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Let's Pretend
damien listening guitar
Title: Let’s Pretend
Rating: R (language and sexual situations)
Author: rogoblue
Summary: Adelle and Dominic must travel together, but it’s not proving to be quite a simple as it sounds. Response to two prompts—see dedication below.
Words: 4,915
Spoilers: Season 1 a tiny bit and 2 a little bit through episode 12. Set somewhere between 1.06 and 1.09.
Disclaimers: The toys are Joss Whedon’s. The idea is mine.
Dedication: To whoever wrote the prompt—some instance in which it benefits them to pretend to be romantically involved. I blame you. Well, you and whoever wrote the prompt relating to the conversation around the water cooler. So I am clearly blameless and cannot be held responsible.

“You wanted to see me, ma’am?” Laurence Dominic said, entering Adelle DeWitt’s office briskly, crossing to where his boss stood by the windows sipping what looked to be bourbon.

“Pack a bag, Mr. Dominic. We’re going to Paris.”

He allowed himself a blink in surprise. “France?”

“Would you rather travel to Texas?”

“No,” Dominic said, reaching her side. “Why are we going to Paris?”

“It’s the most romantic city in the world.”

Deciding a puzzled frown would be completely and wholly appropriate, Dominic said, “And that’s relevant how?”

“Where else would I choose to take the man I passionately adore?”

Drawing his sidearm, Dominic stepped back. “Who are you?” he demanded. She laughed. He scowled. “Who in the hell are you?”

“I assure you, Mr. Dominic. I am Adelle DeWitt and I remain completely sane.”

He lowered the gun but didn’t re-holster it. “You’re talking nonsense, ma’am.”

“Pack your bag, Mr. Dominic. We’ll have plenty of time to make sense of things on our flight. The jet will be ready for us in one hour.”


“Don’t forget a tuxedo and some more casual items. Plan for at least a week.”


“That will be all, Mr. Dominic.”

Shaking his head, Laurence spun and left the office, not remembering to re-holster his weapon until he had stalked halfway down the hall of the main office building.

* * *

“I think this is everything,” Adelle DeWitt said. “Judith, is this everything?”

Tuning out Judith’s reassurances, Laurence Dominic stared at the six, no, seven suitcases lined up perfectly on the tarmac. Did she bring her entire closet? Feeling watched, he looked up and saw Boyd Langton approaching.

“Here are the files you requested,” Boyd said, handing Dominic several manila folders.

“I didn’t request any files,” Dominic said.

“Maybe you should’ve,” Langton said, gentle smile at odds with the enigmatic words. Before Laurence could inquire further, Langton left to get his final marching orders from DeWitt.

“Henry will take care of your bags for you, Mr. Dominic,” Judith said. Dutifully, Dominic handed over his garment bag and black suitcase to the smiling young man she indicated. “They’re ready for you to board.” Judith smiled up at him. “Have fun.”

“Fun?” he asked. I’m just waiting for someone to let me in on the joke.

“You have heard of it?” Judith asked, expression serious.

“I have,” he said, wearing his very best stoic face.

“Are you ready, Mr. Dominic?” Adelle asked, smile more cryptic than Langton’s words.

“Yes, ma’am,” he said, falling into step beside her as she strode to the small private jet.

“We’re going to have to break you of that particular habit,” Adelle murmured. “Hello, Jeffery.” She shook hands with the pilot and co-pilot and admired the stewardess’ shoes. Dominic nodded to the crew members and took his customary seat. Instead of sitting across the aisle, Adelle stopped next to him. “Would you mind sitting in the back with me, Laurence?”

Startled by her use of his first name, he complied without comment. He expected her to launch into her explanation—whatever the hell it was—the moment they settled next to each other on the couch-like rear seat. She didn’t. She took some files out of her briefcase and perused them during taxi and takeoff. They reached their cruising altitude and Adelle responded to the stewardess’ question regarding beverages with casual ease.

