Ok, this is the English version of chapter one. Each chapter is the same complete story. I must say that it took longer than expected to publish it... but I think it is better than the French version which I shoul review for my French speaking readers. Hope you enjoy.
It was the end of a beautiful winter day. Everything was perfect, the sun extended its last rays in a golden shine, the bad guys had been defeated and locked away or had drowned themselves in the river, and Dempsey was reunited with his estranged partner. They were parked in front of her house waiting for the other to make the first move toward that conversation they knew had to come.
"Now what?" asked Dempsey turning to his partner.
"Now what, lieutenant?" Harry replied trying to be as casual as she could. She knew perfectly well what Dempsey meant and she would have liked to have the answer to it. However, old habits were hard to lose and she couldn't resist teasing him.
Dempsey hadn't expected such neutrality in Harry's voice after what had occurred between them these last few days and was a little abashed. "Well you know. You, me…" he tried shyly.
"I haven't got a clue, lieutenant. What are you speaking of?" She insisted prying into the allusion of a him and her.
"Come on, Harry! You know. First you resign, then you come back after a few days only…" explained timidly Dempsey.
"What with it, then?" Harriet answered with a teasing smile, taking a renewed pleasure in pushing Dempsey a bit farther in his confiding.
Dempsey noted the sparks in her partner's eyes and in seconds he took over their little game. "Nothing, I just wanted to make sure that everything was back in order and that we agreed on the nature of our relationship."
"Ah, yes? And what is exactly the nature of this relation?" Harriet asked with more interest in her voice that she had meant to torment her partner.
"Well, let's recount the facts: first, you resign after you saw me =dying= under your eyes, then after only few days, you come back into the force on request. If it weren't for me, I would say that you cannot live without me."
Harry jumped at these words. That male chauvinistic pig had once again exposed the situation to his advantage avoiding facts however essential of the story. "I beg your pardon! Who came to seek and beg me kneeling to come back and team with him pretexting the good of the service? And who, then, threatened to leave the police if I did not reinstate the force for good? Then who cannot live without the other?" Harry retorted darting her partner.
"What matters is that you came back, isn't it?" Dempsey answered flashing her a smile of satisfaction. Then he added "And judging how quickly you reconsidered your position, it couldn't have been too painful a dilemma." Harriet refused answering to that because she still couldn't comprehend it herself and didn't want Dempsey to force her to explore the reasons behind her decision. Silence took over them. Dempsey considered what his last words implied for Harry and feared he had again been a word too far in his provocative tease. Fear of hurting her and consideration for her feelings were two things he wasn't used to. He felt uncomfortable and apprehensive of her next reaction.
"Well, now what?" they said both at the same time, realizing they had returned to the starting point of their conversation. But this time, they did not want to play games any more. They faced each other expecting a sign from the other which would express what they could not say yet. The impulse came to them at the same second. Their faces approached until their lips touched and, after a half second of hesitation, time to agree on the fact that action speaks sometimes better than words, they kissed.
When they parted both remained astounded, not knowing how to integrate this new data into their relationship. Dempsey moved on the first. His desire excited by their first kiss, he leaned again towards Harriet to kiss her. But, this was going too quickly and Harry backed away pushing him with a gentle but firm hand. "Do not push your luck too far, Jim."
"Luck? Luck has nothing to do in this kiss, Harry."
"All right, all right." She cut short his protest. "Maybe, and I say it with a big M, maybe during one second, I might have been fooled by your declarations, and in a moment of delusion I let you kiss me." Dempsey's look told her that what she was saying made sense, but he wasn't convinced. So she tried to be more convincing. "I am human, Dempsey, I do have weaknesses!"
"Never when it comes to me Princess. You never let your guard down when I am involve with you. Even when you get drunk you keep your distance! No, this one was for real. And you know what? I believe you fell for me and my natural attraction and you don't want to admit it."
"Ah yes? And why, do I request, Mister Don Juan, would I not admit it?"
"How would I know? Maybe, and I say it with a small m, maybe your so aristocratic brain thinks that I am too hot for you while your not less aristocratic, but romantic, small heart is completely overcome by passion."
Of course, these were his words for the unconceivable. But what were her words for the conceivable? "First of all if, like you said, I had succumbed to your charm, believe me; you would not be sitting in this car meditating on a kiss which I consented to. And then, in the unlikely chance that I might be slightly attracted to you, Dempsey, do not think that I will fall so easily in your arms. Who do you think I am?" Harriet opened the door of the car and got out.
"That's it then, eh? You want me play big and seduce you?" Dempsey said following her closely. Harry turned over facing him, nose against nose, only a few centimetres away.
"I beg your pardon?" she said, slightly destabilized by the proximity of her partner.
"I said I understand. You don't want to surrender without a fight. You want to make you desired. I am ok with that. Distance is sexy and exciting."
"Be warned, James. I will keep you few inches away long enough that, if you get to me, you will be desperate for air."
"I bet you do, Princess. But you know me, I'm a good runner and when I am on catch I don't let it drop till I get it." He murmured to her ear before moving away. "I give you some time ahead to be fair. Good night Harry. I'll catch you tomorrow!"