Title: Special Thing Category: awr, Case file Summery: A journal entry Spoilers: Seminar from Hell, People Like Us, My Fair Hoodlums

February 8,1999

Ok I know this is strange but I had to write these "so called"
feelings or thoughts down. But I had to get this off my chest, so to speak. I know its not everyday when one person falls for their co worker/partner. But it does happen, even in the oddest of places. I know that the closest of partnerships are indeed just like marriages.
Even though I am afraid to admit it to anyone, even myself most of the time, but I like this marriage a lot.
I am going to start with some information first; I want you get the big picture, not just the small one, if you may. When we lost the previous Viper all those months ago, and we were looking for new driver, I was not so sure when Frankie had brought Joe Aston to us,
but I grew to trust him, again. Things went down for a bit when I had found out about his past life, but I realized that he was making himself better, that he did not like what he was or who he was. Which in my book is okay with me, I can understand and I have moved past that, We have both moved past that. Ever since then we have been moving towards one another more and more. Joe and I spend, as much time as we can together during work, I would rather die then to have him hurt. What does that sound like to you? Although we don't spend after hours together much, well at all really, that's okay with me,
for the moment anyway. Okay so here is where everything actually begins, after this last case when I thought Joe was dead and he thought the same of me. I had no idea what I was going to do, I was crushed inside, my heart, it was breaking, I didn't want that to happen to him, I should of covered for him, gotten to my truck sooner,
done something better. But I didn't and I am just glad that he is alive.

He as shot, they shot him, and my world was slowly crashing around me.
I had to get to him "Damn it This can't end like this, we have so much to do" That image kept running through my mind. It still does. I was so happy to see the Viper in front of me when the building blew. The first thing was him and getting to him, not to just make sure he was alive but for myself as well. I needed him, it; I am still not sure which one it is or was but it really doesn't matter at all. If everyone else hadn't been there watching our little display of affection, I would of wrapped my arms around him and kissed him. But I just settled for leaning in to him. That afternoon we both went to the hospital and the FBI took our statements and we went home, separately.
I wanted to continue what went on that afternoon, but all I craved at that point was a cup of hot tea and a long hot bath. Sorry Joe. I needed time anyway to think and be alone. The next day went as well,
always the same. Paper work and more paper work. Metro may be not a very large town, but we have more than our share of problems. I don't remember where Joe was, but he didn't help much with the paper work.
Typical. Man do we ever need a vacation. Wait did I just say 'we,
whoa, okay lets move on here. So I was in the complex with Frankie, he was talking about the wedding he just attended god what an awful tuxedo that was, anyway, he said something to me about rather of wanting to go to the seminar than the wedding. Wrong thing to say Frankie boy, you do not want to go through what I went through and I wouldn't wish that on you for anything. Then, I remember he says something about Joe.
"You know Wilkes said that Joe was very upset, when he thought your were, well how do I say this, dead." He said to me. I had to laugh;
Frankie always has this humor about him, even when he is serious.
I have no idea what to say. At that moment it never dawned on me that Joe could ever even feel the same way about me, that I feel about him.
I was stunned. I knew how I had reacted about when I thought he was dead. I cried, plain and simple.
I know that I am far from weak, it was not a sign of weakness, and it was a sign of heartache. I know that most people show affection that way, but for me I laugh a lot. I have no idea if that is good or bad.
"Oh really, well Frankie, we are just partners, that's all." I say point blank to him as I walk towards the refrigerator.
"Yeah right" Frankie mumbles under his breath. I think I am not meant to hear him, but I do.
I sigh and reach in to grab a bottle of water. Man this is going to be tough.
"And what do you mean by that?" Busted Frankie.
"Well, I don't know, it just seems like the two of you have this, this special thing." He says to me. Nice recovery Frankie.
"Special thing? And what does that have to do with anything? And by the way that is a "Special Thing" anyway?"
"A double question Detective Westlake? What's wrong with you, I can see they way he looks at you, the way he reacted when he thought you were..ah..dead. You figure it out." With that Frankie walked away.
Okay conservation over, I glance at my watch, and time to go home.
It's been a long day to say the least. The paper work is just about done and I need to get out of here. After a call to Catlet I am gone.
Let's just hope I don't get called in tonight, I need to have glass of wine. Alone.

