What are the cities goals, and what are the cities responsibilities? Norma recited her speech over again in her head as she walked into her room. Turning on the light she slipped off her shoes and hung up her sweater on the rack. She really needed to get this right or else she could be out of a business and where would that put her and Norman?
She felt a cool breeze as she undid the first button on her blouse and saw that her window was open wide, letting the wind in. She walked over and slid the window closed, as she grabbed the curtains in her hands to pull them shut, she noticed a light on down at the motel, room 11.
Sometimes at night, when you have your light on in the bedroom, you can see right through those curtains.
She shivered as the words rang in her head, the thought that Sheriff Romero, Alex she reminded herself, could see her in some of her more private moments was a bit worrying to her. But in some other way it was kind of… thrilling? No that word didn’t do the feeling justice. Having the sheriff here, where so many dark things have happened, it was like she was dancing on the edge of danger, and Norma loved to dance.
Suddenly she saw a figure move through the light, she expected it to pass by, maybe even turn off the light, it was late and someone with a job like his should really be asleep by now, Norma was only awake because she had needed to go over her cards for the council seat meeting just a few more times.
But instead the shadow stopped in front of the window and she got the strange feeling that he was staring up at her. She let go of the curtains as she realized that he was, he must be, a person doesn’t just stop to stare at the flowers outside their window in the middle of the night. Beautiful flowers, she added, that she spent a lot of time planting to the appreciation of no one thank you very much.
The figure continued to stare and she got an idea, slowly she brought her hands up, trailing them along the curves of her body and towards the buttons of her blouse. She unbuttoned each button one by one, revealing a little more skin each time and sliding the shirt back off her shoulders.
She turned around, back facing the window, and grabbed the clasp on the back of her bra, she had a moment of doubt before she remembered the words George had used to describe her that afternoon. Lovely, poised, confident. She smiled as she unhooked the clasp, letting the bra fall to the floor.
Norma ran her hands over the revealed skin, bringing them down and around the top of her skirt, she undid the zipper and the skirt dropped to a pile on the ground, she kicked it in the general direction of her laundry basket, not caring about her usual neatness at the moment.
She bent over in a stretch to touch her toes, knowing the Alex would be getting a good view, Norma was not an overly vain person but she certainly wasn’t oblivious to the fact that she had a nice body. She silently thanked herself for wearing a pair of her nicer underwear today, black lace to match the bra that was lying forgotten on the floor.
As she stood up she brought her arms over her head and seductively turned around. She saw the figure still watching her and brought her hands down the smooth skin of her body one last time before at last pulling the curtains closed. She felt a feeling of satisfaction take over her at leaving him with that, leaving him hopefully wanting more.
She knew she told Christine that she didn’t want to date but really what she wanted was to be able to pick her own guy, George was nice but there was something about the Alex that made her want hi, perhaps the idea that being the sheriff he could protect her and her son.
She wondered if he could tell, from all the way down there, what she was doing, and decided that he must know, he wouldn’t have bothered mentioning it if he couldn’t. And then finally, finally, she realized what he had done, what she had done. He had manipulated her into this situation, and she’d let him. Normally Norma hates being controlled like that, she likes to be the one in control and she’ll admit that when it’s for the greater good, she’s not afraid to do some manipulating of her own. The thought that this might have been his plan all along, to get her to expose herself like this, that he had done it so easily, it made her feel like maybe Alex had some things he would like to keep hidden as well.
Through the curtains she could see the light in the room turn off she realized that maybe she didn’t mind being manipulated, just this once.
Aftermath (A Normero ficlet, as requested by.... I forget)
Sheriff Romero watched Abernathy’s body plummet off the dock, hitting the water with a tremendous splash before sinking beneath the surface. The man disgusted him, and he was glad to be rid of both him, and his business. Speaking of which…
Romero reached down, and picked up the bag of money he had deceived Abernathy with.
“Not in my town you son of a bitch,” he growled, heaving the bag out into the water. It could join Abernathy at the bottom of the bay.
He stood at the edge of the dock, taking in a breath, then letting it out. Then he remembered that he was not alone. He’d spotted Norma when he arrived at the docks, and unless he was mistaken, she was currently hiding behind a stack of lobster pots, about fifteen feet behind him.
“You can go home now, Norma,” he said calmly.
He heard her shift from behind the pots, and he smiled inwardly. The woman had guts, that was for sure. He turned to leave, opting to ignore that she had gone directly against his advice to let him handle it.
“I almost shot you!” she shouted after him in consternation.
“With what?” he shot back, looking over his shoulder as he walked, “Your purse?”
The look on her face stopped him in his tracks. He knew it well, even in the half-darkness of the dock. Guilt. He’d seen it before, and there it was again.
