DISCLAIMER: All characters belong to the BBC. I am simply having some fun with them.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I have absolutely no excuse for this little threesome, except that a couple of my readers demanded it. This is a possible follow on from series three episode four.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Judge John Deed: series three episode five
By Kristine

It was a few days since Diana Halsey had died, and George had urged, persuaded and cajoled her clients, One Way PLC, in to settling out of court. George seemed to have spent those few days in a kind of limbo, a state of almost not existing. Though to be fair, her inner turmoil hadn't begun at Diana Halsey's death, but on the day when she'd seen that awful picture on John's computer, when she'd realised just what lengths her clients and her lover would go to in order to remove John once and for all. Yes, she'd warned John to be careful, once she'd discovered that his personal or professional safety was threatened, but she'd had absolutely no idea that they would go this far. George had maintained her professional exterior, whilst inwardly floundering in the face of what she'd all but been party too. Neil had been furious when his gamble hadn't paid off, and he'd been barely communicating with her ever since. Yet, when it came to bed, he still seemed to want her. Every night since John had made her look at that evil, horrific picture that had been e-mailed to him, Neil had turned to her, showing a level of sexual interest in her that he only ever really displayed when another of his attempts to get one over on John had failed. It was as if he was saying that whilst he might have professionally failed to make John surplus to requirements, with George he had succeeded. Her skin crawled every time she thought of those ensuing nights, her body having been totally immune to any touch, any caress Neil had bestowed on her. When she looked in to his face above her, all she'd been able to see was the picture of that child, the picture that Neil had known about, the picture that had almost sealed John's fate. She'd allowed Neil to sleep with her, because refusing would have meant far too many questions, explanations and recriminations. But on the sixth day after the Diana Halsey case had been closed, she knew it was time, time for her to have it out with Neil, time for him to explain just how he could sanction the use of something so abhorrent.

It was late afternoon, and for once, Neil was preparing for a debate at home rather than doing it in his office at the Commons. George thought cynically that he was probably trying to avoid any possible backlash from the latest political debacle. George walked in to the lounge, and poured herself a large drink. Neil raised an eyebrow at her.

"A bit early, isn't it?"

"No," Replied George, and Neil swore he could see the glimpse of an approaching storm in her eyes. "I need some Dutch courage for the conversation we're about to have."

"This isn't about Deed, is it?" Asked Neil, putting down his paper and for once giving her his full attention. He'd known this subject would arise sooner or later, and had been mentally preparing for it for days.

"Right in one," Replied George, her tone as hard as diamond, ready to cut whatever explanation he gave her to shreds.

"If you hadn't given him prior warning," Said Neil nastily, "He'd have been out on his ear by now."

"You don't know I did anything of the kind," She said carefully, praying that he didn't have any actual proof.

"I'm not stupid, George. You did exactly the same with the Tracy Spink case. You dropped me in it to get Deed out of a hole. You did it then, and I'm certain you did it this time."

"I don't know how you can sit there and be so bloody self righteous," She said, the scorn dripping from her words like icicles. "You and your underhanded lackeys sanction the use of something so deplorable to have John professionally kicked out of touch, when you know he would never even think of going near anything of the kind, and you sit there, and rant on at me for attempting to pull him out of the professional grave you seem hell bent on committing him too. How? How can you do it?"

"You know as well as I do, that the only way of getting the One Way case swept under the carpet was to have Deed removed."

"Diana Halsey's son has been left homeless, parentless, and currently being cared for by the state, and considering One Way's ruthless cover up of their culpability in his mother's death, I'd say they owed him a lot more than what I managed to dredge out of them, wouldn't you?"

"Will you listen to yourself for a minute. You're even talking like Deed. The fact that One Way placed a settlement on the boy will open up the floodgates to an endless stream of litigants who will cripple the mobile phone companies and go a long way to crippling this country's economy."

"Do you know something," She said derisively, "I think that's half your problem sometimes. You don't have one shred of human feeling in you, do you, except that for revenge and jealousy."

"Don't be ridiculous," He replied scornfully.

"Tell me something," Continued George, "Did you see what they planted on John's computer? Did you see what the despicable cretins you call staff sanctioned the use of?"

"No, of course not. Cabinet ministers never get their hands dirty, no matter how necessary the course of action."

"So I've noticed," She replied dryly. "Well, I did have to look at that picture. John knew that either my clients or you or both were responsible for what had been e-mailed to him. So, he called me up to his chambers, and told me to look at what was on his computer screen. Do you know what it was? It was a picture of a little boy being raped. I swear that was the most horrific thing I've ever seen in my life. How could you? How could you condone the use of something like that."

"I'm sorry you had to see that," He said, his tone for once totally sincere. "Deed shouldn't have made you do that."

"No, what shouldn't have happened," Replied George, her voice steadily rising, "Is you encouraging Max Solvay and Tim Listfield to put it there in the first place. I'll never forget the sight of that image as long as I live. Every time you've touched me over the last few days, that's all I can see. You, Max Solvay, Ian Rochester, you're all as vile as whoever made that picture. I wish you had been made to see that picture. Maybe then you'd feel the slightest hint of remorse, though even that's debatable."

"Georgia, darling, listen to me," He said, getting up and moving over to where she sat on the sofa.

