***Chapter Ten***
Word Count: 5,471

It'd been a hell of a long time since he woke up in the morning so incredibly hard he had no choice but to give his body the release it was demanding. Apparently, that part of him wanted more of what it had gotten the night before.

He did, too, for that matter.

At the moment, though, he only had his hand to satisfy that need. She was gone. She'd left. God. He glanced at his alarm clock. It was after two o'clock when she left. She'd probably been up for hours already. They never did make it to dinner. He made her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich eventually, bringing it to her in his bed. She hadn't asked for it, but he'd insisted she needed to eat something when she let it slip that she hadn't eaten since lunch. He didn't know much about pregnancy and growing babies, but he knew they had to need nourishment. She'd eaten the sandwich and downed the glass of milk he'd brought with it in about five minutes so obviously she was hungrier than she'd let on.

And that had made him feel like a complete and total asshole.

Until she'd used that same mouth that had just eaten the sandwich and drank the milk to let him know she really, really wasn't done yet. He was pretty sure the image of her going down on him would always be a source of arousal for him.

It took them a while to get to her doing anything to him. Evidently she wasn't exaggerating about her needs because he was pretty sure eight hours of sex was a record for him. He'd do it all over again right now if she showed up asking him to.

God, she was amazing. And sexy as hell, though he knew she didn't believe him when he said so. She saw herself as pregnant and evidently her husband hadn't found that appealing. She hadn't said so exactly, but that was the impression he'd gotten when she mentioned thinking he was lying when he'd told her he liked how she looked. He wasn't going to go looking for another pregnant woman anytime soon or anything, but there was absolutely nothing wrong with any part of her. She'd obviously taken very good care of herself in between her kids because she was toned and fit everywhere that wasn't where the baby was temporarily being housed.

He decided sometime well before midnight last night that if her husband had been alive he probably would have beaten the shit out of him. John had nothing to compare her to when she wasn't pregnant, but anyone who wanted him behind her the way she'd wanted him their very first time was not someone to cheat on.

Maybe she was different when she wasn't pregnant. He found it hard to believe she'd be less enthusiastic about sex, just perhaps the frequency of her need not quite so off the charts crazy. After being pregnant she'd have had a baby to take care of, so he certainly couldn't fault her for being not quite as needy as she was now. That wasn't her fault.

And absolutely no justification for cheating in John's book. Someone gives you kids, they deserve so much more than having people who know them aware of your cheating.

He'd never doubt her again about anything. He'd assumed, incorrectly, a couple of hours and she'd be sated, ready to move on to something out of his bedroom.

He had many images from the night before to choose from to satisfy his body's need for release. He could honestly say there wasn't a bad one in the bunch his mind called upon. Oddly, the one he found himself focusing on the most was the way she came when he used his mouth on her breasts. The first time he had no idea that would happen. He'd done it again, though, knowing full well what the result would be. He'd kept going, too, sucking and using his fingers to bring her off a few times in a row. She'd been hesitant the first orgasm, probably waiting for him to pull away or something. When he didn't, though.

Holy shit had she let go.

And had he gotten hard because of it. There was little more arousing in his opinion than a woman who wasn't afraid to let him know what he was doing felt good.

She let him know very well. He even had a little mark on his forearm where one of her fingernails had scratched a little too deep when she was touching his wrist, showing him where on her to touch at that specific moment.

He gave a soft groan as he achieved the release his body was looking for, wishing he could just stay in bed and go back to sleep. He had shit to do, though. He went to the bathroom, washing himself off real quick before returning to his bed and picking up the phone.

'Standish residence.' John couldn't help but chuckle at the way Bill answered the phone.

"Hi Bill, this is John. Uh, Mr. Bender," he added quickly.

'Yes, Sir. Hi.'

"How are you today?"

'I'm good.'

"Yeah? And your brother? Did you have a good time with your grandma last night?"

'We did. We had leftover turkey. Grandma made it into sandwiches," which came out sounding more like samwiches. "And she played Candyland with us. Justin was too little, though, he kept throwing the men.'

"Really? I'll bet that was fun, and I'm sure he'll be old enough to play with you soon." He vaguely remembered the game he was talking about. "Did you win?"

