The Ghost Of You
Sweaty palms. Short breath. Angry heart. Fuck! I need to get myself in order. Breathe Sawyer! Breathe!
No, you're a Peck now! You're not Sawyer!
You're a Peck. It won't be hard. Come on!
I'm standing in front of the station. It's time to enter 15s devision and take my cover. It's time to be a Peck again. I've memorized my cover. I know exactly how to play this. I've got my supposed undercover job memorized and ready to be told in case I get asked. Or at least what I was told I could say of it. A secret mission can't be completely revealed after all.
Marcus moved out. He found an apartment only one block away from the house we've been staying in. His lair was a closet. A large hidden closet that lie behind a mirror. He was not to play any part in my undercover. He was to be there to back me up if needed. If Jameson spots him, it will be ugly.
My ring was replaced with another. The new one had a tracking device and also was a communication object, just in case I needed to reach Marcus, or in case I needed them to listen into a conversation. It was a fancy looking black rimmed ring, decided into to twisting parts, it can be twisted from top to the left and from bottom to the right.
I was ready to do this mission and to get Jameson. But I was terrified more than ready.
I was terrified to face my brother in there. I was terrified of being home.
I take a deep breath again. Come on Gail! You can do this! You're Gail Peck! This isn't a part you'll have to play. This isn't a code name. You're going to be yourself. It's not hard! Just go in there, and be yourself.
No. That's the hard part! I haven't been Gail Peck in years. I ran away from Gail Peck. No one liked Gail peck enough to be there. And I'm sure they will like her less for being away.
Fuck! How am I going to face Steve?
The beep of my phone startles me. I pick up.
"What?" I say irritably to Marcus. I'm sure he's lurking somewhere watching my every move.
"Stop fidgeting. You can do this. Just go in!" He says reassuringly and hangs up.
Okay. Go in! Come on! I tell myself and walk inside.
Parade must have happened a few hours ago. I asked to be let in after parade and after everyone had taken their assignments for the day. I can study my surroundings better than before I have to face everyone in there.
Once I'm inside the station, I am met with a tall cute officer. Diaz, the tag reads.
"Officer." I nod and show him my badge.
"Detective." He nods back with a confused look and opens the door for me to walk in. The confused look must be the fact that he's never seen me. He must think I'm from another devision.
Sergeant Frank Best was informed four days ago that the undercover detective they booked a week ago was Gail Peck, and that she requested a transfer to his devision. They sent him a fake file on me. A file that had outstanding reviews and jobs that I'm sure are either made up or credited to someone else originally. My fake impressive file makes it impossible for him to deny me the transfer. They asked him to keep it to himself that Detective Peck would be joining 15. My mission wasn't over yet, and no one needs to know that Gail Peck was in Toronto until then.
I was detective Gail Peck. Graduated top of her class at the academy. Made detective in less than two years. I'm sure any sergeant would accept any request if it meant having someone with this many achievements at his devision.
Yesterday they called him and notified him of my arrival the next morning, to check everything out, before I start the day after.
So as I walk into the precinct and I make my way towards his office. As I walk towards it, I see Officer McNally at a desk writing in a file, and she simply drops her pen and looks at me surprised. I simply nod at her with a grin and make my way into sergeant Best's office.
"Detective Peck." Best Greets as he stands up to shake my hand.
"Sergeant Best." I greet back and he gestures for me to sit down.
"I was glad to hear you decide to join our devision." He says with a smile. "I hope your mission wasn't compromised and all went well."
"All went great." I smile.
"Glad to hear." He stands up then. "If you follow me, we've got a desk ready for you in the Homicide section, you can settle in before you start tomorrow. Let me show you." He opens the door for me and waits for me to step out.
As I follow him I take a look around the station, trying to see if I could spot Jameson anywhere. Or maybe even a tall brown eyed girl with black rimmed glasses.
I do spot one of the two. I spot Jameson.
He passes by us, making his way towards the officers desks. "Sergeant" He says as he asses me over.
Best simply nods at him and continue leading me away.
His tag says James. Officer James. I couldn't look at him long or even acknowledge him. I have to play this smart.
As we make it to the detectives offices, Detective Nash, was sitting by her desk busy on the computer.
"Nash." Best calls out for her.
She looks up and I can see the apparent surprise she has on her face as she sees me.
