South. All Characters portrayed here belong to Alliance. Please do
not print/copy/download or
send any part of this story to anyone else, other than for your personal enjoyment. Thank you.
Author's notes: Hi, it's me again, I'm ready to try my hand once more
at a good Ben and Meg story. Let me know what you think! This is a kind
of a sequal to the Unexpected Visit series but is not necesary to the
story line. It takes place before Matchmaker. Please read on and I
hope you enjoy it.
Please contact me at email@example.com
I welcome any comments about my story
A SURPRISING GAMBLE
Margaret Thatcher sighed and removed her glasses to rub the bridge of her nose wearily. She had been staring at reports all day and her eyes were beginning to glaze over from the strain and her head was starting to ache. She glanced at the clock on her wall and was surprised to find it was so late, already after seven. Turnbull would have already gone home, Fraser was probably out somewhere with Kowaski, as he almost always was when he wasn't working. A stab of unusual jealousy pierced her heart, the Mountie spent more time with that damn detective than he did at work.
She shook her head, she was being silly, but sometimes Fraser seemed so happy to see his partner and always eager to leave, as though being with her at the consulate was hard on him. They had kissed at Christmas, and Thatcher had told herself it was just the overwhelming surprise brought on by his gift to her, a homemade shawl. They had not spoken of that night since, though at times she caught Fraser watching her under those deliciously long lashes of his, and she immediately sent him a cool look in return. He had to understand that they could never be more than what they were, a superior officer and her subordinate, despite the face that Margaret's pulse quickened every time she
He always seemed so natural with Ray, why couldn't he be that way with her? again she shook her head, she was contradicting herself again. he wanted to be closer to Fraser, but she herself had set the guidelines that kept them apart and Fraser kept within those boundaries dutifully, damn him. Sometimes she wished he's walk into her office pull her from her chair and smother her with kisses, and to hell with duty. she often fantasized how it would be to be in his strong arms as he swiped her desk clear and took her right there in a primal lust that needed to be sated by them both. A knock sounded at her door and she jumped, startled to be caught daydreaming.
"Come in." she admitted curtly and Fraser open the door and walked inside. He was still in his Red Serge, which she found strange because he usually changed before going with Kowalski. Her cheeks reddened remembering what she had just been thinking about, those powerful arms and fantastic thighs that his uniform now covered respectively. "What is it, Fraser?" she demanded, harsher than she meant to, but he made her nervous.
"Forgive me for intruding." he offered politely. "But I noticed that your light was still on and wondered if I might be able to assist you with whatever you are doing."
"You are off duty, Constable." she pointed out, wondering why it was suddenly so warm in here. Fraser nodded.
"As are you, Sir." he reminded quietly. "I just thought you might get whatever you are working on done faster if you had some help."
"Eager to get rid of me, Fraser?" she shot stonily and regretted her words instantly at his blush and sudden fidgeting. He lowered his eyes.
"No, Sir." he relied. "I just thought you might like to get home before the storm hits." Her eyes widened.
"What storm?" she asked.
"The weather bureau has issued a very severe thunderstorm and flash flood warning, Sir." He explained calmly. Ah, that explained why he wasn't already out with the detective. "It has already started to rain heavily and I believe the storm will only get worse, so I wanted to make sure you got home safely." Thatcher was touched by his concern. She nodded and dropped the file and her glasses on the desk.
"Thank you, Fraser." she allowed softly as she rose from her chair. "Perhaps I should head home." Fraser nodded and retrieved her coat for her. She switched off the light in her office and closed the door, then allowed Fraser to escort her to the front door of the Consulate.
"Would you like me call a cab, Sir?" he suggested. "It might be safer than driving yourself." She shook her head wryly.
"You've ridden in the cabs in this city, Fraser." she reminded with a small smile. "I'll take my chances with the storm." Fraser nodded.
"Understood." he replied as he opened the door, only to be blasted by a gale force wind and spraying rain. They stepped back and he managed to shut the door, they were both drenched from those few seconds.
