Always a Ranger - Part 30

Games People Play

By Jeannine Trevizo

 

 

 

The flight from Boston had been long, and Kim had spent half of it trying to keep the nine young women preparing for the Olympics calm as they hit turbulence and as their nerves got the better of them. It was a long flight, and somehow she did find some time to sleep. The movie had been boring, and she’d ended up reading the several months out of date magazine.

 

When the plane finally landed, it was then another whole new adventure. Gathering luggage and going through customs with teens and twenty-somethings was like running an obstacle course. Then it was packing everyone into a caravan of vans to shuttle them from the airport to the Olympic Village. There were lots of oohs and ahhs as they drove along the roads. For most of them, this was their first trip to Greece, and in some cases their first trip outside the U.S.

 

When the vans pulled up after passing security, they were driven to the blue and white apartment style housing that they’d make their home for the next two and a half weeks. Grabbing their luggage, they found themselves met by Olympic personnel and directed to their building, floor and room.

 

It was only once they’d packed their clothes and other personal items away that they realized that they had more time to get settled in than just a few hours. In fact, they had a whole two days of nothing but getting familiarized with the Olympic venues so they could move around easily. Or as easily as they could, what with the tight security measures. As it was, it took the team almost three hours to get their security clearances and badges. Kim began to realize just how enormous this all was as the team walked across the grand venue of the village, took a shuttle to the site of the gymnastics competition, and then finally stared at the impressive mass of the Olympic Stadium.

 

It was a little overwhelming, and she had to remind herself to put it all in perspective. She’d been a ranger for God’s sake, the Olympics weren’t anything in comparison to what she’d done. Still, she couldn’t help but be awed at the fact she was there.

 

Early on the third day since their arrival, the team was scheduled to do their first international press conference with their male counterparts. As soon as everyone was dressed in their team USA sweat suits, they made their way to the press pavilion. There, they trooped in, the gymnasts sitting in the prescribed seats, the head coaches in the front, and the assistants lined the walls. Kim, in her position as an assistant ended up along the edge of the wall, closer to the edge. As the international press began asking their questions and taking pictures, Kim watched the whole thing, taking it in with a surreal feel.

 

Then her whole existence came to a sudden halt.

 

When Kim had heard that the Olympics were a once in a lifetime experience, she never thought that this was what they meant. Standing along the edges of the press room where the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Gymnastics teams were answering questions, she saw a face she never thought she'd see again.

 

Chris Masters.

 

The man she'd left Tommy for.

 

She found herself staring at him, her mind numb with shock as she noted him glance around the room. When his gaze reached her, his eyes widened and he stared back. She noted with some small part of her functioning brain that his blue-green eyes still reminded her of the ocean, and she recalled thinking back when they first met how they were so different from Tommy’s warm chocolate brown eyes. Suddenly she realized that the interviews were over, and people were moving around the room, photographers and reporters hurrying to get a one on one with the stars of the team or the head coaches.

 

In that chaos, Kim watched Chris weave his way through the crowds and approach her. Part of her wanted to run, not really wanting to deal with this person, the guilty feelings at leaving Tommy for him fighting with the nostalgic fondness of not only their time together but at a familiar face thousands of miles away from everything she knew.

 

“Kimberly,” Chris drawled as he finally reached her, his old Southern accent having stayed with him even after traveling the world, “what a surprise.”

 

“What are you doing here?” Kim asked, focusing on the man before her, fighting to keep her heart rate calm.

 

“The men’s team thought I’d add some extra prestige to the staff, and hired me as a rings coach.”

 

“You?”

 

“What? You think I just spent my time dating models and doing photo shoots? I got an education,” he retorted, almost insulted.

 

“I’m sorry. I just…” she stumbled, shaking her head in an attempt to clear it.

 

“Look Kim, I’m not looking to cause you problems. I mean, we dated but it didn’t work out. Can’t we be friends?”

