Sometimes, he pushed her buttons to the point where she thought she might actually blow up. Certainly she was entitled to one blow up. He's had plenty since Captain James Deakins left. Butting heads with their new captain, Danny Ross was now a routine to her every day. She watched quietly as her partner made a fool of himself. He acted like a child that didn't get its way.

With this past year, their partnership had dwindled to the point where she thought it might be better they be reassigned, but her heart refused to let herself go down that path. Regardless of snapping on each other, they were miserable when separated. Many of their colleagues had gotten used to them bickering, and some had actually mentioned that they fought like a married couple.

Sometimes, it seemed like that. Like right now.

"I'm telling you…everything will be all right! Just let me handle this on my own. Please!" Robert Goren yelled, scaring his partner half to death. She had never witnessed him blowing up on her. Normally, it was only little spats.

Alex Eames now knew when it came to his personal life there was no asking questions. He didn't open up very well. The six-foot, four man who was like family and her teddy bear when she needed someone to lean on now stood on the other side of the fence pushing away. "I'm your partner, dammit! You shouldn't have to do this all on your own!"

"Well, who's there to help me? Frank isn't, and Donny is in the psych ward. I'm the prodigal son who was at her beck and call!" He paced the conference room, lost in his jumbled mind. Everything that had bothered him was pouring out of his mouth like liquid.

Alex didn't say anything. She sat down and watched him pace. With his odd and unique personality, she often let him do his own thing. Normally, she sat back as she watched him get in the suspect's head. He smoothed talked the suspects, but yet he couldn't let her have a shot to get inside his mind. It bothered her that they were fighting.

"All I'm saying is I'm here to stay. I won't leave you, but you need space. So I'm giving it to you. When the Bobby Goren I know comes back, let me know." Alex got up and opened the door.

Bobby cursed himself for letting it get like this. He didn't want to see her go. In fact, he wanted her close, but that meant making a commitment to be honest. Growing up in his family, it was never a present thing in the Goren household. Between his mother's death and finding out that he possibly could be a serial killer's only son (of which Alex had no idea about), he couldn't bear to let her come into his dark world. She was his only light.

Before she had the chance to walk out, Bobby closed the space between them and yanked her back inside, slamming the door behind him. She was caught off guard. He pushed her against the wall. She never gave off any hint that she was terrified. In her eyes, he found confusion and concern.

He bent down and whispered in her ear softly. "Don't leave me. Stay."

Then, he looked at her eyes, searching. He wanted to see the caring look. He wasn't surprised when he saw just that. She was speechless. Then, Bobby suddenly realized that he had trapped his partner between him and the wall. His hands were clasped around her wrists. Bobby dropped her wrists and took a step back.

"What am I doing?" Bobby asked himself. "See what happens when I get all upset? I start hurting those that I care about." He turned away from her.

"Bobby?" Her soft voice found the vocal cords. "You didn't hurt me. Just caught me off guard. That's all."

He turned back to her. She remained at the wall. They had an eye contest. After a few minutes, Bobby was the first to avert his eyes. So much to tell her; so much that she shouldn't be told. He was at a crossfire. If he told her about his father possibly being a serial killer, it would cause an even bigger wedge. She wouldn't want anything to do with him if she learned the true identity of her partner.

"I see it in your eyes. There's something you aren't telling me." Alex eyed him.

He returned to standing so close to her that their lips could touch. I'd like to kiss those beautiful lips, he thought. Then, mentally kicked himself for thinking such a thing. Coolly, he replied. "This thing between us would die if I told you."

Alex could barely think. Anytime that he was this close to her, her mind lost track of any questions or replies. Her senses took over. She smelled the after shave that he wore and could smell the shampoo as well as the body wash he used. Oh how she wanted to just kiss him and be over this sexual tension between them. But she couldn't. There would be serious trouble if they were to do something like that here.

Her words had trouble getting out. "W-why w-would think such a t-thing?"

His eyes searched hers. She found a secret door that never before had been expressed. He was letting her in. Before she knew it, her lips found his and his on hers. Hungrily, he pulled her into him to get better access. His left hand took residence on the back of her head while his right rested on her waist. Her arms wrapped around his waist and one hand went up to his shaved head. His beautiful curls were gone. She missed them terribly.

They didn't speak. She found herself backed against the wall, leaning on it to give her support. Her teddy bear partner broke the kiss, only to take claim of her neck. She willingly let him do whatever he wanted – or needed to – her. Her hands traveled to his back. She wanted desperately to take the coat jacket off, but they were in the conference room.

Alex stiffened, popping her eyes open and looking around fearfully. Bobby stopped, looking up to her to see what the matter was. "Bobby, we're at the office."

He shrugged, returning to her neck. "So?" he said in between of kisses.

"But, Bobby, what are you going to tell Ross if he comes in here looking for us and finding us all over each other?"

"I'll tell him that he was right." Bobby answered. He stopped and stood at his regular height. He looked down her with soft eyes. Alex looked at him with shock. "I am in love with my partner." He gave her a happy grin.

She looked at him for a few minutes before pulling him back down for more. "Then, we ought to let him see first hand that he was right." Then kissed him with hunger.