Calleigh waited until he was safely in the hallway, then wasted no time easing off the bed again and heading for her stereo. Thankfully, she'd plugged her iPod into the unit to charge when she'd arrived home last night instead of leaving it in the kitchen with her purse. Sipping her juice, she spun through the artists, trying to choose the right one for the mood. He was going to come back, and she was going to talk him into kissing her silly and then maybe a little bit more. Maybe a lot more. Frankly, now that she'd had a taste of him, now that she knew the way his lips felt on her throat, her shoulders, her mouth, there was no way she could wait. Before, she'd thought they should be sensible, take their time with things, but really what was sensible about having him but not having him? Nothing she could think of. (Okay, about a dozen things that she could think of, but she was choosing not to think of them right now.)

She'd settled on Eva Cassidy, the mellow guitar and sultry vocals invading the room just as he did. He slowed as he spied her, tilting his head slightly and giving her a knowing smile when she felt herself blush. Getting caught trying to set the mood was a little like getting caught naked, which she supposed shouldn't bother her, considering she had nudity in mind for their near future. But still. She felt the heat from her forehead to the tops of her breasts and felt ridiculous for it. But Eric just kept walking toward her, one hand sliding along her lower back before he pressed his lips to her forehead. "Pretty."

"Eva Cassidy," she swallowed, taking a subtle, deep breath in an attempt to slow her racing heart. She shouldn't be nervous about this.

"And you." If anything Calleigh blushed deeper, a slow smile curving her lips as she turned to face him. His mouth fell on hers before she could speak, soft and unhurried, light brushes of lip against lip, nothing more. She wanted to call him a charmer, to razz him and set herself at ease, but she couldn't bring herself to stop the press of their mouths so she busied her tongue with teasing his lower lip instead. His lush, full, soft lower lip that had driven her to distraction on more than one occasion when he spoke or scowled or smiled at her. She couldn't resist a tiny nip, loving the soft groan it evoked from him before he met her in the kiss, tongues meeting in a toe-curling waltz as his fingers threaded into her damp hair. Settling her hands on his hips, Calleigh decided that if the sex was half as good as this, she'd be more than happy. Speaking of….

"Eric," she breathed in the space between kisses. "Take me to bed."

He pulled back slightly and Calleigh watched his lashes flutter for a moment before those beautiful brown eyes opened. "What?"

Slim fingers squeezed his hips lightly. "Take me to bed. And I mean that in the way you're thinking; you don't need to ask." She hoped the smile she gave him was steadier than her pitching stomach. If he made her persuade him, she'd be just a little embarrassed.

"Cal… you're hurt." Her smoothed her hair, brushed a feather-light kiss over her lips again.

"I'm alright."

"I don't want to hurt you."

"You won't. Just go slow." Hoping she could convince mind by way of body, she slid the fingertips of one hand in along his waistband, then up the center of his torso, her gaze slipping down to follow it for a moment before flicking back up to him. "Please."

When he swallowed hard, she felt a small, triumphant flash of pride. Men were so easy sometimes – a little stroke, some batting eyelashes, and a "please" and they turned to putty. "You're sure?"

"Do I look sure?"

"Yes." One hand slid down from her hair to trace the lapel of her robe and she felt her pulse skip merrily.

"Take me to bed," she requested again, pushing up onto her tiptoes to claim his mouth again before breathing, "Make love to me like you said you would."

"Calleigh… You're sure?" Despite the gentlemanly protests, she could see the way his eyes had gone darker, could feel the quickened rise and fall of his breath under her hand.

Deciding actions spoke louder than words, Calleigh found his hand with hers, lacing their fingers and tugging him gently toward the bed. He followed dutifully, giving into her light shove when the backs of his knees hit the edge of the matress. It left him sitting there, and she climbed into his lap with a nearly-suppressed grimace at the twinge of pain called up by the movement.

When he opened his mouth to speak she covered it with hers. She knew what he was going to say. That they should stop, that she was in pain. She didn't want to hear it. Looping her arms around his neck, she eased their bodies even closer, pleased when she felt his hands low on her hips. When she eased back, she asked him again, "Do I look sure?"

He nodded, skimming his palms up and down her thighs over the cotton of her robe. "Promise me that you'll stop if it really starts to hurt."

