Alright guys, this is my first piece for In Plain Sight. I've written before for Chuck and Life, and if you've ever happened to read my stuff, you know I'm a sucker for a co-worker romance. Wish me luck, and we'll see how it goes.

This is my shot at a Mary/Marshall romance, which was started before the engagement was broken off and is thus is an AU one-shot. I'm assuming Mary is three years younger than Marshall, since Mary McCormack is in fact three years younger than Fred Weller.

Please, please review. I would love to hear what you think, both good and bad. Bonus points if you can name the artist and title of the bachata songs I use during the story; translations, if you want them, will be at the end. The song (really the chorus) that partially inspired this will be entered with a translation as well.

-Katie


Marshall Mann always knew he had an active imagination.

He had also always known that smell, more than another other sense, triggered his imagination and sent his brain into overdrive, which was why he found himself pressed to the passenger door, attempting to get as far away as possible from his partner as they spent 9 hours driving from Albuquerque to Las Vegas.

She smelled like sex.

Marshall wished he could mean that figuratively, that he had caught a whiff of her shampoo and that had made his more primal instincts rage out of control. Instead, she literally smelled of sex. She and Raph had fought the night before for the umpteenth time about her job and their impending nuptials, so she had gone to see him just before picking up Marshall. Given the light flush on her cheeks and chest, her breathlessness and her scent, he had quickly realized just what her make up tactic had been. Just as quickly, he turned to look out the window to hide his own discomfort.

Now, barely an hour outside of the city limits, he found it more and more difficult to maintain his control. He couldn't help glancing at her out of the corner of his eye, taking in the slope of her breasts or even allowing himself to visualize the flare of her hips.

Without realizing it, he closed his eyes and slipped into a fantasy. He imagined all the possible ways he might get his chance with Mary: she and Raph had a fight and she came to him for comfort; she and her family had fought, so she came to him to get away for a while; the two of them on a road trip, in some flea bitten hotel, jaded and lonely, slipping into bed together to make the hurt go away, even for a little while…

He could see how it would all happen. She would approach him, since he knew better than to spook her. He could see her leaning against the doorframe between their adjoining rooms, jeans accentuating her hips, a tank top hugging her curves, her hair a slightly duller yellow in the dim light and hazel eyes that blazed into his as she stalked toward him.

In his fantasy he knew exactly what was about to happen, how she would take two fistfuls of his charcoal oxford, pull him close and slant her lips across his, demanding that he be a man and take action. Take action he would, his hands twining their way into her hair, forcing her to slow down or speed up at his discretion. He could feel her nipples harden through her thin top and thinner bra, and how his groin stirred in response as she worked at the buttons on his shirt. Even in his fantasies, though, Marshall couldn't sleep with an attached woman. He would whisper his query against her lips, their breath mingling in shallow pants as his hands tightened on her hips, fingers inching slowly, carefully beneath her shirt. He felt elation at her pronouncement that what's-his-name was out of the picture, that Marshall could have whatever he wanted, guilt-free.

Quickly, he pushes her against the wall, his hands sliding down to unzip her jeans and shimmy them off her legs as she strips her tank off and lets it drop to the floor lazily. Marshall stills for a moment, taking in the smooth skin of her arms, the scar on her belly from where she was shot, the long, pale column of her throat. He leans in to suckle at her pulse, nipping and biting as needed, drawing long, lusty moans from his partner's mouth. He continues to kiss his way down her body, between the valley of her breasts, allows his mouth to ghost over her tightened nipples through her cotton bra. He finds that he cannot help himself, and quickly sucks a nipple into his mouth, his tongue teasing and teeth gently grazing her through rapidly dampening cotton.

Her arms draw back to release the bra clasp as he moves to his knees to worship in front of her, his tongue licking teasing trails across the tight, twitching muscles of her abdomen, pausing in its erotic assault only to place one reverent kiss on her scar, where he almost lost her but fortunately had not. He nipped at her through her panties, a white cotton thong that matched her bra. Maintaining a firm grasp on her hips so she would not fall, Marshall teased the scrap of material down off her legs with his teeth, thoroughly enjoying the impatient sounds she was making. Once he had worked them all the way off, he placed kisses on each of her thighs, working his way up to where she really wanted him.

The feeling of Mary raking her nails across his scalp sent a line of fire down his spine to his groin. He wanted to take this slow, do this right, enjoy it and help her enjoy it, but he also realized that with Mary, the first time could never be slow. So he complied, threw her left leg over his right shoulder and buried his face between her legs. Her hair was trimmed, making it easy for him to smell her and see the glistening folds in front of him. He gave her one long lick before wrapping his mouth around her clit and sucking hard. Her reaction was instantaneous: she went cross eyed as she moaned his name and begged him to never, ever stop. Grinning wickedly, he presses two fingers into her and curls them forward. He knows he has done something right when she grinds into his face, chanting his name, her internal muscles clenching at his fingers, trying to pull them deeper.

With a last kiss to her belly, Marshall rises and presses his fully clothed body against her naked one, trapping her between his chest and the wall. There is time for one tender kiss before she makes a typically smart-assed remark about how he's wearing too much clothing. He chuckles and allows her to make quick work of his shirt and pants, gasping when her hot hand finds his hard cock and gives it a few quick strokes. She whispers what she would like to do to him, how she would love to take him into her mouth and finish him off, but confesses that she cannot wait and moves away.

He's confused for a minute; shouldn't she stay next to him if she can't wait? But when he sees her turn in front of a floor length mirror, her hands on either side of it and her hips wantonly arched toward him, he gets what she's after. Her eyes seek his in the mirror, and with a smirk, she asks what he's waiting for.

Before he loses the opportunity, he comes to stand behind her, his long, lean body covering her back, draping over her, skin to skin. They both shudder at the contact, smiling as they watch the other's reaction in the mirror. Carefully, he slides his left arm beneath hers, placing his on the wall next to the mirror and interlacing his fingers with hers. He kisses her neck and shoulder one more time as he asks if she is sure; he feels incredibly grateful when she nods her acquiescence, and he uses his right hand to guide himself into her. The feel of finally being inside of her is as close to having a divine experience as Marshall has ever been; he pauses for a moment, meets her eyes in the mirror and smiles. He realizes that this is the happiest he has ever seen either of them.

