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Thanks to Mav for the beta
Experiment 6: Discovery
Experiment 6: Discovery
Series: Experiment, an AU series in which Keller is a construction worker and Toby is a married lawyer. Neither have ever been in Oz.
Summary: Toby and Chris are found out.
ETA: Thanks to maverick4oz for the beta. She reads my minds sometimes, I swear. *g*
Who's been sleeping in my bed
Getting what I get
When I don't get it?
--Barry Manilow and Marty Panzer
Gen had been suspecting something since before the trip to Puerto Rico. Toby had been cold and distant for weeks. That was one of the reasons she'd suggested going away. They had needed time together.
But the trip had been wonderful; just what they'd needed. She and Toby really talked for the first time in a long time. And they had made love like teenagers. It had felt like when they were college sweethearts. She thought they were back on track. And even when Toby sent her off with the kids so he could have some time alone, she had been sure nothing had intruded on their idyllic time on the island.
She'd been wrong. But she didn't discover that until they'd gotten home.
Things had been fine when they first got home. It wasn't long before Toby started working late again and coming home too tired to talk to her or hold her.
A few times, she'd called the office late to find Toby wasn't around. That was when she started suspecting he was having an affair. She started bringing him lunch to the office a couple of times a week. It gave her a chance to observe his interactions with the women in his office to see who might be a good candidate for her suspicions. No one quite fit the bill.
Toby was pleasant to all the women he worked with but he didn't really overtly flirt with any of them. So, she started checking his clothes for lipstick and perfume, but found none. Sometimes, she detected an odd masculine scent she didn't recognize. She thought Toby had started using a new brand of cologne. There were no love notes found in his pockets or lipstick stains on his shirts. Still, the nagging feeling wouldn't go away.
Gen was starting to get desperate. She hired a private investigator - one with a good reputation. He was also rather expensive. The only to hide the expense from Toby was to use money from her trust fund.
When she hired Max Renfield, he asked what evidence she wanted if he found anything.
"Yeah, you want hotel bills? Photos? Videotape? What?"
She'd been rather surprised by the idea of videotape. She had no idea private investigators offered that kind of proof. "Photographs would be fine," she said. Even that idea was distasteful. She didn't want to *see* evidence that Toby was cheating. She just wanted to know one way or the other so she could make a decision.
"What do you wanna know about the other woman?"
"*If* there's another woman," she corrected.
"Hey, you hired me, lady. When it comes down that, there's *always* another woman."
"Everything you can find out," she told him.
He called her a week later. "I need to talk to you."
"You found something already? Who is she?"
"It would be better if I saw you in person," Max insisted.
"There's nothing you could say over the phone that would be easier to hear in person."
"Probably not, but let's do it my way. I'll be over in 20 minutes."
When he got there, he asked her to sit down. She refused at first. She was angry at his presumption that she would get faint or weak over whatever he showed her. But he insisted and she finally complied.
"This is going to come as a shock," Max said. His eyes held pity. It made her want to scream.
"I hardly think so. I already suspected an affair."
"Well, you were right about that."
She cringed. Even knowing full well that he would confirm it, it hurt to hear it. Her stomach churned and she closed her eyes against the images that coming unbidden to her mind.
"Mrs. Beecher..." He sounded so pitifully sorry. She couldn't bear it another minute.
"Oh, please, just tell me. Is it Beth?" Please, no. Beth Ramsey was her best friend. It just couldn't be her.
"Thank God." She let out a breath she didn't know she'd been holding. But her relief was short lived.
"His name is Chris Keller. He's a construction worker."
She blinked. What? "I'm sorry. I could have sworn you just said..."
"I did. Your husband is having an affair with another man." Max looked down as he spoke, as if he was ashamed for Toby. Or maybe just embarrassed for her.
She laughed. She didn't expect to. It just came out. "That's absurd. Toby's never even..." She shook her head, laughing still. "It's just absurd."
"I'm afraid not, Ma'am." Max said opening a large envelope and letting some pictures slide out.
There, in lurid black and white (why did PIs always use black and white, she wondered), was exactly what he'd said. Toby kissing another man. Toby undressing a man. Toby sucking on another man's penis. Toby getting...getting penetrated by a man. It was making her sick to look at them. She shoved the photos away.
"No," she said angrily. "These are doctored or something. Someone is trying to blackmail my husband."
"Mrs. Beecher," Max said calmly. "I took them myself."
