A/N: To be honest, I lost a lot of inspiration for this story...that is, until I heard the song "Realize" by Colbie Caillat! (Although I love John Nathaniel's version much better. Check out. He's a very nice guy! haha!) Anyway, I do apologize for the hiatus. It's tough working on 3+ stories at once! haha! I hope I still managed to capture the essence of this story. Thank you to those who reviewed last chapter: CrimsonKissMJ, BelhavenOnTap, IrishSaints, Jade Opal, A Hotter Kiss A Better Touch and bella89. Love your ongoing support! Enjoy this next one, because who knows when I'll update again! haha! xx IFHD

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Chapter 3: Temptation

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"Realize"

By: Colbie Caillat

Take time to realize,
That your warmth is
Crashing down on in.
Take time to realize,
That I am on your side
Didn't I, didn't I tell you.

But I can't spell it out for you,
No it's never gonna be that simple
No I can't spell it out for you

If you just realize what I just realized,
Then we'd be perfect for each other
and will never find another
Just realized what I just realized
we'd never have to wonder if
we missed out on each other now.

Take time to realize
Oh, oh I'm on your side
didn't I, didn't I tell you.
Take time to realize
This all can pass you by
Didn't I tell you

It's not always the same
no it's never the same
if you don't feel it too.
If you meet me half way
If you would meet me half way.
It could be the same for you.

If you just realize what I just realized

Missed out on each other now
Missed out on each other now

Realize, realize
Realize, realize

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Through the comfortable silence between her and Connor and the distant humming of the vehicle motor, Lourdes could only steal discreet glances at the MacManus from time to time. He seemed wholly concentrated upon the nearly empty road in front of him, only throwing Lourdes mere nods of acquiesce when she gave directions to her home. He seemed neither tense nor angry, but just thoughtful. Though, Lourdes wasn't one for long silences, comfortable or not. Thinking that it was the opportune moment for them to finally catch up after all these months, she quietly questioned, "Did you ever think about whatever happened to us when you found out that we had left Boston?" Though, deep in her heart, what she really meant to ask was if he had ever thought of her after she and her agents had left.

"Everyday." Connor replied in almost a mere whisper, still keeping his firm gaze upon the road before him. I thought about ye every day was what he really meant to say; though he remained silent and refused to verbally correct himself. What he didn't want to admit was the fact that he had ignored her calls all those months ago out of spite, never knowing that it would be her last ones before departing forever. He had been so consumed with jealousy, anger, and hurt after he had seen Lourdes and Sean kissing at McGuinty's that he eventually resorted to juvenile actions. Now, he was only consumed with regret and confusion.

How could he have been so stupid?

"I'm head of a division of the Irish Garda now, you know?" Lourdes piped up lightly to steer the conversation into a more positive direction. She absently scanned the brightly-lit city around her, a small smile tugging at the side of her lips. Lightly laughing at the memory, she recounted, "I thought that Keele, my boss, was going to fire me after the catastrophe that was last year, but a few weeks after we had landed, he just promoted me! I still have my lovely team of agents working with me. You remember Isolde and Braden, don't you?"

"Aye. Murph actually mentioned Isolde a few times." Connor gave her a curt nod, momentarily eyeing her. "And I suppose Sean's still workin' with ye?"

The smile upon Lourdes' face visibly dissipated. Somehow, she knew that the subject of Sean would always come up in a conversation with Connor sooner or later, no matter how hard she tried to avoid it. "Aye." She turned her head away from his searching sapphires. "He's my partner now."

In more ways than one, Connor scoffed to himself, feeling his contained anger rising once more. As he turned and parked on Lourdes' driveway, the Saint was finally unable to control the rage that he felt. Turning off the engine, his head snapped to Lourdes' form. With eyes afire, he barked callously, "How the fuck are ye engaged to me cousin?"

