Storm got home late that night. He headed up to his bedroom, intending to look in on Talya and make sure she was okay. He didn’t expect to find her in a black, almost transparent teddy. She lay on her stomach, her hair fanned out behind her, her face cradled on the tops of her hands. A lone candle burned on the pedestal and the only other light was from the hallway behind him.
“Hello Jay...” She murmured.
He swallowed as she sat up, swinging her legs forward and bending her knees to rest under her chin. Blinking seductively she whispered, “I’ve been waiting for you...”
“Talya...” Storm groaned, stepping into the room and closing the door behind him.
She sat up on her knees and spread her arms, urging him to come forward. She watched him struggle with his desire to be with her and his protective nature to keep her safe.
“I need to give you your shot.” He said, heading to the chest of drawers.
“Manie gave it to me an hour ago.” Talya replied watching Storm stop his fists clenched.
“I need you... Jay.” She whispered and knew it would have the desired effect.
“Hell, Talya!” He moved towards her, stripping off his jacket, before wrapping his arms around her and devouring her mouth. She shivered in his embrace, thrilled and terrified by his fierce response. Within moments, she had him out of his clothes. And he so consumed with passion, ripped her teddy down the middle, revealing her sexy, sensual body to his hungry gaze.
He didn’t hold back, not this night. He touched and tasted every inch of her, making her cry out in exquisite release. Talya couldn’t believe that it could be this powerful, this beautiful, this amazing. She whimpered, moaned and cried out as he discovered her sensitive, erogenous spots and tortured her. But she wanted more. She wanted him and he was holding that part of him away from her.
“Make love to me, Jay. Please!” She murmured, pulling him on top of her as she spread her legs and clamped them around his hips. “I want to feel you inside me.” She groaned thrusting her hips up.
“Talya....” He whispered, still struggling with wanting her but not wanting to hurt her.
Appreciating his iron control but not wanting any of it tonight, she reached down between their bodies, wrapped her hand around his hardness, lifted her hips and positioned him against her intimate core.
“Take me. Take me now!” she demanded. A moment later, to her immense relief and utter joy, he plunged deep inside her. And then no more encouragement was needed. He made wild, deep, earth shattering love to her and she cried out his name repeatedly as her body clenched and released around him. She felt his release pulse and rush through him as he pressed so deep within her, shouting out as he spilled his hot seed deep inside her core. Then he rolled over pulling her with him, both panting as sensations still overwhelmed them.
Exhausted, satiated, gloriously happy, they fell asleep, her on top of him, he still securely held inside her.
Dr Coleman welcomed them the next morning noting the glow of joy on their faces.
“So you have decided to try naturally?” Dr Coleman said.
Blushing Talya replied, “Yes. Jay and I will try the first round naturally but I still want to enhance my chances.”
Dr Coleman smiled, as Storm blushed at being called ‘Jay’.
“That’s excellent news, Talya. I would also recommend that we continue with the drug therapy, as you have already started on it. But we need to monitor your cycle very closely.”
“What do we do, and when?” Storm asked.
“Today is day eight of your cycle. That means you are allowed to make love for the next 2 nights, starting from tonight.”
Talya and Storm wiggled in their seats. Their lovemaking was so passionate and powerful and discussing it in this clinical manner was not at all comfortable.
“From day ten onwards you will have to abstain from having intercourse. And Agent Storm you are not allowed to ejaculate at all.” Dr Coleman said. She could see that they were uncomfortable but she pushed on. “Talya you will feel the follicles growing and the pressure increasing inside your pelvis. I even expect you to experience pain and discomfort as you did when we ran the last test. So if you wish to have a release and are able to, this will help ease the pain. I want to see you from day eleven for scans and on day twelve I want to run blood test to evaluate your hormone levels.”