Annoyed yet stubborn, Dominic refused to raise the topic or to look at the files Langton had given him. I can stare out the goddamn window until we land in Europe. This is the single most ludicrous situation I’ve ever been in. And that’s saying something. I haven’t exactly lived a normal life. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to give that woman the satisfaction of broaching the subject. Adelle’s hand coming to rest on his jolted Dominic out of his funk. The look in her eyes delivered a pang of something feeling remarkably like fear. “Why are you looking at me … like that?” he asked.

“Like what?” she whispered, smile containing knowledge Laurence was no longer sure he wanted.

“Like that,” he said, gesturing to her vaguely, looking away.

“Is this more to your liking?” she asked in a light, teasing tone he’d never even imagined hearing from her.

It drew his eyes, as she undoubtedly intended. Dominic’s heart nearly stopped. Adelle DeWitt as sexual predator. Christ! Choosing prudence over pride, he asked, “What’s this all about, Ms. DeWitt?”

“It’s very simple really,” Adelle said, resting her hand on Dominic’s shoulder, tracing a line along the column of his throat with a fingernail. “I have an enemy I wish to flush from hiding.”

“You’re going to draw them into the open by going to Paris with me?”

Continuing to stroke his throat, Adelle nodded. “While on a long overdue vacation with my lover, I’ll be focused on romance and sex and utterly vulnerable to attack by someone as clever and crafty as he or she seems to think they are.”

Sex? “I see,” Dominic said, doing his best to sound dubious.

“You don’t agree?” she asked, eyeing him thoughtfully, an improvement as far as Dominic was concerned.

“The strategy tracks. It’s just that I’m not sure about the … tactics.” Her raised eyebrow was clearly a challenge. “I mean … well, why me?”

Adelle smiled up at the stewardess delivering their drinks and a plate of cheese, crackers and fresh fruit. Touching the rim of her glass to his, Adelle said, “Why not you?”

“I’m not an actor, ma’am, and—.”

“Adelle.” Leaning closer, she murmured, “You should call me Adelle.” She took a piece of aged gouda and placed it on a rosemary flavored cracker. “You don’t need to be an actor, Laurence. Your role is you.”

“No, my role is me with you. Evidently … extremely with you.”

Adelle held up the morsel of food she’d prepared. Laurence looked from it to her and back again. “Open up,” Adelle said.

“You want to feed me?” he asked.

“It’s one of those silly things lovers do,” Adelle said.

Ok, that’s an undeniable smirk on her face right now. This is war! Smiling slightly, he opened his mouth and accepted the offering.

“You’re with me much of the time,” Adelle noted, selecting a grape with great care.

“But not as your lover.”

“Do you find me repulsive in some way?”


“Well, that’s a start.” Offering the grape, she asked, “Do you find me attractive?”

“I don’t think of you in that way,” he said prior to taking the proffered fruit.

“Try.” She unbuckled her seat belt and rose. Kicking off her shoes, Adelle stood before him and turned a slow 360 degrees. Adelle was dressed much as she always was—stylish fitted blouse of cobalt blue silk, black slim cut skirt—professional, just north of severe, somehow warming an outfit that should be cold. The up do hairstyle somehow softening her look rather than hardening it. “Well, Laurence?”

What’s the safe answer? Is there one? “You look nice,” he said. Shrugging, he added, “You generally do.”

“My most attractive feature is …?”

Your need to torture others? “Um … ah … eyes or legs. Take your pick.”

“Now we’re getting somewhere,” Adelle said, returning to her seat. “Have you ever thought about having sex with me?”


Her sharp expression almost made him laugh. “Kissing me?” she asked.


“Are you a homosexual, Mr. Dominic?”

He did laugh this time. “I haven’t thought about you in a sexual way and, therefore, I’m a homosexual. Jesus, Adelle, I never would’ve expected that leap of logic from you.”

“It was a perfectly reasonable question. I assure you.”

With a small sigh, he said, “No, Ms. DeWitt, I’m not gay.”

“Damn,” Adelle muttered, regarding him as though he was a specimen on a slab.

Damn? “Ok, I’m confused. You want me to be your lover and gay?”

