Chapter 103 - Wake-Up Call


WEDNESDAY

Cate awoke to the feel of a gentle breeze brushing over her face. She eased one eye open, then the other, and blinked sleepily. Everything was fuzzy, then slowly the room swam into focus. She was lying curled on her side, facing away from the middle of the bed. She lay still, listening for Jon’s breathing behind her. But she didn’t hear him.

She turned her head to look over her shoulder. In the faint light she saw rumpled sheets and pillows, but no Jon. She was alone in the big bed. Cate turned her head back and drew her knees up a little closer to her chest under the soft blue sheet. Where is he? she wondered sleepily.

She could tell from the dim light that it was just before dawn; the sun hadn’t yet crept above the horizon. She shivered as another breeze wafted over her body. Then she realized that the door to the small patio off the bedroom was standing slightly open.

Yawning, Cate pushed herself up on one elbow and looked toward the door. She held her breath as she heard Jon’s voice, intermingled with the soft rush of the waves. She couldn’t quite make out what he was saying, but it was obvious that he was talking to someone on his Blackberry. Cate glanced at the clock and saw that it read 5:13. She wondered who Jon was talking to at this early hour.

Cate yawned again and sank back down against her pillow, snuggling her shoulder back under the sheet as the breeze continued to swirl around the bedroom. She lay quietly, awake but not wanting to get out of bed. Her body was still weary from the long day she had endured yesterday. She let her eyes drift closed again, shutting out the soft light.

Her mind wandered back to the events of the previous evening. It all seemed like something she had observed, not participated in; like she had watched a movie before bed. But it had all been very real. The tension between her and Jon on the range, their duel for control, then the explosion of their passion in the fierce, primal sexual encounter on the hood of the patrol car… it had all really happened.

Then after that, she had almost made a horrifying, deadly mistake when Jon had crept upon her in the locker room. Cate felt a tightening in her stomach as she recalled how sick she had felt when she realized how close they had come to disaster. But then Jon had soothed her conscience and her soul, as they had cleansed and pleasured each other in the steamy shower.

Cate felt little tears form under her closed eyelids as she remembered the look on Jon’s face when he begged her to come back here, to his bed. The raw emotion in his eyes was heartbreaking, leaving Cate defenseless against his pleas. How could she deny him, when she looked into his soul and saw that he needed her?

But she had to try to protect her own heart, too, so she had sworn him to their pact. They would live out the fantasy until Friday, then they would say their goodbyes and walk away without looking back.

Cate sighed against her pillow. Not wanting to think about the end of the week, she started to go over the day’s schedule in her mind. But she was having trouble focusing on the tasks ahead; her heart kept dragging her mind back to the bliss she had felt, nestled in Jon’s arms as he held her through the night. She was wrapped up in the gentle memories when suddenly they were pierced by the sound of Jon’s voice.

“I don’t give a FUCK, Ken!” she heard him swear sharply.

Cate opened her eyes and looked toward the patio doors. Through the sheer curtains that covered the glass panes she could see Jon pacing back and forth across the small deck, holding his Blackberry to his ear. He was bare-chested, wearing only a pair of jeans. She watched him run a hand through his hair, pausing with his hand at the back of his head as he listened. Then Jon dropped his arm to his side as he spoke.

“You tell that Motherfucker that it’s non-negotiable! That’s it, plain and simple!” he barked. He paused for a moment to listen to whatever the man on the other end of the connection was saying. “It’s in my contract. I’m not asking for anything extravagant or unreasonable, here, Goddamnit! In fact, I’m not asking, I’m TELLING them. Either they agree or I fucking walk.”

Jon snorted as his conversant said something else. “Yeah, well FUCK them. This isn’t about some favor, or some grand fucking gesture. I want her. Plain and simple. And if I don’t get her, then they can fucking recast the Goddamn role and lose another two months of production time.”

Cate saw Jon turn toward her and look through the door at the bed. She half-closed her eyes and lay still, not wanting Jon to think he had awakened her. But inside she was wide awake, her heart beating faster as she listened to his agitated rant. What the Hell is he talking about?

It was obvious Jon was talking to someone about his movie role, but what was the problem? Cate felt her heart flip as she recalled his last statement. Is he thinking about dropping out of the movie? Oh my God… Cate felt a little sick as the thought struck her. Oh, Holy Hell… I hope he’s not thinking about giving up this role because of me.

“DAMNIT, Ken!” Cate heard Jon explode. He turned his back to the door and stepped over to the rail of the deck, looking out toward the ocean. “That’s IT! I have everything lined up here. All they have to do is say yes. It’s not about the fucking money, and you know it! And they can threaten to sue me for breach of fucking contract all they want… I have more than enough money to settle any legal bullshit they wanna try to throw at me, and a stable full of fucking high-priced lawyers to eat their Goddamn lunch for them. They’re not gonna pull that intimidation bullshit with me! I’m fucking ITALIAN, for Christ’s sake! Those Motherfuckers don’t scare me!” Jon was practically yelling into the phone now, and Cate could hear him clearly as he swore a blue streak at his caller.

Cate bit back a laugh at Jon’s last statement. Although she wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that infamous Bongiovi temper, she was certainly finding this rather amusing.

She listened more intently as Jon quieted for several minutes, listening except for an occasional “Yep,” “Nope,” or a growled expletive. Her mind went back to his earlier statement: “I want her, plain and simple. And if I don’t get her, then they can recast the role...” Cate wondered to whom Jon was referring.

He hadn’t mentioned working with an actress, though Cate knew from reading the script that there was a female lead who was Jon’s character’s love interest. Maybe they were still negotiating that part.

Cate felt a little stab in her gut as her mind involuntarily flew back to the nightmare she had experienced the last time she had slept in this bed. Her psyche had released her doubts and fears into her consciousness as she slept, in the form of the gorgeous blonde woman in the nightmare. She was the representation of the woman who would eventually replace Cate in Jon’s heart and in his bed, once he moved on from his training here. And just maybe he would find that woman on the set of his movie. Or maybe he already had.

“GODDAMNIT, KEN!” Jon’s shout startled Cate from her thoughts. Her eyes widened, then she quickly half-closed her lids as she saw Jon turn toward the door, looking back into the bedroom to see if he had awakened her. His voice quieted a bit, but lost none of its sharpness. “Do I have to call Brian Grazer myself? ‘Cause I fucking well will, and you know it!” Jon let out an exasperated sigh. “Look, it’s morning here. I gotta go.”

Cate saw Jon again glance toward the bed as he shook his head at whatever “Ken” was saying to him. “I don’t fucking care HOW you do it, just make it happen. And make it happen FAST. If it’s not worked out by tomorrow afternoon, my time, I’m walking. And they can have a good fucking time casting themselves another Goddamn male lead.”

Jon stood still for a moment, listening to his caller, then shook his head again. “Yeah… Yeah, I know. But this is important. Keep me posted.” Jon listened again for a moment, then closed the call with a terse “Yeah, Bye.” He lowered his Blackberry and let out a heavy sigh, then pushed open the patio door and stepped back inside the bedroom.

Cate closed her eyes and lay still, slowing her breathing, not wanting Jon to know she was awake. She felt a little guilty for eavesdropping on his call, but that wasn’t why she didn’t want him to know what she had overheard. It was because whatever he was talking about was going to happen after his time here with her was done. And under the terms of their pact, anything involving what would happen after Friday was a topic that was off-limits.

But what if Friday comes, and he doesn’t leave? Cate thought, her heart giving a hopeful little squeeze. What if he really does quit the movie?

Chapter 102 - Superman Tonight


Cate drew in a breath as her eyes widened and her body tensed slightly. Jon saw her hesitation as her thoughts swirled, mirrored in her eyes.

“Baby, please…” he breathed. “I need to feel you beside me. I… I can’t sleep in that bed alone.”

Cate’s heart melted as she watched Jon’s indigo eyes moisten. Her soul ached at the earnestness in his voice, his whispered plea wrapping around her heart. The need in his gaze took her breath away.

Cate nodded silently, wanting nothing more than to comfort him, to let him comfort her. Because the truth was, she needed him too.

Jon’s lips curled into a smile at her agreement. He lifted his head from her shoulder and pulled back slightly. Cate turned in Jon’s arms and raised her face to his, accepting his kiss. When their lips parted she lowered her cheek to his chest as his arms enfolded her, pulling her tight against his body.

“I don’t want to spend another minute away from you,” Jon said softly, dropping his chin to rest on her head.

Cate winced slightly at his words. But in just a few days you’ll be gone….

She stood silent for a minute, listening to Jon’s heartbeat as she struggled with herself, trying to decide what to do, how to respond. Her arms tightened around his waist as her mind raced, trying to formulate a strategy to defend her heart against the pain she knew was inevitably coming. She needed to think – really think – about her relationship with Jon. But she just couldn’t bring herself to leave him tonight.

Cate took a deep breath, then raised her cheek from Jon’s chest. She turned her face to his, giving him an earnest look. When she spoke, her voice was soft and melancholy. “Jon, I don’t want to spend another minute away from you, either,” she admitted. “I want to be with you every second you have left here… when you’re not training, I mean.”

She paused and took another breath, hoping her next words would come out right. “But if I’m going to do that, you have to promise me something. Promise, Jon. And stick to it. No shit, no games.”

A shadow of fear flickered across Jon’s face. “What?” he asked huskily.

“We can’t talk about the future. As far as we’re concerned, Friday is the end of time. We’ll enjoy each other until it’s time for you to go, then we’ll both walk away with no regrets.” Cate paused and gave Jon a searching look. “Jon…. please understand. That’s the only way I can do this. I have to put that wall up, otherwise I’ll spend the next three days being afraid… afraid of how awful it’s going to be to wake up Saturday morning and find you gone.” Cate’s eyes glittered in the dim light as tears formed at their corners.

Jon’s heart ached at the sight of her tears. He didn’t want to just have three more days with Cate. He wanted three more lifetimes. But he couldn’t bear the thought of being without her tonight, or tomorrow, or the next day. He had to agree to her request, to give her soul peace and her heart confidence, so she would give him a chance to change her mind. To prove to her that the world wouldn’t stop on Friday, that their story was just beginning.

Jon nodded slowly. “Okay,” he whispered. “Promise.”

Cate smiled gratefully, then again dropped her cheek against his chest as she hugged him. “Thank you,” she said softly.

Jon held Cate tight for another minute, then she pulled back and sighed. “Can we please go home? It’s been one helluva long day,” she asked wearily.

Jon chuckled. “Yeah, it has at that. A long, awful, wonderful day.” He released Cate from his embrace, and together they moved over to the lockers.

They retrieved their now-soaked garments from the tile floor where they had tossed them with abandon earlier in the evening then dressed in the only clean clothing they each still had, PT uniforms from their lockers.

After tidying the room and retrieving her gun, gear, iPod and toiletry bag, Cate returned to her office to shut down her computer and lock her door. Jon followed her and waited while she performed her tasks, then took her hand as they journeyed down the hall to the exit. He smiled happily as he realized the day was ending as he had hoped when he had arrived on the Center nearly 17 hours ago.

It was a hard day’s work, but it was worth it. Cate was coming home with him.

*****

By the time Cate guided her Mustang into the villa’s drive behind Jon’s rental, she was exhausted. The adrenaline and emotion and passion of the evening had left her thoroughly and completely drained. She yearned for nothing more than to crawl into that gigantic, soft bed and curl into Jon’s arms. And to sleep for days.

Glancing toward the clock on her dashboard display, she realized that she might get to sleep for about six hours, rather than for days. But she would take what she could get.

Jon helped her from her car and took her range bag from her hand, then led her to the door. Cate couldn’t stifle a yawn as Jon unlocked the heavy door, then ushered her inside. He turned the lock behind them, tossed the key on the hall table, then took Cate’s hand and led her directly to the bedroom.

Cate groaned in welcome anticipation at the sight of the bed. She couldn’t wait to slide beneath those soft blue sheets and close her eyes. She chuckled slightly to herself at the realization that she was about to climb into a bed with Jon Bon Jovi, and she was looking forward to sleeping. Never in a thousand lifetimes would she have dreamed she would have that thought. At least not before tonight.

Jon gave her an amused look at the sound of her quiet little laugh. “What?” he asked.

“Oh, nothing,” Cate sighed. “I’m just getting a little loopy. I seriously need some sleep.”

Jon smiled and dropped Cate’s bag on the bench at the end of the bed, then moved to the night stand to set his Blackberry next to the clock radio and hotel phone. “Then what are you waiting for?” he asked gently. “Let’s get you to bed, sleepyhead.”

