Cupid's Revenge - (M&M/AU/Adult) - COMPLETE - 3/20/11

Finished stories that feature the characters from the show, but there are no aliens. All fics completed on the main AU without Aliens board will eventually be moved here.

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Double Trouble
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Cupid's Revenge - (M&M/AU/Adult) - COMPLETE - 3/20/11

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:35 am

Cupid's Revenge

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Author(s): Double Trouble – aka Angel (ArchAngel1973) & Steffi (candysteffi)

Banner: By us

Disclaimer: All characters and plot lines that appeared in the series or in the books are not ours. The concept of Roswell does not belong to us either. They all belong to Melinda Metz, UPN, yada, yada, yada…

Pairings: M&M

Rating: Adult

Category: AU without Alien

Summary: A determined Cupid + two people with a passionate hate realtionship + a romantic bed and breakfast in Virgina Beach + Valentine's Day = Cupid's Revenge :mrgreen:



Author’s Note: Hey guys, we are starting to post our Valentine’s fic „Cupid’s Revenge“ today. While we are posting this fic, we will slow down the updates of our other fics MSH, TIC TAC and ITCOAL.

So today, we will post the first part of CR and a new extra long part of MSH! Next week we'll continue with CR and one extra long update for one of our other fics (not decided which yet, lol).

CR will only have a few parts, once we are finished with is, we go back to updating all three fics on Sundays.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Angel & Steffi



Part 1

Cupid was livid. The tiny cherub who was normally so cheerful was on the verge of beating his charges over the head with his bow. For more decades than he cared to think about he had been responsible for bringing couples together. His arrow had pierced the thickest hides and the most stubborn hearts. Or so he had thought.

He settled on top of the bank of file cabinets in the corner of the large room and his wings fluttered in agitation when they entered his line of sight. Tall, brusque, but somewhat charming under the right circumstances, Michael Guerin crossed the room and threw his things down on his desk before dropping down in his chair in a lazy sprawl.

The winged Roman god turned his head to the side to watch as Maria Deluca, short, bubbly, and who had a tendency to get excited about almost anything, moved along the perimeter of the room, heading for her own desk. Consequently, it was also the desk that sat directly across from, and facing, Michael Guerin. She shot a glance at him as she set her laptop up, shrugged out of her coat, and hung it on the back of her chair.

“What’s with the turtleneck, Deluca?” he asked as he propped his feet up on the corner of his desk. “Hot date last night?”

“Like I’d tell you,” she answered automatically.

“Hey, you tell me an’ I’ll tell you.”

“Ungh, like I wanna hear who or what you’ve been doing.”

“You’re soundin’ frustrated over there.” He grinned unabashedly and shrugged. “Vibrator’s not doin’ it for ya anymore, huh?”

She started to tell him that’s what she got for naming it after him, but the jackass would take it as a compliment. Couldn’t he have come up with anything besides vibrators to comment on? Bastard! It was like he knew she’d been going through batteries like crazy… and it was all his fault! “Well, you’d know what frustration sounds like, wouldn’t you? Guess life’s been hard since you broke your right hand.” She pulled up the story she had been working on and made a face at it. It sucked.

And therein lay the problem, Cupid thought morosely. He had managed to get a direct hit on Maria, but Michael, on the other hand, was a slippery devil and he had avoided every arrow shot in his direction.

“He hasn’t avoided them, my friend.”

A deep voice rumbled beside him and Cupid turned to look at its owner. Eros, of course. He sighed and once more cursed the Fates, certain that they were responsible for his appearance. Eros, his Greek counterpart was not forced to carry on through the ages in the body of a chubby winged infant. No, Eros was the embodiment of virile male sexuality and perfection and he had escaped the aggravation of hauling around a pair of wings.

“Then how would you explain his refusal to fall under her charms?”

“You’ve spent too many centuries being sucked into this romantic nonsense humans have contrived to give credence to their desires.”

Cupid arched one eyebrow. “Fight with Psyche?” he asked at his old friend’s cynical words.

Eros threw back his head and laughed boldly. “Gods, no! All I’m saying is perhaps you need to accept that some of your humans would benefit from one of my arrows as well as one of yours.

His wings quivered at the thought of getting this duo to cooperate so that he could turn his focus to his next pair of humans. “Will you be on this plane long?” It wasn’t often that Eros wandered into the realm populated by humanity.

“Long enough.”

“You may not be fighting with Psyche, but you’re certainly hiding from her,” Cupid mused with a grin at the Greek god.

Eros grunted and rested one sculpted arm on the file cabinet next to his winged friend. “I blame it on you, old friend. She’s suddenly embraced the romantic notion of Valentine’s Day and has decided that she would like more romance.” He huffed indignantly and held his arms out at his sides. “Apparently my sexual prowess needs to be enhanced with more,” he made a face, “romantic gestures.”

Cupid chuckled gleefully at the annoyance on Eros’ face. The statuesque god reminded him of someone in this mood. Someone… he turned to look at the man who was easily the most difficult human he had ever been charged with matching and a slow smile lifted the corners of his perfect mouth. “So, Psyche wants you to learn to be more romantic?”

The Greek god was suddenly suspicious. “Why?”

“In exchange for one of your arrows… I will show you my most successful romantic couple currently in this realm.”

“Hmm, observe the humans.” He nodded to himself as he held his right hand up, closing his fingers around the golden arrow that suddenly appeared there. “Very well then, Cupid.” His muscles rippled as he tossed his longish hair over his shoulder and he reached up to hand the arrow over to the miniature Roman god.

Cupid motioned to a door on the wall across from them when it opened and a tall dark-haired man appeared. He called out to Michael and Maria, asking them to join him in his office. “When he leaves today, follow him.” He slid Eros’ arrow into his quiver and his wings fluttered as he straightened his shoulders. “Time to find out what they think of their next assignment.”

“You already know what it is?”

He chuckled merrily. “It was my idea.”

“You know we’re not supposed to interfere more than necessary,” Eros said as he settled back into a slouch.

“What I know is that Michael Guerin and Maria Deluca are not cooperating. Their situation required extreme measures.”

Eros laughed heartily. “Don’t let me keep you then, old friend. I’ll return to follow the human around later today.” His smirk was the last thing to fade as he disappeared from sight.

*****

Cupid materialized in the office, alighting on the credenza sitting behind the desk. He sat down, left elbow propped on his raised knee as he watched one of his successes settle into the large leather chair.

Max Evans regarded his two most competitive reporters over his steepled fingers and he lifted one eyebrow when Michael shifted restlessly. “I have a new assignment for the two of you.”

“Wait just a minute,” Maria said slowly. “What d’you mean you have an assignment for the two of us?”

“No way, Evans,” Michael denied. “I don’t work on fluff pieces for chicks. I’m a sports reporter so unless Deluca’s gonna put a bikini on for a story I don’t see us workin’ together.”

“Yeah, like I’d model a bikini for your sorry ass,” she tossed back at him.

“Oh, c’mon, bet you’d rock a little red thong bikini.”

“We’re not doin’ a swimsuit layout for Valentine’s Day,” Max said before the two of them could get into an argument. He had expected resistance from both of them, so he was ready. He had been certain his wife Liz was out of her mind when she had suggested he send them on a joint endeavor for a story but somehow she had convinced him to do it.

Michael shrugged. “I’m not goin’ then. Unless it’s got somethin’ to do with sports or hot women in bikinis then you can forget it.” He paused and held his forefinger up. “I would be willin’ to sacrifice myself for a story on topless beaches.”

“Oh, yeah, big sacrifice for you, Guerin.” Maria rolled her eyes at him. “Do you know that there is more to a woman than the physical package?”

He shook his head at her. “Yeah, sure. And you probably think there’s more to guys than their packages.”

“Well, in your case I sincerely doubt it.” Okay, in the realm of her personal fantasies he was a caring, intelligent man with the stamina and package a god would be proud of. Unfortunately in reality he was about as romantic as a pile of dog crap and while he was smart, the only things he cared about were sports, women, and sex… not necessarily in that order.

Max leaned forward and tossed two folders on the desk in front of them, motioning for each of them to take one. “That right there is your assignment.” He sat back and waited for the storm to break. It only took seconds for them to react.

“No fuckin’ way, Max.”

“Are you outta your fuckin’ mind, Max?”

It was times like this he really loved his job and hated his name. He forced down the look of amusement that wanted to surface and merely met their disbelieving gazes head on. “You are both journalists, correct?”

Michael threw the folder down and snorted in disgust. “You want us to spend Valentine’s Day weekend at some crappy bed and breakfast in Virginia Beach?” He smacked the offending folder. “Huh-uh, Max. I’d suffocate with all that lace an’ shit all over the place. Not to mention, the two of us in the same room?”

Maria’s gaze moved over the pictures of the beautifully decorated suites. Canopied beds, Victorian lace, candlelit dinners, and long walks on the beach. Yes, she could easily picture enjoying that with her fantasy version of Michael, but with the version of him sitting beside her? It would be torture.

“Yeah, as much as I hate to agree with him, Max, I’m gonna have to this time. I’m not sharin’ a bed or anything else with him.”

Michael snorted and slouched down further in his chair.

Max just smiled as he shook his head. “You’re professionals and our readers will enjoy a story from your perspectives in our next issue. Spend three days enjoying the peace and quiet of coastal Virginia; good food, a relaxing atmosphere, an on-site spa, swimming pool, and I do believe the suite we’ve booked for you has its own hot tub. Gear up and be ready to go on Friday morning. You’ll arrive at the Cupid’s Cove at 2pm and we’ll see you back here on Monday around noon. The two of you will be sharing a suite but the king size bed can be converted into two twin beds. So, as you can see the worst thing you’ll have to do is put up with each other for three nights.”

“Okay, the dossier says we’d be posing as a married couple,” Michael complained. “And again, I remind you it’s fuckin’ Valentine’s Day weekend.”

Max was unconcerned and unsympathetic. “And you’ve both made it known that you have no plans for this weekend.” He grinned and nodded at the folders. “Now you do. You’ll be paid double time and there will be a bonus.”

“That’s just great, you want me to spend the most romantic weekend of the year with the most unromantic man on the planet,” Maria muttered.

“Not one of my fantasies either,” the cretin next to her growled as he got up.

Problem was it could easily be one of hers, she thought. “Fine, Max, but just so you know, I’ll be expecting a very nice vacation package this year.” She got up and leaned over the desk, bringing her face close to his as she lowered her voice. “You tell Liz that I know exactly who came up with this ridiculous idea and payback’s a bitch.”

Michael reached up to rub his shoulder, rolling it to work the brief, stinging pain out as he cursed the old baseball injury. He pulled the door open and turned to shoot one last glare at Max but instead his gaze was drawn to a pair of gorgeous legs and a damn near perfect ass when Maria leaned over the desk. Ungh, hell, what was wrong with him? he wondered, doing his best to force his eyes away from the tempting sight. He quickly shoved away all thoughts of a weekend in a suite with a king size bed and her for a companion. There was no way he was attracted to Deluca. No way in hell. She was all about romance and love and everything that led to that ironclad commitment know as marriage. He shook his head and hurried out of the office, heading for the relative safety of his desk.

Cupid smirked as he plucked the string on his trusty bow and shimmered out of existence to reappear at another location to observe a more cooperative pair of his charges.

*****

“I told Max we should’ve rented a car,” Michael muttered as he paced back and forth at an exit near their gate. They had landed more than half an hour ago and they were still waiting for their ride. They had been informed upon landing that a bad accident on the freeway had caused the driver to run behind but that he would be there as soon as possible.

Maria stared at the congested traffic around the airport as she snorted. “Yeah, and the whole reason he nixed that suggestion was because he knew you’d never stay for the entire weekend if you had your own transportation.” She turned her attention back to the brochure for the bed and breakfast so she didn’t start staring at him. It was bad enough that they had to do this together; did he have to look and smell so damn good? He had driven her absolutely crazy on the flight, and it had nothing to do with his constant stream of negative rambling about spending the weekend pretending to be a couple while forced to stay someplace he would never go on his own.

“Yeah, well, I still think we should’ve told him where to stick this stupid assignment. You know where he got this idea, don’t you?”

“Um-hmm,” she murmured, forcing her gaze to stay on the pictures of the little romantic getaway.

“And that whole pretending to be a couple thing?” He shook his head as he finally became stationary in front of the window where he scowled at everyone and everything. This was about the stupidest thing Evans had ever come up with… and he’d covered some pretty odd stories in his time with this company. The magazine catered to no specific demographic, there was a little something for everyone, and he had no problem with that. But going undercover as a married man and spending Valentine’s Day in some ridiculously overpriced bed and breakfast was just going above and beyond the call of duty.

“You guys wouldn’t happen to be waitin’ for the shuttle from Cupid’s Cove, would you?” a breathless voice asked from behind them.

Michael turned his head, gaze raking over the new arrivals. “Yeah, damn thing’s caught in traffic.”

A couple a few years older than them was rushing towards them. They looked harried as they finally stopped, dropping their luggage on the floor next to them. The man was average height with dark hair that was receding and green eyes that were set too close together, he thought uncharitably. The woman with him was just a bit taller with blue eyes and short blonde hair that would’ve been better suited to a shaggy dog.

“Whew, our flight was late and we just knew we’d missed the shuttle,” the man said as he took a step closer and held his hand out. “I’m Kevin, this’s my wife Abby.”

Michael forced a smile and shook the man’s hand. “Michael,” he nodded at his ‘wife’, “that’s Maria.”

Maria ignored his less than enthusiastic introduction and smiled at the sweet couple. “Try to ignore him,” she advised. “He tends to run on a schedule and he gets uptight when we’re late for anything.”

Abby chuckled as she sat down next to Maria. “I gave up being on time for much of anything after our third child was born. By the time our fifth came along I knew it was either be early or be late.” She wrinkled her nose. “I’m afraid we’re late for most things. Trying to organize five kids and a husband takes a lot of work.”

“I can imagine.”

“You have five kids?” Michael asked.

Maria could’ve kicked him when his question came out sounding like an accusation.

“Five,” Kevin said proudly. His expression softened as he looked at his wife. “And number six on the way.”

“Wow, congratulations,” Maria said with a smile. “Is this your first time at Cupid’s Cove?”

“Oh, no, we’ve come up here for Valentine’s Day for the past four years. It helps to get a break from the kids, but these little romantic retreats are so good for you as a couple. Do the two of you get away very often?”

Maria shook her head. “It’s our first time here.”

“You’ll love it.” She reached over to pat Maria’s hand. “And so will your husband. It’s a wonderful place to stay and the people who run it are absolutely the sweetest couple on the planet.”

Michael was saved from giving his gag reflex a workout when Kevin suddenly pointed outside and spoke up.

“The shuttle’s here.” He brushed his wife’s hands aside when she reached for one of their bags. “I’ve got it, honey.”

Maria rolled her eyes when Michael picked his bag up and headed for the door. Well, no one was gonna accuse him of being a gentleman, she thought as she grabbed her own bags.

“Hey, bud,” Kevin said as Michael rushed to the exit. “No need to make a run for it. We’ll let the driver know about the two of you so he doesn’t leave before you get on board.” He motioned back to Maria where she was trying to get a good grip on the heavier of her two bags. “Give that woman of yours a hand, we’re not gonna leave ya stranded at the airport.”

Michael watched them walk out to the shuttle, greeting the driver by name and he rolled his eyes as he walked back to Maria. “Gimme that damn bag,” he muttered.

“I can carry it myself,” she insisted.

“Yeah, you’re doin’ such a great job of it.” He leaned over and their eyes locked as his hand closed over hers on the handle of the bag. “I’ve got it,” he muttered, pulling it away from her.

She had been driving him crazy since they had boarded the plane and he couldn’t explain his sudden overwhelming attraction to her. Okay, if he was honest with himself, it wasn’t that he’d never noticed her before. Hell, she had been sitting right across from him for the past two years. He’d have to be an idiot to have overlooked her… and he wasn’t an idiot. He had even considered making a move on her several times but then she’d do something to remind him that she wasn’t fling material.

He just wasn’t interested in getting entangled in a relationship and Maria Deluca had relationship written all over her. She was a romantic who had all kinds of ideas about marriage, weddings, relationships and romance… and that was fine, it appealed to the women who bought the magazine every month just for her articles. It wasn’t fine for a guy who had turned bachelorhood into an art.

In the van he crossed his arms over his chest and rested his head against the window, pretending to sleep so he wouldn’t have to participate in the conversation between Maria and the nauseatingly happy and fertile couple riding with them.

*****

“Oh, it’s simply gorgeous!” Maria enthused as she bounced around their room like a three-year-old hopped up on caffeine.

He stood against the closed door, his eyes roving over their suite in disbelief. “It looks like the Valentine’s Day Massacre happened in this room,” he grumbled. Everywhere he looked it was red and white, frilly and lacy.

“This room is beautiful.”

“This room is a nightmare.”

“Kevin didn’t seem to be complaining about the decor.”

“Of course he’s not complainin’. What’s Kevin got to complain about? He’s getting laid,” he bit out.

She rolled her eyes at him and set her bag on the bed, opening it up and starting to hang her things away in the closet. “Abby was very sympathetic while you pretended to sleep all the way out here. She seems to think we’ll benefit from the romantic atmosphere.”

He shrugged. He had only pretended to sleep for the first half hour. That last 20 minutes or so he really had been sleeping. “I’m only doin’ this because Max said I had to and I need my paycheck.” He shoved her half-unpacked bag out of his way and he stretched out on the bed.

Maria glanced at him and froze when she saw his skin where his tee shirt had ridden up when he folded his arms under his head. She wondered what he would do if she just shoved her bag on the floor and crawled up over him to taste that skin. She had spent many hours fantasizing about doing that and so much more. She shook her head in a vain attempt to rid herself of that image. “Why don’t you make yourself useful and turn this thing into two beds,” she said, trying to ignore him.

“Scared you won’t be able to stop yourself from jumpin’ my bones if we sleep in the same bed?”

She snorted. “You couldn’t handle me, Guerin.”

He raised himself up to rest on his elbows at the challenge in her tone. “That a fact?” he asked.

“You have no idea what I’m lookin’ for in a man.”

He shrugged and lay down once more. “Just because I’m not interested in marriage to you or anyone else doesn’t mean I don’t know what women want. You, my friend, want all the crap that Cupid slings with his little bow an’ arrow. You want that little fairytale with a husband, a couple kids, the mortgage, and whatever else goes along with it.”

“I may want those things, but I stopped believing in fairytales a long time ago.” She studied him for a few moments. “What is it about marriage, or just commitment, that scares you so much?”

He shook his head at her. “Nothin’ scares me. I just don’t buy into that crap. Someone needs to give Cupid a lesson in reality. It’s all hearts and flowers at first and then it goes south, one or both parties want to end things and you’re stuck with divorce lawyers and custody issues. No thanks. Someone oughta just take his little bow and shove it up his ass ‘cause that myth ain’t helpin’ anyone.”

“Wow, aren’t you just the happy little ray of sunshine?” She leaned over him and poked him in the chest. “Don’t go around spoutin’ all of your anti-commitment, anti-love and anti-marriage opinions to the happy couples spending their weekend here.”

“Why?” He looked down at her finger that had stopped poking him and started to rub against his chest instead. “Worried that the truth will scare ‘em stupid?”

