I'm amazed by all the alerts and favorites and reviews for this story. Thanks so much! By popular demand, this last chapter is Rated M. If M rated material is offensive, the prior two chapters can easily stand alone. You will miss nothing by avoiding this chapter. Thanks for reading and reviewing. Enjoy!

She can't believe this is happening. That she's letting it happen. She's spent the past two years growing steadily closer to him, trusting him, depending on him. She's known it's a dangerous thing, getting too close to her partner. Look what happened to Dom. Losing him had been devastating, and she wasn't even that close with him. Sure, they worked together every day, but he was nothing like Deeks. Hell, no one is like Deeks. Maybe that's the allure. Maybe that's why this works. He's the polar opposite of her, and he forces her to lighten up and not take herself or anything else too seriously. Somehow, his insanity is her sanity in the midst of chaos.

She'd spent the past few days reading a book. Something she rarely has time for. And it had been one hell of a story. One she couldn't put down. One that haunts her, still. Two police officers – two partners – and their journey through a case and a relationship, and eventually, his violent, heartrending demise. And all she could think of while reading it was that those two characters could easily be herself and her own partner. Too easily. It made her realize just how close she is to him, and how easily her heart could be ripped out if she lost him. It's a pain she can't imagine facing, a loss that would surely be the end of her. She can't even think of it without her throat constricting and her heart doing the same.

She hadn't expected him to come here tonight. She was sitting here grieving a loss she hasn't yet – and hopefully never will – experience. She had finished that damn book late last night, forfeiting sleep in the hopes that the author would show mercy in the end, and save the main character. And when she'd turned that last page sitting in bed, tears had coursed down her face in rivers, and she'd thrown the book across the room hard enough to punch a small divot into the drywall. She'd thought of Deeks, and his smile and those blue eyes, and she'd cried so hard she lost her breath. She hadn't slept, had only tossed and turned, thinking of him, of them, and all the ways he's invaded her life and her space and her heart. And she'd fully realized what it would mean to lose him.

Sometime in the night, she'd made up her mind. She can't be this close to him. He's her partner, and that's all he can ever be. He shouldn't be her friend, her confidante, her ally. He shouldn't affect her the way he does with that smile and those deep, expressive ocean eyes of his. But he does. And last night or early this morning, she decided it had to stop. Emotional distance was the best option. She vowed to herself to put away her feelings for him, and seal them away forever, like they never existed. To shut them off and never look at him the same way again. It proved to be harder than she'd thought.

She did her best all day, avoiding him when she could, shutting him out, ignoring him. But he was there, worrying over her, questioning her, and just being Deeks. He kept threatening to unravel her, without saying a word. Just that gaze and his furrowed brow was enough to dig under the stone wall she had tried so hard to erect overnight. And when he had caught her by the arms at her desk, pinning her against it with his thighs against hers, it had been all she could do not to break. To latch onto him and sob against his chest that she's terrified of losing him. She had steeled herself and gotten away before that could happen, thank God, not falling apart until she was safely inside her Cadillac and on the way home.

Then, there he was at her door thirty minutes ago, that concerned look on his beautiful face, threatening to break down that wall. She let him in against her better judgment, knowing he probably wouldn't have taken no for an answer anyway. At least, that's what she tried to tell herself. The truth was, she has no power against him. That smile, those eyes, that laugh, the sweet way he shows his concern in his features, all work against her like kryptonite, destroying every defense she has. And now, here they are, inches apart on her couch, his hands on her face, and those deep azure eyes staring down into hers. This is everything she's ever wanted, and everything she's ever feared. She wants him, she needs him, and she realizes – after reading that damn book – that she loves him. And all but one thing she's ever experienced would hurt as much as losing him.

She still can't believe she spilled her heart and soul to him a few minutes ago. She can't believe she cried in front of him, and showed her emotional side. She can't believe he feels exactly the same way for her.

"I want you, too."

His lips feel so soft and warm and right against hers. His hand cupping her face, his denim-clad knee touching her bare one, and his scent enveloping her, are all things she never dared to consciously dream of. Feeling his fingertips skim along her arm to twine her hand with his is the most incredible thing she's ever felt. His thumb rubs gently over her skin, and she knows he probably doesn't even realize he's doing it. It's just him. The sweet, soft, caring man who can't stand to see her hurt or upset. The one who wants to soothe her. She knows him well enough to know that even if he keeps silent, he worries for her when she's upset, and hurts for her when she's sad.

