Doppio Con Panna
We'd been busy that day, working on the Robinson museum case. Whatever you might think about a museum robbery, and I know Sandburg had been picturing cat burglars with high tech equipment just like in the movies, investigating one is damned dull. Inventory lists to go over. Endless hours of security tape to watch. Blair was handling our contact with the museum, he spoke the right language and the director seemed to like him; I was checking in with Sneaks and any other informant I could get in touch with for any word about the merchandise. Honestly, we didn't expect the stolen items, some pre-Columbian tablets and sculpture, would end up on the street, but due diligence demanded that I waste a day checking.
We'd had breakfast together at the coffee shop around the corner from the station, then each gone our separate ways. We prefer working side by side, but sometimes divide and conquer is the way to go. We met up back at the station around four.
I walked into the bullpen after a frustrating day meeting in one greasy dive after another. "Hey, Chief. Get anything useful?"
He shook his head. "Not yet. I took photographs of every display case at the museum today and now I'm just comparing everything against their inventory."
"Can I help?" I asked, pretty sure what his answer would be.
"Nah. I'm in the home stretch now. The only room left is the one that was robbed." He looked at my shoes, then up at me with a sympathetic smile. "Nothing from Sneaks, huh? Hopefully, we'll get something from this."
"You're sure there's nothing I can do?" He shook his head, his eyes going back to the list on the computer screen. "I'm gonna head home then." He flashed a quick smile without actually moving his eyes away from the computer. I ruffled his hair and said, "Game's on in a couple of hours, Chief. The Seahawks are playing Dallas."
He leaned his shoulder against my hip for a fraction of a second, as much of a caress as we could allow ourselves at the station, and said, "I'll be home for kickoff, but probably not much before. This'll take me a while."
I ruffled his hair again, said something for the benefit of the guys in the bullpen about not wanting to miss the game and left on my errand. An errand I'd devised while we were at the coffee shop that morning.
"How the hell am I supposed to drink this, man?" Blair asks, dropping into the seat across from me with a sigh. He holds out his paper cup, filled to the rim with whipped cream.
"There's a drink in there?" I can barely catch the scent of espresso under the overwhelming smells of cream and vanilla.
"Yeah, yeah. This is supposed to be a doppio espresso con panna, with one pump of vanilla. Which means, if your Italian is rusty..."
"My Italian is fine, Sandburg," I say with a glare. I point at his cup full of whipped cream and ask, "If you want coffee, why don't you just order coffee?"
He sighs dramatically, teasing me with the stretch of blue shirt over his broad chest, the knowing smile on his face. "Look, Jim. I realize that to you coffee is bitter, black and hot. Reform school coffee."
"Police station coffee," I correct, playing along with the familiar joke, a comfortable tease. I take a deep drink of my coffee, the slight burn of it on my tongue worth it for the chuckle it elicits from him.
"Right, whatever. Prison coffee, if you ask me." He smiles at me, to take any possible sting out of his words. Making sure I know we're teasing. "Other people want more of a taste sensation. Made properly, this drink is a wonderful balance between light and dark, cool and hot, sweet and bitter." He stares into his cup, a forlorn look on his mobile face. "This is just bland, creamy, sweet. All wrong." He shakes the cup a little, but nothing happens, no change in the surface of the foam.
"So get them to take off some of the whipped cream. Or do it yourself," I grumble, without heat. I'm tempted to reach out and grab a fingerful of the cream, see if that'll make him feel better about his unsatisfactory breakfast. I'm about to do it too, my hand's moving, when I see a reflection in a picture over his shoulder. Ron Danker, Detective, Vice Department. Watching us with far too much interest. Crap. I wrap my hands around my cup and turn my attention to Blair's answer.
"I don't want to make them feel bad," he says. "If I complain they'll offer to remake the whole drink and I don't want the barista to get in trouble."
I sigh heavily at him, my turn in the game we're playing. Blair doesn't say anything in response. Probably just as well, though I don't think Danker's close enough to be able to hear our conversation. Blair raises the cup to his lips and starts licking out the whipped cream. He's staring into my eyes and I'm struck by a flash of blue heat. The sight makes me half hard from remembering the feel of his tongue on my chest, my neck, my cock. Little bastard, he knows exactly what he's doing to me. I know it from the tilt of his head when he stops to run his tongue across his lips, catching a stray whisp of cream lying in the corner of his mouth. I watch him lick it off, wondering if his sense of taste is sharp enough to catch the flavor of my semen--left in that exact spot just an hour before...
Remembering Danker, I turn away from the sight and ignore Blair's little huff of annoyance. When I look back a few seconds later, Sandburg's looking into his cup again, swirling the espresso with the cream. His mouth is set; his gorgeous lips pressed into a hard line that makes me want to kiss them until they're soft again. Makes me want to taste the mixture of cream and come that I'd find in his mouth.
