Alexis Plymouth was sixteen, and, to celebrate, her detective parents had rented out a hotel ballroom. Her closest friends and family had gathered to celebrate the girl they adored.

Only one was missing.

Maybe few missed him because it had been two years since they last saw him. But there were two people who noticed his absence.

One of those girls was the birthday girl. Alexis had written the missing man a letter and sent it to the address a friend had listed as "The Place to Find Him". If he was where they knew he was, then why didn't they go after him?

The other person missing him had the reason for not going after him. After all, he had done the leaving. She said she never wanted him to show up again, but in her heart she wished for nothing more.

Hannah Aston watched the happy couples dancing. Plymouth and Jen seemed so happy, and they had every right to be. Next to them was their sixteen-year-old daughter, dancing with a toddler with dark hair and blue eyes. Hannah couldn't help but smile at her baby girl, even as she stood alone.

Outside the door, a man hesitated, watching the people inside. They were happy without him, weren't they? Was she happy without him? He would never know unless he stepped inside, and so he did.

Almost instantly, the new sixteen-year-old put down the child in her arms and ran to him, flinging her arms around his neck. "Harding! You came!"

He smiled. "Of course. I wouldn't miss your Sweet Sixteen for the world, Lexi."

"We missed you."

"I missed you, too."

Alexis leaned closer to him, whispering. "Hannah's standing by the punch."

With an understanding, grateful smile, he released her and began to walk nonchalantly toward his former partner. "Hey, you," he said gently, ruffling her hair as had always been their greeting.

She pulled back and said and said coldly, "Get away from me, you."

"Come on, Hannah. It's been two years."

"Yeah, it has." She turned away to hide the tears brimming, to not have to see his face and feel the way she could not help but feeling. "Two years without a visit, a phone call, a letter, an e-mail… Two years, Andy!"

"Alexis's invitation is the first contact I've gotten from anyone involved with the squad since I left."

"She's more forgiving than some of us."

"You knew where to find me, Hannah. You knew."

"Andy, why didn't you just end it? You made the choice to leave. Captain told me he gave you the choice to end the relationship or our partnership. You severed both! That was your choice to leave. Why would I run after you like some clingy girlfriend? Clearly, you didn't want me around."

"I left for you, Hannah."

She shook her head, still turned away. "That never made sense to me. First, you said you would never leave me. Then, you said you didn't want to. Either way, you left. What the hell, Andy?"

"Did you love me?"

"What?" She almost spun around to face him, but thought better of it. "Of course I did."

"I don't know that."

"How could you not?"

"Hannah, you never told me. You didn't tell me much of anything, other than it was wrong. You didn't want it to happen. I stopped it."

"You could have just ended it, if you were so deluded."

"And see you every day? Looking at me with those big, blue eyes? God, Hannah. There was no way."

"You shouldn't have left. My life since then… My life, it…"

"Yeah," he snorted. "Your life with a great career and here with our friends is so much harder than mine."

She turned on her heel to face him, her eyes narrowed. "How dare you! You don't know anything!"

At the sight of her tears, his tone softened. "I know you stayed here and didn't try to contact me. Before that, you were so reluctant, so nervous. You slept with me and then… God, Hannah. What else do I need to know?"

"You want to know why this is all screwed up?" she said loudly.

"People are staring, Hannah. Dance with me and talk."

"Don't like being watched?" she spit, wiping her tears with an angry swipe of her hand.

"I want to keep this about Alexis."

He put his hand on her lower back, and as she put her hand on his shoulder and he took her other hand in his, he truly realized what he had missed. This just felt… perfect, and this could be his last chance to have it.