Disclaimer: See ch. 1

Spoilers: Through 14

A/N: Thanks to everyone who has read or reviewed this story or Just Life. This is the final chapter of BtL, and it takes place after chapter 20 of Just Life. Sorry for anyone who was looking forward to the "paint peeling scene", I just wasn't feeling it. That said, expect some smut here. Tee hee.


"Babe? Are you ready to go?"

I received no answer.

"Babe, we're going to be late." Granted, I for one didn't care if we made it there at all, but I figured she'd want to know.

Still, there was no answer from the bathroom. I was just about to pick the lock on the door and go check on her myself when the knob turned and the door swung slowly inward. My babe stepped out, and every breath in my lungs vanished.

She was stunning, and sexy, and looked good enough to eat.

Her black dress was strapless. The neckline was simple yet just revealing enough; a sweetheart neckline, she'd told me earlier. I'll tell you, she didn't look like anybody's sweetheart with her satiny smooth breasts peeking out of the top of that thing. The bodice hugged every one of her delectable curves, and the skirt ended about three inches above her knees. I didn't see a goddamn panty-line. Lord, help me.

Her hair was down in soft curls, just begging for my fingers to muss it up. She wasn't wearing much makeup from what I could tell, but in my opinion she didn't need any at all.

She looked up at me through her lashes and gave me that completely feminine smile that said 'I know I'm hot, now what are you going to do about it?'

I knew what I wanted to do about it. I also knew that if I touched her now, we wouldn't be leaving this bedroom until at least tomorrow.

"You like?" She asked, moving past me to retrieve the three inch 'Fuck me' pumps she'd deposited in my closet earlier.

"It's hot," I rumbled. "But it'd look better on the floor."

She stepped into the shoes, bent forward to buckle them, affording me a perfect view of her sexy little ass. I'm pretty sure I groaned. There was no way she was wearing panties under there.

"Playing with fire, babe."

She straightened up and turned back towards me.

"You'll have to control yourself, Ranger. I promised Grandma I'd be there."

I took a few slow steps towards her and she backed up until she hit the closed bedroom door.

"I don't know, babe. Lula, your Granny, and a kid who thinks she's a horse. Not to mention half of the 'Burg. What's in it for me?" I took the last step to her and pinned her to the door, one hand on either side of her head, my hips cradling hers. She let out a small gasp of pleasure before answering.

"I'm not wearing any panties."

I leaned down until my lips brushed her earlobe.

"I know," I whispered, and felt her shiver beneath me. "Is that for me?"

She shook her head slowly, as if in a daze. "Didn't want a panty-line."

"Ahhh," I whispered as I rocked my erection against her center, torturing both of us. "Wouldn't want that."

Her head fell back and she clutched at my arms. "Ranger."

I brought my face around to hers and captured her lips in a hungry kiss that had us both panting.

"Carlos," she whimpered when I pulled back.

I grinned against her lips. "Now, that's better." Then I stepped away from her and went to the closet to retrieve her shawl. I'm pretty sure I heard her growl in frustration.

"We don't want to be late, babe. You promised your grandma."

I think she muttered something like 'screw grandma' as I helped her on with her shawl and led her out the door.

We were halfway to the hall they'd rented before Stephanie finally broke the silence.

"You know, that was really cruel back there. You're such a tease."

I glanced over at her quickly before returning my eyes to the road.

"I'm a tease? Who's the one not wearing underwear?"

I could feel her narrowed eyes on me as I took a left onto Grand.

"Babe, it's not the same."

"The hell it's not the same. Do you know what it's like for me to see you every day and know that you're commando under there?"

My dick was still so hard it could probably break concrete.

"Yeah," I muttered. "Only your knowing is a little less conspicuous than mine." I motioned to my lap.

I heard her breath catch and her voice was a bit strangled as she said, "I'm sorry, Ranger. I really didn't want a panty-line."

"Oh, that's fine, babe," I answered with a wolf-grin. "You just better be prepared for the consequences."

She let out a squeak as I swung the Cayenne into the lot.

"Ranger, you're not going to…I mean, half the Burg will be here. You've got to behave."

I just gave her another grin before I placed a hand on the small of her back and led her inside.

We were only about half an hour into the party and I was burning with the need to touch her. She was sitting with Lula, Connie, and her sister Val, sipping something fruity and alcoholic. Every few minutes, she'd glance over her shoulder and give me a smoldering look.

