Story Title: Look, Don't Touch

Summary: Bella's got it bad for sexy cops with handcuffs. But there's one in particular who invades her every fantasy — and he's about to find out her dirty little secret.


It has to be at least 95 degrees outside. I know this because that's the only time the air conditioning in my office just flips me off and dies.

With a groan, I pull my damp hair up off of my neck and secure it in a messy bun on top of my head. Good thing I had been planning on a paperwork day today anyway and therefore have no patients scheduled. I wouldn't have survived a dress or suit in this sweltering heat.

I called this morning and gave my receptionist the day off — with pay, of course. Being the only one in the office means I can get away with short shorts and a sleeveless black tank, the neckline of which I'm currently fanning back and forth to get some air circulating.

The bra has to go too. I'm already reaching up the back of my shirt to unsnap it.

And then, because it isn't already hot enough in my office, there's a cursory knock on the door and he saunters in.

Edward Cullen. Fuck-hot police detective who adorably refers to me as his partner, ever since he somehow convinced his chief that my psychiatric insights could help him crack his big multiple-homicide case.

He spends a significant amount of time these days standing behind my chair, leaning over my shoulder and caging me in with one hand propped on my desk. The other is usually reaching over my other shoulder to point out whatever I'm supposed to be focusing on in whatever part of his case file he's brought me to review.

I find myself completely surrounded by him all too often, but we've never once touched. His hot breath tickling my neck and his sexy voice close beside my ear is all I get. And it still manages to do absolutely sinful things to my insides.

I'm not really sure I'm of much help to him, most of the time. How the hell am I supposed to concentrate on anything aside from rippling muscles on tanned forearms that are all but wrapped around me, with the sleeves of his dress shirts rolled halfway up to his elbows? The badge he wears on a chain around his neck free-swings out in front of him when he's leaned over me that way, hypnotizing me. Sometimes it brushes my arm. And sometimes I have to clench my thighs together when it does.

My professional diagnosis? I'm slowly losing my fucking mind. And it's all this man's fault.

On this day, he stops in the open door and leans casually against the doorframe, crossing his arms over that broad chest while my heart nearly stops beating. My hand quickly retreats from inside my shirt, thankfully not having unclasped my bra yet. I'm pretty sure I'm blushing, but if he's not used to that by now, he's never going to be. He doesn't comment, at least. But I know he notices. His bright green, constantly alert eyes catch everything.

"Casual Friday, Swan?" he asks, in that slightly raspy voice that never fails to make my panties damp. His full lips are turned up in a tiny smirk, his eyes going slowly down and back up my body as he takes in all of the pale skin I've always before kept hidden behind my conservative business clothes.

I swallow. Hard. The temperature in the room just went up another 25 goddamn degrees, just by him walking into it.

I was already sweating, damn it. This really wasn't necessary.

"Yeah, something like that," I manage to form words. "I could ask you the same question."

And I really could...if I weren't choking on my own tongue.

I've never before seen him in anything other than white dress shirts and black dress pants, with shiny black dress shoes. Don't get me wrong. I'm definitely not complaining about that fact. The way he seems to be constantly undressing when he gets all relaxed in my office — popping loose another button on top of his shirt; unbuttoning his shirt sleeves and rolling them up his forearms while I try not to get caught staring; untucking his shirt and giving me just the quickest glimpse of rock-hard abs in the process — yeah, the white dress shirts are just fine with me.

But today, I'm not the only one who's opted for the more casual look. Edward's dressed down too... if you can call it that.

He's wearing jeans. Jeans that hug him in all the right places, and he hasn't even turned around yet. I have brief, absurd fantasies about throwing my pen past him into the hallway and seeing if he'll go fetch it like a good boy. I'd gladly throw him a bone.

Down, girl, I silently reprimand myself. No staring at the bulge, Bella. Bad!

I'm a successful psychiatrist who managed to open my very own clinic this year at the age of 32 years old, crappy air-conditioning system notwithstanding. I really shouldn't engage in talking to myself, especially in bizarre zoomorphic ways.

I'm usually careful not to get caught undressing Edward with my eyes. Before he became my self-declared partner, he was very briefly my unwilling patient, for fuck's sake. But considering the slow trip his smoldering green orbs are still taking down my nearly bare legs, I'm not going to worry about getting caught red-handed today. So I tear my eyes away from what he's packing in those jeans and start over again from the very top.

His messy copper hair is even more disheveled right now than usual. That is to say, it doesn't look like he even tried to tame it this morning. He's carrying a black baseball cap in his hand, which I'm assuming is partly responsible for the major case of sex hair he's got going on.

And fuck me, the sexy bastard didn't shave this morning. I nearly bite a hole through my lip. I've always — always — had a thing for five-o'clock shadow. And that was before I saw it on this man. I'm ruined for life now.

My eyes keep traveling downward. He's got on a tight black t-shirt that says POLICE in white letters across his pecs, with that damnably sexy badge-on-a-chain draped around his tan neck. The badge itself hangs down and dances around just at the top of those lick-able abs I've seen in glimpses when he untucks his shirts — the very same abs I have legitimately dreamed about tracing with my tongue. I'm actually jealous of a circle of leather-encased metal.

His gun, as always, is in a holster at his hip. I've seen that gun on him a hundred times. But something about it today, in correlation with his casual look and those tight jeans, is just...extra. He looks powerful, authoritative, even a little dangerous. Sexy as hell.

My eyes are caught by something shiny as he shifts his weight to cross one heavily booted foot over the other, still leaning against my doorframe. There's something new on his waistband today, on the side opposite his gun.

It takes me a second to realize what it is. And when I do, my eyes widen.

A pair of hard metal handcuffs.

Did that little whimper just come out of me?

I knew he likely carried them. It's certainly not as though the thought never crossed my mind. Edward's handcuffs get top billing in most of the kinky little movies playing on a continual loop in my head.

I've just never had the pleasure of actually seeing them before.

It's usually late in the day by the time he swings into my office to put in a few hours on "our" murder case, as he calls it. The murder part is ironic, because I swear this man is trying to fucking kill me. Death by lust. It's a worse way to go than one might think.

But he's usually off shift by the time he comes to me, so he must leave his cuffs in his car when he comes into my building. Something he probably can't do with his gun, I guess.

My eyes quickly flick away from those little silver bracelets on his hip. If I let my mind wander there right now, start thinking about him actually using them — maybe even on me — then I'm done.

It seems I'm done anyway. He clears his throat, and my guilty eyes fly up to meet his. I wonder how long he's been focused back on my face, while my gaze was still fixated considerably farther south. The smirk on those generously full lips is still there, but now his pink tongue darts out to wet them as he fights a smile. If he didn't see me blushing before, there's no doubt he does now.

He laughs a little before he speaks — a low, rumbling, sexy sound. "Not casual Friday for me. Busy Friday. A buddy of mine, McCarty, just wrapped up a big white-collar fraud investigation. He's taking down a whole ring of 'em. The warrants were all signed this morning, so it's all hands on deck — uniforms, detectives, everybody. All total, there are 32 arrests to make by lunch, hopefully before the word starts getting out and any of the bastards bolt. It's supposed to be my day off, but I offered to come in and take a few."

And there goes my attempt not to imagine him using those cuffs. He's going to be out cuffing fraudsters all day. Looking like that.

Note to self: find out how one goes about committing fraud.

"So what are you doing here?" I somehow manage to make that question sound casual. "Was there something you needed me to take a look at?"

My eyes drop back down to his hands, folded across his chest. He doesn't have a file folder on him. I frown, because it's either that or beat my head against the desk with disappointment. I'd hoped his presence here meant he was soon going to be leaning over my desk in those tight jeans. Or, for a change, lean me over it instead. Maybe take out those handcuffs and not even bother to read me my rights...

His grin grows wider. "Nope. You don't get off so easy today. You're coming with me."

My lips part slightly, my eyes staring blankly at him. "Um...huh?"

It's all I can get out. Bella 1.0 has crashed. Reboot necessary. My eyes flick back down to those handcuffs. Noticeably.

He looks thoroughly amused, which doesn't exactly help the newest blush creeping up my chest.

