Chapter 1: Strictly Professional
“Are you gonna stop staring at me sometime soon?” Abbie asked impatiently as she scrolled through the emails on her computer. “I have other clients to meet today.”
Ichabod Crane’s eyes blinked rapidly as he pulled himself out of the daze he’d unknowingly entered. He was new at the law offices of Irving, Corbin, & Mills, ICM as he’d taken to calling it. Abbie was one of the three partners of the firms and he would be shadowing her for the month to get used to things.
“My apologies, Ms. Mills. I was only wondering if one of those clients was Henry Parrish.” He’d recovered nicely. It would hardly do for him to be caught ogling his boss. To be quite honest, he could hardly help it.
Abbie Mills was confident, intelligent, and sharp as a tack. When he’d stepped into her office he noticed she wore a quarter length sleeve dress that fit as if it had been poured on her skin. It stopped just below her knees and was paired with cream-colored heels that made her come up to chin. He assumed she must be much shorter without them. There was no ring on her finger and no pictures on her desk of anyone significant in her life save for August Corbin, Frank Irving, someone who bore a strong resemblance to her (probably a sister), and another woman Crane assumed was a friend.
Her face was another thing altogether. She was positively radiant. Her deep brown eyes were bright and inquisitive, taking in all the information they could at all times. Her hair was straightened and placed into a meticulous top bun with bangs covering her forehead. She wore mascara, eyeliner, and a lipstick that somehow matched her dress exactly.
Ichabod was absolutely captivated by her.
“I have the Parrish case, yes. Why do you want to know?” Her eyes narrowed at him slightly as she appraised him.
“He looks guilty.”
“I’m sorry, did you graduate from Yale’s law school for constantly stating the obvious?” Her tone was mildly biting as her brows furrowed in mock confusion. “Mr. Crane, I’m well aware of what it looks like my client did. However, it is my job and yours to assure a jury cannot see it that way.”
He tried to hide the excitement that bloomed inside him. “Mine? Are you putting me on the case too?”
Abbie rolled her eyes. “Is there another firm partner in this room taking one of the biggest case of her career with an assistant who speaks in two dimensions?”
She was prickly. But he could see she cared about her job and that mattered more. Ichabod had heard a lot about Abbie Mills even before he’d ever gone to law school. She was legendary, a genius even. Abbie had graduated from high school at the age of sixteen and undergrad at Harvard at twenty, finished Oxford Law at twenty-three, and became a partner of ICM at twenty-seven.
“Thank you so much, Ms. Mills. You have no idea how much—“
“Yes, I know. You’re welcome. Now, I need you to bring in every single file we have on Parrish and his involvement with David Moloch. We’ll need to go through it with a fine tooth comb. If there’s anything in there that makes Parrish look like a fucking Girl Scout I wanna know.” Abbie replied, firmly interrupting him.
Ichabod stood and bowed slightly in response. “I shall have them here within the hour, Ms. Mills.” His hand was on the door handle when she stopped him again.
“You might wanna call your boyfriend or girlfriend and let them know you’ll be working late. This will probably take all night, Mr. Crane.” Her eyes probed him, for what he couldn’t be sure.
“I think my dog might be terribly disappointed but I suppose I could phone my neighbor and ask him to feed and walk her.” He smiled briefly and exited her office.
Abbie smiled wryly to herself. He doesn’t have anyone either , she thought to herself. If his electric eyes and toned figure didn’t make her mouth water then it most certainly was that Oxford accent of his. Ichabod Crane was crushingly gorgeous and she saw no use in denying it.
She would keep things strictly professional, of course. She would never jeopardize her integrity or his if it ever came to it. But she could window shop. Besides, it wasn’t like she had any other fine ass men she could look at to distract her from what it felt like to sleep in a bed too big for her.
“Strictly professional,” Abbie said to herself. “Nothing more.”
And she meant it.
Chapter 2: New Angles
It turned out that “strictly professional” was harder than it seemed for Abbie. Despite his obviousness and starry-eyedness, he proved to be incredibly smart and useful. He was particularly skilled at searching for loopholes and his memory was unbelievably good. Ichabod was a fine asset to ICM. They’d only been working together for about a month now and the urge to fire him had yet to appear.
Ichabod Crane believed in dressing well, Abbie noticed. His suits were perfectly tailored. His shoes always looked brand new. He kept his hair and beard trimmed and his nails perfectly manicured. The watch on his wrist looked suspiciously like an Audemars Piguet. He cared about the way he looked, but he was never showy. Abbie appreciated that about him.
The Parrish case was taking more of their time than she was comfortable with but she knew the payoff was huge. Henry Parrish was a corporate magnate embroiled in some large insider trading scandal that had ultimately resulted in the mysterious death of his partner, David Moloch. David had been found in his bedroom with a gunshot to the head. There was no other evidence on the scene. Whoever had done it left no trace of DNA and had staged it to almost perfectly look like a suicide. Almost.
There was enough doubt on the coroner’s end to say she believed David Moloch to be a victim of homicide rather than suicide. The trouble now for the police was trying to solve a murder with virtually no tangible evidence. What they had against Henry was purely circumstantial.
He’d purchased a gun that matched the bullet found in David’s skull, but that had been over a year prior. There was nothing to prove Henry’s gun was the exact match for the one that killed David. Then there was the matter of Henry having a key to David’s penthouse. He would have had access to David’s home easily but Henry had “lost” the key three months ago.
“Do we know for certain the key is not in his possession?” Ichabod asked as he quickly wrote out everything Abbie had said on a dry erase board.
“The police didn’t find it when they searched Henry’s home or office. For all we know, he could have hidden it somewhere.” Abbie replied absently. She was currently rereading police reports and evidence inventory.
“And Mr. Parrish was said to have been in London for a business meeting that day?” Ichabod asked.
“His flight didn’t even come back until after David’s body was found. But the police and the FBI are toying with the theory that Parrish hired someone to take Moloch out. He’d made contact with Nicholas Hawley independently of David. He didn’t need him anymore so cutting him out would mean more money for Henry.” Abbie theorized as she came to stand next to Crane.
Ichabod’s fingers twitched at his side as he stepped closer to the board, his eyes roving across it as he processed all that he could see. Abbie watched him curiously as he began muttering to himself. She gave him a wide berth when the pacing started.
“How certain are we that he possibly hired an outside individual to do the job?”
