Home Again

Rose sighed. The door closed behind her and she leaned heavily against it, feeling guilty at the sense of relief that flooded her as her mother left.

Lara Clowderbock had been teary, caring and completely focused on Rose since her daughter’s rescue from the Good Tern sinking. She’d run interference with the reporters and waited on Rose hand and foot for five days. Rose was exhausted. She wandered back into her living room and threw herself down onto the overstuffed sofa, wiggling her bare toes, wondering if she dared to try and phone Mac.

She missed him. The two of them had been caught up in the media limelight, and weathered it as gracefully as they could, plugging away for the Foundation every chance they could. The past week had been hectic, and they’d had no opportunity to share any personal time together at all. Rose wondered with a touch of worry if Mac was having second thoughts, if he regretted what he’d said to or done with her on the island. She picked up the phone.

It rang three times, and the answering machine came on, Mac’s patient voice telling her that they all knew how these things worked—

Rose hung up. She drew in a deep breath and held it, remembering the feel of his fingers along her spine, the warm tingle of his breath against the back of her neck. The sensations made her quiver a little. Mac was not just a person, he was definitely an experience, and most of her body was complaining about the abrupt loss of contact.

The phone trilled, and she lunged for it, hoping against hope. It was Newt; Rose settled back wondering why her normally reclusive brother was calling.

“Got a present for ya kid—” he teased in his gruff, famous voice.

 Rose sighed. “More free albums?”

“Better than that,” her brother laughed, ”Diablo’s waiting for ya.”

“Newt!!” The happiness in her voice was contagious; he chucked again.

“Thought you’d be happy to see the big bastard again. I’ll have Kip bring him over tomorrow, if you think you can handle him.”

“Kip’s easy to deal with, but Diablo—let’s just say it will be a good reunion! Thanks, Newt---you are the BEST brother!”

“Hey, I’m the only brother, and for a while I worried I’d be the only CHILD. So stay on dry land for a while, okay sis?”

“Okay. Love ya.”

“Same here.”

***   ***   ***

Nikki Carpenter gave another exasperated sigh and took the hockey puck out of Mac’s hands. The other two tumbled down as his juggling abruptly ended.

“Just relax, MacGyver—You’re home safe and sound, with nothing more pressing on your agenda than some vacation time. Now eat the tofu sauté and stop fidgeting!” she ordered, trying to sound comforting. Mac sighed and shoved his hands in his pockets.

“Not hungry, Nikki, not right now,” came his restless reply. She smoothed the front of her skirt to hide her irritation. Even since returning from his accidental adventure in the Pacific, MacGyver was out of sorts. He was unfocused, with none of the trademark stead concentration that so characterized his nature. Instead he was fidgety, and on edge a lot, certainly much more distracted and snappish.

Nikki chalked that up to bad influence. She tossed the oven mitts onto the table and glared at MacGyver, who was eyeing the telephone with a puzzled look.

“Did you turn off the ringer?”

“Of course I did—you don’t need to be disturbed right now.”

“Nikki!” Mac turned a very annoyed expression on her, his hands going through his hair, “You shouldn’t have done that!”

“Mac look at yourself—you’re moody and touchy as a bear! I can’t think of a single person who’d want to be in your company right now!”

“But you? Thanks,” he finished sarcastically as he picked up the phone and flicked the ringer back on. His fingers itched to punch in a familiar number, but he didn’t, not with Nikki watching him. He reluctantly set the receiver back down.

“Thinking of calling someone?” Nikki sighed. She scooped up the sauté and dumped part of it on Mac’s plate, frowning at the mess.

He shrugged.

“Let me guess—Rose maybe?”

His guilty start made Nikki roll her eyes; she gave a sniff of disapproval and shook her head.

“Honestly, Mac, the only thing you see in her is what everyone else has seen, and if you ask me it’s not all that impressive.”

“Nikki?” confused, Mac settled into the chair opposite her and tentatively poked a fork at the tofu, “If this is about her fish obsession, let me remind you that we ALL have our quirks, okay?” Mac warmed to Rose’s defense, trying to figure out what was actually edible on his plate.

 Nikki snorted. “Quirks? Oh please, Mac—posing naked is hardly a quirk!”

“What?” MacGyver’s head whipped up and he stared at Nikki, who fairly quivered with amusement. She arched an eyebrow at him, enjoying her moment.

“Oh don’t tell me you didn’t KNOW! Good lord, Mac, it was mentioned in all the articles about you two, putting a nasty spin on the whole ‘lost in paradise’ deal. Didn’t Rose tell you she’d let hundreds of men ogle her naked body in Playboy?”

For a long tense moment, Mac studied the face of the woman across from him, marveling at the flicker of emotions on her classical face. Hints of malicious delight, fear, concern, sneering condescension, and longing all shifted in Nikki’s eyes.

 He drew in a deep breath. “Gee I guess that didn’t come up while we were fucking, Nikki.”

The flush across her face was brick red and ugly; Mac narrowed his eyes and pushed his plate away as Nikki pressed her lips together tightly.

“Then--I guess it wouldn’t matter, would it, Mac?” she finally managed shakily. The silence stretched between them, taut and deep.

