Author: Aryea PM
Nigel's work Visa is revoked and Sydney comes up with a plan to keep him in the country.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Romance - Sydney F. & Nigel B. - Chapters: 46 - Words: 193,965 - Reviews: 162 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 19 - Updated: 10-17-12 - Published: 05-17-12 - id: 8124320
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Sorry for the delay, here is the very last bit for this story, so I hope that you all enjoy it. I had multiple scenes written for this story still, but just wanted to finish it up with one, so I couldn't go as indepth as some of you might like. I hope you approve of my choice of ending and I Thank you for taking the journey with me.
Sydney kicked off her shoes in the elevator on the way up to her loft. Never again, she thought. Never again would she agree to be a bridesmaid when the bride lived half way around the freaking world! All she wanted now was a hot shower, a good meal and her husband's arms around her.
The elevator door slid open on the top floor and immediately heard music of Pink's 'Get This Party Started' and laughter coming from the loft. Nigel didn't know she was coming home today; she'd gotten an earlier flight. Was he having a party while she was away? She smirked, even as she started to pull open their loft door; that would be so very un-Nigel of him.
She stepped in and froze at the sight of her husband of four years and their TA Sarah embattled in a paint war, slapping at each other with their paint brushes, hands and whatever else could be used. Nigel was giggling hysterically, Sarah's rambunctious laughter filled the loft and they were both absolutely covered in pale blue paint from head to foot.
After recovering from her shock, Sydney dropped her bags, loudly on the floor. "What the blue blazes is going on here?"
Both people stopped in mid swing as their gazes caught sight of her. Nigel looked horrified, Sandra amused.
"Sydney!" Nigel squeaked. "You…you're home!"
"What the hell is this?"
"A paint war," Sarah replied dropping her brush back onto the paint tray on the floor, luckily covered by a large tarp.
"I can see that." Sydney snapped. "Why are you having a paint war in our loft?"
"Well, you…you see, Syd…"
"It all started with an argument on Lucretius…"
"It wasn't an argument, you were misinformed," Nigel insisted.
"I was not! His third set of poems were…"
"Hey!" Sydney raised her hands, sensing another battle was about to begin. "I don't care. I just spent twelve hours on a plane sitting next to a very odious moron who fancied himself to be George Clooney and snored viciously, so I don't care why or who or what started this mess, I want it cleaned up before I finish my shower or…or you're both grounded!"
She grabbed her travel bag, left the others by the door, turned away and headed into the joined loft to climb the stairs to their bedroom.
Nigel bit his blue lip, then grimaced at the taste. "Right. Hurry up and help me clear up."
She laughed and started to gather the paint can lids, brushes and assorted tools as Nigel ran into the kitchen for a damp cloth. "She can't really ground us, you know?"
"Perhaps not, but she can withhold privileges and I know exactly which ones she'll withhold from me, so hurry and clean!"
Sydney sighed as she walked across the platform of their bedroom, which used to be her neighbor's bedroom. While Serena's loft had been slightly smaller, her bedroom area was larger and had the roof skylight that extended over the bedroom and living area.
She peeled off her clothes and headed into the bathroom to turn on the shower. God, she was tired, and maybe just a little cranky. She tested the temperature of the water then set the spray. Okay, a lot cranky. She hadn't really been angry over the scene downstairs; she just hadn't expected to deal with such a thing when she came home.
She'd missed Nigel desperately, and had to force herself not to call and have him fly to New Zealand to be with her, but he had classes and responsibilities now. He would have come with her, of course, had offered to in fact, but she knew he would be bored out of his mind while she was off doing wedding things. Truth be told, she would have rather been doing anything but wedding things, herself.
She stepped into the shower and just stood there for a few minutes, letting the hot pulsing water beat away at her fatigue. Finally, she started to scrub herself clean and was just finished washing her hair when she heard the timid knock on the glass shower doors.
"This is a no Smurf zone!" she growled.
"Can I please come in?"
She opened the door and waited for Nigel to step inside with her. He had shed his clothes, but his hands, arms and face were still covered in blue paint. "Waz' up, Brainy?"
