Lacey watched him come in the bedroom unbuttoning his cuffs, and she sat there waiting for him. It had been a hard day watching him struggle through the final debriefing on the case they had just closed out.
Not the way that they had wanted but it had been done, leaving them with a ton of fallout.
And a marriage to dissolve…one of convenience that they had entered into as part of their cover…but now that the case was over.
So was the marriage…which would be done quickly and easily enough because they had never consummated it.
They hadn't married for love though so the sexual part of the ritual hadn't been something either had worried about because they needed to legally married to provide them with the perfect cover to investigate the disappearance of a honeymooning couple on a resort island.
One billed as the perfect paradise for lovers who took that extra step of marriage. The only way to penetrate the infrastructure of the resort was to pose as a honeymooning couple.
And since only the wealthiest married couples with the highest professional and social standing were invited, their cover had to satisfy a rigorous screening process.
So they got married which began with a very brief whirlwind courtship turned engagement all properly announced in the local papers and then they held a wedding.
It took place on a gazebo built on a beach in Malibu…she dressed in a gorgeous white Versailles gown and he in black tie. Her sister Becky served as her maid of honor and Mac as the somewhat harried best man. Cody's uncle Bill, had stood in for her deceased father and had given her away and a small cluster of their closest friends and family had been invited.
Only those in the wedding party knew the wedding was a rehearsal for the marriage that would follow. The minister who formally married them had been kept in the dark and the kiss that sealed their vows had been both sweet and saucy enough to convince any skeptic if one had been present.
They had taken a limo to the airport where Cody's Lear Jet had been waiting to fly them for the honeymoon spot where their investigation began. Bill had gone undercover as a valet and a couple agents as charter pilots.
And so it had gone…until it ended with some violent arrests…and a conclusion that left them both feeling more than a bit…raw.
When they returned to L.A. there hadn't been any rush to file divorce papers to dissolve their sham of a marriage. Lacey had gotten really quiet after the case and he hadn't pushed the issue because he knew she had some issues she needed to deal with…like how it felt for them to have the villain force them to watch each other die…only the Calvary led by Buck the federal agent who had been the bartender had stopped the bad guys before they carried out their threats.
But Cody hadn't been able to shake the thought that something had changed inside him during this case, something so fundamental and it had to do with how he related to his life-long friend and business partner. She as a lawyer had tried to draw up some legal dissolution papers and he had been asked by her to review them but somehow…he hadn't done that.
But then it's not like she had removed the diamond band that he had slipped on her finger during the ceremony.
A genuine diamond for a faux wedding.
He still wore his golden band that she had given him and it had taken her some doing to get him to agree to fly off to Reno to get the divorce after a brief stop in San Francisco for one final interview on the case with several U.S Attorneys. So they could return to life before they had been married. She had teased him that she didn't want to mess up his social calendar any longer. When he returned from Nevada back home to L.A. he would be a free man again.
But he hadn't laughed at her words.
They had been staying in a hotel that overlooked the bay and provided a breathtaking view of the Golden Gate Bridge. After their meeting with the attorneys, they had played tourists checking out the sights like the bustling activity at the Fisherman's Wharf, they had ridden the trolley cars up and down the steep hills and had walked around Golden Gate Park.
But after returning back to the hotel, they had slipped into silence, each lost in their own thoughts.
"What time does the plane leave tomorrow," she asked.
He finished unbuttoning his cuffs and removed his shirt, leaving his muscular chest exposed. She had seen it many times before, even tortured him by applying antiseptic on it when he got injured.
Which happened quite a lot….but she looked at him now and she sucked in her breath…because he really did look handsome and she had come close to losing him…not too long ago.
He watched her as she sat on the bed, big enough for both of them though he had put his baggage in the other bedroom in the suite. Though they were married, they had never…for different reasons …not the least that it might complicate their divorce.
Mostly because it had never been that way between them, not once in all the years they had known each other and had been the closest of friends.
Intimate in every way but one..not that they hadn't shared an interesting kiss or two but she could count on one hand how many times that had happened.
And always it had been him who tried to lighten what they had shared with a joke or a comic gesture. But the way he looked at her dressed in her robe which covered her negligee…made her wonder.
But then again, they were both so sensitized from their most recent adventure…and the time they had spent in close proximity…not to mention a couple close calls…both with having their cover blown and with each other…because feelings had started to bubble to the surface…that threatened to get away from them.
Now that the case had ended, and their marriage would follow soon enough, they could return to their easy going friendship and working relationship as if none of this ever happened.
At least that's what he kept telling himself but when he had thought they would kill her right in front of him, a part of him had nearly lost it. Not that he hadn't ever freaked out when she had been in danger but it seemed different because they had been married…damn crazy actually.
