"I'm telling you. It was huge."
Carolyn raised an eyebrow at my statement, and I chuckled as I picked up my glass, taking a sip before continuing to say, "I know. It's not like me to be scared of anything, but when I saw the size of it…"
"What'd you do?" she asked in amusement.
"Well, I wanted to scream," I admitted, still laughing lightly. "But I didn't, so I consider that an accomplishment. But I did go find Deakins and tell him to get an exterminator in there. Because if I see another rat like that, I might have to request a transfer."
"I hear you on that," she agreed, shaking her head. "It's bad enough that we've got cockroaches in the property room, but rats are another story."
Carolyn and I were catching up on our respective weeks, sharing a pitcher of margaritas in a bar a few blocks away from where Bobby and Logan are downing a few beers.
When I asked her initially, I suggested that we meet for a while, and then I'd go home so that she could have some time with Logan.
Of course, as soon as I tell her the truth, then she and I can both go catch up with the guys and maybe have a late dinner.
I'm pretty surprised that I actually made it through the whole week without telling Carolyn about us. Especially considering that I was itching to call her on Saturday afternoon.
But Bobby and I had our date Saturday night.
And then he spent the night at my place.
On Sunday, we didn't do much of anything, but we were together all day, so it's not like I was going to take a break from our down-time togetherness in order to regale Carolyn with stories about our sexual exploits.
And then she and Logan caught a case on Monday, so for most of the week, we didn't see much of them, which made it a little easier to keep up the ruse.
Not that it's a big deal, because we definitely plan to tell them.
But I always enjoy teasing Logan, so it's been fun to draw it out.
"So…how are things?" he asked me when I got to work Monday morning.
"Fine," I answered with a shrug. "How are things with you?"
"I mean, with…you know," he responded, nodding his head towards where Bobby had just walked into the squad room.
"I apologized. We're good," I told him. And then I smiled and said, "In fact, we're banging away like pros."
He barked out a laugh, and said, "I knew it."
"You and him," he said smugly.
"Yeah, we're partners. That's not news, Logan. We've been together for six years."
"That's not what I meant."
"Well it's what I meant, so get your mind out of the gutter."
"Logan, Barek!" Deakins had called out as he stood in his office doorway.
"You're up," I told him with a smirk as I headed towards my desk.
"You can run, but you can't hide," he retorted with a grin, and then he'd snagged his partner and together they went into the captain's office for their assignment.
After that, our paths only crossed randomly, so it was easy to maintain my denial.
"So how's your case coming?" I asked Carolyn as she poured more of the frothy drink into her glass.
"We made a nice break this afternoon. Carver thinks he can get us a warrant, but our main suspect is currently away on business, so we plan to meet him at the airport when he returns Monday morning."
"Welcome home," I said with a smile.
"Exactly. What about you? Did you guys catch anything this week?"
"A sore ass from sitting in my chair for forty hours," I replied.
She chuckled at me, but then said, "It gave you and Goren a chance to talk, though, right? Clear the air?"
"It did," I agreed. "Everything's good."
"So…anything besides a rat make you want to scream lately?" she asked me coyly.
"I have no idea what you're talking about," I answered with a barely-contained smile.
"You went over there, didn't you? To his place. Last Friday."
"I did," I said with a nod. "And I apologized."
"He accepted it," I replied vaguely.
It's funny because as much as I had the urge to tell her details last Saturday, now I suddenly feel weird about saying anything at all.
I mean, we've only very recently become friends.
And I want to tell her, I really do, but actually saying the words feels strange.
"Well, since you didn't immediately say and nothing, I'm going to assume there's more to tell," she stated astutely. "So drink up and then spill it."
"While I drink, you tell me how things are going with you and Logan. Did you decide to tell him how you feel?"
She paused with her glass midway to her lips, smiling broadly as she said, "I did, yes. But only because he said it first. I mean, I feel it. I told you that. But I wasn't going to tell him because I thought it was too soon."
"So he told you that he loves you?"
"Uh huh. Knocked my socks off. And we weren't even…I mean, it wasn't in the heat of the moment of anything. We were just talking and…then he said it."
She took a sip of her drink and then asked, "Can I tell you something? Something private, I mean."
"You mean something more private than the fact that you're sleeping with your partner?" I joked, not immediately picking up on her seriousness, but then I noticed her expression and I added, "Of course you can. Shoot."
