ROOKIE BLUE (isn't mine)

A DAY AT THE BEACH

I do apologize for taking so long to update this story. Please forgive me

-o-

PART 9

She seemed to like it at her sister's. And she might have been pretty comfortable with Sarah's guys to go biking with them. He already knew that she could pull off some stunts at work, that given the opportunity, she didn't mind cutting corners, but he had no idea that she was into extreme sports. I'd like to see more of those freestyle moves, he thought, his mind filled with unwanted graphic images. He rubbed his nose with the dirt cloth he had been using for the car and smudged his face.

He went back to the house to take a shower. These last few hours, he had made up his mind not to try anything. Even if he'd somehow coerced her into spending the week end with him, that didn't mean that she was willing to leave Callaghan. He'd been helping her with her love life from day one, he was not willing to jeopardise their friendship. He sighed. He should never have taken her to Sarah's. It was selfish and inappropriate.

"Look at you all dressed up!" Sarah teased him. She wiped her hands on her jeans and leaned against the counter. "I bet Andy…"

"Don't start Sarah," he gave her a stern stare.

"Well, you look great little brother, I mean it. Too bad you can't take a compliment from your own sister."

He shrugged and looked at the door as if it could make Andy McNally appear on the doorstep. He checked his watch. "It's been a half hour. That's ridiculous, we're running late."

"Sammy, you're a cop but you must know that a girl needs some time to get ready. Don't you want her to doll up a little for your big date?"

"Sarah, this is not a date. She's not my girlfriend. She's my rookie for God's sake!"

"Right," she grinned. "Yeah, tell yourself that," she chuckled.

"Okay, I'm going upstairs and get her," he said, dashing from the kitchen.

"You do that," Sarah mused.

Sam was upstairs in a few strides. He stopped before Andy's door. "You ready?" he said in a loud voice. "I'm coming in!"

"I'm ready," she said while he was bursting in.

She turned around. He stopped dead in his track unable to hide his surprise. Not that he had not noticed that fact before since that was precisely at the root of his problem. And the fact that he loved her silly jokes and cute awkwardness, and that she was so stubborn and bold all the time. But tonight, McNally was simply drop dead gorgeous. He simply couldn't get his eyes off of her. His mind went blank. Unable to crack any idiotic joke to alleviate the situation, he just stood there, his mouth agape, mentally undressing her. Well, actually, there was not much left to take off. Her black dress was simply the tiniest dress he'd ever seen. He'd seen her in a skirt before for the John sweep but nothing had prepared him for that. He was used to Andy in her jeans and t-shirts and never expected her to turn into some poster girl for Cosmopolitan. Sam, snap out of it. She frowned and bit her lip, shifting awkwardly from one foot to the other on her four inch sandals.

"Sam, what's wrong?" She swirled back to face the mirror, her eyes widening under stress.

"Nothing. It's fine. I mean you look fine."

"Really? Is it too much?"

"No, it's too little," he blurted before he had time to think. "You look great, really." So that was it. That was how close he'll ever be to her. The best friend, the confidante. He was not sure that he could put up with this any more. What was he thinking? Two days with her, out of Toronto, at her sister's and now that?

She chuckled. "Okay, you got me worried for one second."

"So, it's what you look like when you're not in your uniform?" he tried.

"Sam, are you serious? You've seen me plenty of times in my civvies."

That's the without I can't get rid of, he thought. "Is it what's it's called now," he muttered. "Come on Andy, we're going to be late."

"Oh okay, sorry, I didn't realize. Wow, you look great!" she said, realisation sinking in that he had also dressed up for the occasion.

"What? Did you think that Callaghan was the only one who can pull off a suit?" Good move Sam. He watched her face go white under her light make up and wished he had kept his temper under control.

She walked past him, avoiding any physical contact and trotted down the stairs without a word. Exclamations from Lonny and Jed welcomed her apparition in the kitchen. He heard his sister's excited voice and finally followed her downstairs. He was such an ass. He watched her from the doorway. Andy was doing her best to appear happy and confident but as soon as he saw her twirling for their benefit and looking miserable, he knew he'd made his biggest mistake yet. Let's get this over with, he said to himself. First thing tomorrow, I'll take her back to Toronto and hope that she'll ever forgive me. She spotted him. She faced him. "Time to go?"

He nodded briefly. "See you later guys," he said.

She put on her coat and opened the front door without checking if he was following her. She walked down the stairs and waited for him near the car. They didn't exchange a word until Niagara Falls. He glanced at her a few times but she kept gazing out the window, her fists clenched on her lap. He finally pulled over and stopped the car.

"McNally, I'm sorry, I don't know what I was thinking."

"I think that you do. Please, don't say anything, I can't listen to you right now."

"Are you hungry?"

"No, not now. Could you just stay quiet and leave me be?" She took a deep breath and turned on her seat to face him. "I have no idea of what I'm doing, Sam. I don't know why I'm here, with you. I couldn't even tell Luke. What does it say about me?"

"I can't answer that Andy."

"I know. And I don't blame you for what you said. You're right. I have to make a decision."

"A decision?"

"I have to tell Luke it's not working. And I want to know why you took me to your sister's."

"Told you. I got your car fixed and…"

"Stop it, would you. This is getting ridiculous beyond belief. Traci's right."

"Is she?"

"Yep, definitely."

"And?"

"And you know that I know why we're here. And I know that you know why I accepted."

"Andy…"

She silenced him with an angry glare. "But we're so stubborn that no of us can make the first move. I hate this. This is so lame. For Christ's sake, Sam, we're not fifteen, this is not junior high. I know you won't make a move because you think I'm in love Luke." She stared at him.

At least, they were on the same page on one thing. She was not buying the boyfriend excuse any more that he was.

"MacNally, I'm getting cold. Let's get something to eat, we got to talk."