3 Ain’t Nobody (Klema Part 2)

Mr. Coffee: And here we have the thrilling conclusion to the Klema two-shot.
Speaking of two shots…
*grabs mike*
“In THIS corner we have the master of the Snackoo toss and disparaging nicknames, Detective Ema Skye…”
“In THE OTHER corner, we have The Foppinator, the bling-loving Europhile, Klavier Gavin!”
Let’s see who comes out swinging…and the question that’s on all of our minds…can the newly appointed forensic investigator actually SING?

September 30, 2028


Underneath the directed sweltering spotlight, the poleaxed policewoman could feel the heightening heat searing up her neck, towards her fair cheeks. Then the coloring made Ema blush harder until she was scarlet, roasting hot, and briefly wondered if her face was literally on fire.

Never before had she felt so precipitously felt awkward, demure, and embarrassed all at once; even going as far as attempting to hide her rosy features behind her slim fingers. The brunette was self-consciously aware of the hundreds of eyes gawking expectantly – all eagerly waiting for a reaction, a response, like rabid, predatory beasts.

“The band and I aren’t getting any youngerFräulein Detective!” Singsonged Klavier, gleaming megawatt beam affixed in place. “Let’s not keep the bride and groom waiting for their finale dance!”

At that moment, Ema was so mortified that she would’ve cheerfully throttled the German with his microphone wire, right there on the spot! The only thing preventing her from going through with the assassination was there were far too many witnesses!

Drop-dead, Gavin! I will not subject myself to public ridicule for the sake of your amusement, even though you may think I deserve it, you sadistic jerk-face! You can flash those blinding molars all you want trying to coax me up there, but I am flat-out refusing! And absolutely nobody is going to make me do otherwise!

She would have given anything right then to somehow tune out the roar of metrical applause and encouraging whistles by the surrounding invitees, who’d all now joined Klavier’s cajoling chanting of Ema’s name, in attempts to urge her up to the platform.

Ema! Ema! Ema!”

Gnrrk! Shut the fop up!

The policewoman was so adamant about her recalcitrant stance to remain unmoving that she didn’t initially grasp the disbelieving fact that she was nevertheless somehow coasting – against her will! – right towards that stage!

Taking advantage of their friend’s brief stupor, a surprisingly robust Athena and very resilient Maya – when had she returned from stuffing her face at the snack table?! – had slithered up behind the forensic investigator. Both girls were presently shoving Ema’s cemented, reluctant tootsies in the direction of the beaming musician, who was still beckoning to join him at the microphone.

Note to self! She thought frantically as the two sets of unyielding hands continued to propel Ema towards Klavier, despite her fruitless struggles to drag her feet. Snackoo whip both of these meddlesome bitches into a coma later – assuming I don’t drop dead of mortification at the hands of the glimmerous fop first!

The next thing Ema knew, she was given one final shove up onto the podium, taking the last split second to shoot her intrusive ex-friends a menacing glower as a warning of their pending fates. Rather than appearing pensive or apologetic though, Athena and Maya merely blew her a kiss, waved, and then disappeared back into the crowd, leaving her all alone next to the bearer of those dazzling pearly whites.

Klavier stretched out his hand and enclosed her trembling fingers in a warm clasp while guiding Ema into place beside him.

“You’re a dead man, Gavin!” She hissed out of the side of her mouth. Presently, his hand was still holding hers, his thumb rubbing across the top of her knuckles in an attempted soothing gesture, and she jerked away from the skin-tingling caressing. “How could you do this to me? I’m a scientist, not a singer!”

The Hollywood smile refused to budge.

“I’ve heard you belting out tunes to the radio in your office after hours when you think nobody’s listening!” He winked. “Believe me, you’re more a songbird than a seagull. What you need is a little bit more confidence in your more latent capabilities, ja?”

“Assuming I somehow manage to live this down, fop, what you sorely need is a deserved belting – right in the kisser!”

“I wouldn’t risk spoiling a wedding by asking you to join me up here, had I truly deemed your crooning skills to be lacking. However, should you happen to start lagging mid-song, I’ll carry you, I promise.”

The prosecutor was rewarded with the mother of all “die in a fire” expressions for this attempted reassurance.

Fräulein Detective, can’t you trust me, just this once?” He’d had to lean down to whisper in her ear, the expression on his face, only inches from hers, was now more pleading than persuasive. “Bitte?”

The rest of her arguments died in her throat as his eyes peered searchingly into hers. It was the first time she’d ever really seen them this up close and personal – ever.

That last night together, in my office, it was too dark to get a good look at those peepers before, but dagnabbit, those are some seriously hypnotic baby blues! Almost sickeningly blue … full-on Prince Charming, a field of cornflower, perfect, cloudless sky blue. Someone should name a crayon after this guy…

“Fine.” She gave a small, stiff nod of resignation, while simultaneously shooting him one final, murderous glare. “Let’s just get this over with! But for your sake, it’d better at least be a song I know!”

Ellen and Sorin were already on the dance floor, wrapped blissfully in each other’s arms as the band began to play the beginning bars. With one last wink at his involuntary duet partner, Klavier began, his voice every bit as soulful and poignant as the lyrics to the iconic love song.

Look at this face I know the years are showing
Look at this life I still don’t know where it’s going
I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

Ema blinked in astonishment as she realized what ballad he’d chosen. Of course, she knew this song! It was “I Don’t Know Much” by Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt – which had been Jake and Lana’s wedding song. This fact was something she’d mentioned to Klavier all of once, and only in passing, ages ago.

Yet the prosecutor had remembered.

Her mouth was dry as she gripped the microphone and lifted it to her lips, knowing this was her cue. She fought to keep her voice from quaking as she joined him for the next section.