Wrapping his right arm around her, he gives her a quick hug and a kiss to the temple. Then, before he can lose his nerve, he moves his hand to her left breast, gives it a light squeeze and teases her nipple as he begins to thrust into her.

He finds himself enamored of the way she moans and pants as he hits her G-spot, and Marshall cannot resist the urge to proverbially pat himself on back. He knows she's close; her hips are rocking back onto his own wildly, her rhythm is erratic and her legs are shaking with the effort of keeping herself upright. He knows he wants to see her come again, wants to see Mary break apart and come back together in his arms. He watches the two of them in the mirror, watches as his hand snakes its way between her legs, watches as he cups it over her mons, and watches as he plays with her clit in an attempt to make her come one last time before he does.

His grin is feral when her moans become quiet screams, her breath leaving a fog over the glass before them.

"Marshall…"

'That's it,' he thinks, 'come for me.'

"Marshall…"

'Almost… there…'

"MARSHALL!"

Marshall jerked awake in the front of the GMC. He could feel the green-hazel eyes of his partner dance across his prone frame. Had he been talking in his sleep?

"Are you okay there, Marshall?"

He doesn't like the leer in her voice. He knows her eyes have lighted on his crotch, that she knows he's hard. He wonders if she realizes it's for her.

"Yeah, Mare, I'm fine," he manages to grit out as he attempts to hide the lust he's feeling.

"Looks like it was a good dream."

Marshall ignores the comment, looks at the clock.

Six and a half hours to go, he's rock hard and there's no way he can ask for a bathroom break without being mocked.

Shit.


They finally hit Vegas around seven in the evening.

The job was to transport a young couple back to Albuquerque and reestablish them. This was their second move within a year, and Marshall was anticipating a difficult time. To his delight, they were apparently ideal participants who had accidentally been discovered.

To his even greater pleasure, the girl, a twenty-four year old redhead named Katie, was the perfect blend of intelligent and inquisitive, simply made to drive Mary insane; she would be the perfect form of revenge during the long trip back home. Her boyfriend, a lean-yet-muscular black man named Eric, had knowing eyes seemed more than eager to unwittingly support his plans to torment his partner.

As soon as they were loaded up in the back of the GMC, the two collapsed against each other, watching their second-chance-life pass them by as they traded small, tender kisses. Marshall would have found it endearing if his mood hadn't been soured earlier.

Mary, he noticed, kept her hands on the steering wheel, but couldn't help glaring at the pair in the rearview mirror as they snuggled in the backseat.

"Jesus, would you two get a room? This car is property of the federal government."

Katie pulled away from Eric just long enough to meet Mary's eyes in the mirror and give her the finger.

Marshall liked the girl already.

Mary snarled at the younger woman and turned her eyes back to the road.

Over the course of the next few hours, Marshall regaled himself by talking to their newest charges. He found out that they were originally from the Midwest and had been living in Chicago. Everything went sideways when Katie had witnessed her boss making a deal with the wrong people. She had reported it and had been whisked into WITSEC, away from law school and any hope of working in her chosen field. Eric was just as bitter about having to rework his way up the ladder at another engineering firm, but both were finding that it was most difficult to not speak to their families. Marshall asked at one point why they needed to be moved out of Vegas.

"If you have to ask how we were discovered, it's obvious you've never spent much time in Chicago," came Eric's dry reply.

"And it's ideal for Chicagoans who are dying to get away from the schizophrenic weather back home. I'm more amazed we weren't discovered earlier. It was plain dumb luck that Kelly saw me at work," Katie groused.

Mary looked ready to say something snide and Marshall had to stop her with a quick poke in the ribs. He knew she was getting tired; it was nearly midnight, they had been on the road for 14 hours straight and they both needed sleep. Marshall had her pull off the highway at the next exit that had a Holiday Inn marker and checked them in. He had wanted two rooms to get himself away from his agitated partner, since he doubted he had the patience to deal with her tonight after the incident on the way to Vegas, but had only been able to get a single room with two queen-sized beds.

He gently steered his group up to the elevator and up to the third floor, careful to make sure all of their bags were on the cart. Mary, of course, was a good 10 yards ahead of them, pretending to check the hall for safety threats when she was really just eager for a shower and sleep. Marshall appreciated the view of her backside with which he was provided.


Mary looked ready to murder their witnesses; Marshall had to stifle his amused grin by taking a sip of his club soda. She glared at him over the rim of her glass of iced tea in response.

He knew that he could have very well handled watching their two newest witnesses dance in the hotel bar on his own; it wasn't as if it were terribly crowded. But, he had to admit, he took a twisted delight in pushing to see how much he could get away with when it came to his beguiling partner. Since she clearly didn't find the situation as amusing as he did, Marshall turned to watch the pair dance. Katie had been thrilled to discover that the bar had a selection of bachata music and had promptly dragged Eric out of the room before either of the WITSEC Inspectors could protest.

Hence, he found himself watching as the pair twirled around, hips pressed up against each other in a manner a tad too intimate for public. He knew Mary was thinking the same thing when she released a long, drawn-out, frustrated sigh.

"Out with it, Mare. You've been frustrated since we picked them up."

"Look at them! They might as well be having sex on the dance floor, which would be well and fine if they weren't our witnesses. Did no one ever cover the inconspicuous part of the program with these two? Christ." She slammed down her glass for added emphasis.

Marshall took a moment to collect himself and do another sweep of the dance floor. Aside from Katie and Eric dancing near the jukebox, they were joined by exactly three men at the bar and a bored looking bartender. He never let his guard down when transporting witnesses, but given the fact that the cause of this move had nothing to do with the people Katie was testifying against, he had no problem relaxing a bit and wished his partner felt the same way.

"Don't you think this is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black?" He continued when she shot him an incredulous look. "You show up for our little road trip disheveled, reeking of a fresh roll in the hay, and you're going to criticize those two for dancing a little too closely in an empty bar in Middle-of-Nowhere, Arizona? That's Hypocrisy 101, Mary."

He let her stew on that and returned to watching them dance. His Spanish was rusty compared to his French, but he could pick up the basic plot of the song: a man was singing to his lover, begging her to sneak away from her husband to meet him for a tryst. It was typical bachata fare, and he allowed himself to tap his feet in time to the beat.

Desnúdate al paso mi reina
Y solo ámame
Que el secreto permanezca
En un cuarto de hotel…

"How did you know I was with Raph earlier today?"

