Title: The Blue Dress

Author: dancesabove

Disclaimer: These aren't my characters, though I've been lost in their romantic world for about four years now… If you ever read our stuff, Mr Horowitz, I hope you don't mind too much. No infringement is intended, and no profit is made.

Rating: M

Pairing: Samantha Stewart and Christopher Foyle

A/N: At about the same time, about three shipper friends (Bookworm Kate/BritishDetectives/michaelsbeautiful) suggested to me a bit of Foyle fluff based on the scene in "A Lesson in Murder" in which Foyle first sees Sam in civvies—that pretty blue dress that renders him speechless. And it was a particularly apt and intriguing suggestion, because that was the first moment—as I watched the series for the first time in 2010—that I wondered whether the characters might end up as a couple.

So here's the confection. Luckily for me, GiuliettaC is my beta, and she not only turned phrases to make things better, but added gorgeous passages. It was in the midst of a chat on Hangouts that she and I shaped this, along with some input from BritishDetectives. THAT was a blast!

Side note about the layout of the Hastings Police Station, as we see it during all the years before its move in the summer of 1945: It flailed about so much from series to series that it would be difficult to diagram it (though mightn't it be fun to try?), as our hazeleyes571 helpfully did with Foyle's house quite some time ago. We know that Foyle's office is at the end of a long corridor, and that there are swinging doors here and there for the characters to negotiate. But the security mesh around the receiving desk, and the much narrower main hallway, seemed to disappear after the first series.

I decided to call this Chapter 1. Will there be a Chapter 2? I'd like that. But you know me, the Queen of the Unfinished Fics. No promises…

For Foyle to be still on duty after hours was nothing unusual, but the plan tonight was to get a relatively early start on a quiet evening at home, reading that new Graham Greene and perhaps indulging in a whisky (Just one, Foyle, he mentally reminded himself. You know what they say about drinking alone… ). Oddly, though, he mused, even in the midst of loneliness, solitude can have its comforts.

Then again, he had also been looking forward to a quiet dinner alone the other night, when his young driver had wangled an invitation to join him at Carlo's Ristorante. At first he'd felt the same annoyed sense of resistance he'd experienced the first day Samantha Stewart had walked into his office and his working life. But Carlo's warm welcome of his young companion had made him view her (not for the first time) through a different prism. Her personality, as mature and yet sweetly youthful as it was, had enchanted him, and their conversation throughout dinner had revealed all manner of engaging aspects of her cheerfully courageous, yet modest, character.

Of course, Tony Lucciano had stepped in—who could blame him?—and the two young people had fallen into easy conversation; hit it off. Or had they, fully? Sam had seemed more than a little sceptical of Tony's amateurish flirting, and was genuinely amused when Foyle impishly pointed out that the smooth-Italian-talker Tony had never been out of the country. Disappointingly, she still accepted the lad's invitation to the Palais, just when Foyle had found himself hoping to extend his time with her a little while longer.

So what had moved Sam to accept, he wondered? Perhaps her love of dancing? She'd sent Foyle an uncertain glance just after commenting as much… and then again after Tony scampered back into the restaurant. Both looks seemed to be subtle requests for approval. Or were they simply ways of gauging his response to the conversation? How awkward for her that I had to be standing by, like that.

Foyle was just returning from the archived-files room a few minutes later, deep in thought, and leafing through some papers as he walked, when a sound on the stairs leading up to the lavatory area caught his attention. He stopped and looked up, his eyes widening appreciatively to see a shapely ankle nimbly negotiating the step. Next, pretty cream-coloured pumps came merrily tripping downstairs.

He had stolen enough surreptitious glances at Sam's legs to know immediately that this was his driver. But the breath now caught in his chest as he realised that, instead of the smart olive drab of her uniform, Sam was wearing a flowing dress of pale blue. The passé near-ankle-length of the day dress lent it the air of an evening gown, and despite its demure bias cut and draping cape effect, it hugged her slim waist with a snugly tied sash the colour of a sunny sky. Anyone observing Foyle's eyes at that moment would have noticed a deepening of their own clear blue, as if the garment's shade had been absorbed into his irises, enriching them.