"This is detective Peck. Just transferred from Vancouver." He introduces.
"Gail." She says shocked.
"Yeah, Gail Peck." I smile as if to say: Yes, Steven was right.
I hear Best's phone ring indicating a text and he checks it out. I can immediately sense the change in his composure.
"She will be working with us. Can you help her settle in? I have to deal with something. See you at parade tomorrow morning, detective Peck." He says and rushes out.
I simply walk past her towards an empty desk.
"So I'm guessing this is mine?" I inquire.
"I suppose." She says. "You're a detective?"
"That's what the big man introduced me as, right?" I smirk at her.
"You're Steve's sister?" She says more than asks.
"I guess I am." I answer as I take a seat and twirl in my chair.
"I don't understand. We brought you in for murder, and now you're sitting here as one of us?" I can understand her shock.
"Yeah, I was undercover. What I told you was true. Out for a smoke, heard a shot, went to check it out." I explain. "Couldn't tell you I was undercover. It could jeopardize everything." I say as I pull out my phone and pretend to be texting. I had to act like this was normal. I had to act like I wasn't nervous and terrified.
"You had no cigarettes on you." She states remembering my belongings.
"I only had one, which I threw away before rushing towards the gun shot sound." I explain. She's observant. I couldn't come up with a better lie though at the time. I asked for a break from the other bartender to go smoke. I had to keep up with the pretenses.
"Steve said you left. He said you left one day and didn't come back. He looked for you, you know. But you were nowhere to be found." Nash tells me. "When you dismissed him last week, he was really hurt. He thought he saw a ghost."
Damn it Gail! Don't cry! No tears! Hold it together!
"Yeah, I guess I have a lot of apologizing to do." My voice did manage to shake a little. "Are you guys like a thing? He must really trust you to tell you about me like that." I observe.
"Damn! You are a good detective!" She chuckles.
I get a text from Marcus and it interrupts our discussion.
I send him a brief text back. He's here. Goes by officer James. Look him up.
I immediately delete the exchange after the sending's done.
"I'm guessing Steve doesn't know you're here." She deadpans.
"No. Not yet." I confirm.
Before she could reply, Sam walks in. "Nash, you got anything?" He asks and then he stops in his tracks.
"You!" He points at me.
"Detective Swarek." I nod in greeting.
"What is she doing here?" He asks Nash.
"Sam, meet 15s newest detective Peck." She introduces.
"Ha. I knew there was a reason you were let out like that." He shakes his head in amusement.
"Undercover mission, couldn't jeopardize it." I muse with him.
"Thought we may not see you again?" He shoots at me, remembering my remark when I refused to tell him my name.
"Yeah, well, I was feeling home sick." I say with a grin.
"You're good at getting under people's skin aren't you?" He reminds me that I was very annoying when we met.
"So I've been told. Makes the job easier at times." I joke.
"Did you catch who really did it?" I ask him about the murder. I was sure Jameson did it, but if he's pretending to be an officer, then either he set someone else up, or they have no answer yet.
"Yeah. The victim was a leader of a drug gang apparently. He was killed by one of his followers, must have escaped through one of the doors in the ally and locked them right after his kill. The guy got killed though as we were taking him in. Sniper. No idea how or who. We're investigating the gang." He informs me.
What does that have to do with Jameson? And why was a drug dealer killed by him?
During our exchange detective Nash was texting on her phone.
I have a feeling she's texting my brother.
"How long till he's here?" I startle her with my question.
"My brother. I'm guessing you're texting him, telling him I'm here." I say to her.
"She's good." Sam points at me with a smile. "Welcome to 15 detective Peck." He then walks towards detective Nash's desk. "Traci, what've you got?" He reminds her of why he's here in the first place.
"Right, here." She hands him a file. "According to our witness, our guy's brother threatened him a few days ago. Here's everything you need on him."
He nods and walks out, I'm guessing to go catch the bad guy.
"Gail." Here it is. The voice I was dreading and yet waiting to hear. I look up to be met with Steve's face. All shocked and worried and yet hopeful.
"Steve." I acknowledge him as I stand up.
"Five years!" He storms in and starts yelling at me. "You leave for five damn years, you deny who you are when I see you, and now all you have to say is 'Steve'."
"That is your name, isn't it?" That probably wasn't the right reply but I always had a habit to taunt him when I could.
