It had all started innocently; the boys away at college, Kirsten in the kitchen, apron neatly tied, cooking them both dinner. She'd looked up at him as he'd come in, and he'd sensed something as he looked at his wife; some carnal instinct knocked loose after a hellish day at the office where his moral compass had been tested and magnetically pulled away from its usual, righteous resting place.
She'd come over to give him a greeting kiss, and he'd held her close, dropping his briefcase to the floor. Her hair was pulled back to the nape of her neck, out of her way while she was cooking. Several strands had sprung loose, cascading like frozen waterfalls around her slender neck. Her eyes still bore the tracings of mascara from her day, and her lips were slightly glossed at the edges. She'd smiled at him, sensing his need straight away. Twenty years, and they were so finely tuned. Sandy just prayed she didn't sense the why behind it, the reason he needed a release. Kirsten was in jeans, and he tugged them off. She tried to lead him to the bedroom, but he held her in place, her eyes flashing at him with the knowledge that anyone could come in. Sandy wanted to remind her that Seth was across the country, and Ryan… Well, they weren't expecting him.
Sandy took her quickly, surprisingly, ardently. Kirsten had responded in turn, and he was reminded of when they were younger, before Seth, when they did it anywhere, everywhere. His hands moved up from her firm stomach, teased at the bottom of her shirt before tracing their way up to her breasts. Kirsten leant forward, shared a kiss with him, arcing her back so he needed to reach to feel the softness in the swell of her chest.
He almost froze when one hand found a lump the other hand didn't encounter. Sandy's quick intake of breath prompted her to open her eyes, stare blue into blue. She'd looked down, an acknowledgement of the fear both of them had since her mother was claimed by it, that had found its way closer to home since his mother was diagnosed. They'd redressed, and now here they were, staring at each other across the table, hands touching, the makings of dinner neglected, fear palpable.
"Have you felt it before now?" Sandy asked. Kirsten looked away from him. Her hair had nearly all fallen out, was kinked from being tied up.
"Just last week." She said. He had to strain to hear her.
"Have-." He was cut off as Kirsten turned back to him.
"I saw a doctor on Friday. I'm going to see a specialist on Tuesday… Tomorrow. They're going to do some tests. Find out what it is." As she answered his unasked question, he felt her shaky breath as much as heard it, held her fingers tighter in his.
"Were you going to tell me?" He asked, as she looked away again. His eyes, intent on her face, on the emotion it was aching to show, barely caught her nod.
"I was going to wait until I knew something. I didn't want to worry you, with everything that's going on at the Newport Group. I just… I needed to know it was actually something before I worried more than one of us." Sandy reached a hand out, leant over so he could trail it down her face. She was ethereal in the light, typical in her reaction. Hailey was always the one ruffling feathers, while Kirsten smoothed everything out. She preferred to keep something like this to herself, hold the cold feeling of aching fear inside her while she waited for the results. Until she knew it was benign or malignant, Sandy was betting she wouldn't have told him for fear of placing more stress on him. Never mind that she was wondering if the gene that had taken her mother had been passed on to her.
"I love you, and we're going to get through this. You're going to be fine." Sandy sounded more confident than he felt, was aware Kirsten could tell if she wanted to. Her eyes met his. She needed to believe it more than he did, so she trusted his statement.