Am I A Ghost Or Real?

Catch & Release

I wake up to the rustling of sheets. Holly must be awake.

I open my eyes to find her getting in a sitting position by her side of the bed. When she's seated the sheets fall off her body and she's still completely naked.

The sight of her bare back sends my libido in motion. How is it even possible? After all the times we've had a feel of each other last night, I still want more.

I get up, ignoring the sheets that fall off me, and wrap my arms around her from behind, pressing my front to her back, and I place a kiss on her left shoulder.

"Mmm, Happy Birthday." Holly breathes out and I place another kiss on her neck.

"I thought you already said that." I whisper into her ear as I trail a few kisses up from her shoulder to her neck.

"Right now it's more true." Her breath hitches as I reach her earlobe and bite on it gently, and then I go back to kissing her neck.

"Gail." She chastises as she turns her neck to give me better access.

I just hum in question.

"Gail, I want this but I can't. My sister is downstairs." She whines.

"Of course you can." I persuade as I reach out my hands to trail up her stomach and reach her breasts.

"Gail." She says my name and I can feel her fight dissolve.

"Holly." I whisper her name seductively into her ear before finding her earlobe and as answer she turns her face to capture my lips with hers. And without breaking the kiss she turns us around and lays me back down on the bed with her on top of me. As her hands begin to roam up my body I hear a slam downstairs and Holly stills her movement and breaks the kiss.

"Gah. She has really bad timing." Holly wines into my shoulder.

"So as long as she's here we don't get any?" I ask annoyed.

"I guess." Holly says unsure.

"Screw that. We're going to my place tonight." I inform her as I reach over to grab her far and pull her for another kiss. But before the kiss can deepen any more, another noise comes from downstairs.

"I guess we are." Holly agrees, as she gives me one final peck on the lips before she leaves a bit of space between us. "Besides, I have a gift for you later."

"I thought you already gave it to me." I tease with a smirk as I try to close the distance she left between us.

"I did?" She questions with raised eyebrows as she reaches her hand out to try and keep me away, and my answer is a smirk as I trail my eyes over her a bit to emphasis.

"I meant another gift." she says as she shakes her head at my antics.

"I like this one better." And with that said I manage to close the distance and pull her body right into mine.

"For someone who's lived without sex for so long, you're insatiable." She comments as lifts her hands to drape them around me.

"Well, when I have a hot delicious girlfriend, I can't help myself." The second those words leave my mouth Holly attacks my lips, and we get lost in another hot kiss.

Until another noise interrupts us and I pull away with a groan. I can hear Holly do the same.

"Does she always come without telling you? Cause that would freak someone out." I ask.

"No she usually tells me. Except once, she did the same thing, came late at night, but she left me a note by the coffee machine to let me know she was in the other room." Holly tells me as she sits up, grabs her glasses off the counter and leaves the bed and goes in search of her clothes.

"What happens if you don't wake up before she does?" I ask as I watch her walk around her room naked.

"Well she did that to mom and dad once. She texted them saying: that noise is me, don't freak out." Her answer makes me laugh a bit.

"Weird sister you have there." I observe.

"As opposed to how weird you are?" Holly challenges as she puts on some shorts and grabs as a shirt to wear. I pout once she's dressed and Holly just shakes her head at me.

"Touché. But I'm awesome weird." I say, still in bed watching her get dressed.

"Not gonna deny that." Once she's fully dressed she pecks me on the lips and makes her way towards the bathroom.

I check my phone for texts or missed calls, and I find another missed call from mom. I guess I should call her and tell her not to worry. She might not have fully believed Steve when he assured her I'd be there.

So I dial her number and she answers on the second ring with a "Hello Gail."

"Mother." I greet back.

"You finally decided to use your phone." My mother is already chastising me.

"I was a little busy, but don't worry Steve informed me." I try to have this conversation end faster.

"I expect you at the house at 5 PM sharp." She says sternly and I almost flinch at the demanding tone that used to turn me to a coward.

"Whatever you say mother." I play along.

"Good." She adds as final words before she hangs up and I just roll my eyes as I put my phone down.

I look up to see Holly standing at the doorway of the bathroom.

"You plan on staying in bed all day?" She asks teasingly.

"Not if you're not in it." I then get up from under the covers and stand in front of her in my complete nakedness.

Holly rakes her eyes over my body. I decide to tease her a bit. I walk towards her still completely naked, ignoring the clothes I had thrown on the floor in my haste to undress last night and I walk right passed her into the bathroom. Her eyes never leaving my movements, and I can see the brown turn to complete black.