"So not funny. I see you're still a jerk." He says and then all of a sudden, he strides towards me and pulls me into a hug. "You're really here." He breathes.
"Hey big brother." I answer.I don't do hugs, never have, but I couldn't deny him that hug. He needed it. So I kind of awkwardly lift my hands up to hug back.
He holds me for a few seconds and then he lets me go but keeps me at arms length.
"You're here." He whispers, a smile forming on his face.
"Yeah. I'm here." I whisper back.
"Gail, I need some answers here. You had me worried for five years." He says, smile falling, as he pulls a chair and sits facing me.
"I know, and I plan to tell you everything." Or at least what I can. Once this mission is over, if all goes well, I'll be leaving again. I'll disappear again. I'll hurt him again. But what choice have I got? I can't tell him the truth. And for the sake of national security, Jameson had to be taken down, at all costs.
"I will go get some coffee and catch up with Andy." Nash says as she gets up. I'm guessing that was her way of giving us some privacy. "You guys need me to bring you anything?" She asks and I simply shake my head no.
"Yes. Coffee for us both." Steve says as he smiles at me.
"Deal." Traci Nash says as she walks out of the room leaving me and Steven alone.
I tell him then that I left to marry Nick, but that didn't happen. And that after Nick left, I just couldn't come home. Didn't want to come home. His expression turns angry for a slight moment before I am met with understanding eyes.
I tell him that I had to leave, so I went to Vancouver, hoping there the Peck name wouldn't be a big deal. I tell him how I joined the academy and became a cop. I tell him how I became a detective. I tell him some of my missions. And I tell him that I was undercover for the past two months which is why I got to Toronto. I also tell him how my partner, a guns and gangs detective, on the mission had infiltrated into a guns gang that happened to leave dead people behind around different parts of the country. Which is why I was pretending to be his little sister, since I was homicide, I was sent in. We traveled around Canada with them for a month, waiting for a way to put them away. I was only pretending to be a bartender because a couple of them wanted to go to that bar and I told them I needed some fast cash and free alcohol. But in real I was keeping an eye on them.
I tell him lies! And he believes every single one of them.
I tell him what they fed me to say. And he believes that those are my words that I am speaking, not them.
He tells me he's guns and gangs now. Like he always wanted.
I apologize for the way I treated him last week. He understands it was necessary. But I could still see how hurt he was by that.
"I'm glad you're back little Peck. But you could've come to me. I'm always here for you." He says.
"Yeah, well I was sick of the other place. Thought I'd come make your life hell again." I joke at him. "And I know you're here." My tone turns serious. "I just had to figure things out on my own. Grow up a little."
"Gail, I gotta ask. What's with the hair?!" He asks me the same question he asked when he saw me last week.
"What? You don't like it? It's the same except different color." I try to look offended.
"You went from slightly blond to bleach blond. You getting dumber?" He says as he reaches his hand out, in attempt I'm guessing to knock on my head.
"Shut up." I say as I swat his hand away.
He keeps trying to reach for it and I keep swatting his hands away. Which is how Traci finds us as she walks in with coffee.
"Should I be worried?" She muses interrupting our sibling banter.
"Gail, this is my girlfriend Traci." That was Steve's attempt of saying that he was dating Traci.
"She's great Steve." I give him my approval and Traci just shakes her head in amusement. We both reach for the coffee and moan as we take our first sip.
"So I'm guessing you're as obsessed with coffee as Steve is?" Traci asks me.
I simply smile and nod.
This has gone better than I thought. I could feel the fear evaporating and happiness seeping in.
"Oh God!" I say then shocking them. "Does mom know?" I ask with a horrified look.
"Not yet." Steve assures me. "But be prepared, she will find out. And it won't be a pretty reunion."
"Shit." I let the terror take over my face. It was okay to be sacred of Elaine Peck. Steve understood that.
But being here again was good. I missed my brother. Heck, I even missed my parents. I missed my controlling mom.
Even if I had to leave again sometime, being here for now, I could know if everything was really okay for them. I wanted to know the people around Steve. I wanted to make sure he'd be happy. I wanted to meet the people that form his everyday life.
What were they all like?
"Let's go introduce you to everybody." Traci tells me as she points to the door with a smile. "You are after all, one of us now."