ROOKIE BLUE (isn't mine)

HOT AND ANNOYED

I'm sorry it took me so long to update the story, but here you go. I hope you enjoy reading it! Thanks again for the great support

-o-

PART 6

"McNally, you better talk now, because we're not going anywhere. What is it that you can't do? I overheard you this morning when you were at the desk with Nash." He scoffed. "As a matter of fact, everyone at the 15 heard you, you were practically yelling!"

"You were… eavesdropping?" She stared at him mortified. "What did you hear exactly?"

"McNally, don't be so dramatic, I wouldn't think of eavesdropping and I didn't hear anything, except that you can't. Can't what? If that makes you so miserable, let me help you. I'm your partner. It supersedes being your best friend…" She looked down, red creeping on her face, "… or at least I would say that we're on an equal footing with Nash," he added confused by her reaction.

She was staring at her hands, at the wire dangling from the radio, at a thread on her jacket. Think. She had to feed him with something, anything that would be as foreign as possible from what she was really after. She was juggling with something Traci told her after Luke discovered she had kept Sam on ice.

"You keep seeing your situation as a triangle... you, Luke, and Swarek. But it isn't, really... at least not yet. For the time being, Swarek's a variable. You have to focus. Luke's a given, just figure out what you want to do about your TO and you'll be fine. Once you do that, homicide Luke's value will become obvious. It's all relative, you know. Think hard before jeopardizing what you've got. Are you sure that Sam Swarek is what you want Andy? This is a big mistake."

Yes, yes, it was probably a big mistake, of that, she was absolutely sure. She had been attracted to Swarek like a butterfly to the light since their first day together on the job. There were so many reasons why she rejected him, come to think of it, none of them relevant. Her relationship with Luke was everything a girl could hope for, and still she felt that she deserved better. Being with him because it was safe, it was getting old. She felt so tired and conflicted. That was not right. When you are with someone, you must feel happy. She was, but not that kind of happiness that makes your heart jump in your chest. This whole situation was blowing out of proportion by her own fault. She did not even know why she said yes to living together. The house was cool, sort of, and the view. And they just had sex and he manipulated her into saying yes. She seemed so willing to take the wrong turn, - always.

Maybe Luke was every father's dream of the best groom, but he was not right for her. They disagreed on almost everything, not in a good way. The way he envisioned life was dry and dispassionate, something that can prove quite handy if you are a detective. But she needed desperately to infuse some passion in her life. She was not even thirty for god's sake! Why did she even fall for the guy in the first place? If she was being completely honest, she did because of his good looks and probably because he was so different from her previous boyfriends. Technically, she merely wanted to get as far away as Swarek as possible. He was trouble.

Luke made it easy for her to decide. He asked her out for a drink, he asked her to his cabin, moving in together was only the next step. He followed the rules of dating. But Sam had no rules, and dating her was probably never his agenda. He never asked anything, he was here for her, every single time. She knew she could rely on him, always.

It was still time to change her mind: moving in with someone that was a big step forward into the unknown. Nothing was set in stone, after all, her relationship with Callaghan was based on lies. That did not mean that she wanted to be with Sam either. After all, she did not even know where she stood with him, she only knew that she wanted him as much as he, that part was obvious. She looked down at her hands and found out that she was kneading her thighs and ruining her uniform in the process. She must look like a total idiot.

"Earth to McNally…" She turned to him. He was doing his best to keep his cool, but he was tense. "Andy, listen to me. There's nothing you can't do. I've seen how far you've come since you tackled me in that alley. If you put your mind to it, if there's one thing I know about you, you can do anything."

Her eyes went back to her lap. "Fake it till you make it," she whispered.

"Huh?" He tilted his head, puzzled. "What is it supposed to mean?"

She darted her eyes in his direction and back to her hands. "Nothing. Just something we came up with Traci. Fake it until you make it," she said again louder.

"Like I said, you don't have to fake any more."

Oblivious of what he was trying to convey to her, she nodded obediently. "I know. But it's hard."

"It gets easier, I promise." He stared at her, his face reflecting conflicted emotions. "Andy, did he propose? Is it what it's all about?" His voice was hard.

"No," she protested. "No, he didn't!"

