Emma puts her keys back in her purse and lifts her head, startled. She must have been quieter than usual coming in. Without a sound, she slips off her shoes.
She can hear rapid breathy gasps and the distinctive slapping of wet skin on skin. Whatever furniture they’re leaning on, they’ve moved it far enough away from the wall that it’s not bashing through the whole house the way it was doing the night before. That was pretty explicit too. She knew exactly what was happening, without having to see a thing.
She knows what’s happening now, too. Better than any porn flick she’s ever watched, hearing those deep, throaty moans coming down the hallway.
Dance has been learning how to bring his lover to climaxes as loud and noisy and unrestrained as his own, and Drin didn’t start off by making out in the house with quite that much total, trusting abandon. They tried to be quiet, Dance tried really hard to avoid bringing anything to public attention. Lately, they give themselves to it with a force that leaves clothes scattered and the towels a mess and Dance’s bed a wreck, and the whole house smells of sex.
It’s enough to drive a woman to masturbate right along with them, just to get it over with. Emma knows exactly how that desperate teenage fury feels, crashing through her and driving her to desperate measures. For her, it’s tied to her monthly hormonal swings. The frantic need hits her just before she starts bloating up, getting snarling temper tantrums–all the first early warnings of her period. The rhythm of the moaning throbs in her gut and down in her cunt. It’s the same way she felt listening to them pick up speed last night. Wow, it left her imagination freewheeling all right. But that certainly helped this afternoon, pleasuring herself frantically in the ladies’ room, desperate to get it dealt with before she had to go back to meetings.
And what was she imagining? Not just any vague random porn stars, not any more. Now she sees those skilled hands that cook dinner most nights, at play fondling things she hasn’t seen yet. Their faces, kissing. The older man’s mouth on that cock. And those hard, bony, familiar bodies, moving together. It’s hardly reasonable of her to want to see anything; the sounds are more than generous enough.
She makes herself walk away, most days, if there’s any chance of intruding. But she often imagines herself stepping forward when they’re too far gone to care what she sees. Standing, in the hallway, where the door is open, watching their bodies shifting steadily against each other, watching Drin’s head moving between Dance’s thighs, watching him turn Dance over and penetrate him and pleasure him until Dance climaxes, but just short of driving himself into that final orgasm. Then he’s teasing Dance back up into hardness again so soon, offering himself up in turn, and groaning loudly as Dance rocks himself deeper and deeper between Drin’s knees. She can imagine the shine of the sweat across Dance’s shoulders, the powerful buttocks clenching, until both of them are crying out together, and collapsing together in a sweaty, limp heap. An amazingly beautiful heap of muscles, if she’s any judge.
In some of her fantasies, that is when she marches in and lubes up Dance’s ass and takes him with a strap on, pleasuring herself as she does and feeling that ease and languor of the truly well-fucked spreading through his body underneath her. And then Drin, just beginning to get interested again, the big frame shuddering under her as she takes him too. With him pushing back hard, shoving back at her as they both come. That’s her fantasy, unrealized.
Today it’s already too late to sneak away, virtuously Not Looking. She knows Dance can hear her moving. She doesn’t try to hide it. She walks down the hall, shoes in hand, and looks up.
The door is open. They must have forgot it in their urgency. Afternoon light pours in across the bed.
She sees Dance sprawled naked across his lover, draped gracefully around and across Drin’s back, and yes, it’s sweaty and primal and Dance is wearing a condom, half-visible down there between Drin’s thighs. But it’s far more emotional than anything she imagined. Dance is kissing the side of Drin’s face, lingering over it, stroking the man’s glimmering light hair, murmuring something, and the towering figure is sprawled out monumentally across the whole bed. Drin has his head down on one arm with his eyes shut, relaxed, at peace. Not worried about what she might see.
Then Dance lifts his head and looks at her, knowing she’s there in the hallway. The softness is still there in his face, the eyes are so wide and trusting, looking up at her. If he holds out his hand to her, she’ll take it.
“Hi, Em,” Drin says, pushing himself up on one elbow.
She takes a half step into the light, blows them both a kiss, and closes the door for them, firmly. No business of hers to intrude, even if she couldn’t help it. Let them be sure she approves, at least.
Now that, she tells herself, closing her own bedroom door gently, is going to take some thinking about. But not right now.
She’s still breathing hard when she hears the shower going, the pipes gurgling in the walls. She’d best hurry about her business, she knows they’re going to try to apologize immediately, or as soon as they can scuffle into some clothes.
The tap on her door comes in less than five minutes after the water stops running.
“Just a minute,” she says, struggling into shorts. She glances down. Her breasts are still a furious blush-pink, no hiding that in a little sleeveless tank shirt. She dives into a longer tee, and shoves her feet into thongs. When she opens the door, both men are standing there.
They’re both damp about the ears and their shorts and shirts are shoved on nearly as sloppily as hers are. Drin looks tense, concerned; Dance has his head down.
Dance opens his mouth, and nothing comes out. He looks up at Drin, making a frustrated little hand gesture.
Emma holds up her hand, crooks her forefinger at Dance. “C’mere, you,” she says, and rests her wrist on his shoulder, twists her fingers into his wet hair. She tugs a little. “You’re so damned cute I can’t stand it, okay? Flash that booty all you like–you know, somehow, I really don’t mind that one bit. Just don’t give me a heart attack like that one again, if you don’t mind.”
Dance nods, looking down, and his cheekbones flush a dark, garden-bronzed red.
Emma smacks him quite hard on the butt, with a loud noise, and chuckles when it makes him jump a little. Then she narrows her eyes, turning to Drin. Again she crooks her finger.
Drin makes a wry face, and bends enough that she can grab his hair in the same way.
