Happy 4th October everyone! Lie to Me season 3 starts tonight for all you lucky people in the US... spread the word!
This is for all the Lie to Me fans and all the twitter gang, but especially for recoilandgrace because I originally tried to get this finished for her birthday, but failed. And because she read through it for me :-)
Fiiiiiinally – this is my 50th fic (as Lightwoman, anyway. *cough*). Hope you enjoy!
Oh, and this one's rated T, but there is one naughty word. Sorry ;-)
Disclaimer: I own a couple of characters in this, but sadly not Cal or Gillian. Or anything to do with Lie to Me at all, actually. More's the pity.
He approached the door with a spring in his step, licking his lips in anticipation. Glancing over his shoulder, he was pleased to see that the corridor was deserted. Reaching up a fist, he smirked as he imagined her inside waiting for him. He couldn't wait to take her in his arms, push her against the wall, press his lips to hers… He gave the secret knock she'd taught him so she'd know it was him, twisted the handle, opened the door, and stepped into the darkness.
She heard the knock on the door just as she was zipping up the back of her dress. "Coming!" she yelled, giving herself a quick once-over in the mirror. Not bad.
She hurried down the stairs and opened the door, smiling. Cal always did look good in a tux.
"Hey," he answered, his eyes sweeping up and down her body. "You look bloody fantastic, you know that?"
She gave an embarrassed, but pleased, smile. "Thanks. Come in, I'll just be two minutes."
"So..." She raked her fingers up his arm, a playful smile on her face. "Want to play a little game?"
"A game?" He raised an eyebrow at her, leaning forward slightly. "What kind of game?"
"That closet, down the hall... You know the one I mean?"
He swallowed. "Yeah..."
"Be there in five minutes." Her demanding tone set his pulse racing, and he grinned at her. "Oh, yeah? And what might I find there in five minutes?"
"Me," she purred, that sexy smile sending a jolt of arousal straight to his groin. "I'll be waiting inside for you. Just waiting... in the dark... for you. Don't turn the lights on in the corridor. I don't want to see you come in... I just want to hear you. And feel you," she murmured, emphasising the word with a gentle squeeze of his arm.
"So I'll just come in..."
"Mm hmm. Knock first. So I know it's you. Like this..." She tapped the rhythm out gently on his arm, and he grinned.
"What are you, a spy?"
She gave him a sly smile. "I can be anything you want me to be."
"So when I come in..."
"When you come in, you grab me. Don't say anything. Just grab me, and kiss me..." Her voice was so low and sultry, he wanted to just grab her and kiss her right there and then. But if this was the little game she wanted to play, he'd go along with it. Willingly.
"I can do that," he told her, and she gave him a satisfied smile.
"Good. I'll see you in five minutes. Don't forget the knock..."
He tapped the rhythm she'd taught him lightly with his fingers on her bare shoulder, and she nodded, an amused smile on her face.
"See you then."
"Remind me again why we have to be here?"
"Because these people invested a lot of money with our company, and showing up to their charity event is a positive gesture that will hopefully put us in their good books."
"Will they even notice if we're here?"
"I've already seen Thomas Robins, he waved at me as we came in," Gillian informed him, and he smirked.
"Of course he did. He fancies you."
"Cal." She shook her head, laughing softly. "Stop it."
"Most of these people, though..." He waved his hand around the room. "I mean, they're just rich, poncey types with more money than sense, you know?"
"They're here for a good cause, Cal. Have a little faith in the human race for once, will you?"
"That's your department love, not mine." His eyes scanned the room, seeking out the buffet. She was about to reply when she saw his jaw clench, and quickly turned her head in the direction of his gaze.
He didn't answer.
"Cal?" She touched his arm lightly, and he turned to her at last.
"Are you okay?"
"Fine," he mumbled unconvincingly. "Buffet's where now, exactly?"
"Cal!" She turned at the sound of the voice. The man Cal had been watching moments earlier was strolling towards them. He was tall, with wavy dark hair, deep green eyes and wore his suit like a second skin. He was, Gillian couldn't help noting, extremely attractive. He outstretched his hand as he approached. "How are you?" he asked, grasping Cal's hand and shaking it firmly.
"Euphoric." Cal let his hand go quickly, and the man switched his attention to Gillian.
"Well hello..." He took her hand, his eyes locked on hers. "And who do we have here? Not going to introduce me, Cal?"
"Gillian Foster," she supplied, when Cal remained silent.
