Thanks for all the enthusiastic reviews! :)
I changed the rating to M due to 'adult themes', as the Ratings Guide puts it so nicely. If stuff like that isn't your cup of tea, you shouldn't read this chapter.
I arrive at the pool super early. Four changing cubicles for five people – that's not a situation you want to be late for. Especially if one of the people enjoys to embarrass you at any given opportunity.
The interior of the building looks as ugly as I remember it, maybe even a little shabbier than the last time I was here. Nothing good ever happened at this place. Once I injured my toe when I stumbled over a loose floor tile, another time one of the participants got a heart attack and I had to perform CPR. During none of my previous visits a certain consultant with a propensity for leaving a glorious mess wherever he goes was among the attendees, so I brace myself for even worse incidents today.
I examine all four cabins and decide for the very left one since it seems to be the most germ-free of all, when suddenly the sound of a familiar voice behind me startles me.
"You're early. Wanna make sure that you don't have to change into your bikini behind a bush in front of the house?" For someone who didn't even want to go here, Jane is awfully chipper.
"Bathing suit. And, right back at you!" As most of the time he is right, also regarding my choice of swimming wear. I do prefer bikinis. But not today. Today I packed a sporty bathing suit to show as little skin as possible. And as a bonus it now serves the purpose to demonstrate that I'm not as predictable as he thinks I am.
Of course that doesn't diminish his smugness the tiniest bit. "I don't have a problem with taking off my clothes outside one of those funny little cabins." Or inside an elevator right in front of me. "I'm only that early to see if you have. Interesting. Even Van Pelt after her '18 people versus 4 changing cubicles' experience isn't here yet, but you are."
"You know what, Jane? Bite me. I'll lock myself in one of those funny little cabins now, no matter how inconvenient my refusal to rip my clothes off in public is for you. See you at the pool." Furiously I storm into my chosen place of refuge without looking back at him and throw my bag on the small rack inside.
Locking the door right after entering would have been wise. "Jane, what the..."
"Relax, woman. You are way too tense." I'm speechless. Literally. My mouth opens, but refuses to form words. Jane is inside my cabin and, seeing that he brought his bag, he's apparently planning a longer stay. "We better lock this place. There's really no space here for more than two people."
As he fumbles with the lock, I finally regain my composure and lose my temper. "What do you think you're doing here?!"
"Sharing a changing cubicle with you." He states as if it would be the most natural thing in the world and smiles at me ambiguously.
"Jane, seriously, don't push me. There are three empty ones right next to this. Do yourself a favor and lock yourself in one of those before I give in to the urge to use my gun."
His facial expression changes from cheekiness to one of a little boy whose mother told him that he can't eat candy before dinner. "I don't want those, I want this one."
"Why, Jane? Why does it have to be this one?"
"Because you're here. "
What the heck is that supposed to mean now? If he continues this childish game any longer, I'll go ballistic. "So?"
"I think that elevator ride this morning was awfully short. Don't you think it was short?" And with that he begins unbuttoning his shirt, just like he did this morning. I'm afraid though that he won't stop after the shirt this time.
All of a sudden this little room seems way too small even for two people. The air is stuffier than it was a minute ago, making me feel flustered and hot. Or maybe it isn't the air's fault. Maybe it's because there's not even an arm's length of space between Jane and me. Maybe it's the soft contact between his hand and my upper arm, happening when he slips off his shirt sleeve, that gives me goose bumps.
Or maybe I just spent too much time daydreaming about Jane and am no longer in control of myself.
If anyone else of the team would act that way - not that any of them would even consider doing something so inane - I'd give them the boot within seconds. Why am I never that strict when it comes to Jane?
Against my will, my anger vanishes until only a tiny hint of irritation is left. I hate that I never can stay mad at him for too long. I hate that he makes me blush like a damn schoolgirl and that I feel weak and bold at the same time when I'm around him. And I hate the most that I'm unable to move or protest while he does something as unthinkable as undressing right in front of me.
What am I to do with this arrogant, confusing, annoying, yet also very appealing guy? I want to kick him out, but at the same time I don't. This is much scarier than having daydreams about him, but also far more exciting. Besides, I don't think that he'll undress completely. He only wants to play mind games with me. Right? But then he begins unbuckling his belt and I am not so sure anymore.
