Author's Note: SO, I know it's been a while since I've posted on my full-length stories but I've come up with a routine that I'm going to try to follow through the best I can. I only get free time during the weekends and, even so, I still have to juggle my writing with my homework. So what free time I get is VERY limited. Nevertheless, here's another chapter of manic Mac. Big Mac Attack is back. It's a LONG chapter and there's a lot going on in it. So, without further ado, here you go:

Chapter 10: Heartbeat

[Enrique & Nicole]
Heartbeat Heart-heartbeat
Heartbeat Heart-heartbeat

I saw you talking on the phone,
And know that you were not alone.
But you're stealing my heart away,
Yeah you're stealing my heart away.

You're acting like you're on your own,
But I saw you standing with a girl (hmmm)
Stop tryin' to steal my heart away
Stop tryin' to steal my heart away

I don't know where we going
I don't know who we are

I can feel your heartbeat
I can feel your heartbeat (he said to me)
I can feel your heartbeat (running through me)
Feel your heartbeat
(She said:)
I can feel your heartbeat (she said to me)
I can feel your heartbeat (she said to me)
I can feel your heartbeat (running through me)
Your heartbeat, feel your heartbeat

Maybe it's the way you move,
You got me dreaming like a fool.
That I could steal your heart away,
I could steal your heart away.

No matter what it is you think
I'm not the kind of girl to blink,
And give my heart away
Stop trying to steal my heart away

[Enrique & Nicole]
I don't know where we going
I don't know who we are

I can feel your heartbeat (he said to me)
I can feel your heartbeat (he said to me)
I can feel your heartbeat (running through me)
Your heartbeat
Feel your heartbeat
(She said:)
I can feel your heartbeat (she said to me)
I can feel your heartbeat (she said to me)
I can feel your heartbeat (running through me)
(Feel your heartbeat)

[Enrique & Nicole]
Stop stealing my heart away
Stop stealing my heart away
Stop stealing my heart away
You're stealing my heart away

[Enrique & Nicole]
I don't know where we're going
I don't know who we are
It feels like we are flowing
High above the stars (stars, the stars, the stars, the stars...)


Heartbeat, heart-heartbeat

[Enrique & Nicole]
I can feel it, I can feel it, I can feel it
I can feel it, I can f..

I can feel your heartbeat (he said to me)
I can feel your heartbeat (he said to me)
I can feel your heartbeat (running through me)
Your heartbeat
Feel your heartbeat
(She said:)
I can feel your heartbeat (she said to me)
I can feel your heartbeat (she said to me)
I can feel your heartbeat (running through me)
(Your heartbeat, feel your heartbeat-beat-beat)

[Enrique & Nicole]
Stop stealing my heart away (Just tell it to me girl)
Stop stealing my heart away (Ooo) (Give it to me boy)
Stop stealing my heart away (Just say it to me girl)
You're stealing my heart away

Stop stealing my heart away (I can feel your heartbeat)
Stop stealing my heart away (I can feel your heartbeat)
Stop stealing my heart away (I can feel your heartbeat)
Your heartbeat, your heartbeat.


Mac heard a pounding in his head and groaned, rolling over onto his side and clutching the pillow around his head to try to block out the sound. But it just kept coming. He sighed and sat up, throwing his pillow at the headboard and growling as he stood and headed out of his bedroom towards the front room.

He unlocked the front door and yanked it open, blinking rapidly as the bright sunlight shined right in his eyes. He brought one hand up over his eyes to shield out the blinding rays as he held the door open with the other, squinting a little as he peered out the front door.

He found Libby standing there. They hadn't spent the night together for the first time since they'd met last night and it had driven him insane. He'd discovered that it just wasn't easy getting to sleep without her comforting presence there with him. But that didn't matter. She was here now.

"Whatcha need?" he asked her, moving out of the way and gesturing with the hand he'd had over his eyes for her to come in.

She stepped into the house and both Haus and Zeus came trotting right into the house and over to hop up on the furniture, Zeus occupying the old recliner and Haus taking the couch.

"Mangy mutts," he mumbled.

She just laughed and said, "Well it's too damn hot out there today for them ta be stuck outside, Mac. Besides, if I'm gonna be here most of the day, I wanna know that Zeus is okay. I brought over food and bowls for them. I even brought some toys."

He rolled his eyes and closed the door.

"So what's on that crazy mind of yers now?" he questioned, "Ya said you'd be here most of the day."

She looked up at him and informed him, "I'm gonna help ya clean this place up today."

His brows rose as she held her arms out, her hands gesturing around his house. He just looked at her, blinking a couple times.

"Well… Where should we start?" she asked him, looking around at the disaster zone he called home.

"It's too fuckin' early for this shit," he grumbled.

She rolled her eyes and pointed out, "I waited 'til 10:00, Mac."

He reached out to cup her chin in his hand and her eyes widened a little as he lifted her chin, forcing her to look into his eyes.

"You'd better cut that shit out or you'll regret it," he told her, his words menacing even though he knew his eyes were unusually soft.

She cocked one brown brow at him and he leaned down to nip at her cheek before growling into her ear, "The NEXT time ya roll those eyes at me, yer ASS is gonna pay for it."

She shuddered and he smirked to himself, reaching down to fill one of his big hands with her ample ass cheek before giving it a firm squeeze to emphasize his point.

"Just tell me what part of the house ya wanna start on first and we'll get started. I'll grab ya a beer before we get started," she told him, heading into the kitchen.

She pulled the fridge door open and staggered back a little, telling him, "Okay. We're startin' with the kitchen first. Guess it's a good thing I didn't eat any breakfast."

She grabbed a can of beer out of the fridge and tossed it to him. He caught it easily before cracking it open and taking a long pull. He watched as she started reaching in and grabbing cartons of food out. He had a feeling this whole "cleaning" thing was going to either make or break their relationship.

She pulled the lid off of the cottage cheese carton and gagged, nearly dropping it in her hurry to get the lid back on it.

"That's not cottage cheese," she said, her face scrunched up in disgust, "That's a fucking alien LIFE form. My GOD, Mac! How long has that even been in there?"

He just shrugged his shoulders and she asked, "Does your garbage disposal work? And PLEASE tell me you have one because there's no other way to get rid of this shit if not."

He just nodded and replied, "Damn disposal works."

She nodded and carried the cartons over to start emptying their contents into the sink with the side that had the garbage disposal in it. She started the water and grabbed the closest fork she could find, cramming as much of the food down the disposal as she could before stepping away from it and flipping the switch to turn it on. She swallowed hard as she watched it go down before flipping the switch back off and cramming the other half of the food down the disposal.

She made trips back and forth from the fridge to the sink. She grabbed bag of some kind of liquid out of the fridge and gasped when she realized what it was.

"Mac!" she scolded, "That was BREAD! How the fuck did it turn into LIQUID?"

He just shrugged and took another long pull from his beer.

She carried it over to the sink and used the fork to poke a few holes in the bag before holding it over the sink to let it run out. She gagged and turned her head away, coughing and using her free hand to cover her nose and mouth.

After 3 more trips, she announced, "I can't… I've gotta take a break for a while or I'm gonna throw up."

"So you can handle blood? Ya can handle me killin' college boy and helpin' me ditch his fuckin' body but ya can't handle cleanin' out a fuckin' fridge?" he questioned.

