A/N: Same chapter --just a reposting, as I fixed a couple of typos and he/she gender mix-ups that I caught.

Living the Dream

Caught in the midst of kissing and nibbling at her collarbone, her words finally sunk in. He pulled back, raising his head to look her in the eye. He smiled and a soft chuckle escaped his lips.

"What so funny?" Alex asked, her brow furrowed.

Bobby shook his head slightly, 'no.' "Nothing. . . your umm, bluntness...your honesty. . ."

"I'm just playing by your rules, remember?" she chastised him.

Bobby laughed again. "I know, I know," he smiled and gently swept her hair behind her ear.

"Well?"

As much as he had enjoyed their 'make out' session, the current topic made him slightly uneasy.

"Do you want me to go home tonight?" Alex persisted.

Bobby let out a sigh and pulled back from her a few more inches, although he kept his hand on her upper arm, gently stroking her with his fingers.

"Honest answer, remember," she teased, rubbing it in.

Me and my stupid rules. I should've known she'd turn the tables on me, he moaned to himself. He sighed again, shifting in his seat to buy himself more time to think and answer.

She knew his tricks well; knew his body language. Oh geez, he's thinking again, she smiled to herself.

And when she saw his head tilt to his left, saw the tip of his tongue quickly dart out through his pursed lips, she knew he was getting ready to speak.

"I –I—of course I want you to stay." His head tilted to the right.

I hear a 'but' coming, Alex sighed to herself, her hopes now deflated a bit.

"B-but just 'cause I want you to doesn't mean you should."

Bobby watched her face and body language. He knew she was a bit disappointed and, perhaps, confused.

"To-tonight's been wonderful, Alex. More than I hoped for," he practically whispered his admission as he stroked her hair.

She loved the gentle feel of his fingers and leaned her head into his hand. "Then why shouldn't I?" she asked, trying to hide the frustration and disappointment in her voice.

"Because a lot's happened lately. A lot's happened tonight."

She heard the tone of his voice –his enthusiasm--and knew he was happy. He wasn't regretting their new physicality and admissions of love. It was something else that was holding him back, so she figured she'd hear him out.

He saw her small smile and took it as his clue to continue.

"I've wanted to tell you how I feel about you –how much I appreciate you. I've wanted to kiss you for so long. Let's just take things slowly and enjoy being like this for a while."

"We're going on seven years of being partners. I don't think it can get much slower," she sassed him.

Bobby chuckled. "You know what I mean. Tonight's the first time we…"

"Tonight's the first time we actually kissed and admitted our feelings for each other. But we've been feeling 'em for years. I'd hardly say we rushed into anything."

Wow, she's had feelings for me for years Bobby smiled at her candor.

"I know, but

There's that word again, Alex pouted to herself.

"Tonight's been so nice. We should –date, like a normal couple. You deserve to be treated nicely –taken out to dinners and movies and dancing, then when we're ready…"

We'll never be a 'normal' couple, Goren, and from what I felt under your fly a little while ago –believe me…you were ready Alex never could turn off her snarky inner voice, but she thought his sentiment sweet. And, if she was going to be honest with herself, she too was very happy with the way the evening had gone.

"Okay?" he asked, slightly dipping his head, eyebrows raised hopefully, as his chocolate eyes gazed into hers.

God, why'd you have to make him so damn adorable? I can't refuse him anything. "Okay," she acquiesced.

"Do you want to put on a movie while I get our dessert?" he asked as he deftly extricated himself from the couch and headed for the fridge.

I would've been totally fine just having you for dessert. "Sure, what'cha in the mood for?"

"Anything but Braveheart and Dances With Wolves," Bobby called from the kitchen. "We don't have time for epics tonight –gotta' be up for work tomorrow," he reminded her.

Bobby returned to the living room, serving Alex a cup of coffee and a big slice of German chocolate cake. By the time he went back to the kitchen to get his own dessert and rejoined Alex on the sofa, the movie had begun playing.

He smiled as he settled in next to her, giving her a sideways glance as he ate his first bite of cake. "Thirteenth Warrior –good choice."

"Antonio Banderas and chocolate cake," Alex smiled, raising her fork. "It doesn't get much better for a girl."

They snuggled as they watched the movie –missing a few scenes here and there as they enjoyed some more kissing.

By 11:45, the movie had ended and it was time for Alex to head home. She thanked Bobby for dinner and dessert as he escorted her to the door. She held onto his arm as she slipped back into her shoes, then stuffed her earlier discarded pantyhose into her pocketbook.

"I'll walk you down to your car," he said.

Knowing that he wouldn't take 'no' for an answer, she didn't bother to protest. Deep down, she appreciated the gentlemanly gesture; he knew she was carrying her off-duty piece and could take care of herself.

"Last chance!" Alex teased as she unlocked the car door.

Bobby chuckled. "I'll be glad to be back to work. See you tomorrow morning."

"I should at least get one more kiss goodnight," she playfully said, as she reached up and looped her arms around his neck.

He gladly obliged, bending to accommodate her petite size. In seconds, he was lost in the feeling of her lips and tongue –the essence of her taste that he'd quickly grown accustomed to this evening, now mixed with the slightest hint of chocolate and coconut. God, she is absolutely delicious.

"Good night, Bobby," she whispered.

"Good night, Alex," he whispered in return, gently kissing her hair.

X X X

It had been a wonderful night. Something he'd been dreaming of for such a long time and more than he had dared to hope for.

He glanced at the alarm clock: 3:24 a.m. Another restless night, he softly sighed. But this time in the darkness, a smile crossed his lips. Instead of his usual torment of worry about his mother, disappointment in his brother, and frustration with his boss, tonight there were other thoughts that were keeping him awake. Enjoyable, pleasant thoughts and memories of the evening that wouldn't stop repeating themselves in his mind, even though everything hadn't gone exactly as he planned and intended. He shifted his legs slightly, trying to find a comfortable position while settling his head deeper into his pillow.

"Stop thinking, Bobby, and go to sleep."

He smiled at the tired sounding soft voice. She knows me so well.

He sighed and pulled her closer, having to remind himself that this wasn't a dream. He breathed in, reveling in the scent of her hair and the scent of their love making that lingered in the air.

"How do you know I was thinking?" he asked softly, again kissing her head.

"Because you're always thinking. And right about now, you're probably worried that this didn't go exactly as you planned."

He chuckled again, amazed at how easily she read him.

"If it makes you feel any better, technically we did have dinner and a movie. You can take me dancing on Saturday night," she teased him with his idea of the proper dating itinerary.

Again, he softly laughed and squeezed her closer. "I love you, Alex. You make me –happy."

"I love you, too, Bobby. Now go to sleep -- -- before I make you make me happy –again."

XXX

They enjoyed a few hours of peaceful sleep before the alarm went off and they wearily headed off to work.

They "partnered" happily ever after.

THEN END.