DISCLAIMER: Don't own anything associated with the show… I just like playing with the characters in it from time to time. Dance Monkeys! Dance!


SPOILERS: 8X04 The Case of the Cross-Dressing Carp

PAIRINGS: N&M's (Nick/Mandy)

Plopping down in the chair beside her, Wendy let loose with a deeply frustrated sigh. "Is this week over yet?"

With a slight shrug of her shoulders and a tilt of her head Mandy gave a negative response. "Not hardly."

"I don't know what's gotten in to everybody lately, but it's like they're all circling around their prey. I've had to scare the vultures away from my doorstep at least a dozen times so far this week." Wendy leaned forward, planting her hands on the table top for emphasis as she continued. "And today? I had to deal with Warrick AND Nick doing it. What the hell is in the water?!"

Throwing her arms up in the air and crashing back in the chair again with her exasperation, Wendy failed to notice the suddenly suspicious look on Mandy's face. Knowing Wendy was prone to exaggeration when it came to the guys and their antics around the lab, Mandy tried to remain objective, but this was different.

"What are you talking about?" She turned in her seat and fixed the woman with an intent look.

"Warrick was just a little too interested in some other case I was processing and I practically had to throw him out of my lab to get anything done. And Hodges…don't even get me started on that neurotic attention whore. TWICE! Twice I had to kick him out today. I've just had it, Mandy. I'm gonna talk to Grissom before next shift." Wendy had run out of steam, but Mandy was still wondering what was going on in the lab.

"Might not be a bad idea… He's pretty good at that kind of thing lately." She tried to get to the heart of her concern, without showing her hand. "But I thought you said Nick was in there, too?"

"Nick?" Wendy looked confused for a moment, and then the incident came back to her. "Oh! Yeah!" She looked practically indignant as she continued, "Little bugger was standing outside my lab trying to look all nonchalant, like he wasn't there waiting to come in. First he tried to say he was getting coffee, and then I asked him if he was looking for the results on his case and he jumped all over that one." She scoffed at the idea, but Mandy was more focused on the events than in her opinions.

"Anyway, after I gave him the results, I practically had to push him out again. Tried telling him that Warrick had been looking for him, but that didn't work. Finally, I busted him on the coffee thing and he went scurrying out of the lab. Like he was getting coffee from that part of the hall." Wendy laughed as she recounted the story. "Right there between the DNA, QD and Print labs…when the break room is all the way on the other side of the building. What a joke!"

Mandy ignored her outburst and asked, "And he was standing near the Print Lab? Weird, I don't remember seeing him there."

Wendy seemed to be drawn back from the edge of her feelings of righteous indignation with Mandy's question, and she said. "Um, well… I think that's when you followed Warrick to the break room with those print results on the hanged man-girl case."

Understanding finally dawned on Mandy and she grinned wickedly as she said, "Oh yeah… Now I remember."


"I'm tellin' ya… There's got to be something in the water around this place." Nick chuckled at his friend's exclamation. Warrick had been getting the "fresh meat" treatment around the lab ever since it was discovered that his divorce was final.

Flipping through the final toxicology report on their case, Nick nonchalantly fed him the line he needed to keep the tirade going. "How's that?"

Shaking his head, Warrick continued with his rant, "I've been reduced to hiding out in here, just to get a little work done. They're like vultures around here!"

"Whatever… You love every minute of it." Nick knew this was nothing new for Warrick, he had just gotten used to the ring keeping them in their place. He had always been something of a player, even at the lab.

Warrick leaned back in his chair and offered, "Don't get me wrong… Nice to know you got options, but can't they back off a little? I had to fight just to make it in here to have something to eat."

"Lemme guess, Lea from QD trying to show off her new tattoo again?" Nick winked at his friend, knowing that there was a little history between those two.

A smug look fell over Warrick's face and he answered, "Nah… That was last night." The waggle of his eyebrows made Nick laugh. "But Wendy was trying to use some other case she's got going to keep me in the DNA lab a little longer than necessary. Totally pulling the hair flip and giggle crap."

"Yeah, well…if it works."

"Don't even… I mean, it's not like she isn't fine, but I'm not going down that road, ya know?" Warrick shook his head as he contemplated the notion. "No way… Especially on the same shift, man. That's just askin' for trouble."

