|Hold Me Now
Author: CharmedBec PM
The cliché was true, sometimes you didn't know what you had until it was gone. The question was: could you ever win it back again once you'd lost it? Lindsay Monroe was about to find out the answer... AU as of Lucy's birth in Season 5.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Angst - Danny M. & Lindsay M. - Chapters: 50 - Words: 328,890 - Reviews: 474 - Favs: 71 - Follows: 122 - Updated: 03-02-13 - Published: 05-19-10 - id: 5982871
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
HOLD ME NOW
Disclaimer: The characters in CSI: New York do not belong to me. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Summary: The cliché was true, sometimes you didn't know what you had until it was gone. The question was: could you ever get it back again once you'd lost it? Lindsay Monroe was about to find out the answer.
Notes: Hi! New chapter for you. Hope you enjoy. Please let me know what you think.
More Author's notes at the end, but for now, I'll leave you to read on and take a trip down 'Memory Lane' with our favourite couple...
Part 43 – Memory Lane
The following week…
"Is she here yet, Mommy?" Lucy asked eagerly, her blue eyes wide with anticipation.
"Not yet, sweetie, no," Lindsay responded with a weary sigh.
Not for the first time in the past hour, she questioned the wisdom of bringing her daughter along with her today. It was almost inevitable that the plane would be delayed when she was stuck with an energetic four year old to entertain. Lucy had been so excited when Lindsay's sister had rung two days previously to say that she was flying into New York for a two-day medical conference however, that she hadn't the heart to say no when the little girl had asked to come with her to pick up her Aunt from the airport.
"To be honest I wasn't sure about taking Tania's spot at first," Mel had told Lindsay as she explained how her colleague had had to pull out of the conference due to a family emergency. "I have to give a paper and I hate that kind of thing – that's why she was the one who volunteered to go in the first place. Still, the hospital's research programme could do with the publicity and funding that attending the conference should generate - plus I get to see you and Lucy after missing you at Thanksgiving because we were with Paul's family this year - so I figured I could brave the awfulness of public speaking just this once."
Lindsay laughed. "Such enthusiasm," she commented dryly before turning her attention to more mundane matters. "Look Mel, I'd offer you a place to crash, but I'm still at Stella's and I think we've imposed on her hospitality enough already. I could ask Danny if we can stay at his place, I suppose. His apartment's got three bedrooms so there'd be enough space for us all - only thing is half my stuff from my old apartment is still stored in his spare bedroom so we'd need to do a little re-arranging first."
"There's no need for that," Mel told her. "The hospital is providing funds for a hotel room so I'm not short of a bed for the night."
"And neither are you by the sound of things," she added pointedly. "Four of us in three rooms means that someone would have to share, and I notice that you didn't mention the two of us bunking down together."
"No, I didn't, did I?" Lindsay responded airily.
Her sister tutted in mock disgust. "Well, if you're going to be all cryptic about it," she huffed.
Lindsay laughed. "I can't believe you haven't brought it up before now," she said.
"Well, what did you expect me to say – how's your sex life going, hon?"
Lindsay smiled. "It's not as if propriety has ever stopped you prying into such matters before now," she pointed out.
"No, I don't suppose it has," her sister agreed. There was a pregnant pause and then… "So how's your sex life going then, hon?"
"It's fine, thank-you," Lindsay responded with aplomb. "Great actually, seeing as you ask," she added for extra effect.
"And now you're just being smug," Mel complained. "Have some heart for us married-for-way-too-long girls, hey? We get laid maybe once a month - and that's only if we're lucky."
Lindsay laughed. "Mel, you had three kids at my last count."
"And I've seen the way you and Paul are with each other and there's no way those bed-sheets are even remotely cold."
"My husband is pretty hot," Mel conceded with a hint of pride in her tone.
"I guess we both got lucky, huh?" Lindsay said.
"You still believe that after everything that you and Danny been through in the past year?" her sister asked her.
