Disclaimer: my smutty heart owns nothing of psych.
Summary: another pre-Lassiet stand-alone for my smut series. This time, witness protection in a safe house leads to some night-time discoveries.
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Juliet woke when Carlton nudged her arm. "Mmmph," she said, sitting up at once and rubbing her eyes.
"Sorry. But you said if I didn't wake you for your shift, you'd pistol-whip me."
"I would have, too." He'd let her sleep an extra hour the last time, and while she appreciated his concern, she also knew he needed some rest.
Carlton gave her a quick grin. "Masters is out cold. No activity around the property."
Masters was their 'charg-ee.' Set to testify in a significant mob trial, he was the district attorney's main interest right now, and only the best of the SBPD was allowed to guard him.
She and Carlton had been on night duty for four nights running now, with six to go. Masters was gregarious to the point of needing to be shot just to have some peace and quiet, but at least when he fell asleep, he was nearly comatose. Carlton had taken to making sure the day shift fed him pasta and other high-carb dishes for dinner to be sure he'd conk out early and leave them in relative silence.
They started at seven, called bedtime ten, and took turns: one night, she'd get the first four hours, and he'd get the next; the following night, the opposite. It was just enough to be sure neither of them was rested at all by the time the day shift reported for duty.
Their routine was pretty simple, and she was enjoying—apart from the times Masters was awake—spending time with Carlton. Usually their night work had them cooped up in a car for hours, so it was nice to have more room for a change. The house was small, and they were keeping to the interior rooms; one bedroom for Masters, and one they took turns sleeping in.
Carlton was pretty good at cards. They played a lot of five-card draw and gin rummy, and when Masters was awake they let him join in. He wasn't so bad, their chargee, except for dominating the conversation, but he was at least amenable to being told to zip it: he did actually want to cooperate fully, and staying alive to do so was pretty important to him.
It was two a.m., and she got up and organized herself with a yawn while Carlton lay down on the bed in her place.
She wondered what he'd think if she told him she liked to sleep there after him, because she liked his scent on the pillow.
The idea of him blushing made her blush too, and she was thankful for the dim lighting.
Wandering the house in her bare feet, checking the windows and sensors and alerting the perimeter guards that she was on duty, she couldn't help but think of Carlton and this oddly… nice time they'd been having.
Carlton at ease—as much as it was possible for him to be at ease—was something she didn't get to see often on the job, and something she treasured. He had a wicked sense of humor and wasn't at all hard to look at, especially when he was a little unbuttoned and more relaxed like this.
She knew he would be able to fly into action at a moment's notice, but he unbent enough when it was just the two of them that… she had to admit… he was kind of irresistible.
His expressive blue eyes were especially hard to resist, and when he smiled… when he grinned… when he made her feel like he valued her above all others… damn.
Juliet sighed, pacing the house and thinking inappropriate thoughts about him. She'd had these thoughts before, but they'd increased dramatically since this assignment started.
Keeping on the move, she checked on Masters, who was snoring, oblivious to everything. Moving then to the east side of the house, she checked the sensor screens and decided she might have some coffee, but on her way back down the hall past the other bedroom, she paused in the doorway to peek at Carlton.
The room had a nightlight, and it bathed him in a faintly orange glow. He lay on his back breathing deeply, one hand on his stomach.
The covers were off, and she let her eyes rove his lean body admiringly. He kept in shape and she liked his shape.
She even liked his blue and green flannel lounge pants—a huge concession on his part, as he'd growled that he preferred to remain in work clothes while he was on the job, and it had taken gentle mockery on her part to get him to admit he'd be more comfortable, hence rested, hence better able to do that job, if he dressed appropriately for sleep.
Carlton sighed, and his hand twitched.
Then something else twitched.
Juliet felt her eyes grow wide as she stared—unabashedly—at what was clearly a flannel-covered erection.
She let out a shuddery breath.
He mumbled something, and she stilled herself.
The house was absolutely silent now, as if everything in it was frozen along with her in this moment.
Except she wasn't totally frozen: parts of her were getting very, very warm.
His hand moved a few inches, restlessly, toward his waistband, and he mumbled again.
The cloth moved as his arousal grew, and Juliet was having a difficult time not gasping for air, because her heart was pounding and a trickle of sweat was forming between her breasts. She flapped the fabric, trying to cool herself off.
