Emily took the coffee all too happily from the clerk at Sierra Brew, the classy little coffee shop that sat only a block away from her apartment, and her frequent stop before work. At least on the days she wasn't passed out in her partner's bed or vice versa; it was a challenge to make it work on those days.
"Hey there, I see you got a medium today. You had a small the other day." A smiling man greeted Emily, as he held the door for her.
She didn't respond, just gave him a startled look that must have carried some of the unease she was feeling in it.
"Oh, don't worry, I'm not a stalker." He smiled again, his white teeth shining.
This time, Emily just nodded uneasily, and slid past him, power-walking back to her car.
What the hell was that? Did that man really think his assurance that he wasn't a stalker was enough for her? He was clean, with almost black hair, very blue eyes, and was wearing business attire. Ordinarily that wouldn't have been threatening, though the bright blue eyes against the jet hair was definitely a bizarre look. She shivered involuntarily, no matter, she'd just camp out at Matt's for a few days.
Twenty minutes later she was entering the lobby of the Federal building when an arm suddenly snaked around her waist, and pulled her against a taut, muscled chest. Emily's hand immediately went for her gun, as she used all her strength to break free. Then she turned an saw a surprised and concerned Matt.
"Sorry." She mumbled, sheepishly. Apparently, the coffee guy had her more on edge than she thought.
"Are you okay?" He chanced allowing his fingertips rest against her bicep, and when he felt her body relax, he began to comfortingly run his hand up and down her arm.
"Yeah, just a little on edge."
"From what? Did something happen?" Matt immediately turned very serious, his protective instincts kicking in full force.
"No, nothing…just this guy at the coffee shop seems to know what size coffee I get."
"You mean that pimply kid that drools when you come in? He works there, I would imagine he has some idea."
"No, not Sam. He's harmless. Some other guy who evidently also gets his coffee from Sierra. You know what, it's not important, I'm making too much of it." She held up a hand, and proceeded to the elevator.
"Some guy has been watching you? I don't like the sound of that, he could be a stalker or something." Matt followed her in.
"He said he wasn't." She shrugged.
"Oh that's convincing. Would you believe it if an HT said he wasn't an HT?"
"Of course not, the HT would actually be acting as an HT at the time he told me."
"So was the stalker guy," Matt insisted as they exited the elevator, and walked past Lia and Duff, who were clearly flirting.
"What stalker?" Lia asked, hearing Matt's comment.
"There is no stalker." Emily insisted, before Matt could speak.
"What stalker?" Cheryl looked up from the file she was studying as she walked through the CNU.
"Emily has a stalker." Matt beat her to answering this time.
"I do not!"
"Whoa, why do you think Emily has a stalker?"
"Some creepy guy at the coffee joint by her has been watching as she gets coffee."
"What?" Cheryl looked alarmed now as she turned toward Emily.
"He hasn't been watching, he just mentioned that I got a different size the last time I was in." Emily desperately tried to diffuse the situation.
"That sounds like he's been watching."
"Oh my god," Emily sighed, "he probably just noticed me coming in now and again. In fact it was probably a really lousy attempt at flirting. You all need to just relax and drop it."
Cheryl watched her, thinking a minute, "Okay, we'll drop this on two conditions."
"Which are?" Emily asked exasperated.
"Keep an eye out, and if you see this guy again, you tell me."
"Fine, I will. What's two?"
"Oh this one's easy. Go home with Matt tonight." She nodded in his direction.
All four people in front of her raised eyebrows at that. "Are you encouraging me to sleep with my partner?"
"No, you do that anyway, I just figured I'd put it to use." Cheryl shrugged. "Why? It's not as if you're actually going to argue with me on that."
"I hadn't planned on it, no. I was just kind of amused by that."
Cheryl rolled her eyes and walked back into her office.
The rest of the day went by uneventfully, as did the night. In fact Emily was deliriously happy the next morning after a particularly enjoyable night spent with Matt, who was also quite happy. But, that afternoon she crossed the street away from the FBI building, Lia gabbing by her side, and spotted a familiar face. A very unwelcome familiar face.
"Hey Emily, I didn't see you at Sierra this morning." The man from the coffee shop smiled and greeted her as if they were friends.
"How did you know my name?" Screw being polite, this guy was creepy.
"Oh, the counter girl, Jessica, told me. I'm Stan by the way."
"Good to meet you Stan, but if you'll excuse me, we're getting lunch." Extract yourself from the situation before it becomes a situation, make it clear you aren't interested, Emily mentally coached herself.
"Right, of course. Will I see you at Sierra tomorrow morning?"
"No, I've been staying with my boyfriend." She made sure to stress the last word, so he wouldn't miss the mention.
"He's a lucky guy. Take care then Emily." He smiled and called to her, and she power-walked off, Lia watching her nervously.
