Most women wouldn’t marry strange men they found, naked, while out on a hike but most women weren’t Daphne.
Her pastor had always told her that God would bring people into her life when she needed them. She had needed a husband and then Emmanuel crawled out of the lake. He hadn’t been called Emmanuel then. He hadn’t had a name. They’d chosen it together. She thought it suited him. He was quiet and thoughtful, put up no resistance when she told him they should get married. In some ways he was like a child, innocent about the world and she had to be the one to guide him. Emmanuel seemed so thankful when she gave him a purpose in life. He remembered nothing about his past and that suited her. It didn’t matter what he’d done before, who he’d been. She could remake him now in the way she wanted him.
When she was a little girl she’d had a dream of a handsome husband who did God’s work. Emmanuel enjoyed volunteering in the church. He polished the pews, swept the floors, rearranged the flowers and Daphne enjoyed basking in the jealousy of the other women in the congregation, half of whom had husbands who had to be threatened and cajoled into attending church. Emmanuel liked orders. He enjoyed being useful and having a task to do.
Then the pastor broke his hand falling off his roof because he would clean out his own gutters even though Daphne had told him that Emmanuel would be happy to do it for him. She was going to drive him to the hospital but Emmanuel had knelt at his side, hands tenderly cupping the pastor’s poor, broken fingers, and with a look of great concentration, had healed him better than he’d been before. Whoever Emmanuel had been he was blessed by God. He performed a miracle that day and it wasn’t his last.
Daphne had thought she was proud of him before, but nothing made her prouder than everyone knowing she was engaged to the man who performed miracles.
It gave Emmanuel a job. People would seek him out to have him heal them. She would stand by proudly and watch as her husband laid a gentle hand on them and healed all manner of maladies. She still had to work. It would have been wrong for Emmanuel to charge for his talent, but occasionally grateful people did leave them gifts. One day, she entertained thoughts that there might be enough gifts for the two of them to simply travel the country, spreading Gods words and healing the believers with Emmanuel’s powers.
Emmanuel lived with her but properly, in the spare room. He said his prayers each night. She heard him, ear pressed to the door. He prayed for God to take care of her and she knew she would very soon fall in love with Emmanuel, if she wasn’t in love with him already. He was kind. Soon, they’d share her bedroom and then she hoped he would be gentle too.
She was a virgin; his amnesia was almost like a second virginity. It was romantic to imagine being each other’s firsts. Emmanuel was a very attractive man. Whoever he might have been, Daphne doubted he’d been chaste. If she wasn’t a good Christian woman then she’d have a hard time holding herself back, especially knowing he was lying in bed with only the wall in between them and she had seen him undressed before. He was beautiful all over, flawless even. As far as Daphne was concerned their wedding could not come fast enough. She would very much like to see Emmanuel naked again.
They married in June. They had known each other two months at that point. Daphne ignored the naysayers who suggested the marriage wouldn’t last, that they didn’t know each other, or who pointed out that Emmanuel could be any one and that Daphne had made no attempt to find his family or his past life. She didn’t need Emmanuel’s past. Emmanuel had been bought to her because he needed her. He needed a wife like she needed a husband and God had provided for them. When the first baby turned up, those wagging tongues would change their tune.
That night with trepidation Daphne waited outside her bedroom door, holding Emmanuel’s hand in hers. Soon they would cross the threshold and consummate their marriage. She stopped herself from bouncing at the thought. It was unseemly to be so excited about Emmanuel’s physical form. He was a very beautiful man, his eyes the deepest blue she’d ever seen, but she cared for him spiritually as well as physically.
Emmanuel leaned into her personal space, so close that his breath was shared with hers. Daphne could feel her heart beating painfully in her chest and she supposed that must be love she felt. Emmanuel’s lips brushed her cheek - soft, chaste and then he pulled away with a smile. He dropped her hand and took a step back, opening the door to the spare room.
“Thank you for marrying me. Sleep well,” he said, stepping inside the room and then firmly closing the door behind him.
Daphne stood on the landing, trying to understand what had happened. She wondered if her new husband meant for her to follow him but a few turns of the door handle revealed that the door had been locked. This was very much not how she had expected to spend her wedding night.
When she came home from work the next night, Emmanuel was waiting for her at the door. He smiled at her gently, offering her an open bottle of beer. She sniffed the air, but it seemed he hadn’t been drinking.
“What’s this?” she asked.