Hi. This may seems a little odd, but I stumbled across this little journal or what not of Westlake's and I, being totally male, could not help but read it. I must admit that she is quite a good writer, it sounds like I am reading a book instead of someone's journal. Anyway,
I just had to add my side of the story, maybe expel some of my pent up feelings and thoughts. Maybe she will go back and read this, maybe it will be tomorrow, maybe it will be next week, maybe next year, it does not matter. I am going to tell her that I invaded her private space like this, but I feel like my thoughts and feelings, actually my whole being feels like it belongs with her. Weird huh? I never felt that way before. I was not so sure when Frankie first asked me to drive the Viper, let me say that I am not a partner type of guy, I always work alone. And then to find out I was going to be partnered with a woman.
Okay call me egotistic male, I really am not like that at all, but I was worried, I didn't want to have to protect her. In the beginning I kept my distance, trying to gain her respect, trust, friendship. It was hard, let me tell you. Westlake is a tough, friendly, respectful,
trustworthy, loving, caring person. It was all going well until I thought I really cared for that one woman, and that totally turned out wrong. Westlake covered her feelings well, I could tell she was a little jealous, and we didn't communicate very well, well at all really. Then there was the time when she and everyone else found out about a part of my past that I was so desperately trying to forget. I did a lot of stupid and dangerous things back then and I wanted to get rid of it, move on, better myself, forget. She was very suspicious about the whole thing, but you know what once we sat down and talked about it, talked about what happened and why, she changed, if you may,
it was like we moved closer. We communicate a lot more now, she lets me touch her more, not that, that would mean anything different, but I am allowed to do small things here and there. Like for this last case,
for example, we were running through the hallway and they found us and started shooting, I swear if it had been better timing, I would of let my hands travel a little further than just her mid-section. Then we had to end up in the honeymoon suite. But that story is for later on in this story. Okay, well on with the story, when the seminar went to hell, all I could think of was Westlake, Catlet, Wilks and lastly the Viper. When we were split up Westlake became my first priority. I would die for her if need be. I wasn't going to let her go out the window first, that was not my plan at all, but she is a stubborn person, who does things her way. Like she said it was her car. She made it all right then I as shot, I know she saw what happened and thought the worst. It was only my shoulder; she had to know that. But then that man walked up with the rocket launcher and bam ther jeep was gone. I didn't see her run or go anywhere, I thought she was inside of it. So that let me think she was dead. At that point my whole world went estray. I had no idea what to do. All I thought of was to go to her. I did not want this to end like this, I wanted to go on, go further in our relationship. For the first time in my entire life, I wanted to have more than just a friendship or sexual relationship with a person. There for I found myself spending more time at work, less time at home. There was no reason for me to be home. At least all the time, I was lonely, but now and again I still need my time to myself.
I think everyone is that way. I noticed that Westlake was doing the same thing, spending more time at work then being at home. The thought went through my head; maybe she is feeling the same way, maybe not. I was not sure. Frankie I am sure knows what's going on, I am sure after the escapade that went on during the last case Catlet does as well,
and I know for sure that Wilks does. He is the one who approached me first about our relationship. But you know what, I don't care at all.
I know that relationships between partners, is not really looked upon as a good thing. Again, I don't care. We are both professionals, and at the moment I think that if anything happened to her, I would feel the same then if we were involved. Anyway, when I finally made it out of the building in the Viper, on our last case and parked in front of Caltet and the Mayors, the first person I saw was Westlake. I was stunned, I was speechless, not a clue to say, for a moment I couldn't feel any pain in my shoulder at all. I wanted to do nothing more than to take her in my arms and well kiss her, but we did have a audience and we both were hurt. I didn't see her for the rest of the night,
which is a good thing, I went home showered and went to bed. I didn't see much of her at all the next day. We had paper work, and well, my arm was killing me. No patience to sit there all day. So I left her there with all of it. Not very nice of me I know, I'll apologize later. All I did all day was drive around, I found this great spot over looking the city, and it was so peaceful and quite. I found myself looking over at the passenger seat all day starting to say something, but realizing that I am alone. Tonight is Friday, I hope if all goes well, I will have some courage and time to go over to her house tonight. It will be our first time we have spent time outside work together.
Okay I am nervous as hell. After what happened over the last few days,
I hope everything goes good. Well I'll her continue here. I am sure after a few more days I will be writing more in here, surrounded by her words.
I walk through the door, damn no messages, figures. Off goes the jacket, and shoes. What a day, sometimes I think its worse to sit there and fill out paperwork then to actually do something. It takes more out of you. But that's just my opinion. So here I am sitting on my porch looking over the calm of the evening air, thinking. I have fought so hard to get where I am now, at the job I am in, and not lose track of me. By the way that is one of reasons why I got my tattoo.
Anyway, I just do not want to ruin everything, by making a bad choice,
by getting involved with ones partner. I suppose that is why the rule is there to begin with. But the way I feel about him, I have never felt that way towards anyone else in my entire life. We have this silent communication between us, I know what he is thinking with a glance and I know it's the same for him. We are so much alike, and we are not. It is a strange feeling really, and with all of the training I have had and education I have had I am not quite sure how to explain it. Time for another glass of wine. Tonight I am feeling melancholy, I am just, just blah. That's the only way to describe it. I am just thinking about things that I want, how I want my life to go, who I want to be with, things that I know I cant have in my life. I think everyone goes through these times at some point in his or her life. I am just confused; I used to know exactly what I wanted. But now now I have no idea anymore.

