She pulled open the heavy door and heard the faint tinkle of the bell announcing her arrival. Though she was weary the sound made her smile.
She really needed to unwind; she was running on pure adrenaline and sheer force of will, having had two hours of sleep in the past two days. Neither a warm shower nor a quiet room service dinner had been able to relax her, to convince her vigilant mind to allow her body to rest.
Such was life on a surveillance team. Crime never sleeps, and neither do the Guardians.
That thought made her chuckle as she trudged tiredly toward the bar. The only thing she craved more than a glass of wine was Him. The caress of his hands over her skin, the warmth of his breath on her neck, the taste of his lips. God, she missed him. But he was working too, in another city, another country.
Unconsciously she curled her left hand into a loose fist, brushing over the base of her ring finger with the pad of her thumb. She hated not feeling the slim platinum band there, but its absence was necessary. She couldn’t reveal anything about her real life to the unsavory characters she was watching, and who were in turn watching her. She had to protect both her identity and the operation by concealing their relationship. She knew he would understand; he didn’t wear his ring when he was working either.
But just the same, she never told him that she left the ring in the safe at home when she went out on an operation. She needed to protect him emotionally too, not just physically. She knew he wouldn’t try to stop her, to keep her from doing her duty, but he would worry more than he already did. She didn’t want to add to the burden he carried. As it was the man bore the weight of the world on his strong shoulders every damned day, by nature more than by choice.
The Proprietor looked up at the sound of the bell. There was only one other patron in the cozy winebar, a young man who was deeply involved in his laptop as he swirled the last swallow of red wine in the glass at his hand. Ron smiled as he recognized the auburn-haired woman with the pretty blue eyes.
She had visited his establishment several times over the past three weeks. As was his custom, the friendly Proprietor had chatted her up, trying to make her feel welcome and to promote his business. He had noticed early on the bulge at the small of her back, covered by a loose-fitting blouse that she wore open over a cotton cami. Ron immediately understood; she was an officer of the law, here on business, looking for a moment of respite in a nice vintage and a quiet corner. He had seen others of her kind many times before.
When Ron casually asked the woman about her job she had been evasive in her answer. She had regarded him cautiously through their initial interaction, then relaxed a bit after apparently determining he had no ulterior motive for his inquiry. She had finally told him a little about herself. Not much; her first name, a vague reference that she was a “Fed,” and that she was in Detroit for a case. The Proprietor hadn’t expected much more. He knew women like her were very careful. Capable, but careful. That explained why she never drank more than one glass of wine during her visits, nursing that single pour for an hour or more.
The Proprietor hadn’t been surprised by anything about his new patron until a few hours ago, when he received the call. Then he had been both startled and awed. After a brief conversation and a very generous offer of payment, he agreed to oblige the caller’s request. Still he had remained skeptical until he met the caller face-to-face and the transaction was completed. Now he had his instructions and was ready to act.
“Well, Good Evening.” Ron smiled his greeting as he strolled over to his newly-arrived guest. “Haven’t seen you in a few days.”
She gave him a tired smile as she lowered herself onto the suede couch. “Working,” she sighed softly as she sank into the plush cushions. “It’s been pretty busy. I’ve been dying to come sit here and just do nothing.”
Ron chuckled softly. “I hear ya. As you can see, it’s quiet tonight. I’ll get you a glass of something nice.” He turned toward the bar, then hesitated and looked back at her. “Oh, I should tell you… we’re closing early tonight. In a few minutes, as a matter of fact.”
“Oh?” The woman looked up at The Proprietor, surprised. “I’m sorry. I can just go back to my hotel, have something in the bar there…”
Ron waved a hand, cutting her off with the gesture. “No, no. Stay. You have time for at least one glass and a little solitude.” He smiled. “You’re one of my favorite customers. Just sit. Relax. I can work around you after I close the doors.”
The woman smiled gratefully. “Thank you, Ron. But really, if you need me to go…”
“Relax,” Ron ordered firmly. “I’ll be right back.” With that he moved toward the bar, stopping only briefly to remind the other patron it was time to leave.
Raising a hand, she groaned softly and dropped her head back against the cushion. Working her fingertips in a circle against her right temple, she closed her eyes and breathed deeply, in and out. If only she could relax, shut down for a little while. Three solid weeks without a day off were starting to take its toll on her spirit as well as her body. Now that she had a whole twelve hours until she had to be back “on,” she had to figure out some way to recharge. She was going to be here at least another week, if not more. She had to rest, before she physically crashed.
