"I wasn't," she said and he could hear in her voice he had insulted her.
He was not sure why that mattered. He had stopped caring about who he hurt and left in the wake of his callous attitude long ago. So now why had he suddenly developed a soft spot? "What do you want then?"
"It was brave what you did."
"Right. So brave I couldn't even do the job right."
"Not many would have done it. I couldn't do it."
"I wouldn't expect you to," he said. She was a woman. The Marshall wanted her for something, he had no doubt of that, but he did not picture her a cold blooded killer. "What kind of man can't do a mercy killing right?"
"A man who's never shot a man before." She placed a hand around his forearm and he jerked away at the contact.
He was good with women if he wanted to get them in between some sheets, but comforting gestures and sincerity he knew nothing about. He had distant memories of a mother's gentle touch, but that was so long ago Sawyer had no idea if his memories were real or make believe. "You don't know anything about me, Freckles, so don't think this one thing is any kind of revelation about what kind of man I am."
"I just wanted to say thank you."
"No thanks necessary. No one wanted to hear him screaming like a stuck pig until he bled out anyway."
"Why do you do that?"
"Act so hard."
"Do you really want me to answer that question?" he quipped, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. He chuckled as his eyes met hers. She looked exasperated, just the emotion he was trying to provoke in her.
"Why do men bring everything to sex?"
"Because if they're not thinking about it at that moment, Freckles, they will be shortly. It's the way we are especially when there's a pretty girl nearby." She was pretty in a girl-next-door kind of way. She was not the type of woman he went for normally. He looked away, briefly scanning the group of survivors for the pert and perky blonde. She was the type he normally went for.
So why did he find himself focusing his attention on the brunette instead of the blonde? If he set his mind to it he could have a woman with him this evening. Only if he went after the blonde. Freckles here would not be so easy. Maybe that was it. The challenge of the hunt. He had never had to work at it before. When he set his mind on a mark it was as good as done for Sawyer.
"You're just saying that so I'll leave you alone."
"Now why would I want to do that?"
"I don't know, but I'm not leaving."
"Why don't you go see what Doc's done with your friend there?"
"He wasn't my friend."
"That's right, he wasn't. He was the man the cuffs and badge belonged to." He did not expect a confession, but he needed to tell her he had figured it out. He had never suspected her, or any of the women on the plane. Chauvinistic, maybe, but it had never entered his mind.
"So, what now?"
"I don't know."
"You got lucky."
"Well, stranded on this island is better than the alternative I imagine."
"And what's your alternative," she said.
"You tell me."
"I don't want to tell you anything." He could hear the defensiveness in her tone and smiled charmingly at her. It took years of practice to perfect a smile that could stop women in their tracks. All women.
"Fine then, Freckles. You came to me, though, remember that."
"I told you why I came here."
"To thank me?"
"I can think of many ways of thanking me. None involve standing up."
Her hand shot out to slap him, but he grabbed a hold of it. She was fast, but he was expecting her to slap him so he was quicker. He tugged her to him swiftly, catching her off guard so she fell against his chest. She had counted on her hand connecting with his cheek not this.
"You're a pig."
His free hand found the back of her head and the nape of her neck. He stroked it with his thumb. She was tinier than she seemed. His eyes scanned the length of her from her chest, throat and face until his eyes met hers.
She did not seem overly surprised when he kissed her. His lips parted, allowing his tongue to graze her lower lip. He brushed that lip with small, feather-like strokes. He had so many staged and practiced moves Sawyer had forgotten how a real kiss went and felt.
She groaned softly as his tongue worked her lips apart just enough to slide between them. It was a poor substitute for what he really wanted to do at the moment, but penetrating her mouth, imitating the in and out movements of sex would have to do for now. There was no way she was going to give into him this easily. Not all the way.
She mewed into his mouth as he gradually worked his tongue all the way in. She met his tongue with hers hesitantly before retracting it further into the warmth of her mouth. Her tongue darted out again to meet his and he let out a sound from his throat in surprise.
He broke the kiss knowing they both had to breathe. "Well, then if it makes you feel better about the whole thing, oink oink," he whispered as his mouth found hers a second time. There was no hesitation by either of them this time. Sawyer felt like he was drowning. Her warmth surrounded him even though she made no effort to touch him in any way but their lips.
He drew away, afraid if he drew the kiss out any longer he would be exposed and raw. He had spent close to twenty years working at keeping others at bay. He was not about to let one slip of a girl break down his barriers just yet.
"Even if the kissing is good," he murmured.
"Never you mind, Freckles," he smiled as he drew away. He released her then, letting his fingers slide through all of that hair as he drew his hand from her neck.
"My name is Kate."
"I know," he said, smiling smugly. "It's time for me to take a swim."
"You want to go swimming?"
"Not want," he said with a shake of his head. "Need."
"Oh." She blushed then, the color on her cheeks a deep red that was flattering.
"You know where to find me if you decide you want to take that kiss to the next step."
"Don't lose any sleep waiting on me."
"I've never lost sleep over a woman, Freckles, and don't plan on starting now," he said as he walked toward the secluded swimming hole he had found earlier that day.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com