Title: "The First Noel"
Author: Angela W.
Category: MSR/Humor
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Mulder and Scully spend their first Christmas together as a married couple.
Timespan/Spoilers: It would be set sometime after
Season Six in the "real" X-Files universe. In my
fanfic world, which is more linear than that of most
writer's, this comes after "The Fake Jake". No
spoilers for any specific episodes.
Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me. They are the property of Chris Carter and 1013 Productions.
Feedback: If it's nice or contains *constructive*
criticism, feedback is much appreciated. If you just
don't like the idea of Mulder and Scully being
married, don't read the story!

I snuggle next to Mulder and watch the lights on the
Christmas tree flicker on and off. We're at my
brother's house, bedded down on the fold-out couch in
his living room. My husband didn't really want us to
spend our first Christmas as a married couple at Bill
Junior's house and to tell the truth, neither did I.

But it was important to my mother. Both my brothers
have shore leave - a minor miracle in a Navy family
like ours - and the idea of having her three living
children, her two children-in-law and her only
grandchild all under one roof for Christmas Eve filled her with such joy that only the Grinch could have refused.

"Would you please explain to me why WE have to sleep
out here, when there's a perfectly good double bed
down the hall in a room with a door that actually
closes?" Mulder grumbles. "Especially since your
mother offered to trade with us?"

I giggle against his shoulder. Not only had Mom
offered to trade with us, Charles had suggested a
three-way swap, in which he moved out to the couch,
Mom took the cot set up next to Matthew's crib in the
nursery and Fox and I moved to the guest room. Bill
had vetoed those ideas, insisting that neither the cot nor the couch would provide sufficient back support for a woman Mom's age. Personally, I think there was another reason.

"You're the psychologist, Mulder. Why do YOU think
Bill Junior is opposed to letting you sleep in the
same bed with me behind a closed door?"

"Dana, we're MARRIED! What does he think we do in bed
at home?"

"Home's one thing. It's three thousand miles away. I
just don't think he can accept the idea of his little
sister getting laid under his own roof."

"Scully, we're going to be here almost an entire

"Lover, Bill Junior doesn't know you nearly as well as I do. I have faith in your ability to come up with
some sort of creative solution!"

"Yeah, I can," he begins in a husky whisper, but we're interrupted by a door opening and the sight of my older brother - wearing nothing but an undershirt and skivvies - strolling down the hall. I can't help it. I giggle.

"What are you two doing?" Bill Junior asks, peering
down at us. I've got one had tucked behind my head.
The other, admittedly is on Scully's shoulder, but
this is hardly inappropriate considering that I'm her
husband. I feel her lips move against my skin in
barely contained laughter, where her face is buried in my neck. I struggle against the urge to give her
brother a real wiseass answer. I let the Christmas
spirit overtake me, remembering that this is Dana's
brother, after all. Even if Dana wouldn't mind me
smart-talking him, Maggie would. Unlike the
stereotypical son-in-law, I happen to adore my wife's
mother, so I bite my tongue.

"Just trying to get to sleep," I say. "We've had a
long day and our bodies are still on East Coast time."

"Oh. Are the lights on the tree bothering you?"

"Not me. Lights on the tree keeping you awake,

Dana speaks for the first time since Bill invaded the
privacy of our makeshift bedroom. "No, I enjoy looking at them. If they start to bother us, we'll flip them off. Good night, Bill."

"Good night, Dana. Good night, um, Fox."

Bill Junior turns and strolls back down the hall. I
sigh. That's another thing that may drive me to
domestic violence before the week is out. An entire
house full of people calling me "Fox". I don't mind it from Maggie and certainly not from Dana. But I wish her brothers and sister-in-law would just use
"Mulder". The thing that REALLY bugs me is Tara's
cutesy-pie insistence on referring to us as "Aunt Dana and Uncle Fox" every time Matthew is in the room. I can't help but think of Samantha every time she says that. Wondering if somewhere in this world - or somewhere else - there are other children who could call me "Uncle Fox".

Now that Bill has - for the moment, at least - gone
back to bed, I return my attention to Dana. I slide my hands underneath her silky sleep shirt and glide them across the bare skin of her back. Dana's night attire looks demure enough, but she's not wearing anything underneath it and that makes me smile. I turn to look at her and see that she's staring at the tree with a dreamy expression on her face. She is so unbelievably beautiful that for a moment I'm actually afraid I may cry.

What are you thinking about, sweetheart?" he whispers
in my ear.

