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fandom: csi, fic fandom: csi, fic genre: het, fic: pairing: catherine/nick

Nick Stokes prided himself on being a reliable, dependable kind of guy. The fact that he was was pretty much common knowledge, as was his trademark stubborn streak. It was more the latter than the former that meant that he was also the kind of guy who could keep on going when others folded, but he was beginning to realise that even his stamina had limits. Two weeks without a break, of repeated double shifts with the odd triple thrown in for variety, had exhausted both his body and his sense of humour. He was short on sleep, short on temper and, worst of all to his mind, short on time spent with his honey.

Not that his honey was any better off. None of the CSIs were, but Catherine had seemed to bear the brunt of it over the last few days. The last time he'd seen her she'd been tearing a strip off the new guy, Hodges, and he'd wisely not interrupted her. Catherine in full on snit was a sight to behold, but one that was best beheld from a distance. He'd call her later, once she'd had a chance to catch up on some much needed sleep and some quality time with Lindsey, and had had time to get over her crankiness.

When that happened he might even risk calling her 'honey' to her face.

But it rankled to only be able to see her for a few minutes every day, brief glimpses and exchanges between crime scenes. Days had been spent existing in a sort of half-life state where they couldn't do more than steal a few minutes for themselves, and most of those had been in public view, where professionalism was paramount. It had been three days since he'd last kissed her, a stolen moment that had been far too brief. It had been close to three weeks since he'd woken up beside her and it was amazing how much he'd missed that.

For a guy who had always resisted commitment, he was sliding into it with remarkable ease, so much so that it surprised him how far it was from being a painful process. Even he couldn't deny that they were hovering on the edge of 'coupledom', not when the absence of her pained him so. Not when he spent the minutes of his day counting down to when he could be with her again, and not the minutes with her counting down to when he could get away.

It was surprisingly painful, for example, to walk into his apartment and not catch the scent of her perfume lingering in the air. That in itself was strange, and a sign of how much things had changed between them. Not the pain - that was something he was still trying to ignore and yet was perversely getting used to - but the fact that he'd grown used to the perfume she never wore to work. It was too easy to mask the smell of a crime scene; a dozen different scents that may provide a hundred different leads. She was too professional to indulge in that vanity on a daily basis, not with her experience, knowing that they could be called in at a moment's notice. She only wore it on special occasions.

She wore it to visit him.

The scent of dust that now overlaid the room was one he was more used to - this wasn't the first time that he'd been so overworked that even his normal fastidious ways had fallen by the wayside, but it was the first time since he and Catherine had begun their thing and the fact that it masked any scent, any sign of her, hurt.

Their 'thing'. He was long past thinking of it as a fling and even missing her as he did his mind shied away from the word 'relationship'. Relationships were for grown-ups, not exhausted CSIs in dire need of a shower and then some sleep and definitely in that order. Even feeling like the latter, most of the time he didn't feel like the former, in spite of the mortgage, the responsibilities and the older lover.

Lover. Now there was a descriptor he could live with, one that had no freak-worthy connotations. After the shower. Sleep would have to wait; in spite of his exhaustion he was a bunch of sparking, skittering nerves. It was often like this after a long shift - too wired to sleep, too tired to do anything else. He needed time to come down from his post-case high, time to sink a beer and a sandwich, maybe catch part of a game on ESPN. Time to reach the point where his brain got the message that his body was sending it - out of fuel, man. No more energy to keep on truckin'.

His first port of call was therefore the kitchen, dropping his jacket on the arm of the couch on his way. He'd hang it up later, once the guilt kicked in. His mom had trained him well, something that amused Catherine no end. She got that gleam in her eye whenever he picked up after himself; took the dishes to the sink after a meal, hung his jacket up neatly, made the bed when he got up. She got that same gleam in her eye whenever he held doors open for her, the habit so ingrained he couldn't kick it if he tried. She never said anything. She didn't have to. The gleam said it all for her; equal parts amusement and disbelief.

He guessed Eddie had never picked his own socks up and put them in the hamper. Another reason for him to keep on doing what came naturally.

He grabbed a beer out of the fridge, reaching into the drawer for the bottle opener and cracking it open neatly before returning the opener back to its rightful position. The bottle top he left on the worktop in a brief moment of rebellion, flicking it absently backwards and forwards across the surface while he stared out of the window.

It was growing dark out, the sultry heat of the day giving way to a far cooler night. Another day when they'd worked straight through and he spared another brief thought for Catherine, wondering if she'd managed to make it home at all before Lindsey had fallen asleep or whether, once again, she'd been too late, torn as always between the conflicting pulls of work and home.

He felt for her. He knew how hard it was, although he'd had enough delicacy, or perhaps self-preservation, not to broach the subject with Catherine. She was understandably touchy about the hours she worked in relation to Lindsey, pride in what she did mingling with guilt for what it cost her. But he understood because he'd been on Lindsey's side of the equation, with a mom who worked long hours at a career she'd fought for. He'd wished it had been different while he was growing up, but he'd grown up fine and at the end of the day so would Lindsey. She had a hell of a role model.

