I write better under pressure.
I'm getting picked up for practice like... now.
Title comes at a poem at the end of the story.


He hadn't felt this good in a long time.

He'd be lying if he said he hadn't hit a roadblock in his writing when he found out that Kate had lied to him. It hurt to think about her, let alone write about her. He had thought for hours about her could possibly end the series on this book, wondered just how much killing off Nikki or Rook would piss Gina off, because giving Nikki and Rook a happy ending when every hope he ever had of a happy ending with the woman he was hopelessly in love with was dashed in just 6 words.

More importantly though, he thought about just how much it would hurt her.

He hadn't been sure which mattered more.

No, his laptop had been relatively untouched for those few weeks with little action save for buying a plane ticket to Vegas and some online shopping for things that were really expensive and he's not entirely proud of and hopes will be able to remain in the recesses of his closet until he forgets the reason why he bought them in the first place.

But he was back. The sun had long since set on the day and the moon was hidden behind clouds, the only light in the room from his computer screen and a small lamp in the corner. The black words were flying across the page, his fingers hardly able to keep up with the thoughts that were flying through his head, a small smile on his face as he wrote about the woman who was asleep not 10 feet away from him in his bed.

It felt so good to be writing again.

All of it - the words, Kate, just felt so… right.

It had been nine nights since their first night, the first one she had been back in the loft for. His mother and Alexis had gone to the Hamptons on a whim for the long weekend because hey, why not? And Kate still had a week left of her suspension so as soon as he had given her the all clear she had come over.

He made her dinner. Went all out. Sautéed lemon chicken with a vegetable stir fry, salad, and a bottle of his 1996 Chateau Haut-Brion because she deserved the very best he had to offer and he missed her even though it had only been two days. He didn't care if they'd known each other for four years. He wanted to romance her, wine and dine her and make her feel special and loved because she was, so very much, and he wanted to do this right.

So he made her dinner.

Then they curled up together on the sofa with their wine and Kate pressed against his chest and he swore she was about to fall asleep (which he would have been content with), when she started pressing open-mouthed kisses against his neck, her fingers flirting along the upper edge of his belt and one thing led to another and she ended up on his desk sans clothing with nothing but his tongue and wine covering her skin and then his shower to clean her up and then his bed where she got him back for the desk incident.

Oh yeah… she got him good.

He shifted in his chair as his eyes focused on the spot where she had been lying only a few hours before, a smile coming to his lips because god she was incredible and there was nothing in his world at the moment that compared to the sight of her coming apart in front of him, her spine arching off of the wood of his desk because of him and what he did to her and hadn't he imagined that scene hundreds of times as he sat in the very chair he was in now, writing about Nikki Heat?

Isn't that what fantasies are made of?

He shook his head and turned his attention back towards the screen, quickly erasing the last three lines of text because he hadn't realized his fingers had been mirroring his thoughts before he paused, got back into the Nikki Heat mindset, and continued to write.

He'd been up for an hour and had finished nearly a chapter. He hadn't woken up this inspired in, well… ever, if he was being honest. He found himself smiling again.

She was incredible. Absolutely amazing. He had dreamed of the chance of being with her, to have the opportunity to know Kate and not just Beckett and now that he had he was more captivated than ever. His fantasies had nothing on the reality of her. Yes, she was still stubborn. Yes, she was still maddening, and challenging, and frustrating, but she was more open, loving… softer if that makes any sense at all. More willing to ask for help.

Just… more.

He heard her footsteps in his bedroom but refused to look away from his computer screen, his eyes burning at the bright white of the document but needing to get the thoughts in his head out before he could allow himself to be distracted by his girlfriend because he knew that once he saw her, with all the thoughts that had been swirling around in his brain, and the natural high coursing through his veins when he was writing something he knew was good, he would be captivated by her for the rest of the night.

He heard her stop at the door frame, her footsteps not moving any closer to him and the realization shot straight through his spine.

She was watching him. Watching him at his job the same way he watched her at his. Savoring it, not wanting to interrupt what she was watching in front of her.

His fingers flew faster across the screen at the thought, trying to get everything in his head at least in some semblance of order as he finished this chapter, because he needed to see her, and didn't want to go back to bed. The number of red lines that glared back at him on the screen mocked him and he just hoped that the errors and typos made enough sense so editing all of them in the morning wouldn't be a completely miserable experience.

He heard her shift as he started the last paragraph, sounded like she was going to head back to bed and the words flew out of his mouth before he could stop them.

"Don't leave… please," he said, his fingers still flying across the keys, "I'll be done in a second."

The shifting stopped and he finished off his last sentence, not even bothering to read over it as he saved it twice before shutting his laptop, cracking his neck and flexing his fingers before he turned to look at her.

She was standing there leaning against the door frame, her hands fisting the edge of the t-shirt he had on the night before that she had put on instead. Her hair tousled from his fingers and his pillows, looking at him almost sheepishly in the dim light of his study and he didn't think it was possible for there to be another facet of Kate for him to fall in love with, but he was so very wrong.

He stood up, ignoring his aching back as he made his way over to her, watching her as she watched him from underneath her lashes.

He reached her in a few strides, immediately wrapping his arms around her shoulders and pulling her up off of the door frame and into his arms.

"I didn't mean to wake you," he murmured, pressing a kiss into her hair.

Her own arms wrapped around his bare waist, breathing out a hot sigh against his chest.

"'S okay," she mumbled, pressing a kiss against his chest. "Nikki okay?"

He smiled, pulling back from her slightly so he could look in her eyes.

"Nikki's safe in my hands," he promised softly.

He paused, before explaining further, "I just woke up and had to get it out."

She met his gaze, her sparkling eyes growing darker.

"If what we did last night ends up in one of your books…" she warned.

"It won't," he said, shaking his head, fighting off a smile before moving to press his lips against her forehead, "those, my dear, are memories far too precious for the rest of the world. I want them all to myself."

He pulled back, reluctant to move his lips away from her forehead, but she followed him, pressing a kiss against the hollow of his throat before tilting her head up to press another to his jawline. He closed his eyes at the feel of her lips against his skin, tugging his arms tighter around her to bring her closer, the feel of her cotton covered curves pressed tightly against his skin.

She moved away from him, and he opened his eyes slowly to look at her, her cheeks flushed in the glowing yellow light from the lamp, her eyes hooded and dark as her chest rose and fell deeply against him.

His stomach clenched as he realized that now he knew that look, the blood rushing straight down as he looked into her burning eyes, leaning down to capture her lips with his own, unable to help himself.

Him writing… does it for her. The same way that watching her control her interrogation room, watching her run in heels and take down suspect more than half of her size and knowing that she knows how to handle her gun completely and totally renders him incapable of any thought other than her.

She moaned softly against him, pressing herself up onto her bare toes and further into him.

She likes that he writes books about her.

And luckily for her (and him), he didn't plan on stopping anytime soon.

He felt her hand slip under the waistband of the sweatpants he had thrown on when he crawled from his (their? Too soon?) bed, and he began to walk her back into the bedroom, his lips never leaving hers as he pressed his tongue against the seam of her lips, stealing her breath as she opened to him with a sigh.

Lucky, lucky, him.


The words I write will
never be enough. But I
will never stop writing.
- Tyler Knott Gregson