After a four hour drive with only one rest stop she found sanitary enough to use, Audrey felt both exhausted and gross. Her ass had begun to go numb after about the third hour of driving.
With a weary brush of her hand she tried again to keep her bangs out of her eyes and was seriously considering just hacking all of her hair off to be rid of the nuisance. She reached down, fingers searching for her latest purchase of gas-station coffee but kept finding the empty cups she had never remembered to throw out. When she did find a cup with enough liquid to gulp down, it was cold and made her grimace. This swill had nothing on the dessert-like coffee that Haven offered.
Just as she was debating over what she would buy first when she returned, she saw the faded and weathered sign welcoming her back to Haven. The muscles in her shoulders and back seemed to relax instinctively. The pace in Haven wasn’t what anyone would call slow with the Troubles around, but it was her home now and she had been driving since dawn, so she was looking forward to reuniting with her shower, her towels and most of all, her bed.
She parked in the driveway, opened her door and went around to the trunk to unload her suitcase when she was attacked from behind.
Luckily for this particular attacker, Audrey recognized the flannel-covered arms that held her and didn’t throw them off her shoulders, slamming the body to the ground. The rear door of the car was open in front of her and she was starting to wish she’d packed with more care this morning. Without coffee to wake her up, the contents of her duffle bag had just been haphazardly thrown into the trunk.
Strong arms pinned hers but she still strained for the strap of the bag, hoping to at least cover up some of her toiletries.
Before she could grasp the handle, she was swung around. “Nath---umf.”
His lips cut her off before she could say anything else. All thoughts of deodorant and tampons slipped from her mind as his lips pressed warm and inviting against her own. His fingers wound their way around her ponytail, using her hair to dip her head back and deepen the kiss. Her arms involuntarily rose to his shoulders for balance and she felt herself rise to her toes in an effort to reach him. When he moved down to place open-mouthed kisses along her neck, she used the reprieve to take a small step back, allowing her to catch her breath.
She looked up at him, smiling. “Uh, hello to you too.”
“You were gone a real long time.”
“I’m guessing you missed me?”
His arms came down to wrap around her waist, moving dangerously lower the longer they stood there. “Let’s just say that I would prefer if you weren’t to go anywhere for that long again.”
“Maybe you’ll just have to come with me next time I have to testify in court on an old case.”
She just smirked when met with his silence. She honestly hadn’t expected him to jump at the offer, Nathan just didn’t feel comfortable leaving Haven but if it meant that he was always here to come home to, that was okay with Audrey.
She turned back around to collect her bag, only to see that he’d already scooped up the contents of her trunk with one pass and that her now-overflowing duffle was already in his hand. He hefted it up to his shoulder so he could hook an arm around her, quickly steering her into the house.
As exhausted as she was, she just let herself be pulled along until she was inside the house. Once inside, she instantly felt more relaxed as the smell of craft glue and Mrs. McDowell’s homemade apple pie surrounded her. She was just about to ask Nathan if he had left any for her, but before she could ask she was twirled around and he moved in, herding her backwards with a greedy look on his face until she bumped up against the wood of the front hall closet. He bent down to crash his mouth against hers, his breath hot and cinnamon-spiced and she traced his bottom lip with her tongue. His arms were wrapped tight around her, but they were drifted down to cradle her thighs as their kisses got needy and hungry.
Without warning, she felt her toes being raised from the floor as he lifted her up to better match his height, the only keeping thing keeping her up was the way his body was pressing hers against the closet. She shifted into him and wrapped her legs around his waist, allowing him to fully lift her up and walk her into the kitchen. He set her back down on the island in the center, his lips skimming kisses across her skin the whole time.
Now that he wasn’t supporting her, his hands could trace up the seams of her shirt, and he could devote himself to nuzzling against her skin until she pulled him back for a kiss that made her toes curl.
It was when she felt him begin to undo the first button on her shirt that her brain finally came back from its Nathan-induced vacation and she pulled back, one hand pushing at his chest and the other coming up to cup his cheek.
“Hey.” She said softly, trying to catch his eyes. “Mind me asking what this is all about? You okay?”
“Better than okay. You’re back.” He smiled at her.
“You’re finally back.” He mumbled before finding better use for his lips than pointless talking. She knew that Nathan would never admit to having a rough time and that she this was all the answer she was probably going to get on that subject tonight.