Cate nodded and toed off her cross-trainers, kicking them under the bench, as Jon moved over to the wall to turn off the light mounted on the ceiling fan. She yawned again as she stood first on one leg, then the other, to pull off her socks. Then she watched amusedly as Jon tackled the mountain of pillows on the bed, flinging them onto the floor with a mumbled curse. Cate sighed as Jon turned back the covers, revealing the whisper-soft cotton sheets.

Jon stepped over to flick off the bedside lamp that was the room’s sole remaining light, then moved to Cate. His hands went to the hem of her t-shirt, and he drew it upward as Cate raised her arms. Jon pulled the shirt up over her head and off her body, then dropped it to the floor. He gently removed her sports bra and tossed it aside, then knelt to slide Cate’s track pants and panties down her legs. She stepped out of the garments and stood still, awaiting his further guidance.

Sliding his hands gently up the outsides of Cate’s thighs and up over her hips, Jon rose to his feet then dropped a gentle kiss on her mouth. He stepped back and quickly shed his clothes, leaving the garments in a pile on the floor with hers. Then he stepped forward again and pulled Cate’s body against his. She sighed at the feel of his skin against hers and snuggled her cheek against his chest. Jon smiled as he drew in the scent of her hair and relished the warmth of her body against his.

“C’mon, Baby,” he whispered after a long minute. “Bedtime.” Jon stepped back and turned to the bed, lifting the covers for her. Cate nodded and climbed onto the mattress, groaning contentedly as she slipped between the sheets.

Jon waited until she was settled then rounded the bed and slid under the covers. He reclined back against the pillows in the middle of the huge mattress, then opened his arms to Cate. She moved over to him, tucking her shoulder beneath his arm as she molded her body to his. Cate lay her head on Jon’s chest as she hooked her leg around his and slipped her arm across his torso. She smiled and hummed contentedly as Jon’s arm tightened around her and his other hand settled on top of hers, resting on his chest.

God, this feels so right, Jon thought as he savored the feel of Cate’s body wrapped around his. He pressed a kiss against the top of her head as his fingers lightly stroked the back of her hand. “Cate…” he murmured softly.

“Hmm?” she answered sleepily.

“Can I ask you something?” Jon’s voice was gentle, barely above a whisper. “It’s not about the future,” he added quickly. “It’s about the past.” He felt Cate’s eyelashes flutter against his skin as she opened her eyes in response to his comment.

“Yeah, I guess so,” she replied hesitantly.

Jon took a deep breath. He didn’t want to upset Cate, especially now that she was finally here with him. But he needed to know. “What… what made you run away from me, the other night? Monday morning?” He swallowed hard. “Did I do something wrong?”

Cate’s heart squeezed at the hurt in Jon’s voice. God, how could he think that was his fault? In her panic to escape after her nightmare, she had seen Jon’s helpless expression. But it hadn’t occurred to her until now that he thought he was to blame for her flight. “No. God, no, Jon,” she replied gently. “That wasn’t your fault.”

“What wasn’t my fault? Will you tell me? Please?” he responded, his voice a little huskier.

Cate hesitated, then closed her eyes. She could tell him. She was safe here in his arms. And she had come to terms with her emotions, her little voice, her damned vengeful psyche. At least for tonight.

Grateful for the cover of darkness, she answered him in a whisper. “I… it sounds silly, I know, but…. I had a nightmare. A terrible, horrible nightmare.”

Jon’s arm tightened around Cate as he instinctively pulled her closer, wanting to protect her. “That’s not silly. Night terrors can be awful things. I’ve had them myself,” he replied understandingly. “What was the nightmare about?” He felt Cate tense against his body. “It was about me, wasn’t it?” he asked quietly.

Cate drew in a deep breath. “Yes,” she whispered.

“I hurt you. In the dream,” Jon pressed gently, feeling heartsick at the thought.

Cate nodded against Jon’s chest. “Yes,” she replied huskily. “You… you were making love to another woman. Here. In this bed.” She took another deep breath, then realized she wanted, needed to continue. “I was sitting in the corner, watching. You knew I was there. The woman saw me and asked who I was. You…” Cate’s voice cracked. “You told her to ignore me. That I’d go away.”

Jon winced and closed his eyes as the pain in Cate’s voice stabbed through his heart like a knife. He drew in a breath to respond, but sensed there was more. He held his tongue, hoping Cate would continue, that she would further unburden herself to him.

Cate shivered slightly at the memory of what happened next. “Then I… I looked down, and saw my gun in my hand… and….” She swallowed hard. “And the blood….”

That was too much for Jon to bear, the thought of Cate hurting herself because of him. “Oh, Baby…” he said, his own words cracked with emotion as he shifted to wrap both arms around Cate, hugging her fiercely. “Christ, I’m so sorry….”

Even though it had just been a dream, Jon felt like he had actually caused her that terrible anguish. He held her tight for several minutes, then again found his voice. “Cate, I would never do something like that to you. I couldn’t hurt you like that….”

“I know,” Cate answered gently. Her voice was calm and soft. She felt a wave of relief wash over her in response to her confession. “I don’t blame you, Jon. It wasn’t your fault. It was me…. my doubts, my fears. Things I have to work out for myself.”

She drew in another deep breath. “But I woke up here, and realized that I had crossed a line by making love with you. I panicked. I didn’t know what to do. I just knew I couldn’t let you see me like that. I had to get away.” She paused again. “I’m sorry if I hurt you, Jon. I didn’t mean to.”

“That’s why you pushed me away on Monday… why you said we made a mistake,” Jon’s voice was gentle and even, his composure recovered. “Not because of the dream, but because of what it represented. That you’re afraid I’m going to leave you for another woman.”

“Yes,” Cate whispered, a lump rising in her throat.

Jon was silent for a moment, then moved his hand to stroke Cate’s cheek. He gently pressed a finger under her chin, urging her to raise her face to his. She complied, and Jon touched his lips to hers. His kiss was heartbreakingly tender, filled with promise and comfort.

“Cate…” Jon stopped, realizing that what he was going to say would violate the promise he had made to her, to not talk about the future. “It… it was a dream,” he continued hesitantly, quickly shifting course. “Just a dream.”

He wrapped his arms around her again and hugged her tight. “And it’s over. No more nightmares. Tonight, the only dreams you’re gonna have are happy ones. I’m gonna make sure of it.” Jon's gentle voice steadied and strengthened as he made the vow.

Cate couldn’t help but chuckle at Jon’s response. “How are you gonna do that?” she asked softly, her smile evident in her voice. “You really think you can control my dreams?”

“Yes,” he replied firmly. “No bad dreams allowed inside these arms.” He hugged her tightly again.

Cate chuckled again. If Jon hadn’t been so earnest in his declaration, it would have sounded corny, like he was reciting a lyric from one of his songs. But she had no doubt from his tone that he honestly believed he could protect her from her own demons.

“Okay, Superman,” she whispered gently. She nestled against Jon’s warm chest and closed her eyes, letting his heartbeat lull her toward sleep. “I’ll let you protect me.”

Jon smiled at her comment. “I’ll be your Superman, Baby,” he whispered in reply. “As long as you’ll let me.” He dropped a gentle kiss into Cate’s hair then closed his eyes, drifting off with her safe in the strong circle of his arms.

Chapter 101 - Down on Me


Jon’s eyes widened slightly at her statement, his smirk still intact. “Well, yes ma’am,” he replied huskily.

Cate smirked back at him for a moment, then lowered her lips to his neck. Leaning forward to press her body against his, she began to slowly nip and lick her way down his chest, sliding her wet flesh over his as she moved lower.

Jon groaned with pleasure and tipped his head back against the wall, closing his eyes. He widened his stance slightly to brace himself and lowered his arms to his side, pressing his palms back against the wall. He was fully prepared to submit to whatever exquisite torture Cate had planned for him.

He felt Cate pause, her lips sucking at the valley between his pecs then changing direction. She slid slightly sideways to capture his left nipple in her mouth, scraping her teeth across the little brown nailhead and causing him to draw in a sharp breath.

Cate sucked hard on Jon’s nipple as her hands again grasped his hips, her fingers curling around the sides of his glutes. She smiled wickedly to herself as she felt him tense, then circled his nipple with her tongue before trailing it over to the hard curve of his right pec. She teased that nipple with her teeth and tongue as well, evoking a raspy growl from Jon.

Jon felt his entire body tensing at Cate’s skillful ministrations. He bent his knees slightly, sinking a bit down the wall as his feet slipped forward a few inches. He pressed his lower back against the wall, trying stay on his feet as she flexed her hands on his hips and ass, sending shockwaves racing over his lower body.

Cate purred at Jon’s response to her, and moved her mouth back to the center of his chest. Still firmly gripping his hips, she began to slowly, agonizingly trail her mouth down the vertical ridge of Jon’s abdomen. As she moved lower she bent her knees, sinking downward while trying to keep her body in as close contact with his as she could manage.

“Ohhhh, Merrrrrrcy……” Jon groaned hoarsely as he felt Cate’s breasts slide downward over his abs, her lips following in their wake. He sucked in a breath as he felt his rock-hard cock slide between the soft, slick mounds as she continued her descent. “Oh, Cate!” he gasped.

Cate chuckled throatily. “You okay?” she asked teasingly.

“Uh huh…” Jon rasped out, his chest heaving as his breathing accelerated with his arousal.

Cate chuckled again and returned to her task. She moved her lips downward, past the middle of his six-pack, until she reached his navel. She drilled into it with the tip of her tongue, then closed her lips over the luscious circle, sucking hard. Jon inhaled sharply again, his glutes and hip flexors tensing under her hands.

“Easy, Baby,” Cate purred. “I’m just getting’ started…” She chuckled again at herself as she threw out the line she had heard him use so many times.

“Ohhhh, fuck yeah…” Jon growled.

“Well, not yet,” Cate couldn’t resist countering silkily. “But maybe later.”

She again lowered her mouth to Jon’s navel and traced her tongue around its edges. She could feel the base of Jon’s cock pulsing against her chest as she inched her lips over his abs, tracing her tongue along each ridge.

She smirked again to herself, then dropped slowly to her knees, settling on the shower floor between Jon’s feet. The warm spray of water cascaded down over her back as she gripped his hips harder, sliding her hands backwards until her fingers curled over his ass.

Jon let out a long moan and slipped a couple more inches down the tile wall, his feet sliding against the roughened shower floor on either side of Cate. Dragging his eyes open, he lowered his chin and looked down at her.

He saw Cate smiling wickedly up at him, her eyes glittering through the steam that swirled around their bodies. Jon felt a little lightheaded as watched Cate’s perfect, luscious lips form an “O”, then close around his head. She glanced naughtily up at him again, then closed her eyes and sucked hard.

“GOD!” Jon gasped out. “Caaaaaate….” Again his head fell back against the wall and his eyes closed as he felt every nerve in his body spark with arousal. His hands curled against the wall, trying to grip the smooth surface to help him remain on his feet.

Cate hummed in response and spiraled her tongue slowly around the head of Jon’s cock. Then with a little groan of her own she pushed her head forward, drawing him slowly into her mouth until she felt him pressing at the back of her throat. She hesitated, then slowly pulled back, sucking hard as she slipped her mouth back up over his rock-hard shaft.

“OHHHH!” Jon moaned loudly, his entire body tensing at the incredible sensation of Cate’s mouth sliding over his dick. He felt his thighs start to tremble as he struggled to stay on his feet. Cate felt him shudder under her hands, and she pushed back hard on his hips, anchoring him against the wall.

Incensed by his response to her, Cate dipped her head forward, again drawing him fully into her mouth. She sucked as hard as she could for a long moment, then gentled her mouth and pulled back again, slipping her lips along his shaft until she felt the ridge of his head.

“Cate… God…. Please…..” Jon gasped, begging for release.

Cate growled again in response and glanced up at him. She saw him staring needfully down at her, his lips parted as he panted. The corners of her mouth curved up into a smirk, then her lips tightened again around his dick. Cate pushed her head forward and back rapidly, fucking him with her mouth.

She heard Jon gasp out her name again, then swear as he tensed before he exploded into her throat. Jon shuddered and moaned as she held his hips pinned against the wall and drank of him, gentling her mouth and lips as she sucked away the last salty drops.

She held Jon inside her mouth for another long minute, then smiled and slowly pulled her face back, her lips sliding over his spent cock. On either side of her face, Jon’s thighs still trembled as he braced himself against the wall. Cate let Jon slip from her mouth, then turned her face to gently nip at his right thigh.

She looked up at Jon and saw that his eyes were closed, his head lolled toward his right shoulder, his chest heaving as he breathed raggedly. Cate smiled as she saw the expression of pure relief on Jon’s beautiful face, the wisps of steam floating around his head like a halo.

