The Best-Laid Plans of Married Men

Author's Note: Yuletide pinch hit for spuffyduds, who wanted "hot hot long-married sex with scheduling difficulties". The timeline is deliberately vague, as I've only read the first few books of the series. Hopefully it still works.


Amelia felt as if she was going to lose her mind. They had been back in England for 11 days, and ever since she and Emerson had barely had 10 minutes alone together when they weren't sleeping. And sleeping was all they had been doing at night in their lovely big bed, of which Amelia had dreamed so longingly in the interesting but uncomfortable surroundings of their latest dig. She put the blame squarely on London.

Since their return Emerson had traveled up to London every single day, either to fulfill commitments for the university or to present his latest findings at various Royal Society meetings. That wouldn't have been so bad if he hadn't insisted on driving himself, which invariably led to his arrival home long after dark, exhausted and usually cursing either the utter recklessness of other drivers on the road or what he called the temperamental quirks of his brand-new car. Once Amelia had managed to calm him down enough to eat something, all he was good for was to fall into aforementioned big bed and start snoring. So it was with something close to triumph that Amelia managed to convince her husband to stay at home on the second Sunday after their return to England.

She woke at her usual early hour and rolled over with a smile, intending to wake Emerson with a well-deserved morning embrace. However, when she wrapped her arms around the body next to hers, her impeccable detective skills immediately noticed that said body was much too small and skinny to be her big, strong husband. Sighing, she opened her eyes and fixed her son with a stern stare: "Ramses, tell me, have you hit your head and concussed yourself, or is there some other valid reason for forgetting the rules regarding entering your parents' bedroom without express invitation?"

Ramses, wide awake, blinked slowly, the picture of hurt innocence: "But I did not forget, Mama! I met Papa in the library, and he suggested I come and keep you company so that you would not wake up alone. He sends his regrets, he received a telegram from Professor Schubinger of Berlin that required his immediate attention."

Running out of breath, the boy stopped talking long enough for Amelia to insert a question: "So your father has left? Up to London, I presume."

She sat up and took a couple of deep breaths, knowing she had sounded sharper than her son deserved. Luckily Ramses appeared unaffected, smiling guilelessly as he pronounced: "Oh no. The telegram did not call him away - he is still in the library, working on a translation using the information Professor Schubinger sent him."

Amelia snorted. She considered herself as keen an archeologist as her husband, but abandoning one's spouse on a Sunday morning in response to a telegram from some old German coot… There were limits to what was acceptable, and she intended to make this very clear to Emerson once she'd tracked him down. Still, it was not Ramses' fault, and she kissed him in apology for her bad mood, promising to join him for breakfast. Once he had left, she got out of bed, too, and dressed before going downstairs.

Once they finished eating, she sent Ramses out to play, knowing he would be occupied for at least a couple of hours getting reacquainted with his favourite haunts. He probably thought she didn't know that several of them lay well beyond the borders of their garden, but right now this suited Amelia fine. Thankfully Ramses, despite his tender years, was good at looking after himself, a trait he doubtlessly got from his mother. Satisfied, Amelia entered the library without knocking.

Pausing for a moment, she took in the familiar sight of her husband bent over some manuscripts. His jacket was hanging carelessly over a nearby chair and, as always, Amelia appreciated the way his shirt stretched over his broad shoulders. Warmth pooled in her stomach, and she approached Emerson with a glimmer in her eyes that he would have recognised immediately. As it was, however, he remained unaware right until Amelia sat herself down on top of the papers he was studying: "Tell me, dear husband, what does a wife have to do to get some attention? Turn into a telegram from Berlin?"

Emerson lifted an eyebrow and fixed her with what was supposed to be a serious expression, but the corner his mouth quirked upwards in badly concealed amusement: "Peabody, it is hardly my fault there's work to be done. Professor Schubinger is a well-respected expert on Egyptian..."

"Oh, do shut up, Emerson. You must have known I had plans for today. Plans involving you, me, and our matrimonial bed, which has been rather lonely since our return," Amelia interrupted him, for once not in the least interested in anything to do with Egypt. She shifted on the table until she was situated right in front of Emerson and curled her hands in his shirt front. Naturally he wasn't wearing a tie, and when he didn't object she began opening one button after the other. "I'm not asking for much, only for one day without work - and Sunday is the day of rest, isn't it?"

"You make a good case, Peabody." Emerson's smile was fully visible now, making him even more attractive than usual to Amelia, and he leaned closer until their faces were almost touching. Amelia closed her eyes in anticipation, but the kiss didn't come. Instead, Emerson growled: "What?!"