"Don't come anywhere near me," She hissed, the adder's fangs dripping with the venom to make him keep his distance. "And don't call me darling," She added. "I don't know how you can sleep at night. But you're sure as hell not going to sleep another night in this house."

"George, this really isn't necessary," He said, trying to calm her down. "We can talk about this."

"You've gone way too far for that this time. I'm going out now," She said, picking up her car keys, "And I don't want to see a single sign of you when I get back." As she passed him, she stood very close to him and said in her quietest most venomous tone, "You ever try anything like that to either John or me again, and it'll be the last thing you do, in politics or out of it. Do I make myself clear?" Fixing him with her hard, unwavering gaze, she waited until he lowered his eyes first. Taking this as a sign of submission, she swept theatrically passed him and out of the front door, slamming it shut as she had irrevocably slammed down the lid on the coffin of their relationship.

When George roared off in the car, she knew there was only one place for her to go. Who was it who'd said that all roads led to Rome, she couldn't remember. But in her case, all roads seemed to lead in one way or another back to John. All her anger at Neil's corrupt handling of the situation having dissipated, George could feel the enormous burden of remorse lying heavy on her shoulders. She'd ruthlessly forced a terminally ill single parent to go through a horrendous court case, she'd relentlessly brow beaten Diana Halsey via the witness stand, and she'd unknowingly stood back and watched her clients pull such a terrible stunt on John. But that wasn't all. Neil had entirely encouraged George when it came to the pursuit of evidence against Jo. Sure, George was honest enough to admit that she'd been looking for an excuse to punish Jo for stealing her man for years. But that didn't make her continuous sticking in of the knife in any way necessary. George winced as she thought of some of the things she'd said to Jo recently. Most of them really hadn't been called for, but when she got in to her stride, she usually found that she couldn't stop. Envy was a poisonous snake, and possibly the deadliest of all the seven deadly sins. George's jealousy of Jo and her place in John's affections had made her irrational, unhinged, and had shown her up to be the evil little vixen she was. George was used to feeling hard, empty, as if nothing and no one in the world could penetrate her outer layer of scorn and derision. But that didn't mean she wanted to be like this. She'd tried love once, with John, and she had failed. Oh, she hadn't been the only one to fail on that occasion, but John had moved on from their marriage, but she couldn't say the same about herself. Even when it had been going against anything Neil had wanted, she'd always warned John when things were looking sticky for him. She just couldn't help it. As she'd said to him once, he was still her daughter's father. But she was now being forced to face up to the fact that this wasn't all it was. Her connection with John through Charlie, wasn't by any means the reason why she always felt it necessary to protect him from Neil's transparent attempts at sabotage.

John and Jo were sitting close together on the sofa in John's chambers. Coope had long gone home for the day, and they'd come here because Jo's appearance at the Judge's digs would have posed too many questions. No one remarked on John's movements in chambers, so they knew they would be granted some peace in the early evening, with almost no other presence around to disturb them. They had both been to Diana Halsey's funeral, both having stood one on either side of her little boy, Michael, as they'd watched his mother being lowered in to the ground. Michael had been silent all the way through the service, his eyes fixed on the wooden box that held the only person who'd ever really loved him. Jo was quiet as she relaxed within the gentle warmth of John's arms. There were far too many unwelcome thoughts whizzing around in her head to give her much capacity for conversation. John was incredibly worried about Jo. He realised, as he toyed with a lock of her hair, that she had become far too emotionally involved with Diana Halsey's case. He briefly wondered if he should have seen this coming. But it was pointless to tread that line of thought. Even if he had taken notice of the warning signs, he wouldn't have been able to do anything about it. When Jo was set on something, she pursued it at any cost. They were both drinking scotch, and a packet of cigarettes and a lighter lay on the table, Jo having made John stop on the way back so that she could buy some. He grumbled about her taking up that particular habit again, but she'd been insistent.

"How long has it been?" He'd asked, when they'd returned to his chambers and she'd lit up as he poured them both a drink.

"About two years," She'd replied, taking a long grateful drag. They'd sat and talked for some time, Jo feeling terrible that Michael had been forced to go back to that impersonal childrens' home. John still didn't think that Jo's idea of adopting Michael was a good one, but he wasn't going to argue about it today. She was sat with her head on his shoulder, each with an arm around the other, taking simple comfort from their close proximity. But when John heard the distinct click clack of a pair of high heels on the tiled corridor leading to his chambers, he knew their peace was about to be shattered.

"That's all I need," he groaned.

"Whoever it is might not be coming to see you," Jo replied.

"I wouldn't bet on it," He said dryly. "I'd recognise those heels anywhere." He was proved right when there came a sharp knock on his door. Jo moved to disentangle herself from him, but he kept his arm firmly round her. When he called, "Come in," the door opened to reveal a fairly miserable-looking George. When she walked in to the room, and took in the two of them seated so close together on the sofa, all she said was,

"Oh," and made a move to retreat. "I can see this isn't a good time. I'll leave you to it." Jo couldn't say if it was something in George's tone, her facial expression, or the way she was so ready to prevent herself from disturbing them, but something told her that this was different from all the other times George had walked in on her and John. For some reason, George clearly needed to talk about something. Why else would she have come looking for John in the first place. But this wasn't all. Jo could detect a distinct lack of the antagonism and fury that had been all too present in George's demeanour towards her over the last few weeks. Jo held up a hand to stop George from leaving.

