So I hinted that I would tell you what my situation was like lately, but I had to wait and see if it lasted at least a little while. It's also somewhat controversial. I know I shouldn't expect any judgment from you fine people, although if you wanted to, I wouldn't blame you. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it myself.
That's a lie, I actually kind of like it. It's not a perfect arrangement, but for now, it's fun.
It started sometime in the New Year when things were definitely, for sure, completely done with Boy-X. Actually that's a lie, it started years ago when I met Chuck at work and started to hit it off with him. The big problem was, and is, that he's married, so as much as we got along, I knew he was off limits. He and his wife Julia make a great couple and I would never want to do anything to stand between them, especially because they have a 16-month-old, an adorable son Tommy.
Anyway. Chuck got promoted out of his department and I was promoted into his, and that came with a bunch of stresses that caused us to lose touch a bit - I had been regularly talking to him when I was in IT but now work didn't bring us much into contact. So we made a point to get a coffee after the Holidays when things quieted down.
Chuck is older, even moreso than I originally was. He's nearly 40, with dignified salt-and-pepper hair. He has a pretty commanding presence that really does something for me, but I always figured I had hidden it. I was actually a little embarrassed to be so attracted to him, because he was such a "man" in the classic sense, that it really brought to mind how unsophisticated the guys I'd dated are, even the ones I really loved. It was intimidating, and having been through what I have, I don't intimidate easily.
So we went for a beverage, and he got me venting about my latest romantic messes, kind of egging me on as I spouted off about how I couldn't meet a solid guy, et cetera et cetera. I had to stop abruptly, redfaced when I realized how long I had been talking without much of a point.
"No, no, it's fine," he said, "This is like TV for me."
"Oh, glad I can entertain!" I laughed.
"So, are you looking to settle down?" he asked.
"I don't know," I sighed, "I look at what my brother has with his wife, or what you have with yours, and I think 'I want that.' But I'm not done having fun yet, either."
"Settling down doesn't necessarily mean the end of fun," he said with a knowing smile.
I cocked an eyebrow, saying I'd take his word for it. "Every guy I meet starts by saying 'I'm not looking to get into anything serious,' which is usually just code for 'I'll screw around with you if I don't have to call you later.' And that would be fine if I was meeting any quality guys, guys I felt were worth the risk of disappointment. But I keep encountering these barely-grown fratboys who I wouldn't ever want to get serious with."
He nodded and I continued, "I'm not saying my next guy has to be my husband. I'm not even saying I want a husband. I just think I should raise my standards. If I can meet a guy who actually already has his shit together, that's one less thing for me to worry about, and it's more of a turn-on."
"You don't mind just having a one-night stand as long as the guy wears a suit to work," he smirked.
"It sounds so shallow when you put it like that!" I said, embarrassed again. Chuck has this way of just calling me out.
"Look, it's okay not to want to settle down," he said. "That just might not be who you are."
I wondered if he was alluding to something with his wife, so I asked if things were okay. "Yeah, they're great," he said, and I decided to trust him.
It was later that night when I started getting some texts from him.
"Okay. This is stupid, and I needed half a bottle of scotch to psych myself into this so sorry if my spelling is a little rough." (It was immaculate.)
He went on. "You asked if things were okay with me and Julia. And they are. But we've been together for a very long time and we had a conversation not that long ago
"About missed opportunities, things we might have done if we hadn't gotten together when we did.
"Jules brought up the idea of being with women. She said she had been on the cusp of her 'experimental phase' in college when we met.
"And maybe neither of us wants to admit it but since Tommy was born there hasn't been a lot going on in the bedroom
"So we started seriously kicking around the idea of a threesome.
"And I immediately thought of you just because you're someone I trust and hold very closely,
"And you've never been shy about pointing out when you think a woman is hot
"Including Julia... so while I don't now I you would be into it I know you're at least pretty confident in yourself and open.
"And unless I've missed my guess you've always seemed to have a little bit of a thing for me.
"Maybe I'm an idiot for asking. If you never want to speak to me again I'll understand."
I couldn't believe my eyes. My jaw just hit the floor with every new text that arrived, until finally I figured he was done. I had to think very long and very carefully about how I wanted to respond. Yes, he was correct that I had an attraction to him - he is everything I've never had in a man: mature, established, confident, really himself... but I was always ashamed of myself for even having a notion of attraction, so I never really pined. But this? Was it something I anted to act on? It seemed fraught with obvious complications.
