Author's Note: Okay, so this idea is a little . . . out there, but so is Serendipity. Stick with me if you can take it. Please drop me a note, and please don't post without my explict permission.
Friends. They were supposed to be friends. That was all. Anything else was too complicated, too dangerous.
As he walked into the house, he was greeted by a gentle breeze. The large panes of glass that made up the wall of his living room were pushed opened, allowing the salt water to permeate the air. Then he saw her, curled up on the couch, her hand grasping a cup of coffee as she looked out at the ocean.
He stood tentatively at the end out the sofa. "I thought that you'd be asleep," he said softly.
She looked up at him as he sat next to her on the couch. "Where were you, Pace?" He didn't answer, alternatively electing to count the stars. "The hospital called," she said. "You weren't there."
"I had to see a patient," he said. "He wasn't at the hospital."
He sat there in the uneasy silence, grasping at the air for anything to say. Evidently, she had sobered up considerably. "It wasn't a lie," he said finally. "I really did have to go."
She nodded absently. "We just left things . . . a little . . ."
"I know," he said. "It's a, it's a good thing that I got that page when I did."
She frowned. "So you're glad that we didn't. . ."
"Yeah," he answered, so quickly he didn't even convince himself. "Sex can screw anything up," he babbled. "I mean, we all get lonely sometimes--"
"You think I'm lonely?" she asked indignantly.
"Lonely, drunk, frustrated, and almost thirty years old."
"And what if a lonely, drunk, frustrated, almost thirty year old woman told you she wanted you right now."
He laughed. "A lonely, drunk, frustrated, almost thirty year old woman wouldn't say that to me."
She moved closer to him, and began to speak softly. "What if this lonely, drunk, frustrated, almost thirty year old woman said, 'Pacey, throw those medical journals and old copies of Sports Illustrated on the floor, and fuck me on that coffee table.'"
He choked down the lump in his throat as his eyes diverted to the coffee table. It didn't take much to spark Pacey's imagination.
"You're thinking about it, aren't you?" she whispered, her breath hot on his cheek.
He looked back at her. "So?"
"So?" she repeated, challengingly raising an eyebrow. Without a word, he stood, and brushed the things from the large table into the floor. He sat down and leaned back on his hands, looking at her expectantly.
He thought he was calling her bluff until he realized his back was against the table. She was on top of him, and had slipped her tongue inside his mouth. He grabbed a handful of her hair and pulled her closer.
Personal rules. Pacey had personal rules. Always watch your own back. Never trust anyone. Don't lose control. Don't endanger anyone you care about. Don't screw friends.
He opened his eyes. He saw a friend. He saw someone he cared about. For a minute, he'd gotten lost. She'd finish this last kiss, and he'd end it. That would be all.
He'd forget the warm feel of her body. He'd forget the soft silkiness of her hair. He'd forget that smell that could only be uniquely hers. He'd forget her hot, wet kisses. Sure he would. Hell, who was he trying to kid. He'd probably have erotic dreams about this for the next six months.
It became all too real when he felt her fumble with the button on his pants. Her breath was labored as she began to suck on his earlobe.
"Get up, Jo," he said. She pulled back slowly, and let her head hover over his, her hair falling around his face. She looked confused. "Get up," he repeated.
She stood up, and watch him get up off his back. Her arms were crossed, as she waited for an explanation. "Well?" she demanded.
"Go to bed, Jo," he said. "Alone."
"You are such a bastard," she said to his back, giving a sardonic laugh. "What is the male equivalent to a tease, anyway?"
As much as he hated to admit it, her bitchy side always aroused him. He stood next to her, moving his mouth to her ear. "This isn't a game," he whispered. He seductively moved his tongue around behind her ear.
"Everything is a game," she said, remaining surprisingly composed. She grabbed at his hair, as he moved down her neck.
"When you fuck with me, it's not a game," he said, as his hands carelessly began to wander her body. "You'd better be damn sure you're ready to play."
Her breathing was labored, her eyes closed, and her mouth parted. She knew what he was saying, but she was . . . distracted. Truth was, she needed to get laid as badly as she'd accused him of needing it.
"You'd better make sure you won't regret this in the morning," he added, pulling away from her.
