Chapter 8

Carlton swore he had eaten half a bottle of Tums by the time had gotten off work and still acid was eating holes in his stomach. He was about to knock on Shawn's door when Henry Spencer walked out. Carlton took a step back. "Henry."

Henry nodded at him curtly. "Lassiter. Apparently, my idiot son is still quite fond of you so I am not allowed to threaten you or cause you physical harm. I'm still taking that under advisement." He ran his hand over his head. "Look, we're not touchy feely, talky talky kind of guys," he gestured at himself and Carlton, "but what the hell do we know? Our wives left us. But I will tell you this, if I thought I had a second chance at the kind of happiness Maddie and I used to have, I'd grab it and never let it go." He smacked Carlton on the arm and walked to his truck.

Carlton winced, "Dammit O'Hara." He turned back to knock and was surprised by Shawn standing at his door.

"Don't mind Henry. He's been surprisingly overprotective."

"He's right though. Um, I brought food and beer." Carlton held up a large picnic basket.

"Aw Lassie I feel all special."

Carlton flushed, "You are special Shawn."

"You know I can't resist you when you look at me all earnest with those big blues of yours. Come on in."

Carlton made Shawn sit while he served the food. "Put it on real plates Carlton, it makes it nicer," Juliet had told him. He poured the beer into glasses and set a pineapple in the center of the table. When he finally sat down he looked over at Shawn and felt his heart skip a beat. Shawn was smiling that smile of his, the one that lit up his face and made his eyes blaze emerald green.

"Carlton, this" Shawn gestured around the table, "this is nice. Really nice. Who coached you?"

Carlton looked down, "Vick and O'Hara."

Shawn's smile grew broader. "They know? You told them?"

Carlton pulled on his tie, "Well I told Vick but O'Hara figured it on her own." He rubbed his arm. "She punched me on the arm. Hard. Twice!"

"That's my girl!"

"Listen Shawn, I-"

"No no no. You'll overthink this. You always do. Let me. Are you ashamed of me?"

"No, it was never you. It was me."

"Now that the important people know, will we still be sneaking around?"

"No."

"Can we make out at the station?"

"Shawn!"

"Just checking. I was worried you might be an imposter Lassiter."

"Ha ha, very funny Shawn." Carlton stood up and walked over to where Shawn was seated and pulled him up to his feet. "The SBPD picnic is coming up and uh do you want to go with me as my date?"

"Are you asking me to go steady Lassie?

Carlton groaned but pulled Shawn toward him. "Yes."

"Will we hold hands and everything?"

"Shawn, I don't hold hands." Carlton pulled him tighter when Shawn tried to draw away, "Not even with the man I love."

Shawn stood still for just a moment before he whooped and leant up to start kissing Carlton. "I love you too Lassie, I love you too." He dove back in for another kiss. He had Carlton backed against a wall and was trying to pull his shirt out of his pants when Carlton broke the kiss and said, "What about dinner?"

Shawn started laughing as he maneuvered Carlton to his bedroom. "Only you Lassie. Only you."

Epilogue

Karen Vick and Henry Spencer started when Carlton Lassiter held his phone far from his ear and they could hear a woman's voice squawking from the earpiece. They looked at Juliet O'Hara who shrugged and whispered, "It's Victoria. He just told her about Shawn."