Stumbling Towards Ecstasy

Creativity dedicated to the Heart, Mind, and Soul

Lemon JAM Chapter 2

Kiss Like Your Kiss

There’ll never be a winter quite so true
When the sky was painted with gifts
There’ll never be a moon so full & blue
There’ll never be a kiss like your kiss.

Kiss Like Your Kiss, Lucinda Williams

From that moment on, sexual need was left bubbling under the surface like a capped volcano, dangerous with seismic currents that were felt but went ignored by the team and pushed deeper by the parties involved, heaving just below the surface, straining to break free.

Sam and Jules kept the conflicts that evolved out of the field. They managed to remain professional, often barely, but Jules turned inward, avoiding Sam as much as was possible. They were consistently partnered together, but whenever the conversation moved into anything personal, she ignored it and brought the topic back to a more comfortable professional topic. She continued to go out after work with the team, not to do so would have been obvious, and she wanted to be with the team anyway. They were her friends, her family, even Sam. But he confused her, and when she was confused, she usually tried to talk it out with someone.

But in this case, there was no one to talk it out with. Who would she go to? Sarge? He would normally be her first choice, but no, that was clearly not an option. Her father? Again, not an option. Sophie? She trusted Sophie, but this was a little close to home and Sophie might feel she needed to confide in Ed, which wouldn’t be okay either. The best person to talk to, really the only person she could talk to about this was Sam Braddock, the object of her confusion. And she wasn’t ready to do that.

One of the things about Jules, both a strength and a fault, was her need to be perfect. She wanted one answer to things. She liked things black and white. There was no room for grays in her world. Her psych evals told her that. Sarge told her that. She didn’t like being confused, she didn’t like being vulnerable. And Julianna Callaghan’s personal dictionary now had two new words in it… the word confused now started with an S, and vulnerable started with a B… Sam Braddock. She didn’t like that particular shade of gray at all.

Sam had spent years building the impregnable walls that surrounded him. Every brick was carved from clay of his emotions and fired in the pain of his heart. The foundation of the wall came from the small criticisms from his father… the ‘stand up straight soldier’ even though he was three. The ‘you didn’t square the corners of your bed right’ when he was five.’ Bricks and more bricks formed from the arguments and battles of wills about his friends, his grades, the books he read, or didn’t read. His father’s blame of Sam for his sister’s death when he was nine was a massacre of his soul laying a whole wall of impenetrable stone.  For every time he wasn’t good enough was another brick, or two, or three.

Many of the bricks represented a death…again they were built from his own guilt for his sister’s death and the ‘if onlys’ he flogged himself over. There were more formed from his regrets about his friend.  And more for every life he had taken.

He was a ‘point-and –shoot’ guy, a never-miss sniper. He could watch a mark for hours, days even. He watched them eat, play with their children, make love to their wife. He knew what their favorite music was, what books they liked to read, that they liked to dance when they were being silly. But when the go was given, he’d taken them out without hesitation. He’d seen their blood spatter across their children’s surprised faces; their wives stagger as the man dropped to the floor in front of her, his plate dropping seconds after he hit the floor. And no one ever heard a sound. Within seconds he was gone, like a ghost, only to do it again the next day, and the next.

There were so many kills, 52. It was a high kill count. Of course it would be. He was a star-sniper, one of the best, fighting in Afghanistan in a war that had meaning. For once, he’d made his dad proud; special ops, best in class. Then he had killed his friend in a case of friendly fire. And the final bricks went up, enclosing Sam forever in the protective shell he had built himself.

No one had ever been able to penetrate the prison where he isolated himself emotionally. Until Julianna Callaghan.

She’d thrown a flash bang grenade into his life the first time she’d smiled at him and nothing would ever be the same. His carefully built protection had a big gaping hole in it now and he was defenseless against her. He could still feel the softness of her skin, smell the orchids from the shampoo she used, remember the difficulty he had breathing when he touched her that one time.

Now, she avoided talking with him about anything that didn’t have to do with work. He’d try to bring up what happened, or where he wanted things to go, or even if they could go out, and she’d switch topics. And yet, he couldn’t help watching her, catching her watching him too, even though she’d look away quickly. He was hyper- aware when she walked into the room, he tensed, heart speeding up. Despite all his training, his jumped when he heard her voice. He hoped he hid it, but the guys on the team weren’t stupid. They might ignore it for now, but the Boss and Ed would be watching to make sure his head was in the game.

The tension between the two began to show up in a new level of competition between them. They had always been competitors, just like everyone on the team was competitive to some degree. But theirs escalated beyond the norm. On the shooting range it became who could get the most kill shots from the furthest distance. Sam was the best marksman on the team, but Jules held her own.

Once, and only once, they “practiced” fighting one on one with knives until Ed walked in and caught them. He read them the riot act. Under no circumstances was anyone on the team supposed to practice knife contact without proper equipment and supervision. It was dangerous. And yet, there they were, uncaring of the danger, taking their common frustration out in a battle of wills, fought with blades. Workout clothes showed cut marks where knives had gotten a little too close. Once discovered, they became the lesson for the whole team and made to drill and drill some more until their hands were blistered and they could no longer hold the weapons.

