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Travel Buddies

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She shifts in her seat, feeling the knee of the passenger behind her digging into her lower back. Beth doesn’t recall airline seats being this uncomfortable as she shifts in her seat trying to fold her legs in a way that doesn’t make her feel claustrophobic.

 

“You alright ma? Nervous flyer or somethin’?” Rio looks at her, his chin cradled in his palm, effortlessly balancing his elbow on his knee. The corners of his mouth curved upwards into his signature smirk.

 

“No. I just don’t remember this being so uncomfortable. Maybe it’s the company.” Beth hisses back, giving him a glare as she finally settles into the seat. Resigning herself to 3 hours in a chair that’s set far too straight for her to relax, she huffs under her breath and wonders how they got here.

 

“I said you ain’t gotta come along. S’ just a business meeting with a new contact.” He shrugged, instantly making Beth regret strong arming her way into coming with him. She’d been newly minted as his partner in ruling this Kingdom. And with her divorce finalised, the kids with Dean the entire weekend. She just wanted something to get the loneliness off her mind. She had thought of spend some time with Ruby and Annie, but they were busy with their own kids. She’d overhead Rio talking about taking a trip to Mexico and despite never having the urge to visit. Here she was, taking a red eye flight out with a mob boss.

 

She hears shuffling, then the familiar sound of candy wrappers twisting and the sweet scent of strawberry before she turns her head to Rio who’s casually popping not one, not two, but three of the pink chews into his mouth. Her mouth opens slightly, watering from the sweet scent of candied berries.

 

“What ma, you don’t get those pressure in your ears when the plane takes off? They make me feel like my ears gonna explode.” He gestures slightly animatedly with his fingers as Beth breaks into slight giggle.

 

“Never thought air pressure’d affect gangsters the same way it affects us normal people.” She teases as she steals a candy from his stash. Earning herself a scowl from Rio.

 

The captain announces the plane’s imminent take off and they fall into a comfortable silence next to each other. The flight isn’t too crowded and there are no kids or babies on board which makes it that much more peaceful.

 

Beth almost falls asleep despite how uncomfortable the position and when she stirs to someone’s voice over the PA system, she finds herself on Rio’s shoulder, with his head stacked on hers. Her neck is stiff, but she can smell him, with them this close. The musky scent of his cologne with the sweet mix of that strawberry candy. She wants to move, but she also doesn’t. And she feels her cheeks begin to redden with heat.

 

Rio clears his throat and adjusts himself, snapping her out of her thoughts almost instantly. She straightens her position, pretends she didn’t just spend the last thirty minutes using his shoulders as a travel pillow.

 

“Seems like turbulence is coming up yeah, a storm of sumthin’” He speaks to her, eyes still heavy with sleep. She nods dutifully, not trusting herself to say anything else as she resists the urge to run her fingers along the length of his jaw, wanting to chase the sleep away.

 

All of a sudden, the plane drops a few feet triggering a lurch in her belly that makes her let out a gasp, her hands instinctively tightening around the armrests. The plane continues to rattle, battling against the winds that had hit them. She wasn’t a nervous flyer by any chance, but this plane was small and it magnified every sway and rumbling. Also, it might have been awhile since her last flight. Not having to comfort her children also made her hyperfocussed on the fact that she was in a metal capsule 50000 feet in the air and being ravaged by a storm.

 

“You ok?” Rio eyed her face, a flash of worry on his face before he resumed his usual cool composure. He looked down at her hands, which she hadn’t realised were gripping the arm rest so tightly, her knuckles had turned white.

 

“I’m fine.” Beth managed to croak out. She squeezed her eyes shut to chase away the panic that was building up in her chest. She had always been a worry wart, but this was a bad time for her anxieties to act up.

 

“Just breathe yeah?” She anchored herself on his gravelly voice and took deep breaths. He’d reach to place his hand on hers, slowly rubbing circles on her knuckles with his thumb. She looked up at him, grateful for the distraction.

 

“I just...it’s my first time flying without any kids. I never thought I’d thank them for the distraction. I guess I might be a nervous flyer afterall.” She blushed and lowered her eyes from his eyes to rest on his lips, where his tongue had sneaked out to wet the bottom.

 

“If you needed a distraction, all you had to do was ask...” his voice had gotten deeper and he’d craned his neck toward her, such that they were now close enough for her to feel his breaths on her.

 

The cabin lights had been dimmed for awhile now, and in this darkness, despite the turbulence, Beth noticed most of the passengers were asleep. Which means nobody would notice if she did this...

 

She tilted her head forward to close the distance between them, brushing her lips against his in the faintest of ways. She could feel her lips trembling with want, the urge to press her lips to his so great it took every ounce of self control for her to stay still. After all, she didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of knowing she was the one without control when it came to this. Whatever this was.

 

He let out a grunt of frustration, and even in the dimmed lights, Beth could see Rio’s pupils blown wide.

 

“Did you mean a distraction like this?” Beth asked, her voice barely a whisper. And with every word her lips moved against him.

 

He surprised her when he lurched forward and captured her lips between his own, a satisfied growl emitting from his throat when the distance between them ceased to exist. Beth had expected him to play the game with her. That push and pull they were getting so good at, the obvious attraction which they acknowledged but never acted upon.

 

Which was why when he kissed her, she kissed him back. The softness of his lips and the sweetness from the candy which somehow tasted even better on his lips — she couldn’t get enough. She pulled him to her by fisting her hands at his collar, not even sure why she needed to do what because Rio wasn’t backing off, his hands warm against her face, carressing and cradling, holding her in place.

 

When they finally broke apart, Beth found herself breathless. His lips were slightly reddened and swollen and she wondered if she looked the same.


Raising his pinky, he brushed the strands of stray her away from her face and looked at her almost tenderly. His fingers traced along her jaw, down to her clavicle, before hovering at the swell of her breasts above the top button of her blouse. She could feel her chest rising and falling to the rhythm of her breaths as the goosebumps fluttered over her skin.

 

I love how your blush goes all the way down ma. So damn beautiful.” Rio muttered while looking appreciatively at the way her skin had pinked all the way down to her chest.

 

I want to see.” He demanded as he moved his fingers to deftly to where her shirt strained against her chest. The button popped open under his ministrations, revealing the edges of her navy lace bra. He teased the lace there lazily, leaving Beth to shudder under his touch.

 

Rio...they’ll see us.” She moaned out half heartedly before raising her hand to swat his away. Her eyes darting around the cabin to see if anyone had spotted them.

 

Well, I know a place where we could have a little more privacy.” He stated a matter of factly, as he tilted his chin toward the direction of the bathroom. “I’m sure we’d feel right at home there” he smirked as he returned his gaze to her milky white skin.

 

Beth flushed even deeper at the suggestion. Her mind racing at the thought. Was she really going to do this? In a tiny plane bathroom nonetheless? Her core ached at the thought of having him again, a pool of wetness already forming after their little kissing episode from before.

 

Raising her chin and straightening her blouse, she stood to stand. “I’m going to freshen up.” she quipped as she stepped across him to get out of her seat, deliberately brushing against his crotch. He let out a silent groan before slapping her ass lightly, watching as she put an extra sway in her hip before disappearing into the plane bathroom, not locking the door behind her.

 

He gave her a few minutes before entering the bathroom, surprised to find her leaning against the counter with her blouse opened and her hands cupping her breasts through the sheer fabric of her lace bra.

 

There was barely any space for them to maneuver in here, but he slipped in behind her and closed the door behind him. Seeing her flushed and wanting in the reflection of the mirror sent the blood rushing down south. If he was only sporting a semi before entering, he was definitely fully hard now.

 

He moved his hands to replace hers over her breasts, before pinching her nipples through her bra, watching as they perked up between his fingers. She let out a moan and he reached up to cup her mouth with his hand.

 

We got to be quiet yeah? Can you do that for me, Elizabeth?” she shifted her hips to grind against him, and even between the layers of clothes, he almost let out a loud groan himself. She nodded as she made quick work of unbuttoning her jeans, before shoving them down along with her panties.

 

Eager are we?” He smirked as he let go of the hand around her mouth, snaking a hand down to her crotch, wanting to feel her warmth. He was met with her wetness, almost dripping from her pussy and coating the sides of her thighs.

 

So wet and ready for me, Mami.” He groaned as he slicked his fingers through her wet folds. Beth bit her lip hard, trying to stifle the gasps and moans that were threatening to escape her lips. “God...Rio...” she turned around to look at him, her eyes lust filled, her lips parted. She attempted to reach behind her to unbutton him, wanting more than just his fingers on her pussy. He chuckled darkly as he gave her pussy one last swipe from opening to the clit before unbuttoning his jeans and letting his cock spring free. It hit her against her ass when it was released from his boxers, causing her to suck in a breath.

 

Despite being in an airplane bathroom, with his dick hanging out, Rio still looked like that confident cocky asshole. Cocky, confident and very attractive asshole, Beth thought to herself as she watched Rio gave his cock two pumps and her eyes widened as she eyed the precum beading at the tip.

 

Impatient and wanting to get his cock in her before someone came knocking on the bathroom door, Beth leaned backward against him, causing his dick to slide against her wet folds and brushing against her clit. She let out a loud moan and heard him echo her.

 

Smack

 

Rio watched as her ass turned a pretty shade of pink. “You gotta be quiet Elizabeth, or we won’t get to play...” Elizabeth huffed and rolled her eyes. “Speak for yourse--ohhhhhh”

 

Rio eased his cock into her warm pussy before she could finish her sentence, his eyes rolling back as he savored the feeling of being inside her again. So warm, so inviting and so wonderfully...perfect.

 

He pushed deeper, then stilling so she could get used to having him inside her pussy. But instead of taking it slow, Beth pushed back against him, taking his entire length in one stroke. He could barely control himself when she started wriggling her bottom against him, wanting to get more friction.

 

Fuckkkk. Elizabeth...” Rio warned as he snaked his hands around her waist and buried his face in her neck. She smelled so good, so sweet and so uniquely...Elizabeth. How long had he been craving her, needing her, since he last took her in the bar bathroom. He hadn’t planned to seduce her, but despite rejecting her offers to join him on this trip, he had secretly pined to have some interrupted time with her. Without her two crime sisters, her children and that dumbass husband.

 

He hated how he yearned for her, but at the same time longed for her all the same. He pulled out slightly, then pushed back into her, feeling her wetness coat his dick, building up a rhythm that burned from the tip of his dick right into his core. He touched her, pulling down her bra to knead at her breasts, teasing her nipple, biting at her neck, leaving bruises he was sure she would be sporting throughout the trip and even when she returned home.

 

The noises she made drove him insane. The way she had to bite on her lip to keep quiet, her eyes staring right at the mirror, looking at him in a way that made him shiver.

 

Rio, oh god, please.” Beth could feel the pressure building up in her belly, his cock felt so good in her and she was sure she was dripping all over his cock. She tightened her grip on the counter, needing it to keep her steady and preventing her from tumbling over the edge. She knew they needed to hurry, but she wanted this to last.

 

Rio reached down to where they were joined, feeling his dick slide in and out of her pussy, marveling at how her wetness had seeped out from between them and down his balls. He was sure she was dripping on the bathroom floor by now. He could feel his balls tighten as he resisted the urge to move faster, wanting them to fall apart together.

 

He pressed his fingers against her clit as she bit down on his arm, letting out a muffled wail. She was so close. He could tell from the way she was squeezing him, the way her juices flowed out of her and the way her legs trembled beneath him.

 

Increasing his pace, he rubbed small circles around her clit and watched as she fell apart beneath him. Her walls fluttered against her dick as she let out sharp cries of pleasure, only silenced by the way she clamped her mouth against his hand. His thrusting became more irregular as he chased his own peak, and with one last flutter of her pussy, he spilled himself into her, not caring where they were, who heard and who knew. In that moment, it was just him and Elizabeth.

 

Even after they had come down from their high, Rio couldn’t bear to pull out of her, watching her flushed cheeks and slightly sweaty skin, he brushed her lips with his fingers. She surprised him by sucking them into her mouth, running her tongue against them.

 

His cock twitched inside her as she let out a breathy laugh, spinning around and pulling herself away and off of his dick. She leaned in to kiss him, the taste of him getting her lightheaded.

 

I guess we have a thing for bathrooms?” she teased shyly, pulling a paper towel to clean between her legs. They never got the luxury to talk about it the other time, so this felt new.

 

He pulled up his jeans and tucked himself back in, before cupping her face in her hands and looked at her tenderly.

 

I guess we do. Lucky for us, the trip’s just beginnin’. Plenty more bathroom breaks.” he smiled as he buttoned her shirt up again before turning around to exit the bathroom.

 

Beth looked at herself in the mirror, combing through her hair and noticing the bruise he had left on her neck. Possessiveness must be in Rio’s middle name, she wondered to herself before touching the mark fondly.

 

She exited the bathroom shortly after, noticing that Rio was having a word with the stewardess in the crew area. The stewardess gave her a knowing look before smiling and tucking something into her pocket and then swiftly walking away.

 

Did you just...pay her so we could have time alone in the bathroom?” Beth questioned as they walked back to their seats.

 

Rio waved her off and plopped back down, seemingly more relaxed than he was before the flight began.

 

Welcome to the mile high club yeah ma? We’ve got a membership now, gotta make it worth it.” He smirked at her.

 

And then as Beth smacked him playfully on the chest, she smiled. All the anxieties and worries she had felt previously were gone, like the storm that had faded away outside the window.

 

She looked at him as he ordered some water, thanking herself for insisting she come along for this trip. Silently grateful he had allowed her to come too.

 

Guess she’s now a proud member of the Mile High Club, on top of Book club. Gosh, what was this man doing to her?