Nick nodded, but had his own opinions on the matter. "Not like it hasn't been done before."

"Not me… Not anymore." A sly grin turned the corners of his mouth as Warrick added, "Besides, if I was leaning that way…there's a better fish in that pond. And it's not like she isn't interested, too." Balling up his napkin, he tossed it into the pile with the remnants of his lunch, "Followed me in here earlier. Totally checking me out when she did."

At that point Nick was barely paying attention, so he had to ask, "Oh yeah? Who's that?"

Warrick tried to play it off as cool, but it was obvious the idea was working around inside his head. "Just the Sheena of the Ten-Card Jungle herself. And I'll tell ya, it's not like I wouldn't mind leaving a few latents there."

Nick's spine instantly went rigid with Warrick's salacious comments. "Mandy? How do you know she's…interested?"

At first he shrugged off the question, and then he leaned forward as he spoke in a conspiratorial tone, "Just that she was peeking out of the Print Lab when I walked by, and then tried to cover it up by making up some business about the print stuff being done on the case."

Bristling with anger and jealousy, Nick bit back his first response. Instead he tried to figure out exactly what had happened, because Warrick had been known to exaggerate a little, from time to time. "And that means she was looking for you?"

"I don't know, but she followed me in here to give me the report on those prints, and the whole time she kept looking around to see who was watching. And she'd turn all red when I'd catch her." Warrick's smug expression was enough to get Nick's blood heating up to a low boil. "Even looked all sad when she saw we weren't alone when we got here. Poor Henry thought she was mad at him for being here."

The air began to return to Nick's lungs when he started putting the pieces together. Warrick finally confirmed his suspicion when he said, "Then she kept looking at her watch and made some weak ass excuse about having to get back to the Print Lab to run something for Catherine. Like we weren't working the same case."

Nick had to work to keep the knowing smile from rising on his face, but he managed a small chuckle and left his friend with a parting shot. "Oh yeah… You're still the player."


After pulling on a t-shirt, Nick tossed his wet towel into the hamper and padded across the carpet in his bare feet. On his way to the kitchen, he stopped to grab the paper from the coffee table.

Flipping through the sections until he found the sports, he paused at the counter to check the box scores. Once he knew the basic stats, he propped the paper up on the counter and went straight to the fridge.

He returned to the counter with a bowl, a stick of butter, some eggs and a loaf of bread. In few short minutes he was turning on the skillet to heat, and dipping the bread into the egg mixture. He always loved Cinnamon-Vanilla French Toast, and it was his one culinary claim to fame.

As he listened to the slow sizzle of the last two pieces of French Toast, he was trying to catch up on the pennant race. Nick still couldn't believe that the Rockies had managed to pull it off, but he worried that they would be too rested by the time the Series actually started. He was flipping the toast on autopilot, judging totally by the sound, because his eyes were sealed to the article about the Rockies' wunderkind pitcher.

His arms instantly rose in surprise when he felt another set reach around his middle, just as a strange head was plopped onto his shoulder. Once the shock wore off, he chuckled, leaned his head back into hers and accused, "You're late."

"Tell me about it!" Mandy released a deep sigh with her tired exclamation. "They better find someone to replace Jacqui soon, or I'm gonna quit."

Nick laughed at her empty threat. He knew full well that she would never leave the lab. "Whatever you say." When she lightly smacked his belly and laughed, he knew that Mandy understood she was busted.

Finally realizing that Nick was cooking something, Mandy craned her neck to see over his shoulder. "Oooooo… I love your French Toast." She tightened her grip on him and snuggled back into his shoulder.

When he was about to flip one of the slices, Mandy straightened up with a start. "Oh wait… I'm supposed to be mad at you."

The confusion evident on his face, Nick turned around to ask, "And why's that?"

Mandy worked desperately to hold the mock scowl on her face when she said, "Oh nothing…just for putting the moves on Wendy today."

Nick instantly dropped the spatula and it toppled onto the floor with a solid thud. "What?!" He bent down to reach for it as his tried to process her comment. When he returned to standing Mandy held out her hand for the utensil.

