* Okay, this is it. I'm getting married. Me and Rayni. Husband and Wife. Till death, do us part. Married. Why am I so nervous? I've been married before. Yeah, I eloped the first time. And Rayni ain't Stella. I thought I was head over heels for Stel. That ain't nothing compared to this. Why am I so hot?! Deep breath. Calm down. You can do this. You love her. She's the moon and the stars. It's no big deal. Just a formality. The ceremony should last, what, twenty minutes? Piece of cake. Fraser drones on about some Eskimo shit longer than that. So what if everyone you know is out there starin' at ya. You'll be fine. You love her. She's it. She's the one. My doll. *
"Ray, you ready?" The minister asks softly as he places a comforting hand on Ray's shoulder. Ray nods and looks at his dad. Damien offers him a wink and a smile. Ray grins before staring down at his feet. Cara had dragged Fraser and Steve from the room a few minutes ago and that left Ray alone with his dad. He thought his dad would try to give him some goofy advice and get all sentimental. Much to Ray's relief, his dad just let him wait in silence. That's what he needed anyway.
The music started getting louder and Ray's eyes widened as the minister motioned for him to step into the main sanctuary.
* I can't breathe. Look at all these people! Who are all these people? Hey, there's Huey. Ah Jesus, my mom's cryin' already. Don't do that. Okay, let's get this show on the road. Come on Rayni. Where are you?! *
* God I'm sweating like a pig. Why am I sweating like a pig?! I'm going to look like I just rolled out of gym class when I'm walking down the aisle. Oh God, is Daddy crying? Oh no. You can't cry. I can't cry. Sharon spent nearly forty-five minutes doing my make up. Where's Cara? I need Cara! She'll know what to do. She can at least get me some toilet paper to put under my arms. Why is it so freaking hot in the church!? It's April! Turn the A/C on already! *
Cara saw the panicked look on Rayni's face as the wedding party took their positions at the back of the church. She patted Fraser on the arm and motioned for him to join her.
"What's wrong?" Cara had Rayni by the elbow while her Father had her by the other arm.
"I'm hot. Why am I so hot?! Doesn't this place have air?! What if I get too hot? What if I pass out?! I can't face-plant at my wedding Cara. I just can't!"
"Okay, you need to calm down."
Paul tightened his grip on Rayni's hand as he spoke. "Shhh, baby. Calm down. You're just nervous that's all. When these doors open, you won't even remember any of this nonsense."
"Nonsense?! I'm going to collapse from a heatstroke halfway down the aisle and it's nonsense?! Where's the support?! Where's the love?! Fraser, tell them to turn on the a/c!"
Fraser reached out and grabbed her hand. He looked at her for a moment and then spoke softly to her. "You're going to be fine. He loves you more than anything. Just look."
Fraser stepped aside to let Rayni look through a small window in the door. She could see Ray pulling at his collar at the front of the church. She hadn't been able to see him all day. He looked beautiful. He was the most beautiful man she had ever seen.
"Look at him." She sighed.
"He's waiting on you. Are you ready?" Cara handed Rayni her bouquet.
"Yeah. Let's go."
The director motioned to the organist and the music changed to the processional.
Ray swallowed hard as Steve walked slowly down the aisle.
The music softly played as the wedding party continued down the aisle. Ray shifted nervously as everyone took they're places. He did manage to smile at Rayni's nephew, Josh as he strolled down the aisle. The music paused and Ray held his breath. Eleanor stood and the rest of the church followed suit. The organist hit the first note and the doors of the church opened. Ray felt a smile spread across his face as he watched her.
Rayni took a deep breath and looked into the calming eyes of her father. She
couldn't help but smile at him. He looked so sweet as the tears threatened
to spill from his eyes. She turned her head as the doors opened and looked
down the long aisle of the church. In a breath, her eyes locked with Ray's.
She had heard people talk about the world fading away and all that. Now she
knew what they were talking about. Tunnel vision. That's the only way she
could describe it. She felt her father step forward and her body just
followed. She soon found herself at the front of the church with Ray looking
down at her.
The nerves and anxiety from before had vanished. She knew the minister was
talking but she really wasn't paying attention. She could only look at Ray.
Ray took a deep breath and looked down at Rayni. This was the woman he was
going to spend the rest of his life with. He loved her. Really loved her
more than he ever thought possible. He was lost in his thoughts when he
heard his named called.
"Ray, do you take this woman....." The words trailed off in Ray's brain. He
blindly answered the questions as he lightly rubbed his thumbs on the back
of Rayni's hands. Today, his world would change. At this moment his life
would be better. As he held his breath, Rayni answered her vows to him. At
that moment, he was complete.
Ray held out his hand and winked at Rayni. The reception hall was softly lit
and the music had just begun to play.
"I believe we're supposed to dance." Rayni smiled and nodded her head. Ray
had insisted on picking the song for their first dance. She had tried her
best to get it out of him but he refused. He led her to the center of the
dance floor and placed a soft kiss on the end of her nose. The music changed
and Ray pulled her closer to him.
**Like the beat, beat, beat of the tomtom
When the jungle shadows fall
Like the tick, tick, tock of the stately clock
as it stands against the wall
Like the drip, drip, drip of the raindrops
When the summer show'r is through
So a voice within me keeps repeating
You, you, you***
Rayni lightly stroked the back of his neck as Ray placed another kiss on her
forehead. He pulled her hand into his chest and placed it over his heart.
She sighed as she felt the smooth constant rhythm of his heart.
**Night and day you are the one
Only you beneath the moon and sun
Whether near me or far
It's no matter, darling, where you are
I think of you
Night and day
Day and night**
Fraser stood on the edge of the dance floor and watched his best friends as
they danced. He smiled as Ray kissed her forehead. He was truly happy for
them. They were happy. He couldn't help but pray that he would find that
kind of happiness one day. Cara walked up behind him and placed her hand on
his back to announce her presence. He turned and offered a warm smile as she
slipped her hand into the crook of his arm.
**Why is it so
That this longing for you follows wherever I go
In the roaring traffic's boom
In the silence of my lonely room
I think of you
Night and day**
Eleanor spoke to some of the guests and tried to mingle as much as possible.
She was busy making the rounds when her gaze finally fell on the dance
floor. She stopped mid sentence and looked at the face of her daughter.
Tears filled her eyes as she saw the love and adoration in Rayni's eyes.
**Night and day under the hide of me
There's an Oh, such a hungry yearning
Burning inside of me
And its torment won't be through
'Till you spent my life making love to you
Day and night
Night and day
Night and day**
Rayni took a deep breath to keep the emotions from escaping her throat. She
had never dreamt it would be like this. She was so happy. She prayed this
day would never end.
Rayni laughed and reached for Ray's hand as they spoke to Damien and Barbara. They had been at the reception an hour and managed to speak to everyone, they hoped at least once. Fraser took another bite of cake while Cara slid into the chair next to him.
"My feet are killing me."
"It's all that dancing." Fraser said with a smile.
"You keep asking."
"Ah, so I do."
"So I will blame you for my sore feet." Fraser noticed as her playful smile turned to annoyance as she looked around the room.
"Oh Christ! What is he doing here?"
"Matt Landrum. Why did she invite him?"
"Who's Matt Landrum?"
"A very obnoxious guy I used to date. Oh God, he's coming over here."
"Cara! How have you been?" Fraser sat his fork on the table and watched as Cara plastered a fake smile on her face.
"Matt, what are you doing here?"
"I came with Angie. It's good to see you. Would you like to dance?" Cara swallowed the hateful comment she was thinking and leaned closer to Fraser.
"I'm sorry. We're sitting this one out." Cara slipped her hand on to Fraser's knee and gave it a squeeze.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize you….."
"This is my boyfriend Ben." Cara turned and gave Fraser the 'Play along or you're a dead man' look. Fraser grinned and gave Cara a look of his own.
