This one's done too, thanks for reading and the feedback!


They walked into the office in downtown L.A. their first day of work since this whole mess had begun, the chaotic but delightful mess that had finally sorted itself enough so that the two of them could enjoy a few days on the road driving up and down the state, enjoying the sights and each other.

C.J. had received a phone call that Maureen had taken off on her planned honeymoon trip down to Mexico with Carol and the two were partying up from one end of the resort city to another and Sophia and Roy had been up in Santa Cruz where she had been giving a speech on the follies of fiction writing and internet publication.

Which of course C.J. could have done herself but mercifully didn't have to do so, more than content to leave it up to others while she lived her own life.

During her arrest, Courtney had ranted that she would reveal the name of the mystery internet author but only if she landed a great deal on her attempted murder case. The police just looked at her like she was nuts…because after all, another woman named Crystal or something had just come forward announcing that she was the mystery author, the tenth person so far this week. Her friends thought C.J. should raise a fuss after all, others were laying claim to her creative and intellectual product but she didn't really care all that much. She had written up a final chapter where Royal and Carly had gotten married beneath the dogwood tree on the ranch.

A perfect ending to the tumultuous courtship of sorts involving her cowboy turned investigator and his business associate and best friend. Matt had found that chapter by the time they had settled into a bed and breakfast near Morro Bay and had actually read it out loud to her in the swirling waters of the spa.

She and Matt of course hadn't gotten married but they had come close to it because when they approached the turnoff towards Las Vegas, Matt had broached the subject, saying maybe they should go check out the little blue chapel. But she had shaken her head because no, she wasn't quite ready to take that serious step yet even though she loved him. So they had actually detoured to the Grand Canyon instead and after picking up some camping equipment, had settled down in a nice spot under the stars, the crickets and cozy inside one large sleeping bag.

Damn she just never could get enough of him and fortunately that wasn't anything she had to worry about because they hadn't been apart all that much. In fact, she had spent her first night back at his place and this morning, they had eaten breakfast in front of the beach on the deck.

Chris looked up at C.J as she entered into the lobby from the elevator and smiled in a way that made C.J. wonder how much she knew about what happened during the weekend at the chalet.

"Welcome back," was all the secretary said, except for, "Matt and Roy are already discussing the Tyler case in the media room."

C.J. nodded and then headed back to where the men dressed in their normal attire for stakeouts which was quite casual looked up at her. She sat down and Matt smiled up at her. She rubbed her arms and looked back at him.

"Nice to see you…"

She smiled.

"I had to check on my place to make sure it was still there."

He chuckled and Roy smiled because his trip to Santa Cruz with his girlfriend had been absolutely sensational.

"So what's up?"

The two men looked at each other.

"We've decided that Roy will cover the north end of the mall and you and I will cover the south end…The Mustang's waiting out front."

Oh she saw the glimmer in his eye just then and boy, did she know he was up to something. At least she hoped so.

"Then we better get going okay," she said, "because I do have that writing group tonight and we're having a guest speaker, someone Sophia met up North."

Matt smiled.

"Oh I'll have you back by then," he said, "but I booked dinner for us at that new restaurant on the other side of town…kind of a small place but I think you'll like it."

She folded her arms, considering it.

"Okay that will work," she said, and he got up and put his arm around her as they headed off towards the elevator.

Roy just watched the couple go as happy as could be and wished so much that Bill could see the two of them finally together and getting down to the business of creating a family for themselves. He knew his late brother would be tickled pink.

The two of them would have been kicking back and having a rare cigar in celebration of it already making plans for the next generation of Houstons. Matt had shared some of his plans for the dinner tonight which would indeed be a wonderful surprise for his girlfriend.

And Roy felt confident that an announcement would be made at the office tomorrow and everyone would be most happy about it because it had been way too long in coming after all.