Am I A Ghost Or Real?

Get Out Alive

"Are you sure of your decision?" Stevens asks as she sips her coffee.

It's early on monday morning and I just gave her a call before my shift starts to tell her of my decision.

"Yes I am." I confirm with a nod.

"There's nothing we can do to change your mind?" She asks to make sure.

"No. When I left, I left for the wrong reasons. You told me that yourself. I have reasons to stay now." I explain to her my decision.

"Tell you what. Finish this assignment, in one piece, and then if you still want to leave, you got it." Stevens tries to strike a deal. I'm sure she wouldn't want me to leave.

When I was first recruited into the agency, she was what I am now, a good undercover spy. She trained me a few times. In a way we're friends. And now I'm one of their best in the agency, they would let me go, but they won't be happy about.

"I can live with that." I agree to her suggestion.

"So is the pathologist the reason for your decision?" Stevens asks me. She says it in a knowing tone with a gentle smile.

"Maybe." I stay vague and she just chuckles.

"You like your detective job?"

"It's okay." I answer her. "I was thinking maybe after this mission, I'd join the academy and be a cop, then build my way up."

"Charlie. You don't need to go to the academy or be a cop, you already are more than qualified to be a detective." She reminds me and she's right.

"I know but it'd be like a fresh start then." I explain and she nods in understanding.

"Even if you leave. You'll always be one of us." She tells me. "Now go before you're late to your shift."

"Thank you. We'll talk later." I then wave at the screen and leave the basement. It's time for my late shift today.

I get in my car and think of the fact that once this is all over, I could just drive my own car then, the one I like best. I plug my phone into the car computer, I turn the ignition on and blast my iPod with the top off. I"m probably going to disturb lot of people. But I needed something to keep my realization that I'll be here, for a while, that I'll be here, where Holly is. That I've already assumed that this is the real deal. I'll be here where Elaine can watch and judge. I'll be here and once this is done, either they'll think I got demoted or know who I really have been al this time. But for now, I need to be careful, cover blown, people at risk. That's how they connect. And I can't have people at risk. Especially not Holly. But on the bright side, when all this is over, I can tell her the truth, and hope she forgives me for lying.

Speaking of Holly. My phone started ringing. I'd usually ignore it while driving, but the computer tells me it's Holly. I grab the bluetooth and once it's on I lower the music volume and tell the computer to answer.

"Hey you." I greet her.

"Hey yourself." She greets back.

"How's work?" I ask her remembering that she went into work early.

"Taking a break." She answers and I check the watch to realize it's 12:30PM.

"Have lunch yet?" I ask, wishing if she'd said no I'd be able to come have lunch with her. I would've even suggested it, if we weren't swamped with research these past two days. If I didn't have to go into work today I'd probably still be behind a computer decoding things and trying to find answers.

"Not yet." She tells me and I groan. Like really groan. "What?"

"I so want to say I'm on my way and I'll grab lunch on the way. But I can't. My shift starts now." I whine and she chuckles. I can almost imagine the smile that takes over her face.

'I wish so too. But it's okay, I'm gonna order something in. You try to be safe today." She reassures me and orders me to be safe.

"I will. I'll do my best." I assure her and then remember that she had a baby shower yesterday. "How was the baby shower?"

"Boring, and annoying." She exhales.

"What? Why? Aren't they your friends?" I ask as I pul over into the parking lot of the station.

"Yeah, they were just nagging." She says in a 'I don't want to admit it's a big deal but it is' way.

"I can always find ways to arrest them." I offer as a way to lighten the mood.

"I'll let you know." She answers as she chuckles. "They're making me go out for drinks with them later." She exhales as she says that.

"You don't sound happy about that." I note.

"It's probably a trick and some blind date will show up." She tells me. "Even though I told them I was seeing someone, but they don't believe me."

"You're seeing someone?" I tease. "Who?"

"Gail." She deadpans. I guess she's not in a mood for games. This must be more serious then.

"So they think I'm a ghost?" I ask.

"Yes."

"Why?"

"They don't believe I'd have time to find someone on my own." She says.

"Ouch. I have a feeling I won't like those friends of yours." I'm sure of that. "They're not the same as last time, are they?"

"No. These have been my best friends since college." When she says that I scoff. I was going to say something witty and probably out of place, but I bight my tongue.

