Babe Short. HEA.

Response to Annie's Thanksgiving is for the Birds Challenge.

SMUT warning. And Language...I guess there are adult themes as well.

I don't own the characters! All belongs to Janet Evanovich.

I had finally refused Morelli, after he had proposed once again. This time I finally got my act together and told him the truth. He did deserve it after all. I told him that even though I loved him I would never be able to marry him, never have his children. All because I was in love with some else; someone, I told Joe, that didn't and never would want me back.

Joe had ranted and yelled and screamed at me. Accusing me of leading him on. I didn't dispute anything he said. It was all true. I did occasionally let Ranger kiss me. I did let him touch me more frequently than I should. He was always first on my concern list. So Joe had told me to get out. I packed up my handful of clothing that stayed in one of his draws and I left, fully accepting that he had been my last chance at love; that I would now die a lonely old woman...if I made it that far anyway. Death seemed to follow me around. The news and apparently every detail of our break up flew around the burg for a month or so...everyone trying to figure out who the man I loved was that didn't love me. A few people knew, my closer friends, but they never asked. My mother had given me a constant lecture every time I saw her about how I broke poor Joseph's heart and how I should know better and that I should give up my job and beg for him back. No thanks mom.

Three months later, Ranger shows up at my door out of the blue. Well, I mean he's Batman, he doesn't show up out of the blue...he surprised me with a visit as I still expected him to be gone in the wind. In fact it looked like he had just come from the wind. He looked exhausted. What the hell was he doing here then?

"Babe" He whispered and drew me to him for a long heated kiss. I pulled back and stared at the ground. I had to tell him about the conclusions I had come to.

"I can't be in your life anymore" I explained, not daring a look at his face. This was hard enough without having to encounter blank eyes or an all knowing smirk...either way I wouldn't be able to stand it.

"Morelli's history" He stated. I nodded. He was. So was I. I doubted I would ever live a complete life again.

"Not for Morelli's sake. For mine. I can't..." I felt a lump in my throat. It's better just to tell him. He probably already knows anyway.

"I understand" He all but growled. I flinched. Unfriendly Ranger alert.

"I don't think you do" I spoke at an almost inaudible level.

"Babe?" I sighed. If he would just let me continue I would get to it, even though it would probably kill me to say it. I turned my back towards him.

"I love you. I'm in love with you. That's why I can't anymore. You continually toy with me, with my emotions and then you tell me you don't want me. Why do you think I stayed with Morelli so long? I was lonely; I wanted someone to go home to at night. I needed to feel wanted by someone. To be quite frank, you've stolen and broken my heart Ranger. It's just too hard to see you every day when I know you laugh at me and are just stringing me along, ok? I know it's all my own fault. You told me. I knew. I'm sorry" I whispered, walking away from him to my bedroom. Tears were silently falling down my cheeks. I shut the door with a click and fell face first into bed. Sobs were racking my body. I heard the door open and my breath caught. I almost wished it was some psycho.

"Steph. I love you too" I heard him say. I rolled over onto my side, away from him and wrapped my arms around myself tighter.

"Do you really hate me that much? I know you love me in your own way. I get it. I got it a long time ago when you made that deal. Are you trying to kill me, cause it sure as hell is working?" My voice was so shaky, my last sentence coming out disjointed. Why was he taunting me like this? Did it give him satisfaction to know he had the power to break me? Suddenly he was in front, crouched down. I tried to turn away but he caught my wrists, holding me in place.

"Let me go" I pleaded. I wouldn't be able to take much more of this. Why hadn't he just left? He could have gone and told Tank by now and they could both be laughing about how pathetic and worthless I was.

"Stephanie. Look at me" His voice was so soft and gentle. I didn't want to. "Please" Bastard. He was playing dirty. I slowly raised my eyes to his and froze. His were full of emotion. Sadness, grief and despair were most prominent.

