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Loosening Up – Book 6 – Situations
Chapter 1 – Recovery
Dave’s heart stopped. The whole world froze. Time stood still.
Tears flooded Dave’s eyes and he actually had to clutch at his chest because of the sudden ripping tightness there. Every muscle in his body convulsed to the point of severe pain.
His eyes were locked on Alice and then Julie and then Alice again. Every part of his body was pleading that what he heard he hadn’t heard. Both women looked worried about how he’d just received the statement from Alice: ‘I want to marry Owen. Julie does, too’.
Dave turned white as a ghost and then bent over to the side of the patio bench he sat on and threw up the breakfast he’d eaten not too long before. He retched and retched, his body trying to purge from it the terrible words and their implication – that two of his wives were leaving him for another man.
Christ, he thought as another severe abdominal cramp made him retch yet again, I’ve been married to Alice for fifteen years and to Julie for five. How could they? How could Owen screw me over like this? I’ll never be able to face anybody in the Circle again. What will I do? I’m cursed a thousand times over.
The mental pain spilled over into more physical pain. He couldn’t sit up. He vomited again only by then there was nothing inside him to surrender. He just made severe gagging sounds and coughed, afraid he’d die and then afraid he wouldn’t.
Feminine arms surrounded him and people nearby were asking what had happened?
Alice’s voice penetrated in some small way, “I was afraid you’d react this way. It’s not what you think. It’s not bad, I promise. Oh, God. I didn’t do this right at all. This shouldn’t be happening. Oh, darling, please listen to me. I love you. I really love you. Oh, I’m so sorry for starting the way I did.”
Julie was also making reassuring sounds about her love for him. “Dave, we’re not leaving you. We’ll still be your wives. We love you deeply. I don’t see what we want to do as a big change.”
Dave had retreated into darkness by closing his eyes and praying for salvation to the terrible situation he’d just envisioned.
Several other people extracted Dave’s limp body from the picnic table bench he’d been sitting on. The terrible spasms seemed to have past but he’d gone to someplace mentally that seemed to not involve any muscle control. He became inert and glassy eyed. His limbs were loose and flexible as though no one was inside his body controlling them.
The helpers got him stretched out on a chaise in the shade on the patio. He slowly moved onto his side and rolled into the fetal position. Many hands touched him and tried to reassure him. Somewhere deep inside his head he knew he’d attracted a crowd.
Cricket was there with cool paper towels that she applied to his face and forehead. She kept talking to him, “Dave, it’s all right. Alice and Julie are not breaking up the family. They’re not leaving you. Please don’t panic. We all love you. You’ve misread what they want to do. They love you. We all love you.”
Dave tried to talk, but the taste and bile in his throat and the tension he felt only resulted in a long, agonizing moan. Tears flowed from his eyes. His ears were still ringing, and he felt like a dozen strong men had kicked him in the gut. He started sobbing as all his emotions took over.
Alice, Julie, Cricket, Pam, Scarlett, and Heather sat around him on the chaise, each stroking him and trying to soothe him. Their touches were calming and the spasms his gut and body had gone into gradually relaxed but many minutes went by.
Dave was aware of Matthew and Rose coming by and asking if he’d be all right. People tried to reassure them, and he tried to stem the tide of tears and sobs.
Dave heard Scarlett ask whether she should leave. Several of the wives gasped. Pam said, “Not only no, but hell no. You are part of this family – this polyamorous marriage. You stay. You belong with usC in this time of need. Please help us heal this terrible situation.”
Dave became aware of Pam chewing out Alice and Julie for their lack of sensitivity and callousness in what they’d said and the time and place they decided to talk about their relationship with Owen. She was spitting angry. Dave hadn’t heard anger in the Circle between members for years, let alone between his own family members. He wanted it to stop.
He also heard Heather requesting that other Circle members and guests leave them alone. “This is a family matter that we need to deal with. Please bear with us.”
Eventually, Scarlett spooned her half-naked body behind Dave’s and hugged him to her as she kissed his neck and one ear. She told him repeatedly how much she loved him and how grateful she was to be in his family like this and how proud she was of him and his accomplishments and his attitude about life.
Cricket took over in her own way sitting in front of him and stroking his arm and face. “We all love you, Dave. Alice and Julie are right bostancı escort here, and they’re not leaving you for Owen or anybody else. There was so much more to what they wanted to say, but … well, you fell apart before they could get the rest of the message across. That NOT your fault. You were the victim here to a bad choice of how to say what they wanted to say.”
