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Healing Hands

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You’re not even sure how it happened, but you’d woken up one morning in searing pain on one side of your neck and shoulder, unable to turn your head in either direction more than a few degrees. You’d had a restless night’s sleep and it had taken you longer than usual to finally nod off, so you figured that may have played a part. Working for the DEA was always stressful, but it had been a particularly tense and hectic week and you’d had great difficulty trying to relax each evening when you came home.

Work had also been more than a little awkward in recent months, for entirely different reasons than the job itself. As an Intelligence Officer, you were accustomed to liaising with various different departments, as well as other divisions of the DEA. You often worked closely with Agents Peña and Murphy. Murphy was the more approachable of the two; friendly with a side order of southern charm that always stayed on the right side of respectful. Within your first week of your job, you’d been warned about Peña’s reputation for mixing business with pleasure and oh boy, they weren’t wrong. He’d tried his luck with you and you’d be lying if you said you hadn’t been briefly tempted; he was, after all, ridiculously handsome and enigmatic, but you didn’t fancy becoming another notch on his bed post, especially so soon into your new career. Once that boundary was established, you settled into an easier working relationship with him.

Peña was the least of your worries, though. You also regularly had to work with the Colombian Police, who were led by Colonel Carrillo. In all honesty, Carrillo had intimidated you when you first met him. That’s not to say he was an asshole, because you actually didn’t think he was. It was more the powerful commanding presence he exuded - often without saying much – that you were both daunted by and in awe of. Luckily for you, you were good at your job; damn good at it, in fact. You were capable, conscientious and meticulous and that earned his respect pretty quickly. He would often entrust you with tasks ahead of anyone else, knowing you’d get the job done and you’d do it well. You’d heard your colleagues warn each other not to approach him on several occasions, as they’d been on the receiving end of one of his icy glares or a wry flare of his nostrils, but that had never been your experience of him. It wasn’t even that you were trying to impress him. No doubt office gossip suggested otherwise, but you tried not to listen to any of that if you could help it.

You’d also be lying to yourself if you said you weren’t attracted to him, because of course you were. In fact, you were harbouring something of a full-blown crush, although you were trying desperately to reign it in and forget about it as much as possible. You tried to keep your interactions with him formal and professional, although even when you were discussing the drier details of intel or tactics, it was hard not to get distracted by the intensity of his gaze on you whilst you were talking. You wished he wouldn’t look at you like that, because you were pretty sure he didn’t look at anyone else in your department like that and that sort of thinking never ended well.

So, you’d tried your very hardest to bury your feelings and just get on with your job. It wasn’t always easy, though. He had a habit of leaning over your desk with his toned, burly arms on full display. His voice floated through the air like white noise during moments like this and you had to stop yourself from staring too much.

Once or twice, you were sure he must have noticed how flustered you were, but he never let on; his aloof demeanour never betraying the fire that burned beneath the surface. His job didn’t allow him to be careless with his emotions; too many lives depended on the decisions he made day in, day out. He had to remain focused and composed, yet his resolve was being increasingly tested. He couldn’t deny he was drawn to you, like a moth to a flame, even when he knew he should probably keep his distance. You were too tempting and he was only human.

Your job often involved working unsociable hours, which you mostly didn’t mind, as you had always been a bit of a night owl anyway. It was late one evening and most of your colleagues had packed up for the day and had long since bid you goodnight. Only a hardcore few remained in the building now, you being the sole person still working on your section.

You were determined to finish going through the batch of tapes on your desk before calling it a night. Some key names had come up on the last recording and you had everything crossed that this might well be the breakthrough you all desperately needed. However, sitting hunched over your desk all day had really not done your neck any favours. You tried to sit up straight, flattening yourself against the back of your chair, slowly tilting your head from side to side and kneading at your shoulders with your thumbs in an attempt to ease the soreness and tension. You winced as you stretched and couldn’t help but let out a small cry of pain. Fuck, you really had done some damage.

