Reconstructing the Future

**This story immediately follows "The Cruelest Cut"**

CHAPTER 1

"Uncle Roy!" Matt's loud voice suddenly cut through the quiet offices of Houston Investigations. CJ jumped and wondered what in the world was wrong and headed toward Matt's office just as Uncle Roy got inside the door. She could see a picture up on the computer monitor right before the door closed. Roy didn't know she was standing there, but it hurt her feelings never the less.

She could hear their quiet but excited conversation from inside, but knew better than to try to go in: Matt and Roy had been working for quite a while now to, as Matt put it: "make the world a safer place for our kids." CJ was reasonably sure that it had something to do with Iraq or Afghanistan. As she turned to go back to her office she could still hear the two men's excited conversation.

Inside his office Matt was practically jumping up and down. "I'm willing to bet that's him, Uncle Roy. That's gotta be that son of a bitch! Who else would build a place like that in the middle of nowhere?"

"I'm with you boy, but we've gotta be sure. You of all people know how important it is to have good intel for a mission." Roy, like Matt, was sure it was the terrorist, but they had to be absolutely certain before they went to the government with their discovery. "Now that we know where this place is, it's just a matter of watching and getting proof. You did good, boy, I'm proud of you." He squeezed his nephew's shoulder. "And something else: this will cut down on the amount of time you're away from CJ. We can record what's going on there and watch it during the day; you won't have to be here late at night anymore."

Matt nodded. "That's the best part. I've never felt so bad in all my life as I have since we started this thing. CJ is my heart and soul: not sharing stuff with her just…well, it isn't right." He stood up and rubbed the back of his neck and started pacing around his office. "As a matter of fact, tonight we're going to celebrate." He walked over and shut the computer down after saving the location of his find. "And we're starting right now." Walking past his uncle, Matt was all smiles as he went into CJ's office.

"Hey good lookin'! What do you say we go out tonight? Anywhere you want." Matt walked up behind CJ's chair and put his arms around her and began nuzzling her neck.

"Well, you're sure in a good mood all of the sudden. What brought this on?" She smiled up at Matt: he was acting more like the man that she had married, not the man that she had been dealing with for the last couple of months who hardly ate, hardly slept, and was hardly at home.

"Just a little good news. So where do you want to go?" He pulled her chair out and pulled her to her feet and into his arms and kissed her – a kiss like she hadn't gotten from him in quite a while; one of the take-your-breath-away kisses that left her feeling about two beats shy of a heart attack.

"Well I don't know: I might end up in the coronary care unit at the hospital if you keep kissing me like that! Do it again!" They both laughed, a sound that hadn't been heard in the office or at home much lately. Matt did indeed do it again and Uncle Roy peeked around the door and watched the couple. He smiled, and then went on back to what he had been doing before Matt had called him into his office.

A few minutes later the couple left for the day. "Hold down the fort, Chris and we'll see you in the morning." Matt was still smiling from ear to ear. Chris, who also hadn't seen much of the old Matt lately, was shocked.

"It's 2:00; you're leaving already?" She couldn't believe her ears. Matt hadn't been leaving this early in a couple of months. She knew for a fact, there were some nights when he never went home.

"Yep." The pair got on the elevator and were gone. Roy stepped out to the secretary's desk. She looked up at him. "Something sure put him in a good mood."

"And that's a good thing, don't you think?" Roy laughed and headed back in to look at the details of the security system that he had been working on for a local jeweler when the phone rang. He could hear Chris answer and then heard her say, "Well he's gone for the day, Michael, but Uncle Roy is here." She came to the door and told him that Hoyt was on line one.

"Hi, Michael, what's going on?" He sat down at the bar and poured himself a cup of coffee.

"What in the world is Houston doing leaving at 2:00 in the afternoon? I thought he had become a workaholic?" The weary sounding police lieutenant was stunned.

"Well, he and CJ decided they needed to spend a little more time together. Is there something I can help you with?"

"Not unless you're really good at forging your nephew's signature." He looked at the report that he needed Matt to sign.

"Well, he should be here in the morning, or you could call his cell. They probably haven't gotten too far – they just left a couple of minutes ago."

"Nah, they need a night off. I'll just catch him in the morning. Thanks anyway." He disconnected the call and looked at his watch, wishing that he could take the afternoon off as well.