I turn to smile at him. "You. And Melissa. And
Christmases past and present."

"Want to elaborate?"

I snuggle closer as his hands roam up and down my
back, bottom and thighs. I am awestruck anew at how
BIG his hands are and how gentle. He touches me
constantly when we're alone and it's like a drug I've
become addicted to. If we pull a late night at work or spend a long day in public - like today's airplane, to Bill's house, to church and back to Bill's marathon - I find myself literally craving the feel of his hands on my body.

"Sure," I answer. "It's just that, lying here by you,
I was remembering another Christmas, at a house on
another Navy base, about twenty years ago."

"Go on," he encourages.

"Well, I must have been about fourteen. It was the
last Christmas my grandparents - my mother's parents - spent with us and they died within three months of
each other during my sophomore year in high school.
The house we lived in was made just like this one; I
think all military base housing is pretty much the
same. Anyway, Mom had given Grandma and Grandpa our
room and Missy and I were sleeping out in the living
room on a fold-out couch by the Christmas tree, just
like we are now. We started discussing our dreams for
the future; specifically, our future husbands. I was
just remembering what we said."

"What did you both want? And how far off the mark am
I, or do I even want to know?" he asks with a small
smile. But there's a tiny plea for reassurance lurking in the hidden depths of his eyes. We've been married almost eight months now, but sometimes Mulder still seems to have a problem accepting the fact that I really love him.

"Well, Missy wanted to marry someone with some sort of flashy, glamorous job. I forget if she wanted an actor or a rock star or a professional athlete or if it even mattered. But what she wanted was to live in a fabulous house with a glitzy guy."

"And you?"

"Well, what I told Melissa was that I wanted to be a
doctor. I wanted to be married to somebody who
respected me and wasn't intimidated by my
intelligence. I think you qualify on those aspects.
You definitely respect me and you don't expect me to
play dumb to give your masculine ego a boost."

"Dana, any man who wants a dumb woman. . ."

"Want to hear the parts I didn't tell Melissa? Because I was afraid she'd laugh at me?"

"Depends. Do I meet those standards, too?"


"Okay, then. What?"

"Well, I wanted a husband who was tall, dark and

"I can't argue with tall and dark," he says.

"And handsome," I add, kissing him gently on the nose.

"Well. . .I was only fourteen, remember, but even then I knew I wanted a husband who would. . .well, I had a reputation for being real bookish, real serious."

"You, Scully? A reputation for being serious?" he
teases gently. I nip him on the shoulder, the way I
always do when he does that, and he pulls me closer. I realize that his hands and feet are no longer the only parts of his anatomy that are jumbo sized.

"Anyway, I knew I wanted a husband who didn't regard
me just as intellectual companion. I wanted someone
who would think I was. . .sexy. One who wanted to make love with me a lot and who was real creative about it. Think you qualify, Mulder?"

"Oh, yeah! Speaking of getting creative. . ." he
lowers his mouth and begins licking my ear while, at
the same time, his long fingers slip to the top of my
thighs and begin to tickle me. I let out a tiny
whimper, inaudible to anyone but him. I KNOW Bill
Junior could not possibly hear what we are doing out
here, but, nevertheless, his door opens again.

"Here comes Bill Junior, out for another patrol
through the house," Mulder mutters against my neck. He reluctantly slides his hand up to my shoulder. I am struck by the absurdity of the situation and begin to giggle again.


"Yes, Bill?"

"Everything all right out here?"

"Yes, we're fine, Bill."

Both men give out muffled snorts at this, but Bill
returns - at least temporarily - to his bedroom.

I really want to make love to Dana, but I don't want
to put on a show for her brother. Doesn't he have his
own wife? Can't she keep him busy, at least for half
an hour or so? Suddenly, I remember what I have tucked underneath my pillow.

"Hey, sweetheart," I whisper softly. "Your Mom told me about another Christmas tradition in your family."


"She said she always used to let you open one present
before you went to bed on Christmas Eve. So I've got
one for you to open now."

We both sit up a little bit. I glance down the hall to see if Bill Junior is popping back out and, believe it or not, he isn't. I hand her the gift.

"Want me to dig one of yours out from under the tree?" she whispers.

"No. I just want you to open this."

Scully quickly tears off the paper, but then folds it
neatly and slips it under her own pillow before
opening the box. She lifts out a midnight blue teddy,
trimmed with lace. Amazingly enough, given some of my
premarital predilections, it's the first time I've
ever bought her lingerie.