He nodded. "And you're Cal's..."
"Business partner," he echoed. "I see."
"And you are...?"
"Simon Whitehall. Pleased to meet you."
She shot a glance at Cal, who was quick to plaster a smile on his face. But not quick enough.
"So." She looked from Cal to Simon and back again. "Are you two going to tell me how you know each other?"
They were standing close to each other. Too close. His hand was on her waist, her arm was trailing up his, and then she was tapping on his arm, a ridiculously sexy smile on her face. Cal inched closer, hidden enough behind a woman in a lilac ball gown and her partner, but close enough to catch some of what she was saying.
"Just grab me... and kiss me..."
He'd heard enough. Perhaps it wasn't the most gentlemanly thing to do, abandon her at the party when they'd come together, but why should he play fair when she sure as hell wasn't? She knew how he felt about that bastard, and there she was, flirting with him anyway. He turned and walked away, not wanting to see another second.
"Okay. So tell me."
"Tell you what?"
They were dancing together; he wanted to focus on that, really, not this conversation. He wanted to memorise the image of her in his arms, the feel of her body against his and her arms around his neck. He sure as hell didn't want to be talking to her about Simon bloody Whitehall.
"You told me where you two met. He told me what great friends you were, before you lost touch. And you..." She gave him a pointed look. "You told me that you can't stand him. So, tell me why. What happened?"
"I didn't tell you anything."
She laughed softly. "Yes, you did, Cal. Perhaps not with words, but..." She trailed off, waiting for him to continue. "So?"
She glanced around, wondering where he was. What the hell am I doing? She smoothed her dress down, biting her lip lightly. This isn't you, Gillian, this isn't you... No, it wasn't. Maybe it was the champagne. Maybe it was something else. But what she was about to do was unlike anything she'd done before. She let out a nervous giggle, which she quickly turned into a smile when she saw him approach. His arousal was evident in his body language, his posture, his face, his eyes. He wanted her. Smiling, she slipped her hands into his, pulling him closer to her.
"Does there need to be anything else?" he asked, raising his voice slightly. "He knew I liked her. And he just..." He shot a contemptuous glance in the direction they'd last seen Simon heading. Having refused to tell her at first why he hated the guy so much, he'd eventually been prompted to do so after they bumped into him again, when he realised Foster had no intention of letting it go.
"It's nothing you haven't done," she pointed out gently, and he glared at her.
"So, that's ok then, is it? That arrogant prick steals my girlfriend, but I'm supposed to just forgive him because A, I haven't always been an angel myself, and B, you fancy him."
"Who said I fancy him?"
"I'm not deflecting, it's a valid question. Did I say I was attracted him?"
"You don't have to say these things, Foster. I can see, remember?"
"So, you've been reading me? Is that what you're telling me?"
He snorted. "I'm going to the bar."
"Now who's deflecting?"
"I'm stating facts. If you're going to flirt with that girlfriend-stealing, arrogant bastard all night, then I'm going to go and get hammered."
"Oh, I'm sure that'll make everything better," she said sarcastically, but he merely shrugged.
"Usually does. Off you go then. Flirt with Mr 'I don't give a damn about my friends I'm just going to screw them over because I'm a selfish, heartless wanker'. I'm sure he'd love to dance."
"That's who you were looking for earlier, right?" He took his answer from her face. "I knew it."
"Cal," she said again, feeling this conversation was becoming entirely too one-sided.
"Why don't you really put some icing on the cake and go and be nice to Benton as well?"
"Cal..." She reached for his arm, but he stepped away.
"Have a nice night, Foster."
He took another sip of his drink, then placed it back on the bar a little harder than he'd intended.
"Something on your mind?" The attractive brunette next to him tilted her head as she spoke, her bright red lips quirking into a smile. "Perhaps it's something I can help you with?"
"Thanks love, but I think apologies are better coming from the source." He drained his glass and stood up. "Truth be told, I've been a bit of an idiot. And there's someone I need to make it up to."
He saw the disappointment on her face, but wasn't going to dwell on it. He needed to find Foster, hoping his behaviour earlier hadn't pushed her away. Or, worse, into the arms of the wrong person. Not that anyone's arms were right for her in his mind unless they were his own, but there were some people he could tolerate her being with more than others, and Simon Whitehall was not one of them. It was bad enough he'd stolen Cal's girlfriend all those years ago – and shown no hint of regret about it either – but Foster...
He pushed his way through the crowds, scanning the faces desperately, hoping she was still there. And still alone.
