Chapter 115 - Walk in the Park

Jon and Cate spent the next hour and a half at Pablo’s, enjoying the wonderful food and the fabulous margaritas. By the time they had emptied the pitcher and a refill, Cate’s worries about being spotted out in public with Jon had faded away.

Jon couldn’t stop grinning as Cate allowed him to hold her hand, nibble at her neck, and steal kisses from her throughout the meal. They shared food from each others’ plates, feeding each other small bites of delicious fajitas with gentle fingers that lingered upon soft lips.

Cate responded to Jon’s suggestive comments with her own coy little teases, and several times let her hand wander up his muscular thigh to rest palm down in his lap. Somehow Jon’s hand found its way to Cate’s breast at least twice, his thumb brushing over her taut nipple as he purred sweetly in her ear. As a result, by the time they were finally ready to leave the restaurant, Cate and Jon were both moderately tipsy and thoroughly horny.

As they made their way to the exit, Jon obligingly posed with the waiter, hostess, and several other restaurant employees for photos, and he autographed a menu and several other items. Cate stepped aside to watch, and smiled sweetly when he shot her a naughty little look that said “Let’s get out of here…. NOW!” Her eyes dropped to his crotch, then she gave him a saucy grin and arched an eyebrow as she saw the bulge there.

Finally Jon was able to gracefully disengage himself from the situation. He quickly guided Cate out the door with a gentle hand at the small of her back. They walked down the path from the restaurant and onto Mallory Street, neither speaking and both breathless with need.

Though the sun had long since set, the night was bright with the silver light of the full moon, the stars twinkling in the clear sky like a million diamonds. Warm light glowed from the shops and restaurants along Mallory Street, and couples and groups strolled along, window shopping and enjoying the gorgeous summer night.

Instead of leading Jon back through the center of the Village, Cate turned left into a small alley that led away from the businesses that lined the main street. Jon grinned, realizing that she was leading him to some hidden destination where they could share a moment of privacy. He slipped his hand over hers and picked up the pace to keep up with Cate as she strode hurriedly down the alley, past the backyards of quaint little island bungalows.

About a block away, the alley ended at the edge of a small park. Towering oleander bushes screened the park from the nearby homes and gigantic, hundred-year-old oak trees draped with Spanish moss arched their branches overhead, casting intricate shadows on the ground. In the center of the park, water tinkled musically from a small fountain surrounded by a brick courtyard and a circle of small wood and scrolled-iron benches. The sweet smell of magnolias wafted through the warm night air.

As Cate led him by the hand to the shelter of one of the ancient trees, Jon was overwhelmed by the romantic scene before him. It was like something from a movie, where the leading man was supposed to sweep the woman off her feet for a breathless, passionate kiss.

They stopped in the shadows, in a private little corner of the small park. Cate turned to Jon and smiled up at him, her eyes sparkling in the moonlight. Raising a hand to her cheek, Jon lowered his lips to hers, kissing her gently for a long, sweet moment.

Then his desire got the better of him.

In a swift movement Jon bent down and hooked an arm behind Cate’s knees, sweeping her up into his arms. She squeaked with surprise, then giggled happily as she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him for all she was worth.

Jon’s heart soared at the depth of her kiss. He couldn’t believe the intensity of his happiness. Here he was, in this beautiful moonlit island paradise, with Cate in his arms, his lips on hers, their souls dancing together once again. And, more than that, he had the hope that this would never have to end.

Cate was opening her heart to the idea of something more with him, of seeing him when he came back to Georgia, of continuing their relationship. He just knew it. He could tell from her kiss, from her touch. She was confronting her fears, and eventually she would conquer them, for him.

God, I love her….

The thought momentarily shocked Jon. He broke the kiss with a little gasp, then looked deep into Cate’s eyes, wondering if she could read his mind. His heart melted at the affection in her gaze, and he was certain she felt the same. Even if she didn’t know it yet.

“My God, Baby…” Jon breathed. “I…” He stopped as his heart swelled with happiness, choking his words.

“I want you too,” Cate whispered against his lips as she continued their kiss. Still cradling Cate in his arms, Jon groaned happily and sank to his knees. He kissed her hungrily, then gently lowered her onto the soft, cool grass. Cate giggled again as Jon stretched out on the grass close beside her, hooking one leg over hers and rolling toward her so that he was half on top of her.

“Jon…” Cate said with a husky little chuckle as she felt his hard cock pressing against her hip. She giggled again and tipped her head back as his lips traveled along her throat. “Umm…”

“Hmmm?” Jon hummed as he moved a hand to her breast, gently kneading and evoking a little gasp from Cate’s lips.

“This is a public park…” Cate murmured as Jon’s lips traveled back up her throat to her jaw.

“So? We’re the public…” Jon chuckled before claiming her lips. Cate let out a happy little sigh and shifted her body toward his so she could slip her arms around his waist as he kissed her deeply. She moaned softly as Jon pushed his hips toward hers, grinding his erection against her mound, his hardness evident even through the layers of their clothing.

“I… I know, but… we’re also being... being publicly… lewd.” Cate somehow managed to get the words out between happy little whimpers as Jon again nibbled and sucked his way down her throat.

“Baby, we could get a lot more lewd than this,” Jon chuckled huskily as his lips moved onto her chest, exposed by the deep v-neck of her tee. He licked at her salty-sweet skin.

Cate laughed throatily at his response, then gasped again as he pressed his dick harder against her. “Jon… Oh God…” Cate moved one hand to tangle in Jon’s hair as his mouth moved over the fabric of her tee, his teeth closing gently around the point of her nipple. “Baby… No. Not here.” Cate gently tugged on Jon’s hair, forcing him to pull his face away from her body. “Take me back to the villa. Now.” she commanded breathlessly.

“Which way?” Jon asked, panting slightly, raising his head and looking around the park. “Cate… Oh, Hell! There’s nobody here!” He again lowered his lips to hers and kissed her hungrily. “Nobody’s gonna see us,” he rasped against her lips as his hand moved to the button on her shorts. He deftly worked the button through the hole and pushed down the zipper, slipping his hand inside to test her warmth.

Cate’s breath caught in her throat at the feel of Jon’s fingers gliding over her. “But Jon… someone could hear…” she gasped in protest, knowing she was fighting a losing battle. She wanted him too much, right here, right now. “There are houses right… right over there…”

Jon moved his lips to her ear and chuckled sexily. “Then be quiet,” he responded. He moved his hand to her hip, pushing her shorts and panties downward.

Cate giggled softly, her will to resist gone, swept away by her margarita buzz and her surging lust. Her hands moved to Jon’s waist and she quickly undid his shorts, tugging them down over his hips. She groaned when she felt the warm, firm flesh of his perfect ass under her hand as she slid his shorts downward.

“That’s my dirty girl…” Jon growled into her ear, delight evident in his voice. He pushed Cate gently onto her back and tugged her shorts lower, until they were around her knees. Then he rolled on top of her, chuckling wickedly. “For such a good cop, you’re a bad, bad girl,” he teased throatily.

“Mmmm. You may have to punish me later,” Cate purred in response. “But first….. OH!” Cate gasped as Jon entered her, thrusting powerfully.

“First, we’re gonna have a quickie in the park,” Jon chuckled naughtily. Cate giggled in response, then again gasped out a little “OH!” as he drove his cock deeper inside her. Recovering quickly from her ecstatic surprise, Cate growled sexily and dug her fingers into Jon’s ass, anchoring him tightly to her.

“Let’s go, Rock Star,” she taunted huskily. “Gimme what you got.”

Jon laughed wickedly at her challenge then lowered his body fully onto hers, resting his weight on his forearms. His eyes locked with hers as he began to thrust rapidly in and out, his rock-hard cock sliding deliciously against her walls.

“Oh, Jon…. Oh, Baby…” Cate gasped out as she felt her orgasm quickly building. She couldn’t believe how fast he could bring her to ecstasy. “Oh…. Oh…. GODDDDDD!!!!” she moaned as she was swept over the edge.

Jon barked out a laugh, then pressed his mouth to hers, muffling her cries and swallowing her oaths as she shuddered around him. He slowed his movement for a moment, drawing out her climax, then picked up the pace as he neared his release. Jon groaned out Cate’s name against her lips as he erupted inside her.

Jon lay still on top of Cate for a long moment, his forehead resting on hers as they panted together in the aftermath of their releases. Slowly they became aware of the sounds of the night around them; the tinkling water of the fountain, the rustling of leaves, the chirping of crickets and the buzzing of fireflies…. and the sound of voices in the distance. Voices that were becoming clearer and louder as they came closer to where Jon and Cate lay joined together on the cool grass.

“Oh, SHIT!” Cate said in a panicked whisper. “Get up!” She released Jon’s ass from her grasp and moved her hands up to his chest, pushing at his hard pecs.

Jon laughed at her panic and gave her a naughty grin. “I bet if we stay perfectly still, we don’t move a muscle, they won’t even see us,” he teased.

“Are you fucking INSANE?” Cate hissed. “Get off me!” She shoved again at Jon’s chest. “There’s no WAY they won’t see your ass shining in the moonlight! Now get up!”

Jon chuckled again and pressed a kiss against Cate’s lips, muffling her repeated order for him to move. Finally he raised his body off hers and pushed himself up onto his knees. Cate slithered out from under him, quickly hiking her shorts and panties up and fumbling with the button and zipper.

Jon laughed as she leaped to her feet and hurriedly pulled her fingers through her hair, trying to neaten it. Like anyone would notice, in the dark, if it was mussed from sex on the grass.

Jon casually pulled his shorts up and fastened them at his waist, then climbed to his feet. “C’mere, Dirty Baby,” he grinned at Cate, reaching out to grab her wrist and pull her to him.

As he dropped his lips onto Cate’s, Jon glimpsed two silhouetted forms strolling hand-in-hand into the park from the alley. The couple’s voices were now clearly audible as they chatted and walked, passing Jon and Cate with only a quick glance in their direction.

After kissing Cate soundly, Jon pulled his face back and gave her a mischievous grin. “See?” he whispered. “Told ya we wouldn’t get caught.”

“Jesus Christ, Jon!” Cate growled. “Think you coulda cut that any closer?” Her heart was still pounding from their near-discovery.

“Yeah, probably,” he answered nonchalantly, then grinned again. “But Damn, Baby…. wasn’t that fun?”

“FUN?” Cate asked incredulously. She looked at Jon and saw the twinkle in his azure eyes.

