Reaching Out

PG-R

By mardel

I just borrowed them for the story, they are owned by others.

A story about Fin with some Munch thrown in.

"When was the last time you touched anyone other than to cuff them?" Munch

asked his partner.

"None of your business." Tutuola answered. His back turned towards him.

"Look as many ex-wives as I have, I'm not the best one to give advice. But

you need someone in your life man. If you won't talk to me, then you need

to talk to someone." Munch warned him.

"I'm fine, I can handle it." Fin stated.

"I'm telling you the truth you can't keep isolating yourself from human contact

like this. You need to deal with the past, so you can live again." Munch continued.

"I'm living."

"No, what you are doing in working all the time. I know you don't think anyone

notices because you leave every night and then come back. You have to

find a balance between work and personal life."

Fin frowned, he knew John was just telling him this for his own good. He'd thought

he could just keep hanging on like he'd been doing.

" I lost everyone I ever cared anything about, I don't want to hurt like that again."

" I'm sorry to hear that. But you're going to crack up soon if you don't find some

thing to take your mind off work. This job is hard enough to leave behind, let

alone live twenty-four, seven."

"I'll talk to the company shrink or something." He promised.

"I'll see you tomorrow." John nodded and pulled on his coat.

Fin sighed and reached for his own coat. He should at least go home. He hadn't been

in his apartment long enough to do more than change and shower in weeks. He didn't

sleep much, and when he did he often just sacked out in the spare bunks up stairs at

the station.

He walked the twelve blocks to his apartment and was climbing the second flight of

stairs when he heard a woman scream. He ran the last flight at full speed turning

the corner to find a woman standing at the far end of the hall, her hand to her

mouth as she stared down at a man laying on the hallway floor.

"What's going on here?" He holstered his sidearm, and flashed his badge.

"I just came out to put the trash in the chute. I found him like this." The woman

gestured towards the unconscious man.

Fin checked for a pulse, then pulled out his cell phone and put in a call for an

ambulance. It looked like the man had passed out, but his pulse was there, fast but

steady. It could be an OD or just about anything.

"Do you know his name?"

"No, he doesn't live here." She looked at Fin for the first time. Blinked and then

studied him, like she wanted to remember him.

He knew what she saw, even twelve years on the force, he still looked like a man you'd

cross the street to keep out of his way. His neat clubbed back pony tail, close

clipped beard and conservative dress not withstanding.

"Are you okay, want me to see you to your apartment?" He offered.

"I know you don't I?" She asked, her arms locked protectively around her

torso. Her eyes still locked on his face.

"I live in the building, fourth floor. back corner." He nodded.

"Oh, yes you aren't around very often. You helped me carry up a few things

last year when I moved in." She nodded.

He nodded, he remembered. It had been a hot July day, she was bringing things

up from a borrowed truck. The kids she'd paid to help her had run off after only

two trips to her place. Satisfied with only the five dollars she'd given them at

the beginning. The promise of five more forgotten in the heat. T had carried up

a large box full of kitchen items for her. He recalled admiring her shape on the

climb to her apartment. For a white lady she had a nice round ass. Her long

dark hair in one long braid down her back.

"Helena Populous wasn't it?" He asked, not sure of her last name.

"Yes, you have a good memory. You're Detective Tutuola I think, it's been a long

time since I've seen you." She smiled at him.

"Tutuola, but you were real close. Can I walk you back to your apartment?" He

motioned for her to lead the way. He heard the ambulance arriving.

"Can I offer you a cup of coffee... your day is over maybe a glass of wine?"

She offered as she opened the door to her apartment.

"Thank you." He was about to decline her kind offer. "I'd like that, coffee is fine if

you have some made. I'll just show the ambulance guys where the patient is. I'll

be back in a minute." He surprised himself by saying yes.

Helena, rushed to put a fresh pot of coffee on while he was gone. She tidied up her

already neat front room and tossed her cat off the extra chair by the window.

He knocked then opened her door slowly, so as not to catch her off guard.

"Ms. Populous?"

"Yes, please come in. Make yourself at home." She called from the kitchen, she

was putting a selection of small cakes on a plate. She baked for several restaurants

in the neighborhood as well and working at the Macy's up town.

"You have a nice place here." Fin removed his long overcoat and hung it on the hall

tree near the front door. He smoothed his jacket un-buttoning it .

Helena entered the room carrying a tray with coffee mugs, cream, sugar and

cakes. He was surprised by the amount of food she was bringing.

"This looks wonderful. Do I look like I need fatting up?" He asked attempting a

small joke.

"No, you look very fit... strong, I mean I just thought you probably hadn't eaten

your dinner yet." She blushed and set the tray down on the small table by the

window.

Damn, he hadn't heard praise like that from a lady in ages. He hadn't mean to

fluster her like that. He never would have thought she was the type to be hiding

a attraction to a man like him.

