Disclaimers, warnings, etc. are all in chapter 1.
Hi all. Sorry for the delay in getting out this chapter. It seems that certain aspects of RL do not mix well with my writing so this chapter (and my other work) is suffering because of it. Again, my continued thanks for your support of this story. And again, I want to give that shout out to scifi_gk for her help with several spots in the plot… every single time I thought I had a road block she'd come up with a fix. I hope you all continue to enjoy! Now let's get to the story…
Chapter 5 – A Final Choice
By Jeannine Trevizo
Nathan let Audrey hold his head in her warm hands, still amazed by the feel of her touching him even as he let her guide their kiss. When she shifted her lips against his, her mouth opening against his he felt her tongue swipe out to meet his and he almost startled at the feel as well as the taste of her.
He hungrily kissed her back, feeling the love and desire he had for this woman in his arms increase and moved his hands to wrap around her back and waist, missing the contact with her skin but needing to pull her closer to him.
Audrey felt how she was now intimately pressed against Nathan's hard body and curled her fingers in his hair at the feel. A sudden thought of being this close to him, but without their clothes popped into her mind and she was more than a little aroused at it.
With that thought in mind she realized that whatever things they had to figure out, whatever stupid relationship do's and don'ts there were, as long as they both wanted this they could figure it out. And more than anything she wanted this… wanted him. Now and for as long as she could have him.
"We've been so stupid," she murmured as she finally broke the kiss.
"Been known to be that before."
She gave him a glare and then dragged her hand down to cup his cheek, making him turn into it and close his eyes as the heat and softness her flesh
"Still, it would have probably been a smarter thing if we'd actually, oh, I don't know, been honest with ourselves and each other on how we felt a while ago?"
"You mean it shouldn't have taken getting locked in this wonderful vault to make us see reason?" he commented with that dry wit she loved.
She nodded with a huge grin and dragged her thumb across his lower lip, making him shiver under her touch. Each and every time she touched him in a new way just made him want her more; made him realize that he'd been right weeks ago when he'd considered that his ability to feel her had been fate. It made perfect sense that the woman he had fallen in love with was the only one he could feel.
Nathan grinned against her thumb and kissed it before he leaned into her again, looking to kiss her once more when he noticed her move within his grasp like she was trying to shift into a different position making him pull back from her.
"You okay?" he asked suddenly concerned.
"Just got some metal hinges cutting into my back. And unlike you, I can feel them."
He drew her away from the metal wall of safety deposit boxes feeling a bit embarrassed. He hadn't meant to get so carried away that he'd injure her by shoving her into the wall. Audrey quickly stretched her back, feeling stiff and a little sore but not wanting to stop. She moved to take his hands in hers and curled them up in her grasp.
"No problem. But maybe we can change the venue a bit?" she noted with a small grin as she looked past him briefly before catching his eyes. "There is a chair over there you know…"
Nathan's face looked stunned for a moment, his brain not exactly following her logic. Then he thought of what sitting down could entail for continuing their romantic overtures and he smiled.
He moved backward, his knees finally hitting the metal chair and he fell into it somewhat gracelessly, his hands still holding Audrey's. With the most tentative of tugs he urged her to join him and she didn't even hesitate. Straddling his lap Audrey leaned in again, this time laying her hands along Nathan's neck and open collar, moving her touch somewhere else on his skin and gifting him with new sensations at her touch.
Nathan wrapped his hands around her neck and in her hair. He hadn't realized that he could feel the texture of her fine blond hair but he felt the silken strands slide through his grasp and he sighed at the feel of it.
Then Audrey was kissing him again, their mouths meeting warm and moist, trading feverish kisses as they sought to get closer to one another, to explore all they could in the simple confines of a kiss.
Nathan let his hands slide to her waist and his need for more contact spurred him to let his fingers subtly pull on the fabric of her shirt. Her eyes snapped open at the feeling of the material easing from her waistband, lust and alarm warring in her chest at the realization that Nathan was trying to pull her shirt loose.
"This okay?" he asked when she suddenly broke their kiss and looked at him intently.
"Are you trying to get me naked?" she asked with an arched eyebrow even as her voice spoke of both longing and concern.
