|The Way You Love Me
Author: JennieBlue PM
EC. Each chapter stands alone and explores a different way in which Eric and Calleigh show their love for each other. Chapter 5 - Calleigh reflects on the little ways Eric shows her he loves her.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Calleigh D. & Eric D. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 26,822 - Reviews: 55 - Favs: 35 - Follows: 27 - Updated: 08-11-11 - Published: 08-27-09 - id: 5336507
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Little Ways
Ryan sighed heavily as he turned his attention back to the road in front of him once again. The ride back to the lab was a quiet one, and it was driving him a little crazy. After spending almost three hours gathering evidence at opposite ends of a very large home in Key Biscayne, he was in the mood for some conversation. Normally, Calleigh was much more talkative when they drove around town to and from crime scenes, but today she was being uncharacteristically quiet. Her current demeanor was bugging him, and quite frankly it made the ride boring, especially since they were currently stuck in brutal traffic. Although he normally kept his eyes glued to the road when he drove (because she was the lab's resident crazy driver), every so often he surreptitiously looked over at Calleigh, trying to figure out what was going on with her. He would have thought she was having some kind of problem since she was so quiet, but the lazy smile on the her face told him differently. And it intrigued him to no end.
The look on Calleigh's face was one of utter peace, as if she had no worries at all in the world; it was not the face she usually wore after they'd finished processing an ugly homicide scene. She was smiling, and as they drove the smile grew - grew from an amused smile that just curved her lips upward, to her signature bright Calleigh D smile. He was fairly itching with curiosity when she laid her fingers on her smiling lips and then squirmed in her seat. And several minutes later when she reached for her cell phone and tapped out a short text message, the smile curving her lips widening, and then lay her head back against the head rest with a contented sigh, dazed eyes continuing to stare out the window, he thought he would bust a gut if he couldn't find out what was up with her. Without thinking he turned toward her and almost said her name, but he quickly closed his mouth because he knew his partner and friend would never tell him. That was okay, he'd find out later from Valera. He'd tell Valera about how she was acting, and Valera would get the nitty gritty details. Probably before they all went home for the day.
After loading up evidence and their kits into the back of the Hummer, Calleigh threw the keys to the vehicle at Ryan, telling him without words that he could drive, and chuckling softly at the surprised look on the younger man's face. It wasn't often she let him drive, because he drove far too slow for her tastes. Normally she liked to get back to the lab as quickly as they could so that she could begin processing evidence, but this time she only wanted to sit back with her thoughts, thoughts that had repeatedly threatened to distract her as she collected evidence at the crime scene.
After settling herself in the passenger seat, Calleigh rolled down the window a little, enough for the air to send her hair fluttering in the light breeze that blew through. Propping her elbow up on the window ledge, she settled her hand by her head and let her thoughts wander back to the object of her affection... Eric. In the house they'd just finished processing, she'd come across a group of photos in the master bedroom, photos of a man and his wife taken at various points in their lives, and in each of the photos the love between them was very palpable, clearly evident on their faces, in the way they looked at each other. She'd been momentarily distracted by the photos because they'd reminded her of her relationship with Eric, of a photo of them that sat on her bedside table. The picture had been taken by one of Eric's sisters when they were at one of his parent's family dinners, when she'd caught the two of them curled up together on the porch swing, Calleigh almost completely in his lap. They'd been about to kiss, so the picture had captured the look in their eyes as their lips were just about to touch. The looks had been of pure unadulterated love, and Eric had shown her that same unadulterated love the night before and that very morning, and just the very thought of it affected her - her eyes fluttered closed, heart racing and breaths accelerating - before she shook her head and cleared her throat, and her mind.
Although she'd quickly shaken herself out of that distraction and busied herself processing the room, her thoughts of Eric weren't far from her mind. Even as she made her way out of the house her thoughts were back on him and for the time being, she wanted to keep it that way, so without further thought she'd thrown the Hummer keys at Ryan and settled herself into her seat, and her thoughts.