Abbie shrugged. “Parrish had the motive and he damn sure had the means. It’s possible he did hire someone but there is no evidence to support any of that. That is what I plan to seize on at trial. The entire case against Parrish is a house of cards. Even so, we have to make him look as innocent as possible. His investors aren’t too happy with a murder investigation near their business.”
“Perhaps, then, we should emphasize Moloch and Parrish’s friendship. We exploit that as much as we can. Emphasize that Parrish is godfather to Moloch’s daughter, Pandora, and that he’s been a second father to him for….” Crane’s voice trailed off as he turned to Abbie, his eyes suddenly bright.
“What is it?”
“Pandora Clementia Moloch. Do we have a picture of her?” He was practically bursting with energy as he raced to sort through the boxes. He eventually found one, a picture from Pandora’s wedding where she was standing between David and Henry, and stuck it to the board.
“Ms. Mills, do you find anything odd about this picture?” Ichabod asked as he gestured to it.
Abbie stepped closer to the board and allowed her eyes to take in everything she could in the photo. Pandora was leaning on Henry’s shoulder, hugging him with both arms, while distancing herself from David. She and Henry had the same overjoyed smiles on their faces while David’s appeared a little less happy. Abbie flipped the photo over to see Daddy's Girl scribbled on the back in what could only be Pandora’s looping script. She flipped it over again and stared at both Pandora and Henry for a long while before the realization hit her like a ton of bricks.
“Who paid for the wedding?” She found herself asking. “It was only six months ago. I need you to go through Parrish’s bank statement and look for any large payments he might have made on or around April 17th.”
Crane did as he was told and found the corresponding bank statements. Just as Abbie suspected, Parrish had made a number of large purchases for flowers, a catering company, the old Washington Hotel, and a wedding dress boutique in New York City. Crane highlighted and circled them all before handing over to Abbie to put on the board.
“Why didn’t her father pay for her wedding?” Abbie asked knowingly.
“Because he wasn’t her father. Henry was.” Crane replied.
“David knew. He must have known at the wedding or at least suspected. But why would he be the one that ended up dead? If anything, it should have been Parrish!” Abbie felt like she was missing something big.
“What would you do for a person who put you through school and paid for your wedding if they weren’t the man you believed to be your father?” Crane asked.
Abbie was quiet for a moment as the pieces connected together in her head. “Anything.”
“Parrish didn’t hire anyone. He didn’t need to. She did it for him.”
“She was angry. She had been lied to nearly all her life about who Henry was to her. Presumably, Moloch found out when she was at college. A lot of the workers at D&M Investments said that the relationship between Henry and David seemed to sour around two years ago.”
“Yes, probably when he realized Pandora was not his child. What a shame it is that Pandora’s mother died a year ago.” Crane said to himself.
“And how did she die?” Abbie asked.
“The coroner reported it as an accidental overdose. Apparently, the drugs in question were oxycontin and morphine.” Ichabod replied as he flipped through the file on David’s family.
“What are the chances that the overdose wasn’t accidental at all and that David was behind it?”
The office was quiet as Abbie’s question hung in the air. If what they were thinking was true then the Parrish case had nothing at all to do with insider trading and everything to do with scorned love.
“What are the chances that Pandora killed David with no prompting from Henry? What are the chances that David’s death worked in Henry’s favor whether he got Pandora to do it or not?”
Ichabod smiled to himself and then at Abbie. “I believe we’ve found our angle, Ms. Mills.”
Abbie sighed and stepped back, stretching as she did so. It was nearly midnight on a Friday and she hadn’t eaten since before noon. Her body was sore from sitting and stretching and reading all day. Still, she nodded in the affirmative to what Crane said.
“Indeed we have, Mr. Crane.”
Chapter 3: Cherry Red
Some days were hard for Abbie. The days where she was painfully aware of how long it had been since she’d had any fun with more than a vibrator were hard for Abbie. Today was one of those days.
She was irritated.
While they had an angle for the Parrish case that provided more than enough reasonable doubt that he murdered Moloch, they hadn’t been able to clear the insider trading allegations against him. That was much more difficult especially since Nicholas Hawley was singing like a canary to the FBI. Not only had he told them everything they could dream of knowing about Parrish’s shady dealings but he’d brought proof: bank statements, text messages, and emails.
Normally, she could take that in stride and be alright with working out a deal for Parrish that allowed as little jail time as possible. For some reason, that wasn’t an option for her. She wanted to prove that she could do anything , even if it seemed absolutely unreasonable as it currently did.
She was hyped up on coffee and had eaten little more than apple slices and cheese cubes that past two weeks. It was beginning to get colder outside even though it was the end of September. Chipping away at the Parrish case was proving fruitless for the moment at least.
Perhaps the worst thing of it all was that Ichabod Crane was sitting leaning over the small table in her office with his shirtsleeves rolled up to his elbows exposing arms so beautiful they made her want to cry. His pants seemed to fit him more perfectly than usual, his legs seeming to beckon her to climb him like a tree. He was muttering to himself as he crossed things out and circled them.
She could feel her mouth watering as she eyed him. Strictly professional, you creep! Abbie blinked as her conscience screamed out in her head. She crossed her legs uncomfortably tight and spun her office chair around so the sight of him couldn’t torment her much longer.
“Mr. Crane, you can leave now.” Abbie said.
She heard him stand up, heard his footsteps come a little closer to the desk. “I am hardly finished, Ms. Mills. I still have files from—“
“ Leave , Mr. Crane. Now .” Her voice left no room for argument. She turned back around this time so she could see his face.
He looked taken aback as his eyes searched her face. Eventually, he nodded. “Of course. I’ll review the files and send my summaries to your secretary this weekend.”
Abbie nodded in the affirmative and offered a brief but hollow smile. “Perfect.” She stood to follow him so that she could close the door behind him but he turned abruptly just as he was leaving.
He towered over her, his body only inches away from her own. Her breath caught involuntarily as she stared up at him. “If you need anything at all, Ms. Mills, I should like to think you know to call me.”
“Thank you, Mr. Crane. Good day.” She closed her office door, swearing at herself for allowing her voice to crack.
Something was wrong with Abbie Mills. He could tell. She was snappy and irritable and lately, she couldn’t even work in the same room as him for more than an hour. He chalked it to her going through personal issues but he was beginning to get worried. That was how he found himself in the break room talking to Frank Irving.
“You know, you’ve only been here damn near two months and you are killing it, Crane!” Frank was impossibly optimistic most of the time. Crane had yet to see him in serious lawyer mode, though he’d heard it was something to be feared.