Confused and a tad irritated, Amelia opened her eyes, but her husband wasn't looking at her. Following his line of sight, she couldn't suppress a sigh: "Ramses. Can't you see Mama and Papa are busy?"

As was his custom, Ramses appeared undaunted as he responded sanctimoniously: "I am not certain kissing in the library falls under the definition of 'busy'." Doubtlessly seeing how close he was to getting shouted at for his cheek, he quickly continued: "I do apologise for interrupting. It is just that uncle Walter is here."

Right then Amelia's brother-in-law popped his head around the door, and Emerson stepped away to shake his hand. Amelia remained where she was, not feeling particularly charitable even in the face of Walter's cheerful greeting. His next words, however, changed her mood entirely: "I came by to relieve you of my namesake. My wife claims the kids are missing him."

A laugh escaped Amelia. Blessed Evelyn and her understanding heart. They had met for tea and a chat a couple of days ago, and Amelia had spent a considerable amount of time complaining about the situation with Emerson. Obviously Evelyn had decided to smooth the path for Amelia's plans for this Sunday, and half an hour later Walter and Ramses had left, giving Amelia and Emerson the house to themselves.

"Now, Peabody, where were we back in the library?" Emerson waggled his eyebrows suggestively, and Amelia could not suppress a rather girlish giggle as he came closer, forcing her backwards until her back hit the wall. Then his lips were on hers, and there was no doubt that Amelia was not the only one who had missed marital relations.

However, when they finally came up for air again, Amelia could not resist one last quip: "Ah yes. I dimly remember doing similar things with you in the past. But are you sure you don't want to go back to working on whatever it was Professor What-his-name sent you from Berlin?"

Laughter rumbled deep in Emerson's chest, and the next moment Amelia was literally swept off her feet and unceremoniously thrown over her husband's broad shoulders. Ignoring her protests, which were admittedly rather half-hearted, he carried her up the stairs with an ease that belied Amelia's not exactly slim figure. She would never admit as much to him, but Amelia quite enjoyed it when her husband showed his physical prowess.

Subsequently, when they reached their bedroom and Emerson set her back onto her feet, Amelia gave him a strong push that had him topple onto the bed. Laughing, Amelia followed, straddling him and kissing away his grin. He tasted faintly of the tea he'd been drinking in the library, and she licked deep into his mouth while letting her hands finish the job she had started earlier, opening his shirt all the way, for a change without costing him any buttons, and pushing it down his shoulders.

Emerson, on the other hand, was efficiently loosening Amelia's clothes, and after a while they stopped kissing for just long enough to rid themselves of the unwanted layers of fabric separating them. Then Amelia was back in her husband's lap, their naked bodies pressed together most pleasurably as their lips and tongues resumed the dance they had perfected over the years. They knew each other so well, yet instead of leading to boring predictability, the familiarity somehow made everything better.

Emerson knew just how hard to tease Amelia's breasts, how to nip her earlobes gently with his teeth, how to press the heel of a hand against her mound to make her whole body shiver. And Amelia was able to wrap her fingers around his hardness just the way he liked it, flicking her thumb over the head of it and making him buck upwards with an impressive string of curses. It never failed to please her, how he reacted to her touch with such abandon, and how he always made sure to pleasure her until she fell apart, slumping bonelessly against him as the tremors subsided.

Only then did he slide inside her wet heat, and she rode him, his fingers digging into her hips as he rose to meet her, the way they both liked best. Her hair, long since loose from the careless twist she'd put it in earlier, fell over her face, and Emerson reached up to push it aside, catching her mouth in another deep, hungry kiss. It was what toppled her over the edge again, and her muscles tightened, taking him with her.

They collapsed onto the bed, wrapped around each other, breathing hard and completely contented. Amelia rested her head on Emerson's shoulder and lazily played with his chest hair, pressing the occasional kiss against his skin, while his hand ran slowly up and down her bare back in a gentle caress. Finally it came to rest on her buttock, one of his favourite places on her body, and Amelia knew he'd drifted off to sleep, as was his habit after love-making.

Smiling with satisfaction, Amelia contemplated joining her husband for a daytime nap. Just then, however, she heard the great door downstairs open, followed by the sound of small feet racing up the stairs. Realising with a start that she was only able to hear this because they had neglected to close the door to their bedroom, Amelia was up in a moment, racing to shut said door.

Gasping, she sank back onto the bed, thanking her quick reflexes - right until she heard a familiar high voice from the hallway: "I'm sorry, Mama, I forgot the papyrus I brought from Egypt. Are you ill, or why are you without clothes in the middle of the day?"

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