Nancy stepped out of her office, halfheartedly blowing the hair away from her face. With all of the loose ends tied up, the case had finally been closed. She was grateful for its end, considering it took rescuing a kidnapped Frank, capturing an imposter, and hunting down a crazed man after ransom money to get to the conclusion. Nancy sighed, thinking of all she had been through the past two months. Even with the whirlwind of commotion, she was grateful she had the Hardy Boys and her best friend, Bess, by her side. They had made the case more bearable, even though they had suffered a lot throughout the case. In attempt to grab the kidnapper, Bess had suffered an elbow to the face, leaving her with a black eye the size of a tennis ball. Joe received some cuts and scrapes as well, but was more injured from the car crash caused by the other thief who had demanded money. Joe was now sporting a neck brace from the incident. Frank was no slouch in the injury department either; after being kidnapped, he now had a broken arm and bandaged leg, leaving him with a braced arm and a slight limp. Nancy shuddered at the pain her friends must have endured, and almost felt ashamed for not getting injured herself. She had the least amount of contact with the criminals, dealing with the amount of paperwork and clues needed to solve the case. Nancy was grateful, however, that the three men were now locked in jail with no parole. They would never lay another finger on her friends again.
As Nancy walked through the hallway towards the lobby, her insides did a backflip. Staring ahead, she saw Joe and Bess standing rather close to one another, as Joe was sweeping a strand of hair away from her face and tenderly stroking her bruised face. Finally.
Nancy was so grateful for the sight before her. She knew that Bess and Joe had always had a flirtatious friendship, but she was certain their current state was skirting the edge of their little arrangement. As she slowly backed away into the hallway, her foot hit against the wall, making a loud thumping noise. Nancy quickly darted behind the hallway, making sure to hide herself. She didn't want anything interrupting Joe and Bess, especially a little clumsiness on her behalf. As she remained backed against a doorway, she noticed Frank sauntering out of his office and limping towards her. His braced arm was resting against his chest.
"Hey, what are you doing out he-"
"Shh!" Nancy quickly interrupted Frank and opened the door she had been pressed against. She hastily grabbed Frank and brought him inside with her. They were now standing in a dark and cramped janitor's closet.
"W-what are we doing in here?" Frank was now breathing heavily, completely sidelined by Nancy's sudden urge to get them in a janitor's closet.
Nancy blushed as she realized where she had dragged them. She could feel Frank's presence, but was barely able to see him in the dark closet.
Reaching for the light, Nancy found the room now illuminated with mops and cleaning supplies. "Sorry, Frank. I was walking to the lobby when I saw Joe and Bess out there having a bit of a moment." She let out a sheepish grin. "I just didn't want us to interrupt anything, especially if uh…they were about to kiss." Nancy felt the heat rising to her cheeks, recalling the many times Joe and Bess had walked in on herself and Frank about to share an intimate moment. She suddenly realized that perhaps deep down her reason for leaving Joe and Bess alone was so she could vicariously live through their moment.
"Oh. Okay." Frank shuffled awkwardly in his place. He mustered a smile. "Since when did you become Cupid?"
She laughed, becoming more relaxed with her surroundings. "Since now, I guess. With all of the stress they've gone through, I think they deserve a bit of smooching. Leaving them alone for a little while longer is the least I can do."
Frank beamed down at her curiously, taking in their obvious height difference as they stood inches apart. "Well that's very noble of you, Drew. It would be quite frustrating to be interrupted during a time like that."
Nancy struggled to keep eye contact as Frank stared at her very calmly. She was trying to compose herself, wondering if Frank's mind had wandered to all of the times they had been in similar situations, the only difference being their inability to kiss before someone walked in on them.
"Yeah. Very frustrating." Nancy's voice wavered as she barely muttered the statement.
Frank brought his hand to her face, slowly tracing down to her jawline. "I'm glad those crooks didn't hurt you," he uttered gently.
The subject change hadn't worked on Nancy. Her skin was now hypersensitive to his touch. "I...wish I could say the same for you." Nancy pointed towards his arm, hoping he wouldn't notice the shakiness to her voice.
Frank smiled down at her, leaving his traveling hand to rest at his side. "As long as you're safe, I would gladly do it all over again."
Nancy couldn't help grinning back at him. It was oddly charming, hiding in a janitor's closet with Frank. But as silly as it was, she couldn't help but feel incredibly nervous at the moment. She was quite grateful Frank was unable to read her maddening thoughts, seeing how she wanted nothing more than to be kissed by him. She suddenly realized she had never wanted anything else more. Startling her own thoughts, she finally blurted, "Well, I think we can go now. I'm sure there's been enough time to relieve the tension."
As she reached for the doorknob, Nancy felt a soft yet consistent brush against her lips. After a few moments, she realized Frank had leaned down to kiss her, and was currently letting his lips move against her own. As her mind finally caught up with the act, she closed her eyes and snaked her hands around his neck, losing all coherent form of thought.
Frank backed her against the doorframe, wishing he could use more than one hand to move over her body. Nancy moved her hands through Frank's hair, tightening her grip as she demanded more of him. As her leg latched around his waist, she felt as if her whole body was soaring through the air. She was free as a bird...
Thump. Nancy stumbled on to the ground, suddenly aware that throughout their passion and movement of limbs, they had managed to stumble out of the closet. Frank tripped over her, regaining his balance and swearing under his breath. He quickly hustled towards Nancy to help her to her feet. After all of the chaos, they heard footsteps coming towards them.
"Geez, Nan. For a girl as clumsy as you, you barely got a scratch on our last case. I'm surprised." Joe grinned down at Nancy. He and Bess had now walked into the hallway after hearing all of the commotion.
Nancy blushed reverently as she took Frank's arm and stood on her feet. She didn't have time to be snarky with Joe. Her body was still burning from earlier.
"What happened? Are you alright?" Bess looked up at her best friend in concern.
"Er…yeah. I just slipped. I'm okay though." Nancy made sure to avoid eye contact with Frank as she spoke.
Bess looked at her friend skeptically, knowing that was farthest from the truth. Nancy looked like she had stars in her eyes. It was clearly obvious something had happened between her and Frank. Rather than bring it up now and give more fodder for Joe to mock with (and so she could avoid any questions about what had happened between herself and Joe,) she quickly changed the subject. "You are probably just stressed out from this crazy case. Come on; let's get it off your mind. There's a diner a block away from here." Bess looked hopefully at everyone, urging them to follow.
As Bess and Joe walked in front of her, Nancy eyed Frank nervously. She hoped he wouldn't regret their little moment, seeing how it was abruptly ruined by a silly doorknob opening. Their friendship had finally crossed the line, and she wasn't sure if it would now be forever changed.
Frank looked back at Nancy calmly, inching closer so she could only hear him. "I look forward to doing that again. Let's just try and avoid injury next time, shall we?"
Nancy felt waves of pleasure rush through her body, leaving her cheeks flushed. So there would be a next time…and hopefully it would be soon. She bit down on her lower lip and grinned, bringing her face mere centimeters away from his ear.
"Always looking out for my safety, aren't we, Hardy?" Nancy emphasized each word slowly, buzzing against his ear.
Frank smiled wide, nudging her gently. "Always, Drew." He used his only hand available and wrapped it around her shoulders, walking proudly as they followed Joe and Bess to the parking lot.