In From the Cold

Chapter 11

Alex POV


My first reaction was to go back to Logan's.

Because the idea of spending the night while live on candid camera was a little too much for me.

What was the point?

What did they think we were going to do?

And who had done this?

I mean, the Bureau had been listening for more than two months, and supposedly now we'd earned their trust, so why would they suddenly increase the level of surveillance?

Had we thrown up a red flag when we'd disappeared for the weekend?

Or was the Bureau even behind it?

Maybe it was someone else.

Which brought about even more questions…who?

The NYPD?

No one except Moran and Maas even knew we were working in conjunction with the department.

Anyone who was dirty that was working for them would surely not consider us a threat. They would just be glad that we were gone.

And Maas wouldn't want to record us. For what purpose? To catch us in our relationship so that he could then use it as leverage when we came back?

Did he even know we had a relationship? Although, he had made mention that day, back in Moran's office, that he was aware that I had strong personal feelings for Bobby, but still…it made no sense that he would want to record us.

Besides, he knew that the relationship was our cover, so we would have valid reason for anything that he might catch on tape.

Which left us with…Marcovic? Was he suspicious that we had set him up so he'd sent his people over to check up on us? To what end? Just to get payback for ruining his enterprise?

That thought was a little scary because I had no doubt that he'd killed people for less.

But as far as he knew, we'd been arrested right along with him, so I found it hard to believe that in such a short period of time, he'd figured us out.

Aside from that, guys like him didn't usually pussyfoot around.

If he suspected us, he'd just send someone to kill us.

We discussed the possibilities at length without saying a word and in the end, we decided to stay put.

We held an innocuous conversation in the kitchen about how nice it had been to spend the weekend visiting friends in Jersey.

And then we decided to go to bed.

"I think I'm going to take a shower first," Bobby announced as we headed down the hall.

And I'm sure that it would be an interesting sociological experiment for some eager PhD to learn of how I became instantly turned on by his statement.

How, after only ten weeks, I equated the bathroom to our alone time, and my arousal was like a Pavlovian response.

His bathroom had become my favorite room in the apartment.

"Do you need any help?" I offered.

Even after the incredible weekend we'd spent at Logan's, I was still ready for more. Although I wasn't sure if he could possibly be up to the task, but at the very least, I'd enjoy a few minutes of unsupervised time with him, especially since once we got into bed, we'd be on tape.

"I was hoping you'd ask that," he replied with a smile. He stopped in front of the bathroom door and gestured for me to go in ahead of him.

He closed the door while I turned on the water, grateful that whoever had added the new surveillance devices still had the decency to avoid the bathroom.

The camera in the bedroom was bad enough.

Which sent my mind down that path again…who would do that?

What could possibly happen in our bedroom that would be of any interest to anyone?

"Don't think about it any more tonight," Bobby said as he wrapped his arms around me. "In fact, tonight I don't want you to think about anything at all."

"It's hard to just turn it off," I argued lightly, although as his hands moved underneath my shirt I was beginning to think that it wouldn't be so difficult after all.

"I've got an idea about how to make it happen," he stated confidently.

And it was a damn good idea.

For the next however long, I didn't think about a thing except for how good he was making me feel.

And later, we left the bathroom and got into bed, both of us satiated.

I shoved the idea of the camera out of my head as I quickly drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, we were at the federal building bright and early. I didn't want to wait for nine o'clock since I had a stop to make before meeting up with Stahl.

I was going to complain about Beemer.

I left Bobby in the fourth floor break room while I went up one flight of stairs to talk to SAC Casteel.

"What can I do for you, Agent Eames?" he asked when I entered his office. I'd planned out what I was going to say, but his greeting threw me.

"Agent?" I questioned.

"Aren't you?" he asked me, obviously equally confused. "You do work for us now, don't you?"

"Yes," I replied. "I just…I was told that we didn't have agent status."

"Oh," he said with a nod. "They gave you that whole asset bit, didn't they?"

"Yes sir."

"That's just their way of messing with newbies," he said with a shake of his head. "You know, to establish the hierarchy. No, you're both agents. We'll need to schedule for you both to do your time at Quantico, but in deference to your extended amount of time served with the NYPD, your status is not dependant upon completion of the program. You'll need it, of course, but it's not a top priority."

"Oh, okay," I said blandly as my mind processed his words.

So Stahl and Beemer had been exerting a power play, huh?

"So, getting back on task here, what can I do for you, Agent Eames?" he asked again, and now he was smiling.

Which for some reason, made me suspicious.

I wasn't used to having a boss who was so happy and congenial.

It made me wary.

"Actually, I wanted to make a complaint against Agent Beemer," I told him, and the smile quickly went away.

I explained to him what had happened during the bust on Friday.

"I don't usually like to rat out colleagues, but his behavior was grounds for a law suit," I concluded.

"A law suit? Now, let's not get carried away."

"I'm not saying that I'm going to sue him or the Bureau. But I don't know if he has some kind of dislike for me, or if that's his usual technique," I explained. "And if it is, then maybe he's the one who needs to go to Quantico."

