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Seeing Red
By EponinesGhost

Chapter Ten

As soon as Tracey's fingers made contact with her lips, Kelly could hear the branch breaking. She was powerless to stop the free-fall that was about to occur. Even more significantly, she was unable to hasten it. She couldn't have moved or spoken if her life had depended on it and she couldn't imagine that it didn't. She only knew that she wanted ... she wanted ... yes ...

Although her lips scarcely brushed Kelly's at first, the kiss staggered Tracey with all of the force of a detonation. Then Kelly was kissing her back, stifling the whimper that had almost signaled her helplessness and awe. Somewhere in the dim recesses of her mind she wondered why it had taken her so long ... with heaven just this close ... she searched vainly for the mountain of evidence she had collected to fuel her fear ... hanging like an ominous cloud of warning over her ... admonishing her not to risk losing everything. What the hell had she been thinking? My God. THIS was everything.

Kelly marveled at the wracking shudder that traveled through Tracey as she deepened the kiss. Blindly she reached for Tracey's upper arm, her fingers closing around it in support and attachment. The warmth of Tracey's fingers inside her coat, against her stomach, searing through the fabric of her blouse. The maddening heat and indecent skill of Tracey's mouth on hers, demanding and delicious. The firm grip that cradled her head, guiding and anchoring her, holding her captive. Sending the flickering flame she'd earlier ignited blazing out of control. Kelly's free hand snaked around Tracey's waist, crushing her closer, sliding down over her ass ...

Unbidden, the image of Rochelle's hand there jarred Kelly's memory. Tracey kissing the red-haired woman with equal passion. Fuck.

As far gone as she was, Tracey was instantly aware of Kelly's withdrawal. Before she pulled back, before her lips slowed and stopped, before her fingers loosened their grasp and braced against Tracey's chest ... no, no, no, no ... Tracey felt her slipping away. Then she was drowning in those fathomless blue eyes as they met her immediate query with confusion, totally defenseless. Swallowing her panic, Tracey strained to keep her voice calm, "Hey ... " She stroked her fingers through Kelly's hair again and again.

"I can't ... I don't know what ..." Kelly blinked slowly.

Trying to maintain every physical connection she could, Tracey soothed, "It's okay ... it's okay ..."

Shaking her head slightly, Kelly tried to collect herself. She wanted this so much, that was undeniable. She wanted Tracey. Beyond all reason. She wanted to surrender to everything her heart and her body were telling her at this moment. To block out any inkling of doubt. To bar any further thought about Rochelle and her involvement. To believe that this was different ... she was different. She was beginning to tremble from the stress of it all, the conflict inside her.

Drawing her hand away from the hair she was absently combing, assuming that Kelly was shaking off her touch, Tracey was rattled as well. Had she misjudged so badly that she'd ruined it all? She couldn't have. She could feel how affected Kelly was, still, under her palm ... the tremors, the uneven breathing. Licking her lips, she was certain that the communication in those kisses was accurate. Dropping all pretense that she could take whatever happened next in stride, Tracey implored anxiously, "Please ... talk to me ..."

Compelled by what she heard in Tracey's nervous appeal, Kelly exhaled unsteadily. "I saw you too ... last night ..." She looked away, completely disarmed by Tracey's vulnerability and the lazy, sweeping thumb against her abdomen. "You and Rochelle." She was surprised by how brittle her own voice sounded.

"It's over." Emphatic, Tracey leaned in further, trying to catch Kelly's eye again. "It never was ... I didn't ... dammit ..." She sighed. "It would have never worked out."

"You're sure?" God she knew she sounded desperate. Reluctantly she faced Tracey again, praying that her naked need for reassurance wasn't as painfully obvious as it felt.

Relaxing only a fraction as she gazed back at Kelly, Tracey nodded. "Positive." When Kelly's brow remained wrinkled and her eyes skeptical, Tracey tenderly tucked a strand of blond hair behind her ear. "Because of you."

"What did I do?" Weakly, Kelly fought the temptation to lean her cheek into Tracy's right hand.

Smiling faintly now, Tracey bent her head so that she was only inches away from Kelly's face. "Let's see .... " Her fingers resumed their nimble raking along Kelly's scalp. "You were you ... every day ... a constant reminder of what's possible ..."

Battling to keep her eyes open, Kelly tried to focus on what Tracey was saying. But Tracey's voice had taken on that purring quality that never failed to arouse her, not to mention the things her fingers were doing to aid in that regard. Practically slurring her own words, she challenged, "But ... she ... Rochelle ... is so incredibly ..."

"Not right for me." Tracey kissed the slope of her cheek lightly, nuzzling her nose against Kelly's temple. "I never meant to lead her on ... I knew I could never feel the same way about her ..."

She trailed off.

Not unsympathetically, Kelly added, "As she felt about you?"

Cupping Kelly's head again, her thumb tracing easily along the jawline, Tracey whispered, "No ... I could never feel the same way about her as I do about you."