Marshall gave her an incredulous look and took a sip of his drink. He wondered how shocked she would be if he just laid all of his cards on the table, told her how he noticed her elevated breathing, the flush of her skin, her rumpled hair, the way she smelled and how it had led to her catching him in the middle of that dream… he opted for a standard response instead.

"Because, I'm your partner, Mare. I know you guys had a fight. I know how you two like to make up." With a shrug, he effectively ended her line of questioning, knowing that she would soon find another. He could feel restlessness rolling off her in waves, one that matched his own. He wasn't sure how much longer he could take, being her partner, such a large part of her life, but going without the part he wanted most. He decided to do something to relax both of their nerves when a slower song began to play.

"Dance with me."

"What? We can't, we're on duty," came her flustered response. His heart gave a small leap of joy at the prospect that maybe she was flustered by the idea of them pressed together, same as their charges. Yeah, right, get it together, Mann. She's getting married soon.

"Mare, look around. There's no one here. We won't hurt our job performance if I teach you how to dance to this. Did you know bachata, which is what all of these songs are, originated in the Dominican Republic?" He swallowed in an attempt to hold back the bile in the back of his throat before continuing. "I bet Raph, not to mention his family, would find it impressive if you could dance this with him at your wedding." Marshall fought to keep a grimace at the thought of her intertwined with Raph off of his face.

She hesitated for a moment before taking his offered hand and following him out to the jukebox. Gently, he took both of her hands in his.

"This is the open position. We'll start here, and then move on as you get the steps down. It's very easy," Marshall continued, "it's one, two, three, pop your hip on four, five, six, seven, pop on eight and repeat. Here, follow my lead."

He carefully lead her through the steps, starting with three steps in time with the music to his left, stepping forward lightly with his right foot on four, then continuing the pattern to his right side. He smiled when she caught on quickly; for being as headstrong as she usually was, she was a very good follow. He waited for a break in the music to move them to the closed position. He kept her right hand in his left while moving her left arm up to his shoulder and letting his right hand settle onto the curve of her hip.

"Enjoy it now, Pervis, that's the closest you'll ever get to groping me."

He smirked at her snarky response. "Duly noted. Now, here's the part you and Raph will like. Instead of tapping the opposite foot forward, you'll shift your hips into each other," he led her through another eight count, "just like that. Only, you know, you guys will be closer than we are since you'll be marri-"

"Marshall, quit babbling and teach me this damn dance, since we'll apparently be stuck here until the wee hours with Fred and Ginger over there with nothing else to do." Marshall saw that Mary's eyes were darker as her gaze met his, her pupils dilated and her voice slightly husky. His stomach clenched as he realized that he was hearing her bedroom voice. I can think of something else to do… He quickly retired that train of thought.

He took a deep breath, suppressed his sudden arousal and did as she asked, as he always did, moving them smoothly across the floor. At some point, as the songs continued and they settled into the dance, their hips settled into each other's. Marshall felt a small tingle travel up his spine each time her denim-clad hips scraped against his. Try as he might, he couldn't help his body's reaction to her proximity. She smelled like Mary, like heat and her shampoo and body wash. That, added to the feeling of her being pressed up against him from chest to hip, legs entangled as they danced together took Marshall down a very naughty path and it showed rather obviously in his body.

Mary, for her part, didn't seem to mind. He could have sworn she was grinding against him even more so now, adding an extra, entirely unnecessary swivel to her motion every time their hips met. Every so often, when he used his own hips to alter their course on the dance floor, he could feel the nails of her left hand scrape his shoulder as she adjusted her grip and regained her balance. It reminded him of his earlier dream, her nails raking through his scalp as he made her moan. He suddenly felt like he was holding onto a livewire, knew he was going to lose it on the dance floor, and soon unless he stopped her.

I could show her the meaning of sex in public. Marshall felt giddy at the thought; it must have been the surge of blood southward. Mary decided that was just the right time to press herself to him even more aggressively.

Marshall broke form, planting both of his hands on the swell of her hips, his fingers flexing into the muscle he found there. He had to fight his urge to slide both of his hands onto her shapely ass and pull her against him fully, much as he had to fight the urge to flex his hips against her and drive his erection into the soft, slight swell of her belly. Marshall looked down, expecting her face to be turned away from him. Instead, he found himself face-to-face with Mary, her lips mere inches from his own.

Por un beso de su boca
Voy al cielo y hablo con Dios…

He could feel her breath dance across his lips and her heart pounding in time with his own against his chest. Marshall felt his heart skip a beat; it would be so, so easy to kiss her. She didn't even seem like she would be opposed to the idea, if the look in her eyes and her grip on his shoulders were any indication. She fit his frame so perfectly, as if she were made for him and him alone. He felt possessiveness flare in his chest, heightening his already overwrought libido.

Be good. She's engaged, as good as married, and not for you.

He could have sworn he felt his heart turn to ice and drop into his stomach at the thought; not for him, never, ever for him, her long, lithe body naked against him, or her sweet pink lips nibbling on his ear or seducing him by grazing across his body.

"Marshall…"

Mary stated only his name, but her tone spoke volumes. Quiet, dark, full of yearning and curiosity with a hint of a dare; he could kiss her here, now, in full view of two witnesses and all four residents of Wherever-the-Hell-They-Where, Arizona, and she would submit, surrender to him and his passion completely and willingly.

It took all of his will power to remove his hands from her body and gently push away from her. He forced himself to focus on the lyrics of the current song instead of the lingering feeling of her breasts pressed firmly against his chest, her hips against his and her breath dancing across his skin. It helped him ignore the confusion in her eyes at the loss of contact and his apparent rejection of the carnal pleasures she and her body were offering.

Ay ¡recházame!
Es que no puedo aceptar tu amor
Ay ¡olvídame!
Aunque nos duela a que aceptar este dolor
Es que yo tengo mi mujer
Y tú tienes tu novio
Yo no... no quiero ser infiel
Me matará la tentación…

Marshall saw the desire slowly drain out of her eyes, only to be replaced with her favorite defense mechanism: anger.

Watching as she escorted the younger couple out of the bar and up to the room, he realized something.

He just couldn't catch a break today.


Marshall woke up at 6:30 am, half hanging off the queen size bed, the knuckles of his right hand scraping the floor and his head pressed against the nightstand. His left arm was curled above his head. A quick glance to the right showed him Katie had gotten out of bed, and the sound of water running in the bathroom gave him her position. After assessing that there was no threat to the witnesses, he allowed his mind to drift back to the previous night.