“Oh for pity’s sake,” Adelle said. “I said, ‘Damn,’ because you called me Adelle once and then backslid to Ms. DeWitt, not because you confirmed your sexual orientation.” She sighed. “A smirk is quite uncalled for at this juncture, Mr. Dominic.”

Deciding to live dangerously, Dominic said, “You’re cute when you’re frustrated.”

“Cute?” she hissed. He nodded. “Then you must do your level best never to frustrate me again, Laurence, because I do not wish to be cute.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“You’re being impossible on purpose,” Adelle asserted. “Stop. Now.”

As if to reinforce Adelle’s order, the plane dropped nearly a thousand feet. Instinctively, Dominic grabbed Adelle so that his fastened seatbelt anchored them both. “Christ,” Dominic muttered, settling Adelle back in beside him and helping her fasten her seat belt as the plane was buffeted by turbulence.

“Your files,” Adelle murmured, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. The files Langton had given him were strewn on the floor in front of them. Sighing, Dominic bent to pick them up. “Hand them up to me,” Adelle said. “I’ll help you straighten them out.”

Mitchell Cameron, Taylor Brock, Milicent Montgomery and Juan Juarez? What in the hell are you playing at, Langton?

“Mr. Dominic, why did you pull these files?” Adelle asked in a soft low tone.

Boyd Langton’s words rang in Dominic’s head. “I … ah … I ordered them before we left,” he said.

“Why?” she asked, watching him with an expression clearly indicating that there were right and wrong answers to her query.

Trying an “Is this a trick question?” look, he said, “I wanted to go over them.”


Why? Dominic wasn’t certain, but he thought Adelle had relaxed marginally. Inspiration struck and Laurence didn’t pause to calculate the risk. There wasn’t time. “In case one of them is the enemy you spoke of.”

“How did you arrive at this list of suspects?” she asked, crossing her legs, settling back in her chair, seemingly basking in the cessation of the turbulence.

“It’s my business to arrive at lists like this.” Even if I didn’t in this case.

“I see.” Their eyes locked for a long moment. Dominic didn’t even blink. “Well, then, allow me to congratulate you on your keen insight before we return to our earlier discussion, Laurence.”

“Where were we?” Laurence asked, deadpan stoicism in full force to mask relief.

“We were discovering what you found attractive about me,” Adelle murmured, her slight frown making Dominic wonder what she was really thinking.

Deciding a review, done correctly, might be diverting, he said, “Eyes, legs and how you look when frustrated.”

Nodding as if making a decision rather than in agreement, Adelle asked, “Do you enjoy being seduced, Laurence?”

He made a split second, gut level decision to go with the flow. “Sometimes.”

Selecting a grape for herself, Adelle said, “Elaborate.”

“I don’t know,” Dominic muttered. “I’ve not consciously thought about it. Sometimes, it feels great to relax and let someone else do most of the work. Other times, I feel more comfortable being in control.”

“What about with me?”

His effort not to laugh did not meet with success. She can’t really scowl, but she glares with the best of them. “It’s difficult to imagine you ceding control to anyone else.”

“Who said anything about ceding?” she challenged. Adelle slowly perused Laurence from head to toe and then reversed the process. “You doubt your ability to overpower me physically, Laurence?”

“No,” he said, smiling slightly at the glimmer of outrage his ready response had sent flowing across her face. “But I don’t play that way.”

“What if I wanted you to?” she whispered, suddenly closer, warm green eyes demanding his attention. “What if I needed you to hold me down and take me? What if that was the only way I could attain an orgasm?” Voice low, vibrant, mesmerizing, she said, “What if I need you to take off that lovely silk tie and bind my hands with it? To force me down and hold me there with your body. To shove up my skirt and tear away my underwear. To take off your belt and hold it before my eyes to let me see what will happen if I disobey. To undo your slacks and adjust your boxer shorts appropriately. To take me hot, hard and fast. To make me scream in pleasure and pain. What if that’s what I desperately need, Laurence?” Adelle punctuated her final question by placing a hand on Laurence’s thigh.