"Stay," She simply said, trying to put George at her ease. George hesitated, not used to anything remotely resembling encouragement from Jo.

"George, come in and sit down," Said John, also realising that something must have happened to bring George to his door, and taking advantage of Jo's clear acceptance of the situation. George closed the door behind her and moved to stand before them, with only the coffee table separating her from the two of them.

"Before I do," She said, taking the plunge that she wasn't aware she'd been planning on. "I think I need to apologise, to both of you." At these very unfamiliar words, Jo did disentangle herself from John, wanting to give George her full attention.

"Am I expected to take this seriously?" Asked John slightly scornfully, receiving a glare of monumental proportions from Jo.

"Let's here it, George," She said, just as surprised as John, but nevertheless willing to give George the benefit of the doubt.

"Most of what I've said to you, both during this trial and, if I'm honest, for far too long beforehand, has been well and truly uncalled for," George said, looking straight in to Jo's unwavering gaze. "You really didn't deserve it and I shouldn't have said or done most of the things I have. I shouldn't have brow beaten Diana Halsey the way I did, and I shouldn't have done my utmost to get you struck off." Jo stared at this woman who, for years, had done nothing but torment her in any way possible. But here she was, offering Jo an olive branch, willing to put aside some of their differences and start again. Their rivalry both in and out of court had been part of Jo's life for so long now, that it felt incredibly odd to finally have some of it taken away.

"Apology accepted, George," Said Jo, her open and honest expression showing her surprise, though not hiding her slight scepticism at George's apparent remorse.

"I don't blame you for not trusting me," Said George, taking note of this in Jo's face. "But I don't have anything to hide, not any more." It was with these last few words that Jo knew without doubt that George's apology was genuine.

"As I said," Affirmed Jo, "Apology accepted." George swiveled her gaze slightly to focus on John.

"When I asked Charlie to warn you to be careful," She began, "I had absolutely no idea they would go as far as they did. You must no that, John."

"I'm listening," He said carefully, not willing to give her an inch.

"I totally underestimated what Neil was capable of. I really never thought he'd stoop quite that low. If I had known, I'd have dropped their case immediately. I'm sorry that, partly because of me, Neil and his cronies put you through what they did." In his typical, actions speak louder than words manner, John stood up, moved round the coffee table and gave her a quick hug and a kiss on the cheek.

"Would you like a drink?" He said, his actions telling her far louder than any words that she was forgiven.

"Yes please," She said, "I think after today, I need an entire bottle."

"You're not the only one," Said Jo, handing John her empty glass. "We've been to Diana Halsey's funeral."

"How's her son doing?" Asked George sitting down on the other end of the sofa to Jo, leaving a space in between them for John.

"Not brilliantly," Replied Jo. "He didn't say a word today." John put their drinks on the coffee table and sat down between them, his left arm going round Jo as if of its own accord.

"Jo's thinking of trying to adopt him," Said John. George couldn't hide her surprise.

"Really?" She said, still with no scorn in her tone. "Rather you than me."

"Well, there's no guarantee," Said Jo, cursing John for having brought this up. Realising that Jo would rather not talk about this, George searched for a lighter, easier topic of conversation.

"I didn't know you smoked," She said, looking at the cigarettes and ashtray on the coffee table.

"She doesn't usually," put in John.

"She is the cat's mother," Quipped Jo, "And I thought that today was as good as any day for starting again."

"Quite right," George agreed wholeheartedly. "Neil made me give it up."

"I can't imagine Lover boy making you do anything," Said John dryly.

"You'd be surprised," Said George, the hint of truth making her voice slightly waver.

"Has something happened?" John asked, also not missing the quiver in George's voice.

"Nothing that hasn't been waiting to happen for some time. I told him what a worthless cretin I thought he was and told him to be out of the house before I get back. I could have said an awful lot more, but if I had, I think I'd have come away with a bruise or two."

"If he ever did anything like that," Said John, his voice deep with suppressed anger, "I'd kill him."

"Oh, calm down," Said George dismissively. "I don't think he'd actually do it, but I wasn't quite stupid enough to stay around to find out."

"Why on earth did you get involved with that excuse for a human being to start with?" John asked scornfully.

"John," Said Jo carefully, reaching for a cigarette, "Take a look at some of your own liaisons before you begin criticising anyone else's." The ice was effectively broken and George couldn't help laughing in relief. Jo had, for the moment, saved her from being forced to question herself and her motives too closely. After lighting her own cigarette, Jo held out the packet to George.

"Don't encourage her," Protested John.

"Oh, why not," Said George, taking a cigarette and reaching for the lighter. "I've abandoned more sides to my character than I ever thought possible today, so why stop now." Leaning back in the corner of the sofa, still slightly apart from John and Jo, George took a long, glorious drag of the cigarette. The look of total ecstasy on her face made Jo smile and John roll his eyes to heaven.

"It feels good, doesn't it," Said Jo, not used to seeing George looking relaxed, but thinking that it suited her.

