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a suburb of seoul

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Bridget’s phone went off for the fifth time in the last two hours, and Mark felt like he was going to combust. 

Oppan Gangnam style, op-op-op-op, oppan Gangnam style…

He watched her from across his mother-in-law’s sitting room, and he had to stifle a groan as he watched her pop a gherkin into her mouth and lick her finger clean before pulling her phone out of the back pocket of her jeans. She glanced at the screen, silenced it, and then slid it back into her pocket. Mark appreciatively stared at the curve of her arse before glancing back up to her face. She had moved on from the gherkin and was now throwing back the rest of her mimosa.

Mark swallowed thickly, shifting his feet to try and tamp down the erection that was threatening to tent his trousers in the middle of Pam Jones’ living space. 

She has to know what that blasted ringtone is doing to me, he thought to himself, taking a generous sip of his red wine. He was now watching Bridget talk to Una Alconbury. Her back was to him, which gave him a full view of her arse. His feet shifted again, the grip on his wine glass tightening as another attempt at swallowing forced its way through his throat. 

Mark had first noticed the effect the song had on him only a week after the christening. He had been in the Temple tube station, idly minding his business, when a nearby uni student’s phone started blaring. The student and his friend were laughing at a video on the screen while the incessant op-op-op echoed along the tiled walls.

Mark, however, had not been laughing.

Instead, he had been valiantly trying to squash the sudden onslaught of sheer lust that was acting like a trillion jolt shock to his cock. The effect Bridget had on him had never really been a secret. For being as emotionally repressed as he tended to be, there was something about Bridget that made Mark loosen the death grip he had on his inhibitions. The last thing he had expected, though, was to suffer from a public erection due to a Korean pop song.

He had never told anyone about the incident, having successfully regained the clutch on his emotions, but the effect the song had on him followed like a spectre. He once heard it in a cab on his way to a meeting with Camilla’s divorce lawyer, which was incredibly awkward when he had to exit the cab. Equally devastating was the time he escorted his mother to a brunch at the Candella Tea Room. A car stuck behind a double decker bus was parked out front of the restaurant, its windows down as the driver’s choice of music blared through the quiet Kensington street. Mark had practically ran to the bathroom to avoid publicly humiliating himself, almost taking out a tower of canapes as he vaulted past the piano. 

Mark never divulged this information to Bridget, however, for fear of her using the power against him. It was bad enough that he desired her in every possible way at every appropriate second--the last thing he needed was the desire to somehow flow over into the inappropriate seconds, too. 

It seemed, however, that she was onto him.

He continued to watch her from across the room. She was now animatedly talking to her father as he refilled her champagne flute. Mark found himself magnetically drawn to the dimple in her cheek as she talked to Colin. For half a second, he wished he had a tie on so that he could awkwardly arrange it to avoid staring at his wife. Instead, all he had on was a jumper with a goofy looking penguin on the front that matched the one Bridget was wearing. Unfortunately for Mark, she filled it out much more nicely than he did.

Mark took a fortifying sip of wine, which would have worked if Bridget’s phone hadn’t gone off again.

He watched her with extreme intensity, the heat under his collar rising with each passing second. Bridget excused herself from the conversation with Colin before pulling her phone out of her back pocket. Mark watched in disbelief as she once again silenced it, then once again put it away.

Unable to contain himself any longer, Mark swilled the rest of his wine before wiping his palms on the grey wool of his trousers. He no longer could just stand by and actively lust for his wife from across the room. Mark was a new man--a married man--and a man who acted on his emotions instead of repressing them. He cleared his throat and started to cross the room, his eyes laser focused on the back of Bridget’s blonde head.

With only a few steps between them, Mark was intercepted by Pam Jones. Will was straddling her hip, a chocolate lolly smeared across his face and a half-eaten biscuit in his hand.

“Mark!” Pam shrilled, a manic smile across her face. “I haven’t seen you all afternoon! I was beginning to think you’d popped out!” She shifted her grandson to the other hip. “William and I have been looking for you.”

