Secrets

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Chapter 4

Phillip inexplicably smiled at his desk. It was a quarter to ten and he had a live feed of the front office playing on his computer. He thought back to their meeting the day before and couldn’t help but to wonder if she was about to walk through that door. Focusing on work was all but impossible because he would get distracted and gaze at the footage on his computer screen. Brogan knocked on his door and he quickly minimized the security footage.

“Rossum, I’ve been looking over the Dredon case that you broke yesterday. It’s amazing; I didn’t even know you were working on this case, how did you know where all the bodies were?”

“Yes, Rossum, please tell us how you discovered such a huge break?” Addison was leaning on the door frame. She was wearing dark jeans with boots that went up over her knees. Her long hair was loose down her back and her white teeth were accentuated by just a hint of pink lipstick.

“It wasn’t that huge of a break.” He said through clenched teeth, but Addison kept a smirk on her face as she flopped into one of the brown leather chairs in Rossum’s office. He so rarely had guests that he had almost forgotten they were there. Brogan cleared his throat which pulled Rossum’s attention away from Addison, but it wasn’t Rossum’s attention that he wanted.

“Hi, miss, I’m Agent Brogan.” He extended a shaky hand and Addison delicately shook it.

“Your first name is Agent?” She quipped back, but did not introduce herself.

Brogan blushed and stumbled to correct himself, “No… well – I – my name is Alex.”

“It’s very nice to meet you, Alex.” The way she let the word Alex slip off her tongue sent shivers down Phillip’s spine, and he could tell Brogan had the same reaction.

“How do you know Agent Rossum?”

Addison smiled and her eyes locked onto his, “He’s my uncle, good old Uncle Rossum.”

“I didn’t know you had a niece!” Brogan exclaimed, but Phil had had enough.

“That’s because I don’t. That will be all Agent Brogan.” Addison winked at the flustered agent before he shut the door, then Rossum zeroed in on her, “stop flirting with the agents.”

“Why does it matter to you?”

“If you’re going to work here –”

“No one has said anything about me working here. You told me to come here for a meeting and I didn’t have anything better to do, so here I am. Don’t get carried away.”

Rossum stood and pursed his lips, “Well then, we had better get to it.”

Before he reached the door there was a warm hand on his cheek, “you’re pretty good at that stern look, agent.” She lowered her voice and whispered into his ear, “but you don’t scare me… Uncle Ross.”

Following her out the door, he lowered his voice so he wouldn’t disturb the others, “stop calling me uncle! And where are you going?” Addison was walking with purpose in the direction of Mortimer’s office.

“We are going to your boss’s office, are we not? Agent Mortimer?”

“Yes, but how do you know where it is?”

She stopped out front of the large corner office and straightened Rossum’s tie, “I know a lot of things, Uncle Ross.”

“You are so frustrating! Would it kill you to give me a straight answer?” Rossum’s cheeks were flushed. He was not used to someone getting the best of him, but this girl seemed to do it with the blink of an eyelash.

She just smiled and tapped a small knuckle onto the door. Mortimer yelled, “Come in!” from inside, Rossum was the first in and held the door for Addison.

“Agent Mortimer, this is Addison Grace.”

He looked at her over wire glasses that were scarcely holding on to the tip of his nose, “This? This child could not be more than 25.”

“Good guess, I’m actually 24.” She crossed her legs and did not break eye contact with the old man.

He ran a hand over his grey hair, “You have been dropping off tips since before Agent Rossum started working here – that’s five years.”

“Seven years, sir.” Rossum corrected.

“Yes, that would make you 17 when you caught your first serial killer?”

Addison smiled condescendingly, “it’s so sweet that you think Albert Frost was my first serial killer. He was just the first time I finally realized police are idiots and will do nothing with great information.”

Mortimer was intrigued at this point. His chin was resting on his hands and he couldn’t tear his eyes away from the attractive girl occupying his office chair, “so, who was the first one you ever caught?”

“Ah, you never forget your first. Robert Gallant –”

“We caught Gallant.” Rossum interrupted proudly.

“I know, but to be fair, I knew before you did. I took it to the police, but no one listens to an eleven year old who thinks she knows who killed twelve prostitutes.”

