Close Call

Brenda paused with her hand on the back door and took a deep breath, trying to slow her rapidly beating heart. She had hoped against hope that Fritz would be in bed already, but the kitchen and living room lights, which spilled under the door she was poised to open, told her he was far from asleep, even though it was 3am. She just wanted to take a hot shower and crawl into bed and beckon sleep, hoping it would come and blanket out the terrified look on Marisol's face as her rapist held a gun to her head; an image that that ran through her mind nonstop like a loop of film since the shooting earlier that evening.

The shooting. Fritz had been forced to shoot Agent Myer when he pointed a gun at Brenda. And in his adrenaline-soaked fury, he screamed at her and shook her so hard that large purple bruises had already started to form on her upper arms. His intense anger frightened her, partially because he knew she deserved it for her reckless behavior, and partially because she knew she had just made Fritz's worst nightmare come true. He had to watch someone point a gun at his wife and if he didn't kill Myer, Brenda would be dead, and Fritz would have to live with that the rest of his life. So she did what she did best: she ran, hopped into an LAPD cruiser, and returned to the new Headquarters as fast as she could, leaving a stunned Fritz behind. She sighed again and unlocked the door. It was time to face the music.

She found Fritz sitting in the living room in semi darkness, with the overhead light and only a small corner lamp to break the darkness. He had changed since he had been at the crime scene. His white undershirt was replaced by an old black FBI tee along with dark blue sweats. His hair was slightly damp from a recent shower and mussed, not neatly combed as it usually was. And his face—the look on his face stopped Brenda in her tracks. His jaw muscles were clenched, giving his whole face a frozen, cruel look. He had a dark, glowering appearance, as his forehead was wrinkled his brows harshly knit together. And his eyes…Brenda had never seen his eyes like this. His normally gentle brown eyes that melted her heart were gone, and in their place were cold black pools. Who was this man?

"Sit down," he said, his lips barely moving over his clenched teeth. He didn't look at her.

Brenda swallowed. She almost felt afraid. She had seen Fritz angry before, but never, ever like this. She wondered if he had been drinking. Her best bet was to get far away from him tonight, and discuss things tomorrow, when some sleep and distance had calmed him down.

"Fritzy, I.." Brenda started.

He finally turned to look directly at her, his glance quickly evolving into a glare. "For once in your life," he said with a deadly softness, "could you please do what you are asked to do? Brenda, please sit down. Now."

His emphasis on the word "now" made her pulse pick up even more, but she knew instinctively this was not the time to argue with Fritz. She put down her bag and started to walk toward the chair opposite of where Fritz was sitting, but he reached out quickly and grabbed her arm and tugged roughly, clearly wanting her to sit next to him on the couch. It made her blood boil that he was being the alpha male and she was letting him get away with it, but she bit her lip to keep herself from yelling at him, trying to cut him some slack. After all, he did save her life.

He leaned toward her and rested his hand on her leg, gripping her kneecap. She resisted the urge to pull her leg away. "I stood there tonight," he said haltingly," his words clipped, "and almost watched you get shot. And you didn't back away. You showed no concern whatsoever for your own life, or for the fact that I was there watching you. Watching my wife put herself in harm's way. What if he had shot you, Brenda? Huh? Ever take a second out of playing the almighty heroine to think about that? I would have had to watch it. Not only would I have lost you in the most violent way possible, but I would have witnessed it. The sight of you bleeding and dying would haunt me every moment for the rest of my life. Did that cross your mind, even for a second?" His grip tightened as he stared at her, his eyebrows raised, clearly expecting an answer.

