This is another short story from the "fly on the wall" series... ("Chess" was the 1st one and this is the 2nd one!)

Disclaimer: The following PREY characters and the world of PREY do NOT belong to me. I am not doing this for profit. I am just borrowing them for a little while so I can bring some fun and romance your way. I hope I am able to bring a smile to your face and a happy beating to your heart with this little story...

Twenty Questions By Laury

"Are you ready?"

"Is that question number one?"

"Nooo.but if you're going to have an attitude about this..we can just stop."

"Slloooooaannn.. I'm sorry. I was making an attempt at humor but it seems that I have failed miserably...."

"No..no. I'M sorry. I shouldn't have taken your comment so seriously and... I'M SORRY. I said this would be fun and look!... I'm nervous and overly sensitive.. It was a good attempt, though, Tom...really, it was..."

"You said this would be a FUN way to get to know each other better..You haven't changed your mind now, have you? Do you want to do something else?"

"No, I WANT to do this...I'll try not to be so serious.. Now, let's try this again, shall we?

"Perhaps we should go over the rules of this 'game' once more."

"Love to....All righteee... We get to ask each other twenty questions. When you are asked a question, you should answer it fully and completely.."

"Soooo, it's like a test?

"Was that an attempt at humor?"

"Yes...at least I thought so.."

"Hmmm. I think we need to work on that later, Tom.. Okay, back to the 'rules of the game'.. Yes or no answers are not allowed..unless the person asked you a yes or no question by mistake..then you're allowed to give just a yes or no answer.."

"All right. I follow you so far.."

"You must answer the questions truthfully and honestly...but you can give a silly answer, too, or you can use HUMOR.."

"Was that specifically directed at me?"

"Yes. HUMOR should be used liberally and tastefully."

"I wouldn't use it in any other way, Sloan."

"Yes, well..we'll see, won't we?"

"Yesss.."

"Normally we flip a coin to see who'll go first. Is that okay with you?"

"Sure.."

"Since you are new at this..I'll let you pick.heads or tails?"

"Heads, of course."

"Hah! Tails, I win.I get to go first!.."

"Sllooooannn?.. Wait. Maybe I'm not ready for this...What if I can't answer your question or what if you don't like my answers?"

"Are you serious? Oh, Tom, plllleease! We can set limits on the types of questions, if that'll help."

"That isn't fair, though, Sloan. If I am to truly commit to this game - then I MUST answer whatever questions you ask... Correct?

"Well, I guess so...I mean, I don't want to make you uncomfortable or anything and I' sure there are things you'd rather not talk about... Oh, Tom! I'm soooo sorry! This was a BAD idea, wasn't it? I SHOULD'VE thought about all the things you couldn't or wouldn't be able to answer.."

"I wanted to do this for you, Sloan. I WANT to do this..I'm just not sure that I can."

"Oh, I should've thought about this more..I'm so sorry. It never even occurred to me - UNTIL NOW - that I could ask you something that would trigger an episode like the one at the pillar.I just..Oh, what a dope!"

"No. It's all right. BELIEVE ME. I don't think you can trigger anything like that..not by asking a simple question..not this time."

"Really? Oh, I know! You can just say 'PASS' if you can't answer something..."

"If I can do that then so can you..or you can ask a different question.."

"Yes! That's fair. Yeah!"

"So..YOU won the coin toss...YOU go first."

"Ready?"

"Is that another question?.."

"Tooommmm."

"Sorry."

"Okay...Tom? Do you even KNOW when your birthday is?"

"Of course I know my own birth date, Sloan.."

"Well, I wasn't sure if they'd let you remember that sort of thing or not.. You still have to answer the question, you know."

"It's August 18th, Sloan."

"No way! Mine is August 15th! Hey, wait a minute...I can't believe it..I mean, did you make that up?"

"No, I didn't MAKE IT UP, Sloan. You said we had to answer honestly..besides, I may not have definitive memories about a lot of things but I DO know my birth date.."

