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Root read the headlines the next day - Drug Dealer Gets Shock of His Life – which the police concluded when they found him crying on the warehouse floor and the heavily charged faux dog.

Root put her phone down and stroked Sameen’s back lightly to ease her awakening. “Good morning, Sweetie,” Root whispered, and placed soft kisses on Shaw’s bare shoulder.

“Good morning,” Shaw said, smiling and enjoying the sensation of goosebumps on her skin.

“I thought we’d sleep in late this morning and go right into work,” Root explained.

“Maybe they could airlift me right to the blood work,” Shaw laughed as Root leaned in to kiss her.

“I could make that happen,” said the woman who owned a helicopter.

But - the woman who could make all things right for Shaw was about to step on something that wouldn’t be so easily fixed.

“Oh, oh,” Root let out when her foot hit the floor.

“If that dog peed in our bedroom…,” Shaw warned, not yet warming up to what it was to own a puppy.

“Not quite,” Root said and then stood up and grabbed Sameen when she rounded the bed. “Now, Sweetie, remember – material things can be replaced…,” Root tried as Sameen looked down in horror at a piece of gray cloth with her favorite baseball team’s logo on it.

“SHE CHEWED MY SHIRT?” Shaw yelled, not yet having the energy for that. Her voice actually squeaked and the sensitive hearing mammals heard it downstairs.

“The important thing is no one got hurt last night,” Root said, attempting to distract Sameen. It was ineffective at best.

“Well, someone’s going to get hurt now! That’s my … where are they?” Shaw asked, taking off and going downstairs.

“She’s a puppy, sweetie. They do that when their teething,” Root explained, following Sameen.

Hearing the commotion, Bear got himself and the puppy into position. ‘Watch and learn,’ he barked. H already knew it Shaw’s favorite shirt, but the puppy had been rambunctious, and tore it to pieces anyway.

“This was… my…,” Shaw was trying to yell, but Bear had perfected the guilty look – and was using it now on behalf on his cohort. Big brown eyes looked up at Shaw in pathetic submission. “Well…, okay… look, it’s not your fault,” Shaw said, because it didn’t make sense that Bear would be responsible for the puppy’s actions.

Bear walked closer to Shaw, his body language clearly stating how sorry he was, while the puppy sat there – panting and watching.

“It’s okay,” Shaw said, as Bear put his head under her hand and whined. “Forget it, I’ll get another one,” she said and Root hugged her around the shoulders.

That’s how it’s done,’ Bear barked to the ingénue, but she was processing it a little differently. She wanted to show Bear that she could be his protector, too.

“You!” Shaw said, in a calm tone to the puppy. “No!” That was the extent of Sameen’s dog training knowledge. She turned to walk away when she felt something tugging on her sock. Hoping to impress Bear, the puppy was now pulling at Shaw’s ankle.

“Really?” Shaw said to Bear who moved over quickly to disengage the youth.

Root was busy biting her lower lip at the display of Shaw versus Beast. “Let’s get you to work. Daan will be here to take care of them,” Root said, and walked Sameen back upstairs to get dressed.

“How about I meet you right after your physical and we get something to eat?” Root asked when they arrived at work.

“YES!” Shaw said, her stomach already growling miserably. “Wait, you mean –eat like breakfast, right? Like food?” she asked just to be clear.

“Really, Sameen,” Root teased her wife, “… is sex all you can think of?”

“Right!” Shaw countered loudly, forgetting she was in a crowded elevator now. “I’m the one who can’t stop thinking about sex! Right!” she blurted out.

Her statements reached everyone’s ears, but no one dared look at her. “I… eh…,” Shaw attempted to clear things up, but Root simply leaned in and kissed her.

“I’ll see you later,” she said as she kissed her wife goodbye.

Before Shaw went to her physical, she wanted to see Iris.

“Hey,” Shaw said when she saw her in the hallway. “I wanted to see if … everything… was okay.”

“Yes,” Iris said, bending her rule on discussing personal issues with clients because she knew Sameen was worried. “Everything … is better this morning. In fact, everything … insisted on going to work.”

“Really? Well, I could kick everything’s ass for you, if you want?” Shaw offered, but Iris told her she thought it would be okay. Sameen was reserving her right to do that later anyway.

The doctor had been warned that his first patient of the day would probably arrive with her assistant. Janine was waiting right there for Sameen when she got there.

“What… are you doing?” Shaw asked as the woman walked in with her.

“I want to make sure everything is okay,” Janine explained because this was her life’s mission.

“I don’t have the strength to do crazy this morning,” Shaw countered.

“Good, then it’s settled,” Janine said and greeted the doctor and told him that he was to take very good care of Sameen.

“I take good care of all my patients,” the man tried, because he had no idea what he was up against.

He introduced himself to Shaw, explained what he was going to do, and proceeded with the blood work. When he put the stethoscope on Shaw’s chest, Janine was right next to them, watching him. “Do you always…?” he tried to ask his patient, but Sameen waved him off.

“She’s a force to be reckoned with,” is all Sameen could say.

He took Sameen through the paces of the next steps, which included a stress test, and other various measurements.

“Blood pressure is good, heart rate is that of an Olympic athlete,” he reported and Janine’s smile was that of a proud parent.