 

“I guess…”

 

“How about we catch up? Have dinner after the practice for the opening ceremonies and talk about old times?” he asked brightly, reaching out to catch her hand in a way that reminded her of Tommy.

 

“I don’t know if that’s such a good idea…” Kim began.

 

“It’s just a friendly dinner Kim. Come on, you can’t tell me you’d rather sit in the athlete’s dorms every night?”

 

Kim hesitated, and Chris noticed her indecision and smiled at her with a grin she remembered from her lowest moments in Florida. After a long moment of debate, Kim finally nodded.

 

“Alright.”

 

“Great! It’s good to see you again Kim,” Chris said as he leaned over and gave her a light kiss on the cheek.

 

Little did she know that an Associated Press photographer had just taken their picture.

 

-

 

Tommy Oliver opened the newspaper at the command center console, his eyes drifting from the scanners to the news of the games. The front page had a small picture referring readers to the special Olympics section. Tossing the section away, he dug through the rest of the paper until he found the special section. Opening it, he found a large layout on the arrival of the U.S. teams to Athens, articles about the chances of different athletes and lots of pictures. He flipped through until he found a page showing the gymnastics teams and had an article and photos from their first press conference in Athens. As he scanned the photos, he found himself brought up short.

 

It was a picture of Kim at the press conference, with a man leaning towards her, as if to kiss her. His eyes tore from her face to the caption and his heart went cold.

 

Former Pan Global hopeful and current U.S. Women’s Olympic gymnastics balance beam assistant coach Kimberly Hart meets up with Pan Global and U.S. Olympic medalist, and current men’s rings coach Christopher Masters at a joint gymnasts press conference in Athens, Greece.

 

He felt his fingers go cold, the numbing sensation climbing up his arms.

 

It couldn’t be…

 

Kim was there with the guy she left him for.

 

Just the sight of this guy next to the woman he loved sent his blood boiling. Hadn’t the years that he and Kim had spent separated because of this man been enough. But now, just as things were looking like they were going to move past everything, when he was ready to ask her to marry him, here was Chris Masters, obviously moving in on Kim. And she wasn’t walking away.

 

The two of them had a history, but so did he and Kim. They’d spent the better part of two years rebuilding what had simmered since she’d broken up with him as teenagers. But they’d ended up together again. Unless Masters somehow got in their way…

 

“Hey Dr. O. What’s up?” asked Conner, striding into the basement command center with Kira following.

 

“Ooh, the paper. Is there any news on the Olympic team?” Kira asked as she noted the newspaper sports section in his hands.

 

“There’s some pictures…” Tommy bit out reluctantly, laying the paper down as his students and teammates moved beside him to look at the newspaper layout.

 

Both rangers froze in shock as they stared at the photo their teacher had been staring at.

 

“You’re kidding me!” Conner nearly yelled as he read the caption.

 

Tommy took a deep breath, closing his eyes and trying to focus. He knew Kim loved him. They’d said that every time they talked. Her clothes, linens and silverware were supposed to be in boxes on their way to his house to wait for her arrival. Nothing about the last year of their growing renewed relationship warranted the overwhelming fear that was filling him at the thought of this man stealing her from him.

 

But the evidence of another man interested in his woman wasn’t something he could take lightly. Especially since it was one Kim had a history with... a history of leaving him for.

 

He had decided that this time he wasn’t going to let her go. When he’d put her on the plane the first time after one of her visits, he’d promised himself that he’d do whatever it took to keep her, and he meant to do just that. But how was another matter. Kim was in Athens while he was here. There wasn’t anything he could do to keep Chris Masters away from Kim and assure himself that she was coming to Reefside for good.

 

Then the kids’ words reached through his musing, and he looked up to see Kira’s concerned face.

 

“This can’t be how it looks Dr. O,” Kira stated emphatically. “Remember Principal Randall?”

 

“I don’t know…” he answered them with his old uncertainty, and watched Kira and Conner’s faces darken.

 

“Then you need to find out,” Kira said forcefully.

