Passing Through (Love/Hate Part Three)

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Part Twelve

 Chapter Twelve

The older guy behind the counter quite obviously knew Bo, if the beaming smiles weren't enough, they did a fist bump, then grinned at each other, before the smaller man turned to smile in Natasha's direction, "guapa!"

Natasha rolled her eyes, she'd learned Spanish in school, a guy referring to her as beautiful whilst he congratulated Bo for his what? Conquest? It was as misogynistic as it got. But she had to relax, step off her high horse. She always flew off the handle, over reacted. That was what this was, again. She was angry, stressed, pushed outside of her comfort zone, she couldn't take that out on this situation. Don't over react.

Bo introduced her to Leo Flores, the proprietor, she reached out and shook his hand, studying him intently, and she knew he was feeling a little awkward at his greeting, and knowing that she understood what he'd said.

He opened his mouth, she imagined to ask what she'd like, but she beat him to it.

For a moment she became the Queen of Sass, "I'll take a beef chimichanga por favor. And a Tempus Dorada? Gracias."

The two men were a little wrong footed at her commanding request, staring at her open mouthed. She should have studied the menu really, deliberated over the dozens of options, as she loved Mexican food. But to prove a point, or rather to score a point, she asked for the first thing she spotted. Plus she'd spotted the unfamiliar beer on a shelf behind Leo, and added that decisively to the mix, unsure how palatable it was, but happy to have silenced them both with her confident choices. Turning, she made for a small Formica topped table in the corner, and chalked up that point.

Men 0 Natasha 1.


She'd relaxed into the chair, and was checking her emails on her phone when Bo slid into the seat opposite her.

"I like sass."

There was a still a flame of anger that burned in her gut, but she quashed it, and instead of a nasty retort, she laughed. "That wasn't sass, it was anger. Bo Holding. I took you for many things, but a chauvinistic pig wasn't one of them."

He grinned at that, "so Leo was a little tactless, he tried hard, his business depends on good reviews, hospitality. It's a new venture."

Holding out a hand for him to shake, she grinned, "let me also offer my congratulations on finding a woman who apparently isn't ugly and bringing her here late at night on your way home for sex."

He gasped, mouth falling open, but before he could respond she silenced him with a raised hand as she added, "that's what just happened."

"He doesn't think that. He's just being friendly, you're being a little sensitive."

Normally that would make her cringe, or lash out, but this time, she just shook her head, she'd already made her point, "is that all the apology I get?" She didn't want or need an apology, she was enjoying pushing him, prodding his ego with a stick.

He laughed, "but I have provided the greatest food. And beer."

She couldn't argue with that, instead, she took the bottle of beer he had brought from the counter, and offered to her, and downed two large swigs. When she put the bottle down, he was studying her, his elbows on the table, chin on his upturned hands.

"What?" Suddenly she was nervous.

He shrugged, "just watching you."

She wasn't used to him being so agreeable, but it was far more favourable dealing with his anger, animosity, indifference...anything but flirtation.

"Well I imagine you've seen enough of my anger."

He had his own bottle of coke and took a drink out of it, before answering, "figure it's justified, after last night, all that hospitality..."

"...and you acted like a prick."

He nodded, "sorry. I have no defence to that. I have issues, don't we all?"

She knew that he was right about that, in fact, the less he told her the less she felt she needed to reciprocate, fell obligated to tell him, because her past was a closed book too. She hadn't told anyone about her past, not even Nana H knew, the aftermath, the pain and suffering yes, but the details, the actual facts...only she knew, and that was the way it was going to stay.

Stretching a hand across the table, she offered it to him, "truce?"

He smiled, "there's no battle to end, but I am more than happy to shake on something."

After that things calmed a little, and they both relaxed in their seats opposite each other.

"This is amazing. Can't believe you found this place before me. I usually have my finger on the eating places pulse in this town."

Bo sat back in his seat, arms crossed over his full abdomen. "It's the greatest burrito I've found outside the US, that's for sure."

She nodded, finishing the last of her chimichanga, "I will definitely come back here."


A truce and conversation, it was so much more than he deserved, but also, just what he needed. Friendship, when he had none. Something about Natasha appealed to him in a way no one else had in a long time. He just had to stop blowing it with her, as the last twenty four hours proved, it was a worse place without her.

"You want a walk?"

She looked around then exhaled, "it's almost eleven and dark, what did you have in mind?"

He shrugged, "just don't want the night to end, I'm enjoying having company."

She was deep in thought, he knew that much about her already, then she nodded, "OK. There's a bar, not far away, it's open late...very late on a Sunday."

He jumped at that, and all too soon was following her across the street towards a lively looking pub.


It had been a great night, he wasn't drinking, after all he had the car, but they'd sat and absorbed the atmosphere, cheered the karaoke singers, and toasted the man who dropped to his knees and proposed to his unsuspecting girlfriend. They'd avoided the hot topics of their mutual pasts and the previous evening, instead focussing on having fun, and they'd had fun. Well he had, and he was sure she had too.

"I should be going home." She finally offered pointing at her watch. It was one am. "I open the cafe at seven, get there at six to prep."

Bo grimaced, "shit. I won't be popular in the morning."

"It depends how well I sleep."

He stood and offered her a hand, she stared at him for a long moment, then reached for it, allowing him to pull her to her feet. "And what influences that?"

Eyes still on him, she bit her lip for a moment, "well...no condescending men telling me what to do...that helps, and of course not being treated like a piece of shit. Walked away from, cut down."

