FRIDAY

ANA

I woke up feeling warm all over. I could feel the hard body pressed against mine, the mixed scent of sex and the man beside me filling my nostrils as I opened my eyes. Gavin was staring intently at me with those soulful blue eyes. He must have been awake for awhile, watching me sleeping after making love to me the whole night.

I'm terrified but... I love you

I finally told him how I truly feel. I'd planned to seduce him and make him feel good but he managed to turn things around again by showing how he truly cared for me. It was the perfect moment to let it all out. He had been open about his feelings from the start. He made not just me but also my son, his priority all the time. He saved my son from an accident and then me, not just once but twice from trouble. He didn't even care if my ex-husband was a powerful man. He stood tall and faced Christian like a real man he was. He listened and accepted my past. Gavin might not be the ideal man his ex-girlfriends were looking for, but he was perfect for me. And I wouldn't want him any other way.

He made me feel again. He brought back that missing part of me, that independent woman that I used to be. It was because of his love that I could finally let go of all the insecurities from my past marriage. He saved you Ana Steele.

People he loved from the past had failed him and left scars in his heart. He looked tough and rough physically but deep inside he was a lonely man who had no one but himself. Now it was time for me to step up and stand beside him.

After those three words left my lips last night, Gavin didn't waste any second and showed how those words meant for him. I'd never felt so loved and cherished. He worshipped me with his body, gave me all the pleasure he could give.

"Hi." I whispered.

"Hey." He said, still gazing at me with serious look on his face.

I cupped his stubbled jaw and stroked his cheek with my thumb. "Is there something wrong?"

He leaned into my touch and kissed my open palm. He didn't say anything as he brought my hand down to his chest. "Even when you're asleep," he pressed my hand tightly to his chest so I could feel his rapidly beating heart, "you do this to me."

"You mesmerize me, Ana. Your beauty takes my breath away. I can't take my eyes off you. When I opened my eyes and found a sleeping beauty next to me, I didn't want to miss any second of it. I could stay awake forever and just watch you sleep."

I gave him a sleepy smile. "That's creepy."

It was meant to make things lighter and get a smile from him but it didn't work. So I closed the gap between us and softly brushed my lips into his.

"You do the same to me." I searched his eyes, trying to make him see that he had the same effect on me.

He laced our fingers together, still holding it tightly against his chest. "I love you more than I thought possible. I want to make you feel loved and adored every moment of every day. I'm not saying this to make you think I'm a sweet or cute guy who says cheesy things to make a girl fall for him." I giggled at that. Geez, he beat me to it! I was going to tease him because he looked so adorable when he make those annoyed expressions.

And finally, a small smile played on his lips.

He brought our foreheads together and swallowed. "What I'm saying is I would do anything to make you happy. I never did expect you to say those words to me. It was like a dream come true, Ana. I was already coming to accept that you need more time to heal before you can open your heart again. I was contented that you are with me, that you gave me a chance to love you."

I tried to cut him off but he placed a finger on my lips to stop me. "I know you deserve a better man than I am. Someone who could give you a normal life, who wouldn't make you worry because of his job. You deserve all the wonderful things in the world. I just wish that I could give it all to you. You are so precious to me and it's my life mission to make you feel special always."

I could feel my eyes burning with tears.

"Gavin."

"Ana."

"I love you."

And I was rewarded with that panty-combusting smile that first captured my heart.

I looked up at the sound of a knock on my office door. "Hey, Ana."

"Erika. Good morning." I gestured for her to enter and take a seat.

"It's fine. I just dropped by to inform you that the meeting with Max is rescheduled at 11. I'm sorry for the sudden change of time." She said with an apologetic smile.

"Oh. No worries. I am totally free this morning. I will be there."

"Great. And it's the perfect time to introduce you to the others. See you later!" And she waved good bye.

Erika had mention about my formal introduction with the other editors in the company. I thought that with the busy schedule of everyone, I was off the hook. Not. Geez. I hoped that it would just take a few seconds then we could all concentrate on the purpose of the meeting. Even if I felt confident of my skills and so did Erika, still I'd stopped for a year and they might question me if I did qualify for the job.

And there was Gavin's mother. How did she get my number? Did Gavin give it to her? But from the last time we talked about Mrs. Boyle, he seemed so pissed because she couldn't accept our relationship. No. It wasn't him. Then who?

