Something new, and fun…a one-shot short.

Brought to you by the letter B, for BABE, and S, for Stayce the awesomest editor in the world! Thanks Babe!

The Meaning of Cake

"Define true love." Ranger said absently, watching the house we were staking out from the window. His sudden question startled me. We had been sitting in silence for quite a while. For Ranger this was normal. For me...not.

"Errr... I'm not sure. I guess kind of like cake."


"What? It's the perfect combination. Soft and moist on the inside, with just the right amount of squishiness. Then the sweet layer of frosting, coating it all, protecting it."

Ranger glanced down at his stomach, and then met my gaze. "Babe."


"Soft and Squishy? I think I'm glad you're talking about Morelli and not me." He shook his head, then snorted. "Is that really how you picture Morelli someday?" I watched as his mouth widened into an amused grin.

"Who said anything about Morelli?" I poked Ranger's abs. "Maybe I was talking about you. Besides, even the hardest candy shell could be hiding a nice, squishy center."

"Squishy." Ranger repeated, giving his head a slight shake. "You saying Morelli's a pansy?"

I rolled my eyes. "I wasn't aware that Morelli fell into the true love category." I admitted. "He's more like the..." I suddenly realized that I was going to give away a rather important secret.

Ranger caught it, of course, and his eyes went dark. "The what, Babe?"

I sighed. "The temporary distraction while I wait for my perfect piece of cake to come to terms with its squishiness."

"I pity the poor, squishy bastard. Whoever he is." Ranger said, before focusing his attention back on the house. That was the end of the conversation. I thought maybe it was an insult against me, but figured I could get him back later.


"You can't honestly say that there isn't at least one part of you that's squishy." I broke the silence a while later, as we drove back to Rangeman.

Ranger slanted me a glance as he turned into the garage. "Not a single bit of squish to me."

Fine, I thought. We'd finish this conversation in a different way. I got out of the truck and followed him, one step behind. I steeled my nerve, and then reached out and grabbed his ass. Before I could even snatch my hand away, Ranger had spun and had me pinned against the wall. His eyes bore into mine.

"Feeling playful?" He asked.

"Just proving a point." I said.

"And what point would that be?"

I squeezed his ass again. "It's kind of squishy." But not really, I admitted. His ass was as perfectly toned as the rest of him. I was already in the doghouse, and probably he was mentally finalizing the details for which 3rd world country I was getting shipped to. So I did the only thing a girl could do in that situation.

I slid my hands around from his ass, across his hips, and around, splaying them across his lower abdomen. Then, I let them trail lower. "This is pretty squishy, too." Ok, if I was Pinocchio, my nose wouldn't fit through the door anymore. There wasn't an ounce of Ranger that could be classified as squishy.

Ranger reared back, and stared at me. I'd never seen him dumbfounded, before, and I wished I had a camera. It only lasted a split second before he composed himself, and moved in for the kill. We were nose to nose, and I could feel his hot breath against my lips. "You keep teasing and it won't be squishy for long." He threatened.

"Let's time it." I whispered, as I toyed with the waistband of his cargos.

"Babe." he warned.

His hands were on either side of my head, and he had me pinned against the wall with his shoulders. I know he was trying to maintain control. Probably he'd heard the same rumor everyone in Trenton had: That Morelli had proposed. Well, Morelli had proposed, but cannoli just isn't cake... I slid my hand further down, and encountered skin. A rush of heat shot through my body as my brain recognized Ranger's lack of underwear. And then, what had previously been soft and squishy became hard and huge.

Ranger growled, and shifted away from me. "Two more seconds and Tank is going to get one hell of a show."

"Then maybe we better take it upstairs." I suggested.

"You step into that elevator, there's no turning back." Ranger warned me, flexing his hips against mine as he pulsed in my hand.

Pretty sure there was no turning back the moment I stuck my hand down his pants. And ohhhh, I wanted him. I knew it was a bad idea, hell, it was probably the worst idea I'd ever had in my life, surpassing even my attempted flight off of the garage roof. I did the only thing a girl could do, though. I leaned in and kissed him, trailing my tongue across his lips.

