Friday, February 1, 2013

Square Pegs

Author's note:  This is another older piece I managed to resurrect. 
Inspired by the episode "Hot Pursuit"


"Want another drink?" he asked her.

Claire shook her head. "I think I'll just go home now." To his chagrin, she actually stood, picked up her attaché case, and walked away. Jack turned on the bar stool and watched her walk out of the bar. When she reached the door, he stood, drained the rest of his drink, grabbed his coat and briefcase and hurried after her. Outside, he scanned the street, saw that she was up the block, crossing the street, heading back to the office; back to her car. He made it to the crosswalk just in time for the light to change. There were too many cars for him to attempt to cross against the light, and so he was forced to wait, forced to watch her get closer and closer to the parking garage, and farther away from him.

He thought to call after her, but she was too far away, and he was reluctant to scream her name as she hurried away from him in such proximity to the office. As soon as he saw the streetlights above him go yellow, he began to walk swiftly across the street. She was at her car when he reached the garage, and he decided, short of throwing himself in front of her car as she drove out of the garage, or hopping on his bike and speeding after her (this thought didn't appeal to him much at the moment...he knew he'd had just enough in the bar that any action of that sort would be stupid and reckless), he was left with no other choice, if he was to stop her, than to call her name.

"Claire!" he hollered. Several other people in the garage turned to look. Holding the car door she'd just gotten unlocked halfway open, Claire looked up to see Jack hurrying toward her. "Claire...wait!"

She looked at him skeptically when he was near her.

"Can we talk?"

"We've been talking."

"Look, Claire..."

"Go home, Jack."

"I've had too much to drink."

"You often do."

His face flashed surprise, then anger, then hurt. "I meant I need a ride."

"So take a cab."

"Jesus Christ, Claire...," he began, saw that she didn't appear moveable and gave up, spinning on his heel and heading a few spaces down, to his bike.

When Claire saw that he was going to take the bike, her concern for him overpowered her anger, and she said, loudly, "Jack...wait..."

He turned, still downtrodden.

"C'mon...I'll take you home."

The ride to Jack's apartment was a silent one, Claire leaning back in the driver's seat, arms rigid in front of her as her hands gripped the steering wheel, Jack slumped over against the passenger side door, staring out the window with his chin resting in the palm of his right hand. He still wanted that conversation, but knew better than to push.

In front of his apartment, Claire idled the car, not moving from her seat, she set the parking break, and looked at Jack, waiting for him to take off his seat belt and exit the car.

"Not coming up?"

"It's a school night," she replied. "Damn him," she thought at the expression he gave her. She hated that he had the ability to flash her a look that could reach her heart even when she was angry with him.

"Never stopped you before."


"Claire, at least park the damn car and hear me out."

She nodded, and complied.

When she'd pulled over, he released the seat belt and turned so his back rested against the door, looking over at Claire, and let out a wry laugh.

"I'm glad this amuses you."

His face grew extremely serious.

"What amuses me is the fact that we seem to do so well at keeping our romantic life out of our work life, but we can't seem to do the reverse."

"Really? It makes perfect sense to me ... the two of us, we're all about work. The way we operate at work is directly tied to our personal belief system, and we act and speak accordingly. It's only natural that our work, so much a part of who we are, would spill over."

"Am I to take it, then, by your response to my treatment of this girl on cross, that you don't like who I am very much?"

"Jack ... I didn't say that."

"You didn't have've made it abundantly clear."

"You just...push...too hard, sometimes, Jack, you know? I think sometimes you forget we're dealing with real people, with real people's lives, not theoreticals, not games. People aren't pages in books, Jack, they're not game pieces. Real life isn't black and white."

"So you've told me before," he said. "But the law IS black and white, Claire."

"The law doesn't exist in a vacuum, Jack. You can't expect to apply it as though it does... it's square pegs in round holes."

"You know something?"

"Enlighten me."

"I've noticed this disturbing trend. Whenever we have a disagreement about the application of the law ... or the 'morality' of some law, I wind up getting the silent treatment when the work day is through, whether it's me disagreeing with you or vice versa. Why is that?"

"You're the EADA ... we play it your way, all the way, right? My objections not withstanding."

"I can't help the fact that I'm your boss, Claire," Jack said, on the defensive. "Jesus! It's not like you didn't know I was when you got involved with me."

"It's not the fact that you're my boss that pisses me off, Jack, because you're right, I did know that when we got involved. And don't get me wrong...for the most part, I'll readily admit that you don't treat me as though we've got a subordinate/superior relationship, that you listen to my input much more than Ben Stone ever did, and don't make me feel dismissed or unintelligent if you don't act on it, and maybe that's the problem. I get so used to you treating me essentially as an equal, that it catches me off-guard whenever you pull rank. But sometimes ... sometimes, Jesus, Jack, I get so angry when you ask for my opinion on something and then totally disregard whatever I've said because we have some sort of fundamental disagreement ... the death penalty, for instance."

"Ahhh, yes... The Penalty," said Jack. "Whatever it's done for making citizens feel more secure, it's been a constant source of conflict for us."

"Yes ... and no matter my feelings there, we always go with what you want."

"Correction ... with what Adam wants. The statute reserves that decision for him."

"But you push for it ... you try your damnedest to make sure that the case can be molded to ensure a death penalty consideration by the jury ... even, at times, when it's been ruled out as an option for the obvious crime."

"I can't help it, Claire ... I agree with the idea of capital punishment, both for its Band-Aid, and deterrent effects.

"Yes, and you display all the zealousness required by the canons."

"Yes. I do," he said unapologetically. "It's my job. I don't make law, Claire ... I just do my best to see that it's applied. And not randomly applied; at least, not on my watch."

"So how does that explain this afternoon?"

"This afternoon would fall under the 'doing my job with all the zealousness required by the canons' heading."

"By beating up the mother of a rape/kidnap/brainwash victim on cross?"

"That's what you think I was doing?"

She blinked her eyes to indicate "Yes."

"Listen," said Jack, leaning in closer to her, "I hear what you're saying when you say that sometimes I disregard your opinions, even when I've asked for them. I know I do it. I do it to everybody. It's not personal. I'm a pompous jackass ... so sue me. But this afternoon. I didn't treat that woman any different than I would have treated the mother of anyone charged with four counts of murder."

"No, you didn't ... and that's precisely my point. Are you so sure Leslie Harlan's 'just like any defendant charged with four counts of murder'? Are you so sure that she was a willing participant? I'm not ... even Olivet wasn't convinced."

"Olivet said Harlan got a kick out of her criminal activity, don't forget ... and that she BELIEVED she was forced into it, not that she WAS forced into it."

"And you understand the distinction? I don't ... and I doubt the jury will."

"It's my job --OUR job-- to see that they do."

"I don't know Jack..." she replied skeptically.

"Sometimes I wonder if you've got the stomach for this job."

"Why? Because I've got a conscience?"

"Yeah, that's exactly it," said Jack sarcastically when he'd recovered from the shock of the barely veiled slam, "And I don't ... is that what you're saying?"

Claire stared forward, silent.

"Right," said Jack as he opened the car door in hurt anger, and exited, pulling his briefcase out with him, and slamming the car door shut. He headed down the block toward his building. Claire watched for a moment or two as he walked swiftly away from her.

