“All Night Long” | Reid + Callie • Part IV
a Blood Money free short
Callie Okumura is home alone on Christmas Eve, waiting for her husband to get back from a mission in South America for his employer, Faraday Industries. Even though the snowfall is peaceful, something dangerous is afoot—a threat to Callie’s safety from an enemy of the Faradays. The team in Boston needs to band together to protect Callie until Reid comes home for Christmas, and when he does…he’s never going to let her feel scared again.
NSFW WARNING: Includes sex in the master bedroom of a Massachusetts farmhouse that Chip and Joanna Gaines would totally have featured in an episode of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” if that show was filmed anywhere outside of Texas.
This story takes place approximately two months before the events of BLAMED.
Christmas Eve • 22h11
“…winds out of the northeast at twenty miles per hour, it’s going to be a blustery Christmas Day, folks. Dress accordingly.”
Callie muted the television and rolled onto her side. The bedroom was dark save for the glow from the flat screen as the evening news shifted to a rerun of late-night comedic chatter. It might be a blustery day tomorrow, but tonight, snow fell silently, perfectly outside the window, blanketing the property in festive white. The farmhouse was empty, save for her and the animals. Reid’s family wasn’t flying in until the twenty-sixth, and her own family had been out a couple weeks earlier for Hanukkah, so here she was, alone. On Christmas Eve.
Sighing, she punched the pillow and tried to get comfortable in the big, empty bed. Alone wasn’t so bad. She was used to it by now, especially as the alone times remained exponentially outnumbered by the moments she and Reid had together. But there was something about this time of year, the holiday season, when having the farmhouse to herself made her feel especially isolated. There were only so many warm baths in the soaker tub, only so many Cary Grant movies, only so many sugar cookies to bake and box up and deliver to their neighbors before a girl had enough of solitude.
Callie missed Reid. A different sort of missing than during his deployments, because she knew it would never be more than a matter of days that separated them, but his position with Faraday Industries carried its own set of headaches. Little advance notice for Reid’s flight plans, the sometimes dangerous situations into which he flew. From what he’d told her, Reid had seen combat with the Faradays nearly as often as he had during his time with the 33rd, but she recognized that these risks he took were necessary to him.
Oh, he’d deny it, if he could. He’d already tried to suffocate the danger junkie in him when he had come back from his deployment and requested a transfer to stay local, just so he could be with Callie. And didn’t that make her heart grow three—or thirty—sizes, that her man had loved her enough, even in the early days of their courtship, to upend his entire career trajectory with the Air Force to be near her, so the worry and fear for his safety didn’t eat away at her peace of mind.
But in a few short days, on New Year’s Eve, they would have been together for two years, and in those two years, Callie had learned a few key lessons about the man she adored. One of which was that, all familial teasing aside, Reid Okumura hadn’t simply joined the Air Force to piss off his Navy SEAL brother and naval commander father; no, Reid had wanted to fight, and he’d wanted to fly, and he’d wanted—maybe even needed—the action active-duty military service promised him. For some reason, he still denied it, denied whatever it was in his genetic makeup that made him look at an A-10 fighter jet and think, “Yeah, I could probably take on an enemy army with only this, all by myself. Now pass me a beer.”
Callie knew better. She knew what drove Reid to kickstart each day, and it sure as hell wasn’t a bowl of Wheaties—no matter how continual his denials. Smiling as her eyes drifted closed, she recalled their morning conversation earlier that week, seated at the corner breakfast nook with bright winter sunlight streaming in through the big picture windows.
Reid topped off her coffee before settling the carafe back on the table. “Stop giving me that look.” He scowled at her and bit into his toast. Rather aggressively, she thought.
His scowl only deepened. “The look that precedes you commenting on how excited I must be to fly someplace new.”
Callie fought a grin. “Well, aren’t you?”
“I’m not excited, damn it. I want to be here with you.”
She covered his hand with hers, squeezed gently. “I know you do. But you’re also kind of pumped to hit the ground in…?”
“In South America,” he finished grudgingly, giving her as much information as permitted. The Faradays were incredibly generous with Reid’s salary and flexible with his personal time, but there were rules, including limitations on the specifics Reid was allowed to share with Callie. “In northern South America. In a rainforest.” He paused again. “Ziplining is a possibility.”