Seeing the look on his face a few minutes ago, as she'd revealed the pain she was in, and the reason why, had told her everything she'd been afraid to hear or even think. He has the same feelings she does. And although he's scared of losing her, he's even more afraid of losing what they might have together if they don't just give in. He pulls back from a long, deep kiss, and gazes down into her eyes, a slight smile playing over his lips.

"What are you thinking?" she asks softly.

"That this feels so much better than I had even imagined."

"You've imagined this?"

He raises his eyebrows. "You haven't?"

"I've tried not to. I didn't want…I was afraid to…" Damn it. Words are so inadequate right now. How to express the want, the need, the desire? How to explain the fear that overrode that desire? "You're my partner."

He nods. A sexy smile spreads across his face. "I am. Didn't stop me from imagining you…" He pulls away the collar of her t-shirt to drop a soft kiss on her shoulder. "Without a shred of clothes on…" He slowly kisses her neck. "Lying underneath me."

Her breath catches. A delicious tremor wracks her. She swallows and draws a trembling breath. "Deeks…"

He gently nips her earlobe and whispers, "Yes, Kensi?"

Her eyes close and her head falls back, her only thoughts the feel of his lips and teeth and tongue on her skin. "I have no idea."

He chuckles, and she feels the tip of his tongue dip along the little hollow just behind her earlobe. Then he's kissing down her neck, his fingers skimming up the back of her head and tugging at the elastic. Her hair falls free, dark curls covering his face, and she feels him take a deep breath, breathing her in.

"Have I ever mentioned how good you smell? I could drown in you, I think."

"Mmm…I could say the same of you," she murmurs, bringing her lips to his neck. She kisses and sucks softly, running her tongue along his pulse point. "And you taste exactly like you smell."

He's breath grows heavy and his eyes close. "That's because you're licking off my cologne."

"Is that a complaint?"

He shudders as she catches his tan flesh lightly between her teeth. "Uh-huh. Lick anything you want."

She smiles and nips him, making him jump.

"Ow! Can we save the rough stuff for another time, Fern? This is still kind of new, don't you think?"

"You deserved that." She nuzzles against the spot she bit, kissing it softly. "And I have no desire to be rough," she whispers, drawing his earlobe between her lips. She sucks and tugs gently with her teeth, hearing his breath rush out and feeling his hands grasp her hips and pull her onto his lap.

"You're too far away," he breathes, capturing her lips as she settles her thighs on either side of his.

As he kisses her, she feels the warmth of his hands slip beneath the back of her t-shirt. His t-shirt, she remembers, and feels a slight flush creep up her neck. The embarrassment is short-lived, as his fingertips skim up her spine, and come to a halt where her bra strap should be. She isn't wearing one, and from the hitch in Deeks' breath as he obviously realizes that, he seems pleasantly surprised. His hand glides up between her shoulder blades and to the back of her neck, to hold her gently in place as he kisses her. The front of her top rides up beneath her breasts, and she feels the fabric of what he's wearing tickle her stomach. It's oddly intimate, and she trembles at the feel of it. Then his hand replaces it, his fingers ghosting over her skin, and she can't help the small sound it elicits.

His touch is incredible, his kiss so slow and deep and intense that it leaves her head spinning. She can't remember the last time she felt like this. Has she ever felt like this? So connected, so overwhelmed, so lost in taste and touch and scent and sensation that she can't even care that it's a bad idea. That he's her partner and that she could lose him at any moment. That he could end up tearing her heart out and leaving her even more scarred and damaged than she was before him. No. She's pretty sure she's never once been this far-gone over anyone.

She wraps her arms around his neck, and threads her hands into his hair, pulling the silky strands through her fingers. He squeezes the back of her neck, sounds of pleasure and contentment escaping him. She pulls back and looks into his eyes, touching his face, outlining his features with her fingertips, just taking him in.

He smiles a bit. "What?"

"You're beautiful."

He brushes a strand of hair from her forehead. "That's my line."

She smiles a little. "Beat you to it."

"Feels good to say it, though." He plants a soft kiss on her lips. "You're beautiful. And incredible. And special. And I never thought I'd get to tell you." He stares at her for a moment before smiling. "And I can't even begin to tell you how much I like my shirt on you."

"You saw it on me when you gave it to me."

"Not like this. Not without a bra, wearing a pair of shorts, straddling my lap," he says, before groaning softly and running his hand into her hair to pull her lips to his.