He was stunned for a second and then realized it was a valid question.
"If I was?" he queried back.
"I'm not saying I'm against it in general principle," she replied quickly with a small grin, making the sudden worry in Nathan's chest ease, "but with our luck the bank manager will come back with the tech guy just as soon as things get naked and interesting. And I would really like to not have to hide my face in town for the next year or so for being caught with the Chief's son in the buff."
"Well, there is that… gossip in Haven is a sport to rival softball and fishing."
"We've had this discussion and I repeat, fishing is not a sport," she replied, causing Nathan to chuckle and then she moved one hand from his head to his cheek. "Anyway, weren't you supposed to be taking off my shirt?"
Brought up short again, Nathan leaned forward to kiss her hard and briefly before he pulled back and let his fingers move once more. Pulling her shirt loose of her pants Nathan slid his hands up her back and along her warm, smooth skin and she shivered pleasurably under his touch, making him gasp not only at the feel of her but the way she responded to him as well.
"I'd forgotten what this feels like," he said, the awe obvious in his tone.
Audrey nodded wordlessly and as his hands slid over more of her bare flesh coming closer to her bra and her breasts she wondered for a moment if she could forget all about being embarrassed and just let him throw her across the table and make love to her right there. Because if his hands on her skin felt this good, she didn't know if she'd be able to handle him touching more… intimate parts of her body so reverently.
The moment she felt his fingers along the line of her bra, his palms pressed flat on her skin she knew they were at the line.
"You need to stop there," she said with a tremor in her voice that made Nathan's chest tighten pleasurably. "If you don't I won't be able to be held accountable for my actions."
"And those would be…"
"To throw you on the table here and have my way with you, to hell with my reputation and yours."
He paused for a moment as he considered her words. Certainly he didn't want to embarrass her, or hear from the Chief daily about his reckless behavior, but damn it if he didn't want her so badly it made him ache inside.
"I could be persuaded not to care…" he said quickly, his voice dropping and Audrey saw the very serious look in his eyes and she took a deep breath as she realized that he was wanting this just as much as she was.
Abruptly he stood up with her and her feet hit the floor; he had his hands on her face, kissing her deeply before he let them drift to the buttons on her blouse, intent on feeling all of her… the little touches and kisses they'd been sharing having only incited his desire for her. Audrey began to respond in kind, her hands going to his shoulders to slide her hands under the first of his two shirts to slide it off him before they both heard something…
The door of the vault suddenly cracked open, prompting Nathan and Audrey to jump apart. On the other side a tall man with long wild blond hair stood dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. He looked like a wrestler or body builder with the way he took up space in the doorway. He looked at them as if evaluating the situation.
"The Chief sent me over to get you out," he said simply, causing both Nathan and Audrey to stare. "I'll close up after you leave."
"Uh… thanks!" replied Audrey, still stunned by the sudden turn of events.
After what seemed like a long minute they started to move and then hurriedly slid past the linebacker of a man who was holding the vault door open wide enough for them to get out. They passed the lobby and went out the front door which was now unlocked.
Once they were outside of the bank, Audrey and Nathan stood there, staring back at the way the man locked back up as if he'd never been there and drove off in an unmarked truck. Turning back, Nathan stared at Audrey, the light wind that was blowing through the streets picking up her hair and tossing it across her face, making her reach up and try to smooth the strands back.
An image of her hair tangled in his fingers as he kissed her… as he made love to her on his bed invaded his mind unbidden.
They'd been very close to taking things too far in the vault, and now that they were out, things were both different and the same as they were before they'd been locked in. And more than anything else, Nathan knew he could never go back to the way they'd been before.
"I guess you were right."
"That we'd get interrupted if we…" he commented, letting his words trail away as he knew she knew exactly what he was talking about.
Audrey gave him a brief grin and then wrapped her arms around herself. The man's timing was impeccable. If he'd shown up ten minutes later she was sure he would have gotten a show. But now…
"What about the case…" she asked suddenly, switching gears as she tried to figure out how they needed to act; how they were going to do this…
"We can deal with it tomorrow… maybe case some jewelry stores looking for another target of our guy, gal, whatever… I doubt it was a one time thing."
