Friday, February 26, 2010
“Tonight in downtime Manhattan an 18 year old-“
“You’re wife’s a WHORE! Where do you think she’s been all these-“
“Tonight on Whose Line is it Anyway – Ryan Stiles!”
They’d arrived home from the trip to see the kids in high spirits. Jon chattered constantly all the way home, telling her funny stories about the kids from over the years. It was nice to see the more relaxed side of him. She knew she’d done the right thing organizing the trip, but for now it was back to work. He’d ordered Chinese which was due in thirty minutes but for the last hour they’d been working on their own laptops, well until Jon had got bored and starting flicking the channels.
One more click and I swear I’ll shove that remote--
She slammed the lid of her laptop down, “do you mind?” she asked from her Indian style position on the floor.
"What?" he slumped lower on the couch. When she nodded toward the TV, he sighed.
"There's not a damn thing on. I'm bored."
"You think?" She popped herself up off the carpet and brushed off her thighs and ass. "Wanna a drink then? I’m thirsty." And I need to leave the room before that remote gets shoved places it shouldn’t.
He rolled his head along the back of the couch. "Bottle of w--beer," he corrected. "I'm in the mood for a beer. A Stella."
“And they call women indecisive,” she chuckled as she padded to the kitchen and plucked two bottles of Stella out of the well stocked fridge. He reminded her of herself when she was bored, like a restless impatient kid.
She found the bottle opener and flipped the lids off before heading back into the lounge. Still flicking that damn TV. She handed him the beer and snatched the remote off him as she took her place back on the floor.
“Hey now! You don't take a man's remote! That's rule one, woman!" Jon sat up and reached over her, she held it above her head, until he pressed his chest into hers. The quickening of her pulse dried his mouth. Her eyes locked with his for a moment before she gave it up.
"Choose something and stick with it -- some of us are trying to work here. It's toasty and warm in here to go anywhere else. Plus I wouldn't want you to eat all the dinner without me. All that football victory has me hungry," she winked as she took a sip of her beer.
His mouth flattened. "Obviously you cheated," he said and picked up his beer, sipping slowly. The beer didn't taste half as good as it usually did. Because her taste is far better. He took a longer swallow. Thank goodness the kids were ok, he would have questioned whether it was dangerous to go and see them like they did, but he reminded himself he’d told her, he’d trust her. And he had.
She rolled her eyes and she opened up her laptop again. "Sure that's the only explanation - couldn't be that I am an excellent athlete and was taught how to throw a football by the best-" She paused for a second before continuing. His hair was all messed up for lying on the couch and her eye level connected with the crotch of his sweats. Her hand curled into a fist and she shook her head, “never mind.”
"You were taught to throw a football by Joe Namath?" He drawled with a raised brow. He swung his leg against the couch with a grin.
"Pfff please. Look at you all smart ass. I let you loose for one day and this is what I get in return?" She curled her fingers around the cushion she had been leaning on in case she needed to hurl it to wipe his smirk off his face. It was good to see him back to being just Jon, after the last few days a relaxing evening of bantering is what she could do with.
He leaned back, lacing his fingers behind his head so he wouldn't touch her for fuck's sake. The little strap of her bra was peeking from the wide band of her tank top shoulder. He alternately wanted to snap it and shove it down. Christ
"You told me the best. I had to go straight to the top, of course.”
She could do this, she could tell him about Brian. It would be considered again breaking the boundaries of professionalism, but hell somehow it seemed like that a loss cause. He still weighed heavily on her mind as much as she tried to compartmentalize it away from her feelings for Jon, she couldn’t. “It’s kind of corny, but my college boyfriend was the Captain of the football team. He was the one that taught me how to throw, and he was...awesome.” She took a long pull of her beer.
"College boyfriend, huh?" He grinned, rubbing the bottom of the bottle against his belly absently. "Why the hell did the stupid man let you go?"
She chuckled and looked back over at him. “I lost him before he got big, he was murdered.”
He sat forward, his bottle snapping on the coffee table. "Jesus, Kenzie." He dropped to the floor behind her, taking her bottle away from her. "I'm sorry, I didn't know."
She folded her arms, “you didn’t know-god it was so long now but in some ways feels like only yesterday.” She stared into space and rolled her lip under her teeth, it hit her harder some days more than others.
“What happened?” The broken look on her face twisted him up inside, he had no idea and never expected Brian to be this.
She rubbed her arms and took a deep breath, “We were walking home from a game at night—he’d had an amazing night, god—“ She sighed and managed a small smile. “These thugs stopped us and attacked us, I ran and got help but by the time I came back he was lying in a pool of his own blood—barely alive. The tear rolled right down her face and splashed onto her hand. “He died in my arms.””
He scooted around the side of her and curled his arm around her back. "Oh, baby," he said quietly. She resisted for a moment, but finally leaned into him. A few pieces fell together that had been bugging the hell out of him.
She played the hard ass well, but it didn't seem a natural fit for her. When her arm came up and around his neck, he let her just lean into him. The tears had already stopped, but still she held on tight. His fingers sifted through the low ponytail at the back of her neck until it loosened and her hair flowed around his hand.
