*****************************************************

Is there such a thing as a perfect love story? Does such a thing exist? Or is it a figment of our over active imagination, a creation of our hope and dreams, to find the perfect someone? But there is no perfect someone. Then again, if there isn't then how was the idea of a perfect someone created? Even if you find the one, your one true love and soul mate, are there any guarantees that it will last? If the risks of loving someone and being loved are so great, then why does one long for it, wait for it, and dream about it? Is it a pre condition? Or is it human nature, to search for that one person that makes them whole. Another question is…Does it really take another person to make one person whole? Where does the romantic ideals and reality begin and end. When you're in there, how can you distinguish one from the other? How does something that is supposed to be simple, be so complicated?

*************************************

"Sammy…are you there…Oh Sam…" Rita composed herself, silently cursing herself for wandering off. She cleared her throat.

"Sorry Sam, I was way, way off." She heard Chris laugh. She closed her eyes for a moment cherishing the moment. It seemed like age since she'd heard him laugh.

"Thanks a lot Sammy. Here I am calling all the way from Boston and you're in your own world. Have I become so boring?" Rita let out a chuckle as she heard Chris' attempt of self-pity. He did it well.

"Sorry Sam, okay you now have my undivided attention…repeat what you said." Chris sighed in mock frustration.

"I said, I'm getting married Sam."

*************************************

Eight months ago the most known detective team was split in two as Chris followed his destiny with Jillian, all the way to Boston.

"No matter where I am, no matter who I'm with. You'll always be my best friend Sam.

Count on it." Rita smiled at her partner encouragingly, sorry to see him go, but understanding his need to move forward. "That goes both ways partner. If you need me, all it takes is a phone call." Chris pulled her towards him in a tight hug. Softly he whispered against her ear.

"I love you Sammy." Rita held back the tears that were inevitably about to pour.

"I love you too Sam. Take care of you."

*************************************

Distance did not get in the way of the growing bond and friendship between Chris and Rita. In a lot of the most important ways, it strengthened it. The calls almost daily from work, and the calls at every dilemma or exciting moment, the e-mails that came every so often. Through the good times and bad, through heartaches and triumphs, through the miles that separated them.

Unfortunately things between Chris and Jillian did not work out as well as Chris had expected. After serious considerations of returning to Palm Beach, he decided against it. He and Rita and had moved on with both their lives, he's only inclination for moving back was his longing to be once again partnered with his best friend, but that was no longer possible. With the retirement of the Captain, Rita was busy working her way up from Lieutenant to Captain. Just as Chris was enjoying his promotion to Lieutenant, in Boston PD. He still considered Rita, Harry and Fran as his family, but he knew that they would always be there. Just as they knew, he would always be there.

*************************************

"Rita…come on…what was that?" He asked as he heard a loud thump in the background. Rita tried to drag herself up from the floor where she had fallen off the couch in her living room apartment. Rubbing the side she had landed on, she tried to sound as casual as she could.

"You're getting married?"

"You know Sam, when you say it like that…." He protested hearing the teasing pitch in her voice. He could almost imagine the grin that formed in the corners of her mouth.

"What? Hang on…I thought you and Jillian were finito. Don't tell me you're marrying her? I swear Sam…" Chris began to interrupt her before she could carry on.

"No, of course it's not Jillian. I don't think she would make it halfway down the aisle before you, Cap and Frannie sabotage the whole thing." Rita grinned. Knowing they would too.

"Sam, I met this girl. She's amazing. Her name's Theresa. She's a columnist for Boston Times. Her family owns Boston Times, one would think with all that money they would be unbearably pretentious and all that. But they're not. They're like the nicest people on earth. Sam, she's smart, gutsy, she's sweet. Sam, you're gonna love her." As Chris rattled off in his own excitement, Rita tried to say something but the shock was too strong to be pushed aside. "Sam, the wedding is this weekend. We wanted it to be spontaneous but of course we couldn't be. So we decided to be spontaneous about the date, if anything. The whole tradition thing kinda starts Friday, Sam, I need you here. I need you to hold my hand get me through this. You're my best friend." Rita still in a state of shock felt herself being pulled out of her trance as she heard the edge of desperation in her friend's voice.