"I love you. In every way a man can. More. I love you much much more than any mere man ever could. You're everything to me. I live for you, to come home to you, to protect you. I've been in love with you since the Ramos incident. I'm sorry I've hurt you so much Steph. I didn't mean to hurt you. I was scared. That my life wouldn't be able to fit with yours, that you loved Morelli more than you loved me, that you wouldn't even give me a chance. I want you in my life. Permanently. I want a lasting relationship with you. I'll give you a ring, children, any damn thing you want. Just take me please mi amor. I'm yours" My mouth fell open. Am I hallucinating? Seriously, what shit did I smoke to have that kind of a wonderful delusion? Did I go to Mooner's today? No. Well Shit. Ranger chuckled quietly.

"Say you'll be mine?" He implored. I nodded and his mouth descended on mine for another long kiss. "Scoot over Babe, I want to hold the woman I love in my arms as I sleep"

I had now been living with Ranger in his apartment for a month and it was thanksgiving. One of my favourite holidays of the years...oh hell, who was I kidding, any holiday that involved food and I was there like bees on honey. I was trying to pretend I was still asleep so Batman wouldn't make me get up and run with him. His hand slid down my bare back making me wet from his slightest touch...our clothes were probably still lying thrown across the room from our fun last night. I was lying against his chest. Suddenly he slid into me, making me cry out.

"Happy thanksgiving Babe" I moaned in response, moving with him. He slowly brought us both to our climaxes, touching, caressing, and showing me love. We both came together crying each other's name. We lay silently, Ranger holding me close until our breathing returned to normal.

"I like to be an optimist sometimes. And this thanksgiving I have something to be particularly thankful for" he breathed against my neck, making me shiver. I waited. Was he going to tell me what was making him happy?

"You Babe" He smiled. I melted. "That's why we're going on a diet, starting today" My mouth fell open. WHAT!

"Ranger" I growled. I couldn't go on a diet for thanksgiving! Was he crazy? Who the hell would even suggest such a thing?

"Irv Kupcinet" I blinked.

"Bless you?" I tried.

"An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day. Irv Kupcinet, he suggested it" I frowned at Ranger, smart ass. Didn't help his case.

"Know why else I want us to go on a diet?" I pouted at him. He was really going to make me do this. It wasn't fair, he would be eating food he liked, while feeding me food I...well I had never been game enough to really try it before.

"Why" I whimpered dejectedly.

"Because I know what you're like when you're sugar deprived and I want to experience that first hand" He gave me a wolf grin before moving into the bathroom. I groaned. Mean, evil man. I buried under the covers. Maybe if I go back to sleep I'll wake up and this diet thing would have all been a dream. Yeah, that sounds nice.

"Babe. C'mon Babe, wake up" I groaned and wiggled away from him. I was having a very nice nap. "Steph, please" I HATE it when he plays dirty. My eyes opened and I glared at him. He chuckled and gave me a bone melting kiss.

"Get up amante or I'm going to keep you naked in my bed all day" That really didn't sound so bad.

"Not supposed to be a threat Babe. Just explaining what's gonna happen if you're not out of bed in the next three minutes. And then our mothers will be mad Babe." Ah, problem found. I sat up and swayed a little. Whoa, dizziness.

"Steph?" Ranger whispered an arm coming around me.

"Just a little dizzy" I closed my eyes briefly till it passed. I had been doing a lot more exercise lately, both in the bedroom and in the gym, thanks to Ranger. Maybe exercise wasn't the answer!

"When was the last time you ate?" Oh. Well, yesterday I skipped breakfast because Ranger woke me up with kisses and one thing led to another...lunch I had been catching skips...and dinner...well we were celebrating the end of Ranger's government contract. Shit. I can't believe I missed all those meals! And now I have to go on a freaking diet! Ugh.

"The last time Steph?" Ranger demanded. He's gonna get angry.

"Day before yesterday, at dinner" I whispered timidly. He whispered something in Spanish that to me sounded a lot like cursing, but he could have just been making a list...or something. Swiftly I was picked up in his arms and carried into the shower. He dropped his towel and climbed in with me, keeping an arm around me. I rested my head against his chest. Now that he had got me thinking about it...I was starving.

