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She caressed his arm languidly. "Well, all right. I suppose that'll have to do for now. But if you're not forthcoming, I may have to resort to some of the interrogation tactics I learned at the Bureau.
"I'll have you know I'm pretty resistant. The Marine Corps trains you in counter-interrogation techniques."
"Ah, but Mac, no one can resist me". She shifted slightly and he felt her hand slowly trailing up his inner thigh. "Not even a trained Marine."
His breath hitched as her finger grazed over a particularly sensitive part. "Mmmmm, you just might be right."
A Nice Dinner 8 – Epilogue: Satiety (The condition of being full, to or beyond satisfaction)
Two Days Later, Tuesday morning:
Jo Danville trudged down the subway stairs, fighting with her umbrella in a futile effort to force it to retract. She finally gave up, shoving it halfway extended into her bag, coating herself with a fine spray of water droplets from its edges as she did so.
She huffed loudly. She could not believe her luck this morning; or rather lack thereof. She wasn't due in the Lab for another hour, but Mac would be stuck in budget meetings until at least mid-afternoon, so she was in charge. She'd hoped to get in early to catch up on everything that had come in over the long weekend, but at this rate, she'd be lucky if she arrived on time, let alone early.
It had all started in the elevator down to her car. She'd brought a mug of coffee to finish on the way down and while searching for her car keys in her bag, she'd spilled half of it down her shirt. Which required her to go back up and change. When she finally made it back down to her car, it had refused to start. After ten minutes of trying everything she could think of, she'd given up. A quick call to the tow company only made matters worse when they informed her it would be two hours before anyone could get to her. She'd tried to flag a taxi but with the rain, every single one that passed by her was already occupied. Now she was stuck taking the subway, but couldn't seem to find her Metrocard in her bag for the life of her. She groaned as she saw the size of the line in front of the ticket vending machines.
Ten minutes later and she was finally on the platform, having just missed the last train. She glanced around her, mentally calculating where to position herself so that once the next train arrived, she could board quickly while circumventing as much of the crowd as possible.
As she eyed the busy platform, she noticed an ad for the new Batman movie. She felt some of the tension in her shoulders release and she couldn't help but smile as her thoughts trailed back to yesterday afternoon, when she'd met Mac at the theater to see it.
. . .
After spending the night together Saturday, they'd barely had a chance to see each other. Mac had spent Sunday moving his friend's daughter and had ended up staying with them for dinner. He'd called later to check in with Jo, but she'd fallen asleep on her couch and he'd insisted that she just go to bed, alone, and get some much needed rest. They'd agreed to meet for brunch Monday, but Mac had gotten an early call and been tied up until well after lunchtime.
When he'd finally called Monday afternoon, inviting her to meet him at the movie theater, she'd jumped at the chance to see him once again before Ellie returned that night. She stifled a laugh now, recalling how she'd quizzed him about the plot line as they'd left the theater because she was certain he hadn't paid any attention to the movie. Every time she'd glanced over at him sitting next to her, he'd been watching her, rather than the screen. Even so, somehow he'd seemed to follow the story as he'd answered all of her questions correctly.
. . .
Still smiling to herself, Jo glanced down the subway tunnel, seeing the headlights approaching, and she gradually sidled her way closer to the edge of the platform, just to the side of where the doors would end up. A few people looked at her askance for sidestepping the queue that had formed, but she made a show of readjusting her badge on her belt loop and in response, everyone seemed to leave her alone. As the train pulled in and the doors slid open, she stepped aside to allow a few passengers to exit, then quickly hopped on. Noting that all the seats were already taken, she quickly made her way to a far corner where she'd at least be able to huddle and avoid the worst of the horde boarding the car.
As the train took off, she was jarred backwards into a handrail in the corner. Although uncomfortable, the sudden pressure against her backside also served to conjure up an image of her quick subway ride with Mac the day before, following the movie.
. . .
