The Art of Being a Kept Woman
by B. Cavis
The Art of Being a Kept Woman
by B. Cavis
This was the fourth time he had come to see her like this. She wondered if she'd become a kept woman without anyone telling her. Shouldn't there have been a memo...?
Alex was pretty sure this hadn't appeared anywhere in her detective job description.
Though come to think of it, there was always the possibility she'd missed it. Maybe right after the section on serving, upholding, and protecting whoever paid their taxes and supported the mayor's electoral campaign, there was a chapter or so dedicated to the expectation that when one's partner was running emotionally bankrupt, one gave them a loan and a cup of Zabars coffee.
If she could've done it silently and without alerting her squeaky bedsprings to the movement, Alex would have started giggling. She managed to refrain, and when the humor died down she focused herself back on the sounds of someone moving inside her apartment.
Thump. Thump. Those would be his shoes hitting the floor. Shuffle. And that would be him realizing that he'd missed the mat and using his right foot to shove them in its general direction. Considerate bastard.
Clink. He had reattached the security chain. She'd had it on when she'd come to bed, not that it ever hindered him. It didn't really shock her all that much-- she could get into them too. It was just something you learned from looking at crime scenes for so many years; ever place had an entrance just as it had an exit, and if you knew what you were doing, no one should be able to see either one had been used.
She'd left the deadbolt unlocked anyhow. She wondered if that was too much of a tell.
He shook his trench coat in the hallway, dispelling the rain drops from the outside, and hung it up on the hook she reserved for him. It wasn't quite the same as giving him a drawer, or a key, but at least it was something. When dealing with Mr. Rain Man Jr, she'd learned that things were best taken in baby steps.
The hum of her alarm clock suddenly seemed very loud in her ears, making it harder to hear the rustle of his clothing as he slowly made his way to her room on the balls of his feet.
She wondered if this was how Psyche had felt, then realized that no, it hadn't been, because Psyche actually got to have sex with her Sex God.
D'oh. Note to Self: work on that.
Nothing in the academy had prepared her for this-- not a single one of her professors had told her this might happen to her; that she'd become the touchstone of a genius.
God she sounded like the back of a dime store romance. This wasn't supposed to happen until she got a billion cats and a rocking chair, and started videotaping shows off the Lifetime network.
Technically, the logical voice inside her head preached as she let out a covert sigh into her pillow, she had no way of knowing the man moving around her most private places (at least the ones not covered by her undershirt and the down quilt) was the aforementioned genius. Contrary to popular belief, she had not yet ascended to a higher plain of anything, and was therefore not privy to the secrets of the universe. Though, she had an idea that if she could just get it drunk enough...
Note to Self: Pick up tequila.
She should be more on her guard-- she'd lived in this city long enough to know that being inside one's apartment did not equal safety, protection, or any of those other nice words that people liked to convince themselves home had a firm monopoly on. Nope. Alex Eames was never truly safe, on or off duty. A decidedly cheery thought.
Her hand remained where it was, though, not reaching for the gun underneath the corner of her mattress (safer than under her pillow, but still easily attainable in case something creepy and freaky jumped out from the shadows and went BOO really loudly). She knew it was him, logic be damned. There was only one man who came to her apartment at two in the morning and bothered to take his shoes off before daring to enter her bedroom.
She soothed her logical mind with the fact that Freud had remained diligently silent on the foot of her bed, though she could feel his tail beating happily against her legs. After all, who better to judge character than her faithful golden I-like-everyone-who-smells-good-ooh-bunny retriever? God help her if he ever held her life in his cute little fluffy paws. She loved him dearly, but the brightest crayon in the box he was not.
Unlike the man now not so stealthily creeping towards her. One of these days she was going to let him know just how aware of his little sneaking in thing she was, shock the ever loving shit out of him-- pop up to say hello.
Hm... She wondered how tonight was looking on that front.