"Ranger, you already showered" I mumbled sleepily. He didn't answer but started washing my body thoroughly before doing my hair.

"Close your eyes Babe" I did as instructed and he washed the soap and shampoo from me. He quickly conditioned my hair, rinsed and turned off the water. He wrapped a towel around me before wrapping one around himself. Lifting me in his arms again he carried me out to the lounge room where he laid me on the couch.

"Ranger" I muttered grumpily. Why did he want me on the couch?

"So I can watch you while I make us something to eat" Food?! I settled down happily and waited. I must have dozed off because next thing I knew, Ranger was in front of me, speaking quickly.

"Steph. Please. Please stay awake. I need you to keep your eyes open for me, ok?" His voice was whisper soft. I groaned and opened my eyes. He looked worried. Suddenly there was a knock on the door. I noticed Ranger now had on some army cargos and I was wrapped in his bath robe.

Ranger came striding back into the room with Bobby hot on his heels. I groaned. I wasn't that unwell! I opened my mouth to complain but was silenced with an icy glare from Ranger. Shrinking away from him I let my eyes fall to the carpet. Bobby noticed.

"Ranger, I'm gonna ask you to leave while I talk to Steph" My breathing hitched. Was the man suicidal?

"What!" Ranger snarled. I flinched, the unusually loud volume of his voice giving me a headache. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.

"Ranger" I whimpered softly. I felt his hands rest on me and his lips brush my forehead.

"Sorry Babe." He murmured. I opened my eyes and found his. Wow, Batman was really worried about me.

"I'm fine. Bobby just wants to have a ten second chat without you breathing down his neck. Go get dressed. I'm fine, ok?" I gave him a small smile.

"I'll be in the next room. Call me if something happens" I sat up a little and gave him a soft kiss. He smiled and leaned down, giving me a real kiss.

"Five minutes Babe. That's all he's got" I nodded. Ranger stood and strode quickly to his bedroom shutting the door with a quiet snap. Bobby relaxed instantly.

"Don't ever get sick again Bomber. I can't take him when he's like this" Poor Bobby was stressed.

"I'm not making you any promises" I replied. He sighed and checked my pulse and temperature first.

"Ok, so what's the problem? You seem ok to me" My eyes bugged out a little.

"Didn't Ranger explain it to you?" He shook his head no instantly. "Well I was pretty dizzy and light headed, starving and sleepy" That summed it up right?

"Are you pregnant?" My mouth fell open.

"I haven't missed a pill yet" Bobby seemed relieved.

"Been drinking enough water? When did you last have some?"

"Last night, yesterday...enough"

"When was the last time you ate?"

"Dinner day before yesterday." I shrugged. A smile flew onto Bobby's face.

"You just gotta eat a good meal and you'll be fine Bombshell" He chuckled and stood. I groaned.

"Tell Mr 'It's time for a diet Babe'!" I muttered under my breath.

"What?" Bobby crouched down in front of me again.

"Ranger's putting me on a diet, starting today" I answered glumly.

"God help us all" I swear I heard him state before he strolled over to the bedroom door and entered after knocking. I lay there bemused. They both emerged a second later, Ranger looking slightly dejected. Bobby let himself out. Ranger carefully sat down next to me on the couch and ran a hand through my hair.

"You win Babe, diet starts tomorrow" He sighed. Yes! "Ella is bringing you up a decent breakfast, and then we'll head out to meet our parents." I nodded. His hand slipped inside the robe and started tracing my curves.

"I'm sorry Babe" Ranger whispered after a moment.

"For what?" He brushed a kiss across my lips.

"I should be taking better care of you" He looked so disheartened.

"Don't be ridiculous. You take better care of me than anyone else ever has. I forgot to eat, that isn't your fault at all. Ok?" I sat up and crawled into his lap. He just gave a half sigh. I've been making him sigh a lot lately. Probably I shouldn't be pushing him. I started to move off of his lap when his arms encased me.

"Where are you going Babe?" Away from you, you obviously don't want me around at the moment.

