Wow. It's done, it's really all done. This will be my first (I hope of many) stories that is complete. I can't thank you all enough for your support and words of encouragement as I worked on this. I hadn't planned it this way, but posting the last several chapters so close together right before surgery has been fantastic. Every time I open my email I had another note that just made me happy. This story is called Bionic, not because Steph has a titanium leg or a technologically enhanced body. It's because she has superhuman strength of character. That's what I love about her. I'm praying for just a little bit of it today. Lots of you have asked and I wanted to reassure you my health is fine. But I'm trying to be strong and proactive. I have a strong family history of breast cancer so today I'm having a preventative double mastectomy and reconstruction. So think happy thought for me today, if you are inclined to pray, you could do that too.
Thanks so much to Rach for her magical editing that makes the work so much better, she is a fabulous friend and amazing editor. Thanks too to all of my fabulous ff friends especially Denny and Tiffany for all their support.
I Am by Christina Aguliera
As soon as the door closed behind me I flopped down face first on the bed. I would have taken up my favorite thinking position, which is face up, spread eagle in the middle of the bed, but I didn't want to think. In fact I wanted to stop thinking. I just wanted to cry. So I did. I bawled long and hard, complete with loud sobs and an extremely unattractive runny nose. I'd been so proud of myself that I'd walked away from him with my head held high. I'd kept it together until I was alone, and then I completely let go. When the crying subsided to strange hiccupping sounds I figured I might as well clean myself up.
With Herculean strength I heaved myself up off the bed and moved to the luxurious bathroom. While I'd had a really good buzz going earlier, I was completely stone sober now. Funny what a slap in the face will do for you, either figuratively or literally. I stripped down and climbed into the shower, scrubbing my now red face and quickly rinsing off the remains of the night. I felt grungy and dirty and not just from the club. Not bothering to do much with my hair, I quickly toweled off, wrapped myself up, and went to collapse into bed with plans to sleep for a year, or at least the next twelve hours. Then maybe I'd wake up and this would all be just a dream, a really bad dream.
When I came out of the bathroom I screamed. Catching my breath I yelled, "What the hell are you doing here?"
There he was leaning against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest. Cool as a cucumber, hot as hell and completely unaffected by my outburst. He didn't answer me, but his lip twitched like he found me amusing.
"Do you mind? This is my room!" I held tightly onto the edge of my little white towel while gesturing wildly with the other hand.
His grin got a little bigger as he took in my attire or lack thereof. His voice was deep and sexy. "I don't mind at all."
I rolled my eyes at his pathetic attempt at seduction. "Bite me," I spit out .
His smile increased just marginally and it looked like he might take my suggestion literally. A shiver went through me at the thought and I cursed under my breath. Damn hormones.
His voice was much softer when he spoke again. "What are you doing here?"
"What does it look like I'm doing?" Maybe that wasn't the best question to ask, as the look he gave me caused the temperature in the room to ratchet up by several degrees. Before my towel spontaneously combusted I tried to redirect his attention. "What are you doing here? How did you know I was here?"
In a low voice, he said, "I didn't. Not until I tried to rent this room and they told me someone had just requested it. So I'm asking you again, why are you here?"
I didn't really know the answer. After I walked out of the alley I just kept walking. I could have hailed a cab, but I didn't really want to go home and I did not want to go back into the bar. I had been walking for a little while when I found myself in front of the Marriott. When this room had been empty, I figured it was a sign. It was as good a place as any to have my mental breakdown. Might as well go back to where it all started. I told him the only thing that made sense to me, "It was where I wanted to be."
His he pulled away from the wall, stalking over to where I stood in front of the bed, wrapped in my little white towel. He wasn't touching me, but he was close enough that I could feel the heat radiating from his body. I wanted to take one giant step back, but I refused to give him the satisfaction. Actually I wanted to take one flying leap forward and give both of us some satisfaction, but that probably wasn't a good idea either.
"Maybe this was where I wanted to be too." That was not what I'd expected him to say. If that surprised me, what he said next floored me, "I was an ass."
I kind of oggled at him for a minute before recovering enough to speak, "You're right, you were an ass. Actually, you're still kind of being an ass."
His eyes narrowed slightly at that, "I was trying to apologize."
I laughed, "Well if that was your idea of an apology you suck at it."
