“How are you feeling?” he asked.
She shrugged. “I’m ok.” She reached over for his hand, twining her fingers in his. “You mean about that?”
“I think I’d like to see you go at it with Tomasi again,” she grinned.
Paolo didn’t smile. “That’s not funny.”
“Why? Why is it ok for the two of you to watch us eat each other out but it’s not ok for you to kiss? Because you’re men? Because it threatens your masculinity? Because you’re afraid it would make you gay?”
“I didn’t enjoy it, that’s all. If I’m going to make out with someone, I’d rather it was you,” he said defensively.
“Or Natalya,” Francesca replied. “You didn’t seem to have a problem with her.”
“We were all doing it. We were all just really turned on. Yeah, it was exciting having her there. It was exciting watching her with you, and Tomasi with her, and you with Tomasi. It wasn’t exciting for me to touch him. I’ve known him since we were kids, it was just weird.”
“So you wouldn’t want to do it again,” Francesca said.
“I’d want to be with you and another girl again,” he answered cautiously.
“But if I wanted to have a threesome with another man–”
“I really don’t know if I could do that. Maybe if it wasn’t someone I already know. Or I wouldn’t mind if Tomasi just watched tonight.”
Francesca looked away from him and back at the sea. “I don’t want him just to watch,” she said.
“But you do want to do it again, then?” Paolo sounded surprised.
“You keep saying we’re on vacation,” she said. “We might as well, right?”
“I kind of wish you could be more or less enthusiastic than ‘might as well,'” he answered. “Did you enjoy it? Was it good for you? You seem to be totally ambivalent.”
“You want to know?” She paused. If she told him the truth, how many other truths would she feel like she needed to tell? How would he look at her differently?
“I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t.”
She looked at him. “We had a lot of wine, we were pretty high. I think there were a lot of variables that made it a particular opportunity.”
“You’re not answering the question.”
“I loved it.” There. She had said it. “I know it sounds strange, I didn’t expect it. I’d never been with a woman before, really. And trading off between her and you and Tomasi, it was amazing. I felt a million different things at once.” She had been watching Paolo as she spoke, and he looked adrift. She quickly added, “But it made me so grateful to be with you. It was exciting with them, sure, because it was different. But you know how to make love to me. All the time.”