No spoilers, well maybe one but we are talking season one.
Sofia was finding it hard to keep the smile off her face. Especially towards the end of her shift, the anticipation and expectation easily cleared away any lingering stress and negative memories from the day. It was nice to get into her car each day already having filed away the horror from the days work.
For over three weeks now, she and Nick Stokes had moved well beyond their previous professional relationship into something undefined. Most of their free time was spent together – at his place or hers. They didn't go out – they ordered in, watched movies, played video games and on one occasion danced half the night away on her balcony – to much wine.
At first it was therapy; after a particularly horrid case they had both ended up the last ones standing at the usual bar. Soon after closing time they were at Nick's place. The night was a blur of naked limbs as they used each other to forget. The next morning was a little awkward, but there were no regrets – they talked and agreed to just let things happen. And things did. They talked a lot, but rarely about work or themselves for that matter. They always ended up in bed together, they woke up together to pagers or alarm clocks beeping.
So it was three weeks to the day when Sofia found herself looking forward to their first date. They were going out for dinner and a movie. Nick had finally agreed – a step forward that Sofia had been longing for. As much as she had enjoyed the last three weeks, she had started to want more. Recently when they would go their separate ways in the morning, a sense of loss would set in, she couldn't exactly identify it, but she suspected she was feeling a little used.
Hopefully tonight would reassure her and fill the widening void. She liked Nick a lot and enjoyed his company, despite the complication of work, she wanted to make something of the growing attraction.
She arrived home and started to prepare for the evening, Nick would be there soon.
Sofia was only half dressed when the buzz of the intercom announced Nick's arrival.
"Hey! I'm almost ready. I can meet you in the lobby in ten or do you want to come up." She called into the speaker.
"Buzz me in." Nick replied. As she pressed the door release a fleeting moment of doubt tried to take hold. Nick's voice had sounded dull and distant, she quickly pushed doubt aside, telling herself he was most likely tired after a frustrating day in the lab.
She had finished dressing when the knock at the door broke the silence of the apartment. Sofia swung the door open with a beaming smile to be greeted by a tired and worried looking Nick Stokes still in his work clothes. The smile faltered and a tentative "hey" slipped through her lips. A sixth sense was blasting warning bells and klaxons at mind-numbing decibels.
"I um … I need to speak to you." Nick muttered as he moved into the apartment barely glancing at Sofia, he stopped at the edge of the floorboards, which identified the foyer in an open plan living area. Seeming unwilling to cross over an unmarked line, Nick turned back to face Sofia. She had her back to him as she slowly pushed the heavy door closed, watching with intense concentration as the lock clicked into place. She took a breath as she prepared herself to turn and face what was to come.
Nick took a wary breath as he looked up to meet Sofia's cool eyes. "I'm sorry." He started "I don't think we should do this." He got straight to the point.
"What? Dinner and a movie?" Sofia asked, knowing the answer but unable to stop herself asking.
Nick ran his hands over his closely shaved head. "No, the whole thing – you and … um … you and me. I'm sorry." He added again.
Sofia was stunned, she had not seen this coming. Though if she had been as good a detective off duty as she was on, she admitted to herself, she should have seen it. They had never gone out together, not even to the video store, at work Nick had become cooler and strictly business, all banter gone, and they had never really talked about anything important – no personal disclosures. Wow, she had thought herself above been blinded and misled by passion. Stupid! She chastised herself.
She only managed a strangled "Oh." In response.
"I'm sorry, Sofia. I have thought about this a lot and I just think dating someone you work with is asking for trouble. We have a good working relationship. Our jobs are important to us. I don't want to mess with that." His voice had faded away to silence and he was unable to look up from his shoes.
Sofia realized she had barely touched on denial, before she hit the second stage of grief: anger. Some women would skip anger and go straight to bargaining at this point but not her, always a hot head she knew she was about to make things a whole lot worse but she couldn't stop herself.
"Oh! Okay, so casual sex with a colleague and dating a suspect who also happens to be a shoplifting hooker is okay by your warped sense of honor. Well this has been enlightening Nick, you have the Southern gentleman act down to a fine art. Be careful though double lives have a way of catching up with you. If you'll excuse me I'm going to be late for dinner." With that Sofia pulled the door open and stormed out of her own home. Leaving a stunned and speechless Nick inside.
Okay my first angst story, or part one of, because I grew up on fairytales – there must be a happy ending.