This is why she never accepted his date. Football.
She buried her face into his shoulder and he shushed her, she just held on as long as she needed to before pulling back. His thumb drifted across her spine in slow steady movements until she met his gaze. "Thanks, we all have our demons and now you know mine. That was part of the reason I threw myself into the world of combat and armed forces."
He tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “Anger? Or you just wanted to make sure you could defend yourself if it happened again?”
Her eyes fell to his lips, “a bit of both—I trained as a Marine, then a cop and then landed here as a PI/Bodyguard, which I think is the best of both worlds.”
He chuckled, “certainly is a helluva combo. I’m sorry that it happened to you and at such a young age too.
She smiled when his grip didn't loosen and their foreheads connected. "When dinner gets here lets chill out on the couch, if you don't mind." What she really wanted to do was ask him to take her to his bed, some mind-blowing sex would be just perfect right now but it would be for all the wrong motivations.
"I really could use the company."
Sensing the moment was lost, he sighed. "I'm good at just chilling out." He grinned at her, down at her lips, then back up to her eyes. "As long as you don't make me watch a chick flick of course."
She laughed, feeling herself relax. “Do I look like a chick flick kinda girl?” She could have told him more, could have told him how much guilt she still felt when Brian died and how much guilt she’d feel if anything happened to him, because she cared about him like no one else since Brian. The buzz of the door jolted them both.
She leaned in and pressed her lips to his in a sweet simple kiss. “Thank you, I’ll go and get the entertainment—you get the food.” She pulled herself up and jogged up the stairs.
Swearing as he stood, he hurried to his wallet and then the door. Smiling at the young kid at the door, he folded money into his hand taking two bags from him.
They'd taken to an assortment of Chinese food when they ordered, picking from all the cartons through the night. Hell, he'd probably put on five pounds just because of her affection for Yan's takeout.
To know that she'd had a loss that huge at such a pivotal age made a lot of sense. The way she kept just that little bit of herself away from him. The ultimate need to protect him, no matter what it cost her, the vulnerable pieces of her that she tried to bury.
He put a bright smile on his face as she came downstairs, spinning a disk on her finger. "Do I get a clue?"
"Yipee-kiyay-mother fucker!'" She popped the disc into the player and joined him on the couch folding her legs under herself. She clicked on the remote, "Time to see what John McClane is up, god I love these movies." He'd arranged all the boxes out in front of them so they could pick and choose at their leisure. She pointed her chopsticks to the far box. "Now come on Jon, how long have we been doing this now? You know the prawn is to stay in my radius."
"What was I thinking?" He said and passed the carton. "Don't get in the way of this woman and her seafood. Hell, any food."
When she elbowed him, he laughed. "What? Like I'm lying?"
She speared a king prawn into her mouth and giggled. "Hey now, just because I eat more than you and oh did I mention throw a football better than you?" She raised her brow and waited.
He traded her for the vegetable Lo Mein and dug out a baby corn. "If I had gotten the ball even once, then maybe I'd have a chance at throwing it."
"Excuses, excuses I'd expect better from someone that owns a football team," she snorted when he elbowed her back this time. "Well it's true c'mon. Least your kids thought I was pretty cool."
"Are you going to watch the movie or just talk trash all night?" He pointed at the television. "I'd rather have Bruce talk smack at me, thank you very much."
And yes, his kids had loved her. Son of a bitch.
Just what he needed, them to be as in love with her--Christ.
He stabbed green bean. Just shit.
She laughed, a man like Jon did not like to lose--“say it---MacKenzie can throw a better football than I can.” She twirled some saucy noodles around her chopsticks.
MacKenzie better watch out or I’ll be throwing her over my shoulder in a minute.
"Jon?" she asked as they both stared at the screen as he didn’t reply.
He grunted back at her.
She rolled her eyes, she could have told him she was ready to have wild hot sex with him and he wouldn't hear. "Jon," she nudged him with her elbow as they settled the boxes down to let the food settle for bit. Men really couldn’t multi-task.
He couldn’t look at her. Hell. He could not be in love with this woman. No fucking way. Pretending to be absorbed in the movie he tried to focus on words and the scene before him. "Why does he leave the fucking shoes behind? I'll never get that."
She leaned into him and shook her head. "I've seen this a hundred times and I have no freaking clue." He stiffened then relaxed and curled his arm around her shoulders. She rested her head against his shoulder and they sat in a companionable silence. Part of her wanted to ask him if he felt the same way as she did and the other part wanted just to let it slide. It was still too complicated right now so how would admitting anything achieve anything at all?
He’d missed half of the movie by the time he spoke again, be damned or not. “Kenzie--“he brought his hand up into her hair and twirled it around his finger. “There’s something I want to say—“Fuck, she’d asked him to keep it to business till this was over—but this was insane. He’d never wanted a woman as much as he wanted her. She still hadn’t stirred. “Kenzie,” he pushed the hair back and sighed. She was dead to the world on his fucking shoulder. He turned the TV off and slid out from her letting her down onto the couch. He pulled up the blanket he kept at the end of the couch and covered her in it. It would have to wait, he took one last look at her lying there—and went to his room.