Not-So-Good Old Days
I'm safe up high, nothing can touch me
But why do I feel this party's over?
No pain inside, you're my protection
But how do I feel this good sober?
I sat up, suddenly emerging from my slumber, the unanticipated movement eliciting a gasp from me. I cleared my head of my disturbing dream; flashbacks of the past. Memories I'd rather leave locked up from the light of recognition for as long as I lived.
I swivelled my head to the right, glancing at the clock on my bedside table. It was 6.30 am. I had fifteen minutes to get ready and another fifteen to get to work. I then turned my head to the left, wrinkling my nose in disgust as I took in the unconscious naked man lying beside me. Ew. I must have been drunk again last night
I lifted myself reluctantly from my warm bed, and had a short shower, picking up an apple, my wallet, cell phone, gun and iPod. I scratched a quick message on a post-it note, sticking it to the random's head, telling him to have a nice life and shut the door on his way out.
I had to hand it to Drunk Me, though, I did have good taste in one-night-stands. He was hot, definitely. But after what must have happened last night, I had no respect for him. Or myself, really, but I hadn't before anyway, so it wasn't a big deal.
I got on the bus and got to work, trying to erase all thoughts of my one-night stand before I had to focus. It was a little weird to think I worked at the FBI. But I did, and I loved my job. I was part of the most successful team in the country, and we damn well knew it. We didn't advertise it though; in fact it was imperative that nobody knew who we were. Otherwise we couldn't go undercover.
I finally reached work, striding through security and into the elevator. My team worked on the top floor; top of the agency, top of the building. I sat down at my desk, in a corner of the floor space assigned to our team. We consisted of five agents.
The Team Leader was Special Agent Tom Weekes. His instincts were second to none, and he was the FBI Director's favourite agent. He was impossible to break. You would never find out anything about him if he didn't tell you of his own choosing. He was in his late forties, I wasn't sure exactly how old he was. He was touchy about his age. Surprising, considering he didn't seem the type to care about crap like that much, but even he was human. I knew that older women thought of him as attractive. He had kind of narrow, dark, penetrating eyes and short brown hair. But it was weird of me to think of him like that... not Tom...
I stopped my thoughts in their tracks. I didn't want to think about that right now.
Our second-in-command was Jesse Garcia. He was sweet, kind, dedicated, and a genuinely nice guy. He was also obsessive and overprotective. When I started at the FBI, I had a major crush on him- I mean come on, he's Spanish. He has these amazing eyes that you can get lost in and just general hottiness. Can you blame me?- but over the past few months, he's become more like a brother. So let's just say that he's not exactly thrilled that on every free night I'm out drinking and fucking strangers. But he's got his fair share of girls after his heart, though he seems to be holding out for someone. I interrogate him about it every day, to no avail. He was only trailing a little behind Tom in the FBI's talent pageant. He was my best friend.
Then there was Angus Carter. He was just a complete goofball. He was always making jokes, and even got a laugh out of Tom once. It may have been because his shirt got stuck between the agency's elevator doors, and when he pulled away half his shirt got torn off, and Tom wouldn't let him change so he had to walk around all day in a backless shirt, but you get the picture. He even looked like a funny guy. He was short, redheaded, with a permanent grin. He made me laugh almost every day, but when he had to seriously deal with a case, he quit the jokes and got to work.
Then there was Tatiana Volkov. She was the only girl on our team apart from myself. She joined the FBI just before Angus and five months after me. She was hand-picked by Tom straight away. She looks almost foreign, with an exotic kind of beauty, auburn hair and dark eyes on pale skin, but she's actually a fourth generation American. She was damn good at fighting, almost as good as me. Her true talent, though, was undercover work. She was better than anyone I knew.
I was third in the ranks. I was probably the least likely member of the team. See, I'm still underage. I only turned seventeen two months ago. Not that anybody knew that. Nobody knows when my birthday is but me. I'm planning on keeping it that way. So how'd I get this job?
Picture this. You're director of the FBI. Your top field agent comes to you with an emancipated teen that doesn't even have her high school diploma yet, and tells you that if you don't put her on his team, he'll resign. What do you do?
Well, in the case of Director Julian Chance, you clear and instate the emancipated teen as a full agent within two weeks, on the condition that she gets her diploma. Yep, life is good.
I was torn from my musings by the sight of Jesse walking into our office space humming and grinning like a lunatic. I rolled my eyes while he sat down at his desk, across from mine, and turned on his computer.
"You're unusually cheerful this morning. What's her name?" I asked him with a grin.
Jesse stuck his tongue out at me and continued humming.
He laughed. "Funny. We both know that question would be better suited to you, though."
I grinned again. "You know what they say; if you got it, flaunt it."
Jesse snorted and Angus walked in carrying four cups of coffee. "Good morning my fellow attractive patriots."