Unable to help himself, he stood frozen to the spot and watched as the young woman descended.

Sam, intent upon a last-minute inventory of her accessories, turned towards the way out, unaware of his gaze until he gently spoke her name in a questioning inflection.

The warmth with which she greeted him and explained the reason for her outfit made his heart skip a beat. Oh, God, how soft and shining was her red-gold hair in its let-down state. She looks... Words failed him, even as he tried to voice them to her. But her brilliant smile and genial dark eyes communicated total understanding of the unspoken compliment.

For Samantha Stewart, her boss's verbal stumbling was infinitely more flattering than a smooth word of praise would ever have been. Not only did it bring to mind his bewildered expression and speechlessness the first moment he'd laid eyes on her a month before—but it reminded her of her first reaction to his face: that he was incredibly attractive and quite adorable, with those youthfully bedazzled blue eyes of his.

Now she couldn't seem to stop grinning at the glow of attraction there, and suddenly she felt strangely flushed. Unnecessary though it was, she found herself excusing why she was about to leave him to meet Tony Lucciano.

"To be honest, he's… not really my type. But I thought, in the circumstances, I didn't want to let him down."

She watched Foyle's eyebrows climb as if in disbelief, even as the intense expression in his eyes swept over her like a warm wave.

"Wull, you won't do that." His admiration was so understated that his eyes would have been quite impossible to read… but for their glint.

Sam blushed under his appraising glance, and her smile broadened even further. Gosh, could it be he notices me, after all? Her eagerness to leave the station, even to attend a dance, diminished considerably.

"Have a good time," the policeman bid her, and watched as Sam walked away, a gently curvy vision in blue. Leaving him.

Foyle took a deep breath and returned to the last chore of his day—reading over registrations for the Conscientious Objector Tribunals. Before sitting down to his task, he removed his jacket, unbuttoned his waistcoat, and, feeling an unaccustomed dampness under his collar, loosened the knot of his tie.

At the same moment as he was engaged in this, Samantha was standing uncertainly on the front steps of the station, wondering why the urge to go back in and find her boss was so compelling. You'll be late, she told herself. But suddenly it seemed urgent that she ask Mr Foyle's opinion. Wouldn't take long… the Palais was downhill, and she could run fairly well in these shoes if she needed to make up for lost minutes…

Foyle couldn't concentrate. Every time his eyes alighted on the off-white typewritten pages, he saw cream-coloured shoes and wrap, and slim pale ankles and a swathe of soft blue art silk… Sighing, he straightened the papers on his desk in readiness for the morning. There'd be no more work done tonight. But as he stood up from his chair, a rocking of its rear left leg provoked a familiar pang of annoyance.

About time this wretched thing was fixed! He stooped to examine it, wondering if there might be something in the cellar store room he could use to effect a repair. Perhaps, better yet, there would be a whole even-legged chair stashed in there—it had been so long since he'd even had cause to visit the lower floor, which also housed the station's cells, he would need to investigate.

Reaching the foot of the basement stairs, Foyle wandered past the empty cells, enjoying the relative coolness of this level, even on a close June evening, and paused in the doorway of the sizeable evidence-cum-storage room with its wall of sturdy shelving and collection of long-since confiscated goods and surplus gaol and office supplies. Spying an apparently intact chair against one wall, he mentally cried bingo. It was stacked with a haphazard collection of empty ring binders, which he soon removed, the better to inspect his prize. On closer viewing, however, he realised that the arm was loose and liable to fall off.


He latched onto his inside cheek, considering how best to tackle this. As he cast about the room, an array of interesting booty on the upper shelves caught his attention. Just as he clambered onto one of the lower shelves to begin a clattering search above his head for some way to repair the chair-arm, he heard behind him a tentative, "Sir?"

DCS Foyle was not one to startle easily, but as Samantha had bidden him farewell eight minutes previously, she was the last person he expected to hear or see. He made an involuntary step backward into thin air and took a hard and long step down, grappling to brace himself with one hand as he went. Swearing, he brought down on his head and shoulders a small cardboard travelling case, a green-shade lamp sans its pull chain, and an item of unidentified office machinery; then scraped his wrist and palm on the edge of a number plate protruding from the next shelf as he grasped for purchase.

