“I’m falling for her,” he said breaking the silence in the car as they drove down the street. There he said it. He finally said it out loud.
“Who? Lucy,” Lopez asked looking over at him in the passenger seat. They had started riding together for a couple of shifts while their former rookies rode together. Tim Bradford was as straight as a board in his seat, his eyes cast out the windshield. “How long?”
She heard him take a deep breath. His gaze never shifting from the road ahead. “Since she was abducted probably before that. I don’t know. It just happened.”
“Does she know?”
“I don’t think so. I tried to keep it contained when she was my rookie, but now I can’t. I don’t see her all the time like I used to. Being around her was just a part of the routine, now she’s all I think about.”
“Have you told her?”
“Have I told her? Why would I bring this up if I had told her,” he asked sarcastically looking over the Angela beside him. “No, I haven’t told her.”
“Maybe you should.”
Tim shook his head. “Why would I do that? I need you to tell me why I shouldn’t do it, not encourage me to do it.”
Lopez shrugged looking away from the road quickly to look at Tim. “The heart wants what the heart wants. She’s not your rookie anymore and you’re about to get promoted to sergeant. Chances are you won’t work in the same station anymore so why not. It’s not forbidden, ya know. Cops date cops.”
“But how many of them fall for the ones they’ve trained,” he countered.
“Probably a very small number, but she’s not your rookie anymore Tim.”
Lopez was right. She wasn’t his rookie anymore. Why was he so afraid? He spent well over a year being right there beside her side through everything. After her abduction, he couldn’t make himself go long without making sure she was okay.
It caused rumors to start around the station, but both of them had brushed them off. Their relationship was strictly a professional one, no matter how hard it was. Sure, they hung out some nights, but there were always others there. He didn’t want to hide his feelings from her anymore.
He dug his phone out of his pocket and slid it open. His finger over above her contact for a minute as he tried to talk himself into clicking it and sending her a message asking to talk later. Instead, he just locked it and dropped it in his lap.
“You are such a wuss. You act all tough and macho, but you’re a little scared schoolgirl when it comes to talking about your feelings.”
“I know,” he mumbled looking out the window.
It was hours after shift ended that Tim found himself sitting in his truck outside of Lucy’s apartment. He could see the light in the living room was on through the curtain, so he knew she was home. He thought about just calling her asking if he could come over or maybe send a message, but every time he went to click her name he stopped.
Somehow, he worked up the courage to drive over to her apartment, but he couldn’t make himself get out of the truck and go up. He thought about just driving home and saying forget it, but Angela’s words from earlier echoed through his mind . The heart wants what the heart wants .
After thirty minutes of trying to talk himself up enough to climb those stairs and knock on her door, that’s exactly where he found himself. He raised his fist as if he was about to knock but stopped just shy of making contact with the door.
What if she laughed at him? Or maybe she’d just close the door in his face. “Don’t,” he whispered to himself. “Don’t chicken out now.”
Before he could stop himself again, he knocked on the door. His heart sped up when she called, she would be right there. It was too late to turn back now.
He stopped breathing when she pulled the door open. Her dark brown hair down to her shoulders causing Tim to swallow. “Tim,” she asked surprised when her eyes landed on her former TO at her door. “What…What are you doing here?”
His words caught in his throat at the sight of her. Everything he had planned on saying disappeared from his mind. His eyes scanning her body from the top to the bottom and back again. “Tim,” she said again breaking him from his trance. “What are you doing here,” she asked again once his eyes landed on hers.
“Can I come in,” he asked tucking his hands in his jeans. Why was he such a wreck over just seeing her?
“Yeah, of course,” Lucy said moving aside and letting him walk into her apartment. “Are you going to tell me why you’re here or do I have to force it out of you,” she asked him after a minute of silence in the apartment.
His blue eyes locked with her brown ones. “Are you okay,” she asked walking over to him and putting her hand on his arm. You’re such a wuss, just tell her how you feel. “Tim, you’re scaring me. What is it?”
“I’m falling for you,” he said softly before he could stop himself. The words just tumbled out of his mouth before he could catch them.
Lucy’s eyebrows shot to the ceiling. Did she just hear him correctly? “Excuse me?”
Tim opened his mouth to say it again, but he couldn’t force the words out. He tried to say it again and again, but the words wouldn’t come out. Why was he acting so bashful? Tim Bradford didn’t do bashful. He came over here with a purpose and now it all seemed to be falling apart.
“Tim,” he heard Lucy call breaking him out of the trance he had fallen in. “What did you say?”
“I’m falling for you.”