"Oh, Fox! It's gorgeous! Thank you so much! Want me to slip into the bathroom and try it on for you?"

"Mmm. No, not right now, baby. Tempting though the
offer is, I'm afraid it would lead to another
emergence of the house police. I've got a better

"Wait.  Before you tell me, let's put this back in the box. If Bill Junior sees it, he'll kill you and if Charles sees it, he'll spend so much time teasing me that I'll be tempted to kill him!"

Scully quickly stuffs her present back into the box,
slides it under her pillow, then turns to me. "Now.

First, I lower my mouth to hers for a kiss. I tease
her a bit, keeping the kiss light, my lips closed as
she nibbles and sucks at my mouth, until she gives a
low growl of frustration. Deciding that if I can't
keep her quiet Bill will undoubtedly come charging
down the hall, I give her what she wants and open my
lips to allow her access. She sighs with pleasure our
tongues dart into each other's mouths.

When we finally come up for air, I push gently on her
shoulder, positioning her so that her back is to me
and we are both facing down the hall, looking toward
the door where Bill will undoubtedly be emerging
sometime soon.

"Like this. If we get spied on again, we stop and lie
real still, so it looks like we're just sleeping
spooned up against each other. Think you can manage to be reasonably quiet?"

"What are you implying, Mulder?"

"What I'm implying, Dana," he says, sliding his hand
up under my night shirt to the top of my back, the
slowly gliding it all the way down to the back of my
knee, "is that, generally speaking, you make all these little moans and whimpers and whispers of
encouragement when we're making love. Which, generally speaking, I love. But under these circumstances, I think it might lead to a premature end to the festivities."

"I don't always whimper and moan," I whisper, then
bite down on my lip to keep from doing one or the
other when he slides the tip of one of his fingers
inside me.

"Yeah," he agrees in a whisper. "When we're making
love in the shower and you know the sound of the water is drowning you out any noise we might make, you don't whisper or moan. Then you give in and scream."

He's licking my ear and playing with me and I struggle to keep my mouth shut and my eyes open. My natural inclination is to close my eyes and whimper, but doing that would probably bring Bill out. I realize the idea that we might be caught is an incredible turn-on. I never dated much in high school, but I suddenly wonder if this is how Missy felt when she and her boyfriend engaged in steamy make-out sessions on the couch, while Mom and Dad slept behind a partially closed bedroom door just a few yards down the hall.

I can't touch Fox with my hands, can't look him in the eye, can't let him know verbally how much all this is turning me on. But, as always, we are completely in sync with each other and he knows exactly when to stop playing and start pushing.

When I feel I'm about to climax, I bury my mouth in
Mulder's shoulder. As my orgasm rocks through me, I
clamp down on his bicep and suck to keep from moaning. He fastens his mouth onto the nape of my neck a few minutes later for the same reason.

We are finished, and almost asleep, when Bill comes
strolling through again. We don't speak and I guess he presumes from our even breathing that we are sleeping. After he goes back, Mulder whispers in my ear.


"Mmm?" I mumble sleepily.

"How are you going to explain to your big brother that I've got a love bite on my arm?"

On Christmas morning we are awakened by Tara, Matthew
and Bill Junior coming into the living room to open
presents. Maggie and Charles aren't far behind. About
half the presents are for Matthew. Everybody went a
little nuts buying things for the kid; even Dana and I contributed our fair share.

I like what Dana got me; a book about Houdini and a
sweatshirt with "I'd Settle For Finding Intelligent
Life on THIS Planet!" on it. My presents from Maggie
and the others were nice, too, mostly classic rock CDs and sci-fi videos. Dana must have filled them in on my preferences. Mostly, though, I get a kick out watching Dana open her presents from me. A diamond and sapphire bracelet and a bottle of Sunflowers perfume. She kisses me right in front of everybody while I'm fastening the bracelet on her. Maggie, Charles and Tara seem to approve of this, while Bill Junior looks like he's about to blow a gasket. Only little Matthew - busy tearing into his own presents - seems to have no opinion on this display of affection between his aunt and uncle, but then, the kid's not even two yet.

At Christmas dinner, two things happen that almost ruin the day. In a strange way, however, they cancel each other out. A friend of Bill Junior's, somebody who has no family in the area, has joined us for dinner. Immediately after the blessing, Tara announces that she has special news. She's pregnant again. I'm happy for her, but I sense Dana's quiet despair. We probably won't ever be able to have a biological child together and, while I personally don't have strong feelings about it, I know it's upsetting to her.