The pictures she'd seen in the bedroom were of a couple very obviously in love with each other, and Calleigh had no doubt declarations of love had been free-flowing in that house. While Eric had been more more free with telling her how he felt about her, telling her often that he loved her, the words had not come as easy to her. The fact that he was okay with that, that he was willing to wait for her to verbalize what he already knew to be true, made her love him all the more. Of course, it was easy to love Eric Delko, but when he loved you back as much as he did, as much as he showed her day after day, it wasn't hard to fall head over heels in love with him. But while she knew deep inside that she cared for him, and cared for him dearly, it took her a long time to admit to herself that she loved him. She'd had a lifetime of disappointment from men, never being able to trust them, to count on them, to rely on them... until Eric. And over the years she'd known him she'd given him every part of herself except one; she trusted him with her life, with her body, with every part of her except her heart.
Although it had taken her a while to admit to herself that she loved Eric, as soon as she knew it with all her heart, she'd told him, completely unable to keep it to herself a moment longer. They had been grocery shopping, standing in the middle of the produce section... or rather, she was watching Eric as he picked over the cantaloupes, trying to pick the perfect one for the next day's breakfast when it hit her, and if it hadn't been for the fact that the store didn't have many customers at that time, he probably wouldn't have heard her as she softly said "I love you," to him for the first time. But he had heard her, and he'd simply leaned over the shopping cart to capture her lips in a sweet kiss before whispering the words back to her against her lips. And later, after the groceries had been put away, he'd picked her up and carried her back to her bedroom where they'd made love for hours, neither holding anything back.
With a smile curving her lips, Calleigh lay her head back against the headrest and thought about their lovemaking the night before, and that morning. She hadn't been sure if Eric was truly in love with her when they began dating, but when he made love to her for the first time, there was no doubt left in her mind that he loved her. Each and every time they made love, there was a certain reverence in the way he held her, the way he gazed at her, the way his hands roamed her body, and the way he moved with her and within her. They'd been together for several months, and still they couldn't get enough of each other; the lovemaking was often, and still deeply passionate. The previous evening and that very morning was testament to that. The very thought had Calleigh shifting in her seat as a wave of warmth and desire flooded her, had her closing her eyes and breathing deeply, trying to squelch the sudden urge to moan.
The night before they'd curled up together on the couch to watch television before going to bed. After the news, Calleigh got up to prep the coffee pot for the following morning while Eric made his way to their bedroom. The bedroom was dark when she entered, but she could make out Eric standing between the bed and the bathroom as he pulled off his shirt. She'd started to move past him to begin her bedtime routine when his hand snaked out & grasped her arm, pulling her into a deep wet kiss, a kiss she'd melted into and eagerly returned. Moments later his sneaky hands found their way under her shirt, nimble fingers quickly finding the clasp on her bra, unhooking it and filling his hands with her breasts before pulling her tank top and bra off her heated, trembling body. What had started out as simply a desire to kiss the woman he loved had quickly evolved into lovemaking so all-consuming that she was surprised they hadn't left marks on each other.
After reluctantly pulling herself from his arms and the bed to begin the bedtime routine he'd interrupted, she wrapped her still-tingling body in her short black robe, tying it loosely around her waist as she entered the bathroom. Not content to be a room apart, Eric slid out of bed and leaned against the bathroom door, simply watching her as she scrubbed her beautiful face free of makeup. A smile curved his lips as he tilted his head, taking her in from head to foot... red toenails sinking into the plush white bathmat she stood on, soft black silky fabric meeting her mid-thigh, hair barely contained by the now very messy ponytail, stray fly-away strands of blonde falling around her face, smiling lips kiss swollen, green eyes sparkling... and God, he had to have her all over again. And he did. Right there in the bathroom. The next morning she'd made him breakfast while he showered, but afterward he'd shown up in the kitchen as naked as the day he was born and her robe hit the floor before he'd hoisted her onto the table, taking her right then and there. The French toast was a little overcooked, but he surely hadn't minded, and considering the pre-breakfast activity he'd treated her to, neither had she.
