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triangles and parallelograms

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So, let me catch you up. Jane was still caught in a love triangle with Michael, her sexy ex-fiancé, and Rafael, her sexy baby daddy. Petra, who was now going to be Rafael's sexy baby mommy, was feeling pretty down, for a number of reasons, including:

  1. She had a stalker
  2. Who was in town
  3. Who had proposed
  4. And she had said yes (!!!)

"Hey, Petra," said Jane, approaching the bar where Petra was sitting, gloomily stirring a straw in her tomato juice. "Everything all right?" Petra looked up at her. Jane was smiling her sympathetic smile, the one that said "you can tell me anything", or "just talking to me will fix everything", or maybe both.

"It's just tomato juice," said Petra, pointing at the drink.

"I wasn't judging," said Jane, hoisting herself up on the seat next to Petra's. "Though from the look on your face, you do seem like someone who'd need something stronger. What's up?"

"Oh, it's nothing," Petra said, then Jane frowned the tiniest bit, and Petra felt everything about to spill out. "I got engaged!"

"Wow, you look ready for the world's saddest bachelorette party," said Jane, after a couple of seconds of bewilderment. "To whom?"

"Milos," said Petra.

Jane's demeanor changed immediately. The half-amused half-judgy look was wiped from her face, and she put her head close to Petra's, and said "Milos? Petra, are you in danger?"

Petra looked up at her, Jane's worried face an inch from her, and she couldn't resist.

And so, she told her everything. … Excluding the really bad things.

"I just don't know what to do, Jane," said Petra, her head in her hands. "I mean, maybe marrying him wouldn't be that bad, I'd just go through a dreadful year and then I'd be rid of him forever? And he says he loves me, he probably wouldn't hurt me, right?" Jane looked doubtful. "But there's no way I want Milos anywhere near my baby. And with my mother in prison, I-" Saying that last part seemed to remind Petra of who she was talking to, and their still tenuous relationship. She looked up, to see that Jane was looking intently at her phone. "I'm sorry," said Petra. "I'm talking too much- you probably have somewhere to go, and look at everything I'm dumping on you-"

Jane held up her hand. "Don't you dare apologize. You're the victim here," she said, still looking at her phone. "I mean, in an empowered way. There," she said, finally putting the phone down and looking into Petra's eyes. "Michael's on his way."

"Michael?" asked Petra, frowning.

"Yes, Michael. A very nice guy, and also, a cop, which might be helpful in dealing with a criminal." Jane put dark emphasis on the last word, and part of Petra, despite her distress, thought about how fucking charming Jane was. This was why Rafael was crazy about her, she realized, looking fondly at Jane's approximation of a criminal face.

Then the words Jane was saying sunk in. "Did you just tell this entire story to him?" asked Petra, panicked, as she picked up Jane's phone to look. Jane protested but stopped herself, possibly realising that being friends with Petra came with a higher level of drama.

But the last texts just read:

Come to the Marbella. 911. Please.
It's about Petra.

On my way

"I'm a 911?" Petra said, her voice strangled.

"Obviously," said Jane, in a half-"duh" voice. "Look, I know we didn't start off on the best terms," she added, and Petra rolled her eyes at the understatement. "But even bypassing the fact that I wouldn't wish a marriage with a stalker on my worst enemy, I just... think we should try to be friends. Our kids are going to be siblings, it's the least I can do. So yeah, of course you're a priority."

Petra's hand was on the table, fiddling with her cup, and Jane's hand came to rest on top of hers. Petra looked at their hands, then she looked up at Jane, sunshiny Jane who gave her friendship so easily, and she physically felt pressure lifting from her chest. Jane squeezed her hand, and she smiled sympathetically, and Petra felt that somehow, everything would be all right.

Then Michael arrived, and the pressure came back. Petra removed her hand from Jane's, who didn't notice, turning to Michael like she was a flower and he was the sun.

"Everything all right?" asked Michael, who sounded out of breath. He threw a cursory look at Petra.

"No," said Jane, inviting him to sit down at the table they had grabbed when Petra's confession started to demand more privacy. Jane then looked at Petra, first encouragingly, then more and more decisively, as Petra kept silent. Michael turned to Petra, too.

"Anything I can do for you, Mrs. Solano?" asked Michael, and the way he said her last name - the last name he was taunting her with, but which was still infinitely better than the name she'd have to take in a couple of hours - prompted her to sum up the entire story for him.

Michael sat there, a disbelieving look on his face.

Looks like someone didn't think to walk a mile in fancy high-heel shoes before judging.

"So?" asked Jane. "Can you arrest him?"

Michael looked uncomfortable. "Did any of what you told me happen here? Or on US soil?"

"No," said Petra. "Nothing but the threats. And giving me his shares of the hotel, but as far as I know that wasn't illegal."

"Rafael wishes," he said, and Petra and Michael both chuckled. Their eyes met. Petra didn't know if it was just the glow of being an enemy of her enemy, but she saw a glimmer in Michael's eyes that made her understand why Jane wasn't just throwing herself in Rafael's arms and calling it a day.

Jane tsked good-naturedly at their disparaging her child's father, and Michael turned back to her. "So, how are you going to save the day?" she asked. Petra saw Jane's quiet certitude that they were going to do something to save Petra, and she wanted to live in that world, where happy endings and good-looking men in love with you were guaranteed. She felt her left hand reaching up of its own accord, wanting to touch some of Jane's sunlight somehow-

"There's nothing I can do," said Michael, deflating Petra's bubble. Her hand dropped back onto the table. "I mean I could investigate Milos' ties to...." - he drew a circle with his finger, pointing at the whole hotel - "the general evilness happening here, but it would take a while before I'd have anything conclusive enough to get him arrested, never mind convicted. When's the wedding supposed to happen?"

"Tomorrow," said Petra, feeling numb. She stretched the fingers of her hand, wondering how to get feeling back into them, or the rest of her.

Everyone was quiet, staring at the movement of her hand on the table, lost in thought, trying to find a way out. "You have no ring," Jane pointed out, after a moment.

Petra picked up her hand, feeling embarrassed. "I haven't been wearing it. It's not like it's a wedding ring, we're not married yet-"

"That's it," said Michael, and Petra felt her dumb hopes picking up again. "You're not married yet, so just get married to someone else. Today."

Petra laughed, a sad, small laugh of disbelief. "Sure. Let me just call up the one person I know in Miami who's not at this table, in prison, or dead. Oh, wait, we got divorced in the last year."

"I'll marry you," said Jane, and Petra's world stopped.

Petra's December marriage proposals: 2

So, it seemed, did Michael's. "Jane," he said, and Petra could almost see him remembering Jane telling him she would marry him.

"I'm serious!" said Jane. "It wouldn't be a church wedding, and it would just be until you manage to catch up to whatever Milos' nefarious plan is, and-"

"Jane," said Michael, again, trying to stop the flow of words.

"Petra is my son's... sibling's mother, she's family," Jane continued, "plus we wouldn't even have to tell anyone, just pop over to city hall, and-"

Petra's head was turning. She saw their hands touching, again, and she saw an entire life of standing near Jane's light, and she was about to nod, when Michael finally managed to quiet Jane down.

"Jane," he said, and he sounded almost as hysterical as Petra felt. "Do I need to remind you of the importance that the sacrament of marriage has in your life? You know, the..?"

"I know about the virgin thing," supplied Petra, her sarcastic side helpfully chiming in over her whirlwind of feelings.

"But that's not as important as saving Petra's life," said Jane. "Who knows what Milos wants to do. He probably wants to make sure that Petra can't testify against him, as his wife, and that means he's planning for a lot of, of, really dark stuff-"

"I don't want you to do it," said Michael. "Please. I'll do it if I have to."

Petra's December marriage proposals: 2.5
(Come on, one of them was pretty half-assed.)

Jane bit her lip. Michael looked at her biting her lip.

Petra didn't say anything.

(She was pretty quick with a retort when people were arguing with her. It turned out to be pretty different when people were arguing for her.)

Jane gave a tiny nod. Petra held her breath. Jane and Michael looked at each other like they were the doomed heroes of an overdramatic young adult novel.

For a really long time.

After a while, Petra coughed. Michael turned his head to look at her.

"So, will you?" he asked her.

"I-" said Petra, and her sarcastic side helped out again before the could stop it. "Well, since you asked in such a romantic way-"

Michael rolled his eyes, stood up, and got down on one knee. He took her hand, the same hand Jane had taken earlier. Jane closed her eyes. "Petra Solano, will you marry me, today, so we can share a short, loveless, platonic marriage, in order to save you from a potential criminal?"

Petra's December marriage proposals: 3

"Not just potential-" Petra started, and Michael sighed. "I mean. Yes. Please."

Proposals Petra accepted: 2 3 4 (Yeah, I had forgotten about Lachlan, too.)

"Great," said Jane, who valiantly tried to sound like she thought it was. "I'll take care of the ceremony. I'll text you where to show up and when."

She grabbed her things and left. Michael and Petra watched her go, not saying anything. She looked back at Michael before exiting the building.

"So," said Michael. He was standing beside her chair, and she felt small, and like she should be apologizing.

"Thank you," she said instead.

"I haven't shown up to the wedding yet," he said, with a grin he seemed to be producing despite himself. She chuckled, too.

"Well," she said, and so did he. "I guess I'll see you then," she added, standing up. She hesitated, then held out her hand to him.

He raised an eyebrow at her, then shook her hand. "Post-engagement handshake," he said. "Is that a Czech custom?"

"Yes," she said. "Very intimate."

"Okay," he said. "Then I'll see you soon, my intimate fiancée."


Petra put on a nice newish dress, and borrowed her mother's old blue earrings. She looked in the mirror before leaving and tried not to think about the glamorous masterpiece her body had been on her previous wedding day.

Jane was at the door when Petra arrived, with a friend Petra thought she might have seen around the hotel a couple of times. "You needed another witness," Jane explained. "Petra, Lina, Lina, Petra."

"Yes, I know who she is," said Lina, sounding pretty angry. Petra wondered what her deal was, but then Jane looked at Lina in a silent warning and Petra remembered - right, she was marrying Jane's ex-fiancé in a couple of minutes.

"Well," said Petra. "Shall we?"

Lina went first, Jane prodding her along from time to time. Petra didn't know if she should wait to make a grand entrance, or walk in that weird floating stroll most brides do down the aisle. She opted for normalcy. Part of her wished Jane was prodding at her, too.

Michael was standing with the clerk at the other end of the room. Petra nodded at him, and he nodded back. She noticed that he kept his eyes on her, like he was deliberately not turning to Jane.

The guy in front said a couple of things, Michael and Petra said they did, Michael had somehow found rings somewhere, and everything was over in about three minutes. Until, of course-

"You may kiss the bride."

