Morning sunshine - part III
"We should not be doing this."
"Why not? We've done it before."
"Yeah, to you. That was pretty funny."
"Which is exactly why we should be doing this."
"Can you explain again why, exactly, we are doing this?"
"You guys never did stuff like this?"
"We had a little bit different atmosphere than you Nachton Pipers."
"Well saddle up! Wait, mounties saddle up still, right?"
"We really should not be doing this."
"You're just saying that because you got in trouble after we did you."
"I still don't understand why."
"Let's just do this already."
"Ok, ok. They're on their way up the drive."
Lewis sat with his head resting in his hand, elbow propped up on the table top. "This is horrible."
"No, it's not. It's not like we're rushing them."
"I don't understand-"
LT sat down at the table and glared at Red. "I swear to god, will you ever grow up, Red?"
Lewis looked at his phone and then sighed. "They're in and heading to his room."
"So we're not rushing them, right?"
The entire Piper team was huddled at the table, looking at Red in uncomfortable silence. He leaned back in his chair and shrugged.
"Just double checking."
"That sounds like a challenge."
"That is not a challenge-"
"I swear to god, Charlie. Don't you dare."
Charlie bumped Cait's hip, successfully nudging her into the wall. Laughing, he grabbed her and cradled her as they got to his apartment door.
"Let us fuck," he chuckled.
"Please stop quoting movies, you're killing me, Smalls."
Charlie pressed up against the door and opened it, Caitlinn still in his arms, hanging onto him while trying not to laugh. Once inside, he kicked the door closed with his foot and walked them into his bedroom. He finally let her slide down, keeping her body close to his.
"What time is it?" he asked, threatening to kiss her.
Cait leaned her head back until her body bowed away from Charlie's lips. "You're late."
He looked up at his night stand clock and winced. "Shit, I am late." Promptly letting go of Cait, she fell back onto the bed in a huff.
"I'll be back in a couple hours. Breakfast?"
"So I can walk around all by myself?"
"You're a big girl, I trust you."
Cait rubbed her hands together evilly.
"Funny girl," he muttered as he changed out of his clothes and into his work out shorts and shirt. "Kiss good bye?"
"Negative," she said from her laid out position on the bed. "I do not love you."
"That's good, I'm using you for sex anyway."
"So rude," she whined as he left the room.
Smiling, he pulled on his shirt and exited out of his apartment. Double timing it down the long hallway to the opposite wing, Charlie yanwed loudly as he turned the corner that led to the Dining Hall. He could smell the coffee brewing nice and strong when he took the corner and came face to face with the entire Piper team.
They sat there, all ten of them, giving him a blank stare. Charlie made a face and then grinned slowly.
"You're late," LT said with a straight face.
"Wait a minute, didn't you guys do this to Red and Lewis, too?"
"Yeah, but you're still late."
"And you smell like sex," Red snorted sofly.
"Yeah," Charlie grinned widely, "I do and that's all I'm saying about it."
"Aw come on," Red whined.
"He insisted on doing this, didn't he?" Charlie said pointing at Red.
"Either we did this or he rushed you," JT said in a bland voice.
"God, will you ever grow up, Red?"
"Why do you guys keep asking that when you know the answer? And you totally ruined this for me, Charlie."
"Oh I did?" he laughed. "Red you're with me this morning."
"What, come on. You run too fast now."
"Everyone thank Red, Charlie's got pace," LT said standing up.
Red slumped in his chair. "Not cool, man."
Charlie walked by him, pulling on Red's shirt and forcing him out of his chair till he was up, then Charlie wrapped his arm around Red's neck and gave him a hard nookie to the noggie.
"He said I could," she mumbled to no one in particular and turned toward the Lobby. Their part of the Den was in an entirely separate part of the three winged facility. During her walk back she passed several members who nodded politely but did not question her presence. Still, each time she held her breath as she smiled sweetly.
Making it to the Lobby, she followed the smells leading to the Dining Hall and looked around again. It was still early morning, an hour or so since Charlie had left for his run, but there were already some pack members having early breakfasts. Passing through, she knew it led out to the back porch and their Long Run. The sun was just starting to peek over the trees, streaming gold rays through the windows. Wearing blue jeans and a standard issue hoodie from her collection of clothes she had received during her involuntary stay, she pushed out the doors.
Winter had settled into the east coast as she slept and there were still hills of snow lining the dormant grass. The area was still lush with Evergreens but still cold as hell. Cait blew her breath, watching it rise up above her.
"Damn it's cold," she said out loud.
"Been kind of warm for this time of year though."
Cait twisted around and faced the voice. "Hey," she drawled out. "How are you, Vivienne?"