Laughing, she linked their fingers and lifted his hand to hers for a quick kiss. “Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to miss the snow entirely.”
Now it was his turn to pull her closer, brushing his lips over her knuckles. “Don’t wanna miss the snow. Snow is the entire point of Christmas.”
Well, Reid was missing the snow…and Christmas. Granted, she could go either way on the whole Christmas thing, but unopened presents sat beneath the decorated fir in the living room, presents she wouldn’t touch until Reid was back from his latest assignment as the personal pilot for the world’s most powerful weaponry manufacturer—or rather, that manufacturer’s first family. She’d finished wrapping the last of his gifts this morning, and imagining his face as he unwrapped the custom-carved Scrabble board she had commissioned for him made her grin as she sank toward sleep, the television still flickering in the background.
She couldn’t say what woke her. The dogs hadn’t barked, the garage door hadn’t rumbled open. The television remained on. She was alone in their oversized farmhouse…and yet Callie knew, deep down, that she wasn’t.
Reaching for the remote, she clicked the power off, plunging the bedroom into darkness and sliding off the bed to crouch at its side, hidden in the shadows between the mattress and the wall. As her eyes adjusted, she grabbed the wooden baseball bat from under the bed, along with her cell phone from the cabinet. Dimming the phone’s brightness, she thumbed over to her call log and tried Reid’s number, on the off-chance he wasn’t on a plane or out of cell tower range.
Straight to voicemail.
Swallowing a curse as the first real sliver of fear trickled in, Callie scrolled through her contacts, her one-handed grip on the baseball bat growing sweaty. Tapping the green button, she sent the call through, lifting the phone to her ear. It only took two rings, despite it being nearly midnight on Christmas Eve. “Callie, babe, what’s up?”
“Emma.” She breathed a quiet sigh of relief to be speaking to the friend she’d made through Reid’s work for Faraday Industries, knowing that Emma would already be moving toward the door, just from seeing Callie’s number pop up. “Reid’s not back yet, is he?”
“No, they’re mid-flight. Should be landing at the airstrip in another three hours.” Rustling sounded from Emma’s end of the line, the slam of a door and the sound of a vehicle roaring to life. Yup, the woman was already on the move. “Let me guess. You’ve got uninvited company?”
“Might, might not. Just a feeling.” Callie swallowed, voice dropping to a whisper. “The dogs aren’t making any noise.”
“Where are you right now?”
“Upstairs, master bedroom. I’m between the bed and the wall.”
“Can you see the door from your position?”
“If I peek over the bed, yeah.” She struggled to control her breathing. “I’ve got the bat you gave me.”
“Attagirl. Swing it like you’re David Ortiz, if you need to. I’m ten minutes out.” The screech of tires, and Emma actually giggled. “Okay, maybe more like seven. Don’t want you to move from that safe spot you’re in, got it, babe?”
“Got it.” But her words were more breath than whisper, a broken exhalation—because she’d just heard the door between the mudroom and the kitchen squeak open. “Someone’s inside.”
Emma swore. “Tell me where.”
Tucking her body tighter to the bed frame, making herself as small as possible, Callie switched her hold on the phone and the bat, putting the makeshift weapon in her dominant hand. “Downstairs. Kitchen.” The original hardwoods creaked underfoot as whomever was in her house moved about. “Heading toward Reid’s office.” And that made her heart sink. This was no random break-in, but someone who’d known enough to do something to keep her puppies quiet, and who’d known that in Reid’s office was a secure, encrypted laptop that connected to the Faraday Industries servers. He used it to log flight plans before and after various excursions, as well as to record captain’s notes and incident reports. Her Reid was a meticulous soul, something she honestly hadn’t realized before living with him.
Before marrying him. “Emma?”
“Two minutes, babe. Just turned off the highway.”
Which meant only a few gravel roads stood between Callie and rescue. “I think…I think they’re going for the laptop.” Shit. Straining, she listened for movement, but the floorboards had ceased their creaking. Definitely in the office. “Emma, how bad—?”
