Equal Shares Ch. 35bysteveh11©
Anne watched Stan and Denise climb the stairs. Stan turned to look at her and she blew him a kiss, smiling at him. They bounded up the stairs out of sight and Anne fell back into her chair.
Watching Stan kiss Denise had been hard, very hard. Anne had thought it out beforehand, considered that Stan and Denise would be kissing and much, much more -- but as she'd told them, actually seeing it was something else.
Now they'd be upstairs, undressing. Denise had those wonderful large breasts, things that Anne had lost men to since she was a teenager. Would it happen again? Had she made a dreadful mistake?
For a moment Anne was prepared to get up and rush upstairs, to interrupt, to stop it -- but then she relaxed. Stan loved her. She knew that, knew it with every fibre of her being. 'Don't I?' she thought. 'He loves me. He really does, and the fact that he's with Denise, rutting with her, fucking her doesn't change that does it?'
Anne actually felt annoyed with herself. Her thoughts were normally controlled, disciplined. Now they were running away from her.
'I don't really think like that,' she told herself. 'Stan and Denise can make love and Stan can still love me. Will still love me. Does still love me.'
'This anxiety is quite normal,' she told herself. "Normal. Hah!" she said aloud, and then was quiet, hoping she hadn't been heard upstairs. 'As if they'll be listening out for me!'
"Right," she said aloud, more quietly, "I can deal with this. Like I said, music, wine, book!"
She went to Stan's CD collection and browsed for a minute or two, then realized she was humming a tune. "Romeo and Juliet, huh! Okay, let's find the Dire Straits…" she said to herself.
It didn't take long, and soon Mark Knopfler's beautiful guitar began to play over Stan's sound system. Anne put it on 'repeat' so she wouldn't have to get up again. She went to Stan's kitchen and found a bottle of Muscadet in the fridge. Approvingly, she opened it and carried it into the living room where she poured herself a large glassful. 'Better watch it, I have work tomorrow and I'm starting to carry a load,' she thought.
She set the glass down on the coffee table and went to Stan's bookshelf. Sure enough, he had 'Friday' too. She grinned to herself -- she and Stan had wide and overlapping tastes, though she'd never quite have the same feel for history that he had, and he'd probably never quite want to read the same science journals that she did.
'Music, wine, book. Now I just need to relax enough…'
Actually, the wine she'd drunk was more than sufficient to relax her. By the time she'd had that glass of wine and started on another, Anne felt quite floaty. When Mark Knopfler began singing about 'Les Boys do Cabaret' Anne was quite capable of singing softly with him, somewhat off-key and without really noticing. She cried a little as she read of Friday's troubles. By now Anne had stopped thinking about her man and his other love.
That changed when she heard shuffling steps on the staircase. Anne pulled herself out of Heinlein and looked up.
Stan was coming down the stairs in front of Denise. Both had obviously recently showered. Denise looked happy and content, Stan did too but his expression was also concerned as he looked over towards Anne.
Anne smiled. She stood up, swayed a tiny bit and then moved towards them both as they reached the bottom of the stairs.
Stan stood still when he got there, and Denise, coming up beside him, gave him a shove in Anne's direction. "Give her a kiss, you ninny!" she told him and Stan obeyed, taking Anne in his arms.
Anne closed her eyes, feeling him grasp her, smelling the sweet clean smell of his shower gel, then tasting his lips. A very slight taste told her that Stan had forgotten something, and for a moment Anne recoiled a tiny touch. Stan pulled back himself in confusion but Anne recovered, pulling him to her lips, kissing him, tasting her.
Several seconds and a century later Anne broke off the kiss and looked at Denise, who was watching with a smile on her face.
"You took good care of our man then, Denise?" she asked rhetorically, and Denise nodded enthusiastically.
"Yes, and he's every bit as wonderful as I'd dreamed," the shorter woman answered, "but you know that, Anne." Denise took Anne's hand and kissed her wrist. "Um. I had to remind Stan about a condom. You two ride bareback?" she asked.
"Oh, God. I'm sorry, Denise, I never thought. Yes, we do -- given our past history, or lack of it, we're safe, but I should have thought and explained -- and so should you, Stan. Little Stan doing the thinking again?"
Stan looked sheepish, and Anne went on, "Given that we're going to be exclusive, we ought to get ourselves tested properly and then we can stop worrying about such things. What do you two think?"