“Thank you, Mr. Irving. Working here has been an absolute dream.” Crane replied.
Frank smiled at him. “Mr. Irving ages me by fifty years, Crane. You can call me Frank! It won’t kill you.”
Crane chuckled in response. “Yes, I suppose not.”
“And how do you like working with Abbie? I know that Parrish case is a monster right now.” Frank took a long sip from his coffee and leaned back in his chair.
Crane’s eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. “It’s everything I dreamed of. Seeing the way she works when I only ever heard about it is absolutely fantastic! But…” He trailed off, the brightness leaving his eyes.
“But?” Frank leaned forward, concern now etched onto his face.
“But…lately she’s been rather irascible. I can’t help wondering if I’ve done something to upset her or if something else is going on or… I don’t know.” Crane stood to make himself a fresh cup of coffee as Frank pondered his words.
“I’ll talk to her and see what’s going on. We’ve known each other since high school even though she finished before I did. I’m sure it’s probably nothing to worry about, Crane. These cases, the big ones especially, drive us through the wall sometimes.”
“Of course. Thank you, Mr. Irv—Frank. I don’t mean to poke my nose where it doesn’t belong but—“
“Not to worry, Crane. I’ll talk to her.”
Frank knocked on the door to Abbie’s office. It was nearly 11 pm and she was still hard at work on the Parrish case. He heard a distracted “Come in.” and did as he was told. When he opened the door, he saw Abbie sitting on the floor in what could only be surmised as a puddle of papers. Her usually sleek hair was a bit frizzy and there was a pen stashed away in her hair as she read one document intently.
“Mills,” Frank began. “Can we talk?” He took a seat in one of the chairs in front of Abbie’s desk and watched her. She looked stressed but that was to be expected. The Parrish case was going to trial and she would be in court the next month for it.
“Is it life or death, Frank?” Abbie asked absently. “I’m a little busy.”
Frank sighed, a fond smile on his face. “That Crane kid is worried about you, you know.”
“Worried why? There’s nothing wrong.”
If his eyes could roll back any further they’d be stuck in the back of his head. “Said you’ve been snapping at him and irritable and shit. Wonder if that has anything to do with you not getting laid in a month of Sundays.”
Abbie’s head snapped up as she glared at him, venom in her eyes. He finally had her attention. “I’m up to my fucking eyebrows in Parrish files. Of course I’m irritated! If he can’t handle that maybe he should’ve never got a job here. And, just so you know, I got laid last week!”
Frank’s eyes narrowed slightly before he let out a barking laugh. “Mills, your friend in your bedside drawer doesn’t count.”
Abbie balled up a blank sheet of paper she’d been using as a divider and lobbed it at his head. “Shut up! And what does any of this have to do with Ichabod Crane anyway?”
“Like I said,” Frank replied as he leaned back in the chair. “He’s concerned. You two have been working in close quarters for two months now. He would know.”
“That British bean post wouldn’t know shit if it flew out of a toilet at him.” She rolled her eyes and stood up, deciding now was as good a time as any to stretch and take a break.
“Whatever. He doesn’t need to worry about me. I’m perfectly fine!”
“He’s pretty cute, you know. And I’ve been off the market a few years now but goddamn if I wasn’t I would—“
“Frank!” Abbie let out a scandalized laugh.
“Luke wouldn’t mind and you know it. He has a soft spot for Brits anyway. All I’m saying is that boy might like you.” Frank shrugged as he finished his sentence, reveling in the slight disconcert on Abbie’s face.
She narrowed her eyes as she thought about what he said and then shook her head. “No. And he’s gorgeous but—“
“AHA! I knew it!” Frank stood victoriously. “I knew it!”
“BUT,” Abbie cut him off again with a glare. “We work together. Nothing can ever happen between us. Besides, I won’t develop a reputation for being a creep. He’s fine, sure, but that’s all he is. That’s all he can be.”
Frank sighed in resignation. “You’re too professional sometimes, Mills.”
She lobbed another ball of paper at him. “Yeah, well one of us has to be.”
Little did they know that a certain British man had been exiting his own office and was making to walk past Abbie’s office when he’d heard their conversation. Ichabod Crane stood out in the hall, his face unbelievably warm and cherry red if he’d been able to see it in a mirror.
Chapter 4: Just A Little While
It had been a few weeks since Crane had overheard Abbie and Frank’s conversation. He’d decided that the best course of action was to simply focus on preparing for Parrish’s trial. This, he decided, could be done with minimal interaction with Abbie Mills.
They communicated mostly through secretaries and emails and notes in message boxes. Ichabod sequestered himself in his office scanning through every single file and preparing statements. He and Abbie had decided that a meeting with Henry Parrish was in order so that they might inform him how they were planning to handle his trial.
“We intend to take as much blame from you as possible, Mr. Parrish.”
Abbie said from the head of the table in the conference room. Ichabod was seated two seats away from her. She was wearing a bright yellow cap-sleeved dress that clung tastefully to her figure and stopped just below her knees. Her hair today was bone straight with a rather severe side part that made her look quite imposing. Ichabod crossed his legs tightly under the table as he felt his pants get tighter than they should have been.
“Yes, of course. I have no illusions of being a guiltless man, Ms. Mills. I may have participated in less than legal conversations with stock traders I have passing acquaintances with but a murderer I am not.” Henry Parrish’s languid voice stretched over every word he spoke and he straightened as his silver eyes cut across the room at each of them.
“Of course not, Mr. Parrish,” Abbie began, her voice placating and docile. Ichabod watched her curiously, wondering if she was prepared for how Parrish might react to what she said next. “We intend to point the court toward Pandora Moloch as David’s killer, prove that she had more motive than you to kill him, and prove that she framed you for insider trading to ensure she never got caught.”
Ichabod’s eyebrows nearly disappeared into his hairline as he caught on to what Abbie was doing. He watched as Parrish’s hands tightened into fists and his face went ashen. “Absolutely not.” He snarled.
“Then I am afraid you will be serving some form of jail time, Mr. Parrish, whether it be for David’s murder or the insider trading. My job is to keep you out of a federal prison but if you wish to spend years inside then I’m not doing my job, sir.” Abbie’s voice was thin and emotionless as she regarded Mr. Parrish over the glasses she had started wearing a few weeks before.
“Pandora has no place in this and I’ll not have you create one for her!” Parrish’s jaw ticked as he leaned forward slightly.