 


I based Beth's lingerie set off this:

 

Image result for navy lingerie set

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Out of the country, Rio seems like a different person altogether. He’s more relaxed, his shoulders held a little looser, his demeanor a little less threatening and he actually seemed to be enjoying himself.

After landing, they’d been picked up from the airport and driven straight to their hotel. Elizabeth had already expected Rio to have impeccable taste, seeing as to how his house had been furnished in the most modern and stylish manner. But it still shocked her when they pulled up at the front of a shimmering white building with an exterior made entirely of frosted glass. In the morning sunlight, it looked nothing less than opulent but also in a way that wasn’t tainted by the usual gaudy touches of the larger hotel chains.

She hadn’t expected Rio to be a chain hotel kinda guy, so she shouldn’t have been surprised, but as they walked into the lobby, she completely understood why he chose this place. Behind the reception desk, a large metal mural commanded her attention while Artemide and Flos lamps flanked each side. It was perfect for him — arty, meditative and yet at the same time, dripping with opulence.

“Welcome back, Mr Martínez. We’ve prepared the suite for your arrival.” The receptionist beamed at Rio a little too friendly for Elizabeth’s liking as it pulled her out from her reverie. Rio simply nodded and took the key from her before heading towards the elevators.

“So...Mr Martínez. I take it you come here often?” Elizabeth mocked as they retreated into the privacy of the elevator. Rio cornered her despite the large enough space in the metal box, brushing a finger over her lips.

“I like to come and check in on my assets personally...Mrs Boland. Or should I say Ms Marks?” He smirked and pulled away as soon as the doors dinged open, Elizabeth immediately missing his presence. He’d been taking every opportunity to tease her about her newly found relationship status ever since she drunkenly invited him over the day she had finalized her divorce with Dean. Proudly declaring herself not a Boland any more and insisted that he call her Miss Marks the entire night. It had left him bending her over the kitchen counter and having her moaning his name over and over. The smirks he gave her lasted weeks after and she wore a blush every time they met for a drop.

He pushed open the double doors into the suite as Elizabeth followed closely behind trying to take in every detail of the beautiful room. A huge bed greeted her as the walked through the living room into the bedroom and a bottle of Bourbon sat on the bedside table. Had he prepared this for her? She wondered and then pushed the thoughts to the back of her head, convinced that the hotel had simply remembered his preference for alcohol, considering how much money he must have spent here.

“I...I can sleep on the couch. It looks comfy...” Elizabeth half-heartedly suggested as she eyed the stone grey double seater next to the window. That stupid couch must cost more than the combined monthly salary of her, Ruby and Annie, jobs and book club combined.

Rio raised his brow in amusement as he opened the bottle of Bourbon and poured them both a glass. Offering Beth a glass, he made himself comfortable on the couch, her bed, and crossed his legs.

“Are we going to continue pretendin’ that we haven’t shared a bed? Or that I haven’t been inside you, or felt every inch of your body, Mami?” his voice extra gravelly as he gave Beth a look that made the goosebumps flutter across her body. He let out a chuckle when he noticed how her cheeks had begun to burn with her trademark flush.

Before she could retort, he clinked his glass with hers and Beth took a generous sip, feeling the familiar burn heat up her body. Damn, that was some good Bourbon. Definitely much better than the one she had stocked in her liquor cabinet.

After that, they moved to the living room to talk business, Rio giving her the brief of who they were meeting and what they were doing here. Apparently, the contact he was working with here had retired and left the business to his heir, a young punk named Sergio who thought he was top dog now that he was calling the shots. He’d been trying to increase the amount of product he was moving and Rio wasn’t comfortable with that. Not until he knew Sergio was as reliable as his father.

The meeting was intended for them to get to know each other, talk terms and strengthen the current business dealings they had. It was simple, something Rio had done countless times. But now having Elizabeth here, it had put him on edge.

“Let me do the talkin’ tonight yeah? Not that I wouldn’t like to see your pretty mouth move, but these guys, they don’t mess around.” Rio gestured with his fingers and warned her, or more like ordered her. Elizabeth huffed in indignance and rolled her eyes. “I’m your partner, I got the right to say something if I want to.” She crossed her arms and straightened her back, looking him straight in the eye.

Rio clenched his jaw in annoyance. She was too stubborn for her own damn good. “We are partners, Elizabeth. But you’re new to the game, they gon’ eat you up like nothin’ if they know you some suburban PTA mom.” He’d lost all his previous playfulness and the relaxed vibe he had going since they landed had completely faded away.

Just let me keep you safe.

Elizabeth sighed in resignation and leaned back against the couch. “Fine. I’ll listen and I’ll hold my tongue, Daddy.” The moment the words left her lips, she realized what she had meant as a mockery of how controlling he was acting, had come out with a very obvious sexual undertone. Rio watched her in amusement as she worked herself back into her flustered state.

“I didn’t know you were into that, Elizabeth. But we can work on that.” He cooed and ran his lips against the shell of her ear. She immediately straightened her back and cleared her throat, hoping he didn’t notice when she crossed her thighs slightly tighter to relieve some of the pressure she didn’t know had built up through their discussion. That man’s voice did crazy things.

“The meeting’s tonight right? So what are we gonna do for the rest of the day?” She quickly regained her composure and turned away from him, pretending to survey the rest of the suite. He shook his head and let out a small laugh. This woman would be the death of him, Rio thought. She had the ability to rile him up then, like it was nothing, take away all the tension eating away at him.

“Thought I could show you the city, Mami. It’s your first time here yeah?” Elizabeth nodded. She hadn’t really gotten out of the country, save for that one time Rio had gotten them to drive across the border and into Canada — and that wasn’t even for leisure.

“Could I take a shower first though? I reek of airplane.” She suddenly felt self-conscious in her clothes and squirmed a little.

“Be my guest.” Rio gestured towards the bathroom, before making himself comfortable on the couch and pulling out his phone, his attention now on replying to the text messages he must have missed out on during the flight.

Beth walked into the bathroom, running her hands along the marble countertop, admiring the various fixtures and luxury soaps, lotions and bath salts that were provided. To think just a few months ago, she was robbing grocery stores to make ends meet and now she was here, in a hotel that would probably never be able to afford if not for the gangbanger sitting in the living room.

She turned on the tap to fill up the tub, briefly considering taking a quick shower instead of a long bath, but decided that she deserved to soak and relax, seeing how she didn’t know if they’d have time for this after the meeting tonight.

Sitting on the edge of the tub, she began to undress, removing each article of clothing at a leisurely pace, something she never got to do at home. Something she hasn’t done since having four kids demanding her attention almost every second. Once the tub had filled, she poured in some lavender bath salts and began to lower herself into the tub.

Sighing in content, she leaned back and closed her eyes. She had a tub at home, but it was nothing compared to this two seater which gave her ample space to move her arms around and even kick at the water, making tiny waves and splashes. She let out a small giggle, absolutely relaxed and happy even. The absurdity of the situation did nothing to squash her happiness of soaking in the water and she wondered if the bath salts were magic.

“I see you’re enjoying yourself.” She hadn’t even heard him come in, too absorbed in enjoying her bath to even open her eyes when she registered his voice. “This tub is heaven,” she said in a sing-song manner, not even embarrassed that he was probably seeing her completely naked.

She heard the clinking of his belt and the shuffling of clothes being removed, but even then, she couldn’t bring herself to open her eyes. Afraid that the moment she did, he would stop and leave the bathroom.

The water moved as he dipped his foot into the tub, and she felt him brush up against her, the waves of water hitting her chest from his movement. Once he was fully in the tub, she opened her eyes only to meet his coal black orbs staring at her.

“I don’t remember inviting you to join me.” She teased him while snaking her feet under his thighs, making herself comfortable. “Well, you oversold the tub. I’ve never tried it before.” He replied, before snaking his hands around her waist, pulling her impossibly closer.

“You’ve stayed here enough times for the staff to know you, but you’ve never tried soaking in this tub? You must be insane, or a pyschopath.” She feigned shock as she placed her plams on his chest to push him away in disgust.

“Well, not all of us have the time or a compelling enough reason.” His eyes moved from her mouth to her chest. Half submerged in the water, her nipples were exposed to the chilly air and they immediately pebbled under his intense gaze. She was about to respond when he crushed his lips to hers, and everything she had wanted to say left her mind and instead, she let out a breathy moan. He moved his hands to cup her breasts before dipping his head to her neck and leaving opened mouth kisses there. Beth melted like putty in his hands.

“Can’t get enough. You taste too good.” Rio muttered while continuing his kissing, which turned into licking. Beth arched into his palm, her body too responsive to his touch. He kissed his way from her neck to her breast, taking one pebbled nipple into his mouth, circling his tongue around it before giving it a hard lick, causing Beth to moan out loudly. She reached for him beneath the water, wanting to feel him warm, hard and wanting in her hands. But before she could reach him, he swatted her hand away impatiently. Beth was confused. She could see his arousal through the distortion of the water, he was definitely hard and throbbing for her.

“Nuh-uh. You don’t get to touch unless I say so, Mami. You’re too stubborn for your own good, someone’s got to teach you to be obedient.” He mused as he enveloped her entire nipple into his mouth, gently taking it between his teeth causing shockwaves of pain and pleasure to shoot right through her core. “In fact...you don’t get to come until I say so. Can you do that?” he purred against her breast. Beth could only nod obediently, her mouth hung open in pleasure as he reached down to run a finger through her wet folds.

“I can’t hear you.” He whispered. Running his fingers lazily across her clit.

“Yes! Oh yes.” Beth hissed as she tried to push herself against his fingers, eager for a little more pressure.

“Yes who?” Rio questioned his voice now a growl. Beth knew her little slip up would come back and bite her in the ass. But right now, she’d do anything to have him inside her, to fill her up as he did just hours earlier.

“Yes, Daddy please!” she almost screamed as Rio let out a satisfied grin. He pushed two fingers into her pussy and began to fuck her earnestly. “I’d prefer it if you called me your King. Afterall, I got an empire to run. But right now, you’re being such a good girl, so I’ll let it go.” Rio continued as Beth wirthed beneath him, his actions causing the bathwater to ripple around them in waves.

“Oh god, oh, I’m so close.” Beth let out a choked sob as Rio pumped his fingers into her and rubbed her clit with his thumb. But as soon as she felt the pressure building inside her, he pulled his fingers out. “I said you’ll cum when I tell you too. And I haven’t said you can, have I?” He looked at her through lust hooded eyes as his tongue darted out to lick his bottom lip.

Beth let out a frustrated whine as she latched her teeth onto his shoulder, biting hard. Rio let out a hiss before swatting at her ass, the palm stinging against her, leaving her skin warm and sensitive. She yelped from the contact then pouted her lips and gave him her best puppy dog eyes.

“Please...” she hesitated. “Please...my King?” Rio chuckled and pride bloomed in his chest. Elizabeth had always been such a good girl. Stubborn, but with a little guidance, she would be so good for him. And he was always willing to teach her.

“What do you want, Elizabeth? Tell me.” His shaft brushed across her slit, teasing but never entering.

“I want you to fuck me.” The embarrassment was gone. To think she once chided him from saying panties, and now here she was, commanding, no begging for him to fuck her. And so when he complied and slipped inside her wetness, she had to bite on her bottom lip to keep from crying out. He felt so good inside her, that she instinctively pushed down against him, taking all of him inside her in one deep stroke. Rio let out a moan when he felt her clench against him.

“So good, baby girl. You’re so good for me.” his praise sent her heart fluttering. Her entire life, she had been playing the part of a good daughter, a good wife. She thought she was over that, no longer seeking out compliments and pretending to play nice. But Rio. Rio wanted her to be good by being bad. He set her free, wanted her to simply be who she was and when she embraced her true self, his praise set her aflame and made her stronger, more confident than she ever was.

If being bad felt this good, she never wanted to be good again.

She closed her eyes and rocked her hips against him, wanting more of him, deeper, faster. More. Rio seemed to get her hint, he always did. Unlike Dean who only used her body to get himself off, Rio actually listened to her. Her moans, the way her back arched when he nipped that particular spot on her neck, the way her insides would flutter against him when he angled himself perfectly against her. Every time he pulled out then pushed into her again, he brought her closer to the edge, the water slapping against the porcelain walls of the tub like tidal waves.

“You can’t cum until I say so. Remember that, Elizabeth.” And so she tried. She tried to think of something else, anything else. But her brain wouldn’t let her. Every push of his cock into her pussy overwhelmed her senses. When she opened her eyes, all she could see was the pleasure written on his face. He was easy to read when he was inside her. The knit of his brows, his mouth slightly agape and his eyes boring deep into her soul.

She whimpered, trying so hard to control her orgasm, her knuckles white from gripping the edges of the tub. She could feel it right on the edge, burning inside her so strongly that all she wanted to do was give in. Fuck Rio and fuck his dominant, controlling side. But still, she held on, until he reached between them and started rubbing lazy circles against her clit. She wanted to scream, the pleasure so great she could feel tears prickling at her eyes.

“You’ve been such a good girl, Elizabeth. Now cum for me,” he growled and that was it. She came undone on top of him, his fingers pressing firmly against her clit, his cock continued to pump into her as she lost all control of herself. A surge of pleasure coursed through her as she experienced one of the strongest orgasms in her life, white dots filled her vision as her legs shook and clamped down around him. Rio continued to thrust into her harder, slamming his swollen, throbbing cock into her as deeply as he could, chasing his own release.

She couldn’t stop shaking as she tried riding out the waves of pleasure which didn’t seem to come to an end. And then with a hoarse Elizabeth!, he shuddered against her, praises of how good she was spilling from his lips as he emptied himself into her. She rubbed circles onto his back as he groaned and panted against her chest, pressing open mouth kisses against her in appreciation.