Look at these eyes they never see what matters
Look at these dreams so beaten and so battered

The blond man’s voice was smooth and clear. Quiet yet powerful. Soothing, in a way. He was every bit the quintessential golden-throated nightingale, and while she knew one didn’t normally call a guy’s voice beautiful, Klavier’s truly was. There was no other way to describe it.

I don’t know much
But I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

Taking her vocal cue from the slightly husky timbre of his voice, and never once straying her attention from those cobalt orbs, she allowed that velvety baritone to carry them together in a stellar rendition that would have surely made the original artists proud.

So many questions still left unanswered
So much I’ve never broken through
And when I feel you near me, sometimes I see so clearly
The only truth I’ll ever know is me and you

It was the perfect song for two people who’d exchanged marital vows to honor and love one another for eternity. Nonetheless, even though she and Klavier didn’t fit that bill in the least, Ema couldn’t shake the crazy, nagging suspicion – or was it wishful thinking?! – the extra heartfelt emotion resonating from his crooning wasn’t merely performing.

And when I feel you near me, sometimes I see so clearly
The only truth I’ll ever know is me and you

Regardless of any hidden meaning or message intended for her, Klavier’s voice was the promise of tomorrow. Unlike the noise pollution from his past so-called rock music that she’d heard during his Gavinner days, this serenade was heartrendingly beauteous. She wished that he would never, ever stop.

Look at this man so blessed with inspiration
Look at this soul
Still searching for salvation
I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

Klavier’s piercing stare never left hers as he continued with the last stanza, his flawless notes supporting her own softly sung melody. The complementary blend of their voices resonated like the high notes of angels, soaring up and over the clouds of that magical Sprocket Park Flying Chapel as they came to the closing verse.

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know
I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all there is to know

The resounding ovation when the song was over was something Klavier was well-accustomed to, but Ema certainly wasn’t! She couldn’t describe exactly how she was feeling. She hadn’t expected to have felt so alive – so energized after performing. The hum in her veins didn’t dissipate once she was off stage. It seemed to grow stronger, and her feet were lighter than air. She didn’t even pose an objection as Klavier firmly took her hand and led her through the buzzing crowd in search of their friends.

Phoenix, Maya, Edgeworth, and Athena were standing to the side of the dance floor, all beaming effusively at the melodious duo.

“You two were wundervoll!” Athena gushed, clasping her hands together against her shoulder. “I had no idea you were such a lark, Detective Skye!”

“Neither did I!” Phoenix marveled while the detective blushed and murmured her thanks. “Quite the gamble you took, luring the unsuspecting Ema up there like that, Prosecutor Gavin!”

“A purely spontaneous move on my part, Herr Wright.” Klavier boasted shamelessly. “Also, I should take this opportunity to say danke to you again. It’s all due to you letting me know about this fine occasion that I got this prime opportunity to perform once again – and improvise as necessary!”

Thank him?” Ema’s eyes widened as she took in Phoenix’s sheepish expression. “Wait – Mr. Wright … it wasn’t a coincidence Prosecutor Gavin was the entertainment? You were behind all this – yet never said a word?! Are you freaking kidding me?!”

“It was sort of my idea,” Maya added quickly, taking note of the sudden flare-up in the policewoman’s infuriated eyes. “Nick didn’t tell him so much as we just happened to be talking really loudly about the Sprocket wedding when we came to visit Miles at the prosecutor’s office last week …”

“Knowing full well Prosecutor Gavin was in the office next door, with his door open!” Edgeworth added wryly. “For the record, approaching Mr. Sprocket about being tonight’s live performance– that was entirely his own doing!”

“Oh please, don’t try to exonerate yourself from the scheme, Edgeworth!” Phoenix scowled at his best friend. “You may as well fess up as to how a certain singer got Sorin’s personal contact information!”

Edgeworth reddened slightly but remained mum.

Gnwaah! All three of you buttinskis had some serious gall, collaborating behind my back like this!” Ema fumed, scowling at the trio of guilty-faced conspirators. “You are all … unbelievable! Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t minimally shoot each of you in the foot, right here and now!”

“I imagine they were all hoping that a gun holster wouldn’t go with your formal evening ensemble,” Klavier cut in smoothly, grabbing the livid luminol lover’s elbow and graciously inclining his head at their friends while steering her to the exit. “I’ll ensure Fräulein Detective gets home safely. Damen und Herren, I bid youGuten Abend!”

Straight from disembarking the aircraft, Klavier wordlessly ushered her to the parking lot, held open the passenger door to his silver sports car, and was now driving them – somewhere – although she had no inkling as to where!

He didn’t utter a peep or even turn on the stereo once they’d set off, so it was in total silence that Ema attempted to calm her vexation and mull over everything that’d just transpired for the next 10 minutes.

Glancing discreetly at his chiseled profile, she dug her fingernails into her palms and tried not to get her hopes up about what would happen next while she recalled her favorite parts of the evening.

The way those captivating blue orbs had never wavered from hers throughout their performance … she hated to admit it, but she’d loved it. Heck, for all she knew, they could’ve been on her all night, but she’d been too busy trying to avert her gaze from the stage to take notice. Also, she’d been too paranoid, being in a room chock full of fetching women, all dressed to the nines, that he’d be checking them out in the speculative assessment of who his ‘lucky groupie’ could be that night.

It was presently jarring how those same attentive eyes hadn’t once even remotely veered in her direction since they’d gotten into the vehicle.

So what now? She had no clue what to expect, mostly because they hadn’t said a word to one another in the last half hour now. Moreover, they were getting close to the valley, on the outskirts of the city, near her residence.

What in Sam Hill is going on here?! Now that we’re alone together, is he seriously going to drop his public Mr. Congeniality façade, taciturnly dump me at home, then take off as if nothing had ever happened?!

Watching his long, golden fingers on the steering wheel, she vividly recollected how warm they’d been against her skin when he’d taken her hand to help her get onto the stage, and then again when they’d exited the reception.

