tagRomanceKeeper Ch. 04

Keeper Ch. 04


January 1

~5:23 AM~

John rolled over in his bed, onto his stomach. The moment his erection was sandwiched between his belly and the sheeted mattress, he woke.

Groaning face first into his pillow, he shifted his hips back and forth just enough to raise his frustration another notch- because that's the kind of masochistic bastard he was, he thought sarcastically- while he fought to keep the images of the wet dream he'd roused out of from fading.

Images of Blue. With him. In the truck. She'd been straddling his lap and, oh hell yes, she hadn't had a stitch of clothing on. She had been doing an amazingly sinuous lap dance, and stretching her arms up and over her head so that her back was arched and her breasts were swaying back and forth and... so what if there wasn't actually enough head room in the truck to both sit on his lap and raise her arms as high as that, this was his dream, damn it... and all he had to do was lean forward a little bit and he'd have his face nestled against Blue's generous breasts, his mouth over one of those pink, tight nipples, and...

"Oh, hell." John mumbled as he nearly suffocated himself. Shoving the pillow onto the floor, he rolled over and stared at the ceiling, completely awake now. Probably too early to get up, but that's what he always told himself, nearly every morning. He'd always been an early riser. Raising his head to glance downward, he barked out a laugh at the tented blanket halfway down his body. Yup. Early riser.

"God bless morning wood." he muttered, with only half the sarcasm as before, as he shuffled to the bathroom.


Blue pulled the covers over her head, drawing her knees up and pressing her thighs tightly together. Nope. It didn't help any more this morning than it did last night in John's truck.

In his truck, with John kissing the bejeezus out of her, better than she ever thought any man could kiss. Like he really really liked kissing. Somehow, Blue had come to think that most men weren't all that into kissing. That they only really did it because that's what they thought they were supposed to do. That they thought they probably wouldn't get any farther if they didn't do it. But not John. Oh no, he kissed like he meant it.

In his truck... kissing... and then his hand had slid beneath her thigh, the tips of his fingers mere inches away from...

Flipping the covers off her face so she could breathe, Blue glared at the glowing numbers on the clock radio. 5:26?? She had hoped to sleep in this morning. She had slept very well, tiredly climbing the stairs up to her third floor and falling asleep almost upon getting into bed. But now she was awake. And horny.

She was never horny in the mornings. Of course, she had been 'wanting' when she'd come to bed, and had been too tired to do anything about it, so maybe it shouldn't be a big surprise that she was now. It wasn't unpleasant or a problem, it was just different.

Giving in and letting her knees fall to opposite sides, Blue slid her palm down to the waistband of her sleep pants and let herself wonder what it would be like to wake up with John in the mornings. What did he wear to bed? Anything?

If she woke him with kisses and soft touches, if she was careful not to startle him as she slid under the covers with him and whispered her needs into his ear, would he wake slowly? He would be growing fully under her hand as she boldly caressed him... sleepily murmuring his surprise... pulling her down for more of those amazing kisses.

Blue sighed and let her fingers travel down past her waistband and beyond to play adeptly in the damp curls between her thighs... until the jingle of her cell phone broke the silence.


"I bet she wears a slinky negligee to bed." John's inner voice piped up as he stood in the bathroom, seeing something other than his reflection in the mirror above the sink.

"I didn't think you knew the word negligee, let alone what one looks like."

"Okay then, how about a tight, white, tank top- you know, the things rednecks named Bubba wear, except it would look a hell of a lot better on her than it would on Bubba-"

John laughed out loud. "Shut up."

"Fuck yeah, a really close fitting tank like that, one that hugs her tits like it was painted on and you can see the shadow of her nipples through the material... ooh, and little white panties- no... no, a g-string, because it would show off that amazing ass that you were drooling over last night-"

"Oh... hell..." John leaned a palm on the sink top, gripping the edge as he fisted his cock with the other hand. Closing his eyes, his imagination deciding on white cotton panties instead of a g-string because that seemed more like what Blue would wear and damn but that's what would be sexy on her, he didn't bother with telling his inner voice to shut up.