"Oh I don't know Sam, I think I have something better to do…" Rita said teasing. "Like wash my hair perhaps…" Hearing Chris' shallow breaths from the other line she decided to save him from himself. "Of course I'll be there Sam. I wouldn't miss it for the world. You know that." Chris broke into a huge grin. He knew she wouldn't desert him, she never had before and he knew she never will. That was just the way it worked with them. Together forever and always.

"You call the Cap?" Rita asked.

"Nope, called you first of course. I'll call them now. Can you be here tomorrow?" he pleaded.

"Chris…" she tried protesting at his demands, but she knew they fell on deaf ears.

"Sure. Let me get everything settled and call you back with details. Call the Cap now."

*************************************

After putting the phone down from talking to Chris Rita found herself pacing. She wasn't sure if she was excited, scared, or worried. Though she knew, it could be all of the above. Chris was getting married. Her friend Chris. It was just so hard to imagine him tied down. After all in the whole course of their friendship he wasn't exactly the monogamous one. She smiled at the thought that he was getting married. She grabbed the yellow pages from under the coffee table and made the arrangements for the following day.

*************************************

Harry Lipshitz drove Rita to the airport. Both were happy for Chris, yet the apprehension was evident. After Rita had called Chris back, her phone rang and it was Harry trying to confirm with himself what Chris had just told him.

"Can you believe this Lance?" Harry asked. To him Chris was the least likely to marry. Rita laughed knowingly.

"I know huh Cap. Well, to tell you the truth, I have never heard him so sure and so happy. I seriously think that this girl is this good for him." As Harry stared at her as she spoke he could find a trace of wistfulness in her voice.

"You okay about this Rita?" he asked. Rita immediately took note of the fatherly tone that had passed. She gave him a soft smile of reassurance.

"Yeah Cap. It's not as if, Chris and I could have been anything more, but to realize that he's getting married. It seems like an end almost. Does that sound silly?" she asked, not really looking for an answer.

"No kiddo. It isn't. It's quite natural. After all, you and Lorenzo have been attached from the hip for as long as I have known you and longer. But remember, just like his moving to Boston, just because a change occurs, doesn't mean you'll lose what you have. Rita, the closeness between you and Chris is undeniable. It cannot be explained, but it cannot be buried or hidden. Your friendship means as much to him as it does to you. Keep that in mind, okay?" Rita tried to muster up all the courage she had and looked at him bravely.

"Okay Cap." Harry laughed at her façade of strength, and gave her a brief hug before gently pushing her towards the gates.

*************************************

Chris waited for his best friend at the airport full of anticipation. It had been months since they had seen each other. She had flown down after he and Jillian broke up to help him deal with it and try to piece his life back together after the shock of Jillian being gone wore off. He knew that he had surprised them with the news considering he hadn't told them about Theresa, fearing he would jinx himself and he didn't want to do that.

As Rita stepped off the plane she scanned the room for a familiar face. At that same moment their eyes met. Both grinned widely at the sight of the other. Without a thought Chris and Rita ran towards each other. Chris enveloped her in the biggest, tightest embrace, lifting her from the ground. Surprised but touched, Rita hugged him back as hard as she could.

*************************************

"Oh Sammy, you have no idea how glad I am that you're here." Rita tried to speak but his grip on her was so tight that no sound came out. She tapped his shoulder.

"Chris you're gonna have to loosen the grip buddy." She teased. Chris grinned at her sheepishly.

"Sorry Sam, missed you." Rita punched him gently on the arm and smiled back. "Missed you too partner. So where is she? Where's the girl that finally got you whooped into gear?"

"I'll ignore the context, Reese wanted nothing more than to meet you but she said I should get you from the airport myself so we could have some time to ourselves. You know to catch up, and for the shock to wear off."