She looked at him incredulously, her jaw falling open and her eyes growing wide before they narrowed and she pointed at the sink, stating, "Mac, that's NOT normal! That bread was pure LIQUID! That cottage cheese that I emptied? It was COVERED in mold! Mac, if you're not gonna eat something, fine. But throw the shit OUT. Don't just let it spoil in your fucking fridge. I don't know if I'm gonna make it through the rest of that shit in there to be completely honest with you."

"Then leave it," he commented, setting his beer on the only empty space on the kitchen table, "I didn't ask ya ta come over here and clean this shithole up."

She looked down at the floor and nodded, bringing her arms up to cross them under her ample chest, pushing her breasts up and together. He saw her run her tongue over her teeth and knew from the expression on her face that she was pissed. He was being an ass and he knew it but he was running on VERY little sleep right now.

"Fine…" his little brunette stated, "Fine. I've tried ta help you since I first met you a few days ago, Mac. But you just push me away and treat me like shit. You don't want my help. I get it. Ya can't help people that don't want your help. This is your place. You do as you damn well please with it. I just thought maybe you'd wanna get it straightened up and have it look nice. I was CLEARLY wrong."

She started for the door and that was when he knew he'd REALLY pushed her buttons. He was quick to catch up to her and put his hand firmly on the front door, not allowing her to open it.

"God-DAMN it, Mac!" Libby shouted, "Get your hand off the fuckin' door!"

She tugged as hard as she could but it didn't budge an inch. She gave an angry growl and whirled around to face him, glaring up at him with so much rage in those cinnamon-colored eyes.

"You'd better figure out what the fuck it is you want," she snapped, "You either want me around or ya don't. It doesn't work both ways. I'm not just gonna come around whenever it's convenient for you, Mac. Datin' a person is a full-time job. So you make up your fuckin' mind. Whaddya want? You want me or you want your stupid fuckin' pride?"

He looked down at her and he couldn't stop himself. He leaned down, crushing his mouth to hers and pressing her back against the door. He brought one hand up to cradle the side of her face while the other went to the small of her back, pressing her closer to him.

When he finally pulled back from the kiss, they were both breathless, panting for air.

"I don't think you get it," Mac informed her, "Yer not goin' anywhere. I won't letcha. Yer MINE, Libbs. And I don't take that shit lightly. Yer good fer me. But I don't know how ta handle that shit. Ya bring out the best of me. AND the worst. But if you ever leave, I'll follow ya. And I'll bring ya back. I'll NEVER let ya go."

She gazed up at him, her eyes taking in every detail of his face and trying to gauge whether or not he was being serious with her.

"Then quit fuckin' tryin' ta push me away," she scolded, her voice much softer this time as her eyes took on a similarly-soft expression to them.

He nodded and she pressed her lips to his before bringing her hand up to press it to his cheek, slowly rubbing her thumb back and forth over his cheek in soothing motions. She nuzzled at his nose when she pulled back and let her eyes drift shut as he rested his forehead against hers. He'd never known such a tender moment, had never known someone would show him such gentleness.

"I don't wanna leave you, Mac. So quit tryin' ta make me," she whispered against his lips, "I care about you or I wouldn't even BE here right now. I wouldn't have spent the past few days with you. I want what's best for you. If I didn't give a shit about you or your well-being, I wouldn't keep comin' around. And I might walk off from time ta time 'cause I need ta put some space between us before I do or say somethin' stupid that I can't take back. But I WILL come back, unless ya REALLY cross the fuckin' line. I'm not goin' anywhere unless you REALLY fuck up, Mac. So cut the shit."

His lips found hers again and his tongue snaked right into her mouth. His tongue tangled with hers and he spilled a groan into her mouth as he felt her start to massage his tongue with hers. She brought both hands up to fist them in his hair and he heard her suck a breath in through her nose so she wouldn't have to pull back from the kiss. The idea that she didn't want it to end had his testosterone spiking and his hands roaming down to her ass, giving both of her cheeks a firm squeeze before hoisting her up off the ground and onto his hips. She brought both of her legs up around his waist and one of her arms slipped under his arm to dig her fingers into the rippling muscles of his back.

He gave a hard, deliberate thrust against the seam of her jeans that ran over her crotch and heard her spill a moan into his mouth. He gave a grunt as he repeated his motions, earning himself a throaty little whine from her.

She let her head fall back against the door and she panted, gasping for air.

"Mac…" Libby said, "Mac, we've gotta stop."

He jerked his head back, gazing up at her and demanding, "Why?"

"We'll never get this place clean if we don't stick to it," she pointed out.

Mac sighed and shook his head at her but slowly let her slide down his body, smirking as she groaned as her crotch slid down over his hard dick, which was trying to find its way out of his boxers.

"I'll get the fuckin' fridge," he told her, "I've got one beer in my system so far and I'll get it done. But if ya tell me I can't have my fuckin' smokes, we ARE gonna have an issue. I already know how ya feel about the meth. So that's out. But if I can't have smokes? This shit's not gettin' done."

She gently raked her nails down his spine, coaxing a full-body shudder from his big frame as she leaned up to press a kiss to his jaw and murmured, "Smoke all ya want, big guy. You're gonna need SOMETHIN' for those nerves of yours."

He gave a quiet little growl, nipping at her cheek to show his disapproval of them having to clean instead of fool around.

She giggled and nuzzled at him some more before purring, "There'll be time for some fun AFTER we're done cleanin', Mac. You know me. I can't make it without a daily dosage of my Big Mac."

She winked at him and he chuckled, nodding.

"All right. Well, if you're takin' care of what's in the fridge, I should probably take care of the dishes then," she commented, looking around the kitchen and biting her bottom lip.

It took them a couple hours before they were done with the kitchen and ready to move onto the living room. That room didn't take quite as long. Even the bathroom didn't take that long. But when they reached his bedroom, Mac knew they were in for a real treat.

There were clothes strewn all over the floor, dirty dishes on the dresser and nightstand, coat hangers thrown all over the place, and even a few cigarette cartons on the floor.

"Oh, Mac…" he heard Libby say, drawing him out of his thoughts as his eyes roamed around the room.

He saw the frown on her face and knew that she was disappointed. He didn't like her being disappointed in him.

"I have a feeling we're gonna need a trash bag," she finally commented, "A REALLY big one."

He nodded and left the room to go find one. He knew EXACTLY where those were. Hell he had to know where they were, what with his line of work.

He heard her shriek just as he found a large garbage bag and bolted down the hallway and into his room, finding her in one corner of the room, pressed against the walls with her eyes real wide and a hand over her mouth as she stared at the floor.

"What?" he asked, "What is it?"

He set the bag on his bed and made his way over to her, hearing coat hangers and cigarette cartons crack under his feet.

"I went ta pick up a coat hanger and it ran out…" she said, staring around his shoulder as he came to stand in front of her.

"What ran out?" he questioned.

"A mouse," she answered.

"Yer scared of mice?" he asked.

She shook her head and said, "Not really. But um… It wasn't the ONLY thing that moved."

"What else moved?" he inquired.

She gave a full-body shudder and replied, "A fuckin' ROACH, Mac. I don't DO roaches. And I don't do big ass spiders either."

He nodded and said, "All right. Come 'ere."

He reached down to get one arm under the bend of her knees and the other under her neck and he hoisted her up into his arms, carrying her over to set her down on his bed.

"Ya can sit there. I'LL put shit on the bed and you can organize it or whatever," he told her.

