It turned out that there was a microwave and popcorn stashed under the bar. Emma went and prepared some, then came back and gave me the bowl to hold since I was in the middle. Fortunately, the movie gave me something to focus on other than alternative ways for Emma and Hans to make an Abby sandwich.
Unfortunately, I’ve never been a very focused individual. This morning wasn’t really an exception and it just got worse when the popcorn ran out. Hans moved the bowl to the coffee table. Then he slipped an arm around my shoulders. On my other side, Emma leaned against me and slipped one around my waist.
I couldn’t begin to follow the movie’s comedy of misunderstandings because I was too busy being overwhelmed by the preposterousness of real life.
When the credits finally rolled Hans straightened and reclaimed his arm. “Are either of you ladies hungry?” he asked.
I checked my teeth with my tongue and shook my head. “Not yet,” I told him.
Hans nodded. “And yourself, Emma?”
Emma shook her head also. “I’m more tired than anything,” she said. “I was too wound up after getting to the hospital to nap when I got home. But now that I’ve had a seat and a snuggle and a snack, I feel like I’m about to drift off.”
“What about you?” I asked Hans.
Hans chuckled. “Oh, I’m fine. Just doing my best to cover the duties of a host. Why don’t we put in another disc and let Emma nap. I can make lunch for everyone afterward.”
“That sounds good to me,” Emma agreed. “Especially since we’re going out late.”
I nodded. “Okay,” I said. I didn’t really think I’d pay any better attention to another movie, but at least if Emma went off to take a nap I’d be alone with Hans. Even given how nerve-wracking I knew that could be, I also knew I’d be more focused if I wasn’t outnumbered. Also, maybe I’d finally be able to get out of this ‘Abby Sandwich’ fantasy spiral.
I wasn’t even just obsessing over its erotic potential anymore. After the first few abandoned iterations, my imagination had started grappling with it like a logistics problem. I mean, I’ve had plenty of fantasies involving one woman – usually Megan – and more than one guy. But what the heck does one guy do with more than one woman? Take turns? But isn’t a guy just… done, once he’s come? I know I’ve speculated that Hans would have the endurance to go for hours, but still! A double hitter seemed a little ambitious, even if sex was supposedly the national pastime of whatever country spawned men like Hans.
Emma got up and changed the disc for us, but then she didn’t go upstairs to find a bed. Instead she returned to the couch. Somehow I wound up leaning against Hans while Emma leaned against me.
Hans started the movie and settled into the crook of the couch’s arm. He wrapped an arm around my shoulders again and pulled me against himself. Emma laid back along me and tucked her legs up on her end of the couch. Then she pulled my arms around her waist.
“Comfy?” she asked.
“Yes,” I wheezed through a throat that seemed far too dry. Hans was a warm, solid plank behind me and Emma was a warm, soft mass piled atop me. I like sleeping under piles and piles of blankets. I find the weight and warmth comforting. Being smooshed between Hans and Emma was heaven, if heaven involved heat and sexy bodies and unbelievable torment.
Maybe it was hell.
I couldn’t say. I spent the next movie in a haze of hormonal responses. It didn’t have to be a matter of what Hans could do with two women, I realized. ‘Abby Sandwich’ implied that I would be in the middle. Maybe being taken from behind by Hans while Emma fingered my clit and let her tongue do dirty dancing in my mouth.
I don’t think Hans paid much attention to the movie, either. His grip around my shoulders tightened as my imagination got me more feverish. I tried to tell myself that the stiff ridge pressing against my ass was just an awkward fold in the fabric of his jeans. Yeah, right. Damn his werewolf nose. At least Emma managed to doze innocently.
When the second movie ended Hans cleared his throat. “I should start on lunch,” he said softly so as not to disturb Emma. If his voice happened to be a little rough his accent did a good job of hiding it. “Is there anything you would like?” He asked.
“I was thinking about sandwiches,” I confessed while scrambling for a reply. My cheeks flushed. Oh god, my verbal filters were off again. Lunch, I yelled at myself. He wants to know about lunch, not your perverted fantasies!
“Alright,” Hans said.
I blinked in horror. Oh God no! I wasn’t ready for – wait. Wait, did he think I meant sandwiches for lunch? Either that or, given what his nose had to have been telling him about my libido, he thought I had a bizarre fetish for slapping things between bread. I scowled. I don’t care how good it is, making a BLT for a girl does not count as foreplay! If he thought he could get me going just by adding some mayo and spicy mustard, he had another thing coming. Kinky bastard.
Hans slid out from behind me. “I’ll be back down in a bit.” He nodded to the folding table behind the couch. “I think that will have more space for the three of us than the little table upstairs.”
“Okay,” I said. Hans turned and departed.
When I shifted back against the couch Emma woke up. She blinked at me sleepily and made an inquisitive noise. I immediately snapped into ‘take care of Emma’ mode.
“Hans went to make lunch,” I told her. “You can sleep a little more.”
