tagRomanceShackled Ch. 12

Shackled Ch. 12


Emma slept harder than she had in weeks. Every since she'd found out about the virus. Her mind took a moment to register her surroundings as she blinked sleepy eyes and felt the warm solid body beneath her own. A slow flush crept up her cheeks as realization hit. She was naked and sprawled out over Liam's solid form.

Taking a deep breath she slowly shifted, biting back a moan of pleasure as his skin rubbed against her own. Memories of their night together flashed through her mind, making her smile. He'd teased her about it not being exciting enough for her. If he only knew! It had been more than amazing for Emma and truth be know, she wanted more.

As her eyes adjusted to the dim lightly, she gazed at his sleeping face. He looked good, relaxed and completely out of it. His breathing was steady as it fanned against her face, one big hand splayed across her bare backside. She fought the grin that threatened to appear and instead carefully shifted off his body trying not to wake him. She needed to take care of business and was extremely sticky in embarrassing places. A quick shower would solve that.

Off the bed, she located the shirt she'd tossed aside and pressed it to her naked front. Just in case. She didn't want to make it a habit of strutting around in the nude. On tip toes, she moved away, strangely not worried about the fact that she was still flashing him a view of enticing bare bottom all the way up until she entered the small bathroom.

She went through the motions, dreading the cold water as it hit her skin. Her gasp echoed in the stall. How did he get used to this?!


Hansen's body might have slept, but his mind didn't. It never did. He could think in his sleep and remember everything afterward. It should have made him tired, driven him mad with exhaustion, but it didn't. It was the way it was.

After being in Jimmy's office with all the cameras monitoring the city, there had been something niggling at the back of Hansen's mind. Now he knew what it was.

The cameras were not Jimmy's, they were the SPF's, used to monitor as much as was possible of what was happening in the city. Jimmy had tapped into the feed somehow. Hansen didn't know how and it wouldn't have mattered if it was all explained to him. The important thing was that he'd noticed one on the bar where he'd first met Emma.

Was it a coincidence or had they been watching the place because they knew he and Carl met there? Carl had pretended to work there for months, but then it would have been odd that they hadn't apprehended him. Hansen himself was a frequent visitor there and they had made no attempt to try and get them. Maybe they wanted them all? It was a thought, but realistically, if they took out Carl and him, then it would be a major body blow to the team. They all had important skills, but they were the muscle. No muscle, meant the they couldn't do as much damage.

He was still thinking about that, when he felt Emma slide away from him carefully, to not wake him. He felt a pang of loss as her warmth retreated, but he figured she was going to the bathroom so he let her go and pretended to be still asleep.

He had to break their electronic shackles. There was no way around it. He couldn't knowingly place Emma in more danger than she was already in.

Especially after last night.

The shackles needed to be disabled so that she could work on the virus antidote and he could work on what he did best: roughing things up. To break the shackles, he would need to get into the SPF building that housed the main computer. That was easier said than done, but he could do it. He had breached a similar security system in South America once. It was messy. It was dangerous. But it could be done. Nothing was impossible.

With a little risk and pain.

He listened to Emma moving about in the bathroom and smiled when he heard her draw breath sharply.

Cold showers take a lot of getting used to.

He knew what he had to do. He would wait for Emma to finish in the bathroom and then he would clean himself up and have something to eat. He smiled again. She would insist on it.

He lay there with his arms folded behind his head, looking at the ceiling. He felt like whistling and he nearly did, but he was going to whistle an Elvis tune.


They had a lot to do today and Hansen was always at his best when he had a lot to do.



Emma finished up and toweled herself off, wrapping herself up before combing out her hair. She struggled a little to pick out the knots, but finally got it smoothed down and towel dried. She'd never been a huge make up lover, but she did miss certain essentials that added to her femininity. Now after their shared night, she wished she could look a little nicer. She wasn't sure she could pull off sexy, but looking pretty never hurt anyone.