Dana reaches her hand across the tablecloth to grasp
mine for a moment and the movement causes her bracelet to catch the sunlight coming in the window. This grabs the attention of Bill Junior's buddy.

"Hey, wow, that's a nice bracelet, Dana!"
Thank you. It's a Christmas present from my husband."

"My parents own a jewelry store," he says. Oh, shit! I think. Dana's going to kill me. "Those are really high quality sapphires and diamonds. I can tell."

I struggle not to spew my wine all over the
tablecloth. Sapphires? Diamonds? I had assumed that
this was costume jewelry. I mean, a little higher
quality than what you'd buy at a discount store, sure, but. . .

Mom has begun quizzing Tara about the baby - when it's due, what names they're thinking of, if she'll have an ultrasound to determine its gender before birth - all that jazz. I'm left to ponder my gift. I always forget - and I'm sure Mulder would be glad to give me the psychological reasons behind this, if I asked him - that my husband is a wealthy man. It's not like I don't know, like I haven't always known. On our very first case together, when he was telling me about Samantha's disappearance, he mentioned that the family had money.  A few years later, after his father's death, he told me he'd been the sole beneficiary of his father's will, since his parents were divorced and his sister had been gone for over 20 years. Even without these statements, I would have known that the Mulder family inhabited a whole different social sphere than the Scullys. Estates on Martha's Vineyard, summer houses in Rhode Island and Oxford educations are in another world from military base housing and state universities.

Strangely enough, given our myriad differences, money
is something we seem to have exactly the same attitude towards. Neither of us cares much about it. We have enough to dress decently and rent nice apartments in an admittedly high-rent area of the country and I have enough to pay on my various student loans. But neither of us have ever wanted snazzy cars or fancy vacations. Before our marriage, we spent so much time at work that we didn't spend much money on entertainment activities. Since our marriage, our favorite entertainment activities are the ones that can be accomplished for free at home alone with each other.

Mulder's one weakness - the one thing he DOES like to
spend money on - is extravagant gifts for me. We've
argued about it before. But, suddenly, I realize that
being an ungracious recipient is simply not in the
Christmas spirit. If it makes him happy to buy me
absurdly expensive presents, why not just let him?

Later, as we are helping to clear off the table,
Mulder whispers in my ear, "Okay, go ahead and tell me now. Exactly how much trouble am I in?"

"You mean about the bracelet?"

"Yeah," he answers, giving me his best whipped-puppy

"No trouble, Fox. As I believe you once told me, a
husband has the right to buy presents for his wife.
Especially at Christmas."

Mulder takes a quick look around the kitchen and,
seeing that we are momentarily alone, backs me up
against the wall and kisses me. It doesn't last long,
but it's hard, wet and deep; so much so that I'm left
gasping and smiling. Luckily my mother, who approves
of this sort of behavior in married couples, is the
one who walks in next.

We have made it to the last full day of our visit and, amazingly enough, Bill Junior and I haven't killed each other. Chuck helps a lot, as do Dana, Maggie and Tara. Even little Matthew has toddled in a time or two and managed to diffuse the tension.

Tonight, Bill Junior has made a heretofore unheard of
gesture of friendship and invited me, as well as
Chuck, to join him in his weekly poker game. It will
be at the house of the same friend who joined us for
Christmas dinner a few days ago, the one whose parents own that damned jewelry store. I glance over at Dana with a raised eyebrow and she nods, just subtly, and mouths the word "go". So I agree.

It's been a while since I played poker. I used to do
it, regularly, when I was in my twenties and working
violent crimes. Reggie was an expert player. Lately,
my only friends have been the gunmen and they're not
much into poker. I'm not a bad player, but I'm rusty
and I lose the first few hands. Also, it takes me a
while to get the feel of the other players; once I've
compiled my own mini-profiles of the other men playing - all Navy officers, except for myself - my knowledge of psychology and my ability to remember which cards have already been played help me to begin winning a fair number of hands.

I enjoy the game, if for no other reason than the fact that everybody is calling me "Mulder", even Dana's brothers. The funny thing is, Bill Junior's friends keep calling HIM "Scully", which makes Chuck think they're talking to him and me think that Dana's just walked into the room. We're drinking heavily, all of us, Scotch instead of the beer I'm used to. But since we'll be walking back to Bill's place, which is only a few blocks away, I can't see that it matters.