Emmanuel looked down at the offer, a slight look of surprise on his face as if he’d only just realized what he was doing.
“I thought you’d be tired after work. I thought this would help you relax,” he sounded puzzled at his own train of thought and Daphne shook her head. They’d lived under the same roof since they day she found him. Emmanuel knew she didn’t drink. She couldn’t understand where he’d got the idea that she’d want him to be waiting at the door with a cold beer when she got home. She took the drink from him and poured it away down the sink.
“No more of this silliness,” she said. “We don’t drink. It clouds your judgment.”
After dinner she watched him take the remaining bottles out to the backyard and bury them. She didn’t understand why Emmanuel couldn’t just throw them away but she accepted it. As long as he wasn’t drinking it, then she didn’t care.
“One day they might be needed,” he said as he found the shovel and Daphne put it down to something from before he could remember. Eventually she’d convince him to leave that life behind completely but for now she could afford to be magnanimous about buried beer bottles in the backyard.
When they drove to church on Sunday, Daphne liked to listen to the gospel station. She could sing along. She had a nice voice, she’d always been told and Emmanuel often joined in, seeming to know the songs without prompting. It made her pleased to hear him, his voice low and soft as he repeated the words reverently. Whoever he had been in his passed life, he had been a devout man. She was happy for him to retain that part of himself – that part that loved God. Despite their difficulties she knew they would be able to overcome them with their joint devotion.
It was on the ride home that the trouble began. Emmanuel was staring out the window, apparently trying to memorize the skyline and Daphne watched him from the corner of her eye. The radio hummed away in the background, just the right sort of sound if one wanted to quietly contemplate the sermon they’d just heard.
Suddenly, Emmanuel’s hand shot out and he was fiddling with the radio, changing the channel to some awful rock station. Glancing into the mirror behind her to check there was no traffic behind them, Daphne slammed on the breaks. The car ground to a halt. Emmanuel looked surprised.
“What are you doing?” Daphne asked. Emmanuel cocked his head to one side.
“I think this is the sort of music you listen to when you drive,” he said, face serious as he tried to piece together the memory that had just surfaced in his mind.
Daphne tuned the radio off, heart pounding in her chest. “I don’t like rock music,” she said. “We’re not listening to the radio anymore.”
Every time they drove to church after that, Daphne kept the radio turned off. It was wrong, she knew, but she had seen the flicker of a memory in Emmanuel’s eyes and she worried that if he listened to the radio, if he heard the music that he thought she liked, he’d remember the person that he was really thinking about. She reminded herself that God had brought Emmanuel to her, that Emmanuel had been cleansed of his past life and given the chance to start afresh with her and she tried her hardest to feel as if she was helping him by keeping his memories under lock and key.
No good could come of being linked up with someone who liked to listen to rock music. Emmanuel was content with her. He was safe with her. Daphne was just protecting him. If she prayed hard enough, she could believe that was the truth.
A month into their marriage and Emmanuel still slept in the spare bedroom. In desperation, Daphne turned to her pastor, taking Emmanuel along with her. Pastor Mark was a pleasant, elderly man who Daphne had known most of her life. It was embarrassing discussing her marital problems with him, especially as this was the time when Daphne should have been enjoying being a new bride. Already she was being asked when she expected to hear the pitter-patter of little feet. It was good that Emmanuel had his work for God, his miracles to perform because those would always come first. Daphne might not be a young bride but she wasn’t an old one. Children would come when they came.
Pastor Mark talked about the sanctity of their marriage, how God would want them to consummate their union. Emmanuel nodded along. Love, it was mutually agreed, was something God was in favor of and Emmanuel and Daphne had done the right thing in waiting until marriage. Emmanuel shouldn’t be scared or worry about his performance. After all, Daphne thought, it wasn’t as if she would know any different. Emmanuel might be the worst lover in the world but she wouldn’t have anyone to compare him to.
Emmanuel was thoughtful on the drive home. Pastor Mark had given him some pamphlets to look over and suggested some techniques they could try together. He’d pointedly suggested they try to discover more about each other but Daphne had already disregarded that suggestion. She knew everything that she needed to know about Emmanuel. He had come out of the lake new and reborn. Whatever he might have enjoyed before, it didn’t matter now.
Emmanuel was engrossed in the leaflets and Daphne allowed herself to wonder if he was simply shy about consummation. Emmanuel turned his head slightly, an odd expression of his face.
