Alan felt himself unwind the moment he stepped over the
strong is anticipatory conditioning. He'd researched studies of I.V.
drug addicts where many reported the same high from the just squeeze of
the tourniquet and the pinch of the needle. As he approached his chair,
he thought that this must be much the same.
Denny passed over
one of two generous pours of Chivas and settled deeper into his seat.
His cigar was burned halfway through, but both glasses were at the same
level. "Shirley gave me a love contract today," he said twirling the
"Yes, she presented me with one as well." Alan sniffed before he
"Apparently she knows about our sleepovers."
"Well then, perhaps we should invite her. It wouldn't do for the lady
to feel left out."
do you think that happened?" As always, Denny sounded genuinely
nescient, as he did even when it was a carefully prepared ruse.
"Your announcing it in reception probably had something to do with it."
Denny nodded in acquiescence and took his first sip. "Probably. What
did you do with yours?"
"I signed it immediately and handed it back."
Denny glanced sideways in surprise.
had hoped that the gesture would enable me to slip further into
Shirley's good graces…as well as other certain parts.
Besides, it was
meaningless to me. I hold no one but myself to task for my own
maladroitness with relationships."
"It's different for me," said Denny with a grunt. Or was it a fart?
"I'm strictly heterosexual."
"Well then, have them put in a rider."
"But she thinks we're having an affair!"
"Aren't we?" Alan looked at him with feigned genuine surprise.
"I'm not having sex with you." Denny pronounced the words as if that
made an ambiguous face. "All the same, I've had far fewer loving
moments with many a person with whom I was. Where would you say the
difference lies, Denny?"
"Orgasm. If you haven't had an orgasm with someone, it's not an affair."
"Heh." Alan laughed into the Boston night. "That should put the minds
of many a cuckolded husband to rest."
"And it leaves us in the clear."
"Speak for yourself, Mister."
shot him an odd glance over the rim of his glass, then let it go. "We
could just tell her we're not having sex, and she'd have to drop it."
would be a lot less fun, don't you think? You'd lose all the curious
glances, all the prurient stares behind your back, all the misinformed
judgmental coffee pot gossip. You'd be less interesting. Lose
attention. As a societal collective, our concern in matters not
affecting our own lives is primarily fueled by the salacious."
said if I don't sign it, she'll have me involuntarily retired. Take my
office." Denny waved his cigar toward the sliding glass doors behind
"You've got plenty of money. You can buy this balcony if she does."
"Don't need to. I own this building personally."
"Well then. So we're safe regardless."
They toasted glasses and sipped in unison.
set his glass down on the table. "You know, gay is the new black these
days. All the women are crazy for gays. Those Queer Eyed Guys, Rupert
Everett, even that funny haired fellow from In Stink--"
all give interviews saying how they have to beat women off with a
dildo…a stick. I could get mileage off of this." Denny's
"Shirley might even try to win me back to her team."
"And who wouldn't."
even better than a wedding ring, I hear. I'm sold." With some effort,
Denny twisted his ring off and popped it into his pocket. "What's the
gay signal these days? Is it still an earring? Ooh, that would be good
for blood flow!" Denny fingered one earlobe. "Which side is gay now? I
can't keep track."
"I think there's a website."
"I'm signing." Denny declared himself with a giant pull on his cigar.
chuckled "You're signing the contract that promises not to hold the
firm liable if our flaming intra-office homosexual love affair goes
"But I'm still not having sex with you."
"Would you like a contract on that too?"
"Don't need it: we're flamingos. That trumps any contract."
Alan turned and looked at him with affection. "Indeed it does.
Denny groaned and made a horrible face. "Now why do you have to go
"I've got the new issue of Black
"Cheep beer and flashlights under the covers?" Denny asked with
considerably more interest.
"If you insist."
Denny stood up and drained his glass. "Let me get my keys."
LEGAL | STAR TREK: TOS