When the game finally ends - I seem to have more money than I started with, but I'm a little to inebriated to be absolutely sure - we move into the living room to watch a video. It's one I've seen. In fact, I think I used to own it and gave it to Frohike when Dana and I got married. Most of the men are commenting on it, discussing which particular activities their own wives or girlfriends are or are not willing to do.

Wisely, considering Dana's brothers are in the room, I keep my mouth shut about what I do and don't get in
the way of sexual services. Not that I've gotten much
this week. Since we're sleeping in the living room,
Dana and I have had to be creative. I managed to join
her in the shower one morning and we enjoyed that; she was able to moan and look me in the eyes and I got to watch her come. But it's just been that and the one episode on the couch on Christmas Eve.

I'm startled by Bill Junior's voice, muttering "Tara
would never do that, not in a million years." I
refocus my attention on the screen, to see what my
wife's sister-in-law won't do. Luckily, Dana doesn't
share Tara's inhibitions.

It's well past midnight when Bill Junior, Chuck and I
finally manage to stumble the few blocks back to Bill
and Tara's house. There's a note on the door when we
get there.

"What does it say?" Chuck asks.

After a couple of false starts, Bill manages to read
the note. .

"Dear Bill, Chuck and Fox,

We all got tired and went to bed. I didn't want to
make Dana sleep on the couch, because I was afraid you guys would wake her up when you came in. Mom said she REALLY didn't mind sleeping on the cot in Matthew's room, especially for just one night, so she is there.

Dana is in the bed in the guest room. Fox can join her there. Chuck can sleep on the couch.  
                         Tara "

I suppress the urge to whistle as I walk down the hall and open the door to the bedroom where my wife is sleeping.

I've been asleep for a while when I hear the door
open. Mulder walks toward the bed, then promptly bangs his shin against the footboard and utters a muffled curse. The smell of Scotch hits me.

"Are you DRUNK, Mulder?"

"Probably. Nobody was driving, so I didn't worry about it. I've been worse. I think you've seen me worse."

"Yeah, but. . ." I let my protest trail off. I watch
in fascination as the dim light seeping into the room
shows him quickly and efficiently stripping. He pulls
up the covers and slips in beside me.

"Are you wearing the perfume I got you for Christmas?" he asks, burying his face in my neck and inhaling.

"Mmmhmm. And the bracelet."

"Glad you like them," he mutters, tracing his fingers
down my arm to my wrist.



"I'm wearing ALL the presents you got me for
Christmas," I whisper in his ear.

"Oh! Damn!" he mutters as he runs his hands over my
body, tracing the lacey outlines of the teddy. "Are
you mad at me for coming home so late? And drunk?"

"No," I whisper slowly. "I wouldn't want you to make a habit of it, but. . .no, I don't mind. This is the
first time since we've been married that you've really had a night out with the guys. I'm glad you went with my brothers."



"I think I'M mad at me. As much as I want to make love to you, as much as I've been waiting all week. .
.hell, I think I drank too much. Nothing seems to be.
. .happening."

I smile at him. It's true that he's not leaping to
attention the way he usually does, but I'm a doctor
and I know quite a few things about the human body.
And about this particular man's body, I'm the world's
greatest expert.

"Shh," I whisper. "Lie down and relax. Trust me."

Starting at his jaw, I begin to slowly work my way
down his body with tiny, nibbling kisses. Once I get
to his navel, I let my kisses become wetter, licking
at his skin. He starts to squirm, which I take as a
good sign. When I reach my goal, though, it's barely
at half mast. That's okay. I take him into my mouth
and begin to suck. It takes a while, but eventually
I've got him hot, hard and throbbing, caught between
my tongue and the roof of my mouth.

Keeping him there, I swirl my tongue around him. Then
I free him and begin licking up and down, slowly, like a kid with an ice cream cone. He moans and I look up at him with delight.

"Shh! We're right next to Bill and Tara's room. He'd
kill us!"

"Let me have a turn, then."

I smile and nod. He slips the teddy off me and doesn't bother with many preliminaries. After one quick kiss on the mouth, which leaves the lingering taste of Scotch and sunflower seeds on my lips, he dives directly down between my legs. I eagerly spread my thighs, greedy for the pleasure he brings me.

When I'm shimmering on the brink of climax, he pulls
his face up and slips into me, all in one smooth
motion. He pumps into me for quite some time and I
bite the pillow to keep from moaning.