The clerk beamed at them, and Petra cursed at herself for forgetting about that part. Michael's eyes left her for the first time since she entered the room, and he looked at Jane, so Petra looked too. But the way they looked at each other prevented any onlookers from joining in, and Lina was throwing daggers at her, so Petra looked at Michael again. The yearning painted on his face was so powerful, she felt pulled along with it, and all she felt was a terrible need to run down the stairs to kiss Jane, instead.

But Jane looked down, and Michael turned back to Petra. He put his hands on her waist and she raised her arms, bumping into his chest. "Oh, sorry," she said, and both of them chuckled awkwardly. She turned her face up at him, and he bent over, and he kissed her.

She had expected a tiny peck, but maybe he wanted to put on a bit of a show so the clerk wouldn't un-marry them - or maybe he just had a lot of pent-up Jane-related sexual tension - and she felt herself softening against him as the kiss went on, the milliseconds stretching, his mouth opening just enough to make her want more. He smelled like toothpaste and soap - the kind that was often on sale at the drugstore. She felt his heart beating under her hands. His fingers tightened around her waist, ever so slightly. His eyes were closed, and she was about to close hers, but she was interrupted by falling- was that snow?

"What-" she said, interrupting the kiss and looking up.

"Confetti!" said the clerk, delighted. "We installed confetti throwers to cheer up the place. The boss seemed to think we were losing too many clients to more 'beautiful places'". He mimed the quotes around the words, clearly communicating that he didn't think much of people who wanted beauty for their wedding day.

"Confetti," said Michael, quietly, looking up as the confetti kept falling on them. He was still holding her. Then Petra saw movement in the room, and she thought for a second that Jane had fled the scene of her ex-fiancé's wedding, but-

"Petra," called out a voice that chilled her. "I thought we had an arrangement."

Milos wasn't doing anything particularly threatening - he just stood in the doorway, hands in his pockets, not moving. But his eyebrows were deeply lowered, and his entire face looked dark. Her hand flew to her belly, and Michael turned towards the intruder, switching hands so that he'd still be holding her waist, slowly moving in front of her so that he was half-shielding her before she had the time to say anything.

Jane and Lina had stood up as soon as Milos had entered the room. "He's a cop!" said Lina, hysterically. "Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law!"

Michael closed his eyes and let out half a sigh.

"A cop," said Milos, walking slowly down the aisle. (It wasn't really an aisle, thought Petra, her brain desperate to focus on anything else than what was happening. Just a space in the middle of the three sorry rows of chairs. Thank god she hadn't tried to glide down it.) "Were you so scared of marrying me that you proposed to the first cop you met? That hurts, Petra." He put a hand on his heart and looked crestfallen.

"Of course not," she said, sounding way more brave than she felt.

"We're in love," said Michael at the same time.

"Yes," she said, looking at her husband and nodding. "We're very- intimate, and everything. He's nice," she added, looking at him, before turning back to Milos, trying to find other qualities to point out. "And, a... detective." Failed. If she hadn't been stuck in a nightmare, she would probably have noticed a minuscule smile rising at the corner of Michael's lips.

"Intimate and in love," said Milos, having finally walked up to them. "So, you're living together? Was he in the next room when I proposed yesterday?"

"Ah, we wanted to wait for marriage," Petra said, and Michael nodded along vigorously. "But he'll be moving in any day now."

"He'll be moving in? With you? In my hotel?" asked Milos.

"Well, it's not just your hotel," pointed out Petra.

"Right," said Michael. "It's also Rafael's. But, you know, anything for love." He had a tight smile, and she felt sincerely sorry for him. "We were actually just leaving, so, we'll see you around. Or not!"

Michael grabbed Petra's hand and walked towards Jane, completely ignoring Milos as he bypassed him. "Let's go, ladies," he said, his other hand on the small of Jane's back, guiding the three of them to safety. Petra looked in something like wonder at him - he had always seemed like a bit of a pushover to her, and this new take-charge version of Michael was making her feel things she probably shouldn't feel for her platonic husband.

Once they had reached safer ground, Michael made sure everyone was all right, and Petra tried not to notice how his every question seemed directed at Jane.

"You should have fought him!" Lina told Michael. She was jumping up and down hysterically.

"Not with three of you guys around to keep safe," said Michael. "Not taking that risk."

Jane took Petra's hand again, and then, to Petra's immense surprise, she pulled her into a hug. "I'm so glad you're not marrying that creep," said Jane into the hug. "How did he even know where you were?" she asked, releasing Petra, but still holding onto her hand.

Michael got out a notebook and a pen, and the girls looked at each other worriedly as he wrote something.


Jane scoffed after reading. "Really?" she asked, but Petra's insides turned icy, as she put together details that didn't quite add up.

Michael looked at Petra worriedly and picked up his pen again.


Petra's only answer was to take her phone out of her purse, and crush it with her heel.


"Rafael," said Petra, entering his office.

"Petra, always a pleasure," said Rafael, not looking up from his files.

"Hey," said Michael, and then Rafael did look up, and frowned. Petra sat down, and Michael stayed by the door, looking wary.

"What are you doing here?" asked Rafael.

"I wanted to discuss a new marketing strategy," said Petra, and she slid a document over to Rafael. It looked above-board, but the title was "Go with it - we think your office could be bugged", written by "Michael will do a sweep" and "Just pretend to be talking marketing with me".

Rafael stayed quiet for a couple of seconds, and Petra looked over at Michael, who wasn't moving. "Sure," Rafael said finally, nodding in Michael's direction. "I didn't know you cared about marketing."

Petra did her best to sustain the conversation, watching Michael make his way around every nook and cranny in the room. Rafael was cooperative - opening his secret safe without even acknowledging Michael's pissed-off look, throwing Petra some easy questions she could answer without thinking about it.

Michael finished his sweep of the office. Petra assumed he hadn't found anything, so she stood up, ready to leave, but Michael stopped her with a raised hand. He pointed at Rafael's desk, and silently asked Rafael to back up his chair so he could get under it. Petra winked at Rafael - his legs spread, a man on his back between them - and he rolled his eyes at her. "This is your fault," he managed to fit into their business conversation, and she rolled her eyes, too, to hide her hurt.

Well, it was, but but he didn't have to say it like that. At least Petra's stepmother wasn't a crime lord.

Michael exited the desk, still on his back, his shirt having ridden up, which Petra wished she hadn't noticed. He was holding a tiny bug in his hand.

"Right," said Petra, shocked, even though they had found a bunch of bugs just like it in her room. "I also wanted to tell you I'd be changing rooms."

Rafael started to nod, but she shook her head and mouthed "ARGUE".

"Why?" asked Rafael, getting the hint. "You have the best suite in the place."

"No, you do," she pointed out. "And now that we're married-" she pointed to Michael, then to her finger, then nodded exaggeratedly, "we're going to need a bigger room."

"I'm sorry. You got married?" said Rafael, like he couldn't stop himself.

"I know, we should have told you, it's just, we know how you get when we talk about us-" said Petra, desperately trying to save face.

"You're carrying my child," said Rafael, advancing towards her, "and you got married to another man?"

Petra closed her mouth abruptly. "I'm sorry," she said, throwing her hands in the air. "Did you want to marry me? Again? Make an honest woman out of me?"

"I-" spluttered Rafael. "This is not about that."

"It's not," said Petra, raising her hand between them, trying to calm down. "Look, we're just going to go to our room, and we'll talk about this" - she gestured at the three of them, then, more pointedly, at the bug - "another time."

"Yeah, we have a wedding night to get to," said Michael, who had been silent all this time, but who couldn't seem to resist throwing a verbal uppercut to Rafael. It seemed to hit the target, for Rafael looked at Michael with more hatred than Petra thought he could manage - and she had been on the receiving end of a lot of Rafael's hatred.

"Let's go, honey," she said, grabbing Michael's hand and leaving before things degenerated.

"I swear, you're like children on a playground," she told Michael once they had left the room and he had disposed of the bug. "Just fight already, release some steam, or someone's going to get hurt."

Michael laughed. "That is… not what Jane would have said in this situation."

"Well, I am not Jane," she said, as she opened the door of their new room. "There. Welcome home." She gestured at the suite - exquisitely decorated, but devoid of anything personal.

"Right," said Michael, looking in. "How many bedrooms are there in here?"

"Uh, most suites have two…" said Petra, looking around. "But, not this one, apparently. Must be Rafael's idea of a joke."

Michael raised his head suddenly, and mouthed "I'm going to check for bugs" at Petra. "You should call him and ask," he then added in a normal tone.

"Oh," she said, taken aback. "Do you think that's- needed?" she asked.

He shrugged and shook his head. "Probably not," he said. "But we'll never know if we don't check." He started to make his way around the room, and Petra looked at him worriedly. She had bought new clothes, new shoes, a new purse, she had taken a shower - though she preferred not to think about how Milos could have bugged her body in ways that a shower could fix. She felt paranoid and jittery, and even if this was the weirdest situation in the world, having Michael there made her kind of thankful, one-bedroom situation be damned.

He came back with an all-clear, and she breathed again. "Thanks for doing this," she said. "Not just the sweeps, I mean, all of- this."

"It's fine," he said. "Just the most important decision of our lives, right?" He grinned at her, and she didn't know where he found the strength to be funny. She looked at his face and felt her own starting to crumble.

"Hey," he said, stepping towards her. "I'm kidding. You won't be stuck with me for long- bugging someone is illegal, so we've already got almost enough to arrest him, and I'm sure we'll find the shady things he came back for-" His arms reached for her and she walked into them, grateful. She started crying on his shoulder, and he whispered "hey, hey, don't worry, I'm here, you're safe," one hand holding her back, keeping her close to him, the other caressing the back of her head. "Are you still scared?" he asked softly.

"No," she said, then "yes, I don't know." Her hands were bunched up in fists on his chest. "I'm sorry that you've had to get mixed up in this- I know you love Jane and she loves you or whatever, and now she asked you to get married to someone else, and you probably hate me, and-"

Michael laughed softly. "Look, Petra," he said, reasonably. "My life has been insane for so long that getting married to you isn't even the weirdest thing that's happened to me in the past year. I don't hate you, I think you're kind of entertaining!" Petra gasped at that, half-insulted. He kissed the top of her head to make her forgive him. "We'll find stuff on Milos soon, and in a month, tops, you and I will go our separate ways, and Jane and I will be free to get back to our love. Or whatever," he added, mimicking her tone.

She looked up at him. "A month?" she asked, in wonder.

"Well," he grimaced, "maybe a bit longer, processing and paperwork and court can stretch out, but…"

He was still holding her, and she put her head on his chest again. "I can deal with a month," she said.