Having met near a theater in Times Square, they'd both taken the subway to avoid weekend traffic. After the movie, they'd decided to grab a quick snack at Mac's favorite coffee shop Uptown before she had to return home to await Ellie's return. Once on the train, Mac had maneuvered her through the crowded car to seek refuge in a back corner. As the crowd had closed in upon them, Jo had had to press backwards into Mac to avoid being taken out by a small child wielding her princess umbrella in front of her like a sword. Smiling down at the child, while carefully avoiding being poked in the eye, Jo had not been paying any attention to the train. As it had jerked to a start, she'd nearly lost her balance and Mac had reached out, wrapping his arms around her body and pulling her close to him to steady her.
She'd smiled, murmuring her thanks, but when she'd attempted to shift and give him some space, his arms had encircled her even tighter, preventing her from moving away. He'd leaned into her, nuzzling her neck, placing a light kiss there, one of his thumbs snaking under her jacket and subtly stroking the underside of her breast through her shirt. 'I've missed you.' He'd whispered in her ear, and he'd moved in to place another soft kiss on her cheek.
One stop later, as the train had jolted around a curve, she'd distinctly felt him pressing into her from behind, clearly aroused. Her breath had caught in her throat and she'd leaned even further back into him. He'd began mumbling something in her ear about the movie and something else he'd like to do with her, but she'd been so taken aback by his actions in the midst of the crowded subway car that his words hadn't quite registered.
. . .
Suddenly Jo was shocked out of her reverie by the announcement of her stop. She bolted ahead and fought her way to the doors, barely descending the car before a new mass of people pushed their way in. She let out a breath and shook her head, trying to clear her mind as she walked up the stairs to the street and on to the Lab, the raindrops assaulting her as she now fought to open her defiant umbrella.
A few minutes before 8 a.m., she exited the elevator onto the 35th floor, glancing over at Mac's office out of habit. Of course he's not there, she chided herself. His meeting started at 8; he'd be over at One Police Plaza now meeting with the department heads yet again about how to cut costs. She didn't envy him that duty – she'd had to do it while he was out on sick leave after his shooting and she'd dreaded the quarterly sessions that always seemed to dwindle down to an argument over just how many different chemicals and lab techs the Lab really needed.
She stepped into her office, draped her raincoat on the rack and dropped her umbrella onto the floor below, shaking a few random droplets out of her hair.
She pulled out her chair and stared, shaking her head, at the small pile of incoming mail that had accumulated there since she'd last been in Saturday. A quick glance at her watch told her she had just under a half an hour before the morning briefing meeting. She'd better get started preparing for it.
She grabbed the pile off the chair, created a new pile on her desk and sat heavily down. Before pulling the case files from the weekend off her desk corner, she quickly glanced at the morning's newspaper that had been delivered to her office. One particular headline caught her eye, mentioning a potential strike by the City's horse-drawn carriage drivers. There was a photo of several of the carriages lined up along Central Park South and Jo felt her mind being pulled back yet again to her time spent with Mac the day before.
. . .
After Jo had first felt Mac pressing into her from behind on the subway, he had suddenly disentangled his arms from around her and led her off the train at the next stop. They'd exited the station at the southern edge of Central Park, near the intersection of 57th and 7th Avenue.
Glancing over at Mac, he'd merely smiled softly at her as he'd led her up the stairway. Once at the top, walking towards the Park, she'd looked at him curiously. 'I thought that little coffee shop you like was on Lexington.'
He'd nodded curtly. 'It is, but I thought of something else we could do instead.' He'd paused, then added a bit shyly. 'If you don't mind.'
She'd smiled. 'Mac Taylor, what on earth do you have up your sleeve?'
Getting no response other than a mischievous grin, she'd shrugged her shoulders and sighed dramatically. 'Well, I always like surprises.'
Mac had glanced at his watch. 'It's 6:30; what time is Ellie due back?' He'd asked as they waited for the traffic signal to change.
'Probably not 'til 8.' She'd furrowed her brow. 'Where are we going anyway?'