After the dance floor debacle, they had come up to the room. Katie and Eric promptly laid claim to one bed, then ran for the bathroom to brush their teeth. Marshall was left with his partner, who once again looked disheveled and ready for a bout of mattress aerobics.

It was just his fucking luck that last night, of all nights, Mary Shannon had developed a conscious and refused to let him sleep on the floor. She had kicked him onto the floor or sofa plenty of times before, and he had gladly agreed to play the chivalrous partner, but now she insisted he share the bed with her. If he didn't know better, he would swear she was trying, clumsily, to seduce him. It was that, or she was trying to get close enough to murder him in his sleep. Either way, he spent the night on edge, and sleep only came after a long struggle to stay awake.

Don't you realize, Mare, I'm already seduced? he had thought, watching her out of the corner of his eye as they both dressed for bed, both pretending not to watch each other. As discreetly as possible, he had allowed his eyes to roam over her pale frame, and with his peripheral vision, saw that she was wearing a black bra and plain bikini cut panties beneath the oversized t-shirt she had stolen from him ages ago. As he watched her slide her pajama bottoms up her long legs, he realized he himself was the subject of just such an inspection by his partner. He knew he wasn't crazy; she was as hyperaware of him as he was of her, something that was confirmed when he purposely allowed his pajama bottoms to sag before putting on his shirt, revealing the muscles that were the result of his recently revamped abdominal workout. The sharp intake of breath he heard from her side of the bed, and her sudden inability to make eye contact had told him she had been watching him.

While he had relished the idea that maybe his partner had some kind of feelings for him beyond friendship, he knew sleeping next to her would only lead to a damning situation. Mary had to know that, too. The main difference between the two of them, however, was that while he tried to restrain himself and wanted to remove the source of his temptation, she wanted put it in bed next to her.

Aside from his precarious position half off of the bed, he noticed other important details. Details such as his partner's hand draped across his lower abdomen, under his shirt, the fact that she was nuzzling his neck, and most importantly, the fact that her left leg that had found its way over his hip to nestle between his thighs. Marshall had to suppress the groan he felt building in his chest. Mary was pressed against him, her breath ghosting across the sensitive flesh of his throat while her hand across his abs seemed to be hot enough to burn. Just then, the top of her thigh gently nudged his morning erection, and his right hand instinctually moved to her knee, trying to keep her from further movement upwards. Marshall turned his head toward her, praying Mary wasn't yet awake to tease him about the situation.

Ice-blue eyes met sleep-glazed green-hazel; in what must have been a cruel play by Fate, their mouths were again millimeters apart. Marshall could feel her tense as she took in their positions. He noticed that she didn't move her leg or hand while she assessed the entire situation. Marshall involuntarily tightened his grip on her leg, his fingers caressing the underside of her thigh through the thin pajama pants. As Mary made eye contact with him, he made a purposely wicked move: he licked his lips. Nothing obvious, just a quick dart out to wet them, but the action had the desired effect.

His partner's eyes focused on his mouth, seemingly transfixed.

Careful not to startle her, he moved in slowly; his world had shrunk to include only the feeling of her pressed against him in bed, her quickened heartbeat, the breath she exhaled in anticipation, the desire building in her eyes…

Just then the bathroom door creaked open, allowing harsh light to spill into the room and causing the two Marshals to spring apart like teenagers caught necking on the basement sofa. Katie emerged, toothbrush dangling from between her lips. Sending a knowing look their way, she feigned innocence as she asked, "Do you mind if I turn on the morning news? I want to catch up on my current events."

The chuckle in her voice was undeniable.

Marshall decided he liked her less.


The rest of the transfer passed uneventfully.

They managed to get Katie and Eric to Albuquerque in time for a late lunch. After feeding them and reviewing the M.O.U., they showed them to their new apartment. It was a tiny place near UNM, the logic being that at their age they would easily blend in with their neighbors. The pair seemed grateful; Eric shook both of their hands while Katie gave the pair hugs and a teasing, "Behave, you two," from the threshold.

Marshall was tempted to smack her upside the head.

Back at the Sunshine Building, Marshall and Mary parted ways. He settled in to complete the paperwork left over from their little expedition; she took off to meet Raph, Brandi and Jinx to finalize wedding plans. Perhaps he was imagining it, but the look she sent his way as she bid him farewell held a hint of longing. He did his best to push it out of his mind; she would be married within a month. He had to start formulating a plan as to how he would hold it together during the wedding. Right now, all he had was "flask of tequila" and "any available bridesmaid".

He was doomed.


"Mare? What's wrong?"

He sat up straight in bed, instantly on alert when he heard her voice come through his phone.

"Nothing, Marshall. Come meet me?" Her voice barely gave away that she'd been drinking. Mary always had been able to hold her liquor.

He glanced at the clock for the time. "Mary, it's three in the morning." He felt his heart speed up. In his experience, no woman called a man at three in the morning to just talk. Hope springs eternal, he thought ruefully.

"I know. It's just that my bachelorette party is breaking up. None of these broads can hang with me. Jinx could have, once upon a time, but she turned in early. Brandi ran home to Peter about an hour ago. Raph is spending the next week with an old teammate, and I really don't want to go home to an empty house. Meet me," she wheedled.

Marshall sighed. He could see her sitting at a crowded bar, the few acquaintances she had slowly filing out the door, leaving her perched on a stool with a two finger pour of scotch in front of her. He could also hear the dark promise in her voice, the one he had heard three weeks ago at a small bar in Nowhere, Arizona; the promise of a long night tangled in sheets, sweat-slicked bodies and passion.

"Where are you?" was all he managed to rasp out, his control tenuous.

"Billy's, over on San Mateo. You know it?"

"Yeah, I know it. I'll see you in twenty, Mare."


He saw her as soon as he walked in, just as he had imagined, at the bar, talking to the bartender with her scotch in front of her. Someone, Brandi he assumed, had managed to wrestle her into the little black number she had worn to Jay Arnstein's gallery opening years ago. Unlike that night, her hair hung loose over her shoulders, begging him to run his fingers through it. Marshall had to stop in the doorway to compose himself before walking over to join her. Catching the bartender's eye, he signaled to refill Mary's drink and ordered the same.

