Sorry it took me so long to get this one finished up. I hope you think it was worth the wait. A big thank you to Ninjam for the fabulous beta services. The check is in the mail… Oh, and caution – smut ensues.

Disclaimer: I own nothing but a dirty mind. I hope that the people that do own these characters don't mind that I took their clothes away.

In the Land of the Free

The day hadn't started out as well as it ended. I will admit that when I picked Jim up that morning, I was feeling a little, um, nervous would be the best word I can think of. Not nervous about being with Jim, but nervous about what I was doing with my life, to my life.

Roy was as good as his word, which to tell you the truth, wasn't always all that good. But this time, he managed to do what was right. By the time I got home the night before, Roy had been there and gone, leaving behind a note that said he'd be at Kenny's if I wanted to talk.

I admit, I was a bit tempted. I mean, it's hard to just stop, you know? After you've been with someone for so long, how do you just stop? I may have even gone so far as to reach for the phone. But in the end, I didn't call him. I couldn't. I knew that no matter what we were to each other, or had been, we weren't that anymore. I knew that I had to figure out who I could be on my own.

I felt a little stronger as I crumpled the sheet of twenty pound multi-purpose stock in my hand. I felt a lot stronger as I balled it up tightly and tossed it into the trash can from across the room. Boys aren't the only ones who can shoot hoops.

Still, I did feel a bit guilty as I lay in the bed I had shared with Roy for too many years. I felt guilty because it wasn't Roy I was thinking about, it was Jim. Of course, to be perfectly honest, it wasn't the first time I had stared at this ceiling thinking about my good friend Jim in a manner that wasn't entirely friendly. I can admit that now. Now, that Roy isn't snoring away next to me. But in the dark of night, alone in that room, I felt guilty for all those times that I did lay there next to Roy thinking about another man.

By the time I was dressed and ready to leave this morning, I had packed my steamer trunks and was taking a guilt trip of seriously epic proportions. I almost called Jim to cancel. I almost called to cancel my appointments to view the apartments I had called about the day before. I almost called Roy to confess everything and beg him to come back. And then, I looked out of the window. ThenI noticed that not only had Roy packed a bag full of clothes to go stay with his brother, but he had also hooked up the trailer that carried the wave runners and hauled it away with him.

I wandered into the bedroom, trying to figure out what else he had taken, but I couldn't see one other thing. No mementos, no DVDs or CDs, not even the framed copy of the engagement picture they had taken years before that sat on his nightstand. I couldn't believe it. After all, he was coming back here after I moved out, so why bother hooking up the trailer and hauling it with him? I stopped short when I noticed the empty shelf in the bookcase in the living room, the same shelf that I always complained about having to dust. Roy had taken the time to pack up his trophies and yearbooks from high school.

That's when I realized that Roy had taken what was really important to him, and left everything else behind.

Guilt resolved, or absolved, or just solved altogether.

Jim was quiet when I picked him up, but I wasn't surprised by that. Jim is not really a morning person. Not that it was all that early. Still, it was a weekend, so I guess his batteries were not quite charged yet. He said very little as we toured a tiny beige apartment in a large beige building. He said nothing at all as he looked around in horror at a larger apartment in a smaller building that looked like something out of an institutional nightmare.

When we got back into my car, I smiled as Jim tried dodge the automatic seatbelt and ended up having to disentangle himself before reaching for the lap belt. "Good thing they gave up on this little invention, huh?" I asked as I clicked mine into place.

"Yeah."

"So, wow, creative use of cinderblock," I commented as I put the car in gear.

Jim frowned. "I guess you wouldn't have to worry about any kind of infestation," he said at last.

"Cheerful thought," I muttered as we pulled away from the curb.

"Sorry. It was just… awful," he said with a soft laugh.

"Like a prison."

"Or an elementary school."

"Now that is frightening," I said, flashing him a smile as I slowed to a stop sign. When he didn't return it, I felt my heart clench. "Um, do you want me to take you home? We don't have to go car shopping. I mean, it's not like I'm going to really buy anything. At least, not until after I figure out the apartment thing," I babbled.

"I'm good. We can go look if you want to," he said with a shrug.

Pulling away from the stop sign, I turned right, heading into an older section of town. I drove slowly down the tree lined street, glancing appreciatively at the large homes that were being renovated and in some cases converted into businesses. When I stopped at the next intersection, I spotted a sign that made me laugh. Jim glanced over at me curiously and I nodded to the sign shaped like a coffee mug that read, 'The Creamatorium'. Jim smiled for what seemed like the first time, and I drove through the intersection, pulling into the first open spot I could find.