Ever the logical one, Pam sat cross-legged next to the chaise with little Bobby in her lap. “Darling Dave, please listen to us. The communications between Alice and you got really screwed up here a few minutes ago. Do you want to hear a left-brain person talk about what happened here a few minutes ago?”
Dave kind of nodded so Pam went on.
“There are four possibilities in a communication between two people. There’s what the person intended to say, what they actually said, what you heard, and what you thought you heard. Every one of those is an opportunity for a miscommunication, especially the last one.
“Alice did not intend to say or imply that she and Julie were leaving you. She started with something she wants to talk to you about – a possible result, rather than explaining where she got an idea, how it matured in her head, the full situation, and the conclusions she drew.
“You, on the other hand, heard her but interpreted it as a message that was not at all what she meant. Neither Alice nor Julie is leaving you. Your marriage to them is intact, whole, going full bore, and you are deeply loved by both of them – by all of us that are your wives and even everybody in the Circle. There are right here crying and looking very sad about how this turned out.”
Alice choked out a short comment between sobs, “I’m … devastated … by … wabbgh … gowhhg.” Sob.
After a minute, Dave uncoiled slightly and looked at the Circle of his wives through his still glassy eyes. He gasped, “Water or coke, please.” He tried to sit up, and Cricket and Scarlett helped get him get seated on the chaise. A bottle of water was thrust into his hands almost instantly. He rinsed out his mouth and spit onto the patio again, and then drank a little.
Alice sobbed, “I’m so sorry. I didn’t do this well at all.”
Alice plopped down beside him on the chaise and hugged him. She apologized again. Julie sat on his other side saying much of the same and kissing his shoulder and arm. They were truly contrite. Their faces were red and distorted as tears cascaded down their cheeks.
Dave shook his head. “I’m wiped out. I’m sorry I reacted that way. I just thought the worst that could happen was happening.”
Alice sobbed, “No, no, no. It’s nothing bad; at least I don’t think so. I talked to some of the others, and they thought it was a cute idea.”
Dave held his head in his hands. It seemed so heavy. He talked but down at the ground at first, “Tell me. I’ll listen and try not to collapse on you again.”
Alice sobbed, “I’m worried now. Maybe it’s not such a good idea anymore.”
“Try me,” he said looking up and beside himself at Alice and then Julie.
Julie said, “Let me start; at least I can talk for now.” She took a huge gulp of air and sighed. “There are a whole bunch of things going on in the Circle that we linked together for good or bad. A few minutes ago, we thought it was a great idea. First, everyone knows that Owen is single, and there’s a lot of pressure from the media for him to find a wife. They’re always touting his ‘most eligible bachelor’ status and speculating about whom he’ll eventually chose to wed. He waves it off since all of their speculations are socialites he has no interest in, and we know he loves all the women in the Circle, but we also know he especially loves Alice and me.
“Moreover, you like Owen, although I know there have been times way back when you thought you’d lost Alice to him. This is NOT one of those times. We all like him, and it has nothing to do with his money – we all know that, too.
“We then met Mark Worthington, the other billionaire, and his family. He is ‘married’ – in quotes – just like we are to about ten women – maybe more depending on how you count. He has a big polyamorous family. I’m not sure of the number but it’s in that ballpark. He spoke of how his family was overloaded with women, and so he oversaw the annexation into his ‘family’ of four men. We met one of them a couple of weeks ago when they came for dinner – Deke. They’re reportedly all very nice men and we got along great with them when they were here.”
Alice had calmed down, so she spoke, “And then we thought about how we’re always talking about how the Circle is very egalitarian, but all the polyamorous relationships so far involve a guy and multiple women. What’s missing is the opposite, some place where a woman in the Circle is ‘married’ to multiple men.” Alice made little quote gestures with both hands, and then she sobbed again and couldn’t speak.
Pam said, “The last part of what they were seeing was the trend in the Circle ümraniye escort bayan as we’ve grown towards specialization. People are developing favorites that they like to be with, even forming couples or threesomes or foursomes or more that they really like to be with and make love with. Not everybody, but a lot of the people. They still circulate with everyone, but more on our Friday or Saturday ‘group’ nights.”