She grinned wickedly. "The last thing I want to think about right now is tomorrow," she said. She smothered his opposing words with her mouth.
He had given her the chance to walk away, and that was enough. She sat back on the table, and began to undress him as he looked down at her. She was surprised at how gently he laid her down on the table. His kisses became more fervent as his hand roamed under her blouse.
He pulled back ever so slightly and she placed a finger on his lips. "Just this one time," she declared. "My body needs this."
"It's not going to change anything," he whispered, looking sincerely into her eyes.
"Then what are you waiting for?" she said. Her eyes were demanding, as her lips curled into a small smile.
He kissed her again, desperately, as he tried to rid her of the distracting clothes. He needed this too.
Pacey wearily walked down the stairs. He didn't know where she was, because he didn't wake up beside her. Out of pure ritual, he started a pot of coffee, and then surveyed the damage. He rubbed his collarbone out of habit as his eyes roamed the room.
He had to admit, they'd had some night. Aside from the magazines strewn across the floor, and a few misplaced cushions on the couch, the room was rather orderly.
He stared for a moment, as the vivid images permeated his mind. Taking a deep breath, he piled the magazines back on the coffee table, and straightened the cushions on the couch.
After pouring a cup of coffee, he walked to the window to look at the ocean. There were rarely people out there, especially this early in the morning. He pushed back the glass window, and settled in the steps digging his feet into the sand. There were advantages to being three steps from the sand, fifty from the ocean.
All he could figure was that she regretted everything that had happened, and ran like hell from the scene of the crime.
Then he saw her running up the beach. She was wearing some of his clothes, her hair in a sloppy ponytail. "Morning," she said, slightly out of breath as she sat next to him.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
She looked at him, and laughed between huffs. "I'm going to be thirty, remember?" He nodded. "Well, just because I'm getting up there in years, it doesn't mean I have to let my body go all to hell."
"I don't think you have to worry about that," he said absently.
She blushed, and looked at the sand. "I, uh, um . . . phew, it's hot out here, don't you think?"
He laughed. "Relax, Jo," he said. "We don't have to say a word about it."
She sighed in relief. "Good idea," she said. "Not that you weren't--whew, you were . . . well . . . and I-I was . . . and we had, we had, and you were really, really . . ." She groaned defeatedly. "Are you sure it's not hot out here?"
"Definitely hot out here," he said in a raspy voice. She couldn't deny how sexy he looked right there, the early morning sun shining on the other side of his face and that smell she just couldn't pinpoint. Her head immediately filled with vivid images from last night.
He took another sip of coffee while he looked at the ocean. "A shower will make you feel better," he said.
"Yeah," she said, half tempted to ask him to join her. "I'll be back in a few minutes."
He watched as she strode through the living room and up the stairs. "Yeah, Jo, it was definitely hot out here."
Joey looked at herself in the mirror, and she frowned as she rubbed her hand along her cheek. "A good lay did nothing for you, Josephine," she said. She couldn't help the corner of her mouth twisting into a smile. "But it was good."
She looked at the dark circles underneath her eyes. They were so bad lately, she couldn't go without makeup anymore. Of course, she looked just how she felt. She rummaged through her purse until she found a pill bottle. There was no sense in going without the Xanax anymore. It made her feel better, and she didn't give a damn if she'd have to be on it for the rest of her life at this point.
Quickly slinking out of the sweaty clothes, she stepped into the shower, and welcomed the warm water as it flushed over her body.
Her life was too damn stressful. She knew that she was dangerously close to losing her job, and she would if she didn't lose her attitude.
And now, of course, she had screwed Pacey on his coffee table. That definitely wouldn't be good for their friendship. It was sad, but true. He was the only stable thing in her life at the moment--a link to childhood, a good friend, a strong, successful man--and she knew that her actions last night would have some sort of ripple effect.
Besides, she knew herself. Despite the fact she had said it could only happen once, she would undoubtedly find her way back to him when her body was aching again.
Of course, she wasn't trying to think about that now. She was convinced last night was more than enough to keep her for a few weeks at least. Hell, she'd be able to get herself off on the memories alone.
She had enjoyed herself, and he had been more than she ever expected. For some reason, she laughed out loud. All those rumors she'd heard in high school were true after all.
To Be Continued . . .
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