'Yes, Sir.'

"Well, good job then. Is your mom around?"

'Yes, Sir, just a minute.'

"Okay, thank you."

'Mommy, Mr. Bender is on the phone for you,' he called as he set the phone down.

He really hated the Mr. Bender and Sir business, but it was important to her for whatever reason so he kept his mouth shut.

'Hello,' she said softly.

"Good morning."

'Hi. You're awake already?'

"You should talk."

'I have no choice but to wake up early.'

He sighed softly. "Now you're making me feel even guiltier."

'I'm not trying to.'

"I just wanted to be sure you got home safely and everything."

'I did. I left you a message when I got here. You obviously fell asleep.'

"Funny. Someone wore me out."

'Hmm. That means no more?'

"You name the place, sweetheart, and I'll give you more."

'You're not just saying that?'

"I'm sorry. You were with me last night, right? I mean, what part of that would you think I didn't enjoy? Or want to do more of right now if you were able."

'I don't know. You maybe this morning…'

"This morning, I woke up needing to jerk off for the first time in so long I can't even remember the last time."

'Men always wake up like that.'

"Oh, that's true. It just comes with the male territory, I guess. I said needing to, though. Wanting and needing to are not the same thing. Um, it didn't want to go away, though."

'I see,' she said.

"You really should look into getting your own phone line again."

'They're actually coming on Monday.'


She laughed softly. 'Yes. I sort of figured since the second line is already there installed just inactive I may as well. I'm going to connect my computer up to it, too. Mom missed a phone call last week because I was checking my email.'

"Ah," he said. "Makes sense. So, we're okay?"

'Yes, why wouldn't we be?'

"You talk about me waking up this morning wondering about what we'd done. You could have woken up this morning thinking some things, too."

'No, I didn't.'


'Maybe a little. I've never done that before in my life, but your calling sort of makes me feel better about it.'

"Well, I'm glad I called then. Sore?"

'I, uh, yeah.'

"Not alone?"

'Not anymore.'

"I see. Well, I won't ask any more questions then. I just wanted to say good morning. I do have a busy day ahead of me."

'I know. I remember you mentioned it last night. Say. What are you doing next Saturday?'

"Next Saturday? Boy you really wait until the last minute to ask a guy what his plans are."

'I'm serious. Scott thought I'd like to take the boys to the Bulls game. They're playing the Celtics. There's a fourth seat.'


'Amanda doesn't have tickets to them behind my dad's seats, too, does she?'

He chuckled. "I don't think so. And even if she did, I wouldn't care."

'Well, if you'd like to go with us, you'd be more than welcome to the fourth seat.'


'Yeah. Maybe pizza afterward. And then you could come back here and watch a movie. Or something.'

"Or something, huh? Yeah, I could work that into my busy schedule. You sure you can wait a week?"

'No, I'm not sure at all,' she said with a sigh.

"I was kidding."

'I'm not.'

"Wow, okay. Um, well. Hmm. I'm not quite sure how that will work."

'I know. See, I shouldn't have done that.'

"No, don't you dare do that. Don't you dare say last night was a mistake or shouldn't have happened. If you don't want it to happen again, I can accept that. It was not a mistake."


"Now if you do want to. We'll figure something out."

'Yeah,' she said. 'I kind of do right now.'

"That duct tape isn't such a bad idea now, is it?"

She laughed. 'Still illegal.'

"Well, you want to try that dinner thing again tonight?"

'I can't ask Mom to babysit again tonight.'

"Well, I could go over there. I'll pick up some sandwiches or something on my way so this time I know you will eat. That wasn't good, going that long without food even I know that."

'I know. You were helping in other ways, though.'

"That is very good to hear."

'The kids may not go to bed until late.'

"Then they don't go to sleep until late."

'You'd be okay with that?'

"Sure. Why not?"

'I don't know. I know you're not crazy about kids.'

"I know nothing about kids, which is the reason I tend to avoid them. As long as you're not going to leave me alone with them for long periods of time I should deal capably."

'No, I wouldn't do that.'

'You're not going to make me watch Barney with Bill, are you?"

She laughed at that.

'No, but it'll probably be something along those lines. They like to watch something before bed.'

"I'll deal with it."

