This chapter co-written with Exquisiteliltart

You wait perched on the edge of your seat. The freshly opened bottle in front of you briefly stirs up a cloud of guilt, but as soon as you take the first sip from your glass, the cloud begins to settle. By the time the last drops hit your tongue, the guilt is gone. You know how manipulative this is, but drunks are manipulative and you are a drunk. This rationalization makes you smile, and the second glass glides down your throat.

The doorbell rings at the appropriate time. You tip your glass and quickly swallow as much as you can. You know she's about to take your bottle away. She lets herself in when you don't open the door. She enters the kitchen. You remain seated and stare ahead blankly, which immediately engages her sympathy. You apologize and she carefully removes the glass from your clenched fingers and takes the wine over to the sink. She sighs with worry at your drunken state, which you have barely even entered.

You greet her auspiciously, and pull out the chair for her to sit down. She starts the interrogation, asking questions you've been asked many times before. You give answers that will incite a blend of pity at your failure, and pride expressed for your ostensible courage.

You ask to skip the coffee and say you think the shower would really help. She concedes and helps you stand to make the long journey upstairs. You instantly wrap your arms around her waist, clasping your cold fingers against her warm, supple skin. You rest your head on her shoulder, and you and she move slowly, awkwardly, ascending the stairs. You drag your fingers along her sides, sinking under her sweater, and when you feel her stomach muscles contract slightly at the sensation you press yourself closer to her and smile into her neck. You know a shiver is running through her body – it is running through yours as well.

When you reach the bedroom, she immediately removes her sweater, and throws it on the bed, which usually bothers you, but you see her tight white tank top, and careless sweater tossing seems all right. You continue on into the bathroom and undress; she stands close, like always, ready to catch you. Tonight, you aren't nearly as drunk, and you wonder if she notices. You spent so much time trying to hide your drinking; now you're attempting to hide your sobriety. It takes quite a bit of conscious effort for you to remember to act even more drunk than you are, but you are well practiced. Seductions are best performed when you have your wits about you. As you step out of your pants, you lean forward, and your breasts sway in front of her before you straighten up. You gauge her reaction, and your heart quickens from the exhibitionistic thrill. When she is sure you are stable, she adjusts the shower and helps you step in. Steam quickly clouds the bathroom mirror, and you get under the spray. She tells you to try and hurry because the girls will be coming soon.

As you lather your body, you worry about how she'll react when she finds out that no one else is coming. Then you play your card. You lean against the shower wall and slowly sink to the bottom, watching the water and soap rush around your ankles and swirl down the drain. Everything seems so much larger and nearer from this angle. She sees you go down through the mosaic glass and asks what's wrong.

You let out a cry and she pulls open the shower, then tries to pull you up. You're so slippery, and you're not trying, so she kicks off her sandals and puts one foot into the bath to get some leverage. She's getting soaked, so she steps out and peels off her wet clothes, and then she hops on in. She slinks down next to you and tenderly cradles your head. You try to keep your sad face on, but after watching her strip down, your mood has lifted considerably. You know she wouldn't have resorted to such drastic measures unless she really wanted to be naked in the shower with you. You hope that she's been waiting for the opportunity since you first started this little routine; God knows you have.

She's actually touching you, and it's not just for stability. This touch is a different form of superb torture because it's meant to make you feel good. She's soothing you and cooing into your hair, and you can't resist touching her. You use all your resolve to keep your hands to friend-designated regions, but your roaming fingers veer dangerously close to her curves. You focus on the way the water hits her skin and splatters off; it's mesmerizing. Although you're not conscious of it, this moment is the most vulnerable you've ever been in your life.

When she speaks, through the din of the water, her voice is hoarse, and once again she reminds the both of you that other people will be here soon and you can't be found like this. You finally inform her, in your best impression of 'casual,' that you've canceled poker and no one else is coming. It is only you and her, and you punctuate that bit of information by sliding your hands down her sides.

You know that she knows exactly what this is about. You're afraid to open your eyes because the look on her face will be anger, or worse – disgust. She's not speaking and not moving, except for a tremble in her bicep, which you feel against your cheek. When you finally acquire the courage to look up, you can't interpret the emotions on her face. Fear? Confusion? Wonder? Desire? You just can't tell, but you kiss her because you have to.

In your lust-hazed head, you're aware that she is kissing you back. You almost break the kiss to cry in relief, but you don't dare because it's so thrilling. All too quickly she pulls away. Before you can silence her, words come out of her mouth. Words about how she can't take advantage of you like this. She scrambles to get up, out, and away from you.

You stand up too, panicking; it's you who is taking advantage of her, and it's fine. You forcefully press yourself against her. She holds on, surprised, and tries to step backward and out of the tub. Your wet torso against hers is astonishingly irresistible, and you feel her body melt into you. Under a spell, you coax her back down to the floor. You kneel in front of each other, under the still-running shower, and you thank God that you purchased a 250,000 Btu commercial water heater.