"She sounds sweet Sam. She didn't have to."

*************************************

"Where are we going Sam?" Rita asked as they made their way to the car park.

My apartment. You're staying with me." Rita looked at him hesitatingly.

"You sure Sam. I have hotel reservations. Are you sure Theresa's okay with this?" She asked worried. The last thing she needed was for Theresa to feel insecure. From experience she knew Chris' ex-girlfriends were far from impressed by her presence in his life. Understanding, Chris gave her hand a gentle squeeze.

"Yeah Sammy. She's okay with it. She knows I love her. Trust me, it took a lot to get to where we are, but we got there. She's okay with it, and she'll be thrilled with it, after you guys get to know each other. So don't worry."

*************************************

After Chris and Rita dropped off Rita's baggage at Chris' apartment, they went straight to Casey's house for lunch with her parents. Rita tried not to show her awe as she stared at the mansion before them. It reminded her of the mansions that she and Chris had investigated in their time of Crimes of Passion. Their monumental cases of Silk Stalkings.

*************************************

"Yeah I had the very same thought when I first laid eyes on this place," Chris stated reading the thoughts that were running in his partner's head. It meant a lot to Rita that they still had that connection.

*************************************

Apprehension creeped in as Rita and Chris waited for the double doors to be opened. Sensing her intimidation Chris grabbed hold of one of her hands and gave it a gentle squeeze. He knew what shocking news he'd just dropped on her. Rita looked at him and let out a nervous giggle. She was embarrassed to have been read so easily. Truth was, she was frightened to meet the girl who held such importance to Chris. For the longest time, no one had ever taken the place on the most important in each other's lives. Now this girl had surpassed her. In sense she was scared that if Theresa didn't like her, she would lose Chris completely. She shuddered at the thought, as insecurities filled every fiber of her being. She silently cursed herself for her thoughts. Chris could read the silent fears behind her eyes, the pillar of strength projected all confidence, in her eyes lay something more. Rita was taken aback as he hugged her all of a sudden. For a moment, her fears were set aside. As the door opened Rita pulled back. All of a sudden they were greeted by a girl evidently younger than Chris and herself. With long brown hair, big brown eyes. and a smile that welcomed a stranger. She definitely seemed sweet. She smiled at both and Chris as Chris began his introductions.

*************************************

"Reese, this is Rita. Sam, this is Reese." Rita smiled back not really sure what to do. As she extended her hand for a handshake Theresa leaned over and gave her a quick warm hug. Surprised, Rita reluctantly hugged her back. Chris stood aside and watched them both with a huge grin on his face. He was as worried as Rita, maybe even more. He and Rita had been each other's constants for so long that he didn't know how it could be without her. He knew from past experiences his girlfriends were all jealous of his bond with Rita, but he never took notice knowing that they were not the one for him. Then he met Theresa, he had never prayed as hard as he did. Knowing that he loved Theresa enough to distance himself from Rita if he couldn't convince her that there was nothing between them. His heart ached at the thought of having to make a choice. Grateful that Reese had never made him choose as others before her did. It a lot of ways, it made him fall in love with her more and more.

"I'm so glad to have finally met you. I have heard nothing but Sam this and Sam that since I met Chris. Mind you for awhile there the way he spoke of you, I thought you were a guy. Till he slipped and said Rita, you can imagine the shock on my face when he gently broke it to me that you were indeed female." Rita let out a chuckle as Theresa chatted away trying to make her comfortable. As Rita stared at her she found her endearing. She could see why her best friend had fallen as hard as he did. The sense of innocence and sincerity about her made anyone who crossed her path want to protect and shelter her from harm.

*************************************

The afternoon wore on as Rita spent most of the afternoon getting to know Theresa. By nightfall Theresa was calling her "Sis" and Rita was calling her "Reese" as she had heard Chris call her. Reese automatically admitted her fears about the closeness Rita and Chris shared.

"Theresa…"

"Reese," she interrupted with a smile.