"Where are you guys meeting up?" I ask.

"At Paddy's."

"You think they'd mind if I crash your get together?" I'm not usually great at meeting my date's friends. But these people are hurting Holly without even realizing it. Someone needs to put them in place.

"Are you serious?" Her tone sounded hopeful, which was good.

"If you don't mind."

"I'm always okay with seeing you." She admits and I smile at that.

"Good. So I'm gonna get to work, and pray that this shift doesn't drag on for more than eight hours. And by nine or so, I'll meet you at Paddy's. And I expect a kiss as greeting." I tell her the plan.

"Deal."

"I guess I'll see you later then, Nerd." I tease.

"See you later, detective." She says. "Oh and Gail. Be careful." She adds before I hang up.

"I'll do my best." I try to reassure her again and with that we hang up and I make my way into the precinct.

I greet Chloe, who was behind the entrance desk, as she buzzes me in. And I make my way towards the detective's offices. When I walk in I find Traci and Sam sitting on chairs being Dov, who was sitting by the computer doing some work, with Nick leaning on a desk next to Traci and Andy standing behind Sam.

"What's up?" I ask them as I pull up a chair and sit behind my desk.

"You know the Bowman case?" Traci asks as she faces me.

"Yeah. The guy you guys have been after for like six months, right?" I confirm.

"Yeah, and now we've got the evidence we need. It's on this flash drive. One of our inside people managed to snatch it." Traci explains as she points happily at the hard drive.

"What's computer boy doing?" I ask nodding towards Dov.

"The file is encrypted." Traci answers.

So I get up and take a look behind Dov's shoulder at the screen, and see that the files are really encrypted. If Dov isn't careful, the file will ruin itself.

"It looks like it's really encrypted. Might take weeks if you're not well acquainted with these things. Are you sure a professional wouldn't be better to look at it?" I ask hoping they'd listen to my suggestion. They don't know I'm good with these things, and after joining the agency, I've gotten even better. Nick however knows, and I can see him giving me curious looks.

"Well I figured I'd give it a try, if I fail, then we send it to someone else." Dov says as he shrugs. As I take another look at what he's doing I become sure he's going to fail and ruin the files. He has no idea what he's doing.

"Okay. Your call." I shrug and go back to my seat.

No one seems to pay me any attention, except for Nick. Oh no, he's going to ask me about this. He keeps watching me curiously.

"What?" I ask him finally, after his stares had become too annoying.

"You know something." He says, with his eyes still curious.

"What would I know?"

"You know how to decode the files, don't you?" Shit, why'd I ever let him know things about me?

"No, I don't." I answer flatly as I open up a file.

"Yes you do." He calls my bluff and I simply give him a defying look. "If it was your call then, what would you do?" He asks then knowing that since it wasn't my call I wouldn't interfere.

"You know how to decode these?" Andy asks incredulously. I guess it wasn't expected for me to know.

"Damn you Nick." I mutter, so only he could here.

Andy then smacks Dov on the shoulder. "Let Gail try." She tells him.

"Right." He says sarcastically as he ignores her and keeps typing the wrong codes.

"Oh for God's sake stop typing. Four more lines of wrong typing and your files are gonna be damaged." I warn Dov then. His ignorance was annoying me, and not believing someone like me would know how to do something like this was even more annoying.

He ignores me though and keeps typing.

Nick however grabs his wrists to stop him.

"Dov, stop. Get up." He warns him. The detectives give me a questioning look while Dov looks in disbelief at Nick.

"I had this." Dov tries to defend.

"Trust me, you didn't." Nick says and then gives him this warning look.

"Yes I did." I guess Dov didn't get the warning.

"By all means then. Nick let him do his job. He says he had it, let him finish. I'm sure the files will be fine, since he's sure." I say with a sarcastic, cynic tone. Nick let's Dov go and looks at me with eyes that say 'do something'.

"Like I said, not my call." I remind him as I glance at the other two detectives.

Dov however takes his seat back.

"Really? Really Dov? What if she's right?" Andy asks him before he could pick up his typing.

"Really, this is easy. See? at the bottom, It's hex. Not much of hard encryption." He reasons with her as he points at a line of numbers on the screen and I just roll my eyes at him, an act which Traci catches.