"Oh, how I have missed this," George intoned theatrically, blowing a perfect smoke ring at the elegantly carved ceiling. Jo laughed.

"Give me strength," Grumbled John. "You're both as bad as each other." As John and Jo continued fondly bickering, George simply let their words drift over her head. She couldn't believe she was here, drinking and smoking with the two people who had so successfully irked her for too many years to count. When she finally stubbed her cigarette out in the ashtray, John reached out and turned her face towards him. After scrutinizing its every contour, he said,

"You're looking tired."

"So would you after my last few days," She said, hating it when he did this to her. Forcing her to look at him, he frightened her slightly by seeming to look deep in to her soul, not something he'd done for an extremely long time.

"Have you been dwelling on that picture?" He asked gently.

"Why do you ask?" She replied, never one to reveal her cards unless pushed. But this only received a roll of his eyes.

"Because I know you of old, George, and I know that something as shocking as seeing that picture must have been, won't have left you alone in a hurry." Removing his hand from where it had been resting against her cheek, she said,

"Tell me this, John Deed, why are you always right?" There was so much deep-rooted despair in this question that Jo was forced to wonder just how many times George had thought it.

"Infuriating, isn't it," Said Jo, trying to show George that she wasn't the only one to occasionally come under John's critical scrutiny.

"Yes," Said George, the heart felt relief at having the focus of the conversation moved away from her all too evident.

"Hey, come on," He said firmly. "Talk to me."

"I couldn't deal with the fact that Neil had openly known that Max Solvay and Tim Listfield were prepared to use something like that to remove you. I asked him if he'd known what it was, and when he said no, I spelt it out to him. He was cross with you for making me look at it, but I told him it was his fault for encouraging his lackeys to put it there in the first place. When I left, I told him that if he ever did anything like that to either you or me again, it'd be the last thing he did, in politics or out of it."

"Yeah, well, I don't want you having to live up to a threat like that," He said sternly.

"When will you learn," Said George slightly scornfully, "That with men like Neil, the threat is all that's necessary. If the press knew he'd been involved with something like this, he'd be out of the cabinet like that," She clicked her fingers. "I know it, and he knows it. His political position is all he's ever lived for. He's never needed anyone outside his party, and he certainly doesn't need me." These last words were said in a hollow, resigned tone of voice that told both of them that in spite of her clear anger at what Neil had done, she was still hurting. "To Neil, I was just a useful tool to further his cause, and a good-looking bit of crumpet to increase his status and popularity."

"And which of the two makes you angrier?" Asked Jo. George couldn't help laughing.

"I'm not sure," She said with a small smile. "And do you know the most depressing thing?" She said, turning her gaze back to focus on John. "The only time he wants to sleep with me these days, is when he's failed to pull the rug out from under you." John laughed and Jo couldn't help grinning. "Oh, yes, really bloody funny," Said George, but they could both see the flicker of amusement in her eyes.

"Right, that's it," Said John, clearly coming to a decision. "As today has been a pretty rough day for all concerned, I vote we get drunk and behave outrageously."

"Don't you normally do the second on a daily basis?" Asked George, giving Jo a conspiratorial wink.

"Oh, he certainly does," Replied Jo before John could get a word in. Getting up and walking over to the small drinks cabinet in the corner, John retrieved the whisky bottle and the martini George was drinking, and placed them both on the coffee table. Replenishing their glasses with ice, he returned to the sofa, putting an arm round both of them this time, which initially surprised George, until, with the insidious progress of the alcohol through her veins, she began to relax, to let out some of the tension that had been building ever since she'd seen that picture. It crossed her mind that if someone had told her yesterday that in twenty four hours she would be sitting, talking and getting drunk with both John and Jo, she would have staked her house, her career and much more besides on the opposite outcome. But she knew that it was doing her good. She hadn't relaxed like this for far too long. She briefly found herself wishing that she'd done this sooner.

A few hours later, when they'd all drunk far too much, Mimi left her basket in the corner of his chambers, and began whining and nudging at her lead which hung on a hook by the door. John glanced at his watch.

"It's much later than I thought it was," He said, feeling absolutely no desire to move, but knowing that he must obey his dog's request. As they made their way out of the old court building, Jo said,

"Do judges ever stay here this late?"

"Sometimes," He replied, locking the side door behind them. As they stood in the moonlight, and whilst Mimi sniffed her way round the expanse of lawn, John turned to Jo, put his arms round her and began kissing her. George couldn't blame them. If she was honest, she'd expected something like that to happen sooner with the amount of alcohol they'd all consumed. But when Mimi returned, George cleared her throat and said,

"Whilst I'm enjoying watching Gone With The wind, you two might want to take that somewhere else." Both Jo and John looked round slightly sheepishly, having forgotten for the moment that she was there.

"I need to find a taxi," Said George, as they walked across the car park.

"You'll be lucky at this time of night," Replied John.

"Well, I've had far too much to drive."

"Anyway," John insisted, "I don't want you going back there until Lover boy's well and truly gone." He sounded so sober, so firm that George felt momentarily touched.

"Well, what do you suggest I do then?"

"Stay here," Said Jo. "At least I've got somewhere to go," She said, forgetting the problem of transport.

"But I don't want either of you to go," John said, in that pleading, half child-like voice that both women knew only too well.