“Dada!” Will screeched, “I have a biscuit!”

Mark smiled at his son, secretly damning her mother-in-law for her inopportune timing. 

“I see!” Mark said with thinly veiled exasperation. 

“Have you seen Bridget?” Pam asked. “Will has been asking for her but I haven’t seen her. She better not be smoking again.”

Mark gave her a tight smile. How could he tell his mother-in-law that he absolutely knew where his wife was, if only for the fact that he’d been categorically listing every singular thing he wanted to do to her while watching her from across the room. He cleared his throat.

“Pam, you know very well that Bridget quit smoking years ago. I can vouch that she hasn’t touched a cigarette since.” 

Bridget’s mother gave a snort of derision before dumping Will into Mark’s arms. 

“Well, please let her know that her son desperately needs a nap. I would put him down myself, but I have an entire tray of mushroom caps that need to be taken out of the oven.”

And then she disappeared.

Mark could feel his jaw tense as the warm, heavy weight of his son leaned against his shoulder. Absentmindedly, Mark pressed a kiss to the crown of Will’s head before crossing the last few steps between him and his wife.

“Bridget,” he said. He was proud at how even-toned his voice was.

“Mark!” she said, spinning around. “Where have you been?”


“Erm...I was talking to Penny Husbands-Bosworth. About...stocks.”

Bridget’s eyes widened as she pursed her lips in the most infuriatingly cute expression. She was looking over Mark’s shoulder in the direction of the sitting room. Mark turned to follow her gaze, and it settled on Penny Husbands-Bosworth, wearing an incredibly low-cut cashmere sweater and a skirt that was clinging to her like a second skin.

“Stocks, hm?” Bridget said, taking a sip of her champagne. “What’s ol’ Penny investing in these days? Facebook?”

Mark felt the heat rise in his cheeks as he said, “No, Tesco.”

Bridget nodded, her eyes sparkling with unmitigated glee. 

Before Mark had a chance to defend himself, he choked on his words as that familiar op-op-op started playing from Bridget’s back pocket.

“Hold on a second,” Bridget said, digging her phone out and letting the ringer play for a painfully extended period of time. “Blasted telemarketers. They won’t leave me alone today.” Mark just nodded mutely. “Here, give me Will. I’ll bring him upstairs for his nap,” she continued. She scooped their son out of Mark’s arms, where he promptly nestled into the crook of her neck, his thumb popped into his mouth. Bridget leaned over and kissed Mark on the cheek before whisking Will up the staircase.

Mark stood there dumbly, trying to redirect the blood flow from his crotch back down to his legs. Something had to be done, otherwise he was going to combust.

With as much conviction that he could muster, Mark set himself into motion and followed Bridget up the stairs. By the time he reached the landing, Bridget was coming out of the guest bedroom where Will was now inevitably asleep. The only light was coming from downstairs, casting shadows through the stair rail and catching the tips of Bridget’s hair and the diamond in her ring. She clicked the door shut behind her, and then looked up. Clearly she hadn’t heard Mark come up the stairs, because she let out an audible gasp, clutching her chest like she’d seen a ghost.

“For fuck’s sake, Mark! You can’t sneak up on me like that!” she hissed, her eyes glittering in the light from the first floor of the house.

“Sorry,” he muttered, shoving his hands in his pockets. 

“Why are you up here?” she whispered, crossing the space between them. She was close to him now, and he could smell the champagne on her lips and the vanilla in her perfume, a heady combination.

Without answering, Mark covered her mouth with his. There was no protest from Bridget as she snaked her hands up his back and into his hair, pulling him down and closer, leaving barely any room between them. Mark kissed her deeply, allowing the hours of torture to finally break past the flood gates. She returned the sentiment, pressing her thigh between his legs and most likely feeling his ever-growing erection that sat there. Mark could feel her smile against his mouth, the ghost of a laugh crossing his cheek as he navigated the kiss from her lips to her neck. 

“I see,” Bridget said, allowing one of her hands to cover his hardened cock. She ran her fingertips over the tented wool of his trousers, and Mark couldn’t contain the groan that escaped from his throat. 