"What?" She asks, and it takes me a couple of seconds to realize her question was aimed at me.

"That's decimal." I answer and the second I say it Sam's hands shoot up to stop Dov from typing anything.

"Explain." He says to me once he's sure Dov won't type anything more.

"See the top, the file shows damage secured. You mess up with the decoding and it gets damaged. If you try the password instead of trying to hack into it, then three wrongs and it damages too." I explain as I approach the screen and point at specific parts of the encryption.

"Can you crack it?" Sam releases Dov's hands and asks me.

"Yes. Might take a couple of hours though." I confess as Nick gives me a triumphant smile. I just give him a glare.

"Dov, get up." Sam snaps his fingers and Dov does as he's told. I take his place then and erase everything he'd already put in, and get to work.

Everyone in the room stays and starts up their own conversations, some of the conversations were about this case, others weren't. I try to ignore them as I work on the decoding. They then decide to have lunch there in the office, since they were too busy to have it before. When Traci asks me if I wanted anything, I thank her, telling her I already ate. Nick however tells her to get him the large pizza, I'd surely change my mind and eat then. He also brings me a coffee.

He was right, when the food arrived, I did have a couple of pizza slices as I kept working on the encryption. And as promised, two hours later, I was done.

"We're in. Here are your files." I tell them as I start opening the files. "Make a copy just in case." I add as Traci hands me another flash drive to do as I suggested.

"Genius! You have to teach me how to do these things." Dov says as he takes a look at the screen. I guess that's his way of admitting he was wrong and that I'm awesome. I just give him a smile at that.

"Did we get him?" Sam asks hopeful.

"Oh yes. The money laundering is here. The weapon smuggling. The drug shipments. Even the missions they have planned." I confirm to him as I start pointing at the parts of the files he'll need. You've got everything you need to take him out, along with everyone who works for him."

"Parade room, now. Get the others." Sam orders as he gets up and walks out of the office.

"Gail, you might want to come too and explain what you got here." Traci tells me as she gets up to follow Sam. Andy and Dov just follow them.

"Glad to see you're still good with computers." Nick teases me.

"Just go." I tell him as I point at the door and follows the order and walks out.

The second we enter the parade room, a lot of the other officers are already in there.

"Nick, get Frank, he needs to be here for this." Sam tells Nick once he spots him at the doorway.

"Yes sir." Nick nods and walks out. I walk towards Traci then and stand next to her. I scan the faces in the room and I am not sure if I was relieved or not to see that Jameson isn't one of them.

"We have a big arrest to do today. Might not be an easy arrest. I want everyone to Gear up. We've got all we need to take Jonathan Bowman down." Sam starts off by informing everyone in the room.

"Our guy on the inside has got his hands on something that will put Bowman in prison for a long time, along with his men. So it won't be easy. We're going to go after several people here." Traci adds to what Sam said as she nods at me to explain what we have on him.

"Bowman has been transferring his money to an Alias name. Stealing from clients, and using the money to buy imported illegal weapons. They've been using it all to hide their drug shipments, which come through fishing boats…" Before I could explain more about how the process works my phone beeps three times. I stop and wait. This is the emergency tone we use at the agency through the agency app. If it beeps two more times than it's urgent. Two seconds later, it beeps two more times. I could see everyone giving me questioning looks as I reach for my phone. I'm pretty sure a detective in briefing shouldn't reach for their phone.

I ignore their looks as I reach for my phone and unlock it cautiously. I find a message from agent 687, Scott Aldrin. Another agent I worked with a while ago. He was on the field near me. He was one of the undercover agents working on the secret gang with the tattoo. They were given the names of the agents near them who were on other cases, in case they were facing an emergency. A life threatening emergency.

I open the text and it says: code grey.

And with that the locater map is activated. This means that scott only pressed a button, and the nearest person to him gets notified automatically. Code grey means he's injured, and someone's going to kill him, and he probably could hold whoever it is off for fifteen minutes. After that, if not helped he'd be dead.

As I check the address I realize it'll take 15 minutes alone to get there, unless I hurry and drive fast. So I put the phone away. Ignore everyone and run.

"Gail." Traci calls after me and I ignore her as I reach the door where Frank and Nick were about to go in. I ignore them as I keep running.