He ended in a stunned heap on the floor, but had barely caught his breath when he was joined there by his vision in blue, who immediately fell to her knees in the dust to touch his bleeding brow.

"Oh, I'm sorry, Sir! Are you all right?"

He shook his head to clear it.

There she was, looking beautiful in that dress again, damn it. And looking abashed and full of concern for him.

Embarrassed by her earlier indecision outside, Sam had returned and slipped soundlessly past young Constable Hollis, whose back was turned on the front receiving window as he poured his first tea of night duty. She wasn't even sure why she sought her boss; some notion of asking whether he thought it unfair to accept a young man's invitation exclusively because one enjoyed dancing?

Though she hadn't found Mr Foyle at his desk, Sam could tell as soon as she saw his jacket that he hadn't yet left—and his office chair stood upside-down. She guessed immediately what he was up to, though. Twice now he'd grumbled to her about the wobbly chair. Noticing the door to the cells ajar, she'd concluded he'd most likely gone down to the store room full of odds and ends, in search of some means of steadying it.

Now Sam clasped Foyle's wrist, and saw with some alarm the drops of blood seeping into the fabric of his French cuff.

"We need to take a look at this... oh, dear..." She slipped gentle fingers beneath the edge of his sleeve to examine his injuries more carefully. Her thumbs brushed against the skin next to a nasty cut, and he shivered.

The expression on his face still passed for dazed, and, noting his continued silence, the First Aid-trained Sam bent to check his pupils. She soon reassured herself that he was quite able to focus his eyes on hers, but the moment he did so, the blue of his irises suddenly darkened into an abyss, and Samantha couldn't tear her eyes away.

Releasing his cufflink, she watched as he went wide-eyed, then shut his eyes tight. Sam's stomach seemed to execute a sudden flip.

She cleared her throat. "I'll just go and fetch the First Aid."

"Sam. You'll be late for your… um…"

His voice lacked conviction, but no matter. She was already through the swinging doors at the end of the corridor of cells, making for the stairs.

Foyle massaged one knee and stretched his legs gingerly. He moved to get up, but cursed again as he realised he was brushing blood from his cut wrist onto his trousers. He pulled himself upright with more care, then stood dusting himself off and testing his balance—he'd taken quite a rap on the head from that blasted lamp. After rubbing his eyes and brow, he looked up to see Sam standing again in the doorway, complete with nimbus, thanks to the dim corridor light behind her head.

Blue angel! Foyle caught his breath—then swallowed soberly. Stop being a bloody fool, man! Preoccupied with his own guilty thoughts, it took a while for him to register that Sam looked very troubled, with a touch of something else that he had definitely seen before: sheepish.

"Sir," she faltered, "I'm so sorry about this, but I, um… I seem to have sort of… locked us in."

He stared. "You've tried the door at the top of the stairs?" he asked calmly enough, though he already knew the answer.

She nodded, shamefaced, but the sight of his bloodied temple and wrist soon had her furrowing her brow again.

"Those really need attention. Are there any medical supplies down here?"

Foyle considered their circumstances. He had made the mistake of wishing Hollis goodnight shortly before he'd nipped down here, and as far as the young constable knew, Sam also had left. The door at the top of the basement staircase was down the hall and around the corner from the front reception area, and, furthermore, was made of reinforced steel. Could he possibly attract the young man's attention?

As beleaguered as he felt, he knew he had to try. Sam was doubtless already late for her engagement, and if they were going to be stranded here for the night—Foyle felt a flush of guilt warm his neck and ears as he pictured her sleeping in his arms.

"Before we do anything more, I'm hunting for bandages!" declared Sam matter-of-factly.

As he watched, she knelt with her back to him and began rooting around the lower storage shelves, her blue-clad bottom playing havoc with his self-control. Casting around for a suitable diversion tactic, Foyle had a thought.

"Sam—just remembered. Try that small cupboard in the vestibule. I'll, er… be rrright back."