"Very funny," Nigel smirked as she stepped away to let him under the spray. "Why are you so cranky?"
"I'm tired," she admitted and poured body wash on her scrubby to wash his back as he took care of the paint on his face and arms. "Why are you blue?"
He turned and wrapped his arms around her. "Because I missed you."
"Likewise." Sydney sighed again and leaned into him. "But I was talking about the paint."
"Doesn't matter." He pulled back to kiss her, slowly, softly, in that special way he knew she enjoyed best. "I'm so glad you're home."
"Well, let's get cleaned up, so I can show you how much I missed you." He turned back into the spray to wash his hair.
She indulged herself by clinging to his back. "I'm hungry."
"So am I."
Sydney knew he wasn't talking about food and smiled against his shoulder. "I had a very long flight, Nigel."
"We can stay in bed the rest of the day, if you like."
"That won't help me sleep."
"We'll sleep." He leered at her. "Eventually."
"It was a very long cab ride…."
"Twenty minutes, tops."
"I have a headache."
"I have a cure for that."
She laughed and immediately felt better. Usually she was the dominant one, not that Nigel ever said no of course, but sometimes he tried to put her off. She suspected it was just to test his, or perhaps her, will power. It was more a game than anything, because neither could resist for very long.
"Don't you want to know about the wedding?"
He turned and slid his arms around her. "Did anyone die or get left at the altar?" he asked as he nuzzled her neck, inhaling her scent.
"Then it can wait." He captured her mouth, suddenly ravenous for her. After four years together he still was so madly in love with her he sometimes couldn't think straight when she was near. He hoped that feeling never faded.
Sydney wound her arms around his neck and moaned in appreciation; but her stomach was still winning out over her desire. When they broke for air, she said, "If you feed me I'll do what ever you want."
He paused. "Anything I want?"
"Even…" Excitement momentarily robbed him of his voice.
"Even that," Sydney whispered, knowing exactly what he was thinking of.
Nigel swallowed, hard, then reached back to switch off the shower. "Right. We're clean enough. I'll go fix you a sandwich."
"Nigel!" Sydney laughed as they stepped out. "I want Chinese!"
"That will take too long!" he whined as he held out a towel for her first, then grabbed one for himself.
"I'm really hungry!"
"So am I!" he growled tried to pull her in for another kiss.
"For food!" she giggled and gently pushed at his chest.
He moaned in frustration. "Pizza?" he offered as he quickly dried off, knowing there was one around the corner. "They can be here in fifteen…"
Sydney grinned as she patted the moisture from her skin with her towel then wrapped it around her wet hair, turban style. "Chinese."
"Lasagna! There's a frozen lasagna in the freezer, shouldn't take more than a few minutes to heat up."
She shook her head and reached into the bathroom cabinet for her body lotion. "Chinese." She started to lather the lotion onto her arms, and then handed the bottle to Nigel. "Or I go to bed hungry." She glanced at him over his shoulder. "And so do you."
He sighed as he poured lotion into his hands and massaged in into Sydney's back. "You're a cruel, cruel woman, Sydney."
She turned, wrapped her naked self around him and kissed him soundly. "If you feed me, I'll show you a new way to eat dumplings."
Nigel stared at her intently. "Oh?"
She nodded and pulled at his lower lip with her teeth, teased him with her tongue. "Interested?"
Nigel closed his eyes as his imagination ran away with him. "Very."
She whispered her plan in his ear, watched his body react instantly, through the towel wrapped around his waist.
"You're killing me!"
"But what a way to go!"
"I swear to God, if I wasn't a gentleman I'd…"
Sydney put her fingers to his lips and purred against his ear. "You can do that later too."
Nigel's eyes widened, he flushed and he whimpered, all at the same time. "You really did miss me!"
"All it'll take is some dim sum and kung pao chicken."
"I'll go order," he croaked and stepped out of the steaming bathroom to the sound of Sydney's laugher.
Sydney quickly dried her hair, dressed in a long silk nightgown and matching robe, then slid on her fluffy slippers and spritzed on a bit of Nigel's favorite perfume. She selected a pair of pajamas for him and his robe, then headed downstairs.