'Okay. Well, come over whenever you want then.'

"Oh, sweetheart."

'Bill doesn't take a nap anymore. Neither does my mother.'

"Now that is a shame. Actually, I have an idea. You have them ready by five o'clock."


"Yup. And your mom, too."

'John,' she said cautiously.

He chuckled. "Don't worry, I'm not really going to duct tape them to anything. Just be ready. We'll go get dinner and do something else I just thought of might be nice. At least with your mom along I'm sure to feed you tonight."


"And on that note, I do have to go. I have things to do today."

'You say that. If you're busy…'

"I will see you later. I'm not going to blow you off and it will be fun. Well, at least I bet the boys will have fun."

'Okay,' she said, sounding intrigued.

"See you later then, sweetheart."

'Why do you call me that?'

"I," he paused not sure how to answer her. "Why?"

'You called me that even in August.'

"I guess I did. I don't know, it's just what comes out when I talk to you. Should I stop?"

'No, it's okay. Just wondering if you call every woman in your life that.'

"Only every other woman, the others I call something else."

'Very funny.'

"That's me, I'm a funny guy. I'll stop if you want me to. I guess I don't even pay attention."

'It's okay.'

"No, it must make you uncomfortable or something if you asked. I'll work on it."

'As long as it's just to me.'

"I can assure you I don't call anyone else that."

'No, I mean, you know, in front of anyone else.'

"Hmm," he said. "I guess I can see why that could be bad. I don't think I have, have I?"

'No, but I'm just not sure how I'd explain that.'

"Right. Too soon. Gotcha. I'll be careful, sorry."

'You're fine.'

"Okay, then, see you later."

'Yeah,' she said.


He didn't get nearly as much done as he'd wanted to because he'd ended up dozing off on his couch for a couple of hours before having to get ready to go to her place. If anyone had told him even six months ago that he'd have reason to go to Shermer this many times in the past few months he'd have called them a liar. He had room in his SUV for everyone, so he cleaned it out so if she wanted him to drive he could fit everyone in there. It wasn't overflowing with trash or anything. He took better care of it than that, but there were a few things there that didn't need to be in there.

He was a little early, pulling into their driveway around four forty-five. He wasn't sure she trusted him enough to just go with him like this, but the idea came to him when he noticed walking her to her car and following her to the gate to ensure she got out all right that one of his neighbors had used his holiday off from work to put Christmas lights up. He had none to put up. He'd go shopping tomorrow maybe to rectify that. However, the idea that Claire's kids and mom might like to see some Christmas lights occurred to him. And he knew of no town that did Christmas lights better than Chicago.

"Hi," she said when she answered the door. He was very glad it wasn't Bill this time.

"Wow again," he said. She was wearing another dress. Not nearly as nice as the one last night had been, but it still looked nice on her.

"Thanks," she said. "I hate maternity pants so I avoid wearing them if I can."

"It's nice, but I like the red better," he said.

She blushed deeply. "Well, I couldn't wear it twice."

"Why not?"

"I guess I don't have a real reason other than you just don't do that."

"I see. Well, I still like the red better."

"I could wear it to the game next weekend."

"I would have absolutely no complaints about that." Well, he might because he was pretty sure wearing that dress he wouldn't be the only one to notice pregnant women could be very, very sexy.

"I'll see."

"All right then. So, is everyone ready?"

"Yes, Bill went to help Justin find one of his mittens."

"Ah, okay."

"Did you want to drive? Or you could drive my car if you wanted to avoid moving the car seat since you know where we're going and I don't."

"Sure, you know I've been waiting for the opportunity to drive it."

"You have?"

"Sure, it's a nice car."

"Well, tonight's your chance then I guess."

Her mom was skeptical, John could tell. She had a few drinks at dinner, which he knew Claire wasn't happy about. She wasn't drunk, though, as they made their way from dinner downtown.

"Mommy, look," Bill said when they were driving past the Art Institute.


"The lions have wreaths and bows."

"They do," Claire said.

"We should come down here sometime when the Bulls are in the playoffs. They put a jersey on them, I think," she said. "I think Scott sent me a picture of that once."

"I think you're right," John said.

