Genevieve roused him the next morning, and Tobias turned on his back and groaned.
"Tobias, come on, get up," she shook him lightly on the shoulder.
"I'm awake," he murmured softly.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah," he rubbed his eyes, and sat up. "Just tired."
"You didn't get in too late, did you?"
"No...last night, it just wasn't my idea of a great time." She sat next to him on the bed, and looked at him. "By the time I got to the bar, Chris, he was pretty drunk. He just kept drinking and passed out later that night. When the bartender refused to serve him anymore, he was ready to get on his motorcycle and go to another bar. But I stopped him, and drove him home. I thought, you know, he might have an alcohol abuse problem, but I found out later that his wife had left him that morning."
"Drowning his troubles." Genevieve replied. "Maybe you should take him to an AA meeting."
Tobias chuckled at the thought. A vision of wifebeater/chino clad Chris popped into his head. He stood in front of a group people, taking a swig of beer while he introduced himself, and announced he was a fuckin' alcoholic. Genevieve looked at him with a "What's so amusing?" look on her face and he shook his head with a smile.
"You should know better than anyone that you can't help someone unless they're willing to help themselves." She took his hand in hers.
"Get ready for church. I'm gonna go make the kids breakfast."
Tobias grabbed her hand again. "I love you," he blurted. She got up from the bed, as he released her hand, and she grinned.
Tobias sat on the bed and stared at the closet for a few minutes before he got up to get dressed. Everything that happened last night had come flooding back. But one thing that had no need to come flooding back, because it was there ever since he had left Chris's home, was the image of him in his boxers, lying on his bed, inviting Tobias to lie down next to him.
As hard as Tobias tried to get it out of his head, as hard as he tried to write it off as Chris was drunk out of his mind, he couldn't. Although Tobias did not know Chris for long, he knew what eyes looked when someone was drunk: clouded, hazy. Chris's were clear, his ocean blue eyes told Tobias he knew exactly what he was saying, what he was implying. Or at least what Tobias *perceived* him to be implying.
Tobias went to work the next day, this weekend's work in his briefcase. After church yesterday, he threw himself into his work. It kept his mind off of other things. One thing was for sure, Tobias wasn't going to go near the deli for lunch. In his office, Tobias stayed busy all morning. When lunch came, Tobias decided to drive to a grocery store, and just get a pre made salad or something healthy like that.
He walked out of the building and started walking towards his car when someone grabbed him by the shoulder. He didn't need to turn around to know who it was. He slowly turned his head, and there he stood, Chris. Who looked a bit ragged. He was wearing blue jeans, a gray or maybe it was a faded black t-shirt and his leather jacket. He hadn't shaved in a couple of days.
"Hi." Contrary to what Chris's voice wanted Tobias to believe this wasn't a chance meeting. And Tobias knew that.
Had Chris been waiting outside for me?
"I-I wanted to talk to you about the other night..." he said, Tobias shook his head.
"No it's not. I feel like, I feel shitty for doin' that. Goin' out to play pool, and then gettin' drunk off my ass," he glanced at his shoes, then up at Tobias. "Tell you the truth. I can't remember most of that night." Tobias was finished with this conversation.
"It's *okay*," he said again, getting ready to slip into his car. Chris grabbed his arm.
"No. We should do it again sometime this week." Chris was still holding onto his arm, and Tobias was desperate to run. "I'm not gonna beg." Chris said with a grin, but his eyes said differently. "C'mon, lemme make it up to you."
Tobias wanted to shout, "WHY?!" But he stayed silent, nodded and got into his car.
As Tobias pulled away from the curb, red in the face and cursing himself silently for caving in, he watched Chris stand there, his hands in his pockets, smiling smugly at nothing in particular.
Dammit, he thought. Why didn't I just say "no and fuck off"?! Hah! He laughed inside. Me actually standing up for myself?! Keep dreaming.
Luckily, he never gave Chris his phone number, and he sure as hell wasn't going to call and remind him, so maybe he'll take a hint and forget about it. Tobias knew Chris wanted something from him - whatever it was, friendship or something else, whatever it was, he wasn't prepared to give him.
That evening, as Tobias settled into his leather comforter, and watched television, the phone began ringing. Genevieve was upstairs telling the kids a bedtime story, so Tobias padded to the kitchen, and picked up the cordless telephone.
