Jen was sitting on the sofa quietly and a bit troubled, looking from one man to the other. They were in the two ends of the room. Her husband was by the window, playing with the curtain like someone who felt guilty and Martin stood by the opposite wall, leaning against it, his arms folded in front of his chest, looking at the singer with worry in his eyes. In this nerve-breaking, heavy silence she was waiting for someone to finally talk.
“So… you two were the ones who wanted to have this common conversation…” she noted and tried to sound neutral.
“We’d like you to understand, before… before you decide parting us…” Dave said to the curtain. He was so nervous that there was no chance for him to keep the eye-contact.
“I’m listening…” she looked from him to Mart and back.
The blonde man had a dark expression and remained silent for now, watching where the situation was going. He was prepared for helping Dave if he needed, but he still felt that first of all Jen and Dave had to get through with this.
Dave sighed “What do you think about this whole situation?”
“To be frank this freaks me out” she frowned.
The brunette just glimpsed at Martin, whose pulse jumped hearing her reply. It filled him with worry.
“You wanted to keep this as a secret forever, right?” Jen faltered out, looking at her husband.
“I had no choice.”
“Really?!” she narrowed her eyes, which flashed with a painful light “I thought that we are honest to each other… You knew about it when I slept with someone else… But you have been hiding such an important and deep relationship from me.”
“But after all this is something else!” Dave exclaimed, but forced himself to calm down. He can’t let the nervousness and fear getting under his skin. “Tell me, how would you react if I told you at the beginning of our marriage that ‘Hey, Martin is my lover and what is more I’m in love with him’? And next to this I couldn’t act with a high hand regarding this, cuz after all it was about the two of us. He understands me in a way you can’t. He knows what’s in me and accepts it. He knows my deepest fears and secrets. He’s a part of me.”
“So you say that I was never worthy enough for you to share these things with me, right?!” her heart sank and her deep pain reflected in her brown eyes.
“Why? What would you have done with it?” her husband asked quietly “I know how you’d have reacted.”
“Now I’m not talking about your relationship, but about your fears and other secrets! Because I guess you have more! You think that I would not have been able to understand you?!” she exclaimed desperately. So her husband distrusted and misread her this much? “Me?! I, who helped you when I could?! Who accepted your fucking craps and understood them during all these years?!”
“I don’t say that you didn’t help a lot and endure a lot of my crazy stuff! But what’d have you done with my shadows? Huh?”
“Your shadows…? What are you talking about, David?” she looked at him confused.
“Show her!” Dave asked, while looking straight onto his wife.
“Dave… I don’t think…” Martin started protesting, but the singer interrupted him…
“Do it!” he looked at him firmly. He wanted Jen to see it, to face it.
Martin didn’t think that this was a brilliant idea, but finally he did what he was told. It would have been useless to put up a fight – at the end Dave would have come to him to drag off his T-shirt, which’s edge he grabbed with his pullover and with a bitter taste in his mouth he pulled them up a bit, revealing the healing wounds on his stomach and chest.
Jen grasped for air. The blonde man looked as if something had attacked him. His whole upper body was full of dark and large purple bruises. Where the edges of the injuries reached together there was a bloodshot, in the size of Jen’s palm. And between two ribs it looked like there was a smaller hole – as if someone forcefully tore the skin open until he reached the raw flesh.
She couldn’t take the sight for long, she had to turn away “You… you did this to him?” she moaned raggedly.
“Yes. And? Would you have been able to handle this? You want my whole personality? This goes along with it!”
“David…” she moaned in disbelief. It wasn’t a new thing to her that Dave liked rough sex – a few times he finished her off enough that she had to use make-up on some of her body parts for days. But she wouldn’t have thought that he was into it this much… The thing he did to Martin… it blocked her. One shock came after the other and she felt that it was getting too much for her. “Who are you?” she whispered towards Dave, but it seemed that she rather asked herself.
“This is why I didn’t tell” he turned and walked to Martin, who meanwhile covered his bruises. Dave had to feel his presence.
The blonde man watched Jen with worry in his eyes. She was clearly shocked and tried to press the next sentence through her teeth and anger.
"Maybe it’d have been better to sit down and talk about it…” Martin noted carefully.
“The time is here” Jen answered looking at Curly “What’s Dave to you? What do you feel for him?”
For a moment Mart collected his thoughts then began talking “It’s difficult to explain, Jen. We caused a lot of pain to each other during the years, but we always found our ways back to the other, we couldn’t break away. For a long while there was nothing between us, because… because I’ve got fed up and didn’t let Dave close to me. But as you know by now since then… I could say that Dave is my life – just like Depeche – but of course from a different perspective, but… I’m not sure you wouldn’t find it a cliché. Though it’s true. What do you think how many Depeche songs are about our relationship?” he asked quietly at the end. Jen looked at her husband.
“David, what do we mean to you? We… your family?” she asked quietly “Because it seems to me that lately we were talking just about what Martin means to you…”
“You are a part of my life. Martin too. I love you very much – you and the kids – and would do anything for you.”
“Anything?” Jen raised one brow in disbelief.
Dave didn’t answer. He wasn’t entirely sure about this question… because he didn’t want to sacrifice Martin for anything and he hated himself for this.
“Well?” she asked, suggesting her husband with her eyes to give her an answer.
Martin felt danger and was about to chime in when Dave – not noticing this – finally talked.
He closed his eyes and answered on a low tone: “Anything…”
Martin had to swallow hard from this, frightened from Jen’s reaction. She was sitting there in silence for a minute, but it was clearly visible on her face that she was thinking hard, putting the information to their places. Slowly she looked up at them. Dave hated the way she did this, he saw the thoughts forming in her mind about them touching and loving each other… Finally Jen looked away and said on a broken tone:
“And you had this even when we met? When you said you loved me? You proposed me while you were in love with Martin?!” she looked up at her husband with the tears of anger, pain and disappointment in her eyes.
