Deputy Marshal Tim Gutterson sat in near darkness at his desk, tiredly filling out paperwork. Raylan and Rachel were in Harlan and the others in the office had left hours ago, heading home to husbands and wives.
He didn't have such attachments and as such was often the office scut worker, finishing paperwork that others had left or taking shit work that no one else wanted. It didn't bother him so much though; he didn't have much else to do after leaving the office other than drink.
His phone pulsed and he sighed, turning to look at the screen.
Hey. You busy? (7:58pm)
A smirk crossed his lips. The new AUSA working with Vasquez to help them bring down Boyd was a piece of work—originally from Harlan, she was fiery, sarcastic, smart as a whip, and gorgeous to boot.
They had been working together for weeks now and on a number of occasions he had flirted with her, albeit in his dry, humorless manner—and had been shocked when she had flirted right back, her eyes challenging him.
In quiet moments he wondered what the hell she saw in him, but he found he couldn't stop flirting with her, every dazzling smile or witty comeback she sent his way enticed him further.
He typed back after a moment of hesitation.
Just finishing up paperwork at the office. What do you need? (8:00pm)
He watched as she replied, wondering what she could want at this time of night, hoping it wasn't about work. Realistically he knew that was unlikely. They had gone for drinks once or twice, but he had never made anything happen, and she had seemed interested...but aloof.
Need to see you. Be there soon. (8:01pm)
Tim lifted a brow at her response. What could she need to see him about at 8 o'clock at night? Shaking his head he turned his attention back to his computer and continued to fill out paperwork, glancing back at the phone occasionally, wondering what was prompting this visit.
Ten minutes later there was a knock at the office doors and when he looked up he smiled faintly; Charlotte was standing there, her long dark hair pulled up in a bun with pieces straggling around her face, her clothing and hair plastered to her.
As he walked to the doors to let her in he realized it was raining, and probably had been for hours—he just hadn't noticed. Pushing open the door he wrapped a hand around her shoulder and pulled her inside, "What's up Charlie?" he asked softly.
She shivered under his hand and he led her over to his desk, grabbing his jacket off his chair to wrap around her shoulders. She smiled faintly at him and pulled it tightly around her, brushing at the wet strands of hair hanging in her face.
"I think..." she hesitated and then nodded, "Boyd's men just ran me off the road," she told him, her brows furrowed with confusion.
Tim inhaled slowly, anger and worry suffusing him. He crouched down and lifted a hand to cup her chin, lifting her face towards the light—looking for any sign of injury.
"Are you hurt?" he asked softly, running his hand down to cup against her neck, feeling her shiver under his touch once again.
She shook her head and reached a hand up to wrap around his wrist, her gaze penetrating as she squeezed softly, "No. I'm okay. Maybe a little whiplash," she conceded.
Tim nodded slowly, his mind analyzing and working overtime. "Did you see any of their faces?" he asked, watching her as she thought.
"No, but I saw the car as it drove away," she murmured, smiling smugly.
"Good. Good work," Tim encouraged, reaching for a notepad to write down her description.
"It was a Nissan, dark blue or black, it was hard to tell in the rain. Late model, with only three hubcaps."
Tim nodded and wrote quickly, glancing back up at her to smile encouragingly. "Did you get a plate?" he asked.
"No, I'm sorry, not a full one." She hesitated and closed her eyes, her brow furrowing, "It was...JY9...I think?" she sighed and opened her eyes, giving him a regretful look. "I'm sorry I can't remember more," she murmured.
Tim smiled faintly, "You did better than most people, don't worry," he assured her. He stood and leaned over his desk, typing into the national database to try and find the car. After a few minutes it spit back 100 results, 20 of them with KY plates.
Charlotte stood and peered at the results, frowning. "That's a lot of names to run down," she murmured. "I can't ask you to do all that work alone," she said, glancing up at him. "I'll put on some coffee and we'll work through it together," she told him, grinning eagerly.
Before Tim had a chance to object she had moved across the office to turn on the coffee maker, shedding his coat along the way. He tried not to notice the way her light cotton dress clung to her damply, her soft curves highly evident.
He had been trying not to notice Charlotte for months now with minimal success. He had ended up flirting with her somewhere along the way when he had realized just how funny and charming she was, and just how much he wanted to fuck her.
Thunder rumbled loudly outside the building and Charlotte glanced up as the power flickered for a moment, her eyes wide. She quickly poured two mugs of coffee and handed one over to Tim, "Should we get to work before the power goes out?" she suggested.
He nodded and she grabbed a chair from the conference room before sitting next to Tim, edging close so that he could smell the rain in her hair. He inhaled slowly and fidgeted for a moment before forcing himself to turn his attention to the list of cars that had been pulled from the database.
Tim entered new parameters and narrowed the list to just the 20 KY plates. "Okay, let's see who these belong to," he murmured. They began flipping through the DMV photos, Tim writing down the names as Charlotte recognized Boyd's associates.
When they finished they had five suspects and Tim felt better about their chances about finding who had run her off the road.
Thunder rumbled and lightning flashed, illuminating the dark confines of the Marshal's office.
"Jeez. It's really gettin bad out there," Charlotte murmured, turning to peer out the window. Her cardigan slipped from her shoulder and Tim noticed in the crook of her shoulder a bruise beginning to form.
Reaching out he pushed the cardigan off her arm and frowned, the bruise was bigger than it had looked. Charlotte shivered under his touch and turned to look at him, her eyes wide and dark.
"You said you weren't hurt," Tim said, accusing her softly.
She licked her lips quickly and he couldn't help but stare at them for a moment before turning his gaze back to her eyes.
"It's just from where I slammed into the door. It's fine, I promise."
Tim's brow furrowed, "You sure?" he asked softly, his hand at her shoulder sliding up to cup around her throat again, his thumb brushing over the soft skin of her neck gently.
Charlotte bit back a moan at the feel of his rough skin against her. God she had wanted to feel him against her for so long. She wanted more...
Swallowing hard she nodded, "I'm sure," she whispered. Taking a shallow breath she leaned in and had the satisfaction of watching as his brilliant blue eyes went wide. Her lips brushed against his and his hand at her neck tightened, holding her close.
A moment later he was pushing her away.
"We-we can't," he breathed, his words brushed against her lips they were still so close. "Charlie, we can't, the cameras," he whispered.
"Fuck the cameras," she whispered back and slid from her chair and into his lap, spreading her knees over his hips, her breath stuttering in her chest as his body aligned with hers. She had fantasized about this for nearly as long as she had known Tim, and fuck if some security cameras were going to stop her.
Her fingers wound through his hair, turning his face up to hers so she could kiss him again, her mouth hungry and demanding against his. Tim groaned and she smirked briefly when he wrapped his hands around her thighs, gripping her tightly.
She feasted on his mouth, tugging at that full bottom lip that had teased her for months, a low whimper escaping her when his hands slid higher and grabbed her ass, kneading the full, firm flesh.
Tim reached a hand up and tugged at the messy bun her hair was in, eager to wind his fingers through those long dark locks. A moment later they spilled down around his face and the scent of rain and pears surrounded him.
His fingers tangled in her hair as she sucked on the skin of his neck, eagerly working on leaving him with a hickey. He palmed her ass and groaned, his hips jerking up at the sensation of her grinding down against him, her hot center pressing firmly against his growing erection.
The sounds of their moans and pants were the only sounds in the barren office other than the occasional squeaks from his put upon office chair. Thunder rumbled outside the window and lightning flashed so brightly it blinded him momentarily.
Charlotte slid her hand inside the V of Tim's shirt, working the buttons loose and groaned softly at the chest hair that speckled his chest. She had seen it peeking out on a number of occasions and had wanted to run her hands over him badly.
A moment later Tim pushed her back and shook his head, breathing just as hard as her. "We, we can't. We'll both get in trouble. We'll get in trouble just for this," he reminded her.
Charlotte pouted and trailed her fingers down his chest towards his belt buckle, smirking when his muscles jumped under her touch and he quickly snatched her hand away. "Charlie," he murmured warningly.
She sighed and smiled faintly, "Fine. Where in here isn't covered by security cameras?" she asked. "Locker rooms?" she suggested.
Tim huffed a breath. He wasn't about to have sex with her in the locker rooms.
Thunder rumbled so loudly it seemed to shake the building and a breath later the power flickered rapidly before winking out completely. Tim looked around in confusion, waiting for the backup power to kick on.
After thirty seconds the backup remained stubbornly off and he sighed, shaking his head. "Power's out," he muttered.
Charlotte grinned and leaned in, pressing a kiss to his jaw, nipping at the skin. "Mmm, so no cameras then?" she murmured.
Tim hesitated and then chuckled softly, "No cameras," he confirmed.
"Good. Now shut up and fuck me," she whispered.
Tim ran a hand up the back of her dress, his fingers tugging at the zipper until her dress hung open. Slowly he pushed the fabric down around her waist, exposing the black and white lace of her bra, the swell of her breasts curving deliciously.
"Yes ma'am," he murmured, running a finger down her neck, along her collarbone and over the swells of her breasts, watching as she shivered and her eyes fluttered with pleasure.
His eyes flitted over her shoulder to his desk and a moment later he was wrapping his hands around her waist, lifting her. He smirked at her surprised noise and pushed aside the few pieces of paperwork to set her down on the polished surface.
Charlotte shoved her dress down and tossed it to the floor, tired of it hindering her movements.
Her legs wound around Tim's hips, drawing him closer. He ran his hands up her back, slowly tracing patterns on her skin as he brushed aside her hair and tasted the skin of her neck.
He stepped back a moment later and knelt in front of her, his bronze head turning to press a kiss to the inside of her knee. Pleasure rippled through her as he slid a hand up her thigh, his fingers digging into her flesh.
His blue eyes lifted to hers as he reached up and tugged her towards the edge of the desk and pulled her underwear down and off. She inhaled sharply as the cool air hit her warm center.
Tim nudged his shoulders between her thighs and leaned in, running his tongue over her slowly. He explored her, taking his time, listening to every noise and plea that dropped from her lips. Her fingers wound through his hair, whether it was to hold him in place or simply to hold on, he wasn't sure.
He focused on her clit slowly, circling it with his tongue before lapping back down to dart into her and taste her juices. She shuddered and whined at the loss of sensation each time, and each time he applied more pressure, enjoying the way she tried to fuck herself against his mouth.
She grew louder and wetter, and he knew she was getting close. Slowly he slid a finger inside her, feeling her body spasm around it for a moment before he slid another in and began sucking on her clit as he fucked her.
Her cries grew loud, his name a wrecked moan that was barely comprehensible, her pleas for more the only thing he could understand.
"P-please Tttiiimmm...m-more!" she gasped.
He worked his fingers harder inside her, flicking and thrusting against the spot that had her arching and moaning as he sucked hard on her clit. Her walls clamped and fluttered around him as she came with a sobbing moan, her fingers curling around the edge of his desk.
He lapped against her as she came down, soft moans slipping from her throat and her fingers relaxed in his hair. As her breathing relaxed he rose from his knees and wiped his mouth before leaning down to draw her up for a searing kiss.
Charlotte panted against Tim, her body burning with pleasure. Gently she tugged at his belt, her hands tingling and numb. Her hand slipped inside his jeans a moment later and they both breathed heavily when her hand found him bare against the material.
"Commando, Deputy?" she asked softly, smirking up at him as she stroked him.
"Nothing comes between me and my Calvin's," he replied, his eyes hooded with pleasure.
She leaned in and pressed a kiss to his chest, "I think that's about the underwear," she murmured.
Tim grunted and jerked into her hand, his knees beginning to tremble. "Don't care," he hissed.
He pushed her hand away a moment later and turned his head to kiss her, breathing heavily. "Condom?" he asked breathlessly.
He nodded and turned away, snatching her purse off the ground to root through until he found a condom in the side pocket. His fingers fumbled for a moment before he ripped it open and shoved his pants down, letting his cock spring free so he could roll it down.
