This story takes place sometime during Season Five…..

The hot water pelted down on David. He tilted his head up to the spray wishing the hot water could wash away his thoughts as easily as it could cleanse his body. What the hell was he doing? Showering, dressing up. All to have a dinner "date" with a woman he wasn't even sure he wanted to be with.

For the last couple of years David felt like he was on a rollercoaster. Reach the top and the thoughts in your head are jumbled; fear, excitement, nervousness... As the rollercoaster comes to a sudden stop, your heart is in your throat; you look to your front to see that you are on the top of a steep hill. You feel scared and unsure as you wait for the stomach-turning drop. And then ba-bing! You are screaming with fear, excitement and joy as the car plummets down the hill and around the turns at reckless speed. Sure fun for a 3 minute ride. Not so much fun to feel that way every day of your life. That was misery.

Did he still love Maddie? David admitted to himself that he still loved her. He was still crazy in love with her but there were so many other emotions wrapped around his heart that the love was starting to suffocate. His heart was broken. Bruised. Raw. His emotions were jumbled, his stomach in knots. Maddie had hurt him to his very core. Either she was the coldest bitch he had ever met or she was so absorbed in her own emotions she couldn't see what she was doing. Had done. To him.

Flashes of the last couple of years ran through his mind. "David, we have to make a pact!" "We don't belong together." "We're a train wreck." "I'm not supposed to be with you!" "Mind your business." "I feel empty inside." "Don't call me." "The baby isn't yours." "Don't come to Chicago." 'I'm married." The loss of the baby. Her avoidance of him. His avoidance of her. Finally, he thought they had talked things out. He thought they may be moving forward as a couple. He was playing it slow. Then out of the blue she tells him they are friends. "More than friends, pals!" Ok, he thought it was over. Was learning to accept it and trying to move on. Then she decides to make him an equal partner in the agency and wants him back. Back? Was that even the correct word? Had they ever truly been together? He didn't know.

David stepped out of the shower and continued to dress. His pride, his personality, his manhood had been trampled on by this woman. Yet, he was still willing to give it another go. He must be the stupidest guy on the planet. In the universe! David shook his head, grabbed his keys and headed out for a night…who knew?

Maddie looked at herself in the mirror as she dressed for dinner with David. David. What had she done to this man? And why? Why was it so important for her

to be in control? The feelings he evoked in her had terrified her. Those feelings caused her to do crazy things. Insane really she admitted to herself ruefully. Any other man would have headed for the hills long ago but David was still here. Still willing to give it a try on his terms this time. But how could she blame him? Snippets of the past couple of years raced through her mind. The pact. Yeah, that hadn't lasted very long. She couldn't keep away from David or his bed so she decided to run away to Chicago. Then she found out she was pregnant and told him it wasn't his baby and not to come after her. When she came back she could see that David was thrilled to see her but she told him she was married. Why had she really married Walter? To keep David at arm's length. She knew now why she had done the things she had done. Thousands of dollars and countless hours on her therapist's couch had finally given her insight on to why she behaved so irrationally! She knew they were moving slowly back together and then she lost the baby. She knew she had pushed him away but she was so devastated she couldn't reach out to him. Finally, they seemed to be moving together until her latest in her string of hits! Telling David that they were just friends. That they were pals! She had told her therapist who had only shook her head in disgust. Her own therapist was disgusted with her behavior!

Why did she think that now that she had made advances to David he would just coming run to her full steam ahead? Well he hadn't . David had being keeping his distance lately and she wasn't very happy about it. Even though she knew the reasons it didn't make it any easier. The tables had turned and she was the one doing the pursuing and she wasn't sure if she liked it. No, she didn't like it.

Maddie heard the doorbell ring and was filled with anticipation and a slight dread. Please let this date work out she prayed as she grabbed her purse and ran to the door.

The ride to the restaurant was uneventful. They made conversation about the cases they were working on. They spoke about the burgeoning relationship between Agnes and Viola. They even laughed a time or two. Then silence. There had been so many times in the past that Maddie had wished for David to be mute. Be careful of what you wish for she thought wistfully.

Maddie was happy to feel David's arm around her waist as they walked into the restaurant. She smiled up at him and he tightened his grip as he smiled back at her with that sideways grin she had come to love. Damn, those green eyes she thought! Damn, those blue eyes he thought as their eyes locked.

The waiter brought their drinks as David and Maddie talked and laughed. Maddie sipped her white wine as David regaled her with tales of his stakeouts with Viola. "Yeah, our man Bert is shaping up to be a top-notch gumshoe." David told her amused.

"David!" Both Maddie and David looked up at the sound of David's name.

David's thought was "Shit!" as Maddie thought "Who is this woman?"

David stood up in greeting. "Rita, how are you?" Rita leaned in and gave David a more than friendly kiss. David pulled back at her boldness. Rita just smiled and walked away giving Maddie a long look.

