This is for Penandra and TanteMary, who are the best bad influences a girl could have. I hope you two are happy - look what you made me do. :-D

"A well-tailored suit is to women, what lingerie is to men."

Indeed.

(Quote courtesy of Penny. See? Bad influence.)

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She was his mate.

He was hers.

He had been an almost daily part of her life for eight years. Nine, if she was honest with herself about how frequently she thought of him during that year after the Gemma Arrington case.

She'd seen him at his best and at his worst.

She'd seen him wearing a tux, dressed for a formal event.

She'd seen him in filthy sweats, covered in mud after an impromptu game of flag football.

She'd seen him in underwear, and laughed at the silliness of his superhero worship.

She'd nursed him through the flu.

She'd patched up his scratches.

She knew the scruffiness of the hair on the back of his neck that always grew in too quickly after a haircut.

She knew the scars on the soles of his feet and the grimace of discomfort that crossed his face every morning when he first put them on the floor.

She knew every inch of warm, smooth golden skin in between. She knew where to touch to draw a laugh or a rumble of pleasure.

She knew him.

He was her mate.

She was his.

They shared a home.

They shared a daughter.

They shared a life.

But that morning, just by walking into the kitchen, he stole her breath away.

It was just a common morning like dozens of others. She was seated in front of their daughter, coaxing her to eat breakfast. She heard his footsteps. She smelled his cologne. She glanced over her shoulder, a smile already curving her lips.

And froze.

Forgot to breathe.

Her mouth fell open.

She didn't notice.

He was . . . he was right there. He was . . . God, he was gorgeous.

He didn't see her reaction.

He dropped a light kiss on top of their daughter's silky hair.

On his way to the refrigerator he let his hand slide softly across her shoulders.

Her head swiveled around to follow his progress.

He reached up for a coffee cup and the fine, dark wool of his suit stretched across his back.

She swallowed.

"New . . . Is that . . ." She heard herself stammer and shook her head. "Is that a new suit?" she finally managed.

Busy with his coffee, he glanced back at her with a smile.

That wide, happy smile that made his eyes sparkle and lit his whole face . . . He was beautiful. She'd noticed that before, hadn't she? The adjective was wrong - men shouldn't be beautiful but . . .

" . . . for Christmas finally. They finished the alternations yesterday." He turned to face her, leaning back easily against the counter, his long legs stretched out slightly in front of him. "Fits good, don't you think?" He looked down over his chest, appraising himself casually.

Fits good? Dear God, that's all he could say? She stared at him from shoulders to toes and had no words. It fit as if it had been made for him, which, actually, it had been. He had finally used that store credit she'd given him for Christmas, she realized. The one he said was too much, that he'd never wear a suit that cost that much, that . . .

Her mouth went dry as she looked him over. She saw him in a suit every day. Didn't she? Yes, she was sure she'd seen him in a suit before. But not this suit. The jacket emphasized the width of his shoulders and their heavy muscular curve while the sleeves hugged his biceps, smoothly enhancing without hiding the power of the body within. Her gaze swept his chest, the blinding white shirt, the simple black tie, and lower . . . across the plain silver belt buckle, down the long legs . . .

" . . . home today?"

She had no idea he was talking. He was posed in front of her, dark and powerful and vaguely dangerous and she was instantly hungry for him. She wanted to put her hands on him, to feel his hands on her, she wanted . . .

"Bones?" She jerked to attention. He laughed and leaned over to kiss her. "I guess it's a good thing you're working at home today if you're going to daydream like that." When her lips clung to his, he smiled and kissed her again. "Don't tempt me," he murmured. He touched his cheek to the baby's head and headed to the door. "I'll see you tonight."

She watched him walk away, captured by his easy, loping grace. Had she ever paid attention to the way he walked before? Why hadn't she noticed . . . She was still staring at him when he reached the door and turned back. "Love you." His eyes held hers for a moment, then the door closed and he was gone.

She was suddenly hotly, furiously jealous of every woman who would see him that day. Mine. The word growled through her subconscious. Mine.

The baby in front of her began to fuss and wiggle in her high chair. She refocused on the infant and pushed aside the temptation to run after him but the memories of the morning stayed just on the edge of her thoughts. His cologne lingered in the air. When she blinked he was there . . . smiling at her . . .