He stumbled off through the swing doors, watched anxiously by his driver, who worried not a little about his walking up a flight of stairs after being hit on the head.

The cupboard Foyle had indicated turned out to hold supplies for use on people held in custody, including some for First Aid, so as soon as Sam had hastily balanced a packet and some clips on the rim of a minuscule sink in one of the cells, she followed her boss.

She spotted him at the top of the stairs, hammering his fists against the thick steel door, and calling for Constable Hollis. The exertion clearly had him out of breath, and Sam could see that he was sweating, in addition to which the gashes on his head and wrist were bleeding afresh. She dashed up the staircase and laid a hand upon his upper arm.

"Mr Foyle, please let me do that… later. You're hurt. We need to see to that first. Please don't worry on my account." Her voice dropped as she added, almost to herself, "Was rather regretting accepting Tony's invitation, anyway."

This last phrase was so sotto voce that Foyle, who had turned to face her, was nevertheless left wondering if he'd imagined hearing it. He sought her eyes, but Sam was suddenly all business, already stooping to tear off a sliver from her petticoat to staunch his wounds. In so doing, she lost her high-heeled footing on the narrow step, and for an instant teetered precariously.

In the space of a second, Foyle had caught her in the crook of his bleeding arm and steadied her, wincing to see that his slight wound was staining the delicate blue fabric. Her body was flush against his as a strong arm kept her safely pinned. Suddenly they were both breathing hard.

Sam looked up at him from her position on the lower step. Her lips were parted, eyes magnetically drawn to his; and as she gazed into their brilliant blue, her whole body slackened. Slowly she closed her eyes, tipping her head to counter the tilt of his.


It was far too dreamy an address to pass for that of an underling. It was the plea of a sultry, breathy, very grown-up woman, and—he was certain in an instant—a woman who wanted him.

He closed the inch between their mouths and kissed her with a careful, measured ardour, letting them be lost to their sensations. Both could feel their hearts pounding, and a torrential race of blood to places best left unawakened if they hoped to walk away from this unscathed.

Sam slid damp palms up the smooth silken back of his waistcoat, seeking his neck and hair. Foyle tightened an arm about her waist, and with his other hand, plucked a comb from her graceful upsweep, exhilarated by the freefall swirl of coppery curls close to her face.

The pair pulled apart, rendered breathless, blinking to survey how unstable was their perch for two dazed people.

"I've ruined your lovely dress," Foyle lamented in a whisper. He steadied Sam as she half-twisted round to view the source of his dismay. One spot of blood marked her waist; the other bloomed just south of her derriere.

A thrill of fear mixed with delight suffused Sam at the symbolism of the stain. She mustered all her courage.

"Why should you apologise for that," she admonished him, "when I've managed to strand us in the basement for the night?" Even as she spoke, she couldn't hide her obvious pleasure. With a blushing grin, she stepped up beside him and slid her arms around his shoulders.

"Mmmm," Sam nuzzled at Foyle's ear in a way that set him a-tremble, "We seem to be trapped here. Whatever shall we do?"

"Now, Sam." He caught her questing hand before she could stroke his hair again. "I couldn't… we haven't…"

But her lips had found his neck already—as it happened, a particularly sensitive spot—and as she pressed a string of small kisses from ear to collar, he had to suppress a groan. She was so warm, so near, so lovely, and so willing. His hand threaded through her hair, cradled her head as he felt his resistance ebbing. He wondered if her desire were based on a deeper feeling; the one that he'd barely dared admit to himself, after battling for a month.

For the truth was that he loved her, as deeply as she was now making him desire her; but he had to stop this, unless she truly cared for him the same way...

"Sam," he whispered, and gently stopped her playful nibbling. She looked at him then with startled eyes and trepidation, as if expecting him to draw a line under their delicious intimacy.

The alarm in her expression made her look so vulnerable that Foyle hugged her fast and pressed a reassuring kiss to her hair.

"I j-just want to be sure that if we act upon this, you won't regret it. That you won't… wish you had waited for a man you truly care for, and respect, and want to spend your life with."