"If I didn't, I wouldn't have stuck at it for so long, would I?" Lindsay answered. "If it's not right then there comes a point where you have to accept that it's over and move on with your life. I've never gotten anywhere near that point with Danny."
"Lindsay – you kicked him out and filed for divorce!"
"Only because I was scared – because I wrongly thought it was the only way to protect myself from getting hurt. Danny says we needed that break to realise what was really important and I suppose he's right in some respects. I still feel that it was a mistake for me to run away from our problems like that though. I put us all through a lot of unnecessary pain. If I'd just talked to him about the way I was feeling at the time…" She broke off with a regretful sigh.
"But the two of you are doing okay now though?" Mel enquired.
"Yeah, yeah, we're fine," Lindsay replied. "I mean we have our good days and our bad days like most couples, but the balance is definitely shifting more towards the good."
"Well I'm glad," Mel said. "I know Danny hasn't always been my favourite person in the world, but that's only because I didn't want you to get hurt again. It seemed as if history was repeating itself when the two of you first split and I guess I went into protective big sister mode because of that."
"He knows that," Lindsay assured her, "I think he better understands why now than he did when we saw you in the fall actually. I thought you two had sorted out your differences back then though?"
Mel laughed. "Is that what he told you?"
Lindsay's heart squeezed painfully inside her chest at that. "Are you saying he lied to me?" she demanded a little shakily.
"No, no," Mel hurriedly reassured her. "It was just that there wasn't really any negotiation involved. It was more along the lines of him telling me to butt out of your business, and me having no choice but to agree."
"You had a choice, Mel," Lindsay argued.
"I did, that's true," her sister acknowledged. "And I chose to give him the benefit of the doubt. He's proved himself worthy in the mean time, I guess."
Lindsay smiled at this rather grudging admittance. "You guess?"
"I need to see it for myself before he's one hundred percent off the hook," Mel informed her mulishly.
"Well, I'll let him know he's under evaluation," Lindsay said.
"No, you won't," Mel cut in sharply. "He'll be on his best behaviour if you do and that could lead to a false positive result."
Knowing her sister was only teasing, Lindsay laughed. "Mel!" she admonished.
Her sibling laughed too and then reluctantly brought their conversation to a close. "Look, I've got to go," she said. "I've got the boys' dinner to sort out. I'll see you in a couple of days though, yeah?"
"I'm looking forward to it," Lindsay replied softly. "I miss you, sis."
"I miss you too," Mel responded with a similar level of emotion before she cleared her throat and deliberately brightened her tone. "So give Lucy a big kiss from her favourite Aunt, okay? And take one for yourself while you're at it too."
"I'll do that," Lindsay assured her. "Bye Mel."
"Bye hon; I'll see you soon."
Soon was a relative word of course, Lindsay thought bleakly as the Arrivals board stubbornly refused to announce the landing of her sister's plane despite the 'Expected' time now being imminent. "How about we go and get ourselves a drink?" she suggested to her increasingly restless daughter.
"But what if we miss Auntie Mel?" Lucy asked with a worried frown.
"We'll be able to see the screen in the coffee shop," Lindsay promised her, "And she'll call us if we're not there at the gate when she arrives anyway."
"Okay then," Lucy agreed, suitably mollified by her mother's reassurances.
"You can draw her a picture while we wait if you want," Lindsay suggested as she took her daughter's hand and led her across the concourse towards a nearby café.
Luckily she'd had the foresight to pack a couple of colouring books, some crayons and several sheets of folded-up paper into her purse before she left that morning. Not so long ago, it would have been diapers and wipes that she'd never have left home without, but those essentials of motherhood had changed somewhat over the years as her baby had transformed from infant into the pre-schooler she now was.
Once Lucy was happily ensconced with her drawing materials and a beaker of milk, Lindsay leant back in her chair and sipped slowly at her latte as she watched the hustle and bustle of the busy airport around her. She was both nervous and excited about her sister's impending visit. Excited because their regular phone-calls and web chats never seemed to be enough - but nervous too because she knew that Mel would inevitably be assessing the state of her marriage and she didn't want her to find it wanting.