It totally slipped my mind last night. I wasn't sure if I should mention the call to Gavin and just meet his mom and find out what she wanted to discuss with me. Though I had an idea what this was all about. I just still couldn't figure it out why she was so fixated in getting Chloe and her son back together. I told Amanda that I would check my schedule and would get back at her as soon as I could. I did that to delay her plans because I wasn't sure what to do. If her purpose was to convince me to leave Gavin, she would be wasting her time. And after last night, I made up my mind and I had to tell Gavin before I meet his mother, if he would agree to it.

Maybe she… Oh no.

She might have recognized me or worse, met me when I was still married to Christian. The chances were high because they were in real estate and maybe Grey Enterprises used their services before. If that was the case, she might not want her son to be involved around Christian Grey's family. Knowing Christian, it was understandable.

Sighing, I grabbed my phone from my purse. There was a text message.

We should have stayed in bed. I'm missing you already. – Mr. B

And just like that, one message from him and all my worries were pushed back to the depths of my mind.

I miss you too, Officer. Everything okay? Btw. I need to tell you something.– Ana x

It is now. I wanna hear your voice. It will make my day. What is it? – Mr. B

Or you mean, it will make you hard? – Ana xx

I couldn't stop the silly grin forming on my lips while I imagine his reaction to my poor attempt in flirting.

My lady, why would you think of such inappropriate reaction from your gallant knight? I am longing to hear your sweet and angelic voice. That is all – Mr. B

Inappropriate reaction? Let's see…

I quickly dialed his number and he answered on the first ring.

"Boyle." He said, in that mean cop voice which never fails to make me squirm. Horny bitch. He must have answered the phone without looking at the caller.

"Sweet and angelic voice?" I didn't have to fake the breathy sound of my voice. I was going to but he had that affect on me, with just one word.

"Ana." I could hear people chattering in the background. He must be at the station.

Time for payback. When I was out in public, he would always tease me on the phone. "I'm wet." I whispered.

"Jesus Christ." And before I could speak again, he'd covered his phone and muttered something I didn't understand, then a few seconds later I heard him slammed a door.

"Gav—

"Are you trying to kill me here?" He growled.

"What did I do?" I managed to say, trying to keep the innocent act.

"You just gave me a hard on in the middle of an important briefing with two former Navy Seals, two detectives and the lieutenant inside the chief's office."

"I did?" I said, sounding surprised and trying my best hold the myself from giggling. I couldn't help but be pleased with my effect on him too.

"Since I was standing in front of the chief, I had to excuse myself and missed all new information regarding the human trafficking group that we were monitoring. To save myself from embarrassment, obviously." I almost flinched from the tone of his voice.

Okay, he was not in flirt mood.

Good job distracting a man trying to save the world, Steele. Good job.

"Gavin—" I closed my mouth, not knowing what to say. God, what did I do? He didn't sound that angry when he answered the phone, so I thought he was not that busy and occupied. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. "I'm sorry, I didn't know. I didn't mean to—

He cut me off before I could continue. "Ms. Steele."

That voice. Oh my god.

"You seem to have a habit of breaking laws."

Oh my god.

"First, that sex with a stranger in the restroom of a very public restaurant."

Oh my god.

"And then going commando, again, in the same public restaurant."

Oh. My. God.

"Now," He said, with that deep sexy voice, "distracting and embarrassing a law enforcer on duty."

I was so stunned and speechless that I almost dropped the phone. How did my sweet and gentle knight turned into a mean bad cop in just a few seconds?

"So now, what should we do about it?" He muttered in a husky, teasing but still dangerous voice. "Should I pay you another visit? It seems like the handcuffs didn't work the last time."

Closing my eyes, the images of me being chased and manhandled by him flooded my mind. And the handcuffs. Holy fuck.

"Ga— I mean, Officer," I swallowed, finally recovered from the initial shock. "I believe you are, again, quite mistaken. It isn't my fault you got distracted and left an important briefing." I tried to control my shaking voice to get into my role.

The bastard just chuckled. "You should be talking about how we'll settle this another public offense, Ms. Steele. Not denying your inappropriate actions."

"But—

"Don't run or I will chase you again. This time, I won't hold back."

"Listen—

"You better think of something that would shut my mouth or everyone will know about your lewd encounter in the restroom and dirty talking a police officer on duty."

"Now, you wait—

"See you later, Ms. Steele." And he was gone.

I was still staring at my phone screen, no doubt still with a shocked expression when Alexis walked in. "Ana? Are you alright?"

I took a deep breath and faced her. "Yes. Yes I am." I said, forcing a smile.

"Are you sure? Your cheeks are flushed." She added and frowned. "Maybe you should—

"I am fine. Really. It's just my nerves. You see, Erika is going to introduce me to the entire team so…"

I didn't like lying but fuckity fuck, I couldn't just share what just happened on the phone.