"Guess I won't take my chances." she muttered, pushing her plastered hair away from her forehead. Fraser ran to retrieve towels and handed them to her.
"I hadn't realized it had already gotten so dangerous." he remarked, the consulate was well insulated and he had not heard the storm outside. "I apologize for not coming for you earlier." Thatcher dismissed his words with a wave of her hand as she attempted to dry her hair. she hadn't even fastened her coat, so even as Fraser slipped it from her arms, she noticed the front of her blouse was now plastered to her as well, revealing the light outline of the lacy bra she wore underneath. Fraser had also noticed her plight and in a moment he returned with one of his long sleeve red flannel shirts.
"Thank you, Fraser." she offered heading toward the bathroom to change. She glanced back at him and indicated his own dripping uniform. "You'd better change as well."
"Yes, Sir." he agreed and waited until she closed the door of the bathroom before heading back to his office.
Thunder boomed overhead, making Thatcher jump as she peeled her sodden clothes from her and hung them to dry. She pulled on Fraser's shirt, expecting it to be rough, but it was actually velvet soft from many washings and she detected Fraser's own unique scent on it. She couldn't help bringing it closer to her face and inhaling deeply, closing her eyes momentarily. shaking herself, she combed her hair away from her face, thankful that she had gotten it cut short and so it wasn't as difficult to manage. Her mascara was running and she was starting to look like a raccoon, so she quickly scrubbed her face clean, and applied a touch of powder and lipstick from her purse.
Fraser's shirt fell well past her knees, and she was having difficulty picking up things, because the sleeves were so long on her. Finally she was ready to face the Mountie, no longer feeling like a drowned rat, though she did feel slightly silly in his shirt. For some reason she expected Fraser to change into his spare uniform, but when she emerged, he was leaned against the far window in tight blue jeans and a light blue flannel shirt, Diefenbaker was cowering under the desk.
"What's wrong with him?" she asked him of the wolf. Fraser sighed, his arms had been folded across his chest, but when he noticed her he stood more erectly.
"He doesn't like storms, much." supplied Fraser simply, shooting Diefenbaker a scolding look. He glanced back at her, trying not to think how good she looked in his shirt. "Red suits you." She stared at him and felt her cheeks grow warm. Was he teasing her? He hadn't done that before.
"Yes, well. thank you." she stammered almost shyly. She walked over and stood beside him to glance out at the storm, her bare feet cold on the hard wood floors. "It does look bad out there."
"Ray called and said they were closing down some of the roads already and that we might need to prepare for a power outage." He stated, catching the look of anxiety that flashed across her beautiful face. Was she afraid of the dark, or simply worried about being here with him alone in such circumstances. He reached down and began to roll up the sleeves of the shirt she wore, until her hands once again became visible. She smiled up at him gratefully, saw something in his eyes that spoke of deep, uncharted feelings and looked away.
"I believe there are some candles in the kitchen, Fraser." she indicated, her voice giving nothing away. "Perhaps you should retrieve them and we'll settle in my office." Fraser nodded and went to do as he was told. Thatcher almost sagged against the window in relief. How could one man have such control over her emotions? When she had emerged from the bathroom and saw him leaning against the window she immediately thought she had dreamed him off the book cover of Lumberjack weekly. He looked so virile, so masculine and his muscles seemed to almost strain against the thin material of denim and flannel that covered them. His shirt was open slightly at the neck and she caught a glimpse of the smooth chest underneath, surprised that he wore no T-shirt underneath as he usually did. and those eyes, isn't there a law against having eyes that blue and sparkling, like the clearest, coldest part of the deep Atlantic?
"Sir?" that soft voice that was so much Fraser's filtered through her thoughts and she turned toward him, once again embarrassed to be caught fantasizing about him. He held a held a dozen candles, his kerosene lamp and a box of matches.
"Yes, Fraser?" she responded, determined not to show her nervousness.
"Did you wish to go to your office or..."