 

“Kira’s right. You love Kim, right Dr. O?” Conner added quickly.

 

“Of course I do, what kind of question is that?” he replied angrily.

 

“Then get on a plane and go to her. And if nothing else, make sure this jerk knows Kim’s spoken for,” Kira stated, stabbing a finger at the picture of her friend and her ex.

 

“We’ll cover things here. Just go,” Conner assured their mentor.

 

It only took him another minute before he tossed the paper aside and nearly ran for the stairs. Luckily his passport was up to date…

 

-

 

Kimberly sat staring at the photo gracing the Olympics section of the USA Today the athletes and coaches were able to get at the community dining area at breakfast before the day started. There, clear as day was a picture of her and Chris, looking like they were just about to move into a heated clinch. They had practice with the team in less than an hour… not long enough to have a long conversation with Tommy, but she at least had to call him and tell him that she wasn’t ‘with’ Chris… and that she was looking forward to coming home to him in Reefside in two weeks.

 

“Guys, I have to hit the payphone. I’ll meet you at the facility as soon as I can.”

 

With that she got up from the table and headed quickly to one of the banks of phones. She pulled the international calling card and followed the instructions. The phone rang at Tommy’s house until the answering machine picked up.

 

“Tommy, I don’t know if you’re there and just not picking up, but I wanted to make sure you know I love you… I’ll call you later so we can talk.”

 

She hung up, feeling a gnawing in the pit of her stomach that the world as she knew it was about to be turned asunder.

 

-

 

Kim had been despondent most of the day since being unable to reach Tommy any of the times she’d called and had participated in the athletes and coaches practice for the opening ceremonies with frustration. She would have called Kira to find out where Tommy was, but she’d packed her address book in the last box she’d shipped to Tommy’s. When everyone started to file out of the stadium after the rehearsal had ended, Chris seemed to show up at her side from out of nowhere.

 

“So, how about that dinner?” Chris asked, reaching over to catch Kim by the arm.

 

“I’m not really the best company,” she stated, trying to deter his enthusiasm for going out that evening.

 

“Please? I just want the chance for us to catch up. Be friends again. Besides, you look like you could use some fun!”

 

He smiled at her, a disarming grin that had made her feel comfortable back when she’d been alone in Florida all those years ago. Finally she sighed and nodded. There was no use moping about. He was a friend, and right now, with everything she really could use one…

 

“I need to stop by my room first.”

 

“Sure. Anyhow, I got us a table at Mikrolimano,” he stated as they headed through the crowds and to the white and blue apartment style buildings in the residential section where the athletes and coaches were housed.

 

“Give me a minute,” Kim said, heading for her room. Inside, she reached for the phone again and dialed Tommy’s number.

 

There was still no answer. As she walked out, she passed Anton going the opposite direction.

 

“On your way back out Kim?”

 

“Yeah. I’m having dinner with an old friend at Mikrolimano…”

 

“Have fun.”

 

Kim tried not to laugh at Anton’s words. She wondered if she really could have fun while the worry of what Tommy might be thinking sat at the back of her mind. Still, she had Chris waiting on her, so she hurried out of the building to head off for dinner.

 

-

 

Tommy had done everything in his power to get the first flight to Athens… coach. When he walked off the plane, he quickly hurried to customs, which was prepared for the overflow of tourists there for the games. After passing through the lines, he followed the crowd to the buses and taxis. After searching around, he found the line for the buses heading to the Olympic venues, and got in line. The bus was slow as it made its way through several of the venues, dropping people off at different locales, but finally it arrived at the international area of the Olympic village.

 

He got off the bus and started for the gated area that lead to a series of apartment looking buildings that had people moving in and out of them wearing sweat suits with National flags on them, hinting at the athletes’ area. Walking up to the security booth, Tommy straightened his shoulders, doing his best to look like he belonged there.

 

“Excuse me, could you direct me to the building the U.S. women’s gymnastics team is in?” he asked.

 

The security guard looked at him, as if trying to see if he was a terrorist or something.