She swallowed, her throat dry and tight. It actually had occurred to her what could have happened to Fritz if everything had gone wrong, after she got back to her office and had a second to think and replay that night's terrible events. She didn't like to ever let her mind wander into the dark territory of "what if's," because it seemed pointless, but she knew what she had done was stupid, and if it had gone wrong, much, much more than her own life was at stake. She didn't fret that much about the fact that she almost got killed; dead is dead, she thought. Years of being a cop taught her that the dead were the lucky ones, it was the living left behind that suffered terribly. The thought of Fritz having to witness her bloody death and then replay that scene for eternity made her sick at her stomach earlier that evening, and the nausea returned now, as his eyes bore into hers, demanding acknowledgement that she cared. Her eyes stung and she shook her head, disappointed that Fritz still didn't understand that her feeling ran so much deeper than her actions ever began to show.

"Oh honey, of course," she whispered, not wanting to anger him further. She slowly reached out to touch his face but he flinched away. "And I'm so sorry about that. It just all happened so fast…"

He half laughed, half snorted. "Yea, you were real sorry, I could tell. You ran away from me as quickly as you could, off with your boys who wouldn't question your judgment or hold you accountable. They would just look up at their adored Chief who could do no wrong." When Brenda opened her mouth to protest, Fritz cut her off. "Do you have any idea what that felt like me to kill that man? I know he was a bastard, but I have never killed anyone before. Ever. It took me hours to stop shaking. I knew shooting someone was a possibility, I agreed to it when I became a cop and I signed up for it again when I joined the FBI, but I hoped I would never have to actually have to do it. And here was my first, and hopefully last, time taking down a perp, and I broke all the FBI rules about shooting someone holding a hostage. I could have easily missed and hit Marisol, you know that? Of course you know that. But I was forced to forgo the idea of negotiation because that son of a bitch was about to shoot you. So not only did I almost lose you, but I am in immense trouble at work for violating every federal guideline about discharging my weapon in a hostage situation. I could have lost my wife and career in one night." Fritz's voice caught and Brenda could see some of the anger draining out of him as his shoulders sagged, weighed down by the gravity of the night's events.

Brenda should have known that she hadn't completely changed her self-centered ways; it hadn't occurred to her that Fritz had never killed anyone before, and how horrible this must be for him. She, herself, had shot and killed twice before, and even though they were both violent criminals in which she received accolades for doing what she did, deep down she knew she took something that wasn't hers to take. Fritz was much more sensitive than she was, and the shot he took at Agent Myer put Marisol at risk of being hit instead, and he must be very conflicted about it. Stupid, stupid me, she thought. I didn't think what this shooting is doing to him. Poor Fritz.

She looked at him again. He was no longer glaring at her, and wasn't even looking at her at all, but instead at his hand on her knee. He lessened the grip and began to slowly slide his hand up her skirt as he whispered, "you could have gone away today."

Brenda was shocked by the rawness of his tone and the naked carnality of his touch, which seemed so out of place with his mood. He repeated himself as his hand slid higher and gently grasped her inner thigh, forcing her legs to part slightly. Brenda was shocked to feel her belly grow warm at his proprietary touch, and when he let her go to push her down on the couch and crawl over her, she didn't protest.

Fritz buried his face in her neck, and his whisper of "I almost lost you today" was muffled by her hair and was ended abruptly when he opened his mouth and took in a piece of her skin and began to suck on it. Brenda almost pulled away and admonished him for doing this, since they both learned in the past that she was prone to embarrassing hickies, but she knew he wouldn't listen. The tip of his hot wet tongue was making circles as his perfect white teeth gently worried the delicate flesh, his gentleness a stark contrast to the voraciousness of his sucking. Benda breath hitched despite herself and Fritz reacted by biting her none too gently. She jumped from the pain and Fritz pulled away from her neck and pressed his lips against hers, his breath coming out in heaving puffs and she could barely make out the words "lost you" before he plunged his tongue into her mouth. His usual finesse was replaced by groping, his soft whispers eclipsed by a desperate Zen koan. She didn't want to respond to his rough treatment, but her mouth seemed to open on it's own volition. Fritz's hand brushed under her shirt and landed on her breast, and his thumb flicked over her nipple, quickly bringing it to attention. Against her will, Brenda felt moisture pool at her core, and she shifted her body to give Fritz more access. Pleased at her acquiescence, he tweaked her nipple none to gently before moving his hand between her breasts and unhooking her bra, then quickly returned to her now-naked chest. Fritz moved his mouth off of hers and latched onto her left nipple while he twisted the right one hard enough to make Brenda try and squirm away from him. Around the flesh of her breast, she heard him whisper, "you almost went away today." His chant had changed slightly, she thought through the haze of the desire she was trying to fight off; she didn't like Fritz acting like a caveman, but she couldn't stop the way her body reacted to him, no matter how hard she tried. When his mouth switched breasts and his free hand traveled down her abdomen toward her panties, she closed her eyes and surrendered to the sensations.