"Black is fine. Thanks." He accepted the mug of coffee took a careful

sip as is felt very hot. It was great coffee, worthy of those steep prices you had

to pay at the fancy place up the block.

"Please help yourself to some of the cakes." She was still blushing, but she

tried to meet his eyes for a second as she handed him the coffee.

He didn't usually eat sweets much, but he took three of the small cakes onto

the plate she provided. Then tasted one, it was melt in your mouth fantastic.

"These are great. You should bake professionally." He praised her.

"I do, at least some of the time." She smiled, and sipped her own mug of coffee.

He liked him there was something about his eyes and his voice. It had been so

long since she'd been attracted to a man. She just wanted to sit with him for a

minute and enjoy the feeling. She was sure a man like him must be taken.

Fin wasn't looking for a lady in his life. Helena was very nice, from what he'd

seen so far. Probably to sweet for a thug like him. Defiantly not the type for

a booty call. But she was on the voluptuous side, he liked his ladies shapely.

"Have you been in New York long?" He asked having noticed her slight accent.

"Yes, we moved here when I was twelve. I am a citizen now." She said with pride.

"That's good." He'd never been good with small talk, he could get information

out of a perp, no problem, but this was awkward. Especially since he wasn't

going to be laying a line down on her. He struggled for a topic of conversation.

"Have you been a policemen a long time?" Helena asked, wanting to get him

talking about himself, so that he'd stay.

"It's been a few years, I just switched over to my current unit a year ago.

I was in Drug Enforcement for six years." He said sipping his coffee.

"That is dangerous work, your family must worry about you." She looked

concerned herself.

"No. There's no one left to worry about me." He met her eyes for a second then

shifted his gaze out the window. Why was saying it making him feel so alone.

He'd been alone for years and years.

"Would you like to stay for dinner? I was just about to finish making the potatoes

before.... when...." She asked.

"No, I don't want to intrude on your meal." Fin stood, " I should be going."

He motioned towards the door.

"Please, there is plenty of food." She sounded genuine, like she really would

like for him to stay.

He hesitated, then what John had said to him just that afternoon replayed in his

head. ' you can't keep isolating yourself from human contact like this,'

"Thank you, I'd like to stay." He almost smiled, his face relaxed a little from his

usual stern expression.

"Good, the bathroom it that way if you'd like to wash up." She smiled and stood

up walking to the small kitchen to finish the food.

Fin nodded, and did as she suggested. Washing his hands and checking his

reflection in the mirror. He looked tired, the rush of adrenaline wearing off from

his response to her scream in the hall. What was he thinking staying for a meal.

Helena was nothing like the kind of lady he usually felt an attraction. Not that he

was feeling an attraction, she was a warm, caring lady. He responded

to most women with respect, until they did or said something that changed his

opinion of them. This was nuts, he should make an excuse and leave.

"Damn it, Fin be a man and share a meal with the nice lady." He scolded himself.

Helena was placing plates and utensils on the table when he entered the room.

She was wearing an apron, and she looked flushed from the heat of the oven.

He couldn't remember the last time anyone had cooked for him. His chest felt

tight, at the sight of her preparing the table for a meal.

"I hope you like meat loaf and vegetables." She placed the last fork on the table

and turned back towards the kitchen. "Please sit down."

I love meat loaf, at least the kind granny use to make. With gravy and mashed

potatoes. Green beans and carrots he though. He shrugged out of his suit jacket

and hung it on the back of his chair. "Can I help?" He offered before taking his

seat.

"No, thank you. It will just be a minute." She carried in a plate of fresh bread,

that smelled to good to eat and the meat loaf on it's platter. Then returned with

the vegetables and gravy. She took her seat. Fin couldn't believe the amount

of food on the table for just the two of them. She must usually have leftovers

for the whole week.

"I usually say grace, before a meal." She inclined her head and repeated a

prayer he'd learned as a child, but hadn't practiced in much to long.

"Amen." Helena said, and looked up, then passed him the platter of meat.

"Amen." Fin said in unison with her. He took the platter and served himself.

The food was so good he was sure he was dreaming it all. No one cooked

like this anymore. Especially in a city were everyone ate out or ordered in.

"This is great." He said between bites.

"I'm glad you like it, I miss having people to feed." She nodded at his praise.

"You said before that you came here with family?" He asked towards the end

of the meal.

"My parents, I was born late in their lives. I am an only child." She explained.

"They have been gone for sometime."

"I'm sorry. You said you baked for restaurants in the area, what else do you

do?" He sounded like he was pumping her for information.

"I sell at Macy's in midtown." She finished her last bite and set her fork down.

"I like to read, I usually stop at the library every week for a new book."

"Yeah, I learned a lot from books. But there is no substitute for the stuff you

learn on the street." He sighed after all that good food, he was ready for a nap.

"There is cake if you would like." She offered.

"No, thank you. That was a wonderful meal. Let me help you clean up." He unbuttoned

his left cuff and rolled his shirt sleeve back.

