A.N. If you'd like to read the M-rated version of this chapter, check out my livejournal. There's a link on my profile, but here's the url: astrodevi. (Though this one is kind of bending the rating as is.) Also, this is my first try at smut, so please be kind. Please?
Thanks to everyone who stuck with this fic and read it to the not-so-bitter end! You definitely made completing this possible.
On a side note, I should have the first chapter of Erase and Rewind up in the next week or so.
"All right," Freddy said, raising his two fingers of whisky. Danny and Lindsay followed suit, exchanging amused glances. "To Lindsay."
"Oh God," Lindsay muttered, dropping her forehead into her other hand. Danny just laughed.
"My favorite niece."
"I'm your only niece," she reminded him as he and Danny sipped their drinks.
"Good thing," Freddy said mildly. "You've given me enough gray hairs for three."
Rolling her eyes, Lindsay lifted her wine to her lips. "Enough about me, I wanna hear about you."
"Nothing much to report," he argued with a lazy smile. "The planning for the Galapagos trip is under way. But other than that, I've just been enjoying my time in the city."
Lindsay scoffed. "You hate the city." His gaze slid up to hers and held it for several intense seconds.
"You're seeing somebody, aren't you?" Lindsay asked as Freddy looked away.
He nodded once. "Yes."
"Is it serious?" she asked, surprised to have gotten this much information out of him.
He raised an eyebrow at her. "Would I be telling you if it wasn't?"
"I knew it." Lindsay leaned forward excitedly as Danny shook his head in amusement. "Who is she?"
Freddy looked up and met her eyes, a sardonic smile twisting his lips. She wrinkled her brow at him, about to laugh at his seeming hesitation, when she got it.
The smile was dying from Lindsay's face as she spoke. "Freddy, she's married."
"Stay out of it, Linny," he told her, lifting his whisky and sipping the drink. His eyes never left hers.
"She's married," Lindsay hissed, unable to step beyond that concept. Freddy shrugged and drained his glass. "What were you thinking?"
Freddy looked away to signal a waitress with his empty glass. Shaking her head in disbelief, Lindsay tried to make sense of what Freddy was wordlessly telling her. He couldn't be having an affair with Marilee. Her father and husband were on the board of directors for the magazine. Worse, she was married to that husband, happily as far as the rest of New York knew. She had kids.
"I can't believe this," she whispered, staring at the table.
Danny placed a hand on her back and moved closer. "Lindsay—"
Her head jerked up to him and he leaned back, shocked at the expression on her face. Then she turned glittering eyes on her uncle.
"You have to stop this, Freddy," she told him, ignoring the irritated noise he made. "You're better than this."
"Better than what?" Freddy asked. "Better than being with the woman I love?"
Lindsay gave him a disgusted expression. "Sometimes, Freddy, it's not all about you."
Standing, she grabbed her purse and began maneuvering her way through the crowded bar. Outside in the cold December air, she remembered her jacket but was too upset to care about the goosebumps rising on her arms. She paced, trying to assimilate what she'd just learned with the facts she knew about her uncle.
Abruptly, the door swung open, and Danny shot out of the bar. When he spotted her, he stumbled to a stop, her jacket in one hand, his in the other.
"Don't do that to me," he snapped.
She ignored him, still pacing the sidewalk. "How could he do this?"
Throwing his hands up in a show of exasperation, Danny glanced around as if looking for a way out of the situation. Then, taking a deep breath, he moved forward to catch her arm.
"Put on your jacket. It's freezing out here."
Silently, she took it from him and slipped it on. She stood afterwards, her eyes following the movements of his hands as he slid his own over his shoulders. But when he reached for her, she spun away. She heard him let out a groan as she stalked a few feet down the sidewalk only to stop, staring blindly into the dark.
"What were you guys talking about in there?"
Clearing her throat, Lindsay didn't bother turning around. "Marilee. The woman he was engaged to."
