"Click on the PDF." Paige scooted closer to Mike on the floor of his bedroom, his laptop still propped up between the two of them.
"It says that we would already need to be approved as a foster home."
Paige sighed. "I know that this is a long shot... we're not even a-" She cut herself off.
"Not even a what?" Mike asked inquisitively. He looked over to her, wanting her to continue. He knew what she was thinking. They weren't even officially a couple.
"I just- it just seemed to have moved very quickly, Mike. We're not legally together; you don't even technically live here anymore; we just aren't going to get approval." She threw her head back and sighed up at the ceiling before checking Mike's cell. "This is why undercover agents don't have families..."
"I'm not on salary as an undercover agent anymore, Paige."
Jaw dropped, she stared at him. How could she have forgotten? She wanted to ask him right then and there if he was still seriously considering moving back to DC. He would never admit it, but she knew that he was bored with the desk job. Would he have to take Jessie to DC? Could she move to DC herself? Could Mike drop his undercover work and stay in Cali?
"You lose the undercover job," Paige began, "and you would have to leave Graceland."
"I know that, Paige," he said a little too harshly. He immediately regretted it. "Jessie could be a permanent CI? How easy would it be to take down some serious soccer-mom drug rings if you had a kid on the team?" He was laughing, trying to lighten the tension.
"The major take-down of my career," she said sarcastically. "Jessie is not a prop."
"I know that." Mike took hold of Paige's arm, slowly moving his fingers over her skin in a gentle caress. "I'm just trying to make sense of all of this," he said softly.
She checked the phone again.
"Paige, he still hasn't-"
The buzzing of the phone silenced them both. Paige stared down at the screen and read quickly. "It's an address. That's it. It's the address."
Mike took the phone from her and typed the address into the web browser, pulling up a map to see where Briggs was. "It says it's twenty-five minutes from here," Mike told her.
Paige popped up to her feet. "Well, let's go. If he's leaving that's thirty minutes of undocumented..."
Mike stood up with his laptop now closed and tucked under his arm. "No, you're too hot."
"No, Paige, like hot. You're too emotionally invested. You should stay here and wait for Briggs to get back."
"I'm emotionally invested? And you're not too hot to go?"
"I didn't say I was going..."
"Briggs texted you. You're going." She almost gave him the phone back, but tucked it into her front pocket instead. "And I'm coming with you."
There was knocking on the door. "Yo! Can I come in, or are you two..."
"What, Johnny?!" Mike yelled to him through the door.
Johnny slammed the door open and looked quickly back and forth between the two of them. "I just got a text from Barone. Wants me to come over tomorrow. Says he has replacement product."
"That's great, Johnny," Paige said, her eyes gleaming. In all of the drama, she had forgotten how much she wanted to catch the bastard.
"What, John?" Mike asked, noticing that he was hesitant to continue with his announcement.
"H-he said, that I'll get to meet his... kid."
"He knows where she is?!" Mike yelled at him.
"I don't know!" Johnny yelled back. "He thinks he's gonna find out soon though!"
Paige turned to Mike. "Warren. Car. Now."
"Did Briggs send you the address?"
"Yeah," Mike said, "We are going to go watch the house." He grabbed his car keys, wallet, and his laptop. "Let us know when Briggs gets back."
"Us?" Paige asked him, a smile sneaking onto his face.
"Yeah, us. Come on." The two of them moved past Johnny and ran down the stairs and out to the car.
Jessie had remained quiet after Briggs left. The new lady holding her reminded her of Paige. How she spoke. How she rocked back and forth whispering to her. But Jessie still hadn't looked at any of them.
She listened carefully across the room when the boy had started to read the book, but she didn't know what he was talking about and kept her head buried.
"Do you want to see your room?" the nice lady asked her. Jessie didn't nod, but the woman stood up with her anyway and walked for a few seconds. Jessie could feel that the woman had sat down on a bed. "Do you want me to stay with you more?" she asked.
Jessie didn't answer her.
"Do you want some time by yourself to go through your bag and take out your toys to play with? We have some books and toys in here for you already too; you can see if you like any of them." She tried to be upbeat with the girl, and was delighted when Jessie nodded slightly.
She placed Jessie down next to her on the bed and slowly stood up, making sure that the girl was ok with not being held.
Jessie rolled over to her stomach, hiding her eyes and covering herself with Paige's blanket, still refusing to look.
"You can take a nap if you want," she said softly. "Your bag is right next to you if you need anything from it."
Jessie heard the door close and waited a few more minutes before squinting around the room to make sure that she was alone.
She sat up and slowly opened her eyes. The room was smaller than the one she had stayed in at Graceland, but it still seemed big to her.
The walls were beige and there was a basket across from the bed with a few stuffed animals in it. She reached over for the bag on the bed and unzipped the duffel.
She carefully emptied the bag, putting the clothes in little piles on the bed, and smiled when she saw that three of the books she had read with Paige and Johnny were at the bottom of the bag.
She slid them under the pillow at the head of the bed and flipped the bag upside down to see if there was anything else left.
Jessie was pleased with herself when she saw the small black square-shaped battery fall out onto some of her shirts. She picked it up and investigated it before sliding it into a pocket in her shorts.
Leaving the other items on the bed, she wiggled underneath the comforter and laid her head back on the pillow. She slid out a book and read it to herself, hoping that no one would try to come talk to her.
She looked over to the open window frequently, wondering if she would be able to see Mike's car from where she was.
Unfortunately, her nerves prevented her from walking over to the window to see for herself.