They had knocked out the walls separating her loft from Serena's, as well as erected additional walls across the hallway where the original entrance to the second loft had been. Now, when someone entered they could walk to the other loft from either side of the kitchen area. It offered a fantastic amount of natural light through the space, and opened up the area in a wonderfully modern-meets-old-world fashion.
They enclosed the area where Sydney's platform bedroom had been and made it a guest room. The area between the two upper platforms had become an office for both her and Nigel. Their kitchen remained on Sydney's side of the loft, but the breakfast bar had been moved further out to make room for a lovely cedar kitchen island in the center; which lent more towards an open concept kitchen. By the terrace was a breakfast nook, separated from what was now a formal dining room by two large terra-cotta pillars and a pale green screen wall.
The formal dining room was something that Sydney had always wanted to have and now, finally, had the room for, and held a long cherry wood table that could comfortably sit a dozen people. A matching china cabinet took up the back wall and displayed her mother's china and glasses, which she'd had in storage for years, because she had never seen the point to using it or displaying it while she was single.
Their living room was moved to the other side of the loft in what was Serena's living area and now sported new leather furniture, a big screen TV and a baby Grande piano. On the south wall, on either side of the large windows were bookshelves from the start of the living area, what had been the entrance of the second loft, all the way across to the outside wall. The shelves in the living area held blu-rays and CD's, the rest special treasures or replicas from some of their hunts, with assorted books and framed photographs mixed in.
To the far back of the loft, beneath the second floor, was an enclosed area that held Nigel's insane collection of books, many of which he had shipped up from London as he'd not had the room for them in his flat here. There, they had erected solid drywall around the room and Nigel had painted the inside walls a dark blue, with white trim; creating what he termed a true British study.
Inside the room were two very comfortable leather chairs, perfect for reading, next to a gas fireplace. A large Union Jack on a pole in the corner, and in the opposite corner a life size statue that Sydney had commissioned for Nigel on their third wedding anniversary, in the likeness and armament of Sir. Gabriel.
Sydney approached Nigel, as he stood in the living area, still in just a towel, calling in their order. He finished, tossed his cell back on the coffee table and turned to her. "I thought you might like to dress for dinner," she grinned and handed him the clothes. "But I don't mind if you come as you are."
"It's barely three in the afternoon, and you're in your bed clothes?"
"You did say we could spend the day in bed." She leaned in and kissed him again. "And I don't intend to be in them very long."
He smirked and slipped into the pajamas, at least these was plain black and didn't actually look like pajamas, more like casual wear. "Did I tell you I missed you?"
"Yes, but I like hearing it."
"And that I love you?"
"Mmmm…nope, you forgot that part."
"How neglectful of me!" He tossed his robe over the sofa, caught her in his arms and spun her around twice, then gently swayed with her across the floor; dancing to the tune of their love. "I love you." He kissed her cheeks. "I love you." Her nose. "I love you." Her mouth and felt her melt against him instantly. "God, I love you."
She sighed and snuggled as they waltzed. "I love you too." Finally, her tiredness overcame her and she pulled him to their leather sectional.
"How was the wedding?" he asked.
"The wedding was beautiful," she admitted and curled her legs up on the cushion then leaned into him as he settled beside her. "The days leading up to the big day were a nightmare."
Nigel winced on her behalf. "That bad?"
"I'd rather face down a dozen Gural Nataz than ever do it again."
He slid his arm around her shoulders and she snuggled into him. '"I'm sorry I couldn't be there, luv."
"Then we both would have suffered." She idly caressed his chest through his pajama shirt. "I'm just glad to be home."
"I'm glad you're home too." He kissed the top of her head, affectionately. "I wish you had told me you were coming home early."
"I didn't know until this morning…" She factored in the time difference. "Yesterday? Tomorrow?" She sighed. "Whatever. I just woke up and wanted to come home, so I caught the first flight out." She tilted her face to look at him. "So why were you and Sarah painting each other anyway?"
He chuckled. "We started out painting the gym," he explained. "I wanted to surprise you for when you got home. You've been talking about painting the two back walls in there forever, and Sarah offered to help."
