Equal Shares Ch. 40bysteveh11©
Stan had found that the loosely fixed 'alternate days' arrangement that they had come to was actually very loose. This last week, with Anne now finally free from the enormous pressure she'd been under, it had been the spectacular blonde who had spent most evenings with him. Saturday night Denise stayed with him, then on Sunday Anne again claimed her turn.
"Anne, not that I mind, but how come you're with me so much at the moment? I don't want Denise to feel left out."
Anne, snuggled up alongside him in bed, stroked his face with one long sensuous finger. "No, it's okay. Denise and I talked about it. She knows I missed out a lot while I was doing that work for Sid, and that I'll be in a similar position soon as well, though hopefully not as bad! So she told me to relax, enjoy myself, and spend more time with you for now. She knows she'll be getting more than her share soon enough!"
"Hmphh! Passing me round like a piece of meat!" Stan complained, but Anne knew him too well.
"Yes, my darling, and you love it!" she told him, and kissed him. One thing led to another, and Stan found himself on his back deep inside his lover, looking up at her concentrated expression. As she rode him to a climax he met her movements with his own, then rolled her over and thrust wetly into her, harder and faster, until he came with a cry of his own.
"God I love you!" he gasped, still moving weakly in her.
"I love you right back, my sweet," she told him, pulling him down into another long kiss.
- - - - - - - - - -
The last week of work before the Christmas holidays was always a rush. It was effectively a three-week-month, and yet there needed to be just as much done, it seemed. Anne was still hard at work getting her project into as tidy a shape as she could manage. Denise was busy as usual and Stan seemed to have more than his usual number of fires to fight.
"Jeez," he told Elaine on Wednesday afternoon, "it's just as well tomorrow's the last day. I'd hate to keep this up all the time!"
Elaine laughed. Just then Ewan came through, and Stan saw him give Elaine a really filthy look.
"What's that about?" Stan asked.
"Oh, it's ever since I started wearing this," she answered, holding up her hand, displaying her ring. "I don't think Ewan believes 'people like me' should be allowed to marry."
"Well, it's bullshit, Elaine. Ignore him."
"Oh, I do!" she told him, happily. Then she became serious again and went on, "I think you three have become common knowledge now too, Stan. I've heard the gossip, so watch out for some comments."
"Huh. Well, it was bound to happen, Elaine. I'll let Denise and Anne know."
Actually, the first person he saw was Elizabeth. More accurately, she saw him, and went to meet him by the water cooler as he grabbed a quick drink.
"Your secret's out," she said, her smile a small one, failing to cover her concern. "Fancy a coffee?"
Well, no he didn't, but Stan could see that Elizabeth wanted to talk to him more privately. So he acquiesced.
Elizabeth strode elegantly in front of him into the canteen and picked a table. As usual, there were a couple of people there but it was mostly empty. Stan picked up two coffees and sat with her.
"Our secret's out, you said?" Stan began. "Elaine told me. Hers too. I don't really mind, but I don't know about Denise, and I know Anne didn't want it to come out, at least, not yet."
"Well, you haven't really been that circumspect, have you? It's a small firm, everyone knows everyone else. The three of you have been together a lot, and the way you acted… Although," she went on, "I've heard it as you four, not you three as often as not."
"Mmm? You mean Elaine?"
Elizabeth nodded. "Half the people think that the four of you are together, the other half are convinced that that idea's wrong and you're trying to cover for her being a lesbian."
"Gah. I don't suppose there's much of a 'It's none of our business' party?"
"Not around here, Stan. It's too juicy. You all got carried away, Stan, you weren't discreet enough. What's done is done, though. Will you be all right?"
"You said it, 'what's done is done.' We'll have to live with it, I guess. It's less of a problem for me than for the ladies, though. I worry about Denise, especially. She was already a target for gossip."
- - - - - - - - - -
That evening at Stan's house, Denise was in the kitchen directing Anne and Stan as they prepared ingredients for her to cook dinner. Stan took the opportunity to tell them both what he'd heard at work.
"It seems we've all been noticed as an item," he said. "Elaine told me this morning, and Elizabeth confirmed it. Also, Elaine and Susan are 'out'. I saw Ewan give her a filthy look this morning."
Anne looked up, but was silent.
