Summary- Takes place after S2. My version of S3.
JUST A REMINDER- FOR THE FULL EFFECT (INCLUDING PICTURES AND OTHER FEATURES) READ THIS STORY ON MY LJ! LINK ON MY PROFILE
"Did you get my gift?" Alex asked with a knowing smirk on her lips as she walked the brightly lit up streets of Manhattan's club scene.
Neal shook his head, "How did you…?" He trailed off as he spun in place for the second time in ten minutes to make sure what he was seeing was really there. He was standing in a storage unit, but this was not a normal unit. Normal units were not filled to the brim with priceless art and countless artifacts, "When did you…?"
Alex let out a tinkling laugh. She gripped onto her phone more tightly as she rapidly crossed the street, ignoring the honk from a taxi it earned her for jaywalking in front of him, "Maybe I noticed a bit more about that warehouse than what I told the feds… and maybe I didn't go straight home last night."
Neal shook his head in wonder, a large grin on his face, before suddenly a dark look overcame his handsome visage, "Why did you do this? Why did you give them to me?" Neal knew Alex a long time and she rarely did anything for free. Giving up billions of dollars was not like her.
Pausing in the middle of the sidewalk, she thought carefully before replying, "I knew that you wouldn't sell them. You love art; that's why you steal. It was never about the money with you; not really. It was getting to touch it, admire it, experience it in person." Neal was awed by her. She spoke softly, her affection for Neal evident in every word and he couldn't be more humbled. He choked out a laugh as she continued speaking, "Besides, when you're done admiring it, I'm sure you'll make several replicas, con billions of dollars worth before eventually giving the original to some museum to be admired by the masses."
Neal grinned as he switched his phone to the other ear, freeing his hand to reach out and touch a sculpture, "And let me guess. When I sell my replicas, you want a cut."
"Of course," Alex teased in an affronted voice, "Fifty-fifty."
"That hardly seems fair. I'll be doing all the hard work," He teased back as he squatted down to exam a painting, "God, Alex. Have you seen these? They're-"
"Gorgeous," She smiled. She paused in thought before stepping out into the street and hailing a cab, "And you will not be doing the hard work. I gave you these. I could easily just sell it and be done with it. I'm allowing you this opportunity. Plus, you know you'll end up coming to me to fence the fakes when you do make them."
Neal grinned in delight, "Fair enough," He said, his eyes sparkling as he once again took in all the priceless artifacts now in his possession, "Alex… You have no idea how much this means to me. Thank you."
Alex was climbing into a cab when he spoke. She smiled softly, despite the fact that he couldn't see her and replied easily, "You're welcome. I'm heading over. Be there in twenty." She hung up before Neal could reply and rattled off the address to the cabbie.
She arrived ten minutes late due to late night club traffic. She hoisted the purse higher on her shoulder and walked into the storage warehouse. Alex wound expertly through the units before opening unit A. She made her way past her collection of emergency loot (in case she needed money quickly) and went through to the back which was concealed by a large amount of boxes. She smiled as she leaned against one of the wooden crates. Neal was sitting cross legged on the floor staring at one of the paintings, just soaking in the art.
"I hope you realize I'm not getting you a Christmas or birthday gift for the rest of your life," She teased quietly.
He didn't move a muscle having heard the clack of her heels when she walked in. He didn't draw his eyes from the painting, instead reaching a hand out and gesturing for her to come over. She dropped her purse and sat next to him, smiling in delighted surprise when he wrapped his arm around her warmly and tugged her into his side.
"We were never Christmas card people anyway," He murmured as if he felt he needed to be quiet out of respect for the art.
Alex grinned widely and snuggled into his side. Who knows when she'd be this close to him again? She was going to take advantage of it while she could. She stared at the painting that had captivated Neal and easily saw why it had.