MacGyver tilted his head, giving in to the clamor in his mind and sighed. “Since you’re dying to give me the details, Nikki, maybe you’d better do it and go. I doubt I’m going to be very good company this evening,” he warned.

“Mac—” her look of regret was genuine, but only for HIS pain; Nikki held no empathy for anyone else at the moment. He calmly met her gaze. Nikki looked down from that forthright intensity

 Her voice held a soft note of apology. “Apparently she posed as a centerfold back in ‘78 or so, most likely for the money. Some of the pictures are making the rounds at the Foundation, but that’s not MY fault!”

He nodded, thinking about all the employees he knew, THOUGHT he knew. A sick feeling hit the pit of his stomach as he remembered off-color remarks, the tattered pin-ups, the thousands of degrading and thoughtless comments that were part of a man’s world. He dropped a hand on the table as Nikki watched him.

“God, you really DO care for her, don’t you?” Nikki’s voice held a hint of astonishment and regret.

 Mac shot her a look that tried to be indifferent, but he slowly nodded. “Just getting it? Yeah. Rose means a lot to me, Nikki. And you haven’t made anything easier tonight. Go home. I’ll see you in a few days.”

Nikki opened her mouth to argue, and thought better of it; she quietly picked up the plates and cleaned up while Mac went and dropped heavily on the sofa, ignoring her. Without a goodbye, she let herself out.

For a while he brooded; deep within his nature was a pessimistic streak that refused to die out completely. He didn’t resent Rose’s past, but finding out about it from Nikki Carpenter of all people made it that much harder to take. Mac sighed, and let his glance drift back to the phone.

God he wanted to call.

Just to hear her voice, to know she was there, even if she was busy—

Crossing the room, he nearly made it when something rumbled through the marina. Curious, Mac shifted his direction and went to the door, peeking out. The heavy sound of a truck engine hung in the night air, and then died away as he watched the car park. A familiar shape emerged from the driver’s side, and Mac hurried out his front door, mouth agape.

“Rose?”

She scurried to him, arms held out, smiling; Mac scooped her into his embrace; a huge load of tension melted out of him as he drank in her fragrance, her lithe warmth as they stood in the light of his glass front door.

“Miss me?” came Rose’s question, muffled against his shirt. He kissed the top of her head, his words in her hair.

“Yep. A LOT,” came the simple and honest confession. He held her tightly, feeling the curves and muscles of her body against his: exciting, arousing, and very dear.

Mac pulled back enough to look down into he upturned face for a moment, and Rose caught his expression. Her hug faltered.

“What’s wrong?” she whispered. Mac reached down and brushed a lock of hair from her eyes, the gesture absent-mindedly gentle.

“Nikki tried to make me some dinner. And---She shared some gossip with me—” he finally admitted. Rose’s face tightened; all the breath left her body in one deep sigh.

“Damn it—let me guess! My regrettable college fundraiser, right? Please tell us in fifty words or fewer, Miss Clowderbock, why you’re willing to pose in our periodical,” she singsonged bitterly.

Mac gave a slow nod. “Yeah. Brat you have to admit that’s a hell of a thing to hear about secondhand.” He couldn’t help the chiding tone in his voice. His grip on her tightened, but Rose tried to pull out of his embrace.

“I was working my way up to telling you . . .” came her sulky admission, “But considering how straight-laced you are, there never seemed a good opportunity you know.”

“Straight-laced?” he found that amusing; his hands slid to cup her ass possessively, making Rose jump a little.

“Yes, straight-laced Boy Scout squeaky clean hero MacGyver, okay? It’s a big part of your charm for a bad girl like myself. A reformed bad girl. Mostly.”

“Rose, you still need to learn a LOT about me,” Mac muttered into her ear. The sheer proximity of their bodies overwhelmed any conversation; MacGyver pulled her up into an urgent kiss fueled by need.

Rose moaned, her mouth opening to his demanding tongue, and they swayed, tasting and savoring each other in the cool salty night air. Finally, Rose gave a tiny shiver and broke away from Mac’s questing mouth to take in a much needed breath.

Oooohhhhhh I remember THOSE kisses,” she gasped. Mac smirked, ego stoked for the moment. He gave her ass a quick, firm squeeze.

“I intend on keeping your recall sharp you know,” came his husky reply. Rose giggled against his shoulder, arms around his neck.

“Okay, so you know. I guess you’ve seen the photos?”

“Nope,” he sounded slightly disappointed.

 Rose shrugged. “I’ve got a copy of the issue back at my place—might as well know the extent of the damage, right?” Rose announced glumly.

 Mac made a rumbling noise deep in his chest. “I get to go look at nude photos of the woman I’m sleeping with tonight--throw in a hockey game on ESPN and I’m in heaven.”

“Whoa, pal—who said ANYTHING about . . .”

“—Yes?” came his playful reply. She shook a finger at him.

“—Watching hockey!”

***   ***   ***

In the moment as they stepped through the doorway to the apartment, Rose felt the odd déjà vu of the first and last date she’d been on with Mac. The awkward evening, the erotic dessert, the passionate kiss that had left her aching and teary for most of the night—she turned to catch his expression and caught the same memory on his face.