"I swear you've copied that look from Mimi," Said Jo with a smile.

"Oh no," Said George dryly, "He's been doing that all his life. John, we can't both stay at the digs."

"Why not," He said, clearly having made his mind up. "We may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. I've never spent the night with two women before."

"That, I don't believe," Said George, as they walked towards the digs.

"John, I am not going through another round with the professional conduct committee," Said Jo firmly.

"You won't have to," Replied John succinctly. "Mr. Johnson goes off at midnight, and it's past one now. Nobody will know either of you are there."

"I hope so," Said Jo, badly not wanting another ordeal like the past year had been. They were absolutely silent as John let them in to the digs, and as they walked upstairs to his rooms. When he'd closed the door behind them, George said,

"This feels like being seventeen again and creeping in quietly so that Daddy wouldn't know how late I was."

"That wouldn't have been the summer you tried to seduce his gardener, would it?" Said John with a grin.

"Probably," Replied George, not missing a beat. Jo grinned broadly.

A little while later, when they were all lying in John's large bed, George said,

"This has to be the most surreal experience of my life."

"And that really is saying something," Replied John cynically. George simply rolled her eyes at him. He'd found them both T-shirts to sleep in and they were now lying with him in the middle, George on his left and Jo on his right. He had an arm round each of them, the two women lying on their sides, facing him and with their arms round him. They lay there, drowsily talking, both women gradually slipping towards sleep, when they both became preternaturally aware of exactly what John was doing. In having an arm round each of them, he'd found that his right hand was invitingly close to Jo's right breast, and the other to George's left. It was more than he could stand, not to allow both his hands to wander. Both women were suddenly extremely aware of his delicate fingertips, gently moving on the underside of their breasts, for now simply teasing, but moving with infinite slowness towards their pinnacle. They were both slightly surprised at his advance, but not unduly shocked. This was John after all, and he would never pass up the opportunity of such contact with an attractive woman. But neither were sure as to whether he was doing this to the other. But George, not having had this type of contact with John for many years, couldn't keep quiet for long.

"John," She said, in a tone that could bend steel, "Stop, that, right, now."

"Oh, he's doing that to you too, is he," Replied Jo, with a voice deepened by sleep or arousal, George wasn't sure.

"Why?" He asked, "You both like it." As if to demonstrate his point, he grazed a thumb over George's nipple, making her gasp.

"Yes, I do, damn you," She said, frustrated almost to breaking point. "But you shouldn't be doing this." Jo turned her head slightly so she could look in to John's face.

"No way, John," She said, clearly seeing something there to explain his actions.

"John, if you're thinking what I think you are," Said George, "Then no way is absolutely right."

"Why not," He said with a wicked little smile, "that'd be my idea of heaven, that would."

"Well, I can assure you it wouldn't be mine," Replied George.

"No, nor mine either," Added Jo.

"Why?" Having had that little bit too much to drink, John was now the five-year-old, wanting an explanation for everything.

"Well, for a start," Said George, spelling it out as if to a child. "Both Jo and I are straight."

"You're not," He came back quickly. "Going to bed with another woman has always been one of your fantasies." There was a long, awful pause.

"Well, well," Said Jo softly, "You really do learn something new every day."

"Thank, you, very, much," Said George slowly.

"George," Said Jo carefully, "Would it make you feel any better if I said that you weren't the only one?"

George looked over in to Jo's eyes, seeing nothing there but openness and honesty. No scorn, no laughter, just understanding.

"Really?" She couldn't help asking. Jo grinned.

"Yes. The difference is that I've never been stupid enough to tell him about it." George laughed, the tension almost leaving her completely.

"Why didn't you ever tell me?" John asked, feeling ever so slightly hurt that Jo hadn't confided this little detail about herself in all the years he'd known her.

"Because," Said Jo, turning her head to kiss his cheek, "It would have given you yet one more incentive to get me back in to your bed, and I had enough trouble resisting you as it was."

"That's as good a reason as any, I suppose," He said dryly. He kept both his hands moving, hoping that they might eventually become aroused enough not to be able to say no.

"You're an extremely bad boy, John Deed," George said after a while, and Jo could hear the clear evidence of arousal in her voice. Jo could feel an almost overwhelming curiosity to know what it would be like to induce the sort of feelings she was experiencing now, in another woman. Her right hand was lying on John's chest, and it took an enormous amount of willpower for her not to move it a few inches, to take over from what she knew John was doing to George. Did George sense Jo's urge, neither of them ever knew. But George suddenly had an instinct of her own. Not two feet away from her, lay another woman, another woman who had expressed an interest in going to bed with someone of her own sex. Almost without any prior thought, George gently detached John's hand from her breast, reached for Jo's, and led it back to her breast. Jo's initial contact with George's small, but perfectly formed breast was a shock to both of them. A bolt of electricity seemed to flash between them, simultaneously making them both stop breathing. John, knowing exactly what George was up to, simply waited. Jo was intrigued. So, this is what, to some extent, her breast felt like to John. It's warm, heavy softness rising to a bullet-like hardness at her nipple. When Jo's thumb slid over this already sensitised extremity, George gasped, and to cover up her utterance, she said,

"Are you sure this is the first time you've done this?" Jo laughed huskily.