Charlotte smirked and grabbed his ass, tugging him forward to rest between her thighs, his hard length resting against her hip. Tim's fingers wound through her hair as his mouth covered hers, a hand trailing down to tug the clasp of her bra open before he tossed it aside.
He quickly cupped a breast, thumbing her nipple until it was hardened and heavy with pleasure. She arched into his touch, moaning. His mouth slid along her neck, sucking softly, leaving faint marks as he worked down to her breast, taking a nipple into his mouth.
Charlotte gasped as he tugged on her nipple, sucking on it to soothe the point of pain that had pierced her. Her fingers dug into his hips, pulling him closer, and her hips ground into him. Tim stroked a hand down her side and to her hip, holding her still.
He worked his hand lower and ran his thumb over her clit as he mouthed over her breast, enjoying the mewl of pleasure she let out. He lavished attention on her breasts as he stroked her clit, listening to her pleasured cries grow louder and more desperate.
When she began to crest he tugged on her hip and pulled her to the edge of the desk, sliding his hands up her thighs to wrap them around his hips, his cock teasing at her entrance. Her hands wrapped around his neck and her eyes met his, hooded with pleasure.
Her chest rose and fell rapidly, brushing against his chest where he leaned into her. Tim leaned in and kissed her, groaning as he slid into her heat. A broken moan slid from her lips and she dug her nails into his shoulder, whispering his name.
Before he was even fully inside her she was moving against him, urging him on. Tim slid back and snapped his hips forward, hitting deep within her and eliciting a loud gasp from her. Charlotte met each of his thrusts, urging him to go harder, harder, faster.
His lungs burned from the pace he was setting but he couldn't stop—she felt too damn good. "Fuck Charlie, you're amazing," he ground out, leaning in for a kiss that was brief, messy and breathless.
He could feel her tightening around him and a few thrusts later she cried out, falling over the edge around him. Tim pulled out and tugged her off the desk, holding onto her hips as she wavered. Swiftly he turned her towards the desk and had her legs spread, allowing him to thrust back in with a sharp snap of his hips.
Charlotte cried out and moved back against him, "Oh! Yes, Tim, please," she begged. He drove into her, his hands in a bruising grip on her hips. She gasped as he drove into her, pushing her towards another orgasm.
Tim kissed along her neck and bit her softly, enjoying the soft pleasured noises she was making as she moved against him. Her body fisted around him as she wavered and he reached down, rubbing on her clit, encouraging her.
"Oh fuck! Oh!"
"Yea Charlie, come on darlin," he groaned, his hips moving with less coordination now. He was getting close to his own end. He rubbed furiously on her clit and felt her fisting and fluttering around him, her breathing coming in gasps as she struggled to handle the pleasure flooding her body.
"Come on darlin," he crooned in her ear, snapping his hips harder into her, enjoying the way she moaned his name. A moment later she arched and bucked against him before stiffening, her body clenching around him.
He was flooded with white hot heat as he thrust into her, still stroking her clit, listening to her whimpers. "You're so good Charlie...so good," he gasped as he thrust, feeling pleasure explode in his gut a moment before he stiffened and came, breath exploding out of his chest.
He collapsed against her back, clinging to her as he struggled not to smash them both into his desk, his breath skating across her shoulder.
After a few long, struggling breaths he stepped back and removed the condom, debating for a moment what to do with it. After a moment he tied it off and walked it to the bathroom, wrapping it in a paper towel and tossing it in the trashcan.
By the time he got back to his desk Charlotte had pulled on her bra and underwear.
His stomach sank.
She glanced up at him and smiled, "Hey. You ready to go?" she murmured, then glanced over his bare chest and smirked, "Maybe you should button up," she suggested.
He smirked and glanced pointedly at her undressed state, "You too," he replied.
She grabbed her dress from the floor and slid it on before turning her back to face him, glancing over her shoulder at him, "Zip me up," she murmured.
He silently slid the zipper up, brushing her hair out of the way before he leaned in and kissed her, his hands spreading across her waist and tugging her back against him. When he pulled back she sighed and smiled, "Let's go Deputy," she whispered.
He nodded and quickly buttoned up his shirt, leaving it untucked. They gathered their respective bags and coats and he walked her to the front door, pausing when he realized she didn't have a way home.
"You need a ride home?" he asked softly, giving her a questioning look.
She smiled softly, "Tim, I don't know about you, but I plan on being late to work tomorrow due to having my brains fucked out. Whose place is closer?" she replied, arching a brow at him.
It took half a minute for the implication of her words to sink in and when they did he smiled—a wide, brilliant one that left her breathless. "My place," he murmured before leaning in and kissing her again.
She watched as he ran out into the rain and pulled his truck around, a smile on her face.
Charlotte stood in Tim's kitchen, waiting for the coffee to brew and hit Send on the call, listening to the phone ring. A moment later the call connected and Raylan answered, sounding sleepy.
"Charlie, what's up?"
"Raylan, I need a favor," she murmured softly, peering down the hall to make sure Tim hadn't gotten out of bed yet.
"Hmm, what kind of favor?" Raylan asked curiously.
"Tim and I had sex in the office last night and I need you to make sure that there's no security tape of it. You owe me, remember?" she reminded him.
There was a faint choking noise and then silence. She smirked and waited.
"Ah, yea. The agreement for Ava's CI deal. You got Vasquez on board. Uh, I'll make sure I'm in there first and wipe any tape," Raylan replied, sounding distinctly uncomfortable.
"Good, thanks," she murmured, smiling as Tim came strolling out of the bedroom, his hair in disarray and a pair of briefs clinging to his hips. He sauntered up and smirked at her, wrapping his hands around her waist, sliding the tshirt he had lent her up.
"No problem. Uh, so, are you guys, like, together?" Raylan asked curiously.
Charlotte cocked a brow and turned her head to nip at Tim's ear, laughing faintly when he made a noise of pleasure. "Hmm, I don't know," she nuzzled him until he turned his face to kiss her and she held the phone closer so he could hear Raylan's voice, "What do you think Tim, are we together?" she asked.
Raylan made another choking noise and Tim grinned, "Well, in about five minutes, we're definitely going to be together. How about I let you know later, huh brother?" he murmured and Charlotte laughed softly before hanging up and dropping the phone on the counter.
Tim pushed her back gently against the counter, his fingers winding through the band of her underwear as he smirked, "So, you told Raylan?" he asked.
"Just making sure any security camera tape is disposed of," she replied giving him an impish look.
He chuckled softly, "That's a federal offense you know," he murmured.
She shrugged, "I've got bad intentions when it comes to you, what can I say?" she told him, giving him a look filled with promise.
Tim smirked slowly and tugged on the waistband of her underwear, pulling her closer. His lips brushed against hers softly, "Tell me more about these bad intentions," he whispered.
AN: Okay so this first one shot is because there is not NEARLY enough Tim Gutterson love. Like goddamn, have you all seen his smile? FUCK ME. A great song to listen to while reading this is "Too Repressed" by Sometymes Why. It really reminds me of Tim. Repressed little motherfucker...and then....hello!
AHAHAHAHA...so yea, I hope you enjoyed. Please review!
Chapter 2: Unravel Me
Detective Theresa Murphy frowned at the memo she had received from the FBI. A serious and credible threat against Gideon's life had been received and in light of the information the FBI was strongly suggesting that he not attend the 13th District Charity Gala he had planned.
She snorted softly, her lips pursed in annoyed amusement; if the FBI thought that a piece of paper was going to be enough to keep Gideon at home and not from the Charity Gala he had planned for the citizens of the 13th District of Chicago, they were dangerously stupid.
She quickly dialed the number provided for the agent in charge and waited while the line rang. A moment later a deep male voice answered.
"Agent Perry, this is Detective Theresa Murphy with the 13th District. I received your memo about the threat on Gideon Reeves. Can you give me some more details?" she asked politely.
Perry cleared his throat, "I'm sorry Detective, but I can't. You don't have clearance for anything other than what is in the memo. Should Mr. Reeves decide he still would like to attend the Gala, we will provide a protective detail," he informed her.
Theresa laughed sharply, "Agent Perry, he'll take to that about as well as a cat does to water."
"I don't care if he likes it, it's for his safety," Perry snapped.
Theresa sighed and closed her eyes, saying a silent prayer for patience. If she could be a single mother to her son and work every day with Gideon, she could handle this man. "I only meant that perhaps we could work together. Gideon would take to the idea of a protection detail much better if someone from the 13th was a part of it," she suggested.
Perry grunted and there was a long moment of silence as he pondered her suggestion. "Fine," he responded finally. "I'll speak with your Captain," he said sharply before disconnecting the line.
Theresa sighed and shook her head, tucking her phone into her pocket.
"Murphy! You gotta come check this out! Ada wrote a new code to track all violent offenders accused of domestic abuse who have previously bought or owned guns so we can track down anyone who may use a weapon to kill their spouse!"
The top half of Gideon's torso was wrapped around the doorframe, his eyes bright with excitement as he gesticulated wildly. Theresa bit back a smile as he waved at her, trying to urge her to hurry.
She folded up the memo, trying to tuck it away so Gideon wouldn't notice, but as ever, he noticed everything and let her get away with nothing.
"What's that Murph?"
She sighed and shook her head, "Nothing, come on, you said Ada wants to show me something?" she urged, trying to change his focus.
Gideon stood straight and smirked down at her, fine lines crinkling around his eyes, and she thought for a moment how handsome he was when he smiled. "Ada will still be there in five minutes. What do you have?" he asked, reaching for the folded up memo she was trying to keep behind her back.
Theresa scooted back, her shoulders colliding with the door, unsuccessfully trying to escape his reaching hands. One trapped her, pinning her to the door by her head as the other wound around her waist and plucked the memo from her hands behind her back, their faces just inches apart.
Gideon smirked at her, "Secrets aren't fun unless you share Murph," he teased, his dark blue eyes sparkling with amusement.
She watched silently as he unfolded the memo, his eyes scanning over the words, the smirk on his lips fading away.
"Secrets aren't fun," she replied softly, reaching up to take the memo back, sliding it easily from his limp grasp. She quickly tucked it into her pocket and watched as he recovered, his typical happy smile sliding back onto his face.
"Well, what's a few death threats between friends?" he teased, "It's been a few days since I got one, I was starting to worry I was becoming irrelevant!" he said with a smirk.
Theresa scowled at him, "Gideon, if the FBI is taking this seriously, you need to as well. They're assigning you a security detail if you go to the Gala. I suggested that someone from the 13th accompany you, since I know you'll refuse to stay home and won't want them to begin with," she explained tiredly.
Gideon's eyes lit up.
"Perfect Murphy!" he exclaimed. "You'll come with me!" he declared, grabbing her arm and grinning down at her.
She stared up at him in shock, her jaw dropping open, "W-what? No!" she stuttered her refusal.
Gideon grinned and nodded, "It's perfect! The people will see that I'm working closely with the 13th, that you support me and my work, and you'll be able to protect me!" he declared triumphantly.
"It's a $500 ticket Gideon, how do you expect me to afford that?" Theresa demanded, her brows furrowing.
He laughed, scoffing, "You'll be my date, of course," he retorted quickly.
Damn man always had an answer.
"And you think I have a dress for an occasion like this?" she snapped, frowning up at him, her arms crossed under her breasts, her head cocked to the side. Sometimes she hated how tall he was.
"Murph, seriously, don't worry about any of it. I'll get you a dress. What's your favorite color?" he asked eagerly.
She stared up at Gideon and the bright smile pasted on his face and felt something loosen inside her. A smile slowly slid across her lips, a sigh escaping her. "Fiiiine," she breathed, "Saffron," she revealed.
Gideon's head bobbed, "Okay, the Gala is tonight at 8pm, I'll speak with Captain Conrad and we'll get everything figured out, I promise," he murmured eagerly, his hands swooping down to clasp onto hers tightly.
Theresa sighed and smiled resignedly at him, "Okay. Okay, but I have to get to work now," she insisted.
He nodded and stepped back, letting her walk past toward the bullpen. Gideon watched as Murphy sauntered away, pausing to talk with Ada and a few other officers, a grin spreading on her face at something that Officer Brandt said.
