He followed her into her bedroom, his heart pounding. She turned then and looked up at him, completely open to whatever he wanted. He brushed a knuckle along her cheekbone. "Dana?"
She nodded and he reached for the hem of her sweater. He gently removed it and looked at the creamy skin covered by the white lace. Front hook, his eyes smiled and he carefully unfastened it. His breath caught at the sight, better than he had imagined. His thumbs outlined the rosy aureole. He couldnít wait; his tongue encircled the nipple then his lips closed over it. She gasped, finally remembering to breathe. His hands were molding her back and holding her to him.
More, he wanted more. His fingers were now undoing the button on her slacks and lowering them to her feet. Her hand went to his shoulder as she lifted her leg, first one then the other so that he could remove them. The scrap of silk still covering her was damp. He made short work of it and she stood before him nude. She was breathing deeply, which he was appreciating fully.
"Mu . . . Mulder?" Her voice trembled ever so slightly, but she couldnít look away from him.
"Youíre incredible, you must know that."
She said nothing, the color high on her cheeks. He pulled his own sweater off and her shaking hand came up to touch his chest gently. His sex rose to an even higher state of arousal, her eyes flicked down and immediately back up. His slacks were ineffective in disguising his anatomy now.
"Are you okay?" She nodded slightly. He moved her to the bed and lay her down on it. He looked at her for a moment then discarded his own slacks and boxers. Her eyes widened and her face lost color. "Itís okay Dana. Youíre in charge here. Nothingís going to happen until youíre ready. You understand that, donít you?"
"Yes." She whispered to him.
He lay beside her then and began kissing her, her lips, her body, until she began to relax and then respond. Her own hands began exploring his body now, tentatively at first, then with more assurance.
His hand brushed her damp curls and then spread her thighs slightly, bringing his fingers to her moist cleft. She tensed slightly and he withdrew, "No, please donít stop. Mulder please."
"Youíre sure?" She nodded and drew his hand back to her body. After a moment he began his exploration again. His long fingers teasing, bringing her closer and closer to the edge. She thought she would lose her mind. When he finally pressed against that bundle of nerves she gasped and her whole body tightened and began convulsing around his fingers. When she began to relax and breathe again, he gentled her. She finally opened her eyes and looked up at him.
"I never . . . I didnít . . ."
He looked at her with wonder. "Youíve never . . .?"
She shook her head, still unable to speak.
"Oh Dana." He pulled her close, letting her come back to herself at her own pace. How could her husband not have shown her this pleasure? She was made for love and loving. That fool had nearly destroyed her. If he hadnít already been dead, Mulder would have been tempted to do him in himself.
She was reaching for him now, her fingers around his shaft. Her touch was almost more than he could take and he groaned. She marveled that her touch could bring him to this point and brushed the tip of him against her. He accepted the invitation entering her slowly.
The barrier stunned him back to his senses and he withdrew quickly. "Mulder?"
"Dana, are you . . . youíve never . . . are you a virgin?" He hadnít stuttered during sex in over twenty years, he was that taken aback.
"We donít have to . . . " His mind was reeling. Heíd barely believed she had never orgasmed, but this. What kind of man had she been married to?
She wanted this? She wanted him? She moved closer to him, taking hold of him again. "Please Mulder." She repeated again. He kissed his name from her lips and again entered her, penetrating that barrier quickly, holding her as she gasped.
"Are you okay?" She nodded pulling closer yet. He began the slow rhythm of the ancient dance and she joined him moving as though they had always done this together.
She was so hot, hot and tight. No one before him, no one, the thought kept coming to him. He was close, damn close so he again stimulated that hot bundle of nerves at her core and was rewarded with the convulsing of her body within his arms. He thrust again, once, twice and then he too was convulsing, crying out her name as her body milked him of every drop.
He managed to roll to the side before collapsing. Crushing her would be bad form, but he was drained in more ways than one. He felt her arms go around him, cradling him as he had her earlier, planting small kisses on his forehead and hair.
"Are you okay?" She finally asked.
"I donít think Iíve ever been better in my whole life. How about you?" She blushed but her eyes were shining. "Come here." He tucked her in next to him and lightly massaged her back. "Sleep, Sweetheart. Iíve got you."
She did, relaxing within his arms and allowing him complete control, feeling safer than she could ever remember feeling.
She woke to daylight, his arms around her, his face smiling down at her. "Good morning. Did you sleep well?"
"Very well, you?"
"I didnít sleep. I wanted to watch you."
"Yes. Do you have any idea how beautiful you are?"
"You want me again." She sounded amazed.