Blue stared out the little window into the darkness toward John's house. Through the trees she could see light emanating from one window while the rest remained dark. His bedroom?

Somehow, thinking that he was awake at this early hour, the same as she, gave her a comfort. Like there was a connection between them. Of course it didn't mean anything of the sort, she reminded herself, but if she wanted to feel comforted by such a thought then she darn well would.

Glancing down at the cell phone in her hand, she wondered if perhaps it was time to contact the police. This morning's text- 'Are you home?'- had given her more of a jolt than the previous mysterious messages. Or maybe it was the build-up of all of them put together.

Resisting the urge to run around turning on every single light in the house, she had instead left them off and had calmly gone from room to room, pausing every few moments to just listen, wishing that Abe was there with her, knowing that he would be able to detect any sounds that she couldn't.

Even that was overkill, she thought now. Probably. As would calling the police be. What could the police do? The messages weren't threatening nor obscene. The feeling they gave her was upsetting, but she would bet the authorities would only pat her on the head and send her on her way, 'feelings' or no.

She could call Jackson and read him the riot act. Again. Maybe he would finally stop.

So what if it's not him?

Blue frowned and leaned her forehead against the cold pane of glass. The thing was, she wanted it to be Jackson. If it was Jackson, then she would know, and this whole thing could be relegated to a minor annoyance from someone thousands of miles away. But if it wasn't?

A shiver traveled up Blue's spine.


John's head shot up as the ringing of a cell phone brought him back to reality.

"Ah... shit..." he grimaced, taken off guard. Any kind of solution to morning wood, and fantasies about Blue's nightwear choices would have to wait, because it wasn't his everyday phone that was demanding his attention.

It was his INDIGO line.

"Yeah." he nearly barked into the cell, not bothering with "hello", or "John here.". Anyone who called on this phone would know who would be answering, or they had no business calling.

"It is Dimitri." the heavily accented voice answered. "I have need to speak. Is of importance."

"Dimitri." John was somewhat surprised, though he knew the Russian had this number and was to use it whenever needed. "What can I do for you?"

"I am afraid I must change plans. Udre has called me, to ask me to return home, to St. Petersburg, as soon as is possibility"

"Why?" John snapped, quickly shaking off the sexual buzz of moments ago.

"Is... I am not completely sure the reason, only to say that it is personal matter that I am to look into."

John frowned. "Dimitri, that is not good enough."

"I can-" Dimitri added quickly, "give you my assurance that this is not-" There was a muffled mumble as the man on the other end of the line attempted to find the proper English wording. "This will not be interfering with our agreement. You are wishing that I make things to look as same... everyday... yes? If I refuse Udre's request, this would be raising suspicions. I-"

"Dimitri." John interrupted. "It's all right. I agree. We do need to keep matters as normal as possible, just as we have discussed. And since this only has you heading home a day or two earlier than planned, I see no problems that would arise. What I do ask of you, however, is that you keep me apprised of everything that is happening, personal or not. We have discussed this also, have we not?"

Dimitri Belicoff murmured an agreement to that, but John could not help but think, as he had all along since meeting this Russian who was to be an important piece of this mission, that Dimitri was holding some things close to the vest. Going by his gut feeling that trusting this man wasn't going to be a bad judgment call, John had decided to let it slide for now, but had vowed to keep an extra close eye on things.

"This is for Sophia's safety." John continued, pacing as he talked, the movement natural and familiar for him when he was in working mode. "Sophia's safety has top priority. You know this."

"Da. This is agreed. I will not let you down."

"I will hold you to that promise. Now..." The gears in John's brain turned, busily working out any kinks this small change in plans might bring about. "Do you have a flight yet?"

"Nyet. You were my first call."

"I will have one for you. The details will be sent via a text message to your phone." John would have Abby find the first flight possible. As good as she was at that kind of thing, she probably had been a travel agent in another life. "Sophia and I will take the planned flight, no need for us to be there early along with you. Expect notification of our arrival, and we will take things from there. Have a good flight and I will see you soon."

