I hate Broderick Hugh.

When I was first appointed to the homicide squad, it was because I needed to get away from the FBI. There had been a very bad case, one that I never liked to talk about, in which my partner was killed. Henry Jenkins had been a friend from Quantico and college, and the love of my life. I loved him with every fiber of my being.

We had just started dating the week before the accident. I had finally worked up the courage to ask him out, and Henry hadn't seemed to show interest in me before, but that had changed. He finally admitted that he liked me, I was sure that within six months we would have a steady relationship. Then the case came, a missing persons case that we had been tracking for a long time.

To make a long depressing story short, Henry died saving me. The suspect opened fire on the agents, and Henry pushed me out of the way, earning a bullet to the forehead and died in my arms. I couldn't stand working for the FBI after that, so I left and found myself working for the New York Police Department in homicide. It was nothing like missing persons, I couldn't even handle working on missing person cases anymore.

"Hey Angel!" Greene grinned, Robert Greene who happened to be one of my closest friends at the precinct. I still don't understand why the Lieutenant didn't partner me up with him, "We got a case for you."

"Sounds good, my friend," I set my bag on the top of my desk. It was supposed to be a purse, but I hated purses, so it was a messenger bag with a bunch of my junk stuffed in it. There were case files, my wallet, keys, a lot of other random things I needed occasionally. Of course it looked really juvenile to carry a bag around instead of a purse, especially since I had just turned thirty-two, but I don't give a rip.

That was when he came in. Every day at the same time. Looking at my watch, I inwardly groaned when I discovered I was right. Ten in the morning on the dot. Unfortunately, his desk was right across from mine because Lieutenant Summers had found it amusing to partner Hugh and I together. He sat down at the desk, setting his coffee on the tabletop, "Careful, Greene, she might shoot first and ask questions later."

He grinned at me. His hair was dark brown and looked like he had tried to comb it back, but the wind had tousled it. A pair of blue eyes stared back at him, and it always seemed that Hugh was able to see more than what people perceived. But it was the accent that pissed me off the most. His Welsh accent that made him sound like the damn king of England. The women in the department mooned over it, but I thought it made it sound like he was talking out of his nose. Just to be vindictive, I held onto the bridge of my nose and pinched my nostrils to muffle my speech.

"Screw you, Hugh."

He scowled at me. This was how we started out our day. I would come in, dump my things on my desk, then Hugh would come in at 10 AM and crack some insulting joke about me, and then I would make fun of his accent. To my knowledge, he had something against FBI agents, but I was much more selective than that. I just had something against him.

"Well, Angelica, what case would you like to stumble your way through today?"

He was the only one that called me by my full name, Angelica Edwards, which makes me sound like some sort of stuck-up, vapid chick. Angel suited me just fine. Besides, what the hell kind of a name was Broderick?

Hugh had a poor opinion of my skills because he found out that I had left the FBI because I couldn't handle it. He thought I was a quitter. It didn't help manners that the first case I had in homicide involved a missing person and I broke down on the scene. Lieutenant Summers made sure to keep them away from me after that, everything else I could handle. Greene knew my past, and that was why he didn't rib me about it. No one else asked questions, and I was generally able to make friends in the unit.

Everyone except for Hugh, that is, and he had ended up being my partner.

"A drug deal went bad. The crime scene was reported early this morning, but the detective that was on duty was split between three other crimes scenes," Greene explained, handing me the folder.

I glanced at it, and then passed it to Hugh. We may hate each other, but we were still partners, and we were working together. There was a grim look on my face when I had seen that one of the victims in the shooting was a five year old child. Out of all the crimes I had seen, I always thought ones involving children were the most horrendous. Hugh must have seen the look on my face after he read the file and didn't tease me about anything else.

"Well, we might as well get this over with," I took the file from Hugh, and stuffed it in my bag. He was giving me an old look as I pulled the strap over my head, "You're driving," I promptly stated.

He sighed, picked up his keys, and followed me.

"Why do you always make me drive?"

"I like being driven around. I had to spend all of my FBI years driving myself everywhere, so it's nice to have someone else do it for a change."

Hugh frowned, "You're so spoiled."

I turned to him, "Look, Hugh, I don't like you, you don't like me. I don't give two shits about trying to get along with you, so as long as we still back each other up as partners and work together, I don't give a damn if you like me or not."

