Partners and Crime – The Full Story

Image credit: Natalia Hubbert / shutterstock.com

Image credit: Natalia Hubbert / shutterstock.com

For those of you who read and enjoyed those three early short installments, long ago, of Partners and Crime, the erotically-charged tale about two police officers who start out not exactly liking each other very much, your wait is over. I have now published it, but not, as I once said I would, anywhere external, but right here.

I actually decided, nearly a year ago, to abandon this story, as creatively I had moved on. For a long time I felt it just needed too much rework to be worthy of anything more, and my heart wasn’t in it to do that. So, the pages languished on my laptop for the past eleven months, until now. No, I haven’t done all the rework, though I did clean up a few spots of poor phrasing. However, after months away from it, rereading it now convinced me that it isn’t as horrible as I imagined, and that just maybe it might be a decent bit of story.

So, what started as a thousand-word piece of unfinished flash fiction, that grew to a three-thousand word piece of serial fiction, is now a twelve-thousand word short story.

A word of caution: this tale is far more explicit, definitely only for those 18+, than anything I’ve previously published in these pages. However, I hope that you’ll find it artfully so.

Partners and Crime

Advertisements

Partners and Crime: Status Update

Embed from Getty Images

 

You may recall that I decided to expand upon the flash fiction story Partners and Crime with an eye toward publishing it as a short novelette (Partners and Crime: Your Opinion?). Earlier today I finally finished writing the rough draft; yes, I know, I’m a horribly slow writer!

Partners and Crime started as a standalone piece of flash fiction, intended to be roughly 1,000 words. Somehow, though, the story just grew, ultimately expanding to three installments, or roughly 3,000 words, and it still wasn’t finished (you can still read those original three installments here, here, and here). It was then I thought that perhaps I should do more with this story, perhaps bring it up to about 8,000 words, and make it available on Amazon.

The rough draft finished at 11,761 words.

I am still undecided about the exact strategy I will follow. In the poll I presented earlier the votes were strongly against going with Kindle Unlimited and instead for making the story 99¢ on Amazon. However, a grand total of six votes is probably not statistically significant. 🙂 That poll is still open, by the way; you can find it via the Your Opinion link near the start of this post.

Why not publish the entire thing, like I was doing before, on my blog? Well, let’s just say that after Part 3 it became obvious this story was going to get considerably more explicit, and I wasn’t quite sure I was ready to do that on the blog. It still remains possible I may decide to keep it free, perhaps posting it to a site like Literotica or Wattpad (neither of which I have any experience with), or by making it free on Smashwords/B&N/Kobo, etc, which then by extension can allow it to become free on Amazon (normally Amazon requires a minimum price of 99¢, but they will price-match other sites if it’s found to be lower, including if it’s free).

However, part of this is an experiment and a learning experience on my part. I have a longer, novel-length work that I’ve been working on (which I’ve discussed here previously), and before I’m ready to publish that, I’d like to get my feet wet, so to speak, and make sure I understand the process. A shorter-length work seems like a good way to go about that.

With that in mind, I may use Partners and Crime as a vehicle for trying different strategies, which could mean that it may spend time in KU as well as time not in KU, and it may spend time at different price points, including free, 99¢, and $2.99 (though it would never go higher than this, not for a work this short). It may variously be available on multiple platforms, and it may at times be available only through Amazon.

Rest assured, however, that as a reader of my blog you will always know in advance when the story is going to be free or at a discount.

So, when is all this going to happen, and what’s next? Well, what I have now is a rough draft. I need to go through it, start to finish, in detail, and probably in several passes. There will be revisions. There may be some rewriting. I will have another set of eyes look it over, and that will probably result in more revisions and rewriting. At the same time, I have to explore options for a cover design (no idea, yet), and, of course, determine my publication and marketing strategy as outlined above.