You are shameless. A voyeur. You should turn away. Close the door. Forget this.
He spoke again, somewhat raggedly.
He said, "Juliet."
No sooner had the thought formed than she was appalled, because… because… hell, she didn't know, except she should be appalled, yet wasn't, which was appalling in its own way.
Carlton murmured something unintelligible, and his hand moved again, and her mouth was dry and her pulse was running amuck and she needed a cold shower quick.
He is dreaming of you. He is very aroused. He wants you.
It's just a dream. People dream about people they're not interested in all the time.
Move. Away. From. The. DOOR.
Because if his hand goes any further south, you're going to see something you're not going to be able to resist helping with, and apart from the fact you're working, and Masters is in the next room, you can't. You can't.
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Carlton awoke, muzzy-headed and aware of the vestiges of a highly illicit dream featuring Juliet in her loose tee and flannel pajama pants—they looked alike now, she teased, only he'd wager she was a damn sight more alluring in her nightwear than he was.
In the dream, her clothing had inexplicably fallen off, leaving her nude and needing to be warmed up, and he'd helped her out, and she'd thanked him, and just as he was about to reap the benefits of her gratitude, two walls fell in and he was awake and alone and horny.
The walls were still standing, but he got up anyway after checking his watch; he was just a few minutes shy of his four-hour sleep time slot. Dawn was still a good twenty minutes out.
A cold shower would be nice… essential, even… but he willed himself to get under control first. It certainly wasn't his first X-rated dream about her—just the first one when she was in the next room.
Well, not counting the dreams from the last few nights.
He shook himself fully awake and insisted his body cooperate with him.
You're not sixteen, and you can't have her, so settle down.
He found her in the kitchen, starting up the coffee. "Hey," he said quietly, finding her beautiful with her tousled hair, in her so-soft tee, even though she was tired and probably needed the coffee more than he did.
"Hey, partner," she said brightly. "You're a little early for the first cup."
"I can wait. Everything under control?"
"Yep. Masters is stirring."
Carlton thought she seemed a little flushed… probably his imagination. He reached past her for a mug just as she moved, and his hand brushed her bare arm.
She didn't flinch exactly, but she did react unexpectedly, with a sharp intake of breath.
For a moment he was unsure whether she was offended, or if he'd hurt her, and he started to apologize—but Juliet wasn't moving away; she was just… still, and her color was high.
"Oh, sorry." She was breathless, and stepped back, not that she'd been in his way.
"You okay?" He wasn't sure he was; this was very unsettling.
"Of course. You want, um, toast? Eggs? I was going to make some and I could…" She stopped, staring at him.
Carlton felt goosebumps, and couldn't remember the last time he'd had them.
"Did you… did you sleep well?" She was still breathless.
He instantly flashed back to his dream, and in the next second imagined her standing there in front of him naked, but God had mercy on him because Masters lurched into the kitchen yawning.
"Give me coffee, or give me death. Preferably coffee."
Juliet cleared her throat and silently got him a mug, and Carlton turned away with a gruff remark that he was going to go take a quick shower.
Needless to say, it was a cold one.
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Two main thoughts circled round Juliet's brain that day.
First, she couldn't believe how hard it had been to behave normally around him when he stood in front of her all sleepy and warm and gorgeous and practically giving off sparks, and when he touched her arm it took every ounce of her willpower not to jump him, and that wasn't like her and he'd have flung her off in revulsion (well, maybe not in revulsion, but he would have flung her off for sure).
Second, seven o'clock couldn't get here fast enough.
She tried to nap in the morning at home but she was far too restless. She tried to do some work on cold cases but couldn't concentrate.
Oh, come on. All it took was seeing him in that state—covered up, even—and you're suddenly lost in a sea of hormones?
It was the way he'd said her name. That low, smoky voice.
Knowing he was dreaming of her. Talking to her in his sleep, wanting her enough to, well, dramatically change the contour of his flannel pajama pants. Yes. That.
Honestly, she wanted to hear it again.
At the house, finally, and surprisingly, she relaxed. As if being with him was all she'd needed, maybe.
Masters was in fine form, and not sleepy at all; he wanted to play Scrabble, and then he wanted to play again, and Carlton was growing impatient with the man's insistence on using words they had to keep verifying as legit via the iPhone.