"And we'll be friends! It'll be fun to live in a fancy hotel and pretend to be married to a beautiful woman," he said, and she laughed. He kissed the top of her head again. "Feeling better?" he asked.

"Yes, thank you," she said, but she didn't let go of him. She looked at his reassuring smile, and his eyes were bright, and very blue. His arms were strong around her, anchoring her to reality, and to him. She opened her mouth, and so did he, and she felt his breath on her lips. Her hands went up around his neck, seemingly of their own accord, and he bent down towards her, just a little. He stopped smiling, and he looked serious, and intense, and very focused on her. Her breath quickened. She felt him approaching her, slowly, tantalizingly...

There was a knock at the door.

Great timing!

Both of them jumped, separating quickly. Petra wiped her cheeks, and Michael carefully didn't look at her as he went to open the door. "Rafael," he said. "Welcome to our humble abode."

Rafael rolled his eyes and entered the room. "Do you mind telling me what's happening?" he asked Petra. He then looked around, remembering his office, and mouthed "Can we talk?", gesturing at the room.

"Yeah, it's safe, I swept the room," said Michael. "And I think I'll go do some more sweeps... somewhere… else." He left the room awkwardly, and Petra wondered if it was just the usual Michael-Rafael feud bothering him, or if the goosebumps she still had on his arms from the previous moment were making him jittery, too.

"So," Rafael said, and he took her left hand in his, examining it. "You got married."

"Yes," said Petra, removing her hand. "Went to City Hall and everything. Clerk. Witnesses."

"Confetti," Rafael said, picking a stray one from her hair. He left her hand near her head, and she felt like a cat, wanting to rub against it. Instead, she shook her hair, checking if anything else was hiding in there - and trying to wake herself up from the trance she felt. Man, the pregnancy hormones were messing with her head.

"Why?" Rafael finally asked.

"Did you discover he was about to inherit the secret Cordero treasure?" was what he wanted to ask.

"We're in love," Petra said.

"I need help," was what she wanted to say.

"Well, then, I feel the need to tell you that your loving husband kissed Jane yesterday. And apparently, it was one for the books."

"It's an open marriage," Petra said, but then he looked at her, in the same way he always did when he wasn't buying her bullshit, and she sighed. "All right. You remember Milos?"

"Your- acid-throwing ex-boyfriend?" asked Rafael, confused. "What does he have to do with Michael?"

And so, Petra told him everything, too.

  1. Keeping Ivan hostage
  2. Covering for her mother when she pushed Alba down the stairs
  3. Falsifying her mother's health papers
  4. Telling only part of the truth to Jane

Rafael sat down on the couch, looking dazed. "Petra," he said. "Why didn't you come to me?"

"Right," she laughed, bitterly. "I can just imagine your response. 'Did you discover I was about to inherit some new part of the secret Solano treasure?'", she mimicked him, and he looked appropriately abashed.

He didn't say anything for a minute, and she felt the need to soften up her last comment. "It's all right - Michael says he'll probably find enough stuff to throw Milos in prison soon, so this 'marriage' won't last long."

"I don't trust him," said Rafael.

"Well, obviously neither do I, that's why I'm in this whole insane situation in the first place, Milos is deranged-"

"I meant Michael," corrected Rafael, and Petra stood still.

"Michael?" she asked, her face scrunched up in confusion. "Why?"

"Come on, he's in love with Jane, and I'm in love with Jane-"

"Who isn't," interrupted Petra, looking bored.

Rafael didn't bother to react. "And now he marries my ex-wife? Who's carrying my child? It just looks like he wanted to get back at me somehow, or, or hurt Jane-"

"Jane wanted to marry me," said Petra. "That's why he did it."

Rafael stood up again. "Jane knows you two got married?" and for the first time, his question sounded less angry, more hopeful.

"Yes," Petra said. "She was there. She arranged the whole thing."

"And it doesn't bother her? That her precious Michael got married?"

"Yes, of course it does," Petra said, her voice getting strangled. "But she's a good person, and she saw a way to help me, and she took it." Petra stopped talking and took a deep breath. She would not cry again, especially not in front of Rafael. She turned around, not wanting to face him anymore, and pinched the bridge of her nose.

Rafael stood up and walked over to her. "Petra," he said softly. She felt the heat of his body on her back, and she wanted to lean against him, but she didn't. "I'm sorry, I've made this whole mess about me, again."

"It's fine," said Petra, in her best calm and collected voice. "I'm just a little tired."

"Of course," he said. "I remember the last time you were pregnant - you used to wake up at nine, take a nap, and then you still had trouble not falling asleep on your dinner plate."

She looked over her shoulder at him, then, and saw his fond smile. I'm carrying his child, she thought, again. A wave of warmth came over her. "At least I'm not sick anymore. Well, not more than once in the morning. Or twice." Both of them laughed a little.

"All right," he said, finally. "I'll leave you alone to rest, then. Take care of my baby." He put a hand on her belly, and she felt it again, the yearning. "Do you want me to find your husband?" He asked with a glint of humor in his eyes.

"I'm sure he'll find his way back home soon," said Petra. Then Rafael left, and she fell on the bed, exhausted.


Petra woke up in the middle of the night, disoriented, and she stretched her arm out to find the bed empty. She figured Michael had probably gone home after all, and she went back to sleep.

She didn't leave the room all day, worried that she'd "happen" upon Milos if she left. Not that he couldn't find her in here - but she wasn't exactly operating on rationality, here. She hadn't replaced her destroyed phone yet, so she just paced her room, feeling cabin fever settling down on her.

She went to sleep early, bored, and woke up again at two in the morning. She felt sick and groggily got up, mentally counting the days until her first trimester would finally be over.

Walking out of the bathroom, she saw someone sleeping on the couch, and fear gripped her for a second before she realised that it was Michael, not her personal bogeyman. The moon was illuminating his face, and he looked peaceful, far from the usual angry Detective Cordero she had first met, a lifetime ago.

"Hey," she said, shaking his shoulder softly.

"'m up," he said, police reflexes waking him up - at least halfway. "You all right?"

"Yes," she said. "When did you get home? Did you work all day?"

"Around midnight," he said, scrubbing his eyes. "I think I finally found something on Milos."

"Good," said Petra, but she found that her priorities were not, this time, centered on Milos. "Come on, come to bed. You don't have to sleep on the couch."

"I'm not sure that's such a good idea," Michael said, and he still sounded half-asleep. "The bed is fine. I mean, the couch is fine."

"The bed is better," she said, a smile at the corner of her mouth. She took his hand and he followed obediently, his eyes closed. "Don't worry, I know your heart belongs to a Villanueva, I'm not going to put any moves on you," she said as she entered the covers and made space for him.

Michael groaned. "Jane hasn't returned any of my calls since the wedding," he said.

Petra paused before replying. She and Michael weren't friends by any normal criteria. They had never really talked in other tones than accusatory before getting married (married!) two days ago. Michael probably wouldn't be confiding in her if he weren't this exhausted. She figured she should probably shut this confession session down.

At the same time, she had been crying in his arms only thirty-six hours ago. He had made a huge sacrifice for her, just to help her out (and Jane, Petra noted, not wanting to praise Michael too much, either). "I'm sure she's just been busy with Mateo, or school, or another crisis or two," she said, mildly.

"No," he shook his head into the pillow, burrowing deeper in the mattress. "She's been feeling- distant, and I know the wedding fucked with her head."

"I'm sorry," said Petra, awkwardly. Michael looked at her this time. He didn't seem half-asleep anymore.

"That's not what I meant," he said.

"Well, weddings would 'fuck' with anyone's head," she said, her usual prim look clashing with the harsh language.

"It kind of fucked with mine, too," said Michael, and he was looking at her again. The room was dark except for the moon's rays, but she saw every detail of his face, eyelashes, stubble, parted lips.

And then she was tired of wanting all the time, of yearning and needing and wishing and hungering, and she decided to have. He closed his eyes and she kissed him.

He responded immediately, opening his mouth and welcoming her in, and her tongue tangled with his as she felt him rocking his hips, getting closer to her. His hand went to her head, caressing her hair and pressing her mouth on his ever deeper. Her hands went to his shirt, unbuttoning it, not wanting to waste any time, because what if he changed his mind, what if he thought about Jane-

And then she was thinking about Jane, and part of her wanted to flee from the bed, throw herself at Jane's feet and apologize, but then Michael grasped her breast, which was hypersensitive from the pregnancy, and she moaned, and didn't want to flee anymore, wanted to stay, have, get. And then somehow she was naked, and so was he, and her thoughts were still full of Jane, and she wondered how many times Michael had dreamt about doing these things to her, as he worked his way over her body with his tongue, and she could see Jane's golden skin on his - her - pale one, and Michael made her come with his mouth and she didn't even know what name she moaned out.

He didn't let her catch her breath before entering her, and he buried himself in her desperately, like he was searching for salvation between her legs. He looked at her face, studying her intently. In the darkness, he was full of shadows, and she kind of understood why Rafael didn't trust him. Which, because she was a mess, turned her on even more, and she raised her hips to bring him deeper into her. Then he closed his eyes again, and he buried his face in her shoulder, and she could almost feel his thoughts leaving her for someone else. So hers did, too.


She felt sick again in the morning. She hadn't thought to replenish her usual nightstand supply of lemon candies after switching suites. She got up and grabbed some from the kitchen - stopping to be sick on the way, obviously - before going back to bed.

"Hi," said Michael. She tried to analyze his feelings for a second, then got nauseous again and gave up, crawling into bed next to him.

"You all right?" he asked.

"Yes, this candy just needs a couple of seconds to work. It's the only thing that settles my stupid morning sickness."

"Oh. Jane never got sick, I thought morning sickness was a legend," he said, and she just groaned, hiding under the covers. He laughed a little. "So, I guess now would not be the best time to have an in-depth discussion about last night?"

She threw the covers back and looked at him. "Do you- want to talk about it?"

He looked uncomfortable. "I just wanted to make sure we were… cool."

"Cool," she repeated.

"Platonic married friends," he said.

"Not too intimate," she added.

"Ideally," he said. She sat up, feeling better, though this conversation wasn't helping. "I'm in love with Jane," Michael finally said.

"Who isn't," said Petra, again. He just looked at her. She started fiddling with the sheets, looking down at her hands. "Were you thinking about her?"

"Last night?" he asked, his voice strangled. She looked up at him and nodded shortly. "I-" he started, then stopped, his hand coming up to mess his hair. He looked away. "Yes," he finally said.

She wanted to ask more, to ask if he had been thinking about her all along - when he was kissing her, sucking on her clit, rocking his hips into her - but all she managed to blurt out was "Me too."

