Disclaimer: They don't belong to me, just borrowing them. The only character that doesn't belong to Pet Fly is Ariel. She is mine :o)
Summary: A Christmas story. Hey its getting to be that time. It is a little over due.
Archive: Please do so. Anywhere is fine with me. Just leave everything you see here with the story.
Rating: Hummm I have no clue. Maybe PG 13 or R… there is some bad words in here. But not that bad.
Category: awr


As I remember that night, this is how it went….
Cameron will add a part at the end somewhere because she wants to make sure everyone gets the whole story.

It was Christmas season, one December night, at Mrs. Westlake's house.
In fact it was her annual Christmas party, formal in fact. I always looked forward to attending every year; I never got to get dressed up during the rest of the year. Anyway, I remember the house, the sweet smell of cinnamon and apples. The house was decorated tastefully and beautifully. A light snow had started to fall when the guests had started to arrive. Of course Cameron and I had been there all day helping her mother set up and cook.

I guess I should give a short history, my name is Ariel, Cameron and I have been friends since, of I cant remember, since we were children.
Even though she moved a lot we always kept in touch. After college, I ended up on the East Coast, just outside of D.C. working as an artist.
One day I had run into her mother and there you go. I have been attending her annual Christmas party ever since.

Last week Cameron and I had gotten together to look for our dresses for her mothers Christmas party at a local boutique.

"So Cameron" I asked her "Whom did you ask to go with you this weekend?
Did you ask that partner you are always talking about?"

"Ariel, what are you talking about? No I didn't ask him to go with me.
My mother already asked him, just like she has done for the last six years, you know that."

Yeah-right Cameron, then why do you go through all this trouble every year to look great for a night alone? I thought to myself as I pull the most beautiful royal blue gown off the rack. WOW is my first thought.
It's a gown to end all other gowns.

"Cameron How about this one?" I hold up the dress to her "Its stunning and just your size." As I look at the tag

"Ariel, that dress is wonderful, but a little to much for my mothers party." She says as she comes over and takes it from me "But I'll try it on, it can't hurt anything…. Right?" Then she turns and goes back to the dressing room.

I turn around and grin, sucker I said to myself. Then I found a great dress for myself and went back to the dressing room myself.

"Oh My." I hear Cameron gasp from the stall next to me. I can practically hear the thoughts going through her head at that moment.

"Cameron are you ok?" I ask, "How's the grown fit?" I already know the answer but I ask anyway.

We step out of the stalls at the same time, and turn to look at each other.

Cameron's dress is royal blue, and made of satin. It has thin straps on the shoulders and sheer material on the sleeves. Its low cut but not to low cut. It fits tight to the body to the waist then is flowing out till it hits the floor. Its gorgeous, looks perfect on her. If her partner doesn't go for her this night then he is not as smart as Cameron says he is.

"Ariel, that dress is beautiful on you, you have to buy it. You look great!" Cameron says to me taking me from my thoughts. "Are you ok?"

"I am ok, just thinking that's all." I say to her, as she looks at me kind of strangely. "Listen we both have to get back to work, I am going to buy this and you are going to buy that one! No excuses!"

After the chore of picking out shoes to match we take our purchases to our cars.

"I had a great time today Cameron, we have to do this again, when we don't have to spend so much money. Not that it's not worth every penny."

"Yes we do, well I will come by and pick you up around 7am Saturday so we can goto my mom's to help her set up. Is that ok?"

"Yup see you then Cameron! And please ask your partner to go with you,
you know he wants to and you feel the same why. I can see it in your eyes. I know you to well."

"Yes you do Ariel, I'll see you Saturday morning. Bye"

After that day I didn't hear from Cameron at all until that Friday night when I got home. She had left a message reminding me that she was going to be here bright and early the next morning, so not to stay out to late. I smile and look at the clock; well 1am is not to late.

A soft knock at my door gets me from the bedroom in a slow pace. It's to damn early for this. I open it to a very awake Cameron holding two cups of coffee.

"Ariel, what time did you get home last night?" She says to me "I thought you might need this." Cameron hands me one coffee and enters my house.

"It wasn't to late Cameron honest, and I am almost ready to go. Just let me get my stuff."

I can see her shaking her head at me as I walk away. I know she knows what I am going to ask next. And that I am going to ask anyway.

"Cameron did you ask your partner to this party of your mom's?"

She looks away sadly, and then finds something very interesting with her hands that are now trembling.

I come to sit next to her at the kitchen table.

"Cameron what's wrong? Did you ask him?" I ask her slowly

"I took what you said to me the other day and, believe it or not I thought about it all week. Joe of thought I was nuts, I wasn't really paying to much attention to the paper work all week." She said with a sad smile "But you know what you are right. I really wanted to go with him, because I really have feelings for him. You know good at this I am."

I let out a small sign I know she isn't good at letting her feelings known to anyone. When we were little it was always like pulling teeth.

"I know, go on." I put my hand over hers to urge her on

"I was actually going to ask him, then he pops in and asks what time on Saturday, like he didn't already know this, but anyway then he said he was already taking someone with him."

"Oh Cameron I am so sorry. Do you still want to go, we can always make up some excuse to your mother."

"Ariel I have to do this for my mother, you know how she gets during the holidays. Ever since my father and sister passed, it has become very important to her."

"I know sweetie, lets get going so we can get this over."

I can hear Cameron behind me "I can do this, I can do this, I can do this. I am a grown women, I am strong."

Thank god I didn't have a date with me that would of made her all the more uncomfortable. I feel for her, I know how she feels about this man.
She told me little about the past cases, only of the feelings that she has afterwards knowing that he was either alive or okay. I know he has to feel something for her. Why would he do this to her, he has to know.

We talk little on the trip to her mother's house. I can hear her sniffling on different times during the hour trip. Whether it is because of the cold or because she is upset, I know she won't be okay today.
This party is going to really hurt her.

"Ariel…. Can you help me through this? I feel so much for this man, and he doesn't feel the same way. It hurts."

Wow if that's not an admission of love, I have no idea what is. As long as I have known her there has maybe been one other time like this but that is it.

"Cameron, you know, we are best friends, I would help you through anything. If he even says or does anything tonight that hurts you in any way, he is one dead friend, partner, whatever."

This gets a small smile from her. We arrive at her mother's house and pull in the driveway. We both turn to each other and say "Wow" we sit in awe for a few moments. It has already begun to snow a bit and the house it lite up like a Christmas tree. It looks amazing and we haven't even begun.

"Come on Cameron lets get this show on the road, so we have enough time to get ready." I say as I jump out of the car.

When we get to the door her mother is there to greet us and envelops me in a huge hug. It's been a whole year since we have seen each other; we must do this more often.

"Cameron does not look to happy, is she ok?" she asks quietly

"She is upset, but I think she should tell you why, it's not my place."
I smile at her and hope she understands

"Hi Cameron honey!" She takes her daughter into a hug "I am so glad you girls came to help me today!"

We take out gowns up to the rooms upstairs and unpack. We will be staying overnight tonight to help with the clean up, and that I feel that Cameron needs this time to be with her mother. She does not spend enough time with her. But that's just my opinion. I wish I had more time with my own mother, but that's another whole story for another day.

I hear footsteps come up the stairs, I guess we took to much time unpacking. That's Maggie for you though, she is forever concerned for her daughter and her friends. Especially during the holidays, and from the way Dana looked when we arrived, well concern tripled for Maggie.
Not that I mind, like I said I never really had a mother.

She knocks on my door… bingo

"Ariel… are you ok in there," She says as she opens the door. I think her mouth drops open when she sees the dress I bought. I shyly look towards her. I can't help it I smile.

"What? What's wrong?" I say, knowing exactly what's going on in her brain.

"That is a exquisite dress, it must of cost a fortune. You didn't have to spend that much money, you know that."

"I know, but for you it is worth it."

Bingo, that made her smile.

I turn around and take out everything else in my bag and put it in the guest room dresser. I hear her turn and say, "its good to see you, I am glad you came here today." And then she was gone. I heard a soft knock on Cameron's door.

I smile she must approve her Cameron's dress as well. I heard the same speech.

A few hours later and a few eggnog's later, I am feeling good and the mood is spreading.

I am standing at the kitchen counter cutting up vegetables for the dip and Cameron is sitting at the table. She was supposed to be doing something, what I can't remember, but she was looking rather sad and teary eyed.

"Cameron, are you ok? Have you spoke to your mother about this?"

She just stares at the refrigerator.


I put down the knife and walk over to her. This gets her attention; she looks up and sadly smiles.

"I am ok, I don't know, I was just thinking about things." She smiled and looked away.

"Cameron you can talk to me, you know that…right?" I said to her "I am here for you, and so is your mom."

"But I can't tell you everything, you just understand everything that happened to me or…. Or to Joe." I can tell she physically went limp at the thought of him. "He is the only one who would funny understand everything that is going on."

With that she looked at me, and stood up. "Come on lets get ready. The house is done and we can finish this little stuff after we are done getting ready."

About an hour later, make up done, nails done and hair up in rollers, I hear Cameron call from the bathroom.

"ARIELLLL!!! Argh help me here."

This is another new experience for me. I have not seen this side of Cameron in a very very very long time. Its not scary just different. She has always been the strong one, always the one who takes everything from everyone else and puts it on her shoulders. This is different, but it can grow on someone. Maybe her last near death experience really changed something inside her.

As I enter the bathroom, I see a very frustrated Cameron staring into the mirror.

"HELP" was all she said.

Ok well it was not as hard as she made it out to be at all. She has lovely hair. Must be nice.

After another hour Cameron was ready to put that gown on. Her hair was pulled up in a French twist with a small amount dangling from the sides and top. She looked stunning.

We go down the stairs and I think Maggie must have had a heartattack, I swear I saw her drop to the floor.

"You two look beautiful" she told us

"Ariel, if your mother could see you now, she would be so proud."

Damn you Maggie, if I hadn't already done my makeup already. My eyes are welling now. Not good. But it's the holidays I give her a hug, it's the sweetest thing I have heard in a long time.

"Cameron honey you look wonderful, Joe is going to fall all over you tonight."

Wrong thing to say to her. I think if there was a record time for crying Cameron beat it tonight. She instantly turned around and walked away.

"What happened?" Maggie asked

"Joe asked someone else." Was all I said to her

"I figured as much, I know how she feels about him."

The rest of the afternoon went considerably well. Cameron cheered up and was actually smiling. The snow had picked up a little and it covered the ground. Everything looked so romantic at that moment, the three of us just stood in the bay window and stared at the snow. Only if we had someone to share it with. sigh

Everything was done and we are waiting, waiting for what we didn't know.
It was nice to just sit with friends around a fire and talk, but company was coming, about sixty in fact.

The doorbell rang and took us away from our thoughts.

Cameron went to answer the door.

"Hello Sherman" Cameron asked "How are you tonight, I am glad you could make it"

"Hello Westlake, I am glad I was invited."

She showed Walter Skinner in and took his coat. "Sherman, please call me Cameron, we are not at work, its informal here."

"Sherman, pleased you could make it tonight!" Maggie said as she took Sherman into the living room for EggNog.

"Cameron what was that all about?"

"Well I have no idea, I'll have to find out. But its good to see mom interested in someone for a change, nice to see her smile. Even though it may be my boss."

Well the evening progressed on, and it all was going well. Guests came and they ate. Dinner was amazing. I have to find out whom Maggie hired to do the dinner. Everything was excellent.

The people who came, where great. I did not know many of them at all.
They were most of Maggie's friends and Cameron's friends. A few single men where here, so I took notice, but I wasn't looking for anyone. If they took notice of me, they did, but I was not about to take charge of the situation.

Around seven Joe showed up. I answered the door this time, which was one of my better moves. I am so glad Cameron didn't. He was dressed handsomely tonight in a dark suit and white shirt with a tie that had dancing reindeers. I had to laugh, it was so, so Joe.

"Hi, my name is Ariel, Cameron's best friend." I said as I extended my hand. "And you must be?"

I already knew, but I had to ask. I did not know if Cameron had spoke to him about me or not.

"I am Westlake's partner Jow Astor. It's nice to meet you. This is Sarah my date."

I politely say hello and take their coats. And then go to quickly find Cameron.

"Well the last time I knew…." Cameron was saying to a bunch of what looked like old family friends

"Can I have a word with you for a minute?" I ask her and pull her by the arm

"I just wanted to tell you that Joe is here."

I see her turn sad. "Is he is he alone?"

"No" was all I said.

I am so sorry. I have no idea what to say to her. She looks so sad and upset.

Then she suddenly turned to me and said "You know what if he does not want me or does not have the same feelings as me, then so be it. I am a free woman, a attractive woman and I can get anyone I want." And then she turned around and left me standing there.

