She moved further into the room, looking around curiously. I flipped on a light to dispel the
gloom I'd been sitting in and followed her across the room. She stopped in front of the bay
window and looked out over the city.
"Nice." She turned to me, pulling back the hood of her sweatshirt to reveal a loose tumble of
dark hair. Her movements stopped and her lips parted slightly as she looked at me. I was dressed
- or rather undressed - for bed, and her eyes wandered my body, starting at my bare feet and
moving up from there, taking in my bare legs, baggy cotton boxers and snug tank top…when she
reached my face and our eyes met, the emotions on display there had me moving towards her
without a thought other than wanting to immerse myself in what I saw.
We came together furiously, desperately - no finesse or tenderness, just raw need and instant,
overwhelming arousal. I was dizzy from it; dizzy from the ferocity of her kisses, from her tongue
seeking mine, from her lips and teeth on my neck…it was overwhelming and held an underlying
desperation that even in my brain's addled state, set off warning bells.
I tried to slow it down, to get things back in control by breaking the kiss and pulling away
slightly, but Robyn took the opportunity to quickly pull the sweatshirt over her head and the t-
shirt beneath it - did the woman ever wear a bra?? - tossing them haphazardly to the floor as she
kicked off her shoes and worked at the buttons of her jeans. In seconds she was naked and any
thoughts of slowing things down to ascertain the reason for her desperation vanished when she
took my hands and lay them on her skin.
"Oh, yeah…" she breathed. "Jesus, Caid, I need you to touch me. I just need to feel you…"
Another heated kiss pushed me backward and I fell onto the bed; she came after me and
straddled my waist, grasping my hand and guiding it to her sex. "Inside…please, Caid. I need…"
She pushed my fingers into her warmth and moaned, falling forward and bracing herself above
me, one hand next to my head and the other against the headboard. Her eyes closed and she
threw her head back, moving against me with increased urgency.
Oh my god…
It was wildly erotic, to be inside her like this as she moved above me; my own hips moved in
response, rising to meet her thrusts and drawing low moans from both of us. With my free hand I
grabbed her waist and pulled her against me harder.
"God…" her breaths were almost sobs, her eyes shut tightly, and I felt a flicker of uncertainty. I
needed to see her eyes, needed to know she was here, with me…
"Look at me, baby. Don't close your eyes…look at me…"
Her slowed her movements and lowered her head, her hair cascading over one shoulder and
tickling the skin of my chest. Her eyes opened, so dark they looked black, staring intently into
"Caid…" she whispered, raising her hand from the bed to cup my cheek. "I…oh, god…"
Her eyes widened when I gently stroked her clit with my thumb and I watched in wonderment
and reverence as her breathing stopped, only to be let out in a rush as her body stiffened and
release washed over her face.
There were no words to describe it, watching her at that moment.
It was terrifyingly personal, so intimate that I had to force myself not to look away, even though
it had been at my request. I continued stroking and the gentle rhythm of my fingers until she
stopped my hand with her own and slowly collapsed against me, burying her face in my neck,
her breathing harsh and labored in my ear.
I slowly withdrew my fingers and wrapped both arms around her tightly, pulling her closer and
kissing her temple. I held her as her breathing returned to normal and her trembling stopped; held
her as the tears I could feel on my neck dried and her body relaxed in my embrace.
"Hey," I said finally, and kissed her hair. "You okay?" I felt her nod, and stroked her hair with
one hand. "Honey…"
She raised her head and kissed me, silencing my words. "Shhh…" she said softly, and kissed me
again. "No talking. Just let me touch you."
Her hand had already worked its way under my shirt, stroking the skin beneath my ribs, and I
made no protest as she pushed herself up and straddled me again, pulling the material over my
head and tossing it to the floor. As much as I wanted to know what was going on in her head,
something told me to keep quiet and let her control things; she needed this somehow and to be
honest, so did I.
So I said nothing as she sat back and her gaze raked my naked torso, claming it as hers. I said
nothing as her mouth licked and sucked at my neck and breasts and a hand tugged my boxers
down over my hips and off my legs. I said nothing as she kissed her way down my body with
infinite tenderness, so different from her desperation of minutes before. I said nothing until I
breathlessly gasped out her name as her tongue brought me to climax once, and then again, and I
lay exhausted in a tangle of sheets, her dark hair spread out across my stomach and her lips soft
"Jesus," I breathed when I'd gotten my breath back. I stroked her head. "Come up here, please."