"Gail." Nick calls out too. But I could hear his footsteps following me. I don't have time to stop and talk. Not even to tell him to keep out of this.

Soon I hear two footsteps running behind me. I ignore everyone, and keep running.

I reach the detectives car assigned to me, sirens might be needed for this, I unlock it and quickly take a seat. As I put the key in the ignition the passenger door opens and Nick gets in.

"Get out of the car Nick." I warn him as I turn on my car.

"What's going on?" Nick asks refusing to listen to me.

Just then the back door opens and Traci gets in.

"Gail, what was that back then?" Traci asks.

"Just get out of the car, both of you." I warn them through gritted teeth.

"Not until you tell me what's going on." Traci dead pans and I growl.

"I don't have time for this. If you're not leaving then close the fucking doors." I growl out and they close their doors. I don't wait for them to say anything, i just put the car on drive and drive as fast as I can out of the parking and towards my destination. blasting the sirens on once I'm away from the precinct.

"What's the hurry?" Nick asks a minute later.

I ignore him though. Traci asks a bunch of other questions. I ignore her too. Once we get there, if they follow me in, they'll know who I am, what I am. I don't have permission to tell them, but this is out of my hands. We always save our own. And they're cops. Most of the times, they know who we are. I just hope they listen to me and stay in the car. Maybe I'll get to lock it before they can get out.

I'm pretty sure that the code grey has reached base. They are aware that it was sent to me. They must know I'm on my way.

Marcus. He doesn't know. He's CIA, not like us. I need to tell him.

I grab my bluetooth and ask it to dial Marcus.

"Hello." He greets.

Before he could say anything else I let out "Code Grey."

He was well aware of what our codes meant. He had to know them the second we were partnered.

"Location?" He asks me.

I tell him where.

"How long ago?" He asks.

"Maybe 6 minutes."

"How far are you?"

"I'm going as fast as I can, so maybe five minutes." I tell him.

"I'll meet you there." He says and then hangs up.

"What's a code grey?" Nick asks. I keep my silence though and ignore him.

Nick must have seen the panicked look I had, which is why he followed me. I'm guessing Traci followed me because she's dating Steve and since I hurt him before, she probably feels like she should keep an eye on me. Besides my sprinting out of the room like that with a panicked look on my face after reading a text wasn't a good thing to do. Traci must have thought someone was hurt, or I had an emergency and she probably wanted to help, for Steve's sake.

I just hope I'm not leading them to their death. Because right now, I'm going in blind.

Five minutes later I reach the location, which happened to be a warehouse. I get out and grab my gun out and make sure it's loaded and ready. Traci and Nick leave the car too.

"Gail." Nick starts and I give in.

"Look, I'm going to ask and hope that you two stay in the car." I say to them. "But if you refuse to listen and want to follow me in there, then you better have your weapons in your hands and ready to use. Because whoever's in there is armed, and won't be happy to see us."

"Who's in there? Why are we here?" Traci asks.

"I'll explain later. Right now, we're running out of time." And with that said I get in the offense position as I walk towards the entrance to the warehouse and sneak it. Sure enough I hear Traci and Nick behind me.

I motion to them to be as silent as possible. I then start my exploration of the warehouse, until I hear a noise coming from the back. I make my way towards it quietly, with Traci and Nick on my trail.

Once I make it to the back, we hide behind a container and I peek my head out to see what's happening. And sure enough Scott was behind held by the arms by two men as he knelt on the floor. He looked so beaten and weak. While another man stood in front of him. The guy in front of him then lowers his head and bends his back until he's eye leveled with Scott.

"One last chance, who are the others in our ranks?" The guy asks and Scott remains silent.

Traci and Nick attempt to move but I reach my hand up to warn them to stay put. We won't go in until I'm sure these are the only ones here. With that I scan the area quickly with my eyes to make sure it's only them and us.

"You spies are well trained to hold against torture. Shame that they can't teach you how to cheat death." The man says after a few seconds of silence as he raises his gun towards Scott's head.

Before I finish my scan of the area I charge ahead with my gun ready.

"Drop the weapon." I warn him, and Traci and Nick take the same position I'm in, as they stand by my side and point their guns at the other two.

The guy turns around then and holds his gun up.