Caitlinn nodded and averted her eyes, looking out toward the treeline. Viv took the opportunity to look at the woman, really look at her, and she still was pretty unsure of what she saw.
A liar, a runner, but definitely a survivor.
"How old is your daughter?" Caitlinn asked without looking.
"Almost six months now. Have kids?"
"Oh no, nonononono. I've dodged that bullet thus far."
Viv grinned and shrugged. "I would have said the same thing until meeting Brig. No desire to have children till I met him."
Cait raised her eyebrows and chuckled. "Well, that Alpha Male vibe he has does jump start the uterus, doesn't it?"
Viv gave her a strange look, a little surprised at the familarity, and it made Caitlinn clear her throat embarrassed.
"That's one way to put it. He's uh..." Viv struggled for the right adjective when Caitlinn offered up her own.
"Your mate, right? That means something with your kind. Deeper than wife or girlfrend?"
Viv nodded, "Definitely deeper. Very territorial, especially with Brig and his position."
Caitlinn glanced at Viv as she explained and then turned away again. After a moment she chuckled and asked, "Why do I get this ex-girlfriend vibe from you, then?"
She was surprised at how blunt Caitlinn was and how accurate. Viv had considered scoffing at the question but acquiesced. The least she could be was honest.
"Because if it hadn't been for Brig, it would have been Charlie."
Caitlinn's disposition immediately changed and Viv caught her scent changing. Wasn't something she wanted to come right out and say, to anyone, but Caitlinn had asked.
"Even now, when he doesn't love you in the least?"
Viv felt the tension building between the two of them and she tried to diffuse it. "I had kind of hoped we could become friends, Caitlinn."
Caitlinn turned to face Viv fully now, her posture tense and angry. "Not when you come at me with a statement like that and you didn't answer my question."
"I don't, I'm not in love with Charlie. It is Brig or nothing for me now - through circumstances I couldn't control, even if I tried."
"What does that mean?"
"Charlie, no one's told you about bound scents?"
Caitlinn shook her head.
"Our scents are drawn to one another, we're soul mates. There could never be another, even if I wanted there to be. Not even Charlie."
"So we're having this conversation to what...clear the air?"
"Well I didn't think we'd be having this conversation so soon, to be very honest."
Caitlinn nodded slowly and turned away toward the treeline again. Viv felt dismissed at that moment and it made the wolf in her burn. But could she really blame Caitlinn for feeling threatened?
"You love him, right?"
Caitlinn sighed and slipped her hands into the pockets of her hoodie. "To my genuine surprise, yes, I do. I barely know him but," Caitlinn shrugged again, a small smile tugging at her lips.
"I'm not after Charlie, Caitlinn."
Without looking at her, Caitlinn said with a short laugh, "Do you really think I'd let you have him, even if you were?" The woman turned and locked eyes with Viv, making the threat and promise clear from the get-go.
Viv grinned as she shook her head. "No, I don't believe you would, Caitlinn."
"Just so we're clear, you know, 'tween us girls."
"There aren't many of us around the Pipers, so yes, it's clear. Us brown girls gotta stick together."
Caitlinn's hard demeanor cracked as she raised her fist up to Viv with a smile. She returned it with a bump, just as Brig's scent floated by her, instantly arousing her.
"And on cue, there's my man."
Brig walked in from the treeline with Hammer, drenched in sweat and breathing hard. Viv heard Caitlinn clear her throat as they watched both men walk up the steps to the porch.
Viv smiled at Brig as he threw her a wink. He stepped up close to her and kissed her softly, but stayed close.
"Hey, baby," he said softly. "Miss Conrad."
Viv looked over at Caitlinn who raised her hand and blushed profusely at their intimate hello.
"Gonna shower first or eat?"
Brig pulled her close and whispered into her ear, "Both?" Then picked her up and hoisted her over his shoulder.
"God dang, girl," Caitlinn laughed as she waved good bye to them.
"Very gentlemanly, baby," she said, slapping Brig's backside.
"Seriously," Hammer muttered coming up behind Brig. "Miss Conrad," he said acknowledging Caitlinn.
"Mr. Hammerthynn. Bye, Viv."
Cait watched Vivienne leave with Brig and Hammerthynn and tried to get the image of Vivienne's mate's sweating and muscular body out of her mind when she heard the laughter of the Pipers coming in from the trail through the treeline.
"Oh for pete's sakes," she muttered as she watched the Pipers walk toward the porch, one by one.
Cait grinned as Matthew came running up the steps toward her with nothing on but his shoes and shorts. His shirt was in his hand and he used it to wipe the sweat off his chest. His hair was spikey and wet, much like his skin.
"Good...morning," she said trying not to stare. "Oh please don't-"
Matthew leaned in and gave her a chaste kiss on the cheek, successfully transferring his sweat onto her skin. She did not look at Matthew and think 'brother', not by a long shot, but he neither noticed or reacted to her nervousness as he touched her shoulder as he passed her.
