Saturday, May 3, 2008

In Your Arms I Know I’m Safe. (Grace's Story)

As she got out of her work clothes she couldn’t help but think of what lay ahead for her, well for both of them really. Ever since she had joined the team, Grace had felt the sparks that seemed to almost engulf her when he was nearby. There was no denying she found him physically attractive but it was based on more than just that. But if she was honest with herself she had more than one reason to believe it would never, could never work between the pair. Not least of all the fact that they were colleagues first and friends second, he would never risk his career for a ‘what if?’ Yet if she was honest neither would she, but probably for different reasons than his. Although Grace was always seen to be a strong woman and a very successful one at that she still had the same fears and concerns that most if not all other woman have. It was one of the reasons she had not said anything for such a long time, she was never one hundred per cent sure if he felt anything for her, or if what she felt was enough to risk both their careers on. And her number one main concern was that she felt ugly and that there was no way on earth he could ever love her.

Now as she climbed into the shower knowing that in a few hours he would, hopefully meet her for that drink he had been promising her and knowing that he had indeed felt something for her for all the years they had been working together, she had to admit that she was feeling a little less like the adult she was and more like this love sick teenager that she was currently impersonating! As Grace stood there letting the water rain down upon her body she thought of the first time they had met and how he had made her feel. After some problems in his life the maverick Detective Superintendent Peter Boyd was moved to the newly set up Cold Case Unit, and although most saw this as somewhat of a sideways and dead end move, Peter Boyd was given most of the resources that he had asked for. Including a highly respected team of colleagues, which he hand picked each for their own personalities as well as their reputations. One of the first appointments he had made was Dr. Frankie Wharton, a highly respected and gifted forensics scientist and this was followed up by the appointment of two fellow Police Officers; Mel Silver and Spencer Jordan.

His last appointment was Grace herself and she would often wonder why, although she was well aware of her own abilities as well as his reputation for demanding and getting the best from all who worked under him, Grace had often thought there were other profilers out there that he could easily have asked for. After a few years of working together she had asked him why he had picked her and he just simply answered,

“Because I wanted the best and I have that in you.” If she was honest with herself, it was then that Grace first felt the flutters in her heart that Boyd seemed to have no effort in producing deep within her soul. And is she was honest with herself she wouldn’t want it any other way. The first case she had found herself working on with the team was an old case of Boyd’s and one that seemingly haunted him, she picked up very quickly that he hated being wrong almost as much as he hated admitting his feelings, hopes and fears. Boyd always came across as a tough and strong man, one that you could not only trust but also feel safe with. Grace knew she was right the first time he spoke to her of Joe, his son whom had run away and who’s lose haunted him just as much as his fears.

As Grace emerged from the show and wrapped herself in the huge fluffy towel sitting on the towel rack she thought of how they had first ‘clicked’ when they started working together. Grace had been around long enough to know when a man was flirting with her alone and when he was just a flirt by nature, having said that she had no idea about Boyd who seemingly loved to flirt with all women he came in contact with but who also acted a little different around Grace. As she sat and prepared to get ready for the night out she had been hoping and dreaming of Grace wondered if what she was feeling let alone thinking of doing was a wise move for ‘both’ their careers, it wasn’t like either of them were on the right side of thirty she knew that, but it was still a major risk for the pair of them to take. She was always aware that Boyd may not actually turn up, and this was the one thing that scared her more than the nerves she had going on deep within her. Boyd was notorious for ‘forgetting’ appointments and anything he was unsure of, he was also notorious for being unaware of the ‘signs’ a woman gives off. To say he couldn’t read woman was an understatement, and she knew it.

As Grace dressed and got ready to take the hour drive to where they had arranged to meet she felt a wide range of emotions that she had thought long since died inside her. Fear at him not being there, scared they would be doing the wrong thing, nervous and love sick like she was a young woman again. It had been a long time since she had not only felt like this but also since she had trusted a man enough again to let them into her heart, the last man to have done this was her ex husband whom she had cared for until he passed away for liver cancer in the mid nineties. And the only other man in her life was her ex married colleague, Harry. As she thought of her ex husband and Harry, Grace felt the tears in her eyes that had been threatening to fall ever since this morning when Boyd had asked Grace out for a drink. As she checked herself in the mirror one last time Grace put her best smile on and left her house, as the taxi took her from one side of the city all the way through the bustling streets of London and to the other side of the city all she could think about was if he would really be there!