"So that's not what you can't do," he said softly. He sounded relieved.

"No, it's not." She shook her head. "It's complicated. You know Sam, since my mother left, I made a lot of bad decisions, made a lot of mistakes, I always chose the wrong guy. Every single time. Always did. But at least, I never tried to fake anything before being with Luke. I'm afraid that... I mean, I lied to him."

"We already had this conversation McNally, you lied to protect him, no big deal, happens all the time." And he had made sure that her story stick, he thought. "I can tell you the same thing over and over." He paused, took a deep breath, pondering what to say next. What the hell. "If it's such a big deal, why don't you come clean? Let him decide for himself?"

Her eyes went wide. He seemed serious. She felt panic surging back. "You think?" she mumbled.

He cursed between his teeth and sighed heavily. "Of course not Andy. It was just a figure of speech. For crying out loud, are you even listening to yourself? You want to tell your boyfriend that, instead of calling him for help, you walked all the way to my place in the middle of the night to have sex while he was at a crime scene? I'm sure that Nash advised you against it… I mean, that is if you want to stay with him." He stared at her, waiting for a reaction. He finally sighed. "It was an easy decision, McNally, kiss and don't tell."

She simply nodded. "Can we talk about this later?"

"About your love life?" he chuckled, "I don't think so. I may be your friend but…"

"Okay. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have… Forget it, I feel so stupid. But this is so… Sam, I don't know. You're a guy, what should I do?"

Resisting to tease her, he stayed silent for a moment. "You should make an educated decision McNally," he finally said. His jaw twitched. "If you tell him what happened, he won't forgive you. Not this time. Andy, I have to be honest with you, I kind of lied too."

"What?" She turned to him. She could see that he was pissed at himself for having said too much.

"Don't be mad at me okay," he said cautiously. "I wanted to make things right for you. After we went back from Sudbury, I had a little talk with him. Told him that nothing happened between us that night, that I tried and that you shot me down."

"Oh…" She could not get her eyes off his face now. "Is that all?"

He shook his head and locked his eyes on hers. "That you are crazy about him," he finally blurted out. "At the time, I couldn't think of a better way of getting you guys back together."

She could see that his eyes were telling an entirely different story. "Why?"

His jaws clenched. He threw his arms in the air and made a face. "Because I like you, okay? You happy now?"

She stayed silent for a moment while Sam was watching her. "I like you too."

"I know that," he said with a distant voice. "We're friends."

"Please, don't do that. It's unfair."

"Listen lady, I tried my best to smooth things between you two…"

"Why?" she said again.

"Because I want you to be happy. You're my partner."

"Would you stop for one minute being a stubborn imbecile!"

"Excuse me?"

"Why would you that? We broke up. Period. It happens. It was not the end of the world. And it was not because of you. It was because of me. After all, I knew what I was doing when I went to your place, I'm a big girl." She shook her head. "Sam, why didn't you call me?"

"Call you?"

"When I was on leave. That's a whole week. Seven days. I was expecting to hear from you. Why didn't you call?"

"I… I don't know," he shrugged. "To give you some time to think. I didn't know how you'd feel about it. I wasn't sure that you wanted me to call you. I figured that if I didn't do anything, maybe you'd give me another chance. And then you went to his cabin," he said in a subdued voice.

She frowned. "Luke told me that you were okay with it," she snapped.

"He said it was your idea," he said, raising his voice.

"My idea?" she yelped. "A two hour drive to Simcoe on a week day, are you insane? You're a guy, don't you understand he just wanted to impress me?"

"You didn't want to go?"

"Of course not! I wanted to talk to you about what happened between us and why you didn't call. I thought that you were mad at me because I stood you up."

"I guess I messed up then, I'm sorry I beat him up to a pulp," he grinned. "That was stupid."

"Yeah," she smiled back. "I was pretty stupid. I just wish I didn't love that you did. That's why I was so pissed at you."

"I kind of did it to piss you off."

"That's why I went to his cabin."

They paused, each one lost in their own thoughts.

"So are you going to move in with him?" he finally asked, getting the car back in gear.

"I don't know."

"Fair enough. Now that we've gotten that part out of the way, what is it that you can't do, McNally?" he asked, glancing to his left before pulling the car back into traffic.