It's been a hell of a week. That's all I can seem to muster when my mother asked me how work was going. As usual, she tries to get more details out of me, but I can hardly tell my mother about the case Bobby and I just closed. So I tell her I love her and will visit soon for dinner and hurriedly end the call. Just as the phone hits the receiver, I think of Bobby and wonder how he is feeling tonight. I don't know if we can handle another case like this one.

Seeing that poor girl's eyes as she described how she had to witness her brother's murder and then endure a brutal rape by the same bastard's hands will no doubt bring me nightmares for some time to come.

I can still see the helplessness in Bobby's eyes as he gently spoke with the beautiful, broken girl. My heart aches for him almost as much because I know that he empathizes so deeply with innocent victims. Does Bobby look back at his childhood and see himself as a victim of circumstance? God, I hope not. If anything, the childhood he had to survive created the brilliant, complex, high quality man that he is today. Of course, he probably sees himself as damaged. How I wish I could tell him that I see him as a phoenix, which has risen from the ashes, an example of how the human spirit can endure under unbearable realities.

Can you imagine how he'd react to my reflection? He'd so be pissed off at me. Robert Goren would consider that pity and would surely not understand the exact nature of where my feelings come from.

What are my feelings exactly?

The boundaries of our partnership have become so blurred that I cannot even see clearly anymore. Bobby is part work partner, part best friend, and part lover.

Lover.

Oh God. When did I start thinking of him as my lover? Certainly this is strange as our relationship has never been a sexual one. So why does the word lover seems so fitting and natural? In retrospect, I suppose the relationship I have with Bobby is the most emotionally intimate one I've ever had with a man. My husband was a good man, but looking back I can see how young we both were emotionally. I didn't understand myself so well back then. I am finally just coming to understand exactly who I am and what I really want, and I share all of this with only one person in this world. Bobby.

Oh no. Please no. Do not tell me that I'm having a major epiphany while sitting at my kitchen table in old Betty Boop pajamas. Okay, maybe if I say it out loud my ears will find the absolute absurdity of the idea humorous. Ok, Alex, here goes:

"I'm in love with Bobby Goren."

Shit. The sound of my voice resonates in my ears and it becomes abundantly clear that this crushing feeling in my heart will remain.

I'm in love with Bobby. What the hell am I supposed to do with that?