"Shit!" she exclaimed, and banged her hand against the steering wheel once, twice, three times before reaching across the car and setting the passenger side lock. She made to get out of the car, but then decided against it.

She knew she hadn't been very nice, wanted to apologize for the harsh things she'd said ... but she was still angry with him, he had said some not-so-nice things himself. They were both nursing hurt feelings and wounded pride --a state in which, she knew from previous experience, was not exactly conducive to making up.

"Maybe," she thought, "By the time I get home ... we'll both have calmed down enough to be rational."

It was normally a 20 minute ride from Jack's apartment to the condo Claire had inherited from her grandmother, under ideal traffic and weather circumstances. It was early, however, and still commute time for many, and it took twice as long. The car ride home afforded her more than ample time, particularly since 20 of those minutes were spent literally sitting in traffic, to cool off, as she had known it would.

She came to a realization sitting in mid-town traffic -- and it wasn't a realization that made her feel very good about herself. What she felt about Jack's treatment of Leslie Harlan's mother that afternoon had less to do with the work issue than with the fact that she felt he'd disappointed her in his inability to express any sort of compassion for a girl who'd been horribly victimized -- when her victimization had most likely been the driving force behind any criminal activity in which she had participated. What bothered Claire most about this epiphany was not the fact that Jack had done something to disappoint her ... but that she had allowed it to disappoint her personally, as well as professionally.

She realized too, that in spite of their vow not to let the personal affect the professional, she did indeed, at least on some level, expect Jack to attend to her opinions, to give them more weight than he would the other ADAs because of their close personal relationship. This, she knew, had been Jack's contention so few moments before. And she'd made an ass out of herself for his having treated her exactly as she'd insisted at the beginning of their relationship.

She pulled up in front of her building and killed the engine. She was pulling the keys out when she paused for a long few moments, then shoved them back into the ignition, started up the car, flipped a U-turn in the middle of the road, and headed back to Jack. 


In the meantime, Jack had stormed down the block toward his apartment building. When he was at the steps to the building, he turned around to see if she'd made any attempt to follow him. He turned around just in time to see her pull away from the curb, and instead of heading in, he continued down the block, making his way to Molly O'Brien's pub.

He stopped in front of the bar. He'd had every intention of going in when he'd headed that way. He walked around the block six times intending to go in, eventually giving up, because he kept seeing Claire's face when she'd told him he often drank too much. If he weren't in such a foul mood, it might have amused him that she, when no one else had been able to manage, had the ability to guilt him into not drinking -- even when they were angry with one another. At the moment, it simply made him more angry.

He turned toward his apartment, disgusted with himself that he hadn't gone in for a drink, or two ... or more.

He walked into the lobby, completely ignoring Roger the doorman, and moved toward the elevator. It didn't come timely enough for him, and so he headed for the stairwell, mounting the steps two at a time so that he was panting by the time he reached his floor.

He entered his apartment, mood not at all improved, dumped his belongings on the sofa and headed for the kitchen -- straight for the liquor cabinet. He poured himself a shot of vodka, and drained it, pushing the guilt away momentarily, until he again saw Claire's face, heard her voice, as she's said, "You often do". He slammed the glass down, spilling the second shot he'd poured himself all over his hand and counter.

He dried his hand on a towel and tossed it down, then headed out of the kitchen, taking off his coat and throwing it on the sofa as he moved toward the hallway. At the washer and dryer, he stopped and stripped off his shirt and undershirt and turned into the bathroom. He turned on the shower, thought better of it, turned it off, and sat on the edge of the tub. He set the drain and turned the hot water on full blast and adjusted the cold so that the water would be hot, but wouldn't scald his skin.

He dumped a couple of fizzing bath tablets Claire had introduced him to -- "to relax your muscles" she'd told him -- into the water, then bent to remove his shoes and socks. When the tub was full, he stripped off his jeans and boxers and laid them across the toilet, stepping into the tub and sinking down into the water.

He sank down, raising his knees out of the water as he bent his legs, until his chin was just above the water line. He lay there for a time, just soaking, feeling the water infusing his bones and muscles and veins with a languid stupor, which the alcohol he'd consumed helped. He dipped the wash rag in the water and brought it back out, rung it out, folded it, and laid it across his eyes as he soaked for many moments. He began to relax to the point where he felt himself beginning to doze off in the tub.

His head began to nod as he came closer and closer to sleep. Several moments passed, and he was startled back into complete consciousness by someone ringing his doorbell over and over again. He stood, and wrapped himself in a towel, heading down the hall just as Claire unlocked and opened his front door with the key he'd given her months earlier.

She looked at him like he'd just caught her doing something she shouldn't be doing. He crossed his arms over his bare chest and leaned against the bookcase next to the entrance to the hallway. He raised an eyebrow at her.

"So that's why you wouldn't answer the door ... I wondered. Roger said you'd gone up ... thought maybe you'd decided I wasn't worth the effort of opening the door."

"Oh, c'mon now, Claire ... I'm not that much of a cold-hearted bastard."

"I never said you were."

"No...but your eyes were accusing me of it all night. You may as well have said it."

"But I don't think it ... no, that's a lie ... yes, sometimes I wonder if you've got a heart when we're dealing with certain cases ... but then I see the way other cases effect you ... the way they ignite your passion and indignation."

"You have to know that I wouldn't push when I push if I didn't truly believe the defendant was guilty."

"But you --we've-- been wrong, Jack. Remember Hank Chappel?"

"Claire...that's why there are so many checks along the way ... appeals, etc."

"That's good enough for you?"

He nodded.

"And when we execute a Hank Chappel because the checks along the way didn't catch the truth?"

"The odds are against it ... and anyway, you know that far more guilty people walk than innocent people go to prison."

"Talk to me about odds when an innocent person is executed ... you'll feel differently ... I hope."

"Assumes facts not in evidence," he told her curtly, "At any rate ... if you came here to harangue me again about my lack of compassion and apparent blood-lust, I'd prefer to skip it ... I'll stipulate. One lecture a night is about all I can stand.

He was baiting her, that much was obvious, out of hurt indignation, and she'd been taking the bait ever since she'd walked into the apartment. Instead of coming back at him, she moved closer, though they were still separated by several feet.

"I actually came here to apologize."

His eyebrow went up again.

"Oh...don't look at me that way ... you know I'm not above apologizing or admitting when I've been wrong."

"So you're admitting it was wrong to jump all over me --or ignore me, more accurately -- for my 'treatment' of Leslie Harlan's mother?"

"I was wrong to let it effect our personal relationship, yes."

"But you still think I beat her up on cross."

She did, actually, but had decided on her way back to his place, that if she disagreed with him about something at work, she was going to attempt to leave the disagreement there.

"I realized on my way home that the problem I'm having is what you said it was ... my inability to leave work at work. I've been letting what happens in the office or the courtroom affect what happens between us after work, and that was wrong of me. I realized that on some level I must expect something more from you in terms of my thoughts and opinions as they pertain to cases because of what we are to each other outside of the office. I've been taking it out on you when I should really have been looking at myself -- you're not treating me any differently than I demanded you treat me when we were first together." She drew several breaths before continuing. "So I'm sorry ... for keeping all this in and letting it fester and not discussing it with you before now ... sorry for taking my frustrations out on you ... and I'm sorry for the things I said tonight."