She quickly took it to the sink to wash it off. Nick was desperately trying to figure when or why anyone would have told Mandy something like that, especially when it never happened. "Who the hell told you that?"

With her back turned to him, Mandy shrugged her shoulders and nonchalantly responded. "Wendy."

All the air leapt right out of his chest with that single word. He knew that he hadn't been putting the moves on anyone, but for Mandy to hear it straight from the horse's mouth gave it credence he couldn't help but recognize. He immediately started to sputter, "Look… I have-I've got no cl-… I mean, seriously I would never… Mandy, you know I wouldn't-" His fumbling attempt to defend himself was halted by the sound of her laughter as she struggled to turn around and face him. He couldn't believe it, she was laughing so hard that tears were streaming down her face.

Striking an instantly indignant pose, hands firmly on his hips, Nick spat out. "That's not funny, Webster. Seriously! Jokes like th-"

"Hey!" She cut him off as she smartly handed him back the spatula. "It wasn't a joke… Well, not on my account, anyway. Wendy seriously thought you were flirting with her."

"Yeah… Whatever. Like I'd tempt fate like that, and with her?" His incredulous expression told her what he thought of that idea. "No way."

Mandy smiled at his conclusion and then she pointed at the stove. "Gonna start to smoke soon."

"Crap!" Nick quickly moved to pick up the remaining slices before they were ruined.

Mandy returned to her position at his back, her arms snaking around his middle to hold him comfortably. Nick always enjoyed the feeling of her body snuggled into his as they danced in place, but it was his turn to make a little mischief.

He patted her arms and then turned out of her grasp when he shot over his shoulder, "I'm surprised you have any energy left for practical jokes, Webster… After following Warrick around the lab like a shark with fresh meat."

Her mouth dropped open, leaving a completely shocked expression firmly lodged on her face. However, it was quickly replaced with indignity. "As if!"

Grabbing the food, Nick made his way past her as he walked to the table. "Not the way I heard it."

"And just what was it you heard?" She fixed him with a fierce glare that made his concentration crumble away as he began to laugh from his toes. "What's so funny, Stokes?"

"Oh nothin'…You're just really cute when you're busted." She suddenly realized that Nick was merely teasing her, and she smiled shyly with her embarrassment. He shook his head and motioned for her to sit down at the table.

Before she finally acquiesced, he added, "Ya know… I was just thinking about poor Warrick. The guy's convinced himself that he's this irresistible target for all the women in the department, and I have to wonder if it isn't all in his head."

She sat down, playing off that she was in a bit of huff as she unfolded her napkin and laid it in her lap. "Well, if he doesn't leave Wendy alone, she's gonna get nasty."

Nick could tell that she was actually still a little mad at his version of the same joke. He bent down and kissed the top of her head before pushing in her chair. "You mean…more than normal?"

And that did it. She was laughing again. With the playing field leveled, they were able to enjoy their breakfast together.

After savoring her last bite of French Toast, Mandy trailed her finger through the tiny bit of syrup left on her plate and hummed with delight. "You look like you're about five when you do that," Nick laughed at the familiar sight.

As she stood up from the table, Mandy stuck her tongue out in an equally childish gesture. When she began to grab for the plate in front of him he tried to stop her. "Where're you goin' with that?"

She rolled her eyes and informed him, "Since you gobbled up your toast about ten minutes ago and were just reading the paper again, I figured you were done." She turned and was about to stalk off with her own plate. "Excuse m-" Nick grabbed her arm and yanked her back into his lap, which elicited a huge yelp from Mandy.

"I wasn't done with you either." As he wrapped her up in his arms, Nick held her arms firmly in his grasp. She stopped wiggling the moment she was caught in his intense gaze. Their eyes were locked as he leaned in and caught her lips with his in a demanding kiss.

Like someone switched a heat lamp on over a morning glory, Mandy wilted into his embrace, her body forming to his in an instant. When he felt all of her resolve melt away he slackened his grip on her body and began to let his hands roam around. She responded by draping her left arm over his shoulders as her right hand stroked his face.