"That's a good idea!" Denise confirmed.
Stan nodded as well, thoughtfully. "I really disliked those things back when Caron and I were engaged, which is why she went on The Pill back then. They've not really improved much, either. I'm really sorry, Denise, you shouldn't have had to think of that just then." Suddenly Stan looked stricken. He looked at Anne and stammered, "I-I-er-sorry, I didn't mean to say…"
"Stan, I know what you were doing, you can talk about it you know!" Anne told him with exasperation in her voice. "Not very long ago we were saying we had to talk about things. Well, sex and condoms and such is exactly one of those things we have to talk about!"
Anne sat down in the chair again, heavily. "Now, what are we doing about sleeping?"
Stan looked at Denise, who calmly looked back.
"Don't look at me, Stan. What's today?"
"Wednesday," he replied.
"Who do you want to sleep with, then? No, I take that back. It's unfair. Anne, I've had my fun tonight, and I don't want to hog things. We'll talk about exactly who does what tomorrow, but for now, you two go to bed. I'll sleep down here."
"Nonsense!" said Stan. "The spare room's there, Denise, for tonight you can kip in there and we'll sort out everything else in the morning."
- - - - - - - - - -
So it was arranged. Anne led Denise upstairs while Stan switched things off, put a vacuum stopper in the wine and generally looked after things downstairs.
"You seem to have got a better handle on this than I have," Anne told Denise quietly as they made up Stan's spare bed.
"What makes you think that? It's still odd, Anne. With Elaine and Susan I'd just crash in the same bed, or if it was just a pair of us there'd be no problem. This isn't the same."
Anne considered. "No, it isn't is it? Well, how are you holding up?"
"I'm fine, really, Anne. I'm incredibly grateful, too. This has to be the most generous thing -- well, other than Laney and Susan, and they both fancied me, so I guess there was an ulterior motive!"
Anne laughed. "I guess so!"
Denise looked at her, an expression on her face, in her eyes that Anne knew.
"Anne, I love him. I know you love him too, and he loves us both. I know you're straight, but I hope you don't mind if I say 'I love you' to you as well. You've been amazing, I still can't believe that you've done this."
"We all felt the same, Denise," Anne answered, a little uncomfortable.
"Yes, but you actually acted. I wonder how long it would have taken me, or Stan?"
Anne smiled. "Stan? Huh!" Both ladies laughed. "He'd still be dilly-dallying come next Christmas!"
Anne went to Denise and pecked her on the cheek. "Good night, Denise. We'll need to talk some more in the morning, but now I need to get some sleep."
Denise's eyes were shining as Anne softly closed the door and went into Stan's room.
Stan was there with a large glass of water in his hand. "Something tells me you'll be needing this, Anne," he told her, gently, and Anne gratefully downed half of it in a short series of large gulps. "Thanks, Stan. Just cuddle me, tonight. I love you!"
Stan did so, embracing her, reassuring her with his touch, murmuring, "I love you, Anne" into her ear as they cuddled together in his bed.
- - - - - - - - - -
The following morning Anne woke up groggily, her head thick but at least not aching too much. Stan was already awake, and had got up. She saw another glass of water and some painkillers on the bedside table. Anne smiled gratefully as she reached for them.
Downstairs she found Stan and Denise sitting at his dining table.
"Morning," Anne said, and saw a sympathetic glance from Denise, who poured her out a glass of fruit juice. "Morning, Anne" she said, "Sleep well?"
"Mmm. Like a log. Wine, champagne and then more wine. God, I hope I don't have to do anything too complicated at work today."
Anne glanced at the clock, and was reassured to find she wasn't too late.
Stan saw the look and told her, "We were going to let you sleep on if necessary. Here, have some coffee. You look like you need some go-juice!"
"It's you that always needs that!" she retorted, but took the cup anyway.
Once Anne was fully awake she asked, "Okay, what's been decided this morning?"
Stan answered, after a brief look at Denise.
"Nothing, beyond making sure you're all right, Anne. Are you all right?"
"Oh, goodness, yes!" she told him, a little snappily. "But I won't be if you keep asking!"
Stan grinned, and Denise laughed openly. Anne looked a bit sheepish for a moment, and drank some more coffee.
"Well," Denise said. "How are we going to play this? Are we going with the alternate days thing?"