Denise, however, told them both, "I don't care. If it takes attention away from Elaine, and Susan, then I just don't care. The only way I'm getting a promotion at The Firm is through 'dead man's shoes' anyway – you have to wait for some poor bugger to die or to retire there. You know, Stan, you're in the same boat! Since they have no grounds to fire me, and I'm happier now than I've been in ages, anyone who says anything to me about it can just swivel!"
"She's right, Stan. I don't care either, as I'm going to be leaving soon. I do worry about how the gossip will affect you two, and of course I feel for Elaine if anyone's rude to her, but it's not going to affect me for long. Honestly, I wonder why you two are hanging in there, anyway."
Stan picked it up. "Job, Anne. They're not that easy to come by, not at my age. Besides, in many ways The Firm's good – pay's okay, pension's good, I don't have a huge amount of responsibility. It's an easy life there, really. I think Denise is in the same position."
"Yes, Anne," Denise answered, "most days I can almost coast along. I can't deny that I have been looking, a little. There've been some nice adverts, but I haven't seen one that'll tempt me away, not yet. Of course, then there's the whole issue of the three of us. I'll not be going far from here."
Stan thought Anne had a pensive look for a fraction of a second, but then she said, "So we simply pay no attention to the others there, then? Are we agreed on that?"
"I think so, yes. What do you care what other people think?" Stan told her.
- - - - - - - - - -
Finally the last Thursday of the working year came around. It was the day of The Firm's Christmas party, and work for the year would finish at 12:30 that day. Officially, anyway!
For most people, the actual work stopped considerably earlier, and people were drifting into the bathrooms to get changed much earlier than that. This was the one day of the year where everyone dressed up a little… nothing formal, but for most, a bit smarter than usual.
Elizabeth declared that her party days were long over, and she would be going home instead. Before she left, she gave Stan a peck on the cheek and wished him, "Have a happy Christmas, Stan!" Stan hugged her back and told her, "I don't know what I'd have done without you this year, Elizabeth. Thank you!" She smiled at him, waved, and was gone in a wisp of perfumed air.
Stan wore his smart suit again. Anne wore a white sheath dress that finished six inches above the knee and dipped a long, long way down her back. "Nothing else!" she whispered to Stan. Denise had a tailored emerald green trouser suit on that looked fabulous, emphasizing her bust while hiding her still persistent small tummy roll.
The two ladies emerged from the Ladies room together and found Stan, who whistled appreciatively. By now the Viano was all ready to take the first passengers off to 'Apricots' where the party was to be held again this year.
So Stan took an arm from each of his two lovers and the three of them walked together out into the winter sunshine to board the minibus. Elaine was already aboard, having shut the switchboard down a few moments earlier. So the four of them were able to sit together as they were driven the few miles to the restaurant.
Stan saw that Denise was chatting with Elaine, about what he couldn't make out over the noise and the chatter, and in any case Anne claimed his attention by talking animatedly about a new production of The Glass Menagerie, in the West End. Stan expressed interest, which became easier when Anne told him of the leading lady, Jessica Lange – an actress that she knew Stan liked. A lot!
The Viano drew up into the courtyard and they all got out. Stan led the way to the restaurant but then stood aside and let the three ladies enter first.
Inside he was disappointed to see that there'd been less effort by the staff than the previous year, even though there were Christmas decorations up, there weren't as many, and they all looked like last year's. 'Still' he thought, 'it's not as if I've had to pay for it!'
Stan headed for the bar and got drinks for all four of them. Elaine grabbed Anne and pulled her over to a table, wanting to hear all of her latest news, while Denise and Stan mixed with the various other groups.
Stan gradually became aware that small talk with the various groups was harder than usual. No one said anything specific, but there seemed to be an undercurrent, where people would stop talking when Stan moved into a group, and then conversation would restart on a new subject.
Lunch was called. Stan and Denise rejoined Anne and Elaine at a table. They laughed and joked and enjoyed each other's company without getting too demonstrative. With Elaine there, Denise seemed a bit edgy but Stan thought she was handling things well.
After they'd eaten, the staff swept in to clear the tables and move them to the sides of the room to open up a larger dance floor. A local band began to play a collection of 50's, 60's and 70's music, and some dancing began soon afterwards.
