Explicit Content Warning: This one definitely earns its M rating. For the sake of full disclosure, please know that the story includes descriptions of graphic sex involving BDSM-type concepts. Non-consensual sex is discussed but not depicted.

This one took a long time for me to complete, for some reason. I hope you enjoy it--it's gone through far fewer revisions than is the norm for me, so I apologize in advance for any errors. I was at the point where I just needed to stop fussing over it. :)


by her-pseudonym

Gillian Foster tested Cal's grip on her wrists. Struggling beneath him on the couch, she tried to get away for only a moment before giving up. Cal was strong. He dragged her hands above her head and pushed them into the cushions, holding her down. The heavy weight of his body on hers left Gillian unable to do anything except focus on the soft brush of his lips against her ear.

"Going somewhere, love?"

God. That accent. Gillian swallowed, resisting the urge to push her hips into his. She liked this game too much to let him see how much she wanted him inside her. "No."

"That's the truth," Cal murmured. He moved her wrists so he could hold them both in one hand, then dropped his other hand to yank up her tank top, exposing her bare breasts. "You're mine. Aren't you?"

"Yes." Gillian stared into his eyes, fighting back a smile. No matter how badly she wanted to stay in character, it was hard not to show her happiness at the declaration. Two weeks after finally becoming lovers, Gillian was very much Cal's. Heart and soul. "I'm yours."

Cal had no problem keeping a straight face. His eyes burned with intensity, but Gillian could see the love in them. She also saw deep arousal. Cal loved taking control just as much as she enjoyed surrendering it. A happy coincidence that meant she was now having the hottest sex of her life. With her best friend.

It really didn't get any better than that.

"Spread your legs." Cal palmed her breast and tilted his head, clearly reading her reaction to his words. "You like that, don't you? Being told what to do?"

Gillian exhaled. "Yes." She opened her legs, groaning when he forced his hips between her thighs. The hard length of his cock pressed into the crotch of her thin pajama pants and she bit her lip in anticipation. She wished he would take his sweat pants off so she could really feel him, but didn't dare ask. If she tried to set the pace, he would only slow things down.

"Good girl," Cal breathed into her ear. His fingers closed around her erect nipple, pinching lightly. "Now tell me what you want."

Her face flushed and he grinned. Gillian knew he enjoyed the mild embarrassment she felt when she talked dirty to him, and the truth was, so did she. She liked the way it made her feel to say naughty things despite her instinctive discomfort using the crude words Cal liked best.

"I want you to fuck me," Gillian said softly. She squirmed beneath him again, whimpering when he ground his hips into her. "Please."

"So shy." Cal kissed her throat. "But I can smell how much you love this, Gill."

Gillian's face burned. Hell, her whole body was on fire. And Cal was right—she was soaking wet. "I need you."

"Tell me." Cal smirked and twisted her nipple between his fingers until she hissed in pleasure. "Tell me what you need from me."

Nostrils flaring, Gillian closed her eyes. "I need to be fucked."

"I want to hear more than that, love. Much more." Cal flexed the hand that still held her wrists, keeping her at his mercy. "Say it."

Gillian swallowed. She would say anything if it meant he'd touch her. When he drew out their foreplay like this, she was willing to shed all her inhibitions if only it meant he would make her come. She stared into his eyes and said, "I need your cock inside me."

"Dirty little tart," Cal murmured. There was something about the way he looked at her when he spoke. Like his entire world was shrunk down to the two of them, like he couldn't see anything else but her. To hear him say things that pushed all her secret buttons, with such longing in his eyes, only made her love him more. "So why do you keep struggling?"

Because it turned both of them on. "I don't know."

"I don't know, either." Cal's voice became a growl. "Because you're not going anywhere until you come all over my cock."

Unable to hold back any longer, Gillian moaned loudly. Cal took his hand off her breast and pressed it over her mouth, muffling the sound. Her blood surged.

"Quiet," Cal said, then thrust his hips into her, forcing out another moan. "You want your neighbors to hear how much you like being held down and taken like a whore?"

Gillian inhaled sharply. This wasn't the first time they had played like this, but never had it gone so far. Cal had her completely immobilized, one hand on her wrists, the other covering her mouth. She rocked her hips against his, too turned on to hold back any longer. If she didn't feel him inside her soon, she was going to go crazy. She couldn't remember ever being so desperate to get fucked.

Cal lowered his head to her chest, kissing the tip of her breast. Gillian groaned into his palm as he sucked her nipple roughly, then whimpered when he took it between his teeth. When she bucked her hips again, Cal bit down hard enough to make her cry out in pleasure-pain. Gillian wrenched her head to the side, ready to force herself to be still if that's what Cal wanted. Anything to make him stop teasing and just take her already.

And that's when she saw Emily. Cal's daughter stood in the doorway of her living room, jaw slack and eyes wide. Gillian panicked at the naked fear on Emily's face, the complete shock, and began to struggle beneath Cal for real. Too engrossed in what he was doing to notice Emily watching, Cal reacted by pressing down harder on her wrists and curling his fingers over her mouth. Asserting his dominance.

Emily took a tentative step into the room then stopped. "Dad!"

Cal released Gillian immediately, pulling his hands away from her wrists and mouth and hastily tugging her top back down over her breasts. His eyes were wild and unfocused when he met Gillian's gaze for an instant before looking at Emily. Gillian sat up as Cal grabbed a pillow to put over his lap.

"Em." Gillian had never seen Cal so flustered. His mouth hung open and he gripped the back of his neck like he was trying to hold himself together. "What are you doing here, sweetheart?"

Gillian's heart pounded. Not only at the sudden shift in mood, but also at the look of horror on Emily's face. Disgust and anger poured off Emily in waves, and Gillian watched her emotions hit Cal, widening his eyes.

"What the fuck were you doing to Gill?" Emily choked out the words like she was trying not to be sick on them.

Gillian flinched. She had never heard Emily curse before. Her eyes moved over Emily's body, taking in her form-fitting shirt, the tear at the neck, her shaking hands. Gillian's mind raced with possible scenarios that would bring Emily to her apartment this late at night. None of them good. "Emily, sweetheart, it's all right—"

Cal cut her off. "Oi! I'm sorry you had to see that, love, but—"

"You're sorry I had to see that?" Emily looked from Cal to Gillian, expressing contempt for her father, concern for Gillian. "Gill, are you okay?"

Cal's mouth dropped open. "Now wait a bloody minute—"

Gillian interrupted Cal, knowing Emily had to hear this from her. "I'm fine, honey. How about you? Are you okay?"

Cal's anger seemed to deflate at Gillian's words. He looked Emily up and down, then stood and took a step toward her. "Is something wrong, Em? What's happened?"

Emily shook her head and backed away from Cal. "If I'd wanted to talk to you, I would've gone to your house."

"Right, then." Gillian saw the hurt flash across Cal's face and felt his pain like a punch in her gut. His relationship with Emily was the most important thing in the world to him, and she knew it destroyed him when Emily pulled away. "So you're here to talk to Gill?"

"Nothing happened. I'm fine." Emily was a decent liar, but Gillian knew Cal wasn't fooled. Neither was she. "Just forget it."

Gillian caught Cal's eye, reading his unspoken fear. Something had happened to Emily tonight. Something serious enough to compel her to use the key Gillian had nearly forgotten she'd given her, the one Emily had never used before. Gillian rose from the couch and crossed the room to Emily's side.

"Let me make up the guest room for you, okay?" Gillian touched Emily's arm, relieved when she didn't pull away. "And you can talk if you want. Or not. It's up to you."

Emily glanced over Gillian's shoulder at Cal, giving him a look that Gillian identified as disillusionment. Gillian cringed, knowing that Cal saw everything she did and more. "Fine," Emily said. "But only if he goes away."

Gillian turned and gave Cal an apologetic nod. Cal rubbed a hand over his hair. "If that's what you want, love." His face was awash with worry, guilt, and shame. It was clear he had been made the villian in a situation where none existed.

More than anything, Gillian wanted to kiss away Cal's pain. Figuring it would be good for Emily to see affection between them, Gillian walked to Cal and gave him a brief hug. "Why don't you wait for me in the bedroom?"

"Right." Cal squeezed Gillian tightly, then released her with a quick kiss on the lips. "I'll see you in a bit." He left the room with his head down.

Gillian watched him go, then turned to Emily and smiled. "Okay. Ready?"

Emily put her own head down and followed Gillian into the guest room. She shut the door behind them, then helped Gillian make up the bed without saying a word. Gillian let her stew, taking the opportunity to observe Emily's body language. She was upset, clearly. Afraid. Embarrassed. And very, very sad.

When Gillian finished arranging the comforter over fresh sheets, Emily finally spoke. "You're really okay?"