Staring at her parted lips, Dominic swallowed hard. “If your enemies stay hidden and you’re looking for a change,” he murmured, “you’d make a fortune at phone sex.”

“Am I correct in assuming, as of this moment, you have now at least entertained the thought of having sex with me?” Adelle asked.

“Yeah,” he admitted, “but that’s not how it’d go.”

“And how would it go, Laurence?” Adelle asked, smiling at him, caressing his thigh. “How would you choose to dominate me?”

“I’d set forth my expectations and help you to meet them,” he said.

“And punish me if I didn’t?” she asked. He shook his head. “Why ever not?”

“I wouldn’t hurt you,” he said. “Not as punishment. I don’t need that.”

“So secure,” she said, tone musing. “Comfortable with who you are.”

Dominic blinked twice before laughing. She’s going to wonder what’s so funny, Dom, better think of something other than, “Well, it’s tough to say, because I’m not often actually who I am. Undercover NSA agents don’t get much of a chance to be themselves. “I swear,” he said, breaking to chuckle again. “I swear I could hear the unspoken addendum to those words.”

“Which was?” Adelle demanded.

“For an American.”

“I have an accent, Mr. Dominic, but I’m not so British as to consider everything and everyone less British than me to be inferior.” She chuckled. “Not many British are, these days.”

“Been a while since your navy supported an empire,” he agreed, draining an excellent dry vodka martini.

“What would your expectations be, I wonder?” Adelle asked, leaning into Dominic’s personal space, boldly sliding her hand higher.

“Stop that,” he said.

Adelle’s smile conveyed her refusal to comply as well as the movement of her hand did. Using her phone sex voice, she asked, “Why would you want met to stop? I’m not hurting you, am I, Laurence?”

Her fingers on his body, her voice in his ear and her body too damn close to his eroded Dominic’s control. Rallying, he muttered, “No, but I’d like you to stop anyway.”

“Request denied,” she said and kissed him. To his mild surprise, it wasn’t the least bit awkward. Adelle struck just the right balance between aggression and persuasion and Dominic responded with a believable amount of hesitance and reticence. They stared into each other’s eyes for a long time when they parted.

“Would either of you care for another beverage?” the stewardess asked.

Not breaking eye contact, Adelle said, “Please,” and Dominic said, “Yes.”

A disturbing thought flew into Dominic’s mind and he gave it leave to exit his mouth. “Does everyone back in LA know what we’re doing? About this enemy of yours and your plan for putting a name and face to him?”

“Would that bother you?” Adelle asked.

“I think so, yes.”

“Then I consider myself fortunate I told the senior staff that we were required to participate in a Rossum Corporation loyalty study.”

“Loyalty study?” he asked.

“I implied there would be sharp implements and electric shocks involved should our devotion to all things Rossum not rise to an appropriate level of zeal.”

The smile bloomed on his face unbidden. “Did you forget the injection of truth serum?”

“Of course not,” she said, mock outrage on offer. “Do you think me an amateur?”

“In lying, you are without peer.”

“Flattery, Laurence?” She smiled in a way Dominic had rarely seen, with genuine pleasure. “I wholeheartedly approve.”

“Will it get me anywhere?” he asked, grinning, recognizing he was beginning to enjoy himself, knowing he could ill afford to indulge.

“You’re the one who asked me to stop,” Adelle said.

“You didn’t.”

“Touché.” Obviously responding to his change in expression, she asked, “What is it?”

“I just realized you ducked a question I asked a while ago.” Blue eyes querying green, he said, “Why me, Adelle?”

She ran her hand along the shoulder of his black suit jacket toward his neck and allowed her fingertips to drop to the silver and black tie. “You look impeccable in a suit.”

Shaking his head, yet smiling, he said, “You aren’t shallow. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone deeper.”

“Looking impeccable in a suit didn’t hurt your cause,” she said.

“Fine.” Making a continue gesture with his hand, Laurence said, “And?”

“You have stunning eyes,” Adelle whispered, kissing him lightly on the lips. “Broad shoulders, slim hips. Excellent posture. Impeccable manners. Gentleman with a strong undercurrent of action hero fortified, if I’m not mistaken, by the bad boy you once were.”