“You are so cynical.”

“I’m a realist, baby.” His breathing became shallow when he realized she was staring at his mouth. Her finger relaxed and her hand flattened against his chest, sliding over the muscled wall. His eyes darkened and her gaze lowered to her hand, eyes widening in surprise when she realized what she was doing.

“We should get ready for dinner. They said dinner’s at 6pm,” she babbled as she snatched her hand back and moved over to the closet. God, Maria, just molest the man why don’t you? Could you be any more obvious?

“Wanna shower first?” He grinned when her back stiffened and he realized how she had taken his question. “Maybe a cold shower would help the frustration factor. I’m gonna assume you didn’t bring your vibrator since we’re sharin’ a room an’ all.”

“My vibrator is none of your business,” she snapped as she jerked clothes out of the closet.

He snickered. “Jeez, Deluca, little oversensitive aren’t you? If it’s just a case of frustration I can help you with that,” he offered with a wicked grin.

“I do not have a problem with frustration.” She made a face at him and her gaze slid over him, lingering for a moment on the impressive bulge in his jeans.

“Yes, you do,” he said in a sing-song voice. “Hell, we’re already married, might as well take advantage of it.”

“I’m gonna go take a shower,” Maria said, going into the bathroom and slamming the door. She leaned back against it and fanned herself as she swallowed hard. “Yeah, if the man had any doubt that you wanted him that’s shot all to hell now.” She stared longingly at the large tub before opting for a cold shower. She turned the water on, making it as cold as she could stand before stripping and standing under the icy spray.

On the other side of the door Michael was grinning as he leaned against the door and listened to her chattered cursing. Maybe this weekend wouldn’t be a total bust after all, he thought as he sauntered across the room and threw himself on the bed again.

*****

Maria glanced at herself in the mirror. This weekend is going to be a nightmare, she thought bitterly. Hanging out at work with Guerin was bad enough, but being around that hot… um, annoying guy 24 hours a day, no that was just too much.

“Suck it up, Deluca,” she told herself quietly and brushed over her freshly washed and dried hair one more time before leaving the bathroom. “Didn’t I ask you to separate the beds already?” she asked when she saw that he was still lying on the bed lazily while watching TV.

He straightened up and looked at her, almost disappointed that she was already fully dressed. He reached down to lift the blanket, which hid the frame of the bed, and used his free hand to knock against it. “As you can see, Deluca, this’s in one piece, so unless you brought a saw in your luggage I doubt there’s a way to separate it.”

She rolled her eyes at him. “Max assured us that it was possible... figure it out.”

“Figure it...” he muttered. “What part of ‘one piece’ did you not understand?”

She stared at him, trying to decide if he was deliberately being difficult. “Max would not have lied about that because he knows I’d tell Liz and then she would kill him for me.”

“Then call Max instead of buggin’ me.”

“Yes, because I would bother him on the most romantic weekend of the year.” She narrowed her eyes at him for a moment before suddenly shrugging. “Fine, leave it in one piece... but you’re on my side of the bed, so move it or lose it, Guerin.”

“Your side?” he echoed.

“Did I stutter or did you just not understand?”

“I didn’t know we’d already decided on who had which side of the bed.”

“You can sleep on the floor for all I care, but that is my side of the bed.” She shook her head at him.

“I’m sure as hell not sleepin’ on the floor.”

“God, you really are this difficult, aren’t you? When we came in here, I put my bag on this side of the bed, thereby staking a claim on it.”

He rolled his eyes. “Can we go get somethin’ to eat now? I’m starvin’.”

“This isn’t an all-you-can-eat buffet,” she said, hiding her exasperation with him by speaking to him the way she would to a small child. “It’s a romantic getaway for couples who actually like each other. We don’t just go down and start chowin’ down... no, we don’t do that,” she shook her head at him. “They have a schedule for meals.”

Good grief, why had he agreed to this again? Oh, right, because he needed his paycheck. “And what time can we go and eat?” he ground out.

She walked over to the nightstand to snatch up the schedule. “I forgot, you can’t read.” She glanced at the clock on the mantle above the fireplace. “It’s nearly 4pm, so...” she glanced over the times, “they serve dinner at 6pm.”

“Two more hours,” he grumbled. Great, that was just great.

“You are such a baby. It’s not like you’re gonna starve to death in the next two hours.” She glanced at the pictures in the brochure, smiling at the intimate dinner settings. Cupid’s Cove only had room for six couples, which gave them plenty of privacy in the elegant dining area. She grabbed her purse and pulled out a candy bar, tossing it to him. Maybe it would shut him up momentarily.

“You carry candy bars with you?” he asked in surprise and ripped it open.

“What, now you wanna make a smart remark about that too?” She frowned when she realized he still hadn’t moved over. “You do realize we’re supposed to act like a couple for this thing, right?”

“How can I forget that, sweetheart?” he teased.

She made a face at him. “You were doin’ a damn good job at the airport.”

“Huh?”

“Huh?” she mocked. “You were actin’ like...” she motioned to him. “You!”

“Nothin’ wrong with me,” he told her stubbornly.

“I didn’t say there was anything wrong with you... just that we’re supposed to be a couple on the most romantic weekend of the year,” she said stressing the last six words, “and you’re not exactly Mr. Romantic. I can’t imagine anyone buyin’ our act as a couple on a romantic weekend getaway.”

“You think I can’t act like a romantic idiot?”

“Why is it that a man who displays his affections in romantic settings is an idiot?” She shook her head at him once again. God, at this rate her head was gonna fall off of her shoulders.

He leaned forward to look at her. “I can be the romantic jerk we need for this weekend,” he told her. Oh, yeah, he would prove it to her.

She snorted. “Dr. Jekyll, meet Mr. Hyde,” she muttered under her breath.

“I’m gonna go grab a shower,” he decided and rolled from the bed, stripping off his shirt as he went.

She couldn’t have stopped her eyes from tracing over every inch of skin he had just exposed if her life had depended on it. “We’re supposed to dress for dinner so I hope you brought somethin’ appropriate to wear.” She had never seen him in anything but jeans, khaki pants and tee shirts. Not that there was anything wrong with that because he looked hot in anything he wore and she happened to like the way he looked in jeans, but dinner was a semi-formal occasion.

He turned to glance at her, satisfied when he saw that her gaze was locked on his bare chest. “You’re gonna be surprised, Deluca.”

“I doubt it.” She stuck her tongue out at him as she wondered if he would completely embarrass her by wearing one of those tee shirts designed to look like the upper half of a tux. God, he had done that at the awards banquet last year and he had just grinned when Max had nearly had a coronary.

*****

Maria stood at the bottom of the wide staircase, mentally chastising herself for going to all the work to get ready for dinner when her partner in this insanity was going to come slouching down in a pair of jeans and a tee shirt any minute now. If he came down at all, she thought morosely. Well, no, that wasn’t true. The man would not miss a meal. The other guests had started to wander down, heading for the dining room and stopping to exchange a few polite words as they passed her.

Michael had decided to take a nap while she had taken over the bathroom to get ready, assuring her all he needed was five minutes, ten tops, and he’d be ready. As promised, the alarm on his cell phone had gone off at ten minutes before six and he hadn’t bothered to so much as open his eyes when she had told him she was going to head downstairs and would just wait for him there. He had waved her off and for all she knew he had gone right back to sleep.

She heard the clock strike 6pm, the chimes ringing melodically through the foyer. Of course, they were going to be the one couple who walked in late. Something that would be acceptable if their reason for joining the others late was because they had been busy between the sheets. But no, their reason wasn’t nearly that interesting. Or satisfying. They were going to be late because her ‘husband’ was busy sleeping. She sighed in irritation and glanced up at the top of the staircase, her breath lodging in her throat when she saw the god standing there.

How the hell had he managed that? A crisp dark blue shirt, open at the collar was tucked into a pair of dark dress slacks. He had even foregone the ratty work boots he wore all the time for a pair a nice dress shoes. A dark blazer that showed off his shoulders completed the ensemble and she swallowed hard at how easily he wore the clothes.

Michael smirked at the shocked expression on her face. Served her right for thinking he was just a slob all the time, he thought, satisfied. He took a moment to let his own gaze wander over her and he suddenly realized just how dry his mouth was. He had no idea about the different dresses women wore, but whatever she wanted to call it, she was hot. It was a little black strapless number that fit her like a second skin, showing off her curves but in a way that wasn’t tacky or cheap. He didn’t know the words, but he knew the difference.

Damn, now that’s one hot little number. His eyes widened slightly. He hadn’t just said that aloud had he? He sighed in relief when she didn’t go off on him, a clear indication that he hadn’t just opened his mouth. He thought it was a compliment, but chances were good she would’ve taken one of her high heels and shoved it down his throat. He took his time making his way down the steps and he paused in front of her. His gaze raked over her for a moment. “Not bad, Deluca.” He offered her his arm. “So, ready to do this?”

She had trouble catching her breath and hiding her surprise. “Sure,” she nodded and laid her hand on his arm lightly.

He fought back the urge to tug at the collar of the shirt. It was uncomfortable and stiff but he could dress up when it was necessary. At the entry to the dining room they were greeted by the hostess and shown to their table. The dining room was arranged to give couples privacy and the table they had been given was in a secluded corner with a view of the ocean. He could feel Maria’s shock when he held her chair for her before taking his own seat.

“Anything I can get you to drink?” a server asked politely after they had both sat down.

Michael glanced at Maria. “May I?” He was certain by the end of the night she would be mute from shock.

She nodded. “Sure.”

“Are you having pasta or steak?” he asked as he glanced over the wine list.

“Pasta.”

He studied the wine list for a moment, finally selecting a bottle of Beaujolais. Perfect with pasta and low in alcohol. He handed the list back to the server and nodded when she said someone would take their orders after they’d had a few minutes to peruse the menu.

“Do you drink wine normally?” she asked when the waitress was out of earshot.

“No, I prefer an ice cold beer and hot dogs at the ballpark over things like this,” he answered honestly.

“Then how’d you know which wine to order?” she asked because honestly... she would have no clue.

He shrugged and picked at the lace tablecloth with his right thumb. “My parents know their alcohol,” he muttered.

She had a feeling it wasn’t anything he wanted to talk about. “You look better than I expected.”

“It’s not what you’re thinkin’, sweetheart,” he said, with a smirk. She was redirecting the conversation, probably assuming he’d had some sort of traumatic childhood. Which made sense after his lead-in, he realized.

She frowned. “Huh?”

“My parents are winemakers... who divorced when I was about 13. An ugly divorce for sure, but that’s about as far as it goes.” It was also the reason for his negative view of marriage.

“That’s why you don’t believe in relationships?” she asked quietly.

He shrugged and after a moment he nodded. “My parents were happy together and then all of the sudden things just went south. 17 years of marriage, a successful business, and a 13-year-old kid who worshipped the ground they walked on... what else did they need?” He cleared his throat. Damn, he never told anyone that much about himself.

Maria shrugged, not knowing the answer.

“So anyway... that’s my sad story.” He lifted his chin. “What about you? Your parents still together?”

“No, my dad ran off when I was only four,” she told him. Why did I tell him that?

He fell silent when a waiter came by to take their orders, waiting until the man had left them alone again before he continued their conversation. “But you buy into all this stuff,” he said, motioning to the romantic setting around them. “Why?”

“My mom found someone else,” she said with a shrug. “Sometimes it doesn’t work out for a lifetime, but that’s no reason to be lonely in my opinion.”

“Huh.” He took a drink of water and leaned back in his chair. “Never really thought about it like that. Most women either buy into that whole happily-ever-after bullshit or they’re just out for a good time.” He stared at her for a moment. “I like the way you think though. There’re no guarantees in life, so I can appreciate your view. It’s real, ya know?”

“I know.”

His lips turned up in a smirk at her know-it-all tone. He laughed suddenly, shaking his head. “Who would’ve thought the two of us would ever be sittin’ in a place like this havin’ an actual conversation?”

“Yeah,” she sipped her water. “I can’t believe it either.”
Last edited by Double Trouble on Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:56 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
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Part 2

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:35 am

Earth2Mama: Lol, M&L huh? You could be right about that ;).

M&M’s weekend is gonna be fun, we enjoyed writing this and here is the next part…

Alien_Friend: Thanks! We couldn’t resist… Cupid’s a rather insistent little fella!

Glad you’re lovin’ that chemistry… there’s more to come.

keepsmiling7: Maria definitely knows who’s behind this assignment!

mary mary: Lol, well, we’ll see how Michael behaves when he reverts back to casual.

sarammlover: It’s true… you just can’t avoid fireworks with these two… and that’s just part of why we love ‘em.



Part 2

As dinner came to an end Maria placed her napkin on the table next to her dessert plate and glanced at her companion. Michael had been surprisingly easy to talk to, shocking her with his ability to carry on an intelligent conversation. Not that she’d ever thought he was stupid, but he had never gone out of his way to broadcast his intelligence either.

Michael glanced up, suddenly realizing they were the only couple still in the dining room. He checked the time and his eyebrows lifted in disbelief. “It’s nearly 9pm,” he said in surprise.

“Time passed by pretty quickly,” she admitted. God, she had really enjoyed dinner with him, how weird was that?

“I suppose we should probably get outta here an’ let ‘em clean up.” He was reluctant for the evening to end.

“Yeah,” she nodded. Now what? Go back upstairs to their room and go back to their normal behavior?

“It’s cold out, but we could take a walk if you want,” he offered.

“Along the beach maybe?”

“Sure, why not?” He stood and held his hand out to her. “You wanna change first? Not that I think you should or anything,” he said, his eyes sliding over her appreciatively as she took his hand and stood. “But those heels are gonna give you hell.”

“Yeah, I should probably change the dress too, might be a little too cold.”

“Oh, right.” He sounded disappointed but he didn’t care if she noticed it.

There was disappointment in his voice, wasn’t there? she wondered. “Let’s go then.”

He nodded and his eyes followed the lines of her body as she walked up the stairs ahead of him. Under other circumstances they would be going up to their room for so much more than a change of clothes. Keep those thoughts in line, Guerin, he reminded himself.

Maria unlocked the door and walked into their room first. “Gimme a few minutes.”

“Okay.” He wandered around the room, making a face at the nauseating way it was decorated before coming to stand at the double doors that looked out over the ocean. He could hear her moving around behind him, pulling something from the closet and then disappearing into the bathroom.

Why am I nervous? Maria wondered as she changed into a comfortable but tight pair of dark blue jeans and a black pullover again. “It’s not a real date,” she muttered to herself.

Michael reached up and pulled the collar away from his neck, deciding he should take the opportunity to change. He shrugged out of his blazer and undid the top two buttons, pulling the shirt over his head as he walked over to his bag and pulled a tee shirt on. He kicked his shoes off and shucked the slacks, sliding his legs into a pair of faded and well-worn jeans. He was sitting on the bed lacing up his boots when she stepped out of the bathroom. He whistled under his breath as he looked up at her.

“Huh?”

“No, just... you look good.” He winced. “Great, I meant you look great.” Good grief, was he seriously stuttering over a compliment?

“Thanks,” she told him, irritated since she didn’t look any different than she did every day at work.

“And I just said somethin’ wrong,” he muttered.

“Why?”

“I don’t know... maybe because I paid you what I thought was a compliment an’ you sound pissed now.”

“I’m not pissed, just surprised.”

“Surprised because I know how to say somethin’ nice?” he asked, feeling a little bit defensive now. Damn, he couldn’t remember the last time he’d even felt the inclination to try to impress a woman.

“No, just because you’re sayin’ this now when I don’t look any different than usual.”

“No, but I’m seein’ you differently than I normally do.” He shrugged and shoved himself to his feet, suddenly feeling self-conscious and trying not to show it.

She looked at him, feeling the need to say something too so he wouldn’t feel weird about his compliment. “You look good too.”

His smirk resurfaced, but it was just a little bit softer than normal. “I pretty much look like I always do, Deluca.”

“But I’m seein’ you differently than I normally do,” she teased, using his own words.

He grinned and grabbed their coats as he pulled the door open. “C’mon, let’s go take that walk.”

“Let’s hope it won’t start raining.”

“Snowin’ maybe. You know how unpredictable the east coast is this time of year.”

“Never been here, but I’ve read about it.”

He nodded as they took the stairs to the first floor. They stopped to speak to the owners before stepping out into the brisk night air. They followed the path the old couple had pointed out, following it down to the white sandy beach and staring out at the waves rolling up onto the sand before sliding back once more. “It’s a lot different than the desert.”

“Yeah, not so boring.”

“Maybe one of these days Evans will branch the magazine out. Set up offices in New York City.”

“Would you transfer to New York then?”

“Yeah.” He glanced at her, wondering if she would make a move like that. “Would you?”

“I don’t know... Being alone in New York isn’t my biggest dream.”

“You wouldn’t really be alone though... I’d be there. We could hang out.”

“So you would go.”

He snorted and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “The cold air freezin’ your brain, Deluca? I just said I’d go if I was given the chance.”

Her heart twisted at his touch, but she couldn’t resist leaning closer. Maybe she’d had too much wine over dinner.

Michael smiled to himself when she leaned into him. “I don’t know though... if you weren’t gonna be there for me to pester New York might just lose its appeal.” He wondered why it suddenly mattered whether or not she’d go if the opportunity ever arose.

“Oh, come on, maybe you’d get a better coworker up there, who knows? Someone less annoying.”

“Maybe... I’m startin’ to like the way you annoy me though.” They both knew he was the one who did the majority of the annoying, but he could play along.

“Uh-huh, don’t expect me to say the same,” she teased.

He chuckled. “Well, maybe by the time this weekend’s over there’ll be somethin’ about me that you actually like.”

Oh hell, she already liked his body, so that was easy. “That has yet to be seen.”

“Could get interesting then. Like I said before, I love a good challenge.”

“What’re you gonna do to convince me you’ve got a decent bone in there somewhere?”

He stopped when she stopped and he looked down into her eyes. His breath caught in his throat as his gaze traveled over her features, pausing for several long moments on her lips. “I figure dinner was a good start,” he said in a low, husky voice. “You know I’ve got manners now and I do know how to dress up if I choose to do so.” His hand lifted without his permission, his fingertips tracing over her lips.

What was he doing? she thought, her heart racing with every breath she took. “Surprisingly right,” she said quietly.

“Right,” he repeated. “And we’ve still got two more days to go... you never know what you’ll learn about me between now and then.” He lowered his hand and cleared his throat when he realized what he was doing. “We should probably head back... Max wants us to email him the play by play for this weekend.”

Maria tried to hide her disappointment when he turned the electric moment into something else... work. “We should do that.”

He nodded and mentally kicked himself for pulling back. He knew it was the right thing to do... she was a realist, but she was still the type of girl who wanted a relationship. He was many things, but being the kinda guy that led girls on wasn’t one of them. He was discovering that he genuinely liked Maria, but she wasn’t a girl who was interested in a weekend fling so he had to really ask himself if he was willing to consider the possibility of something more before he allowed himself to make a move. He glanced at the pier to his right when one of the rails shifted, brushing it off as the wind before he and Maria turned to walk back to the bed and breakfast.

“You’re going to damage yourself if you keep that up,” Eros said as he lounged back against the wide railing that ran along the pier. His gaze dropped to the bow grasped in Cupid’s right fist, noting the slight crimp in it where it had been smacked against something… continuously and hard.