Jack nodded his head in forgiveness. "I'm sorry for the things I said, too."

Claire smiled a small smile. "Great!" she exclaimed. "I'll let you go and get back to your shower."

"Bath, actually."

"Bath then," she laughed, heading for the door. "I'll call when I get home."

"Aren't you forgetting something?"

She turned around. "Hmmm? Oh...yeah.... G'night!"

"Just 'G'night'?" he asked, feigning a pout. "I realize we were fighting until about 40 seconds ago... but I don't rate a goodnight kiss?"

She closed the door, and began walking toward him. "Oh...well...I think I can manage ONE."

When she was in front of him, she laid her hands on his shoulders and stood on her toes to give him a rather chaste peck on the cheek.

"You call that a goodnight kiss?" he teased, reaching out to rest his hands on her hips.

Some people might have considered it strange that they could be in the middle of a verbal brawl at one moment, and in the next instant, gently teasing one another and acting as though nothing had happened, once an apology had been issued and accepted. To Jack and Claire, however, it seemed only natural that they made-up so easily after a spat, for the feelings they shared ran far deeper, were far stronger, than any conflict they might have.

"Perhaps I need a refresher course," she said. "Know anyone?"

"I'm an excellent tutor," he informed her as he dipped his head and brushed his lips lightly against hers, then pressed closer, lightly nibbling on her lower lip for a moment until she felt his arms going around her, felt his damp skin even through the fabric of her blouse. The kiss grew deeper as his arms encircled her waist and her arms encircled his neck.

She pulled back, breathless, after she had opened her mouth to him, giving his tongue free access to plunder the recesses of her mouth at will. "You're getting me all wet," she told him, mind still reeling, as it almost always did, even now, at the intensity of his kiss.

He raised his eyebrows at her, going for the obvious innuendo in what she'd said. She slapped his chest lightly, "I meant because you haven't dried off yet ... get your mind out of the gutter."

"Damn ... and here I was, getting my hopes up ..." he teased, dipping his head again to kiss the slight amount of skin below her neck that the 'v' of her blouse revealed. She shoved him back softly, so he hit the corner of the doorjamb behind him.

"Dry off, you nut job ... then we'll talk," she laughed.

He took her by the hand and started pulling her with him down the hall, "Talking wasn't what I had in mind."

She sat on the edge of the bed when they were in his bedroom, and he stood in front of her. She looked up at him, and that smoldering glaze had come over his eyes, fogging over with his desire. Leaning forward a bit, she let her arm fall, then reached out, letting her hand contact his leg just below the knee, maintaining eye contact. She began drawing her hand up his leg, stroking upward softly, reaching beneath the towel as her hand moved higher and higher still: something he was fond of doing to her when she wore a skirt or a dress.

As her hand moved ever higher on his inner thigh, she could see Jack's face as he prepared himself, anticipating the pleasure he knew would shortly come. She broke eye contact and brought her other hand around him, resting her palm against his back and leaned forward until she was pressing butterfly-light kisses against his abdomen. Jack closed his eyes as she nipped gently at the smooth flesh there.

To both their amusement, when she ran her tongue around the outskirts of his navel, then darted it in, his stomach began to grumble --they had been going to have dinner after a drink or two, before she'd left him in the bar, and so they hadn't eaten since lunch.

Laughing, Claire let her hands fall from Jack. "What? Did I activate the magical hunger button?"

"Must have," he joked, running a hand lightly over her silken hair. "My stomach never has been very co-operative. Mind of its own."

"Do you have any food?"

"Do I ever?" he laughed. "Unless, of course, I've planned something special." In the little less than a year that they'd been together, the only times Jack's refrigerator had been full were the times she'd dragged him to the grocery store and forced him to shop ... when she'd had enough of the left-over take-out of various ethnicities that usually populated his fridge.

"Chinese or pizza?" she asked, laughing.

"Pizza ... no ... we had Italian for lunch," he said. "Chinese."

Claire turned over and lay across the bed, reaching for the phone on the nightstand. She dialed the number of their favorite Chinese food place in Jack's neighborhood.

"Ming's Pagoda," said the heavily accented voice.

"Yes ... I'd like to place ..." suddenly, Claire gasped into the phone as she felt the bed sag beneath Jack's weight and he moved behind her, straddling her calves as he began to run his hands up along the sides of her legs, up beneath her skirt. She recovered quickly. "I'd like to place an order for delivery."

Jack's hands continued up higher, drawing her skirt up as they went. He stopped when the skirt was midway up her thigh.

"I'd like an order of ..." she paused again, concentration broken as he reached beneath the skirt and began to work her panties off her, her hips lifting as he pulled upward before sliding them down her thighs. She was determined to get the order in, however, and forced herself to concentrate even more, knowing Jack was pleased as punch with himself for so effectively destroying her concentration. "An order of sweet and sour shrimp, Mongolian beef ..."

She kicked lightly, playfully, at him as he tickled her feet when he'd paused to remove her heels so he could get the underwear all the way off of her. "Chicken lo-mein with the pan-fried crispy noodles, and an order of steamed rice."

Jack was lightly kissing his away up the backs of her thighs as she gave the address and phone number to his place. Suddenly, he was straddling her behind, pushing her hair aside and kissing the back of her neck. She was in the middle of saying "thank you," when he took the phone from her hand and replaced the receiver in the cradle.

"Hey!" she scolded as he turned her over, "Do you have any idea how difficult it is to NOT sound like a freak when you do that? I felt like telling the Chinese food guy, 'Don't mind me ... my boyfriend's just stripping me from the waist down,' just so he wouldn't think I was some desperate phone-sex operator who'd decided she was hungry."

"You kicked me, ya know," he told her, beginning to unbutton her blouse.

"You deserved it."

"A few inches to the left and you'd have permanently killed my sex-drive."

She cocked an eyebrow at him. "Narrowly averted tragedy."

The clasp on her bra was next, and he pushed the cups aside. Moving down, he kissed the space between her breasts and then he was lower, pushing her skirt up around her waist. Claire arched her back and then thrust her hips upward when she felt Jack's tongue beginning to move on her.

"Jack... the delivery guy..."

His response was to dart his tongue inside her even as he brought a hand up to rest his palm against her pelvis while his thumb began to massage her swollen jewel. All thought of protestation left her. He worked her into a frenzy with his mouth and tongue, driving her higher and higher until, after many moments of prolonged anticipatory ecstasy, she felt her body begin to shake as the pleasure rocked her body.

He was over her suddenly and she reached up, body still in spasm, and tugged at the towel around his waist. He lowered himself gently down on her, kissing her neck and face as he braced himself on one arm and ran the other hand over her breasts, feeling the nipples rise against his palm. He moved his hand and brushed his knuckles over her cheek, gazing down at her, eyes silently questioning. She nodded, her eyes smiling and bright in the near-dark room.

His hand moved away from her face and she felt him guiding the tip of his hardened shaft to the entry of her female passage, felt him pressing against her, slipping inside her. They moaned together as he slid deeper into her, until he was embedded fully within her.

