As soon as Shaw agreed to the immediacy of the nuptials, Root kissed her passionately. Root knew with every fiber of her being that she not only wanted, but needed, to be with Shaw. For Root, the details were inconsequential and they would simply make it work.
As soon as that kiss was planted, Shaw started to think of the reasons why the timing was not ideal, and why it wasn’t going to work. She knew she had seconds to stop the speeding bullet of Root’s planning.
“Wait,” Shaw said, gently pushing Root back so they could talk. Root was straddling her lap in the back of the borrowed cruiser, and now soft brown puppy dog eyes waited for Sameen to explain. Upsetting Root’s plans was challenging on any given day; but when her eyes were pleading, it was damn near impossible.
“What?” Root asked concerned.
“Root,” Shaw said and Root instantly knew Sameen was trying to prepare her. “I want to get married and there’s no reason why we couldn’t …”
“Except?” Root asked, knowing there was.
“Root, I want to marry you more than anything in this world, but I want to do it surrounded by the people who care about us. I think that’s important,” Shaw said, not sure how Root would take it.
Root thought they were on the precipice of getting married when Shaw agreed. Now, there would be delay if she went along with Sameen’s plan. But she looked down into dark eyes and knew in an instant, this was something Sameen really wanted.
“Yes, let’s tell them,” Root said and reassured Sameen with a sweet kiss. “Now.”
“Now?” Shaw asked, as her hands slid up Root’s thighs. “Are you sure you want to release me so soon, Officer?”
“Oh, yes,” Root said slowly.
It took Root only seconds to get back into character; but nearly an hour to conduct a thorough search.
They eventually did make it to dinner, after Shaw combed her hair and straighten out her dress and put her shoes back on. They discussed how they would tell people, but agreed they wanted to keep it small and have it soon. Root listed the choices as Sameen ate and nodded yes or no.
“Do you want a bridal party?” Root asked, as Shaw dove into the steak.
“No!” Shaw grimaced. “Just Fusco. I have to ask him or he will never let me hear the end of it.”
“Okay, so if you ask Lionel, I will ask…,” Root said, tapping her chin with the pen she borrowed to write down the to-do list. “Your sister.”
“My sister?” Shaw asked, surprised by Root’s choice.
“Yes,” Root answered having given it thought.
“Shouldn’t it be someone who you’ve known for a really long time?” Shaw asked.
“I don’t know anyone for a really long time that you’d want at the wedding,” Root teased and ran her foot up Shaw’s leg.
“Oh,” Shaw said, remembering her fiancée’s friends. “What about the kid?” Shaw suggested.
“Genrika?” Root asked, eating her chicken in small bites.
“She wants to go to school around here so she can babysit. That alone should earn her a spot,” Shaw theorized. “Besides, I want my sister and Martine on security detail.”
“What about Reese?” Root asked.
“He should walk you down the aisle,” Shaw said, biting into the tender steak.
“Harold will want to do that,” Root said. “Wait, what aisle?”
“Oh,” Shaw caught herself. “I thought maybe you’d want to walk down an aisle?”
“I was thinking outdoors,” Root said and with each response, the plot thickened.
“Wait!” Shaw said remember Root’s skill set. “We’ll taze, drug, and zip tie them all. Voila! They wake up on a Caribbean island. They can sit wherever they want,” Shaw decided, thinking this was as simple as she made it sound.
Root laughed at her suggestion. She loved that her fiancée saw the world in black and white; yes or no; a quick solution to every problem. “I can’t think of one person we’re going to have to drug in order to come,” Root mused.
“Okay, so tomorrow we’ll tell the people we want to be there to be ready. Destination wedding!” Shaw said, raising her glass of wine to clink Root’s.
Root smiled back and they drank their drinks. She looked down at the list and realized – she didn’t really have anything written down. Shaw caught her eyes looking at the blank paper and snapped her fingers. “We’ll get Janine to orchestrate the whole thing. What could go wrong?”
Now that was a list Root could have written in seconds and it would have filled the page. Instead, she smiled, shrugged her shoulders, and agreed.
“To us,” Shaw said when she was done with dinner.
“To us,” Root smiled and leaned over for another kiss. “God, I love your lips,” she whispered.
“And I love yours back,” Shaw said, gently running a finger along Root’s bottom lip.
The couple quickly paid the check and returned to the sports car and headed home.
The elevator door opened and Bear ran to greet them. The couple looked at each other and said: “Ring Bearer,” simultaneously and laughed out loud.
He looked at them quizzically until Root explained in his native Dutch. He stood at attention and barked.
“No, there’s no trophy. Your job is not to slobber all over the rings,” Shaw explained.
Bear immediately took off to practice.
“Thank you for waiting,” Shaw said, pushing Root up against the dining room table slowly.
“Time has nothing on us, Sameen. The universe has destined us to be together. Nothing will change that,” Root said close to Sameen’s ear.
The couple took each other’s hands and went upstairs to bed.
Nothing could get in their way, but it didn’t mean people wouldn’t try.
The plan was to go to Shaw’s mother’s house early because they were certain that they two of them couldn’t keep it from Isabelle. It was bright and early the next morning when they arrived at Azar’s home.
After no answer to the repeated pressing of the doorbell, Shaw took to banging on the door. Ayala rushed down the stairs and whipped the door open; her hand on her gun.
“Are those… your… pajamas?” Shaw asked, staring at the Disney character ensemble. “Minnie Mouse?” Shaw said and burst out laughing.