His left hand began to rub up and down the length of her thigh while the other slipped in beneath the hem of her shirt and blazed a path over her bare back. The heat continued to build between them, forcing Nick to re-think his plan of action. His first thought when she'd moved away from the table was only to tease her a little, but her proximity destroyed that notion when he felt her warm body against him. At the moment the only thing he could concentrate on was the feel of her bottom pressed into his lap.

While he struggled to formulate a solution to his current dilemma, Mandy must have sensed his changing thought processes as she released his mouth and leaned her forehead onto his with a deep sigh. He was afraid that he might have given her the wrong impression, but he also wanted to be sure he was on the right track. "Too much?"

She scrunched up her brow and stuttered, "W-What? No… What are you talking about?"

Nick tried to look away from her gaze as his cheeks started to burn with embarrassment. "Sorry, I just thought maybe I was-… I don't know, getting carried away?"

Mandy draped her arm around his shoulders again and leaned over to press her cheek to his when she asked, "What is it? You're never like this…not here, not with me. What's going on in that head of yours?"

His arms protectively encircling her body, Nick heaved a sigh and tried to release all of the pent up frustration the day had given him. Without so much as a lead in, he simply stated, "I don't like it."

The giggle she dropped into his ear helped to lessen some of the pain, but he knew she wouldn't settle for such a vague answer. "Don't even stop there, Dude… What's going on? What don't you like?"

He started to play with an imaginary spot on her leg as he finally admitted it to her, as well as himself. "I don't like it that they talk about you like that. It's not right." Nick felt her pull away to look at him directly, but he kept his gaze on that troublesome spot only he could see. "And I hate that I can't do anything about it. That I have to just sit there and listen to them talk about you…like I was one of them…like I don't know the truth."

Before he could finish, she reached in and lifted his gaze to meet hers as he concluded, "I don't like not being able to tell anyone and everyone to back off, because you're…" The last words caught in his throat when he saw the tenderness in her eyes as she stroked his cheek. "Because you're mine." Without thinking, he held her just a little tighter as the primal instinct of possessiveness took over his actions.

Mandy squinted her eyes and a devious grin played at the corner of her mouth when she asked for clarification, "Yours, huh?"

The blush came upon his face when he realized she was busting him, too. "Yeah… You know what I mean." She pursed her lips as she fought the urge to smile at his discomfort and insecurity. He tried to chuckle and release some of the nervousness as he explained, "I just want to stop them from saying those things about you. And I don't want to have make excuses to Wendy or anybody else, when all I want to do is take you out for coffee in the middle of a shift."

"You want to work separate shifts? Because with everyone freaking out about the Grissom and Sara crap, that's exactly what'll happen, Nick." She snuggled back down into him and went on, "And I know all about that whole "boys talk' garbage. That's all it is. You know it, I know it, and they know it, too. But if it keeps them entertained, and off my back when I'm working, then let them talk. That's all it is, Nick."

He couldn't believe his ears. If one of his sisters had ever heard the kinds of things being said about Mandy (or any of the other women at the lab) among the various single males in the department, being said about them, heads would have been rolling up and down the lab corridors. But Mandy was perfectly willing to let it continue, and even seemed to encourage it. "How can you say that?"

"Easy… It's not true, and the only person that matters knows it, too. So why should I care that those guys discuss my body parts and fictitious dating proclivities?" She squeezed his neck and kissed his cheek when she added, "And besides, they have yet to get my measurements right, so you could totally win the whole pool with your eyes closed." That made him laugh.

"The way I remember, that's how I did it the first time." Her laughter warmed his spirit, even though a small amount of anger remained.

When the brief moment of levity passed, he was still replaying the conversation with Warrick, and the frustration he felt as he was forced to hold his tongue. Mandy sighed with resignation and asked, "Fine… Do you want me to find out about that job at the state lab?"

Nick pushed her away and looked back with the alarm plainly on his face. "No! Why would you ask that?!"

"Because you're obviously having a hard time with us working together. And it's not like you can just go somewhere else in town." She stood up and took the plates into the kitchen as she shrugged and went on, "I mean, I'd be at the bottom of the pecking order, and who knows what kind of hours I'd have, but if it would make it easier for you, the-"

She didn't get a chance to finish because the moment she set the plates down Nick was right behind her, pulling her into his grasp when he said, "Stop!" He took an extra moment to breathe, trying to calm himself. "That's not it. Not at all. It just bugs me that they think they can talk like that, because I can't tell them not to without drawing suspicion."