She feels his tongue move over hers, his fingers twining into her hair, and his other hand up beneath her t-shirt, slipping dangerously close to her left breast. Her breath comes fast in anticipation of his touch, her heart thundering in her chest. She slides herself further up his thighs, tucking her bare feet behind him to urge him forward. He moves a bit, and she wraps her legs around his waist, gasping at the feel of him, hard beneath her.

He moans and rocks his hips, and she fists her hands in his hair. She's never really thought about it, about what he might feel like pressed against her this way. How large or small he might be, or how badly she'd want to find out. She shifts herself, trying to bring more of him in contact with her. The denim is too restrictive. It's in the way. She wants it gone, so she can truly feel him. She reaches down and undoes the button on his jeans, her hands shaking with anticipation and nerves and want.

He catches her hands and pushes her off him, and stands up, never breaking the kiss. Once they're standing, she tugs down his zipper and slides the jeans down his hips, leaving his boxers in place. She feels him step out of the pants and catch her shorts by the waistband. Soon, they join his jeans at their feet. Then, he's pushing her down onto the cushions, pushing her knees apart, and settling himself between her thighs. His teeth nip at her neck, while his hands move beneath her top, stopping just beneath the swell of her breasts.

The feel of him pressing hard against her in exactly the right place, makes her whimper and arch into him. He pushes back, the teasing, delicious torture driving her mad. "Deeks…" She clutches at him, dying to feel his hands on her breasts.

He kisses her, his tongue doing things that leave her dizzy and panting. But his hands stay where they are. He rocks his hips, giving her just a taste of what's to come. "You feel so good, Kens. You taste incredible. Your mouth, your skin…"

"I need you," she breathes. "I want you."

He looks down at her, and pulls one hand from beneath her shirt. He traces her cheekbone, then dips down to kiss it. Then her other cheek…her chin…her nose…her eyelids. It's incredibly sweet, tempering the passion with the love he obviously feels for her. "Can we go in the bedroom? I don't really want our first time to be on the couch," he murmurs against her neck.

The words our first time produce a tremor that goes straight to her toes. It makes her breath hitch, and her heart nearly stop. It puts this moment clearly in perspective, and she finds it hard suddenly to catch her breath.

He stares down at her, touching her face. "God, you're beautiful."

She can't respond. He dips down and opens his mouth, capturing her lips. She winds her arms around him, savoring his taste. His kiss is like none she's ever experienced before. Each one is like a soft lick; his tongue brushing her lips and the tip of her own tongue. It does things to her she never imagined a kiss could do.

"Do you have any idea what that's doing to me?" she asks, breathless, fisting her hands into his shirt.

"Uh-huh." He punctuates that with another kiss. "Bedroom?"

She nods, swallowing. She sits up, and he moves off of her, but doesn't let go. He catches her hand in his, twining his fingers with hers. It makes her heart constrict. She isn't used to feeling this way. She's had one-night stands; emotionless encounters that left her sexually sated, but nothing else. Just the feel of Deeks' hand holding hers trumps every sensation those other men ever gave her, combined. She can't begin to imagine what it will feel like to make love with him.

He leads her into her bedroom, and stops beside the bed. He stares down at her, holding her hand, stroking her hair back with the other. And then he cups her cheek and brings his mouth to hers in another incredible kiss, and she moans, grabbing onto him, pulling him close. He kisses her languidly for a few moments, before drawing back and looking into her eyes again. "Are you sure?"

She swallows and nods, then reaches for the hem of his shirt. She pulls it up and off, dropping it onto the floor. She bites her lip and takes him in, every inch of his tanned skin more beautiful and appealing than anything she's ever seen. Her fingertips graze his chest, ghosting over the scars left from his bullet wounds. She fights away the memory of nearly losing him, her throat constricting at the unwelcome thoughts.

He must see the hesitation and the tremor in her fingers as she touches them. He stills her hand with one of his, and tips her face up to his. "Don't, okay?" he says, his voice soft. "I'm here right now, safe."

She swallows, her heart rate stuttering with the onslaught of fears. "But…"

He shakes his head. "Uh-uh. We're together. We're here and we're together and we're safe. And if we're not tomorrow, if we end up in trouble, you know what? I'd do anything in the world to protect you. And I know you'd do exactly the same for me. You're tough, strong, and determined, Kensi. And you have my back. I know I'm safe with you. I know you'd never let anything happen to me. You know that, too."

