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Langton stepped into the dark room, his face haggard. His shirt sleeves were rolled up, his tie askew. Deep lines were set in his face, showing the strain of his latest case.

He stilled as he viewed the sleeping figure on the bed before him, lit only by the pale moonlight streaming through the wooden slats of the blinds on the window. She was lying on her side: her auburn hair fanned out over the pillow, a bare arm resting on the covers.

Running his hand over his tired features, he stumbled toward the bed. Sitting on the edge, he reached to prop himself over the sleeping form. He was fighting an internal battle, his brows furrowed, as he fell back into the darkness that was the case he had lived and breathed for the past three weeks.

He was pulled suddenly from his depression by a gentle hand on his arm.


She rolled onto her back to look up at him. Her voice was sleepy, as it always is when the speaker is suddenly woken from slumber.

He had nothing to say to her, and found all he could do was look down at her with bleak desperation. She rubbed his lower arm, just waiting for him. He'd never appreciated the fact as much as now that he had married someone who understood.

"God." These were the only words he could offer as he struggled to control his emotion, struggling to not return to the depths of despair.

"James," came her soft voice, drawing her attention to him. "Hey."

His eyes made contact with hers once again and he held their gaze as her hand gripped him firmly. He sensed she was going to speak, when she suddenly altered course and distracted him in the most elemental way. Reaching up to grasp his tie, she tugged him down to her, their lips crashing together.

He responded roughly. This was no time for gentle love. No, it was an emotional release of pent up emotions: the need to drain the system and get back in touch with who he was – to seek a piece of his soul.

A short time later, sweat cooling on their naked bodies, Langton held Anna close. "What did I do to deserve you?" he asked roughly.

She just squeezed him tighter as the dull dawn began to spread across the sky.