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Episode One   |   Episode Two   |   Chairman of the Bored   |   Chairman of the Bored II   |   Smeared Window   |   Episode Six   |   Gosh Golly Gee, Maddie   |   Cold Feet, Warm Heart   |   Episode Nine   |   Episode Ten   |   Dog...Cat...Man...Woman   |   She's a Little Bit Country, He's a Little Bit R&B   |   Episode Thirteen   |   Scenes of the Crime   |   The Wedding: Part One   |   The Wedding: Part Two   |   The Wedding: Part Three   |   Episode Nineteen   |   Episode Twenty   |   Maximum Insecurity   |   Hooked on a Feeling
She's a Little Bit Country, He's a Little Bit R&B

Maddie exited the elevator and started the familiar path to the office doors, reading the letter as she walked. So engrossed in what she was reading, she didn't notice as she passed David in the hall. David turned around and looked at her retreating form, confusion written on his face. He sighed and followed her into the office.

"Morning Ms. Hayes." Agnes said as Maddie passed. Maddie didn't respond and kept walking until she reached her office door, then she opened it and walked in, closing the door behind her. David and Agnes stood at Agnes' desk, "Mr. Addison...?" Agnes started.

David smiled at her, "I'm on it, Agnes." he walked over to Maddie's door and knocked. A muffled "come in" came from inside and David winked at Agnes and walked in, closing the door behind him.

Maddie was seated at her desk, reading over the same paper she was when she walked in. She raised her head long enough to smile warmly in David's direction and bent her head again, her bottom lip caught in her teeth as she read. David stared at her for a minute, entranced by the simple little act.

David didn't know how long he'd been staring at her when her voice broke through his thoughts, "David? David? Are you ok?" David shook his head and focused his eyes.

"I'm sorry. Did you say something?" he shook his head again, "Must have zoned out for a minute there."

"Must have. Sit, David. We need to talk." David looked at her warily and sat.

"This have something to do with that letter you've been studying religiously for the past few minutes?" David asked with a smile. Maddie smiled back at him and cleared her throat.

"It's a new case, actually. I thought we should talk about it before I took it or turned it down." she handed him the letter, "I'm not sure if it's something we're interested in or not, but it's a lot of money and I figured you'd want to have a say in it."

She took a breath and went on, "You know that bank on the corner of Fifth?" at David's nod, she continued, "The owner, and manager, died last night. There is only one person that the bank could go to, William Wright. Except William wants nothing to do with the city, so Mr. Steadman wants us to try to convince him to take it."

David studied the letter, "It's in Texas, Maddie." he said, looking up at her. Maddie smiled at him, "I know, that's part of the reason I wanted to talk to you about it." she took a breath, "I would naturally want to see the man in his element, for all we know, he might have a perfectly logical reason for not wanting it. We don't want him to get nervous and flighty. If we take it, it would mean driving all the way to Texas, pretending to be something we're not, and acting like we're having a good time." Maddie looked at him, waiting for an answer.

David grinned, "Sounds like fun, right?"

"Sounds like a death wish." Maddie corrected him, coming around the side of her desk to stand in front of him.

"Funny, I thought it sounded like a paycheck. Maddie, this is a new experience, something we've never done before. Besides, don't you think it's time for a vacation?" David raised one eyebrow and put his arm around her shoulders, "You, me, the open country - -"

Maddie interrupted him, "Cows. David, have you ever even been on a farm?"

"You mean in this lifetime?" Maddie rolled her eyes and started to walk out of the office. David stopped her, "All right, I'm sorry. But we work really hard." Maddie stared at him, "Most of the time. And we solve a lot of cases." she continued to stare, "Some of the time. And after that cat, I think we both deserve some time off."

 Maddie shook her head, "David...."

He led her over to the desk and they both sat, he took her hands, "We haven't exactly had time for us lately, this would be nice. And the money wouldn't hurt," he smiled and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, "We can leave the pooch with Agnes. It'll be fun." he could see her resolve slipping away, "Please?"

Maddie smiled, "I'm not sure about leaving Miss Me with anyone. I guess we could bring her with us." David leaned and kissed her lightly on the lips, "I'll go pack." he grinned and walked out of her office.

Maddie pressed her fingers to her lips and smiled slightly.

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

The doorbell rang again as Maddie came in from the garage. David opened the door and stuck his head in, "Maddie?"

"I'm in the kitchen." she called. David walked into the kitchen and sat down, picking up Miss Me and holding her in his lap, "You packed yet?" he asked, stroking the dog.

"Yes. All I have to do is get my suitcase - -"

David interrupted her, "Where is it?"

"In my room. Sitting on the bed, but you don't have to..." Maddie turned only to find David had left. She shook her head and walked back out to the garage, the puppy right behind her.

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

David hurried up the stairs and opened the door to Maddie's bedroom, feeling an odd sense of nostalgia. He shook his head and took the suitcase off of the bed, trying not to look at anything besides the suitcase, David walked out of the room.

He dragged  it down the stairs and out to the car, throwing it in the trunk with his own. Maddie came out of the house, carrying the dog, she handed her to David and locked the door. She turned to him, "We ready, partner?"

David grinned, "Almost always. How easily you seem to forget." Maddie rolled her eyes, "Get into the car."

David shook his head sadly, "I'd forgotten how much fun you are in the morning."

