|Armed & Dangerous
Author: lori51 PM
Horatio and Calleigh are together and starting a family, better late than never. But life is change, and this changes everything. How will they learn to be a family with all the adjustments that brings? DuCaine. Sequel to A Sea Change. It will make a whole lot more sense if you read that one first. Complete.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Family - Horatio C. & Calleigh D. - Chapters: 17 - Words: 37,962 - Reviews: 57 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 19 - Updated: 07-08-12 - Published: 06-17-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8227098
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Not mine
Calleigh spent a peaceful, quiet morning at home with her family. They ate breakfast together and then packed for their trip. The fact that Horatio helped instead of begging off to do man things warmed her. Austin and Patti were so excited about the wedding and about going on vacation to meet their new grandparents. They swam in the pool and watched a movie together, until it was time to start getting ready for the wedding. They had rented tents and tables and chairs so that they could have it on the beach. Talking about it, it was what they both wanted, sweet and casual and comfortable, barefoot in the sand behind their house at sunset. Calleigh had found beautiful sundresses for her and Patti, and Horatio and Austin would wear deep blue short-sleeved shirts, with khakis.
The rental company brought everything and set it up for them, and Alexx and Natalia had come early to help set up. As they rushed around placing flowers and getting ready for what would be a small, short and sweet ceremony and reception, basically the same people who had been at their house just a few weeks ago, Horatio felt his anxiety rise. Logically, he knew that there was no reason for it. And yet, the beach was just so open… every angle he saw could pose a potential threat. Even the ocean itself made them vulnerable. Why had he never seen that before? Anyone could just motor up and eliminate all of them, in one fell swoop. He knew there was no way he could protect his family, not outside in this setting. He suddenly didn't think there was any way they could go through with this. It just wasn't safe.
Everything was ready. It was time to get started. Calleigh looked around for Horatio, but didn't see him. Moving toward the house in search of him, she was stopped by Natalia. "Let me go get him, Cal. He's not supposed to see you in your dress before the wedding, remember?"
Calleigh smiled a little sadly. Unfortunately, she didn't always have the luxury of following the rules. "Thanks, Nat, but I think he'll need me right now." She met Eric's eyes over Nat's shoulder and saw the understanding there. He nodded, and she smiled. "I'll be right back and then we'll get started."
Moving quickly into the house, she found him there in the great room, in front of the wedding portrait of himself and Marisol, his head bowed. She moved in behind him and put her arms around him, resting her chin on his shoulder. His hands settled over hers instantly, and his cheek found hers. "Hey. You okay?" she asked him softly.
"I'm okay," he said, and then he hesitated. "It's just… I'm just so happy." It was nearly a whisper, as if he was afraid to say it, and she knew why. He'd been happy before, but every time he was, it was so short lived that he was afraid now that this wouldn't last. It could be snatched away at any time, as he knew only too well by now, better than most. Looking down at them from the pictures on this wall were the people that he'd loved and lost. She had felt his anxiety building all day as the hour drew closer, and she knew it had hit its peak by now. None of his fears were unfounded, and her heart broke for him.
"Hey," she said, turning him into her arms, holding him tightly. "I'm armed and dangerous, handsome. You know that. That kid the other day got a pass because he was out of his mind and didn't know what he was doing. Anyone else that hurts you or our kids will get a bullet. And you know I don't miss." That made him smile fondly. He did know that. He rested his forehead against hers.
"I'd rather live without you than live in a world without you in it." His greatest fear. Oh, Horatio, she thought. What a choice.
"I know, handsome, and I feel the same about you. But I don't know anyone that can kick both of our asses. Hasn't happened yet. We'll take care of each other." He searched her face, and smiled finally. Then he looked out the back door at all the people milling there and the tents they'd set up on the beach, like he was facing a firing squad, and Calleigh suddenly wished she'd picked someplace more private just to ease his worries. She sighed. Ah, hell. They had to deal with this. Might as well start now.
"Hey, you know I took care of all the details, right, all the important things like flowers and music and hiring plenty of security for today." She lifted her hands to his face to hold him carefully.
His eyes flew back to hers. "Really? I didn't see any security earlier." When he'd been so tense that he'd had to come in the house to get away.
She smiled smugly. "Off duty cops and lots of 'em. Ones we know and trust."
The relief that washed over him was so strong that it almost overwhelmed him. He nuzzled into her neck. "You always know just what I need."
She kissed his face, stroking his neck lovingly. "I do. Always. Trust me, handsome, okay?"
"I do," he said earnestly. "Always."
Calleigh smiled. "I know." Then she grinned at him. "Besides, I'm packing, just for you." She lifted the hem of her dress to her thigh to reveal a small holster and her backup, and he grinned. "Armed and dangerous. That's my girl."
"Feel better now?" She knew she wouldn't need the weapon. But she also knew this was going to be very difficult for him to get past, and if it made him feel better, what was the harm? She would do anything for him. He nodded mutely.
She smoothed his hair and fixed the collar of the royal blue shirt that looked so good on him. "Good. Now let's go get married."