As the night progressed I helped Maggie with a lot of the stuff that needed to be done. People were dancing and laughing and having a great time. Soft music of Bach was flowing through the house and everything was well. I kept track of Cameron all night long and it looked as if she was having a great time. She actually was dancing if a few eligible bachelors. I was thrilled, but unhappy at the same time.

Around ten o'clock the party had died down a bit. Thank who ever above I wasn't going home tonight, that eggnog was just to good tonight. Cameron and I were sitting at the piano in the living room. I remember this man,
came up and sat between us, he looked exactly like Stephen King. I swear it was him, but the sensible part of me said, "How can Maggie know Stephen King" But at that point it didn't matter at all. We were singing and playing piano.

Jingle Bells turned into Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, and so on.
After a while, then man I thought looked like Stephen King; his name is Brian by the way, started playing his own music. "Wow" I thought he is actually good at this. Maybe its because he is a professional player.

I remember thinking wow I haven't seen Joe all night. I am glad he hasn't showed his face too much around Cameron, she is actually doing better.

Too much for that. I see a hand come down and land on Cameron's shoulder and start to move in slow circles. Oh No….

"What? Oh Hi, glad you could make it tonight." Cameron said as she turned back around to the piano.

"Westlake this is a great party, I wanted to say thank you for inviting me."

"I didn't invite you my mother did, you should thank her." She said coldly

"I already did. I want you to meet someone." He said as Tina came up to his side.

I swear I saw Cameron's mouth drop to the floor.

"You remember Tine from the Soda Company?"

"Nice to meet you, I hope you enjoyed yourself here tonight."

Cameron looked at her, a nice tall, slim, long blonde hair. Typical Joe type. No wonder why he isn't interested, I am nothing like her.

With that she turned around and walked towards the dining room. Joe looked after her with something I have never seen before in my life. But then it was gone. He looked sad, I am not sure what. But it definitely was not happy.
I went after Cameron; she was in the kitchen looking out over the snow-covered yard. It was coming down rather quickly now. She was just looking, enveloped in here own world. She didn't hear me come into the kitchen.
She turned around and looked right at me.

"Can you please give me a few moments?"
I nodded and left.
As I go out towards the dining room Joe finds me. Oh great here it goes,
twenty questions. I brace myself. But Maggie speaks first. Softly I am glad so the male company can not hear.
"Is Cameron okay? She asked me to leave her alone for a few minutes."
She looks at me in a confused and concerned way. There was no way I could not tell this woman anything.
I nod to her and say "I'll talk to you in a few.
She understands my secret wording I guess and walks away to the few guests that are left. Most are still dancing to the quite music that is still playing.
I look around and then back at the patient Joe standing before me.
Oh boy this is going to be a colorful conservation. I turned my attention back to Joe.
"Hi" I said to him "Are you two having a good time tonight?"
"Yes we are having a good time, thank you. But what I wanted to know what's wrong with Westlake."
At that point he looked at me like I had four heads.
"You know she has a first name. Just because you don't to be called by yours does not mean she doesn't like hers."
"Oh" was all he said to that. So much for that high priced education.
"I just wanted to know why she is acting like she is tonight towards me…us?" He asks this of me. Should I tell or should I not.
"Well for your information maybe she might be a little upset, what is it of your concern anyway?" I say bitterly. I warned Cameron earlier didn't I?
"Hey I was just curious. Its important to me that's all."
Just then the lovely Tina shows up. Lovely. She's beautiful. Man what does she do to keep that figure anyway? I know I work my ass off just to get and keep this.
"Joe, honey I didn't know where you went to. I was worried. Its starting to really snow bad, do you think we can get going anytime soon?" She says to him.
"Sure Tina. I just have to finish saying my good-byes, I'll be right there."
Finally she leaves; I can finally get back to saying what I was going to say to him. Men.
"So what's going on with Cameron? I mean she hardly spoke to me all night and when I finally did say something to her she got up and left."
"Well first thing, I have no idea what happened during your lastfew cases. Yes she told me about some of it, but not everything, for obvious reasons."
He looks at me then, like he was trying to pin point which one I was talking about. Like they're really is that many. Anyway, I sigh and go on.
"Like I was saying, did you happen to notice the way she has been acting towards you? Like she wanted to ask you something or tell you something?
Look I should not be the one telling you this."
"Well things have been kind of tense since the last few weeks. Why should you not be telling me this?"
HA does he really have to ask me this? Geeze "Let me ask you this, do you ever think that maybe after working with a person for over four years in a intense job that you come to rely on them for more than just work partners?"
He looks at me for a moment, and then it dawns on him. Like a huge lightbulb going off in his head because his mouth opened and his eyes went wide.
I almost laughed. Almost. Its quite a thing to see when a man of such brilliance, comes to such a small realization.
Again Tina comes over. Man does she ever let him have a moment?
"Honey can we leave? Have you said your good-byes?" She says as she hangs all over him. Man so much for personal space. He looks a bit annoyed. Good. I turn away, I am not sure I want to hear this conservation.
"Look TIna, I have to stay here for a bit. Can I call you a cab or something."
She looks totally pissed. HAHA is all I can think of at the moment.
"Fine. If that's what you want, I am going home." With that she asks to use the phone, I point her towards Maggie. It's her house after all.
I notice she is still with Walter Skinner. Hummm I'll have to find out about that one from her later. Ok back to Joe, the man can be a dense as a toad when he wants to be.
Boy he actually looks happy that Sarah is gone. Well not totally happy but better off. That's just my opinion.
"Look Joe I have no idea what your relationship or what our feelings are with or for Cameron."
Yes she does have a first name buddy.
"Or what your relationship is with Tina."
With that, like on que or something Cameron walked in.
"Cameron, Hi, can I speak to you for a minute?"
I can tell she needed to talk to me, but Joe was there and well I don't think she wanted anything to do with him at the moment.
I think that's when Joe finally got a good look at her that night. He finally realized how she dressed, and that just maybe it was for him. He got this saddened look across his features. I felt for him, but he deserved it.
"Look Joe, I am not in the mood at the moment to do this. Why don't you take your date home."
"Cameron wait up for a second." I go after her up the stairs to the loft.
Sarah came back to say the cab was there and she was leaving. I laughed.
Wondering what Joe was really going to go. Cameron and I saw them quietly talking and it made me mad as it did her. And then we saw her leave. Whew!
"Cameron what's going on here. Please talk to me."
"Ariel, I am so confused about what's going on here. I have been thinking all night about this. I think that I am in love with Joe."
"Cameron, you why you feel this way? It's because its true, that is exactly how you feel about him. You may not know when it happened or why it happened, but it did. No matter how much you try to deny it, it won't go away." I said this to her and left her with her thoughts.
I walk down the stairs and go back to sit by the Christmas tree in the living room. Holidays.
Maggie comes over to me and asks how everything is going. Everything is fine. It will be ok. I start to help pick up the drinks and glasses that are scattered around. I notice that Walter is still here following Maggie around. They are both deep in their conservation. Boy I am going to have to get this story. I am really happy for her though. Maybe I will be as lucky and happy as her in my older age. I hope I will be.
So here I now sit in the kitchen at the table, shoes off sitting here watching the snow fall. It's the best thing in the world to do. Its something I don't do enough of. Its so quite in here, I love it.
I look up and Joe was standing in the doorway.
"Hi" he says "Hello" I look away from him. "You should be talking to Cameron not me."
" I know, I am going to. I just.. I don't know" he trails off I look back at him. I do know "You love her. Then tell her. She deserves that much and so do you. She was going to ask you to come here tonight with her last week. I finally talked her into it. She was so nervous. Then you burst her bubble by saying you were taking Sarah. She was really upset."
"I know, I see how she reacted. I am going to go find her. I think in the back of my mind, I was afraid that she would take it the wrong way and say no."
"I know, but how could you not see it in her actions, the way she acts around you, after what happened after that Masquerade Dance, and." I say. He looks at me strangely. "Yes Joe she told me. She has to talk to someone about it."
"Thank You"
"Anything for a friend." I say "And yes Joe you are allowed to have them."
"Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas"
I nod and turn around.
I am alone again.
I get up and go to the living room again and turn down the lights and pour a glass of eggnog and and sit in front of the tree. I myself did get to meet someone, figures that he would work with those two.
I hear Joe walk up the stairs to where I had left Cameron before. I know things are going to be all right. Holidays. They are only for the strong willed.
The rest from here on in is what I heard from Cameron and what I overheard.
After Joe went upstairs I heard him tell Cameron he was very sorry about what was going on in their personal and professional lives. I smile.
Next I heard Cameron saying that she forgave him, as long as they never come to this point again.
And then a soft "I love you" from both of them.
That was the last I heard from either one of them. I throw my feet up on the couch and rest my head back. It's been one hell of a night. I hear Maggie coming back from where ever she was with Sherman trailing behind her laughing. What a name Sherman. Frankie, that is the guy I met tonight came to sit next to me as well.
Ok here is the part where Cameron wanted to add her two cents.
I can hear Joe talking to Ariel downstairs. I know it's about me, I can feel it. But its ok too, I do not mind.
I sit here looking out upon the upstairs patio at the snow. What am I going to say to Joe when he finally does come up here to find me? I am so nervous about this step. It's a huge one for me and for Joe. The fact that this whole relationship, or whatever you want to call is, is against that the protocol, does not matter to me in the least. Weird huh?
My mind floats to why on earth Catlett is still here and why on earth he is following my mother around all night. I shake my head, I can't think about that right now.I know that Ariel, well Frankie was talking with Ariel and he is still here as well. I have to stick to the main topic Joe and I. I'll get that full story later from my mother.
Ok Joe, I know that I fell in love with my partner, not a smooth move on my part, but since when does love have any rules? I am not sure when this happened. It could have been after that Seminar went all to hell and I thought he was dead, or after that very close dance we shared, or the case we had to go undercover as a married couple. I am not sure. So here I am. What do I tell him when he finally makes it up here to find me sitting in my favorite spot of the house since I was little. Shit here he comes.
"Cameron, are you up here?" he says aloud.
"Joe, I am right here."
"Westlake…..Cameron I am sorry about everything that happened tonight,
last week, everything." He said as he approached me.
I turned around and looked at him. He looked remorseful. As soon as I turned he stopped dead in his tracks. What I thought to myself, what now?
"Is this your favorite space in this house?" He looked around noticing pictures and ,different things that hung from the walls. "You do not have to answer, I already know it is. So peaceful and quite."
"Joe, we have to talk about what's going on between us here. I can not continue this way anymore." I say sadly to him and turn back around to the window.
"Cameron…please I want to talk to you about this. I am not really good at this, You know that. I am scared." He said to me in a bit over a whisper. But I heard every single word he said Oh Joe, that is perhaps the most sweetest thing you said to me besides what was said after you gave me that file with your past. I tell him that too.
"Joe, just tell me how you feel about me, where you want this relationship to go?" I say to him. "Please come over here will you?"
I stand up, and I think it's the first time he REALLY sees me tonight.
He gasps and his eyes well up. Oh Joe.
"Cameron… you , your are beautiful. I am speechless, I can not describe it, you, you are just so beautiful." He steps closer to me. God help me tonight.
"Joe, I bought this because I thought of you when I did. I thought you would like it. Well actually Ariel picked it out. She has good taste huh?"
He moves closer, if that's possible.
"Westlake….Cameron you look like a princess in that dress. God how I love you."
He actually said the words. My heart goes nuts. I can't control myself anymore. I am now openly crying, not for saddness but for joy. I am really happy at this moment.
"Oh Joe…" I stutter, I actually stutter, me of all people. "I love you so much." I say as I finally take those last steps into his arms.
"Look, this feels really strange considering out boss is right down stairs. Can we go somewhere else and talk about this?" He says into my hair. His breath on my neck sends shivers down my spine. I love this man.
"Yes Joe we can, first I want to do this." I leave it like that and take him and kiss him.
I turn away as much as I hate to, and walk to my old bedroom and open the door. This is it, the last barrier between us. I can not wait anymore.
Now as much as I would like to go on about what goes on from there, I will leave it up to your imaginations to figure it out. Have fun!
Ok back to Ariel now. Thanks for listening.
Oh man this is going to be good, I think to myself.
"Oh Ariel, your still up."
"Yes I love to sit and just watch the Christmas tree. Its peaceful in a sort of way." I say to her.
Maggie nods and they both sit down with me and Frankie. I can sense that she wants to ask me, but is unsure, so we just sit there in comfortable silence.
That's when we hear a laugh from Cameron upstairs. Maggie breaks out into a huge smile. I didn't have to say a word.
"Maggie is was a great party tonight. I really enjoyed myself. I think I am going to turn in. I'll see you in the morning." I say as I get up to go give the older woman a hug. "Don't worry Cameron is just fine now.
You will probably have to set another place for breakfast though."
She smiles and I leave for the guestroom.

