Author's note:  Same disclaimers as previous chapters

The poem contained in this chapter are song lyrics written by Lars Halapi and S. Edkvist.  The song is titled "I'll Remember You" and can be found on the self-titled CD by Sophie Zelmani.  No infringements intended.

I would like to take a moment to thank those of you who have followed Frank and Caitlin through their journey.  A special thank you to the ladies I work with who have given me nothing but encouragement.  And to those who posted such kind reviews –Kha and Sarah (fellow OFEB members)—you guys have been so supportive!,  Serena (fellow OFH member), Deana (it was wonderful bumping into you in the chat room--  lol), Dani J (you are an inspiration all unto yourself), Ann, Haley, Patty, Kathy, Mommints, Tanith, Yarvarni, and Janice (I think you grew as fond of Caitlin/Frank as I did ^_^) –Bless you all!  You made this story a labor of love, literally!!!  :-)

Chapter 20

"God, I'm exhausted," Alex complained as she and her four teammates lumbered through the doorway of their headquarters.

"Tell me about it!" Cody agreed.

"What are you talking about?  Sitting behind a computer can't be that exhausting!" Jake argued.  "Donovan, Alex and I did all the hard work." 

"Stop fighting, children," Monica laughed.  "We're all tired. 

"Humph!" Alex plopped into a nearby chair.  "At least the three of you in the cozy van didn't have to walk around in stiletto heels and hang out with prostitutes trying to get information on a local drug dealer and, not to mention, almost get the crap beat out of her by her loving pimp."  She began to rub her feet.  "Man, my dogs are barking."

Jake looked sheepish.  "Sorry Alex...had to make it look good."

"Yeah, well you can rub the soreness out of my feet then."  She made a face at Jake and stuck her tongue out.

A loud noise from the couch caught their attention. All eyes turned to see Donovan splayed out on the couch...asleep.

"He snores!" Cody observed, holding his sides trying not to laugh.  "Damn, he sounds like a fog horn."

"Shut up!" Monica said, holding her hand over her mouth, the laughter bubbling over.

"Oh, man!  I'm too tired to drive home...he'll keep me up all night!" Jake complained, covering his ears.

"No he won't," came a voice from behind.

Everyone turned to see a young blonde standing in the doorway that led to the gym.

Jake drew his gun.

"Please, I've been shot enough lately," she smiled, putting her hands up.

"Who are you?" Alex demanded.

"Caitlin Whitfield.  We haven't had the opportunity to meet since I've been in town, sorry."  Caitlin smiled playfully as another snore ripped through the otherwise quiet interior of the room.

"How'd you get in here?"  Jake asked.

Caitlin nodded toward the couch.  "Sleeping beauty, there.  He gave me the access codes."

"He must have a lot of trust in you, Miss Whitfield," Monica observed.

Caitlin shrugged, "He trusts me with his life." When she saw the frowns crease their brows she said, "Those are his words not mine." 

Another loud snore interrupted the interrogation.

Caitlin grinned.  "So, do you want the snoring to stop or not?"

"Please!" They all said in unison.

Caitlin quietly walked over to Frank.  She picked up a pillow he had pushed onto the floor and leaned over and blew a gentle breath into his ear.

Frank smiled in his sleep, rolled onto his side and reached out his arms.  "Mmmm...come here, baby," he murmured in his sleep. 

Caitlin stepped aside and held the pillow in front of her.  She smiled tenderly as Frank clutched the pillow to his chest.

She turned back to the others, quietly walking away from Frank so as to not disturb him.  They had a befuddled look mixed with amazement and amusement.  "Easy as pie," she told them.  "He just likes to hold on to something when he sleeps." 

"A pillow is a poor substitute for who he was reaching for." Cody joked.

Caitlin smiled.  "I'll take that as a compliment."

"You should," he acknowledged.

"Well, now that your torment is over, why don't you all rest a while?'  Caitlin suggested.  "I saw those cots set up in the next room.  You must crash here from time to time." 

They all nodded.  "If you don't mind, Miss Whitfield," Jake began but was interrupted by Caitlin.

"Please, call me Caitlin...or Caity, like most of my friends do.  I'm hoping we can be friends."  Her eyes were unsure as they looked over the group.  She had convinced herself Frank's team would find her an intrusion. 

"Caity it is, then!" Jake smiled.  "If you're sure you don't mind...I can hardly keep my eyes open."

Caitlin nodded.  "Please, go get some rest.  I'll watch over Frank and make sure he doesn't start snoring again."

Monica laughed.  "Thank you!  And that's some trick you have, girl.  I'll have to give it a try sometime."

Caitlin laughed.  "Yeah.  Frank said it sure beats a sharp elbow to his ribs."


Several hours later, Alex woke and walked to the outer room.  She was in need of a cigarette and a strong cup of coffee.  She found Caitlin asleep at the briefing table, her head resting on her folded arms.  She noticed a legal pad in front of the young woman and picked it up out of curiosity.

Her eyes grew wide and she inhaled quickly.  "Oh, boy...this is gonna kill him."