She knew what the problem was. It wasn’t so much that she was amped from the surveillance, it was that she missed him. It was the guilt she felt at not being there with him when he needed her. She should have been there the night he got hurt; when he injured himself on stage in front of his home crowd. She had wanted to stay for the Meadowlands show but he had urged her to do what she had to do for her case. “Baby, I’ll play Giants a hundred more times,” he had told her. “It will be fine. Go do your job.”
She hadn’t even known about the mishap until the next morning, when she came off her shift. She couldn’t carry her personal Blackberry when she was working, so she hadn’t received any of the messages until hours after it happened. His voicemail brought tears to her eyes; he had assured her he was fine, he was going to the emergency room, and not to worry. He was clearly in pain, even as he tried to be calm in his message. But it had been the fear in his voice that had driven the stake of guilt straight through her heart. In his tone she could hear his darkest thoughts… “Oh God, what if it’s all over? What if I can’t continue the tour?”
She shook her head and brushed a hand across her eyes as tears formed under her closed lids. Dammit, she should have been there for him. He needed her, even if he wouldn’t admit it. And she hadn’t even been able to comfort him over the phone.
“Here you go. Something a little different tonight. I think you’ll like it.” She opened her eyes at The Proprietor’s gentle voice and the soft clink of a footed glass on the coffee table. Lowering her hands to her lap, she watched Ron tip a bottle to the glass, filling it with a generous amount of golden liquid. After finishing the pour Ron presented the bottle for her inspection.
She laughed softly when she saw the label, instantly recognizing his favorite Pinot Grigio. “I know this one. It’s nice.”
Ron set the bottle on the low table, beside her glass. “Well, maybe you’ll feel like having more than one tonight,” he observed with a warm smile. “Enjoy.” With that he moved to the bar’s front door, flipping the sign and turning the lock.
She took a sip and held the wine in her mouth, relishing the crisp flavors as she watched Ron move along the front of the room. He pulled the shades down to cover the street-facing windows before collecting the empty wine glass and napkin left by the now-departed patron, then walked past her to the bar. Minutes later she heard soft piano music from the wine bar’s sound system and saw the lights dim.
She sighed heavily and took another sip from her glass before closing her eyes and sinking a little deeper into the cushions. Her heart squeezed as she savored the wine, remembering the familiar flavor on his lips the last time they had shared a bottle and made love.
God, she missed him.
She sat in silence for several minutes, letting herself get lost in the music and the memories. Slowly she felt her muscles relax, but her senses remained vigilant. She heard the faint clink of metal keys on the polished wood bar, then felt someone moving closer. Realizing Ron was probably coming over to tell her he was ready to leave, she took one more sip of her wine.
“Mind if I join you?”
The soft, honeyed-whiskey voice was the most beautiful sound she could imagine. Her eyes flew open and she bolted upright on the couch, wine sloshing over the rim of her glass onto her hand. She stared wide-eyed at the figure before her, thinking it must be a dream or an apparition or a hallucination created by her over-tired mind.
Then she heard the throaty chuckle and saw the heart-stopping smile. Her smile. She gasped as she realized this wasn’t a dream after all.
“What are you doing here?” she breathed, stunned.
Jon reached down to take the glass from her hand and set it on the coffee table, then leaned over her. “I missed you, Cate.” He traced a finger along her jaw before lowering his lips to hers. He sighed at her familiar taste, sinking slowly down onto the couch beside her as he stroked his lips gently over hers.
When Jon pulled back to smile at her, he saw tears glittering in Cate's swirling blue eyes. “Hey, you’re supposed to be happy to see me,” he teased gently, raising a hand to wipe away a droplet of moisture that had escaped down her cheek.
“I am. Oh, God, you have no idea…” Cate replied, her voice strangled by emotion.
Jon caressed her cheek as he gazed lovingly at her. “Yeah, I have a very good idea,” he corrected her softly. Cate looked exhausted, but every bit as beautiful as she did in his dreams. He could see, though, that this operation was taking its toll on her, both physically and emotionally. Jon bit back the urge to ask if she was okay, if she was being careful. He knew she would reassure him, but she would silently bridle at his protectiveness.
“Why aren’t you in Canada?” Cate’s eyes widened with concern. “Wait, did something happen? You didn’t cancel a show, did you?” Her hand moved instinctively to the knee of Jon’s injured left leg.