The sat like that for a while, him running his hands up and down her back while she lay her head on his shoulders, content to be listening to his heartbeat. The bathwater was almost running cold before he lifted her out from the tub and wrapped a towel around her and placed her on the bed. The one she had previously been insistent on not sharing with him. She could barely keep her eyes open, clearly exhausted from the flight and their coupling. She heard the water empty from the tub and felt the bed dip beside her as she instinctively scooted toward him, eager to feel his warmth again.

Happy to be by his side again, she briefly considered the absurdity of the situation once more before allowing herself to fall asleep. Her last conscious thoughts were about Rio mumbling something about brunch and some awesome place he wanted to show her.

Food and sightseeing would just have to wait.

Chapter Text

Beth awoke to the smell of coffee in the air and a rumbling in her tummy. Blinking the sleep away from her eyes, she reached out for Rio, only to find the bed empty. Stretching to warm up the stiffness in her joints, she left the warmth of the bed in search of him.

 

But first, she found a pot of coffee settled on the coffee table, freshly brewed and steaming hot. Beside it, a mug of black tea. He must have ordered room service while she was napping. Rio wasn’t a coffee person, much to her amusement. He would often break into her house, and complain about the complete lack of tea in her home, turning down every offer she made to brew him a good cuppa joe. Beth, on the other hand, needed coffee as much as she needed air. A good day started with a fresh cup and it was the only way she raised four children almost single handedly.

 

She remembered how once, when Annie had screwed up one of the drops, Rio had been so angry he wanted to smash the damn Keurig sitting on her coffee table. If she had to guess now, he was probably upset he couldn’t get his tea fix before the bad news broke.

 

What was she doing here? She wondered to herself. He had pointed a gun to her head more than once, told her she was nothing more than work. And yet here they were, travelling together like a regular couple on vacation. Rio had that effect on her. The ability to make her feel like this, this thing between them was something else altogether. But at the same time, made her feel like it was all just in her head.

 

“Yeah yeah, just get there tonight yeah? Great.”

 

Rio’s was using his business voice. She thought that was the only voice he used with her, until she began to peel off his layers and realised he was capable of something much softer. He was talking on the phone, no doubt irritated by something judging from that tick in his jaw and the way his shoulders were set. He was pacing around in the small kitchenette, oblivious to the fact that she was already awake.

 

He was an attractive man. She knew from the moment she saw him in her kitchen, waving a golden gun in front of her face like it was nothing important. The attraction she had felt for him then was a small spark, burning somewhere in her belly. How she could be simultaneously deathly afraid of someone and yet so attracted was something that eluded her. But now, looking at him in his black buttoned-down shirt and jeans, and the dumb way he wore his hoodie half on half off, she couldn’t take her eyes off him. It seemed he had the ability to shift the gravity of the room toward him no matter where he was.

 

“You awake already? Thought you were never gon’ wake up.’” Rio made his way back into the living room. “Thanks for the coffee. Want some?” Beth teased while raising her cup to him. He made a face of disgust before picking up his mug of tea and sipping on it.

 

“I dunno why you drink that shit. Tastes like crap and when the caffeine’s gone, you start shaking like some junkie.” He leans back into the seat, his brows still knitted. Something from that call must have pissed him off greatly.

 

“Well, some of us don’t have people doing everything for us. And this, happens to be the source of life for normal people like me.” Beth rolled her eyes. How many times were they going to have this conversation about coffee?

 

“Get dressed, we’ll go take a walk.” He was curt, and that previously relaxed air surrounding him was gone. Beth wanted to ask, but decided not to. Not like he ever answered her questions when she asked.

She pulled out the outfit she’d packed for this trip. He said was business and warned her not to pack any of her Mom dresses or blouses with the floral prints or he’d send her straight back on an airplane. She had intentionally gone shopping for something more badass and completely out of her usual taste. Annie and Ruby had helped. She remembered picking out a black wrap dress that she thought would do the job, but Annie had immediately shoved it back onto the rack. Instead, picking out a black v neck t-shirt, leather jacket and a pair of too tight high waisted jeans for her.

 

While it wasn’t really her thing, she’d have to admit that it did look nice on her. The t-shirt was cut low enough to show off a tiny bit of her cleavage and at certain angles, the lace on the black bra was visible. The black jeans clung to her every curve, cinching in her waist and showcasing her bottom. Thank god she didn’t have to buy boots, Ruby deciding that the ones she had were practical and plain enough so they didn’t give away any Momma vibes.

 

Shrugging on the leather jacket, she thanked Annie for picking out the one with the ridiculous hoodie attached to it. Despite what her research had said about Mexico having pleasantly warm winters, it was getting slightly chilly with it being cloudy out. Pulling on her boots, while walking toward the door, she had hardly realised Rio was watching her until she looked up and saw his eyes focused right where the V had dipped lower when bent down to put on her shoes. She immediately straightened her posture and cleared her throat. Rio looked away, his jaw clenched tight as they both walked out of the suite. Elizabeth thought her reaction to him staring was ridiculous, he was just inside her hours before. But when he got into one of his moods, it made her more guarded.

 

Stepping into the cool streets of the city, it was obvious Rio was beginning to relax. He brought her to a cafe nearby, set in one of the richest neighborhoods in the city. He had to order for her, letting out a slight laugh when she admitted she had never heard of let alone tasted half of the menu items.

 

It was delicious, and their late lunch was filled with casual conversation about her children, bad food choices and recipe discussions. He tick in his jaw was gone and sipping on his second cup of tea, he seemed more relax. Fingers twisting in her lap, she wondered it would be a good time to ask about what was bothering him previously. She knew it was a bad idea and there was a risk she would set off one of his bad moods again, but that was the thing about Beth. She had to know. Couldn’t let it go.

 

“So...what made you so pissed just now?” Beth almost regretted the words the moment they left her mouth. He instantly furrowed his brows in annoyance.

 

“Why you gotta ask, Darlin. It was work.”

 

She steeled her spine. “Well, then I have the right to know, since we’re partners.” Her chin jutted up in indignance, matching his steely gaze with one of her own.

 

“This above your paygrade.” he drawled charmingly.

 

“Oh yeah? We’re being paid the same last I heard. 50-50 right?” Beth knew she was pushing his buttons, but the words came out before she even had the chance to think them through. Silently, she cursed whatever ancestors had left her with a ridiculously stubborn gene.

 

Rio sucked in a deep breath before setting his mug down on the table. Almost as if willing himself to calm down.


“It’s nothin’. I got it settled. Trust me yeah?” His eyes were weary, almost as if he was tired of arguing with her.

“Trust you? How? When you don’t tell me anything?” Beth crossed her arms and leaned back into her seat in resignation. It wasn’t true though. He had told her many things, like how he loved the feel of her against him, how he wanted her to be more, be a boss bitch and how he wanted to teach her everything. But there were also so many things she didn’t know about him.

 

He clenched his jaw in obvious irritation. But then, he reached across the coffee table and brushed a lock of stray hair from her face. An act of truce, a peace offering.


“Alright. If you wanna know. Demon was supposed to be here an hour after us with the boys to do some recon. But something cropped up and he missed the flight. He’ll still be here before the meeting tho.” He shrugged it off, dismissing the importance of it all.

 

Wait. Rio brought his muscle along? Seems like this meeting wasn’t gonna be as simple as he laid it out to be. Beth relented anyways. Happy to have heard the answer spill from his mouth.

 

“Alright.” she nodded.

 

“Alright? We cool? No more questions?” He smirked at her. The tension between them disippating into the air.

 

“I don’t always ask many questions. I only ask the important ones.”

 

“Stubborn. Gotta teach you a lesson.” He muttered under his breath before standing up, his palm itching to spank her bottom. Leaving a crisp bill on the table, he walked out of the cafe, Beth following obediently behind.

 

They spend the next hours walking down the street, checking out random stores and some scenic places Rio had wanted to show her. She’d thought of taking a few photos, but dressed in all black, she doubt she’d want to print them out. What would she say when someone asked why she was there, and why she was dressed like a gangbanger?

 

“Smile...” Rio placed his arm over her shoulder, before turning on the selfie mode on his phone and captured a photo of them. Beth barely had time to smile before he pressed the shutter, shocked that Rio would ever take a photo. He didn’t strike her as a photo person.

 

“What...I got Instagram too.” He scoffed at her before looking at his phone to check the photo, then showing it to her. He was smiling, all teeth too. And despite the shades he wore, she was pretty sure his eyes would have been smiling as well. They looked so different next to each other, almost like day and night. But somehow, it made her feel warm and fuzzy inside. “Send it to me.” She asked, or more like demanded, before returning him his phone.

 

“Only if you say please.” Rio lowered his one, before giving him that wicked smirk and walking toward a toy store.

 

They window shopped for a little, he picked out a dinosaur for Marcus who was apparently going through a Paleontologist phase. Beth mostly looked at the intricate toys, even though income was slightly better now that she was working with Rio again, she had become much more prudent in her spending. She itched to get new toys for the kids, but put every toy she picked up back into their rightful place. Rio noticed, but knowing Elizabeth, she wouldn’t let him buy anything for her, or her kids.

 

 

As the night approached, Rio got more tense, shedding his previous holiday mood in favour of his usual business-like demeanor. At 7pm, a black sedan rolled up to the hotel. Beth recognized Demon in the driver seat and as Rio and her sat into the backseat, she felt her nerves begin to build up as well, her feet bouncing mindlessly against the carpet of the car.

 

“Relax Mami.” Rio comforted her as he slid something into her hand.

 

“Put this in your purse yeah? And don’t forget how to use it.” The metal felt cool in her hands, heavier than she had remembered. How Rio had managed to bring his guns out of the country and here with him was a mystery.

 

Holding it in her hands, she walked through the steps in her mind. The ones Rio had forced her to burn it into her memory. Safety off, and finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot. She thought of how he had stepped behind her, his body melded into hers at the firing range, his hands over hers, teaching her the proper way.

 

And now, there was a chance she was actually going to shoot someone. Clearing the thoughts from her head, she tucked the gun away in her purse, her hand still shaking. Rio placed his large warm hands on top of hers, as if trying to calm her down.

 

“You wanted to be here. So own it. Be that Boss Bitch.”

 

They pulled up at a club and Elizabeth never felt more out of place. The loud music made it hard to think and as they wove through the crowd, she tried to see if anyone noticed that they weren’t here to have a good time. Pushing through and out through a nondescript looking door that said “Employees Only”, they stepped into a warehouse.

 

“Welcome to Mexico, Rio! We’ve been waiting to meet you!” A stout young man in a gaudy looking suit sat behind a rickety-looking wooden desk, flanked by men on each side. His hair was a greasy black, combed back in a manner that made him look older than he was. But the most off putting thing about him was the young girl perched on his lap, wearing so little, she left nothing to imagination. She couldn’t have been older than eighteen.

 

Beth withheld her need to roll her eyes. He reminded her of Dean, but even then, Dean had the decency of hiding his love for sweet young things, albeit doing a bad job at it. Rio cocked his head up in a nod, acknowledging his welcome but not offering anything else. He stood casually, confidently with a look that seemed like he was...bored? While Beth, on the other hand, struggled to stand still, discreetly rocking on the balls of her feet, trying to find a position that didn’t give away her nervousness.

 

Bullet and Cisco were here now, along with a few others that she didn’t instantly recognize. She does see Eddie though, surprised Rio let him come. Guess he didn’t talk afterall. Even with all the muscle by their side, she couldn’t find it in herself to relax, her mommy senses warning her that this wasn’t just a simple get to know each other kind of meeting.

 

Sergio moved to stand, the sweet young thing attached to him by the hip, even when he sauntered towards Rio, his motley crew of muscle trailing close behind. “I’ve heard so much about you from the old man. You’re good at what you do yeah? Didn’t think you’d be too pussy to up the amount of goods you were distributin’” he spoke with a thick accent that made Beth uncomfortable. It reminded her of the sleazy cartel members she watched on TV.

 

Rio just laughed, his head tilted back slightly. As if he wasn’t affected by any of the tauntings.

 

“Yeah, your old man must have remembered wrong. Not as good as he thought. So we keep the arrangement as it was before yeah?” He was downplaying his capabilities, trying to keep things status quo before he figured out what Sergio had up his sleeve.

 

Huffing, Sergio waved his hands dismissively. He walked toward Elizabeth, eyeing her from head to toe, momentarily stopping at her ample bosoms lustily. “You haven’t introduced this beauty to me yet. Is she the reason why you’re holding back? Worried she’d get caught in the crossfire?” He ran a finger along Beth’s jaw, stopping at her chin, forcing it upwards, as if examining a carton of goods.

 

Rio’s jaw ticked and she could see his knuckles turn white with the force he was clenching his fists.

 

“She’s my partner, Elizabeth.” He said before reaching over to snake an arm around her waist possessively. Suddenly, Beth understood why he didn’t want her here. She had initially thought it was because he belittled her, didn’t think she was worthy of coming to these meetings. But now, she could see how easily they would think she was his weakness. The way he reacted to Sergio touching her, the way he couldn’t reign back his need to claim her as his own.

 

“We decided it’d be good to keep things the same until we’re sure we’d be able to handle the increased...responsibilities. It’d also be good for us to learn about your working style before changing the game. I’m sure you understand.” Elizabeth put on the voice she used with the teachers in school when her kids were caught misbehaving. Authoritative but yet still sugary sweet enough for her to usually get her way. She hoped she sounded way more confident than she felt.

 

Sergio let out a few disapproving clicks with his tongue. Walking away from them and dismissing Beth’s well worded speech with a flick of his wrist. “If you can’t play by the new rules, then I guess it’s game over for you huh. Pity, she would have been perfect on my lap.”

