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Henry and Abigail left Iona Payne’s office with instructions to stay together and keep each other grounded, calm, and comfortable.

Abigail thought her head was liable to float away from her body if she moved too quickly, and was quite glad to have the excuse to be near Henry for the rest of the day. They had a few hours to collect themselves before Abe was home, and she was sure they would need all that time.

Abigail fixed them both tea with slow and methodical movements, taking the time to feel the weight of the cups, the grit and scratch of the tea bags as she dropped them in—Henry always complained if she didn’t make a proper pot, but he drank it anyway after his grumbling show—and let the steam from the boiling water fill her cloudy head.

When she looked into the living room, Henry was rubbing his wrists. She took their two cups and set them down on the low table.

“Do they hurt?” she asked, sitting next to him.

She took his hands and rubbed her thumbs over his wrists. The redness from the cuffs had faded, and there was no sign of bruising.

“I’m fine. No damage done.”

He settled back on the couch with his tea and Abigail tucked up beside him under his arm. Henry blew across the cup to cool it and took a sip. His gaze was fixed somewhere in the middle ground, and there was no grumbled commentary about the tea.

The ticking of the clock on the mantle was the only sound in the empty apartment, marking the passage of the afternoon.  Lacking Abe’s energetic presence, and with Henry’s usual verbosity dampened, their home had a blanket of silence laid over it that, rather than smothering, was comfortable and reassuring.  Abigail soaked up the safety of their home, and the warmth of Henry at her side.

Their tea grew cold as they sat unmoving, and Abigail eventually tugged the mug from Henry’s hands and placed both cups on the living room table.

He blinked at her owlishly as though he’d been sleeping upright, but smiled when she turned and snuggled against his chest and tucked her head under his chin.  His chuckle rumbled like faraway summer thunder through his body and into the ear she pressed to his breastbone, and he wrapped his arms around her.

“And you, darling?  Are you well?”

He picked up the thread of their conversation seamlessly, though they’d neither of them spoken for the last half hour at least.  She was sure Henry’s concept of time was fundamentally altered thanks to his long lifetime, though he assured her—and himself—that he was the same as any other person in that respect.

“No one hurt me,” she said, drawing her fingers in a pattern over his dress shirt, idle caresses.

No one had hurt her, but Henry had writhed, twisted, panted and begged while Iona Payne had guided Abigail’s hands.  Outside of Iona’s office, Abigail’s actions cascaded over her in a completely different light—abuse, pain, ladled out with her lip caught between her teeth in excitement.  She’d hurt Henry, and she’d liked it.  Her heart sped at the memory of manicured fingers lacing between hers to hold the electrocution wand, guiding her to safe places, instructing her to listen to the pitch and tone of Henry’s cries, when to stop and when to check on his state…

Henry’s hand touched her cheek, and he tilted her face up towards him.  She leaned back into the cradle of his arms and looked up.  He smiled at her, easy as the rays of sun sliding through the windows, descending into afternoon’s golden tones.

“No one hurt me, either,” Henry said softly.  No recrimination, no lingering confusion or fear sullied the simple statement.  Only reassurance—the reassurance she thought she should offer him, but one she needed more than she’d realized.

He ducked his head to kiss her on the lips, paused, and then returned for a deeper kiss. His tongue traced the line of her bottom lip; an invitation, should she wish to accept it.

With her heart and mind racing, the simple gesture sent an instant rush of interest through her, and his smile turned sly and pleased—he read her so very easily.  He returned for another kiss with a deep and resonant sound that still made her shiver after all these years.

Decadent, to have this afternoon together, an unexpected chance to revel in each others’ company. They’d stolen all the moments they could over the years, when time away from jobs and parenting allowed, but there were never enough of them.  She couldn’t be more grateful to have it now, when she needed to know that everything was fine, that nothing had changed.

Henry was a patient and gentle lover; methodical, willing and eager to please, always observant and considerate. Today, however, an unaccustomed eagerness lent an edge of excitement to his kisses, and he quickly tugged her into his lap to better run his hands over her thighs, working his hands up and into her shirt to stroke over her stomach and waist, all while kissing her hungrily.

She settled in his lap with a shifting of her body.  He was already hard against her rear, and directed her weight to better press down on him, vocalizing his sigh into the kiss.

That was all it took.

Abigail plucked at the buttons of his shirt, he at the catch on her jeans, and they wriggled out of their clothes as quickly as they could.  He pinned her to the couch, heavy over her with a hand to the back of her thigh to urge her legs around him, impatiently nudging against her with his cock.  The teasing promise of fullfilment drove her to distraction as she hooked her heels over the backs of his thighs.

“Henry, hurry up,” she said, biting and licking at his neck.

Henry shuddered over her as he shifted to oblige.  With one smooth thrust he was in her fully—pulled out, thrust in again, firm and fast and precise, his hips digging into the insides of her thighs.

In their clumsy haste Henry shifted and tried to get better purchase on the couch as Abigail repositioned her hips, and one of Henry’s legs fell off the couch and onto the floor.  They teetered off-balance, then tipped, and Abigail’s eyes flew wide and she flung a hand out to brace them.  She missed the table, and they both started to slide, tumbling to the floor and taking one of the couch cushion seats with them.

Abigail snorted with laughter.  She rolled Henry onto his back and climbed over him as he giggled, his eyes crinkled and grin wide, his lips red from kissing her. She reached between her legs to adjust and position him, and sunk back onto him, watching the laugh turn into a wide-mouthed gasp, chin lifting and driving his head back into the floor as he arched up. She braced her hands on his chest and sat up straight, settling onto the thick hard length of him.

He stroked down her arms and took her hands, bracing her up, their fingers laced tight together. She leaned her weight as she ground on him, a frantic pace that was bringing her very close very quickly.

Without warning, Henry’s arms buckled.  She fell forward with a squeak, startled out of her headlong race towards her own orgasm.  His hands were to the ground at the sides of his head, still holding hers as his hips rocked up into her.

“Will you hold them there?” he murmured against her lips. “My hands?”

“What, like this?”

She tugged his hands higher, above his head. She shifted her grip to around his wrists, emulating the cuffs, and the tense angle the bar had held him at. Henry gulped as he closed his eyes, and then nodded shortly.

“Yes.”

“You liked it.” His tendons tightened and strained beneath her hands as he clenched and released his hands.

“Yes,” he gasped.

She stretched her legs out, her weight heavy on him, desperately pursuing her own orgasm as Henry bucked under her. She gripped his wrists hard, pressing with all her strength, and he moaned deep and thick, an echo of their morning with Iona.

“You liked her. You liked what she did.”

“So did you.” His voice was choked, his head lolling. “Both of you, what you did…”

Oh god, but she did. The drunken power of watching Henry come apart like that, the firm strength of Iona shoring up her own, holding her hand and body, guiding her like an instrument to drive Henry into a state she’d never seen before.  She’d hurt him, but it had been more than that, so much more.

“Abigail—“

He came in her with a cry, erratic thrusts, and she ground against him, mercilessly holding him down as he bucked and shuddered with over sensitized ecstasy, until she was coming too, face buried in the crook of his neck as she spasmed around him, groaning through clenched teeth.

They were both panting for breath, sweaty, and stunned. Abigail was taken aback by the vicious passion, and when she realized how tight her hands were wrapped around Henry’s wrists, she pried them free.

“Sorry, Henry.”

He put his arms around her and shushed her, quickly settling her fears.

“No, no. It was good.” He made a considering noise. “Can’t say I’ve ever had a very positive association with being restrained before, but at the behest of a beautiful woman, I enjoy it a great deal.”

She propped herself up on her elbows so she could see his face. The term “beautiful woman” wasn’t chosen at random. He could have said it many ways, but didn’t.

He stroked the length of her back when he saw her expression, and worry creased his brow.

“I didn’t mean… Abigail, you know I love you.”

“Don’t be silly, I know you do. And I love you, too.” She kissed him on the nose. “If I were jealous of other people you’ve been attracted to, I’d have gone mad long before now.”

“What do you mean?” His eyebrows raised, he tucked his chin to better bring her into focus. She didn’t know if he was affronted or surprised at her inference.

“Henry.” She nuzzled his cheek with a teasing smile. “Be honest. You’ve got a sharp eye for beautiful women. A few men, too, as far as I’ve seen.”

Henry finally chuckled, but it was sheepish. He groped for words, his facial contortions mapping the obvious trail of his thoughts as he struggled through the caught-out guilt into honesty.

“I’d never be unfaithful to you,” he said finally. “You and Abe mean everything to me.”

“I know that, Henry. That’s not what I meant.” She toyed with his hair and the damp curls over his forehead. “She is very beautiful.”

Golden hair, light hands that left impressions everywhere they touched. Iona possessed a bright and wiry strength as she held Abigail in place against her body, teaching Abigail how to place pain just right so as not to wound; praising her until Abigail was ready to beg for something more to accompany those words, something physical to relieve the burning tension building in her body.

It was no wonder there’d been such pent up energy in hers and Henry’s lovemaking.

“The two of you together…” Henry said slowly, uncertain, and he trailed off.

Abigail gathered the courage to meet Henry’s eyes. He was studying her carefully.

“It was a very memorable sight.”

Abigail’s cheeks were burning again, and she regretted teasing Henry before. It was like admitting a schoolgirl crush, insecure and sure she’d be mocked for it—and by the one person she respected most.

Henry, with his usual unerring ability, sensed her thoughts and wiped away her worries.

“Abigail, it’s harmless,” Henry said with a laugh. He lifted his head and kissed her gently. “Enjoy it. A fantasy to tuck away and revisit whenever we like.”

“Is that what you do? Tuck things away for the future?”

He glowed with devotion as he smiled at her, gentle and loving, as his arms secured her close, their naked bodies nestled against each other. So often he looked at her like this, as though memorizing her. Were these the times he would think of, many years from now when she was gone, the ones he’d carefully commit to memory?

“Hold on to anything that makes you feel good in life,” Henry said. “Hold on very tight indeed.”

***

The events of the day were lost in a rush of confusion that evening. Iona—Molly Dawes, outside her professional capacity—was arrested as the prime suspect in the murder of her client. Henry got sucked into the investigation, a more and more frequent occurrence the longer he worked at the OCME with Detective Martinez.

Abigail came home from a graveyard hospital shift the next day to find Henry in the living room, chagrined and shame-faced, with Abe sitting next to him helping him put his hand in a bowl of ice.

“Dad hit a guy!” Abe crowed.  Henry grimaced, shushing their son, but Abe was far too excited. “Hit him right in the face!”

“I just spent twelve hours patching up people. I didn’t expect to come home for more of the same,” she said. She hung her coat on the hook.

“It’s nothing,” Henry said, but he winced when Abe jostled him. He nudged Abe with his knee. “Abe, you have your spelling homework to finish before bed. Go on.”

Abe started to whine in protest, then shifted that into a sulky slink off the couch and a slope-shouldered march into the kitchen to get his backpack when Henry gave him no quarter.  Abe looked to Abigail and saw no support there either, as she was far too tired to entertain needless antagonism. His stance straightened, and the sulk was mostly tucked away, with only a lingering eye roll ruining his attempted civility.

Abigail ruffled Abe’s hair on their way past each other.  She took Abe’s spot on the couch, desperately glad to be off her feet. She lifted Henry’s hand out of the bowl of ice to find reddened knuckles and bruises, but nothing swollen enough to indicate a break.

“What happened?”

“Some private investigator shooting off his mouth. A truly rude man.” It only took a few seconds of waiting for him to spill the rest. “He made very disparaging remarks regarding Molly Dawes. Her work may not be widely understood or conventional, but she is a professional and deserves respect.”

Abigail sank into the couch cushions as Henry huffed and puffed.  She would have laughed if she had the energy.

“Playing the knight in shining armour, Henry?”

“More like losing my temper and doing things I regret,” he said, and put his hand back in the ice. “I hope I’ll not be charged to defend her honour again, as I’m not certain my hand can take it.”

