Title: Sun-warmed Kisses

Author: AnitaB

Author's notes: Fourth in my "Duped" series, post, "Not their first kiss", "Not just a hug", and "Hugs and Kisses". Myka and Pete deal with the events of "Breakdown" and share a little bonding time outside of work. Pete/Myka ship.

Sun-warmed Kisses

By AnitaB

She thought the mirror had been hell. But she was wrong. Hell was standing outside the fucking purple circle on the Dark Vault floor and watching a typewriter of all things suck the life out of Pete. Just feet away from the man she… she loved and if she went to him they would both just stand there under the influence of Sylvia Plath's artifact until the Warehouse melted down around them.

Myka tried desperately to think past the urge to fling herself against his chest and beg him to live for her, to taste his kiss again and make him fight harder with just the grip of her arms. This man had more energy than a nuclear plant and now he wouldn't or couldn't even look at her or come to her side. Pete always came to her, always. She wasn't leaving him here, but she might not have the time to save him if someone didn't get to the gooery and stop the warehouse from exploding while they both just stood here paralyzed. He by the artifact and her by the inability to touch him. //Think, Myka, think now. Damnit, Pete needs you.\\

"There's no time. Okay. You go up to the gooery, get it online. I'll stay here and deal with this."

Claudia hesitated, shifting from one foot to the other. "Like, just on my own… or?"

//Pete, needs me.\\ She couldn't leave him here. Something deep in her gut said they had to get him out now or there wouldn't be anything left to save soon. Pete was slipping away. "Yeah, Claudia, you know this warehouse. I trust you." //I have to save Pete, that leaves the warehouse for someone else to deal with.\\

"Right, yeah, No, I'll go." She didn't watch Claudia turn on a heel and run from the Dark Vault. By the time the girl had hit the door, Myka was already focused completely the sight of everything that made him Pete draining from his face.

"Get going. Tick tock." A plan, they needed a plan. Her belt. But he wouldn't grab it. The turtle and the hare fell on deaf ears. //I need something…\\ The warehouse was packed full of stuff and not a single object came to mind. Myka ran just far enough from Pete's side to spot a cart of cleaning supplies. //Thank you, Artie, for working too hard.\\ She hit him in the arm with the broom, maybe a little too hard but he had to get out of that circle now or she was going to lose him.

Relief flooded her when he nearly fell into the bloodstone from their first case and made a joke about it. //That's my Pete, come on back to me.\\ Myka couldn't help touching him, a hand on his knee and his shoulder. She wrapped both her arms around his bicep to get him up and moving. He was better and her heart knew it, but he wasn't up to speed and the warehouse was still playing the creepy recordings of Mrs. Frederick's evacuation speech. He was still in danger.

Her heart was still racing when Pete stopped her dead in her tracks with her name and a whispered "Thank you," He was okay. That was her Pete's look on his face, working his way back to full strength.

When she got to Claudia's side Myka knew Pete was on his way. He would get here and they'd figure out a solution. All Myka could do was breathe a sigh of relief when Claudia hugged Pete and he smiled at her over the teen's shoulder. //Pete,// That was her Pete, shedding light and heat like the sun. She could feel it from here.

Setting Claudia back on her feet, Pete simply turned and held out his arms. Myka couldn't help but cross the floor to him and bury herself against the heat of his chest. Those strong arms wrapped tight around her ribs as hers nearly strangled him. His lips brushed her cheek before moving to her ear. "I'm okay, Myka, I'm right here. We're okay."

She believed him. Held warm in his arms, Myka knew everything was okay. //Pete, my Pete.\\ He was so warm and strong and she could feel him against so much of her chilled skin. Myka wanted to tell him… so much. But what came out would have to do for now. "Tighter, Pete."

The heat and light she soaked up now would have to hold her until they were alone enough for her to kiss him breathless. "You got it, sweetheart." Myka smiled at the little laugh in his voice before those strong arms tightened enough to cut off her breath. This was perfect.

"Oh man, we've got sooo much cleaning to do before Artie gets home." Claudia's voice took a few words to actually sink in. Then Myka pulled back with a smile just for Pete. The look in his eyes brought back the full heat of his hugs for a moment, like a blanket fresh from the dryer. Like sunlight on your face after a storm.

"Yeah, Claud, my girl. You're so gonna owe us big time for this much cleaning. Get your teenage butt in gear."

Oh yeah, she loved this man.

000

Several near death events, creepy recordings, a massive cleanup, and then Mexican food with two of his favorite girls. It'd been a hell of a day for a day off. He could still remember the look on Myka's face after she'd saved him from Sylvia Plath, and they always said in school that classic literature wouldn't kill you, yeah right. Pete remembered how tight she'd hugged him after he'd saved both his favorite girls from getting eaten by the gooery. He remembered her whispered little request of "Tighter, Pete."