She nodded, clearly liking that idea SO much better than having to clean it with him. She kept looking down at the floor and she gave a gasp and pulled her legs up in front of her chest, wrapping her arms around them as her eyes grew real wide.

"Where?" he asked her.

"There!" she cried, pointing as the speedy little fucker went darting across his room.

He grabbed the nearest boot and smacked it down on the pile the cockroach had stopped on. He pulled his boot up to look and, sure enough, the fucker was as dead as a damn doornail. He showed it to her and she squirmed, her whole face scrunching up in disgust, as she squealed and shook her head hard.

"You just sit there and I'll set shit on the bed," he told her.

She nodded. Then she picked up the trash bag and sat on his bed Indian style, watching as he started sifting through all the shit on his floor. He set things onto the bed and she either set them further back on the bed to keep or pitched them into the trash.

When he fished an old used condom out of the pile of things on the floor, she wrinkled her whole face up and said, "EWW! Mac! That is SO gross! YOU'RE pitchin' that one yourself. I'm not touchin' that shit."

He chuckled but threw it into the open trash bag she held out towards him.

When 6:30 rolled around, the whole place was clean and organized. It actually looked like a damn house instead of a train wreck. He could see the floor and all the flat surfaces in the house. Hell he was shocked that they'd made it through the whole house in one day. But they had, even if it took them the majority of the day to do it.

He made sure to kill all the roaches he found and he was going to kill the mouse too but she wouldn't have it. She told him about mousetraps that would catch them so that they could release them. He couldn't help but laugh. She'd specifically instructed him to kill all the damn spiders and the few roaches he'd come across but she couldn't stand to see him harm the single mouse that had inhabited his disaster zone of a bedroom, reasoning that mice were mammals and that was SO different from spiders and roaches. So she'd told him that she'd have to pick up a "safe" mousetrap from the local general store. But he'd agreed to go along with it.

She headed out of his room and he followed her. He took the trash out to pitch it before coming back into the house and plopping his ass down on the couch in front of the TV. Haus lifted his head just long enough to rest his chin on Mac's thigh and Mac looked down at him. The dog gazed back up at him with brown eyes watching him, pleading with him not to make him get off the couch.

"Lazy fucker," Mac grumbled.

The dog gave a big sigh and Mac couldn't help but shake his head and laugh.

"Yer spoilin' my fuckin' mutt," Mac accused Libby.

"He's a good dog, Mac. But he's not just a dog. He's a faithful companion. He wants ta go everywhere you go and he wants ta protect you. You really oughta start lettin' him inside. It's so damn hot out there. I know I wouldn't wanna be cooped up in a tiny pen in the sweltering heat all damn day. Or out in the freezing cold at night," she pointed out.

"Yeah well… He's gonna get fat," Mac retorted, "Fat and lazy."

"Good thing I fed them this morning instead of waiting," he heard Libby comment before she gave a whistle and asked, "Boys, you wanna go out?"

Their heads perked right up and Zeus was quick to hop off the chair, trotting right over to her, his ears perked up and his stump of a tail wagging as he gazed up at her, giving her a big, doggy grin.

"Haus," she called, "Come on, baby. Let's go out."

Haus stole a peek up at Mac, his eyes seeming to ask, "Is it okay? Can I go?"

"Go on. Get outta here, ya mangy mutt," Mac said, waving a hand at him in dismissal.

Haus hopped off the couch and headed over towards Libby as she patted her thigh, heading for the front door. She pulled the door open and let the dogs outside.

"Hey, Mac?" Mac heard his little brunette say.

"Hmm?" he asked.

"What should we fix for supper?" she questioned, "You don't have anything left after we cleaned the fridge out. We could go ta my place real quick and grab somethin' if you want. You never did bring your groceries over here after you bought 'em the other night."

"Shit," he said, giving a single snort of laughter, "I don't give a fuck whatcha fix. It's food."

She rolled her eyes and he let it slide. It had been a rough day for BOTH of them. So he'd let her have that one.

"Well…" she stated, "We should probably bring your groceries over here anyway. We can figure out what we wanna eat after we've got all your stuff over here and we know what our options are."

So he went with her to her place to get his groceries and bring them all over to his place. Then they put them away and she decided what she wanted to fix since he had gone and plopped his ass down in front of the TV again. Hell he didn't care what she fixed.

"Mac? You wanna help out?" she questioned.

He actually laughed at that and tore his eyes away from the screen just long enough to notice that she had some things set out on the counter.

"Ya seriously think I cook?" he questioned, raising one brow at her before returning his attention back to the screen.

"Well I think it's about time ya learned, Mac. You're what? 25? 26?" she asked.

"25," he answered without looking.

"Well I'd say it's about time ya learn then," Libby retorted, "Come on. Get that ass in here. You can watch that after we're done eatin'."

He chose to ignore her and she chose to come into the living room and stand in front of the TV, setting her tiny hands on those flaring hips and cocking one brown brow at him. She gave him a pointed look and he heaved a loud sigh. Today had been a REALLY trying day and she was starting to push her luck.

"Move," he instructed.

Her brow rose again and she crossed her arms underneath of her chest, pressing those big titties up and together.

He licked his lips, his blue eyes riveted to her chest, but repeated, "Move."

"Macario Sanchez, you'd better get your ass in that kitchen," she demanded, pointing in the direction of said kitchen.

"No," he snapped, "Now damn it, I cleaned the fuckin' place up, just like ya insisted I did. I even HELPED ya clean the place. And I took out the trash. And I was the one that cleaned out most of the food from the fridge too. And I helped ya pack all the damn groceries over here and put 'em away. Now my ass is FIRMLY planted ta this fuckin' couch, where it's gonna STAY 'til I'm ready for bed."

She nodded and made her way over to the couch, standing right in front of him.

"Yer a better fuckin' door than a window," he hinted.

She leaned over him, resting one hand on the back of his old couch as she brought her mouth just a hair's breadth from his. His sapphire eyes roamed down to stare shamelessly at her ample chest as her tits threatened to spill out of that plain black wife beater.

She let her tongue slide out of her mouth to trace his bottom lip, from one corner of his mouth to the other, and his own lips parted, granting her entry and hoping she'd take him up on the invitation. But she didn't.

Instead she murmured against his parted lips, "Mac… It's been a long day, baby. I just wanna fix some supper, take a bath, and relax."

That wasn't a bad idea, as long as he got to eat, he could convince her to take a shower with him instead of a bath by herself, and he got to thoroughly exhaust her to the point where she couldn't do anything but relax. In fact, that was a DAMN good plan, one that had his lips curling into a smirk.

"That's not a bad idea," he agreed.

She eased away from him a little and then brought her mouth to his ear, her hot breath fanning over it and her warm, wet tongue sliding over his ear before she purred, "I'd REALLY appreciate it if you helped me do the cookin'. It'll go a lot quicker with both of us in there and then I can soak in the tub and relax all my muscles before lyin' on the couch with ya."

"Now I didn't agree ta ANY of that," Mac pointed out, "If we're gonna go with that plan, you cook while I watch TV, we'll take a SHOWER and we'll take it TOGETHER, and we'll head ta bed where I can wear ya out. Then ya won't be able ta do a DAMN thing BUT relax."

She smiled and shook her head at him, telling him, "You're a stubborn man, Mac. But if you don't help me cook, I'm gonna be too worn out ta take that shower with ya or letcha 'wear me out'."