Mandy rolled her eyes and asked, "Like you don't do the same thing with the other girls in the lab?"

"No… I don't. Not like that." He could tell she wasn't buying it and he felt a small tinge of hurt. "Sure, I'll say when someone is hot, but I never go any farther. It's not right, and I wouldn't want anyone saying that crap about any woman, let alone the one who sleeps with my arm tucked under her head."

The smile that rose on her face healed his wounded pride, but the way she pulled him close and snuggled into his chest was like a magic elixir to cure all that ailed him. "Remind me to thank your sisters at Christmas."

The chuckle her comment elicited rumbled straight from his chest and into her body. "I don't know… I think my folks might've had a little somethin' to do with it."

She lifted away from him and placed a kiss on his cheek before returning to the kitchen when she said, "I already thank them for making such a sexy beast for me to play with every day."

He closed his eyes and smirked at the salacious wink Mandy used to punctuate her retort. When he opened them again, she was bent over the dishwasher, loading the day's victims onto the racks. Watching her go back and forth from the sink to the dishwasher was doing incredible things for his libido each time her shirt rose over the perfectly round cheeks of her ass.

Slowly, he moved to stand directly behind her and reached for the object of his desire when he asked, "Does that mean I have to thank your Dad for this?" He squeezed the item in question for emphasis and Mandy squeaked in response.

She spun around to face him with a surprised and slightly flushed look. "Don't you dare!"

Nick squinted a little and sneered, "You mean you don't want me to tell him that the way you wiggle that thing makes my blood pump?"

He watched her cheeks blaze with a furious blush and he smiled. "No…" She finally managed to regain some control and then she said, "I'd like to keep you in one piece, thank you very much."

"Oh come on… You don't think the Sarge'd like to know that his baby girl's sweet as-"

Instead of letting him finish that statement, Mandy cut him off with a deep and seemingly endless kiss. When she finally let go of his mouth, he could only stare in wonder. "I'm just gonna have to keep that mouth of yours busy to head off that idea at the pass." To emphasize her argument, she pulled her body flush with his and ground into him with her hips.

Swallowing to make sure his body was still responding to his thoughts, Nick tried to form an intelligible response. "Mmmmm, no complaints here."

The time for talking was over, and Nick ducked his head in to capture her lips as they stood in the middle of the kitchen. From the start this kissing took on a far more serious nature. Unconsciously, he began moving them forward with every breath he stole from her lungs with his mouth. One step at a time, nudging her back as he pressed further into her mouth, and they kept going until he had pressed her into the counter.

With the counter at her back, Nick's movement pushed his body into hers and the feeling only increased his need for her. Dropping his right hand to her hip, he found that Mandy's hands were holding onto the edge of the counter to maintain her balance. Realizing that she was reeling from the effects of his kisses made him smile as he finally broke his hold on her mouth.

Looking into her eyes, he reached up and gently brushed the hair from her face. An impish grin formed on his lips when he then bent down to begin worshipping at her long luscious neck. Starting from the space behind her right ear, he suckled at the tender flesh he had always found terribly enticing. From the first press of his lips there, Mandy lolled her head to the other side with a soft whimper.

There were a great many things he had learned about Mandy over the course of their relationship. He knew that she was even funnier in private, that she had the weird habit of lining up the cans in the cupboard according to size, that she had a set of towels for keeping on the rack and another for actually using every day, that she whistled in her sleep if she slept on her back, that the Ben & Jerry's ice cream was not to be touched by him at any time, that she was an early riser and far too much of a morning person before his first cup of coffee, and that he could make her legs give out with some well-placed, well-timed kisses on her neck. As much as he adored kissing her neck, he knew she got even more out of it.

Safe with his knowledge, Nick slid his tongue down the entire length of her Carotid. The move, while very pleasant for all parties, had a real purpose. He used the action to judge the pulse in that vessel, so that when he reached the spot where it disappeared behind the collarbone he could press his first kiss into it in time with her heartbeat. Each kiss, following the same rhythm, increased in suction every time, drawing the supple flesh between his lips. He was rewarded for the feat by the almost guttural moan that escaped Mandy's throat, and vibrated on his caressing lips.