“No Baby, it’s Friday. We’re off tonight. The Circus continues in Winnipeg tomorrow.” Jon smiled as he used the nickname the band had adopted early on for the tour named after their album.
“Oh,” Cate breathed with relief, her eyes dropping to her hand on Jon’s knee. “Are you taking it easy? Does it still hurt badly?”
“No, and yes, a little.” Jon knew he couldn’t lie to her. “But the docs have me fixed up. I’m trying to be careful, not shaking my ass too much.”
Cate raised her gaze to meet his and he saw the regret in her beautiful eyes. “I should have been there.”
Jon shook his head. “Baby, we’ve been over this. There’s nothing you could have done.”
“I could have held your hand.”
Jon moved his hand to cover hers on his knee, lacing his fingers in between hers and squeezing gently. “Yes,” he conceded. “But you have a job to do. And you can make up for it now.” He returned Cate’s little smile at that comment, then gathered her into his arms. He sighed happily as she melted against him, her arms slipping around his waist and her soft curves molding against his hard muscles. Their fit was perfect.
“How did you know I’d be here?” Cate murmured against Jon’s chest, her cheek pillowed on his shoulder. She felt his chuckle vibrate in his chest.
“You told me you were going to hurt somebody if you didn’t get to have a glass of wine and some peace and quiet tonight, remember?” Jon smiled against her hair, knowing she didn’t.
“I did?” Cate sighed. “God, it seems like days ago that we talked.”
“It was yesterday. Man, you really do lose track of time when you’re working, don’t you?” Jon chortled.
When they had spoken last, before her sixteen-hour shift started, Cate hadn’t known what day it was. Even over their crappy international wireless connection Jon could tell she was worn down and lonely. Right then and there he vowed he was going to see her, tour schedule be damned.
When he hopped the flight this afternoon Jon didn’t know if Cate would have time for him. Her schedule was utterly unpredictable and he hadn’t heard from her. But he made his preparations anyway, remembering what she said about this quaint little winebar with the kind owner, where she sought respite at every possible opportunity. Even if he and Cate had time only for a single glass of wine and one slow dance, it would be something to soothe their lonely souls. One kiss from her could carry him through, until they were together again.
Jon rubbed a hand gently up and down Cate’s spine, stopping when his fingers bumped against the pistol’s grip at the small of her back. He knew she was always armed when she worked, but it still gave him a jolt of reality when he saw or felt her gun.
Cate raised her head from his shoulder and gave Jon a tender smile. “I’m so glad you’re here, Baby.” Her voice was soft and husky, full of emotion. “I needed this. I need you. Tonight especially.”
“Me too.” Jon kissed her gently. “Now, how about we share that bottle of wine and just hang out on this couch like some old-fart married couple?”
Cate giggled, then wearily pushed herself up off of Jon’s chest. “Ron’s probably ready to go home. We can take the wine back to my hotel…”
“Nah, let’s drink it here.” Jon smirked slightly. “Besides, Ron’s already gone.”
“What?” Cate blinked at Jon before it hit her. A slow grin spread across her lips. “You are the reason he closed early tonight.”
Jon nodded. “Hey, on the website it said this place was available for private parties. So I booked one.” His blue eyes sparkled merrily as he revealed his plot. “A party for two.”
Cate chuckled and leaned in for another kiss. He always knew how to give her just what she needed, usually in the most romantic and unexpected way. “Have I told you lately how much I love you?” she breathed against his lips.
“Yeah, you have.” Jon’s voice was soft and seductive. “It’s been awhile since you showed me, though.” His smile gentled. “But I know you’re beat, Baby, so let’s just chill out together, ‘kay?”
Cate didn’t answer, instead raising a hand to his handsome face. She drew her fingertips lightly along the line of his strong jaw before tracing his soft lips. Jon reached up to capture her hand in his, gently kissing her fingertips as he gazed into her glowing sapphire eyes.
After a long, tender moment Jon smirked slightly. “So, I know you can’t tell me shit about what you’ve been doing the past couple weeks, so we’ll just talk about me.”
Jon’s sarcastic, egotistical declaration made Cate laugh softly. “That sounds good to me, Baby. I don’t even want to think about my work right now. I just want to pretend it doesn’t exist.” She reached for her wine glass and handed it to Jon. “Here. We’ll share.”