Silently, Bridget grabbed Mark’s hand and tugged him across the landing to the loo. Mark almost protested, but he could hear a rowdy rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” being bellowed by Geoffrey Alconbury in the parlor, and he decided that his fate was much more appealing. 

The second they crossed the threshold, Mark hurriedly shut the door behind them and eagerly covered Bridget’s mouth with his own again. He nipped at her bottom lip, grasping her hips in his hands and hoisting her up onto the vanity.

“Mr. Darcy!” she said excitedly, her eyes glittering with mischief.

“Shh,” he responded, pressing one of his fingers against her lips. His other hand was fumbling with his own belt buckle, the tips of his fingers refusing to simply unzip his fly. He almost had them off when Bridget decided to take his finger on her lips into her mouth. The warm, wet heat of her tongue swirling around his knuckles made his knees go weak, and he had to brace himself against the countertop as his pants drooped around his thighs. 

“Fuck, Bridget,” he panted. “Your teasing is going to kill me one day.” His erection was painful at this point. The reserve he had tried exercising all afternoon was quickly crumbling.

Mark pulled his finger out of Bridget’s mouth to unbutton her jeans, relishing the way she arched against him so that she could slip them off of her hips. Somewhere between his knees, he could feel Bridget toeing off her flats, and they fell to the floor with a clatter. Her jeans soon followed, a soft fwump following their fall. 

Looking hungrily down at Bridget, Mark steadied himself. She was beautiful, as always, but there was something wanton and forbidden about the way her eyes smiled at him while her delicious mouth parted open, the perfect beckoning to kiss her senseless. He bent down and covered her mouth with his, enjoying the sensation of her lips and breath against his skin. 

“We better make this quick,” he murmured against her mouth, allowing his right hand to find the spot that made her moan. “You’ve been torturing me all day with that bloody song, and I promise to make you pay dearly for it later. But you know your mother will come looking for us if we’re gone for too long.”

Bridget pulled back, tilting her head to one side and smiling so widely that her eyes crinkled. 

“What do you mean by, ‘that song?’” she asked, and Mark could tell she was taking the piss

“You know perfectly well which song I mean,” he said, diving back into the space of her neck to nibble along her collarbone. He could feel her hum in understanding beneath his lips. 

“Looks like I owe Shazzer a bottle of gin,” she said, threading her fingers into Mark’s hair and giving a tug. 

“Please tell me you’re kidding,” he muttered against the silk of her skin. 

“Who do you think helped me make it my ringtone?”

“You’re going to pay dearly for this,” he growled into her ear, punctuating the statement by taking the lobe between his teeth. 

“I look forward to it,” she gasped, arching her hips forward. Mark could feel her heat and wetness against his thigh, and he hissed at the contact. 

Mark could hold back no longer. Without any warning, he pulled Bridget to the edge of the vanity and lined himself up with her. She allowed her hips to fall open, pulling him towards her by the fabric of his jumper, and Mark settled himself between her legs. With excruciatingly slow accuracy, Mark pushed forward until he was completely buried between her legs. 

Bridget’s head fell back, exposing the silky white column of her neck. Mark was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. He laid soft kisses against her skin, occasionally dragging his teeth across the parts that he knew her hair would cover. He could feel her swallow against his lips, and he smiled. She was just as affected by this as he was, and the plans he had for her later held much promise. 

He pumped into her slowly, careful not to knock all of Pam’s doilies and baskets off the countertop. Bridget’s hands were scrambling for purchase on the sink, her head lolling back as her breath came in ragged spurts. 

Somewhere over the sound of Bridget in his ear, murmuring praise and obscenities with each thrust, Mark swore he heard someone mounting the staircase. Suddenly aware of how spontaneous and, well, dangerous their situation was, Mark glanced quickly at the door knob to make sure that they had locked it behind them.

They hadn’t.