"What are we doing?" he asked.

"You either need coffee or to be cremated," I said as I killed the engine. "Come on, I'll buy you some caffeine."

Jim followed me into the coffee shop, and we paused to look around. "This is nice," he said as he nodded to the exposed brick walls decorated with what appeared to be the works of local artists.

"I love this area. The old houses, the big trees," I said as we wandered up to the counter.

Within minutes, we sat at a tiny table; Jim with his coffee, me with my tea, and a giant cinnamon roll sat on a plate in the no-man's-land between us completely untouched.

"So," Jim said casually as he lifted his coffee cup, "how was it when you got home last night?"

"How was it?" I asked, confused by his question.

"Yeah, uh, with the moving on or forward," he said without meeting my gaze.

"Well, it was quiet," I said slowly.

"Quiet?"

Suddenly, it clicked for me. "Oh! Roy's not there. He's staying with his brother until we get it all sorted out," I explained quickly.

"Oh." Jim sat back in his chair, eying the cinnamon roll but making no move toward it. "So, he's okay with it?" he asked cautiously.

"I think we both knew it was coming," I answered, suddenly fascinated with the soggy tea bag I had placed on a napkin.

"Are you okay with it?" he asked, looking up.

I looked up, meeting his spring green eyes as I told him bluntly, "It was my decision."

"I see," he said with a slow nod. He took another sip of his coffee and then leaned forward, bracing his elbows on the table. "I'll make a deal with you, Beesly. You give me half of this cinnamon roll that you bought to torture me, and I'll tell you what my research uncovered last night."

I smiled, pushing the plate a little closer to him. "I got it for us to share, but I will admit that I am intrigued. Tell me, what did this research entail?"

I saw the spark of Jim's usual enthusiasm catch and take hold as he picked up a fork and plunged it into the unsuspecting roll, leaving it there as he launched into his spiel. "Okay, so I looked into the Yaris some more, and I think that you should definitely test drive it. But, before you do, I think you should drive some others," he said as he held up one finger to make his point and then reached into the back pocket of his jeans.

He smoothed a piece of twenty pound multipurpose stock that had been folded precisely into quarters out on the table and then tore a chunk of roll away with the momentarily abandoned fork.

I looked down at the paper and smiled as I tried to decipher Jim's messy scrawl by reading it upside down. I saw the model names of four other cars comparable in size to the Toyota that had caught my eye and grinned when I spotted a jumble of numbers next to each one. "Now, I will concede that the Yaris is adorable," he said mockingly. "So, that's why you shouldn't drive it until last. It's too tempting," he concluded as he shoved the hunk of gooey roll into his eager mouth.

"I see," I murmured, trying to hide my amused smile. And I did see. I saw Jim. Jim, who was a little goofy. Jim, who died of boredom almost every two days, like clockwork. Jim, who could zero in one something like a laser beam when it caught his interest.

"I can't have you being seduced by that pretty blue paint job," he teased.

"Well, I am just that easy," I said as I plucked the fork from his fingers and speared my side of the roll.

Okay, I'll admit it; there were plenty of other forks available at the counter. All I had to do was ask for one. But, if I asked for one, I might not get to watch Jim's eyes follow my hand as I lifted a dainty bite of cinnamon-y goodness to my lips. I might not get to see that little flicker of light and flame in them as my lips closed around the tines. I might not get to feel his fingers brush against mine as I offered him the fork back, and he took it wordlessly.

"So, I have to drive these others first?" I asked, nodding to the list in front of him.

"Uh, yeah. I think that would be best. Um, that way you get an idea of what you like and what you don't like," he said as he started tearing off another hunk of the tempting sweet.

"Yes, one should always test drive before they buy," I answered solemnly.

I know that Jim heard the laughter in my voice, because his head jerked up. I tried to smother my smile, and failed miserably. It was okay, though, because this time my smile brought his smile as he gave his head a little shake. It also brought a faint pink blush to his cheeks as he ducked his head and studied the list he had made far too intently.

"You gonna eat that?" I asked, nodding to the chunk of roll impaled on the fork.

"Huh?"

"I guess I should get another fork," I said, adding a dramatic sigh for effect.

"Oh!" Jim shoved the cinnamon roll into his mouth and then offered the fork to me.

I grinned as I took it. "At this rate, we might get out of here in time to make my fifteen minutes 'til closing window," I teased as I gathered my next bite.

"I'll get another fork," Jim said through stuffed cheeks as he pushed his chair back.

