Part 9

Monday 30th July 1990

Inside the ER at the local hospital Mickey watched the hands on the clock as they moved slowly round the dial. Four o'clock… four-thirty… four-forty-five… He kept on staring hoping, if he concentrated, that it would distract him and stop him reliving the final few moments of the siege over and over.

He’d seen the look on Nolan’s face as they’d busted into the theatre and had known that he'd do something crazy. Then Sam appeared from the middle of a crowd and put herself between Nolan and Dorothy. Because of the stampeding students Mickey didn't dare try to take Nolan down. Then, almost in slow motion, he’d seen the bastard's finger tighten on the trigger, heard the shots and seen Sam’s whole body shudder with the impact as she was thrown to the floor.

A feeling of cold clarity of purpose came over him. Ignoring the chaos, he’d jumped up, balanced himself on an auditorium seat and let off two rounds. The automatic’s kick back against his palm nearly toppled him, but he fought to keep his balance until Nolan fell and Robert went over to check on him. He wanted to shout that it wasn’t necessary. He’d offed the bastard, just like he wanted.

He had hardly registered the sudden rush as the hall filled up with Lucas’s people, his whole attention was focused on Sam.

She was lying on her side when he reached her, struggling to breathe. The vest was torn at the back and when he caught a glimpse of the misshapen bullets imbedded in it, he thanked God that he had insisted she wear it. As he pulled at the Velcro fastenings trying to check underneath to make sure the slugs hadn’t penetrated, she moved her hands feebly, glaring at him because she was still too winded to talk.

With his attention focused on Sam he was only peripherally aware of Dorothy standing anxiously next to him.

Lucas appeared and gathered Dorothy into his arms, but he still found time to ask, "Are you okay, Sam?"

"Yeah, I think so." Mickey answered for her and was surprised by how unfamiliar his own voice sounded.

Lucas cleared his throat, "I want to thank you, Sam. I saw what you did for me and Dorothy in here and I want you to know that I appreciate it. I hope it’s never necessary, but if I can ever do anything for you, you just let me know."

Mickey realised that it was probably the longest speech he had ever heard from Lucas.

By the time Grace got there, Lucas and Dorothy had gone and he had helped Sam out of the vest and to sit up. After a quick examination, Grace had insisted that Sam get an X-ray and Elwood had offered to drive them to the local hospital.

The journey to the hospital passed in silence. What could he say? He didn’t have the words to explain how, if the bullet had ploughed into his own chest, it wouldn’t have hurt him any more than seeing her go down. Sam hadn’t said anything either, closing her eyes and resting her head against the window to cut off any conversation. They’d hit a pothole on the way and he wanted to kill Elwood when she yelped in pain, but Sam had stopped him with a glare. She’d told him already that she hated people making a fuss over her.

Lucas had said he would call ahead to tell the hospital they were coming and to warn them to lose the paper work. Sam had been whisked away as soon as they arrived. He’d been waiting, with no information for over forty-five minutes when a middle-aged nurse came over and spoke to him, "I just wanted to thank you and your friends for what you did today. I’ve got a nephew who was in school and he’s home with his parents because of you."

"It was nothing. Just doing my job." Maybe she could get him some information the nurse at the desk hadn’t been any help. "Is Sam, the woman who came in with me and Deputy Elwood, okay? She’s been gone a long time."

She smiled and ducked her head at him, "I’ll see what I can find out for you. Wait here."

Sure he’d wait – he had nothing better to do! The lack of information and the waiting were making him more and more angry. Why did she take chances? He realised with a start that he was blaming Sam.

He was also getting pissed off with the fawning, grateful looks he was getting from other people coming into the ER. A lot of them were parents with kids from the school. Thank God none of them had come over to talk to him. Maybe Elwood had warned them off? Mickey knew the deputy was around somewhere, waiting to drive them back to the cabin.