"That's...yeah," she mumbled as the rest of the Pipers climbed up the porch steps and nodded politely to her.
"Yup, hi," she mumbled, not looking up. Their LT took the steps slowly, watching her. He lifted the bottom of his shirt and wiped at his face, making her roll her eyes. She looked, nonetheless, at the thin dark hair that lined his abs and detoured south below the waistband of his black shorts.
LT winked at her without a word.
Finally Charlie and Red brought up the rear, the former pushing the exhausted latter. Climbing the steps, Red nodded politely at Cait before following after LT, calling out to him in a whiny manner.
Cait smiled as Charlie stood on the steps below her so he was eye level. "Hi."
"Hi yourself. Hungry?"
His smile made her literally giggle, much to her surprise, and she cleared her throat, smirking at him.
"I am starving," he said softly and took a step up and closer to her. Cait backed up till he was on the porch with her, her hands still in her pockets.
"Are you gonna kiss her?" Red yelled out from the door.
"No, I'm not gonna," Charlie said sarcastically.
"Why not?" Red practically yelped.
Charlie slipped his arm around Cait's shoulders and walked her to the door. "You need to work on your time," he said changing on the subject.
They walked into the dining hall where the Pipers who didn't go straight to shower were eating their breakfasts already.
"Seriously, I don't get you two. It's not like we haven't seen you kiss before. Indiana ring a bell? Yesterday morning? PDA is a good thing."
Cait grinned, looking up at Charlie who looked at her. "Want me to kiss you?"
"Pfft, no," she said making a face.
Charlie lifted the hand that was draped around Cait's neck and shrugged.
"It is a sad sad world when friends won't make out in front of their friends, purely for their enjoyment." Red shook his head sadly.
"You have a girlfriend, don't you, Red?" Cait asked, narrowing her eyes at him.
"I see someone on occasion, yes."
"Oh I can't wait to meet her," she said opening her eyes wide and nodding.
"Oh that's just mean," Red mumbled and stalked off toward the Piper's wing.
Cait watched Red take his ball and go home. "Anything to eat in your kitchen?"
"I usually eat down here with them."
"Want me to join you or see you at DI?"
"It's still early yet to go to work."
"Yeah but I thought I'd cab it, get the body cavity search and shock treatment over with before lunch."
"Good planning," he said pulling her close as he walked her up to the buffett table.
All the men stood when Caitlinn approached the table, LT included just slower than the rest. Part of him still didn't like her in the least, but that was probably the same part that was battered from the chair she threw at him. His move outside on the porch was done intentionally, that's to be sure, but he couldn't help taunting her. He just felt spiteful that way, despite the fact that she was with his best friend. They settled down next to LT, Cait beside him but he paid her no further attention.
JT smiled at Caitlinn and immediately began talking to her about life in the US. They had bonded somehow - probably because they were the only Americans within the Pipers, but it riled him just the same. He listened quietly, looking down at his breakfast.
Lewis came quickly walking back into the dining hall, freshly showered, and made a bee line for Caitlinn before grabbing his own breakfast. LT made a face trying to figure out what her appeal was to any of the Pipers, but that was Lewis - he was like a puppy with a new friend. He ran off to grab his own food and then raced back, scooting in the space between Caitlinn and LT, pushing him off to the side, making him lift his hands and glare at the back of Lewis' head.
With a grumpy look, he tried to finish his breakfast, trying not to say something rude, though he was precariously close.
"So you're from Canada, Atlas?" Caitlinn asked the largest of Pipers.
LT flicked his eyes up as he forked some eggs.
"Yes ma'am. Ontario."
"So you're the only Amerian, JT?"
"Sacramento, born and bred."
Lewis chimed in, "But Atlas is from JT's biologial family in Canada."
"You guys transfer like that?"
"Not exactly, ma'am," Atlas replied without a trace of emotion in his voice.
"Atlas' old pack is gone now," LT said as he reached out for the pepper and shook some liberally onto his eggs. "They were part of the Randolph company you worked for as a mole, Caitlinn."
The table got quiet as all eyes fell on LT who continued to eat his eggs unphased.
"But Mr. Hammerthynn said that the company was dissolved."
"Considering there was no one left after their pack was wiped out, I'm sure they thought it was prudent."
Again silence fell over the table save for Charlie who leaned back in his chair and looked directly at LT.
"I should add that it wasn't us that wiped out the pack, but it's not like it's a real loss."
Atlas broke his stare and looked to JT who was was glaring at LT. It was Lewis that stated the obvious.
"That makes JT an Alpha."
"You need a pack to lead to be an Alpha, Lewis."
