Inspired by Martha Reeves and The Vandellas
Whenever I’m with him
Starts to burning
And I’m filled with desire
Could it be a devil in me
Or is this the way love’s supposed to be?
It’s like a heat wave
Burning in my heart (It’s like a heat wave)
I can’t keep from crying (It’s like a heat wave)
It’s tearing me apart
The music was pounding. Overwhelmingly loud. The lighting in the club all red and purple with strobes piercing the jumble of dancers as they moved sensuously to the music. Kensi would occasionally see Deeks, his body moving in rhythm with the woman he had been sent in to form a connection with. Emiliya Stoyanova was involved with a local Bulgarian gang, their prime suspects in the theft of munitions from a Naval weapons station in Seal Beach. Deeks’ assignment was to get an introduction to the thieves through Emiliya. The way he was performing, he apparently took that to mean he should seduce her. The tiny dress the woman wore clung to every curve of her body and Deeks’ hands hadn’t missed caressing them all night. He licked his lips before smiling softly at the woman, his mouth slightly open as he moved against Emiliya’s body. Kensi could feel the heat rising from deep inside of herself as she watched and tried to breathe.
“Your partner sure seems to be enjoying his assignment,” Sam said over comms as he looked on from the far end of the bar.
Kensi took a deep swallow of her drink when Callen giggled, hoping it would calm her agitation. She had argued Callen should be the one meeting up with this woman. She’d pointed out that he spoke Bulgarian and Deeks only spoke Pig Latin. Her comment had irritated Deeks, but Hetty had simply smiled, confirmed the assignment, remarking that Deeks spoke a different language a woman like Emiliya would respond to. Recalling the cocky look she’d gotten from Deeks afterwards only added to her annoyance with the current situation.
It wasn’t the first time she’d watched him with other women. He liked to flirt, seemingly unable to help himself even when he was interviewing a witness or a suspect. They’d only been partners for a little over a year and she had fun teasing and flirting with him in turn, but along the way, when he flirted with other women, something stirred deep inside of her. Undercover assignments like this one were another story. All she could do tonight was watch from a distance, and it was becoming irritating. Why did he have to be so damn charming? And sexy? It aroused deep feelings she didn’t want to admit were even there. Tonight, it had become like a heat wave building low in her belly, and his actions on the dance floor weren’t helping. It was putting her off her game. And that was dangerous for both of them.
The music suddenly stopped, but as the other couples left the floor, Deeks and Emiliya remained in an embraced that left nothing to the imagination. Kensi flushed as he kissed the woman as if no one were watching. As much as she wanted to do something, like knock the woman on her ass and end that embrace, she retained her cool and looked away. Down at the end of the bar Sam was staring at her, shaking his head no. Callen warned her, his voice quiet and firm and full of an understanding that made her even more angry. How could they know what she was feeling when she didn’t know herself? When Sam nodded toward the dance floor, she turned in time to see Emiliya lead a willing Deeks toward an intimate table in the back. She watched him kiss her fingers and then turn and walk towards the bar. He leaned in next to her and ordered a couple of drinks.
“Hey, Fern. Hot night, yeah?”
Kensi just shrugged without a reply. She could smell him, and it made her tremble. Heat radiated off of him and it was all she could do to maintain her poise. She wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of realizing that his closeness was affecting her.
“I could use a long, cold swim after this,” he said as he waited for his drinks. “What do you think? Hot summer night. Full moon. No clothes. You interested?”
“In your dreams.”
“Oh, I’m gonna have dreams. Sexy, sexy dreams,” he teased as he picked up the two drinks. “This may be the best assignment ever. Maybe Emiliya will take me up on a midnight swim.”
“We’re looking for weapons, Deeks. Remember?”
“I have weapons…oh, wait. You mean the real ones the Bulgarians stole.” He said with a cocky grin. “Yeah. Just so you know…Emiliya is very interested in mine…so no worries there…Sunshine.”
He whispered the nickname softly, his lips brushing her ear as he turned to go back to Emiliya. An uncontrollable burst of heat rose in her chest. She had trouble swallowing the sudden wave of desire that made her both angry and confused. He remained beside her, his breath warm against her cheek. She looked up into his blue eyes, seeing a deep yearning that surprised her. It was honest. Not a hint of the teasing she was so used to.
“Deeks,” Sam said. “Stay focused.”
“Copy that.” He replied softly.
The intensity faded from his eyes, and then he was gone, and the heat she was feeling ebbed and simmered. But questions remained. What had just happened? He was her partner, nothing more. Why was she trembling? Why did she suddenly want him so bad? What had changed? He was a cocky, irritating, arrogant smart-ass cop, who threw out stupid one liners at inappropriate times and pissed her off every day. Why would she be jealous? It was something she would never dare to admit. But if she was, why? Because some Bulgarian bimbo had responded to his blatant display of masculinity? He wasn’t that hot. Then why was she? And why did this place feel as if it were closing in on her?
“You okay, Kens?” Callen asked.
“I’m fine. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“You looked a little flustered there, that’s why,” Sam added.
“If you say so,” Callen said. “But Deeks’ little seduction out there has gotten us a whole lot closer to the Bulgarians and those stolen weapons. Emiliya seems smitten.”
“Some women are easily impressed,” she said.
“But you’re not, is that what you’re saying?” Callen asked.
“I just think he’s overplaying this whole romantic ladykiller act, is all.”
“So, you’re saying he’s too good at this?” Sam asked with a soft laugh.
“I just think he’s a little overconfident in his assets.”
She could hear both men trying to muffle their laughter, and her anger bloomed.
“I need some air,” she said. “You two can watch his ass. It’s too hot in here.”
“Kens. He’s your partner,” Sam said in tone that stopped her in her tracks. “You don’t leave your partner just because the situation makes you feel uncomfortable. You know that. Take a cold shower later, but right now, do your job like he’s doing his.”
“I don’t need a cold shower,” she snapped.
“Then control your emotions,” Callen ordered. “This is an op, not you tailing your boyfriend gone clubbing on a hot summer night.”
Kensi suddenly felt embarrassed. It wasn’t like her to lose control, but watching Deeks seduce another woman had caused unwanted emotions to surface. Emotions that had surprised her. She could deny those feelings, nurture them, or control them like Callen said. That she could do. It was what she would do. Tonight was just an aberration, and Deeks was just her partner.