Finally, the door to one of the exam rooms opened. Sam came out and walked, a little awkwardly, towards him, one arm around her ribs. She looked pale under her tan and from the set to her mouth he could see that she was still hurting.

"Well?" He didn’t trust himself to say more. His already frayed nerves nearly snapped before he managed to control himself.

"It’s just bad bruising." She patted her pocket, "They’ve given me some pain killers if I have trouble sleeping."

He nodded and they turned towards the exit, making sure to move slowly to keep pace with Sam as she walked beside him.

Outside, Elwood was standing propped against his patrol car. When he saw them, he lifted his hand in greeting and climbed into the car. They waited in silence for the few moments it took for him to drive over to pick them up.

His gut churning, Mickey helped Sam inside and then hurried around to get in himself. Right now he needed to get back to the solitude of the cabin to figure out his feelings. His insides felt like they were being wound tighter than a clock spring.

Mickey remembered a saying about silence being deafening. It was like that on the ride back to the cabin. Maybe Sam was sensitive to his mood or she was sore and tired, he didn’t know. He knew he had to explain to her how he felt, but he was so close to the edge that he wasn’t sure he could do it without ranting.

McCall and Grace were waiting for them, with anxious looks on their faces before Elwood had stopped the car. He got out and jogged to open the car door for Sam. She let him help her and when she took his arm to lean on, he realised how bad she felt. Sam didn't like to show weakness any more than he did. She looked even paler and her eyes appeared huge but there was still a stubborn set to her jaw which told him she didn't want any more fuss.

"Sam, my dear, how are you?" McCall looked more concerned than Mickey had seen him in a long time.

"I’m fine. Nothing’s broken, just bruised." She managed a faint smile.

"I’ve made some food if you’re hungry." Grace was speaking to both of them.

"No thanks. I’m not really very hungry at the moment. I think I’ll go and get a shower and lie down for a while."

"Mickey?"

He took a deep breath before he answered her, "No thanks, Grace, not for me either. I’ll help Sam get settled." He could see questions in McCall’s eyes. The old man knew him too well. He’d answer later, when he and Sam had sorted a few things out.

By the time they reached the bedroom any thoughts of staying calm had fled. He saw her jump when he slammed the door behind them. "What the fuck were you thinking?"

"What?" He saw her look of confusion and that made him angrier.

It should be obvious what the problem was. He began pacing, "Getting in the way of Nolan’s bullets. Why’d you do it?"

She twisted to follow his movements and he saw her wince in pain, "Jesus Christ, Mickey, don’t be an arsehole. I was doing my job."

No longer able to control himself and not caring if McCall or Grace heard, he shouted. "Not like that! You shouldn’t take risks!"

"What the hell is wrong with you?" she shouted back, colour flushing her cheeks, "You’re behaving like a complete wanker! I do what I’m trained for, the same as you. We went into that school to rescue people – and we did! Part of the job is taking risks."

He stopped and turned to face her, feeling sick to his stomach that he might have lost her. "That doesn’t mean getting yourself killed!"

"I didn’t see you giving less than a hundred percent! Why the hell should I?"

He took a step towards her, and instead of retreating like most people did when he was this out of control, Sam took a step closer, challenging him. Confused by his feelings, he gripped her shoulders and pushed her back against the wall, burying the guilt that tore through him when she gasped in pain.

She tried to push him away and aimed a slap at his head. Her reactions were off and he released her shoulders and caught her hands easily, pinning them on either side of her head. She struggled, but he held on.

She struggled harder and he slammed her back against the wall again. "Stop fighting me, Sam."

"No!" Her voice was an angry hiss. "Let me go you bastard! What the fuck is up with you?"

She tried to push him away and he pushed back, using his hands and body to keep her trapped against the wall. He knew he must be hurting her. Why didn’t she back down?

"I don’t want you taking chances like that ever again."

