Chapter Forty - Cory
“Pete, I gotta talk to you.” I said, popping my head into Peter’s office. He looked up from his desk where he was on the phone. He waved me in, telling the person he was speaking to he had to go. He hung up the receiver and tossed a pen on the desk. I sat in the chair across from him like I did that day after Mexico and he rubbed his eyes.
“What’s up, kid?” He asked, leaning back in his computer chair.
“I’ve loved and hated this job at the same time. I thought it was everything I wanted and needed in life. I was wrong though. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me while I’ve been here but I’m here to tell you I quit.” I rattled off, setting my hand gun and badge on the desk. He looked at me surprised for a moment before nodding.
“You lasted a lot longer than I thought you would.” He simply said, reaching forward and grabbing the items. He slid them into his desk drawer and sighed. “I thought for sure when you left here with that girl I would never see you again.”
“You shouldn’t have. I was an idiot. Something I’m rather good at being. I lied to you before Pete. Alexz and I were seeing each other. I was worried about the effect it would have on my career if people knew I was dating my partner. Well, I did the same thing all over again with Abby. I choose the job over her. The only difference is that hopefully, I get the chance to make things right. I’m sorry about this. It’s been an honor serving under you all these years. You’re a great boss.” I stood up and held my hand out. He did the same, taking mine in his.
“You’re a good man, Forester. Whatever you decide to do, let me know. I’ll give you a glowing recommendation. Anyone would be lucky to have you on their team.”
“Thank you, sir. I think I’m going to lay low for a while. Maybe look into becoming a private investigator. More importantly, I just want to be there for her as much as I can.”
“Take care of yourself.” He clapped me on the back before I left. Walking out the front door, I headed to Henry’s truck that was parked in front of the building. The red pick-up roared to life as I turned the key. Grabbing the folder in the seat next to me, I thumbed through the pages. It was everything the agency had on Abby since she left the building. They were keeping close tabs on her since she was the only person capable of manning the crystal. They thought that she might be used to trigger another attack was a possibility no one wanted. She had moved into the mansion in Sea Harbor that belonged to Scoprio and had moved the two people from the hotel in with her. She was also starting school in the fall. She was following her dream, something I was hoping she would do. Since the battle in Mexico, I had been tossed on desk duty. It was something I knew was punishment for going off on my own during the mission and Pete’s way of keeping an eye on me. I think he knew this was coming a lot longer than I did.
It took me thirteen hours to drive to Sea Harbor. The air smelt like salty spring as the wind came from the ocean. Maine seemed to be more beautiful in the spring rather than the winter from the last time I was here. March was rolling in like a lamb, bringing in with it warm breezes and bright sun shine. People walked the streets, going in and out of the stores that lined Main Street. I kept a sharp eye out for Abby, hopeful to catch her somewhere. I didn’t see her though so I headed towards the mansion. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to say to her. She was more than likely still pissed at me for what I had done. She had left me with no choice though. Pedro had really convinced me into it when we had spoken before the confrontation. Abby was only doing what I wanted her to do because that’s how she was raised her entire life. She thought making others happy was the only way to make her happy. I knew the only way to break the cycle was to stop her from joining the CIA. I didn’t imagine, however, that she would toss me out of her life forever. I gave her some time and some space, hoping she would try to find me when she was ready. She didn’t though. The last two months of silence from her have been torture and last night was the final straw. I couldn’t take it anymore. So, I packed a bag, quit my job and decided I needed to see her one last time before I decided my future.
Pulling up the long drive to the mansion, I noticed it had been painted. The siding was now a brilliant shade of blue and the trimmings were done in white. It looked more inviting than it did the last time I was here. There were no guards and flowers were beginning to bloom everywhere around me as I climbed from the truck. I had read that the man and woman from the hotel had moved in with her. It was nice knowing she wasn’t here by herself and she had someone else with her as she ventured into the next part of her life. It just killed that I wasn’t that person. Taking a deep breath, I climbed up the stone steeps that led to the rather large wooden front door. I ran the door bell, chimes echoing throughout the house. There was no movement for a while until the sound of the locks clicking fell to my ears. The door swung open, revealing an elderly woman.
Miss Sandelgo looked the same as the last time I saw her, her hair was more brown than grey now though, and was pinned back at the top of her head. She gave me a warm smile that traveled to her brown eyes. “Hello! Can I help you?” She asked. It was obvious she had no memory of who I was. It didn’t shock me.
“Hi. Iss Abby here?” I asked, trying my best to not reveal that my hands were shaking. I wiped them on the back of my jeans, drying my palms of the sweat that was building on them.
“Oh yes! She’s back in the garden reading. Come. I’ll show you the way.” She signaled me to follow her inside. I did, stepping into the large foyer. It had been changed to a warm brown color, whites and yellows decorating the walls and the stairscase that led to the second floor. We walked passed the stairs and towards the sliding backdoor. She opened it for me, pointing back to where a stone fountain was. It was new, probably added after she had moved in.
“Thank you.” I said, smiling at the older woman. She nodded, disappearing back into the house. I stepped out in the backyard, the smell of cherry blossoms wafting over me. Trees of the flower had been planted all around, pink and white buds beginning to bloom on the smaller trees. Large groups of roses were also planted out here, reds, white and yellows placed in an organized fashion around the fountain. The structure itself was made of concrete, several tiered of stone built up where the water was trickling out of it. It resembled a bird bath almost, birds flying around the statue. And perched on the edge of the fountain was Abby.
My breath seemed to vanish when my eyes landed on her. The red of her hair was as bright as I recalled it, the locked braided down her shoulder. Her emerald green eyes were tucked behind reading glasses and a notebook was in her lap. She was quickly scribbling something down with a pen, her tongue sticking out between her lips slightly as she concentrated. Letting out a small groan, she crossed something out and wrote next to it. Her slender frame was dressed in a black long-sleeved blouse and a pair of blue jeans hugged her hips. Her legs were crossed under her, the toes of her bare feet sticking out under her knees. A pair of black flats were tossed to the side on the ground. It had been two months since I had seen her but it felt like a life time. She looked so much older now, almost like she had grown up some since we last spoke. I stopped a few feet away from her, not speaking. I stuck my hands into the pocket of my jeans, trying to figure out what to say.
A sudden gust of wind came through, tossing the pages of her notebook around. The one she had been writing on flew out of her hand and into the air, towards me. Reaching up, I grabbed it. She looked up, frustrated with the wind but her face soften when her eyes landed on me. Neither of us spoke as she slowly rose to her feet. I glanced at the paper in my hand and saw several paragraphs written. It seemed to be a story of some type, talking about a epic fight scene between two brothers. I realized it was mimicking her father and Scorpio. I looked up at her again, taking a step towards her.
“I think this belongs to you.” I said softly, holding the paper out to her. She gingerly took it, acting as if I was about to bite her arm off.
“Thank you.” She whispered, sliding it into the notebook in her hand. She turned and set it down on the fountain behind her. “What are you doing here?”