She frowned slightly as she brushed her teeth and spit, rinsing out her mouth. She was worrying about looking nice for Liam when people were in serious danger. Shaking her head, she shoved away her silly thoughts and sighed. Returning to the room and noticing that he was awake. A wave of self consciousness hit and she once again was angry with herself. Was one night of sex...really really good sex...going to turn her into a silly girl? She inwardly groaned. Maybe.

Clutching the towel close she smiled and padded towards the bed, taking a seat on the edge next to him. "Morning. Shower is all yours, but I will bug you for some clean clothes. Sure will be nice when I can wiggle back into my own wardrobe."

A cool hand slid over his forehead , down his cheek and neck. "How do you feel? You feel so warm...I'm really hating your shower. I'd kill for a hot soak in...and a shave. I'm beginning to feel like a porcupine and another week from now you'll be sleeping with a gorilla."

She made a face and resisted the urge to continue touching him. She wanted to. To touch his stubble and lean down to kiss his mouth. To crawl close and absorb his heat. She wanted to lay in bed all day and forget about their problems. For one more day. Just one. But she knew that wasn't going to be the case. She doubted that Liam ever lay around in bed for a day.

"So...what's on the agenda?"


Hansen just started wondering about the Palanozol and what it was doing to him, when Emma came out of the bathroom. He remained lying down with his hands behind his head. She had a towel wrapped around her and her dark, damp hair hung loosely. The cold shower had freshened her up and she looked perky and....beautiful.



He smiled gently at her, but with a sly movement of his eyes to hers.

"A gorilla, Irish?" he said. "Seemed like a tigress was already in my bed last night," he said, bouncing out of bed before she could do anything about it. He winked at her from the other side of the bed. "I don't know about clothes, either. If you ask me, you look just fine without them."

He laughed, grabbed a towel from the cupboard behind him and wrapped it around his waist to preserve some modesty.

"I was thinking, next time I need nursing, I'm requesting you as my personal nurse," he said, pursing his lips to hold back more of a sly smile. "Yep, never been looked after so well...."

He looked over at her sitting on the edge of the bed. She looked so beautiful. He could have done with some morning relief, but there were things to do....

He slid slowly slid across the bed towards her. He lay on his belly, the front of his body held up by his arms and his face so close to hers his breath was on her cheek.

He whispered.

"This changes nothing, Irish, ok?" he said. "Well, I mean it does, but you have nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to be ashamed of. You're young, smart and beautiful and I'm a man. If something hadn't happened last night, then I would have been worried."

He moved even slowly closer and then gave her the lightest of kisses on the cheek, leaving his lips there for a few lingering moments.

"Ok?" he said.

Then he pushed himself up and jumped off the bed.

He clapped his hands together loudly. He was back in his element, doing something. And no Voice. So far. It would come back.

It always did.

But for now....

"Well, first things first, I'm going to have a shower," he said. "And a coffee might be nice if you're willing, Irish. You can't be taking liberties with me without earning your keep."

He gave her another wink.

"Then....," he said, "we have a lot to do. I have an idea, but we have to go back and visit Jimmy again. We can talk as we walk."

He flashed her a quick look to see her reaction. There would be more walking today, lots of it. He did have a car, he hadn't told her that yet, but they drew attention, so foot power it would be for now.

He gathered his pants off the floor and grabbed some fresh clothes for himself as he made himself ready for the bathroom. He paused.

"There should be some clothes for you in that cupboard there," he said gesturing with his chin, "that's where I keep the wardrobe for all my naked damsels in distress."

He gave her another wink and then made an exaggerated motion of making an imaginary notch in an imaginary belt.

"Yessireee," he said, putting on a fake Southern accent, "I never did bags me a professor before, and real goodun she was too."

He jumped the bed and scooted into the bathroom before she could do anything about.

He poked his head back around the corner and winked.

"A reeeaaal goodun."


Emma was a little taken back by his energy. He was still Liam, only seemed a little less brooding and a lot more teasing. She smiled softly as he kissed her cheek, her pulse skittering as he spoke to her, teasingly and easing her worries. A startled giggled passed her lips as he called her a tigress.