"Yes, that's fine." she assured heading in that direction, with Fraser and Diefenbaker following. She glanced down at the wolf and sighed, opening the door to allow him inside.
"I can have him leave if you prefer." offered Fraser, sensing her aggravation with the animal. She shook her head and switched on her light.
"No." she returned. "Just don't let him chew on anything." Diefenbaker wined at her in protest, how dare she think he'd do such a thing, he was a wolf after all, not some trained house dog. She ignored him, but shot him a warning look when he tried to climb up on her expensive leather couch. He sighed and settled beside it. Fraser left the candles and lamp on her desk, placing the matches close to them. Thatcher curled up on the sofa, drawing her feet up under her and silently wished now she had bought a television for her office.
"Would you like something to drink or eat, Sir?" he offered, he seemed uncertain to wander far from the door.
"Yes, Fraser." she decided. "Get us some drinks and snacks, since we'll be here a while. My purse is on the desk." Fraser nodded, ignored her offer for money, and went out. He returned a few minutes later with drinks and snacks from the vending machine and a blanket from his cot. He offered it to her and she smiled at his thoughtfulness, spreading it over her. He also brought with him a game of cards.
"Would you care to play a game?" he offered politely as the lights flickered and another loud crash sounded above them.
"Sounds like the roof is going to come off." she joked looking skyward. "Perhaps you should light the candles, Fraser." He shook his head and instead set his lantern and the matches next to the sofa, as he settled next to her, shuffling the cards.
"We don't know how long the lights will be out if they go," he explained. "It's better to wait." She nodded, he was right of course. "What would you like to play?" he asked quietly, as the lights flickered again and he once more caught a glimpse of Thatcher's anxiety.
"I..I don't know, what do you know how to play?" she returned.
"Well, Ray Vecchio taught me how to play poker." he offered. "Other than old maid it's really the only one I know well." Thatcher smiled, she wasn't much of a card player herself, but she did know the basic rules of poker.
"Poker it is then," she paused. "We don't have anything to play for though. What did you and Vecchio use as stakes?" Fraser blushed and stared down at the cards in his hands.
"Cookies. ." he muttered "With my new Ray we play for air." She smiled at his term, thinking of Ray Kowalski as a puppy Fraser had purchased at the store.
"Air?" she laughed. "Well, that's interesting." She spied a couple of bags of peanuts that he had brought with the snacks, and grabbed them up, handing him a bag. "These will do." she remarked, pulling her legs into a comfortable sitting position and smoothing out the blanket between them. Fraser settled back further, so they would have room to put the cards, then retrieved a small dish off her desk in which to place the anti. He dealt the cards and the game began.
In the fourth hand, Thatcher was winning, the lights went out and a small scream escaped her lips. She felt Fraser's hand on her knee reassuringly.
"It's okay." he promised, pulling his hand away and reaching down for the lantern. soon the room was engulfed in the soft yellow glow, but it wasn't enough light for Thatcher and she requested he light the candles as well. She was surprised when Fraser hesitated over her demand, but then he rose and did as she requested. She watched him quietly and was surprised to see that his hands were shaking as they held the match to the individual wicks.
"Fraser?" she questioned gently and he dropped the match. He bent and quickly retrieved it, before it caught the rug on fire, and blew it out just before it singed his fingers. She threw the blanket back, careful of their playing pile, and rose to walk over to him. she put a hand on his arm and felt him tense at her touch. "Are you alright?"
"Of course." he replied quietly, but there was something in his voice that caused her to not believe him. She turned him to face her and the shadowed light caught his closed and almost pained expression.
"What is it, Benton?" she insisted shocking herself when her hand seemed to rise of it's own volition to rest against his cheek. She saw the pulse jump close to his jaw and his lips thinned.
"Nothing." he lied. "I...I'm just not much one for candles." she tilted her head curiously. What could have someone possibly have against candles? Perhaps it was the fire? No, she decided, she'd watched him run into a burning building to save a woman from a fiery death, if fire was his fear he wouldn't have done that.