"Chris??" He said in disbelief. He wanted to shout, "how the hell did you get this number?!!" but he refrained.
"Uh...I never gave you my number?"
"I know. After you left today I went into your law office and charmed it out of the receptionist." Chris replied proudly. "Nice girl. Wasn't supposed to tell you that though."
Darlene Shay, Tobias made a mental note about talking to the partners about having her fired.
"So what's a good time for you?" Chris's voice shook Tobias back to the matter at hand. He remained silent, trying to figure out a polite way to say he never wanted to do anything with him ever again. "Hello?"
"Still here," Tobias grumbled in a sigh. He ran his fingers through his hair. "Look...Chris, I'm gonna be busy all week long..."
"Friday then." Chris cut in "At 8 again. And I promise I won't touch a beer till you get there, and you *will* be there at 8 this time."
"I mean, don't you wanna know what I want from you?" He said before Tobias could say the words forming in his mouth. Chills ran up and down his spine.
"What?" He gasped, his voice sounded as though he got all the wind knocked out of him.
"See ya Friday," Chris replied and hung up. Tobias stood in shock, he couldn't speak even if he wanted to. He put down the phone, and stared at it for a few brief seconds before walking back to his comforter and sitting down again.
He sat there, the words reverberating in his head. Yes, he thought, yes I want to know. I want to know what I have that you could possibly want.
Tobias was afraid of the answer, but he didn't care, his curiosity, the answer to that question, the desire to know, was so much stronger.
-End Part Four-
The week crawled along. Endless litigations, people suing corporations, people suing businesses, people suing each other. It all happened last week, and the week before last, and so on and so on. Sickening really, Tobias wondered why there was so much division in the world. Why couldn't people just get along? Yes, Rodney King said that, and it became the fuel for many a joke. But it made Tobias wonder what was so funny about that statement. Still, without problems, Tobias would be out of work, and so maybe it wasn't such a good thing for people to solve their own problems and not take legal action.
Even after Darlene Shay gave Chris his number, she kept her job. Tobias didn't have the heart to bring up getting rid of her. Tuesday, she looked at him with her guilty blue eyes, and that was it for Tobias. He knew he wouldn't say a word about what she did to anyone. She'd been extra nice to him lately too, running out and getting him lunch, doing errands for him on her lunch break. She must have known she could get fired for giving out his home phone number.
On Wednesday, trash day...Chris didn't come around. Even as the trash truck rolled around the corner, and Tobias backed out of the driveway, he expected to see Chris, with that red bandanna tied around his head, running after his car. No Chris at all, and he was grateful for that.
Thursday went by quickly. Tobias and Genevieve went to Gary's school for the talent show, Gary and his class did a lip synch song and dance number to the Jackson Five's "ABC". Gary was up there, dancing in front, being like the Michael Jackson of the classroom, and Tobias was so relieved he hadn't inherited his shyness, his weakness. He had confidence, even at this early age. And God, was Tobias glad.
Friday evening, Tobias was unwinding on his bed, lying face down on the white cotton sheets. He hadn't even kicked off his shoes yet. He was all nerves, all he could think about was what Chris would tell him tonight. What in the world that reason was. It scared and tantalized him, he was excruciatingly inquisitive about it.
Seeing Chris on Monday, and not seeing him for the whole week, with those words of what he wants from him, still lingering in his mind had made for some interesting thoughts. What could Chris want? Ideas ranged from a lot of money to Genevieve and his kids. That was his biggest fear. What if Chris was some crazy psycho who was going to kidnap and kill Tobias, and then kidnap his family?
Deep down however, Tobias knew this couldn't be true. He couldn't call himself an outstanding judge of character, but he was a good judge...and Chris did not come off like someone who would do any harm to someone intentionally. Then again, how long had he known him?
Still, these ideas *did* keep his mind off the err...incident at Chris's house. It still disturbed Tobias greatly, he hadn't known why until he remembered the nightmare he had. The nightmare that he had tried to rid his mind of until it became somewhat of a reality. Okay, well not exactly.