“Come here,” he said, in a tone that would let Norma know it wasn’t a request.
As she strode bravely towards him, he glanced along the dock, then back to where his truck was. No one was in sight. In White Pine Bay, when you heard gunshots, you turned up the radio and went about your evening. No one would come looking.
Norma stopped just short of where Romero stood.
Despite them being entirely alone, he dropped his voice.
“Did you really bring a gun?”
“No,” she replied, but the slight question in her answer told him otherwise.
“What the hell were you thinking?” he whispered angrily. “Are you insane? You? With a gun?”
“I don’t have a gun.” Her tone was even less sincere this time.
“Then why did you say you almost shot me?” he demanded.
She paused for a beat too long before replying, “It’s a figure of speech.” She pushed past him, walking towards where his SUV was parked.
“Damn it, Norma,” he said, catching up to her with long strides and taking her by the arm. She had no choice but to turn and face him.
“Where is it?”
“Where’s what?” she asked innocently.
“The gun, Norma. Where is it?”
“I told you I don’t-”
“Enough, Norma. You have no business having a gun. Now hand it over,” he said gruffly.
“Hand it over? Who do you think you are?”
“I think I’m the Sheriff.”
“Excuse me, but you’re the Sheriff who just shot a man. Killed him,” Norma pointed out.
“Because I didn’t want you doing it yourself,” Romero shot back. “You’re the last person on earth who should have a gun.”
“And why is that?” Norma asked, offended.
“Oh, I don’t know,” he said sarcastically, taking a step towards her. “Does the name Keith Summers ring a bell?”
“I didn’t shoot him,” Norma said, stepping back.
“No, you did just fine without a gun,” he agreed, taking another step forward. “Which is why I don’t think you should have one.”
Norma took another step back, but said nothing.
“Now, where is it?” he asked again, eyeing her up and down.
Instinctively, she took another step back, and shifted her bag in front of her, as though to block her body from view. She jumped as her back collided with the side of Romero’s SUV.
“Norma,” Romero said, intentionally stepping into her space to make her uncomfortable. “Where. Is. The gun?”
Her eyes met his with steely determination, and she kept resolutely silent.
He pulled the bag out of her hands, but the light weight of it told him immediately that the gun wasn’t in there. He dropped it carelessly on the ground next to him.
“Do not make me search you,” he threatened.
Her gaze wavered, but then reverted to its previous ferocity.
He took a moment to appreciate her confidence. It was the biggest thing he admired about her: once she was resolved to do something, she wouldn’t give an inch.
Too bad Romero was the same way, and she had just challenged him.
Without another word, he grabbed her upper arm roughly, spinning her around and slamming her up against his SUV.
She yelped in surprise, and tried to wriggle out of his grasp, but he merely took a harder hold, using more of his body to keep her pinned against the car. Norma was forced to turn her face to one side to avoid mashing her nose into the glass.
“Last chance, Norma,” he growled in her ear.
She glared at him as best she could from her position, but remained silent.
“All right,” he said, privately pleased at her stubbornness. There was nothing he enjoyed more than pushing the woman’s buttons, and this would no doubt be the icing on the cake. The fact that he found her attractive had nothing to do with it – at least, that’s what he tried to tell himself. Yet part of him was painfully aware of how much of his body was touching hers at this moment.
He cleared the thought from his mind with a small shake of his head.
He shoved his right foot in between Norma’s feet, pushing them out into a wider stance. She gasped as she struggled to keep her balance.
Once she’d recovered, he put her arms above her head, her palms resting against the glass. He ran his hands along her arms, starting at the wrists and working down to her shoulders. He could feel her jolt as his hands grazed her sides and continued all the way down to her hips. He let his hands rest there for a long moment, savoring the power trip he was on. Oh, he’d never hurt her. Antagonize her? Absolutely.
He let go of her hips, and it almost seemed like she shifted them towards him, as if to keep the contact.
Instead, he bent down to wrap both hands around her right ankle. Slowly, he worked his hands up her leg, making sure the gun wasn’t tucked into her tall, leather boots. Norma, for her part, remained absolutely still – almost too still. It’s like she was waiting for something, but he wasn’t sure what. Maybe she was waiting for him to find the gun. But even though he allowed his hands to go all the way to her upper thigh, her right leg was hiding nothing. He switched legs, starting again at her left ankle. As he reached her thigh, he glanced up at her, only to find her staring at him, even as her face still rested against the glass of the SUV.
Her face was half-hidden, but her expression was… something he’d never seen from her before. It’s like her eyes were burning holes into his. He blinked, and the sensation was gone. She looked away as he stood, checking her center back before reaching for her arm. He pulled her around to face him, then pushed her back so she was, once again, pinned against the car. Her hands hung at her sides, but he corrected that immediately, taking her wrists and placing her hands against the car some distance from her torso.
