Note: slightly suggestive comments in this chapter. If you don't like that. Please don't read it. otherwise. Enjoy and let me know what you think. There is one more chapter left of this story. Sorry I have been so slow to update it. life comes in the way of creativity sometimes.

It is Monday morning. Mac wakes up by the sound of thunder outside and by the quick flash of lightning that is lightning up the entire bedroom. He reaches over to the other side of their bed. The side of the bed Christine should be sleeping is cold and empty. He slowly opens his eyes to check the nightstand alarm clock. It says, 5.10. She shouldn't be up yet. He is usually the one to get up early, and she often complaints that he is always waking her up too soon. He gets out of bed, and the moment his bare feet hit the floor, he wants to get back into bed, but that fact that Christine is up this early and that the bed is cold, which tells him she must have been up for a while worries him. He walks into the living room. The light is off, but Mac can see that she is sitting on the couch. He can only see her from the skyline light that is coming in through the window. He walks over to her. She is sitting completely still on the couch, just staring into the air. There is a cup of what he assumes must be either coffee or tea on the coffee table, but it isn't steamy, so it must have been there for a while too.

"you are okay?" he asks, placing his hands on her shoulders.

She gets surprised. "gess Mac. Don't sneak up on me like that." She says once she has recovered the shock.

"what is going on?" he asks and sits down next to her. He takes her hands in his. They are cold. She must have been sitting out here for a while.

"I couldn't sleep. You can just go back to sleep. It will be a while before you need to get up."

"okay. Let's go back to bed." He says and takes her hand and is trying to pull her to her feet.

"no, you can just go." He sits down next to her.

"I go where you go." He says.

"you are so damn stubborn. I'm not in the mood for games." She says, a little irritated.

"so, tell me what is on your mind? I can see that busy brain of yours working," he says and sees her lips curve up a bit.

"I was just thinking."

"about what?" she looks over at him.

"work. I am going back to work today, remember?" He nods.

"you don't have to if you don't want to. You can wait until you are ready."

"no, I need to." She says persistently. "I'm not sick, Mac. I can't stay home forever."

"what you went through, Christine. You need to take your time to recover." He says and gently touches her hands.

"I can't hide from the world in this apartment forever, Mac." She snaps. She didn't mean it to sound as harsh as it did.

"I'm sorry." She quickly says.

"don't apologize. I get it. You want to go back to your restaurant and do what you love to do. I get that."

"what am I going to tell them?" she asks and looks at him with despair in her eyes and in her voice. "jimmy? They are going to ask about him. Where he is what happened? What am I going to tell them?"

"whatever you want."

"Thanks, mac. What a help you are." She says, irritated, and stands up. She walks back and forth in front of him. All he can do is watch her.

"he was your restaurant manager. You told me before all of this happened that you were going to fire him. You could tell them that you fired him. they don't need to know that he was behind all of this."

"I don't want to lie to them, Mac." She says and sits back down next to him. "I feel like they deserve to know the truth."

"Okay." He says and waits for her to continue.

"I'm just not sure how to tell them the truth."

"you want me to be there? I can take the day off."

"no." she quickly says and then realizes it could sound like a rejection of his support more than just a decline of his offer.

"I'm sorry. I really love everything you do for me, but I feel like I need to deal with this part on my own. It is my restaurant and my employees. I need to handle it on my own, Mac." She says and leans over and places a passionate kiss on his lips.

"Okay." He says with a smile when they break the kiss. He wraps his arms around her.

"you are so warm." She says and leans into him closer.

"so was the bed." He says.

"you really just want me into bed, don't you?" she asks with a smile.

"can you blame me?" he asks and lays down on the couch with her in his arms. She is laying halfway on top of him. It makes her laugh.

"you are impossible, Mac."

"I am a lucky man," he says and places a kiss on her head. "I am in a relationship with an amazing, strong, and not to forget, incredibly attractive women. You can't blame me for wanting to spend some quality time with her."

"and that has to be in bed?" she asks playfully.

"well, it could be right here too." He says, playing along with her game. She raises up to look at him and pretend to be shocked about his suggestion.


"you started it," he says with a big smile. Christine leans down and kisses him, and the kisses quickly grow more heated.