Disconnecting from the call, John paced to the window as he punched the speed dial button for Abby. It didn't matter what time it was, everyone who was worth a damn at INDIGO answered their phones, and Abby was worth a damn.


John smiled to himself as Abigail True answered her line the same way he had.

"Did I wake you?" he asked with just a touch of apology.

"Um... no." There was a soft sound, a background rustling of sheets and a quiet creaking of bed-springs. "I'm awake. What's up?"

"I need an ASAP flight to St. Petersburg for Dimitri Belicoff." No need for anything but straight and to the point.

As John and Abby efficiently polished off the details of his request, he peered out the window into the predawn darkness, his eyes automatically homing in on what he could see of Jean's house... no, Blue's house now, he reminded himself with what could only be described as an odd sort of happy anxiousness... he noticed the faint light glowing from the third floor window. Her window. She was awake too?

As he set his work phone on the bedside table, John's hand moved the two inches toward his 'every day' phone. The urge to call Blue was automatic. Shaking his head, he left the cell untouched. Way too early to call her. She would definitely not appreciate it, even if she was awake.

Although he wasn't really sure yet where this thing with Blue was going-

"Don't be an idiot. You know exactly where it's going."

-he didn't want to scare her away. He thought maybe he'd done just that, last night when he'd called her Sweet Baby. Shit, it had just slipped out before he knew it, and she'd gotten all stiff and pulled away in more than a physical way. But he had a feeling that all was not lost, which was a relief, because... because...

"Because you KNOW. You know EXACTLY where this is going."


"Yeah yeah, I know. Shut up. You don't really want me to shut up, do you? Hell no, you don't. Because I've got a PLAN. Except I don't think you're ready to hear it yet. Because you won't admit to yourself... yet... that you know where you want this to go."

"Her bed. That's where I'd like it to go." John padded on bare feet back to the bathroom, raising his eyebrows at himself in the mirror. "Or mine. I'm not picky."

His inner voice snorted rudely."Well fuck yeah. That's a given. We already knew that was a goal, didn't we? But that's not what I'm talking about."

John was quiet, reaching for his shaving gear, now avoiding his own eyes in the mirror.

"Johnny, Johnny, Johnny." his inner voice sighed. "All right. I won't say another word about it. For now. You just let me know when you stop denying and want to hear my plan. I'll be here."

Scraping off the dark, heavy growth of beard that had accumulated in the past twenty four hours, John continued to avoid his own gaze, working out the day's schedule as he shaved. He'd go get Abe from Orley's first. The early hour was no problem, even though it was likely the old man would still be sleeping. He had a key to Orley's house, just as he had one to Jean's... they all had keys to each other's houses. It had worked out well for each of them, looking after each other the way they did. So, he'd get Abe, do his normal workout that he did to keep in shape, grab some breakfast, and maybe by then it would be an acceptable hour to go get Blue and give her a ride to Cuddy's Shed to get her car.

Tonight was his poker game with Orley, something that had become a tradition with he and Orley and Jean, but he was also feeling the need to spend as much time as possible with Blue, especially since he was leaving again the next day. Leaving for quite a bit longer than usual this time.

It was odd, this feeling of almost... almost... not looking forward to starting a new mission. John reminded himself that Blue would also be leaving, to go back to California and get things settled there before she came back here. She would most likely get back before he did, according to the plans he'd heard her tell about last night, but he couldn't let that feeling that he would be missing something worm it's way into the pure enjoyment he had for his work.

Just recently met Blue, not even gone yet, and he was already missing her.

Oh hell, he was just horny, he lied to himself, the words 'shut up' on the tip of his tongue, fully expecting his inner voice to pop in with an opinion. But the voice was silent, as promised. Probably lurking in there somewhere, ready to break it's promise and pouncing in with something totally unexpected, irreverent, inappropriate.

A good run will help, he thought to himself as he wiped the remaining dampness from his face. Didn't matter that it was probably cold out there. He had no problem with it, and he knew that Abe loved it.