February 15,1999

Oh my, well after this last case we were on, the diamond case, I really can not say much more about it, but well, that unresolved sexual tension was running so high on this case. We both knew that we were not making any headway, going about it Catlet's way. Frankly it was very boring, but that is just my opinion. Joe and I got talking about how we could start at a different angle, we came up with the idea that we would pose as a married couple, and if it came down to it, I would act as the pregnant wife. It was a really good idea, if it helped catch the 'bad guys', but it also had its ramifications too. I was not sure of what was going to happen, maybe they would invite us into their home and we would stay there, I was not sure. Joe seemed to go along with anything.
Then I made the mistake of telling him about my tattoo, and then leaving an open invitation to find out where it was. Which made him all the more curious to begin with. Actually I think I left him speechless for a few there. It was great! I do not tell people about it at all, I feel like it's a personal thing that if someone finds out, it is usually because they are intimate enough with me. But no I just blurted it out. I feel so comfortable around Joe; I just do not care what I say. That can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing. I have no idea where to go from here. I feel redundant saying my feelings over and over in here, but then again no one will ever read this, so what does it matter?
Okay I am even more confused now then I was a week ago. I have no where to go, I am lost. Well let me continue with the story of the last case. Joe and I planned they we would go there as a married couple, and that I would be expecting. The rolls were a little hard to get used to, I must admit. We had to do more touching and hand holding and stuff like that. It made me feel good, I just wish it were under different a circumstance that's all. Anyway, we made it in, the mans wife had a real soft side for us. I wasn't sure we would pull it off,
but we did. Anyway we were doing great, until after dinner. We were brought up towels to shower, and inside was hidden a red nightie. Well let me say this first, if it were the right time, I would run to the bathroom and change into it. I was going to, and I would have, if I had not chickened out. Yup I choked big time. Well when if I came out and walked towards the bed, I had to do all I could to stop from jumping in with him right then and there. It was amazing, I was in my bed cloths and standing there, with no regrets.
"So, what do you think?" Joe asks me, patting the bed next to him. Man what a wrong thing to same to me at this point. 'What do I think Joe?
Do you really want to know? I think you are incredibly wonderful sitting there in that bed, waiting for me'
"About the case I mean" Nice recovery Joe.
I know I say something and so does he, but I am not quite sure. All I remember from that moment on is showing him the nightie, holding it up against me. I just looked at me and with a straight face said, "Put it on" I tried I really did to determine whether he was joking. I knew he wasn't just the tone of his voice.
Joe tried to lighten up the mood by saying "Well she left me a little something in the towel as well. Its tiger print and very brief."
I dare. Man how I wanted to see him in those. I stand there for a few moments and reach down and pull the covers off of him. I think he saw disappointment in my eyes after that because he reached up and pulled me down on the bed, and started reaching for me all over.
"Oh come on let me see your tattoo. I am your partner I need to know these things." Oh come on Joe I know you can do better than that. Then he starts tickling me. I reach over him, purposely, and turn the light off. Does he ever smell good, and feel good.

Hi again, it is me Joe again. Yes I did fine her journal again. I saw her writing today at work and had to read what she wrote. You all know what is going on between us at this point. And yes I do feel the same way about her. I want so much more, I am just scared shitless to go any further. She means so much to me, this project means so much to me, and even working with Frankie and Catlet mean something to me. I do not want to lose that, because if I do, I have nothing and will be right back where I started. When I look at Westlake, I see the future.
I want so much more; maybe that is why I ease her so much. I guess it's my way of dealing with things. Okay from the beginning of this little adventure of ours.
We were on a diamond case. I can't say much more than that, I am sorry. Catlet and Frankie were doing the dirty work, and to say the least it was not going anywhere and it was very boring. Westlake,
Frankie and myself cooked up this idea about getting in and it really a good idea. So we went on to plan our strategies on how to proceed.
That's when I found out about her tattoo. That threw me for a loop. I was speechless for a moment, but I soon got over that. My new quest was to find out what it was and where it was. 'Skin' was the new topic of my search. All right call it obsession. I would love to see and feel more of Westlake's skin. I take what I can get when she decides she wants to wear those somewhat reveling shirts and other clothes.
But all of a sudden I find myself wanting more "I saw it" I say to her.
"No you didn't"
"Did to".
I didn't really see it, her tattoo that is I was just teasing, so maybe she would take pity on something or me and give in to me. I knew she wouldn't the chase is always more fun. At least I always thought so.
This I know for a fact that after the light went out I rolled over and so did he. We said our goodnights and that was that. For that moment anyway. I lay there, thinking I am going to just fall asleep, it has been a long day and I am tired. Yeah right. I am here in a double bed with my best friend, my partner, a gorgeous women, who has a tattoo she won't let me see, who just teased me with a red nightie. The list could go on, but the major things I said first. She is my best friend,
and my partner. The two most important things in my life. And the fact that I find her really attractive is just a bonus; it is not what is on the outside, but what's on the inside that's important.
After the lights went out, so to speak, I am not sure of the time that pasted, I hear her say something. I am still trying to figure out what it was. I dozed soon after that, and awoke, from what the clock said 3 hours later. Normally that would have been no problem, but this time when I tried to move I couldn't. Westlake had her arms draped over my side and was how do I say this, spooning me. Do I ever hate that word,
spooning, but I have no idea how to describe it. I just lay there, not knowing what to do, I really can start to enjoy this, waking up with the person you care for most, definitely has its possibilities. Okay this is not a good train of thought at the moment, lets think about something different. I guess she read my mind, because at that moment Westlake decided to roll over. Phew, now if it were a better time and much better place I would not have cared, but I am sorry to say I am glad that we are on different sides of the bed. This is going to be a long night; I have to get some sleep, or maybe just some rest. Okay I am going to go now, she is a much better writer than I. but you probably be seeing me here again.