"Would you like to talk about it?" she offered and he shook his head, averting his eyes. She nodded and leaned almost across him to blow out the candles behind them. He stared down at her.
"I..I thought you wanted..." he stammered confused and she shrugged, offering him a small smile, as she blew out the rest.
"The lantern will be fine." she replied moving away to extinguish the last candle, further over on the desk. When she turned back, Fraser was watching her intently. "It's okay, Fraser." she told him, returning to her position on the sofa and settling back under the blanket, and it was okay, she wasn't afraid of the dark with him here. He reached up to caress his right brow as she patted his seat. "I'm winning, com'on and let me finish you off." He smiled at her then and she was glad for her small sacrifice. He resumed his seat and picked up his cards, but not before he caught her hand and held it to his lips.
"Thank you." he whispered, kissing the back of her hand. If Thatcher hadn't been trained to control herself, she would have melted against him and begged him to take her right then, but she was a Mountie and schooled in complete control. She nodded curtly and pulled her hand away from the warmth of his.
Hopefully this storm will blow over soon." She commented, uncertain if she was referring to the weather outside or the heated storm that seemed to be brewing between her and Fraser. Fraser however seemed oblivious to any sparks that might be flying between them, other than the usual tension that seemed to surround them.
Another crack of thunder shattered the silence and Thatcher's cards flew out of hand in fright. She chided herself for being so nervous, but darn it she didn't like storms! She also noticed the room was starting to grow dimmer and she glanced at Fraser who was inspecting his lamp.
"I just need to get more kerosene." He told her rising to his feet with the lamp in his hand. "I'll be right back." Thatcher shot to here feet next to him.
"I'll go with you." She informed, trying to sound calm.
"I'll only be a minute..." Fraser protested, but Thatcher was already moving closer to him, as lightening lit up the room momentarily.
"Where the lamp goes, I go, Fraser." She stated firmly and Fraser hid his smile.
"As you wish." He relented as he told Diefenbaker to stay and they headed out to his office. Fraser could usually see quite well in the dark, and with the dimming light he still found his room easily. Just as he opened the door however, the lamp died and Thatcher screamed and reached for the first available object, Fraser.
"Fraser?" she whispered into the darkness, "What happened?"
"The lamp went out." He replied simply, making no move to step away from her. "I have to get the kerosene, could you let go for a moment?" Thatcher released him hastily and had to fight not to grab onto him again as she felt him move away. She heard him moving around inside, seeming at ease with the darkness that she herself could never feel. She felt her way inside the room and strained to see Fraser, but it was pitch inside the tiny office. Something moved against her leg and she screamed, pitching forward into something hard then felt herself falling. She heard a low grunt from the object below her and she realized it was Fraser.
"I'm sorry." She offered, reveling in the feel of his arms that had instinctually wrapped around her to keep her from injury. "I..something touched my leg."
"Diefenbaker." Muttered Fraser, as he tried to ascertain the best way out of his current predicament. Thatcher's body was covering his and any movement would probably lightly injure him on her part. He took a deep breath. "Keep your arms around me and I am going to sit up."
"Oh, I..." she had started to scramble off him when her knee came in contact with something warm and hard. She heard Fraser's swallowed yelp and drew still, glad for once that it was dark in here and he couldn't see her embarrassment. Fraser's own face was flaming.
"Just lie still a moment." He requested, getting his breath back. He didn't want to take the risk of having her slide off him sideways because he didn't know how far on the cot they were, so once again he wrapped his arms around her, and hauled her forward, so she straddled him and he was no longer any danger from her knees. However this was a much more intimate position and he knew he had to get them separated quickly to avoid any further embarrassment. Thatcher sat up, slowly, pulling Fraser with her, then Fraser stood and lifted them both from the bed, letting her slowly slide to her feet.
"Thank you." She whispered, still holding on to him.