Fritz's fingers slid easily through her swollen lips and he groaned when he felt how wet she was, shifting so his rock-hard erection pressed into Brenda's thigh. He plunged two fingers into her tight pussy while simultaneously sucking and biting down on her nipple, and Brenda arched her back so hard Fritz had to fight for his position on top of her. He began to circle her enlarged clit with his thumb and released her nipple as he buried his face between her breasts. Brenda moaned and ran her hands through his thick hair, and she could feel his lips move against her skin as he continued mumbling his mantra.

She was in a place built of pleasure evoked by the touch of lips and fingers on her most secret places, when suddenly it stopped. Fritz's fingers pulled out of her, and his face left her breasts. Her eyes flew open, only to be met by his, bloodshot and still full of angst, hovering over hers. He was leaning on one elbow as he used his other hand to pull down his pants to his ankles and then yank off her panties and push her skirt up. Without breaking eye contact, Brenda wrapped her legs around his waist like she had hundreds of times before, and Fritz roughly grabbed her hips and thrust deeply into her. "I almost lost you today," he whispered brokenly as his forehead pressed against hers, and he began to move inside her in punishing strokes. He took Brenda's wrists and stretched them over her head and began to suckle the virgin side of her neck. Brenda felt helpless, out of control unable to touch him back, but she arched against him and into his thrusts with all the strength she could muster. She was almost as out of control as he was, wanting, wanting, wanting, to feel as alive as he wanted her to feel. Fritz put both of her petite hands in one of his large ones and reached down and hooked one of her knees with his elbow, deepening his penetration, and she thought she was going to pass out. His relentless pace and his desperate words never ceased as his hand slipped between them and caressed her clit, which made her moaning pick up in volume and her hips rock with desperation. Fritz applied more pressure and Brenda passed over into that world where nothing mattered but reaching that point, that all-encompassing apex of pleasure. She cried out his name and clamped her muscles down on his cock as she came, pulling her hands free and hugging him to her and she ground her pussy against him. He was right behind her, groaning and grabbing her buttocks as he spilled into her.

For several moments the world was a far away place, and Brenda was enveloped in warmth and light and perfection. When her cocoon slowly began to melt away, she became aware of Fritz's weight on her, his sweaty sated body pressing her into the couch. His face was buried in her neck again, but this time he wasn't giving her vicious bruises; instead, he was crying. She could feel the warm saltiness of his tears snake their way down her skin and land in her hair, and his soft sobs had taken over his chant of near loss. She gently took his head in her hands and raised him up so she could see his face. Gone was the anger and desperation he had worn like a mask when she had first came home. Now all she could see was a bone-weary sadness in a man who had suffered too much and loved too hard. He looked at her like she was everything, like she was his god, and Brenda felt her own unshed tears over her near death finally break free. "Oh Fritzy, I am so sorry," she said, barely above a whisper. "I never meant to put you through that."

Fritz looked at her with watery eyes. "Don't ever leave me Brenda. I couldn't live without you. Please don't ever go away." His tears fell harder, and Brenda's mirrored his.

"Oh honey," she said, reaching up and wiping his cheek, "Nothin' can ever take me away from you."

And she hoped, for the first time in her life, that her words held the weight of truth behind them.

The End