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

Maddie rubbed her eyes and looked around. They were stopped  at a rest stop. Darkness had settled in and David was sleeping in the seat next to her. She watched him sleep for a few minutes, he looked almost angelic. He really was a handsome man.

 But it wasn't his features; it was his sense of humor. David was the kind of man if you passed on the street, you didn't look twice, but if you happen to look into his eyes...the sparkle there was enough to make your knees weak.

Maddie shook her head and focused her eyes, leaving the memories behind. She jumped when her eyes met his. He just sat there, watching her watch him. He smirked, "Examining the goods?"

Maddie smiled, "What goods?"

"From what I remember, you thought they were pretty good the last time." he said with a small smile. Maddie returned it, "You remember that, huh?"

"I seem to remember I thought they were pretty good, too." As their playful exchange went on, they leaned closer to each other, their lips were almost touching when the puppy whimpered from the backseat. Maddie turned and looked at her, causing David to kiss her neck.

Maddie jumped, "I think she needs to be walked." she said, her breath only slightly faster than before. David nodded and got out of the car, taking the dog with him. Maddie sighed and watched him go, then she smiled and slid over into the driver's seat and awaited his return.

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

"Turn here." David instructed, having awakened from his nap. He looked around them and cringed, "Why do those tumbleweeds look so familiar?"

Maddie turned the radio down and looked at him, "Did you say something?" David shook his head, "Where are we?"

"We're five minutes from our destination. Sleep well?" she asked with a smile.

"Yeah. It was nice, I was having this great dream. You and me were going on vacation." he looked at her, and grinned. Maddie smiled, "Look on the map and tell me where to turn, please?"

David nodded and pulled the map from the glove compartment, "Ok, what are we looking for? Oh, ok, here we go. Take the next left, then a right."

Maddie stopped the car on a hill overlooking a small town, "David, where are we?"

David scooted over on the seats and turned Maddie to face him, "Just a happy little detour." he replied as he leaned in to kiss her. Right as his lips touched hers, Maddie pulled away and gasped. There was a tap on his window and he banged his fist on the dash board, "For the love of Mike, what now??"

He turned, rolling down his window. A young man stood outside the car, "You two lost?" he said with a smile.

David shook his head even as Maddie nodded, "We're looking for the Wright's farm." she said, smiling.

The boy grinned, "I'm Ben Wright. Our farm is right down the road. If you want you can follow me." he offered.

Maddie agreed and David sat back in his seat, frowning. Maddie followed the blue pickup truck down the road. They pulled onto a long dirt road. After five minutes of driving, David looked at Maddie, "How far back is this thing?"

Maddie smiled, "It shouldn't be too much further." she said, glancing at him.

"Have you ever been on a farm?" he asked after a few minutes of silence.

Maddie nodded, "Yes. My aunt and uncle used to own one in Kentucky. I went there every summer when I was little. When my uncle died a couple years ago, Aunt Susan just couldn't keep up by herself and they sold it." she took a breath, "David, farm's aren't always fun, you know."

He sighed, "I know. It's not the farm I'm looking forward to, it's the company." he grinned and placed his hand over hers on the console that separated them.

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

Maddie pulled the car to a stop in front of a huge blue and white house. Giving a happy yip from the backseat, Miss Me jumped up into David's lap.

Ben Wright got out of the pickup and walked over to them. Maddie turned to David, "Ok, we're Lynn and Michael Erwin from Kentucky, here to look at horses." she said as she dug around in her purse, she pulled out a solid gold wedding ring and handed it to David, then took out a second, smaller ring, and put it on her finger.

"Erwin? I hate that name." David rolled his eyes at Maddie's reproachful look,  "We've been over this a thousand times. We've been married for three years, no kids... I know it by heart, Maddie." he said as he slipped the ring onto his finger and got out of the car. Maddie sighed and followed suit, feeling oddly out of place in a skirt.

An older man came out of the house and walked up to them, grinning, "You must be the Erwin's." he said as he held out his hand, "I'm William Wright. I see you've already met Ben."

David shook his hand, "It's nice to meet you, I'm Michael and this is my wife, Lynn." he said with a fake accent. Maddie stared at him.

"It's nice to meet you both." William said as he shook Maddie's hand.

Maddie glanced back up at David and smiled, "We're pleased to be here, we hear you have some of the nicest horses on the continent." as she was speaking, David slipped his arm around her waist, grinning when he felt her stiffen slightly.

William's face broke into a wider grin, "Well, I'm not sure if that's true, but our horses are healthy and some of the prettiest you've ever seen. Make good breeders, our horses do." he took a breath, "Well, I'll show you to your room and let you unpack, you must be tired from that long drive."

Maddie nodded and took Miss Me from David, "Michael, dear, could you get the suitcases, please?"

David grinned at her and said in his fake accent, "Sure, darlin`, I'd be happy to." he tapped the puppy on the nose and got the suitcase out of the back, following Maddie and William into the house.

William pointed to their left as they walked in, "If you walk that way, the kitchen is over on the right." he pointed right, "The dining room is through there, and if you'll follow me..." he walked up the stairs, Maddie and David close behind.

They proceeded down a long hall and stopped at the second to last door, "This is your room," he opened the door and walked into the room, motioning them in. Maddie was the first to see the king
sized bed, and she stopped short, causing David to bump into her from behind.

"What's the matter, Blondie, suddenly forget how to walk?" he gave her a gentle nudge and she walked the rest of the way into the room. He whistled when he saw the bed, "Wow." was all he managed to get out while trying to stifle his laughter.

