And Then I Met You – 11

Characters: Actor Chris Evans, OFC Kayla Brooks

Warnings: Talk of death, military deployment

Chapter 11

Kayla was nestled on the couch with a textbook in her lap while Chris sat a few feet away reading a script. Well he was trying to read anyway. He couldn’t seem to focus on the words. The scent from her honeysuckle body wash lingered in the air from her post-work shower.

They were still taking things slowly and he was doing his best to be patient and let her control the pace. He knew that her finally coming to terms with the death of her husband was difficult and painful and he didn’t want to put any pressure on her. Not too much pressure anyway.

He set the script down and crept towards her. She was so engrossed in her reading that she didn’t notice when he bent his head down to kiss her neck, right on the spot that drove her crazy.

She let out a sexy moan that turned into an annoyed groan. “Chris I told you I would only come over if you would let me study.” Kayla tried to push him away with little success. “Fuck, it’s like trying to move a boulder. You know you’re not really Captain America right?”

He laughed and kissed her neck again, waiting for another annoyed groan. “I know I said you could study but then you got here looking so beautiful and sexy and irresistible, how can I keep my hands off you?”

She pulled back and glared at him through her black rimmed glasses. “You really need to change your game. You know those cheesy lines don’t work on me.”

He looked at her innocently. “What lines? I know lines don’t work on you. I was just being honest. It was a compliment.” She fixed her eyes on him continuing to glare, lips set in a straight line. He stared back with his most serious face. He already knew he wouldn’t win the stare down but he had to hold out as long as he could.

Finally he couldn’t take anymore. His crooked smile and lifted eyebrow told her she had won that point. He tried a different tack. “What are you studying?” He lifted her book to look at the cover.

“It’s for my couples counseling class. But with your . . . reputation, I wouldn’t expect you to know a whole lot about being part of a couple.” She smirked at Chris and bit her bottom lip, baiting him.

“Ouch!” He put his hand over his heart and did his best to look hurt. “Okay Miss Sassy Pants, you’re pushing it now. What reputation are we talking about exactly?”

“According to the magazines you’re quite the playboy. And you apparently know how to have a good time.” She adjusted her glasses. “Quite frequently.”

He cocked his eyebrow again and gave her a satisfied grin. He knew he won this round. “Ah. So you’ve been reading about me? Not just glancing through them.”

She ducked her head down before he could see the guilty expression on her face. He took the win and decided to let her off the hook. “Maybe you should practice that psychology thing on me. I’ll be your test subject.”

“Well in case you hadn’t noticed the hottest guy in Hollywood stalked me until I agreed to a date with him, he put new locks on my car doors, he stocked his kitchen with my favorite snacks and he let me eat the last serving of ice cream on Tuesday. Darlin, I have been practicing that psychology thing on you.”

That’s it. Game on.

Chris pushed the book to the floor and quickly moved one hand to the soft spot on the side of her abdomen. She wriggled in a fit of laughter and struggled to get away from him. He threw his head back in amusement and Kayla caught him off guard. “Two can play that game.”

She used all of her strength to push him backward onto the couch cushions then pounced on him. Straddling him she nudged her fingers in just below his ribcage. He howled and twisted while she tickled him mercilessly.

Her fingertips danced over his belly and he was wheezing trying to catch his breath. “I found your weakness now Evans.” He finally managed to grasp her hands and he pulled her on top of him, their faces just inches from each other. She braced herself with a hand on either side of his head and gazed down at him.

Chris gently ran his fingers down her cheek. “YOU are my weakness.” He lifted his head and their lips crashed together. His hands were free to roam down her back, gliding along her spine to the curve of her hips and then cupping her ass. He pulled her against him and she felt so good he lost control of all thought. Keeping one hand firmly on her ass he moved the other to cradle the back of her head, deepening their kiss. His hips pushed up and Kayla felt his erection press against her stomach.

“Chris, I can’t . . .” Kayla pushed at his chest to sit up and her breathing became shallow. She put her hands to her chest as she gulped for air. Chris recognized the signs of an anxiety attack.

“It’s okay. We don’t have to do anything. Just breathe. Okay. Just breathe.” He was careful not to touch her but offered her soothing words of support. He knew how crippling anxiety could be.

Once she had regained her composure Chris gently rubbed her back. “Kayla, I don’t want to push you. But it might help to talk. You don’t have to but I’m here to listen. I don’t think you can move forward until you talk about it.”

She looked down at the floor and fidgeted with her hands, letting out a small laugh. “Maybe you should be the psychologist.” Kayla looked into his ocean blue eyes and saw patience and concern. “You’re right. I know you’re right. It’s just.” She breathed out deeply. “I don’t know what to say or where to start. Or maybe I’m just afraid to say it. I’m afraid to say it out loud because that makes it real.”

“Kayla, whatever it is, it happened. You can’t change it. It is real.” He took her hands in his.

She looked down again. “Kyle was deployed to the Middle East. It was his second deployment. He had flown dozens of successful missions.” Chris got a heavy feeling in his heart and had to fight the lump forming in his throat.

“He was supposed to come home in April. He wanted to have a baby. It was something we argued over. I wanted to finish my masters and start my career first. But he couldn’t wait to start a family. He came from a big family and that’s what he wanted for us.” Kayla’s voice broke. “The last time we talked, that’s what we did, we argued about having a baby.” She stood and began to pace back and forth in front of him.

“It happened on February 10. Kyle’s plane crashed during a night landing on the carrier. The seas were rough and the ship was pitching. They tried to wave him off but he said he could make the landing. He came in short and his plane hit the back of the ship.”

Kayla stopped and stared ahead as if in a trance, her brows knitted together. “He didn’t hit the eject button. He was supposed to eject.”

She looked at Chris blankly. “Did you know carrier pilots call a landing a controlled crash?” She gave a small nervous laugh. “It’s a sort of morbid term isn’t it? But it’s accurate.” She clenched her fists by her sides and her voice rose. “Every fucking time they land is just a disaster waiting to happen. A fucking crash waiting to happen.”

She let out a deep breath. “Kyle was a good pilot.” A few stray tears fell down her cheeks. “It wasn’t supposed to happen to us. And all I can think of is the last time I ever spoke to him we had a stupid argument.”

Chris stood and pulled her against his chest, encircling her in his arms. “Kayla I’m so sorry. I wish I could take away the pain. I wish I knew what to say.”

She wrapped her arms around his waist and pressed her head against his chest so she could hear his heart beat. “You don’t have to say anything. Just hold me?”

He pressed his lips to her head. “For as long as you want.”

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