It's early when Nadine enters the kitchenette. She startles when she sees Elizabeth there and almost drops the mug she's holding.
Elizabeth smiles at her from her seat at the table. "Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. I snuck in early this morning," she says. She’s holding what appears to be a cupcake, and shows it to Nadine. "I lucked out—someone brought in baked goods."
Nadine walks over to the counter to start the water for her tea. "Cupcakes? That doesn’t really make for a filling breakfast." She opens the cabinet and grabs her box of Earl Grey from the bottom shelf so that she can prepare her cup.
Elizabeth just takes a bite and grins, and Nadine shakes her head. "Don't tell Blake," Elizabeth says in a stage whisper. "Anyway, this cupcake is absolutely delicious. It might be the best cupcake I've ever had. I need to figure out where it came from, but the box didn't have a name." She gestures towards the plain cardboard bakery box sitting on the counter.
Nadine gives it an uncertain look. "That wasn't here when I left last night. Who brings in cupcakes at six in the morning?"
Elizabeth polishes off the rest of it and wipes her hands on a napkin. "I don't know, but can you find out? I want to thank whoever it was."
"I'll get right on that." Nadine says, her tone making clear she won't be doing any such thing. The kettle starts to whistle, grabbing her attention. She turns, lifts it off the base so she can pour hot water over her tea bag.
Elizabeth snorts, standing up. "You should have one,” she says as she tosses her trash. “Before the horde eats them all."
"I think I'll pass. Too much sugar so early in the morning."
"Your loss. I’ll see you in a bit." Elizabeth gives her another smile as she leaves.
Nadine stares at the bakery box while her tea steeps. Curiosity getting the better of her, she walks over to it to inspect it. There is indeed no name on it, just a single sticker bearing a logo that she knows she’s seen before, but can't quite place. She flips the lid open. Five identical iced chocolate cupcakes.
The icing is a flawless spiral, the swirls almost gleaming in the early morning light—the perfect temptation. Nadine reaches out a finger and dips it into the buttercream, bringing it to her mouth and sucking it off. A shiver runs through her and she goes to pick up the whole cupcake when the kettle suddenly whistles again behind her.
She flinches and drops the cake, icing smearing the bottom of the box. She shakes her head and goes to turn the kettle off. She must have accidentally reset it earlier.
When she turns her attention back to the box, a thought niggles at the back of her brain. Without further deliberation, she walks over and grabs the whole box and throws it in the trash. She's not one to rely on intuition, but she’ll trust it this time. No one in the office needs that much sugar, anyway.
Nadine picks up her mug and goes back to her office.
Blake notices it first.
The Secretary is in a meeting with the South African delegation when Blake approaches Nadine with a worried look on his face. "Nadine, can I have a minute? It's important."
She’s in the middle of a conversation with one of her interns and shoots Blake a look of annoyance. Nevertheless, she excuses herself and allows Blake to pull her to a more secluded area. “What is it?” she says impatiently. “I already told you I can’t meet with the Russian delegation in the Secretary’s place. It would be a breach of protocol."
Blake's eyes flit towards the conference room and then back to Nadine. He looks nervous. "It's not that. It's, it's… uhm..." he fumbles. "It's the Secretary. When she finishes up, can you look at her and tell me what you think? I think something’s wrong.”
Nadine raises an eyebrow. She wants to go back to what she was doing—Blake often frets like a mother hen when it comes to the Secretary, and Nadine isn’t usually one to indulge him. But at that moment, the conference room doors slide open and she hears the Secretary's throaty laugh—the one she has only heard when Elizabeth has had a few drinks and is among friends. Nadine turns to watch as the crowd filters out of the room.
Jay comes out looking confused, but all the foreign diplomats who follow are laughing and smiling, so it can't be all bad. Elizabeth is in the middle, her face alight. Her hair is down, curled around her face and slightly mussed. Her cheeks are flushed and there's… almost a glow to them.
"She just... looks happy. Is it that so bad?" Nadine says to Blake.
He wrings his hands, his eyes never leaving the Secretary. "Wait. Just watch."
Nadine waits and watches. As Elizabeth walks the diplomats out to the elevator bank, she seems to be a little handsier than normal—patting their back, squeezing a shoulder—but it doesn’t seem to be anything overly concerning or out of character.
Elizabeth returns, walking over to where Blake and Nadine are standing. She's still beaming. "What's next, Blake?” she asks. “Something outside, I hope. It's boiling in here." She grasps the front of her blouse and fans it against her chest.
Up close, Nadine sees that she’s flushed all over, with her shirt undone one button further than is probably professionally appropriate. And her pupils are unusually dilated.
"I’ll check on the heat for you. But right now the environmental policy team is waiting in your office to brief you. And I have some papers I need you to sign." He offers them to her.
“Great!” she says, grabbing the sheaf of papers and disappearing in the direction of her office. “Thanks, Blake.”
Blake turns to Nadine the moment Elizabeth is out of earshot. "See what I mean?" he hisses.
Nadine nods. "Keep an eye on her. It doesn't look like a panic attack to me, but they can show up in different ways."
“I’m leaving in twenty minutes, remember? Maybe I should cancel my appointment, I should stay here,” Blake frets.
“Oh damn it, I forgot.” Nadine’s mouth twists. He’d asked for a few hours off this afternoon, and it complicates things now, but Blake so rarely asks for time off that she’d feel guilty denying it to him. And anyway, this shouldn’t be anything she can’t handle herself. “I’ll keep an eye out,” she says decisively. “Keep your appointment.”
Blake still looks uncertain, but seems mollified for the moment.
Nadine looks thoughtfully at the closed door. There's something... something familiar here.
An hour later, Nadine is knocking on the Secretary’s door with the briefing book in her hand. It seems like a good time to check on her. The Secretary had secluded herself in the office after dismissing her last appointment, and hasn’t come out since.
Nadine thinks she hears a muffled “come in”, so she lets herself into the office and closes the door behind her.
“Ma’am, since Blake is out for the next few hours, I thought you and I could review the rest of your appointments for the day,” she says. She flips open the binder, focused on the schedule as she makes her way to the Secretary’s desk without looking up. “It’s fairly light, so barring any international calamity, I think we could even get you home at a reasonable hour today.” She smiles and looks up, but then the smile falls right off her face once her eyes land on Elizabeth. “Madam Secretary?”
Elizabeth is bowed over her desk, braced on locked elbows and leaning heavily. Her breathing, now that Nadine is paying attention, sounds unusually labored.
Nadine sets the binder down on the chair and rounds the desk cautiously. “Ma’am, are you alright?” She places a light hand on Elizabeth’s shoulder and Elizabeth flinches at the touch. Nadine pulls back quickly. “What’s wrong?” she asks softly.
Elizabeth doesn’t answer for a long moment. She swallows audibly, and finally lifts her head, turning to look in Nadine’s direction. Her eyes are glazed. “Um,” she rasps. “I’m not sure.”
Nadine studies her. Elizabeth certainly doesn’t look well, and the fact that she didn’t immediately deny having a problem is all Nadine needs to know that there definitely is one. Elizabeth’s chest is heaving, her face is flushed, and a light layer of perspiration has broken out over her brow. And her pupils are the size of dinner plates. “We should take you to the hospital,” Nadine says, but Elizabeth shakes her head. Nadine persists. “With all due respect, you don’t look well at all. I’m worried.”
