Authors note – I apologise I've been very neglectful of this fic! I was on holiday away from the computer; I don't know how I survived! Then I had a lot of school work so sorry sorry sorry sorry, (grovelling is over now!) Anyway here is the emerald and Gracie fun you've all been waiting for, hope it lives up to your expectations!! Oh and thank you to everyone who has reviewed I really appreciate it and you even get an exclusive personal mention in next chapters authors note!! Hint hint review hint hint! Thank you Bob, Lisa, Jennifer-morie, bonny, the juggernaut and trisket-n-gunther. Gotta love the personal touch! : )

Disclaimer – Do I sound like an American movie company owner to you?? Nope, well you're right, I'm not therefore I do not own Miss Congeniality!

Chapter 3

He was still trying to think of a way to regain the ground he had already lost in the conversation when the door flew open and a tall, good-looking brunette walked in. I already knew who she was; as I have already said several times I do my research. Grace Matthews, usually called Gracie, age- 33, occupation- senior detective, married to the man sitting at the desk across from me. She was a good officer and I did respect her for her work especially since the beauty pageant case, but to be honest I don't like other women near my cases. To confuse a man all you need to do is show rather excessive amounts of flesh and flirt outrageously, this rarely if ever works with a woman. You have to make friends with them, pretend to like them and sometimes you even do like them but that just makes it all worse when you know that any friendship you've shared with them is doomed because one day in the future you'll disappear, vanish, nothing left to even signify your existence, gone.

I work on men and play to their insecurities but women are harder they are just plain harder to work out, and from what I already knew about Gracie she wasn't going to be easy to figure out.

'Excuse me, I was in the middle of a private discussion here, perhaps you could return later?' It's always better to assert yourself first; it gives you the upper hand, the control, which is always useful. I'm sticking to the bitch idea, less likely to make female friends, or any friends for that matter, all the more likely to give me time to work. She looked shocked for a second, a millisecond maybe but then I could see the flash of anger in her eyes, I knew this wasn't going to be easy.

'Oh I'm terribly sorry to inconvenience you Miss...' she expected me to tell her my name but as I far as I'm concerned she can read the name tag, that's why I'm wearing one of these things, I don't want to be helpful after all! She glanced at the nametag and continued speaking almost through clenched teeth. 'Liston, I was under the impression that I worked in this building and was entitled to check the details of an important case with my boss.' She was rude, abrupt, and dripping sarcasm, you go girl! I knew she was on the defensive now, but I guess that's all the better for me, this way I won't have to suffer 'welcome-to-the-team' drinks or whatever social occasion I'm sure someone in the office was already planning.

I smiled at her mainly because I liked the way she stood up for herself but I knew that was not going to be the interpretation she took from my actions. 'Of course you are entitled to enter your Boss's office at anytime, but if you need him to hold your hand on every detail of a case when he is obviously engaged in an important meeting then I suggest I'm beginning to see why this department is so far below the national averages' This caught her off balance, I guess she hadn't had the situation explained to her and it was really quite complex, well it was to me. I am going undercover as a police investigator going undercover as a normal detective, ok so she doesn't have the first part to deal with but the rest is confusing enough. I knew I should explain but somehow I just couldn't be bothered so I sat back and watched Matthews, the male one, try and explain to his lady-wife.

'Detective Matthews' he began and then decided on a less formal approach, I never got used to being able to tell what was on people's minds through their faces it still disconcerts me when I realise that I am thinking what the person opposite me is thinking. It was a skill SL taught me, it's a skill we all have to observe the minute colour changes in someone's eyes, the flicker at the corner of their mouth, the slightest change in their demeanour could tell a trained observer a thousand things that a detailed speech would barely touch upon. 'Gracie, This is Detective Emerald Liston, well I think that is her real name' I gave him a nod no point in overcomplicating matters by introducing another name. 'She is, well she is here to investigate why our department is having difficulties with, umm... with our statistical difficulties'

I would love to say I enjoyed watching the man squirm; watching him reduced to the size of a peanut, but it would be a lie. I knew from the research I had done that he was a confident man, not just in his abilities as a detective but also in his abilities as a husband, friend and family man. I realized I had been a bit too harsh and if I carried on this way they would never warm up to me, after all my job is to isolate a leak, not to damage or destroy someone's life. I guess this was as much guilt as I ever feel anymore.

'I'm sorry I was a bit abrupt before, but the public is demanding results from us, and at the end of the day now if I don't improve this department's results then my head will be on the block.' It must be over six months before I've apologised to someone and genuinely meant it; it was a nice change really. 'As your husband said, I am Emerald Liston, I am working semi-undercover in the sense that the majority of your department will be unaware that I am investigating so that I may be able to find the source of them. I guess I was a little over-zealous before but it is so hard to get the results you need without being so nasty' Paste on nervous but self- deprecating face, smile somewhat inanely, and watch your I.Q. drop twenty points as you spiral downwards towards Bimbo.

'I'm Gracie Matthews, and I guess I'm sorry too' she said but I could tell she didn't mean it, I've done my best to salvage the situation so I guess it's best to let them discuss me.

'I really do need to get on with my work so if you don't mind showing me my office and things I would really appreciate it...' I let the sentence hang in the air, Senior detective Matthews got up with a feline grace and replied

'Certainly, It's just this way Miss Liston' Note to self don't insult a man's wife in front of him.

A/N – Ok sorry sorry, sorry again and feedback please!! : )