I was pretty sure she was just reassuring herself that I was still there. I mean, with a handsy eighty-year-old woman after your package, and a (hopefully) mother-in-law-to-be glaring at you every five minutes like she was afraid you'd sneak off with the china—or maybe just her daughter—any sane man would have been halfway to Brazil by now. No one had ever accused me of being sane. Besides, I'd put up with Granny all night if it made my babe happy. Because happy meant willing and…

Oh God, I was killing myself.

I quickly focused my attention back on my own table mates. Tank was busy watching Lula with what had to have been the same look I'd been wearing not two minutes before. Steph told me he'd been invited mostly because he was Lula's date and Lula was pretty friendly with Granny. I was pretty sure it was mostly so that Granny could tell everyone she'd had two black men with great packages at her wedding reception. No need to mention the fact that I wasn't black.

Seated on the other side of Tank, Albert Kloughn looked like he was about to piss himself. He'd been babbling on like an idiot since we'd sat down, and it was taking a whole bunch of effort not to take out my Glock and shoot him.

What? I'd shoot him in the leg or something. Babe wouldn't be too happy if I killed the guy, but a shot to the leg would at least require a trip to the ER which would get him out of my hair long enough for me to grab Steph and escape.

On my other side, ignoring Kloughn with what had to be practiced ease, was Frank Plum.

I have to say, I'm pretty sure he'd the only sane member of the Plum-Mazur family aside from my babe.

He'd shaken my hand before taking his seat, nodded at Tank and Kloughn, then completely absorbed himself in his beer. Or so I'd thought.

"So, Ranger…"

"Call me Carlos, sir."

He looked up at me with what might have been approval, then nodded.

"Carlos, I understand that my daughter has been living with you for the past month or so."

I watched him for a moment, trying to see where he was going with this. I got nothing. The man had a blank face to rival my own.

"She has." I nodded.

"I'm not going to ask you what your intentions are. My daughter is old enough, mature enough, intelligent enough, to judge these things for herself."

He cleared his throat and I heard him mumble something about 'the Dick' and 'that lowlife Morelli' before he continued.

"I just want you to know that you're not the only one with a military background, and if you hurt my daughter, I'll hunt you down and teach you the meaning of a bag of dicks." His eyes were shrewd and assessing as he glanced up at me.

"You got me, boy?"

My respect for Mr. Plum skyrocketed in that moment.

"Yes, sir."

He nodded once. "Good. Now, call me Frank."

I had to chuckle as he reverted back to the laid-back guy he'd always been.

Granny and her man Liam made the rounds before dinner, greeting everybody and going on about their shotgun wedding and how in love they were. It probably would have made me sick had I not recently begun feeling the exact same way.

Liam Riley was a stand-up guy. He was an ex-Navy seal, turned NCIS agent, now retired and spending his time keeping Edna in line. It was a job in and of itself, I knew. He had a remarkable effect on Mrs. Mazur…scratch that. Mrs. Riley. She barely even glanced at my package, which was a good thing considering I was still semi-hard from Steph's little surprise earlier.

Finally, Mrs. Plum announced that it was time for dinner and everyone moved to their assigned seats.

Stephanie and I were seated with Tank, Lula, Connie, and a couple of Steph's cousins whose names I dismissed as soon as I'd heard them. Don't get me wrong, I could tell you their names, their eye and hair color, body type, distinguishing characteristics. I could tell you that the guy with the red hair had been divorced recently. His sister, Noelle, was about three months pregnant. She hadn't told her husband yet. The husband drove a Nissan and had called home twice to check on the baby-sitter with their other two kids. I was pretty sure he was banging her. I just didn't particularly care about any of this, not with my babe sitting not six inches from me with heat radiating from her and smelling so damn good I wanted to bury my face in her shoulder and never move again.

Before I could think, my hand was on her thigh, lightly caressing in soft circles. She gripped my forearm in an attempt to stall me, but her efforts were in vain. She couldn't pull my hand away without causing a scene, and no way was Steph about to do that in front of her family and half the Burg.

"Ranger," she scolded out of the corner of her mouth.

"Relax," I whispered just as our food was set down before us.

I took a few bites of my rice and allowed her to dig into her mashed potatoes before I slowly slid my hand higher up her thigh.

She froze, her fork halfway to her mouth and a long breath escaped her.

"You okay, girl?" Lula asked around a mouthful of ham. "Them potatoes taste alright?"

"Fine," Stephanie squeaked.

My hand moved further up her thigh, eliciting a small gasp. She clamped her knees together and turned to me with narrowed eyes.

"I told you to behave, Ranger," she breathed so that only I could hear.