"Lia, what do you say we just grab sandwiches and bring them back to the office?"
"Yeah, that guy was kind of disturbing, I'm all for that."
Ten minutes later Emily and Lia were climbing out of the elevator, takeout sandwiches in hands, while Emily rolled her eyes and attempted to tune out her friend.
"I don't trust it Emily, the guy's creepy," Lia insisted, trying to get her friend to acknowledge that she may very well have a stalker.
"Leave it Lia."
"Who's creepy?" Max Binder asked, coming out of a room and walking alongside his female coworkers.
"The guy that's stalking Emily."
"He's back?" Matt asked poking his head up from his desk, which they were only feet from.
"We saw him outside, but don't worry about it please," Emily begged him.
Matt didn't say a word, just got up from his chair, walked around his cubicle straight for Cheryl's office. Emily was relieved for only two seconds before she realized why he went into Cheryl's office. Her boss appeared in seconds, walking up to the trio, Matt in toe.
"You saw him again?" She was all business.
"Yes, it was brief."
"He knows her name now," Lia piped in, worried for her friend.
"He what!" Matt was clearly not happy with this new information.
"First, last or both?"
"Uh, I think just first, he said it got it from the girl at the coffee shop." Emily tried to make it sound less weird than it actually was.
"Did you by any chance get his?"
"Yeah, it's Stan."
"Lia, you were with her?"
"Did he seem threatening to you?"
"I wouldn't say threatening, but he definitely gave me the creepycrawlies. He's obviously been keeping track when Emily goes to the coffee shop." Lia shivered involuntarily.
"Can we please open a stalking case now?" Matt begged, he did not like this guy or his interest in Emily.
"Based on what, Matt? Lia's creepycrawlies? He hasn't done anything threatening." She abruptly turned toward Emily, "Unless you're leaving something out?"
"No, not a thing. It's as benign as it seems, Cheryl." Emily thanked god her boss had sense.
"I can't open a case yet, but I wouldn't call this guy benign. I want you and Lia to go through the California Department of Transportation driver's license photos of Stans. Once you find him, I want everyone in this office and the building's security to memorize his picture. Anybody sees him I want to know."
"Are you serious?" Emily demanded. So much for her boss having sense. "It's really not a big deal Cheryl."
"I'm not taking any chances," she paused watching her exasperated negotiator roll her eyes. "I promise if we don't see him for a few days, we'll drop it."
Emily threw her hands up in resignation, and followed Lia toward the Intelligence Analysis room.
"I don't like this Cheryl."
"Of course you don't, Matt. Some guy has his eyes on your girlfriend. What's to like?" She shook walked back to her office, Matt once again following her, disagreeing that this discussion was over.
"It's more than that Cheryl," he insisted frustrated.
Cheryl turned toward him from behind her desk, "I know Matt. You're in love with her."
Matt was silent a moment, "That's not what I meant."
"You didn't deny it though. Don't give me a hard time, Matt. You go home with her at night, she has a gun, you have a gun, I think she'll be fine. Now, do me a favor and go finish your paperwork." Cheryl tried shooing him out, but he wasn't budging.
"Oh for god's sake Matt, what do you expect me to do? He hasn't done anything, and Emily sure as hell isn't going to voluntarily file a report. All the guards in the building, HRT and everyone in the CNU is getting the guy's picture when they find it. He won't get to her, if that's even his intention."
Matt ran a hand through his hair, "I feel useless."
"Matt, Emily is a heavily trained federal agent, and a very independent one at that. She'll be fine, don't smother her, she'll just push you away, and then I actually will have to start worrying about this weird guy."
"Did you just give me advice on maintaining the relationship I have with my partner?" Matt asked her bemused.
"I told you that if I don't see it, and it doesn't interfere with your performance I don't care. But, Matt, if you start getting twitchy during a negotiation, I'm benching you."
"Anyway, if she breaks up with you, it not only wrecks my best partnership, but I'll have to watch you mope for weeks." She teased, lightening the mood.
"Oh thanks for that. You really think I'd mope?" Was he really that obvious in how much he cared about her?
"I've seen you in your relationships, I know which women you mope over, and Emily? I can only imagine in horror how long that moping would last."
"Well do me a favor and if I ever do something dumb and piss her off, tell her that."
"Do you really expect on doing something that would piss her off?"
Matt raised his eyes brows in self-mockery.
"Never mind." Cheryl forgot, he'd already done that once.
The next afternoon they had a negotiation, and Cheryl watched Matt like a hawk, even though he was secondary. She was sure this possible stalker situation was unnerving him more than it was Emily. Men never realize that women who live in the city deal with strange, disturbing men hitting on them on an all the time. It just become habit to brush them off, though this Stan guy was certainly more unsettling than the usual ones, simply because he wasn't just noticing her, he was actually watching her.