Without waiting for a response, she captured Kelly's mouth in another kiss. Slow and deliberate, full of meaning and promise. Inordinately relieved when Kelly acquiesced, kissing her fiercely in return, Tracey struggled to retain her balance. She felt Kelly's hand crawl up her chest and slide around her neck, clinging to her and tangling in her dark hair from underneath. Gradually, Tracey pressed forward, her left hand rubbing Kelly's blouse back and forth against her skin. Blissfully consumed with being allowed to continue, she was determined to make this kiss last until she lost consciousness. Even now, she was teetering on the brink.

As exquisite as Tracey's circling fingers felt through the material of her blouse, Kelly longed to feel them roaming over her bare skin. Adjusting her position slightly, she hoped to encourage further exploration. Her own fingers tugged at the fabric of Tracey's shirt where it disappeared into her waistband in back, dying to slip beneath. Groaning low in her throat as Tracey increased the assault on her senses, she burned with the need to affect the brunette in the same way. Her fingernails dug into Tracey's neck from behind, clutching her close, urging her on. Holy fuck. She'd never been this hot in her life. She was about to rip her own coat off if Tracey didn't get busy. Shifting to gain more leverage, she yanked at the stubborn shirttail, distantly aware of the desk cutting into the backs of her upper thighs. The desk ...

With almost superhuman effort she tore her mouth away, gasping for the air she hadn't needed until now. She didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the turbulent look on Tracey's face. Wrestling with her own wishes, she finally breathed, "Not here."

Tracey was flabbergasted, moving her mouth wordlessly for a few seconds, her mind not readily registering the situation. Laboring to regulate her own breathing, it dawned on her to beg. Just as quickly as the idea arose it dashed away. Pressing her lips together she nodded. Kelly was right. After a prolonged pause, she cleared her throat. "Good call." Abruptly, she disengaged herself, backing away with exaggerated care. "No rush, after all."

Now it was Kelly's turn to look crestfallen. "I didn't mean we had to stop ..." She stood up, straightening her clothes automatically. "I just thought ... Tracey ..." She drew the name out petulantly, her tone patently disappointed.

Rapidly gathering her wits about her, Tracey ran her fingers through her hair. "No, you're right. Not here. Not tonight." She ran her finger along the edge of her desk, almost as if she were evaluating it. "We've had a tough couple of days. We're right in the middle of a big case ... a huge and complicated case..." She looked over her shoulder at her partner, smiling wryly. "And I don't know about you, but last night I didn't sleep worth shit."

Kelly didn't know what to say. She was cursing herself for her flash of decorum. She knew without a doubt that if she hadn't thrown up the red flag a few moments ago that Tracey wouldn't have stopped ... not until she ... dammit. She was miserable. Tracey's logic wasn't helping.

"So what are you saying? We just ... leave ... go home ... forget this happened?" Her voice almost broke as she asked.

Tracey spun around, eyeing her critically. "Hell no. Well, hell no to the last part. Assuming you have no regrets ..."

"Only that I ... interrupted ..." She rolled her eyes, utterly disgusted with herself, much to Tracey's amusement.

Teasingly she responded, "That's why I hired you. One of us has to be clear-headed and calm." She touched Kelly lightly on the arm, patting it for emphasis.

When Kelly didn't rise to the bait, her face still downcast, Tracey's tone became gentle. "After the Canton case is settled, decided, finished ... I for one ... fully intend to pick this up right where we left off ... somewhere private ... where we can be completely comfortable ... naked ..."

Her eyes practically predatory, Kelly took her hand. "There's no way I can talk you into coming home with me tonight?"

Jesus. That was just cruel. Reflexively she squeezed Kelly's hand as she tried not to stammer. "My God ... you're a regular roller coaster ride, did you know that?"

Belatedly, she realized that she might be misunderstood, that Kelly could be offended ... but to her total delight and amazement, Kelly laughed. She was beautiful.

"So ... are you a screamer?" Eyes twinkling, she raised her eyebrows comically.

Impressed, Tracey chuckled. "Well ... that's for me to know ... and for you to find out."

Smirking, she released Kelly's hand and reached for her coat. Pulling it on, she tipped her head toward the stack of files on Kelly's desk. "Leave those here. I've already gone through them. Plenty of time to kill while I was waiting for you." She pretended to look stern. "I want you to go home and get some rest. That's an order."

One eyebrow quirked back up. "Yes ma'am."

Something about the way Kelly said it raised the hair on the back of Tracey's neck. Later. Think about it much later. Holding the door open, she waited for Kelly to join her. As the blond drew next to her on the way out, she murmured, "Kelly ...."


"I feel like I should warn you .... once I get you back in my arms ... I have no intention of ever letting you go." Her eyes fairly glowed.

Kelly's heart simultaneously contracted and expanded as she held that gaze. For a second she thought she might dissolve. "Promise?"

"So help me God."

The End

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