She opened the rear door of the car and got in, the light raindrops glinting like crystals upon the waves of her shoulder length, ginger hair, her green eyes blazing. She pulled the door shut behind her, heard the clicking of the central locking, remotely activated. Adrenalin was already starting to increase her pulse and breathing rate as she turned towards him. The daylight outside, a dirty grey such at it was made darker by the circle of tall trees that surrounded the little car park in the woods, only added a dizzying edge to the sight of him, naked and powerfully erect beside her on the back seat.

She turned towards him and he leaned in to her, catching her hands in his own as she raised them towards his neck. He kissed her palm gently, then lowered her arms to her waist and folded them behind her as he kissed her glossy lips so softly, the tenderness shattered by the cold steel and the sound of the double clicks of the cuffs on her wrists behind her back. She breathed in sharply as the adrenalin surged anew, and she was unable to stop herself from taking a nervous glance around the car park.

He didn't take his eyes off her, pools of deep blue burning with desire as he gently traced lines from her temples over her cheeks to her neck, his fingertips barely contacting her soft skin leaving a tingling sensation in their gentle wake, until they met the soft edges of her blouse between her heaving breasts. He gripped the material and yanked it apart, wrenching the hem from the waistband of her skirt in the process, exposing the hardness of her nipples beneath the satin of her bra as she gasped at his handling of her.

His nostrils flared as his own breath caught in his throat, she could hear it, as his hands dropped to her knees and slid up her thighs beneath her skirt, the sheer nylon rasping with static beneath his touch, until he reached the smooth flesh above the tops of her stockings and forced his hands under her ass, taking the skirt out from beneath her, and letting the cool leather seat contact her skin as his hands returned slowly to her knees, and shoved them apart.

Her left knee jammed against the back of the front seat, and he lifted her right leg over his bulging erection to press hard against the rear of the back seat. Her skirt rode up to her hips and she squirmed her shoulder against the seat seeking a comfortable position as the cuffs kept her hands locked behind her.

She wanted so much to reach out to him, to touch his hard chest, to gently stroke his back, to hold him close, to pull him against her hot and aroused body. She could do nothing but let him use her, restrained by his body between her legs and the steel at her wrists. Her breathing ratcheted up with her heart rate, her nipples tightened to the point of almost hurting and the satin between her legs quickly grew damp.

His fingers once more traced those invisible, tingling patterns on her shoulders and sternum, on down over the top of her creamy breasts and she pushed her shoulders back to thrust them at him, for any sweet contact, any sweet friction against her straining nipples, and she moaned in her delicious frustration as his fingers danced away, beneath her breasts, gently stroking their undersides through the satin, avoiding the burning need of their bullet-like peaks.

Then the catch between her breasts was roughly yanked and the bra opened, spilling her breasts out to his enraptured gaze, and finally he leaned forward and gently flicked his tongue over her super-sensitive and swollen bud, sucking it into his mouth, as his hand pinched the other tightly and pulled hard. She cried out, not knowing which felt better, and having no time to decide as the thumb of his free hand nestled between her thighs, and through the damp satin pressed firmly against her swollen labia and distended clit.

Gasping at this blissful assault on her she began to press her breasts and her pelvis against him alternately, wriggling as best she could within her restraints to take all her pleasures at once, her eagerly rising climax frothing in her belly like a bath bomb, bubbling, fizzing, foaming, until it surged through her body in all directions at once and she thrashed against him in the throes of it. He cut it short though, leaving her panting wildly and desperately in need of more as he pulled back from her, and she watched him with lust-glazed eyes as he yanked her knickers aside to expose lewdly the hot, wet core of her.

He shifted his body quickly, lowering one knee to the rubber mat of the footwell and raising the other to the seat, he rubbed the throbbing head of himself against her wanton sex until she moaned in sweet frustration, then he plunged fully home in one smooth, devastating thrust, his balls slapping loudly against her ass.

She yearned to throw her arms around him, to graze his back with her polished fingernails, to bite gently into his shoulders and neck but she could do nothing except take what he gave her, and he gave it her hard, fast and deep. Using all of his impressive length, nearly pulling out all together at every stroke, he slammed into her savagely, his pubic bone smashing her clit blissfully but momentarily on every thrust. His hands mauled her legs and breasts as he took her, his own deep groans rising in tune to hers.