The dusk brought out a cicada somewhere outside his kitchen window, and its shrill song startled him out of his reverie. With a heavy sigh, he placed the bottle on the kitchen counter, the air still so hot and dry that condensation barely formed on its cold surface, and walked to the bedroom. On autopilot now, he emptied his pockets as he went, throwing his spare change onto his bedside table as his eyes automatically drifted to the side of the bed he didn't sleep on. He resisted reaching across to pick up the pillow and see if her scent still lingered there. It was just a room and just a bed, even if she wasn't exactly one of the notches he used to carve into the bedpost.

His work clothes went into the hamper, as neatly as always in spite of the exhaustion that slowed his movements. His mother had drilled that into him too.

It was that same early training that had him hunting in his closet for clothes to put on after the shower, only to realise that clean clothes were another thing he was short of. It didn't take a genius to figure out that that was why the hamper was threatening to overflow or explain the numerous dry cleaning tickets on his side table, waiting for a collection he hadn't had time to make - at least not during working hours. He hadn't had time to drive into Vegas proper and find a drycleaners open 24 hours rather than the little mom and pop outfit in his neighbourhood, although there was bound to be one. New York may have been the city that never slept, but Vegas was the city that never closed.

All that was left were a couple of pairs of jeans, a couple of work shirts and an old denim shirt of his, dating back to his college days. It was a little tight for him now - he'd been even skinner at eighteen, all legs and reach, useful for baseball but not much else - but it was worn to buttery softness and it was his comfort shirt, one he'd kept to remind him of who he'd been when sometimes, amidst the death and general human misery he dealt with every day, he was in danger of forgetting.

With a sigh, he pulled out the denim shirt. There was no guarantee that he'd be able to get to the cleaners in the next couple of days anyway. He threw it onto the bed, and then threw the more battered of the two pairs of jeans hanging in his wardrobe after them. They'd been faded to the same, washed out pale blue but, being a more recent purchase, they weren't as snug.

Task completed, he finally stumbled into the bathroom and under the warm spray. It was heaven, finally being able to wash away the stresses and dirt of the day, to feel that warm water caressing his scalp, running down over his tired body, the heat seeping into muscles that ached more with exhaustion than effort. He braced himself against the wall, letting the water cascade over his neck and back, breathing deeply through his mouth and feeling each breath reverberate throughout his body.

In. Out. In.

It was reassuring in a way, to know that even as worn out as he felt he could still feel. It was even more reassuring to reach that state where feeling was all he did. No thought. No worries. No concerns. Just the pleasant physical sensation of water droplets sliding over his skin, slicking his hair to his head.

Very pleasant, and he slid his hand slowly over his wet chest, down towards his groin, tangling his fingers in the coarse hair there. It was tempting to move his hand lower, to bring himself off. It was one way of winding down after a shift, of releasing that tension with a release of a different sort, but it wasn't his fingers that he wanted to curl around his dick, even if it started to rise to his touch. There was something vaguely unsatisfying about taking care of business on his own, although that had never bothered him before.

He told himself that he was simply too tired to enjoy it, and reached up to turn the shower off with a snap. It took him long moments after the flow had ceased to move again.

He was still drying his hair when he wandered back into the bedroom, and for once he behaved like a slob, dropping the towel carelessly onto the floor as he reached for his jeans. Maybe it was that same rebellious streak that had him pulling them on without bothering with underwear, or maybe it was simply down to the fact that he'd forgotten to pull them out earlier and the walk to his dresser was simply more energy than he was willing to expend.

He reached for his shirt. It took him a moment to realise it wasn't there, and for a split second his hand hovered in the air, over the mattress, while his tired brain tried to catch up. His shirt wasn't there, but another was, dark green and silky.

He froze, his heart speeding up until it felt like it would pound its way through the wall of his chest and his fingers curled in on themselves until the nails dug into his palm, as images of Nigel Crane filled his mind.

I just get a little confused about what's yours and what's mine.

The fabric felt smooth under his fingertips, and he started, not realising that he'd even reached out far enough to touch it. There was something familiar about it, about the look, the colour, the feel.

The scent.

Grissom would have been proud of him. Now that the first flush of panic had eased, his training kicked in, picking up the faint perfume that clung to garment. It calmed him further, enough to let out a shaky laugh, because, faint though it was, it was familiar.

Very familiar and his fingers closed on the cloth, bringing it up to his nose as he breathed it in.

"Am I interrupting something?"

Another start, one he couldn't hide this time, and he spun on his heel, the incriminating shirt still hanging from his fingers. Again, it took a second for his brain to catch up, but this time it had nothing to do with his exhaustion and everything to do with Catherine.

Catherine, standing in the doorway to his bedroom with his abandoned bottle of beer clasped almost negligently between her finger and thumb. Catherine, wearing a familiar smirk and almost wearing his missing shirt. 'Almost' because she hadn't bothered to fasten it. Instead, it draped artfully over her curves, revealing as much as it concealed, and he knew Catherine well enough by now to damned well know that was deliberate.