Michael's head whipped back toward her. "Like, because you felt guilty, or..?"

"No," she whispered, and he made a sound, halfway between a groan and a moan, and her body responded to that.

"Who isn't," he repeated her earlier words, quietly, looking at Petra with wonder, like he finally understood a key part of her that she didn't even dare understand herself.

She couldn't take it, this wonderment, she felt like she couldn't deserve it, or him, or her, or any of this, and so she did the only thing she thought she could do to make him stop - she kissed him. Again. And then he was naked and on top of her, again.

Fun wedding gift idea for these two: a dictionary, with the definition of 'platonic' highlighted!


Michael wasn't the only one who thought Jane was being distant, thought Petra. It had been a week since she'd even shown up at the Marbella. Petra had noticed Rafael leaving the hotel and coming back with a car seat in hand, too, confirming her fears - she hadn't just been unlucky. Jane would probably never want to speak to her again.

It didn't help that she'd been sleeping with Jane's ex-fiancé every day for a week. On the other hand, at least Milos hadn't been seen, either!

So when Petra did see Jane, walking on the stretch of street between the hotel and the beach, she stood up from her chair and screamed out her name, like a normal person. She saw Jane turn toward her, recognize her, and hesitate. Petra's heart broke. But Jane walked toward her in the end.

"Hey," said Jane, and oh, she wasn't very good at pretending. Petra could teach her classes.

"Hi," said Petra, and then she didn't know what else to say. "Do you want to sit?" she asked, gesturing at her chaise lounge.

"Ah- just for a little while, I need to leave soon. I just came to drop something off for Rafael, but he's not here."

Jane looked around the beach, obviously screaming for an escape route, so Petra just asked outright. "Are we fine?"

Jane stopped her reconnaissance, and seemed to slow down. She looked at Petra, and sighed. "I'm sorry," she said. She sat down, and Petra did, too, both of them squeezing on the same chair, their thighs touching. "I know I'm being really unfair," Jane went on.

Petra bit her lip, wanting to ease up Jane's pain, but she felt like "if it helps, I've been sleeping with him, and you're totally right to flee from me!" wouldn't be the best thing to say to further her case.

"This whole thing has just been so confusing," Jane continued, wrenching her hands. "I know you're not really married, but-"

Petra nodded. "Trust me, it's been confusing for me, too."

That's an understatement.

"I'm sorry," Jane said, again.

"Me too," Petra wanted to say. "Don't be," she said instead.

"How are things for you? It's not too weird to live with Michael?" Jane asked, and when she said 'weird', Petra knew she meant 'wonderful'.

"It's- confusing," said Petra, and she saw that Jane would have preferred another answer. "What happened between you two? He said you were distant. You know, I do not care at all if you decide to be with him, I shouldn't even be- an afterthought in your relationship-" Though as she said it, a pinching near her heart told her she was lying. She didn't even know who she ought to be jealous of.

"He talked to you about me?" asked Jane.

"Yes," said Petra.

He described your body in delicious detail just last night!

"The day before you got married," Jane said, steeling herself before saying those last three words, "we kissed. And it was amazing, and I knew Michael was who I was meant to be with," she said, her eyes looking off in the distance. Petra heard the waves crashing on the shore, the kids screaming and laughing, but all she could focus on were the sounds of Jane's breath hitching. "And then-"

"I married him," said Petra, trying not to sound bitter.

"I know it doesn't mean anything, I know you're not really together," said Jane, and Petra couldn't refrain from tilting her head in a 'well, actually' pose.

Jane noticed. "Aren't you?" she said, and she sounded defeated.

"It's just been- confusing," Petra said. "He's such a good guy, and we're married, but we talk about you all the time, and he is so in love with you-" She kept babbling more and more, hoping to find the one thing that would make this whole mess less terrible for this amazing human being who had already been through so much shit - a lot of it caused by Petra herself - and she put her hand on Jane's shoulder, and she saw that Jane was crying.

"I'm so sorry," said Petra, who meant it dearly.

"Don't be," said Jane. "I mean, a criminal tapped your phone, bugged your home and asked you to marry him... my relationship drama is nothing compared to that. None of this is your fault."

Petra wiped Jane's tears. "You are too good for me," said Petra. And Jane looked in Petra's eyes, and she didn't even look angry. Their faces were inches apart. Petra couldn't help herself.

Jane tasted like saltwater and sunflowers. Petra's hand went from her shoulder to her hair, caressing her neck, and Jane felt so delicate against her - so unlike Michael and Rafael and anyone else, tiny in a way that made Petra want to protect Jane from the world, though her body wouldn't make much of a shield. Jane didn't push away, though she didn't respond either, her body still under Petra's hands. Petra breathed in her scent one last time (flowers and- bubble soap?), and pulled away.

Jane stayed still, with only her hand coming to rest on her lips. Bubbles were falling around them, blown by some kid's bubble machine somewhere on the beach. (That explained that.) Jane blinked, and Petra didn't. Petra didn't breathe, either, her breath's fate resting on the next time Jane opened her lips.

"I'm sorry," Petra finally said, when Jane still wasn't saying anything.

That seemed to wake Jane up. She shook her head quickly, like she was trying to figure out what part of the last minutes were a dream. She still looked in a daze, though, as she slowly stood up from the chair. "This has been a confusing few days," Jane said, to nobody in particular. "I'm sorry- don't take this personally- you are a lovely kisser," and Petra was endeared by her babbling, "but I've got to go. Now."

"Okay," said Petra, but Jane was already walking away from her. She sat back in her chaise lounge, closed her eyes, and sighed.


"Well, I had a day," said Michael, slamming the door as he entered their suite.

Petra didn't look up at him. "No 'honey, I'm home'?" she asked, looking at her magazine. All in all, she thought, she was faking normalcy pretty well.

"Jane and Rafael kissed," he said, throwing himself on the couch next to her.

Well, she gave normalcy a good try, at least.

"What?" she said, shocked. She wondered if kissing her had somehow - made Jane and Rafael fall into each other's arms, and what a weird superpower that was for her to have - "How do you know?" she asked, instead.

Michael looked shifty. "I saw them," he said.

She raised an eyebrow. "You were spying on them, you mean," she said.

"I wasn't!" he protested, and she raised her eyebrow even higher. "Not on purpose," he admitted, defeated. "I went to Jane's house to confront- I mean, to ask her about why she's been so distant lately." Petra's eyes told him she wasn't fooled by his word substitution. "But as I walked up to the door, I saw them on the porch swing. She looked very enthusiastic."

"Did she," said Petra, feeling small and lost.

Michael stood up and paced the room. "I can't believe it! Is she just going to be with him, then? He's an asshole!"

"He's not," said Petra, her hand coming to rest automatically on her belly.

"This is all just because of Mateo," he said, "Rafael must have used his same-old family arguments, and I guess something made her crack-"

"Also, the two of us have been married for a week," Petra pointed out, much more calmly than she felt.

At that, Michael stopped pacing, though he still seemed angry enough she was surprised smoke wasn't blowing out of his ears. "I'm sorry," he said, finally. "I didn't think it would upset you, too."

"Why would I be upset?" said Petra, dropping her magazine and standing up, waving her arms around, unable to contain her feelings any longer. "My husband is just freaking out because my ex-husband made out with the girl I'm in love with, who incidentally, I kissed, today. You know, the kind of uplifting story that fills fairy tales' books."

Michael stood agape, watching her, not saying anything. She was breathing hard, looking at him, daring him to react.

"You kissed Jane?" he said, and he was so quiet, she had to step toward him to hear his voice over her own breathing.

"Yes," she said, quietly, too.

"And then she went home and kissed Rafael?" he frowned, puzzled, his hands already reaching for her waist.

"It's been a confusing time," she agreed, nodding her head once, her face exuding exaggerated exuberance before getting back to normal. She stepped towards him again, her body flush with his. His legs widened a little to make room for her.

He bent his head towards her, close enough that she felt his breath on her lips. "How was it?" he murmured, and his lips brushed against hers.

"She smelled like summer," she said, and he kissed her, softly. "Tasted like the sea," she said again, and he kissed her again, just a little deeper. "She felt tiny in my arms. So different from you."

"You thought about me?" he whispered, before kissing her again, his hands sneaking on her back, under her shirt.

"Yes," she said, wrapping her arms around his neck, and she opened her mouth, wanting to taste him, to feel him, to consume him whole. He grabbed her ass and helped her jump into his arms, walking her backwards until she felt the wall against her back.

"Tell me more," he said, kissing her neck, her collarbone, her cleavage, his hands taking her as high as he needed for his mouth to make her way down her body.

She held on to him, a hand tangled in his hair as she directed him where she wanted him to go. "I felt her breasts on mine," and she felt dirty, saying this to Michael, like she was desecrating Jane's pure image somehow, like their kiss was this snow-white thing she shouldn't throw mud on, but then he moaned, and pressed against her until her breasts almost hurt from being against his brick wall of a chest, and she thought this might have been worth it. "I wanted to touch her everywhere," she said, out of breath, "to feel her skin, and her body, and-" Michael's hands were massaging her ass, his body rubbing up against her, as he seemed desperate to reenact her words.

He walked her over to the bed and practically ripped her clothes off, and she almost laughed at his romance hero moves. "Did Jane write you a lot of stories with people who ripped each other's clothes off?" she managed to ask before he kissed her again.

"Yes," he said. "Get back to the kiss," he demanded, and he sucked on her nipple, a little too hard, and she arched her back into the pain. He saw her reaction and bit down, lightly, but enough to make her feel like lifting off the bed.

"I'd say I wanted to do that to Jane," she said, out of breath - having sex with someone who liked dirty talk was exhausting - "but I'm not sure she'd be into it."

He made a negative sound in the back of his throat, his mouth busy with one last nibble, before he confirmed. "I feel like she might be too sweet," and he licked his way down her belly, until she gasped.

"God, you're good at that," she said, grabbing his hair.

He raised his head and looked at her, entirely too satisfied with himself. "That, Jane would like," he said, before returning to his task.

She pictured it, pictured her tongue on Jane, in Jane, as Michael's moved against her in quicker and quicker succession, and she sighed audibly before saying "I want to know what she tastes like." At that, Michael moaned, and the vibration sent her over the edge.

He came up to her, wiping his face on her shoulder, which she wrinkled her nose at. He grinned at her and licked her shoulder. "Nice try," she said, "I'll just take a shower."

"As you wish," he said, and she started jerking him off lazily, still reeling from her orgasm. He kissed her, letting her catch her breath, and she was startled to realise that he knew her body now - knew that if he penetrated her right after she came, she would explode from the friction and not in a good way, knew that she'd make it worth his while if he waited for a hot minute - and her heart felt warm, suddenly, felt very full from this very weird relationship she had found herself in.