"Move over buddy," he whispered, and Freud gave a disgruntled groan before pilling off the bed and going into the kitchen to dig into her trash. Alex wondered idly if he'd taken it up before coming into see her, like he did every time. Probably. Not much escaped him, even when he was in this state.
The bed sunk on the other side and she heard the dull leather slap of him removing his belt. The air by her head rustled and she cracked one eye to see his tie lying discarded over the armchair in the corner. How... domestic.
"Alex?" She played dead. "You awake?" No, she thought to herself, I'm in Tahiti. Don't bother me. Leave a message after the beep.
Apparently convinced of her dead to the world-ness, he pushed himself further onto the bed, swinging his feet up to rest besides her. She peered down to watch as his larger body dwarfed her feet, legs, and length. Bobby was at least a foot taller than she was and about a hundred or so pounds heavier. She made a mental note never to get into a round of fisticuffs with him.
Closing her eyes again (and berating herself for actually using the word "fisticuffs" in a sentence) Alex forced herself to relax as Bobby settled himself beside her, his left hand cupping her hip. His deep breath poured over the back of her neck, hitting several very delicate places all at once and making her want to turn around and greet him with "Oh, hello. Would you mind having passionate monkey sex with me now?"
She had a feeling that would get results. Celibacy took a lot out of a girl, after all.
He propped himself up over her for the briefest of seconds, pressing a soft kiss to her cheek.
Mm, Bobby kisses. She definitely had to work on that sex thing if he was this spine tingling, body meltin' good with just a peck on the cheek. She'd probably have a heart attack half way through him taking her jeans down with his teeth.
Had she said that out loud?
"Thank you, Allie," he whispered. Okay, still safe. Alex kept still and silent, but the corners of her lips turned up in the barest hintings of a smile almost against her will. "M'sorry about the mud on your floor."
You'll make it up to me in warm body smell. Forgive me if I forget to swallow.
It occurred to her she very much wanted to smell him, and that he very much wanted a security blanket tonight. So, using all the stealth and cunning she had acquired from years of faking sleep when he parents looked in on her while she had the boy hiding under her bed, Alex stirred gently, her brow furrowing. He froze, and she turned towards him, tangling herself around him and breathing deep. Mmmmmmmmm, Bobby smell...
He exhaled shakily. "Well, that was sort of ominous..." His hands came up to tangle in her hair anyway. Obviously not that ominous.
He didn't say anything else for a while, and she listened to his breathing even out below the percussion of the splattering raindrops on her windows. It occurred to her that this was one of the most comfortable places in the world; curled up in a warm bed, situated inside a warm apartment, and wrapped up in the arms of a very warm Bobby Goren. She should market this feeling-- she'd never have to work a day in her life again.
Bobby's entire body was shaking subtly underneath her hands. Something had really spooked him this time; something had offset him about the case they'd just finished up. She didn't worry too much about it. He'd tell her eventually. Or he'd just lie here with her until morning, which wasn't a bad idea either, actually. She found herself hoping he'd choose that second one.
"Bad day, Eames... Very bad day..." Damn it.
He was right, though. It had been one of those ugly cases that made her wish she'd become a ballerina when she'd had the chance. It was always ugly when it involved children. Those innocents of their work who were struck down and manipulated so easily because they could do little if anything to stop it.
"He was so young, Allie. He just wanted to be a kid."
If he had ever called her "Allie" anywhere outside of these little midnight trysts, she was going to have to kill him. She sincerely hoped it didn't come to that. Though she had to admit, it didn't sound half bad when he said it. Almost manageable.
"I couldn't... That rat bastard." She tightened herself around him more firmly, nuzzling the hollow around his throat. The harsh words died as his hands started stroking her scalp. "He didn't deserve his son's loyalty. Didn't..."
Alex Eames, emotional bandage of the masses. She just hoped she never had to help Deakins or Carver out like this. She didn't care half as much for their smells as she did Bobby's.