Suddenly her panic was gone, her annoyance vanished. She had to admit, she felt… alive. What had just happened between her and Jon was crazy, silly, dangerous, boozy, lusty… romantic. And yes, fun. For the first time in a very long time, Cate had thrown caution to the wind in the name of passion. It was… exhilarating.

Jon watched the beautiful smile spread across Cate’s lovely face, her eyes sparkling in the moonlight. His heart flipped as again he heard the words in his mind. God, I love her…

Jon pulled Cate close against him, into a tight hug. “Let’s go home, Baby,” he murmured. She pulled back from his embrace and looked up at him, her eyebrows raising at the word “home.” Jon grinned down at her. “I still have to make good on my promise to wear that bandana for you.” He gave her a little wink.

Cate chuckled throatily. “Yes. Yes you do,” she agreed. “But after what just happened here….” She paused, not quite knowing how to say it. “Well, if you wanna wear something with the bandana besides just your smile….”

Jon laughed heartily. “Oh, I get it!” he teased. “Old Guy may not be able to get it up again, huh?”

Cate blushed. “I didn’t mean… I mean… well, Shit, Jon! We’ve already done it twice tonight!” she blurted out.

Jon grinned. “Yeah, but the night is still young…” His voice dropped to a gentle murmur. “And I intend to make the most of the time we have left together.” He leaned down to nuzzle at Cate’s ear. “At least until we meet again…”

Cate smiled at that thought.

Chapter 114 - Thief of Hearts

Jon followed Cate into the bedroom, pulling the bandana off his head as he went. With Cate’s giggling assistance he managed to peel off the leather pants, then strip off the tight black tank. Once he was disrobed, Cate couldn’t resist slithering up against Jon and nipping lightly at his neck before taking his hand and leading him into the bathroom.

They shared a playful shower, taking turns washing each other and sharing long kisses and embraces. Noticing the beginning of Jon’s new arousal, Cate teasingly chastised his “one-track mind” and demanded they get out of the shower before neither of them had the will to leave the villa in search of food.

After they toweled each other off Cate followed Jon into the bedroom and watched as he dressed quickly in grey cargo shorts and a navy tee. He gave her another sweet kiss followed by a light smack on the ass, then left the room to retrieve Cate’s duffel bag from her car.

Once he returned, it was Jon's turn to watch Cate as she dressed in matching red panties and bra, denim shorts, and an olive green baby-doll t-shirt. When she took her toiletry kit from her bag and went into the bathroom Jon followed her and stood in the doorway, a gentle smile on his lips as he watched her comb out her damp hair.

Once she was ready, Jon and Cate headed out the door. They wandered hand-in-hand down a semi-private path from the King and Prince toward the village, chatting comfortably and enjoying the golden twilight as the sun sank low on the horizon. When they reached the edge of the village Jon reluctantly released Cate’s hand, respecting her need for discretion in their public behavior.

Cate led Jon several blocks up Mallory Street to a rustic-looking building with a broad porch dotted with brightly-colored tables and chairs. Festive paper lanterns hung from the ceiling and colorful luminaria dotted the walk leading to the restaurant’s entrance. Jon grinned broadly at the sound of mariachi music wafting from the speakers.

“Welcome to Pablo’s,” Cate smiled. “I thought you might like a good margarita.”

“Great!” Jon nodded enthusiastically. “I love Mexican food.”

“I know,” Cate chuckled, her eyes twinkling. Jon laughed with her as he recognized a hint of The Fan in her answer. But now he didn’t think of her as a Fan at all. Now she was so much more.

“Can we get a private table?” Jon asked, his voice softening a bit as he reached out to brush his hand over hers.

“Well, I don’t think they have private tables,” Cate answered doubtfully. “But they do have some dark corners.” She gave Jon a playful smirk.

“That will work just fine,” Jon answered with a little growl, leaning in toward Cate and giving her a wink in response. He pulled open the door and held it for Cate, then followed her inside.

The slightly awestruck hostess showed them to a small booth at the back of the restaurant, then giggled happily and flitted away after Jon gave her a big smile and a “Thanks, Doll.” Cate slid into the booth first, scooting along the half-circle bench to make room for Jon to sit beside her. He settled in next to her with a contented sigh then slipped his hand onto her knee under the table.

“Perfect,” he purred, leaning over to nuzzle at Cate’s ear through the still-damp tendrils of her silky mahogany hair.

“Jon,” Cate warned, though she couldn’t stop her happy smile. “Somebody might see us.”

“I know,” he answered sexily. “That’s what makes it exciting.”

Cate chuckled. “You’re too much,” she sighed.

“Well, THANK you!” Jon responded proudly, puffing out his chest and giving Cate a mischievous wink. “I didn’t think you had any complaints.”

Cate rolled her eyes and picked up her menu, pretending to read even though she wasn’t seeing the print before her. She smirked again as her mind went back to how Jon had looked earlier, decked out in his eighties best, just for her. Just as Jon opened his mouth to tease her more, the waiter appeared to take their drink order.

Five minutes later an icy pitcher of margaritas and a huge bowl of chips were on the table and waiter had been dispatched with their meal order. Jon again gave Cate a gentle smile as he rested his hand on her leg. “So…” he began, tracing a little circle on her thigh with his fingertip. “I got some good news today.”

“Oh?” Cate asked before she sipped from her margarita glass. She swallowed the tart, salty beverage then realized Jon was watching her, waiting for further response. “What was that?” she continued.

“All the details were finalized for that project of mine. The campaign I’m going to do for the Center.” He paused and took a sip of his drink, watching Cate’s response. He saw her brow furrow slightly as she considered his words. Jon could tell she was curious and wanted to ask him for details, but she knew that would mean talking about the future. He watched as Cate struggled with the choice of continuing the conversation or shutting it down in accordance with her self-imposed prohibition on discussion of life beyond Friday.

When Cate didn’t answer after a minute Jon continued, his voice soft and even. “I’ll be coming back here in a couple months to film some recruiting videos. I’m also gonna do a private show for the staff and students.” He smiled as he saw her eyes widen at his announcement.

“Umm…. Jon, that’s great.” Cate replied quietly.

“Well, that’s hardly the enthusiastic response I was hoping for,” he teased lightly as he rubbed his hand gently over her thigh. “Gee Jon! That’s FANTASTIC!” he said playfully, his voice rising an octave with mock excitement as he raised his eyebrows and grinned.

Cate frowned. “Sorry, I… uh…”

Jon immediately felt bad about his tease. “I’m kidding, Baby,” he said gently. “But… being serious for a moment, how do you feel about that? About me coming back here in a few months?”

“Jon…” Cate hesitated. She knew exactly how she felt: elated, excited, overjoyed. Her heart had damned near jumped up into her throat when she heard the words. But hanging over her elation was a dark cloud of dread, of realization that Jon’s return may not be a good thing for her. It certainly wouldn’t make it any easier for her to let him go.

“I… I think it’s a great thing. What you’re doing for the Center, I mean. You certainly have no obligation to do anything.” Cate replied carefully, avoiding what she knew was Jon’s true question.

Jon tipped his head slightly at her response. “I know. I want to do this.” His eyes met hers. “But you know what I mean. How do you feel about me coming back here? Will you see me, when I do?”

Cate felt a flutter in her stomach. God, I want to… “I suppose the Director will want me to be your host again,” she answered quietly, struggling to keep emotion out of her voice. “Since I was your training officer.”

“Cate,” Jon’s voice was soft and full of emotion. “You know what I’m asking. Will you see me, when I come back? Can we spend time together?”

Cate blinked at Jon, wishing he couldn’t read her response but knowing he could see the hope in her eyes. “I can’t think about that right now, Jon,” she replied, her voice softening to match his. “I just can’t. You know…”

“I know,” Jon interrupted. “Time ends on Friday. We walk away with no regrets.” His hand left her thigh and found hers, his fingers curling over hers and squeezing gently. “But Cate, the thing is, time doesn’t end on Friday. Life will go on.”

He saw her lips part to protest and he cut her off. “I know, I know… not ‘us,' but life. And I really don’t think you expect to just erase me from your life, do you?” He gave her a gentle smile. “I mean, you’re not gonna stop listening to my music, are you? You won’t get rid of all the photos, not watch my movies, throw out all your Soul stuff, pretend I don’t exist?” He lightened his tone with a teasing note, though he was serious.

Cate couldn’t stop a small sheepish smile at his words. She looked down at the table, away from his beautiful eyes. “Of course not. I couldn’t do that.” she answered softly.

“Well, Thank God!” Jon chuckled. “I’d hate to think the band lost a fan because of my acting career,” he teased. Cate chuckled softly in response, but didn’t say anything.

“Cate, you know I’m not going to be able to just forget about you, either,” Jon continued quietly. He held his breath as she turned her head to look at him, expecting her to shut him down, to tell him to stop talking about the future.

When Cate just looked at him, Jon continued, not wanting to lose his chance. “I can’t just pretend these two weeks didn’t happen. You’re an amazing woman, and I want to keep you in my life. Even if only as a friend, if that’s what you want.” Again he looked deep into her eyes, searching for the truth of what she was feeling.

“Jon… I don’t know…” Cate answered hesitantly. He saw her tense and felt her hand clench under his as her eyes swirled four shades of blue. Yes, you do, Jon thought. You know what you want. You’re just afraid. But you don’t have to be…

Jon couldn’t stop now, he had to press his luck. Cate was listening to him, not refusing to consider what might or could happen. She had opened the door to her heart a crack, and he had to slip inside. Like a thief, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to steal what he really wanted, to capture her heart and take it with him. He didn’t know how much longer that door would be open.

“C’mon, Cate,” he said with a gentle smile. “I can’t give you a call every now and then, just to say hello? Drop you an e-mail or a text?” He tried to sound casual as his heart pounded in his chest. Jon gave Cate his best heart-stopping smile. “Send you postcards from the road?”

Cate’s head was spinning as she listened to Jon’s words. Of course he was right, he wouldn’t be able to just pretend they had never met, any more than she could. And what harm could it do, to maintain occasional friendly contact with him? She felt a little stab of pain in her heart. You know what harm it will do… it will make you want him more, and then you’ll be devastated when he eventually drifts away.

“Jon, I don’t think that’s a good idea,” she answered quietly. “I don’t know if I can just be your friend. I… it would be too hard.”

Jon’s heart clenched, but he kept going. He had to keep trying. “No it wouldn’t, Baby,” he argued gently. “We’ll talk. Share what’s going on with our lives. I’ll still care about you, your friends, what you’re doing, your career.”