“No, I don’t...” Elizabeth shifts from foot to foot uneasily. “I don’t want to go to the hospital.”
“No,” Elizabeth repeats firmly.
Nadine knows when to back off, so she does. She tries something else. “Should I call Henry?”
Elizabeth sighs. She claws at the neck of her blouse, pulling it away from her body to get some air. Trying to help, Nadine picks up one of the Manila folders on the desk and uses it to fan her from the side. Elizabeth’s eyes flutter closed and she groans, turning into the little breeze that Nadine is creating. “He’s out of the country right now. It’s... I can’t even work out what time it is there. He’s in... I... Christ. I can’t remember. I really— I can’t think.”
“Okay, that’s alright,” Nadine says, though her mind is whirling now. “Just— I’ll be right back. Stay right there.” She puts the folder into Elizabeth’s hands so that she can continue fanning herself, and then she darts out of the office.
Nadine makes her way to Blake’s desk, where one of the junior aides is currently holding court. “Meg,” she says.
The young woman whips around. “Yes ma’am.”
“Hold all of the Secretary’s calls, and no one in or out of her office until you have my say so. I don’t want anyone so much as sitting in the outer office for the foreseeable future. Is that clear?”
“Hold all of— for how long?”
“Probably until Blake gets back. You can make it his problem then.”
“And what about the Secretary’s appointments?” Megan glances at the schedule.
“Move them. If anyone gives you a hard time, tell them to take it up with me.” It’s a good way to shut down most complaints, in Nadine’s experience.
“Okay. Yes ma’am.”
“Thank you. I’ll bring Blake up to speed. No foot traffic, no calls,” Nadine reminds her as she walks away. She seals off both entrances to the outer office—the heavy rolling doors that separate it from the main floor, and the one that separates it from the block of senior offices. And then she pulls out her phone to call Blake.
He answers midway through the first ring. “So?” he says by way of greeting. “What’s the verdict?”
“It’s not a panic attack, but I don’t... I don’t know what it is. She’s adamant about not going to the hospital.”
Blake sighs. “Yeah, I thought you might say that.”
“She said Henry’s out of the country—“
“Yeah, he’s in Munich this week, but he gets back tomorrow.”
“She couldn’t remember where he was.”
Blake pauses. “Well that’s not a good sign,” he says finally. “You should call him if you need to. It’s nearly five there now, so he should be wrapping up for the day.”
“Okay,” Nadine says, running through the possibilities in her mind. “Alright.”
“Are you good there or do you need a hand? I could come back early if you—“
“No, I’ll be fine, Blake. I told Meg to hold all her calls and appointments until you get back. The same goes for you once you get back. Nothing and no one until you see my face and get my say so.”
“Of course. Keep me updated if you can.”
“See you soon.” Nadine ends the call and lets herself back into Elizabeth's office. She locks the door behind her and then walks over to the side door leading to the conference room and locks that one too. She finally turns to look at Elizabeth again. “Okay, let’s figure this out.”
Elizabeth has rounded to the front of the desk now, and she sits on the edge of it with her fingers gripping so hard that her knuckles are white. She's watching Nadine with almost a predatory expression.
"How are you feeling?" Nadine asks carefully.
Elizabeth is breathing heavily. "Like I'm going crazy." She continues to stare Nadine down, tracking her every moment. "Maybe you should leave me alone."
"I don't think that's a good idea." Nadine stays on the other side of the room. Something is niggling in her brain. She thinks she almost knows what this is, but the connections are eluding her. "When did you start to feel this way?"
Elizabeth seems to be grinding her teeth. "This morning, after I got here. It started early, but it's been getting worse. Nadine, I really think you should leave."
Nadine ignores her suggestion. "This morning," she says slowly. "Okay. You’re flushed, you’re overheated, you're not thinking straight… Have you had any other symptoms?”
"I feel like… like I'm out of my skin."
“...I can call a medic up here if you—"
"No!" Elizabeth yells, pushing herself off the desk.
Nadine holds her hands up in appeasement, but Elizabeth is stalking toward her now. Nadine takes an involuntary step back. "W-what do you think would help you right now?" Elizabeth is now less than a foot away from her, and Nadine has run out of space to back up, now standing against the wall.
"You," Elizabeth says tersely. She takes the last step closer to Nadine, until they're breathing the same air.
"I beg your pardon?"
Elizabeth slams a hand against the wall to the side of Nadine's head. Nadine flinches. "Fuck," Elizabeth growls. Nadine thinks that might be the first time she's heard the other woman say that word. "All I want to do right now is throw you down on the couch and fuck you."
Nadine gapes, her mind going temporarily blank. That wasn’t at all what she was expecting Elizabeth to say.
Elizabeth is watching her closely. "I don't know what's wrong with me,” she breathes. Her eyes trail down Nadine’s neck before she squeezes them shut again. “You should leave. You're as tempting as that damn cupcake this morning."
Suddenly, it clicks. Nadine knows exactly what is going on. She ducks under Elizabeth's arm and side steps away. Elizabeth doesn't move, just pushes her hand harder against the wall and rests her head heavily on her arm. "Ma'am. I think I know what's wrong. I— I might be able to help, but you need to talk to Henry first."
Elizabeth looks up, clearly not following.
"It's the cupcake,” Nadine says. “I just remembered where I've seen that logo before."
"The cupcake?” Elizabeth repeats scathingly. “What—like it was some kind of aphrodisiac?”
“Well… yes.” Nadine can tell that Elizabeth doesn’t believe her. Which is fair—it sounds ridiculous even to her own ears.
Elizabeth scoffs. “And is that why I’m feeling so uncontrollably horny?" Her tone drips with sarcasm.
She’s advancing again, and Nadine stumbles a little as she walks backward, trying to maintain some distance between them as she rushes to explain. “It’s a sex pollen cake. Or at least, that’s what I’ve heard it called… I know that sounds absurd, but it’s a real thing; there was an incident a few years ago where—" Elizabeth doesn't seem to be listening, so Nadine skips the backstory hurriedly. "It doesn't matter. The point is, it's a drug with some of the same properties as MDMA."
And then Elizabeth is lunging for her and pushing her into the wall again as she kisses her suddenly. It takes Nadine by surprise, and she’s too shocked to do anything but kiss her back. It feels really good, and so it takes her a minute to snap back to her senses. Once she does, she shoves Elizabeth away, panting.
"We can't,” Nadine rasps.
“Of course. Fuck,” Elizabeth swears. She curls her hands into fists, and her nails seem to be digging hard into skin. "Nadine, I'm so sorry.”
“No, it’s not that—”
“You should leave now."
“—I think I can help you. But I just… I think you should call Henry first.”
“Help,” Elizabeth repeats. She swallows. “As in…”
Nadine nods. “Yes. I’ve read… well, I’ve read that if someone else is with you, it can help reduce the negative side effects of the drug. Something about the mixing pheromones, or… I don’t really understand all of the biochemistry—”
“What side effects?” Elizabeth is propped against the wall now, leaning into it like she’s relying on it to hold her up. With one hand, she undoes another two buttons on her blouse.
