Saturday, March 13, 2010
MacKenzie rounded into the driveway in Red Bank after a tense drive through the Jersey neighbourhood. None of them had said anything, Christ what was there to say after that? She rubbed in-between her breasts, god, her nipples still burned with his warm mouth and god, she twisted her ankle as the sensation of his hand down her pants nearly careened them off the driveway.
Jon raised a brow beneath shaded eyes, “you trying to kill me in my own home?” He chuckled trying to keep the mood light. There wasn’t anything light about what was going on here, between her and the L word, and then watching her helplessly get beaten up, to what they nearly did in his bed. It was a cluster-fuck of light.
“No, sorry I was distracted for a minute. I’ll just stop up here, I won’t come in this time.” She was thankful she would get some breathing space from him to stop her thoughts from swimming around her head so much. She needed to talk to David, god, she needed to come clean with him about everything. She popped the hand brake and pushed her sunglasses up her nose. “There’s an unmarked car just a few yards down the road. It’s the protection, while I’m not here ok? I’ll give you the number, it’s Gary. He does a little surveillance work for us.”
Jon reached back into his jeans pocket for his iPhone and punched in the number as she read it to him. Jon tucked it back in his pocket. “Thanks,” her eyes never quite met his. He had no idea as to where they stood, her scent was still burning on his fingers for fuck’s sake and he was still half hard from nearly having her back there.
“I can get a cab home, if that’s ok?”
“No, I’ll be a couple of hours, so I’ll swing by on the way home and we can always get dinner on the way home?” Maybe her only option was to try and keep things normal between them, if that was even possible at this stage.
He grinned, “Yan’s takeout?” It was becoming their ritual more often than not. God, they had a ritual didn’t they?
“Sure, sounds good. Say hi to the kids for me—“She jammed her belt back into the buckle and started the car. The pleasantries between them were driving her insane, but she wasn’t saying anything. She’d said enough, she’d told him she loved him for goodness sake, and she might as well have got a slap in the face back. Then she pushed him into admitting that there was something between them, and look at how that played out. She just didn’t learn.
Once she cleared the drive she made her way into the city, she wasn’t risking going into her office in case they were being followed so David and her had arranged to meet in Central Park, so it looked like a casual meeting of friends for anyone that could have been watching.
She parked and grabbed her coat, walking in under the trees. The pretty fall leaves were all just about gone but still made a good crunch under her feet as she made her way to the spot they’d chosen. David was already scrunched under a tree on a rug, with his case and a tray of suspiciously looking like Starbucks cups.
“Hey,” she dumped her bag and sat down bringing her knees up to her chest. She dug out her blackberry and rested it on top of her bag in case Jon called.
“Hey gorgeous,” David leaned over and kissed her cheek, and then thrusted a cup into her hand. “Hazelnut, just the way you like it. “Geez Mac, you look a little worse for wear.”
She laughed and leaned back on one hand, “this is perfect. God it’s so good to see you David. I mean that.” She sighed and took a sip of her latte, some kids were chasing a dog that yipped each time they lurched the stick across the grass.
David shifted so they were side by side staring out at the park, the canopy of leaves stretching high above them and the late afternoon autumn sun filtering down around them. “So you ok?”
She flipped her lid and licked the foam off the edges. “Depends what you class as ok?
“You looked a little banged up.”
“I’ll live, I think my cover is blown though. The way I reacted, defended myself, tipped them off to me being a pig.”
David let a low whistle out, “damn ok—well that doesn’t mean that they know for sure. But it does mean we need to step up some security.”
“Yeah I know, I just don’t get what they want with him. The making a statement thing just keeps going through my head. They want to make an example out of him, because he pissed them off. Jon’s a good guy though, he does a lot of charity work and he’s backing our democratic leaders. He’s more than just a rich rock star.” Much more.
“Right, but that won’t matter. He’s not out there doing stuff for gangs so that’s all irrelevant what he’s doing for the community I think when it comes to gangs.”
“Yeah, true. But how far will they go? They drugged me, they’ve attacked me thinking I’m his girlfriend. So are they not interested in going after him, since they’ve known about me?” This was a mess. Usually she could line this up and figure this out, but nothing made sense here.
“Ok—I’ll go downtown and talk to the boys at the station tomorrow, our leads. See if I can dig something else up that we didn’t before. But right now, we need to worry about you and Jon, are you sure you can handle this?”
She paused and sipped her coffee. “I need to tell you something. And you’re not going to like it.”
David turned to face her, “what is it MacKenzie?” He rested his arm on hers, but she winced pulling it back.
“It’s Jon, and well me.”
She glanced up, David raised his brow and shook his head. “Please don’t tell me what I think you’re about to.”
She rubbed her forehead and sighed. “It’s a mess David and it’s my entire fault.”
