Holder never really considered himself a modest person. Okay, strike that. Holder is not a modest person. But when Sarah's eyes linger too long on the scar just below his right shoulder, he can feel a blush creeping into his cheeks.
"Long story," he tells her, and watches her blush instead.
She drops her gaze from the bullet wound and turns toward the modest hotel closet. "Aren't they all?" she says, but her voice is drowned out by another crack of thunder and Holder can only just make out what she says.
She kneels down, fishing out a sweater from the duffel on the floor and hands it to him. "This should fit. It was Rick's."
"I don't suppose you got anything else in there?" he asks, gesturing to his jeans, soaked through with rain.
She turns back to the bag, and after a minute she hands him an old worn pair of pajama pants, shrugging. "That's all I've got." She rises, and makes her way to the kitchenette. "I'm on coffee," she says. "You can change in the bathroom."
A smile tugs at the ends of his lips..
"Where's Jackie boy tonight?" Holder asks over a cup of steaming coffee, cream, and four sugars.
Sarah... He's not sure when he started thinking of her as Sarah, maybe it was that day her kid went missing. Anyway, Sarah fiddles with her phone a second and then looks up at him. "Regi's back in town," she says. "He's with her. He'll be safe."
He watches her close her eyes for a minute, studies the tiny cut above her left eyelid.
"Do you have any idea who that guy was?" she finally asks.
Holder leans across the table, remembering the scuffle, Sarah lying unconscious in the rain, the footsteps of the guy running off into the storm, squeezing out a single shot before rushing to her side. He reaches up to touch the corner of her eye. "Nah, but that fucker's got some explaining to do."
"You can't go back to your place," she says, suddenly, gravely.
"You should put some ice on that," he says, dropping his hand to the table. "They got one of those ice machines round here?"
"The paramedics said I'm fine," she insists. "I'm serious. You can't go back there. You'll stay here tonight."
"Alright already," he says with a chuckle. "Worry, worry, worry. Just like a mother."
"If you weren't so stubborn..." she starts.
"Look who's talking, now." Holder pushes back from the table. "I'm getting you some ice." And then, off her look, "shut up about it."
It's 3:30 AM when Sarah wakes up. She must have heard him moving around in the dark. Jack's sleeping bag isn't exactly the most comfortable thing in the world and so he gets up and chokes down some cold coffee and sits at the end of her bed, his back propped up against the box spring and mattress. His eyes are lulling to a close when he hears her whisper.
After saying his name a few times, she crawls to the end of the bed and slips next to him on the floor.
"Stop pretending," she says, her voice still a whisper.
Holder opens one eye, cocks his head in her direction.
Sarah's wearing a tight fitting tank top and a pair of pajama shorts, her knees pulled to her chest. "I couldn't sleep either," she admits out loud.
There's really no need to talk about all the reasons. They both are more than aware of what's on the other one's mind. The clusterfuck of the investigation, going after Richmond, the Larsens and their knack for taking matters into their own hands, Belko, his own personal meltdown, the police involvement. Who knows how far that shit goes. And now this joker outside his place. Was he a part of all of this? Or just some miscreant from his shady past? Either way, Holder blames himself for what happened to Sarah tonight. He blames himself for a lot.
Sarah nudges him with her shoulder.
"Oh, come on," she says. "It's not so bad."
Holder laughs. Because really? That's one of the funniest fucking things he's ever heard in his life. And he's heard a lot.
Then, Sarah's got this grin on her face and her hand's resting on his knee, and Holder's gripping her neck and pulling her to him and they're kissing. She seems surprised, but not completely uninterested because he can feel her hand running through his hair and can hear a sound escape from the back of her throat. And then it's him who's pulling back and looking at her to make sure she's not totally going out of her mind, and Sarah puts a hand to his lips and shakes her head ever so slightly. Translation: Don't screw this up by talking. Holder's no dummy, so he grabs her by the waist and kisses her again, sliding on top of her on the floor. There are only a couple of layers of clothing between them, he took that damn bulky sweater off hours ago, and he's sure the rest won't last long, but he kisses her until she's breathless and tugging at him, her fingers gripping his bare arm like a vise and she's practically begging for it. He leans up, sliding her shorts over her ass and off of her legs. Her hands go to his pajama bottoms loosening the tie and reaching for the elastic.
He looks down at her, grinning.
"Shut up," Sarah says, reaches for his neck and pulls him back down to her.
In the morning, Sarah showers first and Holder makes a fresh pot of coffee.
"You got any Lucky Charms up in here?" he calls when he hears the bathroom door open.
Sarah's got one towel wrapped around her head, another tightly knotted under her arms. "Top cabinet," she says, taking the mug of coffee from him and finding a seat at the table without batting an eye.
Aside from the unorthodox dress, things seem to be business as usual, and Holder decides he isn't going to press his luck, not today.
"Here," Holder says, handing her one of the case files he'd been studying while she showered. "I'll make breakfast. You tell me where we start."