No more family friction for Ana and Carla.
"You are so crude for a University intellectual," Gil said laughing. 'If you're asking if I had carnal knowledge of the lady in question, yes. Three times in four hours which is something of a record for me nowdays."
"You dog," Paul said, glad for anything to take his mind off his own troubles.
"Not only that," Gil said, plopping down onto a bean bag chair 20 years out of fashion, "but it was a trifecta."
At Paul's questioning look, he laughed and said, "you are so out of date, friend, I fucked her pussy, her tits and her ass and made it all three ways. On the first damned real date."
Paul shook his head in amazement.
"And this was your first real date? I mean, I knew things had changed in the last 20 years, but in her ass on the first date?'
"It wasn't really a first date, I guess. We've had coffee a couple of times and went to dinner a week ago at a decent Italian restaurant. We just hadn't - gotten to the physical stuff besides a few kisses and touching her tits a few times. But, yeah, it surprised the hell out of me too. I'd have been satisfied with one out of three, but she wanted it all and by God she wasn't going to stop sucking and playing with me until she got it all."
He stopped smiling.
"I probably shouldn't be rubbing this in your face, Paul, but I want you to know there is life after death - marital death anyway."
After a few minutes of mutual razzing, the doorbell rang and Paul felt like he was going to lose his lunch. Gil put a hand out to him as if to tell to sit still and he answered the door. A black guy in a nice suit shook Gil's hand and handed him a bulky package. They talked for a minute and then shook hands again and Gil closed the door behind him.
Gil walked over to the coffee table slowly and set the large, bulky manila envelope on top of it.
"There are still photos, two DVDs, and a couple of audio recordings as well," he said.
Paul couldn't make himself reach out to touch the package.
Gil grabbed it and headed for the staircase.
"Watch some television. Let me check it out first and see if it's anything you could stand to look at or listen to."
It was nearly 11 p.m. when Gil walked down the stairs. Looking at his face, Paul realized it had to be worse than he could have imagined.
Gil said down heavily on the couch opposite Paul, who could not have described one minute of the televison he had watched for more than three hours if a gun had been put to his head. It was as if he had been in a fugue state the entire time.
"So," Paul finally said, realizing how bad it was only when Gil refused to meet his eyes.
"You don't want to look at the photos, or the DVDs," he said. "But, there's a part of the audio recording you should listen to."
"Why? To make me hate her more so I'll dump her the way you want me to?"
Gil looked up at him with an emotion in them that scared Paul. It was pity, pure unadulterated pity.
"You're going to wind up hating her no matter how this goes, but you need to hear this to know where your marriage really is. Listen to it and then you tell me what the odds are that you could put it back together."
"...oh God, I can't believe how good that was. How many times did I ring the bell, baby"
" ....five the last time I counted. Every time we get together I can't believe how good it is with you."
"...I know, I feel the same way. I love Marianne, I really do, but we've got nothing in bed compared to what you and I have. It's like - we were meant to be together. It's more than just the sex. I know you feel it too."
"...I know. I didn't want this to happen. You know that. It was just good, make that incredible, sex for so long and that was enough. But, it's a fact that men fuck and women make love. I can't fuck you over and over for the last two years and not come to love you, at least a little. And in your case a lot."