“Damn, Dean,” Carrie said softly when the news program switched back to the anchorman—who began to give a brief recap of the CVA’s history. “Just… Damn. I’m so proud of you.”
“We both are,” Kirby told him, gripping Dean's shoulder. “Now, shall we run for the hills before the national reporters descend on the city?”
“Oh hell, I never considered that,” Dean muttered.
Kirby chuckled. “Sort of thought you hadn’t, but they will.”
“My fifteen minutes of fame.” Dean rolled his eyes.
“It will be more than that I’m afraid. By this time tomorrow the fall-out will have begun. Therefore, I suggest we get our asses in gear and go take in the movie while you’re still just a person, not a cause.”
Carrie glared at Kirby. “You’re going to let him leave here and go out in public, on a public street, to a movie?”
“Carrie,” Dean said, laughing, “first off I am not going to hole up here like some escaped convict. Secondly, he doesn’t rule my life. I’m quite able to make my own decisions, and right now getting out of here to do something normal sounds just fine to me. You’re welcome to come along if you want to.”
“She is?” Kirby asked, a trace of petulance in his voice.”
“If she brings Jim along, sure.”
“Gee, thanks.” Carrie shook her head, obviously unsure whether she was amused now or still upset. Either way, she took out her phone to call Jim, moving away from the others to have some privacy after Dean told her which theater they were going to.
When she was out of earshot Kirby grumbled, “I’m not trying to rule your life as you put it.”
“Well, as a cop you are. As a person, I don’t think that’s been decided yet.”
“As a cop it’s my job to keep you safe. Well, maybe not technically but I’d rather do that than have to go after someone who attacks you.” He smiled, resting his hands on Dean’s shoulders. “As a person, I would never try to rule your life, but I wouldn’t mind sharing it with you, if and when you might decide you want me to.”
Dean nodded. “I’m…thinking about it. It’s early on and hell, Kirby, this is all new to me, as I think you know. I hope you do. I like you, I like the fact you want to protect me…as a cop...”
“And as a man,” Kirby said softly. “I get what you’re saying though and I’m not going to pressure you. After all we barely know each other when it comes down to it. We were thrown together due to circumstances beyond either of our control. Let’s get past this new…problem before we try to make such a personal decision.”
“Just give me time.” Dean smiled. He traced the line of Kirby’s jaw with one finger then dropped his hand. “That’s all I ask.”
“All the time you need.”
“Guys,” Carrie broke in, “I hate to destroy your moment, but Jim’s on his way to the movie theater and the show starts in,” she pointedly checked her watch, “twenty minutes.”
“All right. Do you want to ride with us?” Kirby asked.
Dean shot him a questioning look. “Us?”
“Yes, because right now I’m in cop mode. I’d rather keep a close eye on you when you’re out in public.”
“You can’t be with me twenty-four-seven.”
Kirby grinned. “Well damn.”
“Gentlemen, move it!” Carrie ordered. “You can discuss safety issues later. Dean, if you don’t mind I’ll leave my car here, pick it up tomorrow and ride with you all.”
“Sure.” He opened the door, said, “Now shall we?” and made a production of ushering them out of the apartment, much to the other’s amusement.