"No, wait," I said quickly, and maybe a tad too emphatically. Jim's eyebrows shot up questioningly and I shrugged. "This is more fun," I told him, popping the bite into my mouth and then letting my lips glide over the tines before holding out the fork for him to take his turn. After all, if he thought I could be had by a pretty blue paint job, it was up to me to prove that he was just as easy.

"Okay, so you think I should sell this car myself rather than trading it in," I said as we pulled out of the parking spot thirty minutes and one giant cinnamon roll later.

"You won't get as much on a trade. I checked the values on this car online. I wasn't sure about the mileage on it, so I guessed, but it's in great condition and there's bound to be someone looking for a decent car for their kid or just to get back and forth to work," he said with a shrug.

"Okay, sounds reasonable." I slowed as we approached the next stop sign and smiled at him. "Thanks for checking it out."

"No problem."

As I started to pull into the intersection, Jim grabbed my arm, startling me so I slammed on the brakes. "What?" I asked as I scanned the empty intersection frantically.

"Sorry, I just… Look," he said as he pointed to the neatly kept house on the opposite corner.

"Oh. Yeah, it's nice," I said as I began to proceed across the street with a little too much caution.

"No, look! Apartment for rent," Jim said as he pointed to the sign attached to the mailbox.

"What?"

"Pull over," he said as he pointed to the curb.

I pulled to the curb and Jim twisted in his seat to double check the sign. "Let's go check it out," he said excitedly.

"Jim, apartments in this area are probably really expensive."

"So? It doesn't hurt to look."

"It might," I said, wincing at the thought of falling in love with a place that I couldn't afford and then having to settle for something less, something beige, or worse, something built entirely of cinderblocks.

"Pam, you don't get what you want unless you ask. Sales 101. Trust me, even Dwight knows that one," he said with a smirk.

"But Jim…" I started to protest as he opened his door, yelping as the seatbelt cruised along its track and nearly took his ear off.

"We'll just ask, Pam, that's all," he promised as he climbed from the car.

With a sigh, I turned the car off and then hurried down the sidewalk to catch up with his long strides. Jim smiled reassuringly as we walked up the front steps, and then he reached for the bell.

A woman with long dark hair answered the door. "Yes?"

Jim smiled winningly through the screen door. "Hi. I'm Jim Halpert, and this is my friend, Pam Beesly. We saw your sign for the apartment, and Pam happens to be thinking about finding a new place, so we thought we'd stop and ask about it."

"Oh. Well, the apartment is upstairs. It has a separate entrance on the side. Two bedrooms, one bath, full kitchen. My tenant just moved out last weekend, and I haven't had a chance to clean and paint yet," she said cautiously.

"Wow, sounds great, doesn't it, Pam?" Jim said as he beamed at the older woman. "Could we, is it possible for us to take a look at it?"

"Yes, let me just get the keys," she answered, carefully closing the door before disappearing into the house again.

"Jim," I hissed.

"Come on, Beesly, this will be fun," he cajoled.

"I can't afford two bedrooms."

"We're just looking. Hey, maybe later we'll test drive an Escalade," he said with a nod.

I couldn't help it, I laughed; caught up in his enthusiasm, caught up in his smile.

"Here we go," the woman said as she opened the door holding a set of keys.

Jim and Pam stepped back as she came out onto the porch, and then followed her down the steps and along a narrow walkway that led to a steep set of wooden stairs climbing to the second story. "My last tenant was a musician," she commented.

Jim nodded and said, "Pam is an artist." I pinched his arm, and pinched it hard. Jim simply smiled as he yanked his arm away. "Still creative, but a lot quieter, right Pam?"

The landlady turned on the steps. "Really? What medium?"

"Um, none really," I said hesitantly. "Jim's exaggerating. I just, I like to draw."

"Pencil? Charcoal?" she asked.

"Uh, some of both. Some oil pastels or watercolors when I have the time," I said, feeling the heat of a blush in my cheeks.

"She's really good," Jim told her, earning another pinch.

"I'm a photographer," the woman explained. "I have a portrait studio, that pays most of the bills, but I just had a small showing at Community Center. You should show there, they always get a nice turn out."

"Oh. Well, um, maybe. Someday," I said, my heart tripping at the thought of displaying anything I had drawn.

"I'm sorry, I forgot to introduce myself. Margaret Newman," she said as she offered them both her hand.

"It's still too expensive," I argued as we turned into the Ford dealership.

"Really, it's not when you figure in the utilities. Most other places don't include them," Jim replied easily.

"This is all crazy," I muttered as I parked outside of the showroom. "What are we looking at here?" I asked, anxious to change the subject.

"The Focus," he answered as he bailed out of the car. "The light in there was great, you said so yourself," he reminded her.