Nick's hands trailed down to her hips and he felt her body trembling. Deciding that it was better to be safe than sorry, he quickly lifted her up to rest on the counter. It didn't hurt that, on top of not having to hold her up, it also gave him even greater freedom to explore her body. As he looked into her eyes Mandy leaned in to envelope his mouth with hers, kissing him deeply and letting him know that this was exactly what they both wanted; what they both needed.

As they continued to kiss, Nick's deft fingers slipped the buttons of her blouse free. He wanted to see as much of her as he could, and he knew that her body was his to see; only his. He rarely felt so possessive, but even the thought of someone else considering her for their own made him feel a burning need to know he possessed her. He needed her to know it, too.

Once the buttons were free Nick broke from the embrace of their lips with a soft, wet pop and immediately began to burn a trail over the skin on her chest. He felt her arch into him, and as he felt her bra fall before him he knew that she had released the garment. It made him smile to see her demonstrate her willingness to give him this peace of mind. Mandy knew him better than anyone ever had. Even his own family didn't understand him the way she did.

He ran his hands up along her sides, softly gripping her as he tried to soothe his own insecurities. She was his, and while he knew it in his heart, sometimes his mind needed a refresher course. His hands and his lips were on a crash course with each other, both attempting to attain the same goal. As his lips peppered the top of her breasts, his fingers skirted along the undersides, each teasing the ample flesh into a peaking fever. When his mouth finally closed around one dark and sultry nipple, his fingers played with the other hardened tip. As she arched into him again he knew without a doubt that it was his doing this time.

While he gave tribute to her breasts, Nick began to feel Mandy's fingers digging into his shoulders. It took him a moment to register that she was trying to tell him something. When he finally looked up from his task she was able to speak in a breathless whisper, "Shirt…off."

A devious smirk turned the corner of his mouth and he stepped back to grab the hem of his t-shirt. With a seductive wink Nick leaned in to steal another kiss from her swollen lips and then whisked the shirt off of his body in a flash. And when he quickly ducked back to the task at hand he found that her hands were blazing a path over his shoulders and down his back, leaving a slow burning fire in their wake. There was something about the feel of her hands freely roaming over his body that was incredibly arousing to him.

As much as he was enjoying the feeling of her breasts on his lips, on his tongue, he needed more, and so did Mandy. He moved to the space between her breasts, kissing over every inch he found in her cleavage, but his hands moved away completely. They had other things to do. He worked to pop the button on her slacks as his lips made their way down the length of her torso. By the time he was sliding the zipper down Mandy had caught on to his plan and lifted her hips from the counter to aide in removing the garment.

Making quick work of the rest of her clothes, Nick was treated to the astounding vision of Mandy's naked form in the middle of their kitchen counter. There was something decidedly erotic about seeing the woman he loved in such an aroused state, ready and waiting on him to give her all that he had, and all that she wanted. His delight at seeing her like that made him dip in for another rapturous caress of their mouths.

Their tongues waged a silent, but desperate battle for dominance and it took his breath away. She was showing him how much she needed him with her kiss, and it was almost disorienting to feel such passion being poured into him through her actions. When they finally broke the kiss, he tried to surge forward again only to find his shorts resting around his ankles. As he looked back up at her, Mandy only sighed and captured his mouth again, pulling him tight against her chest. Dragging her lips along his jaw, she stopped only to breathe into his ear, "Yours… Only yours."

That was too much for him. To hear Mandy soothing his ego and making all of his fears evaporate with just those few words made his heart ache. He wondered what he had ever done to be worthy of such an amazing woman. He tucked his face into the crook of her shoulder and tried to regain his balance. She continued to caress his back with her heated touch, whispering those words into his ear again. "Only yours."

Holding her tightly in his arms, Nick wasn't prepared for what she was about to say next. Her hands smoothed down his sides and then reached around to the front. As her fingers made contact with his groin his gaze snapped back up to hers just as she moaned, "Now… Need you now."

With her hands stroking over the length of him his breathing stuttered and his eyes began to cloud over from the sheer pleasure her warm, wonderful touch evoked in him. Squeezing his eyes shut, he grimaced from the strength it took to hold firm and not ruin the whole thing in a brief moment of bliss.

