DISCLAIMER: I make no claim to the CSI conglomeration. I write because my computer is so close to my bed.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The Key
By Corbeau's Alcove


The key. It opens what was previously locked. A door. A safety deposit box. A padlock.

A heart.

I'll admit it was hard to turn, never quite going, budging to that spot where the 'click' could be heard. When it finally did open, there was such light and welcoming that it really made me awestruck. How did I hold so much within me without bursting?

I didn't even quite believe such love was possible. One could say my past attempts failed miserably, and I thought I could best that by dating my co-worker. My female co-worker at that. My heart was not impulsive in its selection, it took four years into our working relationship for it to happen.

There was no real indicator on the road of enlightenment that this relationship would be 'the one'. I didn't even believe in that sentiment because it sounded too cheesy and, quite frankly, boring. Where was the give and take? The bad times can define a relationship more than the good times. Good times are easy and worthy of a scrap booking page. The bad times are the ones you try to forget, but teach you the most if you're willing to listen.

There have been times I've not wanted to listen. There have been times I wished for the 'I Wuv You' teddy bear sentiment, because rebuilding things just seemed pointless. I already have a job where I get paid for the good and bad days, where was my payment for listening to someone call me worthless, boring, or a bad lover? I used sarcasm as my defense mechanism. I used retreat and surrender more.

With Catherine, I wanted to be there after the fights. This time I was willing to hear the apology. This time I was willing to give my own. This time, she didn't call me vicious names and she certainly didn't think I was bad in bed, not if her body's response was any indicator.

There was a child to consider, and even though she was in her teenage years, Lindsay was still a small child in many ways. I knew what that was like, and I tried to relate to her that way. She resisted, as I'm told teenage children do at times. Yet, she gradually came to accept that I was not going to be her father. Eddie wasn't perfect, but he was to his daughter and I would never want to break that bond.

We're a family. Good. Bad. Everything. I'm not sure how we manage to keep work and home separate, but for the most part we do it with practiced ease. I still love working with her, yet I also enjoy the times we're apart. Not because I grow sick of her, but because I like how it feels when we meet up in the break room, or I get a surprise text message from her. She's certainly a romantic, whereas I spend a week drawing up plans - often with diagrams - trying to do something spontaneous.

As I flick my key chain to get the front door key and I hear her in the kitchen. I've done a double, but she's had the chance to take the night off. As I walk to her, my heart begins to beat in perfect 'Catherine' rhythm. She is breathtakingly beautiful. The warm mug of coffee gives her extra points.

"Hey babe," she smiles when she sees me staring at the hot coffee. I smile in return and give her a kiss on the cheek.

She is my key, and I am still amazed that my heart aches for her just as much as the very first day we began this journey.

The End

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