"It's almost a hundred dollars more a month than I wanted to pay," she retorted.

"What if we can get her to come down on the rent?"

"How? I mean, she has to charge what she has to charge, right?"

Jim smiled and said, "Everything is negotiable, Pam. She has to have some profit built into that rent."

I rolled my eyes as I turned away from him, bracing myself as a salesman approached, and then scowling as the rotund man in the too tight golf shirt bypassed me and walked straight to Jim.

Two hours and three dealerships later, I had enough of being ignored. Jim, however, was tickled by it. "It's unbelievable. No matter how many times I tell them that they should be dealing with you, they still talk to me."

"Yes, it's quite a hoot," I said, shooting him a glare.

Jim held his hands up defensively. "Hey, not my fault if they're idiots, Pam. You heard me. How many ways can I tell them that you're the buyer? Apparently, every one of these guys flunked Sales 101, I should sic Dwight on them," he said with laugh.

"You know what?" I blurted, startling both him and me.

"No, what?" he asked with an indulgent grin.

"I'm not buying a car. At least, not right now," I said decisively.

"No?"

"No. This car is perfectly fine. Why should I buy a new one when there's nothing wrong with this one?"

"Nothing other than the ninja seatbelts," he grumbled good-naturedly.

"Well, I'm used to them. You'll just have to suck it up, Halpert."

"Sucking it up," he answered with a solemn nod.

"And you know what else?" I demanded.

"No, but I have a feeling you're going to tell me," he said warily.

"I'm taking that apartment," I said, almost daring him to challenge my decision.

"Great! I think you should."

"It's a great apartment in a great neighborhood, and damn it, the light is great in there!"

"Greater than great. Go Pam," he said with an encouraging smile.

"I'm going," I said with a nod as I peeled out of the Chevrolet dealership.

It was heady; I felt the rush of adrenaline as we sped across town, I basked in the warmth of his approving smile, and I gripped the steering wheel tighter to keep from reaching over and grabbing him. Excitement sizzled through my veins. Things were happening, big things, fun things.

After pulling to a stop in front of the pretty old Victorian, it was Jim who jogged up the sidewalk to catch up as I hurried to the door. It was Jim who hung back, his hands buried deep in his pockets, as I rung the bell. It was Jim who stood behind me. I could feel his smile warming my back, his breath stirring my hair, the solid warmth of his body backing me up as I talked to Margaret, negotiating a lower monthly rent in exchange for doing the cleaning, painting and minor household repairs myself. It was Jim who hovered in the entryway, quietly waiting as I filled out the standard application form that she handed to me and wrote out a check for the deposit.

When we shook hands, agreeing that I could move in this week provided that my references checked out, it was Jim who stepped forward and asked, "You did put me down as a reference, didn't you, Beesly?"

I smiled glancing at Margaret as I nodded. "Better you than Michael. Jim probably knows me better than anyone," I told her, knowing that it was the absolute truth. "He's my best friend."

He blushed, and I could see Margaret start to smile. "That's nice," she said quietly.

Jim nodded. "Pam's really nice. Quiet, for the most part," he added with a winning smile. "She's very reliable, someone you can always count on. She's also very funny, not that it matters whether your tenants are funny or not," he rambled. "Oh! I know she balances her checkbook to the penny. I've caught her doing it. She even uses the little form on the back of the bank statements." His eyes widened as he realized that he wasn't being particularly helpful, and I couldn't help but giggle a little.

"Uh, she's just… She's just great," he finished lamely, the color deepening in his cheeks. "Wow, maybe Michael would be a better choice," he said as he gave me a wry smile.

I grinned at him, shrugging helplessly as I turned back to Margaret. "I can give you other references, he clearly sucks at this."

"Pam!" I laughed at the gaping shock on his face, and so did Margaret.

"I think he did fine," Margaret said kindly. "He's right, you are funny," she told me.

"Well, there you go. You can have all of this hilarity living right upstairs," I replied straight faced.

"I think this will probably work out just fine," she said quietly. "I'll call you on Monday."

"Great." I nodded as I turned to look at Jim. "Good thing you didn't blow it for me, Halpert."

"Yeah, I know."

That smile, I love that smile. Part-sheepish, part-cocky; a mixture of two parts of Jim that should be polar opposites, but somehow worked all mixed together. It was a powerful weapon, and the best part about Jim was that he didn't even know he had it. At least, I didn't think he knew. There was a wicked little gleam in his bright green eyes that made me think that maybe, just possibly, he did. All I knew for certain was that I had to find out.

"Hey, Margaret, would you mind if we went up to take another look? I just want to get some ideas. For paint and stuff," I added, hoping that I sounded more confident than I felt at that moment.

