It was quite late by the time Cal parked at the Lightman Group. As he got out of the car, he glanced at the miner's hat that sat on the passenger seat. He wasn't sure why he had taken it with him, and even less sure what impulse made him put it on now, but he smiled to himself as he switched on the headlamp and made his way through the darkened halls.
He could hear "Ole Blue Eyes" crooning This Love of Mine softly in the background, and he smiled, remembering when he had given that CD to Foster one Christmas early on in their partnership. It had once been a staple of her playlist but he couldn't remember hearing it any time recently. He wondered what had prompted this revival.
This love of mine goes on and on,
Tho' life is empty since you have gone.
You're always on my mind, tho' out of sight.
It's lonesome through the day,
But oh, the night.
When he reached his office and spotted Torres passed out on the couch, he got his answer ... apparently the girls had been hitting the bottle. Unfortunately, Foster's song choice couldn't tell him whether their little binge was a celebration or a ritual drowning of sorrows. As he walked further into the room, he saw the open door to the balcony. With his headlamp lighting the way, he went out to see what Foster was up to, glad that the light on his brow would hide his face until he took a measure of the situation. After all, he had yet again left her up to her elbows in a mess of his own creation.
As he rounded the corner, he found her staring up at the night sky. When she turned and her, "Hi," became as much a giggle as a greeting, he knew it was all right.
Smiling, she gazed upwards. "I never knew there were so many stars," she said nonsensically, since even this late, the ambient light of D.C. hid all but the strongest sparkles.
"There aren't," he replied stifling a smile, unable to resist the urge to tease her a bit. "That's my very expensive scotch talking."
"Oh, what's mine is mine ..." she said, swaying a bit. "Render unto Caesar, you know, and all that," she continued as she made an encompassing gesture with her hands that nearly caused her to lose her precarious balance.
Cal couldn't help but smile. Even drunk, his partner was a master of the understated message. In one simple statement she let him know exactly what she thought he deserved and called him on his despotic tendencies at the same time. But Cal was having far to much fun watching this rare glimpse of her with her inhibitions lowered to bite at the bait. Besides, she was right.
Instead, he deflected,"Loker's earned his stripes, finally."
She ignored him, instead resting a hand on his shoulder for balance as she removed her heels, perhaps feeling the need to be on steadier ground before she said whatever she had in mind.
"The FBI, they won't be back."
Ah, he thought, so that's where this is going. "That scotch was a gift from a very grateful client," he said, still deflecting. But this time, rather than an making effort at hiding, he was simply trying to prolong the moment. Drunk but determined Foster was bloody well adorable.
"Johnny Wheels was a client?" she asked, tapping one of her shoes against his chest. She held his gaze and looked, at least temporarily, more sober.
Cal understood what she was saying, or more accurately, everything she wasn't saying. She knew why he had done what he had done ... knew that he really didn't have any choice but to save Johnny. He smiled.
"You have had a good day, haven't you."
"And you're gonna thank me for it," she told him as she closed her eyes and tilted her head back. "You're gonna say thank you ... and I'm gonna stand here until you do."
Her gaze came back to his face and held there as she waited. He couldn't resist stalling, but his face gave him away. Gillian swayed forward, giggling as she fell into his arms and buried her face in the crook of his neck. She felt so right, so warm and pliable in his embrace. He slid a hand around her waist and brought the other up to stroke her hair as he cradled her, swaying together in a dance as old as mankind.
I ask the sun, the moon,
the stars that shine.
What's to become of it,
This love of mine ...
She reached up and patted his helmet before muttering, "I'm waiting." Then she pulled away to watch him make his apology in words as well as gestures.
He waited until her eyes focused on his, and then, letting all his gratitude and all his love show on his face, he answered her. "Thank you for cleaning up my mess, Gillian."
"I can't wait until tomorrow," she said as she looked away, seeming to need a moment to take in all the emotion he was showing her.
"Why, what's tomorrow?"
She held his gaze again and spoke carefully. "I get better looking every day."
Cal had to smile as she quoted his own words back at him - especially since, in her case, they were infinitely more appropriate. Then his heart jumped as she reached up and switched off the lamp on his helmet. Their eyes locked together and they moved closer, giving in to the forces that swirled between them.
This love of mine ...
"Time to lose this," Gillian said as she knocked the helmet from his head.
It fell to the ground, the clatter it made unnoticed as they came together, lips meeting softly at first, then more urgently as her mouth opened underneath his in an invitation he couldn't resist. As his tongue found hers, he held her tight, feeling as though he could never get her quite close enough to still his longing.
This love of mine ...
His mouth traced a burning path down her neck. She tilted her head back and gave a little moan as his lips teased at her pulse point. Sliding his hands up under her top, his fingers played along her ribs as he caressed her silky skin. He wanted to touch all of her, kiss every part, explore every soft and sexy inch of her.