JT stood up slowly and picked up his plate. Atlas stood as well and together they left the dining hall. Leaning back in his chair, LT pushed his plate forward and half grinned at Caitlinn who was staring at him with a strange expression. Charlie gave a nod toward the exit and immediately Dom and Lewis left the table.
"Yeah, I'm gonna," Caitlinn said, pointing over her shoulder as she stood slowly. Putting her hand on Charlie's shoulder, she left without another word.
Charlie waited till they all left before he leaned forward, planting both elbows on the table.
"What was that, Lothias?"
LT sighed and shrugged. "The truth."
"What the hell is wrong with you? I thought this thing with JT was done?"
"That wasn't about JT."
Charlie leaned closer, his voice getting angrier. "Oh it wasn't, was it? Then enlighten me."
LT balanced his fork in between his fingers and rolled his eyes up to the ceiling. "You barely know her, Charlie."
"Are you fucking kidding me?" Charlie hissed in an angry whisper. "I can't even begin to figure out what you were thinking. Alienating not one but now two Pipers because JT is the Alpha of nothing, a fact you had to remind him of, and now Caitlinn?"
"I don't trust her."
"Or are you just pissed she threw a chair in your face after not hesistating to put you down when we brought her in here against her willl."
LT glared at Charlie, his anger getting the better of him. "I still don't trust her. She's a liar, Charlie. It was her job."
"Don't do this, Lothias. Don't draw that line."
"What do you really know about her? How long had she worked for Michaels' company? What does she really know about us? About you?"
"Christ, she's a plant now? Their pack is dead. Just who is she reporting to now?"
"I don't know, Charlie, who's her employer now?"
"What the hell is wrong with you? Seriously?"
"What the hell is wrong with you? You of all people should see what's happening. You work for DI, she stole from them. My uncle goes out on a limb to get her job back, just to keep you from Vivienne, putting Caitlinn back in the company she stole from. And what did Huntington have to say to her after we left them alone?"
Charlie looked away and rubbed his hands over his face with a laugh. "Please tell me this has nothing to do with the fact that I'm with someone now and you don't have anyone to show Carol off to anymore?"
LT stopped and felt his face flush red. "You think I'm that petty?"
"All that other shit didn't sound petty enough?" Charlie laughed. "Listen, you're my best and oldest friend, but you have really got to get over this Alpha thing with JT. And you really need to back off of Caitlinn because I love her, Lothias. I'd marry her tomorrow if she'd say yes, so really...please...don't make think you have lost your fucking mind."
Charlie took his plates and pushed away from the table, leaving LT alone. He sat there for a few minutes, thinking over the conversation, trying to figure out what went wrong when a familiar scent floated by.
Rolling his eyes, he crossed his arms as Caitlinn sat back down at the table, this time without Charlie.
"This is awkward, huh?"
LT looked up at her and leaned his arm over the back of his chair, giving her a concentrated look undoubtedly meant to intimidate. Other than him being almost the spitting image of his uncle and grandfather, their LT carried himself with a self assured presence that fit him like his daddy's over coat.
"I wouldn't trust me either, if I were in your position."
"Really? Why is that?"
"It all happened kind of fast, this thing with Charlie and I. But I gotta admit, if it was a plan, it was one helluva complicated one. I'd be impressed with how it all went down perfectly." Cait lifted her hand and began counting off.
"First I somehow attract the attention of a hacker, hacking into DI's database. Said hacker being Lewis. How I'd know he'd be hacking DI would be damn near clairvoyant. Second, I hope that said hacker would get his team to flyout to middle, USA to come get me and bring me back to their property. Third, I somehow manage to get the core of their men off the property, leaving me with the hacker, the traitor, and the one. I refer to Charlie as the one because fourthly, I manage to make sure he stays so he can fall in love with me."
During her speech, LT's smug expression faltered and smoothed into something akin, if not directly related to, embarrassment. He sat forward when she finished and looked at his hands on the table.
"If I were you, I'd be impressed that I master minded this entire thing. I mean, I'd be a big deal, for sure."
LT rolled his eyes and looked at her.
"I don't care if you don't like me, Lothias. I don't care you have some sort of problem with JT and this Alpha penis thing. I do care that you're hurting Charlie."
"How would you know anything about Charlie and me?"
"Because I eavesdrop and I heard. We don't have to like each other. I certainly do not like you and vice versa, but for Charlie's sake, we should probably fake it."
Cait waited for LT to say something, anything, but when a full minute went by without him even acknowledging her further, she stood up and tapped his shoulder.
With that, she turned and left the dining hall.
Maybe the best way to fix the situation was to get out of it?
JT turned to find the Commander but almost walked into Atlas Holden instead.
"JT," he said softly.