"Perfectly," She replied. John was beginning to feel ever so slightly left out, but he knew they had to take this at their pace, not his. At the point when George knew she either wanted more stimulation further down, or to stop for a while to get her feelings under control, her hand closed over Jo's, which was still tracing its gentle way over her T-shirt-covered skin. Jo halted her ministrations immediately she felt George's hand cover hers, thinking that she might just know what the other woman wanted. Threading her fingers through George's, she simply held it for a moment, exchanging a questioning glance with George, asking her if this was really what she wanted. At the faintest of nods from George, Jo led her hand over to a slightly fuller chest. Both Jo and John watched as George's eyes widened. As George began giving to Jo what she'd been receiving moments earlier, Jo returned her hand to George, both mimicking the other's movements. John pushed back the duvet so that he could watch them. Both their nipples were, by this time, pushing at the cotton fabric of the T-shirts he'd given them to sleep in.

"Are you feeling abandoned?" Jo asked, softly kissing him.

"Not enormously," He said, "But this could be better for both of you."

"I don't know," Said George, attempting to talk her way through a gasp of pure pleasure, "This is pretty bloody good as it is."

"Nice to know I'm good at something," Quipped Jo. John, after gently disentangling himself, swiftly turned round so that he was facing them. Instinctively, George and Jo moved closer together, each putting an arm around the other and resuming their former occupation. As John watched, utterly transfixed, both women inched a hand under the other's T-shirt, wanting to touch bare skin. But John felt it was time to insinuate his way in to their progress.

"Can we get rid of these?" He said, gently tugging at what they were wearing. As one, the two women pulled off the only thing that had been covering them and when they lay back down, they simply stared at one another.

"Well," Said George slowly, "That certainly answers a few questions." Jo could feel George's eyes as if they were branding her, forever burning the marks of observation in to her skin. Thinking that she could probably put her finger on exactly what particular question had been answered, Jo wanted to put George at her ease. She stretched out a hand and delicately ran a finger over one of George's breasts. George shivered slightly as Jo did this, as the caress of any man, not even John, had ever been so suffused with sheer, unadulterated eroticism. As Jo wanderingly traced the slightly darker skin just under the nipple, George gasped.

"Please don't do that," She said, her entire body suddenly tensing. "It feels far too good."

"I'd have thought that was the point of the exercise," Said John dryly. George began giving Jo similar treatment, partly to show her just why she'd said what she had, and to keep her own mind slightly distracted from the waves of pure, undiluted lust which were steadily drowning her.

John couldn't believe what he was seeing. The two women who'd used him as a reason to verbally scrap most of their lives, were now in his bed, giving him the most erotic display he'd ever seen. Not in his wildest dreams could he ever have thought this might one-day happen.

"I don't think we're the only ones enjoying this," Said Jo, gesturing to John's boxer-clad arousal which, though still covered, was nevertheless making its presence obvious.

"Someone ought to be calling all rise," said George, which made John laugh. Thinking it was definitely time to take the situation a stage further, he gently rested a hand on each of their thighs. As if he'd pressed a well-concealed button, their legs widened simultaneously to give him better access. As John inched a hand between Jo's legs, to seek out her hidden pleasure points, she let out a low, throaty moan which made George smile.

"I wouldn't have thought of you as a moaner," She said, a wicked grin lighting up her face.

"Whereas I've always thought you would be nothing less than a screamer," Replied Jo, still able to verbally give as good as she got.

"It has been known," put in John, insinuating his other hand between George's extremely well sculptured thighs, discovering to his delight that she still preferred to shave.

"Not for a long time," Said George, her reaction to both male and female hands making her spill her innermost thoughts.

"Have you noticed," Said Jo, her voice now matching George's for lack of stability. "That John's left hand is just as good as his right?"

"I know," Replied George, thinking that she couldn't hold out much longer. "You might almost think he'd done this before."

"I wish," came the deep, familiar voice that could turn women to putty in seconds. A few moments later, George stopped touching Jo in favour of grabbing her hand, needing something solid and reassuring to cling on to as she rode the waves of her orgasm. George couldn't help it, she just had to let out a cry of total abandonment as she was tossed here and there by the tide of ecstasy. She squeezed Jo's hand so hard, that Jo would have winced if she'd not followed on the path of pleasure very soon after. Jo's breathing may have quickened, her body going rigid before becoming thoroughly relaxed, but to all intents and purposes she was almost silent. How odd, John thought fleetingly, to see two of his favourite women climax at virtually the same time, and to be able to observe their differences and similarities. But as he gently withdrew his hands, and Jo's breathing returned to normal, they realised that there were tears in George's eyes. John gently moved to lie beside her, placing her now in between him and Jo. Putting his arms round her, he said,

"Are you all right?"

"Yes, yes," She said, to reassure them. "I'm fine. I'd just forgotten how good simple foreplay could be, that's all."

"Lover boy not living up to his name, then?"

"No," George laughed mirthlessly. Jo had been lying slightly apart from them, wanting to give George some space if she needed it. But putting out an arm, George gently drew Jo gradually closer until she could kiss her. To both of them, the gentle feel of soft, female lips was enchanting. John felt acutely touched as he watched them being so gentle with each other. If only they'd done this years ago, it would have saved all three of them an enormous amount of grief.