“Eleven!” Mortimer nearly fell off his chair, “How on earth did you catch Robert Gallant when you were eleven?”

“That one was actually an accident, but body cues are really all you need. If you can look someone in the eyes for any amount of time they will tell you everything you need to know.”

“Is that why you haven’t broken eye contact with me since you stepped in here?” Mortimer leaned back in his chair and Addison nodded, “Okay, let’s hear it, then.”

Phil wasn’t sure what was happening, but was anxious to find out. Addison leaned forward slightly and licked her lips, “you were determined to hate me from the second I walked in that door, but it’s clear that I’ve won you over, at least for now. You are an easy man to impress, but you are quick to forget, also to anger. You don’t often take the blame for your mistakes, but you take credit easily where it might not be due, but that’s an easy one considering your job,” Addison glance at his hand, “Your married, got married young, and, although you love your wife, you have always been a fickle man. I suspect you have had many mistresses in your life, but currently I would say you have… two on the go right now? Growing up your father was a hard ass and your mother never stood up for you around him, but would comfort you in private which made you both fiercely love and resent her at the same time. Would you like the college years, or is that enough for you?”

Mortimer’s mouth hung open and it took Phil a second to realize his was gaping too. His boss righted himself, “I do think that is enough for one day.”

“So can I ask you something, then?” She glanced from the old man, to Rossum and back, “why am I here?”

Choking back a laugh, Mortimer answered, “We want you to join the team.”

“I don’t have any special training, nor do I really want to be an FBI agent. If I haven’t made that abundantly clear already, I don’t really like you guys that much.”

“Well then, it’s a good thing that we can’t make you an agent, then. You would take on a consultant role, working right under Agent Rossum, reporting to him and myself of course. As for the special training, Rossum has convinced me that you are the person he needs. I trust his judgement, so with that, and what you just proved in here, I’m sold.”

“Would I have the FBI systems at my disposal?” Addison seemed to perk up at this thought.

“With some supervision, I think that could be arranged.”

“If – IF I do agree, this would have to be completely freelance. I can go whenever I want – no contracts.”

“I think I would be able to manage that,” Mortimer let a smile creep onto his face and it accentuated the lines beside his eyes. Then, with a thought, it was gone, “Now, let’s talk compensation.”

“You’re going to pay me?” This was the first time Rossum had ever seen Addison not completely in control. He got a flash of innocence, but she righted herself quickly, “I mean, whatever you think is fair, I’m not picky.”

“Not with that apartment, you’re not.” Rossum commented.

Mortimer wasn’t quite sure how to respond, “You just want me to make up a figure and put it in your back account every other week?”

“Look, pay me a dollar, pay me a million, I couldn’t care less, but I need it in cash.”

“My dear, we are the FBI, not a landscaping business. We can’t pay you under the table.”

“Under the table, over the table, it doesn’t matter, but I don’t have any bank accounts so I can’t be paid any other way.”

Rossum glared at her, “So make one, you are 24 years old, you can’t keep your money in a bag under your mattress for the rest of your life.”

“I don’t want one, it’s just another way for the government to track me, and fuck them.”

“Honey, we are the government.”

“So then you should be able to figure it out.”

Rossum cleared his throat, “Why don’t you add her salary to my account and I will pay her with cash? It may not be completely legit, but the government will still be getting their taxes, and that’s what they really care about. Everybody wins.”

Mortimer smiled, “I guess before I know your worth, I need to take you for a test drive.”

“Oh, you wish old man.”

“A case came in a few minutes ago. Middle aged girl partially buried, naked about 40 minutes away. How fast you solve the case, will directly impact how much I pay you.”

Addison shrugged; “seems fair,” The three of them stared at each other, “should we go maybe?”

Rossum shook his head and pulled out Addison’s chair for her. Mortimer stopped them before they left, “we should maybe keep this quiet, Miss Grace here isn’t the most savoury person we’ve ever signed on, though, she may be the prettiest.”

“Are you in the market for a new mistress, Agent Mortimer?” She winked at him, but Agent Rossum pulled her elbow and led her out the door.

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