"Oh, not at all," she said with a nod. "Let me grab the keys again."

When she disappeared into the other room, Jim's face split into a wide smile. "Wow!" he said in a hushed, reverent tone.

"Shh." But it was too late. I could feel the flush creeping up my cheeks, the tiny hairs on the back of my neck standing at attention, and the rush of butterflies taking flight in my stomach.

Margaret returned with the keys, and I took them from her, promising that we wouldn't take too long as I ushered Jim toward her door.

Without waiting for him, I rushed down the porch steps and around the narrow walkway, climbing the wooden staircase as if I were a soldier marching off to war.

"These are going to be a lot of fun to carry stuff up when you move in," Jim commented as I slid the key into the lock.

"That's was friends are for, right?" I teased as I pushed the door open wide.

"Wow, Dionne Warwick is going to help you move in?" he asked as he followed me into the empty apartment. "Are some of her Psychic Friends going to help, 'cause that's a lot of stairs?"

"Ha ha." I pushed the door shut behind him and walked quickly into the living room.

"Why do I have a feeling I've been volunteered?"

"You don't want to help me?" I asked, widening my eyes innocently.

Jim rolled his eyes in reply. "What color in here, Beesly?" he asked as he gestured to the room.

"I think a really pale blue," I answered without hesitation.

"Already been picturing it, huh?"

"Yeah. I think we can make it really nice," I told him as I turned on my heel and walked toward the kitchen.

"We? You mean I get to paint too? Wow, I am a lucky guy," he said facetiously.

"You are," I agreed on all counts.

"You were incredible down there," he said with a laugh. "I wish those car salesmen could have seen you. Now I know why they wanted to talk to me. You drive a hard bargain, Beesly."

I sniffed at his implication. "I thought I was fair and reasonable," I told him primly.

"Oh, you were, but wow. Just wow," he said, rocking back on his heels and grinning as he looked around at the large eat-in kitchen. "What color in…"

I cut him off by plastering my lips to his. It wasn't the most graceful of kisses. He was caught a little off guard, and he definitely was at a height advantage, but I have to say, I think he got the picture. When I pulled away, he blinked rapidly, and I could see the wheels beginning to grind in his head as he tried to catch up.

"Wow," he said again.

"I can probably do better if you'll bend down a little," I said with saucy grin, basking in his shock and awe.

Something must have clicked, or those gears must have finally meshed, because the next thing I know, Jim wrapped his arms around me and pulled me flush against him.

"Okay," he said as he bent down, and then he kissed me.

Okay, you know what's fun? I mean, more fun than a spirited game of Flonkerton, or even a heated Pam Pong match? Kissing Jim. Kissing Jim is the most fun a girl can have indoors. Okay, maybe not the most, but we hadn't gotten that far yet, and I'd be willing to bet that it works just as well outdoors. I'll have to give that a shot sometime. But at that moment, in that kitchen, there was nothing more fun than kissing Jim and being kissed by Jim.

His lips were so soft, but strong and firm at the same time. You know what I mean, not slobbery. And that little groan I heard and felt and tasted? Well, that was even more fun. Fun, because I could feel every muscle in his body tense as I opened my mouth. Great fun because I felt one very important muscle giving our performance a standing ovation as his tongue tangled with mine.

I wouldn't even mind if some judge took two tenths off of our score when I stumbled back against the counter, because there I was, pinned between formica and a very hard place. It was delicious. Probably the best thing that would ever be served up in this kitchen. Definitely the hottest.

Jim's hands. Those big hands with those long fingers. Those hands were everywhere; in my hair, covering my back, kneading my waist, skimming over my ribcage, and oh, thank god, cupping my breast. Of course, my hands were definitely in the game. There was no way they were going to let his hands keep them out of the running. And running they were; over his shoulders, down his arms, under the hem of his shirt, and up over the warm skin of his back. I arched my back, pressing into the palm of his hand, demanding that he step up his game as I pushed his shirt up over his chest.

Wow. Extra points for the soft chest hair covering long, lean muscles. He topped twenty points for the way his rock hard abs quivered and danced under my fingertips. He passed thirty for that maddening thing his thumb was doing to my nipple.

"Jim," I gasped as his mouth moved from my lips to my neck, unerringly finding the pulse that throbbed in my throat.

"Do you want me to stop?" he asked, his voice hoarse as it vibrated against my skin.

"Stop and you forfeit," I warned him as I gently pushed him away from me.

"Okay, uh, conflicting signals," he mumbled as he took an unsteady step back.