"Giving you some space Ranger. You seem...upset with me. I'm sorry. I'll go back to my apartment to get ready and I'll meet you at your parent's" If you still even want me to come. My voice sounded flat and dull. He didn't release me.

"You have to let go if you want me to leave you alone" I explained carefully, trying to keep the hurt from my voice. I didn't want to go, but I would.

"Stay" Ranger stated placing a kiss on my neck. He slid me off of his lap and back onto the couch. "Give me a minute" He remarked before striding away to the bedroom. See, he didn't even want to be around me, what was the point in staying? But all I had on was Ranger's bathrobe. Maybe I'd go see if Ella had some clothes for me. I carefully stood, only swaying on my feet a little and made my way silently to the door.

I slipped out and headed to the elevator. It opened instantly. Whoa. I hit the button that would take me to Ella and rode down quickly. Stepping off, I found Tank waiting for me. Uh oh. I knew that was too easy. He motioned for me to turn around. My shoulders slumped and I walked dejectedly back into the elevator, Tank not a step behind me. He pulled out a key fob. I leaned heavily against the elevator wall as we ascended. I wondered if Ranger was going to be mad at me for leaving or angry at Tank for bringing me back.

"Nice outfit Bombshell" Tank smirked.

"Thanks Pierre" I smirked back. He chuckled quietly. I could practically see him think Touché. Cool! I think I just had momentary ESP!

The doors opened and Tank took me by the arm, gently pulling me out. Ranger was waiting just outside the apartment door and pulled me out of Tanks grip as soon as I was within reach. He held my chin carefully and focused on my eyes and face. I watched as his ESP worked, his eyes instantly softening. Ranger drew me to his chest and kissed the top of my head. He and Tank then had a silent conversation before Ranger led me back into the apartment. As soon as the door was shut he swung me up into his arms and carried me to the bedroom. The bed had been made, turned down and the pillows arranged so that I would be propped up when sitting. Aww.

"Ranger..." I started but he gently lay me down and gave me a tender kiss.

"We had a failure to communicate. My fault Babe. I just wanted you to be comfortable." I placed my palm against his cheek, stroking his skin lightly.

"Thank you, you didn't have to. I didn' treat me too spoil me...Thank you" How would I ever go back to my life before when he did finally decide I wasn't right for him?

"Stephanie. I love you. Don't doubt that. I. Am. Keeping. You. Forever." He punctuated every word with a kiss. I felt myself melt into the bed.

"I love you too" I smiled shyly.

"Always happy to hear it" He answered. The front door opened and I heard Ella call out a hello.

"Stay here Babe. I mean it this time. Don't move from my bed" He instructed with a tilt of his lips.

"Sir Yes sir" I muttered, staring at his perfect ass as he exited the room.

"Ricardo, I did not know what to make for your Stephanie. I made a little of everything, is that ok?" Ella sounded extremely joyful this morning.

"Perfect. Thank you Ella" He dismissed her and I heard him walking back towards me. Bringing the tray to me, he positioned it on my lap before carefully climbing into bed next to me, wrapping an arm around me tightly and taking the breakfast tray onto his lap. Uncovering the lid, he revealed toast, chocolate chip pancakes, apple cinnamon muffins and scrambled eggs. My mouth watered. There were also two glasses of fresh orange juice and two sets of cutlery. Ella was my Goddess.

"Eat Babe" he didn't have to tell me twice. I picked up a fork and knife and instantly started to make a dent in the pile of pancakes, moaning my appreciation at each bite. Ranger snagged a piece of toast and ate it dry. After enough pancakes, I moved onto some scrambled eggs and then a piece of toast I smothered in jam. Then I was full. Hey! No fair.

"Your stomach shrunk Babe. Stop eating now or you'll be sick" It shouldn't have happen so fast! This was so not fair! This was like my third last meal until diet doom! I huffed out a pout and laid my fork down. Stupid stomach, harden up! Eat some concrete! Stupid Stephanie replied. I rolled my eyes at myself and watched Ranger eat some eggs and a muffin. Dammit! He fed me healthy food and I didn't even realise! Well...the pancakes probably weren't healthy but he wouldn't have eaten that muffin if it wasn't! Ranger placed the now mostly empty tray on the ground and reorganised the pillows so we could lie down. Once he was satisfied, he dragged me into his arms, half lying on his chest.