"Nice to meet you."
Cara turned back to Matt and smiled sweetly willing him to go away. She tried to get her point across by rubbing her hand down Fraser's chest and giving him a peck on the cheek. Fraser decided to have a little fun so he slipped his arm around Cara's shoulders and lightly traced small circles on her upper arm. Cara felt shivers travel down her spine as she turned to look at him. He smiled at her and placed a kiss on her nose.
"Are you sure you aren't ready to go, muffin butt?" Fraser wiggled his eyebrows up and down as he spoke.
*You're screwing with me?! Dudley Do-Right is screwing with me?! Oh, you are so gonna get it Mountie Boy. * Cara swallowed hard as she turned to face Matt again.
"Well, I'll let you two alone. It was nice seeing you again Cara."
"Nice to see you. Give my best to Angie." Cara choked out.
"I will, Maybe you'll bump into us on the dance floor."
"Probably!" Fraser replied with a friendly wave. He pulled Cara closer as they both watched Matt walk away. Cara turned slowly and looked into the very amused face of Fraser.
"You are so dead."
"Oh don't give me the big eyes. You couldn't just sit there? You had to start with all the rubbing and touching."
"Rubbing?! There was no rubbing?"
"Oh you rubbed. I felt it."
"You may have been mistaken." Cara tried to glare at him but the mischievous twinkle in his eyes wouldn't allow her to maintain the irritation.
"Oh I don't think so. Just for that. I'm going to make you pay."
"Uh huh. Let's dance."
"But I thought your feet hurt."
"I'll get through it. Let's go Muffin-butt!" Cara stood and took him by the hand. She pulled him across the floor through the dancing guests. She knew Fraser was jumpy when it came to women so she planned on giving him a dose of his own.
He placed his hand on her waist and reached for her other hand. She refused his grasp and wrapped her arms around his neck.
"You're going to embarrass me aren't you?" Fraser tucked his head.
"Look, there's Matt. He's watching us. Gee, I better give him something to look at." Fraser cringed as Cara trailed her hand down his chest and then around his waist. Fraser jumped slightly as Cara pinched his ass. She laughed as Fraser's cheeks turned bright red.
Rayni elbowed Ray in the ribs and pointed to the dance floor. "Look. Cara just pinched Fraser on the ass!"
"Yeah, I wonder…." Rayni's voice trailed off as she followed Cara's gaze across the reception hall. "Matt."
"Matt? What's up?"
"Come on, let's dance and I'll find out."
As couples floated around the dance floor, Rayni and Ray made a beeline for Cara and Fraser. Ray maneuvered Rayni so she was facing Cara as they danced.
"What are you doing?"
"Yeah you 'Miss Grab-ass'."
"Oh that. Fraser likes it. Don'tcha, big guy?"
"You started it."
"Well, all you had to do was sit there. You were the one that got all clingy and touchy."
"Fraser got touchy?!" Ray exclaimed.
"I assure you I was just playing along with a deception Cara started."
"He called me Muffin-butt and insinuated sexual things." Rayni tried to stifle a laugh while Ray stood gaping at his very embarrassed friend.
"Fraser implied sexual things? Fraser? Our Fraser?" Rayni finally managed to squeak.
"Yep." Cara said smugly.
"Well, it seems to me, Cara's two up on the ass grabbin'. Gee Fraser, you better get in the game." Ray smirked. Fraser could feel the heat in his cheeks. Rayni was definitely a bad influence on him and Cara wasn't much better. He was just trying to have some fun and now he found him self in a game of Grab-Ass.
"I don't even want to know, do I?" Rayni asked as they danced slowly around the floor.
"Nope." "Not really." Cara and Fraser replied at the same time.
Rayni sighed as she leaned her head back on the headrest and closed her eyes. Ray's hand was threaded in hers and she was starting to relax to the gentle sound of his breathing. They were finally married and on the plane to California. In four short hours, they would be in the honeymoon suite and everything would be right with the world. Rayni lifted her head and looked at Ray's sleeping form. She hated to do it, but force feeding him a Valium was the only way to get him on the plane. Until she actually sat still for more than ten minutes, she hadn't realized how tired she was. The reception was beautiful. She smiled at the memory of Cara and Sharon battling it out for the bouquet. Francesca had just been too much for them. What she lacked in height, she made up for in quickness. Ray laughed until the tears were glistening in the corner of his eyes. The flight attendant offered her a drink and she smiled appreciatively. As she sipped on her ginger-ale, she rang her thumb along the two gold bands on her finger. The diamond sparkled in the low light of the plane. Ray shifted and sighed as he slept. She smiled again and said a small prayer of thanks. She took Ray's hand again and softly rubbed the back of his hand with her thumb.
"God, let me get out of this dress." Cara started kicking her shoes off as soon as she walked in the door.
"Best plan I've heard all day." Cara stopped in her tracks and turned to look at Fraser.
"Oh, you are still gonna pay, Mountie Boy."
"You were having way too much fun at my expense."
"You started it."
"But, you were just supposed to sit there and….I don't know. Just look handsome."
"What's the matter? I thought I helped you out considerably."
"Yeah, but you liked it a little too much and for that, you're going to pay." Cara said with an evil grin.
"Yep. Now help me unzip this thing. It may be pretty, but it sure isn't comfortable." Cara turned her back to Fraser and lowered her head in a gesture that conveyed she was ready for him to unzip her dress. Fraser's face flamed red and he coughed nervously.
"Oh for the love of God, just do it!" Cara laughed.
"You love tormenting me, don't you?"
"That's what friends are for." Fraser couldn't help but smile as he unzipped her. He tried to avert his eyes, but he couldn't help but take in the delicate lace of her bra as he slid the zipper down her back. She didn't even look back as she padded down the hall and into her bedroom. Fraser knew that he would need to help Rayni's parents dismantle some of the decorations so he had changed into casual clothes before leaving the church. He and Cara had managed to get everything cleaned up that Ray and Rayni had left behind. He could tell Cara was getting tired and insisted on seeing her home. That's what he was telling himself anyway. After Cara's little charade during the reception the two of them had been joking playfully all afternoon. He couldn't remember when he had that much fun. He didn't want it to end. Dief had happily hopped in the car with Rayni's nephew Josh after the reception. Mike had waved off Fraser's protest so that left Fraser alone for the evening.
"Hey, do me a favor and grab those blue sweat pants out of the dryer!" Cara called from behind her bedroom door.
"Sure!" Fraser stepped through the kitchen and out to her small utility porch. He opened the dryer door and fished the sweatpants out of the jumble of clothes. He knocked softly on Cara's door and waited for her to answer.
She opened the door a crack and stuck her hand out.
"You're very welcome." Cara stood behind the door and quickly slid the pants over her hips. She swung the door open and smiled at Fraser.
"God, that feels better. I don't think my feet will be the same. Those shoes were pure torture."
"But you looked stunning."
Cara smiled as she walked passed him.
"Well, they always say it's better to look good than to feel good."
"So I've heard."
Cara pointed at the couch as she walked through the living room back to the kitchen. Fraser sank into the cushions of the couch and sighed at how nice it felt to sit down. Cara opened the refrigerator and stood in front of its contents waiting for something to jump out and prepare itself.
"I'm starving." Cara sighed in frustration and closed the fridge before turning to Fraser. "Chinese or Pizza?"
"Chinese." Cara liked that she and Fraser had become such good friends. Fraser needed a good friend. Especially after Neely. Cara cringed at the thought of Neely and Fraser together. * Die Bitch Die. Was that harsh? * Cara laughed as Rayni's voice rang through her mind. *Of course not! *
"Oh nothing. Come here and tell me what you want to order." Fraser bolted off the couch and was standing beside her. The two of them hunched over the counter and studied the take out menu.