Short answer: I don’t know. Hopefully not too much longer, but obviously this is still going to take a bit of time. My guess is it won’t take as much time as it took me to write (three months for 12K words? Really?). At least, I hope not.

Ah, some of you clever readers caught on to something else I said, and I hear you clamoring for more details. I said explicit. How explicit, you ask? Heh. Well, to find out, you’re going to have to buy the story. Or download it. Or whatever. Let’s just say that while I have gained a bit of a reputation for sweetness in my stories posted online, P&C is, um, less sweet. More spice.

But still romantic, I hope.

Embed from Getty Images

 

In other news, I will be traveling for the next week, and will be mostly unplugged during that time. Be good, my dears, and I will see you upon my return!

You’re The One For Me

Embed from Getty Images

 

Sybil traced her finger slowly down Jack’s chest, luxuriating in the soft feel of the hair that grew there, in stark contrast to the lack of any on top of his head. His warm, solid presence comforted her, and for a moment she just soaked in it, breathed it in, letting her cares slip away.

Only for a moment, however. That old demon returned, as it always did, to nag at her. Was he really happy with her? Did his attention perhaps roam at times, caught up in someone more elegant, more beautiful, more slender, more… just more? Could she really still be enough for him, or would he seek someone who could do so much more for him than she ever could? She told herself this was silly, Jack had never once given any hint of anything like that, it was just her persistent insecurities talking to her. Still, she worried.

“Hey. I’m right here. Come back to me, sweetheart. What’s going on?”

Jack’s voice brought her back to the present, and his touch soothed her as he slid his hand along her side to her hip. His palm was calloused, the palm of a man who had worked hard with his hands, though his skin was not so rough as it had been. His firm grip on her hip reassured her, and Sybil looked up into his eyes, hovering only inches above her face. She saw only love there, and remembered why she was with this man. She ran her own hands down his body, tracing the contours of his back with her fingertips, before answering.

“I’m sorry, darling. Just… nothing. It’s nothing.”

His eyes questioned her, he knew it wasn’t just nothing, so to forestall any more questions Sybil leaned up and kissed his lips, still soft yet with their own touch of roughness to them. She brought her hands to his waist, gripped him there, and wrapped her legs around his.

It worked. Jack gave a soft moan against Sybil’s mouth and moved against her body. His hips rotated back and forth, and now Sybil gasped, sweetly filled and fulfilled, his heat warming her inside and out. This man, this beautiful man, making languorous and luxurious love to her, how could she ever doubt him?

She didn’t doubt him. It was herself she doubted. Oh, not her love for Jack. She loved him as passionately as ever, but how could he still desire her? So many other women were so much thinner, so much more graceful, had so much more energy.

Jack moved atop her, sliding his entire body first one way then the other, causing delightful little frissons of friction within her. Sybil brought her attention back to him, back to them, and she moved herself beneath him, squeezing him, pulling him in tightly.

“There you are,” he whispered against her ear, before gently biting her lobe. “I lost you for a moment, but I still know how to bring you back, don’t I?”

He did desire her. His body could not lie. After all this time, his passion for her remained unflagging. A tear formed in Sybil’s eye.

“Oh, Jack.” Her voice hitched, caught in an upwelling of emotion.

He stopped moving, pulled back just a bit to look in her eye.

“Darling, I know I’m not as young, not as strong as I used to be. I know you could have your pick of men, now as well as then, but you chose me, and I chose you. Nothing has ever made me more proud and more happy. Are you still happy with me?”

Sybil’s voice hitched again, this time in a choked off laugh rather than a cry.

“Oh, Jack,” she said again. “If you only knew the depth of my… well, you do know. You always have known. But it is you who could have your pick.” She turned her head, ran a hand through her grey hair against the pillow.

Jack cupped her face in his strong hand, brought her back to face him. “How long have we been married?”

She didn’t even have to think about it. “Forty-two years.”

“And do you remember what I said to you, forty-two years ago, that day we ran off, ignoring everything everyone told us, when we eloped off to Vegas? Do you remember?”