Sydney was thrilled at the idea of a spruced up gym. "Oh, Nigel!" She leaned in and kissed him. "I can't believe you did that! Thank you! I can't wait to see it!" She rose and he quickly pulled her back down, so she fell into his lap.
"You can see after both of us are fully satisfied." He slid his hand inside her robe and caressed her breast over the soft fabric of her night-dress.
"Mmmm." She leaned into him and her breath quickened. "You sure know how to turn a girl's head, Mr. Bailey."
"And you have such a lovely head," he murmured and was just about to kiss her when their downstairs intercom buzzed. "Bloody hell!"
She gave him a quick kiss and shimmied off his lap to go let the delivery boy inside. "Patience is a virtue, Nigel."
"Bullox." He crossed his arms over his chest and called out as she disappeared to the other side of the loft. "My wallet's on the breakfast bar!"
"Okay!" Sydney hurried to press the button to released the security door downstairs, picked up Nigel's leather wallet, opened it and smiled at the picture he had of her in the very front. She found two twenties, as she wasn't sure how much food he had ordered, then moved to the door just as there was a knock.
She grabbed the large bag, paid the driver and offered a generous tip, then tucked two bottles of water under her arms and returned to the living area. "So, you were telling me about what started the paint war?"
"No, I wasn't," he denied and helped her put out the multiple food cartons and set them on their coffee table.
She smirked and settled next to him. "Okay, before you started molesting me, you were telling me about the paint war."
He grinned and accepted the chopsticks she offered him. "Not much to tell, really. When we finished in the gym, we started putting things away, and then next we were arguing about bloody poetry."
"And you resorted to flinging paint?"
"She started it."
"Well she did!" He actually loved that Sarah was as well read as he, they had lively debates on a regular basis regarding books and authors.
Sydney grinned and then suddenly stared into the box of shrimp she held. Her smile slowly faded.
"This was always Maftet's favorite," she sighed. "I miss her, Nige. I'm so used to her being here when I get home."
He nodded and pulled her closer. "Me too."
Sydney's beloved pet had passed away in her sleep just two months before. She never knew how old the cat was, for she had just appeared on Sydney's bed one day and Sydney decided to keep her.
"We could get another, if you like?"
"Too soon," she sighed and snuggled closer to him as she pulled her legs up on the sectional and curled them close again. "Maybe one day, but not right now." They sat there, silently for awhile, until she spoke again. "So, how many apples did you get this week?"
"That's a record!" she grinned, knowing the first week of the new semester brought out all the school girl crushes. "And how many boxes of chocolates do I have to pretend not to eat?"
"Only three. I put my foot down after that and made sure that it was understood that I was their teacher and not their bloody boyfriend." He paused. "Nicely of course."
"Of course," Sydney smiled. "How was Karen's first week on the job?"
Karen had accepted a job with the university as the Head of Administration, with better pay and benefits.
"Everything went smoothly, as far as I could tell, of course Karen had a plan of attack and a brand new budget prepared before she even took over. You know how she is."
"Yeah," Sydney grinned. "It's a challenging job but she is defiantly up to the task. "And how is the new receptionist working out so far?"
"He's okay," Nigel hedged and Sydney immediately caught his hesitation.
"You don't like him?"
"No, no, he seems like a…a professional sort of chap. He just…"
"Well, he's a little…" Gorgeous. Athletic. God-like. "Masculine."
"He is a man, Nigel." Sydney grinned. "You'd rather he was more feminine? Maybe be more like Archie?"
"No! I mean…not that I would have a problem with a homosexual working for us, you know I have several friends who are gay, Syd."
"So what's the problem then?"
"Karen interviewed him so I'm sure he's more than qualified."
"Yes, yes, it's just…well…"
"And he seemed pretty friendly."
"To you. I…I don't think he likes me, Syd."
"I'm sure your misinterpreting." Sydney smirked and poked him in the ribs. "You're just used to being fawned over by a female receptionist, that's all."
"That is…. Claudia hardly fawned over me, Sydney!" he sputtered. "She drove me bloody crazy."