He could never hold her tight enough, could never get her close enough to feel her with every chilled nerve in his body. Myka was like fire racing through his blood, the gentle heat of sunlight and fresh baked cookies wrapping him up with each hug, each kiss, each smile. And it was heaven, but still not enough.

And he hadn't gotten any hugs or kisses in far too many minutes. "I'm gonna go help Myka with those cookies."

"Yeah," Claudia smiled at him from the middle of the couch. "Just make sure that 'helping' with the cookies doesn't mean eating all of them before they make it out here."

"Would I do that?" Pete tried for an innocent face as he moved towards the door.

"Yeah, Cookie Monster, you most certainly would. Now go get me some cookies." She waved a hand at him with a laugh and turned her attention back to the mostly empty pie plate in her hands.

With Claudia's dismissal, Pete walked into the kitchen. //God, you're beautiful, Myka.\\ His hands clenched, his eyes followed the line of her cheek, the curves of her body, the curls of her hair. Every nerve in his entire body ached to close the distance between them and pull her close. "Myka," Pete adored the shiver that ran the length of her back before she put down the plate and turned to him. He could feel that sunlight warmth with just her eyes on his face. Then she bit her lip and he couldn't stay put any longer. She met him somewhere in the middle of the floor with open arms. He caught her up against his chest and finally got her lips against his own. This was the heat he needed. Sliding an arm tighter around her waist, Pete ran his other hand through her hair to deepen this kiss.

"Pete, never scare me like that again." Her hands cupped his face, warming him from head to toe with her touch and the worry on her face. "You're not allowed to leave me, do you understand that? I need you."

"Sweetheart, you have me." Pete touched his forehead to hers and hugged her tighter to his heart. "I'm not going anywhere. I'm never leaving you, Myka. Never." He breathed the promise against her lips before diving into a warm, deep kiss. Fisting a hand in her hair, Pete held the sunlight and heat of her as tight as humanly possible, drinking in the taste of her kiss and dance of her tongue against his. He'd never get enough of her kiss. //My Sweet Myka, I love this, I love you.\\

"Hey, what's the holdup on the cookies in there?"

He wasn't sure how many times he hadn't heard Claudia. But that line sounded like it was right outside the door. He had about three seconds to drag himself back from Myka before they would both get jumped on and hugged to death by a cheering teen. And then they'd never hear the end of it. "Later, Myka." Weakly pulling back from her lips, Pete leaned past her arm to grab the plate of cookies off the stove. "Grab the milk?"

She looked just a little shocky, licking her lips before she nodded and turned to the fridge. "Go on, I'm right behind you." Pete loved the little shiver in her hands and the soft heat in her voice.

"Good," He dragged himself to the door and called out to Claudia. "I got your cookies, Claudia, relax the tigger springs in your legs and breathe."

Out of the corner of his eyes, he watched Myka lean against the counter for a second before standing to follow him back to the couch. //Oh yeah, that's the woman I love.\\

000

She'd meant to kiss him breathless, and found herself kissed breathless in his arms instead. But a minute in Pete's arms was always worth it. Then she'd gotten one arm around her on the couch for way too many cookies and a week's worth of vitamin D from the milk. Pete still wasn't close enough, but she'd never enjoyed an evening more.

After Claudia had gone to bed, they'd stayed on the couch but then the space between them got smaller. Pete was warm, pressed close against her side as his fingers played with her hair. His heart beat slow and steady under her ear. Her body cuddled down into the line of his, one arm resting on his stomach, one leg curled lightly across his knees.

Myka was about to fall asleep right here on the couch, but she didn't want to move even inch from his side. She'd almost lost him today and couldn't get enough of his warmth. "It's been a long day, Pete."

"A really long day." Pete nuzzled his cheek against her hair and tightened his arms around her. "We should probably go to bed, shouldn't we?"

He was about to let her go, she could feel it in her bones and had to stop him. "But I don't want to let you go yet." The body against hers tensed, went still for a moment. Then Pete relaxed against her side, pulling her close and burying his face in her hair. "Pete?"

Fingers touched her chin, tilting her face up to his. "Go put on your PJs and I'll meet you upstairs." The soft touch of his lips to hers closed her eyes and for a moment, she got lost in another kiss. Then Pete pulled back his lips and his arms to guide her back to her feet next to the couch.

She was cold, every inch from head to toe. "Hurry, Pete." Myka leaned down for a quick brush of lips before she hurried herself. Climbing the stairs, she was already mentally picking through her sleep clothes for the right balance of comfort and coverage.

Myka traded her normal tank top for an old t-shirt and pulled on a pair of silky draw-string pants. She brushed her teeth and pulled her hair back in a pony tail before opening her bedroom door. That man could make anything look good. Pete was leaning against his door jamb wearing a t-shirt as old as hers, draw-string scrubs pants, and a smile that melted her heart.

