I wasn’t even in my door before my cell phone rang in my pocket. I unlocked and walked into my apartment as I answered. “Hello?” I asked, trying to sound groggy.
“Hey. Did I wake you?” Cory asked.
“Nah. What’s up?”
“Get ready. I’m almost to your house.” The phone hung up. Like a speed demon, I changed out of my outfit and into a pair of sweats and a tank top. He honked the horn out front and I slid my flip flops on before jogging out to his jeep. I climbed in, putting my hair up in a ponytail.
“What’s going on?” I asked. He floored it, heading to the hotel.
“I saw her again. I talked to her this time.” I adjusted in my seat to look excited.
“What did she say? Did you figure out who it was?” He shook his head.
“No. She kept telling me to forget about her. That she has people after her that could kill me.” He pulled into the parking lot of the motel. Climbing out, I followed him to two lawn chairs next to the gross looking green pool. He plopped down in one of them and sighed. I sat next to him.
“Well that’s probably true. She is the most wanted criminal in LA right now.” He shook his head.
“I don’t think it has to do with the police. I think it’s something bigger than that. She didn’t say though.” He smiled.
“You are giddy.” I said, smirking.
“You honestly look like a kid who was just told Christmas will be coming around three times this year. What happened after you talked?” He shrugged.
“You kissed, didn’t you?” I asked. He looked at me.
“Am I that easy to read?” Giggling, I nodded. Okay. Maybe I am abusing the fact of whom I am a little. But can you blame me? “Yes. We kissed. Then she vanished into the night.” Looking up, he gazed into the night sky. “At least your love life isn’t this complicated.”
“What love life?” I asked laugh. “No. Trust me. When it comes to my life, there is no time for love.” He frowned.
“At all?” I nodded. “That blows. When was the last time you were on a date?” I thought for a second.
“My first year at CPS. It was a guy from the office next door. He transferred afterwards or something.” Cory shook his head, leaning against the back part of the lawn chair.
“You sound just like me.” I grinned.
“Not lately though, eh?” He looked up at the night sky again. “What do you think could possibly happen with the Savior, Cor? She’s the bad guy. You’re the good guy. That doesn’t mesh well I hear.” He nodded.
“I know. It just feels different when I am around her. Almost like I’ve known her for a long time. And those emerald eyes…she is just too hard to forget.” I could feel a blush in my cheeks. “But you’re right. I’m stupid to think anything could happen between me and a super hero like her.”
“Are you crazy? You are a great, Cory. You never know what could happen. What if she ends up being the last person you expect it to be though? Will you still feel for her like you do now?”
“I think so. She can’t be much different in her everyday life. I mean deep down inside of her the Savior is there all the time.” I looked at him then looked up at the sky. If I told him right now, he’d never believe me. He’d probably just laugh and tell me good night.
Besides, I have a drug lord out for my blood if I don’t turn myself in by tomorrow morning. There was no clue what he was going to do but I knew it couldn’t be good. I prayed that it wouldn’t have anything to do with potential victims and their children. As long as he never figures out my true identity, everyone who I love and care for will be safe. That’s all that matters to me at this point. Turning, I saw Cory had drifted to sleep. I smiled, following his example.
The sound of running water woke me up the next morning. Opening my eyes, I saw that I was curled up in Cory’s motel bed. I sat up quickly, checking to see if I was dressed. When I saw all my clothes intact, I sighed in relief and disappointment. I mean it might make things awkward, but it may be worth it.
The bathroom door opened, and Cory emerged, pulling on a black t-shirt over his torso. He wore a pair of blue jeans on his lower half. He smiled when he saw me sitting up. “Morning, Sunshine. Sleep well?” I glared at him, standing. A couple things popped and cracked as I stretched. Being the Savior is making me older than I actually am.
“How’d I get in here?” I asked, laughing. He shrugged.
“When I woke up, you were shivering. So, I carried you in here. I didn’t think you getting the flu would be a good thing.” I shook my head.
“Oh, definitely not.” He picked up his badge, his gun and his phone from the dresser and placed them all in his pockets. “What’s on the agenda for today?” He shrugged again, leaning against the wall.
“Not sure. Any suggestions?” I thought for a moment before smirking.
“Yeah. C’mon.” Grabbing his arm, I pulled him out the door.
After a quick shower at my place, I climbed back into his jeep, a bag full of food in hand and a towel draped over my shoulder. We had decided to hit the beach. I called Sam and Liza to see if they wanted to come but both said they had other plans but to have fun. I had a slight feeling Liza got ahold of Sam before I did. God if she found out we had spent the night together in the same bed, she’d probably grill me until I popped. So, the two of us hit the highway, heading west for the nearest beach.
The trip was filled with singing along to oldies on the radio and talking about things we did when we were younger. Turns out with both liked the same kiddie shows as kids and that we were both unhappy in high school. He on the other hand, was popular and on the football team. All I ever did in high school was newspaper and yearbook committee. Martha called about ten minutes before the beach exit. Cory told her that we were following up on a lead today and that we’d be out of reach on our phones today. I smiled as he lied to my all-knowing boss. Knowing Martha, she already knew we weren’t on case business.
Cory pulled into the parking lot of the beach and I could see that it was pretty empty. He climbed out and looked at the sand and raised an eyebrow. “Where is everyone?” he asked. I smirked, grabbing the bag of food and the beach blanket.