“Did you kill David Moloch to ensure you could be the sole beneficiary of the information you were getting from Nicholas Hawley?” Abbie fired back as she relaxed into her chair. A small smirk played at the corner of her mouth and Ichabod frowned slightly as she crossed her legs. He felt his mouth begin to water and promptly looked away.
“NO! David Moloch may have been many things but he was not so horrible a man as to warrant my murdering him.” Parrish suddenly looked very old and very tired. “Lillian and I were once...involved for a time. It happened as she and David were toying with the idea of separating. They lived apart for three months before attempting to reconcile. It was near the end of that time that she and I….” Parrish trailed off, his eyes distant.
Abbie looked over at Crane, her eyes unreadable. “That’s when Pandora was conceived, correct?” Ichabod asked. “And when did you find out that she was yours?”
Henry sighed as he sat back in his chair and seemed to deflate. “Lillian informed me just after Pandora’s tenth birthday.”
“And when was Pandora made aware of this information?” Ichabod replied.
“As far I know, never. Lillian forbade me from telling her but I tried my best to be as involved as possible in her life. David traveled for work often as did I but I tried to spend as much time as possible with Pandora and Lillian when Davis was gone. He sometimes left for weeks or even months, you know.” Parrish answered as he began to wring his fingers.
“Mr. Parrish, we believe it is quite possible that Pandora learned of her true parentage shortly before her wedding. We also believe she may have suspected David’s involvement in Lillian Moloch’s death.” Ichabod stated delicately. He watched as Parrish’s face lost all color for the second time.
“How on earth would Lillian’s death be David’s fault? It was an accidental overdose!”
Abbie sighed patiently and gestured for Crane to continue his explanations of their theories to Henry. Even though he was the one going to trial for insider trading, Abbie knew it wasn’t long before the FBI had a solid case against him for David’s murder. She thought it best to get ahead of that while they still could.
She allowed her mind to drift slightly as Ichabod explained the murky details of Lillian Moloch’s untimely death to Parrish. She got lost in watching Ichabod as he spoke, his lips forming perfectly around every word that came out of his mouth. His sparkling blue eyes were bright and his hands gestured almost wildly as he spoke. His fingers were long and quite perfect if Abbie has to say so. Crane’s hands could easily engulf her own if she wanted them to.
Abbie found herself biting her bottom lip absently as she appraised his look for the day. Ichabod had chosen a midnight blue suit with his typical white dress shirt and dark brown dress shoes. His tie was midnight blue flecked with gold. He looked every bit like her partner and she appreciated it.
“—don’t you think, Ms. Mills?”
A voice interrupted her thoughts. It was Ichabod, a puzzled expression evident on his face. Abbie cleared her throat and closed her eyes briefly before smiling apologetically to Henry Parrish.
“I explained to Mr. Parrish that it might be best if we give him a week to decide which course of action he will take and we can check back with him on Friday morning,” Ichabod stated patiently. He stared at her and she felt as if his eyes were searching her soul. A small frown tugged down on his lips and it turned into a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes.
“That would be ideal. I understand this was a lot of information for you to take in today, Mr. Parrish, and the very last thing we would want is to overwhelm you. Rest assured that our focus is on maintaining the best possible outcome in this case.” Abbie said.
Henry Parrish sighed deeply and Abbie felt a pang of pity shoot through her as she looked at him. He’d had a reputation as a formidable businessman, the type of man you could never cross and live to tell the tale, yet at this moment he was very much an old man with the weight of something pressing down on him. Relief appeared in his eyes as he smiled briefly at the two of them. “I thank you deeply, Ms. Mills. My secretary will call you Friday morning with an answer.”
An hour later, Abbie was shut in her office again. This time, she was tired. She’d been pulling all-nighters in preparation for court. Ichabod seemed to be doing his part as much as he could without the two of them interacting. Abbie knew it was quite impractical and made things more difficult than they needed to be but she was without choice.
She thought Ichabod Crane was unspeakably gorgeous and, added to that, was a clearly competent lawyer. Still, she had to keep a professional relationship with him. She’d worked far too hard to be labeled as the sort who slept with coworkers. He doesn’t seem the type to go running his mouth anyway , Abbie thought. Maybe that was true but the best way to ensure he never did was to keep herself far away from him to ensure she didn’t act on what she felt between them.
And she felt something between them. There was always a quiet tension that she couldn’t always identify. There was a goring intensity in his eyes every time he looked at her. Sometimes they brushed past one another in the hallway or outside the copy room and a shock of electricity seemed to pass between them. She wasn’t imagining things.
Abbie yawned deeply as she sat back in her chair. Now that the Parrish meeting was over and she was on her lunch break she felt certain that she could take a quick nap, just for a half hour or so, to try not to feel so groggy. She felt as if her mind was walking through quicksand. Just a little while , Abbie thought as she closed her eyes.
It was nighttime. Her office was barely illuminated by the lamp on her desk and she was poring over files. Abbie stood, a small moan escaping her body as her body stretched happily from the hours she’d spent hunched over her desk. It was time to call it a night, she thought. Just then there was a knock at her door and she looked up to see Ichabod Crane standing in the doorway. His eyes were a piercing as always.
“What are you doing here so late, Mr. Crane?” Abbie asked, shocked that she wasn’t the only one in the office as she’d thought.
“For the very same reason you are, I expect.” He replied as he stepped inside. “I know you haven’t left this office all day. I’m sure you are quite tired and sore.”
Abbie felt her heart beat faster as she walked around to stand in front of her desk. She sat down on it and sighed. “The perks of being one of three partners of an infamous law firm, I guess. Aren’t you tired?”
“Yes,” Ichabod responded almost immediately. He was closer now, only inches from her. “Of denying what is so clearly between us.”
Her mouth suddenly went very dry. She seemed to be ensnared in his gaze. “What?” The word sounded strangled as it left her mouth.
“You are the smartest woman I have ever met. I’ll not insult your intelligence by repeating myself. It is clear that you want me…” His voice trailed off as he suddenly placed both of his hands on either side of her waist. His touch practically burned through the short black dress she was wearing. “Just as much as I want you.”
He was only millimeters away now and his breath felt pleasantly warm against her face. Abbie couldn’t figure out how or why, but something propelled her forward into a searing kiss with the man she hadn’t been able to get out of her head since the second she’d seen him. He tasted faintly of vanilla and coffee and Abbie found herself pushing deeper into the kiss to taste more of him. A moan escaped her as his lips traveled down to her neck, kissing her hungrily where her shoulder met her neck.