"You’re telling me what to do? Who the hell do you think you are?" She glared at him and suddenly he remembered her anger when she had decked that sonofabitch Gordon Davis. She hadn't backed down then either.

"I… I don’t want you hurt again." He knew it sounded pathetic but he still couldn’t bring himself to tell her how much he cared about her. The thought that, if he showed his true feelings he would lose her, terrified him.

"Piss off, Mickey. I don’t need this chivalry shit!"

"It’s not chivalry! It’s—"

"It’s what? For God’s sake!"

His true feelings almost tumbled out before he could stop them, "I… I…" Desperate to distract her he bent his head and kissed her.

For a fraction of a second she resisted, trying to pull away, then her mouth opened under his and she kissed him back. Without breaking the kiss, he released her hands and grabbed her ass, pulling her against him. Her mons pressed into his groin.

He wanted her.

She slid her arms around his neck, her nipples were like pebbles pressing hard into his chest as her tongue clashed with his. God! She was as turned on as he was!

Her rapid breathing was loud in his ears and when she pulled back and caressed him through his jeans, he saw her pupils were dilated. Then her hands were on his zipper and she was kicking off her shoes. In moments he was naked and she wore only the dark t-shirt and black, lacy panties. When he lifted the t-shirt over her head he saw that she was nude underneath and he guessed she must have taken off her bikini top during her medical exam. He made himself stand still for a moment and look at her, he had to know if there were any other scars from her encounter with Nolan.

The hunger in her eyes made his stomach turn over. He pulled her closer, feeling his erection push up against her belly. She stroked the tip with her fingers and he lost all control. Tucking his fingers into the lace at her hips he ripped the fabric easily, letting the panties join the rest of their discarded clothing on the floor.

"I need you inside me now, Mickey. Make me come… Please." He didn't fight when she pulled him back into her arms, sucking and biting on his lower lip. Then, before he could stop her she was tipping them both onto the floor. He felt her nails dig into his back as she pulled him on top, bending her knees and lifting her hips so that he could enter her.

"But –"

"No!" she pleaded, "Don’t say anything! Just do it!"

Supporting himself on his arms, he looked down at her. Lying there with her hair spread out on the floor, breathing heavily, she met his gaze with equal intensity. She smiled and he knew then that she was all he had ever wanted. Sanity yelled at him to wait, that they needed to be careful, but he let his instincts take control. She was slick with desire when he slid into her. Feeling her body close around him, it was everything he hoped it would be.

Their movements grew frenzied. There was a primal hunger coiled inside him that he’d never known before. Slamming into her until he was breathless, he arched his back pushing himself in deeper. Sam clawed at his chest and the pain felt good.

He crushed her beneath him and she clasped her legs around his waist, urging him on. "Don’t stop… Don't stop… Don't stop…"

He exulted in the urgency of their raw, primitive mating, grunting as he pounded into her. Rutting like animals. It was so easy to lose himself in their passion. His skin was on fire and he couldn’t breathe, but he didn’t want it to end. There were dark shadows at the edge of his vision when she finally came. He went with her, exploding into her, gasping her name as she screamed and dug her nails into his ass, holding him closer than he had thought possible.

Their orgasm seemed to last forever.

Drained, he pulled away from her and rolled onto his back, sucking in deep lungfuls of oxygen. A few moments later he felt a warm stickiness on his stomach and thighs. Jesus! They hadn't used anything. He hadn't even managed to stay in control enough to pull out before he came.

"Hold me, please, Mickey love." Her voice was faint beside him.

He folded his arms around her and she huddled into him. She began trembling and her body was racked with dry sobs.

"Shh… It’s okay." Christ! He was a selfish bastard!

She sniffed hard, wiped her face with the back of her hand and shifted against him, "Thanks, Mickey."

"Thanks?" Her comment came out of left field and threw him completely.

"Umm… thanks for letting me be myself. I don’t have to pretend with you, I can be human and have feelings."