 

Turning around to leave, Beth could see his men reaching for their guns. And before she could say anything to smooth over the situation, Rio had pushed her down to the ground while pulling out his own.

 

The sound of gunfire was deafening. Momentarily, Beth heard nothing but the rapid firing and the incessant ringing in her ear. Someone was pulling her up and dragging her behind a wooden crate but she could hardly register anything, her hands shaking as she braced herself.

 

“Shit!” She heard Rio mutter under his breath, the sound of gunfire unceasing. She felt a hand on her neck pushing her down when she tried to look over the crate, tried to access the situation. Her brain told her to get the fuck out of the warehouse and out through the door they came in. They wouldn’t open fire in a crowded club would they?

 

But between them and the door stood at least twenty of Sergio’s men, each holding a gun, hell bent on keeping them inside. She opened her eyes again when she smelled something coppery in the air, instantly regretting it when she saw blood on the ground and a few collapsed bodies. She wanted to scream, she wanted to run, she wanted to do something other than waiting behind a crate. Reaching into her purse for the gun Rio had given her, she clutched on to it, her hands violently shaking. Was she really going to shoot someone? She could barely even stand, let alone aim and pull the trigger.

 

She took a deep breath, preparing herself to leave her hiding spot, pick someone, anyone from the opposite side of the room and shoot. She stood up and instantly, everything she mentally prepped herself for left her mind. Instead, her eyes scanned the room for Rio. Her previous plan of wanting to aim and shoot flying out of the window. She needed to know he was safe, that he wasn’t one of the men lying on the floor right now.

 

Just then, she heard the metal doors of the warehouse open and the sound of automatic guns firing. Immediately, she felt Rio press himself on top of her, pushing them both to the ground. Her gun dropping to the ground with the impact of how they landed. Stinging pain filled her mind as she held her head to the ground, fear gripping her again, sending her mind into overdrive. She could hardly breathe even though she was gasping, desperate for the air to fill her lungs.

 

“It’s ok Mami, come on. Breathe with me.” Rio had huddled around her, behind the crate again, holding her in his arms, willing her to cooperate, to slow her breathing. But she couldn’t. Tears filled her eyes as she opened and closed her mouth in desperation, clawing at Rio who placed a steadying palm on her chest. “Focus on my breathing. Come on, Elizabeth, breathe with me.” It was a wonder she could still hear him over the sound of guns firing in the background. She willed her breathing to slow, following his fast but steady breaths.

 

“Are you hurt?” He asked hurriedly, she shook her head no, but when she tried standing up, she immediately felt a searing pain in her head. Reaching up, she felt something warm and wet against her hairline. “Shit, stay here. Don’t move.” Rio ordered her, peeping beyond the crate to fire a few more bullets.

 

“Boss, she’s here. Time to move.” Bullet and Mr Cisco flanked Rio while he dragged Beth to her feet, making a run for the exit. Someone else had entered the warehouse, someone who was helping them? She barely made out a woman in red before being dragged out of the warehouse and shoved into a waiting car at the back. The loud sounds of gunfire fading into the background.

 

The car sped away into the night of Mexican streets, her heart still beating a mile a minute, her ears still ringing from before. Rio was driving, his face stoic, unreadable. Bullet and Mr Cisco had returned to the warehouse to ensure things were wrapped up, leaving her and Rio to the quietness of the car. He turned to look at her worriedly occasionally but mostly leaving her to calm down as he sped through the streets. He circled the block twice before deciding they weren’t being followed and begun driving back to the hotel.

 

As they turned into the back entrance, Beth let out an audible sigh of relief. Her head was throbbing and her couldn’t stop the churning in her stomach, but at least she knew they were safe for now. She opened the door to step out into the cool air but noticed Rio hadn’t exited the vehicle. Walking towards his side of the car, she pulled open the door only to notice that his usual cool facade was broken by the sheen of sweat coating his face and neck, his pallor paler than usual.

 

“Can’t a man catch a breath?” He tried to chuckle, only to let out a grimace while clutching his side.

 

“Oh my god! You’re hurt!” Beth shrieked. Whatever composure she had regained during the short car ride lost to panic and worry. His hands were stained red and even in the dim lights, she could see his black shirt matted and sticky with blood.

 

“Ain’t nothin’, Darlin. You could always kiss me better.” He joked while slowly moving his body to exit the car. He stumbled a little, Beth instinctively reached out to catch him. Rio put his arm around her for support as they entered the staff elevator, making their way up to the penthouse suite.

 

“We need to go to the hospital Rio! You’re bleeding out!”

 

Rio dismissed her with a shake of his head, collapsing on the sofa, instantly staining the grey a dark shade of red. He pulled out his burner and dialed for someone, Beth hoping it was an ambulance. All she could do was grab a washcloth and press it against his wound, the blood seeping through the clean white fabric quickly.

 

“Everything OK? Yeah, send Eddie to the penthouse. We’re ok, just got to get a bullet out.” He barked into the phone, even though he sounded a lot less intense than he usually did. Beth didn’t know she was crying, until she felt him brush away her tears. He’d been shot in the warehouse but didn’t make a sound throughout the entire drive. He’d been shot while calming her down during her panic attack. She burst into sobs the moment Rio pushed a strand of hair behind her ear. Inconsolable, she let out huge gasps and broken wails while he continued to soothe her.

 

“I won’t die, Ma. Eddie’s on his way to patch me up. You can save the tears for when I’m dead.” He tried to pull her into his embrace, but the movement caused him to let out a sharp hiss. “Stop moving! Hey Rio! Rio! Don’t fall asleep!” Beth sobbed while shouting at Rio to keep him awake.

 

As his eyes struggled to stay open, Beth could feel terror grip her. She had been afraid of Rio when he pointed a gun at her head, when he threatened to kill her, but those moments were nothing compared to this. She couldn’t lose him, she didn’t give a shit about everything he’d done, didn’t care that she didn’t know everything about him.

 

“Please, Rio. Stay with me.” She begged, hands gripping his tightly, willing him to stay with her just a little while longer. It might have been hours, minutes, seconds, but the suite door opened and Bullet pulled her aside as Eddie knelt beside him and pulled out various equipment.

 

She didn’t even stop to wonder where Eddie got all the tools he needed, or the skills to help. There was only one thought on her mind as she watched his blood stain the carpet crimson.

 

“I need you.”

 


 

 

Here's how I envisioned Beth's outfit!

Outfits perfectos para cuando te despiertas con actitud badass Badass outfits ideas

Chapter Text

It was almost dawn when Eddie finished up on Rio, finally stitching the wound close after what seemed like hours. They’d move him to the bed and started working on Beth’s head wound. It didn’t need to be sewn shut, but she did have a nasty gash on her head.

 

Yet Beth couldn’t feel the pain. She stared at him, shrouded in her own daze, her mind blank after running on overdrive the past few hours. Eddie had come just in time, his immediate course of action to remove the bullet from Rio before he started hemorrhaging. But digging out the bullet had been something else altogether.

 

Despite slipping into unconsciousness, Rio was thrashing about instinctively as Eddie dug deep into his side trying to retrieve that damned metal. Beth helped hold him down, soothing him by whispering in his ear. Not that it helped. She wasn’t sure who needed to be soothed, because she was sobbing so uncontrollably that Demon had to put a reassuring hand on her back when the bullet finally came out.

 

Even then, she couldn’t take a breath. Rio had started bleeding even more thanks to how much Eddie had to pry his wound open to reach for the bullet. She briefly registered them yelling about something and then Eddie pulled out a tube with needles on two ends. And with a rehearsed familiarity, Bullet had instantly put the needle into his arm, and Eddie put the other into Rio’s.

 

That night, Beth learned that was a field transfusion and it wasn’t the first time Bullet had given blood to Rio under similar circumstances. Eddie joked that that was the only reason Rio kept Bullet around. When they were finally done, Demon had joined them, food and drinks in hand. Beth actually felt safe around them.

 

She learned from Bullet and Demon that Eddie had almost completed med school when his mother had passed. It hit him hard and he dropped out, moving nickel bags on the street when he got into some trouble. That’s when he was picked up by Rio who took him under his wing, made him their resident Medic. The whole FBI debacle was just a misunderstanding. Turner trying to make them turn against each other.

 

“My head is throbbing, I think I’ll go lay down for awhile.” Beth announced, pushing the takeout boxes away from her. Bullet stopped her in between bites, before sliding an air ticket across the table.

 

“Boss said to give this to you, in case anything went down.” Beth stared at the ticket. It was Sunday, they were supposed to take the afternoon flight out, giving her time to get home and prepare for the kids to get back. But now, here they were.

 

“And who’s going to take care of him when I leave?”

 

“Uhhh, us? It’s not our first rodeo Mrs. B” Eddie quipped back with a full mouth of chow mien.

 

“Well, I don’t trust you guys. I’ll stay till he’s well enough to move.” She declared before walking back into the bedroom to check on Rio.

 

He wasn’t as pale anymore, but his breathing was still laboured and that sickly sheen of sweet was still all over him. Eddie had said he’d probably burn up before getting better. She walked to the bathroom to wet a washcloth before wiping him down and then placing a fresh one on his forehead.

 

Sitting on the bed next to him as gently as possible, she pulled out her phone.

 

5 new text messages, 2 new missed calls. She hadn’t said good night to her kids last night, so the calls were probably from Dean.

 

She dialed him first.

 

“Hey Bethie, the kids missed you last night. Why didn’t you pick up?” Beth sighed into the phone.

 

“I was busy with work Dean. Remember I’ve been on a work trip with Rio?” Dean would never get used to Beth working with him, but over time, he learnt to shut up about it unless he wanted another bullet in his torso.

 

Before he could reply, Beth followed up.

 

“Oh, I won’t be able to get back by tonight, but I’ll get Annie to come babysit till I can fly out.”

 

There were a series of protests, questions and then complaints bwhich caused Beth to roll her eyes.

 

“How are the kids, can I talk to them?” There’s a slight shuffling behind the phone before she hears Emma’s voice come through.

 

“Hi Mommy! We missed you last night! Will you be home tonight?” She was adorable, at that chatty age where she couldn’t stop talking.

 

“Hey Honey, I miss you. No, unfortunately, Mommy’s got to stay here for a few more days. You remember Mummy’s friend? The one that let you trace his bird last time? He’s sick, so I can only come back when he gets better.”

 

Emma had the opportunity of meeting Rio one night, when she woke up from her sleep in search of Beth in the kitchen. She’d taken a liking to Rio, after she noticed the bird tattoo on his neck. She’d reach out to touch it and he’d let her, holding her until she had fallen asleep in his arms. It was one of the times she had been smitten by him.

 

“Can I say hello to him? I want to tell him to get better soon.” Emma’s sweet voice came through the phone.

 

In that moment, as if sensing someone talking about him, Rio shifts on the bed, a slight groan breaking out from the movement.

 

“Honey, Rio’s sleeping now...” she spoke in a hushed voice.

 

“Yeah, I’m awake now. Who’s lookin’ for me?” His voice tho weak, made her feel so relieved.

 

“Rio! Go back to sleep, it’s nothing. I’m just talking to Emma.”

 

“Lil’ Mama? She askin’ for me?” He answered while motioning for her to pass the phone over. She refused, insisting he lay back, readjusting the cold towel on his head. Beth put Emma on loudspeaker.

 

“Emma, Rio’s awake now. You wanted to tell him something?”

 

“Rio! Rio! Mama, said you were sick. You know what always makes me feel better?”

 

Rio smiled, despite the pain.

 

“Oh yeah, Lil’ Ma? What’s that?”

 

“Kisses! Get well soon Rio, Muah!” Beth couldn’t help but chuckle beside him. Children...they were so easy.

 

“Thanks Lil’ Mama, I’ll see you soon.”

 

“HE CALLED ME LIL’ MAMA JANE, TOLD YOU HE LIKES ME!” A shout rang out from the phone, but it sounded distant, Emma was definitely talking to Jane.

 

“Hello?” An uncertain voice came over the phone.

 

“Hey..” Rio drawled. Jane giggled, Beth imagined her with the phone at her ear, blushing with excitement.

 

“If you call Emma, Lil’ Ma, and my Momma Mama, then what are you gonna call me?” She asked and Beth clamped over her mouth to stop the fits of giggles from erupting.

 

“Well, you’re the littlest right?” Rio asked.

 

“Yeah...”

 

“So I’ll call you Mini Ma. How’s that sound?”

 

“I’d like that...”Jane replied coyly, before shouting behind her to Emma about having a nickname as well. The two of them getting into an argument about who Rio liked better.

 

“Alright alright, you girls. Tell Kenny and Danny I love them. I’ll see you guys real soon ok?” Beth sent them a few flying kisses before hanging up. The way Rio had interacted with both her daughters had sent a warmth blooming in her heart. He was just so good with them. It was adorable.

 

“Sorry about that. They’re...”

 

“They’re just like their Mami” Rio drawled, before coughing slightly, wincing at the pain. Beth was at his side almost instantly with a cup of water in hand. Her hands flying to his chest to soothe him gently.

 

He lay back down with his eyes closed, before his breathing quickly evened out. Beth snuck out to the bathroom to make another call, not wanting to wake him this time.

 

She called Annie to let her know about what went down and got her to agree to babysit for a day...or maybe more. She didn’t want to be away from her kids, but she also didn’t know if it’d be safe for them to leave right now.

 

Before long, they were in a three way call, questions falling faster than Beth could ever keep up.

 

“He got shot?!!!!!”

“What happened???”

“Are you ok?!”

“Tell us everything!”

 

So she did. She told them about the meeting, how it hadn’t really been a meeting than a power play and how Rio tried to protect her, ended up getting shot. And then a woman in red appeared and somehow they’d made it out of there.

 

Who was that woman in red?