The next thing I knew, we were in the elevator, and Ranger was scrambling the cameras. Then, he ducked his head and claimed my lips in a kiss that was both passionate and possessive. His lips were molded to mine, and his tongue tangled with my own. I moaned into his mouth and he broke the kiss, trailing light, short kisses down my jaw and neck, touching every spot with the tip of his tongue as he went. The doors dinged open and he walked me backwards as he kissed me. He pinned me against the door with his hips, never breaking the kiss as he let us into the apartment, and swung the door shut. I heard the keys hit the floor, but we were already halfway to the bedroom.

Our clothes wound up strewn from the door to the bed. It was almost as if they removed themselves - all I could tell you was Ranger's hands were everywhere. And then we were falling onto the bed. In one fluid movement Ranger settled over me, and then slid inside of me. Then he stilled and his eyes widened.

"Christ. Babe." He whispered, before taking my lips in a gentle kiss. I slid my tongue into his mouth to tangle with his, and flexed my hips against his, urging him to move.

"I wanted to take this slow." He groaned against my lips before kissing me again, and sliding out and back in with agonizing slowness.

"Take it slow next time." I gasped as I wrapped my legs around his hips. That was all it took. Ranger started moving, his strokes hard and fast. In no time at all, he spiraled both of us over the edge.

"Babe." he whispered into my hair, as he rolled us. He was still inside of me, and had been laying limp on top of me, his head beside mine on the pillow, face pressed into my hair. After he shifted us so we were lying on our sides, tangled together, he wrapped his arms tightly around me and tucked me into him, burying his face once again in my hair. I buried my face in his chest and clung tightly to him.

A while later, he slowly slid his hand between us, and gently pressed on my belly. Then he poked me. "Yeah," He said softly, "there is something to be said for squishy."

"Are you saying I'm fat?"

"No. Just nice and soft." He breathed in my ear, before rolling me underneath him and kissing me. I wrapped my arms around his neck, twining my fingers in his hair and pulling his head closer to me, breathing in his scent as our tongues danced together. He shifted his head, trying to twist away, and I whimpered as I tightened my grip on his hair.

"Babe. Let me make love to you." He whispered, then claimed my lips again. This time, the kiss ignited and the dance became a duel. My hands slid down and I clung to his shoulders as he switched tactics and rained kisses across my face. Slowly, Ranger made love to every inch of my body with his hands, lips, and tongue. He placed hot kisses down my shoulders, collarbone, and breasts, moving lower and lower at an agonizingly slow pace. As he reached my belly, he pause and nuzzled me. "So soft." he murmured, then placed an open-mouthed kiss below my belly button. I arched off the bed into his mouth, and his hand came up, pressing on my belly, holding me down. "Patience." He chuckled, and then he moved lower, where I wanted him most.

I was begging by the time he slowly made his way back up my body. He cradled my head in his hands and kissed me - a long, lingering kiss that tasted of him, and me, and love. I flexed my hips against his length, and he eased inside of me. I couldn't help but moan into his mouth as he filled me. Ranger broke the kiss and captured my gaze as he slowly pulled out of me.

"I love you." I whispered as he thrust back in. Ranger froze.

"Say it again." He requested, his voice barely a whisper.

"I..I love you."

"Babe." He groaned, and he lost control. We moved together in a frenzy, clinging tightly to one another as if we couldn't get close enough. In a matter of strokes, we spiraled over the edge together. I cried his name as he roared mine.

"You think the guys in the control room heard us?" I asked Ranger a while later. I was cradled in his arms again, and we were still breathing heavily.

"If they did, they know better than to say anything." He told me as his arms tightened around me. I buried my face in his neck and let myself enjoy the feel of his body against mine while he traced circles on my hip with one hand.

I must have dozed, because the next thing I was aware of was Ranger migrating south again. "We're going to get this right, this time." He rasped as he placed butterfly kisses across my stomach and down, down, down. I was hypersensitive from the last two times, and heat shot through my body.

"Ranger." I gasped. "I don't think -"

"Don't think." he answered, grasping my hips and holding me as I arched up to meet his mouth. Ranger was a master with his tongue, and he teased and tormented me until I was begging for mercy. I moaned as he slid two fingers inside me, and then he crooked them just right and I came undone.

When I came back to earth, Ranger was on top of me, poised at my entrance. His hands were fisted in my hair and his forehead was pressed against mine.

"Babe." he whispered reverently as he slid slowly inside of me once again. This time, he did love me slowly and thoroughly. His hands traveled everywhere as the slow burn increased and our bodies moved as if they were made for each other. I was conscious of nothing except the sounds he was making, and my own moans as I writhed beneath him.