He slid his Visa to the man when he brought the tumblers and asked him to start a tab. He figured they'd be here a while. Mary watched him as he took a sip of his scotch; she was smirking.

"Marshall, do you even know what you just ordered?"

"Knowing you? Something I probably can't afford. What brand am I drinking, Mare?"

"Johnnie Walker Green."

He smiled at her. "Hey, could be worse. You could be drinking Blue Label. Then I'd really be shit outta luck."

She snorted into her glass, looking at him from the corner of her eye. "Only reason I'm not is because they don't have it. Green's the best I could do. It's fitting, in a way. Green's for 'go', right?" Mary took a deep swig of her drink, finishing it off.

Marshall's brain, impeded by the hour, began making connections. She was getting cold feet; something, maybe everything about planning this wedding, had tipped her off balance and she was trying to regain it. He could feel his chest puff out slightly when he realized she had called him to right it for her; he deflated when he realized that despite being her first call, she probably wouldn't call off the wedding. He decided to try tease out what she was thinking.

"Yeah… but you don't always have to go just because the light's green. It doesn't mean you have to speed right through it. You can slow down on the approach, decide what you want to do."

"Are you sure you were asleep and not drinking before I called, Marshall? Because that made minimal sense, at best."

"Yeah, I was asleep, Mare. But, look, the point is the same. Everyone expects everyone else to just blow through that green light, the only reason being because it's green. There are other options. You can turn, instead of go straight. Hell, you can pull off the road entirely if you really want. Just because it's expected of you isn't a good reason to do anything."

Their eyes met in the mirror behind the bar. He knew she picked up on the barely-hidden meaning of his words, knew that she remembered their conversation in a gas station long ago during which she realized what he refused to say aloud: he would never leave because he loved her. She could take and do with him what she willed; he would stand solid as ever. He noted the exact moment lust flashed in her eyes, the blaze of heat that traveled down his spine to pool in his groin as he relived a few stolen moments on a dance floor.

"Marshall?"

"Yeah, Mare?"

"Take me home."


Marshall flew through the city on his way to get to Mary's house.

There was something new lurking in the air between them; it was anticipation, anticipation of what would happen when they got to her place. Would they take it slow, savor the moment or crash through her front door? Marshall licked his lips and tightened his grip on the steering wheel, anxious to see where all this would lead. His heart beat out a panicky tattoo against his sternum.

He ground the car into park in her driveway and barely took time to yank the keys out of the ignition before following her to the door.

Instead of unlocking the door as he expected her to, Mary turned suddenly to face him. She pressed herself against her front door, grasped his hips and pulled him flush to her body. His breath was forced from his lungs upon impact, and he was startled by how delicate she felt against him. His partner was by no means a small woman; she was 5'8" and muscular, but here, now, pressed tightly between him and the door in that cocktail dress…

"Marshall… Marshall, you have me right where you want me." Her voice sounded surprisingly shaky for a woman who was usually so sure of herself. He felt a shudder rake through her body, a shudder that passed through into him and ratcheted his desire further.

Egged on by the feeling of her and the emotion of the moment, Marshall leaned down and fused her lips to his. Marshall could feel her hands moving across him, her left working its way under his button down as the other skimmed up and over his chest to weave into his hair. He could still taste Johnnie Walker Green on her tongue when she slipped it into his mouth and tugged on his hair at the same time. She swallowed his answering moan and pressed closer to him. He allowed his right hand to slip down her body and cup her ass, pulling her against his growing erection, as his left meandered up her back and around to her front in order to cup her face.

He poured himself into the moment, wanting all of her to know that all of him was here, here for her and only her, would do whatever she asked, go wherever she needed him to be. He ghosted his mouth over her cheek and down to her neck, wanting to hear her moan aloud, wanting to know he caused the sound to fall from those beautiful pink lips. It wasn't until he felt Mary kissing along his neck, her hand working on the fly of his jeans that he came to his senses.

It was four in the morning. The two of them, U.S. Marshals that they were, were not only busy playing tonsil hockey in her doorway, but were also undressing each other as they went. He could feel the coolness of the window pane where he was resting his forehead above Mary's left shoulder; it was a nice contrast to the head radiating from the fingers she had slipped into his jeans, past his boxer briefs and wrapped around his cock. She gave him a light squeeze and he bucked involuntarily into her as he gave a soft moan. She suckled his neck in response.

It took Mary a minute to notice that he was no longer as enthusiastic a participant. She pushed him back slightly, her eyes boring into his.

"Marshall, what's wrong?" He could hear confusion in her query; she wasn't used to being denied by men.

He fought back tears; tears at the thought that his hesitation hurt her, at the thought that this was the closest he would probably ever get to having her, really having her completely and willingly, and his damn conscious wouldn't let him continue. She was drunk. She was his partner. This was against the rules. She was getting married in a week.

She had made her choice, and it wasn't him.

Gently, kissing her forehead, he gripped her wrist and pulled her hand away from his groin. The rush of cool air that replaced her heat was almost painful.

"We can't, Mare. We just can't do this."

"Why the hell not?"

He refused to open his eyes, lest the tears fall. He couldn't look at her, couldn't look at the pain he knew would be written across her face, mirroring his own expression.

"Marshall, I know you want me; the proof is in front of me. I know you love me; you've told me as much on two occasions, even though you tried to hide your true meaning both times. I want you, nerdy, goofy, doofus you. I… I love you, Marshall. You're the one person who has never left me, never forced me to take care of them-"

"Then why are you marrying him?" he softly asked. It took almost everything out of him to grind out that one question. He backed up, left her wantonly pressed against the door, flushed and panting. He recalled how she had looked when they left for Vegas, just coming down from her post-coitus high. He felt masculine pride at the fact he could make her blush that same light shade of pink, but quickly pushed that down in favor of the conversation at hand.

Mary let out a shaky breath before she answered him. "He's a good man, Marshall. He loves me, all of me, even when I'm downright mean to him…" she trailed off. She didn't fully buy what she was selling.

"A good man? A good man! Did you forget when he cheated on you, Mary? If he was any kind of 'good man' he would have at least had the balls to speak to you face to face and ask if you were still together before sleeping with her. Cheating is a coward's way out of a relationship; he wasn't even man enough to tell his mother the truth about your engagement when she showed up at his door seven months ago!"

He never raised his voice to her, but made sure his words hit home all the same.