"Who was that?" David could see green in Maddie's blue eyes. He attempted to side step her question. "She's nobody." He really wasn't up to this. Rita, his mistake! Of all the restaurants in LA she had to be at this one. Always something, he thought. "She's nobody." He repeated.

Maddie felt her stomach turn over. 'She looks like more than nobody from her greeting."

David's green eyes turned to green ice as he stared at Maddie with an impenetrable look. "Please, let's drop it. OK!" he told her, each word dripping with frost. "Do you want to have a nice evening, a fine, fun evening? Or do you want to fight?" he asked her in a biting tone that froze Maddie's blood. "Cause if you choose fight you can do it alone."

Maddie sat back and forced a smile to her lips. "Fine." She told him through gritted teeth. David knew Maddie. He knew the smile was fake but he decided to ignore it. Hopefully, they could get through this dinner without an argument or one of her "tests." She always seem to be testing him and he always seem to fail. Suddenly, he just wanted the dinner. Date. Whatever it was to end. When did being with Maddie become more pain than pleasure?

Maddie saw that Rita was sitting across the room with an older man. The man looked very well off and Rita was fawning over him. Maddie saw Rita heading for the ladies room. Maddie couldn't help herself. She excused herself and followed her. She was a detective and she was going to do some detecting!

Rita was applying lipstick at the vanity mirror when Maddie entered the bathroom. Rita saw Maddie through the mirror and turned to face her, "Maddie Hayes." Rita looked at Maddie as she put her lipstick in her purse and snapped it shut. Maddie looked at Rita through veiled eyes. How did this woman know her? Was she a client? Maybe that was her connection to David? Maddie threw that thought away. If she had ever met this woman before she would have remembered. She was stunning Maddie admitted grudgingly.

"How do you know me." Maddie asked her slowly. "Have we met?"

Rita laughed. "No, we've never met. But your partner out there mentioned you once or twice." Rita told her 'And who doesn't know the Blue Moon Shampoo girl?"

"So, you know David? " Maddie asked not quite sure she wanted to hear this woman's answer.

"Oh, you can say that." Rita smiled a cat got the canary smile.

Maddie stood shock still. Rita continued. "David and I spent uh spend some time together."

"Really?" Maddie threw her a fake smile hiding the emotions churning inside of her. "And when did you meet David?"

Rita thought for a second "Oh about 8-9 months ago." She told Maddie with a smug look on her pretty face. "He was feeling a bit down and well needed someone to get him up. If you get my drift."

So, David had slept with this woman! When she was in Chicago. Pregnant with his baby! A physical pain tore through Maddie's heart. She felt her hands ball up into fists at her side. She wanted to wipe that smug look off this woman's face. Maddie had to stop herself from clawing this woman's eyes out. Unwanted images shot through Maddie's fevered mind. David kissing this woman. David touching this woman. David making love to her. How could he? Maddie fought down her anger and a voice she was surprised was so calm "Really, how nice of you."

Rita giggled girlishly. "Believe me, the pleasure was all mine. Well, maybe not all!" Rita saw the effect she was having on Maddie and she loved it. She decided to dig the knife a little deeper. "He's quite a man." Rita had been wounded after the night she spent with David. She knew with a woman's instinct that he had someone else on his mind. She didn't except him to fall madly in love with her after one night but he barely had kissed her! It was almost wham, bam, thank you mam. He even called out Maddie's name once or twice to Rita's utter mortification! And after it was over he even began to tell her about his relationship. Blah blah blah he had gone on! Like she really cared! Rita wasn't use to men using her. She usually did the using . She wanted to get back at David. He hadn't even called her after that night. She had only seen him one time after that night. He had been in a restaurant with some old guy and David hadn't been happy to see her. But Maddie didn't know that. She was sure with more of her womanly instincts that David hadn't mentioned his night with her to Maddie Hayes. She decided to make some trouble. "David didn't tell me you were back?"

Maddie's blood turned to ice. Was David still seeing this woman? Was that part of the reason for his reluctance to start a new relationship with her? She had thought that David was gun shy due to his hurt and anger but maybe that wasn't the whole story. Maddie felt her heart splinter into pieces. Maddie made a pact with herself. Oh there it was again. Pact! But this pact would be with herself. She thought David still had feelings for her and she wouldn't let this woman win. She would fight for her man! She just had to be calm and play her cards right. Easier said than done.

"Yes, I've been back a while now." Maddie told her in a cool voice her blue eyes icy. She wasn't sure how much this hussy knew but she plunged on. "Oh yes, David did mention you. Thanks for keeping him uh occupied while I was gone. But your job is over now."

Rita glared at her and stomped out. Maddie sat down hard at the vanity table and put her head in her hands. She needed to compose herself before she returned to David. An argument was the last thing she wanted.