“I want to watch you, Honor.”
Emily’s request hangs between them for weeks (not intentionally - they just have bad timing - Elizabeth’s accelerating the League war’s timetable again) and Honor finds her mind returning to the idea over and over again in the dark of her stateroom, trying to tease out why it made her shiver (it was a delicious shiver, but exhibitionism is something she’s never even considered).
She doesn’t have much of a libido (never has - the feedback she receives through her empathy is what guides her body’s responses to Hamish) and the ‘Talks’ her mother had tried to give her (Beowulfian sexual mores were interesting) hadn’t helped. But there’s something undeniably erotic about Emily’s request and in the quiet time in hyperspace, on the voyage back to Manticore, she gives in and touches herself and tries to imagine that her wife is watching from her life-support chair, murmuring instructions and painting images with words.
Her body’s response is immediate and exhilarating.
If this is something Emily wants - if she can get pleasure from watching her then Honor will acquiesce to her request. She gets pleasure from simply imagining it; with Emily - her wife’s pleasure layered over the top of that … her mind supplies the memory of Emily’s reaction to the taste of the rich dark Andermani chocolate they’d been gifted and an aftershock ripples through her body.
She should have remembered that invariably Emily has the best ideas …
Emily raised her eyebrow slightly when Honor returned from her latest mission into Solarian space and promptly turned bright red the moment she followed her armsman into White Haven proper and saw Emily waiting for her.
Samantha chirped in amusement from her position on Hamish's shoulder as he followed Honor into the main hall with his own armsman on his heels, and she sprung off her new perch on his shoulder to greet Emily herself.
In the meantime Hamish was left looking between the two women in puzzlement, as he wasn't aware of anything that should have embarrassed Honor - and certainly nothing about Emily that would do so.
“And good day to you to, Lady Samantha -,” the 'cat leaned in and bussed her cheek (the one which still had full sensation) gently before signing something to Emily which made her smile and chuckle. “And we'll see you and Nimitz sometime later this weekend. The smaller atrium is yours dear one.”
Sam turned in Emily's lap and signed something to Nimitz that Honor didn't quite catch - and she barely managed to compensate for his rather more enthuastic leap from her shoulder.
“Okay, as Lady Samantha and his Nibs have decided that they've got other plans, perhaps we should retire to the dining room in my suite, Hamish?”
“Of course, love.” Emily's eyes swept up to meet Honor's and her blush deepened … “Honor, are you okay dear?”
“I'm fine Emily … but I need to talk to you about that request you made before I left?”
“Oh?” Emily's eyebrow rose, “I'm intrigued, dearheart. But I think Tabby would be disappointed if we let the meal go to waste.”
Hamish couldn't figure out what was going on for the life of them.
Looking between his two wives, he knew that he'd missed something but what exactly it was eluded him.
“I feel like an exchange of messages between the two of you got lost on its way to me. Would either of you care to enlighten me?” He asked, trying to keep his voice level and light as he viciously squashed the instinctive fear of being cut out of their relationship.
The tiny, serene, smile that Emily turned on him could have rivaled that on the faces of Rembrandt's muses. Looking at Honor, Hamish was startled to see her normally light complexion turned dark rose with embarrassment.
“Perhaps we should take this back to the privacy of my suite before we discuss the matter,” Emily murmured. “Honor?” she asked, offering the younger woman her good hand?
There was the usual undeniable grace in Honor's gait as she stepped forward but paired with it was something else; a sensual, feral sway of the hips that had nothing to do with years of hand to hand combat training. Remembering where he'd seen that sort of walk before, Hamish blinked astonishment. Emily had walked like that - before the accident - whenever she would come to bed with a plan for sexual conquest fixed firmly in her mind.
Oh how he used to love the way she looked with that sway in her walk. Shoulders pulled back and head held high, a sinuous rotation in her ribcage as her hips swished to and fro with every stalking step On Emily, beautiful, statuesque in her prime, it had been mesmerizing. On Honor, the effect was lethal. All that grace, power, and deadly skill rolled into one package. How could he have ever resisted. How could either of them.