Nadine can see the smooth lines of her bra, a dark navy that contrasts starkly with her skin. “Hyperthermia. Arrhythmias. A heart attack.” She drags her eyes away, berating herself for looking.
“You’re saying this could kill me.”
“Yes. You can’t keep fighting this.” Nadine reaches over and places her fingers on the side of Elizabeth’s neck to find her pulse.
Elizabeth pulls away immediately, biting down on a moan at even that small touch. “Nadine. If you touch me, I don’t know what I’ll do to you.”
“Nothing I’ll hold against you,” Nadine promises. “Please, I need to check your pulse.” She waits a beat. “May I?”
“...Fine,” Elizabeth says reluctantly.
Nadine presses her fingers to Elizabeth’s neck and times it with her watch. Even if she wasn’t counting, she can tell that Elizabeth’s heart is beating much too fast; it feels like it’s practically a flutter under her fingertips. “175.” Nadine frowns and pulls her hand away. “Elizabeth, that is dangerously fast. Your heart could stop if you don’t—“
“I am not going to the hospital in this state,” Elizabeth says through gritted teeth.
“That’s fine, but you need to release the tension before this kills you.”
Elizabeth laughs outright. “You’re saying I need to get myself off.”
“Yes. And from the looks of you, quite urgently.”
Elizabeth lifts her hair off the back of her neck and groans in response. “Christ, it’s like a sauna in here,” she hisses. Nadine watches as a tiny droplet of sweat travels down her neck, sliding down between her collarbones, and disappearing between her breasts. Elizabeth swallows. Carefully, she says, “What you… what you were saying before, about being with someone else...”
“Helps your chances of not dying,” Nadine emphasizes.
Elizabeth smiles deliriously then, her eyes sliding closed as she fans herself half-heartedly. “Are you saying you’ll help me get off?” she says with as much cheek as she can muster.
“So that you don’t die?” Nadine says in a strangled voice. “Of course.” She’s getting very nervous now, watching the way Elizabeth seems to be worsening right in front of her. “Let’s call Henry,” she says urgently, “and then we’ll see what I can do to... help you. Where is your secure cell? I don’t think this is a phone call we want being overheard."
Elizabeth gestures vaguely towards her desk. Nadine eyes her carefully before rushing over to grab it. She hands it to Elizabeth to unlock. Elizabeth is able to enter the passcode, but can't seem to operate it beyond that. She stares blankly at the screen, so Nadine takes it from her gently, Elizabeth whimpering as their hands brush. Nadine puts the call through and hopes to God that Henry answers his phone, because if he doesn't, they're going to have to ask for forgiveness instead of permission.
Elizabeth is swaying closer and closer to her. By the time the line is ringing through, she has practically tucked her face into the crook of Nadine’s neck, inhaling the scent of her perfume. Nadine can feel her breath on her throat and she has to suppress a shiver. She steps to the side, but Elizabeth simply follows her, trying to connect her lips to Nadine’s neck.
Henry answers on the third ring. “Hey, babe.” At the faint sound of his voice, Elizabeth makes a sound that is half-pleasure and half-pain. Henry is immediately on alert. "Babe, is that you? What's wrong?" When she doesn't answer he gets more serious. "Are you okay?"
Nadine tilts her head in an attempt to evade Elizabeth brushing kisses along her jaw. "Dr. McCord, it's Nadine. We've got a bit of a situation."
"Is Elizabeth safe? Where are you?"
Elizabeth is tugging at Nadine's blouse, but doesn't seem to have the coordination to work the buttons. Nadine shoves her back again for a few moments’ reprieve. "We're in her office. She's safe, but um..." She watches Elizabeth watching her, and decides she needs to cut straight to the chase. "Excuse me for being blunt, but I need to get your wife off so that she doesn’t have some sort of heart attack."
Henry sounds like he's choking on something, and Elizabeth takes that moment to pounce on Nadine again. This time when she shoves her into the wall, she also slides her hand between Nadine’s legs to palm her through her slacks. Nadine lets out an involuntary moan, which Elizabeth takes as encouragement. She kisses Nadine again while tugging at her pants.
"Need you," Elizabeth pants into her ear.
"What in sweet hell is going on?" Henry is starting to sound righteously angry.
Nadine does her best to ignore Elizabeth biting her earlobe. "It's quite simple, really. She needs to be fucked or she might die." She feels ridiculous saying it, still isn't entirely convinced this isn't all some fever dream. She knows she needs to give Henry context so that he doesn’t kill her, so she hurries on. "She ate a cupcake laced with a toxic aphrodisiac and it's making her painfully arous—" Nadine is cut off by Elizabeth attacking her mouth.
"Wait a minute," Henry says sharply, seeming to have gathered his wits. "I think I got a briefing on this a while back. The street name is 'sex pollen’?”
Nadine pulls free. “That’s the one.”
Elizabeth seems to have gathered a brief moment of sanity as she freezes in place. "It hurts Henry,” she whispers. “I feel like I can't breathe, my chest is so tight," she whimpers, grinding herself against Nadine’s thigh.
“Shit,” Henry swears. “This doesn’t sound good.”
“Her heart rate is astronomically high and she... she’s not in good shape,” Nadine says. She dodges Elizabeth’s mouth and then puts out a hand to physically push her back again. “I’m seriously concerned that it could stop her heart.”
“And there’s no antidote,” Henry says. He sounds distressed now instead of angry.
“I know. I know. Henry, I’m really sorry about this,” Nadine says earnestly. “Obviously if... There’s no way I would ever...”
“No I know, Nadine. I trust you, and I’m glad you’re there. Um...” He pauses for a second. Nadine imagines him pinching the bridge of his nose, squeezing his eyes shut. Trying to stomach the idea of giving someone else permission to fuck his wife. “I have so many questions, but they probably ought to wait for a less sensitive time.”
Elizabeth cups Nadine's breast through her shirt and Nadine grabs her wrist, stilling her. “Probably,” Nadine agrees. Elizabeth pushes back the collar of Nadine’s shirt and lowers her lips to the exposed skin, right where her neck meets her shoulder. “I think tomorrow we will all need to talk about what we— Ow!” She flinches as Elizabeth bites down hard. “Elizabeth, honestly!”
Elizabeth only grins, reeling her back in. She dips her head and laves her tongue over the mark. One of her hands travels up Nadine’s abdomen, bunching up the thin fabric of her blouse.
“I probably should be apologizing to you for however she’s about to debauch you,” Henry says dryly.
“Yeah, maybe!” Nadine exclaims as she struggles to twist away from Elizabeth’s tight grip. “I’m— mmph—” Elizabeth cuts her off again with a lewd kiss as she tries to yank her shirt out of her slacks. Nadine turns her head sharply to break the kiss. She’s panting, now. “Henry I’ve got to go. This shirt cost me four hundred dollars and your wife might rip it right off me if I don’t get my ass moving.”
Henry is saying something, but she misses it when she flings the phone down without bothering to hang up. It skitters halfway across the room as she finally slams Elizabeth against the wall and holds her there.
“For God’s sake!” she says. Elizabeth struggles against her hold, but Nadine is firm. “Are you going to keep screwing around, or will you actually let me take care of you?”