Not that he had any complaints as his gaze automatically followed the flow of the fabric down to the deep v of her cleavage, sliding over territory so familiar that it made him ache.

He knew damned well that was deliberate too.

His gaze drifted down over expanses of bare flesh, past the indentation of her navel to where her thumb was hooked nonchalantly into the band of her jeans, the pose as artful as her outfit. He wanted to touch her just there, slide his thumbs over her skin and follow it with his tongue. He wanted to taste every place on her body where he knew the feel of his mouth made her moan.

He wanted to take her against the door, hard and fast, and she damned well knew that too.

He dragged his eyes back up to her face. "So, Nick," she drawled, her smirk deepening as she raised her beer bottle to gesture nonchalantly at the shirt he still held. "Is there something you want to tell me? Some... fetish I should know about?"

Heat rushed to his face as he glanced down to where his fingers were still curled in the deep green fabric. He let it slide silkily through his grip but the smooth slither through his fingers was no substitute for the remembered feel of her skin under his touch.

If he'd ached for her before, in her absence, it was nothing to the ache he felt now, in spite of his embarrassment. He wondered how his face could feel so hot when all of his blood seemed to have rushed south. It may have been a cliché, but from the way his jeans suddenly seemed too tight, it was a true one nonetheless.

When he looked back up again, she met his gaze calmly, although that familiar smirk was still playing around the corners of her mouth. She held his eyes as she swung the bottle up, taking a long and deliberately messy swallow and he watched, mesmerised, as the muscles in her throat moved.

Her mouth was wet and swollen when she lowered the bottle, her pink tongue darting out to swipe up the drops she'd spilled. And then, devilment dancing in her eyes, she tilted the bottle in his direction, a subtle invitation, with one eyebrow arching speculatively and her tempting mouth curling up in a secretive little smile.

If he hadn't already been gone, she'd have had him at that.

His feet finally obeyed the instructions that his brain was sending them, and he moved towards her, coming to rest just in front of her, standing so closely that he could feel the heat rising from her body, drink in her heady scent. Up close it was intoxicating, more powerful than the beer she was offering. He took hold of the bottle, his fingers brushing against hers as she released her grip. Even that slight contact had him hard and aching, his skin feeling like it was stretched too tightly over his bones, reverberating with her nearness like a drum.

It was now his turn to drink, and he closed his eyes briefly as he swallowed. When he opened them again she was still there, still watching him with that mysterious little smile, her eyes hooded and her head tilted to one side so that a strand of blonde hair fell into her face.

He reached up and tucked it behind her ear, feeling like he was moving through syrup. A sense of unreality had stolen over him, maybe because he'd imagined this so many times over the last few weeks, in various combinations and locations as his frustration at their separation increased. Her skin felt hot to the touch and he wasn't sure which of them was generating that heat.

The scent of her perfume was heavy in the air, and underlying it the vague, spicy scent of her sweat. The urge to taste her became too strong for him to resist, and he bent his head towards her mouth, pausing fractionally before pressing his lips against hers so that he could taste the air she breathed.

She tasted of beer and cinnamon, and he pressed closer, swallowing a groan as his hands found a natural rest on the shelf of her hips. She was pressed up against his chest, buttons digging unheeded into his skin as he pulled her closer just to feel the heat where their bodies met.

His fingers slid down and splayed across the sweet curve of her ass, and she let out a soft and greedy little moan as her fingers wound their way through his hair, holding him steady as her tongue flicked against his mouth. The sound sent another heavy throb of arousal through him and his fingers tightened, digging into her flesh and pulling her so close that he lost any sense of where he ended and she began.

She broke away first, resting her forehead against his shoulder and breathing heavily. The eddies of air were hot against his skin as his fingers stroked across the back of her neck. When he brought his thumb up to stroke over her cheek, tangled in the damp tendrils of her hair, she tilted her face back up obligingly, her eyes still hooded but the heat in them unmistakable. He gave into temptation and murmured, a hairsbreadth from her lips, "Man, I missed you."

That earned him another smile, less mysterious this time, and another kiss, sweet and far too light to meet the need still burning inside him. She tapped the bottle against his leg and then brought it up, tilting it so that it caught and fragmented the light.

"Got another one of these?"

Her voice was throaty and her eyes knowing. A smile quirked his own lips as he pulled back just far enough to give her a jaded look.

"You come here for beer or...?"

A brief snort of laughter. "Beer and..." She pulled back slightly, still wearing that amused look but it was underpinned now with a hunger that couldn't be hidden. Her finger was crooked in the belt loop of his jeans, holding him just close enough to ensure that her calves pressed up against his as she leant against the wall, and his fingers curled loosely against the denim of hers. "Gotta say, I'm dyin' of thirst here, Nicky."

He thought of a dozen witty comebacks in the time it took for him to lean forward, but settled for pressing his mouth against hers again as his hand moved up from her hip to slide underneath the fabric of her shirt. It found a natural home in the v of her waist, and his thumb stroked restlessly over her smooth stomach as his tongue slid into her mouth.