Ariel 2 Beginning: The Next Day

I was sleeping, in that was for sure. I slept on and off all nightlong.
Argh I am going to have some mean circles under my eyes, I can tell already.

By the way before I get to into this, Cameron will probably want her say too. She will probably fight me for rights over this laptop. Just wanted to let you know.

Anyway, back to my dark circles. I have never slept any good in someone else's house. Let alone with your best friend doing god knows what in the next bedroom. I was half tempted to get a pair of headphones, from here I have no clue, but it was very tempting. I wonder if Maggie is up yet?

A swift glance at the clock, great its only 6am. The one-day I get to sleep in and I am wide-awake at this ungodly hour on a holiday no less.
I really need to get a man or a relationship. At this point I don't think it would really matter with whom. Wait let me correct that, yes it would!

I look over a TV, great something to do for a few more hours. I turn it on and roll over on my side. In a few moments I am back asleep.

10AM Maggie's House

I awaken to soft sounds downsides. Great someone is awake, Coffee! I climb out of bed and quietly make my way downstairs. The tree is turned on already and the sweet sounds of Christmas carols play in the air. Is this what Christmas was like in the Westlake household? I have the biggest urge for Maggie to adopt me.

I pad my way into the kitchen and see Maggie standing there at the counter cutting up fruit, Fruit of all things, its winter where did she manage to get them from?

"Morning Maggie" I smile at her and give her a small hug

"Morning Ariel, did you sleep well?" She asked me as I was rummaging through her refrigerator.

"You know I do not sleep well at anyone's home except my own." I say as I look down at my hands "I have gotten better though, and this house is my second home."

"You are always welcome here no matter what, you know that right?"

"I know, thank you for being here for me. It is hard sometimes when you spend so much time alone." I move next to her again. "You are my only true family, and that means the world to me."

I must have said the right thing because Maggie pulled me into the biggest hug I have ever gotten from her. I am home.
"So" I ask Maggie "What time did you eventually go to bed last night?"
I actually see her blush. I know exactly what went on last night. Talk about feeling like a third wheel. Twice. I really have to change this situation and quickly!
I actually think it has to do with something the Westlake women can do to men. As if on cue Sherman Catlett comes walking through the kitchen door.
"Morning Sherman"
"Morning Maggie, how did you sleep?" he asks her,
Well that was a bit to much information for me to handle at that early hour.
I finally make it back to the living room with my cup of coffee. AHH silence. It's at this time of year that I really miss my mom. I really wish she were here to be with me. I know she is in spirit, but it's just not the same.

I really need to find a man to have a relationship with. Some say that the right person has always been right under your nose. Always they're before you and you do not even know it. My mind floats back to Frankie,
he is really nice. I will have to get in touch with him again, I really enjoyed his company. Talk about right under my nose.
Well you know what it is certainly true for Cameron and Joe. So why can it be this easy for me? It has to be, I just have to figure this all out I guess.
I sit there for a bit more, listening to the soft laughter from Maggie and Sherman. Yup she told me that I could stop calling him Mr. Catlett or Sherman Catlett, and just stick to Sherman. Humm I am definitely going to have to talk her alone later.
A few minutes later I hear someone behind me, it's Joe.

"Morning Ariel, how are you?" He says as he rubs his eyes trying to adjust to the light "Oh I am alright, sleep well?" I have a feeling I should have said 'sleep any' instead but didn't push it. I still don't know him like I should, yet.
He smiles at me and sit down next to me.
"Do you want some coffee?" I ask "Sure if it's not to much trouble."
Nope none at all. I have a feeling he wants to talk to me, about what I have no idea. Plus I am not sure he wants to see his boss in the kitchen with Maggie.
We sit in a comfortable silence for a while. I like it; I can see what Cameron sees in him. He is compassionate and thoughtful, good looking to say the least. At any rate I feel a heavy conservation coming on.
"Ariel, you have known Westlake for a long time, right?"
I smile, here it comes.
"Yes I have known Cameron for my whole life, why?" I ask him, he just stares at the tree for a minute, not really sure where to start. "Joe what is it?"
"I..I am just so happy. I never thought this was going to happen. I have felt this way towards Westlake for the better of four years now."
A smile crosses my face. I remember Cameron speaking to me about Joe. I kept telling her to go after him, who cared if he was her partner at work. Does that really matter? Nope did not think so.
"I know you have, do you doubt her feelings?" I ask "Well you shouldn't,
she ahs felt the same way for the longest time."
"Ariel, I want your opinion on something.."He trailed off "Wait, first I have a question, why do you call her Westlake all the time? She does have a first name you know." I have been wondering this for the longest time.
He smiles, this is going to be good.
"Well, this is going to sound weird, but ever since our first case,
actually from the first time we met, I started to call her Westlake. I have called her Cameron a few times, but I was just so worried about going against protocol about partners, so I distanced myself." Sadness comes over him.
"What?" I put an arm on his arm "What's wrong?"
"I did that because I didn't want her to get to close to me. I thought that something horrible would happen, and it did further down the road.
But I still fell in lover with her."
"Ok my question answered, I'll get more from Cameron if I am curious later." I shake my head. "Ok on with what you wanted to know."
Humph. "Okay, you know what we, we?last night." The memory comes over him.
"Yes I know"
"Well I want to spend the rest of my life with her. But I am not sure what she wants. This is all so new."
"Well I think that she wants the same thing, as for if it's to soon,
well that is up to you and Cameron."
I want to scream, why can't I have a man like this? It's unfair in a way, but I am so extremely happy for both these people at this moment I can't express it.
"Joe" I begin "Joe, if you ask her, she will say yes." I look at the Christmas tree for a moment. "Don't ever doubt that!"
At that moment he pulled me into a hug. Second time that day. What is going on today? Holidays.
"Thank you for everything Ariel. You are a great friend to both Cameron and myself." He said to me and started to get up. "I need food, want anything?"
"Wait! I don't know if you want to go in there." I pointed to the kitchen. "You might want to wait a bit."
He looked at me strangely. Have to think of a way to get him to stay here.
"You know what, I think Cameron will be upset that she woke up alone.
Why did you leave her up there?" That's it Joe sit back down. I don't care how strange it is. " I mean new lovers, old lovers, after a night of sweet love making, waking up alone is not a good thing, believe me."
He chuckles.
"Just ask my old boyfriend how he got the scar on his upper arm." I look at him and laugh uncontrollably.
"I'll get you a fresh cup and a second cup of coffee and I want you to go back upstairs."
"I'll help you?" he starts after me Boy he can be quick, I know he is still wondering why I won't let him in the kitchen. Dana told me about his over active mind and curiosity.
"I got it?." I begin Oops too late. As he follows me into the kitchen. Maggie and Sherman look up. If this morning didn't get any more strange. His mouth must of hit the floor because I had to elbow him in the side.
"Catlett?" he stammers out "What are you doing here at this hour?"
Maggie gets up and hands him another cup of coffee.
"The same thing as you Joe." Was all he said.
I am standing behind the two of them now laughing so hard and trying to hold it all in. I am not succeeding at all. Maggie is right behind me,
"Joe, go back upstairs and give this to Cameron." She turns Joe around and starts him back out of the kitchen. "Breakfast will be in a little while."
I laugh out loud now and make another cup of coffee and return to my place on the couch.
"Wait, Joe come back here." He turns around and I hand him a tray of chocolate covered strawberries.
"Take these with you, she will love them. And they are very versatile."
He smiles and takes the tray.
This is where Cameron wants to enter her part now. Enjoy!
Ok hello folks! Here is my part now, then ill hand it back to Ariel.
That night was earth moving. I am not normally the type of person to say that. I have had lovers that were ok, as far as performance, but they were very selfish. Always for them never the person they were with.
But Joe; wow is about all I can say. I am not going to get into details here, personally that is my business not yours.
When he came upstairs last night, I had thought he left with Tina what's-her-name. I was so happy that he didn't though. I think he must of spoke to Ariel before he found me.
My feelings for Joe, are well, different from anything else I have ever felt for another man before. It's over powering, stimulating,
compromising, hopeful, loving, caring. The list goes on, I am not going to list all of them, and you can use your imagination.
I still can not get over the fact that he told me he loves me. I am still in a daze with that thought. Believe me it's a good thought, a great one at that. But still mind numbing. It's been four odd years with this man and just about four years in love with this man. I am not sure when it started, maybe after the time I thought he was dead, or the time when when we went to the masquerade ball or the time we had to go under cover as a married coulpe. Among these years it is not the smartest move, well maybe it was. After all the years of being alone, it will never happen again. And for that I am grateful.
Joe took me to my old room and told me he loved me a million times over.
"One in five billion" returns to my thoughts. He must have lighted over twenty candles all around my room. I have no idea where they came from.
I am not asking questions, and I want no answers. It was perfect. They cast the room in a warm glow; the smell of sweet cinnamon was the best thing. I will cherish that smell for the rest of my life.
"Joe, I have wanted this for so long, I can not believe this is happening to us." I whisper to him as he comes up behind me and wraps his arms around my waist.
"Westlake you are so beautiful, the most beautiful women I have ever seen before." He says as he gently places soft kisses on my neck.
That is the first time in my life that someone other than family have ever said that to me. I never thought that I was his type, short, red head, and smart. I was wrong, 100% totally wrong.
"Oh Joe, that is the sweetest thing you have ever said to me. Thank you."
He runs his hands along my sides; it is the most stimulating touch that I have ever had, for the moment. I have a feeling that will change,
"This dress, it's lovely. I spoke to Ariel, she has great taste in dresses; you must go shopping with her more often. She told me that you bought it for the intentions of going with me to this party."
"Yes I did Joe, I finally got up enough courage to ask you, and then you told me that you were taking someone else. I was shattered, it hurt so much."
He was hugging me tightly now. I knew he was sorry, but this was his way of telling me. We always communicate better with our eyes, rather then speech. I'd like to try the speech part though.
"I am so sorry Westlake, Cameron.. I never meant to hurt you that way.
She was just a stand in for you."
I turned in his arms and faced him. He bent his head and gave me the most intense kiss I have ever had. One of six years complied desire and love.
"Cameron I want to make love to you, I love you so much, I am tired of hiding from you."
Oh Joe. He stands in front of me sheepishly, not sure if I am going to back away or not. He should know better than that. I know he is smarter than this. "Joe get over here and kiss me."
He happily does so.
After that is all pure mind candy. That information is for me to know.
All I want to say, that it was and still is the happiest moment in my life. We made love four times last night and it was pure heaven.
When I began to stir the next morning I realized that I was alone. My heart sank like a brick.
I sat up and realized that I was achy all over. Well I should be, I have used muscles last night that I hadn't used in a very long time. I lay back down, he didn't go far. I can feel it. So I roll over and go back to sleep.
He came up again, no doubt. I am not sure how long though. He brought me coffee and chocolate covered strawberries. They are now my favorite fruit; I will never forget what we did with those strawberries. Things I would never even think of doing.
After about oh say two hours of love making I am ready to start the day,
well what's left of it anyway.
"Joe lets go downstairs before my mother sends the Calvary up here to look for us."
"Westlake, look there is something you should know before we go downstairs. Something about your mother and.."
I was already dress and halfway out the door. I know I cut Joe off. But it didn't matter; I was ready to eat. I was starved.
I heard him follow me out the door. His hands were on my sides as we went down the stairs. I know I heard a male voice, but I didn't recognize it at first.
Once I rounded the corner I stopped dead in my tracks. I saw Ariel, Mom and Catlett.
"That's what I wanted to tell you about, before you ran out on me." Joe whispered in my ear. I shivered, I couldn't help it.
Well it was a totally different experience; I wasn't sure what was going on. I swear Catlett following my mother around all night along the night before, but did not think anything of it. Well I had to know that something like this would happen. I am ok with it, what choice do I have? As long as they both are happy.
I am just a little shocked to actually see it that's all. I do tell both of them this.
Joe puts his arms around me at that moment. I am surprised that he is not in the least bit concerned with concealing what we have at all.
I am fully okay with this as well. We both decided that we didn't want to hide anymore.
Oh no his hands are moving up and down my arms, here we go again. I can feel the same feelings of being turned on, beginning to move from my toes to my shoulders.
"You know what I want to go to the mall today to do some shopping for Christmas. Who wants to go with me?" I ask the group of people in front of me.
I already know Joe will go with me. He will take any chance he can to be with me. I want Ariel to go with us as well. I want to spend time with her as well; we do not get together too often. I am going to vow to change that next year. Get my priorities straight!
"You know I'll go with you, I can't be away from you today." Joe says right next to my ear, I shiver again.
I turn around to face him "Joe if you keep doing that we won't get past the driveway." I whisper in his ear. I get the same response as he got from me.
"Oh you going to buy me a toy?" He asks "What?"
I shake my head. Everyone is looking at us. I swear, like they have never seen me like this. Wait they haven't. Oh well.
"Cameron why don't you and Joe and Ariel go to the mall for a while."
Maggie said as she eyed Sherman. Oh boy glad I am not going to be here.
"Ok, is that a problem Ariel, you don't mind do you?"
"Nope let me change and we can get on our way."