He thought about that for a moment or two and was pleased at her trust but he still felt guilty. "I’m sorry, shug. I didn’t mean to hurt you."

"Hurt me?"

"Just now… When we… I forgot about your back."

"Don’t." She put her hand over his mouth. "It wasn’t you. I wanted you so much." She traced the scratches on his chest with her finger, "I hurt you too."

"I didn’t mind, it felt good."

She leaned down and kissed his chest, "It felt good to me too." She moved again and he heard her sharp intake of breath and he cringed at her pain.

"Sam, do you want to move this to the bed? It’s gotta be a lot more comfortable than the floor."

She sat up and looked at him. Her hair was loose around her shoulders and her lips were red from his kisses. He thought she had never looked so beautiful. There was an aura of earthy wantonness about her that made him breathless. How had he been so lucky to meet her?

Her skin was still flushed with the afterglow of their love making and he found himself mesmerised by her full, round breasts. The scar on her hip stood out lighter and he remembered how fortunate she had been when she had been attacked by two Argentinean marines. He let his eyes meet hers, wondering if he would see anything dark there. Like him, Sam had long ago learned how to keep her life compartmentalised, but what Nolan and his friends had done was enough to sicken anyone. But it was okay because, when she looked at him, it was with her normal half mocking expression.

She groaned and leaned into his arms, "I need a shower first. I smell all sweaty and horrible."

He smiled. "I like how you smell." Her musk and the scent of gunpowder that lingered around her had turned him on more than he thought possible. "But if you’d like, how about a bath? It might help take some of the aches out."

She put her hand on his chest and stroked upwards. "As long as we can share."

Hoping her hand might move lower, later, he nodded, "Okay. You’ve got a deal."

He helped her to her feet and as they walked into the bathroom he had his first clear view of the blue-black marks that extended right across her back. Rage engulfed him for a moment and he knew that if he could kill Nolan again he would, only this time he'd make it a lot slower.

When he woke it was nearly dark in their room. Sam was still sleeping peacefully beside him. He’d made her take some of the painkillers the doctor had given her and his guess was that she’d sleep until the morning. Then, his stomach gurgled, which wasn’t surprising, he hadn’t eaten anything since a late breakfast and he had just slept through dinner time.

He folded his arms behind his head and lay back against the pillow, he’d never given much thought to the feelings that came after a mission. He knew they existed and he accepted them. He’d screwed his brains out with the first available woman, to forget something bad, more than once. Until now he hadn’t thought how a woman could react in the same situation. He’d known that they had similar instincts, to reaffirm that they were still alive, but he never had spent any time considering how any of the female agents he had worked with dealt with the pain of what they went through. Sam’s problems of being one of the few women in the job and in her department must have made it difficult, if not impossible, to let herself go. That she trusted him enough to be so honest about her needs pleased him a lot.

In the heat of the moment before, he’d been selfish, taking his pleasure without any thought for her injuries. After, in the bathtub, he'd tried to make it up to her. He had made it slow and sweet – pleasing her had been his only aim.

Mickey chewed his lower lip, he was hungry but he needed to think things through. They’d made love twice today without taking any precautions and had to talk about what they would do if there were any complications…

Complications. That was a nice euphemism. He’d never given much thought to having kids; after Serena was killed there had never seemed much point. His life wasn’t something to recommend him as a father – no way! He’d always put off the idea, it was something he would think about next year or the one after that.

Could he allow himself to dream – just a little? What would he do if Sam were pregnant? How would he feel? What would her reaction be? 

He knew she liked kids and had nieces and a nephew but she’d never said anything about wanting any of her own. At least they didn't have to worry about HIV or AIDS, they were both tested regularly and were clean.

Sam sighed in her sleep and he eased away from her. Getting out of bed he found some clothes and dressed, making as little noise as possible. Sam didn’t move when he slipped out of the bedroom door.

