herself. 'Is that what I've got to do?' She took a sip of her coffee, sitting beside her keyboard, and was surprised to find it stone cold. 'How long have I been sitting here doing nothing?'
'I'd best be getting on with some work,' she thought, 'I'll have to spend some time on this later!'
Knowing inside that she was only putting the problem off, she nevertheless turned back to her 'real-work' problems, leaving her personal ones in abeyance.
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Denise, too, was preoccupied. She'd arrived a few minutes late, and had scrambled to catch up quickly. Now, for the first time that day, she was able to grab a coffee and think about things.
She knew that she had a decision to make, but she was deadly afraid to make it, either way. She didn't really want to make the decision at all, but she knew that she must.
Elaine, Susan and she had fallen into a comfortable triad. The other two lived together, and Denise visited twice that week, when they'd all enjoyed each other. Elaine visited Denise alone a couple of times as well, and once Susan had come around, grinning from ear to ear and waving a bottle of wine. "Surprise!" she'd cried when Denise opened the door, and Denise reflected that it had been indeed – a very pleasant one.
It was the first time Susan and Denise had been together alone, and they were a little hesitant at first. But soon enough that hesitancy had melted in the alcohol (and the heat it produced!) and they'd enjoyed each other's bodies and each other's love, to the fullest.
But, comfortable as she was with Elaine and Susan, she was still in love with Stan. It was an admission that had been hard won from her heart by her conscience, and now she had to see where it was going to take her.
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Stan, meanwhile, was wondering how to broach the subject of Denise to Anne. 'How do I tell her I want another woman?' he wondered. 'And how do I ask Denise, come to that? I can't just wander up to her and say "Hey, fancy joining Anne and me?" now can I?'
Well. There was one thing he could do – he could try spending time with both of them. Tonight. At the Mitre.
He went to see Anne, first.
"Anne, d'you fancy a drink tonight, down at the Mitre?"
Anne looked up from the schematic drawing on her PC, turning her chair towards him.
"Middle of the week? It's unusual..." Stan thought for a moment that Anne was going to say "No", but she paused and then... "Yes, I think I feel like a night out, and the Mitre's a nice place. Yes! Okay, do you want me to drive, or are we biking in?"
Stan hadn't thought of that. He pondered for a moment. Denise didn't have a pushbike, did she? He couldn't remember for sure.
"No, I think I'll drive, Anne. It's okay, I'm not trying to get you drunk so I can take advantage of you!"
"Oh, as if!" Anne replied, with a wink. "That's okay, Stan. I won't make you ride your bike if you're prepared to drive me to the bar, I suppose!"
"Good. I thought we could invite Denise, too. She's seemed a little withdrawn."
Anne drew a breath, and Stan wondered if she'd baulk after all and he'd have to re-think his idea, but then Anne said, "You, me and Denise? That sounds like a good idea, Stan," and she stood, wrapped her arms around him and kissed him, quickly but with feeling.
Even with all that had happened between them, Stan blushed – after all, they weren't completely private. It was their workplace after all. 'What if anybody sees? Oh, the hell with it – they'll have to get over it!'
Stan's next objective was Denise, but first he had to find her. Eventually he ran her to earth, once again underneath a desk in Sales.
Stan waited patiently for her to finish, and was rewarded with a smile when she saw him.
"Stan, what can I do for you? Screwed up your PC again?"
"Huh. I haven't done that for ages, and that wasn't me anyway – must have been defective software. No, I wanted to ask you something."
"I've got to go back to the office, Stan. Talk on the way?" Stan nodded, and fell in beside her once they reached the corridor.
"So, what then?" she asked him.
"Anne and I are going for a drink at the Mitre tonight. I wondered if you'd like to come, too?"
Denise stopped and looked at Stan, who definitely looked back. She was wearing 'blouse and trousers' again, but the blouse was a lovely pale green one which didn't hide her bust, while not flaunting it, and her light tan trousers were topped off with a belt that, with the cut of the trousers, camouflaged her waistline. Topping it all off was her hair, long red locks pulled back into a simple ponytail. The outfit was simple but effective.
"You, me and Anne? Okay, Stan. What sort of time?"
"I'll pick up Anne at about half past seven, and we'll come around and pick you up on the way to the pub. If you'd like, that is?"
Denise, too, paused for a moment before assenting.
"Yes, Stan. That'll be lovely! I look forward to it – see you soon after that, then!"