She reaches for the fastening on Elizabeth’s pants without waiting for an answer. They’ve wasted enough time as it is. Nadine undoes the clasp and zip and then wrestles her hand into Elizabeth's underwear. Her fingers are immediately coated in arousal, and Elizabeth is so slick that Nadine’s fingers sink right into her folds. She gets two fingers into her and her thumb on her clit without bothering with any buildup, and Elizabeth moans in relief.
“I asked you a question,” Nadine breathes. “Do. You Want. Me. To Fuck. You?" She punctuates every word with a thrust.
“Yes!” Elizabeth gasps. She scrunches Nadine’s blouse in her fists and tugs on it again ineffectually. “Yes, yes, yes!”
Nadine tries to twist out of her grip. “Then stop trying to undress me, just let me get you off. Christ, you’re soaking my whole hand.” She’s doing her best to keep her composure; someone has to in this situation. She’s breathing heavily as she fucks Elizabeth with her fingers, and hopes to God she can hide how aroused she is herself. This isn’t about her.
She starts asking Elizabeth questions, trying to figure out what the other woman likes, how best to help her. “Do you need another finger?”
“Yes,” Elizabeth says, and Nadine obligingly adds a third finger. Elizabeth moans, tipping her head back.
“Do—do you normally come a few times in a row, or do you get too sensitive for that?”
“I n-need at least two,” Elizabeth says. She’s practically riding Nadine’s hand now. “Two in a row would be good since—oh God—since I’ve been horny all day—”
“All right,” Nadine says easily. She can do that, right? If she can get herself off, she should be able to figure out how to get another woman off. “And are you gonna scream, or can you keep it down?” She wants to be prepared to cover for anything.
“I can be quiet,” Elizabeth moans. Except she’s already growing loud enough that Nadine doubts the validity of that claim.
When she pulls her hand out, Elizabeth lets out a loud sound of protest. “Hush,” Nadine says. She yanks at Elizabeth's pants, shoving them down, and Elizabeth almost trips in her haste to get them off. Nadine pulls her over to the couch. "Let’s lay you down. Let me fuck you properly," And then she climbs on top of her and pushes three fingers into her again, using all the force she can muster. Her fingers glide through her easily. "Damn,” she says. “Do you always get this wet?"
"Noo, oh God. It must—oh fuck—it must be the drug."
“Well, you’re probably going to ruin this couch,” Nadine muses. “I guess there’s nothing to be done about that now.”
“Do you always talk this much during sex?” Elizabeth snaps. She reaches above her head to brace herself against the armrest.
Nadine chuckles low in her throat. “Not usually, no.” She brings her other hand up to swirl circles on Elizabeth’s clit with her thumb. “But I normally don’t have sex under these circumstances, either.”
Elizabeth pushes against Nadine's fingers and then screams as she comes. Nadine just barely gets her hand over Elizabeth’s mouth in time to muffle it, quickly switching off to her other thumb to keep up the pressure on Elizabeth’s clit.
She tries to bring her down, but Elizabeth shakes her head frantically. She rips Nadine’s hand away from her mouth. "Don't stop,” she pants. “Don't fucking stop. It’s still... I'm still not... God, just keep going!"
Nadine moves herself into a more comfortable position, one where she’ll have more leverage, and speeds up again. She ignores the faint ache that’s already setting into her arm. "What do you need?" she asks.
Elizabeth's eyes are closed, her head thrown back against the couch. "I don't know. Fuck, I don't know." She almost sobs, bucking against Nadine’s fingers.
"That’s okay, I've got you,” Nadine murmurs, soothing the best she can. “I can figure it out.” She adds another finger, so it's only her thumb that's not inside, but Elizabeth accepts it easily.
"Make it stop," Elizabeth whines. Nadine thinks she means the extra finger, but when she goes to pull them out she realizes that Elizabeth is referring to the drug, and whatever havoc it's currently wreaking on her body.
So Nadine doubles down. And then she leans down to bring her mouth between Elizabeth's legs and she sucks her engorged clit between her lips. Elizabeth bucks and somehow gets even wetter. Nadine wonders errantly what she’ll do if Elizabeth squirts on her, because there’s no way she can walk out of this office with that all over her shirt.
But now isn’t the time to think about that problem, because then Elizabeth reaches down and buries a hand in her hair. She holds Nadine in place and works herself desperately against her mouth, and Nadine lets her.
She doesn’t really have any experience with going down on women so she just tries to do to Elizabeth what she herself likes, and hopes that it’s serviceable. Her lack of technique might be beside the point, anyway—Elizabeth just seems to need as much stimulation as possible, technique and preference be damned.
When Nadine grazes Elizabeth’s clit with her teeth, it sends Elizabeth flying again. And she squirts.
Nadine tries to pull away after, to assess the damage, but Elizabeth holds her in place tightly and she is being anything but quiet. "Oh fuck. Oh God, yes! Harder. M-more, please, more."
She can practically feel Elizabeth's pulse through her clit. Nadine is giving her everything she's got but she's starting to worry it's not enough. She takes her clit between her teeth and presses them together gently, and Elizabeth cries out and maybe even comes again, but it's all becoming a blur.
Nadine forcibly yanks her head back when her need to breathe becomes dire. She stops moving her arm, though she keeps her fingers inside. She looks up, and Elizabeth begins to plead with her. "Please, Nadine," she breathes. “Please, please, please.” She looks half crazed, pupils still wildly dilated, shirt now sticking to damp skin.
Nadine suddenly notices the sound of a faint, tinny voice coming from somewhere nearby. Her first thought, in a flurry of panic, is that someone is checking on them. But then she tracks the sound back to the phone on the floor. Henry! Nadine’s gaze flicks back and forth between Elizabeth and the phone. Maybe Henry has an idea on how to help his wife.
She pulls her fingers out with an unsexy squelch. Dismayed, Elizabeth immediately brings her own hands between her thighs and starts rubbing herself with rapid strokes.
Nadine lunges for the phone with her clean hand. She puts it on speaker and tosses it on the coffee table. “Henry, are you still there?”
"Yes! Finally," he huffs.
“I could use a little help here,” she says desperately.
"I don't know if I can help, I've never heard her like this."
Elizabeth makes a keening noise. She seems to be trying to insert her whole hand inside herself. Nadine pushes it away and replaces it with three of her own fingers. "She's already come at least three times and it doesn't seem to be helping at all."
"Damn it. I wish I was in the country," Henry says. "She likes it rough when she's amped, but it sounds like you're already giving it to her hard."
Nadine slams her fingers into Elizabeth. "As hard as I can."
"Bite her?" he proposes. "I can't tell you how many times she has to watch what she wears to work because she asked me to bite her the night before."
"Henry?" Elizabeth asks, seeming to only now become aware that he's on the phone. "Oh, fuck. Henry, I'm so sorry about this," she says, sounding anguished.
"Shh, it's okay babe, let Nadine help you." he soothes.
Nadine follows Henry's suggestion and leans down, bites Elizabeth's thigh as hard as she dares. It seems to be the right thing to do because Elizabeth comes on her fingers again as if on command.