The amused tone only aggravated the tiny Roman god further as he thumped his forehead against the post repeatedly. His wings beat furiously as he slowly lifted himself up to sit on the rail next to Eros. “This close,” he shouted, chubby forefinger and thumb pressed so close together there was barely a whisper of space between them. “This close and then… nothing!”

Eros chuckled at his old friend’s frustration. “You’ve never failed, Cupid… this match will succeed.”

Cupid reached back and ran his hand over one of his wings, coming away with a handful of the soft down as it came loose at his touch. “Do you see what they’re doing to me?!”

“The way they’re looking at each other… it’s only a matter of time now.”

He huffed in irritation and turned to look at Eros. “You’re supposed to be observing my cooperative couple.”

“I have been and they do take romance to a whole other level. I will return to them but I wanted to stop in and see how you were doing with your charges.”

Cupid held up his bow, shaking the down from his free hand as he leveled a look at Eros. “How do I look like I’m doing?”

“You look like you’ve reached the end of your rope with them.” He patted the tiny cherub on the back, wincing when it caused more of the down to shake loose. “I’m sure it won’t be much longer. My arrow worked, the attraction has been acknowledged. Your arrows are doing their work… they’re forming a romantic, emotional bond. Just relax and allow things to follow their natural course.”

“I suppose.” His wings fluttered in agitation, coating the planks below them in soft down until the wind caught it and whisked it away.

*****

Maria smiled slightly when the morning sunlight pulled her slowly out of her peaceful sleep. When was the last time I slept so good? she wondered and stretched slightly with still closed eyes. A frown appeared on her relaxed face when her feet and elbows came into contact with something solid.

“Owww,” a deep, husky deep voice appeared from behind her and made her finally remember where she was.

Quickly, she made a few quick hops into the other direction and turned over to look at the still sleeping man next to her, one of his arms still slightly hanging over her. What were they doing here? She went back over the last evening. Nope, not too much alcohol, so this snuggling thing was just something that had happened accidently overnight. Ungh.

Michael did his best to keep his features relaxed so she’d think he was still asleep. It had felt pretty good being snuggled up to her... once the shock had worn off anyway. He had been surprised to say the least when he’d woken up and found himself wrapped around her. He tended to stick to his own side of the bed and he wasn’t a snuggler. He could feel her staring at him and he wondered what she was thinking.

Okay, she told herself and took some deep breaths before she grabbed his hand slightly to pull it off of her. Maybe she could get out of bed without him noticing. That would save a lot of embarrassment.

Should he just let her go? he mused when he felt her trying to slip away unnoticed. The little devil on his shoulder poked him and he smirked. Nah. His arm tightened around her waist as he opened his eyes, just waiting for her to look at him. “Goin’ somewhere, sweetheart?” he asked in a gravelly voice.

Of course, she thought. He was already awake and now he was going to make fun of her for snuggling with him consciously. She turned to look at him, annoyed by his saucy grin. “Bathroom.”

“No, I’m good, but thanks anyway.”

“I didn’t mean you, dumbass,” she rolled her eyes.

He studied her for a moment before letting his arm slip from around her waist. “I suppose you’ll wanna do somethin’ about that dog breath before you kiss me.” He waved her off. “Go on.”

“Kiss you,” she snorted as she stood up.

He made a face at her. “It’s customary... you did spend the night in my bed.”

“It’s not your bed.”

“It is my bed.” He stretched his arms out at his sides. “Do you see anyone else here?”

“Your loss,” she said, pulling up the big shirt she was wearing when it slipped down her shoulder.

His eyes followed the movement, disappointed when she covered up that bit of skin. He lowered his gaze to the hem of the oversized shirt and he was grateful for the blankets still covering his lower half when he got a good look at her bare legs. Yeah, it was definitely his loss, he agreed silently.

She felt his eyes wander over her and felt the need to cover herself up again. “Don't stare at me, Guerin.” She grabbed her pillow and threw it at him.

“Don’t look like that,” he muttered.

She crossed her arms over her chest, which made one side of the shirt fall down over her shoulder again. She left it hanging this time.

“You’d better hit the head unless you want me to drag you back in this bed,” he breathed raggedly.

“I’ll pass on that,” she told him, but her knees told a different story.

Of course she would... she wanted more than that weekend fling. He flopped back against his pillow and covered his eyes with his forearm. “Get a move on, would ya? I’m hungry.”

“Of course,” she muttered.

He rolled over and punched the mattress in frustration. God, she was killin’ him! He wasn’t gonna last the weekend at this rate.

Michael lay there, staring up at the ceiling as he waited for his turn and after more than 20 minutes he shook his head. “The hell with this, I’ve gotta piss.” What was the harm? She was in the shower, it wasn’t like he was gonna see anything or she was gonna hear anything.

Maria turned the shower off and ran her hands over her wet hair several times before brushing it back. She froze when she heard something that sounded as if someone had closed the toilet lid. “Don’t tell me you pissed while I was in here.”

“Well, I could’ve walked out on the balcony an’ pissed over the side but somehow I thought that might get us kicked outta here.”

“Get out,” she told him and stuck her hand out of the shower to wave him through the door.

He leaned back against the sink counter, hand towel dangling from his fingertips as he stared at her.

“Michael,” she complained.

He straightened up, trying to remember if she’d ever called him by his first name. He was pretty sure he’d be able to recall it if she had. “Fine,” he grumbled, “I’m goin’.”

She waited until the door opened and closed and was about to get out when she hesitated again. “You’re still there, aren’t you?”

He bit his lip to keep from answering her. He was so far over the line it wasn’t even funny, but she wouldn’t hesitate to kick his ass if she thought it was too much.

Maria shook her head, smiling a little. He was so annoying sometimes. Of course he was still there, but what if she just stepped out and totally shocked him?

He grinned when another minute passed without her stepping out of the shower. For just a second he had thought she knew he was standing there but she was gonna say the hell with it and step out anyway, but apparently not.

Do it, she told herself. It wasn’t like she had a bad body, but would it change anything if he saw her naked?

Michael finally stretched his arm out, reaching for the doorknob.

Maria nodded to herself and pushed the curtain away to step out of the shower, putting one hand on her hip and then daring to lift her head to look at him. Smirk, she ordered herself. Damn, he was really still there.

His hand fell away from the doorknob at the same time that his mouth fell open. Not a good look, Guerin, he reminded himself, closing his mouth as his eyes looked their fill. Maybe he should’ve gotten dressed before encroaching on her territory because there was no way his boxers were hiding his reaction.

“So, seems like ya like what ya see,” she told him coolly even though her heart was beating a mile a minute as she leaned forward to grab her towel.

“Hngh...” was the only strangled thing he could get past his suddenly tight throat.

Oh, yeah, he was speechless for the first time. She spread the towel slowly, making sure to not hurry to wrap it around herself.

Move, moron! his brain screamed at him but for some reason he seemed to be incapable of movement. His eyes were the only exception as they trailed over every inch of the flawless skin she was taking her time covering up.

“Make sure ya breathe again,” she shook her head and turned to look at herself in the mirror. God, that would be a show to remember, she thought and tried to calm herself.

He nearly choked when he realized that he hadn’t been breathing. Relationship, that annoying little voice in his head reminded him. Do not touch unless you’re sure. “Breakfast,” he finally choked out.

“Breakfast,” she mocked, feeling proud of herself for doing that. She definitely had him speechless.

He glared at her and pushed her out the door, locking it behind her before crossing the room and starting the shower. “Sorry, boys,” he muttered as he turned the cold faucet as far over as it would go.

*****

Maria looked at Michael after the sweet couple that owned Cupid’s Cove slowly made their way out of the dining room after making their announcement at the end of breakfast. She had known that the dolphin-watching trip was part of the weekend getaway but she had a feeling that Michael really hadn’t done his research for this assignment. Normally he was on top of his game when it came to assignments, even the ones he didn’t really care for, but from the look on his face, the afternoon boat trip was news to him.

“I didn’t sign up for no trip out on the ocean,” he muttered. His appetite had just taken a serious nosedive right along with his mood.

“Oh, c’mon,” she teased. “You’re into just about every sport on the planet. Don’t tell me you’re afraid of a little water.”

“Hell no, I’m not afraid of it. I just hadn’t intended to spend an afternoon lookin’ for dolphins.”

“It’ll be fun.”

Yeah, about as much fun as havin’ my fingernails removed, he thought morosely.

Maria rolled her eyes at him. “Worried about actin’ like a real couple around the others?”

“Nope.” That was sooo the least of his worries.

“Well, let’s go get ready for our afternoon out,” she said as she stood.

Great, so much for impressing her. That had just gone out the window. He followed her up to their room and forced a smile when they encountered two of the other couples on the way. Everyone seemed rather enthusiastic about looking for dolphins, which he just didn’t understand. Okay, it was reasonably warm for this time of year but it was still gonna be cold out on the deck of a boat… on the ocean.

An hour later he had forced himself into a better mood because Maria seemed to be genuinely excited about the nightmare excursion. His grip on the handrail tightened when the boat jerked out into deeper water and he experimentally took in a deep breath. His stomach stayed where it was supposed to be so he decided that the anti-nausea pills he had downed were doing their job.

He glanced around them at the other couples, scattered around the deck and wrapped up in each other. His gaze slid to the side where Maria was standing close by, her green eyes scanning the water for the dolphins. “We’ve gotta get further out,” he said.

Maria turned to look at him, surprised to hear his voice since he had been surprisingly silent on the shuttle ride over to the marina where they had boarded the boat. “What?”

“The dolphins, they’ll be out in deeper water.” He held his hand out to her, waiting to see if she would take it.

She glanced at his offered hand, irritated for a second before she laid her smaller one in his.

Michael wrapped his fingers around hers and shifted, tugging her to stand between him and the railing. “Sorry for bein’ such a jerk... I didn’t know the boat thing was on the itinerary.”

She shrugged. “I’d be mad if we were here for a real Valentine’s Day,” she whispered into his ear.

“Would you wanna do stuff like this for anniversaries an’ holidays if we were?” he asked curiously.

“To be honest I prefer a little bit more privacy. Nothing too big or anything.”

“Yeah, me too. I mean, I don’t mind goin’ out an’ stuff, but... I don’t know... stuff like this makes me feel like everyone’s watchin’ you, just waitin’ to see what you’re gonna do next.”

“Well, don’t forget you don’t do anniversaries at all,” she teased,

He snorted. “Okay, no, I don’t... but maybe I would.” He shrugged. “At some point.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. Maybe.”

“Makin’ progress, Guerin.”

“You have no idea,” he muttered. His arms tightened around her as he lowered his lips to brush against her ear. “So, we’re kinda the only couple here not playin’ tonsil hockey...”

She felt her body reacting to his touch and she leaned back against him, secretly enjoying the embrace. “Guess that’s because we’re the only couple here that isn’t couple.”

“Yeah, but thanks to our good friend Max and his meddling wife everyone here thinks we are.”

“Yeah, I bet they’re already wondering if we’re havin’ a crisis or something.”

“We could definitely let ‘em know there’s no crisis goin’ on in our corner of the world,” he whispered huskily.

“What you’re suggesting is...”

He buried his nose in her hair, inhaling her scent before pressing a kiss against her neck. “I was kinda thinkin’ maybe we should kiss or somethin’.”

“Yeah, maybe we could do that,” she breathed. Her brain had already said goodbye to sanity.

“Um-hmm, we could definitely do that.”

She looked out of the ocean, trying to focus her mind on the thought of kissing him. How bad was this idea, she wondered.

Michael bit his lip, waiting for her to decide. Would she go along with it because it was part of their cover? Or would she do it because she wanted him too?

“Guess Max would love for us to deliver a little show, huh?”

He took her arm and turned her around to face him. “I don’t give a damn what Max wants,” he breathed as he looked into her eyes. “What do YOU want?”

“Well...” she stuttered, not ready to admit that she wanted him so badly. “Depends on what YOU want.”

Fuck, she had just put the ball in his court. He had just thrown Max out of the equation so he couldn’t blame it on him now. He could tell her he had asked her first, but damn, how juvenile was she gonna think he was then?

She let her head fall when he didn’t reply. Yeah, she thought, for him this was just a game.

He could feel her disappointment with his lack of an answer and he suddenly felt like a coward. The hell with it. His hand came up to cradle her chin, lifting it up so that he could look into her eyes. “I want you,” he admitted huskily.

But how much of her, she wondered, but didn’t dare to ask aloud. “Then you’re allowed to kiss me.” It’s just a kiss, nothing more, she told herself.

His hand slipped around to rest against her neck and his thumb grazed over her jaw as he lowered his head and his lips brushed against hers in a tentative first kiss.

God, his lips felt so soft. How often had she imagined kissing him and yet it felt even better.

His tongue swept across her lips, seeking permission to deepen the kiss. It didn’t really need to go any farther for them to put on a show, but for him this wasn’t about making anyone believe they were a couple.

She took her hands from the railing, where they had rested and brought them up to his chest to play with the opening of his coat.

It wasn’t exactly an invitation so he played it cool and kept the kiss gentle, nibbling on her lips and teasing her in an effort to get her to open up to him.

She knew exactly what he wanted, but while she really wanted it as well, something still held her back. What if he was just playing with her? Testing her? Paying back for the little shower stunt earlier?

Michael leaned back to look down at her, seeing the flush in her cheeks, the darkened eyes, the rapid rise and fall of her chest and her hands against his chest. He was about to open his mouth and say something when his stomach suddenly gave a nauseating roll and his hands shot out to grasp the railing on either side of her body to steady himself. No, no, no, he thought as he took a couple of shuffling steps to the side pushing her to the side and gripping the railing once more. This was not the time for those damn pills to wear off!

Maria looked at him, confused. She felt hurt by his rejection, but suddenly she realized what was going on. “Um, are you feeling sick?”

His answer was to lean over the side and lose his breakfast. By the time he was finished it felt like his intestines had been turned inside out and tied into knots.

Ungh, she made a face and grabbed her back to pull some tissues out. “Take some deep breaths,” she told him softly and rubbed his back lightly while she handed him a tissue.

“Would you do me a favor an’ grab me a bottle of water?” he asked. He sounded pitiful and he didn’t care.

“Sure, I’ll be right back.”

“Damn it,” he muttered under his breath as he rested his forehead on his folded arms where they were pressed against the railing. So much for impressing her. Although he supposed it could be worse, he could’ve been kissing her when it happened. He made a face. Yeah, it definitely could’ve been worse.

“Here,” Maria handed him the open water bottle. “Make sure ya don’t drink too much at once or you’ll only throw up in no time again.”

“Not drinkin’ it,” he said as he took a mouthful and swished it around before leaning over and spitting it out. He repeated the process two more times before digging a packet of mints out of his pocket and putting a couple in his mouth. “I hate boats,” he muttered and went back to his previous position hugging the railing.

“You should’ve told me, Michael. We could’ve done something else.”

He shook his head. “It’s part of the fun-filled romantic weekend, right? We’re expected to participate in the madness... and now you’ll have somethin’ really colorful to put in your part of the article for day number two.”

“You should get up, Michael. The more you concentrate on it, the more you’re gonna feel sick.”

“How much longer do we have on this trip from hell?” he asked as he allowed her to lead him over to one of the seats. From this point on, nothing would stop the nausea. He knew that from experience.

“Still got a while,” she told him. “Hey, look at me,” she said softly.

He lifted his head, bringing his miserable gaze to hers.

“You should try to focus your eyes on something on the horizon,” she glanced around and pointed at an island far away. “And try to move with the ups and down of the boat, not against it.”

“Think that’ll work?”

“Yeah,” she nodded.

He leaned back against the cabin and inhaled slowly and deeply as he trained his gaze on the point in the distance. “I’ll give it a shot,” he said. “Sorry, I’m really not good company when it comes to water-related activities.” He winked at her. “Unless we’re talkin' indoor water sports... no problems there.”

She snorted. “Yeah, I bet,” she rummaged around in her bag for a while and pulled some cookies out. “Here, you should eat small bites of those now and then.” She shook her head when he looked at her, horrified. “I know it sounds weird, but eating a little bit actually helps.”

“Do you not know just how close you came to bein’ puked on? And now you’re tryin’ to get me to eat somethin’? Are you outta your mind?”

“Okay, if ya don’t want to then don’t,” she shrugged.

“No, hell, I’ll give it a shot,” he said, taking one of the cookies and nibbling on it.

“Just small bites now and then.”

He nodded and swallowed the little bite, hoping like hell he didn’t end up regretting it.

“Good boy,” she teased.

“Do I get a treat later?”

“Maybe after brushing your teeth,” she winked at him.

He smiled faintly. “Cool.” His eyes traveled over her animated features when she looked around as a couple of the women started pointing and shouting. “You wanna go check out the dolphins?”

“Uh-huh, I’ll be right back, okay?” she said excitedly.

He nodded and watched her as she hurried over to the railing, leaning over fearlessly to watch the dolphins. The wind whipped her long hair around and ocean water sprayed up over her but it didn’t deter her from enjoying the sights. He smiled at her and felt a weird feeling in his chest when she turned her head to look at him, her expression so happy and carefree.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 925
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 3

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:36 am

mary mary: Yeah, you have Michael’s complete agreement, it’s definitely no fun. He was pretty happy about that kiss too though.

Earth2Mama: Well, ya know how these things go… battle of wills and sense, lol.

sarammlover: The two of them are great together. It’s undeniable. Only Maria could pull that off, lol.

Alien_Friend: Yeah, he wasn’t too happy with us for that one. Maria was great with him though.

Even though he plays the field he’s not the kind of guy who would pursue her without knowing what he’s really willing to give something back.

Maria sooo had the upper hand, lol!

The weekend’s gonna get even better. ;)



Part 3

Michael led Maria to a small table well away from the little stage set up at the far end of the large room that had been decorated for Valentine’s Day. Hopefully the band’s good, he thought. This all was so cliché that it made him sick. What was it that people loved about the faked romance here? he wondered.

His gaze swept over the tight dress Maria was wearing. It looked as hot as the last even though he could tell it wasn’t the same. She definitely knew how to dress the right way.

Maria smiled when he held the chair out for her and sat down. Wow, the room was… It practically screamed Valentine’s Day. “Am I the only one who feels crushed under the weight of the imitated romance in this room?” she whispered to him.

He smirked, relieved. “Thanks, I thought it was just me again.”

“It’s definitely too much.”

“Yeah, Cupid must have a field day in a place like this... that’s one creepy little bastard, don’t you think?”

Maria didn’t get the chance to answer when a waiter stopped by to ask them what they wanted to drink.

Damn, what he’d give for a plain old beer right now, he thought. He glanced over at Maria and wondered if she’d be completely insulted if he suggested beer instead of wine. Couldn’t hurt to ask, right? Or maybe not. “They have a nice selection of white wines,” he said, knowing that several of them would go well with what she intended to order for dinner.

“I was planning to have a steak, so how about a nice cold beer,” she suggested, knowing he would like one as well.

“You heard the lady,” he said, handing the wine list to the man. “We’ll have a couple of beers.” He turned to Maria after the man had left them alone once more. “Steak an’ beer... you’re a woman after my own heart, Deluca.”

She tried not to take his words as seriously as she wanted to and just smiled at his comment before she looked at the menu to decide what kinda steak she wanted.