"But, no, you're right, Mare. He's a good man that loves you, all of you. He's okay with what you do for a living, right? He's always been patient with you when you treat him like a door mat, right? Supported you through good and bad and has done a better job of it than I have ever done or could do."

He came closer, pinned her in place by placing his hands on either side of her head, arms locked straight as he lowered his face to hers. She stood stock still; the only movement came from her eyes as they sought his out in the dark. She let out a shuddering breath as he continued; he ignored the distracting way her breath danced across his lips. It was tempting to just kiss her again, resume what they had been doing. Instead, he plowed on with his tirade.

"That's why he deserved to know what you really do all day, right? Why he was worth compromising both of our covers for; why he spent all day, every day at the hospital waiting for you to wake up, even as he tried to hunt down your shooter. That must be why your first answer when I asked why you're marrying him was 'I love him.'

"Mary, Raph is a good man; he's just not a good man for you. But for whatever reason, even after you knew I loved you, you insisted on continuing with this sham of an engagement. And, good little partner and love sick puppy that I am, I helped you. Supported you. Met you at three in the fucking morning when you needed someone to have just a few more drinks with. Tell me, Mare, would you ever think of calling Raph in that situation? If I checked your phone right now, would it show you called him before you called me? Or was I the one you came to first?"

The look in her eyes said it all. His lips quirked into a sad smirk and he gave a small shake of his head.

"That's what I thought."

Quickly, before she could stop him, he dropped one last, chaste kiss on her lips then turned away and walked towards his truck. But he couldn't go without turning and sending one last parting shot her way.

"You know, Eps was right. He told me years ago, when I was bent out of shape about him checking you out, that I should stop thinking what I was thinking. I was thinking that you were mine; mine to work with, mine to talk to, mine to hopefully one day love. I should have listened then and stopped thinking that way." He turned away again.

"Marshall, wait."

He didn't even slow his gait, just tossed over his shoulder, "I'll see you around."


Marshall successfully avoided Mary during the week leading up to her wedding. He was always in the office before her, took his lunch at a different time, found things to do for other departments and found witness to visit that he didn't need Mary's help handling.

There was once, on Thursday, when she managed to catch him in the elevator on his way home. Nothing was said, but Marshall felt as if he couldn't take in enough air in the confined space. His fingers itched to touch her, his lips to kiss her. All he wanted to do was tell her that despite what he said, despite wishing he wouldn't, he still loved her.

He wanted to tell her that he still wanted her, wanted to see what could have happened that night against her front door.

Instead, they got off of the elevator together after a tense, silent ride and headed for their cars. They only had a brief exchange.

"Will I see you Saturday?"

"Yeah, Mare. I'll be there."


Her wedding dress in a rumpled pile on his living room floor was easily the second most beautiful thing he had seen in forty years on this earth.

The first was how she looked lying in bed next to him, naked beneath the thin cotton sheet, hair fanned across the pillow, her chest rising and falling gently as she dozed.

Placing a soft kiss to her temple, Marshall curled around her and drifted off himself.


That Saturday, he somehow managed to drag himself out of bed and to the church, not only on time but a full twenty minutes before he was supposed to show up. He had been asked long ago, right after he had found out about the engagement, if he would be willing to show up to the church early to referee any arguments that may take place between Mary and Brandi, Mary and Jinx and Mary and random passersby who walked into the line of fire.

Hence, he found himself at Our Lady of Fatima at 1:40 pm on a Saturday afternoon. Luckily for him, thanks to what had happened earlier in the week, Mary clammed up whenever he showed his face. She sat quietly while Jinx applied her makeup and did her hair. She didn't bat an eyelash when Brandi said one of the groomsmen had shown up with an eyebrow shaved off thanks to the aftermath of the bachelor party. Instead, she sent Brandi out with an eyebrow pencil to make him presentable enough for the pictures and left it at that.

Four o'clock finally rolled around. Raph and the groomsmen were lined up on the altar like toy soldiers in tuxedos. The bridesmaids were lined up behind the flower girl and ring bearer, each and every one of them ready to put his own personal hell into action. Mary was at the very end, waiting with Stan who had been asked to walk her down the aisle. Everyone was waiting with baited breath for the wedding march to begin.

Marshall still hadn't taken his seat. Instead, he stood in the back, watching the proceedings. Mary looked beautiful in her gown. It was strapless, showing off her toned shoulders and arms without showing too much cleavage, and flowed over the curves of her body until its hem kissed the floor. Its simple elegance only served to enhance the woman wearing it. Her hair was done in a simple up do; she had decided to forgo any veil.

His heart ached to look at her, to see everything he wanted and to watch it walk down the aisle, away from him.

He strode over to her without planning his next move. He was working entirely on adrenaline and desperation. As he asked Stan to give them a moment alone, he was dimly aware of the organ starting the wedding march.

"Marshall..." she looked at him with wary eyes.

He went with brutal honesty when he confronted her.

"Mare, the only way I've been able to cope since last Saturday was by avoiding you. I love you; maybe it'll fade with time if you get married, maybe it never will, I don't know. What I do know is that I will hate myself forever if I don't take the one chance I have to say it out loud before you marry another man."

Her gaze became panicked, looking for anyone to guide her, tell her what to do. She felt helpless, something entirely foreign to Mary, and he felt bad for being the cause of that feeling.

He heard Stan speaking into his phone, "Hon, you won't believe the situation we have going on here. I wish you could have made it out for this."

Ignoring his boss, Marshall licked his lips and kept going, barely maintaining control of his breathing. He felt as if his heart would pound out of his chest.

"If you think it's the right thing to do, if you think he'll make you happy, truly happy, for the rest of your life, go, marry him. I won't stop you. I would give anything, my badge, my heart, my life, to make you happy, Mare, even if that means watching you spend your life with another man, sharing every part of yourself with him and not with me. But if you have any doubt, any doubt whatsoever, that Raph is who you want to spend the rest of your life with, do not walk down that aisle. Please, Mare…"

He gulped, taking a break from his speech. Mary's look was less confused now, more determined.

"Marshall," she let out on a breathy sigh, "take me home."

Without thinking, he grabbed her hand, causing her bouquet of blood red roses to crash to the floor, petals scattering. Mary pulled up the skirt of her gown and they sprinted to Marshall's waiting truck.