An answering grin creased his face and a warm feeling spread through his chest. He knew that none of his work in the 13th would be possible without Murphy and her willingness to help him. He still remembered the aching kindness he had seen in her eyes in the hours after Elliot had died, when everyone else had been so abrupt and cold.
He stood straighter and resolved to get the perfect dress and accessories for Theresa. If she was going to be his date for the Gala and be his protective detail, he didn't have much time to make everything perfect.
Murphy sped back to the precinct six hours later after a long, tiring shift of chasing down APB alerts, her stomach rumbling from her missed lunch and too many cups of coffee.
As she parked her car Brandt sauntered over, a shit eating grin on his face.
"Hey Murph, I heard you're going to the ball with Prince Charming. Careful your carriage doesn't turn into a pumpkin," he teased.
She flipped him off and smirked tiredly, wandering towards the bullpen to type up her reports before she clocked out.
"Murphy! There you are!" Gideon called, waving at her frantically.
She sighed and changed direction, heading over to where he was standing beside a half open interrogation room door. She peered past him, a frown turning her lips down. "What's up Gideon?" she asked tiredly.
He smiled brightly, "You have to get ready for the Gala!" he insisted, shoving the door open to reveal a room full of bags, tables of makeup, and people plugging hair appliances into power strips.
Her jaw dropped.
"What did you do?" she whispered, ogling the mess.
Gideon grinned, "I brought the changing room to you! I figured you wouldn't have time to go home," he told her.
She turned to glare at him, "Gideon, Conrad is going to kill you," she told him sharply.
"Nope, he already knows! I'm helping with your paperwork since it doesn't take me as long to get ready. So go!" he insisted; pushing on her shoulders and forcing her into the room. Theresa stumbled slightly and turned to scold him, but was met with the door slamming in her face, effectively cutting her off.
She frowned and sighed, turning to face the room full of people. A middle aged man slipped forward and wrapped his arm around her shoulders with a kind smile, "You look a little overwhelmed Detective. Have you eaten?" he asked gently.
She shook her head and a moment later a tray of vegetables and hummus was before her and a bottle of water was in her hand. She smiled hesitantly, "Thanks, but, uh, I should probably shower before you guys put me in a dress," she murmured.
The man grinned, "Oh don't you worry, we'll take care of everything," he insisted.
Theresa nodded uncertainly and let herself be guided behind a large silk room divider where she was instructed to strip; a small tub of hot water was already waiting for her. She quickly shed her clothes and began scrubbing off, her limbs covered in goosebumps from the cool air of the room.
When she had finished she wrapped the towel left for her around her body and stepped out, glancing uncertainly towards the two way mirror and was relieved to see it had been covered. A woman stepped over with a handful of lacy undergarments, "Which would you like?" she offered.
Theresa stared in confusion for a moment before selecting a black pair of underwear, her brow furrowing in confusion, "Uh, where's the bra?" she asked nervously.
The woman grinned, "The dress doesn't allow for one," she confided.
Oh good, Theresa thought sarcastically.
She shimmied on the underwear and took the deodorant that was handed to her, followed by a choice of lotions and perfumes. When she was slick, soft and scented she wrapped the towel around herself and allowed herself to be guided into a padded chair that swiveled, smiling at the man who tugged her hair out of its standard ponytail.
He hummed for a moment and then nodded, reaching for hair product and curling implements. The man who had taken her arm stepped in front of her with a palette of makeup and stared at her for a moment before smiling, "Simple I think, we'll play on your natural beauty. Close your eyes please," he instructed.
She followed his instructions and tried to relax, occasionally snacking on the vegetables and hummus when her hands were free from the manicure that was applied. It felt like hours passed, but it couldn't have been more than one hour until she was spun away from the mirrors and told to open her eyes.
Theresa could feel her eyes widen at the sight of the dress that had been selected for her. "I-I can't wear that!" she exclaimed softly. What would people think!
"Oh yes you can. You're going to look stunning."
She swallowed hard, "Where do I put my gun?" she asked weakly.
The man who had been working on her makeup laughed and reached into another bag, pulling out a thigh holster and a small black box, handing both to her. "A gift from Gideon," he murmured.
She sighed and opened the box, smiling softly when she found a 44 magnum snub nose revolver, the perfect sized gun for concealing under her dress and for keeping Gideon safe. She quickly slid the holster up her thigh and arranged the gun before standing, holding her towel tightly against her.
Her many assistants pulled the dress from the hanger and unclasped the neck and unzipping the waist so she could step in. As the heavy pearled and jeweled collar was secured she swallowed hard, wondering silently just how much the dress was worth.
A man knelt and guided her feet into sparkling heels, smiling up at her when she cocked her ankle to admire the effect. A clutch was forced into her hands and she grinned when she saw a small inner compartment filled with extra ammo and her CPD ID.
A few sparkling rings, bracelets and earrings completed her look and when she had taken a deep breath she turned to admire herself in the mirror, gasping softly at the glamorous woman looking back at her.
A knock at the door interrupted her and a moment later Gideon's voice called out, slightly muffled by the thick metal and wood between them.
"Hey Murph! We gotta get going!" he urged.
She turned to the people who had worked so hard to make her look amazing and grinned weakly, "Thank you so much," she murmured earnestly. They waved off her thanks, urging her to have fun as she nodded and walked unsteadily to the door.
Taking a deep breath, she opened the door and watched with satisfaction as Gideon's eyes went wide with shock and admiration. She needed him to stop looking at her like that, it made her feel unraveled and a little crazy.
His mouth worked to form words as she stepped forward, her bare back exposed to his gaze, her long curls swinging around her shoulders.
Hoots and catcalls rang through the bullpen, bringing a flush to her cheeks. Conrad stepped forward and laid a hand on her arm gently, smiling warmly at her.
"You look lovely Detective," he murmured.
She swallowed hard and smiled weakly, "I was worried I looked stupid, like a little girl playing dress up," she confided.
"If that's what you looked like playing dress up as a little girl, I wish I had known you," Gideon quipped, smiling wryly at her as he stepped up beside her. She noticed for the first time that he was dressed in a tuxedo, his dark hair artfully arranged to look messy, and instead of a plain black bow tie, he wore one stripped with silver.
Holding out his arm to her he smiled, softer this time, his eyes warm with affection, "Theresa Murphy, you look absolutely stunning. I'm a lucky man to have you as my date tonight," he murmured.
Another round of hoots and catcalls went through the bullpen and Theresa flushed, sliding her arm through his. "Just remember I'm here to protect you, I have a gun and handcuffs and I'm not afraid to use them," she warned him.
As they walked to the entrance/exit of the precinct he grinned lasciviously down at her, "Is that a promise?" he asked softly, his voice rasping.
The heat in his voice shivered down her spine and she glanced away, forcing herself to focus on the sight of the limo before her. Gideon guided her in, his hand on her back, his touch burning her in a way it hadn't ever before.
As they sped towards the Gala her hands twisted in her lap, her nerves making her stomach ache. She watched as the city sped by, carrying her past her familiar 13th district and the streets she had grown up on.
She plucked restlessly at the fabric of her dress until Gideon's hand covered hers, his fingers clasping down firmly. She glanced up at him, startled. He smiled softly, "Just relax Murph. No one is going to think you're playing dress up," he murmured.
She smiled weakly and nodded, turning to watch as they pulled up in front of a fancy building, the press bulbs flashing. Her stomach flipped.
Gideon wrapped his fingers around hers and tugged on her hand, pulling her from the car, lifting her to her feet as the cameras flashed, temporarily blinding her. She lifted her head and took a shuddering breath.
If she could chase down rapists, murderers and thieves, she could certainly do this.
She squeezed Gideon's hand and smiled briefly up at him, sliding her hand up to rest in the crook of his arm, tugging on it gently to let him know she was ready to go. He nodded briefly and they walked forward, into the fray.
Theresa exhaled in a low whoosh as she lifted her sparkling water and lime to her lips, watching the crowd swell and murmur on the floor below her. Gideon was at the bar getting himself a drink, leaving her to catch her breath for the moment.
The agents the FBI had sent were posing as a bartender and as a member of security, and according to Gideon they hadn't been pleased that she had chosen to attend as his primary security, but there wasn't anything they could do about it now.
"Are you sure you don't want something stronger?"
She tilted her chin up to smile at Gideon as he sipped his scotch, silently shaking her head. She needed to stay sharp.
"Maybe just a sip of mine?" he offered, wafting the glass under her nose.
She bit back a moan of pleasure at the smell and shook her head again. "No way Gideon. I have to be sober to protect you," she told him, lifting a brow as she smiled.
"Well, if you're not going to drink, you have to dance," he demanded, plucking her drink out of her hand and grabbing her hand to tow her down to the dance floor before she could protest.
He waved to the DJ and a moment later a song began playing and the dance floor emptied as Gideon twirled her and wrapped his hand around her waist, his fingers cool against her warm skin.
Her heart thrummed in her chest for some reason. Why? Why was she reacting like this to Gideon's proximity? He was pulling her in like a magnet, an attraction she couldn't fight.
He drew her closer and leaned in to murmur in her ear, "Everyone is jealous of me tonight."
She huffed out a laugh, "Please," she whispered, rolling her eyes.
Gideon pulled back to study her face for a moment before smiling faintly, "Your ex is to my left. Just look at his face," he encouraged her, spinning so she could see.
Theresa glanced over at her ex-husband and instantly recognized the look on his face as raw, ugly jealousy. She had seen it a few times before they grew apart, but to see it now while she was dancing with Gideon...
She turned her gaze back to Gideon and smiled faintly, "He just doesn't like you. It has nothing to do with me," she insisted.
He laughed shortly and as the song came to an end stepped back to bow to her before leaning in and pressing a kiss to her cheek, taking her by surprise. "It has everything to do with you, Theresa," he whispered.
The music continued and people filled the dance floor, allowing her ex to step forward and glare at them.
"So you're fucking him now, not just working for him?" he demanded hotly, his face flushed with anger.
Theresa felt Gideon's body stiffen beside her and squeezed his arm, stepping forward to place herself between the two men. "Scott, it's none of your business who I sleep with, and if you want to keep your nose in the shape it is, I suggest you back up," she ordered, her voice cold.
Scott glared at her for a long moment before shaking his head and storming away.
She sighed and shook her head, turning to smile weakly up at Gideon when she felt something uncanny....
Icy fear slipped through her belly.
"Gideon, I need you to come with me, right now," she murmured, trying to keep her voice level as she pulled on his arm.
He frowned at her and went to glance over his shoulder to whatever had disturbed her, but her hand quickly darted up to tug on his jacket lapel, shaking her head when he glanced back down at her.
"Don't." she ordered, "Don't look back, just follow me," she ordered softly.
He nodded and allowed her to tow him through the crowd of people towards the fire exit, her hand brushing against the slight bulge that was her gun, needing the reassurance. They stepped out into an empty hallway and she shoved him back against the wall, peering back through the doorway.
Disappointment flooded her.
They were being followed.
She grabbed Gideon's hand and tugged, pulling him towards the exit, "Come on, we have to go," she hissed. They ran towards the exit, ignoring the warning that an alarm would sound and burst through the doors, stumbling out into a garage as a klaxon wailed.
Theresa looked around desperately and stilled when she saw a Kawasaki motorcycle parked three spaces away. Lifting the skirt of her dress she pointed to it as she ran, "Can you hotwire it?" she demanded.
Gideon nodded and sprinted ahead, crouching to work at the electronics as she lifted her skirt, pulling her gun from its holster, keeping watch on the exit they had run from. Long, anxious moments passed as Gideon fiddled with the bike.
"Faster would be good," she hissed.
The exit door burst open again and a young white man with a face full of burn scars turned toward them, gun in hand.
Theresa lifted her gun, aiming for his head, "Chicago Police! Drop your weapon!" she shouted.
The man darted forward, hiding behind the bumper of an SUV before peering around and firing off a shot that came so close she could hear it whizz by.
"NOW would be good!" she shouted to Gideon as she fired back.
