"Mmmm...it's okay," she whispered. "Definitely better now that you're here."
When he asked if he was in trouble for getting liver instead of the tacos, Fred's eyes widened as he grabbed her hands, holding them away from her body. He knew she hated liver - always had, would never touch the stuff. She knew he had to be joking but was relieved when he admitted it, telling her that the tacos were there.
"Dinner while snuggling on the couch sounds wonderful," Fred told him, leaning up in his kiss. "And I love you too."
She stood there for a moment, watching him as he turned to go into the kitchen with Max on his heels. She had always thought he was beautiful, and he had grown even more so in the years they had been apart in her opinion. Maybe it was because she hadn't seen him in so long before he had walked into her room, she wasn't sure. All that mattered was that she thought he had...and she was thankful and considered herself very lucky that he had waited for her to come back.
Turning, she went over to the coffee table and quickly cleared up the magazines and notepads and books that were sitting there. She had sort of been jumping around from thing to thing, finding herself going off on tangents as something would remind her that she needed to check something else, which she would do. That was how she had ended up reading the Physics book - she had run across reference to a theory on a website.
After getting all of that stacked up and pushed aside, she grabbed the laptop Nick had given her to use and put it in standby before shutting the lid and placing it aside too. She had just finished when Nick came out of the kitchen with the tray of tacos and soda.
"That smells good," she said, sitting beside him on the couch and snuggling up to him while they began eating. "I know we've been eating a lot of tacos recently, and you're probably getting sick of them and all, but...for some reason, it's comforting. Reminds me of our first date - getting tacos before we went to see Garth."
Nick unwrapped the tacos and sat them out before picking one up. "Made sure they made them fresh when I was there," he said, giving her a smile. He picked the tomatoes out, never being a fan, and fed them to Max. He then looked at Fred again, his smile still in place. Some people saw snuggling and eating as some silly, but to Nick, it was where he wanted to be. He would do this every night if it meant Fred was with him.
"I don't mind the tacos. Better than that greasy diner Warrick always made me go to before and after work. Plus, it's what my girl wants so who am I to argue," Nick commented as he finished off one of his tacos. He looked over at his duffle that he'd dropped in the living room before looking at her again. "That was also the night your daddy caught us in the barn, making out. I thought he was going to whip my ass."
Chuckling, he shook his head and took a drink of his soda. Roger had been so protective of Fred when they were younger - he still was but now he seemed to respect Nick more, especially since he was taking care of Fred and protecting her. They knew Nick would do everything in his power to protect their daughter. And it was the truth - Nick would do anything to make sure Fred was safe and protective.
He finished off his second taco and leaned back on the couch. Nick pulled Fred back with him and wrapped his arms around him. "You smell good," he murmured as he nuzzled her neck. He wanted nothing more than to take her to bed but he wanted to show her the autopsy photos first. Nick knew she could probably shed more light on what was going on. "When you're finished eating, I have something to show you. I think we might have demons in Las Vegas."
"You're so good to me," Fred told Nick, returning his smile as she took a taco and started to eat it. She had to laugh when he took the tomatoes out - some things never changed, and for that, she was grateful.
As she leaned against him, she finished her taco and reached over for another one, remembering their first date. She usually didn't let boys touch her after one date, but with Nick, everything had been different - and they had known each other for a while anyway - so after the concert, they had snuck around the house to the barn. When her dad had found them, wrapped in each other, she had been afraid that their first date would also be their last date.
Luckily, it wasn't, and her dad had grown to accept Nick over time.
"Well, it was kinda worth it, you know," she told him. "Always did think you were great kisser. I even remembered that in Pylea."
She had just finished the taco and was reaching for a third when he pulled her back against him, kissing her neck, causing her to close her eyes and sigh softly in contentment, the food forgotten for a moment.
"Hmmm...you feel good..." she told him before he said he had something to show her and mentioned demons. Turning around, she looked at him. "Well, yeah, I wouldn't be surprised since according to Wesley, demons are everywhere, and some are good and some are bad, and...since you work for a crime scene investigation unit, we're not talking about good demons, are we?"
She looked at the food, then shook her head and looked back at him. "What do you want me to look at?" she asked softly.
Once the words had left his mouth, Nick started to worry. He didn't know if Fred was ready to look at dead bodies, or talk about demons. He never wanted to hurt her and was afraid she might get upset over him pushing her too soon. But, when she said she'd look at the things, Nick felt relief. He needed to start having more faith in her and her recovery.
