Anonymous said:

Mary/Matthew flirting over board games

"Mr. Green with the wrench in the Library."

Tom spouts out his guess, looking far too pleased with himself, no matter how hard he tries to school his expression. Sybbie rolls her eyes at her father before tossing her aunt a knowing look, flipping a card in his direction as he shakes his head and makes the appropriate mark on his sheet.

"Stop teaching her how to do that," Tom instructs, setting down his pencil with a nod towards Mary.

"I haven't taught her anything," Mary returns with a shrug. "She's a Crawley, Tom. She comes by it naturally."

"Face it old man," Matthew interjects with a broad grin. "You're doomed."

"Just wait until the two of you have kids," Tom states, his words tickling Mary right behind her ribs. He looks over at Sybil, sitting in the corner rocking Baby Flynn as his eyes haze over. "You'll be in no better shape than I am."

Mary gazes at her own husband, watching the movement of this throat as he swallows hopefully.

"I have no doubt," Matthew agrees, his eyes grazing over her like blue velvet. The urgent need to have him to wrap her up and rub her all over strikes her hard.

"Show your father how it's done, Sybbie," Sybil grins as she watches her seven year old daughter pick up and roll the dice. Her husband shoots her a look she tosses back in spades, making Matthew laugh under his breath.

"Don't you go acting all superior now," Tom instructs, pointing a finger in his brother-in-law's direction. "Let's see if your guess is any better."

"But it's my turn, Papa," Sybbie counters with a sigh, earning a nod of approval from her Aunt Mary. "Not Uncle Matthew's."

"She's right," Mary insists. "Don't you dare try to skip the women in this family."

Tom's laugh decorates the room.

"I'd be the victim in this game if I did something so foolhardy," he states, gazing directly over Matthew's shoulder at his wife. "I may be an idiot sometimes, but I'm not stupid."

"So you say," Mary returns. "But it's still Sybbie's turn. Go ahead, darling, and tell us what you think."

The child bites her lip in excitement, sitting up so straight she resembles her Great Grandmother Violet.

"I think it was Mrs. White in the Kitchen with the revolver," Sybbie proclaims with just enough flourish to make her accusation sound dramatic. Matthew raises his eyebrows in a mute apology, and the girl leans over, peaking at the card he shows her with a small pout. "Your turn Uncle Matthew."

Her exaggerated look of disappointment encourages her uncle to reach out and muss her hair until she relents and hands him a smile.

"Prepare to be amazed," Matthew grins, giving Sybbie a playful nudge. The child shakes her head just as Mary shoots her husband a glance that earns herself a wink.

"Or underwhelmed," Mary teases, making the girl giggle as the dice fall to the board.

"Don't be mean, darling," he reprimands. "You know I play to win."

"With snake eyes?" she quips as two lone dots gaze back at his wilting expression. "Why am I not surprised?"

He's grinning at her then, a grin that makes heat pool in her belly at a most inopportune time, a grin totally inappropriate to be tossing her while their niece is looking on directly.

"Just enough to get me into the Dining Room," Matthew continues, looking her squarely in the eye. "And I say it was Ms. Scarlet with the candlestick on the table."

He's looking at her as if she's dinner, which she practically was two nights ago when she'd knocked over a candlestick as he slid her back on their dining room table before kneeling down and devouring her until he'd consumed every last drop.

Her face feels like she has a sunburn.

"I think you mean the Dining Room," Sybbie corrects, her brow scrunching in confusion as her father nods in agreement.

"I said that, didn't I?" Matthew questions, catching an unamused glance from Tom before he turns his attention back to his wife. She's glaring at him, shooting darts in his direction, aiming directly for parts he shifts to cover before they inflate any further.

Just when did this game become so naughty?

"Not quite," Tom answers as he leans back in his chair. "But it's close enough."

"Hold your horses, Geronimo," Mary states, flashing "Candlestick" quickly in Matthew's direction, quelling his smug look of victory. "This race isn't over yet."

"I certainly hope not," he murmurs, licking his lips as one finger sidles secretly up her thigh. Her eyes widen even though she knows no one can see his actions under the table, but that doesn't stop her from feeling every brush of his hand on her skin. "One leg just isn't enough." His words slide over her like warm honey over brie.

"What leg?" Sybbie asks, drawing her aunt's immediate attention as she picks up the dice and rolls, attempting to steer the conversation down another track altogether.

"I rolled a seven," Mary states, moving two rooms over to the Study. "And I'm ready to make an accusation."

"Let's have it," Matthew goads, giving her a nudge. "Hit us with your best shot, Sherlock."

"You couldn't handle my best shot," she retorts, sensing his body temperature go up five degrees.

"Go on, Aunt Mary," Sybbie sighs, clearly put out with the two unruly adults. "Just guess already."

Mary stifles Tom's chuckle with a glare that could wither an oak.

"Colonel Mustard in the chair with the rope." She licks her lips subtly for emphasis, tasting the promise of sin, giddy with the power of suggestion. Matthew's eyes flare as the innuendo sneaks up his inner thighs and strikes home. Tom coughs rather loudly.

"You mean in the study," Sybil corrects from her seat, trying her best to contain a grin and failing miserably.

"Whatever. Am I wrong?" Mary questions, to which she receives a shrug from her brother-in-law and a quick nod from her niece, who sprints over to Mary's seat and shows her "The Study" in a secretive fashion.

"Colonel Mustard prefers handcuffs to ropes," Matthew whispers, leaning in closely enough that only she can hear his words as Tom takes the dice. They tickle her neck and toy with her breasts, sliding into her ear and over every nerve she has. "I thought you knew that by now."

