***Chapter Ten***
Word Count: 3,049

"Hello?" he said, trying to sound more awake than he was. He'd been called out to a scene a couple of towns over because they needed some extra dogs for a drug bust. He didn't mind going, but he and Randy hadn't gotten done until nearly four in the morning.

'Hi. It's Claire.'

"Hey," he said, glancing at his clock. "Aren't you supposed to be working? Is everything okay?"

'I am and it is. I'm there. I just thought I'd call you.'

"Well, you're sure welcome to call me anytime, you know that. It just worried me since I know you open before eight every morning."

'You sound tired.'

"Do I? You can tell that?"

'I guess I can.'

"I got in about four this morning."

'Oh,' she said.

"I was working," he added quickly, realizing what that statement could have sounded like. He hoped she wouldn't think he'd do that, leave her house and go to someone else. He hadn't been to her house for that purpose last night, but he had the entire weekend before.

'Until four in the morning?'

"Criminals don't punch time clocks, Princess."

'I suppose not.'

"You don't believe me? You want to talk to my captain?"


He chuckled softly at that. "All right then. So, what's on your mind this morning? Did I do something wrong after all?" He couldn't shake the feeling that he was going to catch some shit for talking to Kyle at all. How could he have known the kid was going to show up at the precinct looking for him?

'No. I was going to see what you were doing for lunch.'

"Honestly. I was planning on sleeping for a while longer. Lunch wasn't a thought yet."

'Well, okay. I'm sorry I woke you then.'

"Okay," he said.

'I'll talk to you later then. Sorry I woke you,' she said.

"Wait," he said, staring at the ceiling for a minute. She was just going to hang up? He was going to let her, too, for a second there. Except she'd called him looking to initiate plans with him. "You wanted to have lunch with me? Is that what you were getting at?"

'I, well,' she said and stopped.


'Never mind, it's not important. I'll see you later.'

"No, don't do that. You called me, seeming to ask me what I was doing for lunch."

'Well, I have a couple of hours free because my appointment before lunch canceled.'


'The kids are at my brother's house. They missed their cousins and I wasn't counting on having two hours free instead of my usual one. So I dropped them off there before work.'


'I was going to see if you weren't working if maybe you wanted company.'

"You want to come here?"

'Well, you can't come to my house.'

"Right," he grimaced. We couldn't have that. Even if her kids came home from Chris' house to see him sitting in their kitchen. What was the big deal? "I don't have much here in the way of food. So bring whatever you want and I'll pay you back."

'I actually have a lunch here.'

"Okay," he said with a frown.



'I wasn't. That wasn't. Never mind.'

Suddenly it made a little more sense why she wouldn't want him at her house.

"Come over whenever you want to get here. I'm not going anywhere. If I happen to be in the shower I'll leave the front door unlocked just come in."


"Claire. Listen. I could be a douche and make you say it. You don't want to, so that's fine. I'll be here. Come over. If you want to bring your lunch with you, bring it. If you don't, that's fine. I'd love to spend two hours with you."

'Well, it won't be two full hours.'

"Yeah, I get that. Get here when you get here."

'Okay. Sorry.'

"What the fuck are you apologizing for?"

'Well, I woke you up and…'

"Yeah, to say you wanted to come over on your lunch hour and apparently not have lunch. What's to apologize for for that? Go back to work, Princess. I'm far from mad. In fact I, oddly, don't want to go back to sleep."

'Even though I couldn't say it?'

"Jesus. What kind of asshole would get mad about that? I guess I'd be mad if you hung up without explaining what you were really asking me and I figured it out too late to tell you to come over, but I'd have gotten over it."

She laughed at that.

"You know, eventually."

'I'll keep that in mind.'

"See you in a while then."


He got up and ate some breakfast before taking Randy for a decent walk. He showered after that, wondering just how a guy like him prepared for a woman like Claire coming over for such purposes. If she was someone like Toni at work, he'd know. Toni and Claire were night and day. He doubted Toni would know a horse from a giraffe sadly. Not that he considered himself much better than Toni, honestly, but he didn't get the impression she'd grown up around anyone like Claire at all. John hadn't embraced it or cared about most of it, but he knew the things some of his friends had access to.

She rang the bell and he answered the door. He was kind of surprised at how nervous he was. They'd never done this before. Her coming to him. The last time she'd come here, in fact. Well, that was what led Kyle to showing up at the precinct yesterday because it was the day she'd told him that bit of information. Well, she'd been here one other time, coming here also because of Kyle and John showing up at his house. That visit led them to where they were now. He wanted to think they were embarking on a relationship, but perhaps it was too soon to think that.