"Working on it!" he shouted back.
The man at the SUV fired again and this time the bullet pinged into the bike, startling her back a step. Gideon let out a shout and a moment later the bike purred to life. He slid on and waved at her, "Get on!!" he shouted.
She hiked up her skirts and slid on behind him, firing at the assassin as they sped away, ducking when he returned fire. The wind whipped her hair and skirt wildly as Gideon sped through the city, the high rises falling away as he pushed the bike faster and they left the inner city behind for the affluent neighborhood of Highland Park.
As they turned into the driveway of a house set on a large piece of gated property she slid her gun back into its holster, surer now that they hadn't been followed. Gideon entered the gate code and murmured something before the gate would open, allowing them to speed forward.
She watched as a palatial home appeared and sighed softly; of course Gideon had a home here, he probably had them all over the world. She took his hand as she slid off the bike and watched as he wheeled it into a garage, catching sight of cars that were probably more expensive than her home.
When he stepped back out he smiled faintly at her and waved a hand towards the house, "Safe house," he explained. She nodded and followed him to the door, watching as he gripped the door handle and leaned in to murmur something to a security pad near the door.
A moment later the door opened and they hurried in, the sound of the door latching behind them settling her nerves.
Gideon headed straight for the kitchen, opening the fridge, smiling at her over his shoulder, "You must be hungry," he guessed. She nodded and walked slowly over, wincing as her feet ached. Peering over his shoulder she made a soft noise of surprise to see how well stocked the fridge was for a safe house.
Gideon glanced down at her, "What sounds better, chicken alfredo, seafood paella, or pizza?" he asked, pointing to each item.
"Chicken alfredo," she responded promptly, leaning past him to grab a bottle of sparkling water.
"Surely you deserve a drink now," he said, grabbing a bottle of white wine along with the alfredo.
She cracked the bottle open and shook her head, "I still have to protect you. You can drink if you want," she assured him, though she would rather he didn't in case they needed to run again.
Gideon studied her for a moment and then shrugged, smiling blithely at her as he set the wine aside. She watched as he pulled a pan out and began heating the food, removing his tuxedo jacket as he cooked, his sleeves rolled up to reveal his finely muscled forearms.
She studied him as he prepared the food, his movements precise and smooth, his eyes catching hers occasionally for a warm glance that left her tingling. She sipped her sparkling water and wished dearly it was wine.
Gideon handed her a plate of food and sat across from her at the island in the middle of the huge kitchen, pouring himself a glass of wine before lifting it to toast with her bottle of sparkling water.
"What should we toast to?" he asked softly.
"Surviving," she suggested.
His brow wrinkled and he shook his head. He studied her for a moment before a sly smile formed on his lips.
"To you, Theresa, for stealing the show and looking absolutely stunning," he murmured, his voice low and warm, matching the heated look in his eyes.
She flushed and quickly tapped her bottle against his glass, "It was all your doing," she replied softly, hurrying to eat.
Gideon made a soft noise of disagreement as he ate and when she glanced up he smiled softly. "A dress is just fabric. Jewels are just elements. It was your beauty that made it all stand out," he told her, reaching out to stroke the soft skin on the back of her hand.
She shivered and swallowed hard, "Th-thank you," she whispered, feeling a flush rising in her blood.
"I'm sorry about your ex," Gideon offered, running his thumb across her knuckles gently.
She sighed, "It's nothing I wasn't expecting. Perhaps not from him, but I knew people were going to insinuate things about you and I with how closely we work," she told him, uncomfortably aware of his thumb resting on her knuckles.
"Have people said something before this?" he asked, watching her thoughtfully.
She shrugged this time, lifting one of her shoulders elegantly so that he followed the motion with his eyes, his gaze skating over her tanned skin hungrily before coming to rest on her face again, leaving her feeling flushed and unsteady.
"I-uh, I've heard people gossiping, but it's all rumor of course," she murmured, her voice hoarse, her throat dry as she struggled to remain calm.
Gideon nodded, "Of course," he replied, sipping on his wine, his eyes dark, his pupils wide.
She shifted in her seat, "Can I, uh, can I have a sip of that?" she asked nervously. To hell with protocol—she felt like she was dying of thirst and for some reason her sparkling water wasn't cutting it.
He smirked and slid the glass across the counter between them, watching as she took a cautious sip before taking another larger one, effectively draining the glass. She licked the sweet droplets from her lips and swallowed hard when she realized Gideon was watching her mouth, his thumb pressing tightly against her knuckles.
She stood abruptly, fighting the feeling that she was being pulled towards him again, like a magent, and brushed at her skirt, "I uh, should call the FBI, see if there's any news," she murmured, avoiding his disappointed gaze.
"There's a secure line in the study," he murmured, watching as she hurried away, her heels clacking against the marble floor.
Gideon wasn't a stupid man, in fact, most people would classify him as a genius, but when it came to Theresa Murphy, he felt like he was back in high school, hopelessly fumbling for the right words only to be rebuffed.
He wasn't stupid, and he wasn't blind. She was attracted to him, but she was a consummate professional.
With a soft grunt, he rose and followed Theresa to the study, watching from the doorway as she spoke softly to the FBI, nodding and pushing at her hair, the diamonds he had ordered for her sparkling on her fingers, wrists and ears.
It wasn't the brilliant jewels or $50,000 dress that made her beautiful, the fancy perfumes or the makeup that highlighted her beautiful eyes. No, it was her kind and generous heart, her persistence for justice, her wise council and her loving spirit.
She smiled at him and continued her conversation and he realized with a start that he had been staring at her for nearly five minutes. When she hung up the phone he waited patiently for her to approach, her gate different because of the heels she normally traded for combat boots.
She sighed and smiled up at him. "The FBI has one man in custody and the photo of the other man out to the media. I told them we were safe, but not where, and they recommended we stay where we are until he's found," she reported, sounding tired.
Gideon nodded, "Why don't we have a drink in that case?" he suggested, smiling mischievously at her. To his surprise she nodded and followed him to the kitchen, watching as he poured another glass of wine for each of them.
He led her through the large house to his favorite room, glancing over his shoulder to watch her reaction. Theresa spun slowly, looking around at the room that could only be described as a library, and was as large as the entire bottom floor of her home.
Large comfortable looking leather couches faced a huge bay window, overlooking a large expanse of dark yard, and she imagined in the daytime it was an amazing view. She sank onto the couch and reached down to unclasp her heels, sighing in relief when her feet were free.
Gideon grinned and handed her the wine, reaching down to pull her feet into his lap, ignoring her soft squawk of protest. When his hands began to massage her feet her protests transformed into soft moans of pleasure and he watched as her eyes slid shut, her body arching slightly.
Theresa tried to be good...she did....but...lord in heaven, did his hands feel amazing. She couldn't fight this unraveling he caused within her...this need.
When his hand on her right foot trailed up beneath her skirt to cup her calf, his long fingers squeezing her soft flesh, she flinched and opened her eyes, finding that she was breathing faster. Their eyes met and after a moment she nodded and closed her eyes, relaxing into his touch.
Gideon slid his hands up Theresa's legs, massaging and touching the soft skin he had been thinking about for far longer than he cared to admit. He pushed at her skirt; hiking it up towards her knees so he could see, needing to see her.
When he slid his hands up over her knees and across the smooth skin of her thighs he hitched a breath, feeling the holster of her gun under his hand was strangely erotic. Her eyes slid open and they watched him as he slid it down her leg and tossed it aside, his hand immediately returning to massage the flesh there, earning him an eager moan from her.
Her skirt slid up over her hips and he couldn't bite back his groan at the sight of her lacy underwear, barely covering her as her hips arched up towards his touch. His fingers trailed over the thin material and he could feel the heat of her beneath.
His composure was rapidly unraveling and he felt his breath coming in quicker rasps, his desire for her practically magnetic, drawing them together.
She moaned softly at his touch and he slid forward to crouch over her, needing to be closer to her. Theresa slid her hands up his arms, her fingers tugging on the fabric of his shirt to pull him down, one of her hands winding through his hair as her lips connected with his.
One of her knees slipped up, her leg wrapping around his thigh to tug him closer as they kissed, her hips grinding against where his erection was, encouraging a groan from his throat. His hips canted back against her, seeking her warmth, aching to be deep within her.
Her arms were powerful where they clung to him, pulling him closer so he could feel her arching against him, little whimpers of pleasure coming from her throat as he kissed her jaw and down her neck, opening his mouth to suck at the spot where her pulse hammered under her skin.
Theresa gasped and rolled her hips against Gideon, digging her fingers into his scalp as he bit her neck and sucked on the skin, pleasure aching within her so hard she could barely stand it. One of his hands went to her breast and began rolling her nipple between his fingers, teasing it until it was hardened and she was gasping, her body shuddering with pleasure.
She pushed at his shoulder and eagerly began undoing the buttons of his shirt, shoving at it until it hung from his shoulders, his hands still touching her breasts so that she could barely think straight.
Gideon leaned back and shed his shirt, staring down at Theresa, lying flushed and panting beneath him. He smiled softly at her and reached down, pulling her up off the couch to stand before him, gentle amusement rippling through him at the height difference between them now that her heels were gone.
He stepped slowly behind her and brushed her hair aside, undoing the clasps of her dress, brushing kisses to her neck as he did. There was a soft whisper of fabric as it fell to the floor, leaving her standing in just her lacy black thong, her head tilted to the side as he sampled the soft skin of her neck.
Theresa inhaled sharply as Gideon's hands slid over her bare breasts, teasing the already sensitive nipples for a moment before gliding lower, one resting on her hip and tugging her back against him.
She could feel his erection against her ass and let out a soft, eager moan, grinding her ass into him until he was panting against her skin and murmuring her name. His other hand at her waist slid into her underwear, his fingers slipping through her damp folds before settling on her aching clit.
He pressed lightly and she jumped, gasping at the sensation.
He pressed again and began rubbing his fingers over her, slowly. She hummed in pleasure and arched against him, her arm winding back to clasp at his neck, her fingers tight against his skin.
Gideon watched as Theresa writhed and wound her hips against his touch, her soft noises of pleasure growing louder as he pressed harder and rubbed faster against her clit. He took his time, learning her body, studying her like he would any unknown element or experiment, eager to learn.
Theresa's chest heaved with pleasure as Gideon's fingers rubbed faster on her clit, the pressure within her abdomen almost too much to bear. When his hand at her hip slid up to pinch and tug at her nipples she cried out, her body shuddering with pleasure.
Gideon's cock ached with need at the sound of Theresa's loud cry and he repeated his action, rubbing harder on her clit until his fingers began to ache. She whined and bucked against him, calling out his name loudly as he plucked at her breasts, her body primed for release.
He leaned in and sucked on her neck in the same spot he had abused earlier as he continued his pleasurable torture of her body, and a moment later was rewarded when she came, shuddering and crying out his name loudly.
Theresa sagged against Gideon, her body weak from the intensity of her orgasm. He wrapped his arms around her tightly and guided her slowly to face him, his face burying in her neck. After a moment she ran her hands down his chest and cupped one against his cock, enjoying his hiss of approval.
"You should take these off," she murmured, smirking up at him as she worked at the buttons of his trousers.
"Yes Detective," he replied softly, smirking back, his hand coming to rest on her ass as he kissed her, his other hand winding through her hair. A moment later he groaned when her hand slid into his briefs and grasped him, her fingers pumping down his shaft.
She pushed him back to the couch and quickly shoved off his trousers and shoes, sliding into his lap a breath later. Gideon hissed at the sensation of her hot, wet center sliding across his cock, teasing him.
Theresa reached down between them and grasped him once again, using her own slickness to coat him before she began pumping up and down his shaft. He was beautiful this way, she decided; hair mussed from her fingers, eyes dazed with lust, firm pectorals scratched from her touch and his thick, heavy cock in her hands.
She leaned in and kissed him, moaning softly.
When they broke away she glanced down to watch as she cupped his balls, tugging on them softly as her thumb swept over the tip of him, spreading his leaking cum over his shaft. Gideon's hips bucked into her touch as he groaned her name, his head thrown back, the tendons in his neck tight.