"Okay," Danny said slowly. "I don't get it. What's the big—"
"She's married, Danny. She has kids. And he's been seeing her anyway."
She knew what he was going to say, that these things happen. That she couldn't control Freddy any more than she could control a hurricane. She knew because she'd told herself the same things while she waited for him, and the words changed nothing.
"Why are you so upset about this?" Danny asked, managing to sound both annoyed and completely confused.
Lindsay whirled on him with righteous fire. "You condone his behavior?"
"Of course I don't condone it," he yelled back. "It's a shitty move. But I don't get how it's any of your business who he sees."
"He's my hero, Danny!"
As the words left her mouth, he took a step back, his face shocked into neutrality. Lindsay raised her hands to her face and tried to get herself under control.
"Ever since I was a kid—" She stopped, swallowing and wrapping her arms around herself. "I wanted to be just like him."
Danny's face softened into pity as she lifted her gaze to his. "All my life, I've tried to be just like him. And now I find out…this?" She shook her head. "What if I was wrong about him?"
Striding forward, Danny gripped her arms. "Lindsay, no one is perfect."
"I never thought he was," she whispered, reaching up to roughly swipe at her eyes. "But there are certain things you just don't do."
He started to speak again, but she cut him off with a sharp shake of her head. "Can we go home?"
"Yeah," he murmured. "We can do that."
"He called for all three of us?" Lindsay said to Hawkes as Danny pulled up next to them in another of the lab's SUVs.
"Mac said it's pretty bad," Hawkes told her in his usual composed way.
"Yo," Danny called, slamming the car door behind him. The antithesis of Hawkes's serenity with his big grin and loud voice.
"You always have to make an entrance, don't you Messer?" Hawkes asked with a smile.
Danny smirked, unrepentant as he moved to the back of his SUV. "I don't gotta try, peaches."
"You just keep telling yourself that."
"Jealous cuz I'm prettier than you?" Danny shot back at Hawkes as he slammed the backdoor. Lindsay couldn't help the grin that spread across her face at the verbal volleyball and smiled at him as Danny came up next to her. "Hey, Montana."
She started to answer, but Mac had stepped out of the house and was waiting for them to file up to him. "You'll need to cover your shoes," he said when they started to climb the front steps.
Setting their kits down on the porch, they pulled out the blue covers and stepped into them as Mac spoke. "Hawkes, I want you processing the downstairs. Stella started with the backrooms, so if you could take the front and work towards the stairs—"
"I'm on it, Mac," he said, taking his kit and stepping inside.
"Danny, Lindsay, come with me."
Exchanging a glance with Danny, Lindsay followed Mac up the stairs to the second floor. He paused outside of a door, blocking their view in the small hallway. His face was grim as he turned to confront them.
"It's gruesome," Mac told them. "But we already have the guy. He confessed to Angell ten minutes ago. Keep that in mind while you process."
The warning didn't bode well. It wasn't like Mac to offer comfort before they'd even seen the evidence. Lindsay swallowed as Mac took a step back and gestured for her to proceed Danny inside.
Mac had told them it was gruesome. Gruesome Lindsay could handle. This was worse.
Two bodies, neither over the age of ten, in two distinct pools of blood.
"Jesus, Mary and Joseph," Lindsay whispered, eyeing the patterns of blood that had obviously been smeared around the room by a human hand.
Her eyes flicked to Danny who looked completely blank, his face having shut down when he stepped in the room. Glancing back at Mac, she clung to the last shred of her professional objectivity.
"Are they coming for the bodies?"
"Any minute now. The ME's stuck in traffic. Just work around them until he gets here."
"Right," she said, turning back to the scene as Mac walked away. Danny had stepped up to the door and was raising his camera.
She began to do the same, bending to set her kit on the floor just outside the room. Startled, she stopped, staring towards the pools of blood.
"What's up?" Danny asked, pausing to look at her.
"They're not wearing underwear," she whispered, still staring.
