“It’s not easy but it’s worth it.” Charles poured beer into his glass and looked at Gideon seated across from him at the dining room table. Gideon’s expression was one of agreement, confusion and anger.
“I agree it is not easy with Phoebe. She still has not committed to me. I do not understand how the rest of you made your relationships work so soon after you met.”
Charles nodded in acknowledgment, helped himself to a sandwich— when a devil’s agent was in a room one was certain to find food. They were always eating it seemed. With the sandwich in his hand he started to speak but before he could utter a word Gideon lashed out.
“You maintain you knew she was the one as soon as you met so it must not have been problematic.”
Charles brought the food to his mouth, bit and finished chewing. “You are angry my friend. I can understand why. Yes that is so. It was like a thunderbolt when I met Beth; we were bound from that night. But it doesn’t mean we don’t have conflicts and must constantly work on communication.”
Gideon glared at him as if he thought Charles was giving him a line.
“Look since Beth and I have been together and Victor with Eve we haven’t seen as much of you as we should have. You were single and it was awkward. Now that Phoebe is in the group it will be better.”
Gideon’s arm darted out as if to slap Charles’ words and his glass would have tipped over had he not caught it with his other hand.
“I wish I had your reflexes,” Charles remarked with envy.
“Well I am still single and do not see that changing in the near future. Phoebe is so stubborn. Why cannot she see we are meant to be together?”
Charles leaned forward. “She reminds you of Kathryn?”
Gideon bristled at the comment, like an alley cat preparing to fight an enemy. Instead of responding to Charles’ observation, he continued with his interrogation. “What problems could you and Beth possibly have? You are so well suited to each other even though you are human and she, like myself, is a devil’s agent. The same is true of Victor and Eve.” Gideon almost sputtered in disgust which Charles found pretty funny coming from one who collected souls for Mr. D.
Charles rose from the chair, descended the few steps into the living-room and returned holding a box of cigars which he offered to his friend. “Maybe a smoke will calm you down.”
Gideon, who could never refuse a good cigar or a good wine for that matter, let his anger go and peered at the contents of the humidor. He chose a Havana, snipped the tip with the cutter, puffed and carried on glaring at Charles.
“Like what problems?” he demanded.
Gideon almost dropped the glowing tobacco in surprise. “Children? What does that have to do with anything?”
Charles couldn’t contain his amusement at the shock on his friend’s face. “I work with kids. I’m a teacher. Sometimes I invite some of my students here for special activities. If Beth is home it drives her nuts. Devil’s agents can’t have children and she’s always wanted them. Even though I understood after she explained that children would not be in our future. It wasn’t a deal breaker. But it’s still a cause for conflict. She envies my contact with them.”
It was obvious from Gideon’s face that he had no comeback to this information. He fiddled with the cigar paraphernalia and turned his eyes away from Charles. “Even I have to admit that’s a cruel twist of fate for someone who desired children to end up as an agent for the devil and not able to conceive.”
“Have you told Phoebe she can’t have kids with you?”
“Yes. Actually it came up early on when she wanted me to wear a condom and I told her it was not necessary.”
“And what is Victor and Eve’s problem?” Gideon questioned. “They cannot be in the same room without acting like animals in heat. I do not see any conflict there.” Gideon’s mouth formed a smug shape indicating he believed he had gotten the best of Charles on that one.
“Eve drives truck and is away from home a great deal when on a long haul.”
“And Victor can be away from home when we are called to a big job,” Gideon conceded.
“Exactly. Unfortunately the two big jobs don’t coincide so often one of them is away for an extended period of time. He’s constantly battling with her not to take the long jobs and she gets him right back with the same argument. Victor’s response is that he can’t refuse a job, his boss is the devil for pity’s sake. So Eve says she can’t refuse a job either or her boss won’t give her the big jobs that pay well.”
“It cannot be a matter of money. We all have plenty.”
“Yes that’s true but it’s a matter of pride. Eve can be sweet and even tempered but she has a stubborn streak.”
“Like Phoebe.” Gideon sighed and placed his spent cigar in the ashtray. “So how do you prevent the conflicts from getting the better of you?”
“Make up sex.”
Gideon had been in the process of reaching for another sandwich and almost fell off his chair. “Make up sex?”
“Yep.” Charles smirked. “Try it sometime.”
Gideon’s cheeks coloured. “Oh… umm.. we have actually.”
Charles burst out laughing.
“Look. Beth makes me happy. I’m a better man now since we’ve been together. It’s all worth it. You and Phoebe are right for each other. I see it on your face and hear it in her voice when she talks about you. She just wants to assure herself she’s making the right choice. After a life of poor choices, who can blame her?”
Gideon’s brown eyes burned intently as he stared at Charles. “She told you about that?”
In a low voice Charles continued. “It was a twist of fate when Phoebe caught you on the job. And you say she resembles Kathryn as well?”
“Yes, yes she looks just like her. You mentioned that before.” Charles could not interpret the faraway expression on the other man’s face.
“Before you met her you thought nothing was possible now you think anything is possible. Isn’t that so?”
“Yes.” Gideon admitted sheepishly.
“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” Charles couldn’t resist adding.
“You are quoting Aristotle to me?”
Charles grinned. “It fits.”
***written for Blogophilia Week 4.7 Topic: Remember When You Thought Anything Was Possible … Bonus Points: (Hard, 2 points) quote Aristotle (Easy, 1 point) include a “twist of fate”