After a particularly grueling day, when they’d faced almost losing the wife of one of their principals, a burst of steam and ash exploded from the volcano that was their relationship, surprising them both.

Sam kissed Jules. Not an ‘I’m sorry you had a shitty day kiss.’ Not an ‘It wasn’t your fault’ kiss. No. This was a full-on desperate, ‘I need you,’ ‘I want you,’ ‘You’re my everything’ kiss.

He’d been trying to talk to her, trying to take her home… she’d looked so tired and he thought he was being helpful. She’d said no. She was even angry about it.

“Sam, stop it!”

“Jules, you’re tired. Just let me drive you home.”

“I’m going to walk. I’m going home, taking a bath, going to bed. That is my exit plan. Nowhere in there does it mention Sam Braddock. Nowhere! Now go.”

When she’d turned away from him, that was it. He grabbed her arm with one hand turning her back to him and buried the other at the back of her neck, causing her loosely held updo to release her hair so it cascaded over his hand…soft, smelling like orchids and lilacs.

He pulled her to his body, crushing her to him, not giving her a chance to pull away, the hand at her neck lifting her face to his. His blue eyes became almost black with passion as he drown in her deep brown ones. She wasn’t scared. Curious. Apprehensive. Intent. Yearning maybe? But not scared. He watched as her pink tongue flicked out against lips waiting for his next move, leaning into him ever so slightly.

He wanted to take her by storm. To bury his tongue in her mouth, push through her lips, just like he wanted to pin her against the wall of the Royal York, ripping through her clothes , push through her lower lips, burying himself to the hilt.. He wanted to get on his knees and worship her, drinking from her, her honeyed sweetness, mixed with his salty tang until she screamed again and again, convulsing against his mouth while he swallowed her gifts.

Instead, he slowed his breathing, taking in the paleness of her skin, the small mole just over her lip, the way a wisp of hair was caught in the corner of her mouth. His thumb brushed gently across her lips, feeling their tenderness and carefully removed the hair, brushing it out of the way.

He moved slowly, savoring the moment, knowing there would never be another moment like this first kiss. There would be more. More with her. Hundreds, thousands. A lifetime of kisses. But nothing like this first kiss.

Her brown eyes hadn’t left his blue ones and he smiled slightly as she nervously bit her lip with her glistening white teeth. He turned his head a little to the right moving towards her face and her slightly open lips, the invitation in her eyes clear, along with her apprehension.

“Jules…” he whispered on his breath, moments before he brought his lips to hers.

Their lips met, brushing gently together at first. His tongue slid along her mouth slowly, luxuriating in the contact, of the gentleness of touch, the small gift of this intimacy she shared with him. Her mouth opened carefully to his, her tongue probing his shyly, building hungrily as if she’d been waiting too long to taste him, to feel him inside her, to have this small modicum of closeness where the stakes were not so high, but still gave have her some release from the tension that had been building within her for weeks.

Sam felt his body hardened and he crushed her closer. He was determined that no air, no atoms, not the smallest particles of space and time would come between them. The vest, usually tight to protect him, was now so tight as to be uncomfortable. His pants were rough and there was no give in them at all. And all of his wonderful pain was due to his pleasure at the woman kissing him right this moment.

Jules didn’t care she could barely breathe squeezed tightly against Sam’s body. It took all of her will power not to raise her legs and wrap them around his waist, pressing her lower body around him. She felt his hardness, his heat that boiled against her stomach. She thought it might sear her skin right through her clothes. She was wet and burning. She knew he needed, wanted this kiss as much as she did. But she didn’t want a one night stand. It would be impossible to work with him after that. And she wasn’t sure if he wanted more than that. He’d never said.

She slowly, regretfully began to pull back, sucking on his lower lip as she went before she finally broke away. Sam stood there stunned. She was breaking off the best kiss he had ever had. And she was telling him she was going home, alone.

“Sam, I’m sorry,” she whispered.

“What’s wrong?”

Jules took a deep breath. “Sam, I’m not ready for this. One night stands aren’t my thing. As much as this was great, and you’re, to use Spike’s nickname for you, definitely Samtastic, I can’t do this.”

“One night stand? Where did you ever get the idea I want a one night stand?” He dropped his arms from her and took two steps backwards, wiping his hand across his mouth, as if wishing he could erase the taste of her, forget how she felt when he held her.

“How do you know what I want? Jules, you’ve never bothered ask!” Sam said angrily. “You don’t think much of me do you?”

The look on his face told her volumes… he was genuinely hurt. It had never occurred to him to have a one night stand. And that she could think that was what he wanted, after how he had been with her, just broke him somehow. She had made a terrible mistake.

Jules reached out a hand to touch his constant 5 o’clock shadow, to try to apologize, but he jerked away from her.

“Sam, I’m sorry,” tears in her eyes.

“Yeah, whatever. ‘Night Jules.” With that, he turned and walked away into the inky darkness.

A/N: “We are the heirs of our actions.” Make your own Karma, pay it forward…leave a review.

Honestly the sexiest, soul-searching, gritty song I’ve ever heard. Lucinda Williams and Elvis Costello


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