"Is everything ok?" William asked hurriedly, misunderstanding David's laughter, "Is the room going to be ok?"

Maddie was quick to reassure him, "Everything's great, Mr. Wright." she smiled slightly, "You're right, we're just really tired from the long drive--"

"Very tired." David added, finally managing to control his amusement.

William nodded his understanding, "Well, I'll leave you to unpack, then. Dinner will be at six." he smiled at them and left, closing the door quietly behind him.

As soon as the door closed, Maddie sank down onto the bed, "We should've thought of this." she said to her laughing `husband'.

David sat down next to her, "Now, Maddie. We've slept in the same bed before, and we were just fine then." he laughed as Maddie pushed him off of the bed and onto the floor.

"I can't believe I didn't think of the consequences of being married." she muttered, realizing what she'd just said, Maddie pointed at David, "Comment on that and you won't live to regret it." David nodded.

"Well, I guess that leaves only one choice." she looked at the bathroom door and back at David.

"Huh-uh! No way am I sleeping in the bathtub!" he looked at her, incredulous, "We're both mature adults--"

She interrupted him, "One of us, anyway."

David went on, ignoring her comment, "I'm sure we can come up with a compromise. Besides, this bed is a lot bigger than yours." he patted the side of the bed and dodged another shove.

"There's really only one way to solve who gets the bed..." Maddie smiled at him and held out her hand, "Rock paper scissors." she said.

David held out his, "Fine." they both banged their hands on their palms. David came up with scissors, Maddie with rock. She smiled smugly at him and they repeated the act, with David winning. Maddie frowned and looked into his eyes as they did it again. She grinned at him as her fist formed scissors and his formed paper.

"I guess that's that." she said with a smug smile.

David pouted and started to unpack.

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

"How long have you two been married?" Francine Wright asked a couple hours later as they sat down to dinner.

Maddie and David exchanged a look, "Three years in December." Maddie answered with a smile.

Francine smiled, "Oh, a holiday wedding, how nice." she handed David the basket of rolls, "Must have been hectic."

Maddie sighed, this was something she could deal with, "Yes, it was. What with Christmas and everything, we actually weren't sure if we'd be able to pull it off." she looked affectionately at David, "But we managed."

David sat back and looked at his partner, she fairly sparkled when she was the center of attention, and he always liked to watch her. The past year had changed her, not badly, mind you. But it had added something, something he couldn't name.

After dinner was finished and the table cleared, David and Maddie thanked Francine and trudged up the stairs to bed. David opened the door and jumped on the bed, pulling a pillow under his arm, "So, time for bed."

"Uh-huh. I won, David. Fair and square."

"You're actually going to make me sleep in a bathtub?" he asked with a hurt look, "I'm offended that you think I can't control myself."

Maddie rolled her eyes and pointed at the bathroom door, "Go."

David glared at her and went into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him. He sat down on the edge of the marble bathtub and muttered to himself, "This is insane." but nevertheless, he got up and piled blankets and a pillow into the tub, grumbling as he did so.

Maddie quickly changed and climbed under the covers, moving to the far right of the bed. She felt rather bad about making David sleep in the bathroom, maybe she'd change her mind tomorrow night. She smiled and closed her eyes.

David's back was killing him, his neck ached, and his feet were cold from being pressed against the tile wall. And it had only been five minutes since he'd gotten in. Sitting up, he fluffed the pillow. "This is insane," he said to the empty room, "To Hell with this." he got up and opened the door to the bedroom.

With his pillow under his arm and the blanket forgotten in the bathtub, David made his way over to the bed and carefully sat on the edge. He felt Maddie stir and roll over to face him. He quickly covered her mouth to keep her from emitting a startled scream.

"I am not sleeping in a bathtub." he said, "Nod if you understand." Maddie nodded, "Good, we will share a bed for the next week or you will sleep in there, not me." he paused, "Nod again if you understand." she nodded again, "Good. Now, I'm going to sleep, I promise not to `accidentally' grope you tonight."

David rolled over to his side of the bed and climbed under the covers, careful to keep his feet from touching hers. He sighed as he felt Maddie move as far as she could over to her side and thought she must be close to falling off of the bed. He mentally shrugged and closed his eyes, sleep coming to him quickly.

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

Maddie sighed and snuggled more firmly into David's embrace. It was just a dream, she could feel herself waking up, but what was the harm in dreaming? She sighed contentedly and smiled to herself.

David was having a dream much like hers, and he held her tighter, not wanting to wake up. But he could feel the sunlight streaming through the curtains, and he knew that the dream would haunt him all day. Sighing, he opened his eyes. He looked down at Maddie's head and grinned to himself; so much for HIM groping HER in the night.

He watched her sleep for a few moments, knowing that when she woke, she would be livid and it would most likely be `all his fault`. Her dark lashes fanned out onto her cheeks, creating a contrast as different as day and night. Her skin was flawless, besides the occasional wrinkle or two, but that was to be expected, they were both getting older.

Pushing away the thoughts that lay in that direction, David went on admiring her. One blonde curl laid on her cheek and he reached over and gently brushed it away. Noticing her eyelashes flutter, he steeled himself for the biggest shouting match ever.

Maddie slipped into wakefulness with a sense of fulfillment, contentment, wanting. Wanting? Where had that come from? She opened her eyes and the first thing she saw was David's face. Stifling a shout of surprise, Maddie just laid there, shocked out of movement for the moment.