"Hey, Lisbon? A little less staring and drooling and a little more action, please!"
"Huh?" Very articulate, Teresa, bravo.
"Don't be so prudish and get yourself changed. That's what those changing cubicles are there for, after all."
I pant for breath. How dare he? "I'm not prudish!"
My outburst makes him grin. Apparently I'm reacting just the way he wants me to. "You're still fully dressed. Sure looks like you're prudish."
"I am not!" Why do I even feel the need to defend myself? I should act cool about it and kick him finally out of my changing cubicle and...
"Everything okay, boss?" Van Pelt's worried voice inquires.
Damn, I totally forgot that Jane and I won't be alone here forever. Jane is obviously enjoying my discomfort and seems very eager to announce his presence to Van Pelt. I signal him to shut the hell up and for once he even obeys.
Making a fuss and kicking Jane out before Van Pelt's nose is out of the question. Bad enough that she witnessed our little spat this morning, she really doesn't need to know that Jane is getting naked again in my presence and in a confined space. When did my life get so complicated and soap-opera-like?
Risgby and Cho arrive as well and I finally settle for an answer, before Van Pelt orders them to break the door so she can check on me. "I'm fine. I was only talking on the phone."
Now that Grace's mind is put to rest, I have to take care of the triumphantly grinning guy in front of me, who signals that he still wants me to undress.
Since I show no reaction to his request, his face and naked torso move closer, making it possible for him to whisper in my ear and to electrify my whole body without even touching me. "Prove that you're not prudish."
His smug behavior annoys me to no end, but still I catch myself considering the possibility of just giving in and going with the flow. This whole situation is so filled with recklessness, sinfulness and pent-up tension, that I really have trouble resisting the temptation.
In addition, I have a competitive streak, always had. I guess that's inevitable after growing up with two wild, dauntless brothers. Telling me that I'm not able to do something is a very effective method of persuading me to try it anyway.
Jane thinks I'm prudish? Think again, Jane. Hiding all my hesitation and insecurity, I take off my top and drop it swiftly on top of my bag.
Jane's reaction to my exposure is very different than anticipated. I note a change in him, a dramatic shift in his demeanor. All of a sudden he seems to feel absolutely uneasy and to have trouble finding a safe spot to look at. Oh my, apparently the sight of my bra and uncovered skin even makes him blush.
So that is the secret to make him feel uncomfortable and remove that constant perky grin from his face? Flashing some bare skin and underwear? I need to memorize this for later reference.
I come to realize that I am not acting the way Jane expects me to. He likes to tease, but when I actually go along with it he is shocked. Just to increase the level of redness on his cheeks, I proceed to take off my skirt and Jane rewards my endeavors by looking as if he suffers from claustrophobia. This is really fun.
Now it's my turn to challenge him and to signify that it's up to him to make the next move. I raise my eyebrows and he slowly snaps out of his torpor and pays attention to his still buckled belt.
The sounds of the others in the cabins next to us, rummaging through bags and chatting, fade into the background. I stop thinking altogether and just act on impulse. We lock eyes as we continue our silent, card-less game of strip poker, constantly inciting each other with looks and gestures.
As the others leave the locker room, my panties hit the floor, followed by Jane's boxer briefs. For the first time I see my Fantasy Jane in flesh and blood, even though I so far only dare to look surreptitiously at him.
Now that we have bared all, the next logical step would be to put on our swimwear as fast as possible, but we both just stand there looking each other straight in the eye. The tension between is is palpable. His eyes, clouded with desire and rapture and anxiousness, tell me that this stopped being a game. Strangely enough, I take this change in conditions calmly and don't feel the urge to bolt.
We're still not breaking off eye contact, until I am finally brave enough to let my look travel all over his body. Maybe I just had to remove the barrier in form of my clothes to be able to stop feeling so timid around him.
My eyes take their time lingering on the masculine line of his jaw and Adam's apple, on the downy, blond hair on his chest, on the adorable skin and muscles of his well-built pecs and abs. The desire to just rub my hands all over his magnificent body is overwhelming, but I'm not finished yet with my visual inspection.
I notice an appendectomy scar, an alluring white line of imperfection on his otherwise perfect abdomen. Then my look strays down further and...
"Boss, we're ready to start." Way to ruin the moment, Cho.
