They had been together forever. Well, six months, but it was forever to people like them. People that had avoided it for so long. As she sat on his couch thinking, she realized that they hadn't discussed holidays. Neither of them had much family, so she had assumed they would celebrate Thanksgiving together. But assuming was dangerous.
Calleigh Duquesne wasn't much of a spontaneous person. Everything had to be planned out and executed perfectly. So it only figures that on one of her rare days off she would be planning ahead. She looked up at the clock that sat on his entertainment center. Her thinking time would end soon. He would be home in about ten minutes. She let herself get absorbed in her thoughts again.
The Miami sunshine shined through the the glass window panes in small golden rays. It warmed her as always. She could look out, look at all the models down on the beach, all the tourists snapping pictures. But instead, she chose to look ahead into the dark screen of the TV.
No picture played. The t.v. hadn't been turned on in days. There were more important things. Like work.
The phone on the marble end table rang, startling Calleigh out of her thoughts. She picked it up with steady hands.
"Duquesne," her voice was music as she gave her routine greeting.
"Calleigh." Silk words flowed into her ears, and a smile immediately blossomed onto her face.
"Sweetheart, theres a big case. I won't be home as early as I planned," his voice was apologetic.
"Thats OK. I know how those big cases are." She hoped her disappointment didn't show through her sunny exterior.
"Yeah." She could hear the smile in his voice.
"OK then, have fun." She heard the laughter as she hung the phone.
Great. More thinking time.
He slipped the key into the lock of their home with ease. Quietly, he hung up his jacket on the coat rack, and let his eyes scan the room, allowing them to settle on the sleeping angel that lay on the couch. She must have fallen asleep waiting for him to get home. He snuck over to her on silent feet. Crouching down beside her head, he reached out to touch a lock of blond hair that covered her eyes, putting the silk back behind her ear.
"Calleigh, sweetheart," he murmured softly. Her eyes immediately fluttered open. She sat up slowly, blinking. He stood, holding out a hand to her. She took it, her grip weak against his fingers.
He pulled her off the couch and wrapped an arm around her, helping her to the bedroom. He laid her down, and she turned to him with questioning eyes. He returned her gaze with a smile. Slipping into the bed beside her, he wrapped his arms around her.
He knew she had fallen asleep again when he felt her breathing grow slow and even against him. He soon followed her into the peaceful darkness.
Morning descended quicker than either of them liked. As Calleigh took a shower, Horatio sat on the edge of her bed and let his mind wander.
Tomorrow would be Thanksgiving. He hadn't really asked Calleigh if she had any plans. He had a huge surprise planned, but Calleigh had been getting closer to her dad lately. Maybe she had plans with him? Horatio would have to ask her.
The shifting of the air in the room alerted him to her presence. He looked up at her, wrapped in a towel with her wet hair down to her waist. She smiled at him.
"Sorry, I didn't take my clothes in with me like I usually do. I.." she began. Horatio standing and walking to her stopped her mid-sentence. He looked down at her, his face gentle but his eyes intense. He brought a hand up and filled it with her hair, letting it run through his fingers.
"Your hairs darker when its wet," he murmured. She smiled through her blush. He brushed his lips against hers lightly, and she closed her eyes. She only opened them when he cleared his throat.
"Sweetheart, I've been meaning to talk to you," he began hesitantly. Her eyes obtained a defensive look.
"Yes?" she asked. He noticed her worry.
"Everything is fine, Calleigh. It's about Thanksgiving." Calleigh nodded in understand, remembering her thoughts from the previous day. She looked at him questioningly, silently asking him to continue.
"I'd like to spend it with you," he admitted. It held a slight hint of a question, and she nodded again.
"Same," she whispered.
He smiled. She smiled. Their cell phones ringing in unison broke the silence. They both grabbed theirs.
"Calleigh?" Frank's questioning voice came through the speaker.
"H?" Eric's voice was surprised.
Calleigh was confused. "Yes, it's me. What's up, Frank?"
"What is it, Eric?" Horatio asked, his eyebrows knitted.
"I called Horatio," Frank revealed.
