The rapid knocking on her front door made Emily cringe at the thought of getting up to answer is. She'd spent as little time as possible changing out of her work clothes and into sweats and a tank top. Now, having just gotten comfortable in her overstuffed armchair and starting last weeks new Lifetime movie, she was not moving.
Besides, there was only one person that would be at her apartment at 8:30pm on a Tuesday and he had a key. A few seconds later she heard the keys jingle through the thin wood of the door. They were inserted into the deadbolt and twisted, unlocking it. Emily only half listened to the squeak of the brass knob as it was turned, allowing entry into the apartment.
Matt poked his head into the dark apartment, "Em? Are you here?"
She decided not to answer knowing full well that Matt would let himself in and find his way to her.
Emily heard his heavy footsteps cross the tile on the kitchen floor, the rustle of a plastic grocery bag and finally the clinking of her great-grandmother's sterling silverware.
Em turned her attention back to the depressing movie and snuggled into her favorite down blanket. She felt Matt walk up behind her, he didn't speak, just stood there watching her. He placed a cool hand on her back at the nape of her neck, sending a shiver down her spine.
"You ok?" he asked, the concern for her was evident in his tone.
Emily leaned her head to the side, resting it against Matt's arm, "yeah, I just had crummy day that's all."
Matt knew that she'd been a little out of it most of the day, but between her classes and his weapons recertification they'd only seen each other once from across the bullpen.
"I could tell," Matt nodded. "I brought some 'Chunky Monkey' to cheer you up," he said with a boyish grin as he handed her the pint and a spoon.
She looked up at him with appreciation, "thank you, but the Pillsbury dough boy beat you to it." Em pulled the half-eaten, family sized pack of chocolate chip cookie dough from under her blanket.
Matt couldn't help but laugh, "good, that means more for me!"
"I don't know… It won't take me long to finish this, then I'll give you a hand with that ice cream."
"Are you serious Em? Your day couldn't have been that bad."
Emily dug out a large spoonful of raw dough and took a bite, "oh, but it was."
"Wanna talk about it?"
"Are you sure you wanna listen?"
Matt moved around the chair and sat on the edge of the sofa facing his girlfriend, "that's what I'm here for."
"Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go as planned? When you wish that you could hit a rewind button and start everything over?"
"No, not recently anyhow," Matt reached out and placed his hand on Emily thigh, "I've been lucky enough to spend the last year and a half with you. Why would I want to go back and change that?"
Emily smiled as the color rose in her cheeks, she took hold of Matt's hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. She knew it had been a rhetorical question, but fell even deeper in love with him for the statement.
The couple had been together for just under a year, having overcome multiple personal and professional battles. Their relationship had recently taken a more serious turn after a short break-up nearly ended their partnership completely. The brief separation only made their bond stronger, 'If we're gonna do this, then we're gonna do it,' Emily had reminded Matt of a previous conversation. That's exactly how they moved forward, hotels were the first thing to go, followed by most of their sneaking around.
"Ok, here goes." Emily leaned back in her chair. "First, I woke up this morning alone," she said bluntly. "I know you had to leave early to meet Frank, but I still missed you being there."
A boyish grinned crossed Matt's face, "I missed you too," he leaned forward and kissed the woman loved. "As much as I'd love to make up for this morning, I know that's not the only reason you were in a bad mood."
"No, that was just the start of it," Emily let out a deep sigh as she thought about all the things that had gone wrong throughout the day. "So, after waking up to a cold and empty bed, I realized that my alarm hadn't gone off. I guess there must have been a power surge of some kind because my clock was wrong… and I was already forty-five minutes late. Part of which is your fault for keeping me up last night."
Matt could tell by her tone that she didn't really blame him for her tardiness, there was a hint of approval in her words. He gave an innocent shrug and took a large bite of his ice cream.
"Then," she continued, "thanks to my stingy neighbors, I had to take a freezing cold shower." Matt tried to stifle his laughter, "Em, honey, you should really think about moving to a better apartment."
She just rolled her eyes, "I wish could afford to even think about moving out of this place."
"You could always move in with me…" Matt suggested before fully comprehending what he'd just asked.
"Yeah, I am."
Emily stared at her boyfriend in disbelief, unsure if she'd really heard what he just said. Matt was well know for his spur-of-the-moment decision making, but there was a undeniable confidence in his voice that assured her of his intentions.
"When can we start packing?" Emily asked with a grin.
Unaware that he'd forgotten to breathe, Matt exhaled deeply and smiled, "right now if you want to."
"Can it wait until tomorrow? I still have cookie dough left," Emily asked as she took another bite.
Matt laughed and shook his head at his partner, "yeah, it can wait. Now, keep talking, I kinda like playing the shrink."
"It just kept getting worse!" Emily let out a frustrated sigh and continued, "after I thawed out from my shower, I ran out the door as fast a possible, only half dressed mind you."
Matt nearly choked on a walnut as visions of his scantly clad girlfriend running through the Federal Building invaded his mind. As she continued her story Matt shook the thoughts out of his head.
"Well, I forgot the report I was up half the night working on, so if I wasn't already going to get chewed out for being late, I was definitely going to hear it from Cheryl now."
"Oh come on Em, you know Cheryl better than that."
"Yeah, well, she actually had a meeting with the D.A. early this morning, so she didn't even notice that I was missing."
"See, your day got better after all."
Emily shoveled a heaping spoonful of cookie dough in her mouth, "not exactly. If my day had gotten any better I wouldn't be sitting here stuffing my face full of carbs." She shrugged, "I got lucky."
