Chapter 9: Afterstory - A Midsummer Night's Passion

Steed was in the kitchen of his Westminster apartment, cleaning up items from the picnic hamper. He rinsed the glasses along with the champagne and juice bottles. There was no liquid refreshment leftover to go in the refrigerator, since he had accidentally spilled one of the mimosa ingredients on the leg of Emma's oriental lounging pajamas.

"Sorry about the orange juice, Mrs. Peel," he sang out through the kitchen doorway.

"It wasn't much," she called from the bathroom, "but silk is very delicate. Best not to let it set up."

Steed finished washing and went in the living room to recline on the sofa. He would have worried that his stamina was running short of his younger partner's, but she had rested up with a nap under a tree in the afternoon; he had been going full tilt since morning. As he lay back on the couch, the sound of the running water and the light clatter of Mrs. Peel's laundry efforts were mesmerizing.

It suddenly occurred to him that without her loungewear bottoms, Mrs. Peel was going to need coverage below the waist. He rose and headed for the bedroom to find something suitable, like loose-fitting corduroys, when she intercepted him in the hallway. He was shocked to see that she was dressed in only the pajama top.

She must have been wearing just panties underneath. He found himself wondering what kind... Shiny satin? Or something more revealing, like fine lace? Steed's eyes widened as he thought he caught a brief flash of auburn along the bottom hem of her silk top. Could she be wearing nothing underneath? No; surely it must just be something very sheer.

During her laundry efforts, the top button of her pajamas had come undone. She seemed completely unconcerned about this, even though her bosom was nearly exposed. He had noticed earlier that she had chosen not to wear a bra under the thin top—was that meant to be a subtle invitation to him? Or just for comfort due to the June heat? With the plunging neckline and the clinging fabric, she could just as easily have been topless.

He took the opportunity to admire how perfect her breasts were: small enough to be proud and firm, large enough to make a cleavage line several inches long when pressed together by a tight, sexy dress. Mrs. Peel perhaps sensed his wicked thoughts and reached for her buttons, but instead of re-fastening any, she undid another so he could appreciate the view even more as she walked over.

Steed remained motionless, like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. She looked up into his eyes with a playful expression.

"You were quite heroic in my dream this afternoon," she commented.

He tried to remain cool. "As a horse, if I recall."

She nodded. "It was an epic journey."

"I trust I acquitted myself well?"

"As usual."

He gave her a boyish grin. "I trust that you used your devastating kicks to send the Ladja away with his tail between his legs?"

She smirked. "As usual."

Mrs. Peel slid her hands onto to his chest, causing her pajama top to ride up. He secretly tried to catch a glimpse below her waist to discover what the mystery lingerie was—if any. The view was still obscured, this time by her closeness. But from what he could see of her, there could be no doubt that she was extremely aroused. She smiled at him, and he knew that in that unfathomable way of hers, she had clearly read his mind.

"In my dream, you seemed very impressed by my outfit," she said.

"As a horse, of course."

"Indeed. I believe you particularly complimented my 'hindquarters.'"

"That must have been quite an outfit."

"A black leather bodice and miniskirt," she lilted, tracing a design on his shirt with a fingertip.

Steed's voice came out a bit unsteadily. "Anything else?"

"Only the briefest of G-strings," she answered breezily. "Also in black leather."

"An exotic dancer's costume," Steed mused. "I should have liked very much to see that."

"Would you have been... stimulated?" she teased.

"Seeing any part of you in leather stimulates me, Mrs. Peel."

"The leather undergarment was very thin," Emma said matter-of-factly, "and very clingy. It felt... empowering." Steed was breathing heavily now as Emma pressed into him. She moved her mouth close to his ear.

"You couldn't seem to keep your eyes off it," her lips fluttered against his cheek. "That pleased me very much."

Her voice dropped to a whisper. "But you may like what I'm wearing now even better..."

Emma wrapped her arms around his neck and slipped her knee between his thighs. Steed had to resist the automatic reflex to press his legs back together. He had seen so many baddies slide to the ground from this exact position, stunned and helpless, after she disabled them by snapping her knee sharply upward in her signature hiza-kin groin strike. It was a little unnerving in case she forgot herself. Steed smiled as he recalled the warning in her KGB profile: Very dangerous. Do not handle at all!

He ventured a probing kiss to her neck, and she responded by lifting his chin so that his mouth found hers. Their tongues danced lightly together as she pressed her breasts urgently against his chest. Steed still couldn't help but wonder what she was wearing below the waist. He slid his hand downward, seeking the warmth of her abdomen. Emma saw the movement and smiled knowingly as she stood on tiptoe, her feet set wide apart in anticipation.

His fingers came into contact with delicate curls and intense heat. His question had been answered. Emma trembled with passion at his touch.

She was breathless. "Everything I have there... all that you're holding... belongs to you."

"Emma..." If ever a time called for the use of her first name, this was it. "Do you mean—?"

"Now," she commanded.

Steed slipped the barely-buttoned silk top off her shoulders and it fell around her ankles. His lips instantly found her skin.

"Steed," she moaned softly, "Steed—"


"Steed?" A woman stood over him. His eyes focused on her cute nose. "Steed!"

He looked at her through a haze. "Mrs. Peel?"

"You fell asleep on the sofa."

What a dream! He stared at her groggily. And what a time to interrupt...

Steed was awkwardly sprawled on the couch. Mrs. Peel was standing in front of him dressed in a pair of his brown corduroy pants and a white cotton shirt.

"What happened to your pajamas?" he asked.

"Why? Did you fancy a slumber party?" she teased. Emma helped him up to a seated position on the Regency and took the spot next to him.

"My pajamas are de-spotting in the bathroom as we speak," she explained. "I took the liberty of borrowing some of your clothes." Emma displayed the baggy rolled-up cuffs on the pants and shirt, then flapped them about comically. "You're much bigger than you look on the outside." She leaned close and looked into his eyes. "Were you dreaming?"

Steed lifted her chin with a finger, pressed his lips to hers and kissed her tenderly, their tongues briefly touching.

Emma's eyes widened, though she didn't seem at all displeased. "What was that for?"

Steed gave her a playful grin. "Just like you, I was confused when you woke me."

"I suppose you're entitled to even the score. Did you think I was a horse?"

"Not at all," he said brightly. "I was completely sure that you were you."

Emma snuggled next to him on the couch. "So that's the kind of mood you're in." She gave him a smile that was sweetness and light.

"In that case, let me tell you a story about a brave knight and her loyal steed..."