 

“Look, I can’t let you in that area,” the stocky guard said in accented English.

 

“Please. Maybe you could call someone for me… Kimberly Hart. She’s part of their coaching staff.”

 

Nodding grudgingly, the burly guard moved to his kiosk and dialed into the main operations center, and had his call routed to the dorms. After a few minutes of nervous waiting, he looked at Tommy with a stern expression.

 

“Sorry, no answer.”

 

“How about Anton Gregor? He’s the head coach.”

 

Sighing, the man went back to the phone and tried again. This time a shocked look crossed his face.

 

“Sir, I have someone here wanting access to the residential section. He doesn’t have any credentials though…” he told the person on the other end.

 

Tommy watched as the man seemed to listen to the person on the other end, and frowned.

 

“Excuse me, could I just…” Tommy asked, holding his hand out slightly.

 

Passing the receiver to Tommy, the guard moved out of the way somewhat, and Tommy pulled the phone to his ear.

 

“Coach Gregor?”

 

“Yes?” the man on the other end asked with a hint of confusion.

 

“I’m sorry, we haven’t met, but my name is Tommy Oliver and…” he began before Anton cut him off.

 

“Ah yes, I know who you are! Kim has mentioned you many times. But, she’s not in at the moment. Did she know you were coming?”

 

“No, I… you don’t suppose you know where she is?”

 

“She’s at dinner at Mikrolimano with a colleague of ours, I believe his name is Christopher Masters.”

 

Tommy felt his heart go cold. His Kim was having dinner with her ex? Maybe he wasn’t acting so crazy after all.

 

“Thank you. Good evening.”

 

With that, Tommy handed the phone to the guard and turned, starting to walk away when he realized he had no idea where the restaurant was. Quickly he swiveled and caught the guard’s attention again.

 

“I need to get to a restaurant called Mikrolimano. Do you know where it is?”

 

“It’s not in the village. There are taxis about three blocks down. They’ll get you there.”

 

Tommy nodded in thanks and jogged off to find a cab.

 

-

 

Dinner was pleasant, and Kim found herself reminded what it was that had endeared her to him in the first place. But while she had been polite and kept up the conversation as best she could, he was being more attentive than she’d expected.

 

“So Kim… have you ever wondered if you had made the Pan Globals if we could have made it work?” Chris asked over the light of the lantern in the middle of their table.

 

“I…” Kim stuttered, shocked at the question.

 

“I know, especially after seeing you yesterday that I have.”

 

“Chris…” she said in a dark tone, finally realizing his attention was more than friendly.

 

“What? You’re an attractive woman Kim. Caring, generous and you know what it means to sacrifice for a goal. What more could a man want,” he stated as he leaned forward, quickly reaching a hand across the table to catch hers.

 

“Don’t,” she started to say, as she tried to pull her hand away when she felt a presence over her shoulder.

 

“I’m sorry, am I interrupting something?” said a familiar voice, and Kim nearly jumped as she turned quickly to find Tommy standing by the table, his eyes staring at Chris’ hand on hers.

 

“Tommy… it’s not what it looks like,” she stammered, her heart thundering in her chest as she yanked her hand from where Chris’ had pinned it.

 

“Tommy?” Chris asked, looking from Kim’s frightened face to the well-built man standing at the side of their table, with eyes burning holes into the woman looking at him.

 

At Chris’ voice, Tommy swung his gaze to the other man. The one who had haunted his nights for years, when he didn’t know his name. Now he did know his name, and finally he’d seen his former rival’s face. For the first time in nearly nine years, Tommy Oliver was facing the man he’d lost Kimberly to.

 

And this time this man was not leaving with *his* Kim.

 

“Tommy Oliver. The name should ring a bell. I was Kim’s boyfriend when you two met in Florida,” he stated thickly.

 

Chris was shocked at this turn of events, but still indignant. It wasn’t his fault Kim had dumped this guy for him back in the day. As it was, he couldn’t see what was so special about Tommy that Kim had been so upset about not hearing from him for weeks before she fell into his waiting arms.