Gillian knew what she was asking. She made eye contact so Emily would believe what she said next. "I know that what you saw must have looked…intense. But he wasn't hurting me. I promise."

Clearly skeptical, Emily said, "That looked more than intense."

"It was completely consensual." Gillian held Emily's gaze. She could see Emily felt as uncomfortable talking about this as she did, but she needed to be crystal clear. "Your father would never do anything I didn't want."

"So you guys are together then?" Emily looked down at the comforter, smoothing it with her hand. "Or what?"

"We were going to tell you when we saw you on Sunday. It's still very new." Gillian ducked her head, trying to look into Emily's eyes. "He makes me very happy, sweetheart. What you saw…I know that's hard to understand. But please know that I love him, and he loves me."

Emily wrinkled her nose. "That's what love looks like?" She sat on the bed and dropped her head into her hands. "Count me out."

There was more to Emily's feelings about catching them together than just disgust at seeing her father being sexual, or even misinterpreting Cal's actions. She could hear it in Emily's voice. Gillian sat on the bed and wrapped her arm around Emily's slim waist.

"What happened tonight, Em?"

Emily sniffled. "It's stupid."

"I doubt that." Gillian tucked a lock of Emily's hair behind her ear. "Whatever it is, it has you shaken up. And seeing your father and me didn't help."

Emily swallowed and leaned into Gillian's embrace. "I had a bad date."

Gillian's stomach turned over. A bad date. She had one of those in high school, too, and hoped that Emily's hadn't been as unpleasant as her own. "How bad, honey?"

"Not as bad as it could have been," Emily said quietly. She met Gillian's eyes then glanced away, face coloring. "But not good. My Mom doesn't know I went out with him. She thinks I'm at my friend Stacy's house. But Stacy won't be home from her own date for another couple hours."

"So you came here."

Emily nodded. "I didn't know Dad would be here, or I would've told Derek to drop me off somewhere else."

"No, I'm glad you came." Gillian's mouth had gone dry and she swallowed, trying not to choke on fear and memories. If that boy had hurt Emily, he wasn't going to have to worry about Cal. Gillian would hunt him down herself. "Derek wanted to have sex?"

Emily covered her eyes with her hand. "I really liked him, but I just wasn't ready. And I told him that, but he…" She shook her head, then brought her knees up to her chest. "He didn't care."

Gillian heard the disbelief in her voice and instinctively understood what Emily was feeling. How could a boy you liked so much care so little about your feelings? "Did he hurt you, Emily?"

Gillian thought she might cry when Emily shook her head no. "We wrestled around a little bit, and he touched my…" She gestured to her chest, clearly humiliated. "But then he ripped my shirt and I think he realized what he was doing, because he stopped. Called me a bitch and a cock tease and told me he was taking me home."

"Okay." Gillian released a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding. "You're right, not as bad as it could have been. But not good at all."

Emily buried her face in her knees. "I'm so embarrassed."

"There's no reason to be," Gillian said quietly. She moved her hand to Emily's back, rubbing gentle circles. "You didn't do anything wrong."

"I trusted him. I lied to my Mom so I could go out with him. And I let him drive me to the lake and kiss me." Emily raised her face and looked Gillian in the eyes. "Of course he thought I was going to have sex with him. Right?"

Gillian shook her head. "He had no right to think you were going to do anything until he got your consent. You can't blame yourself for his behavior, Em. I won't let you."

"I just feel stupid."

"I know," Gillian said meaningfully. "But you're not. Anyone can have a bad date."

Emily glanced up sharply then tilted her head, staring at Gillian. Reading her. For a moment Gillian could see Cal in his daughter, right down to the look in Emily's eyes when she realized what she was seeing on Gillian's face.

"I was just a little older than you." Gillian cleared her throat. When was the last time she had talked about this? Or really even thought hard about it? "It went a bit further than yours. But not as bad as it could have been."

Emily's chin trembled. "Why are guys like that?"

"Not all guys are." Gillian pulled Emily against her body, holding her close. "I'm sorry Derek was."

"Me too." Emily's voice rang with sorrow. Clearly this boy had been special to her, or at least she had thought he might be. "And I'm sorry I ruined your night."

"You didn't ruin anything, sweetheart." Gillian kissed the crown of Emily's head.
"I gave you that key so you would use it if you needed it. I'm flattered that you trust me enough to come to me when you're hurting."

"I knocked, but I guess you didn't hear me. If I'd known that you were with Dad…"

"How could you have known?" They probably should have told her sooner. Gillian had been nervously anticipating Emily's reaction to the news, even though she had assumed it would be positive. This wasn't how she had envisioned Emily finding out. "It was a little awkward, definitely, but I think we'll all get over it."

Emily made a soft noise, then pulled away to look into Gillian's eyes. "So what does this mean?"

"Me being with your Dad?" Emily nodded and Gillian paused, unsure what to say. "I can't speak for him, but I hope it means we'll be together for a long time. It definitely means you're going to be seeing even more of me." She smiled, aware of just how vulnerable she was allowing herself to be with Emily. Saying things to Cal's daughter that had so far gone unspoken between the two of them. "I love him very much."

"Are you going to tell him what we talked about?" Emily showed a twinge of fear and Gillian guessed what was really bothering her.

"I won't tell him anything you don't want me to," Gillian said. "If I ever thought you were in danger, I would have to tell your Dad. But if you come to me because you need someone to talk to, it stays between us. That won't change just because my relationship with your father has."

"Good." Emily settled back against the headboard, crossing her legs, and Gillian faced her and mirrored the pose. "I'm happy you're together. Very happy, actually. I just…don't want to lose my friend."

"You won't." Gillian poked Emily's foot with her own. "On that note, I have ice cream. And chocolate cake. If you think the situation calls for it."

Emily laughed and got up on her knees, leaning over Gillian's lap to give her a tight hug. Gillian blinked in surprise, then returned Emily's embrace. Though Gillian would never try to be her mother, Emily was the closest thing she had to a child. One who was still in her life, anyway. Even if Gillian never had the chance to have her own baby, she knew she was important to Emily. And maybe that could be enough.

"I'm not really hungry," Emily said as she pulled away. "And not because I'm depressed and planning on starving myself, or anything like that. Derek just took me out for a big dinner a couple hours ago."

"I hope you ordered something expensive." Gillian smiled in relief when the comment drew a grin from Emily.

"It wasn't cheap." Emily's face fell when she looked down at her torn shirt. Fingering the collar, she said, "Not sure it makes up for what he did to my favorite shirt, though."

Gillian gave her a look of sympathy, then leaned close to inspect the tear. "I can't make any promises, but I could try to repair this. I doubt it'll look brand-new, but I think it'll be wearable." At Emily's brief look of unease, Gillian said, "Don't let him ruin your favorite shirt for you. That's giving him way too much power."

Emily's mouth twitched into a tentative smile. "You really think you could fix it?"

"I'll do my best." Gillian watched some of the fire return to Emily's eyes. "How about I lend you something to sleep in and I'll take a look at your shirt tomorrow morning?"

"Thanks," Emily said, looking at Gillian in a way that tugged at all her maternal instincts. "My Mom can't sew. That's pretty cool you can."

"A skill I picked up in college. It comes in handy. I can teach you, if you'd like."

Emily nodded. "I would."

"Great." Warmth bloomed in Gillian's stomach despite herself. Soon she would have to worry about what to say to Cal, but for now she was enjoying this new feeling of closeness with Emily. Gillian stood and walked to the door. "I'll bring you something to change into. Go ahead and use the shower if you want. There are fresh towels in the bathroom."

"Thank you, Gill. Really."

"You're welcome." Gillian put her hand on the door, then turned back to Emily. "Your Dad—"

"You can tell him what happened." Though Emily was clearly afraid, she also wore a look of resolve. "He's going to ask, and he'll see if you're lying. And I know he's worried about me."

"He loves you," Gillian said. "I don't need to give him all the details, but you're right, he's going to want to know that you're okay."

"I'm okay." Emily twisted her hair around her fingers, looking away. "But I'm not sure I want to talk to him tonight. All right?"

Gillian nodded. "I get it. I'll make sure he knows you're fine."

"Cool." Emily pulled at her shirt, wrinkling her nose. "I think I will take a shower. Then probably just go to bed."

"I'll leave a T-shirt and pajama pants outside your door, okay? They'll be kind of big, but they should work."

At Emily's nod, Gillian shut the guest room door and exhaled. Now the hard part. She knew Cal was going crazy in the bedroom, that it had probably taken everything he had not to burst in on them and interrogate Emily until he knew she was all right. He was going to want to talk to his daughter and Gillian would have to explain that it wasn't a good time. And that wasn't going to go over well.