“I do.”

Jack laughed. “Yes, I said that, too, but before that.”

Sybil laughed with him, feeling much better already. “Yes, Jack, I remember.”

“It’s as true today as it was then, as it has been every day and every year since. What did I tell you?”

“You said, you’re the one for me.”

“That’s right, babe. I’ve gone bald, and you’ve gone grey, but around you I still feel like a twenty-two-year-old kid.” He grinned at her, randy and lascivious, and she loved it. She grinned back.

“You’re the one for me.”

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Partners and Crime: Your Opinion?

Embed from Getty Images

Several of you have commented upon and ‘liked’ the little bit of unfinished serial flash fiction I’ve published on this blog, Partners and Crime. That is actually quite gratifying, considering I started it on a whim, with no real concept of where it would go. Eventually I stretched it to three ‘parts’ and roughly 3,000 words, and of course it’s still unfinished, ending on a little bit of a cliffhanger. Partly that is because I’ve been working on other things, and partly it’s because the next natural step in the story seemed likely to get somewhat more explicit than I thought I could get away with on a blog not flagged ‘mature.’

Actually, that’s another thing I’d like to get some opinions on, too. Namely, just how awful is it to have WordPress flag your blog as ‘mature?’ From the documentation, it seems like it would make it essentially unsearchable and unfindable except for those who know the URL exactly (i.e., no Google search will find it, and it won’t show up in WordPress Reader — is that true?). Since that seems like it would be death for a blog in which an author is trying to promote her work, I don’t think I want to go there, but it’s certainly possible I’m misunderstanding how this works.

So, for now at least, while I certainly do get a little bit steamy here (or at least I hope I do), there’s a blurry line I’m trying not to cross.

The main question I have at the moment, however, is about publication. Although I am working on a longer story, in novel format (a little bit of which I excerpted for you earlier today), I am considering taking a little bit of time to finish up Partners and Crime, perhaps rounding it out ultimately to about 8,000 or 10,000 words, and then publishing it. Really publishing it, I mean, as in making it available for purchase on Amazon as an e-book.

Embed from Getty Images

Would you pay 99 cents for an 8,000 word story? I know plenty of authors have short pieces out there, and they seem to do very well. Personally, I’d be fine with that, as long as I knew I was buying a shorter piece up front, so yes, it would be clear to everyone just what they were getting.

Another option is to enroll the story in Kindle Unlimited. This would mean that Kindle Unlimited members would be able to read the story for free, but for everyone else it would need to be priced at Kindle Select’s minimum of $2.99 (not counting the five free days per quarter). Matthew Kadish wrote a very interesting article recently about author marketing strategies around Kindle Unlimited, and from his findings, it seems like Partners and Crime could be a good fit.

Embed from Getty Images

It’s hard for me to justify charging $2.99 for an e-book that isn’t at least novella-length. So, this would really be marketed at Kindle Unlimited readers. Of course, I would make a point of highlighting the free days for everyone else.

Kindle Select also requires exclusivity, but that shouldn’t be a problem. Some have interpreted this to mean you can’t even have excerpts on your website, but I don’t think this is what was intended by the clause. Even if that’s true, the story will no doubt change a bit in editing to make it a little less episodic than its present form, plus about 70% of it isn’t even written yet.

What do you think?

Partners and Crime (part 3)

[This is the third segment in a continuing erotic short story. If you’re just coming across this story for the first time, you might wish to go back and read part one and part two first. You can also find the entire story listed under Categories… Short Stories in the sidebar to the right on the main page. If you’ve been following Eileen’s tale so far, well, things get decidedly… ahem… steamier in this installment. Therefore, it is not intended for readers under the age of 18. Not that you couldn’t see this coming from the earlier segments, I hope. 😉 ]

The shower door shut behind me and I pushed Travers against the tiled wall. He’d said only one word since the cuffs went around his wrists, but his face told me all I really needed to know. Again I claimed his mouth, crushing his lips beneath my own, taking what I needed from him. My fingers fumbled with the buttons of his uniform shirt, acting with a will of their own, and then I pushed it off his shoulders, leaving it bunched around his wrists behind him.

