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In A White Bath Tub

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Her back is turned to him when she speaks, a playful tone in her voice.

“The irony is that I cannot think of a single woman who would want three husbands.”

His voice is rough and low, and she shivers involuntarily.

She hopes to whatever God above that he doesn’t notice.

“Good thing. A guy would never be stupid enough to let it happen.”

She scoffs and begins to turn.

“Excuse me, but these women are not stupid.”

He’s laying in the tub with his hands locked behind his head and that bright blue gaze is on her.

“And that is completely gross.”

She knows it’s been cleaned out, but literally not even three hours ago, a dead person was dissolving in the porcelain tub.

“But comfy.” He’s giving her that stupid smirk he always gives her but she can’t help but smile along with him.

He pulls himself up to a sitting position and crosses his arms, playful smirk now a goofy smile.

“Welcome back, by the way.”

She’s confused, but his smile is infectious, and she turns to put her folder down before she speaks.

“What?

What is with that smile of his?

“Well, after two days of inappropriate comments, you’re back to judging me for gross behaviour.”

A short and small laugh escapes her and she begins walking over to where he’s back to lying in the tub, and rests her hands on the rim.

“When am I ever appropriate?”

“Good point. Maybe it’s just the judging me I miss.”
She looks at him with a soft smile before her gaze is falling on her hands.

“Ah- the woman I know and love-”

She’s somewhat shocked, and her head snaps up and immediately he’s pulling himself up to a seating position and speaking in a hurried tone.

“In a purely non-romantic happy-to-be-judged way.”

He’s still smiling and his blue eyes are shining, so full of hope, and she gives a small smile back that could be mistaken for one that’s hopeful if someone were to look and maybe squint at the situation, but his blue eyes are shining with the stars of the night and she has to look away to speak.

“Well--”

He seems to catch on that she’s trying to change the subject, and doesn’t draw attention to it, and instead replies.

“These women.”

She’s grateful he didn’t try and continue their previous conversation, and she pushes herself off of the tub, walking back over to her desk.

“Right. Not stupid.”

She turns to face him but her gaze is kept somewhere higher - above him - and she’s wringing her hands.

“And frankly, that they allowed themselves to be duped is a sad statement on how lean the market is out there.”

She makes a point to look at him when the last word leaves past her lips, and he’s still smiling, but it’s softer this time, and yet still holds a sense of playfulness to it.

“I resent that. I’m out there.”

She gives a soft smile of her own.

“You certainly are.”

She doesn’t know if the words that left her mouth were the ones that she meant to say, and she also doesn’t know if she regrets them, but his eyes are shining so bright, almost reminding her of Zircon*, and she has to look away for a minute to recollect herself.

“Well, how not stupid could these women have been to think they could get away with faking a murder?”

He crosses his arms at that one and makes a point to look at her, but she doesn’t want to meet his bright blue gaze.

And yet she has to, because she’s avoided his gaze too much and she doesn’t want him to notice that she hasn’t looked at him a lot in this conversation, so she looks at him and speaks.

“Or how compassionate were they to recognize that they were all in the same boat. So why let Larry take his insurance money with him?”

He scoffs and smirks to himself before talking.

“Yeah. A lot a good it’ll do them in jail.”

She looks at him because she realizes these women might be going to jail, so she pushes off of her desk and hurriedly grabs her things, and he catches on. He’s jumping up and out of the tub, grabbing his brown bag and swinging it over his shoulder, before he’s out the door behind her.

They walk in silence, but it’s a comfortable silence, one that she’s grateful for, because their previous conversation and his previous comment made her think for a moment that she would for sure be awkward walking in silence with him.

But the thing about him is that no matter what it’s like, no matter what conversation they have, no matter what inappropriate comment he or she or they both make, she never can find it awkward with him.

Her eyes wander over to his figure, and she finds herself staring.

He might not look much to any other person, stranger, especially when they find out what he does for a living, and to any other human being, his enthusiasm for bugs and dirt and whatever else he does, might seem a little weird, but to her, it’s every little quirk he has, that makes her fall more and more for him, but she doesn’t quite realize it, and she doesn’t know subconsciously if she wants to realize it.

So her gaze falls from him and instead to her feet below her, and she tries to distract herself from the thoughts of the one next to her, by focusing intently on her shoes, and wondering if she picked the right coloured flats for her outfit, but it’s already the end of the day, and she’ll be going home pretty soon, so does it really matter if they were right or not?

She knows she’s just stalling, just stalling herself and her mind, her thoughts, but she’d rather think about her shoes and have it be a stupid thing to think and worry about, then think about the man walking next to her.

She reaches her best friend’s office and immediately notices that her and her partner - or as she likes to call him, ‘F.B.I. Candy’ - and immediately she’s grinning to herself before she composes herself and speaks and both heads snap to her, and she’s vaguely aware of the figure next to her.

“Please tell me these women are not going to jail.”

And, of course, he adds to her statement.

“After trying to bilk the insurance system, I’ll imagine they’ll get nothing less than a firing squad.”

She furrows her brows, confused and she’s counteracting.

“Not if they never filed a claim.”

She knows he’s looking at her, but she doesn’t hold his gaze, instead she’s looking at her friend, whose gaze is on her partner for a second, before it’s on her and the presence she feels next to her very much so, is speaking.

“Because our friends here caught them.”

Her best friend’s partner is speaking, and for a moment she wonders why she stopped obsessing over him and instead, obsesses over the man next to her.

“Well, you’re both kinda right. Given their kids and the circumstances, the D.A. is gonna offer probation provided that all three women show remorse and attend mandatory counseling.”

He’s still looking at her, but her gaze is kept on ‘F.B.I. Candy’ in front of her.

“In exchange for movie rights I hope. You know they’re gonna get calls.”

She gives up control and turns her gaze to him before she speaks.

“I hope so.”

He gives a soft smile before he’s backing up and turning, making to walk off to his car, and as he’s walking, she can hear the faint jingle of his keys, and she can’t help the heat that burns her cheeks, so instead, she looks at her friend’s partner and addresses him.

“Hey, nice going by the way. Cam tells me you’re back with your ex.”

He looks at her with a pointed look and asks.

“Cam?”

She hums in agreement and he looks at her friend.

“Cam in her office?”

He continues to look at her even when she doesn’t give him a direct answer, before he’s making his way out of his partner’s office.

She inhales, because she realizes she might have said something wrong but she’s still playful when she speaks.

“I said something wrong.”

Her friend grunts as she bends over to collect her belongings from the floor before she’s straightening up and looking at her, making her way to walk out of her office and to her car to go home.

“Would it be gossip if I told you?”

She smiles, the seriousness of the question almost making her laugh, because sometimes her friend is too literal with things.

“I hope so.”

She’s smiling, and not so much from the question her friend asked, but more because a certain man is on her mind, and she knows she’ll see him tomorrow, so she can’t help but feel somewhat giddy as she follows after her friend to head home.