Justin was too little to really care, so it was probably a good thing he was in the middle of the back seat. John couldn't tell if Mrs. Standish was enjoying herself or not.

"Cool," Bill added, noticing the cement block below each lion was gift wrapped.

It was almost ten o'clock when they got back to Claire's house. They'd stopped for some ice cream because Bill had seen a Baskin Robbins and begged to go there. John couldn't say when the last time he'd had ice cream was so he didn't mind.

Justin was about ready to fall asleep. Bill's eyes were getting pretty droopy, too. John offered Claire's mom a hand to help her out of the car while Claire saw to her kids.

"I can't remember the last time I did that," her mom said. "Frank and I used to take Claire and Scott down every year. That was back when Field's, JC Penny's, and all the big stores did real extravagant holiday windows."

John had absolutely no clue what she was talking about, but he nodded pretending he did because he didn't want to admit that he'd grown up in Chicago and never seen those things.

"I'm glad you came along."

"Thank you for dinner," she said.

"You're welcome, Ma'am. Thank you for the ice cream."

"It seemed the least I could pay for."

"You can go ahead and go downstairs, find a movie to watch if you want while I get Bill and Justin settled," Claire said once they'd gotten inside.

"Sure," John said.

"You remember how to turn everything on."

He smiled a little at that and she blushed again. "I think I can remember, yeah."

"Do you want to watch a movie with us, Mom?" Claire asked.

"No, you kids go on ahead. I'll have a bit of sherry and then head to bed myself."

"Okay," Claire said.

John wasn't sure if the invitation was a legitimate one she thought her mom might take her up on, or just something so her mom wouldn't think she wanted to be alone with John in the basement for the next couple of hours.

John turned the TV on, not knowing how long it would take her to get both kids to bed. They both seemed pretty tired.

"Hmm, should I tuck you in, too?" she asked, sitting next to him on the couch. Evidently he'd dozed off because he hadn't heard her come downstairs or even noticed her sitting next to him.

"Very funny. I can't help it that someone kept me awake until two o'clock in the morning."

"You were free to send me home whenever you wanted to."

"Send you home? Are you nuts? I didn't want you to leave when you did!"

"I know. Did you get your things done today?"

"A little. I got the wallpaper in that small half-bathroom off the garage and laundry room taken down anyway."

'Well, that's something."

"It is. You? What did you do?"

"Nothing. Played with the boys and planned the grocery list with Mom for cookie baking next week."


"Mm hmm."

"Do I get some Saturday?"

"I suppose I could be talked into giving you a plate of them."

"I haven't had homemade cookies in ages."



"You could bake them yourself."

"I could, but then I'd eat them all."

She laughed at that. "I'm sure you could find someone or a few someones to help you out there."


"So," she said.

He took her hand then, slipping his fingers through hers.

"I'm not here to do anything you don't want to do."

"Oh, I want to very badly."

"Your mom?"

"She'll tell me when she's going to bed. It shouldn't be too much longer. That was very nice what you did, including her tonight. Thank you."

"Hey, I figured she'd enjoy it, too."

"She did. I know she was quiet and everything, but I know she did as much as I did. You made me think of all the times we did that when Scott and I were little."

"She mentioned that when we were walking to the house from your car. I'm glad I could make you remember some nice things."

"Yeah. It was good, thank you."

"You're welcome."

"I was thinking," she said, letting go of his hand and moving off the couch again.


"I could say thank you in a better way."

"Oh?" he asked.

She moved in front of him, kneeling between his legs and working the fastening on his pants.

"Your mom?"

"She won't actually come down here. She'll just open the door and tell me she's going to bed."

"You're sure?" he asked. She pushed the front of his pants open as far as she could get them for the moment and touched him through his boxers.

"Yeah. I think she'd rather not know what I might be doing down here."

He chuckled softly.

"She'd be mad?"

"Mad? No, probably not mad. Disappointed maybe."

"You're human and you're not dead, sweetheart."

"I know," she whispered, pushing the waist of his boxers down enough that she could slide her mouth over his tip. He slid a hand to her head, watching her for a while as she took him deeper and deeper into her mouth. She'd said last night that she didn't think she was very good at doing this, but he had absolutely no complaints whatsoever about her ability to give him head. She was pretty slow about it, not seeming to be in any particular hurry to bring him off and he was okay with that. Her mouth around him felt very good so eventually he let his head settle back against the couch and he closed his eyes, just letting himself enjoy what she was doing to him. It certainly wasn't a hardship.

