Birds flocked overhead as he made his way to the front door of the Academy.
At the sound of the doorbell, Spalding answered the door for the blonde stranger. Madison, Zoe, and Nan could see him from their place where they had been sitting on the stairway as Madison smoked.
"Ooh, who's he? I haven't seen anything as hot as him around here in a while," Madison told the two witches.
Spalding greeted him with a nod.
"I'm here to see Cordelia," the stranger replied.
"I don't like him. He feels off," Nan whispered to the witches.
Madison shushed her, "What could he want with Foxxy?"
Spalding motioned for him to come inside.
"Who are you," Madison asked. Zoe nudged her from how boldly she'd asked.
Michael had followed Spalding to the greenhouse, going inside as the butler made his way back across the lawn. He walked through the room, made a turn, and there his eyes landed on Cordelia from behind. His mouth opened, but before he could speak, he heard a feminine voice call out, "How much mud do we need?"
An unfamiliar blonde witch popped out of the side room, her eyes meeting Michael's. "Oh, hi. Who're you?"
At that, Cordelia turned. She looked utterly shocked to see him. After all this time, he was shocked to see her in person too, even if he'd come all this way to make it happen.
Cordelia was speechless. He let his eyes go back to the unfamiliar witch's, "I'm Michael." His eyes were pulled back to Cordelia before looking back at the witch, "Think of me as a former flame."
Misty's face fell, "Oh, I'm Misty."
Cordelia was able to collect herself. "What are you doing here," she softly asked.
"I wanted to see you."
Cordelia had spent some of the day with Michael after his sudden reappearance. She stayed guarded, unsure of why he'd shown up. No matter his intentions, it'd been nice catching up with him.
She let him settle into one of the vacant rooms. It has a few doors down from hers. He'd been intent on staying the night, but he hadn't pushed too much. He'd always known the right amount of pushing to do to get her to give into him without making her feel forced.
Sitting down on the edge of her bed, she called Hank. She hadn't expected an answer, and right when she was about to give up after the eight ring, he answered.
"Hey babe, you know I'm busy." His tone was light, but his words made her feel like a nuisance. That's how he always made her feel when she tried to contact him when he was out of town on business.
She sighed as she pinched the bridge of her nose and let her eyes fall shut, "You're not busy this late." It was all the argument she had. It wasn't worth it to argue, because it never changes anything and it always left her feeling like she wasn't enough.
"Babe, you know I work like crazy. I don't have time to talk."
She exhaled so he couldn't hear this time, already exhausted with the conversation. She was just going to tell him why she'd called and get it over with. "You'll never guess who came by." Hank started to mumble something, obviously about how this was wasting his time without him flat out saying it. She put an end to it when she said, "Michael."
It was dead silent on Hank's end. Cordelia wanted an honest marriage. She wanted to stay honest on her end, no matter what Hank was doing. "He's still here. He's staying in one of the other rooms."
"I'll be home in the morning," Hank said before he hung up.
Hank never left his business trips early. As much as Cordelia felt like Hank wasn't truly happy with her, he clearly felt threatened by Michael. He was usually gone for five days at a time and Hank had only been gone since early yesterday.
Throughout the night, Cordelia was stirred awake numerous times by her thoughts about how Misty had kept her distance since meeting Michael. He couldn't have come at a worse time because barely a week ago Misty had revealed to Cordelia how much she cared for her. And the feelings the younger witch had for her were revealed to be romantic.
Cordelia had been surprised that Misty's friendliness was caused by that. She was careful not to hurt Misty in any way. She'd taken her hand and sat beside her on the workbench behind the greenhouse. "I care for you deeply, Misty. You're the best friend I've ever had, and I think I kind of love you. I actually think it's the same kind of love you feel for me. I'm sorry, but I'm married."
She'd been gentle enough and Misty hadn't acted awkward around her afterwards. They stayed the same and had a mutual understanding that they were only going to be friends.
Their understanding shouldn't have been affected by Michael. For some reason it felt like it was.