Stan began circulating again, joking with some of the older ladies and gently flirting with a couple of the younger ones. He was able to chat with some of the engineers.
Phil, one of them, who was in Anne's team, asked him under cover of the music, "How the hell did you pull it off?"
"What?" Stan asked in defensive reflex.
"You know. Both of them. Anne's gorgeous, and scarily intelligent, and Denise is a firecracker when she dresses up like this. How'd you get them both?"
Stan decided that trying to play dumb wasn't going to get him anywhere.
"My winning personality and good looks, I'd imagine!" he told the younger man, with a grin spread wide across his face. "Of course, you could ask them if you want. Yes, that's a good idea – ask Anne at the next team meeting!"
Phil looked at him as if he'd got two heads. "You've got to be joking!" he said, and then they both laughed.
Stan looked at his glass, now empty, and resolved to get another beer.
Stan found Anne over at the bar getting herself another Smirnoff Ice.
"Notice anything?" he asked her.
"Yes, people are talking about us, and not being very subtle about it. I haven't actually been insulted to my face yet, but then I haven't gone near Ewan."
"Or his cronies, Anne. Steer clear of them all."
"Huh. Why should I? I can go where I want, can't I?"
Stan looked carefully at Anne.
"How many of those have you had, sweetheart?" he enquired in a neutral voice.
"Never mind how many. I'm no lightweight, I can handle my drink."
'Oh, dear,' thought Stan. Anne's face was already flushed, and her balance less than perfect.
Stan looked around to see if he could spot Denise. He couldn't, but Elaine was coming towards the bar. He went to meet her.
"Elaine! Can you watch over Anne for me for a few minutes?"
"Anne's not pacing herself. At this rate she'll be flat on her face before the evening's out. See if you can get her to have soft drinks for a bit, eh?"
Elaine looked doubtful. "I'll try, but Anne's pretty hard to persuade of anything. You know that!"
"Just do your best, Elaine? Please?"
Stan headed off to look for Denise. He found her a few minutes later talking to some of the older ladies from the production staff.
"You're brave. I could never take such a chance. She'll try to steal him away from you, you know," one of them told Denise as Stan walked up.
"She already had Stan, and then the two of them invited me into the relationship. Honestly, Margaret, I have nothing to fear there. Besides, I love them both, and I can tell they love me." She obviously caught a familiar look, as she went on, "No, not that way! Anne doesn't swing in that direction. But we love each other, as partners."
Stan judged the moment was right to intervene, before more awkward and salacious details were sought.
"Excuse me ladies. Denise, can I borrow you for a minute?"
Denise looked across at Stan and smiled brightly. "Of course!"
As she walked across the floor to the bar with Stan, Denise asked him, "What's up?"
"Anne's been hitting the bar pretty hard. I'm afraid she'll plant her face into the floor if we can't get her to slow down."
"Oh. That bad already?"
They found Elaine and Anne seated at a table.
"Anne? Anne, sweetheart? How're you doing?" Stan asked her.
"I'm okay!" came the waspish reply.
Elaine stood to let Denise sit next to Anne. Denise flashed her a grateful smile and took her seat. Stan sat on Anne's other side, taking her hand.
"I'll just go and mingle," Elaine said, but before she could leave Stan said, "Thanks, Elaine." She nodded, turned and left.
"Anne, you never went to last year's Christmas party, did you?" Stan asked her.
"No, no I didn't. Why?"
"And you left early at the barbeque. Sweetheart… you've got to slow down. I know you've been under stress, and this is a good chance to relax – but if you 'relax' too much, you'll end up in a heap on the floor!"
Anne visibly gathered herself and thought for a moment before answering.
"You're right. I can't remember how many I've had, and that's a bad sign, isn't it?" Stan nodded while Anne went on, "It's only mid-afternoon, too. Soft drinks for a while, then, I think!"
- - - - - - - - - -
The band took a break part way through before the afternoon and instead they played some canned music – in this case, dance music. Ballroom dancing.
Stan heard the announcement without really listening to it, so his first hint was the look that he got from Anne. His face must have betrayed his confusion because she said, "Dance?"
Then Stan heard the music. It took him a moment, but then he recognised what Anne meant. "Wow. A Waltz? I'd never have believed it."