At the end of the exam, he said pending her blood work; he thought he could pronounce Sameen fit for duty.

“Let’s go,” Janine directed and told Shaw she was to escort her to Root’s office.

“Root? Told you to escort me?” Shaw asked suspiciously.

“Shaw!” Janine said, as she pressed the elevator button. “You haven’t eaten in hours! I’m not taking the chance that something will happen to you on the way up there.”

“All that CIA training down the train,” Shaw mused.

Reminiscent of the CIA, Janine delivery of Shaw to Root’s office was nothing short of a military handoff. “Package is delivered,” Shaw said as Janine left.

“I’ve gotten used to her being your shadow,” Root pondered.

“You have to invent something that will decode her,” Shaw countered.

Maybe it was the shortage of caloric intake that was affecting Sameen, because she started to feel lightheaded. “The doctor said the blood work will be back tomorrow,” Shaw reported.

“Well, we can do whatever adjustments we need to, you know, if we have to,” Root said, concerned about her wife’s carnivorous diet.

Playing with Root’s glasses that were tossed on the desk, Shaw put them on. “I’ve got it all figured it out,” she began. “I’ll make a Ulysses Contract.”

The sight of Shaw in glasses was making it hard to Root’s brain synapses to fire. Then, hearing intellectual proposals coming out of her mouth was sending the genius over the edge. “A… what?”

“A Ulysses Contract; you know, where I make an agreement with my future self,” Shaw pontificated as she stood up as if she were leading a lecture.

“A Ulysses…,” Root repeated, but was too preoccupied with staring at Shaw.

Getting into her act now, without realizing the effect she was having, Sameen whipped off her glasses and said; “You see, it’s not enough to just make resolutions, Ms. Groves. One must have actionable steps to carry through on those….”

But that was as far as Shaw got in her scholarly speech.

“Actionable steps,” Root repeated as she pulled Sameen in and kissed her hard. “Say it again,” Root pleaded, unable to express what a turn on this was.

“Actionable steps,” Shaw said, seductively running her tongue over her top lip, and smiling at her wife.

Root pushed Sameen back on the desk as she swept papers out of her way. “God, I love it when you talk…”

“Dirty?” Shaw teased.

“That, too,” Root said, running her hands up the length of her wife, unable to keep them off her. “I want to do it with you in a library,” Root whispered in Shaw’s ear.

“Well, after my performance in the elevator this morning, the library will be a piece of cake,” Shaw mused. “Cake,” she repeated. “Root, I’m starving.” Root pulled back and gave Sameen her face that was as close to admonishment as Root ever got. “I’m really hungry,” the carnivore lamented.

Root shook her head and smiled understandably. “Okay, but then you’re meeting me at the library later.”

“You have a library?” Shaw asked as Root continued to play with her hair.

“The big one – on 42nd and 5th,” Root explained.

“Deal,” said the woman who was suddenly aware of how famished she was.

Root sat at the table, watching with adoring eyes as her wife consumed what some people would consider breakfast, and then lunch. When her friend, the owner of Parks Deli heard that her favorite customer had been fasting, she fixed her order without any of the typical argument. Coming over to the table, the woman dropped the bag in front of Sameen. “Don’t think I do this every day,” she barked because the terse banter was part of what made the food taste so good for Shaw.

“Did I ask you to do this?” Shaw answered back.

The only thing that could ruin her favorite sandwich was pleasantries.

“No more,” the woman answered gruffly and walked away, winking at Root before she did. While most people enjoyed their meals with a side of salad, Sameen Shaw enjoyed hers with a full plate of irritation.

Shaw had her mouth full of the delicious pastrami when Root asked; “What should we name the puppy?” which actually made Sameen stop mid-chew.

“WHA?” Shaw asked. “No, no, no….,” she said, swallowing and wiping her mouth because she felt this was very important. “Root, if you name her… you know… it will… be harder to… you know….to…,” Shaw really wanted her brilliant wife to fill in that blank correctly.

“I know!” Root said, and Sameen breathed a sigh of relief until Root finished her thought. “…get her to come to you,” she filled in incorrectly, according to Shaw.

“No, no, Root,” Shaw said, taking Root’s hand in hers now, “… a puppy… is… a lot… there’s the constant feeding, the difficult training, the constant barking!”

“I know! Won’t if be fun!” the dog lover asked.

“But shouldn’t we… share that?” Shaw tried weakly. “Maybe Fusco wants a dog? You saw how crazy he was about her. Or Janine! She lives alone and could use the companionship.”

Root’s pursed her lips, and tilted her head sideways – the entire expression saying – “Nice try, Shaw.” “I think Bear should have a say in this,” Root concluded.
Sameen believed in fighting fire with an extinguisher the size of Rhode Island, but she did see Root’s point. “Okay, but if he’s okay with it, we’ll check with Fusco and Janine. Or my mother? Hey, Martine loves dogs,” Shaw listed as they finished.

“I’ll see you after work,” Root cooed as she reminded Sameen where to meet. She kissed the lips that seemed to be moving as Shaw put her plan together.

Shaw – was going to find the puppy’s new owner.

Root – was simply going to tell Bear.

It was about to be an all-out puppy fest.