Once, at the beginning of this whole I'll-sneak-into-your-apartment- and-hug-you thing, she'd wondered why he had chosen her to help him with his burden. He was a brilliant man, a charismatic, kind, loving human being. Who in their right minds wouldn't prostrate themselves before him and beg to be a part of his life? To be allowed to breathe him in on a daily basis? Were they all fools? Or did he just not trust them enough?
Eventually, after that whole Elizabeth/Nicole/Skanky-Hannibal-Lecter- Wannabee-Bitch fiasco, she'd come to realize, that no, he didn't have anyone else. His girlfriend was now an ex. His mother was in an insane asylum. And his father was apparently either dead or effectively so. Bobby had no one to turn to except the woman who's apartment he'd somehow manage to get into every time he needed her (which was quite a feat considering she lost her keys on a regular basis and had to keep using her neighbor's help to get in), the woman he spent every day with in a continuous swim against the current.
Still. She got to breath him in. She may have been his only familiar choice, but he chose to come to her, to seek her out for help. He trusted her enough to let her have his mind when it was more vulnerable, to take care of his soul when he needed it the most. Who was she to turn him away?
And who else could really help him? With all the macho I-could-so- take-you-on-and-out-wit-you-while-half-awake-and-on-anti-depressants-ness that he eluded, it was easy for some to forget that he hadn't started walking on water quite yet. She did him the courtesy, the same one she'd extended to him from day one, of not mistaking him for a god. That did him good too-- kept him grounded, in her opinion.
She supposed she was the natural choice, then. The only one who truly saw him as a human being, not a brain with legs. Who better than to take care of him when said brain was not functioning properly? The others would just consider it some little mood he was in and leave him to figure it out with a slap on the back and a "good job, Goren."
He seemed to recognize her objectivity towards him, both during the work day and during their nights. They'd go out to lunch in the park, scarf down two or three hot dogs apiece, and start talking.
She'd started telling him about her past, about her father and what he had done. How she loved him, sure, but if anyone asked if she was the daughter of Detective Eames, she said no. She wasn't the daughter of a detective, Alex had insisted as she licked her fingers clean one afternoon, she was the daughter of a man and a woman who had loved each other and her very much. Professions not withstanding. He'd seemed to understand.
Bobby's truths had not been so easily admitted to, but eventually he started spilling. He built up to the big shit, but at first, he'd taken to telling her the little things about himself, the human things; the ones that if he had told anyone else about would have construed as weaknesses. Flaws.
How anyone could see this man and all his little quirks as anything but beautiful was beyond her, but she wasn't planning on enlightening them anytime soon. There was always the off chance that Deakins or Carver would open their eyes one day, see what a perfect specimen he was and how tight his little Armani clad ass was, and try to seduce him. She had plenty of competition in that category already, if half of the scribble on the girls' bathroom wall was true.
She always kept what he told her in the strictest of confidence, of course. It was his life, not hers, and if he wanted to make others privy to it, that was his choice to make.
Not to mention she felt really important and all warm and fuzzy inside to have been let in on such vital, special information. Made her want to giggle. And Eames NEVER giggled.
Not that it was all super important, either. For example, Bobby had told her that he was allergic to cashews, was a major X-Files junkie, and was convinced that his landlord had hired someone to kill him, but that the hit-man was so inept all he could do was subtly change around the furniture in his living room in the hope of disrupting the feng shui of Bobby's work environment and resulting in the bad chi necessary to be hit by a city bus.
He'd also told her about his mother. Hinted at his father. And how once ever two months, whenever he would reach a point in his mental playground that scared even him, he would go to a local psychiatric hospital where one of his college buddies worked, and have himself tested for the schizophrenia that was the terror of his life. She'd offered to go with him next time. He'd politely declined.
If anything, these little tidbits only endeared her to him more. He'd mentioned that red and blue were his favorite colors in one of their off hand conversations, and her subconscious had apparently taken it to heart. She'd actually spent almost half an hour debating her outfit the other day-- the blue made her stomach look non-existent, but the red made her boobs look huge...