I peck her on the cheek before entering the bathroom and releasing her from the trance she was in.

"Not fair." She says to me once I close the bathroom door and I just chuckle.

.

I make my way down the stairs in a t-shirt and my sweatpants, to find Holly and her sister cooking breakfast.

"Good morning." Her sister greets in a cheery voice.

"Morning." I say back as I make my way towards Holly who had turned from her position by the kitchen counter to smile at me. I give her a kiss on the cheek and then settle myself on one the kitchen stools by the kitchen island to watch them cook.

"Sorry again about last night. I honestly didn't know you'd be here." Zoey apologizes to me before she goes on whisking the eggs.

"Sorry I almost shot you." I retort back with a smirk and her hands freeze in place.

"You wouldn't have shot me." She says confidently, then on meeting my gaze she adds. "Would you?" Her tone is less sure now.

"Might have." I say nonchalantly.

"She's kidding right?" She asks turning towards Holly.

"Yes. She is." Holly answers as she gives me a look to agree with her. I simply shrug.

The coffee seems to be made so I get up to pour us cups.

"Aren't you supposed to be in school?" I ask Zoey as I poor the coffee. If memory serves right, universities shouldn't be out till another two weeks.

"I handed in my projects early." She explains.

"No exams?" I add as I finish pouring the third cup.

"Didn't take any classes that require them this semester." She flips the omelets.

"Smart. So you have like no college till January?" I ask as I stand next to Holly and decide to help her in the shopping of the fruits while she makes the pancakes.

"Yep. Free for a month. I can catch up on sleep, and just enjoy the Holidays." I guess Holly's sister is more perky than Holly, because that was a bit enthusiastic, she comes close to being as happy as Chloe. "Which reminds me…" She then turns her attention to Holly. "Holly, the parents want to know if you'll join them for the holidays."

"Mom already asked me that. I told her I'll let her know when I know how many days I can take off." Right, I remember that conversation. Her mom had called Holly while we were having lunch at the park and Holly tried to end the conversation faster, because we only had thirty minutes together that day.

"Oh and they asked me to give them feed back about Gail." Zoey chooses to ignore her sister's answer about Christmas and throw that in instead.

"Woah. What?" I was a bit surprised to hear that. So Zoey was sent here by Holly's parents to spy on me?

"What? They heard a lot about you. They'll just want my opinion." As if her answer would make me relax. Parents of people I date don't usually take a fast liking to me. I don't know if it's my attitude or the fact that some thought I was corrupting their child, and so far, I haven't made any good impression on Zoey.

"Zoey." Holly warns her sister when she notices my expression.

"Gail, it's okay, not like she has anything bad to say." Holly tries to reassure me.

"Right, except that I almost shot her." I guess she forgot about that. I may have found it funny before but not now.

"Which is kinda cool. I mean if it really was a bad person, you'd have totally kept my sister safe." I guess Zoey decided to help me feel better. "And Holly seems happier. She glows. I wonder if that's more about you or about the activities you got up to."

"Zoey." Holly slaps her sister's shoulder when that statement leaves her mouth.

"What? Not like it's not true." She rubs the spot Holly hit as if it hurt. "But just to be safe, keep it down while I'm here."

"You can always buy earplugs." I say, and the effect I wanted seem to have worked. Zoey's face crunches up in mild disgust. Holly shakes her head at me and they go back to working on breakfast.

When everything is done and placed on the kitchen island, we each take a stool, and I chose to sit next to Holly, while Zoey took the edge side of the island and sat next to me.

Zoey and Holly have eggs, Holly ignores the tomatoes though, while I reach for the pancakes and the fruit.

When I pull my arm back to place the pancakes on my plate Zoey seems to notice the small bandages still covering my arm.

"What the happened?" She asks surprised.

"Seriously? Now you see it?" I ask and Zoey just shrugs.

"She doesn't always focus on things." Holly whispers in my ear to answer my question.

"I heard that. And I didn't see it was a bandage from where I was standing." Zoey justifies herself.

"Where are you glasses then?" Holly wonders and Zoey just glares at her. I seem to be missing something here.

"You wear glasses too?" I ask Zoey.

She says "No", while Holly says "Yes" in a weird tone. And I just give them a confused look.

"When she was young she used to wear my glasses all the time. She thought they made her cool. If I can't find my glasses, it means she has them." Holly teases her sister by explaining to me.

"And you tease her for that? She was a kid." Although if Steve had done that I'm sure I'd never let him forget it, so I can see why Holly would tease her sister for just that.