"How long till we have to meet our parents?" We were supposed to meet them for brunch. Both families had decided on one big get together. Wonder how that was gonna turn out...does Italian and Cuban food mix?

"I called and told them we'd been an hour late." Great another lecture "It's ten now Babe, we'll get there at eleven thirty. Leave here at ten to eleven. Relax" I did as he said and curled into his chest. Next thing I knew I was being awoken by an annoying beep.

"Time to get ready Babe. You have twenty minutes then we're leaving whether you think you're ready or not" I heard him whisper in my ear before moving out from underneath me.

"Ugh!" I landed on the mattress. I didn't want to get up...wait TWENTY MINUTES! I had slept for half an hour! I jumped out of bed and was thankful that the dizziness had passed. Running into the bathroom I started applying makeup and trying to tame my hair. With Mr Alexander's wonder cream, my hair curled fairly nicely. I decided to leave it down. Three coats...four coats of mascara should do it. Soft, warm eyes. Gentle blush. Full red lips. Good as we're gonna get.

I raced from the bathroom and into the wardrobe pausing in my frenzied motions. Shit. What was I gonna wear? My whole family and his whole family was gonna be there. I stood staring for a long minute before I started pulling clothes out, dismissing them and throwing them on the floor. I quickly ran out of clothes. Fuck! I only had distraction outfits, bounty hunting clothes and Rangeman uniforms. I just wanted to cry. Why hadn't I planned this in advance? Oh right, I had been way too distracted by Ranger...and extremely happy that he had ended his contract with the government. No more going in the wind, yay! Wait; stop delaying Steph you only have...nine minutes! Arg! I kneeled down on the floor and started going through the clothes again frantically. I really didn't have anything remotely acceptable. Tears prickled in my eyes.

"Babe. Calm down. Shhhhh. What's wrong?" I was suddenly encased in Ranger's warm arms and hugged to his chest.

"I don't have anything to wear. My mother is going to abuse me! I'm so stupid, I should have thought of this earlier" I complained.

"She won't. You're not" He growled quietly. "I got you covered Steph, its fine amante. I have something for you to wear" He finished in a whisper. Standing slowly, he pulled me with him to his side of the wardrobe and pulled out a dress bag. Unzipping it shakily after a glance at Ranger I gasped.

Inside was a pair of white Christie Fit pants in seasonless stretch. They looked specifically tailor made for me and would just brush the floor without heels. There was also a lipstick red cotton rib off-the-shoulder sweater. Ranger also handed me a box that contained very expensive looking black satin, peep toe, five inch pumps. (Search for them in Victoria secrets catalogue if you want an idea of what they look like)

"Wow" I breathed softly.

"You like Babe?" He wondered. I nodded and found his lips with mine, giving him a very passionate kiss. Wonderful man.

"You're a God among men" I murmured. I felt him laugh.

"You never disappoint Babe. Now hurry up and get dressed" He quickly untangled himself from me and snagged his weapons and a jacket before leaving me to dress. I was done in record time, shoes and all with a minute to spare. Whew. I exited the wardrobe and paused. Whoa! Was Ranger wearing that before...he looked delicious.

"Babe, you're looking at me like I'm dinner" He smirked. I ran my eyes over him again. He was wearing black dress pants and an untucked black dress shirt that hugged his muscles, the sleeves were rolled up to his elbows and the top two buttons were undone. He oozed sex.

"Maybe you will be" I smiled cheekily. He walked over to me and ran his hands around my neck. I felt something settle against my skin. I brought my fingers to it and felt it gently. It was a necklace, but I couldn't see it.

"It's a white gold chain and a diamond encrusted white gold heart pendant. Please accept it Babe. It's yours. On the back, my name is inscribed. Happy one month anniversary" He smiled. (.)