On another note, as honest as she tried to be with Hank, she didn't tell him about the situation with Misty. There was no danger of Cordelia doing anything she shouldn't and there was no need to embarrass Misty in case Hank decided to say something uncalled for.
Hank had always despised Michael and considering the history there, she had to let him know about his presence.
After breakfast the next morning, Michael went to Cordelia's office with her. She had to organize her paperwork. While she was putting a folder in her filing cabinet, Michael came up beside her. "You smell good," his hand went to the small of her back, "You still look good after all this time." His body pressed into her side. He had her wedged against the filing cabinet.
"Stop, Michael." She nudged him with her shoulder to try to urge him back. She closed the cabinet.
Michael's other arm went around her and he turned her so her back was pressed against the cabinet. She pushed against his chest, "Back off." He still looked good too and she was pretty sure a part of her would always love him, but she wasn't going to do this.
His body was flush against hers, "At least give me a kiss." He went in for it. She turned her head and managed to push him off just in time.
When he was a safe distance away, she looked at him and said, "You know I'm married."
His eyes stared intently into hers and he replied, "Married to a man who's always gone on suspicious business trips."
"Thanks," she sarcastically said.
She started out of the room and heard him say, "I'm not trying to upset you. They are suspicious."
Hank had called Cordelia when he was five minutes away. She timed it and met him at the door. He sat him bag down and pulled her into a hug. It was a more loving greeting than she was used to. He kissed her temple before pulling back. "I missed you baby," he said before he kissed her on the lips. She enjoyed the kiss like how she enjoyed it when he acted like he really cared. Hank pulled away, "Where is he?"
Cordelia led him by the hand to the library where Michael was. Michael didn't waste time walking over. Cordelia let go of Hank's hand as he rudely asked, "What are you doing here?"
Michael gave a taunting smile, "I came to see your wife."
"You're not welcome here."
Michael gave him an amused look and a dark laugh, "Why don't you let her decide who's welcome. She's the one who lives here while you are never around."
"That's because I have to work!"
This was getting tense and uncomfortable. Michael said to Hank, "I can see into your mind. I know everything about you. Should I tell Cordelia what you do when you're out of town."
Michael gave Cordelia a soft look, “Go through his phone. He’s too dumb to delete the messages.”
Cordelia felt her jaw go slack. “No! I don’t do anything!” Hank yelled. Then he turned to Cordelia with a soft, gentle voice as he grabbed onto her arms, “Baby, he’s lying. He’s just trying to get in your head. I’d never do anything to risk what we have.”
He always called her Babe or Baby when he was full of shit. She knew that much from being married to him all this time. She eased out of his grip, “Give me your phone.”
Hank’s eyes were staring into hers. She could see the worry he was trying to hide. “Cordelia, I don’t have anything to hide. Are you going to let him put these ideas in your head?” His voice was soft as he tried to turn the tables on her. He pulled his phone out of his pocket slowly. “You can have it, but you won’t find anything. Passcode’s 1854. I can’t believe you don’t trust me.”
Yeah right. He wouldn’t be turning it on her if it weren’t true.
“Take it,” Michael coaxed, “You need to see for yourself.”
Cordelia reaches out and took it. She could feel Hank’s uneasiness as she put the passcode in. Immediately at the top of his messages, her stomach dropped. “Who’s Kaylee?” she asked as she opened their messages.
Hank started saying something else. She didn’t hear because she saw red and felt her heart breaking at the same time. She shoved the phone back into his hand. She could feel her eyes welling up with tears, “I can’t believe you.” She walked out of the room and started toward the stairs so she could go to her bedroom.
Hank was following her the whole way as he tried to talk her down and himself out of trouble. “Baby, she’s nobody. She doesn’t mean anything. I won’t talk to her ever again. I love you, Cordelia, with all my heart.”
She got to her...their...room and sat down on the bed. Hank knelt down in the floor in front of her. His hands stroked at her hair and the sides of her face. “I love you, Babe. Please, forgive me. She was a mistake. I was stupid.”
She couldn’t stop crying. She pushed his hands away. “Stop talking. Leave me alone. You’re such a bastard. My mom was right and so was Michael.”