Dave muttered, “Can you name some?”
Pam spoke softly, “Yes. Mike and Clarisse have a thing for Kat, and through her Sean. Grace and Jack have an affinity for Lisa and Jim. Jason and Robyn are nuts over Susan. Dale and Susan also have embraced Amanda and Gail. Although they’re not members yet, Wolf and Carolyn, who aren’t members but will be, are crazy in love with Sheri. Those are just a few examples. We’ve been using the shorthand ‘specialization’ to describe the phenomena. We all do it.”
Heather volunteered, “When I’m not with you, I love being with your brother Aaron and Shelby.”
Dave nodded, “You left out Julie, Alice, and Owen.”
Julie said, “We were coming to that next. You know that Alice and I love Owen – we always have. When you’re busy or when we just feel inclined, he’s our go-to guy. You know we sleep over with him all the time when he’s here, me especially.
“I love you, AND I also love Owen. So does Alice. He’s our specialization.”
Alice said, “Owen wouldn’t be an ‘OR’ he’d be an ‘AND’. My idea was that we’d do a commitment ceremony with him just like we did for the rest of your wives. I’d kind of marry him like Cricket married us – and Heather, Pam, and Julie. Maybe Julie would really and legally marry him just as I’m legally married to you.
Julie said, “All that was in the spirit of the things we just talked about: Owen’s status, seeing what Mark and family had done, our ideas on equality of the sexes and family makeup, and the trend in specialization, and the idea just popped into my mind. I own it, and I sold it to my sister.”
Alice said, “Honestly, it wasn’t much of a selling job. I liked it as soon as I heard about it. It seemed like a logical extension of how we were already living as a polyamorous family. The poly bits have to go both ways if we really are an egalitarian society.”
Everyone was quiet for a long time. There was no more to be said on the issue.
Dave finally stood and stretched. He said, “Give me a while to think. I’ve got to wash down the patio where I barfed.”
Cricket pleaded, “No, no. I’ll do it. I don’t mind.”
Dave shook his head, “It’ll help me by giving me something to do. Just leave me be for a little while. I’ll be all right.”
As Dave uncoiled the hose from beside the house, Cricket appeared with a large plastic bag, dustpan, and sponge. He allowed her to collect some of the horrible waste and put it in the bag, before he hosed down the concrete pushing the wastewater off into one of the flowerbeds. Cricket sprayed down the patio with some disinfectant and he again hosed the area down.
After the cleanup job, Dave said, “I’m going to take a walk. I’ll be back in about an hour.” He headed down the road towards the Circle airport and the back entrance with his hands in the pockets of his shorts.
Despite his reassurances to his wives, his mind was still in tremendous turmoil. For a few minutes every part of his being had been challenged. The sense of loss he’d felt had been consuming. He’d even wondered whether the lifestyle they’d chosen had contributed to his loss.
‘Damn,’ he thought. ‘I’m thinking just as though I’m some macho guy that ‘owns’ his woman and now she’s cheated on him with his arch enemy. Where’d all this come from? I don’t need this trash talk in my head.’ He started to talk aloud about what he’d accomplished over the past six years, since he and Alice had decided to ‘loosen up’.
Unlike his thought a moment ago, every aspect of his life had changed for the better. His home life was wonderful. He was the most loved person he knew, and not just by Alice, but also by his other wives, Scarlett who may as well be a wife, and then over two dozen women in the Circle and some friends. He had a wide circle of men friends as well, and any one of them would move heaven and earth to help him. Dave’s career at the utility had soared, and with it his earnings and investments.
He had three great kids in his immediate family: Matthew, Johnny, and Bobby. He’d sired a half-dozen other children in the Circle as well. He’d befriended Scarlett’s five-year-old daughter Rose, and now thought of her as part of his family. He loved all of them. He had a social life that any other person would envy, and that even included the Club Ecstasy where he could go at a moment’s notice and get welcomed like royalty.
Dave sat on the tree stump in someone’s side yard, the remnant of a tree cleared away during Hurricane Marco. He shook his head and continued his self talk, ‘And now I’m worried to point of retching about one kartal escort of my five wives also marrying one of my best friends? I’m crazy.
‘What would change?’ he thought. ‘Alice and Julie would still sleep over there a night or three a week. Julie would still work for Owen and continue to fly all over the country with him, and make love with him. Alice would still love him, AND continue to love me. We’d all still socialize. I’d still see my kids. I’d still have all my other friends and lovers.’
