I can fly
But I want his wings
I can shine even in the darkness
But I crave the light that he brings
Revel in the songs that he sings
My angel gabriel
- Lamb

**

Calleigh sat on the large, plush lounge chair with a cup of steaming hot chocolate rested on her knee, and her legs curled up under her. He black heels were lying up against each other, in their own lonely little pile, just beside the end table that held the only light, currently coating the room in a gentle glow. It was late and she knew she wouldn't be able to sleep if she didn't sit and relax and drink something warm and soothing to wash away the day's stresses. She'd had a busy, complicated day and a case that had dragged well into the night. Countless times, she'd wanted to pack up her evidence and go home. But then she'd think about the beautiful little girl in the photograph the weeping mother had handed her and she knew, she couldn't sleep until they found her.

She'd watched, through the glass walls of the ballistics lab, as Eric had signed out at the reception desk and headed out for the night, he'd glanced in her direction, he always did, but he couldn't see her. She'd resigned herself then, to the notion that she wasn't going to see him for another whole day. Not in the capacity that she wanted to, right there, when her heart was tied up in knots and all she felt she wanted to do was curl up in those strong arms and drift away.

Sniffing at the still too hot beverage, Calleigh smiled as his nose twitched and he hugged the cushion tighter. He was still dressed in the clothes he'd left work in, but she'd seen his shoes by the front door and she'd smiled immediately, knowing he'd made himself comfortable in her home.

Calleigh placed her drink down on a coaster on the coffee table and whilst watching him sleep, slipped her jacket off, un-tucked her cherry-red blouse and removed her belt. She would have gone to her bedroom, to find some real pajamas, but after the day she'd had, she didn't want to even dance with the idea of letting him out of her sight.

Calleigh was the kind of woman that you didn't want to mess with. She was strong and beautiful and her proficiency with any kind of weapon handed to her, had even the toughest, masculine cops, coming to her for instruction. She commanded the interrogation room, cracked uncrackable perpetrators and walked with a sway in her step that hand men craning their necks just to catch a glimpse of her. She had a fortress around her, built with the bricks of a broken-down home, crumbled around the ruins of a childhood that lacked and innocence she'd well deserved.

She could handle herself and she could defend herself when necessary. She'd never needed a man to come to her rescue and never in her wildest dreams, had she pondered letting him do it. She'd watched friends and colleagues lean on their boyfriends, their husbands and she'd cringed each time they'd let him speak for them. She had never let Jake speak for her and had broken a nail as she'd angrilly grasped his collar in a rage when he'd tried. She governed her relationship with Hagen, pushing him away at work and eventually, in her home too. Paolo had never left her bedroom and even that was born more of control on her part, than any form of shame. Mark had taught her the finer points she knew about sniping, but that relationship had set a course toward a comfortable friendship and she hadn't faught it.

She didn't need anyone to hold her up. Hadn't even needed it as a child, when she was too short to see over the crowd watching the Thanksgiving Day parade, and had to compromise by crawling underneath the legs of many unsuspecting spectators, making other parents chuckle and wonder where the beaming, cheerful little girl's parents were.

Least of all, did she need Eric's strong, warm arms and broad protective body to sheild her from the harshness of the world. She didn't need his kisses, to soothe away the pain. She didn't need his whispers, to scare away the monsters in the night and she didn't need his promises, to make her feel safe. Because he knew everything she was capable of and pushed her to do even the things she thought she couldn't do. She could stand on her own and she could bear the pain and she could shoulder the weight.

She knew that she didn't need him. But she was watching him sleep, smiling as his chest rose and fell in a calm, rythmic up and down that she found herself mimicking without even thinking about it. He'd come into her home, whilst she was buried in useless evidence, searching for a little girl she'd feared dead and he'd filled her home with the smell of his colonge and the spices of something cuban leftover in her fridge, something his mother had made for her. One of his bare feet was hanging off her sofa, because he didn't fit and one of his arms was dragging along the floor. His shirt was open, she could see, but because he was pressed face down, into the cushions, she could only make out the caramel edge of his delicious collar-bone and licked her lips, fighting her want to kiss it. His dress shirt was rolled up to the elbows and his belt was dangling over the back of the sofa.

He fit there, she knew. Her home was decorated with browns and creams, neutral tones in the living-room and bold, dark and colourful tones in the bathroom. Her design style bordered feminine and masculine and when she watch him there, bathed in the light of a single lamp, she knew that he belonged there.

She didn't need him. No. But she wanted him.

She wanted his smiles. She wanted his kisses. She wanted his promises and his whispers and his hands, roaming across her stomach. She wanted his eyes, following her across a room and she wanted his silent, secret looks, hidden behind his eyelashes when the room was filled with people that couldn't know. She wanted him to reach the glasses on the highest shelf and she wanted him to carry the heavier bags in the grocery store. She wanted him to carry her to bed, when she fell asleep on the couch and she wanted him to defend her honor.

She looked down at the cup of hot chocolate sitting on her coffee table, knowing it had gone cold as she'd watched him. But, as she unfolded her legs and silently padded across the room, to stand over him. She didn't really care about the chocolate any more. Gently, she pulled the pillow from his grasp, carefully making sure not to wake him before sitting down on the edge of the sofa with her hand pressed to the back of his head, running her thumb over his ear as she studied his face. Unconciously, his arm reached out and wrapped around her waist, pulling tight and she chuckled silently, letting her body slide up against his on the sofa.

She pressed her stomach to his, tucking her arms into her chest and tangling her legs with his as he pulled her closer, pressing his palm to her back until she could bury her face in the crook of his neck. "Hey," He breathed out, ruffling her hair and she smiled warmly, kissing his chest.

"Hey," She answered, loving the smell of him so close.

"I broke in," She could hear the smile in his voice and she laughed, shuffling her body as close as she could get.

"I'm glad."

Eric kissed her forehead, hugging her possesively against him and Calleigh smiled, pressing her lips to his chest again, because she knew she wanted him, far more than she needed him. He was her angel, her protector and she felt she was capable of so much more, just by having him beside her.

The End.