“Why is this happening to me,” Elizabeth whimpers. She clutches at her own breasts through her clothing as Nadine sucks on the sensitive flesh of her inner thigh and then laves it with her tongue.
“Elizabeth, do you keep a vibrator in the office somewhere?” Nadine asks, feeling rather desperate now. She knows it’s a long shot, but it’s time to think outside the box. She’s giving it her best shot, but her fingers alone just aren’t cutting it and she knows that. If Elizabeth doesn’t keep sex toys in a hidden drawer for whatever reason, Nadine is going to have to get creative with the office supplies.
“No,” Elizabeth says, getting more and more agitated. She looks so wound up, as if she hasn’t had sex in weeks. “Why the hell would I—?”
“Henry?” Nadine tries.
“No,” he says apologetically. “We were always too paranoid about the possibility of it being discovered—“
“That’s fine. Hold on.” Nadine leans down again to wrap her lips around Elizabeth’s clit and suck hard, stroking it with the very point of her tongue as she curls her fingers roughly. Elizabeth comes again.
“Fuck!” Elizabeth chokes out. “I still feel— how do I still feel like this?” She buries her face in her hands and screams into her palms.
“Damn it,” Nadine growls in frustration. She’s covered in a thin layer of perspiration herself, and panting from the exertion. She wipes the back of her clean hand across her brow, and then brushes away a stray curl of hair. Then she reaches up and begins unbuttoning Elizabeth’s blouse. She yanks the fabric aside along with Elizabeth’s bra cup, and leans down to sink her teeth into the side of her breast at the same time that she curls her fingers inside her again.
Elizabeth clenches around her fingers with a plaintive cry. There’s another one.
Nadine lifts her head and looks around desperately for something that would help her, but she comes up empty. Pens, a stapler, a computer, enough binders to build a fort. Nothing that she can use to fuck her boss more thoroughly.
She mouths her way over to Elizabeth's nipple, shoving fabric out of the way before biting down.
Nadine sucks and bites and licks as well as she can with Elizabeth writhing underneath her.
"Fuck, how many times has she come?" Henry sounds like he’s panting, too.
Nadine pulls away. "I don't know. But she's fucking ruined this couch, not to mention my clothes."
"You're still wearing clothes?" Henry asks in surprise.
"The point is for her to get off, not me," Nadine grumbles. She moves back to Elizabeth’s other breast, intending to give it the same treatment.
"It's always more fun when it's together," Henry says reproachfully. Get naked, Nadine."
She hopes to God he's someplace private right now.
Nadine ignores him until Elizabeth starts grasping at her clothes again. “Clothes off. Please,” Elizabeth whines. “Come on, Nadine, let me see you. Fuck, let me taste you." Elizabeth pulls her own shirt off and tosses it aside, along with her bra.
Henry moans. "Jesus fucking Christ I wish I could see this.”
"Taking the Lord's name in vain? Not very religious of you, Professor," Nadine snips, though it lacks any real ire. She's slightly distracted, admiring the full view of Elizabeth's naked body, all gleaming white skin and endless legs.
"You're fucking my wife in her office. I think taking God's name in vain is the least of our problems,” he growls. “Get naked. Now." His voice carries more command than she's heard before, and it makes her shiver.
“Jesus Christ, he’s bossy,” Nadine mutters.
“I heard that,” Henry says. “And I don’t hear the sound of clothes coming off.”
Nadine looks down at her shirt mournfully. There’s no way she could take it to her dry cleaner. She’ll probably have to trash it.
When she still makes no move to remove her own clothing, Elizabeth lunges so that she can do it herself.
“Elizabeth,” Nadine protests. It comes out as a near-squeak. “This— I don’t— it’s inappropriate—”
Henry laughs. “This is where you draw the line?!”
“Don’t get shy on me now, Nadine,” Elizabeth teases. She gets Nadine’s blouse unbuttoned, exposing the nude lace of her bra.
“I’m not the one who accidentally ate an aphrodisiac cupcake and needs this,” Nadine huffs. “This is supposed to be about you.”
Elizabeth flings the dampened shirt onto the coffee table. “Oh, trust me,” she says, drinking in the sight of Nadine's half-naked body, “this is absolutely still about me.” She snaps her fingers twice. “Now pants. Or do I have to do that for you, too?”
“I’ve got it,” Nadine says, standing up and stepping out of her pumps. She yanks her belt free and undoes the button on her pants before pushing them off her hips. They pool on the floor and she steps out of them. Her eyes dart nervously toward the closed door, even though she knows she locked it.
“Very nice,” Elizabeth says, raking her eyes up and down.
Nadine resists the ridiculous urge to cover herself. It’s not her sexiest set, but then again she wore it for work, not play. How was she supposed to anticipate this possibility? Thank god her underwear is matching, at least.
Nadine notices that focusing on her has calmed some of Elizabeth's frenetic energy. She tries to climb back onto the couch but Elizabeth stops her. "No, no, no. Completely naked."
Henry tsks from the phone. Nadine rolls her eyes, but unhooks her bra and tosses it to the side. Then she pushes her panties down her legs and kicks them off. "Happy?"
Elizabeth is practically salivating. She yanks Nadine forward by the hips and leans in before working her tongue between Nadine’s legs. When she licks a long stripe along her folds, Nadine yelps. Somehow the geometry works, and Nadine moans as Elizabeth laps at her ever increasing wetness.
Henry must notice the different voice, because he asks, "What's happening?"
"Elizabeth is—mmh—she's using her mouth on me."
"She's eating you out? Fuck. We are so doing this again when I get back because I need to see that."
Nadine would question what he just said, but Elizabeth takes that moment to pull her onto the couch; she teeters off balance and falls half onto the couch and half on top of Elizabeth, who tugs and twists her until Nadine is straddling her face, and then she holds her there as she begins to work her over in earnest. She's licking and sucking like a pro, and Nadine knows it won’t take her long to come.
"F-fuck,” Nadine pants, arching. “Have you done this before?”
Elizabeth is too focused on her task to answer, so Henry does. "Never. Is she doing a good job?" He sounds genuinely curious.
Elizabeth tips her head back for a moment. "God, you taste so good. I need it. I need more." She wraps her arms around Nadine's thighs and holds her close as she resumes her ministrations.
“Oh fuck,” Nadine says in a strangled voice. She thinks that she's in trouble if Elizabeth is as insatiable in giving as she was in receiving. She tilts her head back, lips parted, as her hips shiver in Elizabeth’s tight grip. One of her hands scrabbles along the couch cushions for purchase.
“I’m close,” she breathes as Elizabeth uses her hands to part her folds, creating greater access for her tongue. Elizabeth flicks the tip of her tongue against her exposed clit. “Elizabeth, please,” she says. This seems to encourage Elizabeth to redouble her efforts, because she starts sucking on Nadine’s clit like she’s starving. Nadine lets out a yelp, arching her back as she grinds down, hand clenched in the cushion as she shudders erratically against her tongue. “Oh fuck,” she whispers, her eyes trained blankly on the ceiling as she rides out her orgasm on Elizabeth’s face. It’s been a very long time since anyone has eaten her out with that kind of voracity.
But Elizabeth doesn’t stop, and she doesn’t release her. Her grip on Nadine’s thighs remains ironclad, and though she offers slight reprieve by moving away from Nadine’s oversensitive clit, she doesn’t make any move to pull away completely.