I finally texted back 20 minutes later, "A threesome isn't going to save your marriage..." I said, careful not to say either yes or no.
The response came back five minutes later. "My marriage isn't in trouble. I just feel like we're in a unique position to make this work, but only if every party is amenable to the terms."
He added, "I love my wife. I want to do this for her."
I sighed and texted back "This is for her, and not for you?"
Not long after, he responded, "It's for me too a little bit, sure. For all of us, if you're in."
I laid back on my bed. "I need time to think about this." My rational side was 100% against it, but my sense of adventure and curiosity - which has done me very well in the years since I became Tori - was pulling me toward it. If nothing else it felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity. It had the potential to destroy a very meaningful friendship and/or a marriage. The last thing I wanted to be was the Other Woman, even if the wife was in the same room.
Finally, I said the three of us had to discuss it.
A few days later I went to their place for drinks. I sat at the island in their kitchen while Julia poured three glasses of wine. I nervously looked between the three of them: Jules, Chuck, and Tommy in his playpen.
I paid particular attention to Julia. She's very beautiful, a couple inches taller than me, with a slight frame and long light brown hair. I sensed she was sizing me up, too.
"First, um, thanks a lot for thinking of me for this. If nothing else, it's flattering."
"Thanks for not cursing me out immediately," Chuck laughed.
"Julia," I said, "We don't know each other very well, but Chuck says this is more your idea than his. Is that true? Because if he's just trying to convince you--"
"No, no," Julia said, "Believe me, Chuck knows better than to suggest something like that without me taking the lead. He suggested you, and I felt very comfortable with that."
"Do you mind if I ask why?"
"I feel like I can trust you," she said, "You and Chuck have been friends for a long time, and whenever I see you two together, I never get that... you know, bolt of jealousy sometimes we get when a significant other is close to a member of the opposite sex."
"So if I admit I find your husband very attractive, you won't want to punch me?"
"Well he is," she smiled and looked over at him, trying to hide his face, "And you haven't ever made any kind of move, so... you have character. That's impressive."
"Thank you," I sighed.
"You're very attractive," she said, leaning in to me.
"Um, thanks." Part of me never gets tired of hearing that, so I blushed hard. "So are you."
"If I was going to do this, it would be with a girl like you, if you don't mind me saying."
"If I was going to do this, it would be with Salma Hayek," I joked nervously, "But she's not available."
Julia smiled, "Well, I hope I'm an acceptable substitute."
Julia does not look like Salma Hayek, but she's very pretty. I looked her over again. I thought she was a little hotter when she was still breastfeeding, but I've got my own boobs to play with if I want to. I smiled and told her she was.
"I have one suggestion," I said, "We can discuss this but I feel pretty strongly about it. I really, really don't want this to get out of hand. It's just sex, right?"
"Right," said Chuck quickly. Julia listened intently.
"Well," I said, "I think it's important to set some boundaries. Chuck, we're going to have to limit the amount of time we spend together on our own."
Chuck's mouth was a straight line, his face blank. Julia insisted, "That's not necessary, I trust him."
"It's for my own peace of mind," I said, looking back and forth between them. "Things can change. I'm not saying I'm such a good lay that it might destroy your marriage - although I'm very good, you guys should know that - but you never know what might happen. Chuck, you and I already don't interact much at work anymore, we only really hang out when we make a point to do so. There's not much point in you and I just hanging out together without Julia in this scenario. It's for transparency's sake."
They took a moment to chew it over.
"I don't like the idea of bossing who my husband can and can't see," Julia said with a sigh.
"No, Jules, it's okay," Chuck said. "She makes a good point. I want it all out on the table. If that's our rule, it will work."
"Good," I said, taking a deep breath and sipping my red wine. "Now, I wasn't really thinking of doing this tonight, I'm on my period... do you mind if we hold off for a bit?"
"Of course, of course," Julia said. "We'll find a time that's good for all of us. Give it a while to mentally prepare."
"Right. Um, okay then. I look forward to it."
I finished my drink and hugged them both goodbye. It was a weird moment, unsure what kind of hug or handshake or whatever I should give.
As I put my boots on, I turned back and laughed, "This is insane. I can't believe this is going to happen." And here I thought there were no more lines for me to cross.
It was a little while before we were finally able to make it work... and that's a whole other story.