"Certainly." He replied just as quietly. They stood there for a long moment, until another clap of thunder startled them apart. "The kerosene, I dropped it." She felt him kneel down, beside her and start feeling around on the floor for the small canister. She had to force her hands to her sides, god she wanted to reach out and grab his hair and say, Oh Fraser, while you're down there... Her face flamed again and her instinct to run took over, only she had barely gotten a step when she stumbled over the kneeling Mountie. He was at her side in an instant, asking if she was all right. Thatcher pushed him away angrily, what a fool she was being.
"I'm fine." She stated firmly as she reached out and felt what might have been the corner of the desk, and pulled herself up. A sharp pain shot through her right leg and she cried out.
"You're hurt." Fraser accused concerned.
"It's nothing, Fraser." She insisted, she couldn't handle him touching her right now, she was too close to giving into her feelings.
"Careful," he warned as she staggered on the good leg. He knelt beside her and she couldn't help but brace herself on his shoulders. "Is it your ankle?" he asked her, carefully wrapping his fingers around her right calf. Thatcher stiffened at his touch, but he mistook her tension for a sign of pain. His fingers slid down her leg to just above her ankle, while his other hand cupped her foot; now she was almost completely dependent on him for her balance.
"I'm sure it's..OW!" She bit her lip as he turned her ankle just enough to cause her pain. He apologized as his fingers slid expertly over the area, checking for swelling. Finally, he carefully stood and lifted her into his arms. "Fraser!" she declared indignantly as he set her on the top of his desk.
"It seems like you've given it a bad wrench." He told her, locating the kerosene canister and replacing the empty one from the lamp. He pulled a match from his shirt pocket and lit it, casting a soft glow about them once more. Once again he knelt before her, to examine her ankle in the light, and she couldn't help but think he could easily be fitting her for Cinderella's slipper. He held her foot as delicately as one might handle rare crystal and she resisted the urge to thank him for being so gentle with her.
"It will probably be fine by morning." She told him, as he rose to face her. She realized her position on the desk would be perfect to...there she goes again with her damned fantasies! She blushed and averted her eyes.
"Are you all right?" he asked her when she looked away.
"I just feel so stupid!" she cursed herself. "I can't believe I tripped over you, twice!" Fraser fought back a smile.
"Well, actually the first time was more of a joint effort." He commented and she stared at him, once more he seemed to be teasing her. She voiced her question.
"Constable, are you making fun of me?" His look was one of instant horror.
"Oh no, Sir!" he assured quickly. "I would never presume to do such a thing." She watched him for a second longer than needed, then lowered her eyes again.
"Too bad." She muttered under breath.
"Pardon?" he asked her.
"Nothing." She dismissed quickly. "So now what shall we do?"
"I'll take you back to your office." He suggested. "You'll be more comfortable there." She bit her lip, thinking of her dark, lonely office.
"I think we should stick together." She insisted suddenly. "Just in case." Fraser nodded and handed the lamp to her.
"As you wish." He replied, lifting her into his arms once again and heading back toward her office, Diefenbaker thankfully remained out from underfoot. He deposited Thatcher on the sofa, making sure she was comfortable, then retrieving a candle he promised to return in a moment or two. Thatcher sat quietly, glad to have the light back, but nervous about being alone, even for a moment, but Fraser arrived quickly and dropped his bedroll and two pillows on the floor, by the window. He grabbed one of the pillows and offered it to her.
"Thank you." She accepted placing it behind her. Fraser cleared up the peanuts and cards and shook the blanket firmly before settling it over her again, then retreated to his corner of the room. Thatcher lay back on sofa, her hands cushioning her cheek and watched him as he unrolled the bag. He seemed so far away, what if she needed him in the night. Fraser turned and caught her staring at him.
"Sir?" he questioned.
"Why don't you move over here, Benton." She suggested off hand. "In case I need you for something later." Like ravishing your body you hunk of man you! She smiled at her thought and watched Fraser move the bag over closer to the sofa. He unrolled it and glanced up at her.
"Do you need anything right now?" he inquired politely. You! She screamed silently. I need you to climb up here next to me and make mad passionate love to me.