"I thought I'd give my partner a taste of life out in the field. I cleared it with the chief. For official purposes, it's a citizen ride-along. But really, it's my way of saying thank you." He shrugs one well-muscled shoulder. It pulls up his tight short sleeve just enough that I catch a hint of ink on his thick bicep. I've never seen that before, and it intrigues me. "Besides, it's only fair."

I manage to swallow. I'm going to see Edward Cullen arrest people. I'm going to watch him and his muscles throw bad guys over the hood of his shiny black detective car, frisk their bodies, and slap on the cuffs.

I'm going to die.

"Fair?" I repeat.

There. That was nearly a coherent question.

His smile softens. Sweet sincerity on him is even more dangerous than his typical mild cockiness. It makes my knees weak, and I'm still sitting down.

"You're my partner, Bella, whether you get a badge and gun or not. You've put in hours helping me try to get a murderer off the streets. I can't very well take you with me to make the arrest when we solve our case. It's just too dangerous. But these guys we're picking up today? They're all white-collar Wall Street types. Bunch of soft desk jockeys. As long as you stick close to me and do exactly what I tell you to, you'll be fine. What do you say?"

Fuck. Me. That's what I say, at least in my head. Because that's what I am. Completely and totally fucked.

Forget my lifelong cop kink for a second. The way his voice dropped when he told me to stay close and do as he says? Jesus. It was pure sex.

I'd do anything this man told me to, in the bedroom or out, and he wouldn't even need those damn cuffs.

Anything.

I should definitely say no. For one thing, I really do need to stay here and do paperwork. Lately, my every thought in this office has been the delicious man currently standing in the doorway, and I've fallen a little behind — probably because he's been here late nearly every night this week, driving me to distraction. But I actually do have a business to run.

More importantly, I'm already in deep enough with a guy who's off limits and only sees me as a "partner." I'm this-close to falling hard for him, letting my heart get involved.

But one look at his expectant smile, and my heart does a flip-flop. He cleared it with his chief. He thought I should get to be there for at least one arrest, even if it's not our murderer, and he found a way to make it happen. On his day off.

I'm melting.

Oh, fuck it. I counsel people for a living. If I get in any deeper and get my heart broken, I know a coping strategy or 200. But for once in my life, Bella Swan is not taking the safe and sensible route. If nothing else, I'll go home with plenty of new mental images to enjoy with my high-powered shower massager. That thing was worth the money — unlike my goddamn fucking air conditioner that has me sitting here puddling with sweat in front of my favorite shower fantasy.

I can either be sweating in here alone, or fucking burning out there with him. No-brainer if there ever was one.

I stand to my feet, watching with satisfaction as his eyes take another unplanned detour back down my legs.

"I'm all yours," I accept his invitation with a smile...and a bit of sultry, breathless quality to my voice, although that sure as hell wasn't intentional.

His eyebrow jerks upward with surprise. I think, just for a second, that I've actually caught him off guard for once, especially when I see his Adam's apple bob as he swallows. Then a slow smile creeps across his lips, giving me the shivers.

"Good." It's so low and raspy it makes my guts clench. He turns sideways, those handcuffs on his belt glinting in the light, and gestures toward the door. "After you, partner."

— ~o-o~ —

I've never been in his car before.

The scent of his cologne is intoxicating enough whenever he leans close to me in wide-open spaces. But being enclosed in the confined space of this shiny, black, unmarked detective car with a man that smells this good is another thing entirely.

Somewhere between my office and his car, which is parked along the sidewalk in the fire lane, he plunked that baseball cap down on top of his head backwards. And I find myself torn.

On the one hand, I can no longer see that tousled sex-hair I so fantasize about running through my fingers.

On the other, he looks so cute and boyishly sexy that I'm legitimately considering jumping him right here on the sidewalk in front of my own clinic.

He opens my door for me. He actually walks all the way around his car, with his hand suddenly hovering protectively at my back as soon as we step off the sidewalk into the street, and opens his car door for me. Like this is some kind of date or something. Even though he doesn't quite touch me.

I don't even manage to say thank you.

I do manage to yell out an "Ow! Ow! Damnit!"

That embarrassing moment comes when I painfully bump my shin as I'm trying to multitask — by which I mean climbing into his car while also trying to sneak a close-up glance over my shoulder at that sexy scruff on his handsome face.

I'm a klutz even when I'm not trying to remember how to breathe, and unbelievably desirable alpha cops don't make me any more graceful.

I all but fall the rest of the way into the car seat, rubbing my sore leg and leaning forward to look at it. There's already a goose-egg forming. It still hurts less than my pride.

"Easy, Bella," Edward's voice is low, almost intimate, and it's coming from too damn close. A shiver runs through me, even before I turn my head to see him. He's still just outside my door, bent over with his arms stretched up on top of the car, leaning down where he can see me. His sprawled-out body blocks the entire entrance, hovering over me, and a little thrill runs down my spine.

His upturned lips say amused, but his eyes say concerned. "Relax. There's nothing to be nervous about." His voice is achingly gentle. "I wouldn't take you out with me if I couldn't protect you. You'll be safe with me, I promise. Okay?"

He thinks I'm nervous about going out in the field around bad guys, I realize. And I'm relieved by that. Because if he knew what really has me so on edge — all of my lifelong, kinky little cop fantasies that exploded into overdrive the first time I laid eyes on him — he'd likely be horrified and embarrassed. He'd send me right back up to my office and end this partnership right here.

"I'm fine," I promise him. "I trust you." The cocky grin comes back at that one.

"Door," he warns me, backing up just far enough to close it. It seems businesslike, a little abrupt. Force of habit, I realize instantly. Something he's used to saying when he puts somebody in his car and locks them in. Somebody he's just arrested. Somebody handcuffed with those very restraints on his belt right now.

Somebody he has control over.

Jesus.

And just like that, I'm reminded of what I'm on my way to witness. And yet another little thrill runs down my spine.

— ~o-o~ —

Edward has three file folders in his car. Three arrests he's responsible for making this morning, taking me along for the ride.

The first is in a sleek office building downtown. He walks a half-step ahead of me as we walk through the lobby, his eyes everywhere at once, scanning the area for danger. As we approach the correct suite, his right hand moves to rest on the butt of his gun. When we first got out of his car and started walking, he made a point of putting me on his left, and now I understand why.

I'll not soon forget the feel of his strong hand gently wrapping around my wrist, pulling me behind him and across to his other side without a word.

It was the first time he's ever touched me. And it was over almost as abruptly as it started.

It's fascinating, both personally and professionally, seeing him like this. Edward in his element is a different Edward than the one to which I've become accustomed. With me, he's always smiling, affable and easygoing. Teasing. There's a gentleness and kindness in the way he speaks to me. Yes, there's always a little edge to him, an air of cockiness. But I was raised around cops, enough to know that generally comes with the territory.

It's also part of the whole package that makes him the sexiest thing I've ever laid eyes on.

But right now, he's all business. Even the way he walks looks strong and confident — and yet relaxed at the same time. He's not alarmed in the slightest. He's just...in control. Of everything.

A little more fodder for my nighttime fantasies.

He doesn't stop to look at the directory in the lobby. He already knows exactly where he's going, as I trail his purposeful steps to the correct office suite. Sundown Financial, the name on the glass door reads. CEO, Mark Oglesby.

Edward spots his target instantly from the photo that was in the case file, eyes zeroing in on a balding, middle-aged man who's hanging over the shoulder of the clearly disgusted receptionist. Edward strides right up to him, reaching back to pull the rolled-up warrant from his back pocket. With a flick of his wrist, he unrolls it and holds it out briefly for inspection. His voice is stern, full of authority, not open to argument.

And my palms start sweating.

"Mark Oglesby, I have a warrant for your arrest. Do you have any weapons on you?" The wide-eyed Mr. Oglesby, who looks like he's about to wet himself, stammers out an answer in the negative. Edward orders him to put his hands flat on the desk beside him and spread his legs. Then he uses his own booted foot to casually nudge the man's feet out a little wider, one after the other. His hand authoritatively grips his prisoner's arm.

I find a nearby wall to lean against, out of the way, and just take it all in. I can feel that my cheeks are flushed, my eyes wide and my breathing shallow. I'm practically making a spectacle of myself if anyone cares to notice, and I really don't give a damn. I'm not about to miss a second of my fantasies brought to life right in front of me.