"I can't decide between the sesame chicken and the lo mien." Cara pondered.
"Order both and we'll share."
"Do they teach you to be so nice in Mountie school or are you just a freak of nature?"
"Ray would say freak of nature."
"Ah. Well, at least you've got an excuse and I've got half of your food." Cara grabbed the kitchen phoned and dialed Wong Fu's for take out. Fraser found his way back to the couch and waited for Cara to get off the phone.
"The guy said he'd be here in about twenty minutes." Cara flopped down on the couch and propped her feet up on the coffee table. "Want to see what's on cable?" Not waiting for an answer, Cara grabbed the remote from the end table and started flipping through the channels.
"Oooo, this is a good movie."
"I don't think I've seen it. What's it about?"
"It's called 'My Chauffeur'. It's a low rate 80's movie with some not so big name stars. But I like it."
"I should warn you…before you start all that nervous twitching. There's nudity in it." Cara wiggled her eyebrows up and down as she spoke.
"Nudity?" Fraser grinned over at her.
"Titties." Cara whispered with just the right amount of laughter to make him chuckle.
"I think I'll survive."
"You sure? I wouldn't want you to die of embarrassment or anything."
"I've seen a…..I mean, I'm a grown man. I'll be fine." Cara couldn't help but laugh at Fraser's flustered appearance.
"Okay. Just thought I'd warn you."
"Thanks." Cara nudged him in the ribs before standing to answer the doorbell. Fraser stood to help her with the bags of take out and paid the delivery boy before she had a chance to protest too much. They decided to take the containers to the couch and share. Cara dug her fork in to the lo mein while Fraser used his chopsticks to retrieve a piece of chicken from the carton.
"This is so good."
"Very." Cara eyed the movie as Fraser looked into his take out container. Cara looked at him out of the corner of her eye as the scene changed and three pairs of bare breasts appeared on the screen. As if some tittie-sensing switch had been flipped, Fraser looked up and saw the screen. Cara grinned to herself as a slow blush crept across Fraser's cheeks. *Oh this is going to be fun. Payback is hell Mountie boy.*
"What?" Fraser asked.
"I don't think hers are that great. I think I have better boobs than that blond girl does." Fraser swallowed the piece of chicken that was trying to lodge itself in his throat and croaked a response.
"I beg your pardon?"
"I mean really. She's kind of flat-chested and they're not at all perky. Mine are perky. Don't you think my boobs are perky?" Cara schooled her features and turned her chest toward Fraser. Before he could stop himself he turned and looked directly at her breasts. Seeing the look of horror flash across his face when she finally met his gaze, Cara laughed.
Ray rubbed his hand down his face as he watched the scenery of the street go by outside the cab window.
"You feel better?" Rayni asked as she gently rubbed her fingers down his arm.
"I feel like shit. Why'd you make me take that stupid pill anyway?"
"Gee I don't know, so you wouldn't run screaming from the plane."
"Wise ass." Rayni grinned at Ray's irritated mood. He had been grumpy since they left the airport. She didn't care. She knew how to cheer him up. He'd get over himself very soon.
The cab pulled to a stop in front of a large hotel. Rayni's breath caught in her throat as she looked out at the view. She was on the first stop of her honeymoon. Tonight San Diego, tomorrow Honolulu. Ray scurried from the car and opened her door as the cab driver retrieved their bags from the trunk.
"Mrs. Kowalski." Ray extended her his hand.
"I don't think I'll ever get used to hearing that."
"It suits you." Ray leaned in and kissed her cheek as she stood from the cab.
"You bet." Ray's chest swelled with love and pride as he took Rayni's arm and escorted her into the hotel. The valet followed them to the desk and then escorted them to their hotel room.
"The honeymoon suite, sir." The valet opened the door for them and motioned with his hand for them to enter the room.
"Oh Ray, it's beautiful." Ray tipped the valet as he was leaving the room and then turned his attention back to Rayni.
"That Valium wearing off?" Rayni turned to him with a suggestive smirk.
"Hmmm." Rayni buried her head in his chest and hugged him tightly. Ray took a deep breath and pulled her closer.
"So. Whatcha wanna do?" The smirk on his face was undeniable.
"Not a chance." Ray scooped her up and carried her over to the bed. With as much ease as he could manage he laid her on the bed and quickly joined her. After the reception, they both changed clothes. Rayni had purchased a cream pants suit for her departure. Ray had his plans all worked out in his head how he would remove said pants suit from his new bride. His hands snaked across her body as he kissed her lips. As his hand lightly smoothed across her breast she moaned into his mouth. Feeling his hardness against her leg, she trailed her hands along his back and to his chest.
"Lose the clothes." He practically growled the words at her.
"Aren't we in a hurry?"
Ray couldn't help but laugh. He'd been away from her for only one night and it was killing him. He stood and held his hands out to her. She stood before him at the end of the bed waiting to see what he wanted. He wasted little time unbuttoning her jacket and removing her blouse. A lazy smile spread across his face when he revealed her white lace bra. Rayni stepped out of her heels as he unbuttoned her pants and slid them past her hips. He couldn't stop the grateful moan as his fingers trailed along the small string that held the delicate lace thong in place.
"Your turn. Lose the clothes." She whispered as she stepped out of the puddle of clothes at her feet. Ray quickly divested himself of his shirt and was tugging on his belt as he watched Rayni walk slowly around the bed. She sprawled out in what she hoped was her best seductive pose and watched him undress. Within seconds he was crawling toward her from the end of the bed.
"So Mrs. Kowalski, wanna make love to a married man?" Rayni chuckled as Ray hovered over her. She reached up and trailed the pads of her fingers over his chest.
"Rayni." Ray could only whisper her name before capturing her mouth again. He nibbled on her lower lip as he lowered his weight onto her. In one swift movement, he rolled them over until Rayni was straddling him. His nimble fingers quickly unfastened her bra. He slid the delicate garment off her shoulders and down her arms. He tossed it to the floor and gently placed his hands where the material had been. She arched her back into his touch. Her hips involuntarily pressed into his. Feeling her weight shift, a surge of energy traveled through his spine. He wanted to take things slow. He wanted to be romantic and gentle. That wasn't the plan anymore. He looked up and saw the smoldering heat in Rayni's eyes as he flicked his thumb across her hardened nipple. Pulling her down to him, he kissed her again. This time the kiss was filled with passion and urgency. Rayni twisted her fingers through his hair as she pressed her hips into him again. Ray could only respond with a growl of arousal as he gripped her thighs. Twisting his fingers in the straps of her underwear, he gave the delicate strip of fabric a swift tug. A shocked whimper escaped from Rayni's mouth as Ray discarded the remnants of her thong to the floor. Ray pulled away from her mouth and placed a path of kisses along her collarbone. Soon his hands on her breast were replaced by his lips. She could only manage a sharp intake of breath as he took her hardened peak between his teeth. Feeling her grip tighten around his neck, he started to explore her more with his hands. She groaned his name as he lightly brushed his fingers across her soft curls. Rayni's breathing was becoming more labored as Ray delved one finger and then two into her. As the ringing in her ears increased she tilted her head back and pressed her hips into his palm.
"Ray….I'm…." The words were silenced as he stroked his thumb across her sensitive bud. As he sucked on her nipple he increased the pressure of his thumb on her. She wanted to scream or call his name. But as her muscles convulsed, she could only gasp for air. She dropped her head back to Ray's shoulder as he rubbed his hands down her back. The thin sheen of sweat on her skin glistened in the afternoon sun pouring in from the windows. She managed to slow her breathing for a moment so she could speak.
"Ray….you…..now." He couldn't help but grin as her eyes met his. She reached between their bodies and took him in her grasp. It was now his turn to gasp at her touch. She stroked him lightly before positioning him. She sank slowly onto him, never breaking eye contact. One side of her mouth curved upward as she motionless on top of him.
