Fandom: The Drop
Category: Angst, Romance
Summary: Bob never worries unless it concerns Nadia and Rocco.
Disclaimer: I don´t own them. Tom Hardy, though.
Feedback: Fixes my angel
Released: April 2017
Word Count: 2.399
Bob Saginowski. That awkward and close-lipped guy. Since the day he had come into her life and found that dog in her trash, Nadia hadn´t been able to unravel the mystery of this man. A mystery that, as it had turned out, was built on a past of death and guilt; a past that made the world look dark and hopeless.
"When you left the bar I know that meant stay away. I know that meant stay away...but...but you didn´t say it. So if you say it, then I will just go, believe me, Nadia. I will just leave right now, but you have to say it."
Yes, she should say it. He had killed a guy years ago and got away with it. As if that wasn´t enough, he had killed her ex right in front of her. Sure, Eric had it coming, but still. Say stay away and save yourself from this man. Exile him from your life. She couldn´t, though because Bob had never harmed her, or Rocco, the pitbull, that he loved most dearly. So she didn´t say the words he needed to hear. "Let me go and get my jacket," she said instead, and paved the way for a doubtful future.
"Yeah? Sure. Great. Great." The light flaring up in eyes was enough to make her feel good about her crazy decision. She had said yes and accepted him as a part of her life.
They went to the park. They walked the dog. They shared a beer. Those activities turned into a daily routine, and just like that, spring was gone. Sometimes they touched. A shy pat on the back. A gentle tap on the hand. A random brush of arms. Who are you? What is your thing? What is going on underneath that armor?
Bob´s bar was running well and nothing disturbed their fragile attachment. They didn´t dare go any further. They didn´t dare take a risk. Instead they settled for a comfy friendship, and, like that, summer was gone, too.
Over time, however, Nadia got restless. Would Bob ever come around? Would he ever grant her more than a glimpse into his heart? Would he make a pass eventually or was he waiting for her to make the first move? Should she make that move? She wasn´t even sure he wanted her in this way. He was as unreadable as a log of wood, and he was different from any man she´d ever met. No wonder he had never been caught by the police, or anyone else.
In the fall their routine didn´t change, either. Well, not until an incident ripped a hole in their comfort zone and shattered their defenses. As if the universe was fed up with them and made a move for both of them, pushing them into the light.
Bob knew something was wrong when a thunderstorm raged through the streets and Nadia wasn´t back from her usual walk with Rocco. He almost panicked when he heard plenty of sirens wailing around the block. In a jiffy he threw his customers out and closed the bar. He didn´t mind the rain gushing down on him or the bolts of lightning crisscrossing over the sky. His heart raced, but not from running, and his legs were almost numb. He hadn´t felt this bad since the day he had slaughtered Richie. What if the sirens were wailing for her? What if she was lying dead in some ditch? No, no, no. Don´t think that. Not her. Not now. He couldn´t lose her. She had given him a reason to live again. Sometimes he even felt close to happy and was able to forget about what he had done. Please, God. Don´t punish her for my sins. Don´t take her away from me. Please, let her be.
Searching the streets he heard rumors. Some people had sought shelter from the storm in an underground station. Unfortunately, a thunderbolt had hit a line and started a fire at the place. Were Nadia and Rocco among those people? Were they trapped or injured? Had they been taken to a hospital? That would be better than them being dead. Oh, God, I´m begging you.
In a frenzy he arrived at the station looking around the crowd gathering there. Please. I´ll do anything. Anything! Just give them back to me.
His prayers were answered. There she was. Soaking wet but apparently unharmed. He leaned against a traffic sign, choking out a breath of relief. Thank you, God. Thank you for your mercy. I know I don´t deserve it.
"I think your husband has arrived," the female officer said, pointing at a spot behind Nadia.
"I´m not married," Nadia murmured, distracted by struggling with a wriggling Rocco and a ruined umbrella.