No angel has ever had THAT done to him, Cate couldn’t help but think naughtily. She watched silently for a moment, until Jon cracked his eyes open and pulled his head upright. He gazed down at her, his eyes cloudy with desire.

“My God, Cate…” he rasped.

Cate pulled her hands from Jon’s hips, releasing his brace against the wall, then settled back on her heels. Her own thighs felt a little weak from supporting her while she knelt in front of Jon as she pleasured him. She tipped her head back to let the warm water rain down on her face, then parted her lips and captured a mouthful. She dropped her head forward and quickly swished the water around her mouth, then discretely spit it out to the side, cleansing her palate of Jon’s cum.

Jon let out a long, shuddering sigh, then slid down the tile wall, his feet slipping forward. He sank down onto the shower floor, his legs outstretched on either side of Cate. He gave her a dazed smile as she watched him, an amused smirk on her face.

“Come… come here.” Jon weakly raised his arms, reaching for her.

Cate complied, leaning forward then turning onto her hip and letting Jon enfold her in his arms. She snuggled against his chest, slipping her arms around his waist. She smiled gently as she heard his heart thudding in his chest under her ear. “You okay?” she asked with a chuckle.

Jon drew in, then pushed out a long breath. “Yeah,” he replied. “Fuck, yeah.” He chuckled huskily. “Jesus, Cate, where the Hell did you learn that?”

“BlowMe-dot-com,” Cate deadpanned, without missing a beat.

Jon burst out laughing at her wisecrack, his whiskey-rough voice rumbling musically in his chest under Cate’s ear. He hugged her tight and dropped a kiss on the top of her head. “Thank God for the Internet,” he teased in response.

He pulled in and sighed out another long breath. “Damn, Cate,” he muttered wonderingly, shaking his head slightly. “Um, well…” he hesitated. “That wasn’t quite what I planned… for you…”

Cate chuckled ironically. “Don’t worry about it,” she replied. “I’m done. Hell, I was done after the cruiser.” She raised her head from his chest and gave him a smirk. “And what the Hell, Jon? Three times in two hours? Did you pop a little blue pill or something?”

Jon laughed, then shook his head. “No way, Baby. That’s all natural.” He gave her a wink. “Told ya I’m Superman.”

Cate snorted with laughter at his response, shaking her head as she grinned. “Yeah, I guess you are,” she agreed.

Jon pulled her back against his chest and sighed again with satisfaction. “No, Baby… it’s all you. You’re the one getting me all fired up.”

“Mmmmm…..” Cate hummed in response. She sat silent for another moment, listening to Jon’s heartbeat and feeling the warm water fall against her legs. Finally she raised her face to look at him. “C’mon. Let’s get up off this floor before you end up with a plantar wart on your ass,” she teased.

Jon grimaced. “Gee, thanks for that thought,” he replied, then grinned. He reached up to gently stroke Cate’s cheek, then leaned forward to place a tender kiss on her lips.

Cate and Jon climbed to their feet then stepped back under the spray, rinsing themselves off under the now-tepid water. Cate retrieved her shower puff from the floor and quickly cleansed herself and Jon with a generous lather of fruit-scented soap. After finishing, Jon pulled Cate in close for another long, tender kiss before reaching over to turn off the tap.

Cate reluctantly pulled away from Jon’s warm, wet body and pushed open the shower door. She reached out for her towel, pulling it back into the stall with her. Jon watched as she quickly squeezed the water from her hair, then swiped the towel over her skin before wrapping it around her body and securing the end with a tuck between her breasts.

“Wait here,” she directed, then stepped out of the shower stall. She padded over to her locker and pulled it open, then returned with a fresh towel. She handed it through the shower door to Jon.

“Thanks, Baby,” Jon murmured, taking the towel and shaking it out. Cate leaned against the edge of the shower stall’s doorway and boldly watched as Jon toweled off. Jon gave her a grin and a wink. “Enjoy the show,” he teased.

“Hey, after what I just did to you, I should hardly be embarrassed by staring at your naked ass,” Cate replied.

“True,” Jon chuckled. “Very true.” He wrapped the towel around his waist, then stepped to the door and ducked his head to give Cate a quick, sweet kiss. “And thank you, by the way.”

Cate smiled as he pulled his face away from hers. “Welcome,” she murmured, then turned and moved back to her locker. Retrieving a comb, she stepped over to the sink and wiped the condensation from the mirror with her arm. Jon smiled contentedly as he watched her draw the comb through her thick hair, working out the tangles.

He stood silently watching her for several minutes, thinking how natural, how easy this intimacy felt. It was as if he had known Cate for a lifetime. He shook his head slightly in wonderment at the realization. After his marriage ended, he had thought he would never feel like this again.

Needing to touch her again, Jon moved over to Cate. He stepped up close behind her, slipping his arms around her waist and ducking his head to settle his chin on her shoulder. He gazed into the foggy mirror at their reflection, his heart melting at her gentle smile as she leaned back into him.

“Cate, come home with me.” Jon’s voice was barely above a whisper.

Chapter 100 - Dirty Girl and Mr. Clean


“I think so…” Cate whispered, her head tipping back against his shoulder.

Jon chuckled again and withdrew his hands from her panties, then undid the button and zipper at her waist. Cate straightened and turned in his arms, her hands moving to unfasten his jeans. They finished undressing each other until they stood together naked, their clothes strewn across the tile floor.

Jon took Cate’s hand and silently led her to the shower stall. He pulled open the door and stepped inside. Cate followed him as steam billowed out from the little room.

She pulled the door closed and turned to face Jon. He drew her against his chest and again dropped his mouth to hers for a long, passionate kiss. Cate sighed as she felt the warm water raining down on her shoulders while Jon’s tongue tangled with hers. When their mouths parted, Jon smiled down at Cate. “Let’s get you cleaned up, Dirty Girl,” he purred teasingly, turning her so that she was fully under the spray.

Cate tipped her head back, letting the water run through her hair. She raised her hands from Jon’s waist to finger-comb through her long tresses, letting the water soak through the thick waves. She smiled as she heard Jon growl sexily, then she felt this hands cover her breasts.

Warm water trickled down over her chest as Jon gently kneaded the soft mounds, then again pulled Cate against his chest so that her nipples pressed against his warm, hard pecs. Jon groaned and shifted slightly side to side, sliding Cate’s water-slickened flesh against his as he hardened even more.

Cate sighed and dropped her lips to Jon’s chest, licking the water from the top of his right pec before nipping gently at the spot. Jon growled again and guided Cate a step backwards, turning them so that the shower’s warm spray funneled between their bodies. Jon lowered his mouth to Cate’s neck as his hands slipped down her back, gently squeezing and kneading her tight muscles.

“Ohhhhh….” Cate groaned as she felt the day’s tension melt away under Jon’s touch. She rested her forehead against his shoulder, closing her eyes as she savored the gentle massage of his strong hands.

Jon smiled at Cate’s reaction. He continued working his hands over her back for another minute, then reached over to the small ledge that held Cate’s toiletries. Cate raised her head to look at him as Jon opened the shampoo bottle and squirted a dollop of the creamy liquid into his palm. “Hold still, Baby,” he said gently, rubbing his palms together then sinking both hands into the hair at the crown of Cate’s head.

Cate again closed her eyes and swayed forward toward Jon, steadying herself with her hands on his hips. She hummed blissfully as Jon lathered her hair with the sweet-scented shampoo, his fingers gently massaging her scalp and neck. “God…” she groaned. “That feels soooooo goooooooood…..”

Jon chuckled softly, smiling at her enraptured expression. He loved that he could do this for her, help her unwind after all they had been through the last two days. “Shhhh…” he replied huskily. “Just relax, Baby.”

He continued to work the shampoo through her hair for another minute, then gently guided her to tip her head back under the water. He rinsed the shampoo from her hair, then repeated his massage with her conditioner. As he worked, he felt Cate’s fingers flexing on his hips, gently squeezing his flesh in response to her pleasure. He let out a little groan as his dick pulsed appreciatively with every little squeeze.

After Jon rinsed the conditioner from Cate’s hair, she raised her face to his and smiled sexily. “Now my turn,” she purred. She stepped to the side, guiding Jon to turn by pressing on his hips, until his back was to the water. He tilted his head back to let the spray wet his hair, and Cate couldn’t help herself. She turned her face upward and licked his Adam’s apple as it was exposed to her.

Jon let out a short laugh. He had his eyes closed, but even though he hadn’t seen Cate’s expression he was sure he knew what it looked like. He had seen her stare longingly at his throat before, and he could read her mind. Now she finally had nothing to hold her back, to keep her from enjoying her little fetish.

He stood still for a minute, grinning as he felt her tongue trail across his neck, then her lips close over the spot, sucking gently. When she finally pulled away, Jon raised his head and gave her a little wink.

“Taste good?” he teased.

“Delicious,” Cate replied huskily, gazing up at him. Her eyes were swirling deep midnight blue, and there was a wicked smirk on her lips.

“Well, you can do that any time you want,” Jon replied, his voice dropping to a seductive purr as his hands went to her waist. He started to lean down to steal another kiss from her, but she stopped him.

“Nuh uh,” she scolded gently. “I get to wash your hair first.”

Jon gave her a fake pout, then grinned again. “You are a woman of many fetishes,” he teased softly. “My hair, my neck, my arms, my ass…”

“Your chest, your thighs, your chin…” Cate continued, playing along as she squirted some shampoo into her hand. “Hell, even your feet are sexy.” She stopped and gave Jon a little smirk. “Yeah, I’d do ya,” she teased.

“Mmmm, promise?” Jon growled in response, pulling her against him and pressing his erection against her stomach.

Cate sucked in a breath. “After the hair…” she breathed huskily. She reached up and threaded her fingers into Jon’s wet mane, drawing in the sweet scent of mint and jasmine as she worked the shampoo to a lather. She rinsed and conditioned his thick locks, then reached for her bath puff.

“Sorry, but the only body wash I have is mango-passion fruit,” she smirked. “Not very manly, but it will do the trick. Make you nice and clean.”

Jon chuckled. “Hmm... passion fruit, huh? That’s okay. I don’t mind smelling like a fruit basket. Especially not if it makes you wanna nibble on my berries.” He waggled his eyebrows at Cate.

Cate burst out laughing at his comment. “That’s real subtle there, Jon,” she giggled. “And pretty lame. Nice try, though.” She squeezed some body wash onto the puff and rubbed it over her hand, bringing up a lather.

“Well, it was more poetic than ‘blow my head off,’ don’t ya think?” Jon laughed.

Cate giggled again as she raised the nylon puff to Jon’s chest, slowly drawing it over his hard pecs. “Yeah, a little. Not much, mind you, but a little more poetic. Certainly less violent.” She watched her hand move the puff over Jon’s torso, leaving a soapy trail in its wake. “But then again, I hear you like it a little rough,” she said coyly.

Jon chuckled and met her gaze when she looked up at his face. “I think you do, too,” he replied in a sultry rumble. “Judging from your response earlier…

Cate felt a surge of lust in her core at Jon’s mention of their encounter on the range. She flushed slightly. “Yeah,” she admitted huskily. “That was… intense.” Her hand continued to glide the puff over Jon’s body, soaping his arms, shoulders, chest, and abs.

Jon watched Cate’s reaction to his comment, seeing the satisfied little smirk that curled her lips. “Well, maybe we’ll have to see if we can borrow that cruiser again tomorrow,” he suggested. “Or we could always just do it on your Mustang. That’s a hot car. ‘Stangs have always turned me on.” he teased.

Cate chuckled throatily. “Yeah, they’re sexy cars. Why do you think I have one?” She raised her eyes to his and gave him a coy smile. “But why are you worrying about where… and IF… we’re gonna do it next time? You’re not done with this time yet.”

With that comment, Cate dropped the puff and wrapped her hand around Jon’s cock, gripping it firmly.

Jon sucked in a sharp breath at her sudden boldness. “God, Cate!” he gasped, then smirked. “So that’s all it takes to get you to grab my joint? Talk about cars?”

“No,” Cate purred, giving him a pulsing little squeeze and watching his abs twitch in response. “It’s a little more complicated than that. But I’m sure you can figure it out.” She loosened her grip slightly, then flexed her wrist so that her soapy palm slid back and forth as it encircled his shaft.

“Ahhh!” Jon gasped, dropping his head back. “Jesus! Tell me what it is so I can remember for future reference!” he pleaded teasingly as a delighted grin crept to his lips.

“Hmmm… nah. I think I’m just gonna make you figure it out on your own,” Cate teased back. She opened her hand and slid her palm down Jon’s shaft, then curled her fingers under, cupping around his balls and squeezing gently.