Finally, I whisper, "Can you flip us? I want to be on

He grins at me and rolls over onto his back, pulling
me tight against him. And I come. Damn! I wanted to
ride him for a while, but I was too excited. Simply
the friction caused by switching positions led to my

I lean up and begin to bounce on him. He plays with my breasts until suddenly he grabs my hips and holds me steady while he thrusts upwards. Hard. So much so that it's borderline uncomfortable, but when I feel him spilling into me and watch the look of pure pleasure on his face, all I feel is happiness.

The next morning, we manage to slip in another
lovemaking session. Just a quickie, really. Straight
missionary position and not a lot of foreplay, but
we're both still smiling after we've showered and
dressed. Dana finishes packing our suitcases, which
she'd started on last night, and we go into the
kitchen for breakfast. And walk right in on an

"Damn it, Bill, I just think it was inappropriate!"
Tara says. "We have guests!"

"Tara, I had half the guests with me! I figured we
could have one guy's night out while you and Mom and
Dana did, I don't know, girl stuff, I guess! You don't see Dana jumping all over him do you?" Bill says, gesturing toward me.

Apparently, Bill is willing to overlook his dislike of me in order to make a plea for male solidarity. I
smirk a bit; Dana sure as hell jumped me last night,
but not in the way her sister-in -law is jumping her

"Well, give me your opinion then, Dana," Tara says.
"Are you mad at Mulder for coming home at 3 a.m. and

"Was it that late? He asked me the same thing, if I
was mad at him," Dana says, obviously playing for

"Well? Were you?" Bill asks.

"I'll tell you two the same thing I told Fox last
night," Dana says slowly. "I said I wouldn't want him
to make a habit of it, but that I wasn't mad at him
about this one incident. If you two are asking my
opinion about whether Tara has a right to be, um,
perturbed with you, Bill, I can't really answer.
Because I don't know if this is a regular occurrence
or note. I this is something you do every week - or
even every other week - when you're home on shore
leave, then yes, I think Tara has a right to be angry. On the other hand, if it only happens a couple of times a year, then I think perhaps Tara is. .
.overreacting a bit."

Dana steps closer to me and smiles. I trace the line
of her cheek, then Chuck walks in.

"Wow! I'm not even going to bother to ask who got
lucky last night. One couple's smiling at each other
and the other couple's glaring. I told you not to have that last drink, Bill."

I can't help it. I dissolve into a fit of giggles. Mom walks in and asks what's so funny, but I can't answer. I wouldn't even if I could. This is sort of
embarrassing. Chuck took one glance at us and
obviously made the correct inference as to what my
husband and I had been "up" to last night. He also
more or less implied that our older brother could do
with a dose of Viagra.

Bill Junior glares at everyone - Mulder most of all,
although he's barely said a word - and stomps out of
the room. Tara busies herself getting Matthew into his high chair and making his breakfast, while the rest of us help ourselves to coffee and sweet rolls.

"Think I should go tell Bill that I not only got lucky last night, but this morning, too?" Mulder whispers in my ear.

"Do you WANT him to kill you, Mulder?"

"Well, it's not all his fault."

"What do you mean?"

"Tell you later."

We are, finally, on the plane back to Washington.
Maggie is dozing in the window seat, Dana is in the
center and I'm on the aisle. She whispers in my ear,
which makes me shiver and start to rise.

"Okay, what did you mean about it not being all Bill
Junior's fault?"

"You sure your Mom's asleep?" at Scully's answering
nod, I continue in a low voice.

"Well, after the poker game was over last night the
host put in a, um, a video."

"I assume the kind you used to watch before our

"Yeah. I'd seen it before and didn't say anything. I
swear. I wouldn't have under any circumstances, but
especially not with your brothers there."

"Do I even want to know what the other men were

"Probably not. Most of it was whether or not their
wives or girlfriends were willing to engage in certain activities."

"So how does this relate to my brother?"

"You sure you want to hear this?" I ask.

"Now that we've begun the conversation, I'll always
wonder if we don't finish it."

"Well, there was one scene where a woman was giving
the male lead the kind of, er, encouragement you gave
me when I came home last night. Bill happened to
mutter - I think he was talking to himself and I just
happened to overhear - that Tara won't, um, do that."

"Really?" she arches her eyebrows up in the famous

"Well, that's what your brother said. I didn't ask
Tara for her version."



"We'll be home tonight. In our own bed."



"I hope you weren't planning on actually *SLEEPING*

She laughs and entwines our hands, scooting as close
to me as possible in the confined space of the

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