He gave her another sweet smile. “And you know, we’ll still have the chance to see each other every now and then. Not just when I come back for the media stuff, either. You have to come to the premiere, you know. You’re as much a part of this crew as anybody working for the production company. You’re the one who’s turning me into a fake cop.” Jon continued his gentle tease, trying to mask how desperately he wanted to beg her to come with him.

Cate gave him a surprised look. She hadn’t even considered the possibility of attending the premiere of Jon’s movie. She had absolutely nothing to do with that endeavor, as far as she was concerned. She shook her head. “Jon, that’s a nice thought, but no. I wouldn’t feel right doing that. That’s for celebrities and movie industry people.”

Damnit. Jon wasn’t about to give up, despite Cate’s rebuttal. “Well then, I know you’re gonna come see us on the tour.” He gave her a grin and a wink. “I know a guy who could hook you up with great seats, maybe even backstage passes for you and your friends…”

Cate chortled at that. “Oh you know a guy, do you?” she replied, then smiled gently. “Thanks, but… I don’t know, Jon. I don’t want to take advantage.” She took a deep breath. “I’ll have to think about that.”

“You won’t come see us in concert?” Jon asked, feigning hurt.

“No! No, I don’t mean that…” Cate answered quickly. She saw his little grin and realized he was teasing. “Of course, I’m gonna come to a show or two. I just mean that I don’t know about seeing you, personally, on the road. I…” She stopped and swallowed hard at the thought of being with Jon in his world instead of in hers. “That would be amazing, but I don’t think I could handle that, Jon.”

“Why?” he pressed, his voice now a husky whisper. “Why couldn’t you come see me on the road? You could take some time off, come along for a couple shows, stay with me for a week or two…” Or forever....

Jon saw the moment it happened. Cate drew in a sharp breath and her pupils dilated as she blinked at him. Shit, he swore silently. He had pushed too hard. She was shutting him down.

“Jon.” Cate’s voice was gentle and bittersweet. “Let’s not ruin tonight by talking about tomorrow, okay?” She swallowed hard and looked at him with shining sapphire eyes. “You know the ground rules. Time ends on Friday.” She turned her hand under his until they were palm to palm, then entwined her fingers with his.

Jon sighed and nodded. He squeezed her hand and leaned forward to touch his forehead to hers. “I know, Baby. But the thing is... when time begins again on Saturday, you’re still going to be in my heart. And I know I’ll still be in yours.” He closed his eyes, then brushed his lips against her cheek.

He smiled to himself as Cate nodded ever so slightly, the tiny movement betraying her thoughts.

Chapter 113 - After...

After a couple minutes Cate was able to slow her breathing. She was just ready to raise herself up off of Jon's chest when it dawned on her what a sight they must be, and she started to giggle. Gasping for air, she laughed harder, unable to stop.

“What’s so funny?” Jon panted, watching Cate’s breasts jiggle as she cackled hysterically. He gasped as she clenched around him, the contractions rippling with her peals of laughter. When she didn’t answer and just giggled harder, he started to chuckle too. Soon they were both in mirthful tears, though Jon had no idea why.

Finally Cate calmed herself, drawing in and blowing out a few deep breaths as she wiped the moisture from her eyes. “I… I was just thinking of how this must look,” she giggled. “I mean, here you are, all decked out circa 1989 in leather and spandex, with a buck-naked woman on your lap, riding you like a wild pony.”

Jon chortled at her description. “Yeah, if that doesn’t say ‘Aging Rock Star Midlife Crisis,’ then I don’t know what does!” he grinned, tracing her bellybutton with one smooth, calloused fingertip.

She chuckled again. “Thank God there isn’t a mirror in here, or I may have been emotionally scarred for life.”

“Well, we can always just go in the other bedroom and roll the tape to see what it looked like,” Jon deadpanned.

Cate sucked in a sharp breath, then was absolutely silent for a long minute. Jon bit his tongue and waited.

“Please tell me you’re kidding,” she finally said hoarsely, an edge to her voice.

Jon snorted with laughter at her response. “Gotcha.” He hugged her gently. “Of course I’m kidding. Do you really think I’m that kinky? Or that stupid? Hell, can you imagine how rich a tape of THIS would make some unethical lowlife hotel employee?” He jerked his head toward the open patio doors. “As it is, I’m just hoping nobody heard us.”

“Oh, Shit… you’re right. I forgot the doors were open.” Cate chuckled again, then took another deep breath. Well, too late to do anything about that now...

She smiled as she heard an old Skid Row ballad start. She sat quietly for a moment, listening to the music and to the rhythm of Jon’s breathing. “So, where did you get these clothes, anyway?” she finally asked. “I mean, I know they’re yours, but you don’t normally pack them for your business travels, do you?” she teased gently.

“Yeah, after a long day of boring business meetings I like to go back to my hotel and slip into my too-tight leather pants and dance around a little,” Jon answered sarcastically, nuzzling Cate’s neck through damp tendrils of auburn hair. “I picked them up on Saturday when I went to Philly.” He grinned at the memory. “Obie about had a coronary when I told him what I needed him to bring from my house.”

“You mean you’ve had this planned since last week? Cate asked incredulously. “But you didn’t… I didn’t… it was Sunday before we…” Her voice trailed off as what Jon had just said registered in her mind.

“You mean Obie O’Brien knows you planned to seduce me? With leather pants? Did you tell him who I am? That I’m your instructor? And a freakin’ federal agent?” Cate squeaked, mortified.

“Yeah,” Jon smirked. “Richie knows too.”

“Oh my GOD!” Cate squealed as her cheeks flamed. She didn’t know why she was embarrassed, considering she would never meet Jon’s friends. But she had talked to Richie on the phone. And he had known more than just her name. Ohhhh Gooooddddd…..

Now she’d never be able to look at Richie Sambora in the same light again. God forbid he ever made eye contact with her at a concert… he would know what a dirty, dirty girl she was. Cate blushed furiously as Jon chuckled in her ear.

“Don’t be embarrassed….Obie called me a sick sonofabitch when I told him my diabolical little plan.” Jon grinned. “Guess I got the last laugh, eh? I’m the one sitting here holding a gorgeous, naked woman while he’s locked up in a studio somewhere.” Jon shifted Cate on his shoulder, craning his neck to look down her body. “And things look pretty good from this point of view,” he added.

Jon nuzzled Cate’s neck again and she sighed, shifting slightly on his lap. Then she grimaced as she felt a muscle spasm ripple through her right quadricep. “Baby, as good as this is…and may or may not look…I have to move. My thighs are screaming.”

“Okay. Just one more second,” Jon said gently. He hugged Cate again and pressed a kiss against her temple. “I must remember to send Dave Coverdale a thank you note, for recording that song,” he growled playfully into her ear.

“Let me know when you do, and I’ll sign it,” Cate joked breathlessly. “Okay, time to move. One, two, three…”

Jon levered himself forward off the back of the chair, helping Cate sit up. She slipped from his lap and stood, groaning as her thighs trembled with fatigue. Jon watched, admiring her glistening body as she padded stiffly toward the bedroom. He stretched out his own legs, feeling his quads ache from their workout.

Cate returned several minutes later, carrying a wet washcloth and a soft, fluffy towel. She had slipped on Jon’s white cotton oxford and her hair fell over her shoulders in a sexy, tangled cascade. She was glowing, wearing the contented smile of a satisfied woman.

“Sorry about the pants,” she lamented as she knelt between Jon’s thighs to clean up the aftermath of their coupling.

“S’okay. No way I was gonna get ‘em back on anyway,” Jon grinned. “I thought they were gonna cut off my circulation.” He sighed and leaned back as Cate gently drew the warm washcloth over his dick, washing away the stickiness.

“Damnit,” Cate answered regretfully. Then she raised an eyebrow at Jon and gave him a saucy look. “Surely that’s not the first pair of leather pants you’ve ruined in such a…. fun way.”

Jon chuckled. “No, it’s not,” he admitted, shaking his head. “But it’s the first in the past, oh, 15 years or so.” He gave Cate a wistful smile. “I’m too old for that crazy, wild sex stuff anymore,” he sighed.

“Well, you’re excellent at it, for an ‘old guy,’ ” she teased. She wiped the dampness from Jon’s pants the best she could, then dried him gently with the towel. Draping the towel across Jon’s lap, Cate once again swung her leg over him, wincing slightly as her thighs groaned in protest. She straddled his hips, facing him.

Jon traced his fingers up the sides of her thighs to her bare hips, sliding his hands under the soft fabric of his shirt. Leaning forward, Cate placed a gentle kiss on Jon’s forehead, just under edge of the bandana. She reached to the back of his neck to toy with the tails of the scarf.

“We should get some dinner,” Jon said softly, looking up at her face. “You hungry?”

“Starving,” she answered, then grinned. "I thought we were doing naked room service?"

Jon chuckled. "No arguments here, but I thought you might like to go out. I haven't had time to see much of the Island, and I figured you'd know a good place."

Cate nodded. She knew exactly where to take Jon; a place she was sure he would enjoy. "Okay, but... promise me something?”

“Anything,” Jon said, sincerely.

“You can lose the pants, but wear the bandana?” Cate raised an eyebrow and gave Jon a sexy smile.

“To dinner? Don’t you think that would attract a little attention?” He arched an eyebrow back at her. “How about I wear it for you after dinner…just the bandana and a smile?” he winked suggestively.

“Deal,” Cate purred, drawing her finger along his jawline and up to his luscious lips.

Jon kissed her fingertip, then sighed. “C’mon, Baby… you can help me undress. I’m gonna need you to peel these damned things off me,” he chuckled.

Cate giggled until Jon reached up and threaded a hand in her hair, pulling her lips down to his. The tenderness of the kiss left Cate breathless. Jon pulled back a little and gazed into Cate’s eyes. “Cate, after this week…” he began.

Cate’s heart jumped, and she quickly laid her finger across Jon’s lips. “Shhh,” she whispered, smiling sadly. “Don’t. You promised.” She shook her head, her eyes glittering.

“Okay,” Jon sighed, not wanting to ruin what was shaping up to be a fantastic evening. He kissed her again, then helped her off his lap.

Jon watched as Cate gathered her clothing. After this week… I want you with me. Always. He thought silently. If you'll just say yes.

Chapter 112 - Slow and Easy

Cate giggled to herself at her dirty pun and set her beer down on the sideboard. She stalked forward, toward her prey. As she moved, Cate heard a new song begin and almost growled with delight. Thank you, Hair Nation!!! she thought, letting out a low chuckle.