"First Whitehall, now this guy," he muttered. "What did I do to deserve this?"
"What's that?" When he ignored her question, she went and stood in front of him, moving her head to catch his eyes until he reluctantly met her gaze. "Cal?"
"What guy?" she asked patiently, but he merely scoffed. She rolled her eyes. "Let me guess. Another of your nemeses."
"Nemeses? What am I, a super-hero?" He gave her a small grin, and she smiled back at him.
"Go on, then. Tell me. What did this guy do? Push you over in the playground?"
"So... why do you have that look on your face?"
"I don't have–" He broke off abruptly, and she didn't need to ask why.
"Cal Lightman! Well I never!" The man before them clapped Cal on the shoulder, grinning widely. "How are things? Still annoying the hell out of people with that mind-reading crap of yours?"
"Benton." He didn't bother to hide the contempt in his voice, but Gillian could see the man hadn't noticed anything.
"Jason Benton." He stuck his hand out to Gillian, and she gave him a slightly limp handshake in response to his firm grip.
"Gillian," he repeated. "Don't tell me you're here with this one?" He jerked his thumb towards Cal with a laugh.
"I am, yes," she said smoothly, removing her hand from his and letting it fall to her side.
"So how much did you pay her?" He laughed loudly at his own joke. "Because seriously, Cal, we both know you could never get a woman that gorgeous." He switched his gaze back to Gillian. "So, you guys work together? Is that how you managed to get her here?" He looked at Cal again, who merely gave him a falsely cheery smile.
"Smashing to see you again, Benton. Really, it has been. But now, do you think, you could bugger off and let us enjoy the rest of our evening?"
"Always the charmer, Cal."
"It takes one to know one."
"So, you're a benefactor? Calling people liars has become a million-dollar industry, has it?" He laughed again. "Or did you just sneak in with the caterers?"
"We're here at the invitation of Thomas Robin and Edward Harding, actually, they're close friends and business associates of ours," Gillian told him.
His gaze fixed firmly on her, he looked as though she'd just explained the theory of relativity to him. "Well, I'm not surprised. A beautiful woman like you... obviously very smart too... although..." He gave Cal a smile so full of condescension Gillian was surprised he didn't receive a smack for it. "You're with Cal, so maybe smart is giving you too much credit." He laughed, giving Cal a playful punch on the shoulder. "Good to see you again, Cal. Next time someone steals a stapler from my office, you know I'll be calling you and your team to come and catch the bad guys!" He gave Gillian a leering grin before heading off towards the dance floor.
"Nice friend you have there," she said lightly, looking at Cal when he didn't respond. His face was set, his eyes narrowed, his whole body seemed to have stiffened. "Cal," she said softly.
"Sodding bastard," he muttered. "What I wouldn't give to wipe that satisfied smirk off his stupid face. Stupid prick."
"He's not worth your time, Cal." She started peering around the room.
"Looking for someone?"
She answered too quickly, shifted her eyes back to his, gave him a smile that was just a little bit too bright. His scowl intensified.
"So... care to play a little game with me?"
"A game?" He shifted his body a little closer to hers. "Go on."
"You know the closet, just down the hall? You saw it when you came in?"
"Yes..." He looked at her questioningly, his eyes burning with arousal.
"Why don't I meet you there in... fifteen minutes?" She gave him a playful smile.
He inhaled, his eyes travelling lustfully down her body, then back up to her face. "Love to."
"You wait for me in there. No lights. No talking. I'll open the door, and when I come in I want you to grab me and kiss me." Her eyes were boring into his, and he swallowed again at the intensity of her gaze.
"How will I know it's you and not some janitor or something?"
She smiled that same playful smile. "I'll knock. A secret knock..." She began tapping lightly on his arm, repeating the pattern a couple of times until she was sure he had it memorised. "Okay?"
"Yeah," he breathed. "So you'll knock, and come in, and I'll..."
"Kiss me," she finished. "Like you've wanted to all night."
"Fifteen minutes." He grasped her hand and gave it a quick squeeze. "I'll see you then."
She smirked as he stepped away, then looked back at her over his shoulder with darkened pupils. She glanced at her watch, her smile widening.
He stalked towards the door, not even caring where she was. Probably dancing with that bastard right now... wrapping her arms round his neck... in some dark corner of the room, pressing her lips against... No. He wasn't going to think about that. Because he didn't care where she was. Just keep telling yourself that, Cal, he thought grimly as he headed out the door.