His touch had given her goose-bumps both times, and she was sorely disappointed that since they’d left the reception, he hadn’t laid a finger on her. In fact, the aloof aura surrounding him practically screamed touch-me-not, which was why she’d resisted the urge to touch his arm or even brush against him.

The tension had her wound so tight she was positive making another point of physical contact would release … something. She was too afraid to find out what it was.

Or was she?

She snuck another glance at him as he drove. He was chomping on a piece of gum and staring, almost angrily, out the windshield. The light of the moon shining onto his tanned visage through the windshield highlighted his prominent cheekbones and angular jaw, making him look devilishly handsome.

How Ema had lasted two years resisting the charms of this man was beyond her now. She could distinctly see why women turned into puddles of goo around him. Klavier Gavin was drop-dead gorgeous. Sure, he was man-pretty – but being in such proximity, she had to, at last, admit he was also über … manly.

There was no point denying it any longer. He exuded the kind of masculine virility that made her toes curl, her skin tingle, and her pulse race, just being within propinquity of him.

Now that she’d finally allowed herself to admit her attraction to him, she couldn’t get over just how pleasing to the eye he was. That wasn’t exactly a revelation. She’d known Klavier, in all his flaxen-haired, cobalt-eyed, Aryan glory, for years and it was an established fact he was a physically perfect specimen who made women’s panties drop like hot potatoes around him.

But she’d never been attracted to him on a primal level…Or had she?

These questions were driving her crazy. Even though she’d experienced the tender bliss of being in his embrace mere months ago, it’d been more emotionally, rather than physically, charged an experience. At least, for her.

In her entire existence, Ema hadn’t ever before felt this kind of animal magnetism for another man. Had never dreamed she’d be so wholly consumed at the notion of kissing Klavier Gavin again, now that she’d had the unforgettable taste of those delectable lips against hers.

And now that she’d allowed the thought into her mind, she couldn’t stop thinking about anything else!

“Take a picture, Detective Skye,” he growled, still not looking at her. “It’ll last longer.”

What?” Ema jumped slightly in her seat, startled by the uncustomary gruff tone.

“You’re staring at me.”

“I was thinking.”

He cleared his throat. “About what?”

It occurs to me that our survival may depend upon our talking to one another.

For a moment, her valor nearly failed her, but if she didn’t unleash this unfamiliar, burning intensity inside her someway, she feared that scientifically speaking, she’d spontaneously combust!

“Why do you think there’s an underlying tension between us now that wasn’t there before – which can only be described as the sexual variety?” She blurted out, feeling her cheeks warming. “Or was it there all along, but I was too much of a jejune greenhorn to grasp that’s what it’s been – but didn’t acquire this moment of clarity, up until you went and stuck your tongue in my mouth?”

He jolted slightly, glanced at her quickly, then back to the road. “Just put that right out there why don’t you?”

Long ago, Ema had learned that to be vague got vague results. She’d gotten used to being forthright growing up. Being a female in the male-dominated science field, she needed to be direct and specific about what she was thinking, wanted, and needed as necessary requirements to be heard.

Bold and fearless. That’s what got ahead in the world. At least, in the science world. After all, would Madam Curie have discovered the elements polonium and radium, thence been the first person in history to have won two Nobel Prizes?

Accordingly, being bold didn’t really harm anyone. The fact that the famed pioneering physicist had died from radiation poisoning – the very thing she’d boldly discovered – was beside the point!

Anyway, Klavier wasn’t denying the mutual tension.

“Is there a reason we shouldn’t talk about it?”

“It’s awkward, don’t you think?” He persisted in staring resolutely at the road ahead.

“It’s awkward whether we talk about it or not.”

“It’s easier to ignore when we don’t talk about it.”

He had a point. On the other hand, ignoring things rarely made them better – plus, she’d never been the thewless sort.

“Why ignore it?”

“How many reasons do you want?”


“One, I haven’t heard a peep from you in months, even after I wore my heart on my sleeve for you when we were together last. Thus, I don’t feel like having you toss it into a blender and hitting the purée button – yet again!”

Ema cringed.

“Two, according to you, we don’t like each other.”

Yikes! He is not going to make this easy for me whatsoever! She closed her eyes. Not that I blame him. I’ve been such an idiot – and I can’t even blame my stupidity on the ill effects of exposure to dangerous chemical elements!

“Three, I don’t know how long you’re back in town for, or if you’re once again leaving in the morning for Asia to work alongside your precious Prosecutor Men Elsa – hereby dubbed Melsa! –and Gott only knows when you’d return.”

OK, I suppose I deserved that.

“Four, you were ready to leave the country last time with zero intention of letting me know. I had to hear it through the grapevine – much like I was forced to do again to discover you were back in town! Nonetheless, in a moment of sheer madness, I still jumped through hoops to place myself within your juxtaposition tonight, so you couldn’t squirm past me this time around. My reward? Watching you attempt to ignore my presence the whole evening until I gave you no choice but to acknowledge my existence by dragging you up on stage!”

Klavier shot her a disgusted look.

“Hence, as far as I’m concerned, I have nothing more to say because I’ve given you way more, frankly, than I think you probably deserve.”

Yeesh! Good thing I only asked for four! Ema frowned. That was way too easy for him!

“One – via your own admission and not  throwing your past Don Juan ways in your face, you acknowledged you’re a worldly and sophisticated man whose experienced all aspects of life, including, presumably… relations.”

Then, squirming a tad, she spat out the rest, embarrassing though it may have been.

“Ahem, whereas I, in contrast, despite being a year your senior, haven’t had any … male familiarity! Thus, how could I have known where we stood when I last left? I didn’t want to be some naïve schoolgirl sort who thought a kiss was a promise of forever! Plus, since I didn’t know how long I’d be gone, I didn’t want to make you wait in vain for a woman with a dubious return date – especially when you benignly gave your blessings to expand her horizons!”