Nadia turned around and yes, it was Bob, but also it wasn´t. He looked nervous and excited. That can´t be him. He´s never nervous. He´s never excited. Even after he had killed Eric he was as cold as ice.
"I think he loves you very much," the officer said, and sighed as if she was envious.
"Uh...right," Nadia muttered, petting Rocco. Is this really a surprise to you? Think about how good he treats you. Think about how Bob shot Eric point blank. Do you really think that was just because of Rocco? Do you?
The next second Bob swept her into his arms, smothering the dog in the process.
Rocco whined, though rather joyfully.
"Bob...you´ll cripple Rocco," she said, bewildered.
"Oh...sorry..." He loosened his grip, and caressed the dog´s head.
Rocco whined louder, not hiding his strong feelings for this man.
For the first time, Bob ignored him, paying attention to Nadia instead. "Are you hurt?"
"No, I´m fine."
"I was worried."
"Yeah, well, it´s over. No harm done."
"Mm." He touched her face, stroking along the curve of her cheekbone. "I was worried."
"You already said that." He kept caressing her, a fleeting touch but still disturbing, though in a good way. She shuddered. "I need to warm up. Let´s go home."
"Sure." His hand dropped down and his shoulders slumped.
"My place," she added quickly to set the record straight. She put Rocco to the ground, and holding the leash with her left she grabbed Bob´s hand with her right.
Holy god. She repressed a smile. Nobody on Earth would believe that this guy had already killed two people. She almost couldn´t believe it despite the fact she had seen him killing Eric.
She started walking and didn´t let go. He didn´t fight her grip but stumbled along after her. Nadia caught the police officer´s smirk. Yeah, if you would only know. Don´t fuck with him. Don´t think he´s a fool. He´s not.
They held hands all the way to Nadia´s house. She felt comfortable and high-spirited at the same time. Well, hadn´t she always felt like this around Bob Saginowski in the last couple of months? It didn´t matter if he was kind of dangerous. It didn´t matter if he was capable of doing unspeakable things. It didn´t matter if he didn´t read any books. She snorted to herself.
"Nothing." Right. She was safe. Rocco was safe. The world was a safe haven right next to this man. A fuzzy, warm feeling swept over her, starting in her belly and moving lower, a sensation she hadn´t have the pleasure with in some time. She peeked at Bob. His expression was tense and his breathing a bit fast. The sensation between her legs spread to her toes. Oh. She couldn´t wait to come home and put this remarkable man to bed. Jesus. She repressed a laugh.
He didn´t say a word, though there was a fire burning in his eyes.
A fire she thought that had been snuffed out forever. Well. She had been mistaken. Obviously that fire had just blazed up in beautiful colors.
In her house, she let Rocco off the leash and provided food and water for him. Next she fetched two towels and gave one to Bob. "You fancy a beer?" she asked him, roughly drying her hair.
He was standing like a lost little lamb in the middle of the kitchen. "No. Not now." He was clutching the towel with both hands.
She wouldn´t even have noticed his tension if she wouldn´t have known him for a few months already. Bob was a master of hiding feelings. Yeah. Bob was a master of hiding in general. Still, she knew that today they were on the same page. No drinks. No chitchat. No more waiting. "I´ll be right back." She went to the bathroom and washed her face and hands. She looked in the mirror. No lipstick. No eyeliner. She knew he didn´t care much for make-up. She just combed her hair.
This is the day, Nadia. The day this rock of a man showed some cracks in his armor. Now or never. She took a deep breath and walked back to the kitchen.
Bob had gotten rid of his jacket and was just finished washing his hands in the sink. His hair was standing up from drying it in a rush.
The fuzzy, warm feeling blossomed into a spark hitting her spot. "Bob."
He turned around. "Y-Yeah?"
For heaven´s sake. Look at him. Awkward as hell... oh, her gaze dropped, but not hiding anymore. "Come here."
He shuffled over, meeting her gaze.