Jesse shook his head, "While that statement does apply to myself and Casey here, you including yourself is going a bit far." Jesse and Angus had a little debate every few minutes. Sometimes they were damn entertaining, but occasionally they were just annoying.
"How could I not be included with these gorgeous, sunburnt orange locks?" Angus said seriously, running a hand through his hair with a dramatic flourish.
"I think the word gorgeous is a severe exagger-"
"Shut up both of you." Tatiana said as she walked into the office space. "Carter, give me my coffee."
Although his name was Angus, everyone called him Carter. "As you wish, milady." He responded, handing Tatiana her usual order, a decaf soy latte. Before I met her, I didn't even know it was possible to make a decaf soy latte. Carter then went on to hand me my coffee, a latte, and Jesse his hazelnut cappuccino.
"Hey, Jesse?" I called out. He looked up. "How you liking your chick drink?"
He scowled. "Shut up. It's sweet, I like sweet things. That's why I don't like you."
I put on a mock hurt expression. "I thought we had something special!"
He got up from his desk and hugged me. "Aw babe, you know I don't mean it." He crooned.
Tatiana rolled her eyes at us. "You guys are weird."
"No we're not, we're in love!" I said, pretending to be indignant.
"Well it's too bad that there will be no relationships in my team." An authoritative voice called. I turned around to see Tom Weekes striding into our office space and to his desk, pulling out his sig. "Murder. Arlington. Get down to the truck in five."
I nodded and strode to my desk, grabbing my sig and backpack. Time for the real work to start.
Tom Weekes walked up to the body of the woman and kneeled beside her. She had no ID, only a small note stuffed in her jacket pocket. Pulling on his latex gloves, Tom carefully withdrew the slip of paper. This was the fifth body found like this. A serial killer was on the loose.
Each body had been shot between the eyes, obviously professional hits, and had no identification. What really drew them together, though, was the small slip of paper in each victim's shirt pocket. Each slip had a letter on it, the last four were C, A, S and E. This wasn't helpful. They spelled out the word CASE, which wasn't indicative of anything.
It was rare that a killer would be so good that it would get to five bodies. Tom usually caught them way before that. He was angry that this murderer was getting the better of him, so he could only hope this note in the newest victim's pocket would finally provide a clue about who could possibly be committing the crimes.
Each victim had been found in an alley next to a residential building, all with some motorcycle fuel on some part of their clothing. There was no pattern to the victim selection. It seemed random. They were black, white, Asian, male, female, young and old. They all appeared to be tools for something. That or the FBI had a serious psychopath on their hands.
This particular victim was a middle-aged Asian woman, dressed in business clothes. Her eyes were open and blank, and her expression was one of shock. They would usually make a press release to find relatives, but there was no telling what the murderer wanted. If they wanted fear in the public, Tom wasn't going to give them the satisfaction.
Very carefully, he unfolded the new note, and he stiffened at the newest letter. He had no doubt, now, what the next letter would be. He could guess the next five. But he wouldn't let it get that far.
The only thing that confused him, now, was why this message was being sent to him. He turned around to look at the talented young agent taking crime scene photos. Casey fit in with the team. She was friends with everyone, and for some reason Tom held a special place for her in his heart. She reminded him of somebody he lost long ago.
He turned to the older agent beside her. They were very close, and he was one of Tom's most trusted agents. "Garcia." He called gruffly. Jesse looked up and came over to him, not questioning the call. He knew that Tom would tell him what was happening, and if he didn't he would give him a point in the right direction.
Tom pulled out four evidence bags from his pocket, each containing a different letter. "These letters mean anything to you?"
Jesse's brow furrowed. "No idea what's happening with them, boss. Why does the killer want us to know the word 'case'?"
Tom placed the newest letter at the end of the word. The letter was a 'Y'. "What about now?"
The younger agent's jaw dropped. "Casey? This killer- he- he wants Casey?"
Tom glanced at the notes. "I don't know." He said grimly.
My mouth opened and closed a few times. Tom had just come along and shown me the pieces of paper that had been found in each victim's pocket. They spelled out my name. What. The. Hell.
"Tom... What the hell is this?" I asked shakily.
He rubbed his forehead. "I don't know. All I can figure is the murderer must have known our team would be on this case. That you're on it. They might be looking to scare you or contact you. Do you know anyone who might want to do that?"
Tom sighed. "Well until we find the person doing this, you're going to have to be under witness protection."
I nodded woodenly. And I had thought nothing could shock me anymore.
"Mrs. Nadir?" the voice said gently.
Casey stared at the ground, her carefully applied make up smeared slightly over her face. "Mrs. Nadir." He said again.
"Don't call me that... Don't." She said emotionlessly. On the outside, she was calm and collected; on the inside, she was breaking.
"Well, Casey. We're sorry, we know this must be tough, but we have to ask these questions. Did you know of your husband's affiliation with Iranian terrorists?"