He chewed on his bottom lip for a moment as he studied the menu. He already knew what he wanted but he sucked at small talk.

“Hmm, I can’t decide what I should order,” Maria mumbled after a while.

“Prime rib,” he said with a nod.

She nodded. “Yeah, why not.”

He grinned. “With a loaded baked potato and a salad?”

“Oh yeah, definitely.”

His eyebrows lifted. “Really? You’re not gonna tell me how bad it is for me?”

“It’s okay as long as you don’t eat it every day.”

He shook his head. “Can’t argue with that I s’pose.”

“Glad you found your appetite again,” she said with a chuckle.

“I’ve just never done well on the water.”

“You really should’ve told me before,” she shook her head, amused. “But well, then I would’ve missed the dolphins.”

“You really enjoyed that, huh?"”

“Yeah, I’ve never seen them out on the ocean, it’s so much better than watching them in a zoo.”

“I’m sure.” He hadn’t gotten much of a chance to look at them since he had been staring at her for most of the trip.

She found herself staring at his lips while she remembered the tender kiss on the boat. Just thinking about it made her shift in her seat. Get it together, Deluca, she reminded herself.

Michael could feel her eyes on him and he resisted the urge to tug at his collar. He grinned when he caught her restless movement. “Whatcha thinkin’ about?”

“Nothing,” she said and then looked at him. “Nothing I’m gonna share with you anyway,” she added with a soft smirk.

“There you go, throwin’ challenges out again,” he said, his voice a low growl.

“Wasn’t a challenge at all.”

He leaned forward to rest his forearms on the table. “Then tell me what you’re thinkin’.”

“Uh-uh, nope.”

“Tryin’ to picture me naked?” he asked, wiggling his eyebrows.

“Nooooo,” she dragged the word out.

“No?” He straightened up, not sure if he should be offended or not.

“Nope.”

He glanced up when their waiter returned with their drinks and he picked up the bottle before the man could pour his into a glass. “Nope,” he muttered under his breath.

“Sir?”

“Nothin’,” he said, waving the man away.

“Don’t be mean to the staff.”

“Don’t...” he shook his head at her. “You know, there’re women who’d pay good money to see me naked.”

“Well, it’s only fair to show me without payment since ya saw it all this morning.”

“Nope.” He shrugged and took another drink. You’re not interested, remember?”

“I didn’t say that. All I said was that wasn’t what I was thinking about.”

He swallowed quickly before he choked or sprayed the table with beer. “Ya know, it’s not often that I find myself all that interested in what anyone else is thinkin’ but it’s drivin’ me crazy wonderin’ what’s on your mind.”

“Good,” she said with a satisfied smile.

“But you’re not gonna tell me...”

“No, sorry.”

He made a face at her. “Fine, don’t tell me.”

“Don’t be mad.”

“No, no,” he murmured agreeably as he studied her once more. He glanced over his shoulder when the band started playing a new song. It was a sappy romantic ballad, the kind that would normally make him nauseous as soon as it started. The floor in front of the stage had been cleared for dancing and several of the other couples were already out there. “You um... you wouldn’t wanna dance would you?”

She looked at him, surprised... shocked. “You can dance?”

“Yeah, I can dance.” He didn’t care to but he did know how. “Damn, you must think I was raised in a barn or somethin’. Ya know, my mom would be appalled if she ever heard just how bad you think my manners and social skills are.”

“You haven’t really shown them off since I’ve known you,” she said, placing her smaller hand in his proffered big one.

“Well... I guess that’s true. Just don’t ever let my mom know that.” He led her out on the dance floor and took her in his arms, leaving a polite distance between them.

“I doubt that I’ll meet her somewhere on the streets and recognize her as your mom,” she told him, enjoying the way he led.

He snorted. “Mom would like you,” he said with a grin.

“Everyone likes me,” she told him, grinning.

That was true, he thought. She was a favorite in the office and he had never heard a bad word about her. His hand settled on the small of her back and applied just a bit of pressure to bring her closer.

She let her hand rest on his upper arm while the other was still held in his as she moved closer to him until their bodies came into contact.

Michael found himself suddenly grateful for those stupid dance lessons his mom had insisted on. Not that he’d ever admit it to her... it was still something she should believe had ruined his teenage years and scarred him for life. His gaze dropped to her lips and he wondered if he should kiss her again.

Maria felt the tension again, the same that had been there on the boat earlier. Was he going to kiss her again?

His feet slowed as his awareness became focused solely on her and he lowered his head, bumping his nose against hers with a smile before his mouth settled over hers.

She had to suppress a groan in reaction to his kiss. How could this feel so good? How could he make her so wet from just the brush of his lips? This was so unfair!

Michael groaned quietly when her tongue tangled with his and they dueled for control, finally settling on going back and forth because neither of them was giving in. Damn, his body wasn’t wasting any time responding to her and she wasn’t going to have to move much closer to know just how affected he was.

Breathlessly, she broke the kiss and looked at him, her gaze sweeping to his swollen lips. “I doubt that was a kiss that should’ve happened in public.”

He gave a slight shake of his head, feeling incapable of speaking for a moment. “I’ve got several things on my mind that we could do right now that shouldn’t happen in public either.”

She blushed slightly and looked away. “Michael...”

“Maria...” he teased, his tone slightly mocking.

“Don’t make fun of me.”

“I’m not makin’ fun of you, Deluca.” He took a deep breath but the words he wanted failed him so he just shrugged.

“Should we go back to our table?” she asked when the silence between them became awkward.

Idiot, his mind screamed at him. “Uh, yeah, dinner should be here anytime.”

“Yeah, and since ya didn’t hold much of your breakfast, I bet you’re hungry.”

“Thanks for the reminder,” he grimaced. “Yeah, I’m starvin’.”

They took their seats again and silence fell over them once more. Great, Maria thought, what now? She glanced around the room, which was full of happy couples that looked at each other dreamily. Ungh, why was she here? Michael would never be that way... Okay, she didn’t want all the over the top romance, but she wanted someone who cared no matter what.

Michael glanced up when their waiter returned with their meals, grateful that they could eat and not have to talk now. He had found himself enjoying being with her and talking to her, but for some reason he just couldn’t get his throat to work when it came to anything beyond the weekend.

“It looks great,” Maria said when she glanced at their plates.

He nodded and reached for the steak sauce. He nudged the Ranch dressing aside and asked the waiter for Italian before turning back to his meal.

They ate in silence. Maria listened to the whispered conversations around them when the band took a break. There was soft laugher now and then, mostly from the women. What were they laughing at? she wondered and looked at her still half-full plate. “I don’t think I can anything else. I’m full,” she leaned back and laid her hands on her belly with a sigh.

Michael glanced at her, seeing her wistful look as she watched the other couples... real couples... being together and caught up in each other. He cut into his steak and took another bite, chewing slowly as he motioned to the couple they had met at the airport. “You think they’re really happy?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s not like everything can be always fine and happy.”
“No, but I mean, overall. Married for so many years, five kids with one on the way...”

“Their relationship works for them, I guess. I mean, otherwise they wouldn’t have six kids right?”

He shrugged and took a drink of his beer. “Yeah, that’s true.” He cast about for a different topic. “I coach a little league team back home... in the summer, I mean.” He mentally rolled his eyes. Moron, she knows you didn’t mean in the winter.

“You do?” she asked, surprised.

He nodded. “Yeah, a friend of mine got me into it a couple years ago. The guy who had been helpin’ him bailed with no warnin’ and he needed a hand.” Why was he telling her this? She probably couldn’t care less what he did in his free time. “You’ve probably met him... Kyle Valenti, he’s engaged to Tess Harding in our advertising department.”

“Oh, yeah,” she took a sip of her beer. “I went to high school with him.”

He nodded. Of course she had. The town wasn’t much bigger than a postage stamp.

“Do you get along with all the kids? It has to be exhausting to watch them all.”

He snorted. “Kids are exhausting, but they’re a lot of fun. The kids we’ve got are basically the ones no one else wants so they’re a handful.” He shrugged. “They’re just lookin’ for someone to take some time with ‘em an’ tell ‘em they’re important too, that they’re not just gonna be somethin’ someday but that they already are.” He grinned. “An’ if we win a few games along the way that’s cool too.”

Wow, she was pretty surprised by his words. “That’s very cool.”

He nodded. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun too.” Before long he found himself launching into different stories about ‘his’ kids, some of them funny and some of them not so funny, but it was the first time he could remember really talking about them with someone who showed interest.

Maria laughed at one of the stories. “Sounds like those kids love you.”

“They’re good kids deep down, they’re just misunderstood.” He rolled his eyes. “Don’t get me wrong, they’re not little angels or anything, but people write them off too quickly.”

“Yeah, they forget that most of the times the parents are the reason for their behavior.”

He nodded. “I don’t get how people just think their kids are gonna raise themselves.”

“Yeah, their loss.”

“Sad thing is it’s the kids who pay for it. I mean, yeah, we all suffer when they’re actin’ out, but damn, all it takes is a little care, a little guidance to get them back on track and keep them there. If you catch ‘em early you’ve got a better chance of keepin’ ‘em from endin’ up in a juvenile facility.”

She smiled. “Do you want kids of your own?” He had to right? There was no way he would say those amazing words and not want kids of his own.

He bit his lip. “Yes and no.” He took a drink of his beer to wash down the last of his dinner. “I’d love to have kids and I think I’d be a pretty cool dad, but sometimes I look around at all these kids that people just... throw away and I wonder if it’s selfish to want my own kids when there’re so many out there that need someone to love ‘em.” He’d never told anyone else that and he glanced away as he cleared his throat.

“You can’t fix everyone’s problems, Michael.”

“No, but, maybe a few of ‘em.”

She nodded and glanced at her plate. “Ya want something?”

“You.” The word was out too fast for him to stop it.

Her head snapped up. “Huh?”

He started to cover his response up but after a moment he just smirked. “I didn’t stutter.”

“You’re funny,” she told him, not knowing what else to say.

He reached for her hand across the small table, taking it in his and rubbing his thumb over her knuckles. “I’m not jokin’,” he said seriously.

She glanced at their hands. “Um...”

“But you don’t feel the same way,” he guessed, starting to pull his hand back.

“No. Michael...” she quickly said.

His eyes shot to hers and his hand stopped its retreat.

“It’s just a little surprising...”

“A bad surprise?”

Damn, if she only knew how he meant it. “No.”

“Nothin’ has to happen,” he said as he glanced at their joined hands.

God, she was blushing again, it was embarrassing. “Okay.”

He nodded, disappointed at how easily she had agreed. “You feel like maybe takin’ another walk on the beach after dinner?”

“We could walk a little bit through town tonight?” she suggested. “I overheard another couple talking earlier; they said it’s lovely with all the lights and the little shops.”

“More of Cupid’s influence?” he asked. It was everywhere and he felt like he was choking on all the hearts and flowers. If he never saw the color red again it’d be okay with him.

“Well, guess we’re not gonna avoid that while we’re here, but I doubt it’s as much in town as it is here.”

“Sure, sounds good.”

*****

The small town was decorated with the Valentine’s Day theme but it wasn’t so over the top that it made him feel like he needed to down more of those useless anti-nausea pills. It was a nice town, probably not much bigger than the one they lived in, but it had the advantage of being on the ocean. The storefronts were well-kept, the sidewalks in front of them swept clean, and the window displays showing off merchandise.

They walked along in companionable silence for a while before Maria noticed a flyer for a Valentine’s Day treasure hunt posted to one of the windows. “Maybe someone should’ve told Max about that,” she said, pointing it out.

Michael leaned in to take a closer look. “Winner walks away with a week-long ski trip to Tahoe. Damn, now that would’ve been fun.” He shook his head. “Evans has turned into a huge sap since he an’ Liz hooked up.”

“Yeah, I can’t really argue with you there,” she chuckled.

“I thought he was bad before, but damn!” He laughed and slung an arm around her shoulders companionably. “If I bought into that whole Cupid thing I’d say he must’ve used up a helluva lot of arrows on Evans’ ass.”

“You don’t believe Cupid exists?” she asked, feigning shock.

“Some little winged cherub flinging arrows at people? Bunch of bullshit. I mean, if the guy’s that busy tryin’ to hook people up he’s gotta be one frustrated little bastard. Although,” he mused, “lookin’ like that it’s not likely he’s ever been laid.”

She narrowed her eyes when she saw a familiar face nearby. “Is that Alex over there?”

“Alex who?” he asked, turning to follow her gaze.

“Alex Whitman.”

“That is Whitman.” His eyes widened when the guy turned and smiled at a woman, reaching for her hand and tugging her close for a kiss. “And he’s with... holy hell, he’s with Isabel Evans.” He shook his head. “Did not see that one comin’.”

“You think Max sent them here to keep an eye on us?”

He snickered. “If he did, they’re doin’ a piss-poor job of it. I don’t think they’re aware of anything goin’ on around ‘em.”

“Yeah. I didn't know they were seeing each other, but then again I haven’t seen Alex in a while and I don’t really know Isabel that well.”

Michael couldn’t say the same thing. “Wanna talk to ‘em?”

“Yeah, let’s say hi.”

“Yo, Whitman... think you’ve got one of Cupid’s arrows stuck in your ass!” he shouted.

“Gosh,” Maria rolled her eyes.

He just grinned and shrugged. “Oh, c’mon, let’s have a little fun.”

“You can be such a klutz.”

“Your point?” he asked as they crossed the street to join the other couple.

Maria ignored him and smiled at the others. “Hey, small world, huh?”

Alex raised an eyebrow at the two of them as he hugged Maria and shook Michael’s hand. “Should I even ask what the two of you are doin’ here?”

“Evans is under orders from the wife to put out a Valentine’s Day spread... so, for the weekend we’re undercover as a couple at a local bed an’ breakfast.”

“You an’ Michael, huh?” Isabel asked Maria, surprised.

Maria shook her head. “Your brother and Liz have a sick sense of humor.”

Isabel chuckled. “Yeah, he’s really mean to put ya with Michael on Valentine’s Day.”

“Thanks, Iz,” Michael said, his voice dripping with sarcasm, “I love you too.”

“Hey, we were about to get a drink,” Alex pointed to a small bar. “Wanna join us?”

Michael glanced between Maria and Isabel. That could be dangerous, he thought. “I don’t know... Maria?”

“Yeah, why not, we’ve got nothing better to do anyway, right?”

He nodded agreeably. “Apparently not.”

“Let’s go,” Maria said with a smile.

“So, the two of you... how’d that happen?” Michael asked curiously as they sat down in a booth by the window.

“Well, Alex just happens to be the man I’ve always looked for,” Isabel started.

He glanced at Alex. “You’re a brave man.”

The other man smiled. “Not brave, lucky.”

“Choose your word,” he said with an amused grin.

Maria waved him off. “He’s as romantic as a brick, ignore him.”

“Boy, she’s got you pegged,” Isabel teased.

Yeah, and you’re not makin’ it any better, he thought bitterly.

Maria glanced at Michael when he fell silent. He felt tense as he sat there nursing a beer and engaging in the conversation. She reached over and let her hand rest on his thigh, hoping to get him to relax.

Michael looked up when he felt her hidden touch. Yeah, hidden so the others wouldn’t see.

Isabel’s gaze was bouncing back and forth between them, picking up on the tension and eager to know what was going on.

“So, Guerin, got any good sports articles comin’ up?” Alex asked, catching sight of his girlfriend’s interest and trying to derail it.

“There’s always somethin’ to write about, some less important than others.”

Okay, he wasn’t making conversation easy, but he was Michael... that was just par for the course, wasn’t it? “How ‘bout you, Maria? Any interesting articles lately?”

“Well it’s Valentine’s Day so this time of year’s pretty busy for me.”

“That’s true, I suppose. My mom loved that article you did in the last issue... the one about that romantic getaway in the Caribbean? She convinced my dad to book a cruise out there this summer.”

“Oh, I’d love to go there too. All the research really put me in the mood.”

“I thought Evans sent you out on location for that piece?” Michael asked.

“To the Caribbean? I wish.”

“Well, he usually sends you out for those pieces.” He snorted. “I guess we have to excuse him since his hormones have been outta control since he an’ Liz hooked up.”

“Yeah, he’s a total goofball,” Isabel nodded. “Excuse me, I’ll be right back,” she stood up to go and make a visit to the restroom.

“You know, I think that’s a good idea,” Maria said, excusing herself as well.

Michael shrugged when Alex glanced at him. “Hell if I know why they travel to the bathroom in packs.”

“It’s nice here,” Maria said when she and Isabel stood in front of the mirrors to check their makeup.

Isabel glanced at her as she applied a fresh coat of lip gloss. “It’s gorgeous. Have you been down to the beach?”

“Yeah, yesterday.”

“You... and Michael?”

“Yeah, after dinner.”

“Really,” she mused thoughtfully. “He’s not normally so... romantic.”

“Do you know him well?”

“As well as anyone I guess. We dated for a while... nothing really serious. It could’ve been but he’s got commitment issues.”

She had dated him? Wow that was news. “Yeah, seems like.”

Isabel studied the other woman’s reflection in the mirror. “You like him,” she observed.

“Huh? Oh, well, we’ve gotten to know each other a little better, that’s all.” Liar!

“Um-hmm, that’s all. Of course.” She smiled knowingly.

“As you said, he has commitment issues and I’m looking for something that lasts.”

Isabel turned and leaned back against the sink. “Things have a funny way of turning around on us.”

“What do ya mean?”

“Take me and Alex for example. When we ran into each other he asked me out and to be honest I said yes because I had nothing better to do at the time... now, he knows that,” she said, wrinkling her nose. “He was pretty pissed about it at first, but he’s over it now. I went out to get away from boredom and the next thing I know I realize I’ve found a great guy.”

“Not the most romantic story I’ve ever heard but I like it,” Maria said, amused.

“No, that’s true. But we’ve made up for that since then.”

“Hope everything works out for you two.”

“Thanks. It will.” She smiled confidently and winked. “Hope so for you and Michael too.”

“Oh, well, we’re not a couple at all.”

“Not yet maybe.”

“Ya think he’s capable of having a relationship?”

“I think he’s capable of anything he puts his mind to... and if that’s a relationship with you, then I think he’ll put his whole heart into it.”

“Wow, I would’ve expected a different opinion from an ex of his.”

“Well, Michael and I weren’t exactly the world’s greatest couple.”

“I still have a hard time picturing him as a boyfriend at all,” Maria admitted.

“He doesn’t advertise it, that’s for sure.”

“Wanna get back to them?”

“Yeah, there’s no tellin’ what Michael’s saying to Alex.”

*****

Michael took his time getting ready for bed, his mind going over everything that had happened that day. He cursed his stubbornness the day before when he had refused to separate the beds. If he’d done it then he wouldn’t be trying to figure out the best way to sleep with a woman he wanted like crazy without laying a hand on her. Maybe he should just sleep on the couch, he thought. It would sure as hell be a lot easier.

The night before they had gone to bed on opposite sides of the mattress and they had woken up wrapped around each other. That had been bad enough before he had acknowledged just how much he’d like to be more than just her writing partner for this stupid assignment. He glanced at himself in the bathroom mirror one more time before snapping the light off and stepping out into the bedroom. She was already in bed, covers pulled up over her as she faced away from his side.