Yet again, Hamish found himself eternally grateful for what an amazingly understanding woman his Emily was. Their, Emily. Hamish stopped dead in his tracks, finally realizing what he was seeing as he watched the two women preceding him down the hallway side by side. Her fingers wrapped ever so softly around their wife's, Honor had carefully paced her tread to match that of Emily's life support chair. She wasn't watching where she was going, but rather letting Emily guide her as Honor focused her complete attention. Focused her complete attention on Emily. Still standing at the end of the hallway, Hamish felt a flush creep over his own features. Why had it never truly occurred to him?
Honor would never have married him, them, if she didn't love Emily as well. And if she loved their wife, then why wouldn't she want to share pleasure with her just as much as Hamish himself did. He'd ached with missing that part of their lives together for so very long. Had Honor, of all people, finally been the one to find a solution to that problem? How? What had she discovered that could possibly allow her -
Reaching the doorway to her suite, Emily turned and noticed that Hamish had stopped following. Her eyes rose to meet his and he was frozen, trapped in the burning darkness of an expression he hadn't seen on his dear wife's face since the accident had robbed her of her mobility. Oh gods, he prayed with everything he was worth that he was right.
A delicate spread of small, finger foods, most of which were merely bite sized were already spread across the dining room in Emily's suite by the time the three of them arrived. A look from Emily was sufficient to get Andrew to examine the room carefully, peek into Emily's bedroom and take up position with Simon outside of the suite.
Emily led Honor to a different seat from her normal one, and then positioned her life-support chair such that she would be able to feed Honor – or at least to hand her – bites of food. The nature of the food laid out on the table, added to the complex knot of thoughts forming in Hamish's mind, especially when Emily was the one to seat Honor, And only became more tangled, when he saw how blown Honor's irises were.
“Yes, Emily?” Honor sounded almost dazed.
“You wanted to tell me something, Honor?” Honor swallowed, opened her mouth, but when nothing would come out, she shut it once again.
“I will accept a yes or no answer to the question I asked you, before you disappeared on the most recent deployment, Honor.” She swallowed again looking toward Hamish but not managing to meet his eyes before turning her gaze back to Emily again.
“Yes,” her whispered reply was barely audible. Emily reached up with her working hand and tugged Honor in for a kiss. She was rewarded, with a faint moan from Hamish, and Honor melting into her.
“And you really want this, Honor?” Hamish couldn't catch the words, mumbled against Emily's lips as Honor kissed her again, but the smile that played about her lips told him everything he needed to know. Moving slowly, he sat down and made himself comfortable in the plush reading chair in Emily's room, settling down as quietly as he could so as not to interrupt. Emily's eyes flicked toward him and Hamish held his breath. But her expression was simple; asking permission of him, waiting for him to agree to let her take the lead with wherever this was going. Tongue swiping across lips suddenly gone dry, Hamish gave a short, terse nod before shifting slightly in his seat. When had his trousers become so bloody uncomfortable?
Breaking off from the kiss, the answering smile that Emily tossed his way was that of a cat with a bowl of cream. Gods he would do anything so long as it meant keeping that smile on her face. The fact that whatever was going on appeared to already have Honor half-drunk with bliss certainly didn't hurt.
Damn he was going to have to get some answers once all this was done. If for no other reason than to find out how the hell
Emily had managed to make their normally cautious and reserved third so very … comfortable. Usually it took -
Yet again Hamish's thoughts stopped mid-stream, stunning him with their implications.
And yet it would make sense of so many things which had already happened. Resolving to corner Samantha, and possibly Nimitz as well, Hamish set the thought aside and focused once again on his two amazing wives.
Honor rose from her partial crouch over Emily, after the older woman said something quietly enough that Hamish hadn't heard it, with a bright red flush on her cheeks and shed the outer layer of her uniform carefully before hanging it over the back of the chair that he had been sitting in. She was wearing her Grayson uniform, with its button-down blouse, and old-fashioned necktie, and he itched to strip it from her, but the two of them, his fascinating, contrary wives were obviously up to something.
Her eyes flicked over to him, and while he could see her nerves, there was a wild high excitement, a sort of singing tension that he remembered from when Emily was fresh from an HD recording and he had just returned home from Fleet duty.
Her eyes shut, and those long, elegant fingers, at once so very different and so very similar to Emily's dropped to the knot of the tie and loosened it, before pulling it from round her neck. With it untied and loose in her hands, she turned and walked unerringly through the now open door into Emily's bedroom.