"No, you don't have to help." She stood up lifting her plate from the table.

"I insist, my granny would tan my hide if I didn't help you with the dishes."

He rolled the second sleeve up and took the platter and his plate to the kitchen.

Helena washed, Fin dried they talked about recent movies they had seen.

She noticed he was more relaxed, he seemed to be enjoying the evening.

.......

Fin woke up in his apartment he next morning early, he felt good. He thought

about the night before at Helena's. He was out of practice but he thought he

was going to have to take John's advice and seek out some female company.

A week went by he was working on a tough case and hardly went home for

more than a change of clothes. He was just leaving one morning jogging down

the stairs when he noticed Helena ahead of him on the landing.

"Good morning." He paused in his rush back to the station.

"Hello." Helena looked up to see Fin walking down the stairs towards her.

She smiled at the sight of him, he made her think of a knight the way he moved

tall, straight his coat billowing out almost like a cape behind him.

Fin saw her bright smile, it puzzled him. The things he thought he knew about

her, she was probably that happy to see anyone she knew.

" It's cold out there this morning." He noticed her in her winter coat.

She was wearing one of those hats that mashed your hair flat, and a big scarf.

She looked happy to be out so early on a Monday.

"Yes, I'm wearing my boots." She continued to smile at him.

Fin had the impulse to touch her, something he never felt. He pushed the idea

out of his mind. " Which way are you headed?"

"Down towards 12th street. I'm delivering baked goods on the way to work." She

nodded towards the carry bag.

"I'll walk you to the subway." He motioned for her to take the stairs ahead of him.

"I was hoping to see you again. The next time you're home in time for dinner

stop and eat with me. I enjoyed your company." She told him as they walked.

"I'd like that, but my schedule is crazy. I don't want to just show up." He hedged.

"I don't mind. I usually eat about seven, please feel welcome anytime." She

touched his arm as he stopped at the subway entrance. His eyes flew to her

hand on his arm. She could feel his muscles tense under her hand, combined

with the look in his eyes. She lifted her hand.

Fin didn't like to be touched. It was a thing he had from long ago. But he didn't

shrug her off, like he usually would. His reaction was stiff disapproval.

"Be safe." She said and ducked down the stairs to the subway.

He felt empty when she took her hand away. His reaction had caused her to

react that way. He should go after her, not leave things so strained between

them. He didn't want her to be afraid of him.

"Helena, wait." He ran after her. Catching her as she fumbled for her pass card.

"I'm sorry. People don't usually touch me." He didn't know what he was trying

to explain. He just didn't want her to be afraid of him. It was suddenly very

important that she not fear him.

She looked up startled for a second. "I didn't mean to be familiar. I'm sorry."

She pulled her fare card out of her bag. Looked up at him, saw his concern

for her. She almost reached out to touch him again, repeating her mistake.

"Don't fear me. I'm not like that." He stated. He felt the impulse to touch her

again and at the same time a tight knot formed in is stomach.

"I know you're not. Come for dinner when you can." She told him and turned

towards the turnstiles.

Fin watched her go, feelings he'd buried churning inside him. He was going to

have to talk with Wong about this. If he wanted to be human again.

.......

He did talk with the doctor, a couple of times. The doc suggested he take things slow

ease back into a simple friendship with her and then see were things went.

.............

Fin put off going by Helena's place for nearly a week. But by the end of one

exhausting day he decided it was time to see her again.

He knocked on her door after going to his place and cleaning up.

"Hello, it's nice to see you." Helena opened the door with a big smile on her face.

She'd worried about him ever since the last time they had talked. She thought

she might have given him the wrong idea. She was very happy he was back.

"I hope I'm not to late." He didn't want to come to her place empty handed

but she didn't seem to drink much wine and flowers weren't his style.

He settled on a classical music CD. Some how he associated her with

European music.

"You didn't have to bring me anything. Thank you. I just sat down, let me

fix a plate for you." She took the small package from him and moved towards

the kitchen.

"I can't keep eating your food like this if you don't tell me how to return the favor."

Fin told her halfway through the meal. It was the second best plate of ravioli he'd

ever eaten. Only because it was he second plate of food.

Helena smiled at his question. He'd never expect to hear her true answer.

It was much to forward of a request. She knew he didn't want that kind of a

relationship with her. She'd have to tell him something.

"I'm pretty good at fixing things." He offered.

"You don't have to return the favor. I cook all the time, I like seeing you enjoy

the meal." She told him.

"I"ll just have to think of something. I'll wash you dry." He stood up and began

to roll his sleeves back.

Helena, watched her eyes lowered so he wouldn't notice she was staring.

His forearms were corded with muscle, his hands broad and strong looking.

She liked watching him.

Fin sighed picked up his plate and the salad bowl and walked to the kitchen.

Munch would love to see him washing dishes, he'd never hear the end of

the snide remarks about his being so domestic.

........................