"Mine." he growled as the burn increased. He picked up the tempo and then the fires consumed us completely.

I was pretty sure this was what heaven felt like. Pretty sure, even, that I was dead and in heaven. I could barely remember my name. Our orgasm had been as long and drawn out as our lovemaking had been. I nuzzled Ranger's neck and squirmed slightly. He had already moved us - I didn't know when. This time, I was on top of him with his arms wrapped around me.

"Sleep, Babe." I heard him murmur. That was suggestion enough, and I started to nod off. I didn't know, afterwards, if I dreamed it or not, but the last thing I heard was his whispered voice. "I love you."


I woke up the next morning tangled up with Ranger. I wasn't sure what woke me, at first, but then realized it was Ranger trying to slip out of bed. I tightened my arms around him and mumbled a protest.

"Babe. I have to go." he said softly. It was as if someone dumped a glass of ice water on me. I froze and came fully awake immediately. I'd forgotten, I guess, how much it had hurt the last time he'd done this. Maybe it was something in his genetic makeup. And I had been fool enough once again, to let him make love to me long into the night, only to have him walk away, again, in the morning. I watched briefly as he slid from the bed and moved towards the closet, but then I couldn't bear it anymore. I rolled over and curled into a ball, squeezing my eyes closed against the tears.

"Dial six and Ella will bring you breakfast." Ranger's voice filtered into my ears. I tried to block it - I loved the timber of his voice, and couldn't bear to hear it and know he would never be mine. Only I was fool enough to still think I could fly - to still take the proverbial leap off the garage roof, and expect it to come out well in the end. "Steph?"

The bed sagged slightly as Ranger sat down beside me, and pulled the blankets down off my face. I damned the tear that had leaked through my tightly shut eyes as he tucked my hair back away from my face with one finger. "What's going on?"

"Why?" I choked out. Why was he doing this again?

"Babe?" I gave my head a sharp shake, and turned my face away from him. I felt another tear leak out and cursed the day I walked into that coffee shop. "Steph." His voice took a slight tinge of impatience, not something I was used to hearing. "I'm late for a meeting. You need to tell me what's wrong." I still couldn't answer him. I was almost gagging on the lump in my throat, and fought to not scream and rail at him for loving me and leaving me...Again. Ranger blew out a sigh and kissed my cheek. "I have to go. Get breakfast from Ella and stay safe today. We'll talk about this tonight."

"If y-you're going to send me back to M-Morelli... You might as well just do it now." I couldn't stop my voice from cracking, and I hated myself for it. And I really couldn't handle waiting a whole day to hear it, having to see him again tonight, and know he would never be mine.

"Babe." I could hear the disbelief loud and clear in his tone, and then the bed dipped again as he sat beside me. He grasped my shoulders and rolled me so I was on my back, then planted a hand on either side of my head, leaning over me. "You're in my bed now." He pointed out, then gave his head a sharp shake. "Relationships are way too much effort." he muttered, before giving me a pointed look. "You're lucky I can't live without you."

I froze. "What?"

"You're mine. You're in my bed, and I'm keeping you." He stated. He moved his hands underneath me, then sat me up, pulling me into his chest. "Unless, of course, you don't want to be here." He added.

"You were going to leave again."

"It's morning, we forgot to set the alarm, and I'm late for a meeting."


Ranger set me back a bit, and looked into my eyes. "Do you want this, Steph?"

The answer to that was a no-brainer. I nodded. Ranger caught my lips in a gentle kiss. That did more than any words could, and I slowly relaxed into him. "Better?" He asked against my lips a moment later.


"I love you. Will you be here tonight?" I made another sound of agreement. "Bring Rex and spend the weekend." Ranger suggested. He pulled back a bit, and cupped my face in his hands, brushing a tear away from the corner of my eye with his thumb. "I really do have to go." He said again. "We'll talk about this more tonight, ok?"


Ranger tucked me back under the blankets, and kissed my forehead. "Go back to sleep, Babe." He said, before giving me one more soft kiss, and leaving the room. I burrowed deeper into his pillow and breathed in the lingering scent of Bulgari and Ranger. Then I heard him step back into the room.

"Babe." He said softly, and I opened one eye. "We'll have cake."