He reacted like it was a slap in the face. He stood and cleared his throat. “I’m going downstairs to let you cook off.” He paused before he added, “I’ll never do anything like that to you again, believe me. Michael’s not it, don’t let him get to you.” He tilted her face up with a hand around her chin, “I love you. I’d do anything for you.”
Cordelia was busy working away in the greenhouse, trying to find comfort in her plants. She was so lost in them that she didn’t notice Misty’s presence until the younger witch asked, “Are you ok?”
Cordelia jumped as she turned toward the voice. “Misty you scared me.”
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to. Are you ok?”
She’d asked twice now. Cordelia scrunched her brows together, “Why do you ask?”
Misty gave her a sympathetic look, “I was kinda with all the other girls in the living room when you rushed through there crying with Hank following you around like a stray dog.”
Cordelia looked down from embarrassment, “I didn’t know anyone saw that.”
Misty stepped closer, making sure she gave Cordelia time to move away in case she was uncomfortable. Misty quietly said, “You were pretty upset, I understand why you didn’t pay attention. I’m here if you need to talk.”
Cordelia’s eyes finally made their way up to Misty’s blue ones. “He’s cheating on me.” She felt the waterworks start again. Misty grabbed her hand with a soothing touch. After a quiet sob, Cordelia said, “Michael has magical abilities. He alluded to it and told me to look through his phone.” Misty held tight to her hand as she used her thumb on her other hand to wipe Cordelia’s tears away. Cordelia continued, “Hank’s been sketchy for a while. It’s different having a confirmation, you know?”
“I know. You deserve so much better than that Miss Cordelia.”
When Cordelia calmed down, the two of them were sitting together on the work bench. Cordelia had her legs curled up on the bench as they leaned on each other, a tight handhold still present. “What’s the deal with Michael anyway? Did you use to date him?” Misty didn’t want to rush her, so she’d kept her voice relaxed.
Cordelia turned her head to look at her. “Yeah, we dated for a year when we were still teenagers. We were seventeen…maybe eighteen. We broke up and I met Hank when I was twenty-one. Hank said all the right things and was charming. We got engaged. A few months before our wedding date, Hank started getting cold feet. He blew me off when we were supposed to go pick out the silverware for the reception, and when we were supposed to go order the cake, and he didn’t show up for his tuxedo fitting. I gave him three chances. After the whole tuxedo thing, I told him if he wanted out to tell me and we could cancel the wedding.
I told him we didn’t even have to be together if he didn’t want me. He beat around the bush saying that he wanted to be with me, and we’d get to all of that sometime. He never made plans to do anything and when I ran dates by him to go get fitted for his tux, he always acted like he was too busy. I did all the other stuff by myself, but I couldn’t do that for him.
I was expecting him to break up with me, so I was trying to mentally prepare myself. One day I got an unexpected phone call from Michael. It was weird because we hadn’t talked since, we’d broken up. He said he wanted to catch up and see how I was doing, so we made a lunch date. It was nice seeing him again and I enjoyed his company more than I thought I would.”
“Uh oh,” Misty lightheartedly joked to try to make Cordelia smile.
It did bring a small smirk out of Cordelia. “Anyway…” she chuckled before continuing, “Michael was still fun to be around. I did let him know I was engaged to Hank before we went to lunch. It wasn’t like I was planning on getting with Michael. When we were leaving the restaurant, Hank broke up with me over the phone. I was crying and Michael asked if I wanted to go back to his place.
We hung out for a few hours, then Michael told me he wanted me back. He kissed me. I took my ring off. One thing led to another and we ended up having sex. The feelings started rushing back. I slept over.
The next day, Hank called me and said he regretted breaking up with me and how he’d been acting. I felt extremely guilty. I told Hank everything. He was pissed and worried. He said he wanted me more than anything and that he wouldn’t ever bring it up if I took him back. I told him I needed time to think. I loved both of them.
Michael tried everything in his power to get me to stay with him. As hard as the decision was, I married Hank. I hadn’t seen Michael again until yesterday. And here we are.”
Misty took a minute to process. “That’s a lot. Has Michael tried anything with you today or yesterday?”