 

“Hey guys, I gotta go. Talk to you guys again when I’m back ok?” Beth wrapped up the call before stepping out into the living room, but not before checking on Rio who seemed to be ok despite the rising temperature.

 

“Hey Demon, can I ask you something?”

The three boys had made themselves comfortable in the living room, now surfing through the cable channels available. Demon shrugged, returning his eyes to the tv.

 

“Who was that woman in red that was in the warehouse?” She asked in that sugary sweet voice she used when she wanted something.


“Don’t think Boss would be happy with me telling you, Mrs. B.”

 

“Yeah, well. Your boss is injured, and I’m his partner so I have the right to know.” She switched to her Momma voice, arms crossed, feet apart. Was she really trying to intimidate Demon? Last she remembered, he was the one that held the gun to her head.

 

The three boys looked at each other, before Demon let out a sigh.

 

“That’s Sergio’s sister. Boss was helping her take him down. That’s why he came for the meeting, had to get Sergio out from his little hiding hole.”

 

Beth gasped in shock. He was bait. And he never told her. The whole story about reinforcing business relations, meeting the new player. It was all just a story. She stormed out of the living room and into the bedroom, wanting to rouse Rio from his sleep just so she could give him an earful. He still didn’t trust her.

 

She placed a hand on his arm, wanting to wake him so she could ask him more questions. But instead, she was shocked by how warm he felt. Eddie was right, he really was burning up. She took the towel off his head, wanting to get him a fresh one.

 

When she walked back from the bathroom, he was groaning in bed. Mumbling, twisting his body around the sheets. “Hey hey hey, calm down, calm down.” She ran her palms against his back. He was so hot.

 

“Marcus...” Rio’s brows furrowed, his mumbling was getting more incoherent. Something about climbing out of a window, running and to stay low. He began thrashing about and Elizabeth could barely hold him down.

 

“Demon! Bullet! EDDIE GET IN HERE!” She shouted as they burst into the room, Demon and Bullet immediately trying to hold him down before he tore his stitches.

 

“These God damned nightmares again. He’s burning up, let's hope this helps him.” Eddie took a syringe out and injected him. He thrashed around a little more, before letting out a quiet “Elizabeth...” and falling into a peaceful sleep.

 

The three guys stared at her for a little before walking out the room. Eddie stayed for awhile.

 

“I gave him some Morphine. It helps him sleep better. His fever should break by tonight, but if you could change his towels, that’d be great. When he wakes, he’ll probably be out of it, but just let me know if things get worse.” Beth simply nodded as he walked out of the room.

 

Somehow, no matter how many times he’d lied to her, how many times he’d pointed a gun at her, she always came back to him. It’s almost as if he had this invisible hold over her. She wanted him so badly, but at the same time, she was terrified of having feelings for someone like him.

 

She stripped off her clothes, getting ready for the shower. Her head still hurt, but it wasn’t as bad as it was. Eddie had given her some pills for the pain. How that dude got his hands on all sorts of medical equipment was a magic trick she didn’t want to know the reveal of.

 

Stepping into the shower, she let the warm water surround her. The last hours had been...insane. She could still feel the adrenaline running through the veins, her skin itching with the need to fight or run. Eddie had told her to keep her hair dry so her wound could recover faster, but she really needed this. The soapy suds washing away some of the tension she’d been carrying around all day. She thought of Rio, how she thought this was it. She would be the one that have killed him, even if she didn’t pull the trigger. How scared she had been to imagine a world without him. She wrapped her arms around herself, taking a deep breath, before shutting off the shower and stepping out into the room.

 

The clothes she wore were stained with blood. His blood. So much for purchasing a new outfit. The sun was pouring in from the windows now. She’d pulled on Rio’s t-shirt and a pair of her own sweatpants. She didn’t plan on staying past today, so her outfit choices were truly...limited. Peeking into the living room, she saw the three boys spread out across the floor and sofa, asleep. Apparently they’d gotten housekeeping to come and have the entire bloodied thing replaced and no questions had been asked. Rio must either own this place or spent enough money here to basically own it any way.

 

She pulled the curtains so they could catch some shut eye. They hadn’t slept a wink last night and neither did she. Walking back into the room, she laid down next to a sleeping Rio, careful not to get too close just in case she hurt him. And the moment her head hit the pillow, she fell asleep.

 

It was hours later when Beth woke up from her nap. The sun had already set, but the living room bustling with activity, she could hear the rustling of paper bags and clinking of glasses. The boys must have gotten takeout.

 

Opening her eyes, she was a little shocked to see Rio’s own staring at her. He was awake.

 

“How long have you been awake? You feeling better?” He was staring so intently at her that she felt a need to avert her gaze. He lets out a laugh. Not a chuckle, but a rather loud, ringing laughter that’s uncharacteristic coming from him.

 

It’s then, Beth noticed his eyes glazed over, his movements a little more unrestricted than before, as though he wasn’t feeling as much pain.

 

Ohhh.

 

The morphine. Eddie must have come back and given him another dose of it while she was asleep. That explains why this Rio, was behaving a little weirdly.

 

“You’re beautiful, Elizabeth. You know that? Never needed any of that botox shit you tried to sell me.” He drawled on, bursting into another fit of laughter after he finished his last word.

 

High Rio was officially, adorable. Beth thought to herself.

 

“Alright, calm down big boy. Or you’re gonna hurt yourself.” She sat up crossed legged, trying to get him to settle down into a comfortable position, propping pillows up behind him.

 

“Oh yeah. I got shot. Almost forgot! You know, that only happened twice in my twenty five years of doin’ this shit. Haven’t gotten a bullet in me for fifteen years, and then you pop up and BANG! I got a hole in me.” He bursts into laughter again and she swears, if she heard him laugh once more, her heart was going to explode.

 

Beth blushed. Then, being uncharacteristically her, she decided to apologise. For manipulating her way into this meeting, for being his weakness, for distracting him and for causing him to take a bullet in his torso.

 

“Ain’t got nothin’ to be sorry about, Mami. I’d do it for you again any day.” And there it was. High Rio making her heart flutter. Making her feel like...this thing between them wasn’t just in her head. Wasn’t just her making up fairytales after a broken marriage.

 

He ran a pinky finger along the edge of her hair, frowning when he made contact with the wound on her head.

 

“You got hurt.” His voice was now lower, as if her injury had pulled him out from his morphine-induced reverie. He pouted almost, eyes transfixed on the wound on her head. She wanted to laugh. When did Rio pout? Annie and Ruby would have a field day if they saw this.

 

“I’m fine. It’s not too bad, I barely even notice it.

 

Thank you for everything you did in there.” She mumbled incoherently, his gaze setting every inch of her body aflame. He scooted closer to her. She could see the circles under his eyes, the exhaustion bleeding out of every pore.

 

“You should rest, Eddie said you’d need the sleep.” She tried pushing him back, to lie on his back again. But he refused. Instead, he closed the gap between them and captured her lips between his.

 

Soft. That was the only thing Beth could think of when he kissed her. So soft and so gentle, almost like an apology, as if he wanted to tell her that he’d do it for her again over and over. That he would do anything to keep her safe.

 

She didn’t want to break the kiss, but Rio realised she was crying and was softly shushing at her like he would a toddler.

 

“I thought you were dead! Last night, when you...when you wouldn’t keep your eyes open. When you were bleeding all over the carpet. When Eddie tried to dig the bullet out of you and you were in so much pain. I thought you were gone.” She hiccupped. “I was scared.”

 

Rio looked at her with amusement. His eyes soft, warm and comforting.

 

“I’m here aren’t I? It ain’t so easy to kill a King.” He joked, hands still stroking at her hair.

 

“Yeah, and you better stay here for good. Can’t have a kingdom without someone to rule.” She sniffled, trying in vain to stop her tears from flowing.

 

“Don’t gotta worry bout that. I know my Kingdom’s well-taken care of...afterall, I made you Queen right?” He laughed, a burst of deep bellied laughter that echoed through the room.

 

Beth didn’t know if it was the morphine talking, or if it was really him. Either way, she accepted it. Accepted his declaration, accepted the appointment and kept it safely tucked away in her heart.

Chapter Text

It took Rio almost 3 days to get back on his feet and that was already an amazing feat considering how Eddie was sure he would bust his stitches the moment he sat up.

 

Emelia, Sergio’s sister, had arranged for them to fly home on her personal plane, a token of appreciation for helping get rid of her brother. She had been on the tarmac when they left, Rio and her exchanging a few words and a brief hug. 

 

Rio had been strangely quiet ever since he’d spoken to the boys and started making arrangements to get them all home. It seemed that all the walls she’d manage to break down had come up again. But this time even higher and bigger. She wasn’t even sure if she’d be able to break them down again and it made her feel like there was a huge knot in her belly. 

 

He’d barely even looked at her in the eye, even though his body still sought hers out when sleep took him. The only sign of affection being the way he curled around her, arms around her waist when she knew he was in deep sleep. She’d savoured those moments but that only made the waking ones even more painful to get through. 

 

Now as they sat on the plane, her face burned with the memory of what transpired the last time they flew together. She glanced over at him in the next seat, only to see him buried in work, his eyes never leaving his phone, a tick in his jaw and a rigidness in his entire posture. She wanted to talk to him, play 20 questions, roll her eyes at him, but everything seemed weird right now. Instead, she let out a huge sigh. 

 

“You got a question you wanna ask, ask.” Rio broke the silence, a scowl on his face. Elizabeth was taken aback by his tone. The hard questions she had at the tip of her tongue now swallowed. Buried in the depths of her belly. 

 

“Are you feeling better?” Her words were hesitant, her hands wringing together in her lap, insistent on finding something, just anything to distract her from this version of Rio that she felt was a stranger. 

 

“Yeah, not my first time getting shot.” His answer was cold, clipped and quashed the tiny flicker of hope in her heart that they would be able to talk things out during the flight back. Elizabeth simply nodded, then averted her gaze to focus on the clouds outside the window. Refusing to even look at him, if all he wanted to do was send cold looks her way. 

 

Somehow, she had fallen asleep and awakened to a quickly descending plane and a pillow placed under her head. Her neck was stiff, but the cushioning had helped prevent her head from pressing against the hardness of the plane window and she was thankful for it. She muttered an almost silent thank you to Rio who simply ignored her. 

 

Once they’d stepped onto the tarmac, he’d swiftly instructed Eddie to take her home, before stepping into his Cadillac alone and speeding away into the night. No goodbyes, no acknowledgments. Nothing. If the flicker of hope had been stomped out by his terrible behavior on the flight, this felt like swallowing hot coals. Beth felt an indescribable ache in her chest that she could not explain, and one she refused to acknowledge. The past few days meant nothing to him, even though it had meant everything to her. 

 

Even Eddie gave her a look that seemed almost pitiful. He had offered to tune the radio to a station of her preference and tried to make small talk during the journey home, but Beth couldn’t hold a decent conversation no matter how hard she tried. Watching the streetlights pass her by, she let the darkness of the night envelope her as she stepped out of the car and bade Eddie a hasty goodbye. Once she had checked that all her children were asleep, she sent Annie home, refusing to answer any of her questions. Then collapsed into her bed and cried until her chest felt like it was collapsing on itself, until she was breathless and lightheaded. She waited for sleep to claim her so she could finally could be numb from the pain. But it never came.

 

_

 

The moment Rio stepped out of the plane, he had been overcome by an overwhelming need to get away from her. The entire flight, her scent of lavender and milk had flooded all his senses. He was suffocating from his need for her. She was this close to him, wanting more from him and he fought the urge to reach out and touch her. But he couldn’t. Couldn’t let her break his barriers, couldn’t let himself get so close to her again. So he did what he did best - cut her out. It took almost every ounce of his self control to ignore her attempts at making small talk, knowing well enough that every time she spoke, it was like he had fallen under her spell. Even the arguments they had drew him impossibly closer to her. Made him want her more, both mind and body. 

 

And he couldn’t. He couldn’t do that to her. One meeting was all it took for her to get hurt. If he hadn’t been there, the bullet would have been in her. She would have been the one having to go through all this pain. He ripped himself away from her as fast as he could, before he did something stupid, like reach out to tuck that wayward strand of hair from her face, or kiss her goodbye. He couldn’t even wish her goodnight without knowing that his voice would break and the cracks would surface beneath the walls he had built. So he did what he did best, leave without a word. 

 

Now that he was in his car, he let out an exasperated growl and gripped the steering wheel as tight as he could, hoping it would help him regain some of that control he so willingly let go of around her. 

 

I don’t deserve her. She doesn’t deserve this. 

 

Elizabeth Boland had everything she wanted, her children, a husband, her friends and a life away from crime. He couldn’t give that to her and he couldn’t replace what all those things meant in her heart. Deep down, he knew she wanted more. The risks put adrenaline in her veins and the crime made her mind work in ways that surprised even him. It brought out a side of her that was vibrant, deep and dangerous. A stark contrast to the pastel, white picket fence life she’d been living. 

 

But it also put her in danger. And even though for as long as he’d known her, he’d been trying to coax the boss bitch out of her, amazed when the confident, smart as hell side of her emerged from the carefully curated personality she thought she couldn't shed, it also attracted danger. 

 

At first, she'd just been an attractive housewife that had piqued his interest. Then somehow, he'd become enamored by her cunning games and that unavoidable chemistry that bubbled between them. He thought she meant nothing to her, just an infatuation. But then the shots had been fired and as if on instinct, his only thought had been to protect her, when for as long as he could remember, that instinct was always to protect himself. 

 

He'd always been careful. For Marcus - he never failed to remember. Yet in the moment, he couldn't stop himself from rushing to her, the blood in his veins running cold when he realised she would get hurt. And as much as he wanted her. Badly, so badly it hurt simply to think of her. He wanted her to be safe even more. Even if it meant he couldn't be by her side. 

