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Couples and Cards

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“I can’t believe you,” Trip shook his head as he dropped his cards to the table, “and with a pair of threes,” he added before sipping from his rocks glass.

“What can I say? I have the touch,” Bozzy said, grinning around his cigar as he pulled the medium sized pile of chips toward him.

“Don’t get too cocky Boz. Once I’m back at the table that pile of chips is mine,” Griff chimed in from the kitchen where he was deep frying the last of a bag of fries.

“What’s taking you so long? It’s been like two hands,” Trip questioned as he gathered the cards together before shuffled them.

Sighing Griff leaded against the kitchen counter, “because unlike the House Pete and I don’t have an industrially fryer which means I can’t do a whole bag at a time, even if we eat them that fast,” he explained as he glared down Scotty when the guy started reaching for the basket of already fried fries.

“Where is your dude anyway? It’s like past nine. He can’t still be working,” Scotty asked, still eyeing the fries.

“Didn’t Trip tell you?” Griff asked, very amused as he glanced at Trip who was just rolling his eyes.

“Twice. I told you twice Scotty,” Trip confirmed as he sighed and watched his lover try and remember.

“When? I don’t remember that,” Scotty admitted as he took a swig from his bottle, “Because if it was when we were on the couch I was a little distracted,” he added after he swallowed the beer, smiling at Trip as he wiggled his eyebrows.

“Really guys, on the couch in the living room. Man I miss those days,” Bozzy complained as he downed the last half of his whiskey.

“What? You’re going to tell me you aren’t getting any in that place of yours? Because let me remind you you’re the only one of us who has a place to himself,” Trip told Bozzy while he grinned at Scotty and motioned him to come closer.

“I’m also the only one of us tonight who’s single,” Bozzy pointed out to the group, watching forlornly as Trip pulled Bozzy into a simple kiss before wrapping his arms around him and just holding him. “Why did Logan have to get called into work? Us single guys need to stick together.”

“Not sure how long Logan will be single. He’s been talking about that Lori a lot the last few of months,” Griff said as he finished the last batch of fries and brought the basket over to the table.

“What? No. I can not be the last of us to find someone. I blame you Griff. You and Pete. It’s all your fault,” Bozzy complained, munching on a handful of fries.

Frowning at his friend Griff shook his head, “how do you figure that?” he asked, grabbing the cards from where they sat and started re-shuffling them.

“We were in college. The time to sleep around and you know sow our oats and you two had to fall in love and move in together and basically turn into this old married couple senior year and be all happy,” Bozzy ranted morosely as he refilled his glass then held up the bottle toward the other, bring it over to top off most of the other guy’s glasses when they all nodded or held up their glasses. “Makes everyone want to copy you.”

“You know Todd and Heather were a couple longer right? And we knew that they were a couple longer too,” Trip pointed out logically as he cut the deck for Griff while Scotty held out both his and Trip’s glasses for Bozzy.

“They may have gotten together first but they weren’t. They didn’t live together. They didn’t-they weren’t-they didn’t fucking look like forever back then,” Bozzy answered unclearly, putting the whisky bottle back on the counter once he was done, “I mean they’re clearly forever now with the wedding and getting their own place and being all perfect for each other but back then…she was just some girl he kept seeing,” he went on to try and explain while taking his seat and looking at the cards dealt to him.

“Wait. You didn’t think that Todd and Heather were a thing going to last back then but you though that Pete and I were going to make it, during senior year?” Griff asked, the disbelieve clear in his voice as he pulled a new cigar from the humidor and lit it before passing the lighter to Bozzy.

Taking the lighter Bozzy just looked at his cards for a long moment before sitting them down to relight his cigar before tossing the lighter back to Griff. “We saw you when Pete was in the hospital,” he said quietly after a couple puffs. “We didn’t realize what it meant at first but looking back you were gutted. No you were more than gutted man. You looked-were- dead inside for a few days there,” he told Griff as he tossed away his unwanted cards. “You looked just like my great aunt Sophia when my uncle passed way. And she joined him less than three months later. You looked just like her man. You don’t get that way if it’s not real. Not forever.”

“He’s not wrong man,” Trip said softly watching Griff even as he added one of his cards to the discard pile.

Letting out a puff of cigar smoke Griff nodded his head once before straightening up in his chair and clearing his throat, “okay, how many cards to you each need,” he asked, dealing out the needed cards before pausing, “I guess I haven’t really through about how we, I, looked those weeks. To me Todd and Heather have always been the model couple,” he told them as the hand moved forward.

“You and Pete, Todd and Heather. You all know you’re forever, how?” Scotty asked, tossing a few chips into the pot before glancing toward Trip.

Making his own bet Griff smiled, “When you look in the mirror and can’t see yourself without them,” he answered simply.