Klavier clenched his jaw but remained silent.

“Two, as you said earlier, you don’t have to like me to want to see me naked. Three is negotiable….”

“Are we referring to the duration of your time here or the now dubious sexuality of the allegedly gay Prosecutor Sad Monk?”

“The former, you egregiously daft fop!” She snapped peevishly, frustrated with his deliberate obtuseness. “Prosecutor Flutter, as you previously called him, definitely isn’t interested in nesting with me! Didn’t you see Prosecutor Blackquill’s new joint Twitter account, Fluttering Panda, where they just announced their engagement?”

“I must have missed the memo,” he muttered darkly. “Yet another life change of one of my colleagues that I need to hear via the rumor mill!”

Ema chose to ignore this.

“Four, I honestly didn’t think you’d care much if I left, and was truly blown away when you told me otherwise! Perhaps I’m a persistent cynic, harboring minor self-esteem issues, but I found it even harder to fathom that a man like you would willingly endure indefinite celibate nights and forsake all others, for my sake! Not when you could easily have any willing, local woman you desire to come to warm your bed at the mere snap of your fingers!”

He grimaced at her vulgarity.

“One, being a man of the world, I also told you I knew who was worth waiting for, even if you didn’t have the proficiency to know likewise. I took a huge risk by putting my emotions out there when I said I’d wait for you! Short of a marriage proposal and/or ring, I have no idea what else I could have done to convince you I’d be true to my word. Evidently, since you chose not to trust me or my word, your cynicism and doubt trumped all in the end. Feel free to pat yourself on the back for sticking to your guns.”

Ema’s eyes began to sting at this rancor.

“I’m so sorry,” she whispered. “I wanted to believe you, Klavier. You have no idea …”

“Two,” he interrupted curtly. “Wanting to see you naked and seeing you naked are different things. Three, color me skeptical about how negotiable the length of your stay here will be! Four… what with you refer to as being cynical and lacking experience, call simple cowardice. Fear is the cheapest room in the house, Detective Skye. I would have liked to see you living in better conditions.”

The prickling sensation behind her lashes intensified.

“Five…what’s the point of admitting you’re attracted to me now when you’ve relocated to another country? Why me, the silver-tongued, bling-loving, glimmerous fop? Why don’t you focus your newfound, lusty urges on some lucky Arsch over there in Asia?”

Ema spouted out a response before her fearlessness failed her, trying to match his flippancy with her own.

“Maybe I like sexy European accents instead of Khurainese ones.”

“Then why can’t you set sights on a Scottish Highlander? Maybe in Edinburgh?”

Edinburgh?” She cracked up – she couldn’t help it. “Scotland? Why there?”

“It’s far away. Plus the men wear kilts, often with nichts underneath, so easier access for these primal urges you’re finally admitting to having.”

“Maybe I want more of a challenge when veering south of the border?” She taunted, knowing she was skating on thin ice but not knowing how else to react. “As for why you? Hell if I know! I never expected blond, man-pretty Germans to be my thing. I’m just as surprised as you are!”

Klavier pulled into the Vitamin Square parking lot, located across the road from her building, without uttering another word. Throwing open the car door, he stepped out, took a deep breath of night air, then stalked over to a nearby bench and flopped down on it.

By the time Ema had exited the vehicle and taken a seat beside him, he was staring broodingly at the playground, which consisted of a slide, sandpit, climbing frames, and see-saw, all in the shape of various pieces of fruit, whilst steadily ignoring her presence.

She glimpsed at him hesitantly, hoping they’d continue the conversation where they’d left off, but he was steadily evading her gaze, obviously no longer in the mood to talk.

“Do you really want me to move on?” The forensic investigator probed helplessly when it appeared he was content to continue the silent treatment. “Because if you do, can you blame me for not knowing what to think anymore? Considering you’re acting like the one full of doubts now – and after you sang my sister’s wedding song with me tonight!”

“What about it?” He asked hollowly, vision still focused on the empty recreational area. “Did you dare believe it may have meant something? That it may have been me wearing my heart on my sleeve yet again? Or did your mistrusting misanthrope supersede, so you chalked it up to simply being a stellar performance?”

“I don’t know what to think anymore!” She cried in exasperation. “Whatever did you intend to do when you had me hauled up on stage like that, if not to embarrass the living hell out of me?”

“So that’s what you supposed my intentions were, ja?” He asked acrimoniously. “I see your unwavering contempt remains, along with the being content to always assume the worst! It shows what you really think of me – and how you genuinely feel about me, regardless of what I may, or may not feel for you. Therefore, what does it matter anymore why I did what I did?”

Ema’s jaw dropped. This was Klavier Gavin. After all the times she’d held the man in lofty reproach for everything, from his personality to his professional and personal affairs, somehow, the tables had turned – now he thought she was a total jerk! Moreover, she had no idea what to say to dissuade him.

The grim reality of the situation hit her like a sucker punch, and she had to swallow past a thickness in her throat.

“You’re my boss. I have no idea why you didn’t have me written up, maybe even fired, for the contempt and disdain I’ve shown you for so long,” she said quietly. “Yet you didn’t. Even though I was this miserable, grumpy Detective, determined to hate you because I blamed you for getting my friend disbarred, you never stopped trying to be nice to me. Heck, you’re the one who pushed me to get back on that horse and try for the forensic exam again, no matter how many times I’d failed in the past!”

Klavier turned his head to regard her, yet still didn’t speak.

“I should have shown more gratitude for what you did for me, picking me up when there was no one else. I should have thawed out towards you after Mr. Wright got his badge back, and discovered you were as much a pawn of Kristoph’s as he’d been. Instead, I just kept finding more and more reasons to be a jerk towards you, because it was easier than admitting…” She faltered now, unsure of how to go on.