"Oh no, she wasn't just a kid."

"Well you look cool in them." I tell Holly with a smile.

"I know." When she says that I laugh, I love confident Holly. "Her on the other hand…"

Holly starts to explain only to be interrupted.

"No more story telling." Zoey retorts back and then turns the conversation back to her original question. "Now what happened?" She nods towards my arm to emphasis and she then continues eating.

"I got shot." I answer nonchalantly and I take a bite of my pancake.

"You got shot? Just like that?" Why is she worrying over me being shot?

"What you want details? Bad guy had a gun, I drew mine, he shot at me but he missed and hit my arm, I shot and he died. End of story." I shrug to show that it's no big deal and I go back to my food, but the look shared between Zoey and Holly then didn't go unnoticed, so I place my hand on her thigh and squeeze it in reassurance.

"So did you guys already have plans for the day? Or can we go have some fun?" Zoey asks, changing the atmosphere we were in.

"Actually," Holly says. "We have a dinner thing to go to." She didn't tell her it's my Birthday. So she's observant. She saw that I didn't like to make a big deal out of it. She's more amazing than I thought.

"Oh. Well I'll call your troops then." Zoey shrugs and already makes plans in her head, whoever the troops are.

"Actually, you're welcome to join us." I invite her, polite thing to do right? "It's a dinner at my parents house, and there will be many many other people there for you to meet. Though I gotta warn you, they're all cops."

"Really?" She then turns her attention to Holly as if seeking permission, and when Holly nods she answers. "Okay."

.

I'm at my house getting ready. I left Holly's house with a kiss. We'd agreed to meet there. I was expected to arrive earlier than everybody else, and Holly had a sister to catch up with.

Of course before I left Holly asked me about ten times if I was sure I wanted her sister there. It's true I barely knew her, but we weirdly seem to get along in a natural banter. Just like me and Holly seemed to when we first met. Maybe it's a Stewart thing. So I told Holly that as long as Zoey steers clear from my mother, she'll be fine. Though, I'm sure that won't be Successful. I am sure the second Elaine sees her, a face she doesn't recognize, the questioning will happen. Wait, does she know Holly? Holly had implied they'd met, but is my mother aware of who she is? Cause I don't mind Zoey getting questioned, but I'd rather Holly gets away with it.

I should stop thinking about this, otherwise I'll overwork my brain and panic. I'm a spy, I've been trained to keep calm in bad situations. I almost died a few times, and now I'm nervous?

I call Marcus as distraction while I get dressed. He briefs me in on what they found in the USBs. He tells me names of people in the city, in case I recognize any, and he informs me of a team being put together to take them all down, as soon as we have the name of every single member. We will take all of them down at the same time. While we chat I wear my dress, black and slim, reaches to my knees. I would've loved to go in my skinny jeans and a fancy shirt, but knowing my mother, there would be a lecture, and I'd rather avoid one.

So I take two of my small guns and I hide them in gun holders around my thighs, and I place a knife in one of the holders as well. This is probably unnecessary, and dangerous. Especially since I'll be bringing Holly back here, but I'll make sure to take them off before she has a chance to take any of my clothes off. If 'Ian' or Jameson, is going to be there, I need to be ready. It's been a while and I haven't found anything on this guy, that in a way is making me super conscious of him. He's a dangerous man, otherwise, I'd have been ordered to get closer to him to get all the information needed before I kill him. But since I have to do this mission while keeping my distance, and since people I now care about will be at this dinner party, I need to be prepared for anything.

I need to find something on him soon, so I can be finished with this mission, and be free of lying. These past two days were amazing. And I want to be honest with Holly, because I refuse to lose her, especially not to this.

I really need to finish this mission soon.

.

As I walk into my parent's house, I find my mother already giving orders to the caterers. The dining hall has already been set up and I'm obviously the first one to arrive.

"Did you like, invite an army?" I ask once I get an eye full of all the food.

"Maybe I did." She answers as she asks some lady to place some things in place. "Oh and Happy Birthday." I smile at her birthday wishes.

"Seriously mom. I didn't even want a party, and you throw a big one?" My mother has thrown several parties, but never a party for one of our birthdays. The parties are usually for thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's eve and such things, but never for a birthday. Yet here she is, setting up a party bigger than the ones I've been to, for my birthday.

"Well you've been gone a while, and you came back in one piece with the title of detective. I think it's cause for celebration and showing you off." She answers. Of course, showing me off. A Peck has made it, done what's expected of them. I roll my eyes and she notices but chooses not to comment on my behavior.