Danny automatically followed her gaze, his muscles freezing as he saw what she had. His jaw clenched and he jerkily turned back to the door. "Sonuvabitch," she heard him mutter, snapping a photo with a vicious flick of his finger.
Jen sat on the couch, head in her hands, trying to force the images out of her brain. All she could see were the mangled little bodies, the tiny peaceful faces. How anyone could do that to children was beyond her.
It was almost dark outside, but she had yet to turn on the lights in her apartment, craving the darkness. Maybe in the darkness, the pictures would fade.
The sound of the traffic down below was just white noise to her after a lifetime in the city, so the abrupt buzz at her intercom shocked her. Nearly jumping out of her skin, she put a hand over her heart and tried to get her breath back. The buzz came again, but she ignored it, not expecting anyone and not feeling up to convincing a stranger they had the wrong address.
Rubbing her temples, she gave a sigh of relief when the buzz didn't repeat a third time. She collapsed back against the couch, sniffling and willing the pressure behind her eyes to desist. She wasn't a crier, never had been. She didn't cry when they found Abby, she wouldn't cry this time.
She didn't know how much time passed before she heard the knocking on her door. Wondering whether or not the buzzs had been a mistake, she stared at the door without moving. Then the knock came again, louder this time, and she realized she wouldn't be getting any peace until this person went away.
Shoving herself up from the couch, she slowly moved towards the door, dabbing at her face to make sure the tears hadn't escaped. She took a deep breath and leaned against the door to look through the peephole, freezing as she recognized Adam on the other side.
Leaning back, she stared at the door again, shocked and dismayed. Her luck with Adam just seemed to keep getting worse. She always managed to run into him at her lowest points.
Closing her eyes, she flipped the locks and slid the chain free, taking another deep breath before pulling the door open. Adam looked up as she did, offering her a small smile. "Hey," he murmured, shifting the bag he held from one hand to the other.
"Hi," she said, staring hungrily at him. She'd never been so grateful to see anyone in her life. "Come on in."
He slipped past her and waited as she closed and locked the door. "I brought dinner." She opened her mouth, but he raised a hand to stall her response. "I know you're not hungry, but you need to eat."
She smiled wanly. "I was going to say thank you."
"Oh." Obviously having expected an argument, he floundered for a moment before turning towards the kitchen. "I'll just grab some forks."
Leaving him to search through her kitchen for utensils, she moved back to the couch, this time turning on a few lamps as she went. Hearing him find the right drawer behind her, she ran a hand through her long hair, grimacing when she hit a snarl. Quickly, she grabbed the hair band she'd been wearing earlier and pulled her hair into a messy bun.
He sat next to her a few moments later, placing the forks and bag on the coffee table in front of them. Then he turned to face her and leaned against the back of the couch, just watching her with an understanding expression.
He was so good he seemed almost innocent, though she'd never met a twenty nine year old man who was. After a lifetime of catching criminals, first vicariously through her father's stories, then on her own, Adam was like a balm over a battered soul. She could say anything, figuring he was too nice to think she was weak for crying.
"Messer once told me that you never get used to kids," Jen said, staring down at her lap.
"How anyone can do that to children is beyond me," he murmured, shaking his head and reaching for his beer.
Hearing her own thoughts repeated to her, Jen looked up with shining eyes. Adam lowered the bottle and set it aside, his own face sympathetic. When he reached up to cup her face, she let her eyelids drift shut and the tears coursed down her cheeks.
Easing closer, he gently pulled her head down to rest in the crook of his neck before wrapping his arms around her. Sniffling, she buried her face against him, her fingers coming up to clench in the fabric of his tshirt over his chest.
"I couldn't even do anything," she whispered brokenly. "The sonuvabitch walked right into the station and confessed."
"He'll still pay," he told her, rubbing a hand down her back in small circles.
"I know. But I wanted to throw him against a wall when I cuffed him. Or something."