Sam drew back, nonplussed. Foyle had to fight down a fond smile at her beautiful but quite comical look of shock.

"A man I truly… ?"

Her face melted into another display of neat, even teeth and sweet dimples. "Mist— um, Christopher… May I call you Christopher?" she enquired cheekily.

He nodded once, bemused. "Um. Rather hoped you might?"

"Christopher," began Sam, with patient emphasis, "I've fallen in love with a man I spend hours with, every day. I've seen him show scrupulous honesty, depths of understanding, an uncanny ability to read the minds of the devious and the well-meaning…"

She raised a hand to fret over his bleeding forehead, scanning his troubled expression with a softly concerned gaze. "Not only that, but I find him outrageously attractive… No doubt he'll fancy himself too old for me, but he's fit and handsome, rather boyish in appearance, has the most mesmerising eyes…"

She was acting the Mesmer in her own right, her eyes seducing his as she spoke. Dawning recognition wreathed the familiar downturn of his lips, and she was treated to a twinkling Foylesmile.

Sam slid her hand lightly down to cup his cheek and closed her eyes in bliss as Christopher mirrored her gesture. Then she opened them again and sent him an earnest, tender look.

"What I have to give will be to a man I truly love. As long as he—"

Christopher put two fingers to her lips and regarded her with awe. Then he slowly nodded, "As long as he loves you."

This time it was Christopher who slowly closed his eyes, hoping to fix this moment in his mind forever. When, gradually, he opened them again, it was with genuine fear that the angel of his dreams would be gone the moment he did.

But Sam was still there, eyes eager; lips moist, inviting, and bereft.

"We need to go downstairs," he told her softly, with a gesture of his head towards the basement. "We're like mountain goats up here. It isn't safe."

Sam's eyes were sparkling obsidian, her loving smile mischievous. "Downstairs is safe, Sir?"

She steered him to the cell where she had left the gauze and dressings, and, after seating him on the hard cot, she used her petticoat to bathe his injuries, then expertly bandaged them.

Foyle watched Sam's hands and her expression as she worked, feeling a surreal sense of calm and contentment. Her gentle touch, and sweet look of consternation each time he winced, put him in a curious state of agitation. The moment she stepped back to pronounce him done, he stood and pulled her to him hungrily. Sam gasped, blindsided by his sudden forcefulness, and he took her lips with a fervour that nearly knocked the girl quite literally off her feet.

"Thhank you, my darling girl," he told her with satisfaction, contemplating a breathless Sam in his arms.

Sam shakily tucked a strand of hair behind her ears. "You're… golly, yes… you're very welcome, Christopher," she stammered through a beam of pure delight.

The evening was young, June sunlight filtering down through the high barred windows. At this time of year, the cells were not unpleasantly claustrophobic. However, most of the cubicles carried something of the taint of urine. They were cleaned often enough, but somehow, human fluids seemed to have seeped into the tiles. As such, Foyle was determined he and Sam should NOT be cloistered in any one of them. Instead, he led her back along the corridor, into the store room where things had begun.

The second advantage to the store room was its door, which could be locked against whatever the morning—or, for that matter, the night constables—brought. Pausing on the threshold, Sam turned to Christopher and grinned.

"Shouldn't you be carrying me over this?"

"Sam… I really don't think it's a good idea to be consider—"

Now it was Sam's turn to seal his lips with a kiss. Foyle found himself pinned against the door jamb with determination. When she pulled away, it was with a stream of urgent words.

"Don't tell me 'no', you delicious man! Do you have any idea what torture it's been to be shut in a confined cabin with you for the best part of a month, and not allowed to touch—in fact, to barely be allowed to speak…"

Foyle gaped at her in some amusement, recalling her almost constant chatter in the Wolseley.

"Um, Sam, you're sure you wouldn't care to preface this account of yours with 'Once upon a time'?"

Sam grasped his waistcoat, her knuckles whitening. "Don't make fun of me, Christopher Foyle. Make love to me!"

Christopher's eyes softened, and his hands rose to her face. "Pleasure," he said. Then he bestowed a slow, devouring kiss that held the promise Sam was seeking.