 

“I’d say it was nice to meet you, but that probably would be a lie,” Chris snapped. “So, is there a reason you’re interrupting our dinner?”

 

Their voices were carrying, and a large portion of the restaurant was staring at them. Kim felt the weight of the air pressing down on her, stifling her and knew that this was about to escalate right there if she didn’t intervene.

 

“Tommy, please, don’t cause a scene,” she said softly, and he nearly growled.

 

Quickly, Tommy gripped Chris’ upper arm, hauled him from his seat. Kim hurriedly threw down some cash down for the check as Tommy roughly escorted Chris outside. With barely restrained force, Tommy shoved the other man up against the wall outside the restaurant. They were out of sight of the windows but in clear view of the people walking along the street that slowed to note the confrontation, but stayed out of it. As Kim came out of the restaurant, she found Tommy menacing Chris with a look that reminded her of his evil green ranger days.

 

“You are hitting on *my* girlfriend,” Tommy said darkly, “and if the fact that I lost her to you once wasn’t enough, I am not about to let you have her again.”

 

Chris instantly realized his mistake the moment his back had hit the stucco wall. The man before him wasn’t a push over, and he was obviously in love with Kim. As Tommy glared at him, Kim’s behavior earlier suddenly made sense. She had been despondent about the picture and how it obviously would look to her boyfriend. And his own foolish attempts to hook up with her again had put him back in the middle of a relationship that probably should have survived her Pan Global attempts, had he not been waiting in the wings to ease her pain.

 

The dark look to Tommy’s eyes made Chris’ body shudder, and he knew he had split seconds to get out of this mess.

 

“Look man, I didn’t know she was with someone. I asked her to dinner as a friend. She didn’t know I was interested in something more than that,” Chris stammered, afraid of the glare Tommy was giving him.

 

“Then I suggest you leave her alone, if you know what’s good for you.”

 

Indicating that he should hit the road, Tommy inclined his head towards the street, and watched as Chris walked hurriedly away. It was only once the man was out of sight that he turned to the other player in this soap opera. But what he found when he looked at Kim shocked him. He’d been angry, he had realized that when he’d seen the picture. The thought that she’d be willing to be around this guy, maybe still care for him had made his blood boil. Then the scene he’d walked in on at the restaurant… it had made him see red.

 

But now Kimberly stood before him, her head tilted towards the pavement, her sun-kissed caramel locks obscuring her face and her arms wrapped around her middle. The very slight audible sound of her muffled crying broke right through his rage and pierced his heart.

 

“Kim?” he said quietly, as he reached for her arm, and he was startled when she flinched, backing away from him.

 

He tried again, and she stepped back once more, slowly raising her face to his. The pain he found behind her brown eyes, the streaming tears burned him.

 

“Don’t,” she murmured, choking on the word, “don’t touch me.”

 

“Please Kim…”

 

The weight of everything that had happened, both now and back then was falling on her in this moment. Her fear that the picture of her and Chris would anger Tommy had been fulfilled. She’d done the one thing that she should never have done… made Tommy question her love, her loyalty by letting Chris anywhere near her. She’d brought up the pain and betrayal of the past into her present life with disastrous consequences. Could he ever forgive her for it? Should he?

 

“No… Please, I don’t want to do this. You shouldn’t have had to come here. I should have stayed away from Chris. I didn’t think that you’d think… I don’t deserve you.”

 

The last part of her statement brought Tommy up short. What was she saying? Could she really believe that he’d let her go without an explanation, without him trying to fix things? Didn’t she know he’d learned his lesson from eight years ago?

 

“Kimberly… Beautiful…” he started, respecting reluctantly her desire to keep her distance, while all around them people walked by, barely noticing the emotional drama going on.

 

He watched as she swung her head away from him, her throat working convulsively as she choked down sobs.