"Then you're trying to blackmail him!" She sounded shrill, even to herself. Get a grip, Genevieve. "This is impossible. My husband has never so much as looked at another man. Never bought a gay magazine or watched a movie with..." she waved her hand. She couldn't say the words. "It doesn't make any sense. It's...this is not my husband. It's not."
"It is, Mrs. Beecher. I assure you."
"No," she insisted, crossing her arms.
"Ma'am, I have videotape if you really need to be convinced. Or you can just pretend it never happened."
"Videotape?" She leaned forward in her chair, her heart hammering in her chest. "I didn't authorize that."
"No, Ma'am, but I thought it might be necessary."
"Give it to me."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes," she snapped and grabbed it when he held it out. "I want to know everything you can find out about this man."
"Christopher Keller. He's a construction worker. He met your husband in the courthouse when he was filing divorce papers for a friend. That was last fall. The affair started soon after that."
"Last fall?" Genevieve was incredulous. How could it have been going on that long without her knowing?
"Yes, Ma'am. I'm sorry."
She dismissed his concern with a wave of her wrist. "What else?"
"He's an ex-con. He served four years at Lardner for robbery and assault."
"A felon?" Her head was spinning now. Toby was not only cheating on her with a man, but he was doing so with a criminal. When the hell had her world spun out of control? She stood up then, unable to hear any more at the moment. "May I take the file, please?"
"Of course." He handed it to her. She tucked it under her arm, along with the videotape and walked to the front door. He stood up and followed her. "I'll, uh, send you a bill."
"You do that." All her manners had disappeared and she couldn't have cared less. She shut the door and went back to the sofa to sit. The first wave of grief hit her then and she began crying uncontrollably. She cried until she had no tears left; until her eyes were red and raw.
No, Genevieve kept telling herself. It can't be true. Toby wouldn't. He couldn't. And then the pictures would appear in her head. Her stomach heaved and she ran to the bathroom to throw-up. She emptied her stomach and then the dry heaves started. She ran over every intimate moment she could remember from the past year. Where had she gone wrong? Was it something she'd done? Was there something wrong with her that had made her undesirable to him? Had Toby slept with men before this?
Then she remembered the Puerto Rico vacation. Toby had been so amorous. They'd made love more that week than they had since the early days of their marriage. How could he be so romantic with her if he was having an affair with this Chris person? It didn't make any sense.
She brushed her teeth and looked at her watch. It was almost time to pick up Holly and Gary from school. There was no way she could deal with them right now. She called her neighbor, Meg Stansfield, and asked her to pick up the kids and watch them for a couple of hours. Then she checked on Harry, who was still sleeping in his crib. His face looked so sweet, so innocent.
How could Toby do something like this to our family, she thought angrily. She suddenly wanted to lash out at him, at everything. She wanted to scream and break things. The only thing that stopped her was her fear that Harry would wake up and witness her meltdown.
She needed to know more about the man Toby was seeing. She opened the file and started reading it. It told her that Christopher Keller was 4 years older than her husband. I thought men were supposed to have affairs with people younger than their spouses, she thought.
He'd gone to jail when he was just seventeen years old and served four years. He'd been arrested a couple of times after that, but none of the charges stuck. He's a life-long criminal, she thought. Her stomach churned again. What the hell had Toby been thinking? This was just too fantastical to believe. It was like something out of a twilight zone episode.
She flipped up the top sheet and found Chris' mug shot. It was much clearer than the sordid shots of him with Toby. Despite his grim look, he was quite clearly a handsome man. A sharp, Roman nose and sharp, knowing eyes. She didn't know what color they were because the photo was black and white. But they were vivid and mesmerizing. She pulled her eyes away from the photo and looked at the personal information. Five feet, 10 inches and 180 pounds when he was seventeen. No doubt, he was a bit bigger now.
She opened the envelope of photos Max had given her, skipping past the more lurid ones and finding one of the two men just looking at each other. Chris was focusing all of his attention on Toby and giving him the most devastating grin she'd ever seen. It made her heart clench. Well, she could certainly understand why someone would find him attractive. But Toby? She just couldn't reconcile it in her mind.
Chris' hand was on Toby's shoulder. He had long, elegant fingers, which surprised her. She wasn't sure what she expected, but not this. They seemed to touch Toby in a possessive, but tender way.
Genevieve shook herself, wondering how she could be thinking such thoughts. This was the man who was sleeping with her husband. She hated him. She wanted to hurt him the way he'd hurt her and their family. She certainly shouldn't be thinking such generous things about him. She wondered what he got out of their affair. Was he just in it for the sex? Or did he want Toby to leave her?