The vest, though. This presented a little more challenge. Undaunted, I ripped at the velcro straps, freeing the front section from the rear, and pushed the heavy ballistic material up, but with Travers’ height I couldn’t quite get it over his head. He ducked to aid me, but I worried about dropping it on him and breaking his neck.

“Let me help you,” he whispered. He must have seen the doubt in my eyes. He half turned, presenting his locked wrists to me.

I looked him in the eye. We were already so far beyond the pale of acceptable behavior in the Department. Indecision nagged at me.

“We shouldn’t do this,” I muttered to myself. Travers is your partner, Eileen. Do you want to get fired? I pulled the key and with a metallic click freed his wrists.

If he heard me, he gave no sign. Freed from the cuffs, he quickly pulled the vest up over his head, hanging it with his undershirt and uniform blouse in one smooth motion from a towel hook. I hadn’t actually seen him without a shirt on before, and for a moment or two I lost myself in his smooth pecs and rippling abs. I could only hope my openmouthed surprise and naked desire wasn’t too obvious. I barely registered as he quickly relieved me of my own top, and then the sharp rip as he pulled the velcro straps on my ballistic vest brought me back to my senses.

“Wait,” I said, as my vest joined his, side by side on the hooks.

“Not yet,” I breathed as he lifted my arms and my sports bra went with the vest and uniform.

“I don’t think…” as he turned me to face the wall and pressed himself tightly up behind me,  his hands on my hips and his lips nuzzling against my neck.

“Don’t think, McConnell.” His breath was hot against my ear, and again that spicy aroma wafted over me.

Heat shot through my core, racing from his lips against my earlobe to his hands at my waist, and pooling low between my legs.

“Eileen,” I said. “Call me Eileen.”

I squirmed, needing some relief, and felt his clear arousal pressed against my backside. My worries melted in the heat of my need, and I pressed my cheek against the cool tile of the shower while his fingers undid my belt. I relished the smooth ceramic against my breasts, flattening my nipples, while my uniform trousers fell around my ankles.

“Black lace,” he said quietly, his fingertips sliding around the waistline of my panties. “I should have known there was a sensuous woman under that tough, professional exterior.”

I turned around in his arms, putting my back against the wall, laying my palms against the firm muscles of his chest and pushing. I took a deep breath, opening my mouth to speak, to object to his comment, and that’s when I realized he had completely divested himself of all his clothing. Whatever I had meant to say, it was gone. I couldn’t help myself; I looked down between us.

If his desire had been obvious before, it was almost painfully evident now. I struggled to imagine skin stretching so tight and wondered how he withstood it. His erection angled up and a little bit away from his body, slightly curved and pointed right at my belly, quivering gently from his deep breathing. A small drop of moisture glistened on the tip, and I could not help myself. I reached down and curled my fingers about the head, gently sliding my thumb through the smooth silky slickness.

Travers leaned his head back and groaned, closing his eyes. His entire body went rigid, and I swear, he got even harder in my hand, though I couldn’t see how that was possible. His large hands slid up my waist to grip me under my armpits, cupping the sides of my breasts with the heels of his palms. He moved his thumbs to my nipples, already pebble hard, sending jolts of sensation arcing through my body. I sucked in a sharp breath through my teeth.

Get a grip, Eileen, I told myself. You’re losing control of the situation.

I reached up with my free hand and gripped the back of Travers’ head. The short spikiness of his close-cropped hair was almost electric against my palm. All of my senses seemed to be on hyperdrive, threatening to overwhelm me, yet still I pulled down on his head and brought his face to my breast.

