“Jesus Callen, could you maybe tone it down a little for the singles in the team,” Deeks’s voice grumbled in Callen’s ear as he enjoyed his dinner.
Callen’s head was down as he smothered his grin. “It’s not his fault,” Kensi’s voice chimed in. “That truffle bolognese is delicious.”
Deeks spluttered at that, before demanding just when his partner had enjoyed dinner at Wally’s and with whom.
“Children!” Hetty’s admonition quieted them down instantly, much to Callen’s relief. He reached for his glass of wine and took a sip.
“How’s your steak darling?” he asked his companion.
She smiled at him and reached out to take his hand. “Quite delicious my sweet.” Her South American accent made the simple words sound sultry. “How is the bolognese?”
Callen held out a forkful. “Try some,” he suggested and her smile turned more intimate as she allowed him to slide the fork into her mouth.
She took her time pulling back and licked suggestively at her lips as she swallowed the mouthful. “Mm, very good,” she purred.
Callen watched as she took a sip of her wine as well. “Better than Paris?” he suggested and she nodded.
“Not as good as Rio though,” she told him, wicked look in her eyes and Callen smirked back at her.
They continued with their dinner, the noise of the other diners swirling around them. Callen made sure to play it up, keeping in character as a besotted Russian oligarch. The undercover mission had been months in the making and it had taken a while to get his mark back to Los Angeles, where he could finally bring in his team for back up and support.
When he laid down his cutlery, she looked across at him. “Did you want to order dessert darling?” She sounded innocent as she asked the question, like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, but a foot rested high on his thigh, suggesting she had other things on her mind.
“I’m sure they’d be willing to let us take it to go vozlyublennyy,” Callen replied, the Russian word for beloved slipping out unconsciously.
Her smile widened. “That’s sounds perfect, querido.”
As soon as Callen turned to look around, a waiter appeared. “Sir?”
“We’d like to take dessert to go,” Callen said and the man nodded immediately.
“Of course,” he agreed. “Did you know what you wanted or would you like the menu?”
Callen looked back to his companion. “The panna cotta,” she said immediately, a gleam in her eyes that promised some sort of mischief.
Callen turned back to the waiter. “Panna cotta it is,” he said and the man nodded.
He cleared the plates as he left and Callen picked up his glass to finish the last of the wine while they waited.
It did’t take long before the waiter was back with the packaged desserts as well as the check. Callen added a tip and handed over his legend’s credit card.
“I’ll bring this to you at the coat check,” the waiter said and Callen nodded. He picked up the boxes of dessert and guided his companion to the cloakroom to collect their coats.
The waiter returned with his credit card as Callen was helping his companion into her fake fur coat; Los Angeles was experiencing a cooler than usual winter and it was quite a lot colder than Rio had been.
Moments later, they were at the door and the valet drove up in Callen’s Aston Martin just as they stepped outside. Callen had the passenger door open before the valet could circle the car, handing his companion into the seat and closing the door behind her.
The valet got a folded note and nod as Callen buttoned his jacket, checking around him as he did so. His partner’s Challenger was parked discreetly down the block and Callen knew Sam would be following them back to the rented house in Malibu where he was staying as part of the op.
Satisfied that all was as it should be, Callen got into his car and pulled out. He was hoping the op would be over soon. Although he and Sam had an understanding that certain things couldn’t be avoided in their line of business and they worked hard on honesty and communication, he’d still rather not have to spend too much longer playing this role.
He wanted to go home to the man who had somehow won his heart, not go to bed with the shallow woman at his side whose only interest was in someone who could give her the finer things in life, because her father was an arms dealer in Rio and she’d grown up with the best of everything. And he definitely wasn’t interested in whatever kinky fun she’d probably dreamed up involving the boxes of panna cotta she currently held in her lap.
Even as he thought that, a hand landed high on his thigh, then slid across to fondle him through his pants. Callen gritted his teeth and forced himself not to react negatively, but accept her attention, because that was what his character would do. But in his head, he was remembering his last time with Sam, before he’d had to leave for this mission.
She was a beautiful woman and he was a red blooded male, so the inevitable occurred, making it harder to concentrate on his driving, so Callen reached down and gently moved her hand away.
“I don’t want us to crash before we get home darling,” he told her, when she made a sound of protest.
A quick glance as they reached a stop light showed him a pout on her expressive face, but she accepted his reasoning and kept her hands to herself the rest of the way to the house. Callen refused to think of it as home, the only place that held that designation for him was Sam’s place. Not even the house he owned came close to being a home. He’d only bought it at Hetty’s insistence due to it’s usefulness as a cover, because he and Sam kept their relationship on the down low, not needing the scrutiny or criticism they’d attract if people knew they were involved.
As Callen turned into the road that led to the house, high in the hills of Malibu, he pushed aside all thoughts of Sam and their relationship. He needed all his wits about him to navigate the next few hours with his mark and he needed to be who he pretended to be, the besotted Russian oligarch, not an American federal agent.
Once Callen had the car parked, he sent his companion inside alone, with the excuse that he was going to check on the perimeter security first.
She kissed him thoroughly, “Don’t take too long darling,” she admonished, “Or I’ll start without you.”
“I promise,” he told her, with a squeeze to her ass for good measure.
She grinned and sashayed away, heading for the bedroom. Callen forced himself to look away and do as he’d said, taking the opportunity to murmur an update to the team and the warning that he needed to take out his comms for a while.
“We’ll keep to passive monitoring from a distance Mr Callen,” Hetty assured him. “Make sure you check in as soon as you can.”
Callen acknowledged that, then with a quick look around, removed his earwig and the button cam on his shirt, tucking both into their case, which went safely into the inner pocket of his jacket. Then he headed inside with a sigh, shifting gears again to what was going to happen the rest of the night, however much he might not want it to.
He was beginning to think he was going to have to reconsider his willingness to do this type of long term undercover op, because he was finding it increasingly more difficult to play all aspects of the role as his relationship with Sam got deeper. That was a consideration for another day though, when this op was over and his thinking wasn’t clouded by his situation.
Another deep breath and he headed for the bedroom, already starting to undress as he anticipated what he might find waiting for him, based on his past experiences with his companion. Getting through this was all that mattered right now. The future would have to take care of itself.