Disclaimer: I don't own CSI: New York. I do own Caroline Palmer and family, Jen Hennessey, Haley Oakley, and Boone.

"Seriously, you just forgot?"

"Oh, right. I apologize for not remembering graduation when my brother's been a suspect in a murder investigation, I've been shot at, I'm working on my own investigation, and my boyfriend could get fired for working my brother's case," I rolled my eyes as I fumbled around my room with my phone to my ear. "Clearly graduation takes precedence."

"Clearly investigative work makes you grumpy," Jen stated on the other end. I could almost hear her grin at her own statement. Like it's funny that I'm working the crime scene. Okay, maybe it kind of is. "Are you sure you didn't see him?"

"Sorry, no," I sat down on my bed, tired of searching for things with one hand. Boone had been watching me, her head resting on the end of the bed frame and tilting this way and that with my own movements. But as soon as I sat down her snout came at my free hand. "Goofy dog," I muttered as I started to pet her.

"Thanks, anyway, I guess," Jen replied. She'd been hoping I'd seen our mystery shooter so that she could sketch him. She was hoping to move soon, I knew, and she needed more money for that and currently being an artist for NYPD was her only source of income. Apparently business wasn't booming.

Not that that's a bad thing. I mean, less crime and all that, right?

"I can spot you a couple hundred, Jenny," I stated, turning my attention towards my doorway at hearing the click of a key in the main door. A normal person would probably be freaked out when they didn't live with anyone and after they'd just been shot at. But I'm not a normal person.


I mean, I think we all know that by now.

"Liney," she whined back at me, like I was making her make some extremely difficult decision. I didn't think it was particularly difficult. I mean, free money for something you want? I suppose I'm slightly naive in that way, never having had to worry about money. Apparently most people are rather touchy about the subject. Who knew? Jen made an awkward grunting sound, like she was wrestling with a wild bear or something. Which just makes things all the more ridiculous.

I mean, wild bears in New York City?


I made a noise akin to a snort, and then blushed immediately when I glanced up from the shoes of the person in my doorway to see Don quirking an eyebrow at me.

"You're incredibly infuriating, you know that?" Jen mumbled before continuing on at a normal level. "My last audition for the orchestra's in like two weeks. I'll be okay where I am until then."

"Jen," I started, putting a hand over my eyes. People were just so difficult these days. Or maybe it was just that my life was getting way too complicated way too quickly. Yeah, that was probably it.

See? I told you I could be an egotist.

"Caroline." Jen replied, effectively cutting off my train of thought. Not that this is a particularly difficult task. "Go see your parents and then spend the evening making out with everyone's favorite detective. And I'll see you tomorrow at graduation. Anyway, I'm sure you'd rather be talking to him than me."

"Yeah. 'Cause statements like that make you sound like a douche." I replied, making a face. Don laughed. Naturally, I kind of ignored whatever Jen was saying on the other end of the phone. Because, Don Flack laughing is a sound I could definitely spend the rest of my life listening to.

And I don't know what that means for me.

I mean, did my thoughts just skip to marriage in less than, you know, like, half a second?

"Boy's there, isn't he?" Jen asked, laughingly in my ear. And I almost let it slip that I had been thinking about marriage before I realized that I was kind of frustrated with her. And that the object of my thoughts of matrimony was in the room beside me.

Can you imagine how awkward that would have been?

Because I'm finding it difficult and I've been in a lot of awkward situations. A lot.

"See? Douche. What boy are you learning that from?"

"Did you just suggest that Detective Sexy is a douche?"

"I'm definitely hanging up on you now," I replied, because I was really trying to ignore the fact that she'd called my boyfriend sexy and a douche. Because the former was a little awkward at the moment and the latter was something I'd probably address a little too harshly. What with this weird emotional roller coaster and all that I, apparently, had a front row seat in.

Seriously. It was ridiculous. Murder, getting a job, being frustrated at said job, being completely in love but still being totally unsure, and the feeling of his hand on my slightly exposed skin makes it impossible to even think about anything.

Which would be why it didn't take longer than a few seconds for my phone to, you know, basically shut itself of its own accord, or, at least, that's what I'd be willing to bet I'd be telling Jen next time I saw her.

I don't thinking making out for an extended period of time has ever made simultaneously any more and any less sense.


"Were you having sex?"

"No! Mom!" I felt the blush staining my cheeks. Why does everyone think I should be having sex? Don was giving the tiniest hint of a smirk as he fixed his shirt.

Admittedly, that was way more distracting than it should have been. Especially because it had me suddenly realizing that I hadn't ever actually seen him shirtless. Which you'd think I would, having been dating for three months and him not exactly being the most modest person on the planet.