The last thing he heard was Stan, still on his phone, saying, "Eleanor, I'm going to have to call you back. I have a situation here that I need to handle…"


One-hundred and fifty-seven hours after the incident against her front door, Marshall and Mary repeated their PDA. The difference, however, was that this time, they were at his front door, and he was actually trying to get them inside. He would have gotten them inside on the first try if he hadn't had Mary wrapped around him, her lips working their way up his neck to kiss along his jaw line and nibble on his ear lobe.

Finally, on his fifth attempt, he got them in the door. He threw his keys somewhere near the table he kept in the entry way, then turned to grab hold of his partner, kissing her as if his life depended on it. The silk of her gown whispered has he ran his fingers over it; he noticed that the thin material was warm from her body, and the thought sent a thrill through his entire being. The feel of the gown beneath his fingers was nothing in comparison to the feeling of her lips on his. She was kissing him hungrily, alternating between nibbling on his lower lip and then running her tongue over the light indentations she left.

He thought he had known ecstasy before, with stolen kisses early in the morning, but that was nothing compared to kissing her and knowing she had made the choice to walk away from Raph and to him. He felt as if he would take flight at any moment.

Their momentum carried them away from the threshold and into the front room. His fingers danced along the back of her gown, trying to pull her closer as he hunted for the zipper. He felt as if he had struck gold when he found the tab and pulled it down; his fingers danced across the skin above her spine until he found resistance. The dress was in his way. As he stepped back, Mary pushed his jacket of his shoulders and began working on his tie; she didn't even notice that her dress had pooled around her feet as she was working on unbuttoning his dress shirt.

Marshall took the opportunity to enjoy the view with which she provided him.

Her up do was half undone, thanks to the fingers he had had twined in her hair. She was left in nothing but her wedding lingerie, a white satin strapless bra, white lace panties and a garter to match. The white satin pumps were the icing on the cake. She looked like the vintage pin up girls Marshall had always been fond of; there was just enough showing to let his mind run wild, and she had curves where women should have them, instead of looking like a damn stick figure.

He must have been staring a while, since Mary began to shift her weight nervously.

"Like what you see?" She cracked a joke to cover her sudden insecurity.

"Mare, you have no idea how much I like what I see," he whispered, moving closer to her. "Let me show you."

He took her head in his hands, smoothing her hair out of her face. Carefully, as if she were made of porcelain, he kissed her forehead, then each of her cheeks. Her eyes were closed, her breath coming out in shaky pants and as she waited for him to kiss her again, her tongue darted out to dampen her lips. Marshall enjoyed just gazing at her before kissing her languorously, taking the time to explore her mouth with his own. She tasted like her toothpaste; he had kissed off her berry-flavored lip gloss as they made their way through the door.

Marshall pulled away to look at her and feel joy well up in his chest. Mary giggled with him as they finished undressing each other in his front room. Her dress stayed pooled on the hardwood floor. His jacket, shirt and tie wound up thrown over the arm chair, his pants, socks and shoes were tossed under the coffee table. He stopped her before she took off her pumps; with a hushed, "Leave them on," Marshall lifted her into his arms, wrapped her legs around his waist and moved them into his bedroom.

Navigating by habit, he got them through the doorway and next to the bed. The feeling of her silk stockings rubbing against his ribs aroused him further, causing him to thrust against the damp heat pressed firmly against his erection. While he was pleased he managed to hold them both up right as he devoured her mouth, he knew his knees would give out on him soon. He softly pushed her hips down, directing her without words to stand. He groaned as she bumped his hard on during her descent and lightly slapped her on the ass when he saw her self-satisfied smirk.

Sitting on the edge of the bed in nothing but his grey boxer briefs, Marshall firmly grasped her hips and directed her to stand in front of him. He wrapped his arms around her from this position, just hugging her and enjoying the feeling of her in his arms. He nuzzled the soft skin of her stomach, laying a gentle kiss on her scar. She tensed when she felt his lips ghost over the spot; he kept her in place as he said against her skin, "This is where I almost lost you. I am forever grateful that I haven't." He laid another kiss on the same spot, and then skimmed his hands up her rib cage and around her back to unclasp her bra. He loved the little sounds she made as he touched her; they made him feel all-powerful, which was an aphrodisiac in and of itself.

He flung her bra off of his lap and toward the door. It was joined shortly after by her panties, garter, stockings and pumps. Marshall pulled her onto his lap, forcing her to straddle his crotch, and kissed her slowly and deeply; she was so wet he could feel it through his underwear. He groaned into her mouth as she ground her center against his hardness. He let her ride him as he turned his attention to the pulse that fluttered just below the skin where her shoulder met her neck. He placed suckling kisses around her neck and along her collarbone, taking his time and enjoying the moans that fell from the lips of the blonde above him. His eyes nearly black with desire, he turned his attention to her breasts. Marshall made sure he made eye contact with her as he sucked first her left, then right, nipple into his mouth and laved it with his tongue.

Without warning, Mary took his head in both hands and sunk her fingers into his hair. Using her grip on him, she pulled his mouth from her chest to force him to look directly into her face. Using her leverage, she pushed him so he was lying flat on the bed and lied down on top of him. He tilted his head back to let her kiss his own neck while he rubbed light, encouraging circles on her bare back. Marshall was embarrassed by the jerk his entire body gave when she sucked on his earlobe; he moved his hands from her back to her ass to grind her more fully against him. He shuddered again when her warm, moist breath brushed against his ear as she whispered, "I think it's time to take these off," as the fingers of her right hand toyed with the band of his boxers.

Before she could get her hot little hands on his cock, he rolled them so he was on top. In one quick motion, he slid off the bed to kneel next to it, taking her with him part of the way.

"There's something I want to do first," he confessed as he placed her hips just off the edge of the bed and lifted her knees over his shoulders.

He found himself harder than ever when he realized she was completely bare; he could see every detail of her, from her swollen folds to the birthmark nestled in the crease where her left thigh met her hip. He gave her one long lick from bottom to top, enjoying the strangled moan it produced before he focused on teasing her. Making sure to be gentle, he used his teeth to tug on her inner lips, while at the same time suckling and licking her folds. His actions caused Mary's hips to quiver around his ears. Before long, she had her hands fisted in his hair, swearing all manner of painful deaths on him if he didn't get busy finishing her off. Never one to ignore a request from the Amazon spread like a feast on his bed, Marshall sucked her engorged nub into his mouth. He danced the tip of his tongue over her clit while his pushed two fingers into her molten core, careful to press up when he found the spongy tissue that marked her G-spot.