"Reese, you have nothing to worry about. Chris is like a brother to me. The closeness we have is purely kinship. We were never fortunate enough to have a family and when we met, we found the family we had always longed for in each other. That's nothing to feel threatened of. Chris loves you like he has never loved another. Trust me, I know. The way he looks at you, the way he talks about you. He loves you an awful lot." Reese broke into a huge smile as she heard Rita's words. Being an only child herself, she understood.

"You know coming from you that means so much. You are such a significant part in Chris' life. I hope you know that I would never do anything to come between that. You are so much a part of him, I think without you he wouldn't be him." Rita could feel herself get misty eyed as she spoke with all sincerity, straight from the heart.

"Thank you. Chris means a lot to me too. I'm glad he's found someone like you." Reese leaned over and gave her a hug, appreciating Rita's words.

*************************************

"Are you sure you don't want to come Reese?" Chris asked as she walked them to Chris' car. Chris was taking Rita home for a rest and they were trying to convince her to come back with them, but Reese refused wanting them to catch up.

"Yeah come on Reese…" Rita countered. Reese smiled at Rita. They had spent the afternoon alone as Chris got fitted for his suit. They had gotten to know each other quite well. As a surprise to both of them, it was so easy to open up to each other. Reese had complimented her as she said that Rita was like a sister she was never able to have.

"No thanks. Besides, you guys haven't really had a chance to catch up with each other."

"You sure?" Chris asked. Reese nodded and planted a quick kiss on his cheek before shooing them towards the car.

"Face it Sam, she doesn't want to ride in your dodgy car. I can't believe you took this heap of junk all the way to Boston." Rita teased. Reese couldn't help herself and let out a knowing laugh. She had suffered through the famous Charger's not so little temper tantrums of not starting and just breaking down in the middle of nowhere. Chris threw Reese a warning look as he threw his hands up in the air in mock frustration.

"I don't know why I take this abuse." Laughing, Rita and Reese said their goodbye.

"Will you come with me tomorrow to get my dress fitted?" Reese asked Rita quietly. Wanting nothing more than to get to know her even better. Touched Rita gave her hands a squeeze.

"Just give me a call of what time and I'll be ready. You're taking your car right?" Rita said not being able to resist teasing Chris again who was pretending to ignore them. As he heard them he felt his heart warm to the fact that Rita and Theresa had clicked they way they did.

*************************************

"She's sweet Sam." Rita commented sensing that he needed and wanted a reassurance. Chris grinned and took his eyes off the road for a moment. In that moment Rita could see the happiness that filled him, it filled her too. She was thankful that he had found what he was always looking for.

"Thanks Sam. You don't know how much that means to me."

*************************************

"Nice place Sam" Rita complimented as she walked around his apartment. He had moved since her last visit. Chris flopped himself down on his couch as she continued to explore his apartment. He could tell that she was in deep thought as she walked around. Rita was trying to process everything in her mind. The last couple of days had certainly been eventful. Lost in her thoughts she didn't hear Chris move towards her as she stared blankly out his apartment window. Chris rested his chin on her shoulder as he stood behind her. Surprised Rita glanced at him and smiled. With her left hand she reached over and ruffled his hair. Chris took her hand and wrapped his arms around her. Rita leaned back and enjoyed the moment. She had missed his presence. Even though they had remained close through his absence, his constant presence was something she looked for.

*************************************

"I like her Sam. I really do. I couldn't have picked out someone better for you."

"But…" He continued quietly. Rita sighed. As much as she had grown to like Reese, she knew her insecurities were at its peak. Chris waited, after a few moments when no words were exchanged Chris gently spun her around to face him.

"You're never going to lose me Sam." Rita looked at him bravely and nodded, trying to convince him and herself that she believed in what he said, yet her fears dominated her thoughts and feelings. Chris pulled her into a hug and held her tightly. The changes ahead were drastic ones for both of them. No matter how far away they were from each other. Their lives were still entwined. As though it almost depended on each other to exist, its co-existence was almost necessary for survival.

