You had spent the remainder of last night sleepless, tossing and turning, your mind playing the argument with Jackson over and over again after he had left..
After you goaded him into that stupid fight.. You wonder now, why you do that?
Why do you push him the way you do, when you already know the way that will end?..
The way it was always going to end.. From the moment Jackson Ford offered to drive you home that first night, after Alpha Team had welcomed you into their ranks..
After seeing how bonded their unit is, there was never any question to you you'd ever measure up.. How could you?
So maybe it was better that you'd soon be a member of Delta Force instead.. Because in your heart, you don't think you were ever Alpha material..
And you certainly were never going to measure up to the memory of the unmentionable, Dahlia West..
Now it's mid-morning at the Specter offices and the restless night is catching up with you.. This morning in a rush you had thrown on a simple pair of jeans and a white t-shirt, your only pop of colour is the lime green pumps you picked out and to be honest, you don't entirely feel like yourself without your neon peacock armour..
But let's be real.. You haven't felt like yourself in months..
Why should today be any different?
Staring blankly at the Yeats report on the screen in front of you, you're unable to concentrate the words, instead they blur in and out focus..
Giving up, you lean back in the chair at your desk and rub your tired eyes.. A soft tapping on the door has your head snapping up.. "Yes?" You call out and a gorgeous, pixi-like brunette steps into your office with a sweet smile..
You're relieved to see her and not any of the Alpha guys.. One in particular..
"Hi El, is this a bad time? I can come back..." Yevette Feilds stands in the doorway meekly, she wears a dark burgundy form fitting knit dress, that falls just below her knee and a pair of sky high red bottom stilettos that give her several inches of height she definitely doesn't have..
She is clutching a thin grey folder in her arms nervously as she shifts from side to side..
"No, no, come in Yevie! Girl, you look.. tense.. What's up?" You wave her in..
She takes a seat and pushes the file across the desk to you.. You open it.. A Polaroid snapshot of a sweet faced, blond haired baby boy is paperclipped to the top of the first page.. You flick through the pages.. Medical records for the young boy, doctors estimate him to be no older than three..
Your eyes skim the paperwork for anything that would explain why she is dropping this on your desk..
But there's nothing, no name, no known contacts..
It doesn't make sense..
"I.. Don't get it.. What is this?" You look up at her curiously.. Unsure what she is showing you this for..
"That's Felix.. He's been in care at Lucky Charms for the last six months.. He was one of the children recovered from case involving The Senators human trafficking ring.." She looks on the brink of tears, making you wish you were more emotionally adept..
Not that you're a heartless monster.. But in your line of work you get used to compartmentalising your life and keeping people at a distance.. "He's adorable, Yevie.. Is he alright?" That seems like the right question to ask..
She nods, leaning in an lowering her voice to speak as if she's afraid someone may overhear us.. "Yes, he's fine..Well .. Except for the fact that the woman we believed was his mother, died in hospital two days after they were rescued.."
You wince as a twang of sorrow spikes your chest.. "I'm so sorry Yevie, that's terrible.. I know how much helping these people means to you.." Your heart goes out to the poor boy, and to Yevie.. She cares so much for the wellbeing of those rescued from that particular case.. Because she herself was a victim of The Senator and his disgusting criminal organisation..
Still, you have no idea why she is bringing this to you..
She chews on her lip before blurting out.. "I.. I want to adopt him.."
You don't know what you were expecting, but it certainly wasn't that.. Your eyes widen in surprise.. "Wow.. Okay.. That's amazing, and so you.." You chuckle.. "Felix is lucky to have someone like you looking out for him.."
She smiles brightly before thoughts of doubt dim her shine, she sighs.. "Do you think I'm crazy? I mean.. Patrick and I just got engaged.. Is it too much? I'm kind of nervous about how he's gunna' react if I bring it up.."
You stand up and circle the desk to sit in the chair beside her.. "Well... Look at it this way.. How do you think he would react if you were to fall pregnant? Because I think he'd be excited.. And that happens to new couples all the time, right? This isn't a whole lot different to that, not really.. If you want a family babe, then you have to tell him.. Honesty is always the best policy. You know that.."
Of course she knows that, and so do you, you feel like such a hypocrite, preaching honesty when your own relationships aren't exactly built on solid foundations of truth..
She hesitates for a moment, giving you a strange look.. "Yeah.. See.. That's the other thing.. After what happened the night of the raid on the lockup.. When Anderson stabbed me.. I.. I can't--" Tears begin to slip down her cheeks and she sobs, choking on the words.. You reach out taking her hand in yours.. "I can't have a baby.. The doctors.. They said my injuries were too severe.. I never told Patrick.. And now.. What if he can't love me anymore?"
You wrap her in your arms and squeeze, she's the last person who deserves such a cruel twist of fate..
But at the same time, you know she is probably one of the bravest, strongest and most capable women you've ever met and if anybody could handle this test, it is her..
"Shhh, sweetie.. You listen to me.. Patrick worships you, girl he would die for you.. I know he'd do anything to make you happy.. and this, its just going to be another wonderful experience for the two of you to share.. I promise, it will only bring you closer than ever.. But you have to start with the shitty, scary conversation.. You know?" I offer a reassuring smile..
She sniffles and nods.. "Yeah.. You're right.. God, I needed to hear that.. How do you always know exactly what to say, Ellerie?"
You grimace as she wipes her eyes and grins at you.. "Honestly, it's a lot easier to know what to say when it's not me.. Other people, their lives make sense.. But mine? I don't know.. It never seems to work out the way I think it will.."
She frowns.. "Elle.. What do you mean--"
Yevie is cut off by another rap on your office door...
You both turn to see Hunter Paxton, followed by Delta's second in command, a handsome young buck named, Ace Greyson..
"Uh.. Sorry, ladies!" Paxton holds up his hands and turns to exit but Yevie's jumps to her feet..
"No problem guys! I was just leaving anyway.. Thank you so much, Ellerie.." She turns back to you with a grateful smile before scurrying off toward the door..
Paxton takes her arm as she passes him and looks in her eyes with concern.. He drops his voice to a whisper.. "Sweetheart, you alright?" She shakes him off kindly and waves her hand dismissively..
Hunter and Yevie's have a strong friendship, you think on Yevie's part it's because of her affection for his younger sister, Lacey.. But on Paxton's part, you kind of feel like its because of his affection for Yevie..
"It's nothing, Axe.. We'll talk later, mmkay?" She pats his shoulder gently and he frowns, before nodding and letting his hand fall away.. She smiles and leaves the room without another word..
Paxton and Greyson drop into the chairs opposite your desk as you circle back to take your own seat.. "So, gentlemen.. What brings you to my office.."