By the time 3 a.m. arrived, everyone was staring dully at the ceiling, lying in a tangle, half our limbs beneath the coffee table.
“We should go,” Bennett slurred, pushing himself up with obvious effort. “We only have thirty hours before we need to reestablish a plausible executive presence.”
“I’m going to be hungover,” Chloe moaned. “Who can I pay to dial back time and undo three of those tequila shots? Maybe four.”
Sara, who had been asleep in our bed, walked out, stretching. “I just called a couple cabs. Let’s go, drunkies.”
At the door, Hanna stopped them, hugging everyone in turn. “Thanks for this. It was actually super fun just to be stupid with you guys for a few hours.”
“We’re all chuffed for you,” Max said, weaving in the doorway.
“And you never get to just hang out at home with friends,” Chloe added. “I’m glad you took a night to slow down a little.”
With a pat to Hanna’s head, she turned, leading the rest of them out of our house.
Hanna turned to me, leaning against my shoulder. “Do I really work like that? All the time?”
I shrugged, kissing the top of her head. “Sort of,” I said, my frustration at her from earlier diffused.
It was one of the things I admired about Hanna: she was taking the academic world by storm. But it was also the thing that challenged my vision of our future the most. As much as I hated to admit it, I loved the idea of Hanna at home with me at night, Hanna someday pregnant with our child, Hanna always with me when I was away from my own job.
She was never meant to be a wife first and foremost, and I knew that—had always known it, and fuck, I never expected to want that in a woman—but some unevolved part of me wanted more of her time and her focus before I’d even lost it.
“I thought I fixed that last year,” she said. “Jensen got all up in my business. I thought I got out of the lab, got a man, got some action.”
I turned us both, leading us to the bathroom to brush our teeth. “Old habits die hard.”
She shook her head as she shoved her toothbrush in her mouth, squeezing her eyes closed. “I don’t want to talk about it tonight.”
Her words were muffled and she brushed roughly. But then she said anyway: “You made me mad when you said I should get a teaching job.”
Bending to spit, I asked, “What’s wrong with a teaching job? It would probably be a more regular schedule, which would be better for us.”
She looked at me, mouth foamy, eyes wide and glassy, and then bent to spit after me, rinsing her mouth. “You’re going to make me feel guilty over this?”
“No,” I told her, but I had to be honest. “But I guess I have feelings about it after all. I feel like I have no idea what the plan is. Yeah, I can work from anywhere, but it would be nice to have a general region in mind.”
She wiped her mouth on a towel and stood there, eyes closed as she took a deep breath. “Okay. We aren’t doing this right now. My brain is all blah blah drunk.”
With a decisive nod, she looked back at me. “Putting this aside.”
I took a step closer, bending to kiss her. “Putting this aside.”
When my tongue touched hers, she pulled back, laughing. “Oh my God, I just remembered I made you kiss George.”
This made me laugh. “You think so?”
“I mean, it wasn’t terrible. But it also wasn’t you.”
I followed her into the bedroom and between the covers. “Do you think he’s in love with you?”
I shook my head. “No. I think maybe he just really wants me to fuck him?”
Hanna laughed and climbed over me, kissing my bare chest. “I bet he’d love to do this.” She moved lower, pulling my boxers down and off, tossing them onto the floor of our bedroom. Her mouth came up against the head of my cock, tongue teasing. “I love the way you feel on my tongue.” She sucked me, drunk and bold. “How wet you get, like your body is begging to come.”
I felt my heart take off in a thunder, growling, “Hanna.”
“God, Will. You get so hard.” She jerked me, tapping me against her tongue. “You’re so perfectly straight and smooth. George would lose his mind.”
“I only want your mouth.”
She looked up at me through sweetly devious eyes. “But I like having you when other people want you. It makes me feel powerful.”
“And that’s how I know you’re secure in my love. You wouldn’t have said that a year and a half ago.”
She laughed against me, a warm puff of air. “You’re wearing my ring. You’re tattooed with my name. You get hit on all the time and turn into an awkward mess. I’ve poisoned you for other women.”
My hips pushed off the bed, needy. “Don’t talk to me about other people right now. I like this wild thing playing with me. I want a dirty little plum sucking my cock.”
She dragged her teeth down my shaft. “Yeah?”
“You like when I talk about how much I love to lick you here? All hard and soft at the same time.” She pulled me deep, popping off to tell me, “I want to suck you dry.”
“And down here?” She licked down to my balls. “You love to be touched here. I think you’re pretty bad, William. I think you like the idea of my tongue all over you here not just because it feels nice but because it looks so naughty.”