*************************************

The next couple of days Rita divided her time between Reese and Chris. Though she wanted to spend as much time as she could with Chris, she could never refuse Reese's request for her company. As days wore on Rita knew that Chris was doing the very best thing for himself. She felt it with her heart, at the same time it felt as though she was losing something. A huge part of herself, him. Rita and Chris spent their nights talking as they always did, but underneath the happiness, there lingered a hint of sadness above their heads. Chris couldn't find the words to reassure Rita, sadly enough himself. He didn't want to make promises he couldn't keep, at the same time, he couldn't not make them. Rita couldn't help but sigh with relief when Harry and Fran arrived the day before the wedding. It gave her the space. She had used Chris and Reese as an excuse to the other, she told them that she was spending the day with the other, as she left Chris' apartment she headed to no where in particular. Just glad to be out of the hype that had encircled her.

*************************************

"Hey honey, you and Rita done. I thought I'd pick her up if you guys were finished and we could hang out for awhile." Chris informed his fiancé.

"What are you talking about, she's with you. She said she couldn't come with me for last minute fittings because she had to go with you to yours. Because you specifically asked her." Chris almost laughed out loud. That had been the very same Rita had told him, that Reese had specifically asked her to accompany her for last minute fittings when he asked her what she had planned for the day.

"Hmm…Okay, well she's not with me. Listen I'll call you back when I find her. Love you." "Love you too." As they put the phone down both Reese and Chris looked worried. Chris grabbed his keys and went to look for Rita, not really knowing where to begin. Just as he was about to head out Rita stood on the other side trying to open the door with the keys he had given her.

*************************************

Rita had spent the morning walking around in park near by, lost in her thoughts not noticing how long she had been there. Chris gave her the once over to see if she was okay.

*************************************

"Chris…what are you doing here?" she asked not expecting him to be around.

"Where the hell have you been?" he demanded. Taken by surprise Rita realized that she was busted. She tried to smile but the look of concern on his face didn't change form.

"Sorry I lied Sam, I just had last minute things to do."

"Like?" He pried, not taking such a vague answer. Rita let out a huge breath and shrugged her shoulders. Rita walked passed him and sat down on his couch.

"I just needed to sort certain things out."

"Care to share?" Rita knew he wasn't asking.

"You getting married Sam, has got to be the most unexpected bombshell anyone could ever drop on me. You didn't exactly prepare me for it. Heck, I don't think we ever thought we had to prepare each other for it. Guess we did huh?" Chris smiled.

"Sam, I love Reese. She's like a little sister to me now. Its just that I can't help but feel, I don't know scared that what we'll have won't be anymore. That it won't mean as much, that it won't hold such an importance. What is comes down to is that I realized how much we have relied on each other. When you moved to Boston, that had to be the hardest couple of months of my life. I knew it was a good move for you career wise and personal wise. Now with you getting married, though I'm all for it. It just makes me feel as though you've left me behind Sam." As she heard the words in her mind she noted how pathetic she sounded, yet that's how she felt. Chris moved closer to her and wrapped his arms around his best friend.

"Sam, don't you know that no one could ever replace you. I love Reese, more than I ever thought I could love anybody else. But my love for her and my love for you, cannot be measured, it's different. It can't be compared to one another. It has its on strengths and weaknesses. It's weird, for the longest time you have been the only constant in my life." "And you've been the constant in mine…" she voiced out quietly.

"Sam, I know a lot is bound to change as soon as I say the words I do. A lot of changes has already occurred, but look at us, we have never been stronger. Take hope in that, have faith in that. You're not going to be erased from my mind, nor will I be erased from yours. I know it's scary. I'm scared too. But I love you Sammy. You're my best friend. Nothing can ever change that. I will always be there for you, and that's a promise." Rita was mesmerized by the sincerity in his voice. Her attention by captured by her longing to believe in what he had said, feeling silly that she needed to hear his reassurances. At the same time glad to have heard them. They sat quietly for a moment before Chris broke their silence.