He offered her his arm, and she took it, walking with him out onto the deck just as the sun began to set. There was a commotion on the beach, and both of them were stunned to see Kyle standing there in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt, his arms full of his laughing brother and sister as he lifted them high into the air in a bear hug and they giggled with delight. They had been introduced via Skype, and had taken an instant liking to each other. Kyle hadn't said a word because a he wasn't sure if his request would be approved, or if he would even get here in time. Setting the kids down on the beach, he hugged Horatio, and then Calleigh.
Horatio was so shocked that he didn't know what to say. "I can't believe you did this, son. You don't know how happy I am to see you. How long are you here for?"
"I'm on leave for a week, but I'm going to visit some friends before I have to head back. I know you're going on vacation, but I really wanted to be here today."
Horatio smiled. "I'm so glad you're here." He had all of his family here now. Even Ray Jr. and Yelina had come. That had been a surprise.
Kyle grinned. "Well, it's not every day that my dad gets married. From what I see of you and Calleigh, this is going to be a one-time deal so I figured I'd better not miss it."
Calleigh put an arm around Horatio's shoulders and the other around Kyle's. "It most certainly is a one-time deal, and it wouldn't have been the same without you. Come on. We'll get you a seat.
The small crowd was hushed as the waves crashed and the setting sun spread a beautiful wash of color over the horizon, resplendent with orange, pink and violet. They stood barefoot in the sand, Horatio in his royal blue shirt and khakis and Calleigh in her beautiful long flowered sundress with muted swirling colors that brought out her striking eyes. Frank and Natalia stood on either side of them, and their kids stood close, having already fulfilled their duties as ring bearer and flower girl, smiling as they repeated their vows quietly and reverently, their eyes never leaving each other's, and the judge pronounced them man and wife.
Horatio could see the enormity of her feelings all right there in her eyes as she looked at him, and he knew he was the same. "Mrs. Caine," he said quietly, and she smiled at him, that smile he knew he would never get enough of. "Mr. Caine," she told him, still smiling as he kissed her, for the very first time, as his wife.
Horatio finally caught up to his new wife in the kitchen, wasting no time in backing her up against the center island and kissing her senseless. Calleigh responded eagerly, threading her fingers through his hair and pressing her body into his. His fingers roamed all over her soft skin, loving just how much of it was exposed by that heartstopping dress. "I love this dress," he murmured into her skin, his fingers dipping beneath the fabric at her lower back to explore further.
Natalia found them that way, and stood there for a long while, amused that they had no idea she was there. Finally she cleared her throat. "Um… guys?" They looked up at her intrusion with twin disgruntled expressions that made her laugh out loud. "I was just checking to see if you needed someone to take the kids tonight to give you a little, uh… privacy."
Horatio looked down at Calleigh, his hands still caressing the smooth expanse of her back left bare by his new favorite dress. "That depends on whether you're planning on being quieter than you were yesterday," he said with a wicked grin that earned him a mock slap on his chest. "Horatio Caine!" The fact that Calleigh was blushing at that made Nat laugh, since she'd been practically climbing into his clothes not a minute ago.
"Okay, TMI, you guys! Let me know if you want me to take them; it's no problem," she told them, backing out of the kitchen slowly, not realizing until she had backed right into Frank coming in from the deck. She lost her footing and would have fallen if he hadn't caught her around the waist with both hands, holding her steady against his chest.
"Hey, you okay?" he asked, concerned. "Everything all right?"
She looked up at him without moving, suddenly content to be just where she was. Frank took in her wide eyes and shell -shocked expression and worry hit him in the gut. He thought that if anyone had done anything to hurt this woman he just might have to kill them. "Nat? What's wrong?"
She started laughing and took his hand, quickly pulling him outside. On the deck, she dissolved into a fit of giggles. "Nothing's wrong, Frank. But you should probably wait a while before going back in there or you'll get an eyeful."
He quickly caught her meaning and shook his head. "Ah. Those two just can't keep their hands off of each other." He suddenly realized that his hand was still in hers and she was standing very close. "Nat, I…"
And Natalia had had enough of waiting. "Frank," she said, "let's don't talk for a little while, okay?" She reached up for his face and kissed him, ever so softly. He froze, unable to believe it, unable to process the incredible sensations of her soft lips on his, her soft skin on his. He didn't think he moved a muscle. He couldn't. His brain was fried. Nat pulled back to look at him and smiled, shyly. "I've been wanting to do that all night." And his brain suddenly came back online, and to hell with what was right, and to hell with the fact that this woman deserved far better than the likes of him. He thought he'd die if he didn't taste her again.
"I've wanted to do that a hell of a lot longer than tonight." He lifted the hand that was still in his to his mouth and kissed her fingers one by one, as she her eyes stayed locked with his and her heart threatened to beat out of her chest. All she could think of was, I was right. Oh my God, was I ever right. And then he wrapped his arms very carefully around her and kissed her, long and slow and deep.
They heard the sounds of someone bounding up the steps from the beach and pulled back slowly, unwillingly, just as Eric reached the deck. "Oh, hey guys. Frank, I thought you were bringing the beer, man, what's taking so long?"
"I got sidetracked. Go get it, will you?" Eric shrugged and went into the house as Natalia snickered. "That was mean." Frank just smiled as they went down to the beach together, still holding her hand tightly in his.