"You got anything in this pocket that's gonna stick me?" Edward asks, as he efficiently pats down the unfortunate — or not so unfortunate — Mr. Oglesby. I bite down harder on my lip as I watch his hands briefly skim along the insides of his prisoner's thighs, checking the entire area for weapons.

"I said feet apart," he sternly reminds him at one point, firmly nudging the man's foot back to where he put it in the first place. He leaves his own foot there against the inside of Oglesby's to reinforce the point.

Which means Edward is now standing with spread legs too, while he continues his pat-down.

The part of my brain that's not currently being utilized to keep my thighs clenched tightly together is impressed that he's so calm and casual about the whole thing. His body language and speech are both completely relaxed, like this is no big deal to him. He's not overly harsh or rude, and he's not overly forceful, either.

But he's undoubtedly the one in charge. And he could get forceful if he had to.

There's a buzz all around us, as the other workers around the office all gather to gawk at their boss being arrested. I barely notice them, but Edward's keeping an eye on all of it. He's making sure nobody tries anything stupid, I realize. Especially the little group of guys standing closest to me, where the majority of Edward's secondary focus stays concentrated.

His eyes continually sweep around the room as he reaches back with one hand and expertly detaches the handcuffs from his belt.

"You have the right to remain silent." He grabs Mark Oglesby's right wrist and starts to pull it behind his back.

My lower lip sucks in between my teeth as I zero in with deep concentration on this all-important moment.

"Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law." Click. The ratcheting of the first cuff as it clicks down around Oglesby's wrist is nearly my undoing. I stifle a whimper.

That's the exact moment Edward's eyes sweep across me to check on me. They pass me quickly, already moving on to the little group close by — but then he does a double-take and returns his focus to my face, holding steady there.

For one, frozen moment he pauses, eyes locked with mine. His brows knit together for just the slightest second, like he's trying to solve a particularly perplexing puzzle, while my heart pounds in my chest. Time seems to have slowed down. He's not moving at all. Oglesby's left wrist, which he'd just made a grab for, rests forgotten in his grasp.

He knows.

All I can do is stare back at him, wide-eyed and trembly. I'm not even breathing.

The very competent detective is about to figure out that his buttoned-down, level-headed psychiatrist partner has a serious cop kink...which probably means a few daddy issues too, given that I'm pretty sure I've mentioned to him, at least in passing, that my father wore a badge.

But the moment passes. The confused look on his face disappears, and all the breath whooshes out of my chest as he turns his attention back to Oglesby.

Yeah, buddy, I don't blame you. I don't want to examine it too closely either.

Jesus, that was a close one. I'm simultaneously relieved and a little disappointed.

"You have the right to consult an attorney before answering any questions and to have your attorney present during questioning." Edward's voice is a little gruffer now.

Oglesby's left wrist swiftly meets his right behind his back, and the second cuff clicks down around him. I look away, pretending to be fascinated with all the other people in the room. But I can literally feel it when Edward's eyes find and linger on me as he finishes securing his prisoner, double-locking the cuffs so they don't tighten and cut into the man's wrists.

He does it by feel, because he's certainly not looking anywhere but straight at me now. I don't have the guts to look back.

"If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand your rights I've just explained to you?"

When I finally get up the nerve to meet Edward's eyes, the guy he's arresting is standing straight up, with Edward maintaining a firm grip on his bicep.

"Those aren't too tight, are they?" he asks calmly, not unkindly. "If they are, let me know."

Except his eyes aren't on Mark Oglesby, who confirms that he understands his rights and he's not in any pain. I'm not sure Edward even hears him.

No, his burning green eyes are fixed on me. Questioningly.

I force the world's tiniest smile and then nervously break eye contact, looking instead at Oglesby beside him.

But I still see it when Edward's jaw clenches. "Come on. Let's go," he orders.

I'm not sure which of us that command was for — me or the guy he just cuffed — but I silently trail him back down to his car, doing my best to be invisible.

— ~o-o~ —

It may not be a very long way to the police station, but it seems to take forever to get there.

It's not like we can talk about anything substantive with Mark Oglesby sitting in the back seat, sniffling and making disgusting sounds as he wipes snot and tears all over his own shoulder. It's not like I'd even have the stomach for it, listening to that.

Not only did that creepy little guy bilk hundreds of retirees out of their life savings, or so Edward told me, but he's also a truly revolting physical specimen and a perv to boot, judging by the way he makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. His receptionist would agree, I'm sure.

Edward must agree too. The one time Oglesby tries to engage me in conversation, Edward makes both of us jump by smacking his fist sideways into the door next to him as an attention-getter. He pins Oglesby with a sharp look in the rearview mirror, and his voice is even sharper. "Hey! You got questions, you address 'em to me. Got it? You don't even look at her."

I'm not even the one that tone was directed toward, and I still have to bite my tongue to hold in the "Yes, sir" that wants to slip out.

Aside from that brief interlude, there's a thick, uncomfortable silence pervading the air around us as Edward drives, his fingers tense on the wheel. I'm not exactly oblivious to the fact that he isn't doing the greatest job keeping his eyes on the road. I feel his gaze on me repeatedly, while I stare straight ahead with red cheeks and try to regain some equilibrium.

"You okay?" he asks quietly, at one point. His voice sounds worried.

"Fine," I lie. One-word answers. If the guy's ever had a girlfriend in his life, which seems like a better-than-average possibility, I'm sure he knows exactly what that means.

Even Mark Oglesby probably knows it.

— ~o-o~ —

I peek at Edward out of the corner of my eye as he finally pulls into the police station, just in time to see his jaw muscle jumping. He's tense. And maybe a little pissed.

That probably shouldn't make my insides clench in a good way. But I've never seen him pissed before, and it's literally just as hot as every other expression that crosses his face.

The fading scar along his temple, one that stretches from the corner of his eyebrow and along the side of his head almost to his ear, catches my eye. When I first met him, long before he arbitrarily decided to adopt me as his "partner," that injury was fresh.

It's the whole reason I met him, in fact. I'm the one who signed off on his return to the field after he got pinned down in an ambush, almost a year ago now.

He'd still been a uniformed cop then, walking a patrol beat. And he'd accidentally walked into a drug hit one night, when he caught movement down a dark alley during a routine patrol and went to investigate.

He came around the corner just as a body fell. He never even heard the silenced gunshot.

There were three perps remaining. And all three, despite their beefs with each other, immediately opened fire on the witness. Him. He managed to take cover, and he also managed to hold off all three with his service weapon and prevent their leaving the alley until backup got there — injuring them all, but avoiding center mass and not taking a single life in the process.

The medal he would eventually get pinned to his chest for uncommon valor carried a cost, though. When the smoke cleared, he'd been hit three times.

Once in the arm, once in the shoulder. None of his wounds were serious.

But one lucky shot — the last one to hit him — was too close for comfort. It grazed his temple, close enough to break and singe the skin. It skated around the side of his skull, nicked his ear, and ended up in the wall behind him.

It wasn't much more than a deep scratch. He walked his own self to the ambulance.

Two millimeters to the left, and he'd have been receiving that medal posthumously.

The first time he walked into my office, with that reminder of the bullet that nearly took his life still red and angry on his handsome face, my stomach flipped completely over. I think my jaw dropped a little. I'd read about him, of course, both in the newspaper and in his file the PD sent over.

The written word couldn't do him justice. He was the most gorgeous man I'd ever seen in my life, and also one of the most fascinating.

Ten sessions. That was what my contract with the PD covered for officers who'd been injured in the line of duty. Ten hours of listening to this amazing man talk about his absolutely fantastic childhood and loving family, his love of protecting and serving his community, and his even stronger desire to give back now, since his life had been spared.

Ten hours of doing my level best not to stare and/or fall in love with him. It was a futile exercise.

He didn't want to be there any more than any of the cops routinely sent to see me when they fire their weapons in the field. Most of them are defensive, if not outright hostile at first. They don't want their heads examined by a "shrink." They respond like I'm personally out to take their gun.

But not Edward. He was amazingly well-adjusted. Maybe just a little cocky, but still humble and generous. He was kind, funny, sweet, down-to-earth — almost all the qualities that I find attractive in a man, if you don't count the carrying of handcuffs. Which I do.