This time when he pulled back her eyes were closed, and her expression rapt. He moved his fingers higher so that now his thumb was stroking up and down her sternum, the heavy weight of her breast resting against the back of his hand. Her skin was slick with sweat and her mouth slack and wet and swollen, just begging to be kissed again.

He did, sliding his hand up another couple of inches so that her breast rested in the palm of his hand and the restless, continual motion of his thumb now stroked over her nipple. It hardened to his touch and she twisted against him, rocking into him as her hooked fingers pulled him closer still.

When they separated, her eyes opened, the look in them heavy and sated. She swallowed, once, and her tongue darted out to wet her lips before she spoke.

"Beer." The word was scratchy, and her eyes closed briefly as she swallowed again, the movement almost pained. She tried again. "Aren't you going to offer me one?"

"You've had mine," he breathed, leaning in closer, one hand braced against the wall behind her. She arched her back so that her breasts brushed tantalisingly against his bare chest. The move drew his eyes downward, following the curve of her body outlined against the fabric. Mingled in with the scent of her perfume he could smell her arousal, musky and headier than anything.

Another snort of laughter as her fingers trailed down his chest, swirling randomly. "Not yet."

He flicked his eyes back up to her face, meeting her amused gaze and then her fingers tented against his skin and she pushed just hard enough to move him backwards, creating a space in which she could slide out from beneath him.

He watched her saunter into the living room, casting a sultry backwards look over her shoulder as she went. The invitation was obvious, and he allowed himself a brief smile before following her, enjoying the sway of her denim clad ass as she moved and making no secret of the fact, arousal still curling low and heavy in his belly.

"Beer?" she asked again, turning to face him and placing her hands on her hips. The stance spread her shirt open, just enough to reveal more of her curves and the dark rose edge of one nipple, and once again he made no attempt to hide his enjoyment of the view.

"Fridge," he said, looking forward to watching her long legs as she bent to retrieve it. She quirked an eyebrow at him and he grinned at her. "Get me one too?"

She swallowed a laugh. "Self service, huh?"

"Mi casa..." he replied with another grin and a shrug.

That earned him an inelegant snort. "I'd ask what your last slave died of, but to be honest if I never saw another autopsy report, it'd be too damned soon."

She spun on her heel, throwing another one of those heated looks at him over her shoulder, and, obligingly, he watched her saunter towards his small kitchen, enjoying the rhythmic sway of her hips just as she'd intended.

She knew how to move, no doubt about that, just like she knew how to play an audience, and he wondered briefly whether it was a chicken or egg scenario. Had she learnt to move like that as a stripper, or was it a natural talent that made her so damned good at what she used to do?

In the end he supposed it didn't matter. The way she moved was as much a part of her as the warmth of her smile, or the unique way she tilted her head, flicking her hair back over her shoulder as she leant forward to examine some interesting piece of evidence. It was all part of the same package, and a hell of a package at that.

"Rough night?" he asked, as she returned and handed him his beer.

She shrugged, the light in her eyes dimming a little. "Same old, same old." She took a long swallow, staring into space for a moment before she seemed to give herself a little mental shake and turned back towards him. He met her smile with a small one of his own. "Self service, huh?" she repeated, swaying towards him, her splayed fingers pressing lightly into his chest. "Better be careful."

He raised his eyebrows, asking the question silently and earning himself another smirk.

"Hate for me to take that philosophy to heart for everything."

It took a second for him to catch on as she moved away, settling down onto the couch with her normal innate grace and continuing to give him that smug little look.

"Oh." It sank in and he shook his head, unable to resist returning her grin. "That right?"

She did that little quirky thing with her eyebrows again, not bothering to hide her grin as she took another swig. He moved closer to her, placing one knee on the couch and leaning into her personal space. "Don't let me stop you," he said. "In fact, go right ahead. Knock yourself out."

That startled a laugh out of her. "You want to watch...?" she drawled, sounding highly amused. He said nothing, but let his widening grin say everything that needed to be said. "Nasty..."

"Depends on your perception."

"And your perception would be...?"

"Definitely not nasty."

"Naughty but nice?" As she spoke, she moved closer to him until mere inches separated them, her eyes roaming appreciatively over his form before she lifted them to meet his gaze again.

"Hey, I'm a nice guy," he protested, the only heat in the words coming from the fact that she was so close to him. She smirked again, although her eyes were lowered, watching her fingers skating over his stomach, just above the waistband of his jeans. He sucked in a breath as one of them slipped underneath the waistband, shivering as she peered up at him through her lashes, her expression knowing.

Her mouth quirked. "But not naughty?" she murmured. Her fingers slid upwards, skirting around one nipple and holding a promise of things to come.

He leant forward again, pressing his mouth against her ear. "You put those fingers back where they were, and I'll be as naughty as you like." She laughed, low and throaty, but didn't oblige him, instead capturing his nipple between her thumb and forefinger and tugging sharply.

The feeling shocked its way through him, and he bucked against her, his hand catching hold of her hip to steady himself as she lowered her mouth and licked his neck, long and slow and wet. His fingers dug into her and she seemed to like that if the sudden hitch in her breathing was any indication. He stuttered out an oath, not even registering what he'd said, and pulled her closer, his mouth seeking hers again, hard and demanding.