"No." she replied. "I'm fine." He nodded and lay back on the bedroll. "Won't you be cold?"
"No." he replied, reaching to pull the lantern closer to him so he could extinguish it once she fell asleep. "How is your ankle?"
"Throbbing," she admitted. "But it will be okay." They lay in silence for awhile, only the occasional vibrating clap of thunder or streak of lightening breaking the monotony. She realized Fraser was waiting to put out the lamp and she gave hip permission to do so, it wouldn't be as bad knowing he was there next to her. A moment later the room was in darkness once again and she heard him settle back onto his bed.
"Good night, Meg." He whispered softly, making her smile.
"Good night." She returned quietly and closed her eyes.
Thatcher was moaning
in her sleep and it had awoken Fraser. He sat up reached instinctually
for her. She was thrashing about in some horrible nightmare and crying
out for him. He shook her gently, then more firmly when she didn't respond.
Her eyes fluttered open and she stared upwards, her eyes finally adjusting
to the darkness and she was able to make out the shadow of his face.
"Are you al right?" he asked her gently. "You were having a nightmare." She was, funny, she couldn't even remember it now, perhaps it was her proximity to Fraser that caused her to forget, he had that effect on her sometimes.
"I..Yes." she lied, though it wasn't really a lie, for he had concurred that she had been having one. "I..I need you to hold me for just a minute, Fraser." Fraser was beside her on the sofa instantly and pulling her into his embrace. She sighed and rested her cheek against his chest, hearing the strong beating of his heart. She could die happily now, she thought, as long as he would continue to hold her.
"Is there anything else you need?" he offered softly, his fingers soothingly entwined in her hair. Well, she thought, if that wasn't a loaded question. Silently, she wondered how compliant he would be to her needs. She was ashamed instantly, that wasn't how she wanted Fraser, it had to be his choice. Still, she was curious.
"What do you have to offer?" she teased and felt him tense beneath her, but then she heard his soft chuckle.
"Whatever I have that you may want." He told her honestly. She raised her head and stared at him, wishing she could see him better, see the expression in his eyes and understand what he was really saying.
"Those jeans of yours look pretty warm." She suggested coyly, considering she herself only wore a shirt.
"I'll give them to you if you like." He offered quietly. "Though they may be a bit big." She laughed, surprised that he actually offered to give her his jeans.
"Would you really give me your jeans?" she asked shocked when his hand went to the button just below is waist without hesitation. Her hand stopped his. "I was only kidding, Fraser."
"Understood." He acknowledged and this time she knew he had been teasing her. Her hand still covered his at the waistband of his jeans and she was tempted to allow it to travel down further, just to see what he would do.
"Fraser?" she began.
"Yes?" he questioned, finally moving his hand out from under hers, but not seeming to care that hers remained.
"I really love my shawl." She commented out of the blue and she could almost feel him staring at her puzzled. Where had that come from, she thought?
"I'm glad." He replied after a moment. He shifted and she felt him pulling away from her. "You should probably try to get some sleep." She allowed her hand to drop as he started to rise and felt him jump in surprise.
"I'm not tired." She informed quietly, felling him settle back against her, for lack of what else he knew to do. Her hand caressed his thigh and she could feel the muscles flexing underneath, she suspected he might be ready to run right about now, but she had started this it was up to her to finish it, not like the last time he had been in her apartment and she feigned sleep while she tried to seduce him. This time he would understand she was awake and fully aware of what she was doing, it would be up to him to stop it.
"I...I...Sir?" he questioned, a trace of fear in his voice, and she suspected he might be wearing that squirrel look Francesca Vecchio had mentioned a time or two.
"Am I making you uncomfortable, Fraser?" she demanded, daring him to answer her. She heard him swallow, as her fingers drifted along the waistband of his jeans to free the tail of his shirt.
"I...I...yes." He admitted finally.
"Would you like me to stop then?" she asked, knowing he wouldn't lie to her.