Okay. That was easy. She smoothed his hair, the tips of her fingers lingering at his ears. God, she loved his face, so handsome in a natural way. There was not a speck of vanity in this man, though he could be called downright gorgeous underneath the rough edges.
"Nadia..." He leaned into her touch.
His well-groomed beard tickled the skin of her hand; and she caressed him in return. As she felt him tremble she kissed him on the lips. Those full, perky lips she was dreaming about a lot lately. They tasted as sensual and soft as she had hoped for, making her quiver and moan for more.
Bob sneaked a hand around her neck and pulled her in, kissing back passionately.
Oh. Nadia put her hands on his hips and felt his muscles, hard underneath her touch.
He gently rocked against her.
She broke the kiss, her hands roaming to his ass, squeezing tight. "Let´s take this to the bed."
"Uh...okay..." He bit his lip and cast his eyes down.
Isn´t he adorable? The second she thought she had figured him out or that she had the control he surprised her.
Sweeping her onto his arms he carried her like a goddam romance novel lover.
Oh, man. She held onto him and giggled. "Bob Saginowski. Womanizer."
"Right." He sucked a breath. "I have no idea what I´m doing." Yet he quickened his steps.
She burst out laughing. "Says mister sly dog."
Her fond flattery was enough to break down every wall he might have put up over the years. He took control but in his own quiet way. His touches were never rash or casual but patient and intense. His kisses were a revelation of tender passion. Oh, he didn´t disappoint. Not at all.
Nadia fell into his embrace of lips and hands, an intimacy that made her eyes water and her body scream with lust.
"Did I hurt you? Nadia? Did I...?"
"No." She surged against him. He was perfect. He was in her heart and her soul. He was the man she had been waiting for all her life. He was inside of her. He made her feel burning for life, the life she had never come to know until now. "Yes, oh yes, come on." Crying out his name she reached the peek strong and effectively.
"Nadia," he murmured, shaking, and spilled himself into her. At once he slumped to the side to avoid crushing his weight onto her. He kept holding her tight, though. "Nadia," he said again, as if she was the most precious creature, and saying her name would tie them together forever.
"Bob," she replied just as fondly, stroking his face and then showered him with kisses. Oh my god. Is this me? So open and vulnerable? So much in love with one man? How did that happen? How did we happen?
"What is it?" he croaked, eyes dark and curious, but he smiled one of his rare smiles.
A loveable sight that eased the pains of her soul and gave her peace, maybe not forever but for now. "Nothing much. Just being happy."
"All right." He pulled the cover over both of them. "Me, too."
"Good to know, hard guy," she teased, remembering the time she underestimated him. She pressed a sweet, sliding kiss to his neck. "I plan to do this again."
"That´s not such a bad idea," Bob breathed into her ear. "We should do this properly."
She laughed and punched him lightly on the arm.
"Do you like yourself now?" Bob said, caressing her back. "Do you like what we did?"
Nadia stopped laughing. She knew he was referring to the time she was hurting herself, the time before him. "Yes, Bob. I like myself since I met you. I like you. I want to be with you."
He looked at her with puppy dog eyes. "Sometimes I imagine I´d never heard Rocco whine in that garbage can and I just walked by your house. I´d never have met you. I would be alone."
"But you did find us," she soothed his fears. "You did and everything is just fine."
"Yes. Yes, it is." He kissed her lips and pulled her closer. He didn´t mind if they were both sticky with sweat and come.
Oh dear. We cuddle. We give each other comfort. Whatever may come, God himself must have blessed that day in spring when she had listened to her heart instead of her head, and said yes to a man she should have run away from.
Yes. Bob Saginowski, that awkward and close-lipped guy, was a keeper. At least that mystery was unraveled. Whatever more secrets this man might have she couldn´t wait to find out. She wasn´t afraid because she knew that she loved him and that he loved her. That was enough to make the world shine in a bright and hopeful light. At least for her.
Rocco, too, of course.