"Hmm.I suppose.."

"What possible reason would I have to make up the date, Sloan?"

"I don't know..and..I just realized that you probably already KNOW all sorts of things about me. That's not fair!"

"I know a few things about you, Sloan..but just the basics.like your birth date and your adopted parent's names, your sister's name, et cetera. I don't know any of the interesting SPECIFICS about you.."

"No? Well, that's good then.."

"Sloan? Trust me when I say that I will ONLY tell you the truth.. Otherwise, I'll just say 'pass', okay?"

"Okay..and.. I don't know why I asked if you made that up...it was a dumb thing to say and I'm sorry - AGAIN."

"This is supposed to be FUN, Sloan..so don't let my past spoil it."

"Right. You're right! Okay, your turn to ask me a question.."

"What's your favorite color?"

"Red ~ all kinds of red and all shades of red. What's your favorite color?"

"Blue ~ midnight blue ~ like the night sky.. You know, I probably should have made a list because right now my mind has gone blank.."

"Oh, you probably know a lot about me, anyway. I mean..did you have a file on me...to study or something?"

"Yes, I had a file and...isn't that your third question?"

"Oh, could you maybe let that one go?"

"I suppose..but wasn't that another question?"

"Yes, but so was yours!"

"Okay, we'll let that go.. Sloan, what is your favorite food?"

"Dessert or main course?"

"Both.."

"Well, my favorite main course is Chinese food....ANY kind of Chinese food.. I think you probably figured that out by now... Then, my favorite type of dessert is...oh, I guess chocolate ...a wonderful chocolate fudge cake with fudge frosting...Ummm... Uhhh, what's your favorite food, Tom?"

"I'm not sure that I really have a FAVORITE food....Not that I remember, any way...."

"Oh, come on! You guys DO like food..I mean, you get some sort of enjoyment out of food besides just being an energy source for your body and so on...right?"

"Yes, I enjoy food..to a certain extent... Not the way you and Ed seem to, though.."

"Hey, wait a minute! That sounds like an insult..."

"It was NOT an insult, Sloan. What I MEANT was.."

"Oh, I was KIDDING, Tom. It's okay. I didn't REALLY think you were insulting me."

"Good and... I suppose I DO enjoy Italian foods more than anything...but I don't have a favorite dessert..."

"Chameleon school..err..training.. probably didn't allow desserts or anything pleasurable like that, I suppose..."

"Ummm.ahhh, hmmm. Pass."

"Uh, oh..stepped on a land mine there, huh? Okay, let's go on then.."

"Perhaps you can introduce me to your favorite dessert of chocolate fudge cake.."

"You bet! Let's do that tonight!"

"You don't have to rush it, Sloan.."

"You definitely don't understand, Tom... Now that you brought it up and now that it's on my mind...I won't settle for anything less than a delicious slice of chocolate fudge cake...soon! And I'll even SHARE it with you..."

"That should be interesting..but I think I'd like a slice of my own.."

"Hmmm. There's promise for you yet, Tom Daniels!"

"Was there ever any doubt?"

"Shhhhh. Now, on a very serious note... Tom, ever since your house burned down..where have you been living?"

"Hotels or motels, mostly. After all, I can't use any of the Chameleon houses now and I'm not ready to buy another house yet, so. ..."

"Whew! I didn't know if you were living out of your car or what! I mean, you NEVER have looked like you lived out of your car or anything..but I was worried about it none the less. Oh! THAT sounded awful, didn't it? What I meant to say is that you always look nice and you smell so clean and.. Oh, my. I can't BELIEVE I just said that....I'm sorry."

"Don't be sorry...I mean, that WAS basically a compliment... I think... Besides, it's nice to know that you like my appearance and that you think I 'smell so clean'.."

"Oh, yes. You smell GREAT! All the time...it's so weird..."

"Okay..let's go on to another question...It's my turn and since we are on the subject of smells.. Sloan, what is your favorite cologne on a man?"