"Ah officers." He says as he notices Nick's uniform. "How unlucky of you to interrupt." With that said I hear another gun as it points to my head.

I guess the gun only pointed at me. There was only one other guy. Traci and Nick were safe.

"How about you drop your weapons." The guy behind me says. Traci and Nick bend down then to place their weapons on the ground and kick them to the side.

I, however give the guy in the front a smile as I twirl around faster than any of them can react. and grab the hand of the guy behind me. The hand that was holding the gun, as I point it towards one of the guys holding Scott as the trigger gets pulled. The guy goes down. As I use my gun to shoot the other one at the same time.

"Take cover." I bark at Traci and Nick as I twirl the guy behind me to my front as the guy with the gun fires at me, several shots. But they hit the guy I was using as shield. One bullet however strays and scratches my arm. The guy keeps firing though.

"You're not a cop, you're one of them aren't you?" The guy firing asks loudly. A few seconds later the shooting stops. I guess he ran out of bullets.

I drop the body in my hands to the ground and lift my gun towards the other guy as he tries to load up his gun.

"You're right. I'm one of them." I inform him before I shoot him, right in the heart.

Once he drops, I make sure he's dead. "Gail?" Traci calls for me then as she and Nick come out from their cover.

I wave her worry off and kneel towards Scott.

"Hey Aldrin." I greet him once I see he's still conscious.

"Sawyer." He whispers out.

"Hang in there." I tell him before I whip out my phone to make a call.

"Stevens." Caroline answers her phone on the first ring.

"Requesting a medical team, to code grey location as soon as possible." I tell her urgently.

A few seconds later she answers me. "Medical team will be there shortly. How's the agent?" She asks me.

"Alive."

"You?" She asks.

"I'm okay." Then I glance up towards Nick and Traci. "But I might have a situation. Cover has been compromised. Two of the 15 members have followed me here." I inform her as Nick raises his eyebrows in question.

"Do you trust them?"

"Yes."

"Can you tell them as little as possible and still have them trust you?" She asks.

"Yes."

"Then I trust you to know what to tell them." She gives me the okay to inform them what I think is necessary. "A medical team will be there to make sure all of you are okay."

"Thank you."

"Are there any bodies?"

"Three." They probably will need to send someone to take care of those too.

"Another team will be there to clean up the scene. Your sergeant will be called to cover up for you and your two friends." And with that she hangs up.

I then call Marcus.

"I'm outside," he answers.

"Threat eliminated, he's alive. Medical team on the way." I tell him.

"I'll wait for the medical team and come in with them." He hangs up.

I put my phone in my pocket.

"Shouldn't we call the station?" Traci asks. "Call this in?"

Nick then reaches for the radio attached to him.

"Don't!" I warn before he could speak into it. "This is not a police matter, and it will be taken care of."

"Gail, there are three bodies. SIU will need to know as well." Traci tries to reason with me.

"They have no business in this matter." I tell her. "Look, I'll explain later, I promise. As soon as a medical team comes in to take him away."

Scott then reaches for my arm to get my attention.

"They have some other names." He chokes out.

"Whose names?" I ask him.

"Others undercover like me, among them. They need to be warned before they get killed." Scott says as he winces between words.

"What are the names?"

He lists to me six names and I pull out my phone again and call Stevens. I tell her what Scott said and she promises to get them out.

"Sawyer." He says once I hang up.

"Yes?"

"They have a list of other names. People who are not on the inside but like us. They don't know what they look like or what their missions are though."

"Do you know what their names are?" I ask with the phone still in my hands in case I need to call Stevens to tell her more information.

"No. I never got to look at it. They got to me first, but it could be any one of us on it." He informs me and I get his drift.

"Even my name could be on it." I say, not ask and he nods.

"Well let's hope not. Besides, whatever name they have, it's not even my real name." I attempt humor and he smiles a bit. "And now they'll just think you've killed three men and run off."

"Let's hope that's what they think." He says, and at that time the medical team walks in with Marcus by their side.

The team hurries to Scott's side and helps him sit up. Then they proceed a few more check ups. Marcus asks me if I'm okay once he arrives and I nod my confirmation. He notices Traci and Nick and gives me a questioning look which I wave off.

"You're hurt," he notes as he sees my wince when I lift my arm to wave him off.