I glanced over at the clock; about three hours have gone by. That is it. Geeze this night is going to be longer than I thought. I just lay there watching the clock tick on and on. Wait a minute, how can I see the clock? That's when I realize what I am doing, and oh does it feel perfect and right. But how am I supposed to explain this? I will just keep quite a little longer then move, like I am shifting in my sleep.
I can feel him stirring a bit, I know he is awake now, wondering the same thing as me. I am not ready to give up my secret yet, so I roll over, half-hoping he will follow. The one thing I found out about Joe is that he is what one would call a snuggler. That is defiantly a plus. I hear his breathing slow and even out, he is sleeping. You know I found it to be the most peaceful thing, just to listen to him breathe while he is sleeping. To know he is safe and sound, and from the look on his face earlier, happy. At this moment I feel so content,
just looking outside the window, staring at the night, being with him like this. I slowly feel myself drifting off into sleep.
I have no idea what time it is now because I can't roll over to look.
Now it is Joe's turn to turn to me and snuggle. I can't say how I feel at this moment, loved, cared for, I think it is a bit of everything put together. Joe is mumbling something in his sleep, I am not sure what, I hope it is not a bad dream, or one of those kids of dreams.
Well just because we are not at that stage of our relationship, and I think that I would be embarrassed and so would Joe. I realize what he is saying, it is my name over and over. It throws me for a loop, not sure how to react I start to get up. At my sudden movement he stills and lets his hold on me go. I get up and sit in the chair by the bed.
I have to think. I am going to list this out, basically because I have no idea what to do or in what direction.
How do I feel about Joe I see my future I would die for him if need be He is my best friend I trust him with everything Respect

How does he make me feel Respected Loved… wow did I really say that?

Basically the same as above. I look over to him, some how I know he is looking at me, even in these early morning hours with only the moon light, I can see him clearly. He is calling me.
"What are you doing over there?"
"I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep." I said to him With that he sits up a little, and pushes back the covers for me.
"Why don't you come back to bed." Again he pats the bed. What is with him. I can see it in his eyes, he is nervous.
I look at him for a few minutes and rise from the chair and crawl back into bed. Joe covers me with the comforter and then snuggles back behind me with his arm around my waist. We sit there for a while before he speaks.
"Do you ever wish things were different? Would you have done things different?"
It's a pondering question, I am not sure how to answer, so I sigh.
"Are you okay?"
"Yes I am okay. You know when you have days when something just strikes you, ad you wish you had that, or that you wished that you had taken a different path in life."
He nods against my neck "I think I have a clue"
I have to smile. Yes you do Joe. Yes you do.
"I know we haven't spoken about what happened during our last case,
but if anything had really happened to anyone of us, you, because of me, I wouldn't know how I would of dealt with that."
He is still for a moment, like he is surprised. I know what I just admitted to him, I just hope he does.
"You know, how upset I was when I saw your Jeep go up, I thought you were dead. I ..I..was a mess." He pauses "Poor Wilkes, I don't think he was prepared to deal with that side of me. Frankie on the other hand."
"Catlet too. I know that was a new side for him to see of me."
I move back a little into his embrace and he tightened his hold on me.
"We really need to get some sleep." I say to him and I get a muffled response out of him.
"Good Night Joe."
That was all that we spoke for the rest of the night. I did not sleep much, waking up every few hours to either find myself either in Joe's arms or not. Last time I wasn't, but that was okay to.
Man I really have to get some sleep here, we have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow. I know Joe is going off to get in on the robbery, I hope everything goes well. I think I am going shopping,
that pregnant act really worked. A baby. What a topic, but one I am not going to go into here.

