Matt’s birthday fell on a day they were on shift. That put a crimp in their celebrations on the day itself, though she did at least help him welcome it in a thoroughly enjoyable way. She changed and fed Jack, then put him right back down in his crib. Cindy would hardly care if he arrived in his pajamas after all. This allowed her to quickly strip her own pajamas and slip into the shower behind Matt. He jumped a little when she ran her hand down his back, but then turned and smiled, pulling her against him.
“Happy birthday, Matt.”
“It’s certainly starting well.”
“I’m going to wash your hair.”
“Why?” He asked, even as he obeyed her.
“Hasn’t anyone ever washed your hair for you?”
“Not that I can remember, probably when I was a baby.” He replied, tilting his head back, perhaps just to let her get a better angle for washing the hair of someone a good few inches taller than herself. She massaged the scalp as she worked the shampoo through his hair. “Why does that feel so good?”
“I wouldn’t have thought so, but yes.”
“Doesn’t your barber wash your hair?”
“No. Does yours?”
“Uhm, yes, I thought it was standard. Even for guys.”
“Dry cuts are faster and cheaper. I can wash my own hair. Though having you do it is definitely worth exploring more often.”
“Rinse.” She ordered, having more than thoroughly lathered his hair. He turned back to face her, keeping his head tilted back as he rinsed the suds from his hair. His eyes were closed, and she took a moment to look him over head to toe. He was gorgeous, and not that he needed improvement, but being wet with the water sluicing over his body only enhanced the firm toned sleek lines of him.
“Taking stock of the old man you’re married to?” Matt asked, smiling at her as she met his open eyes.
“Old man is not what I think when I look at you. And you don’t seem too decrepit.” She moved closer to him, her right hand wrapping around his growing erection. It jumped a little in her hand, rapidly hardening further, and she gave it a few long sure strokes.
“I’m 40. Do I look much older?”
“No.” She kissed him soundly. “You’re still you. And you’re going to die 90 years old, still handsome as sin itself, I know it.”
She had been sworn to secrecy about it being Matt’s birthday, via various underhanded methods involving fingers, tongues, and orgasms, and basically him refusing to put his dick inside her in the shower that morning until she swore, which she really thought was unfair because you couldn’t be held to any sort of promise or contract induced by force or intoxication and Matt Casey was more intoxicating than alcohol for sure. Still, she had promised. For some reason, Matt truly did not want anyone at the house to know it was his birthday. If he hadn’t been a captain, she might’ve thought he was just hoping to avoid any pranks, but only Severide really would prank Matt at this point: Matt was usually (like the Chief) held above any such antics. She hadn’t told anyone and she knew Matt hadn’t told anyone. She knew Kelly knew it was Matt’s birthday, but she thought Kelly had better sense than to say anything (he hadn’t apparently in all their years together at 51), so the shift should have gone without any special notice.
Of course, Matt was stupidly awful at avoiding catastrophes during shifts on important days, like the day before their wedding. They were on a very typical vehicular crash call, Matt directing the scene, and so ostensibly relatively out of danger, not anywhere near the wrecks in fact, when she heard shouts and screaming from the inevitable looky-lous, and then the completely unmistakable sound of a human body impact.
“Brett! Howe!” That was Otis yelling, and sent a bolt of adrenaline through her system. She abandoned the last of her check of the second car’s passengers (all had been wearing seat belts and looked uninjured beyond contusions and some adrenaline shakes) and darted around her lovely view of the side of Engine 51. She was almost all the way to the downed firefighter when she realized it was Matt. It looked like Herrmann and Mouch were holding him down.
“What happened?” She asked, dropping to her knees with her bag.
“I’m fine.” Matt replied.
“That’s not what I asked and I don’t believe you.” She said sharply.
“You think I picked now to start lying to you?”
“No, I think your definition of ‘I’m fine’ is not medically sound. And that wasn’t what I asked and you know it, so you’re dodging. Which is not lying but still pisses me off.”
“He got hit by a car.” Mouch filled her in.
“Jackoff kept going, hit and run.” Herrmann continued sounding like he wanted to run the car down himself if he had to.