Mac wakes up and looks around to find out where he is. He is sleeping on the couch in the living room with a blanket over him. He then hears footsteps from bare feet entering the living room. Christine is standing at the end of the couch with a cup of steaming coffee. She is wearing one of his NYPD-shirts. He smiles at her, remembering why he is now laying on the couch instead of being in his bed.

"morning." He says with a smile. She just smiles and blushes from the way he is looking at her.

She pushes his leg aside so she can sit down on the couch. He sits up and wraps his arms around, and places kiss down her throats.

"Are you feeling better about going back to work today?" he asks as he takes the coffee cup from her and takes a sip. The coffee isn't strong enough for his taste, but for now, he just needs some caffeine to wake him up. He isn't as young as he used to be as much as he hates to admit it.

"Yeah, I guess." She says and kisses him. "we should do this more often."

"at five in the morning?" he asks with a raised eyebrow.

"what you don't think you can keep up?" she asks, teasing.

"We are not 25 anymore." He says and kisses her again.

"It sure felt like it earlier." She says and places the coffee cup on the table and stands up. She is about to walk away when he grabs her hand and pulls her towards him. She nearly falls down on the couch, but he catches her and gently places her down on the sofa and he leans over her.

"We need to get ready for work, Mac." She says despite that, she really just wants to continue what he is doing right now. Trailing kisses down her throat and his hand roaming under her shirt. She knows she must be the one to stop it before they both get late for work.

"I am the boss. I can be late whenever I want to. And so are you." he says, trailing kisses down her throat.

"Mac." She says, determined, and pushes him off.

"you know we can't," she says determinedly. They both sit up.

"I know why you are doing this. you are trying to make me forget about my worries about going back to work." She says and places a hand on his face. "and it is charming, but I need to face it sooner or later."

"did it work?" he asks with a serious look, but he can't keep a smile off his face, and they both start chuckle.

"Yeah, it did. But we both know it isn't the solution." She says, and he nods. He knows she is right; he just doesn't like that he can't fix the problem for her. She needs to handle it herself. He knows she is strong, and she can do it but, he doesn't like issues that he can't solve or disappear.

It is about 10 pm when Mac parks his car outside of Christine's restaurant. It seems quiet. All the customers are gone. As he walks into the restaurant, he hears laughter coming from the kitchen. Mac walks over to the swing door leading to the kitchen. He hears Christine's sweet laughter. He walks into the kitchen, and immediately everyone is looking over at him.

"Hey, Mac." Christine greets with a big smile.

"want a beer, Detective?" one of the young women asks.

"seriously. You do know he is the boss's boyfriend, right?" another young girl says.

"Yeah, so." The first one who offered Mac a beer says.

"Okay, ladies, time to clean up." Christine orders and gets up.

"Yeah, ladies." One of the young men sitting next to Christine says and takes another sip of his beer.

"you too, Nick. Get a broom." Christine says and takes the beer bottle from him.

"what about you?" one of the young girls asks Christine.

"what about me?"

"I thought you said we were all going to help clean up if we wanted to stay for a beer."

"I am staying," Christine says, persistent.

"I just thought you were going to leave now that Captain America is here." The girl says, referring to Mac.

"Captain America is Army. I'm a marine." Mac says in a casual tone and all of the employees except the young girl whom Mac was talking to starts laughing.

"Get your facts straight, Amanda." One of the boys says teasingly.

"Mac, come one." Christine says and takes Mac's hand. "all of you start cleaning." Christien orders out loud.

"ahh, she just wants some smush time with her boyfriend." One of the girls says teasingly, and everyone starts laughing.

"or I could just go home and spend quality time with my boyfriend while you could stay and clean up the rest. How about that?" Christine asks back.

"I'll take that trash out." The girl who where teasing says and grabs the trash bag and walks by Mac and out of the kitchen, and everyone starts laughing.

"if you want to wait for me. I can make you a cup of coffee; there is also a piece of pie left. I only got a few more things to do." Christine says quiet enough for Mac to hear it but not loud enough for the rest of her employees to hear it. He nods.

"sure sounds good." They walk into the small room Christine has arranged to be her office where she does all of the financials for the restaurant.