Fastidious as each of them was, they took some time, after that kiss, to prepare themselves a bed more comfortable and capacious than those allotted to the prisoners. Using the cleanest paillasses and blankets, they built a nest on the floor of the store room.

Foyle's brain, meanwhile, was working overtime. He strategised that, when the morning duty sergeant unlocked the basement door tomorrow, and came downstairs to check all was in order, he could call to the sergeant through the door that he'd got locked in and had undressed to get his rest; please assure Rivers that he'd be right up.

Sam's situation would be a bit trickier. Foyle felt her best option was to stay here next morning until he could retrieve her uniform from The Ladies' and smuggle it down to her.

Eventualities thus provided for, they knelt on their makeshift mattress.

"Your hair…" Christopher whispered, removing the second comb and running appreciative fingers through the silken red-gold strands. "It's lovely every day, of course, but… down…"

He bent to kiss her beneath the ear, and Sam's response was as euphoric as his had been. A wry smile twisted his lips as he stroked her ear. "Poor Tony."

Sam rolled her eyes. "Don't you know an attempt to provoke jealousy when you see one?" she mock-scoffed. "But, yes. Poor Tony," she added soberly. "Shouldn't have used him. I was just coming back to ask whether you'd advise me not to go."

He gave a birdlike movement of his head, scrunched-brow, half-amused. "D'you expect he'll come looking for you?"

"He doesn't know where I live. And Constable Hollis thinks I've left." She raised her eyebrows. "You don't think Tony'd go round to ask you? Worry for my safety?" She looked quite guilty at that thought.

"Hmm. I think not. Bit insecure, our Tony. He'll assume you've stood him up, I fear." Foyle's left eyebrow slanted, and Sam looked genuinely contrite. He squeezed her hand and added, "He'll get over it, Sam. Seemed to me, he couldn't believe his luck in any case, when you said yes…"

"Oh, you're quite awful," Sam joshed. Then, as he gave her a lopsided smile and focused his gaze into her eyes, she added shyly, "I've never wanted a boy, you know."

Never wanted a boy. Foyle took her in his arms, and his mind returned to Carlo's, where he'd stood with tongue in cheek while Tony made his play for Sam, and tried to look amused.

He hadn't been. He'd felt a sort of poignant sadness—veiled it with his easy humour, yes—but it had left him with a quiet ache as he'd walked home. The ache had grown into another kind of problem; one that he'd had to deal with as soon as he got through the door. And he had not been proud of himself. That night, he'd dreamt about Samantha—dreamt of her strolling with him, after their dinner, talking and laughing with him and ultimately, submitting to his impassioned kiss.

But, he, Foyle, would never be in the running, he had told himself as he lay there in his bedroom, unsatisfactorily spent. Samantha Stewart was out of his league. And he was past his prime. A balding, middle-aged policeman, he had long since let lapse all his ambitions around pretty young girls. But somehow, around Sam, the game was different. Sam noticed him, and always offered him the sunniest of smiles.

Foyle berated himself. By now he'd have thought he could control himself in matters such as this… but around Sam, in defiance of his best endeavours, all his aloofness from that side of things had melted from the start.

Now in his arms, and yielding to him with unmistakable soft delight, Sam lifted the leaden weight from his heart. No callow, awkward Tony Lucciano would be taking her from him this evening; this angel, draped in blue and undulating sweetly beneath his urgent kisses. Tonight, Sam would be his.

Greed and pleasure fused in his chest as he bent again, and poured his feelings through a slow and luscious kiss, his hands now caressingly exploring the gentle feminine figure, straying from her shoulders and waist to the forbidden curves of breasts and bottom.

Not a dream… he could feel the warm soft realness of her, and see how her dark eyes glittered as she tugged at the dress's side buttons.

Reverently he helped her work the cloud of blue upward and off, to reveal the pastel palette of her young form in palest salmon-pink underthings. Soon after, with a shake of her head, the beautiful golden waves of hair were breaking over creamy shoulders.

"Oh, Sam," he breathed, and leant in to demonstrate that, where words ended, passion began.