"My favorite cologne.. I really don't know...it's been awhile since I thought about it...I suppose my favorite would be Drakkar Noir...not too much though..Oh! I know! My favorite 'scent' on a man is a 'just out of the shower' clean soap scent..."

"Clean soap scent..Well, that's certainly easy to remember.."

"Okay..my turn. Do you have a particular perfume or 'scent' that you like on a woman?"

"A nice 'clean' scent is always good.."

"Are trying to be humorous again?"

"An attempt.. AND that IS another question, you know."

"Sorry and YOU didn't answer the question.."

"I can tell you what I DON'T particularly like on a woman...heavy floral or musk scents.."

"Hmm. I'll file that away for later reference..I gather you like the way I smell..my scent, I mean?"

"Is that your question?"

"Yes."

"I like your scent very much, Sloan. It's light and quite like the 'clean soap' scent you mentioned earlier..Is it from a perfume you wear?"

"Well..this is soooo weird.. Okay, I like body sprays..Frescia or Raspberry are my favorites..and body sprays just tend to be subtle...not heavy like a lot of perfumes can be.. So while we're on that note... Is your sense of smell, taste, hearing and so on better than those of a human?"

"In a word - YES."

"How much better?"

"As I've told you before, Sloan, I'm not a doctor or a scientist.. I don't have statistics to give you."

"I don't want statistics, Tom. I want to know how much better those senses are with YOU."

"I don't have a good comparison..except..I know my eyesight is thirty- thirty and that's better than basic human eyesight. I suppose my sense of taste is more sensitive than most humans because I don't like foods that are spicy or particularly 'hot'..That's because some of them give me an instant headache - like Thai food, for instance. And it's not from any food allergies, either, because most of my species - including myself - do not have allergies. Also, my hearing is better then that of a human, but to what extent - I'm not sure. I can't hear a dog whistle or anything like that..so my hearing doesn't go into a different spectrum then that of a human..at least, I don't believe so. Smells are very important to us - especially to me and perhaps that's because I was trained as a Chameleon and identifying smells was an important part of our training..."

"Whoa. You know I could probably ask you questions about your training..but I think I'll let that go for now..we're still having fun and I don't want to spoil it..."

"I concur. Now, I believe you have asked several questions. Have you been keeping track?"

"Uh, no...and I guess I did ask the last couple of questions..so it's your turn, Tom.."

"All right. Do you remember the first time you saw me?"

"Of course.. You were in the lab talking to Anne while you were posing as an FBI agent... You WERE posing as one, weren't you?"

"Yes and no... and that's another question, Sloan.."

"Oh, sorry..I keep forgetting..it's just my nature, you know..to ask questions about everything..."

"I know and I like that about you.. First things first, though...you never asked me what my assignment was or why I was talking to Dr. Coulter that day..Why?"

"Because..well, I thought I had figured it out..I thought you were there because of Randall Lynch....."

"Okay, that's partially correct. I was there to find out what Dr. Coulter wanted with the FBI, how much she knew about my species, who she had told about my species and what did she intend to do with the information.."

"Do you remember what I was wearing that day?"

"Yes, of course. You had on a short blue dress and blue casual shoes. You were late that morning and you were a little distressed about it. You came in carrying a backpack and I opened the door for you... you seemed a little nervous and we made eye contact.."

"Wow! That's so..incredible.."

"Why do you say that?"

"Well, I've often wondered if you noticed me that morning as much as I noticed you and now I know... .but then again..I guess you would have noticed me since you were sent to..well, you know."

"Oh, I noticed you all right..but it wasn't because you were my assignment, Sloan. You weren't..YET. I was assigned ONLY to Dr. Coulter, at first. My ASSIGNMENT regarding you came later..."

"Oh.."

"Your turn again.."

"Well, let's see...so far we've covered birthdays, colors, foods, smells and first impressions..How about music? Why type of music do you like?"