“I hope you’ll not be charged with assault, as it would be a poor addition to your public indecency charges.”  Abigail leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.  “I’ll go get the tape,” she said.

Only Henry, she thought. Molly was hardly helpless, but she would need all the help she could get if she was to be proved innocent as Henry believed she was.

In her heart, Abigail couldn’t believe Molly was guilty either.  The idea that she could willfully break someone’s trust, would hurt them when she’d worked so very hard to keep Henry safe...

But, that was the concern of the police. With Jo Martinez handling the case, and Henry doggedly contributing his two cents wherever they’d be heard, Abigail had faith it would be sorted. And as for her, she was going to bandage Henry’s hand and go to bed and get as much sleep before her next shift, which would come entirely too soon.

***

She was midway through her shift and grabbing a quick coffee from the machine in the hall when she got the phone call from Abe.

“Mom? Dad’s not home, and I don’t know where he is.”

“What?”  Abigail looked at her wrist watch.  He should have been home hours ago.  “Did he leave a note?”

“No, nothing. I called his office but he wasn’t there.”

Clever boy; that was good thinking on Abe’s part. Henry would never be this late without letting them know, and though Abe was semi-independent in his ability to stay home unsupervised for short times, Henry wouldn’t have left him that long.

Something was wrong. Abe knew it, too, and accurately interpreted the worry in her silence.

“Mom, is he okay?”

“I’m sure he’s with Detective Martinez,” she said. “I’ll give her a call and we’ll see where he is. You warm up the dinner in the fridge and I’ll talk to you soon.”

Abe reluctantly said goodbye, and Abigail quickly dialled Jo’s number. Jo picked up on the second ring.

“Hi, Abigail. What’s up?”

“Hello, Jo.  Is Henry with you?”

“No, he went home ages ago. Why?”

Abigail shut her mouth on the curse that reflexively came to mind.  If Henry wasn’t home or with the detectives or at work, that meant something had befallen him between those two points—possibly something which would only be complicated by the police being alerted and sent looking for him.

“Abigail, what’s wrong?”

Jo dropped into the lower register of her professional, no-nonsense voice, commanding a response.  Abigail berated herself for being so obvious—her fear had made her careless.  However, unless she wanted Jo even more on edge, there was nothing for it.  She would have to hope she hadn’t set the dogs on Henry herself and caused more harm than good.

“He didn’t make it home. He was supposed to be home with Abe this evening, but Abe just called to say he’s not there.”  Abigail started hurrying for the hospital locker room.

“I’m going to check on a few things and I’ll get back to you. If you hear from Henry, call me, okay?”

Abigail managed to get someone to cover her shift, and in fifteen minutes she was out the door and running. She had to check the emergency locker at the bus depot, just in case Henry had grabbed the duffel bag with the extra passports and clothes. If he had, there’d be a note of where to meet him. Failing that, the river. He’d been more careful of late, but maybe something had happened—an accident, perhaps.

She’d just made it home after the fruitless stops, and finished sending the neighbour home with a thank you for watching Abe for the evening, when Jo called.

“Hello? Jo? Did you—“

“Abigail, it’s me.  I’m fine.”

“Henry? Oh, Henry! Thank god, I was so worried! What happened?”

“No need to worry, I’ll be home shortly. Jo is driving me home.  I’ll fill you in then.”

Abigail had just enough time to get Abe to bed and pace several laps of the apartment before the door rattled with Henry’s key.

Once again, Henry was taking creative license with the term ‘fine.’

“Hello, darling,” Henry said lightly, unable to smile past a grimace of pain.  He moved with obvious injury, propped up by Jo under his arm to help him walk, and his skin shone with sweat.

She rushed to take his other arm, but his stifled cry stopped her cold.

“What happened?” she demanded.

“The killer we were looking for got hold of Henry,” Jo said, not waiting for Henry to answer.

“What?  Why did he come after you?”

“He misunderstood my relationship with Molly Dawes.”  Henry slid a look towards Jo, whose mouth was pinched tight with stern disapproval.  Abigail didn’t ask further.

They helped Henry limp to the couch and lowered him onto it. Puffing a little, Jo stood back with her hands on her hips, and turned to Abigail.

“The guy’s in custody now, and not going to hurt anyone again.  Henry’s safe.”

“Thank you so much, Jo.”  Abigail threw her arms around her and hugged her tight.  “Thank you.”

Jo awkwardly hugged her back, a little flustered by the affection.  Jo and her husband Sean had been to their house for dinner twice now, the friendship between them growing over the past months of her partnership with Henry.  Abigail and Sean sat back as audience members to enjoy Henry and Jo’s tales of past cases, their rapport so enjoyable to witness, and Jo’s dry sense of humour a wonderful match to Henry’s occasional stuffiness.

Jo and Sean’s relationship reminded Abigail of her and Henry—a singular force united, easily in step with each other.  She hoped one day that Jo and Sean would become closer friends.  Abigail was optimistic, what with the slow and steady progress Henry had been making in sharing pieces of his life with Jo.  Abigail wondered if someday, she wouldn’t be the only person who knew Henry’s secret.

“I wanted to take him to the hospital, but he insisted on coming home.  I figure you’re a doctor, so…”  She gave Henry another inscrutable look over, as though starting to doubt her choice.

“Thank you, Jo,” Henry said. He leaned back onto the cushions and closed his eyes. His smile was tense. “You saved my life. Most appreciated.”

“Yeah.”  Jo bit her lip, hesitated, and then briskly nodded to Abigail.  “I’ve got to get back to the precinct and deal with the arrest report.  I’ll talk to you soon.”

Abigail showed Jo out, and then went to fetch the first aid kit—still out on the bathroom counter from Henry’s fist fight yesterday—and came to find Henry breathing shallowly in a great deal of pain.  He opened his eyes a slit when she knelt next to him on the couch and stroked the hair back from his sweaty forehead.

“Henry, what happened?” she asked softly.

“A former patient of Molly’s.  A disturbed young man—he was eliminating men he thought a challenge to his self-proclaimed ‘ownership’ of her.”

“But—but why you?”

Henry sighed, rolling his eyes heavenward with a brief look of distress.  He shifted to straighten up on the couch, and winced as that tweaked strained muscles.  He grunted unhappily, but waved aside her concern.

“I wished Molly well after she was released from lockup.  She kissed me on the cheek, and she,” he paused slightly, somewhere between pleased and sheepish, “er, she made it very clear that we’re welcome to call if we’d like to see her again.”

“Oh.” Abigail blinked, not at all expecting that information.  “And… Jo?”

“Jo discovered I was snatched by this fellow while reviewing the security footage outside the precinct—which also documented my interaction with Molly.  I’m afraid she thinks I’m having an affair behind your back.”

Bruised, battered, and filthy with dirt and sweat, Henry spoke with such earnest apology that Abigail was suddenly reminded of Abe when he’d only been four years old; he’d sliced his hand open trying to clean up a glass he’d broken by accident, and two hours in the emergency room later, he’d been sobbing remorsefully over the broken glass, ever so concerned they’d be angry about it, while they were both so grateful he’d not needed more than a few stitches.

“Oh, Henry.”  She covered her mouth to stifle the manic giggles, which were quickly followed by tears borne of relief.  “Henry, only you.”

Henry’s mouth quirked up in a half-smile.  He chuckled with her, but the line of his mouth wobbled, and his next indrawn breath was a sob.

“I’m sorry, Abigail.  It happened so fast, I was on my way home to speak with you, and—“  His voice caught and he bit down on another sob.

Abigail, her own cheeks wet, carefully drew Henry to her and held him.  He shuddered as he slowly moved his arms, unable to bring them above her waist because of the pain he was in.

“I told him to kill me, but he wouldn’t.  He wanted—he wanted to…”  Henry closed his eyes and shut his mouth, silencing the tears, but his body trembled.

“Shh, you’re safe, Henry,” she repeated, low and soft, as she stroked the back of his neck.

As Henry shook in her arms, keening softly, her own tears flowed.  She would have killed the man who’d hurt him, had he been here, and not given it a second thought.

She managed to coax him to the shower, helping him disrobe despite stiff limbs and sore muscles, and joined him to help him wash.  The alarming bruises around his neck, wrists and ankles told the rest of the story he was reluctant to share, as did the electrical burns on his hand and forearm.

Henry, gone limp with fatigue, barely had the energy to stay upright as she dried him off and then carefully tended the burns.

She finished the burns and then helped him into a pair of soft pyjama pants, leaving him bare-chested.  With the sore, wrenched shoulders and bandaged hand, it was easier.  She stroked his chest, over his scar, as she often did, and he looked down to her hand.

“Jo asked about my scar,” he murmured, almost dream-like in tone.

“And what did you say?”

“That it was a story for another time.”

“Did you mean it?”

He looked up at her, frowning in puzzlement, and then his gaze focused inward.

“I don’t know.  I think I may have.”

“Then I hope some day you do tell her.  She’s a good friend,” Abigail said, unable to suppress the flush of warmth at Henry’s tentative, surprised affirmation.

“She thinks I’m a cad,” Henry said, with a shadow of a smile.  Henry cupped her face, looking deep into her eyes, searching.  “Abigail, I love you.  I would never, ever hurt you.”

“You haven’t hurt me, I promise.”   She went on her toes to kiss Henry gently on the lips.  “Now, enough fretting.  If it’s that important, we can worry about it tomorrow.  But please, Henry, you need to rest.”

He nodded wearily, wincing once more as his injured neck muscles pained him, and by the time she got him to the bed, his eyelids were at half-mast.  He fell asleep in minutes, laid out flat, breathing heavy and even.

Abigail watched over him all night, her thoughts zipping around aimlessly.

***

Henry’s body healed much quicker than his pride.  Being judged unfaithful bothered Henry far more than she would have ever guessed.  He cared so little for what others thought, but to be thought dishonest—no, that rankled. But, the matter was soon tucked away with so many of Henry’s darker experiences, though Abigail knew the details would remain with him for lifetimes; his memory was shockingly sharp, but he compartmentalized it all with ease. At first she’d worried, but now she saw it for the survival mechanism it was.

Abigail’s shifts at the hospital, a rotation through the ER, were long and relentless.  She missed Henry working at her side, but she’d given up on urging him to return.  Since his conflict over the man who’d died from a gunshot wound as Henry hid, bleeding out himself before dying, he had firmly put aside his career as a practicing doctor.  Four years later the argument had grown cold.  She wouldn’t be the one to revive it, and definitely not right now.

A good two months later, she and Henry finally had a night off together.  After a pleasant family dinner with Abe, he was off to see a movie with some friends and they had time to themselves.

Abigail was fetching some wine and snacks from the cupboard to lay out when Henry stole up behind her and settled at her back, arms around her.  He kissed her collarbone, and the stubble of his facial hair tickled and made her twitch away a little with a laugh.

“And what would you care to do with our night off?” he asked.  His hands were already sneaking beneath the hem of her shirt and running over her stomach, and she squirmed as he tickled her.

“I have an idea of what you’d like to do.”  She turned in his embrace and looped her arms around her neck.

He didn’t give her a chance to say more, immediately pressing her back to the counter and putting a hand to the back of her head to catch her in a deep, open-mouthed kiss that stunned her momentarily.  A thrill shooting down through her body softened her stance, and she melted against him, letting herself be bent back a little with the force of his kiss.

He must have been thinking about this, planning his approach, because he was already hard as he pressed against her belly.  She snuck a hand between them and ran her hand up his thigh.  He backed off a bit to give her space, and made a rumbling, pleased noise as she pressed a palm to his erection, massaging a little.

She was still a little tired from a long week and not nearly as read to go as Henry, but his eagerness was flattering, endearing, and exciting all at once.  She took hold of him by the belt and twisted him around, urging him back against the counter and pulled back from the kiss.

