Part Fifty Eight
A/N Sorry, this chapter is a little later than promised. Sorry that some of you find this long winded, I didn't feel that these were issues that could be resolved too quickly. As always ALL comments very welcome. Enjoy if you can. MZxxx
Chapter Fifty Eight
Coop was on the phone, leaning back in his chair, feet up and ankles crossed on the edge of his desk. He was always the epitome of cool. As he offered Bo a seat opposite him, dropping his legs casually, exuding that same air of confidence that made Bo wonder if he'd ever be half the man that Coop was.
"What the fuck?"
Bo was pulled out of her reverie, to find Coop leaning over the desk, almost snarling at him. Phone call ended, and Coop the boss was back.
"Hate the prick." It was all he could offer. He wasn't about to expand, that was for sure.
Coop shrugged, "nothing new. That's an ongoing thing, I am just trying desperately to think of a reason why my fucking star player would jeopardise his return from injury over a trivial fucking fight."
"It wasn't trivial," he snapped. Hating that he couldn't bask in the fact he'd called him the star, the eager sport's jock in him still got off on praise.
Coop let out a sarcastic laugh, "you have one chance to tell me what the fuck is happening, or you are off the team until further notice. One fucking chance, Holding."
Bo dropped his head, not ready to verbalise the shit that was dancing around in his head.
"I should be reading you the riot act, tearing you a new asshole, but I'm not, I'm giving you a fucking chance."
Bo sighed, "why?"
"I'm asking the fucking questions, don't you get that?" He stood and slammed a couple of draws in his cabinet, then turned back to him, "I know Natasha is going through a rough time, so I'm presuming that may have set you off kilter..."
Before he could finish the sentence, Bo had launched himself over the desk, but Coop was far too quick, within a second, he was pressed face first into the wall, his arm twisted behind his back.
"You want to fight me too? Is that it? Just fight anyone? Jesus, you little prick."
He literally threw him back towards the seat he'd vacated.
"You have five seconds to open your fucking mouth, or you are out of this club, period."
Bo shrugged his shoulder, loosening it from Coop's wrench.
"Don't you dare feign shit." The older man watched him with a scowl. "I haven't hurt you, not that I couldn't, with fucking ease."
He felt like a naughty schoolboy, and he hadn't had that for a long time, "Vaughn." He spat the name out, "said he saw you hugging Natasha."
"That?" Coop shook his head, "that was all it took?"
He groaned, "after breakfast meet, I was going to call back and pass her a message and you were both hugging."
Coop jumped to his feet running a hand through his hair, "you think there's more to that?" Bo shrugged, and Coop lunged animatedly towards him over the desk, "you think she'd do that to you? DO you? Think she'd be betraying you with me, behind your and Frey's back? You really think that Natasha is capable of that?"
Of course not. He didn't believe it, he really didn't.
When he shook his head, Coop got even closer, "so you think I would do that? You think I'm the one? That I'd do that to you?"
"No," he murmured.
"What?" Coop shouted, "now is not the time to whisper. Do you think I am capable of that? That I'd do that to Frey, to you?"
He didn't believe that, but he had seen Nathan's face in his red mist, and the past, betrayals, the pain, everything seemed to combine into something he couldn't control.
"No." He offered, "but his words, they hurt."
Coop finally seemed to relax, slumping into his chair, "I did hug Natasha, or rather I think she hugged me, both today and a couple of days ago...but that was only because I helped her. Or tried to." He opened a small fridge under his desk and handed Bo an energy drink.
"Freya asked me to speak to her, we've both been through the same thing."
Suddenly a light flicked on in Bo's head, "shit. Coop...sorry."
He shook his head, "talking about what happened doesn't hurt any more, and hopefully it won't for Natasha either, but fuck. Bo. You have to get your head sorted, she needs you."
He leaned forward, changing the dynamic, "of course I know that, so much. But she's talking to you, not to me. That isn't easy to take, that you have the answers, because when she does talk I don't know what to fucking say, I don't know how to make it right..."
"You can't." Coop was quiet, for a moment, "no one can do that for her, she just needs to have the chance to talk it though. Just be there for her, that's all she needs."
Bo lifted his head, stared at Coop, "I didn't think...I was just so pissed."
"And Vaughn is a fucking jerk, I get that, but you and Natasha, you need to sort this out, or you are both going to screw it up. I should bang your heads together, knock some sense into you, at the very least."
Bo slumped, "sorry Coop. You have been so good to us, this isn't the way I should repay you. I know you have to bench me, that is my fault. I get that."
Coop pulled his face into an expression he shouldn't read, "look, Vaughn isn't exactly in the right, dragging me into the dressing room banter. I'll talk to him and Blake, if they all agree, I'll think about letting you in, but there has to be some sort of fine, a punishment. Again, Blake and me will discuss that."
Bo nodded, "thanks Coop."
He shrugged, "I actually need you playing..."