"Wow," She whispered, taking in the large sweeping strokes of bright blue, mixing with the short even tones of beige and yellow, "It's…"
"Amazing," Neal finished, finally drawing his eyes away from the canvas to stare down at her. This time it was Alex who couldn't look away from the frame. He took in the sparkle in her eyes as they flickered over every inch of the artwork, taking in all the features that made it beautiful. She probably didn't even know it, but her mouth was spread into a soft smile. That's what he loved about Alex. She was one of the few thieves that appreciated what they stole for more than the dollar sign attached to it. They were similar in that regard, though she tended to stray more toward artifacts than art.
Alex seemed to finally sense his eyes on her because she turned to face him. She startled slightly as she realized how close their faces were and her eyes began to fall to his lips. He reached a hand out to cup the back of her head and lead her to his mouth. A soft groan escaped her mouth as their lips touched.
She knew that she would always love Neal. After eight years without her feelings fading once, she finally made peace with that. But yesterday, she had finally allowed herself to let him go. She had always hoped that once he got over Kate, he could come back to her. But while he was clearly ready to move on, it was apparent that he wanted to do it with that girl Sara. When Alex called him her 'unattainable treasure' she saw the sad look of regret in his eyes. She knew that Neal never wanted to hurt her, but that didn't mean that he loved her. Despite the kiss they had shared at the dock, Alex let him go because she could finally admit that she wasn't the one he wanted.
And yet, here they were kissing in front of some of the world's most precious artifacts.
Alex drew back to look him in the eyes, searching for some kind of answer. He was the only person in the world that could make her feel like this: exhilarated, scared, confused, hopeful and sad, all at the same time.
Neal also searched her gaze; saw the hope and the sadness, the thrill and the fear. He leaned in and touched his lips to hers again. He had always been attracted to Alex, but he hadn't felt this deep connection to her since they had dated eight years ago. Yesterday, he had been surprised when his well intentioned hug had led to something more. Alex had always been willing to make the first move, but this time it was Neal who leaned in first. Trust him to rediscover that burning spark with Alex just as he and Sara began making headway.
His hand reached out to tangle in Alex's messy brown locks. He slowly began lowering her to the hard cement. His hand drifted down to the edge of her blue handkerchief dress and made its way up, taking the hem with it. She shifted easily allowing him to draw it over her head. Her eyes were locked on his face, waiting for any sign that this could be some sort of trick. After spending so long wanting it, she was reluctant to believe it could just be handed to her on a platter like this. Sensing her weariness, Neal reached lower and gently unbuckled her white wedge sandals and slipped them off her feet. He gently massaged her feet for a few moments, relaxing Alex with his gentle touches.
He quickly made his way back up her body and leaned down to cover her lips with his own, his hand reaching back to unclasp her lacy blue bra. He moved down and nuzzled his face into her cleavage slightly before lowering his mouth to lave attention on her breasts, drawing a moan. His fingers worked the button and fly of her blue jeans and shoved them down her hips. He hardened further as he felt her wiggle against him in an effort to remove the offending piece of clothing.
She drew his mouth away from her breast and back up to her lips while simultaneously untying his red tie and unbuttoning his white button up. She pushed the shirt off his shoulders and paused to allow him to get them off his hands. Then she reached down to the edge of his wife beater and tugged it up, separating from his mouth long enough to get it over his head. He took the opportunity to stare down at Alex, soaking up her beauty. She was hard and lean, her small body packed with toned muscle and best of all, she was clad in nothing but her matching lacy panties.
Tired of being stared at, Alex reached up to cup the back of Neal's neck, pulling him in for another kiss. She reached down to undo his slacks. She hooked her fingers into the tops of both his pants and his boxer briefs before shoving them down his hips swiftly. He had to pause to kick off his shoes before removing his them fully. He also reached out to tug her panties off, leaving both of them naked.
Unwilling to let Alex lay on the cold dirty cement floor for this, Neal gripped her tightly and rolled them over so that she was on top. Alex smiled into his mouth at his chivalry before gasping as his hand reached down to do something decidedly un-chivalrous to her body. She shuddered and moaned, finally backing away from their long make out session, as Neal re-learned all the best ways to touch Alex.