"Morning, Goldilocks. Sleep well?" he smirked at her, but she saw that it didn't reach his eyes. Surprising both him and herself, Maddie smiled, "Yes. It was a nice sleep, thank you. How about you? Sleep well?"

David smiled back at her, somewhat shocked she hadn't threatened him with bodily harm yet, "Much better than the bathtub would've been." he said, watching her warily.

Maddie could see the curiosity in his eyes, she was a bit surprised herself. Certainly, she hadn't expected to wake up next to him, let alone in his arms, but it had happened, and it really wasn't a big deal. Nothing that hadn't happened before, anyway.

Maddie stretched a little, not being able to help herself, and could feel David's heart start to race. She glanced up at his face, her own emotions mirrored back at her through him. David brought his hand up and smoothed the hair from her face, tilting her head up also.

She swallowed hard. Was she ready for this? Was he ready for this? Smiling to herself, she amended, of course he was ready for this, he's always ready for this. She raised her head a little higher and he brought his lips down on hers...right as a knock on the door sounded.

David let out a frustrated groan and threw a pillow at the door, Maddie managed to get her hand over his mouth before the "Go away" came out. She smiled at him and got out of the bed.

Grabbing her robe from the nearby chair, Maddie threw it on and opened the door a crack. Standing on the other side was a girl of about ten, she looked into the room and blushed furiously, "I'm sorry, I was sent up to tell you breakfast is ready." and with that said, the embarrassed girl hurried back down the stairs.

Maddie shook her head and shut the door, turning back to a very frustrated David. He was laying on the bed, his arm tucked beneath his head, staring at her.

"Come on, David. Get up." she walked over to the dresser and got out a  pair of jeans and a button up shirt. Grumbling, he got out of bed and stretched, "Breakfast isn't that important, you know. We could skip it."

Maddie just looked at him and walked into the bathroom to get dressed. She leaned up against the closed door and took a deep breath. What would have happened had the girl not knocked on the door right then? She shook her head, not wanting to think about it right then, and pulled on her jeans.

David was also pulling on his jeans at that moment, also thinking about what might have happened, also shaking his head, not wanting to think about it. He was sitting on the side of the bed lacing his shoes when Maddie emerged from the bathroom.

Dressed simply in a pair of jeans and a button up shirt, no makeup adorning her face, and her hair pulled back into a braid, Maddie didn't think she was anything worth looking at. But David was staring, he had seen her wearing business clothes, evening clothes, undercover clothes, hell, he'd seen her with NO clothes. But he'd never seen her in jeans.

Involuntarily, he licked his lips, "Yo, Goldilocks, you aren't really hungry, are ya?"

Maddie rolled her eyes, "Nice try, Addison." she sat down on the bed and pulled on her shoes, lacing them.

Hand in hand they descended the staircase, Maddie walked into the dining room first and was greeted by eight pairs of eyes. Startled, she stopped, causing David to bump into her, "You may need to see a doctor about this little problem you seem to be having."

Francine stood and smiled at Maddie, "The kids were out doing their chores when you arrived and I allowed them to eat away from the table last night." she explained, motioning to the table full of children.

"I think you already met Ben and Aliza," the young boy that had greeted them the day before grinned and saluted them, and the girl from that morning smiled shyly. "And this is Andrew, Beth, Steven, and Jennifer."

Maddie and David stared at the kids, each knowing they couldn't possibly remember all the names, and silently praying they wouldn't have to.

Maddie finally seemed to remember herself, "Well, you certainly have quite a family." she commented as David pulled her chair out for her.

William grinned, "Yes, we certainly do. What about you two, have any kids?" Maddie winced slightly at the seemingly harmless question. `You knew this would come up' she berated herself.

Thankfully, David answered, "Not yet," he took her hand under the table and gave it a little squeeze, "But we're working on it."

Beth (Jennifer?) giggled from the other end of the table and Aliza blushed crimson, Ben rolled his eyes at his sisters and continued eating.

"Well," Francine started, "Ben is sixteen, Jennifer is fourteen, Andrew is twelve, Steven is ten, Aliza is eight, and Beth is seven." she took a breath and smiled, "We tried to keep two years between them, but still, they're a handful."

"Not that we don't love every minute of it." William said with an affectionate smile at his children, "But six kids can get into a lot of trouble."

Maddie couldn't stop herself from commenting, "Sounds like you, dear." she said as she looked at David.

He slipped their hands out from under the table and lightly ran his lips across her knuckles, "You love every minute of it, too." he replied with a smirk.

Maddie flushed and slipped her hand from his, missing the knowing look the Wright's shared, and continued to eat.

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

"The barn is right around back, I'm sure Ben wouldn't mind showing you--" William started as they stood outside in the crisp morning air.

David interrupted, "No, that's ok, we'll just look around, if you don't mind." he smiled at William.

"No, I don't mind at all. I just have a few things to do this morning. Things are kind of hectic around this time of year." he explained. Maddie nodded and took David's hand, "We understand." she said as they started off towards the barn.

David pulled her to a stop next to a huge mound of hay and grinned at her mischievously, "How about a roll in the hay, partner?"

"Something new and fun! Be still my heart." Maddie said sarcastically, "Haven't we been through this?"

David frowned at her, "Different town, different environment." he tapped her on the arm, "Come on Maddie, life isn't going to wait forever."