He raised an eyebrow, mouth up in a curious smile.  In answer, she pried his belt loose, giving it an unnecessarily firm tug to free the buckle.  She kept his gaze, and the smile slipped as his breath sped up.  He licked his lips, unashamedly excited.  He was so very appreciative, always so ready to please her, and it was incredibly rewarding when he let her have her way with him.

She unbuttoned his trousers and shoved them down along with his boxers, leaving them mid-thigh so he was trapped with just enough freedom to spread his legs a space.  The hardwood floor of the kitchen was a little hard on the knees, but the grateful look he gave her was enough to compensate.

Henry’s erection bobbed with a twitch in his excitement, jutting out between hanging shirt tails, and he stroked her cheek with shuddering breath as she pressed a kiss to the hot, soft skin.

“Abigail,” he murmured.  She looked up at him, and he smiled.  “You are so beautiful.”

She laughed a little, and pressed another kiss to his balls, already tightening, and he gasped and leaned back to grip the counter’s edge.  She wrapped a hand around him, licking to wet the length of him, and then slid her mouth down over him.  She loved this part; the first long slide onto him, taking as much of the length in as she could, and holding there so she could feel his pounding pulse on her tongue, feel him jump and swell in the snug space.

Henry’s head rolled back and he groaned, long and heartfelt.

“Oh, damn.  That feels very, very good.”

And that was the other part she loved—he was talkative, and ever so willing to share his appreciation for her efforts.  She steadied him with one hand, the other stroking over the sparse wiry hair on the insides of his thighs, and started to move.  Henry sucked in a deep breath, and his knuckles went white as his grip on the countertop tightened.

Completely unbidden, the image of his hands gripping tight above his head came to mind as she rode him—and then clenching tight, handcuffed above him to a bar.  Iona—Molly—guiding Abigail’s hand over the spot where she’d touched the electric prod to Henry’s skin, the thick muscles of his back still jumping.

Another slide completely off him, and a flutter of her tongue over the head of his cock, making his hips buck, and the echo of Molly’s voice followed to whisper, “Well done.  See?  He likes that.”

Her own growing excitement sped her along, her hand pumping Henry in time with the movements of her mouth, catching an easy and familiar rhythm.  Henry’s breath was laboured, his thighs shaking and hips twitching.

“Abigail—oh god, Abigail, you’ve made short work of me,” he gasped.  He put a hand on her head, likely firmer than he meant to, but he refrained from pushing.  “Abigail, please.  If you keep doing that…”  He choked off in a strangled groan as she ran her fingernails over his tight balls and sucked a little harder, a little tighter.

Leaving him slick with spit, she pulled her mouth off him and stood, keeping the stroking rhythm steady.  Henry’s eyes were unfocused and his mouth hung open with his panting breath.  She tugged at his shirt, and he eagerly leaned forward to kiss her, fast and desperate, back curved to give her pumping fist room.  She squeezed harder, and he whimpered into her mouth.

It was the same sound he’d made when Molly had turned up the prod to a higher setting, making him writhe, making Abigail’s body throb in sympathy.

“Do you ever think—”

She cut herself off abruptly.  Henry’s hips were rocking in time with each stroke of her hand, his mouth uncoordinated and his hand gripping her shoulders hard—he was inches from coming, and now was not the time.

“What?” Henry shifted his head to tilt to other side, nibbling at her lip, nearly whining with each breath.  “Think—ah, god—”  He curled in on himself with a shudder, and his cock jerked in her hands, so close to the brink.  He pressed his face to the side of hers, mouthing at her cheek and ear.  “Think what?  Tell me,” he demanded, breathy.

She slowed her stroking and cradled his testacles, drawn up hard and tight against his body with his coming orgasm, uncertain whether or not to answer.  His lips moving on her neck, his hand sliding under her shirt and up her back loosened her tongue.

“Molly.  If we’d ever call her.”

Henry’s hand slowed, paused on the catch of her bra, and he stilled.  Then he laid a hot, wet, sucking kiss on her neck at the sensitive join to her shoulder and rumbled, “And if we did?  What would that look like?”

She was frozen, stuck in blank-minded shock, dizzy with sudden aching want.  Henry's other hand closed over hers, still clasping his stiff erection.  His lips moved to her ear.

“Please, don’t stop,” he whispered.  He stroked her wrist, a gentle request.  “Tell me what you’re thinking, Abigail.”

She pumped him once, slow and firm, and he shuddered again—deeper, somehow, and his forehead pressed to her temple.  His eyes were closed.

“I—I pictured her here.  Watching us.  Helping… like she did with the prod.”

Henry’s fingers tightened around her wrist, then trailed up her arm to shift to her waist, nearly clinging for balance, as she started the steady rhythm once more.

“Yes,” he gasped in her ear.

“Telling me how you liked what I was doing to you.”  The words were coming without forethought, frighteningly easy to let spill, hands working faster.

Henry jerked in her fist, and with a deep inhalation he tensed.

“Oh—Abigail, ah—

Fast and unexpected, both of them so caught up in the fantasy, Henry came with sudden force, shooting over her clothes, their hands.  He moaned through gritted teeth, and Abigail slicked her palms with the mess and slid over him again, absorbing the agonized pleasure of the last of his shuddering orgasm, until she slowed to a stop, cradling his softening cock in her hands.

He raised his head, and they stared at each other.  Henry was blurry and a little taken by surprise—not his usual post-orgasmic gloating pleasure, pleased as a cat with cream.  Abigail was flushed red with half-embarrassment, half-arousal, her body aching with how badly she wanted to get off.

“We made a mess,” she said finally.

“We did.”  Henry licked his lips as he looked down at her hands, sticky and damp around him, then up, eyes still dark and heavy.  “Abigail, I’d like to return the favour.  And,” he added slowly, “if you’re willing… I’d like to hear more of your thoughts on Molly.”

She bit her lip, shifting at the little bolt of pleasure that sent through her.  She nodded, and Henry smiled with intense, eager anticipation.  A fantasy to revisit when they liked, he’d said—and she’d not feel guilty for it, not with that hunger in Henry’s gaze.

***

Henry enjoyed the game as much as Abigail did.  It was wonderful fun, Henry rapt and begging her not to stop as Abigail let her imagination run wild, narrating whispered scenarios of the three of them as she ground down atop him.  It had been ages since they’d had this much enthusiastic and satisfying sex, and they indulged each other shamelessly.  Ultimately, it was completely harmless.

Harmless, that was, until Henry ran into Molly again.

Six months had gone by, and Molly had long since passed from reality into a pleasant dream.  Both of them were quieted by the reminder of her presence, a flesh and blood woman very available—if her offer still stood.

Henry came home from an afternoon spent with Jo doing casework—and at this point, Abigail often teased him he might as well go qualify for his police badge and get the detective job he clearly enjoyed—with preoccupation evident in his manner.  He gave her a quick kiss on the cheek, and she was about to ask, but Abe interrupted.

“Dad, I need help with this essay about the Great Depression.  Mom said I should ask you.”  Abe was shifting foot to foot, as impatient and excitable as his father—and a little frazzled.

“Due tomorrow, I assume?” Henry, not even out of his coat and scarf, saw the truth of that procrastination writ large over his son’s guilty features.  He sighed and make a shooing gesture.  “Give me a minute, and I’ll join you.”

“Thanks, Dad!”  Abe grinned and bounded away to the kitchen table, where his books and papers were spread out.

“Ask me, hm?” Henry said quietly to Abigail with a raised eyebrow.

Henry had weathered the Thirties in California, and told Abigail tales of the dustbowl immigration that flooded the cities with destitute families from the prairies.  However, he had yet to broach the subject of his immortality with Abe, and all the stories of his past were hidden away.  At thirteen, Abe was becoming far too observant to leave in the dark for much longer, and Abigail had begun to push the matter.

“Think of the boon to Abe’s history marks,” Abigail teased.

Henry huffed a mock-irritated sigh as Abigail kissed him on the cheek, but he was still oddly distracted as he pulled off his coat.

“What’s on your mind?” she asked.

Henry darted a look towards Abe to make sure he was into his work once more, and then thinned his lips in thought.

“I saw Molly Dawes today.  A case involving one of her students.”

Abigail paused.  It took a moment to contextualize what he’d said—her name had rarely been evoked in casual conversation.

“Oh.”  She couldn’t think of what else to say.

“Dad, do you know what government acts were part of the New Deal?  I can’t find a list in the book, and I can’t find my notes!”  Abe’s desperation was lending a whiny tone to his pleas.

Henry sighed deeply, then gave Abigail a look of grim apology.

“We’ll discuss it later,” she said, and tipped her head towards Abe.  “Go give him the history lesson he won’t get in the books.”

Henry chuckled, and went off to help Abe.  And hopefully this time would remember to keep it simple.  Too many times poor Abe had come in with information in his homework that contradicted his text books—Henry staunchly refusing to let his son learn misinformation, even if it should cost him a few marks.

As Henry and Abe worked, Abigail sat down on the couch for a bit to relax with a television program, but she barely absorbed any of it—her mind was wholly occupied.  Molly; Henry had seen Molly.  What did that mean?  Abigail’s belly was twisted up with a guilt that felt a great deal like being caught with her hand in the cookie jar, a faint embarrassment at playing so cavalierly with the idea of an actual, real person who deserved their respect.

Who had their respect—and who had made a home in the corner of their idle daydreams.

An interminable evening later, Abe’s essay was done and he was chased to bed a few hours late, hollow-eyed but victorious, and Henry collapsed onto the couch next to her with exhaustion.  She put an arm out and he swivelled on the couch to put his feet up and recline into her lap on the pillow she stuck there.  She stroked the hair back from his forehead, and he looked up at her with chagrin.

“I despair for what history will say of the world in another hundred years.  Goldfish have lengthier recollection than society’s collective memory.”

She chuckled at his crotchety indignation, ever the old man deep in his soul despite his youthful energy.  They both quickly fell into silence, the lingering weight of their unfinished conversation heavy over them.  Abigail traced the lines on his face, creases earned through the smiles of his early years before immortality froze them in place.  He caught her hand and kissed her knuckles, then drew her hand to his chest and held it.

“She asked after you,” Henry said.

“Did she?”

Henry’s gaze roamed the room as his thoughts whirred.  When he was at ease, his face was far too expressive to hide his thoughts.  Eventually he came back to her, solemn and serious.

“She said it would be nice to see us both again.”  The corner of his mouth twitched up.  “Outside of murder investigations and academic research.”

Abigail combed through Henry’s hair, softening the carefully coiffed curls, then winding strands around her fingers to reshape them.  Henry bore the ministrations without comment, watching her with narrow, sharp attention, looking for her response.  She wondered if he could read her feelings on the matter, because she wasn’t sure she knew how she felt.

“Are you upset?” he finally asked.

“No.  No, I’m not.  Just thinking.”  She smoothed his brow, now wrinkled with worry.  “It’s fine, Henry.  I was thinking that we really don’t know her at all.  Or…”  She sighed.  “Or, that you know her better than I do.”

Henry went blank as he blinked a few times.  He sat upright, twisted back to face her—he was properly worried, now.  She hadn’t meant that to sound like an accusation, but it had carried that message.

“Abigail, I’m not pressing for anything.  Please don’t misunderstand me.”

“Henry, no.”  She took a breath, trying to quell the butterflies in her stomach.  “No, I meant… maybe it would be nice.  If we both did.  See her, that is.  Get to know her.  The actual her.”  

Henry kept his silence, uncertain, and she leaned forward to kiss him for reassurance, nothing more.  He accepted it, and smiled through his concern.

“Is that what you want?” he asked.

The image of Molly flitted through her head—the woman who’d greeted them upon first entering her office, the one who’d kicked off her shoes and tucked them under her to talk with them, patient and warm, listening attentively; then the fantasy woman they’d spun between them, with her guiding hands and a husky voice that shivered down Abigail's spine.

She wanted to see her again.  Maybe for nothing more than the thrill of excitement that came with playing chicken with the flirtation.  Or maybe…

“Why don’t we ask her if she’d like to have dinner with us?” Abigail said.