The pretty flush made her skin glow as she watched him move around, getting an eye full of firm pale bottom before the towel came into place. Damn...she was enjoying that! She thought to herself and grinned.

She laughed as he winked. "Well, I suppose I could do that. I might even make you breakfast if you play your cards right."

And then she groaned, but was still smiling. "Well, I suppose that's alright. Saving the world is a dirty job, so I won't complain too much."

His next comment about damsels in distress made her laugh and roll her eyes. Grabbing a pillow she tossed it his way and stood, moving towards where he had indicated. "Go take a shower." She grinned, "If I had know that having sex with me would make you this perky, I would have controlled my desire to take advantage of you while you were down."

She shot him her own wink and watched him pop his head back into the bathroom as she started digging out some clothes. Minutes later she sported a pair of hip hugging jeans and a simple plain t-shirt that hugged a curves a little more generously than the previous ones, but beggars couldn't be choosers.

Padding barefoot into the kitchen, she began preparing the coffee, thankful that he liked it as strong as she did and then fished out a couple of eggs and scrambled them up to go with some toast. It was simple, but she needed food and Liam was going to learn to enjoy it as well. If anything, they needed the energy. All the walking always left her starving.

"You better hurry up in there. Make yourself pretty and come eat up if you want to get anything done today." She hollered out, setting his plate on the bench with his coffee along with her own before pulling on a pair of socks and her shoes.


He smiled as he heard her from the kitchen to make himself pretty.

Yeah right.

He looked at himself in the mirror. He hadn't felt this good in a long while, months actually. The constant debating with The Voice left him tired and drained and he felt like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. It could have also been due to the fact that he and Emma had made love last night.

He smiled crookedly at his reflection.

Yeah, maybe that too.

The drug would still be working through his system. Besides losing The Voice and feeling more chipper than usual, there didn't seem to be any negative effects. His temperature from last night was gone, but even that could have been attributable to Emma.

He quickly got through showering and dressed himself in the bathroom. Jeans and a black t shirt.

Fashion plate you are, Hansen.

He walked back out into the living area. The food smelled good. He'd hardly touched his dinner last night even though Emma had done a fine job of cooking. Eggs and toast.

And coffee.

Need coffee.

He threw his towel onto the bed and walked barefoot back over to the kitchen bench and sat next to her. She was fully dressed and ready to go and had started on her breakfast. He grabbed the coffee cup, tilted it towards her and took a sip. It was good, just how he liked it. Strong.

"Thanks, Irish," he said. "This is just what I needed."

She nodded.

He started to eat his breakfast, cutting very small pieces of both egg and toast and then chewing on them slowly. Food had never really interested him. He liked good food, for sure, but he viewed it more as a fuel source than something to be enjoyed. Eating always seemed to be getting in the way of doing something else, a waste of time.

After a few bites, he turned to Emma. He just needed to get it out and be over with it.

"Er, about last night. It doesn't change anything. Not for me," he said. "I'm not embarrassed and I won't apologize. It felt good to me. How we proceed from here is up to both of us, but the most important thing is that we do this job. Ok?"

He took another sip of his coffee. He leant over and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

What's with all the kissing, lovely-dovey stuff?

He felt good, that was all. He had someone to look after, something to do and it made him feel good.

He always needed something to do. Something to plan. Something to save.

Or someone.

Maybe this time I can get it right.

"Plus," he said, cutting some more small pieces of food, "for breakfast and coffee like this, heck, you can stay around for as long as you like!"

He looked over at her and smiled again.

"Now," he said, "We're going to see Jimmy again today. He might have footage of the bar the night we met. I didn't think of that before. It might give us an idea of who is actually chasing us."

He anticipated her question.

"It will definitely be the government and their SPF cronies, but if we know who it is they're sending after us, then we will have a better idea of how to fight back or even stay clear of them until we can cause the maximum damage."

He put some more food in his mouth, took a gulp of the quickly cooling coffee and swallowed. He was getting bouncy. His body was coursing with energy. They'd have to leave soon.