"All kinds. I've been trained to appreciate all styles and eras. I PREFER classical or some forms of Rock and Roll...How about you?"

"I..well..I enjoy classical..a little...but mostly I like New Age or Pop..Rock 'n' Roll, too, of course.."

"Do you like to dance?"

"Yes, do you?"

"Yes. I've been trained in all forms...from ballroom dancing, to jazz, to swing and even disco."

"Oh, my gosh!.Oh, my!" (Snorts and laughter ensue)..

"The image of me dancing makes you laugh?"

"Oh, my, oh, my! The image of you DISCO dancing makes me laugh!" (More snorting and giggles).."I'm sooo sorry, Tom! It's just...I instantly pictured you in a white suit..striking the John Travolta pose from "Saturday Night Fever" and it was just too much!"

"Well, YOU'LL never get to see me disco dance then..It's your loss, Sloan...besides, I learned that one sooo many years ago..I probably forgot how. As a matter of fact, I'm sure I forgot how... So let's move on to another subject or question.."

"I'm sorry.so sorry, Tom..."

"Since we were on the subject of dancing.." (Snickers and snorts burst from Sloan before she can stop them)..Did you go to the Prom or go steady in High School?"

"Me? Heavens no! I was too much of a geek...a book worm..a nerd.."

"You? No. I find that VERY difficult to believe.."

"Didn't you have pictures of me from back then? Like in a file or something?"

"No, Sloan..I didn't study your childhood or delve into your past very much but I STILL find it difficult to believe that no one EVER asked you to the Prom."

"Okay! You got me...someone did ask me once but I wasn't interested..I had my head stuck in a book all the time and I..I actually LIKED homework....working out math equations..setting up science projects... Oh, I'm so embarrassed now.."

"Don't be. The person you were then has helped make you what you are today..and I am quite fond of the person you are today.."

"Oh.. Well, uh..did you ever get a chance to go to the Prom? Did you even attend a High School?"

"Yes, I did get a chance to go to a Prom - once. It was an enjoyable enough experience, I suppose."

"You remember it then?"

"Yes.it was a necessary part of an assignment, Sloan."

"Oh..so it's best not to talk about it..unless you want to, of course."

"Someday..I'll tell you all about it..but not now."

"Okay but I have to know..was she pretty? Did you like her?"

"Yes to both questions...you know you are far ahead of me in the asking of questions."

"Well, go on..ask away then!"

"Did you get along with your sister when you were growing up?"

"No. We fought like cats and dogs until we were in our last years of High School..SHE was the popular one..she always dated...she went to both her Proms and to all the dances...She was so pretty and so much more sophisticated than I was...or ever will be."

"I don't believe that, Sloan. Her picture on your mantle is of a nice looking young woman but you are much more beautiful than.."

"Oh.now.I'm turning red, aren't I? It's getting warm in here, isn't it? Maybe I should open the window a little."

"What? You wish to ask me another question, don't you?"

"Yes..while on the subject of windows.."

"And while it's a nice way to turn the conversation.."

"Yes, well..why did you go out the window that night you came to...you know.?"

"The police were coming and I knew the fastest way out of the building was the fire escape."

"Is that how you used to get into my apartment later when you didn't have a key?"

"Yes, mostly, but I have my secrets..."

"Chameleon secrets.."

"Yes. Now, a question for you..Did you have a pet while growing up?"

"Yes, I had a golden retriever named..Oh, I'm going to be embarrassed again!... His name was Obi Wan... you know...after the STAR WARS character."

"Why be embarrassed? You named your dog after a mystical mentor from a movie. That's okay. It's not really embarrassing or am I missing something?"

"No, I guess not..It just seemed silly...like the kind of name a geek would name their dog..but he WAS the best dog ever. He was a real sweetie and he liked to lean on me when I'd pet him..and he slept on my bed at night.."

"And?"

"I didn't call him 'Obi-Wan' for his regular name, mind you. I called him Ben and he seemed to like it. Hey, you knew who Obi-Wan was..so you know about STAR WARS and stuff?"