Henry was silent a few seconds, and then he nodded.

“Yes, let's.”

***

Of the two of them, Henry had far more experience asking people to dinner, and she was just nervous enough to happily leave it to him.  She sat on the counter of the en suite bathroom, amused as Henry fussed with his clothing and appearance to show himself to best advantage, before he gave her a kiss and headed off.  He would go to work, and then stop by her office afterwards.

Not since middle school, when they passed notes via friends to the passing crush of the week, had she felt such anticipation.  Thankfully she had a shift at the hospital to occupy her attention.

Two hours into work, she got a note that someone was waiting at the front desk to speak to her.  Expecting Henry, she was very surprised to find Jo Martinez, hands in her pockets, unsmiling.  Abigail’s heart seized with dread.  Had something happened to Henry?  She picked up the pace and jogged over to where Jo was waiting for her.

“Jo, hi!  Is everything okay?  Is Henry alright?”

“Uh, yeah.  No emergency.”  She smiled briefly, but she didn’t look very happy.  “I wanted to talk to you.  Do you have a minute?”

“I took a coffee break.  I’m still on call, but yes, of course.”  She guided Jo to a cluster of chairs in the corner of the hospital lobby, and they sat in the somewhat sheltered nook, affording them a bit of privacy.  “What is it?”

“Look, Abigail, I don’t want to be butting into your life, but…”  Jo shifted in her chair, as though she couldn’t get comfortable.  “It’s about Henry.”

“What about him?”

Her palms were starting to sweat.  Had she discovered something about Henry’s past?  In her heart, she wanted Henry to tell Jo the truth about himself, but it wasn’t hers to tell.  Their life here was so wonderful, a life she’d felt more connected to than any of the other places they’d lived.  Abe enjoyed his his school, her job was satisfying, Henry was happy at work… and they had friends here.  Growing connections that meant something.  What did she do, what should she say?  Call Henry, beg him to confide in Jo?  Or would they run once more, the house of cards tumbling down?

Jo sensed her nervousness, and winced.  She raised her hands in a placating gesture.

“I’m not accusing Henry of anything, okay?”

“Okay,” Abigail said slowly, swallowing against her dry mouth.  Jo looked like she was stumbling for words, and the longer the silence stretched the more anxious Abigail became.  “Please, Jo—just say it.”

“We ran into Molly Dawes again this week.  A case we’re working on a murdered university student.”

“Yes, Henry told me,” she said with a nod.

“He did.”  Jo tapped her fingers on her leg, then nodded.  “Okay, right.  Well, um.  Well, like I said, I’m not looking to accuse Henry, or get involved, or whatever.  But Dawes is...uh.  Friendly.  Very friendly.  And Henry’s not exactly…”

As Jo spoke, Abigail’s train of thought veered sharply and tumbled off its track.  She tilted her head, seeing Jo’s fumbling nervousness in a new light.

“He’s not exactly what?”

Jo gulped, and then gave Abigail an apologetic shrug.

“He’s not discouraging her.  We had an interview with her this afternoon, and he, uh.  Stayed to talk with her.  I didn’t listen in or anything, but it was, um.  Personal.”

Abigail wanted to laugh.  She shouldn’t laugh—poor Jo, she was so uncomfortable.  Duty bound, here to report on her friend and colleague’s cheating ways.  Oh god, what was she supposed to say?

Before she could think of anything, her pager buzzed.  She pulled it from her belt and looked at it.

“I’m sorry, I have to go,” she said, getting to her feet and flashing the pager at Jo.

“Uh, yeah.”  Jo stood as well, uncertain.  “I’m sorry, Abigail.  I don’t want to—”

Mind already racing ahead to the code, Abigail put a hand on Jo’s arm and squeezed it reassuringly.

“I appreciate your concern, but we’re both going to dinner with her—don’t worry about it, Henry’s included me in everything.”

Jo frowned in confusion.

“Included—so you’re both—that—uh.”   Her mouth dropped open, then snapped closed again.  Her face was going red with mortification.  She and Abigail stared at each other.

“Er, well.  I’m just saying… that’s it’s fine,” Abigail stuttered, backing up a few steps and smiling awkwardly.  “But thank you, Jo.  We’re—”

“No no, I don’t need to know.”  Jo shook her head and shoved her hands back in her pockets, shoulders hunched and chin ducked into her wool coat like a turtle retreating into her shell.

“I’m sorry, I have to go,” Abigail said, gesturing towards the hall behind her.

“Yeah—yeah, me too.”

Jo fled just as quickly as Abigail did.  Only a few hours later was Abigail able to laugh to herself about it.  Bless her heart, Jo was so very conservative—between Henry’s unfiltered opinions and now this, Abigail feared they were responsible for a few too many abrupt broadening of Jo’s horizons.

That night, Henry laughed uproariously when Abigail told him.  He was pleased to have any question of his honesty put to rest, even if it was an awkward way for it to come out.  And, he pointed out, Jo was unlikely to come poking into their private life if she’d determined that she didn’t want to know anything more.  With the secrets he had to keep from her, it was for the best.

But most importantly: they had a date.  Molly had been very pleased to accept their offer, and would meet them on Saturday night.

***

And so it was that Abigail found herself at a table with Henry and Molly, in a nice restaurant.

Henry was surprisingly casual, having waived the wearing of a tie. Abigail had gone to the effort of putting her hair up in an elaborate twist, careful lipstick and perfectly applied eye makeup that usually went forgotten during the stretches of hospital shift work.

And Molly—she shone in the dim light of the restaurant, the wine glass twinkling when it spun in her fingers, her hair loose and wavy around her bare shoulders.  Thin straps of blue, nearly black, held up the loose flowing dress.  Abigail would occasionally slip out of the moment, lose the thread of the conversation, and Molly’s voice interwove with Henry’s, two smooth and warm counterpoint melodies.  Molly was effortless in her elegance and grace and beauty, leaning towards them with glittering eyes, her chin perched on her fist and the curve of her lips sly and sweet.

Molly caught her looking and winked at her, nudging Abigail’s ankle beneath the table with her foot. Abigail laughed at herself for being so very obvious, and her cheeks burned as she sipped her wine.

They had no agenda, no stated intention with this dinner.  Never mind the fantasies that had spooled out between her and Henry over the past few months, this was just an opportunity to get to know Molly.  And Abigail was glad of it, too—Molly was as smart and funny as she was beautiful and confident.  She was so much better than the watered down fantasy they’d concocted from her memory.  Real, tangible, with a personality like a gravity well that drew both of them in.

Molly put both Henry and Abigail at ease, though she delighted in teasing Henry into tongue-tied silence—never an easy task—leaving him unable to do anything but laugh and grant her scored point with a tip of his head.

“How long have you been teaching at the university?” Abigail asked.

“Off and on for the last ten years.  Keeps me on my toes, and gives me a good institution name to keep my research publications credible.”

“Oh?  What is your current area of study?  Your previous work surrounding human sexuality were fascinating reads, I’d be eager to know what else is in the works.”  Henry’s childish curiosity cut through his languid, flirtatious mein as he perked up in his chair.

Molly smiled, nearly bemused, as she raised an eyebrow at Henry.  It was the first time Abigail had seen her even a hair less than perfectly composed.

“You read my papers?”

“Well, naturally.”

Henry looked to her expectantly, and then Molly checked with Abigail, who nodded with slightly sheepish admission.

“They were very engaging.”

Molly sat back in her chair with a laugh and a shake of her head.

“Colour me flattered,” she said, grinning.  “Sure, I have a few on the go at the moment.”

They descended into the review of her current work, along with a side detour through a few cases Henry had worked with tangential relevance—and she had to give him a very significant poke in the thigh under the table to coax him away from the topic of death—and Molly’s intelligence sparkled just as much as her beauty did.  Abigail was smitten, forgetting herself and being sucked in without reservation, the three of them with heads together like conspirators as they talked the night away.

Dinner ended too soon. Henry helped them each in turn with their coats, and Molly linked her arm in Abigail’s as they left the restaurant, tucking them together. Henry stepped towards the curb to hail them a cab while they huddled against the cold night wind.

“Quite the proper gentleman, isn’t he?” Molly said, leaning her head close.

“Oh, very,” Abigail agreed, overly serious in tone. “When we started dating, it was months before I convinced him I could get in and out of a chair without him pulling it out for me.”

Molly laughed and hugged Abigail’s arm tighter. Giddy butterflies whirled through Abigail’s chest, and she couldn’t stop smiling. Her cheeks hurt, and she thought she might laugh out loud with how happy she was.

“You suit each other,” Molly said. “You’re beautiful together, like a classic movie couple. One of those World War II musicals, everyone’s falling in love and getting married like the world is about to end.”

She did laugh at that.  In his WWII military uniform, Henry indeed looked like he’d been plucked from an old movie. Henry had gone diving once into his collection to show her the pictures of nurses and doctors from the time he’d spent in Poland and Germany, and on a lark Abigail had done her hair in waves and found the perfect red lipstick to emulate the look of the women from the time. She and Henry could have done one of those anachronistic photo shoots at the fair, placing her in history with him—costumes for her, but only yesterday’s fashions for Henry.

“Where did you go?” Molly rubbed Abigail’s arm gently.

“Fantasizing about Henry in uniform,” she said half-truthfully. Molly’s perfectly shaped eyebrows raised and her smile widened. She took Abigail’s hand in hers and laced their fingers together.

“Oh, honey, if that’s your thing, I know a guy. We can make this happen.”

“I think we can leave the fancy dress for another night,” Abigail giggled.  Molly’s hand was small and warm, a perfect fit.

“So what’s on for tonight, then?”

Molly’s eyes flicked from Abigail’s lips up to meet her gaze, and Abigail lost every bit of air in her lungs.

If she and Henry had intentions towards Molly, now was the time to decide.

“Ladies, the taxi is here.”

Henry was at the door of a yellow cab holding it like a doorman, his grin broad and easy. She went hot with embarrassment, but Molly squeezed her hand and pulled her towards the cab. Molly got in first, and she slid across the seat to the far side.  Abigail paused beside Henry.

Henry leaned in and kissed her on the cheek, and spoke softly in her ear.

“Do you want her to come home with us? If we ask, I think she’ll say yes.”

“Is that what you want?” she whispered back.

“Darling, I’ve thought of little else all night.”

“Henry!” she scolded, only partially teasing, and he shrugged with an apologetic smirk. It would have been funnier if she wasn’t so damned nervous.

Molly waited inside for them, and the cab fare was ticking up as the cabbie craned his neck to look at them. She wanted to kiss Henry, wanted time to think, wanted Molly, wanted to press pause so she could catch her breath.

She tugged Henry’s arm and directed him towards the cab ahead of her.

“Go on, then. Get in,” she said.

She was so full of nerves, like a teenager on a first date, that she was sure Henry would feel her body shaking. He must have, because he gave her a quick peck on the forehead before he got in the cab. She got in after him and closed the door.

Abigail gave the cabbie their address as Henry leaned over to speak quietly to Molly. His voice was soft enough that Abigail couldn’t hear, only saw Molly’s head tilt towards Henry’s as she listened. Whatever he said, Molly’s face angled towards his. Abigail had a very brief glimpse of a softer emotion behind the confidence, and her eyelashes fluttered in thought rather than flirtation. Molly looked into Henry’s eyes, her lips parted, then looked past him to Abigail.  Abigail bit her lip and held her breath.

Molly nodded, then offered her hand to Henry, who took it.  She looked down, demure, with a small and private smile.

Henry rested their joined hands on his knee, and only then did he look to Abigail.  He widened his eyes briefly and pulled an exaggerated face as he puffed out a relieved exhale. It made her feel a little better to know that even with all the experience he had, he was a tad nervous wading through this new territory.

