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The silence was deafening as they all sat around the kitchen table

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The silence was deafening as they all sat around the kitchen table. Iris and Ethan on one side of the table and Hannah at the other far end as though they had a contagious illness she didn't want to get.

"How long has this been going on?" asked Hannah

"Hannah I'm so sorry." Iris replied quietly.

She saw the way Ethan's face transformed in disapproval so she quickly corrected herself.

"I mean, I'm sorry you found out this way."

"Look, mom..."

"No, is this payback for the divorce?" asked Hannah with tears in her eyes.

"This has nothing to do with you mom. I know it sounds cliche but, it just happened. I saw Iris and I knew I wanted her. I care about her."

"She's old enough to be your mother!" Hannah yelled

"Her age doesn't matter to me mom, her heart does."

"You disgust me!" Hannah spat at Iris.

She cringed under the woman's scornful gaze. She has never felt so low in her entire life. She hated the hurt and disappointment in her friends eyes and wish she could start this all over again. She felt Ethan entwining his fingers with her that sat on the table which earned them both another disapproving stare.

"I understand you're upset mom. This is a shock to you but tell me, what's so wrong about what we're doing? We're both consenting adults with feelings, for each other." Ethan reasoned calmly and rationally.

"Do you have any idea what the people in this town are like, they will have a field day with this. We'll no doubt be the juicy story at every noonday teatime. I have to live in this town. Why are you both so selfish! There are plenty of available single women your age around town and you choose to screw the one that already has a condemned sign attached to her."

Iris gasped in hurt and surprise. Coming from her own friend she didn't expect to be treated this harshly. Did sleeping with her son who is a grown man really warrant being treated like she's the worst pick in the world? She pushed away from the table and headed for the door only to be stopped by Ethan.

"Don't leave like this." he pleaded turning her to face him. He wiped the tears that she didn't realize had escaped down her cheeks.

"She hates me. I can't come between you and your mother Ethan." Iris responded dejectedly

"You won't."

"Oh yes she will" Hannah snapped

"So you care more about what the people in this town think than you care about my happiness?"

"She's not right for you Ethan!"

Iris hated the look that crossed his face, she knew right then that he knew everything his mother had tried to keep as a secret. She wasn't sure how but she just knew. She reached for his hand but he ignored her this time.

"You're a bit of a hypocrite if you ask me." he said staring directly at his mother.

"Excuse me?" Hannah gasped offended

"You're the last person that should be judging on the woman I decide I want in my life don't you think? Or is that really the problem here? If I ask you to tell me one thing besides town folks talking why Iris is so bad for me you wouldn't be able to give me a reason. You've done nothing but sang her praises since you moved here. But the problem isn't Irish is it?"

"Ethan don't..."

Once again he ignored her.

"You look at me but you see my father, your ex husband who left you for his college student that was half his age. I'm not like him!"

Hannah turned accusing eyes on Iris. She push back from the table so fast the chair toppled to the floor.

"I can't believe you told him! How dare you?" Hannah screamed

"No how dare you?" Iris finally spoke for herself. "I might have slept with your son behind your back but I never said anything to him about what you told me. You're my friend Hannah and as my friend you know I'd never tell your secret. You should know that. Just like you should know if I risked our friendship to be with him, it's more than just sex for me."

With that Iris turned and stormed out of the house, Ethan hot on her heels. She turned to tell him to go home but he swallowed her protest with a heated kiss. Iris ignored the startled gasp and the "dear God" she heard.

She kissed him back with everything she was feeling, she chose him. It was way too soon to call this love but there was no more denying her strong feelings for him. He was all man, a good man and he wanted her. She would be a fool to reject him.

When they finally parted for air the first thing Iris noticed was old lady Tanner across the fence standing in front of her flower shop. Old lady Tanner was the biggest gossip in town. Iris had no doubt tongues would be wagging the minute the woman got hold of a telephone. She then noticed Hannah on the porch observing them. Confliction settled on her face.

"I choose you Iris Clark. I want to see where this thing between us might lead us." Ethan said stroking her cheeks delicately.

"I choose you too Ethan and we're on the same page. You're exactly what I didn't know I needed."

Iris glanced again at Hannah. The woman blinked back tears and sent her a watery smile and a nod before turning and walking back inside.

"It's a start, let's give her time to digest everything." Iris told Ethan

"Fine with me. While she does that, I think we have at least an hour before Amy gets home. There's just something about my older woman claiming me as her man that turns me on."

She shivered at the delicate stroke of his finger from her lips down to the cleavage of her summer top. She felt her nipples harden in approval. Ethan licked his lips and reach for her hand and hurriedly dragged her home pass a flustered Mrs. Tanner. Iris for once didn't care about what anyone had to say, once she had Ethan she knew everything would be OK. He opened her door and closed it before lifting her to wrap her legs around him, she gave herself up to his skilful ministrations, they never made it to the bedroom.

The End

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