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First We Take Manhattan

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She's had just about enough champagne to be bubbling inside, but not enough that she's turned as pink as her dress.

She hates blushing. It clashes horribly with her hair. Roger had taken to calling her "Strawberry", which is worse than "Red", the first time he made her blush, and she tries not to do it often. Though that's extremely difficult when sitting at a crowded bar after winning a Clio with Roger Sterling's hand up her skirt.

"Behave, Roger!" she hisses, taking a sip of champagne and nearly choking as his hand inches up her thigh. "We're in public. Don's right over there!"

Roger slides closer, dirty-martini breath along her jaw. His left hand is perfectly proper, resting along the back of his chair. His pinky ring gleams in the reflection from the bartop, and there's a familiar spark in his eyes. His right hand rests in the cradle of her thighs, slowly stroking at the skin right under her garters, and unbuckles the first snap.

His voice is bedroom-low, and it makes her shiver a little. "You think Don wouldn't appreciate seeing this? Watching you gasp and bite your lip and try not to give it away? Oh, Red, you think I don't know just how many men would give their right arms to fuck you? He's one of them."

The picture is in her mind now. Of course she thinks Don's attractive, she has eyes, but she's never thought about it seriously. But with Roger's voice, she can see it: a late night at the office; Don coming to talk to Roger about something and catching them; Roger showing her off, wanting Don to watch, making him jealous enough to drop his pants and fuck her over the desk.

Her mouth opens in a moan, and Roger pops an olive into it to disguise the sound. She shifts, legs splaying open for him, and he softly groans as his hand meets silk panties. He trails his nails over her mound, and moves closer to disguise her reaction.

"Oh, you like that idea? Should've told me sooner. I'd have arranged something - me and you and Don, a hotel room, a long weekend. Tell me, is he a good kisser?"

She presses her lips together, tries not to make a sound as his hand slips under her panties. "I wouldn't know."

Roger snickers, letting her breathe a bit before exploring her folds, trailing his fingers through auburn curls and grazing oh-so-lightly against her clit. Does it again when she tightens her hand around her champagne glass, and she brings it to her mouth, hiding her rapid breaths. His shoulder nudges her, directs her attention to where Don's charming one of the junior copywriters from CGC, bright smile and dimples on full display.

"I saw him kiss you when we won," Roger whispers, and she freezes, though whether that's from his words or from his index finger slipping into her, she doesn't know. "What's your professional judgment, Miss Holloway?"

"Harris," she hisses back, but it's lost in a choked moan as he adds another finger and slowly fucks her with them. "And it was too short to form a conclusive opinion."

She's trying so hard not to shake, and Roger lets her cling to his shoulder, his motions speeding up. He could read her body blind by now, after almost ten years. Sometimes she's astonished they haven't lost interest, or killed each other, but no, it's as gorgeously, deliciously forbidden as the first time, because there are still people they're cheating on.

She'll always be Joan Holloway to him.

"C'mon, Red, take a guess. Would he be worth it?"

And she's trying with all her strength not to move, even when he presses tight to her and fucks her hard and deep with his fingers. There are still happy, oblivious people not two feet away, a sharp braying laugh in the background. There's still a bartender mixing up a round of gin and tonics, squeezing fresh lime into glasses who could spot them if he looked up.

"Yes," she admits, closing her eyes and burying her face in his shoulder. "God, yes, Roger. I saw him with one of his girls a few years ago. He knows how to take care of a woman, and he - oh, he'd absolutely be worth it."

"You little voyeur," he teases, knowing it's pushing her closer to the edge. "Did he see you?"

"No. He was busy."

And that's the understatement of the century, but it's getting hard to form words at all. She feels like she's going to scream soon, and she doesn't do that at all, not usually. Clearly she has an unexplored liking for public sex. Christ, Roger's never going to let her live this down if she lets on.

Roger twists his fingers on a downstroke, leaning in to kiss her jaw, then her lips. Swallows her sudden moan, and pulls back. Wants to watch it happen. "Busy, huh? Was he eating her out? He likes that, told me he made Betty pass out once." She flushes, shakes her head. "What about the other way around? I bet you could give him a religious experience, with that mouth of yours." She mouths a negative, curling her nails into his suit jacket.

"No, she was - was riding him. On his office couch. This thin brunette, no chest at all. He didn't seem to mind. He - oh, Roger, the way he looked."

God, it was hot, the way he lost himself. His hands wrapped around that girl's hips, urging her faster, harder. Mouth licking and sucking at nonexistent tits; Joan wonders if he likes the boyish type, or if he's like every other man and would appreciate her kind of breasts, too. Don Draper is a mystery; a perfectly masculine, creative genius who apparently knows his way around a woman - so sue her for being curious.

"One of these days, Joannie," Roger promises, and oh, that about does it.

She pitches forward off the chair, looking for all the world like she's simply tipsy and lost her footing, and he wraps his arm around her waist, hiding her shuddering. He removes his hand from her skirt - at this angle, it'd be noticeable - and trails two fingers through his martini. Her breath catches as he sucks them into his mouth, licking the combination of her and the gin off his skin.

She'd like nothing more to go upstairs - it's the Waldorf, they've had a few excellent nights here over the years - but it's late and Greg's expecting her home. She gathers her purse and kisses his cheek.

"One of these days," she echoes, and leaves before she thinks better of it.