 

His phone rang. Even though all he wanted to do in that moment was to go home to Marcus and allow that little boy to fill up the void in his chest again, he picked up. 

 

"Boss, we caught Don stealing. How you want us to deal wit' this?" Demon's voice vibrated off the speakers. Rio had been itching for a fight. If not for the stitches in his side, he'd be at the boxing gym punching bags till his knuckles split. But this, this he could do. Maybe a few bullets would help clear his mind. Put him back in the game again. 

 

 

"5 minutes," Rio spoke before hanging up. He increased the pressure on the accelerator and felt the car surge beneath him. Tilting his head back to lay on the headrest, he mentally prepared himself for a long night ahead. 

 

Stepping into the warehouse, Rio could already feel the memories of seeing her here, standing and waiting for him. The image of her washing over his mind like tide to shore, natural and unavoidable. He shook those thoughts away, steeling himself before walking into a room. 

 

"So, Dom. You stealing from me now?" Rio asked almost as if he was bored. Dom was a lowlife, addicted to the product he was supposed to move, and constantly only doing barely enough to keep him in the clear. If not for his wife and daughter, Rio would have ended him a long time ago. 

 

Dom looked at him, eyes glazed, a foolish glimmer of courage simmering beneath his bruised skin, one that Rio recognised was fuelled by nothing but a chemically induced high. The idiot had the balls to laugh, a crazed crackle of laughter that left spittle and blood flying from his mouth in a rabid manner. 

 

“Thought you’d be too busy fucking that bitch to notice. But I guess you still got your boys doing your work for you.” 

 

Rio clenched his jaw at his words. He knew him bringing Elizabeth along for the trip would raise red flags in his business. But even before that, her coming to the warehouse, him giving her preferential treatment, cleaning up after her messes...Rio was never soft. He treated his men fairly, sometimes even with a sense of justice that had been melded to his bones, but soft was never something he'd associated himself with. 

 

"You wanna say that again?" His voice was dangerous, like a predator trying to intimidate prey. And he'd meant for it to come out that way. Elizabeth had fucked him up inside, but he sure as hell wasn’t going to let anyone know. 

 

Dom met his steely gaze with one of his own. “I hear red heads are wild in bed, but I’ve never seen pussy so good, it’s worth losing business for.” 

 

Rio snapped. His fist clenched in rage as he drew back his arm to punch Dom right in the jaw. The stitches in his side were protesting, but he barely registered the pain as he continued to rain punches on his face. The cracking sound of his nose didn’t quell the anger rising in the pit of his stomach, so he beat the hell out of him until the rage reached a crescendo and the Dom’s face was a bruised, battered and bleeding mess under his knuckles. 

 

Sweat had started to form on his forehead from the sheer exertion, so when he was finally satisfied, he stepped back to admire his masterpiece. “You got more to say?” Rio snarled.

 

Dom simply let out a pained moaned, his mouth no longer able to formulate words even if his mind had wanted to. Reaching to the back of his pants, he pulled out his gun and aimed for Dom’s chest. With a well practiced move, he put two bullets in his chest, before tucking the golden piece back in place. “Thought so.” He muttered, before motioning for his boys to clean up the mess. 

 

Feeling the adrenaline pulse through his veins, he leaned against the wall at the farther edge of the room, watching as his boys dragged the body out and prepared to dispose of it. Another idiot, another day. This was who he was. 

 

Demon walked up to him, motioning to his side, brows knitted. Rio looked down to see a blooming patch of red on his otherwise pristinely white t-shirt. Pressing his fingers to it, he realised he was bleeding. He laughed as he brought his fingers to his dark jeans and wiped away the blood. Waving Demon away as he pulled his jacket closer together to hide the blood stain. 

 

“You take care of this yeah? I got other stuff to handle.” He stood up and regained his composure, before stepping out of the room, and walking towards the exit of the warehouse, thankful for the cool air that helped keep his mind from spiralling towards thoughts of a certain red haired woman. 

 

Then he noticed her. 

 

Leaning against his car, dressed in an all black, she looked beautiful as her skin glowed under the dim light of the far away street lamps. Beautiful, ethereal. Like she belonged here, but also simultaneously too goddess like to be standing outside an abandoned warehouse. 

 

When she finally noticed him, her eyes were bright, filled with a spark of hope, before she straightened her posture and then he saw nothing but determination and her head full of questions. He walked towards her, even though he commanded his body to stay put, to not give in to the gravitational pull she seemed to always have on him. Resistance seemed futile around Elizabeth Boland. 

 

“What are you doing here.” His voice was laced with venom, something he could still manage even though all he wanted to do was reach out and touch her. She was silent for a moment, considering his question. He could see the cogs turning in her head, wondering for a moment if she would ever be honest with him and meet his question with proper answers instead of that convoluted game they loved to play. 

 

“I wanted to talk to you. What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be resting?” She sounded tired, like she had spent the last few weeks searching for answers, when in reality, they’d only been apart for hours. 

 

“I had something, or rather, someone to take care of.” Rio smirked, his eyes dark, hoping she’d get the hint. That he was dangerous and she shouldn’t be here.

 

“Take care of? Do you mean…” She couldn’t bring herself to finish her sentence. Typical Elizabeth. Despite having complete knowledge of who he was, what he did and everything he was capable of, she pretended that as long as she didn’t say things out loud, they weren’t real. 

 

“Yeah, exactly what you’re thinking. Put two bullets in the chest of a guy who was stealing from me.” His tone was casual, but it wasn’t forced. This was what he dealt with day in, day out. Part of the business. A crucial portion of running his empire. He could see her wince when her brain registered what he had did and how candidly he had answered. Her mouth opened, as if trying to formulate a response, but nothing came out.

 

“Go home, Elizabeth.” He warned, before trying to side step her so he could get into his car. He was tired. Too tired to have to deal with whatever this was between them. Too tired to resist her, but he still had to try. He warm sticky feeling of blood on his t-shirt reminding him that this was what happened to people like him, and she wasn’t like him. Not yet, not completely. She could still choose. 

 

“I’m not afraid of you.” She let out with a defeated sigh. How could she when she’d seen how soft he could be around her children? How could she when even though he pointed a gun at her head multiple times, she knew with almost a hundred percent certainty that he would never hurt her? How could she when she’d seen him unravel on top of her, under her and around her? How could she when she could see beneath his harsh looks and violent acts, and knew that he cared about her?

 

Rio was taken aback by her declaration. Elizabeth had always been a boss but this, this was no lie. Not like the first time he’d come to her house and she’d try to keep her calm facade from breaking even though she was scared shitless on the inside. The Elizabeth now was truly unafraid, not of him at least.

 

“Is that right? Well, you should be.” He let out that cocky grin he always did, but it only served to seem a little self-deprecating. Elizabeth tried to shove him away from the car door as he reached for the handle, only to earn a hiss of pain from him. She pulled away immediately, as his jacket shifted a little to reveal the dark red patch that had grown in size since he stepped out from the warehouse. 

 

“You’re bleeding!” She gasped, immediately returning to him, wanting to support his weight so he didn’t have to put too much pressure on his injured side. He winced slightly and tried to pull away, but her grasp on his waist was firm. She was too close, he could smell her shampoo with her this close to him and it clouded his mind, filled his heart with want. But he couldn’t. He couldn’t want her. He shouldn’t. For him and for her. So he reached for her hand and disentangled himself from her side. 

 

“Yeah, well, in my line of business, work doesn’t just stop because you get injured. Doesn’t just stop because your daughter is sick. You don’t get to leave just because you want to protect your family. So maybe you should reconsider your part in this, whatever this is yeah? Cos you know that family you love to tell me about? And that good person you’re always trying to be? This ain’t for you.” He was angry now. Unsure if it was her he was mad at or himself for wanting someone like her.

 

Her eyes had welled up with tears even though she was stubbornly refusing to let them fall. He’d open the car door now, slipping into the driver’s seat, leaning his head against the headrest in absolute exhaustion. Slamming it shut before he could hear whatever it is she was preparing to say, he sped out of the parking lot. Away from the one thing he had ever wanted so badly in his life. The image of her in the rearview mirror, bent over and sobbing in the parking lot, burnt into his memory, the pain in his chest far exceeding the pain he felt from the bullet wound in his side. 

Chapter Text

 

She doesn’t see him for weeks. Besides getting his boys to drop off a few cars at the dealership and making a few drops, there was not a word from him. And she’d be lying if she said it didn’t hurt. Elizabeth had tried to get her life back into order, spending the days revolved around her children’s lives. But when the night fell and the house plunged into a deafening silence, it became unbearable. 

 

It started with a few glasses of scotch at bedtime, then pulling herself together in the morning for the sake of her children, but somehow, the week Dean took them, she’d gone through a bottle a day unknowingly. Annie and Ruby had come in for a girl’s night and found her collapsed on the bathroom floor with a bottle in hand and promptly staged an intervention. She looked terrible, the dark circles under her eyes so dark, they seemed almost like bruises. 

 

“What’s going on with you Beth? You know, this kind of behaviour’s a typical Friday night for me, but from you, that’s new.” Annie quipped, her tone light, but the furrow in her brow a telltale sign that she knew what’s up.

 

Beth stared blankly at her hands, distracted by the throbbing in her head and dull ache in her chest that was only mildly subdued by the burn of bourbon in her throat. Annie looked at Ruby, silently asking for help.

 

“Sweetheart, what’s wrong? You know you can tell us anything right? Is it Dean? Did he threaten to take the kids again? Cos I swear to God, I’ll have to run him over and make Stan cover up for me.”

 

Beth shook her head, her eyes burned with the ghost of unshed tears, but there was nothing. Could you cry so much your tear ducts stopped working? 

 

Ruby and Annie exchanged worried looks, before Annie stood to the liquor cabinet and poured out a few fingers of bourbon into three glasses. Beth reached for it instinctively, downing the entire glass in one mouth. The burning in her throat was a relief, drowning out the knot that previously could not be ignored.

 

“You know, you never really told us about your trip with Gangfriend…you wanna share about that?” Annie tried.

 

“It’s over. There’s nothing to talk about. He’s done with us. With me.” She set the cup on the table harder than necessary, the loud thud of glass meeting wood driving her point home. Elizabeth reached for the bourbon bottle, uncapping it and refilling her glass, before promptly downing it.

 

“Woah, easy there.” Ruby reached for the bottle, moving it farther away from Beth. Throughout her years of knowing Elizabeth, she’d never seen her like this, not even when she found out about Dean cheating on her. Then, she had been betrayed, angry, ashamed even. Taking it out by smashing his home office into smithereens. But now, she seemed almost defeated and hopeless. Had she even been eating anything besides alcohol since she came back from that trip she took?

 

“When you’re ready to talk, you know we’re here right? If it’s just the money, well, the drops have lessened, but we’ve saved a little from before. So things aren’t as bad as they used to be.” Ruby rubbed soothing circles on the tight grip Elizabeth had around her bourbon glass, attempting to coax her best friend into opening up.

 

“Yeah, Sis. The crime life suited you, but it was hella dangerous. I swear I died more times while working for the gang than I would have in all my past lives combined.” Annie chuckled nervously. There was definitely something up between her sister and Rio. She’d reminded her too much of their mother right now. The alcohol, the complete disregard of her own basic needs…it was a slippery slope Beth was on and Annie would get her off it no matter how. Even if it meant having to cap gang friend in both his knees to find out. Although that would be her last choice considering how being within five feet of that man scared the hell out of her already.

 

After deciding they wouldn’t get anything out of Beth while she was in that state, Annie and Ruby left the house, but not before clearing the entire liquor cabinet of its contents and making Elizabeth promise to eat and get some sleep. She’d laughed to herself when they told her to take a nap - the luxury of not having children at home. They didn’t know that sleep had eluded her and the only thing she saw when she closed her eyes were a pair of brown eyes staring at her and his voice in her ears over and over again.

 

With her house devoid of alcohol, Elizabeth hung on to her promise to do better, not wanting to raise any more red flags for Ruby and Annie. She’d taken out her yarns in an attempt to complete that blanket she was making for Harry’s birthday, but it’d barely been an hour before she noticed her hands shaking from the need of bourbon in the system. She’d thrown the project aside, frustrated with herself, then stomped into the kitchen and pulled out the ingredients for cookies. The recipe was one she’d already memorised by heart, so it took minimal effort, but while she waited for them to bake in the oven, the nausea and headache had set in. She leaned against the kitchen counter, eyes shut and a sheen of sweat coating her skin, taking deep breaths to will the churning in her stomach away. But even the oven could ding it’s completion, she was out of the house, in search for a bar to drink in.

 

The cool night air helped clear some of the sick feeling in her stomach, but she needed a drink and she needed it now. And she knew where she wanted to go. 

 

Stepping into their bar was a bad idea. She knew. But she wanted this. Even if it was futile, even if it was a desperate attempt to feel closer to him, she’d take it. After all, he was the one to end it. Whatever it was between them. So she claimed rights to this memory they shared, making a beeline for the bar the moment she entered. It hurt, being back here, the memories of his body pressed against hers flooded to the forefront of her thoughts. But she welcomed it anyway, hoping that being here, drinking herself into oblivion would reboot her system and magically, she would stop feeling that gnawing pain in her chest tomorrow.

 

She ordered a bottle of bourbon and placed a small stack of cash on the table when the bartender eyed her curiously. Cash is king. Rio had told her once, and she saw that actualising when the barkeep slid the notes info his pocket before materialising a bourbon, top shelf stuff, in front of her. 

 

Pouring herself a generous serving, she tilted her head back and emptied the glass, the burn in her throat felt better than she remembered.