She leaned in and nipped at the skin of his neck as she continued, tasting the salty sweetness of him. He groaned again and then reached down to push her hands away, his breath coming in sharp pants as he whispered.
"I need you," he told her, kissing her deeply, his fingers tangling in her hair.
She nodded and grasped him again, guiding him towards her opening so she could take him in. Gideon held perilously still as she settled down against him, a blissed out look on her face. His fingers curled against the nape of her neck, tangled in her hair, as the other gripped her hip, gently encouraging her to move.
Theresa ached in the best way, her body spread over Gideon's, his thick cock deep inside her. She began moving against him slowly and moaned softly at the feeling of him thrusting into her. His hand at her hip held tightly, more like a point of contact than an anchor.
He snapped his hips up into her and felt a thrill of pleasure when she moaned and moved harder against him, her fingers scraping across his shoulders. "Yes...like that," she gasped, her breath hot on his skin.
Gideon listened and thrust harder into her—and was promptly rewarded with Theresa's loud moans. He watched through pleasure hazed eyes as she arched back, her fingers digging into his shoulder, her chest heaving with whines of pleasure as he pounded into her.
His hand tangled into her hair and pulled her into a tighter arch as he thrust harder, faster, sweat running down his chest with effort. Theresa bucked and cried out in ecstasy, shouting his name, her hips coming down so hard against his he was sure she would be bruised tomorrow.
His body burned with feverish need, his balls aching with the desire to come. He reached between them with his free hand and began rubbing at her clit once again, grunting when she cried out in a high broken voice and shuddered against his touch.
He was so close with the way her hot, strong walls were fluttering around him wildly. He was struggling to keep up the furious pace that she demanded, but at the same time he couldn't stop...he never wanted to stop.
"Gideon, Gideon, Gideon!" she chanted, her voice raw and hoarse, one of her hands at her breasts, palming and tweaking, urging herself on. He was enraptured, captured, spellbound, by every inch of her, every pleasured cry, every shudder, every gasp of his name.
He thumbed harder on her clit and watched as she rolled a nipple between her fingers until moments later her body arched, her fingers digging into his shoulder painfully as she came with a wrecked cry, his name a sob.
He could barely breathe, his heart thundered in his ears as he pounded into her, her walls so tight and slick he only lasted another two thrusts before he came with an explosive shout of her name, his body collapsing back against the couch.
Theresa crumpled into his chest, her lips finding his as she struggled to breathe normally. Gideon's arms curled around her waist and held her close, feeling both of their hearts pounding in an asynchronous rhythm.
As their hearts slowed and the sweat on their skin began to cool Theresa pulled back, eyeing him. Worry lodged in his stomach at the look on her face.
After a moment she smiled softly and shook her head, "We tell no one, you got it?" she demanded quietly.
He nodded without hesitation, understanding why she was making this demand. She smiled in satisfaction and leaned back on his lap, held secure by his arms, stretching. He watched with appreciation and to his amazement, felt himself stir within her.
She grinned and leaned in for a kiss, running her fingers through his sweaty hair. "So where's the bedroom in this place?" she murmured against his lips.
He grinned and stood, keeping a firm grasp on her. She laughed and pushed at his shoulder, "Put me down a sec," she ordered. He was loath to let her out of his arms, but he obeyed.
She darted over to where he had tossed her thigh holster and came back a moment later with something silver and shiny—handcuffs. Grinning up at him she approached slowly, "We're staying here until the FBI catches that other assassin...but I told you I would use these if necessary," she reminded him.
Gideon smirked and backed away, lifting his hands in a defensive posture, "Detective, I'm afraid you're going to have to catch me if you want to use those," he told her before turning and running for the stairs.
He heard her laugh and the sound of her pursuit and a few moments later they were wrestling on his bed, laughing and touching and teasing.
Theresa pinned Gideon beneath her and grabbed his hands, cuffing them to the wrought iron headboard with a satisfied grin. Gideon assessed the look on her face and smirked faintly, "You look like you have some bad intentions there, Detective," he murmured.
"Oh no," she assured him as she reached between them to grasp his half hard cock, "I've got very, very bad intentions," she whispered with a devious grin, kissing him firmly.
It was good she was here to protect him, he decided.
AN: I really, really, want these two to hook up on the show. But I don't know that the show will last long enough for that. Either way, here's some smuttyness to tide you over! Songs that inspired this are "Unravel Me" Jojee, "Bad Intentions" Niykee Heaton and Migos. Please comment!
Chapter 3: Worthy
Matt Murdock was dead.
The wood of the pew is cold against her skin as she sits in near darkness, staring up at the crucifix, a chill running over her skin.
Matt Murdock was dead.
She shivers absently, recalling the faces of the other survivors as they realized he wasn't coming back; the inadequate words of apology and reassurance sliding over her.
Matt Murdock is dead.
He wasn't coming back, and she couldn't find the strength to get up from this pew. Her limbs felt numb, the heat sapped from her extremities from hours of sitting in the cold church. Foggy had left hours ago, long after the last of the mourners were gone.
It was just her now.
Her and the Holy Spirit, she scoffed internally.
It seemed so improbable that Matt was gone, as improbable as dogs learning to speak.
Matt had been a reliable force in her life for the past year, and it was only after his revelation of his identity as Daredevil that the trust between them had shifted, changed.
But it had shattered the fragile relationship they had formed, the lies of his identity and his need for justice too much for them to live under. The world had changed, and now it had changed again.
What did any of it mean if Matt was gone?
She knew the other powered people that he had been with would protect the city, but who would protect her? Who would go for shitty drinks at Josie's and make her laugh? Who would tease her about her tendency to snort while laughing after drinking too much?
She wouldn't do that.
She wasn't a weak woman, and she wouldn't let Matt's death turn her in to one.
Her jaw firms as she glares at the Christ hanging above the altar, silently berating him for laying so much guilt at Matt's feet, for making him feel like he owed the world his body, his soul, his very life.
"I'm sorry for your loss ma'am."
She barely flinches at the sound of his voice, a knot unwinding in her stomach when she sees him out of the corner of her eye. She hadn't heard him coming, she never did.
She had never seen him until it was too late and her whole world was blown to hell, just like she had never seen that deer that had sent her parent's car and her whole world careening out of control when she was 17.
Inhaling sharply, she pushes away that line of thinking to address the other problematic man who is once more in her life.
"I called you," she replies, turning her gaze back to the crucifix.
He nods, but remains silent.
"Why didn't you come?" she demands, words biting and harsh.
He sighs softly and she can see his head dip forward towards his clenched hands, as though he's praying. The idea of him praying is so preposterous she has to fight down a hysterical laugh that bubbles up.
She is tired, grief stricken and dealing with ghosts of Christmas past.
"You said I'd be dead to you. Figured you didn't want anything to do with me," he replies softly.
She scoffs, a bitter taste in her mouth. "If that was true, I wouldn't have called," she snaps.
He doesn't say anything, remaining quiet while she stews. He's never been good with words, never been a poet, he didn't seduce or flatter, he just told the truth.
"You could have helped him," she accuses, frustration filling the words.
"Maybe. Red wasn't one to take a lotta help," he reasons back quietly.
Oh, how she knew.
She knew how he would rather be beat black and blue before he told her the truth about himself.
She knew how he would rather let himself be blown up than take any help.
How he would rather be with that woman—
No, she isn't going to think about that.
She isn't going to think about Matt staying behind for Elektra.
She isn't going to think about him dying with her, for her.
A soft noise of distress scrapes the back of her throat and she clapped a hand over her mouth, eyes burning with unshed tears.
Turning her head away, she inhales sharply, deep breaths shuddering in her chest.
"Damn you Matt Murdock," she whispers, a tear dripping off her nose.
Wiping her face, she turned it back to the crucifix and sniffles, head and heart aching.
Karen Page wasn't a woman who believed in fate, destiny, kismet or any other bullshit word that people liked to use to explain the mysteries of the universe. She kept her gaze firmly averted as she walked past doomsayers on the streets, ignoring their proselytizing and insisting that God would save them all, if only humanity would repent.
If there was a God, he certainly didn't give a fuck about Karen Page, and she didn't believe his grand plan involved her losing control of her parent's vehicle and killing her brother.
Fate, destiny, God, it was all bullshit and it could all leave her the hell alone.
Matt had tried repeatedly, politely, gently, to convince her on the subject, that God cared; He was involved in her life. Eventually she had fixed him with a firm look (blindness be damned) and told him, "Then can you tell Him to please leave me the fuck alone? His Plan has been pretty shit and I'd rather take the wheel from here."
The discussions on faith and fate had ended, and Karen had gone back to working happily at the Nelson and Murdock firm.
The best damn avocados at law.
A watery smile creeps onto her face; best damn avocados at law she remembers Matt and Foggy drunkenly proclaiming, stumbling over themselves to explain the story to her.
They remain in silence for long minutes as she bows her head, whispering a soft prayer for her friend. She might not have the same faith Matt had, but this one small thing, she can do it for him.
Wiping her cheeks, she sighs and casts one last look towards the mournful looking Christ before she stands, straightening her dress. She feels his eyes on her and keeps her chin tucked, avoiding his gaze for the moment.
He hasn't seen her wear anything so somber before, even when they were running from his nightmares she had been in flowy fabrics and bright colors. She was light and warmth and beauty, but now, he can see she is none of those things.
This is Karen Page in mourning and it occurs to him how regal she looks—hair pinned into a tight bun, pearls in her ears and at her throat. He watches as she swallows hard, the taut lines of her throat pale and strong in the faint candlelight.
She looks like Jacqueline Kennedy saying goodbye to her sweet boyish husband, tragedy somehow making her stoic beauty just as arousing as she had been to him before this.
And he knows he shouldn't think of her that way, he knows now isn't the time, just as before wasn't and every moment in the future won't be, because at the end of the day, they'll always be two ships passing in the night.
He watches her shoulders straighten and then turn towards him, her brow furrowed slightly as her gaze runs over him in the faint light of the church. He can feel it resting on his face for a long moment and wonders what she sees when she looks at him.
"You look like shit Frank."
He nods, "Yes ma'am. Cartel," he says by way of explanation.
She sighs again, mouth pursing, and he's momentarily fascinated by the way her brow furrows.
"Good night Frank."
He nods again and murmurs a polite good night, watching as she walks past, hips swaying. He listens until the sound of her heels clicking against the marble has faded and the silence resumed.
His eyes fall on the Christ figure, silently assessing him. He heard what had happened in New York, had been in disbelief until he had confirmed it with a number of sources.
"You gonna get down off there and help?" he calls out softly to the Christ, waiting a few moments in silence before he shakes his head and stands.
"Yea, didn't think so," he mutters, turning up the collar of his jacket before striding out of the church, tucking his coat close to conceal the Remington 870 MCS Masterkey that hung on a strap from his shoulder.
The doors of the church clanged shut, the noise echoing through the empty nave, tiny candles flickering and casting shadows over the face of the doleful Christ.
Broken glass crunched under her stiletto, ragged breaths condensing in the freezing air. She could hear the men pursuing her, the nickel jacketed bullets slamming into the wall with explosive force near her head.
Cursing, she skids and runs for the heavy metal door, just barely visible in the frozen blue light, cursing Ellison and his need to find out what had really happened at Midland Circle.
Matt Murdock and his merry band of idiots, fucking her over, just like he had done when he was alive, she thought bitterly.
Another hail of bullets whizzed by and she bit back a yelp, swallowing around the pain in her throat as she struggled to breathe.
Never wearing heels again while trying to talk to mobsters...it went on the list of things she would Never Do Again.
Her fingers scrabble over the metal, searching for a handle when, stomach sinking, she realizes that it doesn't open from this side. The pads of her fingers sweep over the door one last rapid time before she whirls and looks around wildly, searching for someplace to hide.
She kicks off her heels and runs, shoving them in her bag as she ascends, bare feet slapping against the rusty metal.
Please don't let me get tetanus...