Gillian opened her bedroom door to find Cal stalking back and forth at the foot of the bed, muttering to himself. He looked up when Gillian entered, then walked right into her personal space.

"What happened?" Cal studied Gillian's face as he asked the question, clearly waiting to read the answer. "Did some boy get rough with her?" Gillian wasn't even aware that she had reacted when Cal took a step back and brought his hand to his stomach. "Who is he? I'll bloody kill him."

Gillian touched his arm. "She's fine, Cal. A boy did get a little rough with her tonight, but nothing happened. Her shirt ripped. He called her some names and drove her home. That's as far as it went."

"Zoe let her go out with this kid?" Cal tightened his fists at his sides, obviously angry. "Doesn't she even bother to screen them?"

"Zoe didn't know." When Cal raised his eyebrows, Gillian said, "That's why Emily's here. She needed somewhere to go, but she didn't want to get in trouble for sneaking around to go out with this kid. And I think she's been through enough tonight without enduring a lecture."

Cal nodded, his anger melting into sadness. "I'll bloody kill him," he said again.

"He's on my list, too." Gillian walked to her dresser and pulled out a T-shirt and the smallest pair of pajama pants she owned. "Believe me."

"Think I should go talk to her?" Cal sounded almost hopeful. "Make sure she's okay?"

Steeling herself, Gillian shook her head and turned around. "No, I don't think that's a good idea. Give her some time to settle down."

"But I need to know that she's all right. That we're all right." Cal leaned forward, desperation in his eyes. "I've never seen her look at me like that before, Gill. Like I'm a bad guy. I can't stand it."

Gillian stepped closer to him and touched his chest, knowing her next words would hurt. "This isn't a moment when she wants her father, Cal. Especially after what she saw us doing."

Cal's jaw tightened. "What she saw me doing, you mean."

"Us. That was both of us," Gillian said. "I was very clear with her about that."

"But she's angry with me." It was a statement, not a question. Cal watched Gillian's face for his answer. "Disgusted."

"She was shaken up. She walked in on something that triggered a lot of emotions, given the night she just had. It struck a chord."

"I can't believe she thought I was actually trying to force you." Cal shook his head, looking disgusted himself. "What kind of man does she think I am?"

"At that moment she was only thinking about one kind of man, and I'm sure you and I seemed pretty…convincing." Gillian rubbed her hand over his chest. "Think about how that must have looked to her."

"But I'm her father." Cal's eyes took on a wounded, lost look, something Gillian had never seen from him before. "She knows me better than to think—"

"She does, Cal." Gillian raised her hand to his face, stroking his cheek. "But she's a kid. What would you have thought if you'd seen that as a teenager? Would you have even realized that was something people did consensually?"

Cal flushed and he raised a trembling hand to smooth down his hair. "I'm ashamed she saw me like that."

"I know. But she'll get over it. So will we."

Cal looked at the bedroom door again. "Is she really okay?" She could see it was killing him not to be able to go find out for himself. "Honestly?"

"Honestly, she's embarrassed. She feels stupid." Gillian met his concerned gaze with a small smile. "It's embarrassing to misjudge a guy you like. And it's hard not to second-guess your own actions when you're trying to understand how someone you trusted turned on you like that."

Cal's face went blank. "You sound like you're speaking from experience, love."

"Well." Gillian blinked, suddenly aware of the tension that had sprung up between them. She thought about warning Cal not to read her, but that no longer felt like an option now that their line had been erased. Especially not when he had already seen the truth. "I guess I am."

She watched Cal's eyes darken and braced herself. "I'll bloody kill him," Cal said quietly. He was angry, but Gillian sensed that much of the anger was directed inward. Her stomach dropped at the self-loathing on his face.

"It was a long time ago," Gillian said. The last thing she wanted was for Cal to feel even worse about what Emily had interrupted, but she could see that was exactly what was happening. "It has no bearing on my life now."

"You should have told me."

Gillian's face heated. They had been sleeping together two weeks. This wasn't something she'd felt like he needed to know, no matter how their sex life had developed. "I've got to put these clothes out for Emily, but I'll be right back. And we'll talk about this."

Cal sat on the bed. "Go."

Gillian hurried to the guest room, where she could hear the shower running, and set the clothes just outside the door. She wanted to get back to Cal as quickly as possible, before he convinced himself that he knew how she was feeling, or that he had done something wrong. Maybe they should have talked about the roles they had fallen into during sex, but it had happened so naturally. It hadn't seemed important to analyze something that felt so good and right.

When she got back to the bedroom Cal was sitting where she had left him, staring at the wall. Before she could say anything, he murmured, "Have I ever done anything that hurt or frightened you?"

"No." Gillian locked the bedroom door behind her, then crossed the room to sit beside him on the bed. "Never."

"Would you tell me if I had?"

"Yes." Gillian touched his cheek, turning his eyes toward hers. "Yes," she said again, while he watched her face.

"The rough stuff, you know…I don't need that." Cal caressed her hand lightly, as though he was afraid she would pull away. "Whatever makes you feel good, that's all I need."

Gillian knew what he was doing. And she didn't want any part of it. "I think I've always made it clear that I enjoy what we do. You can feel how much I like it, can't you? You can see it on my face."

Cal swallowed. She knew that he realized the truth of her words, but it did little to erase the guilt from his eyes. "You said it happened a long time ago. How long?"

"I was in high school. Just a little older than Emily." Gillian broke their gaze, overwhelmed by his intensity. "It's not a big deal, Cal. I barely think about it."

Most people, when they were upset, wouldn't look you in the face. Cal wouldn't look away. "He forced you?"

"He tried." Gillian turned her hand over and held Cal's fingers. "I ended up performing oral sex on him so he would let me out of the car. That's it."

Cal reacted to her words, his face a study in guilt. She wondered if he was thinking about the time he had told her to suck his cock then fisted his hand in her hair and held her to his lap as she did. It didn't matter that it had turned her on, that it hadn't triggered anything unpleasant. Now that this one detail of her past was out there, it colored the way Cal saw their sex life. Gillian's heart seized at the realization that the dynamic she had grown to crave was being threatened by something utterly inconsequential to the woman she was now.

"I'm sorry, love." Cal's voice cracked. "I didn't know."

"It's not your fault." She didn't want what happened all those years ago to be what Cal saw when he looked at her. And she was shocked he was taking this so hard. Regardless of Emily's emotional accusation, Cal should know better than to think he had forced her into anything. That she would just let him. "What happened to me when I was a kid has nothing to do with you. And I wasn't trying to hide anything by not bringing it up. I just didn't think it mattered."

"It matters." He sounded almost resentful. "Of course it matters."

"It's an experience that helped make me who I am today. Just like what happened on the Jenkins case." Cal flinched at the mention of her attack by Jenkins's protégé, and Gillian hoped she hadn't made a mistake by drawing that parallel. She kept her voice calm, hoping to soothe his raging guilt. "It doesn't affect how I feel about giving up control to someone I trust. And I trust you, Cal."

Contempt flashed across his face, but she knew it was for himself. For his desires. Cal glanced at his lap and glowered. "Men can be sodding bastards."

"They can be." Gillian scooted closer, so that their bodies touched. "But you're not."

"Sure I am." Cal's mouth twitched and he met Gillian's gaze. For a moment she saw a glimpse of familiar humor in his eyes. "Ask Loker. Or Torres."

"You're not to me."

"That's not entirely true, is it love?" He watched her eyes, giving her the ghost of a grin. "We both know I can be a right bastard to you."

"We're talking about sex right now, Cal. You've never been anything but exactly what I wanted."

"Even when I hold you down?" Cal's expression tightened. "Call you names?"

"I like what we do together. I don't want to stop." Gillian ran her fingernails up his arm, relieved when he shivered. She needed to know that she could still affect him, that he wasn't so concerned for her virtue as to lock away his desire. "Please don't treat me like I'm fragile because of something that happened twenty years ago. You have to trust me. Like I trust you."

Cal studied her face. "If I ever do anything you don't like…"

"You haven't," Gillian said. "But I'll tell you if it happens."

"Right." Cal ran his eyes down Gillian's body, then glanced at the bedroom door. His tone made it clear that he was done talking about their sex life, but Gillian could see that the matter was far from resolved. "Maybe I should sleep on the couch tonight."

"Why?" It was Cal's instinct to retreat when he felt vulnerable, but Gillian wasn't going to let him get away with it this time. "Emily knows we're together. She's a big girl." Catching his gaze, she said, "I think she needs to know things are good between us. You sleeping on the couch may not send the right message."

"Good point." Cal twisted his hands in his lap, like he wasn't sure what to do with them. "Okay."

