The ever cheerful Calleigh saunters into the break room.
"Hey," Speed replies, without turning away from the television set. He'd been sitting there focused of some news coverage for several minutes.
"Hi, Cal." Eric smiles – always a tad more pleasant than Speed. He lifts his chin, asking, "Whatcha got there?"
"What – this?" She holds up the small paper bag.
"Well," she starts unrolling the top, "there's a special day coming up and I thought I'd get everyone in the mood."
Eric laughs, arching an eyebrow, "In the mood for what?"
Calleigh places a hand on her hip, pointing a finger at him, "Your girlfriend won't forgive you, Eric, but I will," she smiles, "Valentine's Day, of course."
"Ahh." Eric chuckles as Calleigh closes her eyes, nodding smugly.
"So, are you going to show me what's in the bag or what?"
"Why, certainly," Calleigh reaches inside and takes out a small heart shaped container filled with tiny red cinnamon hearts.
"You can only get these this time of year," she explains. "Here," she extends the candy towards him, "have some."
Eric reaches in and grabs a few. "Thanks, Cal."
"You're welcome," she beams him a smile, happy to spread the love.
"Huh?" he glances back at Calleigh.
She shakes the plastic box, making the hard candies rattle around. "Might I interest you in some sweets?"
Speed looks at what she's holding out in front of him and shrugs, "yeah, okay."
"Well now, what do we have here?" Alexx says, walking in.
"Hi Alexx," Calleigh pivots. "Would you like some?"
"Don't mind if I do," Alexx smiles, "thanks, Sugar."
"Well," Calleigh sets the candy down in the middle of the table, "I should get started on my report." She strolls off, saying, "I'll be in ballistics if you need me."
"Better get back to the lab, too," Speed exhales loudly and walks out.
Eric looks over to where Alexx is now sitting at the table, "Got anything planned for Valentine's Day, Alexx?"
Flipping her long dark hair back over her shoulder, she shoots him a look, "Honey, I don't *need* to plan anything. My husband will do all that."
She sneers, "He better or I won't be showing up."
Eric laughs and then stares at the heart shaped candies, in thought.
Alexx, who had been busy massaging her sore feet, looks up and notices Eric's far away gaze.
"You okay there, Eric?" she frowns.
"What?" he snaps out of it. "Oh yeah, fine."
"Well, I better get back, myself," Alexx says as she slides back into her heels before getting up. "Murders have been copious today. I've got posts up to my..." she goes to make a gesture then stops, "well, you know," she says, glaring at him.
Eric chuckles. "Okay, see you, Alexx and good luck."
It's well past Eric's break time too, so he gets up and starts for the door. But, before he leaves, he reaches into the red plastic container for a handful of candies.
Eric grins widely, "C'mon, take your gloves off, close your eyes and give me your hand."
"If this is another one of your sick jokes –"
"It's not, I swear. Now, close your eyes."
Valera exhales and complies.
Eric places a few candy hearts in her open palm, saying, "Candies for my favorite girl."
She opens her eyes, glances down at her hand and then back up at him.
"I appreciate the gesture, Eric, but is that all you got?"
His jaw drops - Eric knows she's demanding, but this is a little harsh. He's left struggling to find a reply.
"I'm kidding, you dope," the laughter she was holding bursts out and she kisses him softly. "But, we're not supposed to eat in the lab," pulling back, she says matter-of-factly as if Horatio were there evaluating her control of the situation.
His reaction sounds like disappointment.
"Wait, I know - Dispose of the evidence." Valera pops all the hearts she has in her hand into her mouth.
Eric smirks, "I like the way you think, Valera." He does the same.
Valera's lips part as she fans herself. "Maybe it wasn't such a good idea... oooh, hot..."
"It's not that bad," he replies quickly prior to his eyes filling with tears. "Ahh, okay, it is."
"And you call yourself Cubano." She chews on the candy, making them crunch.
Eric subtly sticks his chest out, "Hey, I'm toughing it out, aren't I?"
"Yeah, so am I," she replies with the same intonation he used, taking a step towards him in challenge.
"Yeah, well," he argues, crushing the candies with his teeth, "If I had more, I'd put more in."