Not that I'm complaining. I'm sure there are a lot of girls who'd kill just to be pressed up against said chest. I probably would. Not that I'm going to tell anyone that.

"You sounded flustered," she laughed, "Besides you're very nearly twenty eight, Caroline, I expect it of you."

"Well, maybe I would have it you hadn't been so persistent in calling me," I grunted in response.

Okay. False statement. But I would have still been enjoying the wondrous taste of Don Flack had my phone not kept vibrating sporadically. I would've just turned it off, but seeing that my mother was calling me...well, I'd rather dash her hopes sooner rather than later. I mean, it's harder to convince her the longer I wait. Which I know from experience, considering it took me a month to convince her I was still a virgin in my senior year of high school. Just because William was already married and Justin certainly had given himself to someone...

I mean, you see the flaw with that logic, right?

"You shouldn't lie to your mother, Liney," she laughed again.

"Is there a reason why you're calling me?" I asked, and then promptly interrupted with the follow-up of "Especially when I'm going to see you in an hour or so?"

"Are you?" She sounded surprised. I mean, didn't they all come to town for my graduation?

"I thought so," I mumbled.

"I figured you'd be staying with that boy." She made it sound like he was a fifteen year old who sold drugs behind the cafeteria and had been to juvie six times in the past three years. And she found it funny that I, sweet little thirteen year old Caroline, was running off with a boy like that. Call me crazy, but I though mothers were supposed to be angry in that hypothetical situation.

I pride myself on knowing my family's oddities, but I will never understand my mother. How she can change her tone of voice so quickly. It's mind boggling.

"Fine. I'll see you tomorrow, then," I mumbled, grabbing for Boone's leash.

"That's no fun, kiddo," she replied, dejected.

"I'm hanging up the phone," and then I proceeded to be the dorkiest person in the world. No, really. I took my sweet time hanging up, all the while shouting to my mother how the moment was getting closer.

Yes. I'm seven years old.

"Why, exactly, are you hanging up on everyone?" Don asked, having made a trip out of my apartment with my luggage. I shook my head, biting my lip in an attempt to repress a smile.

If he'd just seen me acting like that, he was certainly avoiding talking about it. I could appreciate that. It was very sexy. And he was looking incredibly...delightful? I'm bad with adjectives. Hence the overuse of gorgeous. But, really, if he didn't look it all the time I wouldn't have to use it so much.

As it were, I very much wanted to let my hands explore.

That's right. Keep the inappropriate jokes down to a minimum, please.

"They all seem to think that you and I are crossing a line," I'd pulled myself flush against him. I don't think I knew what I was doing. And I can't even blame it on alcohol.

Luckily for me, Don Flack is the definition of chivalry.

"Line," he whispered, his eyes closed as his hands grasped each other behind my back so that he could keep them off any of the rest of me.

And I don't want to sound any more egotistical than I already do, but he was showing some pretty intense self restraint. Like, boys I just made out with in a school building in my ten years living in this city had probably done more.

The difference being, of course, that I was not at all inclined to force myself into stopping this, while with everyone else we'd end in like ten minutes tops. I'll be honest, I'd thought about it before hand, and made sure I'd have to stop in order to go to class. Yes. I'm a coward. But I'm proud of my foresight. Straight.

But that wasn't helping matters just now. Why, oh why, was he so amazing to me? I was beginning to think maybe I wouldn't regret it afterward. I was bound to enjoy it, right? But there was that tiny little shred of me holding on to my promise to myself that made me frown every time those thoughts went through my head.

Hence the frown I was wearing currently.

"Oh," I rushed to pull myself away, a string of colorful words finding their way out. "Bad idea. Right. My bad." At this point I think I was talking just to talk. And I knew, without a doubt, that I was blushing with a ferocity that would put the sun to shame. "Sorry. I'm sorry."

"Relax, Liney," he laughed at me, before heading to my bathroom. I buried my face into the bed as I heard the water start, and I shivered like I was the one in freezing water at that moment.

Pretty sure even my neck was red. And, while I'm undoubtedly a redneck, it's never physically happened before.


Life is so unfair. The entire reason Don had to take a shower in the first place was because I was insanely attracted to him. But, I'll be damned, he's unbelievably sexy after he's had a shower.

Lucky for me I have the lovely imagery of what happened the first time, and it's doubtful that I will ever cease to blush profusely at the slightest mention of the moment.

