saga/title/fandom: Adagio chapter 14 (A Man Apart)

author: Rae/Celtia/Celtiareborn

rating/genre: (NC-17) - Romance/Crime Drama

warnings: het, language, violence, and graphic sexual content

summary: Officer Sean Vetter, formerly of the DEA, tries to rebuild his life in Chicago after losing his wife in a botched assassination attempt on his own life. Joining the Chicago Special Tactics Unit, Vetterís bitterness toward life and sullen determination not to care for anyone makes him a nightmare of potential partners, until a stubborn Irish woman named Kate Shea decides she isnít going to let Vetter chase her away Ė from his career or his life. (Sean/OFC)

comments/disclaimers: My summary and first chapter pretty well give away the plot of the movie, so if you haven't seen it yet you might want to wait to read this until you have. FEEDBACK: Two conditions: Please talk to me, not at me; Please do not rewrite my stuff and send it to me the way you would do it. Otherwise have at it. Thanks. ARCHIVE: A qualified yes Ė I would not like the story to appear anywhere else without the person discussing it with me first. NOTES: The story does involve a stalker. Also, there is some violence stemming from Vetter and Kateís jobs as undercover officers. NOTE II: There is some Russian used in the story but I try to explain it unless it explains itself.

CHAPTER 14

Kate watched Vetter pacing back and forth in front of her. She sat silently on her sofa as she waited for him to talk. He looked like an agitated tiger as he stormed across the floor, the zipper of his fatigue jacket clanking as it hit his gun with each step. Finally she could stand the vigil no longer.

"I did fine," she said.

"No," he corrected, turning to look at her but still pacing, "you did not do fine. You almost caved. You canít see this guy again."

"Vetter, when things got a little heated I took off. Iím perfectly in control of this situation. Youíre still my backup. Nothing can go wrong."

"How long did it take you to decide not to pull the wire?"

The harshness of the question sent a nervous flash of heat through her. "Only a minute," she said.

"Bullshit. You were off air for nearly four after you went into the bathroom. You thought about going to bed with Kafelnikov. Seriously thought about it," he charged.

"So what if I did? What matters is that I kept to the protocol," she insisted.

"Kate, listen to what Iím telling you: you will not be able to resist this guy if he keeps up his Tolstoy hero shit on you. I know women and I know when theyíre being taken in by a manís lines. Youíre too far into Kafelnikov to hold your ground against him," he said.

"I donít think I care for you making comments about my potential sex life," she said tightly.

"Too bad. You could blow this whole investigation by sleeping with that Russian and Iím not going to let you do that. Iím not going to let you compromise yourself."

"My assignment is to lead on a Russian arms dealer. Iím starting out compromised."

"I donít want to hear it. Iím the leader of this team and I say you arenít seeing Kafelnikov again."

Kateís eyes narrowed. "When I left Brie I made a vow never to let another man tell me what I can or cannot do, and I donít intend to change that commitment now. Who I sleep with is absolutely no concern of yours, and fuck you if you donít want to hear that."

She leapt up from the sofa and stormed past him. Before she took two steps away from him he grabbed her and brought her to him. He kissed her passionately, his arms sliding around her as he lifted her high into the air. When he finished she stared hard into his eyes.

"Did you do that just to keep from going to bed with Grigori?" she whispered.

Vetter looked like he wanted to say something that would not come out of his mouth, but he only kissed her again and carried her off toward her bed. She felt the world spin out from beneath her as he gently placed her head on the pillow and stretched out atop her. He gazed down at her and it seemed to Kate that he was trying desperately to understand some great mystery that could determine the course of his life. His vigil continued for a full minute before he ended it by kissing her.

His mouth felt like velvet to her, soft and warm. She kissed him tentatively at first but the more the heat of his body transferred itself to her through his lips the more passionate she became. Vetterís ardor increased as well. He pushed his body toward hers, his mouth hungry for her, hands framing her face as he brushed her hair out of her eyes. She felt him going hard against her thigh and cried out so loud the sound startled both of them.

He dropped his lips to her throat. She tilted her head back for him. He dragged his tongue from her mouth to her shoulder and kissed her hotly there, dwelling on the clean, soft flesh and the slight scent of roses she bore as if feeding on an intoxicant. She felt his breath burning itself into her skin and the fire shot through her like a rocket, weaving itself through her blood. She arched her back and pushed her breasts toward his mouth. Vetter kissed her left breast and opened his mouth to take it in through her shirt but the moment he touched it he rolled away from her and wrapped his arms around himself, his back to her.

"Iím sorry," he said tightly.

Kate lay on her side of the bed, panting and trying desperately to clear her head. She looked over at Vetter. He seemed like a frightened little boy as he lay there, all of his strength and masculinity gone, replaced by a hollow shell of shame and embarrassment. She touched his shoulder.

"Itís just too soon for you," she said.

"I feel like a fucking moron," he replied, his anger at himself echoing off the walls of the bedroom.

"Itís okay, Vetter, I understand." She did and she didnít but she wanted him to feel okay about himself so she continued, "You have a lot to get over still."

"Five years. Five years. It should be enough."

"Donít do that to yourself," she said, the concern in her voice surprising him. "You canít give yourself a schedule to get over grief. When youíre ready itíll happen. Trust me."

He lay still a moment, then turned back to face her, staring intently into her eyes. "I meant what I did with you," he said. "I wanted to kiss you the other night when we were on the sofa but I didnít have the courage. Iím not messing with you, Kate. This isnít a game."

She gazed steadily at him, feeling a little bolt of electricity carom around inside her like she was a pinball machine. "I know," she said.

She opened her arms to him. He slowly crawled inside them, laying his head on her chest and closing his eyes as he breathed deeply. She stroked his head, holding him as close as she could without risking violating the zone of defense he needed.

"I donít regret this," she told him. "And whatever happens, Iíll always be your partner. Weíre too good a team to give that up."

He raised his head, looked at her intently again. "Weíre getting ourselves into a hell of a mess."

"Well, you gotta do stuff like that every now and then. Keeps life interesting."

"Iím serious, Kate. This could be a disaster."

"I know that. But Iím willing to take the chance. I can go in blind to a building full of armed drug dealers. Donít expect me to run from you," she said.

He touched her face with his massive hand, studying the softness of her smooth white skin. She smiled.

"Iíll wait for you, Vetter," she said, astounded at the words as they came from her. "I can do that. Youíre worth waiting for."

"Iím not so sure," he replied.

"I am."

She offered her hand to him: he wrapped his fingers around it. "Four oíclock," she said, gently crawling out from beneath him. "Youíd better get the place wired."


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