"Oh and that dress is lovely." She compliments with a smile. My mother rarely complements, unless… My dress must go with a plan she's forming.

A dress, and a plan Elaine has made. Me in a dress. Oh no.

"And who do you wish to see me in this dress mother?" I ask through gritted teeth.

"What is it you mean?" She tries to play innocent. "Like I've said, I've invited a few people, cause for celebration. There will be plenty of people who will see you in that dress."

"You know what I mean." She must have invited some guy, hoping to set us up. She's done that all the time, once I turned seventeen, at previous events. Even when I was with Nick, she'd still do that.

"Well he is a nice young man. Give him a chance." She starts in a defensive matter.

"Who is it mother?" Somehow I think I already know.

"Oh you remember Weston?" She asks and I just roll my eyes at the name.

"Seriously mom. You've already tried this once a few years ago." I remind her. "And he is not a nice young man."

"Gail." I'm guessing she needs to try and reason with me, but I refuse to give her a chance.

"Besides, I'm already seeing someone." I blurt out to stop her from talking. Shit. Why did I say that?"

"You are?" She asks with raised eyebrows.

"Yes."

"Did you invite him today?" She asks about a him. Right. Mother always ignored my relationships with other girls. She liked to think of them as just my friends. She never hated them, but never acknowledged that we were dating. The only person I ever dated that Elaine hated was Nick. Yet she still refuses to acknowledge my like for girls. I'm sure it's not because she has a problem with it. She's always been a supporter of same sex marriage. Or maybe it's just for the politics, but I never understood how she can act that way. How she can just contradict herself, only when it comes to her children, or more specifically, me.

"I invited her, yes." I confirm her question.

"Her?" So she did catch on to the term.

"Yes."

"Well does she have a name?" She asks but before I can answer, dad comes down the stairs all dressed up.

He greets me with a kiss to the cheek, a smile and a happy birthday. After a couple minutes of small talk with him my mother goes back to her question.

"Well Gail?" She prompts. And luckily I am once again saved by the door, knocking, which I volunteer to open. Steve, Traci and Leo walk in, bearing gifts.

After a few minutes, others start to show up as well. Until the house is full of people I know, and people I don't. There's people I haven't seen in ages.

Ian walks in behind Nick, And I immediately go on full attention mode. I need to pay attention to every little detail. I need to finish this mission.

Elaine makes it hard to do my job though as she prances me around like a proud mother. Her detective daughter. I guess I am not the screw up of the family now. And I endure the torture, while stealing glances at the door, waiting for Holly to show up, and keeping an eye out for Ian's every move.

.

"Hey," I hear whispered into my ear, and I feel long arms wrap around my waist. I turn my head around and I find Holly smiling at me as she pulls me into an embrace.

"Hey." I say back with a smile.

It's been thirty minutes since everyone started piling in. I stayed away from my mother's friends and her set ups, and tried to keep close to the cops from the 15th devision. I've somehow made friends with these guys, so hanging out with them wasn't so bad, and Leo is standing with the group, playing some game on his phone. And Luckily Ian was standing with the group. Also luckily, my mother hasn't annoyed me about it. I think she's going to be watching to see who I mentioned I was dating. Which is probably why the position me and Holly are in now may not be such a good idea. I don't think I want to put Holly as object to my mother's antics this soon.

But her eyes are so addictive, everything about her is addictive, and I can't seem to pull my gaze away from hers, or step away from her embrace.

"You guys are sickening." I hear Zoey mutter from beside Holly. I try to give her a glare for the comment, but it's difficult to just take my gaze away from Holly. So I opt to do what Holly seems to be doing, ignore her.

I really want to kiss her. I saw her a few hours ago and I already miss the feel of her lips on mine. But I'm sure my mother is somewhere watching. She's probably preparing her attack tactics.

"Seriously?" Zoey adds as comment. And Holly just gives me a lopsided grin. And that does it.

I don't care if my mother can see. She probably already sees us embracing. I lean in and give Holly a kiss which she returns, and it takes every ounce in my body to remember that I'm surrounded by people, that my mother is here, that I can't take this further. So after a tried chaste sweet kiss, I smile at Holly before I turn back towards my friends as I cozy up with her arms tightening around me. I find them all smiling at us.

"For those who don't know this obnoxious person here, this is my younger sister Zoey." Holly introduces her sister to the group. I'm guessing some of them have met her before then.

"Hi, I'm Nick." Nick introduces himself with an extended hand to shake, and I just raise my eyebrows at him, since he had a goofy smile on his face.