Jon nodded and took a sip, then gave Cate a little squeeze as she settled back into her spot beside him. He couldn’t think of any place he’d rather be right now. Jon sighed happily before beginning to regale Cate with tales of what had happened with the band over the past several weeks.
For a long time Cate and Jon sat snuggled together on the comfortable couch, holding each other, sharing wine and kisses, and enjoying having the cozy little bar to themselves. Both had endured a hectic couple weeks, and their reacquaintance was solace for their weary souls.
As Jon tipped the last of the wine into their shared glass a new CD started to play over the sound system. He grinned as Sinatra’s distinctive croon wafted through the room. “C’mon, Baby.” He shifted on the couch, gently pulling away from Cate. “Dance with me.” He stood, wincing slightly as the movement sent a sharp twinge through his damaged calf.
“You need to stay off your feet,” Cate protested, seeing his pained expression. “Baby, the last thing you need to do now is dance.”
“I’ll get off my feet later,” Jon argued, grinning at his naughty insinuation. “But right now I want to dance with My Girl.”
Cate’s lips curved into a gentle smile at his words. He knew she couldn’t resist him when he called her that. “Okay,” she acquiesced. “But just a little. You need to rest.”
“So do you.” Jon extended his hand to her. “But we can hold each other up for a couple songs first.”
Cate chuckled and took his hand, letting him lead her around the couch to the open space between the seating area and the bar. She frowned as she noticed his limp. “I may have to literally hold you up, huh?”
Jon smirked. “Nah. But if I fall you’re going down with me. Preferrably under me.”
Cate laughed softly as she stepped in close to Jon. They encircled each other with their arms, pulling each other close so that they were hip-to-hip and heart-to-heart and cheek-to-cheek. Then they began to sway gently in time to the music, revolving slowly as they moved.
Cate closed her eyes and breathed deeply, inhaling his scent. She felt Jon turn his head slightly to smell her hair. Despite her fatigue Cate’s body responded, a warm flush spreading over her at the feel of Jon’s breath against her ear. She pressed her body more firmly to his, her reaction intensifying as he didn’t yield.
“God, I’ve missed you,” Jon murmured, holding her more tightly. His body reacted to her closeness, his pulse kicking up as his dick pushed against his fly. As wonderful as it was just to hold her, Jon ached to feel Cate’s bare skin against his, to again explore every curve and plane that was the wonderland of her body.
“I’ve missed you too, Baby. So much.” Her murmur was huskier, betraying her arousal. She could feel Jon’s growing erection pressing against her stomach as they danced. As always, her body automatically responded to his cues. “Let’s go back to the hotel.”
“No,” Jon murmured, his hands moving to her hips, pulling her closer against him. “Let’s stay here.” He turned his head to capture her mouth with his. Jon kissed Cate langorously, his tongue snaking between her lips to taste and tease, then to tangle with hers.
“Mmmmm….. here?” Cate breathed when their mouths finally parted. “Really?” She smiled coyly. One thing she had learned about Jon soon after they met was that he enjoyed being adventurous in their lovemaking, both in terms of performance and setting.
“Oh yeah…” Jon’s lips moved to Cate’s ear. He nibbled gently on the lobe as his hands went to the button on her jeans, deftly popping it open. “Unless you’re too tired…”
“Nuh-uh,” Cate purred, her fingers moving to the placket of his shirt. “I’m wide awake.”
“Good.” Jon pushed down the zipper of Cate’s jeans and slipped a hand inside her panties. He groaned at the feel of her, warm and slick.
“Oh, Jonny…” Cate sighed. She worked the last button through its hole and pushed apart the halves of his shirt, exposing his hard chest. Her lips dropped to the warm skin at the base of his throat. Jon tipped his head back, allowing her full access to his Adam’s apple. He chuckled when immediately her mouth moved to the spot. He knew she couldn’t resist the temptation of her little fetish.
“Baby, you wear too many clothes,” Jon growled, withdrawing his fingers and sliding both hands up her sides to her breasts. He grinned as he felt her nipples pebble under his palms. Fondling the soft mounds for a moment, he moved his touch higher to push Cate’s open blouse off her shoulders.
“I have to,” she murmured in return, sliding her mouth down his neck to the notch where his clavicles joined. “Have to conceal my gun.”