"Yes. I think thatís going to be a constant from now on." He was already stroking her, bringing her back to the state she had discovered last night for the first time. She realized she was craving his body too. That thought enthralled her as his body covered hers again.
She hadnít known, she had avoided knowing what she was missing. She wasnít missing anything now as she cradled his shuddering body in her arms. "God, Dana. I . . . "
"Rest Mulder. Just rest here." He nodded, his lips against her breasts and gave himself up to sleep. She pulled the sheet up over them, even though covering his body from her sight seemed somehow wrong. She didnít want him to get chilled, but from the heat radiating from him that shouldnít be a worry. He nuzzled his face into her breasts enjoying her body even as his own surrendered from consciousness.
Now she understood what he had meant, watching her. She could observe him without self-consciousness, admire the lines of his body, that incredible lower lip. She felt like a kid in a candy store. So this is what her friends had meant by Ďeye-candyí.
She lay there holding him, feeling the weight and warmth of him, thoroughly enjoying herself. She drifted off into memories of last night, blushing even though there was no one to see.
She was startled back to the present when he jerked in her arms. "No, damn it, no!" He was struggling now, not hurting her but definitely restless. "No." When she saw the tears in his eyes she held him tighter.
"Mulder, wake up. Itís okay, please. Itís Dana, Iím here and youíre just having a bad dream."
"Dana?" He was waking, but obviously not awake. "No, oh god, what was I thinking?" He pulled away from her arms now, leaving the bed. "This was a mistake Dana. This never should have happened. I, I want you to forget Ė " He was reaching for his boxers, as though racing to leave her presence.
"What?" It was a whisper, but as her shock grew into anger her voice returned. "A mistake? Thatís what this was to you? I see, this was a game to you, wasnít it?" Her nudity forgotten she stood now, her back straight, her eyes snapping. "Well congratulations, you scored with the poor little virgin, now you can just leave and Ďforgetí all about it. Is that how you do it? Is that how you entice all the women to your bed? Fine. Get out."
He stood there now, finally looking at her, stunned. Sheíd misunderstood, what had he said? It was like sheíd become a different person.
"Dana, no, thatís not what I Ė "
"I said get out." She hadnít even reached for anything to cover herself.
"Iíve put you in danger Dana." When she didnít respond he continued, "Theyíll find out about us."
"Donít worry about that. I donít plan to talk about this, ever. I believe Iíve asked you to leave. Do I need to call the police?"
He approached her now and she took one step back, away from him. It was as though heíd been stabbed with an ice pick. He sank down onto her bed and her eyes narrowed. He was looking at the floor now, not facing her.
"I dreamed they did to you what they did to him. It was you on that slab with no hands, no . . . " He looked up again, "They could, they could kill you thinking that you know more than you do, that youíre telling me things."
She hesitated a moment, "Then I guess itís a good thing youíre not responsible for me." Her voice was icy.
"But I am, Iím the one thatís put you in danger, by falling in love with you." Her eyes widened, but she made no comment. "You werenít the only virgin here last night Dana. You might not have had physical love before, but Iíd never had emotional love. What have I done to you? How can I ever keep you safe?"
"What . . . what are you talking about?" She had moved farther from the bed, but at least she was listening.
"I havenít told you about my work, not really. Iíve glossed over most of it. I didnít realize where this was going; or I refused to see. I donít date intelligent women Dana; Iíve been so good about never getting involved. You blindsided me, the one woman they would care about me seeing and I go and fall in love with you."
"Stop saying that."
"What? That Iím in love with you? I believe in the truth Dana, and thatís the truth. But seeing you, like that . . . "
"Like what?" She hadnít moved any closer, but she hadnít left the room.
He shuddered, "Like Stan. You donít know what he was involved with, that kept you safe from them. But being with me, theyíll start to suspect you know more than you do. Youíre in more danger now than you ever were with him."
"You donít have to go through this act to dump me Mulder. Iím an adult. I might not be very experienced but Ė "
"Dump you! Damnit, have you heard anything I said?"
"Yes. I heard every word. Are you ready to leave now?" He buried his face in his hands.
"Maybe youíre right. I should leave." He heaved himself up off the bed and made his way to where his clothes had fallen last night. She remembered her own nudity then and turned to her closet. She pulled her robe out and put it on. She felt as though her body were made of lead, that she was avoiding feeling anything. Sheíd shatter if she allowed herself to feel.
He was dressed now. He turned to look at her. "Iím not going to ask for your forgiveness, I donít deserve it. I never will. But I am sorry." He shook his head and started to say something else, instead he turned and she heard him let himself out of the apartment.