“It’s not that bad.” Matt tried to argue. He was shifting about, like he might be thinking about standing.
“You got hit by a car, Matt. What hurts? And stay down, damn it. Howe already called for a second ambo.” She quickly wrapped a C-collar around his neck, not wanting him to move and jostle his spine.
“I don’t need to be transported. It’s probably just bruises.”
“Bruises where? Did you hit your head?”
“No, I didn’t hit my head.” Matt dodged out from under her inspection, as much as the enforced stiffness of the collar would permit anyway. “Landed on my hip and my hand, mostly.”
“If you don’t cooperate with my assessment, I will report your ass – just try me. We’ve had this discussion before.” She glanced at the hand in question, he was sort of cradling his right elbow as they sat him up, very carefully. His right glove was torn up, but there wasn’t any blood she could see, so the glove did its job. Well, it wasn’t technically designed for road rash, but it did have to provide a certain level of protection from abrasions.
“It’s not much of a discussion. It’s just threats.” He half-muttered.
“Promises, not threats.” Sylvie met his eyes firmly. “Where does it hurt?”
“My hip and my shoulder, I mostly got up and over it, Syl. Promise.”
“Your head is bleeding.” She pointed out. There was a pretty good gash over his right eye.
“It doesn’t hurt.”
“Given your medical history, I think any head injury at all should be checked out. So you’re definitely going to Med.”
“Babe, can you-“
“Don’t ‘babe’ me about this, Matthew.” She cut him off sharply.
“Allow me to rephrase.” He shot her a look that reminded her that he didn’t really take any shit from anybody, not even commanding officers, and he did not appreciate the blatant disrespect in her tone. “PIC Brett, my head does not hurt, but my shoulder is starting to hurt quite a bit and I think you should maybe look at it and provide a 'sound medical opinion'.”
“If you weren’t already hurting, I would make you hurt for that patronizing tone. Captain Casey.” Sylvie wasn’t prone to taking much shit from anyone either, especially not her husband. She glanced at Herrmann. “Help me get his turnout off.”
“Sure.” Herrmann did his best, but Matt was clearly in a lot of pain by the time they managed to get it off. Once it was off and the bulk of it stopped obscuring the view, it was clear why he was in that much pain.
“You’ve dislocated it.” It was visible even through his polo shirt, the joint was out of place. You didn’t need to be any sort of medic or EMT to see that. Mouch looked a little queasy.
“Yeah. It hurts.” Matt looked at her, and she could see in the paleness of his skin and the look in his eyes that he was in substantial amounts of pain. He hadn’t looked like that just a few minutes ago. Shock must’ve worn off and his body was complaining (loudly) now. She caught the looks on Mouch’s and Herrmann’s faces, too. It wasn’t just her who was surprised. Matt Casey did not admit to pain. For him to do so, it had to be bad. She worried that his shoulder was broken along with dislocated, or something else, possibly something worse.
“I’ll get you something for the pain in a minute. Are you sure you don’t have any sort of head injury? I’m going to put you on a backboard, just in case. Mouch, grab Otis and Gallo, bring a board. You guys and Herrmann will have to help me lift him.”
The E.R. at Med was typically busy. Ambo 92 had brought Matt in, because they were there and it was technically protocol that she not be involved in his treatment once it was no longer necessary. Still, Chief Hatcher had taken 61 out of service temporarily, allowing her to stop by and see how Matt was doing at least. Truck was out of service as well, waiting for a relief officer to arrive, but everyone besides her and Howe were back at the house. She was directed immediately to Matt’s little curtained cubicle, though once close enough she could just about follow the smell of turnout gear. They’d had a run of actual fires lately, and despite washing the gear as directed to remove some of the carcinogens, his turnouts still smelled of smoke.
“Hey, babe.” Matt grinned at her when she came in. His shoulder had clearly been reduced without surgery, which was good news. From his smile, she thought he probably had some painkillers onboard, too. “Howe, I see you got dragged along with my wife.”
“We’re out of service for a little bit so hopefully she can concentrate later. You look better.”
“Once it was back in place, the pain let up almost completely.”
“Any other injuries?”