Juliet was forced to break out the pie and ice cream just to get him to settle down, but it wasn't going to work on her, because Carlton was looking especially good tonight, even frowning. He went to the other room and changed into his v-neck tee and pajama pants a bit early, since he had the first sleep shift, and she hadn't ever realized how hard it was to make Scrabble words—or any words—when her partner's chest hair was so temptingly visible and touchable and dammit, girl, what is wrong with you?
The pie had no effect on Masters; he relocated to the sofa to watch TV, and Carlton raised his eyebrow at Juliet. "You okay on your own?"
"Go," she said resignedly. "Sleep the sleep of the just."
He grinned. "I would, but that's not my style. See you at two a.m., partner."
Juliet made her rounds and made absent responses to Masters when he spoke, and finally, after the local news, he declared himself ready to hit the hay, and lumbered off to the bathroom and then to bed.
Finally, she could breathe.
Not that she could breathe.
After Masters was settled, she showered and changed into her nightwear, and prowled the house again, trying to resist the lure of the bedroom where Carlton lay sleeping.
She lasted about ten minutes past Masters' first round of snoring before finding herself in the doorway of the dark bedroom, watching Carlton in the glow of the nightlight.
The covers were off again, and his shirt was askew, exposing his lean abdomen. One arm was flung wide and the other was alongside his body, and those long, dusky eyelashes were as tempting as the rest of him.
He was dreaming again, and her gaze wandered south, but there was nothing going on. Yet.
She was fascinated nonetheless. Relaxed like this, Carlton was damnably attractive.
Next thing she knew, she had advanced closer to the bed to see him better. To see his skin better.
Murmuring her name, he sighed, and the hand which had been at his hip moved onto his stomach, and as she was letting the shiver of desire overtake her, his hand moved again, his fingertips slipping under his waistband.
They stopped there, and she finally remembered to start breathing again.
You are a nasty person.
You are whatever a female pervert is called.
Still, she couldn't tear her eyes away, and when his erection started, she was utterly mesmerized and desperate to touch him.
Don't you dare touch him.
"Juliet," he said again, as needfully as he had last night.
She stood at the very edge of the bed, her gaze going from his face—eyes closed, breathing steady—to his nether regions.
You are too close.
He moved his arm, casting it out toward her, and before she could move, his hand made contact with her arm.
But he didn't wake.
His fingers curled around her forearm, and he said her name again, but he was still asleep.
He pulled her hand to rest on the bare skin his skewed tee had revealed, and Juliet's pulse jumped to a thousand to feel him like this.
How often does a woman get to touch her partner's exposed stomach, especially so close to what was going on south of the border, which was about her?
Carefully, slowly, and helplessly, she spread her fingers out, her palm flat against his skin. So warm. So warm and bare and kissable.
Carlton let go of her, sighing, and Juliet should have straightened up and moved away, but for a few more moments she allowed herself to touch his skin, sliding her hand up carefully under the tee and feeling the springy hair, and soon his heartbeat.
I am going to hell.
I don't care.
She was going to leave. Really, she was.
But as she carefully lifted her hand from his stomach, she couldn't help but look south again… and God help her, she brushed her fingers against the heat and growing hardness hidden within the soft flannel.
And just for a second.
And then, flooded with heat and want and not one drop of regret, she ran out of the room.
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. . .
The dream was more intense tonight.
Carlton woke with a start moments before it was too late to call back the dogs, and lay trembling in the bed, sweating as if he'd actually just done the deed he'd dreamed of in such detail.
He stumbled out of the room and down the hall, knowing he couldn't explain a cold shower now, but needing to dip something in icy water, even if it was just his face, to get this… situation under control again.
A few minutes later, staring at his damp reflection in the mirror, what loomed most in his mind was an image of Juliet simply touching his stomach, caressing him.
It was so intimate, and so erotic, and even, he dared allow himself to think, so loving.
Get out of here before she comes knocking to see if you're all right.
He shoved his hands through his hair and glanced at his watch. It was half past one and he knew he wouldn't sleep again.
Lights off, down the hall; he found Juliet in the living room, sitting cross-legged on the sofa in front of the muted TV, with no other lights on.
"You okay?" she asked.
He imagined his rapid exit from the bedroom had gotten her attention.