"Besides, I need you next to me. Otherwise I'll just worry about you."

Cal gave her a half-hearted grin. "Remind me again how I tricked you into falling for me?"

Sensing an opportunity for levity, Gillian said, "It was very elaborate on your part. Took years of being the most charming, brilliant, downright infuriating man I'd ever met."

"The long con." Cal's smile finally reached his eyes. "You're such an easy mark."

"Well, that." Gillian pushed Cal's sleeve up over his bicep, then traced the intricate band inked into his skin. "And the tattoos."

Cal chuckled and watched her fingers slide over his arm. "You like those?"

"Like is a very mild word, but yes. I like them."

Some of Cal's usual confidence crept back to the surface. "Make me look like a bad boy, do they?"

Gillian grinned and opened her mouth to answer, but paused when she heard the television come on in the guest room. She saw Cal's smile fade as he tilted his head, listening.

It was obvious where his mind had gone. "She's okay, Cal. I promise. She was laughing and smiling by the time I left the room. And we had a really good moment. Bonding."

Cal looked into her eyes, then cupped her jaw in his hand. "Thank you. For being there for her, when I couldn't."

"Of course. I love her," Gillian said. Cal put his other hand on her back and pulled her into a gentle embrace. She buried her face in his shoulder and inhaled. "I love you, too."

"You have my heart." Cal kissed her hair and she held him tighter, wishing away the faint traces of pain she heard in his voice. He leaned his head against hers. "This is it for me, I'll have you know. You are what I want. So I don't fancy mucking it up."

Gillian held her breath as she took in his whispered confession. This was the first time either of them had spoken of expectations since the sex started. They had simply gone from being best friends to lovers, never stopping to talk about what that meant. But then words weren't often necessary between them. Almost anything Cal could say, Gillian had already read on his face. Even those things he tried to hide. It was the same for him with her. On these rare occasions when Cal did verbalize his feelings, it made Gillian's heart do crazy, wonderful things.

Knowing she needed to respond, for a moment Gillian wasn't sure what to say. What she felt for him was so simple, but far too complicated to explain. "I know everything is still so new—"

"The sex is new. Needing you, it's not." Cal stroked her back and exhaled. He sounded cautious, like he realized just how uncharacteristically open he was being. "I hope it's not too soon to talk like this, love. I just don't know how to think of us any other way."

"It's not too soon." Gillian pressed her lips to Cal's jaw, enjoying the light scratch of stubble there. Cal had always been a romantic at his core. Before Zoe broke his heart, he hadn't even tried to hide it. She knew it took a lot for him to admit how deeply he felt for her, to make himself so open. Hoping to lighten the mood, she said, "This is it for me, too. I knew that the moment you ambushed me with that kiss."

"Oi!" Cal said, tickling her sides. "You kissed me, Foster. I just kissed you back."

Foster, Gillian thought, and grinned. She supposed she could let that name make her think of Alec, but coming from Cal, it was a term of endearment. His using it meant that their friendship was intact, that their foundation remained strong. "You have an extraordinarily selective memory, Cal. As I recall, you leaned into me."

"I was just moving to brush a lock of hair out of your eyes." Cal drew back and gave her a cheeky grin. "And you jumped me. About gave me a bloody heart attack, you did."

"Liar," Gillian said, laughing. She kissed the corner of his mouth, then stood to pull off her tank top.

Cal's eyes widened. The look he gave her would have been comical if Gillian wasn't so sorry to see it. "What are you doing?"

"Getting ready for bed." Gillian shed her pajama pants, then walked to her side of the bed and slipped beneath the covers. They always slept naked, and although Emily's presence in the apartment might give them an excuse not to do so tonight, Gillian wanted to make herself vulnerable with Cal. She didn't want there to be any chance he thought her feelings toward him or their sex life had changed. "You coming?"

Cal looked at the bedroom door again. Gillian could hear Emily's voice just over the sound of the television. Probably on her cell phone. "Yeah," Cal said, not moving.

"I locked the door. And in any event, she's not going to barge in here. Come on." Gillian patted the mattress beside her. "There's nothing more you can do tonight."

Sighing, Cal stood and pulled his T-shirt over his head. Gillian inhaled at the sight of his bare chest, admiring the unrestricted view of the tattoos covering his arm. She was still getting used to the idea that she had access to his body, that she could let her gaze linger wherever she wanted. Cal gave her a pleased smile, obviously reading her face, then slipped under the covers with his sweat pants still on. Ignoring her twinge of disappointment at his modesty, Gillian grabbed his arm and rolled onto her side, pulling him with her.

Cal's lips brushed against her shoulder. He splayed his fingers over her stomach and stroked her with his thumb. "Sweet dreams, darling."

Gillian moved his hand so it cupped her breast and pushed her bottom into him, sighing at the feeling of his chest against her naked back. No matter what Cal thought of himself tonight, she felt safe and warm in his arms. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the quiet intimacy between them.

Almost immediately, his cock hardened against her bottom. Gillian shivered, thrilled that she could cause that reaction simply by being close. She had never felt that desirable with Alec.

"I'm sorry, love." At Cal's contrite tone, Gillian opened her eyes and frowned. Cal took his hand from her breast and rolled onto his back. "My cock's gone rogue. Won't listen to my brain."

"And what is your brain saying?" Gillian turned and put her hand on his chest. He stared at the ceiling with a tightly controlled expression.

"That it's shockingly inappropriate for me to want you right now."

"Shockingly inappropriate," Gillian said, tasting the words in her mouth. She looked down at the bulge in his sweat pants and raised an eyebrow. "Wow. That's a pretty strong condemnation of your body's natural reaction to stimuli. Not to mention the effect I'd like to think I have on you."

"You know what I mean." Cal gave her a sidelong glance. "Em in the next room, and…you know. Everything else."

"I'm not traumatized, Cal." Gillian propped herself up on her elbow and circled his nipple with her fingernail. "Don't get me wrong, I didn't enjoy being caught half-naked by your daughter. But nothing that happened tonight makes it inappropriate for you to want me."

"I just don't think it's right to want you right now. The way I do."

The way he did. Gillian could hear the lingering guilt in his voice and kissed his chest, knowing they would have to revisit this topic soon. Hopefully tomorrow after Emily left. Gillian put her hand on his shoulder and nudged him over. "Why don't you let me hold you if it makes you more comfortable?"

Cal turned onto his side so he faced away from her. Gillian pressed her breasts to his back and curled her arm around him, holding him close. He inhaled quietly, then held his breath.

"Is this better?" Gillian asked. She moved her hand down his chest and let it rest above his navel. His body was tense, as though he didn't know how to act naturally with her anymore. She guessed his cock was still hard, but didn't give in to the temptation to check.

"Better, yeah." Cal exhaled, then placed his hand over hers. "Night, love."

"Good night, Cal." Gillian closed her eyes and snuggled close to his back. She was willing to let this go tonight, to allow him time to regroup, but she wouldn't let him feel guilty about their sex life moving forward. That was something she would fight to protect.


When Gillian woke up the next morning, Cal was already out of bed. The sheets beside her were cold, so she knew he'd been gone a while. His absence made it easier for her to get moving. She showered and dressed quickly, needing to see him and reassure herself that they were still okay. That he hadn't spent the morning beating himself up or rebuilding the dreaded wall between them that she had so recently broken through. She wasn't sure how she would cope with that distance again, that line, if it had returned.

Cal was in the kitchen, dressed in a T-shirt, sweat pants, and the apron Gillian had bought just for him to use at her apartment. At this point she was certain he wore it only because it made her laugh. And it was funny. But it was also, she had to admit, rather becoming.

"Good morning," Gillian said from the doorway. Eggs sizzled in the skillet on the stove and the smell of coffee brought her into further alertness. Cal bustled about, looking deadly serious about the business of putting food on the table. "Something smells good."

"Morning, darling." Cal gestured to the kitchen table with his spatula. "Sit down. Breakfast's just about sorted."

Gillian walked to stand next to him instead. She waited until he transferred the scrambled eggs from the skillet to a plate, then took the spatula from his hand and set it on the counter. He looked at her cautiously, as though he wasn't sure what to expect. Gillian stepped into him, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and resting her forehead against his. Cal held her around the waist and squeezed gently.

"You all right?" Gillian murmured.

"Yeah." One of Cal's hands went to her lower back, the other he pressed between her shoulders. "This feels nice."

"Very nice." Gillian rubbed her hands down his spine, slowly. "Are we all right?"

"Hey." Cal touched her throat and gave her a long, lingering kiss. "We're brilliant," he mumbled against her lips. Another brief kiss, then his body tensed and he pulled away. "Em. Good morning."