A door loomed ahead and she sprints for it as the sound of bullets and men shouting followed her up the stairs. Slamming into the door, she wrenches it open and then slams it shut, looking around for something to barricade the door with.
She moves rapidly, thoughts racing with the push of adrenalin in her veins. Shoving the desk in front of the door, she swears as bullets ping against the wall and hid behind the filing cabinet, pulling out her .380 and pointing it at the door.
Taking three deep breaths she tries to steady herself and then bullets are shattering the plywood door, slamming into the wall behind her. Ducking back behind the filing cabinet she listens as the wood is shredded.
Hopefully they would run out of bullets before they made their way in the room.
Despite the situation, she snorts out a scoffing laugh at her own miserable optimism.
Sure Page, and maybe they'll just put down their guns and let you walk outta here, she scoffs internally.
The gunfire grew louder, and suddenly she could hear men screaming and then falling silent. When the rapid-fire ended, everything outside the door fell silent. It was so quiet she could hear her own heart throbbing and the harsh pants of her breath in the small room.
A surprised laugh ripples out of her chest and for a moment she allows relief to fill her, eyes sliding shut.
When the relief passes she opens her eyes and steps around the filing cabinet, distantly noting that there were three bullet holes roughly level with where her head had been.
Picking her way through the debris, she flinches as debris cuts her feet, hot blood flowing in small rivers. She nudges aside the remains of the desk and door and steps out into the faint light.
Frank stood in the shadows, gun propped on one shoulder as he watched her emerge. His gaze flickered down to the .380 in her hand and he nods sharply, seemingly pleased that she's armed.
"What were you doin here ma'am?" he asks, faintly accusatory.
She glances around at the dead men and frowns, shaking her head, "Following up on a story for Ellison on Midland Circle."
A displeased noise comes from Frank and she looks up at him, her brows coming together, "What?" she snaps, knowing he has something on his mind, even if he is a recalcitrant bastard.
Frank shakes his head. Karen Page is too damn stubborn for her own good he thinks.
"You shoulda called. They were goin to kill you," he tells her, as though she isn't perfectly aware of that.
"Really? And here I thought they wanted to bake me a fucking cake!" she snaps back, rolling her eyes at him for good measure. "Besides you didn't come the last time I called," she snaps, tossing the words at him over her shoulder.
He shouldn't be hurt by it but he is, and it takes him a moment to respond without heat. "I couldn't ma'am, I was tied up with somethin."
She just hums and nods, her mouth puckered in a disapproving frown. With a huff she slides her gun back into her bag and pulls a pair of rubber gloves out, preparing to search the bodies.
He sounds confused, faintly worried and somewhat surprised.
He is surprised; she's approaching the bodies with a cold detachment he hadn't thought her capable of. He knew she was strong, but this...
She glances up at him from where she knelt by one of the bodies—face blown off by Frank's handiwork she notes—and lifts a brow, "What?"
"Police'll be here soon," he reminds her instead of commenting on her newfound lack of squeamishness, the sound of sirens growing closer as he speaks.
"So go," she tells him dismissively, still searching the bodies. She takes half a dozen phones, searching their pockets for clues, and snaps photos of each man's face before glancing back up and finding him still standing there, watching her.
She stands and shoves the evidence into her purse, grabbing her shoes out and sliding them back on. "Seriously Frank, go. I'll handle this," she tells him, her voice a little softer now.
He hesitates a moment and then nods. For some reason he believes her. He knows she's strong, but he's never seen her like this.
Instead of stepping away though, he comes toward her, hand extended. "Gimme your piece," he orders softly, "They'll search you."
She hesitates a fraction of a second and then digs it out, slapping it into his palm.
"Got your story straight?" he asks as he slides it into the waistband of his jeans.
"I came for a story, an informant agreed to meet me here, when I came I was ambushed and chased. I barricaded myself in here and it sounded like the Russians showed up and killed the Yakuza. Simple," she rattles off easily.
He gives her one last look, nodding sharply before disappearing into the murky evening.
Sirens scream as she limps down the stairs, the pain of running in heels just now catching up to her. Flashlights bobbed through the warehouse and she lifts her hands as they approach, showing they were empty.
"I'm Karen Page, reporter for the Bulletin, don't shoot!"
Her front door slammed behind her, a headache already pulsing in her veins. Kicking off her shoes again, she limps over to her fridge and pulls a bottle of vodka from the freezer. Not bothering with a glass, she unscrews the lid and swallows a healthy swig, trying to numb the pain.
Bloody footprints coat the kitchen floor and when she glances down she grimaces at the blood on her feet, the ache in them making her calves hurt. Her head pounds from the sound of gunfire, ears still ringing.
Taking the bottle to the shower with her, she strips off her clothes as she goes, leaving a trail behind her. As the scalding water pounds against her spine she sips the vodka slowly, becoming number with each moment.
Her body aches as she warms, and the numbness is interrupted by a startling pain in her arm. Glancing down she frowns at the sight of a gouge in her arm, blood flowing freely. She hadn't felt it before...
When Frank had shown up.
She had been distracted by her need to get information, to hide the truth from the police—and thank god for Brett Mahoney she thinks, otherwise too many questions would have been asked.
She knows she can only use his name so many times before that card doesn't work anymore, she's just hoping it doesn't count against her this time. Hopes that no one notices that both the Russians and the Yakuza were killed by a third party.
Hopes that no one realizes the Punisher is back.
When the water finally grows cold she wraps a towel around herself, wet hair trailing down her back in a slip of shiny copper as she puts a bandaid on over the gouge in her arm, ignoring the pain that flares when she presses it down against her skin.
She tightens her towel around her chest and slips out of the bathroom, shivering in the cooler air as she puts the vodka back, somewhat reluctantly. If anyone has earned a drink tonight, it's Karen Page.
Better not drink it all tonight though...
A rush of cold air ripples over her skin and she looks around hastily, frowning when she sees her fire escape window cracked open. Her hand instantly went searching for a weapon, coming up with a knife from her knife block as her heart started thrumming unevenly once more.
A dark shape emerges from behind the silk room divider keeping her "living room" and "bedroom" areas separate, and she inhales sharply, raising the knife defensively.
"It's me, ma'am. Just returning your gun."
Her stomach plummets at the sound of his voice, relief and annoyance flooding her equally.
"Goddammit Frank," she hisses, turning away to catch her breath as she tosses aside the knife.
She hears the squeak of linoleum under his boots as he approaches and when she looks up he's no more than three feet from her, holding out her gun. She stares at it for a moment before nodding, reaching out to take it from him.
Lights flicker from outside, flashing over his face and she bites her lip, frustration and sorrow flooding her. His nose looks like it's broken—again—and he has a bloody lip, the blood appearing crimson in the faint lights. The way he's standing lets her know he's probably sporting a couple of bruised ribs, if not something worse.
With a defeated sigh she shakes her head and smiles wryly at him, "You look like shit Frank, what happened?" she asks softly.
"I had a chat with the Yakuza and the Russians."
"Huh...why?" she demands. The cold air from the window blows over her skin and she realizes she's still in her towel. A flush raises on her chest and she ducks her head, the realization that she's in next to nothing in front of Frank Castle, the Punisher, sending an unexpected heat furling through her.
Karen points to her small kitchen chair and holds up a finger, "Wait here, I'm putting on clothes and I want to hear why," she orders.
Frank nods and sinks into the chair without protest, surprising her. His long fingers tap against the polymer of the table, watching as she slips away to put clothes on.
Some faint light in her room clicks on and he can see her slight form through the silk barrier between them as she pulls clothes on.
Her hips shimmy and circle as something slides up her legs and something hot pulses through his veins at the action— so reminiscent of how he has imagined her body moving if he...NO.
Frank cut off that train of thought before it even got going.
He had ruined her life once in a hail of bullets and no matter how many times he stopped her from being killed or followed her to make sure she was safe, he still managed to let her down again by not being here when Red had needed him—when she had needed him.
He glances back toward the screen and can see that the soft peaks of her breasts are barely discernible through the shadowy material before she drops something over her head and covers them.
Glancing away, he hears her approach and only looks up when she's standing a few inches away, staring down at him with a determined frown. When her hand drifts towards his face he holds still, trying not to flinch when her smooth skin skims over his wounds.
"I can clean that up," she offers softly and he wonders at the look in her eye, wonders at the way her body leans toward his.
"No need, I'll do it later," he replies, turning his gaze away from her and breaking the skin to skin contact. It feels like ants are crawling under his skin, burning where she had touched, the sensation spreading through him.
Karen ignores him and returns to her bathroom, reemerging moments later with a yellow container stuffed with medical supplies. Seating herself across from him, she drags the chair forward until her knee is between his and the other nudged the outside of his leg.
Unexpected head flushes through him at the touch, and heat rises in his burnished cheeks. He shifts in the chair and she scowls faintly at him.
"Sit still," she orders.
Her hands remain busy as her gaze flickers to him.
"So why did you go see the Yakuza and Russians?" she demands again, leaning towards him with a cotton ball soaked in peroxide.
He braces himself for the burn and winces as her fingers brushed against his cuts, cleaning and checking for deeper injury.
"Same reason as you. Heard they were no longer friends and wanted to know why. Wanted to see what I could find out."
She nods sharply and spread a small bandage over the cut on his nose, fingers soft and delicate.
"Didn't think you cared about the why's behind criminals' actions," she murmurs.
"Because I'm the Punisher?" he taunts, holding her sea colored eyes with his darker ones when they flicker up. A long moment passes before she shrugs, nodding, and gives him a bashful half smile.
"You needed the information," he tells her simply, watching as her eyes widen for a moment before she inhales sharply and pulls away, dropping the cotton ball and cursing softly.
He watches her grow increasingly flustered until she stands suddenly, scowling down at him.
"I didn't ask you to do that Frank, I didn't ask you to put yourself in danger. I-I don't need another person I—" and there her voice cut out for a moment before she continues, eyes glistening and voice unsteady, "I don't need another friend dying," she murmurs, carefully emphasizing the word.
"Told you, Red didn't like asking for help," he tells her, "It wasn't your fault."
Her gaze flares up from where she had been staring at the floor, "You think I don't know that? I know it wasn't my fault! If he hadn't tried to save that damned Elektra..." she breaks off, breathing heavily for a moment before she shakes her head, "Forget it. Just...forget it."
He watches as she gathers up the used medical supplies with shaking fingers, turning away to throw them in her trash, trying to control her wild emotions.
She was spiraling again, dangerously close to doing or saying something she would regret.
"I couldn't do it," she whispers, breaking the silence that had fallen.
Her shoulders are rigid as she speaks and Frank wonders silently how she didn't shatter under the pressure.
"I couldn't love him the same way after I found out who he really was. All the lies, all the half truths, it all finally made sense. You told me once that if it was really love it would rip your guts out and make you want to come back for more."
She shakes her head, "It wasn't like that with Matt. It was...lonely. Empty."
He hears her sniffle and a moment later she turns to face him, brow furrowed in confusion. "I loved him, but not enough," she tells him.
Why? Why is she telling him of all people these things? It wasn't like he was able to fix them for her. Field strip a gun and put it back together in under three minutes, close a wound with duct tape, hotwire a stolen vehicle...those things he could do.
But these things? Repairing a broken heart? Mourn a friendship? He had no idea.
"I'm sorry ma'am," he mutters, rubbing a hand over the back of his neck awkwardly. She looks so brokenhearted that he has to fight the urge to get up and hold her in his arms.
He recalls the moment he held her as bullets destroyed her old apartment, how she trembled in his arms and he could smell the faint floral scent of her hair, so at odds with the moment.
Frank notices when she shivers in front of him, goosebumps running over her arms and legs and when he looks her over he realizes there's blood on her arm. In a moment he's up, reaching for her, frowning deeply.
She backs away, startled, and he holds his hand up, showing her he's not a threat—and isn't that a joke, the Punisher, not a threat. But he's not, not to her.
He can see her pulse in her throat and he waits a moment before speaking. "Ma'am, you're bleeding," he murmurs, pointing to her arm.
