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Happiness 1/1

by ozfanfreak or lalioz

AD 2005

The banner said welcome to St. Stephen's and St. Agnes's Class of 1980, but boy did he feel unwelcome. Not that anybody said anything. The people greting him sure were all smiles.They made all the right noises. Glad to see you. How's your father? And your mother? I was so sorry to hear about your grandmother.

God, he needed a drink....and Chris by his side. Where the hell was the elusive bastard? He grumbled to himself grabbing a glass of club soda from a waiter passing by, and leaning against the wall in a darkened corner of the Grand Salon at Jumeirah Essex House actually hid behind some sort of overgrown shrubbery. Playing with the shiny band of gold round his finger he cursed under his breath. He shouldn't have come! He ought to have listened to that tiny voice in his head,and not his stubborn sonofabitch of a husband! Now he was stuck in here. Sober, and scared shitless Catherine McLaine's going to change her mind, and instead of taking off to her second honeymoon on Barbados with her third husband, end up... there, not ten feet from him!!

Twenty five years. A teeny tiny voice in his head squeaked. Twenty five years, and she still hasn't forgotten. He was pretty sure of that, noting her stiff shoulders and a withering smile curving her lips as she stepped closer and extended a hand in greeting with arctic-'Tobias, my, imagine seeing *you* here?'

With a solid mass of the wall behind him, Tobias Beecher Esq. could not flee. Not gracefully, anyway. So, the big escape was out of the question, and he certainly could not duck behind that darn shrubbery thing. He would look ridiculous. Oddly, that outcome was not bothering him much. Not if it meant getting away from that relentless gaze lasering through him at the moment.

Clearing his throat, and hating himself for that, Toby managed a calm if not heartfelt- 'It's nice to see you too, Catherine. After all these years.'

Hypnotized, staring at the ring around his finger she tried for a smile.'You enjoy being a little woman, umm Tobias?'

It was difficult to hide derision in her voice.Toby guessed she wasn't even trying.

'Now now Cat, you know there's nothing little about my boo here.' Toby sighed a heavy sigh of relief as he heard his husband's voice and felt a strong hand snaking around his waist.

'Chris...' he started finally choosing to ignore Catherine completely.' C'mon. Let's dance.'

'Key.' Chris turned to him with one of his one housand watt smiles curving his shapely lips, gleaming brightness in his dark blue eyes . 'This time, I lead.'


'What was that about?' Ron Martin whispered leaning over to his wife.

'Oh, that story is almost legendary now.' Genevieve Martin turned to her husband, her voice conspiringly low. 'You see, that's Catherine McLaine. She was one of the in crowd.' Genevieve smiled a smile a little too bitter. ' Class presidnt, cheerleader, prom queen ...you know, the works. Well, she had it all. And she was dating Toby. That's him.' Gen pointed at the blonde. ' Tobias Allan Beecher. He was such a cuttie.' She smiled at the look her husband aimed at her.'Yes, I had a crush on him. But that one.... ' she sureptitiously pointed at the strapping six foot tall Adonis swirling the blonde across the dance fool. 'Now that one was something. Still is.' She flashed him an apologetic look.

'Yes, indeed he is.' Ron's lips curved in an amused smile.'What, I can say it. I'm man enough.'

'Yes,yes you are.' Gen leaned in to kiss his cheek affectionately.

'So? What happened?' Ron pressed.

' Well,that's Chris Keller. He was the captain of the football team. A quarteback. The most popular boy in school. He was the prom king obviously. And that night, the prom night, well...that's the night Catherine caught them...in flagrante delicto as they say it.'

'What?' Ron almost choked on his wine.'Little rough and tumble?'

'Uh-huh.' Gen smiled.Back then I thought it was just a phase. You know. We all did. Sowing the wild oats of sorts.It turned out Toby and Chris were...seeing each other, so to say. I mean, they were in love. They still are.' She glanced at the two men in question standing by the bar now, looking so comfortable together, so at ease with each other. 'They've been together for twenty five years now.'

Ron whistled quietly.

Gen smiled. 'Now, what do you say, shall we dance Mr Martin?'

the end
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