Tobias flipped over on his back, and stared off into space. No. He wasn't going to think about that. All he had to do was get this night over with as soon as possible. Find out what Chris wants, don't give it to him, and that's the end of this whole Chris Keller fiasco.
Tobias had told Genevieve where he was going and why. He told her that he and Chris would never be friends. She was disappointed, and not clear on why, because Tobias hadn't a clue what to *really* tell her. He couldn't tell her about the night he took Chris home, that was out of the question. He made up an excuse about the bar thing being too much for him to handle. She didn't ask questions, she trusted him.
Forty minutes later Tobias looked at the clock, and realized it was time to go. He kissed his daughter and his son (who promptly wiped his cheek) took his keys off the key chain hanger and walked to the door. Genevieve came to the door carrying his jacket, and handed it to him. She kissed him on the cheek, resting her hand on his right shoulder.
"*Try* and have fun Tobias. Please." She told him, as he shrugged limply and smiled at her.
"I'll try," he said, as though it took all his energy just to get the words out. She smiled back.
"Who knows, you may even enjoy yourself."
"I doubt that. But I do appreciate you trying."
"Okay. Well, I'll try and cheer you up when you get home tonight." She replied with a sly smile and an eyebrow raised.
"Hmm..." he murmured, closening. "This may be worth it after all." He pursed his lips and she leaned forward and kissed him. "See you soon." He said, and walked out. His smile faded as soon as the night air hit his face.
Soon Tobias was pulling into the now familiar parking lot of 8 Ball Billiards. He swallowed hard as he stepped into the smoky bar, again greeted with cold stares from the menacing regulars. Tobias scanned the back of the bar where the pool tables were located for Chris. But he was not there. He looked over at the bar, and he wasn't there either. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught sight of the glowing jukebox, Jimi Hendrix streaming out of it. A leanly muscular figure leaned on it. Tobias knew without even seeing the man's face it was Chris. He strode up to him.
"Hi," Tobias heard himself say. Chris's eyes flickered upward briefly, before they returned their gaze on the jukebox. And Tobias had caught the slightest glimpse of glassy blue.
"This was Bonnie's favorite song," he said solemnly, almost as though he was talking to himself. "But...anyway..." Chris said, sounding alert. He looked at Tobias and smiled.
Tobias was hit off guard with his quiet, almost sorrowful first words. Chris didn't look sad or even ragged like he had when he last saw him. He was clean shaven, and he wore a pair of new looking blue jeans and a tight black t-shirt that showed off the hours in the gym he must spend weight lifting.
"Wanna go play some pool?" He asked, looking at Tobias while scratching his elbow. Tobias smiled politely.
"Chris. The only reason I came here tonight was to find out *what* you want from me." Chris averted his eyes from his face and then he snickered a bit. He put his arm around Tobias and walked him to the back of the bar to a pool tables.
"We've got the whole night left for that. Let's play some pool first, an' I gotta get some beer in me." Tobias reluctantly let himself be led to the pool tables.
Two hours later, Tobias and Chris were walking out of the bar together. Chris was laughing and glancing over at Tobias who was trying, in vain, not to smile. Chris had tried to get him to stay longer, but Tobias said he really had to get home.
So they walked together into the parking lot. Cold air chilling their faces, and it began to drizzle, their hair was getting all misty. They were both now silent, and Chris continued following Tobias over to his car, shoving his hands in his pockets, trying to warm them. Tobias took his glasses off, wiping the droplets from the frames.
"You hadda good time." Chris said, with a smile. Tobias didn't look up at him and shrugged.
"I guess," he replied, and smirked as he put his glasses on again. "But, since the night is over. And I did what you wanted me to do..."
"God, I'm drunk." Chris cut in, scratching his hair.
"You don't seem drunk." Tobias replied, taking his glasses off again. He began drying them and kept his eyes downward. Chris was trying his patience. "Didn't see you Wednesday."
"Huh? What -- oh, that. Yeah, I quit."
"I hadda enough. Did it for Bonnie. She wanted me to have a steady job. So I took that job, but now that she's gone..." he shrugged. "Done."
"Oh. I see." Tobias put his glasses in his jacket pocket. "Now. Chris, will you tell me?"
"What?" Chris asked innocently, as though he had no clue was Tobias was bringing up. Tobias looked at Chris with anger, and twisted amusement. Tobias nodded his head.