She gets her fingers wrapped in his hair and then she lays a big juicy kiss across his mouth, feeling him startle for just a moment. Then he makes a little sound and he leans into it harder, opening his mouth just a little. She knows exactly what to do with that. She’s thought about that one quite a lot, over the last few months. When she draws back, she can see the man’s eyes are huge. So are Dance’s.
“Umm,” Drin says.
“Yeah,” Emma says. “Don’t tease, okay, you big ol’ lion.”
“Umhhhm,” Drin says, blinking. He glances down at Dance, and back up again, surprised.
Dance looks down at himself, and then up at them both, equally surprised. There is no way he should have anything up that hard and eager in those shorts that soon. But there it is. He calls it his little man, but it’s no joke. “Oh,” Dance says, surprised. He actually flaps his hands outward, flustered all over again.
Drin looks at Dance and gives a wry little smile, as if he knows all about reactions that take a guy totally by surprise. Then he looks at her with that quirk of a smile.
Damn the man, Emma growls to herself. Of course he couldn’t have picked a more devastating expression for laying on the charm.
“Dinnertime,” Emma says firmly, and pushes on their arms to make them turn around. She pushes them down the hallway toward the kitchen. Dance’s face is still dark congested bronze, which on a pale person like herself would be a seriously scarlet blush. The back of his neck has gone dark red. She smacks his butt again, just on general principles, and the blush only deepens. He scurries off behind the stove and busies himself pulling things out of cabinets, lifting things out of the fridge, trying to keep the counters in between him and her line of sight, even when it’s awkward.
Drin pulls out a chair for her and gives her a kiss on the hand, smiling, and goes back to Dance and ruffles his hair when Dance ducks away from him. Drin tugs on him, gives him a hug, kisses his cheek, and at last Dance leans back into him as if he can’t help it. Pulls Drin’s arms around him. That makes Drin chuckle. Is there anything more flattering than the way Dance reacts to him? Dance waves his hands around, talking softly, frustrated.
Drin takes pity on him and comes over by Emma, turns on the little kitchen radio to a Spanish music station. He fetches a few things that are out in the open area, and Dance mumbles his thanks, blushing harder than ever.
That only makes Drin lift one furry brow at him and smile. Then he cocks up one brow at Emma.
“Bring me the potatoes,” Emma commands him. Both of them know what comes next. He smiles and brings potatoes to Emma, pulls out a bowl and knife so she can start peeling them at the table, while he chops them into a bowl.
Drin starts singing along with the radio, and eventually Dance forgets his embarrassment enough to add a descant by whistling it. Dance gets out his innocent-looking Korean chili paste jar, gochujang. Of course he’s making bibimbap out of leftovers. It’s what he cooks when his afternoon was busy with other things. The smell of roasting chili and frying onion rises in gusts into the room as Dance stirs chopped things in the pan.
“You know,” Emma says to Drin, “one of the wicked old bitches at the Metro asked me if I got a thing for Santa Claus every year too.”
Drin looks at her under the brows. His eyes look very fierce.
“Joscelyn?” Dance asks, with that alarmingly good hearing of his.
“Yep. I told her if Santa looked like Drin, then we’d all be in trouble.”
A slow blush rises up Drin’s cheeks, at last. “You didn’t.”
“Oh yeah I did. Made her laugh, anyway.”
“Oh, God, save me from wicked old terrors,” Drin says in a pained tone. It’s a lovely blush.
Dance laughs along with Emma at that.
Emma reaches out and pokes Drin with her thumb. “You wouldn’t get her interest if she didn’t like you.”
“Or you, either, and you know how dangerous that is!” Drin tosses back at her, and makes Emma laugh in agreement.
“She’s going to keep after you,” Dance warns Emma. He puts on a scratchy falsetto. “‘Have you kissed him yet? Was he good in bed? Is he a top or a bottom? Tell me everything!'”
They both look at him, wide-eyed. Drin actually has his mouth open, outraged.
“I said the gentleman never tells,” Dance says, putting his nose nobly in the air, and making them laugh.
“And you think we only like you for your beauty,” Emma says to Dance, wagging a particularly lumpy potato.
“‘Ahh, will you still feed me, will you still keep me, when I’m sixty-four?'” Dance sings the tune in rhythm to totally different music on the radio. It goes perfectly well, of course.
“I don’t have that far to go!” Drin says, looking pained again.
Dance waves it off. “Oh, your looks, they are like the faces on that mountain Rushmore, they never fail.”
“Well, until Lincoln’s nose falls off,” Emma says, lifting one finger. She diagrams it on a half-peeled potato. “There’s cracks on the slope that they had to reinforce–”
Drin starts roaring with laughter.
“So we better watch out Drin’s nose doesn’t fall off? That would be sad. I like Drin’s nose.” Dance starts whistling again. The happiness just keeps getting loose, leaking out of him in all directions, when he isn’t thinking.
That morning, Emma saw him doing some little skippy tap-dance steps while he was watering his big potted plants in front. He told her later he was testing the rhythm to a new piece of music he was working on. Bernstein’s jazzy stuff. He never used to do that. That little twirly whistle? That’s something Drin brought out in him. Drin’s theme. Emma smiles slowly, content.
Drin looks at her smiling like that, and he laughs louder yet.
“What’s so funny?” Emma says, blinking.
“You do that deliberately, I swear!” Drin yelps.
“The librarian fact thing,” Dance tells her, helpfully.
“Oh, if I was doing that, I’d start talking about trying to remove the rust stains from the restoration efforts done in the past–”
“Oh God, Emma, you make me laugh until my ribs hurt!” Drin says.
“Well, somebody ought to,” Emma says primly, making the sour face she uses with silly Librarian voices. It only makes him laugh harder.