I threw myself into his arms raining kisses over his face. Way too good for me.

"Welcome. Let's go babe" He caught my hand in his and with one last kiss led us out the door, pausing only to grab my purse and his keys. We were in his newest Porsche and on our way in less than a minute.

The drive to Ranger's parents' house took around thirty five minutes. I had only been there once before to meet only his parents. He had been to dinner with me a few times now. Today was a momentous occasion. I can't believe both families had really wanted a joined Thanksgiving. It was going to last all day and well into the night. Ranger was silent the entire drive, only breaking out of his zone to grab my hand and lay it on his thigh. We had to park half way down the street. Oh My God!

"Too late to get out of it now Babe" He laughed, pulling me from the car. He locked it and wrapped an arm around my waist leading me to my demise...ok hopefully it wouldn't be that bad. On the way there I must have counted at least twenty cars. Lucky the Manoso's had a large backyard!

Ranger rang the door bell. The door opened and we were instantly engulfed by music, people and Spanish. I held onto Ranger for dear life. It was actually his mother who pulled us inside.

"Ricardo! You're here" She kissed his cheek "Stephanie, are you feeling better my dear?" She turned to me. I smiled and nodded. Patting my cheek she danced off back into the house. Ranger was greeted by many people on our way outside.

"Ric! Long time no see"

"Ricardo, why have you not been to see us in so long, you're nephews have missed you!"

"Carlitos! Who is this woman you have? Why did you not tell Abuela you settled down? Hmm. And where is her ring? Idiota Chico."

"Ricky! Where have you been cousin?! I haven't seen you in a year"

I watched as Ranger greeted everyone who stopped him, sometimes introducing me or just passing on quickly. I noticed nobody referred to him as Ranger. Uh oh. What was I supposed to call him? He had never asked me to call him anything else other than Ranger. We finally made it to the backyard that was a sea of tables and chairs. Three tables at the front were loaded with food and there was a hot box keeping some things warm. There were so many people. I moved even closer to Ranger. Looking around, I found a few members of my family, but two thirds of the people present were from his side. He steered us over to my mother and father.

"Stephanie Michelle Plum! Where have you been? Why are you late? Why do you always embarrass me like this? All of these people! Mr Manoso's family will be very disappointed in you. Do you think they'll still want you in their family now? And what must they think of your job? How are you supposed to provide Mr Manoso with children and a clean home and a well cooked meal if you're out running around after criminals?!" I pretty much had this speech memorized. She'd been giving it to me since the day after I announced to her I was dating Ranger. I was getting pretty bored of it. She should get some new material. Ranger however, hadn't heard it before and must have been listening attentively because his hand was griping my side like a vice.

"Shut up" Ranger growled out, his cold glare silencing my mother. She looked ready to piss her pants. I would if I was receiving that glare. Ranger pulled me into his arms and kissed me like nobody's business. I was gasping for breath when he released me, still keeping me crushed to his chest.

"Don't speak to her like that again. Excuse us" Ranger ordered. I kept silent, probably safer that way. He led us back into the house and up a set of stairs, ignoring anyone who attempted to stop him for a chat. We walked to the last door on the right. He opened it and pushed me in, locking the door behind us. I stood there, staring at him for a moment. I opened my mouth to ask him what we were doing here, where here was, etc but decided against it, closing my mouth. If he wanted me to know he would have told me by now. I ran my eyes around the room. Standard bedroom, nothing too personal lying around though and just the basics in decorating. The feature of the room was a king sized black bed. I walked over to the window, drawing the curtains open a fraction and glanced out at the street. Not much happening there either. Ok. Now what. I turned back to face Ranger. He had been watching me carefully.

"Why aren't you upset?" He wondered in a confused voice. Cool, I had confused Batman! I shrugged and answered him. Didn't really feel like going to a third world country today.

"I've heard that speech about ten times over the past three weeks, doesn't hold that much meaning anymore" His posture visibly tensed.

"She's been speaking to you like that for three weeks" I rolled my eyes.