“I had to have some scans to check for any other fractures, breaks, those things. Including, yes, before you ask, checking for any little head injury. I’m fine, Sylvie. I’ll have the tests to prove it soon.”
“You know, that’s your right arm.”
“I do know that.” Matt nodded.
“You’re going to wear a sling for two weeks.”
“I know. I have to get someone to finish up at the Lewis project, but luckily I’d taken all the holiday period off construction. And I still have medical leave, I should only have to miss four or five shifts.”
“We were supposed to go for steak tomorrow night.” Sylvie prompted. They’d put off his birthday dinner due to being on shift, and the night after had worked better for their selected babysitter – who happened to be ‘Uncle’ Kelly – than the night before. Matt’s face fell.
“Damn it. I’m not going to someplace that nice just to ask someone else to cut my steak.”
“We’ll go once you’re out of the sling.” Sylvie leaned in to kiss him softly. She wouldn’t have minded cutting it for him, but it would bother him. She hoped they’d still go somewhere, both for the sake of marking his birthday but also for the fact that Kelly had sounded excited to have his nephew for the evening.
“Well, it’s not the birthday you wanted, Matt, but it’s pretty good news given you got hit by a car.” Will announced, holding up a folder of what Sylvie assumed were Matt’s scans. “No other significant injuries, you’ll have lots of bruising I think, but you got damned lucky you saw that car and tried to jump over the hood.”
“I almost made it.” Matt shook his head. “If I wasn’t wearing my gear, I might’ve, but it weighs me down.”
“He’s okay, other than the shoulder?” Sylvie asked, just to confirm it with an actual medical professional, not Matt’s interpretation of ‘I’m fine.’
“Rest for a couple days, especially minimal movement of that shoulder joint. He has to wear that sling for the next two days: and I mean, constantly wear it. Do not move that joint, Matt. It and the surrounding muscles, ligaments, tendons, tissue, it all needs to recover from the trauma. Two weeks off work, that means all of your jobs not just the fire department, and no going to the gym or doing any lifting or straining for those two weeks.”
“No lifting of anything?” Matt asked. “What about Jack?”
“How heavy is Jack?”
“Eighteen pounds.” Sylvie replied immediately.
“For the first couple days, it’s probably best to let Sylvie hand him to you so you don’t strain anything, and only hold him at all with your left arm. After that, lift him with your left arm, you should be okay. Nothing heavier than a gallon of milk with the right for those first weeks. You’ll need some rehab exercises to continue range of motion, Sylvie can help you with those I’m sure. Otherwise, as I said, you got very lucky.”
They did get to go dinner the next night, they just went to an Italian restaurant instead of a steakhouse. It wasn’t that much of a loss, it turned out, because Matt was able to order a crab-stuffed-shell dish that he clearly enjoyed and easily ate left-handed, and her linguini carbonara had been fantastic. She might also have eaten an embarrassing amount of the focaccia. After dinner, for dessert, they stopped by Sweet Mandy B’s, a bakery that she’d found recommended online. She had a snickerdoodle cupcake herself, not being the chocolate fiend that Matt was, but his cookie dough covered brownie was almost fantastic enough to warrant his facial expressions. She’d snagged a bit from him, and it might be a calorie-bomb, but it was delicious for sure. For a relatively stoic man, sex and good food made him very expressive. The only real consequence of those two things causing similar reactions for him was that she ended up really damned wet watching him have a meal he truly enjoyed. She shot a look at the girl behind the counter, who seemed to also understand and enjoy what she was seeing. Nothing for it, really, but she did feel sort of proprietary about Matt’s visceral (and visible) enjoyment.
Kelly had volunteered to take Jack for the whole night, which she thought was very sweet, but also, she wondered a bit about everyone’s apparently sudden conclusion that she and Matt were not having sex if Jack was in the house. People must think they were far stronger or more chaste or something than they actually were, because she wasn’t afraid to have sex with Jack in the room – so long as he was asleep anyway – let alone if he was in his own crib in the other room. Still, it was kind, and not entirely unselfish, Kelly really did love spending time with Jack. She trusted Kelly and Stella to keep Jack, and to call if something really did go wrong. So they came home from dinner and dessert to an empty house, but Matt still in a sling and her worried about hurting him, even though she really did want to just pin him to the bed and ride him ‘til he popped.