Even though she knew they must have had their ups-and-downs over the years, her sister and her brother-in-law Paul always seemed so happy together. It was as if nothing ever fazed them. They were a unit in a way that her and Danny only aspired to be. It was a lot to live up to, but she finally felt as if they were on the right track. Her face softened into a contented smile as she remembered the events of the day before…
The previous morning…
"What you grinning at?" Danny asked his wife as he negotiated the rush-hour traffic and cursed whoever had had the audacity to discover a dead body at such an inconvenient time in the morning.
"Nothing," she replied, continuing to bestow her sunny smile on him despite his ill temper.
"It's gotta be somethin'," he pressed.
"Can't I just be happy?" she asked him.
"Not without reason, no," he told her a touch grumpily.
She laughed a light silvery laugh at that, the sound a bubbling mountain stream over glacier-smooth rocks. "I've just missed this that's all," she explained.
"You and me," she replied, "Working together without a chaperone. Reminds me of the old days."
Danny laughed. "The old days? What are we? Sixty-five with one foot in the grave?"
Lindsay giggled. "No, I just mean that it's nice and relaxed between us like it used to be." She twisted in her seat to face him. "Remember that case with the football star?"
Her husband nodded. "Tyrell Mann, the superman," he drawled, his eyes still on the road ahead. "You quoted football statistics at me," he remembered with a faint smile.
"And you asked me to marry you," she reminded him.
"I believe I said I might ask you to marry me," Danny corrected pedantically, "Not quite the same thing, babe."
"Tom-ay-to, To-mah-to," Lindsay retorted. "So did you ever think you would?" she enquired.
"What? Marry you?" He shook his head with a wry laugh. "Not back then, no. I had other things on my mind."
"You'd slap me if I told you."
Lindsay smiled. "So what case stands out for you from that time then?" she asked. "From those that we worked together, I mean."
"You'd slap me if I told you that too," Danny told her with a low chuckle.
She laughed. "Danny!"
He grinned. "I remember the opera dress."
"The opera dress?" she questioned with a puzzled frown.
"DB in the subway – the boss man in a goddamn monkey-suit, and the icing on the cake - Detective Lindsay Monroe in sexy heels and a deliciously low-cut dress if my memory serves me correctly."
"Danny!" she said, thumping him lightly on the upper arm.
"See - I told you you'd hit me," he told her unnecessarily.
She crossed her eyes at him. "That's what you remember? Me in a skimpy dress and high heels?"
"That and you taking down that college student like a seasoned pro," he said, winking playfully at her, "Both as sexy as hell from where I was standing."
'Well hello, Miss Monroe,' he'd declared as she gingerly tottered down the tracks towards him and Mac. She remembered the tone of it had sent a shiver down her spine, but also that it had embarrassed her in front their boss who she'd not yet been completely comfortable around. Back then, her career had been her main concern and she'd felt as if she was still on probation. It was important that she kept on proving her professional worth so that no-one questioned why Mac had chosen to hire her.
"I don't know whether to be insulted or flattered," she told Danny now. "We were supposed to be professional work colleagues. I think you owed me more respect."
"Hey, I respected you," her husband protested. "Geez! I respected you to the point of torture."
"What's that supposed to mean?" she said as he changed lanes with a rather reckless twist of the wheel, causing the cabbie behind them to lean hard on his horn.
"Remember that pool game?" he asked her, ignoring the other road user's protest.
"The one that ended up with me naked as the day I was born?" Lindsay queried with a cheeky grin.
He shot her a mildly fulminating look, "No, the one that didn't - the Lab night out around ten months before."
She frowned as she tried to recall the particular night in question…
Several years earlier…
"You're a goddamn hustler, Montana," a familiar voice murmured low in her ear.
"Who me?" she asked innocently, bringing her hand to her chest and turning around to face him. Her breath caught in her throat as she did so. He was standing so close that she could see each individual bit of stubble on his chin.
