No Promises, No Expectations
He had kissed her awake, his hands seeking her curves, mapping them, his hard body loving her soft one. When they had slaked their initial desire, he pulled her into the shower and held her again, imprinting the feel of her body on his body and in his mind.
His cell phone rang seconds before the doorbell rang. "Browning," he barked, walking to the front door.
"Admiral," the Secretary of the Navy's voice sent warning bells off in Trey's head. "I have a special assignment for you. The President has requested your assistance."
He opened the door, acknowledging the Marine Corporal standing there, the SecNav having explained why a driver and car were outside his front door. The Corporal knew the Admiral. He nodded his head in greeting and went back to the car to wait for the senior officer.
"Leine," Trey went into the bedroom to pull her into his arms. "I have to get to a Pentagon briefing. I have to hurry. I may have to go out of town for a few days."
"It's okay, Popeye. I can get home on my own." She grinned and put a hand on his face. "Even though I barely knew who I was after you made love to me, I have come to my senses and I do remember where I live."
He chuckled, kissing her palm. "I like having you senseless," he pulled her closer. "And naked and in my arms and in my bed and..."
Her stomach growled. "And raiding your refrigerator?"
"And raiding my refrigerator," he smiled, letting her go. "I have to get dressed and pack a bag. I'll make some coffee."
"Trey, get dressed. I'll make the coffee."
When he was ready to leave, he hugged her one more time. "Eat breakfast before you go. Put one of my shirts on over your cocktail dress. And leave your phone number on the nightstand. Don't forget. I'll call you as soon as I get home."
"Giving me orders, General-Admiral?"
"Damn straight, little one. And, I expect you to obey them."
"Aye-aye, Popeye!" she laughed at him, kissed him one more time and pushed him out the door.
She chose a blue chambray shirt that swallowed her. She tied the shirttail into a knot at her hips and looked in the mirror. She thought it looked chic, complimenting her high-heeled sandals. She remembered to jot her phone number on a slip of paper and left it on the nightstand. Closing the bedroom door behind her created a draft, causing the paper to fly off the table and onto the floor.
He had spent three days in briefings - at the Pentagon, the White House and finally, at Camp David where he had slept the last two nights. He had returned to JAG ops mid-morning and tried to make a dent in the work that had piled up. He wanted to speak to Leine, let her know he was back and take her to dinner.
'Fess up, squid. You just want to take her back to your bed. He nodded his head, agreeing. He did want to take her back to bed, but he also wanted to get to know her better, court her a little, see what happened next. Then, I'll take her to my bed.
Throwing open the door to his bedroom, he dropped his suitcase and tossed his jacket and cover. He went into the bathroom, then remembered she left her phone number on the nightstand and turned, heading back into his bedroom. He shoved his suitcase away from the nightstand, the movement pushing her note under the bed and paused. No note? He looked everywhere - under the phone - in the drawer - on the floor. No note.
He frowned. Maybe, she left it in the kitchen. He looked everywhere - on the bathroom mirror - the refrigerator door - the phone in his study - the coffee table - the inside of the front door. No note.
"Damnation!" he yelled his frustration. "Why didn't she leave her phone number? I know she... Should have told her to call the office. Should have... damnation! Now what?"
She's lives in McLean. She told me her address. Was gonna' take her home that night from the SecNav's house. What the hell street was it? He wracked his brain and couldn't remember. Mill Drive? Miller Road? Mil... something.
Sighing heavily, he went to the credenza in his study and pulled out a bottle of scotch. Pouring two fingers, he threw it back, grimacing as the strong liquor scorched his throat. Now what? Can't exactly drive up and down all those streets hoping she's out taking a walk, lookin' for me. Damn! Damn! Damn!
You could call your yeoman. He'd be able to trace her address through the DMV... his conscience prodded him.
"At this hour?"
It's only 1815...
He picked up the phone, hit speed dial and hung up. Pursing his lips, he thought a moment. "Okay." He hit speed dial again and waited for his yeoman to answer.
"Judge Advocate General's office. Petty Officer Johnson."
"Johnson, Admiral Browning here. I have a favor to ask."
"Yes, sir," Johnson replied, repeating the information his C.O. had given him. "I'll get right on it. Call you as soon as I know something."
Trey paced, waiting. Finally, an hour later, his phone rang. "Browning!" he barked.
"Sir, Johnson here. I..."
"What?" Trey was impatient. The hour was growing late and he was hungry - for a meal and for Leine, not necessarily in that order.
"Sir, the DMV doesn't have any record of a Leine Henley." Before Trey could interrupt, he continued. "I checked DC, the state of Maryland and Virginia, sir. No driver's license in the name of Leine Henley."
He thanked the man and replaced the phone in its cradle. Frustrated by the news, he sat back on his couch to think. He remembered she had hesitated when he asked her name. His thoughts drifted back to that conversation. He remembered most of it.
"Tell me your name," he had urged.
"Is it important? Why do you have to know?" she had asked.
"Because I'm going to kiss you," he murmured, putting his arms around her.