"Point taken, Agent," Casteel told me. "I'll speak with Agent Beemer about the issue and make sure that it doesn't happen again."

"Thank you."

I left Casteel's office and went back down stairs to find Bobby. He had fixed us each a cup of coffee and was glancing over the Times.

"How'd it go?" he asked when he saw me.

"Fine. He'll get a slap on the wrist, maybe."

"He needs to get more than that," Bobby argued. "If I see him do something like that again…"

"If he tries it again, he's going to be walking with a permanent limp," I assured him. "There's no need for you to be the over-protective boyfriend."

"I guess that I can live without being over-protective," he said, as he got up from the table. Then he leaned close to me and added, "As long as I still get to be the boyfriend."

I pulled away from him as he attempted to close the distance between us.

"You are," I said. "But we're also at work."

"Where they know we're a couple," he reminded me with a grin. "We're in the break room. It's not even nine yet."

He had a point. And we were alone.

So I let him kiss me.

Prior to leaving the department, I'd had no idea how affectionate he was.

He liked to touch and be touched, and I don't just mean in the sexual sense.

It was a pleasant discovery, and I had a feeling that it was going to get me into trouble from time to time.

Because a touch from him sent my mind into flashbacks from our weekend. And there were plenty of memories to draw from over that forty-eight hour span.

He had considerable stamina and very few inhibitions, which made for an intoxicating combination.

But we showed restraint this morning and kept the kiss short and mostly innocent, and then we left the break room and headed for the conference room where we were supposed to meet Stahl.

No one was there yet, so we took a seat and sipped on our coffee while we waited.

"Do you think that she'll admit to knowing about the additional surveillance?" I wondered out loud.

"If she does know."

"Who do you think it is?"

"I think it's them," he said after a minute. "But it might not be her. It might be whoever the mole is. Maybe he knew that the Bureau would be pulling their bugs, so the mole wanted to add some of his own."

I nodded thoughtfully at his theory.

It made sense.

"Goren. Eames," Stahl said as she entered the room. "You're early."

"Yes we are," I agreed. "And don't you mean Agents Goren and Eames?"

I'd forgotten to fill Bobby in on that tidbit, so while Stahl had the decency to look slightly embarrassed, I turned away from her and told him about that part of my conversation with Casteel.

"You guys do that to everybody, or just us?" he asked her when I'd finished.

"We were going to tell you today. It's not like it made any difference while you were on that last case," she said dismissively.

"Well, what about the added surveillance?" I asked her. "Is that for everyone, too? Or are we that interesting?"

"What added surveillance?"

We didn't want her to know that we knew about the original bugs. Supposedly, they'd only just been keeping an eye on our place.

But in order to get to the bottom of this, we might have to admit to that knowledge. And we were going to let her know that we'd found a camera.

"There's a camera in our living room," Bobby stated. "Did you think that we wouldn't notice the new book added to my collection?"

The camera had been infused into the spine of the book and made to look like part of the design. It was really fairly high tech, and I was grateful to Jimmy, who was resourceful with his homemade device that detected any equipment that emitted an electronic signal.

Although, Bobby was right. He would've spotted the different book on his shelf.

But the other two cameras weren't quite as obvious and I shuddered to think about what type of footage they might've gotten if we hadn't learned of their existence.

"There's a camera in your apartment?" she asked. And I thought that maybe she was truthful in her surprised response.

"You're going to say that you didn't know?"

"No," she answered. "I promise. We didn't do this."

"Then who did?"

"I don't know."

I caught Bobby's eye and he gave me a nod.

"Were you still listening to us?" I asked her. "Over the weekend?"

"You weren't home over the weekend. Which, by the way, I need to know where you were."

"We were off duty. It's none of your damn business where we were," I retorted, annoyed that she was going to try to shift the focus of the conversation.

"You're Bureau employees," she argued. "That's not a nine to five job."

"So where were you this weekend?" I asked her. "What did you do?"

"I worked."

"Listening to us?" Bobby questioned. "Waiting for us to come home?"

"No," she denied. And then she sighed and looked at the floor for a minute before re-establishing eye contact. "No, but yes, they have been recording everything. Give me a few minutes, and I'll skim the tapes."

She started for the door, but I called out to her.

"What did you guys think you were going to hear? Why are you recording us?"

"We had to be sure that we could trust you."

"Why? What do you have to hide?"

"Nothing. It's SOP for transferred agents, ones who didn't go through Quantico," she insisted. "I'll be back in ten minutes."

"She's lying," I said once she was gone.

"Uh huh," Bobby agreed. "But I don't think she's lying about the camera. I don't think she knew about it."

"Beemer?"

"I don't know," he admitted with a shake of his head.

We tossed about ideas for several minutes, discussing potential suspects until we were interrupted.

"Agent Eames?"

I looked up to see a young woman sticking her head in the door.

"Yes," I replied.

"HR needs you to come in to get a photo for your ID. It's on the second floor."

"Right now?"

"That's what I was told, yes ma'am."

