On weekends, Sophia likes watching Jake shave in the morning. She usually is the one up early, so Sundays are when she indulges and sleeps in. She feels him press a stubbly kiss to her cheek, the short dark whiskers scratchy, and soon she hears the water running.
He works in deft, practiced strokes, each swipe revealing a stripe of fair skin. He pulls his neck taut and continues, rinsing the blade every other stroke. It's mesmerizing, this simple thing that feels somehow more intimate than sex.
He rinses the blade one last time, then ducks his head to wash. He pats his face dry and rubs on aftershave. She can smell it from where she sits, and it's nice, like citrus and spice. He pads over to her, boxers and white tee a very compelling look.
"Hey," he says, voice still sleep-rough, his hair still wild. He crawls back into bed with her, and she feels enveloped in the smell of his aftershave, especially when he puts an arm around her waist and pulls her close. "Like what you see?" he asks, a teasing note in his voice and a light in his eyes.
She drags the pad of her index finger down his cheek. "Oh, yeah." She punctuates her point by tapping the dimple in his chin, triggering that wide smile she likes so much. "I'm pretty into it."
Tonight, they've got the interview muted because Jake is telling her about the raid they did today. After she'd made the requisite noises about guns and danger, he'd described the task force breaking in and fanning out, and then the photos of the brainstorming board for Giggle Pig varietal names.
"We started making up some of our own while we were finishing up the reports," he narrates, thumbs running along the hard ridge in the arch of her foot.
"Uh-huh." Sophia is so turned on, she can barely keep her focus on Jake's story. He's almost done with this foot, and the second he is, she plans on jumping his bones.
"Someone -- one of the patrol guys, maybe? -- threw out 'Bumbling Otter' and we all couldn't stop laughing." He presses her toes between the heels of his palms. "I think it'll become a thing." He pats the tops of her feet. "All done, there we go. How do you feel?"
In lieu of responding, she pushes at him until he's on the ground and she's crawling over him.
A few days later, he texts her a photo of an otter toy, the little tag for the aquarium just visible off its ear.
Bumbling Otter? she texts him.
meet sergeant peanut butter reads his reply.
Another text follows: named for the horse who won the medal of valor last year
A horse can win that?
hes a damn hero Jake replies, followed by a series of emoji involving horses, police, and medals. It makes Sophia laugh quietly as she waits for the train.
So it's a surprise (to say the least) when he shows up at her office, adorably rumpled in a half-undone plaid shirt, the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, carrying a bag from the deli by the train. He's smiling at her, but the lines at the edges of his eyes look more drawn, and he's got dark circles under his eyes.
"Hey," she says by way of greeting, and pulls him out of view of her colleagues, gossiping bastards that they are. "What are you doing here? I thought I wouldn't see you until I got home."
Jake presses a kiss to her mouth, chaste and sweet. "I brought you dinner," he replies, and holds up the bag. "I hope sandwiches are okay? I figured you wanted something you could eat with one hand, 'cause you have to work."
She feels a fond sort of joy bloom in her chest, and the feeling seeps out into her fingers and toes. She takes the bag from his hands, and when they touch it's electric. "Thank you. Did you want to eat with me?"
He shakes his head. "If I sit down, I'm not standing up for another twelve hours."
She laughs and nods. "Okay. I'll see you at your place later?"
His hand traces the dip of her waist, the curve of her hip. "Yeah, I'll be waiting." There's a warm promise in his words, his voice a little husky with fatigue. He ruins the effect by yawning.
She pushes him away. "Go home, you look like death warmed over."
When she lets herself into his loft later, there's the light over the stove left on for her to see by. She takes off her shoes and sets her bag by the door, pulling off her jacket before she goes upstairs to the lofted bed.
He's deep asleep, his breathing slow and even, mouth parted slightly. She strips down and steals one of his t-shirts from the pile she knows (well, suspects) is the clean laundry and crawls in with him. He reaches for her in his sleep, and she presses on his chest to make sure she has enough room to breathe. His heartbeat is steady under her hand, in time with his breathing, and she falls asleep with that same joy tinged with fondness racing in her veins.
She hears him swallow. "Yeah, Amy mentioned it."
Sophia stirs the risotto. "I was worried she'd think I was being hard on her because I'm jealous or threatened by her."
Jake is silent for a long beat, and she's about to turn when she sees him change positions so that he's leaning on the counter beside her. "But you're not," he says, voice matter-of-fact. "And Amy knows that."
"Yeah," Sophia agrees. "That's all in the past. I'm not like that anyway."
"Exactly," Jake says. "And if it becomes a problem, you'll just lawyer me until I do better."
She grins. "You do know me."
He kisses her, and maybe the risotto burns a little bit, but it's worth it.
They reach her train's entrance first, and it's the best and worst part of her morning, tilting her head up for a movie-quality kiss, the kind that leaves her shaking until she's at her desk at work, the one that has her smiling the rest of the day when she thinks about it, the warm sweetness of his mouth a thrill and a comfort.
Absently, she touches her lips and wonders if she'll ever get used to how bright he makes her feel. No, she thinks, resolute and unshakably certain. No, I could never..