Lourdes instantly paled at the question and remained stalk still in her seat. As she met Connor's flaming orbs, it seemed as though the hundreds of gallons of water had finally burst through the crack in the dam. She had known that this had been the reason for his dismissive and callous behaviour. But seeing all the rage and anger manifested in his expression made her heart constrict. Stammering weakly, she replied, "I don't…I don't know. One thing just led to another and…he just proposed to me out of the blue and…"

"Did ye tell 'im what 'appened between us in Boston?"

Lourdes bit her bottom lip at the volume of his voice, fighting the tears that were steadily forming in her eyes. "No, I…" she croaked with a quiver, finding herself unstable under Connor's narrowed stare. "He doesn't know. He just thinks that you and I were close associates, and…"

At the beginning of the evening, when Sean had cheerfully announced his engagement to Lourdes, Connor had immediately felt betrayed by his cousin. Unbeknownst to the young Flannagan or not, Sean had definitely pulled a Brutus in Connor's eyes. But now? It seemed apparent to him that all this time, Lourdes had been the one who had betrayed him, intentional or not. By not informing Sean of what had transpired between them in Boston, shouldn't the guilty finger be pointed at her? Shouldn't he be angered by the fact that she had indirectly denied him by not making her feelings known to her dear fiancée? With unbridled anger sweeping through him, he snatched the sides of Lourdes' arms, abruptly turning her to fully face him. "Why didn't ye tell 'im, huh?" Connor didn't care how transparent his hurt had become. "Ye were too afraid?"

Unsuccessfully attempting to pull away from his vice grip, Lourdes wailed, "How the fuck was I supposed to know that I'd see you again? You didn't reply to any of my calls, never once tried to contact me!" She was fully crying now, tears elicited by the anger that she had kept locked within for so long. "How was I supposed to know how you felt? That you were still alive?"

"Bullshit!" Connor snarled through gritted teeth, jerking her towards him once more. "Were ye thinkin' 'bout me when ye were all over Sean at McGuinty's? Hmm? Because I don't fuckin' think ye were, by the looks o' it!"

Suddenly, everything became clear to Lourdes. Connor had seen the drunken Sean kissing her that night…but had not seen the way she had pulled away a few moments later. It had been a misunderstanding then. Though, keeping her jaw clenched, Lourdes spat in return, "You shouldn't talk! Why don't you go be with Aileen, huh?"

Although Connor had admittedly taken Aileen's flirtatious advances that night, he would never, ever in his life think of being with anyone but Lourdes, let alone be engaged to anyone else. Denying the obligation to answer Lourdes' latter statement, he scoffed, "Ye never felt anythin' real fer me, Lourdes. Admit it. Ye knew ye were only gonna be in Boston fer a few months, that all o' what we 'ad was goin' ta be temporary." He gave her another shake for good measure. "Ye threw yer arms 'round me 'cause I was there, 'cause it was convenient fer ye. Fer all I fuckin' know, it could've been Murphy that ye decided ta wrap around yer little finger. I was just a temporary replacement, wasn't I?"

"You dare to presume how I felt about you? What I feel for you?" Finally managing to pull herself away from Connor's tightening grasp for a brief moment, Lourdes made a move to gather her belongings and step out of the car. With a sob, she admitted, "If there was anything that I felt that was real all those months ago, Connor, it was what I felt for you. I…" She trailed off, finding that her words caught in her throat.

When he saw her reach for the door handle, Connor snatched her arm once more. "I'm 'ere now, Lourdes, right in front o' ye. Say what ye have ta say, because I'm not goin' anywhere until ye do."

Overcome by sheer emotion, Lourdes placed a steady hand upon Connor's stubbled cheek. "I don't know what I'm doing, Connor. I'm confused as fuck, and I admit it, alright?" She traced the side of his face and lovingly ran her fingers through his spiked hair. "What happened between us…I don't even know how to describe it. When I had to leave, Connor, I left because I had to. With everything that happened afterwards, I buried everything deep inside of me. I buried it, Connor, but that doesn't mean that it still isn't there."