The clock read eight-thirty pm as he went into the kitchen. Hearing voices from the front porch he guessed that McCall and Grace had eaten dinner and were sitting out there enjoying the view of the lake as they had done most evenings. He had been sure they wouldn’t leave to go back to the city without telling him.

Mickey took a beer out of the refrigerator and knocked off the cap, taking a deep drink before starting to put a sandwich together. He found his mind wandering again. What sort of dad would he make? Would it be fair to bring a kid into a crappy world that spawned monsters like Nolan and the countless other bastards he had fought against all his life? He made a deliberate effort to slide it all to the back of his mind. There was no point in even thinking about it until he’d found out what Sam wanted. They would talk in the morning, when she woke.

Taking a huge bite, he chewed slowly then, picking up his beer and the rest of the sandwich, he headed out to find McCall. He and Grace would want to know how Sam was.

The last of the sunlight was still colouring the sky over the lake when he found them out on the veranda. "Hey."

McCall nodded, "How is Sam?"

He sat and put his meal on the low, wooden table between him and McCall. Grace sat forward to listen. "She’s okay. She let me persuade her to take some of the pain killers the doc at the hospital gave her. She’ll probably sleep until the morning."

"That’s a relief. I didn’t think anything serious was wrong but it needed to be checked." Grace gave him a friendly smile while McCall’s expression remained enigmatic.

"Grace and I have changed our plans and have decided to leave in the morning. It’s too late to start on the drive home now."

Mickey noticed the glass of amber liquid in McCall’s hand. A few fingers of that would go down real well, but he needed to do some deep thinking later on and wanted a clear head. "Sam would want to say goodbye."

"Lucas called. Dorothy is unhurt but still in shock. She told him to thank us all for our help but especially Sam. He has managed to hush up our involvement by calling in a few favours. During the clean up, I told him to let his department get all the credit."

Mickey nodded, the last thing they needed was for any of their pictures to appear in the papers with details of their involvement. "Sure thing."

He ate in silence for a few minutes while McCall sipped his scotch. Something was bothering the old man, he’d been around him long enough to read his vibes. "What’s the matter, McCall? You’re okay aren’t you? You didn’t get hurt or anything?"

"No, I’m fine. Grace and I were just concerned about Sam. Even with a vest a bullet can do a lot of damage. And what those animals had done to those students was inhuman. We were wondering how she was coping, being the one to find the bodies and all."

"She’s been working in this business for a long time, she knows how to handle it." Even though he knew that Sam had suffered rape, sodomy and near death in the line of duty he wasn’t about to share that information with McCall. That was Sam’s call.

"Good."

Grace looked at her watch, "If you’ll excuse me, I need to make a call, I have to get my neighbour to feed my cat again this evening since I won’t be home."

Grace smiled and walked back into the cabin. Mickey had the feeling that it was a manufactured excuse to give him and McCall some time alone together.

He wasn’t surprised when McCall sat back and studied him. "You looked upset when you got back from the hospital, and I heard a rather heated exchange go on. I gather things are all right between you and Sam now."

"We're fine. The only problem earlier was me. I was acting like an asshole." Mickey shrugged, "Sam smacked some sense into my thick skull. Everything’s okay now."

"Literally?" McCall raised his eyebrows in surprise.

"She would have if her reactions hadn't been off." Mickey looked down so he didn't have to meet Robert's eyes. Sam had told him that she enjoyed what happened between them that afternoon but he still felt a little uncomfortable about it.

He saw McCall smile. "Don’t tell me, you saw her shot today and, because you love her, it scared the hell out of you."

Because you love her.

Mickey nearly choked. His first instinct was to deny it.

The realisation that he loved Sam hit him then. Maybe it had needed someone else to put those feelings into words before he could accept it.

"Yeah."

It was only a single word but it meant so much, "It was worse than taking the bullet myself." He hooked a fingernail under the label on the beer bottle and refused to look at McCall.

