A/N: This didn't really happen, I know, but since Will had his fling with Viola, I thought that his wife deserved to have some fun of her own...

"You do know that the time you spend with me is sheer foolishness, and that you would be wiser to attach yourself to one who is in the bloom of youth, one who can give you children."

Dawn was just beginning to break on this lovely morning in Stratford-on-Avon. The children were still asleep, and Anne lay with her head on Gilbert's shoulder, her arm loosely slung across his abdomen, a sheet only partially concealing their nakedness.

He was ten years her junior. When she had first come of marriageable age, he had barely been weaned.

"But I don't want a woman in the bloom of youth. I want you." Gilbert gently tilted her chin up so that he could look directly into her eyes.

"You know as well as I that you can never truly have me, not as long as Will yet lives."

"If not for the fact that my brother is two years older than I..."

Anne felt his frustration and pitied him as she also desired him. They both knew that firstborn sons were wed first, just as the firstborn daughters of those prematurely departed from this world put their own lives on hold to finish raising their younger brothers and sisters.

Besides, Susanna had already been on the way. Gilbert had been but sixteen, the down on his chin only just beginning to turn to stubble.

"Alone in London, Will is a free man. As you know, he has his dalliances."

"It's the way of men. It's only to be expected."

"Yet it hurts you, nonetheless."

She didn't say anything.

"If only it were I who was wed to you, I would never let you out of my sight for one day, never mind many months at a time."

"I know that, dear Gilbert." Her finger lightly traced patterns on his bare chest. In the quiet stillness of the morning, it was easy, very easy, to imagine that she was in the embrace of her husband rather than that of her brother-in-law. Gilbert's touch, his kiss, his caress, were almost the same as Will's. Almost the same.

Gilbert wondered whether he would ever regret never having married, never having sired children of his own. Although he loved his nieces and nephew dearly, the idea of Anne's belly swollen with his own child filled him with longing.

The two of them lay together, peacefully content, yet knowing that this blissful time together must come to an end soon, that the children would soon be awakening. Susanna and the twins, Hamnet and Judith, were blissfully unaware of the true nature of the relationship between their mother and their uncle, and it must remain that way, for some day, eventually, their father would return home.