He pulled the covers back and slid in on his side, laying there and staring up at the ceiling. He could hear her quiet breathing and that alone drove him crazy. He shifted and linked his fingers behind his head, trying to force his thoughts in a different direction.

She could practically hear him thinking next to her and she wondered if he would touch her sooner or later.

Michael shifted again, this time rolling onto his side facing the wall but that only lasted a matter of seconds because he wasn’t comfortable. “You’re on my side of the bed,” he growled finally.

Okay, she thought, seems like the ‘I want you’ had been just a spur of the moment thing. “Sorry.”

He bit his lip and his fingers knotted in the sheets for a moment before he slid closer to her and wrapped his arm around her waist. “Think maybe we can share since we seem to prefer the same side?”

“Okay,” she agreed, tryin to sound casual.

“Maybe you could get closer,” he whispered.

She shivered at his husky tone, but her body did what he had requested before she could think about it.

Michael bit back a groan when her body settled into his so perfectly, her bare legs sliding against his as she wiggled around in an effort to find the most comfortable spot.

She smiled when he held his breath the whole time. Oh, yeah, he was turned on.

His arm finally tightened around her waist. She was gonna kill him! “Maybe you could be still,” he ground out.

“Maybe, yeah.”

“Maybe?” he echoed, sucking in a sharp breath when she wiggled her hips teasingly.

“Okay, I will,” she promised.

“Thank you,” he whispered under his breath.

She placed her hand over his. “G’night.”

Kiss her! his brain screamed at him. Shut up, he snarled back. “G’night, M’ria.”

She sighed tiredly and forced her mind away from other possibilities.

It wouldn’t take but a moment to pull her over onto her back... over on top of him... either one would work, he mused. He knew what would happen then though and while his body was having a fit at being denied what it wanted he hesitated.
Image


Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

User avatar
Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 925
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 4

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:05 am

mary mary: We’ll find out soon!

Earth2Mama: Hmm, not that far away. ;)

Michael’s holding back because he wants to be sure first that he can meet Maria’s expectations of a relationship.

On the other hand, Maria only knows him as a womanizer and still has her doubts if he’s being serious with her.

So, neither of them wants to hurt the other and they’re still testing each other.

Alien_Friend: Yup, Michael’s definitely got a point… and there’s not an easy solution out there.

Lol, it’s so true.

Michael is very cute here. :) He’s getting close to figuring it out though.



Part 4

It was still dark when Maria woke up again, probably around 3am. She considered getting up to get something to drink, but that would mean leaving Michael’s arms, so she stayed and closed her eyes again.

Michael felt her shift, knowing from the way she moved her head that she had woken up. He had been awake for over an hour, just staring at her in the near-darkness. He bit his lip before giving in to his desire to touch her. His hand moved down over her hip, sliding over the silky skin of her thigh as he reached the hem of the tee shirt she had worn to sleep in.

Maria held her breath. Was he touching her deliberately or not?

He felt the tension in her body, knew she was holding her breath and he felt his own breath becoming shallow as he reversed directions, letting his hand slip down a bit further to slide up the inside of her thigh. He closed his eyes when she shifted closer to his touch but at the last second he passed over her heated center and skimmed his fingertips over her belly.

Oh yeah, that was not an accidental touch anymore, she thought. He was totally aware of what he was doing.

“Tell me to stop, Maria,” he rasped, his breath hot against her ear.

She groaned slightly when his fingertips brushed against the side of her breast. “You bastard,” she mumbled, but not in an accusing tone.

His hand cupped her breast as he dipped his head to kiss her neck. “Hard to take that in a complimentary manner.”

Her body automatically pressed further against him. “Whatever.”

He chuckled roughly as his thumb rubbed her nipple to full hardness. “I know what your body’s sayin’ an’ you’re not tellin’ me no but... tell me what you want.”

“Hard to think that way, baby.”

He smiled and sucked on her skin for a moment before pressing a kiss to the small mark. He abandoned her breast to trail his fingers back down over her stomach, teasing the soft skin at the tops of her thighs.

Oh, she wanted him so badly. It scared her how much she wanted him. Was it right? Where would it lead if they gave in now? Would she be able to go on with her joy and everyday life after this trip?

Michael felt like he was waiting for the answer to a question he’d had all his life. If she said yes it was definitely gonna change things... although, if she said no it was bound to change things too. He knew what he wanted but was he really ready for a yes? For the first time he could remember he felt like he was maybe ready for more... with her. He had already told her what he wanted but she hadn’t told him what she wanted yet.

Maria groaned slightly when his hands brushed over her bare leg, closer to her hot center but still too far away for any release.

“Tell me what you want,” he growled in her ear. It was killing him to not touch her the way he wanted to.

She bit her lip, searching for an answer that on the one hand wouldn’t reveal too much of her insight yet, and on the other hand wouldn’t make him stop. “I want you to touch me,” she whispered after a moment.

He paused for a heartbeat, knowing it wasn’t the answer he was looking for. “Just for tonight?” he asked as his fingers moved closer to where she needed his touch most.

Wasn’t that what he wanted? she wondered. Just tonight?

His fingers ghosted over the silky skin between her legs, biting his lip as he forced his touch to remain light. There was something different about her, something that he had a feeling he wasn’t gonna be able to walk away from. Could he still sit across from her every day, work with her, and act like nothing had happened if that was what she wanted? Guerin, you’re thinkin’ like a chick, his brain shouted at him.

She didn’t know what to answer. Well, she had the answer in her head, but what if it was the wrong one? What if she admitted she wanted more than just one night and he thought the complete opposite? That would be so embarrassing.

Michael mentally kicked himself. She didn’t want to answer so maybe what she wanted was a weekend fling. Hell, that was normally what he wanted, no strings and nothing after a night or two of mutual pleasure, so why was he balking at this? He forced the thoughts to the back of his mind and pulled her over onto her back. He’d just have to wait and see what she wanted after the weekend, he decided.

Maria looked into his eyes in the semi dark, trying to find something, anything in them... an answer of what he really wanted but she didn’t know him well enough to read his thoughts.

“I think I’ll be okay with it if it’s more than the weekend,” he admitted as his fingers returned, sliding between her slick folds to tease her.

She inhaled a sharp breath when he touched her and every thought she wanted to form in her head got lost in pleasure. Maybe thinking later was okay for now. It had to be.

Michael’s free hand cradled her neck as he watched her, taking in every inch of her features. He leaned in to kiss her, his lips gentle as he continued to let the pressure build where he was touching her.

How could a kiss feel so good? she wondered and lifted her head towards him when he pulled back slightly.

He teased her entrance, his skillful fingers drawing her pleasure out. His hand slid away, resting against her hip as he shifted to cover her. He paused a moment and pulled back from the kiss as he met her heated gaze.

She had dreamed about this moment more than a few times, but the reality felt so much better. Having his strong body against her turned her on like nothing else.

He kissed her again and then murmured against her lips, “I’ve gotta grab my wallet.”

“Okay,” she breathed.

Her breath brushed against his cheek and it drove him crazy. “Maybe I'll just take you with me,” he grinned. He wrapped an arm around her waist and rolled them over to ‘his’ side of the bed.

She made a surprised squealing sound when he moved them both and the laughed slightly.

He laughed and grabbed his wallet, fumbling for a condom. “You’ve gotta let me take you skydiving,” he said. “You’d love the rush.”

“Oh, I’m not so sure about that.”

“Chicken?” he dared with a grin as he tapped the packet with his forefinger.

“I don’t do so good with heights,” she admitted.

“Really?” That actually surprised him. “You always seem so fearless.”

She shrugged. “Everyone’s got a weak spot right?”

He chuckled and shook his head. “I s’pose they do.”

And one of mine is right in front of me, she thought.

He sat up, bracing one hand on the mattress and meeting her gaze as he let the packet trail over her breast.

Her eyes followed his actions and she smiled softly when goosebumps showed all over her body.

He could barely hear rasp of the foil against her skin over their breathing. He glanced up at her and froze, struck by the simple beauty of her smile.

“What?” she asked when he kept staring at her face.

Michael cleared his throat and shook his head. “You’re beautiful.”

Her stomach twisted in response to his words and she felt herself falling even more for him. Damn it.

He tore the packet open and felt his face heat up when his eager fingers pulled it apart too fast and the condom flew across the bed.

“Impatient?” she teased.

“Yeah, maybe just a bit,” he admitted with a sheepish smile as he stretched out to snag the condom.

“Need some help?”

He handed it over before he managed to make another smooth move.

“I think we don’t need that just yet, do we?” she asked, hooking her index finger in his boxers and pulling the waistband away slightly before letting it go again.

He glanced down at himself. Fuck, he hadn’t been this out of sorts with a girl since his first time! “Uh, right...” He grinned at her and shrugged. “Your fault,” he accused.

She placed the condom next to them on the nightstand and came up to rest her upper body on her forearms on the bed. “My fault?”

“All your fault. I’m generally a lot more aware of things when it comes to sex.”

“And what’s the difference here?”

Damn if I know, was the first thought that came to mind but he bit his tongue before the words could escape. He knew what the difference was and hiding behind the stereotype of the clueless man wasn’t gonna help things. Instead he met her questioning gaze and forced himself to be honest. “You.”

“Good answer,” she decided and tipped her head back to look at him when he rolled them over and slowly crawled up over her again, his chest touching her breasts lightly.

He smiled. “Maybe we can get this thing back on track now,” he whispered as he tugged on the panties he’d been working around.

She moved against his hand when he touched her, desperate for some friction. Her head came up a little to take his mouth in another kiss.

He stripped the panties off of her and rid himself of his boxers before settling against her again, groaning at the feel of flesh on flesh.

“In a hurry?” she asked, amused.

“Just getting things outta the way so I don’t completely embarrass myself tonight.”

Maria chuckled softly and her hand moved up his thigh along his hip until she reached her destination. She curled her fingers slightly to rasp her nails against him teasingly.

His breath hissed sharply between his teeth at the sensation and he shook his head at her.

“No?”

He grinned and shook his head again. “Don’t stop.”

She wrapped her whole hand around him and stroked him slowly, but with a tight grip.

He growled low in his throat and closed his eyes as he nodded.

She came up from the bed even more to kiss a trail along his neck and shoulder, while her hand kept the same rhythm.

He lifted one hand to slowly trace a path from her hip and along her side to settle at her breast. He palmed her soft flesh, his touch unconsciously mimicking hers.

She felt his muscles tighten beneath her lips as they caressed his upper body. God, he was so hot that it was hardly possible to think straight.

Her touches set him on fire and only served to drive his need higher. Her lips on his skin, her hand on his dick, and her breath making him shiver slightly... it was a heady feeling.

She bit the flesh on his chest lightly when he kept his touches too light to satisfy. It was driving her insane and she was pretty sure that was his intention.

Michael felt the stinging bite and he knew without further prompting what she wanted. He used his weight to push her back against the mattress, pinning her hands at her sides as he slid down her body, kissing and licking every inch of her skin.

“Michael,” she breathed without thinking.

He made an inarticulate sound as he kissed a path over her hip, letting his tongue tease the crease of her thigh.

“Teaser,” she breathed.

“Complainin’?” he mumbled against her skin.

“Shut up.”

He chuckled and nudged her leg, needing more room.

Automatically she spread her legs further apart, giving him more room to work his magic.

Michael inhaled deeply, taking in her scent and feeling himself harden even more. He shifted, using his thumbs to rub over her damp flesh before he lowered his head to slide his tongue through her slick folds.

Maria grabbed the sheets on both sides of her body and clenched her hands into fists to keep herself from touching him.

He went right to work on her clit, circling it with his tongue as he slid one finger inside her. She was so responsive, her body unable to stay still in spite of her death grip on the sheets. He gave her clit a gentle nip as he added another finger, sucking on it as he pushed her towards the edge.

Maria felt the sensation building in her lower belly. “God,” she pressed out.

He smirked. Nope, just me, he thought smugly. But who was he to correct her if she considered him a deity? He added more pressure, more friction, and knew he wouldn’t have long to wait.

Her legs started to tremble when she came and her hands let go of the sheets and reached out for him instead, wanting to have him close.

He went into her embrace willingly, his hands running over her to soothe the tremors that were causing her body to tremble slightly.

She pressed her head against his neck, her arms wrapped around his strong upper body as she tried to catch her breath again.

Michael could feel her breath gusting against his neck as she recovered and when her breathing began to calm he reached blindly for the condom.

“Lemme do that,” she said softly when she realized what he was doing.

He nodded and held his breath when her fingers brushed against him. Do NOT lose it, Guerin, he ordered himself.

She tried to suppress the nervous shaking of her hands when she rolled the condom over his hard length. How long had it been since she’d had sex? Damn, she couldn’t even remember and now she was just about to sleep with Michael Guerin.

Michael drew in a calming breath when the condom was finally rolled on. He brushed her hand away before she could touch him any further and he braced his weight on his forearms. “We’re good, right?” he rasped as he waited with his tip pressed against her entrance.

She smiled. “I am. Are you?”

“Oh, yeah,” he growled. He pushed his hips forward, entering her in one quick move. He waited just long enough to make sure she was comfortable before he started to move.

Maria bit her lip and reached up to grasp the frame of the bed. She was afraid that she would fall for him even more if she kept touching him.

Michael nudged her chin up with his nose, taking her mouth in a hard kiss as his hips slammed into hers.

She let him decide on the speed, he wasn’t far from orgasm from what she could tell, and neither was she. Again.

He wasn’t gonna be able to draw things out because this had been building since they had gotten into their room on Friday afternoon. He could tell she was already close again so he reached between them to make sure she achieved orgasm.

One of her hands slipped from the bed to run over his back up to his neck and her fingers grabbed the soft hair there.

Her touch was all it took for him to fully let go and he thrust three more times before he came and his body went rigid.

The second orgasm hit her hard and she turned her head to the right to be able to take some deep breaths.

Michael rested his forehead against her shoulder as he dragged in harsh, panting breaths.

As expected, as soon as she started to calm down, her thoughts were back in her head, haunting her when she closed her eyes. You had sex with him, but what now?

He shifted off of her to take care of the condom, collapsing on his stomach beside her. He rested his chin on his folded forearms and studied her in the darkness. “What’s on your mind?” he asked, fighting back a yawn.

“Not much,” she lied.

He started to make a joke but thought twice about it and decided maybe the timing was all wrong. He shifted onto his side and reached out to skim his fingertips over her stomach. “Somehow I doubt that.”

She turned her head to look at him, wondering if it was still okay to kiss him. She stayed where she was and smiled a little instead. “Just wondering if you’re always that good in bed.”

He grinned. “We can give it another shot... see how I do a second time around.”

“Yeah.”

“Just ‘yeah’?” he grumbled. He leaned in to give her a kiss, his tongue sweeping over her lips.

She gave in and kissed him back, trying to keep it from being as gentle as she wanted it to be.

Michael was surprised when she changed the tone of the kiss, expecting her to want to keep it slow and easy.

She ended the kiss after a while and giggled. “Sorry, but I need to pee.”

“You need to...” He groaned and fell face-first into her pillow when she slipped out from under him.

“Sorry,” she mumbled and went to the bathroom. Not only to use the toilet, no, she needed a few minutes to think straight as well.

He groaned and rolled over to stare up at the ceiling. He could feel the pleasant buzz of arousal and he hoped she’d hurry it up.

Maria glanced at herself in the mirror, her features satisfied after what had just happened. But there was also something else... Hope and doubts. Where was all this going to lead?

Michael drummed his fingertips against his chest and glanced at the clock on the nightstand. He glanced at the bathroom door and wondered if he should clarify that he wanted to see her even after they got back. She had to know, right? He had been pretty clear... well, for him anyway. He wasn’t all that complex and he never slept with his coworkers, so that had to be a clear sign, right?

“Get over it,” Maria told herself and flushed the toilet so she wouldn’t blow her cover story for getting away from him for a minute. She walked out to the other room, glancing around to find the big shirt she had been wearing.

He frowned. “What uh... what’re you doin’?”

“Getting my shirt back,” she said innocently. “I freeze at night.”

“Okay,” he said slowly. He reached for the shirt and plucked it from her fingers, tossing it up to catch on the headboard. “There, close enough if ya need it later. Which you won’t ‘cause I’m like a furnace an’ I can turn the heat on at a moment’s notice,” he teased with a grin.

She looked at him doubtfully but gave in. If that meant they would snuggle then okay.

“C’mon.” He took her hand and pulled her back into bed, wrapping his arms around her waist and locking his hands at her lower back.

She held her arms in front of herself, allowing her hands to rest on his chest while she looked at him.

“So...” he kissed her chin, “where were we?”

“I think we wanted to sleep,” she said quietly.

We wanted to sleep? He was pretty sure his half of that we hadn’t wanted to sleep. “Right,” he said, feeling uncertain.

“Sorry, I’m just really tired right now, Michael,” she said, regretting it already. His tone had sounded hurt.

He nodded. “Okay.” Did she want her space?

She looked at him again. “Are ya still offering to keep me warm?”

“Yeah, if you want me to.”

She nodded dumbly.

He finally let that stubborn yawn loose and he rubbed his eyes tiredly. “I’m hungry now.”

She snorted. “Yeah, big surprise.”

“What?” He rolled his eyes at her. “Sex, sleep and food... I’m pretty easy to please.”

She rolled her eyes. “G’night, Michael.”

He pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead. “G’night, Maria.”

*****

“What the hell is your problem?” Michael asked when they got back to their suite late in the afternoon the next day.

“Mine?” she echoed. “I didn’t have a problem, YOU were the problem. You acted like an ass all day.”

He ran his hand through his hair. “That sightseeing tour was stupid shit. There was nothin’ to see at all.”

“It is too much to ask for you to act like a grown man?” Hell, she hadn’t liked the sightseeing either, but at least she knew how to behave and be polite.

Michael’s hands gripped the edge of the dresser as he leaned back against it. “We got stuck with two people who seem to have taken it upon themselves to ensure the survival of the species.”

“You’ve got a problem with families with a lot of kids?” she snapped. “Yesterday you told me you like kids and even spend a lot of time with them.”

“That doesn’t mean I wanted spend the day with whatever-their-name’s-are! Why’re you turnin’ this into an argument?”

She sighed. How did they gone from having sex to this? “I’m not the one who was a jerk all day.”

“I’m a jerk because I didn’t wanna hold hands and skip through the fuckin’ botanical gardens like them?” Okay, technically there had been no skipping going on but Maria had been basically avoiding any close contact with him since that morning when he had woke up and realized she was already getting dressed.

“No, you’re a jerk because you can’t even suck it up and act polite or like a grown man.”

He smacked his hand against the top of the dresser. “I’m a jerk? You’ve been actin’ like I’ve got some kinda disease you’re afraid to catch all day!”

She snorted. “Yeah, right.”

“I woke up this mornin’ an’ you were already showered an’ getting dressed. I tried to kiss you an’ you apparently weren’t interested. So, last night, what was it?”

“I’d call it sex,” she grumbled. Was he hurt because she was trying to keep distance between them? But why, shouldn’t he be glad she didn’t want to pull him into a relationship?

“Just sex? That’s all it was to you?” He couldn’t believe she felt that way. It would be easier to take if it were him that felt like that.

