Roughly based on 8x14 as a pre-ep... An idea about how they ended up in bed together at the beginning of the episode and why it's a "problem." (We all know it's so not!) Just a quick little one-shot...

She was already digging through her purse for car keys when the ringing of her cell phone confounded the situation. Groaning, she slid her arm through the handles, balancing it on one forearm, and dug the phone out of her jacket pocket with her free hand.

Not bothering to check the ID – it was always work, anyway – she lifted it to her ear as she walked to her Hummer, functioning on auto-pilot as she answered.


"Aren't you going to congratulate me?"

His voice stopped her in her tracks dead center in the department parking lot. She was grinning immediately at the sound of his voice, pressing her lips together to contain her unusually giddy smile as she formulated a response. Shifting her weight onto one leg, she tipped her heel back onto the stiletto, playfully rolling it against the pavement.

"Why would I be congratulating you?"

"The job at the state attorney's office," he explained, and she could almost see the playfully exasperated look on his face.

Calleigh bit her lip coyly, glancing around to make sure no one was in the vicinity of hearing range. "I thought I already congratulated you last week."

Her voice went low, like it did when she was teasing him and generally wearing very, very little, and her tone had him gripping his steering wheel hard. A week away from her was far too long. Despite him driving a car at her and her shooting at him and chaos ensuing and blah blah blah, he found it so incredibly easy to want her, to trust her, to love her. And that was not part of the agreement at all.

"You did." Grinning, he turned the A/C up a desperately needed notch. "Twice, if I remember correctly…"

"Uh-huh," she agreed, chuckling a little. Finally digging out her keys, she continued her trek to the Hummer, an added sway in her gait. "You drove a car at me. I think that's all the congratulations you get."

"But it's official now," he insisted. "The paperwork went through this morning. I'm officially on the state's attorney's payroll."

"Well," she began playfully, tucking her tongue against the roof of her mouth before she grinned. "Congratulations."

She was playing hardball so he simply scoffed and laughed, shaking his head. "Thank you."

"So you start soon?"

"Yeah." Latching onto an idea, he grinned. If she could play hard-to-get, so could he. "Actually, that's why I called… I think I, uh, still have some stuff from my kit at your place."

"Oh, you do?"


"So, this isn't a social call?" She smiled knowingly, leaning against the side of the Hummer.

"No, of course not…" he said, and it would've been convincing had she not caught the sarcastic undertone. "Because we agreed that after I drove a car at you and you shot at me and our "job performance suffered" that it wasn't a good idea."


She grinned, again biting her lip. Those rules had been in place last week when she'd "congratulated" him, but his lips and hands and just Eric had been far too tempting. He'd rested a hand on her hip, tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, met her gaze with those adoring eyes, and she was a goner.

"So," she started, keeping herself in check. "You want to meet me at my place in ten…to get your stuff?"

"Sounds good."

* * *

Calleigh barely had time to set her purse down before the doorbell rang. Despite their coy games, the knocking of her heart against her chest told her she was about to be swept up in a whirlwind of Eric again. If nothing else, just the sight of him would leave her chest tight, her hands longing to touch him, and her heart begging her to abandon those stupid barriers they'd put up.

She swung the door open, not at all surprised by the mischievous grin on his face. The arm tucked behind his back, however, was suspect.

"Hey," she greeted as she pushed the storm door open. Leaning into it slightly, she held it for him and his body had no choice but to brush hers as he made his way inside.

The reaction was immediate. Goosebumps prickled across her arms. The hairs on the back of his neck stood and he wanted nothing more than to touch her. And if their playful banter and her smile were any indication, then he was more than welcome to do just that.

The moment she'd shut the door his eyes were on her intently, drinking in perfect curves and golden hair. Her heart pounded as his hands followed his gaze, gripping her hips as he urged her back. She was vaguely aware of the weight of a wine bottle in his hands, leaving nothing but his fingertips on his right hand to press against her hip.

It was more than enough to move her willing body back until she was against the door, though, his brown eyes still intensely locked on her deep greens. All joking temporarily thrown aside, he reached up with his free hand, tucking the shorter locks that cradled her face behind her ear. He was aware of nothing but the deep, anticipatory sigh she let out at his touch.

Pressing her against the door, he slipped his fingers into her hair and cupped the back of her head as he lowered his lips to hers. He was overwhelmed by everything he had missed: the softness of her hair as it cascaded over his fingers, the faint scent of her perfume, the way her tiny hands settled low on his abdomen as her lips moved against his.

She tasted sweet like Calleigh but felt forbidden. The combination was driving him crazy, making him throw aside all notions of playing hard-to-get and thoroughly romancing her. They'd waited too long, and now he wanted nothing more than her skin against his, her hair all around him, her lips and hands on the spots she knew sent him over the brink.

His body kissed hers against the door, head tilting as her tongue grazed his bottom lip and then entered the confines of his sensitive mouth. Groaning slightly, he pinned her hips the best he could and she couldn't help the laughter that bubbled up in her throat, erupting against his lips.

"Whatcha got there?" she asked teasingly, suckling at his lower lip as he tried to regain the ability to speak coherently.

Watching him with amusement, she trailed her fingers down to his wrist, over his hand, and finally to the bottle he'd been clutching. When she felt the unmistakable prick of a rose thorn she grinned, closing her hand over his.

"Wine," he mumbled against her lips, capturing them in his once again. "It's a thank you gift…for taking care of my stuff."

