Monday, June 13, 2006

FBI Headquarters, New York City

"Ok people!" The FBI director's firm voice rose above the noise of the group. There was a scuffle of feet then silence as the agents waited for the director to speak. He had called an emergency last minute meeting before everyone went home.

"We have several old cases and too many new ones to solve. Rockwell," the balding man looked directly at a middle aged woman in the back of the room. "Assemble a team and continue to work on the Osborne Case. Mansfield I need you…" the director continued handing out assignments. His voice droned on for what seemed like eternity to impatient twenty-year-old Joe Hardy.

'Hurry up' Joe thought as he tapped is foot. Though he wasn't working on the case, Joe had just finished reviewing the notes and memos for Maggie Osborne's murder, because something interested him in this particular homicide. A young girl had been killed as revenge on her fiancé who was a member of the witness protection program.

From the moment Joe had first heard about Maggie Osborne, he immediately thought of Iola, his only true love. Iola had accidentally been killed by a car bomb meant to kill Joe and his brother Frank. Joe tried to forget about the case until he had seen Maggie's picture during lunch break. Her eyes were wide and laughing. Her pixie face was accented by shoulder length brown hair. He couldn't help but think, 'It's Iola all over again.'

As much as he tried, Joe couldn't for get about Iola. For almost four years she had haunted his dreams. He'd wake for sleep drenched with sweat screaming her name. He couldn't even escape her memory during the day. Trivial things or objects would stir up old memories.

That was part of the reason Joe and his high school girl friend Vanessa Bender broke up. At least she knew he wasn't over Iola. Joe was afraid that if he told anyone else, they would treat him different, like they had done for weeks after Iola's death.

Joe's thoughts were interrupted when he realized the director was closing the meeting. He needed to hurry if he was going to catch Rockwell.

The second the director said good night, Joe was out of his seat. Quickly he made his way through the crowd of fellow agents. "Agent Rockwell!" he called. "I was going over the Osborne Case and I …"

"Whoa! Slow down Blondie." She held up her hand. "You're not on this case." Rockwell stated bluntly.

Joe hated being called Blondie, but ignored the comment. "I know, but I couldn't get my mind off the case. So I reviewed the notes and something clicked."

"Well being as you're so interested in the case, you can be my first recruit." Rockwell told him, laughing at his shocked expression. She would never admit it but she had been keeping her eye on him the past few months. He had spunk, and she liked that. He might complain, but he always got the job done. "Be in my office at 0900 tomorrow morning, Blondie. Write up that hunch and any thing you can dig up to support in a report. Bring it with you in the morning." She turned on her heels and started down the hall towards the exit. Without looking back she yelled out, "Oh, by the way I prefer Rocky." Then she vanished.