As she assumed Grace was there first and as she sat at the bar, close to the door but facing away from it she ordered herself a large glass of deep red wine and waited for the call saying he couldn’t make it and that something had come up. They had arranged to meet at half eight but Grace knew that she would be there, alone until at least nine and when half eight came and went she couldn’t help raise a little smile at how well she knew her good friend. And again there was the doubt back in her mind, was she doing the right thing. Could any relationship between us really ever work? Was all that went through her mind as she played with the near empty wine glass in her hands, trying to take her mind off the fear in her mind she ordered herself another drink. Smiling at the barman a genuine smile as he placed the filled glass in front of her and walked off she couldn’t help wish she was anywhere else but her right now, it wasn’t that she didn’t want to be here it was just so that she could cry alone and hide away from the world while her heart broke. And then she heard a slight cough coming from next to her, turning slightly to her right she saw him approaching her and let the smile she felt deep inside her soul show.

“Peter, I didn’t think you would make it!” She said as he greeted her with a peck on the cheek and sat close next to her; while he ordered himself a large glass of deep red wine she inhaled deeply the scent of his aftershave and noted how it was not his usual scent, this made her smile. As they made small talk over their drinks Grace studied him and noted with a smile how he did much the same to her.

“You look stunning tonight Gracie.” Boyd slightly whispered as he moved closer to Grace, it made her blush and feel all warm inside, she couldn’t understand how a man who was so hard and cold sometimes at work could actually be so loving and tender away from work. It always made her smile when she thought of how he was in work, not just with suspects but also his own team; to how he was outside of work. Grace smiled at how Frankie and Mel would have loved to see this, and how Spencer would have tried his hardest not to laugh out loud at how different his Boss was. Smiling still she let her mind wander to the team, of Mel and Frankie and the new girls that had joined them.

If they could see the pair of us now. Thought Grace as she thought of Frankie’s laugh and Mel rolling her eyes while grinning from ear to ear, how Spence would looked almost shocked at the thought of her and Boyd together when all knew that secretly he would be the most pleased that both had found happiness. And although both Felix and Stella had only just joined the team she thought that they too, would hope the pair would be happy together.

“Gracie, are you ok?” Boyd’s question brought her out of her dream like state and she smiled at him as he went on.

“You didn’t seem to be with it for a moment there, is everything ok?” She loved how he cared so much about her and with a genuine smile she told him she was fine and that she was just thinking of the team.

“I have been thinking about Mel and Frankie a lot recently also.” Boyd said as he put his head down and lowered his voice as if he felt they would be overheard, as they sat for a moment in comfortable silence Boyd added how he missed them still.

“I miss them too Peter, but they will always be part of the team you know. There are always there with us in our hearts and thoughts.” Sensing she should stop before the pair of them let all those still hurtful and painful memories out, Grace turned her heard away and tried to fight the tears she wanted to let fall.

“Losing Mel and then Frankie has made me realise just how important my team are to me Gracie.” Boyd said as he looked up at Grace, knowing he had fallen and that he could never forgive himself if she left tonight and he hadn’t told her how he felt truly felt.

“And just how easy it is to lose someone and never having them know how I feel about them. The thoughts of not being able to tell someone I care about that I care about them scares me Gracie!” Boyd was trying with all he had to tell Grace how he felt; he just never thought it would be this hard. As the two friends sat in silence Boyd knew he would have to do something before the night ended, and as the pair moved over to the restaurant and had dinner together both sensed that telling each other how they felt would be a little harder than they both first thought. After what seemed like an age Grace tried to broach the subject.

“I know I don’t always say it but I always feel safe in your company Peter, thank you for that.” Hoping he would get the hint Grace smiled more over the fact that she knew he had no idea when it came to hints!

As the two finished dinner and left Grace slipped her arm instinctively through Boyd’s as they walked to his car, which thankfully was parked some way away. Taking in the beauty of the night Grace felt like she had made the biggest mistake of her life as the silence became obvious between the pair. Half way to his car Boyd spoke.

“Grace I am glad you feel safe with me, I will always try my best to protect you. You know that I care about you and I have strong feelings for you.” Boyd bit his bottom lip as he started to sweat inside at the thought he could only get it all wrong and ruin his career but also lose his friendship with Grace, and that’s what scared him the most. Taking a deep breath Boyd spoke as they headed off again,

“Gracie, you know that we have always been good friends right?” Still biting his bottom lip Boyd was unsure of not only himself but what he was actually going to say to the woman he had fallen totally in love with.

“Yes of course Peter and I am glad that we are.” Wondering why he was skirting around the subject but then of course she realised she too would do much the same.

“You know that I care about you too right, and that I enjoy working with you?” God, why can’t I tell her how I feel? Was all Boyd could think as he tried to find the words he needed and wanted to say.