Her mouth met his just as forcefully, no longer teasing, the banked heat between them suddenly bursting into flame. Her arms wound around his neck, fingers digging into his scalp as his weight pressed her backwards into the couch. He found a natural resting place between her spread legs and rocked against her, letting her feel how much he wanted her. When she moaned into his mouth, twisting beneath him, that just made him harder.

He tore his mouth from hers, letting it roam over her face, down her neck before scooting lower so that he could slide his tongue down between her breasts. She tasted of salt and sweat and musk, her skin flushed with arousal. He traced the line of her rib cage under the curve of her breast with his fingers as he pressed sucking, open-mouthed kisses against her skin.

She moaned again, and her hand found his head again, her palm curling around his skull and her fingers moving restlessly through his short hair as he continued to tease her. His own hand moved upwards, repeating the move she'd used on him, capturing and tugging on her nipple just to feel her buck underneath him, to hear her gasp and curse.

It wasn't enough - he wanted to see her, to see the effect he was having on her. He pushed himself upwards, onto his knees, staring down at her. Her legs settled naturally to either side of him, her knees slightly bent and raised. Her face was as flushed as the skin between her breasts and her mouth was wet and swollen, her lips parted as she panted heavily. Her eyes were fixed on him, pupils wide and dilated, full of need, like an addict waiting for her next hit.

He knew how she felt, the same need thrumming though his veins, and stifled a groan, pressing his palm against the front of his jeans as he fought against it, not wanting it to be over too fast. He could have her now, pull her jeans down, roll her over, make her scream as he fucked her hard. He wanted to, saw her recognise that in the sudden flaring of her nostrils, the way she moaned, running her hand down over her own breast, toying with herself the way he had. The fabric of his jeans was rough against his cock but that did nothing to subdue his ardour.

It was tempting to let her continue, let her bring herself off as he watched and he bit his lip against the surge of lust at the thought. She would too, her exhibitionist streak coming to the fore. She'd tease him as much as herself, knowing what she was doing to him.

The thought was enough to get himself under control again, because the idea of being an observer rather than a participant wasn't a satisfying one, wouldn't be enough to fill the greedy void that three weeks without touching had left in him. Maybe it was because he wanted her to need him as much as he seemed to need her, a jealousy of even her own touch because it wasn't him. Maybe it was just because he wanted her to be as out of control as he felt.

Maybe it was just because he wanted to fuck her and fuck her hard enough to imprint her on his skin, and get him through the next few weeks.

He placed his palms on her legs, just beneath the knees, and slid them upwards, smoothing his thumbs over the line of her inner seams and leaning forwards to kiss her again. He skirted around where she wanted to touch him, in spite of the smothered moans that she let out and in spite of the way she twisted towards his touch, an unsubtle invitation. Instead he kept on going, underneath her shirt and over the damp, heated skin of her stomach and sides.

Her breasts felt swollen in his hands, the nipples hard before he even touched them, and he lowered his mouth to one, flipping her shirt out of the way, while his fingers tormented the other. She liked it rough when she was turned on like this, liked to feel him suck and nip, use the edges of his teeth to tug at her; he knew that from previous experience and a few sharp remarks about her not being made of glass early on in their relationship. It had been a revelation, like most things about her, but it was worth it just to hear the breath catch in her throat, the way she bit back on curses and moans. The way she could be just as rough with him had also been a revelation - she was surprisingly strong - as had the fact that in the right circumstances he could enjoy it.

He continued to tease her until she pushed him away, her eyes wide and feral. She was shaking with need as she pushed herself up, moving to straddle him and staring down at him. Her kiss was fierce, plundering his mouth with a skilled tongue. The weight of her in his lap was enough to send another low, sullen surge of lust through him, and he cupped her ass, grinding her against his groin as she rocked restlessly.

It was the thought of coming in his pants like a teenager that finally had him holding her still - that and the fact that he liked the feel of the tension vibrating through her body as he held her. He kissed her again, deep and slow, fingers dancing over her skin, underneath his shirt. "Goddamned tease," she muttered against his mouth, the words equal part heat and amusement.

He stifled a laugh by kissing her harder, too damned smart to point out that she knew what she was talking about. Instead he pulled back just far enough to murmur his agreement, his fingers stroking over the small of her back before slipping beneath the waistband of her jeans to stroke over the silken flesh of her ass.

She lifted her face up from his and arched her neck and again he obliged, running his mouth down her throat, tasting the slightly acrid flavour of her perfume and under that the salty taste of her. This time when she spoke he could feel the words as well as hear them.

"You know what they do to teases where I come from, Nicky?"

Again the only heat in the words came from the same place as that singing between them, and he didn't even raise his face to hers, too lost in the taste and feel of her under his lips, to murmur, "Fuck 'em senseless?" This time he felt the laugh reverberate throughout her whole body rather than just her throat.

"Close." She leant closer to him, curled over his head as he slid down underneath her, his mouth moving once again to the deep v between her breasts. "Ride 'em hard and put 'em away wet."

