- Genre: Romance
- Age: 18+
- Status: Ongoing
- Language: English
- Author: Pencraft
Every day, I had to put in a lot of mental effort to understand why my new gait appeared pompous. I knew there was such a thing as an arrogant gait, but I couldn’t see how it could be inferred from seeing someone’s walking style alone.
Because my perception of someone’s arrogant stride was based on what I already knew about them, even if they walked as slowly as a pregnant sloth in a slightly sped-up video playback, they still exuded an air of pride.
That was the first thing someone said to me when I started working there:
“You walk with an air of superiority about you. Let’s hope your performance matches your walk.”
Well, it was a great deal better.
I didn’t expect the bureau employees to be able to distinguish between arrogance and confidence. We weren’t the CIA, and I had seen enough mistakes from Federal agents to conclude that we were below even the police regarding intelligence. We were just as overworked as they were, but at least we had to wear suits and drive respectable vehicles.
Nevertheless, I preferred to operate independently whenever possible because of the absence of sound judgment.
As I moved deeper into the office, I could feel the eyes of my coworkers boring into the back of my head. If I weren’t so bright, I was very sure Nolan would have murdered me.
When an emergency required an agent’s immediate attention, I was the first person the supervisors called. In addition to the official ranks, there were unwritten ones within the bureau that were given more deference.
There was always that one leader who appeared to be doing the most work among field operators and was often referred to as “the complete angel.” Charming and impeccable, she was quick and had three answers to your problem. That was the boss, the one who made all the decisions. The Executive Assistant Director (EAD) of the Criminal, Cyber Response, and Services Division. The most beautiful woman in the office.
She was beautiful not just because her hair was immaculate, her smile was made of moissanite pearls, and her eyes were a striking shade of blue set off by whites, but also because her intelligence was proportional to her physical attractiveness… and we were good pals now.
You knew you’d made it to the top when you were the only person in my social strata to call the most desirable woman on the block by her first name. I didn’t need it, but I didn’t want to seem as superior as many people assumed I was, so I didn’t take this honor too seriously. Although I referred to her as Amanda, everyone else seemed to refer to her as Ms. Collen or just Collen.
The fact that I avoided the office until needed was another factor in establishing and cementing my credibility. The cherry on top was that I was rarely called upon, at least here at HQ.
Many there believed that as they toiled away, I was lounging in a three-bedroom penthouse, taking care of my skin and body with daily workouts and facials and waiting for the phone call to finally validate my existence.
Most of what they said was false. The FBI had numerous bases responsible for monitoring various ongoing operations. No one there needed to know that I could be found working with any of them at any given time.
And it wasn’t entirely untrue that I lived in a lavish three-bedroom apartment in a downtown high-rise.
“Where is Amanda?” When I asked, the secretary merely nodded and turned back to her desk with a shy smile.
Before I knew she was in her mid-twenties, I thought she was too young to be an FBI agent. There was a significant disagreement between her appearance and age, but it was a cute disagreement.
“Please assure me that my chances of dying in this one are at least fifty percent.” As I entered the roomy office, I offered my greeting to Amanda. She smiled and nodded in response before continuing.
She teased me, “I would have said there’s a possibility if I wasn’t talking to the Lycan of D.C.”
“Oh, come on,” I replied.
“Keep telling yourself that right before you pull off the most heroic stunt in the FBI for the year.”
“Lycan is just fine. The rest makes me sound like a noble knight, and we both know noble is the last thing I am.”
She laughed. “Okay. That’s more than my satchel of good feelings can hold. Adding one more person would result in the sight of my breakfast being shown on the table.”
She returned her grin to mine and looked at me with amusement.
“Now, what is it that you felt the need to interrupt my trip to Baseline’s Grill down the road?” I asked.
“Well, if I didn’t think the FBI needed you, I wouldn’t call you.” She shrugged and flung a stack of papers over the desk.
I picked it up off the table and dived headfirst into thoroughly reviewing the paperwork.
“Who else could fill the void in your heart that I leave behind when I am away for the next month?” I asked, still going through the papers.
Almost no words went unspoken when Amanda and I were together. Our own personal endeavor. She was only a couple of years older than me. Playing Candy Crush Saga, Tetris, and chess on a computer set to level 10.
“Don’t put yourself up there as a big deal,” she laughed.
A final scoff from me secured the coffin’s lid containing the conversation and sent it careening out into the vast depths of the lake containing all our past exchanges.