Author's Note: I'm sorry, but this fic is probably going to be composed of mostly short chapters. But theoretically, that means updates more often…
The coast was clear, which admittedly wasn't much of a surprise. The house had been chosen for sentimental reasons, but it was also a quiet neighborhood, just the type a secret agent with numerous enemies preferred. However, that wasn't the reason Nell Jones was currently standing at the front door, turning the spare key in the lock and glancing about to see if anyone had noticed her.
She wasn't sure why she was nervous about entering the house, only that she didn't want to be seen doing so. Perhaps because it felt like a violation of the personal space of a very private man. Although, he had given her that spare key. And likewise she'd given him one to her apartment. It seemed like forever ago.
Nell barely closed the door behind her to lean against the hardwood and close her eyes before the tears began to track down her cheeks. When had she become such an emotional mess? Okay, there was that whole pregnancy hormones thing, but that wasn't the entirety of it, to be honest. She could also pin it on being perpetually anxious since Agent Callen had first taken on the undercover assignment almost six months ago. But the truth was all the stability in her safe, carefully controlled world had evaporated the first time he looked at her in that way of his.
And she didn't regret a moment of it.
Even now, as she snuck into his empty house. Of course, there had never been much in the way of furnishings or possessions in the place. But without its owner, it was bleak and cold. So why would she come here instead of going home to her cozy apartment?
Well, because her apartment was equally as empty of the one thing she wanted. And at least here, there were lingering traces of the man she missed so badly it caused her physical pain. So Nell sought out the imprint, the fading presence of her absent lover, making her way to his bedroom, opening the small closet door that held his meager (compared to hers, practically nonexistent) collection of clothes. Rather than pulling a neatly folded shirt off the short pile on the shelf, she bent down with a grunt of effort, reaching out to the side to pluck a shirt from the pile of dirty laundry that had been forgotten when he hastily took on his new alias all those months ago. She hadn't been able to pick up something directly in front of her for weeks because of the ridiculous size of her belly. She clutched the garment to said belly, reached out for the doorframe and hauled herself to her feet.
A moment. Just for a moment. She closed her eyes and buried her face in the discarded garment. Callen's scent flooded her nose. It had faded in short time from her apartment when he'd no longer been around. But it still lingered here, in his few possessions. She'd tried the clean shirts. But they just weren't the same as the fabric that had been worn against his body for the entirety of a day, becoming infused with the scent of his skin, an aroma she'd grown to find utterly intoxicating. And now, now it was a comfort, one of only a few.
Nell Jones shed her clothing, every last stitch, because she wanted to feel the caress of that shirt, the single tie to him she had, over all of her skin. She dressed in the old garment, carefully buttoning it down the front. It strained a bit at her large belly, but she was smaller enough than its original owner that it still covered her down to the thigh.
Next, she located the ancient bedroll tucked in the corner of the room, unrolled it, and maneuvered herself with some difficulty to lay down upon it. Her already taxed body was going to hate her in the morning for sleeping on the hard floor, but her melancholy heart needed to be as close to the man it longed for as she could get. And so she shifted onto her side, placing her hands on her swollen womb and curling herself tightly around the heartbeat it held, the only other tie she had left to the man she feared she'd never see again.
Maybe when she fell asleep, she would dream he lay behind her, spooning her, his arms wrapped tightly about her, his breath tickling the back of her neck.
A/N: Well, that didn't clear up any questions, now did it? :-/ Guess you'll just have to stay tuned… ;-)