Admitting?” He prodded, raising an eyebrow.

“Um, admitting that you’re not such a bad person.” She opted for the safe confession – after all, it was still the truth! “In fact, you’re a terrific person. I should be thanking you for all you’ve done for me and for being so kind to me. In all actuality, you’re my favorite person at the office! It’s just that sometimes, every once in a while, you can be a real pain.”

Her acquiescence clearly had surprised him, but if she’d hoped to win him over with the attempted placating, she was in for a rather rude awakening.

“I wasn’t expecting this humble pie. But I accept it.” He smiled tightly. “You’re welcome. Now then, it’s getting late. If memory serves me correctly from when I dropped you off after last year’s office Christmas party, your flat is just across the road. Ergo, this is where I’ll leave you for the night before I head on home. Good night…Detective Skye.”

He started to slide off the bench, but she hastily placed a halting hand on his forearm. He froze at her touch.

“No! Don’t go!”

“Why do you detain me?” Klavier was pure glibness personified. “Did you have some more praise to warm my insides about how you’ve finally deemed I’m not such a bad guy after all? That you can now tolerate my presence at work, even though I’m not a pious monk? And despite being more glimmerous than simmerous, like your debonair idol, Herr Edgeworth?”

Her jaw dropped open. Until that moment, Ema hadn’t ever realized just how much she’d hurt him with her disparaging, her doubt, and her constant unfavorable comparisons of him to Miles Edgeworth. She had quite a bit of atoning to do.

Also, his uncharacteristic defensiveness made it abundantly clear he was done making effort. He’d even taken the gamble of what she belated apprehended had been a lyrical declaration for her, before hundreds of witnesses tonight – and without having gotten any sort of ante from her whatsoever.

He’d done his part. Therefore, the ball was all in Ema’s court.

The onus was solely on her, even though it meant casting her pride, armor, and all rationale aside, which was making her quiver internally. Which was fine. Because with some surprise, she realized that she was ready to do what she had to do. Whether it was the result of the late hour, his attractiveness, or the simple deprivation of being apart from the object of her affection for so long, she wanted him quite badly.

Ever has it been that love knows not its depth until the hour of separation.

Klavier was watching her closely, waiting to hear her reply to his jibe.

“I’ve traveled a bit now, and I realized I’m quite sentimental. Of books, belongings, people, and places. It matters very little how positive or negative the experience was. If it shared some meaningful time in my life, I’ll have trouble letting go. That’s why I couldn’t let go of my ridiculous teenage dreams about Mr. Edgeworth for ages! But that crush was a long time ago. Part of my travels was for personal growth, and seeing where my preferences lay now, as a grown woman.”

She kept a firm grip on his arm, fearful he’d try to leave if she didn’t hold onto him.

“It was while I was away that I continuously noticed how everything and everybody I came across ended up being compared not to Mr. Edgeworth – but you. And that was when I realized – everyone else isn’t you. It turns out that’s a huge problem for me.”

The muscles in his arm under her steadfast hand bunched.

“I asked you not to go just yet – because I wanted you to hear about the changes that have transpired within me from the last time we parted. Since you stepped back and told me you’d wait for me to change, expand and grow as I saw fit, even though it meant flying halfway across the world to do so. While abroad, I learned that growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong. Khura’in isn’t my home.”

He didn’t say anything for a long moment. He seemed to be surveying her for something.

“Home is where somebody notices when you are no longer there.” She desperately wished she could munch a Snackoo bag or three for courage right about now. “My home is here in LA…or wherever you are, Klavier.”

Looking up into his eyes, which were wide with amazement at her candor, she knew it was time to confess something to him.

“I didn’t want to make a silent exit because I thought you didn’t care. That was a big part of it, but I was also trying to save myself the pain of bidding you adieu. Scared of trusting. Scared of falling. So hugely scared I’d be hurt. Only this time I knew it would be so much worse because I’m not used to experiencing any kind of chemistry or explosive reactions outside of a laboratory! That’s the real reason I wanted to leave without saying goodbye – because I thought it would hurt less for me that way. I was a shameful coward, and I’m truly sorry.”

His forearm hadn’t moved away from her palm, so she slid it downward, her hand now covering his. When it didn’t tense up under hers, Ema knew it was safe to continue.

“Letting your walls down is like learning to swim for the first time. You dip your feet in, but you’re too hesitant to get in because you’re terrified of drowning.”

“I could’ve held you tighter, but I was sinking as well, Fräulein Detective.” His voice was hoarse. “And you barely knew how to swim.”

It was strange. He’d now reverted to his routine of calling her Fräulein Detective. Once it’d infuriated her, but now she liked it. Not because she liked the sexist classification. But because it felt—intimate. Nobody else called her that.

Being intimate with Klavier Gavin suddenly seemed like the most logical thing in the world.

Except she didn’t want him for his body. And she didn’t want him just for one night. She wanted him – all of him.

I want you to undress me to the sound of all my defenses collapsing.

For now. For keeps. For forever.

I wish I was more worldly and sophisticated. If I were, I’d tell him: I want to be the last person who ever kisses you. That sounds bad like a death threat or something. What I’m trying to say is you’re it.

As if realizing suddenly he’d gone against his inner treaty to not divulge any more of his heart until she had, Klavier cleared his throat and switched back to familiar Casanova flirtatious mode.

Herr Edgeworth was your teenage dream, you say?” He drawled indolently. “That makes me wish I’d known you as an adolescent. I would have tried every trick in the book to turn your head away from the urbane prosecutor and towards me, for I’d have loved the challenge.”

She leaned in and narrowed her eyes, even though her belly had flip-flopped simply in response to his husky voice. The sizzling chemistry between them was not one-sided and she sure as hell wasn’t going to allow him to be quite so facetious by bringing up her long-ago, childish preferences in men.