Her lips move over Nadine’s labia, nipping lightly and relishing in every tiny jerk it elicits. She laps up every trace of wetness hungrily, and then suddenly buries her tongue inside of her. Nadine moans as a little aftershock runs through her, and so does Elizabeth. Nadine comes down slowly from her high, her muscles relaxing, and then Elizabeth wraps her lips around Nadine’s clit again.
“Elizabeth!” she gasps. She tries to twist away without success. Distantly, she hears Henry curse. “P-please—“
Elizabeth mumbles something unintelligible and continues what she’s doing. A few moments later Nadine is coming again. She bites down on a scream as she bucks her hips. The edges of her vision become spotty, and part of her wonders what she’ll do if Elizabeth just refuses to let up. And then she wonders if she would even mind.
Elizabeth is gripping her ass so hard she's probably leaving bruises. Nadine can hear herself letting out high pitched sounds but she can't seem to stop. And I was worried about Elizabeth being too loud for this office, she thinks distantly.
After another minute of her relentless assault, Nadine can't even support herself anymore. She falls forward onto the arm of the couch. She comes again—a small one—but even that doesn't stop Elizabeth. When Nadine starts to list to the side, dangerously close to collapsing on the floor, Elizabeth finally slows and then stops.
Nadine whimpers. Elizabeth pulls her up gently, readjusting them so that Nadine ends up in her lap.
Elizabeth's eyes seem slightly less crazed now. She smiles, licking her lips. "You taste delicious," she murmurs, and Nadine and Henry both groan. "I want more."
Nadine shakes her head. "I can't. I need a break. Fuck."
"I bet you could take it." Elizabeth doesn't give Nadine a chance to respond. She pulls her in for a kiss, licking into mouth before pulling back and running her tongue over Nadine's lips.
She must be tasting herself. Nadine groans at the thought. She gives back good as she gets, until the tastes of their arousal are completely mixed. Elizabeth pushes up against her and starts sucking her way down Nadine's neck. Nadine tilts her head to give her greater access.
Elizabeth pauses in her sucking and biting to just rub her cheek against Nadine's neck and shoulder before burying her nose there. "You smell so good," Elizabeth says. Nadine thinks that she probably just smells like sex and sweat.
“How are you doing, baby?” Henry says.
"I just want more," Elizabeth whines.
“This is insane,” Nadine mutters. She was beginning to think that perhaps the influence of the drug was starting to wane, but perhaps not. Gently, she cups Elizabeth’s face with both hands and tilts her head back so that she can study her. Elizabeth’s skin is still flushed, her pupils are still worryingly dilated (though not as much as earlier), and her chest is still heaving with her every breath. Nadine moves her fingers to Elizabeth’s neck to track her pulse. It’s still much too fast for her liking. “Whoever gave you that cupcake should be arrested. Whoever made it should be arrested.”
“It’s wearing off I think,” Elizabeth says. She dips down to take one of Nadine’s nipples into her mouth.
Nadine inhales sharply as Elizabeth swirls her tongue around it, causing it to harden even further. “Yeah, I don’t know about that.” She moans when Elizabeth bites down gently.
“Thank you for helping me,” Elizabeth continues, her words muffled against Nadine’s breast. Elizabeth moves to suck on her other nipple. “You’ve been so good to me. So kind.”
Yeah, ‘kind’ is the word that’s appropriate here, Nadine thinks. So magnanimous of her, to allow Elizabeth to eat her to repeated orgasms until she nearly blacked out from pleasure. “Are you still in pain?” Nadine asks her. She arcs toward Elizabeth’s mouth.
“A little. But this helps.” Elizabeth looks up and flashes her a naughty grin with Nadine’s nipple caught between her teeth.
“What... what do you need?”
Elizabeth shakes her head. She doesn’t really know, specifically. “Just. More of this. More of you.”
Nadine shifts back on Elizabeth’s thighs to create some space and slips her hand between their bodies. She cups Elizabeth between her legs. And then she curses. “You’re still drenched. I think you’re wetter than you were before.”
“I came while I was eating you out.”
Henry swears on the phone. Nadine stares at her dumbly. “Y-you—“
Elizabeth shrugs. She’s smiling, and looks rather smug. “Like I said. You’ve been a very big help.”
Nadine taps her fingers on Elizabeth's sex and shakes her head. "You're crazy. That cupcake made you completely crazy."
"Mmmmm, maybe," Elizabeth moans. She rocks into Nadine's hand and leans forward to suck on her neck.
"It wasn't all the drug," Henry husks from the phone. "She's pretty wild on her own."
“Oh yeah?” Nadine says as she slips two fingers inside Elizabeth.
"Oh yeah. I could tell stories," Henry says. Elizabeth pulls back long enough to protest, and it makes Henry laugh. "I won't, but suffice to say that's not the first time the couch has seen some action... or the chair, or the desk, or—" He's stopped by Elizabeth's loud moan as Nadine increases her pace.
"Harder. More." Elizabeth begs into Nadine's neck.
"Okay. Give me a second." She shoves Elizabeth back so she's laying flat again. Before Elizabeth can protest, Nadine slides four of her fingers into her in one go. Elizabeth screams.
"Yes, just like that. More, please, I need more."
Nadine contemplates this for a second. Elizabeth is absolutely dripping down her arm; she's never seen anyone this wet before. She brings her fingers closer together inside Elizabeth, wiggles her thumb indecisively, and then pushes that in as well. The lubrication guides her way, and then Elizabeth is convulsing on her, wordless screams coming out of her mouth as she comes. But Nadine doesn't stop, she knows better now, and she wiggles her fingers infinitesimally as she rocks her hand back and forth.
"Ohh yes! Oh fuck, oh fuck," Elizabeth rasps as she comes down.
"What's happening?" Henry asks.
Nadine can't quite believe what's happening herself, let alone explain it.
"Her h-hand, oh God, her hand—”
"What, baby? What’s she doing to you?"
Nadine pulls her hand back just a tad before pushing back in and it has Elizabeth whimpering.
"All of it—it's all—ohh!" She comes again as Nadine's knuckles scrape her sensitive inner walls.
Stunned, Nadine tells him, "She's taking my whole fucking hand."
The moan Henry lets out has Nadine wondering if he just came.
Nadine watches her with wide eyes as she slowly moves her hand in and out, just small movements. Elizabeth’s eyes roll back in her head and she clutches at the cushions as she makes desperate little noises in the back of her throat. Experimentally, Nadine turns her wrist. Elizabeth gasps harshly and comes again, her walls spasming weakly.
Nadine quickly brings her other hand up and rubs her clit with fast little strokes, trying to get another one going before Elizabeth can settle down. It only takes a few seconds before Elizabeth is flying over the edge again.
“One more?” Nadine suggests. Elizabeth barely has time to say yes before Nadine is pressing down on her clit again and rocking her hand inside her, shooting Elizabeth off another time. Her orgasms are coming easier now, and Nadine wonders if this means the drug is finally on its way out of her system. “Again?” she asks.
