John parked his 2003 black Pontiac Firebird once they finally reached Rodi’s. The plan was to have a casual relaxed dinner and drinks with Antonio and Jessica in celebration of the case John and Antonio had finally closed. Both John and Antonio had been working day and night on the case and were glad it was over.

Since John joined the force, he and Antonio had become close, pretty much best friends. And though at one time it looked like it would be John and Natalie along with Antonio and Jessica on a night like this, that wasn’t the case. John and Antonio knew that Jessica would rather see her sister on John’s arm, but she sucked it up most of the time because she knew how good of friends John and Antonio were. Still Evangeline couldn’t help but wonder if Jessica went back to repeat the evening’s happenings to Natalie whenever the four them got together.

Both Evangeline and John got out of the car. Evangeline walked around the car to meet John. She slid her hand into his as their eyes and souls connected.

“Hey John, you know what I was thinking…” Evangeline began though she didn’t get a chance to finish.

John, looking deeply into Evangeline’s brown eyes, leaned in and kissed her ever so lovingly. The kiss wasn’t rushed and it seemed as though time stood still. It was an ideal kiss: long, deep, and passionate.

“Now what were you saying Counselor?” John asked teasingly.

Dazed and satisfied, Evangeline replied, “I honestly don’t remember. That was a wonderful kiss. Those lips of yours never cease to amaze me.” She lightly rubbed her thumb over her lips, smiling.

“You’re so beautiful. I just got carried away. But that, my dear, is only a sample of what I plan on doing to you later on tonight,” John commented in his signature raspy voice.

Evangeline playfully fanned herself with her hands. “Well then, I think we’d better make this outing with Antonio and Jessica as short as possible!”

They both laughed as they walked inside Rodi’s. They walked in and noticed Antonio waving them to come over to the booth he and Jessica already had.

“I can’t believe they’re still together,” Jessica commented. She shook her head in disbelief as she watched John and Evangeline enter Rodi’s.

“Well they are Jess,” Antonio began. “And honestly, I haven’t seen John this happy since he’s been here in Llanview,” Antonio said quickly putting some peanuts in his mouth, waving them over.

“It makes no sense that he’s all hugged up with Evangeline when my sister was willing to do anything to be with him. He told Natalie that he wasn’t ready for a relationship. The next thing you know, he’s parading Evangeline around town.”

“Jessica look, maybe John just realized that he and Natalie didn’t have a future together. It’s better that they didn’t even start anything,” Antonio said trying to make Jessica realize that she was overreacting.

“Whatever Antonio. It’s still a slap in the face to my sister,” Jessica replied giving her signature pout.

“Oh come on Jess. You know Evangeline is a good person. And you know John is happy with her.”

Jessica sat for a minute. “You know what Antonio? Tonight I’m just gonna give Evangeline a chance. I know how much you and John enjoy hanging out and I’m not going to ruin it for you, regardless of what I really think,” Jessica commented without any enthusiasm.

Antonio tried to comfort Jessica by putting his arm around her and rubbing her arm. It did little to help, as Jessica’s pout tended to be permanent whenever the four of them were together.

Evangeline and John made their way over to Antonio and Jessica’s booth.

“Hey, what’s goin’ on?” John said greeting Antonio, as they slapped hands.

“Not much. I’m just glad we’re finally done with that case!” Antonio replied as both Evangeline and John slid into the seats across from him and Jessica. Jessica and Evangeline said hello to each other.

“I couldn’t agree with you more,” John replied.

“How are you doing Evangeline? I know you must be happy that this case is over with as well. John and I were both working some pretty crazy hours.”

“I’m doing just great Antonio. And yeah, I’m pretty thrilled that this case is over,” Evangeline commented as she smiled and looked at John.

The intensity of this case had both John and Antonio away for many days and nights at a time on stakeouts and undercover operations. Evangeline understood that this was part of John’s job, but it didn’t make her miss him any less or worry about him any less. And even though Evangeline was busy working on her own legal cases, she often thought about John’s whereabouts and his safety.

John often found himself thinking about Evangeline as well, especially during this last case. He hadn’t realized how much Evangeline had become such a significant part of his life. He was finally learning to love and trust again without feeling guilty about the past.

“So Jessica, I’m sure you’re just as happy to have Antonio back home,” John said putting his arm around Evangeline’s shoulder.

Jessica took a deep breath, as though trying to compose herself and not speak of her disapproval of John and Evangeline’s romance. She’d promised herself and Antonio that she’d put her best forward and try to get to know Evangeline. There’s no time like the present she thought to herself.

“Oh definitely!” Jessica commented with a smile. “Jamie and I are both happy to have him back home.”

“Jamie is such a doll! She’s so lucky to have you looking out for her while her daddy is off catching the bad guys,” Evangeline said smiling. She put her best foot forward attempting to show Jessica that she was in deed a good person, the right person for John.

“Why thank you Evangeline,” Jessica replied with a genuine smile. Hey this might not be so bad after all, Jessica thought.

“Yeah, Jessica is pretty great with Jamie, isn’t she?” Antonio began. “I’m thinking a year or two after we’re married, we’ll give Jamie some brothers and sisters to play with.”

“Whoa! Hold on Detective. Just how many are you talking about?” Jessica playfully inquired.

“I was thinking maybe a basketball team.”

“Wow Jessica! It sounds like you’re gonna have your hands full,” Evangeline stated.

“Yeah, good luck with that. You’re certainly gonna need it,” John chimed in.

“I don’t know what in the world Antonio is talking about. I’m the one that has to carry each member of the team for nine months. Oh no, don’t think that’s gonna happen Detective,” Jessica replied smiling at Antonio.

Antonio conceded. “Well hey, it was worth a shot.”

Taking a sip of his beer, John agreed. “Yeah, you can’t blame a man for trying.”

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