Ian follows doing the same, and the second his hand shakes Zoey's, I check her expression and she seems impressed.

Hell no.

I need to keep her away from the bad guys now.

If she wasn't Holly's sister, I'd probably use her for information. Encourage her to get closer to him and then ask questions about what she learned. But she's Holly's sister, which means she needs to always be safe. So I try to form a plan of action to make sure she stays away from Ian. Heck even Nick as well.

A few others from the group introduce themselves to Zoey, and then she just stands near Traci.

"Are they always this sickening?" Zoey asks Traci as she points at us and Traci just bursts out laughing.

"I think it's sweet." Traci replies once she composes herself. I somehow don't see what's funny though. And Gail Peck doesn't do sweet. So I muster the best glare I have and send it their way.

Once their conversation changes I turn my attention back to Holly.

"Want something to drink?" I ask her.

"Sure. Wine please." Her grip loosens. I just turn around and peck her on the lips with a promise to be right back with her drink.

"How about you numb nuts? Drink?" I ask aiming at Zoey.

"We just met and you're already insulting me. Holly, couldn't you find a more rude girlfriend?" She whines to Holly.

"That wouldn't be possible." Steve says through laughter.

"Fine, no drink for you." I shrug at her and walk away before she can answer back.

Just as I grab Holly a glass of wine, I feel my mother watching me. I know she'll be following me when I make my way to Holly.

A few seconds after I hand Holly her drink, Nick shows up with a drink for Zoey. I guess he was being the gentleman. And that's when my mother shows up near us.

"Dr Stewart." She greets Holly with an extended hand. Holly seems shocked at first but then she reaches out to shake my mother's hand.

"Superintendent Peck." She greets.

"Please call me Elaine." My mother asks and I choke on the drink I was taking. My mother never asked anyone I've dated before to do that.

"Gail, why have you been hiding your girlfriend from us?" My mother asks me, and I lose my words. What is she doing?

"Cause this is new?" I ask more than say.

"You should join us for dinner someday." My mother invites Holly with a smile that seems real, but you can never tell with Elaine.

Holly glances briefly at me before hesitantly saying "Of course."

Thankfully someone arrives to the house and seems to catch my mother's attention, and she excuses herself and leaves.

I exhale the second she's distant and Holly's hand finds mine.

"Well you just got your approval ticket. The first words Elaine have ever said to anyone Gail ever dated were insults." Steve praises Holly.

"That is true." Nick agrees.

I decide to ignore them and squeeze Holly's hand.

Leo then exclaims in victory. I guess he won in whatever game he was playing. However his exclamation leads him to knock into Zoey, who then ends up spilling some of her drink on Ian. Mostly on Ian's arm.

"I'm so sorry." Zoey apologizes.

"Don't worry about it." Ian just flashes Zoey a smile.

Zoey still looks sorry, Ian is wiping his arm with a napkin, Traci chastises Leo for his exclamation, everyone continues their previous talks. I on the other hand watch Ian's arm, because his shirt seem to have stuck to it, and considering it's a white button up shirt, I can make out the ink on his arm, and it seems to be a tattoo.

I look close and hope I can tell what the tattoo is. Only when he stops wiping at it do I get a good glimpse of it.

It's that tattoo.

The three lined tattoo.

When did that show up on his arm?

And just as recognition registers with me, he catches me staring at his arm.

Shit.

I immediately divert my attention to something else.

Something like Holly.

I try as best as I can to make it seem like I hasn't just been caught. But somehow I know I don't fool him.

Right now though, it's everyone else I need to fool.

This tattoo is the answer I've been waiting for to finish this mission. So I need to make everyone believe I'm fine now. It doesn't matter if Ian believes it now. I'm going for the attack tonight.

So I turn around to face Holly with a smile.

"How was your time with the sister?" I ask her and she just shakes her head at my choice of question.

"Good. As weird as it might sound, I missed her." Holly then smiles.

"Warning though, you might need to keep her away from Nick, and Ian." I warn Holly of my growing suspicion.

"She's only here for two weeks. How much damage can it make?" Holly asks with raised eyebrows at my warning.

"I'm serious."

"Jealous?" She teases.

"What?" I get taken aback by her answer. Whether it was a joke or not.

"Kidding." She reassures me the second she sees my expression and for further assurance she pecks me on the lips.

Throughout the exchange playing out between me and Holly, I can still feel Ian's eyes on me.

My deflect plan doesn't seem to be working.

I so want to ask Holly if she's ready to come back home with me tonight, where her sister won't be. But after this revelation, I'm not sure it would happen. I'm not sure I wouldn't be compromising Holly.