“At that time… we didn’t speak… for a while” he looked down at the floor, scratching the armchair’s drape with his nail as he was standing behind it.
“At that time? At that time?! You mean that you’ve got back to him during our marriage?!”
Dave cleared his throat and risked a glimpse at his angry wife, but looked away immediately. On the whole he acted like a little boy, who did something wrong and now it was confession time.
“Yes… we got back together during the… previous… tour” he scratched his nape.
“What is that I couldn’t give you, David? What else would have you needed to stay with me?” she asked nearly desperately.
“Jen, please!” he looked her in the eye and was about to go there and sit down next to her, but seeing her eyes he got just a few steps far “Don’t blame yourself! These… these two things are completely different. I get something else from you and something else from him” he looked at her begging.
“Don’t blame myself?!” she exclaimed despondently “Touch him!” she looked at Martin.
“Why should I touch him?” Mart frowned confused, not moving.
“I want to see it! Do it, please!”
The musician felt uncomfortable as he turned away from Jen to Dave and walked to him. From her burning gaze he felt as if reaching his love took long hours. He watched the singer’s slightly confused, tense and nervous face. He didn’t want to see him like this. He wanted to wipe away the fear and negative feelings so he could see him carefree again. Now he wanted to touch him unwillingly to let him feel that he was there with him, that Dave can count on him, no matter what may turn out of this. He stopped two or three steps away from him and slid his hand onto Dave’s, which was still grabbing the headrest of the armchair.
Dave looked into the green eyes. He was filled with fear and insecurity, but as he looked into the calmly glistening irises, for a few moments he forgot every problem he had. His muscles relaxed, his poise changed and for a moment his eyes showed everything he felt for Mart: that pure and true love, acceptance, understanding, calmness and safety he always felt when he was with him. And this was all Jen needed to see. She half-moaned and turned away, burying her face into her palms and forcing herself not to start sobbing. She couldn’t bear the sight, but not because she was disgusted. Dave never looked at her like this. Never! She’d be the happiest woman in the world, if she got a fragment of this look, but it didn’t matter how hard she tried to live up to Dave’s expectations, she could never hope for such emotions.
Martin – like someone caught – let go of Dave’s hand when he heard Jen’s moan, but he couldn’t stop himself: he had to stroke along his hand once more. Then he turned towards the woman, signaling to Dave that maybe he should go and console her. He felt that his presence was unwelcome and useless now – it’d indicate just more tension.
Dave looked back at him helplessly, but didn’t say a word, just let Martin turn around and quietly and unnoticed leave the room. The singer felt terribly alone. His ‘backup’ had disappeared and he didn’t know what to say to his wife. Finally he walked to her, crouched and quietly said: “Jen… baby…”
She was able to pull herself together just after a few minutes. She lowered her hands from her face and looked into Dave’s eyes careworn. The painful and deep bitterness was throbbing in her brown eyes.
“Don’t be mad at me. I can’t do anything against it…” he touched her gently.
But his wife pulled away from his hand and as she closed her eyes, she turned her head away too, still trying to process the previous deep glimpse between the two men – with not much success. Somehow she felt as if she had lost against Martin… that he had such an advantage over her by Dave which she will never be able to make up for…
“Please, leave me alone for a few hours” she asked hoarsely, still fighting with her tears “I have to think.”
Dave just nodded and stood up. From the door he looked back at the broken woman once more, shivered and left the room. He headed for his own. As he stepped in, he saw his blonde mate standing in the middle, his gaze wandering nervously on the walls. But when he heard Dave’s arrival, he turned towards the door. The brunette just lost it and with two long steps he was already in front of Martin. He took him into his arms without a word and buried his face as deep into Martin’s neck as possible.
Curly hugged his taller love with the same élan. Both of them felt that this conversation didn’t go well. Martin thought that Dave came too early after him so he suspected that he wasn’t able to talk too much with Jen. He was curious what’d happened after he had left the room, but didn’t say a word, just held Dave close to him. He knew that he’ll tell it after a while, when he pulls himself together. But Dave remained silent – he didn’t want to think about the last minutes or the future, he just drank in the feel of Martin’s touch, scent and presence. He wished time would stand still!
After a few minutes Martin moved to pull back a bit. He took Dave’s face into one of his hands and gave him a soft kiss on the lips, while his other hand’s fingers interwove with Dave’s.
The singer returned the kiss then whispered into his ear: “You have to know that I love you more than anything. You’re a miracle in my life.”
Mart smiled softly “But you don’t believe in miracles, don’t you remember?” he hinted onto one of Dave’s songs
“You disproved me” he smiled.
“Wow, then I’m good…” he caressed his face then pulled Dave towards the couch to sit down.
But the dark-haired man wanted more – he wanted to get even closer to Martin. As close as it was possible, so he slowly climbed into his lap. This way more of his body could feel the warmth of Martin. Curly was more than keen to welcome this closeness. His hands were caressing Dave’s back reassuringly as he pulled him even closer, letting the singer put his head on his shoulder, while he felt the warmth and throbbing of Dave’s neck on his temple.
Dave couldn’t say a word, he was just breathing in and out quietly, one of his arms tightly embracing Martin’s waist, the other hand’s fingers caressing the blonde curls. Martin enjoyed the tender touches with closed eyes. He began to return them. He just let himself get lost in the moment, enjoying these minutes, not knowing how much time has left for them.
It was ticking and Dave didn’t move until he heard a faint knock on the door. He looked at Martin then climbed off of his lap, his refuge, and opened the door.