“Well you don’t have to hide it now.” Jon gently pulled Cate’s hands away from his chest and pushed her blouse down her arms, letting it fall to the floor. He grinned as he saw she was wearing her black Harley-Davidson tank under the blouse. It was the same one he had peeled from her body the first time they made love, a lifetime ago on an island in Coastal Georgia. The ribbed black material stretched over her round breasts, the hard peaks of her erect nipples dimpling the fabric on either side of the logo.
Cate watched as Jon shrugged his shirt off his strong shoulders, dropping it behind him. Her eyes ranged eagerly over his hard chest, taking in the sight of his downy fur, now more silver than brown. She found that feature of his perfect physique to be especially sexy.
Jon watched her devour him with her eyes. He loved that after all this time together he could still make her stare. He stood still for a moment, indulging her, then he reached for her.
“Just a minute, Baby.” Cate took a half-step back as her hand went to the small of her back. She grasped the pistol’s grip and tugged upward, slipping her Glock in its holster from its resting place inside the waistband of her jeans. She reached over to set the gun on a barstool then moved back to Jon. “Okay.”
Jon grinned. “I learned my lesson a long time ago about letting you disarm before trying to seduce you.” He chuckled at the memory of the night Cate had literally almost shot him. Like an idiot he had surprised her in her office’s locker room as she was undressing for a shower. That was one mistake he wouldn’t make again, sneaking up on an armed woman.
Jon stepped close to Cate and hooked his fingers inside her waistband. Leaning in for another kiss, he pushed the soft denim down over her hips. He chuckled against her mouth as he felt Cate wiggle her legs to help the pants reach the floor, then she pulled away to step out of her shoes and jeans. Jon’s chuckle turned to a soft gasp as her hand moved to cover his fly, firmly grasping his straining erection.
Dropping his arms to his sides Jon stood still, breathing heavily as Cate deftly undid the button and zipper at his waist. She slid her hands inside his jeans, her palms against his hips, ready to push the denim downward to uncover him. He smiled when her eyes widened in surprise as she felt the soft cotton knit of his briefs between denim and skin.
“No commando?” Cate smirked at her lover. “Since when?”
“Since the med techs cut my pants off last Friday night. Had to cover me with a towel to keep Superman from flapping in the breeze.” Jon laughed at Cate’s astonished expression. “Not that he was actually standing up for inspection or anything. Everything sucked up pretty fast when my leg exploded.”
Jon’s smile gentled when he saw her wince at the description of his pain. “It’s okay. I’m fine now. Both the leg AND Superman.” He gave her a little wink. “But Superman could use a little attention.”
Cate chuckled softly, shaking her head at Jon’s gentle tease. Still, she hated the thought of the pain he must have endured. She couldn’t help that, but she could certainly take care of him now.
Cate pulled her hands from Jon’s hips and pushed on the waistband of his jeans. Slowly she knelt before him, sliding the faded black denim down over his muscular thighs, then past his knees, then to his ankles. She drew in a sharp breath when she saw the black compression wrap banding Jon’s left calf, covering what she knew must be an ugly purple bruise.
Jon steadied himself with a hand on a nearby barstool as he toed off his boots, then stepped out of his jeans. He sighed as Cate gently trailed her fingers up the sides of his legs, her fingertips stroking through the wiry fur covering his skin, as she rose to her feet and stood facing him. Her hands came to rest on the waistband of his black boxer briefs. “You know, you look damned sexy in these,” she purred as she traced her fingers along the edge of the elastic.
“You look pretty damned sexy yourself.” He looked her up and down, feeling his cock twitch in appreciation of her taut, tanned body, covered only minimally by her tank and black cotton bikini panties. Grasping Cate’s hips and pulling her against him, Jon lowered his mouth to hers. He kissed her provocatively as he pressed his shaft hard against her, making his intentions clear.
Shuffling his feet, Jon slowly turned Cate around until her back was to the bar, then guided her backwards between a pair of stools. Pulling his face back from hers and giving her a mischievous wink, Jon suddenly grabbed Cate's waist and lifted her, depositing her on the edge of the mahogany bar.
Cate squeaked in surprise, grasping Jon’s shoulders to steady herself. “Jon!” she protested as he hopped up to balance on a knee on one of the barstools. “Your leg!”
Jon braced his hands against the edge of the bar as he smirked naughtily. “Will be just fine once I’m lying on top of you.” He leaned forward, crawling up onto the polished wood surface beside Cate.
