saga/title/fandom: Adagio chapter 22 (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 22

Gabriel Quinnís smile was stellar. It could electrify a room, send sparks shooting through the air like summer firecrackers. Kate thought it the most difficult thing to lose to Chelsea when Brie chose the younger woman over her. When she saw that smile beaming at her from the front porch of her house she found herself briefly unable to answer his knock. Once she recovered she drew her robe around herself and opened the door.

"I hope Iím not too early," he said.

" Ė Are we supposed to talk about Katie today?" she asked.

"I thought before you went into work we could have breakfast."

She stared at him, her half-closed eyes starting to widen. "You and me?"

"Of course, Kate. Get dressed so you wonít be late for the precinct."

"Why do you want to take me to breakfast?"

"Because youíre the mother of my daughter, and because weíre friends again. Reason enough, I think."

"Tell me where Katie is."

"I let her sleep over at a friendís house last night. Before you criticize me I know itís a bit of an indulgence on a school night but I rationalized it by telling myself itís part of her birthday celebration," he said.

She could not restrain from saying, "You always were good at rationalizations."

She thought the comment might draw resentment from him but all he did was laugh softly and say, "I deserved that. If you let me take you out you can tell me more things like it."

"Everything okay, baby?"

Vetter stood in the bedroom doorway. The robe he wore barely covered him: it was Brieís.

"Well, I guess this is what the police mean by working undercover," Brie remarked, blue eyes darkening. "Saturday night is off. Iíll take Katie to the concert."

"Donít be an ass about this," Katie said.

"I think you might be a bit of a corruptive influence on Katie at this stage in your life, Kathleen. Perhaps she shouldnít stay with you for a while," Brie said.

"Wait a minute." Vetter drew up beside Kate, glowered at the smaller man. "You have no right to punish Katie for my relationship with Kate. You have a beef about this you have it with me."

"Very well then. I donít want you around my daughter, Vetter. Iíve been suspicious of your fondness for her from the beginning, and itís about time I stated that to you," Brie said.

"You hate me, thatís fine, but donít ever say a sick thing like that about Sean again," Kate warned. "Heís ten times the man you are, and he obviously loves Katie more than you do."

Brie shook his head, smiled cynically. "I suppose I should have seen this coming. You had a thing with Byron and youíve needed a replacement ever since he died. I suppose Officer Fraser wasnít sufficiently muscular for you. Well, no problem with this one. Itís the lack of a brain that should concern you."

"Iíd kick your ass if you werenít Katieís father," Vetter threatened.

"Donít fall back on old world manners for Katieís sake, Vetter. You shouldnít try to suppress your nature. That can drive an animal insane," Brie replied.

Vetter started to grab the other man but Kate stilled his hand, saying, "Thatís what he wants, Sean, so Katie will hate you. Donít give it to him."

Vetter stood seething though he did as she requested.

"Sean and I are together now," she announced, the resolve in her voice echoing through the house. "Heís a good man, and a good friend to Katie. Whether you have the balls to admit it or not sheís lucky to have him in her life, and you damn well better get used to the idea because he isnít going anywhere. Maybe you can think about that the next time Katieís asleep down the hall while youíre screwing the bitch you left her mother for."

For a moment she thought Brie was going to lash out but all at once his fury died away, as if her words slaughtered it. "I brought you a birthday gift," he said, pulling out a piece of paper and slapping it in her hand. He ran down the stairs. He pulled his BMW away from the curb so fast that he almost hit a cyclist.

Kate studied the paper. As she read her eyes misted over, and she gripped the doorframe. Vetter asked her what the document said.

"Heís filed for divorce from Chelsea," she said. "The detectives must have finally gotten something on her. My god."

He scanned the divorce petition. "Youíve been waiting a long time for this," he said softly.

"Forever. And now that I finally have it I just donít give a damn."

"You donít?"

"No, Vetter, I donít." Kate smiled. "Isnít that wonderful?"

The big man hesitated as if to make sure he understood her, then smiled as well. "Yeah, baby, it is," he said.


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