"Oh, right," she let out, feigning recognition and reluctantly pulling away from his tempting mouth. She took the rose in her hands, feeling delightfully feminine when she held it to her chest. "I guess I'd better get your stuff so you can go…"

She began to walk away, a teasing sway in her hips as she crept by him. In one quick motion, however, he'd set the wine bottle on a table in the hall and regained control. Palms pressed to her hips, he wasted no time pinning her back into her previous position. Now, though, his hands were free to roam and he slid them beneath her top to caress bare skin, marveling at the softness.

Biting her lip, she watched him – watched his hands glide over her skin beneath her blouse to create the most wonderful, delicate sensations. Eric pulled her close, hands gliding over her lower back as he ducked down again to take her mouth with his. He was gentler this time – slower – and as his hands trailed up her sides, he tore his lips from hers just long enough to speak.

"The wine is 'cause I like winning points," he mumbled playfully against her lips, feeling her smile. "The rose is just 'cause you're gorgeous, and I kinda like you."

Laughing, she kissed him squarely again and gently tossed the rose beside the wine to free her hands. His were growing bolder, gliding up her arms and sliding beneath the collar of her suit to push it off her shoulders until it fell to the floor.

She gripped his collar, pushing onto the tips of her toes as she tugged him closer. His mouth crashed deeper with hers, and he tilted his head for better access to taste her again. Gentle hands slipped between his jacket and his shirt, pulling his jacket from his shoulders just as he'd done hers. Fingers crept beneath his shirt, her palm smoothing over his sensitive neck until she was cupping the back of his head, urging him even closer.

Wasting no time, Eric's hands were beneath her blouse again, fingers trailing over her abdomen. He paid special attention to the tightening of her muscles in the wake of his touch, grinning slightly at the obvious shiver that coursed throughout her body. Toying with the hem, he finally took it between his fingers, peeling the yellow, white and black fabric off her torso and down the length of her extended arms.

Hair effectively tousled – just the way he liked – he ran his fingers through the long strands and set his sights on the beautiful, creamy skin he'd just revealed. The height difference always proved difficult, though, and as his lips captured hers once again he leaned down, skimming his hands over her covered thighs. He lifted her easily, holding her against the door as his lips traded hers for skin.

Calleigh closed her eyes, running her hands through his short hair as his lips closed over her collarbone. He kissed upward, nipping at her pulse point and then soothing her skin with the softest of kisses. Despite her attempts to stay in control, to continue their playful banter, she was completely and utterly gone.

The soft whimper of pleasure that escaped her was unavoidable, and he chuckled as he skimmed a hand over her abdomen, across her ribs, and through the valley between her breasts. His kisses returned low on her chest, trailing over the swell of one breast revealed by her lacy black lingerie.

She fisted her hand in his short hair, clutching onto him tightly as she slowly lost control. He was close – so close – to where she wanted him, and yet there were far too many barriers between them still. Body pressed flush with his, she could feel his heat radiating to her skin even through all the fabric separating them.

His lips ventured high again, kissing that spot just below her ear he'd discovered long ago. Steady against the door, cocooned by his body, her hands slid to the front of him and pushed a button through. She continued down, sliding button after button out of place until she could easily slip a hand beneath his undershirt.

"Cal," he uttered breathlessly as her fingers grazed his abs. With her, the softest touches elicited the strongest sensations he'd ever experienced – never mind when she was actively trying to bring him to the edge. Then, he was a goner, completely at the mercy of her lips and hands.

"Bed," she murmured, cradling his face in her hands. She drew his lips back to hers, kissing him softly, lovingly – a reprieve from all the pent-up passion and deliberate touching.

He spun her in a 180, lowering her to the ground, and his hands guided her hips backwards. Tugging on either side of his button-up, she pulled him with her – not that she had to – as she made her way to the bedroom.

They rounded the corner, continuing down her hall, and she managed to gracefully toe off her heels and kick them aside. Eric watched her drop five inches before his eyes and laughed softly, suddenly reminded of just how small she was, how careful he always was with her.

His hands nearly engulfed her tiny waist as he led her back, finally taking her hands in his. Threading their fingers so their palms kissed, he lowered his body to the edge of her bed and tugged her close. Sighing, he rested his forehead against her abdomen, taking in the feel of her skin against his, the comfort her presence brought. In a world of constant change, she was constantly the same.

Smirking lovingly at her like only he could, he slipped the button on her pants through and lowered the zipper, revealing more black lace. A smile graced her lips and she ran her hands through his hair as he kissed her stomach. Painstakingly slowly, he eased the fabric off her curves and down her thighs until it pooled at her feet.

"Calleigh," he whispered meaningfully, and she marveled at the realization that they always ended up back here. Despite his intentions being blurred amongst a web of criminal activity his father was involved in, despite her questioning her faith and trust in him for mere hours, and despite a confusing shootout that had unknowingly pitted them against one another, they were here.

Her name still sounded soft and cherished on his lips. He still showered her with small, meaningful gifts – wine, chocolate, flowers, cute little notes tucked into case files and evidence boxes. Her touch still both calmed and aroused.

They would always come back to this, their safe haven even when everything was crumbling down. They would emerge from the rubble together, unaffected and stronger than ever.

Despite rules, whether professional or self-imposed, there was no way that either of them could ever walk away.

After all, rules were meant to be broken – and love was the best excuse to break them.