"I am not."
"Yes you are! You're jealous because now I have some eye-candy to admire and goggle in tight shirts and pants the way you've always goggled Karen."
Nigel paled. "You think he's attractive?"
"Of course I do, he looks like Thor, Nigel!" She grinned. "The guy who played him, not the actual Norse depictions."
"Norse God." She grinned and curled into him. "Hey, you had your fun with Karen."
"That was entirely different!"
"Because you and I weren't…and I would never have….we…I…." He growled, leaned forward and shoved his hands into his hair.
Sydney shook her head and curved her arms across his back as she rested her chin on his shoulder. "Hey, I thought we'd gotten past this?"
"We have," he muttered. "Mostly, I just. I'm not worried about one of your ex boyfriends trying to steal you away or…." He turned to her. "I do trust you, Syd, honestly, but…I mean; he really does look like bloody Thor!" He rested his chin on his hand, petulantly. "He could turn a straight man gay in a heartbeat."
Sydney gazed at him, amused. "Oh, really?"
"Not me!" he snapped and then smirked. "I…I reckon I am a little jealous then."
"I promise to keep the flirting at a minimum, okay?"
He sat back to glare at her. "If I catch one bloody flirt between you and him I'll…I'll…."
"Yes!" He flushed. "No! Sydney!"
She laughed and threw her arms around him. "God, you're adorable."
"Yes, well…Let's just say that I am very glad you are home."
"Remember your succession reports are due on Friday," Nigel reminded his class as they started to collect their books and released a collective, good natured groan.
"But next week is Christmas break!" one of them reminded.
"Indeed it is, and as my present I expect those reports to be turned in by Friday."
"Then what's our gift?" the same youth grinned.
"A brilliant education, of course." Nigel watched as several students smiled, chuckled or rolled their eyes as they headed out to their other classes and focused on a tall red-headed boy. "Mr. Tupper, Friday, no extensions this time, understood?"
The youth had the decency to flush. "Understood, Professor," he muttered and shuffled out as a pretty, perky blonde stopped by Nigel's desk with her best friend in tow.
"That was a great class, Professor," she gushed, obviously smitten. "You make history so, like…interesting."
Nigel filled his papers into his briefcase and smiled at her. "Well, history is very interesting, Miss. Lowery."
She giggled and pulled a small box of expensive chocolates out of her purse. "I heard these were your favorite."
Nigel glanced at the box and tried not to sigh. "Actually they're my wife's favorite," he returned without malice. "I am sure she'll enjoy them, thank you."
The young woman's smile faltered for half a second, before she recovered. "You're an awesome teacher, sir, but I'm finding the hieroglyphics a little confusing. I was wondering if you could, like, help me understand them better?" She wet her lips, tossed her hair back and stepped just the tiniest bit closer as she leaned on the desk and gave him a good view of her cleavage. "Maybe we could go for, like a coffee or eggnog or something and…study?"
Nigel's gaze strayed for a half a second, he was a man after all. "As I recall you seem quite proficient in hieroglyphs, Miss. Lowery, however if you are having any trouble I would suggest having Brent Trebor assist you. He knows them exceptionally well." He tilted his head as she opened her mouth to protest and regarded her quietly. "And as you are both students, he is a far more appropriate choice."
The blond had the decency to blush. Nigel hated embarrassing her, but he'd learned his lesson in his first year of teaching. Being overly concerned about hurting their feelings he'd ended up with a hoard of enraptures students that made teaching class very uncomfortable. He'd finally had to learn to put his foot down and nip such aspirations in the bud.
"I…I just thought…" she began, biting her lip.
"I'm aware of what you thought, Samantha," he offered kindly. "You are one of my best students and it is my responsibility, as your teacher, to help provide you with the best education I can. To listen and support you and assist you academically in whatever manner I am able. Such a relationship can be very rewarding, as long as certain lines are not crossed."
"It's only coffee and chocolates," she muttered and lowered her head ashamed at the knowing look he sent her.