She got nothing productive done that morning. She played with their daughter and she managed a bit of laundry but her brain refused to center itself on her work.

Her thoughts were full of him.

The way he looked, the movement of his shoulders beneath his jacket, the drape of the fabric over his legs . . .

That last smile.

Christine went down for her nap and she raced upstairs and pulled out the drawer of her bedside table. Within minutes she'd brought herself to a quick, brittle climax but it wasn't enough.

She lay there, sprawled across the bed, counting heartbeats as her breathing slowed to normal . . . and it wasn't enough.

It wasn't enough.

She wanted him.

He called to say he'd be later than expected and she only barely managed to keep the frustration out of her voice.

She gave up on anything that required concentration and just enjoyed being with their child.

And waited.

Christine was asleep by 7:30 and she was sitting at the bar, watching the door, a glass of wine in front of her.

Waiting.

At 7:40, his key turned in the lock. He stepped inside. He tossed his keys to the small table in the foyer, unwittingly . . . casually . . . displaying his body for her.

He'd loosened his tie just a bit.

He was tall. Powerful. Sexy.

Before his hand returned to his side, she was on him. She forced him back against the door with a thump.

"What-" Her mouth covered his. Hot. Hungry.

He decided to ask questions later.

He wrapped his arms around her and held her tight against him.

She slipped hers beneath his jacket and curled them up over his back.

"I've been thinking about you all day."

"You- Ouch." She bit underneath his jaw.

"I masturbated." She burrowed closer. He felt the hard points of her nipples against his chest.

"You-" She pulled his shirt loose from his pants.

"It wasn't enough." He sucked in his breath when she suckled at his ear.

"Why-" He didn't care why, not really. He just wanted to know what he'd done so he could be sure to do it again.

She grabbed his hands in hers and flattened them against the door. Her eyes on his were heavy with lust. "Don't move."

He wasn't sure he could have anyway.

"I love this suit," she purred against his neck. Her hands traveled across across his chest.

"The suit?" He was having a problem keeping his hands on the door. "You like the-"

She shut him up with another kiss.

When she lifted her lips from his, he was having a problem simply standing up.

She loosened his tie a bit more and licked at the hard knot of his Adam's apple.

"Can we go-" He felt her busy fingers at the buttons of his shirt.

"No." Her mouth traveled down his chest, licking at the skin revealed by each button freed.

"Bones-"

"Shut up."

When she was done, she looked down at the smooth expanse of hard flesh bracketed by the open white shirt and the inky black of his coat.

When she smiled, his blood - already sizzling - reached a slow boil.

She grabbed his tie and pulled his head down to hers.

"Lie down," she whispered against his lips.

"Here?" There was a perfectly comfortable bed upstairs and his back . . .

"Now."

He laid down.

When he reached for his belt buckle, she put her bare foot on his chest.

"Stop."

His hands fell to his sides.

She slowly undressed.

He forgot to breathe.

When she knelt over him and began to open his pants, he lifted his hips to help her slide them off.

Except she didn't.

"Why aren't you-" His eyes rolled back in his head.

She sank down on him with one graceful move. His open zipper bit into her inner thighs, adding a hint of pain to every rotation of her hips. From her place above him, she looked down and smiled with feline satisfaction.

He lay beneath her, displayed like a virile offering to a pagan goddess. Ropes of hard muscle moved beneath a miles-wide expanse of warm, golden skin, framed by finely woven black wool and pure white cotton. The look of him, wild and dangerous and decadent, fueled the heat already burning her from the inside out.

His fingers bit into her hips as he flexed up to meet her sensual sway. She took pleasure from him and watched as he received it from her and she felt powerful. Female. Worshipped.

When her orgasm came it ripped through both of them, an explosion of fire and ecstasy that burst from him with a roar that almost drowned out her own cry of release. When the first wave passed, she collapsed against his chest and let him hold her there while the last shuddering aftershocks faded.

She could hear his heartbeat thundering beneath her ear.

He felt her rapid breath pant hot against his neck.

"I'm . . . you know . . . this . . ."

"Um hmm." She nodded against his chest. She understood him perfectly.

He was her mate.

She was his.

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FYI, I didn't use any of George Carlin's no-no words so this was not smut.

Thanks for reading!