She was right about her mom. She called downstairs to say she was going to bed, reminding Claire to lock the door after John had left. She stopped sucking on him only long enough to answer her and then she went right back to what she'd been doing.

"Claire," he whispered a little while after her mom went to bed.

She tilted her head back enough to look at him with her mouth still full of his shaft and he groaned softly at that.

"Not that I am not enjoying what you're doing," he said. She ran her tongue along his head, darting it along the small opening there. "Immensely. I can't help but think this isn't helping you with your, uh, predicament."

She slid her mouth off of his length and he instantly missed her there.

"I didn't do much to you last night."

"No, you didn't need to do much to me last night. You turned me on without having to even touch me."

"Yeah, well, it seemed rude."

He chuckled.

"There are no manners in sex, sweetheart. Well, you know, I suppose there are, but I don't think you'd hear any guy in their right mind complain about any part of last night."


"Are you kidding me? I came so much I was surprised I had anymore left to come out this morning."

"Do you still?"

"Have more left?"

"Uh yeah."

"Plenty where you're concerned it seems."

She moved then, settling herself on his lap. Her mouth met his as he worked the buttons on the front of her dress. He groaned none too softly despite them kissing when he discovered she'd taken her bra off while upstairs. She'd been self-conscious about her breasts last night he knew, not just the leaking him sucking on them caused either. She said she thought they were too full. Whatever that meant. As far as he was concerned they were perfect. They fit nicely in his hand, responded to what he did to them, and were very nice to look at. She'd mentioned the area around her nipples being darker than they normally were, but he had nothing to compare them to and he didn't care. They could be blue for all he cared as long as she responded to him the way she did when he touched her.

Her bra wasn't the only thing missing he discovered as he slid her skirt up over her hips.

"Jesus. You walked around like that with your mother upstairs?"

"I don't think she was going to check to see if I was wearing underwear."

"I suppose not. It just surprises me coming from you."

"Oh," she said.

And then she was sliding him inside of her, biting her lower lip to stop from making any sounds. He could tell she wanted to, knew from last night that she made some very nice sounds when he slid inside of her.

"We have to get somewhere alone again," he whispered, finding her neck with his mouth.

"Why?" she murmured.

"Because I don't like you quiet."

"Oh God," she whispered.

He slid his mouth lower, taking a peak into his mouth and latching on. He'd discovered last night she seemed to come more intensely when he was latched on and sucking harder than when he was just being sort of lazy about it. He liked when she came intensely a lot.

She gasped as he swirled his tongue around her nipple, teasing it so it got even harder timed with her sliding him deep inside of her. She settled completely along his length then, grinding her hips against his lap. He agreed wholeheartedly with her murmured "feels so good".

He knew when she was about to come. He could taste it and sucked even harder, getting all that he was going to get out of that one before switching his attentions to her other breast for when she came again. She seemed to get aroused even more when he did that, flooring him a bit that something so simple was doing it for her that much.

And again he couldn't help but think her husband was an ass because if he had this in his grasp for the past eight years he was pretty sure he'd do whatever she wanted him to do if it meant she reacted the way she did. She pressed herself into his mouth even more as she rode out her second orgasm, settling against the base of him for a minute or two before she started again.

Behind her had been incredible, hot as hell because she was fantastic to look at that way. He'd come a little too fast, though. Well, a little faster than he wanted to. She just felt too good and when she clenched around him it was his undoing every time.

Tonight, though, she didn't seem to be in as much of a hurry. She was riding him almost leisurely, bringing herself off and then slowing down again so he lasted longer. A lot longer. Eventually, though, he had to come. He couldn't help it.

He rested his head against her chest, listening to her heart racing and eventually slowing. His was probably doing the same thing, except she'd done most of the work this time.

"So, when does this stop?" he asked.

"It doesn't."

"Are you kidding me?"

"No. Well, it stops once they are born."

He chuckled. "I should hope so."