"No more Jane talk?" he murmured, biting lightly on her ear.

"I was going to say that you felt different from Rafael, actually," and he grimaced at her. "What," she said, "we can bring your ex-fiancée into this, but not mine?"

"Well," he considered, like this was a reasonable argument. "Are you still in love with him?"

She laughed mirthlessly. "I was, a week ago," she said. "I'm carrying his child." Michael's hand came to rest on her belly, and he looked at it thoughtfully. She wanted to- reassure him, she supposed, tell him that he also had a place in her heart, that he wasn't just an object for sexual release, but she stayed silent, wanting to know his thoughts.

"It's been a complicated few days," he said, finally, and she laughed again, and he kissed her with a smile.

He made love to her slowly and softly, and it was her name he whispered when she felt him spilling inside her.


She was getting out of the shower, tucking a towel under her arms, when she heard the door open in a fracas.

"What the hell, man?" asked Michael, from the living room.

"You slept with Petra?" shouted the intruder, and Petra was shocked to realize it was Rafael. She held on to the towel and walked on tiptoes until she reached the bedroom door, left ajar by Michael. She hid behind it, but managed to get a good view, feeling vaguely guilty about spying on them. Though was it spying, when Michael obviously knew she was there?

Yes, I'm pretty sure it was.

"Not sure that's any of your business," said Michael, eyes narrowing. He looked disheveled, too, his shirt untucked, barefoot, his hair sticking out. It seemed to anger Rafael even more, walking in on his enemy in such an obviously satisfied state.

"It becomes my business, like you say, when you mess with her mind so much that she goes and kiss Jane, which in turns messes with her mind so much that she decides to jump on me, then apologize and say that she's confused, and she's been having all those feelings, and she thought maybe she just needed to kiss someone-"

Petra's blood ran hot and cold with every word out of Rafael's mouth - so Jane didn't just forget about her right away, so Jane felt like she wanted to kiss her again, god, she wants to kiss her again - and she almost missed Michael throwing a look her way, like he was checking with her what he was supposed to tell Rafael. She retreated further into the room on instinct, then regretted it - Michael had nothing to do with that kiss, he should hang her out to dry to defend himself, but before she had time to tell him anything, he spoke.

"You think I what, told Petra to kiss Jane? In my grand master plan to get Jane and you together again?"

"I don't know," Rafael shouted again, frustrated. "You obviously did something-"

"Because I've found that Petra doesn't do well with orders," said Michael, and then he smiled kind of an evil smile, and Petra held her breath, afraid of what he was going to do. "Outside of the bedroom, that is."

Then Rafael grabbed Michael by his shirt and pushed him against the kitchen wall, hard - the top cabinet opened from the impact - and she gasped, but nobody heard her. "What is it you've got that makes all the women I love fall for you, huh?" Rafael asked, hitting Michael against the wall again, though he was trying his best to restrain Rafael. Something in Petra's heart sang at Rafael's declaration, even as she worried for Mich- for Raf- for both of them. "Do you have a magical dick?" Rafael asked again.

Michael smiled the diabolical smile again, and oh, she wished he wouldn't, she'd never seen Rafael pissed enough to go for blows. "Wouldn't you like to know?" said Michael, and she closed her eyes, then opened them when she heard something bang.

But she blinked again, because clearly, something was wrong with her eyes - they seemed to be telling her that Rafael was currently kissing Michael, holding him in place with his arms. The sound must have been Michael's head hitting the cupboard again when Rafael went for it, because a bag of rice in a precarious position fell over them, and rice was snowing on the both of them as they made out like they were trying to draw blood.

She dropped her towel in shock, rubbing her eyes, then she fleetingly thought about grabbing her phone and taking a picture, and using it as leverage for something. But then Michael moved his hips, and Rafael moaned, and she got wet, and she thought about how she just came twice half an hour ago, but she didn't think about leverage anymore.

Rafael dropped to his knees in front of Michael, unzipping his jeans like he wished he could rip them apart, and Michael's mouth - red and wet and bruised - was wide open as he stared at his rival. Rafael took Michael in his mouth, and he made obscene sounds, sucking and licking and devouring like his life depended on it. Michael's eyes rolled back in his head, and he looked so hot, she wanted to bite on the tendons in his neck that he revealed as he dropped his head against the cupboard again. His hands were in Rafael's hair, and she wondered who was controlling the pace, was it Rafael who was going at it like he couldn't get enough, was it Michael who was pushing on Rafael's head to make him take his cock deeper? Her right hand was drenched, moving from her clit to her opening in rhythm with Rafael's movements, her left hand pinching her nipple.

And then Michael opened his eyes and looked straight at her, and she stopped moving, stopped breathing. He exhaled loudly, and he had trouble keeping his eyes open, but he smiled at her, this debauched, deranged smile, and he licked his lips, and she thought of his tongue in her pussy while she sat on his face as Rafael sucked him off. The thought fired her up and she bit her lip to keep quiet as she came, imprisoning her fingers, her breast hurting from her own administration.

When she opened her eyes, Michael was still staring at her through half-lidded eyes, and his chest was rising and falling quickly. And then he spoke, whispering at first, then louder, "Wait- stop- I'm gonna- stop-" When that didn't do anything, he pushed Rafael off - softly, she thought, considering their earlier movements, though Rafael still seemed extremely displeased at his now-empty mouth. "How did you get so good at sucking cock, man?" Michael asked, holding Rafael's arms to help him to his feet, and Petra saw Michael still trying to go for the evil look, but not succeeding as well, his legs shaking and his dick clamoring for more.

"Shut up," said Rafael, missing the nuance, kissing Michael again, raw and angry. Petra thought of the years when she first knew Rafael, of those parties before he changed his playboy ways, of the couple of times she happened upon him on his knees between someone's legs while she was still engaged to another man, of that one time where Rafael was the one holding onto a kneeling man's hair before he winked at her, and she thought she might have a new repertoire of bedtime talk to entertain her husband with.

Rafael opened his pants and got his own cock out, licking his hand before holding both their dicks in a grip that must have hurt. She saw his teeth biting on Michael's lip, she saw Michael wince, she saw Rafael's hand moving faster and faster, and then she saw time get suspended, both of them groaning and moaning and jerking their hips slowly, like they still wanted to fight, even though they were spent.

They didn't move for a long while after that, Rafael's hand still around them, his weight on Michael, leaning against the wall. She saw their breaths even out, and she felt the awkwardness creep between them. She wanted to get in the kitchen, distribute tissues, and distract both of them so that Rafael could escape.

He managed his escape without her help, though, and she watched as Michael slid down the floor to sit down. He looked exhausted and defeated, and she opened the door wider. "Oh, now you're coming out?" he asked, probably going for cynical, but he just sounded tired.

She sat down next to him, stretching the towel to make sure it covered her bottom. She stuck some rice to her finger to busy herself. He put his head on her shoulder. "Are you all right?" she asked, putting her head on his.

His hand found hers on the floor. "Yeah," he said quietly. "Are you?"

"Yes," she said. "Maybe a little nauseous." He chuckled, and handed her a lemon candy from his pocket. "I am impressed by your stamina," she said, gobbling up the candy.

"You noticed, huh?" he grinned, and she chuckled, too. "I like you a lot."

She stayed quiet at that. "You should sleep," she finally said, kissing his hair. "I'll clean up."


Can we talk?

Of course.

Great. See you in the lobby in fifteen minutes?

I'll be there.

Well, that's exciting!

Jane was already there when Petra arrived, looking prim and serious. "Hi," said Petra, not really knowing how you were supposed to greet somebody you had kissed the last time you saw them. Handshake? Jane didn't get up, so Petra just sat down in front of her.

"Hi," said Jane, and her pretending-everything-was-fine face had worsened even more since last time.

Petra tried to go for some small talk - Mateo was fine, so was the rest of the Villanueva women, though Rogelio's passion project had bankrupted him - to make Jane feel at ease, but she stayed tense, her shoulders squared, a line on the top of her nose.

"I thought we should talk. About. The kiss," Jane finally said, a little robotically.

"I'm so sorry about that," said Petra. "I mean, obviously, you don't feel the same way, and I didn't want to make you freak out-"

"I'm not freaking out," said Jane, who looked a little more relaxed now that the conversation was underway. "I'm kind of freaking out at how much I'm not freaking out," she muttered, and Petra widened her eyes. "Look, I'm not saying that this- you and I- kissing- could never happen again."

Petra stopped breathing. Jane was looking at her softly, like she was seeing her in a new light. Petra swallowed, her heart in her throat.

But... there was a but.

"But this is just too much for me right now," she said. "With Mateo, and grad school, and abuela's green card not coming yet, I just can't use so much brain space to think about this… love… parallelogram that I seem to find myself caught in."

Sure, Jane, that's how brains work! Just tell it to stop thinking about something you're obsessed with, and it will listen.

"Did you have this conversation with the… other corners of the parallelogram?" asked Petra, her voice coming out light, like this was a witty commentary she was saying, and like her heart wasn't feeling crushed under the weight of the entire Marbella.

"No," said Jane, looking shifty.

Yes, and both of them this very morning, too!

"Look," said Jane, taking Petra's hand on the table. Petra wanted to remove her hand, feeling like she didn't deserve any kind of kindness, especially not from Jane. "This has nothing to do with you, or with the boys. I just can't do it. Not right now, and not for a long while, and I can't ask any of you to wait for me. So, if you want to actually be with Michael," and Jane looked away, and her voice broke, and Petra wanted to hide forever in a distant country so that she'd never be the one to make Jane cry again. "You have my blessing," Jane finally said, looking back at Petra. Tears were shining in her eyes, but then she forced herself to laugh, and said "Not that you needed my permission to sleep with your husband."

"Right," said Petra, laughing, too. "I understand completely. Thanks for taking to time to tell me." She smiled and it hurt her cheeks. She stood up and straightened her skirt. "I hope we can still be friends. I promise I won't assault you with my mouth anymore." She laughed, again, her throat closing up. "I'll see you around, Jane," were the last words she managed to get out, before she was fleeing. Walking as normally as she could as long as she could feel Jane's eyes on her. Waiting for the elevator, standing, like anyone else would do. But when the doors closed on her, she hit the emergency stop button, crumpled up on the floor, and died. Or it felt like it.


Could you come over to our room?

You could not have picked a worse day, Petra.


What kind of 911?


Petra had miraculously managed to leave the elevator, her legs still shaky as she walked home. She opened the door and Michael was leaning against the kitchen counter, staring into empty space.

