A/N: Goodness me, have I really not updated this fic since February? That's awful, I'm so sorry for those of you out there reading this :(
Thanks for all the lovely reviews I've had so far, I just hope you continue to enjoy the story now I'm devoting more time to it :)
May 11th 8.32am
I kissed Jane again last night.
There was no payment of a bet involved; it was a proper, 'I had a great evening, let's do this again' end of a date kind of kiss.
Just thinking about it, and believe me I have done all night, makes me feel a little giddy inside…but it also makes me feel a little scared too.
Part of me would love to be able to blame it on the wine but I only had a couple of glasses. Not nearly enough for me to realistically absolve myself from my actions.
I wasn't even being impulsive. I thought about it then I did it.
That man just has the most irresistible lips…
But still, what the hell am I doing? What the hell is he doing?
The line that defined our friendship has been blurred, scrubbed away almost and I hate not being able to figure out what it all means.
The things he's been saying, the way he's been acting, it tells me he maybe after something more…but I just can't help wondering if it's real?
Or is it a kind of twisted rebound thing?
I mean he has no one else after all. And there's even less to occupy his mind and time now that Red John is gone. So, what if he's just mistaking his feelings of friendship for something deeper? Testing the waters of a relationship with me because I'm here and I'm safe before he dumps me then heads off into the sunset with the next future Mrs. Jane?
But then again, I know there's always been an attraction between us…hasn't there? Or is that just wishful thinking on my part? Am I just transferring my feelings onto him because I want so much for it to be true?
A car honks its horn behind me and I give a little start of surprise. I quickly raise my hand in apology and pull away from the traffic lights. It's a Saturday but we've been called out to an abduction case in the suburbs.
Another wealthy politician that wants the best team on the case and ever since we caught Red John that's us now. When I say caught, I mean killed of course. I did that. Shot the son of a bitch in the head and denied Jane his vengeance. I don't regret my actions, but I have felt guilty about them ever since it happened. All those years he'd searched and plotted and schemed and in a split second I took that final moment away from him.
The look he gave me afterwards would've turned Medusa to stone. I'll never forget it.
When he told me last night that he hated me at one point for doing that, I was shocked. Not that he felt like that, obviously…no, I was shocked that he actually admitted as much to me. And that he apologised.
He was so sincere, so determined for me to see that he didn't hold it against me. He even said he was trying to move on. That has to mean something, right?
Yeah, of course it does, Teresa. It means that as friends he wants to say sorry for being such an ass all those months and he hopes I can forget about it.
I let out a huff of frustration and shake my head. I need to stop thinking in circles about this and focus on our new case. It's not like he's proclaimed his undying love for me or anything. It is what it is and there's no way I can figure out what it is right at this minute so I'm not going to try anymore.
I pull up to the address I've been given and see a couple of uniforms outside. I get out and look around for Jane's contraption but I'm part relieved, part disappointed to not see it already parked illegally somewhere.
The butterflies that had been threatening to take flight in my stomach settle down. I know he'll turn up eventually, I just thought that after last night, he'd be here a little quicker this morning, that's all.
I show my badge to the policemen standing by the door and they nod at me as I go into the house. Well, it's more of a mansion really. The central staircase is impressive even by these standards and I should know, I've seen my fair share of them over the years.
I'm just debating which direction to go when Cho comes out of a room on the right.
"Boss," he greets with a curt nod of his head.
"Morning, Cho, what have we got?" I reply.
"Robert Green aged seventeen didn't come home last night. His stepmother, Sylvia Green, reported him missing this morning then she got this ransom demand."
He hands me an evidence bag with a piece of paper that has letters cut out from a magazine pasted onto it stating a large sum of money, the name of a local park and a time that's a little less than four hours away.
"This was hand delivered?" I query with a frown. Something feels off here. It seems too amateurish.
"The maid said she found it on the step outside the door when she arrived this morning," Cho replies impassively.
"I'd better speak to the stepmother," I say as I hand the note back to Cho. "We need to get that to the lab."
He takes it back then glances at the door he'd just exited and says, "Mrs. Green is in there. Jane's with her."
"He's here?" I ask and cringe inwardly at the strange squeaky, breathy tone my voice has just taken on. Maybe it's from all the wind those damn butterflies suddenly create as they take flight in my stomach.