Really? You would have set your sights on a dorky science girl who wasn’t remotely your type, just so you could win her affections away from a dashing older man?”

Klavier’s gaze languidly flickered to her mouth, then slid lower, over her body, then back up.

“As a dumb, horny teenage boy who was eager to prove his virility? Very likely.”

“And at the present?”

“At this point, I’m presently more discerning with the ladies I keep company with. Possibly because I’m not a teenager anymore.”

“What about the dumb and horny part?”

“Sometimes more than others.”

This turn in conversation was kind of funny. Ema held her breath.

“How about now?”

“Feeling dumber by the second.”

That caused her stomach to flip again.

“Funny, I’m feeling one of those things too.”

“Well in both cases, this is quite the turnabout, mein lieber Wissenschaftler.” His lips twitched in amusement. “Aren’t you the one who always errs on the side of caution?”

Check, and mate.

“There will be a few times in your life when all your instincts will tell you to do something, something that defies logic, upsets your plans, and may seem crazy to others,” she decreed, slowly standing up, then turning to face his seated form. “When that happens, you do it. Listen to your instincts and ignore everything else. Ignore logic, ignore the odds, ignore the complications, and just go for it.”

“Is that so?” He treated her to a wolfish grin, although making no move from his seated position. “I may or may not have objections to this newfound recklessness of yours, mein Feuerwerkskörper.”

It felt like the temperature in the air went up a few degrees. She could hardly breathe, his gaze was so intense.

It was time to throw caution to the wind.

Slanting forward, she placed a palm down on either side of him, so he was caged between her arms on the backrest, then pressed herself forward so that her chest was brushing his. She could feel his warm breath on her throat as she brought herself closer to the side of his head, so her lips were tickling his hoop earring.

The sudden flare of heat in his gaze let her know he was open to anything she had in mind – but whatever it was, he would no longer be laying himself out on the line.

This time she’d have to be the one to be in the driver’s seat.

Fine by me.

“Admit it,” she purred into his ear, grinning widely. “I may have been a coward and a jerk … but you still like me.”

He laughed softly. “I’m not admitting anything, Fräulein Detective.”

With a naughty gleam in her eye, she brushed her lips against his earlobe as she spoke again, smiling as she felt him shiver from the sensation on his sensitive flesh.

“Have we switched places – and it’s you trying to resist me now?”

“Maybe a little,” he grinned impishly, snapping his fingers. “Or perhaps I don’t want to make things too easy for you, Miss I-Want-A-Challenge! It’d serve you right since you fought against my charms for years!”

“I did not!” She protested hotly. “At least … not for years! There was a point I truly did hate you!”

“No, you didn’t.” He smiled smugly. “You just thought you did.”

“You’re giving me a really good reminder as to why I did, Gavin!”

Achtung, baby!”

Out of nowhere, he grabbed her by the waist, propelled her down on the bench, and then leaned over her pinned body with a roguish grin.

“Admit it … Ema. You wanted so badly to hate my guts, yet you couldn’t do it. I think it’s awesome.”

Ngh!” Her eyes narrowed as she looked up at him. “There’s the pompous, smarmy, vainglorious act that made me hate you all of its own volition – regardless of what happened with Mr. Wright!”

“Are you going to deny missing me whilst you were gone?” He contested with a knowing smirk.

Miss you?” She repeated incredulously. “As if those few stolen moments on my last night here could erase all the times I could’ve cheerfully murdered you!”

“I’d have come back to haunt you,” he threatened with a crooked smile.

“And that,” she said, shaking her head, “was the sole reason why I hadn’t tried.”

He let out a rich chuckle then, and it was a sound Ema knew she’d never tire of hearing.

“I will not let you rewrite or overly romanticize our turbulent past, buster! Upon deeper reflection, while I was gone…I realized that yes, sometimes I’d hated you! Sometimes, I hated myself, yet always … yes, I missed you.”

“I missed you just as much.” He told her sincerely. “Although, I can’t help thinking that if you hadn’t run, I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to chase after you like I did tonight.”

Just that quickly—as he made her burn up at the wicked thought of being chased in a different kind of private setting – then caught most deliciously – Klavier erased any chance of recriminations, of making her feel guilty or selfish for what she’d done.

Fine!” She gave a feigned sigh of defeat. “Speaking of which – don’t think for a second I’ve completely forgiven you for making me sing tonight when I just as easily have ended up getting us booed off the stage!”

“You are the embodiment of the term ‘love is a battlefield’ aren’t you, mein Feuerwerkskörper?”

He focused his gaze on her parted lips, then studied her quietly, the flames in his expressive blue making her tremble slightly.

His eyes, they’re full of something. Something I haven’t seen before. A wanting. A longing. A craving. And he’s right there, almost on top of me now. So close I can feel the heat of his body.

Her stomach tumbled to her knees, heart fluttering. It was finally happening. That moment. That pull between them, now drawing her in. Only this time she couldn’t find anything to hold her back; nothing was stopping her. Stopping them.

“F –fine.” Her breath seemed to be stuck in her throat. “For all intents and purposes, I –I didn’t want to hate you. I just didn’t want to like you!”

“Is that so… Ema?” His lips were only an inch over hers as he hovered over her, his silver G pendant now resting atop the valley of her breasts, his warm breath caressing her lips. “There’s a difference?”

“Like you wouldn’t believe.” Her voice was a shaky whisper now.

Then, with a renewed boldness, she grabbed his chain and pulled him down to her, closing the space between them, touching his skin, kissing him softly on the cheek, just to the corner of his mouth. He slid his fingers through her hair, and their lips connected, sending jolts of electricity coursing through her veins. She let out a quick gasp of air, knowing they’d crossed that invisible line and jumped off a cliff they could never re-climb.

