TITLE: The Choices That We Make
AUTHOR: Lady Sirius
FEEDBACK: Contains spoilers for HBP
DISCLAIMER: Of course all rights to Harry Potter belong to JK Rowling
- I just like to play with Severus and Lucius when I can!
DEDICATION: To my glorious, talented, wondrous and everlastingly sexy
inspiration - Gary Oldman - and of course to Alan Rickman and Jason Isaacs! And to Amber, who taught me to love Severus and Lucius as a couple, and also gave me the idea for this chapter.
The Choices That We Make
Chapter 8 - To Make a Prince
"Humiliating is what it was, damn humiliating." The normally silky voice was muffled, coming as it did from between his bare legs, his head buried there so far that only his platinum blonde tresses could be seen, flowing over the arms which were securely wrapped about said legs in great displeasure as he sat atop the large antique four poster bed which was the resting place - and play area - of Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape . "Embarrassing, and demeaning," the aggrieved voice continued. "Even with the damn potion you gave me I couldn't get it up, no matter how hard I tried. No pun intended. I closed my eyes and I imagined that it was you, which of course did the trick, until I looked up again, and then down it went. And I certainly wasn't about to let her touch me, either, despite her generous offerto do just that..."
Severus' dark eyes narrowed at those last words, but he held his tongue, for when it came to the marital relationship between Lucius and Narcissa, he had no sayso in the matter and he knew it, for it was neither his right nor his territory, even though he knew damn well there was no actual relationship between them as that was reserved for him and him alone, and had been ever since their own special binding/marriage ceremony which had taken place on the night of Lucius' official marriage to Narcissa. But even so he was reluctant to intrude upon them unless asked to do so. Which had definitely been the case here. Still, all in all, it was a rather delicate situation for all involved - namely, the impregnation of one Narcissa Malfoy by her very gay and very disinterested husband Lucius - and one which had to be handled very carefully, with the proverbial kid gloves. The results of the first attempt - what should have been the one and only attempt, knock on wood - had been far from favourable, although not totally unexpected by Severus. After all, the most important human sex organ was the brain, and whereas Lucius' brain told him that it considered fucking other men hot and sexy and a right proper turn on, it was that much harder to get his cock excited at the sight of Narcissa's naked tits or her wet pussy. Assuming she had even been wet, but that was a safe assumption to make, for after all Lucius was the hottest man there was. End of story. How could she not be turned on by him, aroused by the sight of his large,thick, beautiful cock? Of course she was. Even in its limpid state it was a sight to behold. A sliver of jealousy surged through him at the thought, but he quickly dampened it, focusing instead on the matter at hand. The problem lay on the other end of the equation - for without Lucius becoming sexually aroused, there would be no insemination of the maternal vessel (which was how Severus explained it to himself, in order to keep from losing his mind over the occurrence) - in order words, if he didn't get hard, he couldn't put it in... well, it was a matter of simply biology, really. Limpa y cocka equalled non bambino.
Lucius Malfoy could not stand failure in anything, especially something as important as the production of an heir to the Malfoy dynasty, and especially considering that that was the only reason that he had been forced to marry the she-devil Narcissa Black in the first place. He had had to fortify himself as it was with some of his best brandy, as well as Severus' finest aphrodiasical potion, guaranteed to get up even the most recalcitrant mini wizard, before he could even make the attempt, and his distinct lack of success - nay, his inability to even begin what should have been a simple act of procreation, now ensuring that there must be another one - was simply galling. "I don't want to do that again," he moaned. "I don't want to ever look at that woman naked again, Severus." His voice could barely be heard in the fullness of its misery, but Severus felt every last syllable of Lucius' humiliation, and he ached for him, as he wrapped an arm about his shoulders, kissing the back of his neck in an attempt to comfort him.
Just as he opened his mouth to soothe his aggravated lover, however, there was a discreet knock upon the bedroom door. Since their wing of the house was warded against Narcissa's unwanted intrusions, by process of elimination it had to be one of the house elves. Severus barked out a peremptory, "Come in!" while Lucius never deigned to raise his head from its imbedded position.
"Dobby begs masters' pardon," the humble house elf began once he had gained admission, "but Mistress sends Dobby to say she wishes to speaks with..."
"Tell her no," came Lucius' muffled response.
Dobby paled at his words, then continued, "with Master Snape, please, and she says she will waits for you in her room of sitting."