"Yes you." His blue eyes bored into hers from behind the lenses of his glasses. He wasn't touching her but his presence vibrated through every nerve-ending in her body nonetheless.
"How about a real game?" he enquired, reaching around her to pick up a cue from the table behind.
She felt her heart stutter inside her chest as she caught a tantalising whiff of his cologne. 'Oh God, get it together, Monroe,' she silently admonished herself.
"You think you can take me?" she challenged brazenly once she'd gotten her wayward hormones back under some semblance of control.
Something hot and reckless flashed into his eyes at that and she instinctively took a step backwards so that her butt collided with the edge of the pool table. It wasn't how she'd meant it, but the double entendre in her words was not lost on her – and apparently not on Danny either.
"You don't want me to answer that," he told her gruffly. His eyes held hers for a moment longer before he deliberately turned away, moving to gather up the scattered pool balls in an attempt to cut through the electrically charged moment.
"Loser gets dumpster duty next case," he proclaimed after a rather tense pause.
"I have to do that anyway," Lindsay protested with a pout, knowing that she was pushing her luck but feeling rather reckless all the same. Just how far would he go, she wondered.
"That's what you get for being the new girl," he told her.
She pursed her lips. "I've been in New York for nearly eleven months now," she reminded him.
He lifted his shoulders with a nonchalant shrug. "You're still the newbie."
"And you're still an arrogant jerk," she shot back with a hint of bite in her tone.
Danny laughed. "Now be nice, country girl, or I won't let you win."
"If you let me win, I'll kick your butt, city boy," she declared, pointing her cue at him for added emphasis. "I intend to beat you fair and square, wise-ass."
"Oo fighting talk," he teased. "But seeing as you're so confident, how about we up the stakes a little?"
"Loser buys the winner dinner."
Lindsay felt her stomach flip-flop. He'd talked her into dinner after he'd helped her with her roof-top experiment during the water-tower case a couple of months before too. Before then they'd only ever met for the occasional drink after work, or taken in a ball-game or two together. It was all very friendly, all very platonic – simply two colleagues who got on well sharing some downtime in each other's company, nothing more, nothing less.
Dinner had been a different story though – there had been an extra frisson there all evening, even if they had just gone for a burger rather than a formal meal. The conversation had veered away from their usual flirtatious banter and more towards 'getting to know you' territory. It had given her a deeper insight into the born and bred New Yorker that she worked with, made her even more intrigued by the man that she could no longer deny that she had the hots for in the most inconvenient way imaginable.
Getting involved with a work colleague was asking for trouble as far as Lindsay was concerned. What if their easy banter did not translate so well into a more romantic connection? What if it all went wrong and they had to continue to work together day after day? How would she handle that? How would he? It wasn't worth it. Her career was too important to her. She'd have to be content with just being his friend. She should turn down dinner, she really should…
Friends went for dinner though, didn't they? There was nothing wrong with two colleagues sharing a meal. It wasn't a date. It was the fulfilment of a bet. Loser's spoils; winner's reward...
Her eyes met his over the pool table and her bubble of denial popped in an instant. Oh Jesus, who was she kidding? It was a date, they both knew that. They just weren't ready to call it such yet. They were testing out the waters, feeling their way until they were both sure it was what they wanted. It made sense. Until they spoke the words out loud, they could step back; pretend they weren't on the brink of something more. Until they called it a date, they could kid themselves into believing that the only thing between them was mutual respect and friendship.
She drew in a deep breath. "You're on," she declared.
He grinned, "All right so let's get this party started then."
He dug out a coin from his pocket. "Heads or tails?" he asked, balancing the small metallic disc on the tip of his thumb.
"Tails," she said, and then watched with bated breath as he flipped the coin and let it fall onto the table in front of him.
He leaned over to check the result. "Score one for me," he announced in a smug tone.
As he moved around the table to take his break, Lindsay stepped aside to make room for him, but remained with her hip propped up against the edge of the table.
"How good's your concentration?" she asked as he lined up his shot.
