Disclaimer: The usual. These characters don't belong to me. I'm just borrowing them and there's no profit involved - except the sheer joy of

spending some time in this wonderful world of PREY.

This is a variation on the short writing challenge ("....come here")... I hope you like it. It's PREY schmoop!

The Photo Booth

By Laury

"Tom! Tom, come here! Tom? Oh, Tom, come here for a moment, plleeaasssse..." Sloan exclaimed as she clapped her hands and jumped around excitedly as she stared at the photo booth. Oh, what good times she and her sister had shared in a photo booth like this! What fun it would be to get Tom into this booth....

She glanced to where he had been standing just moments before and waved her arm in a motion for him to come on over. When he didn't appear and when there was no response to her previous plea for him to come over, she craned her neck to peer at the crowd as they hustled and bustled about the mall. Much to her dismay, Tom was no where in sight.

Soon, her wide grin faded and she became slightly miffed as her hands went to her hips and she huffed, "Tom? Tom where are you?.. Oh, please show yourself.." she groaned as she turned to survey her immediate surroundings more thoroughly.

Worry began to knaw at her insides as she pleaded, "Toooommm..come here, pllleeaasee...Where on Earth did you disappear to, Tom Daniels!?"

She squealed when she suddenly felt a warm hand upon her back. When she spun around quickly, she fell into the arms of the exact person she had been looking for. Startled, she inhaled sharply and giggled as she came face to face with the man she adored. "Tom! I've been calling for you and I've been looking for you.."

Eyebrows raised and a smile twinkling in his eyes, Tom retorted, "It appears you have found me."

Just then, a passerby bumped into the couple and pushed Sloan further into his arms. Tom embraced her more firmly against him as he murmured, "..Or perhaps..I..found...you..."

Her eyes widened when she felt the soft whisper of his breath against her neck and the gentle nudge of his cheek against hers before he pulled back and innocently inquired, "What did you want me for, Sloan?"

She stared at him for a moment, all memories forgotten and all thoughts erased, as she wondered what he was talking about? Almost immediately, she found herself staring, mesmerized, into his wonderful blue eyes. Oh, what in the world could ever be more important than this?

He tilted his head as he peered at her curiously and asked again, "Sloan? Did you want me to see something?"

Sloan came partially out of her daze and laughed self-consciously as she stammered, "Well.oh!..I, uh.." She grinned like a flirtatious school girl and continued to stammer, "Well, I.."

'What?" he prompted her.

She blinked rapidly several times as she tried to clear her addled brain. Oh, Tom...I...I wanted you to get your photo taken with me." She smiled brightly and gingerly pressed upon his cheek until he was staring at the booth.

He glanced at the booth, then at her, and back at the booth again. Innocently he chided, "Isn't that for children and teenagers, Sloan?"

She looked at his earnest expression, shrugged her shoulders, and bowed her head in disappointment as she said softly, "I guess you're right. It's just..well, I thought...oh, it was stupid, I guess."

Tom realized immediately that he had made her sad and that he had even, albeit unintentionally, hurt her feelings. So he back peddled as quickly as he could to correct the situation and cheer her up as he bemoaned, "Ssssllloooaannnn...I'm so sorry..If it means so much to you..."

Her face lifted and a smile returned to her face as she exclaimed, "Really?" and jumped into his arms. He caught her easily and held her to him as she continued to talk excitedly, "Oh, Tom it will be so much fun. I just know you'll love it! I promise!"

When he placed her back on the ground, she quickly reached around and grabbed both his hands and yanked him firmly over to the photo booth. The next thing he knew, they were both squeezed next to each other on a small, flat, and uncomfortable bench staring at a mirror.

Sloan's hands immediately flew to her hair as she began to comb through it with her fingers. As she did so, she caught Tom's confused yet equally amused expression in the mirror. Instantly, she began to giggle. "Oh, my! Oh, Tom..your expression!"

Tom's eyebrows climbed to his hairline as he stared at his reflection in the mirror. He had never been one to spend an over abundance of time on his appearance but he had always been one to try and keep his appearance neat and tidy. What he saw in the mirror amazed and defied explanation...

Sloan laughed outright as his hands combed through his short hair. In her exuberance outside the booth and then inside it, she had messed up his hair quite a bit. He actually looked...unruly for a change.

He sighed audibly and dropped his hands to his lap as he stared into the mirror and groaned, "Sloan, are you sure about this?"

She turned to him and rolled her eyes as she said with exasperation, "Yes, I'm sure. Now, just let me get your hair back into place and then we'll be ready.." Soon she was finished and they both turned to stare at themselves in the mirror. Tom looked less than enthusiastic so she elbowed him lightly in the ribs as she teased, "Hey, this is supposed to be fun, remember?"

He was about to make a snide remark when she interrupted him and explained, "I have to put some money in the machine and then it will take several pictures." She fumbled around in her purse and pulled out some dollar bills while she continued, "It'll be over with before you know it. Just smile when it starts to flash..." She shoved the bills into the machine and turned to face him as she suggested, "Just...think of something funny..funny ha ha...okay?"

He again gave her one of his famous looks, which she chose to ignore, as she bumped against him and laid her head on his shoulder and smiled. Flashes went on and off until he felt blinded. Finally, it was over.

He was about to get up when she pushed him back down to the bench and warned, "Oh, no. You didn't smile." She bent down and peered into his face as she poked him in the abdomen, "We're going to try this again..and this time..SMILE!"

She was about to put more bills into the machine when a loud voice chimed in, "Hey! Take it somewhere else, will ya? Stop hoggin' the booth. There are other people who want to get pictures taken, too, ya' know!"

Sloan turned toward the curtain and shouted, "Hey! You just wait a minute! We paid for our time, you know!"

Tom eyed her with surprise clearly etched on his face but he remained silent as she gathered the bills in her hand and thrust them outside the curtain to wiggle them around as she yelled, "We're going to be a while - so BUZZ OFF!"

Tom quickly reached into his wallet, removed all the smaller denomination bills and handed them to her. She peered at the bills and shouted at the curtain, "You wait your turn, Mister!" Then she turned to Tom and smiled adoringly at him as she murmured, "Because I'm not leaving this booth until I've used every last dollar."

So she quickly shoved some more bills into the machine, and then pounced on Tom. Next thing he knew, she was sitting on his lap and kissing his cheek. Flash, flash, flash. She reached over and fed the machine more bills as she happily made faces and changed poses for the duration of the photo sessions. Tom even smiled most of the time...

Eventually, they came out of the booth and gathered up their photos. Sloan huffed at the teenagers standing outside the booth and stuck her tongue out at the first guy in line. He gave her a "not-so-polite" gesture with his middle finger and was lucky that Tom did not see it.

Soon, however, Sloan was humming as they walked arm-in-arm from the booth. Tom quietly took in all the positive emotions from Sloan until he, too, found himself humming lightly.

Sloan lifted her head from Tom's shoulder and peered into his face as

she asked, "Well? Did you have fun?"

He glanced sideways at her, nodded, and uttered, "Uh, huh..." as they

walked to the car. Sloan didn't push it. After all, she had seen the smile on his upper lip and she knew that he had, indeed, enjoyed himself.

It was enough.

She sighed contentedly and placed her head back upon his shoulder. Then he placed his arm around her and pulled her closer to him as they resumed their leisurely walk to the car.

Yes, it was enough..for now.

The End