Hey guys, here's chapter four. Hope ya'll like it, and thanks so much for the reviews. Quick note, I've never been to Washington DC before, so I apologise for any mistakes or inconsitencies with regard to landmarks and stuff. I tried to work things out as best I could. As always, I own nothing.
The next morning Lou woke at 9:00, showered and dressed in jeans and a grey shirt. Gathering his keys, wallet and cell phone he left his room, taking the elevator down to the lobby. He was ten minutes early so he figured he could get them both coffee and wait for Catherine.
Just as he collected their drinks he caught sight of her coming through the hotel doors. She hadn't yet spotted him so he took the opportunity to observe her. She was dressed casually in jeans, a white tank top and black cardigan with black strappy sandals on her feet, allowing him a glimpse of the blood red polish on her toes. Large framed sunglasses were perched on top of her head, her strawberry blonde hair falling straight over her shoulders.
As his gaze fell on her face he noted that she'd covered the bruising on her cheekbone with makeup so that it was barely visible; if you didn't know it was there you'd never notice it. He was so caught up in his appraisal of her that when he looked at her eyes he was shocked to have them meet his, the blue dancing with amusement. Damn, busted.
Smiling wryly Lou made his way across the lobby and approached her, extending his arm as he neared and offering the coffee which she greatly accepted. As Catherine took a sip she couldn't help but smile; he still remembered the type of coffee she liked.
"So Madame tour guide, where are you taking me today?"
She chuckled, falling into step beside him as they walked towards the doors and out into the warm DC sunshine.
"Well, I was thinking we could take a look at the White House, Lincoln Memorial, maybe the Smithsonian? I'd suggest the Washington Monument but it's closed."
"Sounds good to me," he replied, unconsciously placing his hand on the small of her back to guide her round a group of tourists that had congregated on the side walk. Catherine could barely suppress the shiver that his touch elicited, and cursed her body for reacting to him in that way.
"So where did you park?" Lou queried, finally removing his hand as they came to a stop near the parking garage.
The redhead flushed. "I took a cab." Off his confused look she shrugged. "The doctor at the hospital told me not to drive for a few days."
Lou's eyes widened and he brought his hand up to cup her chin, his fingers brushing lightly against her skin.
"Jesus Cath how hard did that guy clock you?"
"I'm fine, it's just a precaution because I was so dizzy after it happened. Pratt took my keys away and said I could have them when I go back to work on Wednesday," she smiles and brought her hand up, wrapping her small fingers round his larger ones and leaning slightly into his touch.
Their eyes met and both felt that familiar spark. They were so close, if he just leaned down a few inches…
The moment was broken as the group of tourists bustled past them, chattering loudly. Catherine and Lou simultaneously dropped their hands and took a step back, their hearts beating wildly.
Once the chaos had passed and Catherine had regained her composure she turned to Lou and smiled.
"Where'd you like to go first?"
"You're the tour guide, lead the way," he shot back, returning her smile.
Rolling her eyes slightly she boldly looped her arm through his and guided them towards the nearest bus stop. Lou was slightly taken aback by the contact but brushed it off, allowing himself to simply enjoy having her so close. Both parties knew however, that none of this could end well.
A couple of hours later a sheepish looking Lou and a giggling Catherine descended the steps outside the Smithsonian. They paused on the sidewalk, allowing Catherine time to compose herself.
"Oh my God that was hilarious!" she exclaimed, chuckling lightly and wiping tears of mirth from her eyes.
"Glad you find it so amusing," he mumbled. "It felt like I was back in school being told off for talking in class."
"I can't believe you knocked over that guide book display!"
"The damn thing jumped out at me," he muttered and flushed slightly as a group of school children filed past, some of them giggling and pointing at 'the man who made a mess'.
"Awww, did the big mean display stand attack you?" Catherine teased, and Lou flushed even more. Truth be told he hadn't even seen the stand until he'd bumped into it and sent it crashing to the ground, much to the annoyance of the cashier in the museum shop and his companion's amusement; she'd been walking in front of him and he'd found himself distracted by the sway of her hips.