“I think I’m a virgin,” he said slowly. “I.…I don’t think I’ve ever been with a woman.”
He sounded so puzzled, obviously unsure about how he had drawn that conclusion but Daphne reached out and patted his knee.
“That’s good. It will be the first time for both of us,” she said, smiling. Emmanuel tried and failed to smile back.
That night Daphne didn’t let Emmanuel slink off back to the spare bedroom when he was ready to sleep. Nudity and the pressure of sex might not help Emmanuel get hard, but Daphne remembered being a teenager and Pastor Mark had, at one excruciating point, reminded them both that there was more to sex then simply Emmanuel’s penis in her vagina. She kept her clothes on, he kept his clothes on. They lay down on the bed, Emmanuel on top of her, his weight reassuring and warm, and rubbed against each other. Simulated sex. She’d been good at this at one point, but this was as far as she’d ever gone. Once the clothes came off then it was real sex and God could see you. Daphne found herself remembering school and the girls in her class who’d claimed that oral sex didn’t really count and you would still be a virgin afterwards. Even as a teenager she’d thought that was rather illogical.
Emmanuel rutted away on top of her and Daphne tried to remember what had happened to those girls. Most of them were married now with babies. She noticed, after what felt like an eternity, that Emmanuel wasn’t hard. His movement were mechanical but he had his eyes closed. He wasn’t looking at her. He was very beautiful. She took a moment to study him and wondered what he was thinking about. Painfully, she realized it probably wasn’t her and that was enough to make Daphne want to stop the whole charade. She pushed Emmanuel off her, sitting up and straightening her blouse.
“Go back to the spare room,” she said, annoyed with him suddenly for not finding her attractive. He never said it but he didn’t need to. His whole demeanor was enough. “We’ll try again tomorrow.”
Emmanuel looked apologetic but he slunk out of the room as quickly as he could. Daphne got undressed, slowly and thoughtfully, but it wasn’t until she was almost about to drift off to sleep that she realized she hadn’t been aroused either.
Most women’s magazines were completely useless. Daphne had always said so. They perpetuated a false image of beauty and attempted to get women to achieve standards that were impossible. Everyone was beautiful in their uniqueness, they were all God’s children and beautiful in their own way. Daphne had never felt the need to buy into what a market told her she should look like but standing in line to pay for groceries she caught sight of Cosmo magazine. Normally she found it lurid but today was different. Today there was an article about kick starting a struggling sex life.
Daphne didn’t know if a magazine could really be more informative than marriage counselling with her pastor who she trusted but nothing Pastor Mark had suggested seemed to work. Thousands of women swore by Cosmo. They must be doing something right to stay in business. Daphne picked up a copy, placing it between the eggs and milk in her weekly shop and ignored the raised eyebrow of the cashier as he scanned it.
After half an hour of sitting in the car park, reading, Daphne wondered if all their problems had been down to her. She had never thought to shave herself, although apparently men preferred that. Her clothes were chosen for comfort rather than sensuality. She had one lip balm in her purse and a mascara she had brought at the corner drugstore and that constituted her make-up bag. It seemed almost everything she’d done had been counterintuitive, if the magazine was to be believed.
She drove home, dropping off the groceries with Emmanuel and told him to expect her to be home late that night. Then she drove to the nearest mall. Daphne couldn’t bring herself to go as far as getting waxed. The thought of a stranger pulling strips of hair from her body was too much. She did buy a new dress however, a pair of heels that she staggered around the store in, and finally spent nearly 300 dollars at a beauty counter, being made up.
The woman who drove home looked nothing like the normal, day-to-day, Daphne. She parked the car in the drive, checked her reflection in the window and tried to give herself a reassuring smile. Emmanuel wasn’t attracted to the everyday Daphne. Although it might be a lot of work, he might be attracted to this Daphne. Daphne wanted her marriage to work. She could make sacrifices and changes for that. It was all part of God’s plan throwing them together like this and if God wanted these changes then Daphne would stick to them.
As she turned to go towards the house she noticed a large black car parked a little further down the street. It was vintage, obviously well cared for. She paused, staring at it for a while. None of her neighbors had cars like that, she was certain. She studied the registration and then tried to look at the driver but he was obscured in shadows. Still, she knew enough about the car that if she had to describe it later she could. It was a very distinctive car. If the man driving it was a burglar or otherwise up to no good, then he’d made a poor choice in getaway car.