Elizabeth whimpers. “Oh, God—“
Nadine leans down and takes her clit into her mouth this time, and Elizabeth holds her in place as she bucks her hips and wails. Nadine works her through her orgasm before lifting her head briefly to make a quick assessment. “Another,” she decides. She leans down again.
Henry groans. “You’re ruthless,” he says, just as Elizabeth cries out again and comes.
Nadine gives her a soft lick before pulling back. “I’m a quick study.” She gives Elizabeth another once-over. Her eyes are glassy now and her whole body seems to melt into the couch, leached of all of that wired intensity from before.
As gently as she can, Nadine slides her hand out of Elizabeth’s body. Elizabeth makes a noise of discomfort as the widest part of Nadine’s hand pulls out, but she doesn’t flinch or move and then Nadine’s whole hand is free. It’s followed by a gush of fluid, which makes her purse her lips in consternation.
“...The upholstery will need replacing. Today.”
"Mhmm," Elizabeth mumbles. "C'mere." She reaches weakly for Nadine, who hesitates.
“I should really go,” she says uncertainly. “Get cleaned up, get dressed, get back to work. If… if you're good? "
Elizabeth only grumbles.
"She's always very cuddly after sex," Henry says. "Probably even more now, given the circumstances."
"Be that as it may, I think I've satisfied your need?" She doesn't really need an answer, the way Elizabeth is completely limp is answer enough. "So… so I should go, make sure the world hasn’t burned down, and then try to figure out where that fucking cupcake came from. And then we can forget this ever happened."
That seems to capture Elizabeth’s attention, because she grabs for Nadine. “No,” she says softly.
"There's no forgetting this I would think," Henry agrees. "I'll be home tomorrow and then we can all talk."
Elizabeth tugs on her hand again, trying to pull her back onto the couch. “Just come here, please,” she says. “Just for now.”
"Cuddle her if you want to, Nadine,” Henry says. “She gets very unhappy if you don't. And... if you really want to forget this, if that’s what you really want, that's okay too."
Nadine stills. "No,” she admits. “I don't want that." She finally allows Elizabeth to pull her down and into her embrace. She tucks her head under Elizabeth’s chin as Elizabeth wraps her arms around her. Her ear is pressed to Elizabeth’s chest and she listens to her heartbeat, which has slowed to a normal rate.
“I’m gonna hang up now, baby,” Henry says. “I’ll call you later, okay?”
“Okay,” Elizabeth says. “I love you.”
“I love you, too. And hey Nadine?”
“Thank you for being there.”
She doesn’t really know what to say to that, because ‘You’re welcome’ just seems too weird, after everything that just transpired. But Henry hangs up before she can figure out what to say instead.
The room falls silent, and Nadine feels something blooming in the pit of her stomach. Dread, maybe.
Before, in the frantic scramble to offer Elizabeth relief however she needed it, there had been no time to think through the personal consequences of her actions. But now that everything has settled, it’s all Nadine can think about. This all falls into some grey area she doesn’t know how to navigate. She never dreamed she’d have to know.
“You’re thinking very loudly,” Elizabeth murmurs. She no longer sounds drowsy or dazed. She sounds calmed, and completely sober. Her fingers run through Nadine’s hair gently. When Nadine shifts, her arms tighten to prevent her from pulling away.
“I, um,” Nadine says uncomfortably. She confesses, “I feel like I’ve just taken advantage of you.”
Elizabeth draws back in surprise. She tries to look Nadine in the face. “I beg your pardon?”
“You were intoxicated. That isn’t... that isn’t consent.”
Elizabeth pushes up so her head is propped on the end of the couch. Nadine sits up fully and disentangles herself from Elizabeth, folding her arms over her chest and desperately wishing she were dressed.
"Nadine," Elizabeth says softly. "Please look at me." Reluctantly, Nadine does. "Please hear me when I tell you that I fully consent. I fully consented before. I wasn’t looking for Blake or Jay or God forbid some foreign official. I wanted you. I want you."
"No buts,” Elizabeth says sharply, sitting up. Her back is ramrod straight, and she looks all the world like she's debating policy changes or negotiating trade deals, if only she weren't completely naked. “Didn't you tell me that I very well might have a heart attack if I didn't find a way to work the drug out of my system? With a partner?"
"I.... well yes, that… that is how I understand it."
"Then that's that. You saved me, really. I needed you. If anything, I'm worried I took advantage of you. "
"Oh, no way," Nadine says. Elizabeth raises an eyebrow, waiting for further explanation. "There's no way I wouldn't have consented."
"And why is that?"
"I care about you and..." she trails off, but Elizabeth remains silent. Even though Nadine knows the tactic and uses it to great effect herself, it still works on her anyway. She feels compelled to fill the silence. "...and I'm attracted to you. I always have been. It's not… I wouldn't have acted on it." Her words come out in a jumble. She blushes.
Elizabeth laughs, and Nadine finds herself looking around desperately for something to cover herself with. Elizabeth moves closer and gently cups Nadine's face. "Oh honey, I'm not laughing at you. It's just that I’m not blind, and neither is Henry. We already knew."
Nadine blushes even harder. She doesn't think she's blushed this much since the Bush administration—the first one.
"So," Elizabeth murmurs, "I think it's clear that though the drug may have influenced us to act, we both wanted it, and we both would have consented." She places fairy light kisses on Nadine's face.
"But… Henry—your marriage..."
Elizabeth shakes her head. "Henry very much enjoyed that. Even if he hadn't been on the phone, he would have very much enjoyed hearing about it afterwards. Although,” she adds, “I am very glad that you had the presence of mind to explain it to him beforehand." Elizabeth looks her in the eye. "Like he said, we can all talk when he comes back. But right now all I want to do is kiss you. Is that alright?"
“Okay,” she says softly. Elizabeth captures her mouth in a soft kiss.
But Nadine’s response must be a little too lukewarm for Elizabeth’s liking, because Elizabeth makes a noise in the back of her throat before grasping the back of Nadine’s neck and kissing her harder, leaning into her until Nadine is pinned against the other end of the couch. She lets out a tiny moan and kisses back with the same fervor, sliding her hands through Elizabeth’s hair. She should make the most of it, she tells herself, because this is probably going to be the last time she ever gets to kiss Elizabeth McCord again.
Elizabeth finally breaks the kiss to breathe, though she continues to brush her lips softly against Nadine’s. Nadine wraps her fingers around Elizabeth’s wrist.
“I know we need to talk to Henry,” Elizabeth says softly, “but maybe we can try this again under less chaotic circumstances? All... all of us.” She sounds tentative. She knows she’s asking a big thing. Nadine freezes, and Elizabeth must feel it because she pulls away gently, offering her space. “What is it?” Elizabeth asks.
“I...” Nadine shakes her head slowly, regretfully. “I told myself I would stop sleeping with married people.” Her mouth twists into a rueful smile. “Present situation being an extraordinary exception.”
Elizabeth nods, though she looks disappointed. “I understand. Could I ask you to at least think about it?”
“I shouldn’t change my mind,” Nadine says.
Her word choice doesn’t get past Elizabeth. “You shouldn’t,” she says, “but you want to. Don’t you.”
Nadine avoids the question. “It’s a bad idea,” she says. “It’s too complicated, it would get too messy too fast...”
“I would still like all three of us to discuss it together,” Elizabeth says.
