The next morning Felice woke up by some motion close by. She opened her eyes and found Lennox lying next to her, watching her wake up.
"Good morning Commander." he smiled.
"Good morning Colonel." she replied and stretched herself. Lennox watched her with a smile. The sun was shining through the curtains, sending golden reflections over her blonde hair.
She reciprocated it a little bewildered. "What is it?"
"God, you are beautiful." he murmured and leaned in to kiss her. The kiss was long and lingering. Soon Lennox had her pinned under him, enjoying the intimacy with his lover. Felice reciprocated his kisses, but a quick glance to the clock on the opposite wall of the room told her that they were running into some serious trouble if they would keep going on. So she had to be the one to stop things before it went too far. Lennox shot her a confused glance and she nodded wordlessly towards the clock.
"Yeah, we really have to go." Lennox murmured, regretting that they had to leave their room. Reluctantly he rose, running his hand through his ruffled hair.
Felice knew that they had to leave. To leave their little universe and return to the harsh reality of their daily work life. To a reality where a nugget NEST solider was well- advised not to hook up with her CO. They'd risked their career. Lennox had risked it, multiple times. For her. And she was not sure if she was ready to do it as well. Suddenly she shivered. She wrapped a sheet around her body and followed him out of bed.
"I know. I guess I've kept you long enough."
The sad tone in her voice made him stop dead in his tracks.
"Do you see me complaining?" he asked and leaned in to kiss her.
"I don't think anyone was complaining."
He held onto her hand as he was about to move them back to the bed. She gave him a half-hearted smile.
"Hey, what's up?" he asked.
She shrugged. By the look in her eyes he understood. He'd hoped to have shown her that he would do anything to prevent that this affect their work and especially her reputation. He pulled her close.
"Everything will be fine, Felice. You'll see."
He wrapped her up into his arms. She let her fingers run over his bare chest.
"But what about your… our team? What will they say, when they hear about… us?" she replied.
That very thought had crossed his mind as well. Earlier, when he couldn't sleep anymore while he watched her sleeping he'd racked his brain about that problem. Now that they'd willingly crossed the line, they had to deal with the possible fallout.
"Well, it would be the best to keep it secret, for now… if you don't mind."
Looking up into his blue eyes, Felice found all the kindness and love and reassurance she needed. She smiled as she shook her head.
"I'm fine with it if you are." she replied, then a grin curled her lips. "But this not going to be easy." she whispered and leaned in to kiss him.
"Oh, I know exactly what you are talking about." Lennox murmured and pushed her back onto the bed.
It took them another hour and three calls from Epps to Lennox and her, until they finally managed to get down into the lobby. Epps was waiting in one of the lounge chairs and as he caught sight of them, a big grin spread across his face.
"Where are the others?" Lennox asked and let is bag drop next to Epps' chair.
"Already heading to the airport."
"Good, I am just checking out. Felice, I need your keys." Lennox nodded.
"Sure." she handed them to him with a small smile. It was all Epps needed as a confirmation. He had known his friends long enough and considering him it was about time that the Colonel and his fighter pilot had admitted what they felt for each other. All those stolen looks at work from either of them hadn't gone unnoticed by Epps and maybe the party yesterday, the change of environment had been the push they needed.
As soon as Lennox had turned his back to them, he grabbed Felice' arm and pulled her down into the lounge chair next to him.
"Finally." he said with a big grin. "I want to know everything!"
"Finally what?" Felice played innocent. The last thing she wanted was to discuss her love life with Epps.
"I am not blind, Felice. You and Lennox." Epps said and nodded to the Colonel who was speaking to the receptionist. "What exactly happened last night?"
Felice sighed. "Epps…"
He raised his hands in defense. "I get it. None of my business. I am just happy for you. It was about time." he smiled and Felice reciprocated it sheepishly. Looking in the dark eyes of her friend, she knew that she couldn't fool him. And that their secret was safe.
"Just please don't…"
"My lips are sealed."
"Thank you." Felice whispered and got up as Lennox was back with them.
Together they drove to the airport in silence to meet the others. Luckily, everyone except Felice and Lennox was having a hangover, so there was not much talking. Because their delayed check-in, they sat in some distance to their team members.
As soon as the plane was in the air, Felice placed her head on Lennox' shoulder and he wrapped an arm around her to pull her close. He tenderly kissed her hair and inhaled her scent. Feeling her soft skin under his fingers, hearing her even breathing William Lennox considered himself a damn lucky man. Not only that a beautiful girl was sleeping in his arms, but this very person was a kickass fighter pilot and NEST soldier and he knew that he could rely on her each and every day. He silently smirked as he caught himself thinking it which outfit suited her better; her uniform or THAT dress.
As if Felice had sensed his thoughts, she looked up with a sleepy smile.
"You are not so bad yourself, Colonel." she murmured while caressing his yaw.
"Shut up, Spur." he grunted but she could hear the smirk in his voice.
"Roger that." she whispered and snuggled to his side. It was the first time he'd called her by her call-sign. And she decided to take it as a good omen for whatever was lying ahead of them. A little while later, they both drifted off to the much needed sleep neither of them was able to get last night.
AN: That's it! A big thanks to all those loyal readers who stayed with me the whole time. You made it easy for me to keep on writing and improving the story.
As you may have noticed, some of Felice' and Lennox' secrets still remain in the shadows. I am currently working on a sequel, having the background stories for them figured out. But I am not sure yet how to place them into a good storyline and this may take a while. So goodbye for now!