Talya nodded and Storm squeezed her hand. It was plain to Dr Coleman that these two were in love and she thought that was wonderful. “From day thirteen you need to have intercourse, even if you are in pain, Talya. Remember you must have intercourse only once a day. After, I want you to lie in bed, with pillows under your bottom, for at least an hour. Depending on your scan results, you will need to make love for the next three to four nights. Once the scans reveal that all the follicles have ruptured, you may continue having intercourse for another day or 2, but then I need you to abstain for at least a week.”
Talya nodded. Storm did too, more slowly.
“You’ll be on hormones to keep your uterus nourished and to aid implantation of your embryo or embryos”
Storm squeezed Talya’s hand again and wrapped his arm around her.
Dr Coleman continued as if she hadn’t seen it. “By around day thirty we’ll run a blood test to confirm if you are pregnant.”
“Okay.” Talya said turning into Storm’s embrace.
Later, on route to the office, Storm drove at the specified speed limit making Talya look at him.
“Is something wrong?” She asked.
“Talya,” He said. “No matter what happens, I don’t want this… us… to end.” He said.
“Jason!” Talya gasped. She never expected him to just come out and say it. She had been thinking that if this didn’t work, he would help her do it medically and then if it didn’t work he’d probably find another solution. He was the one everyone looked up to and he always knew a way to make things better. And he never revealed fear. Mike always joked the fear itself was afraid of Storm. So she never expected him to reveal his fear of her leaving. This was huge. This meant that he’s feeling for her ran really, really deep.
Well of course they did. He loved her after all.
“Jay...” She tried to speak.
“No, don’t say anything. Just think about it.” He said, pulling into the office parking lot.
I don’t need to think about it, Jay...
The day progressed quickly and Talya was able to help with the background checks on the suspects from the previous day’s case. Occasionally she felt like she was being watched and when she looked up, Mike would grin sheepishly before turning back to his work. She smirked thinking that this was probably hard for the senior agent to handle, what with her becoming Storm’s lover, she automatically moved up in the ranks.
When she felt his gaze again, she threw her pencil down, stood up and went to stand in front of his desk.
“Mike, what’s bugging you?” She demanded.
“Bugging me? Nothing Talya. But if you feel like sharing anything I’m all ears.” Mike smirked hopefully.
“I have nothing to share, Mike.” Talya said, turning to go back to her desk.
“There must be something. I mean you and Storm came in late this morning. Was it because ...” Mike prompted.
“Because?” Talya played dumb.
“Oh come on Talya. Did you tire our fearless leader out to the point that he was unable to keep track of time and arrived late?”
Talya narrowed her eyes wondering how Mike could even have entertained the idea that she would share her and Storm’s intimate experiences with him. So, she decided to put him in his place.
“We were at the doctor, discussing the chances of my falling pregnant and I was being poked, prodded, scanned and injected. You do remember that that is why Storm and I are doing what we’re doing.” Talya growled.
“Awe, Talya. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean.” Mike stammered, embarrassment colouring his cheeks. Talya bit the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing. Unfortunately, her face was still a mask of outrage when Storm walked into the bullpen. He didn’t ask any questions. He just fisted his hand and made sure it connected solidly with Mike’s jaw.
“Storm?” Talya gasped.
“Boss,” Mike gritted his teeth.
Talya felt terrible. She could sense the anger radiating off Storm’s shoulders just as she could see the hurt and self-recrimination Mike was subjecting himself to.
“Get back to work, Talya. DeLuca, head back to the crime scene and extend the perimeter by four kilometers.”
“Storm, it’s raining...” Talya said.
“Now.” Storm barked.
“On it Boss.” Mike was already heading for the elevator.
“Storm, stop him.” She said.
Storm ignored her just glaring at Mike until the elevator door closed behind him.
“Mike didn’t do or say anything....” Talya insisted. But Storm just brushed past her, not acknowledging a word she was said.
“What’s wrong with you?” She demanded.
Talya looked around the empty bullpen and debated her next move. She had tried to call Mike but he was not answering her calls. Storm was furious about something and not talking to her about it and that annoyed her. Lebo and Teddy were working in the lab and Manie had gone home to check on his mother. Talya tried calling Mike again and when he didn’t answer, she got the address of the crime scene and decided to go and find him.