Abigail took Henry’s free hand in hers, and Henry brought their hands together on his lap so that Abigail and Molly’s knuckles brushed. One of Molly’s fingers uncurled from Henry’s and pet the back of Abigail’s.

***

Molly’s heels clicked on the wood floor as she walked through the open living area, her fingers trailing over the back of the couch as she passed. Henry hung up her coat and then helped Abigail out of hers.

Abigail was so nervous that all sounds had a tinny quality, and it took her a moment to register Henry’s words.

“Would you like something to drink, Abigail?” Henry asked.

“Oh! Yes—I’ll go fetch something. You, ah,” she twisted her hands together nervously, and then gestured to Molly in the living room. “I’ll be right back.”

She had a brief glimpse of Henry’s worry flickering past as she spun and headed for the kitchen.  Just a minute to catch her breath, that was all she needed.

Abigail pulled the nice wine glasses from the top shelf down, along with a bottle of red they’d squirrelled away for a special occasion. Bless the twist-top lid, she wasn’t sure she could uncork a bottle right now without cocking it up.

“Abigail?”

Molly’s voice was soft and close, and Abigail looked over her shoulder to find Molly near the kitchen island. She must have taken off her shoes, because Abigail hadn’t heard her approach.

“Almost done,” Abigail said, hefting the open bottle.

Molly leaned against the counter next to Abigail and folded her arms.  Abigail swallowed, her smile uncertain. Somewhere in the last few minutes, her excitement had curdled into straight-up fear.

“Can I ask—have you and Henry ever done this before?”

This. Such a sweeping inclusion of everything that had happened tonight, of the past months, of that one afternoon in her office months ago that Abigail remembered like it was always just behind her eyelids when she closed them.

She shook her head.

“I’m a lucky girl, then.”  Abigail looked up at her, and Molly smiled. She ducked her head a little to get a better look at Abigail’s face. “I had fun tonight. That can be enough.”

There were no expectations for tonight. Henry had endless patience, always happy to enjoy what life provided. Were it to end now, if Molly went home and nothing more came of it, he’d never begrudge it.

And neither would Molly. Underneath all her iron, Molly was so kind and understanding.  The gentle concern soothed Abigail’s fear and eased the pressure on her shoulders.

“Molly, you are an incredible person,” Abigail said softly, heartfelt. “Henry and I are the lucky ones.”

Molly’s lips parted in surprise, and Abigail wondered if it had been too great an admission.  She was ready to apologize when Molly lit up like a slow sunrise, smile bright and eyes sparkling.

“Henry?” Molly said, her voice raised as she called out to him, her eyes still fixed on Abigail. “Do you mind if I kiss your wife?”

“I believe that’s up to her,” Henry said, his voice floating in from the living room.

Molly raised an eyebrow in question at Abigail, who could only blink dumbly, mouth slack.  With a very slow step towards her, telegraphing every move, Molly leaned in and pressed her lips to Abigail’s.  Abigail’s heart leapt into action with such shocking force that for a moment, she couldn’t breathe.

Abigail hadn’t had a first kiss since Henry, fourteen years ago on their first date. In those intervening years, she had come to know his kisses inside out, comforting in their familiarity. Molly’s lips and tongue moved against hers with different intent surprised her; each move new and unexpected, the fingers sliding into her hair small and light, the body against her lithe and petite, her fragrance sweet and heady.

Abigail gasped for breath when Molly released her mouth and kissed along her cheek and jaw to suck at her neck. Her eyes flickered open and she caught sight of Henry standing in the archway of the living room, but she lost her focus on him as Molly sucked at a lower spot and her eyes closed of their own volition. Abigail shuddered and clutched a hand to the back of Molly’s bent head.

“Henry’s watching us.”

“I bet he is,” Molly laughed into her neck, and the buzz made Abigail squirm, tickled.

It was enough to break the moment.  Molly lifted her head, nuzzling Abigail’s cheek and stealing a last kiss before she pulled back, her cheeks flushed a beautiful pink. Abigail, smiling foolishly, wiped her thumb at the corner of Molly’s lips.

“Your lipstick,” Abigail said, and then giggled as Molly did the same to her in return, the two of them futilely trying to fix each other up.

“Is he still watching us?” Molly whispered.

She looked past Molly to Henry, who’d not moved an inch from where he’d stopped, like he was afraid to disturb the moment.

“Oh, yes,” she whispered back. “I can’t blame him. I’ve gone and monopolized you.”

“What should we do?” Molly asked. She ran her fingers lightly down Abigail’s bare arm. Goosebumps followed the trail down Abigail’s skin.

Months ago at her office, Molly had put a roll of surgical tape in her hands, and taught her how to wield the little electric prod and coax something out of Henry she’d not seen before. With these little acts came the illusion of control, and bestowed a little power upon her. Here Molly was again—only this time, she offered herself as a tool to control.

“Do you want to kiss him?” Abigail asked.

“I really do.” Her long eyelashes fluttered, her eyes large and honest. “He’s as beautiful as you are.”

“Then you should.”

Molly tilted her head as she looked Abigail over—a curiously familiar move, so like Henry in the way he would read all the little clues people left unsaid.  Whatever she saw, it made her smile.  She touched the point of Abigail’s chin in a caress, and then winked at her before backing away and turning to Henry.

Henry, not privy to their quiet conversation, waited patiently as Molly walked to him, her hips swaying enticingly.  His eyes were all that moved as she approached.  Molly stopped a safe two paces from him, and Henry shot a look at Abigail.  Abigail bit her lip and nodded. Henry blinked once, slowly, and returned his gaze to Molly.

“What do you think, Henry?” Molly asked.  “Would you like a kiss too?”

“If there’s one on offer, it’d be the height of rudeness to refuse.”  Henry said, the nod of his head overly polite, while his expression was more smirk than anything else.

With Henry, she didn’t pause.  Molly closed the space between them without hesitation, slid her fingers into his hair, and pulled him into a kiss.  He went willingly, a smile still gracing his lips.

But after a second, Henry exhaled a sound of unexpected, visceral arousal that sent fire through Abigail. She gripped the counter to steady herself; her legs were trembling.

His hands moved to Molly’s back, stark against the midnight blue dress fabric.  The kiss was rising in passion with the frantic beat of Abigail’s heart.  She’d seen Henry in the throes of ecstasy when they were together, enjoyed watching him pleasure himself alone, either for his own entertainment or for hers—but she’d never seen him with someone else.

It occurred to her that she could feel jealous or upset.

She felt neither, but couldn’t have put a name to what it was she did feel.

Molly was kissing his throat, same as she’d done to Abigail, and Henry cast his unfocused gaze towards her.  He looked as though he would say something, but then Molly did something that made him gulp and shudder.

“Did you need something, darling?” she said.  Her voice was strangely calm.

Molly lifted her head and neatened his collar as she grinned up at him with sparkling amusement.  Henry straightened, shaking himself lightly, and then gestured with gentlemanly aplomb to the living room.

“May I suggest we find a more comfortable location than the kitchen?” he said, voice hoarse and deep.

Abigail pushed off the counter and left the wine behind.

“Sensible as always,” she said.

Molly performed a neat little turn that flared her dress, and she went into the living room to make herself at home on the couch. Henry’s body swivelled with her like a magnetic force kept him directed towards her, and Abigail came up behind him and wrapped her arms around him. He put his arms over hers as she hugged him.

“Are you sure you’re alright with this?” he asked.

“Yes, I think so,” she said.

He turned in her arms. His feelings were always as apparent as neon signs, and his concern was back. He cupped her face in his hands.

“Abigail, if you’re not sure, then we shouldn’t.”

When it came to her, Henry was risk-averse to the point of ridiculousness. He’d wrap her in cotton if he could, and set her on a shelf so that nothing could harm her. Again and again she tried to tell him that life was about the journey, the successes and failures, the heartbreak alongside the happiness, but he tried to pretend he could protect her from anything negative.

But, with risk came reward.  Abigail loved the blind leap as much as whatever came from it, and the racing thrill setting her heart tripping was as heady as any heartstopping roller coaster drop.  Even more thrilling was the pounding of Henry’s heart against her chest, the hardening bulge against her hip, and the slightly helpless gleam of desire in his eyes.

She wasn’t about to turn back now.

“Can we settle on moving slowly rather than not at all?” she asked.

“Sensible as always,” he echoed, his expression turning easy again.

They turned towards Molly again. She had her feet tucked up under her and her chin resting on her hands on the back of the couch.

“My turn for a show?” The gentle tease was a little uncertain—she didn’t know if they were still interested.

Henry chuckled, and cocked his head to offer Abigail a kiss if she wanted it. She kissed him past his smile, and gasped when Henry’s kiss changed from the familiar to something else—a flick of his tongue, a small tug at her bottom lip with teeth, the way Molly had kissed her in the kitchen. Henry always was a fast learner. Abigail’s knees went weak, and he chuckled again, ever so pleased with himself.

“How’s the show thus far?” Henry murmured against Abigail’s mouth as he lightened the kiss.

“Good solid start,” Molly said.

Taking it slow didn’t feel like an imperative anymore.

Abigail tore herself from Henry and led them to the couch to join Molly.  A brief exchange of glances, and she and Henry sat to either side of Molly.

Molly was facing Abigail, knees up and her side pressed to the back of the couch, which put Henry behind her. He put his arm along the back of the couch to make a spot for her body if she leaned back.  It also let him settle his hand on Abigail’s neck, a grounding and comfortable weight.

“Thank you for joining us for dinner,” Henry said.

“Thank you for inviting me,” Molly countered.

“How could we resist a beautiful woman such as yourself?”

Oh, Henry and his flirting. His lines would have sounded like insincere posturing on anyone else’s lips, but there was never any doubt he meant it.  Abigail laughed quietly, and Henry smiled at her across Molly.  His fingers stroked along the back of her neck, affectionate.

“The two of you are so sweet. I rarely see happy couples in my job. You’re renewing my faith in love.”

“Happy to help,” Abigail said, her head light as though she’d been drinking champagne, though the glass of wine with dinner was long ago.  Oh—  She twisted back towards the kitchen.  “I forgot the wine.”

“That’s okay,” Molly said.  With another glance over her shoulder, Molly leaned back into Henry’s body with a wriggle, then stretched out one leg over Abigail’s thigh and hooked her heel behind and pulled gently to invite her closer.  “We’re already comfortable.  So, how did you two meet? You said through your work, but what’s the full story?”

Abigail scooted in until she was under Molly’s bent legs, and her hand settled on Molly’s just above her knee, silk stockings beneath her palm.

“The ER room.  A little macabre,” Henry said, his voice fond despite the disclaimer.  “Bus accident, twenty people severely injured, with the two of us rushing like mad to help as many as we could. I’d just started at the hospital, and I looked up and there she was—holding a baby who’d survived the crash, not a scratch on him.”

“His parents died in the crash,” Abigail said.  “Henry checked him over and then social services took him to the nursery while we worked. It was a long night.” The bittersweet remembrance was so clear, and she looked up to meet Henry’s eyes. He was beaming at her. “I fell in love twice that night.”

“Your son,” Molly said quietly.  She leaned her head back to rest on Henry’s collarbone with a sigh.  “What a way for a family to start.”

“You never know how people will come into your life,” Henry said.  He pressed a delicate kiss to Molly’s temple, eyes were still on Abigail.  His voice was low and sweet as honey, irresistible in his sincerity.  “But if you’re lucky, you don’t miss them before they pass you by.”

Molly’s mouth parted as she angled her head towards Henry’s kiss.  She blinked several times, then shut her eyes and licked her bottom lip.

Molly’s dress had slipped down her leg to expose the lacy top of her stocking, inches from where Abigail’s hand rested on her leg.  Abigail’s fingers slid higher, almost without thought, to touch the band of lace.  Henry’s eyes tracked the movement, the three of them still but for the small shift of Abigail’s fingers over lace and skin, the apartment frozen and all breath held.  Abigail’s fingers crept higher, to the soft inside of Molly’s thigh, pads of her fingers moving lightly over her bare skin.

