This wasn't the Warrens' first anniversary waylaid by the demonic or something mistaken for it, but this year, they wrapped up their false alarm in time to enjoy their evening. After unloading the unused equipment, Ed and Lorraine collapsed onto the couch with matching huffs, and Lorraine cuddled close to Ed and nuzzled his neck.

"So," she sighed. "What do we do now?"

Ed's chuckle rumbled through her. "Actually," he murmured against her hairline, "I have plans for you." Before Lorraine could decide whether to play coy or start kissing his neck, he continued. "So I thought maybe you could go lay down for a little bit while I get things ready."

With a furrowed brow, Lorraine craned her neck to scrutinize him. He liked to spoil her on their anniversary, but as the world's worst secret-keeper, his plans usually revealed themselves much sooner than he liked. "You don't need help?"

"Even if I did, it's a surprise. Besides, you're going to need rest."

Lorraine leaned back just enough to rest her elbow on the back of the couch, and dropped her head in her propped-up hand. Two could play at this game. "Oh?" When Ed merely cocked an eyebrow at her, Lorraine snickered. "You don't think you'll need rest?"

"Oh, definitely. I plan on sleeping in tomorrow."

Lorraine swatted his chest and heaved herself off the couch, moaning when her back popped. Bending at the waist, she leaned side to side. "How long should I rest? I'll need to dress for the occasion."

"Give yourself a half hour to rest before you start getting ready."

Feeling Ed's lingering gaze on her back, Lorraine raised her arms above her head in an exaggerated, then ran her hands down her side and over her ass when she finished. Glancing over shoulder with a perfectly straight, oblivious face, she asked, "How should I dress?"

Ed grinned. "For me."

After fifteen minutes of tossing and turning and thrumming, Lorraine gave up on rest. That morning, they woke to the pale light of dawn seeping through the curtains, and Ed had only just begun his slow, studious exploration of her body when Father Gordon called.

Considering how passionately Ed cursed on his way to the kitchen, it was probably good that the Father was on the other line.

In the shower, as she lathered her body with suds that smelled of honey, she tried not to dwell on the memories of his touch only hours ago. His hands and his mouth traveled in opposite directions until it made more sense for his hands to follow his mouth down her body, pausing to nip at her hipbones before licking his way inward—

The clatter of the body wash hitting the shower floor made her jump, and she scrubbed the suds from her body and the conditioner from her hair a little quicker than usual. If Lorraine played her cards right, Ed would wake up tomorrow fumbling around remembering what she had done to him.

At the bottom of her pajama drawer lay a parcel of pink wrapping paper adorned with a silk bow. During her last trip into the city, she'd stopped by a boutique with products some of the ladies in her Bible study would be scandalized to see her perusing. Now, as she ran her fingers over the lace bodice of the white, silk babydoll, she couldn't conjure a shred of embarrassment.

By the time she'd applied her lotion and a hint of makeup, the smell of grilled salmon wafted in from the kitchen, so slipped on her robe over her lingerie in the hopes that Ed would be able to close his mouth long enough to chew. After giving her curls one more fluff, she flounced downstairs to the kitchen, stopping in the doorway to lean against the frame.

Her husband, wine bottle in hand, rummaged in the wrong kitchen drawer for the opener, and she watched him fondly, waiting for him to finally move on to the next drawer. When he found the opener and began working on the cork, Lorraine made her move.


To her disappointment, Ed did not turn to address her. "Yeah, hon, it's almost ready."

"Is this okay for what you had planned?"

Just as Ed whipped around, the cork popped out of the bottle. "Oh, hon," he gasped, his gaze fixed on her thighs. He'd meant to sound cautionary, but his words tumbled out hungry instead.

"What's the matter?" Lorraine pouted. "You don't like it?"

"Oh, I—I love it." As soon as she was within reach, he tugged on the ties of her robe, and she stumbled into him, giggling. "But, honey, we're, uh—we're eating out back."

"The patio is screened in." Lorraine raked her nails down his chest. "If we turn the lights off—"

"Under the gazebo."

At this clarification, her attempts at seduction ceased, and she clapped both hands over her mouth and burst into a fit of giggles. Ed couldn't help but beam down at her. "Thought you might want to know that before you scandalize the neighbors."

Groaning, Lorraine hid her blushing face in Ed's chest. "The only person I planned on scandalizing this evening was you."

The sound of their mingled laughter filled the kitchen, only subsiding when Ed's hands began gliding across the silk over her back. "I'm sorry if I spoiled the surprise, but you look phenomenal."

"Why thank you." As her eyes flickered to Ed's lips, Lorraine licked her own. "But it's bold of you to assume I don't have more surprises for you."

Without missing a beat, Ed's hands drifted lower and squeezed. "Dinner first, my love."

After thirty years, Ed could still make her whine. "But it looks like rain."

"It's not going to rain."

When the first sheet of precipitation spat at them from the gaps in the gazebo's frame, Lorraine squealed and darted for the doorway. Her giggles and mad dash took Ed back to their first night together, and he couldn't resist catching her hand just as she took her first step onto the grass.

"Wait," he murmured, pulling her against him.

The low tone of his voice and the placement of his hands, low on her hips, prompted both Lorraine's smile and her pliability, and she leaned back against the frame at his prompting. The rain pelted his back, but as long as Lorraine remained dry, he didn't care. He ran his hands from her hips to the sides of her breasts and grinned when she shivered. "You cold?" he teased.

Tilting her head back to gaze up at him and to expose her fetching neck, Lorraine bit her lip and hummed. "Warm me up," she teased. She giggled when he growled, but he cut her off in his favorite way, with open mouthed kisses that started at her collarbone and moseyed up her neck, making her mewl. He nuzzled the skin behind her ear, inhaling the scent of her perfume mixed deliciously with the spring shower.

When Lorraine's fingers combed through his hair and tugged, he obeyed. He peppered her jaw and chin with kisses and nips until he reached her lips, where he hovered and let their labored breaths mingle in the meagre space between their mouths.

"Warm yet?"

Lorraine tilted her hips so that they pressed flush against his, and smirked when he moaned against her lips. "Are you?"

"Getting there." Unable to bear any more of his own teasing, he finally brought his open-mouthed kisses to her lips, soft and pliant and eager. The sighs she buried in his mouth spurned him on, and he slid his hands up her sides to her breasts and nibbled on her bottom lip.

Not to be outdone, Lorraine unclasped her hands from around his neck and let them glide over the rippling muscles in his back and into the back pockets of his Dockers. When he sighed into her mouth, she pulled back just enough to smile lazily at him and watch him blindly chase her lips.

He settled for grasping her hips instead. "Do you know how badly I want to just take you right here?"

"I'm so close—" She gasped when Ed ground against her. "So close to letting you."

"How would you feel about me taking you inside?"

Lorraine rested her head against the wood behind her and cocked an eyebrow. "How would you feel about turning all the lights off on the patio and taking me there instead?"

Ed's only response was to wrap his hands under her thighs, hoist her up, and kiss her harder. Briefly, Lorraine thought that they were giving the neighbors enough of a show and that she should just whip off his belt and beg him to do indecent things to her right here. Her rallying sense of propriety only just saved them the embarrassment. With a whimper, she angled her head to the side and pressed sloppy kisses along his jaw until she reached his ear.

"Is that a yes?"

"God, hon. Yes."

"Then you better get busy."