Atlas was the only Piper JT looked up to, literally. Having grown six inches since his gifting, he towered over everyone he knew, including Marko. Atlas was his father's right hand man, but also the traitor that enabled the destruction of his pack. He gave the man a nod.
"Excuse me, Atlas."
Atlas stepped to the side and moved out of his way, but walked next to him as JT tried to walk away.
"What are you doing, JT?"
JT stopped and felt his shoulders slump. "I can't do this anymore."
"Do what, be a man and demand the respect you deserve?"
He looked at Atlas and shrugged. "I'm not your Alpha, Atlas. I'm not ready to lead a dead pack, nor do I want to."
"Do not mistake what I say, JT. My loyalty to your father died long ago and have no desire to resurrect what should stay dead."
"Then what the hell-"
"You are the son of an Alpha, you'll never be able to leave that behind or ignore it. The LT is reacting to you the only way he knows how. You are a threat, whether you want to be or not."
"I don't want to lead."
"And that is a shame."
JT closed his eyes and sighed. Atlas was older, certainly more experienced, but JT felt some sort of misplaced allegiance from the man.
"I'm a Piper, Atlas. That's all I want to be."
"Then where are you going?"
JT looked at Atlas stunned.
"Never deny what you are. And never let it cloud your judgement like it did your father. You'll be an Alpha, some day, so if you can't be a Piper, maybe that'll do."
Atlas smiled at JT and then let it slowly fade into the hard expression he always wore. With a deep breath, he pushed his shoulders back and became the new Piper Sergeant again. JT felt that presence resonate in his wolf mind and he returned it with a firm nod and side stepped his Sergeant, moving back toward his apartment.
His father was a stupid man, misusing a Piper like Atlas, forcing him to betray his own pack because his Alpha had lost his mind. JT prayed that some day, if and when he led his own pack, he'd have a man like Atlas at his side.
But there was still the LT. JT's pedigree was a burden he'd have to shoulder. The LT was only protecting his position instinctively. JT would just have to deal with it.
"I'm tired of having to deal with it by myself, Vig. Besides it hasn't been that long."
"Yes. It has."
"It's not a new trick. You can do it."
Vigo glared at his brother in law and best friend and then looked down.
Catherine lay on the blanket squirming completely naked, kicking her feet, and laughing. Vigo held the diaper in one hand and a wipe in the other. He made a face and tried to capture his grand daughter's feet with his large hand while trying to wipe her clean. She laughed, still managing to kick free.
Vigo looked up at Duncan who was trying not to laugh. "Here, jesus, Vigo. You can rip the head off a bear but not change a little girl's diaper."
Vigo backed up from the table and let Duncan in. "I'd rather deal with the bear."
He watched Duncan expertly change Catherine's diaper, quickly cleaning her and putting the diaper back on. He stood the little girl up and held her against his chest in thirty seconds flat. Vigo rolled his eye and held his hands out for his grand daughter.
"I can dress her," he mumbled as Catherine began to drool and pull at his bottom lip.
"You sure? I don't want to over tax you now."
Vigo rolled his eye again and left the room to get her outfit. As he passed the entry door way, it opened to let in the Commander and his daughter. Catherine began to laugh and giggle again, flailing her arms and hopping in Vigo's arms.
"Hey pumpkin," Viv said reaching out and pinching her daughter's face. "Want me to take her?"
"No, I was getting her dressed."
"And attempting to change her diaper but failed," Duncan added.
Vigo made a face and left the room with the baby. He wandered down the Commander and Viv's apartment hallway and walked into Catherine's room. It was filled with stuffed animals, toys, and painted a soft pink that Vigo actually found quite pleasing. There were soft white kittens painted on the walls, chasing one another, surrounding her crib. Her dresser and closet were filled with little girl clothes which made choosing an outfit a little difficult for Vigo.
"What do you want to wear?"
Catherine looked at him with her big blue eyes and smiled. Her hand flapped against his cheek as she jumped in his arms.
"What about that pretty little dress I got you?" Vigo looked at his grand daughter and smiled, making the little girl's eyes go wide in wonder. He walked into her closet and found the dress he had gotten her after finally giving in and accepting Vivienne's choice. It was something he knew Emma would have liked for their grand daughter.
It was a soft blue with delicately laced trim. It was simple in its design but made of chinese silk and shimmered. He found a pair of lace socks and a pair of black mary jane shoes that fit her. It took him a few minutes, but he got her dressed and was helping her stand on the dressing table.
"There you go," he cooed at her, smiling bigger than he had in years. "Your grand mother would be so taken with you." Catherine drooled and smiled at him, leaning forward into his arms.