But I wasn't prepared for what she had to say.
"I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to be working for the NYPD."
"What? Why? Because of your relationship?" I asked, nearly in a panic.
Was their partnership falling apart already?
"No," she answered quickly. "Not at all. In fact, right now, Mike's the reason why I'm thinking of staying. I just…I got an offer from the ATF. A really good offer. I'll be in charge of my own team."
"Oh," I said thoughtfully, still recovering from my misconception. "Um…congratulations. That's pretty impressive. In New York?"
"Uh huh. And thanks. You know, I actually applied for the position before I got Major Case. It took so long to hear back from them, I just assumed I didn't get it. But I got the call a couple of days ago."
"What does Logan say?"
"He says I need to take him out of the equation and go with whichever job is going to make me happier."
"Easier said than done," I commiserated, feeling extremely proud of Logan for responding so maturely. "Which way are you leaning?"
"The ATF job is what I've been after since I started in law enforcement," she admitted. "And if it weren't for Mike, I would've said yes in a heartbeat. But he has some confidence issues, you know? And I don't want him to think that I'm leaving him…I don't want things to change between us."
"Either way, they're going to change. He'll feel like he held you back from an opportunity, if you don't take it," I pointed out. "You have to go with your head on this one. If you want the job, take it. You and Logan love each other. And you'll still be in the city. It'll work out."
"I know," she said with a nod. Then she finished off her drink and looked at me and said, "Have you had enough yet? Because I'm in the mood to talk about something a little more upbeat."
"Such as what happened after you and Goren kissed and made up."
"Well, actually," I began with a grin. "You've got it backwards. We made up. And then we kissed."
"And then…up against the wall in the hallway?" she asked in amusement.
"No," I said on a laugh. I picked up my glass, swirling around the remnants of green liquid, and then I dropped my voice and said, "On the kitchen table."
My confession sent the conversation into overdrive, and I learned that it wasn't so hard after all.
Talking to her about it, I mean.
And no, I didn't give details. Not too many, anyway.
But it felt good to share with a girlfriend, and it's a feeling I haven't had since high school when my sister and I both joined the ranks of the sexually active within a few weeks of each other and so then we compared notes on the matter.
As we started on more in-depth conversation and our second pitcher of margaritas, Carolyn's phone buzzed.
"No texting Logan," I instructed.
"He still doesn't know. I figured we could meet up with them in a little bit, and then I'll tell him."
"Oh, he already knows," she countered.
"He thinks he knows. He's been trying to trick a confession out of us all week."
She laughed as she nodded and said, "I know. He keeps talking about it. But you know, I think it's sweet. He really thinks a lot of Goren. Of both of you, really. And he wants you two to be happy."
"Well, we are," I said with seriousness. "It's a little mind-boggling."
"That you're happy?" she asked with curiosity.
"That it's been so easy. I've kind of been waiting for the other shoe, you know?"
"You've already worked out the kinks with each other," she said reasonably. "You know what the other is thinking without anything having to be said. If there were any area that might cause you trouble, it would be in the bedroom, since that's the only new territory."
"No problems there," I confirmed quickly.
"And do you talk about things other than work?" she asked. "We had a little trouble with that at first. I think it's like when a husband and wife finally get a babysitter so that they can go out for the evening, and then they spend the entire time talking about the kid. It's hard to tap into other areas of compatibility."
I nodded thoughtfully, thinking about our date last weekend.
It did feel a little strange at first.
I wanted it to be different than the hundreds of times Bobby and I have eaten dinner together, while working on a case, and of course it was different because he's never once held my hand during dinner before, but still…that's why I proposed the little game of let's see what we know about each other.
And then he had to go and say something so unbelievably sweet and romantic…
"Then you need to ask me if you're so insanely beautiful that I can't take my eyes off of you. Ask me that, and I'll say yes."
And then he kissed me.
That's never happened during work-dinners either.
His kiss served to both relax and excite me. An odd combination, and yet fitting because I'm more comfortable around Bobby than any other person in the world, and yet he manages to get me so aroused, so hot that I can't think straight.
"You're smiling," Carolyn stated.
"I'm…yeah," I said on a laugh. "Sorry, I was just thinking."
"Care to elaborate?"