They looked at each other, and she knew he had gotten the same thanks-but-no-thanks speech, and he seemed to be feeling as devastated as she was, so she did the only thing she could think to do: she ran up to him and kissed him, hard, her arms around his neck, wanting to climb up on him, to climb up inside him, to get lost in him and never have to think about anything again. He responded in kind, sitting her up on the counter and getting her naked in half a second, biting and bruising and hurting her in his need, but she gave as good as she got.

Then someone knocked on the door, and Michael stilled, but she didn't. "Petra?" called out the person outside, and Michael frowned at her when he recognized Rafael. She finished undoing his belt and his pants dropped to the floor, his belt buckle clattering noisily. "Petra?" Rafael called again, a note of unease in his voice. "Are you all right?"

"You're something else," whispered Michael before sucking her breast into his mouth.

"I just needed- something to make me numb," she said, not even bothering to apologize.

"Well, you'll get it," he whispered again, and then the door opened, and Rafael entered.

Michael stood straight and looked at Rafael. She had her legs wrapped around him, and she put her weight on her hands, behind her, exposing herself to the newcomer. Rafael didn't move, but his eyes wandered all over both of them, on her breasts, on Michael's ass, on the teeth marks he had left on the skin of her neck.

"You in?" asked Michael, his voice hoarse.

Rafael was.

He walked over to them, slowly, and she thought of a predator circling its prey. He unbuttoned his shirt, and both Michael and her looked at him hungrily. "I still don't think you quite catch the meaning of 'emergency', my dear ex-wife," he said, and she remembered - he was mean when he was sad. And he must be heart-broken. "Is there even room for me in there?"

"Well, somebody else is already right in the middle of us, so what's one more?" she said, because Rafael wasn't going to be the only one in charge here.

Michael was looking from Petra to Rafael and back, looking like someone who was in over his head, so she kissed him softly, wanting to reassure him. Rafael looked at them, and for a second his dark facade dropped off, and he just seemed to yearn with the same intensity she always felt. He walked to Michael, and enveloped him with his arms, his chest touching Michael's back, and then he kissed the back of his neck. "You told her, huh?" he asked.

"She saw," Michael said, and Rafael looked at her with amusement, and she raised her head defiantly.

"You still like a show, then," said Rafael.

"Yes," she said, feeling annoyed with all his dumb seduction tactics. "Are you going to give me one, or are you just going to stand there and review the notes you took in Seduction 101?"

Michael snorted, and Rafael flicked him with his finger. "Come on, I can't get on your 'super-villains about to bang' level of banter," Michael said, and Rafael smiled ruefully before dropping his head on Michael's shoulder, sighing, the three of them caught in the world's weirdest, nakedest hug.

"She talked to you too, huh," said Rafael, and Petra caressed his face in commiseration.

"Come on," Michael said, picking Petra up and walking towards the bedroom. "Petra wanted to feel numb, and that sounds like a good idea right now."

Sex with Rafael felt familiar, his hands on her body like they'd been a thousand times before, the things he'd liked then and still liked now, and it felt new, the distrust in his eyes, the other woman in his thoughts and the other man between them. Both men focussed most of their energies on her - though Rafael teased Michael about that, asking if he felt he had something to prove, and Michael went down on him angrily in response. The two of them kept fighting and bickering, and Petra was exhausted, just wanting to shut them up, drown out the noise, empty her head, so she tried her best to keep their mouths occupied, pushing their heads together to watch them kiss, making them eat her out until the slightest movement felt like she'd explode, biting and sucking at every inch of skin she could find and hoping they'd reciprocate.

Then she was lying on Michael, his cock deep in her, and she felt Rafael prodding a lubed-up finger in her ass, and she welcomed the feeling, the fullness in her body a temporary relief for the emptiness in her heart.

"You guys are pretty comfortable with each other, huh?" said Michael, who sounded a little unsure, and Petra thought he was incredibly endearing.

"Do you think you're the first man we've invited into our bed?" asked Rafael, and he talked like Sexy McFuckface again, and she wanted to smack him, but then she felt his cock entering her, and she thought she might forgive him, just this once.

"We're inviting you into our bed, dude," said Michael, and Petra rolled her eyes.

"Less talking, more moving," she said, and Rafael obliged.

"Oh my god," said Michael, and she thanked the same deity she couldn't see Rafael's sure to be smug face.

All right, I haven't said anything before, but I feel like supervising this is not in my contract. Let's just move ahead a couple of days-

Petra was sitting on the headboard, both men licking away at her, sometimes taking a break to kiss each other, Michael's hand around their dicks, Rafael grabbing his ass for more friction-

Right, the honeymoon stage can last a little long, maybe a couple more days?

Petra tried her best to calm down Michael, whispering dirty encouragements as Rafael worked a finger in his ass, Petra telling him to ignore Rafael's stupid sexy taunts as he entered him, smiling when Michael grabbed her waist to have something to hold on to for the ride-

Okay, not this one either. Oh, this looks almost sweet.

Michael was sitting on the couch, reading a story Jane had written for him back when they were together, about Lord Something doing a lot of dirty things with his fiancée, and Petra and Rafael smiled as they reenacted it, trying their best to be distracting enough to interrupt Michael's train of thought-

Good lord, don't these people have jobs?

Michael and Petra were eating breakfast, and Rafael opened the door, saying something about Scott (vests) ruining his life, and Michael got up from the table, said "Sorry, I'm late for work already, I'll leave this one to comfort you," pointing at Petra, and he kissed Rafael before departing, and Petra laughed at Rafael's pouting face, promising him she'd try Michael's technique as she went down on her knees in front of her ex-husband-

I need to call the Narrators Union. Wait, this looks normal.

Petra got out of the shower to find both men still in bed, bickering about something she didn't bother to listen to.

"Honestly, boys," she said, and they turned to her reluctantly. "Both of you have very big and very beautiful dicks."

"I-" said Rafael, frowning.

"Thank… you?" said Michael.

"Could we stop with the measuring and competing and just get along? You know, make love not war?" she asked.

"Well, I don't know about that, I'm pretty spent," said Michael, grinning.

"I'm not," said Rafael. "Just because you have no stamina doesn't mean none of us do."

"What the hell, man, I'm a cop, you just sit around in your hotel all day-" then Rafael kissed him to shut him up.

Petra threw her arms in the air, giving up-

Guys, I think we just need to accept we're going to be here a while. Oh, at least they're covered in this one.

Michael was lying on his back, Petra half on top of him, Rafael hugging her back (and they were, indeed, covered by the blankets). Petra enjoyed the calm after the storm, feeling sated, and warm, and - though she didn't dare think it - happy.

Michael was lazily tracing circles on her arm with his fingers. "Are you going to change your name?" he murmured, breaking the silence.

"What? No she won't," said Rafael, and she felt his arms tighten up around her, his body getting closer to her.

"They can't all take your name, dude," said Michael, and they took a second to think about who they all knew he was referring to. "Maybe Jane will be a Cordero."

"No," said Petra, "I want Jane to be a Solano too."

"I knew I liked you," said Rafael, smiling and kissing her neck.

"Well, pretty boy here will have to manage a successful proposal for that," said Michael.

Petra laughed. "Aw, he's still the only one of us that Jane hasn't proposed to."

"Very funny," said Rafael, throwing his leg over Petra's body so he could kick Michael, then Petra kicked Rafael back, laughing, all of them almost getting lost in a tangle of limbs-

Not again!

But then they just went quiet again, sleep threatening to overcome Petra as she closed her eyes. "Maybe you should change your name," she said, softly.

She felt Michael move his head towards her in a sudden movement, and grabbed his hair blindly to calm him down, not wanting to wake up. She guided his head to rest on her shoulder. She heard him breathe a couple of times, his mouth almost touching her neck, and thought he said something like "Maybe I should" before burrowing closer into her, his hand leaving her hip to rest on Rafael's arm, but she had drifted off already.


Somewhere in between that X-rated montage, Michael found the time to do enough police work to put Milos in jail for good.

Bail's been denied. No more mister bad guy.

Oh my god.

Good job, Michael.

Man, that sounded almost all nice.
I'm touched.
Growing soft?

Yeah, keep telling yourself that.
Just dropping off Mateo at Jane's, I'll be there soon.

Can we just keep the good feeling going?
Or do either of you want me to tell the other about the sonnets
you've been writing about each other's cocks when you think
nobody can see you?

Sonnets! How dare you!
Never more than very small poems

Are you home, Byron?


I'm coming

And I didn't even have to touch you!

Despite Michael's dubious taste in jokes, Petra was beaming when she opened the door of their suite. "Michael," she said, and it sounded embarrassingly like a squeal. "You did it!" She ran to the couch where he was sitting, wanting to climb up on him and kiss him, but then she saw his crestfallen face.

"Hello, Petra," said a voice from behind her. Michael looked up at her, despair in his features, and she knew he read the same in hers.

"Jane," she said, turning around. She sat down on the couch slowly.

"I didn't know Michael told you the good news," Petra said, looking at Michael, who shook his head almost unnoticeably. Jane was silent, and so was Michael, and something icy filled Petra's heart as the consequences of Milos' imprisonment appeared before her, clear and cold and terrible.

"Oh," she said, and her voice sounded extinct, and she knew that wouldn't do. She reached somewhere within her for the strength to sound careless, and she said "I assume you'll both want us to get a divorce-"

"No, no," said Michael, finally moving, taking her hand immediately. "No, it's not about that."

Jane stared at their hands, joined on Petra's lap, and Petra didn't know what to do. She didn't want to drop Michael's hand, and make him think she wanted a divorce, but she didn't want to flaunt their relationship in Jane's face, either.

She stood up. "Well, then you're here to celebrate, right? I think I have some non-alcoholic bubbly somewhere, or I can just call room service…"

"I read your texts," said Jane, and Petra stopped moving. "The ones you just sent Rafael. He left his phone on the table. I saw the notifications. Then I… read the rest."

Jane's excuses went on - she seemed to be feeling slightly guilty about snooping, which Petra didn't even have words for - but Petra closed her eyes, seeing every dumb time Petra had called Rafael up to their room with descriptions of the things Michael was doing to her, every innuendo-laden fight Michael and Rafael had had, every - oh god - Jane reference. She shut her eyes even harder, hoping to make this all disappear.

She walked backwards until her legs reached the couch, and dropped down on it. "Jane," she said.

Then the door opened, and Rafael walked in. "All right, what does the hero of the hour want first?" he said.

He was smiling, and warming up his hands, and reaching for his top button. Michael forcefully shook his head, and Petra shouted a strangled "No," while Jane let out a sound Petra never wanted to hear her make again.

"Jane," he said, and Rafael had never said Petra's name like that. Petra understood.

"Here's your phone," Jane said, holding it to him. "I read your texts."