"I promise you, Eric." Noses brushed sweetly before she kissed him again, tongue teasing against his lips until he opened for her. His hands found their way back up her thighs, cupping her rear, grinding her against him lightly, and she felt herself flush slightly again when she felt how ready he was.

It wasn't until he let one hand sneak back down and steal it's way under the cotton to trace a shivering caress up the outside of her thigh that she had the first moment of mild panic. She'd had reasons, lots of reasons why this exact situation was bad. Dangerous. For one, it wasn't professional. She shouldn't be mixing business with pleasure. When the nagging voice in the back of her head brought up Jake, and John, and Peter, she told it that none of them worked as closely with her as Eric did. Day in, day out, in the lab, in the field. They were together all the time; it was part of what had drawn them so close. But this close, this intimate…. this was full of all sorts of potential. Potential to implode, to create distance and awkwardness, and she just couldn't stand if that happened to her and Eric – oh!

His mouth had begun to wander along her jaw, finally ending up at that spot just behind her ear that made whole body flash warm. She gasped and he chuckled, the wash of his breath against her skin sending a shiver through her. He sucked another slow kiss against her skin, then nipped it lightly and she echoed her first gasp with another. What had she been thinking about again? Had she even been thinking at all?

Then his voice was at her ear, gravelly with lust as he told her, "I love that noise. So sexy. Do it again." He nipped again and she had no choice but to obey, her thighs squeezing lightly against his. His groan was buried against her throat as he planted more kisses there, sucking his way down her racing pulse.

Okay, this was good. This was lovely. This she could handle. As his teeth grazed her collar, Calleigh let her hands tug at his shirt, pulling it up, up, and over his head. The sight of him so close to her -- under her -- all smooth muscle and tanned skin, sent her hormones into overdrive. Her hands grew restless, and she put just enough space between them to skate her palms down over his chest, his abs, her bottom lip clamped tightly in her teeth.

She couldn't blame him for the smug smirk he wore when she met his eyes again. "Like what you see?"

"Definitely," she smiled, lips brushing his again, and the hand that had been drawing lazy patterns on the side of her bare thigh slid up to cup her rear, the other ducking beneath the robe to mirror it. Cue moment of panic number two. Calleigh broke out of the kiss and looked him in the eye, searched him. For what, she wasn't quite sure. Something. Some kind of reassurance. Apparently her mouth had no interest in waiting for her brain to catch up, because it blurted for her, "This isn't going to ruin us, right?"

When he tilted his head slightly, frowning at her like she was a very simple child, Calleigh wanted to melt into the bed and down to the floor. But then he smiled, drew his hands out from beneath her robe and threaded him into her hair. Brown eyes were steady on hers as he assured her, "Of course not."

"You promise?"

"I promise." He sealed it with a kiss, then pulled back just enough to murmur, "I won't let anything ruin us. You mean too much to me."

"That doesn't mean—" His lips on hers cut her off.

"Shhh, laskovaya moya. Trust me." Calleigh pulled back, smiled down at him curiously.

"Russian?"

Eric nodded, returned the smile. "You hear Spanish every day…" Arms weaving around his waist, she asked him what it meant, and he ducked in to kiss her again, murmuring the endearment against her lips. "My sweet."

It was simple, and a little saccharine, but to Calleigh it was perfect. She'd never been one for pet names or sweet nothings, but this one she liked, and she couldn't quite place why. "Say it again."

"Laskovaya moya, ti takaya krasivaya." She had no idea what he'd said, and she didn't care. Who'd ever thought Russian could be sexy? "Just trust me. We'll be fine." His conviction soothed her, calmed the racing of her doubting mind, and she nodded as she reached for his wrists, using them to draw his hands down until they brushed the belt of her robe.

"Eric…" Eyes met as his fingers moved slowly, loosening the belt and easing the robe off her shoulders. It pooled around her hips, allowing her some modicum of modesty as his hands skimmed up her torso, bypassing the ugly purple bruise to cup her breasts. When he found her stiffening peaks with his thumbs, she sucked in a breath and let her eyes drop closed. It was a shame to lose the sight of the heat in his eyes, but the starbursts of pleasure when he began to squeeze and roll was something she wanted to enjoy without distraction. And then his mouth was on her collar again, working its way down, and Calleigh arched back to urge him closer, groaning immediately at the pain that flowered in her torso and the torque and stretch.