“Is it too early to go to bed?” Matt asked, glancing at the clock, that showed it was only 8 pm.
“If you’re tired-“
“Bed, not sleep.”
“Usually you’re the one being what do you call it, honest and forthright, but I guess it’s my turn tonight. I’d really like to have sex tonight and I’m pretty sure between the two of us we can manage it.”
“I’ll leave the sling on if you want. I’ll even let you do all the work.” He winked at her, and wrapped his left arm around her waist. “You know, you never have played nurse for me.”
“What do you think I’m doing every time I check you out on the ambulance?”
“Being a paramedic. And while I respect both you and your work very much, that paramedic uniform does not do nearly the same things for your tits and your ass as this dress does.”
“You like it?” It was a new dress, a deep purple sheath dress that was cut so low in the front that she couldn’t wear a bra with it, instead some supportive/protective cup-like things in the dress. She’d found it on sale when she was pregnant and it hadn’t fit her until now. She might not be down to her pre-baby weight, but she was getting closer. Matt let his eyes move slowly and very blatantly down from her face.
“I think I can just about see your belly button, Sylvie. Then you leaned over the table to get a bite of my brownie and,” he didn’t finish his statement, letting the bulge in his pants, which she could now feel pressed against her, speak for itself.
“You’re hurt.” She tried again for responsible medical professional. It was a half-assed try at best, and he clearly knew it.
“I took my pain meds and everything. I didn’t complain at all. I was a good boy.”
“Doing what you’re supposed to do without acting like a toddler about taking medicine does not earn you any rewards.” She raised her eyebrows at him.
“We’ll stop if it hurts. Please.”
“I like it when you beg.” He kissed her then, pressing their bodies so close together it was like he was trying to meld them into one. He moved from her mouth, down her neck, across her clavicles, down into the deep cut of her dress. She caved, which really she was going to do anyway but if he thought he earned it by doing this sort of thing, who was she to dissuade such fervent attentions? “Upstairs. I’m on top.”
It wasn’t as fast she might’ve wanted, because Matt needed some help undressing and she didn’t want to jostle his shoulder. He was bruised badly along his hip as well as obviously at the shoulder, and she knew he was sore and stiff from being hit. It was easiest to just strip him all the way down, then put his sling back on (to his short protest), before she worried about her own clothes, well beyond the shoes she’d already kicked off. She unzipped the dress, shimmying out of it, leaving her in just her underwear, which due to the nature of the dress was her only thong (she didn’t, by and large, care for thongs). She did, it turned out, care for that look on her husband’s face. He was sitting on their bed, watching her.
“That’s all you had on under that dress?”
“It’s kind of tight, I didn’t want any lines to show.”
“That’s-“ he went to touch himself, which normally she would approve of, but
“You can do that, just do it left-handed.” His sling would hamper him anyway, but still, he shouldn’t be trying to use his right arm.
“Left…” Matt looked down, and switched hands. He looked nonplussed. “Feels wrong.”
“Well, then, you can just leave it for me.” She smiled at him, making the few steps it took to be standing right in front of him.
“If you touch me, this is gonna be over quick.”
“Did turning forty mean you magically can’t get it up twice in one night anymore? You managed it less than two weeks ago.”
“I am older now.”
“Uh-huh. Two weeks older. Do we need to get you a cane, and reading glasses, too?”
“Come here.” He grabbed her, one arm all he needed to pull her onto his lap, and he had his mouth all over her, moving down her sternum, his tongue laving her tits just a little roughly, but she didn’t mind. He swiped across her nipple, then abruptly pulled back. “Sorry, I forgot, won’t happen again.”
“In fact, try it again.”
“I think we can reopen that part of things as Matt-land.” Maybe it was just that Jack was starting to take more solids and nursing less often, or she was more comfortable with the idea of her new boobs, or just finally getting over whatever her hang-up was, but his hands and even his mouth on her didn’t bother her tonight. It had, in fact, felt really fantastic.