The words should have sounded corny, but coming from Catherine in that hot and smoky voice they summoned up images that went straight to his dick. He sometimes forgot that Catherine had grown up in cowboy country, too used to seeing her amidst the bright lights of the city. A little bit country and a whole lot of rock and roll.

He moved the fingers he had underneath her jeans round to the front, dipping lower over the smooth skin of her belly. He couldn't get the access he craved, and moved them up to flick open the front of her jeans, pulling his head back far enough to meet her eyes again.

This time his fingers slid in far enough to find the dampness between her legs, pressing hard enough against her clit to make her gasp and grab the back of the couch, her lips drawing back from her teeth in something close to a snarl. She was hot beneath his touch and he rubbed against her again, harder this time, his fingers sliding easily through her slickness. "You're wet already."

It may have been an obvious statement but for once she didn't call him on it, too busy rocking herself against his calloused fingertips. He crooked his middle finger and slid it forward into her to the first knuckle, loving the way that she moaned and shook, her fingers kneading restlessly against the back of the couch. He licked his lips, watching fascinated as she moved against him, her eyes closed, her mouth slack and a look of intense concentration on her face as he flexed his finger.

It wasn't enough, and he pulled out, not even pausing before he slid two fingers into her, deeper this time. She let out a little cry, her hand leaving the couch to grab his shoulder, nails digging into his flesh. "God... Nick..." she stuttered out between panting breaths.

He curled his hand, using the pressure to force her zip down and give him greater access and moved his thumb to rest over her clit. That earned him another moan, an incentive to move faster, press harder, sliding down the couch so that his face was level with her breasts again. He fastened his mouth on one, using his teeth and tongue to pull lightly at one nipple in the same driving rhythm as his fingers were setting below.

She wasn't quiet - she'd never been quiet in bed but tonight she was noisy even by her standards, gasps and sobs and stuttered out moans driving his efforts forward. The tension in her body increased as he pushed her closer and closer to the edge, her hand flexing painfully into his shoulder. Again, it would have been so easy to bring her off with just his fingers and tongue, easier still to slide lower until his mouth could join his fingers, taste her as well as touch her, but he wanted to be in her when she came, feel her tighten around his cock the way she was tightening now around his fingers.

He pulled out, ignoring her snarled, "Bastard," and reached for his jacket, still lying over the arm of the couch. He was fast, but she was faster, using the opportunity to slip from his lap to the floor, kneeling between his splayed legs, her hands seeming to reach the buttons of his 501s open before she'd even hit the ground.

The first feel of her fingers curling around his dick, easing it out through the button fly where she could get at it, froze him into immobility, his fingers tightening on the fabric of his jacket. He pressed his face into his arm, breathing heavily through his mouth with his whole body tensing as all of his concentration focused on the mass of nerve endings between his legs. The wetness of her mouth settling around him drove a strangled, "Oh Christ," out of him, and he managed to raise his head up just high enough to watch her go down on him, her eyes fixed on him challengingly.

She was damned good at this, as she was at most things she turned her mind to, picking up on every cue his body gave that, yes, he liked that and... god, he really loved it when she did that. She played him like a maestro, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase 'Cat got your tongue'. For someone who didn't have a dick, she sure as hell knew what felt good for someone who did.

He finally kicked his brain into gear, his fingers once again scrabbling at his jacket pockets until he located his wallet, and in the wallet a foil wrapped package. He pushed himself back upright, his free hand moving to push her hair out of her face so he could still watch her mouth moving on him. It was beyond sexy, heading firmly into territory that he could only class as 'Catherine'. She raised her eyes, looking up at him as she moved him in and out of her mouth. When she saw she had his attention, she slid her tongue around the corona of his dick, before leaning forward and taking him deep within her throat.

He let out a sound halfway between a whine and a moan, closing his eyes and letting his head fall back against the back of the couch with a thump as he struggled not to come. He barely even registered her pull the condom packet from his fingers, only opening his eyes again when she pulled back and he felt the cold air from the air conditioner hit his wet cock.

She tore open the packet with sharp, white teeth, her expression still half needy and half feral and then leant forward again, driving another moan from him as he felt her mouth fasten on him again. After a few rapid up and down movements, taking him in deeper each time but not deep enough to bring him off, she pulled back and stood up, revealing that she'd managed to roll the condom down over his length.

He muttered something about her being a woman of many talents and reached out to help her strip her jeans off, his hands and hers frequently colliding in their haste until she slapped his away impatiently. He couldn't resist a smirk, although he knew he was skating on thin ice. "A little impatient there, Cath?"

"Damned straight," she said. "Been too long since I've gotten laid."

He would have said something - something reassuring or something to show she wasn't the only one feeling that sense of frustration, or maybe just something snippy that showed his own frustration and unhappiness with the situation - but she was moving to straddle him again, positioning herself over his cock, and the sight of her clad in nothing but his shirt, skin gleaming with sweat and arousal, drove any thoughts of speaking right out of his mind. Instead he placed his hands wordlessly on her hips to steady her and guided her downwards.