I just wish this situation would go away, and for now it would just be me and Holly. But I need to get this over with fast, so it can really be me and Holly.

I decide to play it out and distract myself with Holly until I can actually get Ian alone. It's the only way to have him in private. The only way not to involve anyone else. And I also had to inform Marcus of what's going on before it happens. So I wait.

And a few minutes later, my luck has it and Ian's phone rings. He excuses himself to answer his phone and I take my chance then.

I follow him with my eyes as he finds a quiet room in the house. Why didn't he go outside?

I reach for my own phone ready to call Marcus.

I give Holly a kiss on the cheek before I excuse myself to make a call.

I make it outside, I close the door behind me as I stand in the garden, keeping an eye on the inside through the glass door, and call Marcus.

"What's up?" He answers.

"How close are you?" I ask him knowing he knows where I am.

"Ten minutes away or so, why?" He questions.

"Christmas just came early." I start explaining. "He has a tattoo Marcus. The tattoo. He's one of them."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes. I saw it. I don't know how he's been hiding it before, but I saw it. a drink spilled on his white shirt and made it see through for a bit and I saw the tattoo. He just excused himself to answer a call. He's in an empty room and I'm going in. We can finally be done with this." I say with excitement.

"I'm on my way. Do not engage him. If he leaves the room we'll wait till he's alone again. But do not engage him alone, you hear me? He's dangerous." I can hear a car engine turn on on his end of the phone call. I guess he's on his way.

"Right." I answer.

"I mean it. Don't do it Sawyer. Wait for me." He warns me knowing me well by now.

"Whatever you say Carlin." I say before I hang up on him. I then pat down myself making sure my weapons are in place. And once I'm sure everything is right and I'm ready, I make my way through the back, looking for the window that leads to that room ,where he is.

I find the window I'm looking for, and I see Ian sitting on the guest bedroom bed, talking on his phone. I reach for my gun and slowly open the window every time he talks, to make sure he doesn't notice me.

The second he's hanging up, I'm attacking.

I pull out one of the guns from their holders on my thigh and get in position, ready to go in.

When he hangs up a minute later I compose myself, get in position and enter through the window gracefully and soundlessly. I walk slowly behind Jameson, who is still sitting on the bed. Once I'm close enough he surprises me.

"Are you going to shoot me or not Agent Sawyer?" He asks me with his positing still in place, without even turning around.

"Still debating it." I answer back, trying to mask my surprise at his knowledge of who I am.

"I'm not the guy you need to kill though. I'm not really the bad guy here." He says while standing up and I try as hard as I can not to show an immature reaction or a scoff to that statement.

"Right." I answer sarcastically.

"Suit yourself." He says and suddenly I learn why he was the best in the business. Suddenly he's turned around and snatched the gun out of my hand. Luckily for me, I've got fast reflexes, so I react fast. The second the gun is pointed back at me, I lift my arm up and kick it out of his hand.

As the gun goes flying across the room, I add to my kick by continuing my turn and using my other leg to kick him in the chest. He however anticipates my move and ducks down. When I get back in position he jumps up towards the gun so I reach out for the other gun in my holders, and we both draw the guns at each other at the same time.

"This is completely unnecessary." He exclaims, his grip on the gun not faltering.

"Your defense is futile. I saw the tattoo. You're one of them." I point out as I fix my gun for better aim.

"That's not why you were really sent for me though was it?"He has a smirk on his face, proud of his knowledge of exactly who I am and why I was there.

"You're going away to a dark room forever Jameson, or you're going to die soon. Those are your options." He doesn't even falter at my threat.

"But I'm not the bad guy here." He says again, as if that'll make me believe him. So when I scoff, he proves his point by lowering the gun he was holding.

"See? I'm not going to use this on you." He says as the gun lowers and he holds it at waist levels. "I've just been trying to get you alone for a awhile so we can talk." He then bends down to place the gun on the ground and he kicks it to me.

I bend down to grab it while my gun remains pointed at him.

I try my best not to be confused by his actions. If this is a trap I need to be ready to face him.

"You have five minutes to convince me you're not the bad guy. Otherwise I'm putting a bullet in your head and ending this." I warn him and point my un towards a chair in the room, as if asking him to sit down.

"You are not going to shoot me here. Not in your parents house, with all these people here." He sounds completely confident.

"Want to test that theory?" I point my gun back towards the chair as I take one step closer to him.

"Okay." He raises his hands and makes his way towards the chair. Once he's seated, I take a seat on the bed with the gun still pointed at him.