'You'll see.' And he'd taken her hand to lead her across the street to Central Park South, heading towards 6th Avenue. They'd passed along the line of horse-drawn carriages until Mac stopped in front of one. The driver, an elderly, white haired gentleman, had looked up from the book he was reading and suddenly beamed as he noticed Mac standing in front of him. He'd gingerly stepped down from the carriage and embraced Mac in a hug. They'd spoken quietly amongst one another a moment then the driver had motioned them both into the carriage with a grand smile and large wave of his hand, which he'd continued to hold out to help Jo as she climbed in.
Once inside the carriage, Mac had glanced at her. 'You ever ridden one before?'
Jo had cocked her head slightly. 'Sure, it was one of the first things Ellie wanted to do when we moved here.'
He'd smiled slightly and looked down at his hands. 'You ever ridden one with someone other than your kids?'
Jo had tossed her head back slightly and narrowed her eyes, looking at him suspiciously. 'No, I can't say that I have.'
Mac had looked back up at her, a glint forming in his eye as he spoke. 'Well, I happen to think it's one of the most romantic things you can do in New York.'
She'd nodded slowly. 'Ah, I see. And first name basis with the driver, means you take all your dates on one of these little rides?'
Mac had rolled his eyes. 'No, he's an old friend. I worked on a case involving his brother years ago. That's all.'
She'd smiled coquettishly. 'So now you've got me trapped in here, what're you going to do with me?'
And without a word, his eyes holding her gaze, he'd leaned over to her, until he was a mere breath away and his mouth had descended upon hers. Hesitating only a moment as the shock subsided, Jo had responded in kind and they'd managed to miss the initial landmarks the carriage passed by.
A few minutes later, Jo had moaned as his fingers moved to her waist and began undoing the clasp on her khaki pants. A moment later they were unzipping the zipper, working their way inside, down between her legs, where he moved aside the soaked material of her panties and with no hesitation, plunged a finger inside her.
She'd fumbled for his belt, but he'd shaken his head, whispering in her ear. 'No. Now is just for you.'
She'd wanted to protest, but when he added a second finger a moment later, she'd done nothing but gasp . . .
. . .
"Jo, are you ok?"
Jo started, wondering who on earth was calling her name now.
"Jo?" Lindsay paused as she approached her desk, laying her coat and umbrella on her chair as she looked at Jo, concern written on her face.
Jo froze, realizing she must have gasped out loud as she was thinking. She cleared her throat and grabbed some file folders from her desk. "Oh, hey. Umm, sorry. I was just thinking about . . ." her eyes flitted over the top case file on her lap. ". . . uh, this Jordan case. Guess I got kinda caught up in it."
Lindsay wrinkled her nose slightly. "That's old, Jo; Danny and I closed it Friday morning before we left for the weekend."
Lindsay came around her desk and looked more closely at Jo. "Are you ok? You look really flushed." She reached her hand out and placed it on Jo's forehead. "Mmm, you feel hot. Are you getting the flu? Lucy had it a couple weeks ago. Oh my God, it was horrible. You should take care of yourself. You want some tea? I'm gonna go get some for myself. I'll get you a cup too." And with that, she turned on her heels and left the office.
Jo sat for a moment, her hands covering her mouth and nose, barely daring to breathe, her heart beating so loudly she was sure her chest was vibrating. Lord, I need to get a hold of myself. She thought, silently reprimanding herself for letting her thoughts wander off yet again. But damn, her mind was just so full of good memories from the weekend, she was having trouble keeping them at bay.
She shook her head vigorously, trying to send the memories scattering, and opened another file on her lap. She reached out blindly for a pen to take some notes for this morning's meeting, but her hand came up empty handed. Glancing up, she noted her cup of pencils was completely empty. Her brow furrowed. What the . . ? She stood up surveying her desk to see if perhaps they had spilled but even after moving several different piles of papers and folders out of the way, she still didn't see a single writing implement.
She sat back in her chair a moment trying to figure out what on earth had happened to them. Shaking her head, she glanced down at the floor but, seeing nothing, she moved to pull open the small center drawer of her desk. There they were, all wrapped together neatly in a rubber band, placed next to a large manila envelope with her name written in pen and a small smiley face under it.
