Disclaimer: Desperate Housewives so isn't mine. I'm just playing.
Story Summary: The men of Wisteria Lane make a bet. A pre-series fic that takes place around the time Carlos and Gaby moved in.
As Easy as Pie
A story by Ryeloza
Part One: The Bet
Chapter One: The Bet
"Can I ask you guys a personal question?"
Rex looked down at the cards in his hand and steadfastly ignored Paul's nervously dancing eyes while Carlos and Karl exchanged amused looks of disbelief. Of course, it was Tom who remained completely oblivious to how uncomfortable the other three felt and he said casually, "Sure. What's up?"
"Well…I was just wondering…" Paul took a deep breath. Somehow the words seemed to be inflicting a sharp pain in his stomach, but he felt like it was necessary to force them out. He didn't often hang out with other guys. This poker game, in fact, was Mary Alice mandated—a degrading play date she'd set up in an effort to get him some friends that was disguised as a way to welcome their new neighbor to the street. As far as Paul could tell, Carlos didn't want to be there any more than he did. But Paul thought it seemed prudent to take advantage of the other men's expertise while he had the chance.
"Since you got married, what's the longest you've gone without sex?"
Karl gave a sharp bark of laughter and tossed his cards down on the table while everyone else exchanged concerned glances. "You mean sex with your wife?" he asked, leaning back in his chair and lacing his fingers behind his head. Paul shuddered, but tried to hide it; he was pretty sure his visceral dislike of Karl had been obvious since the first time they'd met, but Mary Alice had made it clear that he had better cover it.
Rex sighed and rubbed his thumb over the bridge of his nose. "Aren't we supposed to be playing poker?"
"Gentlemen, please," said Karl, the obnoxious sound of laughter still in his voice. "Paulina has a problem. Clearly little Mary's being quite contrary."
Carlos snorted and both Rex and Tom smiled while Paul struggled not to let the color rise on the back of his neck. He really should have known better than to bring this up in front of Karl. The man made everything a joke; a lewd innuendo. Embarrassed, Paul grumbled, "Never mind. Forget I said anything."
To Paul's further consternation, Tom threw him a slightly pitying glance; the gesture only made Paul feel more inadequate. "We all go through dry spells, right guys?" He smiled encouragingly when no one else agreed. "I mean, after Lynette had the twins it was six full weeks before we got back to business as usual."
Just as Paul felt like maybe he wasn't such a failure, Rex said, "You can't count that. Not when it's doctor's orders."
"Fine. Then I guess…a week?"
Karl nodded in agreement. "About the same. Susie can't go longer than a few days without a ride on this stallion." As Karl neighed—actually, honest-to-God whinnied—Rex just shook his head. Taking this as a sign that Rex's sex life might be more on par with his own, Paul said, "Rex?"
The doctor sighed. "About a month. Don't tell her I said so, but Bree's like a sex camel. She can store up a session for weeks without batting an eye."
Carlos gave a low whistle. "That's rough, man."
"Yeah?" Rex folded his arms over his chest defensively. "Well give it a few years, newlywed."
"Have you seen my wife?"
"Yeah," said Karl. "Have you seen his wife?"
Even Paul couldn't help but to smile at that comment, but he didn't really feel amused. He and Mary Alice were going on two months cold. Ever since she'd started therapy, Paul had been the one suffering and he didn't know how much more he could take.
"So what's it been, Paul?" asked Karl. "One year? Two? Or are you about to confess that you're a virgin?"
Paul scowled and then promptly lied. "Three weeks. But we've never gone that long before. I was just wondering if that was…normal."
"I could never hold out for three weeks," said Carlos. "Just take some initiative. Throw her down on the bed. Show her what you need."
Tom gave Carlos a slightly wary look, obviously not sure how to take the comment. Vaguely, Paul wondered if he'd ever been in charge in the bedroom; with a wife like Lynette, he doubted it. "I'd make a gesture," Tom suggested, unaware of Paul's thoughts. "Do something romantic. Oh! Give her a massage."
"Pfsh," Karl tisked. "In my experience, if one woman won't give it to you then another one certainly will. If you want I could take you someplace…I know this great little joint down on fifth—"
"I'm not going to cheat on my wife," said Paul firmly. "Just because you'd screw anything in a skirt before going through a dry spell doesn't mean the rest of us would."
"Hey, I never said I was cheating," said Karl defensively. Rex and Tom exchanged a look that said they believed otherwise, and Karl only became more riled up. "It's just…I've got a reputation to uphold. The truth is that I could go ten times longer than you without having sex."
"Yeah right," said Paul.
"What? You doubt me?"
Paul shrugged, enjoying the feeling of getting under Karl's skin for once. He wasn't sure if it was a guilty conscious or a competitive spirit that was prompting Karl's response, but Paul wasn't going to question the motive. This was just too much fun. "I'd bet a hundred dollars that I could go longer than you," he said.
Karl scoffed and looked around the table, as if to say, Do you believe this guy? No one else met his eyes, and after a moment, Karl glared at Paul. "Fine," he said. "It's a bet. Whichever one of us—" Karl gestured to the whole table, "—goes the longest wins. That'll be five hundred bucks."
"Whoa!" said Tom as Carlos outright laughed. "I never agreed to this!"
"Come on, Scavo. It's a friendly competition. Think you can't give us a run for our money?"
"Well, no…I mean, yes…I mean…I don't want to give up sex."
Rex smirked. "I'm in."
"Of course he's in," said Karl, rolling his eyes. "He's married to the sex camel. What about you, newlywed?"
Calmly, Carlos pulled out his wallet and counted out five one hundred dollar bills without batting an eye. "Gaby and I have our whole lives to have sex. I can go a couple of weeks."
Despite still looking like a caged animal, Tom slowly nodded. "Fine. If everyone else is in, then I am too. But Lynette can't find out about this."
"Oh God no," agreed Karl. "No telling the wives, obviously."
The rest mumbled emphatic agreement as Paul leaned forward, directing his attention at Karl, but his question at the group: "How are we going to know?"
"Yeah," said Paul. "Karl could go home right now and do it and then lie to our faces. How are we going to know?"
"Hey, it's the honor system or nothing," said Rex. "Because you're not going to start videotaping my bedroom."
"We'll know," said Carlos. "The misery will be all over our faces. Just look at Paul."
The other men laughed while Paul just shook his head. Let them get their jokes in now. They didn't know he already had two months under his belt.
Winning this bet would be as easy as pie.