"No." his reply was so quiet she had to strain to hear him, despite their proximity, and she smiled.
"Would you like me to continue?"
"I...w..whatever you wish, Meg." He returned slightly breathless, as her hand made it inside his shirt and she touched her fingers to the smooth skin of his stomach.
"What do you want, Ben?" she whispered, close to his ear, then touched her lips to the hollow just below it. At first he didn't answer her, and she suspected he was debating the ramifications of his what he wanted and what was his duty. Finally he answered her.
"You." He stated quietly. He wanted her, that was all, just her and there was no better way to say it. She leaned forward so she was laying across his lap and found his lips. His sudden intake of breath revealed that he hadn't expected the kiss, perhaps he thought she would reprimand him or even slap him for his admission, but soon he opened his mouth to her and kissed her back. His arms encircled her, pulling her closer to him and she sighed contented. It was the sweetest, gentlest kiss she had ever received and she basked in the warmth he offered her. Her fingers found their way up to bury themselves in his thick dark hair, as she eagerly invited his tongue to taste hers.
The kiss became more passionate and soon they were both breathless. She pulled away for a moment, the need for air becoming greater than the feel of his lips on hers, if only for a moment.
"Meg, I..." he started and she could hear the confusion in his voice. All this time she had been giving him mixed signals and she wasn't surprised that he was suddenly wary again. She put a finger to his lips and kissed his cheek.
"Light the lamp." She requested huskily. She wanted to see him, drown in his eyes and explore every inch of him with her complete vision. He moved from her, shakily she noticed, and knelt to light the lamp. The moment the soft glow filled the room, and she saw him kneeling on his bedroll with his shirt half untucked and his hair mussed from her hands, she instinctually dropped down beside him, careful of her ankle. She wrapped her arms around him from behind, snuggling into the warmth of his back and felt the deep slowing breaths she suspected was his self calming technique. She released him long enough so that he could turn around and sit more comfortably on the bedroll, then she joined him. God he was beautiful, but she knew it wasn't just his looks that attracted her to him, though, it was the kind of person he was, so innocent and trusting and kind.
"What...what now?" he asked her, his arms resting on his raised knees passively. She smiled.
"What would you like to do?" she asked him. When he didn't reply she spied the deck of cards on her desk. She indicate them and he quickly retrieved the deck. "We could play some more poker." She suggested, again seeing the confusion in his eyes.
"Er..okay." he agreed quietly. "If that's what that's what you wish." He rose to retrieve the peanuts, but she called him back.
"We'll play for different stakes this time." She informed, as he settled back beside her.
"Air?' he inquired and she shook her head. "We can't play for money." He insisted morally.
"Have you ever heard of strip poker, Fraser?" she questioned calmly dealing out the cards. He had heard Ray mention it, but was unsure of the rules.
"I don't believe I understand it very well." He commented. Thatcher smiled.
"It's really very simple." She told him. "We play for articles of clothing. When I win a hand, you have to remove something you are wearing. When you win I remove something."
"Won't you get cold?' he asked her politely and she grinned.
"Only if I loose Constable." She remarked watching his face flush. "Are you up to it?"
"I...I don't think we should be playing something like that." He declined, his high sense of duty clicking in. "You're my superior officer and I..."
"Not for tonight I'm not." She returned frowning, irked that he had mentioned it, but then she was the one who was constantly reminding him of the fact. "Now, shall we play or not?" Fraser swallowed his doubts and nodded. She smiled and dealt the cards, praying she had a good hand, considering she was only wearing the one shirt. She knew she was playing with fire, and she only had to loose one maybe two hands before she would be completely naked, but she was secretly counting on Fraser's high sense of chivalry to save her, he would most likely let her win every hand, as he had earlier.
