If Leah is Paul’s “second wife,” then what about the relationship between their actual spouses, Mark and Christy?

That’s a question that’s fascinated me, ever since Nick wrote that they “had a date” in the 1996 Pines orgy. This story continues to build toward that (captured in The Art of the Orgy). In Hanging Out, we got to see the beginning of their relationship. This was the next step.

I’d picked this time period because I wanted to show Mark helping Christy get over her post-partum depression, and it made more sense for post-Emily than post-Laurie because it let me bring in the tension of his girlfriend and future wife basically moving in with her “second husband.” Except when I went back and looked at the timeline, I also realized this was the period when Leah would’ve been pregnant with McKenna and Mark and Leah got married. That led to the on-going intertwined threads about Leah’s pregnancy.

A couple of fun notes. Mark and Leah only had one child. This story gives some of the reasons why. Leah went through hell to bring McKenna into the world. That’s part of why Mark treasures her so much going forward.

Also, this story made Mark’s Hot Wife fetish more explicit (something shown in the comic Desirable Layovers). He’s happy as long as Leah comes home to him, and in this story, she makes it clear that she always will.

Finally, I couldn’t resist Erin “has some experience” stripping. More on that in the next story, Party Time