Valera stares at his serious expression and starts to laugh.
Eric smiles in response to her enjoyment, but asks, "What's so funny?"
"It's always a bet with you." She regains her composure and looks up at him, "When did this turn into a contest?"
"I dunno," he shrugs, "it's just the way I am, I guess."
"You're cute," she smiles, making him blush slightly. "So, are you taking me out tonight?" she asks, etching closer – close enough to kiss him.
"You bet," he chuckles and she laughs at his response.
Speed knocks on the glass and surprises both Eric and Valera who turn towards the sound.
"What's he doing?" Valera questions.
"I don't know. I'll go find out." Eric walks out. "What the hell, man?" he eyes Speed.
Speed, who has his cell phone out, covers the receiver. He looks pissed.
"Do you work here?"
"Yeah," Eric answers, not understanding where Speed is going with this.
"See," he points in Valera's direction, "'cause I couldn't tell - looked like you were having a good time in there –"
Eric shakes his head, smiling, "Are you still mad because I couldn't come in for you last weekend or are you just jealous?"
"Jealous?" Speed snorts. "You're kidding, right?"
"I don't know - you tell me." Eric crosses his arms over his chest.
Speed moves restlessly on his feet, "Look, I'm just saying, watch your back, okay? Horatio could have walked by... or something."
Eric nods, asserting that he'd be more careful when around Valera. He glances at Speed's hand holding his cell. "Who's that on the phone?"
"Oh, this? Uh... this is... this is someone I had to get in touch with for the case I'm working on."
Eric grins lopsidedly. "Yeah, right."
Speed is obviously lying.
"Yeah, that's right... I'm working here, so why don't you go do the same."
"I'm gone," Eric, still grinning, salutes his friend and walks off.
When Eric is far enough, Speed brings the phone back to his ear and winces.
"Babe, I said I was looking for a quiet place to talk..." he speaks into the phone, "no, I wasn't... / Yeah, I'm sorry, okay? / Yes, I'll be off this weekend or, at least, Sunday and we can do something then. You working tonight?" He looks around as he continues to talk to his cell, "Did you know they arrested your friend? Were you going to tell me that you were going to be on the news? / Was she? Well, you better not be doing drugs. / Yeah, I trust you. I just don't like what you do, Sara. It's dangerous. / No, for Christ's sake, I'm not jealous." Speed bit his lip when curiosity rose in the hallway from the volume of his voice. "I have to go now. / Yes, I have to get back to work. I'll call you when I get home and we'll talk about this when you come home, okay? / Yeah, me too. Bye."
Speed runs a hand through his hair as he walks off towards the DNA lab.
"So I hear about candy being passed around and start conducting my own trifling investigation to find out where they're coming from and from whom-"
His low voice vibrates through her being and makes her want to close her eyes and concentrate on listening to him, to feel every reverberation. Her eyes start to close, but she catches herself and focuses on his eyes.
"And, have you come to a conclusion?" she asks.
"Yes," he says with conviction – the blue in his eyes is breathtaking- "two things: one," he lifts a finger, "I discovered where they originated from." Calleigh looks to the table, her mouth coming open as she realizes the red plastic container has disappeared. She closes her mouth, feeling Horatio's gaze on her lips as he continues, "And two, I know of only one person that would do something like that..." he grins, tilting his head sideways while looking directly at her, "sweetheart."
Calleigh smiles, hands clasp before her, her own head tilting at his compliment. Is it the compliment or his voice again? Or those eyes... or that overwhelming smile that made butterflies flutter within? She can't make up her mind and presumes it's all of those reasons.
"Now, there's only one problem..." His throaty timbre tickles her senses once again and she looks down at the floor to steady herself.
"Which is?" she smiles shyly to herself.
Horatio pulls the heart shaped container from behind his back, "I never got the chance to taste even one."
Calleigh slowly lifts her eyes. "Well now, we can't have that..."
Teasingly, she advances towards him. "You know what, Lieutenant?" she pokes his firm chest with her finger, "I saved you a special stash."
Eyebrows raised, he inquires, "Is that so?"
"Mmhmm," she reaches into her pocket, holds out a tiny heart-shaped candy between her fingers and pops it into her mouth. "You'll just have to find it."