Weeks past Fin saw her at least once a week. He even tried to take her out

for a meal one time but she wouldn't agree. He asked her what kind of a show

she'd like to see, but she wouldn't give him any idea. He wanted to do something

for her.

"We are friends, you aren't courting me. I don't need anything." She told him.

That hurt, he wasn't courting her. But it still hurt to hear that she didn't expect

him to treat her special. He'd had female friends before, why did he feel the

need to give Helena something or do something for her? He felt good when he

was with her. It wasn't about a booty call. She clearly wasn't looking for that

or if she was, not from him.

He tried to stay away for awhile but after two weeks he found that he missed

talking with her. Missed seeing her smile. To be truthful he missed her great

cooking too. He decided he was going to have to find something to do for her

in return for all the fine meals. He started by learning her schedule, she worked

at the store Tuesday thru Saturday. She worked day shift she almost never

was out on the street at night. She was about as safe as a female could be with

out a personal body guard. She walked to the subway with two other ladies when

their shift ended. She had three locks that she used regularly on her doors.

She'd lived in the city long enough to know most things about safety.

He came home very late one night to find a message from Helena on his machine.

He usually only got calls from the station on the machine.

" Hello, Fin it's Helena. I wanted to talk to you, if you could call me back I'd

appreciate it." She sounded out of breath, like she was scared.

He went down to her door and looked things over. There didn't seem to be anything

out of place. No marks on the door like it had been jimmied. It was very late,

past midnight so he didn't knock. He went back to his apartment and listened to the

message a second time. She did sound stressed. But she hadn't said it was urgent

to call him as soon as he could. He decided to get a few hours sleep and catch her

in the morning.

Helena, looked out her door the next morning, checking for any sign of the man

that she thought had followed her home. She didn't know if she was imagining

things, but she had seen him before. She walked out side and headed for the

subway up the street it was farther but she wanted to change her pattern.

Fin woke up late, rushed to dress and was about to knock on Helena's door when

the super waved to him.

"She just left I saw her walking uptown." He informed the cop.

"Thanks, man." Fin hurried down the stairs and out the door. He didn't see

any sign of Helena, but the sidewalk was already crowded with people.

He jogged up the street to the subway. She could be making a delivery some

where, he'd have to catch up with her at the store. He called Munch.

"Yeah, I'll be a little late. Cover for me."

"No problem seeing as it's the first time since I've know you that you weren't

at work before me." John grinned hoping this meant his partner was keeping

company with a lady this morning.

Fin took the subway up town, he was only five minutes behind her. But he

managed to catch up with her one the sidewalk a block from Macy's.

"Helena, hang on a second." He touched her shoulder to get her attention and

she jumped like he'd hit her. "Easy, easy it's me Fin." He held up booth hands

and backed up a step so he wasn't crowding her.

"I'm sorry, you startled me." She was breathing fast, she was scared.

"Here sit down for a minute." He guided her to a bench near the curb.

"Talk to me." He positioned himself between her and the people walking past.

"Why did you call?"

"I needed someone to talk to." She evaded his question.

He knew a half truth when he heard it. "Come on Helena, it's Fin. What's wrong?"

He inclined his head towards her a little so he could see her better.

"I think a man followed me home last night." She told him.

"What did he look like?" Fin was instantly in cop mode.

"Not real tall, with a dark hat, he needed a shave. He followed me from the subway

to the corner store and then up the street to the apartment." She explained.

"Would you recognize him if you saw him again?" He asked.

"I think so, I was so scared." She started to reach for his hand then stopped

herself.

Fin noticed her pull back from reaching for him. He'd caused that himself, telling

her that people didn't touch him. Reacting so badly the other time.

"You should come down to the station and look at the mug books."

"I have to work, we are getting ready for the holiday rush." She told him.

"Could you leave a little early tonight and come to the station?"

"I'll try." She nodded.

"Ask the desk Sargent to call me when you get there." He offered his gloved

hand, she took it. He escorted her to the employee entrance. " Promise you'll

come to the station."

"I'll be there." She nodded.

.............

"What's got you on edge?" Munch asked that afternoon. They had cleared a

case and they were each typing up the report for the file.

" A friend of mine had some trouble yesterday. I was expecting for her to stop

and look at the mug books." Fin admitted.

"Oh, is that why you were late this morning?" John asked.

"Yeah." Fin paced over to the window and tried to see the sidewalk.

"I was hoping it was something better than that detaining you."

"Yeah, it wasn't anything like that." Fin frowned at his partner.

"Sorry, can I help?" John didn't often offer to do extra work. He'd put in twenty years

in Baltimore before joining the NYPD.

"If she spots the scumbag in the books, I'll be sure to give him a lesson in

manners." Fin warned John.

"I can hold your coat." John smiled.

His phone rang, "She's down stairs, did you weed out the books you need yet?"

"Yeah, except for the stalker types I was hoping we wouldn't need that one."