She had only been teasing him. He didn’t deserve to be punished like this because of her. He could be irritating and annoying at times, but he was her friend and she knew that he was sensitive and hid himself behind a mask to protect himself. But today the mask had slipped and he’s hurt had been plain as day to see.
Without thinking too much about it, Talya scribbled a quick note and left it on Storm’s desk.
Gone out. Will be back in a few hours.
The drive through the rain was soothing and when she got to the crime scene, she found Mike’s car parked at one end. Grabbing her jacket, she got out of the car and called out to him. When he didn’t answer she starting walking the perimeter looking for him. It was colder out on the reserve. Pulling her jacket up to keep the rain and wind away from her face she thought about how angry Storm would be when he found out she was out in this weather. But he had just left her, not explaining his black mood, so tough. She saw Mike a few meters ahead.
“Mike?” she called out.
He didn’t hear her so she called out again louder. He turned, startled.
“Talya!” he shouted, heading towards her. “What are you doing here? Does Storm know you’re here?”
“Why didn’t you answer your phone?” She asked instead of answering his questions.
“What?” Mike looked at his phone and realized that there was no signal. He held the phone up and showed her.
“Oh.” She said. “You should have carried a satellite phone. What if something happened to you out here?”
“The rangers know where I am and they assured me that I would not run into any lions of rhinos at this end of the reserve. Now answer my question. What are you doing here?”
“I was worried about you. Mike... I’m…”
“Talya, as you can see, I’m fine. Now get back to the office before Storm kills us both."
“Mike, I’m sorry.”
“Sorry? For?” Mike asked his face serious.
“Sorry, for Storm’s irrational behaviour towards you. He reacted that way because he thought I was upset. But I wasn’t.” Talya said.
“Forget about it. Storm is Storm and I don’t blame you for what happened.” Mike said.
“But I was partly to blame.” Talya said.
“Talya, let it go. You’re forgiven, ok?” Mike said. “I think Storm was in a bad mood about something and if I was able to help him deal with it, then I’m glad.” Mike said.
Talya stepped forward and hugged him, surprising him. “Thank you, for looking out for him and me. But you can let that mask down sometimes. I’m your friend and I can help you too.”
Mike remained quiet, his arms just tightening that little bit around her. It was as if a new understanding had been reached between the two of them.
“Okay, now if you really do care about me,” Mike said as they heard a lion roar in a distance, “please get back to the office. If Storm finds out you came out here to comfort me, he is going to be pissed and I don’t want you two fighting, not now when things seem to be on track with you. They are on track, right Talya?”
Talya blushed and Mike smiled broadly.
“That’s what I thought. I’m happy for you two.” He said. Then he turned her around and told her to leave.
Back at the office, Talya headed back to the locker room to change. She combed her damp hair and tied it into a low ponytail before heading to the bullpen.
“Where did you have to go to in this weather?” Storm demanded coming around his desk to stand in front of her.
“Hello to you to Jay. And may I ask just where you disappeared to earlier?” Talya asked, stepping around him to take a seat at her desk.
“Talya.” Storm growled impatience evident in his stance.
“Jason?” Talya returned.
“Conference room now.” He demanded and headed to the elevator. He stopped the elevator a few seconds after it started moving.
“Where were you?”
“I went to the crime scene.” Talya said.
“What?” Storm paced the small space.
“I went to apologize to Mike.” Talya replied.
“Apologize? What for?”
“For your anger and my teasing. He did not upset me. I was pretending to be upset when you walked in, decked him and send him out into a storm.”
“The perimeter needed to be checked again.” Storm defended, but he stopped pacing.
“Fine.” Talya said. “But where did you go? And why were you so upset?”
“I went for coffee.” Storm said.
“And?” Talya prompted.
“And?” Storm said.