I leaned down in the pretense of placing a kiss on her jaw line and whispered, "I told you to be prepared to face the consequences." I nibbled a bit on her neck as she continued to protest halfheartedly.

I pulled away and took a bite of chicken before slipping my hand under her dress and lightly teasing the soft curls I found there.

No goddamn panties. My dick was so hard in my pants I thought it was surely going to split a seam.

Steph's eyes slid closed momentarily as another breath escaped her. I ran my fingers lightly between her legs, urging them open. She obeyed without a struggle.

"Aren't you hungry, babe?" I asked aloud. "You've barely touched your roast."

She bit her bottom lip as my middle finger finally encountered her dewy wetness.

I probably would have groaned had I not had myself under such strict control. It was a skill you learned when your life depended on keeping silent despite any sort of outside stimuli. Such as Stephanie's obvious need for me.

I traced my finger up and down her slit, spreading her juices, always avoiding the little nub at the top that would give her the greatest pleasure.

She shifted a bit in her chair, trying to get my hand to where she wanted it, but I evaded her.

"Patience," I whispered.

And all the while, conversation continued on around us. Lula and Connie discussed a sale at the mall. The cousins talked to Tank about chasing fugitives and security tips and God knows what else. No one was aware of the game going on below the table.

I was glad for the long table cloth as I moved my fingers back to Steph's wetness. No need to give the whole room a show, now was there?

I flicked my middle finger over her clit, once, twice, three times. Steph's grip on her fork was white knuckled, her eyes were glazed over with arousal.

"You sure you're alright, Steph? You look a little flushed."

"F-fine," Steph stuttered.

"I think she just needs to eat something," I murmured. I scooped up a bite of rice and held it up to her lips. "Take a bite of this, babe. It's fantastic."

Just as her lips closed around my fork, I slid one finger into her.

Her moan was met by chuckles from the group. Stephanie always was vocal when she was enjoying her food. What the others didn't know was that she was enjoying something much better just below the table cloth.

I slid my finger out of her, and then slowly back in.

"Good, huh?" I murmured.

Her eyes slid closed as I removed the fork from her mouth.

"So good."

"Mmmm. Try this, then," I said, offering her a bite of chicken.

The food had barely touched her tongue when I slid a second finger into her and she let out a very satisfying moan.

"Ranger," she gasped.

"Mmm. Bueno, no?

She nodded wordlessly as my fingers took up a slow, steady rhythm; in and out, in and out, flick over her clit.

Her eyes opened wide and she covered her gasp with a cough.

"You need some water?" Connie asked.

Steph nodded and took a long gulp out of her glass.

I could tell how close she was by the way her body squeezed my fingers, as if it might never let go. I never wanted it to.

My erection was painfully hard. I was sure that the sight of her coming in front of all these people would undo me, but I continued anyway. In, out, flick, in, out, flick.

She was squirming in her seat and I was sure that at least Tank must be aware of what was going on. He wasn't my second in command for nothing.

A waitress slipped in to take away our dishes and another brought along a tray of desserts. I grabbed a cup of chocolate mousse and set it down between Steph and me.

She eyed the treat with some trepidation.

I scooped up a bite with my free hand, crooked my fingers inside her, pressed my thumb to her clit, and slid the dessert into her mouth to disguise the series of sighs and moans that followed.

It wasn't until her thighs stopped quivering and she turned to me with soft eyes and heaving breasts that I finally slipped my hand out from between her legs.

"That good, huh?" Tank chuckled, nodding towards the mousse.

Steph looked up at him as if just realizing he was there. A gorgeous blush crept over her cheeks as she cleared her throat and nodded.

"That good."

Tank laughed once more, then turned back to Lula.

Steph caught my hand as it came out from under the table. Before I could even contemplate what she was doing, she'd used the two fingers I'd had inside her to scoop up a bit of mousse. I nearly came in my pants when she raised my hand to her lips and proceeded to suck the sticky mess off.

"You know what, Batman?" She asked around licks.

I shook my head, unable to speak around the lump in my throat and the throbbing member in my pants.

"Turnabout's fair play," she whispered with a grin.

I'm pretty sure I jumped about a foot when Granny's voice piped up from over my shoulder, "That's what I always say, sonny."

Lord, help me.


A/N: Again, thanks so much to everyone who's stuck with Just Life and Between the Lines. Your input has kept me writing. You can expect one last chapter of Just Life, which will hopefully be up soon. A happy new year to everyone!

A bag of dicks – U.S. military lingo which describes a problematic or intractable situation

Bueno, no? – Good, no?