"Well, unless either of you two can come up with anything better, I think we should." Stan said. "It has the advantage of being clear, fair and unambiguous."
"Well, yes and no," Denise answered. "You see, if, let's say, I got Monday, Wednesday and Friday one week, I'd want Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday the next. Also, what about Sundays? Do you really want neither of us?"
Anne thought Denise had a good point. "Switching the days is good," she said. "Sundays is an interesting point." she said to Stan, "Huh! Whoever thought I'd say this? Do you want both of us on Sundays?"
Stan looked smug. 'As well he might!' thought Anne.
"I think to start with you'd both best come over to dinner on Sunday," Stan said. "I'm not going to play favourites. How's about we simply say you both come over, we play by ear who does what with whom, and just enjoy each others' company?"
Denise agreed, nodding. Anne thought it was as good an idea as anything she'd come up with -- better, since she'd not thought of anything really. So the three of them agreed.
- - - - - - - - - -
Stan turned up outside the old red-brick hospital and looked up at the sign. "Timothy David Courrs Hospital" it read, and said it was proud to be part of the National Health Service. 'Looks like you've seen better days, Tim!' he silently told it before walking in through the green door and searching for reception.
Reception was manned by a broad faced, friendly looking guy who took down some details, stressing several times that it was all confidential. "We don't even tell your GP unless you tell us we can," the receptionist told him. Stan just made his way through the bureaucracy and uneasily found a seat.
When his name was called Stan went into the consultation room. The attending nurse there could have been Susan's mother, the resemblance was uncanny. "Nurse Seeley" by the nametag, he noticed.
Stan couldn't help but feel embarrassed when asked "Why did you think you needed to attend the clinic, Mr. Hinch" by the nurse. Actually, Stan was barely able to stop staring at her to answer.
"Er… My partners. I mean my partner and I thought it would be a good idea to get a check up, so we could stop using condoms." It was the form all three had agreed upon. The nurse looked up at him, a slight smile on her face, but she said nothing. 'What was that about,' Stan wondered.
The rest was a fairly simple, if to Stan embarrassing, set of questions and answers.
"How many recent sexual partners?"
"Did you use contraception?"
"Yes, including a condom with the second one."
Nurse Seeley lifted her pen from the paper and looked up at Stan. "Why not the first time? Better safe than sorry, you know."
"My first partner and I hadn't been sexually active for many years."
"It's still a good idea to be safe, you know. Even if you told the truth, there's no guarantee your partner did."
She went back to asking questions.
"Do you take any drugs?"
The bluntness of the question caught him by surprise. "I thought not," Nurse Seeley went on, "Never mind."
"On the face of it, you probably don't need testing at all, but we'll make certain, shall we?" she told him. He went back to the waiting room and then a doctor called him into the examination room. A blood test was taken, then a fine swab during a quick genital exam.
It was with a sigh of relief that Stan left the building. No matter that it had been professionally and sympathetically done, he'd felt embarrassed the whole time he was there, and afraid and absolutely certain that someone he knew would come in while he was there to their mutual shame. Stan felt he ought to have worn his old raincoat.
The pouring rain that hit him as he set foot outside the door only reinforced that, but as he dashed along the road and found his car he was able to grin. "You're being irrational!" he told himself once safely inside the dry car.
- - - - - - - - - -
He got home and rang Anne.
"Done," he told her in a flat monotone.
"Good, well done, Stan. Mine's tomorrow, dammit, it's inconvenient when I have so much work but still, it can't be helped. Denise's appointment's not until Thursday. You know she told Elaine and Susan?"
"Yes, she told me she was going to. It makes sense, and besides, she's kind've obligated to do that if she's going to stay as part of that trio as well."
"Yes. When will you know the results?"
"A week for them all. I told them I'd phone."
- - - - - - - - - -
That Thursday evening Denise rang Stan's doorbell.
Stan opened the door to see Denise huddled under his porch, the rain cascading down. "Come in, quick!" he told her, and she did.
She gave Stan a peck as she passed, and went straight into the kitchen. "I'm in dire need of coffee, Stan, how about you?"
"God, yes please, Denise!" he told her. "Here, give me that damp coat and I'll hang it up."
Not long after the two were in Stan's living room. Denise cuddled into Stan.
"I had my appointment today," she told him. "Elaine went too. Susan went to a hospital in the next county."