 

Elizabeth sat on that barstool, the brown liquid keeping her company. The old her could have eyed the room curiously, profiling the patrons, making up backstories for some of them to keep herself entertained. But the Elizabeth now couldn't find the energy to do so, content by the companionship of alcohol and the slow buzz that crept up her spine and soothed whatever thoughts were in her head. She'd chuckled when she realised she'd entered the zone, the one where she could think about Rio without it being unbearable. The one where she could be left to her thoughts without feeling like her heart was about to splinter in her chest. 

 

"What's a fine woman like you doing alone here tonight?"

 

Elizabeth scowled, her thoughts interrupted by a voice she did not recognize. Shifting her gaze away from the bottle of bourbon, she looked at the unwanted company right in the eye and scoffed. Perhaps in another life, she'd want his company. After all, he looked pretty good. Well built, a light blue bottom down stretched against his chest and a head of blonde hair styled in a classic part.

 

But this wasn't another life. This was her life.

 

"I'm not alone." She tilted her head to the bottle on the table, before dismissing him with a flick of her wrist. 

 

"Didn't take you for a bourbon girl. You mind if I sit?" Blondie asked, as he slid himself into the stool beside her.

 

"Well, seems like you answered that question yourself." She rolled her eyes and poured herself another drink. 

 

"Not gonna offer me one?" He smirked at her while placing a hand on the small of her back. Elizabeth froze, then straightened her posture and tried to back away from him. 

 

"I'm sure the barkeep would be happy to pour you a drink, if you paid for it yourself. " She hissed in response while swatting his hand away. He chuckled in response, undeterred by her aloof tone. 

 

"You know, I love a challenge. Especially when it looks this good..." His voice trailed off as his gaze lingered at her breasts, then her exposed thighs under the dress she'd worn tonight. Silently cursing herself for not putting on her mom jeans and a sweater instead, she adjusted herself in her seat before meeting his lustful eyes with a steely gaze of her on.

 

"Listen, if you're trying to get a piece of ass tonight, I suggest you go hit on someone else. I'm not interested. " She gripped her glass a little tighter before turning her face towards the bar, glad to have chosen to sit here where she hoped the bartender would have the decency to throw this guy out on his ass if he tried anything stupid. 

 

"Everyone's got a price you know. And I always get what I want." Blondie trailed a finger on her arm before sliding off the barstool and disappearing into the crowd. Elizabeth felt violated and disgusted, but glad that he had the sense to leave her alone before she made a scene. Finally left to her thoughts again, she sighed as she poured herself yet another glass, wondering if she'd empty the bottle before the night ended. 

 

_

 

It had taken her an enormous effort to slide off the barstool and land on her two feet, considering how drunk she felt right now. It had been a bad idea coming to the bar, but an even worse idea leaving drunk. She’d call an Uber once she stepped out of the bar and allowed the cold to freshen her up and then she’d be home in 15 minutes. Easy, Elizabeth thought smugly to herself as she focussed on putting one foot in front of the other. 

 

Pushing the door open, she braced herself for the cold and true enough, the wind stung, instantly turning her cheeks red. Even her breath had turned to fog as she exhaled. Just as she was about to pull out her phone to order a ride home, someone had grabbed her by the arm and pulled her into the side alley behind the bar.

 

“What the!” Elizabeth stuttered, the sudden movement causing her vision to spin and her feet to become increasingly unsteady under her. For a moment, she thought it’d be Rio, after all, he did have the tendency to show up at the most inconvenient time. But then she’d heard his voice and a chill shot done her spine.

 

“I told you, I always get what I want.” Blondie from the bar whispered in her ear as he pressed his body against her. She wanted to run, but her was trapped between the wall and him, her mind spinning under the influence of the bourbon coursing through her veins. Elizabeth began to shake. 

 

“You drink a lot for someone your size. Feeling dizzy?” He cooed into her neck as his hands wandered up and grabbed her breast roughly, causing her to let out a cry. She should scream, kick him in the balls, but her body had been paralysed in fear. Elizabeth garnered all the strength in her body and willed herself to shove him back as hard as she could, putting both her palms on his chest and pushing. He backed away a few steps, and she tried to run, only to have him grab her and slam her into the wall painfully.

 

She watched in horror as the playful look in his eyes turned dangerous, like a predator tired of dancing with its prey. Before she could plan her second move, he’d backhanded her across the face with a force that put dark spots in her vision. She tasted the metal in her mouth before registering the pain. Her lip had split open from the force.

 

“Don’t make this difficult for yourself.” He growled, before reaching for her dress and yanking it open with such force, buttons flew everywhere. This was it. Elizabeth thought to herself. Annie was going to find her dead in this alley, her naked body sprawled all over the news. She wanted to cry, but even with the fear that attempted to swallow her whole, she refused to give him the satisfaction of watching her break. She closed her eyes, swallowing a sob as he pushed the lace down from the cups of her bra and handled her roughly.

 

He reached down to push the fabric of her dress out of the way as he touched her, muttering warnings to her about screaming and him having to slit her throat. She’d given up at this point, her body limp against the wall as she tried to focus on the grass that had grown out of the cracks in the wall opposite them. If she stayed still, if he got what he wanted, maybe he’d let her go. She could go back to her children, to Annie and Ruby and pretend this never happened.

 

She cried out in pain when he grabbed her jaw and slammed her head into the wall, urging her to look at him. She barely noticed, but his belt was unbuckled now. She tried to calm herself, but yet her breaths came out choked and her lungs felt like they were burning under the rapid beating of her heart. Just as she was about to scream, Blondie collapsed at her feet, clutching at his knee, blood flowing onto the ground. 

 

“Motherfucker.” She’d recognise that voice anywhere.

 

Was it him? Or had her brain conjured out some kind of hallucination to protect her from what was happening? But it felt so real. She could smell him, that distinctive scent of him - mint and some sort of expensive cologne. And then his arms were around her.

 

“Elizabeth. Look at me. You hurt?” The concern was evident in his voice, as was the anger rolling off him in waves. He looked at her, taking in the split lip and bruises forming on her jaw then back at Blondie on the ground.

 

“Get rid of him.” He told Demon, before lifting her up in his arms and walking out of the alley. That’s when she broke. The sobs emanating from her chest and threatened to suffocate her, as she buried herself in his neck.

 

Placing her down in the passenger seat, he crouched next to her wordlessly, swiping the tears from her cheeks each time they fell.

 

“We gotta get out of here.” He brushed her hair behind her ear, before shutting her door and slipping into the driver’s seat. The engine roaring into life as she closed her eyes and willed away the nausea.

 

They drove in silence, his grip on the steering so tight, she could see his knuckles turning white. He’d glance over to look at her twice, each time, she didn’t recognise the look in his eyes. It was foreign to her, something that resembled pain.

 

He’d held on to her as they entered an apartment complex, his hold on her unrelenting until they stepped into an apartment she’d never seen. It wasn’t his home, but it was well furnished. Something that seemed plucked from a magazine. It was nice, but it didn’t look lived in.

 

“How’d you find me?” She asked, her hands at her chest, holding her dress shut as if it would do something to bring back the modesty she already lost. She was calmer now, the nausea seemed to have eased.

 

He’d walked to the kitchen to grab her a drink which she accepted gratefully. Despite the amount of alcohol already in her system, she’d welcomed the warmth that spread through her.

 

“Brian, the bartender that works at the bar? He messaged me, saying you walked in and finished a bottle of bourbon by yourself in one sitting.” He explained, then sipped from his cup, exasperation evident on his face.

 

“What were you doing, Elizabeth?” He sighed, then crossed his arms defensively. She could tell he was biting his cheek from frustration, holding back on the angry words that were threatening to slip from his lips.

 

“I don’t know.” She answered quietly. “I just…Ruby and Annie took all the alcohol at home…I just wanted a drink…then he appeared, and he dragged me into the alley and…” she couldn’t finish. She was embarrassed, ashamed, guilty that she let this happen to her. And then the tears started again. Traitorous tears that she made her want to sink into the earth and let it swallow her whole. She wiped at her face aggressively as she tried to swallow the sobs that were threatening to collapse in her chest.

 

Rio tried to ignore her. But watching her fall apart in front of him hurt. He’d wanted to punch something, shoot the fucker in the face for even daring to try and touch her. He should have walked out of the apartment and joined Demon in beating the shit out of the guy that did this to her. Instead, he pulled her into her arms and rocked her back and forth like he did when Marcus had a bad dream, whispering over and over that it wasn’t her fault and that she was safe now. Until she stopped sobbing and her eyes started to flutter close.

 

“I want to shower.” She said with her eyes closed, an errant tear still running down her cheek. He took in the sight of her, dress ripped open, purple bruises on her chest and he felt consumed by a need to make it right. To erase the bruises from her skin any way he could.

 

“A’ight” He drawled but didn’t move. Letting her decide when she wanted it. Then she had moved to stand and he was right behind her. Showing her into the ensuite bathroom in the master bedroom.

 

She began to remove her clothes while he stood at the door. Waiting for her to send him away, but she never did. With each article of clothing she removed, more bruises appeared. Some were just shadows, on her hip, on the insides of her thighs and his heart ached with every new contusion that was revealed.

 

When she stepped into the shower and out of his sight, he turned to leave. But the sound of quiet sobs drowned by the sound of water stopped him in his tracks. Clenching his jaw, he removed his clothing, then stepped into the shower behind her, instinctively pulling her toward him.

 

They didn’t speak, but the words were clear. He washed her meticulously, as if trying to help rid her of the memory of unwelcome hands on her skin. And she let him, unsure if it was the water or him, that helped wash away her tears.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

They stand in the shower, and he holds her till the water runs cold, and even then, he doesn’t let go. Happy to let her take the lead. Somehow, Elizabeth feels her racing heart calm under the heat of the water and his warm hands. She didn’t want to leave this space, but eventually, they did.

 

Cautiously, Rio wrapped her in a towel and dried her off, proceeding to pull a chair into the bathroom. He motioned for her to sit. And in a rare streak of obedience, she did. He got out the hair dryer and slowly, on a low setting, began to run his fingers through her hair, separating each lock so it would dry easier.

 

She watched through the mirror as his arms flexed, tracing the tattoos he had with her eyes. He’d only chosen to put on a pair of charcoal boxers and she’d reminded of just how great that pull he had on her was. He repeated the motions, concentrating on combing through her locks and listening to the low hum of the hairdryer.

 

His actions were gentle. Elizabeth couldn’t remember the last time someone had handled her so gently. How did he do this? How did he morph from harsh, aloof criminal kingpin to this affectionate and gentle person around her?

 

She closed her eyes, the humming and his fingers relaxing her. Each time a drop of water fell from her hair onto her shoulders, he would swipe them away with a brief flick of his fingers, sending goosebumps flowering under her skin.

 

“You dye your hair?” Rio asked. A simple question. Elizabeth opened her eyes, her eyebrow raised in confusion.

 

“Yeah, you have those red streaks in there, but then they’re covered by blonde and brown.” Rio explained, the hairdryer in his hand swung around a little as if he were motioning to the different tones on her head.

 

“Dean thought my natural hair was too red. Seemed too aggressive.” She shrugged her shoulders, then let them slump in defeat. She was such a pushover.

 

“I like it red. Suits you.” He gave her hair one last ruffle, then shut off the hair dryer. 

 

Silently, he pulled out a t-shirt and a pair of his boxers from the closet and passed it to her. She slipped them both on, tugging at the ends of the shorts so they covered her more, before exiting the bathroom.

 

Rio had dimmed the lights in the room, standing at the foot of the bed, he couldn’t take his eyes off her, even though he tried. Beth slipped into bed, pulling the covers over her as he stood his ground, as if waiting for her invitation. She was too tired for this, too tired to talk, too tired to figure out what happened between them, what was this thing that still managed to take up all the space in the room when they were together. 

 

Patting the space next to her, she had to push back the urge to smile. This reminded her too much of Jane. When she would wake in the middle of the night and stand at the edge of her bed, wanting to sleep with her mother, yet afraid she’d be told to go back to her own instead. Rio slipped in wordlessly, immediately curling his body against hers, pulling her flush against his bare skin. She knew it was futile to fight the feelings that were trying to jostle their way put to her chest, and to be honest, she didn’t want to fight it any longer. Turning to face him, she ran a single finger along the side of his jaw, meeting his coal black eyes with her blue ones.

 

“Why did you come?” She asked, almost a whisper. As if the quietness would prevent this moment from falling apart. Rio took a deep breath, but he didn’t clench his jaw in frustration, didn’t do that thing he did when he was preparing to put up his walls. 

 

“Because I care.” There was no anger, no frustration, just brutal honesty. She’d never heard him so vulnerable before, looking at her with nothing but openness. In that moment he never looked younger.

 

“I thought…I thought you said we were done?” Elizabeth continued to run her fingers on the side of his face, the action calming both her and Rio enough to continue this rare moment of honesty and peace.

 

“Thought so too. Then I talked to Maria, my sister. And I realised…I should let you be the one to decide.” He looked down for a moment, as if guilty for whatever had happened between them after the trip. 

 

“This life is dangerous, Elizabeth. You’re either all in, or you’re out. You can’t just choose when you gonna stay and when you gonna go.” You can’t just choose me, then decide to walk away,

 

His expression was pained, as if the admission would cause her to vaporise into thin air, slipping away from his grip. 

 

She knew what she was getting into when she decided to rob Fine & Frugal, but she always told herself that she did it for her family. She did what she needed to do so they could all have a better life. For Ruby and Annie too. But then when that was done, when she hung the pearls on his door, instead of walking away. There was something else there too, but she’d convinced herself that it was for the money. And that she would leave when they’d all saved enough to have a little honeypot. She always had a plan, how she would walk away when she finally had enough. 

