Tuesday, February 9, 2010
MacKenzie tugged at her robe, well fuck. What the hell? His face was thunder and his eyes were cool as steel. Not like the cobalt fire she’d been ready to near lose herself in just a minute ago. She snatched the Blackberry from his grasp.
“What the hell are you doing with this?” It was one thing he was standing there ready to lay into her, it was another thing to be reading her Blackberry. She’d already been in a daze when she’d managed to escape him earlier, before her will snapped and she’d done something she regretted.
"It was an accident, but that's not the point. I should be apprised on all leads."
He crossed his arms. He was well aware he'd breached a boundary, but their situation was far from normal. Ethics could take a flying leap. Especially when she wasn’t keeping him informed.
She tucked the Blackberry into the pocket of her robe and crossed her arms. “Does Homeland security tell the president every single threat or do they wait and find out what’s really going on before they cause unnecessary panic?” Her brow arched as she stood defiant, she’d done nothing damn wrong here.
"This isn't a usual case, Kenz. Don't give me that higher than mighty shit. That might work with some clients but not me." He leaned forward. "What don't I know?"
She wanted to bark louder at him, but the look of worry swiped across his face made her re-think. “This morning on the porch, at the house. I found a bunch of photos that were left there for us, of us-kissing back on the beach.”
“Who left them there?” He demanded, feeling the heat creep us his neck.
“Who do you think, but I’m running them for prints. I didn’t tell you because-“
“And what was the family problem and why don’t I know anything of it?”
She winced, “one of the photos was of your house in New Jersey.” She held her hand up, “now before you go all loco on me I’ve had someone take care of it, step up the surveillance around your family.” She raked her hand through her hair as he didn’t move, his eyes pinned her to the floor. “These are just scare tactics Jon, they’re playing with us.”
"You told me my family was fine!" He palmed the door and pushed her back. "I haven't seen my kids in days to make sure the focus stays on me. What the hell, MacKenzie?"
She took a step back as he pushed her and then steadied herself. "Hey, they're fine. This is what you employ me for Jon, to make the call. I made the call and I stand by it. They're not in any immediate danger but if they were I'd tell you. Now I need my dress," she had to get past him away from him. The hurt and anger she saw swimming in his eyes she needed to get away from.
He followed her back into his bedroom. "When would you tell me? When one of them were dead?" He gripped around the door. "Is that when it would be important enough?" Fear and anger coalesced until he was blind with it. "The only thing that means anything to me is those kids."
“I know they are, but I have to separate the emotion out of the job Jon. That’s why I couldn’t tell you, I needed to take care of it before I informed you. That’s how I roll.” She scraped the red dress off the rack and turned to him. “I’m doing my job, you trusted me to do this...my way.” She may have stepped out of line with the kids, but this is exactly why she hadn’t told him earlier, he’d of panicked and rang them causing all kind of hysteria.
Guilt burned, she knew what his kids meant. Of course she did, god she knew those kids like she would her own with the amount of DVDs, stories and pictures she’d been told and shown. There was always this sparkle in his eyes when he talked about those kids, it was those things that kept it hard to separate Jon from just a job.
"We're going to be late."
"Fuck the benefit!" He gripped the door of his closet. He couldn't look at her--staring into the row of suits he'd been forced to add to his wardrobe, the black blended together. Hot rage pooled into the base of his spine, spiking until he had to let go of the door.
“Look, I’m sorry if you’re upset but this is my job, my call. You employed me to do this, so you have to trust me. Just remember that.” Gah, she should have been easier on him but she wasn’t in the mood for his mood, and he’d read her Blackberry. She slammed the door hard behind her, and set about getting dressed for this damn function. Her arms wavered as she pinned pearl drops in her ears. She cleared her messages and made sure David kept her up to date on the photos and now the family situation.
She stepped into fire-red stilettos and twisted her hair into a neat up-do with the occasional wisps floating around her face. She adjusted the holster around her thigh and made sure her purse was organized, amidst the slams and bangs that were happening outside the door. She took a deep breath and made her way up to the large living room mirror, where he was straightening his tie. It had become somewhat of a tradition that they met at this mirror before they headed out to these benefits.
He caught her in the reflection as he tightened his tie. Flipping down his collar, he tried to tamp down the raging hormones that roared as the dress hugged her from breast to hip then flowed down until it grazed the floor. Regal. Statuesque. Understated elegance.
His fingers wanted to muss her up, drag her down onto the floor until he could hike up that perfect silk and find hers. She looked away from her, shame flashed high in his cheeks. He was worried about his kids. He had no business looking at her like that now. Manners screamed that he should tell her how amazing she looked, but the words were lodged with his anger in his throat.
Instead he went to the door and pulled her wrap off the hook, holding it open. His eyes met hers without a word.
The click of her heels cut the silence as they walked through the lobby, if he was going to ignore her then so be it. She stood by her decision, and that was the end of it. She groaned as George came into view, and spread the fake smile across her face. She took his hand and laced her fingers through his, they had to still play—they didn’t know for sure what the hell the gang knew.