Cho's eyes narrow slightly then I swear I can see the hint of a smile touch his lips as he replies, "Yeah. I stopped by the office on my here and he hitched a ride with Rigsby and me. You, okay? You look a little flushed."
His change of subject is so swift it takes me a moment to realise what he's said and then to my frustration I feel my skin heat up even more.
"I'm fine," I tell him firmly as I give him an annoyed look.
His stares back at me unfazed and I notice his eyebrows rise ever so slightly before he nods. "Okay."
With a shake of my head I walk past him and go to the room he indicated then open the door. The sight that greets me is not one that I expect or welcome but on the bright side it kills the butterflies stone dead.
Jane is sitting on a couch, far too close for my liking to a blonde woman that looks to be in her mid to late twenties. I should have known Sylvia Green would be a trophy wife.
One perfectly manicured hand rests slightly too high on his thigh as she leans towards my consultant giving him a very good view of her ample cleavage.
She obviously likes older men.
And I'm sure there's a law against wearing such a skimpy top in public. I'll check on that when I get back to the office.
Her smile is predatory and Jane, damn him, is smiling devilishly right back at her. I know he's probably just using his charm to get her to talk and I've seen him do it a thousand times before, but I have to admit, after last night it stings to see him looking at another woman like that.
He looks up, obviously having heard the door open but instead of appearing contrite, his smile widens even more.
I frown back at him but this only seems to delight him even further as he pats the witch's hand and says, "Ah, Lisbon, good, you've arrived. I was just speaking to Sylvia here and I've solved the case."
"You have?" both I and the suicide blonde trophy say incredulously at the same time.
He nods then removes the harpy's hand from his person and stands up.
"I just need to talk to the maid," he explains as he walks towards me.
As he draws level, he gives me a warm smile. A genuine one that reaches his eyes and affects me far more than the false, calculated megawatt grin that's designed to dazzle that he gave her; so much so that it takes me a few seconds to register that his fingers gently brush over mine on his way past to the door. My hand tingles at the gesture and to my exasperation the butterflies are revived.
"Uh, excuse me, I'll be back in a minute," I say with forced politeness to the woman still seated on the couch, then turn and leave.
I step back out into the hall and look for Jane but I can't see him anywhere. For a man who spends most of his life lying sedentary on a couch, he can move remarkably quickly when he wants to.
I guess Cho must be arranging for the note to be sent to the lab because he's not in the hall anymore. I hear Jane's muffled voice coming from my right and follow the sound until I walk into a bright, airy kitchen with a large island worktop in the middle.
Rigsby is standing off to the side and gives me a nod of acknowledgement before returning his attention back to where Jane is speaking to the maid. She looks a little younger than Sylvia Green and from her defensive posture and stony expression I can tell she's not happy about what Jane is saying to her. As usual though, he knows exactly what buttons to press to antagonise the suspect into a confession and soon the whole sordid tale comes tumbling out.
It was all about the money, of course. Robert hates his new stepmother and thinks himself in love with Marla. Seeing the chance to take advantage, she encourages his infatuation and persuades him to go along with a fake abduction telling him that she cares for him too, that they can run away and have a life together.
I wonder how the poor kid will feel when he finds out that she was actually going to take the money and run off with her boyfriend instead?
Still, at least we know that he's holed up at her place, safe and sound. Cho and Rigsby take Marla back to the CBI while Jane and I go and fetch Robert. Although it's not far, it's the first time we've been alone since last night and I can't help but feel a little bit nervous.
He's quiet at first then out the corner of my eye I see him turn to look at me.
"I had a nice time last night," he says breaking the silence. "I forgot to tell you that before you went into your apartment. I got a little…distracted."
I can hear the amusement in his voice and feel my cheeks begin to heat up. Trust him to bring it up now.
"I did too," I reply primly without looking over at him; then just to clarify I add, "Enjoy the evening, I mean."
I hear him chuckle before he remarks, "Good."
When nothing more is forthcoming I chance a glance at him and see that he's looking out of the window. There's still a wry smile on his face but apparently that's the end of the conversation.
Sometimes I just can't figure him out.
Thankfully we arrive at Marla's apartment building and after I park up we go in. The young man is understandably upset and reluctant to go home but I finally manage to persuade him. After a silent journey back, the reunion between stepmother and stepson is as awful as I expected but at least he's home and I can close the case once I get back to the office.
