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I watched from the shadowed doorway of the room next door as the object of my affection stepped from her superior's office. I'd honestly never seen her smile so broadly. Of course, the moment she entered the corridor, she quickly schooled her emotions to try to reflect her normal stoicism; however, she wouldn't, or rather couldn't, ever be able to hide the sheer contentment in her eyes.
She was happy, of that there was no doubt; and with Grissom, of all people. I guessed the two shared some sort of kindred spirit. Both were intelligent, driven by their job, and, by all intents and purposes, lonely. She'd turned to someone safe; she'd turned to someone comfortable, she'd turned to someone who wasn't me.
I had only myself to blame. I'd had numerous opportunities to approach her and ask her out, but I remained afraid, too scared to lose the tenuous friendship we had formed. I always thought I'd have plenty of time. She'd never shown any interest in anyone before, so I foolishly assumed that I'd be the first to approach her. How arrogant of me.
Now, I was on the outside looking in. She'd somehow forged a relationship with Grissom, and I hadn't even noticed until recently. It all started with her smiling more and more, and sometimes, I'd catch her with that cute little grin on her face. The first time, I'd actually thought it was directed at me, but soon, I realized it was only meant for the person standing over my shoulder, Grissom.
My only hope was that he'd do something stupid and unforgiving. I truly didn't want her to be hurt, but at this point, there was no other way for me to become a part of her life if he was still in the picture.
Grissom was going to end up hurting her sooner or later, so my hope was for the former. She deserved someone who would treat her like the wonderful woman she was, and that someone wasn't some socially inept middle-aged man who could never love her the way I do.
I'd learned a great deal of patience in my lifetime as it'd taken me quite some time to finally feel comfortable with my career. Being a detective was all I wanted, and now, that I'd successfully moved into the position, all that was left was to concentrate on making my personal life just as successful and rewarding.
Catching a glimpse of the tall brunette, I headed in her direction as I stepped from the darkness into the light. I'd just have to settle for strengthening our friendship for the time being, but when the inevitable occurred, I'd be there to help her through the pain.
I won't make the same mistake twice. When the time was right, I'd make her mine.
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