The buildings and cars the Hummer crawled past in traffic were a blur to Calleigh as she continued to stare out the window and reflect on the ways Eric showed her he loved her. Her thoughts drifted to how it wasn't just the way he made love to her that told her how much he loved her, how much she was treasured. It was also in all the little things he did for her, some things she'd previously found annoying coming from others... but from Eric she'd basked in the attention, found pleasure in the little things he did for her, found pleasure in the way he spoiled her, tended to her, cared for her so deeply.
Calleigh's eyes drifted to the now empty insulated coffee mug that sat in one of the two front-seat cup holders in the department issued Hummer and thought about how on mornings they both had to work Eric always made the coffee while she showered, and had a cup waiting for her on the bathroom counter when she got out, fixed just the way she liked it. If he got en early morning call-out, he'd start the coffee and leave her a note on the refrigerator door telling her he loved her. If she was the unlucky one to get the early call out, he still made the coffee for her, having a to-go cup and a kiss ready for her when she was ready to leave.
Remembering the kiss Eric had given her that very morning when they'd gotten to work, she pressed her fingers to her own lips and thought about how, as with every morning they were able to drive to work together, he'd parked in a far corner of the parking garage, away from the elevator and stairwells, so he could press her against the car door and get a good deep kiss in before they went in to work and had to be professional about their relationship, where public displays of affection were an agreed upon no-no. And when they couldn't drive to work together, he'd press her up against the inside of the front door, and get that deep kiss in before he'd let her leave.
Eric didn't just leave her notes on the refrigerator door when he had to leave early, he left her random notes in her lunch tote, the pocket of her lab coat, her locker at the lab, her evidence kit, the place she sat her purse and keys when she got home, and even folded up behind her nameplate on the MDPD In/Out roster board. Sometimes the notes simply said "I love you", or that she was beautiful, that her smile made his day, that he itched to run his fingers through her soft long hair, or that he couldn't wait until they could be alone again so he could kiss her senseless and watch the color of her green eyes deepen. Sometimes they said he would have a glass of her favorite wine waiting for her when she got home, or that he was taking her out to dinner after work. And when the notes were left in places like her locker where there was no chance anyone else would see it, he'd tell her just what he was going to do to her body when he got her home again or that she'd better not give him any smoldering looks that day or he'd have to risk getting fired and take her in the Hummer on the way back from a crime scene. The mere thought of such an encounter had her squirming in her seat... and unknowingly piquing Ryan's interest all over again.
Out of the corner of her eyes, Calleigh noticed Ryan glancing her way again and took a deep breath to calm herself, not wanting to draw any more attention from her overly inquisitive co-worker. Moving strands of wind-blown hair out of her face, Calleigh gazed out the window again and thought about how Eric also showed her how much he loved her by the way he took care of her. She was an independent woman, always had been, but with Eric she let go of some of that independence and let him take care of her. Never before had she let a man take care of her, always bristling when they attempted to do so. But with Eric it was different and maybe it was because he knew her so well, better than anyone else ever had. He knew when to go to her, when to hold her and take care, and when to give her space and let her work things out on her own; the way he took care of her wasn't stifling or overwhelming.
Some things he did were subtle - when they walked through a parking lot or on a side walk, he always walked on the outside so that he was the one walking against traffic. And sometimes that care was a little more obvious, though not overbearing - when she got an early call-out he'd leave breakfast for her in her locker, to make sure she ate. And when she wasn't feeling well, he knew when to fill her with vitamins and medicine and not say anything when she got dressed to go to work, and when to insist she stay home... of course, phone calls and lunch time visits to check on her were the norm when she stayed home.
Just as he did things he would normally do to show his love for her, Calleigh was certain that Eric did some things differently solely because he loved her. He was not a morning person and generally needed a shower and at least two cups of coffee before the fog cleared in his sleepy mind, but on Sundays he would set his phone alarm to get himself up before her so that he could make her breakfast in bed. Where before he'd been a beer man, now he bought her favorite wines instead. Before they finally got together he rarely cooked, preferring to eat out or open cans and cook in a microwave. But now he cooked all the time, trying his hand at different Cuban dishes and often asking his mother for recipes and all because he wanted to share his Cuban heritage with her.
