Rated: T - for some coarse language.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything to do with Tangle.
She tilted her head back slightly, and slowly let a breath of air out; it was an attraction she had never imagined would happen. Christine was a good Catholic, highly devoted to her faith. Yet somehow, she found herself thinking about, and wanting, a man who was not Tim, her husband; he was a man who was dangerous, ambitious, and handsome. Was it the rebel in her peering its ugly head to the surface, or something more? The frustration of not knowing the answer was growing, and she could sense that it was becoming obvious to those around her.
"Christine?" came a soft voice, and she flinched, startled by the interruption. "Are you okay?"
She looked up in the direction of the front door, and saw Ally, her friend of 20 years. "Yeah, I'm fine. How are you and the kids doing?" she asked, wanting to change the topic so that they were talking about Ally instead.
"Not bad," Ally replied, letting herself inside. She then sat on the couch next to Christine. "I think the kids are doing worse than me though."
"What makes you say that?"
She let out a tired sigh, answering, "Part of me saw this coming, you know. All the shit that Vince had done, not only to our marriage, but as a part of his work … he was bound to make an enemy sooner or later." Christine was a little surprised by Ally's subtlety irate reply. She was usually so calm, and at peace with the world; but, this was a woman who was scorned. "Oh I don't know, I guess I'm just confused," she added.
Christine tried hard not to turn this one of her 'psychology sessions', but still asked, "What about?"
"Gabriel mostly," she replied, and Christine nodded. She should have guessed that one. "He said he wanted to be with me. He actually said that. And I … I pushed him away because I wanted to work things out with Vince. Now Vince is dead, and Gabriel is in bed with Nat."
It was a confusing messed up world, their day to day lives. Everyone had their problems, and Christine was going to try as hard as she could to not let anyone know hers.
The kiss was inevitable, and after a few seconds, Christine actually found herself kissing him back. Part of her was hoping that it was Tim she was kissing; it had been so long since he had kissed her like that. When she pulled away however, she snapped back to reality and one word entered her mind. Shit.
Standing close to her, Spiros' brown eyes twinkled, despite a look of concern on his face. Softly, he asked, "Everything alright?"
"Ah … yeah. I … I have to go," stammering a reply, she turned away from him and started walking as quickly as she could. A sickly feeling had swept across Christine by the time she got home, and she found herself doing the housework, like an anxious lunatic, until everything was spotless.
The elephant inside her had escaped, and was starting to map out its path of destruction.
Tim was too busy to realise, let alone notice, Christine slowly falling into a small, 'innocent', act of infidelity. He had his own problems to sort out: work related problems. One thing he did realise, however, was that Spiros was hired by the opposition party to take him down; to stop him from becoming Premier. It hadn't taken him too long to figure that one out; Spiros was, in his eyes, an ego-driven dickhead.
He parked the car in his usual spot, and walked inside the house. He saw Christine standing in the kitchen holding a bottle of Spray and Wipe, and gave her a small kiss on the cheek. "How was your day?"
She snapped out of her thoughts at the sound of his voice. "Ahh yeah, okay. You?"
"Spiros is pissing me off more than ever, but apart from that, good," he replied, dropping his suitcase to the ground. When he looked over at Christine again, he noticed a solitary tear falling down her cheek. "Geez Christine, what's wrong?"
Her guilty conscious got the better of her. "I have to tell you something."
"You what?" Tim's face displayed an array of emotions, none more so than pissed off. His voice was husky, and his breathing was short and sharp, "He did WHAT?"
Christine closed her eyes, and with a hapless shrug, sat down on the couch. "I don't know … it just happened. But I left straight afterwards, and it meant absolutely nothing."
Inside her head, she cursed; the last two words were somewhat of a lie. It did mean something, but she could not understand what it was.
"To you it may have meant nothing, but what about Spiros?" he questioned, putting a hand on his hips to show his disapproval of the situation. When Christine looked up at him her blue eyes were filled with tears. Words escaped her, and she had no idea what to say. Tim sat down next to her, and sighed. "Is this how you feel? I mean, what are you thinking about?"
She felt her heart skip a few beats. Those questions were ones that she would usually be asking a client. Now the tables were turned, and they were being asked of her. "I don't know," was all she could say at first; it was one of the most common three word statements, she felt, in the English language. Tim glanced down at his hands before she continued speaking, "I'm just …"
Think of one word that describes how you are feeling. One fucking word.
Tim's eyes snapped up, and he turned his head to face her. Surprised to hear what she had said, he repeated it, "Unhappy?" She nodded, and he paused, thinking about his next words carefully, "And kissing him made you feel happy, did it?"
He knew as soon as he opened his mouth that they were the wrong words.
Christine bit her lip. She wanted so much to retort. The anger was there; just not the energy.
Arriving at work the next day, Tim could not hide his rage and discontent towards Spiros. He walked into his office, and slammed the door shut behind him. "So, not only do you have eyes for my job, but you also have eyes for my wife. I should have guessed."
Spiros glanced up from his desk, and unfazed by Tim's demeanour, merely said, "And a top of the morning to you too, Tim."
"Was this part of your little deal with Bryan Dougherty, huh?" the annoyance in his voice was crystal clear, "He told you to go after Tim Williams' job, but hey, while you're at it you thought, why don't I go after his wife as well?"
With his hands clasped together on the desk, Spiros replied smugly. "She's an attractive woman, your wife. Maybe instead of spending 15 to 16 hours a day at work, worrying about me and what I am doing, you might want to think about spending some more time with her."
Tim was dumbfounded, and soon left in disgust. He had never met anyone in his life that infuriated him as much as Spiros did.
In bed Christine was restless, rolling over from one side to the other constantly. She glanced at her phone on the bedside table, and picked it up. The time read 11:35pm, and noticeably absent from the bed was Tim. Christine scrolled through the contacts on her phone, stopping it at Spiros' number. She stared at his name, wondering if she should text him. As though he was thinking the same thing, her phone vibrated in her hand.
Message received. From Spiros Georgiades. Read now?
She clicked yes, and opened the message.
U awake? I'm guessing Tim is still work
Christine replied back with the words: yes and good guess. A few seconds after she had sent the reply, her phone was ringing. She pressed the answer button, and heard Spiros say, "God that husband of yours is a bloody dickhead, Christine …" he paused, thinking he may have said the wrong thing, "No offence."
She smiled to herself, just happy to hear his voice, "None taken. Hey, um … I … I told Tim about -"
"Yeah I know. He wasn't too happy with me at work today, I can tell you, but c'est la vie," Spiros pre-empted what she was going to say, "I told him he should stop spending so much time at work, and start spending more time with you. Obviously he hasn't taken my advice."
"Why would he? He thinks you're a dickhead."
Spiros let out a jovial sounding laugh; he wasn't at all surprised.
After speaking to Spiros on the phone, Christine was even more restless than she was beforehand. She got out of bed, and walked to the hallway, stopping abruptly near Max's bedroom. She opened the door slightly, and peered inside, smiling softly when she saw Max sleeping with his headphones in his ears.
Closing the door, Christine then walked downstairs and sprawled herself out on the couch with a long, heavy sigh. She began to wonder if every marriage went through something like this in its lifetime; whether it was normal for her to be feeling this way, or not. They had gone through some tough times before, but it was somehow different now.
This time, she had no sense of control.