"Oh God, Rayni. Please!" He growled as he wrapped his arms around her back and gripped her shoulders. She obliged him by slowly rocking her hips. He tilted his head back and closed his eyes. The sensation was almost too much. He knew he wouldn't last long with her on top and he was doing his best to concentrate on what he was doing. She leaned forward and pushed him down on his back. He whispered her name as her hair swept across his face as she leaned down to his ear.
"Come for me, Ray." He felt her muscles clench around him and could no longer keep control. He dug his fingers into her thighs as he increased his rhythm. She was no longer setting the pace. His hips pounded into her as she reached forward and steadied herself by clutching the headboard. Stars burst behind his eyelids as he came. He pulled Rayni to his chest and hugged her to him. She could feel his heart beating in his chest and knew he could feel hers as well. After a few minutes, Ray reached up and brushed the hair from her forehead. She rewarded him with a smile.
"I love you Rayni Kowalski."
"I love you."
"So, what do you think about married life so far?"
"Marriage kicks ass."
Fraser tore his eyes away from Cara's chest and stammered a response.
"Uh, yeah. Yes. Yours are….."
Cara laughed as she watched him stare at various points above her shoulders to keep from glancing down at her tank top covered chest.
"Pay back is hell."
"I hate you."
"Understood." Fraser couldn't help but laugh at his own vernacular being used against him. The two of them laughed until their sides hurt and then settled in to watch television and finish their meal.
It was nearly two in the morning when Cara woke up from the spot she had claimed on the floor. She rubbed her hair out of her eyes and looked at Fraser. He was sound asleep on her couch. She stood and immediately cursed the hardness of her living room floor. She pulled a blanket from the back of the couch and spread it over Fraser. The only light in the room was coming from the infomercial on television. Cara searched for the remote and finally found it wedged under the edge of a sofa cushion. She delicately shoved Fraser's foot out of the way and turned off the television.
Cara shuffled through the living room trying to make her way to her bedroom when the leg of an end table decided to reach out.
"Ah…shit!" Cara hopped on one foot as she swore. Fraser sat up slightly on the couch.
"I'm fine. Go back to sleep." Fraser rubbed his hand down his face and shook his head.
"I should go."
"Don't be silly. You want to sleep in the guestroom or are you fine where you're at?"
"I'm fine. Are you sure?"
"Ben, are you my friend?"
"Then don't worry about it. Go back to sleep. I'm beat."
"Okay. Good night Cara."
Rayni rolled over onto her back and covered her eyes with the back of her arm. A smile spread across her face as she took a deep breath and stretched her tired muscles. She was sore. Sore in the best possible way. Hearing a noise in the outer room of the suite she pulled the sheet around her and padded over to the door. She sighed and leaned against the doorframe at the site before her. Ray was rolling the room service tray across the floor toward the bedroom. He glanced up and saw Rayni.
"Didcha sleep well?"
"You and I both know there wasn't a whole lot of sleeping involved last night." Ray abandoned the cart and joined Rayni by the door. He slid his arms around her waist and kissed the side of her neck. Just when Rayni thought Ray was going to initiate another round of 'not sleeping', he playfully swatted her on the behind.
"Come on. We gotta eat and get to the airport." Ray returned to the food cart and wheeled it past her into the bedroom.
"It smells great. I'm starving."
"You should be." Ray wiggled his eyebrows as he lifted the covers from the dishes.
Cara heard a light knock on her bedroom door. She looked at the digital numbers of her alarm clock and grunted.
"Cara?" Cara rolled over and looked at the closed door in confusion.
"May I enter?"
"Yeah." Cara wasn't much on conversation at 7:45 in the morning. Ben swung open the door and entered carrying a tray.
"I made breakfast."
"Uh." Cara smiled and pulled the blanket over her head.
"Aren't you hungry?"
"Well how do you plan to eat if you are buried under that comforter?"
"It's nearly eight."
"I must admit, I did sleep a little later than normal myself. It was nearly six this morning before I managed to get up from your couch." Cara felt the bed shift. Fraser placed the tray of food on the edge of the nightstand and turned to the lump in the bed next to him.
"Hey, I made waffles."
"Real of Eggos?"
"Real." Cara pushed the blanket from her face and grinned up at him.
"You're sleeping on the couch more often." Both of them laughed comfortably as the settled themselves against the headboard. Cara flipped on the television and the two of them sat on her bed and watched the news while they ate breakfast.
"I'm not takin' it." Ray crossed his arms defiantly over his chest as he looked down at his wife.
"I said no."
"They make me feel like shit."
"Well I think that's a better alternative to a panic attack at 30,000 feet."
"We don't have time. We have to be at the airport in a hour." Rayni smirked at him. He tried to maintain his glare, but it was pointless.
"Let me try it without the drugs this time. I think I'll be fine."
"I'm not sure if the other people on the plane are willing to take the chance that you won't be fine."
"If I start to freak out, you can give me one then."
"Okay. But I'm not going to be responsible if a flight attendant puts you in a sleeper hold and wrestles you to the ground."
"You're so humorous."
"I know." Rayni finished packing her suitcase while Ray finished the automated checkout. In a few hours they would be boarding the ship in Honolulu.
Cara pierced a syrup-covered bit of waffle with her fork as she sat on her bed beside Fraser.
"So, wonder what Rayni and Ray are doing right about now?" Cara wiggled her eyes up and down and waited for Fraser's reaction.
"Probably having lots of sex."
COUGH!! COUGH!! COOOUUUUGH!!
"Cara! Are you okay?! Here, take a drink." Fraser patted her gently on the back as he lifted her glass of orange juice to her lips.
"I'm….cough…..fine. I'm okay."
Fraser schooled his features and gave her his most innocent look.
"One has to be careful. Most accidents happen in the home." Cara glared at him and then stuck another fork full of waffle in her mouth.
"Now that is not true." Cara couldn't help but laugh at his playful tone.
"Ben Fraser. You are such a closet perv."
"I beg your pardon."
"Oh, don't worry. You're secrets safe with me."
"Oh, you know the one. Do-good-straight-laced Mountie Boy on the outside. Innuendo-tossing-ass-grabbing-sex-fiend on the inside." Ben tried to look as indignant as possible but the laughter erupting from Cara made it nearly impossible.
"I am not."
Cara calmed her laughed and leaned closer to him. When she was a few inches from his face she purred.
"Oh, I think you are. You're a….you're a….."
Cara giggled. "You're a horn-dog!"
"I most certainly am not!" Cara heard the laughter in his voice and couldn't resist teasing him some more.
"Oh, you're a man-ho. I'm sure of it."
"Well, if I'm such a ….whatever….what does that make you?"
"That doesn't make me anything. We're talking about you."
"Well, you seem to be the instigator in all my….my….."
"Fine. Then you're just as bad as I am. You're a….."
"I'm a what?" Cara narrowed her eyes at him. Fraser leaned forward with a smug look on his face.
"You're a sex kitten." Cara's eyes went wide with shock and amusement.
"Sex kitten?! Me?! Hey, I kinda like that."
Ben rolled his eyes.
"God help me."
"I am a little sex kitten, aren't I?"
"How did we even get into this conversation?"
"You brought up sex."
"You insinuated sex."
"That's what sex kittens do. Puuurrrr."
Fraser rolled his eyes again as Cara collapsed on the bed in laughter.
"Ray, you need to relax." Rayni reached across the seat and squeezed his arm. She wasn't about to offer him her hand again. She was sure he would have broken it if she hadn't managed to pry herself away.
"You're freaking out."
"Then why are you sweating?"
"It's a climate controlled plane. It's not hot. Take the pill."
"Just take the pill, please. The stewardess offered to give me free booze if I could make you drink it."