"Yeah." It was unsettling—she was unsettling—sitting there so inexpressibly desirable. "I can take over if you want."
Juliet didn't get up. "In a minute. Everything's clear out there."
"Good. Five more nights before his testimony and we're done." He settled in at the opposite end of the sofa, but it wasn't far enough away to not want her.
Her expression was odd. "I haven't really minded this assignment too much. It's… had an up side." She smiled hesitantly. "I've… enjoyed spending these evenings with you."
Carlton was glad the lights were off, because he could feel the heat in his cheeks. "Ditto," he managed. "You're good company."
She was pleased. "You too."
He mumbled some thanks, and when she rose a few minutes later to go take her turn at sleep, she paused briefly to put her hand on his shoulder as she said good night.
Later, he couldn't remember whether he'd mustered any response at all, but the brush of her fingertips against his neck certainly woke him the hell up.
He prowled the house, checking sensors and reviewing evacuation procedures, determined to put the dream out of his head. He used his iPhone to check on active case updates. He made a sandwich. He paced.
Finally he went to the door of 'their' bedroom, just for a second, just to be sure she was all right.
She was all right, yes.
He couldn't understand why she'd slipped out of her pajama bottoms; they were folded neatly at the end of the bed.
It was warm in here, he admitted, although the heat could have been just him. He couldn't decide, because he was too focused on looking at her luscious legs and then, inexorably, the pale blue panties he could see under her long but not really long enough tee.
She rolled over, away from him. This caused him to about swallow his tongue, because the tee rode up, exposing her lower back and the entirety of those panties which covered her oh-so-delectable backside.
Ah hell. He might as well go look for an ice pack to apply directly to his groin.
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The next night, Juliet was determined to keep herself under control. She had tried valiantly and failed miserably to keep her mind off Carlton during the day, but she would prevail this evening.
She had the first sleep shift, and began it promptly at ten, leaving Carlton with Masters and a game of gin rummy.
Last night she'd had nothing but erotic dreams about her long lean Irishman, leaving her wild-eyed and half-crazy by the time she was face-to-face with him over the breakfast table. He looked a little rough himself, but not in a way which made him any less desirable.
Lying in bed, she counted sheep, and then backwards from 100, and then backwards from 500, and then silently recited the entire California Penal Code sections on vandalism, public intoxication and forgery.
Then she imagined Carlton naked and sighing under her touch. Under her tongue.
Then she re-visited vandalism.
Then she imagined being naked herself and sighing under his touch. Under his tongue.
Forget forgery, but she could do with some intoxication, if it would help get these urges under control.
It was past midnight and the main room had been quiet awhile. She knew Masters was in his room and she knew there was a bottle of wine hidden in the kitchen. Not that they were to engage in on-duty drinking. Not that she gave a rip.
Stepping out into the hall, she spotted Carlton in the armchair with a book, but he wasn't reading it. His eyes were closed until she padded past him. "Hey," he muttered.
"Hey. I'm getting drunk now," she answered conversationally, and kept going.
It wasn't at all surprising that he followed her to the kitchen, eyebrows up as she opened the wine and poured a generous amount into a Garfield glass.
"The occasion?" he inquired.
"I need to sleep."
"Ah." He rubbed his temple. "I know the feeling."
"You can have a go. I can tell I'm up for the duration."
"No, I mean…" He sighed. "The last few nights. It's getting harder."
Oh, let's DO talk about that word 'harder.'
She took a large swallow, and Carlton watched her, his expression speculative as he studied her. Finally he filled his own glass—Tweety—and toasted her.
They drank in silence, and she told him he might as well go to bed, and after he finally agreed, she made her rounds and did her check-in and believed for all of half an hour that she could resist him.
This time, she didn't bother lingering in the doorway.
She walked straight to the bed where he lay sleeping, and when his hand wandered to the clearly burgeoning erection hidden so well under the flannel, she bent and slid her fingers under his waistband, tugging the pajamas down gently to expose his… oh dear. Not his boxers.
There were no boxers.
There was just Carlton.
I. Want. That.
There were no voices in her head chastising her or encouraging her. There was just silence, and his even breathing.
She went to the door… and closed it.
Returning to the bed, she took a moment to review. One action which was totally unconscionable was to take advantage of him like this as he slept.
She did have some personal standards, after all. Sure she did.