He walked out the doors to the function room, and was marching down the dark corridor towards the main exit when he suddenly heard her voice.
"Cal!" she hissed, and he turned around in confusion.
She was just around the corner, lurking like a naughty school girl.
"Where are you going?" she whispered.
"Never mind." She motioned for him to come towards her, which he did, slowly. "Quickly!"
"Foster... what the hell are you..."
"Ssh!" She peered around the corner, and Cal craned his neck to see what she was looking at. He couldn't help noticing that doing so meant their faces were close together, and if she turned around right now they'd probably bump noses.
The corridor was dark, but he could see someone walking towards them. As he got nearer, Cal recognised him. Whitehall. He was bouncing along, a confident grin on his face. He glanced over his shoulder, then stopped in front of the door to the janitor's closet they'd passed earlier. Then he raised his fist, and knocked a rhythm on the door. Suddenly Cal was grinning. He should have known Foster wasn't interested in that jerk. When she told him to meet her in the closet... she was just leading him on. Of course she wasn't really going to be there! He glanced at her to give her a pleased smile, but her eyes were focused on the door Whitehall was now opening. He stepped inside and closed the door, and Cal felt her take in a breath.
"What..." he began, but she held up a hand to silence him.
Seconds later the door burst open, and out came Whitehall, furiously wiping his lips.
"What the FUCK..."
Benton was right behind him, also wiping his lips and spitting on the floor.
"Who the hell are you?"
"Me? Who are YOU?" Whitehall was shouting angrily. "I came here to find Gillian!"
"Gillian? I was waiting for Gillian..."
She chose that moment to step out into the corridor, flicking a light switch as she did so, and Cal thought this moment was going to go down in history as one of the best of his life.
"Sorry, boys," she said, with mock sweetness. "I changed my mind. There's someone I'd much rather spend the evening with. Someone who's ten times – no, a hundred times – the man either of you will ever be." She turned, and Cal felt himself being tugged towards her by his tie until his lips crashed against hers. He had no idea how to respond to the kiss – Foster was kissing him, for Christ's sake – and then before he could think how to react, it was over. She smiled at him, tracing her finger lightly over his lips, before turning back to the other two men, both of whom were staring at her, gobsmacked.
"You two didn't care for the replacement I arranged, then?" she asked lightly, and Cal stepped in front of her when he saw Benton move towards her, his eyes narrowed, lips thinned.
"Goodnight, boys," she said, moving to the side, clearly unafraid. "I'd love to stay and chat, but Cal and I must be getting home." Hooking her arm through his, she turned them around and started walking up the corridor. Still a little stunned, Cal walked with her, resisting the urge to turn around. He'd expected some verbal retaliation from one or both of the two, but he suspected they were too shocked – and humiliated, he thought with satisfaction – to think what to say.
They walked the rest of the corridors in silence, and it was only when they reached the main doors and stepped into the cool night air that he broke it.
"Foster... what the hell was that?"
She turned to look at him, her cheeks flushed, eyes bright. "I just didn't like those guys. They weren't exactly nice to you. So I thought they deserved a little... punishment."
"Yeah, yeah, I get that," he said hurriedly. "And top marks to you because that, well, it was bloody brilliant."
She smiled, pleased. "I can't believe I actually went through with it. They were just such... idiots, you know?"
"I know, love," he laughed. "Although 'idiot' is too mild a word in my book, but..." He stopped walking, and caught her arm so she did the same, turning her so she was facing him. "I didn't mean that."
"The kiss," he said softly. "What the hell was that about, Foster?"
"The icing on the cake," she said immediately. "What happened in the closet was priceless, but I needed to make my point, you know? That I did it for a reason... that they're jerks who can't treat people that way, and that my loyalties will always lie with you, and you're a much better man than either of them, and..." She was rambling slightly, and stopped, giving him a nervous smile. "I thought you were going to miss it, I couldn't find you when it was nearly time to tell you what was going on, and then you just appeared..."
He studied her face closely. "Is that it?"
"Is what it?"
"Is that the only reason you kissed me?"
She turned away, and he thought he'd pushed her too far; clearly she didn't want him to read her, but why, he couldn't know for certain. Then she was looking at him again, and he was surprised to see that she was laughing.
"What's so funny?"
She just continued to laugh, the beautiful sound that he loved to hear so much, and he found himself grinning back at her.
"Come on." She looped her arm through his again, and together they walked down the street, still laughing.