Jon heard the music start, too, and his cock throbbed at Cate’s throaty laugh in response. He didn’t open his eyes, waiting for her to come to him.

He felt her move up between his legs, then drop. Then he felt her fingers trail up the insides of his thighs and trace the crisscrossed laces of his pants. Jon smiled, his eyes still closed. “Looking for contraband?” he teased huskily.

“Baby, you can’t hide ANYTHING in these pants,” Cate chuckled, kneeling between Jon’s thighs. She slid her palm slowly upward, rubbing over his leather-sheathed, rock-hard shaft. She smiled at his groan of pleasure as she squeezed him, then set about her task.

Cate pulled at one end of the leather cord that was looped into a bow, slowly undoing the tie. She slipped a fingertip under the crossed laces at his waist, tugging to loosen them until both ends pulled free from their holes.

She heard David Coverdale’s sultry, bluesy voice and felt a surge of lust. Cate looked up to see Jon gazing down at her from half-closed eyes, a sensuous smile on his lips.

You keep on pushing, babe,
Like I've never known before.
You know you drive me crazy, child,
An' I just wanna see you on the floor.
Wanna superstitious woman
She got a superstitious mind

Cate turned her attention back to her task, suddenly anxious to get on with it. She worked her finger under the laces, loosening them one cross at a time. She felt Jon’s cock jump under her fingers at each tug, and she knew he must be painfully hard. She couldn’t wait to feel him driving inside her.

Cate continued to work the laces loose until they finally yielded enough that she could push aside the soft leather flap that covered Jon’s shaft. She stood up on her knees and slid her fingers along the waist of the pants to his hips. Jon sucked in a breath. “I thought you wanted to leave them on?” he growled playfully as Cate started to tug the waist down over his hipbones.

“Oh, they’re staying on,” Cate answered huskily, her eyes tracing the perfect vee formed by his hard obliques and abs. “I’m just making a little adjustment.”

She heard the heavy bassline of the song kick in and automatically began to pulse her hips in time. Not much longer….

Jon didn’t answer, but braced his hands on the sides of the chair seat. He pushed his ass off the chair enough for Cate to work the pants halfway down his hips, releasing his erection from its leather prison. Jon gasped at the feel of the cool air on his heated skin. He dropped back down to the chair and felt his heart race.

Cate grasped Jon’s cock in her moist palm, slowly stroking him from base to tip. She watched his face, fascinated by the passion that swirled in his eyes and by the way his lips almost seemed to pulse as he enjoyed her touch.

The beat of the music picked up, the heavy thud of the drums and the bass laying down the rhythm of Cate’s strokes. Jon’s eyes closed and his head fell back as he moaned with pleasure. Cate grinned and lowered her lips to his head, tracing her tongue around the ridge in slow circles before spiraling it downward to the base as she drew him fully into her mouth.

So take me down slow an' easy,
Make love to me slow an' easy.
I know that hard luck an' trouble
Is coming my way,
So rock me 'til I'm burned to the bone,
Rock me 'til I'm burned to the bone.

“Ohhhhh, Caaaate…..” Jon groaned, clenching his buttocks as he tried to keep from cumming in her mouth. He blew out a long, shaky breath as Cate slowly pulled her lips up his shaft, sucking hard, then released him.

Jon opened his eyes to see Cate staring at him with a wicked smile. Her eyes shone a glittering midnight blue, and she looked almost possessed.

Jon was mesmerized as he watched her stand, then slide her black lace thong down over her hips until it dropped to the floor. She stepped out of the undergarment and gave him another feral smile, moving over to his left side. In a fluid movement, she pivoted and swung her leg up over him like she was mounting a horse, only backwards.

Cate straddled Jon, her back to his chest, her toes just touching the floor as she supported herself with her hands on his clenched quadriceps. Jon let out a little yelp of surprise as she hovered over his cock, his head brushing against her steamy, wet opening. He gripped the sides of the chair for dear life, trying with all his might to control himself but knowing he was fighting a losing battle.

Cate steadied herself and drew in a breath, then slowly lowered herself onto Jon’s shaft. She groaned as he stretched her, filling her so completely and perfectly. Jesus, is he HARD! she thought delightedly.

She sank down to his base and paused for a moment, then pushed herself back upward with her hands and her thighs until he almost slipped from her. Jon cried out and she could feel him trembling beneath her.

Hang on Baby…she silently willed him. Not long now… She could feel her own orgasm building, and she knew it wouldn’t be long for her either.

Cate concentrated on the beat of the music as the guitar solo wailed, lowering herself for a four-count then raising herself for another four-count. Jon couldn’t believe the exquisite pleasure he felt as she slid slowly up and down his cock, her walls tightening around him and squeezing him out in rhythm. His chest heaved as he panted along. “God, Baby….” he gasped. “Just… don’t…. stop….”

Cate smirked at Jon’s reaction to her. He was completely helpless, putty in her hands. It was a heady feeling, to so completely possess a man…especially this man. She narrowed her eyes wickedly and rolled her hips. Cate leaned back slightly, changing the angle of his entry and causing Jon to whimper.

As the hard-driving chorus started again, Cate knew it was time. She increased her speed, stroking up and down on Jon’s steel shaft on a two-count. She felt Jon’s hands grip her hips, his fingers digging roughly into her flesh as she rode him.

So take me down slow an' easy,
Make love to me slow an' easy.
I know that hard luck an' trouble
Is coming my way,
So rock me 'til I'm burned to the bone,

The feel of Jon’s hands ignited Cate. Her orgasm built quickly, and she knew she would soon be swept over the edge. She didn’t want to do it alone; she wanted Jon with her the whole way. She kept up her rhythm, though her thighs and arms were burning from the workout they were getting as she balanced herself on him.

Drawing in a deep breath, Cate willed herself to hold on just a little bit longer. No pain, no gain, she chuckled to herself.

As the chorus of the song repeated, the power chords screaming and the bassline pounding, Cate increased her speed, slamming down onto Jon with every beat.

So take me down slow an' easy,
Make love to me slow an' easy.
I know that hard luck an' trouble
Is coming my way,
So rock me 'til I'm burned to the bone,

Jon yelped out Cate’s name and again gripped the seat of the chair as he thrust his hips upward, exploding into her. His triceps strained as he arched himself off the chair. Cate fell back against Jon’s chest and clutched his hips with her hands as he lifted her with him.

Jon heard Cate let out a long wail of pleasure as she shuddered around him, then her orgasm flooded over him.

Rock me 'til I'm burned to the bone.
Rock me 'til I'm burned…
To the bone.

Groaning and breathless, Jon lowered himself back onto the chair, then wrapped his arms around Cate’s waist. She was a slippery, panting mess like him, but she had a completely sated look on her beautiful, flushed face.

Cate lay back against Jon’s chest, her breasts heaving as she tried to calm herself. She could feel Jon inside her, still twitching with arousal, and she didn’t want to move. Ever.

Chapter 111 - Like a Lollipop

“Ahhhh….okay….” Cate sighed as she slid her hands up his abdomen to his chest, tracing the neckline of his tank. Suddenly she felt very, very naughty.

“Fantasy ground rules…” She looked demurely up at him, her eyes sparkling under her lush lashes. “The leather pants stay on. And so does the bandana. You look too damned good in ‘em.”

“Shit. Guess that was a tactical error on my part,” Jon chuckled. “I was hoping you would want me out of these pants!” He gave Cate a silly little grin. “But then again, I’m not sure I could get ‘em off without help, anyway. I don’t remember them being this tight last time I wore them.”

Cate laughed heartily, Jon joining her. He slipped his arms around her waist and smiled down at her as she trailed her fingertips through the soft hair on his chest.

In the background another song started to play, another of Cate’s favorites. She smiled blissfully and couldn’t help but pulse her hips slightly against him, in time with the beat. The music stirred her passion, and she felt her inhibitions slipping away. “Mmmmm….I love this song,” she sighed as she started to hum along with opening notes of “Love and Affection.”

“Then let’s dance,” Jon murmured. He began to move with her, rocking his hips in time with Cate’s. She started to sing along, her voice a soft, smoky purr. Jon smiled down at her as she gazed seductively at him while she sang, the lyrics giving voice to her desire.

You got the fire, baby, I got the heat, can you handle it?
I got the time, baby, you got the need, oh surrender it
Oh, it's a passion crime with a danger sign, oh, can you handle it? Yeah
I’m just another girl, you’re just another man, it's just another night
Whoa, whoa yeah

Keeping the beat, Cate turned in Jon’s arms so that her back was to him. Jon placed his hands on Cate’s hips and continued to sway to the beat with her. Cate’s soft hair tumbled down against Jon’s almost-bare chest and her firm buttocks brushed against his thighs as she rocked her hips to the music.

“Mmmm….” Jon hummed into her hair as he felt his cock stiffen against its leather bindings. Hearing his response, Cate smirked and leaned back slightly, making fuller contact with Jon’s body.

Jon chuckled throatily and slipped his fingers under the waistband of Cate’s jeans. He slid them gently along her warm flesh to the front, then deftly undid the button. He felt Cate draw in a breath as he pushed the zipper down a couple inches.

She pressed her ass back even more firmly against his crotch as Jon slipped the fingers of one hand inside her panties, gently caressing her warm mound. He slid a finger into her soft curls and found her warm and wet.

Cate reached behind her with both hands, grasping Jon’s ass and anchoring him to her as she continued to rock to the music. She turned her head to look back at him, a little smirk on her lips. He gave her a naughty smile back.

Cate winked at him then leaned forward, pulling her body away from his. Jon’s hands slipped away from her as she spun to face him, raising her arms above her head and tossing her hair as she danced backward, away from him.

“Yeah, Baby… dance for me.” Jon growled throatily, watching her spin and sway.

Cate shimmied back over to Jon and slid her hands up his chest, to his shoulders. “Sorry, Darlin’… jacket’s gotta go.” She pushed the denim jacket back off Jon’s shoulders and down his arms, catching it before it fell to the floor.

Still grooving to the beat, Cate spun and tossed the jacket across the room, where it landed across the back of the curved sofa. She turned back to Jon and reveled in the sight of his exposed, muscular arms.

Jon had stopped dancing when Cate pulled off his jacket, and he stood watching her, his eyes gleaming. She was free, wild, uninhibited. He hadn’t seen her like this before.