I also found him to be incredibly sexual. Every move the man makes is pure sex. There's just no other way to describe it. It's not anything he does intentionally. But it's in the way he moves; the way he carries himself. It's in those full lips and knowing smirk, not to mention that perfect jawline. It's all over that crooked, megawatt smile that could stop hearts. Then there are those long, agile fingers. Let's not forget those.

And finally, there's that goddamn toothpick he's always chewing on.

Edward Cullen has an oral fixation and a needy tongue, I soon discovered. If he didn't have something in his mouth to play with at all times during our sessions, he got fidgety. If I gave him any paperwork to fill out, I got to watch him close his teeth gently around the pen cap to remove it, then hold the cap in his mouth and play with it with his tongue, while his long fingers curled around the pen's shaft like a lover. I've never been jealous of a pen before.

If I had a tray of peppermints on my desk, he'd suck on one and swirl it around his tongue the entire hour. Don't even get me started on the time he brought a bag of sunflower seeds and spent the whole hour cracking them open with his teeth to suck out the kernel inside.

That's probably the day I broke the air conditioning. I must have got up to push the thermostat insistently lower about a hundred times. No, it wasn't hot in there; it was just him.

By session four, I would get the butterflies for a solid hour before his appointment time.

By session six, I caught myself running late to the office every Tuesday, because my hair and makeup time would multiply exponentially those mornings. My Tuesday necklines were getting progressively lower and lower, too.

By session eight, I made like a psychiatrist and admitted I had a problem. It's the first step toward a cure, or so they say. But in all seriousness, I knew I was getting into trouble. Like, ethical trouble. I would finish my obligation to him, sign that paper, and put Edward Cullen out of my mind for good. Or something like that.

After I released him back to field duty, I never expected to see him again. I saw it in the paper when he almost immediately got promoted to detective afterward. My heart skipped a beat or two.

And then, less than a month after he made detective, he showed up in my office one day with twinkling eyes and a nervous look on his face, a case file under his arm, and he told me he had a proposition for me.

I still cringe just thinking about it. I talk to people for a living. I'm supposed to be good at the whole communication thing.

"I can't sleep with a former patient," I blurted out, without so much as a hi, how ya been.

Speechless. Yet another sexy look on him. His perfect mouth formed a perfect O of surprise. And then that slow grin spread across his face.

"Then I guess I'm lucky it's not that kind of proposition," he teased, fighting his smile while my face flamed. He held up that case file and waved it around like a peace offering. "Want to see what's behind door number two, doc?"

And so was born a partnership. A very one-sided partnership. One where he pretends like I'm actually any sort of help to him, while I try to spout psychiatric words, sound intelligent, and not drool all over my desk in the process.

A very rewarding partnership, at least for me.

A partnership that I fear I may have just fucked up for good.

— ~o-o~ —

I'm a little distracted while he's booking his prisoner, although such a thing would normally fascinate me.

He doesn't have to handle the interrogation. They have a pretty efficient operation going, with detectives and uniformed officers bringing in the fraud-ring perps one after the other. He turns his guy over to the lead detective on the case as quickly as he can.

Still, he has to wait his turn, and it takes nearly an hour to get out of there and be on our way toward our next arrest. At some point while he's finishing up, I decide to wander off to the vending area and get a bottle of water. Or two. I may need one to pour over my head if I'm going to watch him get physical with those cuffs all over again.

It seems that my disappearance lights a fire under him. He rushes past the vending-room door approximately thirty seconds after I quietly vanish from his sight, glancing into the room as he passes like he's looking for something he doesn't expect to be there.

And that must have been exactly what he was doing, because he does a 180 when he sees me. He's standing in that doorway in the next second, studying me intently. His arms come up, pressing against the doorframe on either side as he casually leans into it, taking up the entire space. His t-shirt rides up just enough to leave about a two-inch sliver of skin visible between it and the waistband of his low-slung jeans.

He has a happy trail. Not too thick, not too sparse. And a well-formed V, from what I can tell.

His handcuffs are back on his belt, too. Yes, I notice. I also notice that his position implies he's guarding that door like he thinks I might try to bolt and he's not having it.

All of me notices.

"There you are," is what he leads with. "I thought I was going to have to hunt you down."

And he intended to. Clearly. My mouth goes dry.

"Water," I explain my absence awkwardly, holding up the bottle I retrieved from the vending machine just before he found me. I've really got to stop with the one-word thing, but my tongue isn't currently operating.

And yeah, he notices. Those brows pull together again. He looks worried. "Listen, Bella..."

I panic. He's really going to bring this up; probably try to let me down easy.

If he wasn't blocking that door so efficiently and so very, very fuck-hotly, I might really try to bolt. Something about the set of his jaw says it would be a wasted effort. He'd just hunt me down, exactly like he said — if I even managed to make it that far.

"I didn't hurt that guy or anything," he tells me seriously, sounding a little hurt. "I'm not that kind of cop. I was just doing my job. He may not be violent, but that idiot ruined a lot of people's lives in other ways. The city's safer with him in here."

Speaking of 180s, that was not where I thought he was headed with this. He thought I was...judging him? That's what he made of my reaction back there? My mouth falls open a little bit.

"No! I — I didn't think that. At all!"

His hands tense against the doorframe. "Then you want to tell me what shook you so bad about this whole thing that you can't even look me in the eye right now? Because I don't get it. Damn it, you know me."

I do. And I'm instantly reminded of how I came to know him so well, and that's troubling. He's off limits. I hold my tongue, which works out fine because he's not done.

"What'd I do so wrong, Bella? You're acting like...shit, are you scared of me now or something?"

Jesus. He has absolutely no idea how not scared of him I am. If the next words out of his mouth were to tell me he intended to put those cuffs on me and have his way with me in the back of a patrol car, I'd ask if I could get that in writing.

No, I'm not scared of him. But he looks a little scared of my answer. And yet again, I melt.

I find myself closing the distance between us, until I'm rather awkwardly standing right in front of him. Awkward, because it's not like I'm going to touch him. That's not a thing we do.

Look. Don't touch.

That's been my policy of shameless rationalization since he came to me and started this whole partnership.

I'm pretty sure it's his policy too.

"Of course I'm not scared of you," I say honestly. And then I lie my ass off. "The whole thing was just a little...overwhelming. There was a lot going on, you know?"

His eyes soften, the defensiveness leaving them. "Yeah. I get that. I guess I didn't really think this through." He looks disappointed. Maybe even crushed. "I'm really sorry, Bella. Do you want me to take you home? Or, um, back to your office, I mean?"

"No!" That came out just a little bit too eager. Eager enough to put the sparkle back in his eyes, damn it. "I mean, I'm really enjoying this. We have two more, right?"

He doesn't have his toothpick, and apparently his teeth just realized they don't have anything to play with. I watch as he pulls his lower lip between them, deep in concentration as he slowly lowers his arms and backs up so the doorway is unobstructed. That's convenient, because I might need to grab hold of it myself, for support. My knees are trying to collapse on me, watching his teeth roll that full lip between them...

"You're sure?" he asks, still looking a little worried. "It's not going to hurt my feelings if you'd rather not."

"Absolutely."

And I am sure.

One-hundred percent sure that I'd better buy that second bottle of water after all.

— ~o-o~ —

His mood improves once we're back in his car. Soon, he's his normal self, oozing his unique blend of sex and charm all over the place, oblivious to the wide wake of destruction he leaves between my legs with every casual smile he tosses my way.

The man's a force of nature.

He parks outside a little strip mall with several storefronts, then picks up the next case file to start flipping through it. He's looking for the picture, I assume, so he can easily pick out the right guy when we get inside.

I study the building in front of us while he's thumbing through papers, trying to get my racing heart under control. I see a check-cashing business, a Lebanese restaurant, and a massage parlor. I'm not sure which we're going to, but the check-cashing place seems like a logical possibility.

Edward pulls my focus back to him with a loud groan. "Aw, shit."

I sit up a little straighter, because that sounded ominous.

"What is it?"

He sighs. "I didn't look at anything but the names and addresses when I grabbed these files off the stack — mostly the addresses, since I was hoping you'd be with me." He flicks the file with his finger like the perp personally insulted him. "Charlie Gallagher."

Yeah, that gives me less than nothing. My heart starts to pound a little faster.