He's right. She'd die before she let anyone take him from her. She reaches up and kisses him, and he pulls her into his arms and holds her. She rests her head against his chest, hearing his steady, reassuring heartbeat. "I want you more than I've ever wanted anything in my life."

"I'm right here. I'm yours, Kensi."

She swallows and pulls back, tugging him towards the bed. He stops her, his hands on her waist. He kisses her, then catches the hem of the LAPD shirt, and slowly pulls it off of her. She sees his eyes darken and dilate at the sight of her standing there in only a pair of lacy panties.

He takes her in. "God, Kensi…"

She steps closer and slips her fingers into the waistband of his plaid boxers, and slips them slowly downward, over his hips, until they fall away. He closes his eyes, swallowing hard, likely looking for restraint. She skims her hands over his body, then grasps him, her hand sliding down his impressive length.

He shudders and sucks in a breath, his hands grasping her hips. "Kens…"

She watches him, eyes closed, head falling back, his thundering pulse evident in his neck. She doesn't let go, but leans up to kiss that pulse point, while slowly stroking him. He groans, catching her hand and pulling it away. He pulls her tight against him, breathing hard. After a few moments, he seems to regain some control, and he lets go. He eyes her appreciatively, then slides his hands down her body and over her hips, taking her panties with them.

He moans at the sight of her standing naked in front of him. His fingertips ghost over the skin of her shoulders and chest, and down the valley between her breasts. It drives her mad. He's so close, but he's yet to touch them. She aches with the need for contact, and takes his hand and pulls him to the bed.

He pushes her down, lying beside her, drawing her into his arms. He kisses her for long minutes, his hands traveling up and down the length of her body, but avoiding all the sensitive, aching locations.

"Deeks," she pleads. "Touch me."

He kisses her once more, then kisses a slow trail to her neck, then her shoulder, and down her arm. He picks up her hand and kisses each fingertip, before retracing his path back to her shoulder. He sucks and kisses, biting gently here and there. He repeats the process with the other arm and hand, returning to her shoulder. It's driving her insane. The slow, sensual kisses, strategically placed away from her erogenous zones are maddening.


He gives in, and moves to her breast, kissing it as he'd kissed her mouth, with soft little licks and the brush of his lips. She gasps, tangling her hands in his hair, whimpering when he pulls her nipple into his mouth and gently sucks and nips. What she'd wanted so badly, she finds she can't quite handle. She wants him, needs him, doesn't think she can take another breath without him inside her. She tugs at his hair, but he doesn't relent. She doubts it's possible to have an orgasm this way, but thinks she's about to find out. And then his hand travels down her body, finding its way between her thighs, and the sound she makes doesn't even sound familiar to her own ears.

He removes his mouth from her breast, but leaves his hand in place, gently, slowly bringing her the most incredible, most maddening sensations she's ever felt. He kisses her again, though she's nearly panting. She wraps her arms around him and moves her legs apart, and tries to pull him on top of her.

He buries his face in her hair and whispers against her ear, "Not yet." He draws back and kisses her, then looks down in to her eyes. "Relax. We have all night, Kens."

That may be true, but he's driving her insane, making her need him and want him and need the release he's teasing her with. She clutches at him, biting her lip. She's so close. "Deeks…"

"Not yet." He kisses her again.

She's writhing beneath his fingers, panting, whimpering, nearly completely out of her mind. And then he slips them inside, and within seconds, she cries out, stars exploding behind her eyes, wave after delicious wave crashing over her. He takes her over the edge and back up again, and back over in a matter of moments. When she feels the last of it fade, he pulls away his hand and kisses her.

"Better now?" he asks softly, brushing back a strand of damp hair from her forehead.

She tries to catch her breath, and shakes her head. "I still want you."

He kisses her again. "I want you, too. And not just now, tonight, either. For as long as it's possible."

"Me, too."

He lies there, facing her, watching her come down. There's adoration in his deep blue eyes, mixed with passion and desire. She rolls onto her side to face him, her breath beginning to slow. He touches her face and kisses her, drawing her body against his. She wraps her leg around his hip, and she feels him press against her. It reignites the wanton desire immediately, despite her recent release. He rocks forward a little, the tip of him now sheathed in her. He moans, his breath catching. His eyes close, and he pulls back a bit, before rolling her onto her back.