"It's nothing, just a scratch." I try to play it like it's no big deal. I've had worse. This is nothing in comparison to the other situations.

He however ignores my words and waves for one of the medicals to check up on me.

"Are you two okay?" He asks Traci and Nick when the medical staff reaches me and they both confirm that no medical assistance will be needed for them.

I take my jacket off as Carmen, as the medical staff introduced herself, asks.

She then lifts my arm up a bit for a better look.

"It looks like the bullet went through, it's a superficial wound, but I will need to clean it up and bandage it."

She then gets to work, cleaning the wound and then bandaging my arm where the wound is.

When she's done she gets up to help the others with movie Scott.

"I'll go with him. Meet at the house in a few, they come too." Marcus announces as he points at Traci and Nick and then walk out with the others.

"Come on. We have some talking to do." I then lead them out towards the car as we all get in, and I drive in silence towards my house.

Once we're seated in my living room I start my explanations.

"This is the safest place to talk about this." I start as I take off my jacket and place it on the couch edge.

"About what?" Nick asks.

"Five years ago, when I didn't come back, it wasn't because I was hurt. I mean, I was hurt, but not hurt enough to just stay away for long. I stayed away cause I took a job that required me to stay away. I joined the intelligence agency in Canada." I pause and wait for their reaction, and they both sport a confused one then.

"Which is not the intelligence department we work with at times?" Nick asks for elaboration.

"No. Spy agency. National security, undercover work." I tell him.

"Why?" Traci asks. "Why'd you join them?"

"It's not like I planned on it. Some guys saw what I could do and offered me a job, I took it. It was all by chance." I say.

"You stayed away because you had a dangerous job." Traci notes and I nod.

"Yes. I couldn't tell them about it, so I couldn't come back." I confirm.

"And that guy back there…?" Nick trails off with his question and I answer it with a nod.

"He's one of us."

"Gail, he has that tattoo. The others had it too." Traci noticed then.

"Yes. But he was undercover. The others were bad men. I can't tell you what that tattoo means, but I can tell you that it's not a good thing. His cover was blown and they were going to kill him, just like they did the other two." That said, I get up and make my way towards the kitchen and grab three beers out of the fridge. I'm guessing this will be a long conversation. So I hand each a beer and take back my seat on the couch.

"Why are you back now?" Nick asks as he takes a sip of his beer.

"I didn't plan on coming back, but a mission led me here."

"So you're undercover?"

"Undercover as myself, yes." I chuckle lightly.

"Sawyer. Is that like your spy name?" Traci asks.

"Yes." I confirm.

"What's the mission?" Nick tries for more information.

"Can't tell you, I don't want to put anyone in danger of it, or let anyone jeopardize this mission." I say in an apologetic tone.

"So after this mission's done, you leave? again?" Traci asks once a bit of realization hits her.

"No. Not this time. I think I'll be staying. Maybe give up the spy life for the cop life." That seemed to be a pleasing answer.

They then ask me a few more questions, simple ones, about my training, some missions I've been on and how many times I've been shot. (the last one was from Nick.)

After a few more minutes of conversation, Marcus arrives.

"The backstory you guys will be going with is that you got a 911 text with a code red from one of your cop friends who was undercover in the city. He texts you because you're the only one he knows and trusts here. You rushed to help, and considering these two followed, they helped too." Marcus tells me our cover story that Stevens probably already informed Frank of.

"When you get to the station, the three of you need to meet your staff sergeant, and there are some fake paper work to be filled." He adds to his information and I nod at him.

"Guys, this is probably a lot to ask, but can you tell no one of who I am? And leave the talking to Frank about this to me? I'm undercover as a detective for a reason. Which is why no one can know who I am or why I'm there. Not even Steve." I point out when I notice Traci about to object. "Other lives will be at risk if this cover is blown and my mission will be lost. And if I could tell you more I would, but I can't. Maybe after this mission is done, I could explain more." I add.

"Yeah, no worries." Nick confirms my request.

After a few more minutes of chatting with Marcus. We make our way back to the precinct. And when we meet up with Frank, as promised, I do all the talking. Frank gave me the day off tomorrow, since I was shot, and even though it was superficial wound, he would still want me to rest.