Because it hadn't been for real after all…a marriage on paper but not in their hearts. Still she watched him as he paced in the bedroom after taking his shirt off and she knew that inside something warred with him and his sense that all would be normal between them…after the final papers were signed by a judge.
When she was no longer a Cody, part of a coupling that had accomplished its purpose after all…hadn't it?
He watched her look at him, sitting there on the bed, her robe slightly open showing the lacy negligee, her favorite color black.
His favorite too…he had seen her in it when they had been sharing a bungalow on the island. She hadn't need to wear it but she had anyway…even when it was just the two of them alone.
Silk and lace together in a perfect combination and cut on her body which it sculpted and the end result made his heart skip a beat. But why not, she was an attractive woman, he knew that already, he just didn't know how much.
"What's the matter Cody…?"
She wore a question on her face as her ran a hand through her luscious dark hair that had been styled nicely in their wedding photos, the ones that would be hidden away as part of the file record for a closed case.
But he had slid one in his wallet when she hadn't been looking…he didn't know why.
"I don't know Lacey…I don't know why I'm feeling this way now."
She crept closer to him, sinewy as if it came naturally for her.
"I know…I feel funny too…as if I'm closing a chapter of my life and I'm not sure I want to do it."
He studied her face, which had always struck him as beautiful. Her hazel eyes that were intelligent and showed her moods…and her full lips that had felt like heaven to kiss at their wedding…and a couple times since.
He wondered what they'd taste like now…and pushed that thought away.
"I suppose it's only natural…for us to feel a bit adrift…after all, we got married even if it wasn't for real."
"It was legal Cody," she reasoned, "but I understand what you mean."
She sighed, looking at him softly.
"Sure I do…it seemed so real when we did it…in front of our friends…but it's not…I mean married couples make love on their honeymoons don't they?"
"Usually…I mean I planned to after my wedding…"
"So did I…I figured if I ever loved someone enough to marry them, I'd probably couldn't wait until the honeymoon…I mean limos do come with tinted windows for a reason."
He smiled at her, knowing that to be true…and the thought of her in a limo still in her wedding dress, making love with her husband, their hands clasped together, with matching gold bands, their bodies joined.
Just the thought that she would do that…with someone else…felt so palpable to him…in the wrong way that it almost physically hurt. He knew he had no reason to feel that way about her, no right either. After all, their marriage had been in name only…it had never been consummated and never would…they would unseal their commitment together in Reno without much in the way of complications.
Except…that vision of her in the arms of the man who would love her the way she deserved, who would give her the pleasure that her husband should consumed him. And if he were honest with himself, it had gnawed at him for a while that somehow this marriage weren't complete.
She had read his face and she had thought of how much she loved looking it. When it had been the first sight to emerge when she regained consciousness after life-saving surgery, she had called it her favorite face in the whole world.
And she had meant every word then as she would now.
She bit her lip.
"I want you to kiss me…"
His brows lifted and he didn't answer…not at first.
She nodded and she got off the bed and went to him. He looked at her, stroking her hair off her face, while she gazed up at him. She'd been through so much in the past week and he knew for her to make that request…it had stirred up something deep inside of him.
He placed his hands on her face gently and kissed her softly on the mouth…and quickly enough remembered why he had enjoyed kissing her so much. Her lips felt soft, and welcomed his own. She threaded her arms around him and felt the muscles twitch beneath her fingers as they felt the skin of his back, warm and taut with an emotion she couldn't identify yet.
She pulled away from him finally and he still tasted her on his mouth, his breath quickening. She looked directly in his eyes as she slipped her robe off her shoulders and his eyes nearly popped out of his head as she stood before him dressed in her lacy outfit that accentuated her slender waist and her generous breasts. He put his hands on the flair of her hips and kissed her on the mouth again, this time feeling possessive of her.
He felt hard against her and she returned his kiss with ardor. He fidgeted with the lacy straps on her negligee, working them down her arms so that the tops of her breasts became visible. He stroked their perfect roundness through the lace with his hands, not believing what he was doing.
And she didn't stop him. She just smiled at him.
"You're so soft…"
He sighed, realizing that part of him had definitely enjoyed her kisses. He lowered her negligee enough to stroke her breasts. She just looked at him, her eyes conflicted but she didn't stop him.
"I…I want you so much…"
He kissed her while he palmed her in his hands and she gasped at the pleasure that sent through her.
"Nothing wrong with that…"
He kissed her neck, all the way up to her jaw line.
"It'll mess up everything Cody…if we…."
"Make love…you mean…"
She just nodded.