He frowned and narrowed his eyes at her, asking, "'S that a threat? You tryin' ta tell me yer not gonna do any of the stuff I want ya to if I don't cook with ya? 'S that what yer sayin'?"

She stood straight again and he felt the loss of her presence immediately.

But he watched as she shrugged her shoulders and replied, "Maybe. Maybe not."

He glared up at her and said, "I don't fuckin' work that way. Ya give me fuckin' ultimatums and yer NOT gonna like the choice I make."

She shrugged her shoulders and turned her back to him, starting back for the kitchen. She found the only cutting board he had and grabbed one of the potatoes she'd set out. She peeled it and started chopping it up, tossing it into the skillet she had on the stove with oil in it. She cut up the second one and started in on a red pepper. Then she moved on to cut up part of an onion and throw it into the mix. She started cutting up some sausage to put in with it and stirred the mix up good before putting the sausage into a Ziplock bag and doing the same with the rest of the onion. She put them away and returned to the stove.

Mac flipped off the TV and shuffled into the kitchen, leaning against the counter beside her as she washed her hands and asking, "Whaddya need me ta do?"

"Now? Nothing," she answered.

He glared and she ignored him, going over to open the bag she'd packed for the dogs to pull out some food. She filled both food bowls and called Zeus into the kitchen to give him his before carrying the other bowl into the living room for Haus. Both dogs dug in greedily.

She brought a bowl of water in for Haus and left the other one in the kitchen for Zeus. Then she returned to the kitchen to stir the food again.

Mac went over to the fridge to pull it open and grab a beer out.

"I think I'm gonna hafta try some operant conditioning with you, Mac," his little brunette informed him.

"The fuck is that?" he questioned.

She just smiled and bit her lip, looking down at the food as she stirred it again and replied, "You'll just hafta see."

"That psychology shit?" he questioned.

She just nodded her head.

"Well I'm not a fuckin' experiment," Mac snapped, somewhat-irritably.

She went to go pick up the bowls after the dogs had finished their food and brought both water bowls back into the kitchen to set them at opposite sides of the kitchen.

When the food was done, she grabbed a couple plates out of the cabinet and then found a couple forks. She dished the food up and handed him a plate.

He took the plate and started into the living room. But she sat down at the kitchen table.

"Ya can eat in here," he told her.

"THIS is the kitchen, Mac," Libby pointed out, "THAT'S the living room."

"I fuckin' KNOW that," he snarled.

She got up from her seat and went to go make a pitcher of sweet tea. She poured herself half a glass full and put the pitcher into the fridge. Then she sat down at the table again and picked up her fork, scooping some of the food she'd prepared onto it. She took a bite and let her eyes drift shut as she chewed, voicing a little hum of approval.

Mac glared at her. Why the fuck wouldn't she come sit with him? She was too damn stubborn for her own good. She was just sitting there, ignoring him as she ate. Zeus got up to go lay by her feet and she smiled down at him.

Mac finally heaved a sigh and grabbed the remote, turning the TV off and getting up out of his chair to go sit at the table with her. She smiled over at him and leaned in for a long, steamy kiss, moaning into his mouth.

When she pulled back, she offered him another smile before tucking back into her food. They ate in silence, stealing the occasional glance at each other. She always smiled when she looked over at him and he found that this wasn't too bad. Sitting with her at the table instead of watching TV wasn't as bad as he'd thought it would be.

After she'd finished washing the dishes, she announced, "All right. Well I'm gonna go take a bath."

But he shook his head, following her and reaching down to grab her ass with both hands as she started down the hall.

She gave a little squeal and he leaned down to growl into her ear, "WE'RE gonna take a shower."

"Mac, a bath would be MUCH better for my sore muscles," she pointed out, "And I doubt you'd be willing ta give me a massage so you can sit in there with me if you want or you can take your own shower."

He leaned in to nip at her cheek and snarled against her skin, showing his disapproval of that idea.

She tipped her head back as they made their way through the doorway of the bathroom and he closed the door behind them. She rested the back of her head against his chest and his hands roamed around to the front of her jeans. He worked her belt open and then popped the button on her jeans, sliding the zipper down. He tugged at the denim and bent over a bit, working her jeans down her legs. She kicked out of them and he grabbed her panties, jerking them down too. They pooled at her feet and she stepped out of them. He was just as quick to rid her top half of any clothes and his big, rough hands worked their way up over her stomach, finding her breasts and giving them a firm squeeze. His thumbs flicked back and forth over her nipples, teasing them into taught peaks before he captured them between his thumbs and index fingers. He gave little tugs and she gasped, her eyes drifting shut and her lips parting.

He took full advantage of the situation to lean down and crush his mouth to hers, snaking his tongue right into her mouth to practically devour her mouth. She tasted delicious, between the food she'd fixed, the sugar from the tea she'd made, and her natural taste. And hearing her moan into his mouth didn't help matters any.

He spun his little brunette around to face him and demanded, "Undress me."

She bit her bottom lip as a wicked grin curled those full, sensual lips of hers. Her cinnamon-colored eyes roamed from his head to his bare feet and she nodded to him, reaching out to take the hem of his white wife beater and start sliding it up his body. He lifted his arms, his eyes never leaving hers, and she leaned down, kissing every inch of his skin that she exposed. She tossed the beater to the floor when she'd gotten it off of him and brought her hands around to his back, gently raking her nails down his back. He sucked a breath in through clenched teeth, his nostrils flaring and his eyes drifting shut. She was learning what he liked REAL quick.

Libby gazed up into his eyes as her tiny hands found his belt buckle and worked it open. She popped the button on his jeans and slowly and carefully eased the zipper of his jeans down. She was cautious as she eased his jeans down his legs, not wanting to hurt him. He was growing harder by the second and she hadn't missed that little fact. She nibbled at her bottom lip as she lowered her eyes down his body to his crotch as he rested his hands on her shoulders while she helped him out of his jeans. She reached up to slowly and carefully work his boxers down over his long, hard, thick length, ensuring that she didn't hurt him, and then let them fall the rest of the way down his legs. He kicked them away from him and she stood, setting her hands on his hips before working them up his slender stomach and on up to his chest.

She leaned down to press a kiss to each of the scabs on his chest and wrapped her arms around him, resting the side of her head against his chest as she gazed up at him and told him, "Baby, you've gotta stop pickin' at those. That's not good for you."

She took one of his arms and gently ran her thumb over the scabs on the inside of his wrist before bringing his wrist up to her mouth to press a kiss to it. Then she let his arm go.

Mac looked away from her. She'd clearly been upset when she'd found out that he did meth. Hell he hadn't touched the stuff since he'd seen the look on her face when she'd discovered what was in his precious tin. The first thing he'd done was dump the shit out when he'd gotten to the cave after leaving her at the pond. If the temptation wasn't there, he'd be less likely to do it. But, without the crystal meth running through his veins, he'd be a lot less likely to pick at his skin too. He didn't even want to know what she thought about his teeth. But she must've thought he was all right if she'd stayed with him over the past few days and put up with all his shit.

She pressed her lips to his chest and eased away from him, heading over to the tub. She put the stopper down and started running hot water for a bath. But Mac didn't argue. Instead, he took a couple towels out of the cabinet there in the bathroom and set them out on the countertop. Then he grabbed a single washrag.

She turned around to look at him and asked, "You wanna sit in front of me or behind me?"