Cate continued to dance, spinning around and rolling her hips, shimmying her shoulders and sweeping up her hair, all the while shooting Jon sexy little looks and smiles. Jon felt his pulse race at the thought of what would happen when she was done dancing.

Jon moved over to the dinette between the kitchen and the living room. He pulled a side chair away from the table, carrying it with one hand back to living room. Cate watched him with a sly smile as he placed the chair in the center of the large, open space between the curved sofa and the bedroom doors, then lowered himself onto it, slouching backward so that his buttocks rested at the edge of the seat.

Jon stretched his leather-clad legs out comfortably, a slight bend in his knees, his thighs parted invitingly. He raised his arms and laced his fingers behind his head, flexing his biceps, then smiled seductively at Cate.

Cate’s step faltered at the sight. Dear God, I’m gonna cum right here and now… she thought desperately as she felt the flush of heat between her thighs.

She gave Jon a sultry smile and danced over to the sideboard as the song neared its end. She quickly popped open two icy-cold Coronas, squeezed a lime wedge into each, and sashayed over to Jon as a new song started to play, this one a loud, pulsing rock tune.

Cate handed Jon a beer, then took a gulp of hers. She heard Jon start to laugh, and glanced at him. He was shaking his head and grinning embarrassedly.

“What?” Cate asked, confused. Then it registered…the song. A wide smile spread across her face as she understood. It was Alice Cooper’s “Trash,” with backing vocals by none other than a young, hot Jon Bon Jovi.

“Oooooohhh…” she growled delightedly. “You HAVE to sing. And say it, at the end.”

Jon returned her suggestive look. “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours,” he smirked. “You dance, I’ll sing.”

Cate nodded and took a long pull of her beer, then set it on the sideboard. She began to dance again, this time bumping and grinding to the driving beat. You want a show, Baby…you got it! she thought, grinning wickedly. She moved closer to the dangerously sexy man sprawled on the chair, as he watched her with hungry eyes.

She stopped just in front of him, her hands going to her waist. Cate slowly drew the zipper of her jeans down to the bottom, then hooked her thumbs into her waistband at her hips, pushing the denim lower to reveal the lacy sides of her black thong. Cate started to swivel her hips in lazy circles, turning slowly as she drew the jeans down her hips. She heard Jon sing the harmony to the first chorus of the song, his voice a gravelly growl.

I love the way you look
You're such high class tramp
It's not the way you touch me when you... yeah
You're daddy's dream, you're a peach in cream
And you're ripe at last
But when you hit the sheets you just turn to…. trash

His raspy voice excited her even more. Still grinding, Cate let her jeans slide to the floor and stepped out of them, kicking them deftly aside without losing a beat. She heard Jon groan and saw him shake his head appreciatively as he leered at her firm, round ass, her shapely cheeks separated by the thin black lace strap of her thong.

Cate gave him a devilish smirk then danced closer, moving up between his knees. Still swiveling her hips in a figure eight, she slowly lifted the hem of her maroon tank top, revealing her flat stomach.

Looking Jon directly in the eye, she drew the shirt up over her head, uncovering her satiny leopard-print bra. She tossed her top aside and shimmied her shoulders, leaning forward so Jon got an eyeful of cleavage.

God, Baby…” Jon sighed. He couldn’t believe his eyes. Cate was stripping for him! His eyes roamed over her body, taking in every inch of flesh as his leather pants grew almost unbearably tight.

The strap of Cate’s bra slipped off her shoulder, and Jon’s eyes lingered on her heart and dagger tattoo. He licked his lips hungrily and trailed his gaze down to the Slippery brand on her hip. He set his beer bottle on the floor and gripped the sides of the chair seat, as if hanging on so he wouldn’t slide off.

“Those aren’t the words,” Cate teased. “I’m dancing, you sing.” she commanded. She writhed a bit closer, so she was straddling Jon’s right leg.

She smirked again as she saw his cock straining against the supple leather of his pants. We’ll have to do something about that pretty soon… Cate thought as she started to grind against Jon’s thigh.

As she slid against the smooth, soft leather, Cate almost cried out, she was so aroused. She leaned forward a bit, so that her tits were in Jon’s face. He grinned and planted a smacking kiss on her right breast before she pulled back and waved a finger at him, shaking her head. Naughty boy. Jon shrugged and continued to sing his harmony to the song.

Cate slid off Jon’s leg and turned around, straddling his left thigh and leaning back against his chest. Jon eagerly moved his right hand to the inside of her thigh and drew it up between her legs, trailing his fingers over her hot, wet core.

He slipped his left hand under her bra to tease the stiff peak of her nipple then quickly undid the front catch, releasing her breasts. He heard a little “Ohhh!” escape her lips as her breasts sprang free and he cupped first one, then the other in his hand.

After just a moment—not nearly long enough for Jon – Cate slithered back down his thigh and away from him. She stood again and continued to rock her hips as she shed her bra and tossed it aside. Cate raised her hands over her head and shook her hips a little harder, making her breasts bounce tantalizingly in front of Jon as she sang along with Alice and company.

Whatcha want, whatcha want, whatcha want, I got it….
Whatcha want, whatcha want, whatcha want, I got it….

Say it, Baby!” she urged him.

Jon laughed hoarsely then looked directly into her eyes. On cue with the end of the song, he grinned, then growled, “If my love was like a lollipop, would you lick it?”

“Oh yeah, Baby.” Cate grinned back.

She danced forward, between his legs, leaning down over him and grabbing his waist. Cate placed a rough kiss on his warm lips, turning her head from one side to the other as she tangled her tongue with his. Jon kept his hands on the sides of his chair, enjoying Cate playing the aggressor. She sucked his bottom lip into her mouth then pulled away, letting it slide from between her teeth.

Damn, woman,” Jon groaned. “Yet another secret you’re keeping from me. I had no idea you were a lap dancer,” His eyes sparkled.

“Just for you, Baby,” she answered with his earlier phrase, giving him a wink.

Cate moved gracefully over to the sideboard and picked up her beer, taking a long gulp. She realized her skin was slick with perspiration, from her dancing and from her arousal.

She looked over at Jon and saw that he had his head tipped back, his eyes closed as he drew in and blew out a couple deep breaths. The tails of the scarf he had tied around his head trailed down the back of the chair, and a little smirk turned up the corners of his mouth. His Adam’s apple bobbed enticingly as he raised his beer to his lips, eyes still closed, and took a long swallow.

Cate’s eyes moved down to Jon’s pants. Her fingers itched to undo those laces, to unwrap the package inside. Too bad, really – he was truly perfection in that painted-on-leather. But, all good things must cum to an end…

Chapter 110 - Time Machine

Cate arrived at Jon’s villa at precisely 7:00 p.m., as they had agreed. As she walked up the path to his door she could hear the beat of a familiar rock song pulsing from the sound system inside. She raised her hand to knock and saw that the door was ajar.

Cate’s brow furrowed with concern at the security breach. “Jon?” she called, pushing the door open and stepping inside. Instinctively her hand went to her hip, reaching for the pistol she had left secured at the office.

“Hey, Baby – in here!” Jon called from behind the closed doors of the master bedroom. “I’ll be out in a minute. Grab a beer!”

“You shouldn’t leave your door unlocked!” Cate called back, scolding him as she securely closed and locked the heavy door. She turned and looked across the living room, then grinned at what she saw. Resting on the sideboard against the far wall was a small galvanized metal tub filled with ice and bottles of Corona beer. One bottle was already opened for her, a triangle of lime perched atop the bottle’s mouth.

Cate couldn’t remember the last time she had drank a Corona longneck. They reminded her of her crazy, carefree college days; of frat parties and hanging out by the lake with her friends. She crossed the room and picked up the frosty bottle.

Cate squeezed the lime into the beer then raised the bottle to her lips. The icy beverage slid down her throat and she let out a happy little groan. God, that tastes good! She smiled at Jon’s thoughtfulness, then looked toward the bedroom, wondering what he was doing behind the closed doors. Whatever it was, he wanted a little privacy.

The music ended and Cate heard a familiar deejay voice. Jon had tuned the villa’s Sirius radio receiver to the Hair Nation channel. Cate laughed aloud at that, knowing how Jon felt about his band’s music being categorized as “hair metal.”

Cate moved over to the open patio doors, taking another drink of her beer as she felt the gentle breeze drift in to the room. She looked out at the ocean, smiling as the opening notes of Night Ranger’s “Four in the Morning” wafted through the speakers.

She began to dance, swaying her hips in time with the music. She took another long pull of the beer, closed her eyes, and dropped her head back. Cate swished her hair back and forth behind her as she grooved to the beat, enjoying the music.

“Oh yeah, Baby…shake it!” Cate heard Jon’s voice from the bedroom door. She opened her eyes and turned to face him, a smart-ass response poised on her tongue.

She was totally unprepared for what she saw.

Cate’s eyes flew open wide and her lips parted in a loud gasp. The Corona bottle slid from her hand and landed with a thunk on the floor before falling sideways, trickling beer out onto the rug.

“Oh, shit!” Cate swore, quickly crouching to pick up the bottle. She stood again and stared at Jon, not believing her eyes.

Jon was standing in the doorway to the master bedroom, between the half-opened sliding pocket doors. His arms were outstretched, one hand on each door panel, one foot crossed over the other at the ankle. His head was cocked slightly to the right and his lips wore a naughty smile. And on his body….well, Cate felt like she had stepped back in time.

Jon was barefoot, his ankle tattoo peeking out from the bottom hem of the tightest, sexiest black leather pants Cate had ever seen. They were practically painted on. Cate’s eyes moved greedily up Jon’s legs, tracing the visible contours of his powerful calves and thighs.

Her mouth watered as her gaze came to rest on the criss-crossed black laces at his crotch, the bindings holding together the supple leather that left nothing to the imagination. Cate sucked her bottom lip between her teeth and bit down as she saw the outline of Jon’s cock, tucked against his left thigh.

Jon laughed sexily at Cate’s expression. “Like what you see?” he teased, his eyes twinkling.

“Don’t move,” Cate breathed. She wasn’t done looking yet. Her gaze lingered on his waist, where the fuzzy little stripe of his pleasure trail wandered down from the tight hem of his tank to the low-slung waist of his pants. Her eyes ranged up to Jon’s chest, taking in the low-scooped black spandex tank top that revealed almost all of his lightly-furred chest and the top of his ridged abs.

She smiled at the curved claw pendant hanging from the black leather thong that encircled his throat. Her eyes traveled up to his Adam’s apple, covered in a soft shadow of stubble. She chuckled slightly as again her eyes took in the proof of their passion, marked in purple on his muscular neck.