Travers sucked my nipple between his teeth and laved it with his tongue. I moaned aloud, and that’s when the door to the locker room opened and Waters and Clark walked in.

The shower stall door was shut, but it would be immediately obvious someone was in here. Did they hear my moan? Would they look under the stall door and see four legs instead of two? No, why would they do that? But they might easily see Travers over the top of the door; he was a tall guy.

I reached beside me and turned on the water, drenching us both instantly. Of course the water was frigidly cold and my skin prickled with goosebumps, but that was the least of my worries. I put both hands on top of Travers’ head and pushed him down to his knees. He started to yelp when the water hit him, so I pulled his face in tight against me, muffling his mouth against my lace panties.

“McConnell, you ok in there?”

Travers wrapped his arms around my legs, his broad hands gripping my ass, and nuzzled me through the black lace material. I struggled to maintain calm in my voice.

“Yeah… yes, fine, just, uh, dropped the soap.”

I heard a snicker, Waters I thought, but I couldn’t be sure.

“Careful, McConnell. You never know what might happen when you bend over to pick it up.”

Waters was always trying to one-up the guys on the squad with how crass she could be, and Clark took her cues from her partner. I looked down at Travers. He hooked his fingertips in the waist of my panties, which would have been sopping wet even if the shower wasn’t running. He seemed oblivious to all else, and I was rapidly losing control again.

“Ha, funny! Yeah, I’ll be careful, all right.”

I gripped the short hairs of Travers’ head tightly. I had a very good idea what would happen if I bent over.

<To be continued>

Partners and Crime (part 2)

Embed from Getty Images

I kneeled there on Travers’ back, leaning in close to his ear, listening to him breathe, for perhaps longer than was absolutely necessary. My knee wasn’t digging into him that much, on account of the vest under his uniform shirt; it was my grip on his cuffed wrists that really held him down. I noticed a bead of sweat rolling across his temple and sliding down his brow to the roughly carpeted floor beneath his face. No doubt he was getting a little hot under that vest; I was feeling warm myself. Bullet-resistant vests aren’t exactly known for cool and breezy wearing.

All the fight seemed to have gone out of him, which didn’t fit his normal pattern, but I accepted it and pulled back off of him. I stood up, pulling him up with me, keeping a close grip on his upper arm just like I would any perp in cuffs.

I had spent a lot of time with Travers. We had been partners for about six months, which meant for the past six months I had been in his company pretty much more than any other human being. Yet still, we had never stood this close before. Frankly, I had never found him very attractive, despite his definite good looks, because he had always been such an emotional turn-off.

Now, however, something was different. He didn’t look so cocky. In fact, he almost looked vulnerable, though that was probably the shock of having been taken down so unsuspecting. Regardless, it was appealing in an odd sort of way. Perhaps it was the cuffs. Anyone looks vulnerable with their hands cuffed behind their back.

I had made my point. It was time to take off the cuffs and figure out a way to undo the awkwardness. It was time to step away, but I found I didn’t want to, not just yet. I stood by his shoulder, hand on his arm, looking up due to his taller height, and just absorbed the sense of power I felt, having this man, this police officer, my partner, under my control. As long as the cuffs were still on, he was helpless and dependent upon me, and I just soaked that up.

His nostrils widened, his breathing grew deeper and quicker, and still a bead of sweat rolled off his brow. He looked me in the eye, then cast his eyes downward, and in that moment we both knew who would be the alpha in this arrangement from now on. I didn’t want this moment to end, it was so heady.

Just then I heard voices from the hallway outside approaching. Female voices. Apparently I was wrong about who was on shift that afternoon, because in about five seconds Waters and Clark were going to come through the door and find us here, and I wasn’t sure just how I would explain not only why a male officer was in the women’s locker room, but also why he was in cuffs. Travers had heard them too, his head jerking up, turning to face the door.

