A/N: The POV changes around quite a bit. I'm a little rusty when it comes to fanfic, bear with me. Does anyone still read "Profiler" fanfic? Let me know by leaving me a review please. More reviews= faster updates.
Dedication: For Noa, because I never call. :-)
Some people go to the mountains and hike. Some head to the beach and watch the waves roll in. Bailey Malone needed two fingers of Scotch, a cigar, and his office chair reclined to relax. Puccini's "Il Trittico" would be icing on the cake.
In his relaxed position, he allowed an errant thought to swirl through his consciousness like cigar smoke through the air. "Why," he wondered, "was it so difficult to find someone who appreciates my low-maintenance relaxation style?" Most of the time he was criticized for being anti-social. Most of the time it was Dr. Samantha Waters making the accusation.
A brilliant idea struck this brilliant man. If he was in the presence of another while enjoying his vices, he couldn't be accused of being a loner. And if that person happened to be working late across the causeway…
He managed to sneak into her office unnoticed and was able to flop on the couch (without spilling a drop, thank you) before the acrid smell of smoke hit the blonde's nostrils.
"What the hell are you doing, Malone?" She wasn't mad; he could tell when she was annoyed. She was trying to hide it, but he caught the slight smirk gracing her lips. Ah, and the hair over the ear move. Always a good sign.
"Just relaxing," he smart-assed. Bailey took a moment—while he was in his happy state—to really look at his colleague. He didn't like to admit it, but more and more of his time was being spent assessing his profiler. And not in a professional manner.
He loved her, that he'd never doubt. She knew that—especially after all they'd been through the past couple of years alone. But it had always been that protective kind of love; a love concerned with well-being for her and for Chloe. Yet now he was realizing he wanted that love to be reciprocated.
The beautiful blonde closed the cover over the file she'd been deciphering and came around her desk. She approached her boss, taking the tumbler out of his hand and out of his reach to her end table. Then she joined him on the couch, crossing her arms across her chest.
"Didn't we talk about the alcohol? Weren't we going to try to switch water for scotch at least once a day?" Sam nudged him a little to hit home her point.
"I'll have you know that's my first drink of the night." He took a long drag, making sure to direct the smoke away from her.
"But will it be the last? The night is still young." She wrinkled her nose, amused by the thought. For some reason she was more giddy than usual. More than likely it stemmed from the impending long weekend she was going to be enjoying with her daughter.
"I came here because I wanted to show you first-hand the joys of taking it easy. 'Chilling out' as the kids say nowadays." He extended his left arm, resting it along the edge of the couch, carefully avoiding catching her hair.
"The kids who use 'chilling out' are in their thirties with mortgages and minivans." Sam never missed an opportunity to get in a dig about his age. "But, you're right. We all need to get better at taking time for ourselves. I'm proud of you."
His deep-throated chuckle always made her feel warm. And safe. "I'm glad you approve of my actions."
"Minus the scotch," she added. As the warmth faded, Sam started to have that jittery, nervous energy feeling. Like when she skipped breakfast and had way too much coffee to compensate for an empty stomach. She leaned herself against his body, resting her head on his shoulder. Just listening to his steady heartbeat put her more at ease.
"Minus the scotch," he agreed. He brought his arm to rest around her shoulder, essentially pulling her closer.
"I also have an issue with the cigars." She looked up at him, "I just want you around to walk Chloe down the aisle. And since she's not getting married until she's fifty…you're going to need to be here for awhile." She put her head back down, snuggling in closer. It was hard to discern what touched him most: wanting him to participate in her daughter's wedding or her current position against him.
"I don't know, Sam. I think even at fifty you're going to have trouble letting her go." She sighed in agreement and smiled. "I don't blame you. So you never told me what you had planned for the weekend. Anything fun?" Even when he tried to keep his tone light, his query still came out in a husk.
"Well, Chlo's class is learning about the Civil War. She's become slightly obsessed."
"Ah, that explains the 'Scarlett O'Hara' attitude I received last time I visited." He chuckled.
"Yeah, I'm worried about the drapery." She shifted a little and maybe her right arm snaked behind his back. "So we're going to take a little road trip to Savannah to visit some of the plantations. She invited her friend Olivia to join us. They're both bouncing off the walls with excitement. I'm excited too…but two nine year-olds in the car for five hours…I don't know."
"Fearless in the face of homicidal maniacs, but quivers at the thought of pre-teens. I see where your weakness lays, Dr. Waters." She maybe pinched the skin above his belt. "Ouch. I'm teasing, I'm teasing." He pulled her in closer to stop roving hands. "Why drive? That's a long trip."
"Because—unless you've forgotten—I work for the government not Bill Gates. Flying is expensive." She paused. "And road trips are so much more memorable."
"Yes, they can be." He stoked his stogie, exhaling the smoke slowly.
"I'm going to fall asleep on you," she murmured, placing her left hand on his chest underneath her head.
"I know what I'm getting myself into." He put his cigar out on the nearby ashtray. An ashtray she kept handy just for him.
He really didn't know what he was getting himself into. Bailey still felt very comfortable with Sam, but he noticed a nervous undercurrent brewing within. He felt a turning point in their relationship was fast approaching. And he knew the nervousness stemmed from not knowing if this new awareness was mutual.
She felt him tense and looked up to find his eyes glazed over in deep thought. Though his body had stiffened, his face looked peaceful. The usual drawn expression Bailey carried was gone. She liked looking at him this way. If she was being honest, she loved it.
At that moment, he looked down. His hand moved of its own volition and caressed her cheek bone. "She's so beautiful," he thought to himself. He ran his thumb along the well underneath her left eye. She closed them both and exhaled deeply. He finished the movement until his hand was grasping the back of her neck.
"You should go home and get some rest. It's getting late." He had been hit with the urge to kiss her and didn't trust himself in this position much longer. She opened her eyes slowly, piquing his desire.
"You're probably right." She didn't move a muscle, just kept meeting his gaze. Maybe she wanted to be kissed. She smiled. "Bail…," it was a pleading response.
"Yeah, I know," he breathed. He pulled her head up and pressed his lips to her cheek. He savored the feel of her hair falling across his nose.
"Come with us," she whispered right into his ear. "Chloe would love having her Uncle Bailey there. I would love it, too."
He could deny her nothing and she knew that even before making her request. Bailey would try to justify in his mind he'd agree to go as the proverbial bodyguard. Especially with Savannah being the crime capital of the world…
He regretfully disentangled himself from her body and stood up, waking her from her reverie. "Tell you what. If we wrap up the San Francisco case by tomorrow night I'll come. But I am going to demand some changes to the trip itinerary."
"Deal," she replied dreamily. She stretched out her tired arms above her head.
He leaned back down and kissed her forehead. "Sweet dreams."