“You remember that night?” she asked. He nodded eyes dark and piercing.

“In ways you never WILL, Brat,” he muttered in a low voice. Skittishly she moved into the living room, flicking on lights. Mac followed her in, moving purposefully after her, his body language set in a singular vocabulary. Rose glanced over her shoulder as she reached up on the bookcase nearest the window facing the street. Mac crowded so closely behind her she felt his body heat through her shirt.

Proximity helped; when Mac was within arm’s reach, nothing seemed clumsy or uncertain. She tugged on the magazine, pulling it free from the books pinning it. Mac took it from her and a smile tugged the corners of his mouth.

“April Fool’s issue? Why am I NOT surprised?”

Rose turned, but Mac had her trapped against the bookcase. The magazine dangled from his fingers, but he was watching her instead with a steady dark-eyed gaze.

“What?” she demanded, a little breathlessly, all too aware of the sofa behind him, and the bed, just a little further off—

“I want you,” he admitted in a low voice, a shy yet passionate gleam coming into his eyes. Rose felt her pulse quicken at his words, felt herself blush hotly. An answering smile touched her mouth.

“I thought you were here for hockey,” she blurted in a teasing tone. Mac stepped even closer, forcing her back to hit the books on the case behind her. Looming over Rose, he tipped his head and let his mouth heat the side of her throat while he pressed of his chest to hers.

Ohhhhhhhhmmmmmm . . . ” Rose gurgled, her hands sliding up and around his shoulders. The heat between them, the sheer physical intensity flared up again. Mac’s words were muffled against her skin.

Wanna hickey?”

She burst into giggles, squirming under his assault; Mac wrapped his arms around her back tightly. For a moment they rocked together, bumping books and groaning a little as they gave into friction.

“M-m-Mac . . .” Rose muttered indistinctly into his ear, since she had the lobe of it in her teeth. He hadn’t stopped nibbling on her neck, but his concentration faltered.

 Rose let go and blew strands of his hair out of her face. “I’ve got an atlas grinding in my spine.”

“Then let me kiss it and make it better,” Mac replied, scooping her up. To tease her, he grunted and she lightly hit his shoulder.

“Faker!”

“Busted,” came his admission as he hoisted her up and carried her easily.

Rose noticed him bypass the sofa.“Ummm . . .”

“The real deal, Rose. A bed. With sheets and blankets and pillows. No fronds or canvas this time,” he muttered as they passed over the threshold to her bedroom. The lights were low, and the blue glow of the full wall fish tank lit the room, giving it a soothing aura. Lightly Mac tossed her on the seashell quilt and dropped down on his stomach next to her. Both of them kicked off their shoes.

“Let’s take a peek, shall me?” he teased, propping open the magazine and thumbing through it thoughtfully. Rose rolled to her stomach next to him, propping herself up her elbows and resting her chin on her palm.

Mmmmmmm--I didn’t know you were a blonde.”

“Mac, that’s not me and you KNOW it—turn the page already!” came her annoyed pout. He chuckled, but flipped the pages.

“Ah yes, Advice, jokes, Hey, Kurt Vonnegut is the interview!”

“You can read it later if you want.”

“Nah, I just buy it for the pictures,” he snorted, watching Rose roll her eyes and blush. Finally he reached the pictorial for the centerfold, and Mac was suddenly glad he was lying on his stomach across the bed. The bold headline read Torrid Zone, and the shot of a topless oil-slathered Rose enticingly peeking over a pair of dark shades made him slightly breathless.

“Geez!“ he gulped. Rose was shaking her head, frowning.

“I know, I know—I tried to explain that California wasn’t anywhere NEAR the equatorial zones so the title was misleading, but they told me it all had to do with marketing and they’d decided on it before they even booked the shoot. Mac?”

“Huh?”

“You didn’t hear a word I just said, did you?”

“Huh?”

“MAC!”

“Sorry,” he flashed a red-faced look at her, his dark eyes sparkling in the light of the fish tank, “I was, um, READING.”

Rose punched his shoulder. “Riiiiiight,” she scoffed, blushing herself. He smirked at that and shook his head softly; trying to ignore the hard throb his cock was giving against the mattress under him.

“So, Ms Liberty Belle Aquarius Kaminsky—where the hell did you come up with THAT pseudonym, Brat?”

Serina and I both decided to go with gag names when we applied, and nobody seemed to care too much at the time. Serina was my roommate back in Newport,” Rose explained softly. “She wanted to go to Princeton, and I wanted to get into USC. We both had been accepted, and we a few small scholarships, but the tuitions were outrageous even back then. I wasn’t going to bankrupt my dad so on a dare, Serina and I applied to Playboy.”

Mac studied a photo of Rose bent over a pile of surfboards wearing sunglasses, three bracelets and a light dusting of sand on her pert bottom. He sucked in a breath.

“It was fun, kind of. Lucy was a good photographer, and made me comfortable right away. She never made me feel cheap or anything.”

“You look—ah, happy,” Mac ventured, shifting his gaze to another photo, this one of Rose draped with seaweed, her long wet hair curling around her bare breasts. The vibrant pink of her lipstick practically leapt of the page. She giggled.