She felt Adam chuckle, his muscles vibrating her since she was pressed so close. Giving a watery smile, she eased back, suddenly very aware of the position she'd maneuvered them into.
"Sorry. I didn't mean to get you all wet," she said, brushing vaguely at the teardrops clinging to his shirt.
"Don't worry about it."
She was startled when his fingers came up to brush back the loose bits of hair stuck to her wet face. Wide eyes flew up to his and her heart kicked into overdrive as she noted the serious expression in his eyes. He didn't say anything, didn't move, but her heart gave one hard throb before sprinting ahead.
He stared so intently that she wondered if he was trying to memorize her face as it was in that moment. Self-consciously, she let her eyes drop to the few inches of couch between their thighs. Her mind raced, desperately trying to come up with something witty to say, something that would diffuse the situation.
After a moment, satisfied she could hide what she was feeling, she looked up and opened her mouth to speak. He had a wry grin on his face and he shook his head just slightly, silencing her unspoken words.
Her breath caught in her throat as he leaned forward and gently caressed her lips with his. It was only for an instant, and he was gone so fast she was afraid she might have dreamt it.
Then he was moving away again. "You ready to eat?" he asked, leaning over to the coffee table.
"Nuh," she said with her usual wit and spark.
It had been a horrible week that ended with the two of them standing together outside the courthouse, waiting to hear his plea of guilt. They couldn't touch, Lindsay knew, but she desperately wanted to take his hand.
Afterwards, they made their way back to her apartment as they had nearly every night for the past week. Danny waited patiently as she unlocked the door and led him inside. He brushed past her as she pushed the door closed. Turning back, she saw him tiredly shedding his jacket and tossing it on the back of her couch.
Sliding her own off, she watched him move into the kitchen, unerringly open the right cabinet and reach in for a glass. As he poured himself some water, she dropped her coat on the table in the hallway, eyes never leaving him.
Taking a sip, he leaned tiredly back against her counter and looked up as she walked towards him. Gaze locked on hers, he set his glass behind him. He never blinked as she stepped close enough to wrap one hand around his neck and pull his face down to hers.
She caressed his lips with hers, gently and slowly, wanting him to feel all the things she felt. He let her have the control, not touching her except with his lips. She trailed her other hand up his arm and across his chest. She let it rest above his heart, feeling it beat against her fingers, and deepened the kiss. Sliding her tongue against his bottom lip, she barely kept herself from moaning as his mouth let her inside and his tongue touched hers.
Her knees were starting to give, but she didn't want to stop. Pressing closer, she clenched her fingers in his shirt and molded her body to his. Finally, he moved, wrapping an arm around her lower back to anchor her against his body. Slowly, like they were dancing, he turned them and pushed her against the counter.
And then slow wasn't enough anymore. Grabbing his collar, she jerked even closer and managed to smash her face against his. The lack of finesse made her want to disappear, but he didn't even pause, seamlessly shifting to make the new position more comfortable.
His hands slipped under her shirt and flattened against the skin of her back. Warm tingles spread through her, tingles that turned into a burning trail when his tongue swept back over hers.
Winding her arms tightly around his neck, she tunneled the fingers of one hand through his hair. His hands streaked across her skin, moving down to her thighs. Then he lifted her and set her on the counter so she was scant inches above him.
It was too much, and she found herself pulling away after a moment. Her fingers were clenched in the fabric at his back and in his hair, but she couldn't make them relax. Her breath was coming so fast she was a little worried about hyperventilating.
"What's wrong?" he whispered, as breathless as she.
She couldn't think of anything to say, but managed to make her fingers release their death grip on his hair and shirt. Her lips parted and no words came out. Danny, still gulping breaths, reached up and brushed a curl out of her face then rested his forehead against hers for a long moment.
It was small, something that if it hadn't been Danny she probably wouldn't have noticed, but it made her heart skip a beat and a sweet twisting feeling spread through her chest. When his head rose to look at her again, she felt her lips curl in a small smile.