He hadn't told anyone he knew. He couldn't really even if he wanted to, which he didn't. He knew, though, if he had any close friends they'd tell him he was pretty nuts for ever trusting her again. They'd certainly tell him he was more than a little nuts for being with her like they currently were. He supposed he probably should have been madder about it and a lot less forgiving. Except what good would that do him? She'd get mad at him for being mad at her and, well, he knew ultimately he didn't want her mad at him.

Would he have been a good dad eighteen years ago?


He wasn't even sure he could've been a good boyfriend eighteen years ago and he didn't see her telling him she was pregnant and letting him off the hook from some sort of commitment to her.

So, it was what it was.

"Hi," he said.

Evidently she didn't even have talking on her mind because she didn't reply before kissing him. She reached for the end of his shirt, lifting it over his head. She reached for his shorts then, judging by her groan against his mouth she approved of the fact they just pulled off. Honestly, if he'd known she was really going to come over here for the purpose of sex he would've left the shirt off. A part of him, though, had doubted she'd actually go through with it.

He guessed he shouldn't have doubted her, but it seemed a pretty huge step for her.

She stopped kissing him as she tugged his shorts lower. It was his turn to groan as she touched his length.

"Fuck," he cried out, sliding his fingers through her hair as she moved to her knees and took him into her mouth. He could tell over the weekend she wasn't confident about what she was doing. He'd tried to assure her she did an absolutely fantastic job. Perhaps in some perverse way he got an extra jolt of pleasure in knowing this wasn't something she seemed to have done a lot of and she wanted to with him.

He closed his eyes and just enjoyed the feel of her mouth around his hard on. Christ, he could really stand here and let her do this all fucking day and he'd have no problem with that. She'd probably have a problem with it, though, because as much as he'd enjoy it she'd get little gratification out of it. Little because she did seem to get enjoyment out of pleasing him, knowing she was turning him on. Likewise, though, because he was pretty sure little turned him on more than how ready she got for him.

"Claire," he whispered after a while.

"Mm," she murmured around his length, glancing up at him.

"I do have a bed, you know?"

He groaned again as she gave his shaft one last lick before drawing away. She nipped at his inner thigh before she stood.

"How much time do you have exactly?" he asked, glancing behind her at the clock on the wall.

"I have to be back by one thirty."

"All right then," he said. "Leave them," he added when he saw her bend down to pick up his shirt and shorts.

"Sorry, habit."

"Yeah. I'm not a kid. I can pick up after myself. I just have other, far more important things on my mind right now."

"You do?"

"Yes," he said. He chuckled at the screech that she let out when he picked her up. That got Randy's attention, too. Until he realized that John was fine. He went back to dozing on the couch once he saw that.

"John," she said as he carried her to his bedroom. "What are you doing?"

"Oh, Princess, you know how long I've waited to be able to say you were in my bed. I didn't want to delay the process any longer than necessary."

"I've been in your bed before."

"Yeah, you didn't come to me for that reason that day, though. That was different."

He knelt above her on the bed, catching her up to him on the amount of clothes he was wearing.

"You couldn't have worn something easy to get out of?" he asked. The blouse she wore buttoned really oddly. He managed, but his fingers just weren't made to do tiny, delicate buttons.

"I didn't know I was going to call you when I got dressed this morning."



"I'm not sure I should be insulted or flattered that somewhere during your morning the idea occurred to you. Either way, you're here. I'll take you, funny buttoning blouse and everything."

"Thank you," she said, reaching to her side to work the zipper to her skirt.

"I love that you still don't wear nylons."

"Hate them."

"Me, too," he said.

She laughed softly as he peeled her stockings down and off, followed by her skirt and the garter holding them in place.

That day with her had been the first time he'd ever encountered a garter belt and stockings. It was probably the sexiest thing he ever experienced, probably even to this day. He knew she hadn't dressed like that with sex in mind that morning of detention. So that meant she dressed like that normally, and there was something extremely exciting knowing that under her prim and proper clothes she was wearing something sexy. And from that day forward he was the only one besides her who knew that.

"You need me to set the alarm?" he asked a while later.

"No, I'm not going to fall asleep."

"You sure?"

"I'm relaxed, but not tired."

"Glad I could relax you," he said, sliding a fingertip along her arm before kissing her shoulder. "I'm glad you called."

"Even if I'd just wanted lunch?"

"Well, this was more fun, but sure."

"Thank you," she whispered.

"Sure," he said with a shrug. "Everything okay?"


"I don't know. Yesterday when I brought up you coming over during the day on the weekend you seemed sort of shocked I mentioned that."

"Well, kind of…"

"So, a day later…"

"I'm just such an idiot."

"Uh, why?" he asked.

"I'm worried about you meeting my kids. You know? I'm trying to do the right thing. Ease them into the idea that Mom and Dad aren't married anymore."