Eric eased her back up immediately, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her close until they were torso to torso. "You okay?"

"Yeah, I just… I shouldn't move like that," she admitted with a sheepish smile.

"You can't even arch your back?" he questioned, quirking a brow and shifting his arms slightly. His warm skin slid against hers with the movement and she reveled in the feel of a man in her bed again. Of bare skin on hers.

"It was a pretty deep arch…" The excuse sounded flimsy even to her, so Calleigh rushed ahead before he could call her on it. "Maybe we should lay down? I think that'd hurt less."

After a moment of hesitation, during which he studied her face with a scowl of concentration and concern, he seemed to deem her well enough to go on. At least, he tugged her robe back up over her shoulders and helped her shift until she was laying down, head cushioned by her pillows, body a riotous mass of nerves again. She was unsurprised when his body settled next to hers, not on top, and she tilted her head to meet him when he bent to kiss her.

She'd hoped they'd dive right back in, but apparently Eric had other plans. Never ceasing the slow rend and sew of their mouths, he trailed a fingertip down her torso from sternum to navel, goose bumps flaring in the wake of the tickling caress. She thought he'd finally undo the belt of her robe completely, but he didn't. Instead, he retraced his steps, drawing the caress back up until he could tangle his fingers in her hair and deepen their kiss even more.

Calleigh was restless, flushed and aching and impatient, so she brought her own hands to his waist and tugged at the button of his pants. When it was free, she lowered the zipper, then shoved at the waistband until she'd managed to push it halfway down his thighs. She couldn't reach any further without what she knew would be a painful twist of torso, so she turned her head out of the kiss and breathed, "Off."

He obliged her, sitting up and shucking down to his boxers before returning to her side. Calleigh watched the shift of his muscles as he moved and wondered at how she had ever seen him in his wetsuit without having the urge to jump him. She certainly never would again. Not now that she'd seen what was going on underneath.

When his mouth fell on hers yet again, she barely managed to suppress the groan of frustration. It wasn't that she didn't like the kisses – she did – it was just that there were so many other wonderful places he could busy his mouth with. She tried to murmur his name between kisses, but he cut her off, and this time she couldn't help the sigh of irritation. At least it got his attention. He pulled back, and Calleigh gave him her best pleading look, his sudden grin catching her off guard before the realization dawned on her. That bastard. "Are you teasing me?"

His snicker was mischievous and guilty, and he hid his face in her neck for a moment, pressed a quick kiss there and admitted, "Yeah."

Smacking his shoulder lightly, Calleigh urged his head back up and frowned at him – or tried to; she couldn't quite help the way her lips fought to tug up at that corners. "Hey, I'm injured."

"Oh, now you're going to use that?" he laughed, pecking her chin, her lips, her nose. Calleigh marveled slightly at his comfort with her. Was he like this with every girl? This easy affection, the teasing, the little things. She supposed he was; Eric had no trouble being open. Unlike her.

"Yes. Now I am, because I want you to make me feel better." His smile softened at that and his lips took the now-familiar walk along her jaw, his voice low and sexy when he spoke again.

"If you want something, all you have to do is ask."

Well. That certainly was simple. As he found that spot behind her ear again, she found one of his hands with hers, drawing it down and nudging her robe aside until their joined hands cupped her breast. "I want you here."

"Oh yeah?" he murmured, nipping her earlobe before shifting lower to suck a kiss into the side of her neck, the curve of her shoulder.

"Yeah," she breathed, and was that her voice? All gaspy and needy? Rein it in, Duquesne. It's just sex. With Eric.

"You gonna ask me?" His mouth had worked its way past her collarbone, fallen once on the swell of the breast he was still cupping.

"No," Calleigh grinned, figuring two could play at the teasing game. Clearly, he didn't mind, because he just laughed and brought his mouth to where she wanted it. He gave the peak a lazy, slow suck and Calleigh rewarded him with a low moan. He did it again, harder and her toes curled in the sheets. This was more like it, she thought, and then he found her other nipple with his hand, tugging and rolling as he nipped and sucked and she stopped thinking altogether.