I hate to put that disappointed look on his face, but there's little I can do with Danker there watching us. One of the department's most outspoken homophobes, he wouldn't hesitate to run Detective Sandburg in on a lewd and lascivious conduct charge if he had the slightest hint of what had been in my mind. And Blair's.
"How's the doppio?" I ask, keeping my voice as normal as possible.
"It's fine. Once I got rid of enough whipped cream to get the espresso past the solid wall." He's staring over my shoulder out the window, obviously annoyed. Or hurt. Or both.
"Finish that thing, Sandburg, we've got work to do," I say, bumping his leg under the table with my foot. "The Robinson case isn't getting any hotter. I've got appointments with half a dozen informants all over town today." The siren call of our current case pulls Blair out of his funk, as I'd hoped it would.
Blair's eyes light up. "Yeah, good. And I want to check the museum's inventory against what they actually have on display. I don't care what Robinson says, I know I saw a pot that wasn't on the master list. I want to go over it with their head of exhibitions." He nods, animated. But he still won't meet my eyes. I nudge him again with my foot.
He drains the bulk of his drink in one gulp, throwing his head back and stretching out the long line of his neck for me to admire. I want nothing more than to lick along the tendons there, leave a mark, my mark, right under his ear where everyone can see it. Especially Danker and every other homophobic asshole in the PD. In Cascade. I don't like the idea of hiding what we have. I never will. We've only been together for a few weeks and haven't had the conversation about how out we can afford to be, but I can see it coming. Sooner rather than later, maybe.
When Blair tilts his head back down, he sees me staring and smiles, slow and sexy and hot. He wipes the corner of his mouth with his thumb and licks it off. I swallow hard, remembering him making that same move after he went down on me that morning. I stand, turning to the wall so that Danker can't see my expression or the bulge in my jeans. Blair's smile widens and he says, "They're called espresso shots for a reason, Jim. Best way to drink them is to shoot them. C'mon, let's go."
He gathers up the empties from the table and throws his coat over his arm. Even the warm scents of coffee and pastries and steamed milk can't keep me from recognizing the smell of arousal coming from him. I chuckle when I realize the reason he's carrying his coat rather than wearing it.
I'm still trying to will my erection away while Blair throws out the trash and goes to the exit. He stops at the door and smiles. "Come on, Jim. Case isn't getting any hotter, right?" He leans against the door, hip cocked, head tilted. An invitation in every line of his body.
Ignoring Danker, I zip up my coat and head out with Blair into the chilly autumn day. As I leave, I look around the shop and spot the bottles of flavored syrups behind the counter, all for sale.
"After you, Chief," I say, ushering him through the door with my hand on his back.
God-damned instruction books. Why do they always read as though they've been translated into English from Japanese via Quechua?
Either the instructions were complicated or the espresso machine I got for Sandburg was, and I refused to be beaten by a machine. I looked again at the directions for tamping the coffee into the porto-filter. Porto-filter? An image of a portable toilet flashed through my head, but I shook it away. The instructions were simultaneously vague and ominous about the tamping process. Too tight and the coffee won't flow through at all, too loose and it will go too quickly and not extract all the flavor. And Sandburg's a connoisseur. Great. I tried to remember why this seemed like a good idea in the coffee shop.
As I tried to figure the machine out, ignoring the voice in my head that told me I was being a stupid, romantic sap, I heard Blair's rattly old Volvo pulling up outside.
I measured in the right amount of espresso for two shots and tamped it down, using my sight to carefully assess the amount of air-space between the grounds. I resolved not to mention to Sandburg the possibilities of a Sentinel barista, ever. I was just about to turn on the machine when I heard Blair get off the elevator.
I needed more time. I wanted to meet him at the door of the loft with a freshly brewed doppio con panna. I even picked up a bottle of vanilla syrup when I got the machine so I could make it just the way he likes it. But with Sandburg home early, that wasn't going to happen. At least not without a bit of fast thinking on my part.
Locking the porto-filter into place, I picked up the instruction manual again, positioning myself so that Sandburg couldn't see the machine. I needed to get him out of the loft for about five minutes, so while my eyes were looking over the instructions for foaming milk, I was thinking of an excuse to get him to go away again for just a bit.
When he walked in the door he turned to me with a big, warm smile; I never got a smile like that from Carolyn, not once. I smiled back, happy again with the surprise I was preparing for him, my jitters washing away on the swell of contentment.
He breathed deep, sniffing the air. "You're making dinner to eat during the game?" I smiled, glad I thought to cook. The smell of coffee would have been a dead giveaway.
Pointing to the stove with the instruction manual, I said, "Yeah. Ziti casserole with homemade sauce. I just need a few more minutes to get together a salad. It should be ready by kickoff."
He tilted his head at the booklet in my hand and asked, "What're you reading?"
I dropped the booklet on the counter, face down. "It's got some recipes in it." True, but definitely a dodge. He made a move like he was about to step closer so I grabbed hold of a sudden inspiration and said, "While I'm finishing up dinner, could you run down to the basement for the gun cleaning kit? We can do that during the game."