She allowed herself to slip down to the floor, beyond crying.
He sat is his car, no energy to even place the key in the ignition. He looked around trying to figure out a reason to keep moving. His eye caught the file Skinner had given him earlier. Work, yeah he had to work.
He glanced back at her apartment one more time then started the car. Once home he showered and changed, then sank onto his couch and forced himself to open the file. He couldnít work up any enthusiasm, but he managed to read it. What the hell? He picked up the phone and dialed Diana.
"Where have you been? Iíve been trying to reach you since yesterday afternoon."
"I was busy. Whatís the deal on this case?"
She brought him up to date and he tried to listen. Finally he interrupted her. "Are we going out there?"
"Well yes. I think we should."
"Fine. What time?"
"Are you okay?" She countered; he didnít sound like himself at all.
"Sure. Just give me the details." She hesitated a minute, something was definitely wrong with him and she needed to find out what. That would be easier to do out of town. She gave him the flight information and agreed to meet him at the airport.
He didnít even look like himself at the airport. Her first impulse was to take his hand but he moved away when she tried to get close to him. Once seated, he closed his eyes and leaned back, obviously rejecting the notion of conversation.
It didnít get any better. He was barely communicative, short, nearly hostile with her. At her suggestion that she keep him company that night to make him feel better, the expression on his face actually drove her back a couple of steps. And he hadnít said a word.
He managed to maintain a professional attitude when talking with the local authorities but it was taking all of his strength not to punch the yokels out. This was no X-file; hell it wasnít even a case. Why had she even sent him this file? He had nearly worked up the energy to ask her about it but decided to check in with Skinner first. It would be bad form to attack her.
"Itís Mulder, I wanted you to know I think this is a waste of time."
"I see." There was a slight pause. "Are you okay Mulder?"
"Fine. Iím thinking of dropping this back into local hands and clearing out."
"Does Fowley agree with you?"
"I havenít discussed it with her. I thought Iíd work through you since the request for my assistance came from you officially."
"I have to trust your judgment on this Mulder. If itís not a case, come on in."
"Thanks, Iíll be in the office tomorrow."
"Okay. By the way, remember the Winthrope case?"
Just the name sent his blood pressure up several notches. "Yeah."
"Well, it almost happened again. The wife was attacked, but they didnít take her. She wouldnít let them, put up quite a struggle. It was almost as though she was ready for them. She was definitely on the ball and caught them off-guard."
If he hadnít been seated already he would have been on the floor. As it was he was having trouble finding his voice. "Is she okay?"
"A little beat up, the hospital didnít keep her. Just thought youíd be interested. Sheís a savvy woman for a little thing."
"Yeah. Yeah, she is. Iíll be in tomorrow." He broke the connection. Skinner saying she was okay wasnít enough. Should he call her? No, he had to see her; it was too late to protect her with his absence. He had to see her. He was already throwing things into his suitcase; heíd seen a cab at the office on his way in. Was it still there?
He was out of the room in less than five minutes and managed to catch the cab, leaving the rental car for Diana. He didnít even feel guilt at not advising her of his departure, in fact, he didnít think of it at all.
It was late when he pulled up in front of her apartment. She probably wouldnít want to see him but it didnít matter. He had to know she was really okay, then heíd watch from here in the car to make certain she wasnít bothered during the night. Heíd have to make better arrangements tomorrow but for now it was all he had.
After taking a deep breath he got out of the car. It felt like years since heíd seen her rather than 48 hours. He found himself wondering how heíd managed to stay away this long.
He hesitated at her door, but he was here and he had to see her. He knocked and waited. Sheíd look through the peephole, but would she open the door?
It did open but the woman standing there was Melissa. Good, she wasnít alone. "Agent Mulder?"
"Yes. I heard what happened this afternoon. May I see Dana?"
"Of course." She moved aside. Well obviously Dana hadnít brought her up to date on their Ďsituationí. Was she too mortified to even talk to her own sister? Shame engulfed him again.
"Missy?" He heard Dana call from the bedroom. "Is everything okay?"
"You have company Dana. Itís Agent Mulder." Dead silence from the bedroom. Mulder didnít bother to look at Melissa. After a moment she turned back to him. "Maybe she didnít hear me. Iíll go check."
"I heard you Missy." Dana had entered the living room quietly. She had a bruise on her face and was limping slightly, but she was alive, she was here. He managed to take a breath.
"I . . . I heard about . . ." She just looked at him, not responding.
Melissa, sensing the tension, turned to Dana. "Look, if Agent Mulder is going to be here for a few minutes, I could run out now and pick up the stuff you wanted."