"Why? Are you planning on distracting me?"
"I was thinking about it," she responded coyly.
He lifted his head to look at her, his expression suddenly serious. "I'm not sure we should be playing those kinds of games with each other," he quietly rebuked.
"No," she agreed with a nod, her mood sobering a little.
He was right of course. They shouldn't be pushing the boundaries unless they were ready to accept the consequences. They couldn't deny their mutual competitive spirit however, so the banter was soon flying thick and fast as they circled each other like two wild animals staking out their prey.
"Best of three," she said after he'd emphatically won the first round.
Danny let out a low wicked laugh. "Don't like to lose do ya, Montana?"
"That was just a warm-up," she told him defensively.
"You wouldn't have said that if you'd won," he rejoined.
"Well, you'll never know, will you?" she shot back before she proceeded to trounce him in the second game.
The third and final battle was a close-fought contest, but, in the end, he edged ahead by the narrowest of margins, potting the last ball with a celebratory whoop and a delighted punch of the air.
She pouted and he grinned at her sulky expression. "You snooze, you lose," he taunted and she promptly stuck her tongue out at him.
Danny laughed. "Come on, it's getting late," he said. "I'll walk you home."
"I can get a cab," she told him.
"I know you can," he replied, tossing her light summer jacket at her, "But I'm still gonna walk you home."
Seeing as he clearly wasn't going to take no for an answer, she allowed him to do her the courtesy, even though the butterflies were fluttering madly in her stomach at the prospect. After bidding their colleagues a brief farewell, they headed out into the warm summer evening to walk the couple of miles from the bar to Lindsay's apartment block. Their conversation was relaxed as they strolled side-by-side through the city streets and Lindsay felt some of the tension inside her subside. Danny insisted on seeing her right to her door however, forcing her to make a decision about whether or not to invite him in. She vacillated about it for a while but eventually chose to do so.
He hesitated as the atmosphere between them inexorably thickened. "Better not," he eventually decided with a wry twist of his lips.
"Why?" The question was out before she could bite her tongue.
He moved closer, caging her against her apartment door with his palms flat against the wood. She felt his breath flutter over her lips as he lowered his head until their faces were only a couple of centimetres apart. "Because I wouldn't leave," he told her frankly.
She couldn't tear her gaze from his. "Oh," she responded ineffectually.
His lips curled up into a hint of a smile at her confusion. "'Oh' about covers it," he agreed and then sucked in a deep breath and forced himself to step back.
"Soon, Montana," he called out over his shoulder as he headed off down the corridor away from her. "Very soon…"
Dinner that time had ended up as take-out pizza at the Lab because they'd both been forced to work unexpected overtime at the last minute. He'd officially asked her out after the Holly's case a few weeks later though, but of course they'd never gotten that promised first date. A blast from the past had derailed things before they'd even begun and it had taken another few months before they were finally ready to cross that line again.
Lindsay shifted in her seat and let out a small sigh. "I remember," she said.
"I wanted you that night," Danny told her candidly.
"I wouldn't have said no if you'd made a move," she admitted.
Fuelled by a little too much alcohol and a sudden heightened awareness of him, she more than likely would have slept with him - and just as likely regretted it in the morning too. To have taken that leap on a whim rather than making a considered decision about it wouldn't have sat too well with her – however right the man in question had eventually turned out to be.
"Just as well I managed to keep my willpower in check then," Danny said, knowing her too well not to realise this.
She smiled at him. "You were a true gentleman," she concurred.
He laughed. "Well, I don't know about that!" he quipped. "You have no idea the thoughts that were running through my head as I walked home that night."
She giggled. "Do you think things would have been different if we had gotten together that night?" she asked him.
He shrugged. "I don't know, babe - maybe, maybe not. We'd have been a lot further on in our relationship when Ruben was killed but…" He sighed. "I'm not sure we were really ready to be together at that point. Those extra few months of waiting were somehow strangely necessary for us too."