She seemed to buy my poor excuse and started to prepare the papers she was carrying. "Ready to run your schedule for today?"

GAVIN

After a quick salute to Detective Longley, I jumped into the patrol car and drove off. I'd been holed up in the chief's office the whole morning, analyzing a couple of new pictures of an unknown man in a baseball cap lurking around Chloe's apartment in San Francisco. He might be a friend, a lover of Chloe or one of the thugs that was after her. Or by any chance, Anton Jennings. His face was totally hidden but the man in the picture had the same built with the son of our prime suspect involving human trafficking, not just in Portland but also in ten cities all over the country. Lieutenant Jackson decided to just stay back to monitor things around the station. He got really pissed about what happened the other day. We were still clueless about the person who apparently was looking for a woman with the same features as Chloe. The lieutenant didn't want to rule it out as nothing but a coincidence or that the person was looking for a different woman. It might be the work of the mole so we wouldn't take the risk.

Chloe had been bugging the guards at the safe house all morning. She kept asking about me and knowing her, she could be a real pain in the ass when she wanted to know something. The deal with Chloe and the human traffickers was still a mystery. If Anton had planned to involve Chloe, then why did he let her go? She was a perfect candidate. I was just thankful to whatever happened to their relationship and he decided to just leave her. She did hurt me in the past but I would never wish for her to be a victim of those low-life criminals. That's why even without direct threats or danger, she would be protected not just by me but the whole team also.

I had to focus on getting more answers from Chloe so we could our next move for the case. The numbers of victims from the past few months were increasing. Anyone could be the next prey, even if most of them were teenagers, as long as the woman was beautiful and vulnerable. They were an easy target. We had to stop this soon. No room for any distractions. Just thinking that Ana… Fuck. No. I wouldn't think about it.

There was no way I would allow it. As long as she's with me, she'd always be safe and protected. I won't allow anything to happen to her or Ted. Over my dead body.

Ana.

Just by thinking about her, her voice, her scent…

She loves me too. And just like that, I was smiling again from ear to ear.

Christ. All morning I felt like a love sick puppy, a silly grin plastered on my lips and starry eyed like a teenager. God damn, I am so screwed. I'd never expected Ana's words last night. After sharing her past with me, I was already happy with what she was willing to give. She was so sweet and smart and beautiful, I thought I was the luckiest bastard in the world for me letting me into her life. I never wanted to pressure her into saying those three words back at me, never wanted her to feel like she couldn't make her own decision in her own time. I was willing to wait for her, no matter when.

Words failed me after she poured her heart out. My body took control, eager to please her, love her with all I've got. I was itching to turn the car around after that phone call from her. One simple text turned to almost phone sex. Fuck me. I bet she didn't see that coming. I couldn't wait to see her again. The things I would do to her…

Easy Boyle. You should stop acting like a fucking pig and be gentle with her.

I knew that. But Ana had her own fantasies. From her previous relationship, I was damn sure she never had a say, never had the chance to explore her own pleasure. And damn it to hell, I would be the one to fulfill every single one of them. I would do everything to just make her happy and she probably didn't know it, but she owned me. Mind, body and soul.

There was no use in controlling my emotions around her. It felt like she could see through me, with just one look. The way she took care of me last night… her soft hands and her sweet caress, it was fucking heaven. Just like the last time when I got tangled up with some fuck heads and went home with bruises and cuts. The only comfort I had known after a long day chasing perps was beer or sex, if the latter was possible.

I'd never thought I would crave for someone's touch. It felt so good and right until now I couldn't believe how lucky I was to have Ana. I just had to be a better man for her, the man she could always count on. The man that would listen to her wants and needs. I would never want her to feel afraid to voice out her mind. And I would rather shoot myself before I control her every decision or action.

I loved my job. The sounds of the sirens always pump my blood and my body craved the action. The thought of catching a fuck head after minutes of chase bring such unexplainable satisfaction. I could get a good night sleep knowing I had somewhat prevented a potential drug deal or loose asshole, high on some illegal substance, waiting to strike his next victim. What I would give to get those lowlife fuckers and rot in jail.

So why do I feel like just turning the car around to hell with the world and just be with my lady?

Simple.

She was my life now. I might fuck this up and lose her eventually, that wasn't impossible knowing my history with women, but I didn't want to think about that at this moment. It had been tough to keep a stable relationship in the past. My failed marriage proposal to Jane was like a wake up call, time to face the reality. A woman and my job? I could never have both.