At once, his eyes become a darker shade of blue from her audacity and her gusto.
He decides to not only match it but surpass it by pulling her even closer to him than she was and pressing his lips against hers.
Calleigh goes wide-eyed from his sheer tenacity to pry her mouth open with his firm but unhurried kiss. She's very aware of the hand moving up her back, bringing her as close to him as possible. There is just the right amount of wetness in his hot kiss, just the right amount of fervor radiating between them to make her feel like the melting candy in her mouth.
Wait a minute...
He parts with her, eyes smiling lazily.
"Mmm. Delicious," he murmurs, the candy now in his mouth.
She touches her lips briefly and says, "I can't believe you just did that."
His head falls forward, ashamed somewhat of his actions. He swallows the candy and answers softly, "Calleigh, I'm – "
Before he has time to apologize, she hooks her arm around his neck, stands on her toes and locks lips with him.
A pleasant sound escapes his throat and she pulls back, rising to giving him one last short kiss, before asking, "What were you going to say?"
"I'm full of surprises," he quips as his heart gradually returns to normal rate.
Calleigh gives him her unique million-dollar smile meant exclusively for him.
"Well, I've got goose bumps," she drawls.
"Hmm," he smiles mischievously.
"Got anything planned for Monday night?" she whispers, being intentionally sensual.
"Shall we say around eight at your place?"
"I'll be home." He glances away only to look back into her eyes and asks, "Got anything in mind?"
"Maybe," she stays secretive.
He clears his throat, wipes his lips knowing the rouge of her lips has rubbed off on him and awkwardly straightens his badge on his belt – but even clumsy, Horatio looks graceful. Calleigh's knees practically give in as his silk suit rubs against the fabric of his shirt with his movements, tormenting her. He isn't even trying to be sexy and still hits the trigger, shooting dead center - rousing her. She thinks of the deluge shower in the lab, thinking she'd need some watering down right about now.
"H?" A voice – undoubtedly not Calleigh's – summons him from behind.
Horatio chases Calleigh's fleeting look and turns, "Yeah?"
Horatio discovers why Calleigh has momentarily redirected her attention, seeing Speedle, in the doorway, holding up a sheet of paper.
"You might want to see this..." Speed utters.
"Okay," Horatio's eyes skim back to Calleigh, "Excuse me."
She nods and he ducks away, his pace slower than usual because of his reluctance to be interrupted.
Calleigh moves to the sink in the break room, looking at the faucet imagining turning it on and putting her head under it to make the flush of her cheeks die out. She licks her lips – still feeling his pressed against them. Closing her eyes, she revisits the feeling and vacillates at the exceedingly fresh moment in her mind even if her mind had been such a blur at the time.
Oh, how she wants him back.
"Calleigh – " he murmurs, touching her shoulder, drawing her out of her fantasies.
She jumps slightly and spins to face him.
"Speed found a break in the case he's been working on and I'm gonna to go with him."
"Okay," she nods, fully understanding as her brain starts to function again and she's reminded of where she is... work. "I should get back to the lab, anyways." She lowers her gaze and brushes by him.
"Hey –" he calls.
She glances back and watches him approach.
"How 'bout dinner tonight?" He couldn't possibly wait until Monday.
"I was hoping you'd say that." She looks back at the door, searching for spying eyes, but finds none. Facing Horatio, she takes hold of his hand, "Come find me later."
He nods, giving her hand a squeeze.
She starts to pull away and he lets go of her slowly, letting her fingers slide out of his grasp. He turns as she leaves and watches after her until she is out of view. He tucks in his lower lip and smiles, eyes crinkling... That gorgeous woman actually wants him.
The case is over; Horatio is climbing the stairs to his office, carrying the file up with him, intending on fetching another file – the case he'd been working on - and shipping them both back down to Paula for her to box away and store along with the evidence. He'd be then free to seek Calleigh.
He staggers into his office and can't help the smile from tugging at his lips.
On his desk, on top of the file he came up for, is a small pile of tiny candy hearts. He picks up two between his fingers and places them in his mouth.
The sweet taste of cinnamon is now tied to Calleigh and boy does he love cinnamon.