She shook her head, trying to remind herself that her husband was waiting for her inside the house and he was more important than a strange car. She fumbled with her purse, pulling out the keys to the front door and unlocked it. Daphne took one step inside and was assaulted by the scent of cinnamon. It took her right back to being a little girl and eating too many of her grandmother’s cinnamon buns with icing. They’d been delicious but after about six Daphne had had enough. She could still remember how sick she’d been after eating all of them and the scent of cinnamon still turned her stomach even now.
She swallowed down the wave of nausea that washed over her.
“Emmanuel?” she called. “What are you cooking?”
Her husband appeared in the doorway of the kitchen, his hands covered in flour, wearing her bright pink apron. He looked strangely peaceful and out of place in her hallway, as if he belonged somewhere else than this domestic setting.
“Apple pie,” he said, half-smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. “It’s your favorite.”
Daphne covered her mouth with her hand.
“I hate apple pie. I hate anything with cinnamon in it,” she said, feeling her stomach churn again.
Emmanuel’s brow furrowed and then he shook his head slowly.
“No, I know you love apple pie. It’s your favorite. You always have it.”
“I’ve never had apple pie,” Daphne said. She and Emmanuel didn’t eat out often, even though he seemed to gravitate towards diners like a second nature, pausing outside them but never going in. The times they had eaten out they’d gone to a nice restaurant, not the sort of place that would serve apple pie with the amount of cinnamon Emmanuel seemed to have tipped into his mixture.
Emmanuel’s puzzled expression had returned. He seemed to be reaching for something that was just beyond him, a certainty that he couldn’t put into words and Daphne found herself frozen to the spot, waiting for him finally grab hold of the memories which eluded him.
“You must,” Emmanuel said finally. “I know the person I love likes apple pie. I love you, don’t I?” He looked at her pitifully, waiting for her answer but Daphne couldn’t give it to him.
His words were like a stab in her chest. He loved someone. He was here, married to her, but he loved someone that he couldn’t remember. All the time he’d been trying to fit her into the mental picture he had of that other person. Emmanuel was in love with someone who liked beer, rock music and apple pie. Daphne hate the image that bought to her mind – some hard drinking, lose woman who would be all wrong for gentle, sweet, devout Emmanuel. Emmanuel should be with someone who understood him, someone who understood his job as a miracle worker for God and who would be a good wife for him. He was supposed to be Daphne’s. He was supposed to crawl out of the lake cleansed of his past life; he wasn’t supposed to remember any of it. He wasn’t supposed to be in love with someone else.
Emmanuel was still looking at her helplessly, waiting for her to tell him what to do. Daphne couldn’t stand it. She fled up the stairs, locking herself in her bedroom. She opened the widow, dry heaves shaking her body and she didn’t know any longer if it was because of the cinnamon or because her marriage was built on the shakiest of foundations and it felt as it was about to be washed away.
She breathed in the smell of the night air and tried to stop herself from shaking. Slowly, she raised her hand to her cheek, finding tears there. Daphne hadn’t even noticed she’d been crying before but she realized that they must have started before, downstairs, when Emmanuel was asking her if he loved her. They both knew the answer but neither of them were prepared to say it. Her fingers were smudged black with mascara and Daphne realized with another sad blow that Emmanuel hadn’t even commented on the change in her. He hadn’t even noticed it.
He had just been waiting for his woman who loved apple pie.
She found some tissues in her purse and wiped away the make-up. She threw the dress in the back of the closet and lay down in bed, waiting for the sick feeling to subside. Beneath her she could hear Emmanuel pottering about, cleaning up and opening the downstairs windows to let the scent of the pie escape. She wondered if he’d come to the same conclusion she had, that this wasn’t working and would never work, or if he was hanging on to some hope that Daphne might be the person he really loved.
The next morning the black car was still parked up in the street. Daphne was running late for work. She’d fallen asleep in the early hours of the morning and slept through her alarm. In a way she was grateful because it gave her an excuse to avoid Emmanuel. She ran down the porch steps, almost barrelling into the man who was just coming up them. The man grabbed her arm to steady her and Daphne found herself looking up into a handsome, slightly weather beaten face. He had green eyes and a bit of stubble. He glanced from her towards then house and then back again.
“I’ve come to see Emmanuel,” he said, still looking at her questioningly. “A friend of mine told me he’d be able to help me. Does he live here?”
Suddenly the questioning look made sense. Daphne smiled, relaxing slightly and brushed off the hand on her arm.