He had not played with a baby since Hammer had been one. There had been many nephews and cousins, but it was never his place to be with the babies, so he avoided them. He was glad he was not missing out on Catherine's life, long over due though it was.
"Want me to take her now?"
The Commander was standing at the doorway, watching with a small grin.
Vigo cleared his throat and looked at Catherine. "Want daddy?" She responded by kicking her feet, reaching for her father. Brig came into the room and reached out for his girl, taking her into his arms with a huge smile. Vigo envied him just then - his life complete with a mate who loved him and a child he adored.
"She was very well behaved," he said watching her drool on her father.
"Ah well, till she's old enough to know better, I suppose." Brig looked at Vigo and smiled. "Thanks for watching her this morning."
"Of course. No trouble." Vigo responded in his official voice, not knowing how else to speak to Brig. The man was his nephew and now his daughter's mate, but Vigo had trouble seeing beyond the Commander title. The boy had grown into a fine man and Vigo respected him at least for that. Vigo side stepped past them as he exited out of the bedroom.
Vivienne was talking to Duncan in the living room looking uncomfortable as Duncan grinned like a Chesire cat.
"What did I miss?"
"The Mrs will be here tomorrow!"
Vivienne looked at Vigo and tried to smile. "Yeah," she said slowly.
Duncan put his arm around Viv and hugged her hard. "Oh she is going to love you."
"Can't wait," Viv said in a small voice.
Vigo glared at Duncan and rolled his eye.
Duncan pulled out his phone and showed Vigo the newest picture of his youngest granddaughter to Vig. "She's three months old, so Louisa feels comfortable to finally come out and see Brig's girl and formally meet Vivienne."
"Fantastic," Vivienne mumbled as she walked off toward the bedrooms.
"Don't tease her like that, she's worried enough."
"She should be, Louisa takes the grandkids seriously. We need to go over and see Vincent's brood soon."
"In addition to Shayle's mad house."
"Five boys will do that to you. Three are out at least. Then there's Charlie."
"Shayle is coming, right?"
"God, you did not just say that," Brig whined from behind Duncan.
"It will behoove you and your brother to get along. He'll be here on official business - checking upon Paulson and Atlas, plus the other Ontario Pipers."
"And to judge," Brig added as he wiped the drool off his neck.
"I'm ignoring that comment."
Brig smirked and crossed his arms. "Tomorrow right?"
"Tomorrow at noon, so I expect to be left alone for the rest of the day with my wife."
"Oh dear god, dad," Brig whined.
Duncan had not seen his wife since the diasterous Siberian run literally a year before. Other than on a computer or on the phone, he had been away from Louisa and the smell of her scent. She could have visited, but that wasn't her way - she never wanted to be a distraction to her husband and for that Duncan loved her.
"She's always been the dutiful Piper's wife," Vigo said with a hint of a smile.
"Please get along with her, Vig. Just say it's you smoking around me to avoid that fight?"
"Yeah, Uncle Vigo, just take that bullet," Brig smiled.
Vigo rolled his eye again and muttered unhappily.
"We need to find you some pretty little thing, Vigo. I need to live vicariously through some one if it can't be my oldest any longer."
"Cold," Brig snorted.
Duncan grinned at his brother in law and put his arm around him. "I'm going to be having lots of sex, so should you."
"God, dad, really?" Brig shuddered as he walked back toward the bedrooms.
"I was waiting for you."
"And here I am," she said looking up at the ceiling.
"I meant in the shower," he said walking to the bed and standing at her feet.
She sat up and slumped her shoulders. "Aww, I missed shower sex?"
He shrugged, "Here, at least."
Continuing to dry off with his towel, he watched her admire his body. Her smile spread slowly across her lips as she noticed his arousal.
"You're going to be mad when I bring this up," she said almost singing.
He dropped the towel andlet his shoulders slump disappointed. "Then don't bring anything up."
"I talked to LT."
And his arousal immediately disappated, as well as his proof.
"OK, maybe it just makes me mad," she said with furrowed brow.
"Don't worry about LT. He'll get over it."
Cait shrugged and scoot back on the bed before reaching out to him. He climbed onto it and laid down with her, pulling her into his arms. With her back to him, he nuzzled on her ear softly.
"He has an interesting theory, though."
"No he doesn't. You're not a master mind."
Cait huffed offended. "I could be."
"No, you're not. But I understand why he's acting the way he is, it just - he's my best friend and I love you. I shouldn't have to choose."
"I don't think he's wanting you to choose, he just doesn't want you to get hurt. Are you always this unlucky when it comes to women?"
He grimaced and nodded. "Usually, yeah."
"Are you sniffing me?"
"Because it's not weird you do it," she said with her lips pressed up against his skin. "This is how I remember you, though. You smelled like Ivory soap in Indiana when we kissed."