Sam ended their next lingering kiss, to further loosen and pull off his tie. She sighed dramatically, "How long I've wanted to do that!" Her face was alight with a reprise of the smile she had warmed him with earlier that evening.

He could not help but laugh as she tackled his buttons and opened his shirt, looking upon his broad shoulders with frank admiration.

"Mmm," she observed, with a satisfied stroke to each upper arm, "not just jacket-padding."

Foyle smirked and they set about removal of everything else except their underwear, pausing for leisurely kisses between garments. I want to lie beside you, each one yearned. Then by unspoken consent they paused again, and joined hands, looking down.

"I'm afraid," he admitted. "I'm actually afraid to hurt you."

Samantha raised her eyes and regarded him lovingly. "I've prepared in my mind," she told him. "And Lettie says the pain doesn't—well, doesn't always—last long. But you're the one I choose to do this, you know." Her eyes glowed as he cast her a tender, furrowed-brow look. "So it's something you must do."

Christopher lay down in their nest, and pulled Sam on top of him, taking her into his arms. He cupped her neck with his good hand and closing his eyes, resumed their deep, soulful kisses, teasing her lips open gently and tasting her tongue around her quiet moans. He raised his hips to let her feel, in the V of her legs, how hard and throbbing he had become.

Sam squirmed over him, fitting his hard bulge to her, draping her legs beside his thighs. It was a thrill to feel their chests pressed close, but she desperately wanted their last layer of clothing to be gone so that she could at last know what it felt like to have the heat of him against her, to feel his skin, feel every part of him.

Christopher broke off and grasped her waist. He sucked in a sharp breath as he inadvertently put pressure on his bandaged forearm. Still he slid Sam smoothly upward over his body so that her breasts were close to his mouth, and began to lavish attention on them, with soft tugs of her nipples and squeezes of each breast, until she was writhing and gasping his name, pressing into his hip with her lower body.

Her heart beat faster as she felt him slide along beneath her, electrifying her with the feel of his teeth along her waist and the valley of her upper abdomen. She arched her back in pleasure under the infinitely gentle worship of his hands and mouth.

Christopher reached her mound of Venus and launched a greedy exploration of the labia below with very skilful sweeps of his tongue. Sam's eyes flew open in shock, and he felt her pull away.

"Oh, God!" she whispered. "No—not… surely not... we shouldn't… is it… normal?"

He answered with a knowing chuckle, cupping her behind. "Trust me, Darling," he reassured her. "You're in safe hands. The most normal thing imaginable. Just relax."

Soon Sam was panting, calling out in ecstasy as he lapped and deliciously tormented her with soft pulls of her intimate folds between his lips, the occasional teasing flick of the tiny erect bud she hadn't even known existed. When his questing fingers found a spot within her, the very stroking of which made her pant and plead, he quickened his attentions to her most sensitive part until she was crying out and he could feel a silken curtain of moisture down his fingers.

This was Christopher's cue to scramble from beneath her, urge her gently down onto her back, and with whispered words of reassurance, "Trust me, darling girl—just open for me—that's it…" plunge inside.

It all happened so fast, and Sam was so heavily lubricated by her first orgasm, that she felt only a momentary sting at the penetration, followed by the grunt of his breath expelled against her ear. Then a strange pressure that made her hold her breath, until she felt him slowly withdrawing. As he moved forward into her again, she released the breath with a contented, noisy sigh.

Christopher squeezed his eyes shut at the intensity of the pleasure he felt with each warm stroke within her, but he fought to contain his passion, and not to thrust too vigorously yet, in case Sam was in any discomfort.

"Samantha, my sweet girl," he murmured adoration in her ear, "how did that feel?"

She stretched luxuriantly beneath him and smiled in lazy bliss, eyes closed. "Mmm… so wonderful, Christopher. There was a slight twinge, but it seems to be over, and oh, Lord, it was worth it…"

He ran a finger lightly along her eyebrow, and Sam cracked open glazed eyes. He caught her glance and held it, then stirred deliberately within her. Sam gasped, and he thrilled at her sensual response to the almost imperceptible movement.