Oh, GOD!” Jon moaned. He raised his head and looked at Cate, giving her a smoldering stare as she grinned teasingly back at him. His gaze narrowed as he gave her an evil smirk. “C’mere,” he commanded, grabbing her hips and pulling her pelvis toward his.

“Oh, no you don’t,” Cate growled in reply, releasing his cock and raising both of her hands to Jon’s chest. She pushed lightly against his body, making him rock backwards and bump his ass against the tile wall.

Jon gasped in surprise at the feel of the cool tile against his skin. Cate stepped forward, pressing her hands more firmly against his chest and forcing him to lean back against the wall. “This time I’m calling the shots.”

Chapter 99 - Fever


“DON’T MOVE!” Cate barked, her heart pounding. She saw the target freeze, his hands raised to his shoulders in surrender. Keeping her weapon trained, Cate looked up at the shocked expression on the gorgeous, familiar face.

“Cate! It’s me!” Jon gasped, his eyes wide, locked on the barrel of the gun aiming directly at his heart.

Cate’s heart stopped and her eyes widened. She quickly lowered her gun, automatically performing a recovery scan as she dropped the muzzle of her weapon toward the floor. “JESUS, Jon!” she exclaimed. “What the FUCK?!? Are you trying to get yourself SHOT?” Cate sucked in a sharp breath as she realized just how close to disaster they had come.

“Well, CHRIST! I didn’t expect you to draw down on me! I thought you’d recognize me!” Jon snapped back, fear tinging his voice. He still stood motionless, his hands raised. Cate could see in the dim light that the color had drained from his face, despite his strong words.

Cate quickly holstered her Glock and dropped her trembling hands to her side. “What the Hell are you doing in here?” she demanded. Her legs suddenly felt weak, and she sank onto the bench, her heart pounding.

Jon crossed the room to sit beside her, leaning forward to rest his forearms on his knees, his own breathing rapid. He gulped in two deep breaths, then turned his head to look at Cate. “I thought I’d surprise you,” he said breathlessly.

“Yeah, well, mission fucking accomplished!” Cate retorted, glaring back at him.

They stared at each other for a moment, then a smile crept to Jon’s lips. He started to chuckle, at first softly, then a grin split his face as he dropped his head back and let out a long, hearty laugh.

“Jesus Christ, Cate…” Jon chortled. “Nothing’s ever easy with you, is it? All I wanna do is try to seduce you in the shower and you about blow my fucking head off!” He paused and shook his head disbelievingly. “Which was kinda what I was hoping for, but not involving a firearm!“

Cate couldn’t help but smile weakly at that. She let out a long sigh of relief and reached up to draw a hand through her hair. “Fuck, Jon! You oughta know better than to sneak up on a cop! Especially a half-naked female cop, in the Goddamn dark!”

Jon smiled wanly back at her. “Yeah, well… that’s what happens when I think with my dick, I guess,” he wisecracked. He shook his head. “Next time I gotta remember to wait until you take your pants off,” he chuckled. “Or at least your belt.”

Cate shook her head and blew out another long breath. “You gotta pair of brass ones, I’ll give you that,” she muttered. She looked down at the floor and smiled wryly. “Guess that ego of yours really does make you think you’re Superman.” She looked sideways at him, raising an eyebrow.

“Yeah, well… You showed me differently, huh?” Jon asked. He gave her a gentler smile then scooted closer to her on the bench. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.” Jon reached over to slide a hand over her knee.

“You didn’t scare me, you startled me. What scared me is the fact that you were about a quarter-inch trigger squeeze away from being splattered all over that wall,” Cate answered, her voice pained. She felt a sick lurch in her stomach at the thought. God, how could I live with myself? she thought with a shudder.

“I’m sorry,” Jon repeated, more softly. He saw her shiver, and slipped his arm around her shoulders. Cate exhaled again and leaned into him.

“Okay. Just please don’t do anything stupid like that again,” she said quietly.

“I won’t,” Jon promised honestly. “Cross my heart.” He gave Cate a little smile, then placed a gentle kiss on the side of her mouth when she turned her face to look at him. “Now, about that plan of mine…” he murmured.

Cate felt her heartbeat accelerate again at Jon’s words. “You mean you’re still gonna try to screw me, after that?” she asked.

“Sure. I have a new appreciation for life,” Jon chuckled. “Live while I’m alive, yadda yadda yadda...” He dropped his lips to nuzzle at her jaw. “Besides, like I said, I’m used to getting what I want…” he purred in her ear. He licked Cate’s neck, savoring her salty taste.

A little sigh escaped Cate’s lips as her head tilted to the side, more fully exposing her neck to Jon’s mouth. “What if I don’t agree?” she asked breathlessly. “Maybe I don’t think you should always get your way...”

Jon chuckled huskily, moving his lips down the side of her neck, nibbling and tasting. “Then look at this as you getting what you want.” He nipped at the curve of Cate’s shoulder. “And you know you want me.”

God help me, I do… “Mmmmmmm” Cate hummed, her eyes slipping closed as Jon’s hand moved to her breast while his lips slid over her shoulder. Her nipples hardened under his touch, and she felt a warm flush creep over her body. “Well…. I may need some convincing,” she said coyly.

Jon chuckled again, then pulled away from Cate. He stood and held out his hand to her, giving her a sexy smile. Silently, Cate placed her hand in his and rose to her feet. She stood facing him in the dim light cast from the lone bulb above the shower. She realized that the water was still running, and that the room had become warm and humid, wisps of steam floating from the shower. In the background her iPod played on, Harry Connick, Jr.’s silky-smooth voice crooning out an old Sinatra tune.

Jon stepped closer to Cate, dropping his mouth to hers. He gave her a long, soft kiss as his hands moved to her belt. Cate drew in a breath, remembering the last time he had fumbled with her buckle. As if reading her mind, Jon chuckled gently against her mouth, then pulled back slightly. “I think maybe you should disarm yourself before we go any further,” he said, a hint of tease in his voice as he dropped his hands from her waist.

Cate nodded. She raised her hands to her belt and undid the buckle, then stepped away, turning her back to Jon as she moved over to her locker. Jon watched as she pulled her badge and her holstered gun off of her belt and placed them on the shelf inside her locker, then removed her cuffs, magazines, baton, spray, and Blackberry, in turn.

After placing all the gear in her locker she paused, her back still to Jon. Jon drew in a breath as Cate’s hands went to her chest and she drew her sports bra up and over her head. She dropped the garment into the basket in her locker, then turned back to Jon, her eyes shining in the dim light.

Jon groaned as his eyes drank in the sight of her perfect breasts, glistening with perspiration, her nipples tight with arousal. He stood stock-still, breathing heavily, as Cate glided over to him.

She stopped in front of him, her nipples almost brushing against his pecs. Without a word, she pulled the hem of his t-shirt up enough to slip her hands underneath, against his warm, sticky skin. She pushed the shirt up over his abs to his chest, then Jon reached up behind his neck, tugging the shirt over his head and free of his body.

Jon dropped the tee on the floor, then gently grasped Cate’s sides, pulling her against him. They sighed in unison at the contact of her warm breasts against his hard pecs, and Cate raised her face to Jon’s. He dropped his lips to hers and slipped his tongue inside her mouth as he felt Cate’s hands slide across his abs, around his sides, to settle at the small of his back.

Jon pulled his lips away from Cate’s and smiled. “Convinced yet?” he whispered.

“Mmmm… not quite,” Cate murmured, wanting to keep him waiting just a bit longer. She couldn’t just completely cave in and let him have his way, after all.

She dropped her lips to the notch at the base of Jon’s throat, tracing the little “v” there with the tip of her tongue. She heard a little chuckle rumble from Jon’s chest as he dropped his head back, enjoying the feel of her lips and breasts against his chest. Cate smiled and kissed her way slowly along Jon’s collarbone, toward his left shoulder. In the background she heard the music end, then a brief silence.

Jon chuckled again as he heard the opening notes to the next song. It was a live track, an old one. He recognized his own voice, his throaty laugh and the comment he threw out to Alec as the bassist picked out the sexy, seductive opening to the song.

“Oh, I think this will do the trick,” he growled softly, smiling down at Cate. He stepped slightly back away from her, then pulled gently on her hip, guiding her to turn around until she stood with her back to him.

Cate drew in a deep breath as she felt Jon move up close behind her, his soft chest hair tickling her back. He wrapped his arms around her waist and dropped his lips to her right ear.

“Ohhhhhh, Goooodddddd….” Cate groaned blissfully as Jon began to sing softly into her ear, along with the music. She felt him sway his hips slightly to the slinky beat, rubbing his crotch against her ass. She began to sway with him, not able or willing to stop herself. She sank back against his chest, wrapping her arms over his across her abdomen.

Never knew how much I loved ya
Never knew how much I cared
‘Til you put your lovin’ arms around me
I get a feeling that that’s so hard to bear
You give me fever
When she kisses
Fever when she holds me tight.
Fever…fire…fever all through the night.

Cate purred at the feel of Jon’s warm breath on her cheek, his sultry growl in her ear. She felt a shiver of pure pleasure run down her spine as Jon slid his hands upward until they covered her breasts. He gently rubbed his palms over her nipples, teasing them as he pulsed his hips in time to the music. Cate reached behind her to grasp Jon’s buttocks, anchoring him tightly against her as he moved.

Well,
Romeo loved Juliet
Juliet she felt the same
When she put her lovin’ arms around me
He said Julie, you’re my flame
You give me fever
When she kisses
Fever you’re my flame and you
Fever
I’m on fire
And I burn for you, yeah
Baby, it’s for you
Julie, I burn for you….

Cate could hear the smile in Jon’s voice as he growled out the last note. He chuckled huskily in her ear, then nuzzled her neck. Cate let out a little moan, her own lips curled in a blissful smile. She felt Jon slide his hands downward over her stomach, then slip under the waistband of her range pants and into her panties.

“Oh!” Cate gasped as his fingers slid lightly over her mound, a pair dipping inside to stroke her wet center.

“Now are you convinced… that we should get what we want?” Jon asked seductively.

Chapter 98 - I Don't Want to Go Home


Fifteen minutes later Cate pulled her Mustang into its space at FTB. Checking her watch, she realized she had done the same thing almost twelve hours ago, at the beginning of this long, emotional day. No wonder she was exhausted.

On the drive back from the range Cate had told Jon that he would be spending the next day in Mandy’s classes. He had been excited to “play CSI” with her students, but Cate had caught the longing glance he gave her when she mentioned she wouldn’t see him until at the end of the training day.

Again she silently thanked Mandy for offering her instructor services for Jon. Though she no longer wanted to avoid Jon out of anger and frustration, Cate needed the time away from him to sort out her emotions and try to figure out how to handle his last few days at the Center.

Cate smiled weakly to herself as she remembered her other intended appointment for tomorrow, to meet with Floyd and ask to be relieved from her duties as Jon’s trainer. Thank God she hadn’t already called him, for that meeting was no longer necessary.

Jon took a minute to toss his gear into his rental SUV, then followed Cate into the building and to her office. He took up his position in her doorway, leaning against the frame while he watched Cate take a seat at her desk. She typed in her computer password, then pulled up her calendar.

“Shit,” Cate swore quietly as she scrolled down the screen.

“What?” Jon asked.

“Oh, I forgot that I have to be here for a meeting in the morning,” she sighed. “We have a Credentialing Board at ten. Mandatory, all hands.” So much for time to myself to think.

“What’s that?” Jon asked.

“It’s for Bobby’s class. You know the students you did the raid house exercise with last week? They graduate on Friday.” Cate explained. “The Credentialing Board is the last review before graduation. Every instructor has to go through each student’s training file, then give thumbs-up or thumbs-down on whether he or she should be awarded a badge and credentials.”

Jon let out a low whistle. “Wow,” he said quietly. “You mean a BAT could bust his ass here for ten weeks, then still walk away with nothing to show for it?”

Cate nodded. “If he doesn’t have what it takes to be an agent, yeah. It’s not enough just to be able to pass the tests. We evaluate attitude, instincts, maturity, the whole package. We’ve been doing this a long time, we instructors. And sometimes we just get a gut feeling that a BAT isn’t cut out for the immense responsibility that comes with that badge and gun.”

Jon considered that for a moment, nodding slightly. It seemed harsh and even a little unfair, but he could understand. There were many times in his own life that he had made decisions and judgments based on his gut rather than on the empirical evidence before him. And he was rarely wrong. Jon had a feeling Cate and the others were right on the money when they made that difficult decision not to graduate a student, for whatever reason. He certainly didn’t want to see unqualified people running around with badges and guns.

