Chapter 10

"Hello Amy."

Amy seemed to be as surprised to see her mother as Jake was.

"What are you doing here?"

Her mother looked up her and down, unimpressed with the less than enthusiastic welcome that she had received. "I've been trying to call you all evening. I was worried about you."

The answer took Amy by surprise. "I'm sorry Mom. But you know i can't always answer my phone."

"Of course I know that, but usually you text me back at the very least. Can't I worry about my little girl?" She leant forward and enveloped her daughter in a loving hug.

Amy smiled into her mother's shoulder. "It's nice to see you."

It was only whilst embracing her daughter that Mrs. Santiago noticed the man sat on the couch. She pulled away from Amy, a confused look covering her face. "Hello." her voice almost questioning.

Amy too turned to look at Jake, the distraction of her mother's arrival momentarily causing Amy to forget about him.

"Uh Mom, this is Jake Peralta."

At the introduction, Jake rose to his feet, offering his hand to Mrs Santiago. "It's nice to finally meet you."

A look of recollection slowly crossed her face."Amy's partner! Of course! It's nice to finally meet you too. I've heard so much about you!", shaking his hand enthusiastically.

"All good I hope. Wow, I see where Amy gets her firm handshake from." Jake observed, letting out a small laugh, making Mrs. Santiago giggle.

Amy looked toward Jake, a small smile on her lips. Despite the awkwardness of the moment, he was still able to be charming. She noticed her mother giving him the once over, a look of suspicion in her eyes. Her mother had always been a great detective; Amy had inherited all her skills from her, and she knew that the scene in which she had walked in on wasn't that of just coworkers. The apartment was decked out in the British theme which wasn't its usual decor and her mom was slowly piecing the puzzle together.

"Actually Mom, Jake is also my..." Amy hesitated, unsure of what she should call him now. She looked at Jake, who was as eager as her mother to hear the end of the sentence. She stared at him wide eyed, with an awkward silence falling in the apartment. Amy's mind raced with different words to describe her new relationship but none seemed to make their way to her vocal chords.

After what felt like minutes, Jake spoke up. "Actually Mrs. Santiago, Amy and I are together."

Mrs. Santiago looked surprised. "I see. Since when?"

Amy let out a small nervous laugh. It was another question with an unclear answer. Again, Jake took the lead. "Well, tonight was our first official date."

"Official?" Mrs. Santiago was intrigued, a questioning tone lining her voice

Amy suddenly regained her voice, although eyes staring at the floor, knowing that her mother would be relentless. "The truth is that for a long time i have know that Jake and I should be together and having almost lost him, I didn't need to date him in order to fall in love with him because I knew already was and..."

"Okay, slow down my darling." Mrs. Santiago interrupting what she knew would be a long diatribe. "Two things. You almost lost him?"

Jake looked between Amy and her mother, the resemblance uncanny. "Yes Mrs. Santiago, I was recently shot in the line of duty." His voice cracking with the admission.

A sad and concerned looked appeared on her face. "I'm so sorry Jake." In a move that both shocked Amy and Jake, she enveloped him in a loving hug. A smile appeared on his face, the sincerity of the embrace filling Jake with a warm feeling.

Mrs. Santiago pulled back, looking him in the eye. "Are you okay?"

"Yes Ma'am." Jake replied earnestly, "Well, I'm on my way at least. Amy's making sure I don't over do things."

She gave her daughter a loving smile. "That's my girl."

Amy's face began to soften, returning the smile to her mother. Mrs. Santiago reached for Amy's hand, giving it a small squeeze. "She's always been good at taking care of the people that she loves. That's what makes her mi hija especial"

Amy was felt slightly embarrassed at her mother's affection but it was what made her mother so great. Jake was looking at Amy adoringly, his eyes gleaming with agreement with Mrs. Santiago's sentiment. Amy caught the look on his face and moved to wrap herself around him. Mrs. Santiago could see the feelings that they had for one another, the love exuding from them.

"I don't think I need to ask the second part of the question." she smiled at the pair, who were beaming back at her. "I think I'll leave you be. It was very nice to meet you Jake."

"Likewise, Mrs. Santiago." He said, once again offering her his hand.

"Please Jake, call me Natalia." She leant forward and placed a small kiss on his cheek. When she pulled back, she place a hand on each of the pair. "Make sure you come to the next Santiago family dinner Jake. I'm sure everyone will be dying to meet you."

Amy smiled. "I'll make sure to bring him. Don't worry Mama."

Mrs. Santiago, leant forward and kissed her daughter on the forehead. "I'll call you to arrange a family get together soon."With that she headed for the door, a smile plastered on her friendly face, Amy and Jake watching her as she left.

"Well," Jake started, "that was...unexpected. In the nicest way."

Amy pulled herself in for a tighter hold on him."At least that's one down. Only 8 more to go." She let out a small laugh, the prospect of seeing Jake at a Santiago family dinner making her both nervous and excited.

"I'm sure I can handle it." Jake said, a hint of the old Jake coming through in his voice. He looked down at Amy, his right hand tilting her chin so that her eyes met with his. "Besides, as long as I have you, nothing can stop me from being happy."

He leant down and kissed her softly. The sincerity of Jake's statement made Amy go weak all over. She knew that Jake meant every word; she knew because that was exactly how she felt.

"I love you so much Jake."

I love you too Amy."