She thought that she almost heard him say something like, “Fuck, I needed you,” and the desperation in his voice made her heart twist.
His words were muffled by her hair as he nipped and sucked at her neck. She normally loved when Nathan got crazed like this; it was a powerful and heady feeling to have someone so fixated on her. But right now it just made her feel self-conscious as she recalled all the grease in her hair and dirt on her skin. She hadn’t had time to wash up before she left, preferring instead to hurry home. She pushed again, this time able to wiggle out from his grasp.
He looked so worried that she had to send him a reassuring smile, her hands moved to bracket his face. “I missed you too.” She brushed hair off his forehead, mussed from her fingers. He seemed to take this as encouragement, moving in for another kiss.
She shifted, turning her face away from him so he merely grazed her cheek. “But I’m exhausted and I’m covered in seven hours worth of travel and bad gas station washrooms. Did you know that Maine only has two radio stations? And that both are geared towards geriatrics? All I want now is a shower and sleep.”
“A shower, huh?” His lips quirked up in a mischievous grin. “My morning routine just hasn’t been the same without you.” He moved his fingers back to the buttons on her shirt, “Let’s get you out of these clothes.”
She stilled his hands, repeating herself. “A shower. By myself.”
He bent his knees so that he was looking up at her, studying her face. “Sure I can’t change your mind?” His eyes held a promise she was sure to take him up on some other time.
“Not now. I’m sorry, I’m just too tired.”
He backed away, giving her enough space to hop down from the island counter, allowing her to slip past while his fingers stretched to stay on her skin for as long as possible. She heard a sigh when she’d moved out of reach.
She didn’t have enough energy to feel guilty and honestly, Nathan was too much of a gentleman to care. Her suspicions were proved correct when she finally stepped out from a long, hot shower to see that along with a note written on the steamed-up mirror, Nathan has placed a mug of tea, a glass of brandy and her embarrassingly ratty, but incredibly fluffy, bath robe on the sink counter. A wave of affection overwhelmed her as she slipped her arms through the sleeves, rubbing the soft terry cloth against her bare skin.
She noted that he had removed her duffle bag from the bathroom floor, probably to start on her laundry, but she didn’t overlook the fact that it left her naked. She just chuckled into her mug and remembered how after the first week, she had also gone a bit stir-crazy and missing his touch. She had no idea the deposition would last so long and she could only imagine how hard it must have been for Nathan to go without the only physical contact he had felt in a decade.
Nevertheless, she was fighting to keep her eyes open and left the steam of the bathroom for the cushion of her bed. She hummed contentedly, finally at peace as she lay on the bed in her robe. The view from the window was idyllic. Buds were just starting to blossom on the apple tree in the backyard and she couldn’t hear any noise from the street. It seemed a bit too quiet, actually. She shifted in place, trying to find a more comfortable spot. Maybe it was the resulting pain from her poor driving posture but the bed didn’t seem to mould to her body as it usually did. She wriggled around, trying to carve out a curve for herself. When that didn’t work, she sat up and fluffed her pillow, trying to make it stay upright before giving up with an exaggerated sigh.
“You’re bored, aren’t you?” She didn’t jump at Nathan’s voice, used to his habit of entering rooms without announcing his presence. As much as she threatened to put a bell on him, she knew part of what made him such a great cop was his ability to sneak up on people.
However, she did cross her arms, upset that he caught her. “Nope. I’m relaxing.”
He raised his eyebrows, a rare grin teasing at the corners of his mouth. “I didn’t think you knew how to relax.”
“I’ll have you know that before I came to this town, I was an avid reader!”
“Well, all the things I read about started happening around me and I guess I kinda lost my taste for it.”
“Well, you could always take up knitting.” He deftly dodged a flying pillow that was thrown with near-perfect aim.
He held his hands up in surrender. “Okay, you’re not at all bored with a quiet afternoon ahead of you. You are not at all disturbed that we’re both off-duty today so there’ll be no calls about strange murders or robberies to interrupt your plans of rest.”
She scowled at him, rolling over so her back faced him. She felt the dip of the mattress as he sat down on the far side of the bed.
“But if you were bored, hypothetically speaking of course, you could let me entertain you. I promise you won’t have to do anything but lie there.”
She bent with laughter, temporarily forgetting how annoyed she was. “Has that line ever worked in the history of the universe?”