“You have no idea how torturous it has been, Ms. Mills.” Ichabod growled out as he suddenly kneeled down in front of her, his hands shoving her dress up. “Having to look at your radiant form every single day, hear your very hypnotizing voice, the beautiful scent of you rendering me nearly drunk. It was pure torture.”
Abbie could do nothing but moan as she suddenly felt his mouth on her, his tongue licking ravenously at her like a man who hadn’t had water in months. He pulled her closer to him, moaning as he did so. She ground herself as hard as she could against his face because the friction was killing her.
“Oh, God, yes!” She allowed herself to shout. It was only the two of them and she felt like she could be loud if she wanted to.
“That’s not my name, Ms. Mills.”
A voice startled her awake and she shot up as if cold water had poured on her, gasping for air as her dream came rushing back to her. Her eyes were out of focus as she breathed deeply, feeling a thin sheen of sweat on her face. A quick glance at her computer told her she’d been asleep over an hour.
“Are you quite alright, Ms. Mills?”
Abbie blinked and then felt panic and dread settle in her chest as she saw Ichabod Crane standing in front of her desk, an amused smile on his face and a steaming mug of coffee in his hand.
Chapter 5: Vacation
Her face was probably hotter than the coffee he was holding. Her mouth felt like she’d eaten cement for lunch. She could do nothing but stare as Crane sat the coffee on her desk and sat down in one of the chairs.
“I can hardly remember what my life looked like before this case,” he said. “I’m certain there must have been dinner or a dependable work schedule. But who knows?” He smiled at her and pushed the coffee toward her.
She stared at it and then him in confusion. “Uh…”
“Is there something wrong with it?” He asked.
“Why are you doing this?” Abbie asked. “Are you just messing with me or what?”
Crane was the one who looked confused now. “I’m sure I don’t know what you mean, Abbie.”
She sighed and pulled the coffee toward her, peering intensely into the mug as if it had the answers to all her questions. Abbie tried not to look at Crane as she took a sip. It was black, just as she liked it, with probably two sugars.
“Did I...did you hear anything?” Abbie asked, hoping the embarrassment wasn’t showing.
Crane gave her a wry smile but there was no derision in his eyes. He didn’t seem overly phased by the fact that he’d walked in on her having a wet dream at her desk. She wondered if he knew it was him in it. “Quite a bit of moaning but nothing untoward.”
“Oh, God.” Abbie buried her face in her arms on the desk. The case was doing a number on her. She couldn’t even remember the last time she had seen her apartment. Her body felt worn down. “I need a fucking break.”
“That you do.” Frank’s voice echoed in from the doorway. She didn’t bother picking her head up. “You and Crane, take the rest of the week off. I don’t wanna see either of you in here until Monday morning.”
At this, Abbie did sit up. “Frank, it’s literally Monday! There’s a whole month left until the trial starts and—“
“The rest of the week, Abbie. Both of you. Don’t think I don’t know you’ve slept in your office the last four days! Not to mention you look like shit on plate!” Frank shook his head. “You work too damn hard, Mills. Even the greats need a vacation every now and then. This Parrish trial is gonna be a shitstorm and I need you charged and ready to go for it.”
It was times like this that Abbie was glad Frank was not only her boss but one of her best friends. He had known her the longest of anyone, after Jenny at least. He could see she was running herself into the ground when she couldn’t. He had a point and even she couldn’t deny that.
“Alright. Fine. Vacation it is.” Abbie said after a while. She sat up and looked at Frank gratefully.
Crane stood up to leave. “Thank you, Frank.” He smiled once at Abbie before leaving and she drained the coffee to cover up how warm her face was getting.
Frank watched him leave wistfully before turning to Abbie again. “You and him need to happen before you come back on Monday.”
Abbie’s eyes widened. “Hell no! We literally work together!”
“You’re on vacation now, Abbie. Besides, you two have proven you’re perfectly able to keep things professional and Crane won’t put your position here in any danger. The man has the honor of a damned saint!”
She shook her head. “Not happening, Frank. Now can you get out of here before I decide I wanna keep working?”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever.”
Abbie left ten minutes later and happened, to her great misfortune, to be stuck on the ride in the elevator down with Crane. He looked delectable as always and she rolled her eyes in annoyance. She needed whatever she was starting to feel for him to go ahead and squash itself before it drove her insane.
“I know you might be unspeakably tired, Abbie, but would you like to go somewhere for lunch?” His eyes looked hopeful and she hated herself for what she was going to say next but she needed distance away from him to figure out if she liked him or just wanted him to fuck her into oblivion.
That second one is probably exactly what you need , she said to herself in a voice that sounded uncomfortably like Jenny. She shook her head from the thought. That dream had been quite enough. Her career meant too much to her to be toppled by a fine ass British white man who wore suits like they were solely created for him. Ichabod Crane was ridiculously smart and capable, sweet as pie, and too observant for his own good.
“No, Mr. Crane, I don’t think so.” Abbie replied icily as the elevator stop. She regretted the words almost immediately when she saw the hope dim in his eyes. “I’ll see you Monday morning at 9am sharp.”
Maybe it wasn’t just sexual attraction , Abbie realized as she walked swiftly out of the elevator and across the lobby. Maybe it’s more than that , she thought. That certainly would explain why her stomach was twisting in unpleasant ways for turning down Crane the way she did.
When Ichabod got back to his apartment in Hollow Garden he fought the urge to pass out immediately and instead went to the kitchen to see if there was anything not yet spoiled that he could make lunch with. A lone carton of almond milk and a box of Special K was all he had until he went grocery shopping again.
He’d lost some of his appetite after Abbie declined to join him for lunch. He hadn’t meant what he asked to be unprofessional, but he wanted to get to know her outside of ICM. He wanted to see her when she wasn’t in lawyer mode. But she was shutting him down at every turn. Crane suspected her reluctance to join him might have been due to the dream he’d woken her from.
It hardly took a genius to realize he’d woken Abbie out of a sex dream. If her panicky nature upon waking was any indication he was willing to bet he had been in the dream. The thought of that exhilarated and terrified him. He did fancy her. Whether or not he was only sexually attracted to her or something more remained to be seen. He knew from the conversation he’d overheard between Abbie and Frank that she was into him too, to a certain degree.
His cell phone rang and he sighed as Katrina’s name floated across the screen. It had been some time since he’d spoken to his ex wife.
“Hello.” He answered. The weight of the day was heavy in his voice.
“Ichabod! Where the hell have you been? Abraham’s been running around like a chicken with his head cut off!” Katrina laughed slightly and it brought a smile to Ichabod’s face.
