Jon arrived at FTB at ten after seven on Friday morning. He was in a particularly good mood, having gotten a good night’s sleep. Though he had been disappointed that Cate wouldn’t accept his dinner invitation last night, he had spent the evening with his homework and the pleasant memory of their afternoon together.
Jon had also taken some time to work out details of the weekend surprise he had planned for Cate, making a call to Obie and to his assistant at the Soul offices in Philly.
His lips curved into a smile as he thought about seeing Cate this weekend. He just hoped she wouldn’t be upset when he disrupted her plans with Danny. Even if she was, he was pretty sure what he had planned would convince her to forgive him.
He found Cate in the break room with Danny and George, waiting for a fresh pot of coffee to brew. “Good morning,” he greeted them sunnily. Cate gave Jon a big smile in return, and the boys answered with their own “mornings.”
Then he saw that Cate had something in her hands – something that turned his smile to a full-on grin.
Cate was leaning against the counter in the kitchenette, idly tossing a football into the air and catching it. She was dressed in PT gear in preparation for their first-thing DTs session, but it was obvious she had already been more active than he had this morning.
Jon noticed that she was a bit flushed and slightly sweaty, damp tendrils of her auburn hair curling against her neck, loosened from her ponytail. There were grass stains on her shirt and on the knees of her track pants, and a smudge of dirt smeared on her left cheek.
“What’s this?” Jon answered, gesturing toward the football.
Cate gave Jon a sassy little grin. “This would be a football… surely you are familiar?” she teased. She flipped the football to Jon, who caught it easily.
“I am,” he replied, wrapping his right hand around the ball, gripping it over the laces. “And what exactly does the football have to do with cop training?” he asked playfully.
“Nothing really.” Cate answered. “Just a little morning PT with the boys. We were all in early, so we decided to have a quick pickup game – 3 on 3.” She flashed her grin at Danny and George. “The losers are out buying breakfast.”
Jon laughed at her cockiness. “Guess I missed out,” he said regretfully. “I’m always up for a game of flag football.”
“Oh, we don’t play that pussy stuff here.” Cate answered. She saw Jon’s eyes widen briefly at her coarse language. “We tackle, Baby,” she finished, her eyes twinkling.
Holy shit… she’s flirting! Jon thought. “Well, next time be sure to invite me,” he flirted back, a little growl in his voice. Out of the corner of his eye Jon caught Danny’s smirk, as Danny raised his coffee cup to his lips.
“Hmm…I don’t know….” Cate brought a finger to her lips, looking skyward in a comical thinking pose. “Think you can take a hit, Rock Star?” She fixed Jon with a challenging gaze, a wicked smile on her full lips.
“Oh yeah,” he nodded. Jon stepped forward, closing the distance between himself and Cate. He brought his hand up to her face and gently wiped away the smudge of dirt from her cheek, his hand lingering for a long moment. “I can take whatever you dish out, Baby,” he growled playfully, his gaze locking with hers.
Cate felt her stomach somersault when Jon touched her cheek, and she couldn’t wipe the smile from her face. Then she heard Danny clear his throat in a subtle warning, right before Troy, Bobby, and Brandon walked into the break room.
Cate grabbed the football from Jon’s hand and pushed past him, deliberately giving him a firm bump with her shoulder as she moved around him. “About damned time!” she called out to the “losers” as they dropped bags of food on the break room table.
Jon smiled to himself and closed his eyes for a second, then turned to face Cate and the rest of the gang. It’s gonna be a good day… he thought.