“Why is it your fault? And what’s happened?”
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “This pretending thing worked well with us, actually it worked out really well. So much that we couldn’t tell when we were doing it for show or when it started to mean something, well I thought it did.”
David rubbed the back of his neck, “why didn’t you tell me Mac?”
“I was handling it---we were just flirting and I thought it was just because of the situation. But as time went on, things got more intense...”
“So you’re seeing him---?” he asked carefully.
“No, I haven’t slept with him. It’s come close---more than once but no. I kept telling myself we can explore this after this is all over, and then I went and did something even more retarded.” She picked at the grass by her leg.
“I told him I loved him.”
“You did? And what happened?”
She cringed and forced herself to keep talking. “It was after I was attacked, I told him I loved him and he didn’t say anything. Nothing back, and nothing since. He took me home, patched me up and I pushed him to admit there was something between us, which he did and if it hadn’t been for a phone call, we would have done the deed.”
“Oh man, this is pretty serious. So do you think he feels the same way?”
She shrugged, “everything’s telling me he does. But I’m just not so sure---or now I’m not sure what to even do about it, because of the situation. His life is clearly at risk here.”
“And so is yours Mac.” David picked up her hand. “You should have told me this was happening, that was our deal...that’s always how we roll Mac.”
“Call me stubborn, I wanted to handle it on my own. I didn’t want you to have to intervene because I’m in love with the damn guy.”
“So you really are in love with him?”
MacKenzie looked over at him and nodded, “yea. I’m pretty sure I am. Lucky me.”
“Wow Mac, this is ---like when was the last—ok, that’s not important. What’s important is—can you finish this job, or do I over-rule you and pull you out?”
She rested her chin on her knees. David would if he knew her judgement was being compromised for whatever reason, it was the deal they both had with each other and always had throughout their working relationship. “What do you honestly think I should do here?”
He drummed his fingers against the cup. “I would replace you and have someone else with him. But I think you’re just going to go insane if you can’t be with or around him, to know he’s safe because you’re a control freak.”
She smiled, as irony had it, that’s exactly what she’d feel. If she walked away now, not only would they compromise what they had set up, they’d be sending message to the gang confirming it. She knew she wouldn’t cope being away from him, not being able to finish the job she started. She hated the need to control it, but she knew she’d go crazy passing it over to anyone else. Secondly she wasn’t going to make the same mistake again that she did with Brian and just leave Jon in someone else’s hands. She would never make that mistake again.
“So what do I do?”
“Well, Jamie always tells me that I never talk enough---men don’t in general.”
MacKenzie laughed. “No they don’t---and they don’t need to. Often their actions show enough.”
David raised a brow. “Wow, this coming from a woman as well.”
“Well, I am half woman, half machine remember, “she winked.
“No comment there, but seriously Mac. I will support your decision to stay with him on two conditions.”
“One is that you clear whatever this is with him and tell him it’s off limits until this is over. And two, is that you check in with me twice a day for updates and let me know all of your movements with him. I’m going to probably have someone follow you guys when you’re out and about—ok?”
She knew Jon would hate the idea and secondly hate to talk about whatever the hell that they were.
“Ok, you’ve got a deal.”
“If you can do that, and keep your relationship professional until you don’t have to, then you’ll be free as you guys want to – do whatever you want. You can do that can’t you?”
“Yes, I can...I can do that.” She could right, she had to think about the bigger picture here, Jon and her own lives were at risk. She could do this. She just had to shift the insane feelings she had for the man to one –side and concentrate on the job at hand, then she could address the issues later. It sounded simple right?
“Are you sure Mac? I’m going against our own rules here for you...you know that right.”
“I do, I’ll be fine---I’m so sorry. I should have never let it get this far but honestly, “she rubbed her chest. “I never saw it happening, it just kind of happened.” She wanted to be happy that she found someone she could connect with, but it just didn’t seem right to at this point as much as she wanted it more than anything else right now.
David leaned in and smiled, “I am never going to encourage you—but hell, I couldn’t have ever picked you falling for Jon Bon Jovi.”
She elbowed him and laughed, “Shut up.”
“You know Jamie is going to want to meet him right, hell she’ll probably name the baby after him.”
“Stop it now, how is she anyway?”
“Good, moody, bitchy and then horny, and she cries.”
MacKenzie snorted, “Ahh pregnancy is a wonderful thing. And this is just the beginning, crappy nappies and sleepless nights to look forward to.”
David scooped his arms around her shoulders, “ah but that’s what Auntie MacKenzie is for though.”
“Oh sure, hey kids love me. Remember?” She smiled remembering how much of a hit she was with Jon’s kids. Least they knew her, if the time ever came when she really was in Jon’s life on a more permanent basis. But for now, she had to remember what she was here to do. And that was protect Jon and herself as long as they needed it.