Lindsay nodded. "I think I needed to face Daniel Kadem's trial alone," she considered. "You being there for me at the end of it – it meant so much, but I… I don't know… I guess I needed to prove to myself that I had the strength to confront my past before I could get involved with you. I didn't manage to completely come to terms with everything, but I made enough of a break to allow myself to open up my heart to love again."
"I couldn't stop thinking of you those weeks you were in Montana, you know," Danny confessed. "If anything convinced me that my attraction to you was something that I could no longer ignore, it was that. I was actually kind of relieved when you said you weren't ready for a relationship after you stood me up that time. I mean I was disappointed at first, but I did start to think perhaps it was for the best. And then you upped and left and everything got turned on its head again."
"I suppose everything happens for a reason," Lindsay mused thoughtfully as they finally arrived at the crime scene and pulled into an available parking spot.
Danny nodded. "It's a cliché I know," he said as he shut off the engine and unbuckled his seatbelt, "But true all the same even so."
Leaning over the gear-stick, he unclipped her seatbelt for her. "I missed this too, you know," he told her. "Us working together, I mean. I guess Mac figured we could handle it again now."
"He wanted you to baby-sit me more like," Lindsay returned acidly. "I don't suppose it's a coincidence that ever since he agreed I could go back out into the field, I've either worked with you or him, is it?"
"He cares about you, Linds," Danny told her. "He just wants to make sure you have the appropriate support that's all."
"Which means it isn't a coincidence then?" she pressed.
Danny didn't confirm or deny. "He could have confined you to the Lab until you were completely off your medication," he reminded her. "Be thankful that he chose not to."
"So I should put up or shut up, is that it?"
"I think you should be grateful that he has that much trust in you," her husband chastised her.
Lindsay sighed. "I know and I am - it's just frustrating that's all."
"You said you liked working with me a few minutes ago," he pointed out.
"So what's the problem then?" he asked, lifting his eyebrows at her.
She shook her head with a laugh and then reached out to touch his grizzled cheek. "No problem," she said lightly, "None whatsoever."
"Good," he said, leaning in to place a warm kiss on her bowed lips.
"Danny! We're on the clock!" she half-heartedly protested.
"So?" he said, unconcerned. "No-one's looking." He kissed her again for good measure and then determinedly climbed out of the car.
With a wry shake of her head, she followed his lead, grabbing her kit from the trunk of the car before ducking under the crime tape that he solicitously held aloft for her. For the rest of the day, they kept their interactions on a strictly professional level, only reverting back to their husband and wife personas when they left the Lab behind at the end of their shifts many hours later.
Back in the present…
Lindsay startled as her cell phone rang in her coat pocket. "Well, it's about time!" she greeted her sister without any preamble.
"I know, I'm sorry," Mel apologised, sounding a little harassed. "I should be through in around ten minutes or so. I've just got to pick up my bags."
"Just how many do you need for four days?" Lindsay asked her.
"Linds - it's New York," her sister reminded her. "I need luggage to carry home all the shopping."
Lindsay laughed. "I thought you came here to work," she said.
"For two days, yes," Mel replied. "But the rest of today plus Friday is one hundred percent Me-time. Have you any idea how long it's been since I've had more than a couple of days without my boys to think of?"
"The week you and Paul went on a second honeymoon last year," Lindsay answered.
"Well yeah," Mel admitted, "But that was different. As much as I love and adore him, you couldn't call my husband the ideal shopping companion. He gets bored within half an hour."
"Right and me and your four-year old niece are so much better?"
"Can't you dump her with a babysitter?" her sister enquired plaintively.
Mel laughed. "Only kidding," she said. "I can't wait to see that sweet little face again."
"That's good because she's worked herself up into a frenzy of excitement over your visit."
"Well, I am her favourite Aunt."
"Mel, you're her only Aunt," Lindsay told her dryly. "You're bound to come out on top in a field of one."
"Such a high opinion you have of me," Mel said in mock indignation. "Oo, I think that's my luggage," she announced. "I'll see you and Lucy-Lu at the gate," she finished and then promptly hung up.
