To The Edge
I stayed at the brownstone for the four days that Wolfe spent in bed after Cramer dragged him to the DA's office. I couldn't leave Fritz alone to deal with a cranky Wolfe and I wanted to give Cramer a chance to cool off. After Wolfe got back to his regular routine, I decided that Cramer should have calmed down enough to talk to.
When I got to Cramer's apartment, he wasn't home and Jessica was nice enough to let me in again. I took off my coat and hat, sat down on his couch, and started reading the newspaper that was laying on the table. Twenty minutes later, I heard him in the hall and put the paper down. He came in and closed the door. Then he turned and stopped short when he saw me. "Hello," I said.
Cramer eyed me for a minute. "Hey," he finally said back and hung his coat and hat up. "I need to have a talk with Jessica about who she lets in here."
"She was nice enough to do me another favor. What's wrong with that?" I asked lightly.
Cramer wasn't in a light mood and asked seriously, "What are you doing here?"
"What do you think I'm doing here?"
Cramer sighed and went into the kitchen. "You found your way in, now find your way out."
I got up and followed him. He opened the refrigerator and got a beer. "You're throwing me out?"
Cramer nodded. "Yeah." He opened the bottle and took a long, satisfying swallow.
"Why?" I asked even though I knew. If I made him explain himself, then I had more time to think of a way out of it.
"Don't play dumb, Goodwin."
I let out a long breath and tried to make my voice sound as reasonable as possible. "You have every right to be angry but throwing me out isn't the answer."
"I think it's a very good answer," Cramer said, set the bottle on the counter, and stepped up to me. "Out."
I met his steady, hard gaze and asked, "What if I don't want to go?"
Cramer shook his head. "You've got a lot of nerve."
"Am I going to have to physically remove you?"
I nodded. "Yeah."
Cramer stepped away from me and grunted in frustration. He began to pace the small room, his irritation building with each step. "First, you spend the night with Lucy Valdon, then you go away to the country with her. After that, you and Wolfe continue to withhold evidence from an ongoing murder investigation and hide out at her house. Then, you invite me over there to unmask the murderer and treat me to a freak show and I have to take the whole circus down to the DA's office for him to sort out," he said, his voice rising in intensity the whole time.
"But Wolfe gave you the murderer," I protested. "And you got an excuse to drag him downtown. He stayed in bed for four days after that," I added with a grin, knowing how much he enjoyed disturbing Wolfe's ordered routine.
"I have to admit that was the highlight of my week," Cramer said, stopping to glare at me. "But you sneak in here and expect me to be happy to see you. No way. Go back to Mrs. Valdon. I'm sure she'll welcome you."
The intensity and fire in Cramer's eyes sparked something in me and I stepped up to him. I didn't look away. "Nothing happened between me and Mrs. Valdon."
Cramer crossed his arms. "You're trying to tell me that in all the time you spent together, nothing happened."
"Nothing," I stated. "Mrs. Valdon likes her gin a little too much. She clumsily threw herself at me a few times but she passed out before I had a chance to offend her by refusing."
Cramer stared at me, trying to figure out if I was lying, but I wasn't. I put my hands on his arms. A few moments later, he looked away and growled in defeat, "Damn you."
"You know, you're not exactly well behaved around beautiful women either," I said, took a step back and crossed my own arms.
"What are you talking about?” Cramer asked, meeting my gaze again.
"I saw your jaw hit the floor when Ms. Tanzer came in the room."
Cramer smiled unrepentantly. "She was stunning."
"I agree, so I won't hold that against you," I said. Then I leaned in and softly brushed our lips together. At first, he just stood there and didn't open his mouth. I licked his lips and let my hands run along his arms and to his sides. "Inspector, this would be a lot better with your active participation..." I began before he kissed me and I pressed my body to his.
After we pulled apart, I took Cramer's hand and led the way to his bedroom. As soon as he had the door closed, I pushed him into it and ran my tongue along his jaw and neck. Then he grabbed me and kissed me hard, while our hands began undressing each other. I missed the trip to the bed and soon found myself on my back with Cramer on top of me. Again, he took his own sweet time, kissing me with his talented tongue and letting his skilled hands bring me to the edge several times. When neither of us could take any more, he sank into me.
"Jee-zuss-Christ," Cramer breathed in exhaustion when we were done.
"Amen," I answered shortly before falling asleep in his arms.