saga/title/fandom: Adagio chapter 19 (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 NINETEEN

When the knock came both Vetter and Kate froze. Vetter immediately withdrew his arm from around her and retrieved his service weapon from his fatigue jacket. Kate hesitated briefly, then went to the door.

She did not recognize Alexei at first but once the memory came to her she spoke through the glass. "What is it?"

"Mr. Kafelnikov has sent you a gift," he replied, reluctance to be here clear in his voice. "They said you didnít come into work today."

"I wasnít supposed to hear from him until this evening."

"He wants you to wear this tonight. If you donít want it Iíll take it back to him."

She swallowed down the anger she felt bubbling inside her. She opened the door, took the box when he shoved it at her.

"What is it?" she asked.

"Open it and see," he answered, turning to descend to his car.

She watched him retreat into the BMW, then closed the door and brought the box to Vetter on the sofa. "He sent me a dress for tonight," she said, without having to look inside the box. "Oh my god, Vetter, he thinks Iím a damn doll he can dress up to please him."

"Donít wear it," he told her.

"I have to wear it. I canít afford to alienate him as long as we havenít busted him."

"He has to know you canít be manipulated. If you do whatever he tells you to heíll think heís right about his obsession for you."

She fell onto the couch beside him, crawling inside his arms the moment he opened them. He held her closer. Since finishing breakfast he sat with her like this, embracing her as he tried to open the door inside him so she could enter. It cracked a little the longer she touched him but he knew she still could not pass through.

"He has to let something slip soon about what heís doing," he said. "We know heís about to send out a major shipment, and we know that Narodin and Fetisov are competing for it. Itís bad business to let this whole thing go on much longer and Kafelnikov is anything but a bad businessman. Heís going to give you something, possibly tonight."

"Maybe heís too careful for that," she said.

"No, not with his coke habit. Cokeheads get careless. He already has."

"How?"

"He never sweeps you when he meets you. Heís a nearly paranoid security freak and heís letting a known cop into his life without doing one single thing to determine whether or not youíre wired."

"I guess youíre right. God, I hope he drops his guard the rest of the way. I want this to be over."

"Kafelnikov wants to impress you so my feeling is that heíll cover his ass on the delivery of the shipment with some big occasion to show you how rich he is, some huge blow out that will make him conspicuously visible as a law abiding citizen when the deal goes down. If he mentions something like that youíll know you have what you need and this will all be done soon," he told her.

She touched his face, gazed into his eyes. "Whatever happens with Grigori I want you to know that I wouldnít trade one second of it since it brought me you. Thatís a stupid, sappy thing to say but Iím saying it. You keep me honest, Vetter, and I need that."

"Youíre the most honest woman I know," he said.

"Not on my own. I hide too much, especially from myself. But I canít when youíre here. Jesus, whatís wrong with me?" she wondered aloud, laughing at herself. "Iím violating every rule I set up for myself once Brie cheated on me and letting you know that Iím violating them. I must be crazy."

Vetter knew that despite the gently self-deprecating tone of her words she believed their import. The realization of the risk she was taking for him made him want to kiss her. He thought he shouldnít Ė he couldnít guarantee if he would be able to move beyond a kiss with her yet Ė but his need for her overwhelmed whatever sense of propriety he had and he brought his mouth to hers.

She responded to him with such natural instinct that she amazed him. He could do what he wanted with her and the realization paralyzed him even as it excited him. He kept pulling away from her after each kiss, only to place another one on her lips each time he tried to make himself leave. Finally he lay back with her on the sofa, taking her in his arms and holding her tightly against him.

"You know I want to give you everything," he whispered.

She nodded. "I know."

"Donít be so understanding of me, Kate. I donít deserve your understanding."

"Now youíre the one sounding like someone from a Tolstoy novel. Donít play Anna Karenina. You donít have the tits for it," she told him. When she detected fear of her anger in his eyes she added, "Itís a joke, Vetter, my way of saying that we actually arenít in the middle of a Tolstoy novel. Go where you can go with me: if it isnít far enough Iíll survive. Weíll both get there eventually."

He kissed her, lingering with his lips on her hair. "Glad youíre coming with me," he said.


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