 

But now, she wasn’t so sure any more. The past few weeks without him, the money meant little to her. And the little adrenaline rushes she’d get from washing cash or doing drops in the shady sides of town didn’t have the same effect as it used to. It wasn’t the same without him.

 

Annie had said she was power trippin’. That crime made her feel good, not only because she was great at it, but also because there was something inside her that wanted to be bad, after having only been good for most of her life. Only Annie knew about how despite being the goody two shoes in school, she was also a master at schemes and had manipulated her classmates to do her bidding with her twisted little games. It changed when she realised the responsibility resting on her shoulders after their mother had turned into something resembling a zombie after the divorce. But that side of Beth had always been there, just buried deeper and deeper after she chose a life of stability and comfort with Dean.

 

Fine and frugal might have been the spark in bringing that side of her out again, but Rio was the fire. Consuming her, willing her to not only engage with her darker side, but also to embrace it and let it become her. Without him, there was no flame. The past week had been filled with darkness and she’d wanted so desperately to get on with her life. To move on without him in it. But she couldn’t. She was broken.

 

“I don’t want this life…” She started, immediately noticing that he’d gone stiff by her side, his body instinctively retracting from hers, trying to put distance between them. But she’d held on to him, not letting him move, her hand holding his neck in place, determined to keep him here.

 

“Listen to me. I don’t want this life. But…but I want you.” Rio chuckled darkly, the kind of laughter that she knew was a cover for his frustration curling its fingers around his tongue.

 

“It don’t work that way, Elizabeth. That life, it’s part of me.” His voice was hoarse, reigning back the desperation that was seeping out from every word. Willing her to understand that there was no Rio without a life of crime. It was what he was.

 

She nodded.

 

“I know that. And I want you. All of you. If that life is part of you, then it’s part of me too.” Elizabeth answered. When had they ever had a conversation as honest as this? When he didn’t answer her questions with more questions of his own. Or when he didn’t shut her out when she tried to get him to listen?

 

Rio didn’t respond to her. Instead, he reached to move a strand of hair behind her ear with his pinky. Just like the hundreds of times he’d done before. His movements slow and gentle. Barely touching her face, but leaving a trail of scorch marks on her skin.

 

Slowly, he closed the distance between them, his lips pressing the faintest of kisses against her own. It was nothing like the kisses they’d shared, always full of passion, a fight for dominance, a dance of lust. But this kiss was full of adoration and devotion, and it brought tears to her eyes for reasons unbeknown to her. It made her want to laugh, but also cry. And when it ended, she wanted to push back for more.

 

“I need to know you’re in it for real.” He closed his eyes and furrowed his brows. She remembers every time she told him she was done. And every time he’d let her go. Had she not noticed the hurt she caused him because she was so busy trying to ignore her own?

 

“Every time you wanted out, I believed you. I wanted to give you an out. But I can’t anymore. I won’t let you in, if you’re not gon’ stay, darlin' ” He drawled. She no longer knew if he was talking about the business, or something else altogether. But the way he said it, was vastly different from the times she’d told him she’d wanted out. None of the anger when he berated her after she threw keys at his face, none of the nonchalance when she left him in her bed. This was him, showing her all his cards. And she wanted nothing more than to say yes. To forget about all the complexities that would be involved in figuring this out. To trust that he would keep her, her family, her kids, safe. To give him everything she was.

 

“I’m staying.” She answered resolutely. With two words, she hoped she answered all the questions they’d thrown at each other throughout the year. 

 

What are you doing with someone like me, Elizabeth?

 

What do you want from me!

 

Do you trust me?

 

“Show me.” Rio’s voice was deep, like gravel on a well driven road. Like the sound of vinyl on a record player, consuming her every thought and making its way through her entire body. A demand, a desperate plea. A need for devotion, both from him and from her. Then his lips were on hers, and his hands around her neck, his tongue frantically searching for hers. So, she showed him, her fingers running along the length of his spine, her lips meeting his with equal fervency soft moans escaping between her lips and vaporising into the quietness of the room.

 

She drew her hands down to the band of his boxers, wanting to slip in and feel the hardness of him, to give him pleasure. To show him how much she wanted this.

 

“No.” He placed his hand around hers, holding it in place. His chest was rising and falling with his breaths, his face contorted in an expression of both want and need. He wanted her, that was obvious to Beth. But he wanted something else too.

 

“I need..” She’d never seen him like this before. So uncertain, so hesitant and frazzled. But his eyes were dark, darker than she’d seem them. His breaths were faster now, almost as if he was panting with desire. And she knew what he needed. 

 

Rio was a man with absolute control over his life, from the careful way his closet was organised to the meticulous way he ruled his kingdom. She’d taken that away from him, and in his own way, he’d given himself to her by allowing her to constantly toe the line and set her own limits. She’d pushed him out of control on uncountable occasions and each time, he’d appreciated it, sometimes responding to her unpredictable schemes and tactics with a genuine impressed smile of his own. He enjoyed the fight he had in her, but it also drove him to the point of madness, the need for control often cornering him to retreat back into his old ways, to building fortresses around himself, shutting her out.

 

And she understood his hesitance. After all, wasn’t it just moments before when she almost lost all of it in a side alley of a bar? But this was different. She’d never felt safer with him, even when he had a gun against her head. Beyond the first few meetings where she couldn’t figure him out, she’d come to an easy realisation thereafter that he wasn’t what he portrayed himself to be. At least not around her. And she’d wanted to laugh at the many times he thought he’d intimidated her by pulling out his gun, when she knew it was just another way for him to hide the soft spot he had for her. 

 

She wanted to give in. Everything. To give up the firm grasp she was forced to have in life since Annie was born. To allow herself to submit to him in more ways than one. She’d tried it with Dean, thinking that marrying him would allow her to finally pass the reigns to someone who would take care of her. To let her breathe again after years of having to hold her breath. But it didn’t. She thought about the last time they had sex in the hotel bathroom, where even where she gave up control, she felt the immense amount of power she had over him. The way he struggled to gain composure when he entered her, the way he unravelled under her absolute submission. It had always been this way between them. Him wanting control, she giving it to him, only to realise that it wasn’t so much about dominance, but submitting to a partnership where they both were equals.

 

“I know.” She whispered, before moving her hand to rest on his chest.

 

“And I’m yours, my King.” He let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding, before pulling her into a crushing kiss, groaning at the contact and her complete submission to him. She whimpered under his kisses, as his hand reached up to cup her breast tentatively. She knew he was holding back on her, the bruises marking her skin a reminder of what his life, this life, would do to her.

 

“More…please. Mark me, help me forget. Make me yours again.” And he didn’t need more encouragement. Positioning himself above her, he placed his warm mouth around her clothed nipple and sucked it, teasing it into a firm peak beneath his tongue. The other hand palming her other breast as she groaned under his ministrations. She lifted her hips to grind against him, trying to get some kind of friction to ease the ache that had begun to build up within her.

 

“Elizabeth…” He warned darkly, using his palm to press her firmly back against the bed, making her whine in denial. “You’ll get to feel my cock later. Alright?” She nodded, then when he shot her a dark look, she obediently replied “Yes, sir.” And she watched as his cock twitched under the dark fabric of his boxers, straining against it obscenely. She ached to touch it, her palm burning with the feverish need. But decided to stay still. She would challenge him another day.

 

Pleased with her response, he lifted the t-shirt off her, smirking when he saw how stiff her nipples were for him, bending down to take one pink bud between his teeth, teasing it and drawing another high pitched whine from her throat. Her boxers were the next to go, her wetness clinging to the black fabric, little strands as he peeled them from her core. He groaned when he swiped between her folds and felt her wetness, immediately sucking them off his fingers.

 

“You taste so good, Elizabeth.” She would have flushed harder if she could, but she was pretty sure she was already pink down to her toes. He settled himself between her legs, pressing opened mouth kisses on her inner thigh, allowing him to work her into a lust-filled craze.

 

When he finally reached her core, he took one long lick from her opening to her clit, causing her to buck against his mouth, her hips lifting off the bed instinctively in search for more.

 

“Behave…” His tone was harsh, but in it swirled with hints of adoration and devotion. She whimpered, before settling her hips back into bed again, fists clenched around the sheets.

 

He ran little circles around her clit, taking his time to appreciate her body and the sounds she made when he flattened his tongue and gave the little nub a lick. How he was so talented with his tongue, she didn’t know. And she didn’t want to know, hoping it wasn’t years of practice that got him where he was, but pure talent that allowed him to make her feel this way.

 

He hummed in appreciation when he lapped up her juices she was sure was leaking out and staining the sheets. Then suddenly, he stopped licking and sucked on her clit instead, providing her with a different kind of pleasure that emptied her mind and filled it with nothing but lust and desire. Curling his fingers, he slipped two digits into her, hitting that spot that created intense pressure she’d only achieved once or twice with her own fingers. But his were so much better. Bigger, longer and ohhhh. She stopped thinking.

 

She was so wet that his fingers made squelching sounds as he continued to fuck her. Just as she felt the beginnings of an orgasm about to hit her, he removed his fingers and she moaned out loud from the loss, her head lifting off the bed to glare at him. He simply smirked at her, lowered his head, then flattened her tongue against her puckered hole, giving it one long lick. She yelped, surprised by where his tongue had gone - Dean had never wanted to try that, before letting out a long moan as her head dropped back in pleasure. Stopping to lift his head from between her legs, she nodded for him to continue, lost in a pleasure that was new to her. He dipped his head back, tonguing her hole with a renewed enthusiasm, his fingers slipping back into her pussy. 

 

The pleasure was intense as he cupped his mouth over her clit while using two fingers to continue fucking her. Delicious pressure took over all her senses, she was aching for release. Fuck, she was so tight. Rio thought to himself. Her pussy clenching over his fingers making it almost impossible for him to move them inside her. His cock twitched in anticipation and he had to quell the desire to slip his length into her right there and then. Wetting his thumb with the juices dripping from her pussy, he circled her tight asshole before slowly pushing it in, easing the tip into her as her moans went straight to his dick, causing his precum to leak. She was going to be the death of him.

 

“Oh god, Rio it’s too much, I can’t. I can’t.” Her eyes squeezed in pleasure as she lost control of her words.

 

“You can and you will.” He withdrew his thumb and lightly smacked her on the thigh — training her would be more of a challenge than he thought. Before slipping his thumb back into her ass, his mouth going back to her clit and licking her slick nub, then pushing her thumb into her ass again. And that was enough to drive her over the edge, he felt her walls clench against his fingers as spurts of her juices landed on his face. He continued to lick her, prolonging her orgasm, lapping up the juices as she gave them. The sounds of her breathy moans causing him to tether on the edge of delirium.

 

She had barely recovered from her orgasm when she felt the tip of his cock pressed against her, his face wet from her orgasm and his eyes burning with lust. He kissed her as he slipped inside her in one long stroke, the taste of her on his mouth fuelled her want to be with him. God, she’d just had an orgasm and here she was already on the brink of another one.

 

He thrust into her slowly, a languid pace, but she knew he was trying to control himself. His jaw was clenched and his hands left bruising marks on her hip where he held her. 

 

“You’re mine. Your pleasure is mine to give. Your pain is mine to give.” He panted, while he continued his thrusting. His possessiveness sneaking out from every pore, coating her and claiming her.

 

“Yes! I’m yours, my King.” She pushed back against him, wanting to feel him deeper, harder, faster. He all but growled when she met his thrusts, speeding up. One hand curled around her breast, the other reaching down to swipe at her clit while he buried his mouth in her neck.

 

“God, you’re so good, Elizabeth. So wet, so tight.” His pace was faster now, driving into her, the rhythmic slapping of skin on skin so wicked in her ears that it made her wetter, her juices coating his cock, selling onto his balls. The pressure of his fingers on her clit was divine, her mouth left open from the onslaught of pleasure he brought her. Her moans now breathy gasps that she was unable to contain.

 

“Cum for me, baby.” He cooed in her ear, his voice tainted by the distinctive crack that signalled his own impending orgasm. He was close. As close as she was, the familiar swell of his cock in her, the slight deviation from that rhythm he was trying to keep. So she reached down and cupped him and he let out a loud groan before thrusting into her erratically, deep sharp thrusts that sent her over the edge, the feeling of his warm cum spilling inside her pussy sending her slipping down the slopes of her own orgasm.

 

He continued to thrust into her, slow and gentle, their combined essence dripping out from her and coating him. She sighed, content to stay here. In this moment with him forever if she could.

 

“I meant what I say. If you say yes, then you yield completely to me. Behind closed doors I’ll be your King. You’ll have to retract your fangs…” he ran a finger across her teeth thoughtfully.

 

“…and submit to me. In front of them, we’ll be partners. Equal in every right. King and Queen.” She bit down on his fingers playfully.

 

“I thought you liked it when I’m a Boss Bitch.” She pouted. He chuckled, the rare kinds where he wasn’t trying to intimidate anyone.

 

“I do. Hell, I love it when you boss me around. It’s who you are. But that just makes it so much sweeter when you submit yourself to me when it’s just us.” His admission made her pussy clench involuntarily. She’d always liked it a little more rough in bed, although Dean never had the balls to do anything other than leave light smacks on her ass. But she’d never thought she understood the whole dominant-submissive kink, even when Annie had gone on and on about it that one time she dated a dude that wanted to call her Mistress

 

But with Rio, it wasn’t just simply about who held absolute control. It was about being able to see each other for what they were inside, and being able to let go of that, submitting to the vulnerabilities and allowing it to consume them whole. Even when he had asked her to submit, she never felt like she was more powerful.

 

 

“King and Queen right?” She responded in affirmation.

 

“King and Queen.

 

I always got your back, Mami”

 

And for once, she trusted him. That despite it all, he’d be able to protect her, them, her family. Because he’d promised. And she believed him.