They began to move together, pace quickly becoming frenzied as their bodies connecting over and over again brought them exquisite amounts of pleasure. After many moments of repeated thrusting, of soft moans and sighs and breathless exchanges of endearments, Jack felt a lightning bolt pass from his stomach to his loins and outward, shuddering his release and calling Claire's name as she, too, felt her body beginning to crest, felt herself tumbling over into the abyss of pleasure their bodies moving together always created.

They lay together, spent, entwined in each other, kissing and caressing softly, Claire's partially clothed body draped over Jack's naked, prone frame until they heard the doorbell buzzing.

"I'll go," Claire chuckled, "Thanks to your interesting methods of seduction, I require less to be presentable than you do."

Jack held her hand until she was too far away and he had to let go. "Get the money out of my's in my pants in the bathroom," he called after her as she began walking down the hall, her skirt falling into place as she re-clasped her bra and began buttoning her blouse again.

"Coming!" she called when the doorbell buzzed again.

She paid for the food with money from Jack's wallet, tipped the delivery guy, and closed the door behind her, carrying the bag into the kitchen.

"Just bring the food back here," he called out to her.

Smiling slyly to herself, she pulled the bottle of diet Pepsi from the refrigerator, grabbed a couple of glasses, put them in the bag with the food, and carried the bag and soda bottle back into Jack's bedroom.

"Didn't your mother ever teach you not to eat in bed?" she asked. In the time since she'd left the bedroom, he'd pulled the covers back and gotten into bed.

"My mother told me not to do quite a number of things I do in bed ... you've never complained before..."

"You've got me there," she admitted jovially.

"No wine?" he asked as she poured them both a glass of diet Pepsi.

"Nope...I've got to drive home later..."

"Riiiiight...." he said, smiling at her, "It's a school night."


"As penalty, I insist on co-ed naked dining in bed."

"As you wish."

Claire began removing her clothes as Jack took the take-out cartons out of the bag and set them on the nightstand. When Claire was nude, she crawled onto the bed next to him, straddled his lap above the sheet, and picked up a pair of the chopsticks. Jack had busied himself opening the cartons.

They sat this way, talking, eating, and laughing for quite some time. At times, they'd eat out of the same carton, held by one or the other of them, sometimes eating out of separate cartons, sometimes feeding each other (not the simplest of tasks with chopsticks) from the carton they each held. During one of the sharing incidences, a noodle from the lo-mein slipped from Claire's chopsticks and landed on Jack's chest and fell lower. Claire reached down and gingerly extracted the noodle and dropped it into her mouth.

"The noodle's taken care of," said Jack, a mischievous grin on his face, "What about the sauce?"

Claire picked up a napkin and dabbed Jack's chest and abdomen.

"I was hoping you'd take the hint and lick it off."

"I know you were," she teased.

Jack set his carton on the nightstand, took Claire's from her and set it next to his, then reached up to cup her face in his hands.

"Guess we're done eating?" Claire asked, feigning innocence.

"Guess so," said Jack softly as he drew her face down and raised his to meet it, brushing his lips against hers.

Claire pushed him back and held him at bay with her arms. "Fortune cookies first."

Jack grabbed the bag containing the fortune cookies. "Your choice."

Claire picked one up and cracked it open, crumbs from the broken cookie landing on Jack's chest.

"Watch the crumbs," he told her mock-sternly as he withdrew one of the other cookies and broke into it.

"You will prosper financially," Claire read. "Dammit...I always get the stupid ones!"

"Everything will now come your way," Jack read.

"Rather cryptic...everything good, or everything bad....or everything in general?"

"It's a fortune means everything good," said Jack as he set the slip of paper aside, cupped Claire's face in his hands again and said, "Don't know what else could come my way ... I've got everything good I need right here," before crushing his lips against hers.

"You're pretty smooth when you want to be," she said breathlessly.

"You liked that one, did you?" he asked, smiling as he turned the tables on her and rolled her beneath him.

She nodded her head against the mattress, "I did."

He bent his head and kissed the side of her neck, "Thought you might."


An hour later, they stood in the shower, Jack massaging the shampoo into Claire's scalp with his fingers.

"You know," he commented, "This is the third time I've bathed today. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm about to sprout gills. But I'd never pass up the chance to get you in the shower.

Claire laughed. "Glad to hear it"

He tilted her head back gently, and worked the suds from her hair, then conditioned it, and rinsed again. When he was finished, he wrapped his arms around her upper arms and held her close to him. She laid her cheek against his chest and he bent to kiss the top of her head, and lower, to kiss her temple.

"I love you," he whispered above the noise of the running water.

She tilted her head back and kissed beneath his chin, "I love you."

Jack reached and turned off the water, and pulled Claire out of the shower with him. He slicked his hair back, wrapped her in a towel, wrapped himself in one, picked up another to towel-dry her hair, then used his brush to brush out her hair.

When they were dry, they dressed, and Jack walked with Claire down to her car. She leaned against her car with her feet in front of her on the side walk as Jack stood in front of her.

"We've got more of the Harlan case tomorrow," said Jack.

Claire nodded.

"We gonna repeat tonight all over again?"


"You didn't let me specify which part of tonight I was talking about."

"Doesn't matter. I don't plan on fighting two nights in a row. And tomorrow night, I want Mexican."

"Is that right?" he asked, moving in, smiling, she dodged him and headed over to the driver's side of the car.

Jack followed her, caught her at the door and hugged her close kissing her once before releasing her and letting her open the door. "Call me when you get home."

"I will," she said, resting her palm on his cheek before letting it drop. She kissed his cheek before saying, "Love you... g'bye," and getting in her car.

He watched her drive off then turned and went back into his building, to await the call saying she'd arrived home safely. 


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Blister in the Sun (New Material!)

 Jack McCoy woke to a pleasant tightness in his stomach and the sensation of something warm and wet tugging at him. He’d been having a lusty dream about his girlfriend of several months, Claire Kincaid. Even in his sleep he couldn’t get enough of her.  He shifted and noticed weight on his legs. As the fog of sleep receded, he recognized the various sensations. He sighed happily, then moaned, and Claire raised her head to look at him. 

He actually thought “speechless” as he looked at her. Her hair was mussed, partly from sleep, but mostly from their romp through his apartment and over the bed the previous evening.   Eyes half closed, she held her mouth slightly open, lips swollen and wet. His breath caught in his chest. “Jesus,” he managed, finally.

“Keep going?” she asked throatily, dipping her head again at his swift nod. 

It didn’t take long. Afterward, she held him in her mouth until the last tiny spasm. Smiling, she tucked him back into his pajama pants before rising up and fitting herself into the contours of his limp, sated body. When he could manage a coherent thought, let alone draw a full breath, he queried, “Mmmmmmm. What’d I do to deserve that?”

Claire chuckled, then propped herself up on his chest to look at him.  “I can think of about 87 reasons from last night alone.”

Finally able to move, he reached to stroke her hair. “Oh yeah? Pick one, and describe it in detail.”  His grin could only be described as rakish.  “The dirtier the better,” he added. 

“Hmmmm.  How about when you had me leaning over the arm of the sofa, my panties pulled aside, two fingers stroking all the way in, all the way out, rubbing my g-spot each time they were deep inside me, stroking my clit between each thrust.”