Sure enough she won the first three hands and Fraser removed his shirt, shoes and socks, but now it was more tense. The score was more or less even now, with them having only two articles of clothing each, and she wondered if his chivalry would extend to the last, but when she lost the following hand she knew the jig was up. He had allowed them to become even, to be fair, but now it was real and he would play to the best of his ability the remaining hand. She reached up under the long shirt and pulled off her panties, since the shirt more than covered her, as Fraser looked down at the cards he as shuffling. She tossed them toward his pile of clothes and waited anxiously to be dealt the next hand.
Technically, she was sure he wore boxers under his jeans, so he still had two pieces of clothing left, but he promised they would both go, should he lose this hand. He needn't have worried, Thatcher wound up with only a pair against Fraser's full house. She dropped the cards and cast him a speculative gaze, well she had started it, time to finish. She was a Mountie after all and she would have to keep her word. Her fingers moved to the buttons of the shirt, but before she had more than two undone, Fraser had moved quickly across their playing field and had stopped her hands with his own.
"Don't." he whispered. "I..I don't want you to..to be uncomfortable." She smiled, secretly glad that the gentleman inside him won out over all else. She threaded her fingers through his and pulled them to the front of her shirt.
"Then you do it." She encouraged softly. "It's you're shirt and you did win." He shook his head. "Don't you want to, Ben?" He lowered his eyes. More than anything, he thought silently, his restraint was already surpassing it's normal limit, but he afraid, what if she turned him away again? If they made love he couldn't handle her treating him like just another subordinate.
"I...I..." he couldn't tell her, couldn't voice the words that formed in his mind.
"It will change things." She stated quietly, as though guessing his dilemma. "We wouldn't be just a superior and her subordinate, except while on duty of course." Fraser nodded. "But off duty we'd be...more."
He chanced a glance at her and she saw the hope laced with fear in his eyes. "I don't want you to do this because you feel you have to, but because you want it as much as I do." Fraser watched her quietly for a moment and for a second she thought he decided to take the out she offered him, but then he was leaning forward and pressing his lips to hers.
"I want to be with you, Meg." He whispered against her mouth and she felt a surge of happiness chorus through her. She accepted his lips eagerly, delighted in the feel of him against her. "It's all I've ever wanted from the moment we met and you threatened to fire me." She smiled and allowed him to push her back onto the bedroll, as he stretched out beside her. "I've dreamed of it since that moment on the train." He kissed her throat, her temple, her cheeks, nose and eyelids. She sighed in contentment at his words, how she had longed to hear those words.
"Make love to me, Ben." She urged pressing against him and he did, slowly and deliberately, so that she was no longer even aware of the storm outside, just the one raging between them. "I love you, Ben." She whispered as they surged toward a climatic reunion of desire. "OH Benton!"
Thatcher awoke with
a start, almost falling off the small sofa she rested upon. She glanced
around disorientated, her eyes adjusting to the semi darkness as dawn
crept through the curtains of her office window. She glanced down at
the sleeping man next to the sofa, he was curled on his side, his face
to her, his arms were folded around him and it didn't look especially
comfortable to Thatcher, but the Mountie was sound asleep. Diefenbaker
was curled at his feet, snoring gently. She carefully pulled the cover
back and slid her feet to the floor. Her ankle felt a little better this
morning, and she found she could put a little weight on it. She slid
from the sofa and stepped over Fraser, limping slowly to the bathroom,
where she changed into her now dry clothes. She folded his shirt and
returned to her office, placing it on the sofa neatly. She pulled the
blanket she had used, from the sofa and gently draped it over him, careful
not to cover Diefenbaker, who glanced up at her, yawned, then snuggled
back down against Fraser.
"Next time, Fraser." She whispered moving toward the door with her purse and coat. "Next time it won't be just a dream." She pulled the door closed to give him more privacy, though she doubted if Turnbull would dare enter her office anyway, when he did arrive for his shift. She called a cab,. Not chancing her driving with her bad ankle then stepped outside the Consulate to wait for it. The air was crisp and cool and still held the scent of rain. A rainbow had sprouted to the north and the sun was already starting to dry things up, a new day had begun. A moment later she stepped into a cab, humming somewhere over the rainbow cheerfully.