He opened his mouth as if he say something back, and then closed it. I was so not in the mood to deal with him right now. The moment the car stopped at the crime, I scooped my bag up and out was out of there before Hugh could say anything to me. His booted feet marched after me, there was a short stretch of sidewalk and stairs that lead me into the house. As we walked, I pulled out a band and tied my long brown hair back. I didn't want to risk adding more to the crime scene than what was already there, and the cool breeze on my neck helped me cool down a bit.

The moment I was inside, a familiar smell filled my mind. The smell of drugs, death, and blood.

"Detective Edwards, Detective Hugh," Officer Miller walked up to us. She was good at the job she did, but she was a flirt. After shaking my hand, I rolled my eyes as she batted her eyelashes at Hugh. I had to admit that he wasn't unfortunate looking, which was probably why half the women in New York fell at his feet.

"So, what's the report?" I interrupted her before I would have to throw up from watching her make eyes at Hugh any longer.

"Two deaths. Mother and child," Miller sighed sadly, "They were caught in the crossfire. We think the boyfriend was the dealer, we found a whole farm in the basement of marijuana."

"Shit," Hugh swore, dragging his hands through his hair.

There were two officers still trying to pick the lock to the basement door. It had be blocked off by the boyfriend dealer, and the only reason why we knew there were marijuana plants downstairs was because of a shattered window caused by a stray bullet.

I stepped around both Miller and Hugh and walked towards the crime scene, "Let me see-"

The officers managed to get the door open, and I heard the click before anyone else did. Of course, I had heard that same noise before and knew what to listen for. The moment it went off my blood ran cold. The dealer had set a booby trap on the door...a very explosive one. Turning around I saw Hugh with a shocked look on his face, and realized he heard it to. The only thought I had in my head was that I couldn't loose another partner. No matter how much I hated Broderick Hugh, I wasn't going to go through that experience again.

Ignoring his shout as I barreled into him, we both hit the floor as the explosion of debris and chaos rained down on us.

I woke up to find myself in a hospital room. From what I remember, I was in the house when it had exploded, but that was it. There was a lot of pain, but now it had been turned to a dull numb. Later, I would find out that I was hurt badly in the explosion because I was to a large brunt of it. When I opened my eyes they hurt, like I had been staring at a computer screen for too long.

"Hey there, Edwards."

It was Lieutenant Summers. He looked tired, there were dark circles under his eyes. I tried to smile, but the healing cut on my lip was a little too painful for that. A sudden thought passed in my head, "Hugh-"

"He's fine. He's actually right over there," he pointed.

For a moment I was alarmed, I didn't want Hugh to see me like this. I was weak and didn't really have the energy to put up all of my defenses in front of him. When I glanced over, he was sitting in a chair in the corner of the room, fast asleep. There was a large bandage on his temple, a bruise on his left eye, and his arm was in a sling, but he was alive. He was so pale that it didn't surprise me he was sleeping like the dead.

"You gave us quite the scare there, Angel. Almost lost you there for a moment," Summers gave me a sad smile, "I suspect when he wakes up, there are some things you'll probably want to talk to Hugh about."

"What do you mean?"

The elder man smiled, and patted my hand. He was almost like a father, or at least I thought of him that way. Even though he knew everything about me, he still respected me and gave me free reign in my job.

"Get some rest, Edwards."

I fell asleep again, and woke four hours later to find that Hugh was gone. The doctor came in to tell me that I had lost my appendix, which had burst as a result of the explosion. My ribs were cracked, and I had lost too much blood in the incident. When Hugh had heard that I needed blood, he had told them he had the same blood type as me and donated as much as they could take.

A week later, the hospital released me. When I reached my apartment, I closed the door and sunk to the floor, finally allowing myself to burst into tears.

In the end, Summers gave me two weeks of leave. I tried to go back, but he told me that if I showed up to work before then, he was suspend me without pay. Part of the reason why I liked to work was because it didn't give me downtime to dwell on the past. Laying on the couch in my apartment, I wrapped myself in a blanket and attempted to watch some sort of UFO show on the History Channel. There was a cup of tea on the coffee table that I had yet to drink, and I couldn't quite remember if I had bothered to change out of my pajamas in the last two days.