Gillian stepped away from Cal, blushing. Emily stood shyly in the kitchen doorway. "Morning, Emily."

"Good morning." Emily hesitated a beat, then came into the kitchen without meeting either of their eyes. "I have a knack for walking in at the wrong moment, huh?"

"Sorry, love," Cal said. He picked up the plate of scrambled eggs and carried it to the table, staring at Emily's face warily. "You sleep all right?"

Emily nodded, finally making eye contact with Cal. "Pretty well."

"Good." Cal cleared his throat and took off his apron, hanging it over the back of his chair. He tilted his head, and Gillian could see he was struggling with the desire to move into Emily's space. "So…I'm sorry you had a rough night, Em. Really. Even sorrier to have frightened you."

Emily's chin trembled. She stepped forward then fell into Cal's arms with a quiet cry. "It wasn't your fault, Dad. I shouldn't have yelled at you."

Cal kissed the top of Emily's head, catching Gillian's gaze. She could see his relief and felt some of her own tension ease. "I understand, love. I do."

"I know you would never hurt Gill," Emily murmured into his shoulder. "I don't know what I was thinking."

"You were reacting." Cal cleared his throat and held Emily at arm's length, touching her chin. Gillian could see the shame creep across his face and felt a flash of concern. He wasn't done beating himself up over this, not by a long shot. "Nothing to feel badly about."

"I just wasn't expecting…that."

"Of course not," Cal said. His shame intensified and he looked away. "I can only imagine how it must have looked."

"Anyway." Emily wrinkled her nose, clearly not wanting to dwell on it any longer. "Let's just forget about it. For all our sakes."

"Agreed." Cal cleared his throat. "As for the rest of it—"

Fear flickered over Emily's face. "You're going to make me tell Mom I lied to her, aren't you?"

Cal winced, managing to look both apologetic and resolute. "I think your mum needs to know you stayed here last night. If only so she doesn't think I'm keeping things from her. I'll leave it to you to decide how much to tell her, though. Fair?"

"Fair." Emily looked past Cal to Gillian, giving her a bashful smile. "Morning, Gill."

"Good morning." Gillian walked to the kitchen table, but before she could sit, Emily was in her arms. Heart swelling, Gillian hugged Emily and met Cal's pleased grin with a sunny smile. "We'll fix your shirt after breakfast, okay?"

"Okay." Emily stepped back, wiping her hand across her eyes. She sat at the table and poured a tall glass of juice, smirking. "I can't believe you guys finally decided to admit the obvious. It's about time."

"That right?" Cal smirked at Gillian as she sat down. "Kept you waiting long enough, did we?"

"Seriously. It was getting a little painful."

Gillian laughed and poured her own glass of juice. At sixteen, Emily had a sensitive and perceptive nature that went well beyond her years. Sometimes she was so much like Cal it was almost startling. Cal and Emily were a family Gillian could see settling into, making her own. It scared her to think that way, to want something so badly, but Gillian couldn't help it. She had been Cal's best friend for years, had watched Emily grow up, so even if her romance with Cal was new, loving the two of them wasn't.

"For me too, love." Cal dropped into his chair and raised an eyebrow at Gillian. "Bloody excruciating."

"Agreed," Gillian said. "So Emily, do you have any plans today?"

"Actually, yeah." Emily looked at Cal. "Mom's taking me shopping. I'm supposed to meet her at the mall in a couple hours. Stacy's going to pick me up at nine thirty."

"Well, then," Cal said, picking up a forkful of eggs. "Less talking, more eating."

When Emily left an hour and a half later, Gillian was flush with the satisfaction of having sewn up her shirt so the tear was barely noticeable, whilst simultaneously impressing a sixteen-year-old with a skill she had assumed was hopelessly old-fashioned. It felt good to be able to teach Emily something. Even better to have made her so happy with such a simple gesture. Gillian was sitting on the couch smiling when Cal returned from walking Emily to Stacy's car.

"You two are getting on well," Cal said lightly. He stopped in the doorway of the living room, leaning against the wall. "You always have. But I see what you mean about bonding."

"It's nice." Gillian looked into his eyes from across the room, over the distance he was keeping between them. "Zoe was never very good at hiding the fact that she considered me a threat, even when you were so deep in love with her you couldn't see straight. I never felt like I could show too much interest in Emily. But I always wanted to. She may not be my daughter…" Gillian's voice caught and she inhaled, holding back the grief that always rose when she thought of Sophie. "But she's very special to me."

"I know she is." Cal crossed the room and tugged Gillian standing, pulling her into a tight hug. Then he held her out in front of him, staring into her eyes. His expression was guarded. "You're good for her. So different than Zoe. It gives Em a nice balance, I think."

So different than Zoe. That was certainly true, but Gillian wondered exactly how different they were. How had Zoe liked to be fucked? And had Cal trusted Zoe's consent more than he seemed to trust hers? Gillian tried to keep her face blank as her mind worked over these sudden, unwelcome questions, but knew she'd let something slip when Cal's brow furrowed.

"What was that?" Cal gestured at her mouth. "Right there?"

Gillian shook her head and closed the distance between them, pressing her lips to his. She relaxed against his body when he kissed her back. She really didn't want to talk about Zoe right now. Especially because she wasn't sure how she would feel to learn that Cal's protective instincts were for Gillian alone.

Cal's hands found her hips and pulled her closer. She rocked into him, curling her hand around the back of his neck and playing with the fine hairs there. His cock hardened against her and he groaned, making Gillian smile into their kiss. She sobered when Cal broke away and took a step back. His eyes told her he wanted to keep going, but his mouth was set in a tense line. He was nervous. Uncertain. Afraid.

"Why don't we finish what we started last night?" Gillian said quietly. "Move this to the bedroom. Lock the door." She smiled, trying to show him how much she wanted him.

Cal tilted his head and his mouth dropped open slightly as he studied her face. She didn't think he realized he did that when he was really puzzling through what someone might be feeling. It always made her smile. She let him see the reaction he was eliciting, hoping he would believe the desire and affection she knew was written all over her face.

"I thought you wanted to go antiquing today." Cal watched her eyes and forehead. "I've finally agreed to let you drag me around as a shopping partner and you're going to let me out of it that easy?"

"I'm not interested in shopping right now, Cal." She drew her finger down the center of his chest, then hooked the tip in the waistband of his sweatpants. "Are you?"

"Silly question, darling." Cal flashed her a pretty convincing smile. "Going into the bedroom with you is always preferable to shopping."

"Right answer," Gillian said. But Cal was still tense, and his words didn't fully match his expression. Clearly they needed to hash this out. It wasn't simply going to go away. "But you're scared. Aren't you?"

Shame flashed over Cal's face. Perhaps even embarrassment. He shook his head dismissively, but she wasn't fooled. "We sorted this, love. You said you'd tell me if I ever did anything you didn't like. And that's that."

But that wasn't that. Gillian could see it plain as day. From now on, Cal would give her a watered down version of himself. Protect her from his darkness, no matter how much she craved it. She was surprised by the surge of anger that flowed through her. Exhaling, Gillian said, "That's that?"

"Please don't turn this into something more than it is." Cal dropped his hand to her bottom, pulling her against him again. Gently. "Do I feel scared to you?"

He felt aroused. But tentative. Did Cal really think he could fool her when she was so good at reading him by now? "You're ashamed about what happened last night. Because of what Emily thought, and because of what you found out about me. And now you're second-guessing the best sex I've ever had. Wanting to protect me from it. Isn't that right?"

Cal snorted and dropped his hand. The fear in his eyes told Gillian she'd hit her mark. "My own daughter thought I was attacking you. To know that you've been in that situation before…well, forgive me for not wanting to do anything to frighten you."

"You really think I'm too delicate for big, bad Cal Lightman, don't you?" Gillian held his gaze. "All because of a high school blow job?"

Cal flinched, then his eyes darkened. "It wasn't just a high school blow job, Gill. And there's a bit more to it than that." He turned to stalk into her bedroom and she hurried after him, not wanting to lose sight of his face. "Does it make me an asshole if I don't want to mistreat you?"

Frowning, Gillian grabbed his arm as they entered the bedroom and pulled him around to face her. "Fucking me hard isn't mistreating me. Holding me down, calling me names, even causing me a little pain...if I'm asking you for it, if I'm consenting to it, I don't see how it makes you a bad guy."

Cal came into her space then, backing her up until her shoulders hit the wall. Gillian stood and stared him down, refusing to look away. She knew he was trying to intimidate her, that he was fishing for a reaction he could use to justify treating her with kid gloves. She wasn't going to give it to him.