“Yes, Emmanuel is inside,” she said. “I’m his wife, but I’m late for work. I’m sure Emmanuel will be able to help you with whatever you need.”
“Yeah, sure. Thanks,” the guy said, taking a step back to let her pass. “My name’s Dean, by the way.”
“Daphne,” Daphne called over her shoulder, waving to him as she got into her own car. She watched just long enough to see Dean knock on the front door and for Emmanuel to open it then she was gone.
Coming back at lunch time hadn’t been in Daphne’s plan. She had wanted to stay away for as long as she could to give herself some space and run through her options. As Daphne could see it there were really three choices she could make – attempt to make the marriage work but accept that they might have to find out more about Emmanuel’s past, continue to lie and stay married or get a divorce and allow Emmanuel to try to find himself without her at his side. She twisted her wedding ring round her finger, thinking of the promises they had made each other and amended divorce to annulment. Their marriage had never been consummated and suddenly she was glad of that.
She had cried. She had cried mostly because leaving Emmanuel would mean swallowing down her pride and admitting that she had been wrong. She mourned the life she’d imagined they’d have together and her loss of place in church society but she didn’t mourn Emmanuel. She’d never really known him. He was just a lost man who’d been in the wrong place at the right time. She’d been foolish to think that she could hide him from his past, that it wouldn’t matter. She’d been foolish to think she could force him to fall in love with her any more then she could force herself to fall in love with him. Everything had been rushed, wrong and she saw that now.
She saw it, but that didn’t mean she wanted to get out of the car, go into the house and confront Emmanuel with the truth but she didn’t know where else to go. She’d been so distraught that her boss had sent her home and now she was simply sitting outside her house, waiting for a sign. She could go and talk to Pastor Mark but she couldn’t take his knowing looks and his pity. She’d always known he’d thought she was pushing things, moving too fast. She didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of knowing he was right.
She could have just kept driving but that wouldn’t have solved the problem she would have eventually had to come back to. She parked up in the drive way and waited till she could collect her thoughts enough to have a proper conversation with Emmanuel. As she walked up the steps to the house she slipped her wedding ring off her finger and put it in her pocket. Every time she saw it, it felt as if the ring was mocking her. How could she wear it and call herself Emmanuel’s wife when he was in love with someone else? She’d never made any attempts to find out who he was before he came into her life. She had always been afraid that there was already someone out there with a claim on him. Now she wished she’d simply faced that possibility head on, rather than leaving herself this heart ache.
Slowly, Daphne pushed the front door open. She was surprised to find it unlocked. She wondered if Dean from this morning was still here or if Emmanuel had already solved his problem. She opened her mouth to call out his name then shut it again quickly.
She had heard a moan.
Quietly, on tiptoes, Daphne edged towards the door to the living room. There were any number of thoughts running through her mind but nothing prepared her for the sight that greeted her when she pushed the door open a crack. Emmanuel was on his hands and knees on the living room rug, as naked as he’d been when she pulled him from the lake, and Dean was kneeling behind him. Daphne swallowed hard. She had always thought Emmanuel was attractive but she had had no idea. He was wild here, his head thrown back, moaning in pleasure as Dean drove into him, hips smacking against the soft swell of Emmanuel’s ass.
Everything seemed to click into place now, how their marriage had never been consummated and Daphne found her cheeks reddening. She would never have thought that what Emmanuel wanted, what turned him on, would be being pinned down underneath another man. Was that who he loved then? Some man who liked beer, apple pie and rock music? Daphne would never have been able to live up to that. She was missing some of the equipment.
This Dean wasn’t though. His hips snapped back and Daphne caught a glimpse of his cock, slicked and big, before he forced it back inside Emmanuel. Emmanuel mewled for it, fingers dug into the rug beneath him and Daphne wondered how her usually timid, sexually disinterested husband could have been coaxed down onto the floor and fucked by a stranger. Did he just miss men that much that he would have let anyone with a cock have him?
As she leaned in though, she realized that Dean was muttering something, something which made Emmanuel moan louder, and she strained her ears to hear it.
“You got married?” Dean asked. “You forgot me that quickly? Forgot my cock?” He slammed forward at this point, as if trying to remind Emmanuel just exactly what was going on. “She could never do this to you, Cas. She couldn’t make you come the way I do. I had no idea I was going to find you here, I thought I’d lost you. You’re the best surprise ever, Cas. Fuck, and you’re so tight for me.”
