Hidden Agenda - Chapter One

The Beginning.
She grabbed her apple from the corner of the desk, tossing it lightly in the air as she walked swiftly through the open door of her small cramped office. A tip had been phoned in, and Agent Alexandra Hutchens of the FBI had to make certain, the possibility of new intel was legitimate. A large hand reached out, surprising her, and adeptly caught the large fruit mid-air. Before she could protest, a familiar face peered around the corner. Nathaniel Delaney, her partner going on two years, took a big bite out of her lunch.

"Where ya headed, partner? Surely nowhere without me?" He asked cheekily.

The dimple on his cheek was adorable, she thought absent-mindedly. She mentally shook herself. As gorgeous as her partner was, his fiancée was beyond stunning, she thought sadly.

"I would never," she replied with a deceptively innocent voice and raised eyebrows, "I was gonna call you from the car."

"I'm sure you were," he said skeptically.

"Come on, partner. I've got a lead on the Mancia case. Looks promising."

"Sweet, just what I needed after the morning from hell," he replied grimly.

"Trouble in paradise?" She asked sympathetically, but internally hopeful.

"Nothing serious. Lana just woke me up at an insane hour to ask whether or not classic pearl was an acceptable shade for a wedding gown rather than the usual pristine white."

"Oh, that truly is a quite the dilemma." Alex quipped.

He nudged her with his elbow as they walked into the elevator. He punched the button for the parking garage and sighed.

"I'm a simple guy with simple tastes. I don't know the difference between white, off-white, eggshell, cream, and Lord knows what else," he muttered shaking his head.

Alex reached over and squeezed his shoulder.

"You'll make it through this. I'm sure there's some overpriced counselor out there who can take you guys through this hard time."

He shook free as Alex broke into laughter.

"You're absolutely no help," he replied, trying to hold in a smile.

They walked side by side to her car. Chatting about random things like the weather and debating football teams, they rode companionably towards the meeting place. When they finally pulled up to the rundown Thai restaurant, they walked in and set up at a secluded table near the back to wait for their guy.

After fifteen minutes, she began to get impatient. Yet another dead-end. It was getting frustrating after so much work being put in, yet nothing to show for it.

"Let's eat something," Nathan announced abruptly, "I know you didn't eat anything today."

"Yeah, because some vagrant stole my lunch," she joked.

He chuckled and flipped through the menu, and pushed her gently with his shoulder again. She felt giddy with the contact, though it meant nothing. Alex thought about what Nathan had said earlier about Lana. She had seen her once, not too long ago.

She was beautiful. Breathtakingly so; looking as though she stepped right out of a glossy magazine cover. Ironically, she was a fashion designer, working at an extremely expensive, yet popular label downtown. Lana had dropped him off to work when his car had been in the shop after a small fender bender. She had seemingly glided around the car with grace to embrace Nathan in a hug. Alex had looked away when she gave him a lingering goodbye kiss.

Lana was every man's dream. She wasn't blonde, but instead she looked like an Italian goddess. Long silky chocolate hair, flawlessly tan skin tone, and a body to kill for. Alex was far from reaching anyone's fantasies. Thank goodness she had a fairly healthy metabolism, and could keep a nice shape and tone to her body. The rigorous workouts with the Bureau also helped give some definition. Her hair was shoulder length and the color of chesnuts. Her olive skin tone, brought out electric green eyes, inherited from her Irish father. Alex was no white crayon, she was asked out for plenty of dates by attractive men. Yet, she was never the one to turn heads when walking into a room.

"Hello? Anyone in there?"

Nathan's voice broke through her momentary pity party.

"What? Sorry I... got distracted," she said lightly.

"Yeah I could tell. I was asking if you'd rather have noodles or this shrimp lookin' thing I can't pronounce."

Before she could answer, the door jingled as a scruffy man walked in. It was their informant. She could tell by his paranoid actions and the way he locked his eyes on the two of them.

"We can order later."

"Yep. It's game time," he answered, taking a sip of his water.
Published: 12/16/2011
Bouquets and Brickbats