Shopping with Rodney was relatively painless in the end. Rodney would decide and then buy six of whatever in different colors.
John spotted what he figured was additional security a couple of times at the mall. The same two serious looking young men just happened to be in most of the same stores that he and Rodney were in. And they had no packages at the end of the day.
Dinner was at a chain steak house in the mall. The steak was good and the beer cold, and there was good ice cream for dessert.
The Lieutenant took them back to their hotel, helping with the bags they had accumulated.
"Anything else?" he asked.
"No, and thanks," John replied.
"I'll be here in the morning," he said. "Your event is at 9 am, I'll be here at 8:30 am."
"Good enough," John said.
"Order breakfast for the morning?" Rodney asked. "Extra coffee."
"Plenty of coffee, coming up," John smiled. He called the hotel service and made sure they understood what 'extra' coffee meant.
Rodney was puttering with his new clothes. He had worn one set and it was as bad as John had feared. He was very aware of how good Rodney looked.
Rodney turned suddenly and caught John staring. He came closer to John and said softly, "John?"
"Um... just..." John stumbled. A deep breath. "Sorry?"
Rodney moved closer. "Are you... sorry?" he asked. John could feel the heat from Rodney's body, close to his.
Up close, John could see the uncertainty in Rodney's eyes. John took a chance and shifted closer.
A slow smile crossed Rodney's face. He closed the distance between them and placed a warm hand on John' hip.
"Why now?" John had to ask.
"Been watching you watch me for... forever..." Rodney admitted.
"Are you sure we should do.. this?" John had to ask. He didn't want to mess up.
Rodney paused, then said, "You're my best.. everything. My best co-worker, my best team mate, my best friend. I've never had anyone like you in my life and... I want you in the rest of my life."
John was stunned. "But... Jennifer..."
Rodney blushed. "I didn't think I could have you and... she was shiny..." He shrugged. "But it wasn't going to be something that would work for either of us long term."
"Maybe we can do that long term... together..." John breathed against Rodney's lips.
Rodney met him in the middle, the kiss starting soft and tentative. John brought a hand up to the side of Rodney's face, cradling the side of his head. They each shifted slightly and just fit together.
"Bed," Rodney murmured.
"Yes," John agreed.
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