You’d been so preoccupied with trying to stop your body from completely seizing up, you hadn’t immediately noticed you were being watched. Now you were more aware of your surroundings, you could feel a pair of dark, concerned eyes following your movements as you tried and failed to ease your discomfort. Shit. Oh shit. Why did it have to be him? Why now? You felt like crap and to be honest, you were pretty sure you weren’t looking your best either. It had been a long and exhausting day and you had started to feel the effects of sleep deprivation several hours ago, hence downing several more cups of coffee than you’d normally care to knock back, before ploughing on through.

You attempted a reassuring smile back at him once you’d caught his eye, but clearly you can’t have been very convincing as he was now making his way over to your desk. Fuck.

“You should call it a night,” Carrillo offered, his voice a lot softer and somehow more intimate than you were used to hearing.

“Could say the same to you,” you replied, immediately trying to deflect the conversation away from yourself. It somehow felt safer that way.

Being in such close proximity to him like this when no one else was around was almost too much to handle. You’d deduced he’d recently showered and changed after being on a stakeout, as he was in his civilian clothes, his hair was slightly damp and he smelt vaguely of soap and aftershave. You gulped as you took all of this in and you were so sure he must have heard it.

“This isn’t that late by my standards. But seriously, you’re obviously in pain. Go home and get some rest,” he urged again, the concern evident in his furrowed brow.

“Oh, I’m fine, honestly, I just slept badly is all. And apparently had a fight with my pillow at some point in the night,” you attempted to joke and immediately regretted it.

If he was amused, he didn’t show it. Fuck, why did it always have to be like this with him? You wished you could just relax a little, but the way his eyes always managed to bore right into you – just as they were doing so right now - made that all but impossible.

He was silent for a second, before moving closer and positioning himself directly behind your chair. You weren’t sure what the hell was happening; part of you thought he was going to make you get up and leave right now. Maybe you had overstepped your position. You were still quite junior round here compared to others, definitely compared to him.

Okay, now you were slightly nervous. He was still silent, which only seemed to further amplify your shallow breathing. You couldn’t see him, but you could most definitely feel him; tantalisingly close behind you. If you leaned back even a fraction, you would have made contact with his body. That thought did nothing to calm your now racing pulse and you wouldn’t be surprised if he could also hear it, given how loud it was thumping in your ears.

“Maybe this will help,” he finally spoke, albeit so quietly you could have been forgiven for concluding you had imagined it.

Before you could think on that any further, his hands gently came down to meet your aching shoulders. A light, soft ghost of a touch with his fingertips to begin with; testing the waters, tentatively wondering if this was something you wanted.

You shuddered as you exhaled slowly, your head involuntarily leaning back ever so slightly into his touch.

“Is this ok?” he whispered, halting his fingers to wait for your permission.

“Mmm yes,” you sighed, half-wondering if you were dreaming all of this whilst slumped over your desk, having finally succumbed to the sleep deprivation.

He slowly increased the pressure with his forefingers and thumbs, pressing deeper into your tight, sore muscles and beginning to rub in steady, rhythmic circles.

Your eyes fluttered shut as you lost yourself in the sensation, before being jolted back to your surroundings by a sudden noise. You bashfully realised a prominent moan had just escaped your lips. Fuck. You couldn’t help it, though. Such deft, controlled movements; soft yet firm. The contrast of the darkness and violence his hands were capable of in his day job against this soothing, healing act of care wasn’t lost on you. Your heart swelled at the fact you were witnessing glimpses of the man underneath the stoic Colonel you encountered at work. A man who had the weight and expectations of an entire country on his own shoulders, yet here he was taking the load off yours. You weren’t convinced you deserved it, but he had been so willing to give it to you. You wanted to return the favour in every way possible right now, but resisted the urge on account of not wanting to break the spell you both appeared to have fallen under.

Instead, you let him caress and manipulate your skin; pulling sighs and groans from deep within you as he whispered soothing words of comfort and reassurance in your ear. He was releasing tension from your body you weren’t even aware you were carrying, whilst simultaneously setting alight a desire you had tried so hard to quell.