"Oh, it's nothing, really. Bobby insisted on taking me on a date, like a real date, so Saturday night, we went to dinner. And like you said, at first it was hard to think of what to talk about. We had to get creative."
"Creativity is always good," she replied with a smile. "How'd it work for you?"
"Really, really well."
And it did.
Bobby had me laughing within minutes, spouting off answers to unasked questions.
"Red. ABBA. And depending on who asks, either Rear Window or Goodfellas."
"Are you sure about that?"
"Absolutely," he said with a confident grin. "And I'm not done. You prefer movies to books, but only because you hate getting bogged down in the tedious details written by self-indulgent authors. And despite that preference, you've still read all the greats just because you felt like you should. You prefer jeans to dress pants. Silk to cotton. Dogs, not cats. Classic muscle cars. Oh, and at one time, probably during college, you were a smoker."
I think I stared at him for a solid minute after he finished his assessment, but then I had to protest.
"A smoker? Where the hell did you come up with that?"
"So everything else is dead-on, right?" he asked smugly.
"Well…yeah. But you knew that."
"Yes, I did. Because I know you," he answered, once again leaning over to kiss me.
I could most definitely get used to his affectionate mannerisms.
"You do," I agreed quietly once he sat back in his chair. "And yes, I smoked in college, but only for about one semester. How did you know that?"
"It's the look on your face the times I've lit up around you. Almost like you wanted to join me, but you knew you shouldn't, and you didn't really want to, but…"
"Yeah, yeah. What else is in that profile you've amassed on me?" I teased.
"Well, I'm still building on it, you know. I've recently been gathering new information," he said in a low voice as he traced his finger over the inside of my wrist. "What makes you moan…what makes you scream out my name…"
"I don't think I've done that yet."
He grinned broadly and said, "No, but the night is young."
And he was right about that.
Even though we stayed out much later than I expected, just because we were enjoying each other's company so much, when we went back to my apartment, it was almost like we never left. The desire and intensity was instantaneous and insanely passionate and we didn't even make it into the bedroom.
Instead, we made love - quite vigorously, I might add – on the couch.
And I did scream out his name, because oh my God, it was like every time, it gets better and better, and considering that I thought the first time was absolutely perfect, that's saying a lot.
And that theory played out accurately throughout the week as we continued to enthusiastically wear each other out.
"So you had a date on Saturday…how has it been since then? Have you been spending a lot of time together?" Carolyn asked me.
"We've been spending all of our time together. After work, we either go to my place or his place."
"And that's a good thing, right?"
"It's almost too good. It's not my style to be so…so…attached. I like my alone time, and yet I haven't wanted any."
She nodded knowingly and said, "That's me, too. I'm even sleeping with Mike, and that's never happened before."
Her phone buzzed again, and I checked my watch.
"Tell him you'll text him when we're done," I suggested. "And then we can pay up and walk over there."
"You want me to lie to the man I love," she joked, shaking her head as she typed in her response. "You should be ashamed of yourself, Alex."
"Hey, he started this," I replied with a grin. "With that whole Eames left her badge thing."
"You think he couldn't read the telltale signs on Goren's face? I knew the moment I saw you Monday morning."
"Great. So I'm wearing an I just got fucked sign around my neck?"
She laughed as she put her phone away and waved to the waitress, and then she said, "Don't worry. At least it doesn't say I just got fucked by Goren. We only know because we know. Your secret's safe. And honestly, I don't think Deakins really cares anyway. He just wants detectives who work well together."
She's probably right about that, and I suppose if we made it through the first week, sitting in the squad room all day, every day, and he hasn't noticed, then we'll be fine.
We paid our tab and left the bar, walking the three blocks to the pub where Bobby and Logan were engaging in guy-talk.
I can't help but wonder if Bobby managed to hold out, because Logan can be pretty persistent, and sitting in a bar with him for a couple of hours was probably something like being in an interrogation room.
The place was crowded and it took me a moment to spot Bobby, sitting up at the bar, but as soon as I did, I made my way towards him, and as I cleared some of the crowd, I looked up and found him watching me.
Logan was looking the other way, and I could see Bobby saying something to him, but I was still too far away to hear the words.
He kept his eyes on me, regarding me with undisguised lust, and I had the ridiculous urge to drag him into the ladies' room for a quickie…or hell, maybe even just do it right here in the bar.