Crossgates Mall Late that day Hey everyone it's me Ariel again. Sorry if it got a little confusing up here. Cameron and I kept switching back and forth.
The mall was defiantly decorated for Christmas. The garland was up and lights were lite, Santa was there with lines of children waiting to see him. I love Christmas time. Maybe I'd love it a little more if I weren't playing third wheel, if I actually had someone other than my friends to spend it with.
Cameron and Joe are walking next to me talking among them. They are really trying to include me in conservation and what not. I know it's hard, a newfound relationship and you go to the mall with a friend. I can understand.
"So Ariel, what was going with you and Frankie last night?" Cameron asks as she elbows Joe. They both laugh.
"Nothing why?" I know I sound a bit hostile, oh well.
"Just curious."
"Cameron I am going to go into Macy's and look around. Do you mind?"
It takes a few moments for to register that I am speaking to her. I need to get away from here.
"Ariel, do you want me to go with you?"

"Cameron you don't have to, I have to look for presents for your mom and a few other people. Stay here with Joe, make sure he doesn't get into any trouble."
"Ariel, I am coming with you and that's that." She whispered something to Joe I couldn't hear. Great.
"Okay you girls have fun, I'll meet you right here when you're done."
Joe said as he waved us on.
I saw Joe pull out his cell phone as we turned around. I had the strangest feeling he was calling Frankie.
"Cameron I shouldn't of come I am sorry." I said to her as we walked through the woman's department.
"Oh Ariel, stop it will ya! I am sorry that we haven't been treating you right today. I know how it feels to be the third wheel."
I smile at her, I know she is sorry. Cameron always speaks her mind and when something is wrong, she always does her best to change the situation.
"What should I get your mom, I want to thank her for everything."
"Um, well how about something for the house?" Cameron says looking at this suit. "I have no idea my mother is always so hard to shop for. She has everythihg."

"Cameron, when are you going to tell me about what happened between you and Joe last night?" I looked right at her, and she blushed. This is going to be good. "Come on spill."
"Ariel.." She smiled "come on, geeze can't a girl have some privacy?"
"Nope! You always told me when we were teenagers and even when you first started with the FBI. Remember?" I elbowed her slightly in the arm.
"Ariel, this is the only time that I have ever felt this way."
"What way?" I said to her "Dana are you ok?"
"Oh Ariel I am more than okay. Oh alright I guess I have to tell someone what's going on."
I got her big time. I am just too nosey, but hey she is my best friend.
"What Joe and I share, I can't really describe it. We are each other's half. I will never get rid of him, he will always be there for me,
whether I want him or not."
"Oh I definitely heard that last night. You wanted him bad." Okay I didn't have to say that to her, but I couldn't resist. Now she's blushing I love it!
"Ariel!" She said as she walked towards the men's department. Blushing all the way! Am I good or what?
"Cameron, it sounds to me that you two want to spend the rest of your life together? Like he is the one. And all that."
"Well Ariel, this time it very well might be. I am so happy at this point in my life; I have you, my mother, and Joe. Who else do I need in my life?"
"Awe Cameron I am so happy for you. Hey what about this for your main man?" I hold up a pair of silk boxers with a huge smiley face on them.
"Well." She begins. Speechless "Well then I am going to buy them for him. At least you guys will get a laugh out of them everytime you see them." I grab them away from Dana.
"So what are you going to get him? Frederick's is right in the mall. We can go there if you want to."
Bingo blushes again. This is fun.
"I was thinking about maybe a watch or a bracelet or something personal from me to him." She said as she walked back over to the jewelry counter.
"You better watch out Ariel, do you remember I work with Frankie." She says to me on counter attack "What is going on between you two anyway?"
"Oh nothing much Cameron, I just met the guy. He does seem really nice though. I'd go out with him again, if given the chance."
"Well you just might have that chance." Cameron whispers under her breath.
"I heard that"
About a half and hour later we walk out of Macy's with our purchases.
Poor Joe, he is sitting there like it had been months since we went into Macy's. He was sitting there on the bench with two cups of coffee, one empty one half full. Oh Boy.
Cameron goes right over and apologies to him. It's cute really, I haven't seen either one this happy before in my entire life. That is a good thing. I just wish something like this would happen to me.
Suddenly Cameron looks up at something I am not quite sure what, yet.
But she whispers something to Joe and asks me to stay with Joe.
Ok fine, ditch me I get it. I go and sit down next to Joe on the bench.
"Hey, sorry about earlier, we just got talking and well shopping." I said to him as I looked down at my bags.
"It's ok, I know Westlake needs some time with her friends, it's good to see her happy." He says to me "Do you want a coffee?"
"Your treat?"
"Yes how do you take it?"
Wow Joe buying me a coffee, Cameron keep this man!
He returns to me with coffee in hand. That attendant must think he is nuts.
"You know Joe, I am really happy for you and Cameron. It's so nice to see the both of you like this."
"Ariel, I really love Westlake." He says with this huge smile. "For what has seemed like forever, well more like four years now."
"I know, she told me."
"Well what else did she tell you about me..us?" He asks me curiously "Oh a few things here and there." I say as I conveniently take a sip of coffee. "Why?"
"Just curious."
"You know curiosity killed the cat, Joe."
He knows, but he wants to talk again and I am making jokes. Not to fair to him, so I'll be quite. From what Cameron has told me about him, he doesn't express his feelings very well, so take the moment when you can.
He must be turning over a new leaf.
"Joe what is it? What do you want to talk about?" I ask as I put the coffee down. Damn that's good coffee.
"She is the one. I want to ask Westlake to spend the rest of her life with me." He stares at the store Cameron disappeared into ten minutes ago.
"It's not my place to tell you what she told me, but she feels the same way about you." I say to him, his mind is working at full speed now. He is up to something.
"Ariel, will you go with me for a walk?" He asks. Damn puppy dog look,
Cameron told me how effective it was.
"A walk where?" I already know, but I ask anyways."What about Cameron?"
"I think you know where, and as for Westlake, why don't you go tell her we will be right back and to wait here."
I laugh, yup this is fun. Just like I was sixteen again, doing stuff behind my best friend's back that can only help her in the long run?
Then rubbing it in because I know what it is and she doesn't.
"Cameron, Joe wants my opinion on a gift, if you are done before we are back wait for us outside on the bench."
She nods and returns to whatever toys she is comparing for her nephews and nieces. She won't be done for a while.
"All set?" Joe asks as we walk towards the store he is a little nervous about.
"Relax Joe, you already know the answer to your question." I am trying to keep with him; I grab his arm to slow him down. It worked.
"Joe, listen to me. If Cameron were going to leave you, she would have done so already. She has stuck by your side, trusted you, and loved you for the last four years. After everything that has happened. You have to believe me."
"Ariel, I am so happy, after last night, a night I thought would never happen, I just can't believe this is happening." We start walking again,
"Thank you for everything, and I do believe you."
"Come on lets go Cameron that present you want to buy her."
We walk a little more and he says the sweetest thing to me. "Ariel, I can see what Cameron sees in you as a best friend. You truly are a wonderful person and I am glad Dana has you, and that you are now in my life as well." He envelops me in a hug, then offers me his arm. Can we say tears. I am speechless. Not a clue what to say to him.
We go to the jewelry store and pick out the most beautiful engagement ring. Oh and one more thing, Joe has money. I don't know if Cameron knows, but Wow! He pulled out no stops for Cameron.
We find ourselves almost back to the toy store we left Cameron at.
Hopefully she is almost done in there I have no clue about toys. No family to buy for just, Cameron and her mother and now Joe. My adopted family.
"Joe I want to say something to you. I just wanted to let you know that I am glad we became friends. I am happy that you bring this much joy to Cameron and I am happy that you are in my life as well. You are truly a wonderful person."
Can we say welling. I am left to wonder what actually happened to this man in his youth. I will have to ask somewhere down the line. Cameron finds us and comes up to Joe and takes his hand.
"Hey! Where did you guys go?" She asks "Oh it's got us to know and you to find out." I say "On Christmas."
Her eyes are glued to me. I know she remembers what I used to do to her in our childhood. I am going to enjoy the last few days until Christmas.
"Okay fine, be that way."
"Westlake hey look at it this way, you will be more surprised this way,
you will enjoy it more. Trust me."
That gets a grin from her as well as a kiss. Those two are made for each other.
She drops the subject for now at least and we do a lot more shopping.
Stopping into various stores and what have you. We are joking around and having fun. I haven't done this in a very long time. I can tell they haven't either.
"Hey I am hungry let's get some food." I say and they agree.

Okay it's Cameron's turn. See you guys in a few.
Okay guys I am back, let's see if our stories are running parrall.

Being at a mall during Christmas time with Joe, holding hands no less and being here with Ariel. I can not ask for anything more.
I am totally giving Joe my one hundred percent of my attention. I know not fair to Ariel at all. But it's hard, and I slipped.
Joe and I are holding hands and gently kissing here and there affectionalty. Just like new lovers should. But you know what in my heart and soul I know we are old lovers. We have done this a thousand times in the past. Now who is the one spooky?
After a small argument with Ariel, well not exactly an argument, maybe a disagreement we head into Macy's. There is nothing better then shopping between best friends, especially at Macy's, to solve any kind of disagreement. And we did just that.
We admerge after what seems like a lifetime. I forgot all about Joe. I know not a smart move. I mean who could forget about a man that looks like that. He is sitting there on the bench, looking very uncomfortable and well happy but board at the same time. Oh no two cups of coffee from The Coffee Beanery. Not good he is going to be hyper all afternoon.
"I am sorry Joe, I didn't mean to leave you out here all alone. Can you forgive me sweetie?" I whisper this very close to his ear. My voice deep and husky. I know exactly what effect this will have on him. But that's the whole plan of action isn't it?
"Oh it's ok Westlake, you know I would wait for you Forever. I love you." He gently kisses my forehead. Okay thought brought back memories.
I spot a great toy store across the way. As much as I hate it, I have to leave him again to go get my nephews and nieces presents. Like I know what to buy them. Blue's Clues, Barney, Matchbox Cars, Barbie, and Rugrats there is so many things out there these days. I I knew what I was in for coming to the mall during Christmas time.
I have no clue how long I was in the store when Ariel came in and told me Joe wanted her opinion on a gift. That was weird, but I went with it.
I didn't mind, I feel bad for Joe having to sit on that bench for the whole time we are here.
I see them walk away and continue shopping. This is going to be the only toy store I enter, so I have to get everything here.
I feel so normal today. Something I also miss. But I think, if I were normal would Joe be here in my life? As much as I am independent and can do things for myself, I crave Joe. I need him here in my life. I have to remember to tell him that!
After that short declaration I walk over to the same coffee place Joe loves and get a Café Carmel. My one downfall. I diet just to drink these.
I see Joe and Ariel walking up towards me. Suddenly they stop. What's going on with this picture? As I get closer I hear Ariel tell him that I am so lucky to have him in my life and that she is the lucky one to have the both of us in her life. I know she got right to the heart of him, I can tell his eyes are beginning to tear up.
"So Joe did you get a hold of Frankie?" I ask him "Yeag he is going to meet us out tonight. You know I think Ariel made a real impression last night on him. She is all he could talk about."
"Figures it is the same on my end."
"Good" We both laugh.
I need food, just then Ariel steps in, as if she is reading my mind.
"Let's get food."
We end up at Rudy Tuesdays. Conservation is great. This feels so good,
just to be normal.