"You got lucky? Could you make sure that I'm involved the next time that happens?"
"Matt" Emily whined. She picked a chocolate chip out of the gooey batter and threw it towards her boyfriend's head, hoping for a direct hit. Matt reacted quickly, arching his neck forward he opened his mouth catching the morsel with FBI trained efficiency.
"Thank you," Matt teased as he chomped down on the semi-sweet candy. "Now, finish telling me about your day. Your life is more interesting than cable."
Emily chose to ignore the witty remark, she sank deeper into her chair, "the rest of the morning was ok, aside from but my afternoon class was horrible. We started a new seminar today, 'Crisis Intervention Through Active Listening', well, let's just say that my students are not active listeners. One guy actually fell asleep! Where does the FBI find these people?"
Matt slowly raised his hand to speak, "in his defense, I think I fell asleep in the class too."
"You're really not helping!"
"Sorry. Although," he continued, in a desperate recovery attempt, "there's no way I would have fallen asleep if my instructor were even half as hot as you!"
Emily rolled her eyes, "gee thanks."
Matt took another bite of his ice cream and winked at his girlfriend. He watched her intently as she bit down the corner of her bottom lip, trying to keep from smiling at Matt's flirtatiousness.
That lip was Matt's weakness and Emily used it against him every chance she got. She knew the should get anything she wanted out of him with such a tiny gesture. And at that moment there was only one thing that she desired.
Emily rose from her seat slowly, turning to face her boyfriend. She reached out to place the tip of her finger on his jean covered knee and began tracing invisible eights there. As she inched her way closer towards Matt she let her fingers lead the way, having them walk their way up his thigh.
The young woman straddled her partner's hips and allowed her petite body to nestle closely against his. Placing a feather light kiss just below Matt's jaw, she let her lips linger there for a brief moment to feel his the increase in his heartbeat.
"Thank you," she said in a seductive whisper.
A puzzled expression overtook Matt's face, "what for?"
Emily closed her eyes and her mouth descended towards her lover's.
As soon as Matt realized what was happening it was too late. Emily had stripped the partially eaten pint of ice cream from his hands, planted a chaste kiss on his cheek and returned to her chair. He sat there in awe, only somewhat embarrassed to have been played by his own girlfriend.
"That was cruel," Matt stated, tugging on his jeans as he tried to discreetly reposition himself on the sofa.
Emily dug a banana slice out of the frozen treat and popped it into her mouth, "I know. I'll make it up to you later."
"That would be appreciated."
She nodded in agreement. "First you have to finish listening to me vent."
Matt groaned, "there's more? What else could have happened to you today?"
"My ex showed up. Brian, the one I told you about."
He thought back to a conversation several months prior, "was he the crazy one that slept outside your college dorm because you refused to marry him?"
"What did he want?"
Emily remained silent and took another bite ice cream. She cleared her throat before speaking, "he asked me to marry him again."
Matt lunged forward, hoping he'd heard her wrong, "he what?"
"Oh yeah, you should have been there. He cornered me in the lobby on the way back from lunch. I had to get security to escort him from the building."
"You're probably lucky I wasn't there…"
"Oh really? What would you have done about it?"
Emily stopped eating what was left of the ice cream and stared over at Matt while she licked the spoon clean. She could see the thought in his eyes as he pondered his response. Matt didn't speak, or move or even break eye contact for what seemed like an eternity. Emily, completely unaware of the reasoning behind her boyfriend's silence, continued their gaze.
Finally, Matt stood, turned away from his partner and walked back in the direction he'd come from earlier that night. The curious woman's eyes followed, but she didn't go after him, knowing full well that he would return to her. She paid close attention to the sounds coming from the kitchen, anxious to know what was going on.
Emily set the almost empty cardboard container on the floor beside her, focusing all she could on what might be going on in the other room. She could barely make out the rustle of Matt's leather jacket sliding across her dinning room table, the zipper tapping against the glass. Then silence.
Suddenly he was behind her again, she hadn't heard his footsteps approaching.
"I would have done this," Matt said in a firm tone of voice.
He knelt down beside her, resting his hand atop her on the armrest. Emily sucked in a deep disbelieving breath.
"I was going to save this until next month, for you birthday, but since you ask what I would I would have done today had I been there… this is exactly it."
She tried to keep her emotions in check, but Emily could feel a tear rolling down her cheek.
"Em?," Matt cleared his throat before continuing, "will you marry me?"
Unable to restrain her excitement any longer the young woman wrapped her arms around the man loved. "Yes!" She exclaimed, climbing over the arm of the chair and into his embrace. Matt slid the thin ring on the hand of his future wife. Their lips met in a feverish hurry, not wanting to waste another moment apart. He brushed a strand of hair to the side as his finger tangled in her curly brunette locks.
Never losing contact with her mouth, Matt reached around Emily's waist and lifted her enough to cradle her legs in his other arm. As they made their way towards the small apartment bedroom Emily reluctantly broke the magnetic force of their lips. Sensing the hesitation, Matt set her down gently on the carpeted floor.
Emily shook her head and ran her hand down Matt's chest, "nothing's wrong. Go ahead, I'll be right there."
He kissed her tenderly on the forehead and continued on into the bedroom. As soon as she could no longer be seen in the narrow hallway, Emily darted back to her favorite chair. She grabbed the spoon and remaining ice cream and hurried back to her waiting fiancé. She'd made a promise to him not long ago and Emily had every intention of returning the ice cream she'd stolen from Matt.