It was like someone had flipped a switch on him all of a sudden. The hesitant, patient man that had been pacing her up until now was gone, replaced with the Eric Delko she'd been expecting – hungry, and experienced, and turning her into a gasping puddle of pleasured goo in less time than it took her to fire a test round at work. He used lips and teeth and tongue, thumbs and forefingers and, God, before she knew it, she had twisted completely out of her robe, her hands fisting the pillows under her head, her legs tangling with his as she gasped out pleas and moans and soft cries of pleasure. She arched her hips against his thigh and then groaned at the pain, silently cursing the boot to the side she'd taken. Damnit, hadn't the universe known she was going to be having sex that night? Couldn't some higher power have taken mercy on her so she could do this right, so that he wouldn't be stopping like he was right now, his head lifting like she'd known it would, that frown of concern back on his face.

"I'm fine," she panted before he even had a chance to ask. "I just need…" One hand released it's vice-grip on her pillow to find his and guide it down between her thighs. She was wet as a river delta and hot as a Louisiana summer, and the way he closed his eyes and moaned at just the feel of her made her feel powerful and sexy and pushed the thought of pain far, far from her mind. "Feel what I need?"

His eyes opened again, dark, dark brown and hot with desire as he nodded and let his fingers give her one slow stroke. His eyes never left her face as her jaw dropped slightly, letting her inhale a gasp. His hand shifted beneath hers, skating down her inner thigh teasingly before sliding back up until his thumb brushed over her clit in a whisper-soft caress. Another gasp, and her eyes fell shut. She couldn't watch him watch her like that. It made her feel too naked, too exposed. His thumb circled again and her head ground back into the pillow on a moan of his name and a plea for more.

And then his mouth was on the move, giving each peak one last kiss before meandering down her stomach, haloing the bruise on her torso before he shifted until he was between her thighs. Calleigh's pulse pounded harder in anticipation, both hands back at her pillow now as she swallowed hard. His arms slid beneath her thighs, cradled her hips, and she felt the wash of his breath against her sex before… Nothing. She lay there, eyes squeezed shut, poised and waiting for the feel of his mouth on her, but nothing came.

With a frown, she opened her eyes to scowl at him, and there he was. His beautiful face framed between her thighs, grinning that shit-eater grin again before he lowered his head for one soft lick. She gasped and closed her eyes again, one hand moving down to fist the sheets as she waited for the next lick. Again, nothing. "Eric," she groaned in frustration, moving her hand from the sheets to the back of his head and urging him toward her again but he evaded, turning his mouth to her thigh.

"Watch me," he murmured into the soft skin there, nipping gently and waiting until she opened her eyes again to give her another lick, then a gentle suck. Her lashes fluttered, but she kept her eyes open. If that was what it took to keep him there, she was damned sure going to do it. And as he increased the pace and pressure, sucking harder, nipping lightly, she thought there was nothing she wouldn't do if only he would keep going. Right now she was his, all his, putty in those strong, wonderful hands that were gently kneading her hips as his mouth kept up its assault on her.

She'd never watched before, never kept her eyes trained on the way all these delicious delirious ribbons of pleasure were called up and wound around her, and now she found herself mesmerized by the way he moved against her, by the flickers of pleasure on his face, by the quiet moans he kept treating her to. And then he shifted one hand to grip her hip hard, anchoring her to the bed as the other slid around between her thighs to stroke against her. His gaze lifted to hers, and she watched him grin and lick his lips, catching the taste of her before he slid one finger into her, a second, and Calleigh couldn't help squeezing her eyes shut at the pleasure as they began to move.

Then the words came. Washing over her in waves, between little kisses and licks. He told her she was beautiful, that she sounded so sexy when she moaned, that she tasted so good, that he loved the way her skin flushed when she got close, and she was close, wasn't she? Calleigh nodded frantically, then blurted a plea that came from nowhere. "Russian! God, Eric, say it all – oh, yes! Right there – say it again in Russian."

And he did, the words tumbling off his tongue as his thumb ground hard against her clit, fingers working inside her to send her plummeting over the edge with a cry of his name and an arch of her back. Pain echoed pleasure, but surprisingly it did little to dampen the heady sweetness of release, and until she came back to herself a moment later, panting and a little sweaty and pleasantly boneless, she half-thought the drugs were still in effect.