Dave stood and started to walk, a little faster now with his hands swinging at his side and his chin up. He thought, ‘Someone said it on the patio, Julie could and should marry Owen. They love each other. He could father a child with her; she’s getting to be the same age Alice was when Johnny was born. Owen could give her a deeper form of commitment in the legal marriage than he could in the commitment ceremony they’d held.
‘And then there was his avowed belief that the people in the Circle, regardless of sex or economic standing, were equal.’ He thought, ‘Did I con myself into believing that mantra but I really don’t? No, I believe it, but this is the time that I have to act on my inner values. Alice and Julie were correct; they have the ‘right’ to marry Owen just as he had the ‘right’ to marry them.’
He got to thinking about the list of other values that Alice and Julie’s ideas touched upon: being able to love more than one person, non-monogamy, being adventurous, forgiving, accepting challenges and personal growth, getting out of his comfort zone, forgiving, and being willing.
‘God,’ he thought, ‘throwing up when your wife drops a bomb on you is not an indication of being very willing or resilient.’ He walked on, now heading back to the Circle. He was almost running, limited only by the fact that he had on flip-flops. He had some things to say to the people he loved.
* * * * *
Scarlett’s luscious nude body slipped onto the chaise beside Dave’s as he held Heather in his arms. She kissed him as he turned to her, “Hi. Things okay?”
“Never better,” he said. “I over-reacted and drew a hundred wrong conclusions this morning. We’re all good now. I like the idea and hopefully Alice and Julie are now off proposing to Owen.”
“Oh, good, but you’re sure you’re all right with what they’re doing.”
“What’s that old line the parents of daughters say, ‘I’m not losing a daughter, I’m gaining a son’. Well, I feel that way about Owen vis-à-vis Alice and Julie. I even encouraged Julie to really propose to him, as in form a legal marriage just like Alice and I have.”
Scarlett teased, “You just want to be able to sign on HIS bank account.”
“Oh, no. I even told her to suggest a prenuptial agreement with him so that he’s off the hook should things fall apart or he has a better idea at some time in the future. Come on, you know us better than that.”
“Oh, I do. I was just teasing. Do you know, not once in all the time I’ve hung around in the Circle and been with everyone did anyone ever mentioned money to me. A few months ago it even became public that I was the highest paid actress in Hollywood last year, but no one said a word.”
“You’re not your money,” Dave said. “You’re the woman I love, and that loves me and all my friends.”
Scarlett grinned and teased further, “And she fucks all of them, too.” She ground her pubis into his leg.
“There is that,” he laughed.
She curled up in his arms, even reaching across and stroking Heather’s arm. Heather made little purring sounds that made them all smile.
Eventually, Heather poked Dave and whispered in his ear. “Do it. Ask her.”
Scarlett mirthfully said, “I heard that.”
Dave said, “But I bet you don’t know what the question is, do you?”
Scarlett brought one of Dave’s hands down to her pussy and said, “A girl can always be hopeful.”
Dave said, “It’s a serious question not a sexual one. Well, maybe there’s a sexual component to it, but it’s more of a love question than anything.”
Scarlett remained in her teasing mode, “Yes, I’ll still love you in the morning.”
Dave turned to Heather, “Maybe now isn’t the time?”
“It is. We all talked about it.”
Scarlett suddenly sounded worried, “Huh?”
Dave rolled slightly between the two women so he could face Scarlett. He held her face in his hands and kissed her.
He looked into her eyes as hers searched his. He said decisively, “Scarlett Johansson, I love you. My wives love you. Would you marry us?”
Scarlett’s face scrunched up and she sobbed, “Oh, God, yes. YES. Oh, you’ve just made me so happy.” She launched herself deeper into his arms and slammed her lips against his until she backed off slightly so they could be more comfortable in their kiss.
As they separated, Scarlett lunged across Dave’s supine body so she could kiss Heather. “I love you Heather Manning Prentiss.” They also kissed with a deep sense of love and passion.
Pam appeared and joined the trio, adding her own words of love and devotion to Scarlett, and joy that she’d accepted. Cricket was right there, and then Alice and Julie, closely followed by Owen. The focus for a few minutes was on Scarlett, but then it shifted to Alice, Julie, and Owen.
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