"Of course..I didn't grow up with a bag over my head, Sloan."

"Yeah, but I guess I thought they kept you hidden away at Chameleon School or whatever and watching TV or movies doesn't seem like something they would let you guys indulge in.."

"Okay..we watched TV and movies so we could learn about Humans and what they liked..it was a way of helping us to learn how to blend in.."

"Ah, hah! So you didn't get to watch for pleasure.."

"Of course not..it was always a training issue.."

"Hmm.so you never had a pet?"

"No, that kind of indulgence wasn't allowed.."

"Too bad..you would've liked Ben and I'm sure he would've liked you."

"What else, Sloan..."

"Well, I was just thinking that my sister, Marlena, never really liked him much. He was always MY dog. I think he was the reason for some of our fights when we were younger..maybe she was jealous because he just never seemed interested in her..if she called him over for something..he would just stare at her like he couldn't hear a thing she said."

"Hmm. Maybe he was drawn to your aura.."

"My what? Do you see auras?"

"Sometimes..mostly on my own people. Most humans don't register one that I can see..at least not very distinctly..but you do. You always have..and I think that was one of the first things that made me intrigued by you."

"Wow...you were intrigued by me? I thought you just felt sorry for me..for losing my friend and mentor so tragically."

"Well, that's partially true also. I was sorry that I didn't or wasn't able to prevent her death. I still don't know if Lynch somehow had her murdered or if she was targeted for termination by some other section of my species..she wasn't a direct target of the Chameleons anyway...not that I was made aware of.."

"You don't think."

"No, Sloan. No Chameleon would have done that to her..I'm sorry to bring this up but we Chameleons are trained to kill efficiently and that means very little suffering for the target...breaking one's neck and so on...and that wasn't the case with Dr. Coulter.. Again, I'm sorry that I wasn't aware of the imminent danger to her or I would have attempted to stop it..."

"Thank you, Tom. I appreciate your telling me that.."

"Sure. I think we should move on ...I'll ask another question... Would you like another pet now?"

"I don't think it would be fair..My schedule is so weird that I don't think I could give a pet enough attention... Hey, would YOU like a pet now?"

"Oh, I don't believe so...How could I have one when I'm living in hotels and motels, Sloan?"

"Well, we could start out small..like with a hamster or a bird or something."

"No birds..and a hamster...no. I think I would like a dog or a cat someday."

"Do they act okay around you guys? I mean, with your extra abilities and stuff.does it bother them or do they bother you?"

"I can't read their thoughts, if that's what you mean... I can sense their emotions sometimes but it's less intense than it is with humans or others of my species. It's there though.. I haven't really had a chance to test it out....at least not on dogs. I do know many of my species like cats. So I know there's no problem there.. "

"Anyway, I have a question for you on a totally different topic..."

"Okay..but it sounds like you're going to get personal."

"Well, it is personal in some ways...What other professions did you want to go into before you decided on Bio-anthropology?"

"Oh, that's easy..I wanted to be a veterinarian first, then a mad scientist, then a doctor, then an archeologist, then a biologist, then a zoo keeper, then a chemist and finally an anthropologist.."

"So what made you decide on BIO-anthropology?"

"Well, I had this terrific Professor when I went for my Master's Degree in Anthropology and that Professor suggested that I go into the field of Bio- anthropology.. The more I found out about it..the more I liked it and next thing I knew I was going for a Master's Degree in that, instead!"

"Was this Professor a Mentor of sorts?"

"Yes..you could say that.."

"So this Mentor that changed your mind about anthropology to bio- anthropology was...Dr. Coulter?"

"You guessed it!"

"So you never wanted to be a nurse - like your sister?"

"No, isn't that funny? I mean, I wanted to be a doctor for a while but I never wanted to be a nurse..Maybe it's because she ALWAYS wanted to be one...from DAY ONE. She never wavered in her decision about that.. So it was probably just one of those things..you know?"