"Come on, Stan!" came another laughing voice by his side. Denise was standing, holding out her hand to him. He looked back to Anne, who made a shooing gesture and sent them on their way.
"I hope I can remember this!" Stan confided to Denise, but she merely took her position and looked him in the eye. "When you're ready, Stan," she told him, her eyes promising more than just a dance.
There weren't all that many on the floor, and some of those were simply shuffling in time to the music, but there were a few who could dance. Anne found herself tapped on the shoulder by Percy, of all people, and he proved that he was underestimated here as well, leading her strongly and well.
The waltz was followed by a Quickstep, and then another. Denise swapped with Anne, and the next dance was a Foxtrot. By this time Anne and Stan, and Percy and Denise were the only couples still dancing.
The last dance played was a Tango – and by now Stan's inhibitions were gone completely, he was there with Anne, and there was no-one else in his arms, he was all hers as she was all his. That they were the sole couple left dancing at this point escaped his notice. Then he felt the tap on his shoulder as Denise cut in. "Ahem! If I may, kind lady?" she playfully asked Anne, who laughed and let Stan go. "Be my guest!" she told her.
So Stan finished out the dance with Denise in his arms as they worked each other up in the Tango. Once more he quickly fell into the rhythm, in the back of his mind marvelling at the good fortune to be having not one but two incredible women who seemed to love him.
Stan danced some more with Anne and Denise during the band's second set, and all three enjoyed themselves immensely. Time passed quickly, and it was well after six pm before he'd noticed. The party would close at seven after which it was traditional for the merry-makers to go back to town, find a pub to keep the party spirit going, and revel, usually well into the night.
Stan was at the bar getting some much needed refreshments before the bar closed when Bob spoke in his ear.
"God, but you're a lucky bastard, Stan! I wasn't sure whether to believe the stories, but it's obvious now that both of those two women are hanging off your arm. Well done!"
By this point, Stan could only grin.
Bob raised his glass in salute, but Ewan, behind him, scowled. 'There's always one,' thought Stan, and he just smiled back and went to find Denise and Anne.
"Are we going on to the pub crawl afterwards, Stan?" asked Denise when he found them. Her tone, and the way her hand stole to his groin, indicated she had other ideas.
"Anne? Do you want to go on after the finish here?" he asked. Stan couldn't deny some interesting thoughts about the three of them together, though nothing of the sort had ever been suggested.
"I thin' I'm done, here, Stan," she answered, sleepily. 'There goes that idea!' thought Stan, ruefully. Then he realized just how much he'd had to drink, as well.
They finished their drinks and said their goodbyes before jumping into a cab for the journey home. "All back to mine?" Stan asked, getting a smouldering look from Denise and a sleepy assent from Anne.
Once inside his home, all three divested themselves of their coats quickly. Denise grabbed Stan and kissed him hard, while Anne looked on in sleepy amusement.
"You two go ahead. Good night, my loves. Christ, I never really thought I would say that, I can tell you! Loves! Huh!" She gave Denise a peck on the cheek, then took Stan in her arms and gave him a good night kiss that in other circumstances would have led to much, much more. "I'll see you both in the morning. I'm bushed, and drunk, and I'd better go to bed before I do s-something I shouldn't. Have fun!" Then she turned and climbed the stairs.
"I bet I could entice her into a threesome, Stan!" giggled Denise. "In her current state I'm not sure she'd care!"
"That wouldn't be fair though, would it?" Stan answered, though he grew even more aroused at the thought.
"No, and I'm not going to do it – it'd be like date-rape. C'mon, let's you and me have some fun!"
She pulled Stan into a tight embrace, kissed him soundly and then burst free and ran up the stairs. Stan began to follow at what he hoped came over as a more sensible pace, principally because he was simply too tired himself to give chase properly. Sensible didn't mean slow though – so he laughed to himself, and took the remaining steps fast.
In the bedroom he found Denise sitting in front of his dressing table, removing her makeup. She turned to him as he walked in, smiled brightly and told him, "I thought I'd leave something for you to unwrap!"
"I'll unwrap you all right!" Stan growled, making Denise giggle. Then he walked behind, bent down and wrapped his arms around her, crossing them over her bust. Denise leaned back into his chest. "Mmmm, I love you, Stan," she told his reflection in the mirror.