"With me?" Severus was startled. Somehow he would not have been surprised to have seen Lucius summoned to his wife's presence, presumably to schedule another attempt, but what use would his presence serve? Sighing, he dismissed the house elf with a brusque, "Tell her I shall join her in five minute's time," to which Dobby made a quick obeisance and departed.
"Tell the bitch you cannot stand in for me," were Lucius' next muffled words.
"Lucius, be serious, she hates me even more than she hates you," Severus rolled his eyes, although the gesture was entirely lost to the other man. "Doubtless she wishes to discuss the brewing of another potion. Why don't you wait ten minutes or so then join us? You cannot avoid this forever, you know." Forestalling any argument on his lover's end, and without waiting for a reply, he threw on a set of casual robes and left the bedroom, quickly making his way to Narcissa's private sitting room in her part of the Manor. He knocked on the door, of course, for it was not his wont to simply enter her rooms, although he had the right to do so, as master of the house - a position which had been sanctioned by Lucius himself.
"Enter!" came the snapped reply, and when he did so, he found Narcissa, glower fixed firmly on her face, reclining on her satin chaise lounge, wearing very lacey, very flouncy satin robes of a lilac hue. Her cheeks were flushed with mounting indignation, and she had an assortment of chocolates on a tray by her side. It didn't require the services of a seer to know that she was highly displeased indeed.
"You! You are the cause of all of this! You are the reason that my husband cannot function with me!" she snarled venomously. "Now, tell me quickly what you intend to do to rectify the situation so that that fool can get me with child!"
"Narcissa, do not blame me if you are unable to quicken Lucius' breath with your presence, or cause him to desire you in any way," came the caustic reply from Severus which was almost a snicker, "I assure you that he has no such problem when he is with me." His dark eyes regarded her calmly, for although she may be Lucius' wife, it was in name only, and he knew that he and he alone was Lucius' true spouse. The one he loved and revered, and made love to on a regular basis.
"Maybe not, but can you give him a son?" Narcissa retorted, stung, gratified to see the effect of her words with the sudden intake of breath of the other.
"Maybe not, but neither can you if you can't get him hard!" Severus snapped back.
"Agreed, so what do you intend to do about it?"
"Me? I made the damnable potion. I sent him to you, prepared to fuck you, Madame," Severus replied icily, "what more do you require of me? After that, it is in your hands." i Or a location a bit more southerly /i was his private thought.
"Severus, there must be something that can be done!" Narcissa almost wailed, covering her face with her hands. "If...If I do not bear an heir, I shall be disgraced. I shall have no purpose. My position in this house is already less than it should be, thanks to you. IF I do not get pregnant, than I may as well...I may as well allow him to divorce me and be done with it..."
Severus' heart leapt in his breast at her words, but his evercalm mind reminded him that that would serve no useful purpose - Malachi Malfoy would merely replace her with another. And the next one could be worse. At least this one was malleable to the point where he did not have to worry about his position with Lucius. But that could be precarious with another. So it would seem to serve his own best interests to cooperate fully in the matter.
"Very well, I see your point," he said in a most dispassionate manner. "And I do have a suggestion, but it may not exactly be to your liking, Narcissa."
"None of it is to my liking!" she removed her hands, stared at him sullenly. "If it were not for you, I could perhaps come to at least grow fond of Lucius. After all, he is not unattractive, although he could use a better disposition. And his body is not hard to look upon..." She actually did not find him attractive at all, merely wished to twist the knife in Severus' heart a little more, hurt him as he had hurt her.
His expression was blank, for he would not give her the satisfaction of seeing the pain she inflicted. It also gave him the strength to continue with his half-expressed suggestion. "He is only hard when I am with him, Narcissa. If you wish him to be so with you, then I must be with him as well."
"W-with him?" she stammered, confused. "Y-you mean, you mean you wish to watch?" The very idea was monstrous.
"No, I don't mean watch, Narcissa."
"No? Then ... then what do you mean, Severus?"
"I mean, my dear woman, to put it bluntly and into terms that you will understand, that while he is fucking you, I, on the other hand, shall be fucking him."
"WHAT!!!!!? You want me to submit to a...a..."
"Menage a trois," Severus supplied the term for the livid blonde, "a threesome. But not truly a threesome in the fullest sense of the word as I assure you I shall never touch you, madame, not then, not ever. Lucius is the only person I shall ever touch in that way, the only one I shall ever make love to."