Back to you Ariel!
"Hey, what is going on with your mother Cameron?" I ask her. I can see her eyes go wide. So I stuff a piece of pizza in my mouth, just so I don't have to say anything more. Joe smiles at me. I bet he has done this a lot.
"You know what, as long as she is happy that's all that matter to me.."
She stops and looks at Joe. "Even if it is with Sherman."
"Westlake, doesn't it seem a little..strange.. I mean what about family reunions, holidays." He is fidgeting; he is not too sure about it. I think that he is worried that something will be said about all of this at their work. I know differently.
"Joe stop fidgeting, nothing is going to change, especially at work. I won't let it, my mother won't let it, I do not think that he is really going to care. Besides we were both at my mother's house all night long last night. If anything you both have something in common now." Boy Cameron's speeches can be quite good, if I do say so myself. I'll have to have her give me lessons.
"Westlake.." Joe is whining now. "Oh ok, fine."
I have had the best time today. These two are a riot to be around. We defiantly have to do this again. But next time I'll have to try to have a date of my own, maybe I will ask Frankie.
We continue to eat, laughing. It's getting late but you know what,
neither of us care.
"Hey guys, let's pay and get going." They both look at me "Hey I am tired, trying to keep with you all day. I am just a lowly artist not a active Special Agent." Ok a bit far, but oh hell my feet hurt.
"Ok Ariel, we can have a night cap at my mother's house and then we can do whatever." Cameron tells me. She stands and pays the bill.
Maggie's House We arrive back at Maggie's house; there are a few, lights on. But by the glow coming from the living room, there was a roaring fire going. How romantic.
"Mom we are back." Cameron calls into the living room.
You could tell Sherman and Maggie were talking quietly on the couch. I am so glad that they found each other. Maggie defiantly deserves it.
Maggie looks up at the three of us. She has this huge smile on her face.
"Hello Cameron, Joe and Ariel. How was your day today?" She starts to get up. "Coffee?"
"Maggie I'll get it. Who wants some?" I ask. Joe nods and so does Cameron and both Sherman and Maggie. Oh boy.
I start to the kitchen to get the coffee. Cameron and Joe move to sit with Maggie as far as I can tell.
"Ariel, are you ok?" Cameron's voice comes from behind me.
"I am okay. I just want to go home. I haven't been home in a few days."
I say to her. It's a lie, but hey she can't see my face.
"Ariel, you were always a terrible liar. What's wrong?"
"Nothing, it's the holidays Cameron. You should know the feeling of loneliness during this time of year."
Okay a bit harsh, but I hate being a third wheel. And that's what I am right now. Plus I am tired and want to go home.
"Sorry I did not mean to snap at you. I am really truly happy for you and Joe and for your mother and Sherman."
"Oh Ariel, I am sorry, I know what it's like. If you want to go home take my car, I'll catch a ride with Joe."
She takes me into a hug.
"Cameron I am really sorry. You know I am here for you if you need me."
I know this. This is not like me. I am a strong person, but as most of you know, holidays can do this to a person.
"Cameron thanks for letting me use your car, I know you are going to stay here another night here with Joe."
"Actually I think we are going to head back to my place after coffee."
Good for her. These two are made for each other. Have I mentioned that before?
"I'll call you later on during the week, to find out what's going on for Christmas." I say to her and hug her again. "I had a great day today, we have to do this again."
"Ariel I had a great day today. And yes we will there is not question about that."
I say my good-byes to Maggie, Sherman and Joe. We made plans to get together for Christmas.
I make it home in what seems to make record time. I am so happy to be home. I walk in and turn my Christmas tree lights on and light a few candles. Next stop the CD player, some quite Christmas music and I head to the bathroom for a long soak in a hot tub of bubbles.
Friday is going to come way to quickly.

Hey Folks it's me Cameron, I am going to start this section out this time.

Christmas Eve Cameron's House

The week went by fairly normal. We didn't get any new cases in,
strangely enough. So our days consisted of paperwork. Oh and that was so exciting. I would never make a good paper pusher.

Joe and I surpassingly did a very good job of being pure professionals.
Now that was different, Joe being professional. I am convinced it's a new way to try to change for me. But I don't want him to change that much. I love him the way he is.

Let me tell you how the week went. On Monday I thought I would have gotten in before Joe, I was wrong. When I arrived at the office there was a single peach rose on my desk. Joe was nowhere to be found. There was a small note along side of the vase. It read like this:

I missed you. Tonight be ready at 7.

Okay I can play this way to. I have no clue what he has planned, but it's going to be fun. I can tell. When Joe wants to play watch out.
About 3:30pm I look up from my report, Joe hasn't been around much all day. Wonder what's going on? A huge smile covers my face. Thank god no one is in here with me at this moment.
I get up and walk over to his desk.
Had to go, got a hot date tonight at 7.

I smile and walk out. This is going to be good. Now on to stop at the same store Ariel took me to for a knock out dress. I have no idea where he is taking me, but it does not really matter to me at all. I am doing this for him.

I take out my cell and carefully dial a familiar number. "Ariel?"

"Cameron is that you? It's almost 4pm on a Monday afternoon. What's wrong?"

I laugh, how could anything possibly be wrong?

"Nothing is wrong Ariel, I am going out to dinner or somewhere, well I am not really sure where I am going, but it is out with Joe tonight. Are you busy? I need some help."

"Um well I will be free at 5pm, and then I can stop over to your place.
But I have to be gone by 6:30pm." She says to me. At this point I am not really listening, I heard what I want to hear. "Sure Ariel that's not a problem. What do you have a hot date tonight or something?"

She laughs at me. "In fact I do. See you at 5:30pm" and she hung up. I know exactly who and where.

I park my car and head to the boutique. The attendants recognize me at the door.

"Cameron! How are you today?" Sarah asks me

"Oh I am good. Can you guys help me today?"

"Sure can sweetie! By the way how did that gown work last weekend?"

"Oh it did its job quite well." I am smiling ear to ear.

"Well what can we do for you today?" Sarah asks me as she rounds the counter.

"Well I have this date tonight, but I have no idea where we are going and what we are doing?"

"Ooh with the guy from the party right?"

"Yes Sarah with the man from the party. My partner, Joe."

She eyes me strangely. I know what she is thinking some wayward office romance. I'll let her know one day.

"Okay, humm well you wore blue already, how about forest green or black." She eyes me carefully "I can tell you don't go dress shopping very often, you have no clue what to buy."
"How could you tell?" I ask her, with a bit if sarcasm in my voice.
"Yeah well I can dress for work any day, I don't have a problem with that, but its when I have to dress up for a occasion."
"What do you do for a living Cameron?" Sarah asks as she goes through the racks of dresses looking for the perfect one.

"Well I work in law enforcement." That gets Sarah to stop what she is doing and look at me. "Actually I am with Special Projects working with the FBI."

"Wow, I wouldn't have expected that. You are so.." I can tell she doesn't want to insult me in a way. I know I am don't look the part.

"Yeah well I can pack a punch." I laugh and so does she.

"So this guy, he is your partner at work then? How long have you two been partners for?"

"We have been partners for four years."

"And you just figured out your feelings for one another?" She goes back to the clothing. "Oh Cameron look at this. It's perfect for tonight, try it on."

It's beautiful. The dress looks like it would fall above my knees and it's strapless and made of satin with small velvet trim around the dress. And here comes Sarah with a what looks like a cape for me. It's made of the same velvet. Wow!

I take it back to the dressing room. It looks wonderful on me. Geeze Joe, this is going to cost you big time.

"Sarah this was made for me. I can't believe it, I have never had luck like this before." I step out and she gasps. Yup must look good. Sarah hands me shoes, they match of course.
I make the purchase and run home. No I did not break any traffic rules.
But I did make it home in record time. I shower and put on some water for tea.
I am in the bathroom putting on some makeup with Ariel walks through my door.
"Hey Cameron…" She is staring at me. "Wow you look beautiful tonight you have a date with Joe?"
"Well you know what the answer is. What I want to know is who is your hot date tonight?"
She blushes, I love this, and just as much as she does when I get this way about a man I am interested in.
"First what did you need from me? I drove all the way out here, taking time away from my 'hot date', as you put it, to help you." Ariel says as she takes a cup of tea.
"Well I need some help with my hair. I know sounds weird to have me of all people, but I have tried everything and I can't get it right. I want to wear it up."
"Humm ok, I can do that." Ariel says as she does whatever she does. I swear she did hair in a previous life. I want to hire her as my personal stylist.
"So Ariel. Tell me about this guy? You know where he works, what he does, where he lives.." I pause "You know the works."
Ariel lets out a soft snort; at least that's what it sounded like to me.
"Cameron, you know him already." She pauses "It is Frankie. I remember him telling me that you wanted to set up a date tonight to go out."
She knows me all to well "Ariel you know I wouldn't do that to you,."
"Yeah right"
We both laugh, it's good to laugh like this with friends. I miss it in some ways, but then again Joe fills so many of the voids. But a girl needs friends' right?

"You know I have a feeling that everything is going to work out for the best with you and Frankie."
"And do you know that"?
Call it woman's intuition, whatever but I still gets this 'good vibe'
from the whole situation.
I blush; it's defiantly a good thing.
"He called me on the phone.." she pauses like she is trying to decide what to tell me and what not to. "It was so cute when he called, it was like he wasn't sure what to say, so I ended up asking."
"So where is he going to take you?" I ask her "Well I am not sure actually. He said to dress semi formal. So basically I have no idea."
"Did he and Joe take date lessons together somewhere. This sounds awful like a conspiracy of dating to me."
Ariel and I laugh and then she stops fiddling with my hair. She hasn't let me look at a mirror the whole time. I am looking forward to see this creation she has done.
"They're done. You look great Cameron!" she goes to the kitchen and returns with a camera. "Here let me take a picture of you."
"Oh geeze, I have to go. I am never going to have time to get ready myself. You look wonderful, and I'll call you later this week and fill you in about my date."
Ariel is walking quickly to the living room. "Ariel should I tell my mother to set another place for Christmas dinner?" she gives me this look "I am joking, well maybe not, I am just curious."
"Cameron go on your date and like I said I will let you know."
"Have a great time!" I yell as she is out the door and down the hallway.
Oh boy, this is going to be a long night. I close the door to my apartment and go back to my bedroom. Since when did I become such a slob? I have clothes all over the place, different hair styling stuff that I have no clue what's what, mostly because they are Ariel's.
After my bedroom is picked up and back to looking clean, for the most part anyway. I walk to the bathroom. I still haven't seen what I look like yet. Here goes anything.
"Wow" I gasp at the reflection in the mirror "Is this me or just a look alike?"
At that moment I hear a knock at my door. Joe is early; my stomach is in knots. It's just Joe, calm down.
I feel like an overactive teenager again. It can be a good thing you know. I open my door, I think we both gasp at the same time. God he is gorgeous, is this what he has been doing all day?
I notice he is standing in my hallway with flowers no less, and in a very handsome suit that looks tailored, and all in the right spots. So that's where he was this afternoon. We think too much alike.
I find my voice first "Joe why don't you come in I am just about finished."
"Cameron, these are for you." He hands me the flowers "You look beautiful tonight." He says as he kisses me gently on the lips. Almost like a sign of what was to come later on.
This is going to be a long night. I merge from the bathroom and reach for my drape. Joe is faster and gently puts it around my shoulders. Oh man the feel of his hands on my arms. I am not going to go there, yet.
We finally make it to the restaurant, Ole Daley Inn. It's not really an inn; it's just the name. Wow its really elegant, I should fall in love with him just for the fact that he took me here.
But the fact is that he didn't even have to take me here. He just had to touch me on the small of my back, listen to me, care for me, argue with me, trust me, respect me, and much more four years of living with me, did it. Well not living with me per say but close enough. I know we are not a normal couple, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
We had dinner, I had a lovely roasted chicken, not that I paid that much attention to it And Joe had a huge T-bone steak, figures as much, and he couldn't finish it. We held hands and quietly talking between each other. We have never really talked like this before, but I can say this,
I WANT MORE! I want this to go on every night after work, on the weekends, lazy Sundays reading the newspaper and drinking coffee together.