Maddie seemed to think about it for a few minutes, leaving David trying to read her expression. Finally, she smiled hugely at him. David grinned back, thinking he was going to get what he wanted. She motioned for him to follow her and walked to the barn door. She opened it, "After you."

David smiled and walked in. Maddie shut the door and latched it, locking him in. She smiled and waited for the banging to start. When it didn't, she frowned and backed away, looking at the door in confusion. Maddie shrugged and turned away, walking back towards the house.

She didn't see David leap out of the loft and land on his feet. She also didn't see him creep towards her, bent over with a look of determination on his face. As a result, she was startled out of a scream as she was knocked off of her feet and into the huge pile of hay by the barn.

They landed, David half on top of Maddie, both of them laughing. David winced and rubbed his ankle, "Owie." he said, his bottom lip stuck out.

In spite of herself, Maddie giggled, "Smooth move, Addison."

He grinned suddenly, "See what I go through for you?"

Both of their grins disappeared as they realized their positions. David leaned over to her and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, letting his finger trace her jaw and linger on her neck.

Maddie swallowed and leaned her head in, giving into the inevitable. She was going to kiss him. She wanted to kiss him. Nothing was stopping her from kissing him. Except herself.

David smiled slightly and cupped her cheek. Suddenly, he felt a tingling in his nose. He frowned and took his hand away from her face, rubbing his nose. Maddie smiled at him and he cupped her cheek once more.

Maddie leaned in again only to have David repeat what he'd just done. She couldn't help herself, she covered her mouth and giggled. David glared at her, he opened his mouth to say something and sneezed.

Maddie smiled, "God bless you."

David sneezed again, "He (sneeze) already (sneeze) has. (sneeze)"

Maddie burst out laughing while David sneezed, "I think (sneeze) I'm allergic (sneeze) to hay (sneeze)"

Maddie slid out from underneath David and pulled him to his feet, knowing they probably looked insane. Her laughing hysterically, him sneezing ever few seconds, and both of them covered in hay.

"What (sneeze) is so (sneeze) damn funny?? (sneeze)" he demanded.

This didn't help Maddie's laughter, and it seemed the more agitated David got, the worse the sneezes got. And the more he sneezed, the harder Maddie laughed.

They stumbled to the front porch and sat down, both finally being able to calm themselves, "There goes that idea." Maddie said in between fading giggles.

"What a waste." David added mournfully as he leaned in to kiss Maddie. Their lips were scant millimeters from each other when someone tapped Maddie on the shoulder.

Beth stood behind them, curiosity on her face, "What're you doing?"

Maddie studied her fingers while David tried to figure out what to say, "We were...uh...we were..." he had been caught off guard and could think of no cute answer for this.

"They were going to kiss, dummy." Steven said as he came up to stand behind his sister. David sighed and sat back, trying to resign himself to the fact that he might never kiss Maddie again.

"Ewww, why would you want to do that?" Beth asked, her face scrunched up. David couldn't help but laugh.

Before Maddie could come up with an answer, Francine called the kids inside. Maddie laughed and looked at the man sitting beside her, he too was laughing softly, but she could see the frustration on his face.

"Mrs. Erwin?" Maddie turned to look at Ben, "Yes?"

"I was just wondering if you might want to go riding?" he asked, a bit shyly. Maddie grinned at him.

"You know, I was just thinking there would be nothing that I'd like better right this minute, then to go riding with you." she said as she got up from the porch and dusted off her clothes.

David said underneath his breath, "Funny, I was thinking of you riding with me." he glared at her, "Oh, darling?" he said, his voice mockingly sweet, "You have hay in your hair."

Maddie turned and smiled at him, "Thank you." and she and Ben walked back towards the barn.

David couldn't help but smile as she walked away. She was as good coming as going, and he involuntarily licked his lips. Sleeping with her without sleeping with her was going to prove to be interesting.

Although he certainly didn't mind hers being the first face he saw in the morning, and the fact that she woke in his arms just hours before was an added plus, and seemed to make the sun shine all that much brighter.

Squaring his shoulders, David made a decision. He was no coward, he wasn't afraid, nervous maybe...never afraid! Today was a new day, today he had woken up with the woman he loved, today he had almost kissed her, today....he was going to ride a horse.

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

Maddie pulled David off to the side, "You don't have to do this, you know." she said with a worried frown.

"What this?" he looked over at the giant animal standing a few feet away, "Oh, that this. Well, you know me, I'm always ready to try new things..." he tried his best smile on her and saw her relax a little. Flinging an arm around her shoulders, he led her back over to the horses, "Besides, how hard can it be?"

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

Maddie wiped the last of the mud from David's face and tried not to smile, " `How hard can it be', he says." not being able to help herself, Maddie grinned, "You know, I think I like the hay better, at least it's not as messy."

David glared at her, "I'm glad you find this so amusing, Ms. Hayes." he stood up and stripped off his shirt, looking at it distastefully, "I think I'll have this burned."

Maddie swallowed and took the shirt from him, secretly fighting a battle within herself, trying to determine which she wished more; that he had kept his shirt on, or...she shook her head, that direction was off limits. For now anyway.

"I'm going to throw this in the bathtub, hand me your pants too, will you?" finding it way too hard to watch him undress, Maddie hurriedly walked into the bathroom and started washing the shirt out. She jumped slightly when a pair of jeans were thrust into her vision, suspended in the air by two fingers.