Cate’s gaze moved to Jon’s outstretched arms. She felt a little stab of annoyance that he had covered those magnificent muscles, but she was willing to forgive him.

The worn denim jacket hung open, inviting her to slide inside and wrap herself around his torso. She knew that if she ever made it around to the back she would find the “Bon Jovi” and “New Jersey” arced patches. She had coveted that jacket for almost two decades, and to see it on Jon’s body, right in front of her, was almost too much.

Cate raised her eyes to Jon’s face. He hadn’t shaved today and his cheeks were covered in soft stubble, enhancing his bad-boy look. She sighed when she saw the gold hoop earrings dangling from his lobes, and she audibly whimpered when her gaze lingered on the black and white skull-emblazoned bandana capping his honey and caramel locks.

Jon felt his heartbeat accelerate at Cate’s hungry perusal of his body. He had figured he would get her good and turned on with this little antic, but he was surprised at the intensity of her reaction.

He leaned forward, letting his hands linger on the doors a moment before stepping forward and swaggering slowly over to her. “Hmmm…I think she likes it,” he growled. Jon put his hands on Cate’s waist, smiling sexily down at her.

“Wha…what are you doing?” Cate stammered, finally remembering she had a voice. “Why on earth are you dressed like that? NOT that I mind!!!” she added hastily, the hungry smirk creeping back to her lips.

“Hey, I don’t do this for just anybody, you know,” Jon purred to her, his voice as smooth as aged whiskey. “This is all for you, Baby.” He gave Cate a wink. “A little birdie told me you had a thing for… what was it she said? ‘Pirate Jonny,’ was it?”

“Mandy,” Cate breathed. “I’m gonna…” she trailed off, shaking her head as she chuckled. No, I’m not gonna kill her, I’m gonna kiss her! she thought.

Cate looked back up at Jon’s gorgeous face and giggled. “Sorry, I’m just…blown away. Never in a million years would I have dreamed of…” She looked him up and down. “This.” She rubbed her fingertips over the soft leather stretched across Jon’s hip. “I mean…. DAMN.”

Jon laughed and stepped back, slipping out of Cate’s grasp. “And you’ve only seen the front,” he teased, slowly revolving to turn his back to her.

“Oh, Lord…” Cate groaned as she focused on Jon’s perfect leather-clad ass beneath the bottom of that New Jersey jacket. “You’re killing me!” She realized she was still holding her half-finished beer. She took a long gulp, nearly finishing the bottle, grateful to feel the cool liquid in her mouth.

Jon looked back at her, over his shoulder, smiling wickedly. “Hey….it’s only fair. You’ve had me all worked up since I laid eyes on you over a week ago.” He turned back around and stepped to Cate. He took the bottle from her hand and downed the remainder of the beer, then leaned over set the bottle on a nearby table.

Jon hooked his fingers inside the waistband of Cate’s jeans and pulled her to him. His eyes locked with hers. “Let me be your fantasy, Baby,” he growled seductively.

Chapter 109 - Done Deal

Jon took a sip from his water bottle as he wandered through the villa’s living room. He had stopped on the way back to the hotel to pick up a few items for his evening with Cate, and he was now enjoying a few rare moments of relaxation.

Jon picked up the remote and clicked on the sound system, selecting a music channel that fit his lighthearted mood. With the upbeat music pulsing through the rooms, Jon moved to the French doors leading onto the deck.

He opened them wide, savoring the feel of the gentle ocean breeze ruffling through his hair. Jon strolled out onto the deck and dropped onto the chaise, gazing out at the calm waters of the Atlantic as they sparkled in the late afternoon sun.

He looked around the surrounding private beach and noticed the hotel staff had quickly accommodated his request. Jon grinned to himself as he pictured in his mind the scene of what was yet to come. It could turn out to be a very memorable evening, indeed.

Then again, every moment he had spent here with Cate had become a treasured memory for him. He hoped he could convince her to make more memories with him, after his assignment here ended. He was sure going to do his damndest to persuade her.

Jon heard a noise from inside the villa, the loud jangle from his Blackberry competing with the music. He pushed himself up off the chaise and stepped back through the doors to where he had left his Berry resting on the sideboard.

His lips pressed together in a firm line when he saw who was calling. What the fuck now? he thought with a sigh. He didn’t want anything to upset the happy contentment he was enjoying.

“Hello,” he answered shortly. “Please tell me this isn’t a waste of my time.” Jon flopped down onto the couch and put his feet up on the ottoman.

“It’s done, Buddy!” Ken answered brightly. “The whole deal.”

Jon’s eyebrows arched in surprise. “No shit? All of it? They backed down?”

“They backed down,” Ken repeated smugly. “I told you they were desperate to keep you in this project. Your fan base and marketability is their box office insurance.” Jon’s agent chuckled ironically. “Though you’re right; what you were asking for wasn’t that big of a deal, in the Grand Scheme.”

Jon nodded. “Yeah, I know. Just pisses me off that I have to go through all this bullshit, play this fucking game, so some Goddamned suit’s ego doesn’t get bruised.” He took another swig from his water bottle.

“Yeah, about that…” Ken paused. “Jon, you sure you can hold up your end of this deal? ‘Cause after all the waves you made, if this falls through you’re gonna look like a prick. You’re gonna get a reputation in this business as a demanding asshole. It ain’t gonna help you get more roles.”

Jon snorted out a laugh. “Yeah, well, I AM a demanding asshole. So who gives a shit? I have a perfectly good day job.”

Ken chuckled at his client’s obstinate reply. “Yeah, I know,” he agreed. “Okay, my assistant’s e-mailing you the docs as we speak. Get ‘em signed and back to me ASAP.”

“I’ll do it when I can,” Jon replied, not liking Ken’s attempt to rush him. “It’ll probably be Friday or Saturday.”

Ken heard the snarkiness in Jon’s voice. “Jon, the quicker you can get them back to me the sooner….”

“Gotta go, Ken. Thanks.” Jon cut him off, then pushed the button to end the call. He turned off the ringer on his Berry, then grinned to himself. Finally. Now it’s all coming together….

Jon headed for the bedroom, where he had left his briefcase and laptop. He went to the closet and pulled them both from the shelf, then carried them back into the living room. He busied himself pulling files from his briefcase while his computer booted up, laying out the papers in neat stacks on the ottoman.

When his computer was ready, Jon opened his e-mail and scanned the contents of his inbox. He grimaced when he saw the huge number of e-mails he had waiting, then smiled when he spied the one he was looking for. He clicked the mouse to open the attachments.

Jon spent the next hour perusing the documents Ken’s assistant had sent, carefully reading the clauses and comparing them with the text of his original contract. Then he matched up the salient points with the paperwork the Director’s office had provided him yesterday.

When he was finished with his review, Jon let out a satisfied sigh. Everything seemed to be in order. Jon closed his e-mail, then shut down his computer. In the morning he would print out the documents and deliver them to the Director’s office. Tonight he had other plans.

Jon glanced at the clock and saw that time had passed quickly. There were still a few things he wanted to do before Cate arrived, and if he didn’t get a move on he wouldn’t be able to surprise her. He wanted everything to be perfect. Jon grinned again as he imagined Cate’s reaction to what he had planned.

Jon quickly gathered up the papers that were now spread across the ottoman and stuffed them back into his briefcase. He slid his laptop back into its case, then carried both bags back to the bedroom closet. After placing the items back on their shelves, Jon stepped to the back of the closet.

With a little smirk he grabbed the black and yellow duffel bag from the floor, then carried it out of the closet and over to the bed. He zipped open the bag and dumped its contents out onto the duvet. He paused for a minute to look at the items Obie had gathered at his request, then chuckled to himself as he shook his head.

This was gonna be fun.


Cate walked naked from her bathroom into her bedroom, past the open French doors to her balcony. She relished the feel of the soft ocean breeze sweeping over her dewy skin. She had just showered, and her hair hung in damp waves down her back. Cate hummed contentedly to herself, feeling more relaxed and refreshed than she had in days.

Stepping over to the chair in the corner of her bedroom, Cate picked up her Soul jersey and smiled. She held it close to her face, drawing in the faint scent of Jon’s cologne that still lingered on the fabric, before slipping the garment over her head. She sighed happily as the slick material slithered down over her body, sending a tingle up her spine as it covered her.

Cate padded out of her bedroom and down the short hallway to her laundry nook. Seeing that the cycle was done, Cate transferred the load of range pants and polo shirts from the washer to the dryer, then put another load of colors in the washer. It seemed like weeks since she had last done laundry. Cate chuckled to herself. Spend all your time flirting with a rock star and see what happens? she thought.

That task done, Cate wandered into the kitchen and pulled a can of Diet Coke from the fridge. She popped the top and took a long drink of the cold beverage, then strolled back into the bedroom and out onto the balcony. With a little sigh she settled into the big wicker chair, curling her legs underneath her as she gazed out at the ocean. Now that she finally had some time alone, Cate could reflect upon all that had happened in the last few days.

Cate had left Jon with Mandy’s class for the exercise wrap-up, with a whispered promise to meet him later. After stopping by the office to check her e-mail and pick up the overflowing basket of dirty laundry from her locker, Cate headed home for the first time in nearly two days.

She had almost felt like a stranger walking through the door of her own home. There was no familiar, fuzzy-faced greeting; Jovi was still at Mandy’s house. Mandy had insisted on taking care of the big collie for the rest of the week, telling Cate with a dirty smirk that she now had no excuse for not spending every waking, non-working minute in bed with Jon.

As she had stood in the doorway looking around at the only place on earth that was truly hers, Cate realized she was right when she had so quickly dismissed Jon’s suggestion that he come home with her. This was her refuge, her reality. Jon’s opulent villa was a setting for her fantasy come to life. If she let her fantasy and her reality collide it would be too much.

She would need this refuge to deal with the heartache she knew was coming in just a few days. Her home was the only place she would be able to hide as she tried to erase Jon from her heart once he was gone.

Forty-eight hours. That’s all she had left of the fantasy. Cate felt her heart clench as she gazed unseeing out at the ocean. Two days from this exact minute, Jon would be gone. She would be alone again. Life would go on, but it would never be “normal” again.

Now that she was by herself, in her place of safety, Cate could let her guard down and dare to think about all the things she told Jon she had to block out. It was time to be honest with herself, to really consider what was happening to her, what she wanted, and what she was afraid of.