"Start talking."

He lowers his hands and starts explaining himself. "I know you were sent after me under the impression that I went rogue, but I didn't." I scoff when he says that. "I was sent undercover after a small organization that could possibly be a huge threat to international security. I infiltrated them with a partner as one of them. They weren't as numbered as they are now. My mission was to know who they are, and what their intentions were, then take them down. But they got to us first. You see I figured out that someone on the inside was helping them. A CIA was helping them, was one of them. And he ratted us out. So when they killed my partner I had to act fast. I was there, so I killed the man that killed her, and I pretended as if she killed him and then I killed her. I pretended I had joined their ranks. It took a while for them to trust me, but they did. I had to actually go rogue to fool them."

I squint my eyes at him to see if he's lying. He may be a great spy but I'm great at reading people and not even he could fool me.

"So you joined them and killed all these people, and helped them get their goals and achieve crimes, but you're still good?" I ask sarcastically.

"I didn't kill anyone." He retorts and I laugh. Is he being serious? All these people he killed, all these spies he killed, and he says he didn't?

"This is why I wanted to get you alone before. Talk to you calmly." He says to himself more than to me.

"I'm sorry, how long have you known who I am?" I ask.

"Since the day at the bar, when you were pretending to be a bartender. That's why I went outside. I knew you'd follow me. And I could try and talk to you then. But some idiot was holding a gun at another guy and then shots were fired to I went back inside." He explains and I raise my eyebrows in question.

"You wanted to tell me this since day one?"

"You've been after me for months. I'd been tracking your every move and your records. There was no way you'd be on the bad side. And I was pretty sure you could help me." He gets comfortable in the chair then. I guess he's just realizing that I might actually believe him.

"Feed my curiosity, but I'm still wondering how you're a good guy when you've done horrible things." His story is still not making sense to me.

"I didn't kill anyone. All those spies are alive and hiding at the same place, waiting till it's time to attack. The spies that died however, I wish I could've saved them as well, but I wasn't the one sent after them." He takes a deep breath and takes his phone out of his pocket.

"First few weeks I had to get them to trust me, so I gave them secrets that I shouldn't be talking about, but they were secrets that couldn't help them much. Expired secrets, you know what that means." I nod at that and he continues. "Then I started helping with their shipments and their programming, trying to decipher who the rest of their members were and who the CIA inside man they had on their side was. But I still have nothing. Everything is on scattered Flash drives, held with three main men of the organization. But they got names of our men. And little by little they'd send someone to kill them. I always volunteered to be sent. It was the best way to convince them of my loyalty and the best way to help a spy stay alive. They refused at first of course, but once I started gaining their trust, they relented and sent me after agent Christian. Once I got him alone, I explained things to him and then we set the place on fire leaving particles of him for DNA while he escaped. He left a tooth. Which would hopefully if found, even in ashes would identify as him and they'd see a report that he was dead. After that they sent me after others and I'd always use fire or explosives or any other method that would leave no body, but false traces. All those spies have escaped to somewhere safe. They're all at the same place. They couldn't really go back to the CIA, because we still didn't know who the maul was, but they've been preparing, for when we have names of every member. They've been getting ready, waiting till it's time to take them all down."

I lower my gun, but keep it in my hands. His story was making sense and he sounded truthful.

"I can even call them for you, to prove my story." He lifts his phone as indication.

I ponder it but I wouldn't recognize anybody's voice anyways.

That's when Marcus busts into the room through the window gun at the ready and pointed at Jameson.

"What the hell?" He exclaims at me when he sees me sitting on the bed, gun not drawn and Jameson sitting opposite me.

He points his gun at Jameson who smiles at him.

"Carlin." Jameson greets.

"Jameson." Marcus says through gritted teeth.

"Marcus stand down." I say to Marcus and he just turns around to give me one hell of an incredulous look.

"Call them." I say to Jameson who lifts his phone to unlock it.

"Don't move." Marcus warns ignoring my request.

"Marcus." I try to get him to listen but he keeps his gun raised.

"I should just shoot you. You killed so many people we both knew, we both worked with them." I don't think we have enough time to get Marcus to listen to what I just listened to. I'll need to give him something that will just stall his anger and actions for a few moments.

"Marcus. Just let him make a call. Then if you still want to shoot him, go ahead." I try and Marcus just looks at me with question.

Jameson however makes his call. He puts the phone on speaker and we hear it ring.

A female answers.

"Hey Carl." The voice says and Marcus turns around to face Carl with a weird expression on his face. Carl however answers it back with a smirk.