The bath bomb erupted inside once more, boiling out into her every nerve and muscle except this time it didn't stop, it kept pumping and pumping into her until she was screaming and thrashing in a frenzy against him, not even thinking any more about the mid-day light, the fogged up windows and the bouncing suspension as she rode each surging wave of a shuddering climax to the full, until he jammed himself in tight and yelled as he emptied his balls into her, thrust once more, and then held still, panting hard, chest heaving as she span away across the treetops and slowly returned to nestle once more inside herself, her body aching but blissfully sated, but her mind refocusing to its troubled and confused state now that the lust had been cleared away.

He pulled from her and grabbed some wipes from a packet on the parcel shelf and cleaned himself before wriggling into his clothes, leaving her spread lewdly and restrained as he made himself respectable. Only then did he pull her forward by her shoulders, kissing her tenderly again on her soft, smudged lips as he released the cuffs. "You bastard," she breathed into his ear, "You sexy fucking bastard!"

She took the wipes and cleaned herself up a little before rearranging her knickers and skirt and sitting up more demurely in the back of the car. She refastened her bra and the poppers of her blouse and fussed with her hair for a minute, then they relaxed back together, their arms around each other, holding each other close.

"Tanya, before you go away..." he began.

"Don't be so dramatic," she interrupted him, "I'm only taking a couple of weeks out to straighten my head after all that's happened. I'll be back."

"I know," he responded, "But while you're straightening your head, you'll be thinking and deciding and I need you to know," he paused, "I need to answer your question, the one you asked me the other day."

"Okay," she said softly, remembering his discomfort at the question, how she hadn't pressed him for an answer.

"You remember how we met right?" he started, not waiting for her acknowledgement, "I knew that very first time I saw you Tanya, but you only had eyes for Clive. I could see it in how you were with him, looked at him, that what I felt for you, you felt for him.

"I never stood a chance with you, and neither did any girl I dated or slept with after that with me. Nobody could replicate that feeling Tanya, that feeling of looking at somebody for the first time and knowing, just knowing that they are the one. That's you how felt about Clive, so I had to step aside."

She looked into his eyes, awash with emotion as he looked back at her. "All these years Brendan?" she asked.

He nodded, "Yes, I've been in love with you for more than thirty years Tanya, that's why I never got married. So, now you know."

"You were Clive's best friend, his best man at the wedding, Leo's Godfather too," she said all at once, "You were always there for us, all of us, the best friend any family could ever have wished for. And even after," she choked back a sob, "Even after you were my rock, you got me through the worst of times, and I never knew, you hid it so well."

"I loved you all," he told her, "Though I loved you most." He tensed and looked right into her eyes, "I never wanted for one second for what happened to happen."

"Jeez, I know that," she answered, squeezing him against her, "I know that," she said again more softly, remembering his tears, his grief, talk of how he had failed her, failed Clive and Leo too, racked with such emotion, such pain.

"And now we are where we are," he said, "And you're right, a lot has happened in the last six months. I should feel guilty about us, but I don't. I'm in love with you Tanya, as I have always been, only now there is no reason to hide it any more, to pretend. I didn't mean to seduce you that night. I've spent my life avoiding just that, but it happened, and we're good together Tanya, damned good. You take your time out down to the coast, I'll be waiting when you get back, either to be your man or just your friend, whatever you decide. I'll always be around for you."

He sighed deeply and the central locking released, unlocking the doors. He opened the door on his side and a cold breath of air flooded the steamed up interior of the car. He had no more to say, what more was there?

"I'll call you when I get there to let you know I'm safe all right?" she told him softly.

"Yes, do that please," he answered. They kissed affectionately, tongues dancing without hunger, eyes open and staring hard into the other's. "I'm sorry," he whispered.

"No need for that," she responded gently, "We'll talk when I get back okay? I really need to get myself thinking straight Brendan."

"I do understand," he told her, "Go on, it's a decent drive."