There was a knock on the door. It was eleven in the afternoon, which made me wonder if it was the Jehovah's Witnesses again. I really didn't have anything against them, but the door-to-door thing was obnoxious, especially when you have healing ribs and getting up to answer the door is a pain in the ass. Looking through the peep-hole, my mouth fell open when I spotted Hugh on my doorstep.

I contemplated not answering the door. But that would be rude, and the man had basically saved my life. With a sigh, I unlocked the door and opened it.

He looked almost...sheepish.

"Hey," I said, pulling the blanket tightly around my shoulders. Although I normally didn't give a damn what Hugh thought of me, I suddenly felt nervous.


It was that damn accent again. I hated it. My back shivered every time he spoke.

"I brought you something," he replied, "I just wanted to thank you. You know, for saving my life and all."

"It wasn't a big deal. You saved my life too, so we're even," I tried to smile in order to reduce the tension. Then I blushed slightly when I realized I was making him talk to me through the doorway, "Do you want to come in?"


I closed the door behind him, and that was when I heard the rustle behind his back. Locking the door, out of habit, I gave him a puzzled look, "What is that?"

Hugh pulled the flowers from behind his back. It was a full bouquet of yellow roses.

He couldn't have known that yellow roses were my favorite flower. I hated red roses, they were too common and the exact kind of flowers that were used in Henry's funeral, but I couldn't help but like yellow ones. Taking the flowers from him, I smelled the blossoms.

"Thanks," I smiled up at him, "I'll find a vase for these. I just made some tea, do you want some?"


He wasn't really speaking much, which wasn't like him. Following me into the kitchen, he sat at the center island as I fished around the the cabinets for a vase.

"Hey, Hugh," I didn't want to look at him. There was obviously something wrong with him, and I was just about to do something way out of character for me, "Is there something wrong? I know we're supposed to hate each other, but you know...if there's something wrong, you can tell me. I'm a good listener."

"Summers told me why you quit the FBI."

I faltered and almost dropped the vase I had pulled off the shelf.

"Oh?" I still had my back turned, and began to trim the roses to put them in the vase.

"He told me that your partner died trying to save you. That you...the two of you were involved, and the he died on the job trying to save you."

I was suddenly annoyed. It was a part of my past that I tried to ignore, and I really didn't want to talk about Henry or the FBI right now.

"Yeah, he did."

"Fuck, Angelica, why didn't you tell me?" Hugh swore, "I thought you left because-"

"I couldn't handle it?" I replied, "You were right. I left because I was a coward."

"I didn't say that."

I put the roses in a vase and filled it with water, moving to set the vase on the table.

"You should have told me," he murmured.

"It was none of your damn business."

"You're my partner!" he snapped, "Do you really hate me that much?"

"I go to work, I leave at the end of the day. I don't take anything further then that because I know the cost of it," I threw back at him, "Work is work, my life is separate. As far as I'm concerned, I don't give you a second thought after I leave the office," I was angry at him again, and if he didn't leave I would probably say something I would regret later, "I think you should leave now."

"Fine," Hugh slid out of the chair, walking towards the door, "You're running again, but I guess I should expect that from you."

I punched him.

I hadn't really meant to punch Hugh. He stumbled back slightly, and I knew he would have a nice bruise afterward. That pretty face of his looked like it should have a few bruises, it was too perfect. There was a spark in his eyes at the moment, his blue eyes mirroring the fire in my brown ones, and I yelped as he stepped forward to grab my shoulders. He shoved me backwards in the wall in the kitchen, and I felt a slight spark of panic in the look in his eyes.

His hands were strong, and he towered over me with the additional foot in height that he had. The blanket had long slipped off my shoulders, and I caught the change in his eyes as he roamed over me.


His eyes followed in a path from my legs to my chest and neck, and in that second, the look in his eyes changed from fury to something else. I tried to shove him away, to which he caught both my wrists and pinned them to the wall over my head. His body was pressed flush against mine and my hear raced. Lips were inches from my own, and to my own horror, the pull to kiss him was too great.

So I did exactly that.

I could tell he was shocked and surprised the moment I raised myself up on my toes and crushed my mouth against his. Straining against him, I felt him groan as I nipped his lips and tasted him. Oh god, he tasted so good, better than anything I had tasted for a long time. Letting one of my wrists free, his hands clamped down on my waist, shoving one of his knees between my legs, and my free hand dove into his hair.