He was rewarded with a loud moan and her legs locking around his head. He continued to work her with his tongue and fingers until he heard her give out a small scream, accompanied by the clenching of her vaginal muscles and a gush of wetness. He pumped his fingers more slowly, making sure she gently came down from the rush of her orgasm. Carefully, he removed Mary's legs from his shoulders as he recovered himself and leaned up to kiss her. She kissed him back eagerly, her tongue dancing across his lips seeking entry. He pulled back with a frustrated groan.

"Mare, as much as I would love to spend the day kissing you…" he trailed off when she arched her hips into him, effectively cutting off his ability to speak.

"Marshall, I want you inside me." Mary ran her hands down his back, slipped her fingers under the elastic band of his underwear and lightly scratched the sensitive skin of his buttocks.

Marshall briefly took his weight off of her to shimmy out of his boxer briefs. As he reached for the condoms he kept in his bedside table, Mary stopped him by grasping his wrist.

"Marshall, unless you haven't tested clean, there's no need for a condom. I've been on the pill for a while now, and I have a clean bill of health." He didn't miss the hungry, appreciative look she shot at his cock.

His stomach did flip flops and he smiled, nodded his encouragement and allowed her to pull him back over her. He kissed her slowly as he reached between their bodies to stroke through her slick, heavy, spent folds. She shuddered at his touch and urged him to take her by rocking her hips up into him. The feeling of her wetness against the bare skin of his dick nearly caused him to come then and there.

Marshall hitched her legs high around his rib cage and slowly penetrated her. They moaned together; he reveled in the feeling of her around him, hot, tight and slick. It took all his will power to keep his pace controlled; he didn't want to waste their first time jackhammering into her. He captured his hands with hers and pinned them above her head; he pressed the length of his body into hers. This was one of his favorite things about sex, the feeling of his lover's skin against his as he glided over her. The fact that it was Mary beneath him made it that much harder to keep a firm grasp on his control. He had nearly come twice previously, due solely to his proximity to her.

However, Mary seemed determined to make him lose his barely-there grasp on his control. She kept clenching her muscles around him, heightening the sensations, pushing him closer and closer to the brink while all the while working her tongue across the pulse point in his neck.

But what really did him in was when she started whispering everything she wanted to do to him and have him do to her. She told him in breathy gasps how she wanted to take his cock down her throat and suck on him until he couldn't remember his own name. Or how she wanted to ride him as he played with her breasts and clit. Each scenario was more salacious than the last, but his personal favorite was the fantasy she had of him bending her over her desk after hours, office blinds open to the New Mexican sky as he took her from behind.

The lurid details she dripped in his ear, along with the feeling of her beneath him pushed him past the point of no return. He emptied himself into her with a long moan as she kissed him. He was loath to move off her, but realized he must when he felt her shiver in the cool air of his room. Taking care not to hurt her, he slid backwards to stand over her at the edge of the bed. Reaching down to take her hand, he lifted Mary to him and held her close as he turned down the covers.

The crawled in to bed together and slept, spent from their lovemaking.


Marshall awoke at ten that evening to Mary kissing him as she straddled him. When he was fully awake, as well as engorged, she sunk onto him and rode him slowly, grinding herself against his pubic bone. Ever mindful of her needs, Marshall pressed the thumb of his right hand against her clit to help her get off as his left hand climb her ribcage to play with her nipples. She began to move more quickly atop him, and he could tell her release was close. Taking his hand from her breast, he levered himself up to capture his lips with his own; his hand came around her back to hold her close as she shuddered through her orgasm. He wasn't far behind and came into her for the second time that day.

He flopped back onto the bed, Mary draped across his chest.

He could definitely get used to this.


Work on Monday was an adventure.

Stan proved himself to be an unlikely ally. He had lied to both families, saying that a work emergency had sent his top Marshals into action, causing them to miss the wedding, but that Mary had insisted everyone enjoy the party. Raph, who was far more perceptive than most people gave him credit for, cornered Stan at the reception and asked if it was really work that had called Mary away. Stan told him the truth, and braced for rage.

Instead, Raph looked more relieved than anything else and spent the rest of the night meeting new women and collecting phone numbers.

He had held off on telling Brandi and Jinx, figuring that Mary was a big girl and could handle that herself.

Since he had heard Marshall's spontaneous speech and watched the pair run off together, there was no way they could lie to him about the change in their relationship. However, given his past with Eleanor, Stan was willing to look the other way so long as their job performance didn't suffer. He made it abundantly clear that if their personal life got in the way of their professional one, having Charlie as a ride along would be their penance.

Both swore to not step a toe out of line.

And for the rest of their careers in the U.S.M.S., both kept their promise.

Fin


Desnúdate al paso mi reina
Y solo ámame
Que el secreto permanezca
En un cuarto de hotel...

Undress, my queen
And just love me
Let the secret stay
In a hotel room…

Por un beso de su boca
Voy al cielo y hablo con Dios…

Because of a kiss from your mouth
I go to heaven and speak with God…

Ay ¡recházame!
Es que no puedo aceptar tu amor
Ay ¡olvídame!
Aunque nos duela a que aceptar este dolor
Es que yo tengo mi mujer
Y tú tienes tu novio
Yo no... no quiero ser infiel
Me matará la tentación…

Oh, reject me!
I can't accept your love.
Oh, forget me!

Although it hurts us to accept this pain
I have my woman
And you have your boyfriend
I… I don't want to be unfaithful
The temptation will kill me…

The partial inspiration for this piece:

La boda- por Aventura

Queridos hermanos, continuamos con esta boda.
Si hay alguien presente quien se oponga a este matrimonio,
Que habla ahora o calle para siempre.

¡Yo me opongo!

¿Quién te ama como yo, cosita linda?
¡Ay Dios! si te casas, te llevar
ás mi vida
Es como un fin de una novela,
Nuestra historia la m
ás bella.
Dime que esta ceremonia
Es una pesadilla…

The Wedding- by Aventura

Dear Brothers and Sisters, we continue with this wedding.
If there is one present who opposes this marriage,
Let them speak now, or forever hold their peace.

I oppose it!

Who loves you like I do, darling? (Literal translation: pretty little thing)
Oh, God! If you marry, you'll take my life.
It's like the end of a novel,
Our story, the most beautiful one,
Tell me that this ceremony
Is a nightmare…