This is a good job. A very very very good job.
Hardison couldn't help his thoughts as he checked out Parker's outfit for the new job. He knew he shouldn't like the outfit so much. After all, Parker was posing as a hooker. But her skirt was so short he knew she wouldn't be able to sit, and her shirt was little more than scraps tied behind her neck. There was so much smooth pale skin showing that he actually began having trouble breathing. All at once his thoughts changed.
Now, hold on a damn minute! She's going out there like that? With all those sleazy ass men? Trying to put their grubby ass hands all up over her? Oh, hell no!
With more volume than necessary, he turned to Nate. "Why can't Sophie be the hooker again?" Eliot laughed through the earpiece, already in position, hidden in case things got rough. Nate sighed.
"Hardison, you know that Sophie needs to get information from Mr. Daniels. She can't be at a party and a street corner at the same time."
"Plus," Parker added. "I can fight better than Sophie."
They all heard Eliot sigh in annoyance through the comms, "Parker, don't worry about fighting. Just play nice. I'd kill them all before they could hurt you." The thought somewhat calmed Hardison. Nate nodded his head in agreement,
"Just play it cool Parker. And don't stab anybody, with a fork or otherwise."
Parker rolled her eyes, but laughed at the memory. Nate walked to his office to pour a scotch, muttering to Sophie, who muttered back in his ear.
Suddenly alone with his thoughts and the object of his thoughts, Hardison shifted awkwardly from foot to foot, still feeling worried and not just a little protective of Parker. Parker, oblivious of awkward silences, turned to leave, ready for her part.
"Hold up," Hardison called out, walking to stand in front of her. Wishing he could cover her up and strip her down at the same time, he settled for straightening out the camera hidden around her ear, beneath her hair. He looked down at her pretty face, seeing trepidation in her eyes. She didn't want to do this either, wasn't happy with even pretending this was her life. He wondered if he'd ever learn the stories of sadness behind her crooked smiles. Giving her the most encouraging smile he could, he spoke,
"You'll do great. Just be careful Parker, please. I like… I like having you around."
"Eliot won't let me get hurt," Parker insisted, but she gave him a smile that told him she knew exactly what he meant.
With that, she turned and strode out the door, heels click clacking on the hardwood. Hardison couldn't help but watch her sway as she walked away. She was going to be the death of him, but he really couldn't mind.