“It wasn’t too bad—the weather co-operated, and I got to play in the water, so the shoot was fun.”

Um hmmm,” Mac fought the urge to lick his lips and sigh. The warmth of Rose against his side wasn’t helping matters either. He shifted again.

“Mac? You’re not all freaked out about this?” she asked in a more serious tone. He gave her a long look, pressing his nose to hers.

“Not freaked out,” he told her with a slow smile, his breath against her mouth, “Definitely not freaked out.”

“So it’s no big deal, right? I mean this was almost eight years ago and in the relative scheme of things that’s a long time . . .,” Rose mumbled, leaning in to kiss him, tasting his soft mouth. He pushed the magazine off the edge of the bed, reaching for her, rolling until he was on top of her looking down into her face.

Ooooh, you’re, umm . . .” she felt his straining ridge against her hipbone.

“Yep. Very. Turned on to a degree I didn’t think the average human male could reach without spontaneously combusting,” Mac admitted, his teeth plucking at the buttons down the front of her shirt. Rose wriggled under him, forcing Mac to groan.

Nooooo, no meltdowns of the reactor core there, Brat.” He warned mock ferociously. His hands slid up to undo the last few buttons and he tugged the shirt open, revealing her lacy bra. Rose caught his expression and laughed softly up into his stunned face a few inches over her.

“Oh come on, you’ve seen them before,” she teased, taking his face in her hands. He sighed shakily.

“Yeah, but not like this,” came his slow reply, “All . . .”

“Yours?” Rose smiled. Mac had shifted his knees to the outside of her hips to take the weight off her; Rose drew in a grateful breath and slipped her hands up under his shirt. The heat of his skin startled her; his deep warmth flowed through her palms as she stroked his stomach. Mac gasped.

“Nice, but your hands are cold,” he complained.

Rose laughed. “I’m warm in other places, Mac.”

“Got a few torrid zones?” he countered with a smirk. His hands, never still, were sliding around her rib cage to find the hooks on the bra. Rose obligingly arched her back to help him and the thrust of her chest made him growl appreciatively.

“Give me strength!” he half-laughed, peeling the bra up and off. Rose tugged him down onto her, their skin meeting for the first time since they left the island, and both of them moaned at the delicious contact.

“Oh Mac, yes,” Rose crooned into the hollow of his throat between licks, “Ohh yes, I missed the feel of you on me . . .”

She clutched him, hands sliding behind his shoulders under the unbuttoned shirt, pulling MacGyver to her. His spine arched in reaction to her tongue, and the pulse along this throat beat rapidly.

Uhhhhnggg,” he groaned, eyes closed.

 Rose let her kisses move up his jaw line. “Wow, very poetic!”

“You want poetic?” he grunted, grinding his hips into hers, “Fine. I want you, Rose. I want to kiss every inch of you. I want the scent of you on me everywhere, Brat. I want to feel your heartbeat in the night, and taste you deep in my mouth tomorrow,” he muttered into her cheekbone.

Rose bit her lip, and her hands slid down his strong back into his jeans, cupping smooth hard muscle there.

“Too many clothes,” she complained with a gasp.

Mac laughed low. “Show me yours and I’ll show you mine, Brat.”

“Darers go first.”

Mac grinned.

Rising up, his knees on either side of her hips, Mac peeled off his shirt and tossed it aside. Rose reached for the button at the top of his fly, her fingers colliding with his as he did the same.

“Helping out?” he smirked a bit, catching her fingers and pressing them along the straining ridge. Rose let her hand caress Mac through the denim, her mouth twisting a bit.

“Think it’s gotten uh, bigger,” she commented a bit breathlessly.

 Mac shook his head. “Certainly more attuned. I think I can safely tell you that I haven’t been in charge of anything below my navel since the night of the green dress,” he confessed, another flush crossing his high cheekbones. Rose had opened his jeans and was gently caressing him; Mac moaned very softly, looking down at her small hands sliding into his boxers.

Ohhhh, let’s have a look at you in the light, Mac,” Rose insisted, rising up to a sitting position. Her fingers curled around the heated length of his cock, marveling in the velvety warmth of it. Rose brought her face closer, blue eyes wide, lips in a shy delighted smile.

“Just as gorgeous as the rest of you,” she breathed, tugging the jeans down to mid thigh. MacGyver laid his two hands over hers, easily covering them.

“Easy—it’s not as if I’m going to have a lot of control at the moment,” he warned with a crooked, slightly strained smile. She looked up at him, blowing a kiss.

“I know, I’m kind of excited myself, sweetheart,” so saying, she slid out from under him, and pushed his hip, making Mac lie back on the bed. Swiftly, Rose pulled his jeans and boxers off, and then took a moment to marvel at the sight of the naked man on her bed. Mac stretched his arms out over his head, a little self-conscious, but smiling just the same at her enchanted expression as she leaned over him, her long hair brushing his chest.

“Oh my, they do grow them big in Minnesota, don’t they?” she chuckled. Mac let one hand slide down the side of her neck. He felt light-headed and hot, drinking in her very nearness.