She'd eventually decided on the green, which matched her eyes, and gotten into her car, only to realize what she'd done and throw her jacket on, where it remained for the rest of the day.
He was a big man, was her Bobby. Big and powerful and alpha and it made everything in her squirm pleasantly. He'd come into work that morning without shaving (what else was new?), and she'd watched his Adam's apple dance underneath the darkened sandpaper of his throat. In between taking gulps of hot coffee to hide the watering of her mouth, she'd wondered if he'd mind awfully if she climbed into his lap and licked at every inch of skin she could find, while purring like a kitten.
She'd found herself using her boy voice; that tone that every woman had in their arsenal where the hard consonants came out softer and float-y, and made every word that spilled from her lips sound like she'd just gotten punched in the stomach.
Embarrassed, she'd quickly made a "female problems" excuse and run to the bathroom to splash some cold water on her face and slap herself several times. I am not in high school, she told her reflection firmly, shoving a few sheets of folded over paper towels into her shirt to hide her hard nipples, and Bobby is not mine for the taking. I haven't even worn my push up bra yet!
When she'd come back, he'd looked at the flush that had quickly bloomed on her cheeks and the hand flicking the pencil had stilled as he asked if she was okay, the worry dripping from his face.
Alex wasn't accustomed to having someone looking at her like she was the only thing in the world. It wasn't an all together unpleasant feeling.
And in exchange for all that, all the protection, all the affection, all the frustrating wet dreams where she wondered if her body really bent that way... what were a few nights of playing Emotional Balm Alex (Now in Minti-fresh blue! Look for the cool funky new bottle with the special applicator wand and easy grip handle!) compared to that? Could she really deny him something as simple as a kind word, as exoneration from sins not his own, when he was willing to do whatever it took to make her happy both on and off duty?
He was breathing more evenly now, calmed by her presence she supposed. The hand stroking her head hadn't stopped moving yet, and she allowed herself to relax into the touch, feeling very much like a cat getting her ears scratched. Bobby's fingers were still shaking a little bit, but she had faith in her own abilities as a teddy bear. He'd calm down soon enough.
Bobby pulled at his jacket uncomfortably and picked at the quilt. "Are you wearing enough underneath this for me to share?"
Depends on what you want to share with me, Bobby-me-love. Maybe now was a good time to speak up. Well, she reasoned, he had asked. And it was a Thursday, which was a very good day for new realizations and the like. At least, that's what her horoscope always said before she realized that she was expecting to find her future next to Family Circus and an add for thirty slightly used mattresses, and inevitably threw the entire section away.
As a matter of fact, yes, she did have enough on underneath this blanket to share it with him, but she wasn't really feeling like having him find that out through trial and error. She hadn't kissed the man yet; he so did not get to see her unconscious in her briefs and sports bra at this point. That didn't come until after he had bought her a meal of something more substantial than hotdogs and had his face go wow as he saw her in her little black dress. A girl had to have her things in order, after all.
And Alex was confronted with that fact that Bobby's little nocturnal visits were going to have to change. That she had to do this.
And she had to do it carefully.
So gathering up her courage and pushing down her libido, Alex Eames made a little moaning noise into Bobby's shirt and gripped his jacket in her hands reflexively.
He let out a noise like she had just stabbed him. Okay, maybe a little bit more carefully.
Picking her head up from off his chest, she blinked at him in what she knew to be a convincing manner, and cocked her head to one side.
"Bobby?" He swallowed. "Whas'up?"
"Oh..." She looked around fuzzily. "This is my room, isn't it?"
"Uh, yes, Alex."
Poor baby looked like he was going to wet himself. She fixed a critical, if crusty eye on him. "And you're in my room."
"Yeah. Yeah, I am." He closed his eyes, almost as if waiting for her to clock him over the head with something and begin the slow and painful process of bludgeoning him to death.
Well, maybe later.
