Okay, here's a little more froth for your mid-week...


Gillian stood before her closet, the bath wrap securely around her.

She'd been soaking in the tub for the past half hour, allowing the moisture beads of her favorite bubble bath to caress and soften her skin. It had been relaxing to the point of nap inducing so she'd gone out of her way to keep her thoughts active. And as much as she attempted to redirect them, they stubbornly kept going back to one thing: Cal.

This felt so bizarre. All these years of flirting and sexual tension and it took one terrifying ordeal at the Lightman Group to give them the push, or actually, the shove they needed. It's not like he hadn't put himself in danger before but to this point those incidents had been nebulous. Most often she found out about them after the fact and although they'd angered her, distance had taken away most of the bite of fear. This was the first (and please let it be the only) time where she'd witnessed his mortality with her own eyes. It had been so close. Although he'd kept his expression neutral, his eyes had told her an entirely different story.

She felt a shudder run through her. No. She wasn't going to think about that any longer. He was safe. They all were.

Her eyes and thoughts fell back to the task at hand. There were several possibilities. Blue for her eyes, form-fitting deep pink, traditional little black dress (of course she had several of those with varying degrees of skin exposure), light rose to match her nails…

Normally ADD wasn't something that had ever been a problem for her. That was more Cal's department but once again, her brain pulled her away and she found herself thinking about soft drunken kisses, followed by sober kisses delivered with much more finesse. And then she thought about naked Twister and snorted in laughter. Well, that was attractive. At least he wasn't here to run with it though. Not yet.

Of course he would be very soon and here she was still standing in a towel.

Making an executive decision, she stepped forward and grabbed a hanger.


Cal left the shower in a rush of steam and quickly took advantage to closely shave his moisture softened whiskers. He knew she was used to seeing him with, at best, a five o'clock shadow, at worst, just this side of Grizzly Adams so he thought it might be a pleasant surprise for her to see him cleanly shorn.

This whole situation had turned odd very quickly but in a good way. He just needed to get past the "I shouldn't be picturing her naked" phase. Who was he kidding? He'd always tried to picture her naked but now it seemed like it might be a little more acceptable. At least that was the hope.

He regarded himself in the mirror for a few more moments, noting the swelling going down above his left eye where Matheson had hit him. At least it shouldn't leave a scar. He had enough of those. If he stared at his reflection too much longer he might be inclined to a case of self-consciousness. That was never the norm for him and that's what felt weird. Now that he and Gillian were moving forward, he was much more conscious of all the marks on his torso. He knew she wouldn't care but each scar was a story and he didn't think he was ready to share every single one.

Of course if he played his cards right, there'd be plenty of time.

Wrapping the towel around his waist, he left the bathroom, shivering slightly at the sudden temperature change. Taking pains to choose less wrinkled clothing, he dressed quickly, feeling a slight nervousness. He shouldn't be nervous but somehow he was. This was the culmination of everything he'd ever wanted and he just didn't want to mess it up. Right there was why he was nervous. He knew, under pressure, he could revert to instant douchebag. He definitely didn't want that and Emily wasn't here to remind him of that fact. He was on his own.

Cal's mind drifted to that morning and the previous night. He thought about how good she smelled and how wonderful she'd felt under his hands. And he really wanted to feel more of her.

Yeah, with a little self-control, he might be able to curb his unconscious drive to be an idiot.

And then his mind shifted again. This time to Hello Kitty. He let out a little groan that trailed off with a smile. She had him. And she didn't need the blackmail material either.


When Gillian opened the door to let Cal in she had three thoughts in rapid succession: God, he looks hot. God, he smells incredible. And: I wonder how long it'll be before I just jump him.

She flushed in embarrassment at the last one and saw him raise his brows in question. His eyes had darkened but they shone with good humor. Maybe he'd actually let the observation slide.

"Now what kind of thought could have brought on a blush like that?"

Of course not. Who was she kidding? "The kind that's none of your business."

"Aye, aye." He stepped into her space and she held her hands up to keep him from coming too close. It was an automatic gesture that she immediately regretted. Instead of pushing him away however, her fingers caressed his chest, nails scraping against the fabric of his button down shirt.

She heard the rhythm of his breathing hitch slightly and couldn't hold back the smile. She skipped a breath herself when she felt his hands moving around her waist and gently pulling her toward him. His voice was soon in her ear and she inhaled the scent of him, feeling a little fuzzy. "Sure you want to eat right now luv?"

No. Yes. Oh crap, she wasn't even sure. He pressed his lips against the bone just below her ear and the warmth was immediate and rabid.

Holy smokes. His cheeks were smooth and soft as he tentatively explored her throat, obviously waiting for her to call a halt to it.

Gillian wasn't sure if she wanted him to stop though.

Oh, hell. She'd just spent how long dressing for the occasion? And now the idea of her little black dress so quickly pooled on the floor of her living room after all her careful attention made the decision for her. The sudden growl in her belly cemented it.

"Guess I'll take that as a yes than." Cal's tone held a hint of humor. Apparently the stomach grumble was louder than she'd thought.

"Sorry. I haven't had anything since this morning." Her face was warm in another blush but she tilted her head up and met his eyes. They were still dark but his face was loving.

"Well, let's get the lady fed then." He stepped past to grab her coat and held it up for her to thread her arms through.

"Thank you." She blushed again, feeling silly but not minding.

He swept his arm forward so she could step out the door before him and waited while she locked up.

A moment later she could feel his warmth behind her as he followed her down the path toward his car. Another case of nerves swept through her but she managed to keep her breathing even. Spicy aftershave invaded no matter what.

He unlocked and opened the car door, hesitating as he purposely blocked her view. "Hold on a second, darlin'. Need to move some things to the back." There was the rustle of plastic as he grabbed a large bag from the passenger's seat. He flashed a quick sideways grin before moving past her to place it in the back. This time he made no move to hide what he held.

The plastic was opaque but she was still able to make out what the bag contained. This time her blush was scarlet. Twister and Pictionary.