She grasps his biceps, feeling him cradled between her thighs. He keeps his eyes closed for a few moments, probably fighting for control. When he opens them, he leans down and kisses her slowly and softly, keeping his hips still. She pulls at him, arching up against him, silently begging him to take her.

He draws back and touches her face. "We can slow down or wait, Kens. This is all still really new. We don't have to do this now."

"I don't want to stop. If we stop…" She doesn't say it, but she knows he understands. If we stop, and something happens to one of us tomorrow, we'll never have this memory.

"I don't want you to think we have to. I don't want there to be pressure."

"There isn't. I want you. I need you. I need to not know where you end and I begin. I need us together, Deeks. As physically close as we can get."

He kisses her softly, and draws back again to look down in to her eyes, tracing her cheekbone with one finger. "I love you."

She feels her throat constrict. They're the most beautiful words she's ever heard. "I love you, too."

He captures her lips with his, and settles his weight against her. His hand threads into her hair, and he nudges her thighs further apart with his. She arches up and feels him, feels his hand against her inner thigh as he guides himself into her. He rocks his hips and pushes slowly inside, and she grasps onto him, panting and whimpering, arching up to drive him deeper and deeper.

He slows her, keeping the tempo from getting too fast too soon. "I want you for as long as I can possibly have you, Kensi. Go slow," he breathes against her ear. "I don't want to just have sex with you. I want to make love to you. Let me do that."

She slows her movements, letting her feelings for him override her passion. She concentrates on each kiss, each caress, each long, slow, deep thrust. She savors the languid kisses, the way his tongue dances slowly with hers, the way he tastes and smells, and the way he feels deep inside her. But even slowly, making love with him is the most incredible thing she's ever felt, and soon, she's back on the edge of that precipice, only inches from falling off.

He seems to realize what he's doing to her, that nothing he does is going to keep her from climaxing again, and he gives in to her and increases their rhythm. He thrusts into her over and over, until she's trembling and panting, moaning his name, and digging her nails into his back. She cries out her release, arching up into him, welcoming his deep, hard thrusts, riding out the intense waves that finally carry her back down.

She hasn't begun to recover, her heart still pounds, her breath coming in ragged, uncontrolled gasps. He slows his rhythm a bit, but keeps up the long, deep thrusts. And then, before she can catch her breath, he goes from a steady rhythm to completely still, deep inside her. The sudden stillness is a sharp contrast to the intense tempo of seconds ago, and she begins to spasm and contract, as the most overwhelming orgasm she's ever felt rolls through her. Neither one moves. He holds her tight, and she clings to him, gasping and moaning, unable to get a breath as the waves of a tsunami crash over her. It seems to last forever, though it shouldn't even be possible.

It begins to recede, and she's aware of his lips on her neck, and his body beginning to move again. He kisses her, increasing his tempo, his breath coming harder and harder until he has to pull away from her mouth and suck in gasps of air. Within minutes, she feels herself back in that same place, her body tensing and aching, balancing on the edge. He falls over first, fisting his hands in the sheets at her shoulders, burying his face in her neck, and moaning her name. Feeling his release sends her back over the edge with him, their bodies pulsing, hearts racing, each calling out the other's name in desperation.

She breathes through the aftershocks, limbs trembling, heart pounding. He pushes himself off of her, and collapses beside her, immediately reaching to draw her to his chest. She settles against him, listening to the steady cadence of his heart, and his slowing breaths. She feels his body tremble beneath her, and she pulls a blanket over them and releases a contented breath.

His hands stroke the damp skin of her back, lulling her closer and closer to sleep. "You okay?"

"Mm-hmm. That thing you did..."

"Stopping? Not moving?"

She nods. "Do I even want to know where you learned that?"

"I read, too, Kens. It's called a valley orgasm."

She smiles a little. "Ever tried it before?"

"Nope. I honestly didn't even think it would work."

"It worked."

He laughs. "Yeah. I got that. Pretty sure the neighbors got it, too."

She half-heartedly slaps his chest. "Shut up," she says, slightly embarrassed. "I'm glad you read."

He kisses the top of her head and holds her close. "I'm glad you read, too. If it weren't for your book, this may not have ever happened. We might have never..."

She reaches up and presses a finger to his lips, staring into his eyes. "I love you, Deeks. I don't want to think about anything else. Not tonight. I want that perfect world a little longer."

"So do I," he whispers. "I love you, too, Kensi. More than you know."

She settles back down against his chest, and falls asleep to the steady rhythm of his beating heart, their world still perfect, just for tonight.