"So," Said George, finally breaking away from Jo and turning her gaze back on John. "What are we going to do about you?"

John knitted his brows together, clearly deep in thought.

"I've almost had too much to drink for that," He said eventually. George laughed.

"That'd be a first," Said Jo with a broad smile.

"Quite," Agreed George, "John, you've never had too much to drink for that."

"Well, I certainly haven't got it in me to make love to both of you."

"Well, I think that particular pleasure is your prerogative these days," George said, looking straight at Jo.

"Oh, no," Said Jo with a theatrical shudder. "The last time I did that in this bed, I was brought up in front of the professional conduct committee. I'm not tempting fate by doing it again."

"I knew it," Said George in total triumph. "As soon as I saw those photographs, I knew I was right."

"Let's not get in to that now," Said John, wanting to avoid any possibility of an argument.

"Point taken," Conceded George. "But are you absolutely sure about this?" She asked Jo, not wanting to inadvertently tread on any toes. Jo grinned at her.

"Be my guest," She said. George fixed Jo with a very knowing stare.

"You're going to enjoy this, aren't you," She said, with all the certainty of someone well used to ferreting out the truth.

"Perhaps now's the time to find that out," She said, not giving George a straight answer, but nevertheless giving her the go ahead she needed. Whilst George and Jo had been talking, John had divested himself of his boxers and had returned to bed feeling a certain amount of curiosity. What would George be like after all this time? Would he still be able to do it for her in that way? Would she have changed much since they were married? George seemed to sense what he was thinking because she said,

"Do you have any idea how long it's been?"

"About seventeen years?"

"That's a very long time in love and war," Jo commented dryly. As John put an arm round George and began kissing her, George couldn't help her eyes continuously straying to Jo, lying beside them as if this was the most normal thing in the world. But Jo simply smiled at her, always letting her know that this was perfectly okay. George had one arm round John, but she reached out with her other hand to take hold of Jo's left one. Jo took this as a sign that George wanted her to be part of this as much as possible. Turning on to her side in order to be able to reach, Jo traced the planes of John's well-muscled chest, eventually moving lower until she was giving his erection the attention it clearly deserved.

"Don't give him too much," Said George with a smirk. "I would like him to last a little longer than five minutes."

"I have never failed anyone yet on that score," Said John, his voice deep, firm, and almost menacing with the intent to prove his point. As if to further his assertion, he gently detached Jo's hand from it's quest and moved between George's eagerly spread legs. Remembering only too well the exact angle of her body, he launched himself inside her, provoking a gasp from her at the sudden, though nevertheless welcome intrusion. As John moved inside her, George threw her left arm round him, but still kept hold of Jo's hand, wanting her to feel as much of her experience as possible. But not long in to this climb towards pleasure's peak, George became aware of Jo's slightly quickened breathing, and peering over John's shoulder, she could just make out Jo's right hand moving between her legs.

"So," George said, a thoroughly wicked grin on her face. "You're a closet voyeur at heart as well, are you?"

"Tonight seems to be the night for realisations and first times," Replied Jo. Never one to pass up a possible challenge, George reached down, gently removed Jo's hand from between her thighs, and replaced it with her own.

"Oh, wow," Groaned Jo in complete abandon. "It isn't hard to see how you've been making up for some people's inadequacies." George laughed. John inched his right hand between himself and George, to coax her clit in to joining them in the pursuit of ecstasy, and when he knew that both he and George were close, he used his left arm to pull Jo even closer. As their collective orgasm approached, he turned his head enough to be able to seal his mouth on Jo's, to kiss her long and hard whilst he rode the inevitable waves of passion. George's right hand had become somewhat crushed between Jo's legs as John had pulled her closer, but this didn't prevent it from increasing its speed to match what John was achieving inside her. The combination of the unfamiliar yet thoroughly erotic sight of John and George screwing the life out of each other right next to her, and the infinite silkiness of George's fingers on and inside her, served to push Jo over the edge for the second time that night. Though this time, she couldn't help emitting a heart felt cry of her own. When John gently withdrew, and lay down on George's left, George also withdrew her hand with incredible tenderness from between Jo's thighs, putting an arm round her as if to prevent her from going somewhere. They lay, replete, sated, as carnivores after a long overdue feed.

"I'll make a screamer of you yet," Said John, looking over at Jo with a broad smile.

"Oh, will you now," Jo replied, content for the moment to let him think anything he liked. When the heat of passion began to wear off, George reached for the duvet and pulled it over the three of them, herself still lying in the middle. They talked a little longer, but with too much alcohol, and the added bonus of some utterly incredible sex, they all fell asleep relatively quickly, their arms carelessly draped round each other, communal even to the last closing eye.

It was a couple of hours later, and Jo didn't know what had woken her. She was lying on her right side, facing away from the other two, but something, some sound, some feeling, had dragged her from the depths of sleep. She could hear the reassuring sound of John's slow, deep breathing, telling her that he was definitely sound asleep. Listening for the same from George, she could hear the faintest catch in the other woman's breathing, as if she was having difficulty keeping it under control. Slowly turning over to face her, Jo could just make out the slight glisten of tears in George's eyes, and could see that she was definitely wide awake. Gently putting her arms round George, she turned George to face her, almost bringing them skin to skin.

