This chapter contains slightly explicit smut, so be warned. M rated for a reason.

Chapter 2

Stubby toes curl at the feeling of cold prickling skin and in a sharp move the feet pull up, tangling in the covers, hiding away from the chill.

Steve's hand slips slowly across the mattress, fingers eagerly searching for the soft, warm body, but he finds only a lukewarm spot, where she must've been lying mere minutes ago. With a disgruntled huff he rolls over, duvet wrapping around him like a nice, snugly vice. The light that seeps through his lidded eyes is crisp and bright, but the silence in the air suggest it's early, probably too early for his liking.

The faint smell of something sweet and familiar reaches his nostrils, nudging him to open at least one eye. His slightly blurry vision focuses on a silhouette nearby, illuminated by the morning light. Steve opens both of his eyes, smile slowly spreading on his lips as he takes in the sight.

Cath is sitting by the kitchenette counter, one leg bent, feet propped on the second stool, the other tapping quietly on the wooden floor.

Steve's eyes sparkle appreciatively at the sight of her naked body clad only in his dark grey hoodie.

The material reaches her mid-thigh, but with her current position Steve has a very delicious view from his spot on the bed.

"Morning," she smiles, fingers clenching on the big mug she holds in both her hands, bringing it close to her mouth and blowing on the hot beverage. "It's barely past six," she says between sips, "So you can roll back to sleep."

"Mhmm," Steve stifles a yawn and props his head on his hand, cheeky smile curving his lips, "Not sleepy anymore. The view definitely woke me up."

He doesn't even try to hide his grin as he deliberately shifts his gaze to her slightly parted thighs.

Catherine's snort and a bubble of mirth that follows make her upper body shake, drawing Steve's attention to the roundness of her breasts, faintly visible through the thick fabric.

"Well you look like a cozy burrito," she scoffs at him and takes another sip, slurping loudly. Steve frowns at her before turning his head to glance at his body, which indeed is tightly wrapped in the covers, the duvet pulled up to his chin. His dishevelled hair sticking up in all directions and pillow creases printed on his face make Cath giggle.

With a theatrical gesture Steve pushes the covers away, the fabric rustling as it falls around his hips. "Do I have your approval now, Rollins?" he smirks, when her gaze drifts to the uncovered dark thatch of hair low on his abdomen.

"Almost," Cath tilts her head to the side, purposely keeping her eyes locked on his hips, before shifting to look at his face. Putting the mug on the counter, she stands up, stretching with a hum - arms reaching up, causing the hem of the hoodie to slide up.

"Nghh, just come here already!" Steve's impatient growl evokes a tingle of laughter, followed by a mischievous smirk.

Deliberately, she stretches more, pushing her chest forward and swaying on her tiptoes, letting her hand slide down her neck when she relaxes back. Her fingers play with the strings on his hoodie, as she steps towards the bed. "Patience is not your virtue," she snorts while kneeling on the mattress, but not making a move towards him, which causes Steve to huff.

"I'm getting cold here," he nudges her with his foot, grumbling at another salvo of melodic laughter that falls from her mouth.

He really is getting cold, chilly air swishing over his skin, tempting to pull up the covers and bury himself underneath them. Damn, he needs to work on surviving the cold more, especially considering his future career steps. Finally Cath gives in to his pout, crawling slowly over him, knees on both sides of his hips. The tips of her dark strands of hair graze Steve's skin, sending a pleasurable shiver down his spine. Which is nothing compared to the sensation caused by her hips pushing down, making contact with his pelvis.

Cath blows little warm puffs onto his torso and up his neck, until she reaches his mouth, nudging it playfully with her lips. "Better now?" she asks, kissing him slowly as she lowers her body, pressing into him fully, the softness of the hoodie warming Steve's chest.

"Very much so," his husky response vibrates on her lips as he captures them in a slow, deepening rhythm. The sweet flavour lingering on Cath's palate melts on his tongue and he recognizes now her choice of morning drink - cocoa.

Sliding his hands up her thighs, Steve grabs her ass possessively and kneads to urge the slow tempo in which she's rocking against him. "Past six?" he murmurs between kisses, "So lots of time before heading out for Christmas shopping." At his words Cath pulls back slightly, chuckling in disbelief, "You want to go Christmas shopping?"

"Of course," Steve states seriously, like speaking of a planned assignment, "We need a Christmas tree. And maybe," he adds with a wicked glint in his eyes, "Some red wrapping for you?"

Catherine's laughter evades quickly, when he pulls her down, hand on the back of her head as he explores her mouth greedily. Hips pushing up to meet the rough grinding motion, which grows urgent and crazy way too fast, rushing his blood south. He grips her hips, steadying the movement until it's a gentle swaying, hotness pressing against his stiffening cock.

As Steve's hand travels upwards under the fabric, skimming along her sides, Cath moves, ready to take off the hoodie, but he makes no attempt to help her with it. Instead he cups her breasts, fingers brushing over hardened nipples. The sudden pinch, tweaking the peaks, elicits a long moan. Catherine's hips slam down sharply, slick folds rubbing against Steve's cock, making him jerk.

The pace of their love making is chaotic, switching every few minutes from sweet exploring to needy fucking.