"Tell me your name."
"Leine what?" He remembered his hands caressed her flesh, making her shiver and there was a sensitive spot just above the cleft of her butt.
"Let's leave it at Leine," she had shivered when he stroked the spot.
"Let's not. Tell me your last name," he pressured her, rubbing the sensitive spot again, teasing her with more shivering sensations."
"Henley," she gasped. "It's Leine Henley."
"See? That wasn't so hard," he murmured, moving his fingers to her vulva, parting her soft folds, and teasing her tender flesh.
Trey grew hard, remembering her softness. He was damned eager to touch her again. But now he wondered why she had hesitated to tell him her name. Maybe her name isn't Leine Henley. Why would she lie? He resigned himself to spending the night alone. Wandering into the kitchen, he grabbed a beer and drank it while he heated a bowl of soup and made a sandwich.
The SecNav would probably know her name. She was at a couple of his parties.
"Yeah, right," he smirked. "I'll give him a call." Feeling thwarted, he ate his sandwich and decided to take a ride over to Miller Road.
Nine days later
It had been a hard week and a half. He was frustrated that he hadn't been able to contact Leine and he was feeling miserable. Could have sworn she wanted to be with me. I *know* she wanted to be with me. He stood in front of his office window, his arms folded across his chest, his thoughts in turmoil. So sweet and lush. He sighed, wondering if she'd show up at another one of the SecNav's parties.
The knock on his office door broke his reverie.
Trey frowned at the file Johnson placed on his desk. He had forgotten to look at it and he had an appointment at the Pentagon later in the day. He decided he'd better look it over. As a flag officer, he was automatically a member of the board of directors for the Navy's Foundation. There wasn't much to do as a board member, although there was an occasional contract to peruse regarding the foundation's activities. He knew the SecNav had contracted a new grant writer who had sent the members a list of goals he or she was planning to try to meet. They were generally too lofty to be realistic, but he bit the bullet and opened the file.
He was impressed. The goals seemed probable. He thought he might enjoy the quarterly board meeting for a change. Skimming the rest of the file, he looked for the grant writer's name. "M. St. Pierre," he read. Okay, Mr. Or Ms. St. Pierre. I'm ready for you.
Leine placed a file folder on the table in front of each chair. She wanted this presentation to go well. It was the first one she was conducting on behalf of the Navy Foundation. The Secretary of the Navy had been pleased with her initial work; she had already raised $40,000 for the foundation, but now it was time for the foundation's board of directors to get involved. She couldn't do it alone. She needed their input.
Trey nodded to board members he recognized and took his seat at the long conference table. He opened the file in front of him, reviewing the agenda and making note of some questions he had. He didn't see the SecNav until the man cleared his voice and asked for their attention. When he looked up, he blinked.
The woman standing next to the SecNav was Leine Henley! He regained his composure and sat back, listening.
She spotted him right away and arched a brow when their eyes met across the room. She wasn't sure if she should be angry or amused. She had hoped he would call, had waited for his call and when he didn't, her disappointment changed to anger and then to resignation. It was just sex for him - that's all. She had chastised herself for thinking it was anything more.
Of course, it was just sex. We had a great weekend, fantastic sex, and the man is moving on. What did you expect, you ninny? A death defying oath of commitment? You are such a jerk! Eyeing him sitting across the room, she wondered if he would speak to her after the meeting.
"And so, ladies and gentleman," the Secretary of the Navy said. "It is my privilege to introduce someone who knows how to get the wealthy private sector to donate money to the military. We are extremely pleased to have one of the finest grant writers in the United States on our board. Please welcome Leine... Madeleine Henley St. Pierre."
Henley is her middle name! So that's why the DMV didn't know who she was.
He listened to her presentation, impressed by her platform skills, her goal setting behaviors and the business plan she outlined for raising monies for the many charities housed under the Navy Foundation's umbrella. She answered the questions he had planned to ask. He had no reason to be proud of her presentation, but he was. Remaining seated when they took a few minutes for coffee and refreshments, he watched as others swarmed around her, asking their own questions.
It dawned on him that when he asked her what she did for a living, she said she worked with computers - something about adaptive technology for kids who had physical disabilities. Why did she lie? Another mystery.
But she hadn't lied. In the course of her presentation, he learned that her pet cause was assistive and adaptive technologies. She told the board she planned to earmark a minimum of twenty percent of the foundation's funds for acquiring those technologies for special needs children. No one gave her an argument.
When the meeting ended, she watched him leave with the others. I was right. It was just sex. He didn't want to see me again. She kicked herself for being disappointed and gathered her things, ready to leave for the day and the bleak weekend that loomed ahead.
It wasn't hard to keep her in his sights on the beltway. Traffic was heavy, but not too heavy. Once she took the off ramp into McLean, he followed her from a distance, doubting she would notice his car, just another black one among so many.
He passed her car when she stopped in front of a bungalow on Miller, went around the block and took note of the house number. Then he drove home.