I didn’t waste time thinking about it. I tugged his arm roughly, causing him to instinctively follow, and pulled him into the showers. Not a moment too soon, either, as Waters and Clark entered the locker room, still chatting about their shift.

“Did you see the look on that goon’s face when I pulled the cuffs? All macho, hey I’m the big guy, and bam! Totally deflated, meek as a puppy.”

Sounded like Waters made a collar today. Good for her!

“Yeah, they’re all spit and bluster until they realize it’s going down, then suddenly shit gets serious and they’re not so tough anymore.”

Clearly they were still on their post-arrest high. I grinned at macho Travers, all meek in my cuffs now. He started to get that look on his face, and I just put a finger to his lips. His eyes snapped right back to mine, his breathing still heavy, but he kept quiet. Once again I saw it — resignation, acceptance, vulnerability — and a surge of… something… washed through me. I felt that old tingle, low in my belly, one I hadn’t felt for a while, and my vest began to feel too tight. Oh hell no, no, but damned if I wasn’t getting aroused.

This was bad news. Travers was my partner. I didn’t even like the man.

I stood there a moment, my finger still to his lips, and he didn’t pull away. He just kept his gaze on mine, a hint of a question, uncertainty, in his eyes, and perhaps a touch of heat, but none of his usual bluster. This wasn’t his male posturing, flirting with the girls. All of that seemed to have dropped away, and what remained was… was that desire I saw in his face? Could he really be turned on by this, being told what to do by me?

Too much introspection, Eileen. I slid my finger down his lips, traced his neck from chin to collarbone, then gripped the material of his uniform shirt and pulled his face down closer to mine. I kissed him, hard, on his lips, unrelenting, claiming. Again I saw surprise, but he didn’t resist. I watched his eyes, gauging his reaction, trying to understand his headspace, but I really didn’t even understand my own. I just enjoyed the kiss, took what I needed from it. His lips parted slightly, opening himself to me, and I tasted mint, and a hint of spice, and I wanted more. That was probably his Pad Thai lunch and a candy from the bowl by the cash register, but it didn’t matter, I drank him in.

Dimly I could still hear Waters and Clark just outside. A locker door clanged, and a part of me wondered if they would feel the need to shower. Just go home, shower at home, I thought, and then I realized I was even more aroused. No, this couldn’t happen! If they came in here right now, both our careers would be jeopardized. But the thrill…

With a gasping breath I broke off the kiss, but I didn’t step away. God, how I hated these vests just now! Travers looked momentarily lost, and I realized just how into that kiss he had been. I searched his eyes, with an ear to what was happening just beyond the door, and then I gripped his arm again and pulled him into a shower stall, closing the door. He didn’t resist at all.

And he was still wearing my cuffs.

<to be continued>

Embed from Getty Images

Partners and Crime (part 1)

Embed from Getty Images

“I got this,” I said, as Travers grabbed the perp’s other arm and started muscling him into the station house.

“You sure, McConnell? He’s kind of a big guy.”

I felt the familiar twinge of annoyance but suppressed it in the interests of professionalism. Why did Travers have to keep proving himself to me? Or was it to the others on the squad? Did he really think I couldn’t handle one tall but scrawny pimp in handcuffs whose probable idea of a workout was standing on the street corner watching his girls work the street?

“Yeah, I’m sure. Now go get the paperwork started, would you?”

“Yes, ma’am,” he responded with just a bit of a smirk and dropped his hold on the perp.

I really needed to do something about this attitude. It was bad enough to have my squad mates wonder if I was up to the job of the downtown beat, but I really didn’t need my partner undermining my authority in front of the street punks we dealt with daily. When that happens, someone usually gets hurt, and I can tell you straight up, it wouldn’t be me. If a perp won’t back down because he thinks a female officer can’t handle him or will be intimidated, then things escalate and get dangerous in a hurry, and then it’s up to me to control the situation with whatever means necessary. Yeah, it was time for a little talk with Travers.

