The sounds of the party were quieter at the balcony; the waves crashing on the beach were louder. Anita was there. I smiled at her, saying something about the sea, and we stood in silence for a brief while.
"You know, don't you?" she asked. It was hard to miss, it was even impossible to deny. It was pointless to play the dumb.
"That you love her?"
"I think I'm not the only one who knows."
I shrugged. "Whoever pays attention to you when you think nobody is paying attention to you."
"Don't you mind? You're her husband."
I shrugged again. It was not difficult to understand why somebody would love Camille. It was impossible not to: gorgeous, nice, too smart to be too smart.
Camille is a goddess.
"What can I do?"
"You must be so sure of yourself," she said, bitterly.
No, I didn't want an argument. All I wanted was to watch the big waves crashing, come back to the party and then take Camille to our bedroom and fuck her brains out.
"Not really. I trust her."
"Do you think it's wise?"
The night before I married her, my best friend asked me why I thought she was marrying me.
"Because I love her. And she loves me."
He was drunk, I let it go. But everyone thinks the same. I'm not bad, I'm average. Not handsome, not ugly. Not too charming. Not too rich. But Camille is, like I said, a goddess, and people think you need to be a god to marry a goddess.
"I think it's wiser than being jealous all the time."
"Did she ever cheat on you?"
I laughed. Camille tells me all the bad lines she gets, and the good ones too, usually lying naked on my lap, and we have a blast laughing of her sharp replies. Once this guy came to her, well-built, Hollywood-handsome. She turned to him, measured him up, and said: "sorry, I only like real men." Then she pulled me to her and kissed me like her life depended on it. I never felt more powerful.
"Not that I know of."
Then she said something I never thought she would.
"I'm willing to sleep with both of you. Together, separately, whatever you want, Dean."
Anita was pretty--not prettier than Camille, of course. It was an offer most men wouldn't refuse. But I didn't think twice.
"Sorry, Anita." I had Camille. I loved her, and I didn't need anybody else. "Why don't you ask her?"
"Fuck you. Fuck you, Dean." She practically spelled the words the second time.
I saw Camille again a few minutes later, back in the party. She was surrounded by people, guys who wanted her, girls who hated her for being that perfect, perhaps some other girl who wanted her. This would have made me jealous when I first started dating her, but I don't care anymore. She always opens a big smile when I arrive.
"Dean, honey, come here. Tell them I'm not lying."
We walked back by the beach. The night was dark, but we didn't mind; I had my arm around her, and we were barefoot. She was talking about the party, and I listened.
"You're quieter than usual, Dean."
"Did Anita talk to you today?"
"Oh. Is that it?"
"Have you seen us?" Seen them? Doing what?
"No. Did you kiss her?"
"No! She kissed me."
"Oh. That doesn't surprise me," I said.
"Don't you want to know if I kissed her back?"
"She talked to me today. When did she kiss you?"
"At the party."
"I know, but at what time?"
"I don't know. Why?"
"She made me an offer. I wonder if it was before or after she kissed you."
"What offer?" Camille asked. We were already at the bungalow we had rented for two weeks. I opened the door for her.
"She wanted you. Do you know that she loves you?"
"I mean, real love."
Camille looked down. "I know." We went to the bedroom.
"What offer, Dean?"
"She'd do anything I wanted if she got to sleep with you. Or us."
"Were you interested?"
"No. I told her. She must have seen I really wasn't, because she left very pissed."
"How many women did you ever say 'no' to, Dean?"
"Counting Anita? One." I don't look like Camille, I never had women coming to me and begging me to do whatever I wanted with them.
"I thought so."
"What should I have done?"