"Take Thomas with you" said Diane, as Emily and Alison rose from the table.
"Mum, he's too young" said Emily.
Diane gave Emily an uncompromising look.
"Okay, we'll take him" Emily said quickly.
"Be back at ten" said Diane.
"Thomas'll be tired by then" said Emily.
"It'll be an adventure" said Diane "If he causes any trouble you can spank him."
"Mum!" yelled Thomas.
"You do as your sister says, she's old enough now to be responsible" said Diane, giving Thomas a warning look. Thomas trudged out of the dining room with his head and shoulders down.
"You two be back by ten as well" Margaret said to Ben and Amy.
"Okay" said Ben.
"Right, off you go!" said Diane, and the children headed out after Thomas. The adults waited, and when the back door closed they sighed.
"Let's get cleared up, then we can open another bottle of wine" said Diane, getting up and beginning to collect plates.
"I'll give you a hand" said Margaret, standing a little tipsily.
"The men can help too" said Diane.
"So, how old were you?" asked Margaret, picking up the now empty casserole dish and stacking it in the equally empty serving bowl for the potatoes.
"When?" asked Diane, knowing full well what Margaret was referring to.
"You know, when you and Gary first made love, when you got chased by that dog?" said Margaret, feeling a little nosy to be asking even though they had happily told the story over dinner in front of the children, albeit without much in the way of detail.
"Oh, that" said Diane nonchalantly "Well, I was about thirteen and Gary was fourteen" she said.
"Oh my God!" said Margaret "That young!?"
"That's why I didn't really want to tell Emily" said Diane "Not that I really mind her knowing, but I don't want to be giving her any ideas."
"So you and Gary have been together that long?" said Margaret, as she headed into the kitchen.
"It's been a long time, but we're happy with each other" said Diane, stacking plates into the dishwasher "Not that there haven't been others, occasionally."
Margaret leant against the worktop watching Gary and Keith come into the kitchen carrying glasses, cutlery, and condiments.
"How do you mean?" asked Margaret.
"I just mean that there have been others on and off, just to spice things up a bit" said Diane with a grin.
"Not secret affairs" said Gary "Only when we've both been agreeable."
"It doesn't affect our relationship" said Diane "We don't love each other any less, and to be perfectly honest it's probably strengthened it, but it has meant we've been able to have a bit of variety and we've not got bored with each other."
"My God!" said Margaret.
"What are you taking about?" asked Keith.
"You mean, like swinging?" asked Margret, having seen a television documentary about people like that.
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Mr Double's Palisade
A MrDouble Production:
Changes last made on: Tuesday, July 03, 2018