Petra could see Rafael's thought process in the way he closed his eyes, like she had. He sat down next to her, and Petra had the hysterical thought that they were like children in front of the principal - sorry, ma'am, we won't do it again, ma'am, please forgive us, please, please forgive us.

"What's going on?" said Jane, and she looked angry, and hurt, and betrayed.

The men stayed silent. Petra figured her job in this parallelogram was to be the mean one. "I'm not sure what's there to add," she said, mostly succeeding in sounding cold, and clinical.

"You've been sleeping together?" asked Jane, and she looked at each of them in turn. Michael averted his eyes. Rafael looked at her like a pleading puppy. Petra met her eyes head on.

"How much of this is about me?" asked Jane, again.

They answered at the same time.

"Half," said Rafael.
"I don't know," said Michael.
"A lot," said Petra.

"Oh, between 50 and 95%, then? But nobody thought I'd have any kind of a say in something I was involved in between 'half' and 'a lot'?"

Petra knew Jane was right, knew they had no right to include an unwilling participant in their bedroom so much, but - "You gave us your blessing," she said, and Michael moved, like he wanted to find a way to unspeak her words.

"Not like that!" Jane stood up, and her voice was breaking. "How dare you," she said. "To think that I thought that I- that we-"

Petra started to get up, too, ready to shoulder more of the blame, ready to ruin her own life again so that these three people could stand a chance- but Rafael placed a hand on her thigh, and she stilled. "Jane," he said. "We're all in love with you. You know we are."

"I'm sorry, that just makes this worse," she said. "Are you in love with each other, too?"

Jane threw the question in the room like it wasn't the grenade it was.

"We haven't- discussed it," said Rafael, finally.

"I'm sorry, I think I'm going to be sick," said Petra, and both men reached into their pockets for a lemon candy.

Jane looked at the candies, following Petra's movements as she popped one in her mouth and put the other in her pocket for later. "You are," Jane said, and she sounded blown away.

"Jane," said Michael. "Whether we are or not- it doesn't change anything for the… parallelogram." He clearly took issue with the descriptor, but realised it wasn't the time for a thesaurus search. "For us."

"Well, I'm sorry for thinking your haikus about each other's genitalia change a lot of things. If this is just a sexual thing, how can I-"

"It's not," said Rafael, and Petra and Michael looked at him.

"Coming here was a bad idea," said Jane. "I'm just going to go, and leave you to your- celebration."

All of them tried to reach for her, but she was already gone.

Rafael left, probably trying to follow Jane. Michael and Petra stared at each other. "I guess I should go," he said, and she couldn't parse how he felt.

She closed her eyes. "Sure," she said, lightly, though she feared the closed eyes were giving her away. She massaged her temples to hide them. "If that's what you want."

She felt the world swirling around her, but she couldn't summon the courage to open her eyes. She heard Michael take a step, then another, and she imagined him leaving, and never coming back-

But he wrapped her arms around her, slowly, and rested his forehead on hers. "It's not what I want," he said.

The dam finally broke. "Please don't leave me, too," she said, and her voice was full of tears, to her horror.

"Shh," he said, gently pushing on the back of her neck to settle her head in the hollow of his shoulder. "I've got you."

She cried and she cried and she thought he did, too, and then the door opened and Rafael was back, but he was alone, and he went to hug Petra from behind, too.

Well, that's a melodramatic note to end on. Let's move on, shall we?


The week after that was strange. Petra couldn't reach for Michael in their bed without feeling guilty, so he took to sleeping at his old apartment more and more. She saw Rafael for work and he never met her eyes, but sometimes he came up to her room and spent the night, not saying much. It felt like something that'd be set to a sad U2 song in a TV show montage.

And then.

I need to talk to all three of you.
Can I come over?




It should be noted that the three texts were sent at the exact same second.



Of course

Petra sat on the couch, in the same spot she'd taken the last time Jane was there. And she waited.

Rafael arrived first, obviously, having just ridden the elevator up from his office. He sat beside Petra, then stood up, paced the room, sat, and did it all again. Petra looked at him for a while, then ate a lemon candy.

Michael was out of breath when he crashed in the door. "Thank god I'm on time," he said, like he honestly believed Jane would do anything without all of them there. He sat beside her, and she heard him swallow. "What do you think?" he asked, looking at her.

"I have no idea," she said. "Hopefully we won't wait much long-"

There was a knock on the door, and Rafael leaped to answer it. "Hi," he said.

"Hi," said Jane. She smiled. It made Petra feel like dancing.

They all took their places. Petra hadn't thought this was possible, but Jane looked more nervous than all of them combined.

And yet, she took the plunge. "I want in," Jane said.

Nobody moved.

Jane sighed. "Are you really going to make me explain further?" she said, and Michael nodded. "I hoped I could skip this part. It was a 'con', on the list."

"You made a pros and cons list?" asked Rafael, and he smiled so bright that Petra hurt, in a good way.

"Yes," Jane said, trying to sound dignified. "I don't know about you, but getting into a relationship with three people - I mean, even with one person - felt like a decision worth thinking about."

"What was on the cons list?" asked Petra, endeared beyond belief.

"Telling my abuela was the first," and they all chuckled. "Jealousy. The virgin thing versus your sex thing. Having to hide part of ourselves to the world. What happens to the kids if we fall apart." They were silent in response, Michael lightly caressing Petra's arm with the tip of his finger, like he needed the reassurance of her body.

"And the pros?" asked Michael, before kissing Petra's shoulder. Jane looked at them again, and the ghost of her sadness was still present on her face, but it was mingled with hope, and desire.

"Uh, I have it, if you want," said Jane, reaching for a well-used sheet of paper in her purse. She held her hand out for Petra to grab, and both men looked over her shoulder as she unfolded it.


the eventual sex will probably be mind-blowing.

"Yeah, it will," said Petra, and Jane whimpered.

"Not today, though," said Jane, quickly, and they all exclaimed in reassurance - they would never expect her to, they'd wait as long as she wanted, they respected her so much - but she stopped them. "Today, I'd like to watch."

Michael whimpered too. Petra privately agreed. "Very masculine," said Rafael, but his heart wasn't in it. (Michael still hit him on the arm.)

They were still sitting down, Jane an ocean away from them. "Well, I've got to say," Petra said, "this is the most formal proposition I've ever gotten. And I've been proposed to four times."

"Hey, once by all of us," said Michael, who seemed dumbly amused by that. "Unlike some of us, who have been proposed to by no one."

"Very funny," said Rafael.

Petra let them bicker and stood up, taking Jane's hands and helping her up, too. "Sorry about the- awkwardness," said Jane, "I'm afraid I'm not super- experienced with the- foursome thing, or the lady thing, or any of it."

"I'm not great with the love thing, either," Petra whispered in her ear. Jane laughed softly, and Petra kissed the spot just behind her ear. Jane put a hand on Petra's hip, and another in her hair, and Petra shivered. The boys were not bickering anymore. Petra looked at Jane, and Jane was the one who kissed her, this time.

Petra had thought of their previous kiss a lot, and yet, it couldn't hold a candle to this one. Jane was moving, for one - her body undulating to get her closer to Petra's, her lips opening and welcoming her in, her heart beating close to hers. Petra's hands sneaked under Jane's shirt, and then Petra stopped suddenly, breaking the kiss.

"I'm sorry," she said, "did I break the rules? I'm sorry," she repeated, and Jane laughed.

"It's kind of cute to see you this flustered, Miss Prim and Proper," said Jane, and Petra blushed.

"Yeah, we never made you blush," said Michael.

Petra narrowed her eyes at him. "I just-" she said, trying to regain her composure, "need to know the rules."

"Well, last year, they were: touching everywhere is fine, but over the clothes only, kissing is encouraged, but not on places a swimsuit would hide," Michael listed.

"I knew those, too," said Rafael, sounding annoyed.

"Oh," Jane said, "and I know that seemed to be covered in the rest, but I thought it might be worth it to add: nothing that can get me pregnant."

"Well, from what I understand of babies, they don't get made in the bedroom, anyway, so as long as we keep you away from needles and turkey basters, you should be fine," said Petra.

Jane laughed, then touched Petra's baby bump. "You're pregnant," Jane said, and her voice sounded dreamy. "Our kids are going to be siblings." Jane looked up at her with her sunshine smile, and Petra cradled her face with her hands and kissed her again.

Petra heard someone getting hit, and she opened her eyes reluctantly. Rafael was looking at Michael in a way that said he was a little too proud of getting two women pregnant, considering that both times happened without his knowledge, never mind his consent.

"I hate you, man," said Michael, but he looked amused. He grabbed Rafael, who landed on top of him, Michael opening his legs to make room for him before kissing him. Petra directed her kisses down Jane's neck, and she smiled when she saw the way Jane was looking at the men.

"Oh my god," said Jane, quietly. Jane grabbed Petra's hand, like she needed to steady herself.

"I know, right?" said Petra, between kisses. "Sadly they can't get there without first fighting like two-year-olds."

Michael grinned in her direction at that. "Plus, now that they know you're watching, they'll put on a show," Petra added, and Rafael rolled his hips, making Michael moan. "But they need to be careful, unless you get the idea that one of them is better at sex than the other."

"Slander," said Rafael.

"Yeah," added Michael, "we are perfectly mature about everything all the time." Rafael kissed him again, a fond look on his face.

Jane looked at them in amazement. "Who knew that all you needed to stop punching each other in the face was a little bit of sex."

"A lot of it," corrected Petra. She took Jane's hand and led her to the bedroom, and the men followed them.

Petra sat down on the bed. Jane stood still in the doorway, Rafael's hands coming to rest on her waist. He kissed the top of her head. "You can change your mind," he said, softly, and Michael's arm wrapped around Jane, too.

"That's a really big bed," Jane said.

"Yeah, I've found that if you want a hotel room with perks, it's really about who you know," said Michael.

Jane sat on the edge of the bed, and Petra pulled her softly to her, until Jane's head was in her lap. "Relax," she said, looking at her upside down, and Jane closed her eyes, exhaling. "We're not going to do anything you don't want us to. Should we keep our clothes on?"

"Please don't," said Jane, and both of them laughed.

"So, tell us what you want," said Petra.

Jane opened her eyes at that, like she hadn't considered that line of action. "Anything I want?" She sat up.

"Sure," said Petra.

"You have that 'Jane has a plan' look," said Michael, sitting down beside them.

"Oh, I do," said Jane. "So, if I say, 'I want you to undress Petra', you will." Petra blushed, and was annoyed about it - it's not like most of these people hadn't seen her naked dozens of times.

"I think I could manage that," said Michael, his smile the soft, private one Petra couldn't get enough of.

"Okay, then," Jane took a breath to steel herself, "I do. Want that. Uh, slowly, please."