"You're scaring the other passengers. Now take the damn pill!" Ray looked over at her frazzled expression and sighed in defeat. He thought he could manage on his own. He was wrong. Take off had freaked him out beyond comprehension. Actually vocalizing the phrase, 'Oh Jesus, we're all gonna die' during the safety lecture had been his first mistake in his plan to hide his fear. Now he was just trying to keep from running to the nearest exit. Rayni pulled a bottle of water from her backpack and shoved it at him.
"What happened to the loving and supportive wife?"
"This is loving and supportive Ray. If I didn't love and support you I would have ripped your balls off after the first thirty minutes in the air."
"That's just graphic."
"No Ray, that's painful. Remember that. Take the goddamn pill." He held his hand out and stared at the small pill she had roughly thrust into his palm. He knew he had pushed her to her limit. His first clue was the threat of physical violence. He knew he still had a little leeway, but once the blasphemous profanity started, he was in deep shit.
He swallowed the pill and took a sip of water. Scowling in her direction only warranted him an equally menacing glare from Rayni.
"Now, lean back, close your eyes and go to sleep."
Rayni took another sip of her drink as Ray traced lazy circles over her stomach. She rested her arm on his knee as she leaned back against his chest. The ocean breeze blew the hair from her face as they sat and watched the sun disappear on the horizon.
"This is wonderful." She sighed.
"You're wonderful." Ray placed a light kiss on her bare shoulder.
"Let's never leave. Let's just stay on this boat forever."
"Will you wear this bikini everyday?"
"No." Rayni giggled at his disappointed groan. "I've got several."
"Then it's a deal. We'll stay on this big ol' boat forever." Rayni smiled as she offered him a sip of her drink. They had been on the cruise for three days now and were enjoying every minute. When they weren't in their cabin making love, they were walking on the deck holding hands or lounging in one of the deck chairs by the pool.
"Are you getting drunk on me?" He whispered in her ear.
"No, I'm getting drunk on rum."
"Let's go back to the cabin."
"I thought you'd never ask." As she leaned forward, Ray allowed his hands to slide down her sides and gently caressed her thighs.
"Let's order room service and get you out of all these clothes."
"Ray, I'm wearing a bikini. A small little string bikini."
"I know, you're practically smothered in material." As Rayni held her hand out for him she threw her head back and laughed. He pulled her to him and lifted her off her feet. They giggled and kissed their way to the elevators.
Cara pulled up to the curb in front of the consulate. She didn't even bother to remove her keys. She left the engine running while she walked around the front of her car and stood in front of Fraser as he stood sentry duty.
"Hey. I called and Turnbull said it was your turn to play tin soldier. Listen, I've got to go to a meeting tonight at the Drake. Rayni normally does these things, but since she is having lots of sex, I get to do it. Do you think you could go with me? Rayni told me it was better if I brought a date. We both know I haven't had a date in…well…let's not discuss that. So, if you can go, call me at the office before 5:30. I've got to stay and get the zoning proposal straightened out. It's nothing major. Just dinner with a few Councilmen and developers. Wear a suit. Not the uniform. I want to blend in as much a possible. That way we can leave unnoticed when it turns into a boring council meeting. Talk to you later, Ben."
Cara waved as she hurried back to her car. She honked her horn as she left. Fraser still remained motionless as he made his mental list of things to get done before picking up Cara.
Ray stretched out over the bed and smiled at Rayni's naked form walking across the cabin.
"I've got to take my pill." Ray frowned in thought for a moment before rising from the bed. As he leaned against the doorframe he watched Rayni reach into her make up case for her birth control pills.
"Don't." Rayni stopped and looked at him for a moment.
"Don't?" Ray stepped into the small bathroom and slipped his hand over Rayni's as she held the small plastic case.
"Yeah." Rayni looked into his eyes and then at the plastic circular case. With a bright smile she tossed it in the trashcan. Ray kissed the side of her neck and pulled her closer to him.
"Yeah." Ray sighed as he slid his hands down her back. Wrapping her hands around his neck, she pressed her hips into Ray.
"Here?" Ray smiled as Rayni trailed a path of kisses along his shoulder. A soft moan was his only confirmation as Ray lifted Rayni and deposited her on the small counter. This time there would be no soft kisses and slow foreplay. Rayni snaked her hand down Ray's chest and then to his stomach. He sucked in his breath as she grasped his length in her hand. She pumped him a few times before Ray plunged his tongue into her mouth. He tightened his grip on her hips as he pulled her closer toward him. As she balanced precariously on the counter, Ray positioned himself between her legs.
"Please." She whispered as she pulled at his waist.
"What? Tell me what you want?"
"You love it…..oh, yes." Ray pushed into her opening and started to slowly move inside her.
"I do. Oh….that feels good." Rayni wrapped her legs higher around his waist and leaned back on her hand while the other threaded through Ray's hair.
"Harder!" She cried as Ray quickened his pace. He slipped his hand to where their bodies were joined and found her sensitive bud. With a few brisk strokes of Ray's hand, Rayni felt that familiar pull in her abdomen. Ray's pace was fast and furious as he sucked on her collarbone.
"I'm….I'm….Ray!" Rayni's eyes slammed shut as her muscled tightened around him. With a few more thrusts, he joined her in release. Ray lightly rubbed his hands along her upper arms as their breathing slowed.
"I love you."
Ray smiled at her while he pushed a strand of hair from her forehead.
"I love you too."
Fraser took the steps to his apartment two at a time. Dief followed closely behind.
"We're late." He stated as he pushed through his apartment door. He discarded various parts of his uniform as he moved through the apartment. He pulled his suit from the closet and was pleased that it didn't need pressing or brushing. He draped it across the end of the bed and quickly removed his boots. Within minutes he was in the shower.
Dief yawned as he watched his Alpha male rush around the apartment.
"Is my tie straight?"
"Woof." Fraser adjusted his tie once more and nodded at his reflection in the mirror.
"Behave while I'm gone."
"No, I'll be home."
"I will. We just fell asleep last time. Nothing happened."
"It didn't. Besides, it's none of your business if it did." Fraser brushed the front of his suit jacket with his hands before reaching for the door.
"Woof." Fraser rolled his eyes and refused to reply to the wolf's insinuations.
Cara tossed the wet towel to the floor and frantically rubbed gel in her hair. Her short blonde locks went in all directions as she scurried down the hall and into her bedroom. She looked at the clock radio and groaned in frustration.
"Arrgg! I'm late. Damn!" She ran over to her dresser and pulled out a bra and a pair of panties. She quickly donned her underwear and began a frantic search for a pair of hose. She found an unopened pair in the bottom of her sock drawer and sat on the edge of the bed. After she fought her way into the hose, she ran back to the bathroom to dry her hair. She looked at the clock in the den on her way back to the bedroom and swore again.
Her hair and make-up were done, now she just needed to get dressed. She pulled her burgundy pants suit from the closet and draped it across the bed.
"Deodorant! Crap! Crap! Crap!" She ran back down the hall and into the bathroom.
After spraying her hair one last time and putting on some deodorant, Cara finally managed to put on her clothes. She was buttoning the last button of her jacket when the doorbell rang.
"Come on in Ben!"
"You look nice." Cara said as she put her earrings in.
"Thank you kindly. You look lovely as well."
"Sweet talk me, big man." Cara laughed as Fraser held her coat.
"I think. I've been running around like a wild woman. I got held up at work
trying to work on some zoning stuff. I can tell you this. Rayni Kowalski
needs to get her butt back to work." Fraser laughed as he helped Cara on
with her coat. She nonchalantly handed him her car keys as she locked the
door of her house behind them. Fraser opened her car door and made sure she
secured her seatbelt before closing her door and rushing around the front of
As he slid into the front seat, he adjusted the seat for his height and
checked all his mirrors. Cara smiled as she rolled her eyes.