"Tell me to mind my own business if you want to – I know I haven’t made a success of past relationships myself – but does she know how you feel about her?" Robert said.

He drank some beer to give himself some time to work out his answer. "No she doesn’t and I’m not going to tell her. Not yet. When we first got together we decided it would be a no strings relationship. We liked spending time together but that was it – our work came first. I'm scared that telling her might frighten her away."

"What are you going to do?"

Mickey swallowed hard, "I’m going to make the most of the time we're together, for now. And… if the worst happens… then I’ll deal with it when it comes."

Tuesday 31st July 1990 6am

Sam had been awake for a while letting her thoughts roll around her head and watching Mickey sleep. Closing her eyes, she snuggled closer, feeling his breath against her face and his body against hers. Last night, sleeping enfolded in his arms, had given her feelings of warmth and security she hadn't experienced in a long time – maybe since she was a child.

Finally she couldn't ignore her body's needs any longer.

Mickey stirred at once, "Whassamatta?"

His voice was deep and unbelievably sexy and Sam toyed with the idea of staying in bed for all of five seconds before the pressure in her bladder reminded her that she needed to move.

"It's okay, I need to use the bathroom then I'm going to get something to eat."

He cracked open one eye and looked at her, "You okay?"

She leaned forward and kissed his cheek, "Yes, I'm fine. It's early, go back to sleep."

"If you're sure." Giving a faint smile and a little sigh, that reminded her of her two year old nephew, Edward, he closed his eyes again.

It was just light outside when she walked into the kitchen. From the window she couldn't see the lake but the trees surrounding the cabin were still, with not even a breeze to ripple their branches.

Sam filled the kettle and put it on the stove. After some thought, she decided on scrambled eggs and toast. The muscles in her back pulled a little as she crouched in front of the refrigerator but it was nothing that would bother her too much.

She concentrated on cooking and making tea, deliberately keeping her thoughts away from the events at the school. She would have to go over it in her mind – a sort of personal de-briefing session – so that she could put it behind her. It wasn't being unfeeling, but there wasn't anything she could do about what had already happened and experience had told her she needed a little time before she confronted those memories in detail.

Carrying her plate and mug over to the table she sat down. As she ate the eggs her mind wandered over the aftermath of yesterday. That was something she could deal with now.

She picked up the toast, took a bite and chewed. It had all started when they got back from the hospital. Mickey's anger had confused her at first and, with her own emotions in an uproar, she hadn't thought anything through and had yelled back at him. When he kissed her it was as though a dam had broken and she was overcome with her need to be close to him. The dangerous light in his eyes when she stood in front of him almost naked had excited her beyond reason.

Sam had worked in Northern Ireland and elsewhere for long enough to understand the feelings that came after a difficult job. She had felt the need to reaffirm that she was still alive and breathing more than once but, in the past, she had mostly stayed in control and subjugated those needs.

Was her problem that she had lost control? Or was it that she had let Mickey inside her protective shell? She'd already let him into her home – something she had never done with any other lover.

Sam knew she was naïve in some ways. It had been obvious right from the start that Mickey was much more experienced. While she wasn't a blushing virgin, she hadn't had that many partners and none of them had viewed sex in the same way as Mickey. To him, it was an enjoyable game, pleasure with no strings and one that she had been more than happy to play – until yesterday. Yesterday, everything had changed. For those few hours, it was as though they had stepped outside time and were the only people in the world. The raw passion when they'd fought and the sense of fulfillment when he came inside her, had been unlike anything she'd known before.

Her mind whirring with confusion, she was still mulling over the implications of yesterday when he walked into the kitchen. In uncharacteristic panic, still not willing to let him see how much she cared, she stood quickly, picking up her plate. She walked over to the sink and set it down, making sure she kept her back to him.

"You okay?"

"I'm fine." By thinking of it as an undercover role it was remarkably easy to ignore the way his closeness made her palms sweaty and her heart pound, and answer him normally. She moved away from him back to the table.