"Alright," he rubbed his hands together. He really likes having something to do with his hands. And currently touching one another was out of the question. No matter how much I wanted to run my fingers through his wet hair. Because, I'll tell you, it was looking very appealing.

"Game plan?" I asked, raising my brow, as I pulled my coat back on and caught Boone's leash as she made her way towards him.

He absently reached down to give her head a scratch. See what I mean about needing to do something with his hands?

"I'd sort of planned on you staying with me tonight," he looked pointedly at me. It was ridiculous that he was so tall he had to bend over to pet my giant puppy. Seriously, absolutely ridiculous. I mean, I didn't have to bend over any more. Which is nice, don't get me wrong, I like being able to pet my dog without having to break my back in the process, but, geeze, Don was just about on height with me when he was leaning down to pet the giant dog.

"Am I going to get you in trouble?" I asked. I mean, I was all for staying with the blue eyed wonder, but I'd rather have forced time away now than, I don't know, have him lose his job.

Yeah. Surprisingly, I'm not okay with that.

"Some things are more important than upsetting your boss, Caroline."

Picture every romantic moment you've ever seen in movies or on TV or have thought up in your own head while daydreaming and throw those out the window. He might as well have declared his undying love for me in the most romantic way anyone has ever imagined. And, yes, the reality is much, much better than the fantasy.

He is undoubtedly going to give me a heart attack.

"I'm guessing Mac wasn't agreeing with that sentiment, when you guys were talking about me?" I looked down. Boone was very obviously content. Eyes closed and tongue hanging out happily. If only life were that easy for me.

"Yeah," Don hesitated. "But you're safe with me." I looked up at him. I'd be safe with any number of people. Clearly he knew that's what I was thinking. "I know you'd be safe with me."

After staring intently at the ground for several moments, willing my blush to disappear and my heart to calm down, I replied with a mumbled sarcastic remark about embarrassment and not being safe from that, and yes, my blush got deeper. And deeper still, seriously, my face was on fire, when he laughed at me.

And then...

Wait for it...

My phone rang. That's right. Again.

"Why does everyone on the face of the planet with my cell phone number feel like right now is the absolute best time to call me?" I rolled my eyes.

"I don't know if you noticed, but you were in a drive by, baby," Don simpered back at me. "People are worried." He slung his arm around my shoulders. The pressure never felt as heavenly as it did then. Especially because he called me 'baby' and it was so very, very attractive in that New York accent, I'm surprised I wasn't swooning outright. "But you're having this conversation on the way, Line, 'cause we can't stick around for another shower."

"Whatever you say, darlin'," I mumbled back, fumbling with my keys and my phone and trying to keep some order to my thoughts all at once.

I didn't even remember to be angry with Haley when I answered the phone.

X-posted to livejournal, as per usual.

I know, I know it's been a while. But school is still ridiculous. I'm sorry. This show's been fantastic lately, though, so. :) For some reason I couldn't 6x11 among my favorites, enough so to picspam the entire thing, holy crap. But anyway. I like the end of this chapter a lot. Sorry nothing really happened. But…I had the phone call with Jen in my mind and then I was like 'ooh, phone call with mom being all inappropriate,' and then that turned into basically the substance of the chapter and nothing really happened. So. Yeah. But I hope you like it anyway.

MissCrys: Hopefully the wait wasn't too long for you…thanks for reviewing the chapter! I'm glad you liked it. :)

CSINYMinute: Haha, yeah, maybe not the dog. You know Donnie boy well. ;) And, I mean, it's true, Detective Flack is very sexy. Thanks for reviewing! I love getting your reviews! :D

iamagaraeagas: Who wouldn't be satisfied, right? My sister likes to point out that Anna once said in an interview that her daughter's in love with Eddie and we're always like 'well, yeah, who wouldn't be?' I was not aware of that. ;) To each his own, I suppose. But you're right, he's still undeniably sexy. Thanks so much for reviewing! :) Hopefully this chapter is pleasing.

xSamiliciousx: Yep. He might as well just get that tacked onto the front of his name officially. Admittedly, it might be a little difficult to intimidate certain criminals with Sexy Detective Flack as your title…Anyway, thanks! I'm glad you like her. And thanks for reviewing and hopefully this chapter isn't too bad! :)

Ms. Lori Reznor: Thanks so much! :)

Ladey Jezzabella: Thanks, I'm glad you like it. :)

heartsandspuffy: Thank you! :) Yeah, there had to be some worthwhile humor spread throughout…but, I mean, who wouldn't be sexually frustrated when they're in such a position?

Thanks so much to everyone who reads and all the alerts and faves! Y'all know how to make my day. :)

Enjoy the chapter? ;)