Molly tilted her head to the side, eyelids heavy.  Abigail wet her lips, looking to Henry for guidance. Henry stroked her neck again, down to the join at her shoulder, and then dipped forward and mouthed at Molly’s neck in the same spot.  With his fingers he mirrored the motion of his mouth, and Abigail could feel from memory the prickling brush of his facial hair, the slow wind of his tongue.  It was a move that never failed to work on Abigail, and by the speed of Molly’s shallow breathing, it was having the same effect on her.  Abigail hooked her fingertips under the lace edge of Molly’s stocking, fingers curling tight, pulling gently as Henry made a soft hum.  Molly sighed, eyes closing, shifting in pleasure.

“Oh, you two are going to kill me.”

Henry lifted his head and pressed his nose into her hair before he took a deep, slow breath. He looked to Abigail and squeezed her shoulder, checking her expression once more.

He was taking it slow on her account, but in his eyes were every scenario they’d dreamt of, given potential reality in the form of Molly cradled between them.  He wanted this more than he’d ever say out loud.

But this wasn’t fantasy—this was real.  Molly was flesh and blood, a very real woman, vibrant and gorgeous and caring, and Abigail was a little frightened by how much affection she already felt for her, how much the happy glow when Henry touched her made her own heart swell with pleasure.  She paused, drawing a long and shaking breath.  God, it was all happening.

Molly was watching her through slit eyes.  She put a hand over Abigail’s.

“Abigail said this is the first time you’ve invited someone to join you.  First time with more than one person?”  She directed the question to Abigail.

Abigail nodded. She had met Henry when she was young. At twenty-three she’d thought herself so grown up, so worldly. Looking back now, she wondered how she’d had such brazen confidence. She’d been right—Henry was everything she’d known him to be and more—but she’d spent most of her adult life as a married woman, boyfriends and girlfriends long in the past. Or so she’d thought.

“How about you, Henry?”

“No, not the first time.” And oh, how his endless debauched descriptions of Paris in the 1920s had made her heat up, where only three people together would have been tame. “Never with a spouse, however.”

“Sounds like you’ve got stories to tell, Henry.”

“More than you could possibly know.”

He was normally much more circumspect with his wording.  Molly had relaxed his defenses.  Abigail wasn’t sure he even realized it, he was so at ease.

“How about we play a little game,” Molly suggested.  “We try something, you tell me if it’s okay, and we go from there.  We take it one step at a time. How does that sound?”

“That sounds very reasonable,” Abigail said, teasing.

“I’m always in favour of games.” Henry winked at Abigail over Molly’s shoulder.

“Now, I already know I like watching the two of you kiss—I could do it all day. The question is,” Molly said, leaning a little towards Abigail and fixing her with a steady gaze. The heat of her gaze sent a sharp twinge through her belly. “If you like it.”

Molly, watching them.  God, it was the key to every fantasy they’d had of her, the thing that sent a shiver up Abigail’s spine whenever she pictured it—Molly, taking everything so easily in hand and telling her how good she was doing, with Abigail burning and begging for Molly to touch her, to turn that approval into action.

“Yes or no, that’s all you have to say.”  Molly’s tone was gentle.

Abigail swallowed and nodded.

“Yes.”  She sounded like she hadn’t spoken for days, hoarse and so nervous she shook.

“Henry? Do you like watching me kiss Abigail?”

“Yes.” Henry had fallen quiet, carefully watching the two of them.  “Oh, yes.”

Molly’s touch was tender, gentle, like she was easing closer so as not to startle Abigail.  

“Can I kiss you again, Abigail?”  Abigail nodded mutely, and Molly sat up a little and beckoned Abigail closer. “Come here, honey.”

No slow hesitation this time, Molly slid a hand around Abigail’s neck and pulled her in—it was slow, deep and dirty, tongue licking into her mouth. Abigail gasped in surprise, as much at the intensity as how much she wanted it—wanted Molly.  She pressed closer, edging Molly back towards Henry, trapping her body between them.

Molly’s hand fluttered over her collarbone and slid down to the scooped neckline of her shirt before she pulled it away. She broke the kiss, panting and licked her lips with a shuddering breath.

Abigail did not push Molly back against Henry and climb on top of her, but it was a close thing.

“One step at a time,” Molly said again, and it sounded more like a mantra than a reminder to anyone else other than herself. “So. Henry?”

“Yes, I enjoyed watching that.  Could do it all day, as you say.” He’d propped his head on his fist as he regarded them, his trousers tented with his erection. His tone was teasing, willing to play her game.

“And did you like watching me kiss Henry?” Molly’s eyes were still on Abigail’s lips, head tilted like she’d dive back in any moment.

“Yes,” Abigail whispered. “Yes, I did.”

“I’m going to kiss him, then.”  But Molly didn’t move at once, still a breath away and holding Abigail’s head.

Abigail flashed on the image of Molly on Henry’s lap, pushing him back into the couch cushions as she kissed him.

“Straddle him,” she blurted.  “He likes that.”

Molly blinked a few times—Abigail had surprised her with the directness, but it sank in and obviously appealed to her. She slid her hand down Abigail’s neck, playing at the edge of her top.

“That’s skipping a few steps.”

“I like breaking the rules,” Abigail said.

“I like that about you.”  Molly leaned forward and kissed her lightly on the lips, short and gone too soon.

Molly untangled her legs from Abigail so she could twist around to Henry. Henry leaned back to give her room, and as he straightened out Molly pressed his shoulders against the couch and climbed onto his lap, knees either side of his thighs.

Henry’s delighted expression was comical, his hands stuck out to the sides as Molly settled onto him and trapped him in a kiss as passionate as the one she’d given Abigail. Henry kept his hands off her, though he moved twice towards her as if to grab her hips. His eyes closed, head tilted back, and then his hands balled into fists at his sides.

They were both breathing hard when Molly pulled away, Henry’s face trapped in Molly’s strong hands gazing up at her with stars in his eyes. Abigail’s stomach dropped as both Henry and Molly looked at her with panting desire.

“Abigail? Yes or no?” Molly asked between breaths.

Even like this, Molly was so in control of herself. Abigail wanted to touch herself, like the hard grind of Henry’s erection and how it would sit between her legs, how his hands would pull her down against him with each rock of her hips, but Molly was unmoving on his lap.  Abigail was sure she’d never have had such restraint in her place.

“Yes,” she finally said. Molly’s look of approval made her glow, and she grinned, feeling reckless. “So, what’s the next step?”

“Second base,” Molly said with a cheerful, impish smile.

Henry looked to Abigail for the translation, and she shook her head fondly at his puzzlement.

“Above the waist,” she said, and Henry gave a silent ‘ah’ of understanding.

Molly noted the exchange with a tilt of her head, but said nothing, until she gave a little gasp as Henry sat up a little and dipped his head to kiss her breastbone, nuzzling his nose into her cleavage. She tipped her head back, giving in for a moment, then took a firm grip of the hair on the top of his head and pulled him away and pushed him back on the couch.

“No, Henry. It’s not your turn yet.”

Her arch expression brooked no disagreement, but Henry was completely unfazed, instead smug that he’d gotten in a little bit of naughtiness.

“Yes, Mistress,” he said.

Molly pursed her lips to hide a smile.

“You are so cheeky,” she said, taking him by the jaw and giving it a warning squeeze.

The full force of Molly’s attention swung to Abigail again, calculating and thoughtful. Molly climbed off Henry and came around to Abigail’s other side, putting her between Molly and Henry.

Molly curled up at her side and put an arm around her, and Abigail welcomed her back with a soft kiss on the cheek, which Molly turned into a sweet kiss, slower and exploratory. She touched the hollow at the base of Abigail’s neck, then her fingers wandered down. The silk sleeveless blouse Abigail wore was thin and light, and Molly’s fingers skating over her breast were warm through it. Her hand snuck beneath the waist and then back up, over Abigail’s bare stomach to the lace cup of her bra.

Abigail sucked in a shocked breath when Molly’s fingers lightly passed over her nipple. Molly did the same to her other breast, so light her touch almost wasn’t there, and then tugged her shirt up above her breasts, smoothing her hand over her chest and stomach with possessive confidence as she kissed her.

Henry scooted nearer to her on the couch, and his fingers settled at the front catch of Abigail’s bra between her breasts.

“May I?” he asked.

Abigail half expected Molly to slap his hand away again with another chastisement to wait his turn, but she didn’t. Instead she pet Abigail’s cheeks, gazing into her eyes.

“What do you think, honey?” Molly asked.  “Want him to help?”

Abigail nodded, blinking stupidly, stuttering an eager, “Yes,” very nearly beyond words.  

Henry’s eyes twinkled with amusement, and he drew a finger over her breastbone before hooking his finger under the catch. He had always loved to drive her to this point and keep her there as long as he could, until she inevitably pounced on him. She was sure that was the reaction he sought out each time, so eager to have her direct him as she wanted.

Henry gave one deft flick of his fingers and the catch came free. He pulled his hand away, settling in next to her, content to watch again.

Molly shifted to kiss lower over her shoulder, past the wadded up fabric of her shirt and down her chest and between her breasts, to nose aside the cups of Abigail’s bra. Her hair tickled at Abigail’s stomach as hot lips moved over her skin. She found Abigail’s nipple, tight and hard, and moved her mouth so the nipple stroked along the seam of her lips before she closed her mouth over it in a wet kiss.

One swift flick of Molly’s tongue, and Abigail’s eyes slammed shut and her head dropped back with a long moan.  Another flick, and the hard, fierce ache between her legs throbbed in echo. She put her hand on Molly’s head, fingers in the soft blonde waves, as Molly licked and sucked, soft and slow and careful, with bright splashes of nips and hard tongue slipped in without warning.

Henry’s breath was rasping and loud at her side, and she tilted her head to look at him. He looked so hungry, and she couldn’t stop—she tugged at his vest.  He was on her in an instant, kissing her fiercely.

Stubble scraping against her chin, strands of hair against her chest, hot wetness on her breasts—she was surrounded by sensation. She moaned again, shifting and clenching her thighs, mouth falling open under Henry’s insistent kisses.

Molly kissed up Abigail’s chest and then sat up to pet both Henry’s head and hers with an approving noise. Finally tearing herself away from Henry’s kiss, Abigail hooked a hand behind Molly’s knee and urged her closer until she straddled Abigail as she’d done Henry before.

Abigail’s fingers were trembling as she pulled the thin straps from Molly’s shoulders, and Henry helped her with one side as she did the other, Molly shifting with them until they were free. The dress slithered to Molly’s waist, leaving her breasts pert and bare. Abigail leaned in and paid attention to one breast while Henry nuzzled and kissed at her other, the two of them cheek to cheek lavishing attention on Molly’s body.

“Oh my god, look at you two. You’re beautiful,” Molly crooned, petting their heads again, gasping and almost laughing with pleasure and delight. Her hips shifted on Abigail’s lap, a small rolling grind, and Abigail’s hands slid up her thighs and under her dress. Molly’s skin was soft and delicate above the tops of her stockings, with tight muscle flexing beneath.

Abigail wandered further under Molly’s dress—no underwear.  She couldn’t resist.

Abigail moved over soft, short hair, then the backs of her fingers down between Molly’s legs. With her legs straddling Abigail she was parted open, wet and warm, and Abigail’s knuckle brushed over her swollen flesh.

Molly sucked in a sharp, shocked breath, then huffed it out in a short burst. Her wide eyes were on Henry, who was grinning at her.

“Abigail doesn’t so much break the rules as rewrite them.” He took Molly’s hand and kissed it. His gaze was equal parts innocence and desire. “I find it best to follow her lead.”

Abigail had difficulty not rolling her eyes, and Molly laughed a little at him, though she was still panting.  Abigail touched her again between her legs, tracing the open line of her lips lightly, back to front, then dipping in to flick over her clit gently. Molly rolled her head back as her hips bucked forward in response to the light touch, and she clutched the hair at the back of Abigail’s head.