His brows wrinkled and he asked, "Why the fuck would I sit in front of ya? How the fuck's that even make sense?"

She just giggled and replied, "Well… I'd be able ta wrap YOU up that way. But the choice is yours."

"I'm sittin' behind ya," he told her.

She nodded and as he went over to the toilet and opened the lid. He took his cock in one hand and went about his business. She turned her back to him to give him some privacy and he chuckled at that.

"You'd better wash those mitts, mister," she stated, pointing towards the sink as she turned off the water for their bath, having filled the tub halfway full.

He rolled his eyes but went to go do as she'd said.

She nibbled at the inside her cheek and shifted her weight from one foot to the other and he looked over at her, asking, "Whazza matter?"

"Could you um… Could you step out for a sec? I've gotta pee too," she asked, her voice quiet.

She even blushed a little.

Mac couldn't help but laugh as he pointed out, "I just pissed in front of you. I wasn't fuckin' shy about it, now was I? It's pissin'. Everybody does it."

"I know but… Well it's… It's just… I'm not gonna be able ta do it if you're lookin' at me," she stammered, stumbling over her words.

He just laughed some more and gestured to the toilet, commenting, "Piss if you've gotta. But I'm not gonna leave the fuckin' room just so ya can."

She blushed and crossed one leg over the other, whining, "MAAAAC. PLEASE?"

He shook his head and crossed his arms over his chest.

She pouted and he thought it was cute.

"I get stage fright. I can't pee in front of anyone. EVER," she informed him, "PLEASE? I've REALLY gotta go. And runnin' that water didn't help."

He gestured to the toilet again and she gave a huff, glaring at him.

"Damn it, Mac," she growled.

He just smirked at her and she whimpered, her pout growing worse as she looked longingly at the toilet.

He sighed but told her, "Ya let me know when yer done."

He turned and stepped out of the bathroom, closing the door behind him.

A couple minutes later, he heard her flush and he opened the door to find her washing her hands. He closed the door behind him and his hands found her hips as he leaned down to bite at her shoulder. She moaned, her head falling forward and her hands wrapping around the edge of the counter.

"Come on. Turn off the water and let's take a fuckin' bath," he told her, grabbing the washrag he'd laid out.

She turned the water off and started for the tub, giving a little squeak as he slapped her ass. He chuckled at that and watched as she climbed into the tub and scooted up to the front half of it. He climbed in behind her and sat down, stretching his long legs out on either side of her. She slid back a bit and he reached out to take her hips in his big hands and tug her right back against him.

She rested her head back against him, resting her forehead against his jaw and running her hands down his arms to his hands. She twined her fingers through his and pressed the palms of her hands to the backs of his as she brought his arms around her waist. He glanced down at her, seeing her let her eyes drift shut as she gave a tiny smile.

"I've never felt safer than when I'm in your arms…" she murmured quietly, her voice soft.

It hit Mac like a ton of bricks, sucking the breath right out of his lungs. She felt safe with him? Despite all the wicked things he did?

His arms tightened around her a little and she gave a hum of contentment, moving slightly to bury her face into his neck, pressing a kiss there.

"It's crazy but I feel safe with you. I wanna spend time with you and get ta know you SO much better," she mumbled, her lips ghosting over his skin and her warm breath fanning over his skin as she talked, "It sounds so fucking cliché, so cheesy. I'm not a believer in all those chick flicks. But I know that there's somethin' between us, Mac. I can FEEL it. You're so different from all the other guys I've ever known. And I don't just mean your crazy tendencies either. You're real. You're raw. You're brutally honest. And, even though I may not approve of what you do or say sometimes, I know that I can trust you. I know you'll protect me when I need it. I know I can run ta you and tell you about all my problems and you'll wanna make it right. I know you'll care. I know you don't WANNA care. But you DO. And that's what matters. I don't care if I've only known you for a few days. I don't care if it's irrational or reckless. I've seen you change, in BIG ways, Mac. You haven't touched your precious meth since you saw the way I felt about it. You let me help you clean your WHOLE house today. You killed to PROTECT me, not hurt me. You think I didn't notice those things? I did. And I've never known anything as intense as you, Mac. I wanna be yours. I wanna be the ONLY woman you want, the ONLY woman you touch. 'Cause you've got your hand wrapped around my heart and you're damn determined you're gonna take it."

Mac tensed, her words hitting him hard. She might be a sarcastic bitch at times but this… This was different. She'd never been more sincere with him and he knew it. It was in the words she spoke, the tone of her voice, the way she gazed up at him so trustingly with those cinnamon-colored eyes. She was laying it all out on the line, surrendering herself to him and baring all her emotions.

He didn't meet her eyes as he confessed, "There's only one person in the world that I'd never wanna hurt, Elizabeth. And that's you. I don't wanna hurt ya, don't wanna break ya. It kills me ta see ya cry, 'SPECIALLY if I'm the reason for yer tears. I hurt you in that cave. I KNOW I did. I heard ya cry out in pain and I saw it in yer eyes. That was the FIRST time in my fuckin' life it tore at me when I caused someone pain. And I just about smacked ya the other night. But hearin' ya say that no one would care, that no one would miss ya? Yer fuckin' wrong. I'D fuckin' care. I'D fuckin' miss ya. Let me tell ya, Libbs. Meth's got NOTHIN' on you. NOTHING can get me higher than you can. I need ya around. I need ta see ya, ta know that yer safe and that I'm right there if ya need me. I saw red when I saw that fucker's hands on ya and I just lost it. That was the FIRST time I'd ever killed ta protect someone other than myself. And it won't be the last if any other fucker is stupid enough ta fuckin' mess with ya. Yer the only fuckin' woman that matters ta me. Hell yer the only fuckin' PERSON that matters ta me. And if ya ever think ya can leave me, good luck to ya. 'Cause I'll always find ya. I'll always bring ya back. Yer MINE, Libby."

She wrapped her arms around the ones he had looped around her waist and closed her eyes, rubbing her forehead against his neck before pressing a kiss to his skin. She didn't say a word. She didn't have to. He'd just told her more than he'd ever shared with ANYONE when it came to his feelings or his thoughts on something. And that was enough for her.

He felt her skim her toes up his leg and he smiled.

"I think we should wash up before the water gets cold," Libby told him.

He nodded in agreement, eager to lighten the mood after the serious discussion they'd just had.

When Libby stepped out of the tub and reached down to pull the stopper out of the tub, Mac saw the pout on her face.

"What's that pout for?" he asked, genuinely wanting to know what was making her unhappy.

This whole feelings shit was really starting to piss him off and confuse the hell out of him. But he was trying here.

"I don't wanna go home," she admitted.

"Then don't," he replied, "Never said ya had to. Hell I just thought you'd stay here. With me…"

She looked over at him and bit her bottom lip as a smile curled her lips. It made a smile stretch across his own face.

"You want me ta stay?" she questioned.

"Wasn't that what I just fuckin' said?" he inquired.

She nodded and he said, "Then don't make me fuckin' repeat myself. Ya stayin' or not?"

She bit that lip again and nodded her head before her grin stretched from one ear to the other. He'd never seen a bigger, brighter smile and it made him chuckle.

She picked up his beater and slipped it over her head, smoothing it down her curvy little body before slipping into her panties. Mac bit his bottom lip, seeing that about half of her ass hung out of the bottoms of them.

