Hondo wasn’t expecting company and he thought for a moment of not answering the door. Curiosity got the better of him. Looking through the peephole, he thought again of not answering the door.
Jessica breathed a sigh of relief when the door opened even though he didn’t look happy to see her.
“What are you doing here, Jessica?”
“We need to talk, Hondo.”
“It’s been two years and you want to talk now?”
As she passed him into the house, he wondered how he would be strong and how he would be able to remain angry with her. She wanted to talk so did he.
Home of Hondo Harrelson – Morning
They didn’t talk; not at first and now here they were lying in bed wrapped in each other’s arms. It had been over two years since she had been here, and a lot had changed in Hondo’s life. He’d taken in his ailing father and a wayward teen. The three had been good for each other because the Hondo she knew had an insatiable need to be the hero. He carried the world and all its problems on his shoulders.
Hondo absentmindedly ran his fingers up and down her arm; he knew that he shouldn’t have let this happen; it would only create more complications to an already complicated situation, but he wanted her, here in his bed and in his arms. He had loved her once having her here made him realize that everything else, everyone else was only a band-aid. He’d gotten involved with Nia, then Nechelle; both relationships brief and doomed from the start. His heart belonged here, with Jessica.
He knew that his love was not strong enough to save them. The price of them being together had always been too high and both wanted their careers more than they wanted each other. But that wasn’t the truth. Jessica had a desire to be a hero too and so the thought of him losing everything just to be with her, was unsatisfactory.
“This doesn’t change anything.” Hondo began.
“I know. So, are we supposed to pretend this didn’t happen?” She asked.
“What about David? How would he feel?”
“David realized that he couldn’t handle what I do for a living.”
“Yes, really. He broke up with me two weeks after I left SWAT.”
“Don’t be. He’s a great guy he’s just not cut out for this.”
“Who is?” Hondo asked.
“I wish I knew.”
Home of Nia Wells – Morning –
Luca pulled her tight against his body. He could feel her smile as she wiggled to get comfortable. He was happy and surprised that he was still happy. Before meeting Nia, Luca had begun to believe that relationships were not going to be a part of his life long-term and neither was happiness. Maybe that was why his life with SWAT meant so much to him. It had become his family making up for the dysfunction in his own family. His team accepted him and encouraged him but most of all he wasn’t judged. That was the love he needed the only love perhaps. The woman lying in his arms made him realize that he could have so much more.
“I want you to meet my family.” Luca blurted out.
He felt her tense then look up into his eyes. He was serious, it was clear as he looked down at her for some sign that she wasn’t about to run for the hills. Both of them, veterans of bad relationships, had become experts at knowing when to run.
“You do know how to wake a girl up, Luca.” She teased.
“I’m serious. I want you to meet my dad and my brother.”
Nia sat up pulling the sheet over her body. It was time to talk.
“You’re serious, aren’t you?” She asked.
“Hell yeah, I’m serious. I’m tired of us being a secret.”
“Whew, okay…you’ve really been thinking about this.”
Luca sat up and gently took her hand in his.
“I want to introduce you to my family, and I don’t want to tiptoe around Hondo anymore either.”
“I get it but what brought this on? Things are fine the way they are.”
“Nia, I’m all in. I need to know that you are too.”
She smiled softly at him and leaned over and kissed him on the lips.
“I’m definitely all in.”
“Good, that’s what I want to hear.” He replied returning the kiss.
Home of Hondo Harrelson –
Jessica watched Hondo walk toward the bathroom. Reality was beckoning and demanding their presence. As much as they felt for each other, last night had been nothing more than a distraction, a much-needed distraction. She felt like a coward for not demanding more…not admitting to needing more.
He felt her eyes on him as he walked through the bathroom door. Last night was not what he would have ever planned. His anger had masked his love and concern for her, but his body betrayed him. As the hot water beat against his skin, he couldn’t help but wonder if he had given up too easily. He remembered the day that he had offered to give it all up so that she didn’t have to. She turned him down knowing that if his career had meant as much to him as hers did to her, his sacrifice would have been too much to ask.
Hondo felt the cold air as she opened the shower door. With his back still to her he smiled praying that this wasn’t a dream. In one smooth move he turned and kissed her hard. Jessica returned the kiss while pushing him against the cold tile.
Jessica watched his eyes close as her hands roamed his body.
“We’re going to be late.” He moaned.
Peppering his chest with wet kisses her hands continued down his body.
“Yes, we are.” She agreed.
S.W.A.T. Headquarters –
Deacon smiled at his friend as he rushed through the locker room doors. Something was up and whatever it was, or whoever, had put a smile on his face. Luca was humming and Deacon couldn’t remember the last time he’d heard the man hum.
“I don’t think I know that tune, Luca!” Deacon teased.
Luca’s smile widened as he winked at his friend.
“It looks good on you.” Deacon continued.
“You think so?”
Deacon continued to dress while Luca opened his locker. No answer was needed.
“So, who is she?”
“Her name is Nia; Nia Wells.”
“Nia…wait why does that name sound familiar?”
“She’s an assistant D.A.” Luca answered.
“Oh yeah, I think she’s the one that helped Hondo get Darryl out of prison.”
“Uh, that’s her.”
Deacon immediately saw the look on Luca’s face fall, even his body language stiffened.
“Okay, what was that?”
“Nothing, nothing at all.” Luca replied.
“I’ve known you too long to believe that. I mentioned Hondo and everything changed.” Deacon pressed.
“It’s complicated, that’s all.”
“She’s Hondo’s ex.”
“Really, Luca? There’s not enough women in the city so you had to pick Hondo’s ex?”
“Come on, Deacon you sound like Street.”
“Does Hondo know about you two?”
“Yes, he knows and he’s good; at least he says he’s good.”
“Whew, complicated indeed.”
Luca chuckled before getting serious again. He needed to talk and he’d always respected Deacon as a voice of reason.
“There’s something else.” Luca began.
Deacon turned and took a seat on the bench somehow, he felt he would need to be seated for this.
“I want to take her home to meet my family.”
“Are you sure, Luca?”
“Your brother, Terry is cool but your dad he’s never been…tolerant if you know what I mean.”
“My dad will just have to accept the fact that I’m going to love whoever I want to love no matter what color they are.”
“I hear you man, but your father is from another time and he’s never hidden how he feels. I just don’t want you to get your hopes up that he’ll accept this.”
“I know who my dad is but, I don’t want to live my life as a narrow-minded dinosaur.”
The two sat silently for a few seconds before either of them spoke again.
“Deacon, I just want to be happy. You know me, always in and out of relationships because I had one foot in and the other foot out the door before ever really getting started.”
“You’re right about that. I mean you’ve spent time on all of our couches at some point.”
“Well, I’m tired of moving, tired of sleeping on couches. Nia has made me realize that I’m home. She’s amazing and I don’t want to have one foot in and one foot out the door anymore.”
“Yeah, man I’m serious. Nia is home for me, and I don’t want us to feel we have to hide because someone may be uncomfortable.”
“Even Hondo?” Deacon asked.
“Especially Hondo.” Luca answered.