"You smell like Hibiscus flowers."
She pulled back and grinned. "No shit?"
"Wow, you are such a conversational curser."
Wincing, she laughed and curled up against Charlie's naked body again. "You're naked." A pretty astute observation on her part.
"We have to go to DI."
"Oh," she said laying flat on her back. "Right."
Charlie pulled on her again, wrapping his arm over her stomach. "Are you staying here tonight?"
"I go where my toothbrush lives." She looked at him and and added, "I used your toothbrush by the way. Little skeevy, but I was too lazy to go back to my room."
"You're different now," Charlie said thoughtfully.
Panic rose up in her chest as she looked away from Charlie. Here it comes, she thought. A miserable end to a whirlwind affair. With a deep sigh, she shrugged, trying to temper her racing heart.
"Why are you freaking out?"
"Oh my god, I hate that you can do that."
"Why are you upset? Because I said you were different?"
"Well," Cait started but felt her heart want to burst out of her chest in terror. The need to pull away from Charlie was overwhelming, but he was still holding onto her, pressing her into the bed. "I suppose I could take that statement one of several ways."
"It wasn't a bad thing, Cait."
"Ok," she conceded but remained staring at the ceiling.
"I only said that because you used to be pretty nasty to me."
"I was nasty to you because you kidnapped me after tricking me into kissing you."
"Oh, -I- tricked you."
"You foiled my plan."
"You chose poorly."
Cait looked at Charlie and searched his face. His hooded, bright blue eyes and ruggedly angled face always made her chest tighten. The sound of his voice and his playful grin was enough to turn her on. And good lord don't even mention what was south of those features. But the way he loved her, it was more than she could have ever hoped for.
"I don't think I did," she said softly.
His expression softened looking at her and he grinned slowly. "You are so different now."
She huffed angrily, "Don't say that. I keep expecting you to add something like, 'and I don't want you anymore' or something equally earth shattering."
"I loved you before, Cait. You're just easier to love now."
"No...that didn't sound as nice as you think it did," she laughed.
"Don't get me wrong, sexual tension with you bordered on annoying and exhilarating, but now that I can kiss you without getting kneed in the nuts...it's pretty awesome."
Cait laughed so hard she snorted, making her laugh even harder. Charlie chuckled next to her, holding her close as they laughed together, making the weirdness of their situation pale in comparison to how much and how quickly they fell in love.
Letting the laughter subside slowly, Cait ran her fingers over Charlie's arm that was draped aross her stomach. His fingers moved, pressing her side, pinching her softly, but always caressing her. He propped his head up with his inside arm and looked at her as she stared at the ceiling.
"I kinda get why everyone is questioning us, though."
Charlie shrugged but then offered, "Not Lewis."
"Ahh yes, the fair haired hot nerd. He just doesn't get how scorching hot he is, does he?"
"Not at all," Charlie said matter-of-factly.
"He kissed me good morning, you know."
"Did he?" Charlie said with feigned surprise and girlish glee.
"Right here," she said pointing to the cheek. "I will never wash it again."
They laughed together again, this time snickering more than anything. Finally she sat up a little and looked at Charlie's night stand clock before laying back down in a heap on the bed.
"We have to go," she said sadly.
Charlie pressed his lips against her temple and kissed her softly. Cait closed her eyes and enjoyed the sensation when he started to kiss her down the side of her face, sometimes biting her softly and making her grin.
It had been 24 hours since she had woken up from her Eternity nap. When the lights went out, she had not been sure of anything except Charlie at that moment. It took four days, but it felt like they lived a lifetime in that short of time. Charlie was spitefully arrogant and oddly sweet and endearing, despite her cursing and disgruntled disposition. He tried making the best out of the situation, he said, and that was more than anyone could have offered considering what had happened. Despite being painfully beautiful to look at, he stood toe to toe with her angry outbursts and shoved just as hard as she did. He was brilliant, sweet, and funny. How could she not love him?
"Why do you love me?" she asked looking at him. His blue eyes focused on her brown ones and he pursed his lips in thought.
Cait's skin was a soft, golden brown that he could not stop touching. The way she talked aggressively but shied away from any type of attention or how she nervously fidgeted with her hair when he stood close to her in public, knowing his touch brought out feelings for her that were not at all proper or maybe her fascination with his work and the fact that she could follow more than most people in his field could - beauty, intellect, the fact that she loved him so hard he could feel it. He looked at her now and could not find the words. Instead, he showed her.
Reaching up with his free hand, he cupped her face and kissed her slowly, deepening the kiss but not losing its meaning in the rush of sex. She kissed him back, mewing that soft sigh that drove him crazy, making it hard for him not to just climb on top of her. Her hands came up and braced his arm, pulling at him as she moved underneath him, pressing her body against his. He let his aggression get the better of him and he half leaned over her, pressing her down into the bed as they let the kiss get away from them. With every ounce of will power he had, he broke the kiss and pulled back from her wanting lips.