Long kisses, until they both gasp for breath, as Cath rocks her hips ever so slowly, keeping Steve's dick fully engulfed inside of her. Then her cries and whimpers, when he rolls them over, setting a rough, fast pace.

With Steve's fingers rubbing her clit, Catherine comes two times before he lets himself go. Curling up, she presses her forehead against his sweaty shoulder, fingers digging into his back desperately as tremors of a small, undone orgasm shake her body when Steve comes with a hoarse cry.

Cath's skin is sweaty, the thick, soft fabric clinging to her body, making her feel too hot, but she doesn't protest when Steve drapes the covers over them as they lay tangled, both heavily panting.

One of his hands is drawing small circles on her back, slipping on the drops of sweat slowly trickling down, the other entwined with hers where it rests upon his chest. He smiles at the funny murmur as Cath snuggles closer, rubbing the tip of her cold nose against his chest to warm it up. Her eyes are closed, his own eyelids feeling heavy, but neither of them is actually sleepy, it's more of a blissful relaxation state.

"Cath?" he taps his fingers against the skin of her palm, gentle touch matching the slow rhythm of a Christmas carol's melody, which some art musician has started playing outside, "I am really happy that you're here, but... weren't your parents mad?"

She opens her eyes and tilts her head back, to look up at him, not really surprised that his gaze is focused on the ceiling. He tends to stare at blank spots whenever he is thinking intensively about something strongly connected to emotions, or fighting with guilt creeping in. A part of her, that strongly overprotective part, wants to spare him from all of it, but she knows that honesty would be much more appreciated. And she'd never lie to him.

"Well, they weren't happy, that's for sure," Catherine replies sincerely, "And I understand it, but even my mom's tears wouldn't make me change my mind."

Steve turns his head, looking at her in an instant, a freshly stirred emotion shimmering in his eyes. He doesn't remember when the last time someone did anything like this for him was, especially considering how rarely she got to see her parents.

"You know," she moves her hand to touch his face, "My dad wasn't thrilled about it, but he... understood. He really understood why I stayed."

Steve swallows hard, whispering gratitude for Captain Rollins in his mind. Whether it was because of him knowing some parts of Steve's history, or simply understanding the tough demands of Navy life, the most important thing is that he understood.

Clearing his throat and blinking away the blurry vision of emotions clouding his eyes, Steve wraps his fingers around Cath's wrist and brings her hand to his mouth, kissing the inside of her palm. "So," the change in his tone is distinct and Cath knows the emotional conversation is finished, at least for now, "I think a solid breakfast is in order, before we head out to the winter wonderland."

"You really want a Christmas tree," she smiles at him, still slightly disbelieving that a very practical Steve McGarrett wants to spend his low budget on a tree, which they will have to abandon in the next week.

"I do," he nods, pulling her body on top of his, "If I were alone, I wouldn't. But with you," he pauses to kiss her softly, "With you I want the whole package."

Skeptically eyeing the large, bushy tree, which looks like it would probably fill the whole space of their small room, Cath sighs, "Steve."

"Yeah?" his response is muffled as he stands on the other side of the giant tree, checking whatever he thinks needs to be checked. The eagerness with which he had brought her to the small Christmas tree market a few blocks from their tenement, his pace impatiently quickening every few steps and then slowing down with a sheepish smile, made Cath's heart swell. But the slightly crazy idea of buying a really big tree is something she needs to tame, before he really does it.

Shaking her head, she steps around the tree to find him lying down, his upper body under the lower branches. "Steve," she pokes his ankle with her boot, "We can't buy this one."

"Sure we can," his carefree reply followed by a sudden spurt of spitting, makes her chuckle.

She waits for him to finally emerge from underneath the tree, brushing a few pine needles off his jacket as he straightens. With a grin she reaches to his hair, picking few green flecks stuck in his strands. The simple, but tender gesture makes Steve freeze for a moment, responding with a matching smile.

"Steve," she tries again, looking at him knowingly, "We really can't buy this one. For once," holding up her hand, she stops him before he interrupts her, "It's too big for that small space we have. Secondly, too expensive."

"I have money saved," he argues, sounding a bit like a kid wanting to buy a toy so much that he offers spending his own piggy bank money on it. "Come on, Cath," he motions to the branches, a lively shade of deep green, covered in snowflakes, "It's a beautiful tree."

"It is," Catherine agrees, "But you can't spend all your money on a Christmas tree, which we're going to throw out soon."

Reaching for both of his hands, she entwines their gloved hands, her blue wool against the black leather. "Steve," she says firmly, "I know you want it to be perfect for us. The whole package and all. And it will, I promise. We don't need the biggest tree to make it the best Christmas," tilting her head slightly, she tugs on his hands and pulls him even closer, "Besides, Sailor, we need to think of all the other things we will need. Ornaments. Food. Eggnog. We need to compromise and plan practically. Okay?"

Avoiding her gaze for a moment, longingly glancing at the tree, he finally sighs, "Yeah."

Cath snorts, noticing the way he keeps looking at it, "You want to say goodbye? Should I leave you two, so you can have a moment?"

"Funny, Rollins," Steve rolls his eyes and turns them both around, wrapping arm around her waist as he leads them toward the section with smaller trees, "But we are not buying a tree that is even an inch shorter than you. It has to be at least your height."

"Deal," she agrees mirthfully, "You know, I saw they sell mistletoe by the west entrance..."