She stared at it a moment, then pulled it out tentatively. She was certain the handwriting was Mac's, but why would he have left her an envelope inside her drawer; she only kept junk in here. And why on earth would all her pens be here? Then it dawned on her. Mac never left her anything on her desk – he'd always said he was afraid it would get buried for months. He usually put things on her chair, but this was clearly private, given the little smiley face, so he must've stashed it in her drawer and hidden her pens so she'd look for them and find the envelope.
She smile slightly at that thought then glanced around her, making sure no one was near as she slowly opened the envelope and turned it upside down.
A small jewelry box tumbled out onto her lap, followed by a slip of stationery that wafted onto the floor by her chair.
She glanced down, eying the paper at her feet, seeing Mac's name signed at the bottom of a short note. She knew she should pick it up and read it first, but the little box in her lap was just too tempting and she grabbed it up, shooting one more glance into the hallway just in case Lindsay was on her way back with their tea.
Jo had never been able to resist a present – from the time she was little, she'd always torn into the wrapping paper as soon as the gift was in her hands, paying no mind to the gift tag, card or whom it was from. Now is not the time to start working on that character fault, she thought, as she ripped the ribbon off and flipped the little box open.
Her mouth broke into a huge grin upon seeing the item inside. It was a silver pendant in the shape of a spider, hanging on a delicate chain, reminiscent of a spider hanging off its web. She traced her finger over it's delicate detailing and carefully removed it from the box. She put the box and envelope back into her drawer and picked up the paper.
I hope you like this. While you were busy looking in that little jewelry shop the other day, I noticed this and just couldn't pass it up. It'll serve as a reminder of our first night together, or rather, what brought us closer together that night. I'll be forever thankful to that 'little' spider under your desk, because had it not startled you, I never would have sought you out in your office that night, you probably wouldn't have asked me to dinner, and, well, we'd better just leave it at that . . .
By the way, I left word with the cleaning service to be sure to clean regularly underneath your and Lindsay's desks, just to be safe. Although much appreciated, at least by me, one spider was probably enough.
And if you're free this Friday night, I know this great little Italian restaurant right around the corner from my apartment. They have a great chocolate mousse that I haven't yet had the chance to fully appreciate. 9:00? What do you say we go out and have a nice dinner together? Again.
She felt her heart skip several beats as she read the note once through quickly, then re-read it at a slower pace, savoring every word. She smiled, fingering the fine chain of the necklace and clasped it around her neck.
"Hey." A soft voice spoke just behind her and she jumped.
Glancing up suddenly, she saw Mac. "Oh, Mac. You scared me. Again."
She stood, touching the necklace, and smiled shyly at him. "It's perfect. Thank you." She raised her eyebrows. "And of course I'd love to go out for that nice dinner. Again."
He merely smiled back at her.
She glanced at her watch suddenly. "Hey, what happened to your meeting?"
"Delayed an hour."
She frowned at him. "So you came back here?"
He shrugged. "I wanted to take care of something in the office." He moved closer towards her. "This." He glanced behind him into the hallway and seeing no one near, leaned in to place a quick but luxurious kiss on her lips.
Don Flack turned the corner on his way to Jo's office, saw Mac leaning in to plant a kiss on her lips, and without missing a beat, did a quick about face, swinging back around the corner from where he came and shaking his head as a huge grin spread across his face. He nearly crashed into Lindsay carrying two cups of tea and, as he grabbed one and mumbled his thanks, he gently maneuvered her around before she turned the corner so that she ended up accompanying him back in the direction from which she'd just come. "Lindsay, you're just the person I need to talk to about this Gilroy case. . . ."
A/N: Hope everyone liked it. Thanks so much to all of you who read through to the end, to those who marked it - or me - as a favorite, and especially to all those who took the time to leave reviews. They were incredibly helpful and encouraging. And finally, a huge thanks to Quille and Swarovski who provided extra encouragement and inspiration through their reviews and PMs while I was writing this.