She picked up their clothes, leaving his boxers in case he wanted them, and took them out of the bathroom to put them in the hamper in the tiny laundry room. By the time he came out of the bathroom, he found her sprawled out on his bed, her head resting sideways on the pillow as she lied on her stomach, that ample ass peeking out of the bottoms of her panties at him and her legs parted.

Mac grinned to himself and headed over to the bed, climbing onto it and crawling towards her. He leaned down to sink his teeth into that tantalizing ass of hers, and she gasped before giving a throaty purr, voicing her pleasure and approval as that ass arched back towards him. He smirked to himself and leaned over to sink his teeth into her other ass cheek, giving it a nip. She brought her legs up to give him a little squeeze with her feet on either side of his ribs.

She gave a little purr and then asked, "You want a massage, baby? I bet you're really tense."

Mac had never had a massage before but he found the idea of her hands roaming over him tempting. In fact, he found the idea VERY tempting.

So he nodded his head and said, "Sure."

"All right. Lay on your belly and relax," his little brunette instructed.

He climbed off of her and went to go lie face down on his side of the bed, his face smooshed in the pillow.

She giggled and teased, "Can you even breathe like that?"

He gave a muffled response and she giggled some more. She gently scratched at his scalp and worked her fingertips over every part of his head, earning herself a low purr, before moving to climb on top of him.

He felt her come over to perch herself on his ass, the cotton of her panties separating his bare skin from hers, as she reached out and gently started massaging at the nape of his neck, her thumbs pressing in a little to work out the kinks but her touch still gentle.

He gave a little groan and she commented, "Jeez! I'm just gettin' started, Mac."

She made her way down to his shoulders and he gave another groan, feeling her work all the kinks and knots out of his muscles. He'd never realized how tense he was, how tight his muscles had become. But feeling her work her magic, feeling her work each muscle into putty, he felt an utter calm steal over his body. He'd never been more relaxed in all his life. She worked her way down his arms and even his hands and fingers before continuing on down his back, pressing the occasional open-mouthed kiss to his bare skin or nipping lightly at him.

When she got to his ribs, he squirmed a little. He was ticklish. And she REALLY seemed to get a kick out of that, once she'd made the little discovery. His skin would twitch and he'd squirm when she ran her hands over his ribs or tried to massage at them.

"Cut that shit out," he snapped when she purposefully ghosted her fingertips up along his ribs, making him wiggle again.

She giggled but went on to continue with his massage.

He gave another groan and then felt her sink her teeth into his right ass cheek. He growled and she soothed the slight sting by working her tongue over the spot she'd just bitten. She did the same to the other cheek and then turned around to rest her ass back on his and start massaging his thighs and the backs of his legs.

When she'd finished massaging him clear down to his feet and toes, she instructed, "All right. Roll over. Time ta get the other side."

She started with his hands and fingers before making her way down his arms.

She leaned down to press kisses to every inch of his face before murmuring against his lips, "You're too fuckin' sexy for your own damn good, Big Mac."

He smirked at that and she gently started working at his neck before making her way down to his shoulders. She made her way down his chest, pressing kisses here and there, flicking her tongue over first one of his nipples and then the other. She worked her tongue up the length of his happy trail and nuzzled her way down his stomach, nipping gently here and there, her hands never stilling on his body. She didn't miss the fact that he was hard for her but she chose to ignore that part of his body, working on his thighs instead and working her way down his legs and on down to his feet. By the time she'd finished with her full-body massage, he was a puddle of fucking Jell-O, damn near unable to move.

She went to straddle his hips and smiled down at him, slowly lowering herself until she was sprawled out on top of him, her forehead resting against his jaw. He brought one arm up to wrap it around her waist, his other hand finding her thigh and holding it crooked up over his hip. She teased his leg by running her toes up the outside of his leg. She gave a little purr of contentment and then gave a sigh.

Mac knew then that this was right. This was what he was meant to do. Fuck Walter and Devon. THIS is what he was born to do. He was meant to protect Libby, to hold her, to comfort her. The thought made his chest tighten and he tilted his head to steal a peek down at her. DAMN her for making him feel this way, for making him care, for making him want to get to know everything about her. And in just a few days! This shit was unreal.

She tipped her head back to look up at him and smiled, that soft, warm smile she always offered him when they weren't pissed at each other. He wanted to see more of it. He let go of her thigh to bring his hand up to cup the back of her head, bringing his lips to hers.

She met him eagerly, her tongue sweeping over his bottom lip before plunging inside of his mouth. He teased her tongue by flicking the tip of his against hers and she slid her tongue further into his mouth to massage the sides of his. She swirled her tongue around his in a few circles before he chased hers back into her mouth, following the teasing flicks of her maddening tongue. But when she captured his tongue between those full, sensual lips and began to suck greedily at it, the arm he had wrapped around her waist shifted so that he could fill his large, strong hand with one of her ample ass cheeks. He gave her a firm squeeze, kneading and squeezing.

She moaned into his mouth and shifted slightly so that she was straddling him instead of just resting over top of him, grinding her hips down against his. He pressed against her ass, groaning into her mouth to encourage her. He wanted her to lead this time, something he wouldn't have EVER let another woman do. Mac didn't submit to others. But Libby had made the first move and he wanted her to lead. He wanted her to show him what she wanted.

She rocked her hips against him again, harder this time, as she eased back from the kiss and gazed down at him. He knew what she was doing. She didn't want to miss his reaction. He nodded to her, letting her know that it was okay, and she smiled down at him, reaching down with one hand to wrap it around his growing erection, bringing it right where she wanted it over the lace of her panties. She arched her hips again and they both groaned, feeling the broad head of his cock prodding at her entrance. She pushed herself up into a seated position on top of him, straddling his hips and resting her hands on his chest as she picked up a steady rhythm. She bit her bottom lip and let her eyes drift shut as she tipped her head back a little, purring in pleasure.

Mac's hands slid up the backs of her thighs, sliding underneath the lace and filling his hands with her ample ass. He guided her motions, rocking her firmly towards him to ensure that the friction between them was more intense. She tipped her head back down and looked down at him, those cinnamon-colored eyes growing darker in color as lust filled them. She flicked her thumbs back and forth over his nipples, moaning as he eased his hands out of her panties to bring them around to the front of her body. He slid a hand up under his wife beater that she was wearing and cupped one of those big titties in his hand, his other hand going between her thighs to find her clit over the lace of her panties, rubbing circles over it with the rough pad of his thumb. He worked her clit even as he gently tugged at her nipple. She cried out, her hips stuttering, and he felt her grow even wetter against his cock through the thin lace.

"Take it," he told her, his voice lacking any of the dominance he'd always used when they were fooling around before, "Whatever it is ya want… Just take it."

Her eyes widened and she froze, gazing down at him. He knew she was shocked. She pressed one hand to the side of his face and he turned his face into her touch, his lips finding the palm of her hand even though his eyes never left hers.

This was SO different, SO new to him, this whole gentleness and affection thing. It was like he wasn't even in his own body right now. But she brought out the best in him, along with the worst. She made him feel things and say things he'd never done before. Hell she even made him DO things he never thought he'd do, not in a MILLION fucking years.

But she surprised him, slowly climbing off of him. He frowned and she reached down for the wife beater, tugging it up and over her head. She dropped it onto the floor and then lied down on her back, reaching for her panties and easing them down and off of her legs. She dropped them onto the floor and then looked over at him, biting her bottom lip as a blush colored her face. She hardly EVER blushed.