She did as I asked, placing gentle kisses as she went, her hair brushing softly against my skin as
she moved up my body. She looked into my face for several long moments, her eyes swirling
with emotions I couldn't decipher. I almost told her then. Almost said the words, almost blurted
out I love you…but she broke eye contact, kissed my chin and laid her head on my chest and the
moment slipped away.
My arms went around her automatically, and I touched my lips to her hair. "Rob…"
"Shhh…" she quieted me again. "I don't want to talk right now, okay? Just hold me."
I hesitated, wanting very badly to know what was going on, but not wanting to spoil the moment.
I sighed and kissed her head again, rubbing a hand up and down her back. She felt my
acquiescence and draped an arm across my waist, turning her head to kiss the skin below my
collarbone. I closed my eyes and relaxed, enjoying the feel of her weight on me, and the heat of
her skin. As I drifted off to sleep, she whispered something and I stirred, fighting against a
dragging tiredness caused by sleepless nights, stressful days and recent physical activity. A
soothing hand on my stomach calmed me; I gave up and let sleep come.
"I don't really give a flying fuck about what the studio's normal policy is towards handing the
press at the building entrance, Connie," I snapped. "I just want to know if they're going to do
anything about it today."
The silence on the other end of the line told me that I'd again let my nasty mood get the better of
me. Damn. First it was the poor room service guy this morning; the first person I'd seen after
waking up alone. Then the concierge who had asked me, innocently, if I'd enjoyed my stay. And
now Connie. I sighed, and leaned my head back against the leather interior of the network
"Shit, Connie, I'm sorry. Pay no attention to the raving lunatic on the other end of the
phone…she's had a bad couple of days and wants nothing more than to be home and away from
this damn city."
Connie laughed lightly, but her voice held concern. "You seemed okay when I talked to you last
night, Caid…did something happen? You didn't go out, did you, and run into more press?"
"No…" My lesbian lover stopped by for a lovely fuck and then snuck off without a word while I
was sleeping. But she was nice enough to order me croissants and coffee before she left. "…I'm
just tired, and ready to go home."
"Well you're almost done, kiddo. Just charm the pants off Brandon Marcus and you'll be home in
I barked out a laugh. "I'll do my best, but if he starts taking his pants off, I'm outta there. That is
definitely not in my contract."
Connie giggled and I grinned, glad I'd been forgiven for my previous outburst. "You could do
worse than Brandon Marcus, Caid. He's kind of cute in a…"
"…geeky, teddy bear sort of way?" I finished for her, and laughed. "He actually kind of reminds
me of an ex-boyfriend I had in college."
"Really?" I rarely spoke about my personal life or my life before she'd been my agent, and I
could tell she was intrigued.
"Really," I told her, and laughed again. "But I still don't want to see him without his pants. And
what's with you trying to hook me up lately? Teenagers last week, and now nerdy talk show
"Well, lately your choices in men could have been better…" She stopped herself and there was
heavy silence. "Ah. Damn. I'm sorry Caid, I shouldn't have said anything, it's none of my
The beginnings of an improved mood dissipated instantly, and I rubbed my forehead vigorously
with my palm. I'd assumed, when Connie didn't ask questions about Josh and immediately put
out a press release that we were just friends, that she actually believed we were just friends.
"No, I don't suppose it is your business, Con, but you could have asked, and then you wouldn't
have had to think you've been lying about it for the last four days." I was disappointed but not
surprised. I had implied recently that I had a big secret that I wasn't ready to tell her; I couldn't
really blame her for jumping to conclusions. "Josh and I are friends. That's it. There is nothing
romantic between us. Nothing."
"Robyn and I are friends, too. She's aware that Josh and I are friends and do things together - she
introduced us for god's sake. And she knows I would never do something like make a play for
For more reasons than you realize, Con, I thought, and frowned.
Robyn did know that, didn't she? Could that be the reason for her desperation last night? I shook
my head. If she entertained that thought for even a second, I was going to have to smack her
upside the head.
Right after I kicked her in the ass for leaving me this morning without a word.
"I'm sorry," she said quietly. "I should have asked if I had doubts."
"I'd rather you didn't have doubts, but I guess I don't blame you."
"Don't worry about it, Con. It's alright. Now…can you find out about the entrance for me?
Maybe there's a back way or something?"
"Yes, I'll find out and let you know. Where are you now?"
