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The Morning After

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Edward woke up with a headache, his mind so fuzzy from the alcohol he had consumed the night before, that it took him a moment to realise he was lying naked between Frank and Claire. His head was on Frank’s chest and his legs were tangled up with Claire’s, her body pressed up against his back. Both of them were still asleep and blissfully unaware that they were going to have to deal with what happened last night. In the sober light of day, they were probably going regret letting him share their bed.

He needed to get up, to go home and change and shower before he was due to start his shift, but he knew that shifting his position would wake one of the Underwoods up. Frank was snoring softly, his chest rising and falling under Edward’s head. He clenched his hand, it felt tender from the cut and he was sure that if he could look at it, he would see blood soaking through the dressing again.

“I know you’re awake, Edward,” Frank’s southern drawl caused him to snap his head up, blood rushing to his cheeks. The movement nudged Claire awake, and Edward sat up between them, pulling the blankets up across his bare chest.

“I’m-I’m sorry, sir,” Edward said, trying to keep his voice even. He forced himself to look at Frank despite the fact he would have preferred to look anywhere else. Claire stretched out, brushing hair away from her eyes. She too sat up, and placed a hand on Edward’s shoulder.

“There’s no need to be sorry,” Frank replied. “We’re all consenting adults.”

Edward didn’t reply, he was too busy surveying the room trying to locate his clothes, and then calculating how he could retrieve them without walking across the room naked.

“Edward?” Claire prompted.

“Sorry, Ma’am,” he replied. The married couple exchanged a look. Frank was still laying back, looking pleased with himself.

“There’s nothing to apologise for, Edward,” Claire assured him. Edward tried to smile at her, but all he could think about was the fact that none of them were wearing clothes. Claire slipped her legs from under the covers and stood up knowing that the she had the two men’s eyes trained on her. She threw them a look over her shoulder, raising her eyebrows at them before covering herself with a dressing gown. She bent over and picked up Edward’s boxers and returned to the bed, passing them over to him almost laughing at the relief on his face, and then quietening his thank you with a kiss.

“I need to go home,” Edward said, moving his head to the side, not allowing himself to become caught up with Claire’s soft lips. He fumbled under the covers trying to put his underwear on and then shot out the bed, not realising he’d put them on back to front. When he did, he quickly pulled last night’s trousers over the top hoping that neither Frank nor Claire had noticed. They had, and were watching him with amusement.

He looked wildly around for his tie, becoming more and more flustered by the second. Frank left him for a moment, before undoing the tie from around his wrist. Having not drunk anywhere near the amount Edward and his wife had done, he remembered the whole thing in perfect detail.

Edward tried to grab the tie away from him but Frank held it firm, tugging it to pull Edward closer to him, and then leant forward to that their faces were only inches apart.

“Claire got a morning kiss, what about me?” he asked. Without the influence of alcohol lowering his inhibitions, Edward looked like a rabbit in headlights at the suggestion, but nonetheless didn’t resist when their lips met in a kiss much gentler than they had been the night before. Frank pulled away first, leaning over to his wife who was sitting next to him, and the two of them shared another kiss.

Edward straightened his suit jacket. “I best be on my way, Sir, Ma’am,” he said, nodding at the two of them respectively.

“Of course,” Frank agreed. “And Edward,” he added as the bodyguard reached the bedroom door. “I expect you’re intelligent enough to understand this does not need to be spoken about.”

Edward swallowed nervously, imagining the consequences of being on the wrong side of the Underwoods. “Of course, sir. It won’t happen again.”

Frank’s lips twitched into a smile, and he looked over at his wife then back to Edward. “I said don’t talk about it, I never said it can’t happen again.”