Then there he was, at her side again, brushing his fingers through drying hair that she knew would be tangled as all hell when they were finished. At this particular moment, she couldn't seem to care. "You okay?"

She nodded, panting, "God, yes. Wow," and then the pain began to creep in with each deep breath and she fought to keep it off her face. He'd see through her, and he'd insist they stop, and she had no intention of not having him inside her in the next three minutes.

"You're sure?"

She shifted into her side with a grimace she couldn't hide, and reached into his boxers to give him a few steady strokes. "Positive."

His eyes had fallen shut, and his breath grew deep as she kept up the movement of her hand but he still managed to call her out. "I saw that. You're in pain."

"Shhh," she urged, pressing kisses along his throat, nipping his Adam's apple playfully, swirling her tongue in the hollow of his collarbone. "I want you in me."

Despite his immediate moan, and the way his hand moved to clutch her hip, he shook his head. "Not if it hurts you. I don't want to be the one who hurts you."

Calleigh wondered at his ability to be so insistently against this, even with her hand on him, even with the way he was so clearly losing himself to the pleasure she prodded out of him. Knowing she could break him, she let her hand squeeze gently on each upstroke, and sure enough it pulled a deeper moan out of him. "You didn't hurt me. He did." Her lips found his again, and he kissed her hungrily, hand squeezing against her hip. "This feels good. With you. It feels better than it hurts. If we stop, it'll just hurt. I'll just hurt. Okay? Please?"

He couldn't resist her if she needed him, and she knew it, so she was unsurprised when he finally nodded, reaching down to pull her hand away. "You need to stop that or it'll be over too fast."

Nodding eagerly, Calleigh shifted onto her back again, waiting for him to shuck his last piece of clothing before reaching to pull him over her. He covered her body with his, careful not to press against her ribs, keeping his weight toward her injured side. One of her arms wrapped around his shoulder, her other hand pressed against his chest as he reached down between them and guided his length to her. He let it stroke gently against her clit, earning a soft gasp at the spike of still almost-sharp pleasure, then eased himself lower until the head sunk into her. He eased the rest of the way in with a sigh, one she echoed with a low moan of approval at the feeling of being filled. Of being with Eric, really being with Eric.

The wash of his breath was unsteady against her collar when his forehead fell to her shoulder. She slid her hand up, wishing he still had hair she could tangle her fingers in as she cupped the back of his head, turning hers to find any skin she could press her lips to. "Need a minute?"

His tight "mmhmm" betrayed how close he was. Head resting against his, she let herself revel in the feel of him, hands moving to trace his back, his shoulders, his arms as her body adjusted to the feel of being so intimately joined with him. Suddenly, she felt unsteady, heart tripping over itself, belly somersaulting with giddy nerves. She wondered if he felt the same panicked excitement until he pulled back and looked her in the eye before finding her mouth for a slow, intimate kiss. No, she realized. He felt even more. She'd seen it in his eyes. That desperate love that she knew he felt for her, but just couldn't stand to fall into yet. Still too dangerous, much too intimate. She needed time. She needed to take her time. But then the kiss broke, and his nose brushed hers, and he eased back to look at her again and she wanted to hear it. Couldn't stand to hear it without a small nervous breakdown, but wanted to hear it. And wanted to give him the gift of saying it.

"Say it in Russian," she murmured, and he looked surprised that she'd been able to see through him. "I can hear it in Russian and be okay."

Those full, decadent lips curved and pressed to hers before he murmured against them, "Ya tebya lyublyu."

The next kiss was heady and full of promise and heat and need as his hips began to pitch against hers, and there was no stopping the eager moans that sounded in her throat with each thrust. Her hips met his, a twinge of pain ignored with each rock back against him. Her hands were restless again, fluttering along his back, settling on his hips to speed his thrusts just a little, skating back up to squeeze his shoulders as her head tipped back and his mouth fell on her neck. It was good, it was so good, it was every good thing she'd hoped it would be, but the pain was creeping in with each drive of her hips back against his and before long her cries of pleasure were mixing with restrained grunts of discomfort and he slowed to a stop. Caught.

