Chapter 2

She took the scarf and wordlessly tied it around her eyes, careful not to loosen her hair from its clasp. The cool silk felt good against her flushed cheeks.

The carriage stopped a few minutes later. He helped her down. "Don't you dare let me fall, Mulder."


He laced his fingers through hers and led her down a soft lit path. He stopped and moved behind her. He slowly untied the scarf, letting it fall to the ground.

In the clearing was a candle lit table for two. Soft music was playing from the portable stereo.

Byers stepped forward and Mulder removed her shawl. He took in her curves as the black number formed to her like a second skin.

She smiled at Byers. "He rope you into this, too?"

"Ma'am, Sir, right this way." He held out a chair for her.

"Thank you."

Mulder handed her another rose. "Where are you hiding them?" She giggled.

"Not telling," he teased and winked at her.

She smelled the rose and placed it with her others on the table. "I never knew you could be so romantic, Mulder."

"I don't think about conspiracies and little green men all the time." He took a sip of wine. "You've kept me up many nights, Ms. Scully." He took a chance and looked up at her.

Reading her eyes, he could tell he'd kept her up as well.

"They're gray," She all but whispered.

He smiled as Frohike approached the table in a waiter's outfit. Scully had to stifle a giggle. He grimaced and placed their plates in front of them.

"Go ahead and laugh. I wanted Langly's job, but the horse was afraid of me," he grumbled before walking away.

They ate in a comfortable silence. She wiped her mouth on her napkin. It was then that she noticed he kept staring at her. "Is there something in my teeth?"

"There are stars in your eyes." Unchained Melody began to play softly. He took her hand across the table. "Dance with me?"

She stood slowly and allowed him to pull her against him. He kept his eyes locked on hers as they swayed gently to the music. As the song gently drew to a close, he pulled a slightly rumpled rose from inside his jacket. She took it and pulled him back to her. She rubbed her nose along his jaw line close to his ear. He shivered.

"Don't go all girly on me, Mulder," she teased in his ear.

The song ended. "I guess I'd better get you home."

"It's still early," she protested.

"I promised your mother to have you in early." He took her hand and started back down the path.

"I had a feeling she was in on this." She said softly.

"I had to have you all nice and gussied up." He smiled.

Halfway down, she stopped, "My roses." She was still clutching the one from the dance.

"Don't go anywhere," he said jogging back down the path. Byers had the roses and shawl held out. "Thanks." He was back at her side.

He found her shivering. He gently placed her shawl around her shoulders and the roses into her hand. He then put his arm around her and pulled her closer. "Let's get you warm."

Heat rushed through her body as his hand stayed on her hip.

The carriage ride back didn't seem long enough. He walked her slowly to her door with his hand behind his back.

He produced a small black box. "What have you done, Mulder?"

"Just open it," he said, pressing the box into her hand.

She opened the lid and her hand went to her mouth. "Oh, Mulder."

He took the bracelet and slid it around her arm. It had a tiny, delicate rose hanging from it. "The other five roses will die, Scully. It is inevitable. BUT this one," he touched the rose around her wrist, "will never die. Like the way we feel about one another…nothing can change that." He placed a small kiss to her cheek and whispered, "Sweet dreams, Dana."

She watched him as he walked down the hall and turned toward the stairs. Her heart was screaming for him not to go, but she couldn't move.

When her head finally cleared, she raced down the stairs after him. He was about to open the door to leave the building when he heard her shout. "Don't go. Please, don't go."

He met her halfway as her lips melted to his. The roses fell unnoticed to the floor. The kiss broke. "I was wrong."

"About what?" he murmured against her skin.

"What I said when you were trying to help Holman."

He looked up at her. He knew there was more to it.

"All I could think was that it was like the blind leading the blind." She lay her forehead against his. "I was wrong."

He lifted his forehead from hers. "You can't always be right." A mischievous grin crossed his face.

"I was going to invite you in for a beer, but after that remark…" she teased back.

"I take it back." He bent to pick up her fallen roses.

"Thank you," she whispered. "For the roses, for tonight." She pressed a small kiss to his cheek.

"We're past that, Scully." He dipped her low as he kissed her long and deep.

When he stood her back upright , she held tight to him to keep her balance. Her head was spinning. "About that invitation…"

He took her and led her to the stairway.