“So, you don’t have to be in ‘til ten, then?” Jon asked.

Cate nodded, then met his questioning gaze. “Why?”

“Well, I don’t have to be at Mandy’s class ‘til ten, either.” Jon gave Cate a little smile, the implication of his words clear.

Cate shook her head. “No, Jon,” she said firmly. “I told you I need some time to think.”

“Think tomorrow. After you have breakfast with me.” Jon said. He smiled wider and blinked innocently as she gave him a suspicious look. “What, we can’t have breakfast together?” he asked. But his sexy little smirk gave him away.

Cate gave Jon a stern look. “Yeah, right. Breakfast,” she replied.

“I didn’t say what we’d be having for breakfast,” Jon purred silkily. “Oh, did I mention it would be breakfast in bed?”

Cate gave an exasperated sigh. “Jon,” she protested. “Didn’t you just agree to back off a little? Like less than an hour ago?” She was getting so tired of being on the defensive. Hell, she was tired, period.

She swiveled her chair toward him and leaned back, tipping the seat slightly on its springs. “You should go home. It’s been a long day,” Cate said. “I’m gonna grab a quick shower, then I’ve gotta take care of a couple things here.”

Jon lowered his chin and gave her a searching look. “What if I don’t want to go home alone?” he asked huskily.

“Well, do you always get what you want?” Cate shot back, arching an eyebrow at him.

Jon pushed away from the door frame and moved forward, stalking slowly around Cate’s desk. As he advanced, Cate involuntarily shrank back a little into her chair.

Jon stopped in front of her and gave her a long look. Leaning forward, he braced one hand on each curved armrest and lowered his face to hers. “Yeah, I do,” he answered, his voice deep and gravelly, his eyes locking with hers.

Cate sucked in a breath at the seduction in his tone. She met his stare, her eyes sparking with challenge. “I don’t think so,” she responded, her voice wavering slightly. “Not this time.”

Jon gave her another long look, then the corners of his mouth curved upward in a wicked little smirk. “We’ll see,” he replied softly. He held her gaze for another moment, then pushed away from her chair and stood.

Jon chuckled softly, then turned his back to Cate and strolled out the office door. He stopped in the hallway and glanced back over his shoulder at her, the secretive little grin still on his face. “ ‘Night, Baby. Think about me,” he said. Then he disappeared into the darkened hall.

Cate held her breath as she listened to his footsteps fade away. Groaning softly, she dropped her head back against her chair and closed her eyes. Oh, fuck! she thought. I have COMPLETELY lost it.

She couldn’t believe how easily her resistance had crumbled under Jon’s offensive. What had happened to her? To her unyielding self-discipline? To her iron will? To her determination to keep Jon at arm’s length for the remainder of his training?

Her mind flashed back over their encounter on the range, the explosion that had followed the day’s escalating tension and frustration. Cate shivered as she recalled Jon’s strength as he had imprisoned her in his arms and crushed her body against his. She let out a little sigh, remembering the surge of excitement she had felt when Jon had picked her up, then slammed her down onto the hood of the cruiser. And when he had pinned her, then captured her hands, then stripped her… Sweet fuck, that was HOT...

Cate moaned softly, feeling herself slick at the memory. She pressed her thighs together, reliving the delicious moment when Jon had taken her, forcefully and without hesitation or apology. When he had total power, total control over her…

Lord help me, Cate thought with a groan. In their battle of wills, Jon had won. But what a hell of a consolation prize…

Cate savored the memory a moment longer, then finally conceded her defeat. She sighed out a long breath. She knew now that there was no way she would be able to resist him. Jon was going to be with her for three more days, then he would be gone. And for those three days, her will was his prisoner.

Cate was going to have come up with a plan, and quick. Somehow she was going to have to seal off her heart, not let herself feel anything more than the otherworldly physical pleasures of Jon’s lips and hands and body on hers. She had no doubt whatsoever that she would end up in his bed again, probably within the next 24 hours. Christ, I’m a junkie, she realized with a miserable chuckle. Already looking forward to my next fix…

“Aaargh!” Cate growled, disgusted with her weakness but also relieved that she and Jon had called a truce. She opened her eyes and focused on the clock on the opposite wall of her office. Seeing that it was almost ten o’clock, she reluctantly pushed herself up out of her chair. She needed to get a move on if she was going to get home before midnight.

But first she needed a shower. Her panties were still sopping wet, chafing against her delicate skin, and she was sticky and grimy with dust and grit from the range. Sighing, Cate grabbed her iPod and portable speakers from her desk and headed down the hall to the locker room.

As she walked down the dim hallway, Cate manipulated her iPod, trying to decide which of her playlists fit her mood. She settled on her old standby “Chill Out” list and dialed it in, then hit the “shuffle” button. As she reached the locker room the opening bars of a mellow Billy Joel song wafted from the little speakers.

Cate pushed through the locker room door and flipped the double switches on the wall. Only the small light over the shower stall came on, dimly illuminating the back half of the room. “What the hell?” Cate mumbled, looking up at the large fluorescent light bar centered over the locker area, which was now dark. Must be a blown bulb, she thought.

She shrugged, then turned the lock on the door. Oh well. She could undress in the dark. Wouldn’t be the first time.

Crossing to the back of the room, Cate set her iPod apparatus on the ledge above the sink, then opened the shower stall. She turned on the water and moved over to her locker. Singing softly along with the music, Cate pulled open her locker and grabbed her towel and her little tote of shower necessities. She carried them over to the stall, then returned to the locker.

Cate pulled the elastic from her ponytail and tossed it onto the locker’s shelf, then toed off her shoes. She reached down to slip off her socks, tossing them in the small basket in the bottom of her locker, then pulled her shirt from its tuck.

She drew the damp, sweaty t-shirt up over her head, then dropped it in the basket as well. She hooked her fingers under the band of her sports bra, ready to pull it up over her breasts, when her senses jumped to alert.

“Oh, yeah…” Cate heard a deep growl from the dark corner behind her. Instinctively she wheeled around, drawing and aiming her Glock in a fluid, split-second movement. Her eyes searched for the threat as adrenaline coursed through her body, tensing every muscle and enhancing her senses.

One eye snapped shut as Cate trained the sights of her weapon on the broad chest of the shadowy target in front of her. Her finger settled on the trigger.

Chapter 97 - Truce


Jon raised his head, then propped himself up on his forearms, breathing heavily. His eyes met Cate’s, and he gave her a long, soulful look. A gentle smile crept to his lips as he gazed upon her beautiful, flushed face. He chuckled softly. “Uh… Wow.” he said throatily.

Cate nodded slightly, still a little overwhelmed by what had just happened. “I think that pretty much sums it up…” she replied raspily. She felt her heart flutter at the sight of his smile as he looked down upon her. Then it swelled even more as Jon lowered his mouth to hers. God, this feels so right…

After a long, breathless kiss, Jon raised his face from hers. Silently he lifted his torso up off of her, then slid downwards until his feet reached the ground, separating from her. Cate drew in a breath as their bodies parted, already missing the feel of him on and inside her. She pushed up onto her elbows and watched as he pulled his jeans back up, then fastened his button, zipper, and belt.

Suddenly a little self-conscious at her partially-naked state, Cate quickly sat up and pressed her thighs together, drawing her knees up toward her midsection. She blushed slightly and averted her eyes from Jon’s face as she grabbed her belt and tugged upward on her pants, pulling them back up over her knees. She flushed even more deeply as she attempted to scoot down the cruiser’s hood so she could stand, her bare ass making a loud squeak against the waxed metal.

Cate heard Jon rumble out a soft little chuckle at the sound and she practically leapt off the car, tugging her pants up as quickly as she could to cover herself. She turned her back to Jon and quickly fastened and zipped her pants, buckled her belt, and rearranged her gear around her waist.

She froze, raising her head and closing her eyes, when she felt Jon’s hands on her shoulders. He moved up close behind her, his hands sliding down over her arms, then slipping forward to encircle her waist.

“Cate,” Jon said softly, his lips close to her ear. “I’m sorry.”

Cate felt her lower lip tremble as her eyes moistened at the earnestness of his voice. “For… for what?” she asked hoarsely.

Jon’s arms tightened slightly around her waist, pulling her back against his body. “For earlier. For what I said in the mat room, about you walking away from your job for me. I…. I had no right.” He paused and swallowed hard. “Cate, I didn’t mean to scare you, or to insult you, or to hurt you. I just…. I just couldn’t help myself. I want you.”

“I….” Cate started to respond, but her words caught in her throat. She closed her mouth then tried again, but couldn’t make a sound. She closed her eyes and leaned back against Jon as her emotions began to swirl inside her again. He wants me… and I want him… but we can’t be together… Oh, God. What am I gonna do now?

Jon took a deep breath and hugged Cate tighter as he felt her tense against him. He could tell she was battling herself again. But at least she had heard him. And he could tell from her response that she believed him. For the moment, he was just going to hold her as long as she would let him. He’d deal with what came after that when it happened.

Cate leaned against Jon for a long moment, trying to settle herself. Not now, she told herself firmly. I can’t figure this out now. Not here, with him holding me. I have to get away from him, get some space. Then I can think.

She drew in a deep breath, then summoned every ounce of willpower she had left. She leaned slightly forward, then stepped away from Jon. He reluctantly let her go, his hands lingering at her waist as long as they could.

“We need to close up and get out of here.” Cate’s voice was quiet and even. Despite her inner conflict, she felt strangely calm. Must have been all that sexual tension being released, she mused with a little smirk.

“Okay,” Jon answered quietly. “What do we need to do?” He looked around the range, then back to Cate.

“Well, first we need to put the car back,” Cate answered. She shot a guilty look at the cruiser’s hood, where she and Jon had just had their passionate encounter. She moved quickly to the driver’s side and reached in to turn off the light bar. The range plunged into murky darkness in the absence of the red and blue strobes.

“Jon,” Cate said as she waited for her vision to adjust. “Why don’t you take the ammo cans and our bags to the armory. I’ll meet you there in a minute, to clean the guns.”

“Alright,” Jon answered, looking at Cate’s silhouette in the darkness. “Let me get my vest first, though.” He stepped around the open passenger door and leaned in to retrieve his body armor from where he had tossed it on the seat. As he did, Cate lowered herself into the driver’s seat and turned the key in the ignition. The big engine rumbled to life, and Cate’s face was again dimly illuminated by the glow of the dashboard lights.

Leaning into the passenger compartment, Jon hesitated and looked at Cate. She turned her head to meet his gaze and gave him a small smile. “Don’t worry. I’m not gonna leave you here all alone. Promise,” she said quietly, just little tease in her tone.

Jon smiled with relief at the gentleness of her voice. She wasn’t angry or panicked. She seemed… calm. “Good,” he answered softly. “I don’t ever want you to leave me. Here or anywhere.” He gave Cate another long look, then stepped back and closed the door.

Cate watched Jon stride away into the shadows, toward the platform where they had left their ammo and gear bags. She drew in a long breath and blew it out, then put the cruiser into gear.

Cate returned the cruiser to its assigned spot in the lot and secured the roll-up door, then joined Jon in the armory to clean the guns. They worked quickly and quietly, Cate lost in thought and Jon watching her. When they were finished Cate secured the rifle and Jon’s Glock in their lockers, then returned their unused ammunition to the cage while Jon cleaned up the rags and kits from the table.

“Now I just need to check the cameras,” Cate said. “Then we can go.”

“I thought Danny turned the cameras off?” Jon asked. “That’s what his note said.”

“He meant the cameras on the lanes. The ones we use to play back and evaluate the students’ performance. I’m talking about the security cameras.” Cate replied.

Jon’s eyes widened. “You mean…” he began. Oh Shit.

Cate cut him off. “No. They are on the exterior of the building, and on the entryways. Well, and there’s one on the armory door, since it’s a secure room.” She gave Jon a serious look. “And yeah, I’m gonna double-check the range cams too. Fuck, I’m gonna triple-check them.”

Jon grinned at her response. He took a couple steps forward, closing the distance between them. “Is there a security camera in here?” he asked softly.

“No, just on the exterior of the doorway,” Cate replied, her eyes meeting his. She felt her pulse jump as Jon’s lips came together in a pouty smirk.

“Good,” Jon whispered huskily. He reached up to Cate’s face with one hand, tracing his finger along her cheek then turning her face up to his. He slowly lowered his lips to hers.

Cate sighed at the feel of Jon’s gentle mouth. She tilted her head slightly, then let herself melt against his chest as she parted her lips to accept his gently probing tongue. Jon gathered Cate against him and held her close as he caressed her mouth with his. He smiled as he felt Cate’s arms slide around his waist as she returned his kiss.