The rush of adrenaline at being caught and the overall drive to not have his ego mortally wounded, Mark scooped Bridget up by the buttocks, holding her against him so that he could get to the lock. Bridget let out a squeal, which Mark deftly covered with one of his hands. He had a cramp in his lower left leg, but he was thankful that at least this time she wasn’t pregnant. 

With his pants and trousers still around his ankles, Mark held Bridget against him as he shuffled across the linoleum floor. Bridget, now aware of what was happening, flung her arms around his neck and squeezed her legs around his torso. 

“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck,” she muttered, burying her face into his neck. “Mum will kill us if she finds us.”

“We’re adults, Bridget,” Mark panted, not wanting to admit his own fears. “What will she do? Scold us in front of the entire party?”

“I wouldn’t put it past her.”

Mark didn’t dignify her with an answer--he knew in his heart of hearts that Pam Jones would absolutely take the chance of chastising them in front of half of Grafton Underwood.

Just as the footsteps reached the landing, Mark managed to click the lock on the bathroom door. They both listened with baited breath as whoever the offending party goer was approached the door. 

There was a knock on the door.

“Mark?” they heard Pam Jones say on the other side. “Are you in there?”

Pulling back from the crook of Mark’s neck, Bridget looked wildly into her husband’s eyes as she dug her fingernails into the back of his penguin jumper. 

Mark cleared his throat. “Yes, Pam, I am. Is something the matter?”

“I was just looking for Bridget. Have you seen her?”

Bridget’s eyes were now the size of two saucers, and Mark awkwardly brought his finger up to his lips, the other arm attempting to hold the entirety of Bridget’s weight against him.

“Uh, no, I haven’t. I know she put down Will a few moments ago. Perhaps she’s in the garden?”

“Mark, it’s the middle of winter. She hasn’t smoked in ages, you said so yourself. Why would she be in the garden?”

Mark was sure that Pam Jones would be the death of him. 

“Pam, I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m kind of indis--”

“Say no more, say no more. Sorry for bothering you!”

Mark and Bridget listened in silence as Pam’s footsteps faded into the background, the clack of her sensible heels echoing down the staircase as she made her way back to her guests.

Mark let the tension leak out of his body, bracing himself against the doorframe with one hand as he slumped against Bridget, pinning her to the door. 

“For fuck’s sake,” he muttered into her neck. “This has to be the biggest cock up of the century.”

“Good thing it’s new year,” she giggled into his hair. He could feel her pressing soft, soothing kisses into his graying curls. “Shall I get down now?”

“Oh, God, I’m sorry. Yes, absolutely.”

Mark unpinned his wife from the very precarious position she was in, gently lowering her down to the ground. She smirked at him, her eyes darting to where his trousers were still pooled around his ankles. He quickly covered up his softening erection with a tug of his waistband. Hearing his mother-in-law’s voice didn’t leave him--or his libido--much choice. 

“Raincheck?” Bridget said, slipping past him to retrieve her jeans and shoes.

Mark ran a hand through his hair. 

“I suppose we should,” he mumbled, fumbling with his belt and trouser button.

“We can listen to my ‘Gangnam Style’ playlist on the way back to London.”


She gave him a coy pout, her eyes betraying the mischief that lurked underneath. 


“Don’t you bloody dare.”

She hoisted her jeans back up on her hips, quickly fastening them before smoothing her jumper down. Without responding, she crossed the small bathroom and placed a reverent kiss on Mark’s lips.

“We have to stop at the store on the way home so I can get Shaz that bottle of gin.” 

She grinned before pressing a searing kiss against his mouth, a far cry from the gentle ministrations she had placed there just moments before. Mark let out a groan, unbidden and graveled. 

“You’re a menace,” he said, snaking his hand beneath her jumper to feel the smooth skin of her stomach.

Bridget just smirked before opening the door. She slipped by him, shutting it behind her with a click. Mark let out a steady breath before leaning against the closed door. He dropped his head back, the contact with the door making a soft thud. It looked as if his suffering would have to last a few more hours, but he promised himself that he’d make Bridget pay for the gin and the bet.