"Let's go. We're late."
"Yes dear." Cara laughed at Fraser's joke while she put her lipstick on in
the rearview mirror.
"So tell me what type of function will we be attending tonight?"
"A miserable gathering of Chicago's Chamber, Cook County's Elite County
Councilmen and prominent businessmen. I'd rather take a blow to the head."
"Just hang close and don't let me get trapped by Marvin Pruitt. Rayni warned
me about him. He's about a hundred and four years old and will talk your
head off. He thinks because we work for the GIS department that we control
the business zoning and approval for development."
"I'll do my best."
"At least we get dinner."
"At least that's something."
"We should be out of there by 9. 9:30 at the latest. I really appreciate you
doing this. I owe you."
"No thanks necessary. That's what friends are for." Fraser stole a glance
and offered her a warm smile. As they drove in comfortable silence for a few
moments, he reflected on how comfortable he was around Cara and Rayni. Cara
liked him for him. Not because of his uniform or his looks. Just because of
who he was as a person.
"What are you grinning about?" Cara patted Fraser's arm playfully and
brought him out of his reverie.
"I don't lie."
"Right, and I don't breathe." Fraser chuckled as he pulled up to the Drake
Hotel. He handed the valet the keys and quickly met Cara on the sidewalk.
"Shall we?" Fraser extended his arm to Cara. She lowered her head and
"God help us."
Cara and Fraser checked their coats and walked into the large meeting room.
Cara groaned as she slipped her hand into Fraser's.
"I hate these things. But, we might as well make the best of it. Shall we
Cara smiled and led Fraser through the crowd of business people and elected
"Jack!" Cara waved as a handsome older man walked toward her.
Fraser couldn't help but smile as Cara tightened her grip on his hand.
"Cara! What on earth are you doing here? What did you do to deserve such
"Rayni's on her honeymoon."
"Lucky girl." Cara smiled politely before turning to Ben.
"Jackson Arnett, I would like you to meet Benton Fraser." Cara released his
hand so he could shake Jack's.
"It's a pleasure." After shaking Jack's hand he let his arm fall to his
side. He didn't want to presume that Cara wanted to remain holding hands.
Much to his delight, Cara threaded her fingers with his again.
"Nice to meet you, Ben."
"Jack works in County Planning and Development." Ben nodded politely as Cara scanned the room.
"Tell me that's not Morgan." Jack groaned.
"Looks like it. What's he doing here?" Ben scanned the room to see if he could spot the object of their conversation.
"He's hoping to gain zoning changes on about 20 acres near the west side. He wants to build condominiums."
"Great. Just keep him away from me. He gives me the creeps."
"I'm sure your boyfriend will take care of that." Jack winked over at Ben.
"Ben and I are friends. I like him too much to subject him to my dating abilities." Cara and Jacked laughed easily with one another. Jack causally placed his hand on her shoulder and offered Ben a smile.
"I should get back to my table. My boss is going to accuse me of trying to slip out the backdoor." Jack extended his hand again. "Nice meeting you Benton."
"Likewise." Cara watched Jack walk back through the crowd and then turned her attention back to Ben.
"I guess we better find a place to sit."
"Of course." Ben placed his hand on the small of her back and guided her through the crowded meeting room. They found two available seats near the back of the room and decided to help themselves to the buffet.
"Oh God." Cara groaned.
"What's wrong?" Cara ducked her head and shifted so Fraser was blocking her view.
"It's Ian McFadden. He's with Emergency Preparedness. He's the most annoying man alive. He goes on and on about the County's 911 mapping system and how we don't update it fast enough when we get new plats. He drives Rayni nuts."
"Is he heading this way?" Cara stole a glance over Fraser's shoulder before quickly ducking back out of sight.
"Yep. I think he spotted me."
"Is he that bad?"
"Yes." Fraser smiled at Cara's discomfort.
"Should we try to run for it?"
"That's a great idea. On three…..ready…one…."
"Damn." Cara lifted her head and smiled at the short yet rotund man walking toward her table.
"What are you doing here? You never have to come to these things."
"Rayni is out of town. I'm just filling in."
"Oh, that's good." Ian pulled a free chair from another table and slid right next to Cara. "Have you heard about what the City of Chicago is talking about doing?" Cara turned her head and gave Fraser a pained look.
"Ian, this is my friend, Benton."
"Hi. Nice to meet you." He barely acknowledged Fraser before turning his attention back to Cara. "They're wanting to go to ArcView. How's that going to affect updates? Will AutoCAD Map and ArcView even talk to each other?"
"I'm sure if the council is considering it, they'll make sure it's compatible with the County."
"I wouldn't count on it. If they can get a deal on it, they won't worry about compatibility issues until it's too late."
"I'm sure Eve will consult all the departments before considering…."
"Well, you better tell Rayni to be prepared for some headaches. If we can't get the County and the City together our Emergency Operations won't be what they should be."
"You and I both know it takes forever to get approval for…"
"I heard Mike Buckhannon is the one pushing for it." Cara rolled her eyes and tried not to scream.
"Look! There goes Eve now. If I were you, I'd bend her ear." Ian darted away from the table and Fraser frowned at the pained look on who he could only guess was Eve.
"I'm so sorry."
"I was going to say committed."
"He needs to be committed. Do you have to put up with things like this when you have functions at the Consulate?"
"Does it drive you as crazy as it does me?" Fraser smiled and placed his arm across the back of her chair.
"All I ever wanted to do was sit in an office and make maps." Cara sighed as she took a sip of her water and watched the crowd mingle in front of them.
"How much longer do you have to stay?"
"What time is it?"
"Let's give it until 7:45 and then we'll make a break for the back door. Besides, Dief must miss you when you're gone."
"I'm sure he's fine."
"Poor baby, he's probably lonely." Fraser gave her a mock glare before Cara erupted in laughter.
"I'm sorry if that was miserable for you."
"It wasn't as bad a s you make it out to be." Fraser walked Cara through the lobby of the hotel and out to the sidewalk.
"Well, I owe you one, that's for sure."
"That's not necessary."
"No, I mean it. The next time you need a date for one of those Consulate deals, I'm your girl." Fraser offered her a bright smile.
"So, what now?"
"It's only eight o'clock on a Friday night. You want to pick up Dief and get a movie?"
"Sure. That sounds nice."
"Okay, but Dief doesn't get to pick the movie."
"I don't want to leave." Rayni sighed as they looked across the horizon from the railing of the ship.
"I know." Ray nuzzled her neck as she rested her head back on his shoulder.
"It's so beautiful."
"You're so beautiful."
"You have to go to work on Monday."
"I know. Fraser'll probably get me in some kinda scrape." Rayni laughed as she turned in Ray's arms to face him.
"He better not. He'll have to answer to me from now on."
"I thought he already did." He chuckled.
"True. I just don't want my husband getting hurt."
"Mmmm, that sounds nice."
"Your husband would like to do some very husbandly things to you."
"That sounds like a great idea."
"Come on." Ray took her hand and the two of them hurried across the deck and through the doors. Ray pushed the button several times for the elevator while he rocked on his heels in anticipation. The doors finally opened and Rayni laughed as Ray pulled her into his arms and started licking her collarbone as the doors closed.
"Ray, we're in the elevator!"
"What if someone…."
"We're married. We have a license to do this."
"Your reasoning is brilliant." She sighed as he cupped her breast in his hand. She slid her hands down his side and brushed the thin material of his t-shirt out of the way. He moaned into her neck as she pressed her palm into his erection. Ray responded by taking her earlobe between his teeth. The doors suddenly sprang open and Ray pulled her by the hand.
"Let's go." He growled.
"You're so forceful."
"I'm a manly man, baby."
"Talk's cheap. I want action." Ray stopped in front of their cabin door and pinned her with a smoldering look.