"Mac…" she started, "I've never been tempted… But you… You're SO different… I trust you… I can't explain the way I feel and I don't wanna go and get sappy on ya… I just… I'm ready…"

She didn't stammer either. Yet now she was, stammering and stuttering over her words. And her confession… It hit him hard, harder than anything he'd ever heard. She bit her bottom lip as she waited for his reaction. And damn it he WANTED to… But he just couldn't.

He shook his head hard, sitting up and turning his back to her as he told her, "No. No we don't have to. I didn't mean ta make ya feel like –,"

He felt her fingertips ghosting down his spine and she spoke to him quietly, her voice barely above a whisper as she replied, "I KNOW we don't have to, Mac. I know you're an intense man. I know you're rough at times. But I've never ONCE felt like I HAD to do anything. I'm telling you I WANT to. But we don't have to if you don't want to…"

He sucked in a quick breath, hearing her words, his head slowly turning to look at her. She met his eyes, those cinnamon-colored orbs watching his every move. They were so soft, so reassuring, so inviting. She brought her hand up to press it to his cheek and he let his eyes drift shut. He'd never wanted anything more. He'd never wanted to fuck a woman so badly. But this… THIS was different. This wasn't like all the other time. This was Libby, HIS Libby.

"It's up ta you, Mac. And it's not gonna hurt my feelings if you say no. We can always wait," she informed him.

And he nearly kicked his own ass for it. It nearly KILLED him.

But he shook his head again, stating, "Not tonight. We're not ready."

Truth be told, he knew HE wasn't ready, not for this. Taking that leap, having sex with her for the first time, that was a HUGE change. For BOTH of them. Touching her drove him crazy. Tasting her made him insatiable. But having sex with her would seal the deal. There would be no going back after that. She'd be his, in every sense of the word, and he knew his protective instincts and possessiveness would really kick into overdrive after they'd fucked. He'd never be able to look at her again and not want to fuck her brains out, not look at her as HIS, in every sense of the word. He'd never be able to tell her no. Because he knew, without a DOUBT in his mind, that everything else in the world would PALE in comparison to having sex with her. Touching her skin, eating her pussy, hearing the sound of her breathy moans or watching her eyes drift shut in pleasure… Hell even his precious meth wouldn't compare to burying his cock inside of her! If even the simplest things he did with her convinced him that meth would never be worth it again… Having sex with Libby would be the ULTIMATE high. There was no question about it. And he just hoped to hell that he could control himself. Because the LAST thing he ever wanted to do was hurt her or scare her.

He felt her arms wrap around his waist, bringing him back to the present. He hadn't even heard her coming closer. He felt her lips press against his back before she rested her forehead against the firm muscles of his back, her hands gently squeezing at his chest as she looped her legs around him to rest her ankles against the insides of his thighs.

"Don't worry about it," she whispered, her lips ghosting over his skin, "It doesn't make me like you any less. If anything, it makes me like ya even MORE. You're not afraid ta tell me how ya feel and I respect you for that, just like I respect you for never having pushed me ta do somethin' I didn't want to. So what if we don't have sex tonight? There's always gonna be another time and place when we're BOTH ready."

He felt her press another kiss to his back and he told her, "It's not that I don't WANT to. I've never wanted anything so fuckin' bad in my life. But we can't, not yet."

She just nodded and kissed him a third time before untangling her legs from his and easing away from him.

"You still want me ta stay?" she asked him.

"You leave and I'll follow you," was his immediate answer.

And they both knew it was the truth.

"Well… Today's been a REALLY long day…" she sighed before giving a yawn, "I don't know about you but I'm gonna go piss again and then I'll be ready ta cuddle up and sleep."

He chuckled at that. He'd come to learn that one of her little quirks was the fact that she couldn't sleep unless she'd gone to the bathroom right before she went to bed.

He watched her head for the bathroom and hung his head. Maybe he should've taken her up on it. Maybe he SHOULD'VE had sex with her. But the timing just felt off. Hell any other time and he would've fucked a bitch's brains out and not thought twice about it. But this was Libby. And he didn't wanna lose her. He COULDN'T lose her. He was addicted to this woman and it was going to be the fucking death of him. It confused him, everything about whatever fucked up kind of relationship they had going between them. But it felt RIGHT. For once in his life, he felt like he had a real purpose. And he couldn't piss that away.

So he waited for her to return to the bedroom before he got up to go use the bathroom himself.

When he returned, he found her curled up on her side, facing his side of the bed with the blankets pulled up to her chest. She gave him that warm smile and patted his side of the bed. At least she wasn't pissed at him. She understood him, something no one else was able to do. And she might fight with him from time to time but he knew that she genuinely wanted what was best for him.

"Move your ass, mister," she teased, "I couldn't sleep without ya last night."

So she hadn't been able to sleep either? Hell he'd tossed and turned all fucking night. Hadn't fallen asleep until after the sun had come up and that was only when complete exhaustion had kicked in and he couldn't keep his eyes open anymore. Then sleep had overcome him and he'd slept like a fucking rock. But only for a couple hours before she'd knocked on his front door.

Mac turned off the light and made his way over to the bed, lifting the sheet and sliding into bed with her. She'd scooted right over to him, draping one leg between his and wrapping an arm around his waist as she rested her head on his chest.

"Night…" she murmured quietly into the darkness, "Sleep tight… Don't let anything but me bite…"

He chuckled at that and replied, "That goes for you too, Libbs."

He felt her smile against his skin before she snuggled closer and pressed a kiss to his chest, over his heart.

He lied there, staring at the dark ceiling until he heard her breathing even out. She'd offered herself to him tonight, in every sense of the word. And he'd said no. Not because he didn't want her. Not because he wasn't in the mood. But because he wanted to do it RIGHT.

He sighed and closed his eyes, willing sleep to take over his body. This whole emotions crap really frustrated him. And it confused the HELL out of him.

Mac woke to the sound of a loud buzzing noise. He groaned and brought one arm up over his eyes. He heard Libby grumble and felt her roll over to reach across the bed, feeling the loss of her body heat and the silk of her skin against his immediately.

"Hello?" she answered groggily.

Mac rolled over onto his side, facing her and cracking his sapphire eyes open to gaze up at her.

Her face went from sleepy and relaxed to wide awake and alert in a matter of seconds and she pushed herself up into a seated position, her back turned to him.

"How did you get this number?" she asked, and he couldn't miss the way her words were laced with fear.

That did it. Mac went on red-alert, sitting up and scooting right behind her.

He wrapped his arms around her waist, hugging her tight and asking, "Who the fuck is it?"

He heard a man's voice on the other end of the phone and his blood boiled.

"I told you not to call me," his little brunette told the man on the other end of the phone, "I told you not to try getting in contact with me at ALL. I don't wanna talk to you. Please. Just leave me alone."

"Who is it?" Mac questioned.

But she wasn't listening. She was just staring down at the floor, her breathing becoming shallow and rushed as her eyes filled with tears.

NOW Mac was pissed. Whoever the fucker was, he was upsetting her. And NOBODY upset Libby or pissed her off and got away with it unless it was HIM.