He bit his lip at the feel of her flesh slowly giving way to envelop him, watching the pleasure blossom on her face as she sank inch by slow inch onto him, rocking gently back and forth to ease him into her. Her face and chest were still flushed with blood, her mouth kiss stung and swollen. When she was seated, he let go of her hips, one hand coming up to cup her breast again, the other to cup the back of her head, pulling her forward for another kiss as she rocked against him.

He let her set the pace, and the pace she set was hard and demanding. Seemed like she was going to make good on her threat to ride him hard and put him away wet. He had no objections, not when each movement set the blood pounding in his veins, and the sight of her riding him like that was almost enough to send him over the edge. He set his jaw and ran baseball scores through his head, at least until the gasps and moans she let out distracted him beyond being capable even of that, and he could do nothing more than sit back and watch her.

She was rocking on him now, angling herself so that she rubbed up against him on each downwards thrust, giving her the friction that she craved. He let her hair run through his fingers, released her breast and moved both hands to her hips, guiding her and pulling her against him to give her that friction. It seemed to be enough if the death grip she now had on his shoulders was any indication. Her whole body was tensed, vibrating like a drawn bow, and he picked up the pace, raising his hips from the couch to slam into her on each thrust, helping gravity along.

She was back to making noises now; breathless, gasping sounds that were pitched so high and thin and needy that he could barely hear her over the rushing of his blood in his ears. It didn't matter. He didn't need to hear her, not this time. Didn't need to hear her cry out his name to know the effect he was having on her; the expression on her face, all open mouth, wide eyes and tensed neck told him everything he needed to know about that.

She finally let out a keening cry, her fingers curling into talons and sinking into his shoulders hard enough to leave thin, white crescents, and stilled, her body pulsing around him. He tightened his grip and took over, moving where she couldn't and let her ride out the orgasm coursing through her, the whimpers and sighs she was letting out hotter than anything so far.

She shuddered and slumped forward, pressing her face against his neck while his hands ran gently over her damp and sweaty skin. Her breath was hot against him and he let her pant for a few moments, ignoring his own need to just luxuriate the feel of her pressed up against him. Eventually that wasn't enough, and he pushed his fingers through her sweaty hair, turning her face towards him and capturing her mouth. She started to move on him again, slower now, more languorous, her arms coming up around his neck and her kisses slow and achingly sweet.

The pace was too slow to make him come and he lowered his head, growled his frustration into her throat.


"Not good?"

"Always good, baby," he answered honestly, pushing the hair out of her face so that he could see her better. Her look in her eyes was as languid as the movements of her body.

"What would make it better?" she murmured, her hands moving hypnotically over his skin.

He stilled her, looking deep into her eyes, then lifted his hips slightly, twisting the pair of them so that Catherine landed on her back on the couch, him above her. He wasn't as skilful at the move as he'd hoped, slipping free of her body, but it was worth it to hear her startled and delighted laugh, see the mingled heat and amusement in her expression as she reached for him again.

"This was you had in mind?"

He paused, staring down at her, his brain ticking over much faster than he would have thought possible given where all of his blood had rushed.

"Roll over."

The words obviously hit her happy place, because her eyes widened, pupils dilating, and her breathing, which had only just slowed, speeded right back up again. He fought the temptation to gloat, and instead let the need he felt bleed out into his voice, rough and ready.

"Hands and knees."

She wouldn't have been his Catherine, of course, if she'd given in instantly to his demand, but the slow smirk she gave him, and the seductive way she moved, first of all rolling onto her front, and then pushing her ass back at him, arching her back in unspoken invitation, sure as hell showed she wasn't averse to the idea. She reached forward, grasping hold of the arm of the couch, and spread her legs for him and he swallowed convulsively as he took in the view. The stonewashed denim framed the contours of her body, revealing the smooth curve of her ass and the darker v beneath.

As he watched, she shifted impatiently, spreading her legs fractionally wider and lifting her ass higher. He rose up onto his knees, positioning himself behind her, his gaze travelling a path up her back as he took hold of his cock, ready to enter her.

She was watching him over her shoulder, hair hanging into her face and her eyes burning.

He grabbed hold of her hips and sank into her with one deep thrust, loving the way that she closed her eyes and arched into his touch, letting out a liquid, throaty moan. He pulled almost all of the way out and slammed back into her again, rocking her body with the force of his thrust, and she gasped, her body bucking into his and her fingers scrabbling for a better hold on the fabric of the couch.

The strangled 'yes' that she let out spurred him on, and he stayed deep within her, rolling his hips in short, smooth movements, holding her tight against him. She reached back and grabbed his thigh as he continued to tease, keeping her full and keeping her wanting to more, her flesh slick and wet around him.

"God... Nick..."

The words sounded driven out of her and, never shy, she released the grip she had on his leg to slide her own fingers between her legs and press against her flesh, moving them in time to his slow, deep thrusts. Her breathing quickened again, matching his as he grabbed hold of her hips, pulling her back against him as he speeded up, pulling out further each time now.