“Hell, Michael, I’m not the one walkin’ around telling everyone who asks and even those who didn’t ask that I don’t care or believe in relationships.”

“All I said was maybe they needed to subscribe to cable,” he snapped.

She rolled her eyes and turned away from him. That wasn’t what she had meant. This wasn’t even all about today; it was about his opinion of relationships.

“How many times did he have to shove those pictures of his kids in my face today? I had things on my mind, I wasn’t in the mood to listen to all the cute stories about their brats.”

“Yeah I bet it was hard for you,” she snarled. She had to listen to his wife all day going on about every damn kid’s story, and even worse, the story of their births.

“Why’re we even arguin’ about this?” he asked, frustrated with the way the day had gone.

“I don’t know and I don’t wanna think about it anymore now.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“That I wanna be alone for a while.”

“Then go for a walk,” he bit out as he threw himself on the bed and crossed his arms over his chest.

She bit her lip as she looked at him and slung her arms around herself. “Yeah.”

He wanted to throw something he was so pissed off. He had no idea what had gone wrong. Things had been fine the night before. Well, no, he mused, she had put distance between them as soon as she had come back out of the bathroom.

Maria walked over to the closet to get a jacket out that she could wear during a walk along the beach. She needed some time to clear her head.

Michael opened his mouth to say something before she opened the door but he had no clue what to say or do now.

“I’ll be back in a while,” she said, not sure if he cared at all.

He bit his lip before he could say something mean. “I’ll be here,” he said after a moment of silence.

*****

Michael spent a couple of hours pacing around the suite, wondering where the hell Maria had gotten off to and kicking himself for letting her leave in the mood she’d been in. He stared at himself in the mirror, realizing that his version of clear and hers were completely different and she likely thought the night before was just a one-night deal. He bit his lip as he moved to the window and stared out at the ocean. The sun was weak in the late afternoon, but it caught the waves and bounced around playfully.

He shifted to the side when he caught sight of Maria, watching her as she walked down the beach towards the water, standing there until the waves rolled up. He smiled when she ran backwards to avoid the water, throwing her head back and laughing before repeating it again. She really was beautiful, he mused. Beautiful and had no clue that he was really interested in her.

Sitting on top of the cabinet that housed the television Cupid was thumping his bow against the edge of it in aggravation. “How have you gotten anywhere in life?” he muttered, shaking his head.

“Talking to yourself again?” Eros asked as he materialized next to him, muscled forearm resting on the surface beside his friend.

“He’s finally getting a clue that they’re looking at things from two very different angles.”

“That’s a good thing… right?”

Cupid’s wings started to quiver as he glared at Eros. “Are you certain you don’t have any offspring, perhaps with a human?” he asked with another look at his charge.

Eros turned his head to follow Cupid’s gaze to the human staring out through the window that overlooked the beach. He snorted at the implication. “Gods, no! Psyche would never stand for such a thing.”

The tiny Roman god made a grumpy sound as he propped his elbow on his knee and rested his chin in his hand. “For someone who’s supposed to be observing a romantic couple you seem to be spending a lot of time with me.”

“I got my lesson in for today.” He made a face. “When things turned… recreational I decided to cut out. Trust me, old friend, there’s nothing anyone can teach me when it comes to physical pleasures.” He grinned smugly. “I invented most of it after all.”

Cupid rolled his eyes and prepared himself for a lengthy postulation of Eros’ sexual prowess. They had been friends for so long and he’d heard it so many times he could probably recite it in his sleep. But who was he to rain on his parade? Besides, Psyche backed him up and there was just no arguing with that goddess!

He ignored Eros as he watched his charge pace around the room and after several more minutes of the incessant pacing and muttering his wings fluttered and he flew across the room, hovering in midair as he took his bow and whacked the irritating human across the back of the head. How was it that he couldn’t see what was right in front of him?

Michael suddenly grabbed his cell phone and ran downstairs to find the owners as an idea hit him out of nowhere.

When Maria finally came back up to the suite he was waiting for her, feeling calmer than he had all day. “You need to get dressed,” he said, his eyes never leaving the television screen.

Great, just back and he was already giving orders. “Why?”

“We’re here on assignment, it’s Valentine’s Day, and we leave tomorrow mornin’... so let’s wrap this up tonight.”

“And what’re we doin’?”

“Goin’ to dinner.”

“Okay, I’m taking a shower first though.”

“I’ve already had mine. I’ll get ready out here while you’re doin’ that.”

“Okay.” She took her clothes out of the closet and went to the bathroom. It took her an hour before she came out again, fully dressed and styled.

Michael smiled at her as his gaze slid over her. “Lookin’ good.” He shifted and straightened his shoulders. “You’ll need your coat, we’re not eatin’ here at the inn.”

“No?” She was surprised.

“Huh-uh. Evans made sure we came here and we’ll write his little fluff piece for the magazine like he wants, but it’ll be on our terms. We’re not chokin’ on all the hearts and flowers here over dinner.”

She smiled, liking the idea. “Okay.”

“I found a place a few miles away.” He smiled as he held her coat for her. “Authentic Italian restaurant.”

“I love Italian food.”

“I know,” he murmured.

The cab was waiting when they got downstairs and it only took a few minutes to reach their destination. He paid the fare and then held the door for her as they entered the elegant restaurant.

His manners are back, she thought, thank God.

Michael gave his name to the woman waiting inside and after taking their coats she motioned for someone to show them to their table. He held her chair for her and then took his own, accepting the menus and handing one to Maria.

“You know it takes me forever to decide what to eat in Italian restaurants,” she warned.

He smiled and shrugged. “I’m not in a hurry.”

She looked over the food on the menu. “What’re you having?” she asked after a while.

“Hmm...” He stared at the menu for a minute. “I think I’ll go with the chicken marsala.”

“Hmm...” she stared at the menu.

He watched her as she read over the menu... and over it and over it. Somehow he had a feeling dessert wouldn’t take any less time. He shook his head at the waiter when he approached, not wanting her to feel rushed.

“Sorry, told you it’s hard to decide for me.”

“No apologies,” he said, his gaze wandering over his own menu again. Hmm, the cheese ravioli looked pretty good too.

“God, their menu’s too big, how’re you supposed to decide?” she complained after a while.

“You tend to stick to the pastas so that’ll narrow it down.”

“Not when there are 20 different kinds of pasta on the menu.”

He grinned and shook his head. “You’ve gotta have a favorite, right?”

“I love lasagna, I love everything with cheese on it, I love the filled pastas...” she sighed.

“I knew you loved Italian, but I had no idea how much.” He glanced over the menu for a moment before leaning over and tapping hers. “So order one of their sampler platters.”

“I’ll never be able to eat all that.”

“Alright, I think I’m gonna go with the pork stuffed ravioli... yeah, I know, changed my mind again. The longer I sit here and wait the more my eyes wander to other selections. So why don’t you order the pasta sampler platter and we can share?”

She looked at him. “Yeah? That would be cool.”

“Cool.” He nodded at the waiter patiently waiting nearby and they placed their orders before handing the menus over and watching the man hurry away.

“Very nice place here,” she said, her eyes wandering over the room.

“Yeah, it does have a nice atmosphere.” And none of that overdone Valentine’s Day crap, he thought appreciatively.

“How’d you find this?”

“I’m a journalist... I know how to do research.” He shrugged when she lifted an eyebrow. “Fine, I made some calls.”

“I like it.”

He nodded. Then it had been worth calling Isabel and groveling with her to get the name of the best Italian restaurant in the city. “I’m glad.”

She looked right into his soft brown eyes, wondering if he had done it for her or just because he wanted to get out of the overdone Valentine’s nightmare at the bed and breakfast.

Michael wondered what she was searching for, but he kept his gaze steady.

They both glanced up when the waiter came back with their drinks. “Thanks,” Maria nodded.

He ran his finger along the stem of the glass as he brought his gaze up to hers once more. “I’m not exactly an expert at relationships, Maria.”

“Huh?” she said, confused. Had they been talking about relationships?

“I mean, ya know... that whole long term thing. I have hookups that last a few weeks, but much more than that and it doesn’t happen with me.” He shrugged uncomfortably. “I know, that kinda came outta left field, right? When I woke up this mornin’ an’ you were already up an’ dressed I felt kinda confused about last night.” God, how embarrassing was this conversation? No wonder he avoided this stuff.

“Um... but shouldn’t ya feel just the opposite?” It was her turn to shrug. “I mean, you said you don’t do the long term thing so...”

“Well, yeah, I mean, no! I just said I’m not an expert... I just, um... I mean, would you maybe wanna try that? Ya know... with me?”

Her eyes widened in shock. Was he really asking her to go... steady? “Uh... are you sure ya want that?”

He huffed impatiently. “Do you?”

“I don’t know...” she said slowly. “I’m not sure if you’re really serious about that,” she admitted.

“Maria, I joke about a lot of stuff... do I look like I’m about to start laughin’ any second now?”

“That’s not what I meant.”

He picked at the linen tablecloth with his thumbnail. “I’ve never felt like this about a woman before, so this’s new for me.” He shrugged. “If you think you’d be interested in maybe givin’ it a shot with me, then yeah, I’m serious.”

It wasn’t a question of was she was interested. The problem was just: How much could she believe him? She was pretty sure he felt the way he said right now, but would she still be interesting for him in a couple of weeks?

He bit his lip at her hesitation. His reputation was working against him and he had no one to blame but himself. “I can’t promise forever... no one can, remember? All I can promise is that I’ll give it my best.”

Maria took a sip of her wine to give her an excuse to think longer. “I um... can I think about it?” she asked and felt totally stupid. He thinks I’m crazy now.

“Um, yeah, sure.” He shrugged and reached for his own wine glass.

[i9Great, now that had this weird awkward silent between them again.

Now what?[/i] he wondered as he tugged at his collar and looked around the dining room.

“Are you ready to go home tomorrow?” she asked after a while just to say something.

Waiting for their flight on Friday he had been able to think of little else and now he was reluctant to leave because he didn’t know if she would still be interested in him when they returned home. He wasn’t sure if he could be that honest though. Instead he shrugged and leaned back in his chair. “I’m sure Max already has my next assignment lined up.”

“Yeah,” she nodded, “he’s always like that.”

“He’s a slave driver, but I suppose the magazine wouldn’t be as successful as it is if he weren’t like that.”

“Yeah, true. I’m going to San Francisco for my next assignment.”

He nodded. “I’m hopin’ he gives me the Detroit assignment.” He loved hockey and the opportunity to hang out with his favorite team for an article was something he had been waiting for.

“A long way to travel.”

He grinned. “Yeah, but so worth it!”

There was another problem. They both had to travel a lot for their jobs and more often than not they were in totally different parts of the country. How could they have a good relationship like that and how much could she trust him on his trips?
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 5

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:15 am

Earth2Mama: Sometimes it is not that easy to just follow your feelings. There are doubts and maybe bad experiences in the past. But M&M will work it out, promised.

mary mary: We’re pretty sure you’re right… they’ll figure it out. Lol, well, that’s the truth and you just never know with these two.

Alien_Friend: Yeah, not an easy thing to take on but we’re pretty sure if they put their minds to it they’ll figure it out. Cupid’s just about reached the end of his rope where these two are concerned.

sarammlover: Lol, they’re M&M… they can’t make things too easy! However, after this there’s only one part left so chances are good they’ll get it figured out. ;)


Part 5

“You’ve got that look on your face,” he said after a few minutes.

“What look?”

“The one you get when you’re tryin’ to figure somethin’ out... like you’re weighing the pros an’ cons to see if something’s worth pursuin’.”

She shook her head, amused. “Know me that well, huh?”

“Hell, Maria, I’ve been sittin’ across from you for the past two years... you have a very expressive face.”

“You didn’t really show any interest though.”

“Um... well, no, but... doesn’t mean I wasn’t interested.”

“You’re a riddle, Guerin.”

“Okay, you’re wantin’ the truth, I’ll give it to you.” He inhaled deeply. “No, I’ve never showed any interest because you’re not the kinda woman who has one-night stands or mindless flings... a guy would have to be a major ass to pursue somethin’ with you an’ not be prepared to offer you more. Until now, I haven’t been willin’ to do that.”

“And what changed your mind?”

Great, here comes the feelings part. “It’s no secret there’ve been a pretty steady line of women in my life but I’ve never experienced anything deeper with them. This weekend it kinda felt like we connected an’ I wanna keep seein’ you even after we get home.” He shifted and took a gulp of his wine. “Look, I’m pretty sure there were a couple of times that we could’ve gotten, um... intimate before last night, but I held back because I didn’t wanna be the ass that went after a weekend fling with you. I know you’re lookin’ for more than that and I respect that... so, last night... I went into it with my eyes wide open an’ hopin’ we could make somethin’ of this thing between us.”

“You think you can be a real boyfriend? Ya know... the whole only seeing one woman thing, spending nights together without...” she shut up when the waiter brought their food.

Michael nodded at the man and waved him off when he asked if they needed anything else. “No, we’re good.” He knew he sounded impatient but he didn’t care. As soon as they’d been left alone again he looked at her. “Finish what you were sayin’.”

“...sex,” she added the missing word.

“You’d wanna spend nights together without havin’ sex?”

She rolled her eyes. “In a relationship there will be nights without sex, Michael, face it.”

“Well, alright, I mean, I’m not a slave to my dick.” He winced as his mouth operated without consulting his brain first. “What I meant was it’s not like I’m havin’ sex every night of the week anyway.”

She lifted her eyebrow. “Uh-huh.”

He snorted. “Jeez, do you really think I get lucky that often?”

“Well, you didn’t hold back with your stories the last couple years, Michael.”

He rolled his eyes. “I haven’t had a shortage of female companionship and yeah, I like sex, hell, I love it. No point in even lyin’ about that. However, you seemed to be pretty fond of it yourself last night. That aside, maybe we wouldn’t have sex every single night, and that won’t stop me from tryin’,” he said with an unrepentant grin. “But, I can be trained to respond to the word no.”

“Can you be trained in other areas as well? Like ‘sit’, ‘be quiet’ or ‘make breakfast’?”

“I can do all of those... I’m not too good with commands like ‘no begging’ but I promise I won’t try to hump your leg in public.”

“I’d appreciate that,” she giggled and cut into the food that smelled so good.

He felt himself start to relax at the sound of her laughter.

They sat there in comfortable silence for a while as they ate and listened to the slow music in the background. Maria’s mind was still going over the question he had popped. Was she willing to let him in? She knew his past and it made it hard to really believe it could all work out, but on the other hand... why not?

Michael glanced at Maria, wondering if she would take a risk on him. His track record with women was pretty bad but there wasn’t anything he could do about the past.

“Mmm-hmm, this one’s good,” she pointed to the right side of the platter on the table. “Try it.”

He leaned forward and speared one of the cheese ravioli and bit into it, nodding as he chewed. “That is good.”

“It’s more than good.”

He motioned to his own plate. “Wanna try the pork stuffed ravioli?”

“Um-hmm, yeah.”

He snagged another of hers and shrugged with a grin. “They’re good.”

“You are so not right for that,” she said, laughing.

He nudged his plate closer to her. “I’m willin’ to trade.”

“Yeah? Me, not anymore,” she teased and held her hand over her food.

“Seriously? C’mon, you know you wanna give it up.” He made a face when she just smirked at him. “Okay, I sooo didn’t mean that the way it came out. Although, I’d be happy if that was the case too.”

She quickly snagged one of his ravioli. “Hmm, they’re good, but mine are better.”

“You’re addicted to cheese, so of course you think yours are better.”

“And I have no problem with it.”

“It makes you greedy,” he muttered as he tried to get his fork close enough to steal another ravioli.

She brushed his hand away when she noticed what he was up to. “No cheating.”

“What happened to not bein’ able to eat it all an’ you’d share?”

“Well, you can have some of the other things on the plate.”

“Uh-huh... so, I can have some of the lasagna or maybe the five-cheese tortellini?” Like she was gonna give that one up.

“Yeah, sure, but not ALL of them.”

He shook his head at her. “I should’ve just ordered the same thing.”

“Awww, poor baby.”

He made a face at her. “First you tell me no sex every night we’re together an’ now you’re holdin’ out on the food.”

“They’re always like that,” a young man who was sitting next to them with his girlfriend said.

Michael glanced at the guy. “Excuse me?”

“Women, they’re always like that,” he repeated, smirking at his glaring girlfriend.

He scratched his neck and smirked. Yeah, he wasn’t ready to agree... he and Maria weren’t on solid ground yet. And from the look on the girlfriend’s face this kid wasn’t getting laid anytime soon.

“They shouldn’t really complain,” Maria played along, talking to the other woman. “They’re lost without us.”

“It’s true,” she agreed. “Completely lost.” She looked at her boyfriend. “Couldn’t find his ass with both hands if he tried.”

Maria laughed at the comment and took a sip of her wine.

Michael shook his head when the other guy just stared at his girlfriend. He would’ve had a comeback for that one but this kid just looked as lost as she had accused him of being.

“Poor guy,” Maria whispered to Michael, “he’s not getting lucky tonight.”

“His own fault,” he muttered with a shrug of his shoulders. He chewed on a mouthful of food thoughtfully, wondering if she was gonna put him out of his misery tonight.

Maria loaded some lasagna onto her fork and took a bite, groaning when it was just as good as the ravioli. She repeated her move but instead of eating it on her own, she held it over the table for Michael.

His eyes locked with hers as he accepted the tempting morsel, but it was nowhere near as tempting as the woman holding the fork. Damn, three days ago he had been happy with his life and now it felt like it was missing something vital. It was missing her.

“It’s good, hmm?” she asked when she got her fork back.

“Yeah, it’s good.” Christ, he couldn’t even taste it because he was so focused on her!

His gaze was so intense that she had to look away after a while and concentrate on the food in front of her again while her stomach twisted in knots. They finished their meal in silence and he glanced at Maria when their waiter returned to ask if they were interested in dessert after their plates had been cleared away.

“I’m afraid I can’t get anything else in there,” Maria said, holding her belly and sighing.

Michael glanced over the dessert menu. “I’ll take a slice of the Italian cream cake with a cup of coffee.”

“I can’t believe you’re still hungry.”

“You can’t have good Italian food without followin’ up with dessert,” he said, shaking his head.

She rolled the glass in her hand thoughtfully before taking a sip. “If you say so.”

“I do say so.” He glanced up when the waiter placed his order on the table and as his fork sliced through the thick frosting and into the cake he grinned at her. “You don’t know what you’re missin’.”

She leaned over the table with a flirtatious smirk. “I was hoping you’d share a bite.”

“Oh, now you want me to share... I see how you are.” He heaved a long-suffering sigh and he stared at the cake for several seconds before cutting off a bite-sized piece for her. “Alright.” He held the fork out to her.

She took his offered cake into her mouth slowly, letting her lips slide over the fork.

Michael held his breath as he watched her, wondering how something like this could possibly be so erotic. “I think I should’ve ordered somethin’ cold to drink,” he muttered.

Maria leaned back in her chair again and looked at him. He was a handsome guy and he could be incredibly sweet. She would be really lucky to call him her boyfriend.

She had that look on her face again, he realized. She was assessing things, debating the intelligence of risking a relationship with him.

“What’re we doin’ after dinner?”

“Is there anything you’d like to do?”

“I think I still need to work a little bit on my article and maybe after that we can just sit down and watch a movie or something?”