"Fine. *Fine*." Tobias turned and began unlocking his door hastily, but he froze when he heard Chris walk behind him.
"Okay, okay. I'll tell you." Chris said softly. Tobias turned around and faced him. Chris swallowed hard, and Tobias looked at him, waiting for Chris to say something profound, even moving, he wasn't sure why. But tonight he had changed his opinion of him. He was a nice guy, just like he thought he had been when they first met. They have nothing in common, sure, but they still got along well. And he had to admit to himself, that he did have fun tonight.
Chris shivered slightly, and then he did it, he leaned down and kissed Tobias, on the lips.
Tobias didn't know what to do, he felt Chris's lips on his; moistly, warmly, exploring his. He felt Chris's body press against his, pushing him back against his car. Chris pulled his arms around Tobias's body as he continued kissing him, but Tobias let his arms hang limply at his side. Chris pressed Tobias's lips apart, but Tobias pulled away from him before he could take it any further.
"Fuck," Tobias managed to mutter breathlessly. Chris stared at him hopefully.
"Toby," he said grabbing his arm.
"Don't. Stop. No..." Tobias fumbled with his keys, finally getting his car door open. He got in as fast as he could, and shut the door before Chris could stop him. He put his glasses on, started the car, and screeched out of the parking lot. He sped away, flooring the gas pedal.
His heart was racing and he was breathing so hard he thought he might have a heart attack. Tobias raced onto the freeway, and tried to calm his breathing. He took long breaths of air, telling himself everything was going to be fine. The last thing he needed was a panic attack in his car. The road started to get blurry, and Tobias realized he was tearing up.
Pull yourself together, Tobias. He thought angrily. He still couldn't comprehend what had just transpired 10 minutes ago. And he didn't want to. He didn't want to think about why he hadn't pulled away immediately.
In his frenzy, Tobias made a wrong turn and found himself helplessly lost. In actuality, however, it was a blessing in disguise. It kept his mind off of...that thing that had happened tonight. He concentrated on how to get home, it was frustrating, but in a good way.
Two hours later, Tobias drove into the driveway of his home, he pressed the button of his garage remote and drove in. As he walked inside his house, and tiptoed upstairs, a sense of guilt washed over him, and he took a stiff breath.
The house was dark and silent. The kids were long put to bed, and as he peeked into his own bedroom, he could make out Genevieve's form under the comforter. He stepped inside, pulling off his jeans in the dark, until the light by the bed was switched on. Tobias turned around and saw Genevieve blinking sleepily.
"Hey sweetheart," he said barely above a whisper.
"Did you just get home from the bar?" She asked groggily.
"No." Tobias sighed. "I got lost."
"Lost?" She snickered. "God...for how long?"
"Too long." He shrugged.
"I tried to stay up, so I could follow through on my promises." Tobias glanced at her, she smiled. He slid into bed next to her, and Genevieve slipped her hands over his bare chest. She kissed his shoulders and he froze up immediately. He placed his hands over hers, and gently took her hands, and put them on her lap. He turned around and gazed at her shamefully. He kissed her cheek and stroked her chin softly.
"I - I'm really tired," he murmured, averting his eyes from hers. She chewed her bottom lip and backed up away from him.
"Okay," she replied quietly. "Goodnight, Tobias."
"'Night," he pulled the blanket over him, and flipped on his side, his back to her. He took a few deep breaths, before closing his eyes, and drifting off.
After an uneventful weekend, Tobias was glad to get back to work. He had felt uneasy and guilt ridden while around his family. He was barely able to look into his wife's loving eyes. The worst part of it was that he was coming to terms with his feelings for Chris Keller.
Tobias walked briskly to his office, nodded to his secretary, then when inside he sat down in his large leather swivel chair, and unlocked his briefcase. He had been there for barely 10 minutes when his door burst open, and Chris walked in with Tobias's secretary trailing behind him hurriedly.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Beecher - this man wouldn't wait. Should I call security?" She said as Tobias stared into Chris's eyes.
Tobias shook his head. "No. I don't have any meetings this morning do I?"
"Not until 2pm," she answered, looking uneasily over at Chris.
"Alright. Just uhm...hold my calls..."