He and Katrina had been married straight out of college, nearly ten years ago, and had realized nearly immediately that it was a mistake. He’d been unhappy and unfulfilled, mostly because he’d wanted to travel for a bit before beginning law school and Katrina was ready to stay in one place. They divorced only eight months after being married and the next year she and Abraham got together.
Ichabod had supported their relationship wholeheartedly from the beginning. It was clear they were crazy about each other and fit much better than he and Katrina ever had. Abraham and Katrina got married two years after she and Ichabod officially divorced and Ichabod had been Abraham’s best man.
They’d miraculously managed to all remain the very best of friends since moving to America. They were Ichabod’s only family and they worried after him the way his parents would have if they were still alive.
“I’ve been working on a rather insanely large case. Henry Parrish if you can believe it.” Ichabod replied. “My boss ordered me to vacation the rest of the week so let Abraham know I’m free until Sunday.”
“He’ll be so glad. We haven’t seen you in over a month! And speaking of months….Abraham and I have news!” Katrina’s voice was high and excited. He heard her call Abraham over to the phone and his phone trilled loudly as she FaceTimed him.
She and Abraham’s smiling faces appeared on the screen and he couldn’t help the smile on his face. He missed his best friends quite dearly. “What news?” He asked curiously.
Abraham and Katrina shared a loving look and began grinning like crazy. “Katrina’s pregnant!” Abraham practically yelled.
Ichabod’s eyes widened and he smiled even more. “Are you really? Congratulations, you git! Bringing more little pains in my ass into the world!”
“Well, someone has to continue the tradition!” Abraham replied. “She’s four months along now but she looks a little bigger because….well you tell him, Kat!”
Katrina started laughing again. “It’s twins, Ichabod. We don’t know what yet but I’m hoping for two girls. He wants a boy and a girl. What do you think?”
Ichabod chuckled to himself. “I think you are going to have two unbelievably happy and healthy little babies who will have the best parents on the face of the planet! I am so happy for you both.”
“One last thing,” Katrina said. “Abraham and I want you to be their godfather.”
There was silence as shock coursed through Ichabod. He felt that shock before a surge of love bubbled within him and he smiled so hard he thought his face might break. “I would be honored.”
Ichabod stayed on the phone just a little longer before sleep began calling him so much he could barely stay upright. Eventually, he fell asleep thinking that even though Abbie had rejected him and shut down any hope of getting to know her outside work the day had been amazing. He was going to be a godfather to the twins of both his best friends in the world. What could be better than that?
“You did WHAT?!”
“Abbie, what strain of cocaine are you on?”
“And don’t ever share it because clearly you’re out of your mind!”
“Okay, for fuck’s sake can you two get off my ass?!” Abbie yelled as she looked back and forth between Jenny and Sophie. They were gathered on her king bed in their pajamas eating popcorn. Abbie had told them about Crane, her dream, and how she shut him down in the elevator.
Both were her best friends since they’d been in diapers. Jenny was her biological sister and Sophie was their cousin who’d later been adopted by their parents when her parents passed away. Jenny looked more like their father than Abbie did. She was tall and slender with bright brown eyes and chocolate brown hair that came halfway down her back. She worked as an archaeology professor at Cornell University.
Sophie’s mother had been an Afro-Dominican woman named Mariana and had married Abbie’s uncle James shortly before Abbie was born. Uncle James had been her father’s only sibling and he’d been wrecked when both James and Mariana died in a car accident when Sophie was just seven years old.
Abbie and Jenny, along with their parents, had rallied around Sophie and immediately took her in. They’d never made her feel unwelcome and supported her the same way they did Abbie and Jenny. For all intents and purposes she was the third daughter
“Abbie, this is the closest you’ve been to getting your back blown out since you were with Danny! And that was five whole years ago!” Jenny shouted before taking a sip of wine.
Sophie nodded sadly. “Three hundred sixty five days times five. Of no sex.”
Abbie rolled her eyes so hard she thought they might get stuck in her head forever. “I’ve been perfectly fine without it! Besides, Ichabod Crane is literally my partner on this case! We work together! I don’t wanna be the girl everyone thinks rode a dick to her success!”
Sophie and Jenny shared a look before Jenny passed Abbie her own glass of wine. “No one will think that, Abbie. You’re a fucking legend in the legal world and everyone knows it. But you cannot forget to have a life outside of defending white collar criminals! You work way too hard. And if some tall, gorgeous British dude wants to go to lunch with you then take him up on it! It’s just lunch.”
“Yeah, Abs. You’re both on vacation for the week now anyway. When do you think you’ll both even have the time to try to get to know each other outside of work anyway?” Sophie asked.
Abbie closed her eyes and growled softly. She knew they were right. There was something going on with her and Crane. Just cause she wanted to climb him like a tree didn’t mean he felt the way about her. But was she cheating herself if she didn’t at least give it a chance?
“Ok. Fine.” She grumbled, flinching slightly when Sophie and Jenny’s overjoyed shrieks pierced her ears. “Hand me my phone please.”
She sighed as she scrolled through her admittedly small list of contacts before landing on Crane. They’d exchanged cell numbers his first week at ICM and she’d instructed him to never call it unless it was absolutely an emergency. He hadn’t ever called or texted which had been perfectly fine. But now she probably was going to change the dynamic of their whole relationship and that was a terrifying thought.
She tugged her lip as her hands hovered over the screen. Sophie and Jenny were watching her expectantly. Finally, she started typing.
Abbie: Is lunch still on the table?
Ichabod thought he was surely hallucinating when he rolled over and saw ‘Abigail Mills’ on his phone screen. It was a text that had come not even five minutes before he woke up. When he opened it, he felt his insides flufter.
Abbie: Is lunch still on the table?
He blinked a few times. He could remember her saying that he wasn’t meant to contact her unless it was an emergency. But now she was contacting him. With a question about whether or not he wanted to still go to lunch with her.
He chuckled to himself as he began to type his response.
He let a few minutes pass as he contemplated making her squirm for a bit. Still, when he saw that she’d read the message he felt she’d been punished enough.
Ichabod: How about dinner instead?
Sophie and Jenny began laughing as Abbie breathed a sigh of relief and tossed her phone across the bed.
Chapter 6: That Should Change
Abbie had been cleaning her apartment all day. Having neglected it so much over the past few months, she felt like giving it some love. She had one of the best apartments in the Hollow Fields Towers and she finally wanted to embrace that.