"Burn these too, ok?" Maddie stiffened, afraid of what he might, or might not, in this case, be wearing, she cautiously turned around. Standing in the middle of the bathroom was David, wearing a pair of boxer shorts and frowning at the jeans in his hand.

Maddie's mouth opened, closed, opened, closed. She frowned to herself, wondering what was wrong with her. "Wow." was her next word. The frown deepened, `Where did that come from?'

David watched her with a touch of concern, "You ok?"

Startled by her own reaction of seeing him undressed like he was, Maddie began to laugh. She dropped the shirt in the sink and sat on the edge of the tub, laughing. David stood there and watched, bemused, "You want to share the joke? I'd hate to think you were laughing at me."

Maddie shook her head and stood, calming, "I'm sorry, I don't know what came over me. Put your jeans in the sink with your shirt. They'll be ok after they soak." looking him up and down again, Maddie smiled, "Get dressed while you're at it."

David grinned, "But we're going to bed." he said innocently.

"Put some clothes on, Addison, or do you want a replay of last night?" she asked with an arched eyebrow and a look at the bathtub.

"No, but I wouldn't mind a replay of this morning." he winked at her as he walked out of the bathroom.

Maddie smiled despite herself, yes, this was going to be interesting.

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

David tried to fight waking up. He'd had such a hard time getting to sleep when a certain blonde kept invading his thoughts....and various other parts of his anatomy. Their feet had touched during the night, jerking him out of the sleep he'd been drifting into, and giving him a shock.

But it was no use. He opened his eyes and grinned, this was becoming a rather pleasant habit. His grin fading, he lectured himself; `Better not get too used to it, Addison. She's already told you that you're taking it slow, and you agreed. Getting used to this would not help things.'

Maddie glanced up at him and for a moment, he was afraid he'd spoken aloud. But her slight smile told him he was safe for the time being, "Well, good morning." he said with a smirk.

"Morning." she said, her voice still a little husky from sleep, "We should get up."

"Yeah." David agreed half heartedly, making no move to rise. Maddie sighed and went to get up, only to have David gently pull her back down, "Stay for a minute." he said.


"Just a minute, then we'll get up." he ran his hand through her hair, "Please?"

Maddie sighed and gave up, settling back down next to him, "Just a minute." she conceded, closing her eyes again. `After all, what could it hurt?' she asked herself, unaware that she had spoken the words out loud.

David grinned a few minutes later as he felt her breath even out and the tension ease out of her body. Yes, what could a minute hurt?

The grin was still there when he woke up.

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

"That looks"

Maddie shot David a look as she continued to milk the cow, "You want to try?" she asked, knowing the answer.

"No. Thank you, I think I'll just watch for the time being." he made a face, "Gross." Maddie looked up at him again, confusion on her face, "What?"

"I just thought of the word. It looks gross. Why in the world did you volunteer for this?" he asked, almost to himself.

Maddie laughed softly, "Because, they're busy, and I don't mind. I've done it before, it's not hard. Sure you don't want to..."

David vehemently shook his head and backed up a step, "I'll wait for the movie, thanks."

Maddie shrugged and went back to her task, only to find she'd completed it. Rising, she attempted to pick up the bucket, only to find it too heavy. Glancing over at David she grinned, "Hey, you." he looked up at her, "Do you mind?"

David smiled at her, "Not usually." he bent and picked up the bucket, "You owe me." he started up the hill towards the house, Maddie following close behind.

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

The days flew by quickly and before either David or Maddie knew it, it was the day before they had to leave. David contemplated tampering with the car so they'd have to stay a couple days more, but decided against it, figuring Maddie would most likely just call a cab.

"You know, I think we ought to drop the case." David said to her as he sat on the bed reviewing the file that morning, "This guy is obviously happy..."

"I think you're right." Maddie interrupted, emerging from the bathroom with her pajamas in hand, "He doesn't want that bank, and we'd be fools to try to give it to him."

David nodded and got up, "Then we're settled, we're dropping the case?" he asked.

Maddie nodded and opened the door, "Breakfast, Mr. Erwin?"

David grimaced, "Only if you'll stop calling me that."

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

"You two will be joining us for the dance after dinner, won't you?" Francine asked at lunch, "It's going to be a lot of fun."

David and Maddie exchanged a look and Maddie smiled, "We wouldn't dream of missing it." she replied. David smirked and nodded his head in agreement, as he desperately tried to remember how to square dance.

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

"This isn't as bad as I thought it would be." David whispered to Maddie as they sat on a bale of hay in the corner of the barn.

"What's the matter, Addison? Were you thinking that they couldn't do anything but do-si-do?" at David's smile, Maddie shook her head, "Tsk tsk. You should have a more open mind, David."

"I do have an open mind, and right now it's telling me it wants to dance with it's beautiful partner." he raised his eyebrows at her and Maddie smiled.

As the music started to play, David pulled Maddie to her feet, leading her out into the midst of the dancers. Maddie put her arms around his neck, while he pulled her close and put his arms around her waist. Maddie smiled to herself and lightly ran her finger over the hair on the nape of his neck.

Come a little bit closer
Hear what I have to say
Just like children sleepin'
We could dream this night away.

David felt a shiver go through him as her fingers lightly traced his hairline. The music went on and, to David, after the first touch, all the other dancers disappeared.

But there's a full moon risin'
Let's go dancin' in the light
We know where the music's playin'
Let's go out and feel the night.