She heard him turn on the coffee maker, fill the kettle at the sink and set it to heat, "Do you want some more tea?"

"Please." Sitting at the table she stared at her hands, keeping her eyes off him.

He clattered about for a couple of minutes making tea and coffee, then he brought two mugs over to the table, "McCall wondered if you would be all right about the students who were killed. I told him you could handle it."

Remembering the two broken bodies she'd found, she said, "Yeah, I'm handling it. I just wish that there was some way of finding people like Nolan before they commit such awful crimes. Those kids had their whole lives in front of them."

"I know."

She put her hands under the table and wiped the perspiration off them onto her robe. Then she rested them back on the table.

He sat facing her. "The terrible thing is that I've seen and dealt with worse." He patted her hand and then moved his own so that she felt his warm hand under hers. He bent his wrist and lifted their palms so that their fingers could entwine.

"Me too, Mickey. Sometimes I think the human race has sunk as low as it can get and then I see something to make me know it hasn't even tried. At times like that I try to persuade myself that the things I do make a difference…"

"It's got to be the only reason for doing this crazy job…"

Sam heard a phone ring in the other room and it being answered. Before she could say any more the kitchen door opened and Robert hurried in. He looked serious, "Johnny Stevens is on the line for you, Sam. He says he needs to speak with you urgently."

Sam looked at Mickey as she stood up hoping he would understand, "I gave him the number in case he needed to contact me."

He nodded his expression remaining a blank, "Go see what he wants."

Her heart thudding, whatever was going on must be serious for Johnny to phone her now, Sam walked over to the phone in the living room. "Yes?"

She thought she could hear genuine regret in his voice, "Sorry to disturb your holiday, Sam, but something has come up and I need you back at once. I've got travel to make the arrangements. You have a seat on every flight out of JFK, starting at midday and for the next six hours. Just get back as soon as you can. I'll have someone you know waiting for you at Heathrow."

"Couldn't you find someone else?"

"I'm sorry but no." He sounded terse which told Sam he was very worried.

She sighed, "All right. I'll see you as soon as possible."

When she turned, Mickey was standing at the doorway to the kitchen, leaning against the doorpost. From his stance she could tell that he had overheard her side of the conversation. She walked over to him, behind him she saw Robert sitting at the kitchen table. She spoke so they would both hear, "I've got to go back. Something's up. Johnny's got me a seat on every flight out after midday."

Mickey put his arms around her and she rested her head against his shoulder, conscious of the strength she seemed to be able to absorb from him. It did surprise her that he was this demonstrative with Robert so close by. He wasn't usually.

"It's okay, shug, you go and get a shower and start packing for us both and I'll help Robert close up here." He also spoke loudly enough for Robert to hear.

As she left the kitchen she couldn't help but notice the look that Robert gave Mickey and wondered what it was all about. She shook her head, there was no time to ask about it now; she had to get ready.

Back in the room she noticed that their clothes from yesterday were still scattered over the floor. Picking things up to pack, she found her torn panties. Instantly transported back to the previous afternoon she remembered how abandoned she had been, pleading with Mickey to make her come. She'd been like a bitch in heat, she thought in disgust.

She slumped down into a chair, stretching her legs out in front of her and staring into space, wasting time. What the hell was she doing, getting involved with someone again? Was she willing to let down her guard and let herself really care about Mickey Kostmayer? The attraction between them made thinking rationally about the problem almost impossible. Maybe she would be better to think it through when they were apart, when his presence didn't confuse her? Having made some sort of decision, however inadequate, she got up and finished cramming their clothes into bags before heading for the shower.

She was out of the shower and had just finished dressing when Mickey cannoned in through the bedroom door. "Well, whatever is going on is big, I've just had a call from Control, he's recalling me too."

Sam's heart sank, "Oh shit! Someone must have done something really stupid this time."

Mickey nodded, "You can say that again."

Chapter 10