He nodded. “I’ve gotta do a little fine tuning on my part too. But a movie later sounds good.”

*****

Michael stared at his laptop screen as he read over the article, the final draft of the work they had done together, and he nodded as he glanced over his shoulder to look at Maria. She was lying on her stomach on the bed, scanning through the list of available movies and discounting them one after the other. She had already given the article her seal of approval and he was satisfied with it so it was just a matter of emailing it to Max so he could review it for publication.

“I still think we should prank call Evans at 3am.”

Maria pulled her gaze away from movie listing to roll her eyes at him. “We’re not doin’ that. The weekend hasn’t turned out that bad, Michael.” She waved at him. “Email that article to him and get over here so we can watch a movie.”

He grumbled under his breath and turned back around to send the email. He wondered if he should bring up his question about them seeing each other when they got back. She still hadn’t really given him an answer and it was starting to bug him. He smirked softly as he powered his laptop down and stood up. Maybe it was time to give her a little nudge in the right direction.

“Turn the light off, will ya?” Maria asked absentmindedly. She was trying to figure out how to use the pay-per-view movie options, her gaze flicking between the screen and the remote.

Michael did as she had asked, stripping his tee shirt off as he padded across the floor barefooted.

“I don’t know why these things never work right for me,” she grumbled under her breath.

He looked around at their surroundings and felt the urge to gag. It was so overdone. All of this stuff was so unnecessary. He grinned at the look on her face and ran the last few feet and pounced on the bed, straddling her as she turned over to look up at him. “You look entirely too serious over a stupid movie selection,” he murmured just before he started to tickle her.

Maria squirmed beneath him, doing her best to avoid his fingers but she was trapped between his strong thighs and he wasn’t letting her go. “Michael, stop!” she squealed, laughing so hard she couldn’t breathe.

His fingers stopped digging into her ribs and started gently running over her skin where her shirt had ridden up as he met her gaze. “Only if you give me an answer.”

“An answer to what?” She pretended to be clueless.

“I don’t know... the national deficit.” He rolled his eyes at her. “I’m not a terribly patient man at times and you’re pushin’ the limits of what little I do have, baby.”

“You said it’s okay if I think about it,” she complained, turned on by his touch.

“I know but I didn’t know you were gonna take so long to make your mind up.”

“So you thought taking your shirt off would help me to make a quick decision, huh?”

“No, I just thought it’d save time if you decided none of the movies looked that good.”

“Very romantic, Michael.” She rolled her eyes. “It would save time.”

He bit his lip. “Hey, you’d like it if things went in that direction.”

“That’s not what I’m doubting, Michael.” She knew she’d like everything he’d do to her and with her.

“I’m new to this, Maria. I might be an old dog but I can learn new tricks.”

“Well, first off,” she poked her finger into his chest, “if you tell a woman it’s okay to think about something then you shouldn’t straddle her half naked.”

“So, straddling’s allowed if I’m fully clothed?”

“Depends.”

He lifted an eyebrow. “On?”

“On what ya wanna do while straddling.”

Okay, what he had in mind involved no clothes but he already knew where that was gonna get him right now. “Um...” What the hell else was there to do? “Massage,” he said quickly.

“Hmm, well if ya wanna give me a massage I won’t complain.”

Crap! “Alright, guess you’re gonna have to roll over then ‘cause if we start the massage this way it won’t be long before I’m losin’ more than my shirt.”

She waited until he lifted his body slightly so she could roll over again. “First we need a movie.”

“What’re our choices?”

“Hmm, we have Avatar, Transformers, Pretty Woman or Message in A Bottle.”

What was this, a test? Like any man in his right mind was gonna choose Pretty Woman or Message in a Bottle. He loved Transformers but cool cars and a hot girl, well, that might be the wrong choice. Avatar... well, he hadn't seen that, but it had been hyped up pretty good. “Um... I’m good with whatever you wanna watch.” There, that was a safe answer.

She giggled. “It’s okay, Michael. I know ya don’t wanna watch one of the last two.”

“Do I lose points if I pick Transformers?”

“Nope, and by the way, just say what ya think and not what ya think will score points.”

“Cool, then let’s roll with Transformers.”

“Alright,” she punched some buttons on the remote and then rested her chin on her folded hands. “Now work your magic, Guerin.”

He glanced over his shoulder and shifted back to grab the lotion she had left on the nightstand earlier. He squeezed some out into his palm and warmed it up before sliding his hands up under her shirt and rubbing her back.

She bit back a groan before it could escape her mouth. Damn, his hands felt so good.

She shifted under him and his hands followed the movements of her body, finding the muscles that needed the most attention. Maybe it hadn’t been such a good idea to let him massage her, she thought. His touches were making her ache inside and that wasn’t good, considering the decision she had to make.

Michael frowned when she suddenly felt a little tense. There was only thing he could think of at the moment that would cause her muscles to tighten up during a massage. “You’re havin’ a hard time with this decision, huh?” he asked quietly.

“Sorry,” she whispered.

“No, don’t be sorry. I know when it comes to bettin’ on a lastin’ relationship I’m a long shot. Hell, I’ve never even known anyone who made me consider takin’ that much of a risk. Not until now.”

“You’re not mad?”

“No.” His hands swept up over her shoulders as he shifted. “Disappointed, but hell, that doesn’t have anything to do with you.”

“Do you think we could make this work? With all the traveling we do and stuff.”

“I don’t know. I know I wanna give it a shot. I mean, yeah, we travel a lot for the magazine, but I’m only outta town two, maybe three times a month for a couple days at a time.” He shrugged. “Most of my articles don’t require extensive travel.”

“You think...: she swallowed, not wanting t hurt his feelings, “you think you can ... ya know, be faithful to me while you’re not home?”

He hadn’t expected that one. “I may not have much experience with relationships, but I wouldn’t step out on you, Maria.” How could he explain it? “I’m not the kinda guy who cheats and I don’t think there’s any excuse for that kinda behavior. If your relationship isn’t workin’ either work it out or let it go, but don’t destroy it by cheatin’ on each other. So, to answer your question, yes, I think I could be faithful to you while I was out on the road.”

“Okay,” she said quietly.

He nodded to himself and pressed the heels of his hands along the sides of her spine.

Maria glanced up to watch a bit of the movie, or at least try to watch. “Are ya also one of those guys who start to drool when Megan Fox shows up?”

It would be stupid to deny the actress was hot. “I try not to drool all over the place,” he said dryly. “Do I tend to stare when she’s on screen bending over under the hood of the car? Yeah. I could say no but then I’d just be a liar.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought,” she grinned to herself. “Ya won’t mind if I drool over Josh Duhamel then either, right?”

He shrugged and grinned, enjoying the banter. Most women had a fit if you looked at an attractive woman and actually appreciated the sight. “Long as you don’t drool on me we’re good.”

“Tryin’ to behave,” she replied and relaxed a little.

“Uh-huh... why?” He leaned over her, palms braced flat on either side of her shoulders. “’Cause you think he’s hot?” he growled in her ear.

“Uh-huh, got a weak spot for man in uniform.”

“How do ya feel about guys in a baseball uniform?”

“As long as it’s a uniform…”

He grinned. “Ya know, we do have a company softball team... I’ve never seen ya show up for any of the games.”

“Yeah, because I knew you’d be there.”

“Worried if you saw me in that baseball uniform you wouldn’t be able to keep your hands off me?” he teased.

“Something like that.”

“Really?” He snorted. “You really do have a kink about uniforms,” he laughed as he flopped over on his back beside her. “Hell, I’m gonna start wearin’ that damn thing to work.”

“That would be a little bit weird wouldn’t it?”

“Like I care.” He smirked. “A year ago Evans would’ve had a fit over that... these days he wouldn’t even blink twice. That friend of yours keeps him busy, I’ll give her that.”

“Max is totally whipped,” Maria chuckled.

“Yeah, he is. He’s like one of those little cartoon characters walkin’ around with stars in his eyes and Cupid flyin’ around his head.”

She laughed at the picture. “If he could hear that now.”

“Yeah, that’d get his panties in a twist,” he laughed. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the guy’s happy... but he’s ALWAYS happy, like it doesn’t matter what else is goin’ on he knows somethin’ the rest of the world doesn’t know.” He snorted. “It’s actually kinda annoying sometimes. I mean, jeez, have a fight once in a while.”

“I guess they are the perfect match,” she shrugged.

“Yeah.” He made a face. “But can you imagine agreeing about everything? It’s just weird.”

“Maybe it’s that way when you’re truly in looooooooooove.”

“I don’t know... maybe for some people. I guess. But can you imagine the two of them in a fight?” He altered his voice as he threw out the imaginary argument. “No, Max, you’re obviously right.” He snorted. “No, Liz, you must be right... remember, I had my balls removed and bronzed when we got married.”

“Shut up.” She shoved him, laughing.

“Oh, c’mon, I love the guy, but he went from bein’ a bulldog to well-heeled retriever when they got together. Good grief, do you even remember when you introduced them? The entire office talked about it... they hated each other on sight and now... you’d never know it. I’m tellin’ you, she had the guy neutered.”

“Scared?” she teased.

“Hell no. I’d fight tooth an’ nail to hold onto the boys.” He came up on one elbow to meet her amused gaze. “Besides, I enjoy fightin’ with you.”

“What we did wasn’t real fighting.”

“I know and I enjoy it.”

“Foreplay.”

“Exactly!”

She laughed and tried to concentrate on the movie, but it was hard with him so close beside her.

“You know...” he trailed one finger over her arm. “We’ve been fightin’ since I came to work for the magazine... that’s a helluva lot of foreplay.”

“It is....”

Ease up, Guerin, he reminded himself. She asked for time so don’t push her. He forced his gaze to the television and he laughed at the main character. “I think I would’ve chosen to run rather than get on my mom’s pink bike with a basket and those goofy streamers on the handlebars,” he mused aloud.

“Where’d you grow up?” she asked when he mentioned his mom.

“Wine country, baby. Napa Valley. My parents own a vineyard there.”

“Very nice,” she mused.

“My mom, she still lives in the house I grew up in. Maybe one day I’ll get a chance to take you out there, show you around.”

“What about your dad?” she wondered aloud since he just mentioned his mom.

“Dad moved a few years back.” He rolled his eyes. “Still in the wine-making business but now he lives in France of all places. Personally, I think it bugged him when Mom started datin’ again but he wouldn’t admit it.”

“When did they divorce?”

“I think it was right after I turned 14 that the split became official.” He made a face at the memory. “Because of my age I was allowed to tell the judge who I wanted to live with... I don’t know if that’s better or worse than not getting a vote because then even if you wanna live with one over the other you just feel like you’ve betrayed one of them.”

“Who’d you pick?” she asked, resting her head in both hands.

He snorted. “I picked my granddad on Mom’s side. Hell, I was pissed off at both my parents for breakin’ up our home and I didn’t want anything to do with either of ‘em.” He sobered for a moment. “I think my dad expected me to pick Mom. She was hurt when I said I wanted to live with Granddad but at the time I refused to acknowledge it. They gave their consent and I stayed with him for about a year before I finally admitted that I wanted to go back home.” He shrugged one shoulder. “While I’d been with him Mom had constantly been back and forth between Napa and Monterrey where Granddad lived. Lot of drivin’ but she made sure I knew she still loved me and I can only imagine how little sleep she was getting at the time between doin’ that an’ runnin’ the business.”

“Ouch, it had to be hard for her,” Maria said, wondering how the woman had managed that.

“Yeah. I was a little ass back then too... didn’t appreciate anything she did. Until I realized how much I missed her bein’ there all the time. Granddad saved me the teenage humiliation of admitting I was wrong and he told me it was time to go back and stay with her.” He grinned. “Granddad’s a great guy. He’ll just love you,” he said, not noticing his slip.

Was he thinking about introducing her to his granddad? she wondered. Or was it just something he had said without thinking about it? “Grandparents always seem to know what’s best for the kids.”

“That’s true. I don’t know how, but he always knew what I needed before I knew.”

“So your granddad’s still alive, huh? That’s cool, I don’t have any grandparents anymore.”

“Yup. He moved into the guesthouse on the vineyard last year after he fell and broke his hip. He doesn’t get around as well as he used to and it makes him crazy.”

“Do you visit him often?”

“Every chance I get. He and Mom are gonna come see me this summer, catch a couple of the games. They were gonna do that last year but he broke his hip right before summer so they didn’t make it.”

“I hope they’ll have more luck this year. It sucks to be home all summer.”

“Yeah. And he loves to get out and do stuff. You know how he broke his hip?” He snickered. “He wanted to learn how to in-line skate.”

Maria laughed. “Seriously?”

“Oh, yeah. He had the whole outfit goin’ on too.” He shook his head as he laughed. “I mean... the elbow pads, the knee pads, and the helmet. The guy’s 72 years old and I swear he’s got a heart that’ll never let him get old.”

Maria rolled to her side while she kept laughing. “He sounds like good company.”

“He’s the greatest. My dad didn’t seem to know how to act or what to do with me after my parents divorced. I was really lucky to have a granddad to step in and make sure I had such a solid male role model in my life.”

“Uh-huh,” she looked at him doubtfully. “Well, he didn’t make you perfect, but you’re okay,” she teased.

“Considerin’ how I grew up I’m pretty sure I can safely say that the majority of imperfections are gonna be my responsibility.”

“Well... a fault confessed is half redressed,” she joked.

He smirked. “Is that so?”

“That’s what they say.”

“Uh-huh... and you... agree?”

“Sometimes. In your case... well, I do like you more than a few days ago.”

He snorted. “Well, then I’ve made some progress, haven’t I?” He lifted his hand and traced over her cheek with his forefinger as he studied her.

“I guess that’s true,” she admitted slowly, huskily.

He wanted so badly to ask her if she had decided but he knew pushing her wasn’t going to help. Would she feel like he was pressuring her if he kissed her?

He was making it really hard to think straight, a fact that scared her. She knew she couldn’t figure out if he was serious or not as long as her mind was a puddle of mud.

He drew in a calming breath when she didn’t give him a sign to continue or initiate things between them. “We didn't have dessert,” he said after a moment.

She frowned. “Correct me if I’m wrong but I think you actually had dessert, buddy.”

“Okay, well... you didn’t.” He fell over on his back and rubbed his hands over his face. He had never had so much trouble keeping things straight in his mind as he did with her. “Honestly... I know you need time to figure out what you want, and I respect that. I’m just havin’ a hard time tryin’ to figure out what to say or do that isn’t gonna make you feel like I’m puttin’ pressure on you for an answer.”

“Say whatever ya want, Michael.”

He shook his head. “I’ve already said what I wanted to say... goin’ over it’s just gonna be pushin’ an’ while I don’t think you’d give in just to shut me up I don’t want you to say yes and then regret it later.”

Her eyes wandered over his body and she found herself wondering why she was hesitating. Oh yeah, her brain reminded her, just because you feel the physical attraction right now, it doesn’t have to mean anything.

Michael felt her gaze and he responded to it as easily as if she had been touching him. He didn’t know much about relationships but he found himself hoping she’d want to teach him.

“What’s the longest time you were together with the same woman?”

He winced. Strike one, Guerin. “Uh, about seven weeks.”

“Well, that’s,” she had to giggle, “impressive.”

He felt heat suffuse his face. Okay, yeah, that wasn’t exactly all that great. “What about you?”

“Two years.”

Two years? 24 months? 730 days? Okay, so seven weeks definitely wasn’t gonna impress her.

“Two wasted years though,” she shrugged.

“Were you happy during that two years?”

“I thought I was, but it was all a lie in the end.”

“Why?” he asked curiously.

“I found out he was cheating on me right from the start.” She snorted. “And I can’t believe I didn’t figure it out earlier.”

His eyes widened. Why would any guy in his right mind cheat on her? “I hope as soon as you knew you kicked his ass to the curb.”

“Yeah, well, let’s just say I was stupid and naive.”

“How long’s it been since you broke up?”

“Over a year now.”

“He was an idiot,” he said quietly.

She smiled sadly. “Yes, he was.”

He bit his bottom lip. “Did you love him?”

“Yeah, you know, that’s the funny thing with love. I thought I loved him until I found out the truth, but after that...” she shrugged. “How could you love someone that wasn’t honest with you at all?”

He nodded, hoping she wasn’t expecting an answer because he didn’t have one. “I think honesty’s important... I don’t lie. I know how much I hate it when people lie to me so while I might have plenty of bad habits, that’s not one of ‘em.”

“Tell me about your bad habits then.”

He rolled his eyes. “Why give you a bunch of reasons to go on the bad side of that list you’re compiling in your head?”

“Well, this way I can decide if one of ‘em really matters to me.”

“Uh-huh, well... alright... but take in mind that I live alone. I don’t cook, I drink straight from the cartons at home, I always leave the toilet seat up, I hate to do laundry so it tends to pile up until I have no choice, and I keep my place straight but I’m not a neat-freak so I have someone who comes in twice a week to clean.” He shrugged. “That’s probably enough for now.”

She chuckled. “Well, that’s no shocker, I guess. And those habits can be changed."

His right eyebrow quirked. “Think so?”

“Yeah, it’s not that bad.”

He grinned. “Cool.”

“Anything else I should know?”

“Um... I tend to leave wet towels on the bathroom floor?”

“I tend sleep pretty long on weekends.”

He chuckled. “Bet I could think of a thing or two that might be worth getting up early for. Wouldn’t even have to get outta bed for any of ‘em either.” He let his thumb trace over her lips. “Of course... I have no problems with goin’ back to sleep afterwards.”

“I’d suggest breakfast afterwards.”

“I have no problem with that either,” he said with a wink.

“Hope ya can make pancakes.”

“I didn’t say I can’t cook, just that I don’t.”

“Makin’ pancakes doesn’t count as cooking,” she denied.

He nodded. “Interestin’ way of lookin’ at it, but okay.”

She smiled. “Okay.”

“So... you got any bad habits I should know about?”

“No, I’m perfect,” she said, amused.

“Um-hmm.” He rested his chin in his hand and tried not to laugh. “No deep, dark, hidden bad habits that’re gonna jump out and shock me later on?”

“Well let’s see. I cry when I watch sad movies, I have a girl’s night with Liz every Thursday and no interruptions are accepted, I take my time in the bathroom, I tend to take long hot baths...”

He snorted. “That doesn’t surprise me, now I know why Evans is at the office late every Thursday night, bathroom thing, again not a surprise, and as for long hot baths... got a tub big enough for two?”

“I think it’d be big enough for two,” she nodded.

“Then I can probably learn to enjoy a long hot bath once in a while.”

“How generous,” she teased.

“See? You’d be getting a great deal with me.”

She studied his face seriously, trying to form some straight thoughts in her head. Maria knew that postponing her decision wouldn’t make it any more rational in the end.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 6 - COMPLETE

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:53 am

Earth2Mother: He sooo does. ;) We are reaching the last part today already.

Alien_Friend: Michael and Maria are working towards something special, that’s for sure. His granddad sounds pretty awesome, huh?

mary mary: It’s so true… let’s see if she follows your advice.

sarammlover: Lol, wow, sounds like Maria’s got some competition on her hands. We think that might’ve just kicked her into action – we’ll see today.