“Wasn’t that right before you begged me, rather loudly, to ‘stop teasing me, dammit, and fuck me, Jack!’?”

“Oh, yes.” she said, toying with the hair on his chest.  “Just exquisitely maddening.”


“Keeping track, are we, counselor?” 

“Mmmhmmm.  Forever cataloging the things that get you off.”

“It’s a pretty long list, and we’re still just gettin’ started … are you writing them down?”

Jack chuckled and kissed her head.   “Absolutely shameless … one of the things I love about you.”

He turned to his side and began lightly stroking her body.  She sighed happily before answering him.

“Benefit of spending my adolescent years in boarding school, and not among Jesuits: No hair shirts or self-flagellation for enjoying the pleasures of the flesh. They just told us good girls ‘don’t’ … I always thought “don’t get caught’ sounded like a lot more fun. There’s some wiggle room when you aren’t worried about facing hellfire and damnation.”

Claire stretched in Jack’s arms, and then relaxed into him, luxuriating in the languid feel of his hands on her body through her tank top and pajama bottoms, coupled with bolts of electricity flying through her whenever his fingers met skin. 

“My good fortune,” he told her, leaning in to trail his lips along her ear. “I’ve never met another woman who was so …”


He chuckled. “Well, yes, that. But I was going to say ‘who gave herself over to passion as thoroughly as you‘, or with such a variety of appetites. You realize you’re every teenage boy’s wet dream?” He was taking care not to directly touch her breasts, only letting his knuckles graze the sides or underneath as he stroked her arm and abdomen.  He stroked lower, over her belly, along her inner thigh, again only letting his thumb lightly graze close to her pussy.  Claire arched trying to meet his hand, but he slid it up over her stomach, “You really are incredible.” 

“Partly your fault, you know.  If you weren’t so good with your hands, I wouldn’t need them all over me all the time.”  She wrapped her leg around him, and he moved his leg until he could feel the heat of her pussy against his thigh.

“All over you?  I think there are a few spots you need me to touch more than others. And not just with my hands.”  He murmured against her neck, still stroking her, still not touching those few spots. 

“Mmmmhmmm,” she sighed.  “I wish you’d touch them now.”

“I know you do.  But you’re so much fun to tease,” he told her, kissing the base of her neck. Her pulse was racing, breath shallow, and she’d begun to move against his leg. “I wonder …”


“What you would do if I told you I was too hungry for breakfast, now that I’m satisfied, to return the favor?”  

“You wouldn’t!?”

“Hypothetically … what if I did?”

“Well then, I’d send you out for bagels and take a really long shower.”

His eyebrows shot up and he nipped beneath her chin.  “Oh, really?”

“Are you shocked? How do you think I made it through all of those months of flirting with you?”

“I never really thought about it, but with your sex drive … hmmmm, now I’m intrigued,”  he trailed one finger around her taut nipple through her top, delighting as her body spasmed in response, before returning to the teasing, languid strokes.  “How, exactly, did you survive?”

“The occasional cold shower … and rampant masturbation.”

Occasionally she delightfully blindsided him. “How rampant?”

“Daily … at least.”

Claire felt Jack jerk involuntarily at her admission.

“I’m going to have a lot of fun working this into my overall view of Claire Kincaid,” he told her, letting his thumb stroke down the seam of her pajama bottoms, feeling her heat,  just for a moment, watching her eyes flutter closed, then shoot open to look directly into his. “It makes perfect sense, now that I know the rigors of keeping up with your libido.”

“Feeling overworked?”

“On the contrary,” he sighed against her neck, drawing her tighter against him “It seems I can’t get enough of you.”

“That works out wonderfully for me.”

“I’ve noticed you don’t complain.”

“My only complaint, if you could even call it that,” she said, arching toward his teasing hand sliding over her pelvis, “would be that courtroom chairs are very hard.  Noticeably more so after an evening with you.  And particularly on Mondays”

“Ha!” he chuckled. “I have occasionally noticed a little hitch in your step. Particularly on Mondays.”

“And I don’t complain… because it’s fucking worth it.”
“Fucking right. But I want to back up a little bit, here, Claire.”


“You didn’t think I’d let you drop a bombshell like daily-at-least masturbation and think I wouldn’t, uh, probe further?”

“Excellent stylistic choice, there, Mr. McCoy.”

“Nice evasion, Ms. Kincaid. Should I ask the court for permission to treat the witness as hostile?”  He asked, lips against her throat, hand sliding between her thighs to cup her pussy, pressing, giving her a taste of what she wanted.

 “Oh, yes, please,” she purred.

“You are incorrigible.” His hand trailed away, slid up her body, to her neck. He tilted her head back and claimed her mouth with his own. 

When she broke the kiss to breathe, she replied, “I think ‘insatiable’ might be the more appropriate word. Especially since I met you. But, OK, I’ll give.  What do you want to know?”

‘Everything!” Even he thought he sounded too enthusiastic. He breathed for a moment, tempered his tone.  “Tell me where.  In the shower?”

“Sometimes. Sometimes in bed in the mornings, when I’d wake up in a sweat, all worked up, after dreaming about you. Sometimes on my couch, imagining you taking me on the couch in your office.  In the ladies room at Hogan Place, after a case conference with you hard-assing the defense. Once even in the ladies room outside Part 49, because you touched my shoulder and leaned close to whisper in my ear, and after that, I couldn’t concentrate on the case. I just kept imagining you bending me over the bar table.” 

“I’ve had moments like those, too.  Somehow, I managed to refrain from scratching that itch in the office,” he chuckled.

“Maybe if you had, you wouldn’t have needed to walk around with a strategically placed case file.”

“You noticed that?”

“Yep. I even noticed the bulge before you could cover it up once or twice.”

“If I had been able to see such obvious and apparently frequent evidence of your reaction to me, I might have stepped up my game plan.”

“I love how you always try to spin it like I’m not the one who made the first pass.” She kissed his neck as he slid his hand beyond her hip, down the back of her thigh, then slowly back up again. “Don’t think your very obvious attraction to me didn’t inspire a trip to the ladies’ room.”

“This just keeps getting better. I have to admit, though, I’m a little surprised you were able to stay quiet enough not to cause a scandal.”

“I can be quiet,” she told him.  He actually snorted.  “Hey, I can! But why bother if I don’t have to?”

“You realize from now on I’m going to wonder if you’re heading to the bathroom to get yourself off whenever you excuse yourself at the office, right?”

“Better keep a case file handy.”

“Yeah, no joke. Like that image isn’t a concentration killer.” 

“You wanted to know.”

“Believe me, Claire, I’m not the least bit sorry I asked.”

“Trips to the ladies’ don’t happen very frequently anymore.  Not now that I know you’re likely to fuck me senseless after the work day is done.”

“I love that it still happens at all.”

“Can’t help it. You’ll look at me a certain way, or there’ll be certain tone in your voice, or a particular movement of your hand … and it’s like my brain just short circuits. I’m toast unless I can scratch that itch. I haven’t felt like that since I was a raging ball of teenage hormones.”

“Trust me, I do know the feeling. I usually have a little more self-mastery.  It’s been a long, long time since I’ve needed the case file trick.”