After several long minutes, Cate breathlessly pulled her lips from Jon’s. They gazed at each other for a long moment, then she lowered her head, turning her cheek to rest against Jon’s chest. She snuggled against him, hearing his heartbeat under her ear as his arms tightened around her.

“Jon, I don’t want to fight anymore,” she murmured.

Jon’s heart swelled at her words, and his mouth curved into a triumphant smile. “Neither do I, Baby,” he whispered back, squeezing her tighter. “Neither do I.”

They stood together in their embrace for another long minute, until Cate raised her head and pulled back slightly to look at Jon. “But you have to understand,” she said softly. “I need some time… to think. I… I have a lot to figure out.” She saw a shadow of disappointment cross Jon’s face. “And I have to do it alone,” she added. “I need some space. Can you understand that?”

Jon looked at Cate for a pause, then nodded slowly. “Yeah, I guess I can,” he admitted.

“That means I need you to not… not do… this,” Cate continued, her voice a little stronger. “As wonderful as this is… Jon, I need you to stop trying to convince me to do what you want by overwhelming me with your… well, with YOU.” She sighed. “I can’t think straight when you kiss me, when you hold me… Hell, when you look at me.” She stared back at him, feeling her composure gradually returning. “I have to figure some things out before I can think about… us. Please let me do that.”

Jon sighed. “I guess I have to, don’t I?” he asked wearily. He knew he owed that to Cate. He had turned her world upside down in the short week they had known each other. Hell, he would expect the same consideration, if he didn’t unequivocally KNOW what he wanted. “But Cate…. we’re running out of time,” he said, his voice subtly pleading. “Please don’t take too long to figure things out. I don’t want to waste another minute.”

Cate looked down for a moment, then turned her face back to his. “Jon,” she said gently. “Whether we have a day or a year left together, I still can’t get past tonight without some space.”

Jon’s heart clenched at her words. He couldn’t bear the thought of spending another night without her. But he couldn’t push her, either, or they’d be right back where they started the day. He had no choice. “Okay,” he sighed.

Cate nodded gratefully, then leaned up to give him a gentle kiss. “Thank you,” she whispered, then stepped back, out of his arms.

“Let’s get out of here,” Cate said. Jon nodded and followed her out of the armory, picking up their bags and vests as he passed by the cleaning table. He waited for Cate to arm the alarm on the door, then followed her to the control booth stairs. Together they climbed up to the little room.

Cate touched some buttons on the control panel, checking to ensure all the exterior security cameras were functioning properly. Then she flipped the switches to the interior range cameras. Jon watched as Cate swiveled her chair away from the console and pulled open a panel on the wall at the back of the booth, revealing three monitors.

Cate quickly manipulated the buttons on a large remote, scanning through the footage on the digital recorder. Several minutes later she breathed a sigh of relief that there was no video record of Jon screwing her silly on the patrol car’s hood. Jon chuckled at her reaction, also relieved but secretly a bit disappointed.

“Too bad,” he teased gently. “That would have been fun to watch. It was pretty hot from my vantage point, anyway.”

Cate looked sideways at him, taking the bait. “Yeah, but there wouldn’t have been much to see but your bare ass bobbing up and down in the shadows,” she answered sarcastically. “I was on the bottom.” She arched an eyebrow at him.

Jon grinned. “Yeah, but you like my ass,” he replied smugly. “Besides, I think your hands covered most of it. Hell, a video would have been practically PG-rated.” He winked. “Wouldn’t even count as porn.”

Cate swallowed hard, but didn’t answer. Oh, it was definitely porn….

She turned her attention back to the monitors, turning them off and closing the panels. She checked the console one last time to ensure all the systems were powered down, then stood. “Let’s go,” she said quietly.

“After you.” Jon pulled open the door, then followed her down the stairs.

Chapter 96 - Had Enough



Danny had finally had enough. He let out a snort of indignation and shook his head, peering down on the darkened range from his control room perch. The red and blue strobes of the cruiser’s light bar were still illuminated, casting a pulsing, colored glow across the platform and range lanes.

He looked first at Jon, who was leaning against the patrol car, staring uprange with his arms crossed and a scowl on his face. Then Danny turned his gaze to the door to the armory, where Cate had disappeared.

Their snarky, passive-aggressive competition had reached the point where Danny was ready to throw the bullshit flag. Though Cate was still putting Jon through his paces, Danny could tell that neither of them was really thinking about the lesson. Each was trying to show the other who was really in charge, to prove who was the most emotionally detached. Leave it to Cate to engage in a “mine’s bigger than yours” contest with the one person who could actually match her snipe for snipe.

Fine. They wanna act like children, fuck ‘em. Danny snorted again. He was sick of the Jon’s Diva-esque behavior and Cate’s downright bitchiness. If they wanted to continue this little pissing contest, they were gonna do it without him. There was a cold beer with his name on it at home, and he didn’t feel like waiting for it any longer.

Danny flipped the switches to turn off power to the audio, video, and target tracking systems, then stood. Picking up a pen, he scribbled several lines on the legal pad that was lying on the console, then ripped the paper from the pad. He snapped a piece of cellophane tape from the dispenser and stuck it to the top of the paper.

Picking up his range bag and the note, Danny pulled open the control booth door, then descended the stairs. He strode for the range exit, pausing to slap the paper against the closed door. Danny gave the tape a quick rub to ensure the note stuck to the door, then walked out of the range, slamming the door behind him.

Cate was shaken from her contemplation when she heard the door slam. You sonofabitch! she thought, bristling at the thought of Jon walking out on her training. She stalked through the armory doorway, her eyes sweeping toward the center of the range where she had left Jon by the car.

She stopped abruptly when she saw Jon standing there by the front wheel, silhouetted by the cruiser’s strobing light. What the fuck? He’s still here…

Confused, Cate shot a look toward the range exit. She saw a white rectangle against the dark door. After a second she realized it was a piece of paper. Cate stalked quickly over to the door and grasped the paper’s edge, flicking her wrist to pull it free. Her eyes widened and her jaw dropped as she read what Danny had written.

I’m done with your shit. Cameras are off, doors are locked. WORK IT OUT. - D

Jon watched Cate as she read the note. Though it was hard to see her in the dim light, Jon saw her drop her head as she read, her shoulders slouching slightly forward. Then she straightened and turned toward him.

Jon gave Cate a cold stare as she marched rigidly toward him, the note in her hand. She stopped in front of him and held out the piece of paper. “Looks like we’re done for tonight,” she said snarkily, giving him a little sneer.

Jon uncrossed his arms, then snatched the page from her hand. He lowered his gaze to look at what was on the paper. Cate watched him icily as he scanned the writing, seeing his eyes widen slightly as he read. Jon looked back up to Cate, the surprise evident in his expression. “Danny left?” he asked.

“Looks like it,” Cate answered flatly. “I can’t run the range by myself, so we’re done.” She glared back at Jon, her eyes locking with his. She felt her pulse quicken as she watched Jon’s pupils dilate, revealing his thoughts. Cate felt herself flush, her body betraying her and responding to Jon’s hungry stare. We’re alone, she thought with a shiver.

Her eyes swept across Jon’s face, noting his set jaw and the tensed muscles of his neck. She felt like Jon’s gaze was burning into her, beckoning her to join him in the purgatory of his desire. She couldn’t give in, couldn’t let her traitorous body yield to him yet again. “You can go,” Cate said hoarsely, her voice wavering slightly. She turned her back to Jon, determined to get away from him as quickly as she could.

Jon reacted without thinking, on base instinct. As Cate turned away he reached forward and grabbed her wrist, yanking hard on her arm. She spun around, her eyes wide with surprise. As she turned she stumbled, pitching toward Jon. He grabbed her, his strong arms closing around her like steel bands.

Jon’s mouth mashed down onto Cate’s, his tongue thrusting between her lips. Cate grunted and tried to pull her head back, but Jon held her pinned against his chest, restraining her movement. He continued to kiss her hard, his tongue daring hers to duel.

Oh, Goooodddd… Nooooo….. Cate’s mind moaned. She could feel her will to resist slipping away, but she wasn’t ready to let go of her indignation. She was damned if she was going to surrender control to Jon, to let him win. But there was only one way left to fight him.

Cate growled and shoved her tongue back at Jon’s, meeting his challenge. She pushed her mouth violently against his, bruising his lips as she kissed him ferociously. Surprised, Jon slightly loosened his grip on her body, enough that Cate pulled her arms free and wrapped them tightly around his neck. She sunk one hand into the back of Jon’s thick mane and grasped a handful of the silken strands.

Jon growled back at her in response, excited by her forceful handling. His hands moved to Cate’s ass and he squeezed roughly, digging his fingers into her taut glutes. Cate responded with a snarl and pushed her body hard against Jon’s, causing him to stagger backwards against the car.

She yanked again on his hair, pulling his head backwards so that his mouth separated from hers with a loud gasp. Cate gave Jon a long look, telling him silently with her burning gaze that she was still in charge. He glared back at her, refusing to submit.

Suddenly Cate felt Jon push forward, away from the car, so that he was standing with her clinging to him. He moved his hands downward to roughly grip the backs of her thighs. He effortlessly lifted Cate up, pulling her feet from the ground. Cate let out a surprised gasp and tightened her arms around his neck. Her legs instinctively wrapped around Jon’s waist.

With a feral growl, Jon turned and carried Cate three steps forward, to the front of the patrol car. He turned and lurched forward, slamming Cate against the hood of the cruiser and using his body to pin her down. Her legs slipped from around his waist as she braced her feet against the bumper and thrusted her hips upward, trying to push him off of her.

Cate felt Jon’s hard shaft against her crotch as she attempted to break free from his captivity, and she momentarily wondered why she was trying to escape. Ignoring her resistance, Jon again plundered her mouth. Cate moaned against his lips, hopelessly aroused by his assault.

Cate snaked her hand back into Jon’s hair and hauled his face away from hers once again, breaking the kiss. They exchanged a heated, animalistic stare as they panted for air. Still holding Jon’s head back by his hair, Cate raised her lips to his neck, her arousal heightening even more at the salty, gritty taste of his sweat. Her teeth found his skin to the right of his Adam’s apple, and she sucked hard, marking him.

Jon yelped in surprise, then rumbled a wicked little chuckle. Cate pulled her face back, her head falling back against the warm metal of the cruiser’s hood. Cate and Jon stared at each other again, the red and blue lights strobing around them, illuminating flashes of fire and ice in their eyes.

Jon pulled his hands from beneath Cate’s body and reached up behind his head to grab her wrists. Yanking her hands away from his hair, he forced them to the hood of the car, pinning them under his as he braced his hands on either side of Cate’s shoulders. Jon lowered his lips to hers again and kissed her hungrily as he shifted his weight from his hips to his arms, raising his body slightly from hers. Cate responded to his shift in position by bucking her hips upward, grinding her pelvis against Jon’s cock.

Jon groaned at the contact and kissed her harder. His right hand released her wrist and went to Cate’s waist, pulling at her belt. Cate gasped through the kiss as Jon tugged and pushed at the leather strap, trying to force it through the metal buckle. Unable to manage the task one-handed, Jon raised his right leg, bracing his knee against the cruiser’s bumper between Cate’s feet.

Leveraging his body slightly upwards but not enough for Cate to escape from him, Jon moved his other hand to Cate’s waist. He deftly unbuckled her belt, then unbuttoned and unzipped her range pants. He heard a soft thunk as the belt slipped through the first loop and Cate’s holstered gun fell against the hood of the car. Jon pushed roughly downward on Cate’s belt, dragging her pants down over her hips and past her knees. He looped his fingers into the sides of her panties and shoved them downward, as well.

Under her bare ass Cate felt the smooth metal of the cruiser’s hood, still warm from the engine but no match for the heat between her thighs. She let out a strangled gasp as Jon pressed his hand between her legs and stroked his fingertips over her wet core, finding her ready for him. Her feet slipped from the cruiser’s bumper as she opened herself to him as much as the garments binding her legs would allow.

Jon looked back at Cate’s face and groaned at the wild ferocity he saw in her eyes. His hands went to his own belt, and he swiftly undid the buckle, button and zipper. Jon shoved his jeans and briefs down over his hips and thighs, the weight of the gun and gear on his belt making the task easier.

With a fierce growl Jon grabbed Cate’s hips and pulled her toward him as he lowered his weight onto her, maneuvering into position. He moved his hands to press her thighs slightly apart, then thrusted his erection into her hot center.

