“How much do you love me, Daddy?”
“I love you more than infinity. How much do you love me?”
“…Infinity plus two!”
Dorian fell out of the Mustang, his head still ringing from the collision. The ground was cold and wet under him as he struggled to straighten himself. The Corvette was out of sight but he could hear the engine rumble nearby. He looked around for his phone when he discovered it, smashed to bits a few feet away. He pulled his weapon and flashlight to advance on his suspect until he reached the car. Still inside, Noelle heard the Fed approaching and stuck her hands out the busted window. “Please…I’m stuck,” she said, pinned upside down in her seat. After he assessed that she was truly stuck, he holstered his weapon. He managed to open the door easily. “I’m pinned. I think my leg…” Noelle started.
“Alright, This is gonna hurt like hell. On my count, unbuckle your seatbelt,” Dorian said. He wrapped his arms around her torso tightly and made sure he held his breath so he wouldn’t get distracted by her scent. “One…two…three,” he said before yanking her out of the car. Her scream echoed into the darkness as he pulled twice more to get her out.
A large gash on her knee was bleeding freely. He yanked a torn piece of fabric from her dress and made a tourniquet high on her thigh. “Do you have a cell phone?”
“No,” she said, her face grimaced as he bandaged her. “Ok. There are some cabins near by. I’ll have to go check it out, find a phone, get us some help,” he said. He lifted her off the ground and carried him back to his car. “Wait, you’re not leaving me out here, are you?” she said as he sat her in the backseat. “I won’t be gone long. We need to get some help,” Dorian said. He rounded the car and opened his trunk to retrieve his emergency duffel.
“So you’ll leave a defenseless, INJURED woman alone in the dark, in the woods? Have you seen any horror film ever?” she said, standing on her good leg. “You can’t walk. The cabins are at least a mile away.” Noelle looked around and picked up a large stick nearby and shoved it under her arm.
“Let’s go,” she said before she hobbled away.
Dorian kept turning his head to make sure she was still behind him. Between the sticky mud and the downed trees, the hike was taking much longer than it should. “This is ridiculous,” he said, before he doubled back. “I’m fine,” Noelle grunted as she hopped over another log. He scooped her into his arms again, receiving a yelp from her, and took off. “You don’t need to carry me. I had it under control.”
“I could see that. Hold this,” he said, shoving the flashlight into her hands.
“You don’t have to—“
“Look, you’re hurt. We need to rest and find a phone. Plus this is the best way I can keep an eye on you.”
“You think you need to keep an eye on me? Out here?” Dorian stopped talking and focused on the hike in front of him. “I didn’t do it,” Noelle finally said. “Do what?”
“Whatever it is you think I did.”
“Grand theft? Impeding an investigation? Reckless evading?”
“And I’m the Pillsbury Dough Boy.”
The cabin was dark and small, well hidden amongst the bog and trees. Dorian sat Noelle on the swing set that was on the porch before he began trying to open the windows and door. “Here, let me,” Noelle said as she began to hobble past him when Dorian turned his back to the door and kicked it open with a bang. She couldn’t help but notice him smirk as they entered. “These old places typically run on generators,” he said before he pushed her down onto the couch. “Stay put. I’m going to check,” he said, his finger jutted out towards her. As soon as he cleared the doorway, she unzipped the duffel bag next to her. Emergency kit, flares, flashlight, satellite phone, a bottle of whiskey, spare handcuffs and keys, blankets and a picture frame. She pulled it out farther and inspected it with the spare flashlight. It was the Fed and a woman, holding onto a little girl dressed in a baseball uniform. They were smiling widely, as if someone told a joke just before. The lights popped on inside the cabin, slightly startling her. In a split second, she snatched the battery from the satellite phone and returned all of the items back into the bag. Dorian walked back into the room and she kneeled over, exaggerating her leg pain (taking the opportunity to slide the battery beneath the seat cushion). “Come on, let’s get you fixed up.”
The bed was old and creaked under her weight. He pulled the emergency kit from his bag and settled next to her. “Can you move your leg at all?” he asked, his voice slightly more sincere than before. “A little. It hurts like hell,” she twitched under his touch. “Then it isn’t broken. But it will be sore for a little while,” he said. He began cleaning the small wounds she had suffered from the accident. In the light, she could focus on his features again. He wasn’t as bright and shiny as he was at the Mayor’s; between the worry wrinkles on his forehead and the tight line he held his mouth in, he almost looked like a different person. “Now would be an excellent time to get your story straight. This place will be swarming with federal agents by morning,” he said as he dabbed alcohol onto her exposed shoulder. “Why are you so convinced I’m guilty?”