"My husband!" Narcissa cried out, stung.
"MY husband!" Severus snapped, holding up the hand on which rested the wedding band, the mate of which resided on Lucius' finger, having been exchanged in their own private ceremony. Narcissa flinched at the sight, for well she knew what it signified. She invariably held her tongue about it so that she need not suffer the humiliation of everyone discovering that her handsome wealthy husband preferred to make love to this foul loathsome creature, this MAN, rather than herself, and that in her own home she played second fiddle to Lucius' concubine. Only the beauty of Malfoy Manor, and the incredible wealth which was at her disposal, as well as the honour of the Black family, kept her participation in this unnatural arrangement.
"What the hell is going on here?" Lucius had entered the room quietly, unobserved by either of the other two, who were too absorbed in their "discussion" to notice. He had pulled himself together enough to don a set of silk robes, but hadn't bothered to tie his hair back. It fell in platinum waves down his back, and Severus couldn't help but catch his breath at the sight; no matter how many times he would see it, it would never fail to send a shiver down his spine. Which, of course, Narcissa could not fail to notice. Which only served to upset her even more.
"Your whore has suggested that the three of us have sex in order for you to get me with child!" The words slipped out before she had a chance to think them through thoroughly, and she was instantly sorry when without hesitation she felt Lucius' hand hard upon her cheek.
"Do NOT ever say that about him again!" he snarled at her. "I will NOT have it! Do you understand me?" His eyes, normally a pale grey, were an icy blue in their intensity. Severus laid a calming hand upon Lucius' arm, for he was all too aware of his precarious position there, even with Lucius' protection, and he didn't want him to push Narcissa too far.
Narcissa was distinctly taken aback, but she bit her tongue as well as she could, and merely nodded her understanding, as she cradled her injured cheek with one delicate hand.
"Now, what is this nonsense she is spouting?" Lucius turned to regard his lover, who was relieved to see that at least he had pulled himself out of his previous moody funk and was functioning once again. That was something one could say about Lucius Malfoy - he was most resilient, even if at times he acted like a complete spoiled bitch.
"I merely told Narcissa that if she wishes you to be able to function with her, it is apparent that not only must I be present, but I must be on the other end of things, so to speak," Severus replied, taking Lucius' hand in his proprietarily.
Lucius glanced back and forth, from Severus to Narcissa, his eyes narrowing as he considered the ramifications of such a thing. At first thought, it was totally unacceptable. But at second glance, it did make sense. "You mean that you will claim me from behind, even as I impregnate her?" He wanted to make sure he was understanding what Severus was suggesting.
"Exactly," Snape confirmed. "Since my strongest potion failed, and since I do not have time to brew another one as she is in her cycle at this very moment, I see no alternative, do you?"
Narcissa, too, realized that time was going to be the deciding factor, for she had determined, with the help of her physician, that this was the optimum moment, and if it was not done now, then they would be forced to wait another month to perform the dirty deed. And she really did want it to be over with, for how could there be joy in such a union, knowing that he loathed every inch of her body, and not only found her to be most unattractive, but also found great distaste in her touch? Damn that Severus Snape, she thought to herself, for making my husband gay. Of course, this was not the truth, but she neither knew nor cared what the actual realtiy of the matter was. She was used to being loved and adored, and here, in this house, she was neither, as these two men only loved and adored one another, a galling thought.
"Very well," she grumbled, pouting most nastily as she eyed them bleakly, "But this better happen the first time, Luci, do you understand me?"
"Luci?" Lucius was ready to round on her for that, and was only prevented from doing so by Severus Snape's wiry strength holding him back.
"Don't let her get your goat," he cautioned him, "that will help nothing." He turned to Narcissa with a sneer. "I suggest you contain yourself, Madame. You can be replaced you know, with any other vessel. There is nothing special about you, so hold your tongue." He reached into his pocket, brought out a small vial. "Here is more of that fertility potion, Lucius. This will ensure that but the one time is necessary." i Once you get it up /i he added mentally.
Lucius took the vial, unstoppering it and quickly draining the contents in one swallow. As did the first one, it had a citrus flavour which Severus had used to combat the bitterness of the frozen Aschwinder eggs. He glared at Narcissa balefully as he did so.