Cate moaned at the feel of Jon driving into her. Her hands slipped up under his arms to his back as he braced his hands beside her shoulders. Jon began to stroke fervently in and out, his face hovering inches above hers, his lips parted as he breathed raggedly. Cate yanked Jon’s shirt upward and scratched her short nails over his back, leaving scarlet trails across his sweaty skin.

Jon groaned in reaction and gave her a smoldering stare. Cate’s eyes locked with his and her lips parted as Jon increased his speed, thrusting roughly as his climax neared. Cate felt Jon’s muscles tense under her fingertips, and she felt the fiery tingle racing up her legs to her center. She clenched her jaw, determined not to call out Jon’s name when she came. She didn’t want to admit that she was at his mercy.

Cate felt her thighs tremble as her orgasm neared. Feeling Cate tighten around him, Jon slammed against her, burying his cock deep inside her walls as his hot release shot forward. Cate watched Jon’s face as he came, her arousal reaching its peak at the sight of his wild, beautiful face illuminated by the red and blue flashing lights.

Jon’s eyes rolled back and he let out a guttural moan as Cate cried out, shuddering around him and drenching him with her climax. Her eyes slipped closed as her orgasm rocked her.

Jon lowered his body onto Cate’s, supporting himself on his forearms against the cruiser’s hood. He watched as her eyes fluttered open and her gaze met his. They stared at each other for a long time, the cruiser’s strobing lights casting dramatic shadows across their faces, their hearts pounding in unison. They didn’t need words.

After what seemed like a lifetime, Cate spoke, her voice raspy. “We better get ourselves together, before we get busted.”

She was still a little dazed by the intensity of the encounter. Sweet Jesus, that was like something out of a movie… Cate let out a husky little chuckle at the irony of the thought, given who was lying on top of her. She felt Jon’s cock respond to the sound, a little twitch deep inside her.

Jon’s eyes sparked at the sound of Cate’s sexy rumble. He dropped his lips to her ear and lightly ran his tongue around the shell, letting out his own little purr. “I don’t know… I kinda like this. It’s dangerous,” he growled softly. He gave his hips a slight roll, and he heard Cate gasp involuntarily as her walls rippled around him in response.

Cate trailed her fingertips from where they rested on Jon’s back down his sides to his hips. He shuddered slightly at the tickle, and gave another unnecessary hip roll in response. Cate drew in her breath, but continued to trace little circles on Jon’s hips for another long minute, feeling his cock twitch inside her as her fingernails scraped over his skin. She slid her hands up to his delicious ass, splaying her fingers over his glutes then digging her fingernails into the taut flesh.

Jon growled again and lowered his lips to Cate’s neck, below her ear. He nipped her hard, then soothed the mark with his tongue. The smoky, salty taste of her sweat was an aphrodisiac. She tasted like pure sex. Jon felt himself stiffen again, inside her.

He raised his face from Cate’s neck and gave her a sultry, teasing look as he again rolled his hips, evoking another gasp from her perfect lips. “You know, I think I have this whole cop thing down,” Jon purred as a wicked smile played across his lips. “You have the right to remain silent… but I’m gonna make you give up that right.”

He thrusted his hips hard against hers, driving his cock even deeper inside her. Cate let out a startled “OH!” and her eyes widened. Then she let her head tip back, a sinful smile curling her lips. She arched her back slightly, pressing her breasts upward against his hard pecs. She grasped Jon’s glutes even harder, guiding his movements as he rolled his hips rhythmically.

Jon’s breathing was heavy as he stared into Cate’s smoldering blue eyes. His gaze slipped to her mouth, her luscious lips swollen from the ferocity of his kisses. He watched as she let out a long sigh, then slipped her tongue out to sensually slide along her top lip. Jon groaned and answered with a hard thrust of his hips, causing Cate to gasp again, then let out a little half-chuckle, half-moan of pleasure.

The sound set Jon aflame. With a fierce groan, he lowered his body onto Cate’s, thrusting hard and fast into her hot core. He felt his orgasm rapidly building, and he growled into Cate’s ear. “Tell me, Baby...”

Jon’s whiskey-rough voice in her ear was too much for Cate to take. Despite her earlier determination not to let a single syllable pass her lips, she moaned out his name. “Oh, Jooooooonnnnnn…” Her orgasm rushed over her as she felt him explode again, then collapse on top of her.

Her eyes closed and she smiled blissfully. She couldn’t move: her legs were bound by her pants and Jon’s full weight rested deliciously on top of her. Only her hands were free, and they were exactly where she wanted them to be… on that perfect ass, now warm and slick with sweat.

It was enough to make her forget. Forget how her heart had ached when she had ordered him to go last night. Forget how disgusted she had been with him this afternoon, when he had told her to quit her job and follow him. Forget how furious he had made her this evening, as he challenged her every instruction. And forget all about her plan to push him away so that he couldn’t hurt her first.

He had won.

Chapter 95 - High Incident


Cate was in the armory when she heard them arrive. She closed her eyes briefly as the sound of Jon’s voice made her heart throb. Lord, give me strength, she prayed. Just let me get through this lesson.

“Slick!” she heard Danny bark out. Cate steeled herself, then picked up the ammo cans and walked through the armory door, out onto the range floor. She tried to keep her expression neutral as she walked toward Danny and Jon.

Jon’s eyes met Cate’s for a brief moment as she approached, then flicked away. Cate felt her breath catch in her throat, but kept walking. She strode past Jon and Danny, dropping the ammo cans at stations 10 and 12.

She turned back to the men and walked over to Jon, her hand going to the small of her back. She pulled out the Glock she had tucked into her waistband and held it out to him, not looking at his face. He accepted it silently.

Now she had to speak. “Did you bring your vest?’ she asked. Her voice was rough, her tone resigned.

“Yes,” Jon answered, not looking at her.

Cate nodded shortly. “Get your leather gear and ear and eye protection on, and your vest. You’ll need your OC Spray trainer, too.” Her voice cracked slightly.

Jon felt a stab of pain at the break in her voice. This was killing them both. He drew in a deep breath. God, he just wanted to put both of them out of their misery. It would be the most humane thing to do, like putting down a wounded animal.

There was only one way Jon could think of to do that. He had to allow Cate to justify her anger. He had to make her hate him. And if there was one thing he could do well, it was act like a prick.

“Fine,” he answered tartly, hoping his voice wouldn’t betray his true emotions. He looked at Cate and saw her gaze snap upward to his face, a hint of surprise in her guarded expression.

Oh, Holy Fuck, here we go! Danny rolled his eyes and inhaled deeply. “I’m gonna go set up,” he announced gruffly, turning on his heel and stomping toward the stairs to the control booth.

Jon and Cate each moved to their positions and silently loaded their magazines while Danny activated the target tracks and flipped the lights on and off a few times. Jon looked up in surprise as the back half of the range, furthest from them, darkened.

Cate noticed. “It’s Night Fire,” she said tersely. “A lot of what we’re gonna do will be in the dark.”

Jon nodded. “Good,” he said coldly. I won’t be have to see the hurt in your eyes….

Cate’s eyes narrowed at Jon’s retort. Fine, Jackass, she thought. Obviously he was pissed off at her, as she had assumed. Cate still couldn’t quite believe Jon had walked out on her earlier, after their fight in the mat room. She had been relieved at first, but her pride had taken a little hit, too. She had known tonight wouldn’t be easy, but she hoped it at least wouldn’t be combative. So much for that idea.

Once they were ready and Cate had Danny set targets at the seven-yard mark, she turned to face Jon. She paused for a moment, summoning her calm. Once she settled into the rhythm of teaching she would be fine. At least she hoped so.

“First thing we’re going to do is close-in firing. That’s why the targets are at seven yards.” Cate’s voice was tightly controlled, her speech cadence clipped. “Many shots-fired incidents occur at close range, when the officer has used lesser levels of force without success. Then he may be forced to use his firearm.”

Jon stood rigidly, his arms crossed over the black body armor that sheathed his chest. He stared at Cate as he listened to her, trying to appear stoic. But his insides were churning as he did his best to summon his acting skills.

Cate’s eyes flicked up to Jon’s face as she continued, explaining that an officer may not have time or distance to fully draw and point a weapon during a fight. She saw him staring coldly at her, almost sneering. She felt a little flare of temper at his demeanor. Yeah, I don’t want to be here either, she thought, her expression darkening to mirror his.

“In this exercise you will perform close-in fire after using an intermediate weapon,” she recited verbatim from the lesson plan. Cate stepped off the firing line platform, out onto the gravel lane of the range. She walked forward until she stood about ten feet in front of her target. Realizing Jon hadn’t followed her, she turned to give him a direct look. “You training tonight or not?” She asked accusingly.

Jon didn’t reply, but stepped off the platform and moved into position in front of his target. He stared silently at her, waiting for her to continue her recitation.

“Now, on my command you will draw your OC canister, discharge it, then drop the canister and draw your weapon. The assumption is that the suspect was not stopped by the use of the spray and is proceeding to attack you.” Cate paused for breath. “Now, if you draw normally…” she unholstered her weapon and pushed it forward to take aim. “You are basically offering the weapon to the bad guy as he approaches you. Saying ‘here, take it’.”

“Not if you fire fast enough,” Jon responded snarkily.

Cate’s eyes widened slightly at Jon’s comment. “Yeah, but if you’re a good cop, and you want to keep your ass out of jail, you’re going to issue a warning first, before you fire.”

Jon snorted in response, but didn’t speak.

Cate shot him a dirty look, then continued. “The officer will attempt to create reactionary space by stepping back while drawing, then if necessary firing from a defensive position.” Cate stepped backward away from her target as she pulled her arm back toward her body, turning her hand outward so that she rested the butt of the Glock’s grip against her right side, near the bottom of her ribcage. “You brace the weapon against your body for stability, since you’ll be firing one-handed.” She again looked at Jon. “Understand?”

“Yeah,” he answered shortly.

Cate’s temper jumped again, and she tried to ignore it. She pointed to a spot behind where Jon stood. “Step back. I’m going to demonstrate,” she ordered.

Jon silently complied, then watched as Cate holstered her Glock and stepped forward to face her target. Pretending the target was a person, Cate addressed it with an order to stop. Then she swiftly drew her OC Spray trainer canister from her belt, aiming it at the silhouette target. She again barked to “stop,” then shouted “Spray!” as she shot a blast of aerosolized water at the target.

Cate flung the canister to the ground and in a fluid movement drew her weapon as she stepped backwards. She again yelled “Stop! Police!” as she braced the Glock against the side of her body armor. A second later she fired off four rounds in rapid succession, all four bullets piercing the target in the middle of the silhouette’s chest.

Jon’s jaw dropped at Cate’s demonstration, but he recovered before she could turn and see his response. After she performed the recovery move and holstered her Glock, she turned to face Jon. “Got it?” she asked. She saw him nod, his expression betraying no emotion. “Okay, your turn.”

Jon stepped forward to face his target. He took a deep breath, then moved his hands to his belt. “Stop!” he ordered his target, his voice hoarse. As Cate had done, he drew his OC canister, discharged and discarded it, then drew his weapon. He automatically started to extend it forward to aim, but he remembered and drew it back to his side as Cate had done. He took two steps back and commanded “Stop! Police!” before opening fire on the target.

“Cease fire! Recover and holster!” Cate ordered. She looked at Jon’s target and saw that he had placed all four rounds on the silhouette, though not all in the center ring. “Good,” she said shortly. “Let’s do it again.”

Jon fixed her with a stern look. “No, I think that’s enough,” he said coolly. “I don’t need to know this tactic for the movie, so there’s no reason to practice it. Move on.”

Cate’s mouth dropped open at Jon’s impudence. How DARE he? This was HER training session, and she was damned well going to follow the plan. “NO, we will conduct this training according to the lesson plan,” she growled through clenched teeth, giving him a glare.

Jon’s jaw tensed and he glared back at her. “NO, we won’t. I’m not doing it again. What’s next?” He did his best to keep his voice level and emotionless.

Cate blinked back at Jon for a moment, not sure how to handle his refusal. It wasn’t like she could threaten to fail him, or send him to see the Course Director. She had no leverage at all in this situation. And it was apparent Jon didn’t want to be here tonight any more than she did.

“FINE.” She snarled. She turned to look up at the control booth and raised her hand, signaling to Danny. “Moving on,” she said with a heavy dose of sarcasm in her tone.

Danny was watching and listening from his perch in the booth. He was baffled by Jon’s behavior. On the drive over the men had spoken little, and they hadn’t mentioned Cate at all. But Danny could see from Jon’s body language how miserable he was. When they had arrived at the range and Cate had come out of the armory, Danny had seen the yearning in Jon’s eyes. He had half-expected Jon to drop to his knees in front of Cate and beg her forgiveness, so intense had been his reaction.