“If they get the laptop? Not great, but Adam can probably do a remote wipe. Don’t you dare get a case of heroics over a freaking laptop, you hear me?”
She had zero intention of putting her body between a thief and a computer, no matter how fancy or important her husband’s employer was. “I hear you.” Callie paused, breath hitching when a noise sounded downstairs. A loud, deliberate thump. And then… “Fuck. Fuck, Emma, they’re coming upstairs.” The intruder was obviously trying to be quiet, but they hadn’t known about the warped third stair.
That was the fun thing about old houses. Unless you razed them to the ground and built new on top of aged, the quirks would remain. Quirks such as a creaky wooden step.
“I’m here. I’m here.” Emma sucked in a deep breath, obviously on the move outside of her vehicle. “I want you to put the phone on the floor, face down, but keep it on. You don’t need to hear me, but I need to hear you. Stay where you are. Don’t move. And scream your ass off if someone other than me touches you. I’ve already called Logan, and he’ll be here soon. Understand?”
“Good. Put the phone down now, babe. Put it down, and don’t move.”
Following orders, Callie placed the phone face-down on the floor, darkening its screen entirely, and gripped the bat in both hands. She struggled to silence her breathing, but burgeoning panic made that nearly impossible. The room didn’t seem black enough anymore, not to hide her.
Another sound, from the top of the stairs now. The master was at the end of the hallway, with three rooms and a bathroom in between her and the stairs. She had thirty seconds, maybe, before the intruder hit the doorway.
God. Had she forgotten to arm the security system tonight? Lord knew she’d been absentminded lately, but she never neglected to set the alarm when she was alone overnight. What had the intruder done to the dogs?
And where the hell was Emma?
Footsteps on the runner rug, a presence hovering in the open doorway, and Callie froze. Blinking, breathing, none of it. Only one thought repeated through her mind, a record skip. A single word that echoed the thump of her pulse.
The air shifted, and even without a visual, Callie knew he had stepped across the threshold. He—whoever he was—was in her bedroom. Uninvited. Invading. Tainting the intimacies shared in this room with the love of her life. Suddenly, she needed to suck in air, to itch, twist, adjust her hold on the baseball bat and swing like she was in a home-run derby. She needed to defend the sanctity of this room. She needed to defend herself.
But she didn’t move, which in the end turned out to be the best decision she could’ve made. Sirens blared in the distance, meaning Logan had brought the actual cavalry along with his fine Southie self. Booted feet pounded the stairs, Emma’s cold voice snapping out with a definitely intimidating, “Into the hallway, hands up, motherfucker,” and the menacing presence backed out of her room. Presumably into the hallway, with his hands raised in surrender.
Callie inhaled deep, a shuddering breath, but didn’t dare move. She waited, listening so hard she thought her ears might bleed, as Emma adeptly subdued the intruder, apparently getting him flat on the floor with his hands behind his head. Not that Callie could see any of this, but she rather thought that was okay. To be honest, she didn’t really want to see who broke into the house, not unless or until she absolutely had to.
“Callie? You doing okay in there?” Concern threaded through Emma’s authoritative tone. “Need you to call out to me, babe.”
“I—” It came out a whisper at first, so Callie cleared her throat and, carefully, pushed herself up from the floor, grabbing her phone as she slowly stood. “I’m okay.”
“Good girl.” Callie heard the smile shaping her friend’s praise. “How about you stay in there until Logan and the coppers make their entrance?”
“N-no argument here.” Perching on the edge of the mattress, Callie ended the call between her phone and Emma’s, loosening the grip on the bat only a little. She was safe. No way in hell would the intruder mess with the six feet of sleek strength no doubt holding a gun on him right this instant. Emma had been Reid’s superior in the Air Force, back in the day, and was the reason he’d learned of the job with Faraday in the first place. The stories Callie had heard of Emma’s so-called Scary Face…man, she hoped the thieving bastard was shaking in his shoes.
