Rules of Engagement- Peacock Style

Written to have taken place during Captain Peacock's divorce phase. He is living on his own, back in his little flat. He and his co-workers aren't close enough for him to share the intimate details of his impending divorce. While the rest of the Packing and Maintenance Department has gone for their break in the canteen, Captain Peacock takes his coffee in the solitude of the warehouse break room.

Captain Peacock sat in the warehouse staff break room, savoring a well- deserved cup of coffee, quietly reflecting on his life. He pondered the absurdity of the way things were playing out. How did he put up with it for so long? He was a war veteran, a twenty-year employee at Grace Brothers, shop steward, very knowledgeable of the running of several departments; he was not an ugly man; he could play the piano beautifully; he was not a bumbling fool…well, not anymore.

He was pressing on with the divorce; Vivienne pleaded with him to rescind, but he had had enough. This latest foray into teasing and playing games was the last straw. Normally he would have worked it out, conceded defeat, and settled back into the same old rut. He knew that by pushing the divorce against Vivienne's wishes, he would be charged with abandonment and forced to pay monthly maintenance. It would be worth every cent to be rid of the anchor round his neck. He shuddered at the thought of fifteen years of marriage to Vivienne.

There were certain laws of intimacy, Rules of Engagement, which were strictly adhered to. It took place twice a year- his birthday and their wedding anniversary. No exceptions. If Vivienne was unavailable, no rain check or rescheduling would be permitted. No other acts would be substituted. The act itself was severely restricted. No noises of any kind; heavy breathing should be controlled. No talking. No physical contact except for that which was necessary to consummate the act. Must remain fully clothed from the waist up. Missionary position only. No foreplay. No physical contact afterward. Must withdraw prior to the final event and must have a handkerchief at the ready; condoms were not permitted as Vivienne detested them. Only one session per date. No kissing before or after. Return to the spare bedroom. Vivienne never allowed herself to climax. He didn't know why he tolerated such sterile, frigid and unloving conditions, but it was his marital right and two times a year he partook of it.

The times he made love to Betty were exquisite and he knew he could never again return to the old ways. He smiled and drained the last of his coffee as his coworkers began to file in from their break.