I see Jane talking quietly to Robert in the hall as I take my leave of the Green residence and it pleases me to see that the young man appears happier than I've seen him in the past hour. I go and wait in the car and it's not long before Jane saunters out of the house himself and joins me.
"What were you two talking about?" I ask as I pull away from the sidewalk and move off swiftly down the road.
"Oh, the usual in these situations," he replies lightly. "That he's got his whole life ahead of him and although it hurts now, one day another woman will come along when he's least expecting it and he'll fall in love again."
"It's good advice," I tell him with a smile.
He's doing that more and more now that Red John is gone. Taking an interest in other people and trying to help them. I like it.
"It's the truth," he states.
There's something in his tone that makes me look at him and I find that those amazing blue eyes are staring intently back at me. I feel my heart begin to thud and even I can hear my breathing getting heavier as I gaze back at him trying to decide whether he's saying what I think he's saying.
"Look out!" he exclaims suddenly as his eyes dart away and widen.
I turn back to the road in time to see another vehicle stopped ahead of me and slam on the brakes. We screech to a halt and now my heart is thudding and my breathing is heavy for a completely different reason altogether.
That was close.
I have a flashback to a couple of months ago when I had my accident and can feel my body start to shake. I know it's nothing like what happened but it doesn't stop me gripping the steering wheel so tightly that I'm sure my hands couldn't be pried off even with jackhammer.
A sudden warmth envelops my right hand and I look down to see Jane's ring glinting in the sunlight as he gently tugs at my fingers, coaxing them to loosen up. To my surprise they do and when they're free he continues to hold them for a few seconds until I look over at him.
"You okay?" he asks, concern clouding his eyes.
"Yeah," I reply automatically and try to pull away. Not only am I shaken up but I'm also mortified that it happened because I was too busy staring at him.
"Are you sure?" he persists as he refuses to let my hand go and tightens his grip.
"Yes," I repeat more firmly as I look away.
Where's a damn hole big enough to swallow you up when you need one?
For the second time today a car horn blares out behind me making me jump but at least it makes Jane finally let go of my hand. I move off and apart from the odd comment from him about the weather, we're silent for the rest of the journey to the CBI.
Once there I can't get out the elevator and down the corridor to my office quick enough. I leave Jane behind walking slowly in my wake and it's with some relief that I open the door to my sanctuary. Before I can go in however, Rigsby stops me and lets me know that Cho is interviewing Marla and that he and Van Pelt are on their way out to bring in her boyfriend. I nod that it's fine. I know they can handle it.
He walks off and I see Jane just turning the corner so I quickly duck inside my office then shut and lock the door. I need some time alone to think about what he said to me. To decide whether it really means what I hope it does or whether I'm just reading too much into it again.
I'm not sure how long I sit there with everything just churning around in my head but it must be a while because when the door opens it's Jane coming in carrying a steaming mug of coffee.
"I locked that," I say more out of habit than any real annoyance.
I'm not surprised that he's got in. I've long since resigned myself to the fact that there's not a lot that can stop Jane doing exactly what he wants, when he wants.
He merely smiles at me then moves around my desk until he's standing right by my side. He places a hand on top of the back of my chair then leans forward and slightly across me to put the mug down on my desk. I can feel the heat radiating from his body and smell the sharp scent of his aftershave so reminiscent of the night we danced together.
I want to touch him. Badly. But I don't.
He shifts back and I sure he's going to move away but instead, he leans in close to my ear and whispers, "Don't overthink this, Teresa."
His breath tickles my ear when he speaks and then, just for a moment, I feel the briefest touch of his lips against my cheek. My eyes slide shut of their own accord at the contact and when I open them again, he's gone.
I exhale slowly as I ponder his words. He knows me so well. Too well.
Worse than that, he's right.
But as much as I want to do exactly what he says and let whatever happens between us happen, I just can't. It's not who I am. Because deep down I know I want all of him. Not just for a few days or a few weeks or a few months but for good. There's no-one else for me and until I know that he feels the same, I'm going to keep things as they are.
If he wants me then he's going to damn well have to work hard to get me.
I just hope that he does.
END CHAPTER 5
A/N: Did this chapter a little different, hope you all liked it - let me know what you think :) Looking forward to the next chapter where she's had her dream about him...now do I let you all know what it was all about or do I still leave it to your fruitful imaginations? I'll have to think about that, LOL!