Fin nodded towards the interview room.

Helena, looked almost as scared now as she had that morning. She was

holding her bag so tight her knuckles were white.

"Ms. Populous, I'm Det. Tutuola please come with me." He acted like he'd left

a message for her. People were always coming in asking for the Detectives.

He touched her shoulder, guiding her to the stairway to the second floor.

Helena felt more at ease as soon as she saw him.

"Right this way," He showed her to the interview room, where John was waiting

with the mug books. "This is my partner John Munch."

"Hello," She tried to smile but she was to nervous.

"Can I get you something to drink, we have coffee, tea and soda." John offered.

"No thank you." Helena shook her head, she was to upset to think.

Fin's partner was tall, with dark hair. He looked like he'd be a good partner.

"We'd like for you to look through the mug books here. Take your time,

there are a lot of pictures here. I tried to pull the books with the most likely

matches." He explained.

Helena, nodded. Munch left the room. He though he'd get her a cold drink just

in case. Fin stayed standing to the left of her chair watching as she flipped through

the books. She still seemed very nervous. He wished there was something he could

do to put her more at ease. But short of embracing her, he couldn't think of anything.

John motioned to him from the doorway.

"Yeah?" Fin whispered.

"She's scared to death, what happened?" John asked.

"She thinks a man followed her home last night. She saw him at the subway stop

and the market then again at her apartment building." Fin filled him in.

"Does she have a history of being attacked? She seems very nervous.

Like victims do after an attack." John reminded his partner.

"I didn't ask." Fin should have asked, if she'd ever been followed before, or any

thing like that." He felt stupid.

"I'll talk to her." John set the soda down above the book so she could reach it.

"Ms. Populous can I ask you a few questions?" John interviewed her like he

would any other female victim. Slow, gentle prodding for information with out

up setting her any more than he needed to.

She answered him looking over towards Fin several times. Like she was

wondering why he wasn't asking these questions.

John took some notes, and stayed with her while she continued to look through

the books.

"I think this is him." She pointed, the man was a guy they had picked up for

questioning before.

"Good we'll have a talk with him. I don't think you'll have to worry about him

bothering you again." John gave her his smirk-grin with a nod of his head.

"Is that all?"

"Yes, I'll get a....." John started to say they would have a radio car take her

home, then noticed Fin shaking his head.

"Det. Tutuola wants to speak to you for a minute." John stood and carried

the mug book out with him.

"Thank you." Helena nodded to him.

Fin exhaled, then walked over to the table and sat across from Helena.

"Has something like this happened to you before?"

"No." She answered.

"I can't help you if you don't tell me what's happened." He asked again.

Helena didn't want him to know about her past. She'd lost other friends

over what had happened and she wouldn't risk losing Fin. She couldn't

tell him.

She shook her head.

"I'll walk you home." He wanted to pound his fist into something he was so

angry that he now had the chance to help her and she wouldn't let him.

Helena noticed Munch standing talking to a woman on there way out.

He nodded to her as they walked past.

"You're partner is very nice." Helena told Fin once they reached the street.

"Yeah, he's a real prince." Fin growled.

"You're angry."

"Damn straight, I'm angry I'm trying to help you, but if you don't talk to me,

tell me what happened, there isn't much I do." He told her as they began

to walk up the street.

She considered his point, but she couldn't bring herself to tell him about her past.

She stopped walking. Fin noticed her halt, he turned to face her.

"Be angry at the man that caused this. Don't be angry at me." She warned him.

"You're right, I'm sorry. Let's just take a cab home. It's to cold to walk."

He lifted his arm and stepped closer to the curb, badge in hand.

They rode back to the apartment building in silence. Fin was thinking, trying to

remember if Helena had ever mentioned anything about her past that would

give him clues.

.....................

Munch and Fin located the man she'd pointed out in the book. He was

known to follow women. He hadn't crossed the line and started attacking

them yet, but they warned him off doing his thing in their part of town.

Fin let him know he might just wake up dead if he continued working anywhere

that he would be the one who caught the case.

..................

His relationship with Helena was strained now. He still stopped by and saw

her once or twice a week. He'd learned that he could care for someone again

but it had really bothered him when she was so upset. That was his reason for

not wanting to get close to anyone ever again.

.................

Helena stood transfixed staring at the images on the television. It was nearly

as bad as the towers falling. Police and Firefighters were rushing to save people

from the explosion. Then she realized Fin could be in that part of town. It was

only a few blocks from his station.

"Please dear God protect him." She prayed over and over.

She waited up for him to come home. Knowing that he might work straight

thru for two or even three shifts. She paced and prayed and waited.

He she saw him walking slowly up the street from her window she rushed

out to the stairs and ran to the front door. She met him on the front stoop.

"You're safe, I was so worried." She threw her arms around him she was so

thrilled he was alive and safe.

Fin pushed her off, in reaction to way to much emotion over the past two days.