Karen looks down, surprise flashing on her face. Her mouth opens in a soft O and he steps closer, "Let me see," he tells her gently, and he's surprised when she nods, angling herself towards him.
He peels off the bandage and frowns when he sees a familiar looking furrow in her skin. He's had enough bullet wounds of his own to know what a graze looks like and to know it has to be hurting her more than she's letting on.
Gently he guides her into the chair he had been in and cleans the wound with antiseptic, eyes flashing up to her face when she flinches at the bite of the peroxide. She just nods at him and he keeps going, cleaning the wound and then applying a large bandage to it, pressing it against her skin gently.
"It'll scar, but if you put some of that, cocoa shit on it, it'll fade," he mutters, gathering up the trash and standing, leaving her sitting at the table.
"That cocoa shit?" she asks, and he realizes that she's teasing; he can hear the laughter in her voice. When he turns around she's smirking at him, her long legs crossed, shining in the faint light shining in from the windows.
Her hair is curling around her face and there's dark marks under her eyes, he can see how tired she is, wonders how she's been sleeping since...everything.
She lifts a brow at him and he realizes she's waiting for him to answer her.
"Cocoa butter. It's good for scars and stretch marks," he tells her, muttering the last words as he remembers rubbing said lotion into Maria's taut belly, feeling his babies move beneath his palm.
Karen hears the unspoken words, the knowledge he's not sharing. "Thanks, I'll do that," she replies, rising to her feet as nervous energy fills her. She goes back to the freezer for the vodka, knowing she shouldn't.
There are a lot of things she shouldn't do.
She shouldn't drink as much as she has been.
She shouldn't be angry with a dead man.
She shouldn't be thinking about kissing Frank.
She pours a splash of vodka into a glass and waves the bottle at him, nodding when he does, and pours another splash into a glass for him. He takes it from her and their eyes meet as she sips, enjoying the burn.
"How long are you here for?" she asks, shifting on her sore feet.
He notices everything about her, even when he shouldn't.
"Depends," he replies, shrugging a shoulder.
"On what I find."
She nods and swallows down the rest of her vodka. When she refills her glass she hears his footsteps and then he's there, holding out his for more. Karen stares at him while she pours, eyes flickering over the bruises and fat lip.
They lift their glasses and drink and in the silence she can hear the traffic outside the window it's so silent. Frank drains his glass and sets it on the counter, hands bracing out as he sighs, eyes falling shut.
She wonders what he's thinking about; Maria and the kids? The men he killed tonight? That car alarm going off a block away?
"You going back out tonight?" she asks, trying not to worry, trying not to care. Because caring about Frank Castle is another thing on the list of things she should Never Do Again. She cared about him once, and he had walked away from her to murder Schoonover.
Frank shakes his head, no; he's going back to his shitty apartment on the wrong side of town where his dog is waiting for him. He'll get a shitty frozen meal out and spend the night cleaning his guns, watching as the sun comes up and he can go to sleep, finally.
He can't sleep at night anymore; the darkness is there, waiting for him when he closes his eyes. It's always been there, haunting him in the daylight, like a demon creeping along in the shadows behind him, lingering, watching, waiting for him to let down his guard to slide in and destroy him again.
Colored lights flash from outside over her walls and in an instant he hears carousel music, the laughter of children. Sweet sickly cotton candy floods his nose, immediately drowned out by the sharp bitter scent of blood and gunpowder.
He's vaguely aware of hands on him and he lashes out, knocking them aside, shoving the owner of the hands against the wall. The hands scramble over his arms, digging into his skin and as the sounds of the carousel fade from his ears, he can hear a soft feminine voice chanting his name.
"Frank, Frank I'm here, shhh."
The swirls of colors fade from his eyes and he blinks rapidly, coming to himself slowly. He's breathing heavily, the bitter taste of copper in his mouth as he realizes that his hands are on Karen, fingers digging into the skin of her upper arms so tightly he must be bruising her.
She's wide eyed and breathing softly, still whispering his name. Her fingers are grasping at his chest, twisted in the fabric of his shirt, her knuckles white.
"Frank, breathe, it's me," she whispers, tugging on his shirt gently.
His breathing is ragged and he's struggling to contain the fear and rage swelling within him. Gritting his teeth he looks away, trembling.
When her hand touches his cheek he flinches, head whipping around to glare at her. Most people falter under the weight of a glare from the Punisher. But not her.
No, Karen Page is made of sterner stuff. He's witnessed that.
She presses her fingers to his cheek more firmly and without even realizing it, he leans into the touch, exhaling in relief.
The manic music of the carousel fades, the tang of gunpowder becomes an echo, and as he stares into her stormy eyes, the laughter of children recedes back to the darkness, waiting once more to lunge out and torture him.
Her thumb traces under his bruised eye and the twinge of pain followed by the overwhelming sensation of relief scares him. He's not used to being touched, not anymore, not unless it's someone else's fists on his skin.
He can handle the pain; it's like a demon that's taken up residence in his body, bloodying his vision and teeth. It's this, this, gentleness that he can't stand.
I almost hurts him to be touched so softly, so tenderly. It makes him think of Maria and bile rises in his throat. Unthinking, he slams a fist into the wall near her head, welcoming the pain as it crackles through his knuckles.
Karen gasps softly and her fingers slip from his face, dropping to his shoulder.
"Frank," she breathes.
"Don't," he warns, backing away from her, pushing her hands away as she tries to follow him.
"Frank," she murmurs, reaching out for him, a worried frown creasing her face.
"Just don't," he snaps, trying to control his breathing.
She ignores him and her fingers wrap around his bicep, her left hand coming up to cup around his neck and he flinches, a guttural whine coming from his throat. He's taut, like a wire ready to snap, his body trembling like a nervous racehorse under her touch.
"Frank, just breathe," she whispers, her thumb stroking against his neck softly, and it breaks him, shatters the pain and leaves him raw, skin seared like a flayed man.
Karen makes a soft noise and slides closer to him, the scent of her orchid body wash flooding his nose. He breathes it in eagerly, trying to drown out the scent of blood and gunpowder still lingering like a ghost.
Karen's fingers trail over the soft hairs at the base of his neck and he shivers, fearing he'll die at the gentility she's showing him.
His hands hang limp at his sides and he just breathes as she touches him, hushing and soothing him. Karen leans in even closer, her forehead pressing against his gently.
She's flaying him alive and she doesn't even realize it. She has no idea how she's dug her way under his skin and into his soul, sitting right there next to his demon, fighting for space. It's her light that keeps the demon at bay, her sweetness and strength that make the air clearer around his head.
And he'll let her destroy him, flay him, dig under his skin and into his soul, because this, this is truer than anything else he's felt in so long.
Frank is struggling, trying to regain some sense of control when her hand at his neck pulls and her body sways into his, her hips settling against his as her mouth finds his cheek. For a long moment she's just there, pressed against him and he can't move, can't think, can't react.
Then the hands on the clock sway and he's stepping back, shaking his head like a dog trying to rid himself of water. He's been destroyed by her touch and he can't stand it anymore, he has to escape.
"Frank," she says, hurt coloring her voice and he accepts it, takes it in, lets it flay him on the inside. Her hand reaches out towards him supplicating, and he shakes his head, turning away.
"Don't touch me," he growls, rubbing a hand over his face, trying to rub off the sensation her touch sent shivering through his body.
Karen's face darkens, "Why? Frank, what the fuck?" she demands, frustration coloring her voice.
He whirls back towards her, glaring. "Because Karen, I can't stand it. I don't deserve your kindness or you bein sweet." And then suddenly he's grabbing her, shaking her softly, eyes wide with panic, "Don't you get it? You're destroying me," he gasps.
She stares at him wide eyed, mouth partially open in shock. "W-what?" she stutters. "I'm...I'm just trying to make sure you're ok," she replies sharply. "It's what...friends do," she tells him harshly.
He laughs bitterly at that, because if she and he are friends, then hell, he's also the tooth fairy. He doesn't deserve her, not at all, and he has to make her understand that. "You don't get it Karen, I'm going to end up gettin you hurt. You'll end up dead because of me and I can't stand that."
He shakes her again, his fingers biting into her skin and she gasps, exhaling sharply. Her breath smells like vodka and something spicy, something uniquely her and it drugs him; he sways towards her, yearning for it.
A battle as bloody and violent as any he's waged on the streets wages within him. Leave/don't leave...touch her/don't touch her...kiss her/don't kiss her.
Frank doesn't want to feel broken, flayed and destroyed, he wants that sweet healing touch of hers to break him down and put him back together.
Even if he doesn't deserve it.
Maybe, just for tonight, he can have it.
His fingers on her arms loosen and he strokes her skin with his thumbs, the silky heat emanating from her body intoxicating him. He's entranced, his dark gaze watching her pulse in her throat as he touches her.
Karen can feel that something has changed in Frank; she can see the way he's almost...relaxed. She's never seen him like this, he's never touched her like this and it makes her pulse thrum, her body filling with a sweet need.
She's scared to move, scared to frighten him off; that he'll change his mind, of what will happen if he keeps touching her. She's scared to find out that she wants to know...wants to step off this ledge and not look back.
Karen lifts her hands to rest softly on his shoulders, fingers clutching at him and Frank moves suddenly, pulling her towards him until her body is pressed to his. His face buries in her hair, a move she hadn't expected.
He inhales, breathing in her scent, letting it wash away the blood that seems to drench his consciousness. His hands cup her hip and shoulder, his body tense against hers.
She runs her fingers through his hair softly and he trembles. "Shhh, Frank, it's ok," she whispers, her fingers furrowing through his buzz cut. She turns her face and places a soft kiss on his cheek, nose brushing against his skin.
Frank shudders as she continues gently, her mouth brushing over his skin, growing bolder as he relaxes into her touch. Her teeth close around his throat, mouth sucking until he's groaning brokenly and his hips arch into her.
Heat burns in her veins at the sound from Frank, a soft noise in her own throat forming as his hands grip her tighter. Her tongue flicks over the bruised skin and Frank whines deep in his throat, biting his tongue to keep a senseless stream of words from slipping out.
It wouldn't do to have something soft and affectionate he can't mean come out and fuck everything up.
Karen tugs on his hips, pulling him against her and then suddenly they're up against the wall, his body covering hers. Her hands slide under his tight tshirt, fingertips gliding along his abdomen, tracing over his well defined muscles and heat curls through her belly at the thought of putting her mouth on them.
She tugs at the hem of his shirt, pulling at it until it's lifted over his head and his torso is exposed. She pauses a moment, tracing her fingers over the scars and bruises littering his skin. He's a map of pain, an atlas pointing out where he's been mutilated and beaten by his own drive for revenge and justice.
In the next moment her mouth is on him, sucking and biting at his pecs, her hands clutching his waist. Frank groans as her hot mouth leaves mark after mark on him, her silky hair brushing over his skin like fire.
When she sinks to her knees he groans, watching as she unzips his jeans and shifts them so his half erect cock comes free. A moment later she's stroking him, her grip firm, squeezing as she twists.
Frank shudders and groans, bracing himself against the wall, watching her as she stares up at him with wide blue eyes. When her lips close around his weeping tip he thinks he too might start crying.
"Christ Page," he hisses, growling as she opens her mouth wider and sucks, taking him deeper with each bob of her head. She hums against him and he shudders, trying to control the swell of need flooding him.
Her fingers dig into his jean covered thigh and she's sucking him harder when he pushes at her shoulder, panting. "I'm gonna..." he gasps, barely able to speak.
Karen hums around his cock, ignoring his warning. Her eyes are bright as she takes him deeper, her throat aching as he stretches her, hips jolting as he breathes in loud gasps. She reaches a hand up to press into his sweat sheened chest and he clamps a hand over it, pressing her touch into his skin.
He doesn't know why she's doing this, allowing him to come in her mouth without so much as a word of disagreement. He can't understand why she wants to do this, why she wants him at all. He knows why he wants her, but fuck why does she want him?
Frank cries out a warning and then suddenly his brain is short circuiting, whiting out as he comes. Through slitted eyes he watches her suck him until he's shaking, too sensitive.