“Fine. We can certainly discuss it,” Nadine says, in a way that makes it sound like the discussion won’t make any difference.
“We’ve thought about it before, you know,” Elizabeth admits. “We’ve talked about it before. About you.”
Nadine blinks. "You have? In what way?"
"In all sorts of ways. Henry and I like to fantasize, and you've featured more than once." She grins.
Nadine can't help but continue to look agog. It's not that she's surprised Henry and Elizabeth have a healthy sex life—they've never made their attraction to each other a secret—but she is a bit surprised that it's not completely vanilla.
Elizabeth raises an eyebrow. "What's that expression for? You're an attractive woman. Is it really so surprising that we’d want you?"
Nadine shakes her head. "It's not that. Well yes, that, but I just… I never thought that you and Henry...." She can't think quite how to put it without being offensive.
"Had sex?" Elizabeth says with amusement.
Nadine rolls her eyes. "Obviously you have sex. I've caught you two halfway there too many times to think you didn’t." Elizabeth shows no embarrassment at being called out on it. "It's just... That particular type of sex."
"Sex where we fantasize about other people?"
"Yes. And anything that wasn't... vanilla."
Elizabeth shakes her head. But before she continues, she reaches over to the side table, opens the little cabinet and pulls out a blanket. "Here. You look chilly." Nadine takes it gratefully, wrapping herself up. Elizabeth settles back on the couch, completely unabashed in her nakedness, and circles back to their conversation. "Nadine, you're much too experienced to think you could ever predict what people do in the bedroom." Nadine shrugs, because Elizabeth does have a point. "Henry and I have never invited another person into bed with us, but we've certainly participated in plenty of 'non-vanilla' activities." She puts air quotes around vanilla.
Well, now Nadine wants details.
She must not disguise it very well because Elizabeth only grins. "If you want more specifics, you'll have to come talk with both of us."
“I already agreed to that.”
“Just trying to incentivize.”
“I just figured we could compare kinks and see if any of yours match any of mine,” Nadine teases.
Elizabeth’s eyes flash with interest. “You first,” she says.
“You said specifics tomorrow,” Nadine points out smugly. She stands up, leaving the blanket behind. “And we should really try to clean up now. I’m going to the bathroom. I’ll be quick.” She can feel Elizabeth’s eyes on her the whole time.
In the bathroom, Nadine washes her hands and splashes cold water on her face. She tries to tame her curls back into presentable form and then checks her body over for marks. She can see a faint bruise starting to form on the edge of one clavicle and when she twists round, slim finger-shaped marks on what she can see of her ass in the mirror. Nothing her clothes won’t hide.
She passes a damp paper towel between her legs, another one over her body, and then exits the bathroom.
Elizabeth is hovering by the door, and they swap places. “I’m sorry about the bruises,” she says, brushing her hand against Nadine’s hip as she passes.
“Don’t be. I had fun while I was getting them.”
Elizabeth laughs. Her voice is muffled inside the bathroom, but it sounds like she says, “I had fun giving them to you.”
Nadine walks back to the couch, collects her bra and panties from the carpet and puts them back on. Her pants have survived the ordeal unscathed, so they go on, too. Her blouse, on the other hand...
She plucks it from the coffee table with two fingers and surveys it with dismay. That was one of her favorites, too. “Elizabeth,” she calls out.
“I’ll need to borrow a shirt. I can’t walk out of here in the one I had.”
Elizabeth emerges from the bathroom and gives Nadine an embarrassed look. “Sorry about that. Of course, take whatever you want,” she says, waving toward the closet. “I should have something in there that looks similar.” She observes as Nadine disappears inside the closet. She’s still watching when Nadine comes out again, busying herself with buttoning up a shirt that’s just this side of too big on her petite frame. A slight smile plays on Elizabeth’s lips.
Nadine looks up and pauses. “What’s wrong?”
Elizabeth shakes her head. “Nothing. Just. You’re very beautiful.”
“I thought you would have realized by now that there’s no reason to ply me with flattery,” Nadine teases. She finishes buttoning the shirt all the way down and tucks the front hem into her slacks, working her way around the sides. “I’ll already do anything you want.” Obviously.
Elizabeth walks behind her and helps her tuck in the shirttails. “I didn’t say it because I wanted something from you,” she says. “I said it because it’s true.” She turns Nadine around and kisses her lightly, then steps back to study the finished look.
“It doesn’t look exactly the same,” Elizabeth says, “but it should at least get you back to your office without anyone asking questions. But with your blazer on, no one will be able to tell it isn’t the same top.”
“You owe me for that top, by the way,” Nadine says. “It was one of my favorites.”
“Believe me, I liked it too.”
“And it was four hundred dollars.”
Elizabeth gapes. “You spent that much money on a shirt?”
“I have to get everything taken in and taken up,” she says. “It’s the tailoring that makes everything expensive in the end.”
“Yes, such a hardship,” Elizabeth says melodramatically. “To be so slim and petite and beautiful.”
“Oh, hush. We all have to make do with what we’re given—”
“Says the woman who was given all the good genes.”
“Says the woman who eats like a college football player yet doesn’t gain an ounce!” Nadine shoots back. “Talk about unfair.”
Elizabeth feigns affront. “I do not eat like a college football player.”
“Elizabeth, you had a cupcake for breakfast today.”
Elizabeth grins sheepishly. “Yeah, you’re right. I guess I did.”
But with that reminder, Nadine sobers instantly. “We really need to find out who left those cupcakes. Lacing foods with illegal substances, bringing them into a federal building… that’s a class I felony.”
“Yeah. We'll ask Blake to have the videos from all the seventh floor security cameras pulled and reviewed,” Elizabeth says.
“Do you think we have reason to suspect anyone in particular?”
Elizabeth shrugs. “I’ve made plenty of enemies. Although this is a rather sadistic way to try and take me out,” she mutters.
“You and potentially anyone else who has floor access. That box could’ve sat there unattended for hours...”
Elizabeth freezes, eyes widening. “There were five other cupcakes in that box this morning. Do we know— someone could’ve—”
“I threw them out as soon as you left the kitchen,” Nadine assures her.
Elizabeth slumps in relief, but she looks curious. “What made you...?”
“Intuition? I’m not quite sure why I did it, honestly. Something about it just didn’t sit right with me. I should see if I can dig out the box, though. I could hand it over to security.”
“How exactly are you going to explain how you found out what was in those cupcakes?” Elizabeth’s eyebrows arch.
“How exactly are you going to explain to Blake that you need new upholstery?” Nadine counters.
Elizabeth laughs. “I suppose some creative storytelling will be in order for both of us.”
“Well, you’re nothing if not creative,” Nadine says. She smoothes down her shirt one last time. “All right. Back to work.”
“Let’s just hope the world didn’t collapse while you were fucking me like my life depended on it.”
“So not funny,” Nadine says, but Elizabeth only grins. Nadine shakes her head, a small smile creeping onto her own face despite herself. “When Blake gets back, I’ll let him know that you just needed a rest and that you’re good to go now.”
Nadine is just about to slip out when Elizabeth remembers one last thing.
“Hey, Nadine," she says. "Thank you.”
“Anytime, Madam Secretary.”