John dressed, his mind slipping from running to when he could go over to Blue's without it being too early. He didn't even realize he was humming the song that had been on the radio hours earlier, in his truck, when Blue had slid over the seat towards him.

He hummed it all the way out the door.


~8:25 AM~

Blue laughed as Abe leaned into her, pushing the weight of his big furry body against her arm until she gave in and hugged him to her side. Looking over the dog's head, she caught John's smile as he drove them back to Cuddy's Shed to pick up her car.

John had sent her a text fairly early, with a message saying he hoped he hadn't woken her, but wondering if she was up yet and willing to go. She'd seen the message just after she'd left the shower, relieved that it was from him, and so she had called him right back and invited him over for coffee and cinnamon rolls. He had appeared at her door so fast she'd burst out laughing.

She'd been a little bit nervous as she'd opened the door and let him into the house, not really knowing what to expect after that kiss in his truck. But Abe had come bounding in, all flapping tongue and flying snow, and when John had casually leaned in and given her a peck on the cheek, it had all felt so natural and comfortable.

In fact, in the moments before he had arrived, she had worried enough to nibble at her nails, thinking about how she was going to tell him that she wasn't looking for a relationship. Not right now. Not right after Jackson. And they had already established that she wasn't 'that' kind of woman, one who was interested in just falling into bed with a man right off. So what did that leave? It left friends, which she was hoping to be.

Except... when he had kissed her cheek and run his hand down her braid with a quick, playful tug on the end, smiling and looking so glad to see her... well, the words about no relationship hadn't come. So, a relationship may have found her whether she was looking for one or not. As they had chatted over breakfast, and now watching him as he was focusing on driving, she began to wish that the kiss on the cheek had been more.

But for now, she was comfortable. Comfortable chatting over cinnamon rolls and coffee. Comfortable in his big black truck with his big, sweet dog. Comfortable with him. Something that she realized now she had never really been with Jackson.

Maybe even... comfortable with the thought of falling into bed with him...

"What?" John broke into her thoughts, giving her a quizzical half-grin. "You're smiling..." he pointed out when she returned his curiosity.

"Oh. Just..." Blue laughed lightly. "Nothing." She turned her attention to petting Abe's neck, not missing that John's grin got wider, creasing his cleanly shaved cheeks.

Turning into the Shed's parking lot, John passed by two other vehicles that looked to be abandoned and stopped next to the little, dented hatchback that hadn't started for Blue several hours earlier.

Abe jumped down out of the truck behind Blue to sniff around, changing his course to remain close by when John gave a brief command.

"Try starting it." John told her as he stood near the front and she unlocked the door and slid behind the wheel. "I doubt it will do anything, but you never know."

Still the car wouldn't start.

"All right." John slapped and rubbed his hands together when no engine noise broke the quiet of the morning. "Pop the hood and let's take a look."

Blue sat in the open doorway and scratched Abe's head when he came looking for attention, while John tinkered under the opened hood. Only a few silent moments had passed when she heard John's muttered curse. Getting out of the car, she walked around to the front to find John standing with his hands in his pockets, scowling at the engine, his lips tightened into a grim slash.

His eyes flicking to her when she approached, he nodded his chin to the revealed engine. "There's your problem." He looked angry and concerned, and she moved curiously to look under the hood.

It took a moment, but she found what he was wanting her to see. "Oh! But..." It took her another moment to realize the implications of the car battery being completely unhooked. Taking a step back, she glanced around the quiet parking lot as if whoever had pulled the clips from her battery was waiting to jump out at them.

John leaned under the hood, gaining her attention back, flicking a finger at another area. "Distributor cap too. Gone." He straightened, his expression serious and downright scary. "Someone didn't want you to drive away from here last night, Blue."

She took another step back, almost falling over Abe, who had been sitting patiently behind her. "But I..." Blue stopped herself before asking if there was any chance that the distributor cap could have just 'fallen off'. Yeah, sure. And the battery cables had shaken loose... at the same time. Ha. She really didn't want to sound as stupid as she was feeling right now. "How did they get the hood open? I had the doors locked last night, I know I did. I remember."

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