"Carl will meet us there," he said, "I'll call him on the way. Once we see what we have, we'll have a better idea. Also...."

He looked across at her directly now.

".... we have to do something about the shackles. It just won't work with us having to be so close to each other with all the things we have to do. I think I know what to do, but I need to talk it over with the others. It's dangerous and it's only courtesy to find out if they want in or not."

He finished his coffee.

"Now, just because I want to get the shackles off, doesn't mean at night...."

He laughed at her and jumped off the stool. He went to the bed and picked up his shoes and then fished a pair of socks from the drawer beside it.

Once he had those on, he grabbed a light jacket. He sensed her looking at him.

"It'll be warm enough for you with a t shirt," he said. "especially with all the walking we're going to be doing. I have to wear the jacket."

He reached over to the drawer again and pulled out his gun. He popped the magazine from the handle, checked it and then popped it back in. Then he stood and stuffed the gun down the front of his pants, only the small handle poking out. Then he zipped the jacket hallway up his chest. He was dressed in black. All black.

"That's why I need the jacket," he said, softly.

He walked over and stood next to her adopting a mock parental tone.

"We can't just sit here eating all day," he said. "Let's get going. Jimmy first, then we'll see after that."

He didn't wait for her reaction. He turned and went to the door and held it open for her.

"Hurry, dear," he said with a smile on his face, "we're going for an excursion."


She watched him eat his breakfast between her own bites of food. Strangely enough, it felt good to be able to take care of him. She told herself it was because he was also taking care of her. Keeping her alive for as long as they were together. Still, she enjoyed the fact that she could do a little something in return. "You're welcome. I figured a little food couldn't hurt. We wouldn't want you getting too skinny, now would we?" She teased softly.

Sipping on her own coffee she flushed as he mentioned their night together again and sweetly kissed her cheek. His stubble tickled her cheek and made her skin tingle. She liked it, a lot. She turned to face him more fully, wanting to kiss him back, but a little too conscious of the fact that he was not only watching her, but gearing to go.

"I'm not embarrassed or ashamed." She assured him, smiling back at him even as her cheeks colored. "And I understand that our job is important. I think I can restrain myself a little as long as you keep yourself covered at all times. Flash me those buns again and I can't be held accountable for my actions."

She wiggled her brows and drained the rest of her coffee as she listened to him continue, his gaze warm, his eyes intense and full of intelligence and energy as he filled her in on their day. He was right about the shackles of course. As much as she enjoyed being near him, it was dangerous for both of them to be 'stuck' together.

"Makes sense...I'm okay with all of this. As long as we're careful, which I know you always are."

She shook her head and laughed softly, standing to clear up their little mess as he got ready. When she returned, she couldn't help to watch him. He loved efficiently, conserving as much energy as he could with each action. He also looked good. Rather sexy in his black on black outfit. It was mildly irritating that men didn't have to put forth as much effort as women in the looks department.

She smiled as he playfully chided her and resisted the urge to smack his ass as he turned and walked away, opening the door.

She paused a moment, then sauntered forward and tip toed up to press a soft kiss to his stubbly chin before bounding up the stairs. "I hope you plan on feeding me later on. All this running around sounds tiring and I get cranky." She teased and laughed. "Come on slow poke, quit staring at my ass and lets get a move on. I have to work out some soreness in my thighs anyway." She added and winked.


They were heading straight to the theater so it would be a shorter walk today. As they walked, Hansen pulled out his comms unit and typed into it.


He hit the send button, waited for the delivery beep and then put it back in his pocket. They were only about ten minutes away from the theater. It was a warm day, warm enough to not wear the jacket, but he needed the jacket to conceal the gun. The sun was out, filtered by the smog of the city, sitting red in the sky. It was still only morning so it would get warmer. It didn't look like rain, but what did he care anyway? No rain delays in the work Hansen did. Emma was doing a good job of keeping up with him today.

"Never had personal training like this, I bet, Irish?" he asked her softly as they walked.

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