I smiled, still gripping his bunched up shirt in both hands. "Pay attention," I told him sternly, and then yanked it up over his head.

Jim blinked in shock as he watched his shirt fall to the worn linoleum floor, and then gaped outright as I whipped my sweater up over my head, dropping it on top of his shirt.

"Pam," he rasped. I watched as his breathing picked up, and I could tell it took all of his strength to keep his eyes above sea level. And for that reason alone, he catapulted over forty and straight to fifty points.

I pressed my lips together, rubbing them back and forth slightly, trying to absorb the tingling sensation left over from his kisses. "Do you want to stop?" I asked quietly.

He laughed. Jim laughed at the mere insinuation that he would be the one to throw the game. "Are you kidding me? Pam, you have no idea," he said, his voice thick and husky as he stepped forward, his hand gliding over the bare skin of my waist. "Do you know how many times I've thought about this? Dreamed of this?" he asked bluntly.

"Me too," I told him, looking up into those mesmerizing green eyes. There, that's the shade, I thought with a jolt. Darker green than laughing Jim. Smoky. Green with a haze of grey and smoldering lights of gold. That's the color I'm painting my bedroom, I decided then and there.

"But we should stop," he said reluctantly.

"Stop? Why?" I demanded. An edge of panic made my voice waver, but I pushed on. "Don't you, um, want this? Want me?"

Jim ran his hand over my hair, loosening the clip that held it back, and running his fingers through it to smooth it down onto my shoulders. His touch was so gentle it made my heart ache. The heat of his fingertips against my bare skin made something else ache even more.

"Pam, listen to me," he said softly. "I want this, want you, more than anything or anyone I have ever wanted in my life," he said slowly. "But we're standing in a kitchen. A kitchen that isn't even your kitchen yet," he pointed out with a wry smile.

"Do you mean that?" I asked, searching his eyes. "Not the part about the kitchen," I quickly clarified.

"I mean it."

I smiled as his gaze flickered down at last. His breath caught in his throat, and then he quickly looked up, that sheepish/cocky smile tilting his lips as he shrugged helplessly. I laughed. I couldn't help but laugh because in a way, it was so utterly ridiculous. I laughed, because in another way, it was probably the most exciting thing I have ever done in my life.

Holding those smoldering green eyes with my own, I reached behind me and opened the clasp on my bra, smiling smugly as the material gave way, and Jim groaned.

"Killing me," he whispered.

"Touch me," I countered with a bold smile.

And he did. Boy, did he touch me. I guess I expected him to be a little shy, his touch a little more gentle. Boy, was I wrong. He kissed me, hard and hot. His mouth covered mine as his velvety tongue smoothed over my own. He filled his hands with my breasts, squeezing me, teasing me, and driving me wild. And wild I was, pressing against him wantonly, desperate for more of him.

I'd never felt like this with Roy, I can admit that now, now that I know the difference. I wanted Jim with a need so raw, so consuming that I felt like I would spontaneously combust if I couldn't have him. And I didn't want to combust. Not yet.

His mouth was hot as he blazed a trail of open mouthed kisses down my neck. His breathing was labored, his chest heaving with effort as he pinched my nipples, making the aching tips harden further. His body was hard, so hard under my hands, pressing against me.

Let me tell you a little secret I learned about Jim Halpert in those breathless few minutes. There are a lot of adjectives that I could use to describe Jim. Dorky is the one that usually springs to mind. Funny, charming, sweet and thoughtful are usually close on dorky's heels. But what I learned in the cavernous kitchen on that bright, sunny afternoon was that my dorky, charming, funny friend Jim was smooth. As smooth at the freckled skin stretched taut over his broad shoulders. As smooth as the muscled planes of his long back.

I yelped as my feet left the ground. I purred, yes, purred; as my bottom hit the countertop and I looked down to see those long, lean muscles in his arms bunched tight. I curled my fingers around them, squeezing the hard muscle as appreciatively as he had squeezed the soft curves of my breasts. And then he smiled, lowering his head to my breasts and drawing ardently on one aching nipple.

I may have cried out again, I'm not sure. I think I did, because I felt his lips curve against my skin as he pushed me back. My head hit the cabinet door, and I felt it give a little before holding steady behind me. I gripped his arms, pushing against the cabinet to brace myself as he took me in his hands again, his talented tongue swirling over the beaded tip of my breast with confident determination. Oh, he was smooth, so smooth with his soft lips and his silken tongue.

I felt one hand fall away from my breast and almost whimpered. Almost, but I didn't. I didn't because a moment later, I felt those long fingers sliding down my belly, down over the zipper of my jeans, and then pressing against the denim between my legs. That whimper turned into a moan so loud that I almost couldn't believe it came from me. But as those long, hard fingers moved over the seam of my jeans, I decided that I'd claim the moan and raise him one.