Cate took another sip from her soda, then sighed again at herself. Okay Cate, she thought. This is it. The clock is ticking, and you have to decide. Just like an investigation: facts versus theories. Identify the crime, then support the elements of proof with the evidence. Cate’s eyes narrowed slightly as her logical mind went to work.

The crime? That was easy. Grand Larceny. Jon had stolen one of her most valuable possessions -- her heart.

Evidence? Jon’s own words and deeds. Not to mention the confessions she had made to Danny and Mandy about what had happened between her and Jon, and about her feelings and fears. And probably a good amount of circumstantial physical evidence from their sexual encounters. Cate chuckled slightly, remembering Jon’s question earlier today, during the crime scene exercise. Yep, that UV light on the cruiser’s hood would likely reveal some pretty substantial evidence of their activities on the range.

Elements of proof for Grand Larceny? Cate remembered them well from many years of field work.

One: Taking possession or control of the property of another. Jon had done that almost effortlessly, with his smile, his voice, his charm, his kindness, his whispered promises.

Two: Movement or carrying away of the property. Cate sighed. Her heart may still be physically beating in her chest, but it was definitely under his control. Her heart unwisely yearned to be with his, wherever that was.

Three: Tresspass in the taking; the property is taken without consent of the owner. Despite her resistance, despite the walls she had put up to try to keep him away, Jon had crept in and committed the theft. He wouldn’t give up until he had what he wanted, and now he couldn’t give her heart back, even if he wanted to.

Four: Owner must have right of possession. No argument there. No one else was entitled to control her heart. It was something she had to give away. She had sure as hell learned that the hard way.

Five: Property must be tangible, real property. Cate smirked at that one. Okay, so her heart wasn’t something someone could actually rip from her chest and carry away. Damnit, the case would never hold up in federal court. Jon would walk away a free man. But, as she always told her students, acquittal doesn’t necessarily equal innocence.

Six: Intent to permanently deprive the owner of possession. Cate felt her eyes moisten as she considered that statement. Jon had made it no secret that he did not consider her a “fling.” It was clear he wanted to carry things further, to have a real relationship with her. But he had never said “forever.”

Cate thought about that for a long while. How would she feel about all this if Jon had said “forever?” If he had told her he loved her?

Cate knew the answer to that without hesitation. She wouldn’t have believed him. She would have thought he was lying. There was no way Jon could be in love with her. He had only known her for ten days.

Cate knew all too well the dangers of declarations of undying love at the beginning of a relationship. Back when she was young and foolish she had been swept away on the tide of lust, letting the euphoria lead her to embrace the illusion of a happily ever after with Kevin. She had paid the price for that foolishness.

No, she wouldn’t have trusted him.

But Jon hadn’t told Cate he loved her. He had said he wanted her, he needed her. But not that he loved her.

Did that make him honest? Did that mean he was telling the truth when he told her she had claimed a place in his heart, in his soul? That he wanted to build a relationship with her? That he would always protect her, even from herself? That he would do anything to keep from having to walk away from her?

Cate’s mind went back to the conversation she had overheard this morning, between Jon and the man Cate assumed to be his agent. He had threatened to drop out of the movie if the studio didn’t meet his demands, whatever they might be. She remembered the surge of excitement she hadn’t been able to control when she realized what that might mean. It might mean that Jon wouldn’t have to leave.

Was that what she wanted? Really, truly, honestly?

When Jon had asked her, Cate had told him she wanted time to stop so he would never have to leave. She had meant the words when she uttered them, wrapped up in the moment. But in the harsh light of day, did she really want Jon to stay here with her?

What if he asked her, if he put the decision in her hands? Could she tell him to walk away from the role, to stay here with her?

Cate fluttered her lashes as she felt little tears form in the corners of her eyes. She didn’t even have to debate that possibility with herself. She couldn’t do it. She couldn’t tell Jon to give up his role for her. That would be as unfair as him telling her to quit her job and follow him to California.

Besides, even if Jon did quit the movie and stay here with her, it would only be delaying the inevitable. Soon he would be off touring the world with his band, doing the job he loved. And she’d be here alone, living her life in the real world.

No, she couldn’t ask him to stay, any more than he could ask her to go with him.

So that left only two options. Live in the moment and enjoy the fantasy for two more days, or try to build a relationship over time and distance. Face the heartbreak and get through it, or delay the inevitable and prolong the agony.

Cate sighed. Her analysis had come full circle, and still the question remained.

What do I really want?

The answer was simple.

I want Jon.

But the answer was impossible.

Wanting him wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough for her to face another long-distance, globe-hopping relationship. It wasn’t enough for her put herself through the lonely nights, wishing he was holding her and wondering what he was doing and who he was with and if he was thinking of her. It wasn’t enough for her to share him with the world and wonder whether he would be the same man when and if he came back to her quiet little corner of reality.

The only choice was to live in the fantasy, to collect the sweet memories, then to walk away. At least she would always have the ghosts of his kisses on her lips, of his hands on her body, of his whispered words in her ear. A little bit of Jon would always be with her, that way. The memories would be happy ones, not of bitter words and shattered dreams.

He would always be her fantasy.

Cate swept her hand across her eyes, brushing away her tears, then she smiled gently. She pulled in, then blew out a deep breath, letting go of her turmoil. She had made her decision. Now she could move forward.

She had a date to keep, and she didn’t want to waste another moment of precious time agonizing over something that wasn’t meant to be. She was choosing to be happy while Jon was here with her. For the next two days she was going to live like there was no tomorrow. Cate chuckled to herself as she realized that her resolution sounded like a lyric from a Bon Jovi song.

Rising from her chair, Cate took another deep breath of fresh ocean air. Then she turned and went back into her bedroom to pack a bag for her night with her fantasy man.

Chapter 108 - CSI: Georgia

A half-hour later, Jon was almost vibrating with excitement. He bounced lightly on the balls of his feet as he stood grinning in the middle of the group of twelve BATs.

Cate did her best to ignore Jon's fidgeting as she listened to the student team leader explain their approach to the exercise. But she couldn’t keep a tiny smile from her lips as she watched him from the corner of her eye.

The exercise Mandy had assigned to Cate’s team was one that would keep all twelve students plus Jon engaged for several hours, if they did it right. Just before their lunch break, Mandy had appointed two student team leaders and given each of them a written scenario that detailed the crime they would be investigating. Over their lunch hour the student teams had discussed their strategy to properly secure, control, and process the crime scene to ensure all vital evidence was collected and preserved.

Cate’s team had drawn an aggravated assault scenario. They were to process a residence and collect evidence of multiple crimes including breaking and entering, burglary, aggravated physical and sexual assault, and attempted murder. Mandy had skillfully staged the house so that the students had to collect a variety of types of evidence from the yard, doorway, and various rooms of the house. They also had to interview a role player portraying the rape/assault victim at the “hospital” and collect evidence from another role player portraying an emergency room doctor who performed a rape examination on the victim.

After the team leader completed her overview, Cate called upon each BAT in turn, asking him or her to identify a type of evidence that would need to be collected and the proper means of collecting and preserving it. She nodded along at the students’ answers, impressed with their preparation.

One by one the students pointed out that they would need to photograph, videotape, and sketch the entire scene for perspective and documentation, make plaster castings of shoe prints in the dirt, and collect fingerprints, tool marks, hair and fiber samples, the knife that was allegedly used as a weapon, and physical evidence such as linens from the bed where the rape occurred and clothing items from the victim.

They sure don’t act like they weren’t paying attention in class earlier, Cate thought with a little smirk. Maybe she had gotten the good ones, and Mandy’s group was a little slower.

“So, are we going to need to use any specialized equipment or techniques for this scene?” Cate asked the BATs. Immediately several hands shot into the air. Looking from face to face as she tried to figure out who she had not yet called upon, Cate saw Jon grinning at her, his hand in the air. She chuckled to herself. “Yes, Mr. Bongiovi? she asked, keeping her voice even and professional.

Jon’s grin widened. “Well, it’s a sexual assault scene, so we’d use the ultraviolet light to detect body fluids at the location of the assault. From what we know, that would be the bed.” He raised his eyebrows ever-so-slightly at Cate as he finished his answer.

“Excellent, Mr. Bongiovi!” Before Cate could answer Jon, she heard Mandy’s voice behind her. Cate turned and looked at her friend as she strolled up to the group, then stopped beside Cate.

“Just wanted to see how you’re coming along. My team just got started with their grid search.” Mandy tipped her head at Jon, smiling slightly as she zinged the BATs. “See, our guest paid attention in class this morning! Hope you all did too.”

“Um, I have a question about the UV light, actually,” Jon spoke up. He grinned again as Mandy gave him an inquiring look. “Does the UV fluorescence work for nonporous surfaces? Like, oh I don’t know… metal?” Jon glanced at Cate, smirking slightly.

“It should work on any surface where there would be trace evidence of bodily secretions, such as semen or vaginal fluids.” Mandy replied. Cate heard the hint of amusement in her tone. “But it’s not as likely to find them on a nonporous surface, because they are usually washed or wiped away before they can dry. There’s nothing for them to soak into.”

Mandy cocked her head slightly. “Metal, Mr. Bongiovi? What made you ask that? Did you have a certain surface in mind?”

Jon continued to grin. “Oh, just thinking about something like a metal tabletop, or…” Again his eyes flicked to Cate. He saw that she was struggling to keep a neutral expression as a pink flush crept to her cheeks. “Oh, I don’t know… maybe the hood of a car or something?”

Mandy chuckled. “All very good possibilities, Mr. Bongiovi. Crimes can occur in some very…. unorthodox… places.” She smiled back at Jon, recognizing his covert tease for Cate. “Excellent question. I’m sure Agent Sullivan can answer any further questions you may have, about that or anything else.”

As she turned to walk back to her group of students at the house next door, Mandy chuckled quietly. “That must’ve been fun!” she said under her breath as she grinned at Cate, then stepped away.

Cate rolled her eyes and shook her head, unable to keep from chuckling at Mandy’s comment. Shit, I’m getting it from ALL sides today! First Danny, now Mandy… and even Jon! She shot him what she thought was a stern look, but her heart jumped as she saw his sweet smile, all for her. She closed her eyes momentarily. Focus. There are students here, she reminded herself.

“Alright, team,” Cate called out, clapping her hands together. “Let’s get to it!”

The students quickly scattered from their group into pairs, with Jon joining two male BATs who were responsible for documenting the crime scene with photographs and video. Jon eagerly accepted the digital camera and took a variety of shots of the house, yard, and various details that might hold clues or evidence, at the direction of the students.

