The first time Ray came back from having sex with Hancock, he was certain that Mary would take one look at him and know. She was a divine superpowered being, for crying out loud, and that was still leaving out the whole woman's intuition thing.
He had to consciously make himself remember John's last words to him the night before.
John had said that with a rough kiss, and Ray had thought that the other man might have been thinking about kissing Mary, too, at that moment. It hadn't bothered him at the time, had actually, honestly felt right.
He'd sunk wholeheartedly into the kiss and then into the roughness of John's hands, but now it was 24 hours later and this wasn't New York, wasn't the safety of John's nicely appointed apartment provided courtesy of a grateful city government. He was standing outside his own house in L.A. and trying to square his shoulders through the guilt.
The scent of rich meat sauce greeted him as he walked in the door and entered the kitchen. He bent to put down his overnight bag. He looked up to meet his wife's eyes. Just like that, he knew the game was up.
In slow motion, she raised her hand and turned the stove off.
She cut off his nervous, half-formed apology before it even made it out of his mouth with firm hands digging into his wrinkled collar, and then he looked into her half-lidded eyes and saw for the second time in his life the god he'd married. A god who sensed the essence of her divinely gifted mate soaked into her mortal husband's skin. She smelled the guilt on him, all right. She also smelled the sex, rubbed into his clothes even after a day spent in airplanes and airports. Mostly, she smelled Hancock.
The moment hung frozen between them, and he was looking at her mouth, that mouth that had kissed John and kissed Ray, and he thought, now I've kissed both of them too.
Mary backed him into the kitchen counter.
"You probably already know, he likes blowjobs." Her voice was low and unconcerned and she might as well have been listing the ingredients of spaghetti sauce. Her hands burned down his chest to land on his waist. She slowly unbuckled his belt and the whisper of the leather sliding through metal buzzed through his head and his limbs felt weak. Then she opened his pants.
Ray's mouth went dry.
"Get him up against a wall for fifteen minutes and he'll be putty in your hands for the next hour."
She pulled his cock out of his boxers and stroked evenly, getting him hard with the practiced experience of a wife of seven years, and of an immortal who'd been getting men hard for three thousand years.
"Stretch it out to half an hour, tease him just right, and he's yours for the rest of the day."
She slid down to her knees slowly, hand still pressed to his cock, and he swallowed hard as she gently, cruelly, flexed her fingers. Ray wondered hazily how he'd managed to walk onto the set of a porno, except this was his wife and there were no cameras, and this was about more than sex.
Her lips barely touched the tip of his cock for a featherlight kiss and Ray's knees trembled. Then she looked up at him and said, "He likes giving head, too."
"I know," he whispered back, his embarrassingly gravelly throat destroying any hope he had of matching her cool conversational tone. Still, her eyes flamed and she smiled. He could swear she was hungry. Was it for him or for John? He didn't know.
Damn, it was a turn-on.
She was still smiling as she said, "He does this thing with his tongue, right," and then her mouth was around him and her tongue was--fuck--oh god--and Ray couldn't help but gasp. He didn't bother to wonder how she knew exactly how John sucked cock.
Mary moaned, for the first time, he thought maybe it was because she could taste John on him, and he might have come right then and there.
"He likes it when his partner's vocal about her--about his pleasure," Mary said a second later from the underside of Ray's cock. Jesus, did she expect him to remember all these instructions later? Ray's knuckles went white on the counter behind him.
She was still looking at him, waiting, and he realized she wanted a response. What had she been saying? "Yeah," he choked out feebly, hoping it was something right. Thank sweet Jesus, it was the right thing to say, because she finally, finally swallowed him down and she had his balls in her hand and her tongue was--and her teeth--fuck, fuck--
"I feel like we just did something unspeakably kinky," Ray said from his position flat on his back and staring up at their bedroom ceiling, "and I feel kind of awkward about how mind-blowing it was."
Mary rustled beside him, snaked an arm over his chest and a leg over his hips. The bed comforter finally gave up its fight against gravity on the other end of the bed and slid to the floor with a muffled thump.
"Mind-blowing, huh," Ray could feel her smile against his bare shoulder. "So, Ray Embrey: public crusader for charity, moral justice, and newly converted to unspeakably kinky bedroom activities?"
"Not just the bedroom, no," he said. "I think the kitchen made a pretty appropriate venue, don't you think?"
"Maybe," she said, and lapsed into quiet. He didn't blame her - it was kind of a strain to keep up the banter when there was an elephant the size of Los Angeles in the room. Even in the post-orgasm state of mellow.
"So..." he started, already internally wincing at the fumbling he was about to do.
"This isn't the first time for us."
The sudden statement hung in the air of the bedroom. Ray tried and failed to decipher it. "Um--"
"I mean, for me and Hancock."
She wanted him to pick up on something, obviously didn't really want to actually say whatever it was out loud, but, "Let's pretend you fucked all the brainpower out of me and I need you to explain in more detail?" he said plaintively, hoping she wouldn't read it the wrong way.
"The--this," her hand left his chest to wave vaguely around the bedroom to indicate - who? Her and Ray? Hancock in New York? "The triangle. Or, actually, it's more like a water molecule."
Ray opened his mouth to say that he was officially confused, but she kept going.
"Two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, right. The hydrogen atoms don't stick together because they'd destroy each other if they do, but with an atom between them, they can be together forever because they can both cling to the oxygen atom. Three atoms - one molecule."
He already knew the sting of jealousy was pointless, but said it anyway. "So...how many other 'oxygen atoms' have you and Hancock used?"
"Our kind has walked the earth for millennia," Mary said patiently. "How many do you think?"
"Hundreds," he guessed.
She stroked his chest carefully. "Actually, no. Hancock and I were more strongly bonded then some of the others, so we preferred to be together directly. We only found a third when they...felt right."
Ray stared up at the ceiling. "What happens when your third dies?"
Her hand stilled, fingers resting on his heart with a fine tremor. "We mourn and move on."
Well, as far as rendering Ray speechless went, that one was pretty well up there.
"Ray," Mary's voice sharpened with annoyance, "did you miss the part where I said we only involved a third person if they felt right, because if you're going to just ignore that--"
Distantly, the front door banged open, a muffled sound from downstairs that still shattered the tension in the bedroom like a gunshot and their heads jerked up, adrenaline racing.
"Oh awesome, meatball night! Hey--Mom? Moooommm! Are you home?"
"I'm upstairs, honey, I'll be down in a minute!" Mary was out of bed and throwing on clothes in a series of quick, jerky movements before Ray had so much as gotten around to sitting up.
Dressed, she turned around in the doorway and pinned him with a - not quite a glare, definitely a Look - and said, "Obviously, we're not finished here."
Ray shook his head in agreement and sighed. "Obviously." She narrowed her eyes slightly, a merest flicker of the eyelids, and left with a headshake of her own.
The effects of cross-country travel and a series of really late nights (with Hancock) seemed to catch up all at once with Ray just then and he fell backwards with a whoosh - straight into a wet patch. He grimaced - what he'd been doing was hell on the muscles - but it was enough to get him up and into the shower at least.