He was exhausted. He needed to sleep for about ten hours. The moment after

he pushed her away he realized what he'd done.

He'd been fighting his feelings towards Helena for months. But the look in her eyes

was making him crazy. She'd been scared to death for him, she'd only wanted to

welcome him home safe and sound. He shouldn't have pushed her away.

"I'm sorry, can we go inside?" He indicated the stairs. She followed him up

the three flights of stairs to her apartment. She knew he was hesitant about being

touched she knew better than to attempt to hug him. She shouldn't be so hurt

by his reaction.

"Helena, I want to explain." He started off, pacing towards her kitchen then back

to the sofa where she was sitting, watching him.

"You don't owe me an explanation. I shouldn't have grabbed you that way."

She tried to take the blame on her self.

"No, I want to. You see when I was a kid I used to get knocked around a lot

by my old man. In fact the only person that ever touched me in a nice way was

my grandmother. She'd hug me and rock me when I was little, and she'd still

hug me and kiss me even after I was nearly a man. Then she died. The bigger

I got the more the old man beat on me. I began to associated another

person's touch with pain. It's my problem, I didn't mean to push you like that.

I know that you would never hurt me. I saw you...." He stopped unsure what

else to say.

"I'm sorry, I was so relieved you were safe." She was bitting her lip to try and

keep from crying.

"I know that, I know. You shouldn't worry about me. I've been doing this for

a long time. I know how to keep my head down."

" I have to worry about you, the people who love you pray for you at times like

that, so that if the worse happens God will protect you." She whispered.

His heart clenched in his chest, she couldn't mean that. Not the way it sounded.

'people who love you,' she couldn't love him. He didn't deserve her love.

She was to kind and good. He was hard and cold. He didn't need her to cry for

him, to pray for him.

"I won't touch you again. I promise. Seeing you safe is enough." She struggled

not to cry in front of him.

Fin took several deep breaths, in an effort to steady the trembling in his hands. This

was why he hid from people. Emotion made him lose control.

"It's not your fault, it's me....it's me." He chocked out. His eyes locked with hers

full of pain. He framed her face with both hands, reading all the emotions she was

feeling, sorrow, fear, pain and love. He kissed her gently, surprising her so much

that she barely responded. Their lips parted and he braced for her reaction.

She stared at him, shocked. "You kissed me."

"I thought you wanted me to...." He was confused now.

"I"ve always wanted you to, from the first time I ever met you. This man I thought

he would be good to kiss. He would be gentle, but strong."

"Why did you think that?"

"Your eyes were so expressive, deep brown, sad and hurt." She explained.

"That made you want to kiss me?"

"And your voice, too. You spoke so quite, your voice deep and soft."

He laughed, he talked that way because it made people pay attention. Only one other

person had ever told him it was attractive.

"May I touch you?" She asked.

"Baby, I was hoping we could do more than that." Fin opened his arms to her.

He kissed her again, wrapping both arms around her body, pulling her in close.

Helena, responded to his kisses with passion he hadn't expected.

He was thrilled by her responsiveness, the idea of taking things slowly crushed.

"Baby are you sure this is what you want?" He asked between kisses.

Her hands were attempting to unbutton his shirt, but they were shaking.

"Yes, I need you so much."

"If you're sure, we should... " He nodded his head towards the bedroom.

Helena, smiled and nodded.

Once they were in her bedroom with just the light on the dresser to set the

mood, Fin shrugged out of his jacket. He felt good, but a little nervous.

It had been awhile since he had to consider his partner's feelings. He'd been

making due with one nighters and pros.

Helena watched him wishing they could just fall onto the bed and make love.

Fin came back to stand in front of her, his eyes so dark she couldn't read them.

Was he feeling the same emotions she was? Or was it just need?

Fin lifted his hand to cradle her head, kissing her deeply. Helena wrapped

her arms around his chest and back holding on to him. She responded to

his kisses just as before, eager for him. Fin stroked his hand down her back

and cupped her round ass, as their kissing continued. She moaned and

moved her groin against him. Her hands spreading wide across his back

as she moved against his growing arousal.

"You feel so good in my arms Baby." He whispered lifting his mouth from hers

for a moment.

"Please Cerro, I need you." She begged.

Fin heard the urgency in her voice, he quickly removed his clothes down to

his boxers. Helena slipped out of her own clothes just as quickly, laying on

the bed. She was so eager to be with him.

"I want to make this good for you Baby, but you keep telling me to hurry."

He braced himself over her, she lifted her arms around his body.

"You are so handsome." She praised.

Fin lowered his mouth to her neck and kissed his way down to her breast.

His arousal pressed tightly into her lower body. She was arching up to meet

his slow thrusting. Helena moaned, and sighed at his attentions to her body.

She was ready to accept him fully.

Fin removed his boxers and quickly covered his throbbing shaft with protection

then he was pushing inside her warmth. She was hot and tight. He groaned

and eased back, then pushed slowly forward a second time.