“He tried to kiss me,” Cordelia admitted. She saw Misty’s expression fall, “I pushed him away before he could. I get that you don’t like hearing about all this considering…” She trailed off.
Misty finished for her, “Considering my feelings for you. You can talk to me about anything, you’re my best friend. It’s just…”
“You said you have those feelings too so I don’t see why we can’t be together. I mean, we love each other.”
Misty looked vulnerable. Cordelia didn’t want to hurt her. She never wanted to make Misty feel how she, herself, was feeling right now. “It’s complicated. I’m married to Hank. After his cheating, he’s most likely out of the picture. But now Michael’s shown up. I still love him, but he feels…different somehow. I do love you, Misty, it’s why I don’t want to drag you into this mess.”
“It wouldn’t be a mess in my eyes as long as I’m with you.”
Cordelia made Hank sleep in one of the other rooms that night.
The following day, she took a walk with Michael and they went out on the town. Cordelia made sure they only kept it on a platonic level. On the drive back to the Academy, Michael’s hand found its way to her thigh. He was smart enough not to be too bold because he knew it’d backfire. Instead of letting it creep up her leg, he sensually rubbed over the same spot over and over. He knew her well enough to know the teasing would have more of the desired effect.
Cordelia wanted to push his hand away. What was the point? He wasn’t doing anything bad and it felt nice. She would stop him if he tried anything.
Hank had shown up in her bedroom when she was getting ready for bed and begged for forgiveness. Cordelia finally decided to let him sleep in the bed with her just so he’d shut up. “I love you. We can work through this, Delia,” he excitedly said as he climbed into bed.
She couldn’t help but make a dig at him from the anger she still felt, “What’s your skank going to say about you sleeping in bed with another woman?”
“I haven’t talked to her. I’m not going to. You’re the one who has my heart.”
He tried to make her believe it, but she had the feeling this was very likely to happen again in the future. She cleared her mind of all that shit and found her thoughts revolving on how Michael’s hand had caressed her thigh. Twenty minutes of those thoughts had her needy in a particularly intimate area. She wanted him. At the same time, she wasn’t going to allow herself to do that.
She turned over to face Hank. He had his eyes closed but she could tell by his breathing that he was still awake. She scooted closer and eased her hand down his pajama pants and boxers. His eyes popped open. She massaged him until she had him hard. “Take your clothes off,” she said.
He stripped down as she did the same. She climbed on top of him. “This doesn’t mean everything’s ok between us,” she told him. Her hands found his chest as she sank down on him. He groaned with pleasure.
Cordelia rode him more and more fiercely, all while she moaned like crazy and he grunted from her enthusiasm, until her upper body leaned forward and she grabbed onto the headboard with her left hand. She kept going because it felt amazing and she was on the verge of cumming.
Hank groaned out, “Delia, Baby. I-We can make it through-”
Cordelia’s right hand covered his mouth briefly before it was on his jaw then it settled in his hair, “Don’t talk.”
She got more forceful, wanting to feel deeper…faster…harder. She moaned. “That feels so good,” she ended up moaning out. Both hands found their way to his chest again. She shivered and her head fell back. “OH,” she moaned. This was intense.
She shivered and shivered with moan after moan falling from her lips until she started clenching around him in a vice grip. It took her breath away. It was almost startling. She sucked in a breath. Then, she shook as she moaned on a long exhale.
Hank was grunting under her and she felt him warm her from the inside out with his semen.
“Good morning, Miss Cordelia,” Misty said cheerfully as she pulled her into a hug.
Cordelia hugged her back, “Good morning, Misty.” The hug was warm, tight, and it radiated with love. “How’d you sleep?” Cordelia asked as she pulled away.
“Like usual. How about you?”
Misty grabbed Cordelia’s hand as the older witch waited for her toast to pop out. Misty’s other hand joined in to play with Cordelia’s fingers. Cordelia watched her do it because something about it made her feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Misty noticed her watching and chuckled before she asked, “So, how did you sleep?”
