The phone is playing the carousel ringtone Alan reserves for unknown numbers and people he just doesn't think about that much. He still knows it's Jordan on the line.
Alan considers not picking up. It's 12 pm and he's already in his pajamas, nightly scotch and nicotine in his system and ready for troubled sleep. Denny is whistling in the bathroom.
It's no use, of course. His hand is already reaching for the phone. That's the game they're playing, and Alan doesn't get to change the rules – or rather, the rule. There's only one.
Whatever Jordan tells you to do, you do.
She walked into his life two months ago, on a hospital insurance case, and by now Alan should really be getting over her. It turns out you don't get over Jordan Sullivan until she decides you can.
“Is it the blue-striped ones or the purple ones with the initials, this time?” she asks when he picks up.
“Figures. You change your underwear more often than I do, princess. How's Denny? He looked a bit peaky over lunch.”
“You had lunch with Denny?”
“It's so darling the way he grabs your ass and then pretends it wasn't him. Listen, Alan, it's obvious the poor old man is starving for affection. I'm beginning to think you're not fulfilling your duties as a husband.”
“Denny and I don't--”
“Give him a nice blow-job tonight, won't you, Alan?”
“Don't pretend you're going to argue. It's getting trite.”
“Good. You know I'm just concerned for the future of your marriage. Nighty-night, Al.”
She hangs up. Alan sets the phone down on the counter. A cold sweat is breaking at the back of his neck.
He and Denny don't. They never did, even though it's got to the point that even Denny sometimes pretends they do, just to get a rise out of the conservative press. It goes to show that you get used to anything, even to being assumed to be queer, even if you're Denny Crane.
But they don't, and that means something, and they work because they don't. Jordan knows that.
Alan gets into bed on his own side and curls up under the covers. It isn't long until the whistling makes its way from the bathroom to his side and the bed sinks as Denny parks himself in it.
“You asleep?” Denny asks.
“No,” says Alan.
“Good. I wanted to talk to you about that Cuban refugees case.”
“Denny, that was ruled on three weeks ago.”
“Oh. Well, I guess that answers my question.”
“Did you have lunch with Jordan today?”
“Oh, yes. She's a hot little bitch, isn't she? I like her. She has balls.” Denny turns to him, a naughty smile on his round wrinkly face. “I think she wants me.”
Denny had a bad period a year or so ago, bad enough that they began to prepare for the end. Having the old goat back like this is nothing short of a miracle.
Alan swallows. “That was her on the phone.”
“Did she suggest a threesome?” Denny asks delightedly.
“In a way,” says Alan, and turns off the night light.