"Well, isn't this pleasant?" Severus quipped, in an ill-fated attempt to cut through the tension which threatened to strangle the mood before anything was even begun. "Why don't we take this somewhere a bit better suited to the situation? Such as your bedchamber?" He eyed Narcissa incuriously, as if she were a specimen of a particularly nasty sort of insect which he was studying. Annelid, he decided, subclass Hirudinea, one of the more haemophagic parasitic varieties. Leech, to the uninitiated.
Lucius shuddered at the idea of being in that abhorrent place twice in one evening, but Severus locked his dark eyes with Lucius' pale orbs in a gesture that was calculated to calm. "After you," he invited Narcissa into her own bedroom, not bothering to glance her way, lost in the beauty that was i his /i Lucius - a move which was not lost upon the onetime pampered princess. She sniffed haughtily, but she did as she was bidden, although with some misgivings.
"Now what?" she demanded to know, watching as they entered her boudoir, hand in hand. She wrapped her arms modestly about her, shivering, not from cold, but at the sudden realization of what she was about to participate in - something she could never have imagined in her wildest dreams, would have felt to be completely beneath her. She could tolerate Lucius seeing her naked, but Severus too? That was a bit much to ask. And yet it seemed to be the only way for her husband to get her with child...and she knew, more than anything, that she wanted a child - had known it ever since she was a young girl, playing with dolls. Playing mommy to her two sisters, even though they were both older than she. If this was the way it had to be done, then so be it...
Severus regarded the pair of them thoughtfully, pulling at his lower lip as he contemplated the proper way to go about this. "I suggest you disrobe and place yourself on the bed," he suggested, "then you, Lucius. I shall be right behind you."
Narcissa flushed at the inherent implication of Severus' words, but she obeyed nonetheless, removing the lilac robes and setting them where she could reach them handily, then taking her place upon the bed, hands modestly placed as much as possible.
"Go on, Lucius," Severus whispered softly into his lover's ear, encouraging him to follow suit. Lucius grumbled, but he removed his robes, and set them on a nearby chair. He could read the approbation in Severus' eyes, and momentarily forgetting they were not alone, he smirked, reaching out and disrobing his husband himself.
Narcissa rolled her eyes at the sight. Merlin, was this what she must endure? And worse? Although a part of her was also jealous - it was so obvious how deeply in love they were, and how the sparks veritably flew between them. Why couldn't that love be hers? Watching them kiss only drove the knife deeper into her heart, until it was well nigh unbearable, so she cleared her throat very loudly and very deliberately.
They got the hint, of course - not even hint, so much as malicious censure. Severus wrapped his arms possessively about Lucius, walking behind him to the bed - not so much that he did not wish Narcissa to see his body, although he didn't, as he was self-conscious about it at the best of times, often complaining to Lucius that he wished he were more beautiful, like his lover. No, it was simply to preserve the illusion that what was about to happen was between him and Lucius alone, a mindset trick to ignore the fact that Narcissa was even in the room.
Narcissa, of course, had no real idea what to expect - any knowledge of sex which she possessed had been gained from reading, not through experience - and she anticipated no real pleasure from the act itself, especially under the circumstances. But according to what she had read in her beloved romance novels, two people about to be caught up in the performance of sexual intercourse generally went through a stage known as foreplay. Well, her and Lucius' first attempt at procreation had been such a dismal failure, what with Lucius not being able to sustain a hardon and all, that there had been literally nothing accomplished in that particular arena. And she suspected there would be none now - at least none involving herself. She watched as the two young men moved onto the bed, Lucius in the fore, Snape immediately behind him. Damn, she wished this were over and done with, and she maliciously hoped that Lucius had no real staying power. "Let's do this!" she hissed at them, uncomfortable beyond belief, anxious for it to be completed.
Severus shot her a look, moving his head just enough to catch her eye. Not a word did he speak, but that glance was more than enough. She watched in fascination as he then turned his attention to Lucius. He reached around him, his hand snaking to his crotch, grasping his yet limpid cock within those elongated spider fingers, which elicited a gasp of approval from Mr. Malfoy - although no such sounds had been audible during i their /i recent encounter - and damned if Lucius wasn't getting hard already. So mere touch was not enough, at least not in this case, it had to be a certain someone's touch. Narcissa studied the way that Severus stroked Lucius, firmly and yet tenderly, his lips caressing Lucius' neck. She thought perhaps he was murmuring something to him, but if so, she could not make it out, and it was most probably intended to be that way. Almost against her will, she felt a rising heat between her legs, which she would of course categorically deny, as well a sense of wetness. Damn, why did her body insist upon betraying her so?