"More like my whole life" I snorted. I could almost see anger radiating from him. Oops. I took half a step back, just to be safe. His eyes instantly softened.

"Babe" He whispered gently.

"Ranger" I replied. That reminded me, why was I the only one who seemed to call him Ranger? He crooked his fingers at me. I took the five steps or so forward that moved me half a foot from him. He took my hands in each of his and wrapped them around his neck, pulling us chest to chest. His arms then slid down my body to rest on my hips.

"Why didn't you tell me?" I shrugged my shoulders.

"I didn't think you want to know about it. It's not important." He made a quiet hissing noise.

"Everything about your life is important to me" His voice was laced with rage but he was holding me so carefully. I wasn't worried.

"You always could have asked" I tried to pull away from him. I felt him freeze, holding me in place.


"Well you never ask how my day went, what I did. I know it's probably because you track my every movement. I would have told you if you had of asked" I answered in a calm voice. It didn't really bother me. I knew he was busy, that when he came home he just wanted to unwind. He didn't need to listen to me prattle on about my boring life.

"I've never asked?" He sounded upset by that fact.

"You asked said: Had a rough day Babe?" I had come home covered in garbage, he would remember.

"That's it?" He sounded shocked; kind of hard to tell though. I nodded and gave him a quick kiss.

"I don't mind. Don't worry about it. I was just answering your question. Now you know" I gave him a timid smile that he didn't return.

"How's your day going so far?" He asked, his eyes burning with curiosity.

"Well, it started off perfect, then it had a little bit of a rough patch but it picked back up again until we came here" A small smile graced his lips.

"Perfect?" Ranger enquired, trying not to let his lips tip up.

"You know you're amazing in bed. Don't sound so surprised" I rolled my eyes at him. He chuckled and brushed his lips against mine.

"Good for the ego. Let's go back to the party, it's almost time to eat" I was surprised that it was almost twelve thirty but my ears picked up at the mention of food and I dragged him back downstairs. We sat at a table where the only person I recognised was Lester. He had a leggy blonde sitting in his lap. Typical.

"Hey Ric, Bombshell" Lester nodded at us while sneaking his hand up the blonde's thigh. She giggled. Great. It was going to be one of those afternoons. I felt Ranger lean away from the blonde and towards me.

"Babe, wanna swap seats?" I looked at him like he was crazy.

"After we eat we can share my seat. No way in hell I'm gonna sit next to those two" I whispered in his ear.

"Too bad" He lifted me out of my seat, slid into it and deposited me on his.

"Hey!" He smirked and ran a thumb across my lips. I slapped his hand away. Ass. Lester reached out and ran a hand lightly down my cheek before turning my head to face him. He pressed his lips to my forehead. I heard the blonde huff and Ranger growl.

"Beautiful, you come see me if he's not treating you right. I'll take good care of you" he lifted my hand to his lips and kissed it. Ranger growled again and I felt him pull me out of the chair and into his lap.

"Gym. 5 am day after next" Ranger snarled pulling me tighter to him.

"STEPHANIE!" Oh great here we go. I give you, my mother. Ranger turned and glared at her. She paled and turned on her heel walking back to the head table where my father and grandma as well as Ranger's mother, father and grandma were seated. Phew. I blew out a sigh of relief. Ranger kissed my neck and enclosed his arms around my waist, hugging me securely. Grandma stood and started tapping on her glass to get everyone's attention. She tapped it a little too hard, but instead of the glass shattering, it flew out of her hand and smacked someone in the back. That got everyone silent; except for me and Lester who were chocking back laughter. Good old Grandma.

"I'd like to welcome everyone here today! Especially the nice package's family" I chocked on my water. We were at Ranger's family's house! Why wouldn't they come? Probably would have been smarter to have stayed at home. "Anyway we're having something a little different this year for Thanksgiving. Instead of a turkey, we're having a swan. You get more stuffing!" Grandma winked at the nearest man, which happened to be Ranger's father. I shuddered, not wanting to think about any man stuffing Grandma, especially not my boyfriend's father who was still very much married and in love. Please just sit down grandma. Please. Wait. SWAN! I'm going on a diet tomorrow and my thanksgiving lunch has been thwarted by exchanging the wondrous turkey for icky SWAN! My life officially sucks. Ranger planned this all didn't he?!