Audrey let the silence after her one word reply settle over them as they walked across the street to where Nathan had parked the Bronco. They were normal… talking about work like nothing had changed, yet she knew it had, just like she could see from the look in his eyes and the way his hand had reached to catch hers in his as they stood before his truck that things were not going to be the same as they were before… but… that was okay with her.
If anything… she wanted this more now than she had just a little while ago inside that vault. Because she knew that him reaching out to her meant more than just him wanting to get her attention; it was his way of feeling her, connecting with her and showing her that he was there, and that he wanted to be with her.
As they stood beside the driver's door of the truck they looked at one another again, eyes saying what their voices couldn't. Everything they'd said and done in the last few hours had laid the next level of their relationship on top of the friendship and partnership they already had.
They just needed to take that next step, and now that they were back in the real world they could try being a couple, being in love.
"So… I can take you back to the B&B…" he began, the offer tapering off as his eyes bored into hers.
She could see the request, the want in his eyes and felt her heart clench in her chest. She didn't want to leave his side… what she wanted was to pick up where they'd been so rudely interrupted. She wanted him and he wanted her… why couldn't they just…
"I really don't want you to have to make an extra trip… it's so late and all…" she started as she glided away from him, moving to the other side of the truck, a mischievous smile starting to bloom on her face.
"You…" he stammered, his head trying to wrap around what he thought she was saying.
"Your place good?"
He stopped short, his hand shy of the door handle of the Bronco as he moved to look at her over the hood of the truck, his eyes wide and stunned. He watched her as she smiled at him and the look in her eyes… holy God, she was serious, he realized.
And then he wasn't even caring about what anyone would say or what they hadn't said yet or how they were going to deal with their relationship in the morning… all he knew was that this incredible woman that made him feel everything again wanted to come home with him. And he wanted it too… but he needed to check one last time…
"What about the gossiping?" he asked, his voice dropping an octave, becoming more husky as thought of getting her in his house and in his bed flooded his mind.
"Nathan, you realize half the force already thinks we're having sex, right?" she commented with a laugh.
"I'd heard some rumors to that effect," he replied with a half smile as he leaned on the hood on crossed arms as he looked at her. "So, you're okay with people making that assumption?"
"Well I would rather there aren't ever any eye witness accounts of us naked in your truck, but considering people are already thinking it… I think we should at least get to have the sex people think we're having already, don't you?"
Nathan stifled a laugh. It made sense. And damned if he didn't agree. He pushed away from the hood and started for the door, his hand wrapping around the handle, planning on getting them back to his place to continue any more of the conversation when he noticed Audrey hadn't moved to get in yet.
On her side, Audrey pressed her hands on the hood of the Bronco and looked down at the sky blue paint. She knew she could get in the truck, drive to Nathan's house, make love to him within an inch of both of their lives but she didn't want to do that until she told him everything; told him the one last secret that she hadn't been able to say when they'd been in the vault… the one she was most afraid of… up until now.
"Besides, I love you…" she said softly, her voice carrying across the truck in the quiet of the Haven night air.
Nathan froze in place, not believing what he'd heard as his heart found its way to his throat and his eyes whipped back to her position by the front of the truck. He watched mesmerized as she raised her head and nearly gasped as he saw the truth there in her eyes…
The last of the secrets, he thought briefly before he smiled at her, knowing that he needed to tell her the last of his…
"I love you too, you know that, right?" he asked, watching her smile grow at his words and he knew now that whatever happened next it was real and forever.
"Yeah… I do… now, home?" she queried, her voice sounding watery as she finally moved to get into the truck on the passenger side.
Hurriedly Nathan moved to climb into the driver's seat, glancing over at where Audrey sat, her eyes watching him meaningfully and he gave her a knowing smirk before he started the engine and put the Bronco in gear.
He hadn't even pulled away from the curb before he was wondering how long it would take for him to convince her to move out of the B&B and into his place…
Okay everyone, I think I'm gonna end things here. Thanks for reading, reviewing and coming along with me for this ride. I am planning on more N/A writing by continuing my "Helping Hand" story, so hopefully that will keep you all entertained. If you liked this, please let me know. And again, thanks for reading, Ms. J.