Connor couldn't take this any longer. Consequences be fuckin' damned. He felt all sense of righteousness and honour leaving his body as he wildly jerked her forward, sending her body violently crashing upon his. With a gasp, Lourdes instinctively held out her arms, placing her open palms upon Connor's heaving chest for support. "Connor," she whispered hoarsely, her tone ambiguous to both her and the Saint. Did she want him to stop or did she urge him to continue?

Connor didn't care.

With a hand trailing down her back in an excruciatingly slow manner, Connor delicately traced the fine curve of her spine, which arched forward as she automatically pressed herself upon him. As he maneuvered himself so that he could fully face her, his stormy sapphire orbs bore into her own, manifesting the need, the want, and the urges that he felt for her. Lourdes swallowed at the intensity of his stare, though made no move to break it. As Connor placed his cheek upon hers, his thin, slick lips hungrily grazed the side of her exposed neck, the sensation sending waves of shivers throughout her body. Lourdes' head fell back at this minute contact, her ragged breath almost inaudible. Replete with sheer passion, Connor took in her flowery scent as his grip tightened around her. Reveling in her warmth, Connor then placed a hand underneath her rear, massaging her firm thighs as he pulled her upon him.

Without a word of warning, Connor captured her warm lips in his. Lourdes whimpered in protest, but he merely continued to kiss her erratically, ardently, wantonly. God, how he fuckin' missed her taste. Grinding his hips upon hers, Connor snaked an arm around her shoulders, pressing his palm upon the nape of her neck. Gently caressing her long, raven hair, he slowed his kisses when he finally found that she was reluctantly reciprocating his advances. With his other hand delicately tracing the side of her cheek, his tongue roughly delved into the recesses of her mouth when she slightly parted her lips, greedily memorizing every inch within. Teeth bumping and warm breaths mingling, Connor tugged at Lourdes' thigh once more, positioning her body so that she now fully straddled him.

Lourdes was lost. With no coherent thought running through her mind, she wrapped her arms around Connor's smooth neck, pulling him even closer to her body. She felt the need for him quickly filling her insides, her heart erratically beating as a result of the sensation of his body underneath hers. When Connor readjusted his seat, Lourdes moaned within his mouth as she felt the pleasing friction between her legs. Oh God, how she missed his touch. Sending her further and further into an abyss, Connor continued with his wanton ministrations, a primal instinct taking over his actions.

It was only when she felt Connor swiftly unbuttoning the front of her blouse that something clicked inside of Lourdes' brain. What the fuck am I doing? Abruptly breaking the kiss, she snapped her head back in sheer shock, hands holding Connor's shoulders for support. Blinking momentarily as though breaking from a deep trance, she suddenly shifted away from his body as though burnt, chest heaving as she sat properly upon her seat once more. "Oh my God." She whimpered, tears brimming upon her eyelids once more. Placing a hand upon her mouth, continued, "Oh God, what have I done?"

Connor gulped as a pang of guilt gripped his heart. With a hand reaching out for her face, he whispered, "Lourdes, hey…hey, look at me."

She refused to do so with an abrupt shake of the head. Rudely slapping his outstretched arm away from her being, Lourdes hurriedly gathered all of her belongings in her arms and wildly pushed the car door open. Instantly hopping out, she roughly slammed the door shut, causing Connor to cringe. He repeatedly called out, "Lourdes? Lourdes!", but she did not look back at him as she stalked towards her front door. After having a bit of difficulty finding her keys and opening the door through her distress, Lourdes finally managed to enter her home. With no sign of farewell, she slammed the door, hard, behind her.

As a result of her exit and of the feeling of utter helplessness that coursed through him, Connor let out an enraged cry and violently hit the steering wheel in front of him.

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A/N: Oh, dear Connor! :( What did you all think? xx IFHD