Once again, I had major problems with writers block on this chapter. I hope it's okay and that you all enjoy the chapter.
Once again, many thanks to Ash for her invaluable help with the chapter.
She felt safe here.
In his bed, wearing his shirt, his smell, him, surrounding her, enveloping her, protecting her. She was safe here, and just for a second, feeling the tentative touch of his large hand against her shoulder, Rebecca allowed herself to smile.
Nothing could hurt her here. She was safe here, just a woman, her clothes strewn across his room, discarded like her disguise, not a victim, not an agent.
Not a profiler, cracking under the pressure.
His hand stroked her arm, stilling tingling, singed from the scalding shower, soothing away the pain like the water had washed away who she pretended to be.
He wanted Rebecca when she came to his door.
"Do you think he was there?"
She jerked away from him, from his touch, his caress suddenly burning her skin, twisting in the bed to face him, her damp, dishevelled hair falling across her shoulder. "How could you ask me that? How could you ask me that here?"
Her sanctuary, gone, punctured, destroyed with careless words.
"Bless me, Father, for I have sinned." He jerked his hand through the motions of crossing himself. "It has been one week since my last confession."
So many sins to confess.
He could still feel their eyes on him, could still hear their laughter in his head. Why did they always laugh at him?
He fought to control his anger, to bite down on the anger and humiliation lacing through him. His hands twitched, curling, the fingers angled like claws, her skin soft and delicate beneath his touch.
He gasped for breath, remembering.
He just wanted to be happy. He just wanted to be in love. He just wanted THEM TO STOP LAUGHING AT HIM.
"What sins do you have to confess, my son?" The priest's voice was wooden, dull, almost bored. Another faceless petitioner. Another catalogue of petty sins. He wondered if, even now, the priest was trying to figure out who he was.
If only he knew.
"I have lusted, Father." He shifted in his seat, only part of his nervousness feigned. "I have gone to clubs and I…"
"You're a young man, my son." The priest's voice had warmed a little, coloured a little by embarrassment. "These are all perfectly normal desires. You didn't act on them, did you?"
Even before he finished speaking, Danny knew he had made a mistake. He felt her body jerk, out of his reach, away from his touch, letting the cold fill the space between them.
"How could you ask me that? How could you ask me that here?"
He could hear the tremor in her voice, could hear the fingertip grip she had on her control, her desperation.
The façade unravelling.
How could he fuck things up?
She stared at him for an instant, then turned away, her long hair falling between them, a barrier across his sheets. He could smell his shampoo still clinging to her hair, mingling with the fading smell of his aftershave.
"Blon…Rebecca…" He hung his head, seeing her shoulders shake, reaching out his hand towards her. "I'm sorry, Rebecca. I don't know what I was thinking."
The bed was safe, a sanctuary, the one thing she had insisted on, the first time she had arrived at his door, barefoot, shoes clutched in her hand, mask crumbling under the strain Webb had placed on her. The one place where she didn't have to talk about the shadows and darkness around them.
And he had fucked it all up.
"I'm sorry, Rebecca."
No answer, her face pressed against the pillow, the thick curtain of her hair, hiding her from his gaze.
No answer, except for the silent shake of her body.
He sighed heavily, running his hand through his hair in frustration. Standing up, reaching for his jeans, his body instantly cold away from the heat of her body. Away from her.
"I'm just gonna go…."
His voice trailed off, and he looked away, searching through the clutter of clothes in his room.
Maybe by the time he came back, she'd have forgotten his carelessness.
God, she was so beautiful.
Haunting, a flickering candle in the bar, her smile sad, full of pain, aching with loss and loneliness and….
With something I cant even explain.
It's hypnotising, intoxicating.
I cant stop myself, staring at her, the photo small and crude. It robs her of something, of the haunting beauty that called to me in the club. Sad and lonely. No one has ever been able to touch her, been able to reach the real her.
As lonely as I am.
Maybe I could be the one to make her smile, the way she should smile.
And maybe she'll be the one I need.
God, she's beautiful.
"Blon….Rebecca. I'm sorry, Rebecca. I don't know what I was thinking."
She felt his presence slip away from her, the bed odd and too big now that he was gone from her side, the sheets tangled around her. She could feel the pressure on his fingers against her skin.
Could feel the touch, the brush of invisible fingers against her throat.
She drew a whimpering breath, struggling to breathe around the pressure, the grip tightening around her throat. She could almost see his face, dark with anger, staring into her eyes.
Why did these demons crawl into her when he wasn't there to protect her?
The word slipped from her, slipped into the silent room like a gasp, a last breath, torn from her throat.
"Yeah?" His voice was gruff, struggling with his own emotions, his own failings.
She didn't look at him, her hand reaching, searching blindly for him. Relieved when she felt his hand grasp hers.
"I'll tell you what I think, Danny."
"No." His answer firm, definite, despite the hesitancy, uncertainty in his touch. "No, Rebecca, it doesn't matter."
She continued as if he hadn't spoken. "I'll tell you what I think. But not here, not now." She adjusted her grip, linking her fingers through his, pulling him back towards her with surprising strength. "In the morning. When we're…"
"No, Blondie." He let her guide him back onto the bed, wrapping his arms around her, cushioning her small body against his larger frame. "You have to tell Paul and Webb…"
It never ceased to amaze him, frighten him how small she was, how fragile.
"In the morning." Her voice was soft, almost a whisper, almost asleep, the burning hands gone from around her neck, stretching in his embrace. "Just hold me tonight."
Safe in his arms.
End of Chapter Six.