0600 Hours - Saturday
Swearing softly when her doorbell rang, she wondered who the hell was up at this ungodly hour and on a Saturday. Wrapping a robe around her naked body, she padded barefoot to the door and looked through the peephole. Nothing.
Opening the door a crack, she immediately spotted the large case of birch beer on the porch. There was a note lying on top. She stooped down to read it. "Double dog dare ya' to a race, Red." It was signed "Popeye, the sailor man."
"Oh yeah?" she murmured under her breath.
"Yeah," he said seriously as if it were a matter of life and death.
Startled, she looked up to see him leaning on the wall beside the door. "Admiral Browning?"
"In the flesh, so to speak," he grinned wolfishly, lifting her to her feet and into his arms.
"I've missed you," he said simply. "Why didn't you leave your phone number?"
"Why didn't you call me?" she asked.
"What?" They said at the same time, both clearly confused.
She swore she left her phone number. "I left it on the nightstand."
"Didn't find it. If I had, I would have called immediately."
She narrowed her eyes at him. "You're not funning me, are you?" she asked seriously.
"You know, just saying that because... because..."
"I swear I would have called you the minute I found your number, darlin'. In fact, I spent a miserable night trying to track you down."
"I did. And now, I'd like to spend the next few hours doing other things." His breath caressed her ear, his arms tightening around her.
"Just a few hours?" she asked, a wicked look in her eyes, delighted to be back in his arms.
"Well, that depends," he laughed softly. "Are you well rested?"
"Good. How about packing your toothbrush and hair dryer and comin' over to my place?"
"I don't know, Popeye. The birch beer is right there," she pointed to the case at their feet.
"Hot dogs, mustard and sauerkraut at my house," he replied. "And another case of birch beer. Will that do?"
"Well..." she hesitated.
"And my running trail - a great place to race," he sucked her earlobe. "And a good place to make love," his tongue licked her throat and he sucked it lightly.
"I'm convinced," she whispered, pulling his face up to kiss him. "Have to slip something on. Let's go in the house."
He set her on her feet, took the case of birch beer into the house, and followed her to her bedroom. She slipped her robe off her shoulders and immediately felt his arms around her. "God, woman. I have missed you," his lips traced the line of her neck and across her shoulder, making her shiver. "I want you."
"Badly?" she teased, feeling his erection pressing into her side.
"Yes," he groaned. "Badly."
"More than I want you?" she asked, her breath escaping in short gasps.
"Is this a pissing contest?" he asked her, repeating her own words.
"No," she laughed softly. "I concede. Yours is definitely bigger than mine, Popeye."
"Damn straight it is," he growled, his hands cupping her breasts, squeezing lightly.
When they arrived at his house, he pulled her out of his SUV, tossed her onto his shoulder and carried her straight to his bed. In seconds, he had her nude, her jeans and T-shirt on the floor along with his own.
"General-Admiral," she gasped, laughing at his antics. "Have you turned into a cave man?"
He leaned over her naked body and kissed her hard, then spread her thighs and slipped his hands under her to cup her bottom.
"Popeye?" She stopped laughing.
"I'm going to lick you," he said, bending his head and mouthing her curls. "Then I'm going to tease you," he promised, his hands coaxing her response and his tongue flicking her clit. Leine gasped. "I'm going to torture you with my hands and my lips and my tongue," his words excited her, his sexy drawl making her hot.
"And finally, I'm going to fill you with my body..." He sucked her clit, teasing it with his lips and tongue and kept his mouth on her when she peaked. She was rendered speechless and continued to shiver when he lapped her pleasure. When his mouth was finally sated, he kneeled between her thighs and pushed his heavy cock into her heat.
Still holding her after his release, he pulled her onto his chest, his roar still ringing in her ears.
He loved her all day, unable to get enough of her, unable to take his hands off of her. The bed, the shower, the couch, back to the bed, he loved her. She loved him back, happy to be in his embrace, happy to be able to kiss him and touch him again.
At her insistence, he looked for her note and found it - under the bed. He forgave her for not leaving it. She forgave him for not calling. When they remembered to eat a meal, he held her on his lap and fed her with his fingers. She fed him with hers. When they showered, he lathered her body and she lathered his. Once, he lifted her legs to his shoulders and drove her wild with his mouth, eventually lowering her legs to his waist and plunging into her moist heat. Once, she slipped to her knees, engulfing his shaft in her hot mouth, pleasuring him with her lips and tongue.
They collapsed in each other's arms, sated, exhausted and still hungry for each other.
"I want more of you, little one," he murmured, "much more." He cupped her face, his dark brown eyes looking into her gray ones. "I want to take you out to dinner, take you to the theater, dancing, to parties, to meet my friends. I want to spend quality time with you, in bed and out."
She smiled at his voice, his words, and his sexy drawl. "I'd like that, Popeye."
"I don't know where this is going and I can't make any promises, darlin'," he reminded her.
"I know, Popeye. I can't either. Let's just enjoy each other. No commitments - no promises - no expectations."
"No promises," he agreed, kissing her, his hands wandering over her sweet body once more, his mouth seeking hers. "No promises, no expectations."