I didn't let myself think about it, I just did it. I needed the release, and at that moment, I wanted him more than anything on the planet.

He eventually released my hands all together, and hoisted me into the air. I wrapped my legs around his waist, and felt his hands grip my thighs. Taking advantage of the fact that he had to hold me and didn't have any free hands, I dragged my lips over his jawline and to his neck. My hands slipped over his shirt and too his pants, unbuckling he belt and tossing it aside.

"Angelica, I-" he half whispered and moaned into my ear.

"Shut up, shut up," I frantically freed him from his zipper, and positioned myself over him. God, I wanted him so much I could barely stand it. I was still reeling and confused from how I switched from rage to a lust to powerful it was perplexing.

I sunk down onto him, hearing the gasp that came through his lips, and then I felt a shiver through my entire body in knowing I was the one that caused it. We had somehow stumbled away from the wall, and his fingers were digging almost painfully into my hips. At that moment, I didn't feel anything except for him inside me. Not the pain in my ribs, not the sting in my hand from when I punched him...nothing except for him.

Our eyes were locked, and he seemed frozen in his spot, so I took the initiative and moved slowly. The shocked look on his face seemed to melt slightly, his lips parted as he tried to catch his breath. Turning around, he pinned me back to the wall, and I had the wonderful sensation of his face buried into the crook of my neck. His hips rocked against mine, and I melted into his grasp. Looking down, I couldn't stop the groan from my lips.

He looked absolutely beautiful, his dark hair brushing against my pale skin, his expression covered with concentration. It was then that I realized why I had hated Hugh so much. I had hated him because I was afraid of him. Afraid of the fact that I was so goddamn attracted to him and I didn't want to be because I didn't want to be in the same position I had been in with Henry.

To fall in love with someone and then loose them.

I cried out, and it was followed with a harsh shout from his own lips. His face stayed buried in my neck, and I was grateful. What the hell had we just done? The only sound in the room was our efforts to breathe, and I found myself sliding down the wall as his legs gave out. He sunk to his knees, still buried inside me, my legs straddling his lap. I wrapped my arms around him, knowing well that I was the one that started the whole thing, and rest my cheek on his head.

"Are you..." I whispered, trying to drag the words from my mind, "...okay?"

"I never hated you."

The phrase came as a surprise.


"I never hated you," he breathed, "I fell in love with you the first moment I saw you."

My heart literally stopped in my chest.


"I've been in love with you, and I was frustrated because I wanted you and I knew you hated me," he said.


"Then it just made me angry because I just wanted you even more."


He finally looked up at me, his face was sweaty and his hair sticking to his skin. There was some sort of desperate look in his eyes, like he was bracing himself for some sort of rejection. Good God, his eyes were beautiful. Why didn't I notice that before? This was the man that loved me and saved my life. Surprisingly, I hadn't thought of Henry once since Hugh had walked into the doorway. He was the first man I had been with since Henry, and although part of me would always remember Henry Jenkins, I couldn't deny the fact that I loved Hugh. It was probably why I had clashed with him so often.

There was a wary smile that spread across his face, "That's the first time you've called me by my first name."

That accent again. It made my toes curl.

"Can I confess something to you?" I asked.

He looked at him straight in the eyes, like he wanted to say yes but was afraid of what I was say.

"I don't hate you either," I said, "I was afraid of you because I was attracted to you, and I thought 'not again'. I don't think I could bare it if I lost another man I cared about."

His expression looked hopeful, "You-"

"Yeah," I gave him a smile. It was the happiest I had felt in a long time, "I love you too, Brody."

There was a relieved chuckle as Hugh wrapped his arms around me, "I'm not letting you go now, you're stuck with me."

I grinned, "That's okay, but I'm still going to make fun of your accent."

"I'm still going to call you Angelica," a smirk spread across his lips, "Angelica."

I pouted, "Damn it, I hate that name."


"Stop it," I was trying to sound serious, but I couldn't stop smiling.

He leaned closer to my ear and whispered, "Angelica."

My fingers tunneled through his hair, and I pulled his face away from me to glare into his eyes, "You're going to pay for that."

"God, I hope so."

I closed my lips over his, but this time, there was a smile on both of our faces.