"Okay. Right. I mean, that's normal. I'm not upset about it or anything. I told you that yesterday. I wasn't mad about you not inviting me in."

"This isn't about you, John," she said.

"Wow, okay. You just said…"

"I know what I just said. While I've spent the last six weeks worrying, wondering how they'd react. Especially Betsy. I think Bryce Jr. always knew things weren't right. Anyway, I've been careful and he," she stopped then and he could hear that she was crying.

"Jesus. What's going on that has you so upset?"

"He brought the person he's seeing with him yesterday to drop off the kids."

"Wow, really. That seems kind of a shitty thing to do."

She turned then to face him, running a fingertip over his lower lip. She laughed softly then.

"Thank you."

"Sure. I mean, that just seems kind of rude. Not that I know the first thing about divorce or sharing kids."

He was quiet for a minute or two as she touched him and he thought over what she'd just told him.

"So, am I hearing what you're saying correctly? That SUV he has isn't big enough for three adults and the kids."

"No," she said.

"I only saw the one SUV there."

"Yes," she said.

"Huh," he said. "Has that always been the case?"

"Yes," she said, seemingly relieved that he'd figured it out on his own.

"Even in college?"

"Yes. He was never involved with anyone until now."

"He's doing that in front of his kids?"

"His kids?"

"Okay, your kids, both of your kids. You know what I mean?"

"I don't know. I don't think so. I think he'd be afraid I'd get pissed off and say something publicly."

"Well, yeah, talk about a career-breaker. That'd be it, right there."

"I know."

"So, he brought the guy to the house but you're not sure what the kids know?"

"As far as Bryce Jr. said he's Dad's friend."

"Well, that's good. Brian knows, doesn't he?"


He frowned a bit, thinking over the conversation he had at Brian's house. "I just got the idea Brian knew things. I don't know."

"He does. I talked to him before agreeing to marry Bryce. I had to talk to someone and he already knew I'd had a baby and kept that secret."

"Why'd you agree to marry him?"

"It seemed so ideal at the time. I don't know. My life hasn't been awful. I have wonderful kids, a profitable and thriving business, and property that I love."


She shrugged. "I was young and stupid. Maybe I thought I could change him. I don't know."

"Sex with you didn't change him? I'd say he's pretty set in his ways then."

"We only did a couple of times anyway."


"Bryce Jr. was the only time we ever actually tried. It didn’t work the first couple of times and then, I don’t know."


"He couldn’t after that. I’m not sure why he could at first, but eventually he couldn’t even do it with me. We went the artificial insemination route,” she said. “Bryce was supposed to be our only child, but I really wanted to try for a girl. I was pretty unhappy by then and Bryce knew it. I think he thought if I had another baby and it turned out to be the girl I’d wanted that I’d stay put."

"Oh," he said. "How did you get around anyone finding out about that?"

"Went far away from Chicago."

"I see," he said with a nod. Money talked.

He shifted then so he was on top of her again.

"Hi," he said, sliding a hand along her hip before finding the spot between her legs.

"What are you…?"

"You just told me, or I guess admitted, something pretty huge. I guess I need to make sure I let you know that it doesn't change how I feel about you."

"I'm very glad," she whispered as he slid a finger along her nub.

"Yeah? How glad?"

She turned her head to glance at his alarm clock.

"Glad enough I'd love to push getting back late."

"Yeah?" he asked, sliding a finger inside of her.

"Uh huh."

"I would very much love being the reason you're almost late. To work," he added.

She chuckled.

"That's the only late you have to worry about."

"I sure as shit hope so."

"So how old is Bryce again?" he asked as he moved to enter her.


"How old is the kid?"


"So I have a lot of time to make up for is what you're saying?"

"Yes! Think you can keep up?"

"You have no idea how much I look forward to being as up as you need me to be, Princess."

"I was afraid," she whispered as he thrust into her a way she seemed to like.


"If I kissed you yesterday. I wanted to, so badly. I was so glad to see you, even though you weren't there just to see me. I was so glad. I was afraid, though, if I started I'd do something stupid."

He chuckled softly at that, finding her neck and ear. "Name the night and I'll come over and we can kiss all you want."

"How about tonight?"


"Uh huh."

"You're not just saying that because I'm inside of you at the moment, are you?"

"You can't stay the night."

"I know. I know the rules."

"There's no curfew for me, though."


"And there are blankets on my couches behind doors that lock just in case."

He chuckled softly. "I love when you get rebellious, Princess."

"Me, too. But I love it even more when you do that."

"Do what?"


"Make love to you?"


"Fuck, I assure you I love it just as much."

"Prove it," she whispered, nipping at his neck. She didn't need to ask him twice.

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