"Both of which are inappropriate." He snapped his briefcase shut. "Now, if you prefer not to utilize Trent and truly wish to go over hieroglyphics, I will be in my office today from three until four-thirty and will be more than happy to assist you." He picked the chocolates up and offered them to her, pointedly. "However, if you continue on this path…Well, I would hate to request your transfer to another class."
Miss. Lowery gaped at him, and then slowly straightened. "I…I never…I just…" She flushed, knowing she had been dong exactly as he accused her of. "I'm sorry, professor. Keep them, please, as an apology…"
"I don't need an apology, I need you to understand."
She bit her lip and bowed her head, wrapping her arms around her books. "For Christmas then. I…I really want you to have them."
"Very well, for Christmas. Thank you."
She turned and shuffled towards the door, her friend following.
She turned back and Nigel offered her a warm smile. "We're still friends, okay?"
She smiled shyly, nodded and hurried out.
He sighed, turned to erase the large white-board, and was about halfway through when someone poked him in both his ribs, startling him. He spun around and a wide grin broke across his face as he threw his arms around the young woman behind him.
"Tia! You're back! How was your holiday? You look fantastic!"
She smiled, hugged him, kissed his cheek and pulled back. It had taken a long time, but the trial of the man who had abducted her on a trip her family had surprised her with when she graduated medical school had finally come to an end.
After four years being held captive by Eduardo Mikhail Sanjay, and forced to patch up his men as well as others he kidnapped and sold, another full year in protective custody with Interpol and then almost two more to get him tried and convicted once he was captured, Tia was finally free of the shadow of her past.
As soon as the judgment was finalized Nigel and Sydney arranged for Tia to take a trip to Spain, where her family, who had believed her dead for almost a decade lived. She had been unable to contact them before Eduardo Mikhail Sanjay had been convicted for, she had been worried that somehow the pirate would find a way to hurt her family.
"It was wonderful. I am so very glad you convinced me to go." Tears flood her eyes. "They were happy, Nigel. Shocked, but so happy to see me. They thought I was dead."
Nigel held her. "I'm sure the missed you, luv."
She nodded. "They didn't want me to return. My mama, she was there, papa had passed away…"
"I'm so sorry, Tia."
She shook her head. "No, he was not always in the best health, even before…before I was taken." She smiled again. "It was wonderful to see them all again, but I told them that my life was here now, with you and Sydney."
"Well, working with us is not always easy, but we're very glad your back."
"Me too." She caught his wrist and pulled up the cuff of his sports coat. "How is that bite healing?"
"Fine, itches now and again, but it's starting to fade."
"Damn dog," Tia muttered as she turned his arm to inspect the small half-moon scar just above his left wrist. "Are you putting the salve on it?"
He nodded. "Every night and I've finished the antibiotics you gave me."
"Good." She nodded, satisfied. "Next time try keeping your hand out of the animal's mouth, yes?"
"It was my arm or my throat, Tia," he reminded as he turned, finished erasing the board, then set the eraser down and picked up his briefcase. "And the bloody thing came out of no-where."
"If you would listen to me and not go into places you shouldn't…"
"It's all part of the fantastic business of Relic Hunting." Nigel tossed an arm over her shoulders as they walked out of the classroom. "And now that you are back, you have to come to dinner."
"I do not want to impose…" She began as they walked the familiar halls of the university; a university that had offered her a new kind of family.
Sydney had gotten Tia work at the free clinic down town, with the condition that she was allowed to leave whenever Sydney and Nigel had a hunt; she was their field medic after all and the university paid her for her participation. The administrator of the free clinic was desperate for someone with Tia's skills, so such a request had not been an issue.
Nigel had also arranged for Tia to apprentice three nights a week in triage, under the watchful gaze of a surgeon who had patched him up after he'd been shot by a Gural Nataz agent that had attacked he and Sydney at Trinity several years ago. The two men became and remained friends through their interest in classical music and chess, and the doctor was now the head of surgery at the hospital.
"Tia!" Sydney ran to her as they entered and threw her arms around the younger woman. "How was your trip? You look sensational!"
Tia laughed, for Nigel had said almost the exact same thing. "It was wonderful. I will tell you all about it at the dinner that Nigel insists I am coming to."