Her sister was somewhere between relieved and annoyed now. “Mommy… got them,” she explained and made it worse.
“Oh, my God,” Shaw continued to laugh and Root smiled apologetically beside her.
“We would like to talk to both of you,” Root said and Azar appeared at the top of the steps.
“Is everything okay?” she asked because it was so early.
“If you call a former IDF solder dressed in Minnie Mouse pajamas okay, then yes,” Shaw said, between bursts of laughter.
“Sameen,” her mother said.
“I’m sorry, it’s just…,” she defended herself and pointed.
“Should I change?” Ayala asked and was looking at Root.
“No, I think Sameen can contain herself,” Root suggested as they walked into the living room. She had to nudge Sameen because she was still staring.
“Oh, yes!” Shaw said and got back on track. “We’re getting married soon and we want you to be there.”
Azar rushed at her daughter and pulled her up to hug her. She then pulled Root in and hugged them both.
“Great; more hugging,” Shaw said, because it was too early for all this physical affection.
Her mother let go, but only in time for Ayala to repeat the action. “When?”
“Any day now, so be ready,” Shaw said. “I mean it could be tomorrow, so get whatever you need to come.”
“Where are we going?” Ayala asked.
“Somewhere where that outfit is outlawed, so don’t pack it,” Shaw said, snickering all over again.
“She gets punchy if she hasn’t had coffee,” Root explained.
“So, details to follow, okay?” Shaw said and her mother grabbed her again.
“Hug her tight, Mom,” Ayala prompted her mother because she knew her sibling hated it.
Then, the couple said goodbye and went outside.
“Breakfast?” Root asked as if she had to.
“There’s going to be a lot of hugging, isn’t there?” Shaw asked, her head hanging low.
“Oh, yes, I bet there will be,” Root said, grabbing Sameen’s arm and going back to the Penthouse together.
The person they wanted to tell next was Isabelle because Shaw couldn’t imagine anyone else catering their wedding. They told her over breakfast.
“PLEASE!” Shaw begged and the chef looked at her as if she needed to.
“Of course,” Isabelle said, honored they would ask.
“Oh, put her in the prenup,” Shaw said between bites. “No, really.”
Root smiled and looked at Sameen out of the corner of her eye. “There’s no prenup.”
Now, it was Shaw who looked over. “No, you have to have one,” she insisted.
“Well, I’m not having one,” Root insisted.
Isabelle felt like she was at the tennis matches as the couple went back and forth.
“But won’t Harold want you…,” Shaw said and Root cut her off.
“I said no, Sameen!” Root slammed her hand down and got up.
Shaw had never seen Root so upset and Isabelle was certain she hadn’t. The two women looked at each other as Root politely said she had to get ready for work; even though she was already… ready.
“What?” Shaw asked the chef for clues.
“Go talk to her,” Isabelle suggested.
“But… I’m…,” Sameen said, looking at her food. One look at the older woman told her what needed to be done. “God, everyone is bossy,” she complained as she went to see what was troubling Root.
Root was shoving things inside her pocketbook angrily.
“Hey, I’m sorry,” Shaw said even though she had no idea why. “I didn’t mean to…,” she said, pointing back to the kitchen – the scene of the crime.
“Sameen,” Root said, because it only took Shaw’s voice and apologetic expression to calm her. “There’s no need for anything like that between us.”
“I was… thinking of your protection,” Shaw said, because she had heard wealthy people often had them.
Root looked hard at Sameen, to make sure she had her full attention. “I would never need protection from you… for any reason.”
“Yeah?” Shaw said, because she was feeling badly that she upset Root. “Suppose they captured me and…and… put a chip in my head, right? And programed me to do crazy things. And then, they let me go and I came back and I couldn’t tell what was real and what was ….,” Shaw stammered trying to come up with a scenario where her theory would be right.
Root pressed her finger on her animated fiancé’s moving lips. “Sameen,” she said gently. “No one would ever take you without my hunting them down and getting them. If they ever put anything into my beautiful girl’s head, I’m pretty sure you would still override any device. And lastly, you will always know that is real because there is nothing more real than our connection.” Root took Sameen’s hand and kissed it. “I will spend every day of my life making sure you never doubt that.”
Sameen was always so touched by Root’s words. No one ever said things so poignant to her like Root did. “Yes,” she said because she agreed with all her heart to what Root had just uttered so beautifully.
Root kissed her, letting her know everything was okay. “Let’s go,” Root said.
“I… I… only meant…,” Shaw tried to get her thinking back on track.
“I know; you want Isabelle,” Root smiled, knowing exactly what Shaw meant.
“Well, yeah,” Sameen agreed.
“No way,” Root teased as they went down in the elevator. “She’s my only bargaining chip for keeping you in line.”
Sameen knew immediately that Root was teasing her. “I… would do anything to keep that woman,” Shaw admitted shamelessly.
“Oh, I know that,” Root smiled, winking at Sameen.
Back uptown at her mother’s house, Ayala and Azar were having breakfast.
“I noticed you didn’t mention the good news,” Ayala said to her mother.
“I only wanted to focus on their good news,” Azar explained. “Besides, Root will know as soon as she gets to work.”
Azar’s device had indeed opened the gateway for Root’s virus to completely infect Greer’s machine.
That was the good news.
The bad news was – he was hell bent on exacting his revenge.