"Well, I was trying to reach Calleigh, but I guess you'll do," Eric laughed.
Calleigh and Horatio both looked at the cell phones in their hand and recognized each others.
"We'll be there," Horatio spoke loudly. Eric laughed along with Frank as the couple hung up. Calleigh and Horatio shared a sheepish smile.
"Oops," Calleigh offered.
"Oops," Horatio agreed. He smiled. "I guess I can give you a ride now."
I guess so," Calleigh said through a laugh.
In the Hummer, the silence was overwhelming. Calleigh was dying to know what he had planned, but another part of her longed for the surprise. She settled with the latter, deciding he probably wouldn't tell her anyways. He turned at that moment to smile at her.
Yup. She could definitely wait.
Her insides fluttered. Hornets or butterflies, she couldn't tell. She hoped it was butterflies. He had told her to sit and be patient for a second. All she knew was what he had told her:
"Get dressed up. This night could change both of our lives forever."
True, it wasn't much, but she obeyed him.
She heard him behind her and she stood. He smiled. She had never seen him in such a formal tux before, but if she had any say, it wouldn't be the last time.
"You look gorgeous," he told her. She beamed a smile at him. She wore a long spaghetti-strap blood red dress with two thin straps in an x-shape across her back. Her hair was held up in a neat bun by two chopsticks. Her heels were a light red to match her dress. She walked over to him and repaid the compliment with a deep kiss.
"You look handsome, Handsome," she replied with a laugh. He thanked her and opened the door.
"Shall we?" he asked.
They walked to his Hummer, and she realized the butterflies were gone.
She gasped as Horatio pulled into the parking lot of Lugio's Diner, the most expensive and reservation only restaurant in Miami-Dade county.
"Horatio...you shouldn't have..." Calleigh whispered in awe.
"It's for you, and you shall have only the best." He smiled. She turned to him, holding back tears of happiness.
After they were seated and both of them ordered, she looked up to see him watching her intently. She furrowed her brows at him in question. He merely gave her a secretive smile and looked up as the waiter arrived with their appetizers.
The waiter, whose name tag read Jonathon, put down a bowl of strawberries on the right side of the table, setting hot, melted chocolate in the center. Horatio and Calleigh thanked him, and he walked away with a smile.
Horatio looked at her again and tilted his head.
"You seem tense. Nervous. Relax," he said quietly. She nodded her agreement and smiled with him, immediately feeling some of the tension leave her body. "Enjoy," Horatio told her in a deep, husky voice that made her shiver. He gestured and pointed out the food. "My treat."
"Thanks," she said quietly.
Half an hour later, the table littered with dirty dishes, they chatted and laughed freely. Horatio looked at her as the laughing subsided, and her smile slowly left. There was a look in his eyes, on she had never seen before on him. It looked almost as if he was...nervous. She tensed again, suddenly filled with apprehension. He noticed and tilted his head at her.
"Obviously you've just seen through my facade, and have seen that I'm extremely nervous about what's going to happen here," he whispered to her. She winced.
"Horatio...what's going on?" she asked him. He looked around, almost as if he expected someone else to walk up and answer for him. Then, with a sigh, he stood up.
She sat up quickly, blinking her eyes rapidly at his sudden change of position. She opened her mouth to speak, but the words hit a roadblock in her throat as he knelt before her.
"Calleigh..." he began. Tears sprung to her eyes. He chuckled and cupped her face in his hands, wiping away the tears with his thumbs. He began again. "Calleigh Duquesne, you're my heart and soul. You're the air I breathe and the life I live. Live it with me forever, Calleigh. Marry me."
She knew her answer as if someone had yelled it in her ear. "Yes," she told him immediately, and his eyes widened in surprise at the quickness of her answer.
He smiled, and she smiled back through more tears as they stood together and embraced.
"Thank you," he whispered in her ear.
"For loving you? Don't thank me. It's like breathing, Horatio. I couldn't stop it if I tried."
Horatio dropped a $50 on the table and they walked out hand in hand, the moonlight glinting off the new diamond on Calleigh's hand.