Henry traced Molly’s shoulder and her chest, around the curve of one breast, then down over her belly to where Abigail’s hand disappeared under the hem of her dress.

“Shall we move this to the bed?” Henry asked, gruff and low.

“Yes, please.” Molly’s fingers tightened in the scruff of hair at Abigail’s neck. “I want to see the two of you fuck so badly. I bet you’re gorgeous together.”

Oh.  Oh.

Molly’s words and Henry’s low, grumbling growl sent shivers down Abigail’s spine.  Abigail closed her eyes and swallowed.  Real, this was all real.

“Still okay?” Molly put a finger under Abigail’s chin and tilted her head up. Molly’s blonde hair lay over the tops of her breasts, over nipples flushed dark and gleaming wet, her skin littered with gentle reddened scrapes from Henry’s facial hair and matching red smears from Abigail’s lipstick.

“Yes,” she said, and she grinned, lightheaded once more. “Yes, I’m fine. Very happy, and very much enjoying this.”

“You’re such a lovely thing.” She patted both her and Henry on their cheeks, looking down at both of them with fondness. “Sweet, smart, hot, slightly kinky doctor couple? I’m sold.” She slid back off Abigail’s lap, and her dress fell to the ground around her ankles, leaving her nude but for black stockings and garter. She stood before them, completely confident, hands on her hips. “So, where is this bedroom?”

“Dear god,” Henry murmured, blinking.

Abigail had to agree.

Molly offered them both a hand, and each took it as they stood on the couch. Henry took the lead and pulled them down the hall.

In the bedroom, he flicked on the soft lights of the bedside lamps. Henry ogled Molly unashamedly, though his hands remained at his side with very gentlemanly restraint. The very unsubtle bulge in his trousers and flushed cheeks ruined any illusion of collected calm, however.

Abigail pulled off her rumpled blouse and undone bra and impatiently discarded them by the bed, and crawled across the bed in only her skirt and stockings to turn on the other bedside lamp. Henry’s eyes flickered over to her, then back to Molly, and he licked his bottom lip with a slow, steadying breath.

“You have to catch up, Henry,” Molly said. She sauntered close to him and plucked open the top button of his waistcoat. “All these layers.”

“But all means, let’s correct the error,” Henry said. His hands joined Molly’s as his lips hovered inches from hers, his voice breathy and eager as he swiftly worked at buttons.

Henry was a curious creature who waffled between incredible sanguine patience and childish zeal, and Molly had struck upon his more impulsive side. It was fascinating to watch him pushing forward so impatiently, like he’d forgotten himself.  But she wasn’t quite ready for this part to be over.  Molly had been very good at ramping up Henry’s anticipation for the electric thrill of the cattle prod, to the point where he gasped and jumped even at the twitch if her hand, and then Abigail’s once control had been handed to her.  What would she do with Henry in her hands now?

“Henry,” she said.

Immediately he paused and looked to her, expression open and attentive.

“Yes, darling?”

Molly looked down with a small smile at Henry’s shift, and then over to Abigail. The two of them looking at her expectantly brought a warm flush over her, a tingle of pleasure that these two beautiful people were so willing to listen to her.

“Let Molly,” she said. She looked up and met Molly’s eyes, and smiled. “If you like.”

Molly cocked her head curiously, and ran her fingers along the line of shirt buttons, up to his parted collar and back down to the half-unfastened vest, as she considered the request. She returned her attention to Henry properly and popped one of the buttons free.

“It’s like unwrapping a present,” Molly said.

“I think I’m the one who has received a gift,” Henry’s hands dropped to his sides, fingers twitching against the sides of his thighs, but he held still as she ran her hands over his chest.

Then Molly took firm hold of his shirt and directed him towards the bed.  She urged him back to sit in front of Abigail.

Abigail scooted behind him and tucked against his back, and pulled him so he was reclined against her. His head fell against her chest and settled between her breasts, and he looked up at her with delight.

Molly ran her hands up Henry’s thighs, very nearly to his erection straining the fabric of his trousers. Henry rolled his head and groaned softly with good-natured impatience when she didn’t go any farther, only squeezed her hands and dug her fingers into Henry’s muscles. His hair tickled against Abigail’s bare chest, and she kissed him on the forehead.

The vest was free, and Molly worked at his shirt buttons. When those were undone she yanked the shirt from Henry’s trousers and parted all the cloth, revealing Henry’s smooth chest and stomach. Molly ran her hands over his skin, setting Henry’s eyes fluttering closed as her light touch tickled and enticed him at the same time.

Abigail watched carefully as Molly’s palms travelled over his chest, over Henry’s dark nipples, over the edges of his scar. She didn’t hesitate or pause over it, but she did look up to Abigail. Abigail gave a very small shake of her head to discourage Molly from saying anything. Henry was fairly good at brushing it off, but Abigail didn’t want anything to get Henry’s guard up. It was rare they made a friend, let alone this, and Abigail didn’t want to ruin it.

Molly continued to slide her hands up over Henry’s neck and shoulders. She ran her knuckles over Abigail’s breasts and fondled her gently before trailing her fingers back down over Henry’s chest again.

“So gorgeous.”

Molly sighed and smiled happily, straddling Henry and resting her weight on his groin with a small wiggle and roll of her hips, as though she were getting settled. Henry gasped and stiffened again in Abigail’s arms, and Molly winked at Abigail.

Molly took each of his hands in turn and unfastened the buttons on each shirt cuff, then climbed off him and onto the bed to sit next to Abigail. She kissed Abigail’s bare shoulder and then leaned her head on her, then nudged Henry with her knee.

“Now you can take it off yourself,” she said.

Henry sat up and shrugged off his shirt and vest, tossing it to the side along with Abigail’s blouse and bra. He turned to climb on the bed with them, but Molly stopped him with a raised finger.

“The rest, too,” she said. “Let’s have a show, Henry.”

Henry grinned, more than happy to oblige, and he stood to undo his belt and zipper.

As Henry deftly slid off trousers and underwear, casting them aside and standing proudly, erection full and long, Molly ran her fingertips over Abigail’s throat and chest, drawing ticklish, aimless patterns while they watched him. Once he was nude, Henry spread his hands and did a slow circle, far too smug with the picture he presented them.  Both Abigail and Molly giggled. Molly’s stockinged knees bumped against Abigail’s as she shifted and clapped her hands lightly.

“Very nice. I knew you were an exhibitionist.”

Abigail giggled again, giddy and happy, and Molly cupped Abigail’s cheek and turned her face to her. She kissed her, tongue moving over Abigail’s lips, and slowly pushed her back until Abigail shifted to lie back on the bed.

Henry’s soft footsteps, and then the dip of the bed, and his fingers working at the fastening of her skirt. A tug, and a pull—skirt gone, underwear with it, and then Henry’s lips on the inside of her thigh, kissing higher and higher, until he nuzzled at her and placed a soft kiss that made her toes curl. She gasped and clutched at Molly, one hand on the back of her neck, the other around her waist.

“Gorgeous girl,” Molly whispered.

Henry’s hum of agreement buzzed between Abigail’s thighs and then a gentle lick into her, low and light, his tongue moving up in a slick line until he teased over her clit in a barely-there flick that dropped her jaw and arched her back.

Molly shifted to kneel next to Abigail, petting over her breasts and stomach, touching every inch of skin, light and ticklish sensations that were impossible to bear without squirming on the bed. She passed over Henry’s head, fingers weaving into the curls of his hair, around the shell of his ear, as Henry gently kissed and sucked everywhere but the hot, throbbing line up the centre of her.  Molly worked pins free from Abigail’s hair, massaging and loosening until Abigail’s hair spread out around her, all while Henry teased her with fine movements.  Abigail was going mad between the two of them.

“Look at you,” Molly said, her hands around Abigail’s throat with gentle care, Abigail’s heartbeat pattering against her palms, her breath pressing into her hands with every gasp. “So beautiful.”

Henry gave one long, satisfying lick as a horrible tease and then kissed her just above the pubic bone, making a pleased grumble. Henry climbed onto the bed and lay next to Abigail on his side, head propped on his hand.

Abigail looked up to Molly, and put her hands over Molly’s, which still rested on the join of her neck to her collarbone. Molly stroked her thumbs over Abigail’s throat.

“I wasn’t kidding, I do want to see the two of you together,” Molly said. Her gaze flickered to Henry.

Both she and Henry froze, and looked to each other.  They’d strayed directly into the territory that had only been fantasy, to the scenarios they’d toyed with for their own amusement.  Even Henry looked a little overwhelmed.

Henry wet his lips, and his cock twitched and nudged against Abigail’s hip. He dipped his head to kiss Abigail’s shoulder, and up her neck to her ear.

“What do you think?” he whispered, the question barely a breath.

Should they make this real?

“Yes.”

Henry coaxed her onto her side, facing Molly, and Henry cozied up behind her, arm around her waist as he kissed her neck.

She met Molly’s eyes.  Warm, hungry—real.

Abigail blushed fiercely, suddenly and painfully aware of how exposing this was, to part her legs and have Henry push inside her as another person watched them.

Molly’s expression softened, a hint of concern wrinkling her brow, and she reached across Abigail to put a hand on Henry’s shoulder.

“Wait,” she said. She patted Henry’s cheek, and then pet Abigail’s head. “How should we do this?”

“I just…”  Abigail searched for words, uncertain.  Henry stroked her stomach, waiting, and Molly only listened.  “Would you… kiss me?”

Asking for it felt so childish, so silly, but the moment Molly smiled and dipped close to kiss her, Abigail was flooded with relief.

Molly smiled against her mouth as her hand stroked Abigail’s breasts and stomach.  Henry’s breath was a familiar sound in her ear, and his hand moved on her hip, and then caught her knee and parted her legs a little.  With the gentle rock of his hips, Henry lined himself up to stroke against her, over wet and swollen lips, working between until the head of his cock slipped over her clit with each slow stroke, in time with the movement of Molly’s mouth.

“Are you ready, Abigail?” Henry’s voice was rough, unsteady.

“Yes,” she breathed.  She put her hand on Molly’s head, fingers and thumb around her ear, and Molly pulled back.  “I’m ready.”

Abigail tilted her hips back, and with Henry’s next stroke he slid into her a fraction. He groaned and paused, head dipping to press against the back of Abigail’s skull. His shudder was a good indication how far down the road he was already, though they’d barely begun.

And Molly; Molly watched.  Gazing into Abigail’s eyes, pleased, approving—she watched as Henry’s breath rasped, his hand restless on her thigh, gathering himself.  Molly’s gaze shifted, and she could tell the moment she had Henry pinned down by the catch in his breath.

Molly bit her lip, and looked back to Abigail, who was panting with poor control. The blunt tip of Henry inside her wasn’t nearly enough.

That was when Henry shifted, another roll of his hips, and he slid farther into her, pressing his weight forward until he was fully in her.

“Oh,” Molly sighed. She slid her hand between Abigail’s legs, cupping Henry’s tight testicles, the heel of her hand against Abigail’s pubic bone. It was warm and snug, as though she were keeping them together.

At her touch, Henry curled into Abigail with a moan. Molly stroked over them once, and both she and Henry shuddered together. Abigail’s back was sweaty and slick against Henry’s chest and belly, and the heat of Molly’s body against her front was nearly suffocating.

Henry slid and thrust, and he shifted his head so his cheek was to Abigail’s.

“Is this what you wanted, Molly?” he rasped, his throat tight. He punctuated the words with another thrust.

“Mm-hm,” she sighed, and stroked Henry’s cheek. “Perfect.”

Abigail put a hand to Molly’s neck and pulled her into a kiss. Molly was calm, controlled, precise in her kiss, the nip of her teeth and slide of her tongue calculated, but oh so skilled at making Abigail desperate. Molly pressed closer, using her knee to prop Abigail’s leg up further so that Henry could push even further inside her. A heady while later, her face was pressed into Molly’s shoulder as the sounds of Molly and Henry kissing over her filled her head, as Molly’s arm was across her and her hand firm on Henry’s hip to urge him faster.