An inadvertent whimper rose from the back of her throat, and she was horrified to find that Severus understood only too well her dilemma, her need at this very moment. He whispered something in Lucius' ear, something which caused a look of revulsion to pass over his handsome face - dammit, why did she have to think he was handsome? - but it was quickly smoothed away by Severus' touch, and now she could hear the words being spoken, "Place yourself inside of her, then I shall enter you, my love... Close your eyes and think of me, and I promise you that between us it will soon be over."
Lucius obediently drew closer, as his lover removed his hand at last - his cock was at full mast and Narcissa caught herself staring at the sight which had been denied her before. Again she wondered miserably why this could not really be for her - she deserved to make some man feel this way about her, deserved to have the pleasures and wonders of sex reserved for her and her alone - not shared with a mongrel such as Snape. Even as these thoughts circulated through her brain, she felt him enter her, and for a few moments her world consisted of sharp pain, which filled her very psyche as she cried out in dismay. This was not part of the bargain, this was totally uncalled for, she wanted to scream...but the pain soon faded to be replaced by inexplicable waves of pleasure, and her moans began to rise in intensity.
Lucius felt nothing at finding himself lodged within Narcissa - neither pleasure nor pain - and he would have gladly withdrawn from her had he been given the choice. It felt... funny... and not at all pleasureable, not like being inside of Severus. He didn't want to do this, he wanted to leave... now... but before he could act on his impulse, he felt himself being entered, and Severus was quickly imbedded within him and all thoughts of leaving gave way to the most glorious feelings of fulfillment. "Yes!" the involuntary cry left his lips, "Oh yes..." and he altogether failed to see the bleak look Narcissa gave him, for he shut his eyes and concentrated on what was being done to him rather than what he was doing. In fact, Severus was the one who reminded him to move a bit, and he hastened to obey - the quicker he ejaculated, the sooner he and Severus could leave, go back to their own room, and his husband could help him to forget this horrid night.
He realized, of course, that Narcissa was a virgin - as Severus had been until the first time he had made love to him - but here was none of the love or consideration which marked their first time together, this was purely a mechanical action - insert tab A into slot B - and he had no real empathy for what his wife was going through, that this, her first sexual experience, was with someone who cared nothing for her, nor made any effort to see to her pleasure. All he could see was his goal - begetting an heir - and he wished nothing more than to accomplish that as quickly as possible, so that this performance need never be repeated for the rest of their lives. Once she was delivered of his son - and he was completely convinced that the child would be a boy - then she was free to do as she wished with whomever she wished - well, within reason - as long as no other pregnancy resulted. That he would not tolerate. And she must be discreet, as he would not have it bruited about that Lucius Malfoy was a cuckold - the infidelity he could handle, not the embarrassment of having it be known.
Severus' cock in his ass was most divine, but Lucius needed more - he needed his lips, needed to taste his mouth, now... He twisted his head so that he could accomplish just that, seeking him, needing him, wanting him - and Severus gladly complied, their mouths meshing in perfect harmony,while Narcissa was left to either watch, or close her eyes to what was happening above her. She chose to watch, knowing this would be the only such occasion, and she was feeling rather voyeuristic, for even if he felt nothing by his actions, Lucius had awoken desires within herself that she had no way of slaking - not really - so she had to content herself with observing the fires that drove the two of them into a veritable frenzy of lust. Would that she could someday inspire such love in someone. They looked so... right... together... but she would never admit that to them, either. And she would continue to despise Severus Snape as the ruination of her happiness.
Severus thrust deeply into Lucius, ignoring the presence of the unwanted third wheel, schooling his mind to feel only himself and Lucius. Although there must have been a touch of exhibitionist in him - or perhaps just a hint of sadism - as he began to whisper in a voice that he must have known was audible to the woman impaled upon Lucius' cock, "Your ass is so hot... beg me to fuck you harder..."