See what the man does to me?
I lose all rational thought just from his intense gaze that sparks my imagination about what he'll do to me later when we're alone.
I finally made it to the bar, and Bobby took hold of my hand as he said, "Her."
I'm not sure what question prompted that response, but judging by the look on Logan's face as soon as he laid eyes on me, I can probably guess.
I ignored his shock, though, instead most likely compounding upon it as I slipped my free hand around to the back of Bobby's head and gave him a proper hello kiss. I mean, it has been a few hours since we've seen each other.
"I don't know who you two thought you were fooling," I heard Logan say, and when I finally forced myself to pull back from Bobby, I turned to look at him and found him grinning broadly, his arm wrapped around Carolyn's waist.
"You," I replied.
"Please," he said dismissively. "I've known since I met you guys, but I knew for sure when I walked into Goren's apartment last weekend."
"Told you," Carolyn said to me with a smile.
"She told you what?" Bobby asked me.
"Just admit it, Goren. I was right all along," Logan insisted.
"I'll admit that if you'll admit that I had you a little worried a few minutes ago," Bobby fired back.
"About the sure thing?"
"What sure thing?" I asked.
"The Jolie wannabe over there," Logan said, nodding his head towards a woman down the bar. "I was trying to get him to buy her a drink."
"Thanks, Logan. I appreciate that," I said dryly.
"As a means of getting a confession," he clarified. "And he said no, and then all of a sudden he said he'd changed his mind."
"But not about her," Bobby added quickly, squeezing my hand. "I said that after I saw you."
"Uh huh. I'm not sure you two are allowed to hang out together unsupervised," I said.
"Fine by me," Logan answered as he reached over and touched Carolyn on the cheek before tucking a stray piece of hair back behind her ear.
She smiled back at him, and for a moment, I can't help but wonder what's going to happen to them if she takes that job with ATF.
Will they still have this?
Yes, I decided firmly.
Because to say no would suggest that they're only together because of their jobs rather than in spite of them.
"Me, too," Bobby stated, agreeing with Logan to no more boys-only nights out at the bar.
And of course, I'm only kidding about that.
I've trusted Bobby for years. I'm certainly not going to stop now.
"We might decide to let you out on good behavior from time to time," I said.
"Maybe," Carolyn added. "So…should we get a table?"
We did, and we spent the next few hours having absolutely the best double-date I've ever had in my life.
"We have to do that again," I said to Bobby as we rode the elevator up to his apartment.
"Yeah, it was a lot of fun," he agreed, stepping into me as he wrapped his arms around me. "I think for a few random minutes, I actually managed to forget about how desperately I want to get you home."
"We're almost there now," I pointed out.
"And not a moment too soon," he replied. He leaned down and worked his lips over my neck as he ran his hands down over my backside, squeezing me closer to him.
The elevator pinged, signaling its arrival on the fourth floor, but I wasn't in any hurry to move because he'd moved his mouth up to my ear and he was using his teeth lightly on my ear lobe…
But we can't get naked in the elevator, I reminded myself with practicality.
Well, we can, but…
"Come on," I finally managed to say, and together we hustled down the hall to his door, where it took an inordinate amount of time for him to get the key into the lock.
Probably because while he was doing that, I was behind him, with my arms around him, working to undo his belt buckle.
And his zipper.
By the time we got inside, I had his pants completely undone and I shoved them to the floor as he reached behind him to flip the lock.
I barely waited for him to finish before tugging on his jacket, encouraging him to hurry up and take it off.
I can't help myself.
He's got me too worked up.
And it's not like he's fighting me on this.
The biggest disagreement we seem to be having at the moment is whose clothes need to come off first because while I got to work unbuttoning his shirt, he was making short work of my sweater and jeans.
"Bobby," I said in frustration as I tried to pull off his t-shirt while his hands were unhooking my bra. "Raise your arms."
"Just a second," he responded, his fingers fumbling uncharacteristically with the hooks.
I started to argue, but then I let go of his shirt and took hold of his boxers instead, shoving them down off his hips until they fell to the floor, and then I immediately ran my hand over him.
His hands faltered momentarily, but then he started again with renewed vigor while simultaneously bringing his mouth to mine for a searing kiss that caused my hands to falter.