Eventually, they moved to the floor with him behind her again, though she'd shown him that she was still agile enough to sit on his lap on the floor, too before he had to leave.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm helping you button up your dress."


"Because I like touching you," he said softly, watching her as he worked the buttons in question. "I'd much rather it stay off for the rest of the night, but we'll have to work on that for another time."

"I know," she said.

He leaned in and kissed her then, settling a hand over a breast he'd just finished covering up.

"Remind me to tell my friends who never want to come out when their wives are pregnant that I now completely understand."

"Oh God, don't you dare. And I don't know that everyone is like this. I just know I'm like this. I've never asked anyone!"

"No? Why not?"

She sputtered and he chuckled.

"You might find out you're not the only one."

"It's okay."

"Hmm," he said. "I'll keep it to myself, but I will certainly appreciate the sacrifices they're making a lot more."


He kissed her.

"Yeah, you know, it's not enough we get you pregnant. We have to be at your beck and call for nine months afterward."

"John," she said, pushing away from him.

"Relax. I'm joking, sweetheart."


"Geez. You think I'd really complain?"

"I don't know."

He sighed softly. "Dan did, I suppose?"

"He wasn't happy with how needy I was, no."

"Yeah, well, I'm not banging anyone else so you can be as needy as you want with me."

"John," she whispered.

"What? It's true. It probably made it real hard for him to engage in his extracurricular activities if you were providing him an outlet so regularly. And willingly."

She sighed.

"Are you different normally?" he asked.

"What do you mean?"

"Just curious after you have them. What's normal?"

"Well, I've never said no."

"Hmm. Are you an initiator?"

"Sometimes. I mean when I'm in the mood, sure."

"And is the mood drastically less than now?"

"Not really, no. I mean, several times a night probably not."

He chuckled.

"If you'd been getting any this whole time I bet it wouldn't be several times a night now either."

"Maybe not."

"So, this is fairly normal?"

"Yes. I mean, it's just I need to. I can't describe it."

"You said that last night."

"You probably think I'm a freak."

"No, I don't. I'm just curious, you know. I've never been in a position to ask."

"Well, you can't for a couple of months after the baby is born anyway."

"I suppose," he said. That sounded pretty logical to him.

He slid a fingertip over where he knew her nipple was even if he couldn't see it. "And you still like that when you're done being pregnant?"


"More comes out I assume?"


"Hmm," he said.

"I wouldn't expect you to do it then."

"You don't expect me to do it now, but you like it. Clearly a lot."


"I make no promises," he said. "But I'm certainly willing to try it."

"It's fine. It's not like that's necessary anyway."

"No, but you come so much better when I'm doing that."

"I do not!"

"You do, too. It's pretty hot."

She rolled her eyes.

"So, are you going to be able to go all week now?"

"I don't have much of a choice."

"Well, I could probably come here one night during the week if you want me to."

"You have to have other things to do."

"Oh, I do, plenty. None are nearly as enjoyable as making love to you so forgive me for being willing to do that."

She settled herself against his chest then and he held her. She stayed like that for a while, her breathing evening out some and he knew she had to be close to falling asleep. He picked her up then and she cried out.

"You can't do that."

"What? Why not?"

"I'm too…"

"Oh God, don't say it. You're not that heavy. I was just going to tuck you in. Seems maybe you deserve that tonight."

"Hmm, that does sound nice."

"Is your mom going to wake up and come after me with a shotgun or something for crossing the threshold of your bedroom?"

"I don't think so."

"Well, that's better than a definite yes, I guess," he said, walking up the stairs with her and following her directions to her bedroom. He set her on the bed, drawing the covers back and then around her. It was a little chilly tonight so he imagined she'd need all of them.

He leaned down and kissed her, lingering a bit.

"Good night, sweetheart. Sleep well."

"You, too. Drive safe," she murmured.

He chuckled a little, but he doubted she even heard him. It wasn't much past midnight, but after a long night last night and little to no sleep because of her kids waking up at their usual time in the morning she had to be exhausted.

There was that guilt again.

"I will."

He left her room and made his way downstairs. He had no way of securing the deadbolt behind him, but he did pull on the door once he'd left to make sure it was secure and locked before heading to his SUV and home for the night.

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