That moment changed everything.

And now Ema wasn’t sure she was ready for such unequivocal submission.

Klavier deepened the kiss, claiming in a manner that was both rough and tender, his arms drawing her tightly against him. Then, as though sensing her trepidation, he gentled the kiss, brushing his parted lips on hers in a light, exquisite touch that was even harder to resist than the other one.

He trailed his lips to her ear and nipped the lobe, his murmurs sending shivers down her spine.

“I’ll lay down my armor and my defenses if you will, mein Lieber Wissenschaftler,” he invited her huskily. “I’m more than willing to make love not war anymore…”

With a moan of defeat, Ema allowed herself to melt into his arms then. She allowed his body to mould itself against hers as though it’d been customized to do so; surrendered her mouth to his searing lips and plundering tongue, letting it get as bossy with hers as he liked. She was laying down all her defenses for now. All she wanted now was to savor and feel every moment of this passion; revel in the desire beginning to course through her veins and send tingles through her, from her head to the tips of her toes.

I’d never kissed anyone I’d ever despised before. Sheer madness. Nothing else can describe it. The last time he kissed me, I hated him for making me want to kiss him. It wasn’t pretty. If we had been any two other people, the kissing might have put a cease-fire on the war. Instead, our last lip lock incensed us further. Four months of hurt feelings and bruised egos now met with a longing we’d both done our best to deny for years. The reality is more intense than anything I’ve ever seen on the silver screen. Movie kisses never looked like this felt. I don’t think any amount of force on earth could ever pull me away from him again.

When he finally pulled his mouth from hers an eternity later, their breaths were coming in mingled gasps. Feeling almost bereft, Ema surfaced slightly from the sensual Eden where he’d sent her and forced her heavy eyelids to open so that she could stare up at him. Stretched out beside her on the bench, he was now leaning over her, his tanned face hard and dark with passion.

“Why is it when you yield,” Klavier whispered, gazing into her intoxicating eyes, “feel like the one who has been conquered?”

Before Ema could recover from that staggering admission, he let out a laughing groan of defeat and buried his face in her fragrant hair for a moment before making his next confession.

“Did you ever know, mein Lieber Wissenschaftler, how much you took away with you when you left? You were an incomplete human, yet a complete catastrophe, one that I cursed and yet craved. I never looked at you and saw merely a pretty face. Oh, I don’t mean you’re not pleasing to the eye, in the traditional sense. Your face is exquisite. But your eyes – those flashing emerald eyes. They have so much wildness and chaos, like some sort of untamed animal peering out of a forest fire. Those eyes captivated me and then proceeded to interfere with the pathways to my brain, and then my heart.”

At a loss for words, she gently stroked his cheek, making his breath come out in a tremulous rasp. His reaction to such an innocent touch made her skin tingle, sending warm shivers through the length of her body as he continued enchanting her with his words.

“I won’t deny my ardor for you began because I felt a primal level of attraction for you. You weren’t wrong when you accused me of wanting to sleep with you – any more than you can condemn me for wanting you unless you condemn every other man who has. But then I got greedy. I didn’t want just your body, I wanted all of you. Mind, heart, body, and soul.”

He rubbed his jaw against her temple.

“I just wanted you in my life. I wanted you to love me, even though you were still finding your way. Because I had fallen hopelessly in love with you. You know that, don’t you?”

The declaration was unanticipated but not unwelcome. She didn’t know how to respond. Wasn’t sure if she was ready to give him the response he needed – that he deserved to hear. Ema’s entire body started to tremble as his lips began descending to hers, and she sought to forestall what her heart knew was inevitable by reasoning with him.

“Scientifically speaking, I know love is nothing more than a chemical reaction in the brain and a jumbled mess of hormonal reactors. As a result, it makes no sense not to be led by my head rather than my heart,” she nervously uttered. “A true scientist understands these underlying factors and triggers and doesn’t allow herself to feel anything stronger than affection. We do not fall in love.”

“Well, I’m European and an angsty artist,” he replied gruffly, not at all contrite. “And we do.”

She stiffened slightly and drew a shuddering breath.

“Love can’t be forced into existence.” The last remaining shard of logic left within her body compelled her to reply. “It won’t come simply because you will it to happen…”

“This is undeniably true,” Klavier conceded. “The moment you let somebody into your heart, you’re taking a risk. Not everybody’s going to hurt you, of course, but from the moment you begin to care for someone, you’re giving them that power, and whether or not they use it is completely beyond your control. I knew all of this, and regardless, I let myself fall in love with you.”

Her eyes widened in surprise and then, deep pleasure. She didn’t say anything, but he didn’t expect her to. Not when he saw the reflected truth of her feelings for him, not just in her eyes, but the lines of her beautiful face, in the trust she’d placed in him, from taking the risk of humiliation alongside him on that stage, to with her body every single moment of the night.

Klavier continued his loving words, his hand roving over her sides and back.

“But I already know you love me. I can feel it when you’re in my arms.” He tipped her chin up, glorying in the gentle passion in those orbs, overlooking the hesitation in their jade depths. “I can feel it, Ema, but if you don’t admit it pretty soon, you’re going to drive me out of my mind. I can’t work. I can’t think. I make decisions and then I change my mind whenever I’m under this sort of violent stress. I may have an identity crisis; chop off my hair into a Mohawk, die it black, and start singing death metal… …”

Instead of an answer, she tightened her hand at his nape and at the same time turned into his arms. His mouth came down hard on hers, but instead of struggling, her body arched against him and she drew his tongue into her mouth. Against her breasts, she felt his heart slam into his ribs, and he began kissing her with unleashed passion, his tongue tangling with hers, then plunging and slowly retreating in some wildly exciting, forbidden rhythm that made the blood roar in Ema’s ears.