His hand was working its way beneath her clothes now. Still just teasing, his fingertips grazed the under side of her breasts, slipped down the back of her pajamas, squeezed her ass, then lightly trailed her outer labia.  Characteristically, she arched back, trying for more pressure, more friction. And then the hand was gone.

“I just remembered one time in particular I think you’ll enjoy hearing about,” she sighed.

“One of the trips to the ladies’ room?”

“Way to fixate, McCoy.” she laughed.  “No … I was at home, but you did play an integral part.  And not just in my imagination, either.”

“Please, go on,” he urged, pushing her to her back, working her tank top up to expose her breasts. He traced around them, avoiding the nipples, aching now for his fingers, his tongue, even his teeth.

“It was late; I was working on a witness prep for an interview the next morning. I didn’t think I was particularly horny.  Then my phone rang.  You’d lost track of time working on a closing, didn’t realize it was almost midnight when you called to ask for me help getting past a sticky section.”

He bent his head to kiss between her breasts. His hair brushed against a nipple and she jerked involuntarily. The slight touch was almost more than she could bear, and yet she wanted so much more.

“Your voice in my ear … it sounded so … intimate. I could almost feel your breath on my neck, your lips. I didn’t even realize what I was doing at first, but then my blouse was open, I was playing with my nipples. Then my jeans were open, and my hand was in my panties. The minute I started to play with my clit, you busted me, said my voice sounded funny, wondered if I was catching something.”

He’d been turned on by their conversation since it began, but, sated, he’d yet to become erect again. Her last words changed that. He felt his cock twitch back to life, begin to stiffen. He remembered the phone call she was talking about.

“I thought for sure you could tell, and at first I stopped, feeling embarrassed that you’d think of me like that, even if it were true.”

“I had no idea … I’d know, now, because I know your tells, but I was totally oblivious then.”

 “Mmmhmmm, and then the thought after that was how hot it would be, you listening to me, imagining me, at that moment. Then I thought of you there, in the room, watching, and I had to muffle the phone so you wouldn’t hear me cum.”

“If memory serves, you told me you’d gone to rescue something boiling over on the stove.” 

“Something was definitely burning … just not in my kitchen.”

He’d moved so that he was able to work her pajama bottoms off of her, spreading her legs and settling himself on his knees between them. He slid a hand up each thigh, running both thumbs along her outer lips, parting them to expose her, avoiding the touch he knew she most craved.

“I think you like telling me about this … you should see how slick and swollen your pussy is right now.”

“Jesus, Jack, you’re driving me crazy.  I want …”

“I know exactly what you want,” he told her.  “My tongue, here” as he tweaked her clit between thumb and forefinger. “My fingers in here,” as he circled his finger around her hole. “Or maybe you want my cock inside you, deep, and hard, and fast.” He was back to just teasing her outer lips, enjoying watching her writhe and twist to angle for more direct contact. “But knowing your greedy little pussy, I’m guessing the real answer is ‘all of the above’.”

He relented then, before she could voice a reply.  He sucked her clit into his mouth, drummed his tongue against it as two fingers slid home, finding her g-spot. And when the first ragged moan escaped from her throat, he stopped just as suddenly.

“No!” she whimpered, wanting, needing him to continue with every fiber of her being.

He covered her body with his and plundered her mouth. She could taste herself on him, and that excited her even more. 

“Please,” she pleaded, eyes fogged with need, willing him forward.

He shook his head.  “I want to see.” He kissed her again.  “I know how worked up you are.  I want to watch you scratch that itch.”

“You’ve seen me touch myself before. Maybe not to completion, but when I’m on top, or when you’re fucking me from behind.”

“Or when you know I’m about go off, and you want to time your orgasm with mine.” He’d begun moving against her, every so slightly, enjoying the friction of her heated sex rubbing against his still hardening cock.  “I know.  Somehow it’s not quite the same. I‘m a guy, we’re visual, what can I say? My very own peep-show … the idea is very, very appealing.”

She hooked her feet behind the backs of his thighs to give her leverage to grind against him. Soon, the very thin fabric of his pajama bottoms was soaked from her wetness.  She snaked her hands up into his hair, manipulating his head so that she could kiss his neck.  “Are you sure you wouldn’t rather have that big, hard cock, inside my hot, dripping cunt?” She whispered in his ear, then nipped his lobe.

Jack jerked against her, cursed her sharp little teeth, praised her filthy mouth, but his resolve was unshaken.  “Nice try … I know that’s what you want.  And maybe after, I’ll give it to you, but first …”  He eased himself off of her, sat back, and looked at her expectantly, one eyebrow raised, a smile teasing at his lips.  “Well?”

"It’s put up or shut up time, now Claire," she told herself. "You started this game … you’ve wanted exactly this for months.  Why are you suddenly so shy?"

“Coy looks adorable on you,” he told her.  “Even if you are a big faker.  C’mon, Claire.  I don’t think you would’ve told me all of this, about getting off on the phone thinking about me watching, if deep down, you didn’t want to show me.”

“I do … it’s just so … personal.  Nobody’s ever watched me before.”

He leaned over her again, kissed her neck, beneath her chin, and then her mouth. He brought his hand to her pussy, stroked her clit, stoking her fire.  “I know how badly you want to cum.”  

“God, yes,” she moaned, moving with his hand.

Suddenly, he thought of something that might make her a bit less nervous. “Would it help if we began with me telling you what to do?” 

She gasped and nodded against his shoulder.

Leaning back on his feet again, he said softly, “Why don’t you sit up and prop yourself up on some pillows?”

She did as he suggested, and also removed the tank top he’d earlier pushed up.  While she arranged herself, he re-positioned himself so that he was sitting on the edge of the bed, one foot on the floor, the other leg bent on the bed.  He rested his chin in his hand and his elbow on his knee.  

“Comfortable?” he asked her.  

She blushed, hesitated a moment, then nodded 

 Jack sat up and dropped his hand to her thigh, stroking lightly. His hand, as always, felt like a bolt of electricity when it touched her, yet soothing somehow. 

He opened with “Close your eyes.” They fluttered closed.   “Do you usually play with your nipples?”

She nodded.

“Show me how you like to play with your nipples.”

With her eyes closed, it was easier. Jack’s voice was low, yet firm. Claire’s right hand fluttered up to her collar bone, first, then, tentatively, trailed down to her left breast. She spasmed as her palm passed over her nipple, arched backward, moved her hand lower to cup her breast, beginning to stroke her nipple with her thumb. She captured it between her thumb and forefinger, pinching, twisting, and then switching suddenly to the right nipple so her left hand could replace it. She tweaked them both simultaneously, then pinched, twisted, pulled a little, then backed off, stroked around them, squeezed the flesh beneath them.  

Jack noticed her hips were beginning to move against his bed. "Interesting," he thought to himself, taking note. "She even teases herself." Then she surprised him again, capturing each nipple between thumb and forefinger, pinching, pulling, clearly harder than he’d ever done. 

Claire moaned, arched her back, bit her lip, and whimpered just a little.  He leaned forward, kissed her and she answered his insistent tongue with her own. He pulled back, said, “look at me, Claire.”  Her eyes opened, she was still biting her lower lip.  Voice ragged and low, he asked, “would you like me to do it that hard?” 