“Of course I do Peter and you know the feeling is mutual. Why on earth else would I put up with your mood swings, your temper and bad habits!” Although it was said in jest both knew there was a tinge of truth to her words and Boyd knew it, he also knew that it was now or never for him. They were already walking at a snails pace but half way towards his car, so taking a deep breath Boyd swallowed hard and spoke.

“Gracie?” Pausing to gather himself and take another deep breath, he continued after she had made some audible noise that she was indeed listening. I’m in love with you! Was what went through his mind when all he could say was,

“I have very strong feelings for you.” Cursing himself for his own shyness he went to keep walking but Grace had stopped dead in her tracks, he too came to a stand still next to her and they were both silent for a few moments.

“What are you trying to tell me Peter?” Grace said as she realised she may well have to make the first move here. Blind panic flooded her already overloaded mind at this thought, and as she turned to look at Boyd she managed to catch a glimpse of the uncertainty that was in her own eyes; thankfully though she had been able to keep her own feelings closely guarded.

As a very nervous and unconfident Boyd stood stuck to the same spot as, looking in her eyes he spoke.

“Gracie, I think… no, I know I am in love with you.” Was all he could manage as the other words Boyd had deep within him finally got stuck in his throat, he wanted to say more but he just couldn’t. As soon as he’d said it she had felt her heart skip a beat and although all she wanted to do was hug and kiss him all Grace could manage was a cool and calm moment where she silently composed herself and then walked off towards the direction of Boyd’s car. Leaving Boyd stood stuck to the spot and feeling very venerable, just as she arrived at his car Grace who was by now smiling was joined by a very silent Boyd who was by now in two minds as to if he had just done the right thing. As they drove back to Grace’s home in almost silence all Boyd could think was that he had not only made a mistake and ruined his career but also possible lost the friendship of the one woman he needed the most. While all Grace could think about was how she should tell him she felt the same, especially when she was still so unsure of her own beauty and ability.

As they pulled to a halt outside Grace’s house Grace took a deep breath and got ready to admit her own feelings but as she turned to face Boyd she found he had already launched into a full blown apology and was about ready to offer his resignation when she stopped him by putting her fingers to his lips while smiling and shushing him.

“Peter, I feel the same way about you, I am just worried and unsure about any relationship we start.” Pausing to choose her words carefully she continued.

“There will be and is a lot against us if we were to start seeing each other.” Grace knew that deep inside she would never love another man this way and that if she let him go now her heart would undoubtedly break into a million pieces, trying to be strong Grace sighed and went to leave the car. She was stopped by Boyd’s hand upon her arm and his next words.

“Why should we not be together if we love each other and are happy together?” Knowing he was probably right Grace sighed and after settling back into the seat closed her eyes and tilted her head back upon the head rest.

Moving closer towards her Boyd was thankful Grace did the same, after getting this far he wasn’t ready to just give up and walk away so Boyd took the bull by the horns and spoke.

“Grace I love you, be with me?” As his words brought a shocked Grace to awake with a jolt and turn her head towards him Boyd took his chance, moving forward very swiftly he had planted his soft tender lips upon hers before she had the chance to argue or answer him. Thankful she didn’t push him away Boyd began to continue with this soft tender and gentle assault upon her lips getting lost in the moment and the passion with which he was feeling. The passion with which he kissed her Grace felt her heartbeat increasing and her spine tingle, she was almost overwhelmed by the feelings that were being created deep within her soul. Feelings Grace hadn’t felt in a long time, feelings she had thought long since died and those same feelings she was sure Boyd was feeling himself. Both became lost in the moment and would have stayed like this forever had her small cry of pleasure against his lips made him aware of where there were, knowing she must stop but not wanting to Grace let her small cry of pleasure escape from her lips.

As they finally parted from their most passionate embrace Grace was a struggling hard to catch her breath and was more than a little relieved to find that Boyd too was having a hard time trying to catch his breath, as the silence descended upon them both Grace led the way and left the car, closely followed by Boyd who was seemingly still struggling to catch his breath. And now as the stood poised at Grace’s front door, both still a little breathless and still a little unsure both let that comfortable air of silence descend upon the moment. Grace could actually feel herself shaking, so much so that she was sure he could tell she was shaking, looking up into his big brown eyes she noticed how his usual confidence and fire was gone. They were replaced by worry and questioning. It was at that moment Grace knew not only did he feel the same way she felt but he had always felt this way, for as long as she herself had. The other thing she had noticed was that she just seemed to know that things would work out between them and that they would be ok. Smiling a genuine smile, Grace kissed Boyd on the cheek before taking him by the hand and leading him inside. As she shut the door behind them both Grace knew that although it had been a long time she would always be safe in his arms.

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