A/N: Since Cupid’s Revenge ends today we are going back to normal updating schedule next weekend.
Means weekly uppies for MSH / ITCOAL / TIC TAC. ;)




Part 6

Michael sobered when she started staring at him again and he wondered what she was thinking. She looked so serious... was that good or bad?

Her gaze swept to his lips. Lips that were too sexy to resist and just the thought of them on her body made her hot that she had to press her legs together for some relief. God, it was hard to not think about the physical part when he was that close and despite their other interaction last night, it had been so long.

His hand settled on her hip, his fingernails dragging along the thick seam of the jeans she had changed into after dinner. His blood was already starting to heat up because of the way she was staring at him but now she was starting to shift restlessly and his body was following his thoughts.

His simple touch turned her on even more and she bit her bottom lip when the need to move against his hand grew more insistent. You’re as horny as a teenager, she told herself.

Michael slid his hand up and cupped it over her ass, pulling her closer. “Still thinkin’?” he asked gruffly.

She could already feel the heat of his body and it made her insane. “Hardly.”

“Somethin’ distractin’ you?” he whispered against her lips as his hand slid down to the back of her thigh to pull her leg over his hip.

A soft moan escaped her mouth. “Yeah.”

“Hmm... got an idea what that might be?”

Her heart was beating a mile a minute and it felt like it would burst out of her chest at any moment. Her gaze wandered to his lips instead of answering.

He smiled slowly and his hand moved up to caress the skin of her lower back where her shirt had ridden up. “I think I get the picture,” he whispered.

She closed her eyes, enjoying his touch and trying to not lose the last bit of the sanity she had. It felt so good to be close to him and there was absolutely nothing she could do about it.

“You want me to back off?”

Back off?! She couldn’t handle this anymore right now. “Would you be able to back off now?” she whispered. Because she wouldn’t be able to.

“If that’s what you wanted, yeah.” God, say no, say no, say no!

“No,” she breathed, nibbling his lips. “I don’t want you to stop now.”

Thank you, God, he thought, not realizing he’d said it aloud.

“You can call me Maria.”

He pulled back to stare at her. “Well, what else would I call you?”

“You said ‘Thank you, God’, remember?”

“Um... like... out loud?”

She laughed. “Yeah.”

“Oh, well...” he grinned sheepishly and shrugged. “What can I say?”

She moved her lower body closer, unconsciously seeking for friction, but not getting any just yet.

“You know...” his fingers dipped into the gap between her jeans and her lower back, stroking over her skin in a slow, teasing manner, “bet we’d have a lot more fun if we could get rid of the layers between us.”

“Yeah,” she whispered against his lips. “You could start with touching me, though,” she suggested, wanting to finally really feel his hands on her.

He chuckled and smacked her ass lightly before rolling over and pinning her beneath him. They groaned at the same time when his hard length pressed against her hot center and he rubbed against her a couple of times as he pushed her shirt out of his way. He shuffled back just enough to lower his mouth to her breasts.

One of her hands latched onto his hair while the other grabbed the sheets beneath them. “Michael,” she breathed out while her lower body rose from the bed to rub against him.

“Sexy,” he whispered against her flushed skin.

She bent her leg slowly, carefully watching to make sure she wouldn’t hurt him. Her lower leg brushed against his hard length, making him gasp in surprise.

He shot a playful glare at her before giving her nipple a gentle bite and then soothing it with his tongue.

Maria repeated the action several times, satisfied with his reaction to it. He was just as turned on as she was, good.

“Just like playin’ with fire, don’t you?” he asked as he dealt with the snap and zipper on her jeans so he could slide his hand inside.

“So do you,” she said breathlessly when she realized what he was doing. Her hips bucked against his hand uncontrollably.

“Hell yeah,” he breathed. He was so turned on it wasn’t even funny. Her responses to him were so open and so honest that it only enhanced the feelings.

A groan escaped her lips when he was finally able to open her jeans fully and his knuckles pressed against her mound. In a quick move she reached between them and placed her hand over his, intensifying his touch.

Michael bit his lip as he shifted, moving his hand into a more comfortable position as he slid his fingers into her wet heat.

“That feels good,” she babbled.

He lowered his mouth to hers, his tongue tracing over her lips before kissing her deeply.

She kissed him back while she squirmed under him restlessly. A gasp escaped her throat and she had to break contact with his lips when he moved a finger inside her surprisingly quickly.

He smirked slightly at her breathless response and worked his finger in and out. He had never felt anything like this for any other woman and he wanted to know what it was about her that made it different. He had a feeling it would take a long time to figure it out.

Maria glanced up at him, meeting his soft and aroused gaze. She felt herself falling for him even more and she could really only hope that he wasn’t playing games with her because from now on it was too late to get out of this without being hurt badly.

Michael found himself in a situation he had never been in. He was hot and horny... and distracted by the look in her eyes. It was driving him crazy because he didn’t know what she was thinking.

Her hands moved along his sides, gripping the hem of his shirt gently. “Think you can lose this?”

“I don’t know,” he said with a teasing smile. “Kinda busy at the moment.” He stroked the pad of his thumb over her clit repeatedly as he stared into her eyes. “Guess I can stop what I’m doin’ though...?”

She squeezed her legs together to prevent him from pulling his hand back. “Or we can just rip the shirt.”

“I have more.”

She used all of her strength, but after several tries she sighed in frustration and chuckled. “I’m too weak.”

He dropped his forehead to rest against her breast as he laughed. “Okay, how about you can have one arm,” he offered. “I’ll just pull it the rest of the way off when you get around to givin’ me my hand back.”

She released his hand. “Make it quick and get rid of it.”

He laughed as he reared up on his knees to jerk the shirt off, tossing it aside and staring down at her. His eyes traced over her, taking in her messy hair, swollen lips, and the clothes he had undone and shoved out of his way and he grinned at his handiwork. He braced his hands on the mattress on either side of her head, keeping his body off of her. “So...”

Oh, he wanted to play games now, she realized. “Soo...” she mocked, letting her nails rasp against the bulge in his jeans.

He had to work extra hard to control his breathing... as well as the erection that was doing its damnedest to break through his zipper. “Sooo...” He winced internally when his voice actually cracked! How embarrassing!

She smiled up at him, adding pressure to her touch.

He gave up and pressed himself into the palm of her hand, desperately needing her touch.

Maria watched his face, excited at the way his expressions changed with her touches. Was he aware of how open he was right now?

He growled low in his throat and fumbled with his belt, snap and zipper to free himself. He loved what she was doing but he needed more before he lost his mind.

“Impatient much?” she teased, feeling her own need between her legs badly.

“If we don’t move it along I’m either gonna end up with a case of blue balls or things are gonna come to a rather abrupt and distinctly unsatisfying end for both of us.”

“Well, we don’t want that,” she said.

“Huh-uh.” For many reasons, he added silently.

Her hands ghosted over his bare upper body, taking in every muscle. “What’s that?” She trailed her fingertips over a scare on his chest.

“Um...” He ducked his head to follow her finger. Scar, scar... what was it from? How could she be asking about a scar right now? “It’s um...” Think, Guerin! “Oh, when I was...” Crap, how old had he been? “17, I was 17... Spring Break with some friends and well... too much to drink and car surfin’ sounded like a good idea.”

She laughed. “Stupid boy.”

“Yeah, not one of my brighter moments. And I caught holy hell when my mom showed up to pick me up... the girl I had been tryin’ to impress laughed herself stupid over that one and never talked to me again.”

She lifted her head and placed a soft kiss against the scare. “Funny story behind it though.” And she wanted to learn about the other scars as well one day.

“Wasn’t funny at 17.”

“Did it hurt bad?”

“Yeah, at the time it hurt like a bitch. I went head over feet over the hood of a car and met the pavement face first.”

“Ouch.” She giggled while her eyes followed her hands as they slipped down his body, loving it when his muscles tightened under her touch.

“Not a good time,” he admitted. Her hands were getting closer to the one place that was dying for her touch but she was taking her time. Don’t veer off the path. Touch me, touch me, touch me, he chanted silently.

He tensed up when she reached his open jeans and considered retracing her path but that would’ve just been cruel. Instead she took him in her hand, hard and demanding.

“Oh, yeah,” he growled. “That’s it.”

She stroked him several times though his boxers before one hand slipped inside. “Impressive.”

“Thanks,” he said smugly. “I do try.”

“You know what else you could try?” she asked, biting her lip.

His eyebrows shot up at her tone. “What?”

She removed her hand and lifted her lower body up to brush against him instead.

He flipped them over, keeping one arm around her waist as he shoved her jeans and panties down over her thighs and used his toes to work them the rest of the way off.

Using her hands on his back, she pressed him further down for body contact. She bent one leg to let him sink in deeper between her legs and groaned when his still covered length brushed against her center.

“Gotta have more, baby,” he groaned.

“Yeah,” she breathed, nodding.

He lifted up just enough to get his boxers out of the way and bit his lip as he realized his wallet wasn’t in his back pocket. “Fuck,” he muttered.

“What?” she asked, rubbing against him in need.

“Condom...” He looked around for his wallet and nearly screamed in frustration when he didn’t see it.

“Oh, right.” Damn, she almost forgot in her aroused state.

“Wait!” he suddenly shouted, startling her. “Sorry, just remembered where it’s at.” He scrambled off of the bed and hurried over to the closet to snatch up the pants he’d had on earlier. His credit cards and several bills fluttered to the floor when he nearly tore the thing in half to snatch a condom out. “Got it,” he said as he resumed his position once more.

Maria snatched it out of his hand and ripped the foil open with one quick move, getting it out and rolling it over his hard length.

“Now which one of us is impatient?” The words ended on a groan as he sank into her wet heat.

She threw her head and bucked up against him when he entered her. “Michael...”

He was beyond verbalizing a single thought, which didn’t matter because his brain was pretty much fried at the moment. He thrust harder and faster, unable to slow his pace.

Her arms came around his neck automatically when they both fell into the same thrusting and panting rhythm. Only a few more strokes, she realized, concentrating on the feeling as it built up in her stomach fast and intense.

Michael felt the familiar feelings in his body as the pleasure and pressure built. His muscles became taut and the tendons in his neck stood out in stark relief as he came so hard he felt his eyes roll back in his head.

Maria was right with him and held onto him tightly as her body shook from the sensation. It took several minutes to catch her breath again and once she calmed down… as she had expected... her doubts were back. Would he stay now?

As soon as he could catch his breath he dealt with the condom and then stretched out beside her. “Please tell me you’re gonna give us a shot,” he said breathlessly.

“Why? Because the sex is good?” she teased lightly.

“Well... there’s that,” he agreed. “Although I thought it was a little better than just good.”

“For example?”

“What?”

“Better than good... for example? Mind blowing... or breathtaking...”

“Breathtaking... that’s kind of a girl thing to say,” he muttered. “I’m a guy so getting off’s always good but it’s... hell, I don’t know, Maria.” He traced over her lips with his thumb. “It just kinda went to a whole ‘nother level with you.”

She smiled against his touch and snuggled up closer to him. “Good answer.”

He rolled his eyes and breathed a sigh of relief but when he answered his tone was slightly smug. “I know.”

“I know,” she mocked, pinching his bare side playfully.

He grinned and shrugged. “So...?”

“So?”

“So, whatcha think?” He sighed. “Don’t make me beg here... it’ll ruin my image.”

“Tempting,” she thought aloud.

He made a face at her. “Seriously?”

Soft laughter escaped her lips. “No. Begging men aren’t really sexy, ya know?”

He smiled and propped his chin in his hand. “Do you know you’ve got the sexiest laugh I’ve ever heard?”

“I doubt there’s anything special about it,” she denied even though she liked his compliment.

“Maybe you don’t think so, but...” he shook his head. “I disagree.”

“Let’s see if you still think that in a few weeks.” She snorted. “Liz says I sound like a hyena sometimes.”

“Yeah, she’s one to talk about anyone else’s laugh.” He stared at her for a few moments before a slow smile appeared. “Your laugh was the first thing that caught my attention... I heard it before I ever saw you.” He could still remember that day so clearly. He had been sitting in Max’s office, going over the man’s job offer when he had heard the musical laughter and he had turned in his seat to find the source. She had rounded the corner with another woman that he would later learn was Liz and the two of them had been trying to carry on a conversation through their laughter. He had accepted the job without another thought.

“Do you remember the first time we met?” she asked, frowning when she couldn’t remember at all.

He chuckled. “You really don’t remember that?”

“Um...”

He shook his head incredulously. “Really? I was sittin’ at my new desk, feet propped up on it doin’ somethin’ really important like waddin’ up paper from the notebook in front of me an’ makin’ baskets across the room and in you walked... pissed off and ranting because some jerk had just cut you off, makin’ you spill your latte on your new shirt and then he had taken your parking spot... so you’d had to go home and change because it was ruined, remember? You came in havin’ a fit and then went off on me ‘cause when Max gave me my desk assignment he stuck me across from you... and it turned out I was the guy who had cut you off.” He grinned. “C’mon, you’ve gotta remember that.”

Her eyes widened and she smacked his chest. “Right. How could I forget that? Jerk!”

“Hey, no need to get violent on me! Can I help it if you drive like my grandma? I was gonna be late for my first day on the job.”

“I don’t drive like a grandma,” she shook her head.

“You did that day. Probably ‘cause you were tryin’ to talk on your cell, take notes and hold that latte at the same time.”

“I’m a busy woman,” she told him with a shrug.

“That you are.”

“And at least I got some satisfaction later that day when you accidently spilled hot coffee on your jeans while you were trying to be Mr. Supercool in front of me.”

“Okay, you could’ve forgotten that part,” he grumbled.

She giggled. “Nah.”

“Too easy, huh?”

“Yeah, definitely.”

He nodded and smirked softly.

Exhausted, she yawned widely and ran a hand through her messy hair. “What a shame that we have to drive back tomorrow. I could definitely get used to sleeping late and having breakfast without doing anything for it.”

Michael smiled and shrugged one shoulder. “We could always stay another day... our assignment’s complete and it’s been submitted.”

“Yeah? That’d be cool.”

“Wanna do that? I’ll send Evans a text right now, let him know we’re not gonna be in the office until Tuesday.... maybe.”

“Why not? Nothing waiting for me at home anyway.”

He reached over her to grab his phone off of the nightstand, snickering as he composed a text. “You know he keeps his damn phone on that obnoxious ring...” he glanced at the time. “It’ll wake him right up.”

“Do you care?” she laughed.

“Hell no. Matter of fact, I might send multiple text messages.”

“Yeah, just wait long enough for him to be asleep again.”

He smirked as he sent the text. “Good idea.”

“You’d better turn your ringer off so he can’t get back at us,” she mused tiredly and wiggled around.

“My ringer’s been off since Friday night.” He frowned at the screen as he composed the next message and saved it to send later. “Didn’t want anything to disturb us.”

“Did you plan all this?”

“Huh?”

“This,” she gestured between the two of them.

He shook his head. “No.”

“Did you think about it? I mean as a possibility?”

“That we’d hook up?”

“Yeah.”

“Sure, I thought about it... kinda the same way I think about winnin’ the lottery. Great, but unlikely to happen.”

She frowned. “You thought it was unlikely?”

“Yeah. Even though I’m not experienced when it comes to relationships I knew you didn’t do one-night stands or weekend flings and I didn’t wanna try to start somethin’ with you if I couldn’t hold up my end of things, ya know?”

“And now you think you can?”

“I wouldn’t have ever let things get started if I didn’t think I could, Maria,” he said seriously.

“Okay,” her eyes wandered down his body while her hand reached out for his at the same time, intertwining their fingers.

He smiled and looked at their hands, feeling a wave of protectiveness wash over him at the sight of her significantly smaller hand in his. “Okay.” He had no idea what that meant.

“My mom will be doing a happy dance if I tell her I’ve got a boyfriend,” she said, amused. She closed her eyes and smiled. “She’s almost given up hope already.”

He swallowed hard. “Your mom... she’s the one who came in and annihilated Max for sendin’ you on that assignment in San Francisco last year ‘cause there was an earthquake while you were there an’ you were trapped in an elevator for like hours?”

“Yeah, that would be her.”

“Uh-huh.” He scratched his chin. “She was a little bit scary.”

“Not at all.”

“She’s your mom, of course she’s not scary to you.”

“You don’t have to meet her right away, don’t worry.”

“Your mom didn’t strike me as the kind to sit back and wait.” The woman would probably be waiting at his front door when he got back.

“She doesn’t know yet.”

He chuckled. “The town is not that big... we walk down the street together and there’s gonna be talk.”

“Then we’ll have to hide.”

“I vote for just stayin’ here indefinitely.”

“Guess we have enough time to worry about home later, huh?” she asked tiredly.

His eyes wandered over her features, seeing the exhaustion there. “I’m not really all that worried about it... maybe a little scared of your mom, but not the rest of it.”

She nodded while she was fighting to fall asleep. “Okay.”

He pressed a kiss to her forehead. “Stop fightin’ it, girl. Get some sleep.”

“You stay with me,” she half asked, half stated and tightened her grip on his hand for a moment.

“I’m not goin’ anywhere,” he promised.

*****

“I’d say we make a formidable team,” Eros said smugly as he materialized across the room.

Cupid settled down on top of the wardrobe, tapping his bow against his lips as he watched over his charges. His expression was thoughtful and his wings for once nestled against his body and completely relaxed. “I need a vacation.”

“So take one… the universe will survive.” He grinned. “I can stand in for you while you’re gone.”

The tiny Roman god whacked Eros across the shoulder with his bow. “I’d come back to a realm of sex-crazed humans.”

“Sex is a good thing,” the muscle-bound Greek god insisted.

“But love is what makes it worthwhile. You can have one without the other but without love what is the point?”

Eros and Cupid had gotten into many heated arguments over the ages when it came to the subject of love versus sex and it was one that neither of them was willing to concede. He knew that his old friend had been through the fires of Hades itself to unite this couple so he allowed the urge to argue to pass.

“You think these two will survive?”

Cupid’s mouth lifted in a smile. “I foresee a long and happy future ahead of them.”

“Leave the fortunetelling to those who know how to do it,” a feminine voice said.

His head swung to the right when the air was disturbed and after a few moments Psyche appeared beside him. Her beauty complemented Eros’ own striking looks and he rolled his eyes at their perfection. “Do you intend to summon a fortuneteller?”

She leveled a look at him. “I speak from ages of experience, old friend.” Her smile softened as her gaze moved to Eros. He had spoken at great length of the human couple that was so frustrating Cupid and his amusement had piqued her curiosity. “You’ve made a good match with these two, Cupid.” She moved to lean against Eros’ side when he cleared his throat self-importantly. “And your aid to his mission is duly noted too, my love.”

“There is no need to encourage his conceited behavior, Psyche. The god is insufferable as it is.”

“Perhaps we should leave your humans alone,” she suggested. “They deserve a peaceful night after what the two of you have put them through.” She shook her head when they both looked at her. “Come along now, you know humans need their rest.”

Cupid and Eros glanced at each other, knowing better than to argue with her. Before he shimmered out of sight the tiny Roman god turned his gaze to his charges once more and he smiled as he observed their intertwined bodies. Yes, these two would be fine, he decided. They were both strong-minded and opinionated, but they also had the hearts of warriors and strong spirits. They would stand the test of time and go on to be another of his great successes.


The End
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas


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