Will couldn't stop smiling as he dialed Peter's number from his office phone. He had gotten the okay to invite his friend over for dinner and felt like a small child who had been given everything on his Christmas list. Part of his brain chastised him for being that excited about it but the truth of it was that he so rarely got to have things go his way in his marriage. He was going to savor every wonderful second of this.
"Hey, stranger. Are you calling me to bail you out of jail?"
Caught off guard by the unexpected greeting, Will laughed. "What is wrong with you?"
"Eh, I figured 'hello' has been overdone," Peter said with a self-deprecating chuckle. "Too much?"
"Nah, it's fine," Will said, as if letting Peter off the hook. "But I should point out that if I'm going to be in jail in need of bailing out, you will most likely be sitting right next to me."
"Why would you say that?" Peter was trying to sound shocked but couldn't quite do it convincingly.
"Oh, please," Will laughed again. "If I'm in jail, it's because of something you did to get us into trouble."
"What? Nooooo." Peter joined in Will's laughter. "You must be confusing me with someone else."
"No, I'm pretty sure you were the one sitting next to me when we were arrested."
Peter laughed harder. "Are you ever going to stop reminding me about that?"
"Nope." Will couldn't stop grinning. "I get way too much pleasure out of seeing you squirm when I bring it up."
"I do not squirm."
"Yes, you do."
"Do not infinity."
"Do, too, infinity plus one."
Peter burst out laughing. "You're such a child!"
"Oh my god, you did not just say that, Mr. 'do not infinity,'" Will giggled.
"Yeah, well, you... I... Your mother..."
"Watch what you say about my mother, Pete. She can kick your ass, and you know it."
"Oh, shit," Peter giggled, "I can just see Inez coming after me. No one can keep me in line like your mom."
"I know," Will said, twirling around in his chair and winding his phone cord around himself. "She's my secret weapon." He spun back around to undo the cord.
"A good one, too. And what's Talia?"
Will frowned for a second, the mention of his wife managing to strip him of some of his good humor in that moment. "She's an entity unto herself," he finally said, trying to keep his voice light. "And, actually, she's the reason I'm calling."
"She is?" Peter stopped laughing. "What's going on?"
"Nothing bad," Will assured him. "We're having a dinner party tonight and you're invited to join us."
Peter paused, then said, "What's the catch?"
"I don't know what you mean," Will said, a little confused. "What do you mean, what's the catch? It's dinner."
"Yeah, but you've never wanted me to come over before."
"Look, we're having another couple over and I asked if it would be all right to have one more person join us. She's fine with it."
"Uh huh." Peter sounded skeptical. "So I get to be the odd man out?"
"No, it's not like that." Will was starting to get a little annoyed that Peter wouldn't just accept the invitation and be done with it. He knew that the annoyance stemmed from the fact that he wanted so desperately for him to say yes so he could spend more time with him, anything else would end up disappointing him to no end. "I told her about Kory and she thought it would be nice if you could come over since we're such good friends." It wasn't the truth, but he needed for Peter to feel okay with joining them.
"I thought you told me she was a raging homophobe," Peter said sardonically.
Will cringed. "Well, she is, but--"
"But," Will continued, "she is also a human being and would like to meet her husband's best friend. Come on, Pete. Please?"
Peter sighed. "God damn it, you know I can't say no to you when you say please," he said, trying to add a twist of humor to the words by murmuring them softly into the phone.
Will wasn't sure why he blushed at the way Peter said it, but he felt more hopeful. "I know you can't," he said softly, "so don't. Say yes and come over."
"All right," Peter relented. "I'll do it for you."
"Thank you. Be here at six-thirty for cocktails."
"Okay, six-thirty. But, Will?"
"The first time she says anything insulting to me, I'm leaving. I'm way too old to grin and bear it when some ignorant piece of--"
"Peter, please," Will said, not wanting to get into it with him. "She won't insult you." He prayed that he was right. The last thing he would want to see was his wife and his best friend fighting in front of their other guests. "But, if she does, don't leave."
"Why the hell not?"
"Because maybe you should stay and say something to put her in her place." He hadn't meant to say it. He knew that if that happened, there really would be a fight. Of course, he'd never admit that deep down he wanted to have Talia exposed for the bitch she could be. Her friends thought she was so perfectly put together. "But nicely," he added softly.
"Are you giving me permission to go off on your wife if need be?" Peter asked, the amusement back in his voice now.
"No, I'm just saying that there's nothing wrong with defending yourself instead of retreating."
"Fine, I'll do that," Peter said firmly. "But, Will, you know that the only reason I was thinking of retreat was because I wouldn't want there to be any fall out for you."
Will sighed. He knew that was exactly what Peter had meant. "I know. And I love you for that. You're the best friend I've ever had and I mean it."
"I know you do."
Will wasn't sure what else to say. "Well, I should get back to this paperwork. Don't forget, six-thirty."
"I'll be there." Peter paused. "And thanks, Will. I know you convinced her to let me come over."
Smiling, Will shook his head. "Just show up and try not to grunt too much, you big goon," he said affectionately before hanging up.