"O...kay. What's wrong with Charlie Gallagher? Is he dangerous or something?"

"She."

I stare at him blankly, while my stomach plunges into freefall. 'Aw, shit' is right.

"Charlie's a woman," he explains, looking at me a little strangely, like I didn't get it the first time. I can't blame him for the assumption that I'm not comprehending. All systems have crashed again.

"I hate arresting women," he goes on when I just unnervingly continue to stare at him. "Especially when they cry."

Yeah. He thinks he's the one with problems.

I fondly remember being able to breathe.

It'd been kind of difficult to imagine myself in the revolting Mark Oglesby, when Edward bent him over a desk, kicked his legs apart and started manhandling him. And that was a good thing.

But a woman? This just turned into a whole different ball game.

Edward's head suddenly tilts and his eyes narrow as he studies me, like he's just realized something. He looks down at the picture in his lap, then back up at me. His eyes pin me in place as he stares at me intently. Then he repeats the process, looking back and forth between the picture and me, several times.

"What?" I ask nervously. Jittery doesn't begin to describe me.

He gives a wry chuckle. "Actually...she kinda looks like you. Don't you think?"

He turns the folder around, with the picture facing me. Staring right at me.

Okay, so I got it wrong before. 'Aw, shit' doesn't begin to cover it.

Among his other talents, Edward's a master of understatement. This girl doesn't just 'kinda look like me.' She could pass for my sister.

My fucking twin sister.

I'm gonna need a bigger shower massager.

— ~o-o~ —

He spends a few minutes on the radio, trying to get an assist from a female officer. It's procedure, he informs me absently, while he's waiting for a response. If a female officer is available to come to the scene and pat down a female suspect, that's best practice.

Is it bad that I'm holding my breath the whole time, hoping one's not available? Because I am. I totally am.

What? Charlie Gallagher's going to jail either way, and probably for a long damn time. I'm doing this girl a favor.

I hear the reply from HQ myself, but Edward's eyes are still apologetic when he turns toward me. "Looks like we're on our own. The whole department's swamped with the other arrests. And as it turns out, our Ms. Gallagher is labeled a flight risk. McCarty wants this done now, before she finds out about her buddies we already picked up and tries to bolt."

He hesitates for the briefest moment, his hand on the door handle. He's obviously remembering my performance at the last arrest. His face is serious.

"You gonna be okay with this, Bella?"

Not even remotely.

"Yeah, of course." God, that was way too cheerful. I try to tone it down a notch. "I mean, don't worry about me. Just, you know...do your thing. Have fun."

Have fun? Oh, dear God. I know my face is flaming. Maybe he'll do the merciful thing and just shoot me.

Amusement pulls at his lips. "My thing. Have fun. So you think slapping the cuffs on beautiful women is what, now? Like, my hobby or something?"

Beautiful women? That's how he refers to that girl he's about to arrest, the one that looks just like me?

Is Edward...flirting with me?

I need to say something. Words. Grunts. Literally anything.

"So it's just your day job, then?" I fire back. "Hm. Pity."

I'll be honest. Even I don't know where the hell I pulled that one from. I'm pretty sure he's as shocked as I am. His eyebrows hit the top of his head.

He recovers quickly, and his grin is absolutely wicked.

"Oh, I never said that, love." He hops out of the car, leans down to look at me. "You coming...partner?"

Faster than I ever have in my life, if he keeps this up.

— ~o-o~ —

Charlie Gallagher, I decide immediately, is guiltier than homemade sin.

When we walk into Checks R Us, we both immediately recognize her standing at the front counter. I mean, it'd be hard not to. She's the only person there. And for me, it's a lot like looking in a mirror.

She recognizes us, too. One look at Edward's police shirt and those handcuffs on his hip, and she rabbits. She runs to her right, heading for a door on her side of the counter, one presumably leading to the back offices.

She doesn't make it.

After first gently pushing me back and out of the way with his extended arm, Edward immediately vaults himself over the counter with one hand. He grabs Charlie's arm and spins her around, putting her up against the wall face-first, almost before I realize what's even happened. The arm he grabbed is folded across her back, his hand gripping the forearm and using it to hold her in place.

He hasn't hurt her. If there's actually a way to put somebody into a wall gently, that's what he did. I mean, relatively speaking. She's about the same size as me, so he's got a good six inches and at least 60 pounds on her. She's not going anywhere.

Charlie hasn't accepted that yet. She's clearly planning to put up one hell of a struggle, squirming and bucking against his hold.

Meanwhile, I accept that I'm toast.

It's his casualness that does it for me — the way she's struggling with all of her might, and he's holding onto her with one hand without even trying. He could be performing any completely mundane task, to look at his face. There's no effort, no irritation — just complete control.

My breath speeds up. I feel my body heat rising as I watch intently.

"Nice try, but not today," Edward remarks calmly, as he catches her unrestrained elbow mid-air when she decides to swing it backward at him. That arm only ends up folded up behind her back too.

The next thing that both Charlie and I know, Edward has both of her wrists gripped in one of his strong hands in the middle of her spine, and he's reaching back with his free hand to get his cuffs.

This is almost like watching a video of Edward manhandling me. The resemblance is surreal. I feel the flush rising up my chest, my breath coming harder. I know Edward could turn that steely focus in my direction at any moment, and there's no way he wouldn't figure it out this time.

Maybe...just maybe...that's half the thrill of it.

What would he do if he knew?

"Charlie Gallagher, you're under arrest for forgery and financial fraud. And resisting arrest, if you don't knock it off. You have the right to remain silent."

This is not what Charlie wants to hear, nor is she waiting around for the rest of her rights. Before Edward can get the first cuff on, she manages to yank one of her hands out of his purposely gentle grasp and get herself partially turned to face him.

I gasp when she pulls back her knee and then tries to nail him right in the groin with it.

I really shouldn't have worried. Edward's a hell of a lot faster and stronger than she is. He sidesteps her desperate jab and uses her momentum to bend her face-first over the counter. He hooks one ankle with his foot and pulls her legs apart and off balance so she can't try to kick him again. The hand she yanked away from him just ends up right where he had it before, in the middle of her back with her other one, the only difference being that Edward's grasp isn't nearly so loose this time.

The whole thing took less than five seconds. She bucks and tries to raise up, and only ends up meeting the counter again with a little thump that makes me jump.

"Would you cut it out?" Edward still sounds completely calm as he holds her down, still casual and relaxed. "You were never going anywhere. I'm just trying not to hurt you. Now settle down!"

She doesn't settle down in the slightest, but Edward doesn't really seem to care. He keeps reading her rights in a perfectly normal voice, as first one wrist and then the other goes very unwillingly into his cuffs.

Charlie Gallagher struggles like a wildcat the whole time. It makes not one bit of fucking difference. He has her well and truly under control.

I'm completely mesmerized watching him thoroughly subdue my doppelgänger without even expending any real effort. It leaves me so aroused I'm almost dizzy.

When he's finished double-locking her cuffs, I expect him to stand her up. But Edward keeps her bent face-first across the counter.

"You have any weapons on you?" he asks, like he's asking what she ate for lunch.

A little thrill of excitement runs through me. He hasn't patted her down yet, I remember, like he did with Mark Oglesby. She bolted before he got the chance, so he had to cuff her first. I lick my lips, move just a little closer to the counter for a better view.

"Fuck you, asshole!" is the only reply he gets. Charlie gives a vicious wrench of her body that nets her nothing. Edward chuckles at her insult and all but ignores it.

"Anything sharp in your pockets?" Not getting an answer, he starts what even I can tell is a very abbreviated pat-down with the backs of his hands. He's very careful not to let his hands linger or put them anywhere they don't belong. It's not even very thorough.

So that's why he hates arresting women. It offends his gentlemanly senses. A little twinge of something real makes it through the unbridled lust I'm swimming in.

He's a good guy. It's easy to get hung up on the external wrapping. But underneath all that sexy cop dominance is a heart of gold.

He makes a quick end of the pat-down and gets a loose grip on her bicep. His tone is conversational.

"All right, Charlie, this is how this is going to go. I'm going to help you stand up, and we're going to take a nice, peaceful walk to my car. Don't kick me. You're only going to hurt yourself when I have to put you on the ground, and I really wasn't planning to spend my Friday night doing paperwork."