Stan evidently didn't drive, or at least didn't drive legally. Emily and Lia spent hours the previous day, plowing through the 529 Stans and Stanleys that live in California. Emily had not been pleased, and insisted impatiently that, that was it. There would be no more talk of Sinister Stan as Frank and Duff had taken to calling him. As far as she was concerned Sinister Stan was just a dopey guy that had a crush on her, and that was all there was to it.
"Carrie, are you still with me?" Emily asked the fifteen year-old girl that had taken a Planned Parenthood clinic hostage.
"Yes, I'm here…I can't do this Emily. I just want it out of me!" She begged tearfully through the phone, repeating the same line she had since Emily got on the line with her.
"I know you do, but you're a minor and California has strict rules on abortion. You need to release those people in there, so you and I can have a real talk about how to get you out of this mess? Alright?"
"No, no it's not alright. I don't care about their rules, that's why I have a gun on the doctors, so they'll just do it already!"
"They…" Emily turned toward the crowd absently, struggling for something to tell the young, pregnant girl, and trailed off when she caught a familiar face in the crowd. She stared a minute, saw him smile at her and… did he actually just wave at her?
"Emily? Emily? Emily where did you go!" Carrie's panicked voice brought her back, and she caught Matt and Cheryl watching her nervously out of the corner of her eye.
"I'm here Carrie, I'm here."
"Where did you go?"
"I didn't go anywhere, I just got distracted for a moment. It's busy out here," she covered.
"I'm getting tired, Emily."
"You're due to have a baby in four months, you're supposed to be tired." Emily quickly looked back toward the crowd, immediately seeing that Stan was gone.
"You said you don't have children, do you want them?"
"Sure, someday I would."
"Then take mine," she stated, bluntly.
"I don't want it, you said you want kids eventually. Eventually just came early. Take it please, I don't want it! Please!"
"Carrie, I can't take your baby." Emily cupped her hands over her face, how did she not see that coming?
"Why not? You have a job, a car, an apartment, you can support the baby. And you said you have a boyfriend, you can even give it a dad. I can't give it anything, not even love. Please, just say you'll take it, and I'll let all these people go!"
"If all you want is someone to take that baby, there are hundreds of infertile couples around the country who would give anything for that baby. Give it to one of them."
"How do I know they'll take care of it, right?"
"Well, how do you know I will take care of it right?" Emily chanced a look at Matt, hoping for some helpful suggestion. He held out empty hands, and mouthed that she was doing good. She rolled her eyes, unconvinced.
"Because, you care enough to spend your life trying to help people like me, you care I can tell. You'd be a good mom to my baby."
Emily pondered that silently for a moment, trying to think of something to say. "You know those couples? They are on waiting lists, sometimes for years before they get a baby, they care too Carrie. They care enough to spend thousands of dollars trying to get pregnant, and then waiting in agony for someone like you to finally decide they don't want their baby. They care a lot more than I do, and they are heavily checked out before they are given a baby."
"Really?" Carrie asked quietly.
"Yeah, and you would get to meet them and pick the ones you want to give your baby to."
"They'll let me do that?"
"Yeah, they'll let you do that, Carrie."
"I didn't want to do this, I just got so scared." She plead quietly with Emily.
"I know you didn't. It's okay."
"I want to come out now." Her voice sounded so tiny that Emily almost didn't hear her.
"All you have to do is drop the gun and walk out."
"But, they'll shoot me!"
"Nobody is going to shoot you, I know all the guys out here, and the last thing any of them want to do is shoot a pregnant fifteen year-old."
"I promise that nobody is going to try and shoot you."
"Will you meet me at the door?"
Emily turned to Cheryl, posing the question with her eyes. Her boss seemed to think it over for a few minutes, before consenting with a nod and a look that told her to be careful.
"Okay Carrie, I'll meet you by the door."
"I'll watch for you…thanks." The girl hung up quickly.
"Hey, be careful," Matt told her, after she disconnected the call, and started to head for the building.
"Always!" She tossed over her shoulder; she didn't see any threat from this kid.
Emily's fingertips barely fluttered over the knob, when it was suddenly yanked away and a pregnant teenager flew out and into her arms, sobbing. Emily almost fell over from the force of the girl, and but straightened herself, and instructed the sudden throng of people bursting out the door what direction to flee in. Emily looked up, nodding toward Matt and Cheryl before her gaze wandered toward the crowd. She caught a familiar face again, Stan stood front and center, smiling at her with what she recognized disturbingly to be pride.
Stalker stories tend to be very plentiful, so I usually avoid them, but the first incident in the coffeeshop is based directly on my own experience. Not to worry, I still get coffee there and haven't seen my creepy guy since. Anyway, thanks for reading, and I'm sorry the other stories are taking so long to write, I don't have too much free time anymore. Reviews are greatly appreciated!