"Nothing." She leaned down. "Nothing at all," she murmured against his mouth, her hand gently massaging his neck.
He responded eagerly and the slow burn began in her stomach again. When he started to pull away as he usually did, Lindsay tightened her grip on him and gentled her mouth. She brushed her lips against his lightly, persuading him to stay with her for just a little while longer.
So he did, the kiss no longer fueled by hot flames but a warmer, all-encompassing heat. His mouth slid smoothly over hers, his hands cupping her face as if to hold her there.
But, after a heavenly moment, he eased back like he always did. "Lindsay, we gotta stop."
"Why?" she asked, sliding from the counter to follow his retreat. He stopped when he hit the stove, crossing his arms over his chest. "Why do we have to stop?"
"Because," he said, dropping his arms to run a hand over his face. "You and me…We should be…" Frustration marred his features. "We should be more than what's in that bedroom."
Uncertain how this was about to play out, Lindsay laid a hand on his chest. "We already are, Danny. But could we be at least that?"
He looked away, but she'd seen the flicker of longing on his face. She pressed forward, determined to convince him this time.
"Please, Danny," Lindsay whispered, her fingers moving down his buttons. "I know you want to prove I'm special but you already have."
His eyes came back to hers and the look in them stole her breath. She met him halfway as he leaned down for a kiss. A serious kiss where his lips slid smoothly over hers. "Lindsay—" he began, trying to pull away.
She stopped him with a hand on his cheek. "You flew across the country for me. You waited even when I told you not to."
Each sentence was followed by a kiss to the skin of his shoulders, chest, as she uncovered it. Slowly, she slid the shirt off his shoulders and down his arms.
"You brought me dinner when I was sick," she continued in a whisper, afraid she'd break the spell that was holding him still.
"Lindsay—" he said again, his voice less than a breath.
"You put up with my crazy family, stood up to my brother, my uncle. You fought me when I needed it and held me when I didn't."
Up went the tank top he wore and his arms helped her pull it off. As she dropped it beside them, his hands cupped her face.
"Lindsay—" he tried a third time, his face soft.
In that moment, she knew he'd never looked at another woman the way he looked at her, and it gave her the courage to finish.
"You show me every day how you feel. Every day for the last year. It's my turn, Danny," she said, running her hands down his arms, feeling the muscles shake there. "Let me show you how special you are."
Rising on her toes, she brushed her lips over his, lightly, tenderly. She wanted to kiss him how he'd never been kissed before. Maybe she succeeded because she felt something break in him, his hands turning rough as they tugged her shirt up her body. She pulled back to let him whip it over her head.
Before she could take a breath, his mouth was on hers and her bra was disappearing down her arms. He walked her backwards out of the kitchen and down the hall to her bedroom. All the while, his tongue invaded her mouth, his hands streaked over her back.
Abruptly, the backs of her legs bumped into the bed and they halted, though their hands and mouths still grasped at each other. Danny's arm came around her to pull her chest against his even as his other hand came up to flick open the button on her jeans.
Encouraged, she tangled her fingers in his waistband, yanking his hips against hers. He groaned and ripped his mouth away as their bodies met.
"Lindsay, I'm sorry. This isn't going to last very long," he said, starting to push her pants down her legs.
"I don't care. I just need you inside me. Now," she stressed, silently cursing the inventor of his belt as the finicky buckle stuck.
He mumbled something in Italian that sounded particularly dirty and let go of her pants to push her hands away from his buckle. Panic filled her at the thought that he was stopping things again—what did she do wrong?—but then he was shoving her backwards onto the bed.
She bounced on the mattress then started to struggle out of the pants trapped around the tops of her thighs. With them halfway down her legs, she made the mistake of looking up at him and was instantly distracted by the rippling of the muscles under his skin. Her fingers stilled on the pants caught around her knees, her eyes locked on his chest.