"Did you and Zoe have rough sex?" Gillian surprised herself with the question. She hadn't intended on bringing Zoe up. The uneasy smirk on his face made her wish she'd left that particular thought alone. Still, it was too late to turn back now. "Was she tough enough to handle it?"

"This has nothing to do with Zoe," Cal said. He tilted his head, studying her in that way that made her feel like she was under a microscope. "How about you? Did you let Alec treat you like his dirty little whore?"

Gillian didn't want to give Cal the satisfaction of eliciting a reaction, but she swallowed reflexively at his harsh language. "No. But then I've realized that sex with Alec was pretty boring."

Cal didn't bother to hide the gleam in his eyes. Pride. Which was exactly what Gillian had hoped to evoke. What she said happened to be true. Sex with Alec had been routine from the start, with little in the way of talking or anything outside the purely vanilla. That was why sex with Cal was such a revelation. One that she wasn't prepared to give up.

After a moment, Cal's obvious satisfaction faded. "I don't want you to do something because you think it's going to make me happy. And I can't believe that the way I've been treating you is what you really want."

"You would see it if I didn't like it. You would know." She cocked her head. "We both know that."

"I think you like turning me on. But trust me when I tell you that you don't want to go some of the places I've imagined taking you."

"Why not?" Gillian touched Cal's arm. "It's perfectly natural to get off on sex play that explores issues of dominance and submission. Maybe we have more in common than you think."

Cal shook his head, looking amused at the thought. "The thing is, love, we've only just scratched the surface of what I'm capable of doing and saying to you, if you let me." His eyes roved over her face, her eyebrows, her mouth, then her throat. Evaluating. Cataloguing. "You know what I love about you, Gill? You're delighted by trashy romance novels. And kittens. And orange slushies. You smile at silly commercials. You see the best in people."

"These are bad things?"

"They're brilliant things," Cal said softly. He stroked the back of his fingers over her cheek, as though she might break. "Things I don't ever want you to lose. Things I refuse to take away."

"You really believe you're going to ruin me, don't you?" Gillian hated it when Cal did this. Whenever he gave in to one of his darker desires, whether it was gambling with money or his own life, he pushed her away. She knew he was guided by the need not to soil her with his baser instincts, and that when he accused her of hovering he really just wanted her to turn away from the sight of the Cal Lightman he thought she could never accept. But he was wrong—she did accept him. More than that, she needed him. "Ever think that maybe I know exactly what I'm getting into with you?"

"Thing is, I don't think you do, love." Cal raised his eyebrows, looking her up and down. "I don't think you've got any bloody idea about the things that go through my head when I've got you on your back with your legs spread."

Gillian shivered at the roughness of Cal's voice and moved forward, forcing him back a step. "I eat chocolate pudding at ten in the morning, so I couldn't possibly understand what makes Cal Lightman tick. No way could I know about the dark places you go, about how badly you need that rush of adrenaline, even if you have to put yourself in danger to get it." Fired up now, Gillian stepped even closer to Cal, but he didn't budge, leaving them nose-to-nose. "I've known you for years. I've seen you through some pretty grim times. And here I am, anyway. There I was last night before Emily walked in, begging you to hold me down and fuck me."

Cal's eyes darkened with desire. Gillian could see that she was getting to him and steeled herself for the inevitable explosion. His expression evened out and his gaze intensified, even as his entire body coiled. He was going to that place Gillian worried about losing him to sometimes, but for once, she didn't try to stop him. She knew if she pushed hard enough, he would try and force her to realize that his newly protective tendencies were for her own good. That she couldn't handle the real, unfiltered Cal. And that's exactly what she wanted.

"Careful, Gill." Cal's eyes shone as he raked his gaze over her body. "Or you might get a full taste of what you're asking for. And I can't promise you'll like it."

Gillian placed her palm over his heart, feeling the steady thump against her hand. "There's more to me than kittens and slushies, Cal." She slid her hand down over his stomach, just inside his sweatpants. "Do you honestly believe we would have ended up where we were last night if I didn't have a little bit of darkness in me, too?"

Cal grabbed her wrist with startling quickness, then walked her backwards until her shoulders hit the wall. He grabbed her other wrist and dragged them both over her head, pinning her. Gillian bit back a gasp, overwhelmed by the intensity of his stare burning into hers. Smiling, Cal pushed his hips against her so she could feel his hard-on.

"This what you want, darling?" Cal leaned in and kissed her neck as he wedged his knee between her thighs, forcing her to straddle him. "You like it a little dangerous?"

His tone was almost mocking, as though he were merely indulging her schoolgirl fantasy with no intention of taking it all the way. Gillian ground down against his knee, inhaling at how wet she was already. "I want you."

"You know this isn't the only way to have me." Cal pulled back slightly, meeting her gaze. "So…what? You want to be treated like a slut?" He seemed to find something in her eyes, because his expression shifted. "You're a good girl. You don't want to have choices. You want directives."

Gillian exhaled. She could see Cal was right on the edge of giving her exactly what she was asking for. Now to see if she could handle it. Making sure he could see the challenge in her eyes, she said, "I want you stop being so goddamn scared of what you want and just take it already."

Cal released her wrists and took a step away. Gillian kept her hands over her head for a long moment before dropping them to her sides. She had no idea what he was thinking. His face was expressionless, so guarded it almost scared her. When she opened her mouth to speak, Cal shook his head.

"Lock the fucking door." His voice was hard and seductive, his accent thicker than normal. "I don't want anyone seeing this."

Gillian's hand reached for the door before her mind caught up with what she was doing. Her heart pounded so hard she was amazed her fingers didn't shake as she engaged the lock. Not with fear. Arousal. An almost crippling rush unlike anything she had felt before. She never took her eyes off Cal, waiting to see what he would do. Wishing he would do something.

"Take off your shirt."

She swallowed at the energy that rolled off him. He wasn't going to hold back this time. Not at all. Gillian pulled her shirt over her head and tossed it to the floor. Cal's eyes were dark and watchful, immediately drawn to her bra.

"Get that bloody thing off, too. I want to see your tits."

Face hot, Gillian reached behind her back and unclasped her bra, letting it fall away from her chest. She liked the way Cal couldn't seem to suppress his reaction to the sight of her bare breasts. A tightening of his throat, the slightest twitch at the corner of his mouth. Gillian smiled.

"You like that." Cal stepped forward and ran his fingers over her left breast, his touch deceptively soft over her nipple. "You love driving me crazy. Don't you?"

"Yes." Gillian put her hand on his arm, ruffling the soft hairs with her thumb. "Very much."

Cal drew back and slapped the side of her breast, not terribly hard, but she gasped anyway. That was something new, and Gillian's cheeks blazed when she realized how much she liked it. "Walking around the office in those hot little dresses. So sweet. So happy." He seized her nipple and squeezed firmly, then released her with a dismissive snort. "Take off the rest. But leave your knickers on."

Gillian did as Cal said, moving swiftly not only because she wanted to obey him, but because she hoped it meant he would touch her again. When she stood in front of him in only her black cotton panties, Gillian marveled at how quiet and still Cal had become. Like a snake about to strike.

Cal met her eyes for a moment, then dragged his gaze over her body in a slow perusal that made her feel like a piece of meat. "You're such a tease. Acting like you're too good for me, when you and I both know you're nothing but a cock hungry slut." He brought his gaze back to her face, and she knew he was searching for discomfort at his words.

Gillian thrust her chin out in defiance. "Are we going to keep talking, or are you actually going to do something?"

He laughed. "Got something to prove, do you?" Cal's eyes glittered, dark and predatory. "Foster's a tough girl now. Is that it?"

Gillian took a step toward him. "I'm just horny. And I'm tired of talking."

Cal hesitated, and Gillian could actually see him turning something over in his mind. It should have worried her, but instead she felt her nipples tighten in anticipation. He was struggling with what he was about to do, and Gillian held her breath, waiting for his next words. When he moved to speak, she leaned forward to hear what he would say.

"You say microexpression and it stops. Yeah?"

Gillian couldn't help but laugh at Cal's choice of safe word. It figured. She nodded and leaned forward to kiss his lips. He cradled the back of her head and held her close, then dropped his hand to her upper arm.

"Tired of talking, Gill? I got something better for that mouth of yours." Cal tugged her down to her knees in front of him. She knew he saw her surprise at his sudden forcefulness when anxiety softened his face and he released her arm. Gillian shook her head slightly, then threw back her shoulders. And smiled again. Cal's look of concern slackened into an expression that made her pussy ache with want. "Show me what a good little cocksucker you are."

It was just like Cal, starting exactly where he thought her trigger might be. Jumping in headfirst. Gillian pressed her hand to the crotch of his sweatpants, stroking over the fabric pulled tight against his erection. Then she met his eyes, silently asking permission. At his nod, she lowered his waistband and saw just how aroused this was making him. Despite his obvious internal struggle, he was rock hard. Gillian placed her hands on his thighs, only to be stopped by Cal's hand grasping her chin.