"Absolutely, but we're taking you to dinner." She grinned at Nigel who rolled his eyes. "We only cook when it is absolutely necessary."
Tia grinned and walked around the new office, which had been moved to the third floor, and now held two interior offices, a wide, carpeted reception area and walls the color of Texas clay. "It looks marvelous in here! So much more room!"
"We like it," Nigel smirked as he offered his briefcase to Sarah, who brought it into his office. "It's far bigger and brighter than the one we had downstairs."
"I didn't think it would be finished yet," Tia admitted as she paused at the doorway of Sydney's office. Her name was in gold letters, Professor Sydney Fox and inside was a very elegant, but lived in office, with her previous desk, two new leather chairs and a great view of the courtyard. On her desk was her world globe and beside it a framed picture that Tia knew was of Nigel.
"They just finished last week and we couldn't wait to get moved in," Sydney admitted as she leaned against Troy's desk and crossed her ankles. "Nigel especially."
"I was getting claustrophobic in that bloody closet," he retorted
Tia smiled and moved to his office, directly across from Sydney's. It was decorated in the same similar lines, although his desk, chair and shelving units were far more modern than Sydney's; giving more distinction to his own style.
A large painting of the Thames hung on the wall behind his desk and his miniature Union Jack stood in his cup holder. A framed photo of he and Sydney on their wedding day, the second wedding they'd had the summer after their first marriage.
"It all looks fantastic."
"Oh, and look what we have over here," Nigel insisted as he walked to the wall and pressed his hand against the wall. Seconds later a large panel slid open revealing a small medical clinic.
"Oh!" Tia hurried over and stepped inside. It wasn't much larger than a walk in closet, but it had a vent in the ceiling to circulate cool air, a large glass cabinet of medications as you stepped in, and to either side, floor to ceiling shelves of medicinal supplies. "I How did you get approval for this?"
"Karen did it, actually," Nigel grinned and crossed his arms over his chest as Tia immediately started to take stock of what was available. "Sydney thought it would be a good idea to have a hidden room for it, so no one would know we keep drugs on hand and want to try and break in here. Just as a security precaution."
"That is a good thing." She smiled as Sarah handed her an IPAD. "What's this?"
"Your inventory," Sarah explained. "It's programmed to automatically alert you when you are low on a particular medicine or supply." She indicated the small scanner by the door. "Anything you take out of the room or put back in needs to be scanned, that uploads to the IPAD to keep it updated."
"Don't forget this." Sydney walked over and handed Tia an olive green medical pack. "Has fifty pouches for medicines and medical equipment." She smirked. "Should even be enough to keep up, even with our adventures."
"This is fantastic!" Tia immediately opened the pack and started to examine it as the office telephone rang.
"Call for you on line one, Sydney," Troy advised from his desk and handed her the phone as she walked over.
"This is Sydney." Her eyebrows rose and she glanced at Nigel. "A lead on John Brown's Diary?"
Nigel glanced at Sarah, who nodded and headed for her smaller desk, in the corner of the room and off to the side from Troy's desk. "I'll get your classes covered," she said as she picked up her desk phone.
"Good." He turned to Tia. "Up for another trip, Doc?"
She grinned and slapped her hands together. "My bag is still packed at home." She handed him her keys and immediately started pulling things out of the cabinet to place in her new pouch. "But I'll need to refresh our supplies."
"Don't forget to scan them out." Nigel reminded as Sarah finished her call and immediately caught the keys he tossed her. "Grab Tia's bags, from her flat would you please?"
"Back in a few," Sarah assured and hurried out.
Sydney finished off her call and hung up.
"So, where are we going?"
"Three tickets to England," Troy nodded and turned to his computer. "Coming up."
Sydney grinned at how smoothly her team ran and pushed off from the reception desk. "Let's get our things," she told Nigel and headed into her office where they both kept a bag packed for such occasions. "This could be the find of the century."
Nigel stepped in behind her and caught her around the waist to kiss her neck. "I think you are the find of the century, Professor."
"Likewise, Teach," she giggled, kissed him and reached for her bag.