She listens at night for the sound of his key in the door, careful to get to the bedroom so he doesn’t know she’s been waiting up. In the doorway of the bedroom he pauses, gauges whether or not she’s sleeping, and carefully goes inside, shoes in his hands. He takes of his clothing, one piece at a time, and from the bed she can smell expensive cologne that isn’t his.
When he gets into bed his skin is already warm, and his arm around her is heavy with exhaustion. It’s been a long day; a longer night, still. He kisses her shoulder, and his lips are warm too. It’s almost sad that these things used to bother her, but don’t anymore; she’s gotten used to it, accepted it even. She wants Jared to be happy, if it means pretending she doesn’t know why he’s out so late, why he smells like Jensen’s cologne.
He kisses the curve of her neck. “Gen?” he whispers. “You awake?”
She turns over and gives him a small smile, lets him press his lips to hers. This is where he stays; he goes to Jensen but he comes home to her – it’s what’s important. She kisses him back, lips and tongue, and a little too much desperation. She slides her hands up his neck and through his hair.
“I love you,” she whispers. It’s not a lie.
She pulls her hair up while Jared zips her dress. She knows by the look on his face she must look beautiful. She lets her hair fall and looks in the mirror; her dress is black, long, and elegant. She looks gorgeous, and hopes that maybe his eyes will only be on her tonight, that he won’t leave her side for a secret rendezvous that stopped being secret years ago.
On the red carpet, her hand remains in his, and her smile is real. He pulls her close, smiles at her, and it’s so easy to pretend that there is nothing wrong, that they have the perfect marriage. It’s easy to forget that he loves someone else in a way he’ll never love her.
He leans down, kisses the curve of her neck, and says “I love you.” It’s not a lie, either.
Inside they drink champagne before Jared moves to brandy. She watches him drink, watches his eyes shifting to Jensen – they’ve always had some secret, silent language. Jensen sees Jared and nods, excuses himself from the conversation he’s currently in and makes his way to her and Jared. He kisses her cheek and smiles, bright and happy, when he looks at Jared. They hug a little too long, but apparently, she’s the only one who notices, who even knows what it means.
She stands next to Jared, to his left, and Jensen stands to Jared’s right. She can’t help but think this is how it’s always been, and how it’s always going to be: Jared between the two of them. She drinks another glass of champagne and Jared asks her if it’s ok if he and Jensen step out for a minute, so Jensen can smoke. She smiles, kisses his mouth, and says “Of course.”
It’s been her rule, for so long now, not to follow. When Jared and Jensen slip away she pretends they went to have a long talk about filming, about the old days, and she always makes conversation with a starlet she’s barely met. This time, it’s different, and she finishes the brandy Jared left behind.
The place is big; someone’s house or a rental for fancy appearances, and it takes her a few minutes to figure out which room they are in. It’s not hard, really, because they are never as careful as they think they are. The door is open, just enough, and she can see inside. Her chest splits wide open.
“God,” Jared says breathlessly as Jensen slips his hands up under Jared’s shirt. “I’ve missed you; God, Jen.” His pants are open, dropped just enough. Jensen pushes Jared back against the desk by the wall. “Love you,” Jared pants. “Love you so much.”
She turns her back when Jensen lines up and pushes in. It’s different; pretending not to know is easy when it’s something you’ve never seen. She’s not so sure she can pretend anymore.
They make dinner together, and she forgets to mention the bottle of wine she finished before he came home. They eat quietly, and Jared tells her he loves her.
When they go to bed, Jared slips easily between her legs, and she clings to him. He kisses her shoulder, neck, and mouth. “Love you,” he whispers and she closes her eyes.