“Hey, I lived up to my part of the dare, babe—YOUR turn, I believe,” his low, slightly hoarse tone betrayed him. Rose stuck her tongue out, but slipped out of her blouse and jeans with a few wiggles and giggles.

“Ta dah!” she announced, kicking her panties off the edge of the bed. Mac snorted, reaching for her.

“Come over here!”

They slipped into each other’s arms, flesh to flesh molding together eagerly. Rose whimpered, all teasing gone as she opened her mouth to Mac’s. Lovingly, fiercely they clung to each other, constantly touching, stroking and nibbling. After a few minutes, Rose left a trail of wet kisses from one rivet-like nipple to the other, making Mac gasp. Pleased, she wriggled away from his grip and continued down his body, tongue sliding along warm muscle.

He shuddered. “OhhhhhGod that feels nice!”

Rose grinned against the skin of his stomach and swirled her tongue in his belly button. Mac tensed and laughed helplessly.

“Checking my lint trap?” he wheezed.

“It’s ADORABLE! My God, Mac, your belly button is absolutely sweet,” Rose blurted, kissing it again. He glanced down, slightly bewildered, his hair in a messy tangle over his shoulders.

“You’re nuts,” he announced. She giggled but didn’t argue the point. Mac tried to reach for her, but Rose shook her head.

“My bed, so I get to make the rules, you know!”

“What?” he grinned. She gave him a mock serious look, and nipped his belly button again, making Mac shudder.

“My bed, my rules. And I want to have a better look at you, MacLover.”

MacLover?” he arched an eyebrow at her, but groaned when her hand encircled his cock. Rose nodded.

Betcha, babe. Now lie back and let the evil fish woman have her way with you—“

Propped on his elbows, Mac wanted to protest, but his mouth went dry as Rose slowly licked her way down the furry trail under his navel, nosing her way through the thicker curls at the base of his cock. Carefully, she brushed her hair out of her face, smiling as she crouched next to his hip.

“Oh my!” Her tone was slightly breathless, her face pink. Mac throbbed as her hands slid up the length of him. He gasped.

Rose, Rose, listen,” he managed desperately, “If you do what I THIINK you’re—UNNGGGHHHHHH!”

His head dropped back, his stomach tensed, and he groaned as Rose slid her mouth over the head of his already wet cock. She hummed happily. Mac winced.

“This-isn’t-SAFE!” he blurted, even as his hips lifted traitorously to thrust up into her waiting lips. She ignored his protests, and let her fingers gently caress the straining shaft sliding into her mouth. A low groan worked its way out of Mac’s mouth as wide-eyed and helpless, he watched himself being lovingly devoured.

Rossssee . . .” he panted, the inevitable tide of lust surging through him in a hot wave rolling down the length of his stomach. His thrusting increased, driven by the deep delight of that wet mouth, those slick fingers. Mac closed his eyes, fingers clutching the quilt in a death grip as he gave in to the searing sullen pleasure that surged down his spine and through his aching cock.

OohhhhGODROSE!” he hoarsely cried, straining as he came in hot pulsing waves.

After a few dizzy moments, when his senses returned, Mac managed to open his eyes to see Rose delicately wiping the corners of her mouth with her thumb, looking smug. He flushed.

“Rose,” he began uncertainly, his expression contrite and yet relaxed. She giggled again, and the sound reassured him; with a pleased growl, Mac grabbed her arms, tugging.

Rose slid up the length of his slightly damp body, grinning down into his face. Her hair spilled down, and her eyes sparkled.

“I think you got blown off course there, sailor,” she teased.

 Mac groaned appreciatively, hugging her tight. “If I had ANY clue you were actually going to,” he paused, blushing, and Rose jumped in.

“Swallow, Mac? Suck you off and drink you down?” she whispered sweetly. He nodded slowly, his hands sliding up her bare back, toying with her spine.

“Yeah. That’s not something that happens a lot to me.”

“Can’t think why—you have a perfectly lovely taste.” She bent to kiss him lightly, the scent of his musk still on her mouth. Mac sighed with pleasure.

“Really?” it was a painfully shy question. Rose stared down into his dark eyes and a lump formed in her throat. He didn’t know? Wondering how anyone could have neglected to tell him so, she nodded and kissed his eyelids.

“Mac, yes! You taste wonderful, and I fully intend on drinking you down on a regular basis if you’ll let me. Part and parcel of that whole lover thing you know.”

“I could live with it,” he managed with a straight face. She laughed, hugging him tightly. Mac cleared his throat as his hands trailed downward to wrap possessively around her ass.

“But I believe in equity too ya know—turnabout being fair play and all,” He murmured as he snuggled his face into the side of her neck.

“Really?”

“Really. I have a decided interest in Rose ala Mode at the moment,” he purred. Her hands brushed his bangs back, and she kissed his nose.

“I see.”

With athletic grace, Mac rolled with her, pinning Rose under him for a moment before rising up and smiling down at her.

Waitn’ for the invitation,” he teased softly.

 Rose had her arms crossed protectively over her chest, her eyes wide. “Invitation?”