He didn’t speak. He finished cleaning her wounds and tidied up the bandages. Her heart skipped a beat when he reached into the bag and pulled out the sat phone. “Damn…piece of shit,” he cursed as he tried to power on the phone. “You’re bleeding,” Noelle pointed out. Dorian reached up and touched the warm trail of blood that had begun from his hairline. “Let me…” she said before she scooted over. “You could at least tell me your name,” Noelle said as she worked on the agent. “Special Agent Shaw,” Dorian said.
“Special Agent…what an odd first name. Your mother had high hopes for you.” He had actually cracked a smile at the joke, revealing the man she’d met before. She was too close; his head was bent towards her bosom as she worked. “Dorian,” he finally said, raising his head. Noelle looked down at him and studied his face. “It suits you,” she said as she finished up. “Oh, before I forget…” Dorian said before he quickly grabbed her left arm and handcuffed her to the headboard. “Seriously?”
“You’re under arrest. Anything you say can and will be used in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney…”
“SERIOUSLY?!” Noelle repeated as Dorian went through the rest of his spiel. “Can you at least let me have a hot shower?”
“There will be plenty of showers when we get you back to headquarters.”
“What about that bottle of whiskey then?”
Every sip from the bottle was another bout of laughter from the disaccorded pair. They weren’t cop and robber anymore; they had become a pair of strangers in an empty room, trying to figure one another out. It had become a game, one that the both of them were eager to win. “Ok, your turn,” Noelle said as she took another swig from the bottle. Dorian cleared his throat and looked at her. “You’re running from something…” he began. Noelle snorted. “How intuitive,” she said sarcastically. “Other than the law…you’re…very toned. You exercise a lot but you’re not doing it for vanity. You run late at night because you often can’t sleep.” A shiver went down Noelle’s spine at his (accurate) observation. He couldn’t help but notice her body; she was absolutely stunning. She passed him back the bottle. “You were married. You recently stopped wearing the ring, maybe within the past three months so no tan line. You had a child early on, and she lives with her mother.” Dorian’s heart skipped several beats at the thought of his family. His hand began to shake around the bottle, which Noelle noticed. “They’re, uh…my wife didn’t leave me. She…they died.”
It had been the first time he spoke of Olivia and his daughter to a stranger. He couldn’t bear to lift his eyes and see the familiar look of sadness and pity he’d received too many times over. “I’m sorry. I know what it’s like. My father passed when I was younger.” He’d managed to look and find her eyes, sad and empty like his own. Without thinking, he reached over and enveloped her hand with his own. They shared a forlorn symmetry in that moment, their fingers intertwined with one another. It was a feeling neither of them could explain, same when they danced earlier in the night. Somewhere between the sadness and the whiskey, it became easy for them to fall into one another. Dorian’s large hand went to her face and his lips met hers. As they threw their personal codes away, they gave into the passion that erupted from them. Noelle didn’t have time to be with men; her elusive lifestyle forbade it, but the way his hands felt on her skin was amazing. Dorian couldn’t imagine being with another woman after his wife but he was already intoxicated from her pheromones; honeysuckle and orchids soothed and stirred him in a primitive way.
Caution to the wind, Dorian peeled the remaining white material off her and exposed her skin, contrasting against his own tawny brown hands. All he could think about was how deep he wanted to bury himself into her and release every ounce of angst into her. Noelle stared into his eyes, her flesh ignited by the Adonis before her. She found herself staring, memorizing every inch of him, from his curly black hair to the freckles decorating his thighs. Her breath caught in her throat as he gently ran his fingers across the fabric separating her sex from him. His eyes begged for permission as his thickness lurched between them. Noelle bucked her hips up slightly as his fingers locked onto her lace panties and pulled them away. He surrounded her once more, his lips more eager than before as they traced down her body. “I’m sorry,” she whispered and closed her eyes. Dorian leaned away from her, his face puzzled before she brought the rust brown lamp down onto his head; his limp body pitched over next to her. “Fuck,” she sighed.