Talya glared at him realizing that he was not going to tell her what had upset him. She reached around him and started the elevator moving again. Ignoring him, she stepped out.
She heard him call out to her but she didn’t stop.
Later that day, exhausted and hungry Talya headed to the parking lot to get her car. She had not seen or spoken to Storm again and she was wondering how things would turn out that evening, when they were alone. Would he come to her bed?
She heard voices and stopped. It was Storm and Amanda.
“I know how you feel about apologies, Jason. But this time I screwed up. I’m sorry. I should not have compared Talya to Rachel. I realize now how badly you want this. How badly you want to be father again.”
Talya shrunk back against the wall, shocked at what she heard.
“Amanda, I don’t want to discuss this with you.” Storm growled turning away. Amanda grabbed his arm and stopped him.
“I know, but I’m your friend and I just want to help you. I can see that your feelings for Talya run deep, deeper than they ever did for me.”
“Amanda.” Storm tried to stop her.
“I also know what you felt for Rachel and what you feel for Talya is different but Talya is very close to replacing the emptiness you have carried around for so long. But I can sense your concern.”
Concern? What are you concerned about Jason? Talya wondered.
“What concerns do you think I have, Amanda?” Storm asked.
“This pregnancy, will it happen and if it doesn’t will Talya still want to be with you. And if it does happen, will you be there for this baby, this child the way you weren’t there for Kylie.”
“So the way I see it, you have two major concerns. You’re in love with Talya and terrified of losing her. And you’ve also realized how very much you want to have this baby with her, this second chance.”
Oh Jay... Talya sighed, tears stinging her eyes. What if I don’t fall pregnant...? I will disappoint you... Oh God. What should I do?
“I am not going to discuss this with you.” Storm said and walked away. Once he pulled off, Amanda sighed in what looked like regret and headed to her car. Talya stood still and waiting for her to leave. Once she was gone, Talya let the tears roll unheeded.
I don’t want to lose you Jason...
And I want to give you a baby, our baby!
Oh God! What will we do if it doesn’t work... if I don't fall pregnant...?
Heartache and utter sadness gripped her in that moment and she felt like she was breaking into a hundred pieces.
Storm tried to calm down while driving home. Amanda had brought up so many issues, issues that had been plaguing him and that he was not ready to deal with.
Damn you Amanda!
And Talya was upset and he knew that was not good, not now, when she should be relaxed and only focused on falling pregnant.
His phone rang and he answered automatically.
“Hello Jason.” Manie said.
“Would it be okay if I came over?” Manie asked.
“Came over? Is something wrong?”
“No nothing really... I...”
“You spoke to Amanda and she thinks I need a babysitter. Damn her.” Storm growled.
“Well from the sounds of it, she might just be right.” Manie said.
“Manie!” Storm warned.
“Jason, it is perfectly natural to have the emotions you seem to be having.”
“Why is it that everyone seems to think that they know me better than I know myself? I’m fine. I don’t need you to come over. Besides Talya and I need to talk.”
“Yes you do. She is a bit upset at the moment.”
“Oh so you saw her crying?” Manie asked delicately.
“What? When?” Storm swerved to the curb to the annoyance of the other drivers.
“About thirty minutes ago in the parking lot.”
“Damn!” Storm realized instantly that Talya had overheard his and Amanda’s conversation. “Do you know where she is now?”
“On her way home, I hope.”
“Thanks Manie.” Storm hung up and called Talya’s number. There was no reply.
He tried again and when he still couldn’t reach her, he called Teddy.
“Trace the GPS in Talya’s car and phone now.”
“Is everything okay?” Teddy asked.
“Just do it Teddy.”
Teddy paused for a second before typing could be heard. Storm realized that he had used the young man’s first name, something he didn’t do often.
“Triangulating the signals now, Boss.” Teddy said.
“Where is she, Matthews?” Storm shifted uneasily in his seat.
“Got it. She’s in Bryanston, at her old apartment block.”
