Three Small Words

Sara crawled out of bed and stumbled into the bathroom. She turned on the shower, waiting for it to warm up. When it was warm enough, she pulled off her clothes and stepped behind the curtain.

Sara turned off the water and reached for her towel. She wrapped it around herself and stepped out of the shower. Walking into her bedroom, she headed for her dresser and pulled out some clothes to wear. She dressed quickly and grabbed her keys.

She opened the front door and stepped outside. Her foot came into contact with something. Looking down, she saw a small box wrapped in red paper.

What the…

Reaching down, she picked up the box and shoved it in her bag. She walked out to her motorcycle and climbed on. Starting the engine she backed away from the building and headed for the station, putting the mysterious box out of her mind.

Jake McCarty looked at the clock, wondering where Sara was. His eyes moved back to the large pile of cases that Captain Dante had brought in 10 minutes earlier. The door opened a minute later and Sara walked in carrying a box wrapped in red paper.

"What's that?"

"Don't know. It was on my door this morning. Is something going on today that I don't know about?" she said, looking out at the office.

"Well its Valentines Day." He said, "So are you doing to open it?"

"What?"

"The box. Are you going to open it?"

"Sure."

She unwrapped the box and lifted the lid. Inside she found a piece of paper and box of small foil wrapped chocolate hearts. She opened the note and read:

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH

By Susan Polis Schutz

Since I met you I have been so happy
except that I find myself worrying all the time. -
worrying that I might disappoint you
worrying that our relationship might end
worrying that you might not be happy
worrying that something might happen to you
I have fallen in love with you
and I guess I worry so much
because I care about you so much

Your Secret Admirer.

"So what does it say?"

"Nothing." She said, setting the note on the desk. "Okay fun's over, let's get to work."

Sara sat down, looking at the files occupying the space in-between their desks.

"What are those?"

"Captain Dante brought them in a little while ago." Jake said, "He wants us to go over them. See if anything was missed during the initial investigation."

"When did this become our job." She muttered, picking up a file

She opened the file and began reading. Looking up she watched Jake reading another file. Slowly she reached into the box and pulled out one of the foil wrapped hearts. After a moment she said

"Think fast rookie."

Jake looked up as she tossed the candy towards him. He caught it in one hand.

"What's this for?"

"Happy Valentines Day."

"Thanks Pez."

"Now get back to work."

He unwrapped the chocolate and popped it in his mouth. After he finished chewing, he said

"Yes boss."

3 Hours Later

Sara closed the file she was working on and added it to the pile of completed cases. Unfortunately, the pile that needed to be reviewed was still larger. She started to reach for another file, then pulled her hand back.

"That's enough for now."

Jake looked up

"What?"

"Close the file and stand up."

Jake did as he was told. Sara stood up, stretching her aching muscles.

"Time to get some fresh air." She said, "Follow me."

They walked out of the office and through the department. Once they were outside, Jake said

"Now what?"

"Let's get some lunch."

Sara moved towards the car when Jake said

"Wait, I forgot my wallet upstairs. I'll be right back."

Jake ran inside. Sara leaned against the wall, crossing her arms. Jake came back out about 15 minutes later.

"What took you so long. I'm starving."

"Sorry, Detective Johnson stopped me about something."

"Well, let's go."

Sara walked over to the car and climbed in the passenger side. Jake opened the driver's side door and climbed in. He started the car and pulled away from the station.

"So where are we going?"

"Doesn't matter. I'm up for anything."

"I think I have the perfect place."

"All right rookie."

Jake turned at the corner and drove halfway down the street. He stopped, backing up to park between two cars. Slowly he opened the door and climbed out. Sara opened her door and climbed out of the car. Standing on the sidewalk, she looked around.

"So where are we going?"

"Right here." He said, walking towards a door.

"Here?"

"Come on Pez."

Jake pushed open the door and stepped inside. Sara followed behind, looking around. The inside was decorated with some framed pictures and flowers on each table. Sara sniffed the air.

"Something smells good."

"That's Rosa's famous sauce."

"Rosa?"

"Yeah, you'll meet here in a minute." He said, "Rosa!"

The curtain parted and a middle-aged woman with dark hair stepped out. She wiped her hands on her tomato-splattered apron.

"Jake, its been too long. Don't come and see your friends anymore."

"Sorry Rosa, but its been busy lately." He said, "I'd like you to meet Sara Pezinni."

Rosa held out her hand.

"Welcome to The Italian Kitchen Sara."

"Thank you." Sara said, "You have a lovely restaurant."

"Well sit, both of you."

She led them over to a table.

"Let me tell you about our Valentine's Day Specials. We have lasagna, pasta primavera, and chicken alfredo."

Sara thought for a moment, then said

"I'll have the chicken alfredo and a coffee."

"Excellent choice and you Jake."

"I'll have the lasagna and a coffee."

"Coming up."

Rosa walked back into the kitchen. Sara looked around the restaurant.

"This is a nice place. I'll have to come back again sometime."

The curtain parted again and Rosa stepped out with two cups of coffee. She set one in front of Sara and the other in front of Jake. Sara picked up her cup and took a sip.

"This is a really nice resturant." She said, "How did you find it."

"I was driving around my first week here and found it. I started coming in like once a week because the food was really good and the staff is excellent."