He picked up the tie from where it lay in the doorway, an invitation to enter a room he hadn't entered in decades, and watched almost frozen as Emily unbuttoned Honor's blouse for her. The younger woman's eyes were still closed, and Emily smiled at him and beckoned him closer. “How?” The question was barely a whisper in Emily's ear.
“I asked her, Hamish.” He wasn't sure which of his wives he loved more in that moment, so he followed where Honor had led, and for the first time in a very long time, he did something he thought he'd lost, and kissed Emily. Emily herself made a pleased little sound, but the more surprising response, was from Honor herself, who, while her eyes were still shut, moaned, the kind of delicious moan that normally took him significant amount of effort to pull out of her.
“Hamish, as much as I love you, I want you to go and sit over there, and say and do nothing until I tell you to. Understand?”
His first response was to feel hurt, but then he looked between the two women, remembering everything he had seen pass between them already in just the past hour, and retreated to the chair Emily had indicated. They were the ones who had figured this out. Whatever this was, it had started between the two of them, and now that Honor had finally returned, it was only fair that they be the ones to explore this evolution within their partnership. Eventually he would be welcomed to join them. He knew that. But for now, patience was required. Whatever was building wasn't about him. And much as he wanted to take part in it, that wasn't his decision to make.
Seeing that he had acquiesced to her wishes, Emily turned her attention back to Honor, allowing her awareness of Hamish to vanish for the first time in more than half her life. Reaching out, she traced a finger around the edge of the high collar of Honor's uniform. “May I?”
Honor just made a needy noise.
And Emily smiled, “You're going to have to help me with this Honor;”
Honor turned her head quickly toward Hamish but Emily's fingers caught under her chin, pulling her focus back.
“It’s not quite as easy for me to read you, as it is for you to read me”
“I know, but-” That faint flush crept up from under Honor's collar once again.
"I wonder, beloved, exactly how far down your body does that lovely blush extend?” Emily whispered enticingly. “Open your shirt. Show me. Please?”
Fingers fumbling slightly, Honor slipped one button loose then the next revealing creamy skin a few slow inches at a time. Three buttons down, Emily couldn't help but suppress a growl of frustration as the top edge of the next button opened revealed the top edge of the camisole that the other woman was wearing beneath her shirt.
“Tease!” she accused with a smile that took the sting out of her words.
Breaking into the wry grin she'd been working so hard to suppress, Honor looked up, finally allowing herself to meet her wife's gaze again.
“I'm sorry, I just couldn't help myself.”
“Hamish, could you come and give me a hand with this little problem of ours?”
Still not quite able to let go of his confusion and skepticism, Hamish whispered as he approached her, “is this really what you want, Honor?”
She nodded, and almost melted into his arms, as he reached around her to finish unbuttoning the blouse of the Grayson uniform.
“I've been thinking about this, since you sent the message, saying that I could bring Eighth Fleet home for the time being Hamish.”
His fingers untucked the edge of her camisole, swiped greedily across the exposed skin of her stomach, before flicking open the button at the top of her trousers. “What exactly is it that you two have planned?” He asked, lips feathering the words across her ear, the base of her neck.
“Nah uh,” Emily interjected, one finger waggling back and forth. “I never said you could ask questions. Back to your seat. I think Honor can handle the rest of this for herself now that you've got her moving finally.”
Flashing her a quick, hard smile, Hamish did as he was told. He'd always known better than to cross his lovely wife and the accident which had stolen so much from them both had done nothing to change that.
Settling back into his seat, Hamish watched as Honor continued the slow methodical process of removing and carefully laying aside the many charmingly antiquated components of a Grayson officer's uniform.
Every so often he'd shift his gaze to Emily, see the eager hunger in her tightly focused eyes. The way in which that tension, so closely held, seemed to be mirrored, magnified in every move Honor made left him breathless. Could it really be true? Could the things he was thinking really be possible?
Completely unaware of his scrutiny, Emily licked her lips. A fraction of a second later Honor mirrored the gesture, serving only to heighten his suspicions.
“Come here, darling. Come kiss me.”
And Honor eagerly obeyed.