Maddie laid her head on David's shoulder and closed her eyes. The scratchy fabric of his sweater tickled her cheek. It was the first time since the whole ordeal with Gabby and the feline fiasco that they had been able to hold each other with out complications, it was nice. Maddie sighed and smiled to herself.

Because I'm still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because I'm still in love with you
On this harvest moon.

Listening to the words of the music, David smiled ironically, the song could be about them, really, sung from his point of view. He caught site of his wedding ring around Maddie's back, and felt a bolt of longing go through him. Trying to push it away, David concentrated on the music and the woman in his arms.

When we were strangers
I watched you from afar
When we were lovers
I loved you with all my heart.

Maddie had given up trying to drown out the lyrics to the song, it was like unique torture. If she didn't know better, she would have sworn that the song was meant for them. Pushing all thoughts away, Maddie held him tighter.

But now it's gettin' late
And the moon is climbin' high
I want to celebrate
See it shinin' in your eye.

David felt her inch closer to him, she was as close as she was going to get, he thought. He suppressed a chuckle and held her tighter, feeling a shudder of emotion go through her. `Good, it's getting to her too.' he thought as they danced on.

Because I'm still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because I'm still in love with you
On this harvest moon.

The song came to a close and Maddie pulled back from David slightly, smiling up at him. It was actually weird to smile up at him, she was usually the taller one, but one rarely felt the need to wear heels on a farm.

"One more?" David asked, smiling back at her.

Not being able to resist, Maddie nodded and they started to dance again as Billy Joel started to play. Maddie was beginning to find it odd that no matter where they went, they heard a song by him. She mentioned this to David as they danced.

David laughed, "Maybe it's some sort of weird sign."

"What, that we should buy as many of his albums as we can?" she asked with a smile. David just shook his head and smirked.

"What?" Maddie asked, not understanding his smirk.

"Nothing, I was just thinking." he answered, "I do it periodically, you know."

Maddie smiled and laid her head back on his shoulder, breathing in his after shave. The song played on.

She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child, but she's always a woman to me
She can lead you to love, she can take you or leave you
She can ask for the truth but she'll never believe you
And she'll take what you give her as long as it's free
Yeah she steals like a thief, but she's always a woman to me

The chorus came on and David leaned in close to Maddie's ear, singing softly. With his breath on her face, Maddie felt an accompanying shiver run through her.

Oh, she takes care of herself
She can wait if she wants
She's ahead of her time
Oh, and she never gives out, and she never gives in
She just changes her mind
She'll promise you more than the Garden of Eden
Then she'll carelessly cut you and laugh while you're bleedin'
But she'll bring out the best and the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself cause she's always a woman to me
Oh, she takes care of herself
She can wait if she wants
She's ahead of her time
Oh, and she never gives out, and she never gives in
She just changes her mind

David sang on, a private concert for Maddie's ears alone, and from the side of the dance floor, to anyone witnessing this scene, they looked like a happily married couple. The light shining in David's eyes was enough to blind anyone that looked at him. And there was an extra twinkle in Maddie's.

She is frequently kind and she's suddenly cruel
She will do as she pleases, she's nobody's fool
And she can't be convicted, she's earned her degree
And the most she will do is throw shadows at you
She's always a woman to me

As the song ended, Maddie didn't pull away, she just stayed wrapped in David's embrace, "Blondie, people are staring at us." David whispered to her.

Maddie slowly and regretfully picked her head up off of his shoulder and looked around; sure enough, they were the only ones residing on the dance floor at the moment, and seemed to be the center of attention.

She felt her face flush, "Yeah." she pulled out of his embrace, still keeping in contact by holding his hand, and led him off the dance floor.

David inwardly groaned to himself, there was no way they could sleep in the same bed without him touching her tonight....he was stuck with the bathtub.

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

"David, really, it's sweet, but you don't have to." Maddie watched as he gathered a pillow and blanket and walked towards the bathroom.

"No, look, if I sleep in that bed with you tonight, there will be complications, there will be confusion and the last thing I want is another midnight plane ride to Chicago, so I'm going to sleep in the bathtub and you are going to sleep in the bed. And that is the end of that."

He slammed the door behind him and Maddie winced at the loud noise. It took her a while to drift off to sleep that night, she couldn't help but think how lonely and cold the bed seemed without him in it.

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

Four in the morning. Four o five in the morning. Four ten in the morning found a very stiff and cold David Addison standing in the doorway of the bedroom watching Maddie sleep. He wanted nothing more than to get into bed and pull her against him, but he knew that wasn't possible.

Or was it?

David walked over to the bed and slowly pulled back the covers, he crawled inside and pulled them over his body, reveling in the warmth. Maddie turned toward the new body heat and sighed in her sleep.

Finally able to relax, David rolled onto his stomach and stuffed the pillow beneath his head. Sleep overcame him five minutes after he rolled onto his back, but five minutes before Maddie flung her arm across his chest and smiled contentedly in her sleep.

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

David threw the last of his shirts in his suitcase and zipped it, "I think that's about it." he said to no one in particular. He picked up Maddie's as well as his and started out of the room, looking back once and saluting it slightly before closing the door and starting down the stairs.

"I hope you'll come back and visit us." Francine was saying as David reached the bottom.

"Well, it might be a while, but we'll try." Maddie replied, "We'll also get back to you on those horses."

Francine smiled and shook Maddie's hand, "We'll be waiting to hear from you." William came up behind his wife and also shook Maddie's hand, "Yes, we certainly will. You two be safe on the drive home now."