Inhibitions lower by the whiskey, Gillian shifted so that one of her legs slid between his own. then she pressed up against him, twisting her hips as she sought the sweet friction their contact created. He groaned a bit as she ground against him, feeling like a teenager, ready to explode at the slightest of contact.
He would have taken her right then, right there - on the balcony with Torres asleep inside - if she hadn't stumbled a bit. Her momentary loss of balance reminded him just how drunk she was and he forced himself to pull away.
Gillian shivered a bit as the cool night air replaced the heat of his body. She tried to pull him back, but he resisted. He cupped her chin in his hand and gazed into her eyes, smiling inwardly at the naked lust they revealed.
"Gillian, love, you're too drunk to know what you're doing."
" 'M fine," she mumbled back, fisting her hands in his shirt to hold him close.
"You're better than fine, in fact, you're bloody amazing ... but you're also royally plastered. I'm not going to let you do something you'll regret in the morning, love."
"No regrets," she said as she reached up to trace his lower lip with her finger, "no regrets, just more kisses."
"Not tonight." Caressing her cheek with his hand he smiled as he gazed at her. "You're wrong, you know."
" 'Bout what," she asked with a confused expression on her face.
"You get more beautiful every second," he said, tucking a stray lock of hair behind her ear.
Then he bent to gather up her heels, and with one arm around her for support, he led her back into the building. As they passed by Torres, who was still snoring softly on the couch, Gillian tugged to stop him.
"What about her?" she asked.
Cal looked down at his young employee, who was still asleep, with her head now hanging off the edge of the couch. "She'll have a stiff neck in the morning. Not my problem, one drunken woman is all I can handle."
Gillian giggled at his words and he hugged her close again and continued towards the door. They were partway down the hall when Gillian pulled away and headed for the breakroom.
"The car is that way, love," Cal protested.
"Know that," Gillian said, making a little moue of disdain. "Gotta get something."
Cal watched, amused as she made her way unsteadily towards the fridge and selected two bottles. When she got back to him, she held them up like prizes.
"Coconut water?" he asked, reading the labels.
"I got 'em before I raided your stash. Is good for hangovers. Has lots of shlectro ... uh, ectro ...um, lectro-ites." She told him, nodding sagely.
"Those too. And it tastes good," she said as she took a swig before offering him the bottle.
He sniffed at it suspiciously before taking a small swallow and making a face. "Ugh, too sweet. How do you drink the stuff?"
" 'S good."
"Whatever you say, love."
He continued down the hall, and minutes later had her stashed in the passenger seat of his car. She was mostly silent on the trip to her house, gazing out the window with a smile on her face and taking swigs from first one then the other bottle of her miraculous coconut water.
When they reached her house, she didn't protest as he guided her down the hall to her bedroom. Pulling back the covers, he sat her down on the edge and went in search of some sort of sleepwear. He rummaged through her dresser drawers, biting his lip a little at the sight of her silky lingerie, until he found an oversize sleep shirt. He laid it beside her on the bed and stepped back.
"Sleepy time, sweetheart. I'm going to leave you to change but I'll be back to check on you in a bit."
While he was waiting, Cal looked into the spare bedroom and was happy to see that the bed was made up and ready. He shucked off his shoes and jacket before padding back down the hall to make sure that Gillian was safely ensconced in her own bed.
She had left the bedside light on, and when he peered through her doorway, he saw her clothes in a pile beside her bed. And right next to them was the sleep shirt. He slid in silently and reached for the light switch but took a moment to stare at her before he switched it off. His breath hitched as she shifted in her sleep exposing the creamy curve of one breast beneath the covers.
He bent over and placed a gently kiss on her cheek and then, humming softly, he whispered the last line of the Sinatra song into her ear.
What's to become of this love of mine ...
With a final backward glance, he shut of the light and headed for the guest room.
Despite the late hour, Cal found himself unable to fall asleep. The events of the evening kept turning themselves over in his head in various arousing ways. After forty-five minutes of tossing and turning he gave up and headed for the living room, intent on finding some of the medicine that was allowing Gillian to slumber so soundly. After hunting around in Gillian's liquor cabinet, he finally located a bottle of Chivas. It couldn't hold a candle to the fifty year old Macallan special release that Gillian and Ria had consumed, but it was drinkable. Glass in hand, he switched on Gillian's sound system with the volume turned low, leaving it to play whatever mix she had programed in, and settled himself onto the couch to wait for the alcohol to take effect.
He began to feel a pleasant buzz as he sipped his drink and listened to the stereo rotate through romantic classics from the past fifty years. From Sinatra to Streisand, Carole King to Clapton, the one abiding theme was love. Even after all she had been through, it was clear his partner still remained a hopeless romantic.