“How’s cleaning going?” Jenny asked on FaceTime. She was in her office from what Abbie could see.
“Surprisingly? Not horrible. I should do this more often, Jen. My apartment actually looks... nice .” Abbie replied as she looked around. The large windows offered a great view of Sleepy Hollow and let in enough light that Abbie didn’t need lights until it was practically pitch black outside.
“I’m sure Ichabod is going to love it,” Jenny gave her a suggestive look to which Abbie rolled her eyes.
In lieu of going out to a restaurant, Abbie had decided to invite Crane over to her apartment for dinner. She was planning on making lasagna for the two of them and had even chilled a bottle of wine she’d gotten the previous Christmas for the occasion.
“Yeah, maybe.” Abbie pulled the phone away to check the time. There was only an hour until Crane was due to arrive. The lasagna had just been put in the oven and she still had time to go take a shower. She talked with Jenny for a little longer before she let her go and went to get ready.
After taking a long shower and washing her hair, Abbie decided to let her hair air dry as she went about getting dressed. She’d decided on a gold off-the-shoulder top and high-waist white skirt. She’d decided to forego jewelry since she wasn’t leaving her apartment at all.
Sooner than she would have liked, Abbie heard a polite knock on her front door. She looked through the peephole and saw Crane standing there with a bouquet of red and yellow tulips in his hand.
“Hey!” she said as she opened the door. She saw his eyes rove over her before he smiled tentatively.
“Good evening, Abbie,” Crane replied. Abbie stepped aside so that he could come in. “I hope you are well this evening.”
He handed her the bouquet and watched as she examined it before smelling them, a small content smile on her face. “I’m good,” she answered. “Tulips are my favorites.”
Ichabod looked around Abbie’s apartment as she went to look for a vase for the tulips. It was the opposite of what he’d expected. The walls were white save for an accent wall that was painted a calming light blue. There were bookshelves all over, none of them uniform. There was a mix of light grey and blue furniture and a rug that seemed to combine the white, grey, and light blue in a way that tied the entire room together. Abbie’s television, one of the new curved flat screens Ichabod had been eyeing for nearly a year now, hung high up on the wall. He could see out of the large floor to ceiling windows that it was growing steadily darker outside.
The kitchen and dining room seemed to be combined and were entirely open to the living room. He could see the kitchen was white see-through cabinets and gray quartz. There was a delightful blue, grey, and white backsplash that hinted at the design of the living room. In the middle of the kitchen was a rather large island with barstools tucked in front of it.
“Thank you again for inviting me to your home, Abbie. It’s quite beautiful.” Ichabod said after he’d finished marveling at it all.
Abbie shrugged and went to take the lasagna out of the oven. She fished the bottle of red wine out of the freezer where it had, thankfully, gotten ice cold. She could see Ichabod still looking at everything. He seemed particularly interested in the books on her shelf.
“You have quite a bit here about Cicero,” Crane commented. “Julian the Apostate, too. Might I ask where the interest came from?”
Abbie felt a small smile tug at her face as she plated the lasagna and began pouring the wine into the glasses. “Majored in history for undergrad. Antique and late antique Roman Empire was my focus. A lot of those books were gifts from professors.”
Ichabod didn’t say anything else as he went about looking at the books. She saw him reach out and drag his fingers across them as if trying to make sure he remembered them. With his memory, she was certain he would remember it all.
“Dinner’s ready.” Abbie said as she put the plates and glasses on the table. She went back into the kitchen to grab the wine as Ichabod seated himself.
Ichabod took a bite of the lasagna as Abbie watched him expectantly. He let out a moan that Abbie thought should be considered criminal. “This is phenomenal,” he said, looking at her in awe. “You must give me the recipe for this if you’re willing!”
Abbie found herself laughing and she began to start in on her own plate. She wondered, as she sat in comfortable silence with the only man in five years she’d wanted to fuck until she couldn’t think, what the hell she was so afraid of. Ichabod wasn’t that much different from how he was at work.
“What did you do before law school, Crane?” Abbie asked when they were finished eating. They were both sitting comfortably at the dining table, wine glasses in hand.
“I majored in religious studies at Cambridge. My father, Victor, was a solicitor in London for my entire life and he wanted me to follow in his footsteps. My mother, Elizabeth, was a writer of historical fiction. My father was hardly thrilled but he supported me anyway. I never thought I’d be a lawyer though.” Crane explained as he looked at her. She felt again like his eyes saw something in her she didn’t really see in herself yet.
At this, Crane sighed heavily and then drained the glass of wine before him. “My father died shortly after I graduated Cambridge. An aneurysm. My mother, a year or so later, from what I believe to be a broken heart. After that, I decided the best way to honor my father’s memory was to do what he dreamed I would do and that was pursuing law.”
Abbie nodded as her eyebrows practically disappeared into her hairline. She poured more wine for him and added more to her glass as she saw it getting lower. “Both my parents are still alive but I don’t...we don’t really talk much. And I always knew I wanted to study law but I loved history too so that was my major.”
Ichabod looked like he had more questions but he decided to move on to a lighter topic. “Any siblings?” He asked.
“Just two. Jenny and Sophie. They’re my best friends and honestly they…” Abbie trailed off and laughed quietly to herself. Ichabod looked on at her curiously. “They’re the reason I invited you over.”
He smiled as he took another sip of his wine. “I suppose I have them to thank then.”
They said nothing more as they enjoyed their wine. Eventually, Abbie got up to clear the table and Ichabod insisted on helping. He put the food away as she began to wash the dishes they’d used when he’d finished storing the food, he came to stand next to her at the sink with a dish towel in his hands.
“You really don’t need to help me with this, Crane.” Abbie said.
He snorted quietly as he dried a pan she’d passed to him. “And have my mother’s spirit haunt me for not being a proper dinner guest? I should think not!”
They settled into their comfortable silence yet again and eventually they were finished. Abbie hoisted herself up onto the counter as she uncorked the wine bottle they’d been working on all evening. She took a deep swig from it and passed it to him.
“Want some?” She asked. He was standing in front of the counter across from her.
Ichabod smiled and copied her actions before passing the bottle back to her. “So,” he began, grabbing a paper towel to wipe his mouth with. “Have you decided I’m not the most annoying person you’ve ever laid eyes on before?”
Abbie laughed slightly. “I don’t think you’re annoying. I just think you’re overly friendly.”
“Overly friendly? Am I to believe that is a bad thing?” Ichabod asked.