"Me, too?" Bobby asked her.

"Um…no sir. Just Agent Eames."

I looked at Bobby and shrugged and then got up from the table.

"It shouldn't take but a minute," I told him. "I'll be right back."

But before I could leave, Stahl returned, so I waited to hear what she had to say.

"There's nothing there," she said.

"You went through the whole weekend? Because we weren't there until last night, so any sound you heard before then would be suspect."

"There's nothing at all. The tapes have been erased."

"Erased?" I asked sharply. "So it was one of you."

"One of us?"

"How else do you explain it? I'm sure there's nothing else missing from the last ten weeks worth of tapes, is there? And who else would even know the tapes existed except a Bureau employee?"

"Well, you two know."

"So you think we bugged ourselves? That's ridiculous. And not only that, but how would we manage to erase the tapes?"

"How did you know they were there in the first place?" she countered.

"Where was Agent Beemer this weekend," I asked her instead of answering her question.

"You think that he's behind this?"

"I don't know. Do you?"

"No, of course not.

"You know that I filed a complaint against him this morning, right?"

"For this? But you have know idea whether he did it or not!"

"Not for this," Bobby corrected. "For sexual assault."

"Are you talking about what happened when he arrested you?"

"Yes," I told her. "And since that was your first assumption, I can only guess that it doesn't come as much of a surprise to you."

"He's just overly cautious," she said. "He got burned once when he missed a needle on a drug addict. Surely you know that he didn't mean anything by it."

"Yeah, I'm sure that's it. He just wanted to make sure I didn't have a needle," I replied smartly. "We're on the same team. He didn't really need to pat me down!"

"He had to make it look good. Alex, I'm telling you, he's a good agent. And a good guy."

"So you're sure that he's not the one behind the camera," Bobby said.

"I'm sure."

"Okay, then start us a suspect list. Who is it if it's not him?" I asked.

"Agent Eames."

It was the young secretary again.

"Yes?"

"I'm sorry, but HR is waiting for you."

"I've been a damn asset for ten weeks and suddenly they can't wait five minutes to make me an agent?" I grumbled. Then I added, "Fine. I'm going."

"HR?" Stahl asked.

"I have to get my picture taken," I explained in annoyance. "Maybe I should tell them to just pull a still from the footage in my apartment."

I said goodbye to Bobby with a pointed look and a small nod, and then I headed for the stairwell.

And I was slightly distracted.

Which is probably how he got the drop on me.

I was in between the third and second floors when I suddenly found myself face first against the brick wall.

"You fucking reported me? To Casteel?"

It was Beemer, of course, and he had me flattened against the wall in a classic arrest position.

Or maybe not so classic, because no cop I knew would ever get quite so close to a suspect.

He held my wrists in his hands, and he pushed his body into mine, nearly knocking the wind out of me.

"Yes, I did," I managed to say. "And it looks like you're writing your own suspension order right now."

"He put a warning in my file," he told me, and while he talked, he scraped my hands along the wall, pulling them together over my head.

He was a lot stronger than he looked, and even though I wasn't really fighting him just yet, I was a little concerned.

I was waiting for the right moment to go at him, but the way he kept himself draped over me was making it hard for me to think of a viable option.

I had no room to maneuver.

"And you know that's bullshit. Because believe me, if I wanted to feel you up, I would've done it," he said.

And by this point, he had my hands together, and he managed to grab onto both of my wrists with one hand, freeing up his other hand which he promptly ran down my side.

I was so close against the wall that it kept him from reaching around to the front of me, but it didn't keep him from shifting himself slightly so that he could move his hand over my ass.

I was going to have to kill him.

He pulled his hand away and moved his body against me again, putting his mouth close to my ear.

"I wanted to see if you had a weapon," he said. "Because you know that you weren't supposed to. You were directed to go in unarmed, because your fellow agents had your back. But I felt your little secret, didn't I? You had one strapped to your thigh. So tell me…why are you working for us if you don't trust us?"

"I've only ever trusted a couple of people to watch my back," I ground out. "And none of them ever pinned me up against a wall. So, you're not really very trustworthy, are you? It looks like my gut was right."

And as I said the words, I tugged slightly with my left hand in a lame attempt to free myself.

And he fell for it. The oldest trick in the book. They really did need to send this guy back to Quantico.

He adjusted his grip to better hold onto my left hand, and that was when I jerked hard with my right hand.

It slipped loose from his grip, and I used the downward momentum to elbow him in the gut.

He immediately let go of my other hand as he took a step back, so I turned around quickly.

He was slightly hunched over trying to catch his breath, and I really, really wanted to hit him, but I didn't.

I didn't want to leave a mark.

So instead, I grabbed his shoulders, holding him in place as I kicked him in the groin as hard as I could.

He immediately went down to the floor.

"The next time you touch me, it'll be the very last thing you do," I warned. "Do you understand me?"

"I got it," he groaned.

I stepped over him so that I could continue down the stairs, and he called out to me.

"I'm watching you, Eames. You're up to something."

"Right back at you, Beemer."


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