“That’s how you view me?” he asked, incredulous.

“Having said all that, I must admit it was what I overheard that intrigued me most.”

Wary but curious, he asked, “Overheard?”

* * *

Three Months Ago

“Dominic is totally tan,” said a petite blonde security person, sipping the coffee she’d just poured. “Where’s he been?” Seeing a small smile on the face of one of her coffee drinking peers, she said, “What do you know, Monica? Spill.”

“Spain and the south of France, Lisa,” Monica said, cagey expression firmly in place.

“No shit?” said a short, powerfully built young man, lifting his cup of scalding hot coffee to his lips. “Dom took a vacation? About damn time.”

“Doing what?” Lisa asked. “And how do you know?”

The three huddled closer to the coffee pot. “You’ve met Giselle from the Barcelona house?” Monica asked.

“God,” the man said, looking upward as if to worship. “Tall, impossibly perfect body, voice like a fallen angel. She can take charge of my personal security at any time.”

Rolling her eyes, Monica addressed the blonde. “Giselle and I went through orientation together, Greg.” Monica glanced around the room quickly. Lowering her voice, she said, “I got a bunch of texts from her last weekend. Giselle spent it test driving our Chief of Security. She reports him operating on all cylinders.”

Greg and Lisa shared a look. Lisa whispered, “Giselle and Dominic?” Grinning, Monica nodded. “What the hell happens when supermodel and stoic collide?” Lisa asked. “Nuclear fission? Details, Monica. Give us the details.” Frowning slightly, Lisa said, “Please tell me you have details.”

Monica shrugged. “You know what they say—it’s always the quiet ones. Giselle said Dominic had an open mind about sex—what, when, where and how. I asked her to describe him in bed in one word. You won’t believe what I got back.”

“Don’t tease, Monica,” Greg said. “You can’t line that up and walk away.”


“No way,” Greg muttered.

“Yep.” Monica smiled at Greg’s discomfort with the new information. “She said he treated her really well, was polite to her friends, charming to her mother—.”

“Dom met Giselle’s mom?” The mixture of horror and fascination on Greg’s face made the two women laugh.

“She said he has a great sense of humor.”

“Ok, I feel better now,” Greg said, heaving an exaggerated sigh of relief. “Giselle mistook someone else for Dominic. Someone funny.” Staring at Monica’s slow shake of the head, Greg said, “What?”

“She sent pictures—one of the two of them together and a second shot that’s just flat out ‘Yum.’”

“Flat out ‘Yum?’” Greg muttered.

“I need to see those,” Lisa said. “Seriously, Monica, you have to share.”

Holding up her forefinger, Monica smiled huge. “But, wait, there’s more. Dominic wasn’t supposed to be gone as long as he was. Giselle says she’ll sign over half of her yearly bonus to me if I can get Dominic to tell me how she convinced him to stay three more days.”

“She convinced Dominic—?” Greg began, before trading dubious for firmer convictions. “No one does that. Not even DeWitt.”

“Giselle does,” Monica said. “And she wanted him to stay a week longer than he actually did, Greg.”

“Greedy bitch,” Lisa muttered.

“Truth,” Monica said. “But Dominic said he had to get back here. She’s pissed but willing to forgive him. Trust me. I know her. That’s not Giselle. She’s so not into forgiveness.”

“Yeah, well—.”

“Greg, give it up. Giselle is a hot, highly sexed Spaniard who’d tie Dominic to her bed, if he’d agree or lower his guard long enough for her to get it done.” Monica shared a significant glance with Lisa. “This has fundamentally changed my view of Dominic.”

“So … what?” Greg said. “You want to sleep with Dom now?”

The two women smiled at each other in a way that sent Greg into full retreat. “Pictures, Monica,” Lisa demanded. “I need the visuals.”

* * *


“If you knew about Giselle, why ask me if I’m gay?” Laurence asked. When Adelle merely smiled, Dominic said, “To see how I’d react to the question, not knowing that you knew about Giselle. Very DeWittian.”