"Kill who?" Jake whispered from behind, rubbing his eyes still heavy from sleep.

Cody and Monica trailed behind.  "What's going on?" Cody asked.  "Alex woke me up when she bumped into my cot."

Jake nodded, "Me too.  Can't find her way in the dark, I guess."

"Shhh....look at this.  I found it next to Caitlin, she must have wrote it while we were sleeping."

They all huddled around Alex, reading over her shoulder.

It's daybreak

And you are asleep

I can hear you breathe now

Your breath is deep

But before I go

I look at you one last time

I can hear a heart beat

Is it yours or is it mine?

I look at your lips

I know how soft they can be

Do they know what they wanted

The times they kissed me?

And your hands

That I held in mine

Now they're reposing on the pillow

Will they ever miss me sometime?

I'll remember you

You will be there in my heart

I'll remember you

Now that is all that I can do

But I'll remember

Your eyes

That always make me shiver

Now they are closed

They just sometimes twitch a little

And your body

I could own for an hour

It sends me to heaven

With its heat and power

I'll remember you

You will be there in my heart

I'll remember you

Now that is all that I can do

But I'll remember

Jake let out a long breath.  "Wow, it sure sounds like a 'Dear Frank' letter, even if it is written in pretty words."

Monica nodded.  "And I thought things were going so well between them."

"They were.  Can you believe it?  Frank told us in the van tonight he was going to ask her to marry him." Cody informed them.

"What's going on?"

"Frank!" Alex exhaled as she turned to see him awake, sitting up on the couch.  She quickly hid the pad behind her back.

"Yes, Alex, I think we all know who I am."  He smiled, softening his sarcastic comment.  He saw Caitlin asleep at the table.  "Angel?"

"She was protecting us from the deadly fog horn monster," Cody stated with all seriousness.

"What?"  Frank was perplexed.

"Never mind."

"Alex, what's wrong with you?  You look like a cat cornered by a pack of angry dogs."  He watched Alex shuffle her weight from foot to foot.  Her head hung low and she wouldn't look at him.


He walked to her, stopping directly in front of her, staring down into her blue eyes.  Without warning, he reached behind her and snatched the legal pad from her hands.

Monica ushered her teammates out of the room.  "Come on, let's go make some coffee," she suggested as Frank began reading the note.

Frank read the writings over and over, his pain and humiliation growing with each reading.  She was leaving him!  She had been in Chicago less than two weeks and had already given up.  And here I was, going to ask you to marry me tonight, he thought. 

~Wham!~ The pad landed with a thud and slid across the table until it met with Caitlin's forearm and startled her awake.  She sat up, rubbing her eyes.  She smiled up at Frank until she saw the angry look on his face.

"What's wrong?  Is it because I came here without you?"  When he didn't answer, she continued, "I just wanted to surprise you."

"Well, that you did," he said angrily.

She stood up quickly and the chair toppled over behind her.  "Well, if you didn't want me to come here, you shouldn't have given me the access codes."  She jerked the chair to an upright position and slammed it into the table.

"Don't give me that, Miss Whitfield."  He picked up the legal pad and handed it to her.  "Is this the way you try to work things out with me?  Two weeks and you've had it?  You're leaving?"

"Of course, I'm leaving."  Caitlin held back the smile that was tugging at her lips.  Lord, she thought, he's forgotten already.

"Fine," he sighed, resigned to his fate.  "I should have known it wouldn't last."  He took the pad back from her and tossed it back onto the table.  "I won't beg you to stay."

"I should hope not, you told me you didn't mind if I left."  She knew she was torturing him, but it was his own fault for not having faith in her...not to mention his short-term memory.

"What in the hell are you talking about?" He demanded

"You big oaf," she smiled, twining her arms around his neck.  "Tomorrow is Devon's birthday.   I promised Misty I would come home to help celebrate."

Recollection slowly dawned, and Frank felt like an idiot.  "But that poem..."

Caitlin stood on tiptoe and brushed her lips against his.  "I was just lamenting over how much I would miss you while I was gone."  She moaned as he kissed her deeply, crushing her to his chest.  His kiss told her what words could not alone express, his passion, his devotion, and his promise of undying love. 

"I don't really have to go," she said, breathless from his kiss.  Nothing seemed as important as being in his arms, and the promise of ecstasy he always brought to her.

"Sorry, angel.  It sounded like a final goodbye," he whispered in her ear before nibbling on the delicate flesh of the lobe. 

"Forget it, Donovan," she said, her voice low and husky.  "You'll never get rid of me."

Donovan ushered her toward the door.  "As is should be," he said.  "How much time do we have before you have to get to the airport?"

"Why, Frank Donovan, whatever do you have in that nasty mind of yours?"  She asked, her voice full of amusement.

"I think you're the one with the nasty mind, you little devil."  He stopped her at the doorway.  "I have something to ask you, I just prefer we be alone."  He watched as a smile lit her face, realizing she somehow knew exactly what he was going to ask.

Caitlin smiled lovingly into the eyes of her man.  "Whatever it is, my love, the answer is yes." 

The End...for now.