"Cal," he insisted quietly. It was all he needed to say.

"I don't want to stop," she breathed, blinking her eyes open to meet his.

"I'm not going to do this if it hurts you, Calleigh." She could feel the tension in his body and knew it took effort for him to hold back like this, to deny himself for her when he was well on his way to the finish. She also knew without question that he would if she asked him to. Luckily for both of them, she had no intention of stopping.

"It only hurts when I move against you." Her hands swooped down to his hips and settled there, kneading gently.

"Oh… That's easy, then." His lips brushed hers. "Don't move your hips. You don't have to—"

"Eric, I'm not going to lay here like a corpse." Aside from the fact that she knew her body would move of its own accord, she didn't want to make him do all the work just because she was injured. She didn't tell him that, though; he'd have told her she was being ridiculous.

"Alright then…" He began to ease out of her, but she caught him and urged him back.

"I said I don't want to stop."

His lips curved and he kissed her softly again, nudging her nose with his. "I know. But if it hurts to move like that, we'll just… find something that doesn't hurt as much, okay?"

Satisfied that he wasn't putting and end to things, she nodded and let him pull out and settle beside her again. "Maybe if I'm on top?"

"How will that help you move less?" Eric's chuckle sounded against his shoulder before he pressed his lips there, one hand finding her breast and teasing a hard peak. Pleasure streaked through her, echoing between her thighs. She was all wound up again, and thought they'd better think of something soon or she might just go insane from the lack of satisfaction.

"It's a different movement. It didn't hurt when I was straddling you before." It was as reasonable of an argument as she was going to make with his fingers still rolling her nipple gently. "Let's just… try," she breathed, and to her surprise he gave in, thumb rubbing over her nipple once to soothe it before he shifted onto his back next to her.

"Alright, we can try, but I'm telling you…"

"Hush," she ordered as she climbed on top of him, ignoring the pain and reaching for him. She wasted no time settling herself on top of him, and he wasted no time settling his thumb against her clit. The pleasure from his slow, steady caress was almost enough to mute the pain as she began to move. Almost, but not enough. He was right; this wasn't any better. With a sigh, she stilled and shook her head. "Maybe if you move…?"

Ever willing to please, Eric began to move beneath her, arching his hips against hers. It didn't hurt, but it was a little awkward, and he didn't have quite enough range of motion for anything but short, shallow thrusts. Damnit. "No. You're right. Stop."

His hands caressed her thighs, up and down in slow, soothing strokes. "Told you."

She rolled her eyes and sighed. "Wow, this is really romantic," she muttered. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be," Eric insisted, hands squeezing lightly. "We'll find it." He shifted slightly beneath her, then pushed himself up until he was sitting, and she moaned softly at the feel of him still inside her. His arms looped her waist, lips pressed together as he surveyed the room.

"What are you looking for?" Calleigh leaned in, pressed her lips to his shoulder and rested her chin there. Part of her was mortified, wanted to crawl into him and disappear and not come out. But the rest of her was… oddly comfortable. She thought inexplicably of the time she'd had so much trouble with Jake. She'd been stressed, and overtired, and just hadn't quite been able to get there. They'd switched positions. Then switched again. Tried again, and nothing worked. It hadn't taken him long to become frustrated, and feeling like he was irritated with her certainly hadn't helped the mood at all. In the end, she'd ended up in the shower, feeling defeated and embarrassed, and he'd just gone home.

She didn't like comparing Jake and Eric, but she couldn't help it when he was rubbing her back gently and pressing kisses into her hair before wrapping his arms around her for a quick hug and announcing, "I got it." He patted her thigh lightly to urge her to move and she did, pausing when his hand caught her wrist. "Don't lay yet."

Nodding, she sat and watched him duck over the side of the bed, returning a moment later with one of her throw pillows. He plunked it into the middle of the robe that was still sprawled beneath them and she grimaced and snatched it up. "Careful. I don't want biologicals all over this; it was expensive."

He arched a brow. "It's a throw pillow."

"It's an expensive throw pillow." She handed it back. "Put it under the robe. It was expensive too, but it can be washed. And it wasn't my expense."

"Oh yeah?" He tucked the pillow under the robe, shifting it to where he wanted it, then urging her to move onto it. "Who's expense was it?"