 

“I’m sorry… I didn’t know…” Kim stammered, trying to explain, fix things, if she could…

 

Suddenly he realized that she was blaming herself for what Chris had done. She hadn’t realized the photo had been taken, or that Chris was trying to move in on her. Now she was simply afraid and he wasn’t sure what would get through to her. There was only one straightforward thing he could think of. He moved slowly closer until he feared she’d move away again before he spoke.

 

“I love you,” he said simply, reaching for her again.

 

Kim’s eyes shot up again, the stunned surprise evident.

 

“What? But I…”

 

“Did seeing the picture of you and Chris hurt? Yeah, it did. And finding out you were out to dinner with him when I arrived had me ready to put his lights out. But I learned my lesson from the last time. I wasn’t letting him get between us.”

 

“He wasn’t you know,” she said softly, and it was his turn to be surprised. “I didn’t know he was interested in me again. I thought it was just a friendly dinner… for old time’s sake. I would never have let him try to start something with me when I’m in love with *you*. I was just about to tell him…”

 

“When I walked in and found him touching you,” Tommy finished for her, and saw her slightly nod.

 

“I’m sorry. You shouldn’t have had to see that. You shouldn’t have had to think that I would be charmed by him again. I tried to call you after the picture, but I couldn’t reach you…”

 

“I was probably already on the plane for Athens,” Tommy said bitterly, realizing he’d been too quick to fly to her side, see what was going on. His own fears about not being good enough for her had led him into this mess. Still he couldn’t complain. He was there with her, and she was still his.

 

“I would never leave you again,” Kim vowed suddenly, her face still tear stained but with a look of determination that he remembered from their days as rangers together. “*Never*. I wouldn’t be able to survive without you again.”

 

“I’m sorry Kim, I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions…”

 

Feeling the guilt rolling off him in waves, she did the only thing she could think of; she simply walked up to him and wound her arms around his waist, turning into his chest. As his arms wrapped around her, he felt himself let go of the anger and fear. She was real and in *his* arms.

 

Just where she belonged.

 

As Tommy held Kim tightly in his embrace, feeling complete in every sense of the word, he wondered what they were going to do now.

 

Kim of course was one step ahead of him, as she eased away from his chest enough to murmur her question.

 

“So, you coming back to the room with me?”

 

He started at that, pushing her out at half-arm’s length to stare her in the eyes. The seriousness there was mixed with regret and over it all was a fiery longing.

 

It had been too long since he’d seen her…

 

“You’re okay with this? I mean, I really was a jerk,” he stated, starting to feel like the caveman that Kim always accused him of being.

 

“I *love* you. And in truth, you flying all the way to Greece to ‘rescue’ me from Chris is actually sort of romantic. By the way, why did you fly here, rather than wait for me to call? You should have known I would…”

 

“Kira and Conner,” he replied embarrassed. “I was already sort of worried, and they convinced me that I should come over here and take care of business, so to speak.”

 

Kim sighed, and then smiled her most radiant grin at the man she loved. He was flawed, always feeling guilty or not worthy of what he had. But in his heart, he was a hero, and he loved her more than anything on this Earth. And that made her love him all the more.

 

“Well, since you’re here, let’s make the most of it, shall we? It’s still two weeks until the games finish…”

 

Tommy couldn’t help the leer that crept across his face as her eyebrows rose and she winked at him. Without another word, he leaned down and kissed her soundly, pulling her back into his embrace as she threw her arms around his neck.

 

Enclosed as they were in their own world, the fact that they were kissing heatedly in the middle of the street hadn’t hit them until a passerby whistled at them. Instantly Tommy came back to his senses, turning slightly to stare at the guy who’d gone past, and realized that he and Kim were gaining a lot more attention than he liked. Especially the way that she was staring at him, as if she wanted to devour him right there…

 

“Let’s get a taxi back to the Olympic Village, like now,” he suggested, her close proximity and their heated kisses having already put his neglected sex drive into high gear.