"Now. Please," She begged in a whimper. Neal withdrew his hand from where it had been thrusting deeply into her body and instead gripped her hips tightly. He helped her as she lifted herself up and dropped herself torturously slow onto his dick. He hissed at the sensation and gripped her hips tightly to keep her from moving. It had been six years since he had last had sex and he needed every ounce of will power not to come right there and then. As his mind took in the tight heat Alex's body provided, he wondered why the hell he didn't do this the moment he saw her again.
After a moment, Neal felt sufficiently in control enough to allow Alex to move over his body. She whimpered as she rode his body, starting off at a slow pace to help Neal but quickly forgetting that as she began chasing her climax. Neal thrust up, gently at first but with increasing intensity. Sweat built up on their bodies and between Neal's long period of celibacy and Alex's eight year anticipation, neither lasted as long as they had intended.
Alex collapsed on top of Neal in exhaustion as his arms automatically wrapped around her lithe body. After a few minutes of catching their breath, Alex moved off of Neal and curled into his side. They sat quietly in thought as their minds fought to catch up with what they just did.
"You know, I really don't understand your fashion sense," Neal finally mused aloud, playing with the thick ribbon strap of her dress.
"Excuse me?" She asked, pulling away to look at him, slightly offended.
He grinned easily, raising his hands in defense, "I just meant that you have very eclectic taste. When we first met you were, what, twenty?" Alex nodded in agreement, "But you looked like you were twenty five, maybe older. When you're in your rocker clothes, you always look early to mid-twenties. And then you put something like this on and I worry that you're jailbait because you look like you're barely out of high school or something," The last one was an exaggeration, but not by much. In her cute handkerchief ribbon top and jeans, she looked like a typical college kid.
"Different styles for different cons," Alex shrugged.
"Well, yeah, but you're not working a con right now. I can become whatever I need to be, but when I'm not working, I like my expensive suits and my fedora. You… never seem to settle on a style. That's all I'm saying."
Alex hmm-ed noncommittally as she thought about what he was saying, "I suppose I don't really have a preferred style. It's sorta like food. You can't eat just one kind everyday, you gotta have variety. That's how I feel about my clothes. I wear whatever I feel like wearing that day."
"So, what you're saying is you have clothing cravings?" Neal joked, earning him a small shove.
Alex sighed and sat up, reaching over Neal's naked body for her underwear and began redressing. Neal watched her for a moment before reaching out to do the same. Soon they were fully clothed and awkwardly facing each other.
Neal sighed and decided to bite the bullet, "Look, about this… I don't know what it is. It just seems like we might have another chance at this." Alex nodded slowly. A second chance at their relationship was a hell of a lot more than what she expected from him. "But, I do like Sara too and I don't want to hurt her. I'm proposing that whatever this is, for the moment, we make it casual."
She paused to absorb his words before agreeing easily to his request. She had never thought she'd have this opportunity again and she was more than willing to share him if it meant that she could gain even a portion of him in return. Alex smiled and informed him that she was leaving for a week to meet a contact in Hong Kong about a possible heist before leaving Neal, once again, alone in the warehouse surrounded by art.
Neal sighed as he thought about how complicated his life was getting. There was Alex and Sara; that seemed partially resolved now that Alex had agreed to keeping things casual. Now, the only major problem was Peter and the art. Peter already suspected that Neal stole the artifacts out from Adler's nose. Neal could just hide away some of the more valuable pieces and then turn the rest in to Peter explaining that Alex switched out the pieces and then gave them to him. Alex wouldn't be happy, but she had given them to Neal, so he was technically free to do what he wanted with them.
His mind made up, he reached out for his cell phone just as it began to ring. He looked down and was surprised to see Peter's name looking back at him. He knew the FBI agent was still mad about Neal's supposed scam, so he was curious to see what this could be about. But first he had to tell his friend the truth, "Peter, hey. Listen, I have something to tell you. You would not believe-" Neal was abruptly cut off by Peter's terse voice.
"Neal. Listen to me. Adler made bail. I'm sorry. He's gone."