"Easy Baby, let me.... " He fought to keep control. He'd not expected this

type of problem. He felt her pulsing around him, he waited for her to relax

for him.

"Helena look at me."

She opened her eyes, looking up into his deep brown eyes that were burning

with need. Once his eyes locked with hers, she relaxed enough for him to

continued. It worried him that she seemed to want him so much, and then

froze up when they were joined.

"Talk to me Baby, let me hear that I'm pleasing you."

"Cero, you feel so good." She moaned, her hands stroking his back again.

Fin gave her long slow thrusts at first, but it didn't take long for him to

become lost in his own feelings and needs. Her moans encouraging him into

a quicker pace. She cried out her climax.

"My god, oh, oh god."

He followed her only a few strokes later, groaning when he reached his finish.

He stayed balanced over her, her finger tips gripping his shoulders.

"Perfect, you are magnificent." She told him in the throws of passion.

His heart was pounding so hard he wasn't sure he heard her correctly.

He took a minute to get his breathing under control, then lowered his mouth

to hers, kissing her softly.

"What was that you said before?" He asked lowering himself beside her

on the bed.

"You were magnificent." She turned towards him, stroking a hand

over his shoulder and down his arm.

He liked that she thought so, but that wasn't what he'd meant.

"Thank you Baby, but I mean you called me Cerro or something?"

"It means lover, what a man is called by his lady." She told him.

"Oh, perhaps I shouldn't ...?" She stopped caressing him with her hand

remembering his past statements to her about being touched.

Fin caught her hand, brought it to his lips, kissed her finger tips.

"I didn't mean it like that, I don't like people to touch me. But you're different

I like when you touch me."

"I see." She smiled, "You are so hard," She began to say.

He wasn't sure again what she meant.

"Your arms and chest." She slipped her hand from his and stroked it across

his broad chest.

Fin closed his eyes and soaked in the feeling. It had been so long.

She stroked her hand over his body for several minutes he wasn't sure

who enjoyed it more.

"Fin is short for something isn't it?" She asked while stroking him.

"Um, Odafin I was named for my grandfather." He answered her.

"Odafin it's different I like it."

"Umm," He responded still enjoying her caresses.

"You're going to sleep." She said as his breathing slowed even more.

"Feels good." Was the last thing he said before falling asleep. The combined

effects of a triple shift added to his relaxed state won out over his desire to

be with Helena after making love.

Helena curled up beside him one hand resting on his chest and fell asleep

also. She woke up the next morning feeling happy. Fin was still asleep, he'd

hardly moved from the position he'd fallen asleep in. She pulled the cover

up to keep him warm and began her usual morning routine.

Fin was still asleep at seven-thirty. Helena hated to wake him but she didn't

know if he had to be back at work at his usual time.

"Fin wake up now." She sat on the bed behind his back, he'd rolled on to

his side after she got up.

"What time is it?" He asked, feeling very comfortable and hoping he didn't

have to get up just yet. Helena was caressing his shoulder, he remembered

making love, but nothing after that.

"It' seven-thirty do you have to be at work today?" She asked hoping for his

sake that he didn't, or at least not until later in the day.

"Not until afternoon. Are you leaving?" He rolled onto his back so he could

see her.

" I have some things to deliver." She told him.

He swallowed, seeing her in the morning light he wanted to make love to her

again. He was absolutely infatuated with her.

"Come here." He urged her to lean down over him so he could kiss her.

Her hair fell forward surrounding them both as he kissed her good morning.

She already tasted like coffee and sweet rolls.

"Come back to bed with me." he asked.

She hesitated, she really did need to deliver the baked goods. But he looked so

inviting naked in her bed.

Fin rolled her over pinning her to the bed. "You know you want to."

"I do." She almost giggled. She could feel the hard arch of his arousal against

her thigh. He was very ready to perform again.

He moved against her, lowering his mouth to kiss her neck, laving his tongue

into the hollow of her throat. Helena melted under his touch, moaning her

acceptance of his actions. Fin pushed the sheet away and moved to cover

her with his body. "Tell me what you want."

"I want you." She breathed.

"But how?" he continued to kiss and stroke her, he couldn't seem to get

enough of the taste of her skin.

She tossed her head back as he kissed her throat again.

"What's your favorite position?" He asked wanting to do what she like best.

"I don't know." She answered as he was removing her blouse.

He filled his hand with one breast while tasting the other.

"You like them all?" He guessed.

"I've only tried the one way." She sighed as he shifted his attention to the other

breast.

That was when it hit him, the reason she had been so tight, so nervous........

He'd been her first lover. Ever. Damn.

"Baby why didn't you tell me?"

"I didn't think you thought of me that way." She confessed.

That was fair, that hadn't been how things were between them.

He was braced over her, his erection still pressed tightly to her body.

That explained her attention to his body last night. Not just petting but investigation.

"You still get to choose, want to try a different way?" He kissed her mouth quickly.