He wanted to taste her again, pull in each of those frantic breaths with his own, and slid his hands up her body to grasp her shoulders. On the next thrust, he pulled her up against his body, away from the couch, and sat back on his heels so that she was straddling his thighs, still impaled on him, her back pressed against his chest with the fabric bunched between them. She turned her head and searched blindly for his mouth, meeting it sloppily and at an angle. He swallowed hair, spat it out and reached up to push it away from her face before sending his fingers southwards again to press against hers where they still rubbed against her nub.

She liked that, moaning as she rocked awkwardly against him, panting and twisting in frustration as their position meant that he couldn't keep taking her as thoroughly or as deeply as he had been. He pressed harder with his fingers, feeling them become slick with her arousal, his other arm coming up across her chest, both to hold her steady against him and to catch the swell of one breast in his hand.

He was getting better at multitasking, and the thought made him smile briefly against her neck as she continued to push back against him, almost sobbing with need.

He knew the feeling, and it was his turn to growl with frustration when she pulled away from him, pushing his hands off her body and letting his cock slip free. She turned to face him, her face and chest flushed and panting heavily, and lay back on the couch, crooking her knees and placing her feet flat.

"I want to see you come."

"Ditto," he said, not caring how stupid or geeky the word sounded, not when she was reaching for him again and he was sliding back into her welcoming body. She wrapped her legs around him, digging her toes into the fabric of his jeans even as her hands slipped below the fabric to grab his ass and pull him closer, showing him just how she wanted him to slide into her; a long, slow, deep rhythm that pressed his belly against her on each thrust.

They traded long, slow, wet kisses as they rocked, until he couldn't take the pressure building in him anymore and buried his head in her neck as his hips jerked, driving him into her deep and hard, a prelude to his climax.

A prelude to hers too, as she tightened around him, digging both her heels and her nails into him, her breath coming in harsh pants in his ears.

He came to the sound of his name being driven out of her, stuttering out staccato as she tensed under and around him.

For a long moment he lay there in the afterglow, enjoying the feeling of her body against his, before pulling out and reaching down to pull off the condom. There wasn't enough room to lie beside her on the couch and so, reluctantly, he pushed himself up, lifting her legs up and sliding beneath them to sit down, her legs lying across his lap.

There was a comfortable silence as the sweat cooled on their bodies and he just enjoyed the feeling of closeness, sliding his hand absently up and down her leg, loving the weight of her body on him, a constant and tangible reminder that, yes, she was real and she was there with him. His jeans were clammy against his body as he cooled, and the fabric around his groin darker where he'd been pressed against Catherine, her essence absorbed into the material. It would smell of her too, and he swallowed a smile.


Catherine's eyes were sated but she still didn't miss a trick. He didn't bother to hide the smile this time as he glanced across at her.

"I'm gonna have to wash these jeans."

She snorted with laughter, stretching her arms above her head and, in spite of his recent climax he felt a treacherous spike of interest. "Tell me about it." She tugged ruefully at the creased fabric of the shirt she wore, wrinkling her nose adorably.


"Yeah." She swung her legs off his lap, allowing him to stand up, and then grabbing the hand he offered her, pulling herself to her feet with a groan as stiff muscles protested. She swallowed another chuckle as she swayed on her feet, and he slid one hand down her flank.

"Think you can make it?"

She snorted again, swatting his ass as she moved past him. "Try to keep up, cowboy."

He grabbed her before she made it to the door of the bathroom, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her back against him. He pressed a kiss against her sweaty hair, hiding a smile at the way she automatically relaxed at his touch. "What did you do with Lindsey tonight?"

She tensed against him and too late he played the words back in his mind, realising how they sounded. He tightened his grip as she tried to pull away and murmured apologetically in her ear, "I meant, when do you have to leave?"

It took long moments before the tension left her body again. Perhaps it was the loneliness for her that he hadn't been able to keep out of his voice entirely that swayed her, or maybe she was just too tired to fight. Whatever it was, when she finally answered, she sounded worn. "I'll have to get back before she wakes up tomorrow. She was already asleep when I got to my sister's and... well, I didn't see the point in waking her up."

He squeezed her gently, trying to convey that he felt for her without opening his big mouth and putting his foot in it again. She relaxed against him and patted his hand before pulling away.


He kept her close while they showered - together, although there was no energy for any more fooling around - trying to make up on some level for the weeks of deprivation. She knew damned well what he was doing - the glint in her eye told him that much - but again she didn't call him on it, maybe because she kept him just as close, her hands skating over his body with affection rather than carnal desire. Whatever the reason, he was grateful. The thought of needing her, and needing her rather than 'needing' her, may not have freaked him out as much as it once would have but that didn't mean he wanted to talk about it or around it.

That desire to keep avoiding the issue didn't, however, stop him from pulling her close when she crawled into bed with him. He had no idea, as he wrapped his arms around her and settled against her back, whether she'd still be there when he woke up. For now he was content to let the soft susurration of her breathing and the scent of her, unadorned now by her perfume, lull him into sleep.

Tomorrow would take care of itself. It usually did.

The End