“Sounded better in my head than DeWittish. I think I actually heard Topher say, ‘Rhyming with British.’”

Adelle pursed her lips in obvious distaste. “Inspiring Topher to verse is some sort of crime in every relevant jurisdiction.”

“Something that stupid ought to be a crime.”

“Aren’t you the least bit curious, Laurence?”

“Curious? Oh, about the pictures.” Dominic shrugged. “Not really.”

Mimicking his shrug to perfection, Adelle said, “You surprise me, Mr. Dominic. I expected some level of concern as to the potential for embarrassment.”

“If they were embarrassing, I wouldn’t be here right now.”

“Quite possibly true, but I really must assure you I didn’t barge in at that delicate point in the discussion and demand to experience the visuals as well.”

“No,” he said, although an amusing visual image of Adelle DeWitt doing just popped into his head. “I think you had Judith obtain the security footage of that conversation, capture images of the photos, enhance the hell out of them and present them for your inspection.”

“You would be correct, Laurence.”

“And they showed what exactly?” he asked.

Expression avid, Adelle asked, “You don’t recall?” When he said nothing, her eyes widened. “You let Giselle have more than two pictures of you?” Scandalized shifting to speculative, Adelle said, “Must’ve been love.”

Not love, Ms. DeWitt. Same size word, though. Same first letter. He closed his eyes. “Which pictures, Adelle?”

“Giselle was sitting on a wall. You were standing in front of her. Her arms were around your neck and her legs around your waist. You were looking at each other, rather than the camera.”

“What was she wearing?” Dominic asked, tone a tad too casual even to his own ears.



Adelle’s laughter made Laurence wonder about his expression and what she thought it revealed. And what it actually did reveal.

“You wore a white linen shirt, untucked, khaki shorts with far too many pockets, sunglasses and a three day growth of beard.”

Fondly remembering the low wall surrounding the villa where they’d stayed, Dominic asked, “The other picture?”

“You were leaning back in a comfortable looking chair with your feet up on a small table, holding a glass of wine, smiling sinfully up at whoever was taking the picture. Giselle, I presume.”

“Black leather chair?” he asked. She shook her head. Dominic’s eyes widened. “One upholstered in … in light and dark blue squares?” Adelle shook her head again. “Where the hell else …?”

“You were wearing the same linen shirt, untucked and unbuttoned, and had a rather interesting bruise just here.” Adelle rested the tips of two fingers to the right of his breast bone not far beneath his collarbone. “Your shorts were unfastened but more or less still on.” She leaned in close. “You looked dangerous.”

“I am dangerous.”

“I know.”

Retreating slightly, Dominic said, “You memorized those pictures.”

“Not really,” Adelle said, closing the distance between them again. “Judith did go on about them for a few weeks. It was somewhat infuriating.”

“Giselle sent pictures,” Dominic murmured, retreating a bit further. “I guess that explains it.”

Clearly surprised, Adelle prompted, “What?”

“There was a time not too long ago when it seemed like every woman in my group was working out wearing very little.”

“How better to seduce the boss?”

“I don’t sleep with my people, Adelle,” he said. “I’m a professional.”

“I never suspected otherwise, Laurence.” Expression challenging and unrepentant, she called upon her phone sex voice to ask, “How did Giselle convince you to stay three more days?”

Looking away, trying to hide a smile, Dominic shook his head. “That’s classified.”

“How shall I convince you to divulge your secrets?” she asked, looking eager to begin.

Dominic’s heart rate accelerated, but he could see nothing in Adelle’s demeanor indicating she meant anything other than Giselle’s excessively complicated incentive structure. Shrugging, he said, “Do your worst, Adelle.”

“Wouldn’t you rather I did my best?”

“I really don’t know the answer to that question.”

“I look forward to assisting you to arrive at one once we’re properly ensconced in our five star hotel.” She arched an eyebrow and smiled slowly. “Privacy and thick walls are musts for what I have in mind.”