Michael moved like water, until he was behind Petra, and he unzipped her shirt, one inch at a time. Rafael sat behind Jane, quietly, and kissed her neck, like he wanted to touch her but didn't want her to stop enjoying the show. Michael didn't touch Petra's skin until her shirt was completely undone, and then he removed it, slowly, and kissed his way from her ear to her shoulder. She shivered, and he unclasped her bra.

Jane gasped when he removed it, and Rafael's hands got more enterprising. Michael's hands went to Petra's breasts, and then he stopped, looking over at Jane. "Yes, please," she said, and Rafael took that as blessing, too, his hands mirroring Michael's movements on Jane's clothed chest. Jane's hand went to Rafael's hair, and she kissed him.

Michael led Petra off the bed, standing behind her so he wouldn't block Jane's view. He unzipped Petra's skirt, and gave it a small push downward. Petra looked into Jane's eyes as her skirt fell to the floor, and Jane opened her mouth, and Petra wanted to get to her and kiss her. She stood still, though, feeling like a statue in a pornographic museum. "Take her panties off," said Jane. "Please."

Rafael chuckled against Jane's skin. "I don't think you have to say 'please' every time," he said.

Jane took no notice. Michael kneeled in front of Petra, and Petra looked down at him. Petra felt weirdly scared, afraid she'd make a mistake, and Jane would flee again. But Michael looked at her with trust and something like love in his eyes, and she put her hand in his hair, sighing happily. He kissed her belly as he took her panties down slowly, his fingers brushing on the curve of her ass on the way. He followed their trail with the bridge of his nose, kissing the inside of her thigh once.

Jane was breathing hard when Petra looked at her. She was leaning on Rafael, who was leaning on the wall, both of them looking at her intently.

"Anything else you want, Jane?" asked Michael, kissing Petra's hipbone.

"Yes," said Jane, but she didn't go on, and when Petra looked over at her, she seemed too shy.

"You've already said all these things to me, Jane," said Michael, reassuring. "You've wrote them to me in stories, and in texts, and this is just like that."

"But you don't have to do anything you don't want to," said Petra, again, feeling a little foolish to be standing naked and proposing modesty.

Jane smiled at her. "You're beautiful, Petra," she said, and Petra smiled back. "I'd like Michael to lick all over your body. Plea- I mean, if you want," and Rafael dropped a kiss on her head, whispering something in her ear as Petra lay down on the bed, Michael hovering over her. Jane smirked. "Rafael tells me you have a very enthusiastic mouth," she said.

"Shh, you weren't supposed to tell him," Rafael said, as Michael said "Ha!", and kissed him once, in a way that looked like payback.

Michael then went to work on Petra's skin, and Jane moaned, upon which hearing Petra raised her hips involuntarily, already craving release. "Sorry, babe," said Michael, licking a line from her breast to her throat, "she said all over." He didn't look sorry at all.

He took his time, licking her ear, her collarbone, the curve of her belly, the inside of her thighs, taking his time more and more as he neared his objective. When he finally did, Petra felt like shooting off the bed, and she reached for something to hold onto - stretching her arms and finding Jane's hand. Petra looked up at her, and Jane was looking at Michael, her mouth open and wet. Petra tugged on her hand, just a bit, and Jane moved on the bed, placing Petra's head on her lap, their earlier positions reversed. Rafael moved too, replacing Michael on the rest of her hyper-sensitive skin. "Jane," Petra moaned, feeling Michael increasing the pace.

"I'm here," Jane said, looking into her eyes, and Petra reached for her. Jane bent down and kissed her, and Petra tasted her, and felt Michael in and on her, and heard Rafael's mouth sucking on her, and she came, like she was falling off a cliff. But they all held her, and she didn't drown.

Petra lost the notion of time. A decade seemed to pass without any of them moving. Then both men lay down beside her, and Jane traced figures on Petra's throat, and she relaxed.

"Well," said Jane after a while, and they all looked up at her. "That was exhausting. Am I supposed to direct all of you to completion?"

They laughed. "We have all night," said Michael.

"And a lot of nights after that," said Rafael, smiling his Jane smile at her.

Michael smirked at him. "Why are you always so sappy with Jane, and so mean to us?" he asked.

"Because Jane's a good person," responded Rafael lazily.

Michael faked a gasp. "I'm a great person," he said. Petra didn't say anything, and he looked at her. "Petra's good too," he said, his hand caressing her leg. "She just has a slight tendency towards self-sabotage." Petra looked at him, her eyes conveying what she thought of that statement - shame and regret and hope.

"She likes when it hurts," said Rafael, softly, and the way he looked at her almost seemed to say he forgave her.

"She does," said Michael, and his fingers gave way to his nails on her thigh, and she moaned, and Rafael bit down on her nipple, and she finally protested.

"This is feeling a little - unfair," she said, not having quite regained her breath enough for long speeches. "I'm the only one naked, and I'm just lying there while you people are bantering and talking about me with all these clothes on-"

Jane laughed and smiled at her. "You heard her," she told the boys, who got off the bed and hurriedly started to get rid of their clothes. "You like when it hurts, huh," she said, her voice tentative, her fingers slowly making their way down Petra's breasts. She pinched experimentally, and Petra shivered, before Jane went back to softer caresses in an apology.

Petra looked up at the men. Rafael had managed to get rid of his clothes, but Michael was staring at them, his shirt off, his pants opened, having clearly lost his train of thought in the process. "Got distracted?" Rafael asked, and his voice sounded soft as he helped Michael out of his pants, his hands, too, getting distracted on the way.

"Michael," Jane said, and he turned to her. "Please suck Rafael off." Jane seemed more confident this time, but then she added, "I mean, if you're not too tired-" but Michael was already on his knees, and he didn't make Rafael wait and suffer like he had for Petra. Rafael grabbed on to his hair, Michael holding his legs to keep him steady, the number of times they'd done this obvious in the familiarity of their moves. Jane looked at them hungrily, her hands pressing deeper into Petra's skin, until she said "Oh- but don't make him come."

Rafael threw a betrayed, pleading look at Jane, and Michael smirked, as much as he could. "I have plans," shrugged Jane, unapologetic, and Petra laughed. Michael slowed down, teasing, and Rafael looked like a tortured man who enjoyed his agony. Petra's hand trailed down until she reached her clit, and she threw a look at Jane before touching herself.

"Can I?" she asked, and Jane nodded vigorously. Petra inhaled Jane's scent one last time before sitting up beside her, and she saw Jane's hand disappearing down her own pants, too. "Fuck, you're hot," said Petra, and Jane, who had just told a man to suck off another, seemed a little shocked by her language. Petra kissed her before she could protest. (Some expletives were necessary.)

"Did you ever-" Jane asked in a whisper, before pausing. Petra encouraged her with a kiss. "Did they ever both have you at the same time?" Petra looked at Jane, and smiled as she nodded, like she was sharing a secret. "I want that," said Jane, kissing Petra again.

"Ask for it," said Petra, before tangling her tongue with Jane's. Petra's hand left the inside of her own thighs and sneaked up inside Jane's, pressing on Jane's own hand. Jane closed her eyes and inhaled.

"Please," said Jane, and Petra's fingers moved again. Petra threw a look at the boys, silently telling them to listen up. "Could I please watch you both fuck Petra at the same time?" (Some expletives were necessary.)

Rafael moaned and grabbed Michael's hair to pull him off, looking like a man who had a urgent need to think of baseball statistics. Michael stood up and they were still for a second, looking at them, like they needed confirmation. Petra opened her legs.

Michael jumped on her, kissing her, holding her close and turning her so that she was on top of him. Petra had time to see Rafael kissing Jane messily, and then she sank down on Michael, who said, "Oh, finally, thank god."

"Poor baby," said Petra, amused, angling her hips and clenching her inner walls around him. "Did Jane not take care of your dick enough?" She moved up and down on him, riding him, making up for lost time.

"It's Rafael's dumb compliment's fault," Michael managed to say, and Rafael laughed. Michael went to hit him, but lost interest on the way, caressing his leg instead. "Come on, man," he said. "I want to feel you too."

Jane blushed, and Michael smiled at her. Rafael stood up and Michael's hand went to Jane instead, sweetly grabbing the back of her neck, pulling her to him until he was kissing her, buried deep in Petra, and Petra rolled her hips again, making Michael moan in Jane's mouth.

Rafael put a hand on Petra's hip, slowing her down, and she felt his lubed-up finger opening her up. Michael's hips rose up and down shallowly, and Jane stopped kissing him, her eyes wide, so that she wouldn't miss anything. Petra's eyes rolled at the back of her head when she finally felt Rafael's cock in her - it hurt and burned and matched the explosion she was feeling inside.

"Oh," said Jane, when Rafael first moved, and Petra heard it despite Michael's groan and her own exclamations. Petra couldn't move, trapped between the two men's rhythm, and she looked up at Jane, looked at Jane's hand moving faster and faster between her legs, and Petra wanted to lick her, to suck her clit and make Jane come all over her face, wanted Jane to be with them-

Then Michael moved and hit something in her that made her close her eyes, and forget everything that wasn't feeling and skin and sounds and breaths, and when she heard Jane lose it, she came, too, both men following them a couple of thrusts later.

Petra took Jane's hand. Everything went quiet.

Well, I can confirm: the pilot of Hombres Locos is even better on rewatch. Did I miss anything here?


"Well, Mrs. Solano," said the obstetrician. "I can hear the two heartbeats just fine…"

"Two?" said Jane, startled. Petra thought it must be hers and the baby's, but-

"Yes," the doctor smiled, delighted to be giving such good news. "You're expecting twins!"

Petra froze. She could see Jane beaming, and Rafael cradled Petra's still face in his hands and kissed her on the mouth, but she couldn't seem to move. She saw the image changing on the screen, dimly heard the doctor saying something about girls, but her head seemed to be buzzing too much for actual comprehension.

Michael's hand rested on her shoulder. Both of them looked at Jane and Rafael; Jane was jumping up and down, and Rafael seemed ready to do the same. Michael brought his head close to hers, whispering in her ear. "At least we still outnumber them," he said. "Was that your plan all along, Mrs. Solano?" Her last name was a caress in his mouth.

"Yes," she said. "I played a very long con."


"Three kids," said Jane, for the twelfth time, as they all walked out of the doctor's office.

"At least until I want some," said Michael.

Petra felt a wave of nausea. "Jane's going to carry those," she said, grimacing, and the three of them offered her a lemon candy. Petra took Jane's, and then took her hand.

"She'd have to get married for that," said Rafael.

"Are you offering?" asked Jane, and Rafael stopped walking.

"Are you?" he asked. Michael and Petra stood still, not making a sound.

"Yeah," Jane said, beaming at him. "I am."