The Other Guy

Chapter 1: Punch Drunk Love

For the first time, John Reese had to admit that he hadn't been paying attention. Joss had a lot of admirers, but 99 percent of them were married, colleagues or friends, so they were readily dismissed. Even when she did go out with someone, the budding relationship couldn't overcome the two priorities in her life – her son and her work.

So when this guy approached her at a grocery store of all places, Reese wasn't worried. They'd go out for a drink or two, and then it would be over, he thought. Even when the guy was still hanging around after three months, he still wasn't worried – they'd had several coffee dates, a few quick lunches, and a couple of casual dinners, nothing special. Joss still spent the majority of her time away from work and Taylor with him, still flirted outrageously with him, never mentioned the guy.

She didn't even complain when one of those casual dinners was interrupted by a new number, so Reese wasn't worried.

It wasn't until he came to pick up Taylor for their weekly gun range and self-defense session, or 'shoot and boot' lessons as Taylor dubbed them, and the guy was sitting on Joss' couch, that Reese realized he'd missed something. The guy had met Taylor, was in Joss' home – when did that happen?

Now Reese was worried.

Taylor introduced them.

"Jocelyn says you're a good friend of the family,' the other guy said, "That you work together."

"Sometimes," Reese replied. For an immature moment, he noted that he was taller and in better shape than Joss' suitor, but then he reminded himself, the other guy had Joss in his arms and probably – he clenched his fists – in his bed.

Joss came bustling into the living room. She was wearing a beautiful dark red dress that highlighted her perfect skin and killer legs. "Sorry I'm late – hey, John," she gave the other guy a quick hug.

"You look fantastic," the other guy said, kissing her. "Ready to go?"

"Yes." She smiled at Reese and her son. "Remember, self-defense only." Giving Taylor a quick kiss on the cheek, Joss left the apartment with the other guy.

Taylor gave him an innocent look.

"Shut it," Reese growled.

"I didn't say anything!," the teenager protested. "Let's go to the gym first. You're going to need to punch something."


A/N: This will be a fairly short story with ~3-4 chapters. A companion piece, which I've tentatively titled, The Other Guy – Joss' POV, will be in more detail and the rating will rise accordingly.