Matt nods his way as he steps up to the SUV, and as he opens the car door, the agent climbs back into the front seat.
He slides into the back, pulling the door closed behind him.
He wants to avoid her gaze, show her he’s stronger, convince her that he’ll never need her, but he can’t help when his eyes drift towards her— she’s facing the window, staring out into the dark that had fallen upon the streets of Washington.
The car’s moving now, and he can’t help but want to reach out.
He sees her blink, watches the way her lashes flutter— he knows she’s watching him through the reflection of the glass.
He waits for her to face him, for her to turn, and when she does— “I was surprised you called.”
She may sound displeased, but he could see the truth in her eyes, the hope that he’d come crawling back to her.
She’s staring at him now, head tilted to the side, eyebrows pulled together, lips pursed… staring almost as if she could steal a glimpse into his thoughts. He entertained the idea that maybe she could— somedays it seemed like the only explanation. He ignored the thought that maybe she just knew him that well.
“Where are you headed?”
She straightens up.
“Forte Meade.” She lets out a breath. “Jay and I have some business to attend to.”
“Long drive.” He comments.
Her stare drops to her lap. “Not with the way these guys drive.” Her palms smooth down her skirt, flattening out the never present wrinkles.
His eyes roam, gaze falling away from her— the partition’s up, it had become the normal when they rode together.
“Are you enjoying the time off?”
His head turns.
“Don’t do that.” He tells her.
She eyes him.
“Do what?” She fawns innocence.
She knows exactly what she’s doing.
“Act like it was by choice.”
She holds his gaze.
“You know I hate you right?”
She arches her right brow. “At least you’re blunt.” She chuckles.
He ignores her— it’s better this way. “I hate you. I lust for you.” He pauses, and then— “Hell, maybe I do love you.”
“Unfortunately, I can’t do anything about that.” She mutters as she turns back to the window.
She’s right, but neither can he.
“You’re poison, and I can’t keep running back to you.”
He sees her swallow.
“And yet you do.”
And he does.
She turns back and— “I may be poison, but at least I’m not the one dumb enough to continue to drink it.”
He slides across the seat.
“You can lie to yourself all you want, but—” He leans over, hand landing on her knee. “Every time I touch you—” He runs his hand up her right thigh, pushing her skirt up as he goes.
Her lips part, and as she lets out one of those little throaty breaths, her pupils dilate.
“I can see it in your eyes.”
His hand squeezes where it’s still wedged underneath the fabric that’s bunched at her hips.
His hand continues on, creeping inwards, fingers dancing along the soft skin there.
He ducks his lips to her ear. “Did you miss me?” He breathes.
His finger traces along the edge of her underwear.
And yet her legs spread wider apart.
His hand slips under the fabric, by the texture he would guess lace, and he swipes two fingers through her folds, just barely grazing over her clit, before pulling his hand away.
He brings his fingers up in front of his face, in front of hers. He smirks— they’re coated. He looks to her. “Excited?” He teases.
She snickers, head whipping away from his. “God I can’t stand you.” She bites out.
“You’re pretty wet for someone you can’t stand.”
He’s barely got the words out before her fingers wrap around his wrist and she brings his hand to her mouth, lips wrapping around his two fingers, sucking herself from his skin, all while maintaining direct eye contact.
His pants become unbelievably tight.
And when her tongue darts out, flicking over her bottom lip after she’d released his fingers from her mouth, he has to bite back a moan.
Her hand finds its way down, fingers pulling at his zipper until she can fit her hand inside his pants— she cups him through his boxers.
“Now what was that about hating me?”
He shakes his head, huffing out a breath before he wraps a hand around the back of her neck and pulls her forwards— they’re breathing the same air.
He grabs her face, bringing her lips to his.
They’re open-mouthed kisses. It was rough, fingers firmly gripping beneath her jaw. It was messy, teeth nearly clanking against teeth. It was wet, tongues wet and warm tangling together.
He pulls her into his lap— she’s straddling him now, thighs squeezing thighs.
He finds his hands on her ass, pulling her hips closer to his.
His hands trace a path up her spine, teasing her, touching, but he knew it wouldn’t be enough, not for her.