Mmm, guess I haven’t quite knocked on the door yet.” With that, Mac kissed her shoulder, letting his tongue trail its way down the slope of her chest and over her arm to her stomach.

 Rose giggled, flushing. “Copycat!”

“Just following a good lead,” he pressed a warm mouth down on her ribcage, making her squirm. Rose let her fingers stroke his hair, marveling in the softness as he wandered lower.

“I taste raspberry.”

“Enchanted Garden body lotion,” Rose squeaked as Mac hit a ticklish spot just under the lowest rib.

He sighed happily, his hands sliding to grip her hips.“Rose in raspberry—good recipe.”

“Mac!” she shivered as his hot tongue swirled and slid lower. With her hips trapped she felt a surge of panic, but he lightened his grip before she said a word.

“And-over-the-hipbone,” he breathed, little kisses punctuating his words. Rose’s fingers tightened on his hair and he cleared his throat.

“Let go and put your hands under your rump, babe,” he directed firmly. Rose reluctantly did as he said, her palms flat against the quilt. Doing this raised her hips up a bit, and Mac crouched on all fours over her legs, smirking as he looked down at her body.

“Wow. You’re beautiful,” he told her with trembling sincerity, his eyes studying the fluffy nest of brown red curls cradled between her clenched thighs. Rose bit her lips.

“Definitely Russian. Sorry about that.”

Mac arched an eyebrow at her and she blushed, rushing on.

“Just sort of—furry. I suppose other women tend to, you know, shave and stuff, but I . . .”

“Rose . . .”

“Don’t, and probably should, but it’s not comfortable . . .”

“Rose . . .”

“So I tend to be a bit, uh, fluffy . . .”

“ROSE,” Mac’s voice was stern but the grin on his face startled her. She looked at him.

Mac sighed. “Listen to me, Brat. You’re gorgeous. Perfect. Erotically beautiful and one hell of a turn-on. If that’s not enough to convince you, let me point out I’m hard again, okay?”

Her eyes strayed down and she gave a nervous giggle, but Mac brushed a reverent hand over the tangle of curls and groaned.

“Oh yeah—little Rose, little Rose let me in,” he teased, dropping a kiss at the convergence of her thighs. She gasped, muscles tensing as he slid his hands over the tops of her thighs. His tongue burrowed down, probing until it touched the tight bud buried there. Rose moaned loudly.

“Open up Rose,” he ordered, hands sliding on her knees, “I want to see you, TASTE you babe,” came Mac’s urgent tone. She wavered, but the heat between her thighs was too much and with a soft sigh, Rose let her knees fall open. Mac gave a rumble of pleasure.

“God, this just gets better and better.” Gently he kissed the inside of one thigh, savoring the heat, the soft perfume of her sex. Rose shivered as his thumbs slid up, parting the fur to expose the glistening folds there. She felt wanton and powerfully sensual, exposed to his hungry gaze. Mac pressed a kiss and Rose spasmed, her hips rising up off the mattress in quick helpless response.

Mac caught her bottom in his hands and lifted her to his mouth as he knelt between her knees. With slow and loving attention, he kissed and suckled the tender flesh as Rose panted softly. Her thrashing didn’t faze him at all; Mac’s whole concentration focused on the pliant sweet flesh under his tongue.

Ohhhhhhhhh!”

Fluttering tension rumbled down Rose’s stomach; she arched again convulsively, the raw heat of her orgasm rolling through her in deep waves. Through it, Mac held her tightly, smiling against her curls.


“Rose look at me,”

“No,” came the muffled reply through the pillow she had pressed into her face, “I can’t.”

Lazily MacGyver stretched out next to her, smirking enough for his dimples to deepen. “You can’t POSSIBLY be embarrassed, Brat, not at this point in the game,” he laughed, tugging on a corner of the pillow.

“Yes I can—I didn’t know I was going to . . .”

“Come like a Sputnik satellite launch, my Russian beauty?”

“Mac!” Rose peeked from behind the pillow; Mac pounced, yanking it away and kissing her neck soundly. They wrestled for a moment, but the eagerness of their bodies betrayed them. Rose kissed him, tasting herself on his mouth. Mac tumbled with her onto the mattress, savoring her tight hug around him.

“Mac . . .”

He pulled Rose to him, sliding between her thighs in a long deep thrust, the moment so perfectly balanced between love and desire that they both shuddered with the overwhelming rightness of it. Rose wound her fingers through his hair, sobbing joyously as Mac slowly plunged into her, his strokes powerful and passionate, building relentlessly.

God  I love you I love you so much,” Rose confessed, her eyes bright with tears. Mac’s tongue flicked over her cheek, his words muffled and desperate.

“You’re MINE, always Brat, God, mine, God, I love youuuuu—“

Rose shuddered under him, mouth open, tears spilling down as Mac kissed her again, the scalding flood of his passion filling her.

***   ***   ***


“You awake?”

Mmmm hummm.”

“You--okay?”

“Oh yeah. Yeahhhhhhh.”

“You know I love you, right?”

“I know it.”

“Okay. Good. Rose?”

“Yes Mac?”

“I suck at relationships.”

Ummm—why?”

“I think it has something to do with this commitment problem I mentioned earlier. People I love tend to die or get killed.”