"Sam, will you spend my last hours as a bachelor with me?" he asked in a hopeful tone. Rita grinned.

"You bet. First, I want to check on the bride to see if all is well." Rita got up and grabbed the phone. Chris smiled in amazement.

*************************************

Chris, Rita, Harry and Fran ate dinner early. Their family was complete for the first time in what seemed like forever to the parents they had grown to be for Chris and Rita.

"Cap, Fran, there's something I have to ask of you." Chris began as Rita encouraged him with a small wink.

"What's that honey?" Fran asked in her mothering way.

"Would you guys walk me down the aisle, as my parents." Harry and Fran Lipshitz looked at each other and grinned proudly at the man they had considered as the son they never had. Both were beginning to get emotional as they nodded, too choked up to speak.

"While I'm on a roll. I also wanted to tell you guys that Rita will be posing as my best man, after all, she is my best friend." He stated proudly flashing her the famous Lorenzo smile. Rita blushed remembering when he had asked her the first night of her arrival. Just before they said goodnight.

*************************************

"Sam, there's something I want to ask of you." He said quietly, not knowing if she would go for it.

"What Chris?"

"Um, would you be my best man?" Taken aback, Rita didn't know what to say.

"What about tradition Sam?" she questioned.

"Stuff tradition Sam, you're my best friend. I wouldn't have anybody else stand beside on me on the most important day of my life. So will you?" The lump began to form in her throat as she choked back the tears that were about to pour. She managed a tiny nod and a yes before hugging him. As Rita thought back, she would never forget how tightly he had held her, as he whispered his appreciation and love for her.

*************************************

"Well, no one ever said you weren't original Lorenzo. But I don't think a better person exists to take the job. Great choice kid" Harry praised in favor of his almost daughter. "Thought you'd appreciate my choice Cap."

*************************************

Rita left early in the morning to help Reese get ready. She and Chris had stayed up most of the night in front of the TV watching old movies for old times sake. In each other's arms they relived the memories that lived in their hearts. As they did, they knew that what they had will always be strong. In their hearts, in their minds, in their soul.

*************************************

After Reese was dressed and ready to go Rita drove to the church dressed and ready to go. Hoping to spend some time with Chris before the ceremony. She found him pacing around the groom's room. He had his bow tie and vest on, all he needed was his jacket. He looked handsome as he stood there trying to rehearse his wedding vows. Rita knocked lightly on the door. Chris' face lit up as he saw his best friend before him. She was wearing a long round neck, sleeveless, ivory dress, that showed every curve of her body. He was mesmerized by the beauty of his best friend.

"Wow Sammy, knock me over with a feather." Rita brushed his compliments aside as she headed towards him and gave him a hug. Chris' arms automatically wrapped themselves around her. They had said everything that needed to say the night before, yet residual feelings lingered as it would.

"I have something for you Sam…" Rita remembered pulling away to grab something from her purse. Chris waited till she handed him a small velvet box. It looked familiar to him, as he opened it he smiled. Taking it from his hands Rita unclasped the guardian angel he had given her years before, and pinned it on his collar.

"This is a loan, okay. I know how scared you are of what you're about to do. But don't worry you're doing the right thing. I'm right beside you. I always will be. But as a back up, I'll lend you this guy. He was always my back up and I think you could use one today." Chris' eyes began to fill with tears. He took Rita in his arms and held on for dear life. He shook with fear, appreciation and love.

"You're the only guardian angel I need Sam. You're all I could ever ask for. No matter what, I'll always be yours." Rita attempted to swallow the tears but failed. She held on and let his smell linger. She breathed him in one last time and pulled away.

"You're ruining my make up." She joked. A feeble laugh came out from both of them as they stared at each other for a long time.

"I love you Sam." He whispered. Rita nodded knowingly,

"I know, I love you too."

At that same moment Harry walked in and informed them it was time. Chris leaned over and hugged her one more time and planted a kiss on her lips. Hand in hand they followed Harry out the door.