Harry started crying, startling her from her thoughts. She went in to pick him up and feed him a bottle. When he was finished, she walked him over to Meg's house and asked her to keep him there with the kids until Toby got home.
"I have something I need to do," she told Meg. Luckily, Meg understood and didn't ask any questions. She had two daughters of her own and they were close in age to Holly and Gary. The kids all got along well together.
Genevieve went back to the house again, letting out a heavy sigh as she closed the door. She leaned against it briefly and summoned up the energy to keep going. She passed the hallway mirror and stopped to look into it. Am I so unattractive that Toby has to find sex elsewhere? Or was it more than sex? She turned sideways and looked at her figure. She was still as slim as she'd been on her wedding day, despite bearing three children.
Still, there had to be something wrong with her, didn't there? Her own husband was cheating on her with another man, no less, and she couldn't recall feeling him slip away from her. How could she have been so blind for so long? She dropped her purse on the couch. Maybe I don't pay enough attention to Toby. I know I've been more attentive to the kids in recent years, but they need me.
Feeling sorry for herself wasn't going to get her any answers. She needed to know more about this Chris person. She sat down on the couch and opened the file. The videotape mocked her from the coffee table. She would ignore it for now.
Chris had been married four times. Good Lord. It certainly didn't sound like he was big on commitment, she thought. She just didn't understand the appeal for Toby. What makes this man so much more attractive than me? She reminded herself that Toby hadn't left her. Yet. Of course, that could be because of the children.
Okay, let's see. On the negative side, Chris was an ex-con, older than her, divorced four times, he was a *man*, which apparently wasn't a negative in Toby's book, and he worked in a blue collar profession. Not that there was anything wrong with that, Genevieve realized, but it just wasn't like Toby to go for that type.
Still there had to be something drawing Toby to him. What if this was just some sort of experiment for Toby? Maybe it was the thrill of the forbidden; of sleeping with someone who was completely different from him. And Chris couldn't be much more different than Toby.
That didn't really explain why their relationship had gone on for so long.
An absolutely horrid thought appeared unbidden. Had Toby ever brought Chris here to our house? Had he slept with Chris in our bed? She shuddered at the thought. No. It was too vile to contemplate. Surely, Toby wouldn't have risked her coming home from work early. Then she remembered those days a few months back when Toby had been mugged and injured. He'd been home for almost a week recovering. Could Chris have come over then?
"Fuck," she whispered aloud, pressing her head into her hands. She was instantly aghast at her own slip. She never swore. Never. And she was always admonishing Toby when he did it. Enough of feeling sorry for yourself, she thought.
She stood up, grabbed the videotape and walked over to the television to turn it on. She popped it into the VCR and stepped back to grab the remote control. She took a deep breath and pressed play.
Chris appeared in view in the camera. He was in a non-descript hotel room. Clean but not fancy. The picture was slightly gauzy as if it had been hidden behind a sheer curtain. Even so, she could see how handsome he was. He had a way of walking that caught her attention. He was very self-assured. He knew he was attractive. He was talking to someone, presumably Toby, who was out of camera range.
"I got tickets to the game Friday night. Wanna go?"
Toby gave a muffled response. It sounded like he was in another room. Maybe the bathroom? He walked into view a moment later, wiping his face with a towel. He was shirtless but still had his work pants on.
"... already away enough. I don't see the kids very much during the week."
Chris nodded, but Genevieve could see that he was disappointed, even if he didn't say anything.
He sat down on the edge of the bed and pulled Toby into the circle of his arms and legs. Toby leaned down and kissed Chris affectionately and then stepped back.
"Don't be mad."
"I'm not mad."
"Disappointed then," he said and touched Chris on the cheek. "I'm sorry, but I just need to spend time with them."
"I understand, Tobe." He rested his head against Toby's stomach.
This struck Genevieve as very odd. She expected to see something out a gay porn video. Two horny men getting down to business. She didn't expect them to be talking - and about her children! Such a mundane, everyday thing to talk about. And the affection - she didn't expect that either. It was disconcerting and she didn't know what to do with her discomfort.
Oh dear God, Genevieve thought, what am I doing? But she couldn't stop. She needed to know more.
Chris started to undress and she was struck by the broadness of his shoulders and the strong muscles of his back and arms. When he turned toward the camera, she gasped. He was already partially erect. He really was quite a magnificent creature. She couldn't deny it.
Toby reappeared a moment later and he was nude as well. She was shocked to see that he was also half hard before he even touched Chris; apparently at the very thought of touching him. She felt like a vice was clamped around her heart.