Standing from the couch, Nick picked up his duffle bag and unzipped it. "A couple weeks ago, Grissom and I did a crime scene out in the desert. The body was pretty torn up and was covered in some sort of substance," he started to explain as he pulled out a report Greg had snuck to him. Normally, Nick wouldn't take evidence from the crime lab but since the case was closed, and it was obvious the victim wasn't killed by a human, he made an expectation to the rules.
"Greg did a toxic report on the substance and it came up as unknown," Nick said as he handed the reports to Fred. Greg was smart, but Fred was smarter. "I don't know if you can make anything out of it. I wish I still had some of the substance but Greg got rid of it once the case was closed."
He then rooted through the bag and pulled out the autopsy photos. "These are pictures taken of the victim before Doc Robbins did the autopsy. You can see some of the substance on her clothes. We were made to close the case and say her cause of death was because of a wild animal," Nick said before rubbing his forehead. "I have a friend looking into it and seeing if there's been similar killings in the surrounding areas. I don't know. I just don't like the idea of demons roaming around town."
Mostly because he didn't want them hurting Fred.
Biting her lip, Fred reached up and took the reports from Nick as he explained what had been going on. She vaguely remembered he mentioning the case before, saying that there were some strange aspects that needed further investigating. Opening the folder, she furrowed her brow as she read over the chemical breakdown.
"That's not right - those two chemicals shouldn't be able to co-exist together in the same space without combusting...or at the very least causing corosion." She tapped a line that had several compounds that hadn't been identified at all. "Maybe one of these kept those from doing that? I wish you had some of the substance too, but maybe I can contact Wesley and ask if he's ever heard of some of this stuff - he's had a lot more experience with it than me after all. Most of what I know right now if from books...and...well, you know."
She looked up at him and took the pictures, nodding when he said they had officially attributed the death to a wild animal. That happened a lot, Wesley had told her, and it hadn't surprised her, after some of the things she had seen in Pylea. Turning her attention to the picture, she gasped at the sight of the mutilated body.
"Oh, my God," she whispered before looking up at Nick. "Nick, I...I recognize this. In Pylea, there was a demon monster...big and ugly, like a...a...I couldn't even describe it if I wanted to, but sometimes slaves would go missing, and when their bodies were found...they...it looked like this. I...I didn't think they lived in our dimension."
A possibility about the demons and how they were in their dimension started to cross her mind, but she quickly shied away from it, not wanting to consider that possibility. "We definitely need to show this to Wesley somehow."
Nick listened to Fred speak and slowly nodded his head. He knew a lot about science, but not as much as Fred. "Greg said the same thing but just figured the machine was off and sent it off to get fixed," he said. When Fred looked at the pictures, he moved closer to her and placed his hand on her back, making sure she knew he was there for her if she needed him.
"Pylea?" he asked. His first instinct was to pull the pictures away and not let her look at them anymore. He wanted to protect her from everything in the world, and never wanted her to be reminded of what happened before. But, Nick didn't. He knew Fred was strong and would stop if she needed to.
When she mentioned getting a hold of Wesley, he furrowed his brow. "We can call him in the morning and fax the pictures to him. I know of I place we can fax them from," he said as he carefully removed the pictures from her hands. "I think that's enough for now. We can figure out more tomorrow after getting a hold of Wes." He placed the papers away, knowing if he allowed Fred to keep them, she would be up most of the night, researching.
"How about we do something else that doesn't involve demons?" he asked as he stood from the couch and held out his hand. "I really missed my girlfriend today and would like to spend some time with her, in bed. If that's alright with her."
Having Nick's hand on her back, offering support, helped Fred to keep her mind from running away with her. She didn't know what kind of demon this might be - though she was sure it was a demon. For all she knew, there was a similar kind of demon here in this dimension. For all she knew...for all she knew...
She looked up at Nick, nodding when he said they'd call him in the morning. Wesley was their best bet to figure this out - for all her time in Pylea, she was still figuring stuff like this out. She was wondering if she could find more information on the Internet to give to Wesley when Nick pulled the pictures from her hands and put them away, but before she could protest he was holding his hand out to her.
"I missed you too," she told him softly, taking his hand and letting him help her up. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she leaned forward to kiss him before giving him a smile. "And I think so time together in bed would be wonderful."
She hadn't been certain, not that long ago, if she would be ready to sleep with Nick again, after all that had happened and the time they had been apart. But he had been so sweet and gentle with her that when the time had come, being back in his arms as he made love to her had seemed right and amazing.
Reaching down, she took his hand and led him into the bedroom. Max seemed to realize what they were planning, so he stayed where he was, curled up in his chair. Inside the room, Fred turned back to Nick.
"I think this was the bed you were referring to," she asked with a smile.