"Oh, you'll get action." Before she could vocalize her pleasure, Ray reached down to the back of her thighs and hoisted her into his arms. As she squealed in delight, Ray opened the door and carried her into the cabin. She expected him to deposit her on the bed, but Ray had other plans. He walked past the bed and turned around in front of the overstuffed chair in the corner of the honeymoon cabin. He loved the fact that it had no arms.
"Unlock your ankles." Ray ordered through the opened mouth kisses he was placing on her shoulder. Rayni did as she was instructed before Ray sat down on the chair with Rayni straddling his lap.
"You're wearin' too many damn clothes." Ray growled as Rayni leaned back a little and smiled at him.
"I'm wearing a bikini top and a pair of shorts."
"See? Too damn many clothes." Ray reached behind her and pulled on the thin strings that held her top on.
"What about you?"
"We'll worry about me later. Right now I want you as naked as possible."
"Stand up." Rayni liked it when Ray took charge. He was forceful and gentle all at the same time. She shifted her weight to one side so she could put one foot on the floor. Purposely sliding her calf across his erection, she stood beside him. She was about to unbutton the snap of her shorts when Ray shook his head.
"No. I'll do it." She smiled down at him as he unfastened her shorts and slid them down her thighs. The bikini bottoms she wore underneath soon joined them at her feet. Ray pulled her by the hand until she was standing in front of him between his knees. He smiled up at her as he palmed her breasts. Rayni tilted her head back and enjoyed the feeling of his hands on her body. She couldn't help but shiver as Ray placed a kiss on her abdomen.
"Oh God, Ray." She sighed as she grasped a fistful of his hair in her hands.
"You've got quite a tan line." Ray murmured as he kissed the tanned skin of her hip.
"Mmmm." Speech was now a forgotten luxury for Rayni. Ray pushed her back a step and trailed his tongue down her body. Rayni tightened her grip on his hair as his tongue dipped into her warm folds. She could feel her knees start to give way as Ray made slow circles across her center.
"Ray…..I'm….." Ray quickened his pace as he tightened his grip on her thighs. She arched her back and titled her head back. Ray was supporting her weight as she whimpered in pleasure. Ray could feel her body start to tremor under his touch. He took her just to the edge before pulling away and pulling her on top of him.
"I want you now." He whispered hoarsely in her ear as he positioned her on top of him. He lifted his hips a little as Rayni pulled his shorts down enough to free his erection. Her legs straddled the chair as she slowly slid her body down his length.
"Unngg, yeeaah." Rayni held on the back of the chair while Ray held on to her shoulders. He captured her mouth as he moved his hips beneath her. She matched his rhythm as she rode him. Soon they were both covered in a thin sheen of sweat as Ray moved his hand to where they were joined. Rayni gasped at his touch. Ray smiled at the pleasure he could bring her.
"Come for me, Rayni." Ray pushed her back until her hands were supporting her weight as they rested on his knees. The change in angle and the pressure he was applying to her center was too much. She felt as if she would explode.
"Come for me." He whispered before taking her nipple between his teeth and applying just the right amount of pressure.
"Oh Jesus!" Rayni cried as she felt the nerves in her body contract. She clenched her muscles around Ray as she climaxed. Ray pulled her toward him and let her breathing regulate before thrusting into her again. His pace was quick and urgent. Ray tightened his arms around her waist as she moved on top of him. With one final hard thrust, he came.
"Rayni!" He moaned her name as he spilled inside of her. They clung to each other while they gasped for breath.
"I really don't want to leave now." Rayni mumbled into his chest.
"Yeah, no shit." They both chuckled as Rayni slowly lifted herself from him.
"Not yet." Ray settled a meaningful gaze on her and she couldn't help but smile.
"You're hogging the popcorn." Cara pulled the bowl closer to her chest and glared. "Don't look at me like that. You can pout all you want to. You're still hogging it!"
"Please play nice."
"He started it."
"Dief, you've had enough popcorn. Leave Cara alone."
"What did he say? I know you can understand him in the freakish way you do."
"I'd rather not say."
"No thank you."
"Either tell me or I'll have to beat it out of you."
"Not likely." Fraser smirked a little but kept his eyes on the television screen.
"Oh I can do it. I'm tougher than I look. I think I could take you."
"I think this movie has gone to your head."
"I could 'Jackie Chan' your ass." Cara laughed as Fraser shook his head.
"I think you've finally lost your mind. No more sugar for you after ten o'clock."
"I told you it makes me stupid."
"I should have listened."
"Yes you should have. Now tell me what Dief said."
"He was making fun of me wasn't he?"
"No, he was making fun of me actually."
"I'd rather not say." Fraser pinned the wolf with a glare as he made another noise. He wasn't about to tell Cara that Dief accused him of being afraid to make a move.
"I'll just have to beat it out of you." Cara joked.
"I'd have to have you arrested for assault."
"You would, wouldn't you!?" Cara turned to face him on the couch and swatted him on the arm.
"See, that right there is enough to press charges."
"Well, if we're up to pressing charges, I'm going to make them count." Cara grabbed a throw pillow from the end of the couch and launched toward his head. Fraser's reflexes were too fast for her and he caught the pillow before it struck his head.
"It doesn't appear you've succeeded in your plan." Fraser smiled at her with the pillow in his hand.
"But you forget one thing."
"I fight dirty."
"Oh really. How so?"
"Rayni told me a very important little tidbit about you."
"What did she say?" Cara's expression split into a large smile.
"What?" Cara leaned forward until she was about an inch from his face.
"That you are a very ticklish man." Before he realized it, her fingers were twisting in his sides and he was laughing uncontrollably.
"Make me, big man! I'm beating your ass!" Cara cried as she continued her assault. Fraser had managed to twist away from her for a brief second but wound up lying on his back on the end of the couch with Cara poised over him. He finally managed to catch her wrists in his grasp.
"What are you going to do now?" Cara looked at her wrists that were now stilled by Fraser's hold.
"Uh, rethink my options?" Cara laughed.
"Wise decision." Cara looked at Fraser and then to Dief.
"A little help? I'll feed you." Fraser's smile faded as Dief jumped on his chest and started licking his face. Cara resumed her tickling while Fraser flailed on the couch.
"You concede?! Nu-uh. Say 'uncle'."
"Uncle!" Cara stilled her hands and leaned back on the couch trying to catch her breath. Fraser managed to push Dief off his chest so he could actually breath again.
"That was unfair."
"I warned you."
"So you did."
"I think I pulled something I laughed so hard." Cara giggled.
"So do I."
"It's your own fault."
"I beg your pardon?"
"You should do what I say and I would have to resort to such vicious behavior."
"So I'm not allowed to keep some things to myself?"
"Sure you can. Just nothing I want to know." Cara smiled.
"I'll keep that in mind."
"Good, you do that." They sat in silence for a few minutes watching the images change on the screen. Fraser was still half reclined on the couch and Cara was still leaning a little on Fraser's side. Soon Fraser's legs were stretched out across her couch and Cara was resting her arms across his knees.
Ben shifted his position on the couch and felt an unfamiliar weight on his left side. He slowly opened his eyes and smiled down at the top of Cara's head resting against his shoulder. Her arm was draped across his chest and her leg was hooked with his. He took a deep breath and tried to calm the pounding in his chest. He lightly traced the contour of her arm as she lay sleeping against him. What was the harm, she was still asleep? He closed his eyes and mentally chastised himself. He wouldn't do this. Cara didn't think of him as anything more than a friend. The movement against her arm caused Cara to stir. She slid her knee up higher and tightened her grip on Ben's chest. He held his breath while she settled closer to his side as they were sprawled out on her couch. He closed his eyes and tried to go back to sleep. With the gentle rhythm of her breathing he soon succeeded.
