She paused in the doorway of the bullpen and turned, absently pushing her hair behind her ear as she did so. “Yeah?”
“Want to go out for a drink? Or are you too tired?”
Martin stood at his desk, folders in hand and looking bit disheveled – his tie was loose and the top button of his shirt was undone. She couldn’t help but smile – he looked like she felt. They were the last to leave for the night after finally finishing overdue paperwork.
A drink sounded great. “Yeah,” she said with a tilt of her head. “It would be nice to know there’s real world out there, huh?”
His grin ignited a little life in his eyes. “And normal people,” he added. “Hang on a sec.” Martin dropped the files on his desk with a sound plop and grabbed his jacket all in one movement. “Let’s boogie!”
Samantha laughed as he threw the jacked over one shoulder and began tugging on his tie. “‘Let’s boogie’?” she echoed in barely suppressed giggles.
With his tie sufficiently loosened, Martin took her elbow and guided her out of the doorway and down the hall. “Well, it’s better than ‘Let’s make like a tree and leaf this joint.’ “
“Oooh,” she groaned, wrinkling her nose. “Yeah, that is worse.”
With the mood considerably lightened the pair threw puns back and forth all the way to the elevator. Tension from their awful day drained away as they approached the parking garage. When they stepped from the elevator, Martin indicated his car with his chin. “Come on, I’ll drive. It’s not that far and you know parking’s going be non-existent on a Friday night. ”
“Good point,” Samantha conceded. “Okay then, let’s go.”
He opened the passenger door for her and she slid inside. “Hello weekend!” she sighed happily. Martin laughed and jogged to the driver side. After pulling his door open, he threw his jacket in the back seat and dropped in behind the wheel. “Where to?” he asked as he started the car. “Wait, there’s one caveat . . .”
Samantha raised her eyebrows in question.
“It has to be a place where I don’t have to wear this,” he said as he pulled off the offending tie and tossed in over his shoulder. It fluttered unceremoniously atop the discarded jacket as he unbuttoned his sleeves and rolled up the cuffs.
“Well, aren’t we wild tonight,” she joked. Samantha felt her weariness fade away with Martin’s enthusiasm. “How about The Longshot?”
Martin backed from the parking space and drove from the structure. “Sounds good. I have to make one stop first. That all right?”
“No problem. That means you get the first round.”
Martin’s amused snort lifted her spirits even more. She hadn’t seen him in this kind of mood before and she liked it; there was tingle in her heart as she wondered what it would be like to get together with him; Danny teased her enough about it, so why not? He certainly was easy on the eyes . . .
They went a few blocks before Martin made a few quick turns and stopped at a corner market. She leaned forward and looked in the front windows. “This place is still open?”
“Yeah, he’ll close in a few minutes. I’ll be right back. Don’t worry if the lights go out . . .” he glanced at his watch. “. . . in about 3 minutes. They’re on a timer. The front door will automatically lock, too, but I’ll be right back.”
“Okay. Leave the keys so I can listen to the radio.”
Martin jumped out of the car and jogged to the glass front doors. He turned and threw Samantha a grin as he pushed the doors open and stepped inside the empty store. She saw him pause a moment to look around before heading toward the back of the store. Taking a deep, relaxing sigh and settling deeper into the soft leather seat, Samantha hummed along with the radio.
And then he vanished.