Hero Inside

Chapter 2

Once she returned back to the office later that evening, Annie walked into Joan's office and explained the little bit of information she learned about the secret meetings that Don Richert was holding with the mysterious men. On the outside, the meetings looked like drug deals. Annie had taken pictures of Richert handing two men from Mexico envelopes, neither of whom looked familiar to her. Chances are they were men working for someone else; here with Richert to make sure that whatever their plans were ran smoothly.

After she finished talking with Joan, she walked into the Starbucks, ordered herself a coffee, and took a seat at one of the booths. She was tired and looked forward to going home to relax. But first, she planned on just sitting here to relax. She wasn't in the mood to have her sister jump on her to make sure she find someone to bring to dinner tomorrow night. It was then that Annie realized she hadn't had the chance to talk to Auggie yet about joining her.

Just as she was about to get up to go find him, a voice startled her from behind her saying, "You know, coffee isn't the best thing to have this close to bed. Coffee is supposed to be a morning drink to help wake you up, not wind you down."

Annie smiled as she watched Auggie take a seat across from her and said, "No, maybe not, but it certainly tastes good. I was just about to get up to look for you. How do you always know where to find me, anyway?"

"It's just one of my special gifts," he replied. "My other senses have learned to adapt ever since my lack of sight. You have a certain smell and the way you walk in those high heel shoes you wear."

"I hope it's a good smell coming from me," Annie joked.

"Definitely a good smell," Auggie said with a smile. "I take it was a long day today and that you are anxious to relax. How about going to get a drink? I'll buy."

Annie responded, "I'm afraid I'll have to take a rain check. I promised my sister that I would watch her girls tonight. She and her husband have some sort of parent teacher conference at their school."

Auggie nodded and replied, "Not a problem; another time then. I should probably get home too. It will give me a chance to catch up on some sleep. This job doesn't always make it easy."

Annie looked at him and asked, "Do you have nightmares? I mean, about the day you lost your sight?"

"Sometimes I do," Auggie said as he lowered his head down and placed his chin on his chest. "I may be blind on the outside, but my dreams are very vivid and clear in my head. I don't always dream about Iraq. It's this job in general. It can be pretty stressful, as you know, but it's no big deal."

"I'm sorry, Auggie," she said as she saw that he was feeling uncomfortable. "I mean, I didn't mean to pry. How about a change of subject? I was wondering if you would be willing to do me a huge favor."

He put his head back up as if he were looking at her and asked, "What can I do for you?"

She responded, "You don't have to, but my sister has been bothering me about not knowing any of my friends. She wants me to bring someone with me to a dinner party she is throwing tomorrow night. It's not a date or anything. Just a get together and I don't want her to think that I have no friends at all."

"I will be happy to go," he replied. "Besides, I'd like to meet your sister. She sounds like she is very special to you, despite her constantly nagging you to start dating again."

"Thank you," Annie said. "I will owe you big time for this and I promise that it won't be too boring."

He put his hand in his jacket pocket and pulled out a small box as he said, "I'm sure that it won't be. By the way, I have something for you. It is just something to congratulate you on working here at the CIA for a year. Congratulations!"

"Auggie, how did you remember," she asked? "I even forgot until now. What is this?"

"It is just the pair of earrings that you were admiring a few weeks ago when the two of us went to go talk to the jeweler for one of your missions," he answered. "Do you remember?"

Annie looked at him in shock and said, "Of course I remember. Auggie, how did you know?"

He replied, "Right before the manger of the shop came up to see us, you quietly said that something was beautiful as you were looking at the jewelry. I know that you meant to say it to yourself, but I couldn't help but overhear you. You know; super hearing. As you walked away to talk to the manager, I walked over to the jeweler behind the counter and asked her what it was you were admiring. I went back the day after to get it. I hope that they are the right ones."

"They are, oh Auggie," she responded as she looked at him in admiration. "Thank you so much."

Auggie stood up and said, "You're welcome. Well, I should probably go see if I can't find someone to bum a ride home from. You may want to get going before Joan decides to have you do something else for her."

"You're right, it's almost seven-thirty," Annie replied. My sister's meeting is at eight-thirty. I will see you in the morning. Get some sleep tonight, Auggie."

"Thanks Annie," he responded.

Auggie walked in the opposite direction from her, as she headed to her car. After she got in, she drove away from work and prepared herself for kids playing and laughing. It's a hard to go from being in a stressful environment at work, to being an aunt to two kids. However, part of her looked forward to feeling like she had somewhat of a normal life.

She walked into her sister's home about thirty-five minutes later to the sound of two girls in the kitchen laughing and making cookies. Her sister yelled down at them from upstairs asking them where they had put her black dress shoes the last time they played dress-up. She came running downstairs a few minutes later and gave her girls each a hug, as did her husband.

Danielle ran up to Annie, gave her a hug, and said, "Thank you so much for looking after our girls, Annie. I appreciate it so much. Oh by the way, did you invite someone for dinner tomorrow night?"

As Annie was about to respond, Danielle's husband interrupted them and said, "I hate to rush you more, but we have to go right now or we will be late."

The woman laughed and Danielle added, "We will talk later. I love you. Bye!"

After her sister left, Annie walked into the kitchen and the girls came running into her arms. They begged her to join them in baking cookies. They told her that their mom said they could bring cookies to school with them for some kind of party they were having. Annie helped them to finish and around nine o'clock she put them to bed. She read them a story and once they were asleep, she left the room and took a seat on the couch in the living room. She pulled a book out from her purse and began to read until her sister came home.

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