"No, I can't say that I do.."

"Oh, sorry.. Did you EVER have any choice about becoming a Chameleon?"

"No. It was decided from early on...but I don't remember much about those first few years.."

"What do you remember? Can you tell me?"

"Well, I remember not wanting to go and I remember the day they came and took me.."

"Took you? Like kidnapped you?"

"Well, no. My mother was there and she wanted me to go...It was an honor..to be chosen for the Chameleon Program.. But I only remember not wanting to go and I fought it for just a few moments until I realized it was useless.. I was eleven years old.."

"So you must have shown unique and special attributes even for one so young."

"Yes, I suppose so.. My teachers and trainers at the Chameleon Base used to tell me so."

"Did you have a teacher or someone there that was special..someone who helped you through the difficult times?"

"Yes. I had a Mentor..he was very good to me most of the time. I..I know that I wanted to please him...but I was also terrified about disappointing him.."

"Terrified?"

"Yes, I remember feeling a great sense of accomplishment and even pride when I would do well there... but I also remember feeling a deep sense of dread in regards to him, too."

"I'm sorry, Tom. I wish you had been able to experience a more ideal childhood."

"Well, I suppose that's why they wipe out so many memories of those years..I don't know really. I do know that as I got older, I never questioned their motives for what they/we were doing. It wasn't until I was an adult and I had experienced many different assignments in the human world that I began to question things..."

"I'm glad you were able to even do that. After all, it sounds like the programming and training were supposed to keep you from questioning anything. I wouldn't be here today, if you hadn't done that.."

"And I wouldn't be here today, if I HAD gone through with it, Sloan. I'm not sure I could've lived with myself, if I had carried out my orders ~ my ASSIGNMENT."

"But you DID stop and now you're here with me...and I am grateful for EACH and every day, Tom."

"My perception about the world changed when I met you, Sloan, and it keeps changing. My WORLD has changed because of you.."

"Mine, too, Tom. EVERYTHING changed when you spared my life and after... So where do we go from here?"

"I think we need to keep learning more about each other..and about BOTH of our species.."

"Agreed. Why don't we start with you staying here sometimes.."

"Are you inviting me to live with you, Sloan?"

"Well, don't go so fast... I'm inviting you to stay with me sometimes..."

"Are you propositioning me, Sloan Parker?"

"No, Siree. I'm just suggesting that if you ever want to stay here..sleep here.you are welcome to do so. As a matter of fact, you can keep some of your things here..shaving stuff, clothes, things like that..Oh! Do you shave?"

"Yes, Sloan..I shave every day..."

"Okay, that's good to know... So you can keep extra stuff here, if you'd like."

"And the sleeping arrangements...?"

"Well, that's another story entirely... You can sleep on the over stuffed chair you are sitting in right now.."

"A chair? You want me to sleep in a chair?"

"Where were you thinking you could sleep...?"

"Oh, a sleeper couch would be nice...or maybe just a couch..or even a bed..but not a CHAIR.."

"Hmm. You'll find that even your good looks are no match for my resolve, Mr. Daniels..and by the way...is that your real name?"

"Yes, it is. I come from a long line of Daniels..."

"So who was that FBI guy that had your name on his ID badge when I went to see you at your office...?"

"When?"

"That same day..or night...when you chased me across the University..and WHAT was that all about anyway?"

"Well, that's a long story..and the FBI person with my name? I don't know what you're talking about..I really had a temporary assignment at that office and I really have FBI credentials..so I don't know who he was.."

"Well, it scared me and that's partially what made me run away from you that night.."

"Well, I had just been given orders to...you know..and I was at war with myself over it so I really didn't try to catch you that night.."

"I always wondered about that because you seemed to walk fast but not chase me wholeheartedly..and I stumbled a lot.."

"I noticed that...and yes, you could say that I didn't have my heart in it.."

"As far as the chase and the ASSIGNMENT anyway...."