He cut him off, "not for me, chuck the book at me, but for helping Natasha. She's been different, and if that is due to you, then I owe you a lot."
Natasha had the radio up loud, the cafe was deserted, and she had maybe twenty minutes before she closed up. So, with the accompaniment of music she worked quickly. She was lifting the chairs onto the table so that she could mop the floors when the door opened. Looking up, she saw Bo filling the doorway, his eyes smouldering as he took her in, head to toe. A slow, assessing look that almost made her drop the chair in her hands.
"Hi," he finally offered. Pinning her with his eyes.
She gulped, suddenly a tension spread between them, a delicious and promising tension, as oppose to an awkward one.
She nodded as she watched him walk towards her, slowly, deliberately. When he finally stood over her, and lowered his head, she braced for a kiss, an explosion, but it didn't come, instead he took the chair from her hands, and flipped it on to the table. She watched speechless as he repeated the move with several different chairs, her heart pounding with anticipation.
When she finally realised that he was helping her, and not devouring her, as she'd hoped, she joined him.
Watching him steadily, she noticed the buts on his hand, and a possible bruise on his jaw.
It was the first thing she'd said since she'd said hi, when he arrived.
He glanced down at his hands, then sighed, "rough training session."
She eyed him for a moment, "Vaughn?"
He nodded, "isn't it always?"
She let out a long breath, "you need to get your anger under control, Bo."
Nodding he carried on, "things just get to me..."
The conversation was abruptly ended.
An almost silent twenty minutes saw the chairs stacked and the floor scrubbed, and as she emptied the mop bucket in the drain outside the back door, she felt Bo behind her.
"All done?" He asked, and finally his lips came to her ear, his words a breath, a tingle to her already taught body, and fraught mind. Spinning her in his arms, his lips crashed down on hers and he engulfed her with his arms, his hands and his lips. And she was in heaven.
"Shit," he finally breathed, pulling back, almost unaware that he'd pressed her up against the wall so firmly. "You OK?"
She nodded, unable to speak for a moment, "definitely."
That made him smile, "that's what happens when I don't get to touch you for more than twenty four hours."
"You saw me earlier."
He shook his head, "no. I was here," he gestured to the cafe, "but I wasn't here." He pushed his thighs between hers, completely taking over her personal space. "I don't want us to sleep apart again."
"What are you saying?" She bit her lip, looking up at him in wonder.
Shrugging he plucked at her lips with his, "just that. I don't want to be apart from you again, however that works, I am in."
Her heart pounded, the thought of waking every morning, wrapped in his arms, or going to sleep, her head on his chest, every night. To share breakfast, and dinner, and coffee. It was scary, really scary, but so exciting too, she wanted him like she'd never wanted anyone, and that meant something.
"Too much?" He breathed into her hair when she dropped her head. He was doubting himself, doubting her. That was what she did to him.
She shook her head, leaning back to look up at him, "no way. It's just...I didn't think you'd want that."
"Wouldn't want you? Are you fucking crazy? You are my constant thought, you are taking over this head" he pointed to his temple. "And I cannot get enough of you. Don't you get that?"
Instead of the usual fear that his words caused, she felt a smile sweep over her face. Seemed that he spotted it too, because he lifted an eyebrow quizzically. "Not running?"
She laughed, then shook her head, "never running again."
"Really?" When she nodded, he added, "because of Coop?"
She blushed at that, "I've had a few chats with him, I should've told you really. He's been amazing."
It was Bo's turn to blush, and she tuned into that immediately, "what?"
He dropped his eyes, "I saw you hug him..."
She lifted his chin and stared at him, "you thought that me and him..."
Shaking his head, he pulled her close, "no. Never. But I did punch lumps out of Vaughn in training for talking about it. But no, I never doubted you, maybe I doubted myself. Doubted I'd ever be enough for you."
Her jaw fell open, "not enough? You are mostly too much, but that is a very, very good thing. I am so sorry I've pushed you away, made you doubt all that you are." Reaching out she touched his hand, his bruised knuckles, "but you have to stop lashing out."
He nodded, "seems at some point I've used aggression to make up for the shortcomings in my game," when she raised an eyebrow, he laughed, "and outside of my game."
"Something to work on...just have to find other ways of expending that aggression, hey?"
Smiling he pulled her close again, "I'll work on anything with you, you know that. You make it all make sense. I mean it, about being together. All the time."
"I'm sorry that I am such hard work." She took a deep breath, then another, and whilst amusement sneaked at his lips, he waited, watched, until she blurted out, "I never thought anyone would love me again, and I didn't want them to because everyone I love has gone, abandoned me, and it hurts so much. But I can't think about that now, because however much I deny it, I love you. And there's nothing I can do about that."
She made it sound like a curse, rather than a blessing, but Bo didn't care, he literally slumped into her, his body sagging at those words.
Maybe, she thought as she held him up, just maybe this would work.