"Thanks Rosemary." Tobias replied, as he watched her walk out of his office closing the door behind her. Tobias fixed his eyes back on Chris, who walked up to the seat across Tobias's desk and slumped down.
"What a bitch." He mused, "I would have fired her ass ages ago. Shit."
"Chris. What are you doing here?"
"I wanted to talk to you." Chris replied, all amusement draining from his face.
"I don't think there is anything to say, Chris. This is done with, this friendship this - whatever this is." Tobias stood up from his desk. Chris looked up at Tobias smirking and leaning back in the chair, folding his arms.
"Well after we kissed --"
"Wait. *You* kissed me." Tobias replied, as his stomach began to become unsettled.
"But you kissed me back," Chris said, as Tobias closed the blinds of the window in the front where he could see Rosemary. He turned back and looked at Chris, putting his hand to his forehead.
"No I didn't--"
"Look, I'm not here to fuckin' argue with you, Toby. I'm here to talk to you."
"About what?" Tobias walked away from the window, and back to his desk. Chris got up, and stepped over to him.
Tobias sneered nervously. "There is no 'us'. I think you should leave. *Now*."
"I'm not goin' anywhere, until you hear what I have to say."
"Then I'll call security." Tobias picked up his phone. Chris walked up behind him.
"What are you so afraid of? That I'll say something that's true?" Tobias slowly put the phone receiver down.
"I'm not afraid of anything. Certainly not you." Tobias turned and glared at Chris, who began to smile widely at him.
"There is something between us, that you can't explain, right?" Tobias stared blankly at Chris. "I don't know what it is. Not even sure if I like it."
"Chris--" Tobias was interrupted by Chris putting his arms on his shoulders and leading his back into the wall.
"I can see it in your eyes." Chris said hotly, his breath on Tobias's face.
"I don't know what you *think* you see--"
"Why you fightin' this so hard?" Chris leaned into Tobias, his voice growing into a whisper.
Tobias didn't know how to respond, and he didn't get a chance to. Chris's lips were on Tobias's before he knew it. He grabbed Tobias's arms and slammed them again the wall, and continued kissing his lips, until he sucked his way down his neck. Tobias exhaled sharply, it was all he could do. Chris moved his lips back on Tobias's and licked his bottom lip.
Tobias's heart began to beat harder, and he leaned forward when Chris pulled away. Chris let go of Tobias's arms and put a hand around his neck and one around his waist, Tobias pulled Chris's face forward, until their lips touched again. Chris's mouth pushed against Tobias's harder, separating his lips, probing his mouth with his tongue. Chris moved his hands away from Tobias's neck and hips and began to loosen his tie. He undid a shirt button, breathing hard, and Tobias watched him. He grabbed Chris's wrists suddenly. Chris grinned and leaned into him again, but this time Tobias jerked away from him.
"C'mon Toby..." Chris said, reaching out to Tobias, who was now scattering away from him.
"Why are you doing this to me?" Tobias shouted, on the verge of tears. Chris kept approaching Tobias who kept backing away from him. "Please, leave..."
"*Please*." Chris sighed and put his hands up in resignation. He glanced at Tobias once more, before he walked out of the office.
Tobias sunk to the floor, he took off his glasses, and ran his fingers through his rusty blonde hair. He fought back the tears that were swelling in his eyes, as he remembered how he pushed Chris's mouth upon is, how he traded each kiss.
Tobias held his head in his hands as he tried to keep his body from shaking spastically. He swallowed back tears, and held back his whimpers. Everything that was now happening, with Chris, inside him it scared him more then he wanted to admit.
Tobias loved his wife, his children, his family, but he was *drawn* to Chris Keller. And as much as he tried to fight it, his desire only became stronger. He thought perhaps if Friday would be the last day he'd ever see him, these feelings would go away. But he knew deep down it wouldn't be the last time he'd see him. So he wasn't that surprised when Chris burst through his office door this morning.
And then the kiss - no, the *kisses*. His phone machine buzzed, rescuing him from the flood of memories of what had just transpired.
"Mr. Beecher?" Rosemary called. Tobias stood up, dusting off his slacks, and walked over to the phone, and pressed the button.
"Your 2pm meeting has been moved to 11," she replied. Tobias took a deep breath, wiping his face. He cleared his throat.