"Yes, of course. My commitment is here, now. I told Detective Peterson that I would protect you and that's what I intend to do..."

"So in essence, I am your ASSIGNMENT, once again.."

"In a manner of speaking, I suppose so.yes. However, I think you know that you are more than just an assignment, Sloan."

"So your heart is in it now?"

"Yes, I think that's a fair assumption... My heart is definitely here..with you, Sloan..."

"So is mine, Tom...so is mine.."

.........

....... ........

"So, are you ready to try some chocolate fudge cake with fudge frosting?"

"You bet. I wouldn't miss it for the world.."

"It won't make you sick or anything, will it?"

"I don't think so..I guess we'll find out.."

"Well, just remember...you're welcome to spend the night here..in the chair...anytime. That includes tonight.."

"You sure you wouldn't want to proposition me, instead?"

"Yes.I mean.NO."

"Is that a 'maybe someday' I hear in your voice?"

"What do YOU think?"

"I'm a gentleman, Sloan. So I refuse to answer that.."

"You really are a gentleman, aren't you, Tom? That's so rare in today's world.."

"So, is that why you like me...I'm an 'old world' kind of guy?"

"Hmmm.I keep you around because I like you.and I want to get to know you better.."

"I'm glad to hear it. So should we play this game again tomorrow night?"

"Would you like that?"

"Sure. Any time with you is well-spent, Dr. Parker."

"Any time with you is an adventure, Tom Daniels."

"Yes.well..maybe that will slow down and change some day..And when the adventure and excitement is over, Sloan, will you still want me around?"

"Oh, most definitely. MOST DEFINITELY."

"Good..good... OW!"

"You are SUPPOSED to say something like..'Me, too. I feel the same way about you.' or SOMETHING..not just 'good..good'.Sheez!"

"I'm SORRY..So when you get upset - you get MEAN. I see. I'll have to remember that.."

"I'm not mean! It's just.well.you needed to respond differently than you did, is all!"

"Um, hm. So when you DON'T get your way - you resort to violence. Okay. I'll file that away for later.."

"Toooomm! This is YOUR ATTEMPT at HUMOR again, isn't it?"

"Guilty as charged.."

"You know what else you're guilty of?.."

"No, what?"

"Stealing my heart..."

"Sslloooaannn... you know I can't."

"Oh, I didn't say 'I LOVE YOU' or anything..but you HAVE stolen my heart..."

"Isn't that like saying 'I love you'?"

"Not exactly. When I want to say those words to you...you'll hear me say them."

"I don't know if I can, Sloan."

"Can what? Say the words or feel it?"

"Both..I don't know."

"We'll take it one step at a time...and for now that first step is simply enjoying our time together, trying to stay alive, fighting the good fight and all that stuff."

"And staying over at your apartment..on the CHAIR?"

"Yeppers! Now, scoot over in that chair because I also want a snuggle from you.."

"A what???!"

"A snuggle...a hug..to sit in this chair with you...snuggled together..but not doing anything else except enjoying each other's company.."

"Oh..snuggling...sounds nice...and......it IS nice. I think I can live with this..."

"I KNOW I CAN! There's just something about you, Tom, that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It's so nice and it's so different than anything I've ever felt for ANYONE else.."

"I think I can say the same about you, Sloan. I've never felt like this with anyone else.."

"So, are we going to go out and get that chocolate cake?"

"No.. I'm not moving from this spot."

"Oh, I'm so glad you said that.."

"Sloan, what if you fall asleep here..Isn't it like sleeping in the bed together?"

"Not even. This is so much more ROMANTIC..Now, if only we had a fire."

"I can do that.."

"No you can't...The fireplace doesn't work.."

"Oh, too bad..That's fine, though, because I'll just have to stay right here..with you 'snuggled' next to me.."

"Can you live with that, Tom?"

"Oh, most definitely. MOST DEFINITELY."
The END (for now)

Happy Heart's Day to ALL you Preymates out there!