“Dean,” Emmanuel – no, Cas, that was his name – moaned and Daphne felt heat rise in her cheeks. This was her husband’s lover, the one he’d been trying to please subconsciously. All the pieces fitted now, slotting neatly into place and Daphne wondered how she could never have considered that Cas might be gay.
“Yeah, you remember me now I’ve fucked it back into you,” Dean murmured and Daphne could hear the fondness in his voice. She could see the smile on his face and even if he couldn’t say the words, she knew what he really meant. He was holding onto Cas so tightly, as if he was afraid the man might slip away from him again if he didn’t grip on to him. His thrusts might look punishing but Daphne could see what else was behind them, could see the possession in his movements. Dean wanted to mark the man below him so thoroughly that Cas would never forget him again.
What was going on in front of her eyes might seem brutal but Daphne saw the love underneath it all. Emmanuel, or the man she’d thought of as Emmanuel at least, had been a lost sheep. She had only been there as a caretaker, someone to watch over him until Dean found him again. Now his Dean was here and Emmanuel was gone, replaced by whoever Cas was. The two men fitted together like separate pieces of a puzzle, locked together so tightly now that if it wasn’t for the little half hitches of Dean’s hips, Daphne wouldn’t know they were even moving. They were wound as tightly round each other as two people could get but she had the feeling that that wasn’t enough for them.
They could fuck and fuck, probably had been even since she’d left that morning and Dean had realized just who Emmanuel was. Or maybe he’d known all along? Maybe it had been his car parked out on the street and he’d been watching them, waiting for the right moment when he could get Cas alone and remind him of who he really was. It was calculating if that was what he’d done and Daphne knew she should be angry, that the man was a home wrecker intent on stealing her husband but she couldn’t find it in her to feel that way. Emmanuel had never been hers. He’d never been real. Dean couldn’t be stealing something from her that she had never had. Cas had always belonged with someone else.
She really did mean to give them their privacy. She meant to close the door and tiptoe away as quietly as she’d come, but then Cas gave another shuddering cry. Her eyes were drawn right to him and to the rug that he was ruining, his whole body spasming as he came. Dean held him through his orgasm, whispering something that Daphne couldn’t hear no matter how hard she listened for it.
Cas slid down onto his forearms, a pleased noise vibrating through his body and Dean followed him, body moulding to the one underneath him, laughing softly.
“I haven’t finished with you yet,” he said, teasing now and Daphne wondered just how often they’d done this already. Dean moved slowly, carefully, as if mindful that Cas underneath him would still be spent from his orgasm. Daphne gasped softly as she saw him pull free, saw that Dean’s cock was still hard. It was a delicious looking thing, shiny with slick and she entertained herself for a moment, wondering how many times Cas had been down on his knees, worshipping that cock with his mouth.
Dean sat back on his haunches, cock bobbing free and obscene between his spread thighs and Cas half-turned his head, licking his lips as he caught sight of it. Daphne pressed her legs together, aware that this was more arousing than anything she and Emmanuel had ever got up to together. This was where Emmanuel belonged, spreading his legs for Dean. Suddenly, Dean reached out, gripping the other man tightly and flipped him so they were face to face.
“Much better, now I can see you,” he murmured, licking his lips and leaned forward to kiss Cas. Daphne turned her head away quickly. This was a private moment, somehow much more personal and erotic than the sex she’d been watching. They were in love and she was intruding. She really did mean to pull herself away but then Cas made another one of those breathless, needy noises and she turned her head in time to see Dean pulling him up into his lap, feeding his cock into Cas’s already stretched hole in one sure, slow thrust. Cas wrapped his arms and legs around Dean, sinking till he was fully seated in the man’s lap and they rocked together like that.
Daphne could see the muscles in Dean’s thighs straining as he moved. She knew they must hurt, supporting both him and Cas but the man didn’t seem to care, not moving to another position. She’d thought they’d been as close as they could get before but this was different. Before had been about claiming, about showing Cas who he belonged to, this was more slow, more loving. It was hard to tell where one of them ended and the other began, they were one now.
Cas lifted his head, eyes half-lidded, mouth a little ‘O’ of pleasure as Dean hit the right spot inside him. Daphne scrambled for the door handle but not fast enough. Their eyes locked across the room. In an instant the relaxed, happy man who’d been in Dean’s arms was gone. Cas was ramrod straight, closed off and Dean must have realized something was wrong because he’d stopped rocking, turning his head slightly to try and see what it was that had upset Cas.
