"Hey. None of that." Eric reassured Calleigh. "Like I said. It's what we do when we care about someone and they're in trouble."

Calleigh smiled a genuine smile at Eric. Forgetting for a moment the week of hell that both had been through, Calleigh felt that this moment was near perfect. Calleigh's lips came darting up towards Eric's. Eric figured that she was going to steal a sweet kiss, but he wasn't expecting Calleigh's assault. Calleigh's lips were working furiously over his and her hands grasping and playing with Eric's hair. Eric could tell that Calleigh wasn't joking, that was for sure. Calleigh's eyes searched his face for a reaction. Eric brought his hands up and put them on the sides of Calleigh's arms as if he were going to stop her. But as Calleigh made a small noise in the back of her throat in protest, Eric allowed his hands to slide to her back and down her backside, pulling her closer and reciprocating the assault.

A car horn and the sound of car doors slamming shut caused Eric to pull away and leave Calleigh looking at him in disbelief.

"Wow. Uh…" Eric stammered.

"Why stop then?" Calleigh asked playfully.

"Um, we should stop or take this somewhere else. We're gonna have an audience in a minute. That was my sister and her family pulling in." Eric said bashfully, ducking his head to avoid Calleigh's smirk.

"Eric Delko, you've made out with people in place more public than this before!" Calleigh said, her southern accent heavier and more playful that he had heard in a long time.

"Yeah, and you would know." Eric said with a grin.

Calleigh swatted at Eric's shoulder.

"Hey!" Calleigh protested as she feigned disgust. "Well we could take this somewhere more private, then. Maybe we should head home?"

"Home? You talking about your place or mine?" Eric asked. He was curious now. Calleigh rarely misspoke. She usually chose her words very carefully. The fact that she hadn't specified whose 'home' she was referring to intrigued him.

"Well, there's only one place where we've both lived together recently. I was thinking of going there. Plus I hear that there's a guy who lives there who makes awesome pancakes for breakfast." Calleigh said as she rose up off of Eric's lap. Calleigh looked down at Eric, her eyes asking whether or not he was coming and her heart willing him to get up and go.

"You're gonna be around for breakfast, huh?" Eric said, barely audible. "Hey Cal, one thing before we go." Eric said so Calleigh could hear him.

"Sure, anything."

"Well, there's an offer I don't hear everyday!" Eric said almost under his breath, almost forgetting what he was going to ask. "Cal, how did you know where I was tonight?"

"Eric, that was easy. You didn't have any clean clothes and unlike all the other guys your age in Miami, your mother still does your laundry. I knew you'd be here. Either that or when you came into work tomorrow, you wouldn't have on any underwear." The playful look in Calleigh's eyes made Eric realize that she knew him all too well. "See, if you had let me do your laundry the other day I wouldn't have had to come here to find you." Calleigh continued playfully, the smile evident on her face, even in the dark.

"God, Calleigh. Stop talking like that!" Eric exclaimed. "When you talk about doing me laundry you become more and more like my mother. And being in love with my mother is just weird. So, can you cut it out?"

Eric had turned to walk into the house and get ready to leave, but suddenly Calleigh was rooted in place. When Eric realized that Calleigh wasn't behind him, he turned in the middle of the yard and stared at her. Calleigh had the look of a child coming down the stairs on Christmas morning and discovering presents under the tree, a look of disbelief and excitement.

"What?" Eric asked.

"You're in love with you're mother?" Calleigh asked. Eric could tell from the tone of her voice that she was fishing for information.

"Yeah, I love my mother…" Eric said. He turned around and walked towards Calleigh. He was almost hoping that she hadn't caught the meaning of his words.

"Eric, you said that…" Calleigh said. She closed the distance between her body and Eric's and put her hand gently on his chest. Calleigh licked her lips and bit down on the lower one, waiting.

"You're going to make me say it, aren't you? I love my mother, but I'm in love with you." Eric could hear Calleigh's breath catch in her throat. "I knew I could love you the minute I met you, but it was last week when I realized I was really in love with you."

"Eric…" Calleigh started.

Eric leaned down and gently kissed Calleigh on the forehead and then on the lips before she could respond.

Calleigh looked up and smiled. Something good had come from the hell of the last week. What she felt for Eric, she didn't think she could even put into words. Calleigh grabbed Eric's hand and squeezed, causing him to pull her into him and wrap his arms around her.

"How do we do this?" Calleigh asked. Her voice was jittery, allowing Eric to hear the excitement and nervous anxiety in her voice.

"Well, the hard part is already over." Eric said with a chuckle.

"What's that?" Calleigh asked.

"Telling my family." Eric said.

Eric used his head to motion over his shoulder to the patio door. When Calleigh followed his line of sight, she saw Eric's mother, father and sister's watching the scene in the backyard. All of them were beaming, and visions of grandchildren were obviously dancing through Mrs. Delko's head.

"Eric, when did you know?" Calleigh asked quietly, still reeling from the events of the night.

"You flipped your hair over your shoulder and laughed at something stupid I did. That was the moment I knew I was in love with you, and I've known that feeling every day since."

The end...