You look one another over and breathe – wet, hot and ragged. You look downward and see the word 'Caress' on your bottle of body wash as it floats by. You snatch it up, squeeze some out, and proceed to make her slippery. Her arms go slack at her sides, her eyes shut, lips part slightly, and she rolls her head back and forth. You delight in being able to deliberately and slowly explore her glossy, perfect, dripping skin. You massage her breasts, loving the vocal reaction you've elicited and the openness at which she presents herself to you.

You gasp at her beauty and press yourself against her once again, clenching your hands in her water-darkened hair, and hungrily bring your lips to hers. Her hands roam over the smooth plane of your back, and she breaks the kiss; you open your eyes. She stares at you momentarily before she begins playing connect-the-dots with open mouthed kisses as she travels down your neck, and latches her mouth around your right nipple. You arch into her and moan, tangling your fingers in her hair. You want more of her, so you sink back onto your heels. Your hands leave her hair, and travel down her backside and you pull her hips toward you, encouraging her to get on your lap. She parts her legs and obliges. You feel her wetness and somehow it is so much wetter than the water surrounding you – silken hot and it's all you want.

Logistical difficulties are making it hard for you to get what you want, so you tell her to stand up. She plants her feet on either side of you and stands up, holding on to the shower rail. You grasp her hips and position her right in front of you; wasting no time, you delve into her folds, and her knees buckle instantaneously. You hold her up firmly and continue, as she rotates her hips, until you feel her clench and hear her cry out in rapture. She crumbles back down on top of you, and rests against your body for a moment. She leans you back against the tub, and you relax, lazily raising your leg to rest against the side of the stall. She places her outstretched palms on your thighs and when you feel her tongue begin to tease your pulsating clit the sensation is beyond your hopes. You look down through half-lidded eyes at her head lovingly stroking over you, and you climax from the sheer joy of being loved. You'll never tire of this feeling.

She turns the shower off and the room is abruptly quiet. She stretches forward and you make room for her to slink in next to you. You hold each other as she sighs against you, and you feel fulfilled in the intimacy of her embrace.

It isn't long before the glow begins to wear off and she props herself up on her elbows, looking down at you. Her eyes are troubled and you feel a growing dread in your stomach.

She begins by stating that you're not drunk, to which you counter that you are, slightly. Just not as much as she thought you were. She doesn't acknowledge your answer, but continues to watch you.

You shift uncomfortably and, unexpectedly, her eyes roll back and close as she gasps. When she lay down next to you, she had also straddled your thigh. Once her eyes open again, you ask her what she's thinking. Her reply tears at your heart. She tells you that she was thinking of Tom.

You begin to wonder if you ever craved wine like you do at that exact moment.

Seeming to see your distress, she elaborates, telling you what she had vowed she would do if he ever cheated on her. She tells you that she knows she has to tell him – a secret like this would eat at her, destroying her, her marriage, and her relationship – whatever it may be – with you.

A sigh escapes you, and you close your eyes. You ask her what Tom will do, and if she will try to save her marriage.

Her voice takes on the tone that people use when they ask hypothetical questions, and she asks you if you have ever denied everything about yourself, and forced yourself to live a life that was "right" rather than "right for you."

You just stare at her, and she grins, saying that it was a stupid question.

Then she dips her head just slightly, and lowers her voice, telling you that Tom is right. Your heart breaks ever so slightly, but hope is also shining in your eyes. She then adds that you are right for her.

Joy suddenly explodes in you, and – damn that wine – you start to giggle. It's been years since you've sincerely laughed, and even longer since you've giggled, but the release feels good, and she's laughing with you, so it can't be all that bad.

When you finally calm down, some indeterminate amount of time later, you wrap your arms around her, and pull her down for a kiss. Then you realize that she never answered your question, so you ask again what Tom will do, and if she will try to save her marriage.

Her eyes grow serious again, and you silently damn yourself for the loss of the joy from moments ago. She tells you that Tom might try to take the kids away from her, but that she won't let that happen – she has a trump card, and that's all she tells you. She also says that her marriage had died long ago, and there was no sense in trying to hitch a dead horse.

You smile at the expression, although her obvious lack of happiness in her personal life makes you sad.

She seems to see that sadness and kisses you again. She tells you that she isn't afraid of what she feels for you, and if you don't mind, she'd like to see where it takes you.

Laughing again, this time just a chuckle, you ask her how she would think you would mind. The reputation that you had so carefully guarded in the past had been permanently shattered; people no longer expect anything of you, which is why, you think, you were finally able to make the move on Lynette that you had wanted to make for so long.

You both fall silent then, still entwined together on the shower stall floor. Your legs are cramping and the smooth floor somehow seems to be digging into your back and hips, but you think that you have never been happier.

Your sequel has been started, and it looks like a good book.

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