Even with the alcohol, Cal remained awake, each song dredging up new thoughts of Gillian, sleeping just down the hall. Finally, the pull became too much and he rose, still holding his glass, and made his way down the hall, slipping into her room and letting the light from hall guide him to the overstuffed armchair that sat in the corner. He flopped into the chair with his usual abandon, one leg hooked over the padded arm and his head lolling far to the other side.
Then he watched her. Watched her sleep. Watched her breathe. Tried to soak in every detail of the unguarded expression slumber had brought to her face. She looked so young and vulnerable as she muttered a bit and snuggled deeper into the covers, but Cal knew that was deceiving. She was one of the strongest women he knew - after all, she stood up to him. And despite the way he treated her, the way he pushed her away and flaunted other women, here in the dark, with her asleep, he could admit the truth. He loved her so much it scared him.
Finally,the combination of her rhythmic breathing and the Chivas he had now finished lulled his restless mind. He knew he should move to the guest room or run the risk of a cramped back in the morning, but he couldn't bring himself to leave her side. Drooping lower and lower in the chair, he finally succumbed and closed his eyes.
Cal didn't really remember falling asleep, but the next thing he knew he was being awakened by a slap on his leg. His eyes fluttered open to find Gillian, finally wearing the barely thigh length nightshirt, shoving his leg off the arm of the chair before sitting down there herself.
"What are you doing here, Cal?"
"Bloody hell, Gill, what time is it?" Cal asked as he squinted into the still dim light.
"Six. And you didn't answer my question."
"I couldn't very well leave you considering the state you were in last night. In case you don't remember, you and my Macallan got very friendly."
"I remember, and that's not what I mean," Gillian said as she gave him a piercing look. "What are you doing sleeping in a chair in my bedroom? I wasn't that drunk."
Cal didn't answer. He looked away, afraid she would read his face too easily and the complicated mix of emotions that had kept him in her chair would send her running away, hurrying to redraw the line she had crossed so willingly last night. As the silence grew, he noticed the faint strains of a song on the stereo he had left running last night filtering softly into the room.
Wise men say, only fools rush in
But I can't help
Falling in love with you.
Finally, Cal realized that there was no way he could put what had happened last night back into the box it escaped from. It didn't matter that Gill had been quite thoroughly plastered, in fact it might have made their kiss even more honest. And so he answered her honestly as well.
"I wanted to," he whispered. Then he looked up at her and repeated it more strongly. "I wanted to ... be near you."
Gillian held his gaze without speaking as Elvis continued to croon in the background.
Shall I stay, would it be a sin
If I can't help
Falling in love with you.
Wordlessly she reached out her hand to caress his cheek, her chest rising and falling as her breathing deepened. Her eyes darted back and forth across his face, checking and rechecking as if looking for the barbed comment he usually had hiding in reserve. It was amazing that two people so good at seeing lies would also be so adept at lying to one another. But not this time.
Somehow they both knew that they couldn't go one like they had been. That the lies they had designed to protect themselves had become lashes instead, lashes they used to flog themselves and each other. Now was the time for the truth. The wordless, wonderful, frightening truth.
Take my hand, take my whole life too
For I can't help
Falling in love with you
Cal reached up to grasp the hand that was still cupping his cheek. He twined his fingers gently through hers and then pulled her towards him, delighting in the girlish giggle she gave as she tumbled into his lap. Once she landed safely, he threaded a hand into her hair and claimed her lips with his own. The kiss was gentle at first, but when he felt her lips part beneath his it was more than he could stand. He crushed her to him as he devoured her mouth with his own.
She met his onslaught just as hungrily, one hand sliding behind his neck and the other wrapping around him as she shifted on his lap drawing a groan from him as she pressed up against his rapidly hardening cock. His mouth left her lips to trace a burning path down her neck, pausing to nip at her sensitive pulse point as she threw her head back in abandon.
Her nightshirt had already slid off of one shoulder and he pushed it further as he continued to kiss and lick his way down to her softly rounded breast. She moaned when he found her nipple and drew it into his mouth, laving it with his tongue before sucking hard at the sensitive nub. Gillian shivered and leaned even further into him.
Suddenly, even the thin nightshirt seemed like too many layers between them. Leaning away for a moment, he grasped the flimsy fabric with both hands and pulled it over her head. She took advantage of the space between them to do the same for him, removing his tee shirt in one smooth move. Then they came together again, skin against skin, and Cal groaned at the feel of her breasts against his chest.
He wanted to taste and touch every inch of her but that wasn't possible in the chair. He slid his hands down and under her ass as he stood up, still holding her close to him, unwilling to be parted even for the few steps it took to reach the bed.
He laid her down and took a moment to just look at her before he joined her on the bed. She was so beautiful, lying there, her hair mussed and skin flushed, squirming slightly as though she could actually feel his gaze sweep along her body.