Cordelia cleared her throat as she looked up at those piercing blue eyes. She felt herself blushing, “Um…fine.” She had no choice but to smile back when Misty gave her a pretty smile.
A few hours after breakfast, Cordelia found herself in the greenhouse again. It was her favorite place to be.
“You’re cute when you work with your plants,” came Michael’s voice from the other side of the room.
Cordelia turned to face him, sitting her pot on the table in the process. “Oh, hey Michael.”
He walked toward her until he was almost against her. They stared each other down, feeling the tension without having to do anything. It was like the chemistry hadn’t gone away. She didn’t know if it was stupid, or a pattern, or what. All she knew was that she would want him even if she tried to deny it.
Michael’s hand softly palmed her cheek. He stepped closer, his body brushing hers. “I know you’re fragile right now, but I want you,” his voice came out breathy and rough.
Cordelia’s chest rose as her own breathing got heavy. If she were in a happy, secure marriage she’d never let herself be close to this position. But Hank was completely out of the picture. Right?
“You can have me.” It was barely above a whisper.
Michael kissed her forcefully, their arms flinging around each other’s bodies. They made out like they hadn’t made out…in a decade. It was hot, passionate, and almost animalistic. Pulling at each other’s clothes, Michael backed her up into one of the side rooms so they would at least be somewhat contained if one of the witches walked in.
Down to their underwear, he pushed her back into the wall and kept her there. They kissed, sucked, bit and groped one another.
Michael broke this kiss to jerk her bra down off her shoulders and breasts, ripping the hooks clean off as he did so. Cordelia gasped from the action. She was dripping wet for him, beyond needy to the point that her nipples were already hardened into peaks. She reached forward and pulled his boxes down, squatting to help him quickly get out of them. And there in front of her eyes was that big, hard, you know what that she hadn’t seen in years and now she desperately wanted it.
Upon standing, Michael quite literally ripped her panties off. “Do you want me?” he asked.
“I want you.”
His hand went between her legs. He sank two fingers in. She moaned out her desire, feeling him thrust in knuckle deep over and over. His body kept her practically pinned to the wall, “You really do,” his voice was husky as he said it.
Her hand found him, stroking. He…his body…that was so nice, and his fingers. “Put it in,” she breathlessly said.
His fingers left her, and she let go of him. He lifted her up and she wrapped her legs around him. He thrusted into her, making her practically sob from the delicious insertion. He moaned out himself.
He pressed her body back into the wall as he got down to business. It was primal…rough…amazing. She was pretty sure she lost some hair due to his rough hands.
It was bedtime and she couldn’t even bring herself to entertain the idea of letting Hank sleep in the bed with her again tonight. She didn’t know if she could make a good choice. She’d never made them, if she had her life wouldn’t be like this right now. There were so many ways this could play out.
Her initial reaction to Hank’s cheating was to throw him out on his ass and divorce him. She wasn’t sure she could do it. She had always craved a loving marriage. She could choose to forgive him and move past it, but she felt like she would never get that trust back. And did he even really love her? If he did, how could he do that?
Another choice was Michael. Their tryst today had been fun. Michael had always been fun and they’d always had a good time together. He was her first love. It was hard to get past that. The thing about him that worried her was that it seemed like he showed up here just to take her away from her husband and she didn’t like that idea. There was also an uneasiness because somehow, he felt…different. She couldn’t place why.
On reflection, both from the past few days and her entire history with both of them, they both seemed to have a way to manipulate her into doing what they wanted. She’d never been strong enough to admit that to herself before, not even when her mother had told her that time and time again.
And there was Misty. A surprising connection had formed between them, a quite unexpected one. Cordelia had never been with a woman but there was no doubt in her heart that she loved the young witch. She loved her beyond a friendship. She loved her so much that it had the potential to be soul-crushing if she only let it be.
The young witch was pure and like sunlight personified. Cordelia didn’t know if she could ever bring her into her messy life. She didn’t want to taint her, she couldn’t. She could never live with herself if she destroyed Misty in the process. She needed to figure this out fast.
“What should I do?” Cordelia whispered to herself as she laid on her back and stared up at the ceiling.