Title: Heat, part 2

Author: wolfmusic218 & Jessa4865

Summary: Triple digit temps, a busted appliance, and a threat of violence culminates in an offer Carter can't refuse.

Author's notes: This is basically a PWP with no redeeming social value whatsoever but was hella fun to write together. Since we can't post as co-authors, we'll each post 6 chapters. Taking over posting for wolfmusic218 here. If you haven't read the first half, you should find Heat, part 1 to catch up.

Chapter 7

The walk back from hardware store, in the heat, took longer than expected and gave Reese time to consider what had happened at Jos's apartment. He couldn't help the grin and the one thought that kept popping into his head: she wanted him.

Carter was nothing if not controlled and focused. But he'd flustered Jos. For her to blurt out the comment about his shirt, a comment he was sure wasn't supposed to see the light of day, he realized he'd thrown her for a loop. He liked it. She'd done the same to him with her almost-but-not-quite-there shorts. And the bottle. The bottle had been the last straw; he'd had to turn away and make a concerted effort to rein in his emotions.

When she'd called him and he'd blurted out the offer to try to fix her air conditioning, he'd mentally kicked himself. He knew it had surprised her; it had surprised him. The more he'd thought about it, though, the more he realized he wanted an excuse to spend some time with her, off the clock, some place she was comfortable. There had always been something between them. The flirting, the barely disguised teasing.

What he hadn't expected was the jolt of pure desire he'd felt when she opened the door to him. Seeing her like that, dressed for comfort in the heat and definitely not for guests, made him swallow hard and rethink the wisdom of the whole thing.

But now, at the door of her apartment, he realized another thing: He wanted to see how far she'd let the teasing go. Was it just a tease or did she feel the same way about what was there?

*** XXXX ***

Reese stood in the doorway of the kitchen watching her; the music playing in the background masking his entry to the apartment. Before his brain shorted out, he made a mental note to talk to her about how easy it was to break into her locked apartment.

In front of him, Jos stood at the open freezer with her arms crossed on the edge of the opening, her head laying on her arms, but her body moving to the music. His eyes followed the length of her; taking in things he hadn't allowed himself to notice while she was aware. She was strong, he knew that, her body gave that much away. But her skin looked like it would be soft to the touch. His hands itched to test that theory.

He tilted his head to the side slightly and grinned. Was that what he thought it was? He took a small step forward, keeping his eyes on the spot on her lower back exposed when she'd raised her arms.

Well, well, well…Detective Carter has a secret. He wanted to see it. He wanted her to show it to him.

He covered his smile with his hand, trying to keep as quiet as he could.

He'd kicked off his sneakers when he'd come in and realized that she wasn't in any danger after not getting an answer to his knock. He'd expected her to still be on the couch waiting for him, and when she wasn't, his first reaction had been to reach for the gun hidden in his ankle holster. He'd relaxed when he saw her through the kitchen doorway.

He liked this view better. Much, much better.

He heard her sigh and froze. He wasn't ready for her to know he was back yet. She shifted her stance and rose up on her toes. He licked his lips as the muscles in her calves tightened and popped.

When she reached for the bag, he grinned again and stepped forward.

He reached around her and grasped her arms, making her squeal out her surprise and jump back, only to land against his chest. He pulled her arms away and wrapped his arms around her, still holding hers. He leaned in and brushed his lips against her ear, "Now, now, Jos, you weren't going to peek in the bag, were you?"

She huffed out a nervous laugh. "Of course not. How'd you get in? I locked the door for this very reason."

He couldn't help but notice that she hadn't pulled out of his embrace. He pulled her a little tighter against his chest and rested his chin on her shoulder. "Picked the lock. You might consider upgrading. Were you trying to keep me out?"

Her hands moved and grasped his forearms but not, as he expected, to remove them, but to hold on tighter. "No, but getting caught in the freezer…again…with the music thumping…." She trailed off, grinning.

"It was an interesting sight."

She turned in his arms and leaned against the freezer. "So….did you get what you needed?"

He ran his hand over the spot on her back that had caught his attention. He watched her eyes as she realized where his hand was and why. He smiled. "Youthful indulgence?"

"If you call thirty youthful." Her eyes closed without her permission as his fingertips smoothed over the tattoo.

They stood together for a moment longer; just soaking in whatever it was that was happening between them. Reese leaned his forehead down on hers. "If you promise to stay out of the bag, I'll go get your air-conditioning working. As promised."

Jos looked up at him with a grin. "I promise nothing, mister. Not when I know there's probably something sweet and cold in that bag."

"It'll take me longer if I have to keep coming back and checking on you, so…" He stepped back, letting go of her and grabbing her hand; he lead her back out to the living room. "It'll probably be safer, and quicker, if I can keep an eye on you out here."

He pulled the small package containing the fuse out of his pocket and held it up for her. "In less than 5 minutes, you should have some cool air out of that thing. Which, in my book, will be really disappointing." His eyes ran down her legs.

Jos sat on the couch and cocked an eyebrow at his comment. When he turned back to the AC unit with a smirk, she cleared her throat. "You forgetting something?"

John turned back to her, his brows furrowed in confusion. "What?"

He watched her eyes run over him. She pointed towards his chest. "The shirt."

He tossed the bag over on the floor near the AC unit, which he desperately hoped would not get fixed tonight. "This shirt? You want this shirt, Jos?" He pulled it away from his chest and watched for her reaction to his next words.

She nodded slowly, her eyes locked to his.

"Then come get it."