“I think I’m going to die of acute orgasm.”

“Rose, all kidding aside, it’s hard, okay?”

“Woo, you’re not kidding!”

“Stop touching me and listen, Brat!”

“Okay fine. I guess we’re not going to get any sleep until you get this off your chest, so go ahead Mac—what are you worried about? That I’m going to die?”

“Yeah.”

“Come here. Okay, listen to me. Yes, I’m going to die. Someday. But I for one am not going to anytime soon. Not without a fight. And that’s a guarantee.”

“You—promise?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay.

“Mac?”

“Rose?”

“I MEAN that. Cross my heart.”

“Come here then and let me cross it for you, babe.”

Mmmm you do that. Yes, just like that.”


***   ***   ***

The bright sunshine barely reached the back bedroom, even in summer, but there was plenty of light as Rose opened her eyes with a start. Something heavy lay over her chest; a head by the feel of it. Turning, she bumped her chin on the top of Mac’s head. He was wrapped around her, the quilt a rumpled mess around the two of them.

Mmmmmmorning Brat,”came his deep contented rumble.

Rose kissed his crown, smiling to herself. “Despite the resemblance, those AREN’T pillows, Mac.”

“Yes there are. Nature’s finest. All mine,” he replied, and she could hear the smirk in his voice.

“That sounded almost possessively sexist, MacGyver.”

“My ideals caved in to my hormones,” he snorted, burying his face in the warm valley, his beard stubble lightly scratching her skin. With a gentle shove, Rose struggled to escape his torture, laughing.

“It’s morning, Mac, and we’ve got to get up.”

“Really?”

“’Fraid so.”

He clutched her closer, nuzzling her ear, delighting in the warm smell of her skin.“Okay, I’m up.”

Maaaaaac . . .”

“What?”

“Not THAT kind of up and you know it!” Rose giggled, kissing him back anyway. Mac smelt of sex and sleep, his skin a warm fragrant blend under her nose as she climbed up over his chest, trying to get out of the bed. He wrapped his arms around her, pinning her against him.

“Good. This is good,” he grunted. His shaft was pressing hard against her bare stomach, and Rose gently rocked her hips forward, caressing him. Mac’s smiled deepened. With a seductive pout, Rose slowly shifted up and tipped her hips, pushing herself down on his cock.

Ooohhhh yeah, this is a VERY good morning,” he gulped happily, hands cupping the bones of her hips as he slowly pumped into her.

“You think?” Rose whispered sweetly.


Showering was close, cramped and fun. Rose let Mac wash her hair simply because there wasn’t room in the tiny stall for her to do it without jabbing his ribs with her elbows. In reciprocation she washed his broad back.

“This place wasn’t designed for two,” she grumbled good-naturedly.

Mac nodded in agreement.“Yeah, we need something bigger.”

Rose hid her surprise by reaching for towels, handing him a pair. Easily, Mac dried off and wrapped one around his hips. Rose slipped into her pink bathrobe, padded to the kitchen and peeked in the fridge, pulling out milk and juice. She was reaching for the Cheerios when Mac stepped into sight, drying his ears.

“Rose?”

“Yeah, just seeing about breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day and all that.”

“I meant what I said, you know. Back on the island and a moment ago,” he blurted, giving her a serious look. Rose brushed her wet hair back with a nervous gesture, and set the juice carton down.

“About a bigger place—one that would be for both of us?” she replied carefully. Mac nodded, moving closer to her, but Rose shook her head.

“You know, we’ve only gone on ONE date,” came her low tone, “don’t you think you’re rushing things a little here?”

Mac’s mouth twisted in a wry smile of acknowledgement; he poured himself some of the orange juice before replying. “But we’ve known each other for almost two years, Brat. That’s a good track record for friends and a nice start for something more, you know?” He countered gently, sipping.

Rose shrugged. “Can’t we just take this—slow?” she pleaded softly. Seeing his startled expression, she added, “Neither of us is in a hurry, right? I mean we can spend time here, and at your place, and get to know each other.”

Mac stared into the depths of his cup, his expression slightly crestfallen.

Rose rubbed his back soothingly.“Oh stop looking like Christmas got cancelled! I adore you, and I’m looking forward to spending a lot of time together Mac, really.”

“Yeah,” he sighed wistfully. Rose poured a bowl of cereal and pushed it towards him. He reached for the milk.

“I’m sorry,” Mac burst out suddenly, his face twisting in a comical blend of frustration and wariness, “I just—it’s not easy for me, Rose. I never felt this way about another person and now that I love you, I WANT you. To be with you in all the ways we can.” The milk gurgled as he splashed it into his bowl.

“With me?”

“Having dinner, doing laundry, carpooling, watching Showtime together—you know, BEING with you,” he threw his hands up in the air as Rose giggled.

She poured milk on her own Cheerios and dug a spoon into them, stirring a little. “You’ve hung out with me before—the only thing that’s changing is the amount of time.”

“And the sleeping arrangements,” he broke in.

 Rose gave him a quizzical look. “Sleep—wait a minute, are you implying that we’re going to make this . . .”