Cate observed quietly, occasionally asking the BATs a question to ensure they knew what they were doing and that they were following their evidence collection plan.

After Jon finished photographing the scene, he picked up a small video camera and recorded the “before” scene to document how everything looked prior to the agents moving in to the area. As he moved around the perimeter of the yard, Cate strolled along behind him.

When she stopped beside him, Jon pushed the “pause” button, halting the recording. “Hey, think we could borrow this?” he asked Cate, keeping his voice low and discrete. “For later?” Cate looked at Jon in surprise, then saw the mischievous twinkle in his eyes.

“Yeah, I don’t think so,” Cate replied. “The only record there’s gonna be of whatever may happen later will be in your dreams, Rock Star.”

“Oh, I think it’s already in there,” Jon replied. “It’s just a matter of how close reality comes to the fantasy.”

Cate glanced over to the group of students, standing together on the asphalt driveway. She saw that several of them were watching her and Jon. “Look like you’re following what I’m saying,” she muttered to Jon as she raised her hand and pointed to the corner of the yard then swept her arm slowly around.

Jon chuckled and nodded as he followed along with her ruse. “So, you coming back to the villa with me when we’re done here?” he asked hopefully.

“No,” Cate replied. “I have to go back by the office, then I need to go home and at least throw a few things into a bag if you want me to spend the night. I’ll come over in a couple hours.”

“Well, Baby, don’t worry about packing anything but your toothbrush and some work clothes,” Jon grinned. He dropped his voice to a sexy growl. “You won’t need any other clothing tonight. I think we should spend the whole evening together, naked.”

Cate snickered. “What about going out to dinner? I don’t know of any “naked” restaurants on The Island.” She shifted her position, turning her back to the students as she pointed away from them, so they couldn’t see her smirk.

“Who said we had to go out to dinner? We could do naked room service.” Jon mimicked her position, also turning away from the students. “That could open up all kinds of possibilities.”

Cate felt a flush of heat as a tingle ran down her spine at the thought of whipped-cream-covered Jon for dessert. Or better yet, chocolate-covered Jon. Maybe with a cherry on top. “That it does,” she agreed coyly.

Cate and Jon shared a private little smile, then Jon squared his shoulders and shook his hair back. “Okay, now stop distracting me. I’m trying to learn something, here,” he said primly. “I am in training, you know.” He raised the video camera and pointed it at the house, his silly grin betraying his seriousness.

“Oh, well pardon me! By all means, Mr. Bongiovi, carry on!” Cate laughed. She shook her head and turned away, then walked over to the group of BATs. “Alright! Your scene is documented. What next?” she called out.

Jon watched Cate with a little smile as she approached the group, then stood with her arms crossed over her chest as several students spoke to her. His mind went back to the advice Mandy had given him at lunch. “Use your assets,” she had told him.

Well, he could certainly do that. Jon was a master at the game of seduction, whether it be in a private hotel room, on a movie set, or on stage in a packed arena. And he still had a few tricks up his sleeve.

Jon smirked as the plan took shape in his mind. If he played his cards right, this could turn out to be one Hell of a memorable night, for both of them.


Cate spent the better part of the afternoon supervising the crime scene exercise. As usual, she thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the students and showing off some of her non-combative investigative skills. Mandy’s students were eager and well-prepared. They peppered her with excellent questions throughout the exercise, urging her to share stories about some of the cases she had worked as a field agent.

It was obvious Jon was having a ball, as well. He strutted around the scene in his navy windbreaker and latex gloves with a huge grin on his face. Jon took a turn working with every student on his team, being careful not to do so much as to interfere the student’s opportunity to learn.

Jon grinned proudly as he swept black magnetic powder over a doorframe then lifted a perfect set of latent fingerprints from it. He was almost gleeful when Cate allowed him to spray the shower tiles with Luminol to detect trace evidence of blood. He was practically giddy as he found a weapon under the nightstand by the bed, then affixed an evidence tag to it. Cate smiled at his enthusiasm, happy that he was so excited about the work she loved.

Like the other students, Jon grimaced and “eeeewwwwed” when Cate demonstrated use of the ultraviolet light on the mattress and sheets of the bed where the sexual assault allegedly occurred. The bright fluorescence on the sheets and mattress clearly showed dried bodily fluids that could be potential evidence of the crime.

Cate snorted out a little laugh at the horrified look Jon gave her when she flippantly remarked to the students that they should resist the temptation to use the UV light on their hotel room beds when they traveled, because they probably wouldn’t like what they found. She could see in his eyes that he was thinking of the thousands of rented beds he had slept in over the decades and wondering how disgusting they really had been.

After the demonstration Jon sidled up to Cate. “Where in the hell did Mandy get the stuff on this mattress?” he muttered with a slightly disgusted look. Cate chuckled and told Jon he would have to ask Mandy that question. Jon gave her a long look, then smirked naughtily. “Let’s hope nobody uses one of those lights on that cruiser, yeah?” he whispered before sauntering off to join the BATs in collecting more evidence.

The students were just finishing up when Cate felt her Blackberry vibrate on her belt. She pulled the device out of its holster and looked at the screen, then pushed the button.

“Hiya, Boss,” Cate said cheerily as she moved to the front door of the exercise house. She stepped through the door into the yard, away from the chatter of the BATs.

“Hey, Catie,” Floyd drawled in response. “How’s the crime scene exercise goin’? Jon learning some good stuff?”

“Of course,” Cate chuckled. “You know Mandy. She’s putting them through their paces as usual. We’re almost done here. You need me to come back over? I know you needed to talk to me.”

“Naw, that’s why I’m calling now.” Floyd replied. “Listen, about your schedule tomorrow…” Cate heard papers rustling as Floyd paused. “I see here that you don’t have any training exercises planned.”

“Uh huh,” Cate nodded. “Jon has a couple interviews to do with Public Affairs in the morning, then he said he has some other business matters to attend to in the afternoon. A couple phone interviews about their new album, I think, and some calls about the movie. He’s going to be working from his hotel.”

“Yeah. Well, I just got a call from Shelby over in PA. You need to go with Jon to the interview in the morning. Be there by nine. The Director wants you to talk to the reporter about what kind of training you’ve been putting Jon through and how he’s done. And the network people want some footage of Jon on the range, doing firearms training.” Floyd drawled out the sentences unhurriedly, like what he was saying was ordinary everyday business.

“Okay, that’s no problem,” Cate nodded. “But I don’t have a range lined up…” Then she realized what Floyd had just said. “Wait… network people? I thought Jon was just doing the usual video piece for the Center to distribute to whatever outlets wanted to run a clip or soundbyte.”

“Well, you’ll do that too,” Floyd answered. “But the people from Entertainment Tonight are the ones who want the footage of Jon shooting. And they want to interview the woman who taught him to shoot.” Cate could hear the grin in Floyd’s voice.

“ME?” she exclaimed. “Entertainment Tonight wants to interview ME? Floyd, how would they even know who the Hell I am?”

Floyd chuckled. “Catie, you know how the Director likes to put you out front and center whenever he can. I have a feeling this was his idea. You give a good interview, and you and Jon have developed a really good partnership. You make a Hell of a team.”

Cate could tell from the warmth of Floyd’s voice that he wasn’t really talking about her and Jon’s professional relationship. Floyd was a master at reading people, and Cate was sure he was well-aware of the misery she had been in for the last few days. She was also sure he could tell that her problems with Jon had resolved themselves, just by how happy she was today. His smile when she had snuck in late to the meeting this morning was proof.

“And don’t worry about a range,” Floyd continued. “Shelby already took care of that. Already had the camera people over there to set up shots, check the lighting, all that stuff. You just show up in the morning with Jon and some guns and bullets, and you’ll be good to go.”

“I… uh… wow.” Cate couldn’t seem to think of anything else to say. She heard Floyd chuckle again into the phone.

“Catie, I’m sure you’ll be more eloquent than that tomorrow.” Floyd paused. “You know, as much as you’ve done for the Center lately, and now with this, I have a feeling there may be a promotion around the corner for you.” Floyd wasn’t going to say anything to Cate outright, but the Director had hinted as much at this morning’s staff meeting.

Cate shook her head, but then realized Floyd couldn’t see her. “I don’t want a promotion. I’m happy right where I am,” she replied.

Floyd smiled to himself. “Catie Honey, it does my old heart good to hear that. But sooner or later you’re gonna have to take what you’ve earned and move on. You’re too good to stay put.” He chuckled. “Now, tell Jon, finish your crime scene, and go home and think of some shit to say besides ‘I, uh, wow.” he teased.

“I will, Boss,” Cate laughed. “Thanks.”

“See ya tomorrow,” Floyd answered, then he was gone.

Cate chuckled to herself as she slid her Blackberry back into its holster. Holy Shit, Entertainment Tonight!

“Everything okay?” she heard Jon’s voice behind her, soft and slightly worried.

Cate turned to face him and smiled. “Yeah. Apparently you and I are being interviewed for national TV tomorrow morning. I know that’s like a daily event for you, but not so much for me.” She shook her head wonderingly. “Floyd said they want to talk to me about your training, then get some video of us on the range.”

Jon laughed. “Shit. You’re not gonna tell them how bad I was at everything, are you?”

Cate grinned. “No. Well, maybe just one or two little stories…” she teased. “Like when I put you on your ass in DTs.”

Jon grinned back. “Yeah, or like when I couldn’t shoot for shit because you were all wrapped around me on the range?” he asked slyly. “Hell, you could re-enact that one for them. They’d love to have something like that for the story.”

Cate shook her head. “Nuh uh. I’m not laying a finger on you while cameras are rolling!” she insisted.

Jon chuckled and stepped in closer. “Okay. As long as you lay a finger or ten on me later tonight,” he purred softly. He gave Cate a naughty smile. “No cameras around then… unless you want them.”

Cate snickered, then gave him a more sober look. “Seriously, you didn’t have anything to do with this, did you?” she asked.

“Not a thing,” Jon answered honestly. “But I think it’s a great idea. You deserve credit for the work you’ve done here with me. For me.”

Cate gave Jon a grateful smile. “Thanks,” she said softly. She and Jon held each others’ gaze for a long minute, then she grinned and pointed to the door. “Now get back in there and finish up!” she barked teasingly.

“Yes, ma’am!” Jon replied promptly, snapping off a salute before turning on his heel and striding back into the house.