"Yes, harder," Lucius fairly whimpered, "fuck me harder, Sev..." becoming less and less cognizant himself of Narcissa, even as he continued to pummel her - an autonomic response of his body, not of his will. Narcissa, on her part, could not only feel every push of Lucius inside of her, she could feel when Severus thrust into him - Merlin, this was so confusing... and exciting too. For a brief moment she wondered how it would feel if she were being filled by two willing men, but she pushed that thought aside as wrong, not to mention she could not envision the mechanics of such a thing. To herself she began to repeat, "Finish Lucius, finish Lucius, finish Lucius," - though whether she was addressing Severus to finish Lucius off, or Lucius to be finished off was hard to say - for the moment she was content to have him fill her in this way, as she could not deny how good it felt, even if they did not love one another.
Severus could read Lucius' body language as well as or better than his husband, for it was he himself who played Lucius' body like a beloved instrument, as he continued to push him toward his orgasm - to the fulfillment of the reason why they were all there, enduring what must be endured, doing what must be done, for the sake of the dynasty - the Malfoy dynasty, nothing actually to do with Snape himself, for he had no actual part in that family other than keeping Lucius satisifed - and he realized that he was close to his end. "Cum," he urged him in a passionate voice, between kisses, and licks, and tongue battles - "Cum for Severus..." Establishing his ownership before Narcissa in a way that she never could, for although she could lay a claim to Lucius' name, his soul belonged to Severus - controlling his very bodily responses with just the sound of his own voice. He renewed his assault upon Lucius' mouth, feeling the tensing of his body as it prepared to ejaculate, his own release not far off now, Lucius' moans filling his mouth as he screamed his name, his body shaking with the intensity of the vibrations of his cumming, filling Narcissa with what she required to produce a son, but he came not for her, but for his Severus, always his Severus.
Narcissa wasn't sure why Lucius was reacting like he did - she herself had not been brought to a climax and she really had no idea of what was going on around her - but suddenly she felt a wetness inside of her, and she understood what had just happened, her eyes widening at the knowledge that this was it, this was the moment when her child would be created, and that thought alone filled her with joy - until she looked up to find Snape's knowing eye upon her, just for a second, before he closed it, and gave himself up to the ecstasy of his own release inside of Lucius - she could feel that as well, for their bodies were still conjoined with hers, and they held tightly to one another throughout the experience, veritably ignoring her existence.
Once Severus had decided that Lucius was completely drained, he ignominiously pulled him backwards, his now softening cock falling from Narcissa's wetness. It was done, they needn't have any further contact. He clutched his husband tightly, possessively, while maintaining his own presence inside of him, kissing his neck, his shoulders, stroking his sweaty skin as he came down from his own glorious high, which hadn't even been spoiled by the presence of that woman in the room. And once he was sure Lucius was ready, they'd leave this place of evil, never to return...
Lucius was elated, and at the same time shaken by this very eerie encounter, and he clung to Severus, allowing and encouraging his tender ministrations, his soft murmurs balm to his ear. At least it was done - and he had no doubt whatsoever that this night his child had been created. Now he wanted nothing more than to return to their room and cuddle together in their own bed.
"Narcissa, do not move for at least an hour," Severus instructed her in a clinically detached tone, "keep your legs elevated as well."
She gave him a dirty look, the idea of a mudblood telling her what to do - and not only that, but her husband's lover as well - galled her. But what else could she do other than obey his commands if she wished to be sure that everything went the way it should? So she pressed her lips together, refusing to rise to the bait, and reached for the silk sheet which had fallen into disarray with all of the activity upon her bed, clutching it to her like a security blanket.
"Severus," Lucius said suddenly, arousing from the torpor which had taken him since his ejaculation, "can we go now?"
"Of course," Severus agreed, as he helped his lover from the bed, shielding him from Narcissa's prying eyes. He acciod their robes to them, wrapping them about them for warmth as well as for modesty, for the walk back to their own rooms. Somewhere in the back of his mind came the thought that he would serve and protect this child of Lucius' with his very life, for that was as close as he would ever come to fatherhood himself, and he knew it. He kissed Lucius tenderly, holding him close, as the tired blonde leaned against him for support. "Love you," he whispered, and was gratified to hear the words repeated softly back to him.
Narcissa felt a distinct twinge of jealousy as the two men left her bedroom without so much as a backward glance or a parting word, retreating to their own space, their own world. Sighing, she carefully got comfortable in her bed, accio'd the novel which lay on her bedside table to her - i Forever Amber /i it was - and prepared not to move for an hour, for the sake of the child that was to be.