I clench my thighs together, desperately trying to quell the ache inside. I want him to put me on the ground. Naked.

With the absence of any bystanders to worry about, Edward never once looked at me throughout the entire encounter this time. But now, as he makes that comment about his Friday night plans, he looks my way and throws me a flirtatious wink behind Charlie's back.

Apparently, we flirt now. And I'm his Friday night plan.

But then he gets a good look at me and goes completely still. The crooked smirk on his face fades, his lips slowly parting. His eyes sweep over me, down and back up — and they immediately start to go dark.

I don't have to wonder whether or not he's figured it out this time.

There's no way a man who looks like that doesn't recognize a woman completely hot for it. Hot for him. Especially when it's the second time he's seen it in two hours.

Yeah, he knows. And he knows why, given what was going on both times it happened.

And this time, he's not going to second-guess himself or let me talk my way out of it.

His eyes linger on my peaked nipples, standing at attention and poking out against the silky fabric of my tank-top. It's certainly not cold in here. It's probably not cold within a thousand miles of here.

He takes in my flushed face, my shallow breathing, my wide, undoubtedly dilated eyes.

His tongue comes out to lick his lips as his eyes lock with mine. Hungrily. Predatorily.

"Let's go," he grates. "Now."

Maybe it's the tone of his voice. But Charlie doesn't give him any trouble this time.

And neither do I.

— ~o-o~ —

He doesn't say a word to me on the way back to the station. He grips the wheel and stares straight ahead. His jaw is tight.

I have no clue how to read him. None. A zillion hours' worth of psychology classes, internship, residency, and private practice don't help me right now.

Is he...mad at me? Is he...shit, I don't even have any other guesses.

So he's mad, right?

I take a breath to say something. I take another look at the set of his jaw. And I close my mouth without a word.

He never even looks at me as he gets a much more subdued and tearful Charlie Gallagher out of the back seat and marches her inside. I trail behind quietly.

"McCarty!" he bellows out, and I recognize the big guy who walks up to meet him as the lead detective on the fraud case, the one Edward turned Mark Oglesby over to earlier. The buddy he's helping out today. "Something's come up. Can you find a uniform to take this last one? I need to get out of here."

He slaps something into McCarty's hands, and I recognize it as the third case file from the car — the last arrest we were supposed to make today. And my heart plummets. I'm crushed.

He's got to get out of here. As in, away from me. We're not going out for that third arrest after all.

I guess that answers the question of whether or not he's pissed at me.

I want to fucking bolt for the door and find my own way home, call an Uber or something, but then I hear him say my name.

"Will you show Dr. Swan to the detective office, please? She's going to wait for me there while I get this one booked."

Both men's eyes turn to me, pinning me like a butterfly on a display board. I feel like a cornered animal, especially when McCarty's eyes go up and down my bare legs with obvious appreciation.

For most of my life, the simple fact that he's got a badge and a gun — not to mention a set of silver bracelets — would have had my motor running. He's not unattractive.

But apparently, just any cop doesn't do it for me anymore.

Only one does.

The one looking at me with his heart in his eyes.

It hits me like a blinding flash. That wasn't anger in the car.

That was Edward trying to keep himself under control until he could get rid of his prisoner and get me alone.

My guts clench, and I instantly go for my favorite excuse: he's off-limits.

But he was never my paying client. The PD is. I've already looked into this, in a weak moment. There are some loopholes here; some precedents I could use to potentially make this work and not face sanctions.

Maybe...if it's not too late...it might be time to take a chance.

Edward's eyes lock with mine, and they're soft and green. "Wait for me?" he asks uncertainly, and it's a plea.

I lick my lips nervously, and my head nods of its own volition.

He offers me a tiny little smile, and then turns his back and goes to finish up with Charlie Gallagher.

And hopefully, to get his cuffs back.

— ~o-o~ —

I pace back and forth in the deserted detectives' office while I wait for him, heart pounding as I stare at the door I came through.

I'm there for half an hour, anticipating Edward's arrival through that door at any moment. So it completely unnerves me when he comes through a different door on the other side of the room, one I never even noticed, and locks it behind him.

He leans back against the door he just came through, crosses his arms, and narrows his eyes.

"First things first. Why did you lie to me, Bella? Why would you lie about wanting me?"

I'd already been swiftly losing my resolve to stay and face the music. So when he just completely calls me out — just puts it all out there on the table — I pull a Charlie Gallagher and try to rabbit out the door behind me.

I don't have any better luck than she did. Edward's a hell of a lot faster and stronger than me, too.

I get hold of the doorknob and get the door open a couple inches. But then it slams back shut, with Edward's palm flat in the middle of it, his arm over my right shoulder. His other arm reaches around me to lock this door too, then comes up on the other side of me. He flattens his hand on the door, caging me in.

He doesn't touch me, but he's so close I can feel his heat all along my back. His head is dipped low as he looks down at me from behind, his mouth close to my ear.

"Yeah, I don't think so. We're going to try this again, and I want the truth this time. I want to know exactly why you were watching that woman squirming in my hands today and fantasizing about taking her place."

I gasp with surprise, trying to turn to face him. But he presses his body forward against my back until his weight holds me firmly against the door.

That's the moment I realize just exactly how hard he is right now. And how big.

"Don't even bother denying it," he rasps into my ear. "That much I have figured out, and I'm about to give you exactly what you've been begging me for all day. I just want to know one thing first: Is it me you've got a thing for, or just the badge? Or should I say, the handcuffs?"

My eyes close as I stifle a moan. Maybe Edward's the one who should go into psychology. He nailed that diagnosis.

He's still, calm, waiting for my answer. But it's pretty clear I'm not going anywhere until he gets it.

This is an interrogation, I realize with a little thrill. I'm in his custody.

And he intends to break me.

I should rebel. But I'm fucking tired of fighting this, hiding it.

"All three," I rasp out my confession. "You, the badge...and your fucking handcuffs too."

My eyes are closed, so I don't notice when one of his hands comes off the door. I nearly jump out of my skin when it softly reaches around in front of me, snaking beneath the hem of my tank-top and starting a slow ascent upwards. My breath is coming in pants, my hands pressed against the door in front of me.

"You see, I want to believe that, Bella," he tells me softly, as his fingers drive me to distraction, softly rubbing the underside of my breast through my bra. "But I keep coming back to one thing: you shot me down. When it was just me, you shot me down. You've never given any indication you wanted me, until I pulled these goddamn handcuffs off my belt today and started doing my job. And then you lied to me about what was going on with you. So how do I know it's really me you want, and not just a good, hard fuck with your hands locked in any cop's cuffs?"

This time, when I try more insistently to turn and face him, he lets me. But my back gets pushed right back up against that door with both of his hands planted beside my head, his rock-hard erection nestled up against my belly. I miss his fingers under my shirt immediately.

"Shot you down?" I question. "What are you talking about?" And he must recognize the genuine confusion on my face, because he softens. One of his hands comes down to my cheek, carefully stroking it with the backs of his fingers. I'm drowning in the green of his eyes.

"I thought you knew. You had it right the first time, Bella. I was there to ask you out that night. That case file was just my backup plan to spend time with you if you pulled that doctor-patient crap on me. I had to have something. I just couldn't stop thinking about you. I can't stop thinking about you. I haven't stopped thinking about you since the day I put eyes on you."

"Edward..." I whisper, tears springing into my eyes. All that time I spent carefully suppressing my feelings, I had no idea they were returned. I reach up, try to take his hand, but he removes it from my face before I make contact and puts it back on the door beside my head. I end up dropping my hands to my sides, pressing my palms back against the door behind me.

My interrogation isn't over.

"So I'm going to ask you one more time," he says in the deepest, huskiest voice I've ever heard. "Is it just the cop you want, the dominant fantasy guy with the power and the handcuffs? Because if that all you want, don't worry. You're about to get him. I'll take you any way I can have you, Swan. Or do you want all of me? The guy who can't even fucking sleep at night because he's so in love with you it hurts? The guy who wants to give you his handcuffs and his heart too?"

I can't speak. I can't even breathe. Edward's in love with me. The kindest, most amazing, sexiest man I've ever laid eyes on is in love with me.

I'm so lost in his eyes that I don't realize he's reached down with one hand and removed his handcuffs from his belt until cold steel locks down around my right wrist at my side.