But as soon as the training started, Jon’s demeanor had shifted abruptly. His posture was rigid and defensive, and even through the audio monitor Jon’s voice was cold, almost aggressive when he addressed Cate. But Danny had also seen other contradictory clues in Jon’s behavior. He noticed that Jon drew in and held his breath for a second every time he prepared to speak to Cate, and his shoulders slumped slightly every time she turned away from him. Jon’s behavior was the very model of physical manifestation of emotional conflict. What the Hell is he doing? Danny wondered. Whatever it is, it’s not helping.

“Jon, you dumbshit,” Danny growled to himself as he flipped the switch for the front bank of lights, plunging the range into darkness.

Standing paces apart, Cate and Jon simultaneously breathed sighs of relief as darkness enveloped them. It was easier to hide in the dark, to keep true emotions under wraps. They stood looking toward each other as their eyes slowly adjusted to the dark, silhouettes and shades of gray swimming into focus.

“We’re going to do alternate light source tactics,” Cate’s voice was level and flat in the darkness. Jon’s eyes moved to her face, her features faintly visible in the dark due to the small amount of light emitted from the control booth above them. His heart clenched as his eyes traced the curve of her cheek down to her chin, then lingered on the shadow of her lower lip. He felt his own expression soften as he gazed at her.

“You awake?” Cate asked coldly. “Or have you decided you’re not going to do this either?”

Her voice shook Jon back to the lesson. He drew in another breath, pulling his resolve back together. If he couldn’t give Cate anything else, he was at least going to give her the out, let her get so pissed at him that her hurt would be overshadowed by her anger. “We’ll see how it goes,” he answered acidly. He heard a little growl rumble from her throat as she swore at him under her breath.

Jon saw Cate’s silhouette move away from him, back to her position on the firing line. She stooped over and retrieved something from her bag, then turned back toward him. Suddenly he was blinded by a bright light shining directly in his eyes. He swore and turned away, grimacing as he squinted his eyes closed and raised a hand to shield his face from the light.

“That’s an alternate light source,” Cate said snarkily. “Otherwise known as a flashlight.” She lowered the beam of light from Jon’s face, then stalked over to him. She stopped a pace in front of him, her torch aiming down toward the ground, and handed him a small maglite. “So far so good?” she taunted him.

“For the moment,” Jon snarked back, taking the light.

Cate took a deep breath and willed herself to be calm. As much as she wanted to get this lesson over with, there was still a considerable amount of training to finish so she couldn’t let Jon push her buttons any more than he already had. “Fine. Let’s begin,” she said evenly.

Cate spent the next fifteen minutes showing Jon how to properly use a flashlight as an aid to tactical movement and defensive firing. Jon found her instruction truly interesting, so he didn’t push at her as she drew him into the lesson. In turn, she relaxed slightly as she demonstrated, then coached him through the tactics.

Jon was surprised how hard it was to aim and fire using the flashlight; he wasn’t surprised that he had not done very well in hitting his target. But at this point it didn’t really matter. After all, he wouldn’t be looking at targets in his movie. All that mattered was that it looked like he knew what he was doing on film.

When they finished that task, Cate took the flashlight from Jon and directed him to stay at his position. He silently complied, wondering what she was doing as she strode away from him, to the opposite end of the platform.

Jon saw a rectangle of light as she opened an exterior door and exited the range building into what looked like an illuminated parking lot. The door swung closed behind her, and Jon looked up at the control booth, confused. He saw Danny looking toward the back of the range, and turned his gaze in that direction.

Jon watched in surprise as a large bay door on the side wall began to rise. As it reached the top of its track, Jon saw a vehicle drive through the opening, the beams of its headlights slicing through the darkness of the range.

Jon’s brow furrowed with curiosity as Cate pulled the big Crown Victoria Police Cruiser across the gravel lanes of the range, angling it toward the targets that Danny had moved downrange to the fifteen-yard mark. She put the car in park, cut the headlights, then activated the cruiser’s light bar. The red and blue lights strobed rapidly in the dark, causing Jon to squint as the flashing assaulted his vision and confused his depth perception.

Leaving the engine running, Cate put the car in park and climbed out of the driver’s seat, leaving the door open. She strode around the back of the cruiser and pulled open the front passenger door, then turned to face Jon. “Time to practice stress-incident shooting,” she announced.

“Most of the time this sort of shooting is going to happen during what we call a ‘High Incident,’ or a law enforcement response that escalates into violence, usually a gunfight.” Cate paused, giving Jon a long look. “You need four mags; two on your belt, two in your pockets. Let’s move. I don’t want to be here all night.”

Jon bristled at her comment. “Neither do I,” he responded flatly. He moved to his position and picked up four full magazines, as she instructed, and secured them on his body. He saw Cate move to her position and load her pockets with fresh magazines, then stand and step toward him.

“First things first. You need to understand how to use a vehicle as cover from fire.” Cate again tried to keep her voice even as she started the lesson. “You may think a car is a big damned thing to hide behind, but it really doesn’t afford you that much protection. There’s a lot of empty space, a lot of glass, that can let a bullet pass right through or bounce around inside.”

She gestured for Jon to follow her and strode back out to the cruiser, stopping beside the front passenger-side fender. “The best part of a vehicle to use as cover is the front end. Not much is gonna get through the engine block. There’s the chance that a round could come under the chassis, bouncing off the ground, but it's not likely that that's gonna happen. Ideally, the officer would cover behind the front wheel, then use the hood as a barrier to fire over.”

Jon watched as Cate drew her weapon, then crouched by the front tire of the cruiser. She pushed up, turning toward the target and extending her arms forward as she aimed. She dropped her head downward as her arms rested on the cruiser’s hood, keeping as much of her body as she could behind the vehicle. Cate fired off four quick rounds, then ducked back behind the cruiser and holstered her weapon. Then she stood.

“Alternately, the officer can seek cover in the passenger compartment if the threat is at the front of the vehicle. The engine block is still between the assailant and the officer, but the officer has to remember to stay down; the enclosed compartment and windows can sometimes provide a false sense of security. The officer could then use the door hinge as a port through which to fire.”

Jon watched silently as Cate moved to the passenger door, ducking briefly into the compartment, then leaning out and aiming her Glock forward, extending the gun through the vee formed by the door joining the vehicle’s chassis. Again she kept her head and body low as she fired off four rounds toward the target. She holstered the Glock then stood and looked at Jon. “Got it?”

“Yep,” Jon answered confidently. He strode forward toward the cruiser, ready to show Cate that he could perform the task.

“Okay,” Cate replied, recognizing his cockiness. “Show me what you got,” she dared him, her tone slightly mocking.

Jon shot her a scowl, hoping she could see him in the strobing glow of the light bar. If she did, she ignored him. He stepped forward and crouched beside the cruiser’s front right-side wheel, as Cate had done.

Cate ducked downward, half-sitting in the cruiser’s passenger seat as she peered through the vee of the door joint at Jon. “Go ahead,” she prodded as he glanced at her as if to ask “ready?”

Jon nodded curtly, then pushed himself up and settled his arms on the cruiser’s hood, aiming at the target as he had watched Cate do. Just as he was ready to pull the trigger, Cate reached over to the cruiser’s center console and hit the siren switch. A loud whoop pierced the night just as Jon fired of his first shot. She saw him visibly jump, then she heard him swear loudly.

“GodDAMNIT, Cate!” Jon yelled. “You about gave me a fucking heart attack!!!” Jon shot Cate a furious glare.

She stared back at him. “The name of this exercise is ‘stress-incident shooting’,” she responded with a snarl. “The point is to get you to function while things are going to shit around you.” Kinda like I’m doing right now, she couldn’t help but think. “When you’re in a nighttime shoot out, there are gonna be lights and sirens and gunfire and screaming and yelling. You have to act without thinking, on instinct. Now try again.”

“Fine,” Jon growled back at her, his teeth clenched together. He would be damned if he was going to let Cate get the better of him on this exercise. He would show her.

Jon took a breath, then again pushed up to fire over the hood of the patrol car. This time Cate hit the siren and let it wail for a full rotation as Jon fired. She cut the siren, then yelled out a cease-fire and directed him to reload, which he smugly did.

Good job, she thought. But she didn’t verbalize her praise. Realizing the cruiser was still running, Cate reached over and turned the key in the ignition, killing the engine. “Now from behind the door,” she ordered, stepping away from the passenger compartment.

Jon shot Cate another glare then stepped in front of her, around the door to take up the position she had just vacated. “What do you want me to do here?” he snapped.

“Same thing I did. You paid attention, didn’t you?” Cate answered acidly. She felt her temper rising again, toward the boiling point. She had really had just about enough of Jon’s petulance.

“Yeah,” Jon answered shortly. He lowered his body behind the cover, awaiting her order to begin the exercise. At least she can’t reach the siren this time, he thought smugly.

“Go,” Cate ordered. As Jon pushed up and took his aim, Cate swiftly drew her own weapon and aimed across the top of the cruiser toward the back of the range, away from the direction Jon was aiming. Waiting until she heard Jon fire his first round, Cate pressed the trigger on her Glock, firing in a quick staccato rhythm as she screamed as loud as she could, expending her entire magazine and her breath.

Since she wasn’t aiming, Cate kept one eye on Jon and watched as he jumped sound of her gunfire and at her banshee wail. She couldn’t help but smirk slightly at his reaction, then quickly corrected her expression, fixing a serious look on her face.

“Jesus FUCKING Christ, Cate!” Jon exploded, dropping his Glock to his side and whirling around to face her. “What the FUCK!?!?!”

“I TOLD you this is stress-incident firing!” Cate snapped back. “So stop being such a fucking whiny Candy-Ass and pull it together! You’re just firing at a fucking target, for Christ’s sake!”

Jon shoved his Glock into its holster and stepped toward Cate, moving so close that she could feel his breath on her face as he glared down at her. “I am NOT a Candy-Ass!” he growled. “And you know what? I HAVE it pulled together. Do it again, and I’ll prove it.”

Cate snorted a laugh at Jon’s melodramatic show of testosterone. “Yeah, Okay,” she replied, glaring back up at his shadowed face. “We’ll do it again. And you’ll still jump, Rookie. ‘Cause you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing.” She stepped back from Jon and paused, smirking a little at his challenge. You have NO idea what you’re in for, Jonny Boy….

“Oh yeah?” Jon retorted arrogantly. “Well, bring it ON, Cate. You’re not gonna rattle me again.”

Cate couldn’t help but laugh at that. “Oh, WELL, then!” she replied mockingly. “You want me to bring it on? You have NO idea what you’re asking. But by all means, Your Highness, I’ll try to meet your demands,” she sneered sarcastically. “In just one minute, that is.”

She turned and started to stomp toward the armory, intent on retrieving a few items that would wipe that smug look off his face. When she was done with him, Jon wouldn’t just be ducking from the chaos around him. He would be hiding under the fucking cruiser.

“That’s Your ROYAL Highness!” Jon shouted after her, goading her further. He watched her stalk away from him toward the armory. When she disappeared through the door, Jon growled in frustration.

He moved to the front of the cruiser and leaned back against the fender, wiping his forearm across his moist brow. Realizing just how hot and sweaty he was, Jon tore angrily at the Velcro tabs on his protective vest, ripping them open, then pulling the armor off his torso. He leaned over and tossed the vest into the passenger seat of the cruiser. He didn’t really give a fuck what Cate said; he was going to finish this lesson without that uncomfortable damned vest.

Cate stormed into the armory, striding over to the M-16 locker and quickly dialing the combination on the lock. She pulled a rifle from the rack inside, then turned and dumped it on the cleaning table. Realizing she was burning up with anger and adrenaline, she ripped open the Velcro straps on her vest and tossed it on the table beside the rifle. Then she stomped back to the ammo cage.

She quickly opened that lock as well, and stepped inside. She opened the container that held the M-16 blanks, then hesitated. What the fuck am I doing? She asked herself. Her training was kicking in, reminding her that safety was first and foremost. And one of the biggest rules of handling firearms was to remain cool and collected. That she certainly was not. At least not at the moment.

Cate closed her eyes and sucked in a deep breath, held it to the count of ten, then slowly blew it out. Relax, she told herself. Calm down. You can still show Jon what’s what. You just need to take a minute first. After all, you don’t really want to hurt him, or yourself.

Cate felt her heart squeeze at that thought. Despite what had happened between them today, Cate knew she could never intentionally hurt Jon, either physically or emotionally. So what the fuck are we doing to each other?

Cate felt tears spring to her eyes at the sudden, unexpected question from her heart. She bit her lip as she stood staring at the armory door, pondering that question. What the fuck am I doing?