She exited the car and had reached her own when she turned back. Standing by the driver door he blew her a kiss without a word, and climbed in behind the wheel. The powerful motor started with a roar and the tyres crunched slowly over the gravel of the car park, its garish orange stripes, bright white paint and rooftop mounted blue lights at odds with the tranquil scenery around it, and its slowly demisting windows.

Tanya climbed into her own car and started the engine. She would clear her mind down at the coast, the Cornish sea air and a little isolation would help. At least now she understood Brendan's part in everything and that would make it easier, if she could only find some closure to the rest, then maybe, just maybe they could make a go of it.

- - - - -

For three days Tanya had revelled in the isolation of the little cottage on the rugged hillside overlooking the sea, only venturing along the coastal path to the little port of Porthleven, the British Isles' most southerly port, for lunch in the fabulously named "The Wrecker's Wench" pub. Built as a safe harbour in the days of the wreckers and smugglers a couple of centuries previously, it was a small fishing and tourist port now, and in truth relied mostly on the latter.

She'd spent her days thinking things through, the painful stuff, the stuff that had turned her life upside down in a heartbeat, Clive's murder, her son's apparent accidental suicide, her blossoming affair with Brendan and the guilt that went with it, the confusion.

As she made her way carefully down the narrow stone steps to the private little beach that came with the rented cottage, she considered all of this again and was no nearer to any closure. The added attraction to the wonderfully named Lanyon Kerlow, owner of the local pub, only complicated matters further, as did his obvious interest in her.

Tanya spread out her towel on the sand, the tang of salt heavy in the air as she rubbed sun cream into her skin, the bikini barely covering her charms, then settled down to enjoy the blissful peace and quiet, a quiet disturbed only by the waves gently nudging the beach and the rocks and the occasional calling of the gulls away in the harbour.

As she soaked up the warmth of the sun beneath the softest breath of a sea breeze, her mind raced again with its seemingly unsolvable problem.

She'd met Brendan at a party, just a routine party, and had been struck by his startling blue eyes and his gentlemanly manner, rare in most boys of that age. They'd been getting along famously when Clive showed up, his unruly mop of light brown curly hair, his intense brown eyes and his easy, if cheeky, grin had taken her breath away, as well as her heart. Brendan had introduced him as his life-long best friend and the three had danced and chatted the night away, and being all of the same tender age, all of them just seventeen, had remained firm friends.

Clive and Brendan were 'thick as thieves', something that they'd all laughed about often, what with both of them being trainee police officers. Tanya had worked at a local bank. She'd fallen for Clive in a big way, but had had to work for his affections somewhat. Eventually she had won him over, won his heart, completely unaware that she'd held the heart of another too.

She'd given him her virginity within the year, and he had given her his, and they had been inseparable after that, they and Brendan, whom she came to think of as a brother. If she wanted to go to a party that Clive couldn't make, Brendan would take her, ever the gentleman, he'd made no advances and ensured that nobody else had either. She and Clive had married and Brendan, of course, had been Clive's best man when they were all barely out of their teens.

Life had been wonderful as Clive had surged through the ranks. Brendan loved the uniformed work and Clive had wanted to progress to the detective side, so their careers had separated about the same time that Leo had been born to her in her twenty-sixth year. There wasn't even a discussion about who his Godfather would be, Brendan had been a shoe-in, and no Godfather had ever honoured his promise to parents and baby alike quite like Brendan did. He'd doted on Leo and Leo grew to adore his 'uncle'.

There had been no more children though. They'd wanted another and had planned for one, waited as Clive's career hopped along, waited some more and then somehow time had passed by and it never happened. They hadn't regretted it though, Leo had grown into the handsome image of his father with the gentlemanly, even chivalrous, character of his 'uncle', and she couldn't have been more content with her life and her three men.

Then Clive had transferred with promotion onto the Drug Squad and had been given a huge investigation to head up. He'd seen first hand what drugs could do to people, to kids like Leo, and had become a little obsessed with tracking down and catching the man at the centre of it all, known only as Snow White both to informants and police alike, a man self-named after the filthy powders that he pedalled.