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Anne was excited.
Stan had come to her with the idea of a midweek drink, with Denise, and at first she'd baulked, due to tomorrow being a workday. But then she'd realized what he'd said – him, her and Denise.
While Anne wasn't entirely sure of Stan's motives in inviting her, the fact that Denise would be coming along too was an opportunity not to be missed, given her earlier decision. Now all she had to do was open her mouth and speak.
'Huh. Goodness, I hope I can come up with the right words!' she worried. 'Well, getting dressed up has always helped me relax in the past – let's do it now.'
Anne knew she couldn't go 'all-out' tonight, it was only the Mitre and she didn't want to be conspicuously overdressed. But that didn't mean that a nice top and a good pair of sexy jeans wouldn't work.
Anne had found a dark brown satin tank top, with double straps and a braided front which exposed a little flesh and looked very sexy. She also had a fine pair of jeans, which she loved, and some nice soft leather boots. 'Nice!' she thought as she pirouetted in front of her mirror.
As Anne sat fidgeting in her chair, she thought about how she could broach the subject. She really didn't have any idea, there didn't seem to be a natural way to start a conversation off.
She stood and walked over to her bookcase, pulling out a Heinlein. She opened a page more-or-less at random and began reading, visiting her old friend Friday. She was still reading, not really taking anything in, when her doorbell rang.
She opened the door and Stan was there, in (for once) a nice tan shirt, not just a work one or a T, and, wonder of wonders, he was wearing a leisure pair of trousers, not just another work pair, in a darker tan colour.
Anne's insistence throughout the summer on the two of them getting some exercise on their bikes had given Stan a semblance of colour. He'd improved his fitness a little overall too, despite his objections, so he looked really quite good, his shirtsleeves rolled up in the relatively warm air of that Wednesday evening.
"Hi Anne! Ready?" he asked.
"Sure, sweetheart, just let me grab a jacket."
Soon they were on their way to Denise's cottage. Anne was dying to know why Stan had invited the other girl, but didn't want to jinx her chances of being able to say what she wanted to. So she kept the conversation trivial and relaxing.
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They arrived at Denise's place, and Anne surprised Stan by saying, "I'll go!" and getting straight out of the car. Stan watched as the tall woman, who he loved so much, went to the door and rang the bell. He saw Denise answer the door and the two girls embraced, then came back to his car, together.
"...and then I found this neat dress online, and realized I had these shoes to go with it, and I thought 'Perfect!' – so I bought it straightaway, and I was actually surprised when it was on sale!" he heard Denise telling Anne.
Stan saw Denise was wearing a green rose print dress in some sort of satin like material. It came to her knee and looked elegant yet flattering. In particular it emphasised her bust – Denise would have to be careful how she bent over.
Stan thought this was too good a line to pass up. "You'll have to be careful, Denise, or you'll 'spill the beans' in that dress!" he told her as she got in the car. His reward was a playful cuff from Denise and "Huh! At least she has something to spill!" from Anne, which of course resulted in the required reassurances about the taller girl's bust line that she'd been after!
Stan drove the three of them to the Mitre and, on parking, got out and opened Denise's door. "Why, ah doo declaire!" she told him in a fake 'Gone with the Wind' accent as she slid out of the car. Stan hurried to open Anne's door as well, but she'd already got out. For the barest instant she looked annoyed as she got out after Denise, but then she gave him a smouldering kiss for his trouble, to Stan's relief. 'Note to self, Tread Carefully and be even handed!' he thought.
Stan took Anne's hand and led them into the pub. He halted briefly once they were all inside, looking for a free table. He spotted one in the back and led them to it.
While the girls got seated Stan asked about drinks. "Gin and Tonic for me please, Stan!" Denise answered. Anne wanted a white wine. "Make it a large one!" she called after him as he turned for the bar. Stan grinned over his shoulder at her in acknowledgement.
Stan collected his mineral water and the two ladies' drinks and returned to find them deep in conversation.
"Where did you find that top, Anne?" Denise was asking. Inwardly Stan groaned, two women talking about clothes could and probably would bore him to tears. 'This was your idea!' he scolded himself. As he thought this, a small smile stole upon his face.
"What are you sitting there so smug and happy looking for?"
"Well," Stan returned, "I have two beautiful women with me. Why wouldn't I be happy?"
'Perfect!' Anne thought.