It was kind of a shame that I had to give up one of those arms, but I found it to be totally worth it when I ran my nails over the hard bulge in his jeans. His mouth came off of my breast, and his eyes flew open as if a thousand volts shot through him.

"Jesus, Pam," he rasped.

"I hear this is a team sport," I said softly, for once, liking the throaty sound of my own voice.

I looked him boldly in the eyes and a rush of pleasure sent heat coursing through my body. He must have felt it to, because his fingers pressed harder against my jeans. I loved the look in his eyes, a little wild and a lot of heat. I liked watching the rapid rise and fall of his chest. I felt wild and free. I felt sexy and seductive. I felt powerful.

"I want you, Jim," I said, my voice sure and steady.

I knew the moment the words left my lips that I had never spoken anything more true. I wanted him there and then. I wanted him hot and out of control. No dinner and a movie, there'd be time for that later. No soft seduction filled with tentative touches and gentle explorations, we'd get to that too.

"Pam," he whispered, his voice hoarse and helpless.

I smiled, knowing with a confidence that I had never felt before that he was mine for the taking.

"I want you," I repeated as I opened the top button on his jeans. He closed his eyes, drawing in a sharp breath as I tugged on his fly and the next button popped free. "Right now, right here," I whispered as I gave the worn denim a harsh yank, and the rest of the buttons rippled open.

Reaching past the denim, my fingertips brushed over well washed cotton boxers until I found him. A strangled groan escaped his parted lips as I stroked him lightly through the thin fabric.

"Say yes," I murmured.

"God, yes," he croaked, and then sprang into action.

Frantic fingers fumbled with my jeans, but I couldn't fault him for that. I was employing diversionary tactics. His knuckles pressed into my hips as he tugged on the waistband, grunting his frustration. I smiled, feeling strangely serene as I pulled my hand from his pants and pushed up off of the counter high enough for him to strip them down to my thighs. My shoes tumbled to the floor, followed quickly by my jeans, panties and socks. And finally, he smiled in return; his liquid green gaze traveling slowly up the length of my legs as he parted my thighs with his hands. The sheepishness was long gone, bludgeoned by the cockiness and smothered with the heat of desire.

"So beautiful," he murmured as his fingers trailed through the curls at the apex of my legs.

I watched him. I watched him watching me, and I have to say it was the sexiest thing I had ever seen. I watched as he parted me with his fingertips, tracing every contour of me with careful deliberation. I parted my legs, inviting his touch, and he didn't hesitate.

I knew I was wet. I knew that I had soaked through my panties somewhere around the time that his shirt hit the floor. Now he knew that I was wet, and I have to say, I liked him knowing.

He wet his lips with the tip of his tongue, and for a moment, I was jealous of those full lips, so I reclaimed them as my own. Lips, teeth and tongue, suddenly the world was exploding around us. His fingers pressed into me as his tongue swirled around mine, pushing into me with barely contained ardor. I refused to relinquish his mouth. I had him just where I wanted him. I kissed him harder, thrusting my tongue into his mouth as his fingers thrust into me. I pushed at his jeans and boxers, inching them down over his narrow hips as I ground against his hand.

Finally, I surrendered, tearing my mouth from his and gasping, "Now, Jim, I want you now."

He stepped back, and when his fingers slid from between my legs, I fully admit that I whimpered. I whimpered like a little needy baby. But I was okay with that, because Jim Halpert had lost his smooth, and was stumbling around in a strange kitchen trying to extricate himself from his shoes, socks, boxers and pants. Somehow the return of the dorky, offset the neediness of the whimper in my mind.

And then, he was naked. He was naked and I was naked and we were naked. Our eyes met as he stepped between my knees once more.

"Are you sure?" he asked breathlessly.

I couldn't help myself, I had to reassure him. Reaching out, I threaded my fingers through those soft curls at the nape of his neck and kissed him tenderly.

"Thanks for asking. Now quit stalling," I whispered as I wiggled to the edge of the countertop.

"I'm not stalling," he argued, grasping my hips and positioning me just where he wanted me.

"I think you are," I challenged.

"I'm not," he retorted.

I closed my eyes, a smile curving my lips as I felt the tip of his cock pressing against me. I let my head fall back against that unhinged cabinet door, ignoring the way it banged shut as he pushed into me.

"Pam," he panted.

"Oh yes," I moaned, shifting closer to the edge, knowing that he would never let me fall.