A long term surveillance operation had started to yield results, Clive was getting closer to Snow White even though he still didn't know his real name, but the net was closing. He'd got wind of a shipment coming in from the coast and half the force had turned out, including Brendan who was now senior in the Armed Response Unit. They'd had an informant on the inside and all the information to blow the ring wide open, seize the drugs, the dealers and the traffickers, and most importantly Snow White.

It had gone horribly wrong, somehow. On the industrial areas on the outskirts of the city, vans were being unloaded right under the noses of the police when a car known to be transporting Snow White to conclude the transfer had arrived on the scene. This cued the action. Clive had been one of the first to reach that car as the police had closed the net, sirens wailing into the night, with Brendan at his back providing armed support.

The dealers had been armed too, however, and a gunfight had ensued. Clive had been dropped by the first shots from Snow White's car. These wouldn't have been fatal, not with the Kevlar body armour he had been wearing, but they'd taken him down nonetheless. All hell had been breaking loose by that time, Snow White's car had started to move, smashing into a police car as it desperately shunted to turn around and flee.

When it had done so, a prostrate and winded Clive had been lying on the road right in front of it. Brendan had seen what was coming, and desperately tried to drag his friend out of the way as the car had accelerated towards them, firing his gun from the hip as he did so, shattering the windscreen in the process, but the car had simply mown them down. Brendan had been pretty bashed up from the impact that had thrown him into the air and dropped him down again yards away like a rag-doll. Clive had died under Snow White's wheels. A witness, one of the other police officers, had sworn a statement that a hooded man driving the car had looked directly at Clive as he'd reversed back over him, and then driven over him again. He'd never even made it to hospital alive.

The traffickers, not being the main priority, had managed to escape in the melee as had Snow White, and all the police had got were the drugs, admittedly a huge haul, and a few hired help who hadn't really known anything about the operation. Snow White had got himself wanted for murder, as well as everything else, but he'd got away.

Despite Brendan's personal injuries and mental scars, scars that would most probably never heal, he had been the one to comfort Tanya, to see her through the trials of autopsy results, inquests, inquiries and eventually the funeral, he'd seen both her and Leo through it. Just when they thought they were making ground, Leo had been found dead, seemingly of a deliberate or accidental overdose, but there was no way of proving which, or whether something more sinister had happened. Leo didn't ever do drugs, would never have done after what his father had told him and shown him. The courts had ruled 'death by misadventure', but Brendan had firmly believed that the avenging hand of Snow White had been very much involved. Evidence pointed to it, though inconclusively.

Brendan had once more seen her through it all, despite his own pain, his own desperate feelings of failure. Some months later he had been at Tanya's house, letting her know about the latest attempts to track and catch Snow White and to check up on her of course. They'd had some wine, a little more wine, and it had just happened, two people desperately grieving two men that they had both loved and they ended up loving each other in the most intense and physical way. It had been beautiful, they had both cried like fools afterwards, and then a relationship born of a mutual need and understanding had slowly blossomed. That had been six months ago.

The Drug Squad, now with direct control of an armed response unit headed up by Brendan, had now got a new scent on Snow White and the net was starting to be prepared again, but it took time.

Tanya knew that if she could just let go of the terrible circumstances of her husband's death, learn the truth about her only son's death, that she would gain closure on it, lay them properly to rest, and she believed that she could start a new life with Brendan, thirty-one years after she'd first met him, after he'd first fallen in love with her, but how she could do that constantly worrying that his next encounter with Snow White would land him in a coffin too? Who would get her through that then?

And now, in this quiet and secluded little seaside town, there was the complication of Lanyon Kerlow. In his early thirties, devilishly sexy with his obsidian eyes and long wavy black hair, perpetual stubble, solid body and impressive bulge, he had quite clearly taken a fancy to Tanya, now forty-eight and widowed, with only two lovers in her life, who knew that her head had been turned to the dangerous appeal of the 'bad boy', and in her uncertainty had responded by flirting and teasing, and wondering, just wondering what it would be like to let go and to hell with it, if only to remind herself that she was alive! And having thought that, there was Clive's memory and Brendan's love, Brendan's exciting and daring and yet very safe love, and everything fucking else on her mind, confusing her and tearing her apart.

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