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They’re at the tail end of a heatwave and a long, tiring week. ‘Normal’ couples in London probably would want to crash into a pub, settle down for a drink or dinner, and chatter idly about plans for the weekend. Normality is not a word in their combined dictionaries. They’d also struggle to define the word ‘couple’. Instead, Liz and Finn use up their last reserves of energy arguing all the way from the office to her front door – though they somehow manage to get a takeaway en route.

They chomp down their curry in between glasses of white wine; half an hour later, they’re flushed and perspiring.

‘Why the fuck did you order vindaloo if you can’t handle the heat?’ gripes Finn, as if his collar isn’t sticking to the back of his neck.

‘At least I can handle the truth!’ she snaps back, on reflex, wiping her brow.

He stares at her, expression incredulous. ‘Are you seriously paraphrasing A Few Good Men?’

‘So what if I am?’ she counters, daring him to back down. He doesn’t. In fact, he draws his chair up even closer.

Insults and half-remembered quotes volley between them, interspersed by Liz pouring them both glasses of iced water from the fridge.

She ultimately outtalks, out-quotes him and Finn (annoyed, still sweating…disgusting) rises to his feet. Liz does the same and it’s a race to the bathroom. But he’s taller, got longer legs and he slams the door behind him. Silence descends; too quiet for her liking.

She gives the door – her own bathroom door, for crying out loud – a loud thump. ‘Are you fucking jacking off in there? Jesus, Finn, I’ve told you before –’ She cuts herself off, belatedly realising that he might also be actually relieving himself and she reddens. It’s stupid, really, how she barely bats an eyelid at seeing him naked but is embarrassed at the sound of him having a piss.

But he’s doing neither of these things, and soon there’s the sound of running water. For some reason, it makes her seethe more than any of the other two possibilities.

What occasionally amazes Finn is his own ability to sulk anywhere. Several of the men’s lavatories at Scotland Yard, his own cluttered office, in the seat next to Liz in the Range Rover and once so far on a plane. So sulking in Liz’s shower isn’t a stretch of anyone’s imagination. Yet, and unlike most occasions, he’s also unbearably turned on, awkwardly wedged between his rage and his need to unwind. He’s alone, he’s naked, and the water is warm upon his skin. His fingers twitch; it’s all so easy to take himself in hand…and great, the very thought of it is making him hard. He rests his forehead against the tiled wall, weighing his options.

Without warning, the glass door slides open. The showerhead clatters to the ground, narrowly missing his toe.  

‘What the fuck?!’

Liz peers in, infuriatingly nonchalant in her bathrobe. ‘Oh good, you’re still alive.’ She modulates her voice a little, enough to give the impression that she’s vaguely disappointed at the fact. Her eye casually falls on his growing erection.

‘Is that for me?’

‘Don’t flatter yourself,’ he growls, although the effect is somewhat ruined when he chokes as she reaches out and trails a wet finger along the tip. ‘I get aroused by a lot of things; you don’t hold the monopoly, Liz.’ He bites back a twinge of disappointment when she drops her hand. ‘Now…can you please go?’

‘Depends. Are you planning to brood here all night? Declare martial law and a one-man occupation?’

That riles him. ‘As long as it fucking takes.’

‘Okay, if that’s how you want to spend your weekend, fine,’ she says levelly, discarding her robe and stepping inside. ‘Meanwhile, I’m gonna shower and go to bed.’

‘I’d consider this an intrusion of territorial waters,’ he complains as he’s forced to make room for her.

‘Finn, seeing that this is my bathroom, your analogy – excuse the pun – doesn’t hold water. Period.’

He backs into the wall, hoping to put some distance between them, and for a while they try to wash themselves in their respective corners. But it doesn’t help that a shower is an enclosed space. Similar, he supposes, to a lift but the advantage of the latter is there they’re at least fully clothed and he isn’t being driven insane by water droplets cascading down her perfect breasts and his gaze helplessly follows them downwards and fuck, she has no right existing like this. When he looks up at her face, she’s watching him intently.

He swallows heavily when she steps closer. Steam helpfully rises up between them.

Liz is having equal difficulty holding his gaze, tempting as it is to rake her eyes over his body, and more importantly, his straining cock which appears to be imperceptibly bobbing in time with his racing pulse. Almost.

She stifles the sudden urge to laugh, just as a spike of lust threatens to overwhelm her, making her eyes flutter shut and her lips purse together.

A low moan and Finn’s mouth is on hers before she knows it. Hands frantically roam and navigate about wet, warm flesh. He cups her breasts and she shoves her hand between them, pulling firmly at his shaft. He nearly topples over, grunts against her lips, at her touch.

‘Thought you disapproved of me wanking in the shower,’ he comments when she begins stroking him in earnest.

To his distress, her hand stills and she fixes him with a stern look. What’s reflected back at her is a curious mixture of panicked and needy. Liz makes a mental note that she’d like to make him look like that more often, both during sex and at work…plus it’s weirdly hot.

‘Liz –’

‘As long as you come in me and not down the drain, I’ll gladly make an exception.’

He lets out a whine which is embarrassingly amplified by the bathroom acoustics.

Fuck, you’re such a whore,’ he gasps. With her other hand, she winds her fingers into his soaked hair and crushes her lips to his. Not wanting to be outdone, Finn’s own fingers descend, down and down, until she stutters at his dexterous touch upon her core. Their breaths quicken, shorten, the air heavy with heat, steam and growing anticipation as they stroke and tug each other, with increasing urgency, to a climax.

Or so she thinks. She’s so engrossed in getting him off that she’s surprised when he abruptly lifts her into his arms and winds her legs about his waist.

‘Not down the drain, remember?’ he exhales as her back connects – gently – with the tiles. It’s a wonder that he’s able to do so, judging by how dark his eyes are now. She nods and moans into his shoulder when he shifts his hips upwards, just so, and then sheathes himself inside her. Finn can barely keep it all together; it might be the heat (weather-wise, water temperature-wise, even fucking curry-wise) but he’s genuinely glad he’s fucking her against the wall because she’s burning around him. (Whatever he says afterwards, he can live with clumsily dropping a showerhead, not her.)

‘Finn. Come on, Finn,’ keens Liz. It takes him a moment to realise that he's stopped moving and that he’s merely been holding her. Every fibre of his being is stretched to tautness; almost to the point of actual pain, all desperate for release as Liz is. As he is.

But he stubbornly holds out and he licks his lips, mouth dry in spite of it all.

‘You can’t handle it, can you? Not me. Nor my cock.’

Liz’s eyes are wide with disbelief, with dangerous desire, and perhaps a hint of loathing. She opens her mouth, thinks the better of it and wordlessly throws her arms about his neck. He doesn’t have time to react; because she’s grinding her hips roughly, blisteringly, against his, using his entire body for leverage and a minute later, humps them both to completion. Their mingled, incomprehensible cries drown out the roar of the shower.

‘And you can’t handle me or my cunt,’ she pants open-mouthed, afterwards, against his skin. He shakes his head, still trembling against her.

‘I’m glad I can’t,’ he says with a weak smile which she returns.

Eventually, he sets her down then self-consciously reaches for the shampoo.

‘Shower and then bed?’ he murmurs as he lathers it into her hair, the sensation as thrilling as sex.

She sighs appreciatively. ‘I thought you’d never ask.’