After the case I'd rather stay behind the scene and fuck, volunteer to do the boring as shit paperwork as long as it would ensure I get to spend more time with her and Ted. I would take care of them as long as they'd allow me.

"Gavin. Finally." Jamison, one of the officers on duty to guard the safe house, greeted me as I approached the front porch.

"How are things here?" I nodded at him and took off my aviator sunglasses.

"Man, I still can't believe you and that blonde chick hooked up before. Yeah, she's pretty and all that but I'd rather spend the day with my sister's cat than hear her nagging all the time!" He threw his hands up in surrender. "I'm done."

I chuckled and gave him a pat. "Don't worry, Detective Longley and her boys are going to take the afternoon shift."

"Gavin!"

After closing the door behind me, Chloe came rushing down from the stairs and threw herself on me. "Whoa. Chloe, what are you doing?"

I tried to step back but she just tightened her arms around me. "I thought you'd be here when I wake up this morning. Where were you? I feel safer when you're around"

Sighing, I pushed her back gently and took a step back. "I'm not your 24/7 guard, Chloe. I have a job to do."

"Then why not request it to your boss? You can just stay here with me just like the other night. I don't want to be around strangers." She pleaded.

"They aren't strangers. We are a team here. We are here to protect you." I put a distance to us by heading toward the kitchen. "And I can't stay here. You know that."

"Why not? I'm more comfortable with you."

I shook my head at her. "Because this isn't a vacation."

"Still, I want you here. Please Gavin. I couldn't sleep at night." She tried to reach for me again and wore that helpless expression that used to get me. Not anymore.

"We take turns in guarding the safe house. Me and Detective Longley's group will cover the afternoon then the other officers, Mike and Jay from this morning, will take the night shift." I tried to stay calm and explained the routine she had to get used to.

She pouted. "Fine. But can you stay with me until I fall asleep?" She touched my arm. "It would make me feel better… and please don't leave me with that scary woman."

Chloe hadn't change. She was still that same woman who would do anything to get what she wanted. And right now this conversation would just take forever so I decided to change the subject.

"Chloe, we need to talk." She must have sensed the seriousness in my voice because she just nodded and led me to the sofa. "Listen," I waited till she met my eyes, "I know it's uncomfortable to be here and away from home. It sucks to be stuck here like a prisoner right?"

"Yes. I agreed to go with you because I thought you'll stay with me." And now she looked upset.

"I never said anything like that." It was high time to set things straight. "Look, I flew to San Francisco because I found out that you had a relationship with Anton Jennings. I wanted to ask you about him and nothing else. We've over for years now, Chlo. You know that. The stunt you pulled? It was plain crazy—

She grabbed my face in both hands. Fuck, Ana wouldn't like this. "Gavin, I never stopped loving you. We were so good together and—

"Stop." I have to stay calm.

"And I admit, it was my fault but if you just—

"Chloe." Closing my eyes, I took deep breath. I have to stay calm.

"Remember what you told me before? You said you're going to marry me someday and have a family together. That Ana is not for you. She has a son, not your son. I can—

Ah fuck it. "I said stop!"

She jumped back, surprised by my outburst.

"Stop it. Stop this, Chloe." I stood up and placed a distance between us. "I'm trying to help you here and we have no time for bullshit. We both know that ain't true. I'm not that fool you once knew, Chlo. Not anymore. It's not me who you want, it's my badge. You got yourself into deep trouble by involving with the wrong dealers. I told you, after this, after you help us out they won't bother you again. Your debt will be cleared and maybe you can start a new. Change. For yourself and your brother. I don't know how you met Anton but if you start talking now, we could end this sooner and go back to our own lives."

She just stared at me with wide eyes. I couldn't tell if it was fear or she was just speechless because she thought I could be manipulated again. And there was nothing to fear. She knew I would never hurt her. Fuck no.

Don't let me start on how much I despise those bastards who get off from hitting a woman.

I turned around and went to search for a paper and pen.

Chloe was still on the couch, hands folded in her lap. I placed the pen and paper on the coffee table in front of her. "You can either write it down or talk. It's your choice."

I was about to leave when she said "It's fake."


A/N: I'M BACK! I would like to thank every single one of you, for reading - for sticking with me and standing up for me and my story. For the endless support. For loving my characters. The reviews, follows, favorites, messages. Thank you. I know I'm late but still.. Happy One Year Strong Steele!

Like what I've said on the blog.. February is SS month - Ella xx

P.S. For those who haven't read the One Shot, it's already posted on the blog and you can download ebooks format too. x