His hands had gradually worked their way from your shoulders, down your neck and across your upper back; kneading into your knotted flesh so thoroughly that you felt lighter already, almost like you were floating.

He caught you off guard by dipping his fingers beneath the edge of your shirt collar, skimming across your soft, hot skin and tracing patterns with his fingertips. You gasped, before reaching up to grab hold of his hand with your own, nuzzling your head back against the sturdy, welcoming warmth of his chest. You hadn’t intended to do that, but you were finding it harder to control yourself. You wanted more, so much more.

Carrillo let out a low grunt at the sudden close contact, pausing his movements and trying to retain a semblance of control as he firmly gripped your hand. You could feel his heart pounding through his chest and were relieved to hear he was doing as well as you, despite his calm exterior.

You stayed like this for several seconds, torn between wanting to act further and knowing it would probably be a devastatingly bad idea, at least in the current time and place. You both seemed to come to an unspoken agreement, as you softly squeezed each other’s hand before reluctantly pulling apart.

You were both quiet for a moment, as you tried to regain your composure and steady your breathing. He was still hovering behind you, caught in an internal war with himself about whether to stay or go.

The longer neither of you spoke, the more doubt crept into your mind. Had you just fucked everything up? Shit. This wasn’t how you were expecting your night to go, although you’d be lying if you said you regretted it. You just hoped against all hope that he didn’t regret it.

You couldn’t stand the silence any longer.

“We could both call it a night, if you want?” you finally suggested, still not turning to look at him. You couldn’t bear to look into his eyes if he was going to reject you.

He remained quiet for a moment, before walking around to the front of your desk to face you.

You eventually relented and looked up to meet his gaze, which was softer and warmer than you had been anticipating.

He brought his hand up to cup your face, gently brushing the pad of his thumb across your cheek.

“You need to get some rest,” he replied in the softest tone you think you’d ever heard him use, repeating his earlier sentiment, almost as though nothing had just happened.

You weren’t sure what to make of that response. Was this just his way of letting you down gently? Had you just been a naïve fucking idiot, who would probably have to start looking for another job now? Because there’s no way you could look him in the eye after all this if it was only a bit of meaningless fun to pass the time on a slow night.

Before your thoughts could spiral any further, he leaned down and placed a tender, lingering kiss to your forehead.

“Ask me again once you’re feeling better though,” he whispered directly in your ear, his smirk evident from the way his lips lightly brushed against your skin as he spoke.

And with that, he was gone again; leaving you alone with your tapes and a deep, distracting burn of frustration mixed with arousal pooling inside of you that you knew you would have to take care of when you did eventually make it home.

It took the edge off for the time being at least, after he’d got you so wound up. Having now had a preview of what those powerful, strong hands were capable of, your mind was full of thoughts of him exploring you with his fingers. And his mouth. And his tongue. Taking you apart like no one had before, making you scream his name and writhe under his touch. Returning the favour and making him lose control, causing him to finally let go and give in to his desires as you turned him into a whimpering, begging mess. It didn’t take you long to reach your peak. You shuddered with a cry and grasped at your bed sheets, wishing you were grabbing at his hair instead.

You slept better than you had in a long time, although you woke up with a familiar ache in your core again the following morning, along with the memory of his hands on you from the night before. And still a significant amount of pain in your neck and shoulder. Damnit. You sighed in frustration, already accepting the day was going to be another long one.

A couple of mornings later, however, you woke up and immediately noticed something was different as soon as you sat up in bed. You discovered you could comfortably move your head again and the excruciating shooting pains in your shoulder had finally dissipated. At last! That’ll teach you for not taking care of yourself, or finding time to unwind before going to bed.

You smiled to yourself as you made a start on getting ready, secretly looking forward to heading into work later for possibly the first time ever and feeling like today might be a good day to ask a certain Colonel a certain question.