Storm hung up, spun the car around and sped to the location.
In the bullpen, Lebo and Mike stared at Teddy.
“What is it, Ted?” Lebo asked.
“That was Storm. He asked me to trace Talya’s car and phone.”
“Darn it. Those two can’t even play nice for 24hours.” Mike said.
“Do you think something’s happened to Talya?” Lebo asked.
Mike and Ted exchanged glances.
“Nah.” Mike quickly said.
“Storm would have said something if he needed us... right?” Matthews said.
Lebo paced the bullpen, wringing her hands. “Call Talya.”
“What?” Matthews said.
“No.” Mike said. “I’m ... ah... I’m heading home. Don’t worry. I’m sure they’re okay.”
“No you don’t. We’re coming with you.” Lebo said grabbing Matthews by the arm.
“Lebo?” Matthews complained.
“His going to Talya’s apartment.” Lebo said.
“No I’m not.” Mike lied.
“Mike.” Lebo punched his arm.
“Ouch." Mike complained. "Ah hell! Let’s go.”
“This is a bad idea.” Matthews warned.
“We’re just going to make sure they’re okay.” Lebo said.
“Exactly.” Mike concurred as they got into the elevator.
Storm found her car parked on the roof level of the complex. It wasn’t really a parking lot. It just had a nice vantage point from which one got a dazzling view of the bustling city below. He parked next to her car and got out. She was standing in front of the car, her hair windswept, her eyes sparkling with tears, her lips quivering.
“Talya.” Storm murmured, stepping forward to take her in his arms. She let him. He held her close for long minutes as she cried. His heart broke with every tear she shed.
“Shh Love.” He whispered. “Shh.”
“I can’t promise you a child, Jason.” Talya whispered. “I can’t.”
“I know.” Storm said. “I just want you, Talya.”
“No you don’t. You want a second chance.” Talya pushed him away. “You want a baby to fix whatever happened in the past. You want what you had with Rachel. I can’t give you any of that.”
“Calm down, Talya.”
“This was supposed to be about me and my need. I can’t help you with yours. Do you understand? I can’t help you because I can’t even help myself.”
“Talya.” he reached for her but she shook him off.
“No,” she shouted. “You need to know that I don’t know how to deal with this.”
“We’ll learn together,” he quietly said.
“I want this and I don’t want it at the same time,” she said not having heard him. “I am terrified that it will happen and I am terrified that it won’t.” She paced, throwing her hands in the air her emotions a raging force within her.
“Talya, you have to calm down.” Storm stepped forward taking her into his arms.
“I don’t want to lose you, Jason.” Talya sobbed. “But I don’t want you to hate me if it doesn’t work.”
“Talya...” Storm shook her. “I LOVE YOU!”
He shook her again.
"Look at me. I love you! I could never hate you.” Storm said with such force, such emotion that Talya trembled.
He pulled her flush against him and locked his lips tightly against hers kissing her deeply, like a man possessed, a man determined to get his point across. She returned his kiss, her anger and terror giving way to desire and need. Fingers flew across buttons opening and ripping them apart. Lips caressed and devoured lips, tongues danced in frenzy, hands stroked, caressed and squeezed intimate flesh.
Unable to get enough of her, Storm lifted her up onto the hood of the car and entered her in one smooth, powerful thrust. Kissing down her neck to her ear he repeated, “I love you!”
“I love you too, I love you Jay...Oh!” Talya replied, wrapping her legs around his hips as he made love to her, frantic, wild, erotic love.
Silently she prayed that she would fall pregnant... that she would be able to give this wonderful, passionate man the child he so much wanted, the child she so much needed.
And then she couldn’t think or pray anymore, because her body was exploding into a million delicious pieces. He took her to completion again and again, demanding more from her even as she cried out that she had no more to give.
“More Talya....” he demanded.
“Again love... one more time for me.” He urged.
“That’s it... let it come love....”