Ben was having an amazing dream. Cara had her fingers threaded through his dark hair and she was slowly kissing his neck. He moaned softly and in Cara's own sleep-filled haze she responded to his arms tightening around her waist. Ben rolled to his side and snuggled his head into the crook of her neck. His hand slid from her waist and around to her back pulling her into his body. Lost in the dream, he started to lightly nip and kiss at the exposed skin of her neck. The material of her thin t-shirt was pushed away and his hand slid up her bare back. Cara brought her knee up and slid it between his knees, his arousal pressed into her hip. Her fingers found their way to the base of his neck and she turned her head in time to feel his lips brush against her own. Still caught in the place between reality and dreams, he kissed her. Slow, deep and softly, he probed her mouth. Her moan vibrated through his lips and he stiffened. His eyes flew open and he was very aware that this was no longer a dream. Cara frowned at his abandonment of her mouth and slowly opened her eyes. They stared into each other's eyes searching for an answer to what had just happened. Ben was encouraged by the look on Cara's face as she slowly lowered her mouth to his again. Cara tugged on his shoulder and Ben instinctively moved above her. He settled between her legs and was painfully aware of the erection straining against his jeans. She lifted her hips just a fraction to meet his and couldn't suppress his name on her lips.
"Ben." She whispered. The sound of his name spurred him on. He slid his hand down her arm and to her waist. He grazed his fingers across the top of her sweatpants and then slid his fingers under the hem of her shirt. He felt her stomach muscles tighten as he moved his hand toward her breast. He stilled his movements and leaned back to look at her face.
"Cara? Should we stop?" He was giving her an out. Letting her say that this would be a mistake.
"Long enough to get to the bed." Her wry grin made him laugh as she pushed against his chest. They both stood before Cara pulled him by the hand toward her bedroom.
As Ben followed Cara through the living room his mind was racing. They were friends. He wanted them to be more, but Cara never seemed to want more than friendship. Why now? Why like this? They hadn't even been on a date. Cara turned and looked at the expression on his face. She slid her hands up his chest and he was drawn to her mouth. As they kissed, Cara walked them backwards into her bedroom. The back of her knees hit the edge of the bed and she tumbled backwards, taking Ben with her. He landed with his legs straddling her thigh and his weight resting on his elbows.
"Ben." She whispered his name.
"What are we doing?" He sighed back. He was still uncertain.
"I think this is what's called foreplay." He leaned back and couldn't help but smile at Cara's grin.
"I meant, what does this mean…..to us?" Cara studied his face for a moment before kissing him lightly on the lips.
"I suck at relationships. I'm horrible at them." She admitted.
"Okay. But, you never really seemed interested in me this way."
"I was. I am. I just….I just like you too much to see it end badly." Ben shifted his weight to his side and reached up and stroked her cheek.
"Who's to say it will end badly?"
"They always do."
"Then maybe we're due for a change." Ben whispered as he placed a soft slow kiss on her neck.
"Maybe." She smiled as she molded into his body. She trailed her fingertips up his muscular back before tugging at the hem of his shirt and freeing it from his jeans. He sighed as her fingers grazed his bare sides. He descended upon her mouth again before exploring her body with his hands. He slid her shirt over her head and lavished his full attention on her breasts. Cara arched her back into his touch as he gentle squeezed her breast under his palm. He worked his mouth down her throat and to her collarbone. He found the spot on her left collarbone that made her moan his name when he gently sucked her smooth skin. She traced her finger along his side and smiled as he moaned against her skin.
"I don't want to go back to the real world." Rayni pouted with her hands on her hips.
"Me neither, babe, but we can't honeymoon forever."
"The hell you say." She smirked at him.
"Okay, maybe we can. We just can't do it on this boat."
"Well, that just sucks."
"Have you got everything packed?" Ray looked around the room and in the bathroom once more while Rayni sulked on the end of the bed.
"Yes. It's all packed."
"Cheer up. Don't you want to go home and show all your pictures to everyone at the office?"
"Well, almost all of the pictures." Ray grinned as Rayni reached out and pinched his ass as he walked through the room.
"Come on. We better go. We've got to jump ship and make it to the airport."
"You're taking the pill." Ray ignored her while he put the strap of her carry-on over his shoulder.
"I mean it." She stated again as she checked her purse to make sure the Valium was there for the trip home.
"Oh, I'm starting."
"Rayni." He tried to sound stern but Rayni just looked at him like he was stupid.
"I don't need it. I can fly just fine now."
"Yeah and moonbeams will fly out of my……"
"You're taking it if I have to wrestle you to the ground in the airport and shove it down your throat." She grinned.
"You're so forceful."
"I know. It's sexy isn't it?"
"Come on, let's go." She kissed him on the lips and put her backpack over her shoulder and then her purse. Ray led her by the hand down the corridor of the ship.
"Come on, Mountie Boy! We're going to be late!"
"Mountie Boy? Cara, I really wish you wouldn't call me that."
"But I like it." Cara grinned as she tugged on Fraser's sleeve in an effort to remove him from his apartment.
"Their plane doesn't land for another two and half hours. We're not late."
"I like to get there early."
"You like to go to the shops."
"Yeah, well. Come on."
"I'm sure we could think of something else to do with our time." Cara stopped in her tracks at the suggestive tone in Fraser's voice. She turned to see his clear blue eyes fixed on hers.
"What do you have in mind?"
"Nu-uh." Cara grinned.
"Rocks, paper, scissors?"
"Nope." Ben walked toward her and slipped his arms around her waist.
"How would you like to……" Before Ben could finish his playful question, Cara pulled his face to hers and kissed him. He pushed his apartment door closed with his foot and steered her over to his bed. Dief decided the fire escape would be a good place to wait.
"Do you think Ray will be stoned?"
"More than likely." Cara laughed a little over the rim of her cappuccino.
"You've obviously never flown with him."
"Point taken." Both of them smiled at the gate while watching for Ray and Rayni.
"There they are." Ben pointed as he spotted Rayni leading Ray by the hand.
"Rayni!" Cara shouted as she waved her free hand in the air. Ray responded first by waving lazily in her direction.
"Yep." Rayni tugged on Ray's arm and walked wearily over to Ben and Cara.
"Let's get home. I'm exhausted." Rayni moaned.
"You have no idea. Come on, Frankie." Ray chuckled as Rayni tugged him toward baggage claim.
"Frankie?" Ben asked as he guided Cara through the crowd with his hand on the small of her back.
"He broke into song somewhere over Colorado."
"My kind of town…..Chicago is…..my kind of to-own." Ray sang as Rayni rolled her eyes and laughed.
"Tell me about it. The stewardess was none too pleased when the sing-along broke out."
"Hey, that guy two seats back had a great voice."
"He should, it was Harry Connick, Jr."
"Oh yeah. We took pictures!" Ray announced as Rayni pulled one of their suitcases off the conveyor and shoved it at him.
"So I take it you had a good time."
"Great time!" Ray shouted a little louder than necessary. Ben chuckled as he slipped his arm around Cara's waist. She smiled as she handed him her coffee for him to share. Rayni stopped mid motion at the intimate gesture between her friends. Ray turned to see what was the matter.
"What?" Rayni ignored his question as a big smile spread across her face.
"It looks like we're not the only ones that had a good time this week." Cara smiled, as Ben's face flamed red.
"Well, you see…." Ben tugged at his collar while Cara laughed.
"Well, what do you know. You little hussy." Rayni laughed.
"Thank you." Cara replied.
"I was talking to Ben." As Ben's eyes widened, Rayni slung her bag over her shoulder and looped her arm with Cara's. The two women chattered on and on while Ben and Ray followed with the rest of the luggage.
"So Frase, you found somethin' better huh?" Ray pointed at Cara and smiled.
"Yes Ray, I did."
"It's nice finding the better part of yourself, huh?"
"Yes Ray. Very nice."