With his spare hand, he reached out and grabbed her shoulder, "I'm sorry, for last night...I told you that. If I could change it..."

She smiled, "OK, maybe I'll ease up on you. I need to get home."

"Come on, I'll have you home in twenty minutes."



He wasn't wrong, it was one fifteen when he stopped his car outside the cafe.

"It's OK," Natasha offered as he made to open his car door. "You don't need to get out."

Turning he frowned, "I will see you to your door, Natasha. That's the minimum."

Smiling at his chivalry, and loving every opportunity to be flippant, she climbed out of the car, "and what would be the maximum?"

From across the other side of the car, she spotted his eyes widen as he digested the innuendo, the double meaning. Instead of laughing or staring at her, he stalked around the vehicle heading straight to to her.

"I was joking." She suggested as he pinned her between him and the car, hands reaching past her to rest on the metal, encasing her in his arms, even though he didn't touch her.

Nodding, he stared down at her, "and that's what will get you in trouble."

He was hovering over her, and never had he felt so large, so dominant, so imposing. She bit her lip, it seemed to be her anxious 'go to' move, and was rewarded by those amber eyes dropping to study it, her breath strained, chest heaved as she watched his nostrils flare. His eyes following her tongue like a cat with a mouse.

When his eyes finally lifted back to hers, he was breathing hard too, his shoulders tensed and he moved his hands to hold onto each of her upper arms.

"Bo," she offered in a breath, and he groaned a response. Their foreheads were almost touching, and their eyes were locked. "We shouldn't..."

He inclined his head in the softest nod, "I know."

She could barely hear the words over the pounding in her heart, in her head, in her throat. She couldn't remember when she had last felt like this, like her heart would stop if he didn't kiss her. She didn't date, boyfriends had been sparse and short lived, she'd spent years avoiding anyone making her feel like this, and now that she was there, almost in his arms, almost kissing him, it was what she wanted more than anything else. Ever.

He sighed, his lips parting, tongue darting out to dampen his top lip, and she gasped. It was ridiculous, all she had to do was lean forward, reach out slightly, and her lips would be on his, and she knew it would be amazing, earth shattering...which was exactly why she was to scared to do it, to feel that. Again. To throw everything up in the air. Again.

"Shit," he breathed, his right hand coming up to cup her cheek, fingers wrapping around her jaw.

At that point his thumb ran along her cheek bone, and her whole body quivered, heat thrummed through very inch of her, her knees turned to jelly, her pelvis burned and she slumped back against the car.

"I..." Bo's thumb slid down to run along her bottom lip, and he moved forward to pin her physically to the vehicle, his pelvis pressing against hers, hard. Her eyes rolled as she felt the length of him against her, So obviously aroused, wanting her as much as she wanted him in that moment.

Closing his eyes, he dropped his head to her neck, and inhaled, murmuring appreciatively, as he did. The break in eye contact only served to let her head, her common sense come back into the equation, no matter how intoxicating he was at that moment.

She was about to pull away when he lifted his head, his stubble abrasive as his cheek rubbed against her jaw, her cheek, her lips.

"Fuck." It was a gasp, a plea, everything in one, and she wasn't sure who uttered it, until he growled, and she knew it was her.

"Natash..." her name dissolved into a hiss as he met her eyes again, brought her hands to her face. And with almost a moan, he dropped his lips to hers. A chaste touch, that was all he offered, but Natasha was drowning in his sensual presence, the scent of his aftershave, the smoothness of his skin under her hands. When did she move to touch him? The sighs and moans of their collective breaths, and the pounding of his heart against hers, it was too much, it was never enough. Every sense was overwhelmed and she wasn't sure that she wouldn't become a puddle, there on the street.


After that brief pluck with his lips, a test, a taste, Bo let out a long breath, as he tried to not lose his head, his breathing, tried to regain control of his heart. Her eyes were closed, lashes fanning her cheeks, the vision of perfection, of pleasure, of everything he'd ever wanted. All in that very moment.

He was fighting his darkest desires, the need to have it all, as he dropped his lips back to hers, gentle at first, but then passion, desperation took over, tasting her, sucking at her bottom lip, and then teasing at her mouth with his tongue. When her fingers drove into his hair, he lost the last semblance of control, his hands slipping to her hips as his thigh pressed between hers, and he accepted her inquisitive tongue back into his mouth.

He wanted to devour her, consume her, climb into her, and he'd never felt like that before, never felt that desperate, that ravenous. And she only reciprocated every inch of the way, grabbing, thrusting, teasing, tasting...it was anything but one sided.


"Get a room!"

A voice calling from across the street made them pull apart, Natasha's hands pushed him away. Bo stepped back, watching her.

"Sorry," she murmured, running her hand over her lips, wiping all traces of him from her.

He wouldn't tell her that it hurt, instead, he stepped back further. Staring at her as he clarified.

"Sorry?"

She nodded, "I know you aren't interested in this..."

He wanted to shout at her, of course he wanted it, wanted her. But as he watched her compose herself, he could see her defences rising, she didn't want the same as him.

He gave a shrug, "I don't kiss just anyone."

Taking her arm he led her across the pavement to her front door, "I promised I'd see you inside..."

"...at the very minimum." She finished for him as she unlocked the door.

When she turned to face him, he was already retreating to the car. Lifting a hand he gave a wave, then disappeared into the vehicle.

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