The next minutes—hours?—passed in a blur. Logan arrived, followed by two BPD squad cars. The intruder was arrested, cuffed, and removed from the property. The dogs were checked on in the barn; turns out, they’d been given mild sedatives but were already coming out of it by the time the excitement cooled. While Logan fixed Callie tea and a bite to eat in the kitchen, Emma got Adam Faraday on the phone to perform a remote wipe on Reid’s laptop, which had indeed been lifted by the intruder and placed in a backpack. Emma would be taking the laptop back to the compound, and Reid would be issued a new one in the coming days.
Eventually, the last cops left, having taken both Callie’s and Emma’s statements, and Callie, Emma, and Logan circled around the kitchen island, hands wrapped around steaming tea mugs. Logan was on his third frosted sugar cookie, and Emma rubbed soothing circles over Callie’s upper back. “Probably not how you two planned to spend your Christmas Eve, huh?” Callie tried for a smile and only half succeeded.
“Now, I won’t speak for my partner here—” Logan arched a superior eyebrow at Emma, who glared at him without heat “—but I wouldn’t consider it a true Christmas unless I saved at least one damsel in distress.”
“You and your white-knight syndrome,” Emma muttered. “Not to mention that I saved the damsel.”
Logan grinned. “This time. Dibs on the next damsel.”
“Here.” Emma nudged the cookie plate closer. “Have another. Stop talking.”
More banter ensued until Logan’s cell dinged with an alert. “Hey. Reid landed.” He glanced at Callie, who was fighting drooping lids and near-continuous yawns. “How ’bout you let Em tuck you in and I’ll give our guy a call, fill him in on what happened?” Wiggling the phone, he nodded toward the stairs. “And neither of us will go anywhere until he gets home, promise.”
Speech suddenly beyond her, Callie nodded and allowed Emma to lead her up the stairs to the master bedroom. She hesitated only a moment at the door before stepping inside and perching on the edge of the bed. Tugging off her socks and tossing aside her robe, she looked at Emma, who was in the process of checking the window locks and doing a generally good job of making Callie feel secure. And she did—feel secure, that is. The alarm had already been reset with a new code, courtesy of Adam, with the promise of a better system to be installed after the holidays on Faraday Industries’ dime. She had two well-trained soldiers refusing to leave her side until her personal bodyguard arrived.
Perhaps she was too tired to process all of this properly. Perhaps tomorrow, on Christmas morning, she would lose her shit. But somehow…somehow she doubted it. She wasn’t a fearful person by nature, and one incident on one snowy night, alone in this house, wasn’t going to make her any less bold, nor any less independent. In fact, she had a sneaking suspicion her biggest concern coming out of this would be helping Reid keep his handsome head from exploding off his shoulders. For Callie, though, there’d be no explosions.
A conclusion her friend appeared to share. “You’re gonna be just fine, babe.” Emma walked over to draw the covers up to Callie’s shoulders. “Lamp on or off?”
“Off, please.” But at the last second, she reached out to grab Emma’s hand and squeeze. “Thanks for being my white knight tonight.”
Clicking off the bedside lamp, Emma chuckled and bent down to press a kiss to Callie’s cheek. “Always call me first. You know how I love rubbing this sort of shit in Logan’s face.”
“Always.” Her eyes felt so heavy, her vision blurry as fatigue smacked her upside the head, so she closed them. The warmth of the blankets, the aftereffects of the adrenaline rush, and the sweet security of knowing she was looked after and loved combined to send her sprinting toward sleep.
Callie. Baby. I love you.
God, baby, I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I love you.
Let me show you. Mmm, yes, baby girl, open those legs for me…
She woke by degrees. Damp, heated degrees, the covers having disappeared, though she wasn’t the least chilled. Perspiration beaded her temples, her upper chest, the backs of her knees—her knees, which were draped over a brawny back. Broad, naked shoulders pressed into the softness of her inner thighs, big callused hands gripping her ass and lifting her to his mouth.
His mouth, Reid’s perfect mouth with his even-more-perfect tongue, both of which were working her over like it was his job. And maybe it was his job, her foggy, lust-drunk brain mused. Maybe it was her husband’s job to eat her pussy in the early hours of Christmas morning, last-meal style, making reparations for a rather hideous Christmas Eve spent without him.
