I wasn't one for going out.

I rarely had anything that I wanted to celebrate and I preferred to drown my sorrows in private.

I still don't know what made me give into Stella's badgering and go to Sullivan's, but as I sat at the bar with Horatio's deep voice rumbling in my ear as he traded stories with Flack, I was glad I had.

I ended up inviting him back to my place.

We had a few more drinks and listened to some of my old vinyl records. It was nice to finally meet someone who had a similar taste in music.

We talked about everything under the sun. I learned that he had a varied career as a cop.

It was like having Clare back, but not.

As we talked, I caught myself gazing into his hypnotic blue eyes and falling under the spell he wove.

And, when he kissed me, tasting of bourbon, it felt so natural.

I kissed him back.

"Do you want this?" he asked. I could smell the spice of his aftershave and the hint of cigar smoke on his fine, linen shirt.

"Yes," I had answered. I took his hand and led him down the hallway to my Spartan bedroom.

We made love.

It was the first time I had been with anyone since Clare's death. I was always comparing anyone I met to her.

It wasn't fair of me, but it was how it was.

Her death had left a huge hole where my heart had been and I never wanted to be hurt that way again.

Horatio understood. He lowered his guard and I was given a glimpse into his soul.

He held me as he encouraged me to let go and grieve for what I had lost.

He didn't judge.

He didn't ask, but I had told him anyway.

I fell asleep in his arms, safe in the knowledge that he would be there when I woke.

I had a dream of Clare.

She had been smiling. She had kissed me farewell and promised that we would meet again.

When I woke, I was filled with a sense of peace.

I turned in Horatio's arms and gently kissed him.

That was six months ago.

We've been together ever since.