Stepping out of the jeans, he kicked them aside and glanced up as he straightened. He frowned when he noticed her pants still halfway on. Then he saw her face.
A sly grin spread over his lips. "You need some help there?" he murmured, crawling partially onto the bed next to her.
Instead of answering, she sat up to meet him, his mouth catching hers as she pounced. Easing her further up the bed, he began to slide the pants off, his fingers gently brushing her skin all the way down her legs.
He leaned away to toss the pants over the side of the bed, but she didn't let him get far. As soon as he turned back, she wound her legs around him and pulled him down on top of her. The touch of his flesh on hers was searing, and his chest hair rasped against her breasts.
"Hey," he said with a breathless laugh.
"Hi." She smiled back at him, so happy he was there with her, smiling at her.
"I have to take these off," he muttered, reaching up a hand to pull of his glasses. As he stretched to put them on the night stand, she couldn't help but press an open mouthed kiss to his throat.
She felt both his body's reaction and his groan, so she did it again even when she heard the clatter of his glasses hitting the floor. "I'll get 'em later," he mumbled, rolling their bodies to the side and the moments passed in a blur of sensation.
He murmured to her in Italian as they moved together, forcing her past the boundaries she'd put up with previous lovers. She could feel him watching her the whole time, which should have made her feel self-conscious, but what he was doing felt so god she almost felt sick. He built the heat, banking it and then letting it roar again. Over and over until she thought she'd die before he was done.
When she finally came back to herself, she was panting in time with Danny, who'd collapsed on top of her at some point. She tried to speak, but settled for a sigh instead since her throat felt raw and dry.
At the sound, Danny stirred slightly. "You're going to kill me," he groaned, rolling slightly to the side and off of her.
She followed, wrapping a leg around his to keep him close. "I'm sorry," she responded unthinkingly.
He laughed as if he couldn't help it. "Not a problem, tesoro."
"What does that mean?" she asked sleepily, settling her head into the pillow a few inches from his chest.
He didn't answer and she took the silence as an opportunity to press a kiss to the skin in front of her. His muscles had tensed at her question, but she ignored that, liking the feel of his chest hair against her skin. Odd. She'd never much liked chest hair before.
"It's Italian," he said absently.
It took a moment to place what he was talking about and she entertained herself with lightly rubbing the tip of her nose against his skin before responding. "I guessed that much," she told him, brushing another soft kiss into his chest to soothe any sting her words might have caused.
He swallowed thickly and his arm tightened around her so it was no longer just draped over her. Pulling her closer, he bent and pressed his lips to her hair.
Content, Lindsay snuggled closer so she could lay her cheek against his chest and wrap her arm around his middle. It wasn't what she'd call comfortable—she'd wake up with a neck cramp and her arm would definitely fall asleep—but it was satisfying nonetheless.
Her eyes drifted shut to the rhythm of his heartbeat, calm now as they lay together. She let her thoughts drift as the constant double beat lulled her.
"Lindsay?" Danny murmured.
She shifted even closer, tightening her leg around his. "Mmm."
"I gotta get up," he said, sounding amused.
Ignoring that insane suggestion, she idly kissed his chest again. When his heart jumped a bit, she roused slightly from her doze. And when his hand stroked softly down her back, he had her full attention. Where did a man who worked in a lab get calluses?
"Lindsay," he drawled teasingly, more like he was persuading her this time.
Hiding a smirk, she buried her face against his chest. "Hmm?"
Languidly, she trailed her hand from his back around his side and up his chest. His fingers curled around her hip in reaction as he chuckled.
"You know, if I get up now—" He paused to bite at her ear. "I can come back much—" He breathed against her and goosebumps broke out over her skin. "Much faster."
Determined not to become embarrassing putty beside him, Lindsay shivered once then forced herself to still. "I don't know," she said warily. "It's so far away."