His palm zinged at the contact. The fresh and spicy scent of ginger lingered between them like a thread. The driver was at the curb the door open for the both of them.
The car ride was interminable. Her fingers next to his on the seat, but not touching. Staring ahead, but no speaking. The long, elegant line of her neck drove him to distraction. The velvet wrap swung around her shoulders dipping at the back of her neck. Wispy hairs teased the lovely column, distracting him from the duty and the anger he couldn't seem to separate.
It wasn't like he'd shared everything with her. Or the various threats on his live over the years with his family. He knew it was stupid to be so angry at her, but the threat to his family pushed this....thing between them into the realm of reality instead of playing house like they had been doing.
As they pulled up to the gala, he opened the door and helped her out, careful to keep her tight to his body. Ginger and MacKenzie threatened to drag him back into that web of seduction. The pull of their bodies and the acting that suited them a little too easily.
God help them.
She hung on his arm as the ritual of nightly introductions began the approving nods in her direction and even sometimes the jealous stares she knew would be candy gossip in the ladies room later.
She smiled to herself, her and Jon would always play a stupid little game sometimes over what people were saying about them. But tonight, they were flat. The physical energy was still simmering between them, and it was hard to ignore with him so close to her.
She plucked a glass of wine off the tray as the Puerto-Rican young man walked past them. He looked a little familiar but she couldn't place it. She took a long sip, and swallowed it along with her pride. The silence was becoming ridiculous, she missed him. Sad but true his sarcastic wit at these things kept her sane till home time.
"Oh look its Mrs Plastic Surgery, how much do you want to bet she got a boob job since the last function?" she whispered in his ear feeling herself relax already. Damn good wine.
The olive branch was about as subtle as a brick, but he took it anyway. "They can do it through your belly button these days, you know."
"Hmm maybe I should get mine done..." she looked down to her more than ample breasts nestled at the top of her dress. Her head was growing heavy and her tongue loose.
"What do you think?"
"I think the only one touching them should be me." He said and frowned. Damn. Where'd that come from? She swung the glass his way and braceleted her wrist. "Hey now."
She blinked and snapped her head up at him, she stifled a giggle before a hiccup as his face twisted before her eyes. "I want that too." Damn, what the hell? Wake up MacKenzie. You've had half a glass of wine, anyone would think you’d---
Her stomach knotted as she fought with the urge to sink into his body. Stay calm, oh god, oh shit. She had to lean into him or she'd look like a certified drunk. She wrapped her arms around his neck when he took her drink off her and buried her face in his neck. Just a PDA... that's all. "I don’t feel so good, I think there was something in my drink."
His body reacted to her nearness, curling her into him. His hand rested at her back as her words broke through. "What?" He sniffed the glass. "I don't smell anything."
The waiter, oh god the waiter. How could she have not seen it? Been so careless, after everything that was happening. "Is there a Puerto Rican waiter looking at us? Don't draw attention to us whatever you do." She spoke slowly and fought to keep calm and collected, finding solace in the warmth of his neck.
He quietly scanned the room, making sure to rest his eyes on every person he knew in the vicinity with a smile. As he head hopped, he scanned the waiters in that elitist gaze that all of the hired help were used to seeing.
Finally--one pair of eyes seemed to keep going back to them. When he finished his tray, he backed out of the room. "He's leaving," he whispered back, his fingers tightening on her waist.
"Ok, it's important we stay here in the crowd. So no matter what happens. What I do -- don't isolate us." She tugged herself in closer to him slowly as any woman would to her man. The smell of him was becoming overbearing. Her senses were heightened. She was indeed drugged. How could she be so stupid? "And Jon, if worst comes to worst. The gun is on my thigh." Her lips slid up the clavicle of his neck, her tongue was buzzing against his skin. Oh god, no this is not what she needed. Some kind of party street drug that was going to make her a mess.
Her hands hooked around his waist, and her fingers teased along the back of his belt. "Evidently. This could be your lucky night."
Jon swallowed hard, meeting her widened pupils. She had a soft edge to her eyes and the obvious sheen of chemicals, but his body reacted anyway. Hot and potent, his cock rose against her hip as she smoothed her hand down his ass. "Okay, let's go to the dance floor. Even a rock star can't get away with too much PDA at a Democratic function."
She nodded as he led her there slowly, a step at a time not to draw any unseen attention to them. She had to get hard and ride it out. It would wear off eventually. Her mind flashed back to her marine training when they were drugged and made to stay alert, that seemed so long ago...and fuzzy.
Thank god it was her and not him, and thank god it was only half a glass. Her body was buzzing and the tips of her toes tingling. “I’m sorry Jon, for tonight...” She murmured as she pressed her forehead to his.
"Aww hell," he sighed drawing his hand up her shoulder blades to her neck. His thumb brushed along her spine. "It's not important now." He tucked her head against his shoulder, keeping them in a steady box step at the center of the crowd.
Not used to the vulnerability she was showing he firmed up his hold. He wasn't sure how long it would take to get her through this, but he'd hold her tight as long as she needed him to.