The door to the UC headquarters slammed and Donovan stalked through the main room and up the stairs with a thunderous expression and no word to the four people in the room.
"The bear is back." Cody muttered, not looking up from his computer.
"He certainly has it bad." Jake mused, earning sharp glances from his partner Alex and Cody.
"Frank is...in love with this Irish woman." Monica spoke up. "His bad mood is because she's part of the assignment so he can't cross that line and I don't think he's quite sure he can trust her yet"
"Yeah, well it does seem a little suspect how easily the Justice Department accepted her story and took her into the field." Alex grumbled cynically.
"I don't think this is a set up." Monica disagreed thoughtfully. "I saw her with Donovan that first day here and...she really wants to change"
"Maybe, but getting involved personally like that is...It's just trouble." Alex went on tightly.
"You would know." Jake reminded her gently. She flared automatically with temper, but unable to retort, let it go.
Looking down at the small pile of pistols, grenades and machine guns on a metal table in the center of the basement, the only light from a single light bulb, Angel mentally clamped down her urge to tremble with fear and sadness for whoever the three men around her decided deserved to die.
"We need more weapons, Liam, but thanks to her screw up, all our contacts are bein' watched so we're left dry!" Mickey complained, sending her a hidden glare. Neither he nor Jimmy had used her name or addressed her since she arrived that morning, but Angel wasn't concerned or disturbed by it. She asked no questions about the targets or location, annoying the other two men with her lack of curiosity and pleasing Liam, who was bent on letting the other men think he was keeping her where they wanted.
"Have you tried the mafias...Russians, Italians?" Liam asked, obviously angered by the problem.
"Aye...No takers, even with a bonus cash offer"
"I know someone." Angel spoke up, earning all three men's shocked attention.
"YOU!" Jimmy managed, visibly caught off guard. She nodded curtly, her eyes on Liam and he watched her intently.
"I can help you, Liam...Let me prove it to 'em." She pleaded with him quietly. He must've liked what he saw on her face because he nodded, earning a displeased look from Mickey, though he didn't comment on it directly when he spoke up.
"Who is it? Who are they connected to"
"I think he'd rather be the one to decided whether or not to tell you." Angel answered evasively. "I'll contact him and by tomorrow, he should be willin' to meet with ya, yeah"
"Alright, luv." Liam agreed after a moment, smiling fondly.
Sitting in a corner booth in the Italian restaurant, Angel spun her water goblet by the stem and waited, resisting the urge to look up at every person who walked past her table. She picked up a bread stick, not really interested in eating it and started slightly as Donovan silently slid into the book beside her.
"The mike is off...Why did you need to see me?" He asked quietly, his eyes searching the restaurant with unconscious suspicion and practice.
"I...I don't know if I can do this." Angel confessed miserably, her gaze on her hands.
"Why?" Donovan replied simply, the lack of accusation or impatience in his tone causing Angel to look up, meeting his gaze.
"What if I fail? I saw all those weapons they'd gathered and I thought about all the people they could hurt...If I don't find out enough and get Liam's trust, people could DIE"
Tears flooded her eyes and Angel swallowed hard, trying not to let them fall.
"You won't fail." Donovan stated softly, surprising her by pulling her comfortingly into his arms and holding her.
"How can you sound so sure?" She murmured, content in being close to him while he stroked her hair.
"You're Liam Conway's weakness and I know he'll do anything for you"
Pulling back to look up at his face, Angel frowned, confused by his certainty.
"How do you know?" She managed skeptically.
"Because so would I"
Struggling with her surprise, Angel blushed under the intensity of feeling in his expression. He glanced away suddenly and swearing under his breath, reached into his pocket and pulled out a handkerchief, handing it to her.
"Mickey and Jimmy are here...Pretend you were really crying and pull away." Donovan murmured, his expression becoming anxious and nervous. She sensed he wasn't really overly concerned with the pair's arrival and it helped her to swallow hard, pretending to wipe her eyes as she pulled away, seemingly uninterested in being held by him.
"What should we do?" Angel asked under her breath, sipping her water.
"Tomorrow if they mention it, tell them I'm your weapons contact"
"It's too late for that." He cut in. "Explain that you cried to weaken my disinterest in funding them. When I arrive, I'll act extremely taken with you to explain why the tears would change my mind...Call Liam now and ask where he wants to meet me. Give the Name Frank O'Neil"
Nodding, Angel picked up her cell phone and called Liam, aware that Frank was probably calling the Nest and trying to forget that Jimmy and Mickey were probably watching her intently.
Sitting next to Liam in the pub he'd picked for the meeting with her weapons contact, Angel tried not to act nervous or guilty in any way as Mickey and Jimmy came in, looking like cats that had swallowed canaries.
"She's playin' us, boss." Mickey stated brashly, reaching into his coat and pulling out photographs. Lifting an eyebrow, Liam laid his arm across Angel's shoulders, leaning back.
"Angel! We have proof!" Jimmy spoke up, glaring at her.
"Proof of what?" Angel asked, smiling without concern and moving closer to Liam.
"She's cheatin' on you!" Mickey growled, tossing the pictures on the table and watching as Liam stiffened, disentangling himself form Angel.
"That's ridiculous!" She scoffed, not even glancing down at the photographs.
"It's a serious charge, lad. You'd best"
"Look at her, Liam! She's all cuddled up to that guy!" Jimmy squeaked, paling slightly at the sight of the warning look Liam gave them as he picked up the glossy prints. Angel watched him look down at the first photograph and his eyes went hard, making her blood go cold as she froze for a moment in fear at what his anger could cause him to do to her.
"Who is this, Angel?" He demanded, using her name for once as he lifted her chin, his grip painful. Glancing down with her eyes, Angel looked back up with a defiant expression, self righteousness in her tone.
"Frank O'Neil. You told me to meet with him." She pointed out, jerking away with a hurt air and tossing her head hot-temperedly.
"Why is he HOLDING you!" Mickey pressed, cutting Liam off. Nodding curtly to show he agreed with the question, Liam crossed his arms and Angel got to her feet angrily, leaning over the table, her face inches from his.
"Check all the photos. If these eejits had watched the WHOLE meetin' they'd seen I was cryin'! O'Neil gave me a bloody hanky"
"C-Cryin': Jimmy repeated, glancing at Mickey nervously as his confidence in their accusation started to ebb.
"Aye!" Angel shot at him, straightening. "Men hate cryin'! It got him to agree to meet with ya 'cause he's suspicious of anyone he ain't heard of! He's pretty hard core Provo"
"Y-You got a Provo to meet with us?" Jimmy managed, awe in his voice.
"That's what I said"
Grabbing her purse, Angel glared at each of them.
"You want to accuse me of this shite than ya try to get his help by ye lonesome! He'll be here any minute"
Turning to stalk off, she ran straight into a blue silk shirt, open casually at the neck. Arms steadied her by the waist and Angel immediately recognized Donovan's touch and forced herself to stiffen, pulling away. There was a droll smile on his lips before he looked behind her, arching an eyebrow and letting Angel move out of reach.
"Is this meeting over already"
"Angel's just..." Mickey began with a patronizing smile. Cutting him off with a look, Donovan took a step back, his hands going to into the pockets of his black slacks.
"I'm here because she asked me. If she's not in, I'm not"
Rising swiftly, Liam held out a possessive hand for Angel without taking his eyes from Donovan.
"Of course, she's in. Just a misunderstandin'. Right, lads?" There was a command in his tone and Mickey and Jimmy both nodded, shuffling their feet as Donovan joined Angel and Liam at the table.