Abbie shrugged, her face clearing for the first time all evening. “For me? Yeah. I didn’t get as far as I did by being sociable, believe me. I had to have no life at all. I had to surpass all those entitled assholes who felt they were more qualified than I was. I can’t have time for anything outside ICM.”
Ichabod frowned slightly and walked closer to her. He was close enough to notice the way she tensed at his proximity. His eyes found hers and drilled into them as if scraping the depths of her soul. She hadn’t noticed that her breath was trapped in her throat and that, somehow, he was now closer to her. Her eyes shot down to his lips and she was momentarily distracted.
“Perhaps that should change.” His voice floated out toward her and she felt as if she were stuck in a trance. The breath she let out was shaky as she found herself being drawn closer to him. “Don’t you think?”
Abbie nodded, feeling very much outside her own body as she began to resign herself to the fact that her hard-fought efforts to keep things professional with Crane had failed. “Yeah,” she breathed out. “Yeah, maybe.”
This time when he kissed her it wasn’t a dream.
Chapter 7: May I Please?
Ichabod kissing her was a million times more intense than she’d ever could have imagined. It was electrifying, scary, and perfect all at once. She felt lost in it and told herself to enjoy it because how many moments in her life had she ever had like this? He pulled away just as she told herself not to overthink it and go with the flow.
“I’m sorry, Ms. Mills, truly. That was...unspeakable.” He looked troubled as he stepped back from her. “I shouldn’t have--”
“Did you want to?” Abbie asked breathlessly.
He stared at her, floored by the question and what his answer would mean for the two of them. “I…” he trailed off, the words seeming to get stuck in his throat.
Abbie felt dread and regret begin pooling in her stomach and tried her best to clear her face of any emotion as she hopped down from the counter and walked out of the kitchen. She tried not to feel too upset with herself for what happened. It was her idea to keep things professional between them anyway. And Ichabod was well within his rights to feel like they shouldn’t have kissed at all. He had a career to think about just as much as she did. It stung anyway.
“Maybe we should call it a night,” Abbie said as she stood near the front door. “We can just pretend this didn’t even happen which is probably for the best anyway, right?” She managed an empty smile on her face as she unlocked the door and held it open.
Ichabod, still stunned, stared at her for what felt like an eternity, his mouth opening and closing as if he wanted to say something, anything, but couldn’t. “No,” he choked out eventually. “I don’t want to!” He finally seemed to be spurred into action and went to stand in front of her again.
“What? But you just--”
“I enjoyed it. Very much! I just...thought you didn’t and that I’d crossed a line. I fear I must have made you quite uncomfortable and for that I must apologize. I can transfer to another firm if--”
Abbie had crossed the distance to him in two short strides and interrupted his worried rambling with another kiss. This time, there was conviction, confidence, and little doubt. He moaned as she deepened the kiss and then pulled away to breathe. “Still think I didn’t want it?”
Ichabod’s eyes widened slightly in shock and he licked his lips, eyeing her hungrily. He blinked a few times and kissed her again, softer this time. “You’ll tell me if you want me to stop?”
“I promise. And you?”
“The very same.”
Abbie smiled and went in to kiss him again, feeling the last vestiges of fear melt away. This felt right. She locked the door again and pulled him over to the sofa and straddled him. “Are you ok with not—I mean—do we need to…”
“Quite honestly, Ms. Mills, I am just happy to be here. Whatever you are willing to do is fine with me.” He smiled and Abbie knew he meant every word.
“I just don’t want us to move too fast, you know?”
Ichabod kissed her neck. “I will follow your lead.”
Abbie thought she might be seeing stars when he kissed the junction of her neck and shoulder. His hands were everywhere, leaving trails of icy fire in their wake. She fought to get his shirt over her head at the very same time that he pulled hers off. He pulled her tightly to him and Abbie was convinced they might combust.
His body was delightfully warm and she could feel his heart beating frantically as he kissed her deeper, pulling her as close to him as humanly possible all the while. He turned so that suddenly she was lying on her back and he was slowly kissing his way back down her neck.
“Oh, God,” she moaned softly as his lips closed around one of her breasts, his tongue circling softly around in the most hypnotic fashion. “Keep doing that.”
It had not escaped her notice that his hand was much further along than his mouth was. She hissed slightly as his fingers dipped tentatively into her panties. Abbie had forgotten what this was like, having her body adored from head to toe. She shivered slightly as his fingers found a home inside her, one thumb carefully rubbing her clit while two others worked away at her from within.
“Jesus fucking Christ, that feels so good!” Abbie breathed out shakily.
Ichabod laughed as he moved his attention to her other breast, his hand never once stopping inside her. “That’s not my name.”
She felt as if she were on fire. A coil sprung in her stomach feeling tighter and tighter by the second. “Crane, I think I’m gonna—“
His fingers withdrew quite suddenly and he began a trail of kisses down her stomach. Abbie still shook from his earlier ministrations and moaned as she felt his lips on her lower stomach. His eyes, those goring electric blue eyes, crackled with intensity as he looked up at her. “May I please?” He asked, his voice dripping with longing.
Abbie nodded fervently. “Yeah, hurry up.”
Hurrying was not anything Ichabod Crane would ever do while giving head, Abbie later learned. He took great care to taste her, to languish in her flesh. It was refreshing. She was certain, as his fingers joined his tongue in thoroughly fucking her, that this was how she was going to die. The coil in her lower stomach grew tighter, so tight that it was nearly painful.
“Crane, please, I—“ Her words were interrupted by him withdrawing his fingers and placing them against her lips. She began to suck on them, tasting herself which only drove her wilder, and they muffled her moans to the heavens as she came hard against the mouth of the god of a man she knew as Ichabod.
“Mmm.” He hummed against her as he lapped up her essence. He gave her center a parting kiss and moved back up lavishing lazy kisses all the while. “You taste heavenly, Abbie.”
Abbie smiled shyly as he finally kissed her. She could still taste herself on him and if she wasn’t trying to catch her breath she could have gone another round. “You didn’t have to do that, Crane.”
“But aren’t you so very glad I did?” He moved them so that she was laying across his chest.
“My turn now?” Abbie asked, looking up at him.
“No,” Ichabod replied before bestowing a kiss on her forehead. “That won’t be necessary. Tonight was about you!”
Abbie smiled fondly. “You’re sweet. You won’t get off that easy next time.”
She felt the vibrations from his chest as he laughed and pulled her closer to him. “Won’t I?”
Abbie shoved him playfully. “You ass.”