Setup: Diane and Ben are celebrating Valentine's Day when Diane's college roommate, and one time lesbian lover, turns up and opens a door none of them had considered before.
A little left out, I listened to the ladies reminisce and update each other on acquaintances I didn’t know. I learned that Lisa was seeing Mark. They were still exclusive and she expected this trip to Montreal, and a shared hotel room, might be their first step toward something permanent.
"I swear, he's more of a prude than you, Diane."
I felt my skin flush and Diane tittered nervously. Lisa was quick to notice but unsure what to say. "I mean... he'll probably want to wait till we're married, too."
Diane let out another nervous laugh.
Lisa's expression fell. "That's assuming he ever wants to marry me."
"Lisa?" Diane asked, worry creasing her brow. "Did something happen?"
She brightened, but I sensed it was forced. "No, just an inconvenient coincidence."
"He's right, Lisa," Diane agreed.
"That's exactly why I proposed to Di. I wasn't about to risk missing my chance." I took my wife's hand across the table, stroking my thumb over her ring.
Diane squeezed Lisa's free hand and we all relaxed a little into our chairs.
“Well, Diane always had better luck than I did.”
“It’s not luck,” I told her. “It’s knowing when you have something and fighting for it. I knew if I pressed her on my proposal, she’d say no. But if I waited, let her think it over while I showed her what we’d lose if she didn’t accept, I could have a wife that would be the envy of any man.” I squeezed her hand beneath mine. “You are a good woman and a good man will recognize that.” I sat back and finished my wine. “If this Mark can’t figure that out, you’ll find someone that does.”
“Thanks, Ben. I think he sees it. I know I do. We’d be really good together, but something is holding him off.” She sighed and shook her hair, brown curls swaying. “I should get going and let you get back to your romantic date.”
“There’s no rush.” I waved away the waiter who was probably about to try bringing the bill.
“None at all,” Diane insisted. “You are a welcome part of our romance.” Red flooded her cheeks as she realized what she’d just said.
I laughed and Lisa joined me. “Oh, Di, do you think I could?” she teased. “Just hop right in?”
“That’s not what I meant,” she muttered, not meeting Lisa’s gaze or mine.
“Well, on that happy thought, I will definitely leave you to your romance. Di? Would you be available for coffee tomorrow? I’m staying at the Hilton and can meet any time.”
“What about your conference?” Her brow creased in concern.
Lisa waved a hand, dismissing the thought. “I’ll skip whatever session is on then. I’d much rather chat with you.”
I shifted as the ladies regarded one another. Something in that gaze hinted at their deeper relationship, a need to be with one another. I knew first-hand the predicament that arose when Di and I wanted to avoid public displays of affection.
Lisa rose. “I really should get going.”
Di jumped up and hugged her friend again. Just like the gaze, I knew this hug held more in it than the first. They weren’t feeling each other up, but I could see how much they enjoyed holding one another.
Hop around and read all the teasers this week.