Wow I am getting ahead of myself here. We are just on a date here having a wonderful dinner. Joe is gently stroking the back of my hand with this thumb again. He is defiantly distracting.
What's that he is asking now? I really have to start to pay attention to what he is saying.
"Cameron? Are you ok?" He asks me "Huh? Oh yes, Joe I m just fine, I was just thinking that's all."
"I asked you if you wanted to dance?"
Man I must look like an idiot by now. But some how I don't think Joe cares at this point.
"I'd love to Joe." I say to him. He takes my hand and gently swings me around to face him. We are so close together I am not sure we will make it to 10pm.
The feel of his body against mine, it's creating a friction so intense that heat must be flowing off of us in waves and affecting everyone in the restaurant.
Slowly I feel him pull me into a waltz. It's memorizing, the movements between us. Joe lowers his head to kiss me fully but lightly on the lips. A promise of what's to come later on. Can I make it until then I have no idea.
"Cameorn, I just wanted to tell you one thing. I love you. I love you so much."
"Oh Joe I feel the same way, I love you." I tell him as my hands make their way up his lean back. This man feels so good, even through a suit.
"Joe let's get of here, as much as I like dancing with you like this I want to get out of here." I say to him "Sure Cameron, we can get dessert at this great little place I found.
They make the best Italian Pastry, does that sound okay with you?" Joe asks as he leads me back to our table. I want to add with a hand on the small of my back and one holding the other. I wonder if he really knows what he does to me when he touches me on my lower back? It makes me feel loved, erotic, powerless to him, oh and much more, but what he is doing to me right now, words fail me.
Joe leans down and gently nibbles at my ear that sends shivers down my back. "Cameron, lets blow this Popsicle stand." And then he kisses my neck just below my ear.
Wow is all that goes through my mind. I look up at him and gently kiss him on the lips. He hands me my shawl and we are out the door. I didn't even see him pay the bill. It does not matter at this point.
We end up at Ferras Italian Pastry shop. I can tell that this is going to totally blow my diet to hell. But like everything tonight, I do not care at all.
Joe orders coffee for both of us and asks me what I want.
"It doesn't matter, you choose. We would get into some serious trouble if I got what I really wanted here." I say to him and the utter look of,
I am not sure what it is on his face. Maybe embarrassment, or true love,
I am not sure what it is.
He brings back some chocolate covered strawberries and napoleons. A man after my own heart. Actually he has my heart already, and he knows it.
"Joe can you read minds? Is there something you haven't told me?" I ask him, I get the raised eyebrow.
"You certainly know a way to my heart. But you already knew that right?"
I say as I start to go for a strawberry. He stops me.
"CameronI have a better idea, put that back." He tells me as he grabs my wrist and pulls it back to the box. "Drop that strawberry."
"Joe what is going on? I do not want to drop the strawberry."
"I have a better idea of how and where to eat these." He leans in and whispers in my ear. I shiver slightly. He knows exactly how to get me to do whatever he wants me to do.
Then it clicks in my head, I know exactly what he wants to do and where to go. I stand up grab his hand and practically drag him out of the pastry shop.
He better have those strawberries and napoleons with him.
"Cameorn wait up will ya. I didn't know you were so easy to get into bed. I would of bought strawberries and Italian pastry a long time ago."
"Joe, I always have been that easy to get into bed, but you never bothered to look for that, did you?"
I didn't think so Joe. Really I am that easy, well if I really truly love the man that is. It really doesn't even have to take Italian pastry.
He is speechless, and blushing. This is so new to both of us. I know he really does not know the Cameron part of me yet. I am totally different then the at work, Detective Cameron Westlake, person he is used to seeing. He has seen a little of me through the years, but not much.
I have seen the real Joe a number of times. I get the feeling that this is how he is all the time. I know his passion for his work, and I am certain that it is carried out into his personal life as well. I know the passion he has for me and in what he does for me.
I know exactly where we are going. My place. It does not bother me either. I know his apartment is not really a home, it is just a dwelling, a place to lay his head when he gets over tired and does not care where he can lay down to get a few hours of shut eye.
He said to me that my apartment was home, I was home to him. I like that feeling too much. It's comforting to know that someone loves you that much.
We arrive at my place, and we carefully make it upstairs and to my door.
Not one touch not one graze of hands or any other bodily parts. Knowing if that happened that would be the end of us right there, where ever we were.
As soon as we got on the other side of my apartment door, well that was another story completely. Joe pushed me up against the door, I thought we would of fell through it.
"I love you, just in case you did not already know."
"I know that already, I love you too by the way."
Our conservation consisted of 'I love you' for the next few minutes. We were kissing and touching each other all over. I am not really sure, I was not paying attention, I noticed this time that I was standing there in my bra and panties and Joein is boxers, by my front door. Time to change places and slow down a little.
"Cameron I am going to start a fire, why don't you go and get some wine and glasses?"
"Sure Joe." I sound breathless. Well maybe because I am. I am kissing Joe in my doorway in my underwear. I am glad it's late at night, I am not expecting visitors.
"Cameron hurry up, O miss you." He calls from the living room. It looks like he found my fluffy aphgan and laid it out on the floor. I notice he has the pastry as well.
"I missed you too, but I was only getting the wine, you asked for." I say to him as I hand him the glass.
"I know, but a minute is a very long time. I can't live without you." He says as he eyes the wine "I know it sounds trait and corny, but it is true."
Don't I know it? I can not live without this man either. He ahs followed me to the ends of the earth and back. Truly. I can never replace him. He has my heart, my soul, and not my body. I know it is the same for him as well.
"Cameron, come here. I want to do something for you."
"What is that Joe?"
"Lay down on here next to me on your stomach." He hesitates but continues.
"Okay..Joe" I do what he ask me to. I trust him.
"Cameron I want you to close you eyes and relax. I am going to make you feel so heavenly, so peaceful." He says to me as he reaches for a strawberry. What is he going to go with it I am not sure.
I close my eyes and feel his hands glide up and back down my back. Then I feel cold, strawberry going around my tattoo. It feels absolutely wonderful and erotic. I have never felt like this before. Cameron was right this is heavenly.
I moan at the sensation of all this.
After a good thirty minutes of this treatment I feel Joe's lips following the same track as the strawberries did. I am going to lose it if he keeps this up.
"Oh Joe. " I actually moan this. I am reduced to a moaning teenager..What next.
Throughout the night we do this many times. I actually am starting to really crave this, everyday. Tomorrow is work; we can not be late. In a way I hope he is still here when the alarm goes off and a part of me does not want him to be here. It's going to make it all the harder to get going, if you catch my drift.
I wake up about fifteen minutes before the alarm goes off. This is so nice. Is this what it is like to wake up married every day? Because if it is, I want to get married this afternoon damn it. I roll over and find Joe still here, he is so warm I snuggle closer to him. I really love this man.
"Joe" I gently shake him. I get absolutely no response at all. So much for his problem of not being able to sleep.
"Joe" Again nothing. Geeze. Time for the big guns.
I gently kiss him on the base of his neck and start my way up towards his ear. This rewards me with a soft moan. I keep going until I reach his lips, this time he reaches up and kisses me fully.
I am going to totally be mean to him now; I break away from him and get out of bed.
"Cameron?" He asks me, no wait plead with me to come back. But I can't we will be late, very late.
"Joe we have to go to work today, get up. I am going to take a shower."
I turn around and I see out of the corner of my eye that he buried himself under the entire comforter and all the pillows. I did not want to get up either, but with all the new changes that have gone on at work; we have to be really careful.
"Cameron I don't want to get up. I am comfortable here, well I was until you got up."
I hear him get up and out of bed.
"Can I join you in there?" he pleads through the bathroom door.
"Joe as much as I would love you to, you need to go home shower and change. I'll meet you at the office at eight."
Oh man he opened the door and walks in. Shit "Okay Cameron, whatever you say, but first I want a kiss goodbye."
With that he opens the curtain and plants one on me. Then he is gone.
Joe my man of mystery.
I get to the office at eight sharp. He isn't here yet. Maybe he should start to keep one or two suits at my place. Will you listen to me, I am planning for more nights like we had last night.
I am startled out of my thoughts by my phone ringing.
"Cameron, Hi! How was your night last night?" It's Ariel.
"Ariel I should be asking you the same thing."
"Okay well then, how about lunch today then." She asks me. I can tell she is wearing a huge smile on her face "Sure thing Ariel. That sounds wonderful, a girls lunch. We will meet at The Fountain at one pm."
"Okay Cameron see you there." She said and then hung up just as fast.
With that Joe walked in, looking quite, flustered and out of breath. He must of ran all the way from the garage. Aww poor Joe to much morning activity. I smile at him. He looks gorgeous.
"Morning Cameron, How are you today?" He asks me. Like he does not already know.
"Oh I am fine Joe. Do you want some coffee?"
"Sure thing Joe, I had a late night last night." He says and smiles at me. "Who was that on the phone when I came in?"
"Oh that was just Ariel, we are going to have lunch together today. Do you mind?"
He walks over to me and whispers in my ear "No I don't mind at all Cameron, as long as I get you alone tonight."
I smile my answer to him. We have always has this silent communication.
It comes in handy, especially when we have no idea that is listening to us.
The day passes easily, nothing much out of sync. We go about filing paper work and whatnot. Everything has been really slow here; the paranormal must take it slow during the holiday season. Or maybe people just have better things to worry about. None the less it is fine with me. More time to be with the people I care and love.
I still have to go Christmas shopping for Joe. I will have to get some ideas from Ariel today.

I am going to pass this next section to Ariel now. See you afterwards.
Hi all it's Ariel. We are using my laptop for this. So that's why the new font. Cameron likes the classic stuff, can't you tell anyway here is the rest of this day.

Cameron and I meet for lunch at The Fountain for lunch. It's a bar/tavern type place. I love it here, the atmosphere is great.
A waitress comes over and takes our drink and food order. I order a beer and persuade Cameron to do the same. She puts up a fight about being on duty and whatever. But I ask her when is she not on duty. A girl can't live life like that now can she?
"So Cameron are you going to keep last night all to yourself or are you going to tell me how it went?"
"Ariel.. It is none of your business." She smiles at the memory "But it was defiantly great."
"Cameron Westlake.. Since when are you good at keeping secrets about dates or men you obviously love?"
I know I can get by her, I always do. She will spill the beans to me,
always does.
I take a sip of my beer and set it back down. She hasn't touched hers yet.
"So are you going tell me or what? I really do not have the energy to drag it out of you." I laugh, I really don't. I was up way to late, even for me, the night queen.
"Ariel" she says, "You are way to nosey for your own good."
"Anyway how was your date last night? You already know more then I do about your relationship."
Somewhere out of nowhere I hear music playing. I think it's that new song 'Angel', I am not sure whom it is by though. Great song, it reminds me of Cameron and Joe.
"Hey Cameron here is your song. I should find out who its buy so you can listen to it with Joe. It reminds me of you guys."
She looks up and listens a bit to the song. It looks like she is going into a trance for a bit there. Strange.
"Well I am going to tell you about my date last night, Cameron. Can you hear me?"
"Yes Ariel I can, I am sorry about that." She says to me "You have my one hundred percent attention."
"I doubt that but here goes anyway."
"Hey Ariel that was not nice." She tells me laughing.
"Okay you have heard me talk about Frankie. We had a blast together. He tells me I test him, I push him to different places he has never been before." I pause for a moment "Sound familiar? Are you sure you do not know him? Anyway we went miniature golfing. Go figure." Cameron gives me this funny look. "We had a really great time. We will all have to go out together sometime."
Cameron actually laughs. And that is a good thing! She does not do that enough. But I can tell that is changing, she's changing.

"We went to dinner at Garcia's last night. It was very nice. We had a great time, we even danced too."
"Wow it sounds great Ariel, I am so glad that everything is working for you too. People say that best friends make the best couples."
Cameron thinks about what she just said to me, she smiles.
"So after golfing I asked him to my place for a night cap. And boy was it a night cap. We did things that I was sure could not be done with pears and apples." I blush I can't help it. Last night was the most moving night I have had since, since, well I can't remember it's been so long.
"Must have been the night for fruit." Cameron whispers so low I have to strain to hear her. I don't think it was meant for me to hear but I did.
"And how is that Cameron?"
Bingo got her again, she looks radiant today, I wish I had a camera.
"Oh if you must know you have to go to Ferras and get some chocolate covered strawberries. They are very useful, and very erotic."
"Oohh Cameron I haven't heard you use that word 'erotic' in a very long time." I laugh; it is so good to see her this way and for me to feel this way.
"So Cameron, by the look under your eyes you didn't get to bed at a early hour, was that because of the strawberries or Joe?"
She says one word to me "Both"
Cameron asks me about Frankie and I, and where we are headed in this newfound relationship.
"We are taking this one day at a time. How else could we do it, this is so new to both of us and we really do not want to mess it up. I am sure you two feel the same way."
We sit in silence eating for a while. This is great we have to do this more often. The food is great, I had manicotti with cheese and Cameron had some sort if salad. Like she needs to worry about her weight.
"Cameron, so where are you and Joe going with your relationship. I mean in what direction?"
She thinks about how to answer this. I know exactly where it's going,
but she doesn't have to know that I know.
"Well, I mean we have been through a lot and we care for each other a lot more than just a ordinary couple would. We trust each other with our lives, heart and soul, we would die to protect the other half. So if you really wanted to get technical you could call us married." She pauses at the thought.
"We are just going to take this one day at a time, like what you and Frankie are doing."
"That's great Cameron, I am thrilled for you'
"Hey Ariel I have a question for you, I need an idea on what to get Joe for Christmas. I am totally clueless on what to get."
Man she hasn't gotten his Christmas present yet? That is bad.
"Oh Cameron you haven't gotten him a gift yet? What kind of person are you?"
"Oh don't start, you sound just like my mother. "

Well I am going to send this back to Cameron; she is itching to write more. I need my sleep, so here is Cameron and her crazy font.