When everyone asks what happened and where we've been, I give them the same backstory I gave to Frank and Traci and Nick go along with it.

And then When we ask about their bust, Sam announces it was a success.

And then by the time it's 9PM, I finally get in my car and drive towards Paddy's where Holly will be.

-

The bar seemed to be crowded for a monday night.

I scan the room, in hopes of spotting Holly and after a few seconds I find her seated at one of the tables in the middle, with a dark skinned woman on one side, while another brunette sat on her other side. And she had her chin resting on one of her hands, as her face sported a bit of an irritated expression.

I guess they're annoying her.

I decide to save her and make my way towards her.

Once I'm only a few steps away, she notices me and her face completely lights up.

"Hey." She greets me once I'm close to her.

"Hey yourself." I greet back as I lean in and peck her lips.

"I'm happy you made it." She tells me and she sounded relieved I made it.

"Me too." I then give her another peck on the lips.

Holly then turns towards her friends to make introductions.

"Gail, these are my best friends, this is Lisa," She introduces me to the brunette first. "And this is Rachel." She then introduces me to the other one.

"Nice to meet you" I give a small smile as I let my hand drop to my sides, so that I could reach out and grab Holly's hand.

"And Gail, you are?" Lisa asks with a note so friendly tone.

I guess I was right, I so won't be getting along with her.

"Dating Holly." I tell her as I squeeze Holly's hand just a bit and she squeezes back.

"How long have you been dating?" She continues the questions.

"A while." I stick to short answers.

"I'm glad you're real. For a second we thought Holly was lying." Rachel decides to speak before Lisa could say more.

"I'm not a ghost. Don't worry. I'm real." I say as I give Holly a smile and inform her I'll be going to get a drink from the bar.

I'm pretty sure a drink will be needed if I need to get through this night with the friends.

It was getting hot in the bar, but I couldn't take off my jacket, I keep it on, cause I don't want Holly seeing the bandaged arm yet. Holly notices though, and I just brush it off as being cold.

So I focus on her friends, to ignore the heat.

Lisa was snobby. She was a doctor, plastics. Figures.

Rachel was okay, kind of.

It seems Lisa wasn't too happy with my job, she didn't find it as impressive as other jobs, probably a doctor's job.

She also seemed to like asking a lot of questions.

Holly on the other hand didn't interfere. All she did was reach down under the table and hold my hand as she drank her scotch. She probably reached three or four drinks.

I'm not sure if she had one or two before I got there.

They share some college stories with me, about how they partnered up for some assignments, what Holly would get like when she had so much to do, how they became friends. Lisa takes a couple of digs at Holly's job. I'm guessing she doesn't approve of Holly's dead people job.

And decision made then, I don't like Lisa, and I probably will never like her.

When they ask of me to share some of my stories, I choose some vague recent ones. My guess is, they weren't fond of me as much either.

And after a couple of annoying hours with Holly's friends, I decide it's more than I can take and I inform Holly that I'd be leaving. And I ask her if she'd like a ride with me. I'm sure she didn't bring her car, and even if she did, she can't drive when she's had more than one drink. I only had one so she'd be safer riding with me.

"Yeah, let's go." she says as she gets up and grabs her jacket.

"It was nice meeting you," I force out towards her friends. And they give me forced smiles in return.

"And Lisa, cancel whatever date you set up for me. I already have someone." She says as she pokes me in the arm as way to point at me. Damn it, she poked the bandages. That hurt.

She notices my wince. "Are you okay?" She asks.

"I'm fine." I lie, and reach down for her hand. "Come on Nerd, let's get you home."

"Bye." She waves at her friends and I give them a parting nod.

Once we're in the car, I realize that I don't want to part with Holly.

Even though I saw her yesterday, I missed her. I wasn't ready to get her home. Even though I just spent a couple of hours with her, her friends were there, and that doesn't count. Because they were annoying and Holly time should be amazing. Alone with Holly time. I don't even understand how someone as sweet and caring as Holly could be friends with someone as snobby and self absorbed as Lisa?

I guess I'll ask her that in the morning when she's better rested and not tipsy.

"My place?" I ask her as I turn on the car and I hope she says yes.

"Please." She smiles. "Besides. You owe me a couple of make out sessions." She adds and I smile and lean over to give her a proper kiss, before I drive to my place.



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