Chapter 3

I had been avoiding Ecklie's calls most of the morning. At the moment I wasn't quite ready to deal with him, even though he was my boss. I knew very well what he wanted to "discuss" and aside from having a very full caseload at the moment I didn't know exactly how or what to tell him what he wanted to know.

I had just gotten to a crime scene when my phone rang again, and I knew without looking, as I pushed the "ignore call" button it was Ecklie.

"What is it?" Catherine asks as I tuck my phone into my pocket again.

"Nothing." I reply evasively. "Nothing."

Then I turned my attention (thankfully) to my job.

Unfortunately, I cannot avoid Ecklie forever, and shortly before lunch between paperwork I find him sitting in my office. After exchanging the normal pleasantries he gets down to business laying out my transgressions as I have expected.

"So how long have you and Miss Sidel been in a…ah… Relationship?" He asks delicately, or perhaps more accurately with the delicacy of a sledgehammer. Subtlety is not Conrad's strong suit.

"9 years." I reply firmly. I keep my answers brief and to the point, the less I say the better. I figure things can't get any worse than they already are.

I don't see Sara again until after shift, we've been seeing less of each other as of late since she has returned to work mostly because we had been outed and have been busy, which has left little time for pleasantries.

"How long did you tell Ecklie we've been together?" I questioned.

"2 years." Sara replies as if it was obvious.

I frowned momentarily.

"I told him 9…"

To my surprise Sara laughs.

"9 years? Really?"

"What?" I asked, eager to know what her objection to my statement is.

"You're counting that time…?" She laughs again.

"So where do we go from here?" I ask, although the professional in me knows the obvious answer.

"I'm transferring to swing shift." Sara replies in that same flat tone, she looks sad.

We're silent for a long time and it seems like an eternity before Sara speaks again.

"They're waiting for us." She says quietly and I ducked to get out of the car. Today, the day after solving our most recent case we are meeting at the go-cart arena where it all began. Today, we are just letting off some steam, being friends instead of just coworkers and it is one of the few opportunities I have to see Sara where I won't have someone constantly looking over my shoulder.

For a long time Sara and I just to watch the goings on as Catherine, Nick, Warrick, and Greg zoom around the indoor track on the small, fast cars. They have tried to get me to join them, but for the moment I would prefer to stay with Sara, although she has returned to work it will be a while before she can be cleared for active duty and there's not much she can do with a large cast on her arm.

"Come on!" Nick calls to me.

Beside me Sara is laughing.

"Go on!" She urges, still laughing and finally I relented and opened the gate stepping onto the track grabbing a helmet and an unoccupied car. Starting the car I take off after Nick. As I zoom around the track I can still hear Sara's laughter. From where she is watching next to the entrance to the track I can see her smile.