Argh sunlight. I realize I am laying on Joe. He ha his arm around my back and I am settled onto his chest. I am nowhere near ready to get up. I reach over to the clock 8am. To early in my book, so I just lay there taking in all the peace and quite not wanting to disturb Joe.
"Humm I could really get used to this." Came a mumbled remark from Joe. I am not sure h was really awake enough to know what he said, but it brought a smile to my face.
"Me to" Shit did I say that out loud? I hope not.
"Morning Joe." I say to him a little firmer, hoping he didn't hear what I just said. Deep down I know he did.
"Morning honey" Oh back to our roles now are we? "How did you sleep?"
"Oh better than normal." I sit up so I can see his face better "How about you?"
"The same. Are you okay? I mean you were a little upset last night?"
"Joe I want to say Thanks for listening to me last night. It means a lot to me."
"Humm so you said. You are welcome. I am here for you anytime you know."
I reach up and put some of his hair back into place. "I know"
Wow I am emotional today, what is wrong with me.
"I am okay, honest." I say to him. Then there is a knock at the door.
Well time to start our day.
The day went about the norm for a case that is. We got the bad guy and the stolen diamonds, although Frankie, Joe and I all decided to play a little joke on Catlet and not tell him we found the diamonds. He can be so paranoid sometimes, it is funny.
"We gotta go, New Cases, New Places" Joe says as we get into the viper.

The ride back to the complex was silent for some time, I don't think either one of us knew what to say, but that is okay as well. We stop at a red light and Joe looks over at me and reaches a hand out to mine. I have to say it sent shivers up my spine.
"Do you want to have dinner tonight?" He asks me.
"Well, yeah, we could go out or to my place." Joe said. I can tell he sound very nervous.
"That would be nice Joe." I smile back at him and squeeze his hand.
He smiles and goes back to the road. "I will pick you up at 7:30pm."
This is different, I am not sure about this. I am scared. And that in itself is a very different feeling to me. I proud myself in being a independent woman, I do no define myself as person you lets a man make me who I am. I have always been a tomboy of sorts; I was always the adventurous type, liked sports and whatnot.
We then pull up in front of my apartment. I get out and Joe hands me my suitcase.
"See you at 7:30"