Toby pushed Chris down onto the bed and lay on top of him.
"I missed you, Toby," Chris said.
"Me, too," Toby said so quietly she almost didn't hear him.
Then they started kissing so deeply and so passionately that Genevieve was squirming in her chair. Their hands roamed over each other tenderly; possessively. She couldn't recall Toby touching her that hungrily since the early days of their marriage. She felt sparks of anger and jealousy course through her.
Toby broke from the kiss and started sliding down Chris' body, kissing his neck, his chest, his stomach. Despite expecting it, she was shocked when he took Chris' penis into his mouth. She felt embarrassed for Toby. How could he do something so demeaning? He was making the most amazing sounds and she realized he was actually enjoying himself. He was doing for his own pleasure as well as Chris'.
Genevieve couldn't make herself understand it even if she wanted to. How could Toby live with her for so many years and yet want *this*? Surely, he hadn't been hiding it for that long. The very thought made her want to crawl out of her skin.
Chris was moaning loudly and incoherently. Every once in awhile she'd hear "Toby," but the rest was just babbling. He was thrusting up into Toby's mouth. She was so focused on it that she nearly missed the fact that Toby was holding Chris' hand. Such an unmistakable sign of affection. It cut her to the quick because he had once done that with her.
She covered her eyes for a moment to regain her equilibrium. When she opened them a minute later, Toby was squeezing a clear substance onto his fingers, which he inserted into Chris'... oh god, she couldn't even think it ... into his behind. She shuddered and thought - this is it. And then, dear lord, Toby was pushing into him.
Chris cried out. His head was thrashing on the bed and his eyes were closed. Genevieve wasn't sure if his cries were from pain or pleasure. But Toby began soothing him, calling to him, and touching his chest and stomach. "It's okay, Chris. I'm here, baby. Come on." There was such tenderness in his voice and in the way he stroked Chris' skin. And then they were kissing hungrily again as Toby moved inside him.
She knew then that they'd made love like this many times before and it hurt that he could betray her this way. Not just with his body, but with his heart. Toby's in love with him, she realized and her heart broke. She closed her eyes to the sights and sounds of pleasure on the screen and began to cry. She knew her marriage was ending and she felt powerless to stop it.
The videotape ended at some point and she turned it off as she dried her tears. She heard Toby's key in the lock and looked at the clock. It was just after 7 p.m. She waited calmly for him to come in and put down his briefcase. He greeted her before hanging up his coat. Then he turned to look at her, confused.
"Where are the kids?" He stepped closer. He must have seen her eyes were red. "Are you okay?"
She took a deep breath and squeezed the file in her hand. "Toby, we have to talk."
"About what?" he asked, taking her hand in his.
Hippocrite! she wanted to scream and she pulled her hand away.
"I know about your boyfriend," she said quickly before her courage escaped her. He opened his mouth to speak, but she cut him off. "Don't bother to deny it. I had a private investigator follow you." Toby's eyes opened wide in shock and anger. "I saw a videotape of you..." her anger was building as she spoke."...fucking him!"
"Genevieve!" Toby gasped. She stood up, facing him.
"You were! How could you?" She lost control and slapped him in the face. He cupped his cheek with his hand. He was still in shock. Good, she thought, let him have a taste of the medicine she'd had to endure. "If you were so hell bent on sleeping with someone else, you could have had the decency to ask for a divorce first!"
"I didn't want a divorce. I *don't* want a divorce."
"You can't have it both ways, Toby, and I know you're in love with him. I *saw* it."
He opened his mouth to speak and then closed it.
"You can't deny it, can you?"
He put his head in his hands. "I'm sorry, Genevieve. I never meant to hurt you or the kids. I just wanted...oh hell, I don't know what I wanted."
"It looked to me like you knew exactly what you wanted," she snapped. "You were just too much of a coward to do it the right way." It felt good to be in charge finally, after a day of feeling so out of control.
"What do you want?" he asked, looking up at her with a pitiful look on his face. She wanted to slap him again.
"I want a husband who loves me - and only me - unconditionally. If you can't give me that, then you need to leave."
He was surprised again. Or doing a pretty good impression of it. "What about the kids?"
"You'll see them on weekends. They'll survive," she said coldly. She picked up her purse off the couch and walked toward the front door.
"Where are you going?"
"To pick up the kids. When I get back, please be gone. I can't look at you anymore today," she said. "Oh, and you can tell Chris you're free for the game Friday night. I think we can handle an evening without you. It won't be the first one." Genevieve said and was inwardly satisfied at the hurt look on Toby's face.
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