My breath catches, my eyes going down to see what's happening. The visual of his strong hand holding my wrist captive by the chain on the handcuffs sends a flood of fresh arousal to my already throbbing pussy. It only intensifies when he pulls my hand in front of me by the little chain, then firmly captures my other wrist and quickly cuffs them together. He just overpowers what little resistance I put up.

Him overpowering me is all part of the fantasy. And he clearly got that point today.

With the chain hooked over his fingers, he jerks my arms upward, over my head. His eyes focus on a spot on the door high above me, both of his arms stretched up over me as his hands work on something there. I tip my head back, looking up to see what's going on.

There's a sturdy metal hook bolted into the door for hanging coats and whatnot. And I'm barely tall enough for him to lift the chain up above that hook and drop it down so my wrists are fixed in place over my head with my back trapped against the door. But as I squirm, testing my bonds, Edward steps back and inspects his handiwork.

And finds it lacking.

He frowns at the slack that would allow me to easily lift the chain back up over the hook, and he reaches up over me again. By the time he's done wrapping the short chain between the cuffs around that hook twice, my hands are almost completely fused together and I'm nearly up on my toes. Whimpering with desire.

He doesn't touch me at all. He puts his hands back on the door by my head, his face inches from mine.

"So what's it going to be, Bella? You've got my cuffs, if that's all you wanted. And you don't have to worry. I'm going to fuck you in them either way. I'm going to pound you into this door until you scream so loud the whole building hears you, and they aren't coming off until I'm done. The only question is, do I get to take you home with me and wake up next to you too? And I need an answer. Right now."

My heart does flip-flops in my chest. I'm not above begging at this point. Spilling my guts is easy.

"You. Edward, I want you."

He leans in a little closer, his hot breath brushing my lips.

"And my being a cop has nothing to do with it? I'm not convinced, Bella. I know what I saw out there today. And I'm not putting one finger on you until you explain it to my satisfaction. So if you want this, start talking."

As interrogation tactics go, his are pretty damn effective. I need him to touch me. I'm desperate for him to touch me. And so the words flow easily — the truth. He leans in close to my face, hanging on every word.

"Yes, okay? I've always had a thing for cops. It's been a fantasy as long as I can remember, since the first time I watched an arrest on TV. Almost an obsession. But you — I've been fighting to keep from falling in love with you since the first day you walked into my office. I don't sleep either. You're all I think about, all the time. And it has nothing to do with what you do. It's...it's who you are."

The smile that splits his face is breathtaking; his shining eyes even more so.

My hands jerk against their bonds when he takes my face firmly between those long fingers and kisses the fuck out of me. Those full lips are just as overwhelming pressed up against mine as I had imagined they would be, taking control and absolutely devouring me whole.

It goes on and on, and I want to touch him so badly I can hardly stand it. I want to get my fingers into his hair and hold on for dear life as his tongue demands entrance. He licks his way through my mouth like he's trying to brand his delicious taste onto my tongue forever. He kisses me deep and hard, and I want to grab for control. I want to curl my fingers around the nape of his neck and hold him to me so he can't escape.

The fact that I can't do any of those things, because I'm his willing prisoner and he has my hands bound up against the locked door of his communal office in a very public police station, just shoots my arousal into the stratosphere. By the time he breaks the kiss and pulls my head back by the hair so he can lave my neck with open-mouthed kisses, I'm whimpering and desperate.

"Please," I find myself gasping as he nips and sucks his way down my throat. My hands rattle the chain. "Edward, please..."

"Shhhhh," he soothes, planting a soft kiss on my neck. "Quit pulling before you hurt yourself. I know exactly what you need, and I'm going to give it to you. Will you trust me?"

He pulls back to meet my eyes, and I slowly nod. "Yes. God...yes."

He quirks a crooked smile. "Good."

The next thing I feel is a sharp tug when he rips my silky black tank-top right down the middle, leaving me bare from the waist up, aside from my bra.

"Edward!" I protest, my wide eyes showing my alarm that we are in a public place where I don't have another shirt. He just grins.

"Relax. I keep a change of clothes in here. I have a t-shirt with my last name on it that will look great on you." His eyes are busy taking in all the new skin that's just been revealed to him, and he sounds a little distracted. "Besides," he mutters as his hands land at my waist and start sliding upward, "it'll let those yahoos out there know whose girl you are. I thought I was going to have to kick McCarty's ass for a minute there. Bastard."

The little giggle that's prompted by his adorable jealousy dies in my throat when he quickly flips the cups of my bra up over the tops of my breasts and latches his mouth immediately onto my right nipple. My head falls back against the door with a thud and a groan, while I give it my best effort to pull that hook right out of the door.

It holds firm. I'm not going anywhere, and I can't do anything to control the amount of friction he gives me. I want to grab his head and push it harder onto my breast, but I don't have that option. He cups the base of my breast in his hand and varies the pressure with his mouth, alternating between tiny little swipes of his tongue and hard, firm sucks. He captures my other nipple between a thumb and forefinger and continues the sweet torment.

I'm losing my mind. I'm already halfway there and he hasn't even touched me below the waist yet.

The thought is barely through my dazed mind before Edward makes it his mission to remedy that problem. I'm arching my back, trying to push more of my breast into his mouth, when everything stops. His mouth detaches from my nipple with a wet pop, and his hands make a beeline for my waistband.

"Your skin tastes just like I imagined, Bella," he rasps, and captures my lips in a quick, hard kiss. I feel his fingers close around the button of my shorts. His mouth goes to my ear and his voice drops low. "I'm going to keep you right where I have you until I've licked every goddamn inch of you."

"Yes...oh, please...yes," I'm chanting, as he makes quick work of my button and zipper. He kneels down in front of me and jerks both my shorts and panties down my legs, helping balance me as I step out of them and my shoes too. He has me completely bare within seconds, and he's still fully dressed. It feels wickedly dirty and erotic.

It gets more erotic when his arm sweeps out and hooks one of my legs behind the knee, pulling it up and over his shoulder, leaving me standing on one leg.

My head is already thrown back by the time he has me in position, my hands trying and failing to find anything to grab onto. My eyes are squeezed shut, expecting him to go after me with all the quick enthusiasm he did when he bared my breasts to his eager, talented-as-fuck mouth. And I'm not sure I'm going to survive that oral fixation of his when its full force is unleashed on my throbbing pussy.

But nothing happens.

"Look at me. Right now."

I'm helpless to do anything but obey. He's looking up at me from his kneeling position between my legs, and the visual alone is enough to make me moan. One hand is firmly grasping my thigh over his shoulder, keeping me open to him. The other has slowly slid its way up my standing leg, and two of his fingers start rubbing gently along either side of my entrance. My knee nearly gives out on me.

"Please..." I gasp and can't get any more out. His fingers slide along my seam until one is on either side of my clit, rubbing firmly. My hips buck, hard, and he pushes them securely back against the wall. I nearly lose it. "Please...oh, God...just touch me already."

He just turns his face toward my captive thigh and plants a kiss on the inside of it as his fingers slow even further. His focus is still on me, watching me try to keep my eyes from rolling back in my head at his teasing.

"You're the one who wanted a cop in control. There's procedure to follow." He runs his tongue along my thigh. "You don't have any weapons on you, do you?"

The little nip he gives my sensitive flesh is nearly my undoing, especially when he soothes it with his tongue. "You're a fucking bastard," I manage to mumble, not meaning a word of it.

He chuckles against the very top of my thigh, and my leg jerks in his grip. It doesn't go anywhere.

The ever-present smirk is there, but his eyes have gone darker than I thought possible when he licks his lips and gets so close I can feel his warm breath right where I want that tongue.

"You have the right to remain silent, Bella," he tells me with a voice that's nothing but gravel, and I swear to God, I see stars. "But I'll be damned if I'm gonna let you."

One of those long fingers slides deep inside me in a single thrust, just as his tongue gives me a long swipe that ends with him flicking it against my throbbing clit. I bite down on my tongue to stifle the scream that wants to rip out of my throat, still barely cognizant of the bustling police station behind that door.

He lets go of my thigh and reaches around me with that same hand, grabbing hold of my ass and pulling me forward onto his face.