Like a river flows, surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
Some things are meant to be
Cal laid down on the bed, propping himself up on one elbow as he used his free hand to stroke the length of Gillian's body. Starting at her shoulder, he trailed his fingers across her breasts, pausing to lazily circle one before proceeding to the taut expanse of her stomach. Tracing a path that curved outward to glide across her hip, and then back in to caress the soft skin of her inner thigh, he watched as her muscles tensed and jumped beneath his hand.
I can't help
Falling in love with you.
He had given her a long overdue thank you last night but he hadn't told her how sorry he was for the way he had been treating her recently. This would be his apology. He would speak to her with his hands, worship her with his mouth, ask for forgiveness with his body.
He looked at her once more. "You are so beautiful, love," he whispered
Then he replaced his fingers with his lips and began the journey all over again. The skin over her collarbone, the hollow above her hip, the crook of her knee, he touched and tasted her everywhere until she was quivering with desire as she waited for him to finally find her center.
Finally, he paused again, his head between her thighs. She could feel his breath warm against her sensitive skin and she squirmed a bit, pressing her hips up towards him in wordless longing. Slowly, so very slowly, he took one finger and ran it up between her folds, barely grazing her clit. She was so wet, and the small mewling gasp she made as his finger passed over its target made his erection jump in anticipation, but he was determined to take his time.
He lowered his head and let his tongue trace the same path his fingers had just taken, but this time, instead of abandoning her, he let his tongue swirl around her center, drawing even more gasps of pleasure from her lips. Then he slid one mobile finger into her and began to work it in and out, following the rhythm his tongue was playing elsewhere. Her fingers clenched into fist in his hair as he added another finger, curling them upward to find that special spot and humming against her clit as she bucked upward in response.
"Oh, Cal. Oh my God, Cal," she moaned as she neared her release.
The sound of her speaking his name in the throes of passion nearly undid him and he knew he couldn't control himself much longer. Quickening the pace of his fingers, he closed his mouth around her sensitive nub and sucked gently, running his tongue back and forth across it at the same time. With an inarticulate cry, she came and the taste of her flooded his mouth.
He raised his head and looked back up along her body. Her eyes were heavy lidded, their pupils dark with lust, and her hair mussed where it spread across the pillows. He could hardly believe that this was Gillian. His most perfect and imperturbable Gillian, who was lying here, loose limbed and flushed, the very picture of wanton abandon.
Quickly he stood up and shucked off his jeans and boxers, his eyes never leaving her face even as he rejoined her on the bed. He settled himself between her legs, his throbbing erection grazing her sex, and cupped her face with both hands. He leaned forward to claim her mouth again as her hand wandered downward, wrapping itself around the hot, solid length of him. Her tongue traced the outline of his lips and he could feel her smile as she tasted herself on him. Then she gently grazed her nails up the sensitive underside of his cock and Cal's body jerked involuntarily.
She smiled again. "I want you, Cal. I want to feel you inside me," she said as she guided his towards her entrance.
"Oh, Gill. My Gill ..." he moaned as with one smooth thrust he buried himself deep inside her.
He stayed motionless for a moment, savoring this sensation he had fantasized about for so long, sheathed to the hilt in her warm wetness. Then he felt her muscles contract around him and he could wait no longer. Slowly at first, his pace quickening as they found their rhythm together, he slid in and out of her, almost leaving her and then swiftly thrusting back in when her heard her moan at the loss of him. All coherent thoughts left him and there was nothing but Gill, his love, his better half, and the feel of her, tight and warm around him.
He had no idea how long it was, for it felt like only moments before he knew he was rising to his climax. He slid a hand between them and traced insistent circles on her clit as his thrusts became faster and more uncontrolled. Gillian threw her head back with a cry and her muscles clenched around him as she came again. That was all it took for Cal, with one final thrust he spilled himself inside her and collapsed against her, cock still twitching in the final throes of his orgasm.
They stayed that way for a while. Still joined and both incapable of words as he slowly went limp inside her. Finally, he rolled to the side, slipping out of her, and came to rest beside her. His gaze was searching as he propped himself up on one hand and waited to read her reaction on her face. Her eyes slowly opened and she reached up to brush the sweat dampened hair from his forehead.
"That was wonderful," she breathed, and he felt the small nervous knot in his stomach release.
Then his mouth quirked up in a smile and he gave in to the oh-so-very-Cal urge to tease her just a little. "So, have you learned your lesson?" he asked with a grin.
"What lesson," she queried as her brow furrowed itself in pleasant confusion.
"Next time you raid my stash, you don't need to share it with Torres. Remember, one drunk woman is all I can handle."
Gillian reached a hand around to swat him affectionately on the shoulder and buried her face in his neck, smothering her giggles against his bare shoulder. It felt so right to hold this wonderful, silly, amazing woman naked in his arms and Cal vowed to himself, and silently to her, never again to let her go.