His fingers twist in the ends of her hair, and when he yanks down, exposing her neck, she whimpers.
He leans forwards, lips attaching to skin, sucking, hard enough, long enough to leave a mark.
When he feels her fingers gripping the ends of his hair, palm running down the nape of his neck, he pulls back.
“You’re manipulative.” He whispers before leaning forwards and placing a kiss, wet, just underneath her chin.
Her nails dig into his shoulders, it doesn’t burn much through his shirt.
His fingers wrap around her waist and he pushes her back.
“You’re controlling.” He breathes.
His hands slide up, under her shirt, from hips to breasts.
“It’s DC, who isn’t?”
Her lips quiver when he pushes aside her bra and pinches a nipple, hard, probably more pain than pleasure.
“You know I can be that way too.”
His hand reaches down between them, pushes her underwear to the side, finger finding her clit.
Her breath hitches, and her eyes flutter closed.
Usually it took more work than this, but four weeks was a long time.
He moves a single finger back and forth, light and quick, until she’s panting, until she’s leaning heavily into him, until she has a hand on the headrest, steadying herself.
And then his finger slows.
“I can take what I want too.”
He sees her throat bobble as she swallows.
“What do you want?”
His fingers slide down, he teases, rubbing at her entrance, before he pushes two inside, and— “You.”
His fingers make up a rhythm— in and out, and on every up stroke he pushes, rubs, the tips of his fingers against her g-spot.
“God fuck me.”
He adds a third finger.
He watches as her face twists up in pleasure, as her mouth opens in a silent moan.
“Tell me you need me.”
His fingers still, waiting.
And that’s when he twists his wrist, thumb hovering just above her clit.
She sucks in a breath.
He rubs a slow circle around her bud.
“Tell me Elizabeth.”
Her chest heaves, breasts pushing into him.
“I need you.” She grits through clenched teeth.
He drags her coat up her arms, and when the material sits comfortably on her shoulders, she turns in his arms.
Her eyes look sad.
Maybe his did too.
After… It was a reminder of what they couldn’t have, coming down from the high of the sex.
The thrill, it was a rush that both had been sucked into.
He swallows. “I’ll be here.”
“You can come in you know.”
She’s pleading— he can hear it in her voice.
His hands run up and down her arms, comforting.
“I’ll be here.” He repeats. “I promise.” He whispers.
Her eyes turn wild.
He leans in, palms grabbing her cheeks. “Hey.” He says. “This is important, okay?” His thumbs gently rub under her eyes. “Go in there and do whatever it is that you need to do.”
Her right hand comes up and covers his.
“I— I can’t go back to how things have been Blake.” A tear catches on his thumb. “It hurt too much not being with you.” She sniffles. “I do need you.”
He lets out a breath as he leans his forehead against hers.
It was intimate, too intimate, but they’ve been more intimate before.
He pulls back, but just enough so he’s able to tilt her chin up towards his.
Their lips meet in a soft kiss, not like the one’s they’d shared in the car— these kisses, the one’s that seemed less frequent, were the ones he savored.
The mutal comfort.
The glimpse of love that he refused to see, that may not even be.
They pull away, and his hand runs down her arm until his fingers tangle with hers.
And then he lets go.
He glances to where Jay stands waiting at the entrance, watching them closely, before his eyes drift back to hers.
“Go.” He urges.
And her eyes ask one more time.
“I’ll be waiting.”
And then she turns, and walks towards the doors, stopping when she reaches Jay.
He mumbles something, but they’re just far enough away that he has trouble reading his lips. But when he waves her on with a quick movement of the folder in his hand, he can make an educated guess at what he’d said. He narrows it down even more when he turns towards him and walks the ten or so steps to the line of SUVs.
“I guess that month away didn’t do much, huh?”
He crosses his arms over his chest.
“This doesn’t just go away, Jay.”
“Hey.” He holds up his hands. “I’m asking as a friend.”
His hands fall back to his sides, and he wedges the leather folder he’d been holding, under his right arm.
“Is she really worth it?” He asks.
His mouth opens, and then closes— he believes he knows that answer, but recently… somedays he found himself believing differently.