Stan looked. Denise was grinning. "That was her mother in the clinic?"
"Yup!" Denise answered. "No way was Susan going to the clinic her mother works at! Besides, it would have been wrong."
"So now all five of us have been done, and we just have to wait for the results?"
"That's right. Of course, we don't have to wait altogether, Stan…"
Dinner tonight would be "something special" cooked by Denise. "White wine, Stan?" she called from the kitchen a little later. "Good job I've got one in the fridge!" he answered as he walked in and nuzzled the back of her neck. Denise pressed back against him, grinding the back of her jeans into his crotch and moaning a little, but then she pulled away. "Stan! You'll ruin dinner!"
She put down the spoon she was using and whirled around, pulling him into an embrace full of promise, and a kiss that left no doubt as to her desire. But still she told him to "Go and sit down, or better still make yourself useful and lay the table!" Stan grinned and said "Yes'm" with a mock bow, but did as he was told.
Stan put the candelabra in the centre of the table, lit all six tea lights and turned off the main room light. There was a wall light in the corner that he turned to a soft glow, enough to see what they were eating.
He laid the table with his best silverware and went to his music. He was looking for something soft, romantic and long. In the event he chose Bon Jovi's "This left feels right" -- Jon crooning his hits to an acoustic re-arrangement.
Stan could smell fish cooking, and wandered into the kitchen.
"Anything I can do to help?" he asked. Denise turned and smiled at him. "You could open the wine if you'd like, Stan."
He did, and poured two generous glasses. Denise told him "This'll only be a few minutes!" as she gratefully accepted the glass from Stan. "Here, toss the salad."
Not long afterwards they were seated at Stan's dining table. Denise encouraged him, "Eat, eat!"
"I'm eating!" he told her, with a smile. It was delicious. "What's this, Denise?"
"Herbie Seabass," she told him, "with a small salad to go with it. Beautiful, isn't it? If I do say so myself, I can cook!"
Stan certainly agreed. It was lovely. So, looking over at him from the other side of the table was the cute redhead who had cooked it.
"You can definitely cook, Denise. That was wonderful, just like yourself."
Denise smiled, blushing. "You'll turn a girl's head, Stan!" she told him, "Anyone would think you had notions!"
He bared his teeth and growled, causing more giggles from Denise.
After dinner, Stan put on a movie -- "My Best Friend's Wedding". The two lovers cuddled up on the sofa to watch Rupert Everett trying to help Julia defeat Cameron. Stan had seen the movie before, with Caron, and found it difficult at first. As so often, he closed his eyes and summoned up her image, and once again the laughing dark eyes reassured him that yes, this was what she'd wanted.
He relaxed into Denise's embrace, resting his head against her chest. She kissed the crown of his head, where the hair was sparse, to say the least. "I love you, Stan. Do you know how nice it is to be able to say that?"
"Mmm. Yes, I do, because I can say it right back -- I love you, too."
Denise undid one of Stan's shirt buttons and slid a hand inside to play with a nipple. After a short while, she asked, "Is an erect nipple in a man a similar sign as it would be in a woman, Stan?" He could hear the wide smile on her face without looking.
He moved one of his own hands to her breast, soft through the silk blouse she was wearing against his cheek. He gently stroked her through the material, letting his fingertips roam, testing the terrain.
"Seems you're in a similar state to me, Denise," he murmured, "let's take a more detailed survey." He opened the top few buttons on her blouse, one handed. He had a little difficulty with the third, as it was half-hidden under the swell of her bosom, but he managed, and then lifted his head, twisting on the sofa, to see what he'd uncovered.
The white lacy bra had a front fastening. "So much more convenient!" she told him with a smirk . He undid that, and slid a hand under it to find her flesh, warm, firm flesh tipped with a hard nub that drew an "Oooh!" from her as he teased it with his fingertips.
"Mmm. You can keep that up for a while, Stan!" she told him, so he did, varying the pressure, moving on the sofa again to get his balance and using both hands now, one on each breast. Denise was smiling up at him, eyes half closed, body undulating a little now. She reached down and stroked his now very firm erection through his trousers, causing his own similar body movement. "I'm sore down there, Stan, it's the examination today. We'll have to try something different!"
She reached down and grabbed her bag, pulling out a condom and a bottle of lubricant. "Have you ever tried anal?" she asked him with a bright smile.