"Ohhhh, myyyyy," she intoned softly. "That's all you, isn't it? I can't believe we fit so beautifully." Then a mellow smile stole across her lips, and the dark eyes that were locked to his sparkled with joy. "Oh, I do love you."

He fell to her neck again and answered in kind, pressing his lips upon her ear to whisper it devoutly.

"… and I always will," he added, a quaver of emotion in his voice.

Sam took a long, deep breath and squeezed every part of him she held: her thighs clenching his hips fast, arms tightening possessively about his shoulders. Her other hand grasped his curls, her lips nibbling insistently upon his earlobe. And her sheath squeezed him tight, making him yelp with delight.

A floodgate opened then; he moved into a faster rhythm, still pacing his strokes around gentle enquiries after her comfort, but gasping as he did so with the building momentum.

Samantha shivered at his vivid loss of control. To know that she could cause this in such a reserved and serene man made her feel as if she might burst with pride. She gave another firm clench and felt his shaft pulse inside her in answer, and the sexual power of that, combined with his moans of abandon, sent her toppling over the edge again, even more explosively this time.

Hearing her cries of ecstasy and feeling the onrush of her juices, Christopher let go; and at last—

dear God, at long last—his seed was not expended into air or onto hand and sheet, but warmly bathed the womb of a woman he knew that he would gladly die for.

But not quite yet, please God… he reflected wryly, gasping for breath as he tried to muster strength to move off the four-stone-lighter body under his.

Sam was sobbing happily, fighting gamely for breath until Christopher could shift his weight. At last he rolled onto his back and draped her over him again, pulling a blanket across to cover them both, and they let their breathing slow as they exchanged soft kisses again and again.

She kissed Christopher's thumbs as they gently wiped away her tears and brushed her wet lips, and each enjoyed the look of tenderness mixed with disbelief in the other's eyes.

"I'm so glad," Sam offered dreamily, "so wonderfully glad to be alive!"

She was a tousled vision, pinkened cheeks framed by red-blond locks in disarray, some cloaking one eye. As he lay beneath her, Foyle felt a sudden warmth suffuse him, as if Sam's vitality were flowing through her body into him. In that moment, he longed to give her every last drop of himself.

"Hhoping that's just the beginning," he offered, with a modest smile.

"Really?" She pushed herself up perkily, one hand braced against his chest.

"Mmmwell, hope so," he nodded, eyes twinkling in appreciation of the pert, ivory breasts directly in his eyeline.

As he watched, Sam's inquisitive fingers traced his pectorals, lingering round the nipples, and he felt a pleasant, lazy stirring down below.

"Can we go again?" Sam's eyebrow rose in query as she toyed with the sandy hairs that curled around his areolae.

"Ohhh, I should think so, Love. Wwhy don't you put your hand… just… here…"

"We'll be so tired, tomorrow," Sam predicted, staring at the ceiling in the growing gloom. "Hope I won't run us off the road."

"Wwell, unless something unusual arises, there's only the visit to the CO detention centre. We've put in a good few extra hours of late, Sam. I wouldn't feel guilty if we took some daylight time off."

Sam turned on her side and burrowed into his neck. "You are a very considerate boss, you know."

He winced. "Hmph. Wasn't very nice to you the day you arrived."

"Yes, well…" she hooked her middle finger absently into his navel, "I just wasn't what you expected. And I did say some rather flippant things. You take your work seriously, and I wouldn't have it any other way. But I was just so excited to be on the job. I hope I didn't irritate you long."

He gave her a trademark Foyle mischievous half-grin. "Good thing I was irritated, or we'd have been 'on the job' much sooner, to my shame."

"Really?" Sam glowed with pleasure. "Hmm. I have to admit to thinking about you in that way from very first. The first night after I met you.

"Oh, nothing terribly naughty," she was quick to assure him, seeing the pretend shock in his eyes and quirking lips. "Just…" her finger began to err lower, "about how lovely your eyes were; that sort of thing. Well, and how gracefully you walked. And how alluring your voice—"

"C'mere." He caught her wrist, and the young woman found herself silenced by another long, delicious kiss.

"No sleep at all…" he murmured, lips close to hers. "You're my prisoner."