"Come here, Myka." She would crawl over broken glass to answer the call of those open arms. The ten feet or so between their bedroom doors was a piece of cake in comparison. Pete led her to the edge of his bed and pulled back the covers. "Climb in." His hand guided her between the sheets from its spot on her back. Myka settled into the bed, watching Pete close the door and hit the lights. "Scoot over a little."

Something about his voice was putting shivers all over her body. Myka moved to the middle of the mattress and held the edge of the blankets up in invitation. "Come here, Pete." He climbed in, immediately pulling her into his arms and tight against his chest. This felt so good, so warm, so comfortable. Her body seemed to know exactly how to fit against his like she had always slept in his arms. Her head fit exactly into the hollow of his shoulder. Her hand knew just where to rest over his heart. Her leg knew where to curl over his to remove any cold air from between them. "Hmm, perfect."

"It is, isn't it?" Pete breathed a low sigh against her hair, tucking the blankets up around her shoulders. Those hands slid along her back and pulled her just a little bit closer. His body seemed to know how to fit against hers too. The tiny little shift of his back put every single inch of her body flush against his. Now she was warm, head to toe, cuddled close against her Pete. "This is just what I need."

//You read my mind, Pete.\\ "Goodnight, Pete." She moved just enough for a quick, soft kiss before going right back to her place curled around him.

"Good night, sweetheart." His voice rumbled under her ear before she felt his arms tighten just a little more. This was the only way to go to sleep.

000

Nothing had ever felt so good before. Ever. He'd had her cuddled in his arms for hours with a cookies and milk chaser. He'd gotten lots of stolen little kisses and the sound of her voice saying his name. And just when Pete thought he was going to be forced to let her go and feel that cold re-invade his skin… his Myka had given him an opening. This amazing woman wanted to stay in his arms and he couldn't do anything less than give her what she wanted. The heat of her in his arms was intoxicating, and he was going to drink it in as long as he could.

And now… the great masters couldn't create anything as gorgeous as the sight before him right now. No painting, no sculpture, nothing had ever been so beautiful as the sight of Myka Bering climbing into his bed and reaching out for him. "Come here, Pete." His voice didn't work at all, but his body could have answered her call from a coma. Nothing mattered more than getting into that bed and pulling his partner into his arms. Within the space of a breath, Myka was pressed close, so close. She fit in his arms, in his bed like she was always meant to be here. Her hand rested right over the heart she owned when she sighed. "Hmm, perfect."

"It is, isn't it?" It was like she didn't want him to breathe. From the line of her leg over his, to the fit of her head on his shoulder, to her arms around him… every inch of her was so close to perfectly positioned that a tiny shift of his body against hers drove all air from his lungs. This was where they were supposed to be. She was meant to fit against him just like this. He was never letting her out of his arms or his bed again. Pete finally felt warm. "This is just what I need."

Myka almost nodded against his shoulder. "Goodnight, Pete," She pushed up off his chest to give him one quick taste of her lips. Then her body was back against every inch of his in the perfect press of heat. And he couldn't breathe.

"Goodnight, sweetheart." He pulled her just a little closer and closed his eyes. This felt almost too good to sleep through.

But then, the life had nearly been sucked out of him just this afternoon. Sleep overcame him whether he wanted it to or not, deep and dreamless. The next thing Pete knew, there was light hitting him in the face and a warm, curvy body in his arms. //Myka?\\

It took him a few blurry seconds to remember all the details of yesterday. He'd never slept better than he had last night with Myka in his arms. Now, she was curled up with her back to his chest, cuddling his arms around her waist, and they still fit together absolutely perfectly. Pete helplessly nuzzled closer. This was amazing in every detail. Her hair brushed his cheek. Her back warmed every inch of his chest and stomach. Her legs tangled just a little with his. Her arms curled against his, holding him closer. Her hands had tucked his fingers in close to the smooth heat of her ribs. There was absolutely no better way to wake up than this. //My sweet Myka,\\

Every morning should start with the vision of his Myka cuddled in his arms in the sunlight.

A faint knock at his door made his muscles flinch as if it was an attack.

"Pete, Myka?"

Myka's body shifted a little in his arms and Pete helplessly pulled her closer. Warm eyes looked into his with a smile. "Yeah, Leena."

"Breakfast is ready and Artie should get here in half an hour."

He sorta heard her words, but most of his attention was on the way Myka turned to face him and the light press of her hands on his chest. Pete wanted a kiss, right now, very badly. "Thanks, Leena, we'll be down soon." Myka's voice made his hands shake just a little against her back. But that she'd spoken at all was unbelievably touching. The woman in his arms didn't mind people knowing she was in his bed.

Then her chin tilted up, her eyes flicked to his lips in the warmest of invitations. His Myka wanted a good morning kiss and Pete was more than happy to give it her. "Myka," His hand moved on its own to cup her cheek as his lips found hers. This kiss was perfect, a sun-warmed press of the sweetest lips in the world to his.

000