She nodded, pinched again, twisted, and pulled. Her breath caught, and she held it in, absorbing the pain that turned into pleasure as she released her breath in short, panting gasps.  Her eyes slid closed for a moment, but she opened them. Jack’s look of naked lust and appreciation emboldened her. Keeping her left hand at her breasts, her right began its journey down her torso, eyes trained on Jack’s all the while.  He smiled at her, nodded his approval. He’d known, once she started, she wouldn’t need much prodding. 

He watched her fingers, those elegant fingers that had the power to distract him at the most inopportune moment, slide over her belly, her pelvis, until she was pressing her hand against her pussy.  She gasped and circled her hips against her palm, and he watched her middle finger disappear into her cleft to stroke her clit.

She cried out and his eyes flew back to her face. Her mouth was open now, emitting moans and sighs of pleasure, as she kept her eyes on him. Jack shook his head at her, exhaling heavily through his nostrils, and said, “Fuck, that‘s sexy.” 

She nodded at him, a crooked smile playing at one edge of her mouth. She gasped, and his eyes flew back to her hand. She’d shifted upward slightly, tracing slow circles around her clit.  He glanced upward and her left hand was still dexterously tweaking and pinching her nipples. The finger on her clit began to circle faster and faster, hips bucking beneath the ministrations of her hand. 

Jack took mental notes as he watched her. Her breath was hard, ragged, shallow. Her eyes were still focusing on him, but half lidded and dark, her face and chest flushed. He knew she was close, if she moved her finger just a little bit faster she’d crest and he’d be watching her shudder and call out her release. Knowing her penchant for begging him to relent and let her cum when he had her thusly teetering, he fully expected she’d have an orgasm momentarily.

His eyes twinkled as he nodded, urging her to cum. She smiled thinking, “He thinks I want to cum now.”  She shook her head, told him, “Not yet.”

He might have known she’d surprise him. His eyebrow shot up. “If that were my hand, you’d be begging me not to tease you.”

Her lips curled into a smile again, “I could get it over with right now.”  Her voice was husky and slightly short of breath. “I thought you might want more of a show.”

He smiled now at how she’d demurred, made him coax her into it, and then almost immediately gave over to the pleasure. This wasn’t the first time he’d considered that being “coaxed” into doing things she wanted to do was part of what was hot for her - as if being coaxed allowed her to more fully surrender to the pleasure. He was happy to play it that way if she wanted. Hell, he was happy to play it any way she wanted. 

He leaned over to rest one hand on the bed on her side farthest from him. “Well,” he reasoned, his other hand moving to capture the nipple she was neglecting, squeezing hard,  “It’s not as though you’re one and done.”

His mouth closed over hers and he pinched again. She gasped, and then met the demands of his mouth, involuntarily speeding up the pace of her fingers. When he sat away from her again, she was panting.  “No … it’s … not,” she managed between breaths.

Her hand slid lower and she watched his eyes staring transfixed as her middle and ring fingers disappeared into her pussy.  She held her hand still, grinding her hips so that her fingers churned inside her and her clit rubbed against the heel of her hand. When at last she needed more, she started pumping her fingers in and out. Soon, her index finger joined in and her eyes were sliding closed as the sensations overtook her. 

Jack’s cock had gone from stiffening to rock solid. As Claire’s first orgasm washed over, he moved his hand between his own legs to begin rubbing his erection with his palm.  

Still twitching, eyes closed, her left hand joined her right, replacing the fingers in her pussy so those of her right hand could resume furiously circling her clit. Her eyes flew open and she took him in: watching her, appreciation and desire naked on his face; appreciation and desire made more obvious by the hard cock in his hand, which he was now openly stroking, freed from the bonds of fabric.  

“Yes … again … now,” she panted, and then she was tumbling over into the abyss of pleasure once more.  

She was still trembling with the aftershocks of her second orgasm when Jack was over her.  ‘Pounced’ was the best way to describe his movement as he gripped her wrists and drew them over her head, drawing her lips into a frenzied kiss. He positioned himself just right and Claire felt that first piercing stab of pleasure as he buried himself inside her. He stilled himself long enough to slide his hands from her wrists so they were palm to palm with hers, feeling the last trembles of her orgasm contract around him.  She wrapped her fingers through his. He closed his hands around hers, and gruffly said her name as she began to rock herself against him. 

He began to move then, slow, agonizing strokes, pulling almost completely out before sliding fully home. After several of these tantalizingly slow strokes, Claire began thrusting against him, urging him to increase his pace.  Instead, he stilled himself, pinioning her hips to the bed with his, preventing her movement. When he felt her relax, he began the long, slow strokes again and immediately she began thrusting faster only to find her hips pinned, motionless, once more. 

She knew he was purposefully teasing her, and admonished, “Dammit, Jack, just fuck me!”

Instead, he pulled out of her and began sliding the shaft of his cock along the outside of her pussy, delighting in her little whimper of “no” as he left her.

“MmmmMmmm,” he shook his head at her. “Remember the catalog? Let’s review this morning’s entries.”

His right hand trailed down her arm, along her side until he could cup her breast. He stroked her nipple with his thumb, and then captured it, pinching hard. Claire inhaled sharply through her teeth and squirmed against him.

“Like that?” he asked, and added, “Yeah,” as she nodded. He pinched sharply again, dipping his head to tease the other nipple with his lips. He took the stiffened nub between his teeth and nipped hard enough to make her cry out. 

His hand slipped between them to tease her further, stoke her fire, and keep her on that edge as he began to lay out his evidence, like points in a closing argument.  “You make a lot of noise when you want to cum, order me not to tease you, beg me … you were doing it just this morning, and then 30 seconds later when you had the opportunity to make yourself cum, you looked me right in the eye and shook your head, teased yourself some more, made sure I saw how hard you worked your nipples.”

Claire’s stomach flipped over, the way it had those many months ago on the phone, when she thought Jack must’ve known she was touching herself: the slight tinge of embarrassment from him *knowing* feeding into the great, gnawing, want. He leaned into bite her nipple again, and then kissed his way up to her neck. His hand on her pussy stilled. He held it there, palm pressing against her. 

“I think you like the edge, Claire, when I keep you there, teetering. I think you like to be talked into things you already know you want to do. I think you like to have to beg for it.” Her pussy contracted - he felt it even from the outside. Even though she’d already had an orgasm - two - the need was becoming unbearable. He’d given her just enough to make her notice the emptiness when he left her, and that emptiness was beginning to ache. “And then when I finally give it to you, you want it hard, rough even, to hurt just a little.”

It was true. All of it. And it was what she wanted right fucking now.

“Please,” she implored him, arching against his hand. 

“Admit it,” Jack pressed, repositioning himself on he knees. He gripped Claire’s waist with both hands and guided himself into her, holding her firmly still. “Admit that you like it when I tease you, when I make you beg,” His breath was hot against her ear, “Admit it, and I’ll give you what you want, exactly the way you want it.”
“Yes! Yes!  Please!” she cried.

“Don’t say it like you’re just saying it because you  need to cum … say it like you know it’s true, because you‘re making me do it right now.” He demanded, with that maddening -and damn sexy- smirk on his face.

Bastard! “Yes, god, please, Jack” she pleaded, “It’s true, all of it!”

