That was until she'd gotten home. She almost missed it, unaccustomed to looking at the floor by her door. She wasn't sure why she still opened them. Hoping maybe that it was from someone else, especially this time, slipped under her door and obviously not mailed. There was no address, no postmark, and no stamp. So, that meant he'd been here. To her home.
She dropped the card, unsigned that simply said Thinking of you inside. Harmless most would say. She made her way to the bathroom and emptied the meager contents of her stomach, resting her head against the cool side of the toilet for just a moment.
He'd been here to her home. It was that realization more than the card itself that had caused the physical reaction in her. She was used to the cards by now, dreaded her birthday because of them. She wondered how many people abhorred their birthday as she did.
She was aware of a presence behind her, but was too slow on the draw to get to her gun in time. She looked up, relieved to see Phillip standing there. And not him. She wasn't sure he'd stop at slipping birthday cards under her door. And crouched around the toilet as she was, she was in no position to finish the job the little girl she'd once been couldn't.
"Everything all right?"
She laughed a little with a shake of her head. "Just give me a minute." She frowned then. "What are you doing here?"
"It was supposed to be a surprise."
"Obviously, you got the surprise instead."
"Do you want me to go?"
"No," she said quickly. Of all nights she might want to be alone, this was not one of them. She'd been gone most of the day, true, so there was no telling when he'd left the card. She liked making him think she had someone, though. Someone here at her house with her. That she wasn't alone.
"All right. Why don't you clean up, take a shower or a bath and join me in the kitchen."
"Mm, I took the liberty of picking up something for us to eat."
"I didn't even smell it," she said, going back over things in her mind. How had she missed the smell of food in her house?
"It's all right, Olivia," he said. "Take your time. I'm not going anywhere and neither is the food."
"I'll only be a minute."
He shut the door behind him, something she'd been remiss at doing in the first place. Of course, she hadn't realized she wasn't alone then. She'd have to be more careful about that in the future since it seemed he was going to be making appearances here.
She stood in the bathroom for a moment, rinsing her toothbrush much longer than was necessary. Why did she let him get to her like this? She was an adult now, no longer that frightened little girl. Only, she wasn't sure she could finish things today. That would be taking the law into her own hands, violating that which she'd sworn to uphold by carrying the badge and gun she did.
She shed her clothes, letting the water warm up as she did. Cold water might do her some good, clear up these hazy thoughts that were clouding her mind. She wanted warmth tonight, though. The warmer the better.
She stepped into the shower, letting the water wash the day's dirt away. Both real and imagined. She came home often with both types. The real was much easier to wash away than the imagined. She hated that, but thought it made her a better agent. She couldn't just turn it off at the end of the day. She cared. She felt. Things were personal to her.
She heard the door open, peaked out from behind the curtain to be sure it was Phillip. He looked at her questioningly, as if reading her thoughts and wondering whom else she thought he would be.
"Am I taking too long?" she asked, letting the curtain fall back in place. She hadn't even started to wash her hair.
"No," he said. A minute, maybe two, later the curtain moved on the other side. "I thought you might welcome company."
"You did, huh?" she said, glancing at him over her shoulder. She wondered despite everything how she could still have that flirtatious tone to her voice.
"It was an appealing notion, joining you in the shower."
"What about dinner?"
"You have an oven. We can heat it up later. If not, there are places that deliver."
"Phillip…" she started, turning to face him. She wanted this, but there was a part of her that wasn't sure she could. Not tonight.
"Stay here with me, Olivia," he whispered and cut off any response she might have given with a kiss. He made it difficult to resist. Especially when his hands slid along her bare back, finding the ticklish spot on her lower back that he was so fond of touching. Lower still, cupping her ass in his firm hands.
Like flipping a switch, she went from feeling numb to feeling everything. Stay here with him? Was there a choice?
His hands were warm and fit over her ass so nicely. He rubbed her, grazed each cheek with his fingertips. He dipped a finger or two in between them, sliding along the crevice there, lower to the juncture between her legs that was getting wetter by the minute from things that had nothing to do with the water.
Her hands skimmed his shoulders, lower to his chest. He gave a soft groan into their kiss as the pads of her fingers brushed over his nipples. She gave a soft laugh in return, filing the fact he liked it away for later. Lower still, along his flat abdomen and between his legs. She traced the light dusting of hair that started at his navel, following it lower.
She teased, stroking his inner thigh, the spot where his thigh and pubic bone met, and even his sac. Her fingertips slid along the crevice there too which caused his already hard cock to jerk at the contact. She carefully avoided touching his cock directly.
"Tease," he murmured into the kiss, lips finding her neck. He kissed her there, sucked longer than he probably should have. She couldn't find it in her to stop him. She kind of liked the idea of going into work tomorrow with visible evidence of their night together. Fingertips grazed his thigh, feeling the muscle flex beneath her touch.