"Oh, hell, I don't know this city…" I squinted at a passing street sign. "Uh…Ninth and…Thirty-
second, I think."
"Okay…you've got a fair bit to go yet. I'll call you back."
"Yep." I hung up and leaned my forehead against the glass. Watching the people and cars around
us as we crawled through traffic, I thought back on the morning.
A knock on the door and a muffled words, "Room service!" had pulled me from sleep just before
eight, and after a surprised glance at the clock, I'd sleepily reached behind me, expecting a long,
warm body but finding a cold, empty space. I wondered, briefly, if I'd dreamed the entire thing,
but the smell of her lingered on the pillow, and my body…it remembered.
I'd called out for her, thinking she was in the bathroom or the shower, not even considering the
possibility that she was just…gone. The room service waiter had received the brunt of my
disbelief and anger when I'd realized Robyn was indeed gone, and after stammering a confused
apology for something he certainly had nothing to do with, he scurried off with his cart, taking
the silver serving tray of pastries and coffee with him.
I'd called her cell phone - my resolve to honor her request of no contact flew out the window the
minute she showed up at my hotel room in New York - but I'd been immediately sent to
voicemail. I left a sarcastic, scathing message that made me feel a little better for about two
seconds, but didn't change the fact that she'd left.
She hadn't even left a note. No note, no message, nothing.
Once again, she'd managed to astonish me with her passion and her touch, and then make me feel
like just another lover in a long line of lovers.
If this was what loving Robyn Ward was going to be like, maybe I could live without it.
I rapped my forehead against the glass a few times, and shook my head.
No, I can't.
"You assaulted me, detective. I could have you thrown in jail for that." The voice was low and
smoky, doing its normal number on me even though it wasn't live and at the moment, I was
thoroughly pissed off at the woman generating it.
"Why didn't you?" I winced at the breathiness of my reply.
Some big, tough cop I was.
I watched from behind the stage curtain as the clip of our now infamous finale lip-lock rolled to
its conclusion on the screen behind the host's desk. The audience erupted in whistles and loud
applause and I took a deep, calming breath and tilted my head from side to side to relieve the
Unlike other talk shows I'd been on, the rotating hosts of NightTalk didn't meet their guest
beforehand, and that sense of unfamiliarity was making me more nervous than usual, especially
with all the press I'd drawn lately. I was hoping he was as amiable as he appeared to be, since my
mood had yet to improve today, and I wasn't particularly confident I'd be able to hold my temper
if he started picking at me about all the things the press had accused me of. What great headlines
that would make. Slutty Man-Stealing Seductress Brains Talk Show Host With Coffee Mug and
then Steals Stage Manager's Husband. Film at 5, 5:12, 5:20, 5:25…
"From the hit series 9th Precinct, please welcome Caidence Harris!"
I brought my mind back to business and shook the tension out of my body one last time before
plastering a smile on my face and walking out onto the set to meet Brandon Marcus. I smiled and
gave the audience a quick wave, then stepped up onto the stage and shook the host's hand. He
was about my height; just shy of heavy with a neatly trimmed goatee and a mop of dark curly
hair that looked about to spring free, at any minute, of whatever hair product was keeping in
place. Up close he reminded me even more of my ex Toby - aside from his green eyes and a suit
that Toby wouldn't have been caught dead in - and I flashed him a genuine smile that he returned
along with a gentle handshake.
I sat down in the overstuffed armchair he indicated, and he sat behind a curved wooden desk.
"It's great to meet you, Caidence. Really a pleasure." He sat back in his chair. "So, how ya
doing? How's our fair city treating you?"
In an effort to look non-temptressy, I'd gone casual with low-rise denims, a stretchy, dark green
and white zip-up mock T and black, thick-heeled oxfords. I was comfortable, and glad for it now
as I crossed my legs and rested my elbows on the arms of the chair, swinging my foot a little.
"Well, let's just say it's been an interesting stay…"
He was funny and charming and we talked easily for a few minutes, eluding to my current status
with the press and moving into how I'd gotten started in acting - my days as a 'beer bitch' I'd
called it, and got a good chuckle from the audience - and my work on 9th Precinct and In Their
"So I have to tell ya, I watched that finale last night, and I think it took a lot of people by
surprise. Is that something that had been in the works for a while, or was it kind of a last minute
"The finale script never changed," I answered, "from the first time we saw it, but I guess you
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