“Fuck, yes. Happy Birthday to me.”
“Really, out of everything, that’s your favorite-“
“Sylvie, I haven’t been allowed to touch your tits with intent in more than six months.” He replied, then his mouth was busy doing other things. She enjoyed the sensations, which really weren’t the same as with Jack, who was looking for nourishment, whereas Matt was more holistic in his approach, going for every part of her and his hands caressed her, well, his left hand did, and she could feel him hard between their stomachs. She realized he was more lapping at her, now, and she looked down, realizing as she did that she had let down milk. It was about mealtime for Jack, if he’d been home.
“Matt, I’m sorry, that’s-“
“Don’t apologize.” Matt cut her off. “It’s fascinating. And really fucking sexy.”
“Really? Leaking milk is sexy?”
“Maybe it makes me a total pervert, but fuck, yes. It’s so fucking hot. Can I…taste it?”
“I guess so.” She wasn’t prepared, even after months of nursing Jack, for the stronger pull of an adult mouth, or the hint of teeth that came with it. It didn’t actually feel that much like Jack at all, which she hoped explained why it felt sexy when Jack nursing did not. It felt a lot more like it had when Matt had done this before. Maybe that, or the fact that she could feel and smell Matt all around her; no, there was no way to mistake this sensation for the other. She clutched his head to her, because it felt good, both a release of the pressure but also just for itself, the nipple stimulation that she hadn’t had, not in this way, for so long. Matt switched to her other breast, spending several minutes there, before pulling away and kissing her, and she could taste her own milk in his mouth, which was strange and a little off-putting actually. She pulled back.
“I’m not a fan of the taste.”
“I am.” Matt growled, his teeth, lips, and tongue making a fiery path along her jaw and back down her neck. “But I need to be inside you, Sylvie. I need you. Now.”
“Lay back. I want to ride you.”
“Condom.” He reminded, gesturing to the bedside table. “You have to…I don’t think I can manage it left-handed.”
“Lay back.” She told him, and he went obediently, while she reached for the condom. She managed it quickly enough, and if she rode him hard and fast after that, well, she had promised to ride him until he popped. She was a woman of her word. In fact, she exceeded her word. She knew he’d come, and so had she, but another orgasm was lurking right behind, she could feel it, and she knew he could stay hard a little longer if she just kept going she could reach it, and she rode harder, grinding down into his pelvis, seeking as much friction as she could find, chasing that bliss, and then it was there, suddenly, crashing over her. She collapsed against his chest, remembering to fall to her right at the very last second, so she didn’t jostle his shoulder too much.
“You okay?” Matt asked over a few minutes of her not moving, well, nothing of her moving except the muscles in her core and in her pussy, which she could still feel spasming a bit around him.
“Your dick is fantastic. I want to keep it inside me forever.”
“Thanks, but I think we have a bit of a problem.”
“I can’t tell for sure until you move but I think the condom broke.”
“Well, I’m not complaining at all, but that sometimes happens when a woman rides me like I’m a mechanical bull in a country bar.”
“Really? You know this from your vast experience with lots of women riding you like that?”
“There’s been a few over the years.” Matt kissed the top of her head. “Only you, for the last, well, a lot of years. But I do know the feeling of a broken condom.”
She moved, and looked down, sure enough, that was definitely broken. Matt peeled the remnants off, and began very oddly laying the pieces across his own abdomen.
“What are you doing?”
“It’s like a jigsaw puzzle. I have to make sure I have all the pieces. Trust me, you don’t want a bit stuck inside. Happened once, when I was dating Susannah, she got a pretty bad infection.”
“Susannah? Wait, isn’t that the girlfriend Kelly hated?”
“That’s the one. And, success, it’s all here. Clean break.”
“Good.” She paused, wondering if she should, but decided what the hell, might as well ask him, it’s not like he’d lie to her, so the worst that could happen was him refusing to answer. “What, uh, what happened with her anyway?”
“She got an infection, had to go into the doctor. Actually, that was what led to the end of that relationship.”
“The doctor examined her, got the pieces out, ran some tests, including an STI panel. Standard procedure. Turns out she had gonorrhea. Got it from one of the guys she was cheating on me with apparently.”