His hands were mirroring hers now. In between her legs, parting her lips but stopping just short of entering her. Teasing. Tormenting was more like it. She pressed against him, wordlessly pleading with him to slide a finger inside of her.
She slid her hand along his length, grazing the head with the palm of her hand. He stopped his attention to her neck then, taking it lower to her breasts. He drew a nipple into his mouth, flicking his tongue over it as she moaned in response. His hands shifted, cupping her ass again as he started to suck on the underside of her breast.
"That's more like it," she murmured and he gave a muffled chuckle. And, oddly, despite the day and what it represented as well as everything the case had put her through she found herself smiling.
She let her head fall back, feeling the water flow through her hair and pound against her face. Her hand between his legs was stroking him now and he was responding, thrusting against her palm as she moved it along his length. He wasn't shy about responding to her, letting her know he liked what she was doing. She liked that about him.
Finally, he entered her with a finger almost tentatively, as if testing whether she was ready for him. She met his eyes, watching as he sank the digit deeply inside of her. He enjoyed it as much as she did, she had no doubt of that.
"I love how wet you get for me."
She blushed. "We're in a shower."
He chuckled, gathering her into his arms and settling her back against the wall. "That's not the wet I'm referring to," he murmured, kissing her as he slid inside of her. He was gentle and slow, sliding into her as if she was made of glass and might break if he thrust too hard. It was as if he knew that while she might need this, the physical, she needed the closeness more than just sex. And he delivered.
Her hands roamed along his back and shoulders, knowing he wouldn't drop her she took advantage of this position to touch him. She broke the kiss, moving to his jaw and then his ear. Stopping finally at his neck where she returned the favor of kissing and sucking long enough to leave a mark. Hers would be more visible, but she had to wonder as she worked the skin there between her lips if the people in the office would talk. Suspect.
One deep thrust into her and he hit a spot that sent her over the edge. She released his neck, crying out as the climax coursed through her body. It wasn't just a physical release, she needed it from her brain down. And it was one of the most gratifying experiences she'd had.
Boneless from exhaustion, the constant fretting over when the card would get there, she remained relatively still against him until he finished.
It wasn't until the water started to cool, thank God for a top of the line water heater, that they parted and he released her legs. She reached outside the curtain for her towel.
"You don't need that," he murmured, eyes taking her in as she toweled off and draped it around her.
"I don't walk around my house naked."
"That's too bad."
"You never know who's watching," she said, taking a spare towel out from the cupboard and handing it to him. He took it, toweling off as she had and wrapping it around his waist. She couldn't help but admire his body. He was lean where John wasn't so much. Different body types. Different lovers, she reminded herself.
"Are you afraid someone's watching?"
She shrugged, glancing away.
He approached her then, cupping her face in his hands. His eyes met hers, his gaze never wavering. She realized then he knew. Of course he did, he probably knew things about herself she didn't.
"If he crosses a line, Olivia, beyond a card once a year we will catch him. And he will pay for what he's done and continues to do to you. Do you understand me?"
Speechless, she nodded. "How did you…"
"I saw the card, I figured it out."
He took her into his arms then as the tears started to fall. He soothed her, smoothing her hair down with his capable hands. Capable of being both comforting and taking someone's life. She knew he meant it, too. If he crossed that line, he would have the FBI to deal with.
He kissed her again, intensely but their was no suggestion or sexual overture to the kiss. It was deep and meaningful, comforting and wonderful. She clutched his forearms to anchor her, as he showed no signs of letting up. What was more, she didn't want him to.
"Why are you always comforting me?" she asked when he did stop, both needing to catch their breath.
"I cannot say that I know nor do I mind."
"Well, thank you."
"Thank you for letting me do it."
"Did you still want dinner?"
"If you do. You should try to eat something."
"I know. I don't think I really took the time to eat today."
He slid his pants on, not bothering with any of his other clothes while she decided on a nightgown from her room. It wasn't exactly sexy, but it was short and baby-dollish. The way his eyes took her in suggested that she might have underestimated the sexiness of it.
"I don't do birthdays," she said instantly, seeing the bakery box on the counter.
"Well, it's a good thing I brought some cannola then."
"From that bakery by the Bureau Building?"
"That very one. I imagine if you really wanted to, you could make a wish on one. I'll never tell if you do."
She smiled. Birthday wishes. She'd never really gotten them as a girl. And the things she was prone to wish for were never answered. Things like her mommy being safe. A normal life. Not dreading her parent-teacher conferences at school. Or any school thing.
"Thank you again."
He brushed his hand through her hair. "Save your thanks for when I get my hands on him."
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com