Cate’s eyes sparkled as she slid sideways along the bar away from Jon, moving toward the middle of the wide surface. She swung her legs up and reclined back onto her elbows, giving him a saucy grin of invitation. Jon growled playfully and crawled toward her, placing his hands either side of her body as he slithered his torso upward to cover hers. Cate sighed and lay back, closing her eyes as she relished the wonderful, familiar feel of Jon’s body blanketing her.
“God, Baby…” Jon whispered. “You feel so good…. It’s been a long time.”
“Too long.” Cate sighed and tipped her head back as Jon nuzzled at her throat.
Jon shifted to his hip, supporting himself on his left forearm as he dropped his right hand to Cate’s abdomen. He slowly pushed her tank upward to uncover her breasts, then moved his lips downward. He captured a rosy nipple in his mouth, groaning softly as he rolled his tongue over the hard peak. His free hand slid down Cate’s stomach until his fingertips found the little silver ring at her navel.
Cate let out a happy whimper and reached up a hand to tangle in Jon’s hair. She arched against his mouth as his lips slipped to her other breast. “Ohhhh…. Jonny…..” Cate breathed. “Oh, that feels so good….” A throaty growl against her skin was his reply.
Jon sucked and licked at Cate’s breasts, reveling in her taste, in her smell, in the feel of her skin against his. It was a sensation he would never grow tired of. They had made love hundreds of times since their meeting and every time he felt like he was discovering something new and magical, like he was privy to a secret she would share with no one else. He loved that she could enslave him with just a touch.
Jon felt Cate’s hand move from his hair, her blunt nails scraping gently down his spine from his neck to his ass. Her touch left a trail of fire over his skin that radiated outward over the whole of his body. She shifted slightly toward him as she reached with her free hand for his hip.
“Baby…” Jon gasped against Cate’s breast as she tugged downward on the elastic waist of his briefs, uncovering soft, pale skin. Cate smiled as she curled her fingers against his flesh, digging the tips into the tight muscle of his ass before dragging them forward. She ruffled her fingertips through the soft shag that blanketed his crotch, gently stroking and teasing before she closed her hand around Jon’s stone-hard cock.
“Hello, Man of Steel,” she purred playfully, giving his shaft a pulsing little squeeze. “What are you doing out here? You should be inside, where it’s nice and warm…”
Jon chortled at Cate’s dirty comment, raising his head from her chest. “Was that an invitation?” He pressed his lips to hers for a hungry kiss before she could answer. Instead of speaking she tugged gently at his cock, making her affirmative response clear.
More than willing to oblige her, Jon moved a hand to slip Cate’s panties down her thighs. At the same time she shoved at the elastic of his briefs. Their mouths parted with a gasp and a little giggle from Cate as they struggled momentarily to divest themselves of their undergarments. They finally kicked free of them, a flick of Cate’s foot sending the tangled skivvies sailing to the floor.
“No more fucking underwear,” Jon growled, again burying his face in her neck. Cate giggled again as he nipped playfully at the curve of her shoulder.
“You, or me?”
“Both of us,” Jon murmured. “In fact…” He pushed himself up onto an elbow and tugged at Cate’s tank top, which was bunched at the tops of her breasts.
Cate chuckled and shimmied sideways, untangling her arms from around her lover. She quickly yanked the shirt over her head and flung it away. She smiled sexily at Jon as she lay fully naked on the bar.
“Christ, you’re beautiful…” Jon’s eyes ranged over Cate’s nude form, his pupils dilated with desire. Almost reverently, he traced a finger along the curve of her breast then downward over her stomach, to the apex of her thighs.
Cate drew in a breath as Jon’s fingers slipped between her warm folds and found her wet and ready. Her gaze locked with his as he stroked her, gently circling her clit, teasing the spot he knew always drove her wild.
“Jonny… I need you now….” Cate breathed, her thighs falling open to allow him full access.
Jon’s cock throbbed at her words. “I need you too, Baby.” With a husky growl he rolled on top of Cate and buried himself inside her. Her response was a gasp of surprise, followed by a contented purr.
“Slow, Baby… please make it last… please…” Cate implored in a raptured murmur. She wanted this moment to never end, for time to freeze, so she and Jon could be joined body and soul forever.
“I will,” he promised in a raspy whisper. He lay still for a moment, savoring the feel of her soft walls sheathing him, cradling him inside her. They were so perfect together. Then he slowly began to move, pulsing lightly at first before pulling back and pushing forward, stroking in and out of her.