Shaking a little with suppressed laughter, Danny bit gently at the seam where her neck met her shoulder. Lindsay sighed and slid her leg further up his side. They both stilled as his hips moved tantalizingly against hers.
Lindsay's breath caught and left in a quiet high-pitched noise as she realized he was ready again. Danny sighed long-sufferingly. "Oh, well, you've done it now."
She giggled, but choked when his hand trailed down to brush her skin. "Danny," she gasped.
"Can you hurry?"
Early that morning, the sky still pitch black against the lights of the city, Danny lay watching Lindsay sleep, wondering at the absolute stillness he felt. Nothing was wrong with the world right at that moment and he was loath to fall asleep because he'd never felt that before.
Lindsay stirred a bit and cuddled closer against his side, sighing in her sleep. Lifting a languid hand, he slid it over her hair, tucking a few strands behind her ear and out of her face. Her muscles seemed to relax all the more against him and his chest clenched at the small smile curving her lips.
He'd been fourteen his first time, she eighteen—a friend of Louie's—and he'd just had a growth spurt, which he supposed made him seem older. She'd known what she was doing and it had been good for him. They'd even done it a few more times over the course of a few weeks, and she'd shown him tricks he still used. He'd been smitten to a point. However, being the fairly self-aware fourteen year old he'd been, he'd never thought he was in love with her.
He'd spent most of his teens and twenties rolling from one bed to another, his longest relationships lasting four dates at the most. He stuck to women who knew what to say and do, women who never minded when he didn't want to cuddle afterwards. It wasn't until he was near Lindsay's age that he'd actually tried forming some sort of commitment to a woman and the experiment had been a complete disaster. Considering he'd chosen Tina—a woman whose bra size far outweighed her brain—might have had something to do with it.
Lindsay was different. Pulling her closer to his chest, he pressed a kiss to her forehead as she slept. The sex was as satisfying physically as any other encounters he'd had, but afterwards he felt calm in a way he never had before. He could tell that Lindsay didn't have as much experience as he did. But it excited him to know that he was one of the few men to ever have touched her this way.
He hadn't been particularly attracted to her at first. He'd thought she was cute, of course, but his usual type ran towards tall, buxom brunettes. Lindsay was a brunette, but the other two hardly applied.
It hadn't helped that all he'd seen was a country bumpkin replacement for his best friend, but he was pretty sure he wouldn't have been smart enough to notice Lindsay anyway.
It was only after she'd sassed him several (dozen) times that he began to crave the sparkle she was prone to getting in her eyes when she teased him. Then she'd shown up for work in that dress and…the rest was a blur of Lindsay.
Staring down at her placid face, he wondered what would have happened if they'd met earlier. If she'd come to NYU for school and they'd met in a bar or if she'd joined the force when he did. He wanted to think that she would've been able to capture him at any age, but they'd both taken long, hard journeys to get to where they were, who they were. And he was fairly positive he wouldn't have been smart enough to notice her.
She deserved better than him and his sordid past, but he was too weak to let her go. As long as she wanted him, he'd stick to her like glue.
messermonroe: Did this one trump the last chapter or does Ch 21 still reign supreme? (I kinda like Ch21 better myself…I don't know why. Maybe because of the speech?) Did you see the finale???
Tenley: I'm slowly falling in love with Adam. Though I've been in love with DL for quite some time now and AJ just can't top that. (apologizes to characters) Finale was awesome. Can't say more. There are no words.
scoob2222: There you go, she jumped him! So, no hate, right? (looks nervous) : I hope this chapter came out well. This is the first time I've written smut.
daytimedrama: Hehe. No need to feel pushy. Sometimes I just need a kick in the butt to get me going.
danaa: Oh, don't worry. Connor was excellent in bed. Lindsay just never felt comfortable because until their engagement she'd never seen him as a romantic partner. He was always more of an older brother figure. And I love Connor. So he was GREAT in bed! Definitely exclamation point worthy. Also, if you'd like to continue in this little world, I have another sequel coming up. I hope you give it a try:
ReJo: Your reviews have always been so encouraging! Thank you so much for them. And for sticking with the story. And for going back and reading Can't Go Home Again. I hope you decide to continue with the next one.