His face clouded over, gun cleaning wasn't his favorite activity, but only for a moment. "Well, there goes having beer with the game. But, yeah. Okay."
"Thanks, Chief. I don't like it any more than you do, but it's important. You know that," I said, trying not to sound like I was lecturing him.
"Yeah, I know. I had the same instructor you did, remember? I'm not sure this is the best night, though. You know the Cowboys are going to slaughter the Seahawks, right? My cousin's giving a 28 point spread. I'm not sure I can face that without beer."
I chuckled. "We'll let the casserole sit for a bit and do the guns first. If we work fast, we'll be on our second beers by half-time. Good enough?"
The sparkle came back into his eyes, and he smiled and said, "I'll go get it now. Sooner started, sooner done and all that."
As soon as the door closed behind him, I turned back to the espresso machine and the damned instruction book.
According to the manual an espresso shot's best when used within a minute of being brewed, so I waited until I heard him lock the storage room before I started the machine.
My timing was perfect. As he opened the door, I pressed a mug, full to the brim with whipped cream, into his free hand, taking the gun cleaning kit from him and setting it on the table. He looked at the drink, then at me. A smile quirked around the corner of his mouth, but didn't reach his eyes.
"So this is a...?" He asked.
Before he could finish, I said, "Doppio con panna, with one tablespoon of vanilla syrup. The barista said that's how much I should use."
He looked down at the drink. "How the hell am I supposed to get the drink past the whipped cream?" he asked. His eyes flickered to the espresso machine, gurgling to itself on the corner of the counter, then back to me. He licked his lip, a nervous move, not a seductive one. I could see that he wanted to be pleased by the gift, but was too confused.
I lifted out a fingerful of whipped cream and licked it off my finger with a slow swipe of my tongue. The dilation of his pupils was a relief, reassurance that I wasn't making an ass of myself. I took another fingerful. Before I could bring my hand to my mouth he grabbed my wrist with his free hand. "Let me," he purred and slid my finger into his mouth swirling his tongue over the pad and down to the base of it.
I was hard so fast, I felt almost faint, and I groaned as he slid my finger out of his mouth. Before I could speak, before I could explain, he lifted a fingerful of the cream to my lips, and I sucked in his finger. When I could no longer taste anything but his skin, I gave one last kiss to the pad of his finger and said, "You have no idea how much I wanted to do that in the shop this morning."
His breath caught, and he bumped me with his hips, his hardness brushing against mine. The heat burned me even through our clothes. His eyes were hot and his smile huge when he asked, "So why didn't you?"
The question pulled me up short, a blast of cold air that chilled my rising passion. "An asshole from the station was watching us. He could cause problems for you, for us, if he caught us."
Blair tensed, but I didn't let him out of my arms, instead I leaned down and nuzzled his neck, whispering, "If I'd kissed you like I wanted, if I'd licked the whipped cream off the corner of your mouth, if I'd even stolen a fingerful of whipped cream out of your cup, he would have told his captain, who would have told the chief. Who would have forced Simon to assign us other partners." I licked his neck and nibbled on the edge of his ear.
Blair tilted his head, giving me more access, and whispered, "Someday, Jim, I want you to do it. Right there at the coffee shop. Right there in front of every asshole we can find. Will you do that for me?" He turned to look at me, meeting my eyes. There was wildness in his eyes, defiance, passion and a hint of fear.
I kissed him deep and hard, pulling his hips against my own; my erection renewed at the contact with startling suddenness. I wrapped my hands in his hair and said against his lips, "Yes. Someday, we'll damn the consequences. I promise, Blair. We just need to pick the right day."
His eyes blazed and he pressed forward against me, his mouth hard on mine. His free hand wrapped around the back of my neck, holding me close. He kissed me deep, pulled back to lick at my lips, tugged one between his teeth, then went deep again. I was trying to keep up, give as good as I was getting.
When he pulled away, I followed him, not willing to lose the contact, but he moved his hand to my cheek and held me there. His eyes were dark, heavy-lidded, and he said, "How about we skip the guns and the game and go upstairs?" He rocked into me, rubbing our erections together. I moaned; my fingers were reluctant to let go of his soft hair but I pulled a few inches away. His hand slid down to my chest, teasing my nipple through the fabric of my t-shirt.
He set down the coffee cup on the counter and, with his now-free hand, he adjusted himself in his jeans. A quick, dirty move that made my palm itch from not feeling his skin, his cock. I kept my hand on the back of his neck and tried to guide him to the stairs and the bed, but he stood still, looking around the kitchen.
Impatient, I growled, "Bed, Sandburg. It was your idea."
He smiled, hot and wicked and looked at me through his eyelashes, "And it's a good idea. We'll get there." He brushed his hand over my erection, a promise of what was to come. "I'm just wondering if there's more of that whipped cream."
Doppio Con Panna by Sara: email@example.com
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