Calleigh lay down, positioning her hips on the pillow as she eyed him carefully. "If I tell you, do you promise to be smug and not jealous?"

"Ah. Jake." He situated himself between her thighs, on his knees, shifting up until her splayed thighs rested against his. "Y'know, I gotta say, I'm feeling pretty smug right now."

Releasing the breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding, she let her hands settle against his knees and told him, "You should."

Eric's grin only widened and he drew his shaft over her again, rubbing it against her clit in short strokes. "Perfectly willing to rechristen this robe. You feel okay?" One hand wrapped around her hip and gripped it tight enough to keep her still.

Nodding, she let a hand slide down to tease against her own breast. She wasn't as ready as she'd been before, but then he must have known that, the way he was teasing between her thighs. It hadn't occurred to her that the sight of her with her hands on her own body would turn him on so much. It should have, but it didn't. So she was caught just a little off guard when he cursed softly and replaced his shaft with his hand, thumb taking up the quick rhythm against her sensitive nub. Her lips curved in a slow, devious smile and she twisted her nipple and embellished the gasp just for him.

"Jesus, Calleigh." His free hand drew her leg up until he could press a wet kiss to her calf. "You have no idea how long I've waited to see you like this."

"Year or two," she breathed, teeth clamping her lip as he found just the right rhythm against her.

"Longer. Since the day I met you."

That caught her attention. "Nuh uh."

"Oh, c'mon, you're telling me you didn't meet me and think 'Look at that fine Cuban man. How can I get him naked?'" he teased, thumb sliding down to test her wetness, then grasping himself again and lining up.

She laughed, wincing, and shook her head. "No, I think it took until I saw you in the wetsuit. 'Look at that fine wet Cuban man. How can I get him naked under me?'"

It was his turn to laugh as he brought his hand back to her hip, releasing her leg. "Once you're all healed up, I'll let you make good on that." Tightening his grip, he slid in easily, and she gasped in a breath when he hit her just so.

"Oh. That's good." Her hands found their way back to the pillow to anchor her as he gave her another slow, deep thrust.

"Don't know why we didn't just do this first," he murmured, both hands on her hips to hold them still as he sped his rhythm. Pleasure rioted through her system again, spiking higher with each thrust, but they made it less than a minute before she arched her back on a wave of pleasure and collapsed back with a frustrated sigh of pain. "Calleigh," he laughed.

"Sorry. I just… it feels so good; I can't help it. I arch."

At least he was still laughing about it, she thought, as he leaned forward and pressed his palm just inside the shoulder of her injured side, pinning her to the bed. His other hand, stayed rooted on her hip. "Okay, arch your back."

Calleigh tried, but found it considerably more difficult without the mobility of her hip or shoulder. "Good," she nodded. "That's good. Keep going."

"Bossy," he teased as he complied, pushing into her again in deep, quick strokes. The angle wasn't quite as good as it had been before, but it was still better than any of the other positions they'd tried and it wasn't long before she was moaning eagerly, suppressing the urge to fight his hands and thrust back against him. There was something thrilling about being completely at his mercy, she discovered. Something hot about being out of control, about being held down as he bombarded her with pleasure.

One of her hands fell to his wrist, squeezing, tugging and he asked her if she wanted him to let up on her. "No!" She hadn't meant it as desperate as she had, but she was too into this to care. She didn't even care when he laughed at her between grunts of pleasure.

"God, you're amazing." His voice was as breathy, as unsteady as hers, but it was the only unsteady thing about him. When he repeated the compliment in Russian she laughed, the tightening of bruised muscle barely registering in the sea of pleasure she was drowning in. Still, she wanted more, craved more of this driving, delicious pleasure, so she slid one hand down, down, his voice halting her just below her navel. "You do that, it's - unh, yes -- all over for me." She was close enough that she hesitated, just for a moment, but she wasn't ready for this to be over quite yet. Her hand fell to his knee, gripping hard and crying out as he increased the pace.