Cal tilted her face up so he could stare into her eyes. "Don't you dare make me come. You hear?"

Gillian nodded and leaned in slowly. She tasted Cal with the tip of her tongue, then kissed the head of his cock. He tangled his hand in her hair and held her close. She could see tension on his face, almost as though he was waiting for her to recoil. Then Cal sneered, covering his fear with an arrogant grin. He wrapped his hand around the base of his cock and tapped the tip against her lips, painting her mouth with his excitement.

"Go on then, love. Open up." Cal pushed his cock between her lips, sliding over her tongue until she could take no more. "That's it. Show me what you learned in high school, darling."

The words hit her straight between her legs, a jolt of unexpected pleasure that made her moan out load. He was probably right—this should probably upset her, should trigger something. Especially because she had never really liked giving blow jobs all that much. But right now his coarse, goading language made her ravenous. Like all she wanted in the world was to get Cal off, to please him. Because that's what would get her off. Gillian fought the urge to close her eyes, not wanting Cal to misinterpret her reaction. She stared up at him, laving her tongue along his shaft as he pumped his hips into her mouth.

"You really do like that, don't you?" Cal murmured. He sounded surprised. Excited. He slipped his thumb into her mouth, feeling her tongue work. "And you're so bloody good at it."

As though deciding she were too good, Cal backed off, pulling his cock from between her lips. Gillian stayed on her knees, waiting for him to tell her what to do. She had a feeling that if she moved before he spoke, she would draw a reprimand. She hadn't decided yet whether that would be a good or a bad thing.

"Get on the bed."

Gillian got to her feet, grateful that she would be able to lie down. Her legs were shaking, weak with arousal. She wanted Cal so badly it hurt. Taking a chance, Gillian ran teasing fingers across Cal's stomach as she walked past, then inhaled sharply when he grabbed her wrist. His grip bordered on uncomfortable, but the rough touch only stoked her desire higher.

"Getting cocky, Gill?" Cal brought his mouth to her ear, kissing the lobe gently. "You know how I like a challenge."

"I'm just happy, Cal. There's a difference."

Cal pulled back and examined her expression. Then he gestured at the bed. "On your hands and knees. Bum in the air."

Gillian turned away from him, trying to hide the feeling of shyness that came over her at his request. She had always been a missionary position kind of woman. Taking it from behind was something she'd fantasized about far more than experienced. And this would be the first time with Cal.

"What's the matter, Foster?" Cal stepped behind her, pressing his erection against her bottom as he wrapped his arms around her middle, just below her breasts. "Good girls don't let bad boys fuck them doggy style?"

Gillian leaned back against Cal's chest, comforted by the contact. He made her feel safe enough to try just about anything. There was so much she had never dared imagine outside her fantasies that all of a sudden seemed possible. The thought sent a shiver of pleasure through her. Cal tightened his grip as though sensing that she was drawing strength from his embrace.

Patting Cal's arm, Gillian stepped away from him and got onto the bed. She hugged her pillow, laying her face down on it while she stayed balanced on her knees. Arching her back, she thrust her bottom into the air. Offering herself to Cal.

"There you go, darling." The mattress sank under Cal's weight as he climbed behind her. "I knew you had it in you." He chuckled, then dragged the crotch of her panties to the side, exposing her pussy to the cool air and his hot gaze. "Now to get me in you."

Gillian closed her eyes, anticipating his touch. She knew she was wet, but moaned in surprise at just easily his fingers glided through her slick folds.

"Goddamn," Cal muttered. "You really are a dirty girl, aren't you?" He yanked her panties aside even further and rubbed his fingers up and down over her labia. The wet sounds made Gillian flush. She buried her face in her pillow, startled by how strongly she was reacting to Cal's dominance. "Filthy little slag."

Gillian groaned as he pushed two fingers inside. Normally he started with one, so the extra girth took her by surprise. She felt herself opening up to him, and set her knees apart on the bed so he could press deeper. Cal laughed and withdrew his fingers.

"All those times you came into my office, Foster, so sweet and bloody innocent. And me trying so hard to pretend I didn't sometimes think of throwing you over my desk and just taking you. I thought I knew you. Thought you'd be horrified by those fantasies. But look at you now. Mine for the taking." Cal jerked her panties down roughly, then guided them off her legs and tossed them onto the mattress next to her head. Gillian turned her face to the side and stared at them while Cal's hands found her buttocks and spread her open. "You want me to take you. Don't you?"

"Please." Gillian rocked back on her knees, searching for more contact. She whimpered, disappointed, when Cal released her and leaned forward to open the nightstand drawer. He pulled out one of the condoms they never really used, and she watched, transfixed, as he tore it open. "You know you don't have to wear that."

"It's not for my cock," Cal said. She watched him fit it over his index finger, then moaned when he brought his hand back between her legs. "I'm glad you're so wet, darling." She felt him gather her juices on his finger before moving up to circle her anus gently. Gillian stiffened, startled by the foreign touch. "Oh. Not sure what to make of that, are you?"

Gillian was on totally new ground now. She exhaled, willing her racing heart to slow down. The worst thing she could do now was get nervous. The unfamiliar sensation of Cal's fingertip probing gently at her tight ring of muscle enflamed her, even as she struggled with the uncertainty of how it would feel to let him penetrate her there.

Cal leaned forward, pressing his chest against her back. He had taken off his shirt without her noticing, and his skin warmed her. "You like it, but you don't think you should." He slowly worked his fingertip inside, making Gillian pitch forward and gasp into the pillow. Such a strange feeling, but so very delicious. "You're not supposed to like taking it up the ass, are you? Not you." Gillian's body relaxed and Cal slid his finger deeper. "But you do. You bloody love it."

"Fuck," Gillian mumbled into the pillow. "Please, Cal." Her pussy was hot and slick and devastatingly empty, and no matter how good his finger felt in her ass, that wasn't where she needed him. She pressed her hips backward, taking his finger in as far as it would go. Wanton. Shameless. So needy she wanted to cry.

"Please, what?" Cal withdrew his finger, then thrust it back inside. Gillian cried out into the pillow, surprised by how good it felt. "Please fuck your ass?"

Gillian shook her head. "No."

"No?" Cal said. The speed of his thrusts increased, harder and deeper. "That's not what your body is saying."

Gillian clutched the pillow and gritted her teeth. "I want your cock. In my pussy."

"Is that right, love?" Cal shifted behind her, and Gillian moaned at sudden pressure on her labia, then the familiar press of his cock at her opening. "This what you need?"

"Yes." Gillian reached for him blindly, keeping her face against the pillow. She found his arm, the one that still pumped into her, and squeezed. "Please don't make me beg."

Then he entered her with his cock, thick and hot, making Gillian cry out in shocked pleasure. She hadn't expected him to give in that easily. Coming up more fully on her knees, she rocked back against him, not leaving it to Cal to establish their rhythm. She wanted him now, hard, fast, and she wasn't going to let him draw this out any longer.

Cal's finger left her ass and she heard the condom being discarded, thrown carelessly on the floor. Then she gasped and went still when his hand cracked sharply against her bottom. He grabbed her hip roughly, pulling her back onto his cock, then spanked her again with his free hand. Gillian's face went hot even as her pussy tightened around Cal.

"Listen. To. Me." Cal accompanied each word with a sharp thrust, then punctuated the command with a painful slap on the tender skin of her bottom. "I will make you do what I want." Smack. "When I want." A series of deep, battering thrusts. "Understand?"

Gillian nodded quickly. She didn't know what was most unreal about being treated this way—that she would allow it at all, or that it felt so fucking good. She couldn't imagine doing this with anyone but Cal. At the same time, she didn't know how she had gone this long without experiencing the exquisite pleasure-pain he was giving her. It was like she was seeing herself—her desires, her turn-ons, even her limits—in an entirely new light. And it exhilarated her.

Cal reached beneath her and seized her right nipple, tugging sharply on the turgid flesh. Gillian whimpered and squirmed under his touch.

"Understand?" Cal asked again, softer this time. She could hear the concern in his voice so she smiled, knowing he would hear that in hers.

"I understand," Gillian murmured. She glanced at Cal over her shoulder, smiling wider at the way the sight of him, naked and brooding, ratcheted up her arousal another level. "You're in charge."

"Bloody right I am," Cal said. He hesitated a moment, then withdrew from her, releasing her nipple. At her groan of disappointment, he scowled. "Changed my mind. I want to see your face while I'm fucking you."