The curtain parted again. Rosa stepped out with two plates. She set one in front of Jake and the other in from of Sara.

"Enjoy. Call me if you need anything."

Rosa walked back towards the kitchen, disappearing behind the curtain. They started eating, chatting about their caseload. As they were finishing up, Rosa appeared.

"Can I offer either of you some desert?"

"I am so stuffed Rosa." Jake said, "I think just the check and then we will be out of here."

"Its on the house."

"I can't let you do that Rosa."

"Jake McCarty don't you even think of giving me a hard time." She said, "Just smile and say thank you Rosa."

"Thank you Rosa."

They stood up slowly. Sara turned to walk away when she heard Rosa whisper

"Don't let her get away."

Sara smiled to herself. She walked outside and leaned against the car, crossing her arms. Jake came out a few minutes later and unlocked the doors. They climbed in the car and headed back towards the station.

"Don't let her get away." Sara repeated

"What?"

"When I was leaving, I heard Rosa whisper Don't let her get away."

"She thought you were nice, the kind of girl I should be dating."

"Did you mention that I was your partner."

"It never came up."

Jake pulled up in front of the station and parked the car. He climbed out of the car and headed for the building. Sara got out and followed him inside. They walked through the department, towards their office. Sara unlocked the door and stepped inside. She stopped mid stride and Jake ran into her.

"What's the big…"

His eyes immediately went to her desk. On Sara's desk was a large vase of red and white roses. Next to the roses was a large red envelope. Sara walked over to her desk and picked up the envelope. Her name was written on the outside.

Slowly she opened the envelope and pulled out a card with little cupids and heats along the border. Quickly she read over the words written on the card.

A dozen roses are not enough
to say I love you
but a rose is like our love
- so real and fine
that I thought
that I would send you twelve
together
to let you know
that you've been on my mind

You Secret Admirer.

"Another note Sara?"

"Yeah."

"You gonna tell me about this one?"

"Nope. Time to get back to work."

"But Sara…"

"No buts rookie. We have to finish reviewing these reports or I will be the one to answer to Dante."

"All right."

They sat down, each taking another file from the stack. They worked continuously until the last file was done. Sara closed her file and stood up slowly, stretching her aching muscles. Looking at the clock, she saw that it was almost seven o'clock.

"Well I am going to drop these off at Dante's office, then I am going home."

She opened the door and picked up the stack of files. Jake was out of his seat in a flash.

"Let me get some of those."

"Thanks."

Jake took half the stack of files from her hands. They made their way down to Captain Dante's office. Sara set her files on a desk and knocked on the door.

"Enter."

She opened the door and picked up her stack of files. They walked into the office.

"We are done with the files sir." She said

"So file them."

"Sir." Jake said, "These are the ones that you asked Detective Pezinni and I to review this morning."

"I know. Now file them."

"But you wanted to know if we found anything wrong Captain." Jake said

"Did you."

"No sir."

"So file them."

Jake started to say something when Sara grabbed his arm. He looked over and she shook her head. They walked out of the office and headed towards the file room. They each set their stack on the desk. Sara looked around.

"This is going to take forever"

"Why don't you take off."

"What about the filing?"

"I'll do it."

"Thanks Jake."

Sara turned and walked out of the file room. Jake watched as she walked away

Idiot…fool…now its too late.

She headed down to her office to get her jacket. As she slipped on her jacket, she saw the flowers sitting on the file cabinet.

"They look better here anyway."

She was about to leave when she walked over to the cabinet. After a minute, she pulled two roses out of the vase. Turning back to the desk, she grabbed a piece of paper and a pen. She wrote Happy Valentines Day Jake on the paper and set the rose on top. The other one she carried out with her.

She walked outside and climbed on her bike. Tucking the rose in her jacket, she started the bike and pulled away. As she roared through the city, she tried to think of who could have sent them.

When she got home, she parked the bike and climbed off. She removed the rose from her jacket, making sure it didn't get damaged. She walked up to her apartment and unlocked the door. Once inside, she pulled off her jacket, dropping it on the chair.

She walked over to her bed and sat down. Setting the rose in front of her, she pulled out both notes and reread them, trying to think of who could have sent them.

"Its driving you crazy."

Looking up she saw Danny standing by the window.

"You know who it is don't you."

"Yes."

"And you can't tell me."

"All I can say is he is closer than you think."

"Closer than I think? Well there's Kenneth Irons, Nottingham and Gabriel. None of them see like the type."

"Think Sara."

Sara closed her eyes. After a minute, her eyes opened quickly.

"It can't be…can it."

When Danny didn't answer, Sara got up and ran into the living room. She grabbed her jacket and flew out of the apartment. Jumping on the bike she started it and flew towards the station. Jake was walking to his car just as she pulled up. She came to a stop.

"Jake!" she shouted

He turned away from the car to see her running towards him.

"Sara?"

"Did…you…send…them?"

"What?"

"The notes, the chocolate, the flowers."

He looked down, not speaking. Sara stepped forward and slipped her hand under his chin. Slowly she tilted his head up until he was looking in her eyes.

"Why didn't you tell me?"

"I didn't want to lose you."

He wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her towards him. His other arm wrapped around the other side of her waist. He leaned forward, brushing his lips against her softly. Pulling back, he whispered

"I love you."