“A concrete understanding. We can sleep here, or at my place, but from now on it’s going to be the two of us together,” he looked at her, “right?”

Meeting his eyes, she slowly nodded. The comfort and connection of their souls was as tangible in the daylight as it was in the dark; last night had proved it.

Mac sighed. “Okay then. We can divide the time for a while anyway. I’ve got a key for you, and I still have the one you gave me when Pratchett took a vacation.”

Rose crunched through her cereal, hiding her grin. Mac shoveled his in with big noisy spoonfuls, adding more milk periodically while Rose sipped her juice.

 She smiled at the sight of him still wearing only a towel, grinning at her. “Gonna need a change of clothes.”

“You mind if I keep some here?”

Gotta reciprocate.”

“Nope.”

“No?”

“No. Then you’d be forced to wander around naked,” he teased, looking at her with a glint in his eye.

Rose snorted. “I’d just get that hockey jersey you keep by the door—that would go to my knees, make a cute dress doncha think?”

Mac gave a hurt little sigh, licking his lips. Before he could answer, a hard rap at the door startled them both; Rose shot him a quizzical glance.

“Rose? Is MacGyver here?” came Nikki’s imperious voice, “I HAVE to talk to him.”

Rose jumped up, but Mac was quicker; he strode over to the door and pulled it open, leaning out.

“Nikki,” came his cool voice. Standing there, Nikki took in the sight of a slightly damp Mac wearing only a small pink towel, a milk mustache and a smirk.

 She flushed.“Oh God—Mac!”

“We’re having breakfast. What’s so urgent you had to deliver the message in person?”

Nikki didn’t fluster often, but she caught her breath and lifted her chin haughtily. “I just thought you ought to know that both the Cousteau Society and Sea League have pledged funding for the Reef Restoration Project, so you and Rose don’t have to do any more of those ridiculous interviews,” Nikki muttered, trying to keep her eyes up on Mac’s and failing. She caught sight of Rose behind him and pursed her lips.

“In fact, Pete and I both think that the publicity boost is enough to insure the future of Marine Studies, and that you can go back to work with the OTHER departments. As soon as possible,” she added somewhat sulkily.

“That’s—great,” Rose broke into the chilly silence gently.

 Mac glared at Nikki as if seeing something in her for the first time. “Great,” he echoed in a hard tone, “Thanks a lot, Nikki. Good to know you’re looking out for us.”

“For YOU Mac,” she corrected, and bit her lip at the unsubtle slight.

 He shook his head. “Geez. Nikki, let me get something THROUGH to you.” He reached out for Rose; she shyly came to him, blushing as he wrapped an arm around her and rested his chin on the top of her head.

Without looking at Nikki, he murmured, “I love Rose, I am IN love with Rose, I intend on making love to her, starting the second you leave. I’m happy, Nikki. You don’t need to look out for me, mother me, or take care of me, all right?”

“Mac, no insult intended for either of you, but once the hormones settle down, both of you will come to your senses,” She rolled her eyes and managed a smug little smile.

“Come to our senses?” Rose muttered sarcastically, “I suppose we’re just two crazy kids, Nikki?”

“Something like that,” came the cool reply.

 Mac glowered. “Stop being a bitch,” came his low hard tone, “If this was just a matter of hormones, Nikki, I’d still be giving myself hand jobs and running off at every opportunity.”

“Mac!” A red flush crossed Nikki’s face; she shifted uneasily from foot to foot, but Mac didn’t give her a chance to interrupt.

“I fell in love with Rose. I fell hard, I didn’t plan on it, but the fact remains that she’s the one I want so I need you to accept that Nikki, or leave. I’d hate to lose you as a friend, but I’ll be DAMNED if I’m going to let you think of this as some smutty affair centered on sex and nothing else.”

In a long tense moment, Nikki looked up at Mac, her eyes glittering, her jaw working. Rose shivered.

“You’re serious, MacGyver, aren’t you?” she finally choked out.

 He nodded. “I’d go to the wire for you Nikki, but for Rose---I’d die.”

Rose gasped, but Mac tightened his grip around her and she could feel the hard beat of his heart against her chest.

 Nikki let go of a deep breath, looking smaller and shaken. “Well then. I guess this is true love,” she managed through tight lips, trying to sound facetious and failing.

Mac nodded. “It is. Get used to it. Rose and I will be in on Monday, ready for work wherever Pete wants to assign us. Goodbye, Nikki.”

With that curt dismissal, Mac stepped back and shut the door with a light slam. For a moment, Nikki swayed on the doorstep, her hands balling into fists. After a few seconds, she turned and slowly went down the stairs, her step far less cocky than it had been going up.

Rose looked up at Mac, her blue eyes focused on his angry brown ones. “You hurt her.”

“I know. But she needed it. Nikki’s been running on a lot of ego-driven assumptions, and she was overdue for a dose of reality,” he replied softly.

With a tug, he led Rose back to the bedroom; she drew in a breath. “Hey!”

“Hey nothing—I told Nikki I was going to make love to you the minute she left and I intend to keep my word.”

Rose laughed the sound sweet and infectious as she followed him.

“Speaking of ego-driven assumptions!”

END