Cate purred and whimpered with pleasure as Jon brought her to the brink of orgasm and backed off, then repeated his actions again… and again… and again. They knew each other so intimately that each could detect the most subtle of signs in the other that control was about to slip away. By the time Cate and Jon were ready, they were both panting and slick with sweat.
It took only an exchanged look to light the fuse. With a raspy growl Jon rolled his hips, thrusting his cock deep into Cate’s hot core. She let out a husky purr of pleasure, then a long, trembling moan as her walls convulsed around him and her orgasm rushed over her. Jon gasped out Cate’s name as he matched her release, his face contorting into a beautiful grimace of ecstasy.
Spent, Jon collapsed on top of Cate, his sweaty chest mashing against her drenched breasts. He panted heavily, feeling her heaving underneath him. Not wanting to crush her he shifted to the side, letting out a long groan when he slipped from inside her.
“My God, Baby…” Cate gasped. “That was… was…” She couldn’t find a word to describe what she was feeling. Her lashes fluttered as tears welled in her eyes. The sex was fantastic as always, but it was the emotional rescue she had needed, more than anything. Her Superman had come to save her again, just when she needed him most.
Jon smiled tenderly, seeing her emotion. “For me too,” he whispered. With a gentle hand on her hip he turned Cate toward him and pulled her into his embrace. “I love you so much. I miss you.”
Cate snuggled against the strong chest of the man she loved more than she could describe. “Thank you,” she whispered hoarsely. “I… I really needed you tonight. Thank you for knowing that.”
Jon’s heart swelled at her words. “I needed you too. I’ll always need you, Cate. Forever.” He hugged her tight.
A lump of emotion welled in her throat, choking Cate’s response. She looked up at her lover, her eyes glistening with happy tears. She couldn’t speak… there were no words. So she just kissed him.
Jon understood her perfectly.
Jon sat bare-chested in the bed, watching her. He was propped up against a pile of pillows, a rumpled sheet draped over his lap. The faint light of dawn crept around the edges of the curtains and into the dimly-lit room.
They were supposed to have breakfast together, before she had to report to the Operations Center mid-morning. But the 5:45 a.m. phone call had changed all that. Cate was needed immediately. Something big had happened, though Jon didn’t know what. She couldn’t tell him.
With a regretful kiss and a wistful apology Cate had slipped out of bed and dashed for the bathroom. In a scant fifteen minutes she was showered and dressed, ready to depart. Her black gear bag sat ready next to the door, beside a nondescript brown leather case. Jon had no idea what that case contained, and he knew better than to ask.
He couldn’t stop a worried frown from creeping to his lips as he watched Cate take her Glock from the dresser, check the magazine and the chamber, then slide the pistol into its flat, oval-shaped holster. Her back was to him as she slipped the holster inside the waistband of her jeans, nestling the weapon against the small of her back.
Cate felt Jon’s gaze on her and turned to face him. Her heart squeezed at his worried expression.
“Cate… is it necessary?” Jon’s voice was husky, tinged with fear. “What you’re doing, I mean. I know it’s dangerous. Just… please tell me it’s necessary, that you have to do it… That there’s no other way.”
Cate crossed the room to sit on the edge of the bed next to him. She gave him a weary smile, reaching up to stroke his stubbled cheek. “Yes. It’s necessary,” she answered gently. “But it’s almost done. Promise.”
Jon nodded mutely, blinking away the moisture from his eyes. “I love you.”
“I love you too. Always.”
Jon and Cate stared silently at each other for a long moment, then she leaned in to give him a tender kiss. “Two more weeks, Baby. Then I’ll meet you in Chicago.”
“I don’t know if I can wait that long,” Jon replied with a half-hearted smile. “I may have to book another private party.”
“I’m sure Ron can find a nice bottle of wine for us to share.” Cate smiled back, moving her hand to cover Jon’s on his lap.
“Be careful. Please.”
“I will. I always am.” Cate gave Jon’s hand another little squeeze, then sighed. She stood and grinned down at the Superman in her bed. “I fully intend to collect on that honeymoon you promised me.” Cate’s heart melted as she once again saw Her Smile on those perfect lips.
“You got it.” Jon’s eyes followed his beautiful, brave, independent wife as she moved to the door. Cate picked up the bags, pulled open the door, and stepped out into the hallway. She turned, smiled, and mouthed “I love you.”
Then she was gone.