"I love you because you make me feel like a better man. Better than I was and love me for what I am. Because of the way you're looking at me now...breathless and wanting me and I did that to you. I just do, Cait."
To his surprise Charlie saw tears well up in Cait's eyes. He touched her face and caught a spilling tear as it ran down the side of her face. He could feel the swell of anguish and arousal fight in her, making his stomach twist into knots just looking at her. She grinned at him and nuzzles his nose with hers.
"Good answer," she said with a smile.
"Thank you. I didn't rush it, did I?"
"No, very well timed. I was impressed," she chuckled.
Charlie leaned in again and gave her a soft kiss before getting up off the bed.
"Drats!" he heard her mumble, making him grin as he moved to his dresser. "You cannot kiss me like that and expect me to go to work."
Grabbing underwear, he did his best to contain his arousal by thinking of zombies, and then moved to grab a pair of slacks and shirt from his closet.
"Yeah but there's always office sex."
He walked back out of the closet and stepped into his slacks. Cait had perked up and was sitting on the edge of the bed with a small smile.
Suddenly there was a crash at his front door, making them both look, and Red started to yelp.
"WHY IS THE DOOR LOCKED? COME ON!"
JT waited patiently outside Charlie's door as Red began to rattle the door knob, clearly surprised that Charlie had begun to lock the door.
"This is changing everything. Who locks their doors here?"
"I will from now on," JT said leaning against the wall.
"It's not very hospitable if you ask me."
"You know, I used to ask myself 'Is he serious?' and now I just assume you are this much of an idiot."
The door opened and Caitlinn walked out pulling on one of the leather jackets Lewis had brought in for her. It was lined but thin and fitted along with matching biker boots and a black t-shirt. It was very casual to Charlie's V neck and slacks.
"You look nice," he said with a grin. "Although nothing says professional like biker boots."
Caitlinn pointed at Charlie and laughed. "See, I told you."
Charlie stepped out of his apartment and looked at JT. It was the exact same look the Commander gives him when he compliments Vivienne. Maybe JT unconsciously stepped on toes when it came to women, but he was only being polite when he mentions to Viv she hadn't lost her figure after the baby or something equally complimentary but obviously not viewed that way by their mate. JT cleared his throat and averted his eyes without being told.
Charlie didn't seem the type to mark his territory, but he could see him struggling with putting his arm around Caitlinn to just make it clear. JT moved ahead to avoid any other looks.
"JT," Charlie said suddenly. Looking back Charlie nodded to Red who quite suddenly picked up Caitlinn in his arms, sweeping her off her feet and causing her curse spontaneously. Moving ahead, Red talked happily with a red faced Caitlinn who was demanding he put her down.
"Sir?" JT said instinctively. When Charlie didn't correct him, and he would have, JT knew this wasn't about Caitlinn.
"You good with this morning?" Charlie asked quietly.
JT raised his eyebrows and then nodded. Now he understood, this was about the LT. "I'm good, sir. Just...something I need to deal with from now on."
"Well no, it's something the LT needs to work out for himself, but you understand why?"
"I do, it's instinctive. I can't help it, myself."
There were times JT found himself ready to square off with the LT, despite having dealt with chain of command all his adult life. As wolves the pack mentality almost tolerated fights - it established seniority and allowed males to rise rank wise. JT may be bigger and possibly stronger, but the LT had experience and was older, even if he didn't look it. JT was 27 and looked it, but the LT was 41 and looked 25. And it didn't help that the LT was a direct descendant, despite JT being the son of an Alpha that meant everything.
"You're the first Alpha to serve."
"But then I'm the first non-direct to be leadership. So I can sympathize."
Nodding, they took the turn to the lobby where Red had finally put Caitlinn down and managed to engage her in a normal conversation that didn't involve him yelling or flailing about. Charlie stopped and turned toward him.
"With the split into two squads, you're obviously with me, but you would've been my first choice anyway. Red's with the LT and you can double as our field medic and my second. You have the experience. You up for it?"
JT blinked at Charlie immediately nodded. "Of course, however you need me, Sarge."
Charlie held his hand out and JT took it with a grin. "Oh, one more thing?"
Charlie's friendly grin faded completely. "Watch it with Caitlinn. I'll snap your neck in a heart beat. Understood?"
JT swallowed and glanced over at her before nodding. "Aye, sir."
Charlie smiled and gave him a friendly slap on the arm. "Good, let's go to DI."
Bringing up the rear, JT snorted softly to himself, trying to figure out just what exactly he had gotten himself into.
(OOC all out))