Kaoli: I think Danny was scared that he'd built it all up too much in his head. And he really was worried about Lindsay thinking he'd just been holding out for the sex. (shrugs) He broke in the end. No one can stand up to a country girl for long. We TOTALLY got a DL finale!
berta101: I'm glad you liked it; I hope this one wasn't a disappointing finish to the story. : I hope you come along for the next story, too!
Devilla: Oh I think she enjoyed it, eh? (lecherous laugh) Okay, that wasn't meant to be creepy…Yeah. I like that Adam makes Jen so nervous, too. And I'm totally going to show more of their development in the next story. I love AJ.
qt4good: Season 1 is good, but I think season 2 is my favorite. Though our finale this season was awesome. I've watched the episodes from season 2 about a hundred times. If you like DL, season 2 is the season for you. (Is it just me or do I sound like a used car salesman?)
sp4zstyck: Hehe. I hope the action was hot enough for you. Yay! I'm glad you'll try out Erase and Rewind, despite my disturbing need for drama. :
seren23: I'm so falling for the AJ relationship. I mean, it can't hold a candle to DL, of course, but I still love writing it. As for Lindsay, I just can't imagine her (small town girl at heart) not having insecurities when it comes to Danny (playboy extraordinaire), you know? I mean, he's made it pretty clear where he stands…but…she's a woman. (shrugs) :-p
CarolinaH.Manning: You know, I've never come down on the side of either Smacked or Fiesta. I used to lean towards Mac as a partner for Stella, but I've recently started to like Peyton (a bit…she still annoys me sometimes). As for Flack, he's a hottie, but I always saw him as much younger than Stella in some important ways. I don't know. As you can see, I've actually give this quite a bit of thought. :-p
Quintessence of Darkness: I thought it was adorable that neither Jen nor Lindsay expected it to work. Oh how silly those two can be. Obviously Adam adores Jen. And I think Lindsay did enjoy herself in the end. As well as Danny. Hot.
serenity2bliss: I love Lindsay. She's so tough and yet so not. And she and Jen together are a great pair. They really feed off each other. At least, they do as I write them. Like I was telling seren23, I don't think Lindsay would be a normal woman if she didn't feel a bit intimidated by Danny sexually. You know?
scoj: I'm glad Jen and Linds come across well. I really love writing them together. Hopefully in the next story I can add in a few more characters as main players. This story's mostly just been DL and Freddy and now AJ. That's my goal anyway! (Remind me I said that in a few weeks, eh?) :
Kavi Leighanna: She so totally jumped him. I was so proud of her. He didn't even know what'd hit him! I do like the idea of Danny letting her pursue him, though I think he took it a bit far here.
Murgy31: Hot lovin' is theirs. I hope you liked the chapter:
chili-peppers: I'm really loving Adam and his pursuit of Jen. Or…maybe his acceptance of Jen? I dunno.
The Little Corinthian: How could I have missed the second trailer??? I must have been under a rock. So, okay, the season finale. Do you get why Bruckheimer was talking about their "destiny" being "dashed" cuz I sure didn't see that. All I saw was them being ABSOLUTELY FREAKING ADORABLE. All right, TPTB, we won't TP your house.
AN: Thank you again to everyone who's reviewed! Especially to those who've stuck with me throughout all of my angsty ramblings from the very beginning. I really appreciate all of your words of encouragement and your constructive criticism.
More AJ in the next story. More DL, of course. And more light will be shed on The Mysterious Freddy. Dun, dun, DUUUUN. And, of course, more JenLindsay friendship because together they are badass. I'll also be throwing in a bit of Flack for good measure. I hope you guys decide to check out Erase and Rewind!