Inside, Anne was excited and nervous, frightened almost. But she took her courage in both hands. She turned to Stan.
"You know I love you?"
Stan was taken aback by the sudden seriousness of his lover, but he answered, "Yes."
Anne took a deep breath. She looked at each of her suddenly very intent partners in turn. "Okay. I really don't know how to say this, and I don't fully know where it's going to lead."
She looked at Stan first. "I know you love me too, Stan, and always will. But I know something else. You love Denise, as well." She paused and turned to the younger girl. "And you, Denise, love Stan right back. So instead of making ourselves miserable, or fighting about who gets the man we both love, why don't we try a little unconventional relationship – a ménage a trois?"
Stan gaped. 'Anne had been thinking this?!'
Denise, however, couldn't help it. She laughed!
Anne looked at her, not knowing what to make of the reaction, and starting to feel a little angry. Denise saw, and tried to placate her, putting a hand on Anne's arm for an instant.
"Just give me a moment and I'll explain!" she said, pulling herself together. She wiped her eyes with a napkin, and then went on.
"Honey, I don't think you realized. I'm already in a threesome."
"Huh?!" "What?!" were the simultaneous reactions from her companions.
"You mean you hadn't noticed me, Elaine and Susan?" she asked.
Stan just sat there, but Anne recovered fast. "Now you mention it, I've seen you and Elaine together more of late. I guess I didn't put two and two together." She looked upset, and Denise reached for her again.
"It's okay, Anne. Obviously, we weren't exactly advertising it. To call our relationship 'unconventional' would be putting it mildly."
"Hmm. Did I know you were bisexual?" Anne mused, "I'm trying to remember if anything's been said."
"Oh, I expect there's been gossip, Anne. There always is. But don't fret, it's no big deal provided we're 'plausibly deniable' as they say. Maybe one day I won't have to worry about such things, but at the moment, it is what it is. Laney and Susan will probably get 'married' someday soon, but they've made it plain that I'll still be welcome in their relationship. Our relationship, I should say. But now I have an offer I never thought I'd get – I'm flattered. Oh, and my answer's gonna be 'Yes!' by the way, Anne," She finished as she picked up a peanut and popped it into her mouth with aplomb.
Stan was sitting there, amazed and pleased. Also aroused; the thought of the three girls, Denise, Elaine and Susan together prompted an image in his mind that wasn't likely to go away for a while. But, there was Anne sitting next to him, having – amazingly – popped a question he secretly wanted, and now it seemed she didn't know what to make of it.
Actually, Anne's mind was whirling at amazing speed. A flash from her college life came to her. Then she wondered, irrelevantly, about how she'd map out the relationship she'd just, inadvertently, proposed. But finally she focused on the obvious question.
"Denise, if you're involved with Susan and Elaine, how can you so easily answer 'Yes' to my proposal? In fact, how can you answer 'Yes' to it at all?"
"Because we've already discussed it, both in general and in this particular case, specifically. Yes, of course you're right, I'm bi. I'm actually slightly inclined more towards guys, actually. That's the problem. You see, it's become increasingly clear, to me and Laney and Susan, that there's one specific guy I'm particularly hung up on."
Now Denise turned her full attention on Stan. "You, Stan, of course. I don't know what it is, but you've got me, for good or ill."
Denise looked back towards Anne. "I was prepared to fight if need be, but given the kind of relationship I was already in, I wondered if I could ever have a chance at something similar with you two. I'd just about made up my mind to try to work an opening to ask, when Stan asked me out with you both tonight." She smiled, widely, continuing, "If you hadn't popped that question, I was going to!"
Stan felt it was time to enter into things. He couldn't credit the way things were developing, apparently just the way he'd wanted them to. He looked from one of the girls to the other, and said, "Funny you should say that. I hadn't got as far as that, but I certainly had got to wondering what it could be like, and wanted to get the two of you together here tonight to talk and see how it went. So, you mean we all three..."
"Yes, it seems so!" interjected Anne. "All we have to do now is work out how!"
She raised her glass. Denise did the same, and Stan touched his to each, while Denise tapped hers against Anne's to finish.
"All for one and one for all?" suggested Stan. They drank, smiling.
"So, what next?" asked Denise. She looked at Anne, who she expected would continue to take the initiative, but to her surprise it was Stan who said, "Drink up, ladies. We're going back to my place where we can talk in privacy and hopefully celebrate properly, and I don't have to worry about driving!"
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