"God, Eric, please, yes!" Words tumbled from her lips as his body crashed against hers, his hands keeping her anchored almost enough to keep her body from protesting. Her nails scratched against his knee as she pushed higher and higher, crying out as she rode the edge but didn't quite tip over. The undercurrent of leeching pain kept her just out of reach of her climax. And then he grunted hard, his hand flying off her shoulder and landing between her legs to rub hard as he spilled into her. It was enough to send her over with a twisting arch and a harsh cry of his name and for the moment, the surge of ecstasy was enough to drown out the pain completely.

It wasn't until she collapsed back to the bed, limp and trembling that her face twisted with pain. Eric leaned over her, murmuring apologies and raining kisses on her sweaty forehead. He was still panting when he pressed a sloppy kiss to her mouth and pulled out of her. She hadn't been ready for that, hadn't been ready to let him go, but he was fumbling for another packet of her painkiller and that she was more than ready for. She hadn't been able to catch her breath yet, every deep gasp of air making the pain throb and her breath hitch.

The bed dipped with his weight again in an instant, and he eased her up until she was half sitting, supporting her as she fished the pill from his palm and easing her cup of juice into her trembling hands. There was just enough left to gulp down the Tramadol, and his mouth was on hers again as soon as she let the cup fall. Short, seeking, repentant kisses pressed to her mouth over and over again, and she had to lift her hand to his jaw to halt him long enough for her to try to breathe normally again.

His voice came to her in soft encouragements and easy hushes until she finally found a slow, steady rhythm. "There… that's it…" His lips brushed hers once, swallowing her tiny, pained whimper as he eased her back to the bed. "I need water."

"Me too," she breathed, letting her eyes fall shut as she willed the pain to fade. Calleigh felt the shift of the bed, heard the sound of him in the kitchen, and was distracting herself by replaying the first five of the past fifteen minutes in her head by the time he came back. She blinked her eyes open and eased herself up, reaching for the glass he offered and taking slow sips as he reached around her and retrieved her throw pillow, tossing it to the ground again before he set his now half-empty glass on the night table and sat on the edge of the bed. Once her thirst was sated, she handed her glass to him and smiled, answering the question in his eyes. "I'm okay. Really."

"You're sure?" His hand lifted to tuck a lock of hair behind her ear.

"I promise." Tangling her fingers with his, she gave his hand a squeeze of reassurance. "Lay with me until the painkiller kicks in?"

"Of course." Eric looked at her like she'd grown a third head, leaning in for a soft kiss. "Where do you think I'd go?"

Calleigh didn't answer, just smiled and eased herself back with a scowl of pain, shoving the robe out of their way while he lay down next to her. Moving slowly and carefully, Calleigh stretched herself out along his side, pillowing her head on his chest, one leg slipping between his. Her right arm was curled against her, the left she slid over to rest on his torso. "It was nowhere near this painful yesterday."

"The second day is always worse with bruising like that," he assured, one arm cradling her shoulders, the other falling to trace a slow, lazy caress up and down the arm she had strewn across him. "Plus, you spent the last hour or so flexing the bruised muscle."

She could hear in his voice how ridiculous he still thought she was for insisting, so she turned and pressed a kiss to his chest. "It was worth it."

"Would have been worth it tomorrow," he reasoned, and she tilted her head up to look at him. All she could really see was his chin.

"You regret it?"

"I regret hurting you."

"But the sex?"

It was a moment before he answered, long enough for her stomach to curl with dread. If she didn't regret it despite the discomfort she was in, she sure as hell hoped he didn't. Finally, he spoke. "No." Calleigh calmed a little, curling against him again, letting the rhythm of his heart lull her. "But we could have waited until you weren't in pain."

"I didn't want to wait."

"Why not?"

The answer was there, on the tip of her tongue but she couldn't bring herself to say it. Not yet. She wasn't ready to go there yet. She thought of the way he'd said it, wondered if she could pull it off in Russian, and decided she'd just make a fool of herself. Calleigh felt him press a kiss into her hair, steeled her nerves and told him her answer in a way they'd both understand. "Te amo."

The steady caress of his hand over her arm halted for just a moment, then kept going and she felt the muscles of his abdomen tighten against hers as he chuckled. "You going to say it in English?" he asked her quietly, and she could hear the smile in his voice.

"When I'm ready. I figure it will be kind of like this…"

"Fumbling and painful?"

"No," she laughed softly, wincing at the pain, though it was dulling now. "Inevitable."