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