"I swear on your life I had nothing to do with this Babe. Who eats Swan on thanksgiving?" He sounded almost as upset as me.

"Thanksgiving usually not a temple day Batman?" He sighed.

"I put on five pounds last year. That's why I wanted to go on a diet today" I blinked. I didn't think Ranger could put on five pounds if he tried. Besides, he'd do his exercise regime the next day and be perfectly toned again.

"Dig in everybody!" I heard grandma announce. There was a sudden rush for the three tables loaded with food. Ranger and I stayed put. I could smell the wonderful aromas of Cuban and Italian food drifting over us.

"I'll help you work it off" I murmured seductively to Ranger.

"Promise?" He whispered in a low voice. I felt him slip a hand down my pants. He groaned when he encountered no underwear. He flicked my clit once causing me to moan before removing his hand. Lucky everyone else was occupied.

"You bet your life on it Batman" I answered wantonly, grinding my hips back against his.

"God, Ric you're worse than me!" Lester laughed as he sat back down. Ranger pulled me down on him hard. I bit my tongue to stop myself from moaning. Ranger leaned over and snagged Lester's plate, moving it in front of us.

"Thanks Santos" Ranger smirked, picking up a fork and taking a bite. Lester pouted and turned, walking back to fix his plate again. Wow. I wished I could get away with doing something like that. Ranger moved our chair so that our lower halves were hidden under the table and table cloth. Uh oh. His spare hand slipped beneath the cloth, back into my pants. I tensed.

"Relax Steph. Eat" he held a forkful of food to my mouth and waited till I swallowed. He then started slowly massaging my clit. God! One of his knees slipped between my legs, also adding to the pressure. He continued to eat, offering me food every second bite. God, I was getting so close. Then his mother walked over. His hand didn't stop. I was sweating slightly by this point and I'm sure my face was flushed.

"Oh you poor dear. Are you still feeling unwell?" Mrs Manoso asked, placing a hand against my forehead.

"Si mama. Steph is still sick. Would you be terribly upset if we crashed in my room here tonight?" WHAT?!

"Of course not hijo. Go take care of your woman. Lie down for a few hours until dinner. I'll make sure everyone leaves you two alone." Did she really just say that! She winked at me and gave a knowing smile. Oh shit, she knew. Ranger's hand was suddenly out of my pants and holding me securely by the waist. She leaned closer to us and whispered.

"I want a wedding and a grandchild before the end of next year. Now go" Ranger sat frozen for a moment before he moved the chair out and stood, keeping me close to his body. He led us upstairs and back to the room we had been in earlier. As soon as he shut the door and locked it, he had me pushed up against it, lips and hands all over me. I shoved my hands against his chest.

"What Babe?" He asked, lips brushing against mine. His mother had just told him to marry me and impregnate me.

"You don't do stupid things like marriage and babies" I quoted him. He groaned and rested his head on my shoulder.

"I should never have said that. I was just trying to push you away. I told you I'd give you anything you wanted. Of course I was going to ask you to marry me. I want you to legally belong to me. Mine. We have plenty of time to work on having children. At the moment I want you all to myself though. I love you." He murmured trailing kisses down my neck.

"Then why am I the only one out of all your friends and family who calls you Ranger?" He froze.

"Take off your necklace Babe" I blinked. What? Why?

"Please, just for a minute" He smiled a small smile, encouraging me. He knew I could never say no to him when he used that word. I ran my hands around my neck to the clasp and let the necklace fall into my hand. I glanced at Ranger quickly. He was watching me carefully. I flipped over the pendant and felt tears spill from my eyes.

Optimistically yours forever

We never made it back to the thanksgiving party. We were too busy giving thanks to each other.

The End

What did everyone think??? I had fun writing it!