"No. I want you to leave me ALONE. I don't want you ta call me. I don't want you ta try ta find out what my address is. I don't want you ta ask around about me. I just want you ta forget you ever met me. I moved for a reason, Chaz. I told you the last time you showed up at my house that I didn't wanna see you. I didn't wanna talk to you. I didn't want you ta write ta me or text me or call me or send me anything. I don't want ANY contact with you. I figured the restraining order would've proved that," she said, the words all rushing out in a hurry.

Restraining order?

Mac's brows furrowed and he reached out to snatch the phone out of her hand, pressing it to his own ear and growling, "I dunno who the fuck ya are but you'd better damn well leave her the fuck alone!"

"Who the fuck are you?" the man on the other end of the phone barked, his voice full of surprise and anger, "Why are you talkin' on my girlfriend's phone?"

"Yer GIRLFRIEND? I think yer sorely mistakin', FUCKER. Libby's MY fuckin' woman," Mac snarled.

"See, that's where you're wrong," the cocky fucker replied, "She's MY girlfriend. Libby and I dated for 4 1/2 years. I proposed ta her. So give her the fuckin' phone and let me talk ta her."

"Ya know what yer gonna fuckin' do? Yer gonna lose her fuckin' number," Mac threatened, "Yer never gonna call her or bother her again. Or I'm gonna find out where ya are. I'll track yer sorry ass down and I'll fuckin' kill ya! Ya got that? Don't FUCK with her! Ya call her again and you'll be makin' it my personal business ta wipe ya out of her life PERMANENTLY. And I can PROMISE ya it'll be slow and agonizing. You'll be BEGGIN' me ta just kill ya and get it the fuck over with."

With that said, Mac hung up and narrowed his eyes at Libby's back.

He backed up to his side of the bed and demanded, "Turn around. We've got some shit ta talk about."

She slowly turned to face him and scooted closer to the middle of the bed, her eyes not meeting his as she stared down at the sheets.

She was watching him, her eyes so wide as tears streamed down her cheeks.

"Who the FUCK was that?" he asked her.

She just kept looking down, remaining silent, and he reached out to cup her chin in his empty hand, raising her head and repeating, "Who the FUCK was that?"

She swallowed hard and answered, "That was my ex."

"Who's this 'ex'?" he questioned.

"Chaz…" his little brunette answered, reaching up to wipe at her eyes, "Chaz Verona."

"I want you ta tell me EVERYTHING ya know about this 'Chaz Verona' fucker," Mac demanded.

She nodded, looking down again and pulling the sheets up to her chest, covering herself from his view. She just kept nodding her head and more tears spilled from her eyes. He knew she was trying to hold it together but it wasn't working.

"Chaz Verona. He was born on August 14, 1992. We started dating, July 16, 2009. I broke up with him for the first time, May, 2010. He enlisted in the Infantry of the National Guard, May 2010 after graduating from high school. We started dating again, November 14, 2010. He proposed to me on my birthday, May 17, 2011, and I accepted. He was dishonorably discharged from the Infantry of the National Guard, September 22, 2011, after he was found to have cocaine in his system. I was admitted into the hospital, October 21, 2011, after he beat me. I had 3 broken ribs, the left half of my collarbone was broken, and my right arm was broken. I was covered in bruises and was in the hospital for about a month. When I got out, I knew I didn't want anything to do with him and I called off the engagement," she explained.

"FUCKER!" Mac spat, the rage just SEETHING inside of him.

She gave a laugh without humor, nodding in agreement, and continued, "By then, he'd cheated, he'd lied, and he'd used me as a damn sex toy to blow him whenever he wanted me to. He'd abused me, both mentally and physically, and he'd tried to force himself onto me when he was high, which is what resulted in me stabbing him to get him off of me and him putting me in the hospital. In December of 2011, he started calling me. I ignored the calls and he kicked it up a notch, starting to write me letters. I decided to transfer to a different college, afraid that he'd decide to make a personal visit, and some of his buddies informed him of my new location. In April of 2012, he showed up on my doorstep and begged me to take him back. I told him he needed to leave or I'd call the cops and he forced his way into my townhouse. He was clearly high and I was terrified. He spent the next 2 hours talking to me, trying to convince me that he was sorry and that he wanted me to take him back, that things would be different that time. Thankfully, one of my guy friends responded to the text I sent when I 'went to the bathroom', literally grabbing him and shoving him out of the townhouse. I had various guy friends accompany me to and from classes so that I wouldn't have to miss out on getting my education. But that didn't mean he made it easy on me either."

Mac growled but she went on to tell him, "He mailed me things – letters of apology, pictures of us, bouquets of flowers, chocolates, stuffed animals. I threw the gifts away but saved the letters as proof. I documented everything. In December of 2012, I took all the letters and the journal I'd been keeping track of everything in to the local police department and they filed a restraining order against him after I showed them all the ways he'd kept harassing me and the hospital records of when I'd been hospitalized. Things died down after that. But I guess he's trying to pick things up again."

Mac's blood boiled, his nostrils flaring and his jaw clenching even as his hands balled into fists. Someone had hurt her. They'd put HIS Libby into the hospital. They'd broken her BONES. And they hadn't known when to quit. The fucker was going to pay. He was gonna pay with his LIFE. Because Mac wasn't going to stop until this fucker was dead, until he wasn't able to bother her anymore. He couldn't stand the sight of her tears, the look of fear in her eyes. This fucker had hurt her enough. And now HE was going to feel the pain.

Mac would find him. He'd do whatever it took to track him down. And he'd KILL him. But he'd take his time. He'd make sure it was slow. He'd carve and slice and beat and torture the man until he was a sobbing, pitiful mess and he was BEGGING Mac to just kill him. Then he'd show Libby his handiwork, show her that the fucker would NEVER touch her again, would NEVER hurt her. THEN he'd kill the fucker. Mac was going to make every other murder in history look like fucking child's play. This was personal. And this was NECESSARY.

He reached out to cup her face in his hands and he looked her right in the eye as he reassured her, "I'm gonna find him, Libby. And I'm gonna make this right. He's NEVER gonna hurt you again."

She just nodded and he pulled her into his arms. She just clung to him, her nails digging into his skin as she clutched him to her for dear life.

He knew now why she was still a virgin. Not only had she been abused by that sick fuck of a step-father she'd had but her own damn boyfriend had tried to force himself onto her. He'd used her any time he wanted head from her.

Now Mac understood why she had those 3 Cardinal Rules of hers. No trying to force her into doing something she didn't want to – her boyfriend and her step-father had done that. No laying a mean hand on her – her boyfriend had put her in the fucking hospital with multiple broken bones and bruising that took a fucking MONTH to heal. And no cheating – her boyfriend had done that too. It all made sense to him now.

Lyrics From the Song:

Heartbeat by Enrique Iglesias feat. Nichole Scherzinger

Well, I know. Shit got serious. And there was a lot of emotional shit in there. I was really unsure of it to be honest. I thought about just cutting the emotional scenes and leaving the rest but I figured that it was necessary to portray that Mac is starting to change. And I know it's just been a few days since they've met but Mac's a REALLY intense guy and he's kind of obsessive – let's face it. He's got an addictive personality after all. But don't hesitate to let me know what you think. Did you love it? Did you hate it? And that doesn't just go for the emotional scenes. That goes for the whole damn chapter. And I KNOW. When are they gonna fuck? Everyone keeps asking me that. You'll find out if you stay tuned. If you've made it this far into the story, I can't thank you ENOUGH for hanging in there with me and I'm hoping to write many more chapters.