"You want to do what?" Channing really hadn't intended to raise his voice quite so loud. Every head in the diner turned toward him with a quizzical or annoyed glance. His husband's pronouncement caught him totally by surprise.
"Chan, take a breath, baby." Jon reached across the table and gave his hand a quick squeeze. "Telling you I want us to adopt Jenny's baby shouldn't come as a huge surprise and we have plenty of time to discuss it. She just found out she was pregnant a few weeks ago!"
"What do you mean it shouldn't come as a huge surprise? It's a major league, knock my socks off, kick my ass all the way to Boise surprise! Are you fucking kidding me?" Channing fought to keep his tone low and under control. The diners' attention had returned to their own meals and Channing didn't particularly want to reintroduce his personal dilemma to them. "I know you wanted to start a family someday, but..." Channing raked his hands through his hair when he shook his head.
Jon just sat with a Mona Lisa smile on his face. "Tell you what; I have to run right now. I have patients to see. We can talk more about this tonight. I was going to throw together a chicken stir-fry. Is that okay with you?"
Channing just looked at his spouse, momentarily dumbstruck. After long moments, words finally made their way through his shock-addled brain. "Sure, stir-fry, whatever... I should be home on time."
Jon tossed the tip onto the table, got up from his chair, and gave Channing a quick peck on the cheek before strolling out of the restaurant. Channing absently noted through his surprise-induced fog what a handsome figure his husband made when he pushed through the restaurant doors and turned toward his office a block away. The couple had met for a quick lunch, a habit they'd religiously nurtured when both began growing busier and busier with their burgeoning careers--Jon in pediatric medicine and Channing, a nutritionist and personal trainer.
Checking his watch, Channing noted he had a while before his next consultation, so he gratefully accepted a refill on his tea and reflected how Jon's out-of-the-blue statement had taken what had been an ordinary day and completely turned it on its ass--or at least turned him on his ass.
Channing caught a glance at himself in the diner wall mirror. A baby? I'm forty years old and have already been around this block. A baby? But as he further considered the face looking back at him, other perspectives emerged. He met life daily as a very young forty-year-old. His six feet, two inch physique remained strong and well-toned, thanks to the healthy eating habits and exercise regimen his career supported. He'd be considered more than passably attractive with his chestnut-brown hair and deep caramel-colored eyes. He and Jon were financially secure, so concerns for having the ability to provide for a child were nonexistent. With Jon being a pediatrician, healthcare issues were off the table.
The men had been together for nearly six years and married for four. They'd proceeded cautiously into their relationship. Channing remembered how many times they'd talked about the challenges the gay lifestyle presented with finding deep, emotional feelings amidst the undeniably powerful sexual attractions. They'd spent many an hour in conversation about their blossoming feelings, learning about each other's pasts, and how each had been shaped as a result. He recalled how they'd vowed to take their budding friendship and relationship slow, so as not to confuse the heat of their physical attraction with what they both felt could be a promising forever love.
And heat definitely factored in Channing's relationship with his husband. Sipping his tea, Channing's mind returned spontaneously to the day he first met Jon.