An Indecent Proposal

The morning after lunch with the parents we sat at the table eating breakfast. I pretended to read the newspaper, but all I was really thinking about was getting chained to the outdoor railing on the balcony in the middle of the night some hours earlier.

‘Maybe we should ask Cavaradossi for a ménage a trois?’ he asked just as I had sipped my first mouthful of coffee, pretty much causing me to snort it back out through my nose.


‘I’ll take that as “what a good suggestion, darling, let me think about it and get back to you”, then?’ he chuckled. ‘I know you’re attracted to him so I’m game. It’s not like we haven’t invited others into bed with us before.’

‘True,’ I had to agree. ‘But would you be able to look at him in the same way, ever, if you approached him and he said no? Or even worse, if he actually said yes?’

‘So either way it would be bad for me,’ he grinned broadly. ‘And yet I’m willing to sacrifice my integrity as well as my good name and reputation to please you.’

‘Is this when you’re going to tell me you want a separate threesome with Tosca and/or a chorus girl?’

‘Absolutely not,’ he said, surprisingly earnestly. ‘There’s no need.’

‘So this is a trick question,’ I concluded.

He sighed mockingly. ‘It’s an honest, valid proposition. Take it or leave it.’

I took another sip of my coffee and too large a bite of my burnt toast while I thought about it for a moment. Sure, he was incredibly attractive. Sure, we weren’t strangers to this kind of… behaviour, but although we’d done similar in Sin City it had been different then. We hadn’t been involved in the same way as we’d become. To have sex with another man when he was next to me would, at this point, have been a complete and utter mind fuck.

I cleared my throat to make a statement, and he folded away his copy of the New York Times in mock anticipation. ‘Yes, dear?’

‘What if he just… watched?’

A broad smile appeared and he chuckled. ‘So what you’d like me to do is ask our star tenor if he’s into voyeurism? You’re right, that’s a lot less awkward than asking for a straight threesome.’

When he went in for that evening’s performance, I sat in our flat and tried to imagine how the conversation in question would go down. “Hey, man, nice day, isn’t it? Listen, I was wondering, are you by any chance into…?” If he said no, it would be very awkward for everyone involved. If he said yes it would also be very awkward – but in a different way. I’d find myself naked in the same room as two of the best singers in the world of opera for starters. Not intimidating at all, obviously.

Within half an hour of curtain close, I heard the key turn in the lock, closely followed by, Honey! I’ve got a present for you!’

‘How did it…’ I asked as I stepped into the hall, rapidly slowing down as the first person I saw was in fact… Cavaradossi in all his gorgeousness, newly showered for the occasion. ‘…go…?’

‘I didn’t have any plans for this evening,’ Cavaradossi informed me in his polite and velvety foreign accent.

‘Right! Tea?’ I stated, somewhat taken by surprise, and yet I don’t know why I didn’t realise this was a probable outcome. I gave him a disapproving stare and he just shrugged. Cavaradossi had already made his way past me and into the kitchen, presently looking for the kettle, leaving us alone in the hall.

‘We got to talking and I asked him what he thought of you,’ he whispered. ‘At first he didn’t know what to say, given what happened on the opening night and everything, but when I explained the intention of my questioning he was very complimentary towards you. When I asked if he was up for it, he literally launched at the idea.’

‘Where are the teabags?’ we heard from the kitchen.

‘Second cupboard from the left,’ he shouted back before returning to whispering. ‘So what do you say?’

‘Please explain to me how this benefits you in any way?’ I whispered back.

‘Think about it! From a total alpha-male perspective, I get to show him who you belong to!’

I chuckled. I should have known that it would be about his ego in the end. ‘You could have warned me so that I could have at least changed,’ I stated and hit his arm.

‘Don’t worry about it, you’ll be out of your clothes in no-time anyway,’ he said as he made his way to the kitchen to help our spectator find the teabags. As I slowly followed them, I did wonder why I hadn’t offered him something with high alcohol content instead. I entered the room, only to find them both leaning against the kitchen worktop with a cup of tea in their hands. My eyes flickered from one to the other and I had to tell myself to breathe.

‘Let’s head on into the living room,’ he suggested and Cavaradossi agreed. I stayed behind, opened the cupboard next to the one with the tea and took out a half-bottle of brandy. Rather than going for a glass, I threw back a nice big gulp and let it settle for a moment before joining them.

They sat on opposite sides of the white couch, chatting lightly, when I changed my mind and went for the bathroom to change into my robe. I undressed completely, looked at myself in the mirror and covered myself with the thin fabric. I figured I could either just go for it all the way or not at all so I took a breath, went into the living room and parked myself on the thick, black carpet between the couch and the TV. I stood still for a moment and shot both a quick glance before letting the robe slide off my back.

‘How are we going to do this then?’

Excerpt from my novel, “A Masochism Tango” (2012-)

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