David put his arm around Maddie waist, "We sure will." he smiled and shook both the Wright's hands.

As Maddie got into the car, she looked back at the house with a wistful expression, "I really enjoyed myself this week, David." she said, waving as they pulled out of the driveway.

"So did I. Why don't you try to get some sleep, it'll be your turn to drive before you know it." he said as he popped a tape into the tape player, smiling when Billy Joel's voice came through the speakers.

Maddie opened one eye at the sound and smiled at David, "Just a coincidence?" she asked, closing her eye before he could answer. David smiled slightly.

For five mornings he had woken up with her in his arms, and he was happier than he had been in a while. Maybe the whole waiting thing wasn't going to be so bad, he knew overall it was the best thing for THEM as a couple and THEM as partners, but it still made him ache.

But maybe, just maybe, it wouldn't be as bad as he thought. Smiling to himself, David drove on, singing along to song after song, each one by Billy Joel, and each one holding a secret hidden meaning for him.

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

Maddie started the engine of the car and glanced at the passenger seat, David was already fast asleep, with Miss Me in his lap. She smiled and pulled out of the rest stop, she was about to eject the Billy Joel tape, but stopped, listening to it instead.

She wasn't sure what the last week had done to her; mentally, emotionally, physically, but it had done one thing; it had made her realize that just maybe things were going to be ok between them. That they possibly had a chance to survive, and that was enough for her...for now anyway.

Whether it would be enough for David was left to be seen, but Maddie had a feeling that everything would work itself out in good time, as long as they were patient. She smiled again, they were going to be fine. The smile turned into a grin that stayed with her the rest of the way home.

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

"Good to be home, right?" David asked as he set her suitcase in the entry way of the house. The forty-eight hour drive had really taken it out of both of them, and David stretched his tired muscles.

Maddie smiled, "You bet. I did notice when we reached LA though." she said as she walked over to her answering machine and rewound the tape.

"How's that?" he asked, hunching down to scratch Miss Me behind the ears.

"I could smell the change in the air." she replied, pulling off her jacket and throwing it over the back of the couch.

David stood and put his hands in his pockets, "Yeah, good old smog." he grinned at her, "You know you missed it." he added, watching her move around the house.

Maddie returned his smile, "Yeah, I did." there was a slightly uncomfortable pause, "David, I know how tired you must be..."

He yawned, "I am rather beat." he grinned at her, "I think I'll go to bed."

Maddie gave him a reproachful look and prayed that her features didn't betray her feelings, although, even if they didn't, David would most likely know. It was a little frightening how well they knew each other sometimes.

"You know, I'm really glad we decided to drop the case." David said, turning away as Maddie laid down on the couch, "But I'm really glad we took it, too. This alone time was good for us, I think."

"You want to know something crazy?" his voice softened as he ran his finger over the polished gold of his `wedding` ring, "I enjoyed being an Erwin. I'm going to miss being one. How about you?" there was no answer and David turned to the couch, "What do..." the sentence trailed off as he saw Maddie sleeping on the couch, Miss Me sleeping soundly next to her.

David smiled tenderly at the woman fast asleep on the couch, "It wasn't important anyway." he whispered as he covered her with an afghan and kissed his fingertips, pressing them against her lips, "See you tomorrow, partner." he walked out the door without looking back.

~ ML6 ~ ML6 ~

Maddie stuck her head in David's office the next day, "You just disappeared yesterday, where'd you go?"

David grinned, "You didn`t seem to mind." he stood and walked over to her, "Have I told you today how glad I am to be your partner?"

Maddie let him hug her, feeling the confusion build inside her, "What have you done now?" she asked, pulling away slightly. Staring into his eyes, she asked quietly, "Is something wrong?"

He pulled her back in for another hug, "No, nothing wrong, I just don't think I tell you that often enough." he whispered into her hair.

She pulled away again and they locked eyes, Maddie smiled slightly, knowing that there was no way some one would interrupt them in here, they were the only two people in the office. Their lips touched and a bolt of electricity went through them both. David pulled away and grinned at her before leaning in to kiss her again. Suddenly, there were noises in the outer office and the staff started to pour in.

David slipped Maddie's arms from around his neck and tiptoed over to the door, pushing it shut and locking it firmly. He then turned back to Maddie with a mischievous grin. She smiled back as he walked back over to her.

"David..." she started, right before he crushed his lips on hers.

He pulled away and grinned at her, "We've been away from school for a while," he leaned in to kiss her again, "we're going to have makeup work....or is that makeOUT work?"

Maddie cringed at his corny joke and shook her head, smiling. She went to kiss him and there was a knock on the door.

Maddie and David froze as a voice called out, "Mr. Addison?" they both began to laugh and we....


Writer: Sarah

Thanks to: Branham, as always, a wonderful beta reader. The ML6 team, you guys are incredible!

Sponsors: Shoot the Moon Productions......Haha, they aren`t paying me a thing!; The Donny and Marie Show, for obvious reasons....again, I`m not getting a thing!; and Ray Bans sunglasses

Music: `Harvest Moon' by Neil Young; `She's Always a Woman to Me' by Billy Joel (And countless other songs by Billy Joel...who doesn't love that man?)

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Don't let me fool you, folks. It actually takes about three days to get from Los Angeles to Texas, but, hey, this is virtual....anything is possible!

A Christmas Story