"And Miss Scarlet prefers a riding crop," she breathes, not missing a beat. His audible swallow strikes her right between her legs.

"Professor Plum in the Bathroom with the lead pipe," Tom announces triumphantly, setting his cards face down on the table with a thump that startles the baby and ticks off his mother. Sybbie looks to Matthew in a bit of a panic who in turn looks to Mary, both of them hoping she has evidence to prove the man wrong. She shows Tom "The Bathroom", watching Sybbie grin in relief.

"I'm very handy with my lead pipe in the bathroom," Matthew muses into her hair as Sybbie rolls the dice, his tone low, private, and decidedly wicked.

"Don't start bragging about your pipe," she returns just before his hand slides secretively up her thigh. "It's not at all attractive."

"That's not what you said last night," he quips under his breath, shooting pure heat to the cheeks on both sides of her body.

"Fuck off," she mouths, careful not to let Sybbie see her lips.

"Your bathroom or mine?" he teases. She swats his leg under the table.

"I think it was Mrs. Peacock in the Garage with the rope," the girl states, glancing at each of the adults eagerly to see if she's won. They all look back at her in silence.

"I don't have anything," Matthew replies with a shrug. "Mary?"

She looks at her cards, seeing nothing to disprove her niece's theory.

"Not me," she states with a flourish. "It's up to you, Tom."

Tom goes through every card he has twice, looking from Mary to Matthew before turning back to his daughter.

"I think you've solved it, Sybbie," he says with a wink. "Why don't you check and see?"

The girl grins from ear to ear as she opens the small packet, her eyes brightening with each card she observes until she lays them all down in triumph.

"We have a winner," Tom declares as Sybbie stands and takes a bow.

"I told you," Mary muses. "Crawley women are always right."

She stifles a yelp as her husband gives her outer thigh a tweak. She'll make certain he pays for that later.

"I knew it was Mrs. Peacock," Sybbie exclaims again to her aunt and uncle as good-byes are said, hugs are distributed and coats and scarves donned. "I just knew it!"

"You're very clever, darling," Mary assures her, dotting a kiss to her nose before kissing the baby's soft cheek, her hand lingering on his fair head a few seconds longer than usual. "Next time we should team up."

"God help us all," Tom sighs as Sybbie rubs her hands together, her expression letting them know that she's already plotting the impending destruction of the poor males the next time they play.

"No good can come of it when cocks and ropes come together," Matthew utters into Mary's neck as soon as they are out of the front door and alone in the night air. "Sounds painful to me. Someone's bound to get chaffed."

Her breath crackles in the night air, and she leans into him as close as she can.

"What about fallen candlesticks and lead pipes?" she whispers, enjoying the feel of his shudder as her sentence strokes his neck. "Or riding crops and handcuffs?"

She sees his eyes darken in the muted light, and she bites her lower lip as his hand cups her derriere through her coat.

"I thought you'd never ask, Ms. Scarlett," he utters, opening the car door for her with expediency before sliding in beside her and giving her a kiss that leaves her throbbing. She's smiling, feeling light and bubbly all over as she grabs his knee and gives it a squeeze. It hits her then out of the blue, that it's time, and she swallows audibly, fisting her hands together as she clears her throat to speak.

"Too bad there's not a nursery in that game," she muses over her dry tongue, the words scraping against it as he revs up the engine and turns on the heat. "It could come in handy, I think." Her heart is beating so hard she's certain he must be able to hear it.

"A nursery?" he tosses back with a disbelieving chuckle. "Why in God's name would you put a nursery in…"

She sees the moment he reads between her words, the implication rounding his eyes and leaving him speechless. His mouth gapes open, he ransacks his hair until it's sticking up and out and every which way as he breathes in and out—once, twice, three times before he licks his lips and tries to speak.

"Are you…I mean…are you saying?" he attempts, his brain and tongue obviously having two separate conversations at once. "Mary?"

She takes his hand from the wheel and slides it over her middle, feeling the contact everywhere even though the thick material of his gloves and her coat.

"Colonel Mustard and Miss Scarlet," she hums, leaning over to nudge his jaw with her nose. "In the bedroom without birth control."

The car is warm then, in spite of the fact she can still see her breath, and he cups her face with soft leather, making her feel as if she could conquer the world.

"Oh, God," he chokes out, his eyes nearly silver in the moonlight. "And you're sure?"

She nods, then he's hugging her close, as close as he can in the limited space of their car, their laughter spilling over and into each other as he kisses her hair, her cheeks, her forehead, anything part of her he can reach through their tears.

"I should get you two home, then," he mutters. "Home and out of this cold." Foreheads touch and she giggles, stroking his lips with her thumb, closing her eyes when he presses in a kiss. "I think riding crops and handcuffs will just have to wait for now."

She snickers before leaning in to nip his lower lip. His low moan tastes like dark chocolate.

"As long as dining room tables aren't out of the picture," she teases, allowing one hand to slide solidly between his legs. "I'm just pregnant, not an invalid, you know."

"Just pregnant," he echoes, his smile so big she thinks his mouth might split open. He kisses her again, soft and hungry, gentle and hot. "Let's get home, Miss Scarlet. I think we have some celebrating to do."

She strokes his face with her gloves, tipsy on life, drunk on the man she's sharing it with, the one looking at her like she's just handed him the world on a plate.

"Shut up and drive, Colonel Mustard," she instructs, unable to keep from laughing as he kisses her soundly and does exactly that.