I really should go out and join them for the training. After all, I am their boss and I should set a good example instead of engaging in things that I might regret later. I'm a good swimmer though. Being a couple of minutes too late won't hurt, right? Jane's hopeful, pleading look encourages my decision.
And then he takes a step forward and puts a hand on my hip, leaving no doubt in my mind that I don't want to leave my hiding place any time soon. I am suddenly very aware of my nakedness and even more though of Jane's. His palm feels so hot on my skin that I'm sure I'll be stigmatized in this spot forever, being forced to wear a constant reminder of this afternoon on my body. The touch quickens my pulse and stirs my blood. All I see is Jane, all I hear is his erratic breathing, all I feel is his hand.
"Boss?" Cho's voice tries to compete against Jane's overwhelming presence and fails.
"Boss?" He asks again, louder this time, and finally he has my attention, even if not my undivided one.
Answering Cho under those circumstances is very awkward, to say the least. Somehow I fear that the tone of my voice will give away that I am mentally pretty much off-duty right now. But I need to send him away and gain some more alone time with Jane.
"I still need a few minutes to make some calls. Tell the instructor to begin without me meanwhile, I'll catch up." I call out to Cho.
"Trying to get a hold of Jane?" Great, now Rigsby is standing on the other side of the cabin door as well. Let's all have a big celebration of awkwardness together, shall we?
"Ehm. Exactly." I answer, while Jane's thumb draws distracting patterns on my hip.
"You and Grace owe me five bucks. Told you he wouldn't show up." Rigsby declares triumphantly as he and Cho walk back to the pool.
Finally alone again.
"Where were we? Oh right, you were trying to get a hold of me." He teases with the most adorable smile.
His body heat envelops me, his warm breath sweetly tickles my face. Reacting to the closeness, my body arches towards him, begging for his touch. I blush all over and look away - old habits die hard, I guess. I feel his hand on my chin, tilting my face up so that our eyes meet again.
He is so close, his mouth so near that I can almost taste him. The need to kiss him is frantic. I shudder, alight with desire as his hand cups my breast and his fingertip softly strokes my nipple.
His lips capture mine in a soft, sensual kiss. I kiss him back and open my mouth for his tongue. The fingers of Jane's right hand continue caressing my breast, causing me to moan against his lips. Our tongues dance with each other, slowly, taking their time.
He lets go of my breast and grasps my neck, stabilizing me, before he starts kissing me more forcefully, more demanding. My fingers find his skin, it feels warm and arousing under my touch. His hands slide down my back, petting every inch of it. He presses my body even closer to his. My breathing becomes more rapid with every touch of his hand.
I am hyperaware of his body - his tongue in my mouth, his chest against my hard nipples, his penis against my stomach. Our bodies rub against each other, want more. Hands slide over necks, shoulders, arms, desperate to touch as much skin as humanly possible. Only just discovered, yet strangely familiar skin.
His hand, that until now caressed my butt, softly slides over my hip and then down, stroking my inner thigh in torturously slow circles. I press my body - pelvis, legs - against him before retreating to give his hands its needed space. I cling to his neck, waiting. For the anticipated, the terrifically delicious. For his hand -
finally between my legs.
One finger traces my labia, plays with my clit. Gently. Carefully. Huddling up to him, I moan with pleasure against the soft skin of his throat. His finger picks up speed, moving in a steady rhythm. My fingernails dig into his neck and shoulders. Rapid breathing turns into stifled panting.
I hold on to his body, not trusting my shaky limbs to keep me upright when I let go of him. Basking in the euphoric feeling of after-sex glow, I wonder what impact actually sleeping with Jane might have on me if he can already make me feel like that with one finger. My breathing hasn't quite calmed down yet, but I already want more. It doesn't matter that we're in a tiny changing cubicle at a shabby pool or that technically we're on company time.
I want him. Completely. Right now. I tiptoe to initiate another kiss, a prelude of more pleasures to come.
"Boss?" Dammit! Cho is apparently aiming to become my least favorite person of all time. "The guy refuses to continue without you. Something about team work and facing evil with united forces."
"I'll be there in a minute." I snap at him and notice with satisfaction that he runs for cover. Yes, I should join the team, but I just need to stay in Jane's embrace a minute longer before I'm ready.
There are many things a man can tell a woman in a situation like this, but Jane's words are nowhere near standard pillow talk. I should have known, nothing is standard regarding him. "I can't swim."