Propping himself up on one arm, he moved the other hand to painfully tweak her nipple. Keeping up the pressure, he pulled back and thrust swiftly, forcefully, forward. Her breath caught, her mouth open, but soundless, for the first few thrusts. As he moved harder, faster, her eyes closed and she gripped his shoulders, dug her fingers into his flesh, and began to cry out. The pitch of her moans was low, guttural, but loud.  He shifted his hand to the other nipple, pinched hard, and twisted a little. And then she was no longer on the edge, but falling into an abyss of blinding light and body-wracking pleasure.

He kept moving, riding the waves of her orgasm, until it was over and she was thrusting against him rather than bucking and jerking. She drew her legs up, hooked her ankles together around the backs of his thighs and met each fierce, pounding thrust. 

“God, I love fucking you like this,” he confessed, lips against her ear, breath hot and demanding. He was getting close. “Look at me.” 

Her eyes opened. “Please … harder,” she implored him, “Fuck me harder.”

He did, and he knew he wasn’t going to last much longer at this pace.  He ceased tormenting her nipples to draw her hand down between them, pressing her fingers against her clit which she furiously began to rub.   “God, Claire … hurry, please … I don’t think …”

Her first contraction gripped him so tightly it almost hurt, but then they were spasms, tightening and releasing. Jack cried out, his moans joining hers as the waves took them both.

Afterward, he rolled away, capable of no more than that. They lay for some time, unable to move even to snuggle closer, connected simply by her hand holding his between her breasts.

Finally, Claire rolled to fit herself into the curves of his side, resting her head on his shoulder, palm against his chest.

“Holy fuck,” she breathed.

“Well, it is Sunday,” he joked.

Claire snorted and began to giggle.  

“It wasn’t that funny,” he said, feigning seriousness.

“Hey, you scrambled my brain and turned it to mush, low brow humor is about all I can manage … cut me some slack”

“Now you’re making me hungry”

As if to bolster his case, his stomach growled. Then hers did. 

“Oh, god, competing appetites. I’m starving but I’m too well-fucked to move.”

“Ha, I know the feeling.  I think *I* might find the court room seats too hard tomorrow,” he chuckled. He was stroking her hair. “So tell me, Ms. Kincaid,”

“Hmmm …. Yes?”

“Did I balance the scales? Is the favor sufficiently returned?”

“Oh, god,” 

“I’ll take that as a ‘yes’,” he said with smug satisfaction. And then, “Jesus, you’re amazing.”

“You just played me like a maestro … credit where credit is due.”

“True,” he reasoned, “But it helps that you’re so much fun to play.”

This time Claire’s stomach growled first.  

“Ok, ok, we get it” he said, laughing as he swung himself out of bed. “My turn to make breakfast, why don’t you hop in the shower? If you can move, that is.”

“Screw you, McCoy,” she laughed.

“You just did!”  He slipped into the newer of the robes on the back of his door. He’d eventually had to buy himself another, as Claire had lain claim to his. He’d intended the new one for her - his old one was worn and he’d -badly- sewn a pocket that had ripped. But she’d insisted he take the new one. It didn’t smell like him yet.

When she joined him in the kitchen, in his old robe, the coffee was already brewing.

“Hey, stranger” she greeted.  He held his arms open and she walked into a hug.  He kissed the top of her head and moved away to start pulling things from the fridge for breakfast.  “Coffee first, then shower.”

“Sounds like the proper order of things,” he smiled.  “Pancakes or eggs and toast?”

“What, no bagels?”

His eyebrow shot up. “Do I need to go out for some?” 

“I didn’t just come for coffee … I was going to let you know I might be a little longer in the shower this morning.”

He shook his head and laughed, pride and awe both clearly present. “Really?”

“Hmmmm, unless you think ... ?” and she reached beneath his robe.

He was still too sensitive, and he jumped, avoiding her hand. “No way, Kincaid, I think he may be out of service for the day.”

“That is a travesty,”

“Well, at least for the morning.” He smiled, eyes dancing. 

Claire gave over, “I think I’ll survive … honestly, I’m a little overly-sensitive too.”

The coffee maker beeped, indicating it was finished brewing. Jack moved to pour them each a cup, let her fix hers the way she wanted. 

“Pancakes,” she said, answering the earlier question. “I love the way you make them.”

“Pancakes it is,” he said as she padded out of the kitchen to shower.

* * * * *

She’d been teasing about taking a longer shower this morning, but she made the mistake of running through their encounter as she soaped and conditioned her hair. Jack was good - really, really fucking good - at reading her, at giving her what she wanted, and knowing when he shouldn’t. They didn’t always play these games, many times their sex was pretty straight-forward.  Hot, intense, often tending a little toward raunchy, but less intellectual, more physical. 

But when they played like they had this morning, -"Jesus," she thought, "he drives me crazy …and it makes me cum so hard.”

She turned to face the stream now that her hair was clean, and the warm water spraying from the shower head stung her still tingling nipples. Her pussy twitched at the memory of the sharp pain of Jack’s fingers, the even sharper bite of his teeth.  Unable to resist, she reached with both hands to tweak the still sensitive peaks. A ragged moan escaped her.

No man had ever inspired this brain-melting lust in her.  As much time as the spent having sex, it never felt like enough. She wondered sometimes if the fact that they had to be so proscribed about their relationship at work, while spending so much time together, increased the tension, made the need for him even more. Then again, even on mornings like these when he’d spent a good hour getting her off several times, she couldn’t get enough.  It was a desire that seemed to feed on itself, like the flame of a burning candle endlessly drawing fuel from its wick.

She answered the suddenly urgent need with her fingers, eyes fluttering closed. She was so lost in the sensation she hadn’t heard Jack come into the bathroom. He stood for a moment, pleased with himself that he’d guessed right as he took in the sight of her through the shower door. 

He startled her when he opened it.  She opened her mouth to protest the interruption- more from shock than embarrassment, until she took in the length of him, noting that he was more than ready to take over where she’d left off.

“I thought you said …?”

“Turns out you’re more … inspirational … than I realized.” He told her, stepping in, pulling her slick, naked body against his. 

“Oh yeah?” she moved suggestively against him, delighting as he jerked against her.

“Mmmmhmmmm … I was beating the eggs when I started remember the look on your face as you slid your fingers inside you.  I finished making the batter and then had this very vivid image of you in the shower, doing what I just found you doing … and well, it’s hard to concentrate with a boner.”

“My lucky day,” she said as he turned her to face the shower door and moved behind her. She bent forward slightly and gripped hold of the door frame. Jack slid home with ease. No pretense this time, just short, swift thrusts. Still holding the door with one hand, Claire moved the other between her legs, driving herself higher.  She came first, the spasms of her orgasm wringing Jack’s from him.   

“Mmmmm, that’s better,” he breathed against her ear as he slid out of her. 

“Much better,” she said, turning to him, a well-sated smile on her face. They kissed deeply for a few minutes, and finally Claire pulled away. She laid her head against Jack’s chest, and wrapped her arms around him.  After a moment, she looked up at him, and this time their stomachs rumbled in unison.  She laughed, “About those pancakes?”

“No way I’m leaving you alone in this shower again, Kincaid. I want to eat sometime before dinner.” 

She laughed with him.   “Fine, you finish showering, I’ll go make our pancakes.”