I got the perp to the booking desk, where at least Travers had got things started, and before too long we were done and headed to the back of the station for the end of our shift. I knew there wouldn’t likely be any other female officers nearby at this time, so with a quick glance to be sure no one was paying attention, I took a firm grip on Travers’ arm and pulled him into the women’s locker room.

He’s not that small of a guy, and he’s a cop, like me, so this depended on speed and surprise to pull off. That’s one of the benefits of being a woman in a physically demanding job: we know the limits of our strength and use our brains more than our brawn to get things done. The men were always overestimating themselves and getting hurt, straining muscles or their backs. I knew I couldn’t manhandle Travers into the locker room if he dug his heels in, so I had to catch him with his guard down.

It actually went easier than I expected. His mouth opened in surprise and he didn’t resist at all. Then he got that cocky grin on his face, and it didn’t take a degree in criminal psychology to predict what was coming next.

“McConnell, and here I thought you were the Ice Queen, yet all this time you’ve been wanting a piece of a real man.”

Oh, please. Yeah, he was easy on the eyes, but if he really thought I’d fall just for a trim physique with strong muscles and good grooming, he was deluding himself. Though, I had to admit, he really did take good care of himself, and it showed, even if the bulky vests we wore hid most of it. It had been a while…

Snap out of it, Eileen! Task at hand, girl! I pushed those unwelcome thoughts back down where they belonged, and then I pushed Travers against the lockers with a metallic clang, slamming against him, bullet-proof vest to bullet-proof vest. For just a moment I saw shock in his eyes, and a hint of uncertainty, and it emboldened me.

“Listen up, Travers, and listen up good. If I want a real man, I’ll find one. I don’t need that crap here at the station or on the beat. What I do need from you is a little more respect. I’ve been on the force long enough to know my way around, and we’ve been partners long enough for you to know that I carry my own weight. I don’t need you or any other man here to do my job for me, do you understand?”

“Whoa, McConnell, lighten up, I was just being friendly. I thought…”

“Do you understand? It’s a simple question.”

“Hey, babe, why’d you drag me in here, then? If you wanna get rough…”

I’d had enough. Before he could get another word out, I had a leg behind his and levered him around and down to the ground, pulling his arm behind his back as I followed him with a knee against his back. Before he finished gasping out the breath knocked out of him, I had drawn my cuffs and snapped one to his wrist, then I grabbed his other wrist and that was that. He was down and cuffed on the floor. I pushed up on his forearms, forcing his elbows wide, and leaned down close to his ear.

“Don’t you ever ‘hey babe’ me again, Travers, is that clear?”

He was either in shock or winded, because he had a funny look on his face and he only nodded.

“I think it’s time you understood the way things are going to be from now on. I’m not your ‘woman partner,’ I’m not a little girl who needs your help, and I’m not your Ice Queen either. I’m an officer of the law, and a damn good one, and as long as you are working with me… I’m going to call the shots. Is that clear?”

I felt a trickle of perspiration sliding down my skin under the bulky vest, and I was breathing a little more heavily than I should have been for such a quick takedown. I felt something coming off Travers that I couldn’t quite define. Not shock, not anger, but something else. Acquiescence. He wasn’t fighting me. A sense of power surged through me, and for the first time I couldn’t quite believe that I had just done this, taken down and cuffed a fellow officer, my partner. I stayed like that, laying across his back with my lips close to his ear, longer than really necessary to get my message across.

“Is that clear?” I asked again in a low voice directly into his ear. He took a long, deep breath.

“Yes,” he whispered.

This was almost too easy. I should’ve done this a long time before. That quickly, the man had become putty in my hands.

And I liked it.

<to be continued>

Embed from Getty Images

You Are Mine

A tear fell from her eye and slid ever so slowly across the curve of her cheek, pooling in the downturned corner of her mouth. He pulled her into his embrace and kissed the tear away.