"Okay, thanks Rosemary...."
"Mr. Beecher...are you alright? I mean, you sound kind of..."
"Shaken up? I'm fine." Tobias turned off the speaker phone. "Fine," he scoffed, as he buttoned the shirt button Chris undid, and straightened his tie.
As he slumped down, Tobias suddenly remembered the three weeks of sick leave he had compiled over this year. Three weeks he could use to clear his head, straighten things out. He certainly wasn't going to get any work done in this frame of mind. And luckily, his case load was light. The cases he was dealing with were being handled by his coworkers, and he was just there to help out a bit on the cases. To offer advice. Now he was offering himself advice...take off from work, get your head together, so you're life can back to normal.
-End Part Five-
Genevieve opened the carton of white rice and scooped some out as Tobias poured her a glass of cola. He walked over to her with the soda and they took their plates of take out Chinese into the dining room. Their two young children were sitting there already, eating baby barbecued ribs and mixed vegetables.
"So tell me again why you're taking three weeks off?" She asked as Tobias carefully picked up kung pow chicken with his chopsticks. He brought it into his mouth, and chewed slowly as the lie formed in his mind.
"I'm just so wiped out. It's been madness there." Tobias coughed uneasily. She looked at him with deep, curious eyes.
"Really? How so?" She asked with a little grin. Tobias smiled back, but he felt as though he was about to walk across hot coals. Why could he lie so easily, smoothly in court but when it came to lying to his wife, his family, he would become drenched in sweat? But maybe that was how it ought to be. No one should be able to lie to their family as easily as one can lie to stranger.
Genevieve was hard to read in a sense. She would take Tobias's word - no questions asked, but whether she really believed him or not, was another story. A story Tobias wasn't sure if he read.
"Oh you know..." Tobias ventured vaguely, dismissing the office follies with a wave of his hand. "I try and stay out of it." Tobias looked away from Genevieve, who was still smiling, and at his two children who were giggling ferociously. "Hey, what's so funny?"
"Mommy's eating worms!" Gary blurted. Genevieve put down her chopsticks holding Chinese noodles and looked over at him.
"Stop being silly," she retorted with a smile remaining on her face. Gary reacted with a silent laugh, covering his mouth with his small hands. "Well, it's going to be good having you home for three weeks." Genevieve said to Tobias as her smile grew. He nodded his head in agreement.
"It's gonna be great."
"Maybe we should take a little family trip one weekend. Oh! I wish the kids had school off."
Tobias smiled, but didn't respond. There was no way Tobias was going to go anywhere. He needed to spend as much time with his wife and kids in their *home* as possible. He knew that if he spent these three weeks with his loving family at home - his seemingly need to sabotage it with this Chris thing would just be a faded bad memory.
Tobias went to bed early that night, even before Genevieve went to bed. He knew if he fell asleep before she got there, he could avoid any type of sexual situation that might occur. Something he was very wary of.
Why? He didn't know why. He was scared to know why. He didn't ask himself these questions, although there was always that nagging in the back of his brain.
One thing was clear - Tobias had been unfaithful to his wife, and not only in his dreams. He had to make sure it wouldn't happen again. Even if, deep down, in the darkest part of his soul....he wanted it to.
The next morning, Tobias laid lazily in bed till noon. He flipped through the syndicated talk shows on tv, until he found himself watching the local Midday News. Genevieve had gone to the grocery store and the kids were in school. He had the whole place to himself, and he relished in his leisure time.
Until a husky motor outside was heard, and something inside Tobias jumped and he felt suddenly queasy. He walked over to the large bedroom window and peered out a blind. Down on the street, a man was getting off a motorcycle. When the man took off his helmet, Chris was revealed.
Tobias sprung away from the window. Shit, he's following me, he thought frantically.
The doorbell rang moments later and Tobias ignored it. Tobias's heart started to pump harder in his chest. After about two minutes, Chris rang the doorbell again. The third time, he knocked and still Tobias ignored him. He was waiting to hear that motorcycle roar away, it didn't. He looked through a blind and the motorcycle was still there. Tobias waited still longer, and wherever he was, Chris was not getting on his motorcycle and taking off.