Nick wrapped his arms firmly around her and pulled Mandy from the counter as she gripped him with her legs. He rested her on the very edge of the counter for the moment that it took to guide himself into position. When she squeezed him tightly with her legs, he knew it was time. In one swift motion he was inside of her and she dug her fingers into his back with the sensation.

It took a moment before Nick could do any more than cling fiercely to Mandy, desperate to maintain that perfect point in time. But it could only stay that way for a painfully short period before his baser needs began to take control. Pushing forward, he drove more deeply into her before tilting his hips back to withdraw only a little.

His next thrust had Mandy practically digging holes in his shoulders with her fingers, but she never said a thing. Nick lifted his head and sought her face. He found her eyes half closed and she was gnawing on the corner of her bottom lip. Once she realized that he had stopped, she cautiously opened her eyes to find him staring at her. Pressing her gently into the counter Nick lifted a hand to her chin and spoke with a raw passion coloring his words, "Don't… Don't hold back."

Mandy's answer came to him when she released her bottom lip and captured his mouth with another fiery kiss. Her hot lips attacked his with a passion that he knew very well. He knew she understood that this was completely about their need, not just his.

To drive his point home, he pulled back and pivoted his hips in an upward arc, crashing into her. Mandy's head fell back just enough to afford him access to her throat again. Nick pressed his lips into the flesh and drew it in, suckling before releasing it with a decadent slurping sound. Each press of his lips was joined with another well-timed thrust, and they were met with a gasp from the woman in his embrace.

Nick felt a trickle of sweat glide down the middle of his back. He released Mandy's neck and pulled his head back to get a look at his handiwork. There was a fine sheen of perspiration over her body, gooseflesh had risen across every inch of skin his eyes could see, and the gentle mewling coming from deep within her chest gave him an intense measure of pride.

Mandy clasped her hand behind his neck and pulled him back to her, gasping out, "Nick… Don't stop." He could feel her hot breath on his ear and her fingers kneading through the short hairs on the back of his head. "Take me."

He smiled and then leaned forward to draw her earlobe into his mouth for a brief nibble. Needing one last tease before he was ready to give in to the final throes of passion that would satiate them both, Nick heard her desperate whimper and knew it was his final queue.

Nick placed one hand firmly on her hip, holding her tightly against him, while the other braced him against the cabinet behind them. Nudging her hair back, he tipped in to whisper into her ear, "Hold on." And she did. Her grip around his shoulders tightened and she hooked her ankles over his tight ass.

There was one last thing he needed do. He brought his gaze back to her face and sweetly kissed her one more time. His eyes must have betrayed his need because Mandy kept her lips touching his as she softly promised, "Only yours."

He had to fight to swallow back the lump forming in his throat with her reassuring words of devotion. Kissing her again, he hoped that she could also see the vows of loyalty that were failing him in words. She simply responded by tightening her grip around his hips and pressing her heels into his backside.

When he began to move again, Mandy buried her face in his neck and groaned. Nick began a slow and steady pace of rolling his hips to plunge into her depths. Her stuttering breathing rushing past his ear helped to drive him forward, gradually increasing his pace.

In no time, he was hammering into her. The sweat dripped into his eyes, slicked down his arms, poured down his back. Mandy's hands slid from his shoulders to his neck as she struggled to hold on in their superheated state. He knew they were both so close, his body was tight in anticipation of the moment of release, and he could practically taste the tension building in Mandy's body as he continued to pummel her.

This was not a gentle expression of their love. No, this was about raw passion, and a sharp desperate need for him to possess her. This was about two people knowing without a doubt that they belong to each other, and no one else could ever come between them. With each thrust of his body into hers, Nick was making her his own. And Mandy held him tighter and tighter showing him in crystal clear fashion that he belonged only to her.

As every neuron in his body began to fire at once, his vision clouded over and his entire universe exploded around him with those last fierce and demanding thrusts. The only thing he knew as consciousness began to return to his mind was that he could still feel Mandy pulsing around him, softly whispering into his ears her promises of love.

There was nothing to misinterpret about this.