Despite our apparent lack of motor skills, we managed to finish the pleasurable task of undressing each other, and as the last garment fell to the floor, he picked me up, wrapping his arms around me and turning us around until my back was up against the front door.
Because yeah, that's all the further we managed to get.
No big surprise really, because we've been teasing each other all night with suggestive looks and teasing touches.
I wrapped my legs around him as he held me against the door, his lips once again in the vicinity of my ear, and I'm so close already…even after a week with Bobby, and the countless times we've made love, it still amazes me how quickly he can bring me right to that edge.
"I love you," he whispered, his voice barely more than a rumble. "God, I love you so much."
And as he said the words, he pushed into me in one long, solid stroke, and that was all it took.
Wave after wave of heavenly sensations rolled through me while Bobby held still, only lightly working his lips over my throat.
After a moment, he said in a teasing voice, "You are easy, aren't you?"
Of course, I had to laugh. So did he, so we stood there like that for another minute, just chuckling at each other.
"No, I'm not," I said at last. "Because I'm not done. Are you?"
And no, he wasn't anywhere close to being done.
And it was probably nearly an hour later before we were comfortably settled in the bed.
"I don't think I said it earlier, but you know I love you, too, right?" I said as he molded his body against mine, his front to my back.
"I think you were a little busy at the moment, but yeah…I know. And is it just me, or are you kind of waiting for things to break wide open?"
"The other shoe," I said knowingly. "It's not just you. I said that to Carolyn earlier tonight. It's just all going so well."
"Something will happen at some point," he said carefully. "You know that, right?"
"It always does. But we'll work it out," I replied confidently. "We're too good at this not to."
He hummed his agreement as he stroked his fingers over my hip.
"So what do you think Carolyn should do?" I asked him after another minute.
She'd brought it up over dinner, so he was up to speed on her job offer.
"She should take it. It'll be an adjustment for her and Logan, not working together, but if she doesn't take it, she'll regret it."
"He'll have to get a new partner. I feel sorry for him already."
"Yeah, me, too," he agreed. "You know, that might be us one of these days."
"Did you apply to the ATF?" I asked, teasing in an effort to avoid that sinking feeling in my stomach.
"No," he answered quickly. "I mean, one day you'll be offered a captain's spot."
"Bobby, I really don't see that happening."
"Maybe you don't, but I do. And when it does, I'll want you to take it."
"I don't know," I said thoughtfully, both pleased by his subtle compliment, and distressed by the idea of someday not being his partner.
"Hey, we'll just enjoy working together as long as we can," he said reasonably while his fingers continued teasing my skin. "And when that changes, we'll enjoy what our life becomes at that point. Because we'll still be together, even if we aren't together at work."
I turned in his arms, kissing him soundly before saying playfully, "Wow, you know, that sounds awfully mature."
"I know," he said with a grin. "Scary isn't it?"
I kissed him again, enjoying the leisurely comfort of kissing simply for the sake of kissing.
And then the sound of a ringing cell phone interrupted our peacefulness.
"Yours or mine?" I asked as I moved to get up from the bed.
"I think it's yours. Where is it?"
"Probably still clipped to my pants, by the front door," I answered. "Don't get up. I'll bring it to you, if it's yours."
But it was mine.
And it was our captain.
"Eames, I've got one for you. Unless you want to keep riding that desk."
"Are you kidding me?" I replied, my mind immediately focused because a week is a long time to go without a case, and I'm anxious to get back to it.
I have a feeling he had us sidelined so that we could have the time to repair any damage done by that jackass Judge Garrett.
If he only knew how well we've recovered from that…
"What is it?" I continued, biting back a gasp as Bobby came up behind me and slid his hands around my waist.
"Dead computer whiz involved in some kind of top secret research. Call Bobby and get out there as soon as you can, okay?"
"Yes, sir. I'll brief you after we've had time to assess the scene."
He rattled off the address, which I committed to memory, and then I hung up with our boss and swatted lightly at Bobby's hands.
"You can't do that when I'm on the phone with Deakins," I admonished good-naturedly.
"He doesn't have to know it's my hands causing you to moan into the phone," he joked.
"Got it. No inappropriate touching while the boss is within earshot."
"Good," I said, turning around to give him a kiss. "Now get dressed. We've got a case."
A/N: Big thanks to guitar73girl for her bang-up beta work.