He looked at her again, and once again his eyes met hers. There it was again. The smoldering eyes, making his gut twist in a way it he had never felt. He took a steadying breath, furious with his body for betraying him.
Vowing not to let her win, he continued his search, reaching into her jacket pockets one at a time, but finding only Norma’s car keys.
Now he paused, intentionally staring straight into Norma’s eyes. There was only one part of her body his hands had yet to check, and he wanted to see if she’d crack. Surely she wouldn’t allow him to put his hands there…
But even as he raised an eyebrow in question, the challenge remained on her face.
‘You wouldn’t dare,’ is what her expression said.
‘Oh, but I would,’ he thought to himself.
He took half a step forward, putting his nose only inches away from hers. He untied the belt of her coat. Reaching up to her neck, he unzipped the jacket, all the way down to her waist, and pulled it open. He kept eye contact the whole time, daring her to give it up.
As her jacket fell open, she raised her head a little, as if inviting him to try to keep going.
His hands came up to her waist, and rested there for a moment.
He was disappointed to feel the butt of a gun bump against his right thumb. He knew he should be pleased to be proven right about the gun, and yet, it meant his search was over.
It took him a moment to realize that his disappointment was mirrored in Norma’s eyes. He blinked, but it was still there.
Slowly, he wrapped his hand around the gun and pulled it from the waistband of her jeans. Two of his fingertips brushed the bare skin underneath, and he heard her inhale sharply at the contact. He held the gun up between them, and gave Norma a look.
“Thought you said you didn’t have a gun.”
“I lied,” she whispered, a devilish smile spreading over her lips.
“Why?” he asked curiously.
She blatantly eyed him up and down, and then raised an eyebrow as their eyes met once more.
He had to lean slightly forward to put Norma’s gun on the hood of his car. That put his face impossibly close to hers, and even once the gun was safely set down, he couldn’t bring himself to back away. She tilted her head up to look at him, the desire unmistakable.
“This is a bad idea,” he murmured.
“I don’t care,” she whispered, her lips brushing his as she spoke.
He found, in that moment, that he didn’t, either. He slammed his lips into hers, snaking his arm inside her coat and around her waist to keep her pressed firmly against him. Her response was immediate, with one hand curling around the back of his neck, while the other found its way to the base of his back, where her fingernails dug into him as she twisted her hand into the fabric of his shirt.
Within seconds, he found himself unable to stand upright with any reliability, so he pushed Norma back against the car. She hardly seemed to mind. One of her legs slid up his own, and she hooked a foot around his leg, forcing him even closer – if closer was even possible.
At some point, he felt her tongue sweep across his, an act he gladly returned.
The hand at his lower back shifted downwards, grabbing whatever it could. He ground against her in response, eliciting a small moan from the back of her throat. Suddenly, his hands couldn’t be in enough places at once. They roamed over her body, cupping and caressing as they went. He seemed to have issued an invitation, because both of Norma’s hands drifted to his ass, before wending their way upwards, underneath his un-tucked shirt. Before he could even react, she brought her hands around to his stomach, then ran them up his chest.
The feeling of her hands on his bare skin was too much, and he broke the kiss suddenly. For what felt like a very long time, they stood there, breathing heavily as they stared at each other in mutual shock.
Alex knew that he’d wanted her, but not like this. Nothing like this. He was milliseconds away from throwing her into the backseat of his car – if he could even be bothered to move her that far. And by her expression, she would have let him, happily.
As much as he wanted to, and good God, he did, the fact that she could bring him to the brink so quickly, and so easily, terrified him. No one had that sort of power over him. No one. But here he was, coming apart thanks to Norma Bates.
And he couldn’t allow it. He just couldn’t.
His hands fell from her body, and he stepped back, forcing her to remove her hands from under his shirt.
“We can’t,” he ground out between heavy breaths.
Norma’s eyes suggested otherwise, but she didn’t try anything. She just nodded, running a hand through her hair to undo the mess he’d made of it. Zipping up her jacket, she bent down to retrieve her bag from his feet. As she stood, she came intentionally close to him, her gaze piercing. Her pupils were still blown wide, but with a tug on her jacket, she broke eye contact.
She reached over and picked up her gun from the hood of his car, and tucked it into her pocket.
He blinked in surprise.
“What are you doing?”
She turned and gave him a look, full of power and fearlessness.
“I won it, didn’t I? Fair and square,” she said, before turning on her heel and strutting away.
‘She’s going to be the death of me,’ Alex thought to himself.