Hi guys it's me again! I am just a writing fool today. Ariel is tired;
she is staying up way to late at night with Frankie. Anyway, I am going to finish this section up real quickly.

Great Ariel is starting to sound just like my mother now. Just what I need. She is being a lot of help, I'll have to go to the mall and seriously shop sometime this week. I look down at my watch, shit time to get moving.
"Ariel I have to get going. Lunch is been over for about fifteen minutes. We will have to do this again. Maybe get together with all four of us before Saturday and go out to dinner or something."
"Cameron that sounds great. I'll call you tomorrow. It has been great today, thank you for having lunch with me."
We hug each other and leave the restaurant. I find myself back at work in record time. I have no figured if it was because I missed Joe or just because traffic was light.
"Joe?" I call as I walk in to the "Joe, where did you go? I was worried."
"Oh nowhere, Frankie wanted to grab something to eat."
Around five pm, I look over to Joe. "So, do you want to come over tonight and have dinner with me?"
"Cameron that would be wonderful. By the way are you coming on to me?"

Hey Everyone it's Cameron again. I am really getting to like this. Poor Ariel, but she will get her chance.

The rest of the week went more the same way. Joe coming over after work,
and basically spending the night. It's been a wonderful, scary week.

I have not had this kind of relationship for many years now. Well maybe I have and never noticed. Anyway, Joe and I, we have done a lot of talking about the past, our childhood's, and even the present. I know a lot more about him, and I absolutely love it.

Well about till today that is. Joe decided that he was going to go off,
again on a lead without me. I still have no idea why he does this. I went through the same training as him, I am even a better shot then him.
And still he does not feel the need to inform me where he is going. And what do I do, find him and drag his ass back to safety. Who am I to him?

I remember what he said to me those few days ago to me. How important I am to him. Maybe that is it, he just wants to protect me. Damn but I am his partner, we are supposed to do these things together. I just don't understand. At least he left a note this time.

I know what we talked about the other day, but I had to do this. I promise I will be back tonight. Then we can talk about this.


Typical Joe all the way. Man do I hate this part. Ok fine I can do this.
I have a ton of work I can do at the lab.
The phone gets me away from my thoughts. "Westlake"

"Cameron! How are you?"
Ariel figures as much. She always knows when I am upset.
"Ariel, Oh I am ok how about you?"
"Cameron, I am ok, what's wrong?"
"Ariel, how do you always know when something is wrong or I am upset?"
She pauses on the other end.
"It is just Joe that's all. He has gone off again and left me here alone that's all."
"Well did he leave you a note or anything?"
"Yes he did. He has done this before to me, I just thought we got through this part. That he wouldn't do this anymore that's all."
"It still hurts no matter what. I understand you. Maybe we could meet for lunch today?"
"Sure Ariel that would be great. How about the Fountain?"
"Sure Cameron how about 1pm?"
"Ok see you then."
This is a good change of pace, but I am still upset, no wait angry with Joe. That is not going to change. Not one bit.
The phone rings again. Geeze is today the day for phone calls or what?
"Cameron honey, how are you?"
"Oh I am fine." She paused "Yes we are still on for Christmas dinner,
and yes for Christmas Eve as well."
Why does my mother always have to invite Joe? Yes I am still angry.
"Mom, I have no idea what Joe is doing. I know he said yes the other day, but things change."
She asks me what's going on. I knew that question was coming.
"Mom, I really do not want to get into this." I paused again "Ok fine,
Joe and I had a argument."
"About what honey?"
"You know I can't really talk about work with you, but yes it has to do with that."
"What can I do for you?"
"Are you going to be home tonight? Maybe we could have dinner together?"
"Sure honey, about 7pm ok with you?"
"Yup see you then!"
"Ok honey I have to talk to you about something as well."
"Mom what's going on? Are you ok?"
What is going on? Mom is planning something, of what I am not sure of yet. This should be fun.
"Oh nothing is wrong honey, it is a good thing, ok. I just wanted to let you know before hand."
"Ok see you at 7pm"
I hung up the phone. Only one and a half-hours until I have to meet Ariel. This day is going very slow. It is all Joe's fault.

Time to go to the lab. The damn phone rings again! Argh I am secretly hoping it's Joe.

"Westlake can I see you in my office?"
"Yes Catlett, I'll be right there."
Shit, what does Catlett want? I haven't spoken to him since my mother's party. I am curious of what he wants.
Ok here I go. This day so far sucks. I know what you are thinking.
"Catlett what can I do for you?" I ask as I walk into his office.
"First let me say, this has nothing to do with work. I know we are not supposed to have any contact with anything due with work. This is personal."
I am speechless; I have no clue what he is going to talk to me about. Ok Cameron go with the flow. See where this takes you.
"What is this about?"
"Westlake, I wanted to know what was happening on Christmas Eve and Day at your mother's house?"
Ah I have no idea how to answer this. What does he mean? I mean, is he going to join us. I know how my mother feels about him, but I am not sure.
"Have you spoke to my mother about this? I know Joe and I are going out to dinner Christmas Eve then are going to my mothers and spending the next two days there."
"Westlake, your mother has asked me to join your family for Christmas celebration. I am just not sure if there is anything I need to know about?"
Is my mother really that serious with her relationship with Catlett.
This is way too much for me to handle today.
"Catlett, I have a lot of work to do today, my mother just called me,
why don't you give her a call."
"I will do that, thank you"
I turn to leave and throw over my shoulder "You know I am happy with your relationship with my mother, it does not bother me at all. I am glad you will be joining us for the holidays."
I see Sherman smile something I have hardly ever seen him do. It's nice.
Ok on to the lab. I swear if anyone other than Joe calls me next.
I met with Ariel for lunch; I am beginning to worry. I am not sure where Joe is and what he is doing. I keep saying he left you behind, he didn't want you to know what he was doing.
"Cameron!" Ariel jumps up and out of her seat. Literally.
"Hey Ariel how are ya?"
The waitress comes over and takes out order. I actually order a white wine. Wow that is a change for me. I am on duty.
"I am fine Cameron. How are things on your end? Are you ok?"
I don't want to have to keep telling this story today. It is not doing me any good.
"Ariel, I told you over the phone."
"I know you did and by the looks of it, there is something brewing in that head of yours."
I chuckle. I don't even want to know how.
"Remember when I told you about what happened when I found out about Joe's other life?"
"Yes I do, what about it?"
It's like a lock clicking into place with Ariel; I can see the thoughts go together in her head.
"Oh Cameron I don't think you have anything to worry about. I mean look he may have some secrets, but they are also a secret from him as well.
Joe doesn't know what happened during that time any more than you do."
"I know I know. It's just hard that's all."
"You know he would never do anything like that to you again. All you can do is be there for him when new information comes up."
I sign, I know that Ariel can not make my decisions for me, I have to do this. But it is still nice to have friends around.
"Oh Ariel, thanks for dealing with me today, I am just worried. I hate when he does this to me."
"Any woman does Cameron."
"Well I am going to spend the night at my mother's house tonight."
"Ahh trying to escape from Joe are we?"

Well Ariel knows me better than I do sometimes. What can I say, maybe subconsciously I am, but I know that Joe will find me wherever I am.
Few Hours Later I arrive at my mother's house, like clockwork at 6:30pm. Not one word,
one call, one email, one note from Joe all day. By this time I am doing what I can to stay sane. Let's face it I am a nervous wreck. Nervous that he is hurt somewhere and I won't get to him in time, there is a whole lot more in my mental list.
"Hi Mom." I say as I walk up the porch. Like always she greets me as I pull in the driveway.
"Hello Cameron. How are you?"
Just wonderful mom, can't you tell, I am so happy at this point I have no idea what to do.
"Oh honey it is ok, come on come inside."
"Oh Mom, what I am going to do?"
We sit at the kitchen table, coffee in hand. It is going to be a long night.
"What happened today?" she paused "You know you can tell me anything."
"I know Mom. You Know after everything that has developed between Joe and I over this past week and with everything that has recently happened between us at work, I thought we were over the "Ditching Thou Partner"
game." I took a huge sip of my coffee, not caring if it was to hot or not.
My mother sat there and listened to me talk about what was going on. I knew this is what I had to do, so my mother just listened to me.
"I have no idea what he thinks he is doing, like he is protecting me,
well I can tell you he is going to be the one who needs protecting if he keeps doing this to me."
My mother laughs, it's not funny, but now that I think about it, it is rather amusing. What am I going to have to do to be treated like a equal?
"But Cameron what if Joe really does want to protect you? That is not a bad thing honey. I know he doe not want to lose you. He has almost done just that a number of times before."
I know she is right. I can see that, I am the same way when it comes to Joe. Hence the way I act when any of his past, friends, if that is what you want to call them, is ever mentioned in our conservation.
My mind goes to that subject. I can not help it, what if it is true.
"Mom have I told you about Tine?" I ask and my mother shakes her head.
Ah Tina his last thing. I know nothing happened between them, he even turned her down. But hell.
I tell her everything, well not everything, but all that is important anyway. I am nervous, I know how he feels about her, and I am left to wonder if he left me for her. I can not blame him at all, but if I ever saw her again.
You get my picture with that statement don't you?
"Mom what if I am just a afterthought to him now? What if he left me for her? I would not be able take that heartache."
My mother hugs me. I welcome it right now. Its been all day and now almost all night. I have no idea where Joe is, who he is with, if he is alive and well or, or…I can't even think about that option right now. I mean I would know if he was, right?
"Mom, thank you for being there for me, and listening to me. It is late,
I want to head to bed, as I am sure you do."
"Oh honey I am always there for you, no matter what. I love you and I know this will all turn out right, for both you and Joe."
"I will see you in the morning then. Night Mom I love you."
"Night Cameron"
I go upstairs to my old room. I feel like I am sixteen again. Don't ask me why, but I do. It's like my boyfriend just dumped me and I am not sure how to carry on.
I open my window slightly; it's chilly outside but not overly cold.
Strange for a December night. I just stare out at the stars, how simple life was at sixteen. What happened? Oh yes I met and we were assigned to each other. Him as the driver and me as well, his partner. He put all new meaning into my life. Gave the stars a new definition. I sat there for what seems to be hours, just lost in thought. Amazing actually me,
Cameron Westlake, who is forever on the run, always doing or going somewhere; now sits here doing nothing but watching the sky.
I am left to wonder has he not affected one part of my life? I can not even look at the stars without thinking of him.
I realize how much I love him, how much I need him with me in every since of the word. But I also know that I can not give in to every little thing that comes through our paths. If I do I will lose myself,
and he will know that whatever he does to me and us I will always take him back. Well I can say as much as I love him and need him, I can not be hurt like that over and over. As no woman can. I am truly scared to death. Funny right, I have faced the meanest and dirties of demons,
murders, and the best of the worlds underworld and I am scared to death of a healthy relationship with my best friend, my partner of six years and my new, well I am not sure what to call him. Weird huh?

I glance over at the clock, man where does the time go it's already 11:30pm. Okay time for bed. After everything is done I slowly crawl into bed. Man it was a lot bigger when I was younger. Anyway. I realized my mother was still awake when I went to bed, I hadn't known she was a night owl now, boy how things change. I hear voices but I think it's just the television. Boy was I ever wrong.
After about thirty minutes later, I am curious what my mother is doing up so late. She never is up this late at night. Like I said I was shocked at the reason. I'll let my mother tell the story.