"No." She responded. There was no life in her voice. No tears fell from her eyes, they only held a dull shine. She had looked in the mirror earlier to see the feeling in them; the nerves, the joy, the anticipation. There was nothing left in them now.
"We are wondering how your husband could be so seriously involved in terrorist activities without any knowledge on your part. It doesn't look good." The voice said, prodding her to explain her situation.
"He told me he was a motorcycle dealer. He said he needed to go and get specialised parts in Europe. He left a lot."
"How long have you known your husband?"
"Thank you. We know this will be tough, but... We need you to testify against your husband. It will not only prove your innocence, but will also show the gaps in his case. We will of course provide witness protection, but please understand; It currently is a mere request, but if you refuse, we will be forced to subpoena you." The voice told her. It was kind, gentle, and weathered. There was too much understanding in it. Casey felt like she could drown in the pity.
She hated it.
"I don't want witness protection." Was all she said.
"Mrs. Nadir, you are in a very dangerous situation. These people are murderers. They will come after you once they know who you are."
"I don't want witness protection."
"There isn't really an option here. It is necessary."
"I'll be fine. Don't assign an agent to me. I'll get rid of him."
"That would be extremely unorthodox, Mrs. Nadir." The voice said, sounding strained.
"I don't care. No witness protection." She said indifferently. Casey had already escaped from them once. She wouldn't find it hard to do so again.
"I don't want witness protection." I found myself saying through cold lips. This was much too similar to what I had been through not too long ago.
"Casey, this isn't just about you. We need you to do your job. Catch the bad guy. Until we know what these letters mean, I am assigning an agent to you. That's an order." Tom said finally.
I looked at him beseechingly. "Tom-"
"It will be an agent from our team. And you'll be sleeping at my house during the week and Garcia's on the weekend." He interrupted.
I sighed. I wasn't going to win here, that much was obvious. It wouldn't be worth arguing with Tom. "Fine."
He nodded and went to find Tatiana. She was the only one who didn't know of the new development. Tom had told Jesse straight away, and then had come to talk to me while Jesse was working on the body with Carter. So once she knew, we would probably head back to headquarters. While Tom talked to her and Jesse helped the Medical Examiner load the body, Carter loped over towards me, raising his camera and snapping a picture of me.
The bright light flashed in my eyes and I was temporarily blinded. I blinked repeatedly, trying to get rid of the black spots covering my eyes. "Gee thanks, Carter." I said sarcastically.
He grinned at me and leant over as if he had a secret to tell me. "Guess what?"
I sighed. "What?"
"I know why the killer is trying to talk to you." I raised my eyebrows. "It's because you're pretty." He said matter-of-factly.
I smiled despite myself. He knew what to say to make someone feel better, occasionally. "Thanks Carter."
He merely grinned again and shrugged. "I should probably go do crime-scene-victim-searching-stuff now. Catch ya."
I loved my team. I loved how much we cared about each other. I watched as Carter walked away to take some more pictures, and Jesse turned around, walking up and sitting next to me. He put a comforting arm around my shoulders.
I looked up into his warm, dark eyes, and leaned into his lightly muscled chest. "You know we aren't going to let anybody hurt you, right?" he asked quietly.
I smiled. "I know."
"Casey, you know what this witness protection means, don't you?" he said carefully.
My brow knitted in confusion. "That I'll have someone following me around for a while?"
"Yeah, but the implications of that."
I thought hard about what he could possibly mean, but came up with nothing. "Umm..?"
He cleared his throat uncomfortably and drummed his fingers on his knee. "Your night-time activities..."
I blushed. "Oh. Right."
He shifted nervously. "Yeah, they're going to have to stop for a little while. I'm not sure Tom would be up for the clubbing on Wednesday nights." He said dryly.
I grinned at the thought of Tom amongst the strobe lights and deafening music. "Yeah, not so much."
"GARCIA!" a strict voice called. Jesse and I drew away from each other like naughty school children that had been caught breaking the rules.
"Guess that's my cue to go do my job." He said sheepishly. I grinned at him and ruffled his soft hair. He was so cute when he was being shy!
"I'll come with. I got some crap to do as well." I sighed. This was going to be a long day.
Okay, I know it's unforgiveable for it to have taken so long to put up the first chapter, but I needed to figure some shit out.
Okay, I guess I was procrastinating too... hehe :)
I've got character pictures up as well, on my website. pleaseee check it outt :)
go to: .com
How are you guys liking Casey? Any suggestions? Any favourite character yet?
Please tell me my mistakes, constructive criticism is great and I'm a shitty editor. I rely on you guys!
Thank you all so much for reading, AND PLEASE REVIEW! I LOVE REVIEWS! I LOVE THEM ALMOST AS MUCH AS I LOVE COOKIES! MAYBE MORE!