A few minutes later, Lindsay waited her turn while Lucy launched herself at her Aunt with a squeal of delight. "Auntie Mel, you're here!"
"Hello baby girl," Mel crooned as she knelt to embrace her beaming niece. "You know - I think you get prettier every time I see you."
"Daddy says I got good genes," Lucy informed her importantly.
Mel laughed. "Oh does he now? And would those be Monroe genes or Messer ones, huh?"
"Both," Lucy said. "I got the good bits of Mommy and the good bits of Daddy."
"Not to mention the modesty of Daddy too," Lindsay quipped as she moved to hug her sister hello.
"I drawed you a picture, Auntie Mel," Lucy said when the two siblings reluctantly drew apart a few moments later. "It's you and me in Noo York."
She held out her offering and her Aunt accepted it with a smile. "I can see that," she said. "And who's this?" she asked, pointing to the other two stick figures in the drawing.
"That's Mommy and Daddy," Lucy told her as if it was obvious. "They holding hands, see?"
"Mommy and Daddy hold hands a lot, do they?"
Lucy nodded, her blonde curls bouncing. "They do lots of kissing too," she said. "Big, sloppy ones."
"Big sloppy ones, huh?" Mel said, raising her eyebrows at her younger sister.
"Oh God!" Lindsay murmured under her breath, her cheeks reddening in embarrassment.
"Daddy kisses Mommy more than he kissed Rachel when she was his girlfriend," Lucy went on. "I fink that's cus he loves Mommy best."
"Hmm, I think Daddy's rising more and more in my estimation with every minute that goes by," Mel mused with a sly, sidelong glance at her sister.
Lindsay smiled, a warm glow filling her from the inside out. Lucy's observations may be simplistic, but she had a child's uncanny ability to cut through all the layers and see right to the heart of things. Despite Danny's assurances that it was her he wanted, in Lindsay's mind she wouldn't ever measure up to the stunning Rachel's lofty heights. That didn't mean that she didn't feel as if she was enough for him, more that he might sometimes wonder whether the grass would have been greener if he'd made a different choice.
According to her daughter however, Danny loved her best and there couldn't be any higher endorsement than that, could there?
"I love you," she told him as he slipped into bed beside her later that night. He'd let himself into Stella's apartment with the key that she'd given him a couple of weeks before.
"I love you too," he said, kissing her hair as she snuggled up against him. "Your sister arrive, okay?"
"Uh-huh," Lindsay murmured a little drowsily. "She said to tell you that she was sorry that she missed you."
Danny chuckled. "I'll bet," he said.
Lindsay smiled as she nuzzled her face into the hollow of his throat. "She loves you really," she assured him.
"Mmm," he responded noncommittally.
Lindsay dug him in the ribs and he laughed softly. "I'll take your word for it."
Lindsay lifted her face to brush her lips against his. "I wasn't expecting you tonight," she said as their mouths parted.
"I didn't want to go home to a cold bed," he said by way of explanation. "It's several degrees below out."
"So what? I'm a convenient electric blanket, huh?"
"You do keep the bed all warm and toasty, yeah," he told her irreverently.
"Did you want to sleep on the sofa?" she asked him in a flat tone.
He laughed and then dipped his head to kiss her more thoroughly.
"Your hands are cold," she protested a little breathlessly when they finally came up for air.
"So warm me up," he suggested as his mouth closed insistently over hers again, his tongue parting her lips and seeking out hers with growing fervour.
Helpless to resist, Lindsay arched her body into his and allowed herself to be pulled down into the waiting abyss…
To be continued…
P.S. I've not forgotten my foreshadowing at the end of last chapter by the way. It was supposed to come to fruition at the end of this part, but things went off on an unexpected tangent. The scene with Danny and Lindsay reminiscing in the car ended up much longer than I expected, and the flashback within the flashback wasn't even part of the original outline for this chapter at all. I guess we'll have to leave it at that until next time around therefore… ;-)