She was also incredibly horny and if she didn't have this man, soon, she'd be a puddle by morning.
So she woke him up.
She bent over him and kissed him softly. His lips were warm and firm and he murmured, but did not wake.
She kissed him more intently, and lifted his hand to her breast, and when that still didn't wake him, she shucked the shirt off and put his hand directly to her bare skin.
His eyes flew open and he jerked back, but Juliet kept her mouth on his, and kept his hand on her breast, and in a few seconds he groaned and gave up resistance.
That's when she knew his dreams really were about her, and had probably been going on a long time… just like hers.
A sensuous and hungry kiss from a wide-awake Carlton was a glorious thing indeed, she reflected, as he pulled her down to lie with him.
"Masters," he did mutter, hands sliding possessively down her bare back.
"Asleep," she muttered back. "Door closed. All check-ins complete." She could feel his erection through her pajamas and really didn't want to waste time talking.
Carlton didn't either, it seemed. He was very interested in suckling her breasts, and Juliet had to figure out how to get out of her pajamas and panties without separating his hot mouth from her nipple.
But she managed it, and managed soon afterwards to finally grasp the silky smooth incredibly hot flesh previously hidden from her view, and Carlton nearly lost it when her tongue dragged along his length with evil slowness.
"God, woman, you'll finish me off in nothing flat," he growled, and flipped her onto her back. Before she could even protest, he silenced her by sliding down her body to part her legs and get his own taste.
No screaming, she reminded herself; no way would Masters sleep through that. But she couldn't stop her thighs from clamping uncontrollably around Carlton's head, bucking up toward his wicked mouth as he tormented her to the point of no return, which didn't take long, since she'd been about ten seconds away from an orgasm for two days now.
And then he was inside her, kissing her as fiercely and deeply as he was driving into her, and she was more than happy with that, more than happy, more than reaching nirvana.
He held out as long as he could; she could tell—but she wanted his release. She needed it, and to know she was the one who gave him that.
It was so intense, his orgasm, so intense that everything seemed to slow down for a few moments, as his so-very-damn-blue eyes widened and he broke the kiss, holding his breath, long slow-motion sensations freezing them together until the dam broke and he took her along with him, collapsing with her, on her.
"Never even got your tee off," she marveled.
Carlton laughed, still out of breath, and lifted his head to kiss her.
Juliet kept her legs wrapped around him while he pulled off the offending shirt, and then welcomed the delightful friction of his furred chest against her bare skin. "Mmmm, yes."
"We get caught, we get fired," he said almost calmly.
"We get fired, we have more time to do this again," she countered.
"That's fair." He kissed her mouth, seeking entrance with his tongue, and she granted it willingly.
She had a feeling she would grant him most favors of this nature willingly.
"What made you come to me?" he asked after awhile, holding her close, one hand on her hip and the other around her back.
"The fact that I wanted to come with you," she said impertinently, and even in the nightlight's dim glow could see him blushing. "I've been damn near crazy the last few nights, dreaming about you." She wasn't quite ready to confess her voyeurism.
"Me too," he admitted. "Something about you wandering around in those flannels."
"And Mom always said it was silk that would do the trick."
Carlton sighed. "She was wrong."
"I want more, you know." It seemed bold to say it, almost more bold than coming in here and having the unmitigated horniness-induced nerve to tug his pants down and expose him.
He pulled back, gazing at her. "Tonight? You got it." His grin was accompanied by a grinding of his lower body to hers.
Juliet couldn't help but undulate against him, but stayed focused enough to say somewhat raggedly, "No, I mean—well, yes, tonight—but I mean… I want more." She touched his face tenderly. "More. Everything. This wasn't just a booty call."
Going still, he peered at her, and she met his searching blue gaze steadily. "I think we have that in common, Juliet." His smoky voice undid her completely.
"But a booty call isn't out of the question either," she amended, even as her heart swelled with hope at his tone and the look in those ocean-blue eyes.
"I think we have that in common, too," he agreed, and pushed her onto her back again, already moving south with his tongue.
If Masters noticed they were both exceptionally mellow in the morning, he never said a word.
And this time when the day shift came to relieve them, the night shift went straight to Juliet's place for some truly private… co-mingling. Yes.
And the next time Carlton became aroused in his sleep, Juliet didn't helplessly watch.
She took matters into her own hands.
As it were.
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