Feb 24th, 1999

Hi again, it's me. Some say life is full of suprises, some say it is dull and boring. I say life is what one makes of it. During my life, I believed that things happen for a reason, people are brought into your life for a reason and they leave for the same. I have always been a bit of a tomboy, never letting anyone define me, but me. I like to do most things for myself. You can say I am a self-efficient female. That is probably why I went into the profession that I did. To prove to family friends, strangers, and myself that I could do this and succeed.
When I was assigned to Special Forces and to the Viper Project with my partner, I was a very different person. I was young, and to say it wet behind the ears, my partner was a self centered person, who only thought about himself, and was very uptight, about everything. Don't get me wrong we got along okay, we did what we had to do as partners.
But I guess he got tired. To bad really, I think we were finally getting to like each other, maybe even be good friends. Then after about a year, give or take he left and partnered me with someone else;
who if at all possible was the worst person to work with. I was ditched, couldn't do anything on my own; because I would probably mess it up, I had to be protected. Now that bothered me the most out of it all. I went through the same training, same education, everything,
hell I am even a better shot, if need be, and I did not need to be protected. It was always me this me that, my father this my father that, ugh I was glad when the powers at be ended that partnership,
well actually when I blew up the Viper, and he could not take being out done by a woman and resigned. Now we were out of a driver, a partner, and the worst a Viper. I thought I was going to lose my job.
Catlett was stressed out, Frankie was insane about it all, I just wanted to find a driver and a new partner (hopefully someone who I could get along with) and get back to my life. Weeks went on,
prototype after prototype was destroyed, and I didn't really think the Viper was that hard of a car to handle. But no one was up to the task at all. We were running out of options and quickly.
I remember the day at the test track; it was Frankie Catlett and myself. Catlett tells Frankie to take a crack at driving the Viper through the track. Well needless to say it did not end up so well. He crashed big time. He comes stumbling back saying that he knows the perfect driver. That he was born to drive this car, and so on. Okay that got my attention, I want to know whom this person is. Frankie says we have to wait, but we won't be sorry. I am way too curious for my own good, so I start hounding Frankie about it. He has such a great sense of humor. Anyway, the new Viper is being transported by tractor-trailer, except it is a fake one; just in case someone tries to steal it. Which they did. Anyway. The new real Viper was being delivered by one Joe Astor. I don't think that he had any plans on returning here at all, he was just doing a favor for Frankie. But Frankie knew if he got him here he could talk him into staying. Sly devil that Frankie is. Well he was right, he did stay. Joe had changed over the two or three years I had seen him last. He had matured and was more laid back now, he dressed differently. Well that was a definite improvement. But what caught me was the way he had matured and the way he acted. To me looks are not everything to a person; it is what is inside. But Joe defiantly was not lacking in any department.
He stayed, but it was hard. I knew he didn't want to be here. Or at least that is how he acted. Anyway, I was still hurt by his leaving all those year ago. It bothered me; I wanted to know why. So it took me a while to trust him. Trust for me is not an easy thing to give. I feel that one should earn it, just like everything else in life, you have to work for it. Anyway I am going to skip all the things that happened between then and now. I spoke about them in my last entry.
Which brings me to that topic, the other day I was re-reading what I had written last and I came across something I that I had not written.
I was upset at first; I didn't know who would violate my privacy,
until I realized just who it was. Joe. I think he needed someplace to vent, if you may, I am not really bothered by it now, I will just keep this out now, just incase he needs to write. It's a great feeling to know that you have an effect on another like that. That they feel the need to be possessed and encaptured like that. Okay enough with the ego boost here. I need to get a few things off my shoulders here. I feel a bit weighted down these last few days.
After our last case where we went undercover as a married couple, that I realized, well I think we actually realized that we had strong feelings for each other. I mean Joe loves to push my buttons, see what I can handle and he loves to pick on me every way he can. I think it's a hobby of his. But I can say the same about myself. I really enjoy picking on him about things; humor is a great thing I tell you. It can get you extremely far. Anyway, after our last case we had dinner together, and our caseload went to an almost dead stop. Scary thought really. The slow down in the caseload, not the dinner part, that was lovely. We had a great time. For me at least I am nervous as hell about our whole relationship and where we want and should go from here. I know where I would love to go from here, but I am not sure where Joe wants to go. Dinner the other night was great, we joked,
watched the basketball game, just like friends do. We sat a little closer than usual, stand a little closer than usual, even walk a little closer. I find Joe coming in behind me and looking over my shoulder and reaching around me more. That makes me feel good you know that he actually wants to touch me more, that he likes to. The next few days I spent at the complex, actually we all did. The one thing about government funding is that they always take great care of their special projects. See if you didn't already know the complex is fully functional, with bedrooms, kitchen, baths, and living area.
Catlett calls and says he has this BIG case for us. Guarding a very expensive necklace. Sounds interesting huh? Well at least it is something. Well to make a long story short, Joe gets to be the center of attention for this rich beauty queen. I can tell that she was getting to him. First the necklace was stolen then it turned out to be a fake, then it was stolen again, only to turn up around her neck again. All the time coming on to Joe just to get her ex-husband jealous. He was getting frustrated. I was okay with the whole thing.
The part when he was actually on the cover of a tabloid magazine was quite funny; picture was intriguing I must say. I laughed when Joe brought all those magazines in and dumped them I the trash. I thought it was extremely funny. Then when I started to read it, boy did he get defensive about it? He told me later on that he did not want to make me feel bad or angry or even jealous, that he was ashamed of what went on. Joe apologized to me. I was not really upset at Joe, I know he did not go looking for that, but I was a little jealous. I wanted to find out how it felt damn it. I did get a little hug out of that ordeal, he came up behind me and put his arms around me, that is when he apologized. Geeze did I just write that. Well I am not going to erase it! Our job was to make sure the necklace was safe and the owner is safe as well.
On a humorous note, Frankie, now that was absolutely funny. I swear he lost his mind over that mouse. He had the whole complex set up like a battle zone with mousetraps, mouse hotels, Viper defenses, and you name it. I am glad we have it on tape because I might need it for a good laugh one day. I mean Viper Defenses, I can see mousetraps and that stuff, but Frankie and his Zen complex, and over a mouse is really funny.
By the time I was ready for the Masquerade Ball, Joe was there before me. I know we were working, but I really wanted to look great, not just for me, but mostly for him. He always sees me in pants and skirts for work, but nothing like a gown, really dressed up. So I actually went to get my hair done and bought a new dress. I walked in and wow;
there he was just standing there watching the couples dance.

"Hi ho silver," I say to him. Damn he looks wonderfully handsome. I have never seen him like this before, but I want to see more. He looks great.

"Westlake? Is that you?"

I nod slowly and a small smile creeping across my face.

"Damn you look.. great. Your dress is.. I mean gown I beautiful." He says shyly to me. I am speechless, as is he.

Damn Catlett, he has the worst timing. What kind of mask is that? He says something about about everything being in place, I know I say something to him and then he leaves. Good. Then Joe is talking to Frankie. Poor Frankie is still fighting with that damn mouse and I am still laughing about that!

"You know, I was thinking, to get a better watch of the necklace,
maybe we should.."
"Dance?" I fill in for him.

"I thought you would never ask."

"Yeah. Shall we?" He asks as I take his arm.

Can we say charm?

I know there is much playing and we are being taped, but you know what I don't care one bit.
I remember the feel if his body against mine and how good it felt to be wanted and needed by a man, especially him. We were just looking into each other's eyes, I mean not just looking, but it was like looking straight into the other person's soul. I couldn't hold the mask in place, I knew something like this had to be me, pain old me. I wanted no barriers between us.
So I moved my mask away and put my arm around Joe, and he pulled me closer, if we could get any closer. He moved in like he was going to kiss me, but instead just leaned his forehead against me. I could feel his hot breath against my ear, and I got shivers down my spine. Joe then moved my hand over his heart and held it there. At this point I know we should be watching the necklace, but I would much rather watch the man in front of me, pressed up against me.
I know now that the gown was a great choice, it had the desired effect I wanted it to have one him.
I can hear from a distance, yes from a distance, my whole body, all my senses are tuned right into him, well anyway, the music is slowly going away, and we pull apart a few inches, we almost kissed right then.