His tongue is just as relentless and needy as I imagined it to be when I lay in bed every night for the past month with my vibrator between my legs, wishing it was that tongue. Only, the reality is so much better. It swirls around my throbbing clit, licking me like I'm his favorite candy and he's determined to suck out the last ounce of flavor.

And sucking is exactly what he does when my legs start to quiver, closing his lips around my swollen nub and driving me mad with a gentle suction. He works me to a fever pitch with his lips and tongue, adding a second long finger inside me and beginning to finger-fuck me in earnest at the same time.

I twist and squirm against my bonds, desperately trying to keep my incoherent cries to a minimum, knowing I'm not going to last much longer. My walls are already clamping down around his fingers, trying to hold them inside and draw them even deeper.

When he starts to scissor his fingers inside me, gently stretching me in preparation for what I know I'll be getting as soon as his fingers and mouth are done with me, that's my breaking point. My leg starts to give way as I fall over the edge, shouting his name.

"Edward! I'm going to...Oh God..."

It briefly registers to my mind that it's going to hurt when my leg collapses and all my weight falls onto the cuffs. But Edward doesn't let that happen. His hand disappears from my ass and his entire arm wraps around the thigh of my standing leg, supporting my weight. Through it all, his mouth doesn't leave me, mercilessly continuing the stimulation and making my orgasm almost endless.

It's not until I go all but limp in his hold that he pulls his mouth away and his fingers out of me, gently kissing my leg as he removes it from his shoulder so I'm back on two feet.

Supporting my weight the whole time, he rises to his feet and keeps one arm around my waist as he reaches into his back pocket, pulling out his wallet and going for a condom. He kisses my sweaty forehead. "Is this still okay?" he asks, looking into my eyes and gently reaching up to touch my bound wrists to show what he means.

"Yes...don't stop. Oh my God, Edward, that was amazing."

"Can you stand a second?" he asks urgently, and I nod. I'm trembling all over. He leans me back against the wall, watching me carefully as he rips open the condom packet. When he unzips his jeans and pulls out the thickest, most glorious cock I've ever seen in my life, I nearly second-guess my decision to stay bound. My fingers ball up in fists as I watch him roll the condom onto himself. I want to touch.

Before I know it, he's boosted me up against the wall and my legs are wrapped around his waist, my cuffed hands just barely above my head now. He grips my waist and lifts me up above his swollen cock, then lowers me until it just nestles against my entrance. He pushes me back against the door for support as one hand reaches between us, gently spreading me and guiding himself in. My head falls back, and I'm softly keening as he slowly drops me down onto him, inch by thick inch, impaling me and filling me fuller than I've ever been in my life.

He doesn't stop until his balls are brushing my ass and my legs are squeezing him like a vise, at which point he goes still.

"Fuck, Bella, you're so fucking tight," he grits out, straining to keep control. The hand that had been between us slaps onto the wall beside me to brace himself, his other winding under my hips to support me. "Jesus. Am I hurting you?"

"No, just...oh, fuck, you're big. Give me a second."

The veins in his arm beside my head stand out like cords with the effort it's costing him to keep from pounding me through the wall, but he drops his forehead to mine and his voice is gentle. "Tell me when."

The stretching burn starts to fade, and every internal nerve ending is aware of his presence. Experimentally, I gyrate my hips, squeezing him with my inner muscles. My hands jerk against the cuffs, and I arch my back, moaning.

I nearly come, just from the sound of his groan and the feel of his thick cock twitching inside me when I do.

"You do that again, and I'm gonna lose it," he growls. "Now?"

My hips are already beginning to rock back and forth as best they can in my position. "Now. Oh, please...move." It comes out as part whimper, part desperate plea.

He doesn't have to be told twice. He pulls his hips back, sliding that thick length nearly out of me before he slams it home again, driving me backward into the door.

And then he does it again. And again. And again.

If there's anybody on the other side, they're going to hear my body slamming into the door over and over, and they're going to hear me crying out his name each time. I'm pretty sure neither of us cares.

Edward widens his stance and fucks me harder, bracing himself with a hand against the door. His other hand supports me, fingers digging into my hip with near-bruising force.

"Shit, Bella, I'm not gonna last this time," he utters hoarsely into my neck when I start to get close, desperately trying to gain some leverage and thrust my hips in rhythm with his. "But when I get you home with me, I'm gonna lock you down and fuck you all night long. I'm gonna fuck you raw."

I explode into stars around him, my whole body convulsing with the force of the orgasm that hits me. A scream starts to rip its way out of my throat, and his hand that's on the wall comes up to clamp down firmly over my mouth, muffling the noise.

If I was flying before, now I'm soaring. Overcome with the overwhelming pleasure, my body instinctively tries to escape, my hands twisting against their bonds and my legs trying to close around his pinioning hips. I can escape nothing — I can't even scream — and with that knowledge, my first orgasm rolls straight into a second, this one even harder and more devastating.

If Edward weren't gagging me with his hand, the whole department would hear me — especially when his thrusts abruptly grow faster and more erratic. Suddenly, he's convulsing inside me with his own pleasure, calling out my name.

It's a good thing he's holding both of us up when it's over, despite his trembling arms, because I'm a quivering mess. I feel him slip out of me as he lifts me up slightly, and I whimper. That gets his attention. His eyes fly to mine, mistaking my protest about the void he just left inside me. His hand cups my cheek.

"Hang on, sweetheart. I'm gonna get you down right now." He carefully sets me on my feet and tucks himself away, then retrieves the handcuff key from inside his pocket and gently releases my bonds.

My arms fly around his neck the second I'm free. "Take me home with you, Edward. Now."

— ~o-o~ —

Sometime late the next morning, I drift into consciousness and become instantly aware of three things simultaneously.

First, there's sunlight, streaming through a window I don't recognize.

Second, I feel a delicious soreness deep within me, every muscle in my body feeling like I've done hard labor.

And finally, there is a thick and well-muscled arm wrapped tightly around me, holding me securely even in sleep.

Flashes of the night before play across my memory one after the other: Edward, holding tight to my hand with a massive grin on his face as he led me back through the near-deserted police station wearing one of his t-shirts, my blushing face buried in his arm. McCarty may or may not have wolf-whistled.

Edward, demonstrating his multitasking skills when he had to drive us to his place with me half in his lap, my hand down his pants and my lips all over his throat.

Edward, all but dragging me up the stairs to his apartment, then pushing me up against the door the second he finally got us inside.

We were on round four before we ever made it to this bed. I became intimately acquainted with his kitchen counters on round two, then the living room couch he bent me over for round three, before he pronounced it bedtime and threw my giggling, sated body over his shoulder to carry me upside down into his bedroom. When we got there, we just started all over again, with him pressing our interlaced hands into the mattress beside my head. He pushed his thick length inside and just slow-fucked me until I begged.

As I wake, I'm lying on my back with my head on his chest, and his arm is wrapped around my sternum, just above my breasts. My fingers are curled around his forearm, holding onto him just as tightly as he holds onto me.

The tattoo on his upper arm catches my eye, the one I noticed for the first time yesterday afternoon in my office. I haven't really had a chance to explore him fully yet, so I shift to get my first real look at it.

Words, inked in a neat, manly script, encircle his bicep, intentionally designed around and framing the scar left by the bullet he took there. I delicately touch the words with my fingers, too close up to really read them.

"It says, 'Find the purpose'," I hear a gravelly voice in my ear. I shift again, this time to look back into sleepy but happy green eyes. As soon as I turn over and prop my chin up on his chest so I can really see him, he locks his arms back around me, low around my waist.

"What does it mean?" I ask, lazily drawing a pattern on his chest with my fingers, at which he contentedly sighs.

"You should know," he tells me softly, catching my wandering fingers in one hand and bringing them to his mouth for a gentle kiss. "You're the reason I got it."

My mind goes back to one of the first late nights in my office working on 'our' case, when he admitted to struggling with thoughts of why he survived a shootout when so many before him hadn't.

And then it hits me. "I told you that I firmly believe that as long as we're still alive, we have a purpose," I remember out loud. "A reason for living. The hard part is finding it. And when you do, you grab hold and don't let go."

I gasp with surprise when he abruptly rolls me beneath him, pressing me down into the mattress and urging my legs up and around his waist.

"Got her," he whispers, smiling. And then his lips come down on mine.