"Did I wake you?" George asked, almost in a whisper.

"Yes," Said Jo, equally quietly. "It doesn't matter."

"I'm sorry," Said George, feeling thoroughly stupid.

"Shh," Said Jo softly, running a hand up and down George's back. Then, taking a stab in the dark, she said, "What really happened with Neil?" George gave Jo a watery smile.

"No more than I said really," She began. "Just, every time he's," She searched for the right word, "Touched me over the last week or so, all I could see was that picture he'd encouraged Max Solvay to put on John's computer."

"Ah," Responded Jo, understanding in an instant the torment George had been going through. "George, you may have defended some pretty reprehensible people in your time, but even I know you wouldn't have knowingly ignored something like that if you'd known it was going to happen." George laughed softly.

"I'll take that as a complement," She said. Then, turning serious again, she added, "I think I needed what happened tonight."

"Strange as it sounds," Replied Jo, "I think we all did." George moved her face ever so slightly closer until she could gently press her lips on Jo's. They lay quiet for a time, just holding each other close and occasionally kissing.

"Tell me something," Jo said eventually. "Earlier, when you said that a few questions had been answered, what did you mean?"

"I'd always wondered," Replied George, "Why John fell for you in the first place, and why he's stayed hopelessly in love with you all these years. When I saw you tonight, when I saw just what you've been hiding under all those formal suits you wear for court, I knew." She lay a soft, warm hand on one of Jo's breasts, gently stroking the silky soft skin. "You have a cleavage to die for, and legs that seem to go on for ever. John's always had a thing about legs." Jo was temporarily speechless. She'd always thought of George as the glamorous one, the beautiful one, the one who, by virtue of her looks alone, could have men dangling from her fingertips. She found herself slightly blushing at such an open complement.

"Thank you," Jo said eventually. "That's something I would never have expected to hear from you."

"Enjoy it while it lasts," Said George dryly. Jo smiled, and began kissing away the remaining traces of George's tears. As they drifted again towards sleep, they moved as one even closer together, their legs entwining, their bodies pressed against each other, their heads, for this night alone, nestled on the same pillow.

When John awoke around eight the next morning, he looked over at the two women, to verify that last night hadn't been just a dream. They looked so peaceful, wrapped around each other, as they were, certainly not in the position they'd been when they'd originally gone to sleep. Silently getting out of bed, he pulled on some clothes, and took Mimi downstairs to let her out. George was the next to wake, lying still for the moment, briefly unable to believe what had happened the night before. It wasn't just the sex that made her feel an unfamiliar sense of bewilderment, but the little talk she and Jo had had in the small hours. How could she? How could she, George, have not only slept with her greatest rival, but have divulged quite so many of her vulnerabilities. Gently disentangling herself, so as not to wake Jo, George locked herself in the bathroom and took a long hot shower. In scrubbing away every physical sign of John from her body, she wondered if she was perhaps trying to banish the memories of how good last night had been, not only with John but with Jo too. When she emerged from the shower, wrapped in a towel, she could see that Jo's eyes were open, but she didn't acknowledge the fact. She perched on the end of the bed to put her clothes on, her hands shaking with a combination of hangover and lack of sleep. Jo had been watching George's fruitless struggle with the catch of her bra, her hands trembling so much that she just couldn't fasten it. Eventually, Jo sat up, and as George had her back to her, gently removed George's hands and fastened the clasp herself. Still neither of them said a word. Only when George was dressed, and was standing in front of the mirror, attempting to apply the bare essentials of make up, did Jo think it was time to speak.

"If you feel as hung over as you look," Said Jo carefully, "There's some Resolve in the bathroom cabinet." George swung round, a mascara wand in her hand, looking like she'd been miles away.

"I'm all right," She replied slightly unsteadily. "I'm just tired." Jo watched as George turned back to the mirror.

"What happened last night has really thrown you, hasn't it." When George turned to face Jo this time, her eyes were filled with some of the old anger, but tinged not with loathing but with fear and confusion.

"You've always had a knack," She said scornfully, "Of stating the bloody obvious." Jo took a breath to reply, but George hadn't finished. "I have loathed and despised you for too much of my life. The total animosity between us has been part of my identity, part of who I am for more years than I care to remember. But now, that part of me is gone, and I don't know how to feel." Tears rose to her eyes, but she furiously blinked them away. "I'm no longer who I thought I was." Picking up her handbag, she stalked downstairs, to see John drinking a cup of tea and reading the paper.

"I was just going to bring you some tea," He said on seeing her.

"No need," Said George shortly. "I'm not staying. Jo might like some, though."

"Are you all right?" He asked in concern, seeing that something had seriously upset her. Ignoring his question, George moved to open the lounge door. But just before she did, she turned to face him.

"John, I'm going to give you one little piece of advice. Don't screw up with Jo the way you did with me. You've got something worth hanging on to, so don't do your usual and throw it away for the next nameless fling that catches your eye. Jo doesn't deserve it." Opening the door, she left him, looking after her with a feeling of complete astonishment. He'd never expected anything like this from George, not ever, which made him wonder if this time, she might just be right.

The End

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