Daphne didn’t try to hide herself.
“Fuck,” Dean swore, trying to untangle himself from the man in his lap which was easier said than done since Cas seemed in no hurry to go anywhere. “Did you like the free show? Want to throw me my pants?” He swore again under his breath, finally managing to dislodge Cas from his lap. Daphne found his jeans slung over the arm of the couch. She couldn’t find his underwear but at this moment she supposed anything was better than nothing. She threw them to him and he caught them, muttering as he pulled them on. He was still half-hard, she noted out of the corner of her eye.
Cas sat on the floor, apparently unashamed by his nudity or the fact that his wife had caught him being fucked by another man. He made no move to cover himself. Eventually Dean threw a shirt at him, a t-shirt that must have been one of his own and which Cas accepted with a little nod, slipping it over his head. He stood up and Daphne swallowed slowly. The t-shirt skimmed the tops of his thighs. If he bent over then nothing would be left to the imagination. She would be able to see everything. She noticed Dean palming himself through his jeans. Obviously the same thought had occurred to him and Daphne wondered if it would have been better if Cas had stayed nude.
“This is Dean,” Cas said finally, gesturing to the man who couldn’t quiet meet Daphne’s eye. “And I’m not Emmanuel, I’m Castiel.” He said the name as if he was trying it out, not completely believing that it was his own. “Dean calls me Cas.”
“Yeah,” Dean agreed, his voice rough with emotion. He turned to Daphne, his cheeks flushed red but there was determination in his eyes. “Look, I know you’re married but he’s not who you think he is. Cas is mine. We’ve been together through things you couldn’t even begin to understand. I’m sorry you saw us, but I’m not sorry we did it. Where do you get off marrying some guy with amnesia anyway? He could have been anyone. I was looking for him!”
Daphne didn’t know what to say that. She had always known, somewhere in the back of her mind, that someone would be looking for the man she’d found but she’d been selfish. She’d decided he was supposed to be hers and ignored every indication to the opposite. She’d kept him from finding Dean, until Dean tracked him down. In a way she knew she’d been stupid to take a stranger in. She wanted to say she’d been helping a stranger, following the parable of the Samaritan but the words wouldn’t come because she knew she was lying.
“Cas is coming with me,” Dean said, staring her down as if he expected her to make a fuss about it but Daphne could only find herself nodding.
“Yes,” she agreed. “Yes, he should go with you. He loves you.”
Dean looked shocked. Daphne could understand that. Maybe if she hadn’t seen them together, if she’d still been trying to convince herself that this was a marriage with a future instead of a mistake then she would have made a fuss but she wouldn’t. She should have been helping Castiel. That was what God had wanted. She knew that now.
“I’m not gonna say thank you or anything. What you did was wrong.”
“I know,” Daphne said softly, hanging her head.
Dean threw his hands up in the air, unable to find words and then pointed at Castiel. “You, put clothes on, we’re going.” He turned back to Daphne, “And you, I don’t even know.”
Castiel hunted around the room, finding their clothes. Daphne was surprised to see that their underwear had ended up pushed down the back of the couch. No wonder she hadn’t been able to find it before. He pulled on his slacks and Dean grabbed the shirt that had formally belonged to Castiel and together they managed to get dressed, Dean shoving his underwear into his jacket pocket.
Finally Castiel slipped off his wedding ring and handed it wordlessly to Daphne.
He didn’t look angry. He looked sad and that was worse. Daphne could try to pretend but she would always know she had taken advantage of the man, used him when he was vulnerable and didn’t know any better. It made her a horrible person. She had always thought of herself as a nice person, a person who followed Gods word but now she didn’t know who she was. She would never have believed herself capable of the things she’d done, but she’d done them with a dogged determination that shocked her now she looked back on it.
It was almost a blessing that their marriage had never been consummated. The very thought of what she’d tried to do made her feel sick now.
Castiel half raised his hand to touch her but Dean shook his head.
“Let her remember,” he said. Daphne scrunched her face up, trying to understand what he meant by that remark but then the two men were leaving. She followed them to the door, standing on the porch as they walked down together and towards the big, black car.
Dean stopped at the trunk, opening it and Daphne squinted to see what he was retrieving from its depths. It was an old, tatty trench coat. As she watched, he slipped it around Castiel’s shoulders.
For the first time she saw Castiel smile.