"Oh." She smiled and leaned up to press a kiss to his cheek. His eyes popped open and she smiled happily at him. "Okay then," she announced cheerfully, before pulling on his jacket gently. "Lose the clothes and get under here with me. You look cold."
Wow. She hadn't known Bobby's face could turn that color. He looked like she had just asked him to sacrifice Derek Jeter to her Pagan Love Goddess, while hopping on one foot and singing "I'm A Slave For You" in exchange for her tonguing his balls-- totally and 100% shocked and willing. It was quite similar to the look her very first boy friend had given her when she'd told him that if he stopped looking down her blouse, he might get to unhook her bra later on.
Huh. The things one remembers.
And as it had been with little Tommy Madin, Bobby jumped up and immediately began to comply, striping down to his boxers and undershirt. Pausing for a second to enjoy the show, Alex let her head roll back on her shoulders with a large smile. She lifted the covers up and patted the pillow in invitation.
"Come on, Bobby. C'mere and let me know what's the matter."
Looking just a little bit apprehensive about placing himself in her grasp, he slipped underneath the quilt and sheets with her, resting his head in the appropriated location. She pressed her cheek to his shoulder and wrapped her arms around his neck firmly. He hadn't blinked in a while and his eyes were still wide and gasping silently. She smiled into his skin.
"Al- Eames?" Oh no you don't buster. There is no way in hell you're going to try and be detached when I'm lying leg to leg with you.
"Bobby," She announced firmly, "it's all right."
He probably hadn't been expecting that. Her first hint was his jaw dropping open and his mouth gaping like yesterday's catch. She decided it wasn't a very good expression on him, and felt glad she didn't surprise her partner more often.
"Alex." He seemed to have found his voice of coherency. "It's not alright. Not at all. I snuck into your apartment. I climbed into bed with you. I..." He turned his face away from her, and she forcefully pulled it back.
"You obviously came here for something. What?"
That was the 64,000 dollar question, now wasn't it? His face had turned a lovely shade of ashen white. His ears were bright red.
"I... I wanted some company. I wanted... your company."
Honesty was good. "Any reason why?"
"The case. I..."
Feeling benevolent, she let him off the hook with a quick nod. "Oh. Okay. That's fine." His head jerked up again, and she pulled it back down for the third time. "Just sit still and try and get some sleep. It's not a big deal. Not angry. It's a good thing."
He folded himself down into the blankets so his head was back on the pillow. She draped herself over him in contentment and let out a deep sigh. "It is?" he asked, obviously confused.
Not an ounce of women sense, she tsked to herself. "Yes, Bobby. It's alright." His hands had tangled up in her hair again, and the stroking had started up. "It's totally fine. Wish you'd do it more often. Makes me feel like I'm helping." And with that, she closed her eyes firmly, slipped further into his embrace, and pressed a kiss to the center of his chest. "Sleep now. I'll give you coffee in the morning."
Thus spoke Alexandra. She grinned to herself and nuzzled further into his chest. One of those big fleshy hands came up to tangle in her split ends and stroke her scalp. A little pur escaped despite her best intentions.
"Enjoying your self?" The sly Bobby was peeking out from between the bullet proof walls as her mood remained calm and tranquil. She smiled up at him, her eyes still closed.
"Shut up and go to sleep."
By the time morning came around, he was gone. She hadn't really expected him to stay now that she thought about it. One night of "it's okay"-ing did not a whole lifetime of self imposed loathing and guilt erase.
That took at least two. Maybe next time she could wear that really cute lacy black thing her best girlfriend had talked her into getting...
Alex sighed and got up to dress. She stayed far away from her red and blue clothes, but ended up wearing her red v-neck anyway. It matches the pants, she told herself angrily.
They're black, pants, Xandra, honey. What doesn't match?
After making sure that Freud had enough food and water in case she had to do overtime, she kissed him goodbye and locked the door behind her.
The fates were conspiring; that was the only posible excuse. All the way to work, the only song any of the radio stations seemed to be playing was "I'm a Slave For You."