The thought crossed my mind briefly that I shouldn't antagonize him. After all I was nearly naked and he'd tried to handcuff me just over an hour ago. "If you're going to take me in, at least let me put some clothes on."
He shook his head.
I started into full rhino mode, I was too tired for this shit. "Are you really that big of an asshole that you would haul me off to jail with a towel on?"
The look on his face told me I'd read him wrong. He shook his head again, "Wasn't planning on taking you anywhere."
He looked at me long and hard before saying, "I'm not good with words. I'm sorry. I was wrong." Pure shock must have been written all over my face. "Is that better?" He asked. Still stunned I just nodded. Those words seemed completely foreign to him.
He took the last step between us and traced my jaw line with his fingers. Against my will my body leaned into him, hoping to increase the contact. His fingers moved down to my bare shoulders and his lips moved along my jaw before traveling to my neck. He murmured against my skin, "I don't know what to do about you Babe."
I fought to contain the moan that threatened to escape. "I thought you decided I was a menace to society and it was your job to get me off the streets." I had to grasp onto his shoulders to keep myself upright as his fingers moved to skim the top edge of my towel.
He chuckled as his lips followed his fingers before saying, "A danger to dining room tables and expensive sports cars maybe, but I think the general population is safe from the likes of Stephanie Plum."
Holding the edges of my towel I looked up at him and said, "I wasn't lying, I did get a message from Vinnie's office telling me that my court date had been rescheduled. I can call him." Jesus, his hands and mouth were magic; I nearly forgot my own name. The fact that recently he'd wanted to cart me off to jail seemed irrelevant.
He assured me, "I already did. It seems his last secretary was not a fan of yours and decided to mess with you. I believe you're familiar with Joyce Barnhardt." From the look on his face he was also familiar with her and not a fan.
"That bitch! I'm going to kill her." If I'm going to go to jail, might as well make it worth it.
He smoothed his hands over my towel and around to my back, "No you're not. You do need to make your court appearance, but I have someone sorting it all out."
I would have said thank you, but his mouth was on mine and I seemed to lose all coherent thought. Struggling to stay lucid I managed to ask, "You aren't going to cuff me are you?" My breath was coming in short pants.
His wasn't much better. "Not now, maybe later if you want me to." I made some sort of noise that he thought was promising. The next thing I knew my towel was gone. It had barely hit the floor when he reached behind him with one hand to pull his black t-shirt over his head. My hands went to his fly and made quick work of the button and zipper. Before I could snake my hands inside he grabbed them and backed me up until my knees hit the bed and I fell back onto the mattress.
He quickly shucked his pants, socks and boots before covering my body with his own.
His lips claimed mine with a force that took my breath away. The kiss was urgent and full of need. Our tongues dueled while we fought for control of the kiss, who won was of no consequence. In my book we both did. His hands were roaming my skin, seeking out all of the hot spots. I was already on the edge when his hand dipped between my legs. I moaned and tilted my hips, asking for more. He slid one, then two fingers inside of me while keeping pressure on my clit with his thumb. I gasped and shuddered while my body pulsed with waves of pleasure. But I needed more.
"Condom," I squeaked out. A moment of clarity hit me. The problem is I knew I didn't have any. The remainder of my stash from Grandma was at home in my night stand. He quickly reached for his jeans and pulled one out.
I pinned him with a look, "You came to arrest me, but you brought condoms along just in case?" I was more than a little pissy at the thought.
He just grinned at me. "I figured where you were concerned it was best to plan for every contingency." When I didn't respond he turned to put it back. "If it bothers you that much…" I grabbed his arm.
I couldn't really fault him for his logic, I mean he did seem like sort of a badass boy scout. I kissed him hard and told him, "Just shut up and put it on." He made quick work of it before pinning me to the mattress once again. I moaned in anticipation as he lifted one of my legs over his shoulder before grasping my hips and entering me in one smooth thrust. My eyes rolled back in my head and I arched my back fully on sensory overload. With long sure strokes he quickly had me on the brink again.
This wasn't about the sex and it definitely wasn't making love. This was primal, animal, he was staking a claim and I was more than happy he was. The look in his eyes was fierce and possessive. I'd seen a glimpse of that intensity when we'd been together before and it scared the shit out of me. This time I basked in the feelings and returned them with equal force.