Emma smiled, rolled over and snuggled up closer. She twined her arms around my neck and laid her head on my barely existent chest. Her eyes were closed and her breathing was slow and steady, but I could tell from the change in her heart beat that she was still awake.
I wrapped my arms around her anyway. I felt a little tentative – I knew she was paying attention even if she was pretending not to – but I couldn’t stop myself from stroking her hair. Emma was soft and warm, and although she wasn’t big like Hans, the weight of her laying against me was more than any pile of blankets and pillows.
I liked it a lot. It was comfortable and nice, and I felt more than a little guilty about enjoying it so much. I mean, I don’t cuddle. This had to be violating some sort of socio-sexual taboo.
I didn’t let Emma go, though.
I felt even more guilty about that. I was aware of the hypocrisy inherent in taking care of Emma by holding her close while taking care of Megan and Fumiko by pushing them away. But Emma was different. She knew about vampires and werewolves and the supernatural. Megan and Fumiko didn’t. If I broke their disbelief they’d be in danger not just from me – but also from everything else their disbelief had been holding at bay. At least Emma knew what was going on already. She could take appropriate precautions. She…
She hadn’t even hesitated before offering me her blood in the hospital. I was probably being selfish and cruel by not pushing Emma away for her own good. I had to make sure she would be safe. If not from me, then at least from everything else. As long as I kept fed she wasn’t really in danger from me, I hoped. I would ask Hans to protect her from that. He was my donor so that was part of his job.
But as for the rest? I had to make sure.
“Emma?” I asked.
She snuggled tighter against me.
“Emma, I need to know something.”
Emma tilted her head back and looked up at me through her lashes. I looked back and wet my lips.
“How long have you known about all of this supernatural stuff?” I asked. I’d known for two days and in that time I’d been attacked twice and killed once. “I mean, after Mr. Salvatore told you about it was there anything special he did to keep you safe? Not from himself, but from stuff like the fae? I need to know.” I already knew Emma hadn’t been safe from Mr. Salvatore, but maybe there was something I could do about the rest of the supernatural world.
“Oh,” Emma said. “Salvatore didn’t tell me about any of that. I’d known for almost a year before I met him. And sure, being his donor didn’t hurt, but I was keeping safe from the fae before I’d ever met him.”
I stared at her in stunned disbelief. She’d been holding out on her own for a year before falling prey to a vampire? I hadn’t even made it two days! I clearly had things backward. Emma should be protecting me. Maybe she would have some advice about Mr. Tophat.
“How did you find out?” I asked in shock. If I’d figured it out before Hans had accidentally spilled the secret, maybe I would have handled things better. I had to know what I’d missed.
Emma sat up and twisted around to face me. “Well,” she said a little sheepishly, “I was pretty unpopular in middle school, and that carried over into high school. So when I got to college I decided it was my big chance to start fresh and have lots of friends.”
I nodded for her to continue. I had trouble imagining Emma as unpopular, but I’d made a similar deal with myself when I’d gotten to college. It had lasted all of three days before I’d freaked out and gone into hiding.
“I figured the quickest way to see my plan succeed would be to join a sorority,” Emma said. “After all, if I got in I’d have a whole bunch of people who were practically obligated to be friendly.” She grinned ruefully. “I didn’t really care about all the other trappings and traditions that went with it. I found one with a reputation I sort of liked, and I rushed.”
I listened with fascinated horror. When I’d been in college the sororities had freaked me out almost as much as the frats. I mean, big drunk frat guys were scary, but I’d always figured the induction ceremony for sororities had to involve some sort of Stepfordian brainwashing process. Normal girls went in, but bubbly, extroverted, pseudo-clone sorority girls came out. And Emma was one of them?
Well, I could sort of see it – when I was thinking about how Emma acted when she was being exhibitionistically confident for a crowd, at least. So far she’d only let her self-doubt take over when we’d been alone. Alone and intimate. There wasn’t any sign of it now, while we were just talking.
I seriously hated Mr. Salvatore for hurting her.
“Anyway, I assumed that when I got in the ‘secret knowledge’ they would share would be things like which frats threw the best parties, which bars didn’t card, and maybe an archive of old test keys for professors with tenure.” Emma snorted. “Instead, it turned out that the secrets involved proof that magic was real, an alternative history of the world written from the point of view of a secret coalition of supernatural forces that protect humanity from the fae. Oh, and which frats had the best parties and which bars didn’t card.”
My mouth must have been hanging open, but Emma didn’t seem to notice. She smiled fondly at her memory.
“Our house-mom had a whole library of spells and charms,” Emma said. “And she was sweet, but so overprotective.” Emma’s smile slipped, but just a little. “So Salvatore never had to do anything to keep me safe from the goblins and boogeymen.” Emma’s smile was back. “Mrs. Fleischer made sure that her girls could handle themselves if some fae had the audacity to go bump in the night.”