Danaís head went up as though to protest her leaving them alone, but then she relaxed her shoulders. "Fine."
"I wonít be long. Did you think of anything else you needed?"
"No, itíll be fine." Melissaís eyes went back and forth between them; then she shrugged and picked up her purse. You could cut the tension with a knife. As easy as he was to look at, she didnít want to hang around right now.
They were silent after she left, not moving; she didnít offer him a seat. Finally he couldnít stand it.
"Are you really all right?"
"Why do you care?"
"Damn it Dana!" That galvanized him to take a step toward her, but she stepped back away from him. "This is what I was afraid of. I said theyíd come after you if they knew I cared. I was right, wasnít I?"
"We donít know that."
"We donít? Your family experience a lot of kidnappings?" She blushed slightly at that.
"Itís been weeks. Why couldnít it have been a coincidence?"
"Itís the first time Iíve gone out of town since we starting seeing each other." His eyes widened. "Oh my god."
"She got me out of town. That why the case was so bogus. Sheís part of it."
Dana had mentally flinched each time heíd said the word Ďsheí. She hated asking, but it slipped out before she could stop it. "Who?"
"Diana Fowley. Weíve done some work together on the X-Files. Those cases where things disappeared." She didnít speak, he was obviously far away right now, thinking.
They both heard the door opening and before she could react he was in front of her, shielding her, his gun already drawn. "I forgot to get my Ė " Melissa froze as she looked at them. His gun was now pointed at the ceiling and he took a shaking breath.
"Sorry about that. I thought . . . nevermind. Iím sorry."
"Yeah, its, its okay. I just wanted to get my other bag. Iíll knock when I get back." She had grabbed the plastic bag from beside the door and was gone again.
He stepped away from her then, though she had not moved from him, holstering his gun. "Why did you do that?"
"I thought it might be someone . . . Look, as soon as she gets back Iíll go out to the car and keep watch from there."
"Keep watch? What are you talking about?"
"Iím not comfortable with only your sister here as protection. Iíll keep an eye on the place until morning, then I can arrange for more security."
"You donít have to do Ė "
"Yes, I do. This is all my fault. Theyíre after you because of me, just like I said theyíd be."
"You . . .you were serious. Thatís why you left that morning?" She looked up at him wondering, was it really true?
"Trying to save your life is the only thing that got me out of here. I couldnít save the only other person Iíve ever cared about. They get you over my dead body."
She was looking deep into his eyes now, trying to read what was there. He didnít look away, allowing her scrutiny, hell savoring it because he could look at her as well.
She took a deep breath. "You were telling the truth."
He nodded, afraid to speak.
"Who did you lose?" She steeled herself to hear the words former lover, wife, whatever.
"My sister." He spoke in a whisper. She saw the pain in his eyes. Heíd never mentioned a sister; he didnít mention his family at all come to think of it.
"Will you tell me about it?" The softening in her stance was noticed immediately. She motioned him toward the couch and after he sat, took a seat herself as far from him as she could on the same furniture.
She watched him as he talked, the pain, the frustration, the guilt poured out of him. She didnít interrupt with questions, just letting him get it all out.
He finally ran down, more from exhaustion than ending the story. There was no resolution to this. "Anyway, I joined the FBI and the first thing I did was pull her file. They did a half-ass job and now so many years have gone by . . . "
"Iím sorry Mulder." Her posture was softer and she was leaning slightly toward him instead of the stiffness sheíd displayed when they first sat down.
He shook his head and rose. He began pacing then, unable to sit still. "Iím not comfortable with you staying here tonight. Youíre on the ground floor, two doors, and accessible windows. I canít secure this place alone."
"Mulder Ė "
"Theyíve already proven theyíll do it. Theyíll be better prepared next time. You caught them off guard by fighting back, you donít look like the kind of woman that would."
"You want me to check into a hotel?"
"What about my place?" She stiffened immediately and drew back on the couch. "Wait, this is not a come on Dana. I swear. I know Iíve killed that part of you for me. My place is on the fourth floor, one door, no one would know you were there, and I know the layout with my eyes closed. Your sister could come too. The two of you can have the bedroom and Iíll sleep on the couch. I just, I donít want . . . " His voice trailed off and she still sat silent.
"Youíre that concerned about this?"
"Youíve got no reason to trust me, I know that. But youíre part of me Dana and I canít go through that again. It cost me most of my sanity the first time. Thereís no telling what would be left if you were taken."
She swallowed hard, he was either a very good actor or . . . or he did love her. She wasnít sure which scared her more.