Some time later….
The bride dressed in white of course proceeded down the flower laden aisle to where her groom awaited her at the end. He stood there dressed in a blue tux and watched her arrival with a smile, after he adjusted the flower in his lapel.
On one of his ears, he wore a diamond stud.
After a whirlwind engagement, Randy and Sonia had decided to tie the knot and had invited both Max and Kylie to participate in the ceremony, as the best man and maid of honor respectively. Max had reluctantly agreed to wear a tux even though he was happy that his friend had found a woman who could put up with him. He had stood beside the groom as the bridal procession began and when Kylie had walked down the aisle dressed in her lavender gown with her hair worn up in a coif showing off a pearl necklace that looked both elegant and sexy.
When she walked carrying a bouquet of flowers, she betrayed nothing in her movement that gave evidence to the injury that had nearly taken her life six months earlier. She had healed up quickly enough and it hadn't taken her long to return to work. Max had helped greatly in the recovery and then had tried not to betray his concern for her when she hit the ground running when returning to the field. He knew better than to try to slow her down…too much.
After all, the previous day they had gone rock climbing with the bride and groom up to the top of a summit which afforded them a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean. Tomorrow, after the couple left on their honeymoon, he and Kylie would go scuba diving off a reef. Yes, Hawaii most definitely had its scenic spots and he and Kylie had checked out many of them during their time on the islands.
After reaching the end of the aisle, she looked up at him, smiling while she moved into her place across from where he stood. He winked at her but she remained poised, committed to the happiness of her friend's special day.
She hadn't even questioned Sonia when Randy had proposed after a stakeout at a local diner and she'd accepted. Max had his doubts at first so he suggested doing a background on the prospective groom until they remembered who they were dealing with and instead, they took the couple out for dinner to celebrate.
The minister stepped forward as Randy and Sonia beamed at each other, oblivious to just about everything and everyone else before reciting their vows.
Max and Kylie kicked back at the reception watching the bridal couple dance on the floor in front of the buffet that was located on a patio of a hotel overlooking the ocean. The food was delicious and they'd both grabbed full plates taking them to a grassy area where they just sat down to eat.
"It's beautiful here," Kylie said thoughtfully, "I might just decide to pack up and move here."
Max arched a brow.
"Really, you'd do that…."
Her mouth curved at his reaction.
"Yeah I would…Max I love you but I'm just about ready to leave L.A. and a place like this on the beach would just be paradise."
Max sighed, knowing they'd had that discussion. He knew that the shooting by Derek hadn't left her even as her physical wounds had healed up. Not that she felt afraid of going out, doing her job in the field or living her life but she admitted that the hustle and bustle of the big city just didn't do it for her anymore. So during quiet nights while the moonlight streamed through the window of their bedroom and the quiet roar of the waves crashing reached them, they held onto each other and planned their future.
"Sounds like you've been giving it some thought."
She rolled her eyes at him.
"I think we both have Max," she said, "I think it's time that I really want to focus on more than just work, I want to focus on family."
He nodded and when she watched him in his rumpled tux with its bow tie askew, she couldn't think of anyone better to look at. Damn he was sexy, and they had made the most of their nighttime hours in Hawaii as well, she thought with a smile.
Max looked at her carefully.
"This family…it sounds like it's similar to what I want."
Oh she wanted to throw something at him, why was he being so obtuse?
"Max I didn't go as far as you did and hire out billboards across a major city but I do want what you want…I just don't know if you're up to it."
He leaned closer to her, challenging her with his eyes.
"Oh I think you'd be surprised at what I'm up for," he said, "including right now which I'd show you if we could find some place more private."
She smiled at him, tilting her face.
"Maybe we can make a quiet exit after the bride and groom leave…"
His smile widened and her insides warmed at the idea that they'd have time to spend together later…just as they had been spending it…time they might have lost if…
No, she didn't want to think about it, what could have happened. He looked at her suddenly, his eyes serious.
"You need to reserve some time later on for me…"
She narrowed her eyes at him.
"All my time's reserved for you…at least until someone else comes along."
"I've got a special place that I booked reservations for dinner tonight," he said, "I'm sure you'll like it."
"What kind of place?"
"Nice, quiet, the perfect place for what I have in mind."
Her brows arched.
"So you have a surprise for me then?"
He didn't answer and she knew he wouldn't…she just had to play along with it. She'd find out soon enough and had a feeling she'd like it.
"I'm looking forward to it Max…"
He smiled then, with a hint of vulnerability in his eyes that caused her heartbeat to quicken just a bit. Then he leaned over, his favorite aftershave wafting towards her and his mouth brushed against her lips. She wrapped her arms around him kissing him back, the rest of the world fading away.
After all, she had asked herself for so long what she'd wanted to do about Max and she had finally found her answer.