Surprised I break away. "You what?"
"I can't swim."
I search his eyes for a sign that he is only teasing, but I come back empty. "How can you not swim? Anyone can swim."
"Not me. I didn't grow up near a lake or the sea, my parents never took me to the pool, so I never learned how to swim. And taking swimming lessons as an adult seems kind of silly." He confesses, looking crestfallen.
"So you came up with a great plan to distract me instead of just telling me?"
"Believe me, this stopped going according to plan when you pulled up your shirt. My plan was to embarrass you until you kick me out and ban me from attending the training." This man is really something. I wonder what I got myself into, now that our relationship clearly took a step beyond pure professionalism.
"Agent Lisbon?" A strict, angry voice calls from the other end of the locker room before I can discuss the matter with Jane. Seems like I really stirred the instructor's wrath. I hope he won't file a formal complaint against me due to unprofessional behavior. But then again, finally gathering some pleasant memories of the Orchard Avenue pool was worth it.
"I am on my way." I yell at Mr. Spoilsport to make him leave.
After he's gone, a frustrated sigh escapes my throat. "We really need to go, Jane."
"I know." He looks as disappointed as I feel.
I turn around to get my bathing suit out of my bag and put it on. When I face Jane again, he is wearing his pants and shoes and it just about to reach for his shirt.
"Where do you think you're going?"
"To the next swimwear store to get myself a sexy pair of Speedos." I can tell that he is kidding and knit my brows to demonstrate that his joke isn't funny. "Come on, Teresa, you don't want to force me to attend an advanced swimming course. I'll make a fool of myself and you'll have to rescue me every 10 seconds when I sink."
He has a point there. "Fine, this time you're off the hook. I'll think of an excuse to explain your absence. But you really have to take swimming lessons or I'll let you rot inside the office during every case."
"Okay, I will. Teresa?" I could get used to hear my first name in his voice.
"Yes, Patrick?" I reply, grinning at him.
"Do you regret.. this?" His gesture includes me and him and the cabin.
I remember how perfect his hands felt on my body, how wonderfully intimate and right it seemed to be this close to him. And there is also the fact that I wouldn't mind to experience this - and much more - with him again. I come to the conclusion that 'regret' is definitely the wrong word to describe my sentiments about our little afternoon delight.
"No, I don't." I state firmly, seeing in his eyes that he is pleased with my reply. "I only feel a little guilty."
"Making out with a subordinate during a vocational training hardly complies with CBI protocol."
"Subordinate?" He raises his eyebrows. "That sounds as if you took advantage of me. Isn't that a little too 'Disclosure', Demi Moore?"
I'm unable to suppress a grin, but before I can tease him about his knowledge of crappy movies of the 90s, Jane announces: "I got a suggestion that will help us both."
"Oh, really? What could this possibly be?" The return of his confident, cheeky smile augurs ill.
"You secretly teach me how to swim and I'll help you to overcome your guilt."
"And how exactly do you plan to accomplish that?"
"Well, it's scientifically proven that the more you do something, the less guilty you feel about it over time." I am absolutely certain that he just made that up. But did he just hand me his naked body on a silver platter, so to speak?
Before I can collect my thoughts or signal Jane that I'm more than willing to trade swimming lessons for the translation of my daydreams into reality, he unlocks the door and sticks his head out.
"Nobody there." He announces when he turns around to face me. "Think about my suggestion. After you're done here, I'll be at the office. Just in case you want to help me christen the couch." I don't blush this time, but once more his sauciness renders me speechless. He tenderly places a kiss on my incapable lips.
"Have fun swimming." He breathes against my mouth in a hoarse voice, then he slips out of the door.
After the happenings of this afternoon I'm not sure I'll even remember the basics of swimming. My mind will be occupied again with daydreaming about Jane. The only difference is now that I can rely on first-hand information.
As I finally walk to the pool, the image of Jane - waiting naked for me on his couch, gift-wrapped in form of a red bow around his neck - appears in my mind's eye. I know that I won't be able to resist going back to the overheated office after the course, even though Minelli gave us the rest of the day off. I'll feign a petty excuse for my appearance that neither Jane nor I will believe.
And then, converting another one of my fantasies into reality, I'll help him create some fond couch memories that don't arise from napping on it.
~ The End ~