“What? You think that Cali is like what you see on TV? Not everyone goes to the beach every day here. It’s usually empty like this until the weekends after the fourth of July. Since it’s only Thursday, we’ll pretty much have our say of the land.” Cory locked up his truck and followed me across the hot white sand to a spot a few feet away from the water. A mom and her small children were about 20 feet away, building a sand castle. He helped me set up the blanket and the food. Once that was done, he pulled his black t-shirt off his built frame and headed for the water. He dove in, swimming against the small waves out into the ocean. He emerged a few moments later, wiping the water and hair out of his eyes. I smirked, watching him from the shore. Water dripped down his tight abs and muscles. I felt like a horny little school girl standing here, watching him. My cheeks flushed red as he looked at me. Quickly, I looked at the ground, digging my toes into the hot sand.
“C’mon, Abz!” he called out. Looking up again after regaining some pride, I smiled. I unzipped my jean shorts and slid them off, revealing the bottoms of my black bathing suit. The top piece was all I had on top. It shocked me that I hadn’t thrown on a t-shirt over it like usual. I waded out to my waist and looked at him. He walked over, the sun glistening of the water on his body. “I thought you brought me here to go swimming.”
“Swim then, bonehead.” He smirked, splashing me slightly.
“Oh, ha ha.” I said, splashing him back.
“Return of fire? That means war.” He said, stepping closer. I stepped back.
“No. No, Cory.” I said, giggling. He continued closer.
“I’d run if I were you.” He warned. Turning, I ran as best as I could. I didn’t get very far because of the water before he scooped me up in his arms and dunked us both under the water. I screamed in delight as we crashed to the ocean floor. Going back up to the surface, I took in a big gulp of air, shaking my hair out of my eyes.
“Ass.” I said, looking at him. His arm was still wrapped around my waist. Letting go, I felt my feet land on the sand.
“That I am.” We swam for a while, splashing and playing around. I had managed to get revenge by dunking him a few times. It backfired once when I jumped on his back. He was able to stand his ground and just fall backwards, both of us falling into the drink.
Feeling a little water logged, we climbed back onto the beach and collapsed onto the blanket. “This was a great idea.” He said, taking a bite out of his sandwich. I nodded, chewing on the chip I had just popped in my mouth. “It’s nice and quiet here. Peaceful.”
“I used to come here all the time when I was in high school. I even slept here some nights.” He raised an eyebrow. “My parents died when I was real young in a house fire. I bounced back and forth to different foster homes. By the time I was 14, it didn’t matter where they put me. No one wants a teenager. So, I ended up in some run-down shack with abusive foster parents who had about 5 or 6 other foster kids. They only wanted the money that comes with foster kids. I’d sneak out at night or not even come home after school and just sleep right here on the beach. There used to be a group of homeless guys who hung out down here too. They’d give me blankets and let me sit by their fires without any questions. When I turned 18 and got my first job, I’d bring them all food.”
“What happened to them?”
“The last one died when I was 20. The police said he was beaten to death in a mugging, but I still believe it was the police. They always use to bother those guys. They didn’t hurt anyone. Just were down on their luck. I would have died on the streets if it wasn’t for them.”
“Are your foster parents why you joined the CPS?” I shook my head.
“I was about 6. Sophia McDonald was having a sleepover. I wanted to go so bad. It was my first one. So, my mom and dad loaded me up with an overnight bag and brought me over to her house. That night, the other girls and I were in Sophia’s room playing. Her mother’s boyfriend was drunk and broke the door down. He started beating Sophia right in front of all of us. No one knew what to do. I was so freaked out; my parents came and got me that night. I told my father about it. He called CPS that morning. They arrested the guy. But my parents died the week after. I always thought he set the fire. I really do. They had to drop the charges against him since I couldn’t testify. He beat Sophia to death a few days later. Then, when I was about 14 and I landed in my last foster home, I met a boy in high school. Greg. He was a nice kid with a really rough home. His mom was single and was having a very long stretched out mental break down. She’d abuse him, and he’d just take it. Said it’d help her get better faster. One day, she couldn’t take it anymore. She locked Greg in the car in the garage and left it on. They both died. I was the one who found them. It looked like he was just sleeping, curled up in a ball on the back seat of her station wagon.” I stared at the water, the waves crashing against the sandy shore.
“None of that is your fault, Abby.” Cory whispered. I looked at him.
“How did you know I was thinking that?”
“Because that’s the kind of person you are. You’d blame yourself if you touched a car that just happens to run a cat over twenty years later. What happened to you parents, Sophia and Greg isn’t your fault. You tried to help out a friend. Sometimes everything you can do isn’t enough no matter how hard you want it to be.”
“Why did you become an FBI agent?” I asked. He put a small smile on his face, looking out into the ocean.
“My father was a police officer. His father was a police officer. It was like I already had my life path chosen for me at birth. When I was 15 though, my father was caught stealing drugs from the evidence locker. Turns out he was a coke head who hid it extremely well. They took his gun and his badge away the same day. He knew that I’d never be able to work at the precinct that him and my grandfather had. So, we moved to New York City where he got me a job right out of the academy. After he died, my mom told me that I didn’t have to be something I’m not any more. So, I called up an old friend from the academy and he landed me the job at the FBI. For once I actually felt like my own person. I wish my dad could have felt that. Maybe he would have turned out differently. At least happier.”
“Are you happy?” I asked. He looked at me and then at the ocean again. Turning his head back to me he smiled.
“Actually, right now I’m very happy.”