“Are you so very disappointed in me?” she asked, gazing up into his eyes, trying to discern his thoughts there.

“Do I seem disappointed?”

She thought about everything that had just happened, turning it over in her mind. She had been so absorbed in her own experience of events, so focused on her own feelings, that she hadn’t really paid attention to how he seemed during it all, what he might be getting from it. She was mostly aware of what he was doing, of how it impacted her — and how those impacts felt — and not so much of how he might be feeling. Now she recalled the intense concentration on his face, the firm yet gentle touch of his other hand, and she realized he had been fully present in the moment, completely focused upon her, while she had selfishly spared thoughts only for herself. A fresh sense of unworthiness and selfishness washed over her, and once again she could not understand his interest in her, despite the evidence of his caring embrace, his soothing touch, his loving kiss. She sniffled softly before replying.

“No. No, you don’t, but I don’t understand why you put up with me. I’m so selfish! You are so good to me, and I don’t do anything for you, and, and… and no wonder I needed this, deserved this, what you just did, when you… I didn’t pay any attention to you! I should have been thinking about you, but all I could think about was what was happening to me, and when your hand… when it would…”

“Hush.” He put a finger to her lips, quieting her, cradling her on his lap. He kissed her brow and slowly her breathing calmed. “You were perfect. You gave me everything I could possibly desire. You lost yourself in the experience, gave yourself over to me completely, and that, my darling, is more beautiful to me than you could imagine.”

Again she found herself lost in his eyes, looking for what he wasn’t saying but finding only honesty there. With a start she realized that she trusted him completely, knew with every fiber of her being that he would always take care of her. She wanted to wrap her arms about him and hold on tight, never let go, but of course that wasn’t possible yet. She lay her head against his chest, curling herself in his lap, and he held her more tightly. She could feel his heart beating strongly beneath her cheek, and she marveled at the power he wielded over her. With a single word he could calm her fears. With a single touch he could inflame her passions. With a single glance he could hold her soul.

She wriggled against him, settling in comfortably, and she felt his heart race within his ribcage. Experimentally, she wiggled again, and again his pulse rate shot up. She smiled to herself, marveling at the power she apparently held over him, too, her doubts evaporating like summer rain steaming under the hot southern sun.

“Careful, pet, or you’re liable to get me started all over again,” he said with a soft chuckle, and that thought only made her want to wriggle more. She turned her face up toward his, and he leaned down to kiss her lips, long, languorous, and slow. Now she really wished she could wrap her fingers in his hair, twining them in its silky black length, caressing the touch of grey just beginning to show at his temples, but she contented herself with inhaling his breath, tasting his mouth, parting her lips to tease the tip of his tongue with her own.

She felt just a twinge of discomfort from her sore bottom, but that reminder only served to ignite further flames within her. The twinge and her reaction didn’t escape his notice, and he responded by taking her mouth even more fiercely, crushing her lips with his kiss, taking her lower lip between his teeth and biting to just the edge of pain. Briefly she wondered if afterwards her lips would also be bruised, sore, and red, but then she ceased all thought as he renewed his advance, crushing her thin body against his with the ferocity of his embrace.

After an eternity that flashed by in an instant, he withdrew and they both caught their breaths, panting from aroused passions. He kept her gaze locked on his eyes, lifting a hand to push back a strand of hair falling across her face.

“Do you still wonder if I’m disappointed with you, my pet?”

She smiled, all fears laid to rest. “No. No, I don’t.”

“And are you disappointed with me?”

“No, I am not.”

“Good, because I plan to keep you for a very long time.”

She squirmed again in his lap, happiness settling over her, suffusing her through and through.

“Ok, I don’t think we need these any longer,” he said, reaching around behind her. “But first, pet, what are you?”

She knew this game. She liked this game, and now she knew it wasn’t actually a game.

“I am yours.”

“That’s right,” he said, as he unlocked the cuffs from her wrists.

“You are mine.”

Embed from Getty Images