I admit it, I surrendered to him.

I mean, I would have done anything at that point with him, right then.
We moved in to kiss, but The Woods' voices floated through the microphones and took us from our reverie. It took me a few moments to get back to, how do I say this normal. We had to finish this case. So that meant I had to get away from Joe. I probably would have jumped him, if I had to stand that close to him for another minute.
Well after a few more hours and a very distressing phone call from Frankie, which Joe and I thought was very humorous, we were finished with the case. It was over. Now what?

Well this is where I am going to jump in this time. Hi it's me Joe again. I just want to say that Westlake did find out about the other segments I wrote in here, and she says it is fine to continue.
Something about it being therapeutic or something. And what is good for one partner is good for the other. I do have to say that I do feel a lot better getting my thoughts and feelings out this way for now.
But if you couldn't tell how I feel about her and the way she feels about me from the 'dance' then you must be blind. Forget Frankie's mouse traps going off like firecrackers around me, I n early fell over when I saw Westlake watch towards me. I knew she could dress to kill if need be, I have been witness to that one to many times, but tonight, wow is all I have to say. It even looks like the gown is new and she actually had time to go and get her hair done. Women, they can find time for anything. It truly amazes me, really.
Okay on with the story here. When Catlett first came to us with the case, I was glad it was something, I usually don't like to just sit and wait. That is not my style, especially if I am waiting for work.
Anyway, guarding a necklace, sound like a easy enough job. Well it didn't turn out that way. This women, Ms Woods, had her necklace stolen, which turned out to be a fake, only to have the originally one reappear, then to have it stolen again and reappear back on her neck.
I have never been to confused in my life.
We had to watch a mouse, a mouse. Well that was just the right job for Frankie to do. I think it would have been easier just to bring it home with me. Frankie had that whole complex done up like he was at war,
with a mouse. It was probably the most funny thing I have seen in my life. Like Westlake said, I am glad we have it on tape. Then he almost gave me a heart attack with all those damn things going off around me.
It sounded like someone was shooting at me. I will never forget this whole case for two reasons Frankie vs. The Mouse and Westlake.
Okay I have to admit something here, when it comes to Cameron Westlake, I love to push her buttons and see how far I can get without really pissing her off. It's a lot of fun. And she really does have a great sense of humor. I rarely see her mad or upset. Basically because she turns around whatever I say to her back at me. Half the time I don't see it coming. I want to say something about the part where she wrote about the very first year we were partners, I am truly sorry about everything that went on. I know she is going to read this as soon as I finish, but it doesn't matter. I was a jerk, I was selfish and inmature. I had no idea how to treat a partner or a friend like anything other than mean and cold. That is one of the reasons why I left to begin with. I am happy I made that decision and at some times I am not, but I can tell you this, if I had stayed we would not be where we are now. And I really like where we are now in our partnership, both professional and personal. Westlake is right, things do happen for a reason. I am really glad that we found our way back to each other.
Okay back to the story here. I was getting very fustrated with this lady Ms. Woods and her two necklaces, she was nice and everything, but I knew what I was to her. I could see it, she wanted to make her husband jealous and I didn't want any part in it. Plus I felt guilty as well, I have no idea why, well yes I do, I think it had to do with the partner who was supposed to be by my side and wasn't. That upset me as well, that she wouldn't allow Westlake to be there, only me. So here Catlett and I were staking out the hotel waiting for Braxton.
After about what seems like eternity Catlett says that he is in pursuit, so I jump into action (does that sound corny or what) and who is waiting outside the Viper? It was our good dear ole friend Ms.
Woods. She decides to kiss me, in front of all these reporters no less. By this time Braxton had gotten away, Catlett was mad because I wasn't there to back him up and was attacked my marbles. Marbles, now that just may be as funny as Frankie vs. the mouse. Anyway, and now I had my picture on the front of every tabloid in Metro. Great night so far. And to top it off I was feeling guilty and very embarrassed.
Those are the reasons why I stopped at all the news stands I could and picked up all the magazines I could, so they could be properly disposed of. It was a good idea really, until I got back to the Complex. And there she was, Westlake. Well she was bound to find out some how. So I dumped them in the trash ad walk over to sit down next to her. When I turn around she's not there.
"Hey, what do you think you are doing?" I ask as I grab the magazine out of her hands and throw it away again.
Westlake starts reading the cover again, does she ever give up?
"I always knew there was a little smoke between you two" She said to me as she touched my chin as she walked by.
Okay it was getting a little hard to keep my hands to myself, so I went after getting the magazine back from her. She tricky let me tell you, but I rather enjoyed that part. I won.
A while later Westlake and Frankie are at the computer, she is standing there with her back to me. I come by and stand right next to her. My whole left side was touching her. See what I mean, more of the innocent stuff. Well its not quite so innocent since I do know what I am doing.