Henry’s pants took on a high pitched whine, and then his hips jerked and stilled. His arm went tight over Abigail’s body, his hand grasping at Molly’s thigh.

“God, oh—ngh,” he wheezed, and then shuddered again with a gulp.

“Don’t stop now,” Abigail panted with a laugh as she pushed back eagerly.

“Give me a moment, darling.” He pressed into her again and bit down on a rumbling moan. “Between the two of you, this has been a very stimulating evening.”

Molly’s warm laughter washed over her, and both Abigail and Henry gasped as Molly’s hand stroked between their legs again.

“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of Abigail while you gather your strength. We’ve got all night.” She was massaging Henry’s testicles, her wrist brushing against Abigail’s clit, and Henry swelled inside her.

“Ah—Molly…“ he shuddered inside and around Abigail, and thrust again. “I’ll hold you to it,” he breathed.

Abigail whined as he rammed into her hard, Molly’s wrist rubbing and pressing with each thrust, bringing her closer, but the rasp of Henry’s breath said he was on the edge, the frantic, irregular thrusts she knew well. Molly shifted her head so she could look at her, and Abigail struggled to keep her eyes open as Henry jarred her with each thrust, as Molly purposefully put pressure on her.

“Don’t stop,” Molly whispered to both of them.

Henry breathed out a curse and his fingers bit into Molly’s skin, dimpling it and making it go white around the edges of his grip. Molly looked past her to Henry, and her mouth dropped open with a delighted, hungry gasp.

“Oh, he’s beautiful when he lets go.”

That was it—Henry came with a long groan as Abigail clenched around him, her body so close but not quite there. She was reeling, every nerve alive as Henry twitched inside her, the bucking, shallow thrusts of his orgasm subsiding until he was still, panting hard.

Henry hmphed a short laugh into Abigail’s hair, and his hand stroked Molly’s thigh.

“For a man my age, that was not my best show of self-restraint and stamina. I promise, I have many other skills to draw upon.”

The jab at his own expense, all the funnier for the extra years hidden between the lines, made Abigail laugh. She reached back and ruffled his hair, twisting her head to nuzzle at him. He was lighthearted, fuzzy and relaxed after his orgasm, and the joy mixed with her arousal in a heady mixture. Molly bit her lip, eyes alight at their happiness, and it was too much to have her apart from them any longer.

Abigail pulled free of Henry’s embrace, shuddering as he slipped out of her, and she rolled onto Molly and pinned her back on the bed. Her skin burned against Molly’s cooler body, and she giggled as she kissed Molly with enthusiasm.

“There, that’s what Henry looks like when he comes,” Abigail panted when she broke the kiss. Molly raised an eyebrow, and then her mouth parted as Abigail got a thigh between Molly’s legs and ground up, wriggling to fit them together. The insides of Abigail’s thighs were slippery and slick from Henry, and the slide against Molly’s thigh was perfect. “How about you, Molly?”

Molly’s thighs tightened around her leg in response, and Abigail dove into the kiss with unashamed abandon.

She was so impatient, so ready, and Molly was pressing up against her with just as much demanding need. Her hands were in Abigail’s hair, down her back, grabbing at her ass and pulling her tighter, faster, throaty cries as they ground together.

Molly’s legs tightened around her thigh with a grip like iron as she bucked up, a choked high-pitched cry stifled in her throat. Abigail shifted, closer, tighter, gripping Molly’s ass and tugging at her until the pressure was in the perfect place and she could just squeeze her thighs together and her orgasm hit her.

She collapsed on top of Molly, elbows to each side of her, and dropped her head into the crook of Molly’s neck, overwhelmed by the abrupt intensity. She rolled her head to look at Molly, who was also wide-eyed. Beyond her, Henry was propped up on his elbow, lying on his side and watching them intently.

When she caught his eye, he tilted his head with a silent question. She smiled, and he broke into a grin. He was so very, very careful. Abigail rarely feared to tread anywhere—much to Henry’s eternal chagrin—and between the two of them, they struck a balance.  But here they were, taking the risk together.

Abigail rolled off Molly, settling to her side, catching her breath.

Molly’s hand stole over hers, and her fingers wove between Abigail’s, and her other moved to Henry, stroking his belly. Henry took the hint and edged closer to Molly, and he and Abigail bracketed her.

Abigail stroked Molly’s belly and the line of her hipbone, touching whatever skin she could find. Her leg was slick and sticky where Abigail had ground against her, and Abigail’s own thighs were a mess, but she didn’t really care so much that she wanted to move and clean up. They could shower later.

None of them spoke, cuddling close, sweat cooling.  Molly sighed and tilted her head to nose Henry’s forehead, and her hand tightened in Abigail’s.

The warmth of bodies and the post-orgasmic lull both pulled Abigail down into a dopey haze, and without meaning to she drifted, eyes closing.  She dozed with her lips pressed to Molly’s shoulder, her hand resting protectively over one of Molly’s breasts.

Waking dreams rolled over her; of Molly at breakfast, of quiet dinners, of Henry gasping beneath Abigail while Molly wrapped her arms around them both, of threads of gold woven into their life, shining brightly with Molly’s smile.

She was so very, very content.

“You don’t have to,” Henry’s gravelly whisper crept into her twilight thoughts.

“It’s getting late. You’re both tired.” Molly’s body shifted.

“True. Let me say it another way: please, stay.”

A soft sigh, and the bed shifted.  Henry’s body brushed against the back of her hand cupped around Molly’s breast. Abigail blinked open heavy eyes.

Henry was kissing Molly. Molly’s eyes were closed, and she was lost in it, and Henry was wholly devoted to kissing her, nothing held back. He lifted his head, and both of their eyes fluttered open as they gazed at each other. There was an open vulnerability in Henry’s expression, one that bordered on worry, like he’d been blindsided by something he hadn’t expected.

And in an instant, she understood—Henry was in love.  He’d fallen hard and fast for this woman in their bed.

He was frightened.

He’d looked at Abigail the same way, the night he’d left a carefully crafted letter pinned to her fridge as he crept from her apartment and headed for the airport. She’d caught him only a few blocks away, thankfully waking when the door clicked shut, and she’d quickly caught on to his stupidity. She’d not known what had driven him then, thinking it the usual brand of foolish cold feet—and now she respected all the more his love, that she and Abe had been enough to make him stay.

Leave it to Henry to be terrified of such a beautiful thing as love.

And yet, here he was being the one to ask Molly to stay. It was incredible progress.

Her heart brimmed with pride and love for him, for all that had changed in over a decade; he was learning faith, and trust. Abigail had a good feeling that Molly was a solid choice in which to place those fledgeling traits.

“Thank you for being here with us,” he said, nervous confession marring his whispered words. “After we met, it was impossible to forget you. You make a very big impression, Molly Dawes.”

Molly blinked, obviously at a brief loss for words, and she touched Henry’s cheek.

“You’re such a charmer,” she murmured. “No wonder she fell in love with you.”

Abigail slid an arm over Molly’s belly, snuggling close and kissed her ear, and Molly sucked in a surprised breath. Molly’s heart was thrumming hard and loud against Abigail’s lips as she nuzzled a kiss against her throat.

“He’s easy to love,” Abigail mumbled sleepily. “Stay. We can talk in the morning. Just be happy now.”

Henry chuckled softly, and his broad hand swept the hair from her face as Abigail’s eyes closed again. She was still so tired—maybe showering could wait until the morning.

“Yes, darling,” he whispered.

Molly murmured something, and there was a shifting of bodies so they fit well together, and Abigail fell asleep.

***

“Abigail,” Henry’s voice whispered.

“Mm,” she muttered, face down into the pillow, and Henry’s deep voice chuckled.

“Abigail darling, I’m going to pleasure our guest here, and I was wondering if you’d be so kind as to hold this while I do.”

The deep flush of arousal slammed through her as his voice buzzed in her ear, the breath hot and his lips just brushing her skin. It was like a dream, and her hips pressed into the bed instinctively.

Henry coaxed her arm over, and then a breast was in her palm, an erect nipple between her fingers, and she felt for it, toying with the little firm yet satin soft skin.

Molly, still tucked into Abigail’s side, gasped and tensed, and Henry’s muffled sigh came from somewhere below. Abigail’s face was mashed against Molly’s shoulder, and Molly’s knee fell against her backside as she arched up.

She only had the coordinating to flop towards Molly’s other breast and get her mouth on her nipple, almost ready to fall back asleep as she licked at it, hand still fondling the other one. Yes, a fantastic sex dream.

“Oh my god,” Molly gasped, and her fingers carded through Abigail’s hair. “Yes, like that, but harder.”

Henry made a noise of understanding. Abigail took it as an instruction for herself as well, and sucked hard on Molly’s nipple, finally starting to wake up, and she blinked her eyes open. Molly was staring down her body at them, open-mouthed and heavy-lidded, fuzzy with pleasure.

Abigail shifted and moved so she was cuddled up against Molly’s side, able to wrap her arms around her, and kissed her cheek. Molly immediately turned into a hot, open-mouthed kiss, excited by Henry’s efforts. A little cry into her mouth told her Henry had done something impressive, and Molly’s back arched. Abigail felt every shudder in her own body, a sympathetic twinge between her legs, as Molly gasped through her orgasm.

Henry washed his face after kissing Molly’s thighs with satisfaction, and Molly turned into Abigail’s arms, limp and sweaty.

“I’m going to be so tired tomorrow, but it’ll be worth it,” Molly sighed.

“We have nothing on until the afternoon,” Abigail said.

Molly made a small hmm, but said nothing else, already drowsy. Abigail’s arousal simmered but didn’t peak, and she was happy to hold Molly in her glowing contentment.

Henry returned to bed, and this time snuggled in behind Abigail. He was half hard and pressed to her backside, but he didn’t pursue anything beyond a kiss to her neck, settling down to the pillow and smelling of fresh soap.

Abigail blinked once, twice, and fell asleep again with Molly’s breath against her collarbone and Henry’s arm draped over them both.

***

 

Molly was in a borrowed robe, perched on a stool at the kitchen island watching Henry and Abigail prepare breakfast, chin propped on her fist and her hair a fuzzy halo about her, somehow still perfectly elegant. Abigail wished she knew how to pull off that trick.

A simple breakfast of eggs, toast, and fruit—set out for the three of them, with coffee and orange juice.

“Thank you.” Molly put her napkin on her lap and smiled at them both. “You know how to treat a girl.”

It was unreal, a strange haze of happiness and contentment, the three of them easily chatting between bites; hands brushing each other over the table top, feet entwined beneath.

Abigail kept half an eye on Henry, who every once in a while would lose himself in a moment of thought, briefly troubled, before he would blink it away and return to the easy smile.  But it was there, lurking, nagging at him.

She understood what he was thinking—that this could so easily be any morning.  They could wake, with Abe running around to get ready for school, Henry readying for a day at the OCME, Abigail still drinking coffee to ready for her shift in a few hours.  She could imagine Molly woven into the fabric of that life, kissing Henry on the cheek as she walked to the door, another peck for Abigail.  Abe would like Molly and her wicked sense of humour, her gentle teasing.

Abigail looked down at her long empty plate, at her hand holding Henry’s to one side and Molly’s to the other, wondering how this had gone from dinner to wondering how her child would like this woman in his parents’ life.

But when she looked up and caught Henry looking to Molly with helpless fascination, and Molly taking a last bite of her toast with easy contentment at their table…

She wanted to know it all.

“Molly, would you like to do this again?” Abigail asked.

Henry’s hand twitched in hers, and she gripped it tight.  Molly blinked between them.  Henry drew a breath and held it—and then he squeezed back.

“Yes,” he said.  “Yes, we’d both like that.”

Molly smiled, bright as the sun.

“That would be lovely.”