Lifting his head, at last, he reached down and tenderly brushed a chestnut lock of hair off her cheek while trying to smile, but his breathing was as unsteady as hers.

“Yours is the kind of kiss I’ve been wanting my whole life. I’ve always yearned for the kind of kiss that takes my breath away, makes my skin tingle with electricity, and leaves me feeling dizzy and drunk. Yours are the lips I have ached and yearned for all these years, and now that I’ve had them, I know they’re the only ones I’ll ever crave for the rest of my days. You intoxicated me. It was just as though you were making me love you by some invisible force.” His gaze held hers, and his voice was tender and rough. “Love me, Ema Skye.”

“I do.” Ema felt a tremor run through her entire body, but she gazed at him without flinching, even though her voice was barely above a whisper. “I don’t know much. But I know I love you.”

Klavier closed his eyes. It seemed like the right thing to do, no matter what happened next. He closed his eyes and felt her fingertips touching his cheek, then his forehead, then his eyelids. He drew in a deep breath as he tried to regain his bearings.

“You know, mein Feuerwerkskörper, if this were a movie, I’d be ending all these ardor avowals with a tangible promise of my eternal love,” he teased, tapping her on the nose. “Or, if we were a couple of dumb, horny high school teenagers, I’d at least be offering you some sort of promise ring and asking you to be my steady.”

“Oh jeez, fop, just because you’re pretty, like a girl, doesn’t give you a free pass to be one!” Ema wrinkled her nose playfully. “Must you ruin this moment with your schmaltzy cheesiness?”

“But of course! We can’t both us be the tsundere sort!” He snickered, not even remotely affronted. “Last time I let you know how I feel, I was empty-handed, and it seemed some sort of concrete token of my affections would have helped quell those doubts of yours. However, since there’s no jewelry on my person that’d be suitable for this occasion…”

He pulled his G-logo chain off his neck and dangled it above her forehead.

“Would this suffice as a sufficient way for a man to pledge his undying devotion, at least temporarily?”

Ack!” Ema tittered, swatting away at the offending Gavinners pendant like a cat batting at a ball of yarn. “That overly blingy thing would best suffice as a force multiplier in self-defense when arresting an armed assailant! I am positive that ‘G’ stands for gaudy!

My poor battered heart!” He pretended to appear wounded but failed miserably as he let out a loud shout of laughter. “You do know how to hurt a man, Ema! Don’t you know it stands for glimmerous?”

Naturally!” Her eyes were dancing with mirth now. “Allow me to take this time to thank you, mein glimmerous fop, for never giving up on me, no matter how much I futilely tried to rebuke your persistent charms. But mostly, thank you for losing me all those months ago … because my life wouldn’t be the same if I hadn’t taken the chance to spread my wings and fly – to come into my own and grow as a person.”

Her body rose and fell against his huge intake of breath. Suddenly turning serious, he cradled her face in his hands and gave a puzzled smile.

“Out of all the times that I imagined what it would be like if I ever saw you again you … I never dreamed it would end with you thanking me for losing you.”

“End?” Ema demanded, disliking the chosen term. She pulled herself up into a semi-seated position and kissed him briefly on the lips before pulling back. “Don’t make me beat you over the head with your chain, Gavin! The newly awakened optimist in me which you’ve helped awaken was sincerely hoping this isn’t our end – but our beginning!”

Keine Chance! This isn’t our end at all!” He tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear and kept his hand there. “I wish I could say we were about to live happily ever after like this was some sort of fairytale – but I can’t. We both still have so much to work through – starting with the fact that I’m not sure if you can continue working as my subordinate, now that we’re romantically involved. Herr Edgeworth may allow it, but he may not. And then there’s the fact that everyone already seemed to have had their suspicions about the two of us all along, meaning there will be the gossip mill at work to face as soon as we come clean about being together …”

“You worry way too much, fop!” She scoffed, tapping him pointedly on his forehead instead of a Snackoo. “If Mr. Edgeworth tells me I can no longer work with you as my boss, then I guess…”

Her voice trailed off suggestively as she flashed a coy smile.

“…I’ll just have to make do with working under you in other ways … after hours!”

Achtung, baby!” Klavier waggled his eyebrows suggestively. “Mein Gott, what kind of vivacious vixen have I unleashed and why am I looking forward to being bitten by her?”

He let out a contented sigh as Ema kissed his cheek, then willingly turned his face so she could kiss his other cheek. And his chin. The groove below his bottom lip. Then he let his head tip forward into her hands and flashed an endearing smile.

“I literally put my head – and my heart – in your hands, Ema Skye. I know our being together may cause quite a stir. I also know our joint endeavors for justice will result in some days where we don’t know how to survive – yet we will. We will because we have each other. But as for us, I’m not worried about us, mein Lieber Wissenschaftler. I’m not worried about us at all.”

Ema kissed him on his dimple and smirked knowingly, even though her eyes were shining with untamed joy and promise.

“I’m not worried about us either. And for the record, I’m still a woman of logic and science – not some starry-eyed, idealistic teenager! Although even then, I was never a believer in clichéd Hollywood fairytales or happily ever afters!”

“Good, because you’re not getting one!” He let out a hearty laugh, even though the ardency in his voice was unmistakable. “I’m afraid all you’re getting is me!”

“That’s all I need.” Ema leaned forward and smilingly touched her forehead against his. “Well … I need my fingerprint kit. And my luminol. And my entire forensic lab of gadgets. And my Snackoos. But most of all, you, Klavier Gavin. That’s all I’ll ever need.”



German Translations

Mein Feuerwerkskörper – My firecracker

Mein lieber Wissenschaftler – My dear scientist

Linda Ronstadt / Aaron Neville – Don’t Know Much


Heart-Warming Java Shots Copyright © by JordanPhoenix. All Rights Reserved.

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