“Just don’t be texting Judith with attached photos.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it.” Adelle sipped her drink. “I don’t share or feel the need to boast about my exploits.” Resting a hand on his chest, Adelle said, “You could, of course, simply tell me how Giselle convinced you to stay and save me the trouble.”

“How could you be sure I was telling the truth without privacy and thick walls?”

“Excellent point.” Handing him his four files, Adelle said, “We’ll table this discussion until then.”

Dominic opened Mitchell Cameron’s file and started reading.

“I’m glad you’re here, Laurence,” Adelle murmured when he’d reached page 11.

Inspired by the concern in her green eyes, he said, “I won’t let anything happen to you.”

Unease giving way to speculation, Adelle said, “What will you let happen to you?”

Instinctively, Dominic took his time to consider his reply. “I suspect I’ll agree to a hell of a lot more than taking three more days of vacation.”

The genuine smile returned. “A suspicion I share, Laurence.”

“Will I regret … anything?” he asked, trying to give what he was feeling a name other than vulnerable.

“I really don’t know the answer to that question,” Adelle said, shifting a bit closer.

Realizing he’d spoken those same words a little earlier, Dominic said, “So we’re both looking for answers.”

Adelle took his hand in both of hers. “I’m grateful to have the company, Laurence.”

He stared at their clasped hands. “I guess I am too.”

“A less than glowing endorsement,” Adelle murmured.

“Maybe you should’ve had … inspiring pictures of you sent to me anonymously, so I’d be closer to the same page.”

“Close your eyes,” Adelle said.

A sudden spike on his internal vulnerability meter demanded he ask, “Why?”


Staring into her imploring eyes, Laurence managed, “Adelle I—,” before her forefinger across his lips silenced him.

“Please,” she repeated. “Close your eyes and keep them closed until I tell you to open them.”

Reluctantly, Dominic closed his eyes. He could hear and feel Adelle shift next to him a bit. Silence fell. Her motions ceased. Tension hummed in the air, increasing by the second. Dominic waited for what seemed like a long time before he felt the lightest of touches on his cheek, a slow lingering caress ending at the corner of his mouth. Adelle carefully positioned his hand on her side. He lifted it the instant he felt bare skin beneath. Her soft sound of disappointment prompted him to reverse the motion, shift his hand slightly and gently stroke her back. “Laurence,” she whispered. “Look at me.”

His breath caught in his throat. Adelle’s hair was down the way he preferred and her blouse was un-tucked giving her a disheveled look that appealed to him. The uncertainty on her face told him everything he needed to know. Dominic kissed her, vowing not to exploit her vulnerability, exposing his own in the way the kiss lengthened, deepened, hardened. “You’re safe with me,” he whispered, when he managed to stop.

“No, I’m not,” Adelle said. “You’re dangerous.” Before he could protest, she murmured, “I like dangerous men.” Responding in kind to his smile, she added, “Particularly those who don’t shy away from dangerous women.”

“That would be me.” Pulling her into his arms, Dominic whispered, “This doesn’t feel like playacting, Adelle.”

“I don’t mind pretending to pretend,” she said, wrapping her arms around his neck.

“This could get very complicated,” he said, slipping a hand beneath her blouse again.

“I live for complications involving an attractive man touching me intimately.”

“We’re going to screw up our working relationship, Adelle.”

She sighed. “I see privacy and thick walls are necessary to make you see reason.”

“Seeing reason? That’s a new one.”

Laughing, Adelle shifted so that she fit comfortably in Laurence’s arms and rested her head on his shoulder.

“Tired?” he asked. He felt her nod. “Get some rest, then. I’ll get back to my files.”

“First things first.” Adelle handed Laurence his martini. Picking up her own glass, she turned to face him. “Here’s to pretending to pretend.”

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LOL, this was awesome! Love the descriotions of the pictures!

It was surprisingly easy to come up with something for "Drop dead 'Yum.'" I don't really want to think about what that says about me.

I liked that he was kind of wondering if they were clothed or not in the one of them together and knowing the tone of his question clued Adelle in to what he was really asking.

Sorry, "flat out 'Yum.'" I can't even remember my own prose anymore.

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