"Christie. I'm with Marcus." Carl says to the phone.

"They sent you after him too?" The voice asks worried.

"Not exactly." Carl tells her.

"No. She's supposed to be dead." Marcus says with a disbelieving expression and a shaky voice.

"She's not. I didn't kill anyone. Christie, Marcus wants to kill me because he thinks I killed you, and everyone else." Carl explains to Christie.

It seems that she's realized she's on speaker and she speaks directly to Marcus. "He didn't kill anyone. Not anyone of us anyways. It's a complicated process, but hear him out. We need you Marcus. Someone still in the CIA on our side. We could use that. Smart thinking Carl."

"What the hell is going on?" Marcus asks.

"Long story." Carl answers him. "Christie do you guys have anything?" He then diverts his attention to the phone.

"John is close to breaking through their servers. Hoping they keep a list of names there." She informs him.

"Doubt it, but it wouldn't hurt. Keep me updated." He then hangs up and turns towards us.

"Again. What's going on?" Marcus repeats his question.

"I swear I'm on your side. Just pretending to be on the wrong one. We can discuss this later. Where it's not crowded." Carl reminds us we're in a crowded place. And at my parents. Shit. I need to get back out there.

I just had one question bugging me. I had to ask it.

"Why a cop though?" I ask him.

"The whole organization moved here. Because everyone in America was after them. They thought they wouldn't get chased here." He rolls his eyes at that. "Everyone had jobs though and covers, and some members were already here. I was the one who didn't. But through my digging I found out that one member is a police officer. So I kept it up and once I figured out it was from this devision. I pitched being a cop to them, saying that I can help hide evidence for them and help them get away with their illegal acts. It worked. So I faked everything and got here in hoped of finding the corrupted." He then averts his gaze to Marcus who still looks confused.

"Look. I just had to do it. People who are meant to be keeping everyone safe are helping the bad guys. And it's bad enough we don't know who's in this organization. Only three people know. And they don't even trust half their members. I had to find out who's been helping them." He tries to explain more hoping Marcus would catch on.

"Do you have any leads on who it might be?" I ask him.

"Not yet." He sighs. "At first I thought it was Collins. But I was so wrong. Now I've got nothing."

My phone shines with a text. And I remember that I need to get back out there. It's Holly asking where I disappeared to.

"Look, let's meet at the Fortress later. We can discuss everything in detail then." I say already trying to figure out a way telling Holly that she can't come over tonight and getting myself ready to face the disappointment of having to do that. I really don't want that. But this needs to be discussed. This mission just got harder and we need to meet up at the base where we can use our resources.

"No. We'll meet at the Goblin house." Marcus corrects me though and I look at him questioningly. "I still don't trust him or know what's going on. I however trust your judgement so I'll give him a chance. But we are not taking him to the fortress yet." Right. The base at my house was bigger and had more detailed secrets and files.

"Okay later tonight." I agree with Marcus.

"Tomorrow." I turn a sharp eye towards Jameson. "Look, they're having a shipment coming tonight. I need to be there to know what it is. You guys can monitor from afar. I can give you the address and the best places to hide. But I need to see what the shipment is. Otherwise we won't know what we're against when the time comes to face them." I still don't know if I trust him fully. But I trust that he's telling the truth.

My phone shimes with another message from Holly. Gail?

"Go." Marcus tells me. "I'll go monitor the shipment. And we'll meet up at six AM at the base. He can explain more then." Marcus can obviously tell who's texting.

"Are you sure?" I ask unsure about making him go alone.

"Yes. I'll use my own hideout though. Just in case he's lying. Then I'll just shoot him and get this over with." He reassures me. "Besides. It'd give us time for him to explain to me whats' going on and why we're not killing him."

"True." I then place my guns back in their hiding place, in the holders and make my way towards the window.

"Call me if anything happens." I say to Marcuse before I exit through it.

I find the backyard door and enter the house.

I spot Holly standing next to her sister. Her sister seems to be lost in conversation with Nick. While Holly is exchanging conversation with everyone else.

"Sorry." I apologize to Holly when I reach her. She gives me a disapproving look. "It was a call from Vancouver. A whole precinct wishing me happy birthday. It was torture having to talk to all these people one after the other." I exhale in exasperation to make my point valid.

Holly cracks a half smile as she reaches out her hand to hold mine.

I join in on the group conversation. Waiting till it's time to eat. And for this night to end.

"I gave Zoey my car keys." Holly whispers into my ear. "It's your turn to take me home."

I just grin at her and squeeze her hand in confirmation.


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