“Jason!” She cried out for the umpteen times, the spasms of her body pulling him over the edge with her. He groaned as he spilled his seed deep within her womb, a sense of completion, of belonging so powerful enveloping him.
Long minutes later, as they put their clothes to rights, he whispered, “I love you, Talya.”
“I love you too, Jay.” She blushed back.
Storm took Talya into his arms and kissed her reverently. She wrapped her arms around his waist and held him close. When they finally pulled apart, Storm tilted her face up and said, “Marry me...”
Lebo looped her arms through Mike and Teddy’s as they reached the roof level of the parking. They had decided it would be safer to park on the lower level and go by foot up to the roof, where they suspected Storm and Talya were.
“There they are...,” she whispered, pulling both men down into a crouch, just out of sight of Storm and Talya.
“We shouldn’t be here.” Teddy lamented.
“They’re kissing, Matthews. It’s not like they’re doing the hanky panky.” Mike chided.
“We should leave, now.” Teddy said trying to pull away as Storm looked down at Talya.
“Marry me...” Storm’s words carried across the rooftop.
Lebo gasped, Teddy gulped and Mike couldn’t stop the burst of sound that left his mouth.
“What the ....” Storm growled, moving Talya behind him and reaching for his gun.
“Jay!” Talya tried to look over his shoulder, pulling her ripped blouse closed over her breasts.
“We’re dead!” Teddy whispered.
“Time for a hasty retreat.” Mike ordered.
“Whoever you are, you have two seconds to show yourself.” Storm warned taking aim.
“Storm, don’t shoot!” Lebo shouted as she stood up.
“Damn it Lebo!” Mike hissed.
“Oh boy.” Teddy whispered.
“Lebo?!” Storm didn’t know how to react. Talya groaned, her face turning bright red.
“We were worried.” Lebo said wringing her hands.
“We?” Storm demanded, putting his weapon away.
“We,” Mike stood up, dragging Teddy with him.
“This can’t be happening.” Talya whispered. “Did they see...? Oh God .... No!”
“We’ll be leaving now.” Mike said taking Lebo by the arm.
“No wait.” Lebo shook Mike off and went to Talya. “Are you okay?”
“No.” Talya replied. “You three just witnessed a very intimate moment between Jay and me.”
“Yes we did.” Lebo said.
Mike watched Storm’ eyes flash.
“Lebo we need to go now!” he shouted.
“You did!” Talya blushed to the tips of her toes now. Storm glared at Mike and Matthews as he advanced on them.
“We saw you kiss and then Storm proposed.” Lebo said.
Talya gasped for breathe and Storm slowed his steps. Storm and Talya made eye contact and she blushed gently, both at ease that their wild lovemaking had not been witnessed.
“Get out of here.” Storm barked.
“Right away, Boss.” Mike grabbed Lebo’s arm.
“Sorry Boss.” Teddy said as he back stepped.
“Talya, say yes!” Lebo urged as Mike pulled her along. “Say yes.”
Talya looked at Storm. He looked back at her... almost holding his breath.
“Sorry Boss.” Mike said.
“Talya .... Say yes.” Lebo repeated.
As they retreated, Storm moved back to Talya. He wrapped his arms around her and whispered, “Say YES....”
Talya stood up on her toes and leaned in close to his ear.
“Yes...” She whispered in a breathless sigh.
“Talya...” the tension in Storm’ shoulders eased. A smile of incredible joy lit across his face, “Yes?”
“Yes, Jason.... Yes!” She was laughing and crying at the same time.
“Congratulations!” Mike, Lebo and Matthews shouted.
Storm and Talya ignored them, instead focusing on each other and kissing deeply to celebrate their engagement.
“So sweet!” Lebo sighed.
“We should go.” Teddy said.
“Ah Boss, I don’t think going a second round out in the cold is a good idea.” Mike smirked, sprinting away when Storm turned to glare at him.
“Never could fool Mike, not when it comes to sex.” Talya blushed and laughed, before wrapping her arms around Jason and kissing him.