"What's your favorite?"

"Na, you pick." He kissed her again.

"Like they did it in that movie." She finally answered.

That made him think, what movie, please not the shower thing, he wasn't sure

he was recovered enough to preform that trick.

"Which movie?"

"You know that one you liked." She as hunting for hints to what was his favorite

position since she didn't have one of her own.

"Who was in it?" He couldn't think. He never should have evaded his choice.

"I know like this," She pushed him up so that she could slip off her skirt then

settled down on his lap with her legs around his waist. His full erection trapped

between their bodies, throbbing for attention.

That made him flash on to a movie scene where Julia Roberts straddled Liam

Neeson when he was sitting in some big over stuffed chair.

"Baby ease back some so we can get together." He lifted her while positioning

his tip so she could slide down over him.

"Go slow, you're still real tight." He helped her to settle carefully onto him.

"Oh, that's hot, easy, easy." He felt like he was going to finish already.

"You keep telling me I'm tight, I think it's because you're so much." She was

moving on him as she praised him.

"It's both, go slow." He took hold of her waist to keep her from pumping him

dry right at the start. This position would take a little more work on her half

then it would from him. He'd have to concentrate on not coming.

Or so he'd thought, she cried out her climax only a minute after she'd mounted

him.

"You are so hard." She panted just before nearly screaming.

Fin followed her in seconds, his entire body clenching tightly as he came.

He couldn't believe how easily she reached climax. He hardly had to do anything

and she was there. How was it possible she'd never been with a man until he

came into her life?

Helena was wrapped around Fin's upper body. Her chin arched around his

broad shoulder. He was stroking her bare back, she liked his touch.

He held her on his lap for several minutes, recovering.

"I think we need to talk." He eased her off his shoulder so he could see her face.

"That doesn't sound good. Did I choose the wrong one?"

"Helena, baby there is no wrong one. We need to talk about other things."

He kissed her slow and gentle then eased her off his lap.

"I'm going to take a quick shower." He stood stretched and walked to the bathroom.

She stared, he was not at all self-conscious about being naked in front of her.

Fin stood under the water longer than usual, it felt good he was sore from

the exertion from the aftermath of the explosion. They only good news about

the tragedy, that it really was just an accident. A leaking gas main that blew up

a half a block on 34th street. He found clean clothes laid out for him. She must

have borrowed his keys and gone for his clothes when he was still sleeping.

Helena wasn't in the bedroom, so he finished drying himself and quickly dressed.

Hanging the damp towel over the shower curtain on his way to the kitchen.

He smelled coffee and something else, something beside the usual sweet

baked sweets she often had on hand.

Helena was standing at the stove. She turned to hand him a mug of hot coffee

as he entered the room.

"Thank you." He took it, set it down on the counter and leaned in to kiss her.

He couldn't help himself he wanted to touch her, every time she looked at him.

"You're trembling?"

"You said we have to talk, that sounds bad." She explained.

"No, 'Lena, baby it's not bad. I'm not going to make love with you and then

just leave. I'm not like that." He took her hand in his and walked her to the

table, he pulled out her chair for her. He went back for his coffee then took the chair

across the small table from her.

"I hope you don't mind that I went into your apartment for the clothes.

I didn't poke around I just found what I thought you needed and brought

them down here."

"Thank you, I appreciate it. I'm not mad about you taking my keys. It was

very thoughtful of you." He covered her hands with one of his.

"I'd like to ask you why...." he pause already going about it wrong.

'Lena I'm honored to be your first lover." He paused again.

"You were wonderful." She promised him.

He almost smiled, "Wait, let me say this. How is it possible for a beautiful woman

like you to be your age and never ....." he was still saying badly. But there had to

be a reason. Why was he the man she'd wait for?

"If I tell you that, I'll lose you." She began to tear up.

"Is your opinion of me so low that you think I'd stop caring about you because

of something from your past?" Fin questioned.

"Most of my old friends stop wanting be around me."

"Then you had piss poor friends." He told her. "I'm sorry. Look in my line

of work I've heard it all. Just tell me, get it over with, and it'll be will be done."

"I was raped when I was nineteen." She whispered. Not looking at him.

"I'm sorry, did you get counseling?" He'd guessed as much from all the clues

he'd had over the past few weeks. But after last night, he thought he was sure.

"Yes, for a couple of years I saw a shrink. It took so long because it was

several men that attacked me." She added. Then looked up to see his reaction.

She saw the pain for her in his eyes, but not the shame, not the revulsion.

He swept around the table and lifted her into a hug meant to be comforting.

But was almost overwhelming.

He fought to maintain his temper. She was right if he'd know before they had

done it. He would have avoided getting close to her. Now he was going to

have to keep from treating her any differently than before.

"Does this mean you still want to be with me?" Helena asked hanging on

to his shoulders tightly.

"This means I'm not going anywhere." Fin promised.

..TBC.................