"I don't care Lacey….you're my wife…and if you want for us…to consummate our marriage…I'm more than willing…."
She knew that by how he felt pressed against her but so many thoughts ran through her head…about the next morning when they had that plane to catch to Reno to undo the vows they had promised each other.
But that was hours away and right now, he was her husband. And he was kissing her slowly; purposely intent on seducing her…not that she needed much of that.
He nibbled on her earlobe.
"Ah…okay…maybe we should think about this a bit…"
But she didn't want to do that…her legal side was tying her in knots with all the complications of what they were about to do…on untangling their complicated marriage.
"Or not…Oh Cody…"
He pushed her negligee further down over her abdomen and down to her hips, then he pulled her into his arms, his chest pushing against hers, the sprigs of hair on it tantalizing her breasts by brushing against them. His kisses had always promised more than they had delivered, only because they served to tease not to satisfy.
But now nothing was stopping them, nothing was coming in between them, least of all them.
"I want you to touch me…"
So she kissed him and then reached to unsnap his pants and to slip them down his legs along with his briefs. And whoa….she had seen him but not all of him not until now. She reached out to touch him and he sucked in his breath as her hands stroked his erection.
"Don't touch me too much…."
She chuckled at the hoarseness in his voice and softened her stroking. Having him in her hands like this, it heightened her own excitement.
And his…and he worked that negligee off of her enough for it to drop to the floor for her to step out of and she sat on the bed while he worked on freeing her of that last bit of lace that enclosed that last part of her he hadn't yet seen. He knelt before her then and she bit her lip knowing what would happen next. He nudged her back on the bed and then slipped his hand over her sex, stroking the curls that adorned it, while watching her to see how she'd react.
She almost didn't want him to see…to discover the most private part of her that she kept hidden from most anyone even her lovers. And then he smiled at her before he lowered himself between her files and her heart nearly stopped when she felt the pressure of his mouth…there…and then his tongue…gently at first. That caused her to clench her fists on each side of her.
And he understood…she needed him inside of her and he wanted nothing more than to experience that.
"I mean I love the attention but…I need you to be my husband right now…at least tonight."
He stroked her face softly and then he settled himself between her thighs, his erection nudging at her, seeking entrance into that part of her he'd never touched. He wasn't only about to penetrate her body but a piece of her heart she had held in reserve since the death of her father.
And the trust that a man would love her who wouldn't ever leave her….and Cody's emotions built inside of him at the expression on her face, the look in her eyes, that she wanted him to make love with her and that she trusted him with her heart and her body.
He put his weight on his elbows as their bodies touched each other in all the important places, and he kissed her softly, caressing her mouth gently with his lips and some tongue.
He heard in her voice her elation, her fears, her strengths and her vulnerabilities…and her love.
"It's okay, darling…I'm right here and I'm not going anywhere."
She nodded slightly.
And that's when he eased himself inside of her, he breached the barrier that had always stood between them….and her body opened up to him sheathing him in its warmth, snugly around him.
He knew then he had never felt so wonderful as he did now…so incredibly aroused and yet relaxed. For a long moment, he didn't move but let her adjust to his penetration, as her body had stretched to accommodate his girth. The feeling of connection with her as their bodies joined…stopped him as their eyes locked.
He wanted to stay like that…well for much longer than his body would allow him…because nature demanded that his hips began thrusting, that he'd bury himself deeply enough so that when he ejaculated, his seed would have the best chance of fertilizing any ova that she had released that waited.
But neither of them considered the biological imperative to reproduce, they focused on the sheer joy of union, of him flexing his hips to thrust deeply inside of her and when he withdrew, her pushing her hips up to meet his return.
Slow and lazily alternating with hard and quick, he varied his movement to maximize her pleasure and his own, and she wrapped her legs around him, and the slickness of her skin matched his own.
She grabbed his back, digging deeply into his skin as the pleasure of the friction generated between them increased inside her…and her breath quickened as did her heartbeat to match his…as they moved together faster and faster, her opening herself further up to him and he thrusting deeper inside her still.
And she felt her heart melt as he penetrated that too joining in a union which had began at the altar of their wedding. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health as long as they both should live.
She thought about those words when her climax hit her, several seconds before he found his own…the warmth of his seed filled her and she cried along with him as they reached the pinnacle together.
She reached up and kissed him, their bodies still joined and their hearts weaving themselves together though they didn't know that yet. She lay with her head on his damp chest afterward, their bodies still intertwined, their marriage consummated.
Man and wife, together…waiting to see what the morning would bring as she fell asleep in his tight embrace, their hands clasped together.
And as the moonlight flowed through the window, it reflected twin bands of gold.