That's when he heard Genevieve's car roll up the driveway. A minute later she unlocked the front door, and Tobias not only heard her voice, but Chris's as well. Genevieve laughed that harmonious laugh of hers, and then he heard footsteps up the stairs. Tobias turned off the television, and dashed into bed, pulling the covers over his head. Genevieve opened the door moments later.
"Tobias?" She whispered. "Hey, get up. It's half passed noon." Tobias pulled down the comforter and revealed his face, blinking uncomfortably, as though he had just woke up. "Your friend, Chris was waiting in the drive way. You probably didn't hear the door bell, 'cause you were asleep. Come on, he's downstairs."
Tobias followed his wife downstairs, and saw Chris sitting on his sofa, his hands clasped together, a leather jacket pulled over a white t-shirt. He stood up when Tobias and Genevieve entered.
"Do you want something to drink...a soda?" Genevieve asked him.
"I'd love a beer." Chris replied, glancing at Tobias.
"We don't have beer." Tobias said flatly.
"Then a coke would be great, thanks." Genevieve nodded, politely smiled and walked towards the kitchen. Once out of sight, Tobias walked up to Chris, who was smirking. God only knows how much Tobias wanted to knock it off his face.
"What're you doing here?" Tobias said hoarsely. Chris sat back down on the sofa and leaned back.
"Having a coke with your beautiful wife." Chris replied, his smug smirk fading a bit. "I'm here to see you."
"You've got to stop doing this. You've got to stop showing up wherever I am." Tobias stared back at Chris, who looked up at him with those eyes. Those sparkling, crystal blue eyes. The room went silent, and Genevieve returned with a can of coke. Chris stood up and she handed it to him.
"Thanks," he replied as he took the can from Genevieve. She looked from him to Tobias, who�s face was stern and serious.
"Something wrong?" She whispered.
"No." Tobias mumbled back, forcing a smile. Chris took a sip of his soda and Genevieve decided it was up to her to end the uncomfortable silence.
"So, Chris, are you a New York native? I couldn't help but notice your accent." She asked as she sat down next to him, but Tobias continued to stand.
"Sure am." He smiled at her, then glanced at Tobias and his smile faded. "I should have called, I don't know why I didn't."
"It's okay," Genevieve said cheerily. Tobias stayed silent, and Chris's eyes never left his face.
"No...I thought Tobias would wanna do somethin', but why would he wanna leave you?" Genevieve smiled at Tobias. "I gotta get outta here, anyway. Thanks for the coke." He lifted the can at Genevieve.
"I'll see you later." Chris replied, glancing at Tobias. He walked out and Genevieve turned to Tobias.
"Well, he was nice."
"You think everyone's nice." Tobias muttered, walking into the kitchen.
"What - that's not true. I've met plenty of your colleagues who I think are total pricks." She replied, following him. "He was a nice guy."
"Well, you don't know him."
"Come to think of it...I thought you guys weren't friends anymore." Genevieve said, her voice now sounding worried. "What's going on, Tobias?"
Tobias smiled at her, trying to ease her tensions with a simple glance. "Nothing. Uhm...we are sort of friends. Just not *great* friends. I mean, how do you think he knew I was home. I told him."
How *did* he know I was home? Tobias asked himself. Somehow he knew Darlene Shay was the culprit again. Damn, I should have got her fired when I had the chance.
"So if you're friends, then why is it wrong for me to think he's a nice guy?" She asked, leaning against the kitchen counter. Tobias put a hand to his head. He was the *worst* liar, the worst.
"I dunno...I'm not in a good mood today," he mumbled staring at the floor.
"I don't know. I'm still tired."
"Jesus, honey. You've had over 10 hours sleep. I think your problem is you've slept too damn much," she laughed stroking his back. Tobias smiled feebly at her. He had no idea what he was going to do about all of this. No clue.
Damn Chris, why did he have to come into my life? Why did he have to ruin all of this? He thought wearily.
It made him almost want to reach for the bottle. Drink away everything, until nothing was left. Sink into nothing-ness.
Tobias put his arms around his wife and hugged her, kissing her neck. She responded immediately, lifting her face to his and smiling softly, as she placed her hands on either side of his face. She mouthed "I love you" and kissed him.
-End Part Six-
continued in Part 7