His strokes came quicker and more erratic. Finally he thrust deep and clutched me to him, coming hard and taking me with him. He collapsed on top of me, both of us slick with sweat and breathing erratically. He shifted to move off of me, but I pulled him back down reveling in the weight of his body on mine. Propping himself up on his elbows he brushed a wet curl from my face and kissed me softly.
Finally he rolled to the side and tucked me into him, my back to his front. He lay behind me, tracing invisible patterns on my overheated skin. His voice was so soft I almost didn't hear him, "I didn't send Lester in so the guys could laugh at you. If anything, they were laughing at me. I did it because I didn't trust myself to be around you."
I scooted away and turned so I could see his face, "Why not?"
He studied me, like he was trying to decide how much he was going to tell me. He must have come to a decision, "What I do, the way I live my life, bounty hunting, my government work, it's all about control and focus." I nodded, I could see that. But he wasn't finished, "There's something different about you that makes it difficult for me to do that where you're concerned." I scooted over and kissed him on the lips. He rolled onto his back and pulled me on top of him.
I knew that wasn't all of it, so I pressed, "And you were mad I left." He didn't speak, he just nodded. I think he was embarrassed that he let his emotions get involved.
I finally admitted out loud. "I was mad I left." Surprised doesn't even cover the look on his face. "There hasn't been a day since then I wondered what might have happened if I'd stayed." He snaked his hand into my hair and pulled me down hard for a kiss.
Pulling back he looked at me. "I know what would have happened. I would have been an ass and let you down gently. You'd never wanted to see me again."
Thinking that was what he intended to do now I moved to pull away, but he stopped me and pulled me close so I had no choice but to look in his eyes. "And I would have been wrong." My face must have reflected my relief. "Relationships are hard in my line of work and no matter what I felt after we spent the night together I would have forced myself to walk away."
I was almost afraid to ask, "And now?"
He shook his head, "I lost you once and I don't plan on letting it happen again."
Before I could blink he had me underneath him and started to kiss every inch of my skin, spending an inordinate amount of time of some of my favorite spots. Guess they were his favorites too. He settled himself between my legs and spent a great deal of time. The strokes of his tongue were long and slow. It was exquisite torture, I couldn't tell if he was apologizing or punishing me. Either way worked for me. When I couldn't take it any longer I begged him to have pity on me. He just grinned up at me, looking like he was the big bad wolf. When his head dropped again I praised god for his teeth, canine or not. When I was nearly hoarse he finally moved to grab another condom.
Covering himself quickly he lay down and pulled me on top of him. Grabbing my waist he lifted me up and tilted his hips, sheathing himself inside me. He gave me complete control, allowing me to set the pace. His eyes never left mine as I moved us both closer and closer to release. I needed more, more force more friction, I needed to feel his strength, his power. I grabbed his hands and placed them on my hips. He lifted me up and brought my hips back to his as they thrust up to meet mine.
It still wasn't enough. I moved to roll off of him and he followed, flipping us so I was beneath him again. I couldn't think of anywhere else I liked better. He slid his arms underneath me and cupped my shoulders in his big hands. Raising himself on his elbows he lowered his mouth to mine as he began to move inside me once again. His thrusts were long and deep. Each one added pressure to my clit as his hips moved against mine. Pulling my lips from his I cried out as I came. He continued to stroke in and out of me, adding to the sensations and prolonging my release until he thrust hard, stilling as he joined me.
Once he could move he rolled to the side, kissed me on the forehead and then made his way to the bathroom. As he reached the door he hesitated and looked back at me. I smiled at him, "Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere." He looked a little sheepish for even thinking it, but shook it off and closed the bathroom door.
As soon as I heard the door click I threw back the covers and scoured the piles of discarded clothing on the floor. Finally finding what I was looking for I tiptoed towards the bathroom door. When I heard the water in the shower running I slipped inside. As I slid the shower curtain open his back was to me. I plastered myself to his back and ran my hand down his arm. It wasn't until he heard the 'click' that he clued in to what I was doing. I quickly fastened the other cuff to the shower rod.
"Babe," it was low and deep and disapproving as he stared at me in disbelief.
I grinned at him as I moved in for the kill. "I'm not going anywhere any time soon, but neither are you."