Hello Everyone It's Maggie. Cameron asked me to tell you what happened that night. So here it goes.
I knew why she had called and was coming over here. Same as she always does. My brave Cameron is lost and in need of comfort. But her usual source is not available, poor Joe he is going to be in deep trouble when he returns.
I know these two so well, and they have a huge communication problem. I can see they communicate a million words through a look, but in a serious relationship it is not going to work. It was the same with my husband and I.
I know they love each other completely, but I am afraid that Cameron is a little insecure. I don't think that she is completely sure, she is not very good at romantic relationships, and she never was.
Joe called me just before she arrived. In fact as soon as I hung up the phone, she pulled into the driveway. Talk about strange. He asked me not to tell her about his call and that he would stop over later on if it were all right with me. Of course it was. He said he needed to talk to someone, that his mother was just not the person. He needed a real mother, so it was me he thought of. I am honored, not just because he is partnered with Cameron but because he is an honorable, loyal, loving man.
"Mrs. Westlake it's Joe"
"Hi Joe how are you today?"
I knew how he was; I spoke to Cameron earlier during the day. I knew what he was calling about.
"I am ok, I have a question for you, have you spoken to Westlake all day? I am trying to get in touch with her, but I can't seem to find her."
Oh boy, doesn't he have any clue how much he hurt her?
"She is coming over here tonight, she was clearly upset when I called today. What happened Joe?"
"Typical of me actually, I up and left her on a lead I shouldn't of even followed."
"Mrs. Westlake, I need some one to talk to. I really do not have anyone close enough to speak to about my relationship with Cameron. I mean I have friends, but it's not the same."
"Joe, Cameron is spending the night here"
"I'll come over late after she has gone to bed. I know we need to talk,
but I don't think she wants to see me, let alone speak to me."
He said defiantly sounded very sad, upset, down whatever you want to call it.
I am silent for a while, thinking I really do no like going behind Cameron's back like this.
"Okay Joe, I'll call you after she has gone to bed. You have no idea how against going behind her back like this."
"I know and thank you. I have no place to go."
After Joe and I spoke, I was interested in hearing Joe's side of the story. I wanted to know what was going on. I had a feeling that Joe wanted to protect her from whatever it was he went after, because he doesn't want to lose her again. I know he loves her completely and totally. He would not start a relationship back up with this Tina,
Cameron was telling me about. He would never hurt her that way. But if he does not stop 'ditching', as Cameron calls it, she will leave. As much as she loves him, she won't let him do that to her.
Cameron is a strong person, very stubborn, but very true to everyone.
She is who she is, and nothing moreJoe is the same way.
Cameron was so worried about everything, she is scared to death of this,
and Joe is not helping in any way running off like this. I worry to; I do not want to see him hurt or worse either. He doesn't know that yet,
but I will tell him tonight. I have a feeling I am not going to get a lot of sleep what so ever.
I am glad Cameron went to bed. It was getting late and she looks, I hate to say it, not good. She has circles under her eyes, which I might add are blood shot and red from crying. She needs her sleep, she has work tomorrow. I hope she goes, not that I don't want her to stay here or enjoy her company, but she has to talk this out and get on with her life. Any woman would.
A soft knock at my door startles me out of my reverie. It's getting late, no wait it is late!
"Hi Joe, I am glad you made it here."
"Hi Mrs. Westlake, thank you for letting me come here this late. I really needed to talk to you." He looks down at his hands in his lap. He is just sitting there with this lost look on his face, like he hasn't got a friend in the world.
"It's okay Joe, I am always here for you. I want to tell you how important you are in my life as well as Cameron's." I say as I grab his hand. He looks shocked. He doesn't believe what I just said to him.
"What happened today Joe? You can tell me." He remains silent, unsure of words at this point. His eyes are starting to well up a little. I know this is hard for him.
"I have lost Cameron. She is gone. She does not want to see me, talk to me, and be with me any more. I have no idea what to do. I can't go on,
she was my, my everything." He says to me.
"Oh Joe, you haven't lost her, yet. But I can say this to you, if you keep doing this to her, you will. She deserves to be treated better. You have to trust her more when you get these "leads" or whatever they are,
she told me about."
"I love her so much I don't want to lose her. I almost did on a few of our last cases. I can not go through that again. That's why I do what I do. And I do trust her with my heart, sold, mind, my everything."
We sit there for what seems like twenty minutes, just talking about everything and anything, when he told me something that I thought I would hear sooner or later; I just did not expect it now.
"Mrs. Westlake I have been doing a lot of thinking about the future,
growing old, you know what I mean. I bought this for Cameron the other day."
He took out the most beautiful ring I have ever seen in my life. It was not tacky or loud and terrible looking; it was just, how do I say this,
Cameron. He really loves her big time.
"Oh Joe its beautiful, Cameron is going to love it, almost as much as she loves you. You know that right?"

"I hope so, but after today I am afraid."
"Nothing to be afraid of Joe. This must of cost a fortune?"
"She is worth it, defiantly worth it. And don't worry, I have more than enough, let's just say I am independently wealthy."
I smile, Cameron has told me a little about his financial status. But since when does that matter in a relationship?
"Listen Joe, I hate to do this, but I am really tired. You can spend the night here as well, if you like." I point in the direction of the guestroom down the hall.
"I think I should go home, I am not sure Cameron would like it to much if I was here when she got up in the morning. That is why she came here,
because she wanted to get away from me, to get out of head."
"Okay Joe, I hope to see you Christmas Eve then. I hope everything goes okay with everything. Talk to her Joe, that's all she wants, to be included in your life."
We are standing at the bottom of the stairs at this point by the door.
"Thank You Mrs., Westlake for everything." He kisses my hand and turns to leave.
"Good night Joe"
That's when I hear Cameron from the top of the stairs. Oh no.
"Mom what is going on?" she stops dead in her tracks.
He turns to see her.
"Hi. I came to see your mother." He says as he looks at me then back at Cameron. "I thought I had lost you forever. I was, still am in a way lost. I have no one."
I turn to leave them alone. After this I don't know what happened so I am turning this story back to Cameron. Here you go honey.
Ok folks I am back. It's me Cameron.
After my mother left us standing there, I felt really hurt, I didn't know why. Well maybe I do, Joe spoke to my mother instead of me. I am still upset at him. He hurt me deeply.
"I now have no one Westlake, I have no place to go, to call a home, no one to love and have love me back. I messed up everything we had or will have."
I stand there completely still. I can't believe what I am hearing. This admission of emotion from him, I am crying freely now. I love this man,
but for some reason I need to here those three words from him before we can move on. I do descend a few stairs into the light. He can see my tears now as I can his.
"Cameron I have no idea how to make this right. I want to, I have to,
because if you are not in my life, then for me there is no reason for living. I need you I crave you, I love you." He says as he has moved to the first step of the stairs.
I keep moving down them very slowly. He better say those words soon before I get to the bottom.
"Joe what you did today, hurt. Hurt a lot. In one day I lost your trust in me, you have no idea how that feels. I have never done that to you, I have always trusted you with my life, my heart and now my soul."
Joe is standing before me baring his soul to me, this is true love.
"Cameron" he says as he climbs the stairs to meet me half way "You complete me"
That was it. I was in his arms in less than two seconds. That was the most beautiful thing anyone has said to me in my entire life.
"Oh JoeI love you so much." I say to him as I pull him for a kiss.
"Cameron I am so sorry for what I did today. You are the most important person in my life, you are the only reason why I am still here."
"Joe come upstairs with me, please?"
I found this out quickly, we have the meanest fights, but we defiantly know how to make up quite well.
"Cameron we really need to talk about what happened today. I need to talk about it."
"Joe I know we do. I need to as well. There are things that need to be said about this situation."
We sit down on top of the bed across from each other. I have to see his face when I speak to him. It's just a thing I have I guess, to look into his eyes.
"Joe I want to tell you what you just said to me in the hallway, it's the most beautiful thing anyone has ever said to me. I love you so much.
But I have to tell you a few things. What you did to me today, I thought we were past the ditching stage? I was very hurt. You should have heard the things I thought were going on in my head."
He laughs "I know, I spoke to your mother remember. And you have every right to think what you did."
"I remember telling that next time I would kick your ass up and down the complex. Don't forget that"
He grabs my hands and pulls me toward him a little.
I can not believe this is happening to us. First we finally take our relationship to the next level, now her we sit, the world's most stubborn people, talking about our feelings, emotions and what we want from each other. I am not sure I am who I am anymore. I have changed so much in the past week. Well actually I have been changing for a long time now, since the seminar, the Pratt Case, and when Joe told me he loved me.

Although we are at my mother's home, I can say make up sex is well, the best. Joe started gentle at first, slowly kissing me, and well is esclated from there.
You guys can figure it out and use your imagination I am not going to tell you about it, sorry but again I feel like it is none of your business what goes on behind closed doors.
The next morning we both came down to see my mother in the kitchen making a big breakfast for us. It has been so long that I have been this happy, that I have seen Joe this happy and for that matter my mother.
We all ate in comfort; everything is going so well. Something seems to be off a little though. I just can not put a finger on it yet. I will though and hopefully before it catches up with me.
Joe and I get ready for work, finally after that whole adventure is over we are off to work. Did I mention how hard it is to keep ones hands off your lover especially after the night we had, I know I ache all over?
But we finally do it. It took a lot of coaxing on my part; I do not blame Joe at all. It was hard let me tell you.

"Joe, you know we are barley going to make it to work on time." I say to him as we park in the garage.
"Cameron, I know I am sorry, but it was one of the hardest things I had to do this morning. I mean how am I supposed to keep my hands off of you, especially when…." Joe said We are interrupted as we exit the car and a few other Agents pass us on their way in. Joe comes a bit to close into my space. Contact that's what he has been searching for, that's what he craves, so therefore I allow it, for now.
"Especially when, what Joe?" I whisper to him curiously. I know I am not prepared for what he says to me. We are at work, we are supposed to be professional. You know the Ice Queen and Spooky.
That is when he bends down and slowly whispers to me "When I want you"
he walks off a few steps ahead of me. Nice now I have to quicken my pace to catch up. My legs are tired damn it. I am not one to complain but I have not used these muscles in a ver long time. I finally reach him when he finishes "Badly"
Men.. Is all I have to say. They pick the worst times to say things like this to a woman.
"Westlake are you ok? You seem a little different today, like you forgot something and are not quite sure what it is."
How on earth did he know that?
"Have you ever had that feeling where you know that you are forgetting to do something or forgetting something, and you just are not sure what it is?"
"Westlake you know I don not forget much, besides the annual holidays and birthdays, but that will change. I do have an idea of what you are talking about. I think every one has had something to that nature happen to them."
I just look at him not saying a word to him. I know this gets to him in a small way. It is a lot of fun.
"Joe I am fine, really, I just wish I would figure out what it is before it turns around and bites me in the ass."
Boy what has gotten into me? I never talk like that, especially to Joe and least of all at work. Things are changing in a big way.
The morning goes by well, slowly but well. Joe keeps his hands and whatever else to himself. Paper work, it is boring, time consuming. My mother called to see how things were.
"Hi mom, how are you?"
"Are you and Joe okay?"
"Yes Mom we are doing just fine. I am glad that things are back to normal, well normal for us."
My mother the one who worries about everyone else.
"Mom can I ask you about Catlett?" I know they both asked me to call him Sherman, but I am still not quite used to the idea yet.
"Sure honey, what do you want to know?"
Joe's head pops up at the mention of his name. Always the paranoid one.
"Is he joining us for Christmas? What exactly is going on between you two? You know the basics."
I am smiling and drilling my mother, this is turning out to be a good day.
"Cameron honey, Sherman and I are in a relationship, we care for each other and we are happy."
I laugh, well not laugh well sorta. Anyway.
"Cameron I am not going to explain my relationship with Walter to you or anyone else."
"I know mom, I am just glad you are happy that's all."
"Thanks honey, listen I have to run, I'll see you on Christmas Eve."
"Bye Mom."
As soon as I hang up the phone the office door opens. shit of course now I remember what it is that I am forgetting.
"Afternoon Cameron," Ariel says as she makes her grand entrance. She is good at that. "Joe. How are you today?"
"Oh Ariel I am just great. Thank you for asking." Joe says as he sits down.
Oh something is going on here. I am not sure what, but Ariel and Joe are planning something. Should I be scared or overjoyed? I am not sure yet.
"Cameron come on, you ready to go or what?"
"Ariel? Go where?"
"Oh now you are forgetting our lunch dates. I see get yourself a man in your life and there go your friends. I see how it works now." Ariel says as she grabs my coat from the rack and waits for me.
"Ariel, it just slipped my mind, you know I am not used to having a life, it is a different experience for me." I say as I get up and walk towards the door.
"Westlake, where are you going? And why on earth are you leaving me to do all the paperwork alone?"
"Oh Joe, Ariel is what I couldn't remember, we are having lunch today,
do you want to join us?"
Joe is pouting. Plain and simple, it is really hard to resist, but I have to. He is so…so attractive when he does that.
"No Cameron go ahead, I will be here when you get back. But can you get me a little something to eat before you come back?"
I reach for a pad of paper on my desk and write a little something on it and hand it to Joe. He smiles at me. I can tell he just told me that he loves me. We always had that non-verbal communication thing going for us. It is a great thing sometimes, especially when at work. We decided not to tell anyone about our relationship until further notice.
Well when I returned from my lunch, Joe was still sitting in the same spot, in the same position. I swear it was the loss of time again, I mean I was gone almost two hours.
I slowly drop his lunch down in front of him. "So did you get a lot of paperwork finished?" I ask him "Because if not I will have to return this sandwich."
Tough audience today.