Nick smiled as Fred agreed to go to bed. He'd been worried she would want to sit out there and stare the pictures all night long. After giving Max a look, wondering if he was ever going to give him back his favorite chair, Nick followed Fred into their bedroom. He closed the door behind him and glanced over at the bed.
"I believe it is, darling," he said before he leaned down and softly kissed her.
As they kissed, he reached down and tugged at the hem of her shirt. He pulled back long enough to pull it over her head before kissing her neck. Nick's hand moved around to her back and easier unclasped her bra. With his mouth still on her neck, he pulled her bra off and moved his mouth down to her breasts.
"You smell so good," Nick said as he nuzzled against the soft skin of her breast. He found one of her nipples and sucked on it, moaning as it hardened in his mouth.
His hands moved down to her jeans and he unbuttoned them, knowing he needed her naked. As he moved his mouth to her other nipple, he pulled her jeans and panties down. Taking a step back, he groaned at the sight of her. "You're so beautiful, Fred," he whispered as he felt himself start to strain against his jeans.
He wanted nothing more than to strip his clothes off and thrust into her, but he wanted to pleasure her first. With a smile, he took her hand and had her sit on the edge of the bed. He kneeled down and hissed a little. Reaching down, he undid his jeans and unzipped them to give himself some relief.
Nick then wrapped his arm around her waist and looked up at her. "Just enjoy for now," he murmured before he dipped his head down and started to suck on her clit as pushed two fingers inside of her.
When Nick pulled on her shirt, Fred raised her arms, letting him pull it off her, shivering a little in the air conditioned chill of the room. A soft moan escaped from her mouth at the feel of his lips on her, especially when they closed around her nipple. The sensation almost sent her stumbling, so she wrapped her arms around him, holding him tight to keep from falling over.
"Nick," she exhaled, her eyes fluttering close. Oh God, the things he made her feel. Even though she had come to think she had made him up during her time in Pylea, the moment he had touched, it had all come rushing back just how real he was and how he made her feel. She was so caught up in it that she wasn't completely aware of him pulling her jeans and underwear off until he had pulled back, telling her she was beautiful.
When she had come back, she hadn't felt beautiful. After five years of feeling dirty and messy, she hadn't thought she could ever be beautiful, especially with the scars now crossing her back from where her Pylean owners had beat her. She had been so scared to let him see her, see those, because it would be a reminder that she wasn't the Fred he had been in love with anymore. But even with the scars, he had looked at her the same way, touched her the same way, and that more than anything made her feel beautiful.
"So are you," she told him, wanting to reach out and pull his clothes off, but before she could, he was gently drawing her down to the bed and kneeling in front of her.
Moments later, she felt his mouth on her clit and his fingers inside her, causing her to grab the bedspread as her hips bucked up against him. The sudden wave of sensations through her almost robbed her of her breath. "Nick..."
His touch quickly sent her spiraling toward that edge. More, she need more. Needed to come, needed him inside her, needed to know that he'd always been there and never let her go. It crashed over her, making it hard to think and speak. All she had ever wanted was Nick, and she had him back.
"Oh...oh God," she groaned, the need was quickly heading toward overload, and she didn't know if she'd be able to take it until she let out a cry, her body tensing for a moment before she came hard against his hand and tongue.
Nick continued to lick and suck, his fingers thrusting into her harder. He loved everything about her - her scent, her taste, and the little sounds she made as she got closer to edge. He could always tell when she was getting close so he started to lick and suck even harder, his fingers going even faster.
When she cried out, her muscles contracting around his fingers, Nick felt his cock throb. He closed his eyes, willing himself to not come as he licked her clean. Gently removing his fingers, he licked them clean and then stood from the floor. Reaching down, he pulled his jeans and boxers down, sighing in relief, his cock finally free from their confines.
Sitting down, he softly kissed her lips, his hands running over her flushed body. He pulled back and pulled off his shirt, and dropped it to the floor. "I love you so much, Fred," he whispered as his eyes ticked over to the bedside table. Inside were two things he wanted to pull out but he didn't know if it was the right time.
With a sigh, he leaned over and took a condom out of the drawer. He then reached down and pulled out the lock box from under it. He smiled at Fred and handed her the condom. "You can decide on that. You may not want me anymore after what I'm about to do," he said before unlocked the box.
Inside was a small black box and he took it out. "A couple of weeks before you went missing, I bought this. I kept it, hoping to give it to you some day. There was even a period of time when I wore it because I needed you closer to my heart," he said as he looked Fred in the eyes.
Nick then opened the box, revealing a small engagement ring with a single diamond. "It was all I could afford back then and I'm sure I can get something better now. I just want to spend forever with you," he said, his erection forgotten. "Will you marry me, Fred?"