 

Without a word, she grabbed his hands and headed them towards the cross streets. There was lots of foot traffic, and finding a cab actually wasn’t as tough as she had feared. She had to thank the extra visitors, as every drive was probably out and about, hoping to make as much money from the Olympic tourists as they could.

 

“The Olympic Village – residential gate please,” Kim stated as she got in, pulling Tommy in after her.

 

Once the door slammed behind them, the small car was off, weaving through the small streets. In fifteen minutes, which Tommy attributed to the guy behind the wheel going faster than he should have been going or knowing where all the shortcuts were. Still, considering he was trying to keep his hands off Kim, lest he give the guy more of a show than he deserved, he had to focus on something…

 

When the cab finally stopped, Kim climbed out and paid the driver. She stood in the street with Tommy as he drove off, leaving them in front of the entrance to the Olympic Village, closer to the residential gate than the International area. Catching his hand in hers, Kimberly walked them to the security gate, ignoring the looks of some of the athletes and coaches going in and out of the secured area.

 

“He’s with me,” Kim stated to the guard who wasn’t the same one who had been on duty earlier, which Tommy was more than a little happy about.

 

The man verified her credentials and asked for Tommy’s ID. When he’d looked over his passport, he handed Tommy a plastic badge with ‘visitor’ in large letters on it. As soon as he noted the badge being given to Tommy on his log, he pressed a button, opening the gate.

 

The two of them walked along the pathway towards the seemingly limitless area of the residential area. The white and blue trimmed apartment style buildings housing the athletes and coaches loomed ahead of them. There were lots of people walking about, even though it was already late.

 

Taking the elevator, Tommy enfolded Kim in his arms as they made their way up to Kim’s floor, but the ride was over too soon, as the elevator doors opened and the floor indicator chimed.

 

“When do you leave?” Kim asked as they exited the elevator on her floor and walked hand in hand along the corridor to her apartment.

 

“Too soon,” he replied, gripping her hand tighter, and when she turned to look at him, his face fell slightly. “Noon tomorrow.”

 

“So soon?”

 

“This wasn’t really a vacation Kim… I had to come here to make sure you were okay, that *we* were okay.”

 

“But tomorrow? Couldn’t you have gotten a flight in a few days?” Kim asked as they walked.

 

“Yeah, but I had no idea what I would find. Plus, where was I going to stay? I doubt there’s any hotels with vacancies with the Olympics going on.”

 

“You would have stayed with me…” she said with a frown and slightly quickened her pace as they walked down the corridor.

 

“And if you *had* decided to go back to Chris? No, I knew I couldn’t stay long, no matter what.”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“I don’t want to be a distraction to you Kim,” Tommy said as they reached her door, and she slid her keycard into the lock. “You’re so close to accomplishing your dream, just in a different way. I’d be in the way. And I need to get back. The bad guys aren’t going to wait for me to get back.”

 

She nodded in understanding. They both still had their responsibilities. So there wasn’t any extra time to waste, Kim thought as she pushed the door open. She walked in, flipping on the light switch as Tommy followed he.

 

“We should go out tomorrow morning,” she stated as he closed the door behind them, staring at Tommy as he walked into the small apartment sized space of her accommodations and towards her.

 

“Sure,” he said distractedly.

 

He focused his gaze on her then, and Kim found herself unable to breathe. The look in his eyes ripped away the last vestiges of restraint from her, and she nearly flung herself into his embrace.

 

Tommy held Kim to him tightly, afraid of letting go, and Kim clutched him just as tightly. There never seemed to be enough time… Slowly they eased their grip on one another only enough to allow their hands to roam with a caress here and a touch there, as they indulged in desperate, passionate kisses as they moved towards the bed.

 

Sleep did eventually come… but only after they assured one another of their commitment to one another.

 

-End-

 

tbc…

 

A/N2: 1. Mikrolimano is an actual restaurant in Athens, but where exactly it is and if it looks like my description is something I don’t know. 2. NC-17 version will go up on my website on Sunday!

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