"Good job you didn't have your gun, although it would've been fun to watch you explain to the cops why you shot an inanimate object," she continued with a grin. His response was to stick his tongue out at her, causing another round of laughter.
"Come on, if you promise not to knock anything else over I'll buy you lunch."
Lou rolled his eyes and she winked, looping her arm through his and squeezing his forearm with her free hand as they began to walk, searching for somewhere to eat. They settled on a little diner and were quickly seated in a booth.
Lunch passed uneventfully; they made small talk until the waitress brought their orders, lapsing into a comfortable silence as they ate. When they were finished Catherine paid and the couple headed back out into the DC sunshine.
"Ok, where to next?" Lou asked as they walked side by side, their arms brushing occasionally.
"I'm thinking we should stick to outdoor activities, less chance of you knocking something over," she retorted with a grin. He nudged her lightly with his shoulder but was unable to keep the smile from his face; her amusement was infectious.
"I'm not going to live that down am i?"
Catherine laughed. "Not for a while, no."
"You mentioned something earlier about the Lincoln Memorial?"
"Yea, we could check that out, take a walk along the National Mall on the way."
"Sounds like a plan."
About an hour or so later the sun was beginning to set. After seeing the Lincoln Memorial Catherine and Lou had strolled around, ending up in East Potomac Park and picking a clear spot on the grass to sit and enjoy the last of the day's sunshine. Catherine leaned back on her elbows, legs stretched out in front of her. She was grateful for the sunglasses that protected her eyes as she took in the view; the sun descending behind the Washington Monument in the distance, the rippling reflection of the water dancing off the leaves on the trees.
"It's beautiful," she observed, her gaze unwavering on the picture postcard vista in front of her.
Lou murmured his agreement. While he did think the scenery was beautiful, for him it had nothing on his view of the woman beside him; the late afternoon light caught her in such a way as to bring out the reds and golds in her hair, and made her pale skin glow as if she was lit from within. She looked breath taking, and he was overwhelmed with the desire to touch her.
Reaching out, Lou tugged gently on a fiery strand that had become caught in the hoop of her ear ring, freeing it from its confines. Catherine's head swung to face him as his fingers trailed down her bare arm, the feather light touch leaving goose bumps in its wake. Shifting slightly she pushed her sunglasses to rest on top of her head, allowing both pairs of eyes to meet. Slowly so as not to break the moment Lou leaned down, his gaze flicking briefly to her lips to convey his intent. When she didn't pull away or stop him he bent his elbow, bringing their faces level and mere inches apart..
Catherine's heart rate quickened at the feel of his warm breath hitting her lips. Just as she was about to close the gap and meet his lips with hers, a loud scream pierced the calm of the park.
The couple jerked apart and sat up, their heads turning and scanning for the source of the noise. Laughter followed a few seconds later and a grinning teenage boy came into view, his giggling girlfriend slung over his shoulder slapping him playfully on the back in a half-hearted attempt to get him to put her down.
Lou muttered a curse under his breath and returned his attention to the redhead beside him. She shook her head and smiled before meeting his gaze, the emotions she found reflected back at her sending her heart into overdrive. After a moment she cleared her throat and glanced at her watch.
"It's getting late, we should head back."
The detective's heart dropped, but he nodded and stood, offering his hand to help her up only to notice that she was already on her feet and idly brushing the grass from her jeans. Wordlessly they began to walk, heading out of the park and back along the National Mall. As they reached the sidewalk Catherine stopped and scanned the early evening traffic, searching for an available taxi. Lou's voice brought her attention back to him.
"Cath, why don't we head to my hotel and I'll drive you home?"
"Lou it's fine, I can get a cab."
"It's pointless you doing that when I've got a perfectly good rental car just sitting in the parking garage."
She opened her mouth to protest but something about the look in his eyes made her pause. After a minute she exhaled quietly.
"Lead the way detective."
Silence descended over the couple as they resumed walking, both lost in their own thoughts about what had almost happened.
I know I'm evil, but would ya'll expect any less? Hehehe.