"If you need help with anything, I can give you a hand." He offers.

"We are good." She says and kisses him passionately.

"get a room." One of her male employees says as he walks by them with the broom.

"how about you get a girlfriend first, and then you can comment on my relationship," Christine says, and the young man pretends to look disappointed and continues to sweep the floor.

"It seems like you guys are all in a good mood." Mac comments, almost whispering.

"I'll tell you about it later." She says and places one last quick kiss on his lips before she gets back to work.

It is almost 11 pm when Christine and Mac are in the car on their way to Mac's apartment. It is quiet in the car. Christine is just looking out the window and up at the lights on the skylines.

"you okay?" he asks, reaching over and places his hand on hers. Christine looks over at him with a smile.

"Yeah, I'm fine." She says and squeezes his hand reassuringly, and then she returns to look out the window at the skylines, but she looks over at Mac with a smile when she hears him yarn.

"you are tired?" she asks with a smile. Remembering what happened early this morning.

"I didn't exactly get a lot of sleep this morning." He says, trying to sound accusingly, but the smile on his face tells her he does really mean it.

"says the guy who normally function on 4 hours sleep. I don't think it is the lack of sleep that made you tired."

"oh, that is right. You were distracting me from sleeping." He says, but he purposefully doesn't look over at her, but he can tell she has a surprised look on her face.

"you distracted me. you started it."

"oh, right. I won't do that again."

"you can't keep that." She just says determined, but he notices the daring look in her eyes when he sneaks a peek at her while he is driving.

"keeps your eyes on the road." She orders when she catches him in sneaking a peek at her.

"okay. Someone is back in business mode." He teases her.

She smiles and then looks out her side window. Mac isn't sure if he overstepped a line with that comment. Some he isn't saying anything for a while.

"How did it go today?" he asks once they stop for red-light.

"surprisingly well," she says. Mac waits for her to continue. "I told them the truth about what happened to me. Not in detail. Just the overall. I told them who did it and why. I also told them not to do anything stupid. Some of the boys started talking about getting back on Jimmy, but I told them not to go all Rambo." She is looking out the window as she speaks. She then turns her head to look at Mac with a very accusing look. "unlike you, obi one Kenobi." She says, and they both start laughing.

"I think I have a bit more experience dealing with scumbags like Jimmy Boyd then your college employees do," Mac says to try and justify that he went Rambo doing the investigation.

"it doesn't justify it," she says accusingly.

"But I am kind of glad you did, though." She says and leans over and places a kiss on his cheek.

"so, what was that drinking beer tonight about?" he asks. "it seems like you guys were in a perfect mood."

"Yeah. We closed a bit early. There were no customers. After the past few weeks that have been sort of crazy, I figured we could all use some quality time together so. Take-out food and a beer for everyone, and then we were just chatting having a good time. Basically, just bunding. I told them if they had any questions, they could just ask."

"That sounds really great, Christine."

"I was expecting them to ask questions about the kidnapping and about Jimmy, but instead, they started asking about you."

"me?" mac asks, looking over at her, surprised.

"yeah." Christine starts laughing by the memory of her employees' questions. "questions about how we meet. How long we have known each other. If you have a problem with dating your best friends' sister. Stuff like that. You know college kids jokes kind of stuff." They both start laughing.

" The boys asked if you are a good guy. You know almost sounding like a brother while the girls were more interested in knowing if you have any cute cop colleagues who are single. They were just being goofy."

"It sounds like you and your employees will come through this stronger together," Mac says and places his hand on her leg.

"Yeah. I think so." She admits and looks out the window again.

"I'm glad you dealt with it in your own way," Mac says.

"Yeah, me too. Although…" Christine says and looks over at him and waits for him to look at her. He looks over at her when they stop at a red light.

"I wouldn't mind picking up where we left off this morning."

"I thought you didn't want me to distract you," he says, trying to sound confused, but the smile on his face betrayals him.

"I could use some more distraction." She says, and they both start laughing.

"okay. Maybe we can work on that." He says with a smile on his face. He is just happy that Christine is going to be okay. She is dealing with the situation in her own way, and it is working for her.