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Pip comes home smelling of her time after school at the gym. The look on her face and the fact that she did not shower before she came home says clearly that she is bursting to inform me of something. She crooks her finger at me, bidding me follow even as she entreats me verbally to go in the opposite direction.

"Hey, Freckles," she says as she drops her satchel and coat on the bottom stair in a heap, a practice she knows I find frustratingly slobby. "Pour me a glass? Then come up?"

Both confused and intrigued, I rise from where I was reading the newspaper on the sofa and head into the kitchen to provide Pip with her requested libation. While I'm there, I pour a second glass for myself.

"Bao bei," I call through the door of our en suite when I have the requested after-work wine in hand. "Why did you not shower at the school?"

"Come in," Pip says. "I want to have this conversation face-to-face."

I oblige, and my wife sticks her hand out around our shower curtain for her glass. Amused, I pass it to her and sit on the closed lid of the toilet. The shower wall has a small window in it that looks out over our backyard, and the light of the sunset behind Pip throws an extremely enticing silhouette against the curtain.

"Mmm, shower-wine," she says. "Way better than shower-coffee."

"I know it is 'date night,' but surely you can't be this eager, can you?" I chide.

Pip pokes her head around the curtain, her hair a froth of suds, and waggles her eyebrows at me. "I wasn't before, but you did bring me shower-wine. Wanna climb in?"


Pip quaffs her wine and hands her empty glass to me, a Malbec mustache painting her upper lip. I lean forward to kiss it away, then quaff my own wine. Pip leers at me as I strip off my day-wear—a pair of warm, stretchy yoga pants and a freshly cleaned hoodie.

"Oh, you spent the day commando. Such thoughtful foresight," Pip comments as I step into the spray. She slides her soapy hands over my shoulders and down my back to grab a double handful of her most favorite part of my physical assets.

"Alis was with her grandparents all day," I say, grinning at her eagerness. "And I didn't have to step out to the store, so I thought there was no point in making extra laundry for myself."

Pip gives my backside a firm squeeze to show me just how much she appreciates my thoughtfulness. I return the favor, and soon things are slippery, and soapy, and lovely.

"What conversation did you want to have face-to-face?" I ask between kisses, and Pip makes a face.

"No, no, I'll tell you after. Not while we're naked."

"Pip," I say, backing off a little. "Whatever it was, you thought it urgent enough that you chose to come straight home instead of showering at the university."

"It'll keep," Pip promises, pursuing my lips again.

But now I am curious, and curiosity has always been a more potent addiction than desire. "Then why the initial rush?"

"I didn't want it going around and around in my brain while I was showering there." Pip steps into me.

I step back again. Pip pouts. "What is it?"

"It will keep," she insists, and makes up the lost space between us. This time, I do not back up. Instead, I let her have her way. Her delightful, delightful way.

Soon we are dressed in naught but our bathrobes and cuddled into one another on the sofa before the electric fireplace, our wine glasses and the bottle both waiting on the coffee table. We doze until Pip jerks in my arms and nuzzles her nose deeper into my naked chest.

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