Shaking her head with a grin, Calleigh remembered the spicy Cuban dinner Eric had prepared for them the previous Sunday evening when he'd decorated the dining area like an authentic Cuban cafe and served the food while speaking to her with every bit of the Spanish flair and accent he'd grown up with.
Her smile now a full-on grin, Calleigh slipped her cell phone out of her back pocket and tapped out a short three-word text message to Eric, then laid her head back against the head rest and closed her eyes with a contented sigh. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Ryan turn toward her and could have sworn he was about to say something because his mouth opened, and he gaped at her like a fish for a few moments before he shut it and thankfully turned his attention back to the road in front of him. But Ryan quickly became a passing thought as she once again turned her thoughts toward Eric and how shewould show him just how much she loved him that evening.
Eric groaned as he sat back on his stool, moving his hands around to his lower back to rub his sore muscles in an attempt to alleviate the pain from being hunched over for so long. He'd spent all afternoon with a magnifying glass, hovering over two sets of crime scene photos, trying to find anything he could to nail the bastard that they all just knew had killed little old Ellie Jameson three days ago, and, they suspected, wheelchair bound Janey McDonnell the week before.
Wincing as he gave up on the photos, Eric moved his hands to his face, rubbing his tired eyes before picking up his pen to record his notes. Dutifully he wrote and wrote, pausing only when the cell phone at his hip vibrated. His pen hovered over the MDPD official form as he reached into his back pocket to fish out his phone, eyes moving from the form only when he'd moved the phone in front of his face.
Eric's features visibly softened as his eyes took in the short, but very sweet, text message. "I love you" was all Calleigh's message said, and that was all it needed to say. The effect her words had on him was immediate; the warmth that infused his body had him fairly humming, his eyes sparkling, had him grinning where moments before his lips had been set into a thin line.
With a wide smile adorning his lips, thoughts about being with her, loving her later that evening filling his mind, Eric quickly typed a reply: Love you too, Babe. With a soft sigh he laid the phone on the table beside him and, feeling one hundred percent better, picked up the magnifying glass to review the photos again... the smile never leaving his face.
Unbeknownst to Eric, Valera had been walking past the glass walled Layout Lab right as Eric pulled his cell phone out of his back pocket. Normally this would not have caught her eye, but just as she was turning her gaze to something far more interesting, she caught Eric's smile out of the corner of her eyes and shifted her gaze back to him once again as she slowed her pace. She'd perfected her ability to look like she was working, or making her way in a certain direction, as she secretly took in interesting details about the goings-on around her, so slowing her gait as she eyed the handsome Cuban was second nature to her.
Eagle eyes took in the soft smile on his lips, a smile that quickly morphed into a full-on grin, the way the lines on his forehead disappeared as his features relaxed, and the way he licked his lips as he replied to whatever message he'd received. Glancing at her watch to note the time, as any good investigator would (really, why they hadn't made her a CSI yet was beyond her), she continued on her way to the break room, mentally tucking away what she'd seen in the recesses of her mind. Something had made the man grin the way he had, and she'd be falling down on the job if she didn't find out why. She was Maxine Valera after all. And Maxine Valera knew all the lab gossip there was to know. TMZ had nothing on her.
Almost an hour later she had her answer... in the form of a very inquisitive Ryan Wolfe, who told her all about Calleigh's strange behavior, and her cell phone texting at roughly the same time Eric went all googly-eyed. It wasn't one hundred percent proof positive, but she had a gut feeling her growing suspicions about the relationship between CSIs Delko and Duquesne had just been confirmed. And so with a devious twinkle in her eye, she turned back to the smirking Ryan Wolfe, and with an arm around his shoulder, guided him toward the locker room where she fully intended to weasel more information out of him over a few beers at Happy Hour. His treat of course.