Of course he did. Gillian wasn't at all surprised by the request. She rolled over beneath him, keeping her legs spread wide. Cal glanced down at her pussy and grinned. One of his hands brushed against her inner thigh as he fit his hips between her thighs. He moved his other hand to her throat.

Gillian swallowed as he curled his fingers around her neck. He didn't apply any pressure, but he didn't have to. She was well and truly under his control. Trusting him completely. Gillian's pussy clenched and she breathed out a moan.

Cal grinned as he dragged his fingers over her labia, coating them in the incredible wetness that poured from her. Gillian whimpered then raised her hips off the bed as he drew back, not wanting to lose the contact. Cal brought his fingers to her face, turned them slightly so she could see how they shone with her juices, then wiped them across her mouth and forced them between her lips.

Caught off-guard, Gillian tried to turn her face away, only to be stopped by the hand on her throat. Cal rubbed his fingers over her tongue, making her taste herself.

"That's good stuff." Cal grinned when she began to suck on his fingers, accepting his offering. "Lovely, isn't it? I've never seen you this wet, Gill." He tilted his head, and she knew he was reading her face again. "Oh, I was wrong about you. Wasn't I? This isn't something that would turn on a good girl."

Gillian waited until he'd taken his fingers out of her mouth to say, "So you admit you were wrong?"

"Don't get used to it," Cal said, cracking a genuine smile. One that reached his eyes and made Gillian's body go warm with something even more intoxicating than arousal. He took his hand from her mouth and used it to slap her breast sharply, the wetness of his fingers making it sting. "And don't get cocky."

"Yes, doctor." Gillian giggled, drawing a harder smack across her other breast. Her laugh turned into a groan. Cal gave her a stern look that brought her good humor under control. "I understand."

Cal pressed the head of his cock to her opening, met her eyes, then pushed inside. Gillian moaned in relief, then in disappointment when Cal didn't keep moving. She gave him her best pleading expression. This stopping and starting was pure torture.

Cal leaned back, looking down between them. "Rub your clit. Show me how you get yourself off."

She should be embarrassed. Shouldn't she? The woman she had always known herself to be would feel shy about touching herself in front of anyone, even the man she loved. But embarrassment was the last thing Gillian felt. She dropped her hands between her legs and used one to spread herself open, the other to rub gentle circles over her swollen clit. Closing her eyes in relief, Gillian moaned as pleasure built in the pit of her stomach.

The fingers on her throat shifted, and Cal pressed his thumb against the underside of her chin. "Open your eyes, Gill. Look at me while you do that."

Gillian opened her eyes and gasped at the expression of pure need on Cal's face. Nobody had ever wanted her as badly as he did right then, in that moment. She could see that. And she had never felt so connected to a lover before, so desperate for him. Her pussy tightened and a wave of pleasure rolled through her body.

"No." Cal pulled back then thrust inside her again, intensifying the pleasure. "You don't come until I say you can." He established a rhythm with his hips, slow and deep at first, then faster, harder. "We'll do this together."

Gillian stilled her fingers, though she couldn't bring herself to pull them away from her clit. It felt so good to touch herself, even better now that Cal was moving, so she told herself that she could handle the light pressure of her own hand. That it wouldn't send her over the edge.

Cal brought a hand to her breast, rubbing and squeezing, and Gillian thought she might pass out right then and there. She grabbed onto Cal's arm with the hand that wasn't on her clit, clutched at his tattooed bicep, gritted her teeth. She had to curl her toes to stave off the orgasm that threatened to crash over her.

Cal grinned. "You can hardly stand it." His own voice sounded labored, as though he had to struggle to get the words out. Sweat shone on his forehead, and his thrusts began to feel jerky and uncontrolled. "Can you?"

Gillian wanted to throw the question back at him, but she knew that wasn't the right answer. Especially when the last thing in the world she wanted to do was challenge Cal Lightman. Not when he had the power to keep her on the razor's edge of release for as long as he wanted.

"Please, Cal." Gillian tightened her grip on his arm, letting him feel the bite of her well-manicured nails. "Please let me fucking come."

"Do it," Cal grunted. He leaned forward over her, fucking her so hard that only his hands kept her anchored beneath him. "Let me hear how good it feels to get taken like the dirty slut you are."

Gillian brushed her fingertips over her clit and that's all it took. Her pussy contracted around Cal's cock and she tipped back her head and let out a full-throated shout as she came hard. "Fuck."

Cal's hips jerked forward and he cried out hoarsely, spilling his seed deep inside her. His hands left her body and found purchase in the sheets, and he kept himself balanced precariously over her as he rode out what sounded like a shattering climax. Gillian wrapped her arms around his back, pressing on his shoulders until he collapsed on top of her. He was heavy but she craved the feeling of his body on hers, keeping her safe and warm.

"I'm crushing you," Cal mumbled in her ear.

"Nonsense." Gillian wrapped her legs around his hips, crossing her ankles over the small of his back. She wasn't about to let him go. His heart thumped madly against her breasts, and his sweat-dampened hair tickled her face. "I like it."

Cal said nothing, but pressed his mouth to her neck. Gillian turned her face to the side to give him better access. Cal kissed her again, scraping his teeth over her throat. She could feel his lingering anxiety and tightened her full-bodied embrace.

"You didn't scare me away," Gillian murmured. She threaded her fingers in his hair, then moved her face so she could kiss his lips. He kissed her back so tenderly it brought tears to her eyes. "I win."

Chuckling, Cal lifted his face and smirked. "We'll see."

"Yes, we will."

Cal withdrew from her with a smile, then kissed his way down her chest. He paused at each breast to lick her nipples, soothing the still-tingling flesh with his soft tongue. Gillian kept her hand in his hair and closed her eyes, ready to bask in the gentle caresses Cal now offered her. His mouth moved over her belly, across her hip, then lingered at the juncture of her thighs. When he spread her pussy open with his hands, Gillian lifted her head and tightened her grip on Cal's hair.

"You don't have to do that," Gillian murmured. Especially when she had no idea if she could even come again. But Cal just smiled and lowered his face between her legs, touching her oversensitive clit with the flat of his tongue. Immediately she knew that she could come again, and probably without much effort on Cal's part. In fact her body was screaming for it. "But I'm happy to let you."

She felt Cal's mouth curve into a smile against her. For the first time since they entered the bedroom, however, he said nothing. He just licked her, slowly, gently, in a way that coaxed out a moan so wanton she blushed anew. Cal's hands rested on her belly, his fingers stroking careful patterns over her ribs. Reverent. Worshipful. Full of love.

Gillian was right—it took no time at all for Cal to draw out another orgasm. This one made her thighs quake and tears leak from her eyes, and she had to hold onto one of Cal's hands to keep from falling apart altogether. She squeezed his fingers frantically when she could stand no more, and he stopped, surging up her body to capture her mouth in another slow kiss.

She curled her hand around the back of his neck, holding his forehead against his. His eyes shone with emotion as he stared down at her, and his face was as unguarded as she had ever seen it.

"All right, love?" Cal shifted to the side so he no longer lay on top of her, but he kept his forehead pressed to hers.

"Oh, yes." Gillian laughed and snuggled into Cal's body. His strong arms wrapped around her and pulled her close. Kissing him again, Gillian drew away after a moment and studied his face. He looked happy. Really and truly pleased in a way she rarely saw from him. "You're not the bad boy you think you are, Cal. Sorry to tell you."

"Seems I was wrong about both of us, then."

"Oh? I'm not a good girl anymore?"

Cal exhaled, laughing. "Darling, I think you may have been lying about that the whole time."

"The long con." Gillian shot him a sly grin. "Such an easy mark."

Cal snorted. "Getting cocky again, are we?"

Gillian sighed and lay her face on Cal's shoulder. "Not yet. I need time to recover."

"Good. Me too, I'm sorry to say."

A fantastic idea occurred to Gillian and she popped up, giving Cal an excited smile. "Chocolate cake has amazing restorative properties."

"You've got to be kidding me." Cal raised an eyebrow. "It's not even noon!"

"There's never a wrong time for cake."

Cal grinned broadly and pulled Gillian down for a hard kiss. When they broke apart, he cupped her cheek in his hand. "Don't ever change, Foster. You hear me?"

"The same goes for you, Lightman. Really."

Cal shook his head, tangling a lock of her hair around his fingers. "Not when we're so good together just like this."

"My thoughts exactly," Gillian said. She waited a moment, then put on the most beguiling expression she had in her arsenal. "Chocolate cake?"

"Bloody hell," Cal grumbled affectionately. He rolled his eyes and sat up, tickling Gillian's side. "All right. I'll even throw caution to the wind and have a bite."

Gillian gave Cal an approving grin. "Bad boy."

He grinned back. "Absolutely."