“No, I don’t think so.” He says. “And if you ask her, she’d say the same about me.”
He chuckles. “I wish I knew.”
He takes the folder back into his hands.
“You know what Henry said. He’ll—”
“Well…” His hands fidget with the folder. “We’re just talking with Ephraim and Oliver, so we shouldn’t be too long.” He takes a step back but— “As your friend, I’m telling you, you should go.”
“I told them to take the long way home.”
He runs his fingers through her hair— Her head rests in his lap.
“You know I’ve always liked this.” She says. “Being with you, not just the sex.” She tells him. “I don’t say it enough.”
He feels her hand squeeze his thigh.
“Why can’t I just be happy with my husband?”
He wished she were because if she were it would make this a whole lot easier, a whole lot less messy, a lot less painful for the both of them.
“I don’t know.”
The car hits a bump— it jostles them for a moment, jostles her, but they settle, she settles back into him.
“I think I may need to go back to therapy.”
Only because he can hear the sarcasm in her tone does he laugh, which causes her to laugh too.
He wished he could make her laugh more— he used to.
A quiet falls over the backseat. A quiet that allows him to settle into the comfortable rhythm of playing with her hair, of touching her, of soothing her, which in turn brings him that bit of calm.
But then— “Do you really hate me?”
He can feel her whisper, feel her breath against his leg.
“Sometimes.” He says.
She doesn’t talk for a minute, but when his hand brushes down her shoulder— “I wish he would tell me that he hates me, but he won’t.”
“Because he doesn’t.”
She sits up.
“What am I going to do?” She asks, looking into his eyes.
He shakes his head. “I don’t know.”
She sits back against the seat but takes his hand.
“He’ll divorce me. He said so.” She swallows. “I deserve it.”
“We’re fucked.” He mumbles.
She leans into him, head resting against his chest.
He wraps an arm around her middle.
“Maybe it’s for the better.” She whispers.
He looks down at her, watching her eyes as she tried to figure it out, tried to find a way, a situation in which it would work.
“We’d never work. You know that, right?”
She looks down. “I—”
“Elizabeth.” He sighs.
Her gaze stays on the floor.
“You can’t do that to yourself.” He says softly.
He reaches over, hand finding her chin, bringing her eyes to his.
“I— I don’t love you. I can’t love you.”
He doesn’t miss the tear that slips from the corner of her eye.
“Henry, he loves you.”
“Not anymore.” She says.
He squeezes her side. “He’s stayed with you even after what you did.” His fingers push back a strand of her hair that had fallen in front of her face. “He loves you.”
Her lips twist up, and she looks to her lap— he knows the tears are coming fast now.
“Hey.” He says. “Look at me.” He pleads.
And although he can tell she doesn’t want to, she meets his eyes.
“Love is about giving, and if you have to sacrifice me to be with him…” He swallows. “To really be loved.”
To be loved the way she deserved.
To be loved the way he didn’t think he could.
“That’s okay.” He says.
She swipes at her cheek with the knuckle of her finger and then— “Giving up sleeping with someone else shouldn’t have to be a sacrifice.” She shrugs. “If I really loved him, I wouldn’t need you like I do.”
He nods. “Okay.” He thinks for a moment and then— “That may be true, but that still doesn’t mean you love me.”
She ducks her head.
His eyes fall closed. “Oh my god.” He groans— head falling back against the headrest.
He blinks his eyes open.
“Elizabeth this isn’t love.” His voice raises, the way she hates, especially when she was already upset.
He huffs. “This shouldn’t have happened.”
She looks up. “What?” She asks. “Tonight, or everything before?”
He doesn’t answer.
He can’t tell her that his mind is going all the way back to college, to making that decision to switch from finance to political science, traveling back, changing that decision for one reason and one alone… to never have met her.
Out of the corner of his eye he sees her shake her head.
“Why’d you call?”
“I—” His lips struggle to find an answer.
She takes his hand.
“Why’d you call, Blake?” She asks again.
“I missed you.” He tells her.
Her lip trembles as she sucks in a breath before blowing it out. “You were right.”
She drops his hand from hers.
Her eyes are glassy— he can tell even in the dark of the car.
“You can be just as manipulative as me.”