“C’mon, I can guarantee you a good time. You’ll forget all about the long drive and the mind-numbing paperwork.” He shifted closer and guided her body so that he could massage her neck. She let her muscles stretch and relax under his fingers.
The tense feeling that had made her bones felt strung too tight over the past week hadn’t be eased by the shower, however long or hot it was. But it was now being worked out by his long, work-worn hands. When he gently dragged the collar of her robe down to expose more skin, she rolled her shoulders into the massage, practically purring like a kitten. He began placing soft kisses on her back, moving lower as the hold on her robe loosened. “I’ve thought about nothing else for the last two weeks.”
“You thought about me? About what we would do when I came home?” She smiled at the thought that Nathan had been planning how he’d welcome her home. She’d have to ask him what his real seduction plans had been for this evening, see if she could coax him to treat her to it some other time.
He nodded, before realizing she couldn’t see. “Would you believe that none of my grand plans included accosting you the minute you stepped through the door?”
She laughed. “I believe it. You’re too much of a sap. In fact, I’m surprised there aren’t any candles or rose petals in here.”
“And give you ammunition to last you until New Years? No, thank you. My romantic side stops at cooking you dinner.”
She moans at the thought, she’d been existing on cheap takeout and Bureau coffee for too long. “There was dinner?”
“Trust me, you look more delicious than anything I could ever make.”
She chuckled as his fingers swept down to the base of her spine. “Okay, that line went over better than the last one. Keep it up, Wournos.”
He leaned in close, his whisper cooling down her steam-warmed skin. “The flattery? Or the backrub?”
Sick of his teasing, she angled her body so he could see the swell of her breast above the robe and smiled victoriously as his fingers lost their grace for a moment.“Well, I thought of you too. Of how I wanted you to touch me and what I’d do in return.”
He groaned, fingers digging deeper into her, reaching out to possess every inch he could. She leaned back into him so that his hands were trapped between their bodies and her back was pressed flush against the buttons of his flannel.
“I would imagine that you were there with me in the hotel. We could be really loud without worrying about the whole town finding out. The walls could shake and I wouldn’t have to worry about looking Laverne in the eyes the next morning.”
“Mmmm, wall-shaking sex?” He murmured, trying to sneak his fingers to the sides, the tips of his fingers only managing to ghost over her hips. They fluttered against her through the thick cloth and she closed her eyes, let out an intentional sigh that had his own breath shuddering. “Earth-shattering sex.” She confirmed, not even to bother filtering the satisfaction out of her voice when he seemed lost for words.
His hands seemed to be the only things still functioning as they traced up her ribs to cup her breasts, thumbs brushing her nipples through the fabric. “And I remembered that time at Duke’s last birthday party when you pulled me in the supply room. I imagined that you did that again, just held my wrists up and fucked me up against the wall until I couldn’t catch my breath.”
She turned around to face him, letting the robe finally fall completely open and slid her hands up his chest, wishing he was just as exposed as she was. She cursed the buttons on his shirt. “Only this time you weren’t wearing a ridiculous suit that I couldn’t get undone. I stripped you down before I let you near me and the feeling of your skin against mine was heaven.”
He hadn't been able to help her remove his clothes, still too stunned by the woman in his arms. Slowly his brain seemed to clear from the fog that was Audrey. He pulled her into his arms, kissing her with a fierce passion. He remembered that night well, she had looked like a golden goddess and her joyous, carefree laugh had unleashed some need in him to be near her. Once he got close, her scent made it impossible to move away again and he was trapped circling her, forced to look but not touch until the temptation was too much.
“You looked sinful in that dress, made your legs look miles long. You had those sexy shoes, some strappy thing that you made me help you with. I looked up at you from the ground, my fingers still circling your ankle and your legs were like a siren song. It just a matter of how long I’d last---"
She cut him off with another scorching kiss, wrapping her arms tight around him, loving the feel of his shoulderblades beneath her palms.
“I’m sorry I ripped your dress that night.”
“It’s okay. In fact, I seem to remember you making it up to me that night.”
“It was my pleasure.” He smiled, brushing hair behind her ear. “You know, maybe we can wander down memory lane a little bit longer before you need to sleep.”
She was fumbling with his belt and looked up at him, the intense look in his eyes making her flush. “I can’t explain it, but I’m suddenly feeling much more alert.”
“Must be all that caffeine you drank, you could be up for hours.”
“Guess you’ll have to entertain me after all.”
“It’s the least I could do.”