He’d placed a pillow beneath her lower back, easing the pressure on her spine as she arched into the sharp shock of pleasure that finally drove the haze from her mind, pleasure caused by his lips closing around her clit and sucking, flicking the sensitive bud with his tongue. She moaned, eyes fluttering open with the realization that she no longer wore her sleep shirt, her arms lifting over her head to flatten her palms against the headboard. “Reid.” She rocked against his devious mouth, delighting in the tightening of his hold on her bare backside.
“Baby.” His tongue laved her, from her slick entrance to her throbbing clit. “We need to talk about what you get up to when I’m away on business.” Without warning, he thrust two fingers inside her, causing her sex to clamp and flutter around him with the warning signs that her orgasm lurked nearby.
She laughed before she groaned, and again she used the leverage provided by the headboard to grind her lower body against his pumping fingers and ravenous lips. “Sure, we can talk. When your mouth’s not busy, that is.” Sucking in a harsh breath, she jerked her hips, uncontrolled between one moment and the next. “Oh, fuck, I’m gonna come. Reid, baby, I’m gonna come.”
With a hungry growl, he increased his attentions, licking and sucking and thrusting and, ultimately, devouring her as the sharp, short orgasm rolled through her in glittering waves. He quickly withdrew and shifted her shivering body onto its side, sliding up behind her and lifting her leg to situate his hardness against her core. Wetness covered her inner thighs, slicking his thick erection until he canted his hips, notched the head of his cock to her opening, and drove roughly inside. “Ah, Jesus, baby.”
She understood. She was so aroused, his roughness was only perfection as he stretched her inside with each aggressive thrust. Her hands drifted to cup her breasts, toying gently with her own nipples, timing the occasional pinch to match his ever-more frantic rhythm. One of his arms slid beneath the side of her neck, curving to support her head, his hand fisting in her hair.
The fingers of his other hand left her hip to curve over her belly. Her seven-months-pregnant belly, a part of her physicality which was equal parts amazing, annoying, and weird as hell, but it had utterly bewitched her husband from the moment she first started showing. His palm flexed against her taut skin, his hips never ceasing to push her swiftly toward another climax. “Callie. Callie, I’m so sorry…I wasn’t there…”
“It’s o-okay.” And it was okay.
Not that Reid believed her. “No, it’s not.” Thrust. “But you’re safe.” Thrust. “The baby’s safe.” Thrust thrust thrust.
“God, baby. I love you. I love you so much.” His hand left her belly to slip between her legs, vigorously stroking her clitoris until she teetered on the precipice. He must have known, must have felt how close she was without her having to tell him, and he gave her what she needed. He licked the exposed curve of her neck before biting down. Marking her. Reminding her that she belonged to someone, just as someone belonged to her.
His orgasm melded with hers, the sensation of him emptying inside her sending shudders coursing through every inch of her exhausted body. Gasping, sighing, their limbs thoroughly entwined, Callie and Reid lay together in silence in the darkened bedroom. She breathed in his spicy scent, allowing his nearness to comfort her and not minding in the least that he was holding her a titch too tight.
Soothing strokes of his fingertips against her scalp relaxed her further, Reid nuzzling her neck. “I can’t believe I wasn’t here.”
She exhaled slowly. “I’m sure that was the point. The thief obviously had done his homework on this place. He knew about the dogs, the alarm.” Caressing his forearm where it rested atop her belly, Callie snuggled deeper into her husband’s unyielding embrace. “There was nothing you could’ve done to prevent it.”
“I don’t care about preventing it,” he growled, tension seeping into his limbs, “I care that I wasn’t around to protect you. That you had to call someone else to keep you safe.”
“But I did call, and I was safe. Shhh,” she whispered when he shifted behind her, agitation evident. “I’m just so glad you’re home.”
Kisses, soft and loving, rained down on her shoulder, her neck, the sensitive spot behind her ear. “So smart, so brave. You did everything right, and I’m so damn proud of you.” Cuddling her closer, a shudder of relief racking his big, strong body, he smiled against her cheek. “Best thing I ever did, making such a brilliant woman my wife. Merry Christmas, baby.”
Callie smiled into the darkness and drifted once more toward sleep, safe and sound. “Merry Christmas, Reid.”
2016 © by Edie Harris