“Oh my…Matt, that’s awful.”
“Hep C, too. Had to get a year’s worth of regular testing after that.”
“I can see why you broke up with her.”
“She dumped me.”
“Well, I was going to, but she got it in her head I gave it to her, and she dumped me. The gonorrhea, I mean, the Hep C was almost certainly from the drugs she was using. I knew about those. Sort of. I thought it was more recreational than it was. Don’t worry, I’m totally clean. It’s been almost twenty years, no way I’d develop anything after this long. I did get a full panel, before we had sex. Just in case. Not that I was, you know, out with a lot of women or anything.”
“No, that’s not what I was…” She sat up, looking down at him. She scooped up the broken condom, dumping it into the trash can she kept by the bed now. Matt hated how it looked for some reason, but he could just put up with it as long as they were using condoms. Once she went back on birth control in a couple months, she’d move it. She turned her attention back to Matt. “I was just stuck on wondering how you even met her and what you were thinking actually dating her. I mean…what were you thinking?”
“I was thinking south of my belt. As Andy and Kelly regularly pointed out. She could do things…anyway, she was, the sex was, it was wild and she made me feel…” Matt paused, looking away. Then he brought his eyes back to hers. “She told me she loved me. Every time I’d get upset about something she did, she’d…she promised she loved me. I hadn’t heard anyone say that to me in…I couldn’t even remember how long, it had been years before my parents…before. Then it had been five years since that. Dr. Sandlin and I worked through that, a little while back, because I used to wonder why I put up with all her crap, too. I knew she was bad for me, Sylvie, I knew it. I knew she was cheating on me. I hadn’t had to face it before that positive STI test, but I knew. I knew about the drugs she was into. But every time I’d…she said she loved me. And I’d started to think no one ever would." Matt paused again, his eyes on the sheets for a few moments. Then he met her eyes again. "Sometimes, when I’m…when I’m needy and desperate, I do stupid things. Not many that stupid, but sleeping with Chief Pridgen’s ex-wife, barely ex, after I knew who she was and that he was my new boss, that’s pretty high up there.”
“That was after you and Gabby broke up.”
“I let Gabby go because she clearly wanted to be my candidate more than to be my wife and she couldn’t be both. I couldn’t separate myself as her lieutenant and myself as her fiancé. And she knew she could get by with anything at work – which is dangerous as hell for a candidate – because I wouldn’t discipline her like I did every other candidate because, well, for a couple reasons. One, if she got mad at me, forget not having any sex, she wouldn’t even touch me, might go a week with barely speaking to me or when she did, she was...unfriendly, let alone affectionate. I knew that. Two, a candidate is usually new to a house, so the officer has the crew’s loyalty and backing.”
“Your guys would do anything for you.”
“Not if the other option is Gabby Dawson.” Matt pulled her down to lie next to him. She was glad her spot was on his left side, so she could cuddle without jostling his arm. He kissed her softly, brushing the fingers of his left hand through her messy hair. “You’re the only person in 51 I’d trust to take my side today if it came down to choosing her or me, and back then, you’d have picked her. It was nice to be picked, to be wanted, with Beth - the ex-Mrs. Pridgen. It was stupid, though. Just like it was with Susannah.”
“Yeah, it was.”
“Luckily, I have you now. Team Matt, right?”
“No matter what. But I think we should call it Team Casey. You and me – and Jack – against all comers, no matter what life throws at us. We’re always on your side, Matt. Always.”
"I'm starting to really know that. Deep down." Matt kissed her softly. "There's not a lot in this life I don't doubt, Sylvie, but you, I trust. I can tell you about Susannah and I know you'll still love me. I can tell you anything, be anything, do anything, with you - so thank you. For putting up with me and my crap, and being the kind of woman I can trust this much."
This time, Sylvie kissed him, hard and deep. She tried to pour all of her emotions into it. She couldn't find the words, but it felt like that nasty boil had finally, truly, burst. She'd never doubted he loved her, but hearing that he knew she loved him no matter what, that was best feeling in the world, right up there with holding her son.