Since I can not really speak about the case, I will skip the next part and go straight to the Masquerade Party. Okay I wanted to look really nice for Westlake. I wanted to impress her. I rented a tuxedo, I have not done that since high school. I had no idea what she was wearing at all, so I just settled for a plain black. Easy enough. I was ready in under forty-five mintues so I took off for the party. Westlake had told me that she would meet me there, so don't go thinking the wrong thing here.
So here I am standing, alone I might add, she is late, well not really late, but I am getting worried here. So I am watching the necklace and the people dance. Ms. Woods decided to wear it anyway, against out advice. And in comes Westlake from behind. I have no idea why I pretended not to see her, but I did. How could I have not.
"Hi ho silver." Where did that saying come from?
"Westlake? Is that you?"
She is smiling from head to foot. Literally.
"Wow you look..you look great. I mean your gown is beautiful." Okay I am studdering a bit. She looks stunning, wow. I know where she went this afternoon, new dress, got her hair done. This is going to be a long night.
"So do you." She says "Why thank you, do you like?" as I adjust my bow tie.
"Yes, you should wear a mask more often" HAHA very funny "Ha Ha Ha"
Oh that has to be Catlett.
"Hello Sherman" we both say at the very same time. It looks like he got his mask off some clearence store rack. It is the ugliest thing,
but so totally him.
He asks us about everything being in place. Of course it is. Then we are talking to Frankie, who is still at war with the mouse.
"You know I was thinking, to get a better view of the necklace, I thought maybe we could.." Still a bit of nervousness in my voice there.
"Dance?" she adds in for me "I thought you would never ask." She finishes.
Thought I would never dance with her? Can she really be serious? A chance to put my arm around her, I would never give up that chance.
Especially when she looks like this and smells so good. Mental note,
find out what perfume she is wearing so I can buy her more.
We slowly walk out to the dance floor, that mask she is holding has to go. Not that I mind, but I don't want to have to fight to get any more closer to her. As if on cue, she pulls away the mask and slides her arm around me. I was this close to kissing her right then. But of all things we had to be wired. So I just settled for leaning my temple against her cheek. I know that I got to her, she got to me, I wanted so much more than this. But we were working and being taped, watched and listened to. Very romantic huh? But I would myself not caring at all. I wanted to let everyone know how I felt about this stunning woman in my arms. My whole body as atuned to her, I lost contact with the music, the other people in the room, the necklace. Slowly and much to soon we pull apart and just look straight into each others eyes. I have never done this before, and it was breath taking. I saw so much there I could of cried right then. I was almost there again, ready to kiss her, but reality took hold and I had to get away from her. I was not trying to be mean or upset her in any way, but I needed room. This was not the time or the place for that matter. I think she felt the same, bee line to the ladies room. That is really okay with me. Even though we haven't said anything to each other about this, I am not sure if we are ready. I know I am scared out of my mind. As strong as Westlake is, I am positive she feels the same.
After the party we got back to the Complex, case solved. Time to relax. Frankie asked me what went on between Westlake and I. I had forgotten that we were being listened to.
"Sounds like you had a very nice evening with Westlake?"
"Besides being on a case, yes I did."
"So how does she dance?"
"Huh? Oh very well."
"I have one question for you. Are you sure you two aren't more than just partners?"
"Yes Frankie, Westlake and I are just good friends."
"Right." He says to me like he doesn't believe a word I am saying.
"What Mr. Mouse boy, you don't believe me?"
"I am sorry, how on earth did you hurt yourself anyway? When I spoke to you last you has just cut your foot?"
"Nevermind. I am never going to live this down as it is now."
"and you changed the subject."
"Okay, so why do you think that Westlake and I are more than partners,
"I am not the only one you know, and well like I told her, you guys have this 'special thing' between you two. I can't explain it."
"Special thing?"
"You know what Joe, you are a great detective, but you can be so stubborn sometimes. I heard what you said to Westlake when you two were dancing."
I didn't say a word.
"I guess you forgot that you guys were wired."
Frankie goes back to what he was doing, very slowly, I might add. He must have had an all out war after I got off the phone with him.
Great timing too, because in comes Westlake. She has changed out of her dress, but still looks great, a bit tired too. She puts her gown and bag down on the table and sits on the couch. So I sit next to her.
"It is Friday night."
"Yup it is." She says to me.
"Do you want to have dinner tomorrow night?"
She looks over to me for a few moments.
"Sure that sounds wonderful." She touches my cheek again, and leaves her hand there a little bit longer. God do I love her smile.
I hear Frankie say something, but I don't know what.
"Looks guys, I am going to stay here tonight."
"Alright Westlake. See you tomorrow." Frankie says over his shoulder.
"Night Frankie"
She then bends over and says to me "Are you going to stay here as well?"
"I think so, why?"
"Just curious, sweet dreams." She says then is gone.
I watch as she goes upstairs and closes the door. Sweet dreams.