As the light fades from his eyes she rises and wraps her fingers around his waist, leaning in to kiss his neck softly, so gently it shatters him all over again. She pulls his waist gently, "Come on," she whispers, pulling him towards her bedroom.
He follows her, as he always will.
Karen guides him to her bed, pushing him down gently. She kneels again and unlaces his boots, pulling them off and setting them aside before she strips his socks off and rises up to reach for his jeans.
His fingers wind around her wrist, stopping her. Her eyes meet his, worry and curiosity warring there.
"You...you don't have to," he whispers, and then thinks that it's far too late for that. She's already been on her knees for him, a place he never wanted her to be, a place that's reserved for killers and rapists who are about to meet the business end of his bullets.
If he's honest with himself he wants her any way she'll have him, but he knows he doesn't deserve her.
She smiles then, soft and warm, her fingers curling around his waist and she leans up to kiss him, on the lips this time, surprising him. She pulls away just as he's responding and murmurs against his lips, "I want to."
When he hesitates she kisses him again, firmer this time, keeping at it until he's kissing her back, one of his hands twining through her silken curls. "I want to, I want you," she whispers, nose brushing his gently.
He nods and she tugs at his jeans, sliding them off when he shifts his hips up for her. When he's naked she stares down at him for a moment and then waves a hand, "Move back," she urges.
Frank has always been good at taking direction and this is no different. He slides back until her pillows and headboard are supporting his spine and she follows, sliding into his lap with a grace and ease that takes his breath away.
He's yet to really touch her, and now here they are, her sitting in his naked lap while still fully dressed. He wants to put his hands on her, but holds back, imagining her lustrous skin being sullied by his touch.
She slips her hands around his neck and leans in, silky hair framing her face as she kisses him and he can taste a spicy flavor on her tongue as it swipes along his lower lip, soothing where her teeth bite.
She's gentle, but firm, pushing and pulling him along until he's lost in a tide of her; the way she tastes, the way she smells, the way she feels. He's not sure how long they stay like that, her mouth on his, her fingers in his hair, his hands on her hips.
It could be hours, days, years—and he didn't know it could be like this; slow, steady, sweet. It hasn't been that way since Maria, and even as he thinks that, he doesn't push her away because some part of him needs this, needs to know he's still worth slow and sweet and steady.
He doesn't deserve it, but she gives it to him anyway.
Karen begins trailing her mouth over his jaw, his scruff burning her in a way that leaves her blood pounding between her legs, aching for more. She sucks another mark onto his neck, rolling her hips down into his until he's panting beneath her and his hips are jutting back up against her, his cock growing hard again.
After a moment she leans back and stares at him while she breathes heavily, eyes hooded with desire. His dark eyes meet hers and without thinking he lifts a hand to her cheek, knuckles brushing over it smoothly.
Her eyes widen and her bottom lip falls open enough for him to cup her cheek and swipe his thumb over it, dragging it down for a breath before she's closing her lips around the appendage and biting, gently.
Pleasure bolts through him, curling low in his belly, heat building. She sucks on his thumb, tongue swirling for a moment before she releases it and leans in, kissing him again. Their tongues dance and retreat until he's breathless, needy and desperate.
"You taste like gunpowder," she whispers, then recaptures his mouth.
Frank's hands push at her shirt, guiding it up until she's leaning back and it's tossed aside, leaving her bare to his touch. His breath catches in his throat at the sight of her naked breasts, pale and glistening in the lights from the window.
She watches him stare and after a moment guides his hand to her breast, watching as his eyes widen and his breath exhales sharply. His palm curves around her breast, hesitating for just a moment before he's shifting and stroking his thumb over her nipple until it's taut and aching.
Karen moans softly, rolling her hips down into him as his other hand joins the first, cupping then stroking her breast. She's breathing harder, losing herself in the feel of Frank's calloused fingers on her skin, moaning when his lips finally close on her throat.
Frank growls low in his throat as he mouths over her neck, leaving red marks that he knows she'll have to cover later, but for right now, he's lost in the taste of her. When his lips close over her breast he thinks maybe he's died and gone to heaven, groaning as she whines and furrows her fingers through his hair.
Karen's nails scrape his skull, a moan lodged in her throat as he feasts on the tender skin of her breasts, his teeth tugging and tongue lapping until she's gasping and writhing on his lap. She can feel the hard edge of his cock through her shorts and she's burning, aching with need and growing wetter by the second.
"Frank," she gasps and in an instant he's moving away from her skin, watching her with careful eyes, his chest heaving as they stare at each other.
"Touch me," she demands, rising up on her knees to shimmy off her shorts and then sink back into his lap.
She's burning him, searing into his soul where her body meets his, her long arms wrapping around his shoulders, her lips blazing against his. She's light and heat and she's burning him, shading away the demon with her intensity.
His hands are back at her waist, pulling her more firmly against him until it's not enough; he needs to touch more of her, to put his mouth on her.
He grabs her hips and rolls them until her back hits the mattress and in a moment he's mouthing his way over her breasts, down her torso, and then hovers, just inches from where she's already wet and waiting for him.
Karen whines and rolls her hips, trying to get his mouth on her and to her surprise he laughs, softly, "Just wait ma'am," he encourages before his lips brush over her inner thigh and she's gasping as he's burning her right back.
"Frank," she breathes, fingers burrowing in his hair as he mouths over her thigh, sucking her skin between his teeth, trying to hold himself back from where he can smell her, the scent so tantalizing it makes his mouth water.
When she's practically ripping hair from his skull he moves in and darts his tongue out, sliding slowly between her folds and up to her clit, nudging it gently. She sighs, her body relaxing and then tensing within the same breath.
He deliberately takes his time, lapping at her slowly, tongue flicking and nudging her clit as it darts between her folds, tasting her sweet juices. Her fingers are looser in his hair, holding onto him as he licks, then flicks, then sucks.
Karen whines and rolls her hips against his mouth, pleasure burning low in her belly, spreading until she's moaning his name, begging for release. Frank plans to give it to her, more than once, considering she's deemed him worthy to even be in this position.
He'll worship her until she's tired of him and makes him leave, whenever that might be.
He sucks harder on her clit, circling her opening with two fingers before sliding in, curling them against her walls until she's shuddering and moaning loudly, one fist balling against her mouth to muffle her cries.
He sucks harder and rubs on her g-spot until she inhales sharply and shudders, her whole body arching and tensing. He works her through it, moaning as her walls flutter around him, trying to suck him in.
Karen gasps, throat raw from muffling her cries as he kisses over her thighs, and up her flat stomach to leave marks on her skin. As he makes his way up to her mouth her arms wind around his broad shoulders, pulling him close.
Frank settles between her hips, bracing himself above her on his forearms as he kisses her, the taste of her still heavy on his tongue. If she had flayed him apart with her kisses, he's poured lighter fluid on the remains and lit a match.
When he starts to pull away, lifting himself off her, she frowns at him and wraps a leg around his thigh, pulling him back.
"Where are you going?" she demands softly, running her fingers through his hair. He tries not to sink into her touch, but fails, miserably.
"Just thought..." he trails off, not able to complete the thought.
"Thought you'd get me off and leave?" she murmurs, and he looks up at her, preparing himself to withdraw, to leave.
When he doesn't say anything she smirks and tugs against his thigh, pulling his hips forward until his cock is lying heavily on her hip. He grunts at the touch and his head drops to her shoulder, breathe heaving out against her skin.
Her fingers furrow through his hair once more and she tugs his head up, drawing him up to kiss her, sweet and soft. Her breath is soft against his lips when she whispers, "Don't go."
He stares down at her, hair splayed out in a golden halo on her pillow, blue eyes shining up at him like lamps and nods, he'll stay. For her, he'll stay.
His mouth finds hers again and she runs her hands over his back, her nails digging into his skin until it almost hurts, and then she's lifting her hips and his cock is dragging over her wet heat, pulling a moan from her throat.
He chokes on his own groan and grabs her hip, holding her up as he angles himself toward her entrance, hesitating for a moment before she's gripping his bicep tighter and whispering at him to hurry up.
When he slides into her he growls out a curse, swearing louder when her leg wraps around his hips, angling so he slides deeper, bottoming out within her. Karen gasps at the way he's filling her, seated deep, not moving.
Long moments pass as Frank savors the moment, letting her sear into his memory, the feel of her body tight around him something he'll never forget. She whines and wiggles her hips, encouraging him to move and a moment later he's withdrawing and then snapping his hips forward, plunging deep into her.
Biting her lip, she digs her fingertips into his biceps, holding on as he thrusts hard into her, still slow, building heat between them until sweat breaks out on his chest and over her throat. He grabs her other leg and wraps it around his waist, plunging harder and faster into her, slowly losing himself in her.
Karen's cries fill the room, gasping out his name then biting her lip to keep quiet. He sinks down onto his forearms, his fingers winding into her hair as he thrusts into her, his face burying in her neck.
His breath is harsh against her skin and he knows he's not going to last long, despite his best efforts to make this last longer. Karen's rolling her hips into his movement, biting her lip and moaning deep in her throat.
"Ahhh, ahh! Frank!" she cries as he thrusts harder, "Oh fuck, Frank, Frank!"
His mouth covers hers and she whines, "More, p-please!"
Shifting his weight he quickly slides a hand down to her clit and rubs, hard and fast. She bucks into him, crying out as he kisses her furiously, hips pounding into hers.
She can feel her orgasm building rapidly and when it comes she bites his shoulder, crying out as waves of pleasure slam through her. Frank curses as her body tightens and flutters, sucking him deeper in a fist of pleasure.
He's coming a few rough thrusts later, hot and hard, his vision blurring as he growls into her neck, her name a broken gasp. They move against each other restlessly for a few more minutes until the sparks under their skin settle and cool.
When he slips out of her he doesn't move far, simply collapses against the pillow as exhaustion overtakes him. She lies next to him, hair disheveled and cheeks flushed, chest rising and falling slowly.
He's trying not to stare at her, trying not to think about what happened too much, trying not to let the shadows back in to ruin this moment.
She shivers and he reaches out absently, pulling up the blankets around her, smirking at her look of surprise.
"Momma raised a gentleman," he tells her, half shrugging, "Even if I aint much of one now."
She smiles at that and reaches out to run her fingers over his cheek, tracing the bruises once more. He glances out the window and then to her small digital clock beside the bed. She notices the glance and lifts a brow, "Somewhere to be?"
She tries to ask nonchalantly, but it still comes out too interested. She's worried he'll bolt. She wouldn't be surprised or even offended if he did. It's not the first time he's left her after an emotionally revelatory moment, though none so intimate as this.
"No, just lookin."
Karen stares at him for a moment and then nods, accepting his vague explanation. They sink into a comfortable silence and she shifts deeper under the blanket, staring up at the ceiling. Frank curls his hands behind his head, eyes drifting closed.
"I killed Wilson Fisk's man last year."
Her words come out of nowhere, and in a moment she's continuing.
"He kidnapped me and held me at gunpoint. He told me they would kill Matt, Foggy, everyone I cared about. When his phone rang I grabbed the gun from the table and..." she breaks off and he rolls to look at her, watches her brow furrow.
"And?" he prompts softly.
"And he asked if I really thought he'd give me a loaded gun. I told him it wasn't the first time I had shot someone, and then..."
"Then you shot him."
She hums in affirmation and turns her head to look at him, a question in her eyes.
'You did the right thing," he tells her softly and at the look in her eyes, he knows she already knows.
She surprises him then, moving to curl into his side, her nose brushing against his chest. He hesitates for a moment and then wraps an arm around her waist.
"You did good Karen, you did good," he whispers and feels her relax into him.
When she wakes up the next morning he's already gone, but there's a note on her freezer.
Get a better lock for your front door Page. Call me if you need me.
I'll see you soon.
She stares at it for a moment and then smiles softly, "See you soon Frank," she whispers.
AN: And thus, my contribution to Kastle fanfic. Hope you liked it, I tried a different style for this, so I'm not sure how that turned out. Please review!! xoxo