I reached one hand up to grasp the handle on another cabinet door, knowing what I must look like to him, and hoping that he liked the visual as much as I liked the image forming in my head. My hopes were confirmed a second later as he thrust into me, groaning my name.

It wasn't the stuff of romance novels. At least, not the Harlequins my Grandma kept stashed in her end table drawers. It was more the makings of Cinemax at Night, and I have to tell you, I liked it that way. I opened my eyes and saw Jim staring at me, his jaw clenched and a fine film of sweat glistening on his brow. His mouth fell open as he pushed into me harder and faster, his score for technical ability more than making up for anything he may have lost in artistic interpretation.

Watching him, I found myself drowning in the raw desire reflected in his eyes. Distantly, I felt the searing heat of my climax coiling low and deep inside of me. More presently, I felt each hard thrust of his cock taking me higher, pushing me, urging me, and all but begging me to take what I wanted most. So I did. I let myself go; feeling my breasts bounce with each powerful stroke, undulating against him each time he filled me, clinging to the handle on that cabinet so tightly I feared that it would snap off in my hand.

I heard Jim curse softly under his breath and then saw him bite down on his lip. With a cry I violently shook my head 'no' and he stared back at me in confusion. I saw the tiny drop of blood forming on his lip and lunged for him, kissing the afflicted skin softly just before I shattered into pieces.

I climaxed so hard and so fast that for a split second I saw stars. Of course, it's also possible that I saw them because for the last thirty seconds or so I had been banging my head against that loose cabinet door, but I choose to believe it was the orgasm. I had to fight to keep my eyes open, but I wanted to see him. I needed to see him.

"Pam," he whispered as he slowed, but still moved inside of me gently, oh-so gently.

I ran my hand over his tousled hair, as his forehead dropped to my shoulder. "Are you okay?" I whispered.

"I was just gonna ask you that," he answered as he pressed soft kisses to my collarbone.

"Did you, uh…"

He chuckled, and I could feel it down to the soles of my feet. "That's right, you were too busy hitting your head to notice," he teased.

Okay, satisfied Jim with the deep, gravelly voice? That is made of win. Win, win, win in my book. "Your fault," I said softly.

"Let me kiss it."

I let my head fall forward, and Jim gently kissed my hair. Would you believe me if I told you it was almost as good as the orgasm? It was, just in a totally different way. I sighed as he moved back slightly, and then pouted as I felt him slip away. The pout eased a bit as he stroked my hair, and I closed my eyes, relaxing into his touch.

Yellow, I thought as I pressed my head back against the cabinet with the door that wouldn't close all the way. Not yellow as is 'chicken', but yellow as in 'bright, cheerful daffodils' yellow. And I am never fixing this cabinet door.

Jim stood in front of me, wide-eyed and naked as the day he was born. "Pam?"

"Mm hmm?" I hummed the only sound I could actually manage at the time.

"Are you… Um, what are you thinking?" he asked cautiously.

I smiled. I couldn't help but smile. I couldn't help but reach out and touch the tips of those messy curls that sprang up behind his ear. I couldn't help but feel smug about the fact that I had made them even messier.

"I'm thinking I'll paint this room yellow," I said slowly, forcing the words past my parched lips.

Jim reared back slightly. "That's what you're thinking about?"

I couldn't stop myself. He was irresistible, with that injured/annoyed frown on his face, and those big green eyes staring back at me in shocked disbelief. I sat up, capturing his cheeks in both hands and holding him there as I planted a big one right on his kisser. And what a kisser.

"It's now my favorite room, and that's saying a lot, because I'm not much of a cook," I told him soberly.

"Well, thanks," he muttered with a dismayed shake of his head.

When he began to step back, I held firm, looking him straight in the eyes. "This was fun, wasn't it?"

"Fun?"

I smiled and I know he wanted to smile too. I could see the corners of his mouth twitching. I had to kiss them, so I did. Tiny soft pecks of comfort and gratitude and pleasure. Oh yeah, kissing Jim Halpert was nothing but a pleasure. And let me say, for the record, that pleasuring Jim Halpert and being pleasured by Jim Halpert is nothing but fun.

"Yeah, it was fun," I said as I snuggled into his neck. "I always have fun when I'm with you."

"